The holidays are known as “the most wonderful time of the year,” but there’s one day in particular that is extra wonderful for animals in need: Giving Tuesday. On Giving Tuesday, people from all around the world will come together and give back in support of the causes that matter most—like ending animal cruelty.
In preparation for Giving Tuesday, we wanted to share some exciting news: the ASPCA has teamed up with Crowdrise, one of the largest fundraising platforms on the Internet. From now until Giving Tuesday on December 2, you can stand with us in what is sure to be the largest Giving Tuesday celebration of all time.
As an added bonus, all donations made to the ASPCA between now and Tuesday will contribute to Crowdrise’s Giving Tower, a large virtual tower built by donation “bricks” from generous people like you. You’ll be able to see the impact your donation is making in real time!
Don’t miss your chance to be part of this first-of-its-kind holiday event. With your help, we can give abused, neglected and abandoned animals something to be thankful for. Make a donation to the ASPCA today.
In 2011, a group of 20 cats came to the ASPCA from our local city shelter, Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C). Within three months, 19 of those cats had been adopted—but one kitty named Basha was struggling to find a home. A black-and-white, 1.5-year-old “teenager,” Basha was feisty and had a tendency to snap without provocation. We thought she would find a home soon enough, but nearly four years in our care proved that wasn’t the case. Though it was a long road, Basha finally found her forever home with an ASPCA staffer named Kelelyn. This is her very well-deserved Happy Tail.
During Basha’s first six months at the ASPCA Adoption Center, we learned a lot about her. A rambunctious little girl prone to overstimulation, she had never learned to play nicely. She seemed to think that hands were toys meant to be chewed, and she was far too spirited to be contained in a cage. Sensing her need for space, we enrolled Basha in the ASPCA office foster program and moved her into the office of one of our team members. That’s when she first met Kelelyn, who worked nearby in the ASPCA’s Marketing & Licensing division.
“Basha was a highly reactive kitty, full of mischief and spunk,” Kelelyn recalls. “Unfortunately, she was also a very rough player.” Basha’s playful—and sometimes painful—sneak attacks were often mistaken for aggression, and understandably not well received by most people. But over the next two years, Kelelyn got to know the feisty feline on a more personal level. “She was always up to comical antics that made me laugh, and sometimes she would curl up in my lap and just purr,” she says. She realized that Basha had a good heart and was just, as she puts it, “deeply misunderstood.”
As Basha was continually passed over for adoption, Kelelyn could tell that the kitty was becoming increasingly frustrated. “Basha wanted to run, wrestle and release all that extra energy!” she says. Though Kelelyn already had two senior special-needs kitties, she decided that she wanted to bring Basha home.
Kelelyn admits that she had concerns about Basha clashing with her other cats, but as it turned out, boisterous Basha is actually quite shy! “I was prepared for a rough transition period, but my worries were unfounded,” she says. Standoffish at first, Basha soon warmed up to her new feline companions. She even befriended Kelelyn’s older cat, Rocky, who allowed her to play with his tail.
Sadly, Rocky passed away a month after Basha’s arrival. “It was a devastating loss for me,” says Kelelyn, “and I was grateful to Basha for helping me feel a little better.” Though Kelelyn didn’t plan on adopting another cat any time soon, a stray kitten soon showed up on her doorstep and joined the family as well. She named him Rupert.
“Basha was a little afraid of Rupert at first (he weighed four pounds at the time), but now she and Roo are totally best friends and playmates,” Kelelyn says. “They wrestle and chase each other, share toys, and never hiss or have real fights.” Rupert doesn’t even mind Basha’s rough playing—in fact, he plays rough right back.
We couldn’t imagine a more fairytale ending for Basha. Though it took four years, she found the perfect adopter in Kelelyn—and the perfect playmate in Rupert. Congratulations to this happy new family!
When pets swallow strange objects, the resulting effects can be fatal. Known as “foreign bodies” in veterinary circles, these inedible objects can cause gastrointestinal obstructions or perforate the digestive tract if consumed by pets.
