December 25, 2018
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MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) -- Dozens of veterinarians, shelter and kennel employees and animal groomers filled the Potter League for Animals in Middletown Monday for a seminar that outlines new animal cruelty and neglect laws in Rhode Island.
The new law requires anyone caring for animals to report what they believe is suspected animal cruelty or neglect to authorities. The law went into effect in July 2018.
Joe Warzycha, the Humane Law Enforcement Officer for the Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA), was a guest speaker at the seminar and described what everyone should look for in animal neglect and cruelty cases.
“What we want people to remember is they are not the judge and jury, they don’t have to determine beyond a reasonable doubt this is animal cruelty," Warzycha explained. "The statute states suspected, so you have to have some level of suspicion and concern to report it.”
President of Forensic Veterinary Investigations Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore said part of the new law is a civil immunity statute that states anyone reporting neglect out of good faith cannot be sued or get in trouble for doing so.
“If as a professional working with animals, you come across a situation that might not sit right and it seems there is a possibility of animal cruelty, get comfortable with the idea that it’s your responsibility to speak up for those animals," Smith-Blackmore said.
The seminar also outlined protocols that animal clinics and businesses can implement if someone may suspect animal neglect, cruelty or abuse.
The law states that the mistreatment or abuse of an animal can result in 11 months jail time or a fine of up to $500.
It's their first day in Rhode Island.
Ten dogs from Birmingham, Alabama, are now at the Potter League for Animals in Middletown.
They are animals that were already in shelters down south, but are being moved to make space for animals that have been found in the area affected by Hurricane Michael as well as for animals whose owners have been displaced by the devastating storm and need a place to safely house their pets.
"Any time we're called upon and it's possible for us to take animals we want to do that we want to be able to help," said Brad Shear, Executive Director of Potter League.
The canines were flown to St Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey, then driven here.
"We get the call for disaster, then we'll house the dogs at our shelter as kind of like a layover, then our partners all pull together, we reach out," said Melissa Morgan of St. Hubert’s who drove the dogs to Rhode Island Tuesday.
"It's best feeling in the world, it's why I do what I do, all about these guys," said Morgan.
Under Rhode Island law, the dogs need to be in isolation for five days.
They will be spayed or neutered, brought up to date on vaccinations, and microchipped before they’re adopted out. It’s expected the dogs that arrived Tuesday will be available in about one week.
In the meantime, Potter League has plenty of its own dogs and cats ready to be adopted now.
"When we got the call we took as many as we possibly could which means we're full, so we have animals that need homes and hope people will come in and adopt those as well," said Shear.
To find out more about these dogs and other animals available for adoption go to www.potterleague.org
The Potter League on Tuesday took in 10 dogs, ranging in age from about 4 months to 3 years, from a Birmingham, Alabama, shelter — a move
MIDDLETOWN — The Potter League for Animals has put out a call for something that is sure to have all the cats at the shelter purring: balls of yarn.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) -- While hundreds of thousands of people have fled the southeastern US coast to escape Florence's wrath, many animals have also been moved from the area due to the storm.
The Potter League for Animals in Middletown took in 17 dogs and a cat from South Carolina. Executive Director Brad Shear said they should be available for adoption by next week.
"Everything from little hounds and puppies to huge mastiffs," Shear said Friday.
The animals are a long way from home but also a long way from the dangers created by Florence. They had been living at a shelter in Aiken County, South Carolina, an inland facility that needed to make way for pets and other shelter animals from coastal areas facing the brunt of the storm.
"It sort of created this chain of animal movement from shelter to shelter to make sure they're safe and away from the most dangerous areas," Shear added. "It's really the only option for these animals in many cases."
Shear said getting animals out of the storm's path is also important for their caretakers.
"It does put animals at risk, it also puts the people at risk who stay to take care of them, and then it could put first responders at risk who go in and try to save those people," he explained.
With hurricane season in full swing, Shear said Rhode Island could one day be on the other side of this transaction.
"We know we're a coastal state and we may need to do the opposite some day," he said, "so we all really help each other as much as possible."
Last June, the Potter League for Animals welcomed executive director Brad Shear to lead its nonprofit shelter. Shear relocated with his family from Albany, New York, where he served as the president and CEO of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. As a lifelong animal lover (and current owner of four cats), Shear not only works to improve the lives of animals at the shelter, but also focuses his efforts on all pets within the community. He has had a busy first few months as he strives to expand the shelter’s community outreach while planning for the future.
How old were you when you started working with animals? I was 25. I had been managing restaurants for a while after I got out of college and I was looking for something to do that was a bit more enriching. My first job was in Colorado at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. I was running their front desk and working the kennels, and kind of worked my way up through a bunch of different jobs there and at some other shelters.
How was your first summer in Rhode Island? We love to go to the beach. We live in Wakefield, so we spend a lot of time in South County. Newport and the whole state is just a beautiful place to be. I had never been to Rhode Island before the interview process. And there’s no beach in Albany.
What motivated you to take on this new role at the Potter League? The Potter League is a nationally known shelter for being. a solidly-run place with a fantastic facility. A lot of people really love their animal shelters, but here it’s on a different level. I wanted to be a part of that and I wanted to be at a place that was well established and where there was room to grow and do some new work.
What changes have you put in place at the Potter League? We hired our first full-time veterinarian.
It’s allowed us to increase our capacity, and it’s reduced how long animals stay here. We’ve been doing free vaccination and wellness clinics for people who own animals that might not have access to expensive veterinary care, as well as microchipping animals.
What changes can we expect to see in the coming months? We’re looking to expand other things that we can do in the community and trying to look outside the shelter to make sure that every animal in the community is cared for. We’ve started bringing pet food to the food pantry at the Martin Luther King Center, so people who are coming to get food for themselves can get pet food as well. We’re trying to explore other places where there’s a gap in the care that animals are getting in the community and trying to fill that gap.
Do you ever get attached to animals at the shelter? Yes. There are always some that stand out, but I try to keep in mind that my job is to try to get other people to take them. The first dog I adopted was in Boulder. He had been in the shelter for about six months and I used to eat lunch with him every day, so after a while I just said, “I think he’s my dog now.”
Is there one moment that has been the highlight of your first three months on the job? I was at one of our clinics and there was a woman and her dog who I don’t think could’ve afforded to go to another veterinarian. She got the dog the first real vet exam I think it had ever had, and the vet really took the time to talk to her and explain what the dog’s needs were. The woman broke into tears and started saying how happy she was that someone was taking the time for her dog.
What advice would you give to people who are interested in adopting a pet? Be honest with yourself about your lifestyle and what you want and really think about what’s right for you. Look at each animal as an individual. Sometimes we look that animal in the eyes and know that it’s the one for [us]. The connection is important, but we try to make sure it’s a good fit.
(WJAR) — Several local animal shelters have partnered with NBC 10 for the nationwide “Clear the Shelters” initiative.
Participating shelters offered reduced or discounted fees.
By Saturday afternoon over 80 animals had new homes.
The Potter League for Animals in Middletown reported 36 adoptions just at their location. Adding on Facebook that 36 animals "found loving families today", and "36 animals are sleeping in their new homes tonight."
“There will not be another Saturday like this all year. There's no question that all the attention that ‘Clear the Shelters’ has brought is the cause of all these animals being able to go home today,” said Brad Shear, the executive director of Potter League for Animals.
A young girl named Mia Peront, left the shelter with her new one-year-old border collie, Jack.
