Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thank you, Volunteers!!!!

THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS!!! We had another successful "Super Pet Adoption Day" at the Animal Care & Control Team (ACCT) shelter, located at 111 W. Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia. Stay tuned for more updates!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Happy Friday, Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) fans! Last weekend marked the unofficial start of summer (yay!), and it looks like we're in for a great season. Here are the top five reasons why I think so:

(1) I received a lovely email about Annie, a four-year-old Pit Bull (the black dog shown above!) who came to the PSPCA in April 2008. She had been adopted in January 2009 and then returned two months later. In April 2009, Annie went to her forever-and-ever home with a loving family. Her new owner wrote, "Annie has been doing really good and fitting in great with the family. Here is a picture of Annie playing in the yard with the kids." 

(2) Otis Redding, the 7-year-old Pit Bull mix I posted about on Monday and Thursday, went to a foster home last night! As much as I'm going to miss seeing the old man around the shelter, we're all thrilled that he's safe and sound in a loving home. No more "Sittin' on the Dock of the PSPCA" for Otis Redding!

(3) Another great thing happened last night: Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Second Baseman Chase Utley and his wife Jen hosted the second annual "Utley All-Star Animals Casino Night" to benefit the Pennsylvania SPCA. Chase and Jen have been outstanding advocates in the fight against animal cruelty. And they're not just advocates -- they're parents, too! The Utleys adopted a Pit Bull from the PSPCA named Jack. Jen said, "His parents were cruelty cases, they were brought in from a dog fighting ring in a row house in North Philly, and his mother happened to be pregnant." Check out Chase, Jen, and Jack Utley on ABC 6 yesterday talking about their event, the PSPCA, and their beloved Jack!

(4) If you watch "Animal Cops: Philadelphia," then you've seen Juice, the [huge!] white American Bulldog who, along with 30 other dogs, was rescued from a horrible case of cruelty/neglect in South Philadelphia last September (click here for pictures/story).  The owner had been breeding dogs illegally and some of them were used in a dog fighting ring. After living at the PSPCA for nearly a year, Juice was adopted last Saturday! With his goofy smile and stunning looks (and the endearing wads of drool that always hung from his mouth!), this gentle giant had become a staff favorite. We're so happy he's in a safe, loving home where he can finally enjoy a dog's life. 

(5) "Super Adoption Day" at the Animal Care & Control Team (ACCT) shelter is back by popular demand! On Saturday, May 30th, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the ACCT shelter -- located at 111 W. Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia -- will be open to the public for adoptions. We'll have dozens of cats and dogs looking for forever homes (and foster homes!) and we're counting on YOU to help spread the word! Invite your friends, family, and neighbors to stop by and meet our adoptable pets! For more details, check out the flyer posted above or visit You can also call ACCT at (267) 385-3800.

Happy summer!!! And happy Friday!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mr. Pitiful Still Needs a Home!

Otis Redding is still at the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) looking for his forever home! 

Turn up your speakers and watch this video of "Mr. Pitiful" struttin' his stuff. How can you resist that face?! 

As the Otis himself would say, "I've been loving you too long to stop now." We haven't stopped loving him either. And we're not giving up until someone adopts this sweet guy. 

Could you be the one? 

Otis Redding's $75 adoption fee includes neutering, a microchip, 3 free weeks of veterinary care, and 1 year of vaccinations. He gets along with everyone, including other dogs, cats, and kids. 

He also comes with an unlimited, lifetime supply of love and tenderness. 

Come to the Pennsylvania SPCA at 350 E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia. For more information, call (215) 426-6300 or visit

Monday, May 25, 2009

Try a Little Tenderness

Otis Redding has been at the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) for way too long! I took him on NBC 10 this past Saturday (5/23/09), but nobody came forward to adopt him. 

He's a big boy, yes. But he walks well on a leash, he's calm, cool, and collected (most older dogs are!), and he's loving with everyone (including other dogs and cats). 

He's Otis Redding, the King of Soul....what else would you expect?!?!

To adopt Otis Redding, come to the PSPCA at 350 E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia. For more info, call (215) 426-6300 or visit 

Come on Philly, try a little tenderness. 

Friday, May 22, 2009


I recently received an email from Faith's Hope, a rescue group who has taken special needs cases from the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) over the past few years. Their latest rescue was Ayla (formerly known as Rajah), a deaf female pit bull who was surrendered to the PSPCA in January 2008 by another rescue group. Faith's Hope took Ayla into their care in May 2008.

