Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HOWL-O-WEEN TO ALL YOU SPOOKY POOCHES!!

IT'S FINALLY HERE.... HOWL-O-WEEN!!!

WISHING ALL YOU SPOOKY LITTLE POOCHES A FUN AND SAFE HOWL-O-WEEN!

Phoebe loves her Martha Stewart witchy-poo costume!

Uh-Oh, Goblin Alert!!!
Be sure to link up with us on the blog hop below!!!
Phoebe anticipates lots of Yummy Halloween treats!!


Hey, what is that skull head staring at???
 Isis and Phoebe want all their friends to stay SAFE on Howl-o-ween.  Be sure to follow these  Halloween safety tips !
Isis looks cute in her sparkly witch hat!

How do you like my Spider Lady dress?

Oh no, Isis left me alone with the Goblins... and that scary Skull head!!  Help me.

TODAY WE ARE LINKING UP WITH THE HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR BLOG HOP - JOIN US!!!
 
The Halloween Spooktacular Blog Hop is hosted by our friends at Barking From The BayouOz the Terrier and Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows.  Lync up on this “FANG~TASTIC” hop!















 
 
 

October Is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! Part Three

ADOPT A SHELTER DOG THIS MONTH!! 

Bloggers have been promoting Adopt A Shelter Dog month throughout October, helping shelter dogs everywhere find Furever homes!  In support of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, I've dedicated weekly posts to helping Pawsome dogs who are very much in need of loving homes.  It's still Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, so please help by sharing the stories of these two special dogs!

In my October 3rd Adopt A Shelter Dog post, I introduced you to Charon, a sweet, affectionate Pit Bull mix that had been at the shelter for 6 long months.  I was elated to learn that he had been adopted days later, but I was crushed to find out he was returned to the shelter the very next day!  Why??  He was returned because he was not housetrained -  SERIOUSLY?!    Did his adopters even give him a chance?  They returned him 24 hours after giving him a home simply because he wasn't potty trained.  That is just cruel.  Many dogs that end up in shelters have never been housetrained, probably due to owners that didn't take the small amount of time & effort needed to potty train.  Poor Charon has been living in a cage for 6 months.  Isn't it reasonable to think perhaps his potty training has lapsed a bit, if he was ever trained to begin with?  What does it take to buy a wire crate and spend 2 or 3 days potty training - is that too much to ask?

Sweet Charon whose been living in the shelter for 6 long months, was adopted but then returned to the shelter after only 24 hours just because he wasn't housetrained!
So here I am, spotlighting Charon for adoption once again.   Charon is a 6 year old neutered male Pit Bull mix who perks up at the sight of a bright yellow tennis ball!  He came to the shelter as a stray, and quickly became a favorite among staff and volunteers!  He loves water, playing fetch and being with people.  Charon's ID number is A3450205.


Charon loves the water and playing with a ball!  What a great friend he'll be.
Next I'd like to introduce you to Cascade, a 6 year old Australian Shepherd mix whose brindle coat is just beautiful.  Cascade is a spayed female who has been at the shelter since June.  She is a very mellow, sweet dog.  She walks beautifully on leash and loves walks.  She has such a lovely disposition, this is one sweet dog!  Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but when I look into Cascade's eyes I feel like she is sad, probably wondering how she ended up there and why her family never came for her.  She would be a wonderful companion!  Cascade's ID number is A3477998.

Cascade is a sweet, mellow girl who really needs someone to love her!
In a recent post, I listed 8 key questions you should ask before adopting a dog.

Charon and Cascade are available for adoption at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC)Cascade is at the PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center in the Scottsdale Arizona store. Charon is available at the Mesa, Arizona shelter location.

PLEASE SHARE THEIR STORIES, AND HELP GET THESE SWEET POOCHES OUT OF THE SHELTER AND INTO FUREVER HOMES!

NOTE: If you are interested in adopting these dogs, please contact MCACC (602) 506-7387 and provide the dog's Identification number above. It's possible that these adoptable dogs may have already been adopted by the time you get to the shelter, but there are hundreds of other wonderful animals in search of loving homes!
 
