Tag Archives: spay and neuter

Are you aware October is adopt a shelter pit month?

October is really my favorite month now that I know it’s Pit Bull Awareness Month and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

My first dog came from a puppy farm (before I really understood what that meant) ‘cause I had fallen in love with a picture of a Chow Chow puppy. Once I got to Raleigh I stared adopting shelter dogs, which has filled my life with wonderful experiences, even the tough ones. I was Labradored, fell in love with bully breeds, and found pups that needed me as much as I needed them.

These cuties are still looking for their furever homes.

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The Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) is open seven days a week from noon until 6 p.m. Stop by and find your soul mate. To meet one of these pups pictured here, go to the WCAC Adoption Gallery for a bio and contact information to get in touch with their foster parents.

National Pit Bull Awareness Day was extended to the entire month of October in 2011. It has increased the time for education and promotion of those that have touched our hearts.

Currently there are some good bully breed mixes at the WCAC that have been patiently waiting for their furever families for a very long time. We will highlight one each day in October so stop by daily.

Pawparazzi: August 26, 2014

Okay, so it’s been a week since I took these pics. I know some of these sweeties have been adopted, but I’m also sure that this holiday weekend has not meant that fewer dogs came in. Please stop by the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) any day this week between noon and 6:00 pm to find your furever love.

A Behr Cat Colony Adventure

My friend R has always been allergic to cats, her asthma making the allergy even worse. But her heart is big and she began feeding a little stray cat on her front porch. She and her husband J named her Paint – ‘cause it looked like someone had spilled black paint on a white cat. Paint looked pretty young, but soon she brought around a little one of her own. He was white as well with a drop of black “paint” on his head, hence the name they gave him — “Drop.” I talked with R and J about getting the cats spayed and neutered – maybe even making them their own little trap-neuter-return (TNR) colony.

Our adventure is really about how one must persevere to get the right thing done. Before we could get our hands on a humane trap, Paint had kittens again. She had them under the carport, but decided that R & J were spending a little too much time looking in on them and about a week in she moved them while everyone was at work.

At that time, R made her move on Drop and scooped him up into a cat carrier so she could take him to be neutered. As one might expect, despite them feeding and petting him during meals he was NOT pleased with being picked up and bit R good. ACO had to come out and Drop had to go to the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) for a 10 day bite quarantine hold. During those 10 days, J made lots of calls to different cat rescues and the SPCA trying to figure out what they could do for Drop. J was able to make an appointment for Drop to be neutered at the SPCA, as well as vaccinated, and R registered their TNR cat colony. I met J at the WCAC that morning just to be of help if I could.

A few days before Drop’s SPCA appointment Paint went missing. We were all quite worried as she was always very prompt about coming up on the porch for breakfast and dinner. Her kittens were only two weeks old and R knew that she had to find where Paint had moved them. I got a frantic text that Thursday evening — you see, R & J are dog people and needed some quick advice about bottle feeder kittens. Kitten milk and bottles were quickly acquired and I hurried over with some syringes after realizing they might even be too little for bottles. J was a real trooper, getting up at all hours to make sure they were fed and pottied. We had talked enough about the tough situation with kittens at the WCAC right now so R knew she could not take them there. R found a friend who had experience with bottle feeder kittens and was willing to take them in. Whew, all was coming together.

Paint was still missing and late Sunday night I cruised the WCAC adoption gallery website and found this.


I clipped and emailed R. J and I arranged to be at the WCAC first thing Monday morning, ‘cause I saw that Paint had been there four days and I was afraid she was only on a five day stray hold. AND she didn’t have a name, which meant she was too feral when she came in for staff to handle her. This was not a good combination.

The next part of this adventure still makes my heart get all fluttery. J and I were taken back to the cat stray room by staff. She pulled the cat out of the box and upon looking closely at her J was convinced by the nick in her ear that it was Paint. Once the box was back in the kennel and the little door opened Paint stuck her head out. J leaned down and started sweetly talking to her and asking her if she was okay … and … she … started meowing at him. The kennel attendant with us said that Paint had not “spoken” since she came in and with the sweet way she meowed at J it had to be his cat whether we had a picture or not.

