ASPCA Cares for Nearly 500 Victimized Animals in First Year of Opening Cruelty Recovery Center
We recently announced that the ASPCA Cruelty Recovery Center (CRC) in Columbus, Ohio, marked an important milestone, having cared for nearly 500 animals in its first year of operation. The CRC is a permanent facility dedicated to the recovery of some of the country’s most vulnerable animals, including those rescued from large-scale animal cruelty situations such as hoarding, animal fighting and puppy mills, as well as emergency situations like hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. The over 100,000-square-feet space supports our national anti-cruelty work, which has resulted in the rescue of more than 35,000 animal victims of cruelty and disasters across 38 states in the past 12 years.
Making a National Impact
In partnering with shelters and law enforcement agencies across the country, the CRC ensures that when regional brick-and-mortar shelters do not have the resources and capacity to take in a large population of animals, they can focus their lifesaving work on other animals in their communities while we provide ongoing care for victims of cruelty and disasters.
With more animals entering and fewer leaving shelters, animal welfare organizations are caring for more animals than before, making it increasingly difficult for local organizations to take on large-scale cruelty cases in their community and underscoring the need for facilities like the CRC.
“The Cruelty Recovery Center enables us to provide expert physical and psychological care for large numbers of rescued animals and share insights from that unique work with animal welfare professionals nationwide,” said ASPCA president and CEO Matt Bershadker. “As a result, more victimized animals recover from their trauma, shelters and rescues have more options to support their at-risk animals, and more animal cruelty investigations can proceed because there’s a place for seized animals to go. With the CRC, animals in crisis have somewhere safe to stay, heal, and eventually get second chances to be adopted and thrive.”
At the CRC, rescued animals who are part of criminal cases receive forensic veterinary exams and behavior evaluations, medical and behavioral care, enrichment and ongoing sheltering until legal disposition is determined and they are ready for adoption. The facility’s medical and behavioral teams ensure animal victims of abuse, neglect and national disasters receive specialized care to heal both physically and psychologically. This facility allows us to assist local law enforcement with animal cruelty cases that put significant pressure on individual agencies, in addition to animal shelters.
This summer alone, the CRC took in nearly 120 dogs who’d been living in filthy and dangerous conditions in Louisiana, over 100 dogs who were rescued from alleged cruelty arrived from a property in Texas, and nearly 90 dogs from unsanitary conditions at a breeding operation in Wisconsin. Additionally, prior to these cases, homeless animals displaced by tornadoes also made their way to the CRC for a second chance.
Sharing Learnings to Further Help Organizations
The CRC and other ASPCA facilities provide a unique opportunity for experts to study shelter animal behavior and develop treatment protocols to resolve behavior problems. In a September 2022 ASPCA survey of shelters and rescues from all 50 states, more than two-thirds of shelter professionals said their inability to manage the frequency and severity of animal behavior needs is a top barrier to placing animals into adoptive homes. We offer in-person and virtual learning opportunities for sheltering professionals, helping other animal welfare organizations provide behavioral support for countless shelter animals facing barriers to adoption.
“Collaboration and expertise are cores value for Columbus Humane and we are grateful for the mutually beneficial partnership we have with the ASPCA,” said Columbus Humane CEO Rachel Finney. “Because of our work together, Columbus Humane staff have access to training and development opportunities and we’re able to assist their team with adoption and veterinary services. The animals, organizations and community all benefit and that’s a big win.”