SPCA’s new programs are for the dogs

We have more exciting announcements from the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This past weekend, we featured the grand opening of the Kitten Nursery. If you didn’t get a chance to stop in, the nursery will remain set up throughout kitten season, so please stop in anytime! We also are continuing our Kitten Shower for donations and featuring our promotion in which if you adopt one cat or kitten you can adopt a second for free.This week’s exciting updates are for the dogs – literally. We have introduced two new exciting programs for our volunteers to share with our adoptable dogs: sleepovers and outings! The goal is to let our adoptable dogs shine in a new light. We know that what you see is not necessarily what you get when it comes to viewing dogs at the shelter. Adopters are making their initial (and most important) impressions of the dogs when they walk through the kennels and see them inside their cages. This is when the dogs are typically the most excited; and while jumping and barking are normal kennel-related behaviors, adopters often may think that the dog is out of control. Their excitement only escalates when they are picked to be taken out, and it can be hard for them to be on their best behavior for that extremely important first meeting with their potential family.

Taking the dogs out of the shelter environment is a great way to show them off and to decrease their stress. Outings are short-term trips in which a volunteer picks up a dog and takes him or her out for any amount of time. This may be a quick trip to the drive-thru on their lunch break, a walk through the park or a long ride in the car. We hope that community members will see the dogs out and about think of them as more than shelter dogs – they will see them as potential exercise partners, companions and family members. They will see their potential and hopefully be eager to take them home. Volunteers will act as adoption facilitators while they are out; anyone interested will be able to speak to the volunteer to learn more about the dog’s personality and the next step they would need to take to adopt. So if you see someone with an SPCA T-shirt or a dog with an “Adopt Me” vest, please don’t hesitate to say hello.

We’re also hoping to improve the dog’s quality of life by encouraging our volunteers to take them home for sleepovers. We all recognize the value of vacation, even a short one, and especially when times are tough. Sleepovers are a vacation for our dogs, a break from everything that creates stress in a shelter situation. They are a chance to receive some extra love and attention in a home environment, and also an opportunity for us to get a better feel for who these dogs really are. We’re looking forward to sharing some more valuable information and fun photos about the dogs based on what our volunteers learn from them at sleepovers. Right now, you must be trained volunteer in order to take a dog for an outing or a sleepover. We encourage anyone who is interested in joining these exciting new programs to join our volunteer program. In addition to outings and sleepovers, our volunteers help by walking dogs and cuddling cats at the shelter, helping at special events and providing valuable help with jobs around the shelter.

And we have more opportunities to come. You can contact Volunteers@cumberlandcountyspca.org for volunteers 18 years of age or older and Jrvolunteers@cumberlandcountyspca.org for volunteers age 8 to 17. The more volunteers we have, the more we can accomplish! The animals need our help, and we’re excited to offer these new and fun opportunities. And whenever you are out and about in the community, consider keeping some yummy dog treats in your pocket – you never know who may come barking at your door!

Source: SPCA’s new programs are for the dogs

SPCA steps up efforts to save kittens

Soft and cuddly and purr-fectly sweet – the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has kittens of all shapes and sizes for you to meet! We are reaching the middle of another very busy kitten season and are proud that through our foster, transfer and adoption programs we have saved more little lives than ever before. This is the time of year when it gets tough, so we are reaching out to YOU to help us continue our upward trend.

We are excited to announce the grand opening of our brand new Kitten Nursery right at the shelter. Join us on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as we cut the ribbon on the special section of our adoption room that will feature many of our adoptable kittens during kitten season. We also will be kicking off our Kitten Shower to help us collect many of the supplies that are necessary to care for the hundreds of little lives that depend on us. We have a lot planned for this special day. Our volunteers will be providing delicious refreshments for all our visitors. Our adoptable kittens are ready to do their best to win your heart. We have kittens in a range of ages, sizes, shapes, and colors. It’s almost a guarantee that, if you are looking to add a furry family member to your home, one of the residents of our Kitten Nursery will be exactly what you are looking for.

