Adopting a dog: What to do first

There is nothing better than the feeling of bringing home your newly adopted dog. It is such an exciting time for both your family and the dog. This time is also a very important transition, and there is a lot that you can do to set up your new family member for success.Our first instinct may be to spoil the pup … after all, he’s been through so much. He’s been in the shelter, and who knows where before that! We often feel that the best way to show how much we love our new pet is to spoil them – let them sleep on the couch, in the bed, give them all the toys, and just make a huge fuss over how wonderful they are. This may go over well in the beginning, but in the long term you are actually setting up your dog for potential failure with this approach.

We strongly recommend introducing your new dog using the “Two-Week Shutdown.” This method has proved successful over and over again. The two-week shutdown gives the dog an opportunity to grow comfortable in his new environment while learning that you are his “safe” person, his leader. Canines seek a leader, and if one is not provided for them, they often will attempt to take on this role on their own (not good!). For the first two weeks, you will limit the new dog’s exposures and mostly keep him in his crate, with limited activity in the yard outside. For these first two weeks, you will want to avoid over-exciting situations, such as dog meets, human visits, long overstimulating walks and intense obedience training. You will put your dog in the crate, take him out for brief play time (in a familiar room or yard), praise him gently when he does well, ignore bad behavior and then return him to his crate. 

And yes, not meeting other dogs includes any other pets in your household. “Impossible!” you say, but nothing is impossible with a good crate. A crate is the best way to keep a new dog safe. We always recommend that adopters and fosters practice crate training. When introduced properly, your dog’s crate is more than a way to keep them out of trouble when you cannot watch them – it’s their den and their comfort zone. And it’s the most foolproof way to keep dogs safe in a multi-dog home. Think about it: Instead of immediately having to figure out how to interact with this new canine companion (What’s their play style? Can we share this? Where do I sleep? …) you have given your new dog a safe place where he can comfortably observe and get a feel for your current dog. And your resident dog doesn’t suddenly have to share everything he previously thought was his with a strange new dog. When you move on to the next step of leash walking the dogs together, they already will be comfortable with each other and the walk will help build their relationship. And it will feel completely natural and safe when you are finally ready to drop the leashes and let interactions occur.

I already can see some people shaking their head and thinking how cruel or overcautious this sounds. I could explain why it works (this is how a mother introduces puppies to the world; you don’t know what type of transition you are asking of the dog; how dogs perceive leaders; etc.) but I will leave that to you to research and simply assure you that it works. Outside of my own experiences (introducing dozens of foster dogs to my small home), I have seen the success of so many of our shelter dogs, many of whom have had challenging behaviors or backgrounds, who have gone to foster or rescue homes that utilize this method.And if you are still skeptical, ask yourself what there is to lose. You may be fine without doing the shutdown (this is more likely to be true of senior dogs or very young puppies), but why risk it? If the dog is the type who does need a shutdown and you don’t provide it, you jeopardize the entire future of your relationship with that dog and you may not even know it until months down the road when problems emerge. These types of problems will now be significantly more difficult to correct.

For a complete read on the Two-Week Shutdown, please visit our rescue partner Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue’s website: www.bellareedpbr.com/bringing-dog-home.php

Source: Adopting a dog: What to do first

Dog lovers fill South Jersey park

Several hundred people came out Sunday, April 30, 2017, to Parvin State Park for the CCSPCA’s annual fundraiser. (Photo: Staff photo/Daniel J. Kov)

PITTSGROVE – Dogs and their owners mixed beautifully Sunday afternoon at the Cumberland County SPCA’s annual Step For A Pet fundraiser.Now in its 23rd year, the yearly event at Parvin State Park drew hundreds of local animal lovers with the lure of pet-friendly attractions, food for all creatures and live entertainment.“It’s great; it brings a lot of awareness,” Fairton resident Darlene Morris said. “Everyone here is a dog lover, so they share that love.” Morris attended the event with her friend Dawn Stauffer, who brought along two of her seven dogs, Rumor and Gypsy — both white boxers.

A fellow volunteer at the SPCA and a local dog groomer, Stauffer was glad to see the community come out and show its support.“They’re a great bunch of people; they save a lot of lives,” the Shiloh resident said.

Several hundred people came out Sunday, April 30, 2017, to Parvin State Park for the CCSPCA’s annual fundraiser. (Photo: Staff photo/Daniel J. Kov)

No dogs were discriminated against, with Chihuahuas mixing with Labradors and dachshunds alike.Many of the dogs who attended the walkathon were themselves adopted from the CCSPCA.

