What happens to kittens brought to the Bucks County SPCA?
· Intake exam – Each one is examined by our veterinary team when they arrive
· Foster care – Most kittens are quickly sent into foster care where they can get lots of personal attention from their foster parent and ongoing medical care from the SPCA
· Sick kitten recovery – Some kittens are cared for in the kitten recovery rooms at our shelters under the watchful eyes of our veterinary team
· Adoption prep – Once kittens are big enough, we prepare them for adoption, including: remaining vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery and microchipping
· Adoption! – Once available for adoption, kittens are listed on our website and moved to our cat adoption rooms at the shelters. Kittens move fast, often finding a new home the same day they go up for adoption!
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.
Warmest wags, Linda Reider 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.
Our shelters are full of cool cats and kittens in need of new homes! Join us for Catapalooza and name your own adoption fee during the month of August – that means FREE or for any donation amount that fits your budget.
Last August we placed 126 happy cats in new homes. Help us beat that record and send home even more animals this month. Catapalooza is the hottest ticket in town. Visit the cool cats at Quakertown or Lahaska today!
Join us at Nanette Kardaszeski’s fatdogfoto in New Hope for a bunny and small animal meet and greet. Stop by the studio at 30 W Bridge Street in New Hope to learn more about what great pets rabbits make or ask about some other unique adoptables from the SPCA like guinea pigs and hamsters! Looking for an Easter Bunny – please adopt responsibly. All our rabbits are spayed/neutered and microchipped!
Think you know how adoption decisions are made? Take a peek behind the scenes with this edition of Volunteer Viewpoints, written by Justin Palatsky who volunteers in the Upper Bucks shelter Cat Adoption Room.
I was helping a family decide on the right cats. They wanted to adopt two at once, which is always awesome when potential adopters say they’re looking to adopt two. I know all the volunteers/workers in ear-shot perk up when we hear that. Anyway, I showed them a black and white (cow-patterned) cat named Buddy who was on the adoption floor for I think just a few hours. I interacted with Buddy a few minutes before the family came and realized he would not last long with such a friendly personality as his.
Shy Candy Cane got a new home when fellow feline Buddy chose her to be his friend
Well, once in the visiting room he makes his rounds and headbutts everyone as expected. He soon settles down in the mother’s lap and Buddy thinks he’s adopted already.
So, onto the cat #2. We try a couple of others that the father liked but there wasn’t that instant spark like with Buddy. So I tell them about a shy cat named Candy Cane (a small brown tabby). You could hold her forever. I bring Candy Cane into the visiting room and put her in the middle of the floor while keeping my hands on her to provide a little safety net. Buddy runs right over to her and licks her forehead. He didn’t do that to the other cats I brought in.
The family is unanimously and instantly sold. Buddy and Candy Cane go home together and I can only assume they rule the house side-by-side now.
From day one through white whiskers, learn to care for your pet every step of the way. We’re partnering with the Holiday House Pet Resort & Doylestown Veterinary Hospital to produce a FREE 4-part pet education series–attend one or all four! All workshops are child-friendly and include information and activities for kids as well as grown-ups.
March 19: Adoption of a Shelter Pet, Melissa Frank at the BCSPCA Upper Bucks shelter, Quakertown.
April 20: Pet First Aid, Dr. Christina Moore at the Wellness Center, Warrington
May 21: Benefits of Socialization & Training, Derek Cotton at Holiday House Pet Resort, Doylestown
June 16: Caring for Senior Pets, Nikki Thompson at the Bucks County SPCA, Lahaska
Seating for all workshops is limited, reservations required.