ASPCA responders dispatched to rescue pets and large animals during devastating floods

Baton Rouge, La.— At the request of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has dispatched its disaster response team to conduct water rescue for animals displaced by severe flooding spanning East Baton Rouge and Lafayette Parish. At least six people have died in the disaster, and approximately 20,000 residents have been displaced.

The ASPCA is working with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) to coordinate local resources required to rescue the large number of animals displaced by the flash floods. Residents who need assistance with recovering a pet from their home or emergency sheltering for their pets are encouraged to contact the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP). Residents can find contact information for their parish’s OHSEP office at http://gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa.  

“If you evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind,” said Dr. Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “Many people consider pets as family members, and losing a pet on top of this already tragic situation can be horribly stressful. We want to give people peace of mind while they cope with this crisis by making sure their pets are safe.”

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team frequently responds to natural disasters including wildfires, tornadoes and floods. In addition, they are called on by state and municipal governments and other animal welfare partners to lend expertise during large-scale animal rescue operations.

The ASPCA also has a disaster preparedness mobile app which advises pet owners on what to do before, during, and after a disaster. The app, which works even without internet connectivity, also provides personalized instructions on how to search for and recover lost animals in a variety of circumstances.

More information on the ASPCA’s disaster response efforts can be found at http://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/field-investigations-and-response-team/natural-disasters.


        
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###

 

Dogs transported to temporary shelter to receive medical care

Madison, Tenn.—At the request of Metro Animal Care and Control, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today removed 41 dogs from Happy Endings Animal Rescue (HEAR), a self-described no-kill dog rescue eight miles north of Nashville, Tenn. The Nashville Police Department executed a warrant Tuesday morning for the removal of the dogs, and the owner was arrested on charges of animal cruelty.

The seizure is the result of numerous public complaints about conditions at HEAR, which has been operating for 19 years. HEAR’s website states it is “the largest privately run non-profit animal rescue in Nashville”.

The dogs—including Chow, Pit Bull, Shepherd mixes and other medium to large breed dogs—were living in feces and filth inside an overcrowded house and outdoor kennels. One room alone held 22 dogs, with feces covering the floor. The dogs were suffering from medical issues including emaciation, dental disease, and severe hair loss. Some were not spayed or neutered and had no access to food or water.

“What we found here is horrific,” said Kathryn Destreza, Investigations Director for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team. “This facility claimed to be a safe place for animals, but the truth is these dogs were suffering greatly, both physically and mentally. Our immediate goal is to get them much-needed medical attention at our temporary shelter.”

“We are glad to have the expertise and experience that the ASPCA brings to this case,” said Rebecca Morris spokesperson for Metro Animal Care and Control “We are pleased that the animals will be receiving the necessary medical care and attention they deserve.”

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team is removing and transporting the dogs to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will receive medical exams and behavioral assessments. The ASPCA will continue to care for the dogs at the temporary shelter until their custody is determined by the court. They will also provide ongoing legal support until resolution of the criminal case.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (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.

###

 

ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative has granted over $2 million to protect former racehorses from
being sent to slaughter

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has granted $200,000 to 18 equine rescue groups across the country to assist their efforts to rescue and rehabilitate retired racehorses. The grants were awarded as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, a major grants program that launched in 2010 and provides funding for equine rescues and sanctuaries that protect retired racers by offering alternatives to slaughter. Now in its seventh year, the program has awarded over $2 million to retired racers to prepare them for life after their racing careers come to an end.

“The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative allows us to provide much-needed grant funding to the many equine rescue groups around the country who provide critical resources to former racehorses, offering them medical rehabilitation, re-training or sanctuary to prevent them from being sent to slaughter,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “Their racing careers may have ended, but these retirees still have much to offer as they transition into new and varied careers – a process that requires significant time and resources.”

