Friday, May 31, 2013

Clooney's Commentary: Meet Clooney!

Hey!  Clooney here!  I’ve been a resident of the Humane Society over a year now.  The people here have been awesome, but there is one thing they haven’t done – find me a forever home.  So I’ve decided to take matters into my own paws and talk directly to you. 

Somewhere out there in Facebookland, I’m sure there is someone who is looking for a guy just like me.  I’m a handsome dude, and still a youngster at age four.  I’m a Shepherd mix, so I’m a big pup.  I must admit that there just may be a bit more of me to love, and I could probably stand to lose a pound or two – or ten or so…

My hobbies include going on walks – I am a very well-behaved leash-walker – and snuggling with humans.  Despite my size, I love to sit on laps, and am looking for a lap (or a family of laps) to call my own.  And to make me even more of a find, my adoption fee has been waived!  I knew I was priceless, but now that’s really true.

I also enjoy hanging out with other dogs about my size, and have made some good friends at the Humane Society. I do have one confession to make…when I see cats or small dogs, my prey drive kicks in, and I want to chase them.  I’ve tried to resist, but what’s a guy to do?  So they say I should go to a home with no other pets or bigger dogs.  I suppose they’re right, although that chasing thing sure is fun!

I was recently adopted by a young man for just a few days, until he realized his schoolwork just didn’t allow him the time he needed to take care of me.  I loved living in a home, and I was very sad to be returned.  Now I’m living in a foster home, which is pretty cool, but I know I can’t stay here forever, which is where YOU come in.

My foster mom has agreed to help me write some posts and share some pictures so everyone can get to know me and see what a great guy I am.  I’m calling them Clooney’s Commentary, and I hope you’ll read and share them until I get a home of my own.  Can I count on you to help a fellow out?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dog Bite Prevention Week

by Anna Geletka

The third full week in May is National Dog Bite Prevention Week! As an animal advocate, HSEC volunteer, dog owner, and dog attack survivor, this subject is very close to my heart. 4.7 million dog bites occur in the US each year. Most could be prevented. Please, read on and learn how to prevent you and your loved ones from becoming part of this statistic.

Any dog can bite, just like almost any human can be provoked to violence. Our dog, Nova, is an HSEC alum. When we first adopted her, she was extremely nervous and agitated around strangers. After three years of patient work, she is now much more relaxed, but she is still very uncomfortable around children. The problem is she's a chocolate lab (and darn cute, if I do say so myself). Note that since we have adopted her, Nova has never bitten anyone (we don't have information about her previous life). But because I am familiar with dog behavior, I know that in the right situation her discomfort could escalate to an attack.

Although I try hard to avoid situations where Nova is around strange children, sometimes it happens. Often kids will come running up to us, placing themselves in her personal space despite the many ways she tries to warn them away through her body language, growling, raising her hackles, or even showing her teeth. I will always put my own body between Nova and a child, but I also wish that all children had the knowledge to keep themselves from entering into potentially dangerous situations with dogs.

The best way to protect yourself and your family is to know how to read a dog's body language and
Nova is cute, but her nervousness could escalate to a bite.
how to respectfully approach strange animals. Step One is to ask the owner if it is ok to approach the dog, and don't be upset if the owner says no. For more information, check out our post on how to greet a strange dog.

Dog bites also happen in the home. Trust me on this - when I was just over a year, I was bitten in the face by my family's beloved Springer Spaniel. I was left alone in the room with the dog, who was (unbeknownst to my parents) most likely ill and in pain. Young children should never be left alone with a dog, even the family pet.

Ultimately, it is an owner's responsibility to keep their pet from harming others. Pet owners especially need to be well-versed in canine behavior, and to know their own animal well. It's not enough to say, "my dog doesn't bite!" Though we love them, dogs are animals. And biting is part of a suite of communication behaviors. Every dog should be viewed with the knowledge that it is capable of biting, and treated with the respect (not fear) that this viewpoint deserves.

While all dogs can bite, there are certain commonalities among dogs more likely to bite, and those whose attacks are most severe. Most fatal dog attacks involve male dogs (92%), most of whom are unneutered (94%). A quarter of fatal attacks involve chained dogs, and more than half involve unrestrained dogs on their owner's own property. 50% of all dog bites involve children under 12, and 70% of fatal dog attacks are against children under 10. (For my source, and more statistics, click here.)

