Sunday, December 29, 2013

Daphne Training part 1

When Azita K from Paw It 4Ward first heard of Daphne's behavior in her adoptive home, Azita was nice enough to offer to take Daphne to training if she came back to Joa’s Arc. Yesterday was their first day in training and Azita wrote:

"I had the pleasure of taking Ms. Daphne to a training session with Above and Beyond Dog Training with Marissa. Daphne was wonderful in the car on our way to the ranch and, once there, she was quite intrigued with the horses.

There were over 8 dogs in our class - Daphne wanted to say "hi" to everyone, but was focused when needed and was a wonderful little lady all around! During class, we worked on the "place" and "sit" commands for a while and she was a great student. We also worked on leash training as well. At some point during the training, one of the dogs (who is not good with the other dogs) walked into our space and Daphne graciously backed away. Marissa noticed it right away, informing me that Daphne was being respectful and did the right thing.

At the end, everyone said how beautiful Daphne was and how they are looking forward to seeing her attend additional classes ... and I am excited to spend more time with this sweetie too.

PS- She slept the whole car ride home."

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Daph's Back

Who remembers sweet, adorable, big-earred Daphne? Of course you do - it's hard to forget this lova-bull little girl, right?!

After a little over a year being adopted, Daphne is back in the care of Joa’s Arc.

Over the last several months, Daphne's forever turned former family was telling us she was developing behavioral issues - anxiety, obsessive behaviors, eating inappropriate things (tennis balls, work gloves, door mattes, etc) and re-directing on the other dogs. Mid-December, Daphne came to her original fosters, Jen W & Matt, for them to babysit while Daphne's adoptive family took care of the medical needs of their other dogs (one sick, one injured).

During Daphne's stay with Jen W and Matt, Daphne proved to have no such behavior problems - no anxiety, no obsessiveness (or obsessive eating) of strange objects and no issue with the other dogs. Jen W & Matt were still cautious introducing her from what her adoptive family had said - they took it slowly, introduced her to their own dogs one at a time (even though they knew she had grown up with them), supervised everyone inside and out, gave everyone breaks if they seemed too excited, but she was truly fine with them (one on one and in a group) right from the get go.

Though we cannot explain why Daphne acted like this in her adoptive home and why she doesn't outside, the decision was made to return Daphne to the care of Joa’s Arc... and Daphne has, thankfully, continued to have none of the issues her family talked about.

While Daphne has been fine in foster care so far, Joa’s Arc is still getting her into training classes to work on her general obedience (thank you, Azita K!). We are also considering physical therapy to benefit her joints due to their long-term stress from her injuries as a puppy and her big body/little legs ratio. We are hoping PT will also be another outlet for any built up energy should she start to show anxiety like she did in her former home. Daphne is also on medication for her joints as well.

Any and all donations are appreciated.

Here is Daphne's wish list, should you choose to send our unexpectedly-returned bat-earred baby a gift too:

PS: Daph really likes gifts...

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cranberry Fest

We're so lucky to have volunteers like Ethan

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Adopting a "Less Adoptable" - Bella

Mom to Cordi, Darlene is no stranger to special needs pets. Prior to adopting Cordi, Darlene and her husband, Ed, adopted a deaf dog - not just deaf, but a black dog too.

We thought it only appropriate to let Darlene share her story of adopting a "less adoptable" pet...

“Bella Luna” (Beautiful Moon), or just Bella, is our Deaf Dog that Rocks!!

Favorites: Chasing butterflies, chasing Cordi (sister), chasing squirrels, chasing bunnies - A CATAHOULA FOR YOU!

Knows the following hand signals (though she doesn't necessarily listen all the time): "sit", "stay", "come", "eat", "give", "good girl", "no!", "easy", "kiss", "silly", "what?" and "go".

She shares her home with several cats, a 13.5 yr old lab (the boss) and a 1 yr old boxer mix (other 1/2 of mischief).