Selected recipients include a wide range of equine rescues from 12 states, who will each be awarded a grant ranging from $5,000–$24,000, to help the groups increase their capacity for rescuing more horses. The organizations joining the list of rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2016 are:

  • After the Homestretch, Ariz.
  • CANTER/National
  • CANTER, Mich.
  • CANTER, OH
  • The Exceller Fund Inc., Ky.
  • Foxie G Foundation Inc., Md.
  • Friends of Ferdinand, Ind.
  • Kentucky Equine Humane Center Inc., Ky.
  • Makers Mark Secretariat Center, Ky.
  • MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Inc., Md.
  • Neigh Savers Foundation Inc., Calif.
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Ky. and OH
  • Old Friends Inc., Ky.
  • Racer Placers, Wis.
  • ReRun Inc., N.Y.
  • Safe Harbor Equine and Livestock Sanctuary, Tenn.
  • Standardbred Retirement Foundation, N.J.
  • Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Ky.

In 2015, the ASPCA awarded over $1 million in grants to support 124 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country. The grant money supported several areas of equine welfare including large-scale rehabilitation, emergency relief grants, safety net programs, and ASPCA Help a Horse Day, a nationwide grants competition of equine rescues and sanctuaries that 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.

Horses have been central to the ASPCA mission since the organization’s founding 150 years ago. The ASPCA’s efforts to further equine protection include supporting equine welfare through legislation, public advocacy, professional development, horse rescue and targeted grants. Most recently the ASPCA launched a broad “Adopt a Horse” public service campaign featuring “2 Broke Girls” actress and horse advocate Beth Behrs and her rescue horse Belle, to encourage potential horse owners to make adoption their first option. The campaign highlights the many benefits of adopting a horse from one of the nation’s hundreds of equine rescue groups. It also aims to connect the many horses in need of permanent homes with the 2.3 million Americans who, according to a recent survey, say they have adequate space, resources, and strong interest in adopting a horse.

To learn more about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###

 

Eleven equine rescues receive grants in recognition of their efforts to protect horses

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today revealed the eleven winners of the third annual ASPCA Help a Horse Day contest, a nationwide grant competition for equine rescues and sanctuaries to raise awareness about the year-round work they do to save and care for at-risk horses. The grand prize winner received a $25,000 grant, while ten runners-up were awarded grants of $10,000 or $5,000 to support their ongoing efforts to protect horses. The winning groups include:

$25,000 Grand Prize Winner:

  • Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary, Green Valley, Ariz.

$10,000 Prize Winners:

  • All About Equine Animal Rescue, El Dorado Hills, Calif.
  • Begin Again Horse Rescue, Honeoye, N.Y.
  • California Coastal Horse Rescue, Oak View, Calif.
  • Hidden Acres Thoroughbred Rescue, Cocoa, Fla.
  • The Pegasus Project, Ben Wheeler, TX

$5,000 Prize Winners:

  • Blue Rose Ranch, Springfield, Colo.
  • Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, Owings, Md.
  • HiCaliber Horse Rescue, Valley Center, Calif.
  • Horse Protection League, Arvada, Colo.
  • Horses of Tir Na Nog, San Diego, Calif.

“In honor of the ASPCA’s 150th anniversary this year, we expanded our Help a Horse Day celebration to recognize even more groups for their incredible work engaging their communities and spreading the word about how to protect horses,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response and thrilled to welcome twice as many participants to the contest this year. There are so many deserving equine rescues and sanctuaries, and we are pleased to help them provide vital services to at-risk horses around the country.”

Adding to the excitement surrounding this year’s contest was “2 Broke Girls” actress and horse advocate Beth Behrs, who teamed up with the ASPCA to help spread the word about the everyday heroes who work tirelessly to care for and rehabilitate horses like her own adopted horse, Belle.

More than 33,000 community members came out to support the 187 groups holding celebrations across the country in April, and winners were selected based on the creativity of their events, as well as their success engaging their local communities. This year’s events included movie screenings, book signings, family fairs and spring festivals, and even a mini horse wedding. The groups reported record fundraising efforts through these events, with several raising $50,000 or more to assist their rescue work.

