(Aug. 24, 2012)—Whether choosing extracurricular activities, class projects or the latest fashion, students face many decisions at the beginning of the school year. Some of those choices may have an impact on animals, and The Humane Society of the United States has fun, school-friendly ideas to help students make this school year humane.
“Students are amazing advocates for animals,” said KC Theisen, director of pet care issues for The HSUS. “They have great enthusiasm and can share it in so many ways—food and supply drives for local shelters or rescues, education campaigns, even in class via papers and speeches. The possibilities are endless.”
Some ideas for making the 2012-2013 school year humane include:
Spread the word. The best way to make a change is by educating your classmates about the issues that matter to you. Use research projects, term papers and other assignments as opportunities to educate your classmates about important animal concerns. For the latest information and news about animal-related issues, visit our School Project Help page.
Younger students will enjoy Kind News magazine (humanesociety.org/kindnews), which is filled with colorful articles, short features, and fun activities that children and teachers love, emphasizing treating animals with kindness and respect. Home and classroom subscriptions are available and come in three reading levels: Primary Edition (grades K-2), Junior Edition (grades 3-4), and Senior Edition (grades 5-6).
Drive—even if you don’t have a license. Most organizations need blankets, toys and other supplies to care for their animals. Organize a drive to provide those supplies to your local shelter or rescue, or ask your classmates to donate their spare change to help animals in need. For more tips on how you can help your local shelter or rescue visit humanesociety.org/youthvolunteer.
Encourage your school cafeteria to make Mondays meat-free. Meatless meals are delicious and humane. Share this award-winning video about the growing Meatless Monday movement with your teachers and school administrators, and encourage your cafeteria to join in by only serving meat-free meals on Mondays http://youtu.be/tpziz8cJMaI.
Make compassion your fashion. Take a stand against cruelty and join our Fur-free Facebook page, reference our handy fur-free shopping guide, and wear a fur-free pin or tee to spread the word that compassionate fashion saves raccoon dogs, foxes, rabbits and other furbearers from needless suffering.
Put your education to work. Local animal organizations are often in need of people with talent in art, photography, computer programming and web design; offer to put the skills you are learning at school into practice for them. Helping animal shelters or rescues may be a good way to receive credit if your school requires public service hours for graduation. Contact your local animal welfare organization directly to find out more, or visit humanesociety.org/volunteer.
Get schooled in animal protection. Middle and high school students can enroll in free online courses at Humane Academy (humanesociety.org/humaneacademy). Course offerings include how to strengthen animal cruelty laws, how to speak up on behalf of animals to lawmakers and how to make engaging presentations. A new course launches fall 2012 to help students learn about dissection alternatives.
For more information and other ideas for students interested in speaking up for animals, visit humanesociety.org/students.
(Aug. 10, 2012)—In response to reports of a possible increase in thefts of pets nationwide, The Humane Society of the United States reminds pet owners that there are simple steps you can take to keep your pets safe.
“The Humane Society of the United States urges pet owners to be aware of where the animals are at all times,” said Inga Fricke, director of sheltering and pet care issues for The HSUS. “Losing a pet is a devastating experience and we urge people to take these extra precautions to ensure the safety of their pets.”
- Never leave your pet outdoors unattended. Your pet should be safely indoors at all times, and should always be within your sight or earshot when outdoors.
- When outdoors, your dog should be in a securely fenced yard. Pets who normally stay near home can become frightened, or enticed to leave by an interesting sight or smell, and may not be able to find their way home – they may not be technically stolen, but are gone nevertheless.
- Always check to ensure that fence gates are securely closed before allowing your dog outdoors, and regularly check for holes in or under the fencing that a dog could slip through.
- Never leave your pet tied outside a store or alone in a car, even if you will be inside for just a minute. A well-meaning individual may actually believe your pet has been abandoned, and take her away in an attempt to ensure her safety.
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag with your current contact information included. It is a good idea to microchip your pet, and put the tag that identifies the microchip company and ID number on her collar.
- Build a pet-friendly network of neighbors who can monitor suspicious activity in your neighborhood and intervene if they see your pet walking with a stranger.
- Report a missing pet immediately to police and animal control authorities, and mobilize your neighborhood to help search for her.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.
