Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Tiffany

Today is one of my best friend's birthdays!  Tiffany is our official volunteer photographer and whenever she can, she will come and take magnificent pictures of all of the animals at the Humane Society of New York looking for forever homes.  She is so talented and so friendly.  We just love her.  Everyone wish her a happy birthday!
You can see her photos on our adoption pages, and also on a facebook album we made of some of our favorites that she has taken by clicking HERE.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catch Rider by Jennifer Lyne

I've been really into reading these days and I wanted to recommend a book that I think you might enjoy.  It's written by Jennifer Lyne and it's called Catch Rider.
Sidney Criser, 14, pursues her dream of becoming a catch rider--a show rider who can ride anything--despite her poor background and ferocious competition from more privileged girls. Set in Virginia, Catch Rider is an authentic behind the scenes portrayal of a show barn and the elite, demanding world of equitation.  Catch Rider is not a horse book; it's a book about horse people. 
Sounds good, right?  Let me know if you read it and what you think.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Cupcake Kids

For the holidays, a group of children who live nearby decided that they wanted to do a fundraiser for a no-kill animal shelter and wouldntyaknow, they picked us!  They baked a ton of delicious cupcakes and sold every single one.  They personally came over to make their donation and see HSNY.  I sang my "Thank You" song to them and introduced them to a bunch of animals.  At the end of the visit, they decided that the money they raised was going to go towards the spay and neuter of the Chihuahua puppies, Ginger & Nutmeg.  Here's a pic of them meeting! Thanks to my new friends, "The Cupcake Crew".

Monday, December 9, 2013

Brrrr! It's Cold Out There!

Dog clothes.  They can stir up quite a discussion!  Personally, I’m a little dude and when I go on walks in the winter, a coat (and sometimes an under layer) is helpful.   This winter, if you are going to layer up your pup, please make sure they are fitted properly.  A little snug is not good because it can not only be uncomfortable for the dog, but also irritate their fur and skin.  Just make sure it’s something loose fitting and seemingly comfortable for them!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Parrot Confidential

"Meet Lou. Abandoned in a foreclosed home, Lou is one of thousands of parrots in need of rescue. From the wilds of Costa Rica to suburban America, a lovable, quirky cast of parrots will reveal their unforgettable tales and the bittersweet world they share with humans. Their outrageous intelligence and uncanny ability to communicate in any language has made parrots one of the world’s most popular pets. But unlike dogs and cats, parrots have not been domesticated. With high decible squawks and complex behavior, they are hardwired for the wild. Add a lifespan of up to 70+ years with their intense need to bond, and a life in captivity doesn’t always have a happy ending. With shelters and sanctuaries struggling to meet the demand, too many birds like Lou have no place to go."

For more information on Parrot Confidential:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Swan Dance

Dr. Malka is our Avian & Exotics Veterinarian and he sees all kinds of animals.  Hedgehogs, pigeons, snakes, rabbits, sugar gliders, turtles and even swans!  

The other day, George came to see him.  George is a swan from a nature conservancy and he wasn't really feeling too good so he traveled into the city with some human friends to visit and see why he was sick.  He was a very good patient and luckily, it was nothing major.  He got some medicine and went back home with a tale of a concrete jungle for his friends.  

That is George, front and center in the photo.  Those are all of his buddies welcoming him back.  The video is him and his girlfriend.  How crazy is this swan dance they are doing?!  What beautiful animals! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Richard Phibbs

Hey everyone!  Thanks for tuning in this week for another Willis Wednesday!  This week, I want to introduce you to my friend, Richard Phibbs, or as I like to call him, Mr. Phibbstastic.
That's me and Mr. Phibbstastic!

Who is Richard Phibbs?  He's a world-famous photographer.  He takes gorgeous photos of gorgeous people all over the planet.  He also happens to be a huge animal lover and he wanted to do something for HSNY, so he came up with the idea to combine his two passions together.  This is a great example of a volunteer thinking outside of the box.  No matter who you are or what you do, if you want to help, you can.  

