- 1. Show Us the Love! “My Furry Valentine” Photo Contest
- 2. ASPCA Happy Tails: The Poke-y Little Kitty
- 3. The Unstoppable Team ASPCA: Meet One of Our Runners!
- 4. Charleston County, SC, Saves Lives, Breaks Spay/Neuter Records
1. Show Us the Love! “My Furry Valentine” Photo Contest
Our loyal readers know how much we love to celebrate the human-animal bond here at News Alert—now it’s time to show us how much that bond means to you, too! We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the 2011 “My Furry Valentine” Photo Contest in honor of all of your puppy (and kitty) loves. Send us your best shot of that special furry someone—whether a childhood pet or your current “objet d’affection”—the one who opens your heart not just on February 14, but every single day of the year.
Send us your gushing love story (in 100 words or less) and a prize-winning pic of your four-legged amor for a chance to win. Furry, finned or feathered—all companion animals can compete. Please submit your photo and story to PhotoContest@ASPCA.org.
The top five winners—selected by ASPCA staff members—will receive an ASPCA Prize Pack, and winning photos will be featured on our blog, where you’ll also find the contest’s rules. But hurry—the deadline for submissions is midnight EST on February 12!
2. ASPCA Happy Tails: The Poke-y Little Kitty
Brooklyn resident Barbara Hersh was looking at cats at the ASPCA Adoption Center when she was surprised by a poke. She turned to find that the culprit was Jonah, an audacious black-and-white cat in a nearby habitat who had just sealed his fate. “Jonah picked me,” says Barbara. “Once I saw him, I fell in love.”
Barbara and her husband, Joel, brought Jonah home in June 2001, when he was just six months old. Since then, Jonah has made a lasting place for himself in the Hersh family and in Barbara’s heart. Says Barbara, “He’s the love of my life.”
Jonah was four years old when he developed a tumor in his right paw. A veterinarian removed the mass, but it proved to be cancerous, and Jonah had to undergo four weeks of radiation therapy. “All went well, and I thought everything would be okay,” Barbara recalls. “Unfortunately, five years later, the cancer reappeared.”
The recurrence was in Jonah’s back right leg. Vets concluded that they wouldn’t be able to save the limb, and in June 2009, Jonah’s leg was removed. Still, according to Barbara, the amputation hasn’t slowed down her resilient little guy one bit.
“He is a happy camper right now, and you would never know that he has only three legs,” she muses. “He hops around and, when he knows that I am going out shopping, he starts talking. You would think he was telling me either not to leave him, or, ‘Be careful outside and make sure you come back.’”
Barbara has lovingly cared for Jonah throughout his bouts with cancer, but recently, the tables were turned: When Joel suffered a stroke, Jonah was there to comfort Barbara during her husband’s recovery. “Jonah is a survivor—a joy in my life,” Barbara says. “Every day that he is with us is a sun-filled day.”
Visit our Happy Tails archive for more sweet stories of furry fate.
3. The Unstoppable Team ASPCA: Meet One of Our Runners!
Team ASPCA, our marathon training and fundraising program, heads to sunny Miami this weekend to cross the finish line in the 2011 ING Miami Marathon & Half Marathon®, South Florida’s premier running event. This is the second marathon Team ASPCA has participated in; the program’s inaugural event was the ING New York City Marathon last November, when 10 runners from across the country raised nearly $65,000 to benefit animals and the ASPCA.
One of the animal lovers running to save lives with Team ASPCA is New Yorker Mary Sarah (pictured), who became a member of our extended family in 2009 when she began volunteering at our Adoption Center. Mary Sarah had always wanted to run the New York City Marathon, but until joining Team ASPCA last June, she was never able to find the right time. With Team ASPCA’s support system behind her, she quickly rose to the top of the pack, completed the 2010 ING New York City Marathon and was named one of our Top Fundraisers.
Now training for the NYC Half Marathon with Team ASPCA, Mary Sarah is doing something she never dreamed possible—and best of all, she has formed lifelong friendships with two-legged, three-legged and four-legged creatures. At the same time, Mary Sarah is making a positive impact on the lives of animals around the nation by bringing in additional resources for the ASPCA’s life-saving programs.
Thanks to the dedication of participants like Mary Sarah, Team ASPCA is getting bigger and better in 2011, and is currently in training for three upcoming events:
- January 30: The ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon, for which Team ASPCA members have raised nearly $75,000 (and climbing!).
- March 20: The NYC Half Marathon—we’re thrilled to announce that all slots are filled and our runners have already raised $10,000 for animals.
- May 1: The TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour, also in New York City. Interested cyclists still have time to register to pedal for Team ASPCA!
Please visit www.teamaspca.org to read about the many benefits of Team ASPCA membership and download an application. And stay tuned for news of our Team ASPCA fall events, which will include two world-renowned events in New York City and Los Angeles. Do it for the glory, do it for your health, and do it for the animals!
4. Charleston County, SC, Saves Lives, Breaks Spay/Neuter Records
Being an animal in Charleston County, South Carolina, just got a whole lot better. In 2010, for the first time in the 130-year history of Charleston Animal Society (CAS), the city’s open-admissions shelter, the community saved a majority of the animals in its care. In addition, Pet Helpers, an adoption center in Charleston, performed more than 500 spay/neuter surgeries in one single event, setting a state record. These successes wouldn’t have been possible without Charleston’s incredible dedication to its animals and its commitment to working with the ASPCA.
In April 2008, Charleston County became the sixth community to join the ASPCA Partnership, a focused effort save more animals’ lives across the country. The Partnership’s success lies in a delicate mix of effective programming, community engagement, and collaboration between the ASPCA and local animal welfare organizations.
Charleston Animal Society
and Pet Helpers
both operate successful adoption programs and high-volume spay/neuter clinics. They are joined in the Partnership by a third organization, Humane Net
, a coalition of animal shelters, rescues and animal control agencies that addresses the issues facing animals in Charleston County.
When the ASPCA Partnership launched in the Lowcountry nearly three years ago, the area’s homeless animals faced dire prospects. Like many other midsized American communities, Charleston County struggled with limited resources for establishing effective spay/neuter programs. Thanks to hard work and meaningful collaboration, the Charleston partners were able to significantly expand their spay/neuter resources (increasing the number of public surgeries from 2,966 in the first year of the Partnership to 10,292 in its third year); initiate an innovative Trap-Neuter-Return program for cats; and increase the number of animals saved by 65%.
Most importantly, Charleston County's successes haven’t been fleeting. The Partnership has established programs that really work, and will sustain in the months and years to come—always with an end goal of saving more animals’ lives.
For more information about the ASPCA Partnership in Charleston County, please visit our Partnership pages online. Want to help save more animals in your town? Find out how your city can apply to become an ASPCA partner community.