Max, a former champion living in Arizona, was healthy and happy before his owner was forced to give him up.
As the deadly snow storms that have already hit the Great Plains illustrate, winter is coming. It won't be long before much of the country is buried under a blanket of white.
This is the time of year equine rescues, sanctuaries, and community hay banks serving needy horse owners stock up on hay for the entire winter. The ASPCA assists these groups through grants made possible by our members’ compassion and generosity, ensuring that horses don't suffer and starve.
One such group is the Arizona Coalition for Equines (ACE), which received a $3,000 grant from the ASPCA in November 2012. These are just a few of the lives ACE was able to touch with that funding:
Slammed by foreclosure on her home and forced to move after the death of her mother, a woman living on disability ran out of money to feed her two horses. She turned to ACE for a helping hand, saying she would rather feed her horses than herself. ACE responded with a month’s worth of hay and settled her unpaid feed bill, giving her time to get back on her feet. Her horses remain in excellent condition.
A disabled veteran on a fixed income asked ACE for help when his horse became unable to walk. Sometimes feeding his horses before himself, he was desperate to get veterinary care but unable to pay the upfront costs. With ACE assistance, a veterinarian did a complete examination and diagnosed thrush, a front hoof abscess and a possible pelvic injury. Treatment provided immediate relief.
The greatest success story belongs to Max, a 30-year-old former champion show horse (pictured) who had been owner-released to a commercial stable due to financial hardship. His former owner was devastated when he went to visit Max months later and found him close to death—he had been left to starve. The man reached out to ACE, which rescued Max and covered the cost of his foster care until a new forever home was found.
Ali and Ricky are two-time adopters from the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan. After bringing home a snuggly pup named Ruby, they decided she needed a furry companion. That’s when they met a cat named Hummus, and their family of three became four. Ali shared the following story with us:
We decided to adopt Ruby three years ago because we wanted a dog to complete our family. I was adamant about rescuing a pup in need, so my first choice was the ASPCA! We visited the Adoption Center and looked at all of the dogs There was something about Ruby that was special—and we kept coming back to her over and over again. Within five minutes of playing with her, I was sold. It was an instant connection.
We had to wait until the next day to come pick her up, and that was the longest night ever! We loved her already and couldn't wait to get her home. Since then, Ruby has done nothing but snuggle with us, love us, and pretend she's a two-pound lap dog. She is everything we ever wanted and more!
A few weeks ago we decided it would be awesome to have another little addition. We decided that she might like a buddy in the form of a cat, as she is very gentle with them. I went to the ASPCA once more because my experience with Ruby was so awesome. We soon found Hummus, and it didn't take long to realize this little guy was going to be a great fit in our home!
We were afraid that Ruby might be a little too hyper for Hummus as she can be a real lover at times, but it took only a day or two for her to adjust and begin to love him as one of her own. Sometimes we find them snuggling together, or find Ruby grooming Hummus like one of her pups! They love each other, and Ruby has definitely stepped up to the plate as an awesome big sister.
Ruby is a dream come true and Hummus is such a wonderful new addition to our family. He quickly found his way into our hearts. We are so thankful to the ASPCA for bringing these two amazing animals into our home and family. They see us through tears, joy, and everything in between! Words will never be able to say how much they give us.
Have you adopted a pet from the ASPCA? Email us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we might feature it on the blog!
Want to read more stories like Hummus and Ruby's?
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Guest blog by Paris Permenter and John Bigley of DogTipper
Is Adopt a Senior Pet Month inspiring you to adopt a senior dog? If so—or if your dog is reaching senior status—you’ll find that many dogs enjoy spending their retirement years just like we humans do: on the road!
We enjoy traveling with our rescue dogs, Irie and Tiki, now six years old, and intend to continue traveling with them as they mature. Healthy senior dogs can enjoy an active lifestyle that includes exploring new destinations.
Regardless of your dog’s age, you’ll want to do plenty of planning to keep your dog comfortable and safe. Preparations we always take include:
Bringing the comforts of home. A cushioned dog bed is especially important for older dogs to keep pressure off of joints as they ride.
Packing for success. Tummy troubles are no fun on the road. We help avoid stomach stress by packing our dogs’ usual food and treats.
Planning, not over-planning. We plan hotel stays and attraction stops, but we don’t try to stick too closely to a timetable. It’s important to leave plenty of time for frequent bathroom breaks, especially for seniors, and for walks to just sniff around and enjoy the new destination.
Preparing for problems. We pack a list of veterinarians along our route and at our destination. We plan for more routine issues including potty accidents. Along with paper towels and waste bags, we carry a urine remover like Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator™. (Rug Doctor also supports the ASPCA!) Thanks to quick cleanups, we’ve never lost a pet deposit on a hotel stay.
Perhaps the best preparation we make is to slow down and anticipate the pleasures of traveling with our canines. After all, taking time to stop and sniff the roses is what travel’s all about—regardless of our age.
Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the publishers of the award-winning DogTipper.com. The authors of 32 pet and travel books explored the Lone Star State with their dogs Irie and Tiki to fetch dog-friendly destinations for their latest book: DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs. Follow Paris and John on Twitter.
Animal shelters provide an invaluable service for animals in need, providing them with food, shelter, medical care and love. Many shelters operate with limited resources, doing their best to care for a population of needy animals that almost seems endless.
National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week was created to honor the hardworking staff and volunteers who spend their lives helping homeless pets and inspire pet lovers to get involved with their local shelter or rescue. Need some ideas of how you can help? Here are a few of our favorites!
Volunteer your time. Socializing shelter pets helps them become better equipped to transition from shelter life to their new homes. Spend an afternoon playing with cats or walking dogs. Many shelters need more advanced helpers to work with canines in obedience classes as well.
Organize an event. Make your local shelter a cause for celebration! Throw a themed party, set up a bake sale, or parade your pet in a dog walk and donate the proceeds to your shelter. You’ll raise awareness, meet new animal-loving friends and help homeless pets.
Go shopping or get crafty! Besides monetary donations, shelters are in constant need of basic supplies that can be found at your local grocery or discount store like food, cleaning supplies, toys and other pet care supplies. Call your shelter and ask what they need most and what brands they use before you take your shopping trip for the cause. You can also make some catnip toys to keep boredom at bay—they’re easy to make and kid-friendly!
Every day we post photos of cats and dogs on our blog who are looking for good homes. Like most of our readers, we wish we could bring every single one of these deserving pets home. (Sigh.) The great news is there is a much better alternative.