Valentine’s Day may be just around the corner, but another day of love is approaching this month as well. Love Your Pet Day is February 20th, and the Fredericksburg Regional SPCA is excited to connect families with animals to love, as well as assist families in caring for their current pets.
As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fredericksburg Regional SPCA has had to make a number of changes to their procedures to keep staff, animals, volunteers, and the community safe. The adoption process is virtual, and access to the SPCA facility is by appointment only. Despite having to adapt their procedures, the Fredericksburg Regional SPCA has been able to increase its focus on programs that benefit the community.
For example, the SPCA was able to launch its People Empowered Through Support Program, which provides families with access to affordable vet care and a free Pet Pantry. According to Allie Names, the Director of Community Programs, “As the number of people out of work increased, so did the number of pet-owning families needing help.” The program’s enrollments have doubled as the pandemic continues to impact families. The Locke Community Medical Center has also reopened and offers low-cost vaccinations and surgery in addition to sick and wellness appointments.
While working to better serve the community during this stressful time, the staff at the Fredericksburg Regional SPCA continue to commit to making sure their animals are placed in loving foster homes. The fostering-to-adopt program has placed over 70% of the SPCA’s animals in foster care, where the animals are less stressed. These placements allow foster parents to collect important information about the animals, such as how they act around other pets or children. Being able to see and understand each animal’s unique personality allows the SPCA Matchmaker team to make more informed and stronger connections with potential adopting families.
While awaiting foster placements and adoption, the animals housed at the SPCA receive individualized care and plenty of snuggles. “We try to strike a good balance of mental, social, and physical enrichment while animals are in our care,” Allie Names says. “The dogs receive multiple daily walks with both staff and volunteers, playgroups, tasty treats, and some special activities like stuffed, frozen kongs or shred boxes!” According to Names, the animals seem to understand that the staff love them and want to help them, and they show it with happy tail wags and kisses. According to Volunteer Coordinator and Humane Director Ally McCormick, spending time with the animals also helps staff and volunteers lower their own stress.
Families who are interested in fostering, adopting, or even volunteering should visit fredspca.org/adopt to review the new adoption process. Names says, “Many of the animals are in amazing foster homes and any potential adopters can begin with a virtual meet and greet with the foster family to see if that animal might be the best fit for them!” The Fredericksburg Regional SPCA has a number of adoptable animals waiting to find loving homes. Some of these dogs are highlighted below. Cats are also available for adoption as well. Email Matchmakers@fredspca.org for more information about these animals.
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Harper is a year and a half. She has been with the Fredericksburg SPCA for 5 months now. Much of that time has been with her foster mom, gaining confidence and learning to trust. Harper was part of a case that the Fredericksburg SPCA assisted with, which ended in the removal of 53 dogs from a property near Tennessee. She is a sensitive gal who needs her future family to be patient with her as she adjusts to her new home. She adores the company of other dogs and will likely become quite a velcro dog with her new family. Harper doesn’t mind sharing her space with a cat and would prefer a calmer, quieter home. She loves to go for hikes and finish the day snuggled up in bed.
Titan is the handsomest dog in the whole ‘Burg! He is just under two years old and shows us how incredibly smart he is each day! He has already mastered sit, down, stay, paw, and crawl. Titan has been with us for 2 months and is getting spoiled rotten by his foster family. He does prefer to be the only animal in the home, as he wants to be the center of attention (who can blame him with that handsome face)! He’s a gentleman with his treats, a scholar with his tricks, and would love to find a home to share long walks with!
Maxie is a beautiful brindle adventure pup! She's an active, fun-loving gal who loves walks and runs, and even pulls her foster humans on scooters! She loves playing in the water and with the hose, so she's always good for a laugh when watering the garden! She is learning so many awesome things in foster, and likes to be the center of attention in the home - so she would do best as an only animal. If you'd like to meet her, be sure to bring Cheetos and watermelon to win over her heart! Maxie has been patiently looking for a home for almost a year now and while she loves meeting new people, she believes it's about time to find a family! Do you know about our Pets for Patriots partnership? Maxie is eligible and would make a great pet for a vet!