The Sound of Music
Back in January 2004, camerawoman Louisa Griffith-Jones was working on the film crew of a popular Animal Planet series featuring the work of the ASPCA's Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) officers—know which one we mean!?
"It was amazing to film Animal Precinct and show people the harrowing work HLE officers do," Griffith-Jones says. "We followed the agents around the five boroughs as they investigated animal cruelty, seized abused animals and arrested perpetrators." One day, while filming at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Hospital, Griffith-Jones walked by a cat with bandaged feet, sitting in his kennel on a cushion. "He gave the biggest meow I'd ever heard," she says, recalling her first meeting with Chatterbox, a stray who'd been found in the Bronx, unable to walk on burned footpads.
While healing in the hands of ASPCA veterinarians, it became clear how this kitty got his name. "The vet techs informed me that Chatterbox meowed this special way when he saw me," admits Griffith-Jones. "Apparently, I was adopted!"
Though this little survivor now goes by the more dignified moniker of Alfie, his vocal abilities remain in good use. "If Alfie can't find me, he yowls very loudly until I find him," Griffith-Jones tells us. "And when he travels in the car with me he sings, yowling joyfully at everything he sees."
Griffith-Jones remembers the filming of Animal Precinct as a tough job, but the benefits far outweighed the pain. "Not only did we help make people aware that they can help animals who've suffered, but I met Alfie, an amazing character who completely enriches my life. He's just gorgeous and continues to sing—rather loudly—the praises of his happy life!"