Saturday, July 12, 2014

Donate $1.00, Help Save a Life!

Marianne just donated to 'The Pet Emergency Medical Fund'. Give $1 to support Sam's Hope together! – One Today by Google

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

GenPhilly 4th Annual Pet-Tastic Pet Food and Toy Drive Happy Hour

Dear Pet Supporters:

Next month, GenPhilly, a network of young professionals who are dedicated to making Philadelphia a great place to grow up and grow old, is hosting our 4th Annual Pet-Tastic Pet Food and Toy Drive Happy Hour to support seniors who are pet owners.  This event will be held at the Field House across from the Reading Terminal Market on Wednesday, July 23 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

In the past, this event has secured hundreds of donations for pets that belong to frail older adults who often struggle to support their animal companions.  Unfortunately, as seniors age, caring for a loved pet becomes more difficult and seniors struggling on fixed incomes too often sacrifice their well-being for their pets.  GenPhilly’s Pet-Tastic Happy Hour aims to address these challenges by giving pets and their owners a small gift that has a large impact. 

 Will you help low-income elderly people who have pets?

GenPhilly has selected Sam’s Hope, an organization dedicated to helping financially and health challenged people keep their companion animal, as this year’s recipient. Sam’s Hope has agreed to give the contributions from this event to its elderly participants.  I am enclosing a flyer to give you more information about the program and the organization that will benefit from it.

We hope GenPhilly can count on your support and would be most grateful if you could contribute pet food, supplies or gift cards to this effort!   If you have any questions, I can be reached at 215-765-9000, ext. 5072 or


Kate Clark
GenPhilly, Chair
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, Planner for Policy & Program Development

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sam's Hope Marks First Year of Helping Pet Owners

Sam's Hope Marks First Year of Helping Pet Owners

By Rebecca Guterman Correspondent Bucks County Courier Times
After feeding more than 1,500 pets whose owners were in need and providing free veterinary care to 23 pets, fledgling nonprofit Sam’s Hope is proud of its first year.
Northampton resident Marianne Iaquinto started the federally registered charity to help low-income, disabled, elderly or sick owners of cats and dogs in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. She and about six other volunteers run Sam’s Hope.    

Sam’s Hope gave grants for 15 dogs and eight cats to receive free veterinary care in the past year. The grants fund up to $500 — or more, in extreme circumstances — and require the applicant to have demonstrated financial need, according to Iaquinto.

Shadow, and his mom, Liz
The charity helped Liz Hendley, of Warminster, by having a veterinarian come to her house to give shots to her 8-year-old Lab, Shadow, and clip the dog’s nails. The 125-pound dog was too heavy for her to take to the vet, Hendley said, and his nails were getting too long for him to walk comfortably. The vet also told Hendley that Shadow has arthritis and needs to go on a diet.

“It would hurt me to my heart if anything happens to him. It would also affect the little one (her Yorkshire terrier, ChiChi) because they have become such great buddies,” she said.

Another grant went to Coco, an emotional-support Chihuahua for Patricia Vertlieb, of Philadelphia. Vertlieb has secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and lives with her 34-year-old daughter, who is mildly intellectually challenged.

Iaquinto came to the rescue when Coco needed to go to the vet for a heart problem a year ago and Vertlieb didn’t think she could afford the transportation and treatment costs.

Coco, and his mom, Pat
“Without (Iaquinto’s) help we wouldn’t be able to … do anything. We’d be in debt up to our eyeballs because I don’t know where I’d get the money from. She has improved the quality of my life and my daughter’s life by keeping Coco healthy,” Vertlieb said.

Sam’s Hope has distributed more than 33,000 pounds of pet food since last July. The food is collected in donation boxes at area grocery stores. It’s distributed through three food pantries and to residents of an apartment complex that serves elderly, low-income people. Plus, there is direct delivery to individuals who are homebound.

Looking to the next year, Iaquinto said she hopes her group can serve twice as many pets as they did this year and add a spay-and-neuter grant program.

Iaquinto quit her job to start Sam’s Hope because of her love for her own Shih Tzu, Samantha, who passed away in 2012 after numerous health problems. Samantha is the Sam in the group’s name.

