Singing in the Rain with Our April Staff Picks

These April Showers might cause the weather outside to be a bit dreary, but these fabulous canines and felines certainly keep the SPCA cheery no matter the weather! Wouldn’t you love one of these adorable cuddle bugs to keep your home sunny and warm all year long? Find out why our staff loves Cryson, Midge, Morgan, P-Nut, and Sabrina so much. Bonus – as part of our April Showers Special, for any rainy day in April, you can adopt one of these super cute critters for 50% off!

Cryson’s favorite thing to do on a rainy day: lounging on a rug (maybe with a mug of canned cat food?) by the doorCryson and gaze outside.

Jen says Cryson is the purr-fect rainy day buddy because he lets you hold him upside down like a baby as he stares lovingly into your eyes. This sweet guy is so happy to see you that he’ll give you little kitty kisses and licks! Cryson is a loveable lap cat who gets along well with other cats. He’s peppy and playful, and adores being brushed.

Midge & SarahMidge’s favorite thing to do on a rainy day: lay with her stuffed animals, of course!

Sarah loves Midge because Midge is a delightfully silly girl who is sure to put a smile on your face and entertain you for hours with her playful antics. She’s happy-go-lucky and justMidge loves toys! plain fun to be around! Midge’s child-like glee at the sight of a squeaky toy is infectious – she’ll have you laughing in no time flat! All this sweet pea needs is a person to cuddle with and a few fun toys.

Morgan & MorganaMorgan’s favorite thing to do on a rainy day: give her special purr-son lots of loving nuzzles.

You might suspect that Morgana loves Morgan because of their similar names, and while that is part of it, there’s much more than simply what’s in her name.  Morgana thinks Morgan is wonderful because she has a delicate and shy personality but she really and truly wants to be with you and tries oh so hard to be your friend. What helps Morgan be brave? She loves other cats and would do well with a feline friend. She also loves cat trees and perches where she can peer down and feel safe. She also prefers her back and shoulders rubbed, although she loves to nuzzle her head into your hand – she sometimes nuzzles with such force that her back feet slip out!

P-Nut’s (aka Scooby’s) favorite thing to do on a rainy day: eating Scooby Snacks and hanging out with the gang!P-Nut and Ashley

Ashley can’t get enough of this sweet and sophisticated fella! This devoted dog loves to snuggle and wants nothing more than to make you happy. P-Nut is everyone’s best friend – he adores people, is playful with other pups, and even fancies the felines. And he knows a bevy of tricks: sit, shake, high five, look (used to get his attention), and he’s housetrained! To top it all off, he can catch treats in the air!

Sabrina_webSabrina’s favorite thing to do on a rainy day: cuddling on the couch and watching Animal Planet with her person.

Lee thinks Sabrina is the bees knees because she is just the happiest, wiggliest little buddle of love! Sabrina loves kisses on her sweet head and will give you a big, heart-felt smile. Lee says Sabrina has a certain dearness about her that is very endearing. She forms attachments with bonds quickly to people, and is very eager to please you, making her easily trainable. She already knows sit and can catch treats in the air! What Sabrina wants most? To be with a family! Being with people soothes and calms her; she easily takes to people and truly enjoys their company. Belly-rubs also top her list!

April Volunteers of the Month

stings_webMeet our April Volunteers of the Month! John and Marilynn Sting are a super volunteer couple. They’ve contributed to many aspects of the SPCA, including taking a shy dogs to obedience classes, walking the dogs, and taking professional pictures of the dogs and now cats. They’re creative and adorable photos have helped market countless dogs and cats.

When did you first start volunteering at the SPCA?

We started volunteering in January 2013.

Why did you choose to get involved with the SPCA?

Before we retired and moved to Charlottesville in 2012 we saw a special on TV about shelter photography.  A very accomplished professional pet photographer in Texas aligned herself with a rescue society and took beautiful portraits of the dogs available for adoption.  Her photos were credited for successfully finding many, many hard to place dogs forever homes.  It moved us so much that we decided that was what we wanted to pursue in our retirement.  But first we had to buy a camera and figure out how to use it.  It was a steep learning curve but now our favorite day of the week is the day we get to go into the shelter and play with the dogs while we take their pictures. 

