In a major win for the animals, the Bucks County SPCA has been awarded ownership of the cats and kittens rescued on May 7, 2019 from a Doylestown property rented by Lori Romanisko. At the time of their removal from the overcrowded filthy conditions in the townhome, 59 cats were found deceased, and 141 living cats were all in need of immediate medical attention. Some even required emergency surgery by the BCSPCA veterinary team.
While the BCSPCA was initially able to negotiate surrender of some cats, the owner then refused to relinquish nearly half of the animals. The organization filed a civil action against Romanisko under Pennsylvania’s Costs of Care Act to expedite adoption of the cats still held in protective custody. Unreimbursed costs to the organization had mounted to $57,543 by the time of the ruling on August 26. Romanisko failed to pay the ordered costs; therefore, ownership of the cats was automatically transferred to the BCSPCA.
“The importance of this ruling cannot be overstated,” said Executive Director Linda Reider. “While we may never see a dollar of this judgement, we are thrilled that these resilient cats who languished so long in horrendous conditions can now live free of pain and suffering in homes of their own. We ask our community to step forward now and adopt these deserving cats.”
Reider and her team are deeply grateful to pro bono counselors Joann Lytle, Ashley Turner and Allison Morrissey of McCarter & English, LLP, who filed the civil action. Lytle, lead counsel for the BCSPCA, said “our firm is privileged to represent the Bucks County SPCA in animal cruelty cases like this one, and we admire the hard work and dedication of the Bucks County SPCA staff, who rescue animals from unspeakable conditions and give them an opportunity for a better life.”
This is the third time the BCSPCA has used the Costs of Care Act to expedite the adoption of animals rescued from animal cruelty cases. The District Attorney’s office filed criminal animal cruelty charges against Romanisko, which remain pending.
54 Cats Still Need Homes
As of October 7, 90 cats and kittens from the case have been adopted with another 54 (including kittens born in care) available now or in the near future from the organization’s shelters in Lahaska and Quakertown. About 20 of the remaining cats will be adopted out as working cats, meaning they are better suited for active lifestyles in a barn, greenhouse or similar setting in need of natural rodent control.
Working Cat Adoption Event – October 12 & 13
Adopters are encouraged to act now and adopt one or more working cats this month to help the animals settle into place before the onset of cold weather. Adoption donations for working cats are waived through October 31 and a Working Cat Adoption Event is scheduled for noon-3:00 on October 12 and 13 at both BCSPCA locations.
Thank you to everyone who attended our sold out Barn Bash event on September 8! The Bucks County SPCA raised almost $100,000 for our animals! Many thanks to our generous sponsors, staff, volunteers, our animal adopter spotlights, our incredible host: Durham Hill Farm, and all those who contributed their time and talents to help make this event such a great success. Our special adopter guests included: Emily and her rescue duck, Baby Hobbs, and Tina with her rescue pup, Snow. Banh Mi, the goat is from a recent rescue case in Pipersville and enjoyed the attention from his many fans. A wonderful time was had by all and we even had one of our adoptable kittens find their new forever home. Thank you again for making this an unforgettable event filled with love and support for the animals. ❤️
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.
The Bucks County SPCA welcomed more than 250 visitors to its Quakertown shelter Open House on Saturday, June 22. Old friends and new came to tour the shelter, including a behind-the-scenes look at the clinic where thousands of animals receive lifesaving care each year. A variety of animal alums adopted from the SPCA’s two shelters were also in attendance. Maisy the rescued Golden Retriever served as canine greeter in the lobby. Rusty the Macaw accompanied Vicky from Feathered Sanctuary. He and several other birds, cats and dogs were rescued by BCSPCA in 2017 and several of the birds were placed with Feathered Sanctuary in Lancaster. Even BunBun the rabbit with his new pal Trouble toured the shelter in the comfort and safety of their own stroller.
