by Tawny Kissinger, Lifesaving Programs Coordinator, Humane Pennsylvania

When you think of a super hero, you may think of a cape, tights, and the ability to scale large buildings in a single bound. When we think of a super hero, we too image great feats – like possessing superhuman abilities, such as opening their hearts as wide as they can possibly go to let the love of a pet in need in, or the dedication to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, such as caring for orphaned kittens.

Fosters are the super heroes of the animal welfare world. They nurture a foster animal until that pet can be placed in a permanent home with a family who will love them unconditionally, and hey, no cape required.

Want to be a super hero? Here’s five reasons why fostering a shelter pet will miraculously make you a super hero.

  1. You’re Saving Lives

    Fostering a shelter animal will save that foster pet’s life and the life of another animal in need by freeing up space in our adoption centers.

    In 2018, approx. 500 animals entered our foster program. These pets were cared for by committed community members like yourself. Because so many animals were fostered, our organization had the capacity to save approx. 1,000 additional animals.

  2. Fostering Makes Everyone Happy

    Image being very comfortable in your environment and then suddenly being in very unfamiliar surroundings, feeling unsure and possibly scared. This unfortunately, is how many shelter animals feel when they arrive.

    However, this is where our super hero fosters swoop in to save the day. Fosters open both their homes and hearts to animals in need of a little extra TLC. This added attention is proven to reduce stress and increase feelings of acceptance and belonging for both the foster pet and their care taker.

  3. Like Mister Fantastic, Fostering Is Flexible

    Our foster program provides fostering opportunities for all shapes, sizes, and types of animals. From kittens to critters, to senior silver-paw dogs, there are many ways to become a super hero foster. Our adoption centers are open 7-days a week with 24/7 foster staff support to accommodate all different types of schedules and lifestyles.

  4. You’re Teaching A Foster Pet They’re Loved

    Through fostering, a pet receives human companionship that helps improve socialization skills, reinforces positive behaviors, and shows a homeless pet how to acclimate to a home environment. This type of interaction increases the pet’s adoptability and likelihood of being placed in a forever home.

  5. Getting Started Is Easy

    Monthly foster program orientations are held at both adoption centers in Lancaster County and Berks County. During these educational sessions, potential fosters learn about different foster opportunities that are available, the types of animals that may be seeking foster care, and the high level of quality resources and supports they will receive as a foster.

    All fostering supplies, such as food, pet beds, litter, leash, creates, toys, veterinary care, and etc. are provided by Humane Pennsylvania.

With great power, comes great responsibility. As a foster super hero you are giving a pet in need a second chance to thrive. Your care and compassion truly saves their lives and makes you an unstoppable advocate for the animals.

To learn more about upcoming foster orientations, the program, or the overall foster process, visit HumanePA.org, or contact Tawny Kissinger, Lifesaving Programs Coordinator via email at TKissinger@humanepa.org.

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Join Us At The Ballpark

July 8th, 2019 | Posted by marketing in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

by Lauren Henderson, Director of Events & Corporate Relations, Humane Pennsylvania

In 1977, the Humane Society of Berks County, hosted its very first Walk for the Animals. Here we are 42 years later as Humane Pennsylvania walking for the animals and better serving our community.

From a walk to a full-day experience, the Walk for the Animals event has transformed into a premier family-friendly community event. The Walk for the Animals & Walktoberfest is the oldest and largest animal welfare event in the region that attracts thousands of participants annually and is supported by animal lovers and their friends across the nation.

For over 40 years, Walkers have been helping raise funds and awareness to improve the lives of animals and the people who love them.

This year’s 42nd Annual Performance Toyota Walk for the Animals & Walktoberfest will be hosted at Reading’s iconic FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Reading Fightin Phils.

The stadium’s atmosphere and energy offers attendees and their dogs an ideal open and airy space to enjoy all of the day’s festivities including; a mile long walk, goods from local vendors and artisans, a VIP beer and wine garden, ball park concessions, live music, kids activities, and more.

During the planning of this year’s Walk for the Animals & Walktoberfest, Karen Linder, Charitable Giving Coordinator, of presenting sponsor Performance Toyota, shared…

“Performance Toyota is excited to partner again with Humane Pennsylvania on their Walk for the Animals. Their cutting edge approach to animal welfare in Berks and Lancaster counties has a huge positive impact on the lives of animals and the caregivers who love them. We are proud to support Humane Pennsylvania’s courageous and compassionate dedication to providing lifesaving services to the animals in their care.”