“I fed him a little and he ate out of my hand and then I said, ‘I think this is for me because he eats out of my hand and he's nice and he's not crazy,’” Mia said.
New best friends Mia Peront and border collie Jack are about to go home to start a new life. (WJAR)
Lucy Catalino, who lives in Newport, adopted a 10-month-old corgi mix named Charlie. She told NBC 10 she wished more people would adopt animals.
“I think most people forget that sometimes the dogs that need homes are the ones that will be the most loving and they’ll give you everything that you want versus if you go to a pet store,” Catalino said.
At the Pawtucket Municipal Animal Shelter over a dozen applications were started and many found homes.
Like Martin, who joined a pack of three dogs with new human parents.
Or Timmy the rabbit who also found a home.
And a pair of cats found what NBC 10's Emily Volz termed a "furever home" with Eliza and Scott.
In East Providence Colleen Silva of Tiverton adopted sibling Chihuahuas , Droopy and Lucky, after seeing an NBC 10 Facebook live featuring the two.
All over the state, new parents and their new furry little ones met and got to know one another.
Animals of all kinds and dogs of all breeds were prompt for new homes.
A lovely cattle dog mix named Jersey was featured on social media wearing an adorable "adopt me" flag and gained lots of likes and shares during the event, but did not find a home.
The Rhode Island SPCA was quick to note that Jersey's adoption fee is waived, and hoped to find the adorable pooch a home soon.
As of the weekend, many adoptions were still pending a background check and the number of adoptions may tick upwards.
NEWPORT, R.I. (WHDH) - A Rhode Island woman has pleaded not guilty to more than 30 charges after the remains of 26 cats were found in a freezer inside her Newport home in July, officials announced.
Linda Strahan was arraigned Wednesday at the Newport County Courthouse on 18 counts of unnecessary cruelty, 14 counts of compulsory rabies vaccination and two counts of breeding cats without a permit.
RISPCA officials executing a search warrant at 103 Kay Street on July 18 seized 18 cats living in deplorable conditions, in addition to making the deadly discovery, according to authorities.
Eight of the cats were transported to the RISPCA and 10 were transported to the Potter League for Animals.
A judge ordered Strahan to undergo a mental health evaluation as part of her pre-trial services.
NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) -- The woman who the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) said had cats living in squalid conditions and 26 dead cats in her freezer was arraigned on animal cruelty charges Wednesday.
The RISPCA executed a search warrant at the Kay Street home in July after the building inspector received several complaints of a foul odor coming from the home. RISPCA officers found 18 cats living in squalid conditions as well as 26 dead cats inside a freezer.
The homeowner, Linda Strahan, was arraigned at the Newport County Courthouse and charged with 18 counts of unnecessary cruelty, 14 counts of compulsory rabies vaccination and 2 counts of breeding cats without a permit.
The RISPCA said Strahan was also ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
The living cats were taken to the RISPCA and Potter League for Animals after being removed from the home. Strahan refused to relinquish any of the cats, meaning the RISPCA will continue to hold them until the case is concluded.
The RISPCA said this isn't the first time animals were seized from the home. Back in 2010, investigators seized more than 40 cats, one dog and one snake while responding to a small fire.
NEWPORT — The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found 18 cats and the remains of 26 more cats after executing a search warrant Wednesday at 103 Kay St., the organization announced this afternoon.
Ten cats were transported to the Potter League for Animals in Middletown and eight were sent to the RISPCA in East Providence, according to a prepared statement. The remains were found inside a freezer.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — Four dogs that were rescued from a South Korean dog-meat farm were transported to the Potter League for Animals shelter on Wednesday and will be made available for adoption.
The dogs had a trying 24 hours of travel. They were on a flight from South Korea to San Francisco International Airport and then a second flight to Logan International Airport in Boston. Kara Montalbano, the director of marketing and community relations for the Potter League in Middletown, said the dogs were tired and a bit stressed when she picked them up from the airport.
Four dogs rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm will have medical, behavioral assessments before they’re offered for adoption.
Four dogs that were rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm arrived in Rhode Island on Wednesday.
After a stay with the Potter League for Animals in Middletown, the dogs will be eligible for adoption.
The canines that came to Rhode Island had been kept at a farm near Pyeongchang that was the 10th such farm to be shut down since the Humane Society International (HSI) began its “End Dog Meat” campaign, according to the Potter League for Animals.
An estimated 30 million dogs are killed worldwide each year for human consumption, HSI says.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — Four dogs rescued from a meat farm in South Korea have arrived in Rhode Island.
After pit stops in San Francisco and Boston, the four puppies arrived at the Potter League in Middletown Wednesday morning.
The puppies were previously raised on a farm outside Pyeongchang where they were being raised for their meat. The Humane Society International was able to shut down the farm and the Potter League volunteered to take on some of the rescues.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — Four dogs that were rescued from a South Korean dog-meat farm were transported to the Potter League for Animals shelter on Wednesday and will be made available for adoption.
The dogs had a trying 24 hours of travel. They were on a flight from South Korea to San Francisco International Airport and then a second flight to Logan International Airport in Boston. Kara Montalbano, the director of marketing and community relations for the Potter League in Middletown, said the dogs were tired and a bit stressed when she picked them up from the airport.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WJAR) — Four dogs saved from the meat trade in South Korea arrived in Middletown on Wednesday.
The dogs will be in quarantine at the Potter League for Animals for about a week and then put up for adoption.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. - (WPRI) - A group of canines rescued from the dog meat trade in South Korea arrived in Rhode Island Wednesday morning.
The four dogs are named Lee, Chicago, Vin and Violet, and they range in age from 7 months to a year old. After a long journey from South Korea to San Francisco to Boston, they were finally transported to the Potter League for Animals in Middletown.
The Potter League for Animals will be welcoming four dogs who were rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm, as the animals are set to arrive at Logan International Airport in Boston Wednesday morning.
The dogs, which were slated to be slaughtered and used for human consumption, will then be taken to the Potter League for Animals in Middletown.
MIDDLETOWN, RI—Four dogs are on the way to the Potter League thanks to an international "End Dog Meat" campaign that saved them from being slaughtered. According to the shelter, the dogs were being held on a dog meat farm near Pyeongchang in South Korea. The Humane Society International rescued them and sent them to the U.S. After the dogs arrive at Logan International Airport on Wednesday morning, Potter League staff will pick them up at the airport and bring them to Middletown.
A Rhode Island man was arrested on charges of animal cruelty Thursday evening after keeping more than 100 animals on his property, including dogs living in “deplorable and inadequate” conditions days before Christmas, officials said.
Carlos Alves, 59, of Exeter, was charged with mistreating animals and unnecessary cruelty to animals for keeping 24 dogs, including several newborn puppies, outside in freezing temperatures on his property at 425 Gardner Road, Rhode Island State Police said in a statement.
State troopers, Exeter animal control officers, and representatives from the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals first responded to the property on Dec. 22 after neighbors expressed concern, said Corporal Lawens Fevrier.
The dogs — 14 beagles, six Brittany spaniels, and four chihuahuas — were secured outside without access to adequate shelter and were malnourished when officials discovered them in 28-degree weather, the RISPCA said.
A 59-year-old Exeter man was arrested in an animal cruelty case involving 100 animals, including 24 dogs and several newborn puppies, as well about 40 ducks, chickens and roosters, 40 rabbits and 10 goats.
Rhode Island State Police on Friday said Carlos Alves is facing multiple charges, including mistreatment of animals and unnecessary cruelty to animals. He surrendered to authorities a day prior.
