We all know one of the best ways to help your local shelter is to donate your time as a volunteer. But what about opening your home to some needy animals? Shelters nationwide often need help caring for their pets until they’re ready for adoption.Animal foster programs are a great way to make a hands-on difference in the lives of animals.
This Monday night, we’re joining Pet360 to host a Pet Fostering Twitter Chat. Simply follow #FosterMe on Twitter to ask our experts questions, tweet photos of your current foster pet, and answer fun trivia questions for a chance to win some swag!
Join us, Monday, May 13, from 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. (EDT) as we explore the rewarding world of pet fostering. See you there!
On a cold day in February, the ASPCA responded to a tip that came in through our Humane Law Enforcement helpline. A dog had been left outside with no access to food, water or shelter. When we arrived at the scene, it was far worse than we had initially expected. We found a puppy, just skin and bones, who was barely able to walk.
Immediately, we jumped into action. Our team transported the emaciated dog, named Finley, to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment. After an examination, veterinarians found the puppy to be suffering from paraphimosis, a condition of the genitals,and an untreated respiratory infection. They also found pieces of metal in Finley’s intestines and determined that his emaciated condition was due to starvation. Finley had been eating trash to survive.
On May 9, Finley’s owner, Anthony Martin, 46, was arrested for allegedly neglecting the puppy. He was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Update! We are happy to report that after five weeks of treatment, Finley put on more than 20 pounds! He is continuing to recover and will eventually be made available for adoption.
When Brittney K. visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in search of a feline companion for her resident cat, she decided to adopt a shy cat named Sofie. She felt the adoption was meant to be after finding out that Sofie had been rescued during Hurricane Sandy, a storm Brittney had experienced firsthand.
I decided to adopt Sofie to help my first cat, Wednesday, play more frequently—or at least to chase her around the house regularly—and because I grew up in a family that adopted shelter animals and felt an urge to help another homeless animal.
This time I decided to go to the ASPCA, and I was very impressed by the facilities and the happiness spread across the volunteers' faces. My two guides took plenty of time with me—I didn't feel rushed into adoption—and they answered each question I had.
Sofie didn't catch my eye right away. She hid in the corner, but you could tell that she wanted to come out and play. I scooted over to her corner and she rolled over on her back and started purring immediately. That's when I knew she was joining our family!
At first, and as expected, Sofie didn't want to come out from under my bed. I selected my bedroom as her living quarters for the first 14 days, but she wanted to come out much sooner than that. Though the adjustment between the two cats has been short of smooth sailing, they are starting to get along.
Sofie is becoming a lap cat and jumps on top of me any time I sit down. She follows me all over the apartment and has made the place her own. Her energy and excitement will be the perfect fit for our family.
Toward the end of my adoption, a behavioral specialist came to chat with me and let me know Sofie was a Hurricane Sandy rescue. After watching some close friends experience the aftermath of the storm and helping our city rebuild, it was absolutely clear to me that we were meant to find each other!
Got a special adoption story? Share it (or Sofie’s story!) on social media using the hashtag #HappyTail.
Eva Podietz is one of the ASPCA’s most dedicated volunteers. Scores of ASPCA animals have benefited from Eva’s care, and the most recent addition to Eva’s furry family is Bentley, a little Shih Tzu who suffered immensely before starting his new life.
Bentley came to us after a devastating kick to the head that left him with a dangerous brain hemorrhage, broken jaw and a broken skull, threatening to destroy his tiny brain stem. He could barely stand or move his legs.
Any sudden movements could have killed Bentley in those early days. ASPCA veterinarians provided critical head trauma care, medications to reduce fluid build-up in his brain, and comprehensive pain management. Our hospital staff could tell that Bentley was a fighter. He survived those initial days. Then the first two weeks. As soon as he could, Bentley began lifting his neck and wagging his tail to greet staffers. And one day, Bentley began to regain use of his legs!
But Bentley was still a bit scared of people, and he wasn’t eating as well as they’d hoped. They placed him in foster care with Eva, and he quickly gained a pound and started to open up. “After a month it was clear it was an adoption, not a foster,” Eva tells us. Now he is showered with love, attends doggy daycare and, despite everything he’s been through, “doesn’t seem to hold a grudge.”
Bentley isn’t Eva’s first ASPCA rescue. Back in 2006, Cloudy came to us severely matted and suffering from multiple infections. He was also blind and had several back problems. We knew he needed a special home, and he found it with Eva, who has given him the best life possible. That’s why we’re extra glad to see Bentley earn a spot in such a wonderful home.
“They’re the ASPCA’s dogs; I’m just their caretaker,” Eva jokes. “They’ve got lots of admirers and people who love them at the ASPCA. And everywhere! But especially at the A.”
For those of us on the East Coast, the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 is still present and fresh on our minds. And most recently, persistent flooding in the Midwest has wreaked havoc on the lives of humans and pets alike. It’s important for pet parents in all parts of the country to be prepared to act in the face of a disaster—and that includes having an emergency plan in place for your pets.
That’s one of the reasons why we joined FEMA to recognize May 8 as National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to learn more about the ways you can keep your furry friends safe in an emergency. Here are a few easy steps you can take:
1. Have a Plan. Your “all-family” plan needs to include how you will transport your animals in an evacuation, possible routes you will take and your destination/sheltering options. Practice that plan at least yearly and share it with your family and friends.
2. Build a Kit. Don’t forget a photo of your pet, medical records, vaccination records, and any special food or prescriptions.
3. Stay Informed. Keep an eye on the weather, follow a projected storm’s path and don’t get caught unprepared. Staying informed also means knowing which shelters house both people and pets, monitoring possible road closures and having alternate travel plans.
4. Know Your Neighbors. It’s best to form a relationship with your neighbors well in advance of a disaster situation.Develop a telephone tree and determine who is home and when. If a disaster occurs while you’re at work, your neighbor may be the only one who can reach your pets.
5. Vaccinate and Microchip. If you’re ever required to shelter your pets, you’ll want them protected against disease. And the single most important piece of advice we can offer is to microchip your pets. It is truly their ticket home.