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Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this, the temperatures have moderated closer to normal for our area. What a challenge it has been! For the past two weeks, we have been inundated at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter with calls about pets without adequate shelter. Having only two investigators covering all of Cumberland County, we’ve had to rely on help from all of our local animal control officers to respond to the volume of reports.

As a reminder, we ask that anytime you notice a pet outdoors that may not have proper protection from the weather, please call us immediately. Don’t wait until temperatures are below or above the norms. As a quick refresher, outdoor enclosures should be just big enough for the animal to stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably. Shelters should be placed out of the wind and, if possible, have a flap on the door; they should also be raised a couple of inches off the ground. Straw is the best bedding to use as blankets will hold moisture. Following these guidelines will help your pets retain their body heat.

Many people are not aware that this past summer Gov. Chris Christie signed a law that makes it illegal to have a dog kept outside between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The law takes effect in February.

On a lighter note, the puppies at my home are doing great! They are 3 weeks old and just starting to do something other than sleep, eat and grow. They are wobbling around on their short little legs, mouthing each other a little, and responding to sounds and smells other than those of their mother. I can already tell which one of them is going to be the clingiest; the biggest boy is also the biggest baby! He is actually starting to cry for attention and is climbing over his litter mates to get to wherever we are outside of the whelping box. It will be very interesting to watch their individual personalities emerge as they mature. They continue to transform constantly as the shape of their heads and faces become more defined and their coloring and markings seem to change on a daily basis. There are new videos for you to view at

These 3-week-old puppies are currently under the care of the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter and will be available for adoption in February. Video by Bev Greco, South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter

There’s a big difference in size between Valentino, the runt, and the big guy, Romeo. Valentino is less than half his size. We are also starting to notice that they have very short snouts and, although this may change, they appear almost pug-like. My curiosity over their parentage has finally gotten the best of me and I went online and purchased a Wisdom Panel, a DNA test for dogs. The kit comes in the mail with two swabs that are used to take samples from the inside of their cheeks. You then go online, register your kit and mail the swabs to the laboratory. The results take a couple of weeks, so we should know who the “daddy” was before the pups are ready to be adopted. It also may shed some light on what our mama dog is mixed with; she looks primarily like a wire hair Jack Russell but also has a rounder head with a short snout.

Stay safe and warm, and please call (856) 691-1500 to report suspected animal cruelty or neglect.

Source: Don’t wait to report unprotected outdoor pets

Posted in 2018, SJRAS Articles