Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), an ASPCA community partner, has launched an investigation into the recent deaths of three dogs at two different locations in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, WA.
On February 19, a woman reported to SCRAPS that she let her dogs outside at approximately 6:00 A.M., and when she went to feed her horses, saw one of the dogs eating something off the ground. She called her dog away from what was later identified as meatballs. Approximately 30 minutes later, the dog started having convulsions and was taken to an emergency clinic, where he died. Two other dogs were reported dead by another pet parent in the South Hill neighborhood on the same day.
Test results from Washington State University indicated that the meatballs were laced with strychnine, which was most likely from gopher bait or a gopher control pesticide. The gopher bait product was mixed with the meat and then cooked. This type of gopher bait product is a “restricted-use” pesticide in the state of Washington, but it is available for purchase at licensed pesticide dealers by those who are eligible.
“There are many ways an individual could have obtained this product, either legally or illegally,” said SCRAPS Lead Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano, the primary officer investigating these crimes.
SCRAPS is urging everyone to help spread the word about the poisonings in Spokane, and is advising pet parents to keep a close eye on their furry friends and thoroughly inspect their yards and surrounding properties for foreign or toxic substances.
If anyone has any information related to these incidents, please call SCRAPS’s emergency line at (509) 477-2533. This level of cruelty can lead to a charge of animal cruelty in the first degree, a class C felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts inevitably turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. But the new balmy weather can prove not-so-sunny for curious pets—or their unwitting parents. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your delicate, furry friend. To help you out, our ASPCA experts have come up with a few seasonal tips that will help prevent mishaps or misfortunes.
Easter Treats and Decorations Keep Easter lilies and candy bunnies in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats, dogs and ferrets, and lilies can be fatal if ingested by our feline friends. While bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!
Buckle Up! Dogs love good weather, too! But allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of car windows is downright dangerous. Abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.
Home Improvement 101 Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.
Ah-Ah-Achoo! Like their sneezy human counterparts, pets can be allergic to dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause minor sniffling as well as life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If your pet suffers from a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian.
Hazel is a gorgeous, Calico cutie who arrived at the ASPCA just after New Year’s and charmed many with her youthful exuberance. She didn’t stay with us for long, since she soon met her perfect match in Elisabeth Barone of Manhattan. We recently caught up with the new pet mom and her furry gal pal to see how Hazel’s enjoying her new home.
ASPCA: When did you meet Hazel? Elisabeth: I first met Hazel the last weekend of January. I visited the Adoption Center on Friday and, although I was looking for a kitten, something about Hazel made me fall in love. I didn't want to just adopt the first cat I saw, so I continued to visit other shelters throughout the weekend.
ASPCA: What brought you back to the ASPCA? Elisabeth: I soon realized that Hazel was “the one,” so I went back on Sunday to pick her up. Unfortunately, she had some medical issues, and needed to stay at the ASPCA a bit longer before I could take her home.
ASPCA: How did you officially adopt Hazel? Elisabeth: The following Saturday I went back to the Adoption Center to put a hold on Hazel, since I had fallen too much in love to lose her. While visiting, I was surprised to learn she was officially ready to come home—I was elated!
ASPCA: Does Hazel have any funny, eccentric, or endearing habits? Elisabeth: She adores sleeping ON me. Even if I'm sleeping on my side, she finds a way to always be on top of me. She's also incredibly friendly, and has an amazing way of turning self-proclaimed "cat haters" into cat lovers.
ASPCA: What do you love most about Hazel? Elisabeth: Hazel is a perfect fit for me. I find myself going out of my way to get home as quickly as possible just to spend time with her. She's the perfect sidekick!
On March 29, Bay County Sheriff investigators arrested 52-year-old Margaret Fowler, charging the Florida woman with felony animal cruelty for allegedly using a mallet to beat a neighbor's cat to death.
Fowler, a licensed veterinarian who runs an acupuncture and holistic vet service out of her home, had been spotted by a neighbor hammering a cat several times with what appeared to be a mallet. The witness told investigators she saw Fowler carry the cat across the yard by the tail and drop it by the fence separating the two homes. When Fowler returned to her house, the witness approached the cat, recognizing the animal as belonging to her own live-in boyfriend.
