The Heart of the Matter

Where to find the charity of interspecies connections

Not every human is an animal lover. Slip Mahoney, the subject of one of this week’s dog stories, drove quite a few people to the other side. But he also wiggled into quite a few hearts, even some outside his immediate family. One dog sitter called him Nurse Slip, crediting him with seeing her through an illness compounded by a broken heart.
    For such people, dogs, cats, horses and a menagerie of odder and wilder animals open the careful human heart, helping us experience a full range of emotions — with love, laughter, trust and hope at the top.
    That must be why some humans go to such extremes on behalf of animals. Throughout Chesapeake Country, animal-loving neighbors are caring, creative and tireless both in giving shelter and succor to forsaken animals and in bringing animals to humans who need their love. Here are some of the places that foster the charity of interspecies connections.

Calvert Animal Welfare League
    The all-volunteer League welcomes, rehabs and houses homeless animals in a no-kill shelter in Prince Frederick. Volunteers from fund-raisers to animal walkers are always welcome. Visits, education and adoptions every Friday to Sunday, 11am to 3pm or by appointment.
     1040 Prince Frederick Blvd.: 410-535-9300; www.cawlrescue.org


Calvert Well Pet Clinic
    Calvert Well Pet Clinic provides affordable spay and neutering for pets in five counties, including Calvert and Anne Arundel, without regard to owner income. Spaying of female animals is free. Surgery days at the clinic are Tuesday, Friday and every other Wednesday. Monday and every other Wednesday are appointment days for vaccinations and other small heath issues. Most services are $10 to $20.
     2240 Solomons Island Rd., Huntingtown: 443-295-7873; www.calvertwpc.org


Caring Canines Pet Therapy
    Dogwood Acres Pet Retreat has branched out into Caring Canines, a pet-therapy program to bring a dog’s unconditional love to children dealing with the loss of a loved one, people in Hospice, victims of domestic violence or natural disasters and anyone else in need.
     410-798-4776; caringcanines@dogwoodacres.com


Friends of Felines
    Friends of Felines work around the clock for their kitty comrades. The decade-old, all-volunteer organization traps, neuters, returns and maintains already-feral cats in their colonies. Volunteers tame kittens born in the wild and socialize them in hopes of finding a forever home. Ninety kittens are now up for adoption from their temporary homes.
     410-414-2122; www.friends-of-felines


Patuxent Animal Welfare Society:
The Oldest PAWS

    The Patuxent Animal Welfare Society, which works in five Southern Maryland counties, including Anne Arundel and Calvert, is celebrating 15 years of working to cut down on unwanted pets thru spay-neuter, rescue and adoption. All animals are cared for by volunteers in their homes; because cats are more manageable, they are a special focus. PAWS cats are regularly adoptable at Petco in Anne Arundel and Prince Frederick.
     410-326-1616; mdpawspet.org


The Newest PAWS
    After 31 years, Pets on Wheels has a new name: People & Animals Who Serve Anne Arundel County. The mission remains the same: organizing volunteers to bring a dog to visit people in hospitals, long-term care and nursing homes. The simple act of petting a dog has been proven to release endorphins into the human brain.
     410-222-0738


Rude Ranch: Rescue, Rehab and Adoption
    Kathy and Bob created Rude Ranch, their cage-less animal sanctuary, in 1997 to save a litter of kittens found behind a restaurant in Crofton. Since then they have helped save upward of 5,000 pets.
    The big news this summer, according to owner Kathy Evans, is the rescue of Xena the Warrior Princess, a kitten that came to them after being shot with an arrow.
    Pets are always up for adoption.
     3200 Ivy Way, Harwood: 410-798-9559; www.ruderanch.org


Spay Spa and Neuter Nook
    Rude Ranch’s new Spay Spa and Neuter Nook offers low-cost neuter and spay treatments for cats, dogs, bunnies, even an opossum. Over 3,000 pets have been spayed and neutered since the clinic opened this summer.
     By appointment M-Th: 443-607-6496; www.spayspa.org


Stop Pet Overpopulation Thrift Shop
    At SPOT, treasure hunters find an inventory that changes daily, ranging from costume jewelry to military uniforms, candleholders to vintage lamps, hand-thrown pottery to hand-painted birdhouses.
    One hundred percent of the profits from their shopping — and your donations — support spaying and neutering for dogs and cats in Calvert County.
     10am-5pm Wed.-Sat.; noon-5pm Sun: 410-562-6516: www.spayspot.org.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com