////Magoo Finally Meets His Perfect Match
Magoo Finally Meets His Perfect Match2018-07-17T14:31:40-04:00

Animal League America Rushes to Rescue a Cat in Dire Need

Home Sweet Home: Magoo Finally Meets His Perfect Match

It takes a village of selfless, compassionate people to ensure the thousands of animals who find themselves at our Port Washington, N.Y. campus each year not only receive a chance at life, but the opportunity to thrive as happy, healthy Animal League America Mutt-i-grees. One of these lucky animals was Magoo, a young cat rescued by our Adirondack Region Cat Adoption Center after being found almost frozen to death in a snow bank. Magoo was diagnosed with an extreme case of frostbite and would need several surgeries and rehabilitation to repair the damage it caused both inside and out.

“My husband is retired and was dying for a lap cat. He would always say, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cat we could just sit with and pet?’ Well, he certainly has one now,” said Magoo’s new pet parent, Maria Brancaccio-Stoto as she sat petting her newest addition to the family. “He’s been through so much and you can tell that all he wants is a lot of attention and to relax with people who love him.”

Magoo’s long journey to adoption day was made possible in large part due to the round-the-clock care he received from his foster parents, Sharon and Eddie Bissell. The couple cared the ailing cat for five months, helping him to recover from the physical injuries as well as the emotional pain he was surely struggling with after experiencing such a traumatic event. Nobody knows if Magoo was a stray, or simply a housecat who lost his way, but one thing is for certain; he’ll never again have to question where he belongs.


“We know Magoo hit the adopter jackpot. We couldn’t be happier to see him go home with Maria and her husband. We got to watch his awesome transformation and witness his will to live,” Sharon said just minutes before the adoption was made official. “It has been an amazing journey with this special cat, and now his new family will get to experience the next phase of his life. It’s so exciting.”


Like countless animals before him, Magoo was the beneficiary of the lifesaving work of our one-of-a-kind Help Me Heal Program. His inspiring journey from death’s doorstep to the healthy, well-adjusted cat he is today was only made possible by the support of our generous donors. Without your kind donations, Magoo would have suffered a gruesome fate, never being afforded the opportunity to live the pampered life he is enjoying now in his new home. Thank you for your continued support!

Magoo has made great strides since being placed in our Foster Care Program. Under the watchful eye of his foster mom, Sharon Bissell, this resilient little boy is well on his way to making a full recovery. Not only is his face and head fully healed after reconstructive surgery, but his personality and zest for life continue to grow exponentially!

His foster home has provided him with everything we hope our pets receive when they enter the program – nurturing humans to care for them, a warm, comfortable place to rest, plenty of yummy food and treats, and even another four-legged friend to buddy around with if that’s something that will speed up the recovery process.  Magoo’s days in his foster home consist of plenty of rest and relaxation in his crate, which he absolutely loves because of the safety he feels while inside, as well as all the lap time he can get with his foster mom.

Sharon said whoever is lucky enough to adopt this beautiful boy when he is ready to find a responsible, loving home is going to get the mushiest, cuddliest lap cat with the softest coat and cutest purr.

“The transformation Magoo has made from the time he came home with me shortly after surgery up until now has been unbelievable. If you didn’t know his back story, you would never know that he was so badly injured and close to death when he was rescued,” Sharon said. “He’s actually becoming a real cat, eager to explore the world around him. He’s so affectionate with people and is even warming up to being around other cats even though he’s still a bit shy. He’s really coming out of his shell more and more each day.”

Magoo continues to make strides every day in his recovery from severe frostbite. So much in fact, this amazing feline recently moved in with a family in our Foster Program. While in this temporary home Magoo will continue his recovery and rehabilitation. More importantly, he’ll receive much needed socialization with both human and feline alike.

Magoo is once again on solid food and has a wonderful appetite, which will definitely help his healing process. Also, the foster parent will continue to use the Assisi loop three times a day to aid Magoo’s hind leg in regaining mobility. This foster family specializes in giving TLC to animals in need of medical care, they even have a permanent foster cat named Brussel Sprout who has a sever heart condition. So far they have done a great job of caring for Magoo—providing daily updates every morning and at night.

Thanks to your support of our Help Me Heal program Magoo is well on his way to a happy and healthy new life in a loving home of his own.

Magoo’s surgery had to be postponed a few days since the injured cat had stopped eating and he started to become dehydrated. He was immediately put on IV fluids, and once his levels were normal again he was cleared for surgery.

We are now happy to report that Magoo had the reconstructive surgery on his face to correct the damage caused by overexposure to the bitter cold. While Magoo now has a complete lip, only time will tell if the flap created will receive the bloodflow it needs to survive. But his doctors are hopeful.

More good news, Magoo has regained function to both hind limbs and has even done some walking. Although, he is still knuckling in his right hind paw, Dr. Verdino is optimistic that this will resolve in time.

Magoo is a feisty feline who has shown great resiliency throughout his journey. But he still has a long way to go, and he needs your help along the way. Your continued support of our Help Me Heal Program provides vital, continued medical care to animals that would otherwise have nowhere else to turn.

