Founders, Tish and Snooky, have enthusiastically been at the forefront of animal rights and animal rescue since childhood. Manic Panic's mission is to improve the lives of animals everywhere by any means possible, including rescue, adoption, advocacy, collaboration, intervention and education. Our slogan is,
“Tested on Celebrities, Not Animals.™
Sherman - He was kitten who was thrown out of an East Village window and had a broken leg. Our friend Susan who found him and asked if she could leave him at the original Manic Panic store for a little while because she already had so many cats. We fostered him for a month or two as he ran around clumsily with his leg in a cast. Needless to say Tish fell in love with him and he came home with me.
Emily - Then Susan rescued a little grey and white female cat, who matched Sherman perfectly. She thought Sherman should have a friend so Tish adopted Emily and they lived all happily ever after.
Thumper - Thumper was in the back courtyard behind the Manic Panic store, courting us! She was looking for a home and nobody wanted her. At first we thought she was a neighbor's cat. Sometimes in those days people would let their cats out in the back courtyard. We asked everyone but no one knew where she came from. She kept coming to our back door every morning and jumping through the bathroom window to let us know she belonged to no one and wanted to live with us! She was a big beautiful calico with seven toes on every foot! Her back feet made her look like a giant bunny rabbit. Of course we took her in. She would sometimes sleep behind the clothing racks and would swat at customers who made the mistake of disturbing her. When complaints and gossip that we had a vicious cat in the shop (a seven toe swat can sometimes be quite traumatic to certain customers) we thought it best to relocate Thumper to Snooky's apartment in the Bronx where she lived to the age of 18.
Bonnie - Our mother was staying in her little cottage by the lake that her parents had built when a young female cat came to her door begging to come in. My mother would feed her but didn't want the commitment of taking her in. That was until she saw that Bonnie was being terrorized by all the male cats in the neighborhood. Bonnie would jump up on the screen door sprawled out and crying, looking like something out of a 1960s cartoon! Our mother had been hurt by men throughout her life and couldn't bear to see the same thing happening to Bonnie so she took Bonnie in and Snooky kept her till the end.
Mr and Mrs Kitty - A friend of ours came by Manic Panic in her own panic and told us that she desperately needed our help. Her friend Miles had been diagnosed with AIDS and had two cats that he dearly loved and could not bear the thought of giving them away, even to a wonderful home. He wanted to be able to visit them every day that he could until it was his time to go. We fostered Mr. and Mrs. Kitty so that Miles could come to the store whenever he wanted and roll around the floor with them, give them, kisses and not be estranged. Every time we moved locations, and we moved about five times, they came with us. Miles passed away, and the cats remained with us. We miss them all dearly.
Sam/Samantha - Our dear friend Susan, (we call her "Saint Susan of Saint Marks Place") asked us to foster a cat she called Sam, that she had rescued from an alley. A trip to the vet revealed that Sam was also Samantha-a hermaphrodite with both "sets of works!" Sam had no teeth, an inner ear infection that had left her head permanently tilted sideways, both feline and regular lymphoma, and was allergic to almost everything. Because of these severe allergies, she had lost all her fur, except for a small patch on the top of her head. The rest of her body was oozing pus and covered in scabs. When she first came to the store no one but us would touch her or pick her up, let alone adopt her. (The store had become a "critter clearing house" finding homes for many animals in need.) We fed her hypoallergenic baby food, gave her all kinds of homeopathic meds every day, and with plenty of love and attention, she blossomed into a beautiful chartreuse cat. Then of course everyone wanted to adopt her but by then it was too late-we were in love with our sweet magic cat, who lived a long time for a cat with so many health issues.
Daisy - Snooky found Daisy, (a pitbull Dalmatian mix,) covered in bits of tar, running along the side road of the Henry Hudson Parkway in the Bronx. She lured her into her car with cat food and drove her to our mothers cottage upstate, where she gave her a bath and took her to the vet. She put signs up everywhere in the Bronx and ads in the paper but no one claimed her. The only response she got was someone who had found a male dog just like her-possibly her brother. Someone must've dumped them both... Daisy became the love of our lives and the Manic Panic mascot for many years. She was in the office every day and at home with Snooky every night until she died at the age of 16.
Beebler - When Daisy was getting acupuncture, there was a one-eyed cat up for adoption in the waiting room of the vet, winking at us every time we'd go. It seemed no one wanted a "slightly irregular" kitty, but Snooky did! He came home with her and was the sweetest, most loving boy cat she ever knew!
