The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team is 100% committed to the animals we rescue—and that commitment doesn’t waver during the holiday season. This year, nine dedicated team members will be missingcelebrations with their loved ones to care for more than 100 rescued dogs in Rowan County, Kentucky.
For more than two months, the ASPCA team has beenon the ground caring for the small-breed dogs including Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Min Pins and Poodles who were rescued from horrifyingly filthy conditions. Thanks to the team’s hard work, the dogs continue to receive the care and comfort they need.
“This is just one of the many awful cases we respond to, and our main priority is always the welfare of the animals,” says Dick Green, ASPCA Director of Disaster Response. “Many of us will miss the holidays with our loved ones this year, but there is no doubt in any of our minds that this is where we belong. We owe these animals a second chance.”
The ASPCA would like to sincerely commend the following team members who elected to spend this holiday in Kentucky:
Dick Green Bryan Hayes Theresa Vargas Dena Gayle Rosenberg Tiffany Huggard-Lee Shari Gordon Jodi Jenkins Sam Smith Michelle Albin
Given the festive time of year, I thought I would focus my year-end blog posts on happy endings. Some of the most touching stories arose from tragedy.
The ASPCA’s largest rescue effort this year was helping the animals left homeless following the tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri. Several of our responders told me stories that I’ll never forget.
One of those involved a male setter mix dog who was quivering with fear in his kennel at the emergency shelter that had been set up for animals rescued following the tornadoes. One of the ASPCA’s responders built trust with the dog by patiently hand feeding him, until finally the dog allowed us to put a leash on him to take him for a walk.
Walking this terrified dog was challenging, as he pulled with all his might in the same direction. No matter which way the handler tried to direct him, the dog insisted on going in a single southward direction.
A few hours after the walk, a man was walking through the shelter trying to find his missing dog. When the man and the setter mix saw each other, the formerly-timid dog leapt up with excitement and started barking, howling and wagging his tail furiously. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, this man and this dog had belonged to each other before the tornadoes. The man pointed out where their home had been and, sure enough, that dog had been pulling his handler earlier in the day in the direction of where their home had been.
After the man and his beloved dog were reunited, we were hoping for similar joyous reunions. ASPCA responders talked frequently to an 18-year-old woman and her brother who visited the Joplin emergency shelter desperately trying to find the woman’s cat. Like countless others, this woman had lost almost everything she owned, but she clung to a dirty photo of her 16-year-old cat.
The cat the woman was desperately seeking was missing an ear and looked every one of his 16 years. Each time the woman visited the shelter and could not find her cat, she assumed the worst and broke down in tears. As the woman was leaving after one such heart-wrenching search, she saw a rescuer carrying a cat in a crate. She held up the picture of her beloved cat, and the rescuer said that he thought he had the cat. The woman looked in the crate, saw her cat, and collapsed on the ground while hugging the crate and crying along with her brother.
As news reports focus on must-have holiday gifts, I can’t help but think about the people who lost all their material possessions, yet felt so blessed to have found their beloved companions. Happy holidays, everyone!
Those of us who live in colder climates are used to taking all sorts of precautions to prepare for winter, from putting on snow tires to breaking our warmest togs out of moth balls. But don’t forget that winter also poses challenges for our pets!With their protection in mind, the ASPCA hasteamed up with Morton Salt’s Safe-T-Pet® ice melt to raise awareness about winter hazards for pets. Be sure to take note of the following tips:
Keep anti-freeze stored on high shelves in sealed containers, and quickly clean any spills or leakage.
Use a pet-friendly (salt-free and chloride-free) ice melter such as Morton® Safe-T-Pet® in areas where pets walk.
Limit outdoor time for pets when temperatures drop below freezing.
Check warm spots on cars, such as hoods, where animals might seek shelter from the cold, before starting the engine.
Keep pets on a leash, especially dogs, as they can become disoriented or lost when once-familiar surroundings are covered in ice and snow.
Wipe paws clean after walking on ice and snow.
Make sure pets are wearing ID tags and proper outerwear as needed.
Easy Winter Action!
In addition to sharing important winter safety tips, Morton is raising funds for the ASPCA! For every "like" they receive on their Facebook page through January 31, 2012, Morton will donate $1 to the ASPCA. So get clicking—and thanks!
Stuck for a holiday present? Bored with the latest gadgets and gift certificates? Why not give the gift that keeps on giving—to animals!? An ASPCA gift membership is a great way to say you care, not only for the recipient but also for the millions of pets who’ll benefit from your generosity. Our online form makes it easy—just log on and help us build a humane community one membership at a time.
In return for your gift of $25 or more, the recipient will receive a membership card, an ASPCA calendar, a free subscription to ASPCA Action, and an ASPCA wristband. ASPCA gift memberships of $50 or more include a limited edition Harley.
So hurry and get clickin’, and have a happy, humane holiday from the ASPCA!
We worked with our Shelter Partners to find space for these brave little pups, and organizations in Arkansas, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., stepped up to the plate. Today, we packed up our Animal Transport Trailers and hit the road.
Here’s where these brave little pups are being welcomed with open arms:
Twenty dogs stayed close to home with Arkansas’ Stop Animal Cruelty in Hot Spring County.
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey, is taking in 30 dogs.
Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees, New Jersey, has accepted 20 dogs.
Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA in Hudson, New York, will find homes for 10 dogs.
And Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C., will welcome 100 dogs!!
A huge thank you to our Shelter Partners for giving these former victims of a cruelty a second chance at finding love and companionship.