Hungry Shelter Pets Fed by SPCA International Supporters

SPCA International’s supporters have stepped up in a big way during the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to many generous individuals, we will be able to provide a total of $160,000 to shelters and rescue organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 animal welfare response.

With the conclusion of the “My Next Bowl” COVID-19 relief social media event last week, thousands of animals will receive the food and care they need during this difficult time. In addition to our regular grants, “My Next Bowl” will provide 55,634 bowls of food provided by individual donors and 14,300 bowls from Wishbone Pet Foods.

These are the organizations being directly supported thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

  • Bo Ai Animal Protection Centre of Guangyuan
  • K9 Global Rescue
  • Unidad de Proteccion Animal
  • Plush Bears Shelter
  • Animal House Jamaica
  • Associazione Etica Antispecista Jill Phipps
  • SPCA Italia Protezione Animal
  • Vucjak Shelter and Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Furry Angels Haven – Wuhan
  • Sneha’s Care
  • Healing Animal SCARS
  • Oito Vidas
  • Animal Rescue Serbia
  • Ravi Foundation Pakistan
  • Detroit Animal Welfare Group
  • World of Angels Foundation
  • Clean Futures Fund
  • SPCA Ouest
  • Stray Dog Support
  •  Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) 
  •  Anima Leondo RD
  • Raincoast Dog Rescue Society
  • Animal Friends of Kurdistan

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, SPCA International will be here to monitor the situation, keep you informed and connect you to the most pressing animal welfare needs. Thank you again to everyone who has supported our shelter and rescue group relief efforts during this time.

Animal Moments to Brighten Your Day

Here at SPCA International our crew of animal lovers always appreciates a feel-good animal video. Check out this video for a quick break from the stress of the day. We hope you like it as much as we do. We hope it warms your heart and lifts your spirits. Enjoy!

Fiji Spay and Neuter Clinic

SPCA International is proud to support CLAW (Communities, Legislature & Animal Welfare). They recently held a series of successful spay and neuter clinics in Fiji.

CLAW is doing great work on Fiji’s scattered islands.

Their recent clinics were held over ten days at nine different locations! They sterilized 390 animals on the islands of Suva and Beqa.

Thanks to the generosity of SPCA International supporters, we were able to send a shipment of veterinary supplies along with a grant to help CLAW.

CLAW brought together veterinarians, recent graduates and nurses from four countries. Along with many community volunteers, they made this a truly successful event.

CLAW also uses an innovative system of “Certificates in Animal Welfare”. These certificates give communities tangible goals to work toward. Two communities earned their “Bronze Certificates in Animal Welfare” during this campaign.

The beautiful islands of Fiji are home to glitzy resorts, but many locals live in poverty. Without help, they wouldn’t be able to afford to sterilize their animals.

During the past year, CLAW has sterilized over 1,200 animals. They are doing truly incredible work. Sterilizations save thousands of animals from being born into situations where they can’t be cared for. CLAW is looking forward to adding a vaccine component to future clinics to further improve the lives of animals.

Video Escape

We put this cute video together just to make you smile! We hope you can take just one minute to enjoy this short video full of fluffy dogs and cats doing their thing. Wherever you are, we hope it will brighten your day.

Lockdown Silver Linings

During the current crisis, it is easy to focus on the negative, but here are just a few silver linings to think about when you need a pick-me-up.

People are spending more time with their nuclear families. Most of us have dusted off old games or started new activities and rituals together. Many of us are also reconnecting with friends and family over video chats and sharing kindness however we can with our fellow humans.

Animals are benefitting in a number of ways. Many shelters in North America are reporting high adoption and foster rates, China is banning the consumption of dogs and cats, and the Tiger King phenomenon has shed light on the plight of big cats in the U.S.

The environment is also getting a boost from less pollution. Less travel in planes and cars means fewer fossil fuels are being burned, and reduced manufacturing is producing less pollution as well.

Despite these positives, we know many people are battling in one way or another against COVID-19, so we extend our gratitude to all essential workers, especially those who work in healthcare and the grocery supply chain. We also extend our thoughts and hearts to those who are themselves or have a loved one who is sick, grieving or otherwise at risk.

