Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finding Lost Pets

This great information on finding lost cats just came in from Nicole at Kent County Animal Rescue.

Since many dog lovers also love cats, and since many of the tips apply to both, I thought I'd share...

Less than 2% of all "lost" cats are reunited with their owners. That is a really scary number. Especially considering how easily this could happen. It only takes a split second.

This is why I feel that it is absolutely necessary for every indoor cat to wear an ID Tag. I really believe this is one of the most important things you can do for your cat.

Today, I'd like to give you a few quick tips to help you find a missing pet. But more importantly, I'm also going to tell you what you can do to prevent this from ever happening to you and your precious pet.

If your pet is lost:

* Search the area. Talk to the neighbors and passersby.
* Walk or drive through the area several times daily. Early morning and evening are the best times to look for a lost pet.
* Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached.
* Post signs in the neighborhood with your pet's description, a photo, your phone number and information about ID tags.
* Put signs in grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices and other high traffic locations.
* Place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color and special markings.
* The Internet may be helpful in tracking down a lost pet, although its search is wide and random.
* Here's something that can really help get your pet back home to you. The; Pet ID Tag ... it's like an "Amber Alert" for pets. If your pet is lost, they will immediately notify humane societies and shelters within a 50-mile radius, and post a missing pet alert to websites that help find lost pets. This is one of the best pet protection programs I've ever seen.

Prevent your cat from ever getting lost!

* If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, don't leave your animal outside when you're gone for long periods of time.
* If you are gone for a long time, leave your pet with a responsible person or get a house sitter.
* Jot down the numbers from your pet's rabies tag, write your phone number on his tag, and take a good photo of your pet.
* Consider having a computer microchip implanted under your pet's skin. Shelters and veterinary hospitals use microchips to identify lost animals and reunite them with their owners.
* Every pet should have an ID tag. Even indoor cats. If your cat were to ever sneak out, like Oreo did, an ID tag is your cat's best chance of being reunited with you. I recommend the; Pet ID Tag. It has some very nice features including a toll-free hotline for owners of lost pets and the people who find them ... and the hotline is there for you 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. They will also notify all shelters within a 50-mile radius, which can really increase your chances of being reunited with your kitty.

One of the BEST ways to help bring a lost pet back home to you is to protect him with proper identification ... on his collar, an ID tag, or with a microchip.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dogs will chew, especially when they're puppies

My neighbor came by today - he called first to see if I had some extra vetrap - because his pup had chewed her bandage off again and he was out.

About a week or so ago she cut her foot - apparently she found a piece of glass in the dirt in the yard while she was digging and darn near cut a pad from her foot. So, she had stitches and she's been bandaged, but even wearing the lampshade collar, she can find a way to get at that foot!

She's been a bundle of activity ever since he got her - only slowing down when she exhausts herself - but the bandage chewing is making my neighbor crazy. He tried something from the vet called "Yuck" - she likes it. Tried cayenne pepper and tabasco sauce - she thinks they're great!

When she was slightly younger, she demolished the remote for his surveillance cameras, along with some carpeting and a pair of shoes... And while she's getting better, he's also learning which things need to be put out of reach.

My own dogs are long past the chewing stage, but along with my best pair of shoes, they chewed the leg from an ottoman and the corner moldings from the trim around our kitchen and hallway floors.

Experts advise giving your puppy a good variety of chewy toys to keep her interested, making sure she gets plenty of exercise, and... no surprise: keeping her contained where she can't get at things for destruction purposes when you aren't home.

I'd add... put things away when you are home. My best shoes were demolished when I was just in the other room. (My fault entirely - I knew there was something about that lovely soft leather that attracted them, and I failed to put them in the closet when I got home.)

Puppies aren't chewing to be mean - they're teething, and just as young humans need something to chew on, so do they. Later on, they're chewing from boredom, so give them plenty to do. Dogs need jobs just like humans do!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keeping Pets Safe in Summertime

Summertime poses plenty of threats for our precious pets!

One of them, of course, is heat. We need to take extra precautions to make sure they have shade and plenty of water. And we have to hurt their feelings by leaving them at home rather than letting them go along for the ride if we're doing errands that will take us out of our vehicles where they can't accompany us.

When traveling, we must take care not to get them get lost in strange surroundings. Dogs love to go camping, but can easily be distracted by following a wild animal scent and get into trouble. Along with keeping a close eye on them, make sure they're wearing tags that are solidly attached - and a microchip is a very good idea. (But don't use it in place of the tags... some rescues, veterinarians, and animal control agncies don't scan!)

We also need to watch out for new poison threats. We talked about mushrooms a couple of days ago, but many of the decorative plants (and weeds) around our homes are also dangerous for our critters.

