The ASPCA knows that when someone abuses an animal, there’s a good chance that person is hurting or will hurt a person, too. So the Linkage Project, a group that raises awareness of the deep connection between animal cruelty and other violence, is a program we can get behind. On Thursday, the ASPCA announced it is awarding $10,000 to help the Maine organization further its work.
“The ASPCA has long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes,” says Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “Animal cruelty is not just an animal control or law enforcement problem—it is something that requires the skills and resources of many members of a community to respond to and prevent.”
The Linkage Project—a statewide coalition of animal control officers; health and human service representatives; law enforcement officials; and child, adult and animal welfare advocates—embraces that collaborative approach.
The ASPCA’s grant will help Linkage train Maine’s human- and animal-welfare workers and law enforcement officers to work together to stop violence against people and pets. The Linkage Project, a program of Youth Alternatives Ingraham in South Portland, also works to increase the capacity of communities to respond when children or adults see or commit animal abuse, including cases of hoarding and neglect.
On Thursday, December 9, at a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama signed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 into law. The new law prohibits the creation and distribution of “crush videos” and establishes a penalty of up to seven years in prison.
In April 2010, the United States Supreme Court struck down the original “Crush Act” (the Depictions of Animal Cruelty Act), a federal law passed in 1999, finding its language to be overbroad and unconstitutional. The law was meant to stop the creation and sale of crush videos and other depictions of illegal acts of animal cruelty. The animal welfare and law enforcement communities have been concerned that lack of a federal law to prohibit crush videos would lead to resurgence in their trade—done mostly via the Internet—which was suppressed effectively by the 1999 law.
The Court’s ruling did leave the door open for the Act to be rewritten—and to their credit, several members of Congress wasted no time in drafting and introducing amendments that would 1) withstand test of constitutionality, and 2) address one of the Court’s main problems with the original Act by including exemptions for visual depictions of hunting, trapping, and fishing. The Senate version of the legislation was introduced by U.S. Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC); the House version was introduced by Representatives Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Gary Peters (D-MI).
“The ASPCA has long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes,” says Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “By banning crush videos, our federal government is potentially helping to protect the community from other serious crimes and sending a clear message to individuals seeking to profit from the suffering of helpless animals. This law protects both animals and free speech by focusing specifically on crush videos, which clearly have no place in our society.”
The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act has a narrower focus than the 1999 law, but still prohibits creating or distributing depictions of non-human animals being intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.
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Through a series of slapstick video escapades, Joey continues to spread his “StopChasingTail” campaign in effort to help end pet overpopulation. Check out Joey’s other wacky flicks, and be sure to sign up for the HelpJoey.com newsletter for your chance to win free gear!
On December 9, the ASPCA joined the generous folks at Humane Society of Boulder Valley to celebrate their grand prize win of the ASPCA $100K Challenge. Saving 1,000 more cats and dogs in August, September and October 2010 than they did during the same months last year—the shelter won the Challenge and received a $100,000 grant to continue its life-saving work.
The special day began with an awards breakfast honoring the shelter’s dedicated staff and team of volunteers. In the evening, the staff welcomed its community to a heartfelt awards ceremony, shelter tour and reception. Visitors had a chance to meet with staff and ASPCA representatives, as well as visit with adoptable animals.
"Standing in a room full of people who've worked so hard to save more lives, and surrounded by over 2,000 photos of the precious lives they saved is humbling,” says Bert Troughton, ASPCA Vice President of ProLearning. “But what's really inspiring is that they are already talking about this amazing finish as just the beginning—wow!"
“We are honored and humbled to be the first grand prize winner of the ASPCA $100K Challenge,” says Lisa Pedersen, CEO of Humane Society of Boulder Valley. “We are forever changed as an organization and as a community—and as we look ahead, we know this is just the beginning; together we will keep challenging ourselves to save more lives.”
Exclusive: As CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley for the past three years, and employee for the past 12, Lisa Pedersen knows a thing or two about saving lives. Read on as she discusses the impact that participating in the ASPCA $100K Challenge has had on her shelter team and community as a whole.
From the very moment we submitted our application for the ASPCA $100K Challenge, we knew it wasn’t about winning the grant—it was about saving lives. It was about being inspired by the Challenge to implement programs and protocols we had always talked about, but for one reason or another never put in place. It was about our team looking at our every process and questioning the how and why for what we do. It was about finding new ways to engage our community, and creating incredible buzz about the animals we serve. It was for these reasons and many more that we took risks, dreamt big and just did it.
As the weeks of the Challenge went by, we learned lesson after lesson. We found great inspiration in the amazing things our shelter colleagues across the country were doing as part of the contest. And we continually adapted our plans as we found what worked and what didn’t for our own shelter needs. Our staff, volunteers, donors and the community as a whole stepped up time and again to keep us moving towards our ultimate goal of saving another 1,000 lives.
The Challenge transformed us.
And it was a challenge in every sense of the word for all of the shelters who said “yes” to the call. I believe we all worked harder than ever before and together we saved more than 7,000 more lives in just three months. If that isn’t transformational, I don’t know what is!
Thank you to the ASPCA for this visionary grant. There are so many things we can now share with each other—so many new ideas and innovations that have come about as the result of these three magical months.
We are honored and humbled to be the first grand prize winner of the ASPCA Save More Lives $100K Challenge. We are forever changed as an organization and as a community—and as we look forward, we know this is just the beginning. Together we will keep pushing, collaborating and challenging ourselves to save more lives.