Please Help Us Make A Difference
As 2012 comes to an end, we reflect on this year’s accomplishments and challenges. While we were very fortunate to have suffered no damage or loss from Hurricane Isaac, the slow economy continues to impact us. While many “people” non-profits are hurting from economic uncertainty, “animal” non-profits are hit doubly hard.
Pet adoptions have been slow for a couple of years and adoptions in 2012 have not rebounded as we had hoped; only 570 pets have been placed so far this year as opposed to 1,077 in 2010 and 960 in 2011. When adoptions are down and animals are with us for extended stays, our adoption revenue is also down and the cost to care for each animal increases. Donations are down, too. Returns, sadly, are up...like Barron who was recently returned after 5 years in a home. Or Leo, an elderly 7-year-old poodle with cataracts whose family just “could not take him with them.” We will always take in a return but when Leo came to our door he had two options: Mobile SPCA or the shelter. Being dumped in a municipal shelter at his age and with his medical condition would have been too stressful and his chances of getting a home were slim. And Leo’s story is not unique. We have taken in so many dogs and cats this year who have had sad stories. Some we took knowingly, some tied to or literally stuffed in boxes outside our gate.
We continue to adjust, not replacing employees and asking our current staff to work longer and harder. To reduce medical expenses, we have cut the number of animals we can take into our adoption program — 950 by this time last year to 423 so far this year — we simply can’t afford to care for any more. We have ramped up adoption venues and reduced our fees on many pets to entice people to adopt while raising fees on highly adoptable pets to help offset lower fees of others. Our volunteers continue to be invaluable; stepping up to help get pets into homes and to help raise money to keep us going. We launched another new fundraiser this year and while it was successful, we still need your help.
There are pet owners down on their luck who need our help to get their pets fixed or simply feed them. There are animals who still need to be rescued from hoarders and abusive owners. Just last month we assisted County Animal Control with 28 horses nearly starved to death, two already dead and one that could not be saved. And there are many animals in municipal shelters that need to be transferred into our care. By October 2011 we had transferred 268 dogs and cats from municipal shelters; this year only 107 could be transferred. Many of these were in desperate need of medical care – like the St. Bernard covered in huge cancerous tumors. Only with your support can we continue our mission: to provide shelter, food, and medical care to the animals entrusted to us while promoting adoptions, spay and neuter initiatives, responsible pet ownership and community education.
As most of you know, we receive no government funding or any money from ASPCA, HSUS or American Humane, operating solely on donations, memberships, grants and fundraising events. Won’t you donate today so we can continue our work again next year? Your gift is tax deductible and will help us give Mobile’s homeless animals a start on a new life in a loving home.
Thank you! We sincerely appreciate your donation.
Putt for Mutts 2012
By Marcia Mathis
Almost 100 people competed for great prizes!
Beautiful weather and an outstanding turnout helped to make our first annual Putt for Mutts a huge success! Our venue at Funntasia Golf Course couldn't have been better and our many golfers - both pro and . . . not - had a great time competing for prizes and bragging rights. Congratulations to our winners: Best Team - Beltline Animal Hospital (Dr. John Symes, Howard Ward, Gena Hopson and Joan Sanders); Best Adult - Dr. John Symes - par 38; Second Place - Heath Kyser - par 44; Third place - Curt Brown - par 45; Most Holes in One - Heath Kyser; and Best Kid - Avery Nicholas.
Adding to the evening's fun were delicious bar-b-que sandwiches, hot dogs and sausage dogs provided by Amy Wright with Belle Foods/Food World and cold drinks, wine and beer made it go down so good.
Two big tables offered up some amazing raffle and door prizes generously donated by our faithful supporters - Lorna and Steve Hodges, Eric Kittok, the Oyster House, Timber Creek Golf Club, Azalea City Golf Course, Spring Hill Golf Course, Mobile Theater Guild, Fusion Day Spa, Purina Pet Foods, Mobile Regional Airport, Great American Cookie Company, Mobile Museum of Art, Paint & Pals Studio, Mitchell Animal Clinic, Flour Girls Bakery, and Dr Chris Corsentino & Associates.
Sally Trufant with B & B Pet Stop, Jane Dekle with the Oyster House, Jeff Hall with Buffalo Wild Wings, Bo Loyd with Chill, and the Great American Cookie Company donated the prizes.
We are so thankful to our sponsors whose signs will be displayed at Funntasia throughout the month of November. Of the 36 holes available for sponsorship, 34 were sold!
We are very grateful to our friends who came out to support us. Each one of you helped to make our first annual Putt for Mutts a success, a great evening of fun, and a money-maker for the Mobile SPCA by adding almost $2,800 to our Spay/Neuter Fund. THANK YOU!
Thank you Eastern Shore Toyota!
