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

Vineland SPCA: Heartbreaking choices for poor seniors with pets

In responding to reports of animal neglect and cruelty, we sometimes come across situations where our concern for the people involved is just as great as it is for the animals. Often when pets are at risk, the people that own or care for them are also facing issues such as abuse and poverty.In a recent investigation at the Cumberland County SPCA, we were reminded that there are many elderly folks out there who lack financial stability and have no family or support network to fall back on. They are often extremely attached to their pets, as their animals are their main source of comfort and companionship.

So what is to be done when a senior hasn’t the means to care for their pet properly? Removing the animal is a lousy choice, because it then leaves the person without what may very well be one of the few joys in their life. Resources to assist the owners may be limited, but the one thing we can all do is be proactive in addressing these types of situations before they become serious.Case in point: Our investigators responded to a report involving an injured cat in need of veterinary care. When they arrived at the property, they knocked on the door and were greeted by an elderly lady. It was too late for the animal that initially was involved, as it had already passed away. There were, however, two cats inside the house that were suffering severe flea infestations to the point of having major hair loss and anemia. The woman, who was displaying some signs of dementia, also was covered in fleas. She had no running water in the house, and a neighbor had hooked up a hose so that she could flush the toilet. She was also receiving some help from another benevolent organization to pay her utility bills. She has no car, no family and no other help.

Now what? We can remove the cats, but that will only make the flea infestation worse in the house and, in turn, for the owner. We could help her get flea medication for the cats, but the house would have to be treated and she is unable to do it herself, and she would have no place to go during the treatment. Even just using over-the-counter flea bombs would be a huge risk, because they are so flammable and because there is no guarantee the lady would stay out of the house during the treatment or be able to do the necessary cleanup afterwards.Because of the severity of the problems, this is a no-win situation. Beyond concern for the cats, the lady herself is in serious need of help. I have alerted the necessary senior services organizations and hope they will be able to step in and help her. In the meantime, we are helping with the cats and will remove them if necessary. I wish, though, that someone had been aware of her situation sooner and had alerted the relative service organizations before things had gotten so bad. Whether it was pride or disability that prevented her from asking for help herself, it’s a shame that she and the cats have been suffering and have reached this level of hardship.J

If you have elderly neighbors or acquaintances who have pets, there are many small ways that you can help look out for them. Consider offering transportation to the vet’s office, helping them shop for heavy items like cat litter and bags of food, taking their dogs for a walk on occasion, or just looking in on them every once in a while. Remember, too, it doesn’t have to be a report of cruelty or neglect; you can always contact us with calls of concern.

Source: Vineland SPCA: Heartbreaking choices for poor seniors with pets

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

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

Baby, it’s cold outside … for your pets, too

Well, the holidays are behind us. Time to hunker down for the next couple of months and hope that the doldrums don’t get to us. On the upside, daylight is now increasing; by today sunset won’t happen until about 4:55 p.m. … woo hoo! January and February also can be a rough time for shelter animals, as people are not as likely to adopt during the worst of the winter months. We also have fewer volunteers coming in to walk and socialize with dogs and cats at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter, which means long, quiet days for our homeless pets.I know it’s a bit of a sacrifice to take on the task of housebreaking a dog when it’s cold and nasty outside, but many of our dogs are adults that already are trained. Cats are very easy to train, as they instinctively use litter; it’s just a matter of confining them to the room with the box initially and then expanding their territory.A few quick reminders:If you have outdoor dogs or cats, make sure their shelter is dry, packed with straw and out of the wind.During winter, outdoor animals need more calories to help them stay warm. Provide them with GOOD QUALITY food and put a little extra in their dish each day.Water access for them can be tough in the freezing temperatures; run out to the store and get a water dish warmer. This will ensure that their water doesn’t freeze.The weather this past week prompted a slew of phone calls reporting animals without shelter. On Thursday, Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agents responded to an apartment in Millville that had two dogs tied with short leashes to a filthy set of steps in the back of the house. They had no shelter whatsoever. The small dog (we’re calling him Spanky) weighed in at 15 pounds; he should be around 30. He was so severely dehydrated and starving that the vet kept him overnight and then had us administering fluids and giving him food and water in small amounts at four-hour intervals so as not to shock his system. The larger dog, Darla, was about 10 pounds underweight – thin, but not emaciated like the other. Both were severely dehydrated. Spanky has a severe skin condition. Both dogs are suffering from intestinal parasites, which no doubt contributed to their low body weights.F