The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said they received a complaint that there were several malnourished animals living in “deplorable and inadequate living conditions" at a house on Gardner Road.
The Exeter man facing charges that he mistreated his animals voluntarily relinquished ownership of his dogs and many of his goats.
They are up for adoption after what represents the largest animal seizure in Rhode Island, according to animal advocates.
The Rhode Island State Police on Thursday charged Carlos Alves, 59, of 425 Gardner Rd., with misdemeanor counts of mistreatment of animals and unnecessary cruelty to animals after workers for Exeter Animal Control and the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals found dozens of dogs, goats, and rabbits without water, surrounded by feces and exposed to temperatures below freezing, according to the state police.
The Norman Bird Sanctuary and the Potter League for Animals will collect some money to support programs that help animals, the Rhode Island Foundation said. The grants are coming from the foundation's Program for Animal Welfare, known as PAW. Funding comes from the Virginia B. Butler Fund, Abbie A. Brougham Memorial Fund, Ginger, Sheba and Susie Carr Fund, Chariho Westerly Animal Rescue League Animal Welfare Fund, Mary Lou Crandall Fund, Julius and Lena DelPapa Memorial Fund, Jeanne Marie Mehmed Fund, Vernon and Mary Pierce Fund, Helen Walker Raleigh Animal Fund, Ilon Sillmon/Sara Andrews Endowment Fund, Vinny Animal Welfare Fund and Dawn, Gregg and Leland Weingeroff Animal Fund.
"The generosity of our donors and the commitment of our partners are expanding humane education, increasing awareness and improving the quality of animal care in Rhode Island," said Adrian Bonéy, who oversees PAW. "Their work is producing new approaches to animal welfare and humane education across Rhode Island."
The Norman Bird Sanctuary received $11,000 for its Animal Ambassador Program. The money will buy food, supplies and veterinary care for the animals in its educational programs.
Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico in a humanitarian crisis, but it's not just the people in need of help.
About 350,000 animals can be found on the island, and they are also in need of homes.
The Potter League for Animals in Middletown received 10 dogs from Puerto Rico that arrived late Tuesday night.
Under the law, the dogs need to be quarantined for at least five days and looked at by a veterinarian before they can be put up for adoption.
The animals are used to depending on people and they are friendly, but they are shaken from the devastating effects of the storm.
The Potter League for Animals received about 10 dogs from Puerto Rico as a result of the devastation from Hurricane Maria.
Potter League staff transported the animals to Rhode Island and they are now available for viewing.
The dogs will need to be in isolation for at least five days before they can be adopted.
www.PotterLeague.org for more information about the Potter League, as well as a listing of all the animals they have available for adoption.
Ten dogs traveled some 1,600 miles from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to Middletown, to be cared for by the Potter League for Animals. They’ll now have some down time before going up for adoption.
The league’s executive director Brad Shear said Wednesday there were more than 350,000 stray dogs in Puerto Rico in all.
“These are dogs that were in shelters and rescues before the storms hit and some of these facilities have been destroyed,” Shear said. “These aren’t people’s pets that have been separated from them.”
The Potter League for Animals set to receive approximately 10 dogs from Puerto Rico after the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria.
The animals are being flown by the Humane Society of the U.S. to the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey, where they’ll be picked up by Potter League staff.
The dogs are expected to arrive late Wednesday and be available for viewing on Thursday.
Seventy-nine shelter animals (mostly cats and dogs) arrived at T.F. Green Airport on Thursday afternoon. They were evacuated from Houston so that pets lost and misplaced during Hurricane Harvey could be housed and hopefully reunited with owners. Volunteers and staff from the Potter League for Animals in Middletown and New York-based Mohawk Hudson Humane Society will tend to them so that they can be put up for adoption.
A Rhode Island animal shelter is doing its part to help cats and dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
The Newport Daily News (http://bit.ly/2gQid5f ) reports that three dozen dogs and cats were taken in by the Potter League for Animals in Middletown on Thursday. Potter League Executive Director Brad Shear says the displaced animals flew from Texas to New Jersey before arriving in Middletown. He says the animals are doing well considering the amount of travel.
Shear says the animals were in shelters before the hurricane made landfall. The Potter League will quarantine the group for a week before adoptions start.
Shear says the Potter League owes its success to volunteers. The organization has offered help to the Humane Society if Hurricane Irma causes disruption in Florida.
A few dozen cats and dogs are getting used to their new surroundings in Rhode Island after arriving from parts of Texas that were hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.
The animals are at the Potter League shelter in Middletown. They were flown into T.F. Green Airport in Warwick Thursday on a chartered flight packed with crates.
The pets were transported from Beaumont, Texas, which is just outside Houston. They were strays and already in shelters before Harvey struck.
Volunteers and staff with @PotterLeague in Middletown unload new friends who just arrived from TX in wake of #HurricaneHarvey.
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“They took a real beating as the storm came in. A lot of them had been in the water. We had a lot of illness,” Maggie McGwane, who volunteered in Texas and accompanied the animals on the flight, told NBC 10 News.
The Potter League for Animals received about 40 cats and dogs from flood-ravaged Beaumont, Texas.
The animals flew into T.F. Green airport on Thursday afternoon.
They were transported here to make room in the shelters for pets displaced during Hurricane Harvey, in hopes of reuniting those animals with their families.
About 90 kittens will be flying to Rhode Island to help relieve South Florida’s overcrowded animal shelters.
The kittens from Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League will board a chartered plane at Palm Beach International Airport at 9 a.m. for takeoff at 10 a.m. to fly 1,150 miles to T.F. Green Airport in Providence. The rescue agency used donations to pay for the $14,000 flight, said Rich Anderson, its chief executive.
Sixty kittens will head to the Potter League for Animals in Rhode Island, where they’ll either stay to be adopted or head to other animal shelters in the area. Then, the Connecticut Humane Society will pick up 27 kittens at the Rhode Island airport and drive them to their shelter.
In Florida, the kitten season runs from April to October with the peak through May to July, Anderson said. Free-roaming cats have the ability to survive the winter season in the state and breed all-year round, Anderson said.
MIDDLETOWN, RI — The Potter League for Animals announced Tuesday that it has acquired the Rhode Island Community Spay and Neuter Clinic in Warwick. The merged company will be called "Potter League Spay and Neuter Clinic."
"This spay and neuter clinic is the keystone that animal welfare progress has been built upon in Rhode Island for nearly a decade," said Brad Shear, executive director of Potter League for Animals. "We are proud to have taken on the stewardship of this vital institution so the important work being done here can continue long into the future."
The clinic was founded in 2010 and provides spay and neuter services to pets and feral animals at a low cost and high volume. Since its opening, the clinic has performed over 60,000 procedures. Animals who can not be brought to the clinic by their owners can be picked up in the clinic's van.
Under the ownership of the Potter League, the clinic will continue to serve more than 70 shelters, rescues and other organizations across the state.
"While the Potter League for Animals has operated as an animal care center offering programs and services such as adoption, humane education, dog training, and other low-cost outreach programs, offering subsidized spay and neuter has always been part of our mission, furthering our commitment to a standard of excellence to the community and making a difference in the lives of animals," read a statement from the organization.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WJAR) — It was a very special day for several international dogs, who were rescued from the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Four dogs arrived in Rhode Island on Thursday at the Potter League with the goal of finding homes.
The dogs lived in a shelter in Nowzad, Afghanistan that was started by a soldier from Great Britain in 2007.
Originally, Sgt. Pen Farthing was pairing the dogs with soldiers who were serving overseas.
