Halloween Pet Tips For A Frightfully Good Time!

Halloween is a lot of pet owner’s favorite holiday and with good reason. The costumes! Going trick-or-treating with your pet! The excitement and activity! It’s a lot of fun! Here are some tips to help make sure that you and your pet have the best and safest Halloween ever this year!

1. Costume Drama. The costumes are one of the best parts of Halloween and the sky’s the limit creatively. When you’re picking your costume make sure that it doesn’t restrict your pet’s movement or ability to breathe or “speak”. If Fluffy can’t meow, it’s too tight! Also please make sure that the leash and harness you use fit comfortably and securely with the costume on so that there are no accidental escapes. Your best bet is to try the costumes on ahead of the big day to make sure everything fits the way it’s supposed to.

2. No Tricks With Treats. You all know chocolate is a pet no-no but keep an eye out for xylitol too. That’s the sweet substitute that you find in most sugar-free gums and companies are starting to add it to things like peanut butter too. Check your labels and be safe when handing out those doggy and kitty treats! If you think Spot has gotten into something dangerous call your veterinarian right away.

3. The Horrors of Chewing. Wires are a big temptation for mouthy dogs and so are…glow sticks! If Fido eats a glow stick he’ll have a funny mouth AND a funny tummy, that stuff isn’t straight up poisonous but it’s no fun for pets! If he chews through a light or effects wire he could get a nasty shock! Finally keep your pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets. They’re not toxic as foods but once they start to mold from being outside then they can make Princess feel sick.

4. Don’t answer the door! …until pets are safely shut in another room that is. Door darting and inadvertent escapes can turn a fun Halloween night into a stressful nightmare chase through the dark. And you just know your pet is going to decide to run into the scary chainsaw filled basement of the abandoned haunted house where those horrible murders occurred all those years ago. And then you’re going to have to go get her. If your pet is well trained and you feel comfortable having her greet trick or treaters then just please make sure that her ID tags are all on her and her microchip registration is up to date -just in case.

5. Fire Hazard. Halloween candles and spooky Jack-O-Lanterns can be dangerous for a curious kitty who may knock them over. Not just because of the fire risk either. Have you ever tried to get melted candle wax out of an animal’s fur after a spill? It’s painful for the animal, difficult for you and usually someone ends up shaved. It’s a real horror!

6. It’s a big scary world out there. Especially for a dog whose used to going out for normal walks on normal days and meeting normal people. All of a sudden he’s going out at night! There are giant inflatable lawn ornaments making spooky noises and flashing lights at him! The house down the street has a fog machine putting out funny smelling white mist! People he thinks he knows by smell don’t look right either, they have big capes on and masks that make them look different and is that blood and giant plastic teeth coming out of mom’s mouth?!? AHHHHHHH!!!

In short, sometimes Halloween can be scary for your pet and it’s important to recognize when they are part of the fun and when they are uncomfortable. Some pets are going to love Halloween and get right into it. They’re going to love the “strange” people, the new sounds, the pumpkins and the atmosphere. Some pets though will prefer to stay safe in a spare room until it’s all over. As long as you do the right thing for your pet and your family though, it’ll be a great time.


What Does It Mean To Be An Open Admission Animal Shelter?

The Mission of the APCSM is to operate an open admission animal care and adoption facility, with focus on prevention of cruelty to animals, education and outreach, low-cost spay/neuter programs and helping animals and people in the community.

Our mission statement clearly states that we are an open admission animal shelter but what exactly does that mean? How does being an open admission shelter make us different from a selective admission shelter? Why is it even important? Let’s take a look at what it means for us, and those in our community, that the APCSM is open admission.

Firstly, what is an open admission shelter anyway and how is it different from a selective admission shelter? A selective admission shelter may refuse to take an animal for any number of reasons.  None of these reasons are necessarily bad, it’s just that sometimes a selective admission shelter doesn’t have the resources or ability or even the mission to take in a wider variety of animals. For example, if the cost of care is prohibitively expensive or if the animal is terminal a selective admission shelter may refuse to take the animal.  If the breed or type of animal doesn’t fulfill it’s mission the shelter may also refuse to take the animal (i.e.: a Golden Retriever rescue may refuse to take in an English Bulldog.)  As an open admission shelter however, we will accept any animal that we can care for regardless of age, physical condition, or species. For example, here are just a few of the animals we’ve taken in at the shelter in just the past 12 months:

-A 20 year old cat

-A dog with tumors

-A pair of bonded chinchillas

-A hedgehog

-A family of 6 white rats

-A cat with lymphoma

-A talking umbrella cockatoo


-A pregnant bunny who produced 10 babies

If we have the ability to care for the animal at the shelter or in our foster system we keep the animal, add it to our available list, and care for it until it goes home.  In the case of the pregnant bunny, she stayed in foster care until her babies were 3 months old and then they came to the shelter to be adopted.  If the animal is sick and cannot be healed we often find a hospice foster for her, as was the case for the cat with lymphoma and the dog with tumors.  Our Life Is Precious Fund covers the cost of palliative care and these very special foster families commit to caring for the animal and keeping them comfortable for the rest of their lives.

