About Planned PEThood of Georgia

Injured Dog Loses Eye, But Gains Loving Home

Katie and Bella Donna

A few months ago, this sweetheart 4-month-old pup, Bella Donna, arrived from Habersham County Animal Shelter through our Go Fix Georgia program. Sadly, she had been surrendered to the shelter with the most horrendous eye injury. Trust us, you really don’t want to see the image. However, Habersham knew our Go Fix Georgia program at Planned PEThood would be able to help!

Bella Donna headed to Planned PEThood on our Thursday shelter day to get her eye removed and her spay surgery, ready to start a healthier, happier life! With as much pain as she had to be in, she was begging for cuddles and belly rubs from staff both before and after surgery. 

One of our amazing vet techs, Katie, couldn’t stand the thought of her recovering alone in a kennel, so she took her home for the evening for one-on-one care. Just for a few days, of course. The plan was to return her to Habersham the next morning so Bella Donna could find her forever home. But love wins and sweet Bella Donna won the lottery!

Congrats to Katie and her new puppy! We love watching happily ever after happen to our Planned PEThood family and shelter pets!

Go Fix Georgia is a program dedicated to improving spay/neuter access to rural animal shelters and their communities throughout Georgia. Starting with Newton County Animal Control in 2019, this program ensures that more animals leave these shelters sterilized, and vaccinated. There is one rule we require when working with a shelter- every animal that enters the Go Fix Georgia program is guaranteed safety! That means these animals will either be adopted or placed with a rescue group. In the four years since beginning our program, we have expanded to five county shelters and helped to provide spay and neuter surgeries for over 5,000 lucky dogs and cats in Georgia.

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Meet Our New CEO: CJ Bentley

CJ BentleyPlanned PEThood of Georgia has some exciting news to share with you. We are pleased to welcome CJ Bentley to our team as Chief Executive Officer. CJ brings with her an impressive background.

After a career in corporate advertising, CJ felt moved to work with animals. Her animal welfare-related career began at the Michigan Humane Society, where she spent 15 years, starting in their canine behavior department and eventually becoming their Senior Director of Operations. During that time, she also served as an Adjunct Professor at Oakland University in Michigan as part of their Animal Assisted Therapy Certification Program. 

For the past 5 years, CJ has been the Vice President of Animal Welfare for the Atlanta Humane Society, responsible for Community Outreach, Animal Sheltering/Intakes & Adoptions, Shelter Medicine, Volunteers, and their Animal Protection Unit. 

A native to Detroit, CJ now lives with her husband and 2 rescue dogs, Porter the Bernese Mountain Dog and Jammer the Feist, in Roswell. She has a son who is a sports writer and podcaster and a stepdaughter in college. She’s a fan of sports including baseball, football, college football, MMA, and all things Halloween. When CJ isn’t helping pets and their owners, she enjoys time reading, gardening, refurbishing old furniture, and tending to her 75-gallon freshwater aquarium. She admits to being mildly obsessed with octopuses and cuttlefish. Whatever floats your boat CJ!

CJ says she’s thrilled to be welcomed to the Planned PEThood team and is “looking forward to doing great things together to help pets and the families who love them!!!”. We are equally thrilled to have her on board. 

Please join us in welcoming her to the team. The future looks bright!

If you ever want to reach out to CJ Bentley, feel free to email ceo@PEThoodGA.org

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Injured Kitty Loses Eye, but Gains Hope

Meet Coco! 

We recently received a frantic call about a kitten with a bulging eye. The Good Samaritan calling found Coco after he wandered onto their porch. They immediately noticed his eye and wanted to get him the help he desperately needed.

Despite the busy surgery schedule, we were able to squeeze Coco into our day. Our very skilled veterinarian, Dr. A, performed an eye enucleation surgery, where the eye was removed. 

Coco still has some time to go before making a full recovery, but he is progressing well and on the path to healing. The kind family who saved him took him home after his surgery to help him during his recovery. 

Two weeks after his surgery, Coco is doing fantastic. The family has decided to keep him and make him a part of their family! Coco will have several sibling kitties in his new home and we are working with the family to get a few of their kitties spayed/neutered. The family also cares for several feral kitties. What a purr-fect family for Coco!

What a brave little kitten. We are rooting for you Coco! We are so grateful the Good Samaritan brought little Coco into our clinic for help. 

