- 1. Extraordinary Dogs: Big Heart in a Small Package
- 2. ASPCA Rescues 33 Poodles from Queens Hoarders
- 3. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 4. Your Stories: In Praise of Older Dogs
- 5. ASPCA Vets Give Life-Saving Blood Transfusions to Spunky the Cat
- 6. 10 Tips to Treat Your Pets to A Safe Halloween
- 7. Tampa: Adopt Your Furry Mate from the Sunshine State!
- 8. Next Week: Join ASPCA Expert for Our Very First Horse Discussion!
1. Extraordinary Dogs: Big Heart in a Small Package
Three-and-half-pound poodle Pumpkin wasn’t exactly the first shelter dog adopters wanted to take homehe was emaciated, had sad eyes and a large open cut on his leg for which he needed surgery. “Lucky for me,” says Eileen Melamed, who adopted him from Almost Home Rescue in West Bloomfield, MI. “I asked to hold him and never let him go.”
Even though Pumpkin was fragile and not at all socialized when he arrived in his new home, he immediately showeda certain spark and selflessness. Recalls Melamed, “He was so delicate that I thought anything could hurt him. But even in that state, he followed me around the house, never letting me out of his sight. If I went into the kitchen, he was there. If I sat at the computer, he walked across the keyboard to get to me, and he constantly stood guard outside the bathroom door.”
Melamed noticed that kernel of “talent” and decided to share Pumpkin with those who needed him. When he became strong enough, she brought him to Camp Casey, a horse-riding camp that is devoted to kids who are fighting cancer. “The kids have their photos taken while holding Pumpkin and they go on walks together,” says Melamed. “It’s so simple, but they just light up around him and all he has to do is be himselfsweet, patient and cuddly. One boy who is battling leukemia had his mother call to make sure Pumpkin would be at the camp when he attended.”
When camp is closed during winter, tiny Pumpkin brings big sunshine to nursing homes, resting on the chests of bedridden patients or sitting in their wheelchairs with them. “Sometimes these people are not doing very well and have a difficult time speaking,” says Melamed. “It’s wonderful to see them reach out for Pumpkin and become inspired enough to tell stories about their own dogs.”
For a small, delicate pooch, Pumpkin is strongly focused on his “work.” “He has no interest in squirrels, toys, fire engines or anything elsethough he does love cheese and going for rides,” Melamed admits with a smile. “He’s a therapy dog through and throughhe’s always been one, he only needed a chance to prove it.”
Check out some very happy campers holding Pumpkin.
We hope you enjoyed meeting our extraordinary dogs this October in honor of Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month. Next week, we’ll be back with ASPCA Success Story of the Week.
2. ASPCA Rescues 33 Poodles from Queens Hoarders
Last Thursday, October 23, the ASPCA took custody of 33 miniature poodles who belonged to an elderly couple in Queens, New York. Acknowledging that they are no longer able to adequately care for the dogs, themselves and their home, the couple willingly relinquished all but one of their dogs to the ASPCA so they could receive the individual attention and veterinary care they deserve. The dog they chose to keep will be spayed.
The ASPCA was alerted to the hoarding situation by a case worker from a social services agency who was concerned about the number and condition of animals in the home. She did not know who to call or how to help the animals until she read about animal hoarding on the ASPCA’s website, at which point she contacted the ASPCA and asked for a site assessment to be conducted.
“We were fortunate to be able to accommodate such an influx,” says Gail Buchwald, Senior Vice President, ASPCA Adoption Center & Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics. “The longer an agency waits to act, the more animals there will be and the worse their condition. Getting them to a shelter as soon as possible gives them the best chance for placement in new homes. In this case, the ASPCA was able to stop the population from exploding further.”
The 33 surrendered poodles, who range in age from two months to six years, had never been walked outside and are not well-socialized to strangers and new environments. While they are all timid and fearful, the majority of the dogs are in relatively good health. After being evaluated, spayed/neutered, microchipped and groomed, most of the puppies and healthy adults were placed in loving new homes this week. Those still available for adoption are “special needs” dogs who must be placed in quiet homeswith parents whoare willing to work with their ongoing medical and behavioral requirements.
For more information about adopting a poodle, please call the ASPCA at (212) 876-7700, ext. 3210.
If you think someone you know is struggling with animal hoarding, please read our FAQ.
3. ASPCA Job of the Week
The ASPCA is looking for an Infrastructure Architect to design and implement secure technologies and ensure the integrity of our networking and communications infrastructure. The ideal candidate is someone with at least five years’ experience working with a broad range of hardware, networking and security solutions, and a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Computer Science or Engineering. If you’re an IT expert with an expansive knowledge of communications protocols, you could be the one to realize our technological vision!
