One of our favorite stories of the year belongs to Joy, a young cat who was saved from the streets of New York City during Hurricane Sandy. Our staff at the temporary shelter we set up for storm-displaced animals wasn’t sure if she was a homeless kitty or a lost pet. Weeks passed and no one claimed the skinny, skittish feline.
We folded Joy into our regular population of adoptable animals and discovered she needed extra help learning to trust people. With lots of socialization from ASPCA staff, Joy came out of her shell—but a whole year passed and Joy, our last Sandy cat, still hadn’t found a home.
Finally, in November 2013, Joy was adopted by Rob C., a fellow Sandy survivor who lost his home and business to the deadly storm. Robert saw Joy on the local news—her story resonated with him, and together they are getting a fresh start and making a new life.
We love to hear happy adoption stories, and we were especially excited recently when adopter Terry G. reported that Kona, one of nearly 100 dogs we rescued from a life of fighting in March 2013, is thriving as a beloved pet in the suburbs of Chicago. We cared for this special pup after assisting in a federal dog fighting raid spanning Texas, Missouri and Kansas, and we’re thrilled that she is finally receiving the love she deserves.
Please take a moment to watch video footage from our multi-state dog fighting raid in March.
Sadly, this wasn’t our only encounter with large-scale dog fighting operations in 2013. In August, at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), we assisted in a multi-state, federal dog fighting raid of an operation throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. We rescued more than 360 dogs ranging in age from just several days to 10-12 years, who had been left to suffer in extreme heat with no visible fresh water or food. Many were emaciated with scars and wounds consistent with dog fighting, and some were tethered by chains and cables that were attached to cinder blocks and car tires.
When the ASPCA arrived at the home of Remy’s former owner in June 2013, we found a one-year-old Pit Bull who was too weak to stand and lying in a cage with feces and urine. The owner surrendered Remy to us, and we immediately took action to offer relief to the sweet, suffering canine.
The neighbors heard a dog cry out in pain on more than one occasion. A young Pit Bull named Remy, allegedly the victim of repeated abuse, needed help. When we arrived at the scene in June 2013, we found a gentle puppy who was so weak and frail, she couldn’t even stand.
Remy’s owner surrendered the suffering pup, who was brought to the ASPCA where she received immediate veterinary care for a host of ailments. She had two broken legs, skin disease and severe muscle atrophy.
After intensive treatment, which included surgery and hydrotherapy, Remy began to heal, but she will always walk with a limp—a reminder of all she has overcome.Please take a moment to watch and share our video of Remy’s amazing recovery.
Of course, millions of other animals still need us, so we’re also thankful that we can count on you as we fight for their lives, too. We hope you'll consider giving todayif you possibly can. It means the world to us, and to every animal we can assist together.
ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker (right) on location at a dog fighting bust earlier this year.
By ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker
The holidays are a big distraction this time of year, but all the more reason to keep our eyes on the ball – and in this case, on neglected horses in need.
As you may know, in November, our Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team traveled to Spokane, Washington, to assist Spokane County Regional Animal Protective Services (SCRAPS) with the sheltering and daily care of 63 horses seized as part of an animal cruelty investigation.
So while many of us were celebrating Thanksgiving, the FIR team was on the ground helping to provide continuing care for these severely neglected animals (among many ASPCA staffers on the job that day). Sixty-two of the horses are responding well to treatment and are in recovery, while one, sadly, did not survive.
The negligent owner is still missing; a hearing to determine custody of the horses will be held on December 16. But our priority continues to be the health and welfare of these animals. We can’t undo their suffering, but with your support we can show them care and love, and put them on a brighter path.
Rescuing this many large animals is, of course, no easy task. So my big thanks go to SCRAPS, to the ASPCA field teams who put these horses before their own holidays, and to you as well for making such important work possible.
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This story begins when Vanessa Jacobs, a licensed veterinary technician at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, spotted a young cat on a rooftop. Vanessa was concerned that the cat was stuck on the roof. She threw food down to the cat, and notified her coworkers at the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital.
Michelle Falcon, the Hospital’s Internal Medicine Department Manager and “cat wrangler extraordinaire,” rushed to the location. Once at the site, Michelle and Vanessa met up with NYC Animal Care & Control Field Supervisor Kevin Sexton, who gained access to a nearby building to survey the roof. But there was no cat to be found.
The assembled group conferred: Perhaps the little cat had climbed down via a nearby tree? But Vanessa was worried–she really felt the cat had been in distress. That’s when the FDNY got involved. Gallant firefighters from the local firehouse used their ladder to climb up to the roof and conduct a thorough search.
A firefighter’s sharp eyes spotted the maiden in distress. She was crouched behind a ledge with big frightened eyes. Her knight in firefighting gear gently lifted her into a carrier and delivered her safely to those waiting below.
Next stop: the ASPCA! The now-safe feline waif was assessed by the medical staff at the ASPCA’s headquarters on 92nd Street in Manhattan. Dr. Anna Whitehead performed a thorough exam and blood work, and found the kitten to be around six months old, dehydrated and much too thin, with fleas and ear mites, but otherwise healthy. The sweet kitten, thrilled to be in caring hands, purred gratefully. She was treated with intravenous fluids and anti-parasite medications, dewormed, vaccinated, and given plenty of nutritious food.
After a few days of hydration, square meals, and plenty of pampering, “Vanessa,” as she had been dubbed in honor of the persistent technician who saved her life, was pronounced ready to move to the ASPCA’s Adoption Center and await that special family to start the next chapter of her life! Our guess is that Vanessa has had more than her share of excitement, and will be happy to be a lap kitty for the rest of her days.
Interested in adopting our brave Vanessa? Please call the ASPCA Adoption Centerat (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To make an appointment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, please fill out this formor contact us at (646) 259-4080.