Though pet vaccination rates are high in North America, that isn’t always the case in other parts of the world where unvaccinated animals can put entire communities at risk. Our resident pet health expert, Emma, has rounded up information on how to keep ourselves, our pets and our communities safe. Together we can make a difference.
Author: Emma Kronish
Mission Possible: Afghanistan
ONE WEEK from now, the wheels go up on the most ambitious rescue SPCA International has ever undertaken.
We were founded in 2006 with a simple mission: To advance the safety and well-being of animals.
It’s no secret that honoring this mission can fill your heart one day and break it the next.
Today, as our rescue partners around the world prepare for this monumental flight to finally take place, we are proud to share the events and spotlight the many efforts that have set the stage for animal rescue history to be made.
In the chaotic days before NATO forces pulled out of Afghanistan, the team at Kabul Small Animal Rescue valiantly tackled the daunting task of trying to coordinate an evacuation of the 130 cats and dogs in their care.
As the situation became more tense, a passionate plea from KSAR founder, Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, went viral and triggered a response from multiple organizations (SPCAI included). With time running out, teams worked around the clock tapping every resource at their disposal. Despite everyone’s best efforts, hopes were dashed when, at the 11th hour, dogs were released to fend for themselves on the airport property; the cats, having never made it in, were brought back to the KSAR shelter and Charlotte was escorted back to her home.
We were all devastated, but we knew that these cats and dogs were still counting on us and we refused to give up.
Throughout the fall, helped by SPCAI donations (thank you!), KSAR was able to continue supporting the ongoing care of the animals and make efforts to rescue the dogs that had been released at the airport. While that took place, we worked relentlessly with Charlotte and our longstanding partner, War Paws, to formulate a new plan to evacuate the animals. With the US CDC suspension on canine imports from over 100 countries (Afghanistan included), we knew Canada would be our best option.
As winter loomed, a new coalition with War Paws, Marley’s Mutts, RainCoast Dog Rescue Society and Thank DOG I Am Out (TDIAO) was formed to set up a temporary facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, that could receive almost 300 animals still in KSAR’s care. This dedicated group worked non-stop, following strict guidelines, fully documenting every animal for import and setting up a facility that meets every regulation in record time.
We are proud to announce that after working day and night with our partners for the last two months, the facility is ready and we have a chartered plane booked to make the journey. Experienced staff and over 200 volunteers are on standby, a full-time veterinarian is under contract, and countless adopters and rescue organizations are lining up to give these animals the safe homes they deserve.
We cannot stress enough how challenging this process has been. How thankful we are to have incredible companies like Signature Flight Support, Modu-Loc, and King of Floors in our corner – it would have been impossible to do this without your support. But most importantly, it is animal lovers like YOU, making donations big and small, that have made this a reality. THANK YOU!
Our work won’t stop once the plane touches down in Vancouver. Our precious cargo of cats and dogs will require round-the-clock care as they embark on the next chapter of their lives here in North America. Please contact us for more information on how to volunteer, foster or adopt.
“Happily Ever After”
Writing fairytale endings for animals was what fueled our creation in 2006, and it’s what drives SPCA International today.
We are very proud of our role in this historic rescue and how far we’ve come as an organization – as always, your support makes it all possible. Thank you!
PLEASE DONATE TODAY
World Vegan Month
Plant-based diets are gaining traction as people learn more about the benefits of eating less meat. Check out this catchy video that makes a great case for veganism. The stats may surprise you, but the benefits are real for animals, for our health and for the planet.
Happy, Healthy Pets this Holiday Season
Check out our latest pet safety video for some great tips about keeping Fido and Fluffy safe this holiday season. There are lots of ways our pets can join in holiday cheer but keeping these potentially harmful foods out of their reach will keep celebrations safe and joyous.
Holiday Gifts Simplified: SPCA International staff share their favorite pet-centric products.
Each year, we ask our SPCA International staff team for their favorite pet products of the year and they never cease to amaze with their incredible picks. We hope this list makes your holiday shopping just a bit easier for all the pets and pet people in your life. Enjoy!
The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Having more than one dog especially can make nighttime walking a precarious activity. They may be little in size but not in shine; these lights provide extra safety for our evening strolls and make great conversation pieces too!
Cats can be moody, but once they get their own window perch, they’ll be the happiest kitty around. Quick to set up and easy to clean, cats will love looking out the window and watching the birds and wildlife all the time. Even better? It comes with a one-year guarantee!
When traveling with a big fur-baby, this backseat dog hammock will keep pups comfortable while protecting car upholstery. Non-slip, durable, waterproof and padded, this product from Active Pets is also versatile. When not being used as a hammock, it can be folded down on the back seat and seatbelts can be threaded through. It can also be used as a cargo cover!
What could be better than The Dogist, a book by Elias Weiss filled with hundreds of dog portraits and short, fun descriptions about their personalities? The Dogist Puppies, of course! Both books are absolutely adorable and will bring plenty of smiles to anyone who flips through them!
Pet fur can frustrate even the most loving of pet parents, but the Chom Chom Roller can ease their stress. With no sticky sheets and a reusable design, this pet fur product will keep furniture and clothing pet fur-free. Great for multi-pet households and anyone with a furry friend.
A great gift for pet parents who love to cook, this dog treat maker comes with dog-friendly recipes and makes eight bones at a time. Plus, dog treat chefs can control the ingredients, ensuring their pups get only the healthiest foods. Making homemade dog treats for holiday baskets and gifts could be a great family activity!
Not just any dog treat, Bucket’s Biscuits were designed for a picky eater rescued through SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide program. Healthy and tasty, a portion of proceeds from Bucket’s Biscuits sales are donated to support SPCA International’s work rescuing pets for military members stationed overseas.
