October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and it could not have come at a more crucial time. According to the latest statistics, nearly 4 million dogs in the United States enter animal shelters annually—and up to 40% never find a home. It’s a staggering number, and it is a sobering reminder that our nation’s pet homelessness problem is very real and very tragic.
The ASPCA is determined to change that, and you can help. Here are three things you can do to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month:
1. Adopt: There are so many adorable dogs at the ASPCA Adoption Center just waiting to find a home. And—as if their cute faces aren’t incentive enough—we’re also offering reduced adoption fees all month long: $40 for dogs who weigh more than 40 pounds! If you’re not in the New York City area, use our nationwide database tool to find dogs in need of home near you.
2. Share Your Story: Have you rescued a dog? We want to hear about it! Your stories are a great way to spread the word about the joys of dog adoption, and to inspire others to bring home a furry friend of their own. Plus, you’ll be entered for the chance to win an ASPCA prize pack and have your story featured on ASPCA Parents!
3. Donate: We understand that not everyone can bring home a dog of their own. But just because you can’t adopt, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! So far this month, over 250 animal lovers have stepped up and donated to support homeless pets. We are just 147 donors shy of our goal, and we hope that you can help.
This October, we want to save more lives than ever before. If you can’t adopt, do the next best thing: Make a gift today.
It’s time to meet your match, people—your four-legged match! Once again the ASPCA is teaming up with dozens of animal shelters across the country for the third-annual ASPCA Mega Match-a-thon, presented by Subaru. This weekend (October 17-19), more than 100 animal rescues across the country are joining forces to co-host some epic adoption events. We chipped in more than $220,000 in grants, made possible by Subaru as part of our participation in the Subaru “Share the Love” event last year, to help make it happen. ASPCA supporter Swiffer is gifting shelters with its Big Green Box full of products, and adopters also will receive a coupon for a Swiffer Sweeper.
Last year’s Mega Match-a-thon saw nearly 6,000 pets adopted in just one weekend! Let’s top that number. Here’s how you can help:
From Internet sensation to movie star and fundraiser, it’s no secret that Lil Bub has an impressive resume. But now, everyone’s favorite perma-kitten can add another title to that list: CEO. That’s right! This super-cute, super-special cat-lebrity is taking over the ASPCA as our Cat Executive Officer for a Day!
Lil Bub is officially running the show all day today, September 30. Even though she’s got a jam-packed schedule, we’re pretty sure she’ll find time for Lappy Hour later on. Here’s what she’s been up to so far:
If a natural disaster or emergency strikes, will you be prepared? As part of National Preparedness Month, the ASPCA wants to make sure that pet parents are ready for any situation that may arise. That’s why we’re hosting the ASPCA Disaster Preparedness Month Hangout tomorrow, Thursday, September 18 from 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M EST.
At this Google Hangout, we’ll help you “master the disaster” with tips and tricks to keep your four-legged family members safe. Topics will include how to prepare for a disaster with pets, what to do if a disaster strikes, how to find pet-friendly evacuation locations, and more!
Our expert panel will be moderated by Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee. Participants include:
Dick Green, Senior Director of Disaster Response, ASPCA
Deborah Press, Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs, ASPCA
Anne McCann, National Emergency Programs Coordinator, USDA
Mark Tinsman, Mass Care Specialist, FEMA
Lysa Boston, Shelter Manager, Joplin Humane Society
Rob Curran, Hurricane Sandy Survivor, and his cat, Joy
To participate in our #NatlPrep hangout, be sure to RSVP today and tune in tomorrow!
Just days before the ASPCA’s free vaccine clinic in Lincoln Terrace Park in Brooklyn, as three team members taped flyers to windows and knocked on doors, they ran into Jessica Velez and her very skinny 4-month-old pit bull puppy, Nevesa.
Jessica told the ASPCA team that the pup was from a litter born to her dog Maddie, and she was now “stuck” with three puppies. Not only that, but Nevesa, though eating well, remained underweight and thin.
“Right then and there, we had a discussion about de-worming and the importance of vaccinations,” says Maria Hertneck, Public Outreach Coordinator for ASPCA CARES (which stands for community, advocacy, resources, enrichment and service). Maria and her team visited Jessica at her home a few days later, armed with de-wormer and puppy care information, then followed up a week later.
“All three puppies were housed in a small crate,” Maria remembers. “Jessica told us she couldn’t house train them and found it difficult to constantly clean up after them. By this time, Maddie was also fed up with the pups so they had to be separated, especially during feeding times.”
Maria’s team provided a larger dog crate and a giant bag of food. “We talked again about the dogs getting their first round of shots and invited Jessica to our upcoming vaccine clinic,” says Maria. “Jessica said she would definitely come. And she did.”
After her dogs were vaccinated, Jessica signed Maddie up for spay surgery. Maria expressed relief and excitement.
“It took the leg work of all our advocates to get Jessica there, but we did it,” says the ASPCA’s Richard Encarnación, who is now helping Jessica re-home the pups in order to keep them out of the shelter system. He’ll also arrange to have them neutered. In the meantime, Maddie won’t have another litter—another sigh of relief.
This is the crux of the ASPCA CARES team’s work: To spay and neuter every pet, especially large breed dogs and cats. It’s what keeps them motivated, inspires them to do more, fuels reward and pride. The team stays in constant contact with clients to ensure that they have the resources and services they need: food, toys, leashes, collars, ID tags, even a free ride to the mobile clinic. They also work cross functionally with the ASPCA Animal Hospital and Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) staffs and frequently host “tabling” events in underserved neighborhoods to promote their work and book spay/neuter appointments on the ASPCA’s mobile spay/neuter clinics.
On the day of the Lincoln Terrace vaccine event—one of 12 the ASPCA will host in 2014—153 vaccines were administered, and fully subsidized spay/neuter appointments were made for 33 cats and dogs the next day.
Latesha Coleman and her brother Davon, along with their neighbor, Marlene Forde, brought Doodles, a sparkly-eyed dilute calico, for vaccines. “If they hadn’t knocked on my door, I wouldn’t be here,” said Latesha of the ASPCA CARES team.
Jacqueline Pinto and her 9-year-old daughter, Karissa, who learned about the clinic through the ASPCA team’s grassroots outreach, brought Brownie and Sophie, a pair of Chihuahuas. “They’re my babies,” says Jacqueline, who gave Brownie a big kiss after his inoculation.
In the coming weeks, Richard, Maria along with team member Isadora Peraza-Martinez will personally visit clients who attended the vaccine event to assess if their pets have other needs.
“We want to make a difference and offer solutions,” says Maria. Then she adds, with a dose of optimism and pride, “It may take awhile, but we’ll get there.”