Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cordi's Heart Update

Joyce M called one of the specialist surgeons that Dr. Miller referred Joa’s Arc to last Friday and, as luck would have it, they had an opening on Monday for an appointment. So, off we went to Malvern, PA, and the HOPE facility.

Dr. Cole was wonderful! He did another echo on Cordi's heart and said exactly what Dr. Miller said - Cordi's heart condition was one of the worst he's seen. Two specialist, the same scary statement - ah!!!

Here's the picture Dr. Cole drew us trying to explain what was going on in Cordi's heart and what the surgery would accomplish. See that "25"? That's the average rate a normal/moderate heart should be working. Cordi that day was at 225!

Dr. Cole said Cordi didn't need the surgery immediately, but soon if we wanted to save her life and, as luck would have it again, they happened to have a surgical opening the next day - so we left her in their good hands to be prepped for surgery.

And the results? Cordi survived the surgery, was spayed at the same time and her number has drastically come down already!

Although Cordi needs to be on medication right now, there's the very real possibility that Cordi can live a medication-free, long, "normal" life!!

Joa’s Arc still needs to raise the funds - we literally emptied our account and set up a payment plan for the rest in order for Cordi to have her life-saving surgery!

Please, if you have not done so already, make a donation to Joa’s Arc so we can pay off Cordi's surgery.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Help Cordi's Heart

She runs, she loves everyone she meets (cats, dogs, people), she jumps, she leaps, she whole-body-wiggles with excitement ... and she has a heart murmur.

This is Cordi and she came into a local shelter where it was determined she had a fairly severe heart murmur - making her not a candidate for adoption at a very busy shelter.

That's about as special needs as it gets!

The vet at the shelter said her heart murmur is a possible grade 3 or 4, but Cordi really needs an echo done to see what exactly is going on inside this poor girl. Enlarged heart? Defect? The congenital defect some pits can have that could be fixed surgically, if that's what it is.

Cordi is sweet, silly, lovable and just wants to run and play ... but her heart condition is limiting that ability right now. She's more tired than your average puppy and when she gets really excited, her chest feels like a cat purring because of how severe her heart murmur is.

Joa’s Arc is currently trying to raise $600 for Cordi to see a cardio specialist and have a full work up done to see how (if) we can help her live a better, more full life ... and hopefully be more adoptable!

We need the funds first though.

Cordi has so much life inside her and so much love to give - please consider donating to help Cordi's heart.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hello from Cordi

This sweet little girl came into a local shelter and it was determined she had a fairly severe heart murmur - making her not a very good candidate for adoption at a very busy shelter.

Cordi, as we're calling her, is sweet, silly, lovable and just wants to run and play ... but her heart condition is limiting that ability. She's more tired than your average puppy and when she gets really excited, her chest feels like a cat purring.

Joa’s Arc is currently trying to raise $600 for Cordi to see a cardio specialist and have a full work up done to see how (if) we can help her live a better, more full life ... and hopefully be more adoptable!

Cordi has so much love to give - please consider donating to help Cordi's heart.

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Monday, October 15, 2012


Daphne has been adopted! She went home during the STAF Dog Walk event. Her mom is excited to have such a sweet little girl to love up, train (get her CGC!) and take around to be one awesome example of a bully.

"I would officially like to welcome Daphne to the BRPBR family!!! ~ Melissa"

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Need Plans this Weekend?

Saturday: Yard Sale to benefit Joa’s Arc.

The yard sale will be held Saturday Oct. 13 (rain date Sunday Oct. 14) from 9am - 2pm at 1509 Market Street, Gloucester City.

All proceeds go directly to the animals. Please come out and help the animals of Joa’s Arc.

If you have any items to donate to help the animals, please contact

Sunday: the 2nd Annual STAF Day of Wine and Noses is Sunday, October 14th from noon - 5pm at Cedarvale Winery (Swedesboro, New Jersey 08085). Registration starts at 11:00am for the dog walk. Registration Fee is $10 per Adult (16 and over). Dogs and Kids (under 16 - must be accompanied by an adult) are free.

There will be a fun run or walk (whichever you prefer) around the fields of the Winery, pumpkin prizes, costume contents, wine tasting, Blessing of the Animals and lots of vendors. We are pleased that Rocky Digati has agreed to Sing for us again this year! So please come help us raise much needed funds to continue the STAF low cost spay/neuter programs.

Although the walk is for people and dogs, feel free to bring a PICTURE of your favorite feline, hamster, bunny, horse, guinea pig, goat, ferret, etc. or maybe a PICTURE of a pet that has passed on and walk in their memory/honor.

Joa’s Arc will have a table set up at the STAF walk/gathering and Daphne will be there for a bit as well. Stop by and wish our sweet girl luck (and lots of good behavior) in her new home - she's being adopted that same day!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Announcement Anniversary!

3 years ago today, we announced the forming of Joa’s Arc and our mission to help special needs animals right here through this blog.

As you may or may not know, Joa’s Arc today is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, receives no government or public funding, and relies entirely on donations from the public to carry out our mission to assist special needs animals.

Joa’s Arc has no paid staff and plenty of animals in our care...

Like Tiffany who started out life in a home with about 200 other cats and very little attention, let alone affection. Because of this, Tiffany is extremely shy and needs a home with someone who will allow her to be herself and come around on her own terms. Sweet, silly Riley came into a local shelter with a leg wound. The wound has healed and now he's all purrs, energy and tail-wags for attention waiting for a home of his own. Oh, and adorable Fox. Who could resist this boy!? We're not sure and yet, he's still in need of an adopter.

