Kitten rescued by Millville firefighters adopted from SPCA |

VINELAND — Smokey, the 5-month-old kitten rescued from a crack between a concrete step and a Pike Avenue home by Millville firefighters on July 6, has a new home.

Although the offspring of a feral mother and never really previously around humans, the kitten quickly got used to being handled, according to Bev Greco, director of the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Smokey was taken to veterinarian Dr. Kevin Ludwig, checked out and declared to be OK — in spite of the fact he may have been trapped in a two-inch crack, on his back, possibly overnight July 5 into July 6.

Smokey went from being traumatized, crying, shaking and dehydrated to being ready for adoption about a week later. He was featured on the SPCA’s weekly page in The News and had no trouble finding a home.

Smokey was a celebrity and he had a “back story” that generated interest. Not all kittens are that lucky and nobody knows that better than Greco.

“We see over 3,000 cats a year and a large number are feral. Their chances of adoption are slim to none,” she said.

“Smokey was lucky. It was a disgustingly hot day and I thought there was no way firefighters would be available for a cat rescue. They not only came, they got him out by wedging the step using air.”

Greco said it amounted to a good training drill for the fire department.

Neighbors said the kitten’s mother was living under a nearby porch and there were two siblings They were scared off by all the excitement.

Although Smokey is no doubt living a life of ease now, the SPCA is full of kittens who may not get that chance. And then there are the older cats. Children want a kitten, and sometimes so do adults. The adult cats stay there until their cages are needed for new occupants and there seems no chance that they will be adopted. You know what happens next.

Greco said there is one very easy answer to the thousands of unwanted and homeless cats (and dogs, too).

“What frustrates me most is that there is a simple answer — spay and neuter,” she said. “There are very few problems in life so easily solved. The animals we offer are spayed and neutered and have all their shots. Yes, we charge a small sum for them but it is much less than if you took your animal to the vets for its shots. The adoption fee is half that. There is no such thing as a free animal. There are going to be costs.”

Greco said that the advantages of older animals also are often overlooked.

“Often, a cat will become more affectionate as they get older. They make great companions for older adults. That’s why we ran our special, $7 to adopt a cat over seven years old.

“There have been special sales for black or partly black cats. We do what we can to hep these animals find homes.”

So if you saw Smokey’s picture and were disappointed you didn’t get to adopt him, take another look at the SPCA page. They have many more pets available for adoption. They may not all be celebrities, but they all have love to give in return for a home.


Source: Kitten rescued by Millville firefighters adopted from SPCA |

Dead roosters were religious sacrifice in Vineland |


VINELAND — Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officials stated on Wednesday they cannot prosecute a case involving two dead roosters found in a bag over the weekend.

The roosters were apparently sacrificed in a religious ritual by practitioners of Santeria, a religion of West African and Caribbean origin, with Roman Catholic influences, according to Cumberland County SPCA Executive Director Bev Greco.

They were discovered in Willow Oak Natural Area, on East Landis Avenue, along with a collection of black candles and a plastic cup labeled “dirt from the cemetery” written in Spanish.

“Given the things that we’ve found, it appears to be a Santeria religious rite, which is a very complicated religion with many facets to it,” said Greco.

“Also, according to a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court case, you cannot prosecute for animal sacrifice unless they were killed inhumanely.”

According to Greco, the roosters’ throats were cut at the carotid artery and left to bleed out.
SPCA officials stated animals typically die very quickly when killed this way.

“Getting into what counts as legally humane can get tricky, but in this case, this meets the court’s criteria of not being inhumane,” said Greco. “Really, there’s no place we can go with this, not too many places the investigation can go.”

Greco also stated the SPCA receives “a few” similar cases of rooster sacrifice each year in Cumberland County.

According to police, a 54-year-old Vineland man stumbled upon the bag containing the roosters on Friday while walking his dog along a nature trail.

However, he did not inspect the bag until he saw it for a second time on Sunday.

Police officers who responded to the area later found another bag nearby. It contained black candles, a pair of wool gloves and a plastic butter dish apparently containing dirt from a cemetery.

Police stated there was no evidence that the ritual had been performed at the park.

“It’s something that’s more prevalent in some Spanish populations,” said Greco.
Followers of the religion can be found in the United States, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, parts of South America as well as western Europe.

“What’s typically done in these rituals, is that the rooster is eaten, unless it’s a sickness or death rite,” added Greco.

“Seeing as there was something labeled ‘cemetery dirt’ in the bag, and obviously the birds being in tact, we think it was some kind of death rite.”

Source: Dead roosters were religious sacrifice in Vineland |

Pit bull dragged behind truck in Vineland “resting uncomfortably”


A South East Avenue resident contacted police around 8 a.m. Sunday to report he found an injured dog on his home’s porch. A city animal control officer took the dog, which had “large, bloody scabs” on its body, to a Pittsgrove Township veterinarian for treatment, according to Vineland Police Ptl. Charles Garrison’s report.

Source: Pit bull dragged behind truck in Vineland “resting uncomfortably” |