There’s never been a better time to bring a kitten home for good. We will be introducing on Adopt One, Get One Free promotion for all of our kittens (and cats too, if you are so inclined). Kittens are notoriously energetic, curious and sometimes even mischievous. Having an automatic companion of the same age can make a big difference as they settle into their new home. Adopting littermates is great, but you also can pick your favorites from different litters or match up two kittens who are flying solo.If you are not quite sure about adding a permanent member of the family, why not consider fostering? While the residents of the Kitten Nursery are looking for permanent homes, we have many other tinier kittens in the holding areas of the shelter that need some TLC from a foster family before they are ready to find a forever home. If you have a little safe space (maybe an extra bathroom or bedroom) and don’t mind temporarily keeping the little fluffs clean and well-fed, you may be able to help us save lives. The shelter provides supplies that you may need, as well as all medical care for the kittens. We are still seeking new foster families to care for the dozens of kittens that come through our doors each week. We will have information about fostering on hand in our Kitten Nursery.

Our Kitten Shower will kick off at the opening of the nursery. We will collect donations for our kittens through Aug. 12. Donations that we need most urgently include Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR), A/D Diet canned food (this special canned food is especially palatable and has nutrients needed for infants; it can be obtained at a veterinarian’s office), pate canned kitten food, dry kitten chow (any brand with no dyes, as they upset the tender bellies of our kittens), Snuggle Safe microwaveable heat pads, cat litter, and cat toys of all shapes and sizes. Financial donations are also welcome – caring for hundreds of kittens, all of whom require vaccines and most of whom require medication, is extremely expensive. If you are stopping by to visit the nursery, we would be so appreciative if you would help us fill our kitten cradle with donations. The grand opening of the Kitten Nursery offers a way for everyone to get involved and help us save lives. Whether you are adopting, fostering, or showering our babies with donations, support from the community is what enables us to continue to move upward in our mission to give every kitten that enters the shelter an opportunity to find a happy, loving home.

Source: SPCA steps up efforts to save kittens

Don’t take new puppies, kittens away from their moms

I know that not everyone is animal savvy, but it seems to me that it would be common sense that infant mammals need to be with their mamas until they’re weaned. Taking into consideration that puppies and kittens are typically going into the care of humans once they are old enough and not scavenging for food on their own, it still seems only logical that they would remain in their mother’s care until they are 6 to 8 weeks old at the very least. Even free-roaming kittens stay with their mother while she teaches them to hunt and fend for themselves; at that point, they still tend to live in colonies.I have been amazed this year at the number of infant puppies and kittens that I have seen given away, sold, or somehow finding their way to the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter.

A young human family from Bridgeton came into the shelter last week with a puppy that couldn’t have been more than 3 weeks old. He was tiny; I’m sure he didn’t even weigh 1 pound. His teeth were just breaking the surface of his gums. The people already had the pup for more than a week and had taken it from a guy who was giving away the whole litter. Fortunately, these folks had done their homework; they were bottle feeding him and knew that they needed to get de-wormers and vaccines for him.

A couple of weeks ago, we dealt with a cruelty case involving several dogs, many of which showed signs of having been repeatedly bred. There was one infant pup on the property, probably about 4 weeks old. The other pups already had been sold. The little one that we were able to get custody of weighed 2.1 pounds; she was crawling with fleas to the point where her gums were white with anemia. She would not have lived much longer with the fleas literally sucking the life out of her. I have nightmares about the rest of the litter; I can only hope that the new owners sought care for them right away.At every one of our monthly vaccine clinics, we’ve had people come with puppies that were way too young to be away from their mothers. At the shelter, we have received hundreds of kittens that should have still been nursing. The kittens tend to suffer in even greater numbers than puppies, as they are more likely to be separated from their mothers too soon. In general, they receive less human care as they are more apt to be born outdoors and without good shelter and regular monitoring.