Wildlife Rescue Vehicles in Australia

Here at SPCA International, we are committed to helping animal welfare organizations around the world when they are faced with unforeseen disasters. The bushfires in Australia have devastated wildlife habitats and left animal welfare organizations scrambling for resources.

So, we are proud to share that SPCA International recently provided a $60,000 grant to the RSPCA in South Australia so they could purchase two rescue vehicles. The RSPCA works on behalf of all animals, but right now they are caring for more koalas than ever before.

Staff and volunteers are working daily to rescue koalas from smoldering forests and rush them to veterinary care. Many koalas have burns on their hands and feet from climbing scorched trees in search of food. Even those that have escaped burns are hungry and thirsty because their food source has been wiped out.

These koalas will be given the best care possible. As their bodies heal, most will be released into reserves and forests that were spared by the flames. The forests they used to call home will take a decade to recover.

The support we were able to provide to the RSPCA and other organizations in Australia was made possible by many generous donors in North America who gave donations of $20, $50 and $100 dollars. Together these donations will ease the suffering of hundreds if not thousands of animals affected by the Australia bushfires.

Military Rescues Affected by COVID-19

Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide has been rescuing dogs and cats befriended by U.S. military members serving overseas since 2008. We have navigated some incredibly difficult situations in unstable regions.

We’ve had to find alternate routes out of countries at war and move animals through dangerous checkpoints. However, we’ve never before been confronted with something like the current COVID-19 crisis.

As borders close and international flights are canceled, our team is bringing dogs and cats to the U.S. as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, we know some will be stuck for weeks or months while we wait for travel to resume.

These animals are caught in limbo. As they waited for routine travel clearances, the situation changed drastically. Now, we don’t know when they’ll be able to travel.

Currently, 19 cats and 11 dogs are on our waiting list to travel to the U.S. Caring for them during this crisis is already proving challenging.

Nearly every location where we are caring for dogs and cats is experiencing difficulties. Here are just a few examples:

  • In Iraq, our staff had to secure a special permit for a veterinarian to travel across the city to provide vaccines to the dogs in our care.
  • In Poland, a carefully orchestrated rescue flight was canceled just two days before it was set to depart.
  • In Jordan, two cats are stuck in a boarding facility where a staff member is now living on site to care for them during the shutdown.
  • In The Philippines, several dogs and cats have been stuck since early February.

We’ll continue to provide these animals love and care while their soldiers anxiously wait for travel to resume.

Here are a few of the sweethearts whose travel plans have been put on standby:

If you would like to help us continue to provide vital support to shelters and animals around the world in this most challenging time:

COVID-19 Crisis Felt Across the Globe

The speed and severity of the COVID-19 crisis has come as a shock to many. As schools and businesses close, daily life is affected everywhere, including animal shelters. Here at SPCA International, we continue to receive requests for help from shelter and rescue partners across the globe. Their need is critical and urgent.

Thanks to many generous SPCA International supporters, we have been able to earmark $100,000 for grants specifically for the COVID-19 crisis response. We have already authorized grants to the following organizations:

  • Plush Bears Shelter (Baicheng, China) – This shelter makes their own dog kibble, so funds will help them buy the ingredients they need to feed the dogs in their care.
  • K9 Global Rescue (Jeonju, South Korea) – This organization rescues dogs from the dog meat trade and finds them adoptive homes in the U.S. They can’t transport the dogs right now, so funds will help shelter, feed and provide veterinary care until the dogs can travel to their new homes.
  • SPCA Italia (Ardea, Italy) – This rescue organization has a special permit from the Italian police to rescue the many dogs and cats that are being abandoned on the streets amid the COVID-19 crisis. Funds will help them continue rescuing and caring for animals.
  • Animal House Jamaica (Lydford, Jamaica) – This shelter relies on food donations from the surrounding hotels to feed the 200 dogs in their care. With hotel operations halted, they now have to buy kibble. Funds will support the cost of buying food to last for two months.
  • Rifugio Jill Phipps (Asti, Italy) – This refuge organization shelters animals that have been saved from slaughter, including farm animals. They are having difficulty accessing food during the COVID-19 crisis, so funds will help them act quickly to buy food when it is available.
  • Unidad Proteccion Animal in the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – This organization is facing food shortages and store closures. Funds will help them purchase enough food to last until normal supply chains are functioning again.
  • Vucjak Shelter (Kragujevac, Serbia) – This shelter is faced with a food shortage as EU borders close. Funds will help them buy enough food to survive this crisis.

