Guest blog by ASPCA Senior Feline Behavior Counselor Katie Watts
Hal is a four-year-old cat who was found on the street, abandoned in a box. His teeth were severely decayed, and he was in extreme pain—so much so that he couldn't groom himself and had become severely matted as a result. After arriving at the shelter, Hal was groomed, all his fur shaved. He also had to have several teeth extracted.
He was soon on the road to recovery, but it was clear that the ordeal had left him traumatized. Hal spent the first week huddled at the back of his cage, curled up in a small ball and barely moving. He was given a quiet space to settle and provided with a box to snuggle in and a "privacy curtain."
Several staff members started trying to make friends, offering him tasty treats and hoping to coax him out of his shell. Slowly but surely, Hal began to warm up. First it was a slight rub on a hand as he was petted, and then he was at the front of his cage, ready with rubs and purrs.
When he was ready, Hal was taken to visit a staff office, where he could be socialized further. From that point, he couldn't get enough attention, and it was clear all Hal wanted was a warm lap and some chin scratches. He was so affectionate toward people that he would even sit at the office door, patiently waiting for a staff member to return, and once she was back, he happily settled on her lap again.
Hal has come a long way and survived a great deal. He now waits patiently, always at the door of his cat condo, ready to jump in a lap at the first opportunity. He even grooms his new friends by licking them as they pet him! All he needs now is a quiet home with somebody who will provide him with the love he so deserves.
Halis available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting please call our Adoptions department in New York City at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4900. To learn more about Hal, please visit his page.
It’s nearly impossible to begin a new school year without laying out some cash—but the good news is that when you shop for everyday necessities, you can raise money for the ASPCA at the same time!
When you use the online shopping portalWe-Care.com to shop at your favorite stores, the ASPCA automatically receives a donation at no cost to you. You can find outfits and bookbags, of course, but from computers to eyeglasses, so many other back-to-school items are carried by We-Care’s merchants—the site also hosts more than 10 textbook sellers!
You can sign up for our We-Care.com secure browser extension here. It takes less than a minute to set up, and once you do, a reminder will let you know when you’ve visited a participating merchant’s website.
Thank you for thinking of animals while you shop for your family. This support has made a real difference for the ASPCA!
Aerin L. shared the following story with us about her dog Scout’s rough start as an abandoned puppy, his subsequent recovery and his happy adoption:
Scout, a black Pit Bull-Chow mix, was found with his three brothers—all around four-months-old—emaciated, close to death, coated in fleas and ticks, and suffering from severe cases of Demodex mange. The shelter that was called in to rescue the puppies said it was the worst case of mange they had ever seen. Scout in particular had not a strand of hair on his body, was covered in fleas and ticks, and his eyes were swollen shut.
A woman who operated a rescue in the Chicago area fostered Scout, then known as LoveBug. When we went to the rescue to look at another dog, we met Scout. He was described as a sweet, fast learning, calm dog.
We adopted him and learned that his personality was far from what we anticipated. Untrained except for the command sit, we enlisted the help of a dog trainer who taught him "down," "heel," "go potty," "wait," "stay," and more. She socialized him and helped him work through his fear of cars.
My plan is to work with Scout so he can achieve the "Canine Good Citizenship Award" before enrolling him as a therapy dog at children’s hospitals. I think children—especially those with cancer—will be able to connect with him. I hope they see his remarkable, and almost impossible, recovery as something they can look forward to. He's alive, well and happy.
Scout can help me educate the public about how loving Pit Bulls are and disprove the myths associated with the breed.