Shane, 13

I wish to go to Australia


Paige, 12

I wish to swim with dolphins


Happy Tails: Quinley Escapes Hurricane


For Quinley, a young Labrador/hound-mix, getting out of harm’s way in the wake of Hurricane Harvey meant traveling roughly 1,800 miles, through 12 states, from Corpus Christi, Texas, to New York City’s Upper East Side. Quinley was one of 41 dogs relocated from Texas animal shelters to make space for owned animals expected to be impacted by the storm.

On September 4, right about the time that Harvey was finally dissipating, Quinley and 19 other dogs arrived at the ASPCA’s Adoption Center from Corpus Christi.

“For dogs like Quinley who were already homeless, making that long journey could be a silver lining—a fresh opportunity to find a loving home,”
said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA.

Less than two weeks later, on September 16, that silver lining revealed itself. Daniel S. and his wife Samantha C. of Brooklyn were at the Adoption Center looking for a dog when they spotted Quinley. Suddenly, their search was over.
“As soon as we saw him, we knew he was the right dog for us,” says Daniel,
who grew up with a Golden Retriever.

“He checked the boxes on everything we were looking for: a larger breed, young, and most of all, my dog needed to catch a Frisbee,” says Daniel. “We’re very happy with him.” Among his star qualities: he loves the dog park in the couple’s Williamsburg neighborhood, he gets along well with other dogs and he likes to snuggle—an irresistible quality.

“He rolls over for belly rubs and is a big mush,” adds Daniel.

Copyright © 2017. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). All Rights Reserved.

Happy Tails: Zipper’s Incredible Journey

It’s often said that cats have nine lives, meaning that their resilience and hardiness is awe-inspiring. This certainly applies to Zipper, a six-month-old kitten whose will to live amazed the staffs at the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH) and Kitten Nursery when she arrived as a medically compromised stray.

Zipper was humanely trapped by one of the ASPCA’s longtime Kitten Nursery caregivers, Iris L., behind an abandoned rectory in East Harlem.

What Iris and her fellow trapper Daisy didn’t realize when they caught Zipper was that she had a mangled left hind leg, —likely the result of getting stuck under a rusty chain link fence on the lot where she was found.

At intake, tiny, injured Zipper weighed just over half a pound. “She was a ball of fur and feces when she arrived,” says Dr. Ralph Tran, a veterinarian at the Nursery who took a liking to the feisty feline.

After veterinarians cleaned and bandaged Zipper’s leg and administered antibiotics and pain medication, Dylan Bennett, another Nursery caregiver, took over her care. However, Zipper’s story would take another tragic turn. The tenacious tabby managed to tear off her cast and chew her injured leg and paw, resulting in the loss of her paw.

Dylan continued to feed and clean her daily. He liaised regularly with the medical staff about her condition and helped change her cast because she had an open wound.

“I really grew to love her,” says Dylan. “And she was just so cuddly.”  

Once she was old enough to be spayed, the rest of Zipper’s compromised leg was amputated. And in a heartwarming twist to Zipper’s tale, Dylan and his girlfriend Karina fostered her through her recovery and eventually adopted her. Dylan tells us that their small family is happier than ever.

Copyright © 2017. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). All Rights Reserved.

Happy Tails: Roscoe’s Happy Ending

Once crowded with 25 animals, this cat is now bonded to one special human after Laurie S. of Arlington, Ohio lost the second of her two Maine Coon cats—an orange-and-white, long-haired beauty named Norman—she visited the Citizens for Humane Action Animal Shelter (CHA) in Columbus in the hopes of finding a new feline friend.

During her visit to the shelter, a cat named Roscoe brushed up against her. He walked away briefly, then rolled on his back, stuck his paws in the air and begged her to scratch his stomach. “I said, ‘that’s it!’” Laurie remembers, and she took Roscoe—now Roc—home.

Roc was originally rescued by the ASPCA at the request of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office with 25 other cats and one dog from an overcrowded mobile home in Marshallville, Ohio.  The animals were surrendered by their owner before being transported to several shelters—including CHA, for adoption.

Laurie explains that while Roc was “a bit scrappy,” after his adoption, he was skittish only when she stood up to walk. Otherwise, he was very loving. Then in September, Laurie fell down her stairs and broke her neck. After being hospitalized for a month, she returned home, with Roc aiding in her recovery.

 “He would get into bed with me at night,” Laurie says. “And he motivated me to get out of bed because there was someone besides me who needed care. I had to move around, but when he got into bed with me that was so nice. We’re pretty close now.”


Their bond took shape in other ways, too. “When I come home from work, I pretend like I can’t find him and he comes up from behind me, squeaking,” Laurie explains.  “He squeaks instead of meows.”

