Lil Bub, cat internet sensation, aids animals in need

By Elise Gabriele,

Feral kitten turned internet sensation, Lil Bub, is using her viral popularity on the web to do good for animals who have special needs like her.

Adopted by Mike Bridavsky, Lil Bub lives with her owner in Indiana.

Lil Bub was born with a number of genetic anomalies, according to the About Page on her website. Although she turns three this month, Lil Bub is known as a “perma-kitten” and stays the size of an average kitten for life. She also has a severe form of dwarfism causing her limbs to be disproportionately smaller than the rest of her body.

She is polydactyle and has an extra toe on all four of her paws. Her lower jaw is shorter than her upper jaw and her teeth never grew in, which causes her tongue to constantly stick out of her mouth, a uniqueness that has made her one well-known cat.

With 730,000 Facebook fans, 172,000 Vine Followers, 115,000 YouTube subscribers, 419,000 Instagram followers and almost 40,000 Twitter followers, Lil Bub and her owner have begun using her stardom to collect donations and distribute grants through Lil Bub’s Big Fund for the ASPCA.

According to Lil Bub’s website, the fund is designed to give grants to animal welfare organizations supporting adoption of cats and other pets in need of special care or extra help. Conditions for special care include animals with physical deformities, birth defects, developmental disabilities, mobility impairments, blindness, deafness, old age or accidents or abuse as well as many other reasons.

“Bub's sort of a spokeswoman or a poster child: She's feral, she's special needs, she's like the epitome of adoption,” her owner, Bridavsky said. “[She's] the weirdest little creature who needs the most help, who has not only changed my life and given so much to me but has given back to millions of people around the world. That's how adopted pets are. They really give back.”

ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker believes "Lil BUB has come to represent the unique bond and love between people and animals."

He continued, "The sad truth is that there are millions of cats at risk and who need our help. We’re proud to partner with Lil BUB to raise awareness and funds for these special cats."

Not only do direct donations benefit Lil Bub’s Big Fund, the $25,000 raised includes 8 to 10 percent of the purchase price of items in Lil Bub’s webstore, at least 10 percent of her earnings from licensed products and a contribution from Animal Planet-- which featured her on its annual “Puppy Bowl” and her own “Lil Bub’s Special Special," Asbury Park Press stated.

Bridavsky is pushing to raise $50,000 by the end of June, Lil Bub’s birthday month.



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