September is National Chicken Month, making it the ideal time to issue a special challenge to consumers: Change Your Chicken! This 30-day challenge encourages shoppers to avoid the worst factory-farmed chicken products and instead choose those bearing meaningful animal welfare certifications.
Most chickens raised in the U.S. come from factory farms and live in deplorable conditions. They’re crammed together by the tens of thousands on top of their own waste, never seeing sunlight, and are bred to balloon up to crippling weights. The industry isn’t motivated to make improvements because business is booming—that’s where you, as a consumer, come in. Vote with your wallet and tell Big Chicken that it’s time for a change.
Here are some ways to participate in this important challenge:
Whether or not you buy chicken, we can all agree that these birds deserve better lives and that consumers should be making informed choices, so spread the word to friends and family. Together we can change chickens’ lives.
Welcome to The Paw Print! In this recurring feature, we highlight the latest news affecting animals and animal-lovers around the country. Here are some of the top stories right now:
Brave Pup Survives for 42 Days in the Wilderness: Jade, an 18-month-old Australian Shepherd, ran off after an auto wreck in July. She spent 42 days in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, and Jade’s pet parents never stopped searching for her. They were happily reunited this week. [TheDailyMail.com]
Woman Surrenders Tiger Cub at California Shelter: Shelter staff in San Jacinto, California, were shocked after a woman anonymously surrendered a three-month-old tiger cub at their facility. The cub had been declawed and was suffering from a few minor health issues at the time. He was soon transferred to a local wildlife rescue group. [TheDodo.com]
Cats Are Independent Animals, Study Confirms: While many cats love their pet parents, a new study shows that our feline counterparts do not rely on humans as a source of safety and security. Cats have been found to be very independent, and though they may form attachments to their human companions, they do not see them as “parent-like figures.” [NBCNews.com]
Dog, 4-Year-Old Boy Rescued from Well: A small boy and his dog were rescued this week from a 24-foot deep water well in Mississippi. The pair had spent three hours in the well prior to being pulled out by emergency workers. Fortunately, both the dog and the boy were mostly unharmed. [USNews.com]
Presidential Candidate Clinton Speaks Out Against Puppy Mills: During a recent presidential campaign speech in Iowa, Hilary Clinton acknowledged the cruelty of puppy mills. “From everything I know about them, they really are terrible places for any animal, and particularly for dogs and cats,” she said. [NYTimes.com]
Meet Raymond. This sweet and handsome cat is looking for a loving, quiet, kids-free home. Although he has lots of energy and loves to play, Raymond is also a fairly sensitive cat who tends to get nervous around new people. New friends meeting Raymond for the first time should let him approach first, and can encourage him to warm up by extending a hand gently or offering a toy.
Once Raymond settles into his new home, he is sure to make a perfect and playful companion. Adopt Raymond today!
Raymond is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting Raymond, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120.
Each fall, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) sees an increase in back-to-school related pet poisonings. One of the most common issues involves dogs getting into kids’ backpacks and lunchboxes. Fortunately, most of these exposures are fairly easy to prevent if pet parents know what to watch out for. Here are a few safety tips from APCC experts for this back-to-school season:
After a long school day, many kids dump their backpacks on the floor when they arrive at home. If possible, designate an area in your home for backpacks out of reach of your pets.
Some dogs are very good at unzipping backpacks and helping themselves to the contents inside. If you have young kids who aren't able to reliably place their backpacks in a secure area, or if you have very crafty pets, the next best thing is to be very careful about what is packed in your child’s backpack.
Common backpack contents like sugar free gum (with xylitol), raisins and medications should never be accessible to pets
APCC commonly receives calls related to ADHD medications (which often contain amphetamines), albuterol inhalers and over the counter pain medications—all of which can cause serious and life-threatening toxicity in dogs and cats.
Kids often leave leftover food in their lunchboxes. APCC has received reports of pets becoming very ill after getting into lunchboxes containing toxic foods such as grapes, raisins, onions, macadamia nuts and occasionally, moldy foods. Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for a complete list of potentially dangerous items.
We’re wishing your family a happy—and safe!—back-to-school season
They say that when one door closes, another one will open. Perhaps the same can be said of the animals who come into our lives and touch our hearts. For ASPCA Medical Director Jill Pomrantz, the passing of her senior dog, Romeo, paved the way for the adoption of a special needs pup named Morena. Morena and Jill helped each other heal through a difficult time, and now they’re both living a very happy life together. Here is their story.
In 2006, Morena was purchased from a pet store. The Shih Tzu puppy spent eight years with her first family until, in December 2014, they surrendered her to the ASPCA for financial reasons. As is typical of pet store puppies, Morena suffers from a number of chronic health issues that require regular treatment, including dry eyes, for which she needs twice-daily eye drops, and diabetes, for which she needs twice-daily insulin shots. Despite these difficulties, Morena is a love-bug who is fond of everyone she meets. All she needed was an adopter willing to see beyond her special needs to give her a happy home.
In early May, Jill met Morena at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where she was consulting on her case. “I fell in love with her,” she says. “The vets and I spoke about trying to get her into a foster home to help with the treatment of her diabetes, and I actually made an offhanded comment that I would love to take her but had too many pets.” Jill and her partner, Britta, were already pet-parents three dogs and two cats, all rescues.
But the very next day, something sad happened. Jill and Britta’s dog, Romeo, who was blind and had heart disease, passed away. It was a difficult time. Jill recalls, “A few days after that, still devastated by the loss of Romeo, I was talking to Britta about Morena and her diabetes and the need for a foster home. We already had a diabetic cat, so we knew that it wouldn’t be a big deal to have another diabetic pet.” They decided to foster Morena to help get her diabetes under control so that she could be adopted.
But things don’t always go as planned, and the foster pup quickly became a permanent family member. “From the minute Morena came home, she fit right in with the rest of the crew and made herself at home,” Jill says. She even slept on the couple’s bed the very first night. “After having her for a day, we knew we were likely never going to give her back, and we didn’t.” In June, they made the adoption official.
Jill and Britta kept Morena’s name but also call her “Mo,” and in the months since her adoption, the senior dog has only grown stronger and happier. “She’s so loving and follows us around the apartment,” Jill says. “She’s blind in one eye, but you’d never know it.” And although she will always feel the sadness of her loss, Jill is grateful to Mo’ for helping her heal. “We still miss Romeo very much, but Mo’ has eased the pain.” We’re sure that for this sweet, special Shih Tzu, Jill and Britta have eased the pain, too.
Britta with Mo', Nilla (Yellow Lab) and Mattie (Chocolate Lab)