We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2012 ASPCA Humane Awards. This group of outstanding people and animals includes a rescue dog with more than 5.5 million views on YouTube and a 10-year-old horse advocate who has appeared before Congress.
The 2012 ASPCA Humane Award winners include:
ASPCA Dog of the Year Abandoned in a trash heap, Fiona, an 11-year-old Poodle mix, was sick, covered in dirt, matted, infested with fleas and blind in both eyes. A Los Angeles-based animal rescue group Hope for Paws, came to Fiona’s aid, and with the help of hundreds of donors all over the world, they raised the funds for Fiona’s surgery. Fiona’s miraculous story of survival has since garnered more than 5.5 million views online, a testament to what can be accomplished when homeless animals get a second chance.
ASPCA Cat of the Year Scooter the cat was found on the street with no use of his back legs. He was rushed to Harts Run Veterinary Hospital in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. Visitors to the hospital instantly fell in love with the fluffy black and white kitten, and donated funds to purchase him a custom-made wheeled mobility device. Scooter now visits a nursing home and rehabilitation hospital every week and serves as a constant inspiration to the elderly and to patients who lack mobility due to injuries and strokes.
ASPCA "Tommy P. Monahan" Kid of the Year After hearing about the inhumane and cruel practice of horse slaughter, now 10-year-old Declan Gregg of Greenland, New Hampshire, decided to raise his voice and get involved. Declan started his own blog, Children 4 Horses, to spread the word about horse advocacy issues. His dedication to horse advocacy brought him to the nation’s capital twice in recent months, where he represented more than 1,000 children from the U.S. and abroad by presenting the letters to legislators in Congress.
When the M. Wells Dinette, which recently opened inside MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) PS1 in Queens, announced plans to add horse meat to its menu, New Yorkers did not take it lying down. In fact, animal lovers all over the nation joined the ASPCA in speaking out against the idea—and we’re thrilled to share the news that the restaurant’s owners have graciously agreed to keep horse meat off the menu…permanently.
“We are thrilled that the outpouring of concern and outrage coupled with startling health concerns about the toxicity of horse meat won the day, and the M. Wells Dinette decided to step away from this idea,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
A national poll conducted earlier this year showed that 80% of American voters oppose the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption—and that sentiment was certainly borne out over the past week in New York City, where the M. Wells story ignited a firestorm of media coverage as well as hundreds of letters and phone calls directly to MoMA’s offices.
The ASPCA urges all Americans to contact their federal legislators in support of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would prohibit the sale and transport of horses for slaughter in the United States, as well as across the border to Canada and Mexico. Passage of this critical legislation would end the current export and slaughter of approximately 100,000 American horses each year.
Hershey, before receiving treatment at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital
Today the ASPCA arrested Queens resident Grimilda Amil for allegedly neglecting and starving her three-year-old male Yorkshire terrier, who has been recovering under our care for nearly two months.
Amil brought her Yorkie, Hershey, to an ASPCA Mobile/Spay Neuter Clinic on June 27. Alarmed at Hershey’s condition, Clinic staff called our Humane Law Enforcement Agents, who quickly responded.
Amil relinquished ownership of Hershey to the ASPCA, and Agents transported the tiny dog to Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.
There, veterinarians determined Hershey— whom they found to be emaciated, anemic and suffering from pressure sores—had been starved. At that time, Hershey weighed just 5.2 pounds. Today he weighs in at 10.1 pounds, a 94% increase!
Hershey is completing his recovery in a caring ASPCA foster home. When he’s ready, he’ll be made available for adoption.
Amil, 55, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. She is due in Queens Criminal Court on October 4.
If you suspect you’ve witnessed animal cruelty, please don’t hesitate to report it.
Three-month-old Drew was skin and bones the day he arrived at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. His owner, Leedell Walker, claimed the pup had not been eating—then proceeded to give up custody of the dog and leave. The hospital team knew something was very wrong and contacted ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE).
After a full examination, forensic veterinarians confirmed that the near-death Drew was in a critical state of shock and severely anemic. The vets concluded that 37-pound Drew had been starved.
It didn’t take long to for HLE to conclude its case. Walker, 57, was arrested by Special Agent Bradley English and charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Walker is due in Kings County Criminal Court on June 11.
Drew continues his recovery, and now weighs 65 pounds—a 76 percent increase! This handsome boy will soon be made available for adoption.
If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, please report it.
Cagney and Lacy before receiving treatment at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital
Who could starve two puppies? Apparently, Gillian Irving could. On April 20, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Agent Ann Kelly arrested the 27-year-old Bronx woman for allegedly neglecting and starving her two seven-month-old Pit Bulls, Cagney and Lacey.