“We often thought if someone had less means than we did, they might have to surrender (the pet) to a shelter,” she said.

Nationally, about 7.6 million animals enter shelters each year; 2.7 million are adopted each year and another 2.7 million are euthanized, the ASPCA estimates.

More information on the charity:
Sams Hope

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dog Quotes - For me a house or an apartment becomes a home...

For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.

 Roger Caras

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dog Quotes - You'll Never Walk Alone ...

You'll Never Walk Alone Because I Will Always Be With You.

Love, Your Dog

 Pictured, our Molly and Chico

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Majority of Pets are Overweight; How To Tell if Your Furry Friend is Packing Extra Pounds

While you're counting calories and getting in extra exercise, you probably should be doing the same thing for your pets, according to a Kansas State University veterinarian.

A survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that about 53 percent of dogs are either overweight or obese. It's even higher for cats, with about 58 percent weighing more than they should. Much like humans, this extra weight can take a toll on your pet's health.

"Overweight animals also have certain health issues," said Susan Nelson, clinical associate professor in the department of clinical sciences and veterinarian at the Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. "It can aggravate joint disease. It can lead to Type 2 diabetes. It can aggravate heart conditions, and it can lead to skin diseases as folds in the pet's skin get bigger. It can even shorten their life span."

Even though many people think their pets look in shape, cats and dogs have a distinct body shape when they are at the appropriate weight. You should only be able to feel a thin layer of fat over their ribs, Nelson says. It should be similar to the amount of skin you feel when you rub your fingers across the knuckles of your hand while it is outstretched. Your furry friend should also have an hourglass figure when viewed from above, nipping in at the waist and a belly that tucks up instead of being level. Nelson says the best time to check the shape on longer-haired pets is when they are wet.

Another important part of maintaining your pet's weight is knowing how many daily calories it is consuming. Accurate
measurement of the pet's food is essential. Nelson says a recommendation of one 8-ounce cup of food is not equivalent to using a Big Gulp drink cup — it means using an actual measuring cup. If you can't find the calorie recommendation on the bag label, contact the manufacturer to get this information.

"I think it's important to realize that food does not equal love," Nelson said. "It's hard to resist those big, brown eyes, but those extra calories can really add up."

The amount of calories per cup can vary tremendously between different brands and types of food by as much as 200 to 300 calories per cup. You can easily double the amount of daily calories consumed by your pet if you don't adjust the amount you feed when you unknowingly switch from a lower-calorie food to a higher-calorie food. Also, Nelson says the feeding guides on the bags may not always be ideal for your pet.

"In the testing facilities, these animals are typically mandated to have a certain amount of exercise per day because they are research animals," Nelson said. "In reality, a lot of the pets that we own don't get as much exercise as those dogs and cats in the research facilities."

It can be tough to not give your pet any treats, but try to substitute extra pettings and attention instead of extra calories. If you can't entirely give up on the treats, try switching to lower-calorie treats, such as veggies, and limit the total calories from treats to no more than 10 percent of you pet's daily allotted caloric intake.

Nelson says you should exercise your pet at least 20 to 30 minutes everyday, if the pet's health allows. A pet that lies around most of the day takes very few calories to meet its daily requirements, which makes it hard to lose weight. Exercise will increase its metabolic rate and burn more calories. Most people often find it easier to exercise a dog than a cat.

If your cat is not fond of exercise, there are a few tricks for helping them burn some extra calories.

"You can try scattering the food around in small portions throughout the house so that they have to hunt for it and get more exercise that way or you can place the food in a location where the cat has to go up and down stairs," Nelson said. "There are also items call food puzzles that you fill with food and the pet needs to work at it to slowly retrieve the kibble."

If your pet is overweight, Nelson recommends checking with your veterinarian before beginning a weight loss regimen.

Source: Kansas State University

Monday, April 21, 2014

Jack and Luke's Charitable Birthday Party 

Could your kids forgo birthday presents and instead have a party that gives to charity?

Two brothers, Jack, 9, and Luke 7 did it, and were so pleased with the results that they are beginning to think about what they can do next year!

