Welcome to The Paw Print! In this recurring feature, we highlight the latest news affecting animals and animal-lovers around the country. Here are some of the top stories right now:
High School Student Bonds with Pig, Saves Her from Slaughter: Bruno, a California high school student, bonded with a pig named Lola through participation in his school’s Future Farmers of America® program. But when Lola was scheduled to be slaughtered, Bruno felt compelled to intervene. Now, Lola is living a happy life at a farm sanctuary. [The Dodo.com]
New York Museum to Feature Internet Cats in New Exhibition: The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York will feature a feline-themed exhibition titled “How Cats Took Over the Internet,” shining the spotlight on popular cat images and videos. The exhibition will run from August 2015 to January 2016. [DNAinfo.com]
Pet Store Employee’s Photos Reveal Puppy Mill Cruelty: A Pennsylvania woman used social media to share images revealing animal cruelty at the pet store where she works. Her photos showed that a shipment of puppies that arrived at the store—likely shipped from large, substandard breeding facilities known as a “puppy mills”—were denied basic treatment, and some even died in transport. [The Dodo.com]
Dog Food Company Recalls Treats after Salmonella Scare: The Natural Dog Company has recalled its 12-ounce bags of 12-inch Tremenda Sticks pet chews after determining that the treats may contain salmonella, which can cause serious illness in pets and humans. The treats were sold in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Washington. Customers are asked to contact the company for more information. [WKYC.com, a TENGA company]
Photos of Rabbits Taking Baths Draw Attention to Serious Pet Care Issue: While internet photos and videos of rabbits taking baths may seem cute, they are actually dangerous. Rabbits are inherently clean, and most rabbits never require a bath. Wet fur can lead to hypothermia or a respiratory infection, and hot water or blow-dryers can scald their skin. Water in rabbits’ ears can lead to ear infections, and damp fur can lead to parasitic infestations. [The Dodo.com]
Have you ever considered adopting a kitten? Summer is a great time to do so! During feline breeding season, commonly known as kitten season, animal shelters experience an influx of cats and kittens in need of loving homes. The ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City currently has dozens of kittens available for adoption. To help match these adorable felines with loving adopters, the Adoption Center is holding a Summer Adoption Purr-motion from Friday, July 24 to Monday, September 7. Read all of the exciting details below:
Weekdays: $50 adoption fee for kittens under five months, $35 adoption fee for kittens five months to one year; cats over one year are free.
Weekends: $75 for kittens under five months, $50 for kittens five months to 3-year-old cats.
We will continue our BOGO (or, adopt a kitten, take home a second kitten with no adoption fee) promotion during this time.
We hope you’ll consider adopting a kitten (or two) of your own this summer! If you are not in New York City, please use our shelter finder to find adoptable pets in your area.
Please note: while we have many kittens waiting to find loving homes, the individual kittens pictured here are not necessarily available for adoption.
When police consider prevention and investigation primary responsibilities, when criminal laws and sentences match the seriousness of criminal behavior, and when society resoundingly rejects both the crime and the criminal.
In our efforts to stop animal cruelty, we’re making great advances toward all of these goals. This week, we’re adding another milestone to that list.
Recognizing the public’s pivotal role in stopping crime, the ASPCA and the New York City Police Foundation have just announced a collaboration to expand the NYPD’s successful Crime Stoppers program to include animal victims of cruelty. For the first time in New York City, the public will be able to easily and anonymously provide critical information about animal cruelty crimes in the five boroughs. Some of these unsolved crimes may be broadcast from Crime Stoppers vans that roam the city.
At its core, this is not just a partnership between public organizations. It’s truly a four-way partnership among the ASPCA, the NYPD, the New York City Police Foundation and—crucially—the people of New York City.
Through this partnership, New Yorkers will have the means and motivation to help city animals in crisis, the NYPD will have a valuable new resource to help them close animal cruelty cases, and the ASPCA will be able to help more at-risk animals make the transition from victims and evidence to pets and companions.
But this program relies on the public’s participation for it to have the greatest life-saving potential. So I encourage all New Yorkers to be aware and vigilant of animal abuse and neglect in their city.
One animal whose story needs public attention right now is Fraggle, a pit bull mix who, in January, was found by the NYPD zipped inside a suitcase in the South Bronx, critically malnourished and in need of immediate medical attention.
At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Fraggle’s recovery was slow, but successful. His case generated a lot of attention, and thanks to our work with Crime Stoppers, the ASPCA is offering a generous reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his abuser.