Not to mention, Joa’s Arc has also been able to help place several animals directly from shelters into homes, Joa’s Arc has gotten other animals from local shelters into no-kill shelters or rescues when we haven't had the space ourselves and our girl Daphne is being adopted this weekend. She is a little pit puppy who was tossed from a car and had sustained a leg injury. She needed the care of an ortho specialist and Joa’s Arc got that for her.

Do you have some free time?
Can you make some free time?
We need your help!

We could use more fosters, volunteers (especially a Grant Writer) and someone willing to create a website for us.

Fostering is easy - just open your home to a furry friend. You can pick what kind of special need you have experience or interest in helping and some are as simple as socializing or recovering from surgery. You provide the food, water & love ... and let everyone know you have an extra-special animal up for adoption to help try to find that munchkin a home.

Volunteers are needed from everything to help with the animals, get updated photos, sit at events or share information about our group to get the word out there to help Joa’s Arc and the special needs animals in our care.

A grant writer would help us extremely right now by finding us the funds to continue to care for the animals that would usually be put to sleep in shelters before even being considered for adoption.

Although we have a blog, a website would be a huge help as well - somewhere people can find information on the animals we have available for adoption, easy access to a link to donate, how to care for them if they adopt or are interested in fostering, a list of resources of other groups that help special needs animals, etc.

We've been doing great work, we plan to continue to do great work for the special needs animals and your assistance means we can reach our hands out further. There is something that everyone can do! Just ask (or offer) :)

Finally, in case we don't say it enough - thank you!

A tea cup poodle with a broken leg (Cup of Joe) or a pit bull puppy with a fractured elbow (Daphne),
neurological cat (Nero) or a kitten with a birth defect (Nennee),
victim of cruelty (Valentine) or shut down from fear at the shelter (Beanie),

Joa’s Arc is willing to pay to help these beautiful little lives.

We have been able to do so much for so many animals ... and none of it would have been possible without your support. So, truly, thank you so very much for your kind words, donations, adoptions and unending support.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Event: Saturday, Oct 6th

Consider coming out on Saturday, Oct 6th -

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 212 N. Main St. Glassboro, will hold the Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi on Saturday, October 6 at 11:00AM. A brief service of blessing will take place on the front landing and ramp of the church. In the interest of safety for all pets please have your pet on a leash, in a pet carrier, cage or aquarium.

Monetary donations, as well as donations of dry pet food, toys, and clean towels will be collected at this service of blessing.

This year all donations will be given to Joa’s Arc. Joa’s Arc is a special needs rescue that takes the injured, impaired and medically needy animals out of shelters. Many of the animals that Joa’s Arc help would normally be euthanized due to their conditions and the lack of funding available for their care. Joa’s Arc believes that every animal is worth it. They have adopted out many animals that you might think no one would want - neurologically impaired cats, blind animals and broken limb animals. Some of their animals take longer to find homes, but eventually they do and the volunteers of Joa’s Arc is willing to wait for that perfect home to come along.

Joa’s Arc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, receives no government or public funding, and relies entirely on donations from the public to carry out its mission to assist special needs animals. We have no paid staff.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Road Trip

The ladies of Joa’s Arc are headed on a road trip today with some other wonderful people to travel to Maryland and Pets with Disabilities. We're sorry about the short post today, but we'll have a great one with lots of details from our adventure soon.

For now, keep on enjoying "Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet" Week and rallying for the amazing little lives they are.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Caring for Another Type of Special Needs Animal – Community Cats

It's not just domestic pets that need assistance. Community cats can get sick too and today, Joa’s Arc's friend, Debbie R, was nice enough to put together a list of ways to help Community Cats too

Whether you are caring for a colony or notice a cat needs additional veterinary care at the time of spaying or neutering, we have a responsibility to provide the best care we can for each individual animal. But providing daily or routine care of cats that can’t be handled presents a very special challenge.

Here are some of the ways you can handle some of the more common issues:

Fleas: If you notice your cats scratching and you suspect fleas, a Capstar pill crushed up into their wet food will kill fleas within 3-6 hours. Capstar is safe and effective and doesn’t require a prescription.

Ear Mites: Revolution (prescription & purchased through a vet) effectively treats ear mites but must be applied topically. It could be done while the cat is under anesthesia or when in a trap. Revolution also treats fleas and intestinal parasites, but does need to be applied monthly if the problem continues.

Intestinal Parasites: For roundworms and hookworms, in addition to be being able to use Revolution to treat for these parasites, you can safely put Strongid into the wet food to treat the cat.

Ringworm: “It takes 21 days for ringworm to heal if you treat it and 3 weeks if you don’t.” Some strains of ringworm respond to a double dose of Program flea treatment. Good nutrition also helps the cat’s own immune system to respond.

Viral Infections: Treating eye infections is difficult, but can’t be neglected. Loss of vision is common if left untreated. Antibiotics have no direct effect on viral infections such as URI (upper respiratory infection) or Herpes virus eye infections. However, azithromycin has been found to be effective in resolving herpes eye infections. Often vets will prescribe antibiotics to prevent a secondary bacterial infection for an URI. In addition to crushing pills or adding liquid to wet food, prescriptions can be compounded with cat-pleasing flavorings. If you have the cat contained in a trap to care for it, you can put the trap under a heavy bath towel with a humidifier to aid in moistening the mucus membranes and ease breathing.