Urges veterinary school to also eliminate terminal surgeries from curriculum
June 20, 2012 -- The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association applauds the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine for recently revising its surgery curriculum to include a partnership with a local humane society. University of Missouri veterinary students are now performing spay and neuter procedures on animals from the Central Missouri Humane Society, with those animals then being returned for adoption.
The HSVMA also urges the University of Missouri to follow this step forward with the elimination of all terminal surgeries from its veterinary curriculum. Terminal surgeries are those in which the students practice surgical techniques on animals who are then euthanized rather than being recovered and adopted out.
The University of Missouri recently announced that veterinary students would no longer be performing terminal surgeries on dogs, but would instead be using pigs for surgical labs.
“The University of Missouri is obviously at a turning point in its surgical curriculum and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association congratulates them on the positive move to give veterinary students more spay and neuter training with shelter animals,” said Paula Kislak, DVM, president of the HSVMA Board of Directors. “However, it is extremely disappointing terminal surgeries are still being performed and we hope that University of Missouri will soon follow the example of many other veterinary schools and eliminate these procedures.”
Other surgical training options include partnering with shelters to perform spay and neuter and other necessary medical procedures on animals with appropriate supervision; using cadavers, simulators, models and mannequins; and expanding internship, externship and other community service opportunities.
A University of California School of Veterinary Medicine program brings shelter and rescue animals to the school for spay and neuter surgeries and necessary procedures such as closing wounds, repairing fractures and removing foreign objects. Students at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine have the opportunity to perform as many as 60 spay and neuter surgeries through its Community Veterinary Services program.than 230 veterinary students received hands-on surgical training last year through HSVMA’s Rural Area Veterinary Services program
The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States.
(May 29, 2012)— The Humane Society of the United States urges residents in East Coast and Gulf Coast states to keep their pets in mind in preparation for a natural disaster. People can take some simple – but critical – steps to keep their pets safe and healthy in severe weather and possible evacuations. More than 35 million people, many of them pet owners, live in areas threatened by Atlantic hurricanes.
“More than 60 percent of American households have pets, and weathering a major storm requires an evacuation plan that includes our animals,” said Niki Dawson, director of disaster services for The HSUS. “If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for them. If you are ordered to shelter-in-place and not evacuate, bring your pets inside with you and make sure you have adequate supplies.”
The HSUS Animal Rescue Team has a fully equipped response team to assist communities impacted by a natural disaster. In 2011, The HSUS responded to natural disasters in North Carolina, Vermont, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, and North Dakota, helping to care for more than 2,000 displaced animals.
AccuWeather forecasters predict an average hurricane season from June to November. Pet owners can reduce their animals' chances of being at risk during a disaster by following the suggestions below.
Things you can do right now:
- Put a collar with visible identification on your pets, including indoor-only pets.
- Keep pictures of your pets on hand for identification purposes. Ideally, you should also be in the photo.
- Create a pet emergency kit (see below) and refresh the items every few months.
- Talk to your neighbors about how they can help your pets if you are not at home when disaster strikes.
- Create a list of hotels that allow pets. Plan on evacuating about 100 miles inland.
Pet emergency kits should include:
- Minimum of a three-day supply of food in airtight, waterproof containers, and drinking water.
- Bowls for food and water.
- Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings.
- Medications, vaccination records and first aid pet supplies.
- Comfort items such as a toy and blanket.
- Small garbage bags.
- For dogs include: leash, harness and a sturdy carrier large enough to use as a sleeping area.
- For cats include: litter and litter box and a sturdy carrier large enough for transport and for your cat to use as a temporary “apartment” for several days.
A Zogby International poll after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast found that 61 percent of pet owners will not evacuate if they cannot bring their pets with them. In 2006, Congress addressed this issue by passing the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act, which requires state and local emergency management agencies to make plans that take into account the needs of individuals with pets and service animals in the event of a major disaster or emergency. It is crucial that all pet owners reach out to their local government to understand their community's existing human and pet evacuation plans.
And finally, click here for a brochure on farm animals in disaster, including sheltering in-place preparations as well as evacuations.
For more tips on preparedness plans that include your pets, visit humanesociety.org/prepare.
World’s largest animal sheltering conference and tradeshow opens at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino May 21-24
(May 18, 2011)—Presented by The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Care Expo is celebrating its 21st year as the world's largest international education and trade show in the fields of animal care, sheltering and rescue. Animal Care Expo 2012 will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The conference includes more than 70 workshops, as well as exhibits and seven daylong certificate courses. More than 1,800 local leaders from animal shelters, rescue groups, and animal care agencies are expected to attend the HSUS training conference.