We’ll be sending many more grants to organizations like these in the coming weeks.  If you know of a shelter affected by the COVID-19 crisis, please have them contact us.

As we all feel the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, it is important to remember to keep the furry members of our families and communities safe as well. If you are looking for ways to help, here are just a few:

  • Contact your local animal shelter to ask what they need. Many are seeking extra food donations or short-term foster care for animals.
  • Make a donation to your local animal shelter or to SPCA International and we’ll get it to a shelter in need.
  • Keep yourself and your family safe by following local recommendations. By staying healthy, you’ll be able to care for your family members and pets.

Educate yourself and verify information sources. Remember, according to the World Health Organization dogs and cats can’t spread COVID-19 to humans.

If you would like to help us continue to provide vital support to shelters and animals around the world in this most challenging time : 

Ofelia’s New Life

When our staff members were in Guatemala City last year, a call came in to our partner organization about a dog in distress.

That dog turned out to be Ofelia, a sweet but scared pup covered in matted fur. She hadn’t been cared for in a long time and she was frightened.

Our partner organization, AMA Guatemala, made sure Ofelia was healthy, and brought her to the groomer. The transformation was absolutely incredible.

But Ofelia’s journey didn’t stop with a new haircut. This lucky girl found a new home with an amazing family. She loves their big yard and playful kids. Just look at that smile!

They’ll live on in our hearts and memories

With tremendous sadness and a heavy heart, we must share that seven puppies in the Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide program recently contracted Parvovirus and passed away.  

Bucky, Kobane, Dexter, Sully, Barrett, Scout and Bandit will be missed tremendously. Each of these pups will forever be in our hearts and memories.

In developing countries, diseases like Distemper and Parvovirus are rampant. Here in North America, dogs are typically vaccinated as soon as they are old enough and pet parents often take precautions of keeping young pups away from public areas that could harbor these diseases. Unfortunately, conditions in the Middle East don’t lend themselves to these kinds of precautions.

Typically, SPCA International only accepts puppies to our Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide program that are old enough to be vaccinated, but we accepted several young pups into our care as soldiers quickly evacuated Syria. Many soldiers had been given just several hours’ notice and had no other options for their pets. In that time of urgency, we had a difficult decision: stick to our protocols and deny these puppies or accept them knowing the risk was still better than their chances if they were left behind.

You’ll likely remember Sergeant Virginia and her sweet pup Bucky. Orders had come down from base commanders to kill all dogs on base, so we quickly brought Bucky into our care. Another dog, named Kobani, was picked up from a soldier evacuating on short notice. We’re not sure where these pups contracted Parvovirus, but our team did everything they could to save them. 

All of these pups fought bravely, but there is no cure for Parvovirus[1]. They were quarantined and treated by the best local vet in Iraq. Our team provided intravenous fluids and antibiotics to support these pups’ immune systems, but in the end, their tiny bodies could no longer fight the disease. We take comfort in knowing they had the best treatment possible and were surrounded by kindness until the very end.

Everyone knew there was a health risk when we brought these young pups into our care, but it was a risk we had to take. Here at SPCA International, our hearts are heavy with grief for these dogs and the soldiers who loved them.

Even in her grief, one soldier reached out on behalf of her fellow soldiers to share this kind message in the wake of Dexter’s passing:  

“Thank you for doing everything you could. We all really appreciate it more than you know. I am so heartbroken right now but so thankful that you all loved him and made his last few days as easy as possible and filled with love. We are so grateful for the work you do and none of it goes unnoticed. We would like to stay in touch with you and help out with donations or whatever is needed to save other animals.” -U.S. Army Specialist Abigail Winters

Bucky, Kobane, Dexter, Sully, Barrett, Scout and Bandit will continue to inspire us to do our very best to prevent suffering and give more animals a chance to live a good life in this often cruel, senseless and challenging world. We are actively reviewing protocols to protect animals from this terrible disease in the future.

[1] No specific drug is available that will kill the virus in infected dogs, and treatment is intended to support the dog’s body systems until the dog’s immune system can fight off the viral infection…When a dog develops parvo it may die despite aggressive treatment. Learn more from the American Veterinary Medical Association.