Bacterial Infections: Giving antibiotics to feral cats or kittens twice a day is difficult. However, there is a one-time injection of Convenia that provides 7-14 days of antibiotic treatment. It can be given at the time of spaying or neutering if an infected wound is discovered or teeth need to be pulled. Also, if an infection is noticed in one of the colony cats, the cat could be re-trapped and given an injection while in the trap.

For many other procedures, such as examining an injury or cutting out large clumps of matted hair, you will need to sedate the cat.

We hope you find this information helpful in caring for community cats.
A great, big thank you to Deb for putting this together.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spotlight: Jensen

Keeping on the theme of special pets, Joa’s Arc's friend, Debbie R, wrote up something about a "less than adoptable" kitty she currently has. Deb writes:

I have a kitten that was brought into a local animal hospital by a good samaritan. The kitten was underweight and had damage to the nerves in his shoulder (I'm not a medical person), but I think it was the plexis - he drags his front paw backward from the "wrist". His shoulder also drops down somewhat. Because of this, we thought the kitten was going to need the leg amputated.

Now in my care, this kitten is being seen by an orthopedic vet. Oh, and he has a name now too - Jensen.

At the most recent ortho visit 3 weeks ago, it was decided to work on stretching the leg muscle in Jensen's damaged leg because it seems Jensen is able to lift his leg from the shoulder somewhat now. So, we are now hoping to not amputate and have a brace made for the "wrist" so that Jensen does not get a wound from dragging.

He will be having a follow up appointment soon with the specialist again to see how he is progressing.

Jensen is absolutely an adorable, sweet little boy and gets along with other cats and dogs. He loves to sit on the end of the couch, watch tv and fall asleep... and his "disability"? It doesn't keep Jensen from running all over the place, torturing those in his path and when you sit down, he runs to jump in your lap. He spends his evening sitting with me and then running over to sit with my husband, then back to me again - he's a true people-cat.

Jensen isn't quite ready for adoption until his orthopedic issue is resolved. After that, he will be neutered, combo tested and of course be up to date on the appropriate vaccinations, worming, flea treatments.

If it weren’t for a truly compassionate vet, several vet techs (including my rescue friend, Chrissy), this little guy would not be here.

A great big thank you to Deb, Chrissy and everyone involved keeping Jensen alive, comfortable and healing.

Interested in possibly adopting Jensen when he's ready for a home? Contact us to get in touch with Deb.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Less Adoptable - Fox has CH

This was Fox the first time we met him. He was crying and reaching out of his cage trying to grab me... and then he'd lose his balance and fall backwards. This happened repeatedly because Fox has CH.

Feline cerebellar hypoplasia (often referred to as "CH") is a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition.

"CH" is a condition affecting the cerebellum of a kitty's brain - this is the portion of the brain that influences fine motor control. So, kittens who have CH will have poor coordination, like jerky or wobbly movements when they walk or run and possible head tremors. This can happen to a greater or lesser extent in each kitty individually and Joa’s Arc has seen it range from cats barely able to walk to a very minor case where the kitty just had extra "swag" (her back end swayed a bit when she walked).

A kitty with this condition can have a good quality of life if given protection from accidents - these cats will be clumsy and must be protected from stairs, for example. They absolutely MUST NOT be declawed as they need their nails to help them hang on when they slip or fall. Cushions should be placed under places from which the cat may fall (window sills, etc.). It is a good idea to use untippable food and water bowls and a litter box with high sides but a low entrance area. These cats also absolutely be kept indoors for their own safety. CH cats seem to be unaware that they are different in any way and therefore may attempt feats that could be dangerous for them, but they seem to lead very happy lives.

No matter the severity though, life expectancy is not affected by CH.

The symptoms of CH generally do not worsen as an animal with it ages. In fact, many seem to improve with age as their muscles form more and often the cats will learn to compensate to some degree. This is a lifelong condition though because there is no treatment for the condition.

Fox's condition really doesn't phase him - he uses the litter box like "normal" kitties (he does miss sometimes) and he's really playful like normal kittens. His CH and the way he overcomes his challenges every day with grace is nothing short of absolutely inspiring.

Still not convinced Fox and kitties like him don't make amazing pets? Here are some quotes from people who have known, loved and been owned by CH kitties:

Deb M wrote about her experiences with a CH cat - "Shakey has changed our lives the past 8 years. Watching her grow and learn everyday and we swear she is more amazing and cuter everyday. Shakey has opened our eyes to special needs animals which has inspired us to advocate for Cerebellar Hypoplasia and to help save CH Kitties and spread the word for people to open thier hearts and homes to these amazing animals. We could not imagaine our life without a Cerebellar Hypoplasia Kitty in our lives!"

Helen K had this to say, "They Teach You Love & Pateince & Control & Respect.. I Dont Know How I Ever Lived WithOut My CH Babies"

Elise M, an advocate for CH kitties, added, "They say 'someone's trash is another person's treasure.' I can't imagine a more perfect description of my CH kitty, Nanako. At 5 weeks old, she was discarded like trash into a dumpster. Two years later, she is the light of my life"

Also, check out Amanda's 10 Reasons to Adopt a Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cat

Consider adopting Fox, an amazing little man ... or a CH kitty in a shelter/rescue waiting for someone like you.

