2020 Holiday Gifts – SPCA International Staff Picks

Whether you are shopping for animal lovers or furry family members, this list has something for everyone! Our SPCA International staff members have shared their favorite pet-centric gifts to make your holiday shopping a little easier. We hope you love these gifts as much as we do.

Canines of New York by Heather Weston is a charming book of some of the best pet photography we have ever seen! This fun book is great for dog lovers everywhere and captures the personality of New York through the canines who live there. This book is a joy to page through and even includes a forward from the photographer with her best doggy photography tricks.

What’s better than enjoying wildlife at home? Watching wildlife dining at a cute picnic table! This cedar picnic table squirrel feeder is sure to give endless moments of joy to anyone who loves animals. This is a great gift for loved ones who are staying home this holiday season.

Traveling pet parents will love the Mobile Dog Gear week away tote pet travel bag. The tote comes in two sizes, adheres to most airline’s carry-on regulations, and can be carried with a shoulder strap or slipped on a rolling suitcase handle. It features bowls, a placemat and divided pockets to keep travelers organized.

Blueberry Pet’s Compassion Set features a specially designed pattern with a brightly colored sun, leaves and the word “compassion”. The set includes a bandana, a classic scrunchie and a bow scrunchie, letting you team up with your pet to spread compassion everywhere. Best of all, a portion of proceeds will be donated to SPCA International.

The cat lover on your list is sure to appreciate the Catit flower plastic cat fountain. This thoughtfully designed product saves pet parents from constantly changing water and keeps kitties healthy with purified, flowing water.

Walking more than two dogs at a time can be a real challenge! None of us have three hands to juggle our pups, so we’re recommending this superhero double-ended leash from BowesCollars to help pet parents stroll with ease!

For the pup with anxiety, this SmartPetLove snuggle puppy will calm their nerves and put their family at ease. With a beating heart feature, these cuddly companions calm dogs naturally and help pups through stressors like loneliness, long nights, thunderstorms and fireworks.

The dedicated pet parent in your life is sure to adore these personalized products featuring their favorite furry pals sporting silly costumes. Whether you want a portrait of Fido on canvas or a mug with a cat family, Crown and Paw will make it happen. These products are custom made before they are shipped, so order at least a week ahead of time.

Rosie and Pups are Thriving

Thanks to everyone who stepped up on behalf of Rosie! The resilient mom and her pups are strong and healthy. Rosie’s belly was cut terribly before she gave birth and the kind people who found her weren’t sure she would make it.

Thankfully, SPCA International supporters helped the people on the ground in Romania with their generous donations. Funding was rushed to Rosie’s caretakers to make sure they could provide her with the proper medical care and give her pups the around-the-clock nursing they needed to survive. We can’t thank you enough for helping us save this sweet dog and her puppies.

Chachi’s Story

Many dogs who are labeled as “too aggressive” are simply untrained or misunderstood. That’s exactly what happened to Chachi.

Chachi and another dog were removed from near the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl because of concerns about aggression. Thankfully, our partner organization quickly realized they weren’t actually aggressive dogs. Chachi and his friend were quite loud, simply because they had never been properly socialized or trained.

Chachi’s companion quickly found a forever home, but Chachi started struggling after his buddy left. An incredible group, Mission K9, agreed to bring Chachi to their facility and work with him.

The dedicated people at Mission K9 learned that Chachi feels most comfortable when he has another dog with him. The team quickly introduced Chachi to Tess, a pup that had nearly completed certification for bomb-detection but was too friendly to go into that line of work.

We shared Chachi and Tess’s story with the SPCA International community when they were ready for forever homes. We were all thrilled when a wonderful retired Massachusetts military couple stepped up to become their forever family.

Today, Chachi and Tess are well adjusted in their new home. Chachi is protective of Tess and his human family, but he isn’t aggressive. His new pet parents think he must be part shepherd because he often herds kids and keeps an eye on them while they play. When he isn’t working to keep his family members safe, Chachi is a big couch potato who loves snuggles.

If you are considering adopting a dog, please keep Chachi in mind. There are many resources available to help dogs learn to trust humans and live happily with a family. A dog passed over by others could be just who you need in your life.

A New Lease on Life for Courage

Thanks to many generous individuals, Courage is on the mend. Truly one of the most heartbreaking cases we have seen, somebody had cut his tongue out and he was struggling to eat and drink. The scars covering his body tell a story of dogfighting, a cruel and criminal practice.

With the support of friends near and far, Courage is receiving the best care and training possible so he can live a normal life. He has learned to eat and drink, and he absolutely loves people. Courage has an incredible spirit and here at SPCA International, we are excited to continue watching his journey.

Many other dogs like Courage are healing from the trauma of dogfighting. Each one has their own physical and emotional scars, but they are not beyond saving. Even though rescue groups depend on donations and volunteer labor, they continue to rescue dogfighting victims. Kind and caring people tend to wounds, build trust and help these dogs experience love for the first time in their lives.  