THIS IS A Thoughtless Thursday BLOG HOP!!
 



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Just Some Howl-o-ween Fun!

On this Wordless Wednesday I thought I'd just share some fun Howl-o-ween pics I took of Isis and Phoebe.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen these.  I hope you enjoy them!







THIS IS A BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!!



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spirited Colonial Williamsburg, A Perfectly Spooky Halloween


Ghostly specters are supposedly still seen in historic Colonial Williamsburg.  Photo Source: Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk web site

Legends of witch trials and ghostly hauntings abound in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia!  At the center of Colonial Williamsburg is The Revolutionary City, a historic and educational recreation of life in Colonial Williamsburg during the American Revolution, which lasted from 1775 - 1783.  The city looks and feels very authentic.  American “Colonists” not only dress in period costume but wander the town in character, re-enacting scenes from life during the era and engaging tourists in 1700’s conversation!  One such gentlemen approached us, eyeing Icy curiously “That’s a fine looking animal you have there, sir!” and proceeded to make us an offer to purchase her for 100 quid!  We had some fun banter with him, explaining that our precious FurKid was NOT for sale at any price!   Spending Halloween in Colonial Williamsburg is certainly fun and educational, but some of it’s history can be downright scary!

American "Colonists" discuss & debate the issues of the day
One of our favorite activities was a guided candlelight Tavern Ghost Walk.  A small group of us met late in the evening at one of the historic taverns to begin the tour.  Our guide fascinated us with bizarre ghost stories, where people have sworn they’ve seen and heard ghosts that still haunt the old buildings.  It turns out the historic Revolutionary City, with many of it’s original buildings still in tact, has quite a haunted past!

Oh, Daddy, I told you not to practice witchcraft here!  The Colonists do NOT like that!
As we walked thru the Revolutionary City by candlelight, listening to our guide recount stories of the ghosts that supposedly still haunt the taverns and historic buildings, our dog Icy started to become antsy.  This was very out of character for her, but we chalked it up to being in a strange place, walking around in the darkness of night.  As our tour wound down, people left the group, slowly making their way back to their hotels.  After a few minutes we realized there were hardly any people left on the cobblestone streets of the Revolutionary City.  It was eerily quiet and dark.  Icy was becoming more and more agitated, when suddenly she started barking wildly for no apparent reason, lunging at one of the deserted historic taverns!  It was so eerie, and made us a little jumpy ourselves.  We quickened our steps and hightailed it back to our hotel!  When we made it back to our room we breathed a sigh of relief – Whew!  That was weird.  It took a few minutes for Icy to calm down, but she soon settled down on her blanket and fell fast asleep.

What made Icy act so weird??  Was it just the cold night air and the unfamiliar darkened streets?  Or had she sensed something else, perhaps something from the spirit world that only she could sense?  Hmmm…. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

THIS IS A SPOOKY HOWL-O-WEEN BLOG HOP!  LYNC UP WITH US IF YOU DARE!

Keep the Tail Wagging

Monday, October 27, 2014

Is Your Dog Ready For Halloween?

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays here in the U.S., and it's not just for kids!   Americans are expected to spend well over $7 billion on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations this year.  The National Retail Federation estimates that we'll spend $350 million on Halloween costumes just for our pets!  Now I call that the Howl-o-ween Effect!  Ha!  I feel vindicated; I'm not so crazy just 'cause I have a closet full of Halloween costumes ...for my dogs! I'll bet most of you do too.  Am I right?

I Vant To Bite Your Neck and Suck Your Blood!  OK, How About If I Just Like Your Face?

So, is your dog ready for Howl-o-ween?   

Does your dog have a costume yet? What is your dog going to dress up as?

Have you had your dog spend time wearing her costume so she gets used to it before wearing it on Halloween?

Phoebe in one of her many costumes
Have you helped your dog get used to all the crazy costumes she'll see?  Forget baseball hats and umbrellas; masks, crazy clothing, and objects like swords, wands, and who knows what else can be very scary for dogs.

