Dogs transported to temporary shelter to receive much-needed medical care
Huntersville, N.C.—At the request of the Huntersville Police Department, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with evidence collection and the removal of 23 pit bulls allegedly housed and fought at a property in Huntersville, N.C., approximately 12 miles north of downtown Charlotte. The Animal Care & Control Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is also working to support local authorities with the investigation.
A search warrant was executed Tuesday morning, where responders discovered dogs tethered on heavy chains and living in filthy conditions. Some were thin and exhibited scars, bite marks, broken teeth and other injuries commonly associated with dog fighting. Sixteen adult dogs and seven puppies were removed from the property, and dog fighting paraphernalia was discovered, including conditioning and training devices, indoor and outdoor fighting pits, and medication common to treating wounds associated with dog fighting. No arrests have yet been made.
The dogs are being transported to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will be provided medical care and behavioral enrichment by ASPCA responders until custody is determined by the court. The ASPCA is working closely with local law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals.
“Our hope is that our actions today will bring those persons responsible for this cruel and inhumane activity to justice,” said Chief Cleveland L. Spruill of the Huntersville Police Department. “We want to send a message that this type of cruel and illegal activity will not be tolerated in our community.”
“Dog fighting victims live terribly isolated lives and are subjected to horrific acts of cruelty,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Dog fighting is an underground activity that goes mostly unnoticed by the public, and we’re grateful to the Huntersville Police Department for actively pursuing this case to help end the suffering of these dogs.”
Agencies supporting the ASPCA by supplying resources, hands-on assistance or supplies include: the Animal Care & Control Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; Asheville Humane Society; and Humane Alliance, a program of the ASPCA.
Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In North Carolina, dog fighting, the possession of dogs for fighting and being a spectator at a dog fight are all class H felonies, with a maximum penalty of up to 25 months in jail. The ASPCA has worked with law enforcement on more than 100 dog fighting cases, including the two largest dog fighting raids in U.S. history in 2013 and 2009. Earlier this year, more than 17,000 concerned citizens signed the ASPCA’s letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for more vigorous pursuance of dog fighters.
For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to tackle dog fighting and what the public can do to help, please visit www.aspca.org/dogfighting.
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.
My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts
Written by Laura T. Coffey Photographs by Lori Fusaro
Foreword by Neko Case
Afterwords by Dr. Marty Becker and Mikkel Becker
Photographer Lori Fusaro is crazy about dogs. She’s lived with them for as long as she can remember, and she photographs them for a living. But until a few years ago, the idea of adopting an older dog made her squirm with uneasiness.
“I thought it would just be too sad,” Fusaro said. “I didn’t think my heart could take it, so I wasn’t willing to open myself up.” That is, until she welcomed a sweet-natured 16-year-old dog named Sunny into her family.
Sunny rewired Fusaro’s view of older dogs so completely that she decided to launch a photography project to show just how much senior shelter pets have to offer. She never guessed that her efforts would spark a media frenzy and draw the attention of hundreds of thousands of supportive readers throughout North America and in places as far away as Malaysia, Germany, Brazil and the Philippines — but that’s exactly what happened.
That outpouring began when Laura T. Coffey wrote a feature story about Fusaro’s work with senior shelter pets for TODAY.com, the website of NBC’s TODAY show. “No Dog Should Die Alone” was the attention-grabbing — and heart-stirring — headline on Coffey’s story, and it generated so much passionate feedback that Coffey and Fusaro decided to team up to work together on My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts.
Their book reveals that even though dogs over the age of 7 tend to be calm, easy, and already house-trained, they often represent the highest-risk population at shelters. With gorgeous, joyful photographs and sweet, funny, true tales of “old dogs learning new tricks,” Coffey and Fusaro show that adopting a senior can be even more rewarding than choosing a younger dog.
My Old Dog introduces readers to endearing elders like Marnie, the irresistible shih tzu who has posed for selﬁes with Tina Fey, James Franco, and Betty White; Remy, a soulful 9-year-old dog adopted by elderly nuns; George Clooney’s cocker spaniel, Einstein; and Bretagne, the last known surviving search dog from Ground Zero. They may be slower moving and a tad less exuberant than puppies, but these pooches prove that adopting a senior brings immeasurable joy, earnest devotion, and unconditional love.
