Animal cruelty enforcement in NJ needs a reboot

Well, last week certainly was interesting – first in terms of animal sheltering in Cumberland and Salem counties, and then animal cruelty law enforcement in New Jersey.The State Commission of Investigation report on the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was dismal on all counts. Although we received our initial charter from them back in the 1940s, we are a completely separate entity and are not a subject of those findings. The SCI has suggested that enforcement powers should be placed in the hands of animal control officers (ACOs) that work under the auspices of police or health departments. The Legislature will have to decide how to move forward to ensure that the enforcement powers are in the hands of trained people with the resources and oversight necessary to meet the extreme demands of animal cruelty investigations in today’s world.

There is no simple answer, but it’s time for some serious consideration from the state of New Jersey on these matters. If the state and county SPCAs are to remain in charge of upholding these laws, they must be properly organized and overseen as all other law enforcement entities in the state are. They must be afforded the resources to properly investigate and prosecute when necessary. They cannot remain in this blurred atmosphere of being a nonprofit, volunteer organization and an instrumentality of the government at the same time.More: Here’s why the SPCA shelter can’t survive

If the SPCAs are disbanded, it’s not just a simple matter of having animal control officers take over their duties. Unless counties provide county-run animal control for their cities, many municipalities contract out with private ACOs. These private contractors do not fall under the police or health departments, and would therefore not meet the criteria suggested in the SCI report. Counties and cities that provide animal control, such as Gloucester and Vineland, would need to have their ACOs go through training for humane law enforcement and would most probably need to increase the number of officers they have available. Humane law enforcement officers (HLEOs) work long days conducting investigations as well as time spent preparing and going to court. It can’t be accomplished on an 8-to-4 basis, and there would also need to be an HLEO on call for emergencies.

In the case of humane law enforcement, the state of New Jersey has failed to step up to enforcing today’s standards of protecting our animals by leaving a system in place that has not been changed since its inception during the mid-1800s. In the case of our South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, we need our local government entities to take some responsibility and reflect the compassionate nature of our residents that have put them in office. No matter how or what happens, it will take money to address the needs and protections of our animals; perhaps that’s why these things haven’t been properly dealt with in the past. Ya think?

Source: Animal cruelty enforcement in NJ needs a reboot

Here’s why the SPCA shelter can’t survive

Needless to say, it has been a tumultuous few days since the announcement of the cessation of our sheltering services at the Cumberland County SPCA the end of the year. Years of struggle have come before this decision was reached. As is normal for any nonprofit organization, we’ve always fought to make ends meet, but we’ve always managed to stay true to our mission. As is the case with so many things, the rules and regulations that govern our industry have become so overwhelming that the concentration on administrative requirements saps our resources. Taking funds away from animal care to pay for pushing paperwork undermines our very mission.Many people, because of our name, think that we are county-funded when, in fact, the county contributes only $20,000; that accounts for 1.5 percent of our annual expenses, which is basically a travel allowance for our cruelty investigations van. Other than that, the only money we receive from any government entities are the per-animal fees that the municipalities pay for their stray animals. These fees cover the cost of the strays for their seven-day holding period only. Then the burden of costs is completely on us. We often have cats and dogs for weeks and months, and they usually require veterinary care that we must provide as well.

In the late 1800s, the Cumberland County Society for the Protection of Children and Animals was formed as a nonprofit. In the late 1940s, we were chartered by the state as a volunteer nonprofit organization with the power to enforce animal cruelty laws. This has always been an odd situation, and has become increasingly challenging over time.

When I first started at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter 30 years ago, every cruelty case involved a dog without shelter, a dog without water or a dog that was too skinny.

Now, animals are fought for entertainment, hanged in the city park and drowned in the river; the areas that our investigators are sent to are often gang-infested and dangerous.The shelter, on the other hand, has gone from a little old house with tacked-on additions to a nicely equipped building that can accommodate hundreds of animals. Our euthanasia rate has dropped 59 percent in the past three years alone, and we are well within reach in a few short years of euthanizing only in cases of severe aggression or dire illness.But now, the court has decided that we are an instrumentality of the government that requires us to perform as a public agency. Our county freeholders recognize us as a nonprofit that they cannot subsidize. The New Jersey State Investigations Commission also proclaimed us a volunteer-run nonprofit in their assessment of state and county SPCAs. So what the heck are we?

