According to the American Heart Association, research shows that people with dogs might get more physical activity; having pets might be associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a lower incidence of obesity; and that pets can reduce the physical effects of stress.
Of course, dog people like us already had a hunch that dogs were great for our health! And we didn’t need any more reasons to adopt a dog—they’re wonderful for so many reasons—but this announcement comes as great news to us.
This morning, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoed his state’s dangerous anti-whistleblower/“ag-gag” bill, Senate Bill 1248/House Bill 1191. This is a major victory for animal welfare and consumer safety—if signed into law, this legislation would have thwarted investigations of agricultural enterprises and protected animal abusers instead of working to prevent such mistreatment.
Governor Haslam’s veto comes just days after Tennessee’s Attorney General declared the legislation “constitutionally suspect under the First Amendment on three grounds” and noted that it could violate a person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Animal abusers in Tennessee have good reason to want to keep their cruel and illegal actions out of sight. While most states exempt farm animals from their animal cruelty statues entirely, last year Tennessee passed a bill, spearheaded by the ASPCA, to make extreme acts of cruelty to livestock subject to felony-level penalties.
Investigations on farms have been extremely successful in documenting the inhumane treatment of animals, uncovering crucial health and welfare information and spurring many groundbreaking reforms. If Tennessee’s ag-gag bill had become law, the cruelty revealed by these types of investigations—such as the gruesome beating and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses disclosed last year—would remain hidden from the public.
We thank Governor Haslam for listening to the citizens of Tennessee and preventing this harmful and unnecessary bill from becoming law. We also applaud and thank our Tennessee Advocates, local humane organizations, and groups representing other interests (including civil liberties, journalism, religion, food safety and the environment) put at risk by this bill for their support in fighting it!
Where does your state stand on anti-whistleblower legislation? Find out here, and be sure to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade so you can take action on current animal-related bills in your state!
Animal advocates, this is major: The ASPCA is working closely with Connecticut legislators, The Humane Society of the U.S., CT Votes for Animals and the CT Coalition Against Puppy Mills to enact a bill pending that—if amended in the Connecticut House of Representatives, as hoped—would prohibit pet stores from selling commercially bred dogs and cats! Instead, starting in 2016, Connecticut pet stores will be allowed to sell and/or adopt out only dogs and cats who came from animal shelters and non-profit rescue organizations.
If the hoped-for bipartisan amendment to H.B. 5027 succeeds, Connecticut will become the first state in the nation to enact this kind of law.
Passage of this measure would deliver a devastating blow to puppy mills, all while helping to reduce pet overpopulation in shelters. Talk about a win-win!
We all know one of the best ways to help your local shelter is to donate your time as a volunteer. But what about opening your home to some needy animals? Shelters nationwide often need help caring for their pets until they’re ready for adoption.Animal foster programs are a great way to make a hands-on difference in the lives of animals.
This Monday night, we’re joining Pet360 to host a Pet Fostering Twitter Chat. Simply follow #FosterMe on Twitter to ask our experts questions, tweet photos of your current foster pet, and answer fun trivia questions for a chance to win some swag!
Join us, Monday, May 13, from 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. (EDT) as we explore the rewarding world of pet fostering. See you there!
On a cold day in February, the ASPCA responded to a tip that came in through our Humane Law Enforcement helpline. A dog had been left outside with no access to food, water or shelter. When we arrived at the scene, it was far worse than we had initially expected. We found a puppy, just skin and bones, who was barely able to walk.
Immediately, we jumped into action. Our team transported the emaciated dog, named Finley, to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment. After an examination, veterinarians found the puppy to be suffering from paraphimosis, a condition of the genitals,and an untreated respiratory infection. They also found pieces of metal in Finley’s intestines and determined that his emaciated condition was due to starvation. Finley had been eating trash to survive.
On May 9, Finley’s owner, Anthony Martin, 46, was arrested for allegedly neglecting the puppy. He was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Update! We are happy to report that after five weeks of treatment, Finley put on more than 20 pounds! He is continuing to recover and will eventually be made available for adoption.