This community-wide family-friendly event is free, and open to the public!

In conjunction with the Walk and Walktoberfest, community pet owners seeking high-quality veterinary care for their pets are encouraged to attend the Healthy Pets: Free Vaccine & Microchip Clinic. The clinic will provide free vaccine and microchip services to all community pet owners from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The clinic is located on stadium grounds and preregistration is required. Visit HumanePA.org to learn more and register for services.

Join us on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, PA for a fun-filled day, all as you show your support for the homeless, neglected, and abused animals in our care.

Learn more, become a sponsor, and register to walk by visiting HumanePA.org or contacting Lauren Henderson, Director of Events & Corporate Relations at lhenderson@humanepa.org or via phone at (610) 750-6100, ext. 211.

We’ll see you at the ball park!

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by Lindsay High, Director of Marketing, Humane Pennsylvania

Each year many of us celebrate Independence Day with friends and family; enjoying barbeques and lively firework shows. However, these traditions can frighten and at times be dangerous to your pets. Follow these useful tips to keep your pets safe during the festive summer holiday.

NEVER Use Fireworks around Pets

  • Lit fireworks can be extremely dangerous to pets. Sparks from the fireworks can cause severe burns and/or trauma to face, paws, and skin.
    o Never use fireworks around your pets as many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Leave Pets at Home

  • While most humans enjoy summer parties, most pets do not. Loud noises, crowded areas, and unfamiliar settings, can frighten pets and cause them to become stressed and disoriented.
    o For your pet’s safety, refrain from taking them to Fourth of July festivities, instead leave them at home, away from direct noises, in their own environment in which they feel safe.

Keep ID Current

  • Loud noises from fireworks and other festivities may scare your pet and cause them to escape from your yard or home, if they are not safely enclosed. Be sure your pet is always wearing a collar with an ID tag that includes; your name, current phone number and any other relevant contact information.
    o July 1 is National ID Your Pet Day, which serves as an annual check-in to make sure your pets’ identification tags and microchip information is up to date. Have your pet microchipped to increase the likelihood that they will be returned to you safely if a separation were to occur.
    o Visit HumanePA.org to learn more about our Healthy Pets Initiative, which provides microchip services to keep pets safe and happy in their homes.

Avoid These Poison Hazards

Create Barbeque Boundaries

  • Barbeques are a lot of fun, full of delicious foods and drinks…for humans. However, some of these items can be deadly to your pets. Be sure your pets can not get in to any alcoholic beverages. Also keep in mind that many human foods are not meant for pets, pet treats are always better to give your pets than human food, as human foods can cause severe digestive issues for pets.
    o Be sure to avoid avocado, raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.

No Glow Jewelry for Pets

While it might look cute to put glow jewelry or glow sticks on your pets, the plastic and chemicals inside the tube are hazardous to pets if ingested.
o If your pet chews and/or swallows the plastic attachments or chemicals, they can be at risk for excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation, as well as intestinal blockage from swallowing large pieces of the plastic.

Safely Store Matches and Lighter Fluid

  • Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which, if ingested, can be hazardous to pets. Lighter fluid, meanwhile, can be irritating to your pet’s skin, and, if swallowed, can cause gastrointestinal irritation, and other issues.
    o Be sure to store all matches and lighter fluid in a safe place where pets cannot access the items by jumping or climbing.

If your pet ingest a poisonous substance, like the ones listed above, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately. Do not induce vomiting or give anything orally to your pet unless specifically directed to do so by your veterinarian.

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Pet Nutrition: Myth vs. Fact

June 24th, 2019 | Posted by marketing in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

by Dr. Misha Neumann, Humane Veterinary Hospitals Lancaster

There are a lot of buzzwords when it comes to pet food and it can be confusing to anyone wanting to feed their pet the best diet. Here are a few words and phrases commonly seen on food labels and what they actually mean.

Holistic

We think that holistic means all natural, organic, grain free. There is actually no legal definition for this word under the pet food laws. This means that anyone can claim their food is holistic.

Natural

We think of this as being free of chemicals, free range livestock, antibiotic free meat sources, and ingredients found in the environment. When “natural” is written on a pet food label, it actually means that the ingredients have not been chemically made. Natural does NOT mean that the food is organic.