Fifi - On a trip to the vet with Beebler, Snooky met Fifi. She was up for adoption, having been abandoned outside the vet's office. She had been there longer than any of the other cats for adoption. She had never had a long-haired cat before, but perhaps because she was about to lose all her hair from chemotherapy for breast cancer, she gravitated to her. She took her home and now Fifi's "Queen of the Castle."
Jackson - Snooky found Jackson, a shepherd mix with a gimpy leg, running in the streets of the Bronx. She took him to the vet and got him neutered and shots. Tish kept him in her apartment where dogs were not allowed, so we'd have to smuggle him in and out every day. One day Tish attended a business meeting in Brooklyn, where she made the announcement that we had a dog that needed a home. She mentioned that he was a special-needs dog (with a gimpy leg and some fear/aggression issues.) A young man there, Kevin, said that that would make him even more endearing and he'd like to meet him. They met and it was a match made in heaven.
Cato - Cato was another shepherd mix that Snooky found running on the street in the Bronx. She had cats at home at the time, and nowhere to keep him, so she took him to the ASPCA for an overnight stay. The next day a friend of a friend who had heard about him went to the shelter with us and fell in love with Cato. He adopted him on the spot, and they were inseparable from that day on.
Henry - Henry was a small basenji mix who was running on the Major Deegan Expressway. Snooky screeched her car to a halt, as did another driver. The man caught Henry, walked over to Snooky's car and said "Here, you take this one! I already have five dogs in my car and you only have one!" We kept him in the store for a while, with Daisy and Mr. & Mrs. Kitty, but he terrorized the cats. We found Henry a wonderful home in New Jersey and soon learned that Henry had a fear of grass! He was definitely a city boy!
Veronica - A very glamorous girl cat, who Tish & her husband found on the street in the East Village. While getting out of a car, she saw this beautiful black & while female cat wandering in the Con Ed plant. They took her home, separating her, of course, from their other cats. Probably because of being exposed to all that electricity by the Con Ed plant, the poor kitty was totally freaked out! It was almost impossible to get near her, never mind pick her up. Tish's husband had to go in the room covered in protective gear, just to get Veronica in a carrier. We took her to Manic Panic and kept her in our entrance area, because of the other rescued animals we had in the shop at the time. Every time a customer came in, we'd have to warn them about our "attack cat" and personally escort them in and out so she couldn't attack them. But within a few days, after the effects of the electricity had worn off, she became "like butter." A sweeter, more squishy cat there could never be! We found her a home with a record producer friend of ours. They moved to California, where she lives the life of the Hollywood starlet that we always knew she was.
Bobo - Hanukkah is the anniversary of the cold, winter night we rescued Bobo! Tish and I were driving at night in the rain along the side road of the thruway in Yonkers. For some inexplicable reason, my eyes went to the side of the road, where I saw 2 eyes glowing in the light from my headlights. It looked like they were inside of a carrier. I turned the car around and went back to the spot on the side of the road. There was no sidewalk, there was no foot traffic there, it was cold and raining, and some #@%*! had left a cat in a carrier on the side of the road with virtually no hope of being found. They hadn't even had the heart to take him to a shelter! We couldn't believe our eyes! We found an all-night animal hospital, where we got him checked out and de-wormed, kept him in my apartment over night, and took him to Manic Panic Headquarters the next day. He had developed a severe urinary tract problem, maybe caused by the stress of being in the carrier in the cold and rain on the side of the road for who knows how long. We took him to our vet in LIC, who operated on him and gave us a "Good Samaritan" discount. It still cost us a bundle! But he's fine now, living happily ever after at Tish's. He's now "King of the Castle" and no longer has any abandonment issues! You can now follow his lush life on Instagram.
Keebler - Keebler was our "One Eyed Wonder Dog." A friend (who knew that Snooky had a one-eyed cat,) had sent her Keebler's picture from the website of the wonderful "Pets Alive" website, saying that she had to adopt this one eyed dog. Keebler had been rescued from the streets of Taiwan, where he had been severely beaten. His skull was fractured and he lost an eye. The wonderful woman who rescued him sent him to Pets Alive, where Snooky and her husband adopted him. The poor dog was always fearful of most men, except for Snooky's husband, who he immediately loved. Keebler was such a sweet, soulful boy, and we're happy we were able to give him several happy years before he succumbed to liver cancer.
Giving back is always a priority of Tish and Snooky’s MANIC PANIC with continued support for a variety of charities.