Do you know a young animal lover who has made a big difference for our furry friends this year? We want to know!
The ASPCA is currently accepting nominations for animal heroes under the age of 14 who have helped make the world a kinder place for animals to receive our 2015 ASPCA “Tommy P. Monahan” Kid of the Year award. The award is presented as part of the ASPCA’s annual Humane Awards, an annual event which honors individuals who have been a voice for animals in crisis, as well as cats and dogs whose experiences represent the urgency behind our mission.
Toby, an eight-year-old male tabby, had never had any medical issues until he suddenly became blocked, or unable to urinate, one day last month.
“He was going to his litter box constantly,” said Carlos B. of the Bronx, who adopted Toby as a kitten. “Back and forth, back and forth—and his personality seemed to change.”
So Carlos and his girlfriend, Julie, brought Toby to the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH), where he was diagnosed with Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS), or urinary blockage, by Dr. Maren Krafchik.
Most cats affected by FUS are in the one- to eight-year range, like Toby. Common symptoms include:
Straining to urinate
Frequent small urinations
Blood in the urine
Inappropriate urination (somewhere other than the litter box)
Straining without urination (urinary obstruction)
Crying, restlessness, or hiding because of discomfort
Loss of appetite
“Urinary blockage is a life-threatening emergency,” says Dr. Krafchik. “Potassium levels (as well as kidney toxins) rise in the bloodstream and can cause death in a cat.”
A urinary catheter was placed to unblock Toby’s urethra and allow urine to drain from Toby’s bladder, and he received intravenous fluids and pain medication. The urinary catheter was removed a few days later, and Toby was sent home. Unfortunately, this condition can reoccur, and Toby returned to the Hospital three weeks later with another urinary obstruction. “He went back to his old symptoms,” Carlos said.
Given Toby’s history of chronic straining and urinary problems, ASPCA veterinarians recommended a Perineal Urethrostomy (PU). This is a surgical procedure in which the external penis/urethral tissue is incised and sutured open in order to permanently widen the urethral opening. This surgery, commonly performed at AAH, helps decrease the chance of future bladder obstruction.
“Male cats are susceptible to developing obstructions of the urethra because their urethral diameter is so small,” says Dr. Krafchik.
As of earlier this month, AAH has performed catheterization procedures for urinary blockage on 163 cats, and 37 PU surgeries—an average of almost one procedure per day in 2015.
“Many people think their pets are misbehaving by urinating outside of the litter box,” says Dr. Krafchik. “The reality is that there can be an underlying reason for the behavior such as bladder inflammation, crystals, stones, or less likely, infection.”
Carlos reports that since Toby’s PU procedure, he is back to his old self. “He is really happy, very friendly, and playful, which we missed so much,” Carlos says. “He's eating and his bodily functions are back to normal.”
Update: We are pleased to share that an arrest has been made in the case of a severely emaciated puppy abandoned in Nicholasville, Kentucky. An anonymous tip led law enforcement officials to the dog's owner, who then confessed to starving and abandoning the dog.
This blog was originally posted on August 10, 2015.
Attention animal advocates: The ASPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of a six-month-old, severely emaciated puppy abandoned near the dumpsters of an apartment building in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
A Good Samaritan brought the extremely thin puppy to the Jessamine County Animal Care and Control shelter on July 29. She was immediately evaluated by a veterinarian who estimated the puppy should weigh between 21 and 24 pounds but weighed around half that when rescued. Fortunately, the puppy does not have any other health issues, and has slowly gained weight over the past week and a half.
“This is a truly heartbreaking case of animal cruelty,” says Stacy Wolf, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Group. “No animal should have to suffer in this way. We thank Jessamine County Animal Care and Control staff for their commitment to finding justice for this puppy while sending a message that this type of cruelty will not be tolerated in their community.”
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Jessamine County Animal Care and Control by calling 859-881-0821. The Jessamine County Animal Care and Control accepts anonymous complaints.
Nearly 50 cats were removed from overcrowded conditions in mid-August at a private residence in Guymon, Oklahoma. The ASPCA stepped in to help at the request of a terminally ill pet parent who could no longer adequately care for her animals.
ASPCA responders, along with responders from the Humane Society of Tulsa, removed the cats from the trailer home and transported them to the Humane Society of Tulsa where they were medically assessed and cared for.
“When we visited the residence, we saw that urgent intervention was needed,” says Adam Leath, Southeast regional director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “It was truly a dire situation where the individual recognized that she had too many cats in her household and needed help removing and rehoming them so she can focus on getting help for herself.”
We are grateful to the Humane Society of Tulsa for their assistance in this rescue.
During the “Clear the Shelters” adoption event on Saturday, August 15, four hundred animal shelters around the country reduced or completely waived adoption fees to help connect adoptable dogs and cats with loving families. Now the numbers are in, and we are thrilled to announce that more than 18,000 cats and dogs found homes during this nationwide event!
The ASPCA granted $134,000 to 16 participating organizations for “Clear the Shelters,” which was sponsored by the NBCUniversal-Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal and Telemundo. Shelters also got a boost from their local NBC and Telemundo stations to promote their events.
At the ASPCA Adoption Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a line stretched halfway down the block. To handle the heavy influx of adopters, staff set up hospitality stations and even a children’s activity table where kids colored pictures of dogs and cats as their parents waited patiently to look at available pets.
Irving, age 3, colored dogs and cats while his family waited to look at available dogs.
“It was an amazing day,” said Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President of the ASPCA’s Adoption Center, which placed 76 cats and five dogs in new homes. Across the New York tri-state area, 1,046 dogs and cats were adopted.
At the Animal Care Centers of NYC (AC&C), 148 adoptions took place, and the organization is extending the promotion for 60 days for anyone who came Saturday but didn't find their perfect match.
For Morgan Castilla, 21, a student at the Fashion Institute in New York City, the perfect match came in the form of a cat. “I dreamed last night that I would come home with an orange kitten,” said Morgan, who adopted an orange, two-month-old tabby that she named Harvey.
Morgan and the newly-named Harvey.
Vaughn Moore of the Bronx visited the ASPCA with his wife Marcia and daughters Brianna, 8, and Anyah, 10. They chose two long-haired kittens in memory of their 15-year-old cat, Muff Muff, a Turkish Angora who recently passed away after battling cancer. “We were crushed at her death,” Vaughn said, but matching grey tabbies Cobey and Coffee helped ease their grief.
The Moore family of the Bronx adopted two long-haired kittens, Cobey and Coffee.
“It feels like a dream come true,” said Corey Price, manager of Irving Animal Services who conceived and hosted ‘Empty The Shelter’ events in the past in North Texas. “I never thought I would see empty kennels,” she confessed. “I’m thankful so many caring and dedicated people were willing to take a chance on a crazy idea.”
Dallas/Fort Worth ranked No. 1 across the country with 3,045 total adoptions, followed closely by Los Angeles with 2,360 adoptions.
Nancy Turner and her daughter, Nicole, 10, of the Bronx, had been thinking about adopting a cat when they decided to visit the ASPCA on Saturday. They waited patiently for four hours before leaving with a solid gray, three-month-old kitten whom Nicole named Mr. Boots.
Nicole, 10, of the Bronx, with her newly-named kitten Mr. Boots.
“It wasn’t just about being free,” said Nancy. “At the end of the day, what matters is you’re saving a life.