Ride Along Wednesdays
At the Brant County SPCA we have the opportunity to be involved in many different facets of animal welfare. So much of what we do is ‘behind the scenes’ especially when it comes to our Animal Services for the City of Brantford and our Animal Protection Services for all of Brant County.
We are certain that most of you have seen our Animal Services team out and about in the community riding along in our Brant County SPCA vans. And we are sure a lot of you are curious to know what a day in the life of these officers really looks like. Well, we’re inviting you to ‘ride along with us!’ so that you can see firsthand.
Every Wednesday we will share an interesting story from our Animal Services team. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry and some will make you hug your own pets a little tighter. But all of them will make you have a greater understanding of how important their role is within our organization. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!
“During the late morning hours of October 9, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a confined dog. The caller stated that a Boxer type dog had wandered into her family’s residence after the home’s front door was temporarily left wide open. An Animal Control Officer was dispatched to attend the address.
Upon arrival, the Officer w…as greeted at the residence and invited inside. After walking through the front door, the Boxer type dog was sleeping on its side taking a mid day nap on an area rug! After the Officer’s initial attempts to wake the dog, it was evident the dog did not want to be disturbed from her beauty sleep. The dog was scanned for a microchip and one was found however the owner’s information was entirely out of date and had been for quite some time. From this information it was discovered that this beautiful senior dog’s name was Nora.
The dog was returned to the shelter to serve her stray time. During this time, many attempts were made to contact Nora’s possible owners but there was no such luck in doing so. She was assessed by a veterinarian and it was determined that she required some moderate dental work before being placed for adoption.
A plea was made to our community regarding the dental procedure Nora required and all of the $650.00 needed for this was quickly accumulated thanks to our EXTREMELY GENEROUS donors. Nora will be undergoing surgery soon so please stay tuned for an update.
We – the Brant County SPCA and Nora of course – would like to thank everyone involved in this heartwarming story. Nora will require a forever home to live out her golden years. Please contact the shelter at 519-756-6620 to stop by and meet this lovely ‘young’ lady!”
“This week’s feature does not have a specific date, time and incident but instead highlights an ongoing concern at the Brant County SPCA. Recently, Animal Control Officers arriving for their morning shifts have found cats left in carriers at the front of the shelter overnight. These cats are either strays or left by their owners for various reasons.
This is an extremely… stressful situation not only for the cats being left alone but also for our staff especially when the shelter is already at capacity. At this time of the year specifically cage space is at a premium and intake needs to be arranged beforehand to ensure we can accommodate.
There is no bylaw in the City of Brantford for healthy stray cats and our first priority is always to sick, injured and orphaned animals who require more immediate assistance. We are always willing to intake healthy strays and owner surrenders providing there is available cage space.
A few years ago we implemented an intake policy in an effort to help save as many lives as possible. We have attached a copy of this in the comment section. An intake appointment is now required for any animal not needing immediate attention.
If you have found a healthy stray or if you are needing to rehome your pet for any reason, please contact us @ (519) 756-6620 to arrange a date and time for intake. It is the best option for the animal so that we can meet their needs properly and efficiently.
Please do not leave animals unattended overnight at the shelter entrance; autumn is here and the temperatures at night are falling below a comfortable level for an animal left exposed to the elements alone in a carrier. Thank you for your assistance, it is very much appreciated.”
“During the afternoon hours of September 18, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a raccoon in distress. The caller stated that a raccoon’s paw was trapped in a ravioli can. Animal Control Officers were dispatched to attend the location of the raccoon.
Upon arrival, the Officers observed that one of the raccoon’s front legs was …trapped within the inside of a can. An Officer was able to retrieve the raccoon on a catch pole while the other Officer carefully pulled the can away from the raccoon, releasing it from the can’s grasp.
After a careful evaluation, the raccoon did not appear to suffer from any injuries as a result of the incident and it was released nearby where it climbed up a nearby tree.”
