Category Archives: people helping animals

ASPCA Change Your Chicken Challenge #ChangeYourChicken

The love that we have for all animals is what inspired us to begin this blog in 2007. So animal cruelty, of any kind, is something we do not take lightly. There are probably not many people who know and understand what the term “factory farmed chickens” actually means. I am sure you can take a guess, and if I were going on intuition, I would say that it doesn’t sound good at all. Thankfully, we are aware of this process and the practices designed to maximize efficiency and profit, and little regard for animals’ well-being, sentience or natural behaviors.

In the U.S., there are more chickens raised for meat than any other land animal raised for food. Nearly 9 billion chickens are slaughtered each year in the U.S. Most of those birds are raised in giant, crowded sheds and bred to grow unnaturally fast, with massive chests for breast meat. Unable to support this weight, many birds spend virtually their entire lives sitting in their own waste, their breasts and legs developing open sores. In addition to being inhumane, these practices can promote foodborne illnesses, and chicken now causes more outbreaks and hospitalizations than any other animal food. Sounds like the kind of food you want to be eating, right? Probably not.

So, what can you do about it? The ASPCA is hoping to raise awareness about the plight of factory farmed chickens in order to inspire the public to demand healthier, more humane conditions. They launched Change Your Chicken– a 30 day challenge that encourages Americans to shift all their chicken purchases from the worst factory farmed products to more humanely raised products.

There are some pretty shady foods and labels out there, so make sure you are doing your research. Even then, don’t be fooled by fancy words and claims. Words like Organic, humanely raised, natural, cage free, free range, hormone free, antibiotic free and vegetarian fed, are thrown around all over the place. But in reality, they do not mean much.


A great example is “Cage Free.” This is a misleading claim for meat chickens because, unlike egg-laying hens, they are never raised in cages. If someone claims “Hormone Free,” well of course they are, because it is already illegal to feed hormones to chickens. So you aren’t getting anything different than what anyone else has. Another great claim is “Antibiotic Free.” Antibiotics are fed to animals on factory farms as a band aid fix for unhealthy living conditions. However, removing drugs does not alone make for a more humane system.

A few good ways to start your search for healthier meat are to find meats that have specific standards with labels that match those standards:


Animal Welfare Approved – Look for chickens that have continuous access to pasture or range. No feedlots. Cage confinement, hormones and sub-therapeutic antibiotics prohibited. Standards extend to breeding animals, transport and slaughter.

Certified Humane, Raised & Handled –Look for chickens that have continuous outdoor access for ruminants. Cage confinement, hormones and sub-therapeutic antibiotics prohibited. Minimum space allowance and bedding required for indoor environments.

Global Animal Partnership 5 Step Program (Steps 2 and above) –Step 2: indoor space and enrichment requirements. Step 3: outdoor access. Step 4: access to pasture. Step 5: full pasture environment. Step 5+: slaughter on farm.

Certified HumaneAnimal Welfare Approved and Global Animal Partnership (levels 2 and above) represent a range of higher-welfare practices, but all three certify that the chicken you’re buying was not subjected to the terrible crowding, filth, sickness and suffering found on the worst factory farms.


So what exactly is this challenge and how can you make a difference?

  1. Take the 30 day pledge not to purchase chicken from extreme factory farming conditions.
  2. If you eat chicken products, challenge yourself to find brands that are certified by either Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved or Global Animal Partnership levels 2 and above. Once you’re signed up, we will email you helpful tips, resources and facts to support you through this 30 day challenge.
  3. Download and print this supermarket request card to hand to store managers when you can’t find higher-welfare certified products.
  4. Share this challenge with your friends and family. We want 50,000 Americans to take this challenge. That’s a call for change the chicken industry can’t ignore! Make sure when you post, you use #ChangeYourChicken and get others to do that too!


