Just in time for summer, here’s some great news to bark about! California Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) wants to see more dog parks in the Golden State—and last week, his bill to make it easier for local governments to create these havens for their four-legged residents passed the Assembly unanimously.
Gatto's bill, A.B. 265, would help cities and counties by limiting dog park-related liabilities; it would also protect local governments from lawsuits by people claiming that they were unaware of the potential dangers of such parks. Since California already has a similar law limiting liability for skate parks, the concept is not unfamiliar to state legislators.
"Dog parks help build safer and stronger communities by providing a public space for neighbors to interact while training and socializing their dogs," said Assemblyman Gatto. "We should not allow liability concerns to be a major barrier to creating these valuable spaces." Added A.B. 265's co-author, Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego): "This bill would have made my life significantly easier when I was on the San Diego City Council and trying to site a dog park."
We think that this bill, which aims to enrich communities and make life more pleasant for dogs and responsible pet parents, is a breath of fresh air! If you think so too, please take a few seconds to thank Assemblyman Gatto for his efforts by tweeting him a nice thank-you message (@mikegatto).
Tinker’s family was at work when the tornado hit and destroyed their home. After visiting two shelters searching for their precious pooch and almost losing hope, the family visited OK Humane, where their beloved pup was waiting for them.
This Memorial Day weekend was one of healing and hope for the residents of Moore, Oklahoma. The ASPCA saw the community’s incredible resilience firsthand as many of our responders spent the weekend on the ground in Oklahoma City assisting the heroic sheltering and rescue efforts of Central Oklahoma Humane Society (OK Humane).
The ASPCA was happy to lend a hand to OK Humane and provide extra staffing to handle the influx of animals affected by this disaster. In what was truly a joint effort, we also enlisted the support of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), Code 3 Associates Animal Disaster Response, RedRover, and SAWA (Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) to help OK Humane.
We are thrilled to report that dozens of reunions occurred over the weekend, as people who lost everything came to OK Humane and found missing family members. Here are just a few of those heartwarming moments:
Tasha the Pomeranian, another tornado survivor, gets a big hug from her human sister on May 25 at OK Humane.
Porkchop and Asia (pictured above) were brought to OK Humane as strays shortly after the tornado. They were reunited with their pet parents over the weekend.
Chance, a handsome Boxer, suffered facial fractures and a deep wound on his leg as a result of the storm. Over the weekend, Chance was reunited with his guardian at OK Humane after their home was completely destroyed by the tornado. Here he is pictured with ASPCA Director of Planning and Field Operations Joel Lopez.
To learn how you can help pets and people impacted by the Moore tornado, please visit OKHumane.org.
Military dogs aren’t the only animal heroes finally getting their due—the New York State Legislature has just passed a bill making it a felony to intentionally kill a police animal! The bill (A.2596/S.1079), which protects both police dogs and horses, passed unanimously and is headed to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.
This legislation was brought to the forefront after a March incident in New York’s Herkimer County: While pursuing an at-large gunman, Ape, an FBI police dog, was shot and killed by the suspect. Ape had been on the job for less than one month.
“Police dogs are on the front lines detecting dangers, apprehending criminals, and rescuing victims every day,” says Bill Ketzer, Senior Director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Northeast Region. “The loss of a police animal is a loss to the entire community, and we applaud New York legislators for passing this bill.”
A.2596/S.1079 was a priority bill at New York Voices for Animals Day, an ASPCA-sponsored animal advocacy event held in Albany earlier this month. Citizen advocates lobbied their state lawmakers in person to support the bill’s passage, and we think the results speak for themselves!
Inspired by this big win in New York? Share it with your friends with the hashtag #PoliceDogs.
The ASPCA is on the ground in Lake City, Michigan, assisting with the removal and sheltering of more than 150 Jack Russell Terriers, Shiba Inus and other dogs and puppies from two separate locations of a substandard, large-scale breeding facility.
The removal of the animals from JRT John's Jack Russell and Shiba Inu Kennel is the result of a civil action, prompted by a violation of Michigan’s Dog Law. The ASPCA is assisting the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office and the Roscommon County Animal Shelter with the case. PetSmart Charities® has also generously provided critical supplies for the sheltering and transport of the animals.
The dogs were discovered living in outdoor enclosures with little protection from the elements. Many had no access to clean drinking water or proper shelter, with plastic carriers being their only refuge from the elements. We believe the facility to be a puppy mill—a large-scale, commercial breeding operation where profit is given priority over the well-being of the animals.
Up next: Dogs requiring medical examinations are being transported to a nearby temporary shelter, where they will receive veterinary care from the ASPCA’s medical team, led by Field Investigations and Response Medical Director Dr. Sarah Kirk. Once medical exams are complete, the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team will begin behavior evaluations of dogs at the temporary shelter, and our Partnership Manager will beginworking with response partners to determine placement options.
If you’d like to adopt: Dogs who are medically and behaviorally ready will immediately be placed with ASPCA response partners including Medina County SPCA (Medina, Ohio) and Animal Humane Society (based in Golden Valley, Minnesota), which are also supporting the sheltering operation and will help provide daily care for the animals.
“We are pleased to aid the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office and Roscommon County Animal Shelter by providing expertise and resources to support the case and removing the dogs from this situation,” says Kathryn Destreza, Investigations Director of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team, adding that we look forward to helping place dogs in loving homes.
We’re so excited: It’s almost time for the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge! If you haven’t heard about the Challenge yet, here’s the deal: 50 animal shelters nationwide will soon be participating in this exciting three-month competition to save more animals’ lives. During last year's Challenge, competing shelters saved a cool 56,232 dogs and cats.
Challenge kick-off weekend is just a week away, and we hope you’re gearing up to help your favorite participating shelter take home the grand prize. Here are a few ways you can help the $100K Challenge get started with a bang:
1. Attend a kick-off event near you. Starting June 1, there will be $100K Challenge kick-off events at participating shelters nationwide, featuring animal adoptions, food, games and other festivities. To find out if there’s a kick-off event happening in your area, please check our Challenge events page. 2. Spread the word on Facebook! Click over to the ASPCA Facebook page to share our $100K Challenge shareable card with your friends, and encourage them to participate in kick-off weekend! 3. Don’t forget to Tweet. You can follow #100KChallenge on Twitter to be part of all the minute-by-minute kick-off action. Join the conversation and help your favorite shelter find homes for even more animals!
We couldn’t be more excited to get the 2013 Challenge started. Thanks for supporting local shelters in this exciting competition, and for helping to save animals’ lives nationwide!