Back at the front desk it got complicated. I mean, it is county government after all, but I didn’t care how long it took them to get management to decide how to best handle a reclaimed cat who was going to become part of a TNR colony. I was just looking to get that “No PTS” (“do not put to sleep”) pop-up on her record. In the end, we were able to get C and Dr. S to arrange for J to reclaim Paint after getting all her vaccinations and spay surgery. Yea! I did the “I found Paint” happy dance most of the day.

Paint and Drop recovered from surgery and were released last weekend. They are now part of a county-register cat colony called “Behr.”They are enjoying their freedom and worrying R when they don’t show up on time for dinner.

Spaying and neutering is so very important. It’s been an overflowing kitten season at the WCAC and many have lost their lives for simple lack of space. If you insist on keeping your cats outdoors, please, please, please make sure they are spayed or neutered!

Pawparazzi Pups: There are always more





Charlie Charlington

Emma Swan




(Adoption Pending)


(Adoption Pending)



Check out all the great companion animals waiting for their furever homes at the Wake County Animal Center.

Pawparazzi Return

I can’t believe how long I was away. It’s also good to know being a pawparazza is like riding a bike – you never forget how.

Before we get to the great dogs I met Wednesday, I wanted to promote the Rescue PAWlooza being held at Pet Supplies Plus at 3074 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC this Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st. The Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) will be there with many of there adoptable cuddle bugs as well as other rescue groups. There are also going to be some great raffles to enter. Hope to see you there.

Now for the dogs …

Cubby (WCAC ID: 103142)

Cubby is another fun loving dog. Just look at that smile. He knows sit and was a superstar during his photo shoot.

Charlie (WCAC ID: 47235)

Charlie is a WCAC alum who has found himself back at the Center through no fault of his own. His family could no longer care for him even though you can tell by the pounds he has packed on that they took good care of him while they could. He was a real sweetie and such a happy guy.

Zeus (WCAC ID: 102025)

Zeus has a lot of energy, but he was very sweet and good during his photo shoot. I’m thinking the fabulous S had taken him for a good walk that morning before I got there. He would definitely love an active furever family.

Lowery (WCAC ID: 103381)

I love Lowrey. Okay, I love all these guys, but his spotted ear, how gently he took treats and his small size made me just want to hang out and cuddle him all day.

Sasha (WCAC ID: 60851)

Sasha has such a unique look. She’s even cuter in person with all her gangly movements. She’s a WCAC alum who was on stray hold when I took this pic. She’s gone from the website so I’m thinking this sweetie’s family came for her. Hooray!

Please check out these and all the other great companion animals available for adoption through the WCAC. You can see them online by clicking here for the Adoption Gallery. Or better yet, stop by Pet Supplies Plus on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh, NC Saturday or Sunday afternoon and you may just meet one of these guys in person – and who can resist that!

A Name is Never Just a Name

My process for these blog posts is to write something and then my brilliant husband will edit it. And if I have not done it yet at this point, I want to publically thank him for making me sound intelligent. Photos are added after the fact so he never sees the full product until it is published. Last week as he was going through my post and got to the Long Timer Spotlight, I heard a chuckle from the other room and a question as to whether this cat I was talking about was really some nightmarish monster with tentacles – huh? Apparently Ktulu is a Metallica manipulation of Cthulhu, an H. P. Lovecraft cosmic creature of terrifying form.

Ktulu (WCAC ID: 99804)
Ktulu (WCAC ID: 99804)

He’s a cat with a goofy face. He needs a better agent. And so, Charlie and I went by the Knightdale Petco after dinner on Friday night and spent a little time getting to know this cat. We got some pictures and I am posting his story here in the hopes that we can come up with a new name for him – a name that will catch the attention of his furever family.

My submission for a name change is Captain Jack, as in Captain Jack Harkness of Dr. Who and Torchwood. Just like the character, this cat likes girls and boys alike, he wiggles his butt in happiness and is as cute as can be.


