In preparation for Hurricane Isaac, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team has kicked into high gear and headed to the Southeast, providing communities in need with transport, planning, grants and other assistance.
Today, at the request of the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi (HSSM) in Gulfport, we’re relocating animals from that shelter to the Broward County Humane Society in Florida.
“Having been through Hurricane Katrina and responding to numerous disasters, we learned that by assisting agencies with pre-evacuation efforts and getting animals out of harm’s way, we can greatly reduce the number of animals impacted by the hurricane,” says Dr. Dick Green, FIR Team Director of Disaster Response.
“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to assist the Humane Society of South Mississippi and be part of a collaborative effort to relocate these dogs and give them a second chance,” he adds.
Dr. Green and the FIR team are monitoring the situation closely and have organized sheltering and water rescue teams to support the local agencies as needed.
The ASPCA is also providing emergency grants in communities affected by Isaac, including to the Louisiana State Animal Rescue Team to increase its water rescue capacity.
In a happy coincidence, 89 dogs are making their way from Baton Rouge Animal Alliance in Louisiana to New York aboard a Sumter Disaster Animal Response Team vehicle, part of a scheduled transport arranged through the ASPCA Animal Relocation program. The dogs, mostly small-breed adults and large-breed puppies, will get a second chance at finding loving families at Pets Alive shelters in Westchester and Orange counties.
If you live in an area threatened by severe weather, the most important thing you can do for animals is ensure the safety of your own pets. For more information on how to keep yourself and your pet safe in an emergency, please read our complete list of Disaster Readiness tips.
Watch this blog for more updates on the ASPCA’s response to Isaac.
You did it! In the final days of California’s legislative session, animal advocates have scored a major victory by securing passage of S.B. 1221, a bill to prohibit the use of dogs to pursue and kill wildlife like bears, cougars and bobcats.
It was a real nail-biter and there was very loud opposition by hunters, but thanks to our amazing California Advocacy Brigade, outstanding leadership from the bill’s sponsor, Senator Ted Lieu, and help from Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, this important humane measure passed the Senate last night and is now on its way to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
Californians, we still need you! Governor Brown has until September 30 to act on this bill—and of course, hound hunters are bombarding him with phone calls demanding he veto it. If you are a California resident, we urge you to call the governor’s office at (916) 445-2841 to leave a message stating your support for S.B. 1221.
Keep your message short and polite:
“I urge Governor Brown to sign into law S.B. 1221 to ban the cruel practice of hounding our bears and bobcats. Californians strongly oppose this inhumane and unsporting activity because it harms wildlife as well as dogs who are injured and abandoned. Thank you.”
ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres discusses the new Louisville partnership with WDRB Fox 41 this morning.
We have some exciting news for Kentucky residents! A big congratulations goes out to three Louisville animal welfare organizations—Louisville Metro Animal Services, the Kentucky Humane Society and Alley Cat Advocates—for joining our ASPCA Partnership program. These organizations will gain access to various ASPCA resources, expertise and guidance, including strategic planning support, statistical analysis, training and participation in ground-breaking research projects.
ASPCA President Ed Sayres is in Louisville today to kick off this exciting new collaborative effort. “We look forward to the future success of this collaboration in Louisville, as these agencies already have displayed tremendous growth potential by working well together on joint adoption events and spay/neuter clinics,” he says. “By continuing to build on those accomplishments, we know our partners will be able to affect positive changes for animals most at risk in the Louisville community.”
Last year, nearly 20,000 homeless pets entered these three Louisville agencies. Through this partnership, we hope to assist with shelter overcrowding, increased pet adoptions and targeted spay/neuter programs.
“Working together, we will improve the lives of cats and dogs in our community,” says Lori Redmon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society, “ensuring every pet is offered a second chance at finding happiness.”
Congratulations, Louisville partners, and keep up the great work!
As Tropical Storm Isaac bears down on the Gulf Coast, we have some essential storm safety tips for pet parents.
• Bring pets indoors at the first sign of the storm. Animals can become disoriented and wander away from home during a disaster.
• Arrange a safe haven for yourself and your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave pets behind.
• Store an emergency kit—with items such as pet food, bottled water, medical records, a blanket, a flashlight and leashes—as close to an exit as possible.
• Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification.
• Affix a rescue alert sticker to your front door or window to let rescuers know that there are pets inside your home.
• Choose a designated caregiver to take care of your pet in the event you are unable to do so.
No matter where you live, it’s always a good idea to develop an evacuation plan well in advance of a major storm or emergency.
“Disasters threaten the safety of people and animals alike, and it’s often too late to create a plan for your pets when you’re in the middle of a crisis,” says Tim Rickey, Senior Director of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team.
For more information on how to keep yourself and your pet safe in the event of an emergency, please read our complete list of Disaster Readiness tips.
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), an ASPCA community partner, has launched an investigation into the recent deaths of three dogs at two different locations in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, WA.
On February 19, a woman reported to SCRAPS that she let her dogs outside at approximately 6:00 A.M., and when she went to feed her horses, saw one of the dogs eating something off the ground. She called her dog away from what was later identified as meatballs. Approximately 30 minutes later, the dog started having convulsions and was taken to an emergency clinic, where he died. Two other dogs were reported dead by another pet parent in the South Hill neighborhood on the same day.
Test results from Washington State University indicated that the meatballs were laced with strychnine, which was most likely from gopher bait or a gopher control pesticide. The gopher bait product was mixed with the meat and then cooked. This type of gopher bait product is a “restricted-use” pesticide in the state of Washington, but it is available for purchase at licensed pesticide dealers by those who are eligible.
“There are many ways an individual could have obtained this product, either legally or illegally,” said SCRAPS Lead Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano, the primary officer investigating these crimes.
SCRAPS is urging everyone to help spread the word about the poisonings in Spokane, and is advising pet parents to keep a close eye on their furry friends and thoroughly inspect their yards and surrounding properties for foreign or toxic substances.
If anyone has any information related to these incidents, please call SCRAPS’s emergency line at (509) 477-2533. This level of cruelty can lead to a charge of animal cruelty in the first degree, a class C felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.