I was happy to see that the young family who took in the infant pup had the sense of responsibility to research the necessary care. They had gone out and bought puppy formula. They came to the shelter seeking advice and medical care. Although we couldn’t help with the veterinary stuff, I think they left with a good education on the daily needs of the pup as well as an idea of what medical treatments would be needed, when they should be scheduled and how much it might cost.Separating young puppies and kittens from their mothers too soon is a form of cruelty. It can compromise the health of the babies as well as put the mother in danger of getting mastitis. If you know of anyone trying to sell or give away kittens or pups that are younger than 6 weeks, please contact us immediately.

Source: Don’t take new puppies, kittens away from their moms

Fiona: A brave Mama Bear with strength, grace

Did you ever try to envision an animal as a human? We often given animals human attributes, typically based on appearance or characteristics. As we get to know an animal more and more, the more human they almost become. Envision the awesome pictures of dogs who resemble their owners, or folks who give their little dog a “big” name because of its larger-than-life personality. I have been quite lucky to get to know a special dog over the past few months. Her life has been a journey of hills and valleys.

Currently, she is in the care of an extraordinary Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals foster home and has made quite an impression on not just me, but everyone she meets. When I try to envision this dog as human, I hear the moving strains of Gaelic music that can either soothe you to sleep or inspire you to dance on a table. I think of fiery reds and emerald greens, of speed and agility. I think of fearlessness and devotion … I think of Merida, the Disney princess who redefined how we think of a heroine.

The canine counterpart to Merida is actually named Fiona, and she’s a 4-year-old who found herself in a terrible situation this winter. She had given birth to seven puppies but was not receiving the care a nursing mom should. When the CCSPCA arrived to help her, she was literally skin and bones and living in the cold. Her ribs and hip bones were clearly pronounced. But she was brave. Despite what she had been through, she didn’t fear her rescuers. Not only did she immediately seem to love us, but she trusted us. The entire family was safely rounded up and moved quickly into foster care. Fiona continued to take amazing care of her puppies, while her foster family concentrated on caring for her – possibly the first time anyone ever truly cared for her well-being. Fiona gained 15 pounds in just a few weeks.  Fiona was a loyal and loving mom to her puppies. She was so tolerant of their puppy antics and was nurturing to them. She trusted people completely with her pups, but would have never let anything happen to them. She was a true Mama Bear, if you will.As often happens, once Fiona’s puppies reached an age where they were able to move on, they were all quickly adopted.

Fiona, however, remained. In the weeks that followed, she blossomed on her own. Her body became not only healthy, but like Disney’s Merida, strong and athletic. Her foster mom has photos of her moving with such grace and athleticism, it’s like she’s flying. But the most special thing about Fiona isn’t her spirit, nor her bravery, nor her athleticism. It’s the incredible fierceness of the love that she has to share – with everyone. Fiona simply adores people … big people, little people, old people, young people, new people, and trusted friends. She is an instant best friend, a complete companion, a dog for life. I guarantee that if you meet Fiona, she will react by wagging her entire back end in excitement and quickly flopping over so you can rub her belly.

Meeting Fiona warms your heart.   Fiona has been in foster care since March. She’s well-loved and cared for, but ready for a home all her own. A home where she can share the tremendous love she has with an all-human family. A family who shares her love for play and appreciates her spirit and spunk, which make her so special. While it is a fine kennel she stays in, “Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin” (There’s no place like home).Please note: You can find pictures and videos of Fiona’s story on her Facebook page:  “Foster Life.”

