A few weeks ago, we shared an Urgent Alert about the dangers of leaving dogs in parked cars on hot days. What we didn’t know at the time, though, was just how urgent the situation truly is.
According to a new poll conducted by the ASPCA, an overwhelming majority of adults—93 percent—who have never encountered a dog in a car on a hot day said they would do something to help, but of those adults who actually faced such a situation, only 63 percent took action.
“Taking decisive action when you see a dog left in a hot car is critical during these warm months,” said Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “There is a startling gap between those who state they would act and those who actually did something when faced with the reality of a dog at risk.”
The nationwide telephone survey also revealed the following findings:
51 percent of those who saw or heard a dog in a hot car made attempts to look for the owner, making it the most common action taken
24 percent said they made attempts to rescue the dog themselves and 23 percent called the police
Women were much more likely than men to have taken action (75 percent versus 58 percent) after seeing a dog in a hot car
When an animal is in danger of overheating, your actions can literally mean the difference between life and death. We hope that you will make a commitment to act whenever you encounter a dog alone in a hot car—and you can start by taking our pledge today.
Pixie is an energetic pup who has a lot of love to give—especially to her favorite people! She may come across as shy at first, but don’t be fooled. Once she gets to know you, this pretty lady will stick by your side like glue.
Whether going for a jog or playing with other dogs her size, Pixie loves to get plenty of playtime and exercise. This busy girl is in a hurry to get to where she’s going and would do best with an experienced adopter who is willing to spend time running around with her. Pixie would fit in well in an adults-only home. Adopt Pixie today!
Pixie is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting, please call our Adoptions department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Pixie, please visit her profile page.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since more than 300 dogs were rescued from lives of misery and horror in one of the largest federal dog fighting busts in U.S. history. The August 2013 raid spanned Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas, and resulted in ten arrests and the rescue of 367 dogs, ranging in age from just several days to 10-12 years.
The dogs were left to suffer in extreme heat, with no visible fresh water or food, and some were tethered by chains and cables attached to cinder blocks and car tires.
What a difference a year makes. Thanks in large part to the incredible efforts of countless organizations* and volunteers, many of the dogs are now enjoying carefree lives of comfort in the loving arms of families who adore them. We’ve told you some of their stories (who can forget Timmy, the poster pup?) but to mark the one-year anniversary of the dogs’ freedom, we have a few more updates complete with adorable photos. Please enjoy and share these inspiring happy tails using the hashtag #367rescue.
Arabelle Sharon N. was volunteering with Plenty of Pit Bulls in Gainesville, Florida, when she heard about Arabelle, a senior dog and one of several who had been used as a breeder. “I have a soft spot for the seniors and couldn’t wait to meet her,” Sharon says. “It was love at first sight for both of us. I spent some time with her in her kennel and when I got up to leave, she got up and barked as if to say, ‘please don’t go.’” It was the first time since the rescue that anyone had heard Arabelle bark. This lucky lady adores her new family, including her canine siblings, and loves life and everything it has to offer her. Sharon adds: “From the moment we arrived at the house, it was as if she had been waiting her whole life for a home of her own.”
Hope (FKA Mabel) Mabel was one of six dogs recently transported to the Great Plains SPCA in Merriam, Kansas to find her forever home. Mabel’s stay at Great Plains SPCA didn’t last long—three days after her arrival, Lisa G. saw Mabel on the local news station and immediately contacted the shelter expressing interest in adopting the rambunctious pooch. When Lisa saw that Mabel’s shelter ID collar read “923,” she smiled. It was the same as her birthday, 9/23. “It was meant to be,” says Lisa. “We just love her to pieces.”Mabel, now renamed Hope, spends her time with her canine sister, Jasmine, who was a rescued bait dog from a separate dog fighting case, and two human siblings along with Lisa and her husband.
Abby Abby was 3-months-old when Tamara H. became her foster parent through Charleston Animal Society (CAS) last October. Tamara was told that Abby came from a cruelty case, but that the specifics couldn’t be disclosed. She knew it was likely a dog fighting case. Although Tamara already had two dogs—a Chow-Shepherd mix and a hound—and hadn’t planned on adopting another, she knew soon after bringing Abby home that she wouldn’t be able to give her back. When CAS contacted Tamara to ask if she would like to keep Abby or bring her back to CAS to be made available for adoption, Tamara came in immediately to sign the adoption papers and make her forever home official.
* We want to extend a special thanks to the many volunteers and organizations (listed below) that have partnered with us over the past year, especially those agencies that have adopted out more than 10 dogs from the case: Thank you, Humane Society of Calvert County, Charleston Animal Society, Humane Society of Pinellas, Plenty of Pitbulls and Atlanta Humane Society!
Looking back at all of our Happy Tails, a clear theme emerges: pets are more than just furry, four-legged animals living in our homes. They are our best friends, our support systems, and our constant sources of joy. That’s why, when Joshua S. was struggling through a difficult period in his life, a dog named Brewster was the only thing able to turn it all around. Here is their Happy Tail.