“My heart gets overjoyed and touched to see so many people together with their animals,” said Arlene Baruffi, who was the MC of the event.Adoption is the main goal of the animal shelter, which takes in animals and turns them into pets ready for a home.“A lot of the dogs come in in bad shape,” Baruffi said, noting the SPCA takes in about 5,000 animals a year.The bulk of the proceeds collected will go towards covering the healthcare costs of the shelter’s animals, Baruffi said.“We want to make sure they are adoptable for homes — that’s our purpose,” she said.

Also featured at the event was the beloved ‘Dog of the Year’ contest, which features dogs competing for votes and donations.The pooch with the most is crowned ‘Dog of the Year’ in the fall.Baruffi said the competition has brought in more than $130,000 over the eight years it has been established.

For Pierre Langlois, of Millville, the day was a blessing to see such happy, slobbering faces.“All dogs need a place to stay,” Langlois said. “It’s good to get people out and get these dogs adopted.”

Daniel J. Kov; (856) 563-5262; dkov@gannettnj.com

Source: Dog lovers fill South Jersey park

What pet owners need to know as weather gets warmer

First, I want to thank everyone for the response to our Chihuahua column from last week. As of this past Friday, 12 of the 24 dogs have either gone to their new homes or are spoken for! I’m still hoping that seeing their pictures will help the other half find new homes as well. Even if you can’t adopt one, please share their story by word of mouth or on your social network; these pups really need to get out of the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter and into a home where they can get some TLC.The second thing I wanted to mention is that, as we knew they would, the infant kittens are starting to pour into the shelter. As much as we enjoyed that warm spell we had back in February, so did the cats! Now, nine or 10 weeks later, we have lots and lots of little bundles of joy arriving on our doorstep. On that note, I ask you to please spay or neuter any cats you might have, and to help educate anyone you might know who has or is feeding unaltered felines. We also are desperately in need of new foster homes for kittens. We want to save every possible pet that we can, and fostering is absolutely essential to that end. It’s a short-term commitment with big-time rewards; please call for information or check our website if you think you might be able to help.

Finally, I want to remind you to take the usual warm weather precautions with your pets, both indoors and out. I know some of you are recalling how back in February I wrote about how unseasonably warm our winter was, and then it immediately turned cold and wet. This time, though, the calendar is on my side. I admit to being a true weather junkie, checking my weather apps all the time; this is how I was so badly misled in postponing our annual pet walk. Weather forecasters near and far predicted a washout for the weekend of April 23. It turned out to be a bright sunny day and a pleasant 74 degrees. I have lost all faith in The Weather Channel, the NOAA and the local TV stations. I know the weather has been crazy – one day it’s in the 80s and the next day it’s in the 60s – but bugs of all types are out, and it only gets worse from here.

For dogs, if you don’t keep them on heartworm medication year round, you should start that as of today. For cats and dogs, the ticks already are booming and the fleas won’t be too far behind; get your pets treated with some sort of preventative before you’re kicking yourself for not doing it sooner. If you didn’t license your pets yet, you’re late. It’ll cost you a few bucks more to do it now, but it’s way cheaper than the fine if you’re caught without it. The warmer months are also when the serious viruses that affect pets are most prevalent; make sure your animals are up-to-date on their vaccines.

