- 1. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 2. Ask the Animal Poison Control Center: Live Chat Today
- 3. Sago Palm Plant Kills Puppy
- 4. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: The View's Mutt Show Finalist Makes California Debut
- 5. Top 10 Tips for Getting Your Pet Into Showbiz
- 6. Calling All Kids: It’s Time to Go Orange for Animals!
1. ASPCA Job of the Week
The ASPCA is looking for a Member Support Assistant to answer membership inquiries, process donations and update our monthly donor files. Our ideal candidate has at least one year of customer service experience, excellent computer skills and a solid understanding of the nonprofit donor database, Public Interest Donor, Inc. If you’re a top-notch communicator and time management whiz, we’d love to hear from you!
The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
2. Ask the Animal Poison Control Center: Live Chat Today
To celebrate National Poison Prevention Week, which runs through Sunday, we’re holding a special live chat with Dr. Eric Dunayer, Veterinary Toxicologist from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center He will be on hand today, March 20, to answer all your questions about protecting pets from harmful substances. Head to the ASPCA Online Community from noon to 2:00 P.M. to participate.
3. Sago Palm Plant Kills Puppy
It’s hard to believe a houseplant couldharm a tough cookie like the Woytek family’s Lab mix, Amber. A survivor of Hurricane Ike, the young pup was diagnosed with distemperin the months after her adoption from the Houston SPCA in September 2008. But according to Laurie Woytek, Amber defeated the often fatal virusand went on to form a tight bond with her canine “sister” and partner-in-crime, Scout, a one-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback mix.
Early last month, Laurie discovered that Amber had eaten parts of a sago palm plant. Sago palmwith its dark green leaves and hairy trunkhas become a popular houseplant in recent years, but unbeknownst to many green-thumbed pet parents, it’s also highly toxic to cats and dogs.
Immediately ill, Amber was hospitalized at a nearby emergency clinic. Says Laurie, “I was very scared, but thought, ‘She's toughshe'll make it through.’” After several days in the hospital, the emergency veterinarian delivered the heartbreaking news to the WoyteksAmber had developed jaundice and life-threatening liver failure.
“We took Amber to our regular veterinarian to discuss our options with him,” explains Laurie. “She suffered seizures in the car on the way, and we ultimately made the very difficult, yet humane decision to let her go.”
Sadly, Amber’s story is all too common. Since 2003, the ASPCA has seen an increase by more than 200 percent of sago palm and cycad poisonings, and 50 to 75 percent of those ingestions resulted in fatalities. According to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, veterinary toxicologist and vice president of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, all parts of the plant are toxic, not just the seeds or nuts, and common signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, depression, seizures and liver failure.
Before the Woytek family said their final goodbyes to Amber, they took her home to see her best buddy, Scout. “As Amber lay still on the floor, Scout kept nudging her as if to say, ‘C’mon, get up,’” Laurie says. “They weren’t just 'sissies'as we referred to themthey were best friends.”
“It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do,” reflects Laurie. “Amber is truly missed and will forever be in our hearts.She was our little princess.”
Inmemory of Amber, and to mark the end of National Poison Prevention Week, March 15-21, the ASPCA reminds all pet parents to stay informed about protecting pets from accidental poisonings. Please read our poison prevention tips online.
4. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: The View's Mutt Show Finalist Makes California Debut
This past February, when five adoptable ASPCA pooches were featured on The View’s First Annual Mutt Show, one of Cupid’s arrows hit its mark on the other side of the country. While 2 ½-month-old German shepherd mix Mia frolicked in front of the cameras in New York, Larry and Sheila Alberg watched from Bakersfield, CA, and fell deeply in love.
Says Sheila, “As I was watching The View I simply thought, ‘How cool! All these dogs will probably find homes today! Then Mia walked out. It seems crazy to have a connection via a recorded television show filmed nearly 3,000 miles away, but the second I saw her I knew she belonged in our family.”
Driving from California to the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City to pick up a dog she’d never met was the last thing Sheila imagined herself doing. “Last year we lost our Chesapeake Bay retriever and our German shepherd,” she says. “I was still grieving and felt that adopting would somehow be a betrayalof our boys, but the compassion the ASPCA staff showed was unparalleledand when I hugged Mia, I felt for the first time that I could let go of the loss.”
As you are reading this, Mia and her new family, which includes a five-month-old Lab named Lincoln, are bonding in their motor home on their way back to Californiaand according to Sheila,the newly adoptedpup is already part of the pack. “Mia’s the sweetest social butterfly you'll ever meet,” she reports, but the pooch also knows how to stand her ground. “She's madly in love with Lincoln and enjoys roughhousing with him when we stop for the night, but she’s tough and doesn't take any guff from him either.”
As they headwest along Interstate-44, Sheila admits she can't wait to get home to show Mia her new yard. And if traveling together is any indication of life to come, the Albergs have a cornucopia of cuddles in their future. Says Sheila, “In this cramped 40-foot space, Mia and Lincoln somehow always end up on our bed. It's really sweet to wake up and see them sleeping right next to us.”
"Kudos and hugs to Eileen, Destiny and all the other wonderful people at the ASPCA,” Sheila raves. “They carefully checked our references. And the education they insist on giving adopting families gave us a whole new start with Mia.”
5. Top 10 Tips for Getting Your Pet Into Showbiz
“Woof, woof…Bark bark bark!! Woof…er…line?”
As you can see, the thought of a dog rehearsing for his next movie role brings us great amusement! Have you ever fantasized about seeing your pet’s name in lights? (Don’t deny it, you know you have!)
For the scoop on animal actors, we talked to Victoria Wells, ASPCA Manager of Shelter Behavior and Training, who has worked as a trainer on commercials for the SciFi channel and music videos, including Eve and Sean Paul’s “Give It to You.” Wells shares her advice on what you need to get started and what type of pets have the best shot at stardom in our Top 10 Tips for Getting Your Pet Into Showbiz. Check it outand don’t forget to invite us to the premiere!
6. Calling All Kids: It’s Time to Go Orange for Animals!
Know any young animal lovers? Please pass this message on to them:
Hey kids, have you heard the word? It’s time to put down those pencils and pick up some orange markersthere’s work to be done! We need you and your friends to go orange for animals for the entire month of April. That’s right, now’s your big chance to tell the world how much you love animals and don’t want to see them hurt. Cool beans, eh?
Here are a few things you can do:
Join the Club
Wish there was an animal club at your school? Now’s the perfect time to start one. Ask your favorite teacher to be your advisor, and at your first meeting you can discuss all theneat things you can do to help animals.
Open your closet and get out those bright orange pants, hats, caps, bandannas, shirts, sneakers and socks! No worries if the orange clothing fairy passed you by, thoughorange nail polish makes quite a statement, too!
Show Your Shelter Some Love
Ask your teacher if your class can send letters to your local animal shelter, thanking the staff and volunteers for taking care of the animals in your neighborhood who don’t have homes.
So what are you waiting for? Go check out our fun and easy Ways for Kids to Go Orangeand remember, even little kids can create big change when it comes to helping animals.
P.S. A very special shout-out to Mrs. Ferro's class for hosting lunchtime bake sales and making super-cool ASPCA posters to hang around their school!