Pictured right: From left to right are Mobile SPCA’s Krisha Howell; George McDavid holding his dog and winner of the Pick-A-Pet Contest, Parker; Barbara McDavid holding Parker’s plaque; Terry Bell, Vice President of Operations for Shawn Esfahani & Associates; and BARC representative Karen Ignatz.
Floor Trader helps the Mobile SPCA with supplies and much needed donations
Eastern Shore Toyota and the Mobile Press-Register recently hosted Pet Day to honor the winners of their Pick-A-Pet contest and donate to animal shelters in Mobile and Baldwin Counties as well as Jackson County Mississippi. During the event, program sponsors Eastern Shore Toyota and the Press-Register donated $1,000 each to The Mobile SPCA, the Jackson County Mississippi Animal Shelter as well as the Baldwin County Humane Society or BARC. Some of the money was raised through the Press-Register's Pick-A-Pet promotional fundraiser. Pick-A-Pet also raised money for the Press-Register's Newspapers in Education literacy program.
Local animal supporters had a chance to help pet adoption efforts and even pick up a new four-legged family member during the event at Eastern Shore Toyota in Daphne on July 27.
The Mobile SPCA was on hand with several adoptable dogs from the shelter’s Whisker Wagon and local pet supply companies had booths with a variety of items on display throughout the day.
The Mobile SPCA is extremely grateful to Terry Bell and Shawn Esfahani of Eastern Shore Toyota and Randy Grainer of the Mobile Press-Register for this very generous contribution!
Floor Trader asked the community to join them in their effort to help the Mobile SPCA by bring supplies and adopting shelter animals, and the community answered with a loud roar.
During the month of June, the Mobile location gathered much needed supplies, cash donations from their vendors and gave out free adoption certificates to anyone who brought in a donation to the cause.
The store hosted a pet adoption day where the Mobile SPCA brought in pets of all shapes and sizes to be adopted into their new homes. The supplies drive was a huge success, as 245 lbs of pet food, 247 lbs of kitty litter, 15 gallons of bleach, 2 gallons of shampoo, 7 lbs of treats and pounds and pounds of other supplies were collected. Several animals found new homes during the adoption drive with the adoption fee being paid by the Floor Trader.
“We also reached out to our suppliers and vendors and asked them to support us in our cause and they flooded us with assistance. We raised $1,200 for the two shelters along with the supplies that the community brought in” said Lauren Braden, Social Media & Promotions Director for the Floor Trader. “We were overwhelmed with the support, and hope to be able to do this again next year with even more success. Especially with the recent events of the intake of large quantities of dogs in need, we are thrilled that we could help.”
Pictured are Lori Anbuhl, Mobile SPCA, and Carleton Mallory, Floor Trader (Mobile Location)
EMA Taps Mobile SPCA To Run
Pet Friendly Emergency Shelter
Mobile County Emergency Management has asked the Mobile SPCA to run the emergency pet shelter in the event of a hurricane or other disaster in 2012. The shelter will be set up in the now Boys and Girls Club (old Semmes school) on Wulff Road. The “pet” shelter will be opened anytime a “people” shelter is opened. If you are staying in a “people” shelter, your pet will be able to ride out the storm in the “pet” shelter. Unless you are a Mobile SPCA volunteer, you cannot stay with your pet. If you are leaving the area, however, you must take your pet with you or make arrangements with a veterinarian or boarding facility. You can not leave your pet at the “pet” shelter if you are leaving town! We are hoping that we will not have to open the shelter again this year but if we do, we will need volunteers to care for the pets.
Car wash nets almost $100 for homeless animals
Thank you to Alpha Phi Kappa, a service fraternity, who held a car wash to help the Mobile SPCA Sunday, July 1 at Bebo's Springhill Market on Old Shell Rd. Everyone was very please with this, literally, last minute event.
See the photo gallery>>>
Trevor Graham and his Eagle Scout Project!
How lucky are we?! Because of the volunteer efforts of Trevor Graham and some awesome professionals and helpers, our adoptable dogs have a fabulous new doggie park in which to play.
Trevor has been scouting for an incredible fourteen years and is now working on his Eagle Scout ranking.
"The rank of Eagle Scout is incredibly difficult to earn and is definitely a work in progress from the day you start scouting. The main requirement is to lead a service project that benefits the community or an institution or non-profit organization that demonstrates leadership qualities and planning." And in a huge stroke of luck, Trevor - after spending a lot of time looking through possible projects - eventually came across the need for help at the Mobile SPCA and decided then that he wanted to help us out.
It was a pretty big project but Trevor coordinated the whole thing.
