Ina Clark Joins SPCA International as Executive Director

SPCA International welcomes Ina Clark as its new Executive Director. Ms. Clark comes to the role with extensive experience in strategic planning, development, capital campaigns, project management, branding, marketing, communications, and operations. Throughout a career spanning over two decades, she has been deeply involved in many aspects of nonprofit management and fundraising, with a strong history of cultivating meaningful relationships with organizational stakeholders.

Ina tells us, “The opportunity to continue building on the achievements of a successful nonprofit, keeping what is working, creating what is needed, and stewarding those who help make it happen – inside and outside the organization – is what wakes me up in the morning and supports my work ethic and passion. And to do this for animals? What could possibly be better or more important!”

Clark earned a bachelor’s degree from Rider University and has held leadership roles at major institutions such as the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, The Actors Fund, New York City Center, David Lynch Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Ms. Foundation for Women, and Sesame Workshop, among others. She has also served on boards including Manhattan’s Community Board 5 and Parsons Dance Company and led the marketing committee for NYC’s Cultural Institutions Group. 

We are delighted to welcome Ina Clark to her new role and look forward to seeing the positive impacts she will make within our organization and all of the animals we serve in our work.

Ukrainian Refugee Pets and People

SPCA International is proud to support animal-loving Ukrainians in two important ways. First, we are partnering with Hello Ralphie to provide remote veterinary consults for those unable to reach in-person veterinary care. This service is a lifeline for people without veterinary training who are caring for pets or abandoned animals. Second, we continue to support partner organizations Romanian League in Defense of Animals, Gostomel Animal Shelter, Sava’s Safe Haven, and Street Dog Coalition as they are working tirelessly to support Ukrainian pets and families as they cross Ukrainian borders to safety in neighboring countries. Many refugees have carried their dogs and cats throughout their journeys and are relieved to be met by kind and compassionate pet-people who provide supplies and help them secure the veterinary paperwork necessary to continue their journeys.

Images provided by Maximilian Alexandru

Dogs Begin their Long Journey Home

We are excited to share that the first of thirty-two OBP: Worldwide dogs have arrived in Quebec, Canada. Each of these animals was adopted by a U.S. service member who saw an animal in need and simply couldn’t look away. 

Because of CDC restrictions, these dogs have been stuck overseas, some for many months. Without an end in sight to these restrictions, our team found a creative solution. These dogs will all spend six months in quarantine in Canada, after which they will be cleared to travel to their soldiers and forever homes in the U.S. 

We are proud to have found a solution to this daunting obstacle. Our commitment to the military community and their pets is unwavering. 

Welcoming Ukrainian Refugees in Romania

Thank you to everyone who has donated to support Ukrainian refugee pets and their families. As the situation continues to unfold, we can’t do everything, but we can do something. Your donations have been rushed to partner organizations so they can greet refugees at the border.

After challenging journeys, pet parents are relieved to find a friendly face when they clear customs with their pets. Many have overcome difficult odds to bring their pets with them and they arrive with little else. They are offered veterinary care crates, kibble, leashes and other supplies provided by YOUR donations. With these supplies, they continue their journeys a little easier.

Our partners tell us they never know what the day will bring, but they are at the border every day, waiting to greet those who need supplies or advice. Here at SPCA International, we are proud to be doing our part to support The Street Dog Coalition, Sava’s Safe Haven, Gostomel Animal Shelter and Romanian League in Defense of Animals as they help the animals and people of Ukraine.

Despite all that is being accomplished at the border and in Romania for the animals and people of Ukraine, animal welfare groups within Ukraine are dealing with terrible circumstances. Many animals have been wounded or are sick, so we are working with Hello Ralphie to ensure remote veterinary consults are available to shelters, rescue groups and individual pet parents in need of expert advice. 

No matter what, SPCA International is committed to supporting the health and safety of animals in Ukraine. We have been working in the region for many years with established partners and we look forward to a day when we can focus on recovery efforts in the animal welfare sector.  

First Spanish Greyhounds Arrive at New Shelter

To date, SOS Galgos has rescued over 3,000 Galgos through their network of foster homes and volunteers. This shelter will allow them to accomplish even more. The new shelter facility also provides space for an educational program that promotes compassion and care for Galgos and other animals. Coupled with national advocacy, this is truly a comprehensive program to improve conditions for Galgos throughout Spain.