If you have any information about Fraggle, please contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS or go to the Crime Stoppers website.
While Fraggle’s abuser is still at large, I’m happy to report Fraggle was adopted in May by a family in Queens.
Our relationship with Crime Stoppers is another example of the huge impact resulting from our comprehensive partnership with the NYPD, which is already producing record-breaking numbers of both animal cruelty arrests and rescued animals across the city. In the first six months of this year, we’ve already seen a 28% increase in arrests and a 115% increase in animals treated over the same time period in 2014, which was already a record-breaking year.
Time and again, we’ve seen that when people are moved to make animal welfare a priority, great things happen for people, pets, and communities. This collaboration makes it clear that animal protection is not just a priority for NYC agencies, but a hallmark of New York City overall.
When potential adopters meet a cat with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), they are often unsure of its implications. Although FIV is a serious infection, the truth is that many cats will carry the virus for a long time before symptoms appear—and that with proper management and care, an FIV-positive cat can live a long and fulfilling life. So when an FIV-positive cat named Godzilla began his search for a forever home, we knew that the right adopter would be someone willing to look beyond his diagnosis and see the loving pet he could be. Here is Godzilla’s Happy Tail.
Godzilla arrived at the ASPCA this past January after being transferred from a nearby rescue group. During his intake at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, the friendly two-year-old tabby received a full physical exam and complete blood work, which is when we learned of his FIV-positive status. Although we cannot be sure of Godzilla’s history, FIV is mainly passed from cat to cat through deep bite wounds—the kind that usually occur outdoors during fights and territorial disputes—so it is possible that he had been living on the streets at some point. Another mode of FIV transmission is from an FIV-infected mother cat to her kitten, although this is less common and less likely.
There is no specific antiviral treatment for FIV, but as mentioned, many cats remain asymptomatic for a long period of time. Godzilla appeared to be in that asymptomatic phase, so our primary goal was to place him into a loving home right away to extend his good health and ensure that his needs were met. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before Godzilla met Jonathan.
Jonathan had known for a long time that he wanted a companion animal, but February 12 marked his first visit to the ASPCA Adoption Center. “The volunteers at the ASPCA took great care in finding a cat that would suit my needs, and Godzilla was one of those few cats,” he recalls. “The moment we met him, we fell in love!” We filled Jonathan in on Godzilla’s history, but it was clear that the handsome cat had already worked his magic: Jonathan adopted Godzilla that day.
Back at Jonathan’s Brooklyn apartment, Godzilla made it instantly clear that he was the new king of the castle. Jonathan reported, “Contrary to all we’ve heard about cats, Godzilla very quickly and seamlessly adjusted to our home. He started exploring within minutes and became affectionate toward us almost as quickly.”
Additionally, Godzilla’s new home proved to be just what the doctor ordered. In an update a few months later, Jonathan proudly announced that the cat has maintained a near-perfect bill of health. “Godzilla visited the vet recently and he’s very healthy. The vet was especially impressed with the quality of his fur and gums, which are both problem areas for FIV cats,” Jonathan says. Although he has put on a little bit of weight (a side effect of his spoiled new life), he’s now on a diet and Jonathan says he’s doing great!
We are so happy to hear stories like this because they are a reminder of the amazing potential of special-needs pets. Godzilla’s FIV status has no effect on his sweet heart, and we are so happy that he found an adopter who saw what an amazing companion he could be. Congrats to them both!
The ASPCA and 9Lives® brand cat food have teamed up again to help feed hungry cats across the nation!
As part of their year-long Live Well & Prospurr campaign, 9Lives and Morris the Cat are on a mission to donate one million bowls* of cat food to the ASPCA—all of which will be distributed to non-profit organizations through the ASPCA Grants program.
The Live Well & Prospurr site, featuring Morris the Cat, is an online content hub dedicated to helping people look to their cats for inspiration. This year-long interactive campaign is rooted in universal cat behaviors (hanging out, playing, eating, sleeping and grooming) and is designed to teach cat parents how to "live well". Visitors can share how their cats remind them to “live well” and enter for a chance to win prizes. One bowl of dry cat food will be donated for every Tweet with the hashtag #Morrisfeeds, as well as for every entry during the qualifying Play and Groom promotions.
You can learn more about the Live Well & Prospurr campaign and help feed hungry kitties at prospurr.9Lives.com.
* One bowl of dry cat food = 1 cup; One million bowls = 205,200 lbs