- 1. Compromise Agreement Reached on Ohio’s Farm Ballot Initiative
- 2. Meet the ASPCA $100K Challengers: Part Three
- 3. Cruelty Alert: Pets Suffering from Heatstroke in Parked Cars
- 4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Three’s Company
- 5. Stay Cool with Hot Summer Savings at our Online Store
- 6. ASPCA Provides Critical Funding for Pets Affected by Oil Spill
1. Compromise Agreement Reached on Ohio’s Farm Ballot Initiative
During the last week of June, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland brokered a deal between animal welfare groups and farm interests to halt the promotion of a citizen-backed ballot initiative intended to prevent some of the cruelest practices common in factory farming. As in most of the U.S., veal calves in Ohio are currently allowed to be chained in small crates without enough room to turn around; sows are confined in gestation crates only a few inches wider and longer than the sows themselves; and egg-laying hens are housed in tiny “battery” cages with less space, per bird, than the size of an 8.5”x11” sheet of paper.
During the recent negotiations, Ohioans for Humane Farms and the Humane Society of the United States agreed not to submit the gathered signatures for a ballot initiative in return for adoption of the following measures:
A ban on veal crates by the year 2017.
A ban on new gestation crates after December 31, 2010, and existing crates must be phased out over the next 15 years.
A moratorium on permits for new battery cage confinement facilities for laying hens (this does not affect current facilities).
A ban on the transport of downer cows for slaughter. A downer cow is one who has become too sick or injured to walk unassisted.
Adoption of humane euthanasia methods for sick or injured farm animals.
Enactment of legislation establishing felony penalties for cockfighting.
Enactment of legislation to regulate puppy mills.
Enactment of a prohibition on the sale and/or possession of wild and dangerous animals.
The ASPCA encouraged our Ohio members to sign hard-copy petitions to place the initiative on the state ballot in November. While this compromise agreement did not accomplish everything we hoped for, it is a good first step toward ending confinement practices, and we welcome these broad, sweeping accomplishments for the animals.
We wish to thank all of our Ohio supporters who took the time to sign petitionsand special thanks are due to those who worked so hard to gather signatures. Your efforts were instrumental in bringing the Ohio Farm Bureau to the table. Please be mindful that all of the signatures gathered during the petition drive remain valid and can be submitted in coming years if the agreement is not fully honored.
We hope that efforts such as the one in Ohio will continue to spread across the country, and that soon the cruel practices of factory farms will be a thing of the past. To help the ASPCA and your fellow animal advocates achieve humane victories, sign up to receive legislative email alerts from the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.
2. Meet the ASPCA $100K Challengers: Part Three
Get ready, folks! We’re introducing our next group of challengers in the Save More Lives: ASPCA $100K Challenge. You’ve met some pretty tough contestants so farmeet some more winning entrants that are gearing up to save more lives!
Kansas Humane Society (KHS), Wichita, KS: The brains behind successful events like Cat Independence Days, when felines can be adopted for $17.76, Puppypalooza and Woofstock are sure to prove tough contenders. One to watch, KHS is progressive and creative in its approach to promoting adoptions and engaging its community.
Calcasieu Parish Animal Services & Adoption Center, Lake Charles, LA: Explicit within its mission, the Calcasieu Parish Animal Services is committed to “maintaining the health and welfare of people and animals.” Team members are also dedicated to breaking the “old ‘dog pound’ mentality” and aggressively promoting spay/neuter solutions.
SPCA Serving Erie County, Tonawanda, NY: “Making miracles happen”that’s the business of the SPCA Serving Erie County. These folks recognize the strength they draw in their community whose residents not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Staffers say, “We all have a responsibility to protect and love the animals who share our world.”
Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS), Birmingham, AL: Adoptions are where it’s at for the folks at the GBHS, which is coming out strong and confident. “Birmingham will not let their pets lead sheltered lives!” says the shelter’s motivated staff. How would they use the grand prize? “We will reduce our carbon footprint, and use donors’ funds as intendedto care for animals.”
McKamey Animal Care & Adoption Center, Chattanooga, TN: The young upstarts at McKamey Animal Center are tackling the Challenge with a huge push toward community microchipping and increasing RTOs (return to owners). These dedicated animal lovers recognize that a new shelter is only one piece of the puzzle, and “changing the level of human respect for animals is key.”
Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Hattiesburg, MS: The spirited staff and volunteers at Southern Pines are getting a head start on the competition by hosting brainstorming sessions with community leaders. What motivates them to be tough competitors? “Believing you can do something is half the battle!” Hear, hear!
Check back next week to meet more contestants!
3. Cruelty Alert: Pets Suffering from Heatstroke in Parked Cars
As many parts of the country struggle with recent heat waves, we’ve all seen the disturbing news reports of pets, mostly dogs, dying from heatstroke as a result of being left in parked cars. Just last week, a Bronx, NY, man left his Maltese in his vanwith the windows crackedwhile he went for a swim at a state park. The temperature inside the van climbed to 140 degrees and despite intervention by park police, the dog didn't survive.
