Monday, June 28, 2010

Adoptions 6/21 - 6/27

We are happy to announce that we found forever homes for 17 of our animal friends last week. We wish Beesly, Spice, Pugsley, Bailey, Bea Arthur, Oscar, Halpert, Cooper, Whizzer, Peaches, Precious, Rexie, Freddie, Grissam, Haliburt, Cleo, Cabo, and their new owners many happy years together!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Adoptions: 6/14 - 6/20

We are happy to have found forever homes for 10 of our friends last week. We wish Spooky, Dewey, Negrita, Jack, Robbie, Bobo, Mittens, Zoey, Finnegan, Fenway, and their new owners many excellent years together!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

August the Fifth

It's been a busy week for our boy Auggie. He hit a speed bump health-wise mid week and had us worried, but he's back on the road to recovery! With his bloodwork results in hand, we're moving ahead with treatment and carefully constructed diet, and he's responding wonderfully. August's breathing has quieted a good deal, and his strength improves every day! We have received generous donations of fresh food from friends and local businesses, and he's thriving on his healthy diet. Some of his staples are: chard, kale, red leaf lettuce, collard greens, blueberries, melon and strawberries (his favorite).

This weekend, we moved into a new home, and August moved with us! This new house has a big porch, and we took the opportunity to construct him a safe, healthy outdoor play area where he can spend supervised time on sunny days. The natural sunlight and exercise on uneven terrain are both doctor recommended and very important for his recovery. We hope, once he is healthy, he will find a home where he can have a great outdoor escape like this for the summer time (you can even plant live, edible plants in there!).

August is very personable with us and with visitors, and is loving is new life ... a life he couldn't have had alone! We would like to thank again Dr. Daly and Dr. Brown for their excellent continued care of August, and all the people who have been following his story and contributing to his recovery. It can be harder for people to relate to exotics such as August than it is to relate to animals like dogs and cats. However, Auggie's current success is a tribute to the kind, animal loving community that we are proud to live in.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Close-ups? Ready for 'em

Just a quick thank you to Maria Giannini, who volunteers her time and considerable skills to make our many awesome adoptables look fantastic. A good picture is invaluable in the animal adoption biz and Maria takes the best! Thanks as always Maria!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

August in June: Fourth Edition

This week started with August feeling well enough to begin short trips outside to get some all-important natural sunlight. He seemed to really enjoy his short romp in the (chemical free!) back yard of some friends. He explored the lawn, poked around the paving stones, and basked a bit in the sun. He still tires out quickly, so we took it easy this first time ... but we are hoping for more great weather so that we can continue with our outings as his health improves!

Auggie is now relaxing at home, enjoying some fresh greens generously donated by Whole Foods Market on Waterman Ave. in Providence. He is not a huge fan of his meds, but he's a good sport, and will do just about anything for a piece of strawberry. Thanks for following August's story, and please, continue to check back to see how he's doing!

Quick Tour of the Cat Room

Cats. Wonderous, mercurial beasts. We sure do have a bunch of 'em. Let's meet them!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cafe Dogs 6-15-10

It's Tuesday again, and that means it's time for our twice weekly trip to The Edge in Providence with our Cafe Dogs program! This week, staff members Shawna and Lisa W. caused quite a stir with Cooper, a gregarious, lovable wiggle of a dog. Cooper is a young neutered male bully mix, and you couldn't find a better dog. He was on best behavior at The Edge, and reportedly made it his mission to personally greet everyone who ventured near his corner of sidewalk. He managed to con some tasty homemade dog biscuits out of a passing admirer as well! It was a great day for an outing, and we can only hope to have more wonderful, sunny days to enjoy with our friends on Wayland Avenue. We're starting to hear a bunch of buzz about our Cafe Dogs program, so come see what it's all about! Stop by any (dry) Tuesday or Thursday from 11:30 - 1:30 this summer for a chance to hang out with RISPCA staff and meet one of our great adoptable dogs, all over one of the best cups of coffee in the city.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Adoptions 6/7 - 6/14

We are happy to announce that we had 17 adoptions last week! We wish Brooke, Jill, Winston, Pinky, Blacky, Chesney, Humphrey, Gabbie, Mitten, Layla, King, Dartagnan, Hamlet, Bipity, Pokey, Willow, Horatio, and their new owners many happy years together!

