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Tag: urgent

Jelly Belly, a starved dog in need of rescue

Jelly Belly, as he has been named, looks like he arrived just in time at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).

Severely emaciated, the three-year-old dog was abandoned at BARCS after being, from all indications, nearly starved to death.

BARCS has issued a call to rescue organizations, seeking one that might take him in and care for him until he gains some weight.

Staff at BARCS describe Jelly Belly as a “sweet soul.”

“He is so forgiving of humans … what happened to him just isn’t fair.”

Rescue organizations interested in taking in Jelly Belly should contact BARCS adoption counselor Kathleen Knauff (

PSPCA desperately seeking foster homes

The Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) is making an urgent appeal to the community to provide foster homes for dogs in need.

“The Animal Care & Control Team shelter (111 W. Hunting Park Avenue) and the PSPCA Adoption Center (350 E. Erie Avenue) in Philadelphia are full to capacity and we’ve tapped out our existing network of foster parents,” the organization says. “If you can provide temporary housing for a dog, we will provide free medical care and support in return. Foster homes are needed immediately! The longer you can foster the dog, the more lives we can save.”

To help, contact ACCT Lifesaving Manager Natalie Smith at or (267) 385-3800 (ask for the “Lifesaving Department”), or contact PSPCA Director of Adoptions, Rescue, and Foster Care Ray Little at or (215) 426-6300 (ask for the “Adoptions Counter”).

To see some of the dogs in need of foster care, visit the PSPCA website.

Xylitol can kill your dog

Nearly three years have passed since the link was discovered, but veterinarians and animal welfare groups are still working to get the word out: Xylitol, a sugar substitute increasingly found in sugar-free cookies, mints and chewing gum — including Orbit, Trident, Spree and Altoids — can be highly toxic, even fatal, to dogs.

The sweetener, long popular in Europe and relatively new in the U.S., can be “very, very serious” to dogs when ingested, according to the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Two or three sticks of gum with xylitol can kill a 20 pound dog, the ASPCA says.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot, and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat the dog is extremely small,” said ASPCA spokesperson Dana Farbman.

The ASPCA sent an advisory to veterinarians two years ago warning them about the potential for serious harm or death. But as with chocolate, grapes and raisins — all of which can be toxic to dogs — there are still dog owners who don’t know the dangers.

Within 30 minutes of consuming a small amount of a xylitol-sweetened product, the ASPCA says, dogs experience a dramatic drop in blood sugar, begin vomiting, become lethargic and can have difficulty standing or walking.  Some have seizures, develop internal hemorrhaging and lesions and suffer liver failure.

USA Today wrote about the dangers of xylitol to dogs last year. At that time the ASPCA’s poison control unit was aware of 10 dog deaths from xylitol since 2002, and it has received scores of reports of dogs becoming gravely ill.

But the organization believes that represents only a small fraction of the cases.

Xylitol is derived from birch tree bark, beets, corncobs and other natural sources. Unlike sugar, xylitol does not require insulin to be metabolized, so it’s popular in cookies, candies, cupcakes and other sweets developed for people who have diabetes

To learn more about xylitol, check out this article from Veterinary Medicine, reprinted by the ASPCA.

To see the ASPCA’s original press release warning about the dangers of xylitol, click here.