Each year, SPCA International dedicates special grants to animal welfare groups rescuing dogs from the fighting ring. Every donation makes this important work possible and helps bring our world closer to the end of this horrendous practice. Please, make a donation today to stand up against dogfighting.

On behalf of all the dogs who will have hope restored to their lives, thank you.

Grab your Compassion Bandana at Blueberry Pet & Support SPCA International

SPCA International is proud to announce our new partnership with Blueberry Pet; a brand created for pet lovers by pet lovers. Blueberry Pet offers pet accessories featuring charming designs that celebrate the partnership between animals and humans. Thanks to their love of furry friends across the globe, Blueberry Pet is dedicated to giving back a portion of their profits to the animal care community.

SPCAI and Blueberry Pet recently teamed up to create the Compassion set, featuring a specially designed pattern with a brightly colored sun, leaves, and the word “Compassion.” The set includes a bandana, a classic scrunchie and a bow scrunchie, letting you team up with your pet to spread compassion everywhere.

In an effort to bring the global community together, the set showcases the word compassion in 12 different languages including: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Malay.

The design, partly inspired by the global pandemic, aims to spread the message that homeless animals around the world deserve love and a better life. In that spirit, Blueberry Pet is donating a portion of proceeds from every Compassion set sold to SPCA International.

Together we share the same vision; to improve the welfare of street animals, educate the public on the importance of adoption, and to ultimately end animal cruelty. Simply put we could not do the work we do —day in, day out to help animals across the world — without your support! We appreciate your compassion for animals.

Keeping Wild Animals Safe

The Tiger King phenomenon has brought the plight of big cats in captivity to the forefront of many people’s minds, but it is hard to know how to help. Even as the Big Cat Public Safety act makes its way through the legislative process, there are a few things that private citizens can do to contribute.

Don’t visit roadside zoos – Roadside zoos of any type have little oversight and though many are well-intentioned, they often don’t adhere to the highest standards in animal care. By spending our dollars elsewhere, animal welfare conscious consumers can help reduce the demand for these types of animal encounters.

Follow the rules at national and state parks – “Don’t feed the animals” and “stay in your vehicle” signs are there for a reason. Each year people and animals are hurt because people get too close to wild animals. If you are visiting animals in their natural habitat, follow the guidance of authorities to keep your animal encounters safe.

Be conscious of chance animal encounters – With many people staying home amidst COVID-19, more animals are venturing into parks and other public spaces. If you see a wild animal while you are out enjoying nature, give them plenty of space. The less we interact with them, the longer they are likely to stay!

Access wildlife cameras – There are some great free wildlife cameras offered by conservation and animal welfare groups. A quick google search will turn up cameras that can take you around the world from the comfort of your home! There is truly something for everyone with different cameras focusing on sea creatures, birds and mammals.

Operation Military Pets Program Keeps Military Families Whole

Last month, SPCA International celebrated the milestone of 2,000 Operation Military Pets grants awarded! This is so exciting because each of those grants represents a family that remained whole amidst a move to their next assignment.

We hear time and time again from military families about how important this program is. They tell us the high costs of pet shipping put them in a terribly difficult situation. Many families face a bill of thousands of dollars to bring their furry family members to their next duty station. They often consider running up credit cards, but others simply can’t and have to consider rehoming their pets.

One military family moving from Hawaii to the East Coast recently considered fostering their beloved yellow Labs until they could afford thousands of dollars in shipping costs. They were moving sooner than expected and were stretched financially from the high cost of living in Hawaii.

Their Labs, Thor and Loki, aren’t related by blood, but they act just like brothers. The family adopted Thor through a rescue group when he was a year old and later rescued Loki as a pup from a family who couldn’t keep him because their baby had severe allergies.

After five years with Thor and two years with Loki, they were determined to keep the Labs with their family. This is what they told us in their application, “They are our children’s companions, tagging along with them from room to room, sleeping with them at night. They are such loving boys and we would be devastated to ever separate from them. I won’t allow that to happen. I’ll find a way.”

COVID-19 flight reductions and summer heat embargoes increased shipping costs for these two boys who already had limited flight options because of their crate sizes. Thankfully, they have now made it to their new home with their loving family.

Through Operation Military Pets, SPCA International will continue to lessen the burden on military families who already sacrifice so much for our country.  Thank you to everyone who has donated to SPCA International’s programs in support of soldiers and their pets. You can learn more about Operation Military Pets here.

SPCA International Gives 2,000 Grants for Military Pet Transport

With the 2,000th grant awarded for military pet transport, SPCA International is honored to continue supporting troops through the Operation Military Pets program.

Operation Military Pets helps soldiers transport their pets to new duty stations in the U.S. and abroad. Unfortunately, the military doesn’t pay for pet relocation and families are burdened with the high cost of pet shipping. Overseas destinations can be extremely expensive, sometimes costing thousands of dollars per animal. SPCA International is proud to ease this financial burden for our soldiers. Here are some photos and messages from just a few of the soldiers we have supported recently.