Source: Fiona: A brave Mama Bear with strength, grace

Rescue of a lifetime for Wilbur

Most of us are familiar with the classic novel “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, in which a young pig named Wilbur, who was destined for slaughter, is befriended by a young girl and a kindly and creative spider. The spider, Charlotte, spun webs with words in them to convince the farmer that Wilbur was an exceptional pig and his life should be spared. Messages like “Some pig” and “Radiant” appeared in her web, and Wilbur’s life was not only celebrated, but spared. The Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had a Wilbur, with a story that draws several comparisons to the novel. Named Wilbur because of his adorable snout, our Wilbur was a 60-pound, chocolate-colored mix of pit bull and boxer. He arrived at the SPCA shelter on Jan. 23 after being picked up by animal control. Although our goal from the moment he arrived was to find him a great home, he faced many challenges on his long road that threatened his life, but was also given help from special friends.

Wilbur hung out at the shelter pretty uneventfully for his first few months. Although he was a handful, he won everyone over with his affectionate personality. We did grow alarmed as the weeks went by and Wilbur had no interest from adopters or rescues. By the time April arrived, Wilbur’s stress level was extremely high and kennel space became tight; we felt like our desperate pleas for Wilbur were unheard and, unfortunately, there was no word-weaving spider to be found in his kennel to draw attention to him. Wilbur was timestamped, a term that refers to a time limit placed on a dog or cat before they are euthanized.

It’s important to understand that euthanizing an animal the shelter is always a last resort. Every single staff member who works at the shelter is there for love of the animals; euthanasia is something we dread and do everything we can to avoid. But as an open-intake shelter, sometimes it is unavoidable. When space has to be made for incoming animals, there is no good choice. When an animal’s quality of life has declined and no help is to be found, there is no good choice. A timestamp is a final chance to find help that we already had been desperately seeking.Wilbur was lucky and received an adoption application, but only a few short weeks later, Wilbur was returned to the shelter. He was too much for the family, and Wilbur was again in limbo. He was timestamped again – dogs were pouring in and there was no space. At the end of the timestamp, there was no interest in Wilbur, but we had moved over 10 dogs into rescues, so we were able to give him more time. However by the next weekend we had received notice of 20-plus dogs on a property in Bridgeton that we would be taking in, and once again Wilbur found himself with a timestamp. The rollercoaster began again. Hours before his timestamp was up, someone put in an adoption application, but that night they withdrew it – they weren’t as prepared as they promised me they were. I felt despair. Despite all our efforts, I thought for sure Wilbur would be gone in the morning, and it was extremely painful. While he had many online followers who were quite passionate about him, the shelter staff and volunteers were his caregivers. We were hands-on with him, dealing with the bruises his bad manners left yet seeing his potential when he flopped over for belly rubs. No one could feel the high of thinking he was saved or the low of imagining holding his sweet face while he passed like the people who were with him every day.

Wilbur somehow managed to get incredibly lucky again: A local young woman, with the experience he needed, offered to help him and actually showed up prepared to do so. The pieces finally fell into place for Wilbur – a dog meet was successful, TLC Rescue agreed to take him into its care, and his new foster was all set to take him home. Wilbur is alive and thriving in rescue today. He will be ready for an adoptive home once he decompresses and completes his training. We are extremely grateful for Madeline, who took on the task that no one else would: bringing him into her home and taking on his training. Thank you to TLC Rescue in Millville for taking him into its rescue and providing support for his new foster mom. A special thanks to the volunteers and staff members at the shelter who spent months refusing to give up on Wilbur and making sure that he received the exercise and enrichment he needed to make it out.  Although Wilbur has moved on, we will never forget him. That Wilbur, he sure is “Some Dog.”

Source: Rescue of a lifetime for Wilbur

One call from Bridgeton means 25 more dogs

Our Fourth of July weekend started out with a real bang here at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter! I think I must have jinxed myself as I was sitting at my desk last Wednesday, thinking that I might take off on Friday and enjoy an elongated holiday – maybe go to the beach or enjoy the pool while the weather is right for it. No sooner had the thought crossed my mind when the animal control officer from Bridgeton called my cellphone with a frantic “I need help!”Apparently he was standing in the midst of 30 to 40 dogs on two adjacent properties, and the owners wanted to give up the majority of them because they were in violation of city ordinances and were simply overwhelmed in general. Some of the dogs were in kennels, some in crates, some tied up and others in a fenced-in area. It was near the end of the day and our kennels were nearly full to capacity, so my first question for the ACO was whether the dogs needed to be removed immediately. Although there were some violations, he felt as though the dogs were in no immediate danger and

 could wait until we could remove them in an organized manner that would allow us to prepare for the deluge.

