When Autumn Giles and her boyfriend visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City in search of a feline friend, they found a perfect match in a beautiful gray kitty named Christopher. They soon renamed him Butternut. Giles shared the following story with us:
My boyfriend and I had been talking about getting a cat for a while, and it finally felt like the right time! Getting a cat via adoption was really the only option. As the woman who showed us around the Adoption Center observed, Christopher chose us!
Going into it, I thought I wanted to adopt a fluffy cat because I had very fond memories of a long-haired cat that I had as a kid. Christopher is not super-fluffy, but when we met him we knew almost right away that he was ours—and he was immediately so affectionate! He gave us head butts and licks within seconds of meeting us.
After bringing him home, we discovered Christopher had an allergic reaction to something in his food. The folks at the ASPCA were very helpful in getting him well again. In a strange way, having this experience with Christopher made me feel like he was even more of a match for our home because I can't eat gluten and am lactose intolerant, so he and I have special diets in common.
He's doing much better and getting increasingly comfortable in our apartment. I love waking up in the middle of the night to find him in the windowsill. I know he's just a cat, but it feels like he's watching out for us! We can't get over how much love he has to give. Even when he wasn't feeling well, he's was still so affectionate. We're so happy he's in our lives.
You know it’s true: Senior dogs are the best. As much as we can’t resist puppies, there is something about an old pooch that really makes our hearts sing. In honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, we’re counting down the top five reasons why old dogs rock.
1. What you see is what you get. Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. 2. Seniors are super-loving. Adopted dogs already in their golden years are devoted and grateful. They create an instant bond that cannot be topped! 3. They settle in quickly. Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time! 4. Seniors enjoy easy livin’. Couch potato, know thyself. Consider adopting a laid-back canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who needs constant monitoring. 5. They’re CUTE! Need we say more?
Did you adopt a senior dog? Tell us about your elder states-pooch in the comments below.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and that means it’s time to celebrate all things canine and get more homeless pups into forever homes. To get the party started, we’ve prepared a special Adopt a Shelter Dog Month section on ASPCA.org devoted to the lovable shelter pooch.
Speaking of Pet Adoption… Earlier this year, we polled hundreds of pup parents—some who adopted from shelters, and others who purchased their puppies at pet stores—about their experiences during and after acquiring their four-legged family members. You’d think that the pet store-pup parents, who got exactly the puppy they wanted, would be happier, but that’s not the case!
Our poll showed that people who adopted a dog from a shelter were much more likely to be pleased with their experience than those who purchased a puppy from a pet store. Shelter dog adopters are also almost twice as likely, compared to pet store customers, to feel that the process by which they got their dog was honest and transparent.
Here at the ASPCA, we’ve long been convinced that shelter dogs are awesome and that adoption is way better than buying a puppy from a pet store. Now we have the data to prove it!
“The ASPCA’s research confirms that adoption really is the best option when it comes to adding a new dog to your home,” says Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. “Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, and we continue to urge those who are looking for a new companion to adopt a dog from a shelter instead of buying a puppy from a pet store. By doing so, you’re not only giving a shelter pup a new chance at life, but you’re also helping fight puppy mill cruelty.”
Get Involved There are tons of ways to get involved this October, ranging from sending a single tweet to volunteering at your local shelter. Head over to ASPCA.org to read all about it, and remember—there are millions of wonderful, adorable dogs in our country who need homes, so please opt to adopt!
Guest blog post from Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
Californians, your hard work has paid off! Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the state’s bill to ban hounding (S.B. 1221) into law. The new law bans the practice of releasing radio-collared dogs loose in the woods to chase and tree bears and bobcats, all so trophy “hunters” can shoot the terrified animals down from point-blank range. California now joins the more than 30 states that do not permit this blatant and needless form of animal cruelty.
We started work early on this legislation, partnering with the many groups and shelters that attended our 2012 California Humane Lobby Day. Hundreds of advocates flooded the Capitol, where we held a rally for the hound dogs and wildlife—and of course, hound hunters showed up to oppose us and the ban. They were determined to preserve this unsporting pastime despite ample evidence of the grotesque abuses inherent to hounding.
Even under such pressure, humane voices won the day. Every time we asked for your help, you responded in full force. Your work has changed your state forever and made it a safer haven for thousands of animals. If you live in California, please take a moment to thank Governor Brown.
In addition to the hounding ban, Governor Brown signed two other great bills for companion animals: Declawing/devocalization (S.B. 1229): Landlords are now expressly prohibited from discouraging potential tenants from applying for housing if their pets are not declawed or devocalized. Cost of care in animal abuse cases (S.B. 1500): This measure clarifies existing law so that anyone accused of animal abuse must provide for the cost of care for animals seized from them. This helps shelters tremendously, and also helps ensure that animals will not end up back in the hands of their abusers.
As a California native, I was thrilled to join our California advocates in-person and work on this legislation! But I’m excited to announce that we now have Sacramento-based Kevin O’Neill, our new Western Region State Legislative Director, aboard to guide us as we take on new challenges in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. Welcome, Kevin—may this be just the beginning of great things from your states!
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you. A few weeks ago, we told you about the hay emergency facing American horse caregivers this year. We told you that persistent drought has put hay in dangerously short supply, and that if we don’t pull together and do something, horses will die.
We asked you to help us feed horses by contributing to our Hay Bale-Out initiative, and we were overwhelmed by the generosity of those who answered our call.
Here’s what happened next.
We told equine rescue groups the good news: The ASPCA has your back, and we can provide hay to help get your horses through the winter. We asked them to tell us what they needed.
Since then, equine groups have been flooding us with requests.
We’re deep in the process of working closely with these groups to meet their hay needs, and our equine rescue friends tell us this assistance couldn’t come at a better time.
“This year is setting up to become a ‘perfect storm’ for equine neglect, as we are already seeing a huge increase in calls and skinny horses,” Gail Vacca of the Illinois Equine Humane Center told us. “Thank goodness many will find relief due to the efforts and support of the ASPCA.”
We’re so grateful for your help feeding horses this year. If you haven’t yet given to this critical effort, it’s not too late! Every little bit counts, and it all goes directly to feeding horses.
Watch ASPCA.org for updates on this life-saving project, and if you haven’t already, consider being a part of it.