Some have suggested that breed-specific legislation (BSL), which outlaws breeds like pit bulls and rottweilers, is the best way to decrease dog bites and attacks. HSEC, and other humane organizations including the American Humane Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and the ASPCA, do not support BSL. Such laws are costly, ineffective, and often result in a black market trade on targeted breeds which increases overpopulation and abuse. I would suggest that such laws also create a false sense of security and the false impression that other dog breeds will not bite.

As a responsible pet owner, these are the steps to take to decrease the chances your dog will bite:
  • Spay and neuter
  • Proper socialization and training
  • Restraint with a proper leash (24% of fatal attacks involve unrestrained dogs off an owner's property)
  • Spay and neuter
  • Supervision, especially when kids and dogs are together
  • Not chaining the dog - a chained dog is almost three times more likely to bite
  • Seriously, have I mentioned SPAY AND NEUTER?

By working together - as rescue organizations, as owners, as parents, as individuals - we can further reduce dog bites, attacks, and fatalities. This is a fixable problem. So let's fix it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thank You Notes and Contest Winners!

Our mothers always taught us to promptly send out thank you notes after a party, and we wouldn't
whaddya mean, the party's over?
want any of our friends to think we weren't grateful for their support.

Our birthday celebration resulted in over 600 hits on the blog, hundreds more likes and comments on Facebook, many donations, both monetary and from our birthday wish list, and finally, several adoptions, including two of the fee-waived adoptable animals, Blue and Clooney!   

Edited to add: Clooney is again available for adoption.


Thank you for liking, for sharing, for watching, for friending, for commenting, for tweeting (and re-tweeting), for following, for reading...



It may not always seem like a lot, but every like, tweet, and share helps to build our community of support, translating into continued care for the most vulnerable pets in our area. 

But we know what many of you are waiting for... the winner of our birthday contest. Drumroll please...

The winner is...

The homeless dogs and cats of Pitt County and Eastern North Carolina!!

Oh, that's not what you meant?

Ok, ok. The winner of our lovely prize package containing food and water bowls, a t-shirt, a coozy, frisbee, and can lid is randomly chosen comment #7!

Congratulations, Jennifer! Please send us an email at so you can claim your prize!

And once again, our deepest thanks for all our supporters.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What a Day!!

Here's that cake we promised you!
What a party! We're wiped out!

We sure had a good time today celebrating HSEC. But the fun doesn't have to stop here! Don't forget to enter our contest here.

Come on out for Bow-Wow Bingo on Thursday, May 16th (that's tomorrow, in case anyone has been partying so hard they aren't sure of the date). Cash prizes! Admission is $20 and includes 6 cards to all regular Bingo games and a dabber. Doors open at 6pm and games begin at 6:30pm and last until about 8:30pm. Extra cards, jackpot specials, 50/50 raffle tickets and light refreshments available for additional purchase. All proceeds benefit HSEC and Spay Today, working together to reduce pet overpopulation in eastern NC.

On Saturday, May 18th, you can join us from 2-5 at the HSEC facility on Tupper Road for our Birthday Open House! Perhaps you might even find a new best friend? That would be a great birthday present for us!
Can I take this hat off now?

Then finally, support our community partner Spay Today on Sunday, May 19th, by attending Open House Sunday 2-4pm, at their new and improved facility on County Home Road. You can tour the facility, meet the staff, and there will even be light refreshments (you had us at "refreshments"). RSVP spaytoday4@centurylinknet

THANK YOU for 35 years of community support. We truly could not have done it without you! 

Success Story - Leni, Candy, Max, and Maggie

Let's keep celebrating our 35th birthday with more success stories, written by our adoptive families! We'd love to hear your success story - email us at


You can tell Leni has a rough life.
Leni, formerly Augusta, adopted from HSEC in January 2011. She continues to do well in our home with her feline sister Laci, adopted from Saving Graces and her canine sister Sophie.  This picture is taken in 1 of her 2 favorite places, on the chair in front of an open window.  She loves to sit in the window and watch birds, or sprawl out on the chair and reach for the sun like she is doing here.  She also loves my son's room.  If Leni is missing, look no further than my son's room, either curled up on his bed asleep or in the chair in his room.  She has a very deep purr and loves to have her head scratched.   She is very sweet and loves treats.  We are very thankful to the HSEC for allowing Leni to become a part of our family.

