According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2011 marks the Year of the Rabbit. And shelters across the nation are celebrating by inviting the public to hop on over to take advantage of the rabbit adoption specials being offered.
It is estimated that more than 1 million households have rabbits as family members and for good reason—they are intelligent, curious and loving pets. But adopter beware, our little hoppers also need specialized care. Rabbits are often seen as low-maintenance starter pets for kids, but our experts warn that nothing could be further from the truth. Rabbits are physically delicate and fragile, and require specialized veterinary care. Thousands are abandoned at animal shelters every year for this reason.
We've put together a list of the tips for living with a bunny companion.
They make great companions! Rabbits can be trained to use the litter box, they'll come when called, and their all-time favorite activities are to dig and chew. Who knew? The sometimes sweet, sometimes sassy rabbit can be a great pet for the right family.
Rabbits can’t live outdoors! Outside, rabbits can die of fright and are susceptible to diseases spread by ticks and other parasites. They prefer to live in the cozy comforts of a home, just like cats and dogs.
Your rabbit will need at least two hours free time to run around and play, so it’s important to bunny-proof your home. Preventing rabbits from chewing on electrical cords is of utmost importance, since rabbits can be badly burned or electrocuted.
If you've done the research and understand exactly what rabbits need—big-time digging and chewing—then you’re ready for a cotton-tailed friend. Be sure to make adoption your first option, and have your new bunny spayed or neutered.
For more information, peruse our webpage on rabbit care.
An ASPCA team member rescues one of the hundreds of dogs at the failed One More Chance Rescue and Adoption.
Yesterday, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team helped remove 349 living and 76 dead dogs from the failed One More Chance Rescue and Adoption, an unsanitary and overcrowded facility in Springfield, Ohio.
“The shelter operator intended to save animals at risk of euthanasia, but did not have the resources or capacity to provide adequately for these animals,” said Kyle Held, the ASPCA’s Midwest Director of Field Investigations and Response. “Many of the dogs discovered on the property are in critical condition and in varying stages of illness.”
The dogs were seized by the Clark County Humane Society and are being transferred to an emergency shelter at an undisclosed location in Franklin County, where they will be triaged by veterinarians from various groups including Ohio State University. The ASPCA remains in Ohio collecting evidence for potential criminal charges.
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more information on this case, and read this week’s News Alert for updated information and more photos from the scene.
A video released this week by Greyhound advocacy group Grey2K USA shows horrifying injuries incurred at the Tri-State Racetrack in Cross Lanes, West Virginia—highlighting the suffering of racing dogs across the United States.
“According to newly obtained state records, at least 3,208 greyhound injuries have been reported at this track since 2005, and nearly 200 dogs have died. Further, it’s likely that the actual number of injuries is even higher, as the state still refuses to produce several months of records,” Grey2K said in an email to supporters.
Grey2K Executive Director Carey Theil told West Virginia’s Charleston Daily Mail that "in terms of the raw number of injuries, this is the largest we have seen for a single track by far."
Though ASPCA racing specialist Ann Church called Tri-State Racetrack’s injury record “appalling,” she emphasized that the injuries were not at all uncommon. “This is what happens at all Greyhound racing tracks, and that is why we are making the end of racing a priority within the ASPCA.”
“This was a senseless attack on an innocent animal,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for Humane Law Enforcement.
Early this morning, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested Queens resident Jerry Melendez for beating his five-year-old Chihuahua, Spotye.
The investigation began on February 10, when ASPCA Agents responded to a call from a local animal hospital. A Chihuahua suffering from serious trauma and multiple seizures had been admitted by his owner. Spotye had to be euthanized due to the extent of his injuries.
The remains were signed over to the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital for a necropsy. Results revealed that the Spotye had sustained a fractured skull caused by blunt force impact, and suffered from hemorrhage to his left eye.
“This was a clear-cut case of violent abuse,” says Wolf. “Animal cruelty is a serious crime, and we are doing everything we can to see that the victims receive justice.”
Melendez, 33, was arrested by ASPCA Special Agent Debbie Ryan and charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony. If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Take Action! We need you on our side! If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, please report it. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty in your neighborhood.
And don’t forget to share this page with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.
This guest blog is written by Toni Curly a long-time supporter of the ASPCA and proud pet-parent of Harvey the Pug. Read on as she discusses the story of adopting her family’s beloved companion.
My husband and I always searched for the sad story before adopting a dog—we always want the ones who are harder to place. One eye? No problem! A senior dog? Bring him here! So how could we say no when we read about Harvey? Harvey was emaciated. He had a crooked-looking spine, a bulging eye and rotted teeth, and his tongue hung out. Harvey also wore a diaper. How could we resist?
The sad truth is, Harvey’s poor condition was the result of spending eight years living in a cramped wire cage, in complete darkness—he is the victim of a puppy mill.
While Harvey happily joined our family, it took a long time for him to settle in. We wondered if the horrid conditions he experienced had left him shell-shocked. It took nearly six months of patience and love for Harvey to finally trust us—and realize he had found his forever home. Harvey's days are now filled with care: a warm bed, walks around his neighborhood, plenty of nutritious food and, above all, love.
Harvey and our son bonded immediately and love each other dearly. As sleeping companions, they comfort each other when needed. If our son wakes in the night, he knows that Harvey is there with him. And, I suppose, if Harvey awakes in the dark remembering his puppy mill days, he finds comfort snuggling up to Connor.
Every day we share Harvey’s story with everyone who stops to meet him. Our hope is that puppy mills will be a thing of the past within in our lifetime, and that dogs like Harvey will suffer no more.