Organic

Words that come to mind with this word include pesticide free, locally sourced, all natural, antibiotic free, etc. In order for a food to be certified organic, as in carrying the USDA’s organic seal, 95% of the food content must be organic by weight. This means that the product must be grown using animal or vegetable fertilizers (bone meal, manure, compost).

Dinner, Platter, Entrée, Formula

When you see these words on the bag or can, it means that only 25% of the main ingredient (chicken dinner, beef entrée, seafood platter) is included.

With

If a label says it is made with an ingredient, it means that only 3% of that ingredient needs to be included in the recipe.

Flavor

This incredibly vague term just means that a flavor must be recognized by the pet.

By Products

Most people think that by products are inedible parts of the animal (beaks, feet, feathers, etc.). By products may actually be the best ingredients to feed pets! They are parts of the animals that are typically thrown away when making human food, but include organ meats like liver, fats, and vegetable oils. Feeding by products is actually an environmentally friendly way to provide pets with good nutrition.

This food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) means that the food has no documented effects on animals. The food was not actually tested for digestibility.

The pet food aisle is a confusing place to navigate, and I hope this article helps bust the myths of common words on pet food labels. In general, make sure that the food does have the AAFCO label on it because it has undergone some regulation. You really want it to say that the food underwent a feeding trial because it means that an animal has actually eaten it and the effects of the food were studied.

To learn more about pet nutrition, please contact us and we’d be happy to provide more insights.

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by Leann Quire, Director of Shelter Operations, Humane Pennsylvania

June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month!

Not only is June a great time to celebrate cat adoptions because, well, cats are amazing, but also because kitten season has officially commenced. Kitten season means shelters are overflowing with cats and kittens who need help.

Let’s discuss why cats are simply purrfect creatures, and end with some ways you can support your local shelter during this busy feline time.

What is not to love about cats?

Most people see a kitten and will melt on the spot. Adult cats will charm you with their unique personalities, whether they are goofy and loving or confident and independent. But, if you aren’t someone who is automatically impressed by the feline species and you need further convincing as to why cats are so wonderful, here are some reasons cats can make your life immensely better.

  • A huge advantage to having a cat is that you don’t need to go outside when it is hot, cold, raining, or snowing just so they can relieve themselves.
  • They can use the litterbox on their own and generally require little to no training to use the litterbox. No soggy slippers trying to do a late night bathroom break in a thunderstorm for these creatures.
  • They don’t need fancy toys to be happy and are very resourceful. Order a super cool treat feeder online and put the toy and box it came in on the floor and see which one your cat is more interested in. Most cats enjoy a good box to climb into for playtime or a snooze. That pen you dropped (or they knocked off the table) will become their new favorite toy to bat around, which means it will end up under the couch with the rest of the fun “toys” your cat discovered. This doesn’t mean your cat won’t love those silly mice filled with cat nip, but you will enjoy seeing the things you didn’t intend for them to play with become their new obsessions. You can provide you cat lots of fun for relatively low-cost. Three words, ping pong balls.
  • Your health can improve. When people envision therapy animals they generally think of dogs first, but cats can also be fantastic healers and increase mental and physical benefits. From lowering blood pressure to relieving the feelings of loneliness or depression, cats can make you feel better!
  • Many cats are natural hunters, even if they never set foot outside. Rodent or bug problem? Your feline may be able to help with that whether they catch them for you or simply let you know you have a pest problem and might need to contact a professional pest control company. While a natural hunter can be great to keep the pests at bay, remember that all cats are individuals and I know many cats who would prefer their midday catnap to a game of catch the mouse.
  • We all know laughter is one of the great joys in life. Cats absolutely bring more laughter into your home. From smelling your face (cats are curious little things), fitting in the smallest of spaces (I will never understand how my cat fits in my shoes), to making odd chirping noises, cats are weird and wonderful all at the same time. They provide regular amusement that brightens our day.

Maybe you absolutely can’t adopt right now because of medical reasons, landlord policies, or roommates. There are other things you can do to support Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month.

You can donate so that your local shelter can continue to buy the resources needed to care for cats during their stay in the shelter. Fostering is a lifesaving effort and is a great way to help socialize young kittens to become more adoptable when they return to the shelter. We are always looking for fosters, so if you are interested please contact our Lifesaving Programs Coordinator, Tawny Kissinger.