When questioned by authorities, Fowler denied any wrongdoing. She claimed the cat appeared to have been hit by a car and had pulled itself into her yard—she merely tapped the body with her foot to confirm death.
Helping to make the case was Dr. Melinda Merck, the ASPCA's leading forensics veterinarian, who performed a necropsy on the battered feline. Merck's report concluded that the cat was not hit by a car but instead beaten to death with a round, blunt object. She further ruled the cause of death was internal bleeding due to blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen.
"This incident is particularly unsettling," says ASPCA Senior Vice President of Anti-Cruelty, Matt Bershadker. "We are glad to have been able to provide assistance and that the criminal justice system is handling this case with the seriousness it deserves."
Every April, the ASPCA invites supporters across the country to "Go Orange for Animals" and raise awareness for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. With April almost here, it's time to join the action! Become an ASPCA Ambassador and create your own grassroots event, inviting friends and family to sponsor your efforts on behalf of the ASPCA.
Whether you decide to run a marathon, plan a pet parade or hold an orange bake sale, your efforts will help us achieve our goal to end animal cruelty and find permanent, loving homes for America's adoptable pets.
Once your plans are in place, register your unique event online to share with animal lovers everywhere. You'll have the opportunity to exchange stories and photos, engage others and raise life-saving funds that support the vital work of the ASPCA.
Plus, we'll guide you through setting up a special fundraising page featuring your favorite furry friend and keep you up to date on ASPCA team events! ASPCA Ambassadors also have access to easy-to-use email tools and a personalized web address to help spread the word.
Those who register will also receive a 15% discount on a selection of orange merchandise from the ASPCA Online Store. For more information about Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and ways to go orange, please visit us online.
As more and more Americans turn to the Web to find the pet of their dreams, scams have skyrocketed as criminals seek to take advantage of unsuspecting pet parents. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, hundreds of complaints are filed each year by victims who were conned when attempting to buy a dog online.
One potential pet parent, Diane, was hoping to add a Yorkshire Terrier puppy to her family when she spotted a classified ad in her local paper. “It was over my morning coffee that I saw the perfect ad for a Yorkie named Nancy,” says Diane, who lives near Cleveland, OH. She sent an email to the address listed, and immediately received a response—Diane could have the puppy if she promised her a loving home and sent $500 to cover the shipping fees.
“I corresponded for an entire week with this man who claimed to be a missionary,” Diane explains. Diane sent the requested payment via Western Union, but once she sent the code for the money transfer, she never heard from the “pastor” again.
Like many trusting animal lovers, Diane fell victim to one of many “free to good home” scams currently circulating the Internet and classified sections of newspapers. So how do you avoid persuasive cons and still get the dog of your dreams? The ASPCA recommends never buying a dog you haven’t met in person and always check references. Also, keep in mind that adoption is still the best option, even if you have your heart set on a purebred dog. There are thousands of dogs waiting for good homes at local animal shelters, including purebreds! Please help others avoid being cheated by emailing your puppy scam story to email@example.com.
Sally is no plain Jane. She’s an energetic, six-year-old Pit mix who’s looking for a pet parent who loves to exercise as much as she does. A quick study, Sally enjoys showing off her new tricks, especially for a tasty treat. This boisterous babe will thrive best in a home with no other animals, and may be a bit too enthusiastic to live with young children.
If you’re interested in adopting sweet Sally, please call our Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. Or to view other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
On March 16, under the authority and request of the SPCA Serving Erie County (NY) members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team were dispatched to assist in the sheltering management and care of 73 horses seized from what is believed to be the area's largest farm animal rescue ever. More than 100 animals—including 53 cats and four dogs—were found living in deplorable and extremely unsanitary conditions on a farm in East Aurora, NY.
aspca field investigation and response team member, kyle held, comforts one of the rescued horses.
"Our goal is to help the SPCA Serving Erie County rehabilitate these horses, both physically and behaviorally," says Jeff Eyre, ASPCA Northeast Director of Field Investigations and Response. "We are glad to be able to provide support to the SPCA and the Erie County community."