We are a necessary provider of care for thousands of homeless animals every year. We are an organization that works diligently to prevent all forms of animal cruelty and prosecute those who would deny innocent animals a safe and cared-for existence. We are a group of dedicated, compassionate people desperately trying to turn the tide of unnecessary euthanasia of unwanted pets.Unfortunately, we have come to the point where our very mission has been threatened by the burden of regulatory and adjudicated decisions. The new responsibilities and liabilities are beyond our means. Without the resources to continue high standards of animal care and placement, we simply cannot continue our sheltering operations.

Source: Here’s why the SPCA shelter can’t survive

So what can YOU do to help?

Let your voice be heard, let the powers that be know that this is a matter of the utmost importance and that you expect their help. Below is a sample letter that you can edit or add your own thoughts to & then email to your local representatives. Many of their email addresses are in the table to the right for your use.

I am a concerned citizen and am very troubled by the potential loss of our shelter which cares for thousands of stray and homeless pets on an annual basis. The citizens of our local communities also desperately need the important services such as low cost spay/neuter and vaccine clinics that the CCSPCA/SJRAS offers. For more than 70 years they alone have shouldered the burden of providing refuge for animals in need, assisting pet owners with necessary services and acting as a resource for any animal related issues.  

The welfare of the animals is a community responsibility of vital importance as well as a quality of life issue and a matter of public safety.   As an elected representative of our area, I ask that you do everything in your power to ensure the continuation of these crucial services by supporting the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter with whatever resources are necessary to continue these essential services.

If you would prefer to print and mail a letter to officials, the same sample letter is available for download below, and mailing addresses are in the far right column of the table.

Letter to Local Government Reps

Cumberland County Free Holders
Joe Derella joede@co.cumberland.nj.us 164 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Darlene Barber darleneba@co.cumberland.nj.us 164 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Carman Daddario carmanda@co.cumberland.nj.us 164 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Carol Musso carolmu@co.cumberland .nj us 164 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Joseph Sparacio josephsp@co.cumberland.nj.us 164 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Jim Sauro jimsau@co.cumberland.nj.us 164 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Jim Quinn jimqu@co.cumberland.nj.us 164 West Broad Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Other Cumberland & Salem County City & Township Officials
Michael Santiago michael.santiago@millvillenj.gov City of Millville
P.O. Box 609
Millville, NJ 08332
Jeanne Hitchner jeanne.hitchner@millvillenj.gov City of Millville
P.O. Box 609
Millville, NJ 08332
Albert Kelly mayor@cityofbridgeton.com City of Bridgeton
330 Fayette St.
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Pam Humphries phumphries@commercialtwp.com Township of Commercial
1768 Main Street
Port Norris, NJ 08349
Hannah Nicols hnichols@commercialtwp.com Township of Commercial
1768 Main Street
Port Norris, NJ 08349
Robert Campbell rgc4downe@comcast.net
Steve Wymbs Steve.Wymbs@fairfieldtownshipnj.org Fairfield Twp Municipal Building
PO Box 240
70 Fairton Gouldtown Road
Fairton, NJ 08320
Benjamin Byrd Benjamin.Byrd@fairfieldtownshipnj.org Fairfield Twp Municipal Building
PO Box 240
70 Fairton Gouldtown Road
Fairton, NJ 08320
William Reinhart CommitteemanReinhart@gmail.com
Lois Yarrington registrar@hopewelltwp-nj.com Hopewell Township
Municipal Building
590 Shiloh Pike
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Bruce Hankins mayor@hopewelltwp-nj.com Hopewell Township
Municipal Building
590 Shiloh Pike
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Brad Campbell mayor@shilohborough.com Borough of Shiloh
Box 349
Shiloh, NJ 08353
Ronald Campbell clerk@shilohborough.com Borough of Shiloh
Box 349
Shiloh, NJ 08353
Bruce Porter assistantclerk@stowcreektwp.com Stow Creek Township
474 Macanippuck Rd
Bridgeton NJ 08302
James Crilley Jcrilley@upperdeerfield.com Upper Deerfield Twp.
1325 Highway 77
Seabrook, NJ 08302
Stephanie Shane allowaydclerk@comcast.net Alloway Township
49 S. Greenwich St.
P.O. Box 425
Alloway, NJ 08001-0425
June Proffitt junep@carneyspointtwp.org Twp. of Carney's Point
303 Harding Hwy.
Carney's Point, NJ 08069
Kevin Eachus KEachus@PilesgroveNJ.org Twp. of Pilesgrove
1180 Route 40
Pilesgrove, NJ 08098
Maureen Adbill MAbdill@PilesgroveNJ.org Twp. of Pilesgrove
1180 Route 40
Pilesgrove, NJ 08098
Constance Garton ADMINISTRATOR@PITTSGROVE.COM Township of Pittsgrove
989 Centerton Rd.
Pittsgrove, NJ 08318
Tierra Jennings cityclerk@cityofsalemnj.gov City of Salem
17 New Market Street
Salem, NJ 08079
Stacey Pennington stacy.pennington@salemcountynj.gov
State Senators
Senator Van Drew SenVanDrew@njleg.org
Senator Sweeney sensweeney@njleg.org

