January: Walk Your Pet Month

A commitment to pet walking seems particularly important this January as COVID-19 continues to affect our daily lives. Recognizing Walk Your Pet Month doesn’t take much, as simply taking a trip around the block will make humans and furry friends feel better.

A few things to keep in mind for winter walking

  • Know your route: A few minutes in cold weather is usually ok for people and pets, but inadvertently taking longer than planned can leave everyone cold and uncomfortable. Plan your route ahead of time so you can get home before fingers and paws start to freeze!
  • Wear proper attire: Winter gear like gloves, a hat, and an insulated coat are important for people, but pets also might need help staying warm. Consider a sweater or coat for short-haired animals. Even if your pet has plenty of fur, they may benefit from booties to keep their paws safe from ice and packed snow. 
  • Consider daylight: If you are just starting a winter walking routine, keep in mind that daylight ends early this time of year. As the sun sets, temperatures drop, meaning what begins as a pleasant stroll can quickly become a chilly, dark trek. Morning and midday walks are likely the best choice, ensuring you stay safe and get the maximum amount of vitamin D.

With short days, cold temperatures and COVID-19 restrictions, this winter might feel like a good time to stay inside, but the benefits of a daily walk with a furry pal are undeniable. Pet walking is a great way to exercise and a wonderful excuse to spend socially distanced time with a friend.

Happy walking from all of us at SPCA International. We’ll be taking our pets around the block and hope you will too!

The Longest Ride Home

Amidst COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions, a loving family had to leave their dogs, Patches and Flower, behind in Malawi when they moved to Uganda. They were absolutely heartbroken, but our friends at TAWESO (Tanzania Animal Welfare Society) were able to come to their rescue.  

Tanzania lies between Malawi and Uganda, so the team from TAWESO picked up the dogs in the South of Tanzania. They traveled for three days (and 2,000 kilometers) to safely deliver the dogs to the northern border with Uganda. From there, the dogs were reunited with their delighted family.

The wonderful people at TAWESO didn’t even know the dogs’ family before volunteering to help. We are thrilled that TAWESO was able to use the truck they purchased with support from SPCA International to make this long trek across the country.

TAWESO’s mission is to keep animals safe and healthy in Tanzania, but they truly went above and beyond by sharing their resources to make sure Patches and Flower made it to their new home safely. This is an incredible example of the type of collaboration we have seen throughout the pandemic. Animal welfare groups across the globe have stepped up to help animals in any way they can.  

Patches and Flower reunited with their family!
Image courtesy of TAWESO

2020 – A Year Like No Other

As 2020 comes to a close, we are reflecting on a year that has been anything but ordinary. From raging forest fires to a devastating pandemic, challenges have abounded. Throughout all of the turmoil, our SPCA International community has offered unwavering support. 

We are immensely grateful for the generosity shown by many compassionate and caring individuals, like you, who have continued to give this year. We know how important it is to you that your donations reach the animal rescue and shelter groups that need them the most. Thank you for trusting us with your generosity.

With the support of our SPCA International community…

A special rescue flight brought 30 pandemic-stranded battle buddy pets out of the Middle East and delivered them to their soldiers’ homes in the U.S.

Thanks to $200,000 in donated funds, dozens of kangaroos, koalas and other animals were rescued from the Australian bushfires.

Hundreds of units of medicine and medical supplies were provided for hurt and suffering animals across the globe.

Over 55,000 bowls of food were poured for hungry cats and dogs and $196,000 in COVID relief funding was provided to shelters in need.

This year, animals around the world have needed our help more than ever. Thank you to everyone who made all of this incredible work possible by supporting SPCA International.

Jack the Kangaroo Returns to the Wild

Jack the kangaroo came to Bluebush Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in rough shape. He had been caught up in the Australian bushfires and his feet, tail and ears had suffered painful burns. Jack should have still been with his mother, but she was nowhere to be found.

Thanks to an outpouring of support from the SPCA International community, Jack received the best possible care and rehab. Today, Jack is thriving. He is learning to live on his own in the wild with a group of other young kangaroos.

September 27th

October 1st

A week after the gate was opened, Jack was seen exploring his surroundings on the motion camera.