Horses have been central to the ASPCA mission since the organization’s founding 150 years ago. The ASPCA’s efforts to further equine protection include supporting equine welfare through legislation, public advocacy, professional development, horse rescue, and targeted grants. Most recently the ASPCA launched a broad “Adopt a Horse” public service campaign featuring Beth Behrs and her rescue horse Belle, to encourage potential horse owners to pledge to make adoption their first option. The campaign highlights the many benefits of adopting a horse from one of the nation’s hundreds of equine rescue groups. It also aims to connect the many horses in need of permanent homes with the 2.3 million Americans who, according to a recent survey, say they have adequate space, resources, and strong interest in adopting a horse.

On April 10, the ASPCA launched a months-long celebration of its 150th anniversary with ASPCA 150: Come To Their Rescue – a national campaign honoring the ASPCA’s 150 years of animal rescue by inspiring public acts of compassion that will help save and protect dogs, cats, horses and farm animals from cruelty. For 150 days, the ASPCA is encouraging animal lovers to visit ASPCA.org/150days and pledge at least 15 minutes of their time to helping animals in need, toward an ultimate goal of 150,000 acts of compassion through September 7, 2016.

For more information about ASPCA Help a Horse Day, please visit http://www.aspca.org/helpahorse.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###

 

Appropriations bill will prevent U.S. horse slaughter operations in FY2017 by eliminating funding for horse slaughter inspections

WASHINGTON—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commends the members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for approving an anti-horse slaughter amendment to its fiscal year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The Udall-Kirk Amendment, introduced by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), and cosponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Jack Reed (D-RI) was passed in the full committee by a bipartisan vote and will continue a ban on the gruesome horse slaughter industry on U.S. soil by preventing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using taxpayer dollars to conduct horse slaughter inspections, which is a requirement for slaughterhouses to operate. An identical amendment was approved by the House Appropriations Committee in April.

“Horse slaughter is inherently cruel, environmentally and economically devastating to local communities and unsafe for foreign consumers,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Eighty percent of American voters oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption and now that both the House and Senate have approved this language we are one step closer to prohibiting the irresponsible and wasteful use of taxpayer dollars to fund this brutal practice. We are grateful to Senators Udall and Kirk for introducing this amendment to ensure this grisly industry does not establish itself in the U.S.”

"New Mexicans regularly write and call asking me to ensure we never allow horse slaughter in the United States, and this amendment will ensure no federal dollars are used to allow the practice to exist," Udall said. "Horses are a beautiful symbol of Western independence. Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption repulsive, and they have no tolerance for attempts to open horse slaughtering plants. This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States." 

"Illinois banned horse slaughter in 2007 and I support the end of the practice in the United States,” said Sen. Kirk. “Americans have a long-established history with horses and overwhelmingly reject their slaughter for profit."

A recent Edge Research poll commissioned by the ASPCA shows that 2.3 million Americans have adequate space, resources, and strong interest in adopting horses. This new data suggests that there are more than enough homes available for the 125,000 American horses shipped to Canada and Mexico last year to be slaughtered for human consumption. The majority of these horses – 92 percent, according to the USDA – are young, healthy animals who could otherwise go on to lead productive lives with loving owners.

Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, the methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. In addition, meat from American horses is unsafe for human consumption since horses are not raised as food animals. They are routinely given medications and other substances that are toxic to humans and are expressly forbidden by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption.

While the Udall-Kirk Amendment prevents slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil for another year, it is not a permanent solution and cannot prohibit the current transport of U.S. horses from being trucked to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. To address this issue, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 1214 /H.R. 1942)—legislation that would permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to ensure animals have greater protection under the law, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###

 

Dogs now receiving urgent medical care

Elmwood, Wis.—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Animal Humane Society (AHS) are assisting the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office with the seizure of 48 dogs from a substandard, unlicensed breeding facility in Elmwood, Wis. The dogs were seized from the property Friday morning after warrants were served, and the owner of the facility was booked into the Pierce County Jail for mistreatment of animals, not providing proper food to confined animals and improper animal sheltering.

The 35 adults and 13 puppies, all yellow Labradors, were discovered living indoors in small, filthy travel crates, with no access to food or water. Numerous deceased animals were also found on the property. The ASPCA believes the facility to be a puppy mill--a large-scale breeding operation designed to generate profits at the cost of the animals’ health and well-being.

