Happy Christmas Eve! We hope you’re getting ready for a joyful holiday with family, friends, and of course, furry companions. But if you’ve forgotten to get a gift for someone, don’t worry—there’s still time to send an ASPCA Holiday Honor Gift.
With ASPCA Holiday Honor Gifts, you’ll be able to help abused, abandoned and neglected animals by making a donation in the name of someone you love. It’s easy, it’s tax-deductible, and it’s a wonderful alternative to standard gift giving. And, as an added bonus, each honor gift comes with a free e-card for your recipient.
People love puppies. But all too often—and in so many cruel ways—these animals are betrayed by the very breeders who raise them. These breeding facilities are called puppy mills, where female breeding dogs are kept in close confinement and forced to bear litter after litter without any break for their bodies to recover. Once they can no longer produce puppies, these mothers are often killed. Adult breeding dogs and puppies are typically kept in cages with wire flooring that can injure their paws and legs.
Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, though families who eventually buy these puppies in pet stores don't know their purchase feeds the profit-making machine that keeps puppy mills in business.
That's why we stood proudly with the New York City Council last week as they admirably addressed this issue head-on. By an overwhelming margin, the Council passed groundbreaking legislation—Intro. 55-A, Intro. 136-A and Intro. 146-A—that will put effective and enforceable pressure on commercial breeders to substantially improve the lives of thousands of dogs currently languishing in puppy mills in this country.
Spearheaded by Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley and Corey Johnson, these measures will prohibit city pet shops from selling animals obtained from breeders who fail to meet even the most basic care standards prescribed by the federal Animal Welfare Act, as well as from animal brokers known for selling puppies to pet stores from disreputable, difficult-to-trace sources.
It will also require New York City pet shops to disclose information about the origins of the animals they sell, and require that dogs and cats sold at city pet shops are spayed/neutered, microchipped and dogs licensed prior to sale. These measures are critical to reducing pet homelessness, reuniting lost pets with owners and ensuring the safety of pets and the public.
Prior to this year, New York cities and communities did not have the authority to set their own standards, but in January, Governor Cuomo signed milestone legislation—including New York City—to regulate pet dealers for the first time in almost 15 years. Quickly acting on their new authority, the New York City Council created these humane measures.
While these laws won't keep all puppy mill puppies out of New York City pet stores, it's a critical step in the right direction. Taken together they will deeply impact the lives of dogs in puppy mills across the nation, and further New York City's reputation as a leader in animal welfare and safety.
These measures also send a clear message that I hope resonates outside of our city and state boundaries: A civilized society does not tolerate animal cruelty, whether it's fueled by greed, negligence or anything else.
Once that message travels far and wide, we may finally be able to elevate all our animal welfare policies and laws to match values that emphasize animal protection, not exploitation.
When Thomas H. was suffering from trauma and depression, his doctor suggested that a pet might help. Thomas agreed to look into it, but little did he know that a tiny kitten named Jonny would do more than provide comfort—he would change Thomas’s life forever. Here is their very Happy Tail of hope, healing and new beginnings.
Jonny arrived at the ASPCA in May when he was barely four weeks old. It was the height of kitten season, and Jonny, along with seven other siblings, was transferred from Animal Care & Control of NYC. Weighing only eight ounces at the time, he was put on a strict feeding schedule and received round-the-clock care from staff at the ASPCA Animal Hospital. By early August, he was strong, healthy, and ready to begin his search for a forever home.
While all of this was happening, Thomas had taken his doctor’s advice to heart. Not content to just pick out a pet willy-nilly, he prepared for his visit to the ASPCA Adoption Center by reading books on feline science and behavior. He was determined to not only heal his own emotional wounds, but to give some lucky kitten the best life possible, too. On August 20, he was finally ready to take that step: he went to the ASPCA and adopted Jonny.
Back at home, Thomas changed Jonny’s name to O’Reilly, and over the next few weeks the teeny kitty settled in. He explored every nook and cranny of Thomas’s apartment and discovered that he loves to spend his days basking in the sun. But the feline’s connection with his new adopter went deeper than a happy home—O’Reilly proved to be just what the doctor ordered.
“O’Reilly has been of such assistance to me,” says Thomas. “He began as a therapy animal, and I cannot express how much he has been transformative.” As their bond grew, O’Reilly and Thomas helped each other more and more. “My spells of depression are lifted when he wants to play (which is often). His peace is my peace, where I previously had none,” he says.
It’s been four months since this duo found each other, and their bond is already unbreakable. “O’Reilly is now my reference point for a present outlook on life,” Thomas beams. “He is often either curled by my chest or is present on call. His return is immeasurable.”
We are so happy that this tiny street kitten has found such a loving home. Thomas says, “O’Reilly has given me meaning, belongingness and calm.” He adds, “I thank you all at the ASPCA for giving me this comfort,” but we are the ones who want to thank him for giving little O’Reilly the best life imaginable.
Smitty is a four-year-old Pit Bull who was brought to the ASPCA on October 14. Found by a Good Samaritan in the Bronx, New York, Smitty was suffering from first- and second-degree burns that covered nearly half of his body. Despite the severity of his burns—and his apparent pain—Smitty had a wonderful disposition.
At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Smitty was in the ICU for six weeks where doctors managed his pain and changed his bandages regularly. During the early stages of his treatment, Smitty’s wounds were still so painful and fresh that he had to be sedated during bandage changes. Despite it all, his happy attitude and sweet nature never wavered.
ASPCA veterinarians removed dead tissue and skin so new tissue could grow in, and after six weeks, Smitty no longer required bandaging. His fur is growing back in patches, but it’s likely that he will have scars for the rest of his life. Smitty knows how to sit and fetch, and is very playful and active. After a long, hard journey, he is now available for adoption—hoping for a forever home just in time for Christmas.
If you’re considering adding a furry addition to your family, the holiday season is the perfect time to provide a shelter dog or cat with a loving home. To encourage pet adoption and bring even more joy to New Yorkers’ homes this season, the ASPCA Adoption Centeris hosting a festive adoption event! From Saturday, December 20 through Wednesday, December 31, enjoy discounted fees on all animals and free gifts for adopters.
During the event, adopters can take advantage of the following promotions:
Kittens between the ages of four months and one year have an adoption fee of $50 (normally $125).
If you choose to adopt two kittens, there is no adoption fee for the second one.
All cats older than one year have no adoption fee.
Dog adoption fees will be discounted by 50 percent.
Every adopter will have the opportunity to select an envelope from the ASPCA Giving Tree with the chance to win free toys, coupons or supplies for their new pet!
Gift-a-Pet Certificates can also be purchased, which cover the cost of the adoption fee for a new cat or kitten, allowing the recipient to return and adopt a pet of their own.
Every animal adopted from the ASPCA Adoption Center is spayed/neutered, microchipped and fully vaccinated. Each animal will go home with a free collar and ID tag, cardboard carrier for cats and leash for dogs, and a voucher for a free visit to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.
There’s no greater gift a shelter animal can receive this holiday season than a loving family. If you’re in the New York City area, browse dogs and cats at the ASPCA Adoption Center, or find adoptable dogs and cats in your area with our national shelter search tool.
Below are some adoptable animals at the ASPCA who are a tiny bit "naughty," but 100% lovable! They're looking for loving homes this holiday season: