Monthly Archives: November 2012

HILLSIDE SPCA Home Visit “FOLLOW UP” Volunteers Needed!

There is an urgent need for volunteers to help the Hillside SPCA do home checks on adopted dogs, both locally and across the state (and some out-of-state areas, too). Their staff is swamped with work due to their current situation of overcrowding, plus investigating cruelty and neglect cases, making phone check-ups on adoptees, making trips to the vets, etc. It is very important that home follow-ups are done on adoptions. They recently had to remove 5 dogs from an adoptive home when, upon follow-up, it was determined that they were living in sub-standard conditions. To learn more about how you can help, go to  


For the second year in a row, a Wire Fox Terrier won the National Dog Show Presented by Purina during the annual Kennel Club of Philadelphia cluster at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. GCH Afterall Painting the Sky, was selected by Best In Show Judge Vicki Abbott from among more than 1,500 canines. “Sky” won the Terrier Group and then bested an Affenpinscher, an American Foxhound, a Great Dane, a Tibetan Spaniel, a Bearded Collie and a Field Spaniel during Best In Show. It is the first time that the same breed has won Best In Show at a major competition since an English Springer Spaniel won Westminster in 1971 and 1972. Handler Gabriel Rangel of Rialto, Calif., has now won the National Dog Show three of the last four years with the Scottish Terrier, Sadie, in 2009, and the two Wire Fox Terriers – Eira in 2011, and now Sky. To see more pictures and videos, go to:


Below is a helpful checklist for your flight: BEFORE YOU GO TO THE AIRPORT ❏ BOOK YOUR PET on your flight by speaking directly with a person at the airline. No U.S. domestic carrier allows online booking of pets. Clarify whether your pet will be flying in-cabin with you or as checked baggage/cargo. ❏ CAREFULLY INSPECT THE CARRIER/CRATE. Check all zippers, seams, locks, screws and connections. If there are any structural problems, purchase a new crate or carrier before flying. IF YOUR PET WILL BE FLYING AS CHECKED BAGGAGE OR CARGO ❏ FLY NON-STOP TO YOUR DESTINATION, if at all possible. ❏ PURCHASE ZIP TIES online or at your local hardware store (approximately $5.00 US for 100). Pack them so they will be readily accessible at the airport. ❏ DRILL HOLES at the top, bottom and both sides around the door of the crate. This will allow you to add the zip ties. AFTER the Transportation Security Administration’s inspection of the crate. ❏ POST YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER ON ALL SIDES OF THE CRATE, with instructions (in English and Spanish) to contact you immediately if needed for the handling of your pet. ❏ Post a sign that says “DO NOT OPEN EXCEPT IN EMERGENCY & ONLY IN AN ENCLOSED ROOM” on top of the crate, above the door. (Include Spanish translation as well.) AT THE AIRPORT – CHECKING IN ❏ REQUIRE THAT TSA SCREENING BE DONE INSIDE A SECURE ENCLOSED ROOM. When checking in, have the ticket agent call a TSA agent over or ask where to take the crate to a TSA security station for inspection to be done before handing your pet over to the airline for travel. ❏ After TSA inspects the crate they will place a Homeland Security tag on the carrier or crate. IF YOUR PET WILL BE FLYING AS CHECKED BAGGAGE OR CARGO ❏ APPLY ZIP TIES to the door and sides of the crate to further secure your pet after the TSA inspection. ❏ ASK THE AIRLINE PERSONNEL TO IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY YOU if any additional security checks are needed. ❏ ASK where your pet will be kept until loaded. AT THE AIRPORT – AT THE GATE ❏ If your pet is travelling in the cabin, KEEP THE CARRIER SECURELY CLOSED. Do not risk losing your pet now! IF YOUR PET WILL BE FLYING AS CHECKED BAGGAGE OR CARGO ❏ GO TO YOUR GATE AND WATCH THE CRATE BEING LOADED. USDA regulations state that pets are last to load and first off the plane. ❏ TELL THE GATE AGENT YOU ARE WAITING for your pet to be loaded before you board the plane. ❏ KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE ON until the very last minute. AT THE DESTINATION AIRPORT ❏ UPON ARRIVAL, MAKE SURE YOUR PET’S CRATE was taken off the plane. ❏ DO NOT REMOVE YOUR PET FROM THE CARRIER until you are in a secure location HAVE A GREAT TRIP!

