Fall 2019

Tales from the Bark Side

Wellness Palooza

We held our first-ever free wellness event in partnership with the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Foundation (VECCF) on Thursday, September 5th. We treated nearly 150 dogs and cats, providing exams, vaccinations, testing, microchips, and other basics at no charge! 

VECCF provides assistance and funding for projects that raise the level of care for animals in need. They chose to partner with PGSPCA on a Day of Service in the Washington, DC area, and we're so happy they did! The public interest was huge: in the weeks leading up to the event, we received hundreds of inquiries. We prequalified and registered needy Prince George's pet owners out of a large pool of applicants.

When the big day came, the VECCF arrived with a massive supply of donated vaccines, medications, and veterinary supplies, accompanied by 18 volunteer veterinarians and techs. We provided the facility and 8 volunteers, setting up tents, tables, equipment, water bowls, and donated pet supplies to be given away.

For more than 3 hours, clients streamed in to register and wait for their turn to see a vet. We treated dogs at the 7 treatment stations in the clinic parking lot and cats inside the clinic to prevent them from getting loose. Pet owners received vaccine paperwork, test results, medications, and referrals for further treatment if necessary. The weather was temperate, and it was a great day for hundreds of needy Prince George's pets! As they left the Palooza, many clients told us how thankful they were to have this opportunity.

In total, we administered 250+ vaccinations (107 rabies, 130 distemper, 13 Lyme, and 6 leptospirosis), 80+ nail trims, and almost 50 microchips. We tested 100+ dogs for heartworms and 29 cats for FeLV/FIV.  We provided flea/tick preventative to almost 90 pets and dewormed 15+ pets. 

The need for low-cost wellness is tremendous, having heard from many more pet owners than we could accommodate in just one event. We're grateful to the VECCF for their help with this inaugural event, and we hope to do more Wellness events in the future!
The PGSPCA Internship Program

Did you know the PGSPCA clinic has an intern program for pre-veterinary college students? We are lucky to have 8 very talented interns this year from University of Maryland! 

Kevin Cooley (Clinic Management Intern)
I first got interested in working with animals when I realized I had a passion for the sciences and a large interest in animals. So I thought why not combine the two interests! I hope to practice small animal medicine, as cats and dogs are largely what I am most interested in. At home I have a border collie, a reef aquarium, and a hedgehog named Sonia!

Ellie McClellan (Clinic Management Intern)
This is my second year working with the PGSPCA. I have loved shelter animals for as long as I can remember. I held my 10th birthday party at a humane society, decorating dog treats and cuddling kittens! I hope to work as a companion animal veterinarian and continue exploring my passion for shelter medicine.

Julianna Csiba
I’m a rising junior and animal science major at UMD. Of course, I’m hoping to go to veterinary school after undergrad; Virginia-Maryland would be my school of choice. In the far future, I’d absolutely love to work with exotics! I’m an avid road tripper and have spent a good chunk of time meandering from campsite to campsite on the East Coast in a tiny car with a two-person tent. I like to hike as well and love spending time out in nature.

Esther Martinez
I have always just loved being around animals. I always had several pets like dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, turtles, and fish. I was fascinated by all the different species and how the vets I took them to dealt with them. I have yet to decide whether I want to do mixed practice or exotics. Currently, I work in a lab at UMD with song birds and have adopted a few!

Kruti Patel
I’ve always been passionate in taking care of animals, but I would say my high school internship at the Marriottsville Animal Hospital really sparked my interest in a veterinary career. In the future, I hope to work with exotics and eventually wildlife and conservation. A little fact about me is that I have a pet cockatiel whose name is Zazu. :)

Shelby Presley
I became interested in working with animals at a young age, as I have always been surrounded by animals. I grew up around animals such as cows and horses and hope to become a large animal or wildlife vet. This summer I spent two weeks in the Ecuadorian Amazon working with a sanctuary to rehab and release endangered wildlife. A fun fact about me is that I have two labs, goats, ducks, and some chickens! 

Julianna Scardina
I'm a rising senior at the University of Maryland. I'm majoring in Animal Science and am currently applying to veterinary school. At home, I have five cats, a dog, an axolotl, and a bunny. I hope to become involved in shelter medicine when I graduate from vet school!

Kseniya Zubilova
I’m a second-year intern here at PGSPCA! I’ve always had animals in my life, and from a very young age I knew I wanted to be involved in veterinary medicine. I’m currently the owner of a goofy pit bull, Juno, and an older (but still very much a puppy) Vizsla, Cooper. After being involved in this field I’ve realized that my passion belongs in companion animal orthopedics medicine and hopefully next year when I apply to veterinary school I’ll have the opportunity to specialize in that field. Over the past year, this organization has grown very close to my heart and I’m more than excited to be continuing my internship for a second year!

