The devastation is heartbreaking. Homes have been reduced to rubble, streets transformed into flowing rivers, hundreds have lost their lives—and it’s far from over.
"We see entire communities flooded—animals are stranded on dog houses, in trees and other small patches of dry space," says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. "For many of these victims, rescue is their only hope."
As emergency responders work to help countless families evacuated from their homes due to severe storms, teams of ASPCA responders have been deployed to Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee to rescue and care for animals who have been displaced, stranded and even abandoned.
“Our team is specially trained in water rescue and emergency sheltering for animals in crisis,” says Rickey. “We are doing everything we can to help, and hope families find comfort in knowing their pets are safe.”
Take Action! To date, the ASPCA has assisted nearly 4,000 animals in these affected areas—but we can’t do it alone. Please help us make sure that no animal is left behind.
It´s time to treat the lawn, spray the trees and, of course, plant the garden. If you're a pet parent, please read this before you begin exercising your green thumb.
Every year the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) receives tens of thousands of calls involving animal companions who’ve been exposed to potentially deadly garden hazards.
The same products that produce vibrant lawns can cause serious health problems for our companions. In fact, many common plants can be poisonous, while fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides also pose serious hazards if not handled correctly.
We’ve all heard of spring, summer, winter and fall, but are you familiar with kitten season? Sounds cute, but this time of year can be devastating for shelters across the country. Every year, between the months of March and November, animal shelters experience a flood of homeless cats and newborn kittens in need of care and fostering.
Becoming a foster parent is a vital way you can make a life-saving difference. Volunteers provide temporary care for pets in their own homes—receiving all necessary food, supplies and veterinary care.
"The more kittens who get into foster homes, the more space there is at the shelter," says Senior Manager of the ASPCA Adoption Center Diane Wilkerson. “By offering your home to a kitten in need, you are saving lives.”
Without loving homes or resources to support the influx of newborn felines, many shelters are often forced to make the difficult choice to euthanize. But you can help. Become a foster parent and ensure that all animals get the loving homes they deserve—we simply can’t do it alone!
Last week we told you that the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team deployed to locations in the South and Midwest to rescue and shelter animals affected by the tornadoes and flooding in the region. Here’s the latest on what our teams are doing, and how they’re preparing to accomplish as much as possible in the coming weeks.
- Pemiscot County, Missouri: ASPCA Midwest Director of Field Investigations and Response Kyle Held is heading up a sheltering mission in conjunction with the Caruthersville Humane Society. More than 80 animals, including a goat, are receiving care under this mission, and more are expected to arrive as flooding continues. Many animals have been removed from the area with the help of our shelter partners. At least 19 animals were rescued over the weekend, and more rescue missions are planned.
- Faulkner County, Arkansas: A team led by ASPCA Shelter Operations Manager Bonnie Dean is assisting with sheltering and conducting field assessments in Arkansas. The team canvassed a large area and handed out pet food to local residents, and roughly 100 dogs, 12 horses and three kittens are being sheltered in a rodeo arena.
- Shelby County, Tennessee: As the Mississippi River rises, evacuations in this area have increased. Led by ASPCA Southeast Direct of Field Investigations and Response Kathryn Destreza, the team here has been helping local organizations develop a plan for an emergency shelter in preparation for evacuation. Another team, along with PetSmart Charities (PMC), spent the weekend setting up a distribution center point in Shelby County. Three PMC trailers arrived loaded with food, sheltering supplies, 25,000 square feet of chain length fencing and crates for 2,300 animals.
“The ASPCA is extremely grateful for the collaboration between national and local agencies that combined efforts to help animals in need,” says Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The ASPCA and our partners, including Memphis Animal Services, the Humane Society of Memphis, PetSmart Charities, Code 3 Associates, American Humane Association, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Humane Society of the United States, are committed to a collaborative effort to help pet parents and animals impacted by the recent chain of natural disasters. We will continue to do everything we can to help these communities as long as we’re needed.”
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more breaking news from the field.
Last week we told you how disappointed we are with the state of Missouri's so-called compromise agreement on puppy mill reform. Spearheaded by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, representatives from the dog breeding industry, and a few agriculture special-interest groups, the compromise falls far short of the provisions that Missouri voters approved just a few months ago.
The compromise removes many of the key provisions of Prop B, including the requirement that dogs get rest between breeding cycles as well as the limit on the number of breeding dogs a breeder may keep. It also removes the requirement for prompt veterinary treatment of an illness or injury, gives dogs less space in cages, and replaces criminal penalties for violations with civil penalties, except for repeat offenders.
Despite our disappointment, we are hopeful that the Missouri Department of Agriculture will adopt regulations that will improve the treatment of dogs at puppy mills. Over the next few months, we’ll watch closely to see if abuses in Missouri’s large-scale breeding facilities continue unabated. If the situation does not improve, we’ll consider another ballot initiative to restore Prop B’s standards.
The ASPCA is also joining other animal welfare groups in actively supporting the Voter Protection Act, a proposed constitutional amendment to require a three-fourths vote in both houses of the legislature, or a subsequent vote of the people, in order to repeal or amend any citizen-passed initiative in Missouri. The Voter Protection Act would provide constitutional protections for citizen ballot initiatives and prevent the will of the people from being discarded or overturned like it was with Prop B. This important piece of legislation would also mean any future ballot initiative on puppy mills in Missouri will have greater long-lasting protection.
For all the latest news about puppy mill reform, please stay tuned to ASPCA.org.