- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: These Boots Are Made for Snuggling
- 2. Save More Lives—Take the ASPCA $100K Challenge
- 3. Dogs Also Suffer from Allergies to Food, Pollen…and Cats!
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: These Boots Are Made for Snuggling
When three-year-old Boots returned to the ASPCA in December 2009, we found comfort in knowing the extroverted love bug would soon find another home. Tanya Khan of Queens, NY, was the lucky parent who fell for the outgoing kitty’s cuddly ways. We recently caught up with Tanya, who sent us a note describing how Boots (now called Billee Boots) is enjoying the good life in his cozy new home!
When I came to the ASPCA, the first thing I saw was the shelter’s amazing habitats for cats. Boots was in the second onethe one located near the front window. When I started to pet him, he immediately flipped his head into my palm. I fell in love right away.
The adoption volunteer took me around the entire shelter, but I just kept thinking about Boots. I passed by his habitat again and realized I wanted to adopt him right then and there. Since I’ve never had a cat or dog before, I went home to think about whether I could really take care of a pet. But I couldn’t stop thinking about that cat!
The next morning I returned to the ASPCA, adopted Boots and renamed him Billee Boots. (Billee means “cat” in my native Urdu.) Now he sleeps cuddled next to me every night like a baby. He’s extremely outgoing and affectionate, and never shies away from company. When I come home, he puts both paws around my shoulders and gives me what I like to call “kitten kisses.”
My entire family loves him, and I can’t thank the ASPCA enough for taking care of this little guy. He’s a spoiled little boy! Billee Boots has changed my life for the better.
2. Save More Lives—Take the ASPCA $100K Challenge
Are you looking to make a real difference in the lives of animals? We’re searching for public and private shelter leaders and volunteers to take their town to the next level by vastly increasing pet adoptions in their community. To sweeten the deal, we’re launching a friendly competition to inspire innovation and showcase successful, life-saving programs.
Officially launched on April 8, the ASPCA $100K Challenge will award more than $125,000 in prizes, including a grand prize grant of $100,000! To qualify for the grand prize competition, shelters need to save a minimum of 300 more cats, dogs, kittens and puppies from August through October 2010, compared with the same three-month period in 2009. Beyond that, the winner will be the shelter that saves the most additional animals from August through October 2010. The ASPCA will also grant $25,000 to the shelter that most inspires and engages its community to get involved in promoting pet adoptions and reuniting lost animals with their pet parents. (And yes, the same shelter can win both big prizes!)
“Unique from our other grants that fund specific programs, the ASPCA $100K Challenge is a competition to inspire creative solutions for increasing pet adoptions and improving return-to-owner rates,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “The Challenge will spark innovation and draw more community support to help shelters help animals.”
So hurry and register today or help us spread the word to your local animal welfare leaders! We’re accepting applications through June 30, but the Challenge is limited to 50 shelters. The official competition period is August 1 through October 31, and winners will be announced in early December 2010.
To read all Challenge rules or to enter your shelter to win for animals, please visit ASPCApro.org.
3. Dogs Also Suffer from Allergies to Food, Pollen…and Cats!
If your pet has been showing signs of itchy discomfort lately, clouds of potent springtime pollen may be to blame. Just like people, cats and dogs can be allergic to common environmental substances including pollen, mold and dust mitesand they can also be allergic to ingredients in their diets and to fleas. According to the ASPCA, more than 20% of pets may suffer from some sort of allergy. Most cats and dogs who are going to develop allergies do so in their first years, although adult onset also occurs.
Common signs of allergies include recurrent ear or skin infections and scratching, licking, chewing/biting or face-wiping; the face, ears, armpits and paws are most often the targets of a pet’s distress.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from allergies, talk to your veterinarian, who can provide short-term relief by prescribing itch-control medication, and then help determine the source of the allergy or refer you to a specialist in veterinary dermatology.
The first step toward an allergy diagnosis will generally be a skin scraping to check for mites, yeast, and/or bacterial infections. Your vet might prescribe special shampoos or topical sprays and frequent bathing, which solves the problem for many pets.
If not, the next easiest thing to test for is food allergies, which will require you to put your pet on a strict hypoallergenic diet for several months (your vet will prescribe the food) to see if there is a change in his condition. No treats or animal-based chewies are allowed during this period!
The next option is blood testing. It’s a little pricey, but provides definitive confirmation of contact/inhalant allergies. If your pet tests positive for environmental allergies (mold, pollen, cat dander, etc.), your vet will analyze the results, along with your pet’s clinical signs and history, to devise a treatment plan. This may be as simple as changes around the house, or your pet may need drug therapy or allergy shots (immunotherapy).
To learn more about pet allergies and what you can do to make your pet more comfortable, please visit our Pet Care section for specific information about cats or dogs.