Brandywine Valley SPCA

This week I wanted to take time to discuss how important and amazing the Brandywine Valley SPCA centers are. They have three different centers: West Chester (PA), New Castle and Georgetown, DE. The centers were founded in 1929 and are Pennsylvania’s first NO KILL shelters! Their sole purpose is to end the suffering of animals and promote their well-being.

Adoption:

At the SPCA, they make the process of adopting an animal very easy and full of love. According to their site, about 13,000 animals enter their facilities a year in hopes of finding a home.  They have an Adoption Application that is easy to fill out and helps the center to find an animal that fits what you want. Then, they have adoption counselors that are able to walk you through the entire process. Entering a shelter for the first time can be overwhelming and it is helpful to talk through what to consider. Sometimes persons who work all day want to adopt a 6 month old puppy that needs constant care that they are not able to give. The counselors give you their expertise when adopting an animals. The number one thing that the center recommends when you adopt an animals into a family is to meet with the pet being considered because they will become a member of your family. Also, be mindful of lifestyle according to the dog or cat that you will bring home.

To adopt an animal you must be 18 years of age and obtain a valid Drivers License. When coming to adopt an animal you must have the appropriate carrying equipment such as a grate, carrying case or leash.  Fees vary per pet.

Events

Another awesome aspect of this shelter is all the events they organize! Each spring the SPCA holds a 5K run called Walk for Paws. It is their 31st annual run which is incredible. So far about $31,000 has been raised for the shelter and their goal is $100,000! There is the walk/run  in the morning and a pet costume in the afternoon! It is an all day event.

My favorite event that the shelter holds is Dollar Dogs. It is when the shelter offers adult dogs for $1 to finally go to a home. This hits home with me because we adopted by dog Daisy when she was a bit older and she was not wanted by anyone else. Thank goodness we got her! It is in April ending on the 22 so if you are interested in adopting please consider an adult dog. As I posted last week, adult dogs already have their personality in place and will not change. Also, they are so cute and will love you so so much.

Finally, the SPCA has an enormous volunteer program. You can volunteer into the administration or the counselor fields.  The shelter only asks if you volunteer 4 hours a month and attends a community event every 2 months. You must be 16 years or older to do this. They also run a animal foster program that allows the animals to go home for a little while and possibly return to the shelter with new training techniques.

The SPCA is incredible so please check out their website!!

Remember: Adopt don’t Shop!

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12 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue

  1.   PASS THE PUPPY STAGEIMG_0904.jpg

As much fun as it might seem to have a puppy- they are a TON of work! When you rescue a dog normally they are a bit older and have calmed down. Also you can avoid the teething stage so you won’t have your shoes or belongings potential ruined!

2. MIGHT HAVE HOME EXPERIENCE- EASIER TRANSITION

Some shelters foster animals, so a dog may have been in a home environment before. Hopefully this can give the dog a better transition because they have been there prior!

3. NO MORE PUPPY MILLS

Adopting from a shelter means you can lower the demands of a puppy mill. The conditions of a puppy mill are horrible even though that dog at the store may be adorable.

4. THERE IS ALL KINDS!

If you are set on a certain dog breed- a shelter is the place for you. If you want to find a specific dog it may take awhile from a breeder. Spend some time researching shelters and I am sure you can find the dog you want plus it is not from a puppy mill!

5. THEY WILL LOOOVE YOU

According to Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, it was discovered that shelter dogs are more obedient to their owners. They are grateful to be in a safe place and are concerned in what you are doing.

6. MIGHT HELP YOU GET A DATE

It’s hard to resist approaching a dog when you see them in public, imagine if there was a cute person attached to them. Plus, telling the story of rescuing a dog is so sweet.

7. CHANGE YOUR HOME IMG_0741.jpg

A dog will completely transform the energy of your home. A dog will add more light and love. A lot of nursing homes will bring a dog into the home to brighten the people up. Plus, dogs love all people so they will have a blast getting pets.