However, now that deployments are winding down, the shelter is sending the animals elsewhere to try to find permanent homes for them.
According to the Potter League, that shelter has reunited over 1,200 soldiers with their battle buddies.
"The Potter League has been proud to be able to help bring attention and funding to our sister shelter, Nowzad, in recent years. Now we are able to help in yet another way, bringing dogs to Newport where they can find great new homes," said Bread Shear, executive director of the Potter League.
The Potter League said the dogs will need to be in isolation for five days, per Rhode Island state law, adding that all dogs will be spayed or neutered, up-to-date on their vaccinations, and also microchipped, prior to adoption.
They will soon be available for adoption.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WJAR) — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is praising the work of an animal shelter that kept more than 100 pets safe during a gas outage on Aquidneck Island.
The Potter League for Animals in Middletown is used to seeing animals leave the shelter.
But last week, they greeted a constant stream of pets being brought there due to the outage.
“Everyone dropping them off was really just very thankful that they had a place for them to go because most of them who were coming here were going to a place where they couldn’t bring their pets,” Potter League for Animals Executive Director Brad Shear said.
DEM said they couldn’t have done it without State Veterinarian Scott Marshall, DVM, who acted quickly to help keep the animals safe.
A press release noted that Marshall had previously organized a pet sheltering plan that designated the Potter League and shelters in Westerly, South Kingstown, and Pawtucket to be emergency shelters. He secured funding to supply the shelters with extra supplies.
“I reached out to the Potter League to ask them to open with the expectation that there may be a need to shelter pets,” said Marshall. “Much credit to Brad Shear and Amy Chamard (the Potter League’s Director of Operations) and their staff. They were forward-leaning on this and already making preparations while awaiting the ‘official word’ from me to open.”
More than 7,100 Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth residents lost gas service on Jan. 21, with Gov. Gina Raimondo urging them not to stay in their homes without heat or hot water.
Residents headed to warming shelters but couldn’t take their pets with them.
Once news of the outage spread, the Potter League began preparing for an influx of animals. In all, 101 pets were brought there.
“It wasn’t easy to fit them all. There might be three dogs from one house so we have very large rooms that the animals can stay in so those animals can stay in one place.
Coincidentally, The Potter League had reached out to the state veterinarian earlier in the month to do a presentation on how to respond to an emergency.
“We have seen that one we have this fantastic staff and group of volunteers who will step up when we need to,” Shear said. “This was a really a test of a plan that’s been in place for a long time. We’ve never been tested like this before. And we have a good sense for what we can handle.”
WARWICK, R.I. – The Potter League for Animals has announced the acquisition of the Rhode Island Community Spay and Neuter Clinic, Rhode Island’s leading spay and neuter service provider. The Potter League for Animals has acquired the clinic’s assets, people and customer contracts. The merged business will operate under the name Potter League Spay and Neuter Clinic.
Located in Warwick, Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Community Spay and Neuter Clinic, was founded in 2010 and provides low-cost, high-quality and high-volume spay and neuter services to companion animals and feral cats. The clinic has performed over 60,000 surgeries since opening its doors. The service includes providing a van that goes to a different part of the state daily to pick up animals who can not be transported to the clinic by their families.
As a clinic specializing in high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter, the Potter League Spay & Neuter Clinic offers the unique skills of its staff that will continue to benefit the work we do around Rhode Island and beyond. The clinic will continue to serve more than 70 shelters, rescues and other animal welfare organizations across New England.
While the Potter League for Animals has operated as an animal care center offering programs and services such as adoption, humane education, dog training, and other low-cost outreach programs, offering subsidized spay and neuter has always been part of our mission, furthering our commitment to a standard of excellence to the community and making a difference in the lives of animals.
More information about the Potter League Spay & Neuter Clinic and the services it offers can be found on our website: https://potterleague.wpengine.com/spay-and-neuter-clinic.
MIDDLETOWN — Four dogs rescued from the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, are expected to arrive at the Potter League for Animals on Thursday and will soon be available for adoption.
The dogs are coming to Aquidneck Island in a partnership with an animal shelter and rescue resource center in Afghanistan. The Nowzad Charity was founded in 2007 by Sgt. Pen Farthing with a mission of reuniting soldiers with their “Battle Buddies” and providing vital animal welfare to Afghanistan.
The Potter League for Animals and Nowzad established a “sister shelter” relationship in 2017 to support that mission of reuniting soldiers with the rescued dogs and cats. To date, Nowzad has reunited more than 1,200 soldiers with their battle buddies.
“The Potter League has been proud to be able to help bring attention and funding to our sister shelter, Nowzad, in recent years. Now we are able to help in yet another way, bringing dogs to Newport, where they can find great new homes,” Brad Shear, executive director of the Potter League, said in a news release.
“We are in a community with big hearts for all animals, and these dogs may have come from far away, but I am certain they will be welcomed to the safety of Aquidneck Island like old friends,” Shear said. “Accepting these dogs is just one of the many ways the Potter League is reaching out to animals in need, and we will continue to help whenever we are able.”
The dogs will need to be in isolation for five days, as required by Rhode Island law. All dogs will be spayed or neutered, up to date on their vaccinations and microchipped prior to adoption. Pending medical and behavioral assessments, they will be available for adoption.
For more information, visit PotterLeague.org.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Amid a widespread National Grid gas service outage in Newport County, the Potter League is offering help to families with pets.
Gov. Gina Raimondo declared a State of Emergency in Newport County Monday night after a low-pressure gas situation in Newport and Middletown left more than 7,000 customers without gas.
“It’s much safer for the animals to be here than to be in a home where in these temperatures it could be extremely cold and dangerous for those animals,” Executive Director of Potter League for Animals Brad Shear said.
The Potter League is urging people to not leave their pets home alone while heat services are disrupted. Instead, they encourage residents to bring their pets to the shelter.
“Don’t leave your pets at home, that’s why we’re here,” Kara Montalbano of the Potter League said. “They’re just as easily affected by hypothermia and all of that kind of stuff.”
Anyone bringing their pet to the shelter is asked to bring any medications the pet may need, their preferred food and their vaccination record.
The Potter League said the shelter will be staffed 24/7 and will serve as an emergency shelter until gas service is fixed.
With about 7,000 National Grid customers now without gas service on Aquidneck Island, @PotterLeague is accepting pets - operating as an emergency animal shelter in Middletown, RI. They're urging people not to leave pets home without heat. They'll be staffed 24/7. @wpri12
The Potter League said before 10 p.m. Monday, they took in in five cats, two dogs and one bird. Another cat was dropped off after 10 p.m.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Potter League for Animals is taking in four dogs that were rescued from the streets of Kabul.
The Middletown shelter announced Tuesday that it’s expecting four dogs on Thursday – Diesel, Linus, Tope and Zeus.
This is part of a partnership with Afghanistan’s first and only animal shelter, Nowzad.
It was started by Sgt. Pen Farthing, whose mission has been to reunite soldiers with their battle buddies.
They’ve since expanded to find homes for dogs and cats in the United States.
The Potter League first partnered with Nowzad as a “sister shelter” in 2017.
“The Potter League has been proud to be able to help bring attention and funding to our sister shelter, Nowzad, in recent years. Now we are able to help in yet another way, bringing dogs to Newport where they can find great new homes,” said Bread Shear, executive director of the Potter League.
Anyone interested in adopting a pet or donating money to the shelter can visit the Potter League’s website for more information.
