Oliver the kitten didn’t have the most auspicious start in life: An animal control officer from the Tallahassee Leon County Animal Service Center rescued the orange tabby from a flooded sewer drain and took him to the shelter, where Oliver hissed at everyone who passed by his cage until the cat foster coordinator for the Leon County Humane Society (LCHS) pulled him from the shelter. She worked with Oliver until he was purring and even playing with dogs.
When LCHS learned that a woman’s dying wish was to hold a kitten and watch him play, they knew Oliver was the perfect cat for the role. Oliver loved the dying woman until she passed away with him curled up next to her. He was adopted by the woman’s granddaughter who today can’t imagine life without him.
Oliver never would have made it out of that storm drain to comfort a dying woman and to be placed into a loving home had it not been for dedicated people from different organizations working together to save lives. Tallahassee is one of the ASPCA’s partner communities, and Oliver’s story is testament to the work being done there by animal welfare agencies teaming up to get animals out of shelters and into homes.
Collaboration is an integral element in the ASPCA’s formula for saving homeless dogs and cats. We talk about the importance of collaboration so much that it has become our mantra. Communities are listening, and as a result, more dogs and cats are being saved. The ASPCA has built a collaborative life-saving model that we are replicating in various partner communities throughout the country. Hundreds of thousands of animals have been saved since we started our partner community program in 2007.
Our goal is an ambitious one—to end the killing of healthy or treatable dogs and cats in animal shelters. We won’t pretend this is easy, but we are always mindful that animals like Oliver need our help.
ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres discusses the new Louisville partnership with WDRB Fox 41 this morning.
We have some exciting news for Kentucky residents! A big congratulations goes out to three Louisville animal welfare organizations—Louisville Metro Animal Services, the Kentucky Humane Society and Alley Cat Advocates—for joining our ASPCA Partnership program. These organizations will gain access to various ASPCA resources, expertise and guidance, including strategic planning support, statistical analysis, training and participation in ground-breaking research projects.
ASPCA President Ed Sayres is in Louisville today to kick off this exciting new collaborative effort. “We look forward to the future success of this collaboration in Louisville, as these agencies already have displayed tremendous growth potential by working well together on joint adoption events and spay/neuter clinics,” he says. “By continuing to build on those accomplishments, we know our partners will be able to affect positive changes for animals most at risk in the Louisville community.”
Last year, nearly 20,000 homeless pets entered these three Louisville agencies. Through this partnership, we hope to assist with shelter overcrowding, increased pet adoptions and targeted spay/neuter programs.
“Working together, we will improve the lives of cats and dogs in our community,” says Lori Redmon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society, “ensuring every pet is offered a second chance at finding happiness.”
Congratulations, Louisville partners, and keep up the great work!
Talk about teamwork! More than 200 animal welfare groups from 53 communities found homes for 6,144 animals during the first-ever ASPCA Mega Match-a-thon, held March 30 to April 1.
“It really was inspiring to watch the collaboration among the different rescue organizations,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “They reached out to their local media, spread the word to their supporters through social media, and showcased the amazing animals they have up for adoption. And over the three-day event, they got together and saved a record number of lives.”
In total, the ASPCA granted $492,250 to support the nationwide adoption event. A portion of the funds came as a result of the ASPCA’s participation in the fourth annual Subaru “Share the Love” event. The ASPCA received $1.4 million in funding from Subaru of America—62% has already been earmarked for the ASPCA’s “Share the Love” Grant Program. So far, approximately $884,000 has been distributed to local shelters.
In the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill, the ASPCA has donated $15,000 to the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) in Austin, TX, to develop a detailed curriculum and training program for emergency animal responders in the Texas Gulf region. Established in 1978, TVMF is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of animals through owner education programs, veterinary student scholarships and emergency funds, and continuing education programs.
“The ASPCA recognizes the importance of disaster preparedness and assembling the resources to assist animal victims of both natural and man-made disasters,” says Allison Cardona, Director of Operations for the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team. “We’re pleased to support the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation’s efforts to create specially trained teams.”
TVMF will recruit a number of professionals in veterinary medicine, law enforcement, and the animal sheltering field who will receive training in disaster zone assessment, animal care and handling methods, and disaster response procedures.
“As we've seen with the Gulf Coast oil spill and Hurricane Ike, disasters will always happen,” says Kay Mayfield, Executive Director of Texas State Animal Resource Team (TxSART), the companion animal emergency management branch of the TVMF. “Through TxSART, we now have a united front to manage emergencies, and the creation of specialized and skilled response teams will improve our effectiveness.”
On Monday, the ASPCA announced the Million Dollar Rescuing Racers Initiative to help rescue retired racehorses from neglect, abuse and slaughter. The two-to-three year initiative, which was made possible by a generous donor, involves six equine rescue groups and sanctuaries that have accepted the challenge of saving more thoroughbreds than ever before.
While healthy, well cared-for horses live an average of 18 to 25 years (and often much longer), a racing horse’s career generally lasts only one or two years. “Racing thoroughbreds rarely live out their final days in peace and comfort when their careers are over,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Too often, they end up at auctions—or worse, are sent to foreign slaughterhouses where their lives come to brutal ends. These grants will give organizations devoted to equine rescue the ability to save more horses and further advance their missions.”
The six grant recipients are: California Equine Retirement Foundation in Winchester, CA; Old Friends in Georgetown, KY; MidAtlantic Horse Rescue in Chesapeake City, MD; Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Lexington, KY; Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation headquartered in Saratoga Springs, NY, with contracted housing in 14 states; and Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) in East Lansing, MI, with chapters in eight states. These recipients will use the grants to expand direct intake programs, incorporate physical therapy/rehabilitation programs, renovate facilities to accommodate more horses, create voucher programs to increase adoptions, and implement training programs for thoroughbreds to prepare them for second careers.
“The ASPCA truly values each group’s steadfast efforts to promote equine welfare,” says Jacque Schultz, Senior Director of ASPCA Community Outreach. “The thoroughbred that has given his all on the racetrack deserves to live out his life free of pain, fear and suffering.” For more information about helping horses and preventing equine cruelty, please visit ASPCA.org.