Guest blog post from Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
Thanks to the efforts of the ASPCA and other advocates in Louisiana, the U.S. Forest Service decided to prohibit the use of dogs to hunt deer in Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest (KNF). We’d like to thank our supporters in Louisiana who contacted the Forest Service on this issue, and we commend Chief Tom Tidwell of the U.S. Forest Service for this decision to help protect Louisiana’s dogs.
The Kisatchie National Forest is Louisiana’s only national forest, spanning over 600,000 acres across the central part of the state. In the past, KNF has allowed hunters to use dogs while hunting for deer. This policy proved disastrous for many of the dogs involved in these hunts. We received multiple reports of dogs being left behind in the forest to fend for themselves or being hit by speeding vehicles trying to keep up with the pace of the hunt. Lost, forgotten, or abandoned dogs were forced to beg for food from surrounding landowners, kill wildlife to survive, or starve to death.
The Forest Service has done the right thing with the new policy. No other federal lands in Louisiana allow dog-deer hunting, and the state has already banned the practice in Wildlife Management Areas. It follows that the KNF would adopt a policy that minimizes conflicts with users and surrounding landowners, reduces negative impacts on its wildlife, and also reduces the cruel treatment of hunting dogs.
The Forest Service’s decision shows how effective citizen advocacy for animals can be. The hundreds of comments that the Forest Service received from our supporters in Louisiana helped play a role in its decision. Be sure to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to receive updates on issues affecting animals and to learn how you can be an advocate for animals.
The truth is downright scary. From household cleaners to avocados, there may be dozens of pet toxins lurking in your home. It’s critical, pet parents, to be aware of these potential dangers and take measures to keep hazardous items out of your pet’s reach. Really, we can’t stress this enough.
In conjunction with March as Poison Prevention Awareness Month, we’ve launched a really cool interactive calendar that reveals common household products that may pose a threat to your pet.
Well, folks, the competition is on! The ASPCA Cutest Couples Contest received thousands of fantastic photos from across the country. While it was super hard to pick, we’ve narrowed down the selection to 36 finalists. Now it’s your chance to vote for your favorite.
Visit our Cutest Couples Contest to cast your vote each day and help decide which photo will rise to the top. The winner—selected by YOU—will receive a $100 ASPCA prize pack and be featured on our website.
Remember, voting ends on March 11 at midnight EST, and we’ll announce the winner on March 12. Good luck to all the contestants!
Don’t forget to share this page with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter—their votes count, too!
ASPCA responders, including one pictured here in Joplin in 2011, provide relief to animals across the country.
The destruction is devastating. After a deadly tornado tore through parts of the Midwest, the ASPCA dispatched its disaster response team to bring emergency pet supplies to Taney County and Branson, Missouri. ASPCA officials estimate that approximately 250 to 500 animals have been directly impacted by the storm.
“Many people have lost their homes due to the tornado, and our goal is to alleviate some of the stress for families by keeping them together with their pets," says Dr. Dick Green, Director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team.
ASPCA responders arrived on the ground on Wednesday, February 29, to work with local officials to assess the situation and establish a system that will provide families with pet supplies generously donated by PetSmart Charities.
“The ASPCA is working with the Taney County Animal Control to establish a shelter-in-place plan where pet families can request sheltering units consisting of kennels, food, bowls, leashes and collars," explains Green. “The ASPCA will continue to provide ongoing assistance, personnel and resources in Branson as long as we’re needed.”
Additionally, the ASPCA is providing an initial grant in the amount of $10,000 to help animals in need of emergency sheltering and veterinary care. Taney County residents in need of emergency funding, animal shelter units or any animal control issues should contact the Taney County Animal Control at (417) 332-0172.
As mentioned earlier this week, the ASPCA is currently on the ground in northern Florida, helping the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County Animal Control manage the medical care and sheltering of more than 600 cats removed from the Caboodle Ranch in Lee, approximately 64 miles east of Tallahassee. It is the largest number of cats the ASPCA has ever seized in an animal cruelty investigation.
The animals are currently housed at a temporary shelter in Jacksonville, where they are being treated and cared for by a team of responders from nearly a dozen agencies. More cats are still on the ranch and are expected to be transported to Jacksonville in the next few days.
Many of the cats showed signs of neglect and were suffering from upper respiratory infections, skin conditions such as ringworm, and eye infections. Several cats were in dire need of medical treatment, and responders discovered a number of deceased cats and burial sites on the property.
Earlier this week, the founder and operator of Caboodle Ranch was arrested and charged with one count of felony animal cruelty, three counts of cruelty to animals and one count of scheming to defraud. Additional charges will be determined based on medical reports and evidence provided by the ASPCA.
We will remain at the temporary shelter in Jacksonville to monitor the cats’ health and temperament. The ASPCA will work on placement of the animals once the final disposition has been determined by the prosecutor.