Help us find homes for even more of our friends this week, come to the RISPCA and look for your new best friend!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

August In June: Third Installment

We are (very!) glad to report that things are starting to look hopeful for August...and that he is gathering quite a fan base! His declining health prompted us to seek further specialist care. Funded by generous donations for that purpose, August traveled to Ocean State Veterinary Specialists on Friday to see exotics specialist Dr. Cyndi Brown and her team. After an extensive exam, a new drug regimen was prescribed and blood was drawn for further tests. Initial findings were that August is severely anemic and deficient in a number of areas. With his new drugs and an specialized feeding plan in place, things are looking up for our ailing chelonian. He is now eating very well (his new favorite treat is strawberries), and is thriving under the watchful eye of his buddy Bula.

Sadly, exotic species like tortoises are readily available in specialty pet shops, but the correct information required for their care is much harder to come by. Many well-meaning keepers end up with malnourished, ill and sometimes disfigured pets -if they survive at all -due to the abundance of poor information out there. One thing that has become clear is that the majority of August's problems stem not just from being abandoned in an unfamiliar environment, but also from a life-long lack of adequate care. In caring for August, we have utilized such resources as The Tortoise Trust forum and online library, consultations with Red Foot Tortoise keepers from Ross University and discussions with multiple veterinary experts in the area... and we suggest that any aspiring reptile keeper do the same. We hope that August and his story will encourage people to think twice before acquiring an exotic pet!

August sure has a long road ahead, but his future is looking pretty good thanks to a generous and caring team of people. We have some short back yard outings planned to catch some rays once the weather improves (besides being fun, sunlight is very important for reptile development). Please check back regularly to hear more about August and his adventures!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Full House in the Kennel

We generally try to avoid going to maximum capacity in the dogs kennels here at the Rhode Island SPCA. It's always a good idea to leave one or two kennels open in case of an emergency, but sometimes it happens that every kennel is occupied. That happened this past Thursday, June 10. Here's a quick tour of the kennels from that day. (Please note, some of these animals may have been adopted by the time you watch this video. That'll happen with cute critters.)

Winston Goes Home

Just a quick note to say that Winston, the senior beagle with a lot to say, has headed off to his new forever home. Here's to many long, loud, quality conversations with his human friends and two new beagle roommates!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

August in June: Second installment

August is hanging in there, and got a chance yesterday to stretch his legs and explore his foster-home a bit. He is very curious, but tires out very easily, and started to go downhill last night. His appetite has slacked off, and this morning he could not keep his food down. This prompted us to take him back in to see Dr. Daly. The good news is that he has put on a little weight, and started eating a bit more this afternoon. The bad news is that, after taking x-rays, Dr. Daly discovered that Auggie has fluid in his lungs: pneumonia.

As a tropical species, August (like other Red Footed tortoises) is designed to handle hot, wet temperatures: 90* or even higher, with plenty of humidity. In the wild he would never encounter conditions like our chilly springs here in RI. By dumping an animal like August outside, an irresponsible owner is guaranteeing them illness...or worse. Lucky for Auggie, a concerned citizen took the time to get him the help he needs. Now it is our job to do what we can for him, and that's just what we plan to do. August will have a long, hard road ahead of him, but he is now in good hands. Please, consider sponsoring August; any amount that you give will go a long way to paying for the expensive treatments he will need to get healthy. It is unfortunate that it is so much more costly to treat a tortoise than it is to treat a dog or cat with a similar illness. However, if August can receive the care he needs, he will be able to settle in for a long, long healthy life - tortoises can live up to a hundred years, or even more!

August received more fluids tonight, as well as a dewormer treatment (we strongly suspect that parasites are the reason for his upset stomach), and is now basking comfortably under his spotlight. He does not enjoy his medications, but he does very much enjoy his bribes: fresh mango! For now, his new friend Bula is keeping careful watch over him and seems quite concerned with is progress:

Please check back to follow August's progress and to read other stories from around the RISPCA!

4 Dogs Named Marvin's Friends

Four dogs have been made Marvin's Friends, which removes the usual $85 adoption fee, making these dogs free to a good home. The dogs in question are:

Negrita: who was chosen because of her age (10 years) and because she's such a quiet, calm dog she hardly ever gets a second look.

