Monday, February 27, 2012

Microchipping - bring your buddy home

Start talking about lost pets, and something happens. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but for a surprisingly large number of people, mention lost pets and they get a far-off, unhappy look in their eyes. And they’ll say something like,

“When I was a kid our dog slipped the leash and ran away,”


“We had a cat who got out the door and never came back.”

If you’re one of this number, you know exactly how this feels. And even if that pet vanished years ago, the memory of it still brings sadness. According to, one in three pets will get lost at some point in their lives. Without proper ID, 90% will never return home.

Of course, there are a few things that you can do to minimize the chances that your pet will get lost. A correctly fitted collar with tags, a secure backyard, etc. But there’s one thing that even conscientious pet owners often overlook; something that will ensure that your animal can be returned to you even if it loses its collar and hitchhikes to California: microchipping.

Because when pets get lost, they don’t just vanish. And contrary to popular belief, pets, especially cats, have a pretty decent shot of surviving on their own, at least long enough to find their way to a new friendly human. HSEC, Pitt County Animal Shelter, and other similar organizations take in hundreds of animals from this county every year. Many of those are just lost pets, animals that have a loving home they’ve become separated from.

Size of microchip

Microchips are a small implant, about the size of a grain of rice, that is usually inserted between a pet’s shoulder blades. The microchip is an identifying integrated circuit that can be read by a special wand. When a lost pet arrives at the HSEC, enters the shelter system, or is brought to a vet’s office, a wand is used to determine whether the animal has a microchip. And if they do - ta-da! - the pet can be quickly reunited with its owners.
It only hurts for a second!
Microchips significantly decrease the money the rescue group needs to spend on rehoming the animal, and increase the likelihood that your lost buddy will be found. If everyone microchipped their pet, numbers of animals in the shelter system would decrease dramatically. The procedure usually has few or no side effects and is only as painful as getting an ordinary vaccine. The cost is low, and in 99% of cases the microchip never has to be replaced.

After the chip is placed, the number must be registered in a database so the animal can be connected back to you. You should also have your vet scan for the chip at each check-up, to make sure that it is still in place. And please note that a microchip does NOT REPLACE external ID like a collar and tags.
Scanning for a microchip
Most veterinarians offer microchipping. And if you’d like to use this as an opportunity to help out HSEC, consider having your pet microchipped at our Canine Crawl event, Sunday, March 25th, 12-4 on the Town Common in Greenville. Canine Crawl will also feature a charity walk, vendors, an agility course, vet Q&A, dog wash, and even a doggie pageant, so there’ll be plenty to take your buddy’s mind off that little pinch in his back.

So please take some time to consider if microchipping is the right decision for your pet. It's not pleasant to think about your fuzzy friends getting lost, but a microchip could make all the difference in getting them back home.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Success Story - Tom and Jerry

This is Tom and Jerry's former foster mom with an update on the big orange kitties that were featured on the blog in November. We got to have Tom and Jerry in our home for just over a month, and we were so happy to see the boys come out of their shells.

At first, having Tom and Jerry was like having two invisible cats. They pretty much just hid in the closet for the first couple days. Since one of their owners died and the other went into an assisted living home, Tom and Jerry have been bounced around a bit. They were stressed at the facility and we expected them to be nervous around us, so we weren't surprised.

Tom cautiously checking us out

Jerry was the first to test the waters. He crept around us, sniffing carefully, ready to bolt at the first sign of danger. Tom was much more cautious. For the first several days - more than a week - he wouldn't let us get too close to him. He came out to eat, but wasn't interested in more. But one day, I was sick in bed, and to my surprise, Tom jumped up to keep me company! Our guess is that Tom wanted to check us out, but he was frightened when we moved. Since I was staying so still, he finally got up the courage.

Jerry checks out some boots

Once we broke the ice, both Tom and Jerry were eager to get affection, though they were always skittish and were scared by loud noises or sudden movements.

Tom finally gets up on the couch

Tom is actually more insistent in demanding attention than Jerry!

And we have some exciting news to report! Tom and Jerry were recently adopted by a loving family. I'm sure they're in the lap of luxury right now, settling into their new home. They've had a long journey and they deserve lots of pampering and love.

Success stories like Tom and Jerry are what keep me going as a volunteer for HSEC. And I'm sure that Tom and Jerry are grateful for all of the staff and volunteers that helped them heal their broken hearts. Personally, I couldn't be happier that an organization like HSEC is around to take care of kitties like Tom and Jerry, who might be more difficult to place but who are equally deserving of a secure and happy home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Purrfect Post Cat of the Month - Olive

Meet Olive!!

For the month of February we've decided to spotlight Olive one of the loveliest cats to ever come through the HSEC!  This sweet kitty is 4 years old and although she may look like your average black and white cat in the picture above, she actually has a beautifully detailed calico coat.  The white patch around Olive's neck looks like a perfect little handkerchief which really suits what a prim and proper cat she is!  Hands down, Olive is the cleanest cat at the HSEC who loves to keep her space organized.

Olive came to us as an abandoned cat, luckily a staff member saw her wandering through the wooded area on our property and put out some food for her.  It took a while to finally catch her but Olive has now been with us since the summer of 2011 and it's time she found her forever home!  Just one look into those beautiful eyes and you'll fall in love!

In keeping with her tidy habits, Olive is a very particular cat.  She likes to eat at the same time every day and she loves to show affection for her humans when it's on her own terms.  She is not always in the mood to be picked up and held but when she is she sure loves to cuddle!  Olive's new family will need to have some patience with her but in the end we know it will pay off because she really is a sweetheart!

