In an exciting weekend of pet adoption events nationwide, 50 animal shelters kicked off the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge by finding loving forever homes for more than 2,700 animals. From California to Maine, adopters visited local shelters to show their support for the Challenge and went home with furry best friends of all shapes and sizes.
Here are some of the highlights from this fur-filled weekend:
When Bangor Humane Society had just one puppy left in the building, Ike—previously accompanied by his brother, Spike—the Maine agency promised his adopter a special surprise. "Spike and Ike's adoption fees were paid for by their foster parents, in turn making their adoption fees free to their new families," BHS explained to its Facebook fans. "Because of this, BOTH of Spike and Ike's adoptive families decided to pay it forward, and pay for the adoptions of two other dogs that are still in the building!”
In what turned out to be a very successful partnership, the Flagler Humane Society teamed up with local groomer Animal House Groomers, which helped transform some of the scruffier pets into adorable candidates for adoption during kick-off weekend event. The groomers worked makeover magic on this lucky pup, Scrapie, who later found a loving home.
Beyonce, a pretty pup rescued from an inhumane situation, was one of 122 adoptions at Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center over the course of the weekend. “Although her adoption was free today,” the Pennsylvania agency told its Facebook fans, “she had a $50 sponsorship, and her adopter left an additional $250!”
Sometimes a kitty comes along who steals the hearts (and laps!) of all those who meet him. Sherbert was one of those magical, four-legged wonders. ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement rescued Sherbert—then nine years old—in October 2008 from a home in Brooklyn, NY. Our Special Agents found him emaciated, abandoned and suffering from multiple untreated medical conditions. Once treated at the ASPCA, the elder feline was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and given a special diet as well as anti-inflammatory medication to ease his discomfort.
Despite his condition, it didn’t take long for Sherbert to settle into life at the ASPCA and attract many fans among staff and volunteers. Described as an “eternal optimist,” Sherbert was famous at the ASPCA Adoption Center for his fuzzy face and love of laps. And even though life threw a whole lot of challenges his way, he never gave up his adoration of the human kind. Lucky for Franni Burke of Manhattan! She met Sherbert in April 2009, and was smitten by his outgoing, cuddle-bug nature. The rest is history—today Sherbert is thriving in his "cushy" new life with Franni and his forever family.
Before the holidays, Franni contacted us to report that her favorite furry guy is doing exceptionally well and will receive many Christmas presents this year. Needless to say, news of Sherbert’s well-being was welcomed by more than one ASPCA staff member. “I absolutely LOVE Sherbert!” says Diane Wilkerson. “We took him on the WPIX morning show once…and even with all the cameras and commotion, he did great! He just snuggled and purred!”
This reserved little showstopper will always hold a special place in our hearts, minds and, of course, laps!
Can’t stand leaving your pet behind on vacation? You don’t have to! More people are choosing to include their animal companions in family vacations than ever before. Just keep in mind that a bit of extra planning—and packing—may be in order.
Time for a check-up. A trip to the vet is a good idea. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date before you hit the open road.
Location! Location! Location! It's essential to make sure your accommodations, hotel or apartment, are pet-friendly. Otherwise, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when you arrive at your destination.
Prevention is key. Mistakes happen and pets get lost, so make sure your pet has a microchip and is wearing a collar and ID tag.
Pack for your pup! Be sure to bring along all of the necessary supplies to care for your pet. Double check to make sure you have a crate, toys, plenty of food and a doggy seatbelt!
Check out these ASPCA pet travel essentials!
Car Harness Just like a human seatbelt, this dog harness is your pooch’s first line of safety when traveling by car.
Floppy Moppy Plush Car rides can be boring! This fun mop-style plush will keep any doggie engaged for hours.
Seat Cover Protect your car seat from pet odors, dirt and spills with this heavy duty seat protector.
Every year, the ASPCA creates an exclusive wall calendar for our special friends and supporters. This year's calendar features ASPCA team members and, of course, their beloved rescued companions.
For the past several months, our creative team has been hard at work designing the calendar layout. But there's one big decision left to make: Who should grace its cover? Well, folks, this is not an easy decision for us! We've narrowed down the field to four contenders, but we're counting on you to make the final decision.
Guest blog post from Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare.
Last week, we helped organize a Capitol Hill briefing alerting legislators to the animal welfare dangers of misusing antibiotics—something commonly done on factory farms. While antibiotics are essential for treating sick animals, they’re often given on farms to compensate for overcrowded, filthy and stressful conditions. The horrible living conditions, coupled with the overuse of medications, create an added threat of the animals contracting a superbug that can’t be treated with antibiotics.
The briefing was hosted by Representatives Slaughter and Schakowsky, two supporters of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) bill, which aims to tackle this problem. It was gratifying to see these Congress members, who have shown interest in the human health implications of antibiotics for quite some time, showcase the animal welfare impacts, too.
Because the chicken and turkey industries, in particular are notorious for keeping birds in horrific conditions, where they live in their own waste on the floors of sheds packed with tens of thousands of birds, the ASPCA brought farmer Frank Reese to the panel to address the use of antibiotics in poultry farming. Reese raises chickens and turkeys at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch, a farm that raises heritage (non-factory farm-bred) birds on pasture, allowing them to be true to their nature. Reese explained that, in contrast with factory farmers, he avoids subtherapeutic antibiotics by raising genetically healthy birds in a low-stress, spacious, pastured environment where they do not endure mutilations.
We will continue spreading the word about the dangers of raising animals by relying on subtherapeutic antibiotics, and we hope you will, too! Check whether your senators and Congress member are co-sponsoring PAMTA. If so, thank them; if not, urge them to!