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Russell Simmons Joins ASPCA Against Animal Cruelty   Print 
Tuesday, 01 February 2005
Russell Simmons has joined The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to launch a national campaign to help raise awareness of and eliminate animal abuse and neglect.

The mogul will be featured in TV and print, ads in the New York City subway system, posters and the distribution of 100,000 magnets.

"There is nothing cool about being cruel to animals, they have no choice and no voice," says Simmons. "Animal cruelty happens every day in America and people just sit by and do nothing."

The ASPCA is encouraging Americans to be on the lookout for animal cruelty in their neighborhoods and visit http://www.aspca.org to learn how to identify possible animal cruelty. Resources are also available for people to learn what laws protect animals in their areas and where animal cruelty can be reported where they live. Animal cruelty can range from neglect (failure to provide food, water, shelter, or necessary medical care) to intentional abuse, torture or death.

Joining Simmons is Emi, a lovable pooch saved from a South Bronx dog fighting lot after an anonymous complaint was filed. Emi was scarred from being used as a "bait dog" in illegal dog fights.

In addition to the national campaign, the ASPCA is launching a toll-free hotline pilot program to encourage New Yorkers to anonymously report animal cruelty throughout the five boroughs.

"The ASPCA is fortunate to have Russell Simmons joining us in our campaign to eliminate animal cruelty through awareness and action" said Edwin J. Sayres, ASPCA president. "Everyday, Americans witness animal cruelty and simply don't know what to do. The goal of this campaign is to let people know that animal abuse is a crime and if they see it, they need to report it."

The New York campaign will serve as a jumping off point for a national movement to increase animal cruelty awareness.

"We are confident that this pilot program will be a success in New York City and will enable us to implement a similar program nationally," said Sayres.

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