The squeaking is part of a communications routine the two have adopted. “Roc will squeak, then rub my leg which means he wants to eat. He leads me into the kitchen, stopping first near the bathroom door to make sure I’m still behind him and headed toward his bowl.”

For Roc and Laurie, though, their unbreakable bond means there probably won’t be a second cat in the near future.

“I think Roc likes the one-on-one,” Laurie says. “We’re a great team.”

Copyright © 2017. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). All Rights Reserved.

Happy Tails: Tori Finds her Match


“I figured, why not show a shelter dog that they also deserve to be cared for and loved. She’s truly one of a kind.” –Kevin T. of Brooklyn, NY.

Sweet, playful Tori was brought to the ASPCA in June by NYPD officers after she’d been found abandoned and tethered on a rooftop. Though in seemingly good health, Tori’s abandonment highlights a sad reality that we see far too often at the ASPCA: loving animals being left without a care as to how they will survive on their own.

In her time at the ASPCA, it didn’t take long for Tori’s larger-than-life personality to start shining through. She always remained energetic, loving and playful—it made you wonder, who could ever leave such a sweet dog?


Kevin T. came into the Adoption Center with his sights set on Tori. Kevin spotted her on a chance meeting when he was walking past the Adoption Center one afternoon. “I have a friend who works at the ASPCA, and I was walking by one day while she was walking Tori,” he tells us. “As soon as I saw her, I was in love” and Kevin decided then and there that he was ready to adopt.

When asked about his decision to adopt versus buying a dog, Kevin had this to say: “I decided to adopt because I thought it would be more responsible than buying a brand new puppy. So many dogs are booted out of their homes, or are in unfit homes without love. I figured, why not show a shelter dog that they also deserve to be cared for and loved.”

Kevin says that at home, Tori has really settled in. “She’s actually an extremely calm and loving dog who loves to have her tummy rubbed and cuddles every night to go to sleep!”

“When we go on walks, she knows where home is and is always eager to go back and play with all of her toys! I guess her transition was easier than anyone expected because she was finally around someone who loves her and did the most to make her feel welcome.” says Kevin.

It only takes one person to give a dog a chance at a new life.


Copyright © 2017. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). All Rights Reserved.

Put Together Your Winning Resolutions Team

By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health

New-Years-2018---Watertree-Health-FINALHappy 2018! By now you may know that, at Mississippi State University, I was a member of the All-SEC Men’s basketball team. After college, I played professionally for Italy’s Top Division, Teramo Basket and Reggio Calabria. All of this would not have been possible without discipline. Yes, you need self-discipline but a team can provide even better discipline.

So, if your New Year’s resolution is to start a new workout routine or have a healthier diet—or both—don’t go at it alone. Put together your winning team. Recruit family members, colleagues and friends. You may also want to consider tapping into your Facebook or other social community.  It’s okay to have some online support, but you also want to have in-person interactions.

Once you have your team, start establishing goals for exercise and diet. Be realistic and set small achievable ones like the following:

Most Importantly, set up a buddy system. Eat or exercise with a team member (or even better, members). Not only will you encourage and hold one another accountable, but you will also enjoy the company.

Eat fresh vegetables and fruits. If prepackaged foods and ingredients are necessary, carefully read the nutrition labels to find the healthiest options. You might be surprised to discover what is lurking in prepared foods: high fat, high sodium, high sugar, preservatives, and artificial colors.

Whenever possible, walk. Allot extra time so you can walk to a nearby destination rather than drive your car. Choose to park far away from the entrance to a store or mall. Also, use the stairs versus the elevator.

Right-size. Try to always have a serving that is the size of your palm—that’s the correct portion. Maybe order an appetizer instead of a full entrée. Don’t force yourself to finish a large dinner, instead, save half for tomorrow’s lunch.

Exercise at the beginning of the day. It will give you an energy and mood boost for the day. And, you’ll probably skip fewer workouts because there’s less likelihood that the day will get in the way of your plans.

Try not to use refined sugar. Consider using sweeteners such as sorghum syrup or neutral-tasting agave nectar. Include in your diet complex carbohydrates such as squash, corn, and beans because these will release glucose into your blood gradually instead of spiking your blood sugar.

Pick an activity that you enjoy. Try a few different options. You may not like walking, but you may love biking. Not only will you look forward to exercising, you’ll be more consistent.

Always eat breakfast. As they say—breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It will help you with concentration, higher levels of memory, and attention span.

Changing lifestyle habits is not always easy, especially trying to do it on your own. That’s why it’s so helpful to have a team that can provide much-needed support and that will have your back. Here’s to winning at the resolutions game with your team!


Watertree Health Midwest team in Chicago