8. COME WITH THEIR SHOTS

If you rescue a dog from a humane society or shelter, they will- 9 times out of 10 give you a dog ready to go. This means they are probably neutered and full of shots, so it spares them the extra trip to the vet and you the $$$.

9. HELPING THE SHELTER POPULATION

Sadly, the older a dog is the less unlikely it is to get adopted. If you go to a shelter there are normally dogs at least 6 months old or older. By adopting a dog from a shelter you lower the population of dogs that are not wanted.

10. HOUSE TRAINING 

Some dogs are already house broken when you get them! How awesome is that! But do not assume the dog is potty trained- Prepare to train them.

11. BETTER IDEA OF WHAT YOU ARE GETTING

The personality of an adult dog is pretty consistent to who they will be. Puppies change their personalities a lot, so by adopting a adult dog they are being their true self when you meet.

12. YOU WILL FEEL BETTER

A study of dog owners was done in Mexico and it confirmed that dog owners are generally happier. They also help significantly with people who have mental health problems by providing comfort, such as an emotional support dog.

5 Common Traits of a Rescue

After taking a pet in from a shelter, they are absolutely skeptical about their surroundings. I am going to share 5 common traits of a rescue dog and how we can help ease their troubles. When you take a dog from the shelter, it is kind of an experiment to see how they are going to act or if they have been trained. Most of the times with puppies they have not spent much time in the shelter and need to be trained. At first, you also are unaware of what behavior is normal for that dog and what they do not like. You truly will not know until weeks have gone by and the dog becomes settled at their new home.

Taking home a dog from a shelter is remarkable but most of the dogs can have minor behavioral problems. These can almost always be fixed with proper love and training. Lets take a look at some of the most common issues that rescues can come home with:

“What do you mean you’re leaving??”

Anxiety and Fear

After bringing that doggie home from the shelter your immediate reaction is that they would be over joyed and ready to play. Don’t worry but that takes some time. It is very normal that your furry friend is scared. They have spent their life in a shelter and who knows what has happened to them before that- it is important to have empathy and patience with your rescue. They are trying to adjust to their new home they do not know is their home yet. A good tip is to try and let the dog be for a little awhile. I know that sounds impossible but your pup needs some time alone to figure things out then he will come crawling to his mama or papa.

Eating Habits

Most likely your dog had to fight for food in the shelter or before they were placed there. Espeically with dogs that were strays- if they see food they will eat it because, well, they can. They will probably try to protect their food because they do not realize that no one is going to take it from them. Barking and growling may occur but perhaps keep the dog food in a small room and live them be until they are done. This will signal food safety.

Guarding

Similar to the food issues, your pup may think he has to share toys or a bed. They are protecting what is “theirs”. This is purely instinctual behavior that was expressed in the shelter. When my family brought my dog, Daisy, home she used to sleep with her tennis ball in between her legs so we could not take it from her. If you have a small dog, they may become protective of you and be on your lap. If they growl when someone else sits next to you place the dog on the floor so they will know they are not behaving right.

Potty Training

There is a 100% chance your dog will smell every inch of the house when they first arrive. They will try to mark their territory by peeing inside. This is not a sign of not being house broken but just being a dog. If this continues then it your dog would need to be potty trained.

Separation Issues

Separation anxiety is very common and very sad. They are so upset being left alone they will doing almost anything to prevent this. Once your pup knows this is a safe place to be left alone the anxiety should let up.

If any of these problems get worse or continue please visit your local vet!

National Puppy Day

Today, March 23rd, is National Puppy Day! So, to be festive I wanted to share stories of my favorite rescue dogs. These are 2 animals that my friends and families have that always brighten up a room. I know you will fall in love with them just like I did!