Cumberland County SPCA animal shelter plans to close in December.

VINELAND – The Cumberland County SPCA plans to close its doors as an animal impound/shelter at the end of the year, if they don’t get some financial help, Bev Greco, the agency’s executive director, told The Daily Journal on Thursday.Letters are going out to 19 municipalities in Cumberland and Salem counties that have animal services contracts with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with notifications that the contracts, expiring Dec. 31, will not be renewed.“I don’t know what else to do,” Greco said.A “perfect storm” of court rulings and health code changes increased costs to the point where the SPCA is unable to operate as a shelter, Greco said. However, they will continue their law enforcement animal cruelty duties.When contacted Thursday, Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joe Derella said the board was briefly updated about the SPCA’s financial situation a couple months ago.

“We were unaware that they were at this point that they are actually going to be closing their doors,” he said. The shelter is facing closure. Derella said he planned to reach out to county administrator Ken Mecouch and county legal adviser Ted Baker.“We need to have a conversation with the SPCA, in regards to where they are at,” he said.

The state Superior Courts in Monmouth and Gloucester ruled SPCAs are public agencies, despite their nonprofit status, Greco said, explaining this puts them in a financial gray area. SPCAs are now charged with the additional responsibilities and liabilities of being a “public agency” but they can’t request funding for that because they are still “nonprofit,” she said. Greco noted she can’t anticipate what the budget increases will total because “I don’t know what I don’t know,” noting several of the changes came down in June.Devoting SPCA funds to increasing administrative costs rather than to direct animal care “defeats the purpose,” Greco said. The shelter, which has served the area for more than 70 years, takes in about 4,500 to 5,200 animals each year.

Believing the court decisions are incorrect, Greco said the local SPCA does not have the resources to challenge the rulings.“We can’t sit here and bleed to death,” she said. “We had to make a decision, if we can’t do sheltering right — if we have to sacrifice being able to save animals — then we can’t continue; it goes against our mission.”When the shelter closes Dec. 31, the SPCA will continue to care for the animals in their custody until they are placed. They will not take in any more animals, including those from the public.What will happen next, Greco said she does not know.“The county and the municipalities are going to have to come up with a plan for that,” she said.That’s the fundamental issue, she said, “they sympathize but they haven’t stepped up to the plate.”“This is a community responsibility and the local governments are going to have to figure out a way to handle the future of animals,” she said.

Derella told The Daily Journal that the freeholder board “never received a formal request to subsidize anything.”The county does annually contribute $20,000 to the SPCA for animal cruelty investigations.Should the shelter close, Derella said, it would “significantly” impact the municipalities that use it as an impound center.“If there is no more shelter here, they may have to go to a private vendor or out-of-county, at least that is the way it was described to us,” he said.The freeholders do not have specifics about the shelter’s operations and budget, Derella said.“We’ve got to have some communications with the SPCA board of directors to see what the potential avenues could be,” he said. “I don’t know legally where we can go from a nonprofit standpoint.”What would prevent other nonprofits that provide services to residents requesting county funding, Derella said. “Whe

Source: Cumberland County SPCA animal shelter plans to close in December.

