Although it may be tempting and convenient to order your pet’s medications online, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to pet parents about unregulated online pharmacies that sell expired or counterfeit drugs without a prescription. According to the FDA, foreign and domestic web pharmacies may ask pet parents to fill out an online form and then falsely claim that a veterinarian will evaluate the pet’s condition to prescribe the appropriate treatment.
“Some of the Internet sites that sell pet drugs represent legitimate, reputable pharmacies,” says Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). “But others are fronts for unscrupulous businesses operating against the law.”
The ASPCA does not recommend that pet parents forgo purchasing pet drugs on the Internet altogether, but encourages the active participation of your veterinarian in any decision to medicate your pet. “All pet drugs should be prescribed by a veterinarian after an in-person physical exam, and should either be purchased from that veterinarian or outsourced to a reputable pharmacy, whether on- or off-line,” says Dr. Camille DeClementi, ASPCA Senior Director of Medical Records.
Dr. DeClementi also recommends that pet parents avoid purchasing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—one of the most common types of drugs dispensed online without a prescription—to treat their pet’s pain without consulting a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the pain. NSAIDs can be dangerous if not dispensed properly, and pets who are taking these drugs should be monitored closely.
If you do decide to purchase your pet’s medications online, please follow these smart practices:
Bring your pet to a veterinarian for a physical exam and obtain a written prescription for any necessary medications.
Ask your veterinarian if he or she uses an online pharmacy service. These services are state-licensed and require the active participation of a reputable doctor.
Only purchase medication from websites that are Vet-VIPPS (Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) accredited. Check to see whether the online pharmacy you’re considering is accredited at www.nabp.net.
Mail or fax your veterinarian’s written prescription to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy.
On November 2, animal lovers everywhere will be watching election returns from the State of Missouri as its citizens decide the fate of the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, which will appear on the ballot as “Proposition B.” If passed, the Act will vastly improve the lives of dogs in Missouri’s commercial breeding operations by limiting the number of breeding dogs to 50 per facility and requiring basic elements of humane care including clean water, regular exercise and adequate rest for female dogs between litters.
With just over three weeks to go until Election Day, Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop Ba coalition of animal welfare groups that includes the ASPCAhas intensified its efforts to get state voters to the polls by producing and airing four short television commercials. The first 30-second ad, which you can watch below, began running on October 4 in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia/Jefferson City, Joplin and Cape Girardeau.
Although the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act would be a state law, its passage would have far-reaching implications around the country. Known as the Puppy Mill Capital of America, Missouri supplies more than 40 percent of all dogs sold in pet stores nationwide and is home to more than 3,000 commercial dog breeding facilitiesas many as the next three largest dog-breeding states (Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa) combined. It is estimated that nearly 70 percent of puppies sold in New York City pet stores come from Missouri.
Please help Missouri’s puppy mill dogsour nation’s puppy mill dogsby supporting Prop B in whatever way you can. Post the video on your Facebook page or blog, tweet this article, and visit www.yesonpropb.com to see how you can support the cause, even if you live outside of Missouri.
Paid for by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs / YES! on Prop B, Judy Peil, Treasurer
On September 24, at the request of the Days End Farm Horse Rescue located in Howard County, MD, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team were dispatched to assist in the care of eight critically ill and neglected horses seized from an equine rescue group in West Virginia.
In late September, authorities served a search warrant to Mary O'Brien, founder of Hidden Meadows Equine Rescue in Martinsburg, WV, where more than 50 severely neglected equines were found living without access to food or water. Days End Farm Horse Rescue was contacted and accepted eight of the most critically ill horses, transporting them to the farm for emergency care. Unfortunately, one of the equines did not survive.
Kristen Limbert, Manager of Field Operations for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team, is currently on the ground in Maryland with other ASPCA team members skilled in horse handling. "Our immediate goal is to help the Days End Farm Horse Rescue care for these neglected horses," says Kristen. "The staff here is very dedicated, but providing 'round the clock care is hard work—we are glad to provide them support."
The following entries are from a series of field reports from Kristen on the ground in Howard County.
Field Report 1
Tonight is long and cold—it's in the 50s and pouring rain. The horses must be fed every two hours, on the even hour. They can eat hay around the clock, but it is fed to them out of a bag with two-inch holes—this way, they must pick at it, eating very slowly.
Since they are so emaciated, ingesting any large amount of food at one time could be deadly for them. Since the horses require 24-hour monitoring, we are taking turns sleeping—a couple of hours each on a folding chair wrapped in horse blankets. We blanketed the horses as well. Healthy horses would be fine in this weather, but these seven have little fat to keep them warm—many are actually shivering, which I've never seen a horse do before.
Field Report 2
They are all such great horses, with amazing personalities—especially given all they have been through. I groomed them all today, and treated them for hoof infections. A few showed sensitivity to being brushed because they are so thin. Despite it all, I am continually surprised at how cooperative they are—there is no doubt they know we are here to help.
Two of our sickest horses, Zodiac and Yogi, especially understand that we are here for them. Zodiac fell down and did quite a bit of damage to his frail body, with cuts and bruises everywhere. He is now supported by an Anderson Sling—he simply isn't strong enough to hold himself up. His eyes are infected, too, and it's hard for him to keep them open. In spite of his poor health, he keeps on fighting to survive.
I have also become especially close with Yogi—a feisty mare who is just skin and bones. Throughout the day she spikes fevers, requiring alcohol baths to help bring them down. I have found myself working with both of these horses nearly all the time, as they require the most care. I am just so moved by their will to heal—and the trust they are beginning to show me.
Stay tuned to the ASPCA Blog for more exclusive field reports from the scene in Howard County. For ways you can help Days End Farm Horse Rescue, please visit www.defhr.org.
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and that means it’s time to pay tribute to all things canine and get more homeless pups into forever homes. To get the party started, we’ve prepared a special section on ASPCA.org devoted to the lovable, loyal shelter pooch. Whether you’re an experienced dog guardian or are thinking about adopting in the future, this is the place to celebrate and find answers to all your questions about shelter dogs.
Learn how to find the right dog for you, use our nationwide search tool to find him, and then read all about how to keep him happy, healthy and entertained for the duration of your lives together! And aspiring Spielbergs, take note: you can make your pup a star by entering our Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month video contest! You have plenty of time to produce your masterpiece—the deadline for submissions is October 31.
Head over to aspca.org/ASDM to read all about it, and remember—there are millions of wonderful, adorable shelter dogs in our country who need homes, so please opt to adopt!
National radio deejay Trey Morgan has long sought to give back to his communitybut like many of us, he wasn’t quite sure where to begin or how to spare the time. Not easily defeated, Trey created 30 Deeds, 30 Days, a campaign to challenge himself and motivate others to donate their time to local charities.
30 Deeds, 30 Days set Trey and his wife, Brooke, on a journey to volunteer with 30 different charitable organizationsone for each day of the month of September. On September 28, the couple brought their good-deed campaign to the ASPCA, where they spent the day making a difference in the lives of our shelter cats and dogs.
“Taking the time to volunteer with abused, neglected and homeless animals has been such a rewarding experience,” explains Trey. “Whether walking dogs, cleaning cages or working to help an animal overcome his fearsvolunteers truly do make a difference.”
Check out our inspiring video of Trey and Brooke as they share their experience volunteering at the ASPCA.