More than 90% of cats and dogs in the U.S. are fed commercial pet food, yet our government does not play a role in overseeing and ensuring its safe production. 2007’s pet food crisis and massive recall (caused by the adulteration of pet food with melamine) showed pet owners and policymakers that like the production of human food, the production of pet food must be regulated for safety.
That’s why we’d like to praise the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for proposing a rule that, for the first time, would create preventive measures to keep pet food safe from the introduction of disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants during the production process. The proposed rule targets those who manufacture, process, pack and hold animal food. It creates good manufacturing practices and requires facilities to have a food safety plan and assess and minimize contamination risks.
It is time to clean up the U.S. horse racing industry by passing the federal Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act (HISA), H.R. 2012/S. 973. Introduced by Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in the House, and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) in the Senate, this bill will ban performance-enhancing drugs in U.S. horse racing and designate the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as the governing body to create and oversee the implementation of uniform medication rules to protect horse welfare. The Jockey Club recently acknowledged the importance of this bill and agreed that the USADA “has the experience, the knowledge and the credibility to bring much-needed integrity to our sport.”
With the winter doldrums at an all time high, plenty of us are daydreaming of warmer climates. But as any pet parent will tell you, taking a vacation often comes with a side of stress about your animal. There’s nothing worse than spending your time on the beach worrying about how your furry friend is doing back at home.
Fortunately, traveling with your pet is easier than you think. When you shop Priceline through We-Care.com, you can support the ASPCA and narrow your hotel search to those that are “Pet Friendly!” Check out We-Care’s Spring Travel blog post for instructions on how to do this, and be sure to send us a postcard of you and Fido soaking up the sun!
Here at the ASPCA, April is our favorite month of the year. April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and while we work to fight animal cruelty year-round, we’re looking forward to a few special opportunities to spread the word about important animal welfare issues this month.
Grab your party hats! The ASPCA will celebrate its 148th Birthday on Thursday, April 10. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we’re encouraging folks to go orange for animals. On April 10, don your favorite orange apparel and take some time to make a difference for animals in your community.
Lisa Kisiel, a case worker for the ASPCA’s Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) program, first saw the two tiny kittens whose eyes were sealed shut. Just days old, they lay with their mother and three siblings atop a ragged cardboard box and empty bags of Meow Mix, confined to a filthy closet with another nursing feline and her brood of five.
Throughout the squalid apartment, 75 other cats, ranging in age from six months to 14 years, suffered from upper respiratory infections and intestinal parasites. They competed for kibble that was scattered on top of dirty linoleum flooring. They breathed in the stench of urine and feces 24/7.
“It was a very toxic environment,” says Lisa. Following up on a neighbor’s complaint, she assessed the situation and moved the case to the top of her priority list. She and the team removed the nursing mothers and kittens first, and the remaining cats on two other occasions.
“When they’re so little, the chances of them coming out of such compromised surroundings and recovering are slim,” Lisa says. “But I knew if we pulled them immediately, they would at least have a chance.”
For four months, Puccini and Pierre, as they became known, and 13 others from the case were cared for by the Anti-Cruelty staff at the ASPCA Animal Hospital. According to Dr. Bonnie Wong, medical supervisor of the Anti-Cruelty group, they were treated for upper respiratory infections, ear mites, exposure to parasites and anemia, and kitten diarrhea. Warm compresses were applied to their sealed, swollen eyes and heat to their tiny bodies. Then, during Valentine’s Day week, they were adopted by Suzanne G., a Manhattan attorney whose two senior cats passed away in 2013.
These days, Puccini and Pierre run on three speeds: “eating, sleeping or running,” according to Suzanne.
Since 2010, CIA has intervened in more than 150 hoarding cases in the five boroughs, helping more than 4,000 animals. The team also links hoarders to social service agencies and other resources that provide appropriate human services.
“Building strong personal relationships so that we can do these interventions is key,” says social worker Carrie Jedlicka, whose background, like that of her colleagues, is conducive to nurturing clients’ trust. In this case, the client also received medical attention.
“What keeps us going is seeing the animals we rescue go on to happy endings like this,” adds Lisa, who initially was not sure the fragile felines would survive. “We see them at their worst, and it’s rewarding to see them at their best.”
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