Given the fullness of our kennels, I knew that we would need help from one of our shelter partners. Plans were then put into place for St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare

Center to come down and take up to 20 of the dogs back to their shelter up in Morris County. On Friday morning, our shelter staff rolled out with the ACO and removed 25 of the 35 dogs as well as two cats. Each house kept five dogs, which is the legal limit in the city. A date also was set to spay and neuter the dogs remaining on the properties.

As the ACO had described, the dogs were contained in

 various ways, none of which was quite up to standards. They were all of good weight but it was obvious that they were flea-infested and, as we later confirmed, intestinal parasites as well. Some had hair loss from flea allergies, and those that required grooming were seriously in need of a “spa day."

If there is a silver lining to this, it is that all the dogs are young and small. About half of them are Chihuahua or Chihuahua mixes, and the others are mostly Havanese mixes. Staff from St. Hubert’s arrived within minutes of our arrival back at the shelter and took 13 of dogs back to their beautiful shelter in Madison.The poor pups were pretty terrified the day we brought them in, but we were able to handle them on their respective properties so they should settle in just fine once we get them calmed down and feeling safe. They are truly adorable, and we hope to have them available for adoption later this week. You can see video of the rescued pets on our website at southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org.

 

 

Source: One call from Bridgeton means 25 more dogs

Odds against him, Golden Boy finds best friend

Sometimes we get lucky enough in life to have a “heart dog” enter our lives. Heart dogs are the dogs that fill a place inside you – a hole that you may not have even known needed to be filled. It’s the dog who is your constant through life’s hills and valleys, and the dog who brought something special to life that no other animal, or person, could. This is very difficult to explain, but if you have had a heart dog, you will know exactly what I am attempting to describe. Recently, one of our staff members lost his heart dog, a dog that he rescued in every sense of the word. I have worked in animal shelters for 15 years, and the story of George and Golden Boy is one of the most beautiful, touching partnerships I have encountered. I can only hope that I do justice in telling their story.

Golden Boy, a 9-year-old pit bull, was rescued by Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals cruelty agents from an abusive and terribly neglectful situation. Although he was skeletally thin, he was found secured to by a heavy chain, huddled on the hard dirt ground. When he arrived at the shelter, he was emaciated, weak and sick.One particular staff member, George, felt a strong draw to Golden Boy from the day he arrived. As Golden Boy became stronger, he became reactive to almost everyone and would bark aggressively in his kennel. He was impossible to handle. He had so few good experiences with humans to draw from that he found it too difficult to trust most people. The exception to this mistrust was George.

George continued to spend lots of time with Golden Boy, and their bond grew. Golden Boy, unfortunately, had to stay in the shelter for months while his case progressed through the justice system. When the case concluded successfully, George knew that Golden Boy needed a place to go. His behavior made him unadoptable and he couldn’t stay at the shelter. The bond was already so strong that George committed to doing whatever needed to be done so that he and Golden Boy could stay together. He built a gorgeous, heated and cooled kennel for Golden Boy and took him home. Remarkably, Golden Boy quickly adjusted to his kennel and was doing so well that he was brought into the house and became part of the family. He made a flawless transition to being a beloved house dog, even enjoying his Chihuahua brothers.

About a year ago, Golden Boy was diagnosed with prostate cancer. We utilized funds from a Grey Muzzle Organization grant for senior dogs to extend his time and keep him comfortable. The extra months that Golden Boy and George had together were a blessing. Knowing that Golden Boy’s time on earth was coming to a close, George filled their everyday together with love and fun.In March, Golden Boy passed away, with George at his side. I know how incredibly difficult his loss was and how he has been missed every day since. George is a man of few words, but sometimes a few words are all that’s needed to convey a big message.