Candy and Max


Candy loves to drink out of the faucet. She's very playful and loves to play catch with a ball. She's very loving. This is her favorite place to sleep.


Max is the best dog. Loves to run and play. Sometimes his nose gets him in trouble lol. This is him opening his Christmas presents.


We adopted Maggie a little over a year ago this week, and since then, she has been engrained so deeply into our family unit that we couldn’t imagine not having her in our home. It wasn’t an easy decision to adopt again. We knew it would have to take just the right
Maggie, working hard
moment and dog to get us to adopt again. Thankfully, we saw Maggie.

Maggie had a tough start to her story too. We were informed that, at less than a year old, she was seized from a home where she had been abused and left outside with a chain growing into her neck. We were cautioned from the beginning that she was a little nervous meeting new people, and we had never had a dog before with such a difficult history. But Maggie’s sweet disposition for both my wife and I were felt immediately, and from the moment of first meeting her, we knew we had made the right decision.

We are so happy that we found Maggie, and so thankful for the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina for the work they do. If it weren’t for them, I doubt we would all be as happy as we are now. We love to just sit back and watch her inquisitive, playful nature take over. And she seems perfectly content with that too.

Fee-Waived Adoptions: Priceless!

We all know that the love of a pet is priceless, so as our gift to you during our birthday celebration, we are featuring six homeless animals whose adoption is literally priceless!  Their adoption fees have been waived, and they’re ready to move to loving, forever homes.


Blue is a blog favorite! We have featured the story of this gorgeous pit bull’s abandonment and injury. Well now Blue is all better, and ready for his forever home. He loves sunbathing and chasing bugs, and he is great with kids and other dogs. In addition to being housebroken, Blue has a small repertoire of tricks under his belt. Will YOU be the happy ending to Blue’s story?


Max is a senior cat who was reluctantly owner-surrendered with another cat when the owner moved and was not allowed pets.  This sociable fellow gets along well with other cats, even the bossy cat he came in with. He specializes in head boinks, and loves to be scratched on the side of his face – he even likes to be picked up, cuddled and loved!  If you’re looking to max out your kitty love, come and visit this lovable fellow.


Sweet tabby Tess wandered onto a kind soul’s property as a stray.  Sadly, the woman’s dogs saw her as a potential snack, so Tess was surrendered to us.   She has had a hard life.  Ear-tipped and spayed as a feral (wild) cat, she has clearly been living outdoors for some time.  Fortunately, her rescuer has sponsored her adoption fee to support her new start in life.  Although a bit skittish, Tess wants to trust humans, and just needs some time and TLC.


Hector the shepherd mix just has that mischievous smile. He is energetic and happy-go-lucky, excited to great each visitor with a bark and some tail-wagging. He is housebroken and gets along very well with other dogs, though it is not recommended that he go to a house with cats. Hector is heartworm positive and is on medication for this condition. You can read more about heartworm here. If you want a cuddle buddy with a playful side, Hector is the dog to complete your pack.


If you’re seeking a truly precious companion, Precious may be your gal.  This beautiful, sleek black kitty loves to be a lap cat, although at night she turns into the perfect sleeping buddy, curling up in her human’s bed.  Poor Precious arrived when her dad became ill and could no longer care for her.  She’s friendly with visitors and kids, and loves a scratching post.  This sweet gal blossomed in a foster home, but is ready to move on to a lap that is hers alone.


And finally, there’s Clooney!  This silver fox is an awesome guy who’s been with us for one of his five years – far too long.  He’s housebroken, and has a face a dog mother can definitely love.  He gets along well with other medium to large dogs, and enjoys play time, but has an unfortunate interest in chasing cats.  Clooney could stand to lose a pound or two, but that doesn’t stop him from thinking he’s a lap dog!  He walks well on a leash, and could join you for some exercise.  He’s ready to walk out of our facility, and into your home.

We’re looking forward to seeing you, and hope you can stop by and visit any Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 2-5. Maybe during our Birthday Open House on Saturday, May 18th? Please share this post, and let’s work together to find these adorable pets a present they’ll cherish for our birthday and many years to come – a home of their own!

