Bucks County SPCA’s most famous best buddies are melting hearts around the globe.
Waffles the mini-horse and Hemingway the goose were rescued by our humane officers in July. The pair let us know right from the start that they are bonded friends not to be separated. While recovering in our comfortable barn in Quakertown, they were featured in a playful video about their unique inter-species friendship. The story has gone viral online (170,000+ views) and on television.
From Good Morning America to NPR to Canadian national television, Waffles and Hemingway have brought smiles to countless faces and shone a spotlight on the important work of animal rescue and sheltering. Shelters like the Bucks County SPCA are not just about saving cats and dogs, but a broad variety of animals in need.
We’ve been asked by Pinellas County Animal Services to accept more than two dozen dogs to help make room in their shelters for local pets in the wake of devastating Hurricane Irma. Early on September 14 three members of our team hit the road for Largo, Florida, transporting dog crates and requested medical supplies. They’ll return on Sunday with a truck full of dogs in need of new homes. All the dogs were at the shelter before the storm hit. Flood waters are receding, but the recovery will be a long one. We’re proud to be part of this important work and thankful for the support of our community. Thanks to your response, the full cost of transport and medical supplies has been covered. Thank you!
Co-owners Michelle Hawkins-Pena and Billy Pena pled guilty to animal cruelty charges on August 29, 2017, and surrendered three horses, one pot-bellied pig, and six chickens to the Bucks County SPCA. The animals were rescued following a several months long investigation into reports of animal cruelty and neglect at the property rented by the couple in Bedminster Township.
“The greatest joy in a case like this is seeing the animals transform during their recovery and go on to live healthy lives,” said BCSPCA Chief Humane Society Police Officer Nikki Thompson following the conviction.
The animals were removed by the BCSPCA with the help of volunteers and neighbors on July 28, 2017. They have since been receiving care at the BCSPCA’s Upper Bucks Animal Care Center under the direction of veterinarians specializing in these specific animals. After just four weeks of providing proper food, water, and basic medical care, the horses have gained weight and their conditions improved dramatically. The pig also has health issues and is improving under treatment.
“This is the best of all possible outcomes,” said BCSPCA Executive Director Linda Reider. “We are thrilled to have the animals in safe hands and a conviction of animal cruelty against the owners. The BCSPCA will continue caring for these animals so that they make a full recovery. Donations toward their substantial food and medical expenses are greatly appreciated.” Give now online (select Care of Bedminster Horses) or by check sent to BCSPCA, PO Box 277, Lahaska, PA 18931.
The animals will remain in the custody of the BCSPCA until they are cleared medically and the time limit for appeal has passed.
After an intensive investigation, the Bucks County SPCA (BCSPCA) removed 3 horses, 6 chickens and a pot-bellied pig from a property in the 600 block of Sweetbriar Road in Perkasie, Bedminster Township on July 28, 2017. Animal cruelty charges are pending against the owners of the animals, Michelle Hawkins-Pena and Billy Pena.
“We appreciate the support and collaboration of the community and the Bedminster Police Department. Despite ordering the owner to provide necessary nutrition and veterinary care, the animals conditions continued to decline and a search warrant was served,” said Humane Society Police Officer Nikki Thompson. “A case like this one requires patience and multiple visits to collect sufficient evidence to maximize the likelihood of a conviction of animal cruelty.”
With the help of several volunteers from the community the animals were transported to BCSPCA’s barn facility in Quakertown, PA. They were immediately examined by an equine veterinarian who is now overseeing their care. “The road may be a long one, but we are optimistic that all of the animals will make a full recovery and go on to enjoy greener pastures.” said Linda Reider BCSPCA Executive Director.
Contributions to help cover food and medical expenses are needed. Donations can be made online or by check sent to BCSPCA, PO Box 277, Lahaska, PA 18931.
