This summer has brought an unusually high number of animals with severe injuries or illnesses into the care of the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter. These cases always present challenges. They require intense observation and care by qualified staff and/or foster families, long-term placement can be trickier, and they are expensive. We are fortunate to have a compassionate staff, skilled foster families, and supportive rescue partners who have helped us save many lives this season.
Most of the animals that have arrived in poor condition are strays. Animal Control is required to take any stray animal with a medical concern to a veterinarian’s office, so they can be evaluated and stabilized prior to coming to the shelter. Once they arrive, they will be assessed again by the shelter’s technicians and veterinarian and the staff will see to their continued care. Some will be moved into foster care where they can continue to recover and eventually be placed for adoption while avoiding the stress of the shelter. For the animals that have medical needs that we cannot meet long-term, we seek placement with our lifesaving partners who are better equipped to meet their specific needs. While placement looks different for each animal, the goal is the same: prevent suffering, encourage healing, and save lives.
When strays arrive with medical issues, their care is complicated by the mystery that surrounds their injury or illness. Nemo is an adorable tabby and white cat who was picked up by animal control and brought to a local vet who noted that there was suspected trauma due to weakness in his back legs. What happened to traumatize Nemo’s legs so badly will never be known. Nemo remained at the shelter receiving close care by the staff for two weeks, until suitable rescue could be found. Since he could barely move, staff needed to monitor him extremely closely, as well as tending to his daily needs such as fluids, medication, rotating his body so he didn’t get sores, and keeping him mentally stimulated with lots of love and affection.
While the majority of the animals we have helped are strays, our Outreach Program has also been busy helping animals in the community with medical needs. A family reached out for help after noticing that their outdoor cat, who has a habit of coming and going, had an injury that was getting worse and worse as time went on. Chester is a handsome grey and white tomcat with an affectionate and talkative personality. He had severe wounds up and down his front leg and had lost the ability to bear weight on it. We knew that time was of the essence, as his wounds were clearly getting infected and his life was in jeopardy.
Almost as if he knew we had a plan in action for him, Chester disappeared. For days, we could only hope he was okay. When he reappeared, he was not feeling his best and not allowing anyone to touch him. His quick-thinking caregivers locked him in a shed, with a trap baited. Several stressful hours later, Chester was in the trap and en route to the shelter. We had already begun to seek rescue for him and were fortunate that the Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society was able to help him. We were 100 percent confident that Chester would continue to receive the medical care he needed, and PALS is determined to save his leg. He’s currently being fostered by a veterinarian and receiving lots of medication and frequent bandage changes. His endearing personality has fully returned and he’s the sweetheart of the vet’s office.
While these medical emergencies have put a strain on the shelter’s finances, we are committed to giving all the animals in our care the best chance possible and will continue to do so. The shelter struggles with the loss of our most important fundraisers this spring and summer and an uncertain future. We require some special supply donations to care for these special animals, such as heat pads, certain veterinary supplies, pellet litter for injured cats, and appetite-inducing foods (Fresh Pet food, canned chicken and salmon, hot dogs, rice, etc.). Your financial donations continue to allow us to meet the needs of stray animals and community pets during these difficult times.
Shelter needs: Dry cat and kitten food, canned pate and canned food, large dog toys and chews, Snuggle Safe microwavable head pads, cat carriers, hand sanitizer and soap.
To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org/forms/adoption-questionnaire.
For SJRAS information, call (856) 691-1500 or visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org or SJRASVineland on Facebook.
DOGS OF THE WEEK
Thunder is a mover and a shaker and is always ready to go. He is a handsome, athletic guy who likes the world to revolve around him and his desires. He is looking for someone who is just as savvy and quick thinking as he is.
Zeus is looking for a fresh start! He’s a strapping young man looking for a home that will help him to blossom! He’s smart, independent and clever.
Roxy is a darling, 1-year-old mixed breed. She is a happy, wiggly puppy that loves everyone.
Macie is a sweet girl. She is bursting at the seams to find a new home. She promises to get you up and moving on walks and playing ball in the yard.
Bourbon is a happy-go-lucky, 1-year-old pit bull terrier who loves everyone. He is in a foster home. If you are interested in adopting Bourbon, complete an adoption questionnaire. Once your questionnaire is processed, the foster home will contact you regarding Bourbon and to set up a chance to meet him.
Diamond is ready for a new beginning. She’s a bit timid, but warms up quickly outside of the kennel and would love to live her life that way. She’s about 3-years-old and loves to play with other dogs. She had a rough start in life but is ready to move on. Once she has a chance to get to know you, she loves belly rubs and being a snuggle bug.
Lady Madonna is a sunny little golden girl. She is sweet, smart sassy and fun! Her idea of a great day is playing a nice game of fetch then lounging in the sun taking a nap.
CATS OF THE WEEK
Nala and Itchiban, both 3-years-old, were surrendered together because their owner was moving and could no longer care for them. They are very friendly and like children.
Precious and Grimm, 10- and 12-years-old respectively, were surrendered by their owners. Don’t let their age fool you, these beauties are full of life and would like a forever home where they can spend their golden years.
Rosalee is a gorgeous and independent lady who is looking for a loving home that will let her be in charge! Rosalee loves other cats and is ok with polite dogs.
Luna is a gorgeous, 4-year-old Tortoiseshell. She would love to be a part of your family and sleep safe and snug on your spot on the couch.
Betsy is so sweet and demands attention by rubbing her head in your hand. If you are feeling lonely and need a companion, Betsy is your girl.
Lei is a very cute little girl who is being treated with eye medication. But that’s not stopping her from looking for a loving family and a place to call home!
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