Olive has been spayed, dewormed, tested for FIV/FeLV, and is up to date on all vaccines.  Her adoption fee is $70 which includes a bag of Science Diet adult cat food and one free month of pet insurance!

Come meet Olive today!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HSEC's Foster Valentine: Rocky

Happy Valentine's Day from your friends at HSEC!

As you know, Valentine’s Day is one day out of the year devoted to expressing to your loved ones how much they mean to you. But who’s to say this day is just for humans?!  In light of this special day we'd like to share a wonderful success story with you about one of our dogs currently in foster care, Rocky!  Rocky and his foster mom, Emily, have shown us firsthand how powerful and healing affection can truly be.

Rocky, along with his siblings, was brought to the Humane Society as a puppy.

His siblings were quickly adopted but unfortunately Rocky never found a home due to illness. This sweet pup had stomach problems that just would not go away. The vet couldn’t determine the cause of his illness and the shelter environment he was living in was not able to provide him with the specialized and unique treatment he needed.

After unsuccessful attempts of numerous treatments, Rocky was eventually placed in a foster home with hopes that a different environment would aid in a positive recovery. One of our outstanding foster parents, Emily, took Rocky into her home with loving arms, providing him with care he needed. Special meals, such as ground beef and rice, a warm bed, and an abundance of toys helped lead Rocky on his quick path of recovery.

Shortly after being in his new foster home, Rocky’s stomach issues virtually vanished! Emily not only freed Rocky from his sickness but she also house trained him and taught him basic doggie etiquette.  A new environment and different foods may have significantly aided in recovery and what Rocky needed most was to feel loved.

Here is what Emily had to say in her most recent Rocky update:

"Rocky has shown a knack for being a true southern gentleman. All he requires is a comfortable warm bed, lots of windows to look out of when he is not entertaining guests, a doggie door so he may maintain his clean manners, 3 meals a day of quality southern doggie chow, and lots of toys to transport around his domain. Doggie buddies would welcome to play with along with additional doggie etiquette lessons.  Favorite treats include bits of cheddar and american cheese."

And here is a picture of Rocky turning on that southern charm!

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at the Humane Society to you! Remember Rocky and Emily’s heartwarming story today and be sure to show your four-legged companions extra affection today!

If you are interested in meeting Rocky please visit our website for more information, e-mail us, or give us a call at (252) 413-7247.  Rocky is neutered, up to date on all vaccines, dewormed, and on flea and heartworm prevention.  His adoption fee is $100 and will come ready to go with instructions from Emily on how to keep Rocky happy and healthy!

Unfortunately, there are numerous animals out there just like Rocky. If you think you have what it takes to be a foster parent please give us a call!  We are always looking for more people just like Emily to open their hearts and their homes to all sorts of animals from young kittens to dogs recovering from illness.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Dog of the Month - Blossom

Happy February!! 

Meet Blossom, our blog dog of the month!
As you can see from her picture Blossom is one happy dog!  She always has a smile on her face, a wag in her tail, and lots of kisses to give!  She came to HSEC in the Spring of 2011 with her litter of three puppies who have all since been adopted.  Blossom was an outstanding mom but unfortunately she used up all her energy caring for her pups leaving her in bad shape.  When we first met Blossom she was very underweight and had a variety of skin problems.  Luckily we're happy to report that Blossom has recovered beautifully and all she needs now is her forever home!

We suspect that Blossom spent most of her young life having back to back litters of puppies and that this sweet girl suffered a good deal before she came to us.  Despite her rough start Blossom is a staff favorite because she's put her past behind her and loves just about everybody!  Blossom is currently in a foster home where she is learning to be the best dog she can be and we hope she'll find her forever home very soon!

Because Blossom is a pit bull mix and considered a "bully breed" the HSEC prefers that she go to a home with prior pit bull experience.  We also require a home check and vet check before adoptions can be processed and there are no same day adoptions for dogs like Blossom.  These policies are in place to ensure that our bully breed dogs are going to wonderful and safe new homes with owners who are truly committed to loving and caring for their new pets!

For more information on Blossom please visit our website or give us a call at (252) 413-7247!  Blossom has been spayed and dewormed, is up to date on all vaccines, and is on heartworm and flea prevention.  Blossom is a genuinely sweet and loving dog who deserves nothing but the best!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just the facts please - January 2012 stats

January was an interesting month for HSEC. Because we have (for now) reduced intake so that we can decrease the number of residents at the facility, we only took in 10 new animals, and we adopted out 23. 30% of our adoptions were off-site this month.

We've decreased the number of our residents due to financial constraints, which you can read more about in this post. The decrease is intended to be temporary, and we would greatly appreciate your continued support so that we can return to full operating capacity.

Here’s the breakdown for January:

7 cats entered the facility.
  • 4 abandoned
  • 1 return
  • 0 strays
  • 2 surrenders
  • 0 transfers
It was a big month for kitty adoptions! 19 cats were adopted this month, including 9 adults and 10 kittens.

Kitty adoptions included:

Nook - in her new home!

Lucy (our December Purrfect Post Cat!)

Bear - in her new home!
3 dogs entered the facility, all returns.

4 dogs were adopted this month, all adults, including:

Kona (AKA Brownie) - in her new home!

Pluto - in his new home!

Congratulations to all the dogs and cats who found their forever homes this month! And if you’re one of the lucky new owners, we always love to hear how our former residents are doing! Post a photo of your little guy on our Facebook page.