On February 1 on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, as the temperature plummeted to -29 degrees, Tribal Police Chief Kenneth Washington responded to a call about a dog in trouble. A Leech Laker known for her love of animals, Teresa Gunter, had reported a wounded dog, reeling in pain outside in the cold.
When Gunter showed Washington the weak, bloody shepherd mix, he was alarmed: The dog couldn’t even lift his head off his paw. “His eyes were sunken in,” Washington recalls. “I thought he might die.” He knew he had to help.
Two years ago, this story wouldn’t have had a happy ending. But because the Tribal Police go the extra mile for animals and work with a project called Leech Lake Legacy, there was hope. The project transports animals in need from the reservation to shelters and rescues around Minnesota that can provide life-saving veterinary care, rehabilitation and adoption.
This transport project is supported in part through a special ASPCA program that helps cash-strapped municipal animal care agencies move more dogs to safety. In the last six months alone, we’ve helped the Tribal Police get hundreds more dogs to safety.
The night he found the dog—named Nibi—Washington called Leech Lake Legacy right away. The next day he was on a transport to safety.
Today, just over a month after Washington rescued him, Nibi is thriving, getting healthier each day. He greets people enthusiastically and likes to put their fingers in his mouth as his special way of “holding hands.”
Nibi’s story doesn’t make headlines, but it’s one of millions in which the ASPCA is honored to play a role.
Becca Adams shared the following story with us about meeting her beloved feline companion Lily at a time when she least expected to adopt a cat.
The story of Lily actually begins 18 years ago, when I met the first love of my life at the SPCA in Virginia Beach, Virginia: a domestic shorthaired cat named Rassa. For 17 happy years, Rassa was my companion, partner in crime and best friend. He was diagnosed with cancer in December 2011. We discussed our options with the vet, and decided to make him comfortable for as long as he maintained his quality of life. Never one to enjoy a change of scenery, he seemed to agree. Rassa left us in March of last year, which is when Lily’s story begins.
My husband was out of town on business when I said goodbye to Rassa, so a friend came to stay with me. We stayed active, and during a day trip, she suggested that we stop by the SPCA. I told her I was not ready. The next day she suggested the same thing, and remembering a spring day 17 years earlier, I decided to go, but under no circumstances would I adopt an animal.
The Richmond SPCA is absolutely wonderful. There are two huge cat playrooms with large tunnels and hiding spaces and, for the more reserved kitties, large, private condos. I walked past Lily twice, thinking what a beautiful cat she was. A predominantly white calico with one blue and one green eye, Lily seemed rather interested in me. My mom had calico cats and they definitely had a fair share of “cattitude,” so I kept going.
My friend said she’d found the perfect cat for me. Thinking, “yeah, yeah, sure,” and feeling a bit guilty, I agreed to meet this perfect cat. Of course, Lily came prancing into the room. She walked right over to me, jumped in my lap and gave me a healthy head butt in the face. She looked me square in the face and sat down in my lap.
Two hours later, Lily and I were headed home.
She’s been with us for exactly a year, and has “adopted” two other rescue cats as her babies. I couldn’t imagine life with another cat a year ago, and now I can’t imagine my life without Lily.
Show your compassion for animals on your next jeans-and-a-tee-shirt day. Now through this casual Friday, shop our wide selection of stylish tees in the ASPCA Online Store and take 20% off by using the code Tees20. You’ll be a voice for animals every time you sport shirts that profess your love for cats,dogs and horses.
All net proceeds from your purchase will help us continue our life-saving efforts for animals across the country. Shop the Online Store today, and support animals nationwide!
Last week, Pauly’s BFF, Vinny Guadagnino, announced via Twitter that he’s welcomed a rescued puppy into his home. He even turned to his fans for help in naming his new Pit Bull. He tweeted, "Ok I changed my mind her name isn't Bodhi it's going to be Tita: Hawaiian word for a tough woman." We think that name rocks!
Paws up to the MTV star for making pet adoption his first option!