It’s been over three months since we helped rescue more than 100 starving and neglected equines from a horse trader’s Arkansas property—and we’re still in the Natural State, devoting countless hours and supplies to care for the animals around the clock.
Before the rescue, the horses lacked sufficient access to food and clean water and suffered from various consequences of neglect, including parasitic infections and painful, overgrown hooves that made it difficult for them to walk. They’ve come a long way since then.
“We’ve been caring for these horses since early December, and with help from the local community and various agencies, we’ve provided the horses with much-needed relief,” says Kyle Held, Midwest Regional Director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Most of the horses have responded well to veterinary care and socialization, and many of them are ready to be placed in permanent homes.”
This case serves as an example of how the ASPCA often has to commit more funds and resources than initially expected when conducting investigations and raids. What initially was expected to be a month-long process has turned into a much longer, more demanding deployment. We’re still waiting for Arkansas authorities to give us the go-ahead for an adoption event, but we will continue to work tirelessly to care for the equines until we have placed every one.
Fortunately, we aren’t going it alone. Along with key partner the Humane Society of the United States, we’ve received help from organizations like the American Humane Association, Missouri Farriers Association, Code 3, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Alder Hill Farm Rescue, PetSmart Charities, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Massachusetts SPCA and Williamson County Sheriff's Posse.
Held adds, “The welfare of these horses is our priority and we’re exploring all options, in hopes that we would be able to move forward with an adoption event soon.”
ASPCA animal rescue efforts, especially those that require unexpected resources and funds, are made possible thanks to the support of our members.
Recently, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team were deployed to assist in the rescue of nearly 350 dogs from One More Chance Rescue and Adoption, a failed sanctuary near Springfield, Ohio.
The dogs—many of whom were in critical condition—were found living amongst garbage and feces inside rat-infested barns.
Attention, animal lovers: A recently introduced bill aims to stop certain puppy mills from avoiding licensing and federal inspection—and it needs your support!
If passed, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act will require any breeder that sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs a year directly to the public to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Right now, only breeders who sell their dogs to puppy brokers or pet stores are required to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. government, while those that sell directly to the public—over the Internet or otherwise—are not. But the PUPS Act would change that, closing a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that allows commercial breeders that sell puppies directly to the public to duck those licensing and inspection requirements.
“It’s crucial for people to understand that in many states, no one is checking up on these facilities,” says Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “As the ASPCA has seen firsthand, the photos of happy, healthy puppies posted on a breeder’s website often grossly misrepresent what conditions are really like for these puppies and their parents.”
On March 10, the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team members arrived in Fulton County, New York, to assist the Montgomery County SPCA with a critical hoarding intervention. Nearly 100 dogs—including Pit Bulls, Basset Hounds, Bulldogs, Chihuahuas and Lab mixes—were discovered living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions on a property owned by two women.
Many of the dogs were forced to live in filthy crates, while others were found roaming the home. Food and water were scarce, and many of the animals were clearly malnourished. The dogs were also suffering from a host of ailments, including skin and eye infections. Several also tested positive for heartworm—a condition that takes at least six weeks to treat.
“The owners took in unwanted dogs from across the country, many from the South,” says Jeff Eyre, ASPCA Northeast Regional Director of Field Investigations and Response. “In this case, the women became overwhelmed by the number of dogs in their care—they obviously needed help and voluntarily gave us custody of the animals."
With the generous assistance of local law enforcement, the team placed the animals with various partner animal welfare agencies including the SPCA Serving Erie County, Columbia Greene Humane Society, Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester, Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, and the Montgomery County SPCA.
"Thanks to the combined efforts of our partner agencies, these dogs now have a second chance at life," says Eyre.
Last night, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested Brooklyn resident Monique Smith for fatally injuring an adult female hamster. During a heated argument with a family member, the 19-year-old squeezed the hamster with her bare hands and threw the pet across the street.
“Inflicting such severe injury on a helpless hamster signals the potential for violence directed at other vulnerable victims,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the Humane Law Enforcement. “Fortunately in New York, all pets, even hamsters, are covered under the felony animal cruelty law.”
The deceased hamster was taken by Agents to the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital for a necropsy. Results revealed that the small animal had suffered blunt force trauma, liver damage and an associated hemorrhage.
Smith was arrested by Special Agent Patrick Breen. She was charged with one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony; one count of cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor; and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. If convicted, she faces up to two years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Take Action We need you on our side! If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, please report it. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty in your neighborhood.