"Betty's wise-acre, can-do attitude taught us more than we ever imagined. I can't imagine what life would have been like had she not shown up all alone in the middle of the street no bigger than a hand." - Ruth B

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Less Adoptable Pet - Coco

No longer able to walk and blind from malnutrition, Coco was found by Animal Control Officer John M after starving for weeks in an empty house. Although Coco was able to spend time overnight in an emergency vet facility, it was obvious Coco needed more extensive care than the local shelter would be able to provide him. John was able to make arrangements for Coco to be fostered by Joa’s Arc's wonderful friend, Karen, and Karen reached out to Joa’s Arc for our help.

After some fluids, blood work, food and care, Coco's ability to walk return and his eyesight followed slowly after. In fact, it only took about 24 hours before Karen was reporting, "by this evening he took his first steps and quickly found a bone...then peed on my carpet LOL...he is starting to act like a dog :)"

Coco is now about 10 months old, housebroken, knows his commands (sit, stay, come and off), is excellent in the house, gets along with dogs, cats and people adore him. He is extra loveable.

Why Coco this week? Coco is not just a pit bull , a breed hard to place due to a poor reputation ( and the overwhelming number of them in local shelters, but Coco is also special because of his history of neglect. He is a wonderful dog right now, but that's because he's socialized, being trained, has structure in his life and rules to follow. We are looking for a home that will continue with Coco's training so he develops into a great dog for years to come. This is one special boy, and we are looking for a special person/family that will be committed to him forever.

Thanks to ACO John M for his compassion and quick thinking, Karen for finding the room in her heart & home, Camden County Animal Shelter & Joa’s Arc for working together, all those who donated to Coco's care and those who shared his plight, Coco is doing amazingly well.

More posts and info on Coco are available: - - - - video collection of Coco's journey to recovery

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Adopting a "Less Adoptable" Pet

It seemed fitting to start this week off with a successful adoption story - even if it wasn't one of your animals :)

Joa’s Arc's friend, Chrissy, writes:

I recently adopted a "less adoptable" pet earlier this month and I can honestly say it was the best choice I have ever made. I was going back and forth on what kind of dog I wanted to adopt and knew from the start I wanted to adopt an adult.

What I didn’t know was that there were so many wonderful “special needs” dogs out there that needed homes. My good friend, Debbie, had recently adopted a senior dog and I was so proud of her decision to take in something that other people just discarded that it empowered me to follow in her footsteps.

After doing some research I found Louie.

Louie is an 8 year old Great Dane who was left in a home after a foreclosure to die alone. When the home appraisal people came into the house to evaluate the home they found Louie nearly starved to death in the kitchen. Louie was then transferred to a high kill animal shelter where his kennel run was so small that he couldn’t even lie down and could barley turn around. Louie was scheduled to be euthanized later that afternoon due to the severity of his medical needs. Louie was saved by one of the staff members there who placed a call into the Great Dane rescue. The Great Dane rescue believed in a hope for Louie and gave him a chance at recovery.

Today Louie has been happily adopted by my family where we can not imagine not having him. Louie is on several medications a day and is currently going to dog physical therapy to help build up some muscle mass that was lost during his bad days. Louie is thriving when his new doggy brother, Ben, and we are so thankful everyday to have been the chosen ones for Louie.

Adopting a less adoptable animal has been the most rewarding experience imaginable and from this point forward we will always be a “rescue” family with a “special needs” dog. I consider ourselves to be the lucky ones in these stories, to be able to experience such love and appreciation from our rescued friends.

The Kellner-Filer Family

Interested in looking into adopting an older special needs dog after reading about Louie? Check out Sampson.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week

We were so excited about Petfinder's "Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week", we had to start a day early!

Many factors can make a pet seem "less adoptable" and these pets typically wait nearly 4x's longer for a home than an average pet does ... sometimes more than two years!

Since Joa’s Arc does special needs rescue, we know that these pets are not only "less adoptable", but often times simply overlooked, extra-special pets just as deserving of a home as any "normal" pet.

For the next 7 days, expect a post a day on the Joa’s Arc blog! We'll be high-lighting "less adoptable" pets currently waiting for a home of their own, caring for different special needs pets and happy stories about adopting "less than adoptable" pets.

Hooray for Petfinder's "Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week" 2012!

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week

Guess what next week is? Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week!

September 17th - 23rd is Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week and you know this is one of Joa’s Arc's favorite times of the year because it's a great time to get the word out about how wonderful special needs pets are!

Stay tuned for introductions, updates and upcoming events.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Joa's Arc Fundraiser

Starting tomorrow, Thursday, September 6th, Joa’s Arc will be the lucky group to benefit from Ruby Tuesday's Give Back Program. When you present this flyer, 20% of your bill will be donated to Joa’s Arc.

Print out this flyer (click on the photo in this post & print it), bring it to Ruby Tuesday's at the Deptford Mall (on Clements Bridge Rd), enjoy some great good, present the flyer ... and 20% gets donated to Joa’s Arc!!

Can't make September 6th? Head over September 13th, 20th, 27th... or all 4 nights! :)

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Year since the Hoader's

It has been about a year since Joa’s Arc volunteers became involved in the hoarding case that got us in over our heads and on to Animal Planet's TV show Confessions.

