- 1. Operation Cats Is In Effect—Create Your Own Virtual Feline
- 2. Voting Opens for $100K Challenge Photo & Story Contest
- 3. Who’s On Your List? The ASPCA Online Store Has You Covered!
- 4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Lovable Lone Star
- 5. Search and Rescue Dog, Disabled Cat Among Winners of Humane Awards
1. Operation Cats Is In Effect—Create Your Own Virtual Feline
One of the ASPCA’s major priorities is promoting spay/neuter solutions to animal homelessness. That’s one of the reasons we’ve created Operation Cats, a fun, viral way for our supporters to raise awareness and funds for the ASPCA’s spay/neuter initiatives.
Operation Cats is a high-tech online game that allows players to create their very own virtual cat! Your cat can be personalized with your favorite colors, whisker length and even eye shape to look just like the kitty of your dreams. Once you have created your virtual feline, you can share your cat with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, and encourage them to spread the word, donate, purchase a virtual gift for your cat or create their very own virtual cat. An added bonus is 100 percent of the proceeds for every virtual gift directly support the ASPCA's life-saving work.
Support spay/neuter solutions today by creating your own virtual catand invite your friends and family to do the same!
2. Voting Opens for $100K Challenge Photo & Story Contest
The polls are open, and it’s time to cast your vote for the photo and story submission that best embodies the $100K Challenge’s goal of saving more animals’ lives. In early October, we put out a call for submissions from those who had adopted, fostered, volunteered or reclaimed an animal at a Challenge shelter during the months of August, September or October 2010. We received some truly incredible submissions and selected 20 generous finalists, who will all receive snazzy ASPCA t-shirts.
Now it's your turn to choose the winners! What better way to show your appreciation of the countless individualsfrom staff to volunteers, business leaders to adopterswho worked so hard during the contest than to cast your vote for the submission that best represents the Challengers' remarkable efforts? Remember, the six submissions with the most votes will win a $1,000 grant for their Challenge shelters! Cast your vote todaythe polls close at midnight EST on November 28, and winners will be announced on November 29.
P.S. Speaking of giving thanks, check out the $100K Challenge blog to read about and celebrate the extraordinary efforts of all those who acceptedand delivered onthe challenge to save more lives!
3. Who’s On Your List? The ASPCA Online Store Has You Covered!
Get some hot cocoa and put on your PJsit’s time to get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping! The ASPCA Online Store has a great selection of gifts ranging from fun to functional. As a special holiday bonus, use code SHIPNOV50 to receive FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50 (good through 11:59 P.M. on 11/24, in the continental U.S. only). Among the goodies offered for your wrapping pleasure are:
Frosted Votive Candles
Our beautiful frosted glass candles are of the highest quality and come in four sweet-scented aromas: Cucumber Melon, Green Tea, Vanilla and Victorian Christmas. A guaranteed holiday pleaser!
Toys, Toys and More Toys
Don't forget to stuff Fido's stockingfrom holiday plush toys to festive fashion collars, our store stocks this year’s hottest selection of pet gifts.
ASPCA Holiday Cards
No gift is complete without the purrfect card! Help promote the ASPCA’s mission with our exclusive 2010 holiday cards. They’re a great way to spread festive cheer and help save animals.
We’ve also got tees, totes, mugs and books for animal lovers of all agesand as always, your purchases directly impact the ASPCA’s essential programs!
4. ASPCA Happy Tails: Lovable Lone Star
In honor of the ASPCA $100K Challenge and all of the unsung heroes of community shelters nationwide, this week’s Happy Tail is a story from a local shelter in the great state of Texas.
Texans have a reputation for thinking big about everything, but Midland resident Frank Behnken and his wife had their hearts set on a small dogideally, a Pomeranian like their beloved Princess, who passed away in June.
Finding the right canine companion proved tougher than the Behnkens had expected. One early visit to a shelter left Frank in tears. “I cried…because most of the dogs were larger than we could accommodate,” he notes. But Frank got his lucky break at the Lone Star SPCA when Garth Brooks, an 11-year-old Pom, was placed on his lap. “I stroked him, talked to him and assured him that I was okay. In 10 minutes, I knew I couldn’t walk out of the shelter without Garth,” Frank recalls.
The sprightly senior Pom, it seems, felt the same way: During the adoption process, Frank realized he needed to visit an ATM before paying the $90 adoption fee. “I lifted Garth from my lap and put him in the adjacent comfortable chair. I looked him in the eye, told him to stay and that I would be right back. When I got back from the ATM some 15 minutes later, the staff told me that Garth never moved an inch from that chair and had continued to stare at the door, apparently watching for my return. He’d never sat in a chair that still before, always jumping down at the first chance,” Frank reports.
These days, Garth goes by Charlie, a name Frank says fits his new pooch’s bubbly, energetic nature. “He is the most precious dog. He is my shadow,” Frank says. “I tear up when I think what he experienced prior to our adoption. He has given us so much more than I could ever imagine.”
To read more heartwarming stories of furry fate, please visit our Happy Tails archive.
5. Search and Rescue Dog, Disabled Cat Among Winners of Humane Awards
At the ASPCA’s annual Humane Awards Luncheon at the Pierre Hotel on November 11, we honored animals and animal champions including New York City firefighters, a co-creator of The Simpsons, and a black Lab who redefines the term “rescue dog.”
Pearl, the 2010 Dog of the Year, is an active Lab who, after finding her true calling as a search dog, helped rescue earthquake victims in Haiti. Volunteers from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) based in Ojai, CA, discovered Pearl in a shelter and trained her as a certified search dog, and in January, the heroic pup and her handler, Ron Horetski of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, were deployed to Haiti. They and six other SDF teams spent two weeks digging through concrete and debris to locate survivors, ultimately helping save 12 people.
Pearl wasn’t the only honoree who has served those in crisis. The Cat of the Year, Henrywhose leg was amputatedinspired a series of children’s books by Cathy Conheim that aim to help people understand and feel compassion toward those with disabilities. The books have been distributed to Hurricane Katrina victims and a children’s amputee project in Haiti. And 11-year-old honoree Olivia Bouler, a talented artist, pledged to send a watercolor bird illustration to up to 500 people who made donations to the Audubon Society after she learned how Gulf Coast birds were harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. To date, this Kid of the Year has raised more than $180,000 for wildlife disaster-relief groups.
“Birds are so miraculous, and so fascinatingwhy not love them?” Olivia told the crowd at the awards lunch. “Everyone can make a difference, and I’m here to prove it.”
Other 2010 honorees included The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon for his Sam Simon Foundation, which selects shelter dogs for training as assistance dogs for the deaf and for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and operates a very busy mobile spay/neuter clinic; the two pilots behind Animal Rescue Flights, a nonprofit group that moves animals from overcrowded shelters to other parts of the country, where loving families are waiting to adopt them; the firefighters of Ladder 116 in Queens, New York, who rescued 30 dogs and cats from a burning pet store; and the founder of Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., a Maryland woman who fights doggedly for equines nationwide.
“The ASPCA Humane Award winners have demonstrated extraordinary courage and compassion in the face of adversity, from natural disasters to man-made crises," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "The ASPCA is proud to honor those who have dedicated their lives to strengthening the human-animal bond."
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for our public call for nominations for the 2011 Humane Awards.