Donate supplies or your time. This time of year we are always in need of cat litter, wet cat food, and kitten formula. You can find a full version of our wish list items here on our website.

There are so many ways you can help. If you are already the wonderful adopter of a cat from a shelter, thank you! This month is to celebrate you and what you did to save a cat from the shelter and give him or her the home they deserve.

Basically, cats are fascinating creatures who believe they are tiny, wild, lions that rule the home. They make you laugh and make you feel like you have a purpose in caring for another life (you will never feel more popular than when you shake a cat treat bag).

They come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. So, visit us today and find out for yourself why the Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats.

*Also, it only seemed fitting to dedicate this to one of the most famous felines who passed away last month. RIP Grumpy Cat. This one goes out to you.

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Hot Weather Pet Care Tips

June 5th, 2019 | Posted by marketing in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

by Lindsay High, Director of Marketing, Humane Pennsylvania

As sweltering summer temps arrive, your pets face increased risks and potential health related issues associated with managing the heat. Keep your pets cool and safe during the summer months with these useful tips.

Pet Check

  • During the summer, many pets…and people spend more time outdoors. Schedule a check-up appointment with your vet prior to the dog days of summer to ensure your pets have a comprehensive protection plan to help safeguard against increased risks of exposure to fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Our caring veterinarians would be happy to help get your pet summer ready! Visit hvhospitals.org to learn more about our veterinary services.o These are year-round issues but in the summer months, with much more outdoor time, it’s especially important to monitor them. When temperatures rise above 90 degrees, pets can become more susceptible to heat related risks, such as overheating. When pets are outdoors, be sure to provide adequate shade and fresh water. During sweltering days, its best to limit the time your pets spend outdoors, including reducing the duration of daily walks.

DO NOT Leave Your Pets in the Car

  • On warm summer days, it only takes a few minutes for the inside of a vehicle to reach dangerously high temperatures. The result of which could lead to a fatal heatstroke for your pet. Never, ever leave your pets in the vehicle on a warm summer day, it’s the law.o This new law raises awareness of the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars and empowers law enforcement to make decisions on behalf of an animal’s welfare by:
    Allowing a police office, humane officer, animal control officer or other public safety professionals to remove a dog or cat from an unattended motor vehicle if they believe the dog or cat is in imminent danger or harm after a reasonable search for the operator of the vehicle.
    Protecting a police officer, humane officer, or public safety professional who removes a dog or cat from an unattended vehicle from liability for any damages.
    Requiring that an officer who removes a dog or cat from an unattended vehicle must leave a conspicuous note for the owner stating the officer’s information and the information for where to pick up the pet.
    Updating the definition of neglect, prohibiting the confinement of a dog or cat in an unattended motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health and well-being of the animal.
    PA House Bill 1216, the Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act, Hot Car Law

Hydration is Key

  • When it’s hot and sticky outside, pets are more susceptible to becoming dehydrated. Be sure to give them plenty of clean, fresh water.o Also, when your pets are outdoors, make sure they have a shady spot to seek refuge from sun’s glaring rays. This will help them stay cool and comfortable all summer long.

Keep an Eye on their Paws

  • As the summer sun beats down, common surfaces such asphalt or metal can become extremely hot. Be mindful of these surfaces and keep your pets off them during peak day time hours of 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.o Exposure to these hot surfaces, including hot asphalt and truck beds, can burn your pet’s paws. Exposure may also increase their body temperature, which could lead to overheating. For added protection, shorten walks to prevent overheating and plan them for off-peak times of the day, such as early morning or evenings when asphalt is cooler.

Barbeque Boundaries

  • Barbeques are a lot of fun, full of delicious foods and drinks…for humans. However, some of these items can be deadly to your pets. Be sure your pets can not get in to any alcoholic beverages and human snacks are not pet treats. They can cause severe digestive issues for pets.o Be sure to avoid avocado, raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
    o If your pet ingest a poisonous substance, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately. Do not induce vomiting or give anything orally to your pet unless specifically directed to do so by your veterinarian.