HSEC History

For 35 years HSEC has been finding homes for our furry friends. But did you ever wonder just how HSEC came to be?

In 1925, members of the Wake County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, people
running kennels and raising show dogs, along with several others came together to form the Pitt County S.P.C.A. For many years the Pitt County S.P.C.A. operated without any support from City or County governments, and operated on contributions alone.

In 1972, reorganizing as the Pitt County Humane Society lead to official incorporation and receiving a State Charter. Funds were raised for a facility as early as 1976.

1978 is our official birth year! We moved to our current facility in 1999. In 2005, the Pitt County Humane Society officially changed its name to the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina in order to avoid confusion with Pitt County Animal Shelter, and in order to reflect our practice of accepting and adopting animals beyond county limits.

Since its beginnings, HSEC has helped thousands of pets, taking in 3,245 animals since February 2005 when we began using our current database. Thank you for supporting us for 35 years! Here's to another 35!

Contest!! Open Through Saturday May 18th

We sure have enjoyed pestering  dressing up our adorable adoptable animals with hats and party favors! Much to their chagrin.

What the heck is this?

Must... kill... shiny thing...

But we've taken a break from bedecking our residents so that we can hand out some goodies. After all, what's a party without PRIZES??

And we have a doozy for you! Our birthday prize (a 25$ value) includes pet food and water dishes, a frisbee, can lid, koozie, and t-shirt (you choose size and color)!!

And we will ship the prize to you (sorry, no international entries), so you do not need to be in the Greenville area to win!

In order to win this lovely prize package, just leave us a comment telling us what you love about HSEC! One entry per person, please. The contest will remain open through midnight, Saturday May 18th. We will use a random number generator to determine the winner.

Good luck!


Success Stories: Pumpkin and Shorty

We're delighted to continue our birthday celebration with success stories written by our adopters! In this post, we'll hear from the families of Pumpkin and Shorty. Do you have an HSEC success story? Email us!


Pumpkin and family
"Don't you want to see the little brown one?"

Our beloved dog, Ginger, died on October 23, 2012 after being a member of the family for over 12 years. She was a rescue dog and we loved her very much. When she died, we were devastated and never thought we could have another dog.

We started volunteering at the Humane Society, trying to heal ourselves and help other animals at the same time. We did this for about several weeks. Finally we saw a little white puppy named Maple and asked ourselves if we could love her. We needed a day to think about it.

The next day, we went back to make Maple ours. The staff told us she had already been adopted!!  We started to leave, once again, with heavy hearts, when one of the staff asked, "don't you want to see the little brown one?"  She then explained that a little brown puppy was in seclusion waiting to be spayed. We shrugged our shoulders and reluctantly followed her.

When we saw the little brown one, we all started to cry. She looked just like Ginger!!  The staff member smiled and said, "we call her Gingersnap."  We knew it was meant to be, but renamed her Pumpkin.

We've have had Pumpkin for a year and a half and she has been the best dog in the world. We love her like we never thought we could. And we are ever so grateful to the staff member who asked, "Don't you want to see the little brown one?"


My success story is Shorty-my beautiful black and grey tabby who I adopted from the Human Society in June of last year.I saw him on Petfinder and instantly fell in love with his gorgeous face. You were in search of a foster home for him as he had the tendency to bite when taken in and out of his cage: he was obviously stressed and not doing well in a shelter environment.

Well,when I went to go see him I patted him and a few seconds later he bit me and jumped out of his cage. In spite I that I knew I wasn't leaving without him and that he was going to be a straight adoption. The first few months were a bit difficult as I worked hard to help him overcome his behavioral issues and the loss of my 'baby' Charlie. I was devastated but Shorty has helped to heal the hole in my heart.

He is one of the most unique cats I have ever owned and I have had a lot! He still bites now and then but I know it is just part of who he is. It doesn't matter though as honestly I love him more than just about any pet I have ever had. We have a very special bond and I can happily say he will be my baby for the rest of his life: he never has to worry about being in a cage again. He is so happy-he loves his food, sitting on my screened in front porch and playing with his toys. Thank you for letting me adopt him-it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Welcome to the party!!

