Thursday, November 26, 2009

Swine Flu Infects Housecat—Are Your Pets Safe?

Ever since the news broke earlier this month that an American cat caught the swine flu, rumors about how pets can catch this disease have been spreading — but the ASPCA wants to set the record straight. They published this wonderful and informative article in an attempt to educate the public on preventative measures as well as quell misconceptions related to the transmission of the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) from humans to felines.

"On November 2, test results confirmed that a pet cat in Iowa was infected by the H1N1 virus, which was most likely transmitted by human family members," reports Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA. "All family members, including the cat, have now recovered. In unrelated incidents in other states, a few pet ferrets also recently tested positive for H1N1, and one of them has died.” Although we already knew that infected humans could transmit H1N1 to both pigs and turkeys, these are the first reported cases of the virus affecting cats and ferrets.

According to Dr. Murray, there are no known instances of a dog catching H1N1 (but remember, it is flu season, and your dogs are still susceptible to catching other flu bugs). In addition, there is currently no evidence that H1N1 can be passed from pet to human—it seems to be going only the other way, with people transmitting the illness to their pets.

A little common sense will go a long way in decreasing the likelihood of passing the illness on to your pets. If members of your household are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, the ASPCA recommends protecting your pets by:

· washing hands thoroughly,
· covering coughs and sneezes and
· avoiding close contact with pets during the course of the illness.

In fact, if you’re sick, it’s a good idea to give your pets a place other than your bedroom to sleep at night until you get better.

If any pet displays symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, coughing, sneezing or difficulty breathing—especially if a human family member has recently suffered from influenza—please contact your veterinarian.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

History - All Sentient Beings

Blair Sorrell, a long-time member of our Advisory Board and a highly-regarded animal activist here in NYC, has compiled some facts on the history of our non-profit organisation, All Sentient Beings,Inc.
Here is my account, as told by Blair, for your edification and amusement.

My organization, All Sentient Beings, evolved from my quarter of a century of rescue experience. My love for felines and their caretakers is inseparable from this chronology of spontaneous, hands-on Hell's Kitchen placements. Over time, I have almost single handedly arranged for the vetting, fostering, outreach, and delivery of stray or abandoned neighborhood cats and kittens to responsible homes.

Occasionally these lost souls gravitated to me as one summer a contingent of gray cats migrated to my backyard, a distinctive parade silhouetting the trees and cityscape of my former industrial backdrop. I didn't despair. I did what I always do, calmly and methodically, I got to work. And what was as gratifying as finding good people was the rapport I developed with my loving adopters. They wrote notes then -and now they email and forward their "baby" pictures. Even greater proof of their obvious adoration is how they speak of their kitties when we congregate at my annual adopters' party. Because a little known fact is that when you rescue a cat, you are often really assuaging the guardian's sense of solitude, boredom, stress, or even self-absorption. Adoptions are mutually beneficial and I'm always happy to be the interloper in what have proved to be some of life's most blissful matches.

Now functioning as a non-profit, tax-exempt charity, ASB has as its two-pronged mission the tasks of: a) continuing to participate in the myriad, ongoing rescue and adoption work of all of the similarly-involved local groups as well as: b) raising awareness for Humans to be better, more responsible, committed and informed animal care-givers. This includes information on holistic vet care, quality food and inclusion of Pet Trusts in people's Advance Directives.

We hope that by sharing our background and hopes for the future with you, our public, we can continue our outreach work as an information clearinghouse. Do share our story about our work with as many people as you can and do consider fostering an animal to help save a life.

Many thanks!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Newest Problem we are facing

I'd be interested in hearing from you, our readers, to know what you suggest we do to try to counteract all the "dumping" and surrendering of "beloved" animals due to financial hardship. We know that conceptually, everyone would agree that they wouldn't give up their kids (I'm assuming) nor would they knowingly take on a pet thinking they'd ever have to make that choice. But it is happening everywhere now, and the Euth. List on Death Row is growing: perfectly healthy and (until now) happy animals are facing this horrible killing.