Joshua grew up with dogs—a Pomeranian and a Newfoundland—but had been without a pup of his own since moving to New York City. While going through what he describes as “the most trying time in my life,” Joshua thought the companionship of a dog was just what he needed. At the end of May, he headed to the ASPCA Adoption Center in search of a little companion. “I was originally looking to adopt a smaller breed as they seemed more practical for city living,” says Joshua. “However, when I began looking at the ASPCA, I fell in love with pit bulls.”
Fortunately for Joshua, Brewster—a one-year-old pit bull—was at the ASPCA Adoption Center waiting for his new forever home. He and another dog, Bonnie, first came to the ASPCA in October 2013 after being rescued from an abusive situation. Though initially timid and nervous around new people, Brewster’s puppy-like energy soon shone through, and he was eager to meet the right person.
“I knew Brewster was the dog for me as soon as I saw him,” says Joshua. “I had seen quite a few dogs, but when I got to his room, he immediately jumped up and wanted to play.” The two spent some time getting to know each other, but Joshua was already certain that Brewster was right choice. “He was so affectionate, and you could tell that he had so much love to give. I knew definitively that he was the one.”
Back at home, Joshua’s new companion proved to be everything he had hoped for. “Brewster sleeps with me at night, and if he’s not curled up at the end of my bed, he’s next to me with one paw resting below my shoulder as if he’s protecting me.” Brewster loves to daydream by the windowsill, and the two pals spend lots of time together at the dog park, running, and exploring the neighborhood. Before Joshua leaves for work, he says, “Brewster will literally jump up and wrap his arms around me to give me a hug. He does the same when I return home, except he has a lot of kisses as well.”
Both Joshua and Brewster persevered through a period of suffering before they found each other, and their bond is so much stronger because of it. “I thought the companionship of a dog would help me through,” says Joshua, “and Brewster has done just that. He has helped me more than I could ever imagine possible.”
Brewster’s sister, Bonnie, is still waiting for her forever home. If you are interested in adopting this sweet girl, please contact the ASPCA Adoption Center at 212-876-770 ext. 4120.
Just days before the ASPCA’s free vaccine clinic in Lincoln Terrace Park in Brooklyn, as three team members taped flyers to windows and knocked on doors, they ran into Jessica Velez and her very skinny 4-month-old pit bull puppy, Nevesa.
Jessica told the ASPCA team that the pup was from a litter born to her dog Maddie, and she was now “stuck” with three puppies. Not only that, but Nevesa, though eating well, remained underweight and thin.
“Right then and there, we had a discussion about de-worming and the importance of vaccinations,” says Maria Hertneck, Public Outreach Coordinator for ASPCA CARES (which stands for community, advocacy, resources, enrichment and service). Maria and her team visited Jessica at her home a few days later, armed with de-wormer and puppy care information, then followed up a week later.
“All three puppies were housed in a small crate,” Maria remembers. “Jessica told us she couldn’t house train them and found it difficult to constantly clean up after them. By this time, Maddie was also fed up with the pups so they had to be separated, especially during feeding times.”
Maria’s team provided a larger dog crate and a giant bag of food. “We talked again about the dogs getting their first round of shots and invited Jessica to our upcoming vaccine clinic,” says Maria. “Jessica said she would definitely come. And she did.”
After her dogs were vaccinated, Jessica signed Maddie up for spay surgery. Maria expressed relief and excitement.
“It took the leg work of all our advocates to get Jessica there, but we did it,” says the ASPCA’s Richard Encarnación, who is now helping Jessica re-home the pups in order to keep them out of the shelter system. He’ll also arrange to have them neutered. In the meantime, Maddie won’t have another litter—another sigh of relief.
This is the crux of the ASPCA CARES team’s work: To spay and neuter every pet, especially large breed dogs and cats. It’s what keeps them motivated, inspires them to do more, fuels reward and pride. The team stays in constant contact with clients to ensure that they have the resources and services they need: food, toys, leashes, collars, ID tags, even a free ride to the mobile clinic. They also work cross functionally with the ASPCA Animal Hospital and Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) staffs and frequently host “tabling” events in underserved neighborhoods to promote their work and book spay/neuter appointments on the ASPCA’s mobile spay/neuter clinics.
On the day of the Lincoln Terrace vaccine event—one of 12 the ASPCA will host in 2014—153 vaccines were administered, and fully subsidized spay/neuter appointments were made for 33 cats and dogs the next day.
Latesha Coleman and her brother Davon, along with their neighbor, Marlene Forde, brought Doodles, a sparkly-eyed dilute calico, for vaccines. “If they hadn’t knocked on my door, I wouldn’t be here,” said Latesha of the ASPCA CARES team.
Jacqueline Pinto and her 9-year-old daughter, Karissa, who learned about the clinic through the ASPCA team’s grassroots outreach, brought Brownie and Sophie, a pair of Chihuahuas. “They’re my babies,” says Jacqueline, who gave Brownie a big kiss after his inoculation.
In the coming weeks, Richard, Maria along with team member Isadora Peraza-Martinez will personally visit clients who attended the vaccine event to assess if their pets have other needs.
“We want to make a difference and offer solutions,” says Maria. Then she adds, with a dose of optimism and pride, “It may take awhile, but we’ll get there.”