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KIRA Club Kids Perform Surgery on Stuffed Animals

This month our KIRA Club (Kids Interested in Rescuing Animals) had a very informative and hands-on meeting. 

The kids learned all about different exams and surgeries animals receive at our Planned PEThood Duluth clinic, including how to check an animal for a microchip, how to check important vitals, and how to perform surgery to remove foreign objects. After learning all the important steps, they were able to put their new knowledge to the test and perform these exams and surgeries on stuffed animals. The kids had an absolute blast! We even had three kids at the meeting who want to be veterinarians when they grow up. How cool!

Animal rescue, compassion, and kindness can and should be taught at a young age, which is why we developed KIRA Club (Kids Interested in Rescuing Animals). Thanks to a grant from Orphan Kitten Club and Kitten Lady in Kira Serisky’s memory, we were able to start this program to help educate and inspire kids who are interested in animal welfare. 

KIRA Club has monthly meetings to discuss certain topics on the importance of animal rescue. These meetings include crafts, projects, guest speakers, presentations, and opportunities to meet a few furry guests. Children age 5 to 17 are welcome to join. We truly love seeing this club continue to grow and we know this program is making a huge difference in the lives of these children. 

Email events@PEThoodGA.org to learn more about KIRA Club and upcoming meetings.

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Microchipping: What It Is and Why You Should Do It

Pets are a part of the family. If something were to separate them from you – a door is left open, your dog slips out of its collar, or your cat takes an unapproved field trip without you – you’d want a way to reunite with them as quickly as possible, right? Microchipping is a safe, easy, and inexpensive way to significantly increase the chances of your pet’s reunion should the unthinkable happen.

1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime. Tragically, many of these pets may not ever find their way home without a little help. A microchip can mean the difference between being reunited with your furry friend and never seeing them again. We occasionally see cats brought into our Spay/Neuter clinic for our TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) services that are thought to be stray cats. That doesn’t always end up being the case. Sometimes these “stray” cats are actually missing pets and because of their microchip, we are able to reunite them with their owner, like in Cali’s story. We wouldn’t be able to have these happy reunions without microchips. 

Did You Know? 

Here are some disturbing, but true facts about lost animals:

  • Dogs without microchips are reunited with their owners only 2.2% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs are returned 52.2% of the time.
  • Cats without microchips are reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats make it back home 38.5% of the time.
  • Microchipped pets are over 20 times more likely to be reunited with their families, making microchipping extremely worthwhile.
  • 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime.

How Microchips Work

A microchip is a tiny electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, that is injected under your pet’s skin, typically between the shoulders. The procedure only takes a few seconds. While it’s not entirely painless, it doesn’t hurt any more than getting a vaccine. The microchip is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area. Each microchip has an identification number. When the microchip is scanned by a vet or shelter, it transmits this number. Animal shelters and veterinary clinics scan a pet’s microchip to get this identification number, then contact the registry to find contact information for the owners. The microchip is NOT a GPS device and cannot track your animal if they get lost. 

Importance of Registering Your Information and Keeping It Up to Date

HERE’S THE CATCH – the unique identification number doesn’t do any good UNLESS you register it with a National Pet Recovering Database. When you register your pet’s microchip, you should enter all relevant contact information. Remember to keep your contact information up-to-date! A microchip greatly increases the chances of your pet being reunited with you if they get lost, BUT, only if your information is up to date! Not sure which company to call? Type in your pet’s chip number in microchiplookup.org Can’t find your pet’s chip number? Come by our clinic or any clinic and just ask them to check it for you. As long as you don’t mind waiting a bit, practically every clinic will do this as a free service for you. 

Where to Get Microchips

Planned PEThood offers microchips through our Spay/Neuter Clinic and our Wellness Clinic for only $25 and that includes registration. Most other veterinary clinics offer this service as well, ranging from $25-$75. 

Another great resource to help find your pet is Petco Love Lost. Petco Love Lost helps reunite lost pets with their families. Simply enter a photo of your missing pet and search their national lost and found database to find them. Learn more about Petco Love Lost.

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Mother-Daughter Superstar Fosters Approach 100th Foster Animal

Meet Tiffany and Jeanne, the mother-daughter duo, who have fostered dozens of bottle babies! These two superstar fosters have fostered 89 animals in total. That’s incredible!

Of those 89 animals, they’ve had 2 mama cats, 8 older kittens, and 3 puppies, with the remaining 76 all being bottle babies. In addition to fostering these 89 animals, they constantly help out when other fosters are out of town. That’s a lot of fostering!

