It's Almost Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, And Here Are Three Who Need Your Help

Image via Brooklyn Animal Action
Somebody take Flame home and pet him forever.
We all did terrible things this winter -- think of the subway fares evaded, the stingy tips left for delivery guys, the string of unsolved arsons committed up and down the East Coast. Now summer is almost upon us, and that means it's time to improve your karma. Luckily for you, June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month .

Every spring, animal shelters across the country are deluged with kittens (seriously: the Humane Society calls it "kitten season," and it happens because people don't spay and neuter their pets). New York shelters are buried under an annual monsoon of tiny whiskers and little paws. But the kittens often get adopted fairly quickly, while the slightly older cats sharing space with them at the city's shelters and animal rescues can languish without real homes for a very long time.

Brooklyn Animal Action is one of many rescue organizations who saves cats (and the occasional dog) from both the street and the city-run Animal Care and Control. From May 31 to June 1, they're waiving the adoption fees for all their cats. Thanks to a grant, BAA will also be reimbursed if any of the animals being adopted need surgery or medical care. Here are three of their current fosters who could really use your help:

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New York Times Reporter Rescues Mostly Frozen Turtle Outside Alleged Cockfighting Den

Photo by Sarah Maslin Nir via Instagram
The chilly little dude in question.
The animals of Woodhaven, Queens had a pretty exciting few days. First, a team of state and local police, led by the Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, busted up an alleged cockfighting ring, right before a Saturday-night bout. Hens and roosters were rescued from a basement in Queens, a pet shop in Brooklyn, and thousands more from a farm upstate. (That was the good news; the bad news is that the roosters are going to be very hard to place, according to a chief officer at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, because they've been bred for aggression and are ill-suited to settling down to a quiet life on a farm somewhere.)

But in the midst of that less than heartwarming story, here's a better one: yesterday, a New York Times metro reporter, in the midst of reporting a follow-up story in the neighborhood around the alleged cockfighting den, discovered a rather excellent turtle, half-buried in the snow and looking for a good home. Or crickets. He was probably looking for crickets.

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Here is the Harbor Seal Pup That Beach-Goers Found on Long Island This Weekend

Riverhead Foundation
A three-day-old harbor seal pup was found on the beach at Sands, a Long Island beach club, this past weekend, reports the Associated Press. But it wasn't clear whether humans separated the pup from mama seal, or whether she wandered astray, according to the Riverhead Foundation for Research and Preservation, the organization that rescued the pup and is now trying to prepare it to be released back into the wild.

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Animal Cruelty Bill You've Never Heard Of Wants to Ban Actual Pet Tattoos

Sebastián-Dario via Compfight cc
Upper East Siders may be tramp-stamping their French bulldogs with temporary tattoos, but there's a little-known bill working its way through the state legislature that's trying to ban the real thing.

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, whose district includes much of Midtown and the Upper West Side, has passed several laws dealing with animal cruelty in her seven years in the state legislature, including a 2006 bill that ushered in court-ordered protection for pets. This session she's working on another piece of legislation, one that would prohibit "animal piercing and tattooing except for identification or medical benefit."

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Can You Buy Dog Fur in Queens?

We recently got word that Unique Product Enterprises -- a Rego Park, Queens-based biz -- advertised and sold "numerous" items containing DOG fur, according to an investigation conducted by the Humane Society of the United States.

Of course, selling fur from man's best friend is kinda illegal, as per the The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000. That law bars the import, interstate advertisement, and sale of items with dog or cat fur, according to the Society. (And, to be perfectly clear, dog fur is different than dog hair -- it requires the removal of the animal's pelt, meaning they were skinned.)

So what exactly went down with Unique? And is the company still hawking these items?

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Sylvia Panetta, 64, Charged With Animal Cruelty: 76 Rottweilers Seized

The Voice was so busy on the street yesterday that we didn't notice this item until a little while ago: Cops say that 64-year-old Sylvia Panetta, a dog breeder in Wallkill N.Y., kept her pups in some of the worst living conditions they had ever seen.

So they nabbed Panetta on animal cruelty charges, the Daily News notes.

Officials rescued the dogs Monday and described the animals as malnourished and injured.

Cops say Panetta didn't have the papers to run a kennel, but was breeding dogs and marketing them online.

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Horse Deaths Up 100 Percent at Aqueduct Racetrack: Report

In a new series on horseracing, the Times does a great job exploring the changing marketplace of the sport, and how tracks today can be more dangerous for animals and their handlers than in the past.

A key fact from the latest edition is that trainers are increasingly pumping pain drugs into horses who shouldn't be racing -- just to turn a small profit.

The most shocking stat, however, is this: since the casino opened at Aqueduct, horse deaths have topped 30, increasing 100 percent compared to the same period last year.

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Midtown Jewelry Maker's Showroom For Bunnies, Bunny-Lovers

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It's Easter weekend, which means it is time for bunny-related news. The New York Daily News today draws our attention to Sequin, a jewelry showroom-cum-bunny home, in Midtown. Dottie, Biggles, Badger, Lollie and Fanny hop around in the showroom along with four rescued kitties. The owners of Sequin are bunny enthusiasts -- they have a Rhode Island sanctuary -- while Cindy Stutts, who calls herself "Chief Bunny Officer," works in sales and product development, and acts as the adoption counselor for Rabbit Rescue and Rehab. In that capacity, Stutts helps facilitate bunny adoptions via the New York City Animal Care & Control Shelters.

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Sparrows' Nest Disappears From Home In Traffic Light

Dan Callister
On Thursday, Dan Callister, a freelance photojournalist, took a photo of a sparrows' nest tucked inside a traffic light on 72nd Street just past Fifth Avenue in Central Park. On Friday he got a call from the New York Post, he told Runnin' Scared this morning, when he went to visit the light again, the nest was gone. Now, a mystery remains as to how precisely the bird habitat disappeared. Callister said he first saw a nest in that location in July of last year. The Department of Transportation is not taking credit for its removal. "DOT does have jurisdiction over traffic signals, but did not remove a bird's nest from that location," a spokesperson told the Post in a story published today. We reached out to the Parks Department for comment and have not yet heard back. (Update 11:56 a.m.: We were referred to the DOT)

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Assemblymember Micah Kellner on The Companion Animal Access and Rescue Act (UPDATE)

Micah Kellner
Amy Paulin (D-Westchester) isn't the only assemblymember sponsoring an animal shelter bill in Albany.

Micah Kellner (D-Manhattan) is pushing a rival piece of legislation, which he says would do a better job of protecting stray cats and dogs.

Kellner's Companion Animal Access and Rescue Act would require that shelters work with qualified rescue groups -- and he says that it provides greater protections for whistleblowers, many of whom feel worried about coming forward with accusations of abuse or neglect.

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