Schools were closed. Businesses shut down. And the majority of residents stayed locked in their homes as local law enforcement hunted down more than 50 exotic animals—including lions, tigers, wolves and bears—roaming loose on city streets. While this may sound like a scene from a horror movie, it actually took place yesterday in the city of Zanesville, Ohio.
The animals belonged to exotic animal collector, Terry Thompson, who freed them before committing suicide. According to the Muskingum County Animal Shelter, Thompson had a long history of neglecting his animals. Of the 56 roaming animals, only a grizzly bear, two monkeys and three leopards were captured alive.
“We are outraged and horrified by the events that took place in Zanesville,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “In response, we are strongly urging Governor Kasich to issue an emergency order toprevent any more needless loss of life for released or escaped exotic animals, as well as to ensure the safety of Ohio residents.”
In an official statement made last night, the ASPCA called on Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to restrict the sale and possession of exotic animals. Ohio is currently one of only eight states that do not regulate private ownership of exotic animals.
Since the vast majority of people who keep exotic pets cannot meet their needs, the animals often become the victims of abuse and neglect—they are caged, chained, tranquilized or even beaten into submission. Further, thousands of people are attacked and seriously injured by exotic pets each year.
“The exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that contributes to the suffering of millions of animals and endangers countless people,” says Perry. “It needs to end.”
The ASPCA, along with our Shelter Response Partnership network, is currently transporting 27 dogs from the Rowan County Humane Society in Morehead, Kentucky, to the Capital Area Humane Society in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey. The move will help make room for 118 dogs recently seized during a puppy mill investigation led by the Rowan County Attorney’s Office in Morehead.
The ASPCA’s Shelter Response Partnership network is a coalition of national and local agencies that provide a second chance for animals rescued from overcrowded facilities and cruelty investigations.
“To help communities with limited resources, the ASPCA works collaboratively with its response partners on cases where shelter animals need to be relocated,” says Joel Lopez, Senior Manager of Operations for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team.
The transported animals will be placed up for adoption.
With your help, the ASPCA remains at the forefront of ending the cruelties associated with puppy mills. To learn more about the Rowan County puppy mill investigation, please visit our earlier post.
It’s about time! William Roman pleaded guilty to four felony counts of animal fighting and baiting stemming from one of the largest cockfighting cases in Florida’s history. Back in September 2010, the ASPCA assisted in forensic evidence collection and removal of more than 650 fighting birds from two properties in Lee County.
William Roman and Pedro Lopez, were arrested and charged with multiple counts of animal fighting and baiting, housing distressed animals, and animal cruelty. Lopez was also charged with drug possession. A trial date for Lopez has not been scheduled.
Roman was sentenced to six months in state prison, three years of probation and 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay court costs and cost of prosecution and, as part of the probation, to have no contact with animals for three years.
"These animals were exploited to breed and fight each other to the death," says Adam Leath, the ASPCA’s newly appointed Southeast Director of Field Investigations and Response. "We hope to continue our work in investigating these types of cases to rid the nation of this cruel sport."
Every pet parent knows that dogs and cats can’t have chocolate—and, really, they shouldn’t eat candy of any kind. But with Halloween right around the corner, we don’t want our animal companions to miss out on the fun! Check out these easy treats for your pets.
Halloween Cat Cookie
Your kitties will love the fishy flavor of these tasty treats.
1/4 cup warm water 5 Tablespoons parmesan cheese 3 Tablespoons soft margarine 1 Tablespoon cod liver oil 1 cup white flour 1/4 cup soy flour
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Combine water, cheese, margarine and oil. 3. Add flour and form dough. 4. Roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut with small holiday cookie cutters. 5. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Pooch Treats
Your dog will love the taste and enjoy the crunch!
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup fresh or canned pumpkin (not seasoned pie filling) 1/2 cup peanut butter 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup water as needed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, pumpkin, peanut butter and cinnamon in a bowl. 3. Add water as needed, but the dough should be stiff and dry. 4. Roll to 1/2 inch thick and cut with holiday cookie cutters. 5. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until hard.
Special Note: Remember these recipes are treats and should not replace your pet’s regular meals. Please check with your veterinarian if your pet has special dietary needs or food allergies.
We applaud the United States House of Representatives for the passage of the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act. This innovative bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (D-NY), would establish a program where service members suffering from PTSD could train shelter dogs to be service dogs for disabled veterans.
“When more and more servicemen and women are returning from overseas with PTSD and other injuries, this bill will allow for our veterans to get the therapy and assistance they need and will give some worthy shelter dogs very good homes,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
The Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act was one of six bills that address veterans’ health issues to pass unanimously in the House this week. The ASPCA thanks Rep. Grimm, himself a veteran, for his leadership on this important legislation to support our nation’s veterans and shelter dogs.
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