Welcome to Takeover Tuesday! Each Tuesday in March, we have invited a different department to give a glimpse into what their typical day at 4 Paws Lane looks like on our social media. If you don't follow us on Facebook or Instagram, we've compiled all of our posts here to share with you!
Tuesday, March 2nd: Sunniva Buck, Executive Director
My team and I meet each morning to discuss our plans to care for and ultimately find homes for each and every dog and cat at our shelter. Today we are talking about a recent transfer of animals that just arrived, reviewing the plans for our current animals in our care to determine who is ready for adoption, coordinating the 8 spay/neuter surgeries on our calendar, and discussing behaviors that we need to work on or consult with a trainer on. We are also discussing what volunteers will be joining the team today and what projects or animals we need their help with, like throwing the tennis ball 300 times to an extra active pup who is getting bored, hand feeding a cat that needs to feel we can be trusted or attacking the 6 foot high dirty laundry pile from our adorable but messy furry guests!
Like most days here, we are off to a busy start. For me, any day that begins with making a difference for dogs and cats is a good day. When you add an enthusiastic face wash complete with dog breath aromatherapy from a grateful guest, well it is hard to top. Thank you for caring about what we do and I hope my takeover brings you both some insight into what goes on here at CAAA and some smiles into your day.
Tuesday, March 9th: Mikayla and Taylor, Animal Caretakers
We got to see some of our great volunteers who have been taking dogs on offiste trips and helping around the building.
Now, we're hanging out with our most recent transport of pups from Mexico and enjoying the warm(er) weather we're finally getting. There's nothing like a wet nose to cap off your day, before the craziness of tomorrow picks back up.
Tuesday, March 16th: Shelter Medicine Team
Tuesday, March 23rd: Volunteer Team
Hello CAAA friends! My name is Laura O'Neill, and not counting the year of hiatus due to the pandemic, I have been a volunteer working with our pups every Tuesday for about 6 years. I can't tell you how happy I am to be back!!!! This afternoon was my third shift back in the swing of things, and I loved every minute of it. I had the pleasure of romping and snuggling with so many sweet peas who will no doubt find their furever homes soon, and bring so much joy and love to the folks lucky enough to make them family.
After a check on the laundry (a constant need here as you might imagine) I get to head on up to the pups. My primary goal is to get them out, spend time socializing with people and other dogs, which includes comforting, playing, working on manners, watching for any strengths to be highlighted, areas where extra time and attention might be helpful to bring out their best. I get to be their buddy as they explore this new world they are in, and help make them ready to join a home. And it is a weird new world for sure. We are often like elephants to them... big, different language and movements... some dive right in, others (reasonably) need a little coaxing and extra love. There's good reason when you think about it for a pup to pause and feel things out.
Today, I had one in particular who was sweet and easy to leash up, but anxious to leave her kennel, her safe place. A treat or two, soft encouraging words, and look at us outside cuddling like we've been buddies forever! I'd be reluctant too even if I met the sweetest elephant for the first time, and they asked me to go for a walk. It takes a bit of empathy, patience, gentleness and yes, sometimes bribes. But once outside it was belly scratches and hugs and zooms around the yard! She is perfect.
As were all the dogs I spent time with tonight.
It was fantastic to see her and four other pups just zip about together, socialize with each other, then make eye contact and come flying in for a hug and rest time in my lap, the others eyeing staff members and doing the same (always one outlier hanging on to a prized toy trying to egg the others back out into the field).
My day was made much better by these fur heads, and while I would love to see them all again, my hope is I don't, at least not at the shelter, as it means they have moved on to the home they deserve.
Tuesday, February 23rd is World Spay Day, and today we're sharing the impact that spaying and neutering your pet can have on the homeless animal population. Around the globe, litters of homeless puppies and kittens live on vacant properties and roam the streets. In 2020, 1,146 of Cape Ann Animal Aid's 1,195 adopted animals were transferred to us through our Safe Harbor Program, escaping a myriad of situations and possible euthanasia due to overcrowding. Heather from transport partner Road Trip Home Animal Rescue in Georgia, explains:
"If everyone in Georgia spayed and neutered their animals, our shelters would not be overflowing, there would not be strays all over the roads losing their lives to cars, and there would be no need for transport rescues! What a glorious day that will be... until then, we continue our mission to help animals find homes no matter how far the journey"
Cookies spay procedure falls on World Spay Day this year, and Cape Ann Animal Aid provides spay surgeries for many dogs just like her every year. In 2020, we spayed over ten mom dogs and cats who had either come to us pregnant, or recently had a litter of unwanted puppies or kittens.
