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Today is April 10

Golfer’s DayThe Masters Tournament is the first of golf’s four major championships in the calendar year. Americans Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed are the two most recent Masters champions, and fans are already eager to see who earns the fabled green jacket this year.

Televised golf competitions often inspire people to hit the links. People with a passion for golf may want to check out some of the top courses in the world, as ranked by leading golf resources and experts.

· Ballybunion: This Irish course was touted as “nothing less than the finest seaside course” by famed golf writer Herbert Warren Wind. The course hosted the 2000 Irish Open, but lack of other tournaments can be attributed to its remote, albeit beautiful, location.

· Cypress Point: This club sits at the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula in California. Located in coastal dunes and on rocky coastlines, Cypress Point is often noted for its dramatic holes along the Pacific Ocean.

· Pine Valley: Located in Pine Valley, NJ, this course, which is more than 100 years old, boasts some formidable hazards with sophisticated green expanses.

· St. Andrew’s: This historic course in Scotland has hosted the Open Championship (once known as The British Open) a record 29 times. Historians believe golf originated in Scotland, and people have been playing on this course since the 15th century. Massive greens, cavernous bunkers and a brilliant layout contribute to its distinguished history.

· Shinnecock Hills: This course in Southampton, NY, is a very old club built in the tradition of Scottish courses. This was likely the inaugural American golf course design, and the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club was one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association.

· Augusta National: Home to the Masters, Augusta is considered a golf paradise by many. The sheer beauty of Augusta has made it a staple on many golfers’ bucket lists, even if only a few may get to walk its fairways with club in hand.

Golf has a storied history, and that history is on display at various jaw-dropping courses across the globe.

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ASPCA Day6 reasons to spay or neuter pets now

Upon adopting a companion animal, one of the first decisions pet parents should make, advise veterinarians and animal welfare experts, is to spay or neuter their new friend.

Homeless animals are a global problem. Overpopulation continues to plague dogs and cats, and there are as many as 300,000 homeless animals euthanized in animal shelters every year, says The Humane Society of the United States. While many would be quick to assume these are puppies and kittens of “street” animals, the society notes that euthanized animals are often the offspring of family pets – even pure breeds.

Spaying females and neutering males is the most effective method of birth control for these popular pets. Preventing unwanted offspring might be the main reason many pet owners spay or neuter their pets. But there are many additional reasons that make spaying and neutering a good decision.

1. The ASPCA says spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors that are malignant in roughly 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying before a cat’s first heat is ideal.

2. USA Today reports that neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than dogs that were not neutered, while spayed female dogs live 23 percent longer than those that are not spayed. Neutering reduces the instinct to roam and get into trouble, which may contribute to the longer life expectancy.

3. Neutering can help prevent testicular cancer in male pets.

4. Spayed females will not go into heat. During heat, which can occur four to five days at a time every three weeks during mating season, females may yowl and urinate around the house.

5. WebMD says non-neutered male dogs and cats may mark their territory with urine and can be more aggressive during mating seasons. Neutering can help calm the animals.

6. HSUS states that neutering and spaying is the best way to prevent overpopulation and improves the chances that shelter pets will be adopted.

Contrary to popular belief, spaying and neutering pets will not cause weight gain. As long as pet parents continue to provide exercise and control their pets’ diets, pets will remain fit and in good health.

It’s best to discuss neutering and spaying with a veterinarian to deterine the best time for pets to undergo the procedure. Many cats and dogs can be successfully neutered and spayed at around eight weeks of age, but older pets can be spayed or neutered s well.

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Henry Bergh was a wealthy man who learned a great lesson when he was given a diplomatic post at the U.S. Embassy in Russia by President Abraham Lincoln. As one account put it, “While in St. Petersburgh he is reputed to have seen a droshkie or Russian peasant beating his fallen cart horse. Bergh dismounted from his own carriage and intervened, saving the horse from a further beating that day. Upon his return to America in 1865, he stopped in England and met with the president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Once back in New York, Bergh quickly took action to affect the formation of a similar society in the United States.”
On April 10, 1866, he founded American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA); it became a model for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
His passion and his accounts of the cruelties suffered by animals enabled him to convince the New York State Legislature to give him a charter to organize the first ASPCA, and to enact the first anti-cruelty law in the United States.
The ASPCA also got the power to investigate complaints of animal cruelty, and to make arrests. History.com notes that “As the pioneer and innovator of the humane movement, the ASPCA quickly became the model for more than 25 other humane organizations in the United States and Canada.”
By the time Bergh died in 1888, 37 of the 38 states in the Union [at that time] had passed anti-cruelty laws.”
The Grateful American Book Prize recommends A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement 1st Edition by Ernest Freeberg,