Guest blogwritten byEd Sayres, ASPCA President & CEO.
Did you know that this month marks the two-year anniversary of Operation Pit? We started the Operation Pit program in July 2010 to encourage spay/neuter of Pit Bulls in New York City by offering free spay/neuter, microchipping and vaccinations to young Pit Bulls and Pit mixes.
Why did we start this program? The main reason was to help address the Pit Bull overpopulation issue. But maybe it’s also because we’ve got a soft spot for these guys and gals who often get an unfair bad rap. In recent years they’ve received negative media attention citing them as "inherently dangerous" to the public. And because Pit Bulls make up an overwhelming majority of homeless dogs found in shelters, there is a constant struggle to place these pups.
Enter Operation Pit! The only requirement for participation is that the dog be in good health and between three months and six years of age, and live in the five boroughs. There are no financial requirements and appointments are now available every Monday through Friday at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH) and select Sundays at the Spay/Neuter Clinic in Glendale. Every day is Operation Pit day on the mobile clinics, where Pit Bull surgeries have always been free of charge.
A big thank you goes out to everyone involved in this program, and happy anniversary to Operation Pit!
It wasn't what you would think of as a typical 911 call. Terrified her horse was drowning in the Umpqua River, an Oregon woman called 911 for help. She had been with her horse at the county fairgrounds when her horse spooked and jumped into the fast-moving current of the river. Frantic, the woman tried to swim after her but couldn't catch up. She returned to shore and called for help. This particular story has a happy ending—Douglas County Animal Control Deputy Lee Bartholomew responded with a swift water rescue team and the horse was saved.
Shortly before the dramatic river rescue, local responders had taken a large animal rescue training course funded in part with a grant from the ASPCA. Strawberry Mountain Mustangs, an Oregon nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates equines, applied for an ASPCA grant to help train law enforcement, fire departments and animal control agencies in the rescue of large animals. Because state and county governments had drastically cut budgets, most of the participants could not have attended the training program without financial assistance.
Could Your Local Shelter Use a Grant? During the first half of 2012, the ASPCA made 828 grants, totaling over $7.6 million. Our robust grant program helps save animals across the country, and we are always grateful when our recipients let us know how the funds have helped. If you know of an organization that could use financial assistance, please visit our Grants section.
On Sunday, ASPCA responders headed to Gloversville, New York, to assist 296 neglected dogs, cats, birds and farm animals—including goats and horses—housed in an overcrowded sanctuary called Kelly’s Haven for Friends Animal Rescue.
At the request of Fulton County authorities, ASPCA Northeast Director of Field Investigations and Response Jeff Eyre and his team helped collect evidence for criminal charges while ASPCA veterinary professionals provided the surrendered animals with emergency care.
What’s the Next Step? Helping these animals get a second chance at forever homes.
“Once we assessed all the animals, we contacted our shelter response partners to quickly find placement for them,” Eyre says, adding that many organizations immediately stepped up to the plate to “help a community with severely limited resources.”
Arriving at a Shelter Near You? Some of the rescued animals will be placed in Gloversville’s surrounding area, but others will be hitting the road to various ports of call around the Northeast and Midwest, where rescue groups are waiting with open arms. Here are some of the stops the transport vehicle is making:
Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society (Menands, New York)
New Rochelle Humane Society (New Rochelle, New York)
Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association (Ledgewood, New Jersey)
Washington Animal Rescue League (Washington, D.C.)
Finger Lakes SPCA (Bath, New York)
Allen County SPCA (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
Central Vermont Humane Society (East Montpelier, Vermont)
It's true. We don't think Michael Vick would make a good doggie parent. The NFL superstar recently claimed on Piers Morgan Tonight that he's interested in getting a dog. Call us crazy, but we don't think it's a good idea. Far from it.
Despite spending 19 months in prison for running an illegal interstate dog fighting business, Vick hasn't expressed a shred of empathy toward the dogs he brutalized and killed. And rather than talk about the horrors of dog fighting, he has consistently chosen to focus on the consequences of getting caught.
In a nutshell, his actions are self-serving. We've seen little remorse and even less compassion. And let's not forget, he caused unspeakable suffering to hundreds of innocent dogs. Frankly, the ASPCA has serious concerns about Vick's ability to be a responsible pet parent.
Your two U.S. senators and your U.S. representative will be home next month—don’t let this opportunity pass you by!
Every year, Congress takes the month of August off (pretty sweet job!). During the August recess, senators and representatives travel back to their home states and districts—after months spent in Washington, D.C., this is a time for them to reconnect with their constituents. This means you! Next month is going to offer great opportunities for you to meet with your congress members in-person, on your home turf, to advocate for animals.
Attending town hall meetings or scheduling time with your legislators in their state or district offices are great ways to advocate for animals. You can find out when town hall meetings are scheduled by contacting your legislators’ offices—before you go, you might want to read up on how to participate in town hall meetings). We also have some simple dos and don’ts for meeting with your legislators.
Speaking with your legislators face-to-face is the most effective thing you can do to promote animal welfare legislation! Look up your legislators’ information here and contact them today!