It’s time once again for a Fall tradition. The Potter League’s 30th Annual Heart & Sole Walk for Animals returns for its 30th year on October 20th. Taking place at Glen Park in Portsmouth, it raises money to help the Potter League care for thousands of homeless animals each year.
This morning, we welcomed Kara Montalbano, Director of Marketing & Community Relations, who discussed further.
For more info, head to: https://potterleague.wpengine.com/event/heart-sole-walk-for-animals/
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Potter League for Animals welcomed four rescue dogs from Afghanistan to Rhode Island Thursday afternoon.
The four dogs (Linus, Tope, Diesel, and Zeus) were found on the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan and will soon be adopted out to families here.
Linus, a female mix has been living in the Kabul shelter for the last 6-years, and it’s estimated she is 8-years old.
She is joined by three male dogs. Diesel a one-year-old. Tope (Dari for “ball”) is four-years-old. And Zeus is six-years-old.
The dogs were flown into New York earlier Thursday and were transported directly to Middletown, Rhode Island.
The dogs arrived full of energy after making the journey of over 6,700 miles from the Middle East to Southern New England.
“It feels great to help dogs that might not have had a chance if they would have stayed where they were,” said Potter League Executive Director Brad Shear.
In a statement from Potter League for Animals, “Now we are able to help in yet another way, bringing dogs to Newport where they can find great new homes.”
The Middletown-based animal shelter partnered with Nowzad Charity in 2017. The charity, founded by Sgt. Pen Farthing, made it his mission to reunite soldier with their “battle buddies”.
Since 2007 the Nowzad Charity has reunited more than 1,200 soldiers with the dogs & cats roaming the streets of Afghanistan.
While these dogs did come to Rhode Island via the Nowzad, these dogs aren’t specifically meant for active duty servicemen/women and veterans.
“These specific dogs will be ready at the earliest the middle of next week,” said Shear. “The goal of our adoption process with all animals is to make a good match between your family and the right animal for you.”
According to Rhode Island State law, the dogs will remain in isolation for five days and will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.
If someone is interested in adopting one of the dogs, Brad Shear says, simply come in.
Kana and Artie Tefft meet some of the dogs available for adoption at the Potter League for Animals in Middletown.
JAMESTOWN (WJAR) — Special deliveries bring smiles to young faces!
Instead of a sleigh, Santa's mode of transportation for this delivery, was a Potter League truck.
The Dourado family in Jamestown, the recipients.
"It just all fell together,” said Chelsea Dourado.
“I put it on my Christmas list,” said Colby.
"He put real puppy,” said David Dourado, his dad. “He wanted a real puppy, not a teddy bear."
And the dog already has a name.
"Vivvy said Jingle,” beamed Colby, about his sister.
"Jingle, like Jingle Bells for Christmas,” said Chelsea.
But this afternoon delivery was the second one of the day.
"This morning, we did a drop off in Tiverton and it was a kitten, young little kitten, so that was very exciting, sweet yes,” said David Enstone, with the Potter League, an animal shelter in Newport County.
The Moreau's of Tiverton, the new forever home for an adorable kitten.
"The cat's awesome,” said Tiffany Moreau. “The Potter League has been great."
Her daughter, Emma, all smiles.
"She's picked out the name Blue Bell,” said Moreau. “She's probably in shock. She did pick out that name and we'll probably name the kitten Blue Bell."
This, the first year the Potter League has done something like this,
"It's been amazing,” said Erin Dollard, with the Potter League. “I remember when I was a kid my parents brought a dog home. It's a memory I'll never forget."
And one these youngsters probably won't either. As for next year?
"We'll just have to see if Santa's available,” said Dollard.
PORTSMOUTH — The Potter League for Animals is asking people to make plans for their pets as they reduce staffing and look to the future.
“We really want people to have contingency plans for their own pets if they get sick,” Executive Director Brad Shear said. “Who’s going to take care of your pet, especially if you’re on your own? Have a backup plan. If you’re going to be incapacitated or hospitalized, how can you maintain care for your pets?”
He said he’s hoping neighbors, family members and friends are starting to have conversations like this.
“If there’s mass numbers of illness, we can’t take every animal whose owner is sick. We hope people start talking to each other about how that would look,” Shear said.
In a building where there are typically 25 paid staff working, there are now between six and eight. And the number of volunteers are down from 10 to about three at a time.
“All of our non-animal care staff are working from home or taking time off. The only people in the facility are people doing direct animal care and we have one manager a day to oversee that,” Shear said. He added that there are a few trained volunteers there as well.
Currently, the Potter League is home to around 80 animals, which is an average number for them, Shear said.
The Potter League is accepting applications from people interested in fostering pets for the coming weeks and months. The applications can be found on the website, and people can ask questions via email at email@example.com.
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For those who would like to help that can’t foster a pet, “they can always donate,” Shear said. The Potter League is always accepting both monetary donations as well as pet food donations for the pet food pantry. They ask that people leave pet food donations outside the door, under the awning and they will pick it up to bring it inside.
They are still doing adoptions, but only by appointment.
“If someone sees an animal on the website, they can fill out the application on the website and staff are seeing those. They will set up an appointment,” Shear said. “We won’t have more than one person at a time to come look at animals, we’re not having people casually view them.”
He added that if someone needs to surrender an animal, they are asking them to hold them if at all possible. If people see strays, he suggests they contact animal control, which has access to the Potter League building. And for people who’s strays end up in the Potter League building, they can call to set up an appointment to pick them up.
All education and training classes are canceled and the spay and neuter clinic in Warwick owned by the Potter League is completely shut down.
As far as the risk of contracting coronavirus through pets, Shear explained what the actual potential of that is.
“At this point, it appears animals don’t become affected themselves, however it is possible for the virus to be on the animals and if someone with it pets them it could be passed to another person who pets them,” Shear said. He urged people to wash their hands after you pet an animal, even if it’s your own.
The Potter League for Animals will be providing a supplemental supply of pet food at its Middletown location for dogs and cats of all sizes and ages to help pet owners through hardships they might be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those in need of assistance are asked to to schedule a pick up appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (401) 846-8276. If unable to pick up, no-contact drop-off can be arranged to Newport County residents.
Supplies are limited, and appointments are required. The Potter League will try and be as accommodating as possible, however it may not be able to provide specific protein-based food. Pet food bags will be handled prior with gloves and thoroughly disinfected prior to distribution. These will be no-contact distribution.
These are challenging times for all of us. There are so many unknowns about the risk of COVID-19 and how this may affect us all. One great comfort many of us while we are at home is our ability to spend time with our pets. The animals in our lives are a source of comfort in the most trying times, and I’m sure that all of our animal companions are happy to have someone home with them all day. At the same time there have been many questions and concerns about how to interact with animals during this crisis and whether they bring additional risks.
We have compiled some questions and answers about animals and COVID-19 from sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). There are many unknowns about this disease and things are frequently changing, but this is the best information we have right now. We will continue to update the community as new information becomes available.
Can my dog or cat get Covid-19?
According to the CDC dogs and cats cannot contract the human Coronavirus (COVID-19). While each species has their own coronavirus, people cannot get the pet version, and pets cannot contract the human version. As long as everyone in the household is healthy, having pets close to us can bring us all comfort.
Does my dog or cat pose a risk for coronavirus transmission?