Read the next article, explaining more about why CCSPCA may close its doors.

Getting pets to safety after hurricanes is long battle

Harvey, Irma, Maria – as if the situation for homeless animals wasn’t bad enough, three major hurricanes hitting the U.S. and Puerto Rico in less than a month is having a have a major impact on stray and shelter animals in those hard-hit areas, as well as repercussions throughout the country.Puerto Rico has a horrendous problem with overpopulation of companion animals. In the most recent estimate, there were approximately 300,000 stray dogs and a million stray cats fighting for survival on the streets and beaches. The island is approximately the size of Connecticut and has (or had … who knows now?) only five small, ill-equipped, poorly funded shelters. I shudder to think of what the island animals have been going through during their brush with Irma and now the full wrath of Maria.

The flooding and ensuing disease will surely mean a terrible death for a large number of these dogs and cats. The island has suffered such catastrophic damage that it has prevented relief organizations from assessing the situation as of yet. Further complicating the rescue efforts is the fact that those disaster response groups are already stretched to their limit because of Harvey and Irma.

Rescue groups have been bringing shelter animals up from the South and distributing them to northern shelters in hopes of finding them homes. This requires a tremendous effort, which comes with major expense and some disease-control issues. Getting the animals to safety is only half the battle; then they must be vaccinated, treated for any medical concerns, quarantined for a while to make sure they are healthy and, finally, found homes. This means disaster relief organizations and the receiving shelters will need support during this heroic effort.It’s hard not to be touched by the pictures of the animals who are the victims of these events, and many people will be moved to adopt one of them. If you are so inclined, I want to remind you to make sure any animals that currently share your home are fully vaccinated, including the less common canine influenza vaccine for dogs. Canine influenza is relatively new and scarce in our part of the country, but may be brought in by dogs entering the state from more affected areas. Any time you bring a new animal from any source into your fold, you should bring your other pets up-to-date on vaccines. Your veterinarian should be consulted for advice on preventive care for both vaccines and parasite treatments. On that same note, please keep in mind that Oct. 21 is the last low-cost vaccine clinic of the year at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter.

Let’s hope that the Atlantic Ocean is tapped out for this hurricane season. I think we’ve all had enough of watching these disasters unfold on The Weather Channel!