Overpopulation doesn't just mean overcrowding - It often means that there aren't enough resources to go around. Speaking on the condition of Cookies and many homeless pets in Georgia, Ruth from Road Trip Home writes:
"Another mama with newborn pups surrendered to animal control. Arriving at a shelter scared, hungry, and trying the best that she can to care for her tiny babies. Many of the pups that come into our shelter have health problems or diseases, and have received no health care. It is a struggle every day to fund the care needed to get these babies healthy and send them on to their new homes. The poor mama dogs live their entire lives raising babies and if not saved and brought to a shelter or rescue, succumb to heartworms or neglect."
Aside from the impact on the homeless animal population, there are also medical benefits for having your pets spayed and neutered. Dr. Alex Becket, CAAA Director of shelter medicine, elaborates:
"Spaying your female dog will stop her from cycling, and also eliminate the possibility of ovarian and some uterine cancers. In addition, spaying your female dog will drastically decrease her chances of getting mammary cancer. Neutering your male dog will help prevent some undesirable behaviors such as roaming and marking, and will also help prevent problems later in life such as testicular diseases and cancers as well as prostate problems."
To prevent overpopulation of cats and dogs in our area, Cape Ann Animal Aid has always spayed and neutered our animals prior to adoption. These surgeries are done as early as 8 weeks, provided the puppy or kitten is healthy, weaned from mom, and over 2.2 lbs.
In celebration of our Winter Ball - Tails of Summer Love, we're sharing your own love tails that you've sent to us! Click a photo below to expand and read how CAAA pets have captured the hearts of our adopters, their children, friends, family, and pets. We are so honored to be a part of your love story!
I adopted Picasso from Cape Ann Animal Aid at the tail end of 2019. My husband and I had fostered him on and off throughout that year - bookends on each side of an adoption that did not work out and led to his return to the shelter - so he didn’t officially become a Lovell until December. We were already two rescue dogs deep and planned for it to stay that way. But at some point during Picasso’s residency with us, we realized that the shaggy puppy with the wicked underbite would likely be a permanent addition to our household. They say that youth is wasted on the young, but I really think that youth is not wasted on young dogs. For better or worse, they embrace every second of it. Picasso wasn’t quite a year old when we officially adopted him, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that he had an astounding amount of energy to burn in 2020. And yeah, in addition to running and jumping and playing, Picasso destroyed a LOT of my personal belongings. Like, so much stuff. This dog made me laugh constantly and sometimes he made me want to cry (rest in peace, Mel’s favorite bra). But here’s the important thing: it’s hard to spend too much time mourning destroyed shoes or furniture when a global pandemic is ravaging the world around you. For me, Picasso’s escapades were a gentle reminder that not all losses are created equal. What I may have previously perceived as a “loss” of something tangible - like an expensive bra - was inconsequential compared to what (and whom) others have truly lost in 2020. So Picasso - by way of Cape Ann Animal Aid - gave me some much-needed perspective in 2020. Even when he was bad, he was good. And for that I am so grateful.
We adopted Mary Mary now Mab in December 2019. She has kept us constantly entertained ever since. I’ve never had a cat with such a strong personality. She “ talks” constantly and she has climbed every thing that she can climb in the house. Mab is sweet and soft and loves to be in your lap. She's playful and hilarious. I can’t imagine our home with out her.
I am a first year nurse working through a pandemic, being able to come home and see Cooper (aka “tommy”) my heart swells. Cooper is trained to give me high fives and hugs and kisses. He is the best listener especially when he gives me the head tilt. Cooper has had the biggest impact on my life and I am forever grateful for him. He definitely rescued me! Love you cooper!