Diseases like COVID-19 can be spread on ‘fomites.’ A fomite is any surface that can carry infection; like countertops our door knobs. It may seem strange to think about our pets as a surface, but that’s what they are. An infected person can theoretically cough on a dog or a cat and distribute virus particles onto the animal’s fur. Someone could then come along and pet the animal, pick up virus particles and then touch their own face, transmitimg the disease. It’s important to note that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has not verified any situations where transmission from a pet to a human occurred.
While the risk of this type of transmission may be low, we should be cautious. After petting an unknown animal, wash your hands, especially before touching your face. If you are bringing a new pet into your household, wipe the pet down with a damp towel or even preferably give the pet a bath.
Should I get my pet vaccinated in case they have to be boarded unexpectedly?
The AVMA has recommended to veterinarians that all routine care be temporarily suspended. For this reason, our spay and neuter clinic has temporarily closed and we have suspended all of our vaccine clinics. Veterinarians need to be available to treat serious illness and injuries, and the CDC has asked that medical supplies be used judiciously as they are needed for the response to COVID-19. Vaccinations are vital to protect pets against many diseases, and once this crisis is over, it is important to ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.
What if my pet needs veterinary care during this crisis?
Veterinary hospitals are considered “essential businesses” and as long as their staff remains healthy, most veterinary hospitals are continuing to see sick and injured patients. If your pet needs care, please know that your veterinary professionals are doing everything they can to be there for your pet, but be aware that social distancing will require adjustments to how you interact with the veterinary team. Some clinics are asking clients to wait in their cars for staff to come get pets so the foot traffic in the clinics are limited. You might not be able to accompany your pet into an examination as you normally would, but this precaution is safer for everyone. Please be patient, and understand we are all in this together, and we will get through it together.
What should I do with my pet if I or someone in my family gets Covid-19?
Your pets will not contract the disease so you do not be concerned for their health. The CDC has issued guidance recommending that sick people in the home should minimize contact with pets and primary responsibility for pet care should be provided by another household member.
Healthy household members should isolate themselves to the greatest extent possible from infected persons. Remember that pets could act as ‘fomites’ carrying the disease from infected people in the house to healthy people. Bathing your pet if someone is infected is probably wise, then limit interaction between pets and infected people. The CDC is very clear that this advice could change, because there is so much that is unknown about the disease and we really don’t know if transmission from an animal’s fur to a person is a serious risk. These are times when we should take the most cautious approach.
How can I help pets in the community?
This is a good time to reach out to friends, family and neighbors to find out how they are doing and create a pet care plan if either of you become ill. It’s a good reason for a phone call or video call since we’re all feeling a little isolated right now. If you can get on video with friends, you can show them what your pets are like and exchange information about their care.
This is a great way our community can come together to help each other. Now is the time to create mutual pet care plans with the people around you so if the time comes for someone to go to the hospital, their pets will have a place to go. If you do take in a pet from another home, make sure to bathe them right away.
How can I help shelter pets in need?
At The Potter League we have limited the number of people in our building to only essential animal care staff and volunteers. We are trying to minimize the number of animals we are caring for in the shelter. To do this we are continuing to do adoptions by appointment only for people who have identified a specific animal online and filled out an online adoption application.
We are also working on getting animals into foster homes. We have had an overwhelming response from people willing to foster animals so please be patient with us. While we may fulfil our immediate fostering needs soon, we will keep names of willing people if the need changes.
We ask you all to stay home with your pets, accept the comfort they provide, keep safe and listen to the experts. While we cannot be physically together as a community, we can work together to share our responsibility to each other.
Kara Montalbano is the director of marketing & community relations at the Potter League.
Tara Brown and Nemo’s pet adoption story earned Potter League for Animals a surprise ‘Holiday Wishes’ investment from the Petco Foundation. The public could help them win an additional $25,000 grant.
MIDDLETOWN — A sick patient at Hasbro Children’s Hospital is the one who came up with the idea to have a therapy dog on the team, according to Tara Brown, a nurse practitioner in pediatric palliative care there.
At the time there were volunteers who came in with therapy dogs, which was always well received. However when it came time to have difficult conversations, the dogs along with their volunteers would need to leave due to confidentiality. Having a dog as a member of the team would allow them to stick around longer and be there for the tough stuff, the patient suggested to Brown.
“I started out on a mission to see what the hospital would think of it, and finding a dog,” Brown said.
She put out a number of applications, and received a call from the Potter League for Animals. When she met 14-month-old Nemo there, she knew he was the one.
Brown adopted Nemo in June 2018. He went through therapy dog training and in May of 2019 started going to work at Hasbro with Brown.
“Every day it’s a little bit different. Some days if a kid is having a hard time getting out of bed, we’ll do PT with him and say, ‘Hey do you want to take the dog for a walk?’ ...There was a kid who was having trouble speaking, he lost his voice for multiple reasons, but he actually started to talk again by telling Nemo commands for tricks and stuff,” Brown said, adding that oftentimes he’ll simply cuddle up and take a nap with the kids.
There’s also an opportunity for siblings or other family members of a patient to feel Nemo’s comfort.
“We’ll walk in the garden with the siblings who need a break from the stress of the room. I don’t have to ask, ‘Do you want to go for a walk?’ I can say, ’Hey can you help me walk Nemo?” Brown said.
She said that he can read the room and see where he’s needed, looking to Brown for cues.
“We had a young boy who was terminally ill. He was sleepy, but when we walked in he opened his eyes and said ‘Nemo!’ Nemo laid in bed with him and they slept together. Each day he asked for Nemo, and Nemo would lay with him. On the day of his passing, I learned that this boy had fundraised for and wanted his Make-a-Wish to go to Potter League for Animals. Nemo came to say goodbye to his friend and his family. His mom said Nemo’s visits meant more than I could ever know,” Brown wrote in an essay.
Brown thought it was a heartwarming story and wanted to share when she saw the call out from The Petco Foundation for adoption stories as part of its annual nationwide holiday wishes grant campaign.
As a result, The Foundation selected Potter League for Animals as a 2019 honorable mention recipient. The Potter League was honored for this recognition at Petco Tuesday and presented with a giant check for $1,000.
“That $1,000 is going to come in handy definitely for treats and different toys for the animals, and the different one-on-one activities we do for the animals on a daily basis,” said Erin O’Gara Dollard, director of development for the Potter League.
As an honorable mention recipient, the Potter League is now eligible to earn up to $25,000, but this next step relies on votes from the community. The public can vote for Nemo’s story at http://wshe.es/kSPUTEJg through Friday, Dec. 20 at noon.
“It feels amazing, and I really appreciate the Potter League and Petco for doing this,” Brown said of the opportunity.
MIDDLETOWN — The Potter League for Animals became a temporary home for at least 25 area pets Tuesday morning, with more dogs, cats, rabbits and birds coming in as the day progressed. This comes amid a National Grid gas outage affecting 7,100 homes in the Newport area.
“Once the state of Rhode Island declares a state of emergency, we have to stay open and staffed 24-7. We’re part of the whole plan.” said Kara Montalbano, director of marketing and communications at the Potter League. “A lot of people won’t leave their house because of their animals.”
The Potter League posted an announcement on social media Monday night that said: “400 homes in Newport are currently without gas service. We are aware that some schools are open and those affected may be seeking alternate places to stay tonight. We will be staying open overnight to take in pets for those affected.”
Ten families without heat brought in their pets overnight following the announcement. Those people then sought shelter at area hotels and warming centers. On Tuesday morning, about 15 more families brought in pets before heading to work or other obligations, Montalbano said.
“Some people tried to tough it out last night and then today are realizing this might take a couple of days.” Montalbano said.