I bring up this case because I’m not convinced the situation would have brought to our attention had the temperatures not plummeted. Perhaps someone eventually may have reported them for being underweight, but by that time it may have been too late. Spanky already had the physical signs of suffering starvation for an extended period of time; he would not have survived much longer.Vineland car break-ins prompt warningI remind you to please report any animals that you think may be in jeopardy. The law doesn’t allow us to enforce that animals be inside, but they must have adequate shelter, proper nourishment, water, safe containment and necessary vet care. Please don’t wait until the situation is severe. Call (856) 691-1500 to leave reports. Thank you for being their voice and their advocate; you may be all they have.

Source: Baby, it’s cold outside … for your pets, too

Nail-biter at the SPCA: Calista’s big second chance

Our Cumberland County SPCA agents worked long and hard to find a particular dog, who we named Calista. They knew she was out there and, after seizing 16 dogs from the same dogfighting property, they refused to leave her behind. It took weeks, but they found her – and suddenly she was ours. She was beautiful: fawn and white and a tiny little thing.I looked over her body for scars – none.  She approached the front of the kennel with a wagging tail – another good sign. But it was only weeks ago that the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals staff invested everything – time, energy and emotion – into the rescued fighting dogs who came before Calista, only to have to humanely euthanize them when we exhausted every possible option for safe placement. It was incredibly difficult to go through, and I didn’t feel ready to walk down that road again.MORE SPCA NEWS: The difficult aftermath of dogfightingThe animals, however, have a convincing way of making their case. All Calista needed was about five minutes in a play yard with our staff. It would have been only 30 seconds, but it probably took us over four minutes to travel a few dozen feet from her kennel to the yard because her leash manners were so awful. She was hyper, and wound herself and the leash around my legs, almost taking me out several times. She likely had never been leash walked prior; her life was spent on a chain. It was a very long, short walk!Out in the play yard Calista briefly explored, and then immediately returned to the staff members, desperately seeking affection. She sat on our feet and pressed her body into ours as close as she could and looked up at us with longing in her eyes. We melted; we had no choice. After this, we were confident that she would pass any human portion of a temperament test. But the biggest challenge was still coming up.Of the other dogs that we had tried so hard to save, three passed human handling with flying colors. It was the dog tests that proved to be their undoing. A large stuffed dog was used, as it’s not safe to use a real dog due to the potential for serious aggression. Watching those dog tests was equally horrifying and heartbreaking. As soon as the other dog was presented, a change came over them, their eyes glazed over, and you could tell that all of their nerve endings were on fire. If the stuffed dog was brought closer, they would attack with no hesitation. There was no way to see and hear what was happening without visualizing what happened in the fighting pit. It was a sick feeling. These dog tests were what convinced us that we had to let them go. There was no way they could be safe around other animals; the potential for disaster was just too great.THE DAILY JOURNALSouth Jersey residents charged in dogfighting networkWe were understandably nervous when it came time for Calista’s dog test. We knew that, if she failed, she had no chance. But we were given reason to be hopeful. Calista was young enough that it was a real possibility that she had not yet been in a fight; she wasn’t scarred after all.  And more significantly, when our agents found her, she had gotten loose, and despite the presence of other dogs, there was no altercation. We held our breath as Calista approached the other dog, and I think there was a collective, silent cheer as the meet proceeded without concern. Calista had done what none of the other dogs had been able to do – she passed a dog test.Sadie (Photo: CCSPCA)At that point, things moved quickly. We reached out again to the Humane Society of the United States, who connected us with Heather from Handsome Dan’s Rescue for Pitbull Type Dogs. There were a lot of details to be worked out, especially since the rescue is hours away in Rhode Island. No matter, though – we would do anything to make this work for Calista, and Heather and the HSUS were equally committed. How lucky were we and Calista to have such strong partners advocating for her. There was no better rescue to meet her needs; it has numerous resources and supports, and the staff has experience with rehabilitating rescued fighting dogs. (Handsome Dan himself is one of the dogs who survived Michael Vick’s fighting ring and went on to be a national example of how successful rehabilitation can be.)Calista is still in the care of Handsome Dan’s rescue, and we love seeing her progress play out on the rescue’s Facebook page. This wasn’t just any rescue; this was the rainbow rescue. After a loss so deep, seeing Calista live the life and have the opportunities that we dreamed about for our other dogs was like the sun peeking through the clouds. It was the reminder that although the sun may set for too many of the victims of dogfighting, the clouds are breaking for many others who are constant reminders of how brightly the sun shines for those we can save.

