Grover is Covered, Just in Case

“I live on a limited income and have coverage for Grover just in case something happens with his health. ASPCA Pet Healthy Insurance has been easy to use, and it came in handy when Grover had to have a gingival mass removed a few years ago.

I adopted Grover shortly after I lost another Sheltie to cancer. Grover needed a new home because his owner had become quite ill and could no longer care for him. Shelties get very attached to their owners, so Grover had a hard time adjusting to the change. When I saw his lonely and hurt face, I got down on my knees and talked to him like a person, explaining what happened and that I would be taking him to his new forever home.” –Cheryl K., Doylestown, PA

We'd love to hear if we've helped your pet. Share your story and it may be featured on our blog.

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pet parents

two dogs touching paws

 

If you are thinking about adopting a second pet, our friends at Dogster have five things you may want to consider to make sure you’re prepared. For instance, just like with children, pets don’t necessarily reinforce each other’s good habits, and multiples can get into twice as much mischief without proper training.

If you decide to take the plunge and expand your family, our friends at the ASPCA® offer these great tips for introducing cats to cats, dogs to dogs, a new cat to your dog, and even a new dog to your cat.

 

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pet parents

Friendship is priceless, but your next buddy could be free, if you’re planning to adopt an adult shelter cat in the next few days.

In conjunction with Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, our friends at the ASPCA,® along with Fresh Step litter, are encouraging shelters to conduct fee-waived adoptions for adult cats.

“On average, it costs shelters $13 a day to care for a cat," Emily Weiss, a researcher for the ASPCA, said in a recent statement. "Often times, adoption fees don't even offset those costs. By offering fee-waived adoptions for adult cats, shelters can often increase the cost for kittens and direct new cat parents to their gift or retail shop where they can purchase essential supplies for their new family member. Shelters benefit from that revenue, and new cat owners have extra money to spend on their cat. And, ultimately, the cat has a loving home. It’s a win-win for all.”

The promotion comes at a time when shelters are often flooded with kittens. Most kitties are born between March and November.

With so many cats in shelters, your new best friend might already be waiting for you. If you plan on adopting a cat, the ASPCA has tips to ease the transition. Your new cat’s needs include:

Supplies

The essentials include a litter box, the litter your new cat is used to using, food and water dishes, the food your cat is used to eating, toys and a scratching post. An identification tag or microchip can help your cat return home if he or she is ever lost.

Routine and a space to relax

Give your new friend space to find his or her way in your family. Your new cat may need seven to 14 days before he or she is feeling at home.

Safe surroundings

Cleaning supplies, medications and even plants can be toxic to animals. Check out the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center for a list of some substances to avoid.

Veterinary care

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance can help new pet parents afford wellness visits for their new friends. Explore our coverage or get a free quote!

To find your local shelter, visit the ASPCA’s shelter database. For a list a shelters participating in the fee-waiver program, visit Fresh Step’s Facebook page.

 

 

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ASPCA Happenings

Instead of spotlighting a veterinary practice today, we’re shifting gears to showcase a group that works with animal hospitals to help shelter pets and pet parents in a very special way.

Mario, a three-tour Iraq War veteran from Colorado, retired from the Army after he was diagnosed with leukemia. His doctors told him he needed to take special care of himself as his treatments would suppress his immune system.

Pet Photo - Kona

Thanks to help from Pets for Patriots, Mario was able to get his dog, Kona, the surgery that he needed. Today, the pair is inseparable and enjoys snowshoeing in the mountains together.
Photograph provided courtesy of Pets for Patriots, Inc., all rights reserved.

So Mario decided to adopt a dog to keep him active.

“I went to the animal shelter and immediately fell in love with Kona, a Husky dog, even though he had some special needs,” Mario wrote in a blog post. “Kona had a leg injury, a respiratory infection and had been adopted a few times before, but was returned.”

That didn’t stop Mario from adopting the dog, although taking care of him was no easy feat. And when Mario found out Kona’s leg injury would cost him thousands of dollars to fix, he was worried.

Mario didn’t want to return his new friend to the shelter, so he sought help from Pets for Patriots, a not-for-profit group that connects shelter pets with US military veterans and provides access to veterinary care discounts. He shared his story on the group’s blog.