We adopted our bonded pair Lulu and Antonio (aka Tony) from Cape Ann two years ago when they were 12. We've loved them both since the moment we took them home and they provide endless comfort, love, and cuteness to me, my fiancé, my stepdaughter, and our other kitties. They are far more chill and snuggly because they're not rambunctious youngsters. Tony likes to put his gentle paw on our shoulders to get pets and has the biggest, most soulful eyes. Lulu does a funny little "bark" and often falls asleep while standing up on the couch next to us. We are so lucky to have such little balls of sunshine in our lives to cuddle and brush and love. Adopt a senior pet!
Raven has made me so happy. She is the best dog ever. We love the same things - we go to the lake, we take rides, we go to the dog park nearly everyday. She loves to cuddle and watch tv with me. She is always be my side and a comfort to me. She is well behaved... We were meant to be together. Thank you so much for allowing me to adopt her!
This year was not easy- 3 months after starting a new job, after finally getting my bearings, Covid hit and wrecking- balled everything. Tod started out as a Covid Foster, and quickly wormed himself into my lap and heart. This little guy not only gave me lots to focus my energy on, but by working through his many challenges (potty training was a real struggle), I have learned that the love we receive from our pets is well worth the effort.
I am a 73 year old retired realtor and live alone in a condo in Ipswich. My grown boys and my girlfriends thought I may have made a mistake adopting these 2 dogs. With the pandemic and living alone, Lily and Rosie have become my saviors. They follow me around and sit with me on the couch and people watch and sleep with me every night. My family and friends now say adopting my girls was the best thing I did.
My pet Nola (FKA Betty from CAAA) has helped in so many ways, she has given me comfort and so much love through these days stuck at home. She’s been lucky to receive so much love and nurturing her for first months here with us with so much time, she is a love bug! My Nola loves kneading my pants and follows me around the home. She meows sometimes for more attention I love it. If she could speak she may say some great things to me, I know she listens when i talk to her as if she could speak back!
I adopted Gracie (formerly Remi) on 11/29/20. She is just a love! As you can see, she perches on my legs as I'm knitting in front of the fire - but she can also be a ball of energy. She loves to play and cuddle and she is very chatty - all endearing qualities. And boy does she love to eat! So, thank you all, for making my life so much better with my new buddy. It's been a tough 2020, and when my 15-year old cat died earlier in November, I was really quite lonely as I still can't visit my children or grandchildren. But with my new buddy Gracie, I'm on my toes keeping up with her every day.
I've always relied on my entire family for support during difficult times which includes my dogs. During the pandemic this year, we decided to foster a kitten that needed extra TLC before going up for adoption. Little did I know that this kitten would not only supply me and my family with comfort during the early days of Covid lockdown, but help me through the sudden loss of my mother and best friend. I didn't know it at the time how much I needed to laugh. Harrison provided all the belly laughs and more.
Like so many with kids in school, covid was a stressful time of constant uncertainty. Our son was starting highschool and what that would look like for him and our family had us worried. We decided to foster these 3 kittens around the same time. We believe these three precious furballs were a wonderful distraction and the reason he was able to take remote learning in stride.
Milo came into our life in late 2020. He was the dog we didn’t know we wanted. After moving into a new home with large yard we discussed adopting a puppy. After much thought we decided it wasn’t the right time for us to get a puppy. After losing my Scooby in 2016, I had decided that I would know when it was the right time. CAAA foster Cindy knew I had been looking (and didn’t know we decided it was not the right time) sent a picture of cute puppies. I sent to Tim and said “do you want to go meet Marshmallow?” He didn’t hesitate. So off we went. Once Marshmallow (now Milo) said hello it was over! Milo was drawn to us, and us to him. At the ripe old age of 9 weeks he was already sitting on command. We spent the next month in constant cuddle time. He even won over our friend Sophia (formerly Mamita) and not many dogs have been able to do that! Milo is special! He is smart and has given us a happy ending to a terrible year. He brings us about 1000 smiles a day and gives us just as much love as we give him. THANK YOU CAAA!