"We spent the first weekend clearing out a space in their lot which was about 100 yards by 50 yards. We left most of the trees, but spruced it up alot and then cleared out some open areas. On the second weekend we installed all of the vertical fence posts for the project which was around 60 poles. We had the help of Mr. Brian Brown with clearing all of the area out and drilling all of the holes for the fence posts which was extremely helpful and made the work go smoothly and efficiently. And Mr. Mark Sarhan came out and showed us how to install the fence posts and gave a ton of assistance to us."
In addition to Trevor and his professionals, about 25 volunteers showed up to assist with the project which totaled 270 hours of hard work.
To become an Eagle Scout requires an enormous amount of determination and time. Some of the requirements are to be an active scout in a troop, live your life by the scout oath and law, earn all Eagle required merit badges, most of which involve leadership or citizenship qualities.
"I have been involved in scouting since I was in kindergarten. I began scouting as a Tiger Cub and worked my way up through the ranks until I joined the Boy Scouts. It's definitely been tough at times. Some of the things I've done so far that I enjoy are rock climbing, whitewater rafting, rifle shooting, playing guitar, and playing football. I first came across rifle shooting when I was a camp counselor in training, "CIT," at Woodruff Scout Reservation. After two summers of volunteering there at the rifle ranges I was grouping targets that were making the most experienced adult marksmen puzzled because I had never fired a rifle except at camp. I set a record for the most targets shot in one summer that could be covered by the area of a dime, and also an unofficial closest grouping target which all shots were placed in a hole that scored a perfect 50 on the score sheet and were only 2 mm spaced apart from center mass. That means if you look at the target it looks like I shot it once or maybe twice because every shot landed perfectly on the others."
And Trevor somehow still has time for other interests as well.
"I was lucky enough to be a part of the Davidson football program on varsity for three years. I spent my first year as a safety but moved to longsnapper for the next two years and was the starting longsnapper my senior year."
Wow. If we had a couple of dozen Trevors, can you imagine what our Mobile SPCA property would look like?
We owe Trevor - and everyone who helped! - a huge THANK YOU for choosing us for his Eagle Scout project and giving our adoptable dogs a wonderful new playground in which to have fun while waiting for their forever homes.
Emma, Another Life Saved
Emma's pitiful photo first showed up on a "Most Urgent" list of Mobile County animals on death row. It was a picture no animal lover could see without tearing up. She was described as a Great Dane but it was hard to tell what breed she was. Whatever human being owned this dog obviously cared nothing for her, neglected her until she was barely alive, and then abandoned her to certain death at a kill shelter along with two other dogs.
A Facebook "share" brought Emma's photo to the attention of the Mobile SPCA. Truth be told, there was nothing about that photo that said "adoptable". But sometimes when we are able to look past the outside we find there's something special underneath...something worth the effort...something that just begs for help.
And so Emma came to us on February 2nd, a very lucky day for a dog who'd been unlucky for a very long time.
She was bald, covered in fleas, and had skin infections due to sarcoptic mange. She had severe dental disease. Infected ears. And she also was full of milk. God only knows where her pups were or their fate. Flea market? Dead? Still alive somewhere, being neglected and forgotten as Emma herself had been?
Her bloodwork revealed anemia, a uti, hypothyroid, and of course, she was heartworm positive. But in a stroke of good fortune, senior bloodwork and xrays showed her hips, heart and lungs were good for her age. The vet started her on various meds so she could gain her health back. She required bathing and dipping every week. And after weeks of treatment, this poor unwanted and abandoned girl was strong enough to undergo surgery. Emma was spayed, had a benign growth removed, and had her teeth cleaned and a few extracted.
As often is the case with a throwaway dog, when Emma was finally shown care and attention she became the most loving dog as though to show her gratitude for the kindness she never thought she deserved. She'd been treated like nothing; and then she learned she was something wonderful.
Emma is kind, sweet-natured, kid-proof and house-trained. She loves to have her ears rubbed and will gently nudge your hand if you stop. She has added 13 pounds to the 101 she weighed when she came in so she is a very big girl, though short for a Dane. She gets along with all other animals and loves to talk to you - especially when it's breakfast time.
She must be having wonderful dreams now because you can see her enjoying them as she slumbers. Emma does well off-leash, loves to ride in the car and is not a licker! AND she doesn't drool much!
Is there anything more that can be said about Emma, the best dog in the world? Oh yes! You know those xrays she had to have when she was in such bad shape? Well, guess what? They showed that her heart is made of gold.
Mabel Swindle and Mary Samson
Identical twins Mabel Swindle and Mary Samson have been volunteering with the Mobile SPCA at our Second Chance Resale Shop almost since it's opening five years ago. Mabel and Mary had always collected donation items to take to Mississippi but one day they were watching TV and saw an ad for the Mobile SPCA that mentioned the Second Chance Resale Shop.