“The real benefits of our program start at adoption,” says Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director for Pets for Patriots in Long Beach, N.Y. “By providing high quality veterinary care at a reduced cost from our member veterinary practices and giving direct financial assistance towards the purchase of pet food, supplies and other basics, we can minimize the chance that veterans return their new pet friend due to short-term financial hardship.”

Although some special exceptions were made in Mario’s situation since he didn’t adopt Kona from a member shelter, he was able to enroll in the program, visit a member veterinary practice and get treatment at a reduced cost for Kona.

Today, Kona is healthy and the pair enjoys daily runs and snowshoeing in the mountains.

Making Connections
The goal of Pets for Patriots is to reduce the adult pet population in shelters and enhance the lives of US military members and veterans.

“Think of us as a connector between the veteran, shelter and veterinarian,” Ms. Zimmerman says. “We support opportunities for our member Patriots to adopt an adult dog or cat (2 years old and up), a large dog (40 pounds or more) or a special needs pet. And we give veterans the resources to assure a lifetime of happiness together.”

Once a veteran becomes a member and completes an eligible adoption from a member shelter, he or she will receive an ongoing 10% discount on veterinary fees for the adopted pet. In addition, Pets for Patriots provides a gift card from a major pet retailer to help with pet food, supplies, toys and other basics.

“The most rewarding aspect of this program is that in the simple act of pet adoption, two lives are saved: The shelter animal who keeps getting passed up for adoption because they’re too old or too big and the veteran who gains a sense of renewed purpose out of life by helping a pet,” Ms. Zimmerman said.
 
Giving Back
Pets for Patriots recently added two veterinary practices in central Illinois—Beaumont Small Animal Clinic in Urbana and Country View Veterinary Clinic in Champaign—to its fold of member veterinary practices.

Siren was in the shelter for six months until Ben, an active duty Air Force veteran, recently adopted her. Ben told Pets of Patriots that Siren has already brought so much joy into his life.
Photograph provided courtesy of Pets for Patriots, Inc., all rights reserved.

According to a press release, the practices joined Pets for Patriots so they could give something back to those in the military who have given so much. All of the member veterinary practices, like the two in Illinois, must agree to extend a minimum 10% discount on all service fees for the life of the pet in exchange for the partnership.

Participating shelters have to meet certain guidelines. They are responsible for offering an incentive, such as an adoption fee discount, day-one essentials or discounted services with area groomers, sitters and boarders.

Joining Pets for Patriots is entirely free to veterans, who can enroll online.

A Bright Future
Ms. Zimmerman and her team are busy establishing partnerships around the US in areas that have large populations of military members and veterans. Her vision is for the organization to be national in three years, helping even more veterans and pets stay together, like Mario and Kona.

“If it weren’t for Pets for Patriots, I would have had to bring Kona back to the shelter,” Mario wrote. “Kona changed my life. He helps me stay active so I can maintain my health, and he also keeps me smiling and happy. We saved each other and because of that, there is nothing that can separate us.”

Learn more about Pets for Patriots.

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Veterinary Clinic Spotlight

Here is some great news for individuals looking to adopt: Our friends at the ASPCA® recently expanded their online adoption database nationwide! Now would-be pet parents across the country can easily find adoptable shelter dogs and cats through the ASPCA, which will also continue to feature adoptable dogs and cats in the its New York City shelter.

To begin a search, animal lovers simply enter their zip code into the database to receive a list of dogs and cats that are ready for a forever home in their area.

This new offering is made possible though the ASPCA’s partnership with DogTime’s “Save a Dog” and “Save a Cat” pet-finder applications.

Do you live in New York City? Don’t forget to check out the dogs available at the ASPCA Adoption Center! 

Visit the ASPCA online adoption center to learn more about their expanded database.