These coats from L.L. Bean are trendy and practical for all the best winter adventures! Not only are they reversible for pooches with style, but the hassle-free design also eliminates the need to put paws through small openings. Two velcro straps and a harness/leash opening at the back of the neck make this coat easy on and easy off. It can also be machine washed and dried!
At-home pet grooming is simple and quick with this home grooming set. A couple of important features include a quiet motor so pets don’t get spooked and a rechargeable battery so getting tangled in a cord is never a worry. For the do-it-yourselfer, this set can help save hundreds of dollars a year in pet grooming costs.
Cathulhu Home for the Holidays
Do you remember Cathulhu and Sergeant Arielle? They bonded after tiny Cathulhu found her way into the barracks on a U.S. military base in Lithuania. Sergeant Arielle’s heart broke for the weak, emaciated and sick kitten, but she saved Cathulhu’s life and nursed her back to health. When it came time for Sergeant Arielle to return to the U.S. she reached out to SPCA International for help. On her own, it was impossible to get Cathulhu to her home in Florida.
Cathulhu traveled from Lithuania to Poland where her travel paperwork and veterinary requirements have been processed. She has been in good company with several other cats waiting to be reunited with the U.S. military members who saved them. We are thrilled to share that the thoughtful cats in this video are all scheduled to arrive in the U.S. during Thanksgiving week! Sergeant Arielle will be waiting at the airport in Florida to welcome Cathulhu to her forever home.
Vaccination Clinic Honors World Rabies Day
World Rabies Day brings special attention to the importance of vaccinating animals for their own health and the good of communities. Though rabies is uncommon in much of the developed world, outbreaks still affect developing countries like Tanzania.
SPCA International is proud to support TAPO (Tanzania Animal Protection Organization) and their annual World Rabies Day vaccination clinic. We are thrilled to announce that after seven years of reducing rabies cases thanks to the vaccination events, there were no recorded rabies cases in 2020 in the town of Kahama.
Despite this incredible milestone, TAPO knows their work isn’t over. They continue to offer free rabies vaccinations and deworming in addition to educational sessions about pet care and disease prevention. This year, TAPO’s World Rabies Day event reached 200 pet parents along with their 843 dogs and 70 cats.
Year after year, the event continues to encourage responsibility for pets in the local community, reducing the risk of rabies and other diseases, reducing instances of dog culling and improving the health and welfare for animals and their people.
This group is changing the way animals are treated and cared for, one animal, one person and one community at a time.
Operation Military Pets: Keeping Pets out of Shelters and With their Military Families
SPCA International is immensely proud of our Operation Military Pets program, which helps alleviate the cost incurred by military families bringing their furry family members to new duty stations. With bills often reaching into the thousands, Operation Military Pets helps ease this financial burden on the families that bravely serve our country.
Clyde is just one of many animals who made it to their family’s next duty station with the help of Operation Military Pets. This is what his soldier has to say about the program.
“SPCA International does wonderful things for pets worldwide, and for us, they helped ensure our furry family member would be able to make the journey with us to the UK. […] the gesture of support at a time when we feel we are going it alone despite being required to move, has been an absolute blessing. We are grateful for their fabulous communication, their offers of kindness and support, and their willingness to help military members in an already stressful move process to make it just a bit easier.”
It cost Clyde’s family over $4,500 to get him to the U.K. In case you are wondering, these are the expenses that added up:
- cargo bill $1,688
- sky kennel $255
- domestic rental car and hotel costs to get to the pet departure airport $800
- UK pet broker $713
- UK customs fees $571
- veterinary bills $253.
- hotel pet fees in the U.S. and during quarantine in the U.K. $250
Thank you to everyone who has donated to SPCA International’s programs in support of soldiers and their pets. Through Operation Military Pets, SPCA International will continue to lessen the burden on military families who already sacrifice so much for our country. You can learn more about Operation Military Pets here.
Cathulhu the Kitty is Safe
Sergeant Arielle didn’t know if the tiny, starving kitten she found would make it. Today, that kitten is the beloved Cathulhu. These two now have an unbreakable bond, and thanks to many generous SPCA International supporters, they’ll be reunited soon in the U.S.
The Sergeant’s hands were tied by military regulations that don’t allow pets on official military transport. So, as her deployment came to a close, she reached out for help getting Cathulhu to her home in the U.S.
Thankfully, Cathulhu is now safe in our care. She is receiving her vaccinations and her travel paperwork is being processed. Cathulhu should be cleared for travel by early November; then, she will reunite with Sergeant Arielle.
We expect that Cathulhu will live a long and happy life with Sergeant Arielle. These two will be forever grateful to everyone who helped provide for Cathulhu’s rescue and travel to the U.S.
Pet Rescue Pilots: Rescuing by Relocation
Julian Javor, founder of Pet Rescue Pilots has been “Rescuing by Relocation” since 2017. Based in California, where tens of thousands of pets are euthanized in shelters each year, Julian and his team fly animals in danger of euthanasia to shelters that have forever families waiting to adopt.
A true labor of love, Pet Rescue Pilots rarely turns down the chance to help animals in need. They have stepped in to fly lost pets to their homes several states away, helping families reunite with animals they thought were lost forever. They have also been an incredible partner to SPCA International, assisting with domestic and international rescue missions and relocations.
Pet Rescue Pilots has become a valuable partner for many other animal welfare organizations in our network. They recently transported 30 dogs from an overcrowded shelter in California to one of our partners in Canada. There, shelter staff quickly began coordinating the placement of these pets into their new forever homes.
SPCA International is excited to announce that we will be sponsoring an upcoming Pet Rescue Pilots flight, saving pets from euthanasia and ensuring they are placed in safe and loving forever homes.