Looking back, it is absolutely incredible to think of everything that went on and all the help that came forward enable us collectively to save those kitties. We were able to save so many cats and get them into homes.

I don't think I need to say this, but I will - not all hoarded pets are anywhere near as lucky:
- House Of Dead Animals In Camden ... Dog And Cat Carcasses Were Found In A Home. It Could Be An Example Of "animal Collector Syndrome"
- Woman faces cruelty charges after 20 animals she housed in Oldmans Township horse trailer burn to death
- Hillside woman hoarding cats previously had 122 felines removed from house
- Hoarding - 200 cats found dead. East Orange, NJ

Here are The Top 5 Ways to Help an Animal of a Hoarder and the animals suffering with them.

The teamwork, assistance, kindness and effort put into that house and those cats ... it's just overwhelming to think about. We still hear from people who took cats from that house and to see the cats that were once filthy and/or shy doing so well is amazing. They're in homes with toys, clean water, people loving them, rescues working to socialize them, etc.

During this time of independence, I think it's a good idea if we all celebrate the cats who are now safe and the wonderful people involved in getting them out and ensuring a better life for them!

Thank you, truly, to everyone involved!!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Miss Popular, Daphne

Saturday, since our day ended up being open, Daphne and I headed over to visit her foster dad's work. It wasn't just any day at Camden County Animal Shelter either. It was the day of their Pet Fest and what a day it was - food, vendors, a DJ, lots of doggies, plastic pools filled with water for the dogs, treats and lots of people wanting to love up Daphne. It was great!

I figured if I had to carry the little princess around that she was going to earn her keep ... Daphne wore this cute little envelope on a ribbon around her neck in the hopes of getting donations towards her care and some wonderful, wonderful people did end up donating what they could to help. Everyone was so sweet and felt so bad for Daphne. Here are photos from the day (some taken from others' Facebook pages):

Saw Daphne Saturday, but didn't get the chance to donate or were you not able to make it out Saturday? You can still donate - snail mail us or head over to PayPal to make a donation to Joa’s Arc.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Update on Coco

From his foster mom: UPDATE: COCO - the Starved Pittie from Camden

Coco is doing amazingly well. He is enjoying life and LOVES his friend Adeline - another Camden County Animal Shelter Pit Bull that was dumped by her owner in a field.

Coco's blood work came back perfect and it appears that his sight is improving. He is a smart pup and is learning his commands. He now knows "sit" and "off". We are continuing to work on his housebreaking (that's why he is wearing his belly wrap) and he is showing tremendous improvement. Coco will be ready for adoption soon so please keep him in mind - he deserves the BEST home.

Thanks again to everyone who helped Coco: ACO John Micklewright, Camden County Animal Shelter, Joa’s Arc, those who donated to his care and everyone who shared his plight. It takes an army to save one dog - but by working together we can help so many.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Please Help Us Help Daphne

Poor Daphne has not has an easy start to life. She's just a couple months old and look at the condition she's in!

This adorable little pup was brought into a local shelter with some extensive injuries. Although she looked like a normal, happy puppy, it was quite obvious something was wrong with her when she stumbled around when trying to be playful. Here's a video of how she was walking when we first got her:

Daphne apparently had an old fracture in her front left leg, which recently was re-injured causing even more damage.

Further complicating poor Daphne's condition is the fact her front right foot also needs attention - there is some bad hyper-extension (soft tissue damage) going on either from the same trauma that hurt her other leg or from over-compensation when trying to not put weight on the other. Either way this poor girl has two legs that need to be medically looked at and treated ... and Joa’s Arc needs your help to do that.

Miss Daphne went to see an ortho surgeon the other night and it appears as if this lady lucked out - she might not need surgery!!

Although Daphne suffered some sort of abuse, her bones appear to be fairly lined up and she doesn't seem to be in any pain ... so instead of risking damaging her growth plates further with surgery & screws, Dr. Coudrai feels that basically a full upper body wrap should do the trick - taking pressure off the fractured upper leg bone on her left side while also bracing/supporting her right wrist.

Daphne's treatment plan requires sedation and wrapping once a week for at least the next 3 weeks to allow her legs to heal. Then, rehab to try to get some mobility back. It's not surgery, but this is not a cheap process either, so Joa’s Arc is asking for your generosity.

You can make a donation through one of the methods to the right (mailing a check to our PO Box or using our PayPal link) or using the widget above to donate through our ChipIn page (also available here:

Please remember all donations are tax deductible now that we are a official 501c3.

Thank you from Daphne!

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

More On Coco

Coco's mom wrote the other day: "Just wanted to let everyone know that today I found out what Coco's original name was....are you ready?!

His owner named him "DIRT".

Makes me ill to hear this, but I was informed of his name when I called ACO John Micklewright to get some information on Coco's initial medical care.

Look at his beautiful face, how could anyone call him Dirt!!

I can promise you this, Coco will only know kindness and love for the rest of his life. Thank you John, Joa’s Arc, Camden County Animal Shelter, those who made donations to his care ... and everyone who has been keeping him in their thoughts and prayers.

Coco sends you all kisses and he is loving his new life :)"

Thank you, Karen, for taking Coco in and giving him such incredible love and kindness. Surely you will nurse his sweet soul so that he never remembers his days as "Dirt".

Donations for Coco's care can be made to:
Joa’s Arc
PO Box 243
Audubon, NJ 08106

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Meet Coco

Coco is a 8 month old chocolate pit bull boy who came into our care at just 20 lbs!