Months after our blue heeler, Willow, passed at the age of 12 years we were looking to adopt. The Catahoula breed peeked our interest, however the few adoptables we had sought out would need to be transported quite a distance at our expense. We backed off on looking for a while, then found Bella (then named Onyx) on There she was with the little "special needs" heart stamp beside her photo.

This enduring black Catahoula was found abandoned on a dirt road in Arkansas ... and then found her way into our hearts.

She would certainly have a story to tell about her first 4 months as a pup - was it abuse? An accident? Or perhaps an attack? We may never know, but when she arrived into the safety of rescue, Bella had a few scarred toes and a tail that is missing a few inches. And was she deaf before or after these other physical changes to her?

Whatever happened, we knew Bella definitely would be "different" and we knew adopting Bella would be opening a new chapter in our lives. I guess adjusting has always been apart of our lives, at least looking back over a decade starting with a FIV+ kitty and another we were fostering for a lady who told me there was "no place in adoption for a damaged kitten" (yea, we kept that "foster"). We don't even think about anything being so wrong that an animal doesn't deserve a home or that we can't adjust to something - adding a ramp, giving medications, etc. After all, anything throughout their life can alter what may start off as even the "perfect" animal.

So, a deaf dog? Why not! With some research on caring for a deaf dog, we decided we were up for the challenge. We drove two hours to meet her and knew she was ours! Life is about experiences and now ours includes signing along with all the fun and typical challenges that come with raising a dog from a pup to now, a young adult at 1.5 years.

The addition of a "deafie" has required several adjustments. For instance, off-leash training is a little different with a deafie. Bella obviously can't hear the dangers with passing cars and can't hear you calling, so until we are confident with her "checking-in" skills (that is when she looks at us periodically to check our whereabouts), Bella is on the leash while outside the fence. This can take some time and typically involves a vibration collar and feeling confident in that your deafie will respond to commands (hand signals rather than word commands). Thankfully, we have a fenced in yard, which I consider a must have for most deafies - she's got the freedom to romp safely and we know the perimeter to look for one another in. She is also very in tuned to her surroundings. If one of my other pups is reacting to a stranger at the door, she will follow suit. If they leave the room, she usually "checks in" with them too - getting up to see their whereabouts. Oh, and it is said that "deafies" get the best sleep in the house - this is definitely true for Bella! Whenever we need to wake her, we put our hand up to her nose so our scent wakes her slowly from sleep rather than abruptly touching or startling her with contact.

Bella knows many hand signals and this will only grow. There are some deafies out there that know an upwards of 20-30 signs. We have adapted to signaling and use it often, even with our hearing abled pups as well. It has become a part of our vocabulary. I've even caught my self using it with people I know! We sometimes require extra patience with Bella, which can be attributed to her deafness ... or the fact that she is still a puppy and "listens" when she feels like it. She is our only pup to have ever participated in agility and she has even won a costume contest (no stage fright for her)! We are very proud of her ribbons.

When Bella is out in public she wears a "Deaf Pet" vest to hinder people from abruptly coming from behind and spooking her. You can't guarantee (even with a hearing dog) that they won't react defensively, so the vest helps with that. With her vest on, people often come and ask us questions, which we enjoy answering. I get asked a lot if Bella barks - yes, she barks! Louder then the other pups too. We've noticed many people from the hearing impaired community tend to greet us and often themselves own a deaf dog.

If I had to say anything about adopting a special needs pet, it'd be education through research and following subject related chat sites are key to a special needs adoption. Everyone in the household should agree on making any adjustments that might be necessary to care for the animal too. There are adjustments (we got the Catahoula we wanted, but she was deaf), some minor and some major, when you adopt a special pet, but to us, Bella is worth every bit of "different" that she is.

If you're considering adopting a deafie, a source for valuable information and adoptable deaf dogs can be found at

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Less Adoptable, but still Lovable - Denver

Speaking of special animals - have you met Denver?