Another feature of being and open admission shelter is that sometimes we take in an animal that we can’t take care of long term but that we can transfer to a specialized organization that has that ability.  A great example of this is cold blooded animals.  Again, in just the past 12 months we’ve seen:

-A 6 foot long albino boa constrictor

-Bearded dragons

-A Python

-A turtle

-A Chicken

These animals need certain things that we only have in limited supply, such as heat lamps, large aquariums and tanks, and often live food which we don’t have at all because let’s be honest, the things boa constrictors like to eat are the same things we’re adopting out. When people bring us these types of animals though we don’t refuse them.  Instead we accept the animal and then arrange a transfer to one of our partners who are able to care for them, such as the New England Herpatological Society.  That’s where the python and boa constrictor went.

Sometimes however we get an animal that we just don’t have the ability to house even for a little while.  These are usually farm animals like a pony, who needs a stable and other things that we don’t have at all.  When someone brings us theses types of animals we usually make a call to our friends at the MSPCA at Nevin’s farm and arrange for the owner to bring the animal there. Again, we don’t turn the person away, instead we help them get to a facility that can care for the animal.

Being an open admission animal shelter certainly makes things more interesting!

Now, is it a hassle sometimes to be an open admission shelter? Yes. Is it more expensive, more heartbreaking, more…difficult? Yes.  We wouldn’t trade it for the world though because it allows us to serve our community in the way that they need us and help animals in the way that THEY need.  We are a community coming together to help animals.  Animals of all kinds and all needs.  That’s what being an open admission shelter means and we love it!

different animals collage




It’s Dogtoberfest Time!!

Get Your Dogtoberfest Tickets!

On October 20th, the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts (APCSM) will host our second annual Dogtoberfest at the APCSM’s facility in Brockton. This will be an exciting evening featuring a tasting of great local beers courtesy of

  • Tenth District Brewery
  • Barrel House Z
  • Widowmaker Brewery
  • Bourbon tastings by The Wine Basket

Along with delicious food courtesy of NanTra Catering and live music by The Bird Gangs. This fun evening of food and drink is being held to support the mission of the APCSM, to positively impact the lives of animals in our community.

The highlight of last year’s event was undoubtedly the contest to crown the king or queen of Dogtoberfest from our available, adoptable dogs.  Each dog strutted his or her stuff to a specifically chosen theme song. Participants overwhelmingly voted for Queen Lily!

Queen Lily 2017

During the past nine years, the shelter has successfully cared for countless animals, facilitated thousands of adoptions, provided affordable enrichment programs, and been an agency that advocates for animal welfare issues. In 2016 alone, the APCSM helped place over 1000 animals in their new forever homes. There are many success stories to celebrate – but the need is continuous.

Our ability to continue this work and meet the needs of our community is only possible because of support from people like you.

Get Your Dogtoberfest Tickets!

This year we are also offering a designated driver ticket for half price.  This $20 ticket allows designated drivers and non-drinkers to still enjoy the food, music, and fun of Dogtoberfest without the beer or the take-home pint glass.  You will get a wristband on entry that designates you a non-drinker.

Get Your Designated Driver Tickets!


Coco Kitten and Diva Cat Need Your Help

coco2This is Kim K at the shelter. The past 2 weeks have been really difficult in terms of animals with emergency medical needs. Last Thursday we took in Coco the kitten, whose family had been trying to treat a severly infected eye but surrendered her to us when it got to be too much for them and their young children to bear. Then Diva’s spay incision got infected and required emergency surgery. She had a drain put in and is on a lot of meds. Both cats are at the shelter being treated now but the bills are hovering near 3K just for the past 2 weeks and we are a bit strapped. Can you help?
Diva.jpgDiva’s bill is $2,500 and we thing the worst is past for her but Coco is a different story. The antibiotics don’t seem to be helping – the picture is of her after a week of treatment – and she has an appointment today to determine what to do next. Whatever it is one thing’s for certain, we’re not giving up on her.
Every little bit helps and if everyone can pitch in just a little we’re confident that we can get these 2 kitties healthy and home.
Thanks everybody, we’re super grateful for all you do!