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.
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.”
Goofy ASPCA adoptable Spike is sweet, playful and very affectionate. He’d love nothing more than a long game of fetch followed by a cuddle session with his special people, and he’s available right now. Recently, our photographer snapped Spike at play at our Adoption Center in NYC, and we wanted to share the results with you. Check out his album on Facebook.
Can’t adopt Spike? He still really needs your help. He’s a great dog who deserves a family, and we’d love it if you’d spread the word about him. Here’s why:
At the ASPCA, Spike is a staff favorite. Everyone’s had a chance to fall in love with him because he’s been with us for nearly two years—longer than any other dog currently in our care. Spike came to us through our Humane Law Enforcement department in 2011. Back then, Spike was emaciated and undersocialized, afraid of most new people and things.
Naturally, as soon as he was medically ready, our behavior counselors set to work socializing this special guy. They took him to new places, like the park and on busy streets. They introduced him to many volunteers so he could learn how great people can be. Before long, Spike blossomed into a dog who couldn’t wait to shower his favorite staffers with kisses.
Behavior counselors also taught Spike basic manners, and he eagerly showed us how smart he is, learning Sit and Drop It very quickly. Due to chronic lung disease, Spike needed an inhaler for a time, and he shocked behavior counselors with how fast he learned to use it. (Today, Spike no longer requires an inhaler.) Late last year, Spike became eligible for adoption. He’s been waiting for his family ever since.
So what gives? Why hasn’t Spike found a home? (We ask ourselves these questions all the time.) He’s shy with new people, and sometimes when Spike sees adopters through the glass of his habitat, he barks his unique, hoarse-sounding bark at them. Understandably, that can make some people feel unwelcome and move along to other dogs.
It’s a shame those folks miss out on Spike, though. He’d so like to get to know them better—just slowly. That’s why we’re asking you to share Spike with all your social networks. Together we have the power to write Spike’s happy ending. What are you waiting for?
Spike would love a teens-and-up home. He loves to play with other dogs, but can play a bit rough, so a resident dog would need to be up for that. To learn more about adopting Spike, check out his page.
Woodchuck, Clint and Groucholove each other, and it’s the cutest darned thing. All three were rescued from the same hoarding situation, and at first they were really shy. But now they’ve all come out of their shells and are ready to go home—and what they’d really love is the chance to go home together.
These three have a huge fan in Senior Feline Behavior Counselor Katie Watts. “Woodchuck, Clint and Groucho are the cutest threesome! They spend at least half of their day in a big cat pile,” she told us. “Just now I saw all three crowded onto one small bed. There wasn’t quite room for all three, so Clint was sitting on top of the other two.” Adorable!
Woodchuck and Clint are a bonded pair, so they must go home together. Groucho must live with another cat—Woodchuck and Clint, another adoptable, or your resident feline—just so long as he has a kitty buddy to snuggle with.
To adopt Woodchuck and Clint or Groucho—or all three—please contact the ASPCA Adoption Center in NYC at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120.