News

The Rescue World is Small, We Have to Stick Together!

Planned PEThood is helping keep 22 cats safe after a burst pipe at Barrow County Animal Control this Christmas!

The day after Christmas we received a call from Barrow County Animal Control’s director. Their pipes had burst, causing damage to several rooms in their shelter and leaving them without running water. They needed to move all their animals out of the shelter ASAP!

When we got their call, we were more than happy to help. Fortunately, our barn cat room was temporarily empty so we had lots of room for their kitties. 

Barrow County was able to transport their 22 cats to our Duluth clinic where they were met by staff, volunteers, and board members who all stepped up to help get these kitties off the van and settled into their area. We are so thankful for all who stepped up to help these kitties out! (especially on our day off when our clinics  and offices were closed)

While the original plan was to keep these kitties with us for a few days, giving Barrow County time to work on repairing water damage from the burst pipes, things changed! We are now bringing 8 cats into our foster program and 4 cats into our working cat program. These kitties will go through their quarantine period, receive any vaccines or spay/neuter surgeries needed and then start their search for their forever homes. The remaining cats will be sent back to Barrow where they will be adopted. 

Plus, our friends at Java Cats helped placed one of the senior kitties in a new adoptive home. The kind adopter had been thinking about adopting a kitten to keep her 11-year-old cat company when she saw a posting on Java Cats about the senior cat and instantly fell in love. 

While the cats from the shelter are currently safe, they are in desperate need of placement for the remaining dogs in their shelter. 

Please reach out to them if you can help by fostering or pulling if you are a licensed rescue agency!  kpoe@barrowga.org 

Read more

Grinch Helps Habersham

On a cold and rainy day in December, 220 pets received much-needed assistance in Habersham County. Planned PEThood’s outreach team, Go Fix Georgia, teamed up with Habersham County Animal Care and Control to provide free vet care and supplies to pet owners in need. In total, 133 dogs and 87 cats received assistance and 150 pets received free spay/neuter vouchers. 

The need for outreach events like this is obvious. Hundreds of people lined up early in the cold morning, some arriving hours before the event started. For hours, staff and volunteers helped a continuous line of animals whose owners drove through the pop-up event. Habersham county residents do not have easy access to low-cost veterinary services, and as a result many pets in the community are unable to see a veterinarian and get basic care.

There were so many amazing organizations and volunteers that came together to help make this event successful – including the Grinch. His heart really did grow three sizes!

Without their support, this would never have been possible! THANK YOU!

Event Sponsored in part by: BISSELL Pet Foundation, Atlanta Humane Society, Petco Love, GA Department of Agriculture, Fi Nano Microchips

You can read more about the event in the local newspaper article.

Read more

Kitty Claws Makes an Appearance

Kitty Claws made an appearance at this month’s KIRA Club meeting. These meetings are for kids interested in rescuing animals. Our rescue kids had a great time making ornaments from the Orphan Kitten Club and decorating kitty and puppy-shaped cookies!

They also learned lots about one of our recent rescue dogs, Sasha, and helped write thank-you notes to supporters. We love our little helpers! Have a look at the precious pictures from the event!

Animal rescue, compassion, and kindness can and should be taught at a young age, which is why we developed the Kids Interested in Rescuing Animals (K.I.R.A.) Club, named in memory of Kira Serisky. Thanks to a grant from the Orphan Kitten Club and Kitten Lady in Kira’s memory, we were able to start this program. 

We have monthly meetings to discuss certain topics and educate/inspire children on the importance of animal rescue. These meetings include crafts, projects, speakers, presentations, and opportunities to meet a few special furry guests. Children ages 5 to 17 are welcome to join.


Visit https://pethoodga.org/kiraclub/ to learn more about the club and sign up for meetings.

 

 

Read more

Third Time is the Charm for Westley

It’s been quite a journey for Westley, but he finally found his perfect forever home (again)!

