- 1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Don’t Give Up
- 2. ASPCA Pets of the Week: Seniors Have More Fun
- 3. ASPCA Assists in Interstate Transfer of Puppy Mill Rescues
- 4. Baltimore Mayor Signs Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission into Law
- 5. Three Finalists Announced for the ASPCA Community Engagement Award
1. ASPCA Happy Tails: Don’t Give Up
In October 2009, Emily Guirola of Brooklyn, NY, discovered a tiny, disabled kitten on the doorstep of an animal hospital in Bay Ridge, where she served as a volunteer. She immediately adopted the ailing feline and named him Poncho. After receiving discouraging diagnoses from several veterinarians, she visited the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Here is her story.
I went to many vets and they all said the same thing: he isn't going to live, his back legs don’t work, and he is going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life. Everyone told me to put him to sleep. I couldn't. I went to the ASPCA’s animal hospital in New York City and found doctors who would treat him.
At first, Poncho couldn't even crawl or move his legs. Little by little, I taught him how to walk. Now he walks, eats on his own and can do his business alone. He functions with other cats and is doing better. It took me a whole year to teach him, but I am so glad I did!
I taught him how to move his legs by taking a cat toy attached to a string and shaking it in front of him. I noticed his eyes following it, and finally, one day, he caught it with his paws! That's when I knew miracles do happen.
Check out our Happy Tails archive for more heartwarming stories of furry fate.
2. ASPCA Pets of the Week: Seniors Have More Fun
Did you know that November is National Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month? Of course, we love to tout the joys of adopting a senior pooch every month, but in honor of November’s special designation, we’d like to introduce you to three of our favorite seniors available for adoption at the ASPCA in NYC.
You’ve met Kimberly before, but we can’t say enough good things about this sweet-as-candy Rottweiler. A gentle giant, she loves to lounge and would be thrilled to live a low-key life with a compassionate pet parent.
Got your eye on a Tiger? This sweet guy has been at our shelter longer than any other pooch, and we can’t figure out why. He enjoys exercising and cuddling in equal measure!
Chloe is another darling senior who loves to lounge and play with her pooch pals. This golden girl has arthritis in her hips and needs some extra TLC. Try to resist our video of Chloe working her charm for the camera.
If you’re interested in adopting a smart and sassy senior pet, please contact our Animal Placement department in New York City at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To see other animals looking for homes, visit our Adoption Center online.
****Got Facebook? Won’t you please donate your status to senior dogs today? Just copy and paste the following message onto your profile status to help spread the word that senior pets need love, too!
[Name] is donating my status to senior dogs at the ASPCA http://www.aspca.org/aspca-nyc/adoptable-dogs/
3. ASPCA Assists in Interstate Transfer of Puppy Mill Rescues
In mid-October, the ASPCA was contacted about an organization in North Dakota, the Central Dakota Humane Society (CDHS), which had seized 129 dogs from an alleged puppy mill. The raid had filled the CDHS shelter to capacity, forcing the agency to leave approximately 60 dogs at the mill until more shelter space could be made. According to Sue Buchholz, CDHS shelter director, all the rescued dogs had parasites and were underweight; some were nearly dead of starvation while others had old wounds, ear infections, pregnancies and other health issues.
It was clear that dogs had to be moved out, and quickly—so the ASPCA reached out to our partners to see if there were any organizations in the region willing and able to accept a sizable transfer of rescued dogs. Colorado’s Humane Society of Boulder Valley stepped forward to take 35 canines, but did not have the resources to move them to Colorado, so the ASPCA offered the use of our custom-built animal transport vehicle.
On November 5, our driver, an animal assistant and a group of mostly mixed-breed dogs completed their journey of more than 600 miles and arrived at Boulder Valley. “Almost every dog we received is highly social, but also highly fearful,” says Connie Howard, Humane Society of Boulder Valley Vice President of Operations.
All 35 dogs were evaluated and placed in the shelter’s behavior modification program, where trainers work with them individually at least twice a day. “They are struggling, of course, with tasks such as walking on leashes, but overall are making rapid progress and doing really well,” reports Howard. Most of the dogs have been made available for adoption, and two lucky pups have already gone home with new pet parents.
For more information about animal transport or how you can help fight puppy mills, please visit ASPCA.org’s Anti-Cruelty section.
4. Baltimore Mayor Signs Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission into Law
On November 3, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed legislation creating the Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, a board that will support the city’s prevention and prosecution of animal cruelty, including dog fighting. The ASPCA is hopeful that this commission, which is the first of its kind, will serve as a model for other cities to follow.
“The people of Baltimore have a strong and visceral reaction to news about animal abuse,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Abused animals cannot speak for themselves, and if those of us who care about the humane treatment of living beings don’t speak up on their behalf, no one will. This new commission will help give a voice to animals and make Baltimore better, safer and stronger.”
The commission began as a task force in July 2009 in response to the fatal burning of a dog named Phoenix. Over the course of one year, the task force met and drafted a report that outlines a campaign to eradicate animal abuse in Baltimore. Recommendations of the task force include drafting anti-cruelty legislation and training law enforcement and animal welfare professionals throughout Maryland to respond to animal cruelty cases.
Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects, has served on the task force since its inception and will continue to represent the ASPCA, the only national animal welfare organization with a seat on the commission. Other members include representatives from the State Attorney’s office, the Baltimore City Council, the Mayor’s office, BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter) and MDSPCA (Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
“The ASPCA was horrified to learn what happened to Phoenix,” said Dr. Lockwood. “We have long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes, and we look forward to working with the city of Baltimore to help put a stop to these violent injustices against animals.”
"Animal cruelty is more than just a legal issue; it's a community issue,” summarized Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “If you improve animal welfare in a community, you improve public safety for everyone."
5. Three Finalists Announced for the ASPCA Community Engagement Award
A few weeks ago, we asked you to cast your vote for the Community Engagement Award for the $100K Challenge contestant that has motivated its community the most during the three-month contest. After weeks of energetic outreach and a lively voting period, we’re pleased to announce that the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society in Menands, NY, Tallahassee (FL) Leon Community Animal Service Center, and the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (CO) have received the highest number of public votes to become finalists for the $25,000 award. All three organizations are also in the running to win the $100K grand prize.
“These animal welfare organizations have committed themselves to making a difference in the lives of animals,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “When they took on the ASPCA's $100K Challenge, they not only succeeded in saving at least 300 more animals during the contest period than they did a year ago, but they also rallied their communities in support behind them. That is why they are finalists for this award.”
An ASPCA grants committee will now deliberate and select a winner from the three finalists based on the number of people with whom the contestant shelter engaged during the Challenge; the breadth of ways the community participated; and the level of community enthusiasm as evidenced by photos, stories, news coverage and videos posted on the Challenge website.
From August to October, each $100K Challenge contestant worked to save at least 300 more animals than they did during the same period in 2009. The organization that achieved the greatest increase during the three-month period will receive a $100,000 grant from the ASPCA to continue its life-saving work. Winners will be announced during the first week of December, so please stay tuned to ASPCA.org to learn which shelters are taking home the $25K Community Engagement Award and the $100K grand prize!