At their annual Humane Awards Luncheon, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(ASPCA) yesterday honored people and animals that demonstrated outstanding commitment to furthering the human-animal bond.
In June, the ASPCA issued a call for nominations from the public asking them to help identify extraordinary animals as well as people who have furthered animal welfare. After sifting through more than 2,000 entries a committee selected by the ASPCA identified the finalists for each category.
Winners will be presented with their award at the Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City today at the historic Rainbow Room.
and the Winners Are
ASPCA Presidential Service Award Laura Maloney, executive director of the Louisiana SPCA, has spent the last month living and breathing animal rescue. No one could have predicted the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. As the storm approached, the Louisiana SPCA facility on Japonica Street housed more than 500 animals. Maloney reacted quickly and unceasingly in her dedication, devotion and sheer will, She was able to evacuate EVERY SINGLE animal in her facility. Under her deft leadership, multiple trips, staff and trucks were swiftly engaged to safely move the animals to Houston, Dallas, and Lake Charles.
The evacuation came not a moment too soon – the facility was leveled. Maloney quickly shifted gears to the rescue of New Orleans’ animal population working from 6 or 7 am until midnight for well over a month to recover as many of her community’s pets as possible.
Currently set up in a temporary facility, it is estimated that it will take over a year before the Louisiana SPCA is able to function at pre-Katrina levels but Ms. Maloney is committed and already tireless in its rebuilding.
As Louisiana’s largest and oldest animal protection organization, the LA-SPCA typically takes in 1,000 animals a month and is well known for their dog fighting and animal cruelty investigative work. In fact, last year alone it achieved victory in two major legislative battles – outlawing both hogdogging and primates as pets.
ASPCA Dog of the Year
Bugsey, a two-year-old Rotweiler, is a trained therapy dog. Every Monday his owner Doug brings him to P.S. 84 in Astoria, Queens to read with first graders.
Bugsey is an extremely good listener and helps turn the pages and point out exciting pictures. The first graders love reading and interacting with him. Bugsey watches as they draw pictures of things they read. Every once in a while he also tries to eat the crayons.
ASPCA Cat of the Year
Pumpkin, tortoiseshell cat, lives outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The year after Pumpkin joined the Cason family, son, Will, who has Down Syndrome and Autism was diagnosed with leukemia. Will underwent two and a half years of treatment with many complications, nearly dying several times. Pumpkin has a unique bond with Will. She has been his only friend and companion, at times hiding in his bedroom to keep him company at night.
ASPCA Lifetime Achievement
R.K Anderson, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, DACVB, has been in the animal welfare world since 1947 when he became Director of Veterinary Public Health Section, Dept. of Health and Hospitals, of Denver Colorado. Because of an outbreak of canine rabies, R.K. was asked to also become the Director of the Animal Shelter and Animal Control Program for the City and County of Denver from 1950 to 1956. In this position, he had to hire and teach animal control officers to appropriately handle hundreds of dogs that were not vaccinated and not on leash. He soon found it was much easier to handle anxious and fearful animals with minimum restraint, using food, praise and attention and soon become know as a “cookie usher.” In addition, he achieved a vaccination rate of an amazing 95%.
Dr. Anderson has served as the Director of Veterinary Public Health Programs and a Professor in the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and has been president of both the Colorado and the Minnesota Public Health Associations.
Dr. Anderson is the author of over 100 scientific articles and the recipient of numerous awards. Lastly, the good Doctor is the inventor of the Gentle Leader head collar for dogs and is currently the Director of CENSHARE at the University of Minnesota.
ASPCA Community Activist
Known as the Godfather of Hip Hop, Russell Simmons began his career managing the group Run-DMC. With his unfailing ability to package Hip Hop and Rap to ever larger audiences, he co-founded Def Jam Records and helped launched the careers of LL Cool J, Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys as well as other top acts. In addition to his music successes, he launched the urban fashion label Phat Farm.
His social agenda and philanthropic activities enabled him to lend his celebrity and influence to participate in the ASPCA’s recent “Cruel’s Not Cool” public service campaign. The broadcast component of the campaign has aired more than 8,000 times to date around the country.
ASPCA Fire Fighter of the Year
Bobby Fumarelli served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years before becoming a New York firefighter. Following the Marines, he joined Rescue Company Number One of the Yonkers Fire Department. His has been a life of duty, sacrifice and concern for others. From 9/11/01 and the days that followed where he gave his all to the rescue efforts to most recently, when he took himself from the relative calm of New York and called the ASPCA to volunteer in Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts, Bobby Fumarelli has put service to others before his own well being. Fumarelli, who intended to stay about a week in New Orleans and quickly extended his stay to two, was involved in the rescue of as many as dozens of animals a day. He worked with specific animal rescues and the general rebuilding of shelter facilities.
ASPCA Police Officer of the Year
NYPD Detective Mathew O’Donnell went beyond the call of duty to rescue a pit bull/lab mix puppy from an environment that was harmful to the animal and promising only to get worse.
On police business related to another matter, O’Donnell was called to an apartment where he heard a dog barking loudly. Upon entry, the dog was found to be cowering in a corner, with no food or water. Detective O’Donnell took possession of the animal and brought her to a local animal hospital where she is recovering nicely.
Henry Bergh Award Maddie’s Fund(r), the Pet Rescue Foundation (www.maddiesfund.org), was established by PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield and his wife Cheryl in 1999 with a lead grant of $200 million dollars.
The Foundation makes good on a promise the Duffields made to their beloved Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie, to give back to her kind in dollars that which Maddie gave to them in friendship and love.
Maddie passed away in 1997, but thanks to this one little dog, abandoned shelter animals have new opportunities to find loving homes in which they, too, may share in the joy, love and companionship that Dave and Cheryl enjoyed with Maddie.
Maddie’s Fund supports collaborative efforts in which entire cities and counties pool their talents and resources to build a safety net of care for the community’s dogs and cats. The Foundation awards millions of dollars through multi-year grants to animal welfare coalitions to end the killing of healthy shelter dogs and cats community-wide. Funded projects must produce an immediate and measurable increase in adoptions and reduction in shelter deaths to demonstrate progress towards the goal.
This June, the Duffields added another $93 million to the fund. Maddie’s Fund already dwarfs other grant makers that give solely to animal welfare. As of last August, the foundation had awarded $33-million over five years to shelters, veterinary hospitals, and other organizations. It routinely donates more than the 5% of assets that private foundations are required by federal law to give each year.
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal) was the first humane organization established in the Western Hemisphere and today has one million supporters. The ASPCA’s mission is to provide an effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA(r) provides national leadership in humane education, government affairs and public policy, shelter support, and animal poison control. The NYC headquarters houses a full-service animal hospital, animal behavior center, and adoption facility. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York’s animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series Animal Precinct on Animal Planet.
Visit www.aspca.org for more information.