When Thomas H. was suffering from trauma and depression, his doctor suggested that a pet might help. Thomas agreed to look into it, but little did he know that a tiny kitten named Jonny would do more than provide comfort—he would change Thomas’s life forever. Here is their very Happy Tail of hope, healing and new beginnings.
Jonny arrived at the ASPCA in May when he was barely four weeks old. It was the height of kitten season, and Jonny, along with seven other siblings, was transferred from Animal Care & Control of NYC. Weighing only eight ounces at the time, he was put on a strict feeding schedule and received round-the-clock care from staff at the ASPCA Animal Hospital. By early August, he was strong, healthy, and ready to begin his search for a forever home.
While all of this was happening, Thomas had taken his doctor’s advice to heart. Not content to just pick out a pet willy-nilly, he prepared for his visit to the ASPCA Adoption Center by reading books on feline science and behavior. He was determined to not only heal his own emotional wounds, but to give some lucky kitten the best life possible, too. On August 20, he was finally ready to take that step: he went to the ASPCA and adopted Jonny.
Back at home, Thomas changed Jonny’s name to O’Reilly, and over the next few weeks the teeny kitty settled in. He explored every nook and cranny of Thomas’s apartment and discovered that he loves to spend his days basking in the sun. But the feline’s connection with his new adopter went deeper than a happy home—O’Reilly proved to be just what the doctor ordered.
“O’Reilly has been of such assistance to me,” says Thomas. “He began as a therapy animal, and I cannot express how much he has been transformative.” As their bond grew, O’Reilly and Thomas helped each other more and more. “My spells of depression are lifted when he wants to play (which is often). His peace is my peace, where I previously had none,” he says.
It’s been four months since this duo found each other, and their bond is already unbreakable. “O’Reilly is now my reference point for a present outlook on life,” Thomas beams. “He is often either curled by my chest or is present on call. His return is immeasurable.”
We are so happy that this tiny street kitten has found such a loving home. Thomas says, “O’Reilly has given me meaning, belongingness and calm.” He adds, “I thank you all at the ASPCA for giving me this comfort,” but we are the ones who want to thank him for giving little O’Reilly the best life imaginable.
Smitty is a four-year-old Pit Bull who was brought to the ASPCA on October 14. Found by a Good Samaritan in the Bronx, New York, Smitty was suffering from first- and second-degree burns that covered nearly half of his body. Despite the severity of his burns—and his apparent pain—Smitty had a wonderful disposition.
At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Smitty was in the ICU for six weeks where doctors managed his pain and changed his bandages regularly. During the early stages of his treatment, Smitty’s wounds were still so painful and fresh that he had to be sedated during bandage changes. Despite it all, his happy attitude and sweet nature never wavered.
ASPCA veterinarians removed dead tissue and skin so new tissue could grow in, and after six weeks, Smitty no longer required bandaging. His fur is growing back in patches, but it’s likely that he will have scars for the rest of his life. Smitty knows how to sit and fetch, and is very playful and active. After a long, hard journey, he is now available for adoption—hoping for a forever home just in time for Christmas.
If you’re considering adding a furry addition to your family, the holiday season is the perfect time to provide a shelter dog or cat with a loving home. To encourage pet adoption and bring even more joy to New Yorkers’ homes this season, the ASPCA Adoption Centeris hosting a festive adoption event! From Saturday, December 20 through Wednesday, December 31, enjoy discounted fees on all animals and free gifts for adopters.
During the event, adopters can take advantage of the following promotions:
Kittens between the ages of four months and one year have an adoption fee of $50 (normally $125).
If you choose to adopt two kittens, there is no adoption fee for the second one.
All cats older than one year have no adoption fee.
Dog adoption fees will be discounted by 50 percent.
Every adopter will have the opportunity to select an envelope from the ASPCA Giving Tree with the chance to win free toys, coupons or supplies for their new pet!
Gift-a-Pet Certificates can also be purchased, which cover the cost of the adoption fee for a new cat or kitten, allowing the recipient to return and adopt a pet of their own.
Every animal adopted from the ASPCA Adoption Center is spayed/neutered, microchipped and fully vaccinated. Each animal will go home with a free collar and ID tag, cardboard carrier for cats and leash for dogs, and a voucher for a free visit to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.
There’s no greater gift a shelter animal can receive this holiday season than a loving family. If you’re in the New York City area, browse dogs and cats at the ASPCA Adoption Center, or find adoptable dogs and cats in your area with our national shelter search tool.
Below are some adoptable animals at the ASPCA who are a tiny bit "naughty," but 100% lovable! They're looking for loving homes this holiday season:
Removed from properties in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas, the dogs—who ranged in age from just a few days to 12 years—were scarred, starving, and tethered to heavy chains with little access to food or water. Most had never experienced life without suffering, and several of them, including a Pit Bull named Ruby, were pregnant with pups.
Though Ruby had likely spent most of her life abused and neglected, our Emergency Responders were amazed by her sweet, gentle nature. After giving birth, Ruby was adopted by one of our responders—and she is now in the process of becoming a certified therapy dog who will bring love and joy to local hospitals, schools and retirement homes.
Every dollar you donate to the ASPCA makes a huge difference in an animal’s life. For dogs like Ruby, it can mean the difference between life and death. Help us end their suffering: Make a gift to the ASPCA today.
Tino is a regal cat who loves quiet, gentle attention from his favorite people—but this shy guy doesn’t jump in paws first. Tino feels a bit nervous around new people, and prefers to take things slow. With a little space to himself and the help of some yummy treats, he’ll warm up to his new home in no time. Let Tino sniff your hand before petting him and this sweet boy will come out of his shell for plenty of face scratches and relaxed playtime with his favorite laser toy.
This stately guy would like to be the only pet in the household and would be thrilled to go home with an experienced cat adopter to an adults-only home. Adopt Tino today!
Tino is 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. 4120. To learn more about Tino, please visit his profile page.