We’re going to bounce around a little bit in this column so that we can give you a couple of reminders and updates. First, as the warm weather has FINALLY graced us with its presence, it has brought the ticks with it. The South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter staff is seeing more and more of these pests on dogs coming into the shelter. With the uptick (no pun intended!) in tick-borne diseases, it is imperative for the health of your dog that you have him or her on a good external parasite preventative. Most external parasite treatments handle both fleas as well as ticks, and the fleas won’t be far behind. You can purchase the preventative treatments at the shelter, pet supply stores, vet offices and online. We always suggest that you consult with your veterinarian before starting treatment.
If you’ve been outdoors enjoying this nice weather, you also may have noticed all of the insects seem to have emerged overnight. I saw mosquitoes in my garden last week, which means your dog may be at risk of contracting heartworm disease if not on the preventative medication. Heartworm disease is fatal if not treated, but it’s easily preventable. You must take your dog to a veterinarian to get this medication, as it is not available over the counter.
Our foster homes are still filled with kittens who are not old enough to be placed in their permanent homes yet, and we are receiving more every day. We are always looking to recruit new foster homes and hope that you will consider learning about the impact you can have in saving the lives of pets in need by providing temporary care. Fostering can involve dogs or cats – whichever you are comfortable with – and may include an individual animal or a litter, according to your abilities. To learn about fostering, email our foster coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.Finally, the shelter’s low-cost vaccine clinics begin on May 19 and will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of every month from now through October. Dogs and cats are welcome at the clinics. Dogs must be on short leashes with secure collars or harnesses. Cats MUST be in secure carriers. Rabies, distemper and Bordetella vaccines are available. If you want a three-year rabies vaccine, you must bring proof of the prior vaccine. Flea and tick preventatives are available at the clinics. We carry Provecta for dogs, which contains four monthly doses for $30; and Catego for cats, which contains three monthly doses for $35. Cash or credit cards are accepted. Our low-cost spay/neuter clinic is available every week; appointments can be made at the shelter or online. You can find us online at southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org.
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!
PITTSGROVE – Dogs and their owners mixed beautifully Sunday afternoon at the Cumberland County SPCA’s annual Step For A Pet fundraiser.Now in its 23rd year, the yearly event at Parvin State Park drew hundreds of local animal lovers with the lure of pet-friendly attractions, food for all creatures and live entertainment.“It’s great; it brings a lot of awareness,” Fairton resident Darlene Morris said. “Everyone here is a dog lover, so they share that love.” Morris attended the event with her friend Dawn Stauffer, who brought along two of her seven dogs, Rumor and Gypsy — both white boxers.
A fellow volunteer at the SPCA and a local dog groomer, Stauffer was glad to see the community come out and show its support.“They’re a great bunch of people; they save a lot of lives,” the Shiloh resident said.
Several hundred people came out Sunday, April 30, 2017, to Parvin State Park for the CCSPCA’s annual fundraiser. (Photo: Staff photo/Daniel J. Kov)
No dogs were discriminated against, with Chihuahuas mixing with Labradors and dachshunds alike.Many of the dogs who attended the walkathon were themselves adopted from the CCSPCA.
“My heart gets overjoyed and touched to see so many people together with their animals,” said Arlene Baruffi, who was the MC of the event.Adoption is the main goal of the animal shelter, which takes in animals and turns them into pets ready for a home.“A lot of the dogs come in in bad shape,” Baruffi said, noting the SPCA takes in about 5,000 animals a year.The bulk of the proceeds collected will go towards covering the healthcare costs of the shelter’s animals, Baruffi said.“We want to make sure they are adoptable for homes — that’s our purpose,” she said.
Also featured at the event was the beloved ‘Dog of the Year’ contest, which features dogs competing for votes and donations.The pooch with the most is crowned ‘Dog of the Year’ in the fall.Baruffi said the competition has brought in more than $130,000 over the eight years it has been established.
