It’s spring at the ASPCA, which means we’re busy preparing for kitten season—the time of year when felines breed and shelters across the country receive an influx of homeless and newborn cats. The season lasts from April to September, and this year we’re prepared to take in up to 2,300 kittens at our facility in New York City. In anticipation of this, we thought it would be nice to check in on some of last year’s babies and bring you an update. Here is the story of one lucky kitten who is growing up happily after beginning life at the ASPCA.
Luna the kitten was born in August, 2014, in a home with too many cats. Fortunately, the overwhelmed owner decided to surrender Luna and two of her siblings to the local city shelter. She was barely three weeks old at the time. The shelter realized that the kittens needed specialized care, so they sent them to the neonatal ward (a.k.a. “kitten nursery”) at the ASPCA.
Once at the hospital, Luna and her siblings received round-the-clock attention from our expert Animal Care Technicians. The tiny kitten weighed less than a pound and needed to be syringe-fed every two hours, day and night, until she grew big enough and strong enough to start on solid food. After a month in the kitten nursery, Luna was ready for adoption at last.
While all of this was going on, Fanny F. and her fiancé had taken two trips to our Adoption Center in search of a pet. “I’ve always wanted to adopt,” says Fanny, whose parents never had animals in the house. “Watching the ASPCA commercials and doing a little research on my own, I knew that the right thing to do was to help by opening my home to a furry friend of my own.”
Initially, the couple had been looking for an older cat. It was only on their third visit that they were taken to meet the babies. “I didn’t expect to adopt a kitten, but when I made way to the kitten section, I immediately had a change of heart,” Fanny recalls. “When met Luna, she was eager to play and socialize. I knew she was the one when I held her.”
Luna seemed to feel an instant connection as well. Fanny says, “She was super friendly, affectionate and loved to be held. My fiancé was with me at the time, and it really clicked to see them both bonding and playing together.” Prior plans aside, the couple realized that Luna was meant to be their new pet. On the day they adopted her, she was four months old. Her siblings were both adopted two days later.
Back at Fanny’s apartment, Luna made herself comfortable right away. “Each day we have our morning rituals together before I leave for work and when I come home at the end of the day,” Fanny says with a smile. “I really feel she was made to grow up with me. It’s fate that we met.”
It’s amazing to think how different Luna’s life might have been had she stayed in that overpopulated house. But she was a lucky one—she was rescued by the ASPCA and adopted into a loving family. Fanny says, “She has shown me so much love and affection that it gave me the confidence to know I’m doing a good job raising her. A happy kitty is a very happy kitty mommy!”
Congratulations to baby Luna on her perfect new life!
At the ASPCA, we believe that all animals deserve to be protected under the law—and we’re thrilled to announce that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey agrees!
In a strong message to the industrial agriculture lobby, Governor Ducey issued his first-ever veto on H.B. 2150, a dangerous bill intended to roll back protections for farm animals—which, in Arizona, includes horses—by removing them from the state’s cruelty code and placing them in a separate section of law with weaker protections. If enacted, this bill would have also stripped municipalities of their abilities to pass stronger animal welfare and food safety standards, and could have impeded law enforcement from investigating animal abuse.
The veto comes at the heels of the ASPCA’s recently launched #OpenTheBarns campaign, a rallying cry for advocates to share their reasons to “open the barns” and protect the public’s right to know what is happening on America’s farms.
The ASPCA thanks Governor Ducey for honoring his commitment to animal welfare and standing with Arizona’s citizens by affirming that every animal deserves protection.
If you’re an Arizona resident, please call Governor Ducey’s office in Phoenix at (602) 542-4331 or visit our Advocacy Center to thank him for vetoing this bill.
Not an Arizona resident? Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to get important updates on animal-welfare-related legislation and how you can make a difference for the animals in your state.
As Big Ag continues its efforts to conceal the truth about how animals suffer on factory farms, the ASPCA and advocates continue our counterattack to protect the public’s right to know what goes on there.
"Ag-gag" bills, conceived and pushed by the agricultural industry to criminalize undercover investigations on factory farms, have been introduced in nearly half of all U.S. states. These measures are intended to silence factory farm whistleblowers—removing protection from vulnerable animals who need it and giving it to powerful corporations who hide behind it.
Last week, we launched #OpenTheBarns, a rallying cry of advocates representing interests as diverse as animal welfare, food safety, workers’ rights, environmental protection, and civil liberties.
On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media avenues, groups like Food and Water Watch, the Government Accountability Project, the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, and the National Consumers League are sharing their reasons to #OpenTheBarns.