“During the late morning hours of September 11, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a possibly sick and/or injured bat. The caller found the bat in a West Brant area plaza; The bat was found on a brick wall, approximately 2 feet above a sidewalk. An Animal Control Officer was dispatched to attend the location of the bat.
Upon a…rrival, the Officer evaluated the bat to ensure that it was not sick and/or injured. Upon expanding the bat’s wings and a close inspection, the Officer believed that the bat was healthy and had zero concerns for its well-being.
The Officer transported the bat to a nearby park to be released. The bat was placed onto a high branch of one of the park’s trees where it was able to hang itself upside and fly away.”
“During the afternoon hours of August 26, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received a call from a concerned citizen regarding an extremely sick and/or injured raccoon. The caller stated that she had observed a raccoon on the roof of her pool shed earlier in the day and that the raccoon was not mobile and barely breathing. An Animal Control Officer was dispatched to attend the …caller’s address.
Upon arrival, the Officer observed a juvenile aged raccoon on the roof of the shed, in a hunched over position . After climbing a small step ladder and making a small amount of noise on the roof’s shingles, the raccoon became alert and moved over to the other side of the roof. After dancing around the shed with the ladder multiple times, the Officer was able to catch the raccoon on a pole, placing it into a carrier.
The Officer evaluated the raccoon for any sicknesses and/or injuries and it was concluded that the healthy raccoon “bit off a bit more than it could chew” that day, causing it to be stuck on the roof. What better time to sunbath and catch a quick nap huh!? After examining the animal, no illnesses and/or injuries were observed.
The raccoon was transported to a nearby forested area and released.”
“During the early afternoon hours of Saturday, August 15, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received a call from an individual regarding his sick dog. The caller stated that his dog was not eating, was vomiting and having loose stool. Moreover, he stated that he did not have the financial ability to seek necessary veterinary care for his pet. At this time, two Animal Control Officers were dispatched to attend the residence.
Upon arrival, Animal Control Officers evaluated the dog and believed the dog to be indeed sick. At this point, the Shepherd/Rottweiler cross was surrendered over to the care of the Brant County SPCA. Shortly thereafter, the dog was transferred to an after-hours veterinary clinic for medical assessment. The dog was suspected to have the parvovirus but a later test yielded a negative result. The clinic’s staff directed the Officers to return the dog to the shelter and monitor it over the weekend.
Due to the dog’s ongoing sickness, the dog was transferred back to the after-hours veterinary clinic for a second medical evaluation. At this time, it was believed that the dog was suffering from heart worm and a subsequent test later supported this belief.
A kind staff member of the veterinary clinic, who wishes to remain anonymous, has taken full ownership of the dog and its heartworm treatment. We wish them both a successful and speedy recovery!”
“During the late morning hours of today – August 4, 2015 – the Brant County SPCA received a call from a concerned citizen regarding an injured cat. The caller stated that a stray cat had wandered onto her property that couldn’t walk nor put any pressure on its front, left leg. An Animal Control Officer was immediately dispatched to attend the location of the injured cat.
Upon arrival, the Officer observed an extremely infected abscess on the cat’s front leg; there was a strong odour of infection present as well. The cat was then transferred to a local veterinary clinic for a medical evaluation. An in-depth medical evaluation was performed by the clinic’s veterinarian and staff. The cat’s abscess was carefully flushed out after the evaluation to induce healing. Afterwards, the cat received antibiotics and fluids in order for the cat to make a full recovery.
The cat is currently at the shelter serving its stray time where its abscess is being cleaned with saline washes and warm compresses three times per day. Thankfully, the cat is now able to bare weight on its injured leg and is expected to make a full recovery.”
“The Brant County SPCA is under contract with the City of Brantford to provide Animal Control Services and Bylaw Enforcement.