Do you have a plan to keep candy well out of reach so your dog doesn't ingest something toxic like chocolate?

How will you handle your dog while all those spooky little goblins ring your doorbell all evening long?

Many pets end up in shelters due to the craziness of Halloween.  Do you have a plan to ensure your dog will be secure during trick or treat hours and parties?
Halloween is an excellent time to MICROCHIP your pet if you haven't already!  Most shelters provide very low cost microchipping.  It's fast, easy, and permanent.  Don't let Halloween turn into a nightmare for your family by losing your furry BFF!

Keep your Halloween angels safe!

Snoopy's Dog Blog
THIS IS A MONDAY MISCHIEF BLOG HOP!!!
 

 

Friday, October 24, 2014

ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH: 8 Questions You Should Ask Before Adopting A Dog

If you’ve decided to adopt a shelter or rescue dog, congratulations! You’ve made a decision that will save a life.  Choosing a dog is a commitment that will last the rest of the dog's lifetime.  Choose unwisely and you and your new furry BFF might not make a successful love connection.  As you head to the shelter, ask these 8 questions to ensure the dog you adopt is the right one for you! 

HOW BIG?
Most dogs are full grown at around 18 months old.  You'll want to know if the dog is already full grown, and if now how big he'll get.  Find our if there are any restrictions on the size or breed of dogs allowed where you live.  
Think about what size dog is right for you.
WHAT BREED OR BREED MIX IS HE?
Ask about the attributes of the breed(s) so you know what to expect.  Energy level and tendencies of the breed are import.  If you’re looking for a hiking or running companion then a high energy dog such as a Border Collie might be the right companion for you.  If you prefer a mellow dog that doesn't need much exercise, a Siberian Husky would not be a good fit!    

WILL SHE SHED?
What's your tolerance for shedding? Just because a dog has a smooth coat or very thin hair that does not mean she won’t shed.  If you want a dog that sheds very little or not at all, ask if the shelter has any non-shedding breeds or dogs that are mixed with a non shedding breed such as the Poodle, Maltese, or Bichon Frise.   

Is shedding a concern?  Dogs like Phoebe don't shed one bit!  We think she's a Havanese mix.
IS HE PEOPLE FRIENDLY AND DOG FRIENDLY?
Sometimes shelter staff and volunteers won’t know for certain, but at many shelters and rescues they can tell if a dog likes people and other dogs.  They do this by behavior assessing the dog and interacting with him on a daily basis.  If they have play groups for the dogs they’ll be able to tell if he’s dog friendly or if he displays aggression towards other dogs. 

I HAVE ANOTHER DOG AT HOME, WOULD YOU DO A MEET AND GREET?
Sometimes people who already have a dog worry about bringing another dog into the home.  Ask the shelter to arrange a meet and greet with your current dog and the one you want to adopt to see if they get along.  If they can’t accommodate, make sure you can bring the dog back if he doesn't get along with your current dog(s).

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ADOPTION FEE?
Ask what’s included in the adoption fee and what additional costs you might incur.  Most shelters and many rescues will have the dog spayed/neutered and include that in the adoption fee.  Vaccinations required up to the dog’s current age, such as Rabies, may also be included.  If you’re adopting a puppy, vaccinations and spay/neuter may need to be done later, at your cost.

Isis and Phoebe are both very dog friendly, so they became BFF's very soon after we brought Phoebe home to join our family!
DOES SHE HAVE ANY MEDICAL PROBLEMS THAT YOU KNOW OF?
Ask if the dog has been treated for any illness or injury at the shelter, or if they are aware of any medical  issues.  If so, ask about follow-up care, prognosis, and potential costs.  Kennel Cough and other respiratory illnesses are common in a shelter environment.   Some shelters will send you home with necessary medications for minor ailments.   Ask if the dog's illness is contagious and what precautions may be needed if you have other dogs at home.  Ask about known behavioral concerns as well and how best to handle them.