June–September 2019
Making a Difference

Low-cost vaccinations & microchips administered

Animals altered at our spay/neuter clinic (most for free)

Assistance and abuse calls handled on our 24-hour hotline

Fall Safety Tips

With summer winding down, most of us are gearing up for cooler walks, pumpkin patches, hayrides, and holiday fun. And although our furry friends are safer from heatwaves, fall does bring some pet hazards that are easy to overlook.

Tempting Items
With school back in session, you may have markers, glue, and other school supplies floating around your home. If ingested by a pet, these can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and sometimes even blockages that require veterinary attention. The same is true with Halloween and Thanksgiving décor; decorations can look like toys and can cause similar problems if they are eaten.
A better-known danger to pets is Halloween candy. High levels of sugar can cause severe gas and diarrhea, and chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats. Don’t forget the candy wrappers! If eaten, they can cause intestinal problems too.
As the weather gets colder, we typically see more use of household products like rat poison and antifreeze. These are poisonous and can kill your pet or result in costly medical care if ingested. Look for pet-friendly formulas instead.
There are also several poisonous mushrooms that flourish in our area in the fall. Because it can be difficult to tell mushroom species apart, it is best to be on the safe side and remove them from your yard.
To keep your pet safe from all toxic or non-food items:
  • Keep an eye out for abnormal behavior. If you think your pet has eaten anything they shouldn’t have, contact your vet. 
  • Store or display all dangerous items off the floor and out of reach.
  • Watch your dog and keep them on leash during walks so you can monitor what they might try to eat.

For animals that hibernate, fall is a key time to consume as much food as possible to survive the winter. Stay alert when your pet is outside because you’re more likely to come upon an animal who might feel the need to defend itself. In particular, Copperheads and Timber Rattlesnakes can easily go unnoticed until it’s too late, and you don’t have to be in the wilderness to run into one.
Ticks are still out in the fall, especially in those piles of leaves that are so fun to jump in. Remember to check your pets for ticks after they’ve been outside and to regularly treat them with the preventative tick medicine that your vet has recommended.

Cold Weather
Although September is a warm month for Prince George’s County on average, temperatures will start to drop at night and could become uncomfortable for your pets. Always keep an eye on your pet as the weather starts to cool off, especially if they are very young, very old, or particularly small.

Personal Space
Between family gatherings and trick-or-treaters, your pet could be seeing a lot of new people this season. Every pet is different, so be mindful of your pet’s desire (or lack thereof) to interact with people. You can let visitors know ahead of time that your pet needs space, especially with children who may not know how to be safe around pets. If your pet is wary of children or scared of costumes, be sure to keep him or her in a comfortable and familiar place as trick-or-treaters come to the door. And although we may think it’s cute, pets don’t usually enjoy getting dressed up for events. Remember to be aware of your pet’s comfort and supervise guests to protect your pet.
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IMPORTANT: Visit to confirm times and locations for all events.

Clinic Events
Spay/Neuter (by appointment only)
Sep 29 FeralFix (cats only)   
Oct 19 & 20 (pet dogs & cats)
Oct 27 FeralFix (cats only)
Nov 16 & 17 (pet dogs & cats)
Nov 23 FeralFix (cats only)

Use our online form to request
an appointment: 

Low-Cost Vaccinations
Saturday, Oct 5 | 1pm–3pm
Sunday, Nov 3 | 1pm–3pm
Sunday, Dec 1 | 1pm–3pm
PGSPCA Clinic - Forestville

Mobile Low-Cost Vaccinations
Saturday, Oct 5 | 10am–11:30am
Berwyn Heights Town Hall

Volunteer Orientations
If you are interested in volunteering with the PGSPCA, come learn more at one of our orientations!
Saturday, Sep 28 | 12:30pm–1pm
Saturday, Oct 26 | 12:30pm–1pm
Saturday, Nov 23 | 12:30pm–1pm
All at the PetSmart in Bowie

Adoption Shows
Meet our adoptable animals! Please email us in advance if you are coming to check out a specific animal—not every animal will be present at each show. See a current listing of our adoptable animals online at

Saturday, Sept 28 | 12pm–2pm
PetSmart - Bowie
Saturday, Oct 12 | 12pm–2pm
PetSmart - Calverton
Saturday, Oct 26 | 12pm–2pm
PetSmart - Bowie
Saturday, Nov 9 | 12pm–2pm
PetSmart - Calverton
Saturday, Nov 23 | 12pm–2pm
PetSmart - Bowie
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Visit our website to see our adoptable animals! Visit our website to see our adoptable animals!
Thank you to our PGSPCA Tales from the Barkside volunteers:
Editors: Faith Weiner, Hannah MacLean
Contributors: Tamela Terry
Design: Kerry McCutcheon

The SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George’s County, Inc. is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to animal welfare. We do not operate the county shelter. We are chartered by the State of Maryland, but we receive no state or county funds. Our activities are supported solely by contributions, dues, and fundraising events.

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SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's County · PO Box 925 · Bowie, MD 20718 · USA