HSUS has posted a comprehensive list of plants that pose a threat to your animals. Check their list to make sure none of the offenders live in the yard where your pets play.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The 4 Phases of Animal Rescue

This came in my e-mail today, and I had to share... I believe it came from the HSUS site, but was unable to locate it.

The Four Phases of Rescue
by Douglas Fakkema

Those of us who work on behalf of and who dedicate our lives to animals go
through four phases in our career evolution. As we are unique, so are our
individual stories, but we all go through a similar process, and if we
survive that process go on to understand that we have achieved what we wanted
in the first place.


Red hot and raring to go, we are out to change the world. We are high on
life. We know we can make a difference, that our efforts on behalf of animals
will ease their plight. We work what seems like 25-hour days yet are
energized. Our enthusiasm overflows, our capacity for challenges is limitless.
We eat, sleep and live in the cause for animals. Our friends don't
understand our obsession and turn away or just fade away, and we let them for we
meet new ones. Some of us though don't make new friends, we're too busy
working for animals.

Some of us become loners with only our canine or feline companions to keep
us from total isolation but we're content because we have a cause. In our
zeal, we tend to affix simple solutions to complex problems - every animal
should be sterilized or no animal should be euthanized. We're often late
because we try to rescue animals from highways and streets. We think we
understand the problem and we know we can fix it if only people would get out of
our way.


Our phase one enthusiasm has turned sour, the bubble bursts and we crash
and burn. We see the same people coming into the shelter with yet another
litter -they haven't heard our message. We continue to euthanize, there seems
no end to it. Even our friends - those we still have left - don't
understand us. We can't seem to reach anyone.

Animals are still abused and neglected, their plight seems unchanged
despite all our efforts. We've lost the boundless energy that characterizes
Phase One. We no longer wish to talk about work, don't even want to admit where
we work. We're tired all the time. We go home from work, lock the doors,
turn out the lights, turn off the answering machine and close the window
blinds. We're too exhausted to cook so we scarf fast food, pizza, potato chips
or chocolate.

Some of us buy useless objects we can't afford. Some of us turn to alcohol
for it takes away our feelings of hopelessness. We ignore our families and
even our pets get less attention than we know is right. We seem powerless
to affect any of the changes that drove us to such ecstasies of dedication
in Phase One. We have become horrified by the work we have to do. Even our
dreams are filled with the horror. Every animal we take in, every animal we
euthanize is yet another nail in our coffin of defeat. Somehow we're to
blame for all our failure and it's destroying us. Raise the shields Scotty,
the Klingons are on our tail!

Our shield gets thicker and thicker. It blocks the pain and the sadness
and makes our life somehow tolerable. We continue on because every now and
then we get a spark of Phase One energy.


Our phase two depression has turned outward and we're mad as hell.
Hopelessness turns to rage. We begin to hate people, any people and all people
unless, like our co-workers, they dedicate their lives to animals the way we
do. We even hate our co-workers if they dare question us - especially about
euthanasia. It occurs to us, let's euthanize the owners, not the pets.
Let's take everyone who abuses an animal or even surrenders an animal and
euthanize them instead. Our rage expands to our out-of-work life. That guy in
front of us on the highway, the one who's in our way, euthanize him too. We
rage at politicians, television, newspapers, our family. Everyone is a
target for our anger, scorn and derision. We have lost our perspective and

We're unable to connect with life. Even the animals we come in contact
with seem somehow distant and unreal. Anger is the only bridge to our
humanness. It's the only thing that penetrates our shield.


Gradually, and over time, the depression of Phase Two and the anger of
Phase Three become replaced with a new determination and understanding of what
our mission really is. It is big picture time. We realize that we have
been effective - locally and in some cases regionally and even nationally. So
we haven't solved the problem - who could - but we have made a difference
with dozens, even hundreds and sometimes thousands of animals. We have
changed the way others around us view animals.

We begin to see our proper place in our own community and we begin to see
that we are most effective when we balance our work and out-of-work lives.
We realize that work is not our whole world and that if we pay attention to
our personal lives, we can be more effective at work. We understand that
some days we work 14 hours and some days we knock it off after only 8. We
take vacations and we enjoy our weekends. We come back refreshed and ready to
take on daily challenges.

We see that all people are not bad. We understand that ignorance is
natural and in most cases curable. Yes, there are truly awful people who abuse
and neglect animals but they are a minority. We don't hate them. When we find
them we do all we can to stop them from hurting animals.

We recognize that the solutions are just as complex as the problems and
bring a multitude of tools to the problem at hand and use them any way we can
and we begin to see results - one small step at a time. We reconnect with
the animals. Our shields come down. We understand that sadness and pain are
a part of our job. We stop stuffing our feelings with drugs, food or
isolation. We begin to understand that our feelings of anger, depression and
sadness are best dealt with if we recognize them and allow them to wash over
and past us. We recognize our incredible potential to help animals. We are
changing the world.