The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
4. Your Stories: In Praise of Older Dogs
Do you have a “thing” for senior pooches? Do you find sweetness in their stinky breath, and can’t get enough of their doleful expressions? Well, you’re not alone! While senior dogs are often overlooked in shelters, there are many folks who have fallen in love with these golden oldies. This October, for Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, we put out a call for stories honoring your adopted older dogsand you guys really delivered. We received hundreds of stories of pooches who’ve been through a lot, from being abandoned on roadsides to surviving bullet wounds, only to find their forever homes later in life. Meet this cast of quirkyand yes, gassyelder tail-waggers who truly exemplify that joyful senior spirit!
5. ASPCA Vets Give Life-Saving Blood Transfusions to Spunky the Cat
Earlier this month, Spunkya petite adult cat with electric green eyesarrived at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH) in dire straits. He had a case of life-threatening anemia; his red blood cell count was perilously low. The culprit? A diminutive, often underestimated insectthe flea.
Spunky was severely infested with the tiny, leaping parasites that thrive in humid environments and feed on the blood of cats and dogs. Fleas can consume 15 times their own body weight and cause a significant amount of blood loss in their furry hosts. Over time, this blood loss can lead to a medical emergency like the one facing Spunky, who needed immediate blood transfusions. Thanks to the ASPCA’s fully stocked feline blood bank, this ailing kitty received two transfusions, which helped restore his red blood cells to healthy levels.
Since 2004,Bergh Memorial Animal Hospitalhas sponsored a feline donor program to ensure a dependable supply of blood for weekly transfusions like Spunky’s. Last year the hospital administered transfusions for 183 cats and dogs. While most animal hospitals depend on commercial blood banks, the ASPCA recruits kitty donors to maintain its own thoroughly vetted supply. According to Michelle Falcon, Senior Administrator to the Director of Medicine and founder of the ASPCA’s feline donor program, approximately six to 12 cats give blood up to several times each year.
“When a client expresses interest, we check to see if the animal meets certain requirements,” Falcon says. “A cat must be healthy, between the ages of one and eight and weigh at least ten pounds.” At present the hospital’s donor program only includes cats. Since dogs are routinely exposed to infectious agents outdoors, it’s much more expensive to maintain a healthy supply of canine blood. For its doggie needs, the ASPCA still purchases blood from a larger commercial bank.
Spunky has recovered from his brave battle of the bug, and no doubt, owes his life in part to the attentive vets at the ASPCA. But more than an ounce of gratitude is also due to the many selfless cats who’ve donated blood to save their feline brothers and sisters.
For more information about the ASPCA’s feline donor program or to volunteer your kitty’s services, please contact Michelle Falcon at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4324.
6. 10 Tips to Treat Your Pets to A Safe Halloween
Please remember, pet parents, a happy Halloween for people can turn into a scary night for pets if their humans don’t take a few important precautions. Chocolate, xylitol-sweetened treats, candy wrappers and too many strangers at the door can add up to dangers many pet parents are not aware of. Take a look at ten life-saving tips offered by our experts to keep the holiday fun for youand safe for your furry family members.
7. Tampa: Adopt Your Furry Mate from the Sunshine State!
With more than 300 adoptable animals available at the Florida State Fairgrounds, adopters have a great chance of finding their one-and-only!
What: Fall Pet Adoption Expo
Who: The ASPCA, No More Homeless Pets and more than 30 other rescue groups
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Special Events Building, 4800 Highway 301, North Tampa
When: Saturday, November 15, 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
What Activities: Along with adoptable pets, there will be free expert dog-training tips, an Ask-the-Vet booth and vendors selling pet merchandise.
How Much: Admission and parking are free.
Why: It’s one important way to help save Florida’s pets from homelessness and possible euthanasia. At last year’s expo, more than 350 pets were adopted!
More Information: Please visit the Tampa Pets website or call (813) 367-2078.
8. Next Week: Join ASPCA Expert for Our Very First Horse Discussion!
Do horses like having people ride them?
How much social interaction does a horse need?
What’s the best way to introduce my new horse to the two I already have?
It’s our first horse chat! Until now, cats and dogs have gotten all the attention during the live expert chats we hold on our ASPCA Online Community. When asked if we could feature horses next, we just couldn’t say “Neigh!” Here to give horses a much-deserved turn in the spotlight will be Dr. Emily Weiss, ASPCA Senior Director of Shelter Research and Development. Dr. Weiss is the resident equine expert on our website’s Horse Behavior Q & A; don’t miss this opportunity to pick her extensive brainlive! The discussion will take place next Friday, November 7, from noon to 2:00 P.M. EST, on the ASPCA Online Community. Check out our Equine Program to learn about the ASPCA’s work fighting cruelty against horses.