Congratulations to our September 2023 Pet of the Month, Rocco Bambace!
Rocco is only 15 and half years old. Which I hear for a big dog is pretty old, but don’t tell him that. He’s a goofy sweet boy, and he is basically the perfect dog.
When Rocco was just a little pup, he found himself in “Mini Aussie Rescue” in Georgia. After some phone calls and finagling, he flew on a private jet via “Pilots for Paws” to meet his new family in sunny Florida. Once he settled in, he began growing, and growing, and growing some more… it became apparent that he’s not a miniature anything, but according to his DNA test he is in fact 100% Aussie, just not a miniature one.
When Rocco was younger, his favorite hobbies were swimming, fetching balls, or wrestling with one of his favorite doggie friends. Now that he is older, he still loves to play, but he doesn’t run as hard as he used to, and he spends a bit more time relaxing on the couch. He still gets spunky at least once a day and plays doggie games with his little sister. He also stays fit with a couple short walks every day.
Rocco went through some hard times a few years back when he lost his best friend and big sister, Lilly, to degenerative myelopathy. We were all heart broken, but he was particularly depressed after losing her. After taking time to grieve, we opened our hearts to a new family member, a sheltie puppy named Penny. This new little friend bonded with Rocco right away. She keeps him playful and young!
Rocco’s life used to be “dog party all day all night”, but now that his humans have babies, he has to share the attention some! The good news is that Rocco doesn’t seem to mind a bit, and takes his nanny-dog duties very seriously.
About a year ago we found out that Rocco had a tumor on his spleen which was life-threatening. We were scared we might lose him. Dr. McPherson at TOAH performed a splenectomy and fixed him right up! The recovery was hard, but he took it like a champ!
We might be biased, but we feel like Rocco really is one of the best dogs you’ll ever meet. We are grateful for every day we have with him and it’s been an honor to watch him grow from goofy puppy to distinguished older gentleman.
Congratulations to our August 2023 Pet of the Month, Skip Jack Waltensperger!
Hi! My name is Skip Jack, but most people call me “Skip.” It’s a good name. It fits. I’m an Oriental shorthair, born in Ft. Worth, Texas during COVID and had to flown from there to Atlanta and then to Orlando as a kitten, to meet my new friends who are also Oriental shorthairs – Wally and Zep, as well as my new humans. Even as a young kitten, in a new home, I didn’t back down and have totally integrated myself into the family. I went from being treated as an outcast to one of the three “peas-in-a-pod.” I love to play, especially chasing other felines and squirrels outside the screen, hide and seek, racing up the stairs, and then sliding on my back down the stairs! I also love to greet my humans at the door when they come home; I am very vocal; I love to show off how well I can climb and love to sleep under the covers at night with my humans. Lastly, I can’t forget feeding time. I’m first to let you know when it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinnertime. I park myself on the kitchen stool and gently demand to be served. I especially love visiting my friends at TOAH and showing off my friendliness to a great staff!
Congratulations to our July 2023 Pet of the Month, Messi Saracco!
Congratulations to our June 2023 Pet of the Month, Negan Buerk!
Hi, my name is Negan. My mom told me I am named after a charismatic villain from “The Walking Dead” graphic novels/TV show. She tells me that my name suits me perfectly, as I can be quite affectionate and charming when I want to be, but I am also a bit shady and will smack any dog that steps out of line. I am a dashing 7-year-old black cat with a small white blaze on my chest and a couple of white toes.
I had a bit of a rough start to my life. A kind lady saw me get thrown out of a car window when I was only 6 weeks old. This kind lady brought me to a local vet clinic in the sandhills of North Carolina. As luck would have it this is where I met my future family, as my human mom worked at this vet hospital. It was discovered that I had a broken hind leg and would need surgery to repair it. My mom fixed me right up. I was such a trooper and was good as new in no time.
I now call Florida home, with my human mom, my human brother, and 2 rather daft dogs. I am an expert bug hunter, and I enjoy chattering at the birds that frequent our yard. I love laying on warm freshly folded laundry, assisting mom with jigsaw puzzles, and I make sure my mom feeds me right on time (I start gently reminding her that food is needed in about 1 hour – and I will remind her every 2 minutes after that). Patience is overrated in my opinion.
I take full advantage of my ink-black color, as I will sneak attack my dog siblings with a well-timed smack. I am far superior to them, but they are family, and I will provide them with affectionate head boops when they are not feeling well or if we are somewhere a little scary (TOAH vets and staff are amazing, but it is a little scary to my canine sibling – so I make sure they are ok whenever we have to visit). Thank you TOAH staff for nominating me as Pet of the Month – I humbly accept this great honor.
Congratulations to our May 2023 Pet of the Month, Benjamin Velasquez!
Benjamin (Benny) came to be our love out of deep sorrow over the loss of two of our dogs, just 12 days
apart. We didn’t think we could love another dog the way we loved those two. But of course, we were
Benny was born in Connecticut in July of 2019 and we brought him home to FL at 8 weeks old. He is a
high-energy bird dog who needs a lot of exercise every day to keep his mischievousness at bay. Oh, the
things he has broken or chewed up! We placed him in Puppy Preschool almost immediately after
bringing him home and socialized him with doggie daycare after that. We are so glad that we did. To
meet him is to see that he is a gentle giant. During a walk, he will not seem to understand it when we
come across another dog that barks, growls or pulls to get at him. He just seems to be thinking, “Why
are you acting like that? I’m just Benny! Aren’t all dogs supposed to be friends?!”