Here's the update I received from Faith's Hope, which begins with a backstory on the woman who adopted Ayla:

"About 8 years ago, someone left a very dirty white Pit Bull puppy in someone's yard. That kind of thing happens a lot these days, especially in cities. Most people would have just taken that puppy to the shelter or at best, cleaned her up and found her a home. Once they found out the puppy was truly abandoned and no one was looking for her, this family chose a different path. They kept that puppy. They knew nothing about Pit Bull and like most people who listen to the news, they were a little "uncertain" and "leery" of a Pit Bull, but they gave the puppy a chance and that puppy changed their minds and hearts forever about the breed. Just as she changed a few other minds along the way.

That dog's name was Storm, she was a beautiful dog and she became a very loved member of that family. Some time later, that family also adopted a male Dogo Argentino who is deaf, his name is Duke. The family has gone through some changes since. The wife and husband are now divorced. Duke went to live with the husband, Storm stayed with the wife, who has two grown sons, the oldest one is about to graduate from college. Storm had an impact on his choice of dog breeds as well, he now owns two pit bulls, both adopted from a shelter. The other son just started college. The woman and Storm lived alone in Northeast Philadelphia and were best friends. Sadly, Storm passed away of bone cancer.

Although she was understandably heartbroken over losing Storm, she is a dog lover and she loves having a dog around to keep her company and share her life with. So she went to petfinder and started searching. And because she only lives less than a mile from me, one of the first Pit Bulls that came up in her search was Ayla. She fell instantly in love with Ayla and emailed me hoping she hadn't been adopted yet. Both me and Ayla's foster mom spoke with her and we both had a very good feeling about her finally being "the one!" Her references were wonderful, her situation pretty much ideal for Ayla. She owns her own home, she lives alone, no other animals, she has Pit Bull experience, she has experience with deaf dogs, and she works full time but pays her neighbor to come over in the middle of the day to let the doggie out. She is home by 3 pm every day.

I did the home visit, her home is beautiful and you can tell how much she loved Storm. After the home visit, she drove to the Ayla's foster mother's house to meet Ayla. It didn't take hervery long to decide Ayla would be making the trip back to Philadelphia with her. Finally, after so many months in foster care, after spending a few months in a shelter along the way, Ayla has a home of her very own! I am just so VERY happy for her, she is a wonderful dog and she has been incredibly patient."

The Pennsylvania SPCA is very proud of Ayla!

And we're not the only ones!

Ayla was photographed by professional pet photographer Melissa McDaniel, who traveled the country meeting with rescue dogs and deaf dogs for upcoming photo books titled Rescued in America and Deaf Dogs. A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to animal welfare groups, such as the Pennsylvania SPCA.

“This is a series of photo books with educational content, designed to call attention to certain topics, raise awareness on issues, celebrate the beauty that is around us, and give non-profits ameans to raise money for themselves,” said McDaniel.

Deaf Dogs will feature more than 50 deaf dogs from the US and Canada. The purpose of the book is to dispel the myths that surround deaf dogs.

“We could learn so much from these inspirational animals that never let their handicap hold them back," said McDaniel.

For more information on the books and to order, visit You will have the option to donate to the Pennsylvnia SPCA when you order.....and the dogs will thank you for your kindness!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Super Adoption Day at ACCT

Saturday was a SUPER day for Philadelphia's animals! The Animal Care & Control Team (ACCT) shelter, powered by the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA), hosted "Super Adoption Day" on May 16 from 11 AM to 4 PM. This was the first time ACCT opened its doors to the public for adoptions, and the public responded enthusiastically: six dogs were adopted and several others found loving foster homes!

From the balloons decorating the parking lot to the happy pups playing on the front lawn, the atmosphere at ACCT was festive and uplifting. When potential adopters arrived at the shelter, dozens of smiling volunteers were on hand to answer questions, lead meet-and-greets, assist with adoption applications, and help the animals put their best paws forward. With so many volunteers helping out, every dog in the shelter got to roll around in the grass and sunbathe. This gave visitors a chance to see the dogs outside of their kennels, in a natural setting where they could interact with them and see their personalities shine through. Both the dogs and the public loved every minute of it!

"Super Adoption Day" could not have happened without our volunteers, an amazing group of animal-lovers who donate their time, skills, and resources to give Philadelphia's animals a second chance at life. Volunteering at a large, urban animal shelter is challenging work, particularly when a struggling economy has led more and more people to surrender or abandon their pets. But our volunteers consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, and "Super Adoption Day" was a testament to their dedication, passion, and spirit. 