In addition to children’s activities, raffle baskets and shelter tours – it was an excellent adoption day with 16 deserving pets going home with new families. Tri-girl is a King Charles Spaniel who quickly won the heart of her adopter. She is one of 22 small breed dogs rescued in May by BCPSCA from a local breeder who kept the animals in poor conditions. Nine of the little dogs have already been adopted and 3 were placed with breed-specific rescues. The remaining dogs are in foster care or continuing to receive medical treatment before being made available for adoption. All available kittens from our foster program were adopted on Saturday, as well as one of many available barn cats. The SPCA rescued 140 cats and kittens from a home in Doylestown in May. While some will make excellent companions, many of these animals are better suited for a more independent lifestyle as a working cat in a greenhouse, barn or workshop. There is an urgent need to place these cats because both shelters are running at maximum capacity. Now is a great time to add a working cat to your property with adoption fees for barn cats waived through Labor Day.
The 2019 Open House event raised nearly $12,000 to help homeless pets in Bucks County. BCSPCA appreciates the support of Top Dog event sponsor Penn Community Bank and every sponsor and volunteer who made the day a success for the animals. As a locally-supported, independent nonprofit, the organization relies on the generous support of animal-loving individuals and businesses to keep its doors open 365 days a year. You are always welcome at the shelters in Quakertown and Lahaska. The SPCA is an excellent place to adopt a new pet, get your cat neutered, or give back by volunteering or donating to help the animals.
Just days after taking in 140+ cats from a hoarding situation in Doylestown, the Bucks County SPCA cruelty investigation team today removed 22 small dogs from the home of a Bucks County breeder. The animals were being kept in filthy conditions. The dogs have been transported to our shelter in Quakertown and are now safe in our care. The next steps are examination of each animal by our veterinary team and following up with cruelty charges against the dog breeder. The breeder has surrendered the dogs to the Bucks County SPCA which means that we will be able to place them for adoption after they are evaluated, healthy, and neutered.
Our two shelters are now running at maximum capacity behind the scenes. Staff and volunteers are working long hours to provide excellent care for all of the animals from both cases. The community can help these animals recover by making a financial donation to the BCSPCA Animal Relief Fund. We will provide updates on social media as the court cases proceed and these animals become available for adoption. As always, watch our online listing on our website to view pets currently available for adoption. We appreciate the strong support of our community in response to large cases like these.
BREAKING NEWS: Bucks County SPCA Humane Police Officers are today removing nearly 100 sick cats and kittens from a townhome in Doylestown. The animals have been living in terrible conditions and many are in need of immediate medical treatment. They are being transported to our shelter in Lahaska where our veterinary team is waiting to examine them and begin addressing the most critical medical needs. Stay tuned for details. Donate now to the Bucks County SPCA’s Animal Relief Fund to help us provide care for these suffering animals. https://www.bcspca.org/donate-online/
Wow! It’s hard to believe that I arrived in beautiful Bucks County exactly one year ago. The anniversary of my first day as Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA has me reflecting on what an amazing year it has been, while looking forward to an even more exciting future.
In our field, and I suspect in many caring fields like ours, we often remain focused on all that we have left to accomplish. And certainly there is more progress to be made for animals in our community. Today, however, I am very pleased to report on our accomplishments, made possible through hard work by a team of 29 dedicated animal welfare professionals and 136 volunteers, and through the generosity of our supporters.
First and foremost, we are saving more lives.
It is my personal goal to maximize positive outcomes for the animals brought to us, while keeping their stay with us as short as possible. Adoptions are up 10% YTD over 2015, while euthanasia is down 31%.
Dogs are with us an average of only 13 days until adoption and cats, just 20 days.
We have not euthanized a single animal for space or time this year, and we have made many physical improvements for animal comfort in our two “no time limit” animal care facilities in Lahaska and Quakertown, now both open seven days a week.
New Staff and Expanded Services
I have brought on several new team members with deep backgrounds in their fields and the expertise needed to help us roll out new programs and improve existing ones.
With our new director of shelter medicine on staff, animals not only get excellent medical care and pre-adoption sterilization, we are also able to rehabilitate animals with complicated medical problems.
Our new director of community outreach is overseeing the streamlining and re-energizing of our volunteer and foster care programs. As of today, we have provided 437 animals with home-based foster care this year alone. BCSPCA newly has cats in offsite adoption locations, and we expect to grow that program in 2017.