Even on a relatively mild 85-degree day, it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 102 degreesand within 30 minutes, the inside of the car can be a staggering 120 degrees. Leaving windows open a few inches does not help. Furthermore, when it comes to the body’s ability to cool itself, canine physiology is vastly different from ours. While humans have sweat glands all over our bodies that help regulate our body heat, dogs cool down mostly by panting, which is much less efficient than sweating. In only a short amount of time, a dog with a high body temperature can suffer critical damage to his nervous system, heart, liver and brain.
At least 14 states and many municipalities have enacted laws to address the problem of animals left in cars in extreme temperatures. Under these laws, police, animal control agents, peace officers and others may be authorized to entera vehicle by whatever means necessary to removean animal. “I would recommend that if your state doesn't have a specific law addressing animals left in hot cars that you still call law enforcement, because it may be considered animal cruelty under your state or local laws,” says Jill Buckley, Senior Director of ASPCA Government Relations & Mediation.
If you’re out and about on a hot day and see an animal alone in a car, you should immediately try to find the car’s owner. If you have no luck, or if the owner refuses to act, contact local law enforcement and/or animal control.
“The important thing is to get the dog out of the car, keeping in mind that you shouldn’t put your life in danger, either!” says Buckley, who keeps a few copies of the ASPCA’s Pets in Hot Cars flyer(pdf) in her glovebox to give out when appropriate. Please print and distribute these flyers (pdf) in your neighborhood to help educate people about the danger of leaving pets in hot cars.
4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Three’s Company
Handsome Asher was renowned at the ASPCA for being one of the sweetest cats ever. Cuddly and kind, this elder gent just needed the right kind of parent to care for his medical needs. (Asher is FIV-positive.) Enter Molly Schulman of Manhattan, who adored the lovely feline from the moment they met.
ASPCA: When did you meet Asher?
Molly: I first met Asher at the shelter two days before taking him home in April. A well-meaning friend had sent me the link of his YouTube video. I'd lost one of my cats, Carlos, to a sudden illness in March. I didn't think I was anywhere near ready to take in a new cat and hadn't intended to look yet, but I fell in love with Asher after meeting him. I've always adopted FIV-positive cats and had a cat with a heart defect several years ago, so adopting Asher felt like the right thing to do.
ASPCA: Do you have any other pets?
Molly: I live with one other cat, Diego, whom I've had for about three years.
ASPCA: How has Asher settled into his new home?
Molly: Asher made himself right at home! I think he knew he had it made, so to speak. Both Asher and Diego were not happy being separated for the first week or so. They were not "best buddies" right away, but now they're doing great. I've even caught them cuddling a few times.
ASPCA: Does Asher have any funny habits or behaviors?
Molly: He likes to hang out in the bathroom when it's hot. Though he's not supposed to have anything other than his prescription food, he can be sneaky and steal bits of "people food" from me on occasion. He's more playful than I would've expected, but spends most of his time just lounging on the couch
ASPCA: What does Asher mean to you?
Molly: Asher is a wonderful companion forI couldn't have asked for a sweeter cat. Having him as part of my family has been a joy.
Read more true stories of furry fate in our Happy Tails archive.
5. Stay Cool with Hot Summer Savings at our Online Store
Our virtual shelves are stocked with fabulous tees and personalized jewelry, not to mention fun, reliable pet toysall spreading the message that you love animals. Plus, you can always feel good about shopping with usall net proceeds of your purchases directly support our life-saving programs.
Receive free shipping on all orders over $50 throughout the continental U.S. with coupon code SUMMERSHIP. Offer is good through July 21.
Fight Cruelty Tote
Our new, vibrantly-colored fashion totes are designed to carry all of your summertime goodiesand the ASPCA’s message!
No Spill Drawstring Bowl and Water Bottle
Our portable travel bowl and stainless steel water bottle are spill-resistant and handy for cars, hikes, camping and beach outings. Perfect for canines on the go!
Travel Safety Harness
Did you know unrestrained pets cause more than 30,000 accidents every year? Protect your pet with this durable pet travel harness.
For more tees, toys, gifts and pet supplies, visit the ASPCA Online Storewe’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
6. ASPCA Provides Critical Funding for Pets Affected by Oil Spill
In response to the economic hardships that continue to mount for families living along the Gulf Coast, the ASPCA, the Louisiana SPCA (LA/SPCA), Best Friends Animal Society and several local organizations have launched the Gulf Coast Companion Animal Relief Program to provide free pet care for residents of Southern Louisiana. The group's initial contribution will prevent an estimated 1,000 pets from facing relinquishment by their families.
"The oil spill has had major repercussions for families in the lower Louisiana parishes, including pet parents connected with the seafood, tourism and oil production industries," says Julie Morris, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Community Outreach.
Animal shelters in the affected communities report two to three times the number of relinquished pets over last summer. The Animal Relief Program’s free services, provided by licensed veterinarians at the Louisiana SPCA, will include:
Basic exams, including tests for feline leukemia and FIV in cats as well as heartworm in dogs;
Microchipping and registration; and
Special thanks to the following organizations for making this program a reality: Del Monte Foods, Best Friends Animal Society, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Second Harvest Food Bank, St. Bernard Parish Animal Shelter, Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society, Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter and the Louisiana SPCA.
For more information about the free services or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please visit the Louisiana SPCA.