Source: What pet owners need to know as weather gets warmer

SPCA needs your help to keep kittens alive

Their mom was killed by a dog.Mom was hit by a car.Their mom is not taking care of them.We found these kittens with no mother.Bottle babies are orphaned kittens who arrive at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter without a mother to nurture or feed them.  When the worst happens and they lose their mother, it’s up to Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter staff, volunteers, and fosters to intervene in order to save their lives.We are desperately seeking foster families to bottle-feed our most vulnerable infant kittens this year. Right now, we don’t have enough help to save all the kittens we anticipate arriving.Kittens are born quite helpless and depend on their mothers to survive. Until they are about 4 to 5 weeks old, they have no teeth and are unable to eat food and regulate their body temperature. They are also unable to go to the bathroom on their own – another important job for mom.
It is most ideal that mother stays with the kittens for at approximately 6 to 8 weeks. If you find infant kittens, do not move them! Clean kittens that are sleeping soundly are likely not abandoned. Mom can leave her nest for up to several hours to find food. As long as the kittens are safe and warm, their best chance for survival is with their mother (as is true for ALL wildlife). If you are unable to observe, try scattering some flour around the nest, then check for mom’s paw prints in a few hours.If kittens truly have been abandoned or their mother was killed, then intervention becomes imperative.  If you don’t plan on bottle-feeding yourself, get them to the shelter as quickly as possible. Once kittens arrive at the shelter, the clock starts ticking. We have to find a foster or a rescue for them before we close; the kittens cannot be left alone overnight, as they would starve.
Your family can help SPCA with kitten onslaught. Bottle-feeding kittens is a beautiful experience. The opportunity to see a little life blossom from a totally helpless infant into a growing kitten with its own personality is like no other. When kittens are 1 to 2 weeks old, they require around-the-clock bottle feeding every two to three hours. They also need to be stimulated to go to the bathroom (sounds pretty awful, but it’s really not a big deal).
At this point, your major responsibility is keeping them warm and fed. A simple carrier with blankets and a safe heat pad will suffice for their living environment. As they grow older, they are able to eat more and require less frequent feedings. You will see their eyes open and they will begin to change. They will want to begin exploring their environment a bit more and will need some more room to move around. By 3 to 4 weeks, the kittens, while still reliant on formula, will be ready to start attempting to eat mush (canned kitten food mixed with kitten formula). They will begin to be ready to use a litterbox as well. While messy, this is also a joyful time as this is when they begin their first attempts at playing.By 5 weeks, they will be eating mostly on their own, and be fully able to amuse you with their adorable antics and playful nature. The most important part of your job now is to socialize the kittens – this is the fun part! This is lots of play and snuggles, teaching kittens that humans are fun and safe.By 8 weeks old, they are ready to be adopted!We most desperately are in need of foster families to bottle-feed. It’s hard to find people whose schedule allow them to bottle feed every few hours. But without families to help them, our tiniest kittens are at serious risk. While it can be intimidating to have such a little life in your hands, especially since they are so vulnerable, the feeling of giving them a chance to live and often having the opportunity to watch them grow is rewarding beyond words. Our staff offers lots of education and around-the-clock support.If you are willing to give bottle-feeding a try, please contact our foster coordinator at Fosters@cumberlandcountyspca.org. We also need supplies for these youngest kittens: kitten milk replacer formula (never feed regular milk!), snuggle-safe heat pads, canned pate kitten food, and A/D prescription canned food. We already have had the first litters of bottle-babies arriving at the shelter in need of help.Shelter needsThe South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter in Vineland seeks donations of puppy chow, cat chow (no dyes, please), large dog bones, large Nylabones and Kongs, catnip, dryer sheets, lint rollers, isopropyl alcohol, white copy paper and colored dry erase markers.

Source: SPCA needs your help to keep kittens alive

Here’s why 24 Chihuahuas ended up at SPCA in Vineland

I’m not really sure how to tell this story because many of the details are sketchy at best. The upshot is that the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter ended up with 24 Chihuahuas needing new homes. I’ll start at the beginning, and I apologize in advance for any unanswered questions or confusion.A couple of weeks ago, a woman walked into the Bridgeton police station asking for help because she had 50 Chihuahuas at her rental house and she was afraid she was going to get evicted. The animal control officer in turn called our Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigator, and so the odyssey began …

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When the officers arrived on the property, they were told that some of the dogs were in the house, some had been given away that morning and some might be riding around in a U-Haul truck with an elderly lady. Apparently the dogs had been transported from Georgia within the previous 24 hours. They had lived down there at the house of a man who was moving to the rental property in Bridgeton. When the dogs arrived at the house up here, the legal renter panicked, knowing that she was violating her lease and certainly would be evicted if the landlord found out. The owner of the dogs had gone to work that day and the renter had become desperate to remove the dogs before everybody involved ended up out on the street.After three hours of waiting for the owner of the dogs to get home and determining what could be done, our investigator decided to impound the dogs until the owner either had a suitable place for them to go or to decide to release them to us. There were 14 dogs in the house at that time; the fate of the others, or even how many others there actually were, was a mystery.