Of special interest are the book’s stories about retired working dogs — such as military dogs, law-enforcement dogs, and racing dogs — who can find themselves languishing in kennels or left in overcrowded shelters after they age out of their vocations. My Old Dog also includes a comprehensive resource guide to help readers take action and help senior pets themselves in all sorts of ways. (continued)
Laura T. Coffey is a longtime writer, editor, and producer for TODAY.com, the website of NBC’s TODAY show. An award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, Laura has written and edited hundreds of high-profile human-interest stories. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Lori Fusaro is staff photographer at Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles and owner of Fusaro Photography, whose clients include BAD RAP, Guide Dogs for the Blind, k9 connection, Angel City Pit Bulls, and other animal rescue organizations. She lives in Los Angeles.
Their website is www.MyOldDogBook.com
My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts
Written by Laura T. Coffey / Photographs by Lori Fusaro
Foreword by Neko Case / Afterwords by Dr. Marty Becker & Mikkel Becker
Pets · October 6, 2015
$24.95 · 256 pages
Paper-over-board hardcover · Full color throughout
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SMITHTOWN, NY – (September 21, 2015) – Pairing service dogs with military veterans suffering from PTSD has proven to help the healing process. According to the National Center for Health Research, studies have shown that a dog’s presence, loyalty and love are known to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate during stressful situations. Paws of War, was founded to help those military veterans by training rescued dogs to be service dogs. Now, their mission is expanding to incorporate a Paws of War Therapy program, in honor and memory of US Air Force Veteran Duane Franzone.
“A few years ago, we saved a pitbull mix, Jada. She’d been living under a dirt crawlspace with a broken jaw. Jada was trained to become Duane’s service dog and she meant the world to him,” says Dori Scofield, executive director of Paws of War. “After Duane passed away, his family wanted to carry out his legacy of helping other veterans. That is what inspired us to start a therapy program.”
The Paws of War Therapy Program will train rescued dogs to become the best therapy dogs they can be before visiting any facilities that help veterans. Therapy dogs’ responsibilities include:
- Provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handlers/owners
- Maintain stable temperaments and friendly, easy-going personalities
- Visit various institutions like hospitals, schools, hospices, psychotherapy offices, nursing homes and more
Many veterans at medical facilities also miss the love and companionship of their own family pets while they are away from home. Bringing in canine therapy does wonders for them. The animals draw out even the most isolated personality, and having to praise the animals helps traumatized veterans overcome emotional numbness.
We anticipate getting many dogs and veterans involved with this program so that we can continue our work of helping both ends of the leash,” states Scofield. “We are both honored to provide this service in Duane’s memory and to expand our work with canines and veterans through our Paws of War program.”
Paws of War is an all volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members with their pets, and provides service and therapy dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support Paws of War please visit the website: www.pawsofwar.org.
About Paws of War
Based in New York and founded by Guardians of Rescue, Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at www.pawsofwar.org.
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(Sept. 21, 2015) – The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association filed a legal petition with the United States Department of Agriculture urging the agency to improve the standards of care for dogs kept in commercial breeding facilities. The USDA regulates such facilities under the federal Animal Welfare Act, but current AWA regulations fall far short of ensuring the humane treatment of dogs.
The requested changes would create more specific standards for veterinary care, housing, breeding practices, socialization and placement of retired breeding dogs. Among other things, the petition urges the USDA to adopt the following rules for licensed dog breeders:
- Restrict the use of wire flooring in the dogs’ primary cage space. Wire flooring is routinely used in commercial breeding facilities, often in cages stacked on top of each other, and is highly detrimental to the dogs’ welfare;
- Require breeders to provide dogs with access to an exercise space. Current regulations do not mandate even daily or weekly exercise, and many dogs are kept in their cages day in and day out, for years on end;
- Require that dogs be physically examined by a veterinarian at least once per year, including a determination that breeding dogs are fit to endure pregnancy and nursing;
- Restrict the frequency of breeding. Currently there are no limits on how frequently dogs may be bred, and commercial breeders routinely breed female dogs at every heat, with no rest between litters, contrary to the recommendations of most breed clubs;
- Require breeders to provide dogs with constant access to potable water;
- Increase the minimum cage space requirements so that dogs have adequate space to move around freely and to stand on their hind legs without touching the top of the cage; and
- Require breeders to make reasonable efforts to work with rescue groups to adopt out retired breeding dogs and “unsellable” puppies, rather than euthanizing or abandoning the dogs.
The HSUS, ASPCA and HSVMA issued the following statements:
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS said: “It’s common sense that dogs should have water, space, exercise, and other basic care, and responsible dog breeders and pet industry groups should welcome these improved standards to deal with the outliers who cut corners and treat puppies like products. The current standards are insufficient and outdated, and need to be fortified to crack down on abusive puppy mills.”
Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA said: “Dogs are not products that can be simply warehoused without appropriate regard for their welfare. The public overwhelmingly agrees that the current USDA standards for dogs kept in commercial breeding facilities do not amount to humane treatment for dogs. The USDA needs to recognize this, and step up to ensure these vulnerable animals have proper care to maintain their health and well-being.”
Dr. Susan Krebsbach, veterinary advisor for HSVMA said: “This petition requests much needed enhancements to existing regulations concerning the treatment of dogs used and bred for commercial sale, including the physical conditions of the breeding facility and the health and welfare of the individual dogs. These new regulations would greatly improve the living space, physical health, and psychological well-being of literally tens of thousands of dogs in the United States.”
The petition was prepared pro bono by the international law firm Latham and Watkins and by attorneys in the Animal Protection Litigation department at The HSUS and by the ASPCA.
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 visit us online at humanesociety.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.
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. www.hsvma.org
HSI rescues 103 dogs & puppies
Images and video available here
SEOUL (17 Sept. 2015)―A rescue mission to save 103 dogs and puppies from a South Korean dog meat farm has been successfully undertaken by Humane Society International. The rescue is part of HSI’s campaign to end South Korea’s dog meat trade and raise awareness among Koreans about the plight of “meat dogs.” In the third dog farm closure by HSI this year, all 103 dogs are being flown to the United States where they will be adopted.
HSI came to an agreement with the farmer, Mr. Kim, to permanently end raising dogs at his farm for meat in Chungcheongnamdo and switch to growing rice instead. In Korea, an increasing portion of the population finds the dog meat trade to be shameful. Many farmers are facing pressure from their loved ones and local communities to close their farms and transition to new lines of work.
HSI’s director of companion animals and engagement, Kelly O’meara, said: “The first time we saw the dogs, it was really shocking. They were clearly terrified but once they realized we weren’t there to hurt them, their tails started wagging, eager for the slightest show of affection. They have so much love to give, it’s appalling to think they were destined to be butchered for their meat. These dogs are going to make wonderful canine companions. Rescuing them and getting to know their personalities makes us even more determined to end the cruel dog meat trade.”
More than 2 million dogs are bred and butchered each year for their meat in South Korea, part of Asia’s cruel dog meat trade. In China and elsewhere most dogs are stolen from the streets, but in South Korea they are exclusively bred on small scale factory farms. HSI is working with farmers, like Kim, to close their dog farms and switch to humane livelihoods instead.
Kim, who had bred dogs for meat for about a year, said: “As a dog lover, I hope to see more dogs getting adopted to families. In the future, I hope other farmers will be given this opportunity where they can change to different businesses.”
The rescuers discovered a mixture of breeds on the farm, ranging from large mastiffs most often considered as “meat dogs” in South Korea, to Jindo mixes, Spaniel mixes and Chihuahuas. All have been saved from a miserable life in small filthy cages, and brutal death, most commonly by electrocution, to become a cherished companion in America.
HSI will be launching public awareness campaigns to encourage South Koreans to think differently about “meat dogs”, who are no different to the pet dogs that a growing number of Koreans are welcoming into their homes as companions. While dog adoption is not yet widely established in South Korea, HSI hopes to see that change in the future by building a community of citizens who adopt former farm dogs into their homes and help fellow South Koreans take them into their hearts.
Kitty Block, HSI’s vice president, said from Seoul: “Humane Society International has now rescued and rehomed 186 dogs from South Korea’s brutal dog meat trade, and every time we see these lucky guys happy in their new families, it’s a painful reminder of those still suffering on these farms. These dogs will be amazing ambassadors for our efforts to end the cruelty of the dog meat trade, and we hope to open a dialogue with the South Korean government about doing just that. When the Winter Olympics comes to Seoul in 2018, the world will want to know that South Korea no longer tolerates dog meat cruelty.”
"Black Dog Syndrome" has been making major news headlines in both the U.S. and all over the world. This is the first book to tackle the subject in a poignant, artful way - capturing the raw beauty of these incredible canines. Photographer Fred Levy has photographed dozens of black dogs for his blog, caninenoir.tumblr.com/. Some of his subjects include rescue dogs, shelter dogs, blind dogs, and 3-legged dogs. Now, Fred's beautiful photos of black canines and their stories are collected into this beautiful, inspiring book! The Black Dogs Project Author: Fred Levy Format: Hardbound, 128 Pages ISBN: 9781631060885 Publisher: Race Point Publishing Size: 10.25 x 10.5 Published: September 15, 2015 Price: $25
Saturday, Sept. 12, the 255th day of 2015.