Why They Wanted to Do This (in their own words)

Jack: Why I wanted to do this is that I think it it unfair for animals to not have a home.  I am giving food to them so that they can stay healthy and with their owners.  I also have a dog and a cat and I watch Nat Geo Wild and Animal Planet and that inspired me to do this.

Luke: I did this because I like animals.  They are very loving and nice.  (he drew the picture of the cat at the bottom of the page)

When Jack and his parents started planning for his birthday, he said that there really weren't any presents he wanted, and that he would prefer to do something to help other people, like collect food for the homeless.
His mom suggested that he think about supporting animal rescue organizations, since she was aware of his love for animals, and had observed him getting upset when the ASPCA commercials ran on tv.

Jack and his mom also talked about how both of their pets, Cooper, their dog, and Fred, their cat, were rescues.
Mom suggested that they collect pet food for a rescue organization, and then they researched which organizations were local via the Facebook Yard Sale page for Springfield Township.

They chose Sam's Hope as the organization to receive the pet food, supplies and donations.

They made up a flyer to include with the birthday party invitations that requested no gifts for the boys, but anyone who wanted to do something in honor of their birthdays could bring dog or cat food, supplies or a cash/check donation.

The response from the parents and kids invited to the party was overwhelming; several kids made birthday cards for the boys and stated in the card that they thought what they were doing was awesome, and that they loved animals too.

The word spread beyond the party, and in addition to the generous party "gifts" the boys received, they also got donations from friends at church, neighbors and even their yoga teacher. 

Both boys are pleased with how things turned out and said that they don't regret foregoing their birthday presents; they have actually begun to think about what they can do next year!

Jack and Luke collected an amazing $216.36 in cash donations for Sam's Hope, as well as 125 lbs. of pet food, treats, toys and supplies.

My good friend Vicki, so impressed by what Jack and Luke were doing, pledged to match the donations they collected, bringing the cash donations total to a super amazing $432.72!

I had the honor of meeting Jack, Luke and their parents for lunch at a local pizza shop a week following their birthday

I was very impressed with the boys; they are confident, intelligent, outgoing and friendly; everything you would want your kids to be. Best of all, they are well on their way to making a real difference in the world; they are certainly making a difference for local pets in need!

Thank you, Jack and Luke, you are truly special!

The funds Jack and Luke raised will be used to provide veterinary care to the pets of the economically and health challenged in an effort to "Save the Lives of Companion Animals by Keeping Them Out of Shelters and With Their Families."

If you are interested in having a charitable birthday party to benefit companion animals in need, please contact us at:
Phone: 267-753-0510

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Best Wishes for a Happy Easter!

This photo is a favorite; it was taken on Easter Day 2001 when Samantha (Sam) was just a few months old.

Sam is pictured with her life-long best friend, Keesha.

Miss them both so much!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Going on Vacation? Why Professional Pet Sitting Services are the Best Choice!

Summer is just around the corner.  After the brutal winter we just endured, it is a pretty safe bet that you are already making plans for that summer getaway; but what plans do you have in place for your pets?

Certainly your four-legged family member would rather go on vacation with you; unfortunately, there are times when that just isn't possible.

The more typical options are:
  • Boarding Your Pet
  • Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter

Boarding Your Pet

If your pet is friendly and social, and was introduced to a kennel environment at a young age, boarding may be a good choice.

  • You don't have individual(s) you don't know coming into your home.
  • Socialization, your dog will have the opportunity to play with and interact with other dogs.
  • Your pet will be cared for by trained individuals.
  • Not all kennels are created equally; do your research and find one with a good reputation.
  • A kennel stay is very stressful to most pets, which can cause the pet to experience diarrhea.
  • Many animals will not eat when they are in the kennel, due to stress.
  • Exposure to various diseases/illnesses.
  • Drop-off and pick-up times can be very inconvenient.
  • There may not be 24 hour care.
  • Your pet will be crated for possibly long periods of time.

Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter

  • Your pet stays in the comfort of his/her own home, in the surroundings they are most familiar, eliminating the trauma of travel.
  • Your pet experiences less stress, and is not exposed to diseases, illnesses and parasites.
  • Pets are kept on their regular routine; meals, walks and playtime.
  • The pet receives one-on-one love and personal attention during your absence.
  • Your home is also cared for, and provided with a level of home security; mail is taken in, newspapers picked up, plants are watered, blinds are opened/closed, and lighting is adjusted.
  • Daily progress reports detailing each visit or stay.
  • Not having to impose on family, friends or neighbors.
  • Allowing a person you don't know into your home; be sure to do your research and find a pet sitter with a good reputation.  Ensure they are bonded, insured and have first aid training.  Ask for references.
  • Your pet is left alone most of the day; if your pet is used to be alone during your working hours, then this won't be much of an issue.  If he/she is not used to being left alone, consider sleepover services.

Wiggles n Wags Pet Services

If you live in the following areas of Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania, and are in need of pet sitting services, you should consider our friends, Wiggles n Wags Pet Services, based in Chalfont, PA.

The owner, Penny Lyons, is passionate about animals, and understands the special bond between people and pets, and that unconditional love that is shared between them. 

Wiggles n Wags Pet Services consists of a staff of 6 professionally trained sitters that insures dependability and reliability.

Wiggles n Wags Pet Services is bonded and insured, is a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). and Pet Sitters International (PSI).

Best of all, their client testimonials are just glowing!

Contact Information
Penny Lyons
Phone: 215-896-7250

Areas of Service
  • Chalfont
  • Doylestown
  • Lansdale
  • North Wales
  • Perkasie
  • Sellersville
  • Souderton
  • Telford
  • Colmar
  • New Britain
  • Gwynedd Valley
  • Horsham
  • Warrington
  • Montgomery Township
  • Hatfield
This is not an all-inclusive list, please call to see if you are in the service area.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cancer - A Perspective, by Steve Katz, Canine Cancer Research "Forty Percent of All Dogs Get Cancer"

Cancer - A Perspective
Steve Katz, President/Founder
CANINE Cancer Research USA 501(c)(3)

“Cancer is a man‐made disease”, is a phrase I have read a few times and do not disagree with.

Every day we contend with invisible environmental toxins, processed foods made to increase profits, not nutrition, chlorine and fluoride in our water supply, artificial sweeteners made from chemicals and of course genetics that determine much of who and what we are.

The deck is stacked against us and it’s up to us to make informed decisions not because of a clinical trial but because it’s the healthy thing to do, the way nature wanted it to be.
Cancer in people and cancer in animals is the same disease; an uncontrolled growth of cells. Many health experts agree well over half of all cancer is preventable via diet and nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle. But again, the deck is stacked against us. So what are we supposed to do?

Knowledge is power and the more we know best demonstrated practices how to prevent cancer, (as best as possible) we can greatly improve the odds.

Nutrition is where it all begins, to strengthen the immune system to defend against invaders.

Eating and drinking foods loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients increases natural killer cell activity in the body. (Our best line of defense) People and animals predisposed to various health conditions can often be reversed through the right nutrition and supplementation. The same holds true with toxins in the air/water.

Since President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, we still continue with the same answers, a cure rate of about 5%.

Make no mistake; our pets are at greater risk than we are. Forty percent of all dogs get cancer. Commercial kibble is loaded with byproducts linked to cancer and kidney failure, carbohydrates linked to diabetes and the process to make kibble heats the stuff over 500 degrees, cooking out most of the nutrients!

AAFCO, the body that determines what pet food manufacturers are allowed to put in pet food, have no responsibility for the safety of what they recommend. If a mfg. wants to make a change, they are required to do a trial for 6 months and prove its’ worth. (at their own expense and they don’t want to do that)

Over vaccination (Vaccinosis) in pets; Undesired biologic events can occur including compromising the pets immunity, mainly due to heavy metals in the vaccine. Best practice to avoid this is a blood test (titer) prior to vaccination to determine if the pet needs it.

Like Vaccinosis, topical flea/tick products can produce undesired biologic events due to pesticides entering the bloodstream.

In today’s world many natural/organic preventatives are available that have no effect on the immunity however provide desired results in keeping pests away.
In conclusion, clearly our pets are at greater risk to cancer and other diseases than we are. Being pro‐active as their caregivers is the best solution. For more information visit

Note: This document cannot be altered in any regard or used without consent of the author.