"I didn't even know it was there," Mabel said. "But once I did I thought well, we'll just take our stuff to the Mobile SPCA instead of Mississippi". And that's what they did. The day they dropped off donated items Mabel asked someone at the shop if they ever needed any volunteers. Of course the answer was "Always!". And the very next Saturday was the beginning of Mabel's and Mary's volunteer "career" with us.
They are both at the Resale Shop every Saturday and call it their "fun day".
Before she retired, Mabel worked for a catering company. She and her husband of 38 years live in Mobile with two little terrier mixes, Ethel and Spooky.
Mary lives in Fairhope and her days are mostly filled with taking care of her daughter's two-year-old twins so her hands are full during the week AND on Saturdays. Mary's daughter also has a little chihuahua, Shorty, so dog-lovin' definitely runs in the families.
It's wonderful to have such loyal volunteers who we can always count on and who add a little extra joy at the Second Chance Resale Shop. The Mobile SPCA is very lucky to have Mabel and Mary. If you haven't met them yet, please come by any Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and tell them THANK YOU!
Leaving Your Pet in A Parked Car Can Be a Deadly Mistake
Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for any period of time.
On a warm day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 120°F in a matter of minutes — REALLY — even with the car windows partially open.
Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation when trapped in high temperatures.
This is what you should do if your pet is exposed to high temperatures:
- Be alert for the signs of heat stress—heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse,
- unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or
- a deep red or purple tongue.
- If your pet becomes overheated, you must lower his body temperature immediately.
- Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over her body to gradually lower her body temperature.
- Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck, and chest only.
- Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
- Take your pet to a veterinarian right away—it could save your pet’s life.
- If you see an animal in a car exhibiting any signs of heat stress, call municipal animal control (City 311; County 574-3647) or the police department (emergency 911,
- non-emergency 208-7211) immediately!
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
With only hot air to breathe your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation when trapped in high temperatures. Do not leave a child or a pet in a hot car.
You don’t just expose your pet to the dangers of heat stress when you leave him in a car, you also expose him to pet theft. Thousands of pets are stolen each year from unattended cars.
If you must take your pet on a car trip, do so safely: cats should ride in cat carriers, and dogs should be secured in a dog harness and she should wear an ID tag. Traveling with loose animals in your car is a potential for disaster. In an accident, your pet can easily be ejected from the vehicle. The distraction of a pet moving around can even be the cause of a serious accident.
Taking your pet for a ride may seem like fun, but many pets prefer to spend time with you in the comfort and safety of home. Avoid taking risks by leaving your pet in the car.
Leaving the car running with the air conditioning seems like a great idea, but your pet could knock your car into gear, creating a dangerous situation or your car could be stolen. A running vehicle, even if locked, can be an irresistible temptation to car thieves.
Animal Control Officers or other law enforcement officers are authorized to remove any animal left in an unattended vehicle that is exhibiting signs of heat stress by using the amount of force necessary (break the window) to remove the animal, and shall not be liable for any damages reasonably related to the removal. The pet owner will be charged with animal cruelty.
If you see an animal in a car exhibiting any signs of heat stress, call municipal animal control (City 311; County 574-3647) or the police department (emergency 911, non-emergency 208-7211) immediately!
Ica and Joe Miller - volunteers for 40 years!
Volunteers come and go, and we're grateful for whatever time we're given when anyone helps our organization and our
dogs and cats. But when volunteers devote almost four decades of their lives helping the same group...well, that's pretty miraculous.
After moving to Mobile in 1972, Joe and Ica Miller's son was bitten by a stray dog on his way to school. Some folks would let such an event drive them away from ever caring about animals...but in their case it simply opened their eyes to the plight of homeless animals in our area. And so Ica decided that she would help the Mobile SPCA in whatever way she could...and not only that, but she also talked her husband into donating his time as well. Their continuing love for animals and their desire to help touched their daughter Peggy Taylor too, and now Peggy manages the Mobile SPCA's Second Chance Resale Shop.
"I have done just about everything through the years...spending hours on the telephone answering pet questions, taking in strays, fundraising, recruiting new members and convincing Joe how he could be an asset too. He was the Treasurer for the group and helped with projects that called for a little carpentry work. I eventually concentrated on the rummage sales we had to make money and I still do that today. We both help with the rummage sales along with our daughter Peggy." "We have enjoyed this group through the years and certainly all of the animal friends we have come in contact with. The work can be challenging and difficult at times but the rewards are great when you see happy pets and their new owners."
Joe and Ica share their family home with a 13-year-old dog they found in the middle of the road in west Mobile and a 12-year-old cat who was born in a pile of brush behind Baker School. "Coming back to Mobile is always a joy for us where we have family, friends and our volunteer work."
Thank you, Joe and Ica, for unmatched dedication to our organization. The impact you both have made and the help you've given the MSPCA is unique and truly special.