Please join us! The next part of our FREE seminar series is on Monday night Dec. 3rd

We are very excited to welcome Betsy Gallagher from Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Betsy’s workshop is titled: How to Read a Pet Food Label (feel free to bring your labels with you!) Betsy Gallagher RD, LDN Betsy is a licensed, Registered Dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She holds her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science and her master’s degree in nutrition education. In 2000, Betsy was recognized in the “Top Docs for Women” issue of the “Philadelphia Magazine.” The same year Betsy decided to focus her expertise in companion animal nutrition and began working for Hills Pet Nutrition. With her background in the science of nutrition, Betsy’s goal is to help pet parents make educated choices when choosing a food for their pets. She feels that there is an overwhelming amount of misinformation that marketing firms are using to sell pet food products. Betsy believes that by focusing on the facts, and looking for the science to support health and marketing claims, we can better care for our pets’ nutritional needs. Betsy enjoys spending time with Mitzi, her (awesome) adopted Jack Russell terrier. She also enjoys horseback riding on her ranch and playing tennis with her husband and two children. All sessions take place Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Bernville Veterinary Clinic, 7135 Bernville Road, Bernville, PA 19506 The workshops are FREE, but space is limited, so please RSVP to or 610-488-0166

As You Start Planning for Thanksgiving, Beware!

Pets and turkey skin
TURKEY SKIN. Seems harmless enough, right? It’s just the skin, right? Well not really. High-fat foods, such as turkey skin, can be hazardous to your pet. Since the skin is hard to digest, it can lead to pancreatitis in dogs (symptoms are vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move and abdominal pain). It can also cause diarrhea in cats. The skin isn’t good for you either (but that’s a conversation for a different day)!

Community Leader Profile: Hillside SPCA’s Janine Choplick!

Janine Choplick from the Hillside SPCA does such amazing things in our community and we are truly grateful! We asked her a few questions so that we all could get to know her a little better:
  • Where are you originally from?
I have always lived in Schuylkill County. I have resided in the beautiful Friedensburg area for 28 years, previously called Deer Lake home, and was born in Pottsville.
  • How long have you been atHillside?
I’ve been with the Hillside SPCA for 11 years. (Wow! Where did the time go?)
  • Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Minersville High School and studied Printing at STTC.
  • Describe your role in the area pet community?
My role in the community is, I think, pet education and awareness. And providing assistance if I can. That’s the key to many of the needs that face animals and people together.
  • What would you say is the most important impact that Hillside has?
A safe harbor for all animals in need until they find a permanent home is what Hillside SPCA has done so very, very well over the years.
  • Was would you say was the one greatest pet related, community accomplishment that you have had?
Knowing we need stronger laws to protect animals, I am active in contacting legislators – even personally visiting Harrisburg- to let my representatives know how serious I am. When these many bills become laws (many times after years of hard work) those accomplishments are shining examples of what we all can do. And also becoming a Humane Officer to help enforce those very laws in our communities has been so important to me.
  • At what point in your life did you realize that you had such a deep connection with pets?
I tell my husband I was born to do exactly what I am doing. My connection with all animals has always been with me since I can remember!
  • List your pets and names throughout the years (including childhood ones):
Schultz, Breezy, Maisy, Scooby, Pip (dogs) and Bob, Hootie (cats) right now. Cody, Rekker, Sam, Roche, Stitches, Shadow, Shawnee, Colby, Zeke, Puddles, Kitty, Sox, Sox 2, Ginger and foster pup Opie in the past.
  • What kind of food do you feed your pets?
My pets all get Blue Buffalo food.
  • What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is the classic Blazing Saddles – Mel Brooks is tops in my book.
  • What kind of music do you like?
Blues, Stevie Ray Vaughn style, is the best music ever.
  • What was the last book that you read?
The last book I read was John O’Hara’s ‘From the Terrace’. O’Hara was from Pottsville. But my ultra favorite author is Mark Twain!
  • What is your favorite TV show?
30 Rock is the only TV show I watch each week regularly.
  • Where was your last vacation?
My last vacation was motorcycling with my husband to the beaches for a week in Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.
  • What is your favorite restaurant?
The BEST restaurant around is the Greystone Restaurant in Pottsville. Jerry and Mark are the greatest hosts and the food is sublime.
  • If you could meet with anyone in the world, who would it be?
I would love to meet Jane Goodall.
  • Other personal facts or hobbies that you think might be interesting:
I have completed dog training and management course at Kutztown University. I have been a Girl Scout and a Girl Scout leader in the past and always have a special place in my heart for working with children and animals. Photography is one of my hobbies and animals and nature are my favorite subjects. I have a marvelous circle of friends whom I love to laugh with. And mostly my family – husband Dan, sons, brother, nieces and mother are so very important to me because they support me and understand completely who I am!   To learn more about the Hillside SPCA, go to:  


We understand that there many homes in our community still without power! Being that the temperature is dropping and we are expecting another storm, we will offer free boarding for pets from homes which have lost power. This offer is only for pets from homes without power and we will extend this offer through this Friday night November the 9th. Dogs and cats from all members of the community without power are welcome so please help us share this information. Please call before coming in to confirm that we have enough space. 610.488.0166.