Editor's note: The Richmond SPCA's "Pet Post" newsletter is mailed to supporters' homes quarterly. Each issue features two pets on the cover whose lives have been saved thanks to our donors' generous support. Our communications intern, Shane Clements, has been hard at work this semester to gather updates on each pet who was featured in 2013, and we look forward to bringing you the stories she has gathered in a four-part blog series.
The February 2013 issue of the Pet Post quarterly newsletter included the story of Christopher, a small Chihuahua with a big personality. Originally from Los Angeles, Christopher made his way to the Richmond SPCA thanks to a special transport program. But after Christopher arrived at the Richmond SPCA, he showed signs of pain in his rear left leg. After further examination, Director of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Angela Ivey, determined Christopher was suffering from Legg-Perthes Disease. The disease meant Christopher could suffer a life of chronic pain and might possibly lose his leg. Because Christopher had been lucky enough to make his way to the Richmond SPCA, he had the opportunity to receive the surgery he needed to live a life free of pain. After recovering from his surgery, he underwent rehabilitation and received tons of love and affection from staff and volunteers at the Richmond SPCA.
During his rehabilitation, Christopher found a loving, new home. Normally a foster provider for kittens, Christopher’s adopter, Melissa, saw his profile online and knew Christopher was the one for her. Christopher, now named Custard, is having the time of his life in his new home. “Cuddle Bug” Custard spends most of his free time playing with his new feline siblings, and of course, cuddling. When learning to use his crate for bedtime, Melissa gave him treats as reinforcement and Custard quickly learned that the crate led to treats and getting a treat meant going in the crate, even if Melissa didn’t tell him to. Melissa also says Custard has given himself a strict 9:30 p.m. bedtime. Occasionally, Melissa will think, “Where’s Custard?” only to find him in his crate, ready for bed. According to Melissa, Custard's previous medical problems have not slowed him down. Melissa says Custard loves to run laps around the yard as fast as his little legs will go. But as soon she calls him, Custard makes a bee-line straight for his adopter. Custard has learned to roll with the punches, whether that means traveling to the East Coast from California, having surgery, or learning to live with two feline siblings. Now in a loving home, Custard’s trip to the East Coast gave him the opportunity to meet his perfect match.
The February Pet Post also included the story of Coraline, a beautiful, affectionate cat with striking green eyes. When she was transferred into the care of the Richmond SPCA in the fall of 2010, Coraline was only 10 months old and had an upper respiratory infection, requiring immediate medical attention and treatment. Coraline’s condition caused her to suffer from painful oral ulcers, gingivitis and skin lesions. She was placed on a steroid regimen, which was initially effective, but Coraline’s inflammation returned. Coraline was in apparent discomfort, which prevented her from grooming herself. After months of treatment at the Richmond SPCA as well as in the home of devoted foster care provider Dr. Rosalie Gibson, the veterinary staff had to remove Coraline’s premolars and molars as well as her remaining canines in a later procedure. After the procedures, Coraline’s gums began to heal and showed great improvement. Soon after, Coraline no longer needed her daily dose of medications and eagerly ate her prescription wet food. After 27 months in the Richmond SPCA’s care, Coraline was finally ready for adoption. She was promptly featured on WRIC 8 News, where Coraline was seen by the family she now calls her own.
After seeing her on the news, Coraline’s new family instantly knew they wanted to meet her. Coraline caught her family’s attention when they realized she is polydactyl: she was born with additional toes. Being an English major, Coraline’s adopter Amy was drawn to her because of the connection with author Ernest Hemmingway, a lover of polydactyl cats. Still named Coraline, she now spends her time playing with her cat and dog companions, as well as the family’s four children. Coraline is particularly attached to the family’s six-month-old baby, Dorian. She takes pride in watching over Dorian while she sleeps and knows the best way to keep her eye on the baby is snuggled up beside her. Needless to say, Coraline lives in a busy household, but Amy says, “she just goes with the flow.” Although Coraline had some of her teeth removed, that has not kept her from eating; in fact, it’s one of her favorite hobbies. Coraline’s family says she has gained a few pounds, becoming quite the “roly poly.” After 27 months in the Richmond SPCA’s care, Coraline found her perfect match and is living a wonderful life with her new family.
Shane Clements is the Richmond SPCA's spring communications intern. To read the biographies of our regular bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.