For the horses' extended care, the ASPCA will grant $10,000 to the SPCA Serving Erie County and has provided them with a livestock trailer for transport. The Field Investigations and Response Team, as well as ASPCA staff skilled in horse handling, will be on hand to feed, water and clean the animals' for the next two to three weeks. Members of the American Humane Association have also been recruited to assist in the animals care. The ASPCA has contacted local veterinarians to provide pro-bono veterinary exams for the horses. The cats and dogs are being cared for at the SPCA's Tonawanda shelter.
aspca team members evaluate one of the rescued horses.
"So many people have been emotionally affected by this case—not just SPCA staff and volunteers, but hundreds of members of the community who are communicating with us through phone calls, e-mails and letters," says SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr. "The fact that the ASPCA has stepped in with such an extreme level of assistance and care for these beautiful animals is overwhelming. It will make a difference not only in the lives of the horses, but in the minds of everyone involved."
Stay tuned for the latest information about the rescued animals and for information on how you can report cruelty, please visit ASPCA.org.
So, you want to make a difference for animals in your community, but aren’t sure where to start? Well, ASPCA experts agree that one of the most important things you can do is learn how to recognize and report animal cruelty.
“Without tips from the public, many animals would remain in abusive circumstances, unable to defend themselves,” says ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Supervisory Special Investigator and star of Animal Planet’s Animal Precinct, Annemarie Lucas. “We commend the brave and swift actions of concerned citizens who report cruelty.”
Whether you’ve seen the dog next door outside without proper shelter or witnessed the physical abuse of a neighborhood cat, you can help. To lend a hand, our experts have created an easy step-by-step guide to help you recognize and report animal cruelty.
If I report my neighbor for committing animal cruelty, and that person’s animal is taken away and put in a shelter, isn’t the animal worse off? It’s important to understand that reporting cruelty is always the right thing to do. Animal control officers never remove an animal from the home unless absolutely necessary. A seized animal will then have the chance to get much-needed veterinary and behavior care.
Can I remain anonymous when I file an animal cruelty complaint? Yes, and it is better to file an anonymous report than to do nothing—but please consider providing your information. Agencies have limited resources, and the case is more likely to be pursued when there are credible witnesses willing to stand behind the report and, if necessary, testify in court.
April is just around the corner, animal lovers, and you know what that means: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month! The ASPCA Online Store has all the best orange gear (and other cool stuff!) lined up for you and your furry friend to "go orange" this April.
The Go Orange Kit One-stop shopping, this bundle includes an orange ASPCA logo t-shirt (choose your size), an orange dog bandanna and five orange silicone wristbands. Order soon-this kit is 20% off for a limited time.
Will Fight for Animals Cap Enhance your orange gear with a fashionable cap. This version is embroidered on the front with "Will Fight for Animals," and comes in gray and light blue.
Pewter Initial Engravable Tag This adorable new pet tag is available in all 26 letters, five colors and three sizes. For a small additional charge, get your contact info engraved on the back to keep your pet safe.
Squeaker Mat Your squeaky toy-loving pooch will think this is the greatest invention ever. These stuffed plush mats have 16 squeakers inside for hours of noisy fun!
Many of you are knee-deep in brackets for NCAA® March Madness®, so why not add another to your list? The ASPCA has launched our very own tournament of four-legged champs! We’ve selected 16 of our favorite Happy Tails adoption stories, and over the next few weeks, your votes will decide which contestants make it to the semis, quarters and final furry showdown. Each week we'll launch a new round, eventually narrowing down our bracket until the winner is determined. The winning animal and his pet parent will receive a Flip video camera to record all future moments of sporty glory.
For this week’s first round, please visit our bracket and select your favorite four cats and four dogs. Hurry, don’t miss the action—size up all our furry competitors and cast your vote today!
Asher is a tender, nine-year-old feline, who’s sweet as candy and twice as nice. This gentle guy is just plain good company for those who like to keep things on the quiet side.
“Asher is one of the sweetest cats you will ever meet,” says Katie Watts, ASPCA Senior Feline Behavior Counselor. “He's very laid-back and affectionate, perfect for someone who wants to curl up and cuddle for hours!”
