neuter

Get to Know Dr. Murphy, Our Superstar Vet

Dr. Murphy had always dreamt of becoming a veterinarian since her childhood. Her family fondly referred to her as Ellie May, after a character from an old TV show, due to her immense love for animals. This nickname from her childhood foreshadowed her future career path as a skilled and devoted veterinarian. 

She recalls one of her most memorable experiences working with animals during her time at the University of Tennessee. She worked in the rehab department during clinics where she encountered a yellow lab named Max. Max was suffering from disc disease that eventually caused hind limb paralysis. Though he had undergone surgery and an intensive two-month rehabilitation, he couldn’t regain control over his hind legs or bladder.

Dr. Murphy formed a deep bond with Max during his stay. Recognizing the importance of providing him with proper care, she decided to adopt Max and became his devoted caretaker for the final four years of his life.

Fostering animals also holds a special place in the heart of Dr. Murphy. Her favorite part is observing the transformation of the animals as they regain their health and confidence in the comfort of her home. She says that the happiness she feels when her fosters find their forever homes is both heartwarming and bittersweet. Dr. Murphy has fostered 43 animals since joining the Planned PEThood team.

Dr. Murphy’s journey is a story of compassion and dedication. Since joining the team in June of 2022, Dr. Murphy performed 9,598 surgeries, some of those including leg amputations, prolapse repairs, and several other emergency surgeries. 

At Planned PEThood, her expertise and love for helping animals shine as she contributes to making a huge impact! Please join us in thanking Dr. Murphy for her incredible efforts to help animals in Georgia!

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Sometimes Surgeries Aren’t Always What They Seem

Last week, we had an incredible shelter day!

Our Go Fix Georgia Program helped 60 shelter cats and dogs with spay/neuter surgeries, vaccines, and even a couple of special surgeries. 

We wanted to highlight a very sweet, special pup we saw, Strawberry! Strawberry arrived at Planned PEThood early Thursday morning from one of our partner shelters. She was on our schedule for a straightforward spay surgery. However, upon sedation, we found a huge stick, embedded in the roof of her mouth. Ouch! Can you imagine how much pain she must have been in prior to surgery?

Our veterinary team quickly managed to remove the large stick and move forward with Strawberry’s spay surgery. We have no doubt she felt so much relief upon waking up! Now, Strawberry has headed back to Hall County Animal Shelter pain-free, ready to find her forever home! This lovable pup is available for adoption through Hall County.

This is just one of many unique cases that our vet team encounters on shelter days. This team not only provides expert medical care but also a loving touch for the dogs and cats that come to our facility. Spay/neuter, medical care, and life-saving surgeries for shelter animals are at the heart of our Go Fix Georgia Program.

Just a friendly reminder, NEVER let your dog chew on bones (chicken, steak, etc.) or sticks as they can splinter, become lodged like this, or be swallowed and puncture through the digestive tract. Let’s keep our fur babies safe!

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Feral Cat Day

In honor of Feral Cat Day, a local cat advocate made a generous contribution that enabled us to offer FREE services for feral cats! During our two-day event, 77 community cats were spayed, neutered, and rabies vaccinated.��

One unfixed female cat can produce up to 5 litters a year, starting at just 4 months of age, making spaying and neutering a critical need. Trap, Neuter, and Return (T.N.R.) is the only humane solution to reduce the suffering caused by the overpopulation of cats. Once cats are fixed, they return to where they were trapped to continue living their life!��

People who are involved in T.N.R. usually spend their own time, money, and resources to help cats in their communities- so this event was SO appreciated. Our anonymous donor expressed that witnessing this event was “one of the best days of her life.” It was heartwarming all around.

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Lost Pet Prevention Month: How You Can Help Your Pet

Pets are a part of the family. The last thing you want is for something 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. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime. Tragically, many of these pets may not ever find their way back home. Losing a pet is like losing a loved one. It’s an experience no one should ever have to go through. National Lost Pet Prevention Month serves as the perfect reminder to make sure your pet stays safe and doesn’t get lost. 

