Happy Reunion for Max and His Mom During the COVID-19 Outbreak

June 24, 2020


When Jean S. of Brooklyn, New York, became ill in April and was hospitalized for blood pressure issues, she worried who would care for Max, her beloved eight-year-old tuxedo cat whom she adopted from the ASPCA five years ago. 

Jean, a former social worker who retired in 2001, heard about New York City’s COVID-19 Pet Hotline through her professional contacts. The hotline is managed by the Animal Planning Task Force (APTF) which is led by NYC Emergency Management and includes the ASPCA, Animal Care Centers of New York City (ACC), Animal Haven, The Humane Society of the United States, The Mayor’s Office for Animal Welfare and other animal welfare organizations that are poised to help New York pet parents cope with challenges and crises such as COVID-19. 

Max was the first cat taken in by the ASPCA as part of its new boarding program for animals during the pandemic. For Jean, emergency boarding proved to be a very valuable resource.

max resting on a blanket

“We never want pet owners to postpone or avoid getting care for fear of leaving their pets behind,” says Katherine Good, ASPCA Manager of Foster Placement, who coordinated to board Max at the ASPCA Adoption Center for three weeks. “We are here to put their minds at ease so they can take care of themselves while we care for their pets.”

“Katherine walked me through this whole process and made me feel like I didn’t have to worry,” Jean tells us. “I knew Max would be in good hands.”

Max looking up at a camera next to an orange toy

On April 28, Eusebio Crawford, an Animal Rescue Specialist with ACC, retrieved Max from Jean’s apartment and transported him to the ASPCA.

On May 15, Jean returned to the ASPCA to happily pick up her feline companion. She reports that it didn’t take long for Max to return to his old self after spending time away from home. “He’s king of the house,” she reports.

ASPCA staff helping Jean take Max home

Jean reuniting with Max

“Jean and Max’s reunion demonstrates the tremendous value of emergency boarding services during the COVID-19 crisis,” says Dara Ruiz, Senior Manager of Community Engagement at the ASPCA who helped manage Max’s boarding. “It shows how a little help can go a very long way.”

“I’ve always loved my pets, and I thank all of you for taking care of Max,” Jean says. “Because of the pandemic, our lives will never be the same again. But at least I have my cat.”