Handsome Asher enjoys the company of other cats, but he’s FIV positive and should only live with other felines if they’re positive, too. If you’re interested in adopting this lovely lad, please contact our Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To see other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
On March 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is taking a series of steps to increase the safety of spot-on flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs. Last summer, the EPA, which regulates topical pet treatments, reported a 50% increase in the number of adverse incident reports from the use of flea and tick products. As a result, the agency is reviewing current labels—ensuring that instructions are clear—and developing stronger evaluation procedures for existing and new products.
According to the EPA's press release, the agency's new protocol includes:
Requiring manufacturers of spot-on pesticides to improve labeling, making instructions clearer to prevent product misuse.
Requiring more precise label instructions to ensure proper dosage per pet weight.
Requiring clear markings to differentiate between dog and cat products, and disallowing similar brand names for dog and cat products.
Requiring additional changes for specific products, as needed, based on product-specific evaluations.
Launching a consumer information campaign to explain new label directions and to help users avoid making medication errors.
"The ASPCA supports the EPA's focus on clear labeling to distinguish dog products from cat products," says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA veterinary toxicologist and Senior Vice President Animal Health Services. "This alone could save cats' lives. Improving the precision of the amount applied will also increase the margin of safety for very small pets."
Dr. Hansen adds: "Post-marketing surveillance and public education will also help, but veterinary advice is still key when using these products on old, debilitated, sick or pregnant pets."
Fleas cause anemia (low red blood cell count), carry tapeworms, and can transmit infections such as Bartonella; ticks also transmit many diseases, including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. For more information about flea and tick prevention this spring, please visit our pet care pages online.
On the evening of Monday, March 22, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will host its annual “elephant walk” through Manhattan to Madison Square Garden. The Asian elephants will disembark the circus train in Queens and walk into Manhattan through the Midtown Tunnel, then across 34th Street to Madison Square Garden. MSG is hosting the circus from March 25 through April 4.
Although the sheer oddity of seeing elephants walking our city streets compels many to stay out late to watch the spectacle, the ASPCA would like to remind New Yorkers of the inherent cruelty of circus life for wild animals. The abuse of elephants by the Ringling Bros. circus has been caught on tape by animal welfare organizations and documented by state humane agencies and U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors.
To attend the elephant walk is to endorse Ringling’s ongoing mistreatment of these intelligent, sensitive and endangered creatures. We urge compassionate people to avoid this event—as well as the circus itself, which subjects its animal performers to inhumane training methods and unnatural periods of confinement.
Instead, we ask that you:
Talk to your friends and family, especially your children, about why you will not be attending the elephant walk or the Ringling Bros. circus. Check out our list of cruelty-free circuses—ones that don’t feature animal performers.
Write to management at Madison Square Garden: firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know that by hosting Ringling Bros., they are supporting cruelty to animals.
Contact local newspapers, blogs and television stations to inform them about the cruelty inflicted on circus animals.
Common plants found in your home, backyard or property are popular for their decorative and air clearing properties, but many species can be toxic to our curious furry friends. Last year, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances—more than 10,000 of which were related to household plants and garden products. Don’t leave it up to Fido or Fluffy to keep themselves safe—stay informed with our new Petoxins app!
In cooperation with Treviso Media Group, the ASPCA has developed Petoxins, which is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch and includes toxic plant information compiled by our team of toxicologists. The application is a great tool when you’re shopping for new houseplants, planning your garden, or checking if the plants in your home or yard are toxic. Petoxins includes:
a searchable database of plants reported to adversely affect the health of dogs, cats and horses;
detailed profiles of each plant, including common and scientific names, images and a list of potential symptoms if ingested;
information to help you if your pet has ingested something toxic; and
one-touch dialing to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Petoxins is now available in the iTunes Store for the bargain price of $2.99. Download it today using this link, and you’ll always have the life-saving information you need right at your fingertips! (The app is also accessible by searching for the following keywords in the iTunes Store: pets, dogs, cats, horses, plants, flower, ASPCA, toxic, poisonous, first aid, vet, medical and symptoms.)
Please note, the information contained in our plant lists is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a compilation of the most frequently encountered plants. As always, if you think your pet is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, please contact your local veterinarian or our 24-hour emergency poison hotline at (888) 426-4435.
Homer is a polar bear of a pooch who’s eager to please his two- and four-legged friends. A quick study, he’s searching for a pet parent with a big heart and a good sense of humor, one happy to cuddle at home or frolic in the park.