I asked him how he and Golden Boy connected.“Why did Golden Boy and I click? We both needed one another at the time we met. He saved my life and I saved his!”

Source: Odds against him, Golden Boy finds best friend

History of SPCA in Cumberland-County and Vineland

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the incorporation of the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but our history goes back much further than that. One hundred and twenty-six years ago, a group of concerned citizens, including a member of the original Landis family of Vineland, organized a chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals (SPCCA).Historically, child protection services, where they did exist, were provided by private concerns such as ours. The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children didn’t come into being until a group was formally established in New York in 1875. Although we have many of the original minutes from meetings of the CCSPCCA, I could not find anything explaining why, in 1891, our local group decided to take up the cause of both children and animals, but I think it speaks volumes about the compassion of the founders. The turn of the century brought sweeping changes to child protection as the government stepped up to create public agencies for the task, and by 1915 our society was out of child protection business. At that point, we became formally organized and received our charter from the state of New Jersey to become the humane law enforcement entity in Cumberland County for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

In 1947, we were incorporated with our original location listed as 709 Grape St. in Vineland. The president back then was a lady named Laura Sabin, who at some point began building dog kennels onto the back of her house on Sherman Avenue. She left her house to the CCSPCA upon her passing, and that then became our shelter.

Over the years, the house was renovated to become the offices and cat holding areas, and several additions were built on to provide more kennels and a clinic space. As many as 8,000 animals a year were cared for in that ramshackle building until it was finally sold and torn down in 2004.It had been a constant struggle to maintain the crumbling walls of the old kennels, the drainage pipes were deteriorating from all the cleaning chemicals, the roof needing replacing and a surgical clinic would have had to be added in order to meet the needs of the organization in the 21st century. Things were looking rather dismal until our local hospital system decided to build a regional facility right across the street from our little shelter. Sitting on 32 acres, the old shelter was now prime real estate, and the funds from its sale would provide a wonderful opportunity to build a new facility for our homeless animals.

In my 30 years affiliated with the CCSPCA, I’ve seen amazing changes in our organization and in the industry – some good, some not so good.In the old facility, our shelter serviced just a handful of municipalities in housing their stray animals; we now work with as many as 20 in both Cumberland and Salem counties. In spite of taking animals from many more towns, the intake numbers are substantially less due to public awareness and the success of spay and neuter programs. Animal protection laws have been expanded and the penalties have become more severe for offenders.Paige Johnson had a priceless reaction at her college graduation when her boyfriend showed up with a furry, four-legged surprise.

On the not-so-good list, if anyone had told me when I began this job that one breed of dogs would dominate in every shelter in the country, I would never have thought it possible; yet, here we are with pit bulls and pit mixes pouring in as their breeding rates have soared. Some well-intended legislation has actually made it more difficult and more expensive to care for our homeless animals and to provide services for our community pets.More changes are certainly on the horizon, but I want to thank all of you who have been a part of supporting our organization and our animals through the years.

Source: History of SPCA in Cumberland-County and Vineland

Cumberland County SPCA new arrivals with trouble

A couple of weeks ago, the animal control officer from Salem County brought in two old dogs the likes of which I had never seen. They appear to be some sort of Samoyed/Malamute mixes; they would make good candidates for DNA testing. Both are seniors, probably at least 8 to 10 years – old for the size dog that they are. They were in horrible shape when they arrived: extremely matted, flea-infested, filthy, very skinny and stinking to high heaven. Our staff members were so upset by their condition that they immediately began shaving and bathing them. Clipping their fur was more like sheering a sheep; it came off in dense, heavy sections and the skin beneath it was wet and infected. Inoki, the younger dog, was suffering from a urinary tract infection. Koa, the older of the two, is blind and Inoki may also be a bit vision-impaired.It is obvious from both their physical condition and their level of socialization that they have spent their lives in a disgustingly filthy pen of some sort with little or no protection from the weather or the sun. They were both completely calm and compliant when being groomed; neither however, seeks affection or attention, as I am sure they never received any. They look very different now; their fur is short and pure white. Their skin is pink and healthy-looking. They have both started to pick up a little weight.