Westley came back to us in March 2022 after nearly five years with his parents. He was adopted as a kitten, and sadly his sweet owners both passed away from COVID. 

As if that wasn’t sad enough, he had several different medical issues that needed immediate attention including a heart murmur, kidney issues, and a mass in his throat. At first we thought the mass was cancer and he would be a hospice case.

The mass in his throat needed evaluation, and he ended up visiting the UGA Veterinary Clinic for extended scans and tests. After a biopsy and time, that tumor actually disappeared. Our vets were stunned. We were all so happy about the miracle of his disappearing airway lump!

On top of all his medical issues, he has a VERY large personality. He’s VERY bossy and will tell you when it’s time to eat, go to bed, or pet him. He doesn’t get along with dogs, cats, or kids so finding him a home was a challenge. He’s been in many of our fosters’ lives and was most recently our wonderful office cat. He’s been searching for his forever home for months with no luck or prospects.

Finally, after months and months of searching, he found his perfect match. One of our tech guys had met Westley quite a few times while working on different projects around the offices. He connected with Westley immediately, but he wasn’t sure if he was ready to adopt. While our offices were closed over Thanksgiving, he offered to pet-sit Westley, and the rest is history. Westley will have a home all to himself where he will be the king of his castle and get all of the attention he deserves.

Happy life Westley. We will miss seeing you around the office!

Read more

Holiday Miracle: Cali Returns Home Thanks to Microchip

They may be tiny, but the impact of microchipping is great. Whether the reunion comes after days, months, or years of being separated, it means everything to a pet and its family. These reunions are proof of just how important microchipping can be.

Lost Kitty, Zach (rescue employee), Hadyn O’Hara (office manager)

A few weeks ago, a kind lady trapped an outdoor kitty that had shown up recently to bring into Planned PEThood. She was planning to get her fixed through our Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program for community cats. While prepping the kitty for her surgery, we found out she was already fixed, PLUS she was microchipped. We immediately knew she was someone’s furry kid.

Thanks to her microchip, we were able to track her chip number to a local rescue group. She had recently been adopted, and they were working to contact her owners. Her name was Cali! They arranged to pick her up at our clinic in hopes of reuniting her with her family.

Thankfully, the the owner was located and they had been searching for Cali for days. The kitty had somehow escaped while the owner was moving. A scary thought for any pet owner. Now she’s reunited with her family, and they are all overwhelmed with joy!

Microchipping is a beautiful thing and stories like this remind us of the importance of making sure your pets are microchipped. Without a microchip, on average, only 2% of cats are returned to their owners. 

Microchips save lives by reuniting lost or displaced pets with their families. Not only is having a microchip important but keeping your registered contact information up-to-date is crucial. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats who are microchipped are over 20 times more likely to be reunited with their families.

Read more

Keep the Mama, Not the Drama!

Earlier this year, a family reached out to Planned PEThood for help. They needed assistance with their kitties, Pumpkin and Reesee. Reesee had an accidental pregnancy and the family did not know what to do. They loved their animals so they wanted to do whatever they could to keep their kitties healthy and safe, but finances were tight. 

Thanks to our Keep the Mama, Not the Drama Program, sponsored by Orphan Kitten Club, we were able to get both pets fixed and take their two baby kittens, Jamie and Claire, into our rescue program.

The goal of this program is to help struggling pet owners with accidental litters keep their cats while we spay, vet them, and find homes for their babies. This ends the cycle, saves lives, and prevents future unwanted litters.

Their family is so grateful that we were able to find loving, forever homes for the kittens, plus they do not have to worry about their pet’s health anymore! No more babies! Yay!

Jamie and Claire found their forever homes quickly. Just look at their faces, how could they not! Sweet Claire was adopted at one of our Pet Supermarket adoption events and Jamie was adopted at one of our Petco adoption events.

If you or someone you know needs help from this program learn more or apply here. 