SPCA International

Thank you very much for the assistance throughout this process. I have received the grant and it is very appreciated. Moving from overseas back home during COVID proved to be much harder and more expensive than anything we have dealt with before. This money is a huge help and we are very grateful for it, thank you again. The dogs made the trip with no issues and are loving their new home here in Rhode Island thanks to your assistance. – Captain Wertz U.S. Army

SPCA International

SPCA International helped me cover some of the cost of shipping my Beagle/Pug mix from Guam to Virginia. From the beginning of the application, to phase 2 and when I was finally approved of funds, the staff at SPCA were extremely polite, kind and understanding of my personal situation. They kept me informed of my status and made me feel important with regards to shipping my dog. […] Me and my dog are forever grateful for their help. – Lieutenant Junior Grade Ewings, U.S. Navy

SPCA International

I am an active duty servicemember, and hurting financially, since I have to transport my dog from overseas back to United States due to military orders. This organization reviewed my situation and helped me cover some of the cost associated with pet transport (not funded by military). They are a lifesaver! Helping military families ease financial burden, and in keeping their furbabies. Thank you SPCA! – Petty officer second class Go, U.S. Navy

SPCA International

We are forever grateful for your organization and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience! You all helped us from going into major debt getting our boys from the United States to the UK, especially after the flight prices doubled due to the pandemic. […] Thank you so much for all you do!! – Staff Sergeant Cole, U.S. Army

Shelter Struggles as COVID-19 Continues

Nepal has been locked down for over 105 days and the situation in the country is dire. Sneha’s Care is doing everything possible to keep feeding over 2,000 street animals and providing medical care and shelter for over 200 animals most in need, but there are more hungry and suffering animals than ever before. Their resources are dwindling as costs continue to rise.  

Shelter and rescue groups around the world are in similar situations. That’s why every donation to SPCA International continues to be vitally important. As an organization, we exist to bring the most pressing animal welfare needs to the attention of those who care about animals and distribute donations to the groups saving animals’ lives.

Sneha’s Care isn’t an exact representation of every rescue group, but their multi-faceted struggle due to COVID-19 represents the situation of so many other groups during this difficult time. Sneha’s Care is navigating the following factors:

  • Tourism has halted in Nepal, closing restaurants and hotels. This means no leftover food for street animals and no donations of food or money from local restaurants and hotels.
  • Tourists used to feed street animals and without people tossing them food, animals are beginning to starve.
  • Food prices have doubled over the last three months and price gouging is rampant. Every dollar now buys half of what it did before COVID-19.
  • Sneha’s Care has an organic vegetable farm that supplements the animals’ diets and generates revenue for shelter operations. Due to heavy monsoon rains, all the vegetables were lost, leaving them without that source of revenue.
  • International volunteers are unable to travel to Nepal. They used to make up a huge portion of the manpower needed, so local staff have been hired to fill the gap.

Right now, Sneha, the founder of Sneha’s Care is reaching into her own pocket to keep the organization running. She simply can’t turn away hungry and suffering animals, but every day the need grows. Thanks to many generous donors, SPCA International was able to provide a grant to help Sneha’s Care continue operating.


You can help support even more rescue and shelter groups by donating to the Shelter Support Fund.

Beirut Disaster Response–SPCA International Partners Spring Into Action

SPCA International is supporting disaster response efforts in Beirut following the devastating explosion there. Our long-standing partner, Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) sprung into immediate action and we are proud to provide the funding and partnership they need to ensure animals are as safe as possible.

BETA staff and volunteers are taking a multipronged approach to ensure animals are safe and cared for in the wake of the port area explosion that killed hundreds of people and animals, injured thousands and caused incalculable damage to the city’s infrastructure.

  • Blast Zone Animal Searches BETA personnel have entered the blast zone several times (which is currently closed to the public) to search for surviving animals and strays or escaped pets that may have run into the area. Unfortunately, any stray dogs and cats in the core blast zone were killed immediately and turned to dust. As BETA locates animals, they will be quickly given the veterinary attention they need.
  • Blast Zone Perimeter Animal Care There is a group of 80-100 community dogs living on the streets near the blast zone that are typically cared for by neighborhood residents. These animals survived the initial blast, but they have lost their source of food, as homes and businesses damaged by the blast have been vacated. BETA is bringing food into the area for these dogs, treating them for fleas and ticks, and will be implementing a TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release) with the animals to make sure the stray population stays under control. 
  • Pet and Family Reunions An unknown number of family pets escaped and ran from their homes through windows broken by the blast. This often happens when natural or other disasters occur, and it takes time and coordination for scared animals to return home or be found and reunited. BETA is a well-known community organization and families are reaching out with descriptions of their pets to ask for BETA’s help in locating them. As BETA contacts hundreds of street animals, their team will be on the lookout for pets and will be working to coordinate reunions with families.

SPCA International is proud to commit a grant of $20,000 to help BETA in the wake of this tragedy. We know the explosion is an incredible challenge on top of COVID-19 and economic instability. We hope our grant will ease their burden in the days, weeks and months to come.  

If you would like to join us in supporting shelters in the wake of disasters like this one, please consider a donation to our Disaster Relief Fund.