After having no contact from the owner, I called him a few days later to tell him that he had to make a decision. After a long discussion and a lot of emotional upheaval, he decided to release the dogs so that they could be re-homed. At that point, he also mentioned that there were “three or four” others that he might need our help with as well. I told him that this would not be a problem and to please call me as soon as possible to make arrangements for the last few dogs.A few days later, I receive a call from a concerned person that the owner had rounded up the dogs that initially were given away and that he had 17 living in his vehicle. So, we rounded up the troops, grabbed a bunch of crates and went back out to the property. Sure enough, there in the backyard was an SUV with a bunch of Chihuahuas occupying every seat and compartment in the vehicle.Due to a shorthanded situation at the shelter that day, I got to get out from behind my desk to go to the property myself. And I can honestly say that, in spite of the ridiculousness of the situation, the dogs were fat and happy, the vehicle was free of urine or feces, and the owner was genuinely distraught about being unable to provide for his pups. It took a little negotiating, but eventually the dogs were released to us except for the oldest four which went to live with family members.

The dogs have been here at the shelter for the past couple of weeks. We had to hold them for two weeks because they had come across state lines without proper vaccines. The holding period is up and we’re now able to start placing them in new homes. They are all a little scared here at the shelter, but I have faith that they just need some TLC and patience. They have been through a horrendous ordeal – taken from their home, shipped here in the back of a U-Haul, separated from their pack, separated from their human companions and now stuck in a shelter for two weeks. There were four tiny pups and a few that were 3 to 4 months old; they will fly out of here. The others are all relatively young, but I worry that everyone will just want the babies. I hope you’ll be motivated to come check them out. They really need a best friend now.

Source: Here’s why 24 Chihuahuas ended up at SPCA in Vineland

Millville High supports CCSPCA

The Cumberland County SPCA was the beneficiary of “Love a Pet,” a volunteer project at Millville High School. Students made toys for the dogs and cats at the shelter. They also donated food. Principal Stephanie DeRose delivered the donations to the SPCA.

Students who participated in the project included Morgan Giordano, Michael Gluszak, Mike Scarloto, Marquis Santiago, Josh Taylor, Rileigh Panas, Fred Matison, Isabella LoIacono, Lazaynah Gerald, Shane Williams-Hagel, Marrisa Warren, Karla Torres, Tyler Humphreys, Justin Stellwag, Zack Wentzell, Leigha Wentzell, Zachary Porter, Justin Stellwag, Julianna Blair, Mayte Gallegos, Kimberly Campbell, Lelly Lipowski, Kassandra Georgis, Marissa Cook, Vincent Felice and Brianna Messier.

Teachers who participated in the project included John Clementi, Graham Gant, Christopher DeSanto, and Lisa Breakell.

Source: Millville High supports CCSPCA

Don’t panic about latest dog disease reports

Some of you may have seen recent media reports about the spread of a bacterial disease, called Leptospirosis, in dogs in New Jersey. It was a little alarming, so I wanted to go over it in more depth for you.News reports said at least five dogs from Paramus had been diagnosed, and that the disease can be fatal if left untreated. It is definitely a serious disease, but there’s no need for panic.First, you should know there is a vaccine to prevent it. If your dog is up-to-date on his or her annual vaccines, it’s possible your vet already has given it to your pet. In some cases, your vet may recommend that your dog not have the Lepto vaccine, as it may cause a harmful reaction, especially in some pure breeds such as Dachshunds. The efficacy of the vaccine can vary, because like a human flu shot, there are different strains of the disease that may not be covered in the formula of the vaccine being given.

Although it’s not impossible for cats to contract it, they seem to have a natural resistance to the disease and therefore are not vaccinated.The bacterium that causes the disease is spread through urine into water sources, where it lives and reproduces. Lakes, ponds, standing water and stagnant water are the places that your dog would potentially come in contact with the bacteria. It is found worldwide in tropical and temperate climates, and normally is more of a problem in summer and early fall.In general, your dog would be served by you discussing the risk factors with your vet and determining if the vaccine is needed. As with all vaccines, you should be aware of what your pet is getting, the schedule that is needed in order for it to be effective, and any risk factors associated with it. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has good information on Leptospirosis if you’d like to learn more.On a completely different note, I want to update you on Buddy and Rocky, the two dogs that we featured in last week’s column. Buddy has an adoption pending; he should be getting neutered and going home this week. Rocky has come down with a minor upper respiratory infection for which he is being medicated, so he’s back in our treatment area but is still available for adoption as soon as he’s well enough to be neutered.Finally, we want to thank everyone who attended Paws for Art at Wheaton Arts on April 2. We had a record attendance of about 1,500 people and 50 dogs! It was a gorgeous day.Keep in mind that our annual “Step for a Pet” walkathon is coming up on April 23. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and our ability to care for thousands of homeless and abused pets depends on the success of events like this. Please keep your fingers crossed for good weather and join us at Parvin State Park for a fun day out with your family and pets.