Denver came from awful conditions where he and his buddies were being shot at and hunted by foxes. The property owner where Denver was born and her son were doing all they can, but there were a lot of cats being abandoned there and it was just too much. Joyce M made arrangements for 15 kittens to be rescued from this location and placed into foster care to become healthy again. Denver, however, has severe CH (like Fox, but much worse).

Joa's Arc decided to take on the care of Denver - he is a happy, spirited little kitten that deserved the chance at a life and we have high hopes his condition might improve with extra attention and age. . Denver's condition was so bad that when he first came into foster care with Joa's Arc, he couldn't stand, let a lone walk, at all. However, after just a few weeks of extra special care, he's already showing improvements (and he's even got his own Facebook following). We are currently getting acupuncture done on Denver and he's actually now about to stand on all four feet!

Denver is absolutely the type of kitten that could be remembered today (Remember Me Thursday) if it weren't for Joa's Arc and someone stepping up to foster him, a very special kitten. He is also the type of kitten that may never be adopted (though we always hope that right home comes along). Donations would be greatly appreciated for the special work that Denver requires and the extended care he will most likely need.

Denver's Amazon wishlist is here: All donations go to our PO Box, which Denver's foster mom checks.

You can donate through for Denver's care through PayPal. Just make a note that the donation is for Denver, please, and know that every little bit helps!

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Remember Me Thursday

Today is "Remember Me Thursday" - this is a global awareness campaign for the millions of healthy pets who have lost their lives, or are still waiting for their furever homes, in shelters everywhere.

Did you know that each year, over 3.4 million orphan shelter pets lose their lives without finding their forever home. This statistic was compiled by the Humane Society of the United States this year (2013). That means that only about 30% of the animals that enter a shelter ever leave alive with a future and forever family.

Doing what we do, Joa's Arc knows that there are countless other "less adoptable" pets that never see furever homes either. We ourselves have taken on several cases we knew may never (and never did) find families of their own other than with us in foster care (Elvis, Scooter, Tilly, Minnen, cleft palate puppy...).

Today we will light a candle in our home and in our hearts for the animals that never found a home before passing. Today we will hope for a better future for the animals still waiting.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Denver the eating machine

Here's our special boy, Denver, getting his treatment and chowing down

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National Feral Cat Day Event

As stated last year, there's another type of "special needs" pet that can't exactly be adopted, but still needs love & care (and sterilization!) just like any other pet of ours - feral cats.

3 weeks from now is National Feral Cat Day and Joa's Arc is taking part in a fun event: dine to donate - that's right, eat and donate to our good cause.

On Wednesday, October 16th, the Apple Bee's in Audubon, NJ, will be donating 10% of the receipts paid for with a flyer handed in with it. We will be splitting the funds with another great group, Pet Savers, who will be using the funds just like us - to make a difference for local feral cats through sterilization and education of their communities.

Head on over to this website to print out the flyer necessary to "Dine2Donate": flyer available here.

We'll see you there! :)

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Monday, September 23, 2013


Meet Calliope!

Calliope (like the Grey's Anatomy character) was rescued from a local shelter and put into foster care. It's pretty obvious that her eyes are far from normal, but don't tell her that. Calliope might lack sight, but she sees just fine with her heart.

She is currently 4 - 5 months old, spayed, dog & cat friendly and her eyes, though they look uncomfortable, really aren't that much of a bother to her. At the moment, Calliope just requires drops in her eyes every so often to keep them lubricated.

Check out the photos below...

That's Calliope & her foster sibling (the pit bull) and Calliope snuggling up for some love with her foster parent.

Though Calliope is happy in her foster home, she deserves a forever home. Think she could find her way into your heart & home? Email us at for info on adopting Calliope.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week 2013

It's "Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week"!

Pictured in this post is Butters who was born with all four feet deformed - that didn't stop him from zipping around though! After undergoing a surgery to amputate part of one limb (that was hurting him), Butters was back to his usual happy self. He was adopted out to a wonderful home with the help of Joa's Arc and thanks to a family willing to adopt a pet that was a little different.