But leave comments about who you think this big boy looks like and should be named.

“Ktulu” is available for adoption through the Wake County Animal Center. He is currently hanging out in the PetCo in Knightdale, on Hwy 64 just north of I-540, looking for love. Not only can you visit him there, but they can process the adoption for you and as he’s neutered he can go home with you right away.

Puparazzi Wordless Wednesday

Bryn (WCAC ID: 97551)

Franklin (WCAC ID: 99138)

Reggie (WCAC ID: 99151)

Barnum (WCAC ID: 99694)

Comet (WCAC ID: 99713)

Adonis (WCAC ID: 99778)

These sweeties are available for adoption through the Wake County Animal Center. Click here to check them and all the other wonderful animals out.

Spay and Neuter – the Good and the Bad

Today is my third post during Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and I want to say something about the medical debate that is ongoing when it comes to the health risks and benefits of spaying and neutering. Every dog or cat adopted from the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) is spayed or neutered before going to its new home. When I first started volunteering, there was a voucher policy where you could put an extra deposit on the pet and have it refunded when you provided proof of spay/neuter. I have seen statistics from the ASPCA that says that only about 40% of these vouchers are actually used. And as my concern is for shelter animals who are having to be euthanized because of random pregnancies and backyard breeding I firmly believe that a policy of 100% spay/neuter is our current solution to stop the influx of animals to our shelters.

The Benefits

  • Decidedly the number one benefit of neutering is fewer unwanted and thrown away animals in this world.
  • In addition there is the added benefit in some male dogs of a decrease in their humping and marking behavior.
  • And a decrease in “spraying” by male cats.
  • Because of the removal of the reproductive organs there is no chance for the development of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, or testicular cancer.

The Risks

  • The main risk in spay/neuter surgeries is the potential for surgical complications. These risks are considered to be low where healthy dogs and cats are concerned.
  • In cats there is an increased risk of obesity, but we as their human caretakers have control of this.
  • There is evidence of increased risk for certain bone, urinary tract, and blood vessel cancers.
  • There is only weak evidence of spaying causing urinary incontinence in female dogs.

The ASPCA has a great overview article about spaying and neutering including citations for research on each of the potential risks.

It’s Decided

Yesterday I volunteered to help transport a dog to Suite Paws for the duration of the WCAC renovation project – be sure to stop by here tomorrow for a picture story of it. Okay, back to the real story. I went in a little early to do some pawparazzi work. It had been too long and just the little time I spent with each of these sweethearts has brought me to rededicate my efforts. Monday mornings are now for sweatpants, volunteer t-shirts, and my camera.

Arkansas (WCAC ID: 99628)

A three-year-old Boxer mix currently on stray hold. He was sweet and a little camera shy.

Isn’t he beautiful – that lovely brindle brown – and those ears!

Harrison (WCAC ID: 99637)

He had just arrived that morning. A stray pup, just ten months old, thrown into crazy new world.

He expressed his fear with a growl to the empty world outside his kennel, but was a happy boy when I got in there with him.

Bronco (WCAC ID: 80420)

You can’t resist a happy face like this. I admit to being briefly concerned upon stepping into the kennel. It was based on some past experiences with big blue and white boys like him. It was unfounded and a good lesson on looking at each dog for their individual personality.

He’s currently in foster care, but is ready to find his true furever home.

Charice (WCAC ID: 99495)

Such a sweet, sweet girl who came in as a stray and has yet to be reclaimed by her owners. Maybe it was a snowmageddon thing and she’ll be home by the time I post.

If not, how can you not want to take this girl home and cuddle her up?

Gibbs (WCAC ID: 81596)

His database record seems to be a little “messed up” – hint, hint, J – the whole “came in to the Center on 2-15-2014 and available for adoption on 11-30-2012” was my first clue. ‘Cause otherwise he is one BIG boy for just nine months old.