Once a season, on his rare day off at home, he and his team come to the Society and from sunrise to sunset, they turn an itty bitty doctors office into a studio and take stunning portraits of all of the adoption dogs (and sometimes cats, birds and rabbits too!).  The end result is really something spectacular and I can say that I have met several people that have directly linked their adoption to the fact that they saw Richard's photo of the pet they adopted.  

Here are just some of them...

This is how the magic happens.   

Paper Magazine just posted the most recent batch so check it out here:

For more information on Richard Phibbs photography, please visit his website at  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Volunteers from New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange has been sending not one but THREE groups of incredible volunteers every year to do everything from cleaning the park across the street to brushing my cat friends.  They are all always so excited to be here to help out and I had the best time singing to them.  THANK YOU so much for visiting!  See you again next year!  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later

We feel like it was less than a year but time is flying!  The warnings came but no one was prepared for the massive damage that was going to come from Hurricane Sandy.  Even if they were prepared, they couldn't have estimated the total destruction it had on so many.  We did what we could here at the Society, battened down the hatches and luckily, remained OK throughout.  The animals were champs here, acting like it was just another day.  (No surprise, I slept like a rock!)

I remember the few staff and volunteers who either lived in Manhattan or stayed over to assure their arrival for the next couple of days.  Teamwork is the smallest word we could use to describe the amazing people who came together to help.  People walked miles in the storm and after to be here, sat in hours of traffic to deliver supplies, arranged support and offered help via social media and good old fashion footwork.  We can't thank those people enough!  I was filled with all sorts of emotions because it was so sad and so wonderful and I remember everyone around me just kind of going into this "help mode" and never once complaining or questioning things that needed to be done because they just had to do it.  

Because our building still had electricity and water, we were able to open our doors to clients and others who needed assistance.  We don't normally board animals but due to the situation, we found space to spare in an already crowded facility to take these pets in while their owners figured out their next steps.  

We also took in animals that did not have family.  Some were victims of Sandy that came from other shelters that were overflowing and physical damage to their building was causing more obstacles.  Others were found and had no where to go, plus needed medical attention.  There were two animals in particular that I want to write about here to give you updates.  

Edgar was found wandering on Long Island and placed in a shelter.  He was included in a special rescue that would normally be out of our scope but due to the circumstances, we stepped in. My friends waited in those infamous gas lines, navigated through debris and light-less streets, and made their way to an overflowing shelter.  

I'm told it was hard to even look at Edgar when they first saw him in the condition he was in.  The other shelter walked by him thinking we wouldn't be interested but his eyes were so emotional it was no question that they would be rescuing this dog.  This poor guy was severely suffering from what appeared to be a skin condition and the little hair he had left was messy.  His skin was red, bloody and irritated.  We believe the storm was the best thing to happen to him because his injuries clearly had been ongoing and neglected far before this storm hit and when others were unable to help him in the capacity that he needed, we were able to step in. 

Our vets diagnosed a staph infection on his body and in his ears.  He also suffered from severe allergies.  After lots of testing, lots of treatment and a ton of TLC, Edgar’s condition started to improve gradually.  He always had high spirits but was unable to be his true self due to his very apparent discomfort.  To help him along, Edgar was required to wear a cone as well as onesie pajamas to prevent him from scratching all the time.  Adorable but also heartbreaking. 

After many excruciating months, he was finally allowed to live a bit more comfortably, with no cone or protective clothing layer.  His hair grew back beautifully, his nose is the softest dog nose in the world, and he is just the most amazing lovebug you could ask for in a dog.  His eyes continue to be expressive and loving.  He shows traits of loyalty, playfulness and gratefulness and we are so happy to report that almost exactly a year after he came to us, has just found his perfect home!  

 A few weeks after he first came in. Already healing but a long way to go. 

His transformation was incredible!  

Here's Edgar in his new home!!! 