“What we saw here is no way for a dog to live,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The puppies at breeding facilities are sold for profit, but many people don’t realize that their parents are often kept there for years, subjected to incessant breeding and usually lacking basic care and socialization, resulting in a very poor quality of life.”

“Large scale animal cruelty cases are not something that we encounter often here in Pierce County,” said Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove. “When we are made aware of any animal cruelty issues we do the best we can to investigate and hold accountable those responsible. This case started with a complaint from a concerned citizen who was appalled by the conditions these animals were exposed to. Deputies responded to the complaint and determined the allegations had merit. Citizens are encouraged to contact law enforcement when they are made aware of these situations so they can be addressed accordingly.”   

The dogs have been transported to AHS (Golden Valley, Minn.), where they are receiving urgent medical treatment from ASPCA and AHS veterinarians. At this time, the dogs are considered evidence and will be cared for by AHS responders until their custody is determined by the court. The ASPCA is also collecting forensic evidence and providing legal support to strengthen the case and ensure the best legal outcome for these dogs.

"We’re proud to be known as the go-to resource for investigations in this region," said Janelle Dixon, President & CEO of Animal Humane Society. "Our humane agents investigate hundreds of reports of animal cruelty and neglect each year. As a result, we have the experience and ability to care for large numbers of animals, and the medical and behavioral expertise to provide the specialized care these vulnerable animals need."

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued thousands of dogs from puppy mills across the nation. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in promoting legislation at both the state and federal levels to strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills. For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade at www.aspca.org.



About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###

 

German shepherd found with his mouth duct-taped shut on Montauk Highway;
$2,000 also being offered by Suffolk County SPCA

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it will offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of a German shepherd found abandoned with his mouth duct-taped shut on the side of a Long Island, New York highway. This reward is in addition to the $2,000 being offered by the Suffolk County SPCA, which is leading the investigation.    

According to Suffolk County SPCA reports, the German shepherd was discovered on Saturday, April 9, on Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst. The dog’s muzzle had been duct-taped shut, preventing him from breathing, eating or drinking properly. The 2- or 3-year-old male dog is currently being cared for by the Babylon Animal Shelter of West Babylon, New York.

“This is a truly sickening case of animal cruelty, and the heartlessness demonstrated by those responsible is shocking,” said Howard Lawrence, vice president of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement. “While our ultimate hope is that these types of heinous acts never occur, this reward sends a message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our society. We thank the Suffolk County SPCA for its commitment to finding justice for this dog.”  

"To leave this dog unable to eat or drink, abandoned and frightened on a busy road is heartbreaking," said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County SPCA.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Suffolk County SPCA by calling 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.

The ASPCA encourages the public to be vigilant when it comes to reporting suspected animal abuse, and to contact the appropriate authorities that are responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty laws in their area.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###

 

New guidelines will recommend increased jail time and enhanced penalties for the worst offenses

NEW YORK— The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) for voting today to strengthen federal sentencing guidelines for animal fighting, including enhancements that specify tougher penalties for extreme offenses.

The new guidelines raise the recommended sentencing range for animal fighting from 6-12 months to 21-27 months jail time—that’s a 250 percent increase in the minimum recommended sentence. The Commission also created a recommended sentencing range of 6-12 months for the new federal crime of bringing a child to an animal fight. Lastly, the revised guidelines explicitly state that causing harm to a large number of animals and performing acts of extraordinary cruelty to animals are grounds for imposing longer sentences.

“Until now the guidelines didn’t reflect the seriousness with which Congress, law enforcement, and the public view this barbaric activity,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “We are grateful to the U.S. Sentencing Commission for voting to give judges the tools they need to ensure the punishment fits the crime.”

These guidelines better represent changes prescribed by Congress in 2008, when it acknowledged the depravity of dog fighting by increasing the maximum penalty for participating in animal fighting from three to five years. Congress strengthened animal fighting statutes again a few years later when they made attending an animal fight a federal offense and added additional penalties for bringing a child. However, federal sentencing guidelines have not been updated to include these increased penalties, creating a discrepancy between what is allowed under federal law and what is expressed in sentencing guidelines. As a result, typical prison sentences for convicted dog fighters averages about six months and most offenders receive probation.

