Natalie DiGiacomo, Certiﬁed Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), M.S., has joined the Bucks County SPCA in the newly created role of Director of Community Outreach. Natalie comes to the BCSPCA from the Humane Society of the United States, where she was the Director of Shelter Services.
Natalie brings twenty-four years of experience to her new position, serving companion animals at the local, regional, and national level. Her background includes program development and management with an emphasis on community outreach as well as research into issues related to proactive animal sheltering. She has a Master’s degree in Animals and Public Policy and is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator.
As the Director of Community Outreach, her immediate focus will be will evaluating and overseeing existing programs, including the foster, volunteer, animal behavior, humane education, and animal transfer programs. In addition, Natalie will oversee growth in the new areas of offsite adoptions and prevention of owner relinquishment. “The commitment of my new colleagues, volunteers, and generous community supporters is inspiring”, commented DiGiacomo. “BCSPCA already casts a wide safety net for animals in our community; I look forward to helping it grow stronger and wider.”
“I am excited to welcome Natalie to the Bucks County SPCA,” says Linda Reider, Executive Director. “With her help we will expand our reach beyond the doors of our two animal care centers, to care for and protect even more animals in the communities we serve.”
The holiday season can be one of the most wonderful times of the year – and one of the most stressful for people and pets alike. Following these simple tips can help keep all of you stress-free and full of the holiday spirit.
Holiday Overindulgence – It’s not just for people
Left to their own devices our pets would be happy to overindulge in all kinds of holiday food. Nothing adds stress to a celebration in quite the same way as an animal with an upset stomach. Be sure to keep animals away from rich holiday foods. Be particularly vigilant about:
- Onions, which can cause anemia (high levels of garlic can, too)
- Grapes and Raisins
- Bones (especially cooked bones and ANY poultry bones)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Any foods high in fat, sodium and/or sugar
There are some human foods that are okay for pets. A small piece of cooked turkey or chicken without skin, bones or gravy makes for a nice treat without risking intestinal upset.
If you are hosting a holiday gathering, a little preparation before the guests arrive can work wonders. Remember that pets are not generally used to having more than a few people around and might get overly excited. The jumping, the grabbing food from hands and tables, the barking, or hissing and swatting … all of these things can lead to some embarrassing situations, and maybe even frighten some guests who aren’t used to being around animals. If your pet isn’t used to parties set aside a safe room where he or she can stay for the duration of the event. Make the space comfortable with a bed or rug, water, litter box, toys, and maybe some pet-appropriate treats. Tape a sign to the door saying “do not open, pets inside”. The last thing you want is for a very excited pet to dash through the house and out the door.
Watch the holiday decorations!
Most pets are curious by nature, so they will want to check out any additions to the decor. Sniffing can lead to chewing, or even eating those pretty holiday ornaments. Keep electrical cords and other decorations away from curious paws and watch out for dangling objects that can be pulled down and cause injury. Candles should never be left unattended, poinsettias are poisonous to cats, and if you have a Christmas tree, don’t let your pet drink the tree water, it probably contains dangerous preservatives or fertilizers.
On April 23, 2015 the Bucks County SPCA, with the help of the Bensalem Police removed 32 Chihuahuas from a Bensalem residence. The dogs are safe and being well cared for at our shelters. We are also caring for 11 Chihuahuas previously removed from the residence. Clearly the circumstances leading to the ownership of so many dogs, and the removal of the dogs, were stressful for the family and the dogs alike.
The situation was brought to our attention by Bensalem animal control, and an investigation is ongoing. We’re now working cooperatively with the family of the dog owner to come to a resolution that will be good for dogs and people alike, and to return a manageable number of dogs. The family is happy for us to spay or neuter all of the dogs. As we work through this the dogs will be in our care and we will update you as they become ready for adoption. If you are interested in adopting one of these dogs, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and an application.
Remember, we are here to help. If you someone who has too many animals call us at 215.794.7425 and we can help. If you are looking for a local, low cost spay and neuter program you can contact No Nonsense Neutering, who have clinics in multiple locations, including our Upper Bucks shelter, or Animal Alliance in Lambertville, NJ.
Watch the story on Fox 29 News and read about it in the Bucks County Courier Times.
The Bucks County SPCA is partnering with Holiday House Pet Resort and Doylestown Veterinary Hospital to help you and your pets have the best possible life together. The Pet Welfare & Wellness Series will help you and your pets get the most of your relationship from day one through grey muzzles.
This free, four-part series covers Adopting a Shelter Pet, Pet First Aid, Pet Socialization & Training and Caring for Senior Pets. Attendees are invited to sign up for one or all four events. Children are welcome and each presentation will have information specifically tailored for them.
It is our hope that the Pet Welfare and Wellness Series will help head off some of the problems that all to often lead to pets being surrendered to shelters and will strengthen the bond between pets and their people.
The Pet Welfare and Wellness Series:
Adopting a Shelter Pet
March 19th, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bucks County SPCA, Upper Bucks Shelter
60 Reservoir Road, Quakertown PA
Pet First Aid
April 20, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Health & Wellness Center
847 Easton Road, Warrington, PA
Pet Socialization and Training
May 21, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Holiday House Pet Resort
380 North Shady Retreat Road, Doylestown, PA
Caring for Senior Pets
June 16, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bucks County SPCA Lahaska Shelter
1665 Street Road, Lahaska, PA
All presentations are free, but seating is limited. Please use the links above to reserve your spot.