Felix was born in October, 2012 and luckily, rescued in October of 2012. He suffered from a leg injury that we weren't sure would be fixable but fast forward a couple of months and you would never know this guy almost lost his leg! He also was diagnosed with a condition where his nose gets inflamed inside and needs to be monitored and treated when it flares up.  This is a chronic condition whoever our doctors all agree that when he goes to his new home that is not surrounded by dozens of other cats and litter and other sources that can cause this, it will significantly decrease the condition.  

He has transformed into one of the sweetest and friendly cats we know. He is very smart and likes to explore and figure things out, and really likes to play with his roommates. He is extremely fond of dogs and has two best friends here, Olivier, a Boston Terrier mix, and Miracle, a Terrier.  They play together all the time! Felix is an extremely handsome tuxedo wearing feline and we are very proud of him from coming out of his unfortunate circumstances like a champ.  

His before picture is from the day he came in.  His back leg was dangling because it was injured and he could not bend it at all. 

If you are interested in adopting Felix, donating to his care or the care of other shelter animals at the Humane Society of New York, or would like some more information, please visit our website at and you can call us at 212.752.4840.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Way To Be A Responsible Pet Owner

My friend Jimmy loves sending me updates on his life after getting adopted.  I thought I would share this one with you as a reminder to all my pet-owning friends that it's important to get your pets spayed and neutered.

Jimmy was here as a baby and was too young for his surgery but as soon as he was ready, he came back to visit everyone and take care of things.  A couple hours later, he was good to go!  He says he's a little embarrassed by this silly cone but knows it's for the best and he won't have to wear it for very long.  Tell him how cute he looks!?!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Live from Ariel's!

This is Willis, reporting live from my friend's new house!  Ariel got adopted last week and we got an inside look at her new life!  
Here she is showing off all of her new pink accessories.  It’s her favorite color!

She has the most loving family and they are always sneaking in cuddles and kisses!
After a long day of getting to play with her sisters and all her new friends and toys, she loves taking long and comfortable naps on her new mat.  Like I always say, “A tired dog is a good dog!"

Congrats and have fun Ariel! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Food Network Volunteers

It was nice to meet the people over at the Food Network last week.  They picked us as part of their volunteer day and came and spent a couple of hours cleaning and socializing with the adoption animals.  They did such a fantastic job! On behalf of everyone who got some love that day, thank you for everything!  Please come again and visit any time.    

If you are interested in volunteering, as a group or individual, please contact Anne-Marie Karash at  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Congratulations Graduates!

Throughout the years, we meet many volunteers that take their own time in between school and sports and other activities, to be here.  They do all sorts of helpful things and no matter what, they always have a smile and are happy to help.  We love them so much (especially when they rub my belly!).  

One friend of mine I met this year is A.  A is graduating high school and will be attending college in the Fall.  I wanted to say to her, Congratulations on your graduation and get ready for a celebration! 

To her and all our friends graduation this month, good job!  All the best in your future!

Friday, April 26, 2013

HBO: Documentaries, An Apology To Elephants

On April 22, HBO: Documentaries aired a beautifully done piece about one of the most magnificent creatures on the planet, the elephant.  As you know, I am fascinated with these animals and and I am not the only one.  This documentary "touches on their abuse and chronicles efforts to provide more humane treatment".

The Humane Society of New York supports this effort and felt that it was worth mentioning and giving our very first "Willis Seal of Approval"!  When you get a couple of minutes, please try to watch this piece.  For more information on An Apology To Elephants, please see here:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Favorites

The other day, I was sitting around by myself, chewing on my Kong, thinking “Hmmm, what should I blog about next?” and it suddenly occurred to me, the answer was right under my whiskers & nose!  My Kong! 

It is my favorite toy.  It’s durable and entertaining for me and my friends who really like to chew on stuff.  Some of them in the adoption center are teething or training and this really helps them out.  

They are really clever because you can put things inside, like treats and spreads.  Personally, I like a little peanut butter with it but they also make some fillings like cream cheese!  Pretty exciting stuff…when you’re a dog! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Beer For Beasts 3

Hey Everyone! 