Tiffany and Jeanne learned about Planned PEThood of Georgia years ago, when Jeanne, the mom, was driving by and saw an opening sign outside our building. She stopped by to ask if we took volunteers. That’s when it all began.

One February during an extremely prolific kitten season, when Tiffany was volunteering at the front desk, someone dropped off a solo bottle baby at the front door and drove away. Elizabeth, our Executive Director, started calling all of our bottle baby fosters, desperately searching for someone to care for this bottle baby. While Elizabeth was making these calls, another staff member was showing Tiffany how to feed the bottle baby. Her mom walked in and asked, “What’s that?”. Tiffany explained the situation and her mom said, “She’ll take her.”. And so, they brought home their first bottle baby. That’s when their fostering all began. Another litter showed up the next day and their first bottle baby suddenly turned into three.

A few years later, Tiffany and Jeanne switched over to fostering bottle babies full-time. Bottle babies are a tremendous amount of work, but over the years, they have created the perfect system. Jeanne takes the day shifts and Tiffany covers the nights. This way no one loses sleep. They even have their own incubator at their home for the bottle babies.

Natsu, one of their foster fails

Not only have Tiffany and Jeanne helped dozens of animals find their forever home, but they have also adopted several animals of their own. That first kitten they ever fostered was their first foster fail and became a permanent part of their family. These two do more than fostering. Jeanne constantly helps out with our Wednesday shelter days as a part of our Go Fix Georgia program and Tiffany does bottle-feeding demonstrations at various events for Planned PEThood.We asked Tiffany a few questions about her experience fostering with Planned PEThood of Georgia. Below are her answers.

Why do you continue to foster with Planned PEThood? Planned PEThood keeps calling us with kittens!

What is your favorite part about fostering? The reward of seeing a little 80g bean grown into a lively kitten and go to a forever home.

What advice do you have for someone interested in fostering? Think of being a foster like being a Kindergarten teacher. You provide the education and nutrition until they graduate to their new homes. Yes, it is hard to let them go, but there’s a new class waiting for the same opportunity to grow! Every cat that ‘graduates’ means another you can save after that!

What do you get out of fostering with Planned PEThood? I get a lot of purpose out of fostering. I’m disabled so that limits a lot of options in employment. Working with animals gave me something meaningful to do with my time. I got inspired by some of our medical challenges with the little ones to go to Vet Tech school, so I could do better and save more kittens. Turns out that my disability is a barrier there too, but I might be able to be a Vet Assistant. Fostering has also inspired me to look into building my own neonatal nursery. I hope to continue to work through Planned PEThood if that ever comes to fruition. 

Volunteers and foster parents are vital to our success. The animals depend on our efforts to place them on solid ground. If you have even a tiny bit of time to spare, a unique talent or trade to offer, or a spare bathroom/basement to occupy, consider contacting Planned PEThood today. 

Apply to become a volunteer.

Apply to become a foster home.

If you have any questions about fostering, email foster@PEThoodGA.org

If you have any questions about volunteering, email volunteer@PEThoodGA.org

Fostering and volunteering are rewarding experiences. Your life will be filled with more hair, but your heart will be happy!

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Help for 227 Gwinnett County Pets and Their Parents

Planned PEThood’s outreach team, Go Fix Georgia, teamed up with Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement to provide free vet care and supplies to pet owners in need on Saturday, April 15th. In just four hours, 165 dogs and 62 cats received much-needed assistance including 200 FREE rabies vaccines, 214 FREE distemper vaccines thanks to Petco Love, and 152 FREE microchips!

The need for outreach events like this continues to increase unfortunately as the cost of pet food and veterinary care soars. The need was obvious as dozens of people lined up early in the morning hours before the event started. Our team ran ahead of schedule the entire time and was able to help every owner who showed up. 54% of pets had not been spayed or neutered, with most of that percentage never having been to a vet before in their life! We plan to continue working with Gwinnett County and other counties to host outreach events like this in the future. 

There were so many amazing organizations and volunteers that came together to help make this event such a success. Without their support, this would have never been possible. THANK YOU! Our Go Fix Georgia team could not have done it without our event sponsor, Fix Georgia Pets, or without the assistance of Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement.

