- 1. Meet the ASPCA $100K Challengers: Part Six
- 2. Missouri Puppy Mill Act Officially Reaches November Ballot
- 3. Uncovering the Truth about Animal Hoarding
- 4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Buster Brown
- 5. Cast Your Vote for the ASPCA!
1. Meet the ASPCA $100K Challengers: Part Six
On your mark, get set, go! Sunday, August 1, marked the official start of the ASPCA $100K Challenge, which will award $125,000 to shelters across the country that save more cats and dogs than they did during the same time period last year.
Each week, we’ve been introducing you to a new group of organizations competing for the $100,000 grand prize. Please meet four more eager competitors:
Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, Menands, NY: This New York Capital Region organization has been saving the lives of abused and unwanted animals since 1887. We really like its idea of taking animals to the people by opening satellite adoption centers at local retail centerssomething it could accomplish if it wins $100K!
Animal Friends Humane Society, Hamilton, OH: The driven animal welfare advocates who staff AFHS would love to use the prize money to build a training/humane education facility and a barn to house farm animal victims of cruelty and neglect.
Puerto Rico Animal Welfare Society, Isabela, PR: This “small but determined” group has a lofty, supremely admirable goal: to spay or neuter, vaccinate, deworm and bathe every homeless animal in Puerto Rico, then house and feed them until they find loving, lifelong homes.
Salt Lake County Animal Services, Salt Lake City, UT: Winner of a 2010 Utah Best of State Medal Award, SLCoAS has partnered with more than 85 non-profit rescue agencies in five states to ensure that if an animal is not adopted at its shelter, he or she is given every opportunity to find a home somewhere else.
Rooting for any of the shelters featured here? Show your support by sharing this page on your Facebook profile (click the Facebook Share icon at the top right of this page) or hitting the “Tweet this Article” link below. Just a click can get the word out quick!
Check out the Save More Lives Community for additional information about the contest.
2. Missouri Puppy Mill Act Officially Reaches November Ballot
On Tuesday, August 3, a citizens’ initiative to promote more humane treatment of dogs in Missouri’s large-scale commercial dog kennels was certified by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. This means that the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will appear on the state’s November ballot as "Proposition B."
"We are absolutely thrilled with the overwhelming showing of support for this initiative,” says Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “If passed by voters in November, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of dogs in Missouri's commercial kennels, and hopefully set a precedent for other states.”
More than 190,000 signatures were submitted in May to the Secretary of State’s office to qualify the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act for the statewide ballot. (See our April blog report from St. Louis to see some of the work that went into processing the signatures.) The ASPCA would like to thank the Missouri members of our Advocacy Brigade, the hundreds of grassroots volunteers across the state who propelled the campaign to success in signature gathering, and the tens of thousands of Missourians who showed their support for the humane treatment of dogs.
The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will improve the lives of dogs by requiring large-scale breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with such basics as sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, adequate housing and space, as well as access to regular exercise. Lawmakers in Iowa and Oklahoma enacted puppy mill legislation in those states earlier this yearafter Missouri, they are the two largest dog-breeding states in the nation. In 2009, 10 states approved legislation to address puppy mill problems.
Missourians for the Protection of Dogs is comprised of the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States, and is backed by veterinarians, businesses, animal welfare organizations and thousands of individuals. Details on the ballot initiative are available at missourifordogs.com.
*Paid for by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs / YES! on Prop B, Judy Peil, Treasurer
3. Uncovering the Truth about Animal Hoarding
Earlier this year, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrived at a New York City apartment to find that dozens of cats and kittens had overtaken the small space. The cats were severely malnourished, and many suffered from upper respiratory disease. There were no litter boxes, and the floor was covered in several inches of feces and urine. Living among the filth and debris was an 85-year-old woman suffering from dementiashe had been hoarding animals for years.
Animal hoarding is a complex and intricate social issue with far-reaching effects that encompass mental health, animal welfare and public safety concerns. Victims can include cats, dogs, reptiles, rodents, birds, exotics and even farm animals. While it’s not clear why people become animal hoarders, current research suggests the cause is often attachment disorder in conjunction with personality disorders, paranoia, dementia, depression and other mental illness. The hoarder does not intend to inflict harm on animals, and in most cases, the hoarder can no longer take care of himself, much less multiple animals.
"We often see that animal hoarders have experienced some traumatic event or loss in their lives," says Fiona Knight, Cruelty Intervention Advocacy Manager at the ASPCA. “Usually, they are very lonely and isolated peopleand the animals become their primary source of bonding and interaction.”
While the ASPCA does pursue cruelty charges when appropriate, in many cases, prosecution is not the answer. Not only are such cases difficult to successfully prosecute, but once released, hoarders are overwhelmingly likely to resume collecting excessive numbers of animals. The solution lies in supplying hoarders with the resources and tools they need to keep them from repeating their destructive patterns.
“As a clinical social worker, it is my job to go in and work with the hoarders. Not only do I educate them on the problems caused by having so many animals, but I also connect them with appropriate services,” says Knight. “Whether individuals need a therapist who specializes in hoarding, a cleaning service or the assistance of adult protective services, we provide the resources. Our first priority is to remove the animals and provide them with immediate treatment, but our job doesn’t end there.”
For more information about animal hoarding and how you can help, please visit our Animal Hoarding resources online.
4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Buster Brown
The dog days of summer are officially here, and Happy Tails is still enjoying a little road trip. This week, we’re coming to you from Pennsylvania, where a wee Cockapoo named Buster first wooed Henry Duszak many moons ago. Below is Henry’s sweet reminiscence of the happy pair’s life together.
In October 2002, when I finally decided that I wanted a special friend with whom to share my time, I visited the SPCA of Luzerne County. I figured if I was going to get a pet, I should adopt from a rescue. I walked around the shelter and found some absolutely lovable animals, but none really struck me. When I was about to leave, I walked past a cage with a toy in it. I was shocked when this little furry toy lifted his head!
Needless to say, it was love at first sightI took him home with me that day. Buster Brown was his new name, and he was more than a companionhe became my puppy "boy.” He had his own roomhis kenneland when he went into it, he would pretend you could not see him. I would call him and he would just smile and stay put.
Over the years, Buster was a constant presence by my side and would shower me with love and kisses. When I was sick, he would be my nurse and lie next to me in bed. To check on me to make sure I was okay, he would hit me in the face with his paw. When I eventually opened my eyes, Buster would kiss me and lie back down again.
To read more heartfelt adoption stories, please visit our Happy Tails archive.
5. Cast Your Vote for the ASPCA!
We need your vote, animal lovers! The ASPCA is participating in the Pepsi Refresh Project, an exciting campaign to award monthly grants to people, businesses and non-profits throughout the United States. The ASPCA has applied for a $250,000 grant to further support the work of our Field Investigations and Response Team. If we win, we will use the grant to purchase a second Animal Rescue Transport Vehicle to facilitate the swift and safe removal and re-homing of animals in danger.
So, how can you help? Refresh Grants will be awarded to those organizations that receive the highest number of votes from the public. With 1,200 total contestants and only two winners awarded in each category, the competition is steep! We need you to vote for us EVERY DAY from now through August 31. Although you can only vote for us once a day, you can cast ten total votes for other organizations (in other categories, of course!) every day of the contest.
Visit www.refresheverything.com/aspcarescue to sign in and vote todayand every daythrough August 31. It's that simple! You can help us spread the word by asking everyone you knowby email, Facebook and Twitterto join the fight against animal cruelty by casting their votes for the ASPCA!