NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it is accepting nominations for the 2015 ASPCA Humane Awards and invites the public to contribute submissions. The Humane Awards honor animal heroes as well as individuals who have made a significant impact on the lives of animals during the year. The ASPCA is accepting nominations via its website at www.aspca.org/halnominations.
“The ASPCA Humane Awards celebrates the unique bond between people and pets by honoring individuals committed to the protection of animals, as well as dogs and cats whose experiences represent the urgency behind our mission,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “We’re looking for stories that deserve attention and can inspire people across the country to be a voice for animals in crisis.”
Last year’s winners include a dog rescued in the 2007 Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting investigation who went on to become a therapy dog for terminally-ill children; a formerly sick and emaciated cat found on the side of the road who now offers comfort to psychiatric patients in a Washington state hospital; a selfless 11-year-old girl who used her one wish to help animals while battling a cancerous brain tumor; a U.S. Congressman who was one of Capitol Hill’s strongest voices for animal welfare throughout his twelve terms; a police department that entered into a ground-breaking partnership to enforce anti-cruelty laws in the largest city in America; and a woman dedicated to keeping vulnerable pets with their owners by providing them with life-saving resources and services.
ASPCA Humane Awards winners will be invited to attend the ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon—sponsored by the Hartville Group Inc., provider of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance—on Thursday, November 12, at Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City, where the awards will be presented.
Categories open for nomination include:

  • ASPCA Dog of the Year:For a dog who has performed a heroic act in the past year;
  • ASPCA Cat of the Year: For a cat who has performed a heroic act in the past year;
  • ASPCA “Tommy P. Monahan” Kid of the Year:  For a child under 14 who has improved the lives of animals
  • ASPCA Public Service Award: For a public service officer or official who has made a heroic effort to save an animal in the past year, or has demonstrated a commitment to animal welfare throughout his or her career.

All submissions must include the nominee’s name, street address, email address, telephone number, the category for which he/she is being nominated, and a short statement (400 words or less) of why this person or animal deserves the award. 
The deadline for entries is Friday, July 3, 2015. Winners will be chosen by a committee selected by the ASPCA and announced to the public in mid-October. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org/HAL    
About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visitwww.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
About Hartville Group, Inc. The Humane Awards Luncheon is sponsored by Hartville Pet Insurance Group, a member of the Crum & Forster Enterprise. Crum & Forster is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings, Ltd. Hartville is the ASPCA®'s only strategic partner for pet insurance and one of the oldest and largest pet insurance carriers in the US. Through this partnership with the ASPCA®, Hartville developed the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program to help pet parents across the country afford quality veterinary care for their pets. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans embody the mission of the ASPCA® by helping pets receive the medical care necessary to live long and happy lives with their human families. The ASPCA® chose Hartville as its strategic partner because of Hartville’s commitment to pet health and its humane coverage philosophy. For more information, please visit www.aspcapetinsurance.com.

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ASPCA urges North Carolina lawmakers to vote no on ag-gag bill

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is urging North Carolina lawmakers to reject HB 405, legislation that would prevent whistleblowers from exposing animal cruelty, food safety violations and other factory farm atrocities the public deserves to know about. In a newly released poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, 74 percent of North Carolina voters say they support undercover investigations by animal welfare groups on farms. Furthermore, by a margin of nearly 3 to 1, North Carolina voters oppose legislation that would prevent these undercover investigations. Opposition to this bill is strong across all parties, regions, and demographics. HB 405, which passed the House of Representatives in April, is expected to be heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce today.

“North Carolina residents are clearly appalled by HB 405, an insidious attempt to cover up horrific abuse on factory farms,” said Chloe Waterman, senior manager of state legislative strategy for the ASPCA. “The ASPCA urges the North Carolina Senate to take heed of the strong desire of its constituents to know what is happening behind barn doors by defeating HB 405.”

This ag-gag bill threatens to cover up not only horrific animal abuse and food safety problems, but also illegal or unethical environmental and labor violations at any business. HB 405 is so far-reaching that it could even prevent nurses from revealing elder abuse in hospitals and nursing homes, teachers from exposing child abuse in day care centers, and employees from documenting workplace discrimination or mistreatment.

Last week, the animal welfare group, Compassion Over Killing, released footage from an undercover investigation at a North Carolina chicken slaughterhouse. Filmed during March and April 2015, this video captured workers violently tossing birds across the facility, slamming birds upside down into moving shackles, and throwing sick and injured birds in with piles of dead birds as if they were trash. If HB 405 were to become law, investigations documenting this type of cruelty would never see the light of day. Past investigations of industrial farms have led to major food recalls, criminal convictions and critical reforms.