Homer was returned to the ASPCA after three years, when his pet parents were forced to give up their pooch due to a new policy banning certain breeds and large dogs in NYC public housing. But like so many others affected by the new regulations, Homer is a loyal goofball who just wants a stable home.
If you’re interested in adopting this special pooch, please call our Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. Or to view other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
On Wednesday, New York City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito (District 8) introduced Intro. 86 related to the operation of horse-drawn carriages. The bill, supported by the ASPCA and our partners New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets (NY-CLASS), proposes a gradual phase-out of the city’s carriage horse industry.
Like taxi drivers, carriage horse operators must have a special license issued by the city. If passed, Intro. 86 would direct that as these licenses expire, they be replaced by licenses to operate hybrid-electric replicas of classic cars. Furthermore, no new carriage horse licenses would be issued after 2010, completing the phase-out by mid-2012. NY-CLASS and the ASPCA believe that elegant, “green” vintage cars are a humane alternative to carriage horses—they will enhance the city’s beauty, create a cleaner environment and won’t take jobs away from drivers.
As the primary enforcer of New York City’s carriage horse laws—with firsthand knowledge of ongoing problems and violations—the ASPCA has concluded that neither our city’s environment nor the current law can provide horses with the fundamental necessities to ensure their safety and well-being. To learn about legislation that supports animals in your community, join our online Advocacy Brigade, a free service that allows you to take action for animals right from your computer.
When a tip came in about the suspected abuse of a Bulldog pup named Spike, our Humane Law Enforcement Department took immediate action. Working hard to make New York City a safer place for its four-legged inhabitants, our Agents often rely on the brave and swift actions of concerned citizens who report acts of animal cruelty.
On March 3, Saverio Colarusso, a carriage driver from Manhattan's West 38th Street stable, appeared at the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) court in response to summonses issued by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents. The 49-year-old Queens resident pled guilty to operating a horse-drawn carriage while under the influence and received a $175 fine and a 30-day suspension of his carriage driver's license.
Colarusso was busted on January 5, when Special Agent Richie Ryan witnessed him drinking from a bottle of Michelob Light while operating his carriage on Central Park South. Further investigation turned up a number of empty bottles in his carriage. Special Agent Ryan issued him a DCA summons for operating a carriage while "under the influence of intoxicating liquors," section 2-212 (q) 6 of the Rules of the City of New York.
Special Agent Ryan is an equine specialist with the Humane Law Enforcement Department and his duties include monitoring the care and working conditions of New York City's carriage and riding horses. He enforces state and local carriage horse protection laws.
The ASPCA believes that our city's unique environment is incapable of ensuring that horses and their human passengers stay healthy and safe, and we have been fighting to get the horses off our noisy, congested streets. To learn more about the fundamental cruelty of New York City's carriage horse industry—and to see proposed humane alternatives and solutions—please visit our partner agency, NYCLASS.
On Monday, the ASPCA announced the Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative to help rescue retired racehorses from neglect, abuse and slaughter. The two-to-three year initiative, which was made possible by a generous donor, involves six equine rescue groups and sanctuaries that have accepted the challenge of saving more thoroughbreds than ever before.
While healthy, well cared-for horses live an average of 18 to 25 years (and often much longer), a racing horse’s career generally lasts only one or two years. “Racing thoroughbreds rarely live out their final days in peace and comfort when their careers are over,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Too often, they end up at auctions—or worse, are sent to foreign slaughterhouses where their lives come to brutal ends. These grants will give organizations devoted to equine rescue the ability to save more horses and further advance their missions.”
The six grant recipients are: California Equine Retirement Foundation in Winchester, CA; Old Friends in Georgetown, KY; MidAtlantic Horse Rescue in Chesapeake City, MD; Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Lexington, KY; Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation headquartered in Saratoga Springs, NY, with contracted housing in 14 states; and Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) in East Lansing, MI, with chapters in eight states. These recipients will use the grants to expand direct intake programs, incorporate physical therapy/rehabilitation programs, renovate facilities to accommodate more horses, create voucher programs to increase adoptions, and implement training programs for thoroughbreds to prepare them for second careers.