Benny loves to be bear-hugged and kissed – and his favorite place to be is under the covers in the bed.
But we can’t tell you about Benny without mentioning his real favorite thing – and that is his “little
brother”, Franklin – a Brittany born in 2020. They are just 7 months apart. They have been joined at the
hip from the moment we introduced Benny to his new playmate. During playtime, Benny has always
“pulled his punches”, when he could have been too rough due to his size. He seems to understand that
he has been given the gift of a small friend. We are so happy that they have each other every day for
companionship and exercise. Sometimes a bit too much “exercise” and romping occur – but it’s all part
of the journey. It is messy, crazy and chaotic most days – but we know the days spent with them will
never be regretted or forgotten!
Congratulations to our April 2023 Pet of the Month, Kiki Niles!
Congratulations to our March 2023 Pet of the Month, Remmie Kennybrook!
Remmie Kennybrook joined the family as a puppy, this courageous puppy survived parvovirus. Thank you to Dr. Fullenwider as she introduced us to Remmie after our puppy Murphy had to be put to sleep. She is a happy girl, she had 2 brothers Zeus ( who passed late last year), Beau, sister Cocoa, and the newest edition Zoe who is almost 12 weeks old. She is mommy’s girl, always loving( except for her cookies). She is now 12 years old and still acts like a puppy.
I met Delite in 2019. When I decided to get a ragdoll cat as a companion for my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. We had dogs in the past, but I was unfamiliar with caring for a cat. After doing some research, I learned that ragdolls were good Stater felines. Of course, I fell in love with Delite the second she was placed in my arms. She is blessed with thick rabbit-like fur, and we both enjoy her daily grooming sessions, which we find very relaxing. Delite is probably what many people would consider “Spoiled.” She has an enclosed outdoor catio with 13 cat trees, from where we watch birds, lizards, rabbits, and opossums. One squirrel sits in the magnolia tree outside of Delites catio, and teases her relentlessly. In the afternoon, Delite usually naps in one of her seven indoor cat trees, which surrounds a radio that continuously plays soft jazz. Delite has enjoyed excellent health throughout her 14 years, thanks to the exceptional care of Dr. McPherson and the staff. Delite did have a bout of hyperthyroidism two years ago, but with Dr. McPherson’s guidance, that ailment was cured. Delite has always lived up to her name, which was taken from PSALM 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the lord, and he will grant you the desires of your heart.” My best friend will always be the “Delite of my life.”
Congratulations to our January 2023 Pet of the Month, Debbs Warfield!
Debbs is a Pit Bull / Mix, probably born in July 2014, according to the records at the Seminole
County Animal Shelter, where she had been living when we adopted her. We are “pit bull
people,” who have previously adopted others of this misunderstood breed, and we were
interested in finding another to join our family in late September 2019.
In looking at the SCAS webpages, we saw a number of pits and pit mixes, but Debbs stood out
because she had been at the shelter for nearly fourteen months. She was not attracting any
attention because she was considered “not very social” around other dogs and could not be
adopted into a household with others. Since we were then without any dogs, we agreed to adopt
Debbs as a solo dog.
According to the previous owner’s surrender papers, Debbs’ first owner had been incarcerated
since 2016, and she had then been taken in by that man’s father, who surrendered Debbs to the
SCAS in July 2018. She had been kept outdoors 24 hours a day, so the move to an indoor shelter
might have seemed an improvement, but Debbs, who was described to us as a “timid girl,” did
not do well with Florida storms that created a racket on the shelter’s tin roof. Poor Debbs would
try to hide under her bed and Briana, the shelter attendant, would often go into Debbs’ run to
When Debbs came home with us, she was a very nervous girl and took some time to become
accustomed to her new home. Initially, she followed Kathleen, her new Mommy, everywhere,
and did not warm up to Scott for several weeks. Over time, however, Debbs began to trust us,
even as she remained nervous about loud noises. She enjoyed walking once or twice a day, but
she would often turn immediately for home when she heard carpentry on a roof, a car backfire,
or similar sudden sounds. Inside the home was similar, with any loud or sudden noises and
especially thunder storms scaring Debbs, who retreated into her cage, which was her safe space.,
for hours after even one loud sound.
Despite her difficult beginnings, Debbs has grown over the past three years into a very good dog.
Now just past the age of eight, she is becoming a senior dog with a few medical issues that
TOAH continues to monitor and treat, but she is still quite active. Debbs’ day often starts with a
quick visit at the back fence with a neighbor who stops by with a dog treat, followed by her
breakfast and a walk about the neighborhood. Depending upon her mood, she can cover quite a
distance or decide to return home after only a few hundred yards. The rest of the day is usually
spent not too far from her stay-at-home Mommy, who must migrate throughout the house and
backyard, according to Debbs’ commands. Among Debbs’ favorite daytime activities are
begging for dog treats, sitting in the backyard and barking at passing strangers, begging for
people food (at our meal times), and sleeping. In the early evening, she moves Kathleen to the
TV room, where Scott usually already is, and positions herself on the sofa between us. There she
begs for after-dinner treats and snoozes until Kathleen moves to the bedroom, where Debbs
retires to her crate for the night, and sleep until it is time to start her routine the next morning.