Window Safety

  • Cats love windowsills, it’s an ideal place to perch and observe their surroundings. Keep your cats safe by making sure that window screens are securely placed in each window in our home.o When your windows are open, the screen will help keep cats’ safe inside and ensure they don’t fall out of the window.
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by Chelsea Cappellano, Donor & Alumni Relations Coordinator, Humane Pennsylvania

You may recall Doug, now Milo, a year old Shiba Inu, was found by a local police officer and brought to Humane Pennsylvania. He was in poor condition and suffering from an extreme case of mange. To give him the best chance at a full recovery, Milo was placed on an intensive treatment plan. After months of care he showed improvement and was cleared for adoption. Thankfully within a few days of becoming available, he was adopted.

Since finding his forever home, his family has discovered just how smart, curious, and lovable he is. He enjoys long walks around the neighborhood, playing hide and go seek around the house, and socializing with any new dog friends. He also really enjoys playing with toys – his favorite being his “foxy,” which his family believes he likes it because it looks like him.

We are so grateful to the police officer who saved him from deplorable conditions and to Milo’s new family, for giving him a second chance at life. Visit our website to learn more about ways that you can help save pets like Milo.

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by Tawny Kissinger, Lifesaving Programs Coordinator, Humane Pennsylvania

Humane Pennsylvania provides several focused lifesaving programs. One of these programs is our Bottle Baby Kitten Program. The program was developed to provide resources to care takers that are caring for orphaned kittens that are too you to be adopted. Young kittens that are separated from their mother sadly are unlikely to survive on their own without assistance.

Did you know?

  • Kittens under 4 weeks of age need kitten formula. Our Bottle Baby Kitten Kits come complete with a can of kitten formula. Never feed your kitten cow’s milk! Cow’s milk can cause diarrhea, which could quickly dehydrate a kitten.
  • The greatest single danger to bottle baby kittens is hypothermia or getting cold. Between 0-4 weeks kittens are unable to control their body temperature. This is why we include a rice sock in our Bottle Baby Kitten Kits. Having a warm rice sock in the kitten’s enclosure will help them stay warm.
  • Handling kittens regularly is important to socialize them. Kittens under 4 weeks of age should only be handled for 5-10 minutes at a time. Too much handling at one time can be stressful.

As part of Humane Pennsylvania’s Bottle Baby Kitten Program, we offer care takers of unweaned kittens a helpful kitten kit. This free Bottle Baby Kitten Kit is available to any community members that are seeking insights for how to best nurse and care for unweaned kittens.

Bottle Baby Kitten Kit: Unboxing Video

Visit HumanePA.org to learn more about this and other lifesaving programs, or contact Lifesaving Programs Coordinator, Tawny Kissinger at tkissinger@humanepa.org.

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by Leann Quire, Director of Shelter Operations, Humane Pennsylvania

Last week, Deb Dreisbach won the American Red Cross Animal Rescue Hero award. Each year the American Red Cross awards this honor to either an animal who protected a human in a time of need, or an individual who protected an animal from pain or suffering. This year the award went to an amazing individual and we want to take the time to congratulate this beautiful person who has helped our organization to save numerous lives, and is continuing to save more and more lives in our community.

Deb, or Debbie as many of us refer to her by, worked at the Humane Society of Berks County in 2007 and assisted as a front office employee. As an employee, Debbie was able to get a full view of what went on in an animal shelter. Over a decade ago, I can tell you that it wasn’t a pretty place. Debbie was upset to see that many animals were being euthanized at that time and there was just not enough space for the ones that kept coming in and needed help, especially cats. Being the compassionate and intelligent person she is, Deb knew that more needed to be done to stop the flow of animals from entering the shelter in the first place.

Knowing the importance of spay and neuter, Debbie worked with No Nonsense Neutering and found a location in Reading, at 1500 Frush Valley Road, for a high-volume spay and neuter clinic. She became a board member for No Nonsense Neutering and played an active role to make sure they helped become a part of the solution to increase spay and neuter in Berks County and decrease animal intakes in the shelters.

Debbie became the go-to person for feral and kitten assistance and advice. She created a barn home program that helped relocate numerous feral cats escape euthanasia and find their way out of the shelter and into alternative placement housing. Although she is no longer a Humane Pennsylvania employee, Debbie is frequently a friendly and welcoming face we still see around our veterinary hospital and shelter in Berks.

Whether she is at a vet appointment, picking up a three legged foster, transporting a feral to their new home, or performing feral cat workshops with our staff, Debbie is still an integral part of our organization. As someone who has had the pleasure of knowing Debbie for over a decade, I can attest that Debbie is beautiful inside and out. She always has a story about her adventures with trapping that will make you laugh until your side hurts, but the next minute she can have you in tears with how she managed to save an animal that anyone else would have thought was not able to be saved.