Source: Nail-biter at the SPCA: Calista’s big second chance

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

Don’t put your pet in danger when on the road

Last week, a 15-year-old cat was brought to the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter. While it’s upsetting that a 15-year-old cat found herself homeless, what was more upsetting was the way that she was brought to the shelter. She was put into a Rubbermaid storage container, with the lid secured on, and placed in the trunk of the car. There were four small holes poked into the container that provided her with just enough air; we hate to think what would have happened if the trip was much longer. When it comes to transporting pets, safety should be the first consideration. New Jersey animal cruelty laws required that “a person who shall carry, or cause to be carried, a living animal or creature in or upon a vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhumane manner, shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.” Animals should not be transported in a way that jeopardizes their safety – this would include the trunk of a car, or loose in the bed of a truck. It’s easy to imagine the disaster that could occur should a truck so much as hit the brakes hard, with an unsecured dog in the back. Dogs can be transported in crates in the bed, but the crates also must be secured.MORE SPCA NEWS: It's raining cats, dogs and reptiles at SPCAIf transporting an animal that needs to be contained, a pet carrier is the recommended mode of transport. They are designed to keep pets secure and safe. They also keep the humans in the car safe, as the animals are much less of a distraction when contained safely. We have seen animals brought into the shelter in all manners of boxes, containers and cages, some safe and some more concerning. If you don’t have a pet carrier available to you and must utilize a box or container, please make sure there is proper ventilation. Holes need to be large and plentiful to ensure the pet has plenty of air available.FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInADOPT US: Dogs & cats at the CCSPCA who need a home FullscreenBindi  CCSPCAFullscreen1 of 14 Next Slide14 PhotosADOPT US: Dogs & cats at the CCSPCA who need a homeMany times when people are bringing animals to the shelter in alternate carriers, it’s because they didn’t anticipate having to transport an animal. Keep in mind that it is your local animal control provider’s responsibility to provide transportation for stray animals. Not only do they have vehicles and equipment needed, but they are trained on how to safely handle and contain the animals. If you find a stray, you should contact animal control or your local police department. This also applies to wildlife.  Wildlife must be handled very carefully, and oftentimes the animals that we think need help in actuality just need us to leave them alone.When it comes to transporting pets, horse owners take the cake for the biggest challenge. There’s no way a horse is fitting in a carrier, your backseat or anything other than a trailer designed specifically for moving horses. And while most pet owners may not need to be concerned with the specifics of trailering a horse, we all should be aware that when we see a horse trailer on the road we need to give them extra space and be sure to never cut them off. The weight they carry is so great that it makes stopping quickly difficult, if not impossible, and this also poses great risk to the safety of the horses.THE DAILY JOURNALSPCA saves dogs from South Korean meat farmNew Jersey made waves several years ago when it passed a seatbelt law for pets. The new law required that all pets must be secured when a vehicle is in motion. I can’t say whether anyone has been ticketed for not belting in their pets, but we do know that common sense should apply when transporting any animal. If transporting your own pet, use a pet carrier and tether your dog with a leash if he is the jumpy or bouncy type. While safety is the No. 1 priority, also keep their comfort in mind, too. A soft blanket or bed to lie on or to place inside the carrier can make a trip more comfortable. And if your trip is a longer one, make sure you have fresh water available for your pet to drink and give him a rest stop along the way.  Keep an eye on the temperature of the vehicle. For animals that experience severe anxiety when traveling, contact your veterinarian to see if a sedative is appropriate.Speaking of comfort, our inspiration for this column is named Kitty and she’s feeling much more comfortable now. She was understandably distressed upon arrival. Fortunately, we have since calmed her down, cleaned her up, and secured placement for her where she will be safe and loved.  No more Rubbermaid containers for this lady!Shelter needsThe CCSPCA shelter in Vineland seeks donations of kitten and cat chow, kitten milk replacement formula, A/D Diet, catnip, cat toys, hot dogs, cheese singles, litter and paper towels. It also requests gift cards from Walmart, ShopRite and pet supply stores.

Source: Don’t put your pet in danger when on the road