As 2012 draws to a close, we’re thinking back on some of our favorite rescue stories of the year. One of them has to be Dora’s.
On a chilly day last holiday season, the ASPCA rescued Dora, a starving, matted little Shih Tzu with a severely injured tail. Back then, she was weak, terrified and emaciated.
But slowly, Dora began to gain weight and strength. She started to gain confidence, too, and as 2012 began, Dora’s spirited personality started to shine through.
That’s when world-renowned designer and architect Robert Couturier learned about Dora. A steadfast ASPCA supporter with three Shih Tzus of his own, he was deeply moved by her story. Within a week, he became her new foster parent.
“She slept in my arms the whole time on the way home,” Robert remembers. “It was as if she could finally sleep, and that she knew nothing bad was ever going to happen to her anymore.”
At his Connecticut country house, Robert introduced Dora to his boyfriend, Jeffrey, who fell in love with her immediately. Then he gave Dora a toy. She took it to her crate and looked at him with wide, cautious eyes, as if to ask: Is it OK for me to keep something of my very own?
“Of course it’s OK,” Robert told her, his heart breaking a little. He scooped her up and carried her with him all evening, just as he does now whenever they are together.
These days, Dora sleeps between her guardians’ pillows and enjoys playing with her favorite canine sibling: five-year-old Hercule, who fell head over heels for her the first day they met. “He’s her knight,” Robert jokes.
In October, Robert and Jeffrey adopted Dora. That makes it official: For the first time in her young life, Dora was home for the holidays.
If Robert’s acts of kindness don’t melt your heart, we don’t know what will. We’re so glad these two found each other!
We love connecting people with their local animal shelters—which is exactly why we love the HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers) program!
We awarded $50,000 in grants to HEART programs across the country to help students of all ages learn about human rights, animal protection and environmental ethics. One such program, at Stockton Elementary in Chicago, gave students a chance to participate in a service learning program focusing on animal issues.
The students organized two fundraisers to benefit the Chicago Canine Rescue and paid a visit to meet the animals they helped. A big shout out to the HEART students of Stockton Elementary for all their hard work! Great job, all!
For more information on the ASPCA Grants program and how you can get involved, visit the Grants page.
On a cold December day last year, eight-year-old Hennessy came to us limping and suffering from multiple untreated conditions. She underwent extensive surgery on her right knee. And through it all, she never lost her trust in people.
Housetrained and a great leash walker, she learned commands like Sit, Down and Leave It with the same enthusiasm she showed greeting people. Naturally, staff members fell in love with her one by one.
But Hennessy still hasn’t found find a home of her own.
We know that some dogs take a little longer to find forever homes—but in the meantime they benefit from our top-notch veterinary care, playtime and snuggles with our devoted staff. At the ASPCA, dogs like Hennessey get all the time they need.
We’re working hard to help as many animals as possible. With your support, we can continue to save lives like Hennessy’s. We think she’s worth it. Don’t you?
Even as we celebrate with our own families and friends this season, those of us at the ASPCA can’t forget that right now, millions of animals across the U.S. are still homeless. Without loving families to call their own, far too many of these animals are suffering alone on the streets.
If you’re like us, you might find that reality nearly too much to bear. That’s why we wanted to remind you that you can help!
We’ve got big plans for 2013, and you can be a part of them. Through ASPCA initiatives promoting animal relocation, adoption and rescue, hundreds of thousands of formerly homeless, unloved animals will get the most precious gift of all: safe, warm homes in which to spend the 2013 holidays.
If you’ve already pledged your support for homeless animals, thank you—from the bottom of our hearts. If you haven’t, please remember that it’s not too late!
After weeks of gift shopping, cookie baking and house decorating, it’s finally time to celebrate! From all of us here at the ASPCA, we’d like to send warm holiday wishes to you and your pets.
As you’re making your last-minute holiday to-do list and checking it twice, please don’t forget to consider your pets’ safety in the hustle and bustle of the season.
Keep these potential hazards in mind when getting your home ready for holiday gatherings:
Mind the greenery. Christmas trees, holly and mistletoe present various dangers to your pets. Make sure your Christmas tree is securely anchored so it doesn’t tip, fall and injure your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Holly and mistletoe can also cause illnesses in pets if ingested.
Hide the leftovers. Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends.
Be careful with your cocktails. Don’t leave alcoholic beverages unattended where your pets might try to drink them—alcohol can cause serious illness in pets.
Use candles and lights with care. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. Also, when decorating with electric or battery-powered lights, consider that wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to your pet’s mouth and esophagus.
As your pets celebrate the holidays with your family this year, try to keep their routines as close to normal as possible. If you plan to have guests in your home, it’s a good idea to keep your pets in a quiet, calm room with plenty of water and places to snuggle.