Roscoe, Tuck, Tyson, Bambi, Jessica, and Booker -- the lucky dogs that got adopted on Saturday -- give "Super Adoption Day" two paws up, and their furry friends back at the shelter can't wait to do it again soon! 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Congrats to the Class of 2009

(Click on the pictures to see a larger version!)

On May 11, the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) hosted the Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) exam at our Philadelphia Adoption Center and we are pleased to announce that 10 dogs passed with flying colors. This was the first time that the PSPCA has administered the CGC exam at our shelter.

The CGC exam is a certification program administered by the
American Kennel Club (AKC) that rewards dogs who have good manners at home and in the community and stresses responsible pet ownership. The United States Senate and 35 state legislatures, including Pennsylvania, have resolutions endorsing the Canine Good Citizen® concept. The CGC exam is also a pre-requisite to therapy dog certification.

Of the 10 dogs that passed the CGC exam, seven were Pit Bulls/Pit Bulls mixes, including three that were
adopted from the PSPCA. Two of the adopted Pit Bulls had been rescued from cruelty cases in Philadelphia by PSPCA Humane Law Enforcement Officers.

Animal Farm Foundation is generously providing the PSPCA with a $150 Incentive Award for each of the seven Pit Bulls/Pit Bull mixes that passed the CGC exam. This will generate a total of $1,050 in support for the PSPCA.

“The Animal Farm Foundation’s AKC Canine Good Citizen® Incentive Award is designed to bring together dogs, their owners, and the community,” said Stacey Coleman, Foundation Manager for the Animal Farm Foundation. “Dogs and their owners strengthen their bond by training together for their CGC. In turn, the dog-owner teams help the shelters by earning much needed funds for the homeless animals in their community. We are pleased that the Pennsylvania SPCA is participating in our incentive award program and is successfully bringing their community together for the good of the animals.”

The PSPCA provided scholarships for all Pit Bull/Pit Bull mix owners whose dogs took the CGC exam, which would otherwise cost $25 per dog.

“Pit Bulls have been misunderstood and maligned for years due to
sensational myths and advocates of breed bans,” said Nicole Larocco, Director of Animal Behavior & Training for the PSPCA. “This means that Pit Bulls often linger in the shelter for months because they are overlooked and unwanted by potential adopters who are not aware of their loyal, loving nature.”

During the six weeks leading up to the exam, Larocco taught a training class to help dogs and their owners prepare. Five of the 10 dogs that passed the exam had participated in Larocco’s class.

Beth Strecker, an approved CGC evaluator who has volunteered with the PSPCA for nearly 40 years, administered the exam on behalf of the AKC.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

22 Litters and Counting

Kitten season is not coming. It's here. And it's in full swing. The
Animal Care & Control Team (ACCT) shelter -- which is run by the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) -- is overflowing with litters!

Twenty-two litters, to be exact. And that number is rising rapidly.

We have kitties. We have mommas. We have kitties and mommas. We have some mommas who were turned in without their babies, so they're taking care other mommas' kitties, who were turned in without their mommas. (Try saying that five times.....)

In other words, we are in dire need of foster homes.

Our goal is to place every single one of them in time for Mother's Day on May 10. Preferably sooner, of course, as there are surely 22 more litters waiting on deck. 'Tis the season.

ACCT will provide all veterinary care and medicines free of charge, as well as support and information on bottle-feeding, caring for kittens, and other foster-motherhood questions. You can think of us as the Dr. Spock for all things furry.

To see pictures/descriptions of all 23 litters looking for homes, visit:

If you can make a difference and become a foster parent, please call ACCT at (267) 385-3800 or stop by our shelter at 111 W. Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM (we're open 7 days a week!). Or, you can email Natalie (, Jill (, or Jennifer (

Thank you for finding room in your home and your heart for these precious babies.

PS: Still on the fence? Here's some inspiration:

Canine Good Citizens

On Monday, May 11, the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) in Philadelphia will administer the Canine Good Citizen Exam to approximately 15 canine candidates and their owners. This is the first time we've offered the exam and we're excited to see who will comprise our first graduating class.

Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes have been invited to take the exam for free. Nearly half the dogs signed up are Pits, some of whom were adopted from our shelter.

With so much negative publicity surrounding this misunderstood breed, the PSPCA is proud to show the world what good citizens they can be, particularly in the hands of responsible owners.

The handsome boy shown above is Louis, who was rescued by PSPCA humane law enforcement officers in 2008. Louis is taking his Canine Good Citizen Exam on Monday, so be sure to send him some good luck vibes!

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