According to the Bylaws and Municipal Code, Chapter 206 for Dogs and Other Animals, the Brant County SPCA acts as a Poundkeeper for the City of Brantford. Most of these bylaws pertain to dogs and other animals and the only specific bylaw regarding cats is the following:
“206.2.2 Cats – maximum – three per location – exception
Whether temporarily, permanently, or otherwise, no more than three domestic cats of an age in excess of six months shall be kept, harboured, maintained or possessed at any location within the City of Brantford.”
This being said, we do have the responsibility of providing animal control services to sick and injured cats including orphaned kittens. There is nothing in the city bylaws however that pertains to stray cats.
We felt it was an opportune moment to provide this information since the shelter at the Brant County SPCA is currently at FULL capacity for cats. We are always happy to take in stray cats and owner surrenders as long as there is space permitting. At the present time, there simply is no room.
In an effort to help save as many lives as possible, we do offer a Foster to Surrender program all year round and especially during our busy season throughout the summer months. Our Foster to Surrender program was introduced as a pilot program a few summers ago and has been an overwhelming success so far.
If you have found a stray cat in the City of Brantford and you are willing to provide it temporary care as a foster home, we will help provide the cat with whatever it needs until an adoptive home is found. This includes veterinary care including vaccinations, microchipping and spay/neutering services as well as supplies such as food, toys and litter. All you need to provide is the shelter of your home and the love and nurturing the cat requires. Please contact us @ (519) 756-6620 for more information. Thank you!
“During the morning hours of July 21, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a skunk stuck and unable to free itself from a hockey net. An Animal Control Officer was dispatched to the caller’s address to assess the skunk in question.
Upon arrival, the Officer observed a skunk with its neck and front legs stuck within the hockey net. The skunk was hardly able to move, spraying and clearly in distress. While carefully using a pair of scissors, the Officer was able to free the skunk from the hockey net.
After being released, the skunk ran away unscathed. Unfortunately the same could not be same for the Officer in attendance who sported a new ‘cologne’ for the rest of the day much to the chagrin of his coworkers. But sometimes it’s all in a day’s work!”
During the early evening hours of Tuesday, July 14, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received an emergency page regarding a sick and/or injured skunk on Puleston St in the City of Brantford. The caller stated that a skunk was lying in the middle of the roadway in an odd, hunched over position.
Upon arrival, the Animal Control Officer that attended the call parked his Animal Services vehicle on the side of the roadway a few feet away from skunk. Upon further inspection, the alleged “skunk” was not sick and/or injured by any means but instead was a pair of black and white swimming trunks!
Thankfully, the swimming shorts were unscathed and free from any tears or stains, or skunk-like scent for that matter!
On a more serious note, we would like to thank the caller for their concern. We appreciate every call and as you can see, sometimes it adds a little levity to our day. And we appreciate that too!
Shortly after midnight on June 24, 2015 the Brant County SPCA received an emergency page from a concerned citizen regarding an injured cat at a downtown apartment complex in Brantford. The caller stated that the cat may have fallen from one of the complex’s balconies and that the cat was not moving. An Animal Control Officer attended the address and assessed the cat. The cat did have a microchip but the owner was unable to be contacted due to an old address on file with the microchip company and no response to phone messages at such a late hour.
The cat was transferred to an after hours emergency veterinary clinic. After a medical evaluation including an xray were performed, the cat appeared to have suffered from two separate fractures on one of its rear legs. The cat immediately received medication to alleviate any pain and discomfort.
After a second medical assessment was performed, the fractures were believed to be very severe and not reparable. Due to the extent of the injuries, the cat’s injured leg required surgical amputation while in the care of the Brant County SPCA. We are happy to report that the cat is now on its way to making a speedy recovery back in the care of its family.
We would like to display this incident to highlight how important it is to microchip your pet. Equally important however is ensuring that information is kept up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers so that you can be notified right away should an unfortunate incident such as this occurs. Please contact your local veterinarian for more information on microchipping. Thank you!