In celebration of the ASPCA’s new collaboration with Lil BUB, we’re dedicating this week’s Happy Tail to another special needs cat, Ella. Ella was adopted from the ASPCA in 2012, and was soon after diagnosed with terminal cancer. Despite the challenges of her illness, her adopter, Stephen B., has nothing but love for this sweet older cat. Here is their Happy Tail.
Stephen met Ella on his very first trip to the ASPCA. Drawn in by her glowing green eyes, he says, “When we found out that Ella had lived her entire life in shelters and never had a real home before, there was really no chance of saying no to her.” After Ella’s adoption, Stephen discovered tumors on her stomach and learned that she had terminal cancer. “My first reaction was to be glad that we had given her a real home for the last months of her life, or however long she had left,” recalls Stephen.
As time went on, their relationship strengthened. Stephen says, “She is very much my cat, and I’m very much her human.” In fact, he put together a “Bucket List” for Ella after receiving her diagnosis! “One of the things I really wanted to do was try taking her outside on a leash. She likes to sit on my window and look outside, so I thought she should have a chance to actually feel the grass beneath her paws.”
Four months after her first outdoor excursion, Stephen sent an exciting update: New X-rays show that Ella’s cancer has subsided, and her three-month prognosis has been updated to at least a few years. Whether it was the grass, Stephen’s love, or simply a miracle, we’ll never know, but we are so happy that this feisty feline will be around for a long time to come.
Stephen says, “Ella is probably the smartest decision I’ve made in my adult life. Cats with medical conditions deserve love just as much as the rest of them, and they’re so, so ready to give it.”
We’re super puzzled by Perdue’s new ad slogan for its line of antibiotic-free chicken: “Eat like your ancestors.” We’re pretty sure our ancestors wouldn’t even recognize today’s frankenchickens, who grow three times faster than chickens did 60 years ago!
In other pig news, an investigative report published in the National Resource Defense Council’s On Earth magazine revealed that waste from farms is poisoning much of Iowa’s drinking water. Consumers and animal lovers are increasingly wondering whether the “efficiency” of industrial farming is worth the costs.
Recommended reading: The Meat Racket by Christopher Leonard, an exposé of the agriculture industry’s exploitation of farmers and chickens in the name of profit. Read reviews from The Washington Post and NPR.
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The ASPCA Cruelty Intervention Advocacy team, volunteers from New York Cares, and the NYPD Community Affairs Office set up shop in the 113th Precinct in Jamaica, Queens, this weekend to provide free dog houses, pet ID tags, dog food, behavioral support and educational materials to community members and their canine companions. These resources were in high demand: We distributed 35 large dog houses, as well as rain checks for 15 more houses as part of a pilot program called Operation Gimme Shelter for at-risk pets.
New York City has experienced unusually frigid temperatures and record-breaking snowfall this winter, resulting in numerous reports to the NYPD of pets left out in the cold. In some cases, pet owners lack the resources or financial means to purchase dog houses. As temperatures remain below freezing and snow continues to fall in NYC, we’re relieved that Saturday’s dog house recipients will stay warm and dry.
Do you know which pet poisons are lurking in your home? Each year, thousands of pets accidentally ingest dangerous but common household items. Onions, grapes, gardening mulch—the culprits are surprising! In honor of National Poison Awareness Month, we’re holding a live Twitter chat Wednesday, March 5 with Dr. Tina Wismer, Medical Director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Dr. Wismer will be on hand March 5 at 2:00 P.M. (EST) to answer all your questions about protecting pets from harmful substances.
We’ll also test your pet-poison knowledge with a few trivia questions. Three guests will receive ASPCA swag bags—and one grand-prize winner will receive an Emergency Ready Deluxe Pet First Aid Kit!
It’s hard enough for survivors of domestic violence to navigate the complicated emotional and logistical terrain of leaving home for safe shelter—and adding pets into the equation makes these situations even more stressful. Some stay in abusive relationships to protect their beloved pets, while others have no choice but to leave them behind. Because animals often are used as pawns in domestic disputes, this heartbreaking choice can lead to tragedy.
New York’s Urban Resource Institute (URI), a non-profit human services organization dedicated to helping New York’s most vulnerable populations, wants to solve this problem—and the ASPCA is stepping up to help.
We’re awarding a $75,000 grant to URI’s innovative PALS (People and Animals Living Safely) program, which enables clients at URI’s largest domestic violence shelter to bring pets with them. Since its launch in June 2013, the program has welcomed many cats; it began accepting dogs this month. This is New York City’s first-ever initiative to house survivors of domestic violence with their pets in a shelter setting.
“We’re honored to participate in an innovative program that provides safe shelter for both domestic violence victims and their pets,” says ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “This program keeps people and pets together during times of crisis, protects them both, and preserves the special bond with a companion animal—often a major source of comfort and stability. We’d love to see it expand to other emergency shelters throughout the city and nationwide.”
In addition to the grant, the ASPCA will offer assistance via its Animal Hospital by providing services including medical exams, vaccinations, behavioral support, spay/neuter surgery and fostering. The ASPCA’s Cruelty Intervention Advocacy team will also provide support and offer critical resources to pet owners who find themselves and their animals in unstable situations.
Studies estimate that as many as 48% of victims of domestic violence remain in abusive situations for fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind, and that more than 70% of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters report that abusers have threatened, harmed or killed a family pet. By working together, ASPCA and URI hope to increase awareness about the impact of abuse on every member of the family—including pets—and encourage increased partnership between animal welfare and domestic violence communities nationwide.
This cat has been living at URI’s largest emergency shelter with its owner for the past several months as part of the URIPALS program.