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.”
By now, you’ve heard of the SyFy channel’s cult classics Sharknado and Sharknado 2. Now the ASPCA is coming at you with our own cinematic masterpiece: Barknado is coming! The forecast includes the cutest storm of the century with a heavy chance of adoptable dogs landing at your feet.
The only way to stop it...is to adopt it! Watch the trailer for Barknado.
We’re releasing Barknado in advance of Bark Week (August 4-9), when we’ll go all out to promote some of our most furiously adorable, adoptable dogs. Stay tuned to aspca.org/blog for all the cute.
Your pooch might not get a whole lot of work done (and will almost certainly forget to put a coversheet on those TPS reports), but evidence suggests that workplaces that allow pets have happier, healthier employees. So get your boss’s okay, check out our office etiquette tips for dogs, and make sure your dog is well-rested for a busy day of water-cooler gossip and inter-departmental meetings…with other dogs!
We hope you and your pup will participate in this Friday’s fur-fest—and if you do, snap plenty of photos because we’d love to see them. Tweet us your pictures @ASPCA using the hashtag #takeyourdog, and we’ll share our favorites.
Looking for something to do this weekend? We’re excited to announce that the ASPCA will be participating in Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1. ALL adoption fees for dogs and cats will be waived during the event, thanks to subsidies provided by Maddie’s Fund. Adoptable dogs and cats will be available at the ASPCA Adoption Center, and we’ll have additional cats and kittens for adoption at the Petco store in New York City’s Union Square!
Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days is designed to increase overall pet adoptions and to create greater public awareness of shelters and rescue groups. If you’ve been considering adopting a furry friend, this is the perfect time to do so! Be on the lookout for these adorable long-stay pets at our Adoption Center who have their paws crossed this will be the weekend they join their new families.
Dutchess:This sweet pup loves every person she meets! Her hobbies are diverse: She’d love to lounge on the couch with you for TV time, just as much as she’d be thrilled to take a jaunt through the park. She already knows Sit and how to give paw!
Gia:Gia is a social and active cat. Once she forms a friendship with you, she’ll reward you with plenty of love and attention. Gia has asthma, but this smart kitty has learned to use an inhaler! She’s looking for an adopter with some previous cat experience who’ll provide her with the TLC she needs.
Jacques:Once you’ve made friends with Jacques, you’ll be his buddy for life. This little guy is very friendly and affectionate with his favorite people. He also enjoys saying a friendly “hello” to other dogs.
China: China is a friendly cat who enjoys quality rest and relaxation. This long-haired beauty is very mellow, and one of her favorite activities is to curl up by the window to take a nap. She also enjoys the company of other cats.
Please visit our adoptable dogs and adoptable cats pages to get to know all of the animals who will be available during this weekend’s event. We hope you’ll consider taking home a four-legged companion of your own!
Attention, animal lovers! Have you heard? Today is National Animal Advocacy Day—and we need your help! We know you’re standing up for animals all year long, but today is a special opportunity for the millions of animal lovers across the county to come together to speak in one strong, unified voice for animal protection.
There is no better day than today to let your legislators know where you stand on animal issues and to tell them to take action for stronger animal welfare laws.
With the Kentucky Derby just days away, the focus of this year’s National Animal Advocacy Day is on passing federal legislation to ban performance-enhancing drugs in horseracing. Lax or nonexistent oversight allows, even encourages, the use of any means possible—even cruel, life-threatening means—to win races. With reports of these majestic creatures breaking down and dying on the track becoming all too common, horses need your help now more than ever.
Please urge your members of Congress to support the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, a bill that will ban the cruel and widespread practice of “doping” or drugging racehorses—its passage is critical to protecting both horses and riders. Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to contact your legislators now—it’s quick, easy and will make a huge difference!
We hope you will join us in commemorating National Animal Advocacy Day. The more of us who call, email and make our voices heard, the bigger our impact. Take a stand and help us secure meaningful protections for America’s racehorses and for all animals.