She is purely a good human.

I was fortunate to attended two different conferences over the past few months, which allowed me to be in the same room as hundreds of other animal welfare professionals, people with similar passions and dreams. It made me realize how important it is to appreciate those around you, fighting the same fight. At these conferences I watched connections happen between complete strangers who knew nothing about the other person, yet knowing that one of them had a specific need to help animals, and the other person had a solution to that problem, was enough to bring the two together.

The great relationship between Debbie Dreisbach and our organization has created so many lifesaving opportunities for animals of all sorts. A shared goal and innate desire to help others is what sets a foundation to move forward together.

Jim Stovall said,

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.”

This is a very moving statement, because in animal welfare we all share many of the same goals and too often we forget we are all in it for the same reason. If we can lift each other up, support one another, and work together, then we can do more and better things.

Debbie Dreisbach, you have been an employee, rescue partner, foster, and best of all, friend to Humane Pennsylvania for over a decade. We are so thankful to have someone like you in the community to help the people and animals have better lives. We are so proud of you and want to congratulate you on your well-deserved American Red Cross Animal Rescue Hero award.

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by Karel Minor, President & CEO, Humane Pennsylvania

What’s the one thing that people could do that would save more animals’ live every year more than anything else? Microchip identification.

More animals die in animal shelters each year based on being unidentified strays than for any other reason. Fundamentally, any animal that enters a shelter as a stray and doesn’t get back into its owner’s arms swiftly faces a huge risk. No matter the reason it is ultimately killed – lack of space, illness, behavior – the original cause is that it didn’t go home.

Dogs are far more likely to be reclaimed as stray by their owners for two reasons:

  1. They are more likely to wear a collar with some form of ID or license.
  2. When your dog runs off, you are more likely to call the local shelter or police soon after.

Even with these two factors, shelters are lucky to have 20% of stray dogs claimed by their owners. So only 1 in 5 of the hundreds and thousands of stray dogs being picked up in Berks County each year get back to an original owner.

For cats it is even worse, with a typical owner claim rate of 1-2%. That’s because cats rarely have collars and ID (the old “I don’t want my cat strangled on a collar” line is darling, since apparently people would rather their cats die in an animal shelter) and because people tend to think a cat can wander off for a day or two, or seven, before calling a shelter or local police. In that time a stray cat has likely already faced death or been adopted in a shelter.

But cats and dogs who have identification have completely the opposite outcome, with 90% or more getting returned to owners. The simple act of giving your pet ID could save its life and save the lives of other animals in a shelter by not taking up precious space for days or weeks as an unidentified stray.

There is no easier way to identify your pet than with a tiny, safe, cheap microchip implanted under its skin and registering that chip with a national database. It can’t lose a chip like it can a collar. Every shelter, and most police departments, now have universal scanners. Most microchips come with free registration of your name and address. All vets and most shelters offer microchipping services.

Universal microchipping could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of pets each year in American shelters. We believe this is the single most important thing you can do to avoid preventable death of your pet. That’s why we incorporated it into our groundbreaking Healthy Pets, Healthy Communities initiative as a cornerstone of the program. It’s why we microchip every pet adopted from us.

In fact, we think it’s so important we have made it free to all. Humane Pennsylvania and our animal hospitals started providing all clients’ pets with free registered microchips. Zero charge.

All vet clients will be offered a free chip during a regularly scheduled exam, treatment or surgery. Any client utilizing our newly expanded ultra-low cost sterilization services gets a free chip during surgery.

At any of our Healthy Pets, Healthy Communities free microchip clinics, microchips are offered to all for no charge. When our new Berks County shelter is built and operating, we will be working on a program to allow for walk-ins to receive on demand microchip services.

Our goal is to implant an additional 20,000 microchips in Berks County pets (as part of our recent Giorgi Family Grant) in the next three years, with the greater goal of ensuring that 100% of Berks and Lancaster County eventually have microchip identification.We project that increased microchipping will result in fewer strays lingering in shelters because their owners can be identified.

The closer to universal we can get adoptions of this type of ID, the fewer and fewer the number of unclaimed strays will be. That will free up space for truly homeless animals. It will decrease the burden on animal control agencies. It will decrease costs for municipal and state governments.

And it will save lives. Lots and lots of lives.

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