“North Carolinians value farm animal welfare and a safe food supply and this poll shows that they respect the role of whistleblowers in our society,” said Daisy Freund, senior manager of Farm Animal Welfare for the ASPCA. “The ASPCA hopes lawmakers listen to their constituents and protect their right to know how their food is produced.”

In an effort to bring more transparency to practices on factory farms, the ASPCA recently launched the #OpenTheBarns campaign, a rallying cry for advocates representing interests as diverse as animal welfare, food, safety, workers’ rights, environmental protection and civil liberties. The social media campaign encourages advocates to share their reasons to “open the barns” and protect the public’s right to know what happens on farms.

To learn more about the ASPCA or to join the Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Animal welfare organizations support Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 22, 2015) — Federal lawmakers today introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1942, was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.). The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Legislative Fund announced their enthusiastic support for the legislation.
Last year, more than 140,000 American horses were slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries. The animals often suffer long journeys to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico without adequate food, water or rest. At the slaughterhouse, horses are  brutally forced into a “kill box” and shot in the head with a captive bolt gun in an attempt to stun them before slaughter—a process that can be inaccurate due to the biology and nature of equines and result in animals sustaining repeated blows or remaining conscious during the kill process.
“For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride,” said Rep. Guinta. “To that end, horses are not raised for food – permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product.  This bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food.”
“Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “We must fight those practices. The SAFE Act of 2015 will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve.”
“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is an absolute travesty that must be stopped,” said Rep. Buchanan.  “This bipartisan measure will finally put an end to this barbaric practice.”
"Horse slaughter is an inhumane practice that causes great pain and distress to the animals, and poses numerous environmental and food safety concerns,” said Rep. Lujan Grisham. “The vast majority of my constituents oppose horse slaughter. I'm proud to support the SAFE Act to ban this cruelty once and for all."
The SAFE Act would also protect consumers from dangerous American horse meat, which can be toxic to humans due to the unregulated administration of drugs to horses. Because horses are not raised for food, they are routinely given hundreds of toxic drugs and chemical treatments over their lifetimes that are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption. Those drugs, although safe for horses, are potentially toxic to humans if consumed. In December 2014, the European Union (EU) announced its suspension of imports of horse meat from Mexico after a scathing audit of EU-certified Mexican horse slaughter plants, which kill tens of thousands of American horses each year. Additionally, the discovery of horse meat in beef products in Europe shocked consumers and raised concerns about the potential impact on American food industries.
The ASPCA, AWI, and The HSUS encourage the public to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to cosponsor the SAFE Act, H.R. 1942, in order to protect America’s horses and overall consumer health from horse slaughter.

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About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About AWI The Animal Welfare Institute (www.awionline.org) is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people.  AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and other important animal protection news.

About The HSUS The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals and people, and visit us online at humanesociety.org.

ASPCA #HelpAHorse contest will award $50,000 in grant prizes to equine organizations across the country

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the participants in its 2015 ASPCA Help a Horse Day grants contest. The nationwide competition of equine rescues and sanctuaries is designed to raise awareness about the year-round lifesaving work they do to care for local at-risk horses who’ve been abused, neglected or find themselves homeless. Participating rescue groups will be competing for the chance to win up to $10,000 in grant prizes to assist their efforts to protect horses. The groups will be judged on the creativity of their events, as well as their ability to engage their local communities. This year the contest has expanded to recognize seven winners.

“The equine rescues and sanctuaries that step in to care for abused or neglected horses give them a much-deserved new lease on life, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to expand the contest this year to recognize even more groups for their hard work,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and creativity of last year’s participants, and look forward to seeing what new ideas our repeat participants incorporate into their ASPCA Help a Horse Day events.  We are also excited to welcome many new groups who will be participating for the first time.”

This year, 110 groups will be hosting events across 33 states during the weekend of April 24-26. Activities include open houses, education programs, spring festivals, hoe-downs, barn raisings, 5K walks and other fun-filled events.  ASPCA Help a Horse Day is celebrated annually on April 26 – a date chosen for its significance to the ASPCA’s long history of horse protection. In 1866, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for horse mistreatment on April 26 of that year. The protection of horses has been a core part of the ASPCA mission ever since, which includes supporting equine welfare legislation, advocacy, rescue and targeted grants.

The ASPCA has also launched a petition on TakePart.com, urging the U.S. Congress to pass a federal ban on horse slaughter. Each year, approximately 150,000 American horses are purchased and trucked to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption. The vast majority of these horses (92 percent per USDA) are in good physical condition and could go on to lead productive lives in loving homes. Horse slaughter is especially inhumane because horses, skittish by nature, are extremely difficult to render unconscious before slaughter. Horse slaughter is a cruel, predatory industry, and as long as sending American horses to slaughter for human consumption abroad remains a legal option, thousands of equines will be vulnerable at local horse auctions where kill buyers are present.