Do you usually gravitate towards a certain type of dog here?

Our most favorite dogs to photograph are the Pit Bulls.  They are exquisite athletes and engage so wonderfully with humans because of their intelligent personalities.  They’re natural models who love to strut their stuff and strike a pose.  They think “play” is their job and pursue it with great enthusiasm.  And they are also super snugglers.  What a great combination!
What’s your favorite part of volunteering at the SPCA?

Of course the dogs are our favorite part but we also enjoy the friendly staff and volunteers, and have come to admire their sense of mission and devotion to all the animals in the shelter.

If you could adopt any animal here, who would it be and why? (Other than Cora/Tibbi!)

We just adopted a little Tibetan Spaniel last month and are going to try to resist adopting any more for a while.  But if we could adopt just one more, it would definitely be Sylvia the Pit Bull.  The camera loves her but she’s also so well balanced in her temperament which is gentle and sweet.  She loves people, toys, kids and snuggling.  Who could ask for anything more?

Staff Comments:

“The Sting’s make my life so much easier! They provide creative images to use in marketing, tremendously helping the animals and saving staff time.”

“Marilynn and John are amazingly helpful volunteers who take stunning pictures of our animals. The way they stage the animals and the fun way they take pictures help our animals stand out. They’re just nice people!”

“They’re really committed to the SPCA and they’ve been a huge asset in helping SPCA animals find great homes.”

Helping Hank Heal

When Hank arrived at the SPCA he didn’t feel much like puppy kisses or playtime. He needed our help.hank1

Hank was dropped off at a local vet office after being hit by a car. His owner couldn’t afford to provide care for him so he was surrendered to the SPCA.

When Hank arrived he was unable to walk, his hind end injured by the accident. Radiographs revealed that Hank would need costly surgery to repair breaks to his pelvis and back leg. Although we can perform many procedures at the SPCA, this was a complicated surgery which required an outside specialist and equipment that we simply do not have.

The SPCA medical team reached out to our friends at Virginia Veterinary Specialists who agreed to perform Hank’s surgery at a heavily discounted rate. And, we reached out to the community for support. There was an overwhelming outpouring of kindness and generosity from the community. We received more than a 145 donations in response to Hank’s story. Thanks to these compassionate supporters, we raised enough money to help us pay for Hank’s surgery and his pre/post-surgical care. But that’s not all– the generosity also allowed us to provide lifesaving care to other pets in need.

Hank came through his surgery successfully, his leg was repaired and his pelvis will continue to heal. Check out this video of Hank up and around a few days after surgery.sammy

In addition to helping Hank heal, your kindness has allowed us to pay for Sammy’s leg and pelvis to be surgically repaired after he was hit by a care and for Lucas to have care and amputation of his leg, which was irreparably damaged by a bullet.

lucasHank sends his thanks for your overwhelming generosity, well-wishes and prayers. Please enjoy the photos of Hank recovering in a foster home.1780168_10152331569654686_1288899141_o

To learn more about fostering click here.

To make a monthly contribution to enable us to continue helping pets in need, click here.







March Lucky Charms Staff Picks


They might not be Irish Setters, but these fabulous five are each lucky in their own ways! And of course they’d love some smooches. Anyone who adopts Caesar, Merritt, Jet, Pops or Mina is sure to be lucky in love, laughs, and the admiring eyes of these cats and dogs. They, likewise, would be over the moon happy and lucky to be adopted by a wonderful person.


Caesar – His lucky charm: his tenacity

Sheryl loves Caesar because he is passionate about life and those he loves. He’s the perfect mix of adorable and goofy! This little guy is super playful – he loves to play games of chase and can spend all day running around with his person. Caesar bonds quickly and never wants to be without his special someone. In fact, he loves people so much that he can get a tad upset when they try to leave him. Caesar needs to be an only four-legged child, but he has more than enough love to go around!

MerrittMerritt – His lucky charm: his steady inner strength

Sarah says Merritt is a big sweetie who can appear shy and reserved at first, but will very quickly warm up to you. He’ll chirp for your attention and will even follow you around! Merritt loves other cats (his BFF is Jeb) and would do great in a home with other felines. The key to his heart? Head scratches, treats, other cats, and bird videos on the TV!


