Tag Archives: animal rescue

My Cat Has What?

By Betsey Cichoracki

Herpes. Ever since high school health class that word has prompted “ewws” and “gross!” in the minds of many. So when our vet informed me that our cat Coal has herpes, I thought “ewww” before even learning what feline herpes really is. Turns out a herpes virus means many things among many species. Continue reading

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Filed under ACDC News, Adopted Animals, Animal Rescue, Animals in our care, Foster Parents, Pet Tips, Pet Tips - Cats, Uncategorized, Volunteers

Life Is Like A Song

After two years in ACDC's care, Charlie found his forever home, where he is clearly quite content!

By Nikki Senecal

Two years is a long time to wait, but Charlie (aka Charlie Choo) has, at last, found his forever home!

When Charlie came to the Animal Coalition of Delaware County (ACDC), he was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), a blood disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks and kills its own red blood cells. At diagnosis, Charlie weighed just over seven pounds, was severely jaundiced, and was not eating. He went home with Kim Butler, ACDC’s cat director, because she, unfortunately, had direct experience dealing with her own cat’s IMHA.

Cats with IMHA have to get blood drawn regularly to check “packed cell volume” (PCV). Normal cats fall into the range of 37-44, Kim explained. Charlie’s PCV was as low as 19; while not good, he wasn’t a candidate for blood transfusions. With medication, paid for through donations to ACDC, Charlie’s numbers eventually fell into the normal range.

When he was adopted he had been off all medication for three months. Still, Kim says, “he will still need his blood checked every few months to make sure he’s holding at a stable pace.”

At Last
Enter Melissa Lane, a volunteer at the PetSmart at Marple Crossroads. Melissa became involved with ACDC after her feline companion of 10 years, Alice, passed away due to kidney failure. At that time, she was moving in with her boyfriend, Stephen Hostetter, and his dogs, and says, “I pretty much gave up on the idea of having a cat because of the dogs.” So she decided instead to volunteer to help find homes for cats to satisfy her desire to be around cats. “At first, volunteering made me sad, but after a few times, I really enjoyed getting to know the cats there.”

Melissa came to know Charlie during her shifts at the adoption center. “I knew that Charlie was a sweet, mellow, beautiful cat. I also felt a lot of compassion for Charlie because I knew that it would take him longer to find a permanent home because of his previous health problems.” Melissa felt he deserved a good home. She even knew of one: hers. But she worried about mixing dogs and cats.

One Sunday afternoon, that changed. “Karen Bates was in the center trimming Charlie’s nails and cleaning his ears, and we got to talking about the possibility of having a cat in a house with two young huskies. She told me about having the dogs cat-tested and the rest is history!” In order for Melissa and Stephen to adopt a cat, the cat would have to be an adult with previous experience with dogs. Fortunately for Charlie, he fit that description and all the pieces fell into place for an adoption.

Melissa didn’t have misgivings about adopting a cat with such a rare medical condition (it’s more common in dogs than cats). “Charlie was given a clean bill of health, and I knew that if he had any other health issues, they would be addressed immediately.”

A Thrill to Press My Cheek To
Because Charlie has such a loud purr, Melissa and Stephen joke that “he has a V8 engine in his chest.” He’s also quite a talker, “He has one drawn out meow that sounds like ‘heellloooooooooo!’” Melissa explains. At five, Charlie still plays with the energy of a kitten. He also enjoys company when he eats. “Sometimes he’ll meow at me until I join him,” Melissa reports. “Charlie is not exactly a lap cat yet, but at night, he curls up to sleep next to my head on my pillow or sleeps belly up, legs up nestled up to my torso.”

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JoJo Comes Home!

Lynette and JoJo

U.S. Airways Flight Attendant Lynette Siple arrives at Philadelphia International Airport with JoJo in hand!

Earlier this month, the Animal Coalition of Delaware County (ACDC) learned that JoJo, who had been adopted through ACDC two years ago had been surrendered to Cumberland County Animal Services in Fayetteville, N.C. The shelter contacted ACDC after scanning JoJo for a microchip. The microchip’s registration had never been changed and thus, JoJo’s owner came up as ACDC.

