Sacramento SPCA Receives $25,000 to Help Cats

Sacramento Region, CA  |  By Sarah Varanini, SSPCA
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Mark M. Glickman petting an adoptable cat named Valentina at the Sacramento SPCA. She was adopted a couple of days after this photo was taken by Karen Goff, Content Marketing Coordinator for the Sacramento SPCA.

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento SPCA announced the receipt of $25,000 to help senior cats and cats needing extended medical care at the Sacramento SPCA through a single gift made to establish The Joe Willie Initiatives. But more important is the story behind this gift; a remarkable bond between a man and his special needs cat, Joe Willie, that inspired a movement.


Mark M. Glickman, a resident of Carmichael, was inspired by his cat, Joe Willie, who had significant medical needs when Mr. Glickman adopted him 29 years ago.


“In November 1990, I was on a noon-time walk in the San Francisco Financial District when I came upon a mobile adoption site”, shared Mr. Glickman. “One of the kitties was a small Tuxedo cat. He had neurological damage in his back-side, and did not walk well. I expected that he would require ongoing attention for his condition, but adopted him anyway and named him Joe Willie.”


Stiff legs were just the first of Joe Willie’s challenges. He had serious gastro-intestinal issues and eventually lost his ability to walk. Later, he suffered other significant medical conditions. Throughout all of this, Joe Willie remained the sweetest, most loving cat that Mr. Glickman had ever known.


Realizing that there were cats just like Joe Willie in need of care in Northern California shelters, in February, Mr. Glickman established The Joe Willie Initiatives, which will fund medical and placement assistance to encourage the adoption of senior cats and other cats with special needs.


“One out of every five animals that arrives at the Sacramento SPCA needs specialized veterinary care before they can be ready for placement in a new home. The percentage is even higher for senior cats,” stated Kenn Altine, Chief Executive Officer of Sacramento SPCA.


“Mark’s incredible support over the past year has helped us to spotlight and promote our senior cats, who many times are overlooked by potential adopters. Now, with this generous gift designated for medical care for cats, we will be able to save even more lives.”


Mr. Glickman’s donation is the largest donation the organization has ever received for senior kitties and those with special needs. In addition to the Sacramento SPCA, Mr. Glickman honors the memory of Joe Willie through his support of other animal welfare organizations, including Marin Humane and Field Haven Feline Center.


“All of my cats have inspired me,” said Mr. Glickman. “While I learned about cats from them, I learned about myself from Joe Willie. I want other people to adopt a cat and have that opportunity for an extraordinary connection.”


The Sacramento SPCA reports an overall increase in cat adoptions since partnering with Mr. Glickman with more than 60 adopted through the program. And the goodwill is spreading – other Sacramento SPCA supporters have also been inspired to sponsor adult and senior cat adoptions.
Mr. Glickman issued the following statement:


“Historically, cats have not been treated with the same level of respect, understanding or attention as other animals. That has not been true of the Sacramento SPCA. For the last three years the organization has been at the forefront of this issue, seeking to change those perceptions. I am hopeful that my gift will allow them to continue their work, in new and innovative ways.”


Founded in 1892, the Sacramento SPCA has been providing homeless animals with individual comfort, shelter, and love for more than 127 years. The 100% not-for-profit organization provides compassionate medical care to tens of thousands of animals annually and offers a variety of programs and services designed to keep people and pets together for life.
www.sspca.org