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 November 2013 issue of the Pet Post, the Richmond SPCA’s quarterly newsletter, featured Giselle and Vivian. After living in a hotel room for many years, in August of 2013 a maintenance worker discovered that Giselle and Vivian’s owner had moved away, leaving the cats with no one to care for them. Alerted by the maintenance worker, the Richmond SPCA urged Chesterfield County Animal Control to investigate the case. Once available for transfer, Giselle and Vivian were brought into the care of the Richmond SPCA. Veterinary staff at the Richmond SPCA established that Giselle and Vivian were 7-year-old unspayed females in relatively good health. A week after the arriving at the Richmond SPCA, the two cats were ready for their spay surgeries in preparation for adoption. During Vivian’s surgery, Dr. Angela Ivey, director of veterinary medicine, discovered a mammary mass and performed a biopsy, which revealed carcinoma. A full mastectomy was scheduled for Vivian, and her operation in September of 2013 successfully removed all of the cancerous tissue. Giselle never left Vivian’s side during her recovery. Labwork in October of 2013 showed that Vivian was doing great, clearing her to find a permanent home with her sister Giselle.
Lelia and her daughter visited the Richmond SPCA and were captivated by how beautiful the two sisters were, although they were in search of a dog and had no intention of adopting a cat. After leaving, Lelia could not get the two sisters out of her mind and came back a few days later to take them home. Now in their wonderful new home, Giselle and Vivian have started to come out of their shells and let their personalities shine. Lelia claims that although “the twins” are very similar, they are also very different. Lelia says that Giselle is very quiet, but she loves to be held. Vivian, on the other hand, will only tolerate being held for a few minutes if she’s being rocked in someone’s arms. Unlike Giselle, Vivian loves to talk!
One thing the sisters have in common: they love to eat. Giselle has proven to have better table manners, waiting patiently for her food while Vivian loudly begs for her meal. Giselle and Vivian also have a new feline companion, Sugar. Although she’s the queen of the house, Sugar graciously allows Giselle and Vivian to share her space. Giselle and Vivian’s new guardians are especially attentive to their medical needs because of the cats’ veterinary histories. Giselle receives cancer checks every three months and Vivian receives antibiotics to treat gum disease. According to their guardian, Leila, Giselle and Vivian have been a comlete joy.
The November 2013 issue The Pet Post also included the story of Adam and Sunny, two elderly dogs rescued from deplorable conditions at the hands of a hoarder. Luckily, the Richmond SPCA gave Adam and Sunny the second chance they deserved. In September 2013, the Richmond SPCA staff visited the home of Adam and Sunny’s owner, who agreed to relinquish approximately 60 dogs in her custody to avoid animal cruelty charges. At the home, veterinary services along with behavior and training staff evaluated each pet to determine the resources needed to rehabilitate the neglected dogs. The Richmond SPCA was told that Adam and Sunny were not eligible for the assessment, only because they were too old and scheduled to be euthanized at the end of the week, per the owner’s request. After much pleading, the Richmond SPCA staff, unwilling to accept that Adam and Sunny should die solely due to their age, transferred Sunny and Adam, along with seven other dogs, to the Robins-Starr Humane Center.
As Adam and Sunny awaited adoption, Debbie, and her daughter, Grace, spotted the two brothers on the Richmond SPCA website. Grace thought Adam and Sunny looked sweet and were worried they wouldn’t be adopted. After the beginning of kennel renovations in February, Adam and Sunny were moved to Holiday Barn Pet Resorts and their profiles were temporarily removed from the website. After noticing their absence, Debbie and Grace thought they had been adopted and were very happy, but also sad that they weren’t part of Adam and Sunny’s new family. Just to be sure, Debbie emailed the Richmond SPCA and learned Adam and Sunny were at Holiday Barn during the renovations and decided to visit the two brothers. After visiting with them, Debbie and Grace knew that the pair of dogs would make a perfect addition to their family.
Adam and Sunny have settled into their new home wonderfully. Last summer, the family lost their 17-year-old dog, Max, who they also adopted from the Richmond SPCA. The family was familiar with the needs of senior dogs, and knew Adam and Sunny would get along great with their dog, Shanna. Also adopted from the Richmond SPCA, 11-year-old Shanna gets along great with Adam and Sunny. The two brothers have also made many friends in the neighborhood, both human and canine. Sunny has made a very good friend across the street named Daisy. When he and Daisy met, Debbie says the two played like puppies. Adam and Sunny also have many friends in the neighborhood children, who love Adam and Sunny’s sweet, gentle dispositions.
After bringing them home, Adam and Sunny’s adopters started to notice their unique personalities. Debbie says Sunny is very shy and reserved due to his rough background, but she’s hopeful that with lots of petting and love he will learn to open up. Adam on the other hand is “the boss.” While lining up for a treat, Adam will nudge the other dogs to get in line first. Debbie also says Adam is not a morning person. “He can be a ‘grump’ early in the morning,” says Debbie. “He looks at me like I’m crazy to take him for an early morning walk.” Debbie also says the two brothers are getting stronger every day. The first day home, Adam could only walk down part of the street. Now Adam and Sunny walk at least a half mile around the block, “trotting” part of the way. Sunny loves the exercise and will take several trips around the block if he’s allowed. Needless to say, both dogs sleep well each night. Thanks to their stay at the Richmond SPCA, Adam and Sunny were given the opportunity to find their perfect home with a loving family. We are thrilled that Adam and Sunny have many happy times and countless adventures ahead!
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.