Guest Blog by Ann Church, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations.Ann Church is a longtime animal advocate. She has worked for the U.S. Senate and has more than 20 years’ experience fighting for humane legislation.
I feel a cold shiver go through me when I think about what could happen to millions of cows, chickens, pigs and other farm animals. The Iowa Legislature is close to enactment of legislation that will protect animal abusers while incarcerating those who expose cruelty. Because big agribusiness is tired of having the inhumane treatment of animals exposed, it is choosing to trample on the rights of the public and media instead of taking steps to treat animals decently.
Two state-level bills that aim to prevent legitimate investigations into animal cruelty in farming operations will soon be voted on in the Iowa Senate. If passed, House File 589 and Senate File 431 will protect large factory farms as well as puppy mills by making all undercover investigations into animal care illegal.
If this measure becomes law in Iowa, it will set a precedent throughout the country. Our jails could become full of humane activists and journalists while animal abusers continue their actions in secret. Our country is founded on transparency and the belief that more information is better—that public knowledge is good. If passed, decent farmers will be tarnished by this effort. Most do not have anything to hide, but this law would condemn them all.
Take Action! Please join our efforts to block passage of this chilling legislation. If you live in Iowa, please email your state senator and politely urge a no vote on SF431 and HF 589.
If you do not live in Iowa, please contact Governor Terry Branstad at (515) 281-5211 or https://governor.iowa.gov/contact/. Please do so in a reasonable and dignified manner.
It is not surprising to learn that Pit Bulls account for almost two-thirds of the dogs in NYC shelters—or that this is mainly due to pet overpopulation. When ASPCA’s Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, began brainstorming for a way to encourage the spaying and neutering of Pit Bulls, she turned to her husband’s Fire Department for inspiration.
“My husband, a Captain in the FDNY, works with a lot of guys who aren’t exactly excited to see their dogs emasculated,” says Murray. “I wanted to present spaying and neutering in a way that wouldn’t be such a turn off—and the guys gave me two thumbs-up on the military-themed approach.”
Today, the success of Operation Pit cannot be overlooked. The program, not limited by income or place of residence, offers a free physical exam and free spay or neuter surgeries to all pit bulls, along with free Distemper/Parvovirus vaccinations and free microchips.
“In keeping with the theme, each dog also walks out with a camouflage bandanna and ‘Honorable Discharge’ papers for participating,” explains Murray.
Participation in Operation Pit is by appointment only—sorry, no walk-ins. Call (877) 900-PITS to find out more or to schedule your dog’s visit.
On your mark. Get set. Vote! Folks, we are thrilled to announce that 95 animal shelters—from Hawaii to the U.S. Virgin Islands—are competing in this year’s $100K Challenge qualifying heat!
So, what does that mean, exactly? Well, they need you to vote! The 50 shelters with the most votes will be the official contestants of the 2011 Challenge and compete for the $100,000 grand prize. To keep the competition fierce, you can cast one vote each day!
Our thoughts are with the people of Japan as the post-earthquake crisis continues to unfold. The severity of the situation and the possible threat of nuclear disaster highlight the fact that assistance is still urgently needed. As reports and footage of the devastation in Japan continue to come in, one video serves as a reminder that the catastrophe has many animal victims, too.
Japanese dog refuses to leave injured friend behind. CNN reports that these dogs have been located and are receiving care.
The ASPCA remains on standby ready to assist our animal welfare colleagues in Japan in any way necessary. Currently, we are in communication with our national and international partners through our membership in the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC). For more information on NARSC's efforts, please visit their site.
Working with this coalition, we are coordinating efforts in order to provide the most efficient and effective use of resources to help animals affected by this disaster. Please stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more information on the ASPCA’s relief efforts.
It’s been over three months since we helped rescue more than 100 starving and neglected equines from a horse trader’s Arkansas property—and we’re still in the Natural State, devoting countless hours and supplies to care for the animals around the clock.
Before the rescue, the horses lacked sufficient access to food and clean water and suffered from various consequences of neglect, including parasitic infections and painful, overgrown hooves that made it difficult for them to walk. They’ve come a long way since then.
“We’ve been caring for these horses since early December, and with help from the local community and various agencies, we’ve provided the horses with much-needed relief,” says Kyle Held, Midwest Regional Director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Most of the horses have responded well to veterinary care and socialization, and many of them are ready to be placed in permanent homes.”
This case serves as an example of how the ASPCA often has to commit more funds and resources than initially expected when conducting investigations and raids. What initially was expected to be a month-long process has turned into a much longer, more demanding deployment. We’re still waiting for Arkansas authorities to give us the go-ahead for an adoption event, but we will continue to work tirelessly to care for the equines until we have placed every one.
Fortunately, we aren’t going it alone. Along with key partner the Humane Society of the United States, we’ve received help from organizations like the American Humane Association, Missouri Farriers Association, Code 3, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Alder Hill Farm Rescue, PetSmart Charities, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Massachusetts SPCA and Williamson County Sheriff's Posse.
Held adds, “The welfare of these horses is our priority and we’re exploring all options, in hopes that we would be able to move forward with an adoption event soon.”
ASPCA animal rescue efforts, especially those that require unexpected resources and funds, are made possible thanks to the support of our members.