We are trying so hard to explain to people what sort of commitment they are making when they take an animal from us, and - again, in principle- everyone agrees of course. It is logical and seems perfectly normal. And then....if we're lucky, they at least contact us to re-adopt their pet, so that we are on top of the situation, however tragic it may be. But often they do not contact us and we find out later that the animal has been let go into the street or sent to a Kill shelter.

Let's try to use these columns as a vehicle for communicating and networking, so maybe we can come up with some viable alternatives to the path of least resistance that seems to be today's general solution to this terrible problem.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Items of Interest

There are so many areas to explore, and Pet Trust is probably the top one. If you have suggestions of what you'd like to see posted, please let us know. Also, if you would like to post a comment or write an article for our blog, we are delighted to share our space with appropriate, interesting and informative submissions.

Right now there are so many animals on the Euth list and Death Rows across the country, that we are somewhat limited in time for writing. So do spread the word about our animal rescue work, information clearing house and outreach program. We appreciate it! Thanks!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Public Hearing Set for Friday, January 30, 2009 at 10am

The hearing on the Carriage Horse Bills will take place on the 2nd floor of City Hall, Council Chambers. Tony Avella (our hero) will be there to back up Intro.658-2007, which seeks to ban the Carriage Horse Industry; Intro.653-A/2007 is an Industry bill and must be opposed.

The industry will be out in force so PLEASE BE THERE TO SHOW SUPPORT. If you'd like to testify, you will be allowed two minutes only, so: Please Contact to give us a head's up.

Friday, January 9, 2009

From our friends at NYC ACT

NY ACT - Update
Happy New Year, NYC ACTivists! As winter falls upon the Big Apple, we’d love for you to join us for some of our post-holi-daze activist events! Read on for more info!

January ACTivist Meeting
1/22; 6:30 p.m.; 55 West 14th St. 8E

Please join us on Thursday, January 22 for our monthly activist meeting. These meetings are a terrific way to connect with fellow animal advocates, share ideas and experiences with like-minded folks who are also making a difference, and get involved with Farm Sanctuary’s outreach efforts in New York City.

When: Thursday, January 22, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Mayor’s Alliance Offices; 55 West 14th Street #8E (Near 6th Ave. on the north
side of 14th St.)
RSVP: E-mail David at


Cold-Buster Leafleting
1/24; 2-4 p.m.; Union Square

Wintery weather giving you a heavy heart? Leafleting with your friends from Farm Sanctuary will surely lift your spirits! Join us as we educate New Yorkers about all the easy steps they can take to help farm animals.

When: Saturday, January 24, 2009, 2-4 p.m.
Where: Meet outside of the Whole Foods Market on E. 14th Street
RSVP: E-mail David at

NYC Lit Droppers Needed
Dropping off a stack of Farm Sanctuary brochures at various restaurants, caf├ęs, health food stores, coffee shops, and other friendly establishments in your area is a simple and effective way to make a huge difference for the animals. Contact National Advocacy Organizer Jasmin Singer today to schedule a time to pick up a stack of brochures from our Soho office. If it is inconvenient for you to drop by this location, we will mail the literature to you.

Farm Sanctuary Flatiron Office Seeking Volunteers
Here’s your chance to help animals by working with other ACTivists in a positive and inspiring atmosphere! Ongoing needs include thank you calls and letter-writing. Outgoing and sociable volunteers have enjoyed this opportunity in the past. If interested, please call Krysta at 212-989-8482. Saturday opportunities are available.

January Tips and Ideas

· For activism tips, be sure to visit our tools and resources page.

· As you see animal stories — both good and bad — in your local paper, why not write a letter-to-the-editor?

· If you’re in or around NYC, e-mail Jasmin and ask to be added to her email distribution list. This is a terrific way to stay on top of last-minute volunteer opportunities in the Big Apple.

· Winter is the perfect time to schedule a leafleting! If you’re interested in scheduling an hour or two, e-mail Jasmin, and she’ll help you get started!

· Starting a veg book club is a great way to spread compassion, understanding and ideas! Why not pick an animal-themed book (such as Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food) and get together once a month with your friends for some vegan cupcakes and discussion?

As always, we’d love to hear about your activism. E-mail Jasmin and you might find yourself featured in an upcoming ACT Update!