The ASPCA hopes that by participating in the Change Your Chicken Challenge, you inspire consumers to question the claims on packages and look for these third-party audited certifications whenever possible, not just on chicken but all animal products. Once you’ve completed the thirty-day challenge the fight is not over! Here are a few ways to help farm animals:

  1. Share the Change Your Chicken Challenge with as many friends as you can! We’re just getting started.
  2. Learn more about how farm animals are raised and the few laws that govern their treatment.
  3. Download our meat, eggs and dairy label guide to avoid factory farmed animal products of all kinds and seek out trustworthy higher-welfare certifications whenever possible.
  4. Sign up for the ASPCA advocacy brigade to be the first to know when we need your help contacting state representatives to push for laws that protect farm animals.
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SMARTCOOKEE Company gives back

SMARTCOOKEE Company gives back with SMARTCOOKEE Treat with Love program

As part of its mission to provide nutritious and safe treats (surprisingly, many companies’treats are not!) to pets everywhere, SMARTCOOKEE Company, a natural, organic, premium treat maker based in Sarasota, FL, has launched their first-ever SMARTCOOKEE Treat with Love program.

With the purchase of a bag of SMARTCOOKEE Company Dog Treats,
SMARTCOOKEE will provide meaningful financial and product donations to rescues and shelters to help ensure that dogs are treated with love until they find their forever home. Additionally, throughout 2015, SMARTCOOKEE Treat with Love will directly aid two Florida rescue-based organizations –Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue and a rescue or warriors’ animal assistance organization to be announced in coming weeks. Donations will help rescues and shelters and aid these two organizations.


SMARTCOOKEE Treat with Love mission is to champion the love and bond between dogs and people by treating every dog with kindness while enabling them to live a safe, vibrant, happier, and healthier life. To make a difference in the lives of homeless dogs, supporters can participate in the program in the following ways:

•      With the purchase of SMARTCOOKEE Company Dog Treats, a donation will be made to animal rescues.

•      Through Dec. 31, 2015, for every new Like on the SMARTCOOKEE Company Facebook page, $1 will be donated to support veterans post-deployment. Follow the page to learn about other ways to help homeless animals.

There are close to 8 million homeless pets in the US, with nearly 2.7 million animals likely to be euthanized this year alone. Compelled by these staggering statistics, SMARTCOOKEE Company formalized SMARTCOOKEE Treat with Love to encourage Americans to help homeless pets and consider adoption.

“Dogs give us so much love and we want to return that love to those that need it most,”said Kelly Ison, founder and co-owner of SMARTCOOKEE Company. “From sponsoring Humane Society rescue events and wellness pet programs to donating treats to rescues, we are thrilled to provide a voice to homeless dogs through SMARTCOOKEE Treat with Love Program. It’s another way for us to be “Smart”—educating, empowering and inspiring people year after year to make a significant impact on the pet homelessness epidemic in our country.”

SMARTCOOKEE Treat with Love Partner Organizations

TBA: A nonprofit organization for veterans and animals to be named. Follow our FB page for updates in the coming weeks where we will announce our partner.

Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue (NHAR): A volunteer-based, nonprofit, no-kill sheltered environment dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats in Central Florida. NHAR’s mission is to save the lives of homeless pets by changing the way the community views animal sheltering and shelter pets, and to provide an educational and family friendly environment that will change the future one animal, one family, and one generation at a time. Through the Treat with Love program, SMARTCOOKEE will give SMARTCOOKEE treats to NHAR to support health and nutrition while their pets wait to be adopted into their very own forever homes.

#treatwithlove #sharethehappiness

About The SMARTCOOKEE Company: SMARTCOOKEE is a recognized leader in providing premium organic artisan dog treats infused with chia seed. Original recipes are created with the finest natural, organic, raw ingredients. All products are Corn, Wheat, and Soy-Free. SMARTCOOKEE aims to bring our dog treats to the general public through wholesale, pet retailers, and online sales while enhancing the lives of our four-legged family members through shelters by giving back, educating, empowering and inspiring people to make better choices for their pets’ nutrition and health. For more on The SMARTCOOKEE Company visit

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Live Well & Prospurr

Morris the Cat is known throughout the world as the star of over fifty 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s up through today. He gained even greater notoriety when he became an advo-cat for kitty adoptions with his “Million Cat Rescue” initiative, and just this year, he took a trip to South by Southwest as a feline technology correspondent.

Morris the Cat

It seems America’s favorite ‘charmingly choosy’ feline is always on the go, but I recently had the chance to catch up with him to talk show biz, naps, and how he’s giving back through his new effort called ‘Live Well & Prospurr.’

