While Frankford feline recovers in foster care, PSPCA asks public to save 'every Buddy'

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)Buddy the cat is out of the animal shelter and in a foster home, recovering from internal injuries he suffered in a dog attack last month in Frankford that drew international attention.

Offers to adopt the cat have been overwhelming. The Pennsylvania SPCA wants the public to know that, while Buddy is special, he has plenty of other buddies in shelters all around Greater Philadelphia that need help too.

Buddy was a community cat, living his life on a Frankford porch, when he was attacked by two dogs. A home security camera captured video of the incident, including images of the dogs’ two juvenile handlers allegedly letting go of their leashes and encouraging the animals to attack.

Buddy suffered several puncture wounds to his abdomen, and the PSPCA took him in to repair what damage they could. Donations have been pouring in for the cat’s medical care, and many people wanted to adopt Buddy.

But there is only one Buddy, and he is already spoken for. Dr. Katie Venanzi of Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia, and her husband, will be Buddy’s foster family.

Veterinarians at the Pennsylvania SPCA set Buddy back on the road to recovery.
Veterinarians at the Pennsylvania SPCA set Buddy back on the road to recovery. Photo credit Pennsylvania SPCA
Dr. Katie Venanzi and her husband pick up Buddy from the PSPCA to foster him at home while he heals from surgery.
Dr. Katie Venanzi and her husband pick up Buddy from the PSPCA to foster him at home while he heals from surgery. Photo credit John McDevitt / KYW Newsradio

Venanzi is an emergency vet who helped stabilize Buddy when he was in extremely critical condition after the attack.

“We just lost our cat a couple of months ago, and we wanted to foster as a kind of a step back in helping pets — and obviously I like helping pets. I’m a vet. And I absolutely fell in love with him last week,” Venanzi said. “So, my husband and I thought it would be a great opportunity to help the community, help him. He is a really special cat,” Venanzi said.

“There have been so many people interested in adopting Buddy, but Buddy is not the only cat that we have here,” said Nicole Wilson, director of Humane Law enforcement and shelter operations at the PSPCA. “Your local shelter has numerous cats that may not have the same story as Buddy but have a very similar story to Buddy’s and need a home just as much.”

Charles the dog
Charles needs a forever home. Photo credit John McDevitt / KYW Newsradio
Cat for adoption
Buddy isn't the only one with star power around here. Photo credit John McDevitt / KYW Newsradio

With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in the rear view, kennels at the PSPCA are near capacity, Wilson said.

“We’ve seen — not only in our shelter, but other shelters — that people had this outpouring of space in their hearts and their homes for animals during COVID,” Wilson said. But now, they are not seeing as many people looking for animal companions as in the last two years.

“So our hope, as we move forward — that seeing that animals like Buddy are still in shelters, still needing homes, still needing a place to go, people will come back into the shelters to look to adopt or foster.”

Guinea pig
Photo credit John McDevitt / KYW Newsradio

And there are plenty of cats and dogs — even rabbits and Guinea pigs — available for adoption.

“The Pennsylvania SPCA does not say no to any kind of animal,” Wilson said. “We will take on any animal that is a victim of animal cruelty, and we will place it in accordance with the laws of the commonwealth,” Wilson said.

The PSPCA is also looking for foster families — just as important as adoption, Wilson said — who can care for an animal that needs special attention, like Buddy, or just to help the pet be more relaxed in a home setting while waiting to be placed in a forever home.

Coming out of a mild winter, she says she expects a bumper crop of feral kittens to hit the streets soon this spring — and those adult females and kittens will need foster homes until they can be placed.

Wilson asks that, if people are interested in adoption, they visit a shelter and show their support for Buddy by taking home one of his friends and doing it in Buddy’s name.

T-shirt: Save every Buddy
Photo credit Pennsylvania SPCA
Featured Image Photo Credit: Pennsylvania SPCA