Read more

Entire Year of Laundry Detergent Donated

With over 200 surgeries a week and 150 pets in foster care, we go through a lot of laundry! Tons of it! Over 150 loads per week! This makes detergent a HUGE expense for us. 

That is why we are beyond grateful to be recipients of the Buy One Give Ten donation program from Earth Breeze Eco Sheets. Thanks to Earth Breeze we have not had to purchase laundry detergent in more than 6 months, and they just surprised us with another huge donation. 6 more months of laundry detergent. WOW!

Thanks to Earth Breeze and their generosity, we can use every dollar we save on detergent to go back into the care of an animal in need. 

Earth Breeze offers sustainable, eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets delivered right to your door. Their product uses zero-waste packaging and aims to help reduce plastic jugs from reaching our landfills and oceans. 

Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, given the money we’ve saved not having to buy detergent! Please show them some gratitude by heading over and making a purchase, while helping eliminate plastic from our planet. With every purchase, they donate 10 free washes to a cause closest to your heart. And if you select animal rescues, that might very well mean us!

Their mission to reduce waste and improvement goes hand in hand with our mission to help pets and people. 

If you want to learn more about Earth Breeze, visit their website: www.earthbreeze.com

Read more

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings friends and family together. Thanksgiving can carry some hazards for our pets, ranging from food, to company, to travel. While it’s tempting to include our furry friends in this celebration, it’s best to leave them out of the festivities or purchase them a special pet specific treat before the big day.

Here are a few tips to help make the holiday as pet-friendly as possible and keep your pets healthy and safe. 

Thanksgiving is all about food, but not all human food is safe for pets. Here are a few common Thanksgiving foods to keep an eye on. If you have Thanksgiving guests, ask that they don’t feed your pets. It could save your pet’s life!

1) Turkey Bones – They can be a choking hazard and can damage your pet’s digestive tract. Now matter how much they beg, say no!

2) Fatty Foods – Items such as butter, cream, gravy, bacon, and turkey skin, are hard for pets to digest. They can cause a painful and serious condition known as pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas. 

3) Human Foods – Foods that are perfectly safe for humans, such as garlic, onions, raisins, and grapes are poisonous to pets. Bread dough and yeast dough can cause painful gas and event dangerous bloating. To be safe, avoid giving your pet any human foods and buy them a special pet specific treat instead at your local pet store.

4) Chocolate and Sugar – Most people know chocolate is bad for dogs and cats, but artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, can be dangerous if consumed by your pets, so avoid these as well. These are even in many peanut butters these days.

6) Cover the Trash – Put the trash away, where your pets can’t find it. Cover the trash in a tightly secured trash bag, and place it in a closed trashcan outdoors. All your hard work keeping them safe can be undone by a quick trip in the trash.

Lots of people buy decorative arrangements, plants, and flowers around Thanksgiving. Be careful with these as some flowers and plants can be toxic to pets. The ASPCA has lists of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats. To be safest, keep your pets away from all plants and floral arrangements. 

If you are hosting or having overnight visitors for Thanksgiving, plan ahead to keep your pets safe. Unfamiliar visitors can be stressful for everyone. 

1) If you know your cat or dog is nervous when people visit your home, put him/her in another room or crate with a favorite toy. This will help reduce the emotional stress of your pet. 

2) Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, watch the exits, especially when people are entering or leaving. Your four-legged friend may make a break for it out the door when you are greeting guests. 

3) Make sure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information. This includes both microchips and tags. This way, if your pet does sneak out, they’re more likely to be returned to you.

If You Are Traveling With Your Pets for Thanksgiving: Be sure to take precautions if you are traveling with your pets for the holiday. 

1) Never leave your pets alone in vehicles, even for a short time.

2) Remember to pack for your pets – any medication, food, identification information, toys, etc. 

3) If you are driving a far distance, stop regularly so that your pet can stretch their legs, go potty, and have a drink of water. 

