We’re happy to share some exciting news: Connecticut’s governor is poised to sign a bill that would transfer 34 acres of state land to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation to be utilized as an animal sanctuary.
“We had asked in lieu of flowers that people send donations to The Animal Center,” says Jenny Hubbard, Catherine’s Mom. “There was an overwhelming response— within the course of a few weeks, they had received donations in Catherine’s memory totaling over $100,000. The Animal Center had been working to build an animal sanctuary, so we put all of our energy into making a foundation that could financially support the sanctuary for years to come.”
Plans for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary include indoor and outdoor facilities, which will provide a caring environment for dogs, cats, farm animals and native wildlife. The Animal Center will also continue to run its existing animal foster program.
“The Sanctuary will have on-site canine and feline communities,” Jenny says. “We are also going to do farm animal refuge—we will give respite to cows, sheep and chickens that might be neglected or abused, or need a home because a farm is closed due to financial reasons. In the long term, we hope to do native wildlife refuge and release for injured animals such as turtles or deer.”
Jenny notes that the Sanctuary’s main building will contain a visitor center, as well as a veterinary clinic. She says they plan to leave much of the Sanctuary’s land as-is, incorporating the outdoor animal spaces into existing woodlands and meadows.
Are you in the Connecticut area? Three teenage siblings will host the Shapiro Family Classical Music Concert on Saturday, June 14 at 5:00 P.M. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 651 Pequot Ave. in Southport, Connecticut. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Sanctuary.
Stay tuned for more details to come as the Sanctuary plans progress. We can’t wait to see countless animals receive care as a result of Catherine’s inspirational dedication to animals in need.
Guest blog by Emily Schneider, a proud mom of two feisty yorkies and a two-year-old living in the Garden State. Emily works in media and public relations for the ASPCA. Find her onTwitter orFacebook.
I’ve heard one too many stories of pet parents saying, “My dog is really friendly; he loves kids,” followed by utter shock and disbelief when their dog nips or bites a child. They wonder, “How could this happen? My dog has never bitten a child before.” In that situation, it’s natural to feel mortified, and all you can do is apologize profusely and scold your dog for behaving poorly.
That was me a few years ago, when my dog had a negative interaction with a child who was fortunately left unharmed, though maybe slightly traumatized and wary of dogs. When I had my son Jaden, I wasn’t confident since we had several close calls when our dog Mikey acted up around kids. My husband was also worried and wondered whether having a dog like Mikey was a good fit for our family. Gulp.
Did you know that 50 percent of children in the U.S. will be bitten by a dog before their 12th birthday, and that the majority of dog bites are from a dog the child knows? In conjunction with National Dog Bite Prevention Week May 18-24, here are some tips I’ve implemented so my son and dogs can live in harmony:
Keep dog and kid toys separate. It’s easy for your dog to confuse his toy with a child’s toy because they look similar. Separate the two to avoid problems—I keep my son’s toys in his room, and bring out a few toys for the dogs to play with in the living room.
Always supervise playtime. Even if your pets are good with kids, it’s important to keep an eye on your child and pet because accidents happen when you least expect it.
Time flies when you’re changing diapers, cleaning dirty bibs and washing a million pieces of a bottle—all on virtually no sleep. My son is a toddler now, and he’s feeling very independent—now that he can run, drive his toy car, and say, “my toy!” And while my husband and I consulted animal behavior experts to address Mikey’s issues, it’s important as parents—especially if you have both—to be extra mindful when your child is interacting with your pets or other dogs.
Talking to kids about pet store puppies and puppy mills is no easy task. The last thing parents want to expose their children to is the harsh reality of painful cages, overcrowded conditions, diseases and emotional abuse. To help children understand why they can’t have “that puppy in the window” of your neighborhood pet store, we’ve put together some kid-friendly talking points for tough questions.
Where do pet store puppies come from? Most pet stores puppies come from crowded and unhealthy places called puppy mills.
What is a puppy mill? Puppy mills are like big factories for dogs. This means that many dogs are kept there their entire lives and forced to breed (have puppies). Sadly, puppy mill dogs are not happy. They don’t get to play outside or sleep in a comfy bed. A lot of times they get sick. And there’s usually no one to give them any love.
What happens to puppy mill dogs? Puppies born in a puppy mill are taken away from their mothers very young and usually sent to a pet store, where they are sold to people who don’t know where the puppy really came from. The puppy mill owner doesn’t care about the puppy or the puppy’s mom and dad, who are left behind at the puppy mill after the puppies are sent to the pet store. He or she only cares about making money. That’s why we don’t like buying dogs from pet stores!
Why are people cruel to animals? It’s hard to say what drives a person to be cruel to an animal. In puppy mills, the owners are thinking more about the money than the dogs. Organizations like the ASPCA are working hard to make sure that every animal is happy, safe and loved by helping shut down puppy mills and educate people about why they shouldn’t buy a puppy in a pet store.
What happens to the puppies in a pet store if no one buys them? If a store doesn’t sell a puppy quickly, it will lower the price until someone buys the puppy. The more often pet stores have to do this, the more money they lose. Next time, they won’t order as many puppies.
So how CAN I get a puppy? Good news! Shelters are full of happy, sweet puppies waiting for forever homes. If your family is ready for a pet, you can head to your local shelter to adopt. Not only will you be saving a life, but also you’ll be sending a message to puppy mill owners that what they do is unacceptable! The fewer people who buy their puppies, the fewer puppies they will “make.”
What else can I do? You can start by setting a good example for your friends and community. Ask your mom and dad to take our No Pet Store Puppies pledge not to buy anything (food, supplies, etc.) from pet stores that sell puppies and spread the word about animal adoption.
We’d like to extend a huge “Thanks!” to the inspiring young members of New York City’s Girl Scouts Brownie Troop 3444, who donated a portion of the troop’s cookie sales proceeds to the ASPCA!
Troop 3444’s members are in third grade at The Chapin School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The girls wanted to help abused and abandoned animals recover and find loving homes, so they earmarked a portion of the funds they raised by selling 4,000 boxes of cookies for the ASPCA. One Troop 3444 Brownie, Holly Rosen, sold 750 boxes of cookies! Fellow Brownie Ella Clifford sold an impressive 355 boxes.
We were pleased to welcome the Troop’s members to the ASPCA Adoption Center, where they proudly presented their donation. This group of girls’ dedication to animal welfare is truly an inspiration. On behalf of animals in need nationwide, thanks, Troop 3444!
We have exciting news for middle school students in New York City! The ASPCA has provided a $12,500 grant to Unleashed—a non-profit group that works to build confidence and purpose in young girls—to launch after-school programs to empower young animal advocates.
Participants in the Unleashed after-school programs at various local middle schools will engage in educational programs and projects where they will become animal advocates in their communities. They will learn how to combat problems such as animal homelessness, dog fighting and puppy mills. The girls will also participate in an animal rescue, as well as a social justice carnival.
We’re excited to see these inspiring Unleashed participants make a positive difference for animals in their communities!