Here are 6 helpful tips to make sure you don’t lose your pet: 

1. Microchip your pets. Microchipping is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to increase the chances that your pet will return home if lost. A microchip is a tiny electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, that is injected under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. When scanned by a microchip scanner, the microchip transmits an identification number. Animal shelters and veterinary clinics scan a pet’s microchip to get this identification number, then contact the registry in order to find contact information for the owners. The unique identification number doesn’t do any good unless you register it with a National Pet Recovering Database with your up-to-date contact information. Not sure which company to call? Type in your pet’s chip number at https://old.petmicrochiplookup.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. Planned PEThood offers microchips through our Spay/Neuter Clinic and our Wellness Clinic for only $25 and that includes registration. 

2. Get a secure collar with ID tags. While your pet may never travel farther than your backyard or may never go outside at all, all pets should wear a collar with an ID. The ID should have their owner’s current contact information, including your pet’s name, your name, address, and phone number. You never know when your furry friend might make a mad dash out the door to investigate something. It’s important to check your dog’s collar routinely to make sure it’s still in proper shape. Collars can become loose and fall off or become torn. Tags are available at most pet stores and even many Walmart locations. 

3. Use leashes and carriers when outside the house. It’s important to use leashes or carriers when visiting the vet or when venturing outside. When you have your pets outside and not confined by a fenced yard, keep them on a leash. This will ensure they don’t run off to chase a squirrel and end up getting lost. This is especially important when you’re away from home in unfamiliar territory.

4. Secure your yard and home. One of the most common ways pets get lost is when they escape their yard. Make sure to routinely check the fencing around your yard to ensure they can’t wiggle through it or dig their way out. From fallen limbs to flash floods, many things can cause fences to become insecure, making it easier to escape. 

5. Make sure to spay/neuter your pets. Sterilizing your cat/dog reduces his/her urge to roam and get lost. When male pets aren’t neutered, they have a higher tendency to seek out females. This means that an unneutered pet is more likely to wander off from home and get lost trying to seek out female dogs. Female dogs also benefit from spaying surgery. Aggressive males can cause females to bolt. Male pets that haven’t been neutered also experience behavioral issues that make them less likely to recall or listen to commands. 

6. Pay attention to your pet. Paying attention to your pet is an easy way to prevent your pet from getting lost. No matter where you take your pet, you should pay attention to them and their surroundings, especially in unfamiliar locations. Your pet should always be in eyesight of you. Whether they’re in your backyard, at a dog park, or visiting friends or family, supervising your pets will prevent them from escaping. 

Keeping your pets safe, happy, and healthy is the most important thing you can do. Even if you believe you are the safest pet parent in the world, it’s a good idea to review these tips. While you’re at it, give them a big hug!

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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. 

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Thank You BISSELL Pet Foundation!

We want to take this time to give a huge THANK YOU to our partner, BISSELL Pet Foundation. Through two of their programs, we have been able to help pets find their forever homes and pet owners get the spay and neuter surgeries their pets need. Ultimately, both of these programs help end pet homelessness! 

The first week of October was BISSELL Pet Foundation’s “Empty the Shelters” quarterly event. 10 kitties are in their forever homes this week thanks to Cathy Bissell and the Bissell Pet Foundation. Their “Empty the Shelters” effort helped sponsor reduced adoption fees for $25 or less at over 200 shelters and rescues across the country, including Planned PEThood of GA. 

Bissell began the “Empty the Shelters” event in 2016 as an effort to encourage more families to adopt a pet into their home. Since then, BISSELL Pet Foundation has expanded its “Empty the Shelters” reach to organizations in 47 states and Canada with over 500 partners. 

Below is a list of the adopted cats and pictures of a few of the adopted animals! We still have lots of cats and kittens in need of homes so view our adoptable cats here!

Happy life to Caramelo, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Ryder, Ebon & Estra, Fred, Babesita, Smokey, and Gretel! We are so glad you all found your forever homes! 