Last year, the ASPCA awarded over $1.1 million in grants to support 169 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country. The grants were primarily awarded as part of the ASPCA Equine Fund, which provides life-saving resources – including financial assistance, in-person and online training, and sharing of best practices -- to support non-profit equine welfare organizations.

For more information about ASPCA Help a Horse Day or to see if there is an event near you, please visit www.aspca.org/helpahorse.

About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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"Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport" Will Celebrate Shelter Underdogs and Animal Adoption

NEW YORK, NY—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is one of three animal welfare organizations nationwide to be featured in this weekend’s primetime television special “Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport,” which will showcase the special appeal of shelter pets. The program will air locally on NBC® 4 New York on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 7 p.m. ET and on NBC Owned Television Stations and NECN.  Viewers in other markets should check their local listings for airtimes. 
With the help of beloved actress and comedian Betty White, Olympic superstar skier Lindsey Vonn, singer Emmylou Harris and other celebrities, the half-hour special will highlight adoption centers from around the country on a search for the country’s most loveable rescue dogs. NBC correspondent, award-winning animal advocate and author Jill Rappaport is the creator, executive producer and host. 
“Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport” features categories of dogs often overlooked for adoption such as seniors, pit bulls, mutts and three-legged dogs. At each shelter, these canines will be judged by celebrity animal advocates including: journalist and host of HBO’s® Real Sports Bryant Gumbel and wife and author Hilary Gumbel at Main Line Animal Rescue® in Pennsylvania; teen actor Lou Wegner at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in California; and singer/actress Bernadette Peters at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City. One dog from each shelter will be named “Best in Shelter” and rewarded with a year’s supply of a food-filled care package from show sponsor Blue Buffalo.
“Shelter pets should be celebrated and protected, regardless of the circumstances that put them in peril,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker. "The ASPCA segment features three pit bull-type dogs who were brought to the ASPCA by the NYPD and were rehabilitated and cared for by our staff so that they could be adopted into loving homes.”
Bershadker added: "Jill shares our passion for helping animal victims of cruelty and homelessness find homes, and I have no doubt this program will help save the lives of the many loving and loyal dogs--just like the ones featured--at nearby shelters."
“This show is about saving lives and finding them ALL forever loving homes,” said Jill Rappaport. “It has been my dream for years to do a show that shines a light on the plight of shelter animals, and the wonderful heart and souls they possess!”
Subaru of America, Inc., show sponsor and ASPCA Corporate Partner, has also been a long-standing supporter of animal causes. 
"Since 2007, Subaru has donated $12 million to the ASPCA and organized over 1,200 adoption events at animal shelters and at Subaru retailers nationwide,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “Animal welfare is an important part of the Subaru brand and we are very proud to support Jill's mission to raise awareness for rescue dogs, especially those under-rescued animals featured in Best In Shelter."
The ASPCA estimates that of the approximately 7.6 million pets who enter animal shelters each year, approximately 2.7 million are euthanized.
About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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ASPCA aims to keep Midwest pets safe during disasters through grants to local groups

New York, N.Y.—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the first grant recipients as part of its Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program—a program that provides much-needed funding, training, and expertise to local communities to better serve and assist animals and pet owners during and after disasters.

The Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program enables the ASPCA to work with communities in disaster-prone areas to enhance their ability to respond to animals and pet owners affected by disasters. The program assists animal welfare organizations and government agencies in Midwestern states, which experience a high frequency of disasters yet garner little attention or support.  

“Animals are often overlooked when it comes to disaster planning,” said Elizabeth Dominguez, ASPCA disaster response manager. “Communities must be prepared to rescue, shelter and provide emergency care for pets, as we’ve seen pet owners put their own lives in jeopardy if the local community doesn’t have a system in place to assist or accommodate their pets. This is especially important in vulnerable areas like the Midwest, which experience higher rates of natural disasters.”