Hopefully his family will have come for him by the time I post this, but if you’re looking for a conversationalist, Gibbs is the boy for you.

Fab (WCAC ID: 99607)

Fab is an energetic schmedium size dog – you know, you wouldn’t quite call him small, but he’s not big enough to be a medium.

He’s just eight months old and is full of that wonderful puppy energy without being over-the-top crazy.

Bailey (WCAC ID: 99509)

This beautiful boy needs you. He’s heartworm positive, which makes him harder to adopt out.

His owners surrendered him saying he was housetrained, good with dogs, and good with cats – so ask staff about heartworm treatments options and for more information.

Goober (WCAC ID: 99605)

Another happy boy surrendered by his owners.

Not just your basic black Lab mutt, but a happy boy with love and smiles for days.

Brutus (WCAC ID: 99626)

Frankly, Goober was supposed to be my last shoot of the morning as it was time for the Suite Paws run, but I had spotted Brutus earlier looking sad in a dark corner kennel. He looked sad and the kennel next to him being out of commission for a three day bleaching made him seem even lonelier. So even though I was out of treats I popped in and FELL IN LOVE.

Such a sweet boy just looking for some love. He would hang his head and reach for my hand with his paw each time I stopped petting him.

So there they are – the sweethearts that are the reason I volunteer and write this blog. Please stop by the WCAC at 820 Beacon Lake Drive Raleigh, NC 27610 any day of the week between noon and 6 PM to visit all our wonderful pets. You can also see them and those in foster by viewing the online adoption gallery here.

Population Control, Not Pest Control

In the second week of February and my second installment of Spay and Neuter Awareness month, I want to talk a little bit about stray cats. Note, that’s stray cats not Stray Cats.

Cats breed amazingly fast. Just one unaltered pair can lead to a colony of 280,000+ cats in seven years. There is debate around this number and mine is a nice round guess from some reading I did on Snopes. A lot of the arguments against the larger numbers published by spay and neuter advocates have their own mathematical issues based on a lack of understanding of reproductive realities of cats.

I am a shelter volunteer and I am a spay and neuter advocate. There are not enough homes to save the surrendered and abandoned cats. Using Animal Control Officers (ACOs) to deal with feral colonies takes resources away from those surrendered and abandoned animals. And although I believe there will always be some level of euthanasia needed in our communities until we all become spay and neuter advocates, the trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs being implemented around the country are a terrific service. Not only are those cats brought in spayed or neutered but they are also vaccinated and their ear is tipped (using a laser) for identification.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Operation Catnip was established in 1997 to offer free and low cost spay and neuter clinics for feral cats. Volunteer veterinarians and vet techs run monthly clinics where 100+ cats can be sterilized in a matter of hours. Other Volunteers bring the cats to the clinics and provide care until they are ready to be released back into their territory. They also take on the responsibility of making sure the colony has food, water, and shelter.

On June 14, 2012 Raleigh put in place a TNR ordinance allowing private citizens to either call animal control to come pick up the stray cats (which would most likely mean their euthanasia after the three day stray hold is up) or contact a non-profit TNR group, like Operation Catnip.

Check out Operation Catnip’s website for more about what they do and how they can help you with that neighborhood stray cat colony.

Spotlight on Diamond

WCAC ID: 97839

This beautiful fawn-brindle stray has been at the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) since Christmastime – what a Christmas that was. Staff estimate her to be around two years old. And she’s been overlooked for the last 51+ days ‘cause she’s a Pittie, she’s a husky 57 lbs., and seems like a lot of dog when you look at her through the bars of her kennel.

Once outside she calms down a lot and really loves her walks with the Fido Fitness crew. And she loves playing in the yard, but she is pretty picky about her canine playmates so she needs a human who really understands proper introductions and patience.

Oh, and NO CATS – ’nuff said!

When all this snow clears out, please stop by the WCAC any day of the week between noon and 6 p.m. to visit this girl. In the meantime, check out the WCAC Adoption Gallery for all the great animals (even a rooster) available for adoption. You’ll find a furever family member.