Charlie “Angelica” joined our family in October, and from day one it felt like she has always been with us. We truly can’t imagine life without her. She is the sweetest, kindest most generous dog, and the love she gives us she gets back tenfold. 2020 brought lots of changes and challenges including remote learning for my teens, recovering from having had COVID ourselves, and as an RN on the front lines, dealing with COVID at work. Charlie gives (and gets!!) exactly what we need at any given time. Long walks, snuggles on the couch and big hugs. We are all so grateful that she came into our life. I contacted the shelter in Texas that she came from, because I wanted to thank the foster home that gave us this sweet girl. The man that fostered her actually reached out to me and told me he had saved her from an abusive home, where she was starved and neglected. He and his four dogs healed her, and because no one wanted her in Texas, she was brought to Cape Ann Animal Aid. I cried when he told me this- and I hugged her tight, and promised she will never feel pain ever again. Thank you CAAA - you gave us the opportunity to love and to care for the most sweetest of souls, and the “who saved who” could not be more accurate.
I adopted “Walter” on March 14, 2020 who I renamed Oliver. He was the best little puppy and now is a wonderful “big boy”. He was the best distraction from all the negativity that was just starting in regard to the covid crisis. He gave us something positive to focus on as well as so much love and happiness. He also helped us through the loss of our beloved 15 year old chihuahua, Romeo, who we had just lost on March 12, 2020. Oliver continues to make us smile and I thank all of you at Cape Ann Animal Aid for assisting us in our adoption of such a wonderful little dog. He is a very happy and well adjusted little guy.
Meet our Miss Hailey □ Rose It had been a year like no other for my husband John and I. We lost John’s mother to COVID at the end of March. In August we lost our cat Miss Cassie Anne. Then on October 29th my mother passed after only 5 weeks of being diagnosed with cancer. We needed some time deal from all this but we both new we needed another kitten to love. Miss Hailey Rose rescued us on 11/22/2020. We saw her through a zoom call and knew we had to go get her that afternoon. We named her on the way home after listening to her purr. She loves to purr. Once home, it took her about three days to come out from under our bed but now she is completely a part of our little family. It’s her house. She’s the boss, with that face it’s hard to say no to her. I think she needed us just as much as we needed her. She loves to be with us and loves to play and show off. I mean how cute is she? Thank you for letting her come home with us!
I started off 2020 with a huge new plan for the future; I was going to pack up my things (and my cat, Franklin), move to Scotland, and finally start graduate school. It was hard to think of leaving my friends and family back home, but I was ready. Then the pandemic hit, and I lost a lot of things in quick succession. My job, my place at grad school, Frankie...it seemed like everything I had been doing before was meaningless. Months passed. In August, an old coworker of mine told me that he couldn't keep the kitten he'd adopted and sent me a picture of this lanky little thing with huge ears. I saw her and knew I had to take her in. Suki (formerly Easter) has really given me a new perspective on lockdown and made me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile again. I learned to knit so I could make her a nice comfy blanket to snuggle in, then learned to sew so I could make her a cat bed, which sparked a new interest in quilt making. Doing something creative has been super rewarding, and it's something I wouldn't have without her. Suki is the sweetest cat, always following me around the house so she can snuggle up against me. When I feel like I can't get out of bed, she chirps at me until I wake up. When I feel down, she does something silly to make me smile. When I first adopted her I was worried; was I being impulsive, bringing her into my house? Was I ready for this kind of a commitment? Was this whole thing a bad idea motivated by selfish loneliness? If I could talk to Suki, I would tell her that those initial fears have long since been proven wrong. I'm so, so glad to have her in my life. I've never owned a kitten before so every new thing is terrifying in a way, but also exciting. Watching her experience things for the first time has been such a joy. What used to feel monotonous and unfair now feels special, almost like a privilege. If I was working would I be able to spend as much time with her as I do now? Would we bond the same way? I would tell Suki that she's been the one bright spot in a very dark and year and I'm so thankful for her.
