Welcome to ASPCA Tri-State News Alert, the weekly newsletter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
1. Deadline for Entries in Great American Mutt Contest Is Monday!
2. Petfinder Happy Tail of the Week: Teamwork
3. The Dangers of Rat Poisons, Part II
4. Can Animals Help Us Heal?
5. Update on ASPCA Photo Contest
HURRY! DEADLINE TO ENTER GREAT AMERICAN MUTT CONTEST ENTRIES IS NEXT MONDAY!
Is your mixed-breed dog the cat's meow? Then we're reminding you—and your superfine canine, of course—that the deadline for online entries in the 2004 Great American Mutt contest is Monday, September 20. The nationwide competition, sponsored by Tails in Need in partnership with the ASPCA, Animal Fair magazine and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, was created to honor the most special adopted and rescued mixed-breed dogs in America. To enter, you'll need to send a statement of up to 200 words about how great your dog is, along with two photos. There's no fee to enter, and submissions will be accepted online up until 5 P.M. on Monday. For official contest rules, please visit Great American Mutt.com, and may the best mutt win!
PETFINDER HAPPY TAIL OF THE WEEK: TEAMWORK
Number one, Mushy was a stray.
Number two, Mushy was a brindle pit-bull mix.
And number three, Mushy was in a shelter with few cages available for the huge influx of animals constantly pouring in…
Three strikes. But Mushy was far from out, thanks to many helping hands and hearts, like the ones at Real Dog RSQ of Long Island. The group pulled the five-month-old pup at the shelter and brought her to Eric Gray at Smilin' Pit Bull Rescue (SPBR), who had her spayed and tested for heartworms. Mushy made it through, and it looked like she'd be healthy enough for adoption after all.
Next, Eric posted the little girl's photo and description on Petfinder.com, the largest database of homeless pets on the Web, for all to read. And Bill Higgins, sitting at his computer in Vermont, saw the posting and promptly contacted SPBR.
"I didn't take him too seriously," admits Eric, "until he said he wanted to come visit Mush on Sunday, driving eight hours just for a 'look-see' visit."
Meeting Mushy in person cinched it for Bill, but he still had to go through a home visit in order to be approved for adoption. Enter a caring staffer at Vermont Pug Rescue, who volunteered to conduct the home check for SPBR. And finally, Bill got the go-ahead.
The proud new pet parent made the journey to SPBR again, but this time, Mushy was there with him on the return trip—riding shotgun. "She did tend to duck as we went through overpasses," Bill says with a chuckle. "It was hysterical!"
THE DANGERS OF RAT POISONS, PART II
When we recently issued a warning about the dangers that rat poisons can present to our animal companions, we received a flurry of feedback from you—including several e-mails whose authors thought we had dropped the ball on that issue. Now that we know about the suffering that rat poisons can inflict on cats and dogs, just imagine the agonizing deaths inflicted on the rodents that it targets. "My question is whether rodenticide is painful for the rodents," wrote one reader, "and whether there aren't other ways to address the problem."
Important point—and the ASPCA agrees. We advocate that home owners explore humane approaches to removing mice and other unwelcome wild creatures.
Please visit the following websites for information on humane approaches to dealing with nuisance wildlife:
CAN ANIMALS HELP US HEAL? NEW REPORT AVAILABLE ONLINE
The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is proud to announce the online availability of its new report, "Can Animals Help Humans Heal? Animal-Assisted Interventions in Adolescent Health." A year-long effort by the school's Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, the report looks at the role of animal-assisted interventions in the treatment of adolescents with a variety of mental health concerns. To download the report in PDF format, visit the center online.
ASPCA PHOTO CONTEST UPDATE: WE PUT OUT THE CALL, YOU ENTERED!
A hearty THANKS to the more than 425 individuals who entered our annual ASPCA Animal Watch photo contest. That's a record number of entries for the competition, now in its ninth year, which enabled us to raise nearly $16,000 for the ASPCA Trooper Fund. Judging is set for this week, and the winners will be posted in early November. Sit tight and stay tuned—we can't wait to see them, either!
P.S. A special mention is due to our New York photographers—more entries came in from the Empire State than any other. As for the animal most often entered? None other than the venerable canine!
GOOD DEED FOR THE DAY: HELP SPREAD THE ASPCA MESSAGE
Know someone who cares about animals as much as you do? Please forward this issue of ASPCA News Alert to them. Anyone with an e-mail address can register directly at our website. And please tell teachers and humane educators about Animaland, the ASPCA's interactive website for kids.
If you'd like to help us even more, you can find out how to become a member of the ASPCA or contribute to our special funds. To help pass humane legislation in your state, visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center.
Do you know what to do if you see an animal being abused? Visit the ASPCA online to find out where to report animal cruelty in your community.