Yay: NYC gets its first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter! »
Read Jasmine’s story on HuffPo
This is wonderful news. NYC is starting a pilot program to let domestic violence survivors and their pets stay in a shelter together. As I’ve read many times, whether they are trying to defend their owner from the abuser or just abused to hurt or manipulate the owner, pets are very often co-victims in domestic violence situations. So much so that many victims of domestic violence will stay in the abusive situation for fear of what would happen to their pet.
The program is a partnership between the Urban Research Institute and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
National data show that more than 40% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind. Plus, more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelter report that the abuser has threatened, injured or killed family pets.(*) Yet in New York City—the largest provider of domestic violence services in the country with more than 50 shelters—not one shelter currently allows pets in residence, until now.
URI is filling this critical gap by becoming the first organization in New York City—and one of few nationwide—to welcome pets into domestic violence shelters. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will be working closely with URI to provide staff training, pet safety education, pet food and supplies, and foster solutions for any pets PALS may be unable to accommodate.
Right now the program is only accepting cats and small animals like hamsters but they also work to find foster homes for other animals (here’s a great example about a cute pup who was fostered until his family found a safe situation).
Ian Somerhalder is opening an animal sanctuary to help kids! »
Ian Somerhalder just stole my best idea! My dream is to have an animal shelter that’s also an after school program for wayward youth. By learning to love and care for the neglected animals, they would learn to love and care for themselves! Perf!
Great idea, right? Well I guess Somerhalder agrees! He’s buying a farm in Louisiana to create just such a shelter. His plan however is to specifically target bullies. From E! Online:
It’s all about collaboration and compassion… If you can empower someone who’s really young, who’s had a really tough go at it, to find compassion by using animals—because it’s so much easier than with people—then you have something. Now you’ve started to engage these kids and they’ll learn not to fight… They really realize what a full life you can have if you just get rid of those demons that we all have.
OMG I love him. But he stole my idea! JK, I’m just glad somebody is doing it. My plan was for the distant, distant future.
If you’ve never read about the benefits of animal-assisted therapy for kids, you need to because it’s some really amazing stuff. Programs where kids can read to dogs have been shown to improve literacy and kids’ confidence in reading. Dogs are also helping young people testify in abuse cases and tell their story. Adult survivors of sexual abuse listed childhood pets as trusted confidants. Animals have been shown to help kids with terminal illness, mental problems, autism, and physical challenges. And I’ve seen amazing features on Animal Planet about the benefits of dog training rescue dogs for kids in juvenile detention centers. It’s great for instilling self-discipline. They were also saying one of the hardest things for the kids to do was show affection—some of them had never been shown affection themselves—but they had to learn to in order to train the dogs with positive reinforcement. It’s just really amazing stuff.
Keeping all that in mind, I have high hopes for Somerhalder’s shelter. Bonus: it’s also going to be eco-friendly. Damn, son, he thought of everything!
NYC: Bill A 5449 vote is TODAY »
Sorry I didn’t get this out earlier! I don’t know what time it’s happening, but here’s the info from Best Friends:
The New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee will be voting on Bill A 5449 on Wednesday, Feb 15. Last year,Best Friends expressed our concerns about this bill, and presented recommended changes to Assemblywoman Paulin that would address serious problems in this legislation. These suggestions were not incorporated into the current version of A 5449. We have resubmitted these recommended changes and need your help to insure that they are included. Without the suggested changes, A 5449 would:
- Allow for the euthanizing of a frightened or panicked animal on the basis of “psychological pain,” which is too vague and subjective to be meaningful criteria for euthanasia.
- Allow animals to be euthanized for unspecified and undiagnosed “deadly and contagious” diseases.
- Not clearly define the requirements for a rescue organization to be maintained on a shelter’s registry of approved rescue organizations, which opens the door for arbitrary requirements subject to change without notice.
- Allow shelters to remove rescues from their registry of approved groups if a group is publicly critical of the shelter or staff, regardless of the merit of such criticism.
- Remove all protection for an animal that is surrendered to a shelter with an owner request that the animal be euthanized even if the animal is healthy and could be placed in a new adoptive home or with a rescue group.
- Not require shelters to include rescue organizations located in adjoining counties in New York state on the shelter’s registry of qualified rescue organizations.
The recommended changes offered by Best Friends to Assemblywoman Paulin would close the holes in the safety net that this bill should be providing. Please urge Committee Chair Magee and fellow members of the Assembly Agriculture Committee to vote NO on Bill A 5449 unless these changes are all incorporated. The welfare of shelter animals in New York depends on your action.
That sounds pretty out of control. My timid Figaro would have definitely not made it to me with those rules in place. You can go to this link to enter your ZIP code and find out who to contact.
Don’t let the Animal Humane Society turn you into an animal hoarder! »
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
Both Sarah and Megan submitted posts for this insanely sweet new PSA so I thought I’d post both because it’s Friiiiday and I’m feeling CRAZY! It’s a post-off!! post. off. POST. OFF. POST! OFF!!!
I wonder how many Vegansaurus readers have cats? Like is it a normal distribution similar to that of general society or is it like EVERYONE because we are vegans?
CUTE OVERLOAD, Y’ALL. The new Animal Humane Society PSA, “I Want…,” is promoting kitty-cat adoption with adorable talking cats! Watch this 1 million times, and then go adopt every cat everywhere ever.*
*Just kidding—then there’d be no kitties left for me! I need all of the kitties because I am a kitty hoarder.**
**Kidding again! I swear!
Okay, both posts are equally awesome! POST-OFF TIE DECLARED! Kittens for everyone!
Homeless kids and animals take care of each other in Philly! »
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on vegansaurus.com!]
How clucking sweet are the pictures in that video?! I just found out about this awesome organization Hand 2 Paw in Philly that gets homeless kids to work in animal shelters. It’s mutually beneficial! The animals get much-needed attention and the benefits to the kids are numerous. For one thing, the unconditional love of an animal can be very therapeutic, especially for a kid who maybe never received a lot of love. Also, the most difficult thing about getting a first job is not having work experience. In a shelter, there are all kinds of opportunities to learn about office work, management and general operational skills.
Stamps for tramps! »
You know, like Lady and the Tramp: Stamps to the Rescue, along with Ellen and the United States Postal Service, is releasing lovely little stamps highlighting the beautiful little tramps you can find in animals shelters. There are 10 different stamps, all dogs or cats, and they each have a little story behind them about how that pet ended up in a shelter. Here’s what happen to Teddy (pictured):
Wired-Haired Jack Russell Terrier
The owners of Teddy’s mother were surprised when she gave birth to another litter. They couldn’t afford to raise more puppies, so they gave Teddy and his siblings to a shelter. Today, Teddy lives with a loving family, their other Jack Russell, and a cat.
In honor of the new stamps, Halo, Ellen’s pet food brand, is donating 1 million meals to shelter animals.
I love these stamps! I love adopted animals! The next step I guess is to try and remember how to write letters or whatever you need stamps for. My motto is, “if I can’t do it on the internet, it doesn’t get done.” Well, it’s less of a motto, more of a crippling personal flaw. The only thing I actually mail are my Netflix rentals and of course those are pre-paid. I don’t know anyone I want to write a damn letter to! Another problem: I write like a frustrated 10-year-old boy, which makes my letters scary and hard to read. Wait wait wait! Genius idea: let’s all get prison pen-pals and write to them! Better yet, vegan prison pen-pals! Let it be done!