The damage is overwhelming. Since June, severe flooding has devastated North Dakota's fourth-largest city, Minot, wiping out thousands of buildings and leaving countless families homeless.
Yesterday, members of the NARSC (National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition), including the ASPCA arrived in Minot to help to care for more than 500 companion animals displaced by the floods.
Working at the request of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Souris Valley Animal Shelter, the team is providing emergency sheltering for animals—mostly cats and dogs—at a pet evacuation center located at the NDSU Research Center.
“It has been a long haul for the people of Minot,” says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team. “We are proud to be able to offer support through the coalition as this community recovers.”
Please stay tuned for more information on the ASPCA's relief efforts in Minot. Sign up now to receive our breaking newsletter every Friday morning.
This past weekend, thousands of you joined us on Twitter to watch as shelters from across the nation held special adoption events to kick-off the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge. Well, folks, the numbers are in…and we can’t wait to share them. In total, more than 3,000 shelter pets went home!
“It was such an incredible start,” says Bert Troughton, ASPCA Vice President of Community Outreach. “Many of these shelters shattered their own adoption records, and in so doing they shattered the perception of what’s possible.”
Shelters rallied, communities rallied, volunteers rallied…and thousands of animals’ lives were saved. A special thanks to all who joined us on Twitter—they couldn’t have done it without you!
Last week, we held our annual volunteer appreciation, recognition and awards ceremony. Congratulations to ASPCA volunteer Lauri Goldman, this year’s winner of the Shining Star Award for her excellent service!
“Lauri volunteers fulltime as an Adoption Counselor,” says Diane Wilkerson, Director of the ASPCA’s Volunteer Program. “Her commitment to animal welfare and the energy she brings to our team is outstanding.”
In addition to her important role at the ASPCA Adoption Center, this past June, Lauri took her rock-star skill set to Joplin, Missouri, where she assisted the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team with cat care and on-site adoptions. Logging in over 1,500 volunteer hours this past year alone, she truly is our shining star!
Take Action Shelters across the country are looking for volunteers to help out with tasks like walking dogs, organizing fundraising events and fostering abused animals. If you think you have what it takes, check out our Top Ways to Help Your Local Shelter!
Already a volunteer for animals? Tell us about it in the comment section below!
ASPCA lobbyists have done it again! Last night, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that will make attending a dog fight or cockfight in New York State a misdemeanor offense. The law goes into effect in 30 days.
“Animal fighting is an extremely cruel, but lucrative, underground business," says Debora Bresch, an attorney and Senior Director of ASPCA Government Relations. “This new law will allow law enforcement to pursue and punish the spectators who drive the market for animal fighting, keeping it alive."
Animal fighting is a felony in all 50 states, and most activities relating to it—including training animals to fight and allowing one's property to be used for an animal fight—are also felonies in New York. But up until today, attending a fight was merely a violation punishable only by a small fine.
“Spectators who patronize these barbaric events in New York, cheering and placing bets while two animals fight to the death, deserve to be charged with a crime," adds Bresch.
Congratulations for seeing this bill through to the end, New York animal advocates!
For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to tackle animal fighting, please visit our Blood Sports Section.
Love is in the air—and it's time to plan that special date! Here are our top picks for cruelty-free outings that are sure to get those sparks flying.
Skip the circus and head to a movie! Unlike animals under the Big Top, movie actors aren't forced to do anything cruel or unnatural. Besides, there’s nothing more romantic than holding hands and stealing a few kisses under the Big Screen. (Word of warning: skip the popcorn; kernels get caught in your teeth.)
Forgo the horse-drawn carriage and opt for a bike ride. Instead of making an overworked horse carry you through congested streets, take a cruise on a bicycle built for two. After all, what could be more fun than a relaxing tandem bike ride? Pack a picnic lunch and go for pedaling adventure.
Instead of window shopping for puppies, volunteer at your local shelter. Many couples find picking out a new puppy together romantic. But before you take your date window shopping, remember that virtually all puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. Why not head to a shelter instead? You’re sure to get warm fuzzies spending the day volunteering with your date—and you might not leave empty-handed.