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New Hope for Fear and Anxiety in Abused Dogs

Story at-a-glance
  • Recently the ASPCA opened the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, NJ, a first-of-its-kind facility dedicated exclusively to helping rehabilitate dogs that have been victims of animal cruelty.
  • The center’s patients will come from shelters across the country as well as from ASPCA-involved seizures, and will primarily be victims of puppy mills and hoarding situations.
  • Dogs with extreme fear disorders are in danger of being euthanized unless they can be rehabilitated – a job that typically falls to shelter workers and rescue groups. The ASPCA’s new center, which is launching a two-year research project, has committed to share its findings with shelters and rescue organizations across the U.S.
  • The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center has over two dozen kennels, treatment rooms, “real life” rooms, and common areas. There are 10 staff members, including two behavior experts, plus volunteers and daily caretakers. The ASPCA invested over a half a million dollars in the center, and will pay for all patient expenses, including vet care.
  • For many animals, being rescued from a lifetime of neglect and abuse is just the beginning of a long journey to recovery. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to provide rescued dogs with customized behavior therapy and more time to recover, which will increase their chances of being adopted

 

Dog Rehabilitation

By Dr. Becker

Recently the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) opened the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ, as part of a two-year research project.

Per an ASPCA press release, the center is “the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty, such as those confiscated from puppy mills and hoarding cases.” According to center director Kristen Collins, the center will also treat a certain number of dogs that have been confined for long periods because they are “evidence” in court cases.

The Behavior Rehabilitation Center’s canine patients will come from shelters across the U.S. as well as from ASPCA-involved seizures from puppy mills and hoarders. According to Collins, the center is the first facility of its kind in that it will be focused exclusively on providing rehabilitation for dogs that are victims of animal cruelty.

The Center’s findings as part of the two-year research project will be shared with shelters and rescue organizations throughout the U.S.

Dogs with Extreme Fear Disorders Are Euthanasia Candidates

Dogs suffering from extreme fear are prone to symptoms such as shaking, cowering, loss of bladder control, growling and biting. In some cases, the fear is always present and causes the animal a great deal of pain. These cases are very hard to treat.

This level of fear is commonly seen in dogs that have survived life in puppy mills or hoarding situations. Once free, fear consumes them because their previous miserable, often abusive existence is all they’ve ever known. Typically these animals are turned over to shelters and rescue groups who try to work with the dogs to help them overcome their fears. The alternative for many of these dogs is, sadly, euthanasia.

Dogs cowering in the back of their shelter kennels certainly have no quality of life, and prospective owners seldom choose them. If they do get adopted, without treatment they are ill-prepared to blend into a family environment, and many new owners are disappointed or at a loss to know what to do to help their new four-legged family member.

One of the things the ASPCA’s research project will do is provide some statistics to work with. Presently, no one really knows how many dogs with fear disorders are placed in adoptive homes, or how they do once they go to their new families. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center staff will follow up on placed animals to document how well they are doing in their new environment.

Most Dogs Will Stay at the Center for Six to Eight Weeks

The ASPCA’s new center has over two dozen kennels, treatment rooms, “real life” rooms, common areas, and an office. There are 10 people on staff at the center, including two behavior experts from St. Hubert’s. There are also volunteers and caretakers who feed the dogs and clean their kennels.

Center behaviorists will provide customized behavior modification therapy to reduce fear and anxiety in abused dogs. From a recent press release:

Treatment plans will incorporate the use of scientifically sound techniques designed to reduce the dogs’ fear of people and other dogs, acquainting them to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma and severe stress among this population.

The ASPCA spent over half a million dollars on the center, and will foot the bill for all patient expenses, including veterinary care.

Most dogs will stay at the facility for six to eight weeks, with some requiring a more lengthy or shorter stay, depending on their individual situation. “Graduates” of the center will return to a shelter for placement, and ongoing therapy will be provided as needed.

