Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Casey (Regan)

My story starts back in October 2006. Our world was turned upside down when our beloved dog Murphy was diagnosed with bladder cancer and could not be treated and was put to sleep. Heartboken,i started the search for our new "Baby". It was there on Petfinders that i found this sweet face which is now my baby Casey. I read her sad story of being on the streets of Philadelphia only 9 months old and how nervous she was to be at the pound ,so the Philadelphia Humane Society asked Cares4 Pets if they could take her . We looked for days at other websites, but there was something about those big brown eyes that just melted my heart. We set up the appointment to see "Regan" (that was her name - it means Queen and a Queen she is ). She was living in a dorm room with Casey Lynch one of the volunteers for Cares 4 Pets .She had a Kitten and Cat as well..When I saw "Regan" playing with the kitten and how she would follow it around only to be smacked constantly in the face , she would ju
st sit there with a confused look we knew immediately we wanted her. We were interviewed and 2 days later we received the call that she was ours pending a home inspection.We picked up Casey on October 7th,2006. We changed her name to her "Foster Mom" Casey Lynch.
Now she is the QUEEN of the house (hmmm..maybe i will change her name back to Regan).
She is my " BABY"

Happy Holidays Everyone !
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jack's Story

We were fortunate enough to adopt Jack from Cares4Pets a little over a year ago. Cares4Pets truly is a great group of folks who really guided us through the adoption process, as Jack was our first rescue, and helped us to welcome Jack into our home. Now, Jack's doing great! He recently completed his Canine Good Citizen exam after progressing all the way though Advanced doggie classes. He's the absolute love of our lives and we don't know how we ever managed to survive without him! He's even made his pilot's wings as our favorite co-pilot and loves to take leisurely rides in the plane! He's such a loving and intelligent little guy, which makes the thought of him shivering and mistreated in that horrendous Lancaster Puppy Mill all the more difficult to imagine... But thanks to Cares4Pets, he's in a warm, safe, and forever home with a family that couldn't love him more! And we're so thankful to have him!!!

Thank you, Cares4Pets, for giving us our Jack...

Friday, November 5, 2010


Just wanted to say thanks for pulling Joe out of the shelter so he could find his way to us. It's been about a month now, and he's fully settled in and doing great. My daughter was thrilled with the news as well when I told her I found the perfect dog for us, and he's been just that since day one. He loves to take walks , has a favorite ball that he could chase all day, and although he started out on the floor, now sleeps at my feet on the sofa while I watch tv before heading up for the night. We're all looking forward to enjoying a nice long life together. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Saving Park Dogs and Cats: A Collaboration with Stray Animal Rescue

As rescuers with small budgets, limited resources, and huge hearts, we are always looking to find the most efficient way to save more animals. One of the key ways of doing this is by building connections with other rescue groups and rescuers to share expertise and knowledge.

Over a year ago, Buzzy (from Buzzy's Bow Wow Meow in Narberth PA) introduced us to Janice Strawder, who runs "Stray Animal Rescue". Janice is committed to helping out the stray dogs and cats that live in the parks surrounding Philadelphia. Many of these animals may have been dumped in the parks by owners that no longer wanted them, or just ended up there as they traveled in search of food and shelter. Janice spends her time feeding and trapping these animals to get them off the streets (and out of the park!).

Since meeting Janice, we've collaborated on a number of projects, and together have saved and placed quite a few wonderful animals. Next weekend (October 17th) we're having a fundraising event with "Stray Animal Rescue", and in celebration of our work together, we wanted to highlight some of the special animals we've saved, together.

Because our skill sets are so very different (Janice specializes in finding, befriending, and trapping stray animals while we are especially good at treating medical needs and finding animals homes), the collaboration works well. Over the past year, we've placed four park animals with Janice's support; Vivian (a momma cat), Leon (now Monty), Teddy, and Stewart. We're currently doing our best to place two more; Pablo (in one of our foster homes) and Amy (being fostered by Janice). We also have done our best to provide medical care when we can; Itsy, a kitty with a broken leg, was fixed by our vet and has now been adopted by Janice. But we also often call on Janice's expertise as well. A few months ago, when we were contacted about a dog tied in Fairmount Park (Brooke), Janice graciously joined us to help get this dog out of the park. Brooke is now in her forever home.

We are excited to keep building our relationship with "Stray Animal Rescue" and can't wait to join Janice on October 17th from 2-6 pm at the Dawson Street Pub in Manayunk for a wonderful fundraising event to benefit the animals that we both love to save! We hope that you will be able to join us for this event. More event details can be found at: and you can RSVP on the Facebook event page at:!/event.php?eid=126567697395889. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Winky's Story: Eyelid Agenesis

Winky spent the first few weeks of his life in a foster home for another shelter. When he was about four weeks old, his foster mom brought him back into the shelter, concerned that he might have an eye infection, since he was constantly rubbing his eyes and they seemed to be irritated all the time. When the veterinarian at the shelter really took a look at him, he realized that Winky didn't have an infection, he instead had a defect called "eyelid agenesis". This is a fairly common birth defect in cats where the edge of the eyelid (which is usually hairless) doesn’t develop correctly and instead the cat constantly has hair rubbing against their cornea. Think of how painful it is to have a stray eyelash rubbing against your cornea; poor Winky felt like this all the time!!! Worse, if untreated, the constant rubbing can cause corneal ulcers and lead to blindness. Until recently, surgical treatment for this condition was difficult to do and had a lot of complications, so most shelters adopted these kittens without fixing the condition and with the recommendation that owners give the cat daily eye-drops and pay attention for ulcers or infections. Many of these cats lose their eyes over time or develop chronic ulcers that leave them mostly blind.

