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.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
FreeFix Fixes PG Pets For Free: The postcards went out, and the calls came in! The PGSPCA received a grant this year from the Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund to provide free spay/neuter surgery for the pets of residents in certain Prince George's County neighborhoods. This is in addition to our long-time Snyder grant for low-income residents of the county. We advertised what we're calling our FreeFix program with flyers in the libraries, ads in local papers and a flurry of eye-catching postcards.
The program got underway in August, with a one-day event on August 22. Our vet was Dr. Roxanne Borrock, who also works at Spay Now Surgery Clinic and the Canal Clinic in Potomac. She altered 18 animals with assistance from surgical tech Pam Ferguson and prep tech Brittany Gabourel. Surgeries were done by early afternoon and Dr. Borrock said it was fun! She's coming back soon (hopefully once a month) for this great program.
Front of FreeFix postcard.
Oh, Goody! Spreading the Word About Vaccines & Pet Health Every one of the 100 or so people who bring their pets to our monthly shot clinics leaves with a goody bag packed with information about pet health and wellness.
In addition to paperwork showing which vaccinations their pet received, each goody bag includes a flyer letting pet parents know that it is not uncommon to see a small amount of swelling at the injection site, and what unusual symptoms warrant a call to their regular vet. It also lists common vaccinations, the typical schedule for those shots, and important tests for dogs and cats. We offer rabies and distemper shots at the clinic.
We noticed that many animals come in wearing a flea collar, so we now include information about the hazards of this approach to flea control. Because they are designed to kill fleas, the collars contain ingredients that can potentially be harmful to both people and pets. They can pose a threat to dogs that like to grab each other’s collars in play. We include alternatives recommended by the Humane Society of the United States, such as products with insect-growth regulators rather than pesticides, or topical products that are insecticides with fewer toxic effects on the nervous system.
Because a lot of our clients ask about nail trimming, we've printed up a page explaining how to clip your pet's nails. This page illustrates how to recognize the kwik, which supplies blood to the nail. Clipping this accidentally can be painful for the animal and may result in bleeding, so it is crucial to be able to identify and avoid clipping the kwik during trim sessions with your pet.
The task of stuffing all those bags is done by our volunteer Rikki Woodall, often with help from her family. She says they sit down in front of the TV, watch a video and stuff away!
Our shot clinics are held on the first Sunday of the month, unless a major holiday or a home Redskins game falls on that day, in which case we switch to the first Saturday.
Hope for Pit Bulls: Judging a Book by Its Content? Unfortunately for dog lovers in Prince George’s County, the countywide ban on pit bulls still stands as it has since 1996. Despite campaigns by rescues, dog federations and concerned citizens, pit bulls may not reside within county borders. However, the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George’s County is still working to help the breed.
The Animal Management Division takes in, on average, 686 pit bulls annually through seizures and off the streets, according to the Department of the Environment. Once a dog that looks like a pit bull terrier (any dog that exhibits the physical characteristics of a pit bull terrier – including any and all mixed-breeds) is seized or caught in the county, it is taken to the Animal Services Facility (the shelter) in Upper Marlboro. Due to the county's breed ban, it is unlikely that any pit bull brought here will be adopted. Instead, it will spend the remainder of its life in a cage in the rear of the building.
But the PGSPCA is determined to make sure as many of these dogs as possible are safely relocated and adopted, since we cannot adopt them out ourselves.
Starting this year, the PGSPCA embarked on a new program designed to make the pit bulls in our county shelter more adoptable. We have committed $1,000 to the spay/neuter of temperament-tested pit bulls in the county shelter, which have been found highly adoptable. We work directly with the shelter and pay for the pit bulls to be altered in their facility. With some of the cost deferred to us, shelters and dog rescues outside the county will be able to save more of the pit bulls here. So far, the PGSPCA has paid for nine pit bull alteration surgeries.
“There’s no other reason for them not to be adopted,” said Tamela Terry, president of the PGSPCA. “These dogs have been unfairly or unfortunately labeled and because of that label they are being killed. It’s not because of their behavior, it’s not because of anything they have done, it’s just because someone identified them as a pit bull-type dog. In another county they would be adopted out and have long and wonderful lives.”
A spay or neuter can cost anywhere from $50 to $100, with a spay costing more due to a more involved surgery. There is no specific fundraiser directly for this program, but money is pulled from general treasury funds. After the $1,000 commitment is reached, Terry said, “we will reanalyze and hopefully continue our efforts.”
“Spay/neuter is a really important part of our mission, and this pit bull effort is just one small piece of that,” Terry said. “We run a spay/neuter clinic and we spay and neuter as many animals as we can, because we think it’s such an important part of the population control issue.”
If you are interested in volunteering with the PGSPCA, then these events are for you!