You’ve been a TV star since the 1970s and yet you look as vivacious as ever. How do you keep your youthful glow?

People ask me all the time if I’ve had work done. But in fact, my whiskers stay perky thanks to a disciplined regimen of napping, sleeping, napping some more, eating (9Lives, of course), and just generally hanging out. I want to emphasize this last one because even though it’s categorically important for our health and happiness, it’s also the easiest to forget as we go about our busy lives. That’s why I developed my Official Guide to Relaxing, Chillin’, Unwinding & More. (I had to take some time away from hanging out to write it, but I hope you’ll agree it was well worth it.)

Moris the Cat

Are humans allowed to know what’s in this guide or is it for felines only?

Oh no, the guide was written for all species, both two- and four-legged. And let’s face it, cats are pretty good at hanging out already. I know relaxing can be daunting—what with work, kids, errands, and chores—but that’s why I created the 5 levels of hanging out. Even the most stressed out person can master Level 1: Kicking Back. Then, as people get more comfortable with the idea of just relaxing, they can move on to the higher levels and ultimately achieve what I like to call Prospurr.

How does someone know when they’ve achieved Prospurr?

Excellent question, Aimee. Prospurr is the Holy Grail of hanging out. It’s not so much an action as a state of mind, but purr-haps I could describe it best like this: It’s like the moment you flop onto the couch after a hard day, mixed with the tingling sensation of getting scratched behind the ears, rolled into the drool-inducing taste of a bowl of 9Lives. You humans out there probably haven’t tried 9Lives, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. For more tips on hanging out, go to this website that I built with my own four paws:

Moris the CatI know working in show biz can mean very long hours. How do you keep to your hangout regimen while you’re on set?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Just like Brad Pitt or Liam Hemsworth, I have a stand-in who sets up all my shots for me. That way I can rest in my trailer—ahem, carrying case—until the cameras start rolling. My stand-in is polyester and has a tag that says “Made in the USA,” but he does the trick. All I have to do is show up and look handsome… which is easy since I’ve spent the whole day getting my beauty rest.

Certainly the entertainment industry, and the world in general, has changed a lot since the 1970s. How do you keep up with the times?

I chase the times like a red-laser dot, and I’m always on the lookout for cool new tech gadgets that help cats and humans live well. One of my new favorites is the Apple Watch—it lets me track how much time I spend ‘napping’ versus the time I spend ‘sleeping.’ AND, today it told me that I took 19 steps going from my bed to my food dish—nothing like working up a sweat before a big meal.

What is the best advice you could give to someone who wants to live a better life?

Watch cat videos! A recent study conducted by some really smart people at Indiana University found that after watching a clip of Lil Bub, Nora the Piano Cat or of course, yours truly, participants felt increased levels of joy and energy. Science doesn’t lie, people! Bonus points if you watch said cat videos curled up in bed or on a fluffy couch.

If a cat watches cat videos, does it have the same effect?

Yes—in fact, the effect is multiplied. It’s like topping 9Lives Super Supper with even more 9Lives Super Supper. Some days I’ll watch cat videos the entire four hours I’m awake.

It seems like you’ve got a pretty nice life, Morris.

I’m very lucky, but to me, being a celebricat isn’t about paw-ty hopping or head-booping Hollywood royalty. It’s about enjoying the simple pleasures that let me live well—and helping others to do the same. You may not know this but I was actually a rescue cat in Chicago before I was ‘discovered.’ This year, with your support, I’m donating a million meals to the ASPCA. Every time you tweet using #MorrisFeeds I’ll donate a bowl of 9Lives to a kitty in need. And I haven’t forgotten about my human fans: Go to for a chance to win $300 towards a relaxing getaway… You deserve it!

Moriss the Cat signature

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Dog boxes help homeless and struggling dog owners

Homeless and struggling dog owners in Bristol are set to get some additional support from August, with an innovative new business that gives out free ‘dog boxes’ to those in need.

A Hound Haus volunteer met Mark and his dog Brian while out and about in Bristol.
A Hound Haus volunteer met Mark and his dog Brian while out and about in Bristol.

The Hound Haus is a subscription service that allows customers around the UK to receive a monthly box of dog goodies; the company then uses the profits to produce and distribute free boxes to struggling or homeless owners.

