- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Pretty as a Picture
- 2. Overwhelmed Owner Releases 35 Cats to the ASPCA
- 3. Nominate Heroic Pets and People for the Humane Awards
- 4. Animal Planet Investigates: Dog Fighting
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Pretty as a Picture
Stephanie Heaney of Manhattan met the mysterious black kitty formerly known as Oscar during her first visit to the ASPCA Adoption Center. “I met Oscar in the first habitat I entered,” she explains. “He was lying around, looking cute and watching us as we met the other cats in the room.”
The cat’s calm, confident demeanor spoke volumesOscar knew he was the one, and just sat back graciously until his future pet parent realized the same. It didn’t take long, and on October 6, Stephanie officially adopted the two-year-old feline and welcomed him into her home.
The proud new pet parent renamed her fur kid Dorian after the titular character of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, because, she says, “He's beautiful and everyone loves himeven when he is a little nuisance, he still gets what he wants.”
Like his hedonistic namesake, Dorian loves to play and is exceptionally gifted at finding cozy places to rest his furry head. “He plays and runs around freely,” says Stephanie, “and sleeps curled up against my legs at night.”
He also has what some might say is an unusually strong penchant for ping pong balls. Says Stephanie: “He can entertain himself with the ball for hours. He also burrows his head under your handsno matter where they areif he wants you to play or pet him.”
“He is the sweetest and most loving cat,” Stephanie muses. “He definitely makes everyone in my home happy and has a personality that makes us laugh every day.”
She adds: “We love having a cuddly cat aroundhe is truly our baby!”
2. Overwhelmed Owner Releases 35 Cats to the ASPCA
On January 18, ASPCA emergency responders and veterinarians traveled to Brooklyn, NY, to intervene in a hoarding situation in which 37 cats and kittens were living in a one-bedroom apartment.
Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigation & Response, reported that the cats’ owner was not abusive and did her best to care for all of her pets, but became overwhelmed by their out-of-control breeding. Cooperating fully with the ASPCA before and during the operation, the owner relinquished 35 felines, opting to keep her original two cats.
All 37 cats were transferred to a staging area at Brooklyn Animal Care & Control (AC&C), where the ASPCA’s Mobile Clinic was on site to sterilize the two cats who were going back to their ownerpreventing future littersand to medically evaluate the others. Most of the cats appeared to be in good health and were dewormed, deloused, vaccinated and implanted with microchip IDs.
After triage at AC&C was completed, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals provided transport for the 35 relinquished cats to its various partner organizations around the city, where they will be cared for, spayed or neutered, and eventually be made available for adoption.
“The cats will receive complete medical exams and behavior evaluations before they go up for adoption,” says Rickey. “The collaboration among all of the participating groups, including the Mayor’s Alliance and AC&C, helped make this operation run smoothly. We were fortunate to be able to accommodate these animals, and getting them to shelters as soon as possible gives them the best chance for placement in a new home.”
Members of the ASPCA Field Investigations & Response Team direct the rescue operation on Monday, January 18.
In almost all animal hoarding cases, the person and the animals are suffering, either from neglect, health issues, or isolation. Early intervention provides the best chance of a favorable outcome for both the person and the animals. If you know of an animal hoarding situation in your community, please alert your local humane society or animal control agency.
3. Nominate Heroic Pets and People for the Humane Awards
Nominations are officially open for the ASPCA’s 2010 Humane Awards! If you know a fearless feline or courageous canine with a knack for saving lives, or a heroic person who has improved the lives of animals, we want to hear from you. Submitting a nomination is easyjust follow the instructions at ASPCA.org/nominate.
Those who may be considered for this distinguished honor include people who have worked on behalf of animal welfare and animals who have engaged in acts of heroism in the United States during the past year. Categories open for nomination are:
Last year’s honorees included a piano-playing shelter cat; a Labrador Retriever who served as an assistance dog to an injured veteran; an 11-year-old girl who launched a website to purchase pet oxygen masks for fire departments; firefighters who rescued a pooch who fell into a frozen lake; and officials from the Humane Society of Missouri and undercover agents who worked tirelessly in the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.
Winners will be feted this fall at the Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, June 30. For more information, please visit ASPCA.org/nominate.
4. Animal Planet Investigates: Dog Fighting
Attention, animal lovers! Tune in to Animal Planet on Monday, January 25, at 10:00 P.M. (ET/PT) for the world premiere of a documentary about organized dog fighting. In this special edition of Animal Planet Investigates, two undercover agents take you deep inside the disturbing subculture of dog fighting’s hardcore criminals and their four-legged victims. Using undercover and investigative footage, the show examines specific cases in Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Michigan and New York to demonstrate the diversity and depravity of this cruel blood sport.
Two of the ASPCA’s experts in animal cruelty, Dr. Melinda Merck and Dr. Randall Lockwood, who were instrumental in the conviction of a certain high profile dog fighterNFL quarterback Michael Vickare also featured in the show. Dr. Merck joined the ASPCA in 2007 as a forensic veterinarian, and now serves as Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics in Anti-Cruelty. She frequently testifies as a forensic veterinary expert for animal cruelty cases across the country. Dr. Lockwood is currently Senior Vice President of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Field Services. For more than 25 years, he has worked with humane societies and law-enforcement agencies, serving as an expert on the interactions between people and animals. He has testified in numerous trials involving cruelty to animals, including dog fighting, child abuse, domestic violence and homicide.
Dog fighting is now banned throughout the United Statesin fact, it is a felony in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Those convicted of federal animal fighting charges face up to five years in prison. For more information about dog fighting, please visit ASPCA.org, and don’t forget to tune in to Animal Planet on Monday night!