Winston: who is also ten years old, though he doesn't have an especially hard time calling attention to himself (his patented beagle bark makes him hard to ignore).

Fenway: who has been in the shelter the longest of all the dogs currently in our care.

Honey: who is a very sweet girl, but suffers from anxiety and fear, which makes first
impressions very difficult for her.
The Marvin Fund was established in 2002 to help sick, injured and elderly animals get a second chance at health and happiness. It was named after Marvin the black lab, who himself was given a second chance and made the most of it. The Marvin Fund has helped over 1,300 animals since it was created.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cafe Dogs 6-8-10

Today was a beautiful day for the Cafe Dogs program! Paul, a 1-2 year old neutered male American Staffordshire Terrier, went along with staff members Nick and Laurelin, and they couldn't have had a better time. Paul was a huge hit, attracting people from down the block, soliciting smiles from passing drivers, and even convincing a couple people to purchase treats for him from inside The Edge! As you can see, Paul is convinced he should be a lap dog ... and he probably should be, given his history. You can read more about Paul on his Petfinder profile. To meet other great dogs like Paul, join us any sunny Tuesday or Thursday this summer from 11:30am-1:30pm at The Edge cafe in Providence. Again, huge thanks to Susan and The Edge staff for helping make this program possible!

August in June

Here at the RISPCA, we take in any animal in need so long as we have the means to care for them, regardless of age, gender, health or even species. As the exotics caretaker here, I can attest to the numbers of homeless exotic animals that come through our doors; rabbits and ferrets, chinchillas and cockatoos, pythons and fish. In many of these cases the animal's specific care needs overwhelmed the caretaker, leading them to seek a new home for their pet. Exotic species are expensive, time-consuming and complicated to care for - but very easy to aquire. Many of the exotics that come to us suffer from poor husbandry or diet, the result of lack of proper information provided when the pet was first purchased. We do our best to rehabilitate these animals and find new, experienced homes for them. Some of these cases require extra care, needing medical care, a foster home and sometimes months of rehabilitation. This care can be expensive, so please consider sponsoring one of our exotic pets to help defray these costs. We plan to chronicle the progress of these animals here on our blog so that you can follow their stories first hand and see what we do to help these animals along to their new lives ... and hopefully you can learn a bit about these interesting and uncommon species along the way!

I would like now to introduce you to August, our newest exotic charge: a male Red Footed Tortoise. August was picked up by East Providence Animal Control on June 7th after being found near a pond. Initially suspected to be another report of a snapping turtle in someone's yard, Animal Control responded and searched the property. Just as they were calling off the search, August wandered out of some shrubs ... and proved to most definitely not be a snapping turtle. He also proved to be in poor health. They brought August to us at the RISPCA, and from there we promply took him to see Dr. Daly, the exotics vet at Riverside Animal Hospital. August, or Auggie, was placed on antibiotics, fluids and pain medication for evidence of a respiratory infection, dehydration and possible head trauma. His shell showed signs of pyramiding, possibly from poor husbandry. From the doctors, Auggie was taken into fostercare. I brought him home with me and set up a hospital tank in the only place we had room for it ... the bathroom! (As a tropical species, Auggie will benefit from the humidity.) He spent his first night getting bathed, medicated and settled in to his new diggs. He was very lethargic, and refused any food. After doing what we could for him, we sat back and crossed our fingers.
In the morning, August showed some signs of improvement. He was alert and more hydrated. After tempting him with a juicy piece of mango, we finally got him to start eating his food (a mix of dark leafy greens such as kale and collard greens, along with shredded carrot and tortoise pellets)! The resident cat was quite taken with his new signs of life, and enjoyed watching him eat. Please continue to check back for more information on Auggie as his health improves!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Adoptions 5/31 - /6/7

We are happy to have found forever homes for 9 of our adoptable animal friends last week. We wish Mitch, Peanut, Abbie, Seth, Beatrice, Capris, Sam, Bryce, George, and their new owners many happy years together!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Adoptions: 5/25 - 5/31

We are happy to announce that we found forever homes for 14 of our friends last week. We wish Pumpkin, Clyde, Bonnie, Rocky, Curly, Goliath, Davey, Zeus, Honey, Sorrella, Lady, Gabby, Chicken, Whiskey, and their new owners many happy years together!