The veterinarian in the shelter partnered up with us to see if there was anything that could be done for Winky; even though he was painful all the time, he was a sweet cuddly kitten that deserved to be saved! We got a consult with a veterinary opthalmologist, who mentioned to us that a new surgical technique had just been described where, after two surgeries, the eye could be completely corrected, so that the kittens could be adopted out without having to worry about complications later in life. Because the technique was new to him, he offered to do the surgeries at a reduced rate, so that he could get the experience with a new technique and we could then afford to help poor Winky. The surgeries were performed and went amazingly well. After healing from his second surgery, Winky went to his new home. Although his eye openings are now a little smaller than other cats, but Winky doesn't care; he's just glad to have eyes that work and will never hurt him again.

After having such a positive experience with Winky, our veterinarian was excited to help more cats with this abnormality. As luck would have it, in August we got a litter of three eyelid agenesis kittens to help; Garfield, Jezebel, and Blondie are in the process of getting their eyelids re-made, and will be available for adoption soon!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fergie's Story: Sometimes It's More Than We Bargained For...

Fergie was about 3 months old when she was turned into the SPCA because she was limping and her owner didn't want to spend any money trying to figure out why. Lucky for her, she was a cute little girl and, amidst all the sick dogs turned in every day, she was lucky enough to get the attention of some of the vets there. They were able to get some x-rays taken of her hind leg and they found that she had a problem called "avascular necrosis of the femoral head"- a fancy term that means part of one of the bones in her hip wasn't getting enough blood supply and had died, causing her limp. The condition definitely needed to be treated, since without surgery she would become increasingly painful and continue to limp.

The SPCA contacted Cares4pets because they know that we have a soft side for medical cases and are often able to take on the critters that no one else can afford or manage, with the expectation that we would amputate her leg, since it's the cheapest option in cases like these. After a long discussion, we instead decided to do a special (but more expensive) surgery called an FHO, where we remove only the dead part of the bone and create a false joint - thus saving her leg!

Fergie was doing great 2 months after surgery -she was using her leg, running, playing and happy - just waiting for her forever home. Then one day she seemed to have some pain in her foot and started licking it a lot. A few days later, she started chewing on her toes, so much that she caused a wound. After examining her we found that she did not have any feeling in her foot at all, so even though she could use it almost normally, the nerves were badly damaged. We tried several medications and wraps for her foot, but nothing seemed to help, in fact the nerve damage continued spreading up her leg, and worse yet, she seemed to have more pain. At this point we decided that the most humane and safest thing for Fergie was to remove her leg so that it wasn't hurting her.

She again did well in surgery and within a two days was running around on her remaining three legs without a care in the world. Unfortunately for us, however, these two procedures were very expensive. As a rescue group that is always short on funds (since we immediately take on more medical cases as soon as we earn a little money), this second surprise surgery dipped into our reserve funds. Because of that, Fergie is looking for a few sponsors! With any donation over $25, you'll be one of Fergie's Angels! For your support, we'll send you a picture of Fergie, her story, a sponsorship certificate, and a letter of thanks. Sponsorships in someone else's name are also welcome, just be sure to include their name, address, and reason for the gift (ie. birthday, etc). Email us at and donate via paypal or via check (sent to our PO Box). Fergie (and all of us) thank you!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It Takes a Village: Linus's Story

Because we are one of the few rescues in the Philadelphia area that regularly pull pit bulls and other square breed dogs of local shelters, we often get called with the plea to take just one more...

Oftentimes, we're full to the brim and just can't manage it, but every now and again, we can afford to make the room.

A few weeks ago, one of the veterinarians working at the shelter called us about Linus, a 10 month old American Bulldog who was limping pretty badly on his left hind leg. They were able to do the initial work up and found that Linus's hind leg didn't fit into his hip properly. Radiographs confirmed that this was a problem on both sides, but since the left was worse than the right, that was the one that he limped on. Although Linus was clearly in pain, he was sweet as pie and loved everyone that came up to talk to him.

It was decided that Linus needed surgery on both of his hips to help him move comfortably. They found a local veterinary clinic to partner with that was willing to do one of the surgeries at no cost. However, a shelter is not a great place to recover from surgery, so they were asking us if we would be willing to take Linus on. By putting him in a foster home, we would be able to decrease his risk of infection and help him do the rehab that he needed to help him learn to use his "new" joint.

