It’s confirmed: Michael Vick has a new dog. To truly become a model of the type of behavior Vick wishes to teach his children—that animals deserve to be treated with compassion and respect—Vick should take the opportunity to “break the cycle” and “be an instrument of positive change” by expressing remorse about the dogs he brutalized and killed with his own hands. This is something that we’ve never heard him do publically.
Because of this, we have serious concerns about Vick’s ability to be a responsible pet owner. We can only hope that he will set the right example for his children by teaching them to foster humane habits and a lifelong bond with their family pet.
Are you ready to party? We sure are! Join us on October 30 for a special Twitter party and livestream video event to help spread awareness about Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.
The hour-long Halloween-themed event will feature ASPCA experts answering all your questions live! From explaining the benefits of pet adoption to discussing the no-no’s of feeding Fido candy corn—they’re ready to tackle all your questions.
But the true highlight of this virtual party will be the Halloween costume contest featuring a few of our long-term shelter residents. Did we mention all the free giveaways?! The grand prize is an ASPCA diamond pendant from Zales!
Be sure to tune in to www.ustream.tv/aspca from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. (EDT) on Oct. 30! Use the hashtag #AdoptDontShop—and don't forget to RSVP below to automatically be entered to win a party giveaway!
We’ve all had this conversation. A friend wants to bring home a new pet, and despite your best efforts, she’s set on buying from a pet store. How can you convince to her adopt, not shop? Here are four things we hear a lot, and how you can respond.
If I don’t buy that puppy in the pet store, who will? Pet stores usually sell their puppies quickly, and the store will slash the price on slow sellers until they’re bought. If people stop giving their business to pet stores that sell puppies by not purchasing puppies or anything else from them, ultimately, the puppy mills that they support will shut down from lack of demand. Hurray!
I want a purebred/a puppy, and they don’t end up in shelters. Some people want a Golden Retriever no matter what. Tell your pal that a one-of-a-kind mutt from a shelter is just as healthy and lovable, but that 25% of animals who enter shelters are purebreds, and that most breeds have a breed rescue—a group that re-homes dogs of a specific breed. Oh, and show them some videos of ASPCA puppies.
Shelter pets aren’t likely to be healthy. Explain to your pal the many physical and mental ailments puppy mill dogs—most of those in pet stores—can develop. Remind your pal that any animal can become sick or injured, regardless of where he came from, but that at a shelter you know up front if your new pet has any chronic health issues. Let your friend know that pet store dogs are actually somewhat more likely than shelter dogs to need vet care for an illness.
My friend has a shelter dog, and he’s hyper/destructive/scared/shy. Here’s where those of you with shelter pets can point to them and say, “Uh, what about Mr. Fluffy here? He’s a model dog and he came from a shelter.” Then point out that just like dogs from anywhere else, some shelter dogs have behavior issues to work on. Adopting from a shelter allows you to know exactly what you’re getting and whether you’re prepared to handle any issues that may arise.
Good luck! If you have other suggestions, share ‘em with us. And if you’ve persuaded someone to adopt, not shop, tell us about it.
Yup, they did it again. Shelters across the country inched that much closer to taking home the grand prize in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The numbers are in for September, and the contestants saved a total of 36,017 animals in just two short months. That’s a jaw-dropping increase of more than 8,000 animals over the same two months in 2011!
Jake Grupp came to the ASPCA to check out smaller dogs, but his girlfriend, Mary Yukevich, urged him to just take a peek at the larger ones. That’s when they saw Phoebe, a sweet little Pit mix, sitting quietly in her habitat and wagging her tail hopefully.
“We weren’t really expecting to adopt a dog that day,” Grupp tells us, “but when we met Phoebe we fell in love.”
A visit with Phoebe and an ASPCA behavior counselor sealed the deal, and Phoebe joined the family on the spot.
In the cab ride home, Yukevich knew she’d already fallen hard for Phoebe, but it wasn’t until Grupp was down on his luck that he knew Phoebe had stolen his heart for good.
“I had some teeth pulled and was in a lot of pain,” Grupp tells us. “Phoebe sat near me all the while, and eventually I invited her to climb into the chair with me. It felt like she was making sure I was OK, even though there wasn't a whole lot she could do.”
Phoebe went home already housetrained and knowing a few basic commands, and Grupp and Yukevich spent the first month doing “intense training” with their new pup, deepening their bond and helping their dog become the well-mannered princess she is today.
Soon, Phoebe was working on off-leash training, and the family put it into practice on a recent trip to the beach, where they discovered Phoebe’s special talent as a doggie mentor.
“There was a chocolate Lab puppy named Einstein who was afraid of the water,” Grupp remembers. “Phoebe would go bounding into the ocean and Einstein would follow her until she went in the water, until eventually he went in. It was really special to see that she encouraged him to take the plunge.”
Getting to know Phoebe has even had unexpected effect on Grupp: It changed his mind about Pit Bulls.
“I was wary about adopting a Bully mix at first,” he says, “but after having had Phoebe since June I'm extremely pleased. I'm glad that she picked us that day!”