Nearly 50 cats were removed from overcrowded conditions in mid-August at a private residence in Guymon, Oklahoma. The ASPCA stepped in to help at the request of a terminally ill pet parent who could no longer adequately care for her animals.
ASPCA responders, along with responders from the Humane Society of Tulsa, removed the cats from the trailer home and transported them to the Humane Society of Tulsa where they were medically assessed and cared for.
“When we visited the residence, we saw that urgent intervention was needed,” says Adam Leath, Southeast regional director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “It was truly a dire situation where the individual recognized that she had too many cats in her household and needed help removing and rehoming them so she can focus on getting help for herself.”
We are grateful to the Humane Society of Tulsa for their assistance in this rescue.
Although we treat victims of cruelty nearly every single day, Bea’s story is particularly heartbreaking. After being rescued by the NYPD in January, the two-year-old pit bull arrived at the ASPCA with a horrific head wound. She was extremely shy and very nervous around people, and it was apparent that she had suffered grave abuse. We vowed to find Bea a loving home where she could forget her previous pain, and fortunately, it wasn’t long before we did just that. Here is Bea’s Happy Tail.
When Bea arrived at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, she had a large, bloody gash on the top of her head. It was a suspected stab wound. She received immediate treatment, including multiple stitches, and spent over a month recovering in the Hospital. By early March, she was ready to begin her search for a forever home, but it was clear that her emotional wounds ran much deeper than the physical wound on her head.
During Bea’s Behavioral evaluation, we saw first-hand how the sweet dog had been impacted by the abuse she suffered. Bea was incredibly shy, nervous and fearful; she needed encouragement just to walk past things that frightened her. But despite her timidity, Bea was sweet and affectionate with people she knew. Once someone earned her trust, she would gladly jump into their lap and relish their attention. We knew she just needed patient adopters who would take the time to make her comfortable, and fortunately it wasn’t long before we met Molly and Daniel.
Although Molly and Daniel dreamed of adopting a dog for nearly five years, the couple was juggling multiple jobs and full-time graduate school, which made it difficult to think about bringing a pup into the mix. But Molly says, “All that changed when we met Bea. We fell in love with her and just knew we would figure out a way to make it work.”
On their first-ever visit to the ASPCA Adoption Center, Molly and Daniel were drawn to Bea (or “Beezus,” as they call her) and wanted to meet her. “She was really shy at first,” Molly recalls, “But I could just sense that she was special.” We filled them in on Bea’s story and worked out a course of action: To avoid putting stress on Bea, the couple decided to spend a week visiting her at the Adoption Center to build trust and a connection.
“Beezus was the happiest dog with a great personality,” says Molly, “but she was really shy at first and it took a number of visits before she would even come over to us.” Fortunately, their patience paid off—after a week of visits, Bea had fallen for them just as much as they had fallen for her. “I had a feeling that once we showed her love, her trust in humans would rebuild—and we were right!” Molly says. On March 27, they officially adopted Beezus and brought her to her new home in Brooklyn, New York.
In an update a few months later, Molly was proud to report that Beezus loves her new life. “She settled in better than we ever could have imagined. She is right at home here.” The couple was also happy to learn that Beezus is exceptionally well-trained, which Molly calls “an unexpected gift.” She says that Beezus loves all of her neighbors, loves riding in the elevator and loves playing with the little dogs in the neighborhood. “She also adores tennis balls, her Monkees blanket and endless cuddling.”
It take a special kind of adopter to see beyond an animal’s pain to their true potential, and Molly and Daniel could not have been a more perfect fit for sweet Bea. Molly says, “Some dogs love everyone they meet, which is great, but with Beezus, you have to earn the love and it makes it that much more special.” We know that Molly and Daniel earned Bea’s love, and we are so grateful that this precious pup has finally found the home of her dreams.
“We were thrilled to see so many people come out this past weekend to give these animals loving homes,” said Jessica Rushin, Senior Partnerships Manager of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Now we’re giving the remaining animals a chance to find homes in other communities. We’re grateful to all of our partner shelters who have stepped up and committed to getting these animals adopted.”
The animals are being transported to the following animal shelters and rescue groups:
Atlanta Humane Society – Atlanta, Georgia
Cat Depot – Sarasota, Florida
Cedar Bend Human Society – Waterloo, Iowa
Greater Birmingham Humane Society – Alabama
Great Plains SPCA – Kansas City, Missouri
Helping Hands Pet Rescue – Micanopy, Florida
Humane Society of Broward County – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Humane Society of Charlotte – Charlotte, North Carolina
Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County – Memphis, Tennessee
Humane Society of Tulsa – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Main Line Animal Rescue – Phoenix, Pennsylvania
SouthEast Beagle Rescue – Tampa, Florida
The shelters and rescue groups listed above will care for the animals until they are ready to be made available for adoption. Additionally, some of the dogs who require behavioral rehabilitation for severe fear and undersocialization will be transported to the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, New Jersey, where animal behavior experts will provide treatment to help them become suitable for adoption.
When most people think about animal rescues, they probably visualize professional responders and advocates coming to the aid of dogs, cats, and other animals in desperate and sometimes abusive situations. But this equation leaves out a third party that’s absolutely crucial to saving lives: The community.
Participation by local residents is critical to complete the full cycle of animal rescue—from initial intervention to sheltering and care, and finally adoption. We don’t always get to witness this full cycle in a single endeavor, which makes our recent operation in Moulton, Alabama stand out.
The case began in late June, when we assisted the Moulton Police Department in removing more than 300 animals—including dogs and cats of all breeds and ages—living in filthy and overcrowded conditions at the Lawrence County Animal Shelter.