There are 110 days left in the year.Crew:
Jon Patch - Host
Vince and Lisa Centonze - Co Host
Lexi Lapp - Producer
Sonar Greene - Network Producer
Bob Page - Executive Producer
Special Guests - Sam Dicker from Nat Geo Wild's new series Vet School will join Jon and Talkin' Pets Saturday 9/12/15 at 530 PM EST to discuss the new television series.
Carly Martinetti, Chief Feline Officer of Pretty Litter will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/12/15 at 630 PM EST to discuss their new Pretty Litter and give away Pretty Litter branded litter boxes
Tails of Triumph: Animals Tell Their Katrina Stories
Animals share inspiring tales of courage and survival with Pet Whisperer Terri Steuben as her rescue team takes them to safety from devastated post-Katrina New Orleans
To mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, animal communicator and disaster responder Terri Steuben offers a new book with a unique take on the historic event – the pets’ perspective, by the pets themselves.
Steuben was called in by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to join the largest animal rescue operation in U.S. history. During the two weeks she found and saved pets, Steuben kept a journal of what those dogs, cats and other animals told her telepathically. In her memoir, she gives the animals a voice by sharing powerful stories of triumph from courageous pets that lived through a nightmare and never gave up. She describes how they endured weeks of heat, humidity, fear and loneliness—sometimes without food and water—until they could be rescued. Steuben offers an uplifting side to the tragic events and the stories in her memoir are timeless tales of courage, determination, resourcefulness and love.
The 2005 disaster along the Gulf Coast proved to be a turning point for animals across the U.S. “Katrina’s silver lining was the passage of the HSUS-backed Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act in Congress and new state laws requiring attention to animals in disaster response,” writes Eric Sakach of the HSUS in the book’s foreword. The 2006 law means that states must accommodate pets and service animals in their disaster plans for evacuating residents. Says Steuben, “With every year that passes, I believe we are becoming more prepared to keep our pets safe from harm. I pray that this is so, because I don’t ever want to hear another traumatized animal say, ‘Why did Mommy and Daddy have to leave me?’”
About the Author: Terri Steuben is a popular animal communicator who has counseled thousands of pet owners for 25 years. Using her psychic abilities and practical experience, she helps people around the world better understand their animals and solve behavior and health problems. In addition, she is a trained disaster responder and teaches classes in how to keep animals safe in emergencies. She has deployed with the HSUS, United Animal Nations Emergency Animal Rescue Service and the Mounted Assistance Unit Equestrian Training Institute. She is also called to work alongside law enforcement officials in search-and-seizure operations involving animal hoarding and abuse. Steuben is the author of Secrets of a Pet Whisperer: Stop Telling Your Animals to Misbehave, a how-to communication guide for pet owners that also contains information and checklists on preparing for emergencies. Learn more at www.TerriSteuben.com.
For Immediate Release
Born Free USA's "Pets Go Wild for Wildlife" Photo Contest Calling for Cats and Dogs Acting Wild
Washington D.C. August 27, 2015 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has announced its “Pets Go Wild for Wildlife” photo contest, seeking photos of furry family members acting “wild”: running like a cheetah, swimming like an orca, leaping like a gazelle, pouncing like a fox… or just going "wild" in general.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and the Born Free Foundation, “We work to keep wildlife in the wild – but all of us at Born Free also love our dogs and cats and know that our supporters and the public do too. We thought this would be a fun, creative way to celebrate all animals and share their antics with terrific photos. Also, by noticing and capturing the moments your dog or cat acts ‘wild,’ we hope you will consider the connection between domestic animals and wild animals. Your cat and the big cats in the jungle. Your dog and the majestic wolf. They are not all that different, and they all deserve our compassion.”
Entrants can submit as many photos as they would like. The contest is open to dogs and cats only. The three photos with the most votes receive prizes. First place prize is the winner's choice between an iPad or an Apple Watch. Prizes will also be awarded for the top voted dog, top voted cat, most "promotes" through the contest site, and Born Free USA staff favorite. An entrant can only win for one category. The fee to enter is $10 per photo entry and $1 per vote to participate in the contest. Each contribution helps Born Free USA raise needed funds to continue life-saving work for wildlife around the globe. Contest DEADLINE is September 25, 2015 at 12 Noon ET.
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org; www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.