ACDC is incredibly grateful to Danielle Dumas and all of the staff members at Cumberland County Animal Services for not only taking the time to scan JoJo, but to also contact and work with ACDC. The shelter could only keep JoJo for 10 days. ACDC wanted to ensure JoJo had a long and happy life and knew they had to do something. But what? They put an e-mail plea out to all of their supporters for help.

Enter Lynette Siple of Drexel Hill, Pa., a U.S. Airways Flight Attendant and animal lover. Lynette offered to fly JoJo home with her! On her day off last Thursday (October 7), while in-between flights, Siple picked JoJo up at the shelter in North Carolina, took him to a vet for vaccines so that he would be cleared to fly, and then boarded a U.S. Airways flight bound for Philadelphia with JoJo! JoJo even got to fly first class with Siple in some very comfy seats.

Kim Butler, ACDC’s Cat Department Director, met Siple and JoJo at the airport, where there was great celebration! Though JoJo was a little spooked from his busy day, he came through with flying colors. Butler took JoJo to Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital, where he was given a full examination and brought up to date on his vaccinations. JoJo will soon be reunited with Karen Chaya of Drexel Hill, who was his ACDC foster mom two years ago before he was adopted. JoJo will be available for adoption in two weeks. This time, he truly hopes to find the family that will care for him forever! Thank goodness for JoJo’s many guardian angels, especially Lynette Siple, Danielle Dumas, and Cumberland County Animal Services!

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How Do I Know My Pet is Sick?

Knowing what to watch for in your pet's behavior can help catch illnesses early.

By Nikki Senecal 

 
There are many times I wish my dog could talk, but that feeling is compounded by worry when she seems to be feeling ill. (Talking animals would make the vet’s job easier too!) 

   

If we remember that we’re mammals too, diagnosing our pets can be a little easier. How do you know you’re sick? Vomiting, diarrhea, appetite changes, abnormal bleeding, and lethargy signal something’s wrong in humans. It turns out many of these symptoms signal problems for our pets too.      

Guinea Pig     

  • Bloated abdomen
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Labored breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

Rabbit   

  • Loud tooth grinding
  • Very hot or very cold ears
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Labored breathing
  • Drooling or a wet chin
  • Loss of balance or head tilt
  • Abnormal fecal pellets (smaller, irregular shape, droppings laced with fur)
  • Loss of appetite or lethargy

Cat   

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Stops using the litter box or strains upon elimination
  • Develops puffiness or a lump under the skin
  • Hides for more than a day
  • Becomes ill-tempered or doesn’t want to be touched
  • Increased head shaking
  • Changes his routine or loses interest in his favorite games
  • Stops grooming
  • The “third eyelid” (nictitating membrance) emerges from the corner of his eye

Dog   

  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased drinking
  • Vomiting or unproductive retching
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or bloody feces
  • Unexplained, sudden weight loss
  • Seizure
  • Pale gums or tongue
  • Increased panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent cough
  • Straining to urinate, decreased urination, or bloody urination
  • Inflamed ears or skin, or smelly ears
  • Discharge from ears, eyes, or nose
  • Difficulty walking or lameness
  • Head shaking

Take notes on changes in your pet’s habits and health and take him/her to the vet at the first sign of concern. Your vet will want to know details of your pet’s symptoms, including when they began. Until animals learn to talk, your pet needs you to speak for her.

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Meet ACDC’s New Volunteer Coordinator

Evann and her husband, Steve, adopted their dog, Chief, from the Animal Coalition of Delaware County

Back in March, those who volunteer for the Animal Coalition of Delaware County probably noticed that they began hearing from Evann Gastaldo, ACDC’s new volunteer coordinator. Evann took over the ACDC Volunteer Coordinator position from Loren Ellis, who served for about three years. ACDC is so grateful to Loren for her service and thrilled that she continues to actively volunteer with ACDC in many ways.

Evann took over a big job from Loren and is quite an extraordinary volunteer herself. In addition to managing ACDC’s many volunteers, she coordinates the cat foster parents, volunteers at outreach events, serves on the marketing team, and fosters cats.