Left in his home in Camden, NJ, after his owner was arrested, a neighbor alerted Camden City Animal Control of his condition.

Coco is now in foster care with our good friend, Karen, so he can gain some weight and get ready to be adopted to someone very special who will make sure Coco only knows love for the rest of his life.

When Coco saw the vet several days after coming into Karen/Joa’s Arc's care, he had already gained a pound, was walking again (he wasn't the first day) and his blood work looked good for the physical condition he was in.

His foster mom wrote just yesterday: "This morning I let him out at 6:30(AM) then we went back upstairs. When I got back in bed he was walking all around my bedroom...then he came to the side of the bed and put his paws up to come in bed. It was too cute. He climbed in bed - put is head on the pillow and his body next to me and fell sleep. :)"

Joa’s Arc is happy to help Karen help Coco to recover and, in turn, assist Camden County Animal Shelter in their efforts to give every animal in need a chance ... even the "extra special" ones.

Donations for Coco's care can be made to:
Joa’s Arc
PO Box 243
Audubon, NJ 08106

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Gabe Has Been Adopted!!

A year to the day that he was cleared for adoption, our wonderful, lovable, goofy Gabe has been adopted!!!!!!!

That's right, Gabe has finally gone home with his furever family and we could not be more excited for him.

It's undeniable that after the amount of time he's been with Joa’s Arc that we have all grown very attached to Gabe, especially his foster family, but a home of their own is always the goal for our extra special furbabies.

Gabe's new family actually wrote us just this morning saying: "I just wanted you to know that Gabe is GREAT!!!! He is adjusting to his "forever" home, beautifully. Our stairs were a challange at first, but he now is, as Jeff says, the "stair master". He gets along well with all our other pets, but Cecelia, our little terrier, is still a little afraid when Gabe shows he wants to play by pouncing at her. It's really fun to watch.

Thank you so much for choosing us as Gabe's family. He really is a special boy."

A great big thank you and hug to Gabe's family. May he bring you all the happiness (and laughs) that we know that goofy boy is capable of.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lots of News

lots of big news rolling soon...

Just to give hints:
- paperwork
- a big adoption
- Coco & Daphne

Stay tuned! :)

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Courtesy Post: Fantastic Freddie

Here's a courtesy post for our friends at Pets with Disabilities:

Freddie is 1 - 2 years old, german shepherd mix weighing 50 lbs. He was born with a non-functioning back rear leg which never grew. That does not stop him from getting around.

Freddie was born at the shelter and never felt grass or dirt between his toes until he arrived at Pets with Disabilities rescue. Freddie is a little shy but is doing great in his foster home in Sewell, NJ. When he arrived at his foster home he did not know how to do steps or walk on a leash…now he does both. Freddie is very smart and learns quickly! And don’t worry about his special “ability” – he doesn’t even know he is different and it doesn’t slow him down at all.

Freddie will need kind guardians to help him continue to learn about how great life can be with people who love him. Your patience will be rewarded many times over because this dog is a real sweetheart - wanting to share his heart. Freddie loves being outside in the yard, being brushed, going for walks, and gets along great with other dogs and cats too. He is crate trained and housebroken. This sweet boy will make someone a loyal and devoted friend for years to come.

Please consider adopting Fantastic Freddie so he can have a home of his own.

For more information on Freddie CONTACT: or

UPDATE: Freddie has been adopted by has chosen to adopt Joa’s Arc's own Hailey & Jen S :)

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Monday, June 4, 2012


Below is the story of "Anakin".

Joa’s Arc was made aware of an amazing kitten by a friend on Facebook - this kitten is happy and healthy although he has no hind legs. This kitten is safe in the arms of his rescuer, Carrie H, who didn't run away like many would. Instead she embraced him and loves this extra special kitten regardless of what the future holds for him. We felt it was important to share this story of inspiration...

From Carrie H: "We have a new kitten! A very special new kitten. I wasn't looking to get another cat right now, but you know how these things just happen....

About two weeks ago a kitten without back legs started coming over to eat with the other feral cats at my dad's work. My first few trips to attempt to catch it didn't work out. Then Thursday (5/31), Ian, Angel and I went to see if this was the day we could catch it. The kitten was cowering in the bushes and I climbed into the bushes and pulled the kitten out.

We brought the kitten home and I set it up in our hall bathroom, exactly like I did with Trixie & Pixie two years earlier.

Friday morning (6/1) I took him to our vet as soon as they opened. Our vet said she has never seen anything like him before and he is amazing ... and that it's also amazing that his mother took care of him even with his handicap. She examined him and he is a little boy, approximately 6 - 8 weeks old and it in really good health.

Two x-rays on him showed he was born with no pelvis or back legs. We let him walk around the room for a minute to see how he moves. He positions his front legs at an angle towards the middle of his body and balances his back end in the air with the use of his tail touching the ground if he needs it. He gets around really well that way and is pretty quick too. The x-ray also showed that his insides were not malformed :)

Now, he is home getting comfy in his bathroom and will be there for a while 'til he is bigger, stronger and ready to be socialized with the other cats and our dog. He is such a sweet calm little guy :) He is happy to cuddle in our laps and purrs really loud. He likes to play with a little toy mouse and also chase a beaded necklaces around on the floor. We have decided to name him "Anakin" and will be calling him "Ani" (yes after Anakin Skywalker :D )

Thank you, Carrie, for catching, caring for and giving Anakin a chance! We believe all animals, regardless of their disabilities, deserve it! Anakin is very special and so are you, Carrie!