The medical staff inside our Pet Health Centers have started using the Assisi LOOP on Magoo’s hind limbs three times per day while they allow him to acclimate to his new surroundings. The LOOP is an FDA cleared, evidence based therapy for non-invasive, non-pharmacological treatment of pain and swelling.

Animal League America Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Staff, Dr. Mark Verdino, who has treated Magoo since he arrived at our Port Washington, N.Y. campus, said he and his team are also in the planning stages of his facial repair. The delicate surgery will be performed on Monday in the surgical suite inside our Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center.

Although Magoo is being provided with highest quality of medical care, this little guy isn’t out of the woods yet. He’s still fighting for his life, but doing so in the care of the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization as part of our one-of-a-kind Help Me Heal Program. Because of your generous support, we are able to provide him with everything he needs to make a full recovery from his horrific injuries. Please continue to support Magoo along his long journey to recovery.

Warning: Some images may be graphic.

Magoo didn’t have much time left when he was found lying frozen and lifeless in a snowy ditch in Upstate New York. The young cat was unresponsive and suffering the symptoms of severe frostbite to much of his tiny body when he was rescued by a Good Samaritan and rushed to Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Glens Falls for emergency medical treatment.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Deb Oligny, Director of Animal League America’s Adirondack Region Cat Rescue and Adoption Center, received a call from Dr. Keller, the veterinarian caring for Magoo, asking if we could come to the aid of this ailing cat. She was informed that Magoo had sustained severe frostbite to his face and limbs, as well as serious nerve damage to his hind legs. He was also battling severe dehydration, which in turn caused his kidneys to fail.

“He was on death’s doorstep when he arrived at the hospital. Practically frozen to death with his little body giving out on him. We really didn’t think he would pull through, but with IV fluids and critical veterinary care, he began to eat on his own and his kidney values began to improve,” Deb said. “We knew that in order to transport him to Animal League America’s Port Washington campus he would have to be strong enough to make the trip without complications.”

Once in the care of the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, Magoo was enrolled into our Help Me Heal Program and brought to the Intensive Care Unit inside our Alex Lewyt Veterinary Medical Center to be seen by Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Services, Dr. Mark Verdino. He and his team of medical professionals thoroughly examined the fragile cat, estimated to be middle aged, and quickly devised a plan of action to treat his injuries.

“You can see there are several areas on his face and body where the skin has already sloughed off, with the most significant area being the right side of his face and nose. In this area we do feel confident that we’ll be able to do reconstructive surgery to improve his functions with eating and avoid any secondary complications. We’ll also try our best to cosmetically improve the area, but this little guy has been through a lot,” Dr. Verdino said. “The other areas, where the lesions are still declaring themselves, we’ll have to wait them out and develop a plan over the next several days. He also has some nervous system impairment in his hind end, so we are going to try various forms of therapy. The hope is to stimulate his back legs and get those nerves to heal somewhat.”

Although Dr. Verdino said Magoo does have some motor function in his hind limbs it will be a waiting game to see how his body reacts to the treatments and he begins to heal with the help of the round-the-clock nurturing care he’ll receive in our Pet Health Centers. With your support of our one-of-a-kind Help Me Heal Program, Magoo will receive the high-quality medical care he so desperately needs to transform into a healthy and highly adoptable pet! Please donate today so other animals in need of healing can also be afforded that same opportunity.

Tips to Provide Neighborhood Strays Shelter from the Cold

Magoo is a prime example of the cruelties homeless animals endure when they’re left without guaranteed shelter from the harsh elements. With nearly 70 million stray dogs and cats in the United States with nowhere to take cover during times of severe weather, Animal League America wants to remind our fellow animal lovers to look out for homeless animals in your neighborhood. Even if bringing a stray into your home isn’t an option, there are things you can do to provide them with a chance to survive and see a better tomorrow. Here are a few important tips from Dr. Verdino that could mean the difference between death and survival for our four legged friends.

Any Type of Shelter Can Make a World of Difference – Although most feral cat colonies tend to have a place to go in inclement weather, the problems occur when a storm rolls in rather quickly and they simply cannot reach that safe haven, or those areas are no longer available. If you know there are cats hanging around your house or your neighborhood then you could put out some sort of shelter for them to retreat to when the weather becomes too much for them to bear. Igloo houses, pet carriers, or even a heated space where they can retreat during the winter months, are all suitable options.

Create a Welcoming Area – I remember as a child my parents would always crack the garage door a few inches and leave some food and water to allow for the cats to come in and out as they please. It gives them that safe haven where they can avoid harsh conditions and get some nourishment. You don’t have to do much, but even the slightest gesture can make a huge difference for animals in desperate need.

If Possible, Take Them In – If you are willing to open your home to an animal in need during inclement weather, I certainly encourage people to do that. You do have to take precautions because many of these cats are not vaccinated and you don’t know if they like being handled. The best thing to do would be to take a hands-off approach if possible. Also, if you already have pets in the home, it’s best to keep your pet separated from the animal you are temporarily taking in. Without having a background on the animal and knowing its temperament, it’s difficult to tell how they will react in certain environments.