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.
A very special thank you to Jim Alterman of Jim’s of Lambertville for collecting donations for us at his Thrilla in Lambertvilla event. Come by to say thanks to Jim and meet new Executive Director Linda Reider, November 7th at 6 pm. Jim’s is located at 6 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530. See www.jimsoflambertville.com for more information.
We are chock full of fabulous felines of all colors and ages in need of loving homes. In order to get all these great cats into new homes as quickly as they deserve we’ll adopt out cats of all ages to qualified homes for free for the first ten days of November.
Spokes-cat for the event Spice (right, available for adoption at the BCSPCA Upper Bucks animal care center) says “Naturally, as cats, we know that we are priceless. I mean how could you put a price on anything as wonderful as a cat? We’re happy to see that people are figuring it out now too.”
These fabulous felines will only be free from November 1st through 10th, so plan to adopt yours at either BCSPCA animal care center during that time. The centers are located at 1665 Street Road in Lahaska and 60 Reservoir Road in Quakertown, PA. Hours and directions can be found here.
Hello Bucks County! I am very excited to get to know my new community. One of my first, and most important, tasks is to learn from all of you how our organization can best serve the people and pets of Bucks County. I’ve set up a quick (just 6 questions!) survey to find out more about you, our county, and the needs of our local animals. I hope you will take a few minute to fill out the survey now.
I also hope to see as many of you as possible at our Old Friends and New party on November 13th. It will be a wonderful evening when we can celebrate retired Executive Director Anne Irwin’s 44 years of service and raise funds to help our animals. More information on the party can be found here, or contact Alison Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.794.7425.