Some of the pets were housed in rooms just for the day, until their owners plan to pick them up later, and others are staying there until the situation is resolved.
“We have crates, we have open rooms that we will fill. So, we expand as we’re needed.” Montalbano said.
In a scenario where the facility cannot fit any more animals, the Potter League has relationships with other organizations where it could temporarily transport the adoptable pets. The priority is keeping local residents’ pets so that people in the area can stay as close to them as possible.
If you are considering bringing your pet to the Potter League, Montalbano recommends bringing food, medications and medical and vaccine history.
For more information, call the Potter League at 846-8276.
EAST PROVIDENCE — The Potter League for Animals in Middletown has adopted the Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic in Riverside, taking over the nonprofit clinic's administration so eligible low-income Rhode Islanders can still get pet medical care at a reduced cost.
The clinic's name changed Wednesday to the Potter League Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic, or PIN for short, and clinic employees now work for the Potter League, a spokeswoman for the league said. The clinic, at 40 Amaral St. in the Riverside section of East Providence, is for eligible Rhode Islanders living anywhere in the state.
It's an arrangement similar to the Potter League Spay and Neuter Clinic at n Warwick, which subsidizes the cost of reproduction-prevention surgeries to help limit the number of homeless animals.
Since it opened in 2016, PIN has cared for more than 7,000 animals of owners on public assistance.
With surgeries canceled and intake limited only to urgent cases, the Potter League for Animals in Middletown has been forced to make major adjustments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a significant loss of revenue from the Spay & Neuter clinic, which is currently shut down, from adoptions and from the dog training program, the Potter League is surviving thanks to support from the local community, said executive director Brad Shear.
“I’ve been really impressed with how everyone around the Potter League has just rolled with whatever we needed to do, even though what we think one day changes the next,” he said. “Everybody is really focused on making sure that the animals in the shelter are taken care of, and that people who have animals at home get what they need. This has really brought out the best in all the people around the Potter League.
“We’ve gotten a tremendous outpouring of support in a lot of ways, from people wanting to adopt or foster to donors stepping forward and making bigger gifts than they normally would. It’s been great.”
The shelter hopes to begin reopening services over the next two weeks, “as long as we are confident that we can keep our staff safe and keep the community safe,” Shear said.
The shelter has retained its fulltime staff of 40, dividing it into two teams that work on alternate days. But the nearly 400 volunteers who are the lifeblood of the organization are not allowed in the building. Some have spent time making face masks; one volunteer has even been mowing the lawn. “They are really anxious to get back to work,” Shear said.
The closure of the Spay & Neuter clinic will mean a boom in the cat population, he said. “For every week we are closed there are 50 more kittens being born this year than last year that will need to come to the shelter and find new homes,” he said. “This shutdown could be a problem long term.”
When the clinic reopens, he expects to see an explosion in business. “We are definitely going to be overwhelmed,” he said. “We canceled 1,700 surgeries. Catching up will take us all summer.”
While Shear said “it’s been really nice that a lot of people are interested in adoption,” the Potter League has not been bringing in as many animals as usual. “We’re down about 75 percent,” he said.
He theorized that one reason is that pets are home and thus are not being lost. Another is that the Potter League is currently unable to bring in animals from other shelters. “We have 20 animals in the building and 25 in foster care right now,” he said. “Normally, that number would be between 80 and 100.”
The Potter League has been holding a number of virtual education sessions to keep people involved, including online classes with a dog trainer, a session for children on how to create cat toys from items around the house, and a session with the director of a wildlife clinic with instructions on what to do when seeing wildlife being born.
The pandemic forced the cancellation of the shelter’s two major annual fundraisers: the LoveBash for Animals in March and the Yappy Hour in July. Instead, the two events will be combined into a Virtual Yappy Hour. An online auction will be held for two weeks prior to the event, with a live virtual fundraiser being held on July 12.
“This fundraiser is extremely important right now,” Shear said. “Fees we normally receive are all gone …. so, we’re more dependent on fundraising than ever before. But I’m confident it will be successful. I think people want to support the Potter League. It’s never been about the event, but the mission.”
The Potter League for Animals announced today the acquisition of the Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic, Rhode Island’s only 501(c)3 nonprofit full-service veterinary clinic that offers low-cost, high quality medical and surgical services for pets of eligible low-income Rhode Island pet owners.
The merged business will operate under the name Potter League Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic (PIN).
Located in Riverside, RI the Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic, was founded in 2016 and provides low-cost, high-quality veterinary care to the pets of Rhode Islanders receiving public assistance and has provided care to well over 7,000 animals since opening its doors.
“Keeping pets happy, healthy and at home with the people who love them is an important part of our work and to many Rhode Islanders, the cost of quality veterinary care for their beloved pets is out of reach,” explains Brad Shear, Executive Director of the Potter League for Animals in a statement. “These are some of the most challenging economic times many of us have experienced and making sure everyone has access to veterinary care will make it possible for many at-risk animals to remain in homes where they belong” Shear continued.
Elderly, disabled, or disadvantaged pet owners are often left with nowhere to turn when their pet needs care. To help ensure that our community’s pets have access to quality veterinary care, and to keep pets with their loving families despite financial difficulty, the Potter League’s Pets In Need (PIN) Veterinary Clinic is here to provide compassionate, high-quality veterinary care.
“Access to full-service care for low-income pet owners is a significant problem in the veterinary field”, said primary founder of PIN Dr. Hank Wietsma, DVM in a statement. “The Pets In Need Clinic has been one of a few clinics leading the way both regionally and nationally in providing this care and PIN is excited to be under the umbrella of the Potter League”
“Nothing in my 22 years in Rhode Island has meant more to me than helping found the Rhode Island Free Clinic and the Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic,” said John Gillespie, past Chair of both organizations. “I live in Newport and am very familiar with the Potter League and I can’t think of a better and more caring organization for PIN to align with. This merger will allow PIN to continue to help financially challenged Rhode Islanders keep their pets at home and have available to them veterinary care of the highest level at a price they can afford. Anyone who cares about vulnerable animals should applaud the Potter League for their willingness to continue PIN’s efforts in these challenging times.”
The Potter League for Animals has operated as an animal care center offering programs and services such as adoption, humane education, dog training, and outreach programs for over 90 years. The League has subsidized veterinary care for Newport County residents for many years, but in recent years has recognized a statewide need for subsidized care. The Potter League Spay and Neuter Clinic in Warwick Rhode Island provides subsidized spay and neuter services, helping to successfully reduce the pet population in the region. The acquisition of the Pets In Need Clinic represents our deepening commitment to the health and wellness of animals throughout Rhode Island both homeless and those in homes who struggle to access essential services.
More information about the Potter League Pets In Need Veterinary Clinic and the services it offers can be found on our website: www.potterleague.org
The following was written by Kara Montalbano, Director of Marketing & Community Relations, Potter League For Animals.
It’s time to put the “fun” back in fundraising! If you donate $15 to Potter League for Animals, we’ll draw your pet. The catch? We’re a whole lot better at caring for animals than we are at drawing them.
We have a pool of staff and volunteers standing by, eager to turn your animal into a timeless work of art (or at least make you laugh). Will you get one of the former fine arts majors or will you get a team member who to be honest… can’t draw their way out of a paper bag? Who knows! But either way, it’s going to be fun. The Potter League serves thousands of animals every year and we rely on donations to make that work possible, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun while we raise those funds!