"For some animals, the reality is that after a lifetime of neglect and abuse, the rescue is just the beginning of their journey to recovery," said Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to provide rescued dogs individualized behavior therapy and more time to recover from past abuse. This will increase the likelihood of successful adoption.

Rescued Alaskan Malamutes Some of Center’s First Residents

Some of the first patients at the new center were a few Alaskan malamutes taken from a Montana breeder who was convicted in December 2012 of over 90 counts of animal cruelty. A total of 213 malamutes were rescued from starvation and filthy living conditions in that case. The dogs were transferred to other kennels and kept as evidence for 16 months during trial preparation.

Eighteen of the dogs were pregnant, one of which weighed just 48 pounds (the average weight of an Alaskan malamute is 75 pounds). She delivered a litter of eight puppies. Only one survived.

Once the dogs were no longer “evidence,” they were sent to a humane society in Helena where they were spayed and neutered. Another animal welfare group helped begin placing the dogs. Some of the malamutes have found new homes; some are living in rescues awaiting adoption.

One of the dogs was adopted by the president of the Alaska Malamute Assistance League in Anchorage. The dog, a 6 year-old female named Cinder, is missing the tip of one ear, has broken teeth and a broken toe – all caused by food fights among the starving dogs while they lived at the breeding facility in Montana. According to Cinder’s owner, many of the malamutes are missing their tongues for the same reason.

Cinder’s owner, Bob Sutherland, says she has come a long way:

"We took a shy dog, and she’s all grins and giggles now. If you work with these dogs, they rise and shine. That’s why this ASPCA facility is so valuable to us. We were super excited to get these dogs in there to go through a training regimen. It saves us a lot of heartbreak about what we do with these dogs.”

Hope for the Future of Mistreated Animals

Sadly, there will be dogs that cannot overcome their fear, no matter how extensive the rehabilitation. But the center’s behaviorists are committed to do everything possible to help dogs recover. Euthanasia will be a last resort for dogs with an extremely poor quality of life, or those who pose a significant threat to people or other animals.

The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center will only be able to handle about 400 animals during the two-year project, so it won’t take much burden off shelters in the immediate future. The hope is that researchers will develop new ways to treat fear, anxiety and shyness in dogs that have been abused, and those techniques can be shared on a broad scale with other facilities and groups doing similar work.

According to Collins, success with this project could expand future projects to include fighting dogs, and even cats.

Related:

Humane Society of the U.S. finally changes its policy on fighting dogs

Great Update About Dogs Removed From Michael Vick’s Compound

May 10, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Adoption, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pets Displaced by Sandy Find Temporary Home

The ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility has been up and running in Brooklyn since Saturday November 17! Our dedicated staff and volunteers are currently caring for about 150 animals and providing relief to Sandy victims who need temporary housing for their pets.

St Bernard Resuced After Hurricane Sandy

Check out photos of the operation in our Facebook album.

This week, we received pets at locations near the hardest hit areas, including the Rockaways and Coney Island on Monday and Tuesday and Staten Island and Red Hook later in the week. The facility has also welcomed pets who were being housed at evacuation centers or a Sean Casey Animal Rescue facility, as well as animals dropped off directly by their families.

Made possible in part thanks to a $500,000 grant from Rachael Ray, this free service was created in response to the many pet parents who asked for a place to board animals until they found new homes. With the help of volunteers from the ASPCA Adoption Center, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and elsewhere, we’re aiming to give hundreds of families a chance to rebuild their lives without having to say goodbye to their beloved furry family members.

Watch this blog for updates.

If you or someone you know was affected by Sandy and would like to use our free boarding service, please read this post for details.

If you would like to donate to our Disaster Relief Fund, you can do so here.

Rachael Ray donates $500,000, food to Sandy pets

Rachal Ray donated $500.000 to help animals affected by hurricane Sandy and 4 tons of Nutritious food for them.