A sample box that is available for the public to buy.
A sample box that is available for the public to buy.

The free boxes contain food, blankets, leads, bowls, flea and worming products as well as treats, chews and toys and will be distributed weekly throughout Bristol.

The boxes are an important aid to struggling or homeless owners as it gives owners the confidence that their dogs are being cared for and lets them concentrate on their on other struggles be it employment, financial difficulties, disability or something else.

The aim is to support owners to prevent more dogs from ending up in shelters. With as many as 200 dogs a day being abandoned or given over to shelters around the UK, The Hound Haus aim to help the dogs, the owners and in turn reduce the demands on animal shelters.

The Hound Haus are also starting a free dog walking service that aims to help homeless or struggling owners who may be suffering with depression or anxiety to get out and about with their dogs.

The Hound Haus is run by Verity Jones, a young Bristolian entrepreneur, who has help from friends and family volunteers to get all the boxes out and dogs walked. She said:

“I have always loved dogs and have been working with homeless people for a while when I decided there needed to be a service that helped struggling owners out. Dogs are so rewarding and can be so much more than a pet to many people so to be able to help people and dogs to live a better life is an important job.”

“There are sometimes some negative responses around homeless people owning dogs, but there are many of unfortunate reasons why someone may end up homeless, and keeping a beloved pet can mean a number of things. For the dogs; it keeps them out of kennels and away from the stress that separation can cause. For the owners, dogs can be a great sense of comfort, safety and companionship for someone suffering homelessness, depressions or a stressful situation.”

All information for either the public wanting to buy boxes or homeless or struggling owners seeking free boxes is available in their website:

We think this is a great initiative and are happy to help spread the word! Please share this post if you can.

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Hero K9 Receives Donations for Life-Saving Surgery

Such great news to share today! Angels for Animals Foundation and Partners Reach Fundraising Goal for Hero K9’s Life-Saving Operation.

The Guardian Angels K9 Fund, a dedicated fund of the Angels for Animals Foundation specifically serving police and military K9s, successfully partnered with Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital and the Deptford Police Department in New Jersey to raise the substantial funds necessary to ensure retired K9 Aron received the essential surgery that would save his life.

K9 Aron, who was recently retired and adopted by his former handler, was diagnosed with several severe medical issues including two large tumors in his abdomen and spleen. The diagnosis came just two years after he played a major role in rescuing a nine-year-old autistic boy who had become stuck in mud up to his neck in a creek in East Greenwich, NJ. For his efforts, K9 Aron was presented with a Life Saving Award with Valor.

“K9 Aron served his community with distinction, and it is a testament to his service that these organizations, along with donors from around the world, came together to pay for his surgery,” said Mark F. Magazu, II, Founder and Chairman of the Angels for Animals Foundation. “It is Guardian Angels K9 Fund’s mission to ensure that all police and military dogs, whether retired or on active duty, receive the medical care they need and deserve. We are particularly grateful to the University of Pennsylvania for providing K9 Aron with state of the art medical care during his time of need.”

K9 Aron is the first police dog to receive medical care under the umbrella of the Guardian Angels K9 Fund since it was launched in March of 2015. The Guardian Angels K9 Fund is working to expand its operation across the nation in order to identify and assist other police and military K9s in need of assistance.

To learn more about the Guardian Angels K9 Fund or to find out how you can support the mission, please visit Donations can also be made by texting the word “GuardianK9” to the number 41444, followed by a space and then the amount you would like to donate.

For additional information on the Angels for Animals Foundation, visit the Angels for or on Facebook at

About Guardian Angels K9 fund

The Guardian Angels K9 Fund is a dedicated fund of the Angels for Animals Foundation solely focused on raising money to provide life-saving medical care to police and military service dogs on active duty and in retirement. More information can be found at

About Angels for Animals Foundation

The Angels for Animals Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization that raises money to help pet owners suffering from extreme financial hardship to provide veterinary care for animals facing serious medical challenges. Each year, thousands of family pets are euthanized because their owners simply cannot afford life-saving medical treatments and procedures. The Angels for Animals Foundation has facilitated nearly$500,000 in services of either cash raised or negotiated free or discounted services for all types of animals since it was founded in 2011. Donations to the Angels for Animals Foundation can be made online or via text message. More information can be found at

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