“The ASPCA truly values each group’s steadfast efforts to promote equine welfare,” says Jacque Schultz, Senior Director of ASPCA Community Outreach. “The thoroughbred that has given his all on the racetrack deserves to live out his life free of pain, fear and suffering.” For more information about helping horses and preventing equine cruelty, please visit ASPCA.org.
Buddy Lou is a gorgeous, older gent who came to the ASPCA after his pet parent passed away. At 10 years old, this tender Tabby was a perfect match for McKenna Moreau of Manhattan. We recently caught up with the new pet mom and her furry fella to see how Buddy Lou’s enjoying his new home.
ASPCA: When did you first meet Buddy Lou?
McKenna: Buddy Lou was the last cat I met when I visited the ASPCA in January. All of the cats were adorable in their own way, but I knew immediately that Lou was the one.
ASPCA: What won you over?
McKenna: I fell in love with his piercing green eyes, silky coat and playful demeanor. When he rolled over and showed me his belly, I knew it was time to bring him home!
ASPCA: How has Buddy Lou settled into his new home?
McKenna: It took about three days for Lou to get settled into his new home. Now, he dominates the space! I like to say that it's his apartment—I'm just living in it.
ASPCA: Does he have any funny, eccentric, or endearing habits?
McKenna: Lou sleeps in the weirdest positions. I can't imagine he’s comfortable when he splays himself belly-up across my lap, but he'd lie there for hours if he could!
ASPCA: What’s the best thing about adopting a pet?
McKenna: When I get home from work, I don't think about the stresses of the day or the list of to-dos piling up. I’m completely in the moment and ready to translate Buddy Lou's meows into a meal, a scratch on the head, or a little exercise.
ASPCA: What do you love most about Buddy Lou?
McKenna: He's such a positive guy—I like to think he makes me a better person!
When King first arrived at the ASPCA, he was in rough shape. The elder pooch had been seized by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers in September 2007, and suffered from an ear infection, hip dysplasia and various symptoms of neglect. After rest and treatment, he was eventually made available for adoption. Ashely Santana of New York, NY, was the lucky parent who fell for this big boy’s undeniable charm. We recently caught up with Ashely, who sent us a note detailing King’s happy adjustment to life in his cozy, new home—he even loves his kitty siblings!
In September 2008, I became an employee of the ASPCA—little did I know I would end up adopting a great dog about two weeks later! King, an adult Rottweiler, had been at the Adoption Center for some time and had become a staff favorite.
The second I saw him I knew he was meant to be mine, but my family wasn't sure about adopting a dog who was so big. I brought in my Miniature Poodle, Phoenix, to meet King, and the two got along great.
Now over a year later, King lives with Phoenix and two cats, including a kitten with whom he plays all day. He is a neighborhood favorite, especially with my landlord, who says he feels safer knowing King is watching out for the house. No longer the reserved Rottweiler I first met, King loves everyone he meets and even plays with babies!
I am so thankful to the ASPCA for helping me adopt the most amazing dog and for all the help and advice over the last year. King has found his forever home, and I couldn't imagine my life without him.
When two severely emaciated Jack Russell Terriers arrived at the New York City Animal Care & Control (AC&C) shelter in Brooklyn, staff immediately suspected they had a cruelty case on their hands. Brooklyn resident Vera Osborne had relinquished the starving dogs, claiming that her niece could no longer afford to feed them—and that she could no longer bear witness to it. One of the dogs, a two-year-old pup named Patches, died within hours of being admitted.
“Unfortunately, starvation is one of the most common types of cruelty we investigate,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. “Animal cruelty is a serious crime, and we are doing everything we can to see that the victims receive justice.”
AC&C contacted the ASPCA Humane Law Department for assistance with the case, and a necropsy performed at ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital confirmed that Patches’ cause of death was indeed starvation.
Soon after, ASPCA Special Agent Joe Vais began investigating Patches’ death, traveling to Osborne’s East Flatbush home for an interview. When questioned, Osborne again stated that the dogs were under the sole care of her niece, Rlisa Youell, and that after several failed attempts to have the dogs properly cared for, she turned them over to the shelter.
On February 24, Special Agent Vais arrested Youell and charged her with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.