Lahaska, PA – Acting on a tip from the community, the Bucks County SPCA served a search warrant at the home of Doreen “Dee” Stoia of the 3600 block of Nancy Ward Circle, Doylestown, PA. Ms. Stoia runs a cattery called “Elitepurrs Persians” out of the residence where she breeds and shows Persian cats. The interior of the house was found to be unsanitary, and each of the 11 adult cats were found to have flea infestations, matted coats and other physical maladies.
“It’s hard to imagine that someone who enters the show ring with prize winning cats would allow the same cats to live under these conditions.” says Nikki Thompson, Chief Humane Society Police Officer for Bucks County SPCA.
The cats are currently receiving care under the direction of the BCSPCA veterinarian and will be held as evidence until a trial can be scheduled. Animal cruelty charges against Ms. Stoia are expected to be filed in the next few days.
“Bucks County cares deeply about animals and we will not stand idly by when they are abused or neglected,” says Linda Reider, Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. “These cats are now receiving the proper care and attention they deserve.”
Inquiries about the case should be directed to BCSPCA Chief Cruelty Investigator Nikki Thompson at 215-794-7425 x107.
BCSPCA will be hosting our first ever Chip N’ Tag event on Saturday, June 18th from 10am-2pm. This low-cost event is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law and with volunteer veterinary staff from Quakertown Veterinary Clinic.
Chip N’ Tag will allow community members to have their dogs micro-chipped, vaccinated for rabies and licensed for a reasonable cost. No appointment necessary for this dog only event.
I’ve been volunteering in the Lahaska Cat Room every Friday for about five years. During that time I’ve met many older cats and have fallen in love with all of them, but I was especially touched by a group of cats who joined us not long ago after their elderly owner’s health prohibited her from keeping them any longer. Within this larger troupe were siblings – many years ago the woman had opened her home to a pregnant cat and the kittens stayed on and settled in. I guess you could say that the owner and the cats had grown old together.
One of our jobs in the Cat Room is to let the cats out of their cages for a time each day to stretch their legs and engage in a little playing and exploring, with up to four allowed out at any one time. When several are out at the same time, it gives us an opportunity to observe how they interact with one another – some may be adopted into homes where there is already a pet or two so knowing if a cat is agreeable and accepting of other felines is useful information we can share with prospective adopters.
Each of these senior siblings was living in a separate cage, although a couple of them could see one another across the room. At fourteen years of age, they were calm and friendly and enjoyed the attention we provided. One day I decided to let the six of them out together (yes, I broke the rules…just this once). As I went around the Cat Room opening cage doors, each cat took his/her time to assess this new opportunity, jump out and stretch a bit. Then one by one they found one another, forming a small, slightly disorganized group – it looked like a cat cocktail party. Immediately these gentle souls started to greet one another, touching cheeks and leaning body against body – it was obvious that they not only recognized their former roommates, but (and here I’ll risk attributing human feelings to them) loved one another and were enjoying the reunion of their little cat community. They were such a joy to watch – I wanted to take them in my arms and give them a big hug for being such sweet kitties (I didn’t).
I often wonder what our cats think when they find themselves uprooted from their homes and living in our Cat Room. Some of the younger cats seem to see an adventure, a new place to explore. Our senior cats sometimes withdraw, challenging us to earn their trust and help them through this major life transition. As many of our adopters already know, older cats make wonderful pets – and the good news is that each of the five cat siblings now has a new home. Jasmin, the mother, is waiting at the Lahaska location for that special person who is ready to open their heart to a senior cat. I’ve lived with enough senior cats to know that they can be resilient and adaptable, even though it might take them a little longer to adjust to situations – it’s so worth it to see them happy again. I hope potential adopters won’t reject an available cat based solely on his age – you will be missing out on a wonderful and loving companion.