Because food workers fill our plates, and they deserve a voice #OpenTheBarns
Even some farmers are part of the movement, because those who have nothing to fear have nothing to hide. They include Maryland’s Carole Morison, the whistle-blowing chicken farmer who was featured in the documentary Food Inc.; Georgia farmer and American Grassfed Alliance vice president Will Harris; and Oregon farmer and Socially Responsible Agriculture CEO Kendra Kimbiraskas.
Average Americans are also speaking their minds, because these issues matter to them. In a 2012 poll, 94 percent of the American public agreed that "from every step of their lives on a farm, farm animals should be treated in a way that inflicts the least amount of pain and suffering possible." In the same poll, 71 percent of American adults said they support undercover investigative efforts to expose farm animal abuse on industrial farms, and 64 percent opposed making such investigations illegal.
In a 2014 poll, 81 percent of consumers said that chickens—the farm animals most often raised for food—should be humanely raised. That alone covers 9 billion animals.
Celebrities and Members of Congress are also adding their voices to the dialogue, including Portia de Rossi, Martha Stewart, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
One reason this alliance is so large is that animal abuse isn’t the only unethical activity Big Ag is trying to keep secret. Documented investigations of factory farms have revealed unsafe conditions that endanger workers, shoddy food safety practices that put consumers at risk, and practices that ravage our environment. Ag-gag legislation can even shield puppy mills, which can fall under the category of “agricultural activity” in some states.
Whistleblower revelations play an important part in reforming corrupt institutions. Decades of undercover investigations—the very kind these ag-gag laws are trying to suppress—have led directly to critical milestones including the passage of the federal Meat Inspection Act, the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the eventual establishment of the federal Food and Drug Administration. They have also led to reform in corporate practices and criminal liability.
A broad coalition of advocates, including the ASPCA, has helped defeat more than two dozen ag-gag bills to date. Despite this, Big Ag is showing no signs of letting up. There’s just too much money to be made.
In the first few months of the 2015 legislative session, ag-gag laws have been introduced in nine states, most recently North Carolina, where ag-gag proponents are making their third try in three years.
We have to keep fighting these laws and exposing their motives, for the welfare of the animals, but also for our right to know the ultimate price truly being paid for the food on our plates.
So please add your own voice to the #OpenTheBarns campaign, and tell the agricultural industry that animal cruelty—anywhere, for any reason—demands sunlight, not secrecy.
Olivia is a sweet and social cat who would love to be your new best friend. This pretty lady loves attention from her favorite people, but prefers it on her own terms—let her sniff your hand, and once you’re friends, she’ll happily let you scratch her head and face.
It may take Olivia some time to adjust to her new home, but with the help of some yummy treats and her favorite toys, she’ll start to relax in no time. Although she likes affection, Olivia prefers not be picked up and is sensitive to touch around her stomach and tail. This sweet girl would like to be the only cat in the household and would do best with an experienced adopter familiar with feline body language. Adopt Olivia today!
Olivia is available for adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center. If you are interested in adopting, please call our Adoptions Department in New York City at (212) 876-7700 ext. 4120. To learn more about Olivia, please visit her profile page.
Learn more about Olivia and watch her in action in the video below!
It’s officially spring! If you’re anything like us, you’re eager to trade in your snow shovel for a garden shovel. But pet parents should note that while gardens and yards are great spots for relaxation on a spring day, many of our favorite spring flowers and planets may be toxic to our cat and dog companions. This year, whether you’re getting ready to plant your garden or you’re just looking to add a little bit of green to your home, be wary of these popular but poisonous plants so you’ll keep your pets happy and healthy this season.
Steer Clear of Lilies and Oleander. Lilies may look pretty, but they are considered especially toxic to cats. Even ingestions of very small amounts can cause severe kidney damage in our furry friends. Oleander can cause serious health problems including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.
Be Careful with Tulips. These popular spring bulb plants add much to our gardens, but can cause significant stomach problems when ingested by our pets. The bulb portion contains toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and even cardiac abnormalities.
Say No to Azalea and Rhododendron. These favorites contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in our furry friends. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and even death.
Avoid Sago Palm. All parts of this common house plant are considered poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain a large amount of toxin. Even ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects including vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and liver failure.
Pass on the Cocoa Mulch. Popular for its attractive odor and color, cocoa mulch attracts dogs with its sweet smell—and like chocolate, it can cause problems for our canine friends. Depending on the amount, ingestion of cocoa mulch can cause a range of clinical signs from vomiting and diarrhea to muscle tremors, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity and even seizures. Consider using a less-toxic alternative such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark.
If your pet likes to stop and smell the flowers, it’s important to not leave him or her unsupervised where these plants may be present. Want more information or have greenery in your home or garden that you’re not sure is toxic or not? Please visit our full list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.