Category Archives: events

Free Microchip Clinic to Commemorate Five-Year Anniversary of Joplin Tornad

Joplin Humane Society, ASPCA Host Adoption Event and Free Microchip Clinic to Commemorate Five-Year Anniversary of Joplin Tornado

photo credit: ASPCA
photo credit: ASPCA

“Paws in the Park” adoption event held at Parr Hill Park as part of Joplin Proud events

This Saturday, the Joplin Humane Society and ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) will hold an adoption event and free microchip clinic to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the 2011 Joplin tornado. The event—called “Paws in the Park”—is part of Joplin Proud, four days of events to recognize the progress made since the disaster hit and decimated a third of the community.

WHEN: Saturday, May 21
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
*Microchip clinic will end at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Parr Hill Park, Joplin, Mo.

WHAT: The ASPCA and Joplin Humane Society will provide free microchipping for all pet owners on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Joplin Humane Society will also have animals available for adoption. All animals available for adoption have been microchipped, spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Pet ID tags donated by the ASPCA will be available for adopters and pet owners. All pets are welcome at the event and should be leashed and current on vaccinations.

WHY: Of the 1,300 animals displaced or lost after the 2011 tornado, fewer than five percent were microchipped. While the ASPCA was able to reunite 500 of the animals with their owners in the month following the tornado, 800 remained unclaimed. The ASPCA and Joplin Humane Society found new homes for the 800 remaining cats and dogs during a two-day adoption event hosted in late June.

“It was incredibly challenging to reunite the lost pets with their owners,” said Tim Rickey, a Joplin native and vice president of ASPCA Field Investigation and Response. “We hope the community will learn from this tragedy and get their pet’s microchipped. It could be their ticket home if they become lost or disaster strikes again.”

As a result of disasters such as the Joplin tornado, the ASPCA has created a mobile app that allows users to store critical pet records required to board pets at evacuation shelters, provides customized steps to search for lost pets, and includes a check-list of actions to take before, during and after a disaster.

photo credit: ASPCA
photo credit: ASPCA
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Cavalia, the most amazing show #OdysseoUT

Have you heard of Cavalia? It’s an amazing show the likes of which you normally only see in Las Vegas. They are in Utah right now, until June 6th, with their show Odysseo. Why am I writing about this on an animal blog? Because this is a horse show (and so much more)!!


We were lucky enough to be invited to social media night, where we were treated like royalty! Our VIP tickets gave us an amazing view of the stage, a buffet dinner before the show, dessert during intermission, and the best part of all, meeting some of the performers and touring the stables for selfies with the horses! Here is just a taste of what you will see if you go:

The show features horses, trainers, riders, and acrobatics. As many as 32 horses at one time were on the stage. And the stage is a treat in and of itself. There are many surprises during the show that involve the stage!

Another fun part is the music and the live musicians that play in sections high above the stage and audience. Be sure to look up to the left and right to see them! All of the songs are original pieces by Michel Cusson. The live music really adds to the show too. Speaking of which, one of my favorite parts was the African music and performers.

Cavalia Odysseo fun facts:

  • 68 saddles used during the show
  • 2,000 seats in the tent
  • 350 costumes and 100 boots, some performers have as many as 7 costumes!
  • 58,000 square feet in the White Big Top
  • 65 horses of 11 different breeds

Cavalia is in Utah until June 6. If you are in Utah, or planning to visit you can get a 10% discount with promo code SOCIALUT.

Learn more about Cavalia here, and enter for your chance to win tickets too.

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“The Champions” documentary now available for download

“The Champions” is an important film that tells story of pit bulls rescued and rehabilitated from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring. The film deliberately avoids visuals of dog fighting and cruelty to animals, so please do not be afraid to see the film. The film is a very inspiring and uplifting experience!

The Champions

The Champions documentary, the inspirational story about the pit bull terriers rescued from the brutal fighting ring of NFL star Michael Vick, will be widely available for audiences everywhere to download directly from Best Friends Animal Society and The film will also be available for download on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Video and VuDu.

The Champions is a story of hope, redemption and second chances – chronicling the work of animal welfare organizations like Best Friends Animal Society who agreed to take in 22 dogs despite pressures to euthanize them. The award-winning film has worked to change perceptions of pit bulls at film festivals across the country, including the Hamptons International Film Festival, DOC NYC and most recently the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, among others.

“This story proves that even creatures who have suffered the most unimaginable abuse have amazing strength, spirit, and resilience,” said Darcy Dennett, director and producer for The Champions. “But the film also looks at how pit bull terrier-type dogs are discriminated against as a breed.”

In an effort to educate the public about pit bull terrier-like dogs, the film also will be shown at community screenings in 20 cities around the country. The communities were chosen because of existing Breed-Discriminatory Legislation, which targets certain breeds of dogs, or laws that stigmatize canine victims of cruelty who are seized in connection with dog fighting. Legislation to overturn these inhumane laws is pending or has recently passed in several of these communities.

The Champions

“Prior to the Michael Vick case, the traditional, historic treatment of dogs from fight busts was simply to regard them as damaged goods and to kill them,” said Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society. “All along, we’ve been advocating for them to be given a chance. Our experience has shown that there’s no need to be afraid of the dogs or blame them, just because of the situation they came from.”

Best Friends Animal Society will host community screening of The Champions in 20 cities. For the full list of cities and dates, check here.

To learn more about The Champions and watch the trailer, visit:

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, adoption centers and spay and neuter facilities in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,300 rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to an estimated 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.

Become a fan of Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

About Director/Producer Darcy Dennett

Darcy Dennett directed and produced the documentary The Champions, about the pit-bulls rescued from the dog-fighting ring of NFL’s Michael Vick, an inspirational story of resilience and the significance of the relationship humans have with animals. In 2013, Dennett produced a segment in Nigeria for Oprah’s landmark series Belief. She was the series producer of National Geographic’s Dogtown, directed episodes of Our America with Lisa Ling, and produced a multi-million dollar advertising campaign for HSBC with some of National Geographic’s best photographers, around the world. Darcy studied film at Wesleyan, lives in NYC, and has traveled to over 50 countries. For more Information about Darcy, visit:

Posted in dogs, events, movies, people helping animals, rescues | 1 Comment

Strut Your Mutt 2015

We love Best Friends, and are so excited for Strut Your Mutt 2015!

I’m strutting as part of a local rescue team (you can support my goal here if you want), but you can walk as an individual, start your own team, or join one a team that already exists. You can even strut virtually!

Strut Your Mutt, presented by BOBS from Skechers, is a 12 city fundraising dog walk, 5K run and festival that brings together rescue groups, shelters and individuals to celebrate the collective effort of saving the lives of shelter pets.

The event kicked off the tour last weekend in Minneapolis and Portland, and will be visiting the following cities this month and next:

Austin – September 19
Kanab, UT – September 19
Jacksonville, FL – September 26
NYC – September 26
San Francisco – October 3
DC Metro Area – October 10
Los Angeles – October 10
St. Louis – October 10
Houston – October 17
Salt Lake City – October 24

Since 2010, Best Friends has raised more than $5.2 million for its animal welfare partners through Strut Your Mutt. The national goal for this year is $2.6 million.

Can’t make it to an in person strut? Join the virtual Strut Your Mutt Challenge! Supporters can raise money to help homeless pets in their own communities or for national programs that help to create sweeping changes for homeless pets everywhere. Learn more about it and join the fun at Strut Your Mutt.

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