It was last February when HLE Agents first responded to a complaint that two skinny dogs were living inside Irving’s Bronx apartment. Upon arrival, Agents seized the two emaciated dogs and transported them to ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital for life-saving treatment. ASPCA veterinarians determined Cagney and Lacey had been starved—weighing only 16.4 and 15.2 pounds.
After receiving treatment, Cagney now weighs 27.1 pounds and Lacey weighs 26.9 pounds—a 65 and 77 percent increase, respectively. Both dogs are continuing their recovering at the hospital and will eventually be made available for adoption.
As a result of her actions, Irving was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. Irving is due in Bronx Criminal Court on August 22.
Take Action! We need you on our side! If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, please report it. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty in your neighborhood. And consider becoming an ASPCA Guardian—together we can fight animal cruelty across the country.
Busted! ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents have arrested Brooklyn resident Daniel Lawson for allegedly slicing the leg of his two-year-old male cat, Velet.
On Saturday, March 17, Agents responded to a complaint that a cat was brought into Animal Care & Control’s Brooklyn facility with a severe, six-inch cut to his right hind leg. Agents quickly brought Velet to ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. An ASPCA investigation determined that Lawson inflicted Velet’s wound with a metal bar.
Lawson, 24, was arrested by ASPCA Special Agent John Akdikmen and charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Lawson is due in Kings County Criminal Court on April 25.
ASPCA veterinarians expect Velet to make a full recovery. He’ll then become available for adoption!
If you know of an animal whose health is being compromised by neglect or abuse, please report it. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty in your neighborhood.
On Friday, March 16, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested a Queens man in the deadly beating of a cat. Richard Ferrugio, 49, is suspected of using a tire iron to bludgeon a black-and-white cat to death on the sidewalk in front of several witnesses—including children—then driving away from the scene.
The ASPCA investigated a call about the beating on March 8 and, after a thorough investigation, identified Ferrugio as the suspect. Ferrugio has been charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, Ferrugio could face up to two years in prison on the animal cruelty count.
This alleged animal abuser is now facing the consequences thanks to a citizen who took action. If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, don’t wait—report it!
How could she? Last Saturday,the ASPCA arrested Nicole Dennis for allegedly neglecting and starving her one-year-old Shih Tzu, Dora.
Back in December, our Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrived at Dennis’ Brooklyn home and found Dora in a severely neglected state. They rushed the skeletal dog to the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital where veterinarians discovered she weighed 6.55 pounds. Dora was put on intravenous fluids to combat dehydration, and her coat was shaved due to excessive, painful matting.
“You don’t have to hit, beat or kick an animal to be cruel to them,” says Howard Lawrence, Senior Director of Operations for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department. “Animal cruelty also includes situations where an owner fails to provide necessary food, water, shelter or veterinary care.” Since 2010, 83 percent of the ASPCA’s arrests have involved some form of animal neglect.
Dennis, 32, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. She is due in Kings County Criminal Court on March 5.
After receiving intensive treatment, Dora now weighs 9.2 pounds—a 40 percent increase! She is continuing her recovery at the hospital and will eventually be made available for adoption.
If you suspect an animal may be the victim of neglect or abuse, please report it.
The storm has arrived in New York City. As the evacuation centers continue to fill with families, the ASPCA is focusing on providing care for their pets. "We expect the full impact of the storm to hit early tomorrow morning and have spent the day preparing and planning our response to any situation that may arise," says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response.
Our responders have been deployed to evacuation centers in all five boroughs of New York City. We’ve also created a hotline that evacuation centers can call to receive additional pet supplies and support.
"Our thoughts are with all of the families bracing for the impact of Hurricane Irene, and with those who are now faced with her aftermath," says Rickey. Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for more on this story.
As Hurricane Irene continues its projected course towards New York City, the ASPCA is helping pet parents prepare for the worst-case scenario.
All evacuation centers in New York and New Jersey are required to accept animals. Please don’t leave your pets behind!
Not sure if you’re in an evacuation zone? Visit this map to see if your home falls in a location currently required to evacuate.
All New York City taxis are required to transport pets. The city’s public transit system shut down at noon on Saturday, and the mayor reports that it is unlikely to resume service for several days.
If you haven’t already, please stock up on food, water, batteries, first aid kits and other emergency supplies to keep yourself and your pets safe during a storm or prolonged power outage.
Stay indoors! Irene is a slow-moving storm and will likely result in unpredictable surges and high-speed winds. Keep your pets with you at all times.
ASPCA responders are currently on site at emergency facilities across the five boroughs, and are ready to offer support and relief to the city’s pets and their families. For all the latest on Hurricane Irene and the ASPCA’s response, please stay tuned to ASPCA.org.