“Every year The Humane Society of the United States brings together the largest gathering of animal care, sheltering and rescue professionals from around the world to celebrate successes, share ideas and learn something new,” said Betsy McFarland, vice president for companion animal issues at The HSUS. “The annual Animal Care Expo is designed to lift up the entire field of animal sheltering and rescue by providing animal welfare workers with valuable workshops, exhibits and courses specifically devoted to the most innovative and groundbreaking developments in our field.”
The United States continues to move closer to the goal of ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets in animal shelters. In the last two years alone, euthanasia in shelters has decreased by 10 percent and, despite a bleak economy, the proportion of pets in homes that were adopted from animal shelters and rescue groups has risen from 27 to 29 percent. On the international front, improvements are being made for the lives of millions of suffering street animals through spay/neuter, vaccinations, veterinary training and humane education. With a commitment to animal welfare steadily increasing worldwide, more pets across the globe share homes with caring families than ever before.
Expo workshops will cover a wide-range of issues, from creative marketing ideas to increasing adoptions and expanding the reach of the animal welfare field into under-served communities to exploring the latest advances in sterilization—such as nonsurgical sterilization—and implementing the Association of Shelter Veterinarian’s guidelines to improve shelter operations, improve medical care for animals, and, most importantly, save more lives.
A highlight of Expo 2012 will be a special book signing held for Expo attendees by The HSUS’ President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle. The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them (William Morrow; On Sale Now) is Pacelle’s first book and has been listed as a best-seller on the New York Times’ non-fiction list. The book is a compassionate, insightful and comprehensive examination of our special connection to all creatures, written by one of America’s most important champions of animal welfare.
Visit animalsheltering.org/expo for additional information about The HSUS' Animal Care Expo 2012.
Humane Society for Shelter Pets Launches National Campaign to Educate Americans about the Benefits of Giving to Struggling Local Shelters
WASHINGTON, DC – The Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) launched today with three full-page ads in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune to inform Americans about the benefits of supporting their local pet shelter.
Today many shelters face financial problems in part because of the widespread belief that donations given to national groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), filter down to local pet shelters. Polling from Opinion Research Corporation conducted in November 2011 found 71 percent of Americans believe HSUS is an umbrella group that represents thousands of local humane societies. However, the reality is that just 1 percent of HSUS’s $126 million budget goes to needy hands-on pet shelters, despite a majority of their fundraising advertising featuring dogs and cats.
Every year, it’s estimated that millions of orphaned and unwanted animals are euthanized to relieve overcrowded conditions in local animal shelters, humane societies, rescue centers, and local government animal control agencies. America’s ongoing economic downturn continues to squeeze pet shelters’ already meager operating budgets at a time when more cash-strapped Americans are choosing to surrender or abandon their family pets.
"The Humane Society of the United States continues to fundraise on the perception that they give millions of dollars every year to local pet shelters with misleading advertising campaigns. Unfortunately for the dogs and cats in our local pet shelters, that is not the case,” said Diana Culp, HSSP co-director and former Director of Education for HSUS.
In addition to HSSP’s public outreach campaign, the organization has a database on its website enabling visitors to quickly and easily obtain all the information they need to donate to local shelters. HSSP will also work to create a network of veterinarians and sheltering professionals, giving them the tools to promote the “give local” message to their clients.
“Most local pet shelters rarely have the time or resources to speak out and clear the air over the confusion about where donors’ money goes when they give to large, national organizations like HSUS. The Humane Society for Shelter Pets will work to be their advocates and ensure that donors’ money is going where it’s intended,” said Jeff Douglas co-director for HSSP.
For more information go to www.humaneforpets.com
The Humane Society for Shelter Pets is not designed to raise funds for shelters from the public. Instead the group’s primary mission is to educate the public about the importance of local giving. Jeff Douglas, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a communications professional with 30 years of experience working in the veterinary profession and is serving as the co-director of the Human Society for Shelter Pets. Diana Culp is the former Director of Education for the Humane Society of the United States and now works at a local pet shelter. She is also a co-director of the Humane Society for Shelter Pets.
$100,000 grant in memory of tornado victim allows shelter to continue relief efforts
for nearly 850 displaced animals
NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced a $100,000 grant to the Joplin Humane Society in Joplin, Mo., to support disaster relief and recovery efforts as a result of the May 22 tornado that decimated a third of the community and killed more than 130 people.
