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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