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ASPCA Happenings

Pet Blog - Meet Your Match with the ASPCA

Valentine’s Day brings thoughts of true love, which is what our friends at the ASPCA® would like to help find between pets and potential adopters. To that end, they’ve developed a unique research-based program called Meet Your Match.®

With Meet Your Match, shelters evaluate pets for distinct “canine-alities” or “feline-alities” and assign them one of nine fun and descriptive labels. For instance, cats might be “Private Investigators,” “Sidekicks,” or “Party Animals.” Dogs can be “Couch Potatoes,” “Goofballs,” or “Go-Getters.” Adopters are given a survey to identify their own personalities and lifestyles. Then matches can be made.

Adopters who use Meet Your Match are less likely to return their new housemates to the shelter, while the pets are more likely to adjust easily to their new homes. The program is a great way to promote successful adoptions and, in some cases, find true furry love.

If you’re looking to adopt, ask your local shelters if they use Meet Your Match. If not, you can suggest it to them or read up on the pet personalities online and consider them as you look for your soul mate.

Learn more about Meet Your Match on the ASPCA’s website.

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ASPCA Happenings

Pet Blog - Cat Photo

Even though Hailey M. of Union, N.J.* never had a cat in her family before, she felt an instant connection with a wayward white cat.

“I was sitting at a picnic table outside of the building where I work when this white kitty stopped to look at me,” Hailey told us recently. “He sat down and let me pet him.”

Hailey watched the cat as he played with the leaves blowing by them. He must have been wandering around for a while because several of her co-workers had seen him.

For Hailey, it was love at first sight and she took him home.

“Sammy is the sweetest thing ever and my life has been happier since we met,” Hailey told us. “To make sure I keep him healthy, I have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. It’s a relief to know you’ll be there for my Sammy when he needs it!”

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Customer Stories

Pet Insurance Blog - Cat Photo

November is the ASPCA’s Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month!

If you’re thinking about adding a furry member to your family, consider a senior dog or cat. Here are a few (of the many!) reasons why, from our friends at the ASPCA:

Reason #1: Match personalities.
Dogs and cats in their golden years have fully developed personalities, which makes it easy to determine whether they’ll mesh with your household’s current inhabitants.

Reason #2: Skip stressful housetraining.
Unlike kittens that sleep or play in their litter boxes, older cats only use it for its intended purpose and are more fastidious about grooming afterward. Likewise, older dogs often know how to ask to be let outside and are less likely to have an accident.

Reason #3: Keep household items protected.
Senior pets have calmer temperaments and are less destructive around the house. They’ve been around long enough to learn the difference between what is, and what isn’t, acceptable to chew, shred or bury in the backyard.

Reason #4: Gain an instant cuddle buddy.
While a young dog or cat’s high energy levels demand lots of activity and exercise, senior pets often prefer cuddling with their pet parents. Although playtime is still a must, the best part of the day is naptime, and they're often more than willing to share the experience.

Reason #5: Save a life!
While older dogs and cats still have plenty of love to give, they are often overlooked in favor of puppies or kittens. Check with your local shelter as many waive adoption fees for pets in their golden years.

Additionally, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance wants to help keep your new senior companion healthy and happy. That is why we offer coverage for older pets.

For initial enrollment in Levels 2, 3 and 4, we accept dogs age 12 and under and cats age 14 and under. That only applies to initial enrollment—we’ll never cancel your pet’s coverage because of age.  All pets at least 8 weeks old are eligible for Level 1 accident-only coverage.

For more information about our coverage, please call 1-866-861-9092.

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ASPCA Happenings

WELCOME,
PET PARENTS!

As we’re dedicated to making a difference for pets, we want to keep you informed about pet health topics and your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Our blog will provide you with fresh, interesting and informative topics—from pet health tips and customer stories, to the latest industry news and a Pet Parent Q&A column. Most of all, we encourage you to share comments and join the discussion!

Meet the Author

Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

Lucy, a 7-year-old rescued Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix

Blog Guidelines

While we’ll strive to present all viewpoints on this blog, comments will be reviewed before posting. Offensive or inappropriate language, off-topic remarks and comments containing personal policy information will not be featured.

Also, conditions discussed in this blog aren’t necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. For full coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, please refer to your plan.

As always, if you have a question about your plan, call us at 1-866-204-6764.

*Note: While these testimonials may include examples of recent claims payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.