Do you enjoy playing games on your smart phone? Now you can consider playing a game that benefits animals in need! A group of students at Drexel University has turned a shared love of cats and gaming into a unique way to help the ASPCA.
Three students involved with the school’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio designed a mobile game called Galactickitties.
“The inspiration for the game comes from a bunch of different places,” says Timothy Day, one of the game’s creators. “There's a series of games that revolve around the idea of creating a bigger and bigger ball of stuff by rolling around a level. We hadn't seen that done in 2D and were interested to try it out. We combined it with another large inspiration: cats! And, naturally, we put it in space.”
Day explains Galactickitties: “Players guide a magical ball of space yarn rescuing cats that are drifting through space. When the ball of yarn collides with a cat, the cat becomes attached to the ball. When more cats collide with the growing cat ball, they too become part of the mass of cats. On top of this, there are dangerous asteroids and space debris that will knock cats off the ball—there are even black holes that will push the cats away. To rescue the kitties for good, players get the ball into a portal that teleports them safely back home. There's also catnip and fish that will cause cats to spawn more quickly or a bunch all at once.”
Sound like fun? Each download of the game from the Apple App Store or Google Play benefits the ASPCA’s work for animals in need nationwide. We’re inspired by these students’ creativity and compassion for animals! If you’re a small business owner who would like to give back in a similar way, please visit the ASPCA Business Ambassador page to learn more.
Guest Blogger Emily Cappo is a writer and blogger at Oh Boy Mom. She is a mom to three boys and one girl dog named Matilda, a sweet and cuddly Labradoodle. Matilda and Emily are also a certified pet therapy team.
When we adopted our sweet Labradoodle, Matilda, more than five years ago, our friends and family members assumed our three boys had pushed us for another dog after our Portuguese Water Dog, Bosley, passed away at the age of 13.
Although the kids were all in favor of adopting a new dog, I was equally enthusiastic. I had always had a dog in my life, and couldn’t imagine not having a furry companion living with us.
Matilda was a joy from the moment we brought her home, and she was the perfect addition to our family. At first, I did not considered adopting a second dog, but when a friend of mine rescued a mixed- breed puppy that curled up in my lap as soon as he met me, I started to seriously consider the idea.
We haven’t yet taken the plunge to give Matilda a sibling, and I wonder if Matilda would enjoy having a companion. She seems perfectly content to be the lone dog, of the house and when we go to the dog park, she shows more interest in the other dog owners than the dogs themselves.
I have heard stories of people adopting a second dog who doesn’t get along with their resident dog. I have plenty of chaos in my house with three rowdy boys—do I really need to add another dog to the mix? And, what if our second dog is like our old dog, Bosley, who was a loud barker with an insatiable appetite for stealing human food?
I have realized that these are trivial concerns, because family is not something you can dictate by waving a magic wand. You can make a conscious decision to add to your family – with both kids and pets – and yet you can’t control the dynamic anymore than you can control the weather. I know that well, as I watch my three boys forge three very different paths in this world.
We’ve decided that a second dog is definitely in our future. I can’t wait to find Matilda a brother or a sister!
Just in time for back-to-school season, the ASPCA has released an educational video that provides an inside look at the way in which chickens are raised for food. The video is animated (hosted by a professor chicken!) and delves into the how’s and why’s of chicken rearing. The video gives great background information for parents, and can provide a teachable moment for kids too.
We hope the video will serve as fodder for bigger conversations as well, such as: “Where does our food come from?” Knowing where your food comes from is incredibly powerful and it’s a topic that your whole family can learn together.
Industrial breeders have created chickens that grow in an unbalanced way: today’s chickens grow up to three times faster than they did just 60 years ago. These oversized birds are commonly packed into dark warehouses where they spend their lives crammed together. Many become injured and sick and are unable to walk. It’s a sad story, we know. But it’s not the way things have to be.
We know consumer trust has been affected by the media revealing unpleasant facts about industrial breeding and factory farming. In fact, according to a recent ASPCA survey, less than one third of people have a high degree of trust that the companies who raise chickens treat them humanely.*
Switching to healthier chickens raised in better conditions means happier birds, but it’s up to us to speak up for their welfare. One way you can help is by watching and sharing our Professor Video. To learn about other ways you can demand better chicken for you and your family, visit TruthAboutChicken.org. Some lessons aren’t worth missing, so we encourage you to share what you’ve learned with your family and friends today.
Want to get involved? Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #ChickenMonth, and check back next week for part three of this series.
*The ASPCA supplied questions to Edge Research who designed the survey, which was conducted via phone by Caravan ORC International between August 14 and 17, 2014.
Guest blog by ASPCA Volunteer Manager Julie Sonenberg, a mom of one daughter and two dogs in New York City.
In addition to the day-to-day fun of having pets and kids, our furry friends can offer some important life lessons for children. My daughter is only 20-months-old, but she has already learned quite a bit from our two dogs. We started with a lesson on how to pet the dogs gently, which is still a challenge when my daughter is excited. When she started walking, she would sometimes step on a paw or a tail or even attempt to use our pets as a step when they were lying down. We taught her that she needs to walk around them if they are in her way, which is often since we live in a one bedroom apartment. I love watching her when she carefully steps around a paw or tail.
We’re also teaching her that animals have feelings, too. If she plows into one of our dogs with her toy baby stroller and he ends up in the corner, we tell her he feels scared and hurt. If the dogs run to get their leash on for a walk, we explain that they are excited. When her aunt’s cat scampers away when my daughter shrieks with excitement, I explain that we should be quiet and gentle with the cat or she’ll feel scared.
My daughter likes to give the dogs instructions: To sit here or there, to go up on the bed or the couch, or to go in her tunnel. They don't typically listen to her, and we'll sometimes translate her requests or commands to the dogs. And she has learned that sometimes the dogs will do what she wants them to, but not every time, and that's okay. I recently observed her telling a squirrel at the playground to “sit," so she's still on the learning curve.
I look forward to her being able to play fetch with the dogs and cuddle with them in bed. We’ll teach her why our family doesn’t eat animals, why it’s important to adopt a pet and why it’s critical to show compassion for everyone, including animals. One of the inevitable life lessons that pets teach children is how death is a part of life. I hope we don’t have to teach her that lesson for quite some time. But I know it will be an important part of her development—and mine, too.