Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Pets Large & Small

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jennifer Vanderau
Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter

(2/2015) I gotta say Valentine’s Day is not my favorite holiday. Somehow it sticks in my craw that society demands professions of love on that one day. I would much prefer something on a random Tuesday in June, you know? Seems more spontaneous and genuine.

Although on the other hand with all the strife and violence in the world today, having a day focused on the emotion of love isn’t that bad of an idea.

Love is a heck of a strong, powerful energy. It’s why so many of us search for it. When you find someone that makes you smile, who can be there with you through the good and the bad, that’s something to hang onto and well…celebrate.

If you’re looking for that kind of love, one of the best places to find it is at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter. We’ve got a ton of four-legged souls just looking to shower that special someone with a whole lot of love.

See how I brought that back around to animals? You didn’t think I could do it, did ya?

We’ve got three long-term resident cats who I can’t for the life of me understand why they’re still in a cage.

Allow me to explain. Our long-term residents are the ones who have spent the most time in a cage. It’s sad and not exactly a title any animal wants to have.

The three that have been with us the longest are Tracie, Pyrite and Jade. With all of our long-term residents, it’s a struggle to understand why they’ve been here as long as they have, but with these three it’s especially difficult.

Tracie is a petite little 2-year-old girl who is tabby with white. She’s a sweet lady who spends her days in a large, multi-cat playpen where she lives with Jade. When you walk in to talk to her, Tracie will stand up and look for a pet. She’s really adorable and with her size, you would think she was only seven or eight months old, but she’s an adult.

Her housemate Jade is a striking cat. Gray and white with gorgeous green eyes. Jade loves the cat tree and seems to prefer the top perch. You’ll see this two green eyes looking down at you, but when you walk in to see her, she’ll come around.

Pyrite was named after the mineral because his all gray coat resembles the rock. He’s another really nice boy who’s been with us too long.

All three of these babies came into the shelter at the end of February 2014. That means if they’re still with us at the end of this month, they’ll have spent a year in a cage. We’d much rather see them in a home with a bed and laps and a whole lot of love.

Fortunately, we’ve been really lucky with our dogs. We’ve had a lot of adoptions recently and our numbers are down – you’ve gotta take the good news when you can because that can turn on a dime in the shelter world.

As a result, we only have one long-term resident in our canine population and that’s Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a 4-year-old boxer/pitbull mix who has an amazing personality. First, she’s got one ear that kind of flops the wrong way and one ear that sometimes stands up. Second, she smiles. She has that almost trademark pitbull grin and you can see it when she’s happy.

She has a stick toy that seems to be her favorite and when you leave it in her kennel, she’ll actually play toss with herself. No joke. One of the technicians actually got video of her playing with this and it’s hilarious. She’s paying no attention whatsoever to the person standing outside her kennel with a cell phone. Instead, she’s actually throwing the stick up in the air and pouncing on it.

Talk about a pup who can keep herself entertained!

Sadly, Cinnamon has the stocky build and energy of the two breeds we’re guessing are her heritage. Because of that, a lot of folks are turned off by her. In fact, just a few days ago, one of our Animal Care Technicians was walking Cinnamon through the kennels and a visitor actually jumped away when he saw her.

I mean, seriously. It’s an animal shelter. There’s no way we’d have vicious dogs here. Sadly, it was nothing more than her appearance that made the man react that way and I’ve seen it time and again with pitbulls and pitbull mixes.

It’s so overwhelmingly upsetting to see a dog provoke that kind of reaction – one where someone is responding to the judging that single dog by the actions of others.

I know the right person will come for Cinnamon. She’s been with us since August 2014 and will be here until she finds her forever home.

Indeed, all of our long-term residents will remain with CVAS until the right person finds them. That, I can guarantee.

I can also guarantee that whoever does adopt one of these sweet babies, he or she will have a devoted companion for life. I sometimes truly think shelter pets know they’ve been rescued from a kennel and the gratitude will be shown every day.

So, with February 14 approaching, if you’re like one of the millions of people in the world looking for love or wanting to celebrate true love, stop out to the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and see if you can lose your heart to one of our four-legged souls.

Believe me, it’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made.


Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in Chambersburg, Pa., and can be reached at The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at (717) 263-5791 or visit the website

Read other articles by Jennifer Vanderau