Our feline friends had their chance to shine over the weekend as actress and animal activist Nikki Reed hosted the third annual Catdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Presented by Fresh Step, the Festival is part of the brand’s Million Meow Mission, a campaign to help shelters and rescues find more forever homes for cats. This year, the Festival’s top film submissions starred shelter cats.
Reed presented the winning film with the Golden Litter Scoop award and $10,000 “kitty” to grand prize filmmaker Alana Grelyak for best original feline short film. Six featured films starring shelter cats were debuted at the festival along with a custom 14-karat gold-and-diamond cat dome ring worn by Reed. The ring is now available on auction and 80 percent of the auction price will benefit the ASPCA’s work for animals in need. From now through February 10 at 3:00 P.M. ET, you can enter the auction and view the film submissions from the Festival.
As winter storm “Juno” threatens to snow in a large swath of the U.S., we’re making sure we’re ready for whatever this weather brings. If you or a loved one is bracing for the storm, take heed of the following reminders for pet parents.
• Store up activities for dogs and cats to do while you're together indoors.
• Stock up ahead of time on all pet food and medicine your animals may need over the weekend—travel may be much more difficult or impossible in the event of a blizzard.
• Prepare for a power outage, especially if your family includes fish, reptiles or pocket pets.
• Have a coat and booties ready for any dog who needs them. Be ready to protect your pets from very strong wind and cold.
• Make sure your pets wear identification at all times (even better: have them microchipped as well) to dramatically increase your chances of reunification should one become lost.
• Keep your dog on a leash after heavy snowfall. Dogs are much more likely to get lost during winter, especially during and after a blizzard.
• Watch out for ice melts! Snow-melting salt can be very painful to dogs’ feet and can make pups ill if ingested, so make sure to clean off your dog’s paws with a moist washcloth after a walk.
Guest blog by ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker
This week, The New York Times published a comprehensive investigation into deplorable animal treatment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), a sprawling complex of laboratories in Nebraska with the overarching mission to help meat producers make more money.
There, according to the Times’ exposé, newborn piglets are accidentally crushed to death by their mothers, who have been scientifically bred to give birth to unnaturally large litters. Weakened and deformed calves are born to cows “retooled” to have twins and triplets when they usually bear only one calf at a time. And lambs born in open fields were left to die excruciating deaths during an experiment to see if their mothers, normally dependent on human help, would nurture their babies despite severe weather and predators.
This barbaric animal “experimentation” is not only cruel, but wildly out of step with modern sensibilities and ethical standards. It’s even more appalling that such activities—conducted with the goal of helping a private-sector industry turn a higher profit—are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.
You’d think we’d have laws protecting animals from such abject abuse. But farm animals—both in agricultural research and in on-farm production—are indefensibly excluded from the Animal Welfare Act, which sets standards for other kinds of animal research.
The problem doesn't stop there. This research feeds a larger agricultural system that treats animals like widgets—constantly striving to produce more, bigger, faster—with little regard for their pain. According to the Times, most of the research at USMARC is being done to help beef, pork, and lamb producers make up for an increased consumer interest in alternatives, like poultry. But widespread cruelty and genetic manipulation to speed the process are also rampant in chicken production. Most chickens raised for eating are bred to grow so huge, so fast, that they can barely stand up. Many collapse under their own weight and spend much of their lives lying in their own waste, with open sores and wounds. That’s why the ASPCA is actively involved in improving those conditions.
It doesn't have to be this way. More humane alternatives are available, and consumers are demanding better. If we are to live up to the ideal of a humane society, Congress must close the legal loopholes that allow such abject suffering, consumers must vote with their wallets, and the animal agri-business industry must respond.
What You Can Do Now Please take action: Use the form below to tell Congress to pass the newly introduced AWARE Act, which would require agricultural research at federal facilities to comply with certain standards of the Animal Welfare Act.
After receiving reports on Monday of a dog wandering on New York City’s Grand Central Parkway in Queens, NY, two New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers responded and found an injured pit bull puppy sitting in the middle lane of the busy roadway. The officers carried the 6-month-old pup, first called “Rocky” and now named “Huxley,” to safety, and transported him first to the ASPCA’s office in Queens, and then to the ASPCA Animal Hospital in Manhattan.
ASPCA veterinarians performed surgery on Huxley’s broken leg, and he is expected to make a full recovery. We’d like to ask anyone who has information about Huxley to please come forward. Thanks to the NYPD officers who rescued this brave dog!
Curious pup Otis leaves no stone unturned! This inquisitive guy loves to sniff around and explore his surroundings—there’s nothing he’d like more than a Saturday by your side roaming Central Park. This funny guy will keep you laughing with his playful antics, but, like most city dwellers, he’s in a rush to get to where he’s going!
At times, Otis will bark to let you know he wants something and may be protective of his food, but our Behavioral team is available to give you tips on how to control this behavior. Otis would do best in an adults-only household with an experienced adopter who can give him lots of exercise and playtime. Adopt Otis today!
Otis 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 Otis, please visit his profile page.