Women in Animal Welfare Spotlight: Alexandra Sava

Helping animals has always been part of Alexandra Sava’s life. Growing up in Romania, her family regularly fed about 40 street animals. They knew they wanted to do more. 

When Alexandra was 14, her family raised money to build a shelter for the animals they were feeding. Today, Sava’s Safe Haven cares for 250 animals and they have a robust international adoption program.

Perhaps the biggest challenge Alexandra faces are the attitudes of others toward animals. Particularly in rural communities, she tells us most people don’t understand why animals should be cared for. However, her work is changing attitudes and behavior, one person at a time. 

After many years of educating communities about animal health and welfare, people turn to Alexandra and her family when they see an animal in need. They have begun to understand that animal welfare supports community wellness. 

Alexandra says it hasn’t been easy to run Sava’s Safe Haven for the last 10 years, but she is grateful to work alongside her mom, dad and brother. They love what they do. 

In a true testament to Alexandra’s dedication, she is now meeting Ukrainian refugees at the border with a warm smile, pet food, blankets, crates, leashes and other supplies. 

This woman is truly an animal welfare hero. 

Afghanistan Rescues Arrive Safely

What a whirlwind it has been! After months of ups and downs, 285 animals have finally arrived from Afghanistan through what we’re calling #MissionPossible. Thank you to everyone who never gave up and who helped make this seemingly impossible rescue a reality. 

We are simply overwhelmed with gratitude and relief. Beginning last August when NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan a passionate plea from Kabul Small Animal Rescue founder, Charlotte Maxwell-Jones went viral and triggered a response from multiple organizations, SPCA International included. 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. Our hearts broke and we know yours did too. 

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.

The last months have been spent carefully planning with KSAR, numerous partner organizations, government agencies, businesses and many volunteers. We even converted an airplane hangar to receive the animals and ensure their health. 

Volunteer receiving puppy kisses from Bea at the temporary SPCA International shelter facility.

Now, we are thrilled to share that most animals have been moved to local shelters or foster homes while their adoptions are processed. We received an overwhelming number of adoption applications and there are more homes than animals! 

In addition to the animals being adopted, over 50 animals will be reunited with their families who had to evacuate without them. 

Owner reunited with her two cats.
Owner and cat reunited after having to evacuate Afghanistan.

A special thank you to Kabul Small Animal Rescue, Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, RainCoast Dog Rescue Society, Thank Dog I Am Out Dog Rescue, War Paws, No Dogs Left Behind, Animal Wellness Action, Signature Flight Support, Modu-Loc Fence Rentals, Platinum Pro-Claim Restoration, Midland Appliance – Appliances By Design, King of Floors Lazar

Work Begins on “Cat Island”

Our incredible partners in Brazil trapped and sterilized 55 cats abandoned on an island off the coast of Rio. Even more exciting than this initial success, they have received approval from authorities to set up a shelter for the cats and they will frequently refresh food and water.

Spay and Neuter Success

Here at SPCA International, we are dedicated to alleviating the suffering of animals, and one of the most effective ways to reduce suffering is to ensure animal populations don’t grow exponentially. That’s why we are dedicated to supporting spay and neuter initiatives around the globe. 

When our contacts at the UK embassy in Baghdad reached out to ask for help with the stray cat population on their campus, we were thrilled to coordinate with them. The animal-loving staff at the embassy have huge hearts and they make sure the cats on the grounds are safe and fed. However, they know that keeping the population manageable will ensure the cats don’t become a nuisance and can continue to be cared for. 

Our Middle East team and the helpful staff caught 32 cats throughout the embassy campus! Two kittens were too young for sterilization, so they only received vaccines and anti-parasitic medication. Another cat, named Princess, is a long-time embassy resident who had been previously spayed. The other 29 cats were sterilized, vaccinated and treated for parasites and they all recovered well. 

This simple intervention makes an incredible difference by avoiding the birth of hundreds of kittens. Amazingly, a cat can have two to three litters of kittens each year, and those kittens mature quickly and can begin having kittens of their own. Keeping this cat population in check is key to ensuring the cats can continue to happily and safely coexist with the kind and caring people at the embassy. 

The recent success in Baghdad is just one example of why spay and neuter is so important. Throughout the month of February, we’ll continue providing funding and logistical support to partners throughout the globe that are providing critically important spay and neuter services. 

Please consider sterilizing the animals in your life if you haven’t already. Learn more here. 

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.

August 2021:

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.

Fall 2021:

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.

November 2021:

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.

January 2022:

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!

Next Week:

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!