WHERE DID THIS DOG COME FROM?
You can ask whether the dog was a stray picked up on the street, an owner surrender, puppy mill or hoarder rescue.  Most will probably be strays with little background information, but ask if there is any information on the dog’s history that might be helpful.
 
Asking these 8 questions will help you make the best decision about which dog is right for you, and you’ll know what to expect as you bring your new best friend home with you!

What other questions do you think are important to ask when adopting a new pet?   Please leave us a comment!
THIS IS  A RASCAL AND ROCCO PET PARADE BLOG HOP!!!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Getting ready for Halloween!


 Little Witchy Phoebe is Mixin' up a Brew,  
 Bat Tails and Cat Tails make a  delicious Halloween Stew!!
 




 

THIS IS A BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

100 Places To See With Your Dog: The Hamptons, Long Island, New York

The Hamptons.  The ultimate Summer playground conjures up images of celebrities and mega millionaires for many people.  But for most New Yorkers it's a weekend getaway where you can sunbathe on the most pristine beaches, dine on freshly caught seafood, shop 'til you drop (or run out of money, whichever comes first!), party all night long, and pick up fresh local produce at farm stands on the way home!

But there's another side to The Hamptons, a quieter time when you can bring your dog along and have some fun.  I could have written a post about the Foo-Foo and Fifi side of  The Hamptons, spotlighting chic doggy boutiques and people carting tiny dogs around as they shop for hours and attend polo games.  Instead, I opted to focus on the part of The Hamptons that may not seem as glamorous to most "Summer people", but would be an absolute blast for you and your dog! 

Gorgeous, pristine Road D beach in Them Hamptons, Long Island NY.  Super crowded in Summer but much less crowded and more dog friendly in early Fall.
Icy enjoying an empty beach and plenty of sunshine at Road D beach in Southampton
Early Fall can be one of the best times to head to The Hamptons.  The crowds are thin and you don't have to worry as much about heatstroke, sunburn, hot walking surfaces or dehydration.   More importantly, restrictions to beach access for both humans and dogs are greatly relaxed after September 15th.  During the Summer, restrictions to accessing the fabulous Atlantic ocean beaches can be a bit insane. 

Beaches in The Hamptons, Long Island NY get super crowded in Summer and access to dogs is more restrictive.  Go after September 15th and it's much more relaxed without the crowds
I love the sound of waves crashing on the beach, but Icy prefers to swim in the calmer waters of beaches on the Bay side.
In Summer, beaches have both access and parking costs and restrictions for people, and access restrictions for dogs.  You need to study the rules for the beach you want to go to, each one is a bit different.  If you violate the rules, you'll end up with stiff fines and your car is likely to be towed.  You practically need a PhD to figure out which beach you can go to and when, whether or not you can park, and whether or not and when you can bring your dog!  The good news is that many beaches on the Bay side of The Hamptons (on the Northern side of The Hamptons) are dog friendly all year long.  They are not as pristine as the Atlantic ocean beaches but the waves are gentle and there's always something interesting to see (and sniff!) along the shoreline.  Your dog will have fun romping along the shores of Bay side beaches, sniffing all the interesting stuff that has washed up along the beach!

Beaches on the Bay (Northern) side of The Hamptons, Long Island NY are more dog friendly than those along the open ocean beaches to the South.  They're just as fun & interesting!
Beaches on the Bay side of The Hamptons may not be as pristine as the ocean beaches, but they are pretty and interesting in their own way.

If you enjoy seeing historic lighthouses this one on Cedar Point Beach in East Hampton, Long Island, NY is really interesting.
It looks more like a haunted house, but historic Cedar Island lighthouse, is on Cedar Point beach, on the Bay side in E. Hampton.  At the time of this writing, the light was being restored and had been temporarily removed from the top.
We always look forward to heading out to The Hamptons between September 16th and late October.  The weather is still beautiful, quite warm and sunny in September.  In October the weather is cool & brisk and farm stands are loaded with pumpkins and apples!  The traffic and crowds have calmed down, everything goes on sale in the stores, you rarely have to wait for a table at restaurants. Best of all, you can bring your dog to just about any beach.  It's divine!
At dog friendly Beach Bakery Grand Cafe in The Hamptons, Long Island NY

We stop for breakfast at one of the many dog friendly cafes before we hit the beaches and shops.
Dog friendly Beach Bakery Grand Cafe in West Hampton is a great place for breakfast or lunch with your pooch
Beach Bakery Grand Café in West Hampton.  Dog friendly & Delish!
There are lots of shops where you can find the latest (human & doggie) fashions, unique home décor, and antiques throughout The Hamptons.  Shopping out there is Expensive, but you can score big with end of season sales in early Fall!