HOW IT WORKS:
Make a donation via Facebook on this post for $15 (or more). Once you’ve paid, post a comment on the post with the photo of your pet and that you’ve made your donation. Our team will then work their magic and reply with a picture of your homemade masterpiece as soon as we can. We’re using the honor system, so please play fair. Also note: it’s $15 per pet’s face.
There’s no limit to how many drawings you can purchase; the more donations we receive, the more we can support animals in our community! Of course, if you feel compelled to give more than asked, we’d be so grateful for your generosity. Our supporters are truly the best!
This ridiculous idea is to bring you a bit of laughter during these challenging times and to help us raise critically needed funds.
Will caught up with Kara Montalbano, the Director of Marketing & Community Relations at The Potter League in Middletown, RI. It’s the 31st Annual event and they are modifying the events to keep people safe, but still working hard to raise money for the animals.
To learn more & sign up, click here!
If you live on Aquidneck Island and are missing an iguana, it may be waiting for you at the Potter League for Animals.
Two large reptiles have been found within two days in two different areas.
"It's a very weird situation," said Kara Montalbano, who's the director of marketing and community relations for Potter League for Animals. "You could speculate a whole host of reasons but not normal."
One iguana is over 3 feet long. It was picked up in Portsmouth and brought to the facility on Thursday.
"As far as I know, he crawled up someone's front porch. Rumor had it he had been hanging around the area for a couple of days," said Montalbano. "I'm sure something that is pretty large crawling up your front steps is pretty alarming."
The second iguana is a little smaller. It was found in Newport Friday morning and brought there a few later.
"That one was found in a flower pot so we can't make this up," said Montalbano.
The reptiles are together now but may not have been to begin with.
"They were found miles apart so the likely hood of them being together at some point is by unlikely, but it just so happens that they ended up with us," said Montalbano. "You could speculate it's warm out so people might be bringing them out for warm weather, and they might be in an enclosure and might be escaping that's my first thought."
Staff doesn't know how long they had been out and about exploring Rhode Island or where they came from.
"We usually hold them about five days and before we claim them as ours or legally, they become ours," said Montalbano. "We'd love to find them their homes but if not they're safe with us for now."
This week on Kana's Corner Artie Tefft connected with Kara Montalbano of the Potter League for Animals who introduced us to Hank, a smart and playful seven year-old mixed breed that's looking for a home for the holidays!
If your interested in Hank or any of the other animals at the Potter League, visit potterleague.org now!
Dog and cat owners, and their pets, have been thrown for a loop with COVID-19 too. Rabies clinics are up in the air. Spaying, neutering, and surgeries are off for now too. But some of that is about to change.
At the Potter League for Animals in Middletown, the upside is that there's less than a handful of rabbits, cats, and dogs still left for adoption. During the pandemic, most have been scooped up. But like most other services, it's by appointment only.
Brad Shear, the League’s Executive Director, says that they’ve “limited our intake of animals to only the most urgent. So strays can still be brought in, animals that are involved in cruelty cases or other urgent circumstances can be brought in.”
The non-profit, geared towards those who can't afford a private practice veterinarian for pet care, have had to cancel or postpone pet surgeries. And the spay/neuter clinic in Warwick has been closed for now.
“All the procedures we do there are elective procedures. There are no emergencies seen there or other urgent care. We decided to stop all operations there,” adds Shear.
The good news is they hope to resume spaying and neutering of shelter animals next week in Middletown, and for all animals at the Warwick location the week after.
Mobile rabies clinics, that would fan out across communities to give booster and follow-up vaccinations, will probably not resume until later this summer.
Meanwhile, it's advised to practice social distancing from pets not in your household too, only because their owners may have COVID-19.
“I would treat the dog like an extension of the person,” cautions Shear.
Another layer of precaution as we navigate through this pandemic, with man's best friend.
RIVERSIDE, R.I. (WJAR) — For the last few weeks, 78-year-old Bill Atwell is up and at 'em early.
A few weeks ago, he became the proud parent of 6-year-old "Bear," a German shepherd he recently adopted.
"He wakes up first sometimes he will come lick your face," said Atwell. "Ever since I got him, two plain munchkins he got to have that every morning."
The pair go everywhere together and do everything. The story of how the two of them came to be, is an amazing one.
Bear is trained to retrieve toys, but Atwell is familiar with all types of training. He was an Air Force K-9 handler in the Vietnam war.
"I was with the first group of dogs. They sent 90 dogs over there," said Atwell.
One of the dogs was a German shepherd named "Shadow," and he was special to Atwell who was paired up with him.
"He was fantastic. They can tell if something's bothering you, they can," he said. "He saved me a couple of times."
True to his name, Atwell said Shadow followed him everywhere.
The two working and living together in the trenches.
"We always worked at night," he said. "When it was a real warm night, Shadow and I would go swimming in the ocean and he loved it, he loved it."
Atwell said orders from President Richard Nixon eventually separated the pair.
"When Nixon said, 'I'm going to bring the boys home with honor,' he left 4,000 dogs over there," said Atwell. "I offered to buy him but once that dog has been trained to attack, the government won't let him go to anyone else."
Atwell said the thought of leaving Shadow there was unbearable, but he returned alone.
"I said to myself, 'When I leave, I'm not going to look at him' but I did," he said. "I had to leave the dog there. That really bothered me."
Over the years, there had been other dogs, but none quite like him.
"My wife said, 'No more dogs, that it. It's too hard when you have to have them put down'," said Atwell.
This summer, Atwell was faced with a new devastating loss.
His wife and childhood sweetheart passed away. They were married for 53 years and had been together since middle school.
"I don't know how to explain it. It's like your life is empty," he said. "Some days are bad; some days are not so bad. It's not an easy thing."
Atwell said he couldn't stand being alone in his home.
His two children, both adults and essential workers, would stop by and his neighbors are nice, but even still, the silence was too much.
"I kept saying, 'There's too many memories here, too many memories, I got to get out of here'," he said.
A recent trip to the VA in Providence and conversation about wartime camaraderie ignited his spark to fill the void with a new sidekick.
That's when he learned about Bear, who was up for adoption at the Potter League Animal Shelter in Middletown.
"I called everywhere because I wanted a German shepherd and no one had any," he said. "I called Potter League, and would you know it, they had one."
"Bill reached out to us a couple of weeks ago. He was specifically looking for a German shepherd," said Kara Montalbano, who's the director of marketing and community relations for the shelter. "It just so happened we had a dog that we had been caring for probably for a couple of weeks that came to us with an untreated infection."
Atwell scheduled a visit to check the dog out.
"I went there, and I sat on the bench outside and when he came around that corner, I thought it was my dog from Vietnam. It was like his twin. I said, 'Oh, I got to have that dog'," said Atwell.
"He was crying. It's usually much more excitement and an overwhelming feeling never usually that emotional, which I think is why we were so drawn to helping him," said Montalbano. "When he talked about his wife passing away and how he honestly felt it was his wife that brought him to us, to Bear, that made it even more meaningful to us."
After speaking with Pets for Patriots and a two-hour visit, Atwell got the green light to take Bear home.
"The way it all came together, it's almost like a miracle," he said. "I tell my friends I think my wife had something to do with this because the dog is perfect, the dog looks like Shadow."
With Bear around, Atwell said things are looking brighter.
"He’s like an angel to me. I don't mind being alone anymore," he said.
Atwell might be Bear's caretaker, but the good shepherd is returning the favor.
"What was a bad thing, I'm not going to say it's a good thing, but it's a hell of a lot better," he said. "He wants to be where and that's the way I want it. I want him to be where I am."