I've noticed that some people get frozen in Phase One (the zealots), or
Two (the zombies), or Three (the misanthropes) . Some shift back and forth
between Two and Three and even between Four and Three or Four and Two. Many
leave animal work during Phase Two or Three, never to return. Some seem to
move rapidly to Phase Four, while for others it takes years and years. Some
never get a sense of peace to go along with our purpose, they work their
entire lives on the frantic pink cloud of phase one or depressed or angry. I
know I've been in all four phases in 25 years in animal protection. Can the
journey from Phase One to Four be speeded up? Can we avoid the pain,
discomfort and agony that goes with the journey? I wish I knew.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poison Mushroom Warning

This is scary! I got the following in my e-mail this morning and thought I should pass it along. If you have mushrooms in your yard,you might want to get rid of them... I don't know if it affects only Colorado or not.

Vets Report Dozens Of Dogs Poisoned
Jaclyn Allen, 7NEWS Reporter

POSTED: 4:37 pm MDT July 13, 2009
UPDATED: 8:02 am MDT July 14, 2009

CONIFER, Colo. -- Veterinarians in the foothills are struggling to keep up with the growing number of dogs who are being poisoned by mushrooms.

Because of the history-making moisture Colorado experienced this spring, mushrooms are everywhere in the mountains, and in the last week, Veterinarian Jeff Danielson has seen a drastic increase in mushroom poisonings. Mushrooms, when ingested by dogs, can break down their central nervous systems.

Last year, the hospital saw six cases, Danielson said. In the last five or six days, they've had about three dozen

"It's a startling change," said Danielson. "They're stumbling, falling over, some have full-blown seizures. It can be pretty scary for owners."

Jeff Clark has three dachshunds whom he considers more than pets.

"The dogs are our children," said Clark.

So when Herman, the newest of Clark's dachshunds, got sick Saturday after eating mushrooms from the back yard, Clark called the vet and kept a close eye on the dog.

"About 10, 11 at night, when we all went to bed, he seemed fine," said Clark. "But when we woke up in the morning, he was dead. It broke our hearts."

His wasn't the only sick dog.

It happened to Paul Graham's Labrador, Jasper.

Within hours of showing symptoms, Graham took the dog to the vet for an IV and activated charcoal.

"I knew mushrooms were poisonous, but before this episode, I didn't put two and two together and know that dogs can eat them and get pretty sick or die from it," said Graham.

Since Clark’s dog died, he has taken on the never-ending task of picking mushrooms and closely watching his other dachshunds.

"If you see them do it, don't be like me. Take them to the vet," he said.

Mushroom experts said most mushrooms are not toxic to dogs, but unless you know mushrooms, it's best to keep your pet away from all of them. The problem is not just in the foothills.

A technician at VRCC, an emergency clinic in Englewood, said they have seen six cases in the last month.

The symptoms of mushroom poisoning include acting intoxicated, seizures, running into things, head tilts, staggering, excessive drooling and walking in circles.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

8 State Dogfighting Raid Rescues 450

This is a red letter day for dogs - and for dog lovers across the U.S.

Now, let us all focus on a successful prosecution that will make these monsters think twice before subjecting any more dogs to this kind of horror.

My gratitude to the HSUS for leading the charge, and to the law enforcement people who supported them in this historic undertaking.

Read the story:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The No-Fear Dog

Tonight we went into town to see the fireworks, and of course my husband's dog went along. He said he was sure Ralph wouldn't be bothered by the noise and I figured that if he was we could just leave, since we planned to stay at the pickup to watch.

I didn't need to be concerned. Ralph went to sleep on the way to town and slept through the whole thing!

I hope all of your dogs fared just as well - I feel so sorry for the ones who are afraid. Even worse for the ones who get left outdoors and run to get away from the noise - and get lost.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friends to the Rescue!

Last night I was working in the garden when it was time to go back to the house to check on things in the oven. On my way I stopped to feed the horse.

I didn't think much about the dogs not being at the house with me, because my husband was still outside, and they'd rather stay out as long as they can.

They're also creatures of habit, so when I came out of the house to head back to the garden after 20 minutes or so and heard them barking, I assumed that they were running around the hay shed, following the squirrel who loves to tease them.

But no, Ralph came running toward me, barking his head off!

What in the world is this about? As soon as he saw I would follow, he ran for the feed room, then he and Pepper stood in front of the door barking. That's when I heard Suzie - barking from inside.

She had followed me in when I got grain and I had accidentally left her there.

But Ralph and Pepper weren't going to let her be locked up for long. Everyone should have such good friends!