Their mandatory stray hold is over now, and we are seeking rescue for both of them. They will most probably not be the kind of dog that is going to adapt to a cozy life spent lounging on the sofa while their new owners pamper them with hugs and cuddles. They will need a long period of adjustment as they learn new social skills and new behavior patterns that they were never exposed to in the past. With his blindness, Koa will need help managing in a new environment, and would probably be best either staying with Inoki or having another dog to serve as his guide.Just as in humans, there are different causes of blindness in dogs. Cataracts in dogs are quite common with aging, especially for dogs that have spent their lives outdoors with constant exposure to the sun.  Retinal disease can affect dogs at any age, causing a progressive loss of vision from the time they reach one year of age. I have had two dogs that have suffered from retinal disease; both were about 9 years old or so before it really became an issue. The first time I experienced it, I literally had no idea that there was anything wrong with my little guy until I took him out of his home environment to go on vacation. He was walking off leash right next to me when we ventured out onto a small dock – which he promptly fell off of and into the water. Within a few days of being away, I knew he had a problem, which was confirmed by a veterinary ophthalmologist when we got home.

Many of you may be dealing with animals who are suffering a loss of vision as well; don’t despair. Get them to the vet for a good diagnosis if you can. In many cases, there are surgical repairs that can be done. Not everyone is in a position to afford such procedures, but again, don’t despair. Animals use their other senses to adapt to their circumstances, and with your help as their “guide human,” they still can live a very normal, fulfilling life.On that note, keep your fingers crossed that Koa and Inoki can “look” forward to a better life.

Source: Cumberland County SPCA new arrivals with trouble

A salute to the SPCA’s foster moms

I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day! The stores were a flurry with families buying cards, flowers, treats – whatever it takes to let Mom know how appreciated she is. I would also like to recognize the many mothers of pets. While they are often overlooked, their love for their pets is a thing to be celebrated. There is a particular type of “pet mom” who deserves recognition, and it is the “foster mom.” The foster mom takes in the neediest of pets – the sick, the broken, the young, the elderly. Typically, she will nurse them to health, love them, teach them, and then let them go to bring joy to another family. Sometimes, when healing is just not possible, she will love them until they pass from this world to the next. Foster moms are responsible for saving hundreds and hundreds of lives in our community alone. 

This poem so accurately describes what goes into foster, so in honor of all foster moms, here it is… 

There I sat, alone and afraid,
You got a call and came right to my aid.
You bundled me up with blankets and love,
And, when I needed it most, you gave me a hug. 

I learned that the world was not all that scary and cold,
That sometimes there is someone to have and to hold.
You taught me what love is, you helped me to mend,
You loved me and healed me and became my first friend.

And just when I thought you'd done all you do,
There came along not one new lesson, but two.
First you said, "Sweetheart, you're ready to go,
I've done all I can, and you've learned all I know." 

Then you bundled me up with a blanket and kiss,
Along came a new family, they even have kids!
They took me to their home, forever to stay,
At first I thought you sent me away. 

Then that second lesson became perfectly clear,
No matter how far, you will always be near.
And so, Foster Mom, you know I've moved on,
I have a new home, with toys and a lawn. 

But I'll never forget what I learned that first day,
You never really give your fosters away.
You gave me these thoughts to remember you by,
We may never meet again, and now I know why.
You'll remember I lived with you for a time,
I may not be yours, but you'll always be mine.

— Author Unknown 

To the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Foster Moms – thank you.  Thank you for all that you do to save our animals. 

Source: A salute to the SPCA’s foster moms