Special-needs animals can make wonderful pets, but they’re not right for every adopter. For proof, look no further than Gia—a sweet, overweight, asthmatic kitty who was adopted and returned multiple times over the course of three years. Though it is hard to see an animal stay at our Adoption Center for so long, it makes it that much more rewarding when they finally find the forever home they deserve. Here is Gia’s Happy Tail.
Gia came to the ASPCA in March 2012 as a transfer from Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C). She was just eight months old at the time, but she had already been diagnosed with severe asthma. Because of her condition, Gia needed an adopter who would administer her inhaler two times every day and to keep her on a low-dose steroid prescription for the rest of her life. On top of that, Gia also needed a strict diet, since her extra weight made her already-labored breathing that much more difficult. It was a tall order, but we knew that this pretty kitty was worth the work.
A few weeks after her arrival, Gia was adopted. It was an exciting moment, and we were thrilled to see her find a home. But, sadly, our joy was short-lived: Gia was retuned six months later. Though the adopter had tried her best, she just couldn’t keep up with Gia’s health and felt she would fare better in another home. We brought her back to the Adoption Center and hoped that the perfect person would come along soon.
In November, Gia was adopted again. We waited eagerly for news of a successful transition, but unfortunately, she was returned again—this time, less than two weeks later. Gia had suffered five asthma attacks in the first ten days in her new home, and the adopter was overwhelmed by her needs. Once again, Gia was back at the ASPCA.
A year went by, and then another. We tried everything we could to find sweet Gia a home, but we just couldn’t get the right fit. Finally, in September 2014—nearly three years after Gia’s arrival at the ASPCA—Lorna H. walked through our door.
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“We recently moved to New York from overseas and were excited to be in a city that is pet-friendly for renters,” Lorna recalls. Having lived with pets most of her life, she was eager to adopt a feline friend of her own. After arriving, she headed to the ASPCA Adoption Center.
At the Adoption Center, Lorna met Gia and something miraculous happened: After all those years waiting, it was love at first sight! Lorna knew right away that Gia was the one. “When we heard a little of Gia’s story and how long she had been at the shelter, there was no question of adopting her,” she says. “We were not intimidated by her medical concerns, especially after one of the veterinary assistants demonstrated how to administer her inhaler.” She adopted Gia that day and never looked back.
In yet another first for Gia, Lorna’s apartment was a perfect fit, too. “She made herself well and truly at home. In fact, it only took her about five minutes to do so!” Lorna laughs. She renamed her Francesca—Fatty for short—although she is slowly losing some of her excess weight. Francesca now spends her days in one of her many favorite sleeping spots in the house, and Lorna says she is great about letting everyone know when it’s time for her inhaler (and her treats).
Though it took nearly three years to get there, Francesca could not have arrived at a better destination. Lorna says, “She is an absolute angel to have around and we are so pleased she is now a member of our family.” For the first time, we are confident that this kitty’s new home will be the one that lasts forever.
Did you know one of the easiest ways you can help support animals might be sitting in your backyard?
When you donate an old or unwanted car, truck, RV or other vehicle to the ASPCA’s Vehicle Donation Program, you’re not only helping save animals from cruelty, but also you’ll get a tax deduction at the same time. Plus, proceeds from every vehicle donated will go towards helping find loving, permanent homes for homeless animals and support the life-saving programs and services we offer millions of animals nationwide.
We accept all vehicles in any condition, from cars, trucks and motorcycles to heavier vehicles like boats, airplanes, farm machinery and equipment. We’ll even arrange free pickup from anywhere in the United States. Once your vehicle is sold, you will receive a tax receipt within days of the sale.
Donating is quick and easy. To get started, enter your vehicle’s information using our Vehicle Donation web form or call us at 877-999-8322 to speak to a representative.
It’s an all around win-win opportunity to help create more happy endings for lives touched by cruelty! But please act soon—the deadline to qualify for the 2014 tax break is December 31.
We’re so impressed by the adoptions successes in all 33 communities, and we’re thrilled that so many animals found forever homes in just one weekend! Congratulations to all of our 2014 Mega Match-a-thon participants for a job well done.
At the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina (USASC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the ASPCA is currently on the ground assisting with a federal investigation involving drugs and dog fighting in Columbia, South Carolina.
Earlier today, agents executed a search warrant and seized a dozen dogs from a property in Gaston, South Carolina. Upon arriving at the scene, ASPCA responders found severely emaciated and dehydrated dogs with scars and injuries commonly associated with dog fighting. Some were chained and anchored to car axles. The remains of deceased dogs were also found.
“The truth is that dog fighting happens all over the country, but it’s an underground activity that goes mostly unnoticed by the public,” said Tim Rickey, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team. “Dog fighting is often linked to other illegal activities including drugs and gambling, and we’re pleased to work alongside state, federal and local law enforcement agencies in ending these dogs’ suffering and seeing justice served.”
Earlier this month, a separate warrant was served for the removal of drugs and 35 dogs from the same property. The Lexington County Animal Shelter provided daily care for the seized dogs until the ASPCA was able to transport the dogs to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location.
The ASPCA will continue to provide daily care for the dogs at the temporary shelter until custody is determined by the court. PetSmart Charities® is sending supplies such as pet crates, toys and treats to support the rescue operation.
We are committed to helping these dogs heal, both physically and emotionally, but we need your support now more than ever. When you make a gift today, you will help provide these dogs with the urgent care they so desperately need, and you’ll help us continue to rescue victims of animal cruelty across the country.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day, which takes place on October 25, was created to bring positive attention to the Pit Bull Terrier. By combating myths about the breed, we have the power to restore its good reputation and save thousands of lives. Here’s how you can help:
Become a myth-buster and breed advocate: Did you know that famous figures like President Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller and Fred Astaire all shared their homes with Pit Bulls? Read more true facts about Pit Bulls and stand up against dangerous myths.
Consider adoption or fostering: Thousands of Pit Bulls end up in shelters every year due to abuse, over-breeding and abandonment. Pit Bulls can make very sweet, loyal family dogs and provide a lifetime of joy. Check out 10 Tips for Adopting a Pit Bull to find out if this breed is right for you!
Make your Pit Bull an ambassador. The best way to combat negative stereotypes is for you and your Pit to set a positive example! Take your well-trained dog with you to the park, store, and for long walks to show people the peaceful, gentle side of Pits. Additionally, consider having your dog earn an AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate, which may come in handy when facing breed bias from people who don’t understand the good the Pits truly can do.