This is the adorable, Jax! Jax is the worlds cutest dog but we are not sure what breed he is! His mommy is my best friend and she saved him from what would have been an awful life. Jax was down in Tennessee and was in a horrible shelter. The living conditions were inhumane and he needed a new home. After a few months he was listed for adoption. As soon as my friend, Maddi, saw him she knew he was the pup for her family. Jax was transported from Tennessee to New Jersey which is a long, tiring ride. At the time, baby Jax was a puppy and he was very small so he was put in the smallest crate. He was placed on top of the larger ones for the entire ride home. He was flown around the truck and was absolutely terrified. Not knowing where he was, where he was going or who he was with. After Jax was adopted, he developed an feisty personality who wants to play all day and run around in circles. He loves his freedom. Maddi has given him the best possible home and she cannot imagine her life without him in it. Jax is full of energy but really just wants to take a nap with you and get as many pets as possible.

 

Finally- this is Captain! Just like Jax, Captain’s breed is unknown because he is a rescue. Captain was rescued in Philadelphia by a close family friend. He was adopted on National Adoption Day last year. Captain was taken to an apartment in the city and was greeted with two loving parents. Something about Captain is that he was born without toes, or that is what the vets have assessed. On his right paw in the front he does not have his foot or the nails. When he was adopted his new family took him to a ton of vets to see if there was anything they could do to help Captain walk and run just a little bit better. Some of the vets said the only way was through amputation- but that seemed crazy! After a series of trials and errors, Captain wears a little boot on his foot that allows him to walk evenly when he is outside. One of the fears his family had was that if he does not protect that foot will it get damaged more and frankly, does it hurt him? One thing is for sure is that Captain is really a trooper. He also lives up to his name. His new family has welcomed a baby boy into their home! It is very exciting and Captain is very protective of his baby brother. When visitors come over he makes sure he is in-between the baby, his mama and the visitor. He is really the Captain!

THE Chalupa Batman

During my spring break, I ventured down to Davie, Florida. It is a small town right outside of Fort Lauderdale and it is beautiful. The weather is about 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. My sister and her boyfriend recently moved down here and this will be my fourth visit since May. In August, they adopted a adorable little dog. He is dachshund and miniature pinscher mix and weighs about 12 pounds. His name is Chalupa Batman. His name is so funny and references the popular show, The League. He is the perfect addition to their family.

Chalupa is a rescue from their local shelter, The Humane Society of Broward County. Poor little Chalupa was transferred to Fort Lauderdale from Miami where he was originally found. The beloved Chalupa was a stray dog found walking around looking for food. The shelter suspected that his owner left him alone or he got out by accident. Chalupa was saved from the shelter right before Hurricane Irma wiped through town. The shelters were left with a lot of devastation, especially the shelters. In Miami his original shelter was completely destroyed and had severe flooding. It was a miracle my sister was able to adopt him when she did.

After finding Chalupa and bringing him home he was very timid. He was trying to feel comfortable in a new place, but was scared about being left alone again. At first, he did not want to be alone he is constantly sitting on your lap begging for attention. Then, my sister and her boyfriend had to evacuate Florida and took a 20 hour drive back to Jersey with a scared new puppy. When he was given to them he was recently neutered and had to wear one of those large cones around his neck. He was always running into something and becoming even more scared. After about a week or two he got very comfortable and started to be a crazy energized puppy. He would wake up at 6:30am and he ready for a walk or to play. He also licks your face to wake up. It’s so cute so who can get mad?

Another interesting fact about Chalupa is that he is a registered Emotional Support dog. An emotional support dog is one that provides comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for someone suffering from mental or emotional conditions. Unlike a service dog, emotional support dogs are not trained to perform a set of services they are there for unconditional love. Let me tell you that Chalupa is the absolute perfect dog for this. He is always by your side, in fact, as I am typing this he is sitting on my lap watching the ducks swim in the lake. Chalupa also has no concept of personal space so he is not only sitting on your lap, but he is a millimeter away from your face and staring at you. Being a emotional support dog also allows him the opportunity to fly with my sister because of the comfort he provides. Chalupa is a wonderful and happy little puppy who is lucky enough to have great and loving owners.