Our new animal behavior expert is busy fine-tuning our assessments and interventions so that animals thrive in our care and our community can continue to count on us for adoptable animals. She is also expanding our rescue partner program in and outside of Pennsylvania to ensure we have more options for animals in our care who need extra help to succeed at adoption.
In February, we began partnering with overcrowded southern animals shelters to find homes for their puppies and dogs in Bucks County. We are proud to help these shelters while also helping Bucks County pet lovers adopt new companions.
Our cruelty investigation team has so far responded to 355 reports of animal abuse in Bucks County this year, and we won three significant court cases resulting in convictions and animals being saved. We have continued to offer our 24/7 injured stray animal rescue service county-wide; returned 219 lost pets to their worried owners; provided no-cost safe housing for 27 pets of victims of domestic violence and other emergencies; donated nearly 2,000 pounds of pet food to area food banks for low-income pet owners; and have reached hundreds of community members through special events, tours, and presentations to school kids and adults.
We have adopted out 1433 pets so far this year with what I believe is the best adoption package available: vaccinated, neutered, microchipped pets with friendly affordable same-day adoptions and our special money-back guarantee.
Our new communications and development manager has amped up our communications with those who care about and support our work. BCSPCA remains a private non-profit local organization, raising our own funds from private donors without the help of taxes. Nor do we get money from national groups like HSUS or the ASPCA. Every dollar we raise locally goes to provide care for local pets.
What lies ahead in 2017?
We hope to make improvements to our surgical clinics and staffing so as to be able to offer low-cost spay and neuter surgery, especially for cats, to help stem the tide of unplanned litters of kittens. Surrender prevention (keeping pets in homes) will become a major focus, along with support for feral cat trap-neuter-return (TNR) and shelter-neuter-return (SNR) efforts.
We also hope to update our housing for dogs at our Lahaska facility. If you want to keep up on (or help with) the latest at the BCSPCA, sign up today for our eTails online newsletter, our print newsletter Doggone Good Mews, and join our online communities on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The animals will thank you, and I thank you.
Executive Director, BCSPCA
A little lost dog’s return to her beloved owners is taking place on Saturday, September 10, thanks to the valiant efforts of two non-profit organizations: Bucks County SPCA (BCSPCA) and Pilots N Paws.
“Fancy” was originally adopted from the Cheaha Regional Humane Society (CRHS) in Alabama in June 2015 to Pat and Sam Jordan. The couple report that the dog was stolen from their yard while out to exercise on a tie-out in April 2016. A community-wide multi-day search undertaken for the Jordans by a local church was unsuccessful in locating her.
Somehow Fancy made her way to Pennsylvania. She was found lost in Bucks County by a kind person who brought her to the BCSPCA in late August. The shelter scanned and traced her microchip back to the Jordans, who were thrilled beyond belief to learn she was safe. But since Sam is now wheelchair-bound, the couple’s ability to make the long journey north to reclaim her was impossible.
In stepped BCSPCA Board Member Jack Merritt, a pilot who also volunteers with Pilots N Paws, a national non-profit that coordinates pet reunion flights. Saturday morning September 10, Jack and BCSPCA Upper Bucks Shelter Director Vanly Pierson are flying the first leg of the journey with Fancy. They will transfer her to the next volunteer pilot in Roanoke, VA. Pat and Sam Jordan, along with CRHS staff will meet Fancy at her arrival destination, the Anniston Regional Airport in Alabama, and enjoy a police escort for the drive home. The entire 900-mile journey will be accomplished in a single day!
“We are delighted to be able to partner to help Fancy get back to her waiting owners,” stated Linda Reider, BCSPCA Executive Director. “Registered microchips and collars with current identification are critical to getting pets back when they are lost or stolen. Without a microchip, Fancy might never have been returned to the Jordan family.”
All three non-profit organizations (BCSPCA, Pilots N Paws, and CRHS) are supported by charitable donations. While long-distance happy-ending stories like Fancy’s are rare, the three groups together assist thousands of animals in need. Follow Fancy’s story on Facebook.