Source: Don’t panic about latest dog disease reports

Don’t be fooled by these unremarkable-looking dogs

In last week’s column, I told you how frustrating it can be at times to walk through the kennels and cat rooms knowing that I will not be able to help them all. In today’s column, you will see photos of two big mutts, Rocky and Buddy; they are the perfect example of the ones I worry most about. They are plain as dirt. It’s obvious that they’ve had a rough start. They didn’t come to us as cute puppies, but rather as fully grown adults, Buddy being about 3 and Rocky between 5 and 6 years old.  On top of being plain looking, they’ve gotten into a couple of scraps, so they have some old battle wounds on them. All of these things will work against them as potential adopters make their way through the kennels because that’s all they’ll see, which may be enough to make people not give them a second glance.Our cruelty investigators at the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals got called out to the property where Rocky and Buddy came from for a report of a dog without shelter. It actually turned out to be the wrong address, but there were the two dogs with a couple of minor issues that needed to be corrected. It turned out to be a fortunate mistake. The family who owned the two dogs was moving out in five days and they could not find a rental property that would allow Rocky and Buddy to come with them. The family was going through a rough time; circumstances were not good, but the dogs had been loved and cared for to the best of their abilities. They had no idea what they were going to do with the dogs and they were feeling pretty desperate.

Back in 2011, when times were better, they had gotten Rocky from another shelter that did not neuter him prior to adopting him out. A couple of years later, they got Buddy as a puppy from a neighbor who had an unplanned litter. For the first two years, everything was great. The dogs were best friends, did everything together and were very bonded … and then came Missy. Now there were two unneutered males in the house with an unspayed female. Rocky and Buddy’s relationship went downhill from there. Life changed for the dogs; they then had to be separated, rotating times of being in the house or tied out in the yard. In spite of getting along as well as they had for the first two years, as well as getting along with other dogs, they became jealous and competitive with each other.Fast forward to this past month. Missy had been given away some time ago, and Rocky and Buddy were both tied out in the yard and about to lose their home in a matter of days. And so the boys ended up here in the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, looking for a second chance at life.

They’re just a couple of unremarkable-looking brown dogs. Some people will write them off as being too old. They have some scars that will be misinterpreted as a sign that they are aggressive when, in fact, they were simply set up to fail. If someone takes the time to meet with them out of their kennels and spends a little time with them, they will be very pleasantly surprised. Both are very mannerly dogs. They’re calm, they respond to some basic commands, and all they really want is some attention and affection. I just hope there is someone out there who will see past their rough edges and give them a nice, secure home.

Source: Don’t be fooled by these unremarkable-looking dogs

Take a walk past the animal cages at SPCA in Vineland

Every morning when I walk into the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, I make touring through all the kennels and catteries a priority. Although often waylaid at my office door with questions from the staff or some issue that must be dealt with immediately, I make my way back to see the animals at the first opportunity. With each precious face looking out at me, with every wagging tail, every paw reaching out to grab my attention, I am reminded why I come to work each day. I am also reminded that no matter what I do on any given day, it will never be enough.I wish you could walk with me as I pass by 58 kennels and 168 cat cages. It wouldn’t look like the advertisements you see on TV for the big humane organizations; every animal is not in some state of physical or mental illness that makes you have to avert your eyes. No, on the contrary, most of the pets here at the shelter would be anxiously awaiting your arrival at their cage door.

Many of the cats would begin with a little sniff of the air in your direction. As you approach, they would begin rubbing themselves against the bars of the cage. And finally, those most intent on gaining your affections would reach out through the bars to touch you. Even those cats that are a bit more aloof would purr or roll over to show off a little.The dogs would have their heads up and be on their feet the instant they hear the door handle rattle at the entry to the kennels. The barking would commence. You would be greeted in many different ways in the kennels. There are those that would be turning themselves inside out, wiggling, wagging and play bowing. There are those that would be jumping up and down at their kennel door from the minute you walk into the room until long after you’ve departed. There are the shy ones who would sit on their beds, duck their heads, wag their tails and wait for you to coax them forward. The one thing that I can guarantee that you’d see from every dog is a look of intense anticipation. It is a look that can be piercing to your soul. It is a look that places the responsibility of their lives in your hands.