The USSC proposed changes to the guidelines in January, and accepted comments from the public through March. To raise awareness about the need for stronger sentences for convicted dog fighters, the ASPCA launched a public awareness campaign, collecting a record-breaking 50,000 comments – the most ever received by the USSC on a single issue – from members of the public urging the USSC to #GetTough on animal fighting.

Even though dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, it still occurs in every part of the country and in every type of community. In the past 10 days alone, the ASPCA has assisted local, state and federal agencies in four dog fighting cases spanning five states and 17 crime scenes, resulting in the seizure of more than 150 dogs, including the most recent federal case yesterday in Rock Island, IL and Davenport, IA where 64 dogs were seized.

“These new guidelines will go a long way to protect hundreds of thousands of dogs in the United States who are forced to fight and suffer each year purely for the entertainment and financial gain of their owners,” said Tim Rickey, vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response.

In February, U.S. Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced the Helping Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act (H.R. 4613), federal legislation that will enable judges to require owners of animals seized in federal dog fighting cases to be responsible for the costs of their care, which will speed up court processes to allow these animals to be rehabilitated and adopted into loving homes more quickly.

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

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###



ASPCA #HelpAHorse contest will award $100,000 in grant prizes to equine organizations across the country

New research shows at least 2.3 million Americans have a strong interest in adopting a horse

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the participants in its third annual 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. In honor of the ASPCA’s 150th Anniversary celebration this month, the ASPCA has teamed up with “2 Broke Girls” actress and horse advocate Beth Behrs to spread the word about the contest, which has been expanded to include a total of $100,000 in grant prizes. This year, 191 groups will be hosting events across 42 states during the weekend of April 22-24 as they compete to win a grand prize of $25,000.

“The ASPCA Help a Horse Day contest has grown exponentially over the past few years, and we are excited to celebrate our 150th anniversary by providing even more grants to the dedicated equine rescues and sanctuaries that step in to care for abused or neglected horses and give them a much-deserved new lease on life,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We are proud to welcome Beth Behrs to the contest this year and we applaud her efforts to raise awareness about wonderful horses available for adoption around the country.”

“I recently adopted my horse, Belle, from a California sanctuary, where I was able to see firsthand the tireless efforts that go into rehabilitating and caring for at-risk horses,” said Behrs. “It’s inspiring to see the creative events being planned around the country in celebration of the ASPCA Help A Horse Day contest, and I am honored to lend my voice to equine protection and to help recognize these everyday heroes for their life-saving work.”

Participating rescue groups will be judged on the creativity of their events, as well as their ability to engage their local communities to assist their efforts to protect horses. Activities include open houses, education and volunteer programs, birthday parties, spring festivals, scavenger hunts 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.

Coinciding with Help a Horse Day events, the ASPCA has unveiled the results of a recent nationwide survey showing that at least 2.3 million Americans have adequate space, resources, and a strong interest in adopting a horse. This new data suggests that there are more than enough homes available for the approximately 125,000 American horses shipped to Canada and Mexico last year to be slaughtered for human consumption.

“For anyone considering adopting a horse or donkey, there’s no better time than an ASPCA Help a Horse Day event to see what the nation’s equine rescues have to offer,” added Schultz. “The strong public sentiment against horse slaughter, combined with the significant lack of awareness that this is a problem horses face, underscores how community events like ASPCA Help A Horse Day are critical to pairing horses in need with the homes that are available.”

Last year, the ASPCA awarded over $1 million in grants to support 124 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country. The grant money supported several areas of equine welfare including large-scale rehabilitation, emergency relief grants, safety net programs, and the Rescuing Racers Initiative, which aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of retired racehorses to save them from slaughter.