1. What you see is what you get: An older animal has an established temperament, unlike a puppy or kitten that will go through many developmental changes. This helps ensure your lifestyle with a certain dog or cat will be the right match. And because a senior pet is already fully grown, there is no mystery about whether the animal’s size will be compatible with your home environment, whether the animal will grow to be too big for you to manage or whether your new pet’s personality will be a good fit with you. 2. Know their manners: Most senior pets are already house- or litter box-trained, and in the case of dogs know basic leash manners. Their history prior to adoption – including any potential abuse or mistreatment – will shape how quickly they adapt to their new home, human family and routines. Bear in mind that when you adopt, you are to some degree adopting the house rules of the pet’s previous guardian, but even senior pets can adapt when given love, time and positive training. 3. Less demanding: Older animals already have their routines and while they still love to play, they love to relax, cuddle and nap as well. They are emotionally mature and more mellow than younger pets, and although they require exercise like any pet, it does not need to be as frequent or vigorous as with a younger animal. As a result, older dogs and cats tend to fit more easily into your daily routines. 4. Old enough to know better, young enough to learn: A senior animal may already know some basic commands, and they will be responsive to learning more. They have more focus and attention than puppies or kittens and may have undergone obedience training with their previous owners or shelter staff. They may already be create or leash trained, have experience with routine grooming and know basic house manners. At the same time, companion pets are wired to please their human guardians, and typically are fast learners – especially when it benefits them to learn something new.
5. Great for any age: Senior pets’ more relaxed temperaments makes them excellent companions for the young and elderly alike. More mature people benefit from a four-legged companion who is more aligned with their energy level and lifestyle, while children can benefit from an animal who is more tolerant and who may already been well socialized with the younger set. 6. Just add love: Older animals will adapt to a new family given love and time. While you might not be your senior dog’s or cat’s first family (or even his second or third), once you adopt and shower your pet with love you will be his only family. 7. They know they have been given a second chance at life: Ask anyone who has adopted a more mature dog or cat and they will tell you that they are convinced their pets know they have been saved. Just one look in their eyes and you can see they are saying, “Thank you for saving my life.” When you save the life of a pet who faces near certain death or who may languish for months or years if not adopted, your life will change for the better!
The $1,000 reward offered by the Bucks County SPCA for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for injuring an orange tiger-striped cat found in Doylestown Township has been doubled by gifts and pledges from the community.
The reward is being offered in the case of a cat that appeared to have been shot four times with a nail gun. “Once people heard about how this cat suffered, residents all over Bucks County reached out to us offering to contribute to the reward” says Linda Reider, Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. “With their support, we are able to double the original award and offer $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. Every gift, no matter what size, sends the clear message that Bucks County cares deeply about animals and will not stand idly by when they are abused.”
The Bucks County SPCA continues to investigate and asks that anyone with information contact BCSPCA Chief Cruelty Investigator Nikki Thompson at 215.794.7425, with relevant information. For more information see www.bcspca.org.
When you think of a little dog named Wiggles you probably think of happy wiggling, right? Well my name is Wiggles but for the first four years of my life I didn’t have much to be happy about. Sometimes there was scared wiggling, and often wiggles of discomfort but it wasn’t until the Bucks County SPCA came into my life that I learned about wiggles of joy.
You see, I was raised in a house with more than 30 other Chihuahuas. Feeding time was just a torn open bag of dog food thrown on the floor for us to fight over. We didn’t see a veterinarian. Our numbers kept growing as the puppies kept coming and things just kept getting worse for us. One day some strangers came to the house – they said they were Humane Society Police Officers.
We were scared, we weren’t used to people. Little did we know it was the best things that had ever happened to us. We were brought to a new place with new smells and new people. Thirty four of us were taken to the Bucks County SPCA where we learned that people can be really awesome. There were people who were willing to sit quietly and hand feed us until we understood they were friends. There were people to take us outside so we could learn to walk on a leash and go potty. Best of all, there were people who taught us how to play!
Slowly but surely we all became healthy, happy pets. For some of us it was quick, for others it took many months. After a lot of hard work by the nice people at the Bucks County SPCA we were all adopted by wonderful owners who feed, love and look after us as cherished pets. We’ve learned so many new things since that day that the Bucks County SPCA gave us a second chance – my favorite was learning to wiggle with joy. Thanks to them I now love my life and know what my name means.
May all your wiggles be happy as mine are now.