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.
We’re at it again! At the request of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County Animal Control, the ASPCA is on the ground in Florida managing the rescue of hundreds of cats. The animals were found living in overcrowded and filthy conditions at a non-profit cat sanctuary known as Caboodle Ranch. This is the largest number of cats the ASPCA has ever had to remove from one location in the course of an animal cruelty investigation.
“After receiving numerous complaints regarding the care of animals at Caboodle Ranch, we’re glad that the appropriate enforcement action is being taken,” says Sheriff Ben Stewart with the Madison County Sherriff’s Office.
Many of the cats are exhibiting signs of severe neglect and appear to be suffering from upper respiratory conditions and eye infections, among other medical issues. Responders are also uncovering numerous deceased cats on the property.
“This is a tragic situation. Caboodle Ranch was clearly overwhelmed with hundreds of cats in dire need of medical treatment,” says Tim Rickey, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “The sanctuary had no adoption or spay/neuter programs in place to manage its current population.”
In addition to the ASPCA, numerous agencies from throughout Florida and others from as far away as California have stepped in to help with the massive rescue. “Our immediate goal is to work quickly to remove these cats from the property and safely transport them to a temporary shelter, where they will be triaged by a veterinary team,” adds Rickey.
As of this morning, responders continue to pull cats from the property. The founder of Caboodle Ranch has been arrested and multiple animal cruelty charges are pending.
Looking to rack up some good karma today? How about using social media to spread the word about an older or special needs dog at your local shelter?
In fact, please share Lady, an energetic, dog who adores hugs and kisses, playing tug-of-war, and—it’s true—sitting in your lap!
Lady could really use a boost, because those great qualities aren’t what a lot of people see when they look at this staff favorite—they see an older Pit mix with special needs.
Before being rescued by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents, seven-year-old Lady had been left to suffer painful osteoarthritis in her hind legs, with no end in sight. But with daily medication she’s happy and healthy, and she now loves brisk walks!
There’s something extra-special about the bond you form with an older dog. They’re calmer, wiser and maybe even a little more appreciative of your kindness. But it can take them a little longer to find their forever homes; they could really use your help.
And if you can get yourself to NYC and meet our sweet Lady, please do! She needs a special adopter who sees her as perfect just the way she is. Is that adopter you? If you live in a teens-and-up household and have a little dog experience, please call our Animal Placement department in New York City at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120.
The truth is, every 10 seconds an animal is neglected or abused. While this statistic might be hard to swallow, it's a reality we face every single day. And…we’re counting on you to help us out.
Learn Where to Report Animal Cruelty.In some areas, the police department investigates animal cruelty; in others, that job falls to local animal control. Find out who's in charge in your area.
Build a Team.Get to know the animals in your neighborhood and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. Together you can keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior, lost pets or other concerns.
Pay Attention!Is a bad situation getting worse? Have you seen a blatant act of animal cruelty? Are pets disappearing from your neighborhood? Don't turn your back. Rally your team and call the local authorities immediately.
Make the Call.Without phone calls from concerned citizens who report cruelty in their neighborhoods, we wouldn't know about most instances of animal abuse. It all comes from the public—and it all starts with you. Thank you for taking action for animals.