July 12, 2018

The Dog Days of Summer Reach Capitol Hill!

The “dog days” of summer reached Capitol Hill on July 11 when the ASPCA hosted Paws for Celebration!

This special event brought over 30 adoptable pets from local animal shelters and rescues to Congress to highlight the importance of pet adoption and fostering, and to recognize the lifesaving work these organizations do.

Adoptable dogs and cats were on site from five D.C.-area rescues, including Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, Humane Rescue Alliance, Last Chance Animal Rescue and Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation. The Wounded Paw Project was also there to highlight their success in training shelter and rescue dogs as service animals for veterans. 

Congressional Animal Protection Caucus co-Chairs Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and 13 other members of Congress attended the event to show their support and advocate for animal protection and adoption.

Reps. Blumenauer and Buchanan spoke to the crowd, calling attention to the role pet adoption and fostering plays in saving lives and urging their colleagues to join the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. The Caucus holds regular briefings to raise awareness of animal welfare issues and helps to pass of animal-friendly federal laws.

But that’s not all. In between cuddling and snapping photos with adorable kittens and puppies on the hot July day, members of Congress and their staff learned of the critical need for kitten fosters during the summer months. This time is also known as “kitten season,” the feline breeding period that runs through spring and summer when animal shelters across the country are flooded with homeless and newborn cats.

Lucy and Pip, the ASPCA’s Government Relations’ office foster kittens greeted visitors at the #MeowForNow table, where attendees were encouraged to sign the #MeowForNow pledge to learn more about kitten fostering and find a participating shelter in their home district. Some staff even expressed interest in possibly fostering kittens in their offices!

Kathryn Kopanke with Lucy and Pip

The ASPCA’s Kathryn Kopanke with Lucy and Pip at #MeowForNow Information Table.

By the end of the day, more than 1,000 attendees made their way through the event and several people filled out adoption and foster applications!

We want to thank the members of Congress and their staffs, as well as the rescues and shelters who were able to join us for this fun, informational afternoon.

Interested in opening your home to a foster kitten or kittens? Please visit aspca.org/MeowForNow to learn more.

Rep. Rick Nolan with Aileen Savell Reinhard

Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) with Aileen Savell Reinhard of Lost Dog & Cat Rescue and Rocky the Cat.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) with an adoptable cat from Humane Rescue Alliance.