November 10, 2020

Jack came for an afternoon visit.  

November 10, 2020

Battle Buddy Home at Last in Snowy Montana

Like so many other deployed U.S. soldiers, Army Officer Stephen couldn’t look away when he saw a helpless dog in need. Baby was scared and timid, but Officer Stephen earned her trust, and they became constant companions. With military regulations prohibiting Baby from traveling with him, Officer Stephen turned to SPCA International for help getting her safely to his home.

Now, Baby is bounding through the snowdrifts in Officer Stephen’s backyard and has a long, happy future ahead of her. Officer Stephen is thrilled to have Baby home with his family in Montana, thanks to the amazing support of the SPCA International community.

Marshmallow’s Journey

This past spring, Marine Corporal Brady found himself falling hard for the fluffball puppy he named Marshmallow. He had no idea that COVID-19 would keep them both on their military base in the Republic of Georgia for months to come.

Finally, after months of waiting, flights started operating again. Luckily, Marshmallow was able to fly out of the Republic of Georgia on the same commercial flight as Corporal Brady. This was excellent because it meant Corporal Brady and Marshmallow could stay together until their travel date. There was only one catch – the military prohibits adopted pets from being added to service members’ tickets.

One of SPCA International’s dedicated flight volunteers, Lucas, offered to take the trip with Marshmallow. Since he was flying out in under 24 hours, Lucas was able to fly into the Republic of Georgia with a quarantine exemption.

After Lucas arrived at the airport, things started to go sideways. Lucas was asked to step into a room while his paperwork was processed. He had planned to spend one night at a hotel near the airport, but he was forgotten in the empty room at the airport for nearly 14 hours.

Meanwhile, Corporal Brady brought Marshmallow to the airport to meet up with Lucas, but Marshmallow’s crate was denied. The airport staff were requiring that animal crates have plastic screws, which the Corporal didn’t have.

Our U.S. team spent hours on the phone searching for solutions while Corporal Brady asked every airline counter for help. Finally, the Corporal had to go through customs, he was about to miss his flight. Heartbroken, he said goodbye to Marshmallow, thinking a fellow Marine would need to come get her and take her back to base.

Just as he cleared customs, Corporal Brady got a call from the SPCA International team. They had secured approval for Marshmallow’s crate. The Corporal tells us he burst into tears out of pure relief. Even though he had to travel on to finish up his deployment outside his home state, he knew Lucas would safely deliver Marshmallow to his home.

Now, Marshmallow and Corporal Brady are happily together in New York. When asked what he would tell people about SPCAI, the Corporal said, “Anything to keep this organization and selfless people going would make me happiest. I can’t thank them enough even now months later.”

Thanks to everyone in the SPCA International community who made Marshmallow’s rescue possible!

Join Us This Giving Tuesday

2020 has been a year like no other. Many people have endured unprecedented hardships and my heart breaks for each and every person who has struggled this year.

I have been reflecting on what is important in life. The health and safety of my loved ones and the causes I care most about. For me, the health and safety of animals remains a priority because I know how much animals are suffering amidst the global crisis we are currently facing.

This holiday season, I ask those who can, to stand with us on Giving Tuesday. This global day of giving provides an opportunity for all to start the holiday season by supporting the causes near and dear to their hearts.

As with any humanitarian crisis, animals are suffering even more than humans right now. Globally, pets have been abandoned because of decimated family finances, dogs and cats who scavenge for food on the streets of developing countries no longer have restaurant dumpsters or tourists to depend on for a bite to eat, and abuse is rampant as desperate people take out their fear and anger on innocent animals.

On Giving Tuesday, the week after Thanksgiving, please consider giving whatever you can to help animals in need. SPCA International exists to connect animal lovers like you with the most pressing animal welfare needs around the globe.

Since March, the calls and emails have been constant. Shelters and rescue groups are on the brink of collapse. They are lacking volunteers, can’t complete international adoptions, have lost local financial support or simply can’t find the food and supplies they need to serve the influx of animals who need them. This year, your generosity will mean more than ever to the shelters and rescue groups working to keep feeding, sheltering and healing the hungry, homeless and hurt animals all around the world.

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.