Related:

Breezy Point Queens in Ruins – 15-Days After Hurricane Sandy

Horrors of FEMA disaster relief

If You Have to Evacuate to a Shelter, Many in New York and New Jersey Will Allow You to Bring Your Pets

Pets Being Left Behind to Starve by Their Families

November 24, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ASPCA and Others Cry for Help: Animal Cruelty by Police Becoming Epidemic?

What is going on with our police and dogs?  The people we put our trust in?

Recently a 62-year-old grandmother in Washington, DC tells AP that police came to her home serving a drug warrant for her 28-year-old grandson. The grandma asks to put her dog in the back yard or the bathroom. The cops tell her the bathroom would be fine. Later, the cops open the bathroom door, claim this 13-year-old dog named “Wrinkles” attacked them, and they shoot it multiple times. By the way, the grandson hasn’t lived in the home for a dozen years and the only drugs cops found were what they claimed was “drug residue” on some baggies, which the grandma contends is the residue of fortune cookies.

Video:  ASPCA THIS IS A CRY FOR HELP: ANIMAL CRUELTY BY THE LAGRANGE MISSOURI POLICE

Video: brave heroic cops kill 5 pound family dog

Video:  Camden Police use 33 bullets to kill puppy, bullets hit cars & homes too

Video:  COP KILLS INNOCENT FAMILY DOG

Video:  Police chief brutally shoots caged dogs

Video:  Facebook campaign "Justice for Cisco" puts pressure on Austin police over dog shooting

These are just a small sampling of the dog shootings by police departments around the country! One must question what is going and unite to help stop this abuse!  When the police begin shooting harmless dogs or family dogs without cause and handcuffing and arresting people for filming them and questioning procedures, it is time to speak up!

July 7, 2012 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pets, Political Change, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Doggie Flash Mob Makes TV History this Morning in NYC

As reported here, this morning on the plaza outside the Fox and Friends studio in midtown Manhattan, a doggie flash mob started assembling at 7 to celebrate National Keep Pets Safe in Winter Day, which is today, December 22. The dogs were bright-eyed; the humans, a bit bleary!

But all were thrilled to receive species-specific goodies: Ark Naturals Paws in the Pie pumpkin treats for the pets and Dunkin Donuts for the people.

A veritable rainbow coalition of K9s turned out for the festivities: dogs large and small, purebred and mixed, young and old. One scene-stealer who richly deserved her turn in the spotlight is Patsy the Pit Bull (below), a sweetheart, a looker, and a real good kisser who’s available for adoption from the ASPCA.

Also on hand and paw for the event were several sweet adoptable dogs from Animal Haven Shelter, including a charming Chihuahua named Eazy E (below).

Dogs were offered sweet sweatshirts emblazoned with the logo of Morton Safe-T-Pet, the paw-friendly ice melter that sponsored this fun event. The dogs’ handlers, meanwhile, got logo’d blue fleece hats.

Piggy the terrific tripod mutt, below, was born with a warm thermal layer (he’s a Border Collie mix, after all), so he showed up in his birthday suit and gamely sported a blue fleece hat for this photo (along with his dad, Darwin Animal Doctors founder Tod Emko)!

Source: Dogster

Related:  Winter and Holiday Health Hazards for Animals

December 24, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Public Service Announcement —– Do not leave your dog unattended ever!

Do not leave your dog… your pets outside or in vehicles in this heat ever!!!

In light of reading multiple reports of dogs dying (slowly cooked from the inside out) by being left unattended in cars here is a public service announcements for all you mentally challenged and cruel morons… DON’T TAKE YOUR DOG (OR ANY OTHER LIVING CREATURE) WITH YOU IF YOU DON’T INTEND TO STAY RIGHT WITH YOUR DOG.

I don’t even let my dog outside in our big fenced in yard without supervising her, just exactly like you would a toddler.

What is it with people that bring their dogs along in a car and leave them? Are they nuts or just plain mean.

Dogs will even die if left outside too long in the heat God, don’t get a dog or kitty if you’re not going to care for him/her… they are not it’s; they are living beings.