Event Sponsor:

Fix Georgia Pets

Other Assistance Provided By:

Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement

Petco Love

Atlanta Humane Society

The Original Poop Bags

Department of Agriculture Spay/Neuter Tag

Make sure to check our newsletters and emails for upcoming dates! We are always looking for partner companies or individuals to sponsor outreach events. Please email tweaver@PEThoodGA.org if you or your company might be interested in giving back.

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Criminals Tried to Steal $59,000 From Our Animals

Did you see Planned PEThood on WSBTV? We love making the news, but not for this reason!

Watch the news report.

Sadly, we were the recent target of a check fraud scheme. Our checking information was stolen, and the criminals stole more than $59,000 from our bank account. In total, there were 10 fraudulent checks ranging from $4,000 to $13,000. 

Fortunately, our bank has reimbursed us for the stolen funds. We now have the costly administrative headache of closing the affected bank account, switching over automated debits to a new account, canceling automatic payments, contacting our vendors, and other tasks necessary to clear away this mess. We will incur an additional monthly cost to add protection to our new bank account.

We are working with the police and our bank’s fraud department to figure out where the initial check was stolen and who is behind this check fraud scheme. Hopefully, the criminals can be caught so they can’t do this to anyone else. 

If you can help us fight against these criminals and recoup the cost of this attack, make a donation now.

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Rescue Anniversary and Reunion

You might remember a year ago when Brandy (the kitty) was saved. She had been surrendered to Newton County Animal Control in very bad shape, needing an emergency tail amputation and later, a leg amputation. While her first surgery was very successful, Brandy’s little body crashed late at night. She needed a blood transfusion, but there were not any kitties around. Our vet, Dr. Simpson, brought her dog Zeke to the clinic and his blood saved her life! Apparently, dogs can give blood transfusions to cats in life or death situations. Amazing! 

Fast forward a year and they got to have an adorable reunion in our offices! Zeke still loves his little friend and was very gentle with Brandy. Brandy swears she is part dog and plays fetch at home bringing her mom everything from ketchup packets to spoons. She does not let her tripod status slow her down one bit! This is the happy ending we love to share! 

GREAT DANE DONATES BLOOD �� TO SAVE KITTEN!

Earlier we showed you a video of a kitten receiving an emergency blood transfusion. Her name is Brandy, and she is a fighter!

Yesterday this little girl was pulled from Newton County Animal control while our Go Fix Georgia by Planned PEThood program was there on transport. She needed a tail amputation and possible leg amputation surgery. We decided to take her on as a project ��. Yesterday she went through surgery with flying colors to remove her tail and went home with a staff member for the night.

Well, this afternoon she decided to stop eating and she quickly declined. She became anemic and her gums went white. Unfortunately she declined after our medical team went home for the day.

We called local vets, but aside from emergency clinics no one could see her. So, we called our awesome veterinarian and clinic manager, and they both drove back to the clinic after an entire day of spay and neuter surgeries. #dedication They just needed a special piece of equipment we don’t carry to help her.

Time was not on our side as most clinics close at 6 p.m. but thankfully our friends at Duluth Animal Hospital were still open and gave us the piece we needed to complete a transfusion.

Dr. Simpson brought her great dane, Zeke, with her as a blood donor. Cats have blood types and need additional testing to match them for blood transfusions. However, they can receive a blood donation from a dog on a super rare occasion such as life and death. (Pretty cool!) 

Zeke generously gave his blood, and literally within 15 minutes you could see Brandy’s gums and nose brighten, and her eyes became more alert. She is not out of the woods, but she is a serious fighter.

Please consider a gift to help cover Brandy’s care and the care of animals like her at our clinic. We need your support, donations, and kind words to help her through this difficult time.

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Superhuman Spotlight – Dr. Christina Simpson

Our 2021 campaign encouraged people to become a “Rescue Superhero.” When running our year-end numbers we discovered impressive numbers about our veterinarian, Dr. Christina Simpson, almost superhuman numbers. Here are just SOME of the things she accomplished in 2021:

  • 5,023 spay/neuter surgeries
  • 2,111 exams at vaccine clinics, outreach events, and our new Wellness Clinic
  • 27 special surgeries such as amputations and eye removals
  • Fostered multiple pets and SO much more! 

Dr. Simpson is such a blessing to the animals we serve. Please join us in thanking her for her superhuman efforts to help the animals of Georgia!

If you want to send her a thank you note, please comment below! She would love to hear from you.

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