She has also adopted an ACDC dog and in fact, that is how she got involved with ACDC in the first place. “I wanted to give back to an organization that helped me get such a great dog in my life,” shares Evann. Evann’s dog, Chief (previously known as Billy Bob), a 55-pound hound mix, came to live with her and her husband, Steve, in November 2008. Three cats round out the family. Two are from ACDC, Simba and Bagheera (Bryce and Brayden originally). Evann and Steve’s third cat, Lando, was adopted from a Chicago shelter.

Volunteering with ACDC gives Evann the opportunity to feed her passion for animal welfare. “I’m one of those people who wants to save every kitty out there, but I know I can’t keep them all. As a foster parent, I have a fantastic opportunity to make sure someone else gives them a good home. Fostering lets me have ‘kitten time,’ but just temporarily—like a fun aunt! And it’s so amazing to look at that animal and know that without you, it might still be on the streets.”

Ever the Volunteer Coordinator, she concludes with a special message: “We need volunteers! That’s true for every organization trying to make a difference with limited resources. Without volunteers, we literally could not operate.” To learn more about volunteering, contact Evann at evann.gastaldo@gmail.com. During National Volunteer Week, we salute the many caring individuals who share their time, talent, and treasure with ACDC!

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Big Changes for a Little Guy

ACDC Foster Mom Jennifer Citrone with ChuChu, who she is currently fostering

“I want to provide Chu Chu with a fun, happy, positive environment while he is here—something he didn’t have before,” shares Animal Coalition of Delaware County (ACDC) Foster Mom Jennifer Citrone. At the moment, Jennifer is fostering Chu Chu, a tiny five-pound Chihuahua, who was found fending for himself in an abandoned apartment in North Philadelphia.

Chu Chu hadn’t been well cared for. For starters, when he was rescued, his nails were so long that they were almost growing back into his little paw pads. In addition, when Chu Chu arrived at Jennifer’s home, he was sneezing a bit and by the next day, his sneezing had gotten worse. He also began coughing. Jennifer took him to Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital, where he was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and given medication.

Animals like Chu Chu who are rescued by ACDC are cared for by an approved ACDC foster parent in that person’s own home 24/7. ACDC foster parents provide love, attention, socialization, food, and other essentials to their foster animals until their permanent, adoptive families are found. The cost of vet care for the animals is covered by the organization, not the foster parents. Chu Chu will stay with Jennifer until he is over his illness and then he will be available for adoption.

Things are definitely looking up for little Chu Chu and we are certain that he will have no trouble finding his furever family soon thanks to his devoted foster mom! “I love being able to provide dogs with a positive place to stay,” shares Jennifer, who has fostered three dogs for ACDC thus far. “ACDC is also one of the smaller organizations and every one involved genuinely cares for animals. We’re not in it for the money—we’re in it for the satisfaction of finding the animals we foster a wonderful new home.” Learn more about fostering for ACDC. To read more about Chu Chu, click here.

August Update: Chu Chu was adopted in May and is doing great. His new mom, who renamed him Tucker, reports that he has settled in fully to his new digs. He has his own little beds all over the house, as well as friends at the park across the street where they go for walks every day! Also, his adoptive mom shares that he goes everywhere with her in his doggy bag!

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Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

At 12 years old, Lexie, now known as Roxie, got the home she deserves!

Lexie, now known as Roxie by her new adoptive mom, came to the Animal Coalition of Delaware County after a good Samaritan found her on the streets of Philadelphia. 

When she was found, Lexie had recently had a litter of puppies and was having some problems with sores where her puppies had nursed. It turned out that Lexie was quite an experienced momma. She was 12 years old and had been having two litters of puppies a year for most of her life. Can you imagine?! Her puppies would end up for sale at a local flea market and Lexie would continue on living in the same poor conditions year after year. As a result of all this frequent nursing and inadequate weaning of her puppies, poor Lexie’s problems were chronic and she needed surgery to cure them. She also had a few broken and infected teeth from living on the streets and needed extensive dental care. And last but not least, she needed to stop having puppies.

After taking antibiotics for over a month to fight the infections from all her long standing problems, she finally had surgery and had everything fixed all at once. Her foster mom was more worried for Lexie than she was! She picked her up the day after surgery expecting to find a sore and tired senior dog that was going to need a lot of TLC to nurse her back to health. Instead, Lexie came flying through the waiting room door like a puppy herself! She was almost uncontrollable with licks and kisses and hugs for everyone. Her foster mom thinks Lexie was just so grateful not to be sick anymore and was thanking everyone the only way she knew how.