In TV commercials, you’d see a few animals that are in rough shape. You would have to see a dog or two or three that are recovering from severe emaciation, wounds from a dogfight, or injuries from being hit by a car; the operative word here is “recovering.” You also would have to walk through the quarantine areas where cats and dogs are suffering from, and being treated for, contagious conditions such as upper respiratory infections. They are the lucky ones. They are being fed, nurtured, receiving medical care and have a chance at a good life ahead of them. But you would also have to pass by the ones that probably can’t or won’t be re-homed because their behavior makes them unadoptable or simply because nobody wants them.It would be like a roller coaster ride of emotions: love, helplessness, joy, despair, trepidation, anger, hope, frustration and everything in between. These images are an endless loop for those of us in the animal sheltering business. Thankfully, the picture is improving as fewer animals are facing euthanasia. The reality, though, is that it can’t improve fast enough, we can’t ever accomplish enough and we can’t ever save enough. I would venture to say, though, that if you could walk that walk with me, that you would be willing to try.

Source: Take a walk past the animal cages at SPCA in Vineland

Your family can help SPCA with kitten onslaught

At this very moment, I need you to take out your calendar and mark down “Foster Orientation at the Cumberland County SPCA” on Wednesday, March 29, at 6 p.m. We need you to be there to learn about our Foster Program, which is responsible for saving hundreds and hundreds of lives in 2016. Attending is not a commitment – this is an opportunity for you to see if fostering can work for your family. We need to grow the foster program in order to make 2017 even better for the animals, and to do that, we need YOUR support and participation.Spring is a critical time for us to bring new foster families onboard. We currently are experiencing the calm before the storm – the kitten season storm. We had a short respite that really only lasted from December to February, and kittens have begun trickling in. Last week alone, we took in six nursing mothers or pregnant cats who quickly delivered kittens. Since we haven’t even reached the official end of winter, this is concerning!

 

For nursing moms or kittens that arrive at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter and are too young to be adopted, a foster home is their only chance. Even if we had space to hold them all (which we certainly do not!), kittens who grow up in cages do not thrive in the way that kittens in foster care do. Kittens that are fostered have a family to care for all their needs, keep them clean, closely monitor their feeding and health, and, most importantly, socialize them. Kittens that are handled and played with regularly always end up being more adoptable than those who are not as used to human companions. Kittens are great for almost any family to foster – we will go over the specifics at the orientation, but they really only need a small space (a spare room or bathroom works just fine) and some TLC to thrive. There is nothing quite like having kittens sleeping on your lap, watching them grow from infant mice-like creatures to perfect bouncing bundles of fluff, or teaching your kids compassion by caring for the little ones.

We’re also seeking some very special families to care for bottle babies. These are the infant kittens who arrive at the shelter without a mother. These kittens range from days old to 3 to 4 weeks old. They haven’t learned how to eat on their own yet and need a surrogate mom (you?) to bottle feed them. In their first weeks, they must be fed around the clock, every two or three hours, to make sure they don’t starve. For this reason, they cannot spend even a single night in the shelter, and it’s also difficult to find a family with that type of availability to feed. If this is something you would even like more information about, please join us at orientation. We need you!While kittens are certainly the most populous, they are not the only babies in need of foster care. We have seen an influx of nursing mother dogs arriving with puppies. We currently only have one or two foster families equipped to handle a nursing dog and her puppies. We have one foster family who has had back-to-back mothers and puppies for close to a year! That’s a lot of fostering, and we need new foster families to give her a hand with this delightful job.Some puppies arrive at the shelter without a mother, and these little ones also need foster homes. Early socialization is very important to ensure that puppies grow up with proper bite inhibition and a good temperament. Can you imagine the joy of watching one, two or more puppies joyfully romping and playing the day away with you? The sound of puppy snores and the sweet smell of puppy breath? And imagine, you’re saving their lives while you are at it! These little pleasures can be all yours.

We also seek foster placement for elderly animals that typically need the comfort of a home instead of a cage. From personal experience, I can tell you that nothing feels as good as seeing an elderly animal rest their weary bones in a home. You can see the relaxation spread through their bodies like a wave and it’s amazing to be able to provide that for an animal. Fostering an elderly animal is also usually pretty simple; they are typically low-key, housebroken, trained, and just grateful for a loving home to be in. If any of this sounds remotely appealing to you, if you are concerned about the problem of homeless pets in a shelter, or if you are looking for a stay-at-home way to make a big difference, join us at Foster Orientation at 6 p.m. March 29 at the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter.

Source: Your family can help SPCA with kitten onslaught