This week, Joa's Arc will be spotlighting extra-ordinary pets, like Butters, here on our blog and also on our Facebook page.

Here's a taste from last year about some of the posts we'll be featuring this coming week: Adopting a Less Adoptable Pet: Louie

Make sure to check in daily for posts about super awesome pets ... and please consider sharing the information so we can spread the word about these wonderful creatures who are not "disabled", just unique.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week is coming up!

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

September 22nd - 28th 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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Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy News

Sadie was adopted quite quickly from our super awesome fosters, Alyssa & Nick.

Sadie came to us from a local shelter and has CH - a funny form that makes her appear to be shaking her head "no" when she gets excited. We are told that Sadie (her forever family kept her name) is doing well now and that she loves to run up & down the stairs at 5am ... all her family hears is her cat bell going wild as she runs.

Lucas has been adopted too!

Keeping on a roll, Nick & Alyssa also found a great new home for Lucas, the kitten who came into a local vet clinic to be put to sleep for injuries. He won over the vet staff though and recovered well. Lucas (now named Mowgli) seems to be turning out to be quite salt and pepper in color and his forever family really loves him a lot!

We could not be more excited for these two sweet kittens! Have wonderful lives, little ones

Help us, help them.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Oh Happy Day

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one cool chick, Cordi!

It's hard to believe that the itty bitty pitty (mix) puppy that was not suppose to see Christmas 2012 is alive, well and now turning a whole year old - it's incredible! We couldn't be more excited for her and her forever family to be able to celebrate this milestone.

Cordi, make sure to tell your parents for extra treats today and a dip in the pool.

Congrats and happy birthday, Cordi - here's to many, many more! We love you!

In other news, we got this great photo of Daph and her mom sent to us today. Congrats to Daph's parents on getting married today. We love you guys too :)

What an all around great day for our doggies and their families!!

Help us continue to help them...

Official PayPal Seal

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Chloe video

Paulie's Chloe's foster mom made this super cute video all about him her...

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Thank You

We at Joa’s Arc are overwhelmed by the support we have received for our organization.

Last night we posted on the Joa’s Arc facebook page asking for help with a blind kitten in a local shelter and quickly received several offers for assistance. As of tomorrow, the kitten will be safe in foster care.

Thank you to all our supporters that have insisted on making a donation, offering to foster or just giving moral support - you never stop amazing us! From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your support

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Introducing Chloe

UPDATE 08-07-2013: Paulie is apparently a girl, now named Chloe :)

Meet Paulie (named after one of the minions in "Despicable Me").

Mr. Paulie was recently rescued from a local shelter where he had survived an upper respiratory infection, but was to be put to sleep due to how full the shelter was - that was far too sad for any of us at Joa’s Arc to consider! Thank you to the staff who marked him for rescue and an adopter of ours stepping up to foster, Paulie was saved.

Paulie has slight Cerebellar Hypoplasia and gets wobbly when he gets excited. Like our other CH kitties have proven, this doesn't slow Paulie down a bit - he's still a very playful, spirited kitten.

We are helping Paulie get over some congestion right now (probably from the stress of the shelter), but he will be available for adoption soon.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Wash in the Park - in the news

Joa’s Arc made the news! Check out the article here: Washington Township dog wash promotes animal welfare.

The photo is of adorable little Alvin, Karen Q's most recent foster boy who is still looking for a home. The feet belong to Joyce M's grandson and Joa’s Arc awesome volunteer, Ethan.

Thank you to our wonderful friend and tabling-buddy, Karen Q, for doing the chatting. None of us could have said it more perfectly than you did, Karen, with your quote: "Just because you’re different doesn't mean you’re any less lovable - We all have that same mentality that these animals can bring a special quality to your life."