We took him on, and for the past few weeks Linus has been recovering in one of our foster homes. The second surgery is usually done about 3-4 weeks after the first, so we started looking for veterinarians that would be willing to help us afford this. Another local veterinary clinic was able to cut us a rescue discount on the surgery. In addition, we applied for and received a grant from United Animal Nations, a nationwide organization that puts together small grants for veterinary care (amongst other things).

Linus has his second surgery this Thursday. In a few weeks, he'll be as good as new (or, in his case, better than he's ever been) and ready to look for a home. In the meantime, a local shelter, two veterinary clinics, a foster home, and a national organization have all worked together with us to save one more dog.

Some may say that all that effort just isn't worth it for one dog... but those people haven't met Linus!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Reason to Spay Your Dog: Maddie's Story

When you ask people why they choose to not spay or neuter their animals, you hear a multitude of answers, ranging from "It's too expensive" to "I don't want my animal to get fat". So many rumors abound about the dangers of spaying and neutering, and all too often, the reasons TO spay and neuter go unnoticed.

In our blog, we've talked to you about the sad reality of pet overpopulation, and for this reason alone, we've pleaded to you to please try to help control pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering your animals.

What we have haven't mentioned to you is that not only is spaying important to the countless kittens and puppies that don't need to be born, but it's also better for your female dog.

"How can an invasive surgery be better for my dog than just leaving her intact?", we hear asked, time and time again.

Maddie, one of our most recent rescues, is our new poster child for the benefits of spaying. Maddie came to us as an adult, unspayed dog. She was a little skinny, a little dirty, and a little worried about what was going on when we picked her up. Within a few days of being in foster care, Maddie was thriving. She LOVED the attention of her foster mom almost as much as she loved her new sweater :) When we took Maddie in for her physical exam prior to her spay, however, the veterinarian found a few masses in her mammary tissue. During her spay, the vet removed these, and sent them off to be biopsied. As back luck would have it, they came back as cancerous tumors, widespread enough that Maddie, who is just starting to figure out what life is all about, will probably have only 6 months left to live.

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with the fact that she was not spayed when we found her. The very harsh and sad reality is that a dog's chance of getting malignant mammary cancer during their life increases the longer they are left unspayed. Puppies spayed before their first heat have only 0.5% chance of getting malignant mammary cancer in their life. That's one puppy out of 200. If that puppy's owner allows her to go through one heat cycle (a common rumor is that dogs should be allowed to go through one heat cycle before being spayed), her chances go up to 8%. That's 8 puppies out of 100! If she goes through a second heat cycle, her chances rise to 26%, meaning in a litter with 4 female pups, at least one of those puppies will die of mammary cancer. And the odds keep going up with each additional heat cycle.

Although there is always the chance that Maddie could have fallen in the 0.5% of dogs that will get malignant mammary cancer despite spaying, chances are, if she had been spayed by her original owner as a puppy or even a young dog, she would not have developed these tumors.

For her, the damage has already been done. For Maddie, we are just trying to find her a hospice home for her last few months; someone to adore her and spoil her rotten while she's still healthy enough to enjoy it. For all the puppies going to homes today, however, we hope that Maddie's story will encourage owners to spay this generation of puppies, so that these dogs can live long and full lives!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rodenticide (Rat Poisoning) and Dogs: Brownie's Story

Of course, it's not hard to imagine that something designed to kill mice and rats might also cause problems for dogs and cats. Not to mention, in making rat poison something that rats want to eat, it also becomes appetizing for our favorite family friends! Luckily, most pet owners keep their dogs far away from common poisons like these, but every now and again, dogs come in to veterinary clinics after consuming substantial quantities of rodenticides.

The majority of rodenticides used in the United States today are anti-coagulants, which means that they interfere with the blood's ability to clot. Vitamin K is necessary for blood clots to form in all of our bodies (rats, dogs, and humans included), and these poisons block the ability of Vitamin K to be reused in the body. While effects usually aren't seen for a few hours to days after consumption, if not treated, affected dogs start bleeding from their noses and their mouths, and eventually internally as well.

As horrible as this is, the treatment, especially if started BEFORE symptoms begin, is very successful and painless. By feeding the dog Vitamin K (in tablet form) for as long as the rodenticide is in their body, these dogs heal completely.

In the past few months, we've been lucky enough to save two dogs affected by rat poison. The first one, Hazel, was a very severe case as she came into the emergency room already bleeding from her nose and her mouth. For her, it was too late to just start the Vitamin K, so she needed a blood transfusion first. Luckily, she pulled though and is now happily living in her forever home!

Brownie, a little cocker spaniel/dachshund mix, was dropped off at a local emergency room just last weekend. He was skinny and scared, and his owners claimed that he had eaten an entire case of rat poison. Luckily, he was dropped off before he started showing signs, so after his owners decided to transfer him to us, we were able to take him home immediately and start him on Vitamin K therapy. He's now in a foster home while he gains some weight and gets past the dangerous part of his illness, and then he'll be available for adoption!