Carrie is an accomplished artist who does beautiful work. Here is her website for all you cat lovers:

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hello from Elena

Hi, it's Elena tonight doing the daily update.

It was another day of special assignments! One of the caretakers up at Deja's lodge wanted to spend some time giving an informal training class with a couple of the dogs that react negatively towards other dogs just by walking by the other runs.

The first dog he worked with was a stray that was picked up on the streets of L.A. along with her 11 puppies. This little girl is only about 2 herself. He explained that most dogs that are strays typically get along with other dogs, and her reaction is atypical. Her reaction to the other dogs was more out of insecurity rather than fear along with not being used to being collared and leashed.

With this dog, he used the leash as a training tool - not by tugging back on it when she was reacting to the other dogs, but by pulling down quickly in the direction the dog was turning and re-directing her attention to him and not the other dogs. He did reward her when she exhibited good behavior and it was very interesting to see how he was able to re-direct her. The ultimate goal, of course, is for her to be able to be walked by the volunteers. It seems as though if they are able to continue working steadily with her, this could certainly become a reality. The extremely interesting part of watching this demonstration was the fact that a lot of this was going on right outside of Lucas' run, and all he did was watch and wag his tail!

The 2nd dog - Uma - was also reactive to other dogs when being walked by their runs. With this dog, he is using the clicker method. She certainly was much less stressed than the 1st one. We started out walking down the path with her walking nicely and him clicking and rewarding. She did react later when we got further along the path when she saw another dog, but again, he was quickly able to redirect her and get her on the right path.

We then got to walk a few dogs. I walked Squeaker and Pulgas. Joyce walked Laila (another Vicktory dog), Selene and Ava. Lucas was working in the office today, so we didn't get a chance to spend any time with him.

It was then time for lunch! They have the most delicious vegetarian lunches!! And such a deal!

After lunch we went back to Dogtown and pooped scooped the walking trail. They walk a lot of dogs on it each day and as you can imagine, it gets pooped on a lot! We left around 3:00. It was a very hot, sunny day and we were fried.

We had dinner with one of our friends who used to be a caretaker at the Lodges and is now retired. He still goes up every Friday and spends the entire day walking the red collar dogs.

Oh, by the way, our formal dinner attire generated many compliments last night! We left John Wayne dressed in one of our pink outfits! One of the funniest parts was when we drove into the parking lot to see a lot of cars and a couple men standing outside talking! Joyce says, "Isn't this a formal attire restaurant?" They got a good laugh and we had a great time!

See you tomorrow!

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Long walks

Today we took Candy, our sleepover dog, back to Old Friends after a great night with her. Candy is young, under 5 years, but had an autoimmune problem that needed special attention and that is why she went to Old Friends. Last night was Candy's very first sleep over and she did great. We know she will be adopted - she is a great dog!

After taking her home, we headed over to Dogtown and up to the Lodges, our favorite place to work. Nancy was assigned to making meals, Elena and I headed out to dog walk. Now I know that may not be a fancy assignment, but by us doing these things, it frees up the caretakers to do other important things.

The walking trail winds up and down the canyon and the scenery is beautiful. But I have to admit, you really get a work out doing it. The trail up and back must be a little under a mile with steep inclines. This is why all the caretakers are so nice a slim. My first walk was with my friend Lucas, a Vicktory dog. I was told he may not walk the entire distance, so to let him be the judge of it. So off we go...

Lucas was so happy - stopping to smell everything and occasionally just gazing off, sniffing the air. He is enjoying his new life, filled with hands-on love from volunteers and nice walks. When we got to the very end of the trail and it was time to turn around, he froze by a bench that is there. I tried to get him to move but he just sat down, so I joined him. Seems all he wanted was some love and to kiss me for a few minutes, then he was ready to go.

I have to say, when the walks are over, the dogs are excited to get back in their runs. They know they will get a treat and love their runs because each animal is loved and treated with respect.

After Lucas, it was time to walk Yo-Yo, a chocolate pitty that is so sweet. We went up the first incline and then she decided it was nap time - laid right down, rolled on her back and refused to move. I sat with her rubbing her belly until another dog walker came along. Then, I had to make her move because walkers are not allowed to allow any dogs to come in contact. Everyone has to maintain a safe distance from each other.

After Yo-Yo was home, off I went with Snow, a medium size. long hair dog that was a sweetheart. She almost pulled my arm out of socket because she was a lizard leaper, so intent on catching them. Luckily for all the lizards, they all got away. Right before lunch we were assigned another special assignment which will be available hints!!

We are exhausted and covered with red sand, but feel great! Obviously I love being here and love the work of Best Friends. They should be applauded for saving the Vicktory dogs, fighting the legal battles and investing the time, effort and finances to rehab these dogs. They have proved to the world that it can be done although we knew it all along. The day to day caretakers of these dogs deserve a standing ovation because it was their daily dedication and love that has helped these poor dogs learn what love is.

Tonight we are meeting friends at our favorite place, the Buffalo Bistro, for dinner and they are in for a surprise - we are going formal! Yep that's what the evening gowns are for. Hey, we work hard, but we also have to have fun!!!

Later, friends....

