As many of you know, Nardo has left us. He came to us almost three years ago as part of a case of neglect. His owners had more horses than they could care for, so they were signed over to us. We were able to place all of the 15 horses, except for Nardo and Tucker. According to his owner, Nardo started his life in Ireland, and went on to be a racehorse. A lot of his life we have no knowledge of, but it was obvious that his attachment and affection for Tucker were genuine. They had been together for many years, and were able to enjoy the last three years with us. Over the past year, Nardo started slowing down quite a bit. His constant arthritic pain built, and his feet were causing more and more problems. It became painful for him to move, even with the regular maintenance and anti-inflammatory medication. He let us know it was time for him to leave us this past weekend. It wasn’t fair to let him linger any longer, so he was able to let go with several loved staff members with him. Although we will miss him, we know his last years with us were made as lovely as possible.
The Board of Directors of the Bucks County SPCA announced that Executive Director Anne Irwin plans to retire in September of 2015 after 43 years with the organization. The Board has formed a Transition Committee to oversee the selection and hiring of a new Executive Director and will post a job announcement in the near future.
Nancy Holland, President of the Board of Trustees said “We are tremendously grateful to Anne Irwin for her years of unwavering service to this organization. During her tenure, BCSPCA has grown and flourished, having benefited greatly from Anne’s experience, strong leadership and dedication to animal welfare. Her steadfast commitment to this community will leave a lasting legacy.”
Ms. Irwin began work at Bucks County SPCA in 1971 and took the helm in 1975. “It was a different world then. Every day was a challenge with very limited resources and a population of unwanted animals much larger than it is today.” During her tenure the BCSPCA began humane education programs and expanded the cruelty enforcement program. BCSPCA opened a second shelter in Upper Bucks County in 2012 which greatly enhanced the organization’s ability to serve the animals and people of Bucks County.
Ms. Irwin also implemented innovative programs to help animals stay in their homes such as temporary boarding for animals whose families face emergencies, donations of pet food to local food pantries and behavior training and hotline support for pet owners. The organization now regularly saves thousands of animals a year who are either unwanted or living in unsafe living conditions.
Looking back on her time with the organization Ms. Irwin says “The Bucks County SPCA has made such progress. We have a great team and I am happy that we are in a strong position to be a resource for animals and the people who care about them for years to come. I look forward to a smooth transition with the new Executive Director.”
Morty helps out at the front desk
Nowadays Morty has a pretty great life as the Bucks County SPCA Lahaska Office Cat. He has his very own bed in the back for quiet naps but spends most of his days out and about. Office Cat is a pretty big job here. Morty greets two and four footed visitors, checks on the staff and the shelter animals and lounges on the front desk collecting pats from everyone who passes by.
But things weren’t always so great for Morty. We know from his tipped ear that he spent some time in a feral cat colony and when he came to us in 2005 it was as part of one of the most severe hoarding cases the BCSPCA has ever handled. When he first got here Morty was a shy guy who lived in the back of the shelter, away from the bustle and noise up front. In fact Morty spent the first four years of his residence in the back, occasionally peeking his head out front and quickly retreating.
The animal savvy staff here knew it takes time for many animals, particularly those coming from bad situations, to warm up and show their stellar personalities. It is our job to give them a safe and comfortable place to make that transition. It doesn’t happen overnight – for some like Morty it can take years – but when that transformation happens it is pure magic. Suddenly a whole new and better life opens up not only for that animal but also for the people who open their hearts and homes (or shelters) to him or her.
On the day that transformation happened for Morty he calmly strolled out front and never looked back. Now he is in the enviable position of having almost unlimited lap time, endless strokes and the chance to share his story to help support the transformations of thousands of animals.