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, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###



‘ASPCA 150: Come to Their Rescue’ nationwide campaign and call-to-action honors America’s longest-standing animal welfare organization and its dedication to protecting animals in crisis

Public urged to take 150,000 actions for animals during ‘150 Days of Rescue’ and help their local shelters win a $150,000 ASPCA grant


NEW YORK, NY—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the start of a months-long celebration of its 150th anniversary this April with ASPCA 150: Come to Their Rescue – a national campaign honoring the ASPCA’s 150 years of animal rescue by inspiring public acts of compassion that will help save and protect dogs, cats, horses and farm animals from cruelty. The Come to Their Rescue campaign will feature multiple large-scale animal welfare programs and events, including a public action campaign and nationwide contest, a video featuring celebrity supporters, and the premiere of the ASPCA’s first-ever documentary.

“When Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA in April 1866, he was driven by a fierce dedication to stop animal abuse and suffering. That drive continues in our work, now supported by modern technologies and an increased awareness and respect for the true value of animals,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “But significant challenges to animal lives still remain, which is why this commemoration is as much about the present and the future as it is about the past. We encourage everyone to play a part in advancing Henry Bergh’s legacy by committing to helping vulnerable animals survive, thrive, and find safety in loving homes.”

Animal welfare advocates and supporters will have several opportunities to join the celebration of the ASPCA’s milestone anniversary over the next several months, including:

The “150 Days of Rescue” Action Campaign and Contest (April 10-September 7, 2016)
For 150 days beginning on the ASPCA’s April 10 birthday, the ASPCA will encourage animal lovers to visit ASPCA.org/150days and pledge at least 15 minutes of their time to helping animals in need, toward an ultimate goal of 150,000 acts of compassion through September 7, 2016. Possible actions include volunteering at a local shelter, fostering and/or adopting homeless animals, and advocating for stronger animal welfare laws. Those who log their actions on the campaign website will be encouraged to enter their favorite shelters or rescue groups in a grant contest in which one of these organizations will receive a $150,000 grant from the ASPCA.

The “150 Days of Rescue” campaign will be supported by a short celebrity video conceived and directed by photographer and filmmaker Dewey Nicks, featuring a notable entertainers speaking up for animals in need and encouraging the public to do the same. Celebrity participants include Jason Schwartzman, George Lopez, Adrienne Moore, Julie Bowen, Krysten Ritter, Miles Brown, Beth Behrs, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jennifer Coolidge, Kesha, Martha Stewart, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, and Keith Stanfield. The soundtrack for the short film is provided by composer and musician Owen Pallett.

“Adoptapalooza” NYC Adoption Events (April 10, 2016)
In partnership with the Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the ASPCA will hold two public Adoptapalooza events on Sunday, April 10. Taking place in two different boroughs – one in Union Square and another at the House of Vans in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – the mega adoption events will showcase more than 300 adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits – all spayed or neutered and vaccinated – from local shelters and rescue organizations across the city. Adoption fees for all adoptions will be covered by Animal Planet, a generous partner to the ASPCA. In addition to facilitating adoptions, each Adoptapalooza event will feature activities, giveaways, and celebrity pet appearances. Leading up the event in Union Square, the first-ever “NYC Paws Parade” will honor the united efforts of the dedicated groups working to protect the city’s most vulnerable residents as representatives from the ASPCA, the Alliance for NYC’s Animals, NYPD, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), FDNY and more march down Broadway from 26th to 17th Streets in Manhattan. The parade will include New Yorker and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters serving as Grand Marshal, as well as “Dog Marshal” (and her adopted parents) – canine cruelty victim Charlotte/Pip and Special Guest Marnie the Dog, a social media dog “celebrity” and advocate for senior dog adoption.

“Second Chance Dogs” Premiere on Animal Planet (April 16, 2016 at 9 a.m.)
The ASPCA’s first-ever documentary, “Second Chance Dogs,” tells the story of six fearful dogs rescued from cruel conditions and delivered to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, N.J., the first-ever facility dedicated to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty and hoarding. Through innovative techniques, patience, and commitment, the staff at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center moves these animals from rescue to rehabilitation, and ultimately into safe and loving homes. The goal of this film is to educate the public about the long-term effects of cruelty and neglect, and to promote the adoption of shelter dogs. The documentary will premiere at 9 a.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet. More information about the film and the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center can be found at www.secondchancedogsfilm.com.


About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866 and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, 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.

###

Page 1 of 17