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You’ll fall in love with the ‘Valentine litter’

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Some say it takes a village to raise a child. In this town, an entire village is raising a cat named Louie.

The “kids” are growing up! In a little more than two weeks, our Valentine litter of eight beautiful pups will be ready to start their new lives. The thought of sending them out into the world is bittersweet; I’m happy to have them go to homes where they can be the center of attention, but a little sad to let them go. It’s been quite a while since I’ve fostered an entire litter from birth, and I got exceptionally lucky with this crew – they have been a real joy!

Initially, I was concerned about Molly (the mother) delivering because she’s such a small dog and her belly was so HUGE! I felt sure that she either had pups that would be too large for her to deliver naturally, or that she had too many in there and they might not all survive. She is also very young; this is undoubtedly her first litter, which might have made it very difficult for her to handle a large litter or, heaven forbid, if she were to need a C-section.

SJ Regional Animal Shelter: The Valentine Litter Fullscreen

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Cassanova
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Cupid
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Eros
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Juliet
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Romeo
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Ruby
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Scarlett
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Much to my relief, she delivered her brood without a hitch, and she has managed them beautifully. She has kept them fat, happy and clean – an amazing feat for a litter that size. Last week, she began weaning them, pushing them away and leaping out of their pen when they came looking for milk. They were not exactly thrilled and were a little slow taking to real food, but she seemed to know when to give in to them and when to draw the line. This week, she seems to be teaching them how to play, using just the right combination of discipline and fun.

In two short weeks, they should be ready to be spayed and neutered, which, barring any hitches, would be done on Valentine’s Day. I’ll then bring them home for a couple of days to recover, and they’ll be ready to go to their homes that weekend. It’s time to start taking applications for them, so it’s time to tell you more about them on an individual level.

You can see from their pictures that they have different coats, and their fur may change as they mature. Even at this tender age, their personalities are starting to develop. This is what they’re telling about themselves so far:

  • Casanova: He’s laid-back kind of guy. He’s very sweet, usually has the tip of his tongue hanging out, and likes chewing on his brothers’ legs and ears. His coat is on the longer side, possibly getting a little wiry as he matures. He’s not as demanding as some of his siblings, and should do well in any home.
  • Cupid: When they passed out the good looks, he was first in line. His coat is gorgeous – long, wavy and shiny black with some brown and a little white mixed in. He’s on the ornery side, having some of the terrier attitude that makes him confident and interested in everything around him.
  • Eros: He’s the brains of the family. He wants to be with his people and he finds ways to get to them, even when he’s contained in his pen. If he can’t find a way to sneak out, he hangs his head and little front feet over the barrier and works you over with his pitiful look until you give in and pick him up.
  • Juliet: She is petite, lovely and full of herself. She’s sporting a medium-length fur coat of lustrous black with white accents. She’s confident and likes being part of things, so she’d fit right in with an active family or someone who wants a dog to do things with.
  • Romeo: He’s the biggest guy but he’s a quiet, mushy and loves to snuggle. His coat is long, wavy and mostly tan with black tips – a real looker! He seeks attention and likes to play. He’ll be a great companion to whoever is lucky enough to have him.
  • Ruby: She does not miss a trick! She’s ready to get out and about and be a part of the real world. As you can see from her picture, she’s super cute and very hard to resist. Her fur, although longer now, looks like it may end up like her mama’s – medium length and a little wiry. She is a doll and will have you wrapped around her little paw in a heartbeat.
  • Scarlett: She is a real character! She’s a little bigger than Juliet but has the same self-assured personality and look. She looks you directly in the eye and is always looking for a little fun. She would make a great family dog.
  • Valentino: This little runt boy reminds me of Eeyore with his big, brown, pitiful eyes. He’s half the size of his brothers, but doesn’t let that hold him back. He is the only one with a short coat, which accents the little wiry tufts on his snout. He’s quiet and loving, which would make him perfect for a more mature home.

We are accepting applications both online or at the shelter. Check out our “Puppy Bowl” video at thedailyjournal.com or southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org for a close-up look at the Valentine crew getting fired up for the Super Bowl. You also can check out our “Underdogs”: a few of our special pets who have “wonder dog” potential but have been overlooked by potential adopters. In celebration of Super Bowl LII, a select group of pets are available for a reduced adoption fee of $52.

Shelter needs

The South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter in Vineland seeks donations of kitten and cat chow, canned dog and cat food, peanut butter, paper towels, and gift cards for grocery and pet supply stores.

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This snowy owl floating on ice is the most majestic thing you'll see today.

Kissing booth

Stop by the shelter from Feb. 12 to 17 to pick out your favorite SJRAS adoptable critter and have your photo taken with them at the kissing booth.

After your photo is taken, you’ll receive a free ticket for a drawing to win a prize basket. For an extra entry, just share your photo on social media and tag us (CumberlandCountySPCA on Facebook; @ccspca with #IKissedADog or #IKissedACat on Twitter; or @cumberlandcountyspca on Instagram) and we'll give you an extra chance to win.

Pets of the Week

Sugar is the nicest cat. She's dog-, cat- and kid-friendly, too. She’s purrfectly mooshy and squishy and loves being brushed.

Sia is such a talkative girl … she really wants out of the shelter. Please come meet this cat. She will talk you into taking her home. She’s an awesome girl.

Miso is a sweet little cat waiting for a family and a home she can grow.

Cats available for adoption at SJ Regional Animal Shelter Fullscreen

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Look at precious Bella. Please come adopt this cat — she’s wonderful!

Simba is still waiting for his forever home. How can this be? He is one amazing kitty. Come meet this charmer.

Momma Kee is a pretty, social and very sweet cat who would love to keep you company forever.

Look at Claudia reaching out of her cage. This cat wants you to give her a place to play and stretch.

The Pets of the Week are just a few of the animals awaiting adoption at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter.

For information, visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org, send email to [email protected], call (856) 691-1500 or visit the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter at 1244 N. Delsea Drive, Vineland.

Bev Greco is executive director of the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter.

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Sammy the pig is more than a cute face. He's helping a little girl hundreds of miles away.

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