Thanksgiving and pets go hand in hand – after all, we’re forever thankful for our furry family members. That’s why it’s a good idea to follow these tips and make your Thanksgiving as pet-friendly as possible. 

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association (https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/thanksgiving-pet-safety)

Read more

Our Newest… Frog?

The world of animal rescue is often filled with surprises. We can honestly say this rescue was a first.

When our newest van (Vincent Van Go) arrived from transport yesterday, we had no idea there was an extra critter that wanted a new home. This little tree frog hopped into our van and had a sleepover.

He was discovered when a team member took the van out this morning. Unfortunately, he was injured. Some pet fur had wrapped around one of his tiny legs, and he needed a little help. Good thing he was at Planned PEThood of GA. We don’t normally work with frogs, but we love all creatures around here and wanted to help the poor thing. 

Interestingly, one of our relief veterinarians, Dr. Farrar, happens to be somewhat of a frog enthusiast, and she knew exactly what what kind of unique tree frog he was and how to help. The affectionately named Gimpy Van Go had the fur delicately removed from his leg and was given some treatment to help him heal. Dr. Farrar even decided to bring the little guy home! How about that? Happy life Gimpy Van Go! 

The Go Fix Georgia program can now add frog rescue to a long list of accomplishments. This program assists rural counties and communities with access to free or low-cost vaccines and spay/neuter services. Currently the program works closely with Newton, Habersham, and Athens-Clarke Counties to serve their animal control facilities and communities. 

 

Read more

Dog Mistaken for Coyote Survives Gunshot Wound

If you have never been to Habersham County, GA it is filled with scenic views located the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is an agricultural community known for peaches, apples, poultry, and the stunning Tallulah Gorge. This small and quite county is a lovely place to live, but it is often filled with wildlife such as bears and coyotes. 

After trying to catch a stray dog that was evading rescue for about a week, Habersham County Animal Control received an alert from 911 late one night. A woman called crying. She found a severely injured dog struggling. The face was barely recognizable and the dog needed help. (We won’t share those images, because you DO NOT want to see them. Trust us.)

Animal control sent out an officer and brought her immediately to an emergency veterinarian. She had been shot with a shot gun— in the face. A resident suspected she was a coyote on his property, and he shot her and left her for dead. The sweet girl, later named Tink, mustered up the energy to find a kind soul and beg for help. Habersham officers wanted desperately to help this dog, but unfortunately the county does not have a veterinary team, and has limited funding for special medical cases. They typically would have been out of options for Tink, and would have been forced to humanly euthanize her. However, Planned PEThood’s Go Fix Georgia program visits the shelter weekly to transport cats and dogs to our clinic for spay/neuter surgeries. 

Knowing that our van would be arriving the next day for transport, Habersham Animal Control contacted our Go Fix GA Coordinator, Tanya Weaver, begging for help. That set the wheels in motion. Our veterinarian, the amazing Dr. Simpson, quickly jumped on board with the rescue effort and agreed to see the dog and attempt to remove the pieces of bullet from her face and remove her injured eye. Our medical team didn’t hesitate to step up to add this sweet girl into their surgical day even though that meant they had to work late. Our staff has nothing but the best of intentions for every animal and could not ignore the severity of her injuries. Regardless of her pain, Tink was nothing but the sweetest dog who was the perfect patient. Her eye removal surgery went smoothly, and donations poured in from the community to help with her care. 

After a few weeks in recovery at Habersham Animal Control, and a follow-up spay surgery Tink was ready for adoption. As fate would have it, the woman who called 911 after finding this sweet soul decided to adopt her!

Her story is an example of why our Go Fix Georgia program is so vital for those counties just outside of our metro area. Without veterinarian care on staff, they were limited in options to care for her. We were able to step in and provide not only her spay surgery, but also the eye removal and fix her up so that she could be adopted out and not just another statistic. We hope you enjoy seeing her smiling and happy face, and thank you to everyone who donated for her care!

Read more