- 1. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: Goodwill Ambassador
- 2. ASPCA Arrests Bronx Man for Cruelty to St. Bernard Mix
- 3. Fact or Fiction: Are Poinsettias Poisonous?
- 4. ASPCA Pets of the Week: The Fab Five
- 5. Cut Vet Costs! Get a Free Pet Insurance Quote Today
- 6. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 7. Holiday Adoption Event: Find Furry Love This Weekend!
1. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: Goodwill Ambassador
Elsie was having trouble finding her perfect familyfor seven months, she’d been waiting at the Western PA Humane Society (WPHS). Smart as a whip, the pit bull had mastered her basic commands and was a perfect lady on the adoption floor, but for some reason she wasn't finding a home. After three different adopters fell through, shelter board member Becky Torbin came along.
“Elsie was the most gentle, engaging, affectionate dog,” says Becky, who was hooked right away. Unfortunately, Becky’s husband, Herb, wasn't quite as enthusiastic.
“His harsh words were, ‘Have you lost your mind? She’s a pit bull!’” remembers Becky. “I looked him straight in the eye and answered, ‘Trust me on this one.’”
Herb’s decision to go with Becky’s hunch was a good one. He was later diagnosed with cancer and, because he had bonded so deeply with Elsie, she was the only one he wanted around after his weekly chemo treatments. “She lay across his chest as he slept on the couch and was the best medicine he could’ve asked for,” says Becky. Herb is now in remissionand Elsie’s biggest fan!
As it turns out, Elsie’s been busy changing lots of minds about pit bulls. “When people pet her, they always comment on what a wonderful soul she is,” says Becky. “Then comes the inevitable question…‘What kind of dog is she?’ I smile and say, ‘Elsie is a pit bull.’ An expression of surprise comes over people’s faces as they utter the magical words I love to hear: ‘Meeting this sweet dog has completely changed my perception of pit bulls.’”
Elsie and her mom are the third-quarter winners of the ASPCA Adopt-A-Bull contest, which celebrates successful adoptions made at shelters using the Meet Your Match™ (MYM) program. Elsie’s win scored WPHS a $4,000 grant, and now she and her momand the shelterare automatically entered to win the grand prize in the “Vote for Your Favorite Match" online contest scheduled for February 2009.
P.S. If you know of a great pit-human pair who met at a shelter that uses MYM, let ‘em know that they can enter the Adopt-A-Bull Contest, too. The deadline for fourth quarter entries is December 31, 2008.
2. ASPCA Arrests Bronx Man for Cruelty to St. Bernard Mix
On November 20, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents arrested Bronx resident Cedric Flemming for neglecting his seven-year-old female dog, Precious. Flemming, 28, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Back in October, when responding to a complaint, ASPCA Special Agent John De La Torre discovered Precious, an emaciated St. Bernard mix, about ten blocks north of Yankee Stadium. Agent De La Torre seized the dog and brought her to the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, where she was treated for starvation and neglect. Under the care of our veterinarians, Precious’s gaunt 65-pound frame soon bulked up by 45 percentafter just one month at the ASPCA, she weighed in at a healthy 94 pounds. “When she first came in, Precious looked like a walking skeleton,” remembers Trish McMillan, ASPCA Senior Manager, Animal Behavior. “She’s now looking a million times better. You wouldn’t believe she’s the same dog!”
Ready to move on to a happier chapter of her life, this sweet girl is now available for adoption at the ASPCA’s 92nd Street Adoption Center. “Precious is a snuggly couch potato!” says McMillan. “She can be a bit shy at first, but she warms up to new people quicklyespecially for cookies. Her ideal home would be a quiet one where she’ll be allowed on the furniture for frequent petting and belly rubs. This is an affectionate, low-maintenance dog who will lie around and cause no trouble.”
Think you can give Precious or another lucky pup a loving new home for the holidays? See all of our wonderful, adoptable dogs. And if you know of an animal whose health is being compromised by neglect, please report it. In New York City, contact the ASPCA's anonymous tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty elsewhere.
3. Fact or Fiction: Are Poinsettias Poisonous?
With daylight at a premium and fall color a thing of the past, a vibrant poinsettia plant is a great way to brighten your home this holiday season. But aren’t poinsettias super poisonous to pets, you ask? Not so, says the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. According to our experts, rumors of the plant’s toxicity are exaggeratedperpetuated by a longstanding myth.
A subtropical shrub indigenous to Central and Southern Mexico, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) first appeared in the United States in the 1820s. The myth of the plant’s toxicity spread in the early 20th century when the two-year-old child of a U.S. Army officer allegedly died from eating a poinsettia leaf. In truth, a 50-pound child would have to eat more than 600 poinsettia leaves to exceed experimental doses that produced no toxic effects.
