Guest blog written by Cathy W., ASPCA Legacy Society member
I was part of the search and rescue team after the tornado hit Joplin. We lost 161 people in our community that evening—and lives were forever changed. We are still recovering and rebuilding.
I found a little dog that had been so injured and nearly died. I went to the area where the ASPCA had set up a shelter—taking in, loving and caring for animals. Surgeries were performed as needed, and shots, collars and other items were provided. It was so organized.
Several weeks later adoptions were advertised and people came from all over the country to adopt the precious pets. Every animal was adopted…given another chance. Some were reunited with their original families. A happy ending to a tragic day.
That is when we decided to include ASPCA, PETA and Hospice Care in our wills. We are supporters of life, freedom, kindness and our most beloved four-legged pets. I will never forget that day! Never!!
Who could ever forget that tragic day? It was just one year ago that a massive tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing more than 150 people and reducing a once thriving town to rubble.
Amid the deadly chaos, more than 1,000 beloved pets went missing. It took less than a moment before Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response and a Joplin native himself, deployed his team to help. What followed was the largest animal rescue and sheltering mission we have ever undertaken.
With your support, we rescued hundreds of stranded and injured animals. We built an emergency shelter and managed a medical triage station. We provided food, comfort and love to frightened animals. And, most important, we reunited hundreds of beloved pets with their families.
We won't lie—it was hard. Our team worked long hours and saw tremendous heartbreak. But through our efforts, we also saw tremendous joy. Together we changed the lives of hundreds of animals and helped a community recover its incredible spirit.
Without you, we never could have helped so many animal and human victims of the Joplin tornado. Please help us stand at the ready to respond whenever and wherever we are needed.
YES! We are super-happy to report that as of today, more than 100,000 people have signed our "No Pet Store Puppies" pledge! The pledge aims to reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies by asking consumers to not buy any items at a store that sells puppies. "Huh?" you ask?
You see, the logic is simple: Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills. Even if you know better than to buy a puppy from a pet store, by purchasing any item from a store that sells puppies, you are still supporting the puppy mill industry. So please, don’t buy anything! No kibble, no kitty litter, no toys—no nothing!
And while you’re at it, visit NoPetStorePuppies.com and take the pledge. It’s not that we don’t trust your new humane shopping plans, but adding your name to our pledge list will go a long way in proving to the industry that we mean business. As they say…it takes an army!
Don't forget to spread the word to friends and family on Facebook and Twitter! It's time we put an end to puppy mills.
Hello! Do you have a snack? A dog treat? Just a small, delicious morsel? Could you maybe just give that to Lola? OK, you guys are now BFFs for life.
It's really that simple with our crazy-adorable lap dog Lola, who has been patiently waiting at our Adoption Center for longer than we really understand. A Chihuahua through and through, Lola wants to sit on your lap and be unwaveringly loyal and close to you. (Especially if you have something tasty for her.)
Frankly, we're not sure how anyone could resist her sweet face, tiny paws and penchant for affection. Maybe people are a little wary of her age—nine—but that’s barely middle-aged for a Chihuahua, and she has all the energy and spirit of a pup of three. Like most Chi Chis, she needs a little time to get to know a person before falling in love with them, but that amount of time is really short. (It's basically however long it takes you to produce a treat.)
There's a song in Damn Yankees that goes, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," and that's been true for her at the ASPCA Adoption Center—but the one thing our Lola really wants, to go home at last, remains a wish unfulfilled.
Can you give her the life she deserves? (And can you hook her up with lots of treats? Seriously, she'll do anything you ask. For treats.) Learn more about her on her page and please share her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If you think you’d like to adopt her, please call our Animal Placement department in NYC at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4900.
In response to the recent spike in pet food recalls, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has some suggestions on how to best keep two-legged and four-legged family members safe:
Do your research. Salmonella is the contaminant that appears to be the cause of concern during this most recent round of pet food recalls. If you suspect your pup has eaten contaminated food, a trip to the vet should be first on the list of to-dos, and then the food manufacturer should be notified. You can identify the recalled foods by visiting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website at www.fda.gov.
Know the signs. While healthy adult dogs are relatively resistant to illness from Salmonella bacteria, pets with health issues (such as young puppies, elderly and pregnant dogs who could have compromised immune systems) may be at greater risk for becoming ill. Dogs who are affected by Salmonella may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and drooling or panting—an indication of nausea. In severe cases, the bacterium may spread throughout the body, resulting in death.
Clean is key. Salmonella isn’t only dangerous to the pet eating the food—it can also affect the pet parent serving the food. Salmonella can be spread through direct contact with the affected product and animal feces, so exposure should be avoided. The best way to protect family members, including other animals in the home, is to thoroughly wash your hands (or paws) after any dealings with the product or feces. In addition, all bowls, utensils and surfaces that may have come in contact with contaminated food should be washed using hot, soapy water and rinsed thoroughly or sanitized in the dishwasher.
For more information about the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center and potential pet toxins, visit www.aspca.org/apcc.