It seems like a no-brainer: Smoking around your pet is bad news. But just how dangerous is it? Truth be told, it can be downright deadly.
A study conducted by the Tufts College of Veterinary Medicine shows that cats living in homes with smokers have a greater chance of being diagnosed with mouth cancer. Because of their grooming habits, cats continually lick and ingest cancer-causing carcinogens that build up on their fur. They are also twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma—a cancer that occurs in the lymph nodes and is often fatal.
What about dogs? Well, research shows that dogs living in a smoking household are at a much greater risk of developing cancers of the nose and sinus area. Dogs with nasal cancer typically survive less than one year.
Make a Change The best thing for a pet parent to do is designate an area outside the home to smoke…or better yet, give up the habit. Smoking is bad for you, too.
Fairytales do come true. In June, 2010 ASPCA responders deployed to rural Tennessee, to assist with a critical hoarding intervention. The scene was heartbreaking. More than 80 dogs were found living among trash and debris. Some were housed in overcrowded pens and some were chained to posts, while others roamed the property. One dog stood alone.
Emaciated, pregnant and suffering from severe mange, her spirit was clearly broken. Never had a dog looked so sad. But that all changed the day we arrived. Our team provided the emergency care and love she needed.
Having gone from rags to riches, we named her Cinderella. It didn't take long for a family to fall in love with this little survivor, and Cinderella found a home. But it wasn't until a trip to a local dog park that this fairytale came full circle…
One afternoon, Cinderella, who usually stayed close to her family, began playing with another dog named Mufasa. In fact, they were inseparable. Then it happened. Cinderella's guardian suddenly recalled seeing Mufasa at the ASPCA Adoption Center. He was one of the dogs rescued in Tennessee with Cinderella!
In a very big city, these two had found each other. And the moment was magical. To this day, they remain the best of friends. After surviving the unthinkable, they were given a second chance. Others are not so lucky—countless others are still waiting to be rescued. Learn how you can help!
A few years ago, Julien Roohani of Portland, Oregon, was at work when her roommates spontaneously decided to go on a hike. Not wanting to exclude Julien’s six-month-old Shepherd/Border Collie mix, Niña, they threw her into the back of their pickup truck and set off for an adventure.
Niña had never been in a truck bed before. Whether she was scared or just spotted something of interest, she managed to jump out during the drive. Panicking, the roommates called Julien, who rushed Niña to an emergency veterinary clinic where she was diagnosed with a broken spine and other severe injuries. Julien had no choice but to allow her young pup to be humanely euthanized.
Unfortunately, stories like Niña’s are all too common. It is never safe to drive with an unrestrained pet—especially with that pet in an open truck bed.
“When you drive with a loose dog in the back of your truck, you’re taking a huge risk and placing your dog and other motorists in danger,” says Chuck Mai, a vice president with AAA Oklahoma. “Even if a dog is trained, we’re talking about an animal who responds to stimuli on impulse. This irresponsible decision can start a deadly chain reaction on the road.”
Is It Legal? Transporting unrestrained dogs in low-sided truck beds has been banned in a handful of states, including California and New Hampshire, and municipalities including Indianapolis, Cheyenne and Miami-Dade. However, in the vast majority of jurisdictions, it’s not even illegal to transport children in this manner, so we must rely on common sense and education to protect children and pets alike.
How You Can Help One can feel terribly helpless witnessing a loose dog in a pickup truck. The best course of action is to try to get the vehicle’s license number (if you can do so while remaining safe) and call the local police. Rather than dialing 911, Jill Buckley, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations, suggests storing your police precinct’s phone number in your cell phone.
Let’s face it: Accidents happen—especially when it comes to our active and curious pets. Slips, trips, bumps and spills, whatever the harm, it’s really important to have a first aid protocol in place.
Find an emergency vet. If your vet clinic doesn’t provide 24-hour service, talk to them about emergency care options in your area. It’s a smart idea to keep the name, number and address of an emergency hospital tacked to the refrigerator or stored in your cell phone for easy access.
Learn life-saving actions:
If your pet is bleeding, immediately elevate and apply pressure to the wound.
If your pet is choking, place your fingers in his mouth to see if you can remove the blockage. If you’re unable to remove the foreign object, perform a modified Heimlich maneuver by giving a sharp rap to his chest. This should dislodge the object.
Be prepared. While a minor cut, scratch or scrape may not seem like much to worry about, infection can easily occur, and it’s important to have a first aid kit on hand. From now until the end of September, use coupon code FIRST to save 15% on our 126-piece First Aid Kit for Pets.
While our first responders have spent much of the summer rescuing animals from floods and hurricanes, another great threat has emerged across parts of the country: extreme drought.
Stretching across Texas, Oklahoma and other southern states, the lack of rain means a lack of food for hundreds of rescued horses. It’s heartbreaking.
“With practically no hay and nothing but dirt to graze on, equine rescues and sanctuaries are struggling to feed their animals,” says Jacque Schultz, ASPCA Senior Director of Community Outreach. “The hay has to be trucked in from out of state leaving groups hard-hit by both soaring hay prices and high transportation costs.”