Every dog has its day, but for Ginny, a Siberian husky-schnauzer mix from Long Beach, N.Y., it's official. In 1996, a local animal charity declared Dec. 8 "Ginny Day." It's one of many honors bestowed on the 10-year-old pooch—but not the most unusual. On Nov. 21, the Westchester Feline Club named Ginny its 1998 Cat of the Year.
During the past eight years, Ginny has rescued some 400 stray felines—many diseased or disabled—with the help of her human Philip Gonzalez, 48, a feat that has endeared her to cat lovers everywhere. Ginny and Gonzalez had both hit the skids when they met at an animal shelter in 1990. Depressed after badly injuring his arm at his job as a steamfitter, Gonzalez took one look at Ginny, who with her three pups was found starving in an abandoned apartment, "and I said, 'You're my doggy,' " he recalls.
Within days, Ginny found her first cat, in a vacant lot. Since then her rescues have ranged from freeing five kittens lodged in a narrow pipe on a building site to finding a cat trapped in a box of broken glass at a window factory. Donations help cover the $500 weekly food bill for the 160 of Ginny's foundlings for whom Gonzalez, who lives on disability, has yet to find homes (he delivers meals to them at 14 sites). As for Ginny, she keeps busy visiting local schools to promote spaying and neutering. After all, says Gonzalez, "that would make Ginny's job so much easier."
On Newsstands Now
- Amy Robach: 'I'm Lucky to Be Alive'
- Paul Walker: Inside His Tragic Death
- Julia Roberts: Choosing Family Over Hollywood
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine