On any given day, the ASPCA Adoption Center and the ASPCA Animal Hospital are home to hundreds of animals. Caring for so many dogs and cats takes a lot of work, and none of it would be possible without our incredible, dedicated staff of volunteers. In honor of National Volunteer Week, we want to recognize one of those volunteers, Adoption Counselor Stephen Q., by sharing the story of “his best adoption ever.” Here’s what Stephen had to say:
On what started as a typical day volunteering as an ASPCA Adoption Counselor, I met a couple who came in looking to adopt a pair of adult cats. Delighted, I took them through the shelter showing them each of several bonded adult pairs, and while they enjoyed meeting each pair, none were quite right. As luck would have it, I must have saved the best for last. I said to them, “Well, we have one more bonded pair I can show you, please come with me.”
As I opened the kennel door to show them this beautiful pair of cats, I explained that both were completely blind.
The couple started petting these two loving and affectionate cats (one with non-seeing eyes, the other without eyes at all) while I started talking to them about my own experience with my blind-from-birth cat, Jenny. I talked about how perfectly Jenny gets around, how she opened my heart to a new type of human-cat experience, that no challenge is insurmountable and that perfection comes in many forms. After 20 minutes of petting, listening and asking questions, the couple turned to me with moist eyes and said, “We’ll take them.”
It was my best adoption ever, and all the credit goes to a couple with an open heart—and to my little blind cat with the biggest heart ever, also rescued by the ASPCA.
Thank you to Stephen, and to all of our volunteers, for your hard work, dedication, and inspiring stories!
Welcome to The Paw Print! In this recurring feature, we highlight the latest news affecting animals and animal-lovers around the country. Here are some of the top stories right now:
Rescue Pup Set to Receive 3D Printed Prosthetic Paw: Rylee, a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees, lost one of her front paws after being caught in a trap. Rylee is under the care of Dirk's Fund Golden Retriever Rescue in Pacific, Missouri, where volunteers are raising funds in hopes of securing a 3D printed prosthetic paw for the injured pup. Once Rylee’s paw has been replaced, she’ll be made available for adoption. [KSDK]
Some Cats and Dogs May Be Allergic to Humans: According to veterinarians, dogs and cats may suffer from some of the same types of allergies that humans experience—and may even be allergic to their human companions. While it’s rare, dogs and cats can be allergic to dog, cat or human dander. These allergies present themselves as skin inflammation and itching for dogs, and little scabs or missing hair, typically around the head and neck area, for cats. Like humans, pets can be tested and treated for many types of allergies. [National Geographic]
Missing Dog Reunited with Family Following Deadly Illinois Tornado: Missy, a white German Shepherd, was reunited with her family after a deadly tornado struck Fairdale, Illinois. Sadly, Misty’s guardian, Geraldine "Geri" Schultz, died in the storm, but her remaining family members launched a search for the missing pup in the area and on Facebook. Misty was first spotted by a utility worker, and was soon reunited with Shultz’s husband and grandson. [CBS News]
Inmates Care for Rescued Cats at Indiana Correctional Facility: As part of a new program called Felines and Offenders Rehabilitation with Affection, Reformation and Dedication (FORWARD), twelve shelter cats have been relocated to the refurbished office of Pendleton Correctional Facility in Pendleton, Indiana. There, the cats socialize with people and other cats and play with toys crafted by inmates. The inmates take turns caring for the cats, which are available for adoption by prison staff or the families of inmates. [Huffington Post]
German Shepherds Trained to Detect Prostate Cancer in Humans: An Italy-based research team has published a report noting that two German Shepherds have been trained to detect the scent of chemicals linked to prostate cancer in human urine samples with more than 90% accuracy. The report, published in The Journal of Urology, is the latest of multiple studies examining the prospect of utilizing dogs to help diagnose cancer and other infectious diseases. [The Guardian]
Do you wonder what happens on the farms that produce your food? Do you believe you have a right to know how animals raised for food are treated?
In the last few years, the farm industry has been driving the introduction of "ag-gag" or “whistleblower suppression” bills in state legislatures across the country. The purpose of these bills is to criminalize acts related to investigating the day-to-day activities of industrial farms, including the recording, possession or distribution of photos, video and/or audio at a farm. Such investigations have previously formed the basis of animal cruelty prosecutions and spurred reforms to protect the safety of our food supply.
If you want to know how ag-gag laws affect animals and consumers like you, join us and our panel of experts for our #OpenTheBarns Twitter chat on Thursday, April 23 from 1:00 to 2:00 P.M. ET to have your questions answered. Just follow the hashtag #OpenTheBarns and include it in your tweeted questions to have them answered!
Daisy Freund, Sr. Manager, Farm Animal Welfare, ASPCA Kendra Kimbirauskas, Chief Executive Officer, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project Cody Carlson, former undercover investigator, Humane Society of the United States & Mercy for Animals Patty Lovera, Assistant Director, Food and Water Watch
We’ll be discussing the dangers of ag-gag laws, how they impact animals and consumers alike, as well as what you can do to stop them in your state!
Ursula is a sweet dog who has a lot of love to give! This pretty girl may be shy at first, especially around stangers, but once she gets to know you, she’ll never leave your side. With the help of her favorite toys, she’ll soon warm up for plenty of playtime with her new family.
This smart pup already knows how to sit and she’d be thrilled to have you teach her a few more tricks, too. Although Urusla loves her human companions, she may benefit from training to help improve her manners. Ursula would do best as the only dog in a home with teens-and-up. Adopt Ursula today!
Ursula is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting Ursula, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Ursula, please visit her profile page.
Watch the video below to check out Ursula in action at our Adoption Center!
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL., handled more than 167,000 calls involving pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances in 2014. Nearly 16% of those calls were from pet parents whose pets got into medicines intended for human use, putting this category at the top of the toxin list for the seventh year in a row.
Here are the 10 most common pet toxins of 2014 ranked in order of call volume:
Human prescription medications are most often exposed to pets, as mentioned above. The prescriptions that caused the most concern correlated with the most popular medications prescribed to humans.
Over-the-counter medications, including herbal and other natural supplements, attracted greater concern this year than in previous years resulting in approximately 25,000 calls. This category is exceptionally large, encompassing more than 6,900 different products.
Insecticides dropped to the third slot this year, comprising 9.1% of calls to the APCC (15,000 cases). These products can be very dangerous, especially if the label directions are not followed.
Household items were the cause for concern in more than 13,500 cases, especially paints and cleaning products.
Human foods are appealing to pets, especially dogs. Dogs can get into serious trouble by ingesting onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and xylitol, a sugar substitute which can be life-threatening for animals. Approximately 13,200 cases involved human foods in 2014.
Veterinary medications made up 7% of total cases in 2014. Pet parents should be aware that chewable medications are very tasty and pets might ingest an entire bottle if it is not kept out of their reach.
Chocolate ingestion is very common. At the APCC, chocolate calls make up 6% of the total call volume—more than 30 calls a day! The darker the chocolate, the more potential it has to do harm.
Plants represent approximately 5% of the calls to the APCC and moved up a spot since 2014. Most of these calls involve cats and houseplants.
Rodenticides are made to kill mice and rats, but they can also kill pets if ingested. APCC handled more than 7,500 calls about rodenticides last year.
Lawn and garden products round out the top ten, accounting for about 2.7% of all calls. Many of these exposures occurred because people did not store lawn and garden products out of the reach of pets.
Want more poison control information at your fingertips? Download our free APCC by ASPCA mobile app, which features a searchable database of more than 275 toxins as well as helpful information for pet parents of dogs, cats, horses and birds. The app helps users quickly and accurately identify common hazards.
If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.