Chalupa
Sitting nice and pretty
Chalupa
🙂
Chalupa
all smiles!

Saint Francis Vet

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting Saint Francis Veterinary hospital in Swedesboro, NJ. As I walked throughout the vet I was able to see all aspects of what goes on. A dear friend of mine works there and gave me a small tour. In my local area of Swedesboro, Saint Francis is the only vet that is 24 hours 7 days a week, so they see a lot of animals all the time. Inside the building there are wonderful and helpful nurses that are there to ease your pain or guide you through your check up. Taking a pet to the vet can sometimes be a hard experience but Saint Francis makes you feel at home.

On our first stop of the tour, we visited the poor ICU, Intensive Care Unit. It was heartbreaking to see the poor animals suffer through pain but my friend and I gave them a nice smile to hopefully make them feel a little bit better. It is always nice to get visitors, right? After that, we walked to my new favorite place, Day Care. Downstairs of the vet is a huge room that houses doggie day care. It is just so cute. I was not sure how it was going to be and got upset that dogs were going be sad away from their owners. But I was really proven wrong! As soon as we opened the door it looked like, what I can assume a dogs’ birthday party would be.

The first dog I saw, Casey. She is a massive golden retriever. She seemed a bit aged but full of personality. In the day care setting there is a gate so the dogs do not run out of the door. Casey is so calm and loving she is allowed out for a short period of time to get pets from new people. She came right over to me and leaned all over my black pants now turning a shade of white with her fur. I was petting her for awhile and let go to take a picture. Casey does not like when you stop petting her and she will nudge your hand until you start up again or she gets distracted. Casey is just full of love.

Another dog, I saw was Murph (pronounced like Murphy without the Y). He is a stunning German Shepard. He was the second dog I saw because he was barking his cute head off. I think he was excited the door was open and maybe he could go run around outside. Murph seems younger due to his insane upbeat personality. He is the focal point of yesterday’s visit. He is a beautiful dog and wants to play constantly. Some of the other dogs there would be relaxing and Murph had none of it. He got in their faces and poked them with his long nose until they wanted to play. The woman watching day care said Murph is always read to play with his toys or go outside.

I had a great time visiting the vet to see all the great things they do for animals. I loved meeting new ones and day dreaming of having my own German Shepard one day.

Day Care
Some of the dogs from day care
Casey
Casey getting her pets
Murph!
Murph staring at his toys in the back

Background of my Rescues

In my first post I mentioned how I grew up with dogs that were all rescues. I only remember the processing of getting two dogs: my priced possession, Daisy and Chuckie. Daisy lived a life of complete neglect before she was welcomed into our home. Her life was pretty traumatic and at an estimated age of 11 it does not go away. She still hides under tables when someone raises their voice, even though we have never and never be cruel to her. On the other hand, Chuckie, was my first memorable dog. He was a tiny Yorkshire Terrier with soft black fur with little brown socks. I was about 11 years old and I was obsessed with my small furry friend. He loved car rides so he came to all our soccer games, grocery trips and pretty much any outing.

Chuckie came into our lives when he was found on a friend’s farm. He was about 15 pounds at most and was running around a horse farm that also had donkeys, it was not a good fit for him. During his time there, he was kicked by a horse and broke his tiny little hip. It was purely accidental as Chuckie was not even a foot tall and running in between horse’s legs. After his incident, our family friend was asking to re home Chuckie because he could not be living on the farm any longer. Chuckie came home very timid and limping. After a few weeks, he warmed up to us by showing off a total dominant personality. When I would walk him down the street he would act so confident he intimated a great dane. Rescuing our two dogs was a major part of my childhood and taught me to NEVER judge a book by its’ cover.

Here are some pictures of Chuckie!

Chuckie and I
Little sleepy Chuckie
Trying to change the channel