The grant will be used by the Joplin Humane Society for resources needed to support its operation as well as repair infrastructural damages to the facility. Additional funding will be used for future disaster response and preparedness efforts in the community.
The grant is named in memory of Joplin Humane Society executive director Karen Aquino’s step-daughter, Rachel Markham, 31, who perished in the devastating disaster.
“Our thoughts are with Karen and all the people of Joplin who lost loved ones to this tragedy,” said Joplin native Tim Rickey, the ASPCA’s senior director of Field Investigations and Response. “The Joplin Humane Society has done amazing work in helping pet owners and animals affected by the disaster, and we wanted to further support their organization with this grant.”
“My husband and I are humbled and touched by this gesture,” added Karen Aquino, executive director of Joplin Humane Society. “In the aftermath of a disaster like this, assistance from a national organization really makes a difference—they had the capacity to respond immediately and established a plan to help the pets and people in the community. We are grateful to work with the ASPCA in our efforts to reunite pets with their owners and help make families whole again.”
On May 23, at the request of the Joplin Humane Society, the ASPCA dispatched its disaster response team to lead emergency sheltering efforts of animals displaced by the tornado that tore through and devastated the town. The ASPCA established the emergency animal shelter the very next day to help pet owners needing temporary assistance sheltering and caring for their pets.
To date, the ASPCA has provided sheltering for nearly 850 animals at the emergency animal shelter and reunited more than 200 animals with their families. The emergency shelter continues to aid rescued animals and displaced pets in the community.
Rickey reported that there are hundreds of animals that are still waiting to be claimed by their owners. “We hope to reunite as many animals with their families over the next few weeks,” he said. “And the ASPCA will continue to help as long as we’re needed.”
More Information on the Emergency Animal Shelter:
Location: 5171 North Main Street, Joplin, Mo. 64801 (old Dent & Ding building near the Joplin Humane Society)
Hours: Seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One 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. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.
About Joplin Humane Society
Joplin Humane Society was incorporated with the state of Missouri in 1948 and has serviced Southwest Missouri since its inception. Currently AARC accepts and is contracted for sheltering animals from 17 municipalities as far reaching as Vernon County, Branson in Taney County and Southeast Kansas. The population served is more than 199,000 and the Society accepts approximately 13,000 animals each year.
Funds Allow Shelter to Purchase Emergency Transport and Adoption Rig
for Disaster Relief Efforts
NEW YORK—The Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS) in Alabama has purchased a new emergency transport rig for tornado relief efforts as a result of a $128,000 grant provided by the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the ASPCA announced today.
The new emergency transport vehicle will greatly improve the organization’s ability to provide assistance to the affected areas of Alabama, especially parts of Tuscaloosa, which was ravaged in late April by the worst tornado outbreak in the nation’s history. The rig will include space for animal transport cages, an on-board veterinary work space, and room for the storage of pet care supplies."
The recent tornadoes in Alabama have created an immense need for the care of animals that have been displaced and abandoned,” said Jodi Lytle Buckman, senior director of community initiatives for the ASPCA. “Requests for transfers and supplies have been steadily increasing since the outbreak of dangerous weather, and we are pleased to be able to offer aid to local organizations like the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.”
“We are so grateful to the ASPCA for supporting us in our disaster relief efforts,” said Laura Golden, Strategic Communications Officer for the GBHS. “This rig will help us reach even more animals in need as we work to help the pets who have been affected by these devastating storms.”
Following the immediate need for disaster relief, the GBHS will use the vehicle to help increase adoptions, as they will now be able to transport animals to areas that previously had been out of reach. GBHS, the largest humane society in the state with the highest number of adoptions, will transfer adoptable animals to smaller communities and shelters across the state in an effort to provide positive outcomes for even more of Alabama’s homeless pets.
For more information on the Greater Birmingham Humane Society and how you can help with the disaster relief efforts, please visit www.gbhs.org.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One 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. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.
About The Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS)
The Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS) is a nonprofit in Birmingham, Alabama that has been serving abused and abandoned pets in Birmingham since 1883. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society was one of the first humane societies in the United States. Today the GBHS cares for over 9,000 animals a year and serves pets and people through their various programs which include, but are not limited to, pet adoptions, animal cruelty prevention, and humane education.