It’s hard to understand how someone could beat an animal to death with a rock, and then proudly post a video of the grisly scene online. And yet, that’s exactly what one individual did. On December 3, ASPCA Agents arrested Jordan Heuer for attacking, injuring and causing the death of an opossum in a Queens, New York, park.
After the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) received complaints about a video of the incident posted online, the organization referred the issue to the ASPCA. We opened a criminal investigation.
“This is a disturbing case of violent abuse in which the suspect went out of his way to not only inflict pain on a helpless animal victim by smashing it repeatedly on its head with a rock, but to also record and post the brutal event on the Internet,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Counsel of the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement and Legal Advocacy departments.
Heuer, 18, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty—under current New York law, felony animal cruelty charges can be brought only in cases involving companion animals. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
“This is precisely the sort of case that supports making the more callous acts that cause serious injury or death to wild animals into felony offenses,” Wolf notes, citing the extreme depravity of the opossum’s death.
We couldn’t agree more, and our Government Relations team is on the case. Bill Ketzer, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations for the Northeast, adds: “We will continue to work with legislators…to help shape laws to cover these types of especially heinous acts, regardless of whether the animal victim is a pet or a wild animal.”
Retractable leads—those long leashes that extend to allow your dog to roam freely—are great for trips to a wide open space like a park. They let your dog sniff and explore more freely. But if you’ve got one that you use on daily walks in the city or on a busy path, it might be time to ditch it. Here’s why.
1. The leash can get caught on you, your dog, a cyclist or jogger and cause tripping, rope burn, cuts and even strangulation.
2. You might have the best-behaved dog in the world, but what about that other dog down the block? When you use a retractable leash, you’re opening your dog up to all sorts of dangers, including those posed by less-friendly dogs, bikes and cars. You may not be able to hit the brakes in time.
3. Retractable leashes allow your dog to approach other dogs uninvited, and that’s just downright inconsiderate. Other pet parents may not want their dogs to greet your dogs for a variety of reasons, including your own dog’s health and safety.
4. Perhaps worst of all, should you drop the leash in an already-busy area, its sudden retraction and the noise the handle makes when dragging on pavement can terrify even the most even-keeled dogs. That means your dog is much more likely to bolt.
We get why people are attracted to retractable leads, but for these reasons and more, we’re sticking with our dog’s good old six-foot leash when we’re on busy streets. For your pet’s safety, we hope you will, too.
At the ASPCA, we meet a lot of dogs…and to be honest, we fall in love with most of them! But some pups stand out as very, very special. A few even seem to serve as role models for us, reminding us to stay positive even in the face of adversity.
Johnny is a dog like that. Rescued by our Humane Law Enforcement department in August, Johnny had already been through a lot in his four years of life. He wasn’t able to use his back legs, and at first we thought he had been injured. Then our veterinarians learned he had a severe spinal infection that had left his hind legs paralyzed.
Our vets addressed his long-untreated infection right away and began the task of rehabilitating him. Slowly, Johnny regained his strength until finally, it happened: Johnny learned to walk again.
Through it all, Johnny remained the happy-go-lucky, cuddly, sweet little muffin he is to this day. He thinks he’s a lap dog and essentially lives for snuggling. Frankly, his cheery outlook on life is downright inspiring.
Though he won’t ever have a full range of motion again, Johnny gets around just fine and loves to use his legs. Now, he’s ready to go home—in fact he’s already waited months to meet his match.
Could you please help us spread the word about Johnny? We can’t wait to see his well-deserved happy ending. He doesn’t seem to want much beyond affection and kindness. He can live with kids eight and up and other pets, and he’d be happy in a home just about anywhere—he only needs people who are up for tending to his sensitive skin, and who have as much love to give as he does!
This holiday season, as you search aisle after aisle for that perfect gift, keep in mind that your most important gift may be right under your nose. With one click, you can give abused animals a second chance.
Every 60 seconds, an animal is abused. It’s heartbreaking: These animals are neglected. They are scared. And they are struggling to survive.
Can you believe it’s December already? Candy canes, twinkly lights and bow-topped gifts abound. But before we bring out the eggnog, it’s high time we clear the air about one type of holiday décor that has gotten a pretty bad rap: the poinsettia.
Believe it or not, pet parents, these festive plants are not the deadly flowers legend has made them out to be. The myth of the plant’s toxicity actually began in the early part of the 20th century, after the two-year-old child of a U.S. Army officer allegedly died from consuming a poinsettia leaf. As a result of this rumor, the plant has never lived down its poisonous reputation.
Okay, so you still don’t necessarily want your pets to eat them. Because consuming poinsettias may cause mild gastrointestinal irritation, keeping these plants out of pets’ reach is still a good idea. But there’s no need to banish them altogether.
So, what do you say? Let’s give this plant a break—I hear they make quite the centerpiece.