Law enforcement officers have confirmed what we always knew: 78 percent say they see a clear link between animal abuse and other violent crimes. So would you believe that only 19 percent of law enforcement officers report that they’ve received training in handling crimes against animals, and that while nearly one-third of Americans say they’ve witnessed animal cruelty firsthand, police say they rarely see it? According to new ASPCA research, it’s true.
“These findings validate what we have long assumed—that there is a major need for training for officers charged with enforcing animal cruelty laws and investigating cruelty cases,” says Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President of Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects for the ASPCA.
The nationwide research study found that the public and law enforcement both want to end animal abuse, but they lack the know-how to work together to stop it. Case in point: we learned that very few witnesses to animal cruelty call the police, and that while nearly all law enforcement officers feel they should play a role in enforcing animal cruelty law, only 41 percent say they know the relevant laws in their area and just 30 percent say they know the penalties.
By obtaining solid research on the problem, we’re a big step closer to solving it through education. The ASPCA is already on the case, boosting our efforts to end blood sports with a tool kit for law enforcement that will soon be released by the Department of Justice and by appointing Animal Fighting Expert Terry Mills to train and work with law enforcement on that important issue.
In the video below, Dr. Lockwood outlines some of the most important findings of the study and explains how the ASPCA will use them in the battle against animal cruelty.
Not sure how to start "the talk" with your pet? Well, it’s no surprise! For many of us, it's hard to talk about sex—especially with our own beloved companions. In fact, most pet-parents put it off for as long as possible, often waiting till it’s just too late. But with a little guidance from the folks at HelpJoey.com, it's now possible to discuss the birds and the bees with relative ease.
“We know that talking to your pet about the S-E-X can be downright difficult, and that’s why we wrote the book, How to Talk to the Cats and Dogs about the Birds and the Bees,” says Joey of HelpJoey.com. “This beautifully illustrated picture book will help you teach your companions the virtues of being virtuous!”
Through a series of wacky video escapades, Joey continues to spread his “StopChasingTail” campaign in effort to help end pet overpopulation. Check out Joey’s other web flicks, and be sure to sign up for the all new Super Official HelpJoey.com Newsletter for your chance to win free gear!
According to the Associated Press, approximately 1,200 dogs at a Kansas puppy mill were euthanized because of a distemper outbreak that was discovered when sick puppies from the mill reached pet stores in Wyoming. The ASPCA wasn’t involved in this tragic case, but we think it serves as a powerful reminder that it’s never a good idea to purchase animals from pet stores, which are often supplied by substandard commercial breeders.
Distemper is a complicated disease to manage in any population of animals because it has a long incubation period and long shedding period, and diagnosis can be tricky. It can take months to contain an outbreak, and affected animals may have complications later in life or not survive the disease. Proper vaccination can greatly reduce the risk of distemper.
Wyoming pet stores reported 24 cases of the highly contagious and lethal disease, all in dogs from one puppy mill in Oberlin, Kansas. The mill, Beaver Creek Kennels, was subsequently quarantined twice. Because he couldn’t sell any puppies during the quarantines, Beaver Creek Kennels owner Jeff Fortin ran out of money to care for the dogs. Authorities were unable to find shelters to take the dogs due to the distemper, so the Kansas Animal Health Department made the decision to euthanize all of them. The dogs were buried on farmland in Decatur County, Kansas.
Kansas law requires commercial breeders to provide their dogs with adequate veterinary care, but Fortin has a recorded history of failing to adequately treat animals with health problems—USDA inspectors have cited him for this as well as for failure to keep adequate records and for allowing trash, junk and discarded kennel materials near large dog enclosures. In spite of a host of violations stretching back three years, Fortin was allowed to remain in business and continue supplying puppies to pet stores.
The story doesn’t end here: if Fortin meets certain requirements, Kansas authorities will allow Beaver Creek Kennels to be back in business in six months.
To learn more about how you can help end practices like Fortin’s, please read our list of ways to Help Fight Puppy Mills.
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team remains on the ground in Fulton County Arkansas assisting more than 100 neglected horses. Now, we’ve got photos of the FIR team working with the horses. The dedicated group will spend the holidays making sure that the horses receive the food, medical care and attention they need.
Check out the pictures of our tireless FIR team members and the rescued horses below.
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for continuing coverage of this developing story throughout the holidays.
If you want to feel twice as nice about holiday gift giving this season, consider spreading a little cheer to animals in need. Whether you join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to keep abreast of important legislative alerts, become an ASPCA monthly donor or help raise funds by shopping with one of our many partners, the ASPCA appreciates your determination to make our world a more peaceful place for all living beings. And don’t forget, for every holiday purchase made with an ASPCA Bank of America card, a contribution to our efforts will be made at no additional cost to you!
Tis’ the Season for fun—get your virtual game on! Create your own virtual cat, and help us fight pet overpopulation! Operation Cats is a high-tech social networking game that allows players to reach out and encourage friends to purchase virtual gifts for their cat—100% of all proceeds directly support the ASPCA's life-saving work.
Send a gift card from tisBest Perfect for friends and family, tisBest gift cards allow the recipient to donate to the ASPCA. Orders can be customized with a photo or message and sent via email or shipped.