This past year has impacted the world and taken a toll on every person in a different way. For me personally, working in a hospital and seeing first hand how this pandemic has effected the population has brought to the forefront so many emotions, from being terrified, to angry, to sad, and overworked/overwhelmed. I was lucky enough to connect with fosters from Cape Ann Animal Aid only 3 months into the pandemic and I can say that adopting Bruno saved my life. Everyday we get up and he reminds me that every moment is precious. We take enjoyment in the simple things like our morning walks and experiencing the snow for the first time. To have him to come home to wagging his tail with unconditional love and loyalty is the highlight of my day. We spend most of our time outdoors and going on car rides. Originally Bruno was too small to see out the window... but now he loves to stick his head out and take in the fresh air (despite the winter temperature.) He is currently 52lbs of adorable, sweet, snuggly, smart, quirky canine which I am more than blessed to call mine. Looking forward to SO MANY more firsts in a future of adventures.
Few things make our team at Cape Ann Animal Aid happier than watching a dog or cat that we’ve championed for, walk out our shelter doors into the arms of their new family. Thankfully, for many of the 1000 plus rescues we’ve helped this year, their time with us at the shelter is short but for others, this is not the case. Some animals may need more medical attention or behavior support, patience, and love before being adopted. One of those animals is Wally.
After a long battle for his life, Wally finally met his new family and greeted them with his signature goofy grin. A great day at Cape Ann Animal Aid but one we worried would not happen. Thanks to your support, Wally will be spending this holiday season in the comfort of a loving home.
Shortly after arriving into our care, Wally became extremely ill. Diagnostic testing revealed he had contracted Parvovirus, a highly contagious, often fatal, viral disease, causing severe vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes sepsis. This virus typically affects younger puppies and routine vaccination usually provides protection. At 8 months old, it was unusual for Wally to have this virus and to be so sick.
To save Wally’s life, the CAAA animal care team maintained isolation protocols and took immediate action. He was placed on a regimen of antibiotics, IV fluids, nutritional support, anti-nausea medications, vitamin supplements and around-the-clock care. They created a network of constant communications. Day or night, any time he showed slight improvements, hopes were high. The team cheered and sent videos. But the next day, the quiet worry would begin again because he didn’t move or eat. His weight loss was alarming, and we feared the worst, but our team was not giving up.
Treating Parvovirus requires an abundance of medical supplies, time and compassionate care. All of which we had, because of you. Thank you for giving Wally a fighting chance.
For Wally, our team had the resources to act fast and follow medical protocols to fight for his survival. For some, especially older animals, the help they may need requires a different set of skills. Such was the case for 7-year-old, Freya.
After many years of living a quiet life with a single adult, Freya’s owner was forced to relocate and needed to surrender her for adoption. In her former home, Freya was reported to be an affectionate, playful yet mellow companion. However, the transition to our shelter was incredibly difficult for her and she let us know. She displayed fear based behavior, which included hiding, hissing, and swatting at staff when they tried to care for her.
Our dedicated animal care staff was concerned about Freya’s demeanor and how it would affect her chances of finding a new home, but they refused to give up on her. Community outreach coordinator, Jane Peters, recalls her first attempts at working with Freya.
She would hide in a cubby and wouldn’t come out for anything. I would sit as close as she let me and toss her treats. She would hesitantly take the treats, but she swiped at me and hissed if I got too close.
Figuring out our best strategy to help Freya took time and lots of patience, but the effort paid off. Once we were able to convince her she was safe, her true personality came forward and she quickly found her human match. Her new family had this to say about her.
Freya has been an absolute love bug since the day I got her. She follows me around all day and curls up next to my head when I fall asleep at night. I am so happy to have adopted her from Cape Ann Animal Aid. She is absolutely the perfect cat for me!
Wally and Freya needed a safe place where they could receive the right care. They needed Cape Ann Animal Aid and people like you to champion for them. Together, we can give them the only gift they ask for - a loving home. The unconditional love they give in return can fill up an ocean and your whole heart.
Thank you for being a champion for homeless animals in need!
Cape ann animal aid
An opportunity for you to learn more about the mission and programs of Cape Ann Animal Aid. Sharing candid insights, guest columns, breaking news, and of course, adorable photos of shelter animals.