Through the Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program, the ASPCA is providing more than $50,000 to the below groups:

  • Animal Rescue League Of Iowa (Des Moines, Iowa) for water rescue equipment and water rescue training.
  • Beadle County Humane Society (Huron, S.D.) for rescue supplies and kennels to increase sheltering capacity.
  • Benton Animal Control and Adoption Center (Benton, Ark.) for disaster sheltering equipment.
  • Butler County Kansas Animal Response Team (Augusta, Kan.) for emergency response equipment.
  • City of Sherwood Department of Humane Animal Services (Sherwood, Ark.) for disaster sheltering equipment.
  • City of St. Cloud, Minn. for disaster preparedness equipment.
  • Enid SPCA (Enid, Okla.) for funds to create a Garfield County Animal Response Team (CART).
  • Faulkner County Animal Response Team (Conway, Ark.) for disaster sheltering equipment.
  • Johnson County Animal Response Team (Lenexa, Kan.) for emergency trailer and rescue equipment.
  • Kingman Pratt Area Animal Response Team (Cheney, Kan.) for emergency storage trailer.
  • Kansas SART, Inc. (Wichita, Kan.) for animal rescue courses instructed by ASPCA experts and registration costs for emergency response exercises.
  • Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (St. Paul, Minn.) for the creation of a Minnesota State Animal Response Team (SART).
  • Nebraska Humane Society (Omaha, Neb.) for large animal handling training for emergency responders in Omaha, Neb., Lincoln, Neb. and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
  • Springfield-Greene County Community Emergency Response Team (Springfield, Mo.) for sheltering equipment, trailers and computers.

In addition to launching the ASPCA Midwest Disaster Resiliency Program, the ASPCA has been working with PetSmart Charities, Inc. to support animal welfare organizations across the country by providing the equipment and supplies necessary to respond to large-scale disasters. PetSmart Charities has provided its first cache grant of $6,550 to Nebraska Humane Society for disaster response equipment including crates and other sheltering supplies that will allow them to board and care for an increased number of animals in the event of a disaster.

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters around the country, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Joplin tornado in 2011, in addition to being called upon by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

Organizations interested in applying for funding or assistance through the program should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Organizations outside of the Midwest seeking disaster response funding should visit: http://www.aspcapro.org/resource/grants/aspca-grant-application-process

About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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ASPCA Commends Gov. Christie for Signing Bill to Regulate Pet Stores

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commended New Jersey legislators Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean), Asm. Gregory McGuckin (R-Ocean), Asm. David Wolfe (R-Ocean) and Gov. Chris Christie for enacting a measure to create more accountability in New Jersey’s pet store industry. The new law requires state pet stores to disclose the origins of the dogs they sell. It also prohibits pet stores from sourcing animals from breeders who fail to meet even the most basic care standards prescribed by federal and state law

“The ASPCA thanks New Jersey lawmakers and Gov. Christie for taking this positive step toward more humane sourcing of puppies by New Jersey pet stores, which will put pressure on the commercial breeding industry nationwide to end puppy mill cruelty,” said Debora Bresch, Esq., senior director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Mid-Atlantic region, and a New Jersey resident. “This new law is critical to our continued effort to end the inhumane treatment of dogs in commercial breeding facilities that exploit both dogs and consumers in pursuit of profit.”

Specifically, the new law requires New Jersey pet stores to provide consumers with the identity of the breeders and brokers from which they obtain puppies for resale in the Garden State. Additionally, it prohibits them from using breeders or brokers that do not comply with New Jersey state care standards or have been cited by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors for welfare-related violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

To raise awareness of the cruel conditions found in puppy mills, the ASPCA developed a tool on their “No Pet Store Puppies” website that links pet stores with USDA licensed commercial dog breeders that supply them with puppies. The database features over 17,000 photos taken during routine USDA inspections, allowing the public to see first-hand where pet store puppies really come from.

For more information about the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit http://www.aspca.org.

 

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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New ‘Help a Horse Day’ contest and other initiatives fueled awareness and advocacy of equine protection

NEW YORK— The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that in 2014 its Equine Fund awarded over $1.1 million in grants to support 169 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country. The grant money supported several areas of equine welfare including emergency food grants, training scholarships, a new nationwide contest held on ASPCA Help a Horse Day, and the Rescuing Racers Initiative, which aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter.

“Racehorses are just as susceptible as other horses to being sent to livestock auctions and then on to the slaughterhouse, when their racing days are over,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “The ASPCA is grateful to our special supporters who enable us to keep these horses safe by providing assistance to equine rescues who transition ex-racers out of the racing stable and into new homes in someone’s show barn or farm paddock.”

In 2014, more than 80 equine rescue groups held events across 32 states to raise awareness about equine protection for ASPCA Help a Horse Day, celebrated annually on April 26 – a date chosen for its significance to the ASPCA’s long history of horse protection. In 1866, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh stopped a cart driver from beating his horse, resulting in the first successful arrest for horse mistreatment on April 26 of that year. The protection of horses has remained a core part of the ASPCA’s mission ever since, including legislation, advocacy, rescue and targeted grants.