It's here!! It's here!! Our virtual birthday party is TODAY!! Stay tuned all day long for contests, success stories, and, of course, adorable pictures of pets in party hats.

Did you forget to get us a gift? That's ok, we're not picky - or shy! Here is our birthday wish list. And of course, you can make a birthday donation by clicking the yellow button below.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Summertime Safety Pt 1: Dogs and Cars

Summer is coming, and we’ll be in search of ways to beat the heat. But don’t forget it’s up to us to keep it cool for our pets.  With fur coats and no sweat glands, dogs can overheat quickly, often with fatal consequences.

While it’s tempting to leave a furry friend in the car while running a quick errand, think again – and don’t do it!  Either leave your buddy at home, or take a friend or family member to wait in the car, keeping an eye on the temperature and perhaps going for a short stroll.  Even leaving windows open a crack won’t provide enough ventilation on a hot day, and curious dogs have been known to get their heads wedged in car windows. They can also escape if the window is open too widely, or even bite people through the crack.

On a 78 degree day, temperatures inside a shaded car can reach 90 degrees - and that shoots up to 160 if the car is in the sun! Most experts recommend that if the air temperature is 60 degrees or more, your pets should stay at home or come into the store with you, if allowed (and that goes for your kids too). Some people try to get around this by leaving the engine and air conditioning running, but this is not fail-safe. If the engine overheats or the air conditioner malfunctions, the animal is in just as much peril as before.

It's also not a great idea to let your dog ride loose in the bed of a pick up truck. The hot metal can scorch the dog's paws, sudden turns or stops can cause it to tumble around and potentially harm itself, and no matter how well trained, any dog might jump out at a stop light or in a parking lot.
This is not going to end well.
Greenville Animal Control officers receive 20 to 30 calls each summer, and will respond quickly to remove a dog from a hot car.  Temperatures can rise to 120 degrees in less than 20 minutes, and officers will break car windows in order to save an animal if the owner cannot be located immediately.  Criminal penalties can include fines and up to six months in jail.

It’s up to all of us to prevent tragedy by keeping our pets out of hot vehicles, and by looking out for those locked up by negligent owners. Call police if you see a dog in distress. Greenville Animal Control can be reached at 252-329-4387, or, in an emergency, 252-329-4300.

This summer, stay safe and enjoy the weather – and make sure your pet does, too!

Originally posted 5/29/12

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Cats in Hats

Pssst.... don't forget our 35th birthday is coming! We would love to get a birthday card from YOU!! Get your invitation to our virtual party, and take a look at our wish list!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Foster Tales - Salem

With a name like Salem, you know we're talking about a black cat! This lovely sleek kitty is currently
in foster care, and we have an adorable foster update. Salem's foster caretaker tells us,

"He meowed all the way to my house. He was probably pretty scared and nervous. When I got him into my house, he immediately went to try and find a place to hide. Ultimately, he spent a lot of time behind my downstairs toilet. The first night, he did end up venturing up to my room and sat next to my bed meowing at me at around 3 AM. The next day after work, I found him hiding inside of my tv box which was being stored under my guest bed. The second night he tried to sleep with me on my bed but his nails kept digging at my skin as he was kneading my shoulder so that did not work out. Now that I've had him for a week, he definitely feels more comfortable. He spends most of his time upstairs in the bedrooms. I think he likes that I keep my bedroom window open so he can look out. In fact, a stray cat has been hanging out on my patio and I bet it is because the stray sees Salem.
I've noticed 2 quirky things about Salem. One, is that he likes to watch the toilet flush. As soon as he hears me push the handle, he runs and jumps onto the seat and just watches with fascination. The second thing is that he likes to drink from the faucet. Each morning, he jumps into my bathtub and meows at me. I wouldn't even think to turn on the water but a friend of mine in South Carolina turns her kitchen faucet on for her half-blind cats and they prefer the running water. So I turned on the cold water in a slow but steady stream and he likes to lick directly from the stream, from the small pool on the bottom of the tub or he lifts his paw to the stream and then licks from his paw.
He absolutely loves being brushed and lays near or on my stuffed bunny. He's been a good house guest so far!"

We're so glad that Salem is doing well! It's the lucky family indeed who will give this black cat his forever home. For more information on this adoptable cat, check out his Petfinder page or contact HSEC!