While waiting for Lexie’s scars to heal and her stitches to be removed, she met up with her new adoptive mom, who had been waiting for Lexie to become available for adoption for two months! Lexie’s new mom knew that Lexie was the four-legged friend for her the minute she saw her. She joked that they were both senior ladies and were meant for each other! These days, Lexie, now known as Roxie, is a happy girl indeed! She has been living with her new mom for almost a month.

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Don’t Miss Our Fourth Annual Spayghetti Dinner – March 27!!

We will host our fourth annual Spayghetti Dinner & Silent Auction this Saturday, March 27! You won’t want to miss it! For only $25 (or $30 at the door — so buy your ticket now!), your ticket includes a full Italian meal (and not just Spaghetti—we’re talking baked ziti and desserts!). We are also having a DJ and Karaoke!!!!! This year, our silent auction has also gotten quite exciting with items including:

  • Philadelphia 76ers Box Seat Tickets
  • Signed Hockey Stick from Simon Gagne
  • Tickets to the Phillies Exhibition Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 3
  • Photography session worth $550 with Essential Imagery (www.essentialimagery.net)
  • Gift certificates for local restaurants and businesses such as Iron Hill Brewery, Margaret Kuo’s, Daisy’s Delights (pet grooming gift certificate), and Traders Joe’s
  • Watercolor paintings from local artist Mike Bair
  • Antique crackle glass vases and accessories
  • Pampered Chef gift package
  • Dog and cat toys and accessories; and more.

Proceeds from this annual event benefit our pre-adoption spaying and neutering efforts. Every year, four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are euthanized simply because there is not enough room in animal shelters to care for them, nor are there enough homes for them. Failure to spay or neuter animals is what results in unwanted litters that it is not possible to care for. Spaying and neutering animals is the only permanent solution.

In addition to paying to have all of the animals adopted through ACDC spayed or neutered (if they are old enough at the time of their adoption), ACDC also sponsors low-cost spay neuter clinics in Delaware County. In December, ACDC held one in partnership with The Spayed Club for residents of Marcus Hook and just last month, they hosted one in Colwyn.

To purchase tickets for ACDC’s Spay-ghetti Dinner, click here or call 610-876-1479. Seating is limited so all are encouraged to buy tickets early.

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ACDC Animal Updates!

Some of the animals ACDC rescues need a little extra TLC. Two of those animals that we recently took in to our foster care are Ginny and Hope. Here are updates on both of them:

Ginny

The vet gives Ginny the first of several injections to treat her heartworm.

We’re happy to report that Ginny is doing well after her first injection of immiticide. We are treating her for heartworm and will continue to keep you posted!

Hope

ACDC rescued Hope last summer and has been caring for her ever since. We are treating her for head tilt syndrome and several other conditions.

While our Hope is doing well, she won’t ever be 100% fully recovered. ACDC continues to treat her. Her ACDC foster mom reports that in spite of her challenges, Hope is such a sweet, sweet bunny.

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Meet ACDC’s latest rescue: Ginny from Virginia!

Ginny was rescued from a shelter in rural Virginia and is being treated for Lyme disease and a heartworm infestation

Ginny is a very sweet, docile beagle/pointer mix who we rescued in partnership with The Animal Rescue Foundation of Southeastern Pennsylvania in January. She was rescued from a shelter in rural Virginia, where she was most likely surrendered because she’s too sweet to be a good hunting dog.

The dogs at the shelter where Ginny was rescued from have little chance of surviving without outside rescues coming in to help. Most of the dogs at the shelter are the “duds,” the hounds who didn’t hunt well.

Once Ginny arrived here in PA, we took her to the vet and found out that she has heartworm and Lyme disease. She is only a year old. Heartworm infestation, if left untreated, is always fatal. ACDC won’t let that happen.

Although we caught the heartworm infestation in the early stages, her treatment will take several months and be quite costly. If you are able to make a contribution to Ginny’s care, please click here. In the meantime, we will keep you posted on her condition here on our blog. Once Ginny has been treated for the heartworm and Lyme disease and is given a clean bill of health, she will be available for adoption through ACDC.

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