Jet – His lucky charm: his good looks!Jet

Angie says Jet is a looker – you simply must stop and stare when you see this ridiculously good-looking guy come your way. He’s full of life and has puppyish charm. This fun-loving running buddy will be your best friend. He’s very eager to please and already knows how to politely sit. In addition to loving people and treats, he also loves to play with squeaky toys.

Pops: His lucky charm: his confidence

PopsAllison admires Pops’ go-getter attitude! He’s confident enough to grab life by the horns and go after what he truly wants. What does Pops want? Really only three things: a person, yummy treats, and play time. When Pops sees his people friends, he’ll talk up a storm and reach his paw out until someone comes and says hello. And when he has a hankering for a tasty snack, he’ll bounce around like popcorn – he doesn’t want you to overlook him! Allison says he’s a spunky guy who’s both cuddly and playful, and would make a super only cat. Pops wants to be the only feline (and four-legged kid) in your life.

Mina: Her lucky charm: her love for peopleMina

Jana adores Mina because Mina adores people! Mina was a star pupil in the basic obedience class she took at Canine Campus. At graduation, Mina was challenged to bypass other dogs and a spoon full of peanut butter and go directly to her person when called. When Jana called Mina, Mina didn’t even look at the fun temptations, and zoomed right into Jana’s arms. Mina also loves rubber ring-shaped toys. She’ll happily prance around with this toy in her mouth as she runs around the agility course. This girl could be the next agility super star! ADOPTED!

March Volunteer of the Month – Sandy

2014-03-05-03.51.12_webMeet our March Volunteer of the Month, Sandy Cresson! Sandy has a kind, gentle way with the cats at the SPCA. She helps they shy and unsure cats feel safe, comfortable, and loved and ready for new families. Sandy’s helped many cats find purr-fect matches, and always has their best interest at heart. She’s an amazing volunteer and the cats are incredibly lucky to have her!

When did you first start volunteering at the SPCA?

I started volunteering at the SPCA in March of 2011

Why did you choose to get involved with the SPCA?

After raising 6 children and working as a midwife, assisting at homebirths and helping women with their pre- and post- natal, I decided to devote this part of my life to caring for animals.

Do you usually gravitate towards a certain type of dog or cat here?

I typically like to give special attention to the senior cats. I really love helping senior animals find wonderful homes where they can live out their golden years. They still have a lot of love to give.

What’s your favorite part of volunteering at the SPCA?

My favorite part of volunteering would be coming in and having the cats recognize my voice. And also the satisfaction of seeing a cat who came in very shy, scared, and confused gradually change into a calmer and happier cat and get adopted.

If you could adopt any animal here, who would it be and why?

I just adopted Jarrett, a very old senior cat. And about a year ago I adopted, Mae, also a senior cat. It is hard to describe the joy that I feel to photo_webknow that the few years that they may have left are spent in the warmth and comfort of a home.

Staff Comments

“You can really tell that all the cats are special to Sandy. She loves them all!”

“Everyone loves Sandy! She’s always so nice to all the other volunteers, staff, and visitors, and is great with the cats.”

“Senior felines are lucky to have Sandy!”

Meet Ashley Litton, Head of the SPCA Behavior and Rescue Program


We are so excited to announce that Ashley Litton has agreed to head our behavior and rescue program. We are grateful to have had the help of Lisa Sweet for the past year and are confident that Ashley will build on the foundation Lisa has laid. Ashley is ready to lead us to a truly advanced and fully integrated behavior and rescue program for all our dogs and cats.

Ashley has been with the SPCA since March 2009, working first as an adoption counselor and most recently as the customer service manager. She has been doing behavior evaluations of dogs since October 2009 and estimates she has worked with over 100 dogs and cats with behavior special needs both at the SPCA and in her home on a foster basis. In the past two years, she has attended the Best Friends and No Kill conferences and Playing for Life Seminar.

With her extensive experience with animals and her network of connections in the shelter and rescue community in central Virginia, we cannot imagine a better leader for our behavior and rescue program. Stop by and ask Ashley about her ideas. You are sure to be inspired.

Lisa Sweet will continue to work on an as needed basis with SPCA animals and recently adopted animals. She is pursuing a certification in feline behavior and will share what she learns with our staff this summer.