 

 

The body temperature of the animal will increase to the point where it is effectively boiled alive from the inside  – Ch Supt Mike Flynn

Again, god how stupid are people? In just three minutes of googling I’ve seen over a hundred cases of dogs being left to die in the heat………..what in sam hell is going on with humanity?  What happened to common sense and love for our pets?

Don’t just leave your dog, watch them, they are about as intelligent as a two year old child at most – when my kids were two I had to be on them like glue).

I don’t leave my dog alone ever, I know exactly where she is at and what she is doing at all times.

Don’t get a dog if you’re not going to take really good care of him/her.
Boiling to death is a horrible, gruesome way to die.

Video:  Idiots Leave Dogs Unattended in Heat Wave

Source: ATS

Make sure there is plenty of cool water out for them in the house and outside in the shade.

Related:

Cruelty Alert: Pets Suffering from Heatstroke in Parked Cars

Temperatures Are Rising: Be a Dog Defender: Help Save Animals This Summer!  Cool Ideas for Hot Dogs -  Please be proactive and vocal… you could be saving a life and definitely saving animals of a lot of suffering!!

ASPCA’s Pets in Hot Cars flyer (pdf) in her glovebox to give out when appropriate. Please print and distribute these flyers (pdf) in your neighborhood to help educate people about the danger of leaving pets in hot cars.

A hot oven or a hot car... It's the same thing.

Please step up for abused and neglected pets and animals.  Help them and be their voice.  Call the authorities if you suspect a problem.  It is always better to err on the pet’s or animal’s (or child’s) side!  And always call animal services or the police if you see a pet locked in a car and/or out in a yard where it has no access to shade and water!  More animals die from ignorant, neglectful and cruel owners than from diseases!!

Posted by Ask Marion at JOMP – h/t to Jean Stoner

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

June 29, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

California Chihuahuas Find New Homes in NYC

Cute Chihuahua

ASPCA Welcomes California Chihuahuas to the Big Apple

On March 1, the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan welcomed 12 Chihuahuas from California who were in search of new homes. The doggie dozen came from the City of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, and their in-cabin transportation was donated by Virgin Airlines. After some post-travel rest and relaxation, most of the tiny pups were made available for adoption on March 10. That day, more than half of the dogs—Pinky, Freckles, Ivana, Nicky, Rice, Robin and Gidget—packed their bags for the last time and made their way to their new forever homes. Over the weekend, Albus and Batman were also adopted.

In recent years, California shelters have seen a dramatic increase in Chihuahua intakes—this toy breed now makes up nearly one-third of the state’s shelter dog population. While demand for Chihuahuas has declined in much of the Golden State, their popularity in New York City is as high as ever.

"We are glad to be given this opportunity to help New Yorkers get the small dogs they want, and at the same time help find loving homes for San Francisco’s homeless animals," said Gail Buchwald, ASPCA Senior Vice President.

This month’s transfer isn’t the first time the ASPCA has opened our doors to homeless animals from the West Coast. In January 2010, we welcomed 15 dogs to our Manhattan headquarters in the first-ever Operation Chihuahua. The ASPCA supports the transfer of homeless pets from overcrowded shelters across the country as long as certain safeguards and restrictions are observed.

For more information about the ASPCA’s position on animal transport for adoption, please visit us at ASPCA.org.

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Chihuahua, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | Leave a comment

USA: Bring All Commercial Dog Breeders under Federal Oversight!

ASPCA Urgent Alert

Dear Animal Advocates,

There is a giant loophole in U.S. law concerning the federal oversight of large-scale commercial dog breeders (commonly known as puppy mills). Currently, breeders who sell to puppy brokers and pet stores have to be licensed by the USDA, while those who sell puppies directly to the public do not.

However, a new bill before the U.S. House of Representatives, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, will bring all commercial dog breeders in the United States under federal oversight by requiring any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually to the public—including over the Internet—to be licensed and inspected. The bill will also require all licensed breeders to exercise every dog daily.

The PUPS Act has been introduced in past Congressional sessions, but has always timed out. We’ve been given another chance at enacting this extremely important humane legislation, which would improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs nationwide.