I am super excited because one of my favorite events of the year is this Saturday!  It’s called Beer For Beasts and I may not be 21, but I still love this event.  

For the 3rd year in a row, my friends at Sixpoint and Beer Advocate team up with a very wonderful group of people from around the beer and animal community to support my family here at the Humane Society of New York. The concept is really unique…the collaborators make up their own flavors of beer and then at the event, everyone gets to try all of them.  Like a huge taste test!  Also, some delicious food trucks come over and they have a big party.  It’s an awesome day of eating, drinking, and entertainment all in the name of a good cause.  

This year, we were asked to make our very own flavor!  We went over to the Sixpoint Brewery and got a tour of the whole place, learned a ton about beer making, and then MADE OUR OWN BEER!  I got to mash it myself and everything, see the photo?  It was really cool and we are so grateful to everyone involved in this massive effort to create such an amazing event.  

If you are heading to Beer For Beasts this Saturday, don't forget to try Willis' HSNY Delicious Rye!  Cheers! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter!

What do you guys think? 
Can I pull it off? It's like we were separated at birth!

Now that Easter is here, I wanted to tell you that although I agree that bunny rabbits are cute and fluffy and great, you should think really long and hard about having one as a pet.  They require work and responsibility just like any other pet you may have or want.  If you do feel like you are ready to have one, let my friends at the Humane Society of New York know because they may just happen to know one!  Have a safe and fun holiday weekend everyone!  Happy Easter! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


You all know me as Willis: teen-idol, bon vivant, blogger extraordinaire, etc. But I come from very humble beginnings, and I feel that it’s time to tell my real story.

The truth is, I was left alone on the streets. I came from somewhere and then I was just put out…I think from a car. I don’t remember a lot because I was a very young fellow. But I do remember being frightened and hungry. And I couldn’t really sleep, because I didn’t feel safe anywhere. I heard some man say, “Look at him. He’s another one of those “throw-away” dogs”. What’s a throw-away dog? I am Willis.

I was nervous when the lady picked me up, but I had a good feeling about her. She brought me here to the Humane Society of New York, and they adopted me. How cool is that? Seriously, I am forever grateful to the lady because I have the best home ever. When people meet me they tell me that I’m so cute and ask what kind of dog I am. Most people want to know if they can take me home. I just wag my tail to be polite, but I could never be happier than I am here. I have so many friends here (people, cats, dogs, rabbits, birds). We love each other; they’re my family. I have a staff of great doctors that take care of me whenever I need (they’re right downstairs – how convenient!). And the food is terrific. I can be a little picky at mealtime (except for carrots…I love carrots!) but they make sure that I get the most nutritious food every day.

I am so happy when I get to meet children or senior citizens and make them smile. I’m often asked to belt out one of my signature songs, like “Home on the Range” when visitors come to see us. I never refuse. It’s the least I can do, as I want to repay the kindness and love that is given to me. I like everybody the same. Isn’t that how it should be?

No being should be considered a “throw-away”. Every life is precious. If you’re interested in getting a pet, you should consider adopting from a shelter. You never know who you might meet.  

Thanks for listening. I have to go now…I have a singing lesson in twenty minutes.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Echo: An Elephant to Remember

Have you seen the PBS special about Echo: An Elephant to Remember?  It's a pretty remarkable story.  If you have a couple of minutes, I really recommend checking it out.  Watch this video and then see the link for more information.

Click for more information:

Also on the subject of Elephants, they also ran this special "Battle For The Elephants" that was very important to watch:
Watch Full Episode on PBS. See more from Battle for the Elephants.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Useful Dog Tricks Performed By Jesse

I really need to step up my game!  Look at what this dog Jesse learned to do!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Puppy Teaches Puppy Stairs

Overjoyed with the cuteness of this video.  One rescue puppy teaches another, younger rescue puppy, how to go down the stairs.