In the final days of 2011, the White House issued an official response to the online petition asking President Obama to crack down on puppy mills. The petition focused on the loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act that allows high-volume breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to avoid inspections and basic oversight. The response, signed by Rebecca Blue, United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, outlines the USDA’s plans to improve oversight of commercial dog breeders and to issue new rules to regulate those who sell puppies over the Internet.
“The existing regulations were drafted pre-Internet. They allow many commercial breeders to operate without a license and without any inspections—meaning they are not accountable to anyone for their breeding and care standards,” says Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mills Campaign. “The ASPCA is encouraged that the USDA has committed to help end the suffering of millions of breeding dogs and protect consumers by finally closing this loophole.”
The petition was posted in September 2011 by The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Legislative Fund and the ASPCA. More than 32,000 Americans signed on, making it one of the most popular petitions on the White House’s We the People website.
We may celebrate different traditions during the holiday season, but most of us share the desire to connect with family and friends at this time of year. And by “family and friends,” I certainly include all of our beloved animal companions.
The ASPCA has an adoption center in New York City where our dedicated staff works to find homes for thousands of dogs and cats each year. I love hearing “happy tails” about abandoned animals who find their forever homes.
One of these “happy tails” involves Cee Cee, who was adopted as a puppy and then returned to the ASPCA Adoption Center when she was 1.5-years-old. Cee Cee’s siblings, Marvel and Bubbles, were also adopted as puppies. Sadly, Bubbles was returned to the shelter just as Cee Cee had been. Marvel, however, lucked out—when his adoptive family found out that his sister, Bubbles, had been returned to the shelter, they made room for her and reunited her with Marvel.
When Marvel and Bubbles’ parents learned that Cee Cee had also been returned, they vowed to find a home for her. After all, family is family. They contacted a relative who lived in Texas who agreed to fly to New York to adopt Cee Cee. Now Cee Cee lives on a big ranch in Texas with two dog friends.
Puppies like Cee Cee, Marvel and Bubbles deserve only the best. Animal shelters and rescue groups are full of dogs, cats and other animals who are looking for similar “happy tails.” Let’s hope that they find one in 2012.
It's almost 2012 and many of us are scrambling to make resolutions we can only hope to keep. Whether it is losing five pounds or getting organized, change can be downright hard. So, instead of fretting about your own personal resolutions, how about making a few to benefit your pet?
Here at the ASPCA, we think it’s only appropriate to focus on the four-legged members of the family. So how about a resolution to brush your cat every week or a promise to extend your pooch’s playtime?
Whatever you choose, resolutions aimed at making your companions happier and healthier can add years to their lives—and are much easier to stick to! So go ahead, enjoy your triple mocha latte with whipped cream and check out a few of our most popular New Year’s resolutions for pets!
Check-Up Time This year, give your veterinarian the chance to notice any developing illnesses and the opportunity to take care of them right away. If it's been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make that appointment today!
Battle the Bulge Pets depend on us to regulate their nutrition and activity levels. It's important to follow strict feeding guidelines, since overweight pets face increased health risks. This year, vow to lay off those table scraps and consider switching to a well-balanced, high-quality pet food.
Poison-Proof Your Home With various dangers lurking in corners and cabinets, the home can be a minefield of poisons for our pets. Don't leave it up to Fido or Fluffy to keep themselves safe. Resolve to make your home a safe place for your pets.
Still looking for ways to nab some last-minute tax savings? Well, it’s not too late to make a tax-deductible donation to the ASPCA, and help us in our fight to end animal cruelty.
Your gift today can help us provide life-saving care and protection to abused, abandoned and homeless pets. Plus, donations of $25 or more come with a full ASPCA membership and a subscription to ASPCA Action magazine.