When ASPCA staffer Rena Lafaille saw a veterinarian cradling a tiny animal in her arms, she wondered, “Is that a turkey? What’s a turkey doing at the ASPCA Adoption Center?”
Then she realized: The tiny animal was in fact a cat—one who had suffered severe chemical burns on her back, scalp and other parts of her body. Kylie’s ears were singed off, and she couldn’t walk or close her red and cloudy eyes.
“My heart was completely broken,” remembers Rena, ASPCA Adoption Center Department Coordinator. “Ever since that moment, I’d go visit her when I was done with my office work, for 30 minutes to an hour.”
Late last year, Kylie was found hiding behind some bushes, quietly suffering, when two dogs sniffed her out while out on a walk. The dogs’ pet parent took the first step toward saving Kylie’s life: He brought her to ASPCA Animal Hospital. But Kylie’s struggle was far from over, and our veterinary staff didn’t know if she’d pull through.
“It was really touch-and-go with Kylie because she’d lost so much skin,” recalls ASPCA veterinarian Dr. Patricia Wagner, who treated Kylie. “We didn’t know if she’d be able to blink, or walk, ever again.”
Kylie needed several surgeries, specialist care and extensive treatment for her injuries. She spent months at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where everyone fell in love with Kylie and her sweet, patient personality. “Everyone knew who Kylie was,” says Dr. Wagner. “There were so many people here pulling for her. We didn’t want to fail.”
Then one day it was clear to our veterinarians that Kylie’s recovery had turned a corner—she was out of the woods. In fact, Kylie was ready to continue her recovery in a foster home. Rena’s was an obvious choice. Rena began fostering Kylie in February, eagerly taking on the medical regime her new foster kitty required: pain medicine, fish oil and eye drops, all twice a day on a rigid schedule. To protect Kylie’s burns and promote healing, Rena purchased her a T-shirt. When the shirt didn’t quite fit, Kylie had it tailored.
Today, Kylie is an integral part of Rena’s family and fast friends with Lafaille cats Gizmo and Cleopatra, a Beagle called Maya, and Baby Jin, a four-and-a-half-pound Chihuahua who is her playmate and constant companion. Rena continues to work with Dr. Wagner on Kylie’s treatment, and they’re hopeful she won’t need medication one day.
“Kylie will never, ever give up no matter what,” Rena says. “It was her spirit that got her through this. She’s really an incredible cat.”
We can’t tell you how many calls and emails we get here at the ASPCA from people who bought a puppy from a pet store and didn’t realize, until it was too late, that their puppy was born in a puppy mill. We know that most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, but we want to show people where their local pet stores are getting puppies before they buy! That’s where you come in!
If you bought a puppy from a pet store, you should have been provided with paperwork at the time of purchase that includes the name and USDA license number of the breeder who bred your puppy. Please find that paper and visit our No Pet Store Puppies website to share the information. The information you provide may help us connect your local pet stores to photos of the breeders who supply them.
No judgments here: we urge everyone to make adoption their first option—but if you bought a puppy, you can still assist the ASPCA with our efforts to shed a light on the link between puppy mills and pet store puppies. Thank you!
If you’ve ever called the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), you know it’s a critical resource for pet parents whose animals may have gotten into something toxic. But when it took its first call 35 years ago today, APCC was a tiny University of Illinois service based in a chicken coop.
APCC has come a long way since then. The first poison control center focused solely on animals, the center (called the Toxicology Information service until 1990, when it became the National Animal Poison Control Center) quickly established itself as a pioneer, creating the first toll-free pet poison hotline and developing a life-saving database that helps identify pet poisons. That database is the reason we now know Easter lilies, grapes and raisins, and Xylitol can harm our pets.
The center officially became the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in 2000, and in 2006, it handled its one-millionth case. This year, APCC will take on 273,000 calls—that’s 500-plus cases per day.
With the resources and expertise to handle every type of poison crisis, APCC remains the leader in providing life-saving information to pet parents in need.
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. You can also connect with APCC on Facebook and Twitter.
Be sure to Tweet APCC a happy birthday wish using #APCC35!
These organizations will put their grant funds to good use, utilizing them for purposes such as transport costs for 111 puppies or 37 adult dogs, a Rescue-Rehab-Rehome program that removes animals at risk of euthanasia from over-crowded shelters, and spay/neuter procedures for cats and dogs of low-income pet parents.
This weekend, the ASPCA teamed up with our partners to host an adoption event for some very special cats who our Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) team had removed from a severely overcrowded home.
For months we rehabilitated the cats and prepared them for adoption. On August 4, in partnership with One Love Animal Hospital and Sean Casey Animal Rescue, we set out to find them families. By the end of our special Summer Lovin’ adoption event, roughly 30 of these cats (and a few dogs from Sean Casey) found the loving homes they deserve.
Like all CIA clients, the cats’ owner worked with the program voluntarily. “This case was a perfect fit for CIA,” says CIA Director Allison Cardona. “We took it on immediately.”
The cats’ owner, a Bronx resident who had been a 9/11 responder, had 15 cats by 2012—neighbors knew he loved felines and would leave them on his doorstep, and he couldn’t help taking some in off the streets. But last year, he had two heart attacks and was diagnosed with cancer. He struggled to keep up with spaying and neutering his animals, and they rapidly multiplied to an unmanageable number.
Fortunately, the CIA program was there to throw him the lifeline he and his cats needed.
This case is typical of CIA’s work, and we’re so glad this team could step in and help. We never forget this life-saving program is all thanks to the support of our members. If now is a good time for you to give, we hope you’ll consider donating to the ASPCA today. You’ll touch the lives of countless animals. Thank you!