Shopping in The Hamptons, Long Island NY is pricey but you can score great deals in the Fall
Shopping in The Hamptons is fantastic, but pricey so bring your credit card!
 
The Tuscan House restaurant in South Hampton, NY has great food, great service, and is very dog friendly
The Tuscan House in Southampton, a fantastic Italian restaurant that is so dog friendly.  We love this place!
At the end of a beautiful September day in The Hamptons, we had dinner at the very dog friendly Tuscan House for a heavenly meal and great service.  Of course, we had to stop at several farm stands on the way home!

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also enjoy my posts on:
Dog Friendly Montauk, Long Island, right next door to The Hamptons.  AND Pet Friendly Travel destinations & Pet Travel Tips in the PET TRAVEL tab on this blog's home page.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Dog The Therapist: Helping College Students Cope With Stress

As a Pet Partners Therapy Dog team, Icy and I participate in children's reading programs, where kids practice and improve their reading skills by reading out loud to dogs.  We also visit seniors in nursing homes and kids in daycare centers.  One of the other fun assignments we have is visiting college students as part of Stress Buster events.

Whether you're Freshmen or Senior, college can be tough.  Although there have been many advancements over the years that make learning faster and easier, it can also make school more stressful.  With each generation, the bar seems to be raised and things get harder for students.  The pressure can be overwhelming.

Icy is just loving all this attention and petting!
When mid-terms and finals roll around, students are under maximum pressure.  Many colleges have started Stress Buster events where students on campus can visit with Therapy Dogs in order to help relieve stress and take a time out during mid-terms and finals.

I'm amazed at the number of students who sign up for these events!  At one event, we had 5 Therapy Dogs in a large common room.  Students waited outside the room for their turn to visit with the dogs.  Over a 2 day period, several hundred students came through to visit with the dogs!  Students were invited into the room 25 or 30 at a time to meet the dogs.  You could feel their tension as they first entered the room but within moments, as they caught sight of the dogs, they would break into smiles which ultimately turned into laughter. 

As they petted, hugged, and kissed her, the students asked lots of questions about Icy; is she a Husky, how old is she, does she shed a lot, does she love the snow, and other questions.  They talked about their own dogs waiting back home for them while they were away at school, and how much they missed them.  They pulled out their cell phones to take selfies with her and texted photos to friends telling them they had to come down to see "this gorgeous Husky with blue eyes!". 

It's a known fact that petting a dog, cat or other animal can reduce blood pressure and relieve stress.
The students loved Icy and had a lot of fun visiting with her.  As you can see from these photos, Icy basked in all the attention and affection.  When I asked the students if they felt their visit with her helped relieve some of the stress they were feeling, the answer was a resounding Yes, it did help relieve stress and they were glad to have the break.  It was rewarding to see them walk away after their visit with Icy, laughing and smiling, reluctant to leave her.  The Stress Buster events are definitely one of the most fun Therapy Dog programs we have participated in

I'm not sure who enjoyed these Therapy Dog visits more, the students or Icy!
What do you think about the concept of Stress Buster events at colleges?  Leave us a comment and weigh in on the idea of Therapy Dogs helping to relieve stress for college students.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Show Us Your Pink!

In addition to being Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Phoebe is dressed in her furry best PINK to show her support!