What You Can Do

It is vital that members of Congress hear that puppy mill reform is important to their constituents. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to email your U.S. representative in Washington, D.C., and urge him or her to support and cosponsor the PUPS Act.

Thank you for your continued support of the ASPCA and our nation’s animals!

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USA: Bill for Nationwide Puppy Mill Reform Needs You!

ASPCA Urgent Alert
Dear Animal Advocates,

As you may already know, there is a large loophole in the federal law concerning USDA oversight of large-scale commercial dog breeders (known as “puppy mills”). Currently, breeders who sell to brokers and pet stores have to be licensed by the USDA, while those who sell puppies directly to the public do not.

Introduced in Congress in late May, a bill called the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act will bring all commercial dog breeders in the United States under federal oversight by requiring any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually to the public—including over the Internet—to be licensed and inspected. The bill will also require all licensed breeders to exercise every dog daily.

The PUPS Act is extremely important humane legislation that will improve the lives of thousands of dogs across the country. We hope we can count on your support to help us get it passed.

What You Can Do

Now more than ever, it is vital that members of Congress hear that puppy mill reform is important to their constituents. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to email your senators and representative to urge them to support and cosponsor the PUPS Act.

Thank you for your continued support of the ASPCA and our nation’s animals!

Posted:  Just One More Pet

June 23, 2010 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hey, Animal Lovers: Win Tickets to Lilith Fair!

Lilith

This summer, the ASPCA is thrilled to be partnering with Lilith Fair, the one-of-a-kind, touring festival featuring music megastars including Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Rihanna, Emmylou Harris and tour co-founder and ASPCA supporter Sarah McLachlan. In the spirit of the tour’s generosity—the festival donates a large portion of its proceeds to various national and international women’s charities—the ASPCA is treating 30 supporters to two free tickets to attend the show in their town. And one lucky grand prize winner will receive a guitar signed by the touring artists!

If you know a courageous woman who has made great strides in improving the lives of animals, we want to hear from you! We’re looking for female animal activists who are especially dedicated to combating cruelty and pet homelessness. In 300 words or less, please tell us why you are nominating this admirable heroine—and don’t forget to include a photo.

We’re accepting submissions on a rolling basis through early August, so don’t miss out! To learn more about the contest or to submit a nomination, please visit our Lilith Fair Contest page.

Posted: Just One More Pet

June 19, 2010 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Woman Arrested for Allegedly Starving Two Terriers

Horrible!!  Throw the book at her and then some!!

HLE

When two severely emaciated Jack Russell Terriers arrived at the New York City Animal Care & Control (AC&C) shelter in Brooklyn, staff immediately suspected they had a cruelty case on their hands. Brooklyn resident Vera Osborne had relinquished the starving dogs, claiming that her niece could no longer afford to feed them—and that she could no longer bear witness to it. One of the dogs, a two-year-old pup named Patches, died within hours of being admitted, despite heroic veterinary efforts to save him.

“Unfortunately, starvation is one of the most common types of cruelty we investigate,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. “Animal cruelty is a serious crime, and we are doing everything we can to see that the victims receive justice.”

AC&C contacted the ASPCA Humane Law Department for assistance with the case, and a necropsy performed at ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital confirmed that Patches’ cause of death was indeed starvation.

Soon after, ASPCA Special Agent Joe Vais began investigating Patches’ death, traveling to Osborne’s East Flatbush home for an interview. When questioned, Osborne again stated that the dogs were under the sole care of her niece, Rlisa Youell, and that after several failed attempts to have the dogs properly cared for, she turned them over to the shelter.

On February 24, Special Agent Vais arrested Youell and charged her with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The second dog has been treated and made available for adoption at AC&C in Brooklyn.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

(Just another example that we all need to be vigilant and report or intercede whenever abuse is involved.  We also need to get these sentences upgraded for abuse to animals, children, seniors… or anyone!!)

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal abuse, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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