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More news from Joa’s Arc Joyce M out at Best Friends in Utah...

Elena wrote: "This was our sleepover dog last night. Her first chance at a sleepover and she was fantastic! They are working on some autoimmune issues with her, but she is going to make someone a wonderful companion"

Last night's sleep over with the Jersey Girls was apparently Candy's first and everyone loved her.

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Dog(s) Day

This post is being posted from New Jersey, but believe me - all of it's from Utah where our Joyce M is currently volunteering at Best Friends.

First off, Joyce posted this wonderful picture yesterday on Facebook.

Older dogs are not only "extra special", but this one in particular means a lot to Joyce and "the Jersey Girls." This is Mr. Bones, old man, Dogtown star, proof that even older ones deserve (and can find) adopters and a dog who even in death is loved very much. Joyce wrote yesterday, "Mr. Bones - Saw this on the wall at Dogtown. Mr Bones with his mom, Sharon. Adopt an older dog!!"

After helping his new mom raise the money to make the long journey from Utah to the east coast with Mr. Bones (he couldn't fly due to his age and frail condition), the Jersey Girls returned Mr. Bones's ashes in April 2009 to finally rest at Angels Rest.

We also got word yesterday from Joyce that her bud, Lucas, had recently passed some tests and was allowed to have visitors. Joyce texted me, "So excited. Spending hands on time with Lucas a vicktory dog after lunch!!!"

Overcome with excitement, it looks like Joyce needed a bit of a nap (note her awesome shirt - Joa’s Arc!), so she took a nap during lunch... or maybe, like a cat, she's just soaking up the sun.

Back to Lucas - This is the first time in several years that Joyce and Elena will finally be able to touch Lucas, who they have loved through a cage. Lucas was one of 20-some dogs to come to best friends and be deemed the "Vicktory Dogs" - Lucas was never to be adopted out or handled by anyone other than staff and that, believe it or not, was a blessing since a lot of places were calling for the death of these dogs. Best Friends and Lucas proved those wrong though and he's making a wonderful recovery!

Elena wrote, "Vick's main fighting dog is now a dog who loves people and is able to have visitors! Go Best Friends!"

Joyce wrote, "I can't describe how happy I was to finally show Lucas hands on love. He is such a love and quite the kisser. Five years of admiring from afar. This is one of the reasons I love BF's....they never give up."

Below is a quick video Joyce took while with Lucas yesterday also to which she added the note: "Our visit with Lucas, a Vicktory dog that was one of seven that was just purple collared which means he can have volunteers come into his run. Very emotional for us. He is a love!"

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012


At some point yesterday it looks like Joa’s Arc's Joyce M went to visit our friend Carol P's "gone, but not forgotten kitty", Joker.

She didn't mention this specifically in her blog post, but I wanted to add the photo.

Be safe, Joyce! We're loving you blogging from Kanab :)

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Wow another long day in Kanab

Wow another long day in Kanab.

Nancy, Elena and another friend, also named Joyce who lives in Kanab, started out at Best Friends at 10am to do the tour. Although we are frequent visitors, doing the tour is necessary to us because there are always changes and it is a great way to see what is new. Thousands of people yearly come to take the tour, it is offered for free which I think is really cool. Here is a link to some of it:

First, we watched an intro DVD in the visitor center giving a little history of BF's, their mission of a no-kill nation, their programs and how everyone can help to achieve this. One statement that was said that hit home was "There is someone for every homeless animal, some just take a little longer to find". Hmmm, makes you wonder doesn't it?

We always follow behind the tour vans in our convertible and are given a DVD to listen to about the sanctuary along with a walkie talkie to talk to the guide if necessary. Raven was our guide today and has been for the past couple years. She is terrific. No matter how many times I ride thru the canyon, the beauty is overwhelming...

We stopped in a section of cats and one cat, Mr Jimmy, was working his magic on me, trying hard to convince me to take him home. I look in the eyes of these cats and think, "kitties, you are in heaven compared to other places in this world" They are the lucky ones.

After completing the tour which is about 90 minutes, we went to Angels Village to lunch. There we met many of our friends, having lunch with several of the founders of BF's. They always make us feel special, like they couldn't do it without us. Of course, we know they can, but it feels so good to be appreciated. Honestly they treat all the volunteers like that too, which is the way any rescue or shelter should do. After lunch we explored the canyon, climbing some rocks and walking some trails. It was breath taking and fun.

Just ran around the rest of the day then grabbed a quick dinner. Just as we were settling down around 8:30pm, there was a knock on the door. To our surprise, Joyce and Ed Bush stopped over to visit. We met them several years ago when we rented one of their rentals and became great friends. They owned the local pharmacy and worked long hours, but we were always able squeeze a lunch or dinner in with them and visit their lovely home and their adorable two dogs. Well they sold the pharmacy and are now retired so it was a great evening sitting chatting with them. They are two of the most generous, kind-hearted people I have ever met.

Oh and one more thing. We were told several of the Vicktory dogs passed their canine tests and are now allowed to have visitors in their runs. We are so excited. Over the past five years, we have watched these poor, abused, tortured dogs learn to trust humans and experience love. They have made such strides. Last year I would sit outside their runs, talking to them thru a fence and now it looks like I will actually be able to sit inside and touch them, I am so excited. Talk with you tomorrow! - Joyce

Want to know where Joyce M volunteers every year and is blogging from? Check out Best Friends Animal Society

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