Did you know that according to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.  The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2014 are:

  • About 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 62,570 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer
There are many RISK FACTORS associated w/ breast cancer, here are just a few of the Lifestyle related risk factors that have been linked to breast cancer:

Alcohol consumption
Long term heavy smoking
Being overweight or obese
Lack of physical activity
Hormone therapy after menopause
Taking Birth control pills and DMPA birth control injections

For a more complete list and explanation of risk factors, see the AmericanCancer Society's breast cancer risk factors.
THIS IS A THOUGHTLESS THURSDAY BLOG HOP!!!
 



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESSDAY: HAPPY FALL!

PLAY IN THE LEAVES, BEFORE THEY'RE ALL GONE!




Have your dogs been enjoying the beautiful Fall foliage as much as Isis and Phoebe have?  Leave us a comment and tell us how your dogs enjoy Fall!

THIS IS A BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

OCTOBER IS ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH! Part Two

ADOPT A SHELTER DOG THIS MONTH!! 

October is a very special month because it's dedicated to helping dogs in shelters everywhere find Furever homes!  In the spirit of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, I'm dedicating weekly posts to helping some Pawsome dogs who are very much in need of loving homes.

Meet GATOR and CLAUS.  Can you, or someone you know give these two sweeties a loving home?

Gator, just chillin' in the shade wearing his favorite hat!
Meet Gator, one of the coolest, laid back dogs you will ever meet!  This handsome, 6-year-old Pittie mix arrived at the shelter as a stray 7 months ago!  Both staff and volunteers are puzzled as to why he hasn't made a love connection yet and been adopted!  During Day Foster outings with volunteers, he has enjoyed hiking, visiting Home Depot (where he was a BIG hit) and chilling out with volunteers.  This boy loves to go for rides in the car!   Gator was recently featured on Fox10 to promote the shelter's Wag & Walk Adoption Hike program at Usery Mountain Park in Mesa, AZ.  We are asking that Gator go to a home without small dogs or cats, but if you have larger dogs, bring them with you to the shelter and they’ll do an introduction to ensure a smooth transition from shelter to home!  Gator’s adoption fee has been paid by a kind donor who is eager to see him adopted.  Gator is neutered, rabies vaccinated, and will go home with his dog license.  His ID number is A3430255.

Claus, enjoying the fresh air during one of his special Day Foster outings!
Two-year-old Claus arrived at the shelter as a stray in July.  This handsome Boxer mix is playful, friendly, and will do anything for a toy or ball!  While on a recent Day Foster outing, Claus rode in the back of the SUV and methodically pulled all the toys out of a small crate.  Our volunteer thinks that perhaps he had a toy box in a previous home L.  He is the type of dog who is happiest when he is carrying a toy or ball in his mouth. Although he’s only 2, Claus is not hyper and is very well behaved.  He walks well on a leash and enjoys going for hikes.  He readily greets human hikers along the way!  Claus loves water, even baths!  He is super friendly and loves attention.  Claus has a very expressive face and the most beautiful chocolate/caramel eyes!   One look from him and your heart will melt.   Claus has been neutered and rabies vaccinated, and his adoption fee is only $20, which will also include his dog license.  Claus' ID number is A3487187.

Both of these beautiful dogs are available for adoption at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) in Mesa, Arizona.

Last week's highlighted dogs, long term shelter residents Khalua and Charon, are still in need of Furever homes!

PLEASE SHARE THEIR STORIES, AND HELP GET THESE SWEET, LOVING DOGS OUT OF THE SHELTER AND INTO FUREVER HOMES!

NOTE: If you are interested in adopting these dogs, please contact MCACC (602) 506-7387 and provide the dog's Identification number above. It's possible that these adoptable dogs may have already been adopted by the time you get to the shelter, but there are hundreds of other wonderful animals in search of loving homes!
 
THIS IS A MONDAY MISCHIEF PET BLOG HOP!!!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Stray Cats in the 'Hood Driving You Crazy? TNR 'em!


Cats howling in the middle of the night, fighting, marking in your yard, breeding litter after litter?  If this sounds like your neighborhood, you probably have a feral cat colony.  These are groups of unsocialized stray cats that live and breed among themselves, forming