In the last 12 months, the Animal Poison Control Center managed 84 cases involving ingestions of poinsettias, but the most common result was an upset stomach. According to Dana Farbman, CVT, ASPCA Senior Manager of Professional Communications, “Ingestion of poinsettias typically only produces mild to moderate gastrointestinal irritation in pets, which may include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.” Because of the plant’s low toxic potential, veterinary treatment isn’t usually necessary, Farbman reports, but in certain situations it may help to give your pet a few sips of water or milk to diminish stomach upset.
To prevent digestive problems, pet parents should keep poinsettias out of reach, but it’s not necessary to banish the festive plant altogether. Lilies, on the other hand, are also common holiday flowers, but many of those varietiesincluding tiger, Asian, Japanese show, stargazer and the Casablancacan cause kidney failure in cats, even in tiny amounts.
As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic, please contact your vet or the ASPCA’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. For more information about toxic and nontoxic plants, please visit APCC online.
4. ASPCA Pets of the Week: The Fab Five
Oodles of poodle love is oozing from the kennels at the ASPCA Adoption Center. Five special-needs dogs remain out of the 33 we rescued from hoarders back in October.
They are senior dogs who have dental disease and other medical issues. And we assure you, we call them “special” for a reasonany one of these purebred miniature poodles will make a wonderful pet for the right family. After all, they’re desperate to soak up all the affection they can get! “They want love, and they’re learning how to accept it! It’s such a new thing for them,” says the ASPCA’s Victoria Wells, Manager of Shelter Behavior and Training. They are still shy, and will need some time to come out of their… fur. And what pretty, fluffy white fur it is!
Without further ado, the fab five:
Bonnie: Not one to give up easily, eight-year-old Bonnie knows how to turn the focus to where she wants iton her!
Orson: Once this eight-year-old pooch is comfortable with you, he’ll be a constant companion. When he’s not cuddling, he’s observing the world around himtaking it all in. Richie: Of all the poodles, this tiny 10-year-old ball of fluff is the most social and active. “Even though he can’t see very well, he comes the most readily!” says Wells with pride. You can find him trotting around, toylike, with his tongue sticking out of his smiling kisser.
Shadie: Five-year-old Shadie knows how to work a room collecting cuddles. But all bets are off at mealtimethat’s when he’d like to keep to himself, thank you very much.
Wally: Like his brothers and sisters, eight-year-old Wally hasn’t seen much of the world, so new sights and sounds can be scary to him. Won’t you give this shy guy a try?
These amazing animals have so thoroughly stolen the hearts of ASPCA staffers that we’ve given the poods their own web page please visit for more doggie details. If you’d like to meet the fab five, call the ASPCA Animal Placement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To see other animals who are waiting for homes, please visit the ASPCA Adoption Center online.
5. Cut Vet Costs! Get a Free Pet Insurance Quote Today
A slowing economy doesn’t have to stop you from providing your pets with good veterinary care. Pet health insurance can help cover costs so you won’t have to choose between your pet’s well-being and your finances.
We're proud to offer ASPCA Pet Health Insurance to our 1,000,000 members and pet parents all across North America. While the plans are structured to pass along savings to pet parents, a small portion of all premiums supports our critical work*so while you take care of the four-legged members of your family, you’ll be helping us to take care of animals everywhere. For a free quote and more information on our plan options, please visit the ASPCA Pet Insurance website or call (866) 861-9092.
* Under the terms of an agreement with the Hartville Group, the ASPCA is guaranteed at least $1.6 million over the next five years.
6. ASPCA Job of the Week
Are you a gifted researcher? The ASPCA is searching for a Major Gifts Research Assistant to help us identify potential donors, create prospect biographies and assist with feasibility studies, regional assessments and stewardship projects. Our ideal candidate is well-versed in fundraising principles and practices and familiar with trends in philanthropy, especially in New York City. If you’re a pro at collecting data and communicating results, 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.
7. Holiday Adoption Event: Find Furry Love This Weekend!
Everyone wants the love of family and friends during the holiday seasonand that includes the dogs and cats awaiting homes at the ASPCA Adoption Center! Come visit us at 424 East 92nd Street during our special adoption event, to be held Saturday, December 13 (that’s tomorrow!), from 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., and Sunday, December 14, from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Every pet comes spayed or neutered with up-to-date vaccinations and a microchip, and we’re giving away a free gift to all adopters. And take special note, kitty loversall cats age three and older will be adopted free of charge!
For directions, details and everything else you need to know before bringing home a new member of the family, visit our Adoption section online.
P.S. Looking to give a pet as a present this holiday season? Check out our Gift-a-Pet Certificate!