The ASPCA medical team performs surgeries to extract foreign bodies from the stomachs and intestines of canines and felines on an almost daily basis, and one recent patient was a one-year-old pit bull named Frost.
On a recent fall evening, Frost’s owner, Odin Rodriguez, took him for a walk around their Staten Island neighborhood when he noticed something in the dog’s mouth. Odin pulled it out, thinking he had removed it in its entirety, but Frost vomited in the middle of the night. Odin’s wife, Cassandra, says, “The next day there was a bad odor coming from his mouth, so we knew he must have ingested something, and it was still there.”
A solid 83 lbs., Frost is normally spunky and playful. “But he was so lethargic,” adds Cassandra. “We knew something was wrong.”
At a nearby clinic, x-rays revealed a foreign object in Frost’s intestinal tract. The Rodriguezes were referred to the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where Frost underwent an ultrasound that confirmed the obstruction: a corn cob. Frost underwent a two-hour surgery to remove the dangerous cob.
Veterinarians at the ASPCA Animal Hospital say that corn cobs are at the top of the list of foreign bodies consumed by dogs, along with pieces of rubber, pillows, cloth, carpet, and even coins. Stringy items, such as thread, yarn, dental floss and hair bands are more commonly swallowed by cats. In 2013, veterinarians at the ASPCA performed 125 surgeries—like Frost’s—to remove foreign bodies from dogs and cats. Surgeries this year already number 120 and will likely surpass 2013 numbers.
“Dogs especially, but also cats often don’t distinguish between what is tasty and what will actually fit in to their gastrointestinal tracts,” says ASPCA veterinarian Dr. Janice Fenichel, who diagnosed Frost’s condition.
Surgeries like the one Frost underwent can cost thousands of dollars in diagnostic, anesthesia, and fees, so the ASPCA urges pet-parents to protect their pets. During the upcoming holiday season, “dog-“ or “cat-proof” your home to keep potentially damaging objects out of reach. Keep a close eye on what your pet finds appetizing, and cover or empty wastebaskets.
As for Frost, Cassandra says, “he’s back to his old self, doing beautifully,” and keeping busy with the couple’s four children, ages three to 12.
Corn cobs, like this one, can lead to gastrointestinal distress in pets when swallowed.
The holiday season has officially begun, and there’s nothing more wonderful than getting into the spirit of giving. But while you’re going over your shopping list, why not consider giving your loved ones a gift that can truly change lives?
With ASPCA Holiday Honor Gifts, you’ll be able to help abused, abandoned and neglected animals by making a donation in the name of someone you love. It’s easy, it’s tax-deductible, and it’s a wonderful alternative to standard gift giving. And, as an added bonus, each honor gift comes with a free paper greeting card or e-card for your recipient.
A holiday honor gift is the perfect way to express your love for friends, family and furry companions while making a huge difference for animals in need. Send a holiday gift donation today.
The ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team (FIR) hit the road in the Lone Star State this week to showcase the new mobile command center’s disaster response equipment and demonstrate how we can help support Texas communities and animals in the wake of natural disasters.
Throughout the week, the Personnel Support Trailer (PST) made special stops at Fort Sam in Houston, followed by visits to the Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas A&M University and San Antonio Animal Services to discuss collaborative efforts between the ASPCA and Texas animal agencies in emergency situations.
FIR responders travel across the country to assist animals in situation such as natural disasters, puppy mill raids and dog fighting busts. In the aftermath of disasters, it can often be difficult for FIR team members to find housing near where their help is needed most. The new Personnel Support Trailer offers FIR responders a comfortable, secure place to stay while in the field and greatly enhances our ability to respond to emergencies while helping lower the costs of longer deployments.
Made possible by the generous support of the Joanie Bernard Foundation and the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, the trailer consists of a 53-foot 2012 Western Star Tractor with an attached 12-foot Command Post equipped with state-of-the-art communication capabilities, providing FIR responders with a vital communications portal and secure planning space. The new trailer has space for 12 team members and includes fully functional bathrooms, a kitchen area, an expandable living space and two generators, allowing responders to be completely self-contained for up to one week.