“We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and creativity of the equine rescue groups that participated in the first ASPCA Help a Horse Day celebration contest,” said Schultz. “We continue to be inspired by their year-round commitment to equine welfare and we can’t wait to see what new ideas they come up with in 2015 to further protect horses.”

California, the state with the largest number of equine rescues and sanctuaries, as well as some of the nation’s highest hay costs, led the ASPCA Equine Fund grant recipients with 35 grants. New York followed in second place with 11 grants, while Oregon, Florida and Kentucky were all tied with 10 grants each.

The ASPCA Equine Fund provides grants to non-profit, U.S. equine welfare organizations who work to rescue and protect horses. The grants benefit equine organizations striving to achieve best practices both in nonprofit management and equine care.
To learn more about the ASPCA Equine Fund and 2014 grantees, visit www.aspcapro.org.

About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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S.B. 177 will allow domestic violence victims to keep their pets safe during crises

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauds Ohio lawmakers for passing S.B. 177, which will help Ohio’s families and companion animals by giving judges the clear legal authority to include pets in protective orders for victims of domestic violence. The bill now heads to Gov. John Kasich to be signed into law.

“Too often, victims will not flee an abusive situation if they have to leave a pet behind, unprotected,” said Vicki Deisner, Midwest legislative director for the ASPCA. “No one should have to make the impossible choice between escaping an abusive situation and ensuring their pet’s safety. The ASPCA urges Governor Kasich to quickly sign this bill into law to address this pervasive problem and protect Ohio families and their pets.”

Research shows that 71 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters report that their abuser threatened, harmed or killed a family pet. Even more concerning, as many as 50 percent of domestic violence victims remain in abusive situations for fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind. Despite the frequency and severity of this problem, only a small percentage of domestic violence shelters across the country accommodate pets.

“The inability to flee an abusive relationship places domestic violence victims, their children and pets at a much greater risk of emotional and physical trauma, and even death,” said Deisner. “The ASPCA thanks Senators Michael Skindell (D-Cleveland) and Jim Hughes (R-Columbus), and Representatives Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) and Marilyn Slaby (R-Copley) for their diligent efforts to pass this legislation as it will encourage victims to seek help and give them the security they need to escape a dangerous environment.”

Twenty-seven U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have enacted laws that include provisions for pets in orders of protection, and earlier this year, the U.S. Congress introduced federal legislation to expand existing federal domestic violence protections to include pets of domestic violence victims. The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act amends the Violence Against Women Act’s interstate stalking provisions to make crossing state lines to injure pets a punishable offense. It also adds veterinary care to the list of restitution costs that can be recovered by victims, establishes a federal grant program designed to help domestic violence victims safely house their pets, and expresses a recommendation by Congress that states should include pets in protective orders.

For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA® Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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As part of 7th annual Subaru “Share the Love” event, ASPCA and Subaru provide grant funding for nationwide animal transports, adoption events

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the launch of the second straight year of its “Rescue Ride” program as part of the annual Subaru “Share the Love” event. The ASPCA “Rescue Ride” program will help transport thousands of homeless dogs from overcrowded shelters to ones in which they have a better chance of being adopted this holiday season.  Thanks to funding from the annual “Share the Love” event, the program will grant a total of $100,000 in funding to 19 organizations to cover transportation costs.  

This is the seventh consecutive year that the ASPCA has been a beneficiary of the Subaru “Share the Love” event.

In addition to the “Rescue Ride” program, this year the ASPCA has distributed over $160,000 in grants to 50 local animal welfare organizations to host pet adoption-related events and promotions at local Subaru retailers to save lives and raise awareness for animals in need.

“The holidays are a perfect time to rescue an animal and bring it into your home.  With the support of Subaru for the ‘Rescue Ride’ grant program, we can help more homeless pets be relocated to communities where shelters have more empty cages and there is a higher demand for these types of animals,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “This grant program ̶ along with the adoption events taking place across the country ̶ will help thousands of animals find homes.”

This year, the ASPCA expanded its national animal relocation program to Los Angeles, Calif., where ASPCA staff performs weekly transports to move animals out of overcrowded Los Angeles shelters. Of the 19 grant recipients from the 2014 “Rescue Ride” program, there are four organizations who are working to relocate animals from the Los Angeles area. The ASPCA’s efforts to support animal relocation programs in Los Angeles is part of the organization’s overall multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to the Los Angeles metropolitan area announced earlier this year.

During the “Share the Love” event – which runs from November 20, 2014 through January 2, 2015 – Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased to the customer's choice of participating charities, including the ASPCA. Subaru will give up to $15,000,000 in total, with a minimum donation of $250,000 to each of the four national charities.

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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