When we arrived, we found several dead animals among live ones throughout the property, including puppies who’d died from untreated parvovirus. We also rushed a number of animals to an emergency clinic. Other animals were emaciated and suffering from medical issues including parvovirus, distemper and untreated wounds. Some were housed in small wire crates, and others in crowded enclosures where animals fought for limited resources and space.
On July 25 and 26, we held a two-day adoption event for the animals, which was attended by well over 900 people from as far away as Tennessee and Georgia.
All adoptable animals were vaccinated and micro-chipped prior to the event, and the ASPCA made provisions for them to be spayed or neutered as well, at no expense to their new owners. The ASPCA is also helping to cover other veterinary expenses, including treatment for heartworm-positive dogs.
For the adoption event, the ASPCA also instituted a formal process, developed by animal behaviorists and shelter experts, to help ensure animals were going to safe new homes. The process included a detailed application form and mandatory meetings with adoption counselors to assess prospective owners’ home environments as well as their capability to care for an animal, especially ones with special needs.
With each appropriate and successful match, an “adoption bell” was rung to share the good news.
By the end of the weekend, 202 animals—including all of the cats—were adopted. The remaining dogs will be transported and placed with rescue organizations across the country to be made available for adoption. Some will be transferred to the ASPCA's Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, located in Madison, New Jersey, to treat the extreme psychological damage they endured.
This adoption event was a vital part of the overall effort in Moulton, and its success clearly hinged on the participation of community residents ready to demonstrate their capacity for compassion.
We were not surprised by the enthusiastic turnout. In fact, there are compassionate people like this across the country, and it’s critical to connect their compassion to causes that save and protect animal lives. Some people are already inspired and active; others are just waiting for a local event like this to capture their concern.
So what does such an active community look like? On Saturday we saw plenty of outstanding examples:
Moulton residents Brandon and Lindsey Myers, alongside their daughter Rayleigh, 14, and seven-month-old son Crimson, adopted two kittens—one orange-and-white, the other black. “We wanted to rescue an animal from this situation,” Brandon told us. “I reckon my wife and daughter each picked one out… I guess we’ve got big hearts.”
Baxter, a gray Lab mix puppy, was found in critical condition during the rescue and was rushed to the Moulton Veterinary Hospital. There he was treated for canine distemper, a contagious and dangerous viral disease. Baxter was adopted by Dan Mobley and Kristie Oldaker from Huntsville, Alabama, along with their sons Matthew, 11, and Noah, 10.
Sloan Kirby, a nurse and mother from Trinity, Alabama adopted Chloe, a tabby kitten. Chloe was one of more than 40 cats and kittens found in a filthy outdoor pen filled with overflowing litter boxes and surrounded by chicken wire.
Bambi, a lab/hound mix, was adopted by Anna and Stephen McCollum and their daughter, Maddie, 3, of Trinity, Alabama. “We saw the news story and it touched our hearts,” said Anna. “We wanted to do something to help these innocent animals.” After Maddie rang the adoption bell, she gave Bambi this welcoming hug.
This was a busy month in Moulton. But we were constantly motivated not only by the humane work we were committed to doing, but by the many hundreds of average people who showed up—and stepped up—to help us do it.
On June 30, acting at the request of local law enforcement, the ASPCA assisted in the rescue and removal of 300 dogs and cats from a neglectful animal shelter in Moulton, Alabama. Now, nearly one month later, we are thrilled to announce that the majority of the rescued animals are happily in forever homes. Some were reunited with loving families in the weeks following the raid, while approximately 250 others were placed up for adoption at an ASPCA adoption event in Hillsboro, Alabama, on July 25 and 26.
At the event, more than 900 people from Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and the surrounding areas came to show their support—and 202 dogs and cats were adopted! Here’s a look at some of the happy new beginnings that were created over the weekend:
Daisy Mae, a large hound/Shepherd mix who was once a mother to multiple litters of puppies, was adopted by Jason C. of Decatur, Alabama. He had been following the story of the ASPCA’s rescue and said the animals’ plight brought him to tears. Jason was searching for a companion for his 6-year-old mixed breed, Tango, when he met Daisy Mae. “I promise she is in good hands now,” he said.
Mr. Bear, an 8-year-old Lab/pit bull mix was suffering from a host of medical issues following his rescue from the neglectful shelter. But that didn’t deter Pam W. of Trinity, Alabama, from adopting Mr. Bear (and his bagful of medications). “He’s old and nobody would take him,” she said. “And that’s one of those things that jumps out and grabs you.”
Howdy, a brown hound mix, was adopted by Gabriel G. of Union Grove, Alabama. A test engineer for a contracting company for NASA, Gabriel was eager to provide a better life for Howdy. “This is a privilege,” he said, referring to the opportunity to adopt. “And I’m excited to get him out of this situation.”
Tara, a pit bull, was adopted by Karen and Rodney R. of Sheffield, Alabama. “We love pits,” said Karen. She and Rodney have four teenagers and two other pit bulls at home, Abby and Lilly. “They’re our 4-legged full-time babies.”
Mona, an almost-hairless terrier mix, was adopted by Missy and Jerry C. “She’s going to be a beautiful dog one day,” said Jerry, a Marine who is not currently in active service. Missy and Jerry both agree it was “the need” that drew them to Mona. After they rang the adoption bell, Jerry said, “Ringing of the bell is a Naval signature of giving up, but in Mona’s case it’s a signature of a new start.”
These are just some of the many new families that your support helped create. For a closer look at this important adoption event, check out our video below:
We cannot thank the kindhearted people of Alabama and the surrounding areas enough for coming to our event and opening their hearts to animals in need. If you are interested in adopting one of the remaining animals from this case, stay tuned to our blog for more information this week.