Daniel J. Kov; (856) 563-5262; email@example.com
When the students in Susan Belmonte’s fourth-grade class at The Ellison School in Vineland decided to help the animals at the Cumberland County SPCA, they came up with a good plan. They got creative and made bracelets and sold them to family members and friends. When the project was finished, they were able to make a donation of $100 to the SPCA.
VINELAND – The Cumberland County SPCA is eager to convert your unwanted shoe stash into much needed shelter cash.Through an established relationship with the WoofTrax app, the shelter staff is now participating in a new fundraising opportunity.RELATED: Dogs & cats at Cumberland County SPCA need a homeWooftrax Shoes for Shelters & Rescue purchases new or gently used footwear from shelters at a bulk rate.So the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is hosting a shoe drive, asking the community to bring in their old soles.“They donate shoes to us, we bag them up,” said shelter staffer Kelly Serbeck. “We’ve gotten about a 100 pairs and we’ve only been collecting for about three or four days.”Buy PhotoSneakers and Sandals play in a pair of boots at the Cumberland County SPCA in Vineland on Friday, August 26. “They are not going to be dog toys, that’s one of the big questions we’ve gotten so far,” she said.WoofTrax repurposes the shoes as an entrepreneurial enterprise.“They send them to places like Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where they set people up with stands so they can sell them,” Serbeck said.In other news: Reward offered in girl’s shootingEveryone can help.“They take anything; flip flops, work books, sandals, heels and sneakers,” she said, noting all sizes, including children’s shoes are accepted.The SPCA is looking for partners and businesses who will set up donation bins and serve as collection sites.They have until Nov. 5 to collect as many shoes as possible. The goal is to reach 2,500 pair of shoes, which would net them about $1,000, Serbeck said.A bag of donated shoes at the Cumberland County SPCA. The shoe donation program is well-established.“Apparently it’s been around for a little while but this is our first time,” Serbeck said.They discovered it through its connection to the WoofTrax “Walk for a Dog” program where people raise money for their animal shelters by downloading the free “Walk for a Dog” app.The app uses GPS to track the distance of your walk and the shelter you select gets a donation, which is based on the quantity and distances of the shelter’s registered walkers.It’s not necessary to be walking a dog to earn the shelter funds. The app, through its “Walk for Cassie” option, allows you to create a dream dog.Other options include volunteering to walk a shelter dog, or adopting one, the SPCA said.Buy PhotoSneakers and Sandals play in a pair of boots at the Cumberland County SPCA in Vineland on Friday, August 26. (Photo: Justin Odendhal/Staff Photographer)WoofTrax encouraged shelters to promote the dog-walking fundraiser when the Pokémon Go craze hit. They reminded supporters “to log their miles while they are out Poké hunting, they could be racking up miles for your shelter,” Serbeck said.While chasing the Pokemon promotion, Serbeck said they discovered the shoe fundraiser.It’s a good idea because it reaches a wide audience, Serbeck said, noting they are asking people to open their closets, not their wallets.The timing is good with local families out back-to-school shopping.Benefits of the fundraiser are tri-fold, said Catherine Shepherd, the shelter’s volunteer/events coordinator. People clean a closet and help someone support their family all while raising money for the shelter.“It’s a win, win, win,” she said.Deborah M. Marko: (856) 563-5256; firstname.lastname@example.org
VINELAND - Children in the Cumberland County Library’s Summer Reading Program had a great time practicing their reading skills when they participated in the Furry Tales reading program at the Cumberland County SPCA. During the visit, the children read stories to the pets who are waiting to be adopted. The library’s summer reading program continues in August.The library is at 800 E. Commerce St., in Bridgeton.More Neighbors news: Take time to play!For a schedule of activities or information, call (856) 453-2210 or visit www.cclnj.org.
(Photos: Cumberland County Library)
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.
Cumberland County Library youth program had a terrific time reading to their new furry friends at the Cumberland County SPCA.Kristin Ramer, CCSPCA Human Education Coordinator, provided a tour of the Cumberland County SPCA and told the children about opportunities to help animals in need.They shared their reading skills and made new furry friends.Be sure to join us at the Cumberland County Library for exciting programs. Visit www.cclnj.org or call 856-453-2210, Ext. 110.