A "Gotcha Day" for 2,000,000 animals
News and headlines for December 16 - 22, 2023
Happy holidays to you and yours — including the furry, fuzzy, feathery, and scaly ones — from me, my family, and The No Kill Advocacy Center. Together, not only will we save lives; we will create a future where every animal will be respected and cherished, and where every individual life will be protected and revered.
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
We celebrated Oswald’s Gotcha Day. We adopted Ozzy nine years ago. It was his best day ever. Of course, for a dog who is loved, every day is the best day ever. But there are a few that are especially great: that day, the day he was pulled from the pound, and September 22, 1998, a day he didn’t even exist yet.
On September 22, 1998, California Governor Pete Wilson signed Senate Bill 1785 — a law I worked on — making it illegal for shelters to kill animals if rescue groups offered to save them. It was passed over the opposition of virtually every shelter in the state, state organizations like the California Animal Welfare Association (then called the California Animal Control Directors Association), the Humane Society of the United States, and the ASPCA.
In the county where Oswald was sitting in the pound, not a single animal was sent to rescue before the law because of a “No Rescue” policy. It now has no choice but to do so, and 4,000 animals are saved each and every year by rescue groups from this one shelter alone. Oswald was one of them.
Picked up as a stray, he was skinny, traumatized, had kennel cough, and a cherry eye. He was on his last day before his scheduled killing when a rescue group pulled him, nursed him back to health, and, nine years ago, adopted him to us. Thanks to SB 1785 and the rescuer who pulled him, Oswald — and 85,000 other animals like him every year (over 2,000,000 since the law was enacted) — will have the best day ever for years to come.
The founder of Faithful Friends Animal Society [in Delaware] is recovering from a hit-and-run accident that hospitalized her and killed her dog, Emma, wh[o] she was walking at the time of the accident…
Faithful Friends is a no-kill shelter and sanctuary serving… 17,000 pets and 24,000 people through rescue, adoption and outreach services including a low-cost veterinary clinic, free pet food bank and the state’s only pet lifeline resource hotline for pet caretakers in crisis.
Under her leadership, Faithful Friends helped drive a decline in statewide killings of roughly 90%. She worked with The No Kill Advocacy Center, my organization, to pass the Delaware Companion Animal Protection Act, which state officials credit with establishing “common-sense statutes to improve the health and wellbeing of animals temporarily housed in shelters,” including “vaccination upon intake,” “veterinary care for sick or injured animals,” and “holding periods to allow owner reunification or transfer.”
Officials noted that the law “has improved the quality of care animals receive in shelters and has saved thousands of animals that would have otherwise been euthanized due to outdated policies and practices. Prior to this law, healthy dogs and cats were euthanized very quickly, sometimes while their owners were looking for them.” The law also requires that animals be given to rescue groups, if requested, rather than killed.
The law — and subsequent legislation making sterilization, instead of killing, official state policy — has also saved community cats: “Cats that free-roamed, either as outdoor pets or managed cat colonies, were indiscriminately rounded up by animal control and euthanized, much to the dismay of pet owners and colony caretakers.” No more.
Jane Pierantozzi had surgery on her leg and is expected to require up to five months of recovery. She described Emma as the daughter she never had.
The Journal of Food Production analyzed all 3,691 FDA pet product recalls over the last 20 years (2003-2022) and found that the vast majority — 68% — were pet food related. Of these, over half were Class I recalls, meaning there was “a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.” Drugs comprised 27% of all recalls, and supplements, such as vitamins, accounted for 5%.
The total does not include 2023 recalls that have sickened dogs and children, including salmonella-tainted dog food.