Thanks to PET SAVERS for the invite and thank you to everyone that came out to visit the Joa’s Arc table yesterday - what a wonderful event and turn out.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

EVENT: Sunday, 07/21/2013

Another fun event is coming up next weekend for Joa’s Arc. This event is held by Pet Savers and it's their annual "Wash in the Park"

Dog Wash (which includes nail trimming) is only $20 and microchipping is available on site that day for $25. There will be an appearance by Hercules, “Poopie Bingo” for a $10 donation, tons of vendors, a lot of food, pets & people!

Joa’s Arc will have our table with information there hoping to raise funds for our special pets while also helping to educate the public about how wonderful these unique animals really are.

The event will be at James Atkinson Park, 138 Bethel Mill Road, Sewell, NJ from noon – 4pm, Sunday July 21st.

Don't forget, tomorrow, Saturday 7/13, Joa’s Arc will be at Clayton Veterinary Associates' Bark-B-Que. Remember, the group that raises the most donations at the event will be given a matching donation by Clayton Veterinary Associates - help make Joa’s Arc that group tomorrow by coming out, saying hi and giving a donation - every dollar helps!

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Forever loved...

It is with a very heavy heart that we post the little cleft palate puppy Joa’s Arc rescued earlier this week has passed away.

He was a little lethargic yesterday, but got fluids and never stopped eating when fed. Unfortunately, this morning, he passed away with Chrissy loving him to the last minute.

In full disclosure, our puppy was one of 7 pups that someone decided to breed to make a profit off of. As of today, 3 of the 7 puppies that were born alive have died, so the odds were definitely against our little guy. Because of his cleft palate, our little guy was also deprived of nutrition the first 24 hours of life and although he was in the great hands of our friends, Chrissy, those first few hours of life are literally make or break for completely healthy puppies. With his cleft palate, it is also entirely possible that he had other defects as well - when a animal presents with one deformity, their chances of others (cardiac, neurological and respiratory) are very high. We'll never know for sure what it was (or if it was just all of it stacked up) that caused us to lose him...

What we do know is that Chrissy gave him the best chance he could have had, we know that he knew love and comfort in his short life and that Joa’s Arc was willing to rescue him, love him & give him a chance.

Thank you, Chrissy, for your time, dedication, love and risking this heartache. We love you to pieces for everything you did for him.

Thank you to everyone that has kept our little guy in their thoughts and prayers... I am sure that your efforts allowed him to feel every bit of those well wishes, prayers and love even as he crossed.

July 1, 2013 - July 6, 2013
R.I.P. little baby

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Friday, July 5, 2013

EVENT: Saturday, 07/13/2013

  Clayton Veterinary Associates is having a Bark-B-Que on Saturday July 13 from 11am-3pm (rain or shine) and they've invited us to join them.

Joa’s Arc can’t wait to be part of this event coming up next weekend and we'd love to see you there! We will have a table with information, former broken-heart Cordi will hopefully be there with us and our volunteers are hoping to raise donations for the special pets in our care like Pip, Lucas and our new little cleft palate puppy.

Leashed, well behaved dogs are welcome, a pet photographer will be there, lots of other pet rescue organzations will be there with info & adoptable animals, costume contest, tour the clinic, prizes, samples, drawings, snacks ... and the rescue/organization that receives the most donations during the event gets a matching donation from CVA!!! Think you can help make Joa’s Arc that group??

Looking forward to seeing you there, friends!

directions to the event click here

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Coming soon...

So sorry for the lack of activity here, friends. Prepare yourselves though because we have lots of updates coming soon of all the puppies, kitties and events we've been up to.

Thank you for your continued support in Joa’s Arc and the work that we do!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Heavy Hearts for Lucas

It is with a heavy heart we share that our Joyce M's buddy out at Best Friends, Lucas, has passed away.

Thought to be one of Vick's most seasoned fighters, Lucas was one of the many dogs a lot thought would never be safe around anyone and should be killed. Best Friends gave him a chance though and here is a photo of him last year with his purple collar (meaning he was allowed hands on time).

Thank you for proving them wrong, Lucas. Thank you for your sweetness and the strength to move past your past. You will be forever loved (and missed) by many.