Source: Getting pets to safety after hurricanes is long battle

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

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 …

chi 1
chi 4
chi 3
chi 2

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

Pet luau shows the love at county SPCA

VINELAND - Dogs and their owners enjoyed a Hawaiian luau on Saturday thanks to the dedicated members of the Junior Volunteer group at the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.Dressed in Hawaiian leis and pet bathing suits, dogs splashed in and out of plastic kiddie pools set up to create the Bow Wow Beach during the Luv-A-Pet Luau.Declawing involves clipping off an animal's nail at the joint, which is akin to cutting off a person's finger at the first joint, advocates of a newly-proposed NY ban say.Some dogs, such as Sir Moe, an English bulldog owned by Matt Wiita of Vineland, walked from pool to pool and eventually laid down in the cool water. “We like bringing our dogs around other dogs. It’s like a social event for them,” said Wiita.Although it was still hot on Saturday, the heat was not as dangerous as last weekend, the original date for the luau. Temperatures were predicted to reach 100 degrees on July 23, so organizers postponed the event for a week.“We didn’t want to harm any of the dogs, and we didn’t want to put our junior volunteers at risk,” said Maria Stoerrle, director of the Junior Volunteer program, noting that postponing the luau was an ideal example of making responsible pet-ownership decisions.The Luv-A-Pet Luau was organized and staffed by the Junior Volunteers with support from the SPCA staff.“We want to get the kids involved with fun activities because we want them to have the chance to learn about the shelter,” said Stoerrle. “Also, all the activity may attract people to come into the shelter. You never know when someone is going to make a connection with an animal.” On Saturday, the volunteers offered dog sitting services for dog owners who wanted to check out the shelter and help in any other way possible. They became targets in a dunk tank, offered refreshments and brought shelter dogs outside to enjoy the festivities.Kristen Smith of Vineland brought her dog, Benny, to the luau. She adopted him from the Cumberland County SPCA six months ago and wanted to bring him out to see the staff and the volunteers. “They like to see the happy endings,” said Smith.Connor Morgado of Vineland and his dog Trixie, Sal Gaetano and Nicole Gaetano, also of Vineland, and their dog, Zoey, enjoy the Bow Wow Beach at the Luv-A-Pet Luau at the Cumberland County SPCA on Saturday. Sandy and Andy Corrado of Vineland brought their dog, Spike, for a fun day out. “The SPCA does so much. We’re happy to come out and support them,” said Sandy Corrado.Activities included games and crafts for children, refreshments for pet owners, a paw print activity, dog baths and beach-themed pet photos.The luau closed with a doggie swimsuit contest featuring guest pets and dogs that are available for adoption at the shelter.Steve Tatz of Crusin’ 92.1 volunteered to serve as DJ throughout the event, and representatives from Kizzy’s Place rescue were on hand with a few cats and kittens that are available for adoption. A&M Bounce-A-Lot donated the dunk tank and refreshments.

Source: Pet luau shows the love at county SPCA

Stray dog shot in face needs $4K in vet care | NJ.com

By Don E. Woods | For NJ.com Email the author | Follow on Twitter on May 12, 2016 at 2:30 PM, updated May 12, 2016 at 4:06 PMMILLVILLE — They call him Mr. Biggs. A stray pit bull that was found on the side of the road in Commercial Township earlier this month.Mr. Biggs was a friendly dog but was visibly injured with a head wound and he had difficulty walking. When Millville-based TLC Animal Rescue took him to the animal hospital, X-rays showed bullets still lodged in his head and leg.”We had no idea the extent of his injuries,” said Shelly Denhardt, vice president of TLC Animal Rescue. “He wasn’t walking on his hind leg but we had no idea. At first we thought he was probably hit by a car. We had no idea he was shot or to the extent his leg was shattered.”Man makes wood sculpture of UFC fighterIt took 750 hours for Jim O’Neal to finish the sculpture of mixed martial artist Conor McGregor.TLC Animal Rescue is raising money to take Mr. Biggs to an orthopedic surgeon in Red Bank, hoping to save the pit bull’s leg from being amputated. The animal group was hoping that putting pins in Mr. Biggs’ leg would help him but the surgery will instead require a plate. The surgery for his leg is estimated to cost $4,000.”We were just shocked and hysterically crying,” Denhardt said. “It was just unbelievable news for such a sweet dog.”A volunteer for TLC Animal Rescue was driving in the area of Main Street and Strawberry Avenue in Commercial Township on May 2 when she spotted Mr. Biggs laying on the side of the road. They took Mr. Biggs to the Cumberland County SPCA and picked him up a week later, which is the required protocol for strays that are found. Mr. Biggs is now staying at the TLC Animal Rescue. He was named after the volunteer who helped rescue him.N.J. dog recovering from being shot in headTLC Animal Rescue is taking care of Mr. Biggs, a pit bull that was found on the side of a road in Commercial Township. Mr. Biggs was shot in the leg and face. (Submitted video)Due to his injuries, rescue workers believe that he was used as a fighting dog. The workers are unsure if he was shot and then dumped or shot in the woods but, either way, Mr. Biggs ended up injured on the side of the road waiting for rescue.”We’ve certainly rescued dogs that have had scars, have been under weight and have been severely mistreated but we have never had a case where a dog has been this abused,” Denhardt said.Mr. Biggs’ abuse is under investigation. Once he is healed, he will be put up for adoption by TLC Animal Rescue. In order to pay for the operations, the animal rescue group is collection donations and organizing fundraisers.

Source: Stray dog shot in face needs $4K in vet care | NJ.com