Through BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Spay/Neuter Grant, Planned PEThood has been able to help local pet owners safely spay and neuter their pets at a low cost or no cost. This helps end pet homelessness by preventing unwanted litters and decreasing the number of pets entering shelters. They have awarded grants in all 50 states and over 5,600 partner organizations. BISSELL Pet Foundation awarded Planned PEThood of GA $6,875 in funds to help more than 200 pets with free or reduced spay-neuter procedures.  Thanks to BISSELL Pet Foundation, pets, like Halo and Orianna, were able to get spayed and neutered. Thank you, BISSELL Pet Foundation and Cathy Bissell, for helping these pets in need! Remember, every Bissell product helps a pet in need. 

Bissell Empty the Shelter Event

Bissell Spay/Neuter Grant

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Celebrate National Feral Cat Day!

October 16th is National Feral Cat Day. It’s the perfect day to celebrate these kitties and learn what you can do to help them!

You’ve probably seen a feral cat roaming near you. They are found all over the country – around neighborhoods, apartment complexes, work, shopping centers, gas stations, schools, highway rest stops, warehouses, and any little hiding place you can imagine.

They often get a bad reputation and are labeled as mean, aggressive, and even unadoptable. In reality, they are just misunderstood. 

These cats live outside and fend for themselves. They fear and hide from people because they’ve never been properly socialized with humans. They may have been born outside, abandoned, or just wandered away. Often, they don’t want to be a pet and just prefer an outdoor lifestyle. No matter where they came from, they deserve a chance at life! Whether a cat’s home is in our houses or in our communities, they deserve our care, our support, and our love!

Without getting spayed or neutered, these cats can quickly multiply and become unmanageable with kittens, kittens, and more kittens. Just one female can have up to 24 kittens a year and 100 in her lifespan. 

The statistics can be overwhelming sometimes – how many cats are euthanized in shelters, how many kittens one unaltered cat can have, how many cats must be spayed/neutered before we can see a positive change in our community – it goes on and on. BUT – the best thing you can do to help these kitties is Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR)!

TNR is the most humane and effective method known for managing these feral cats and reducing their numbers. During TNR, cats are trapped and brought into a veterinary clinic, such as Planned PEThood, where they are spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and ear-tipped. After they’ve recovered from their surgery, these cats are returned back to their original outdoor homes. When left unaltered, these cats can reproduce, and before you know it, there will be dozens and dozens of cats living in your neighborhood. 

We strongly believe in TNR and we want to help you help these feral kitties! This is why at Planned PEThood of GA, we offer a variety of ways to help these community cats. We offer humane trap loans at NO CHARGE to the public plus we can teach you how to set up the trap and tell you some of our tips and tricks for TNR. We want to help you go out there and help these feral and community cats.

These cats deserve the world. TNR is the most loving thing you can do to help a feral kitty live their healthiest outdoor life. We hope you will TNR to help these kitties!

MAKE A GIFT TO HELP FERAL CATS

For additional questions, visit our TNR resource page or email communitycats@PEThoodGA.org

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Giving Back to Gwinnett: Business RadioX Interview

Earlier this month Planned PEThood of Georgia was invited to participate in “Giving Back to Gwinnett,” a radio segment on Business RadioX.  

Listen to Lauren Frost, Development Coordinator for Planned PEThood, on Business RadioX.

The interview gives detailed insight into the vast array of services Planned PEThood of Georgia offers to the community. Planned PEThood is dedicated to helping pets and the people who care for them with innovative programs and affordable services that save lives.

Planned PEThood’s programs include operating a low-cost spay/neuter clinic that fixes 8,500 dogs and cats each year; offering low-cost vaccination clinics at least once a month serving more than 1,000 pets a year; and rescuing and rehabilitating about nearly 1,000 homeless pets each year. In addition to these critical services, Planned PEThood also offers community cat assistance such as humane trap loans, and its newest program, Go Fix Georgia, reaches out to rural and remote areas in Georgia in need to spay/neuter assistance. 

The first 15 minutes of the interview are dedicated to Planned PEThood of GA, and the second half of the interview features guests from Camp Dream, another Georgia based charity.

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