R.I.P., sweet boy Lucas

You can read more about the love and loss of Lucas here.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities!

Joa’s Arc needs your help to help the animals.

We get emails every day about local animals in need. Anything from a bit shy to injuries that will more easily become infected in a shelter or conditions staff cannot properly handle in overly crowded shelters. Kitten season is now here, making space even more of an issue. These special animals barely have a chance...

Joa’s Arc needs foster homes for dogs and cats - expenses paid by Joa’s Arc and we're here to help with any questions you might have as well.

Unable to foster? That's ok!

- Hold a bake sale.
- Find us community events to attend to spread the word about our work with the animals.
- Help us table events.
- Collect cat and dog food.
- Share our wish list.
- Hold a yard sale to benefit Joa’s Arc.

Have ideas for a fundraiser? Please share it with us. There are so many ways to help!


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Monday, April 15, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

With Deep Sympathy & Sorrow

With deep sympathy and sorrow, we post that Joa's Arc's Jen W lost her dad earlier this week. He was the family member who originally brought animals home (before Jen was old enough to) and taught Jen to appreciate animals the way she does.

In lieu of flowers, Jen said, for his love of animals, donations may be made to Joa's Arc. May he rest in peace...

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt

On a windy, somewhat cloudy Saturday, Jen W of Joa’s Arc set out to attend a local Easter Egg Hunt and event to benefit the Princess Buttercup Foundation. She just took a small table with the plan of mostly handing out information to those that stopped by her table and socializing with the other groups attending (like our buddies/Daphne's adopter's group Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue). What an absolutely nice day it ended up being though ... lots of visitors, lots of kind people asking questions and lots of friends stopping by too.

One of those special friends was Elwood! Elwood and his mom, Karen, stopped by after meeting with a new friend at a local vet clinic's Easter Bunny photo-op day. The pair got to see Cordi (oh yes, she visited too - see below) and some of their friends at other local rescues too. They're such great company! Unfortunately, it was pretty chilly out for little Elwood and his time there was limited, but we're fortunate for any time with our retired friend, Elwood.

And our very own Cordi took home a ribbon from the event too - 2nd place! (Note: Don't mind the stuff on her face - it's just a different type of halter to help her walk well on a leash since otherwise she's such a complete loon.)

Cordi and her deaf sister, Bella, arrived with their folks completely prepared in Easter outfits! I think they all had an excellent time educating people on special needs pets, doing the Easter egg hunt, getting pictures with the Easter bunny and hanging out at the Joa’s Arc table.

It was wonderful to see how well Cordi is doing now - so well behaved and sweet. She's such an incredible example of all the good things you help Joa’s Arc accomplish. Cordi would absolutely not still be alive now if it weren't for your care and your help getting her the surgery she needed.

Thank you to all our friends who came out to visit with us yesterday and participating in the fun (but very windy) day! We appreciate all of you.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013


Daphne's mom started her own pit bull rescue! Yup, she's gone from networking to rescuing: Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This is what we do!

Cordi is a dog that a shelter would have put to sleep not long after arriving at shelter at 3 months of age with a severe heart murmur - so severe than just spaying her would most likely result in her death.

Cordi is a dog born with a heart defect so severe, 2 specialists (one in PA, one from DE) said it was the worst they had seen and surgery ASAP was the only option for her to see more than a month more of life ... but they also said surgery was maybe too expensive to consider for a mixed breed shelter dog that didn't belong to anyone.

This is a photo of Cordi tonight.

Two months after getting the life-saving surgery (balloon-inflation on her heart valve to open it correctly) Joa’s Arc & our supporters got for her, Cordi is a dog who is happy, healthy and friendly with a beagle she is greeting at the vet's office tonight. Although Cordi will require meds the rest of her life, she has a life ahead of her!!

This is what Joa’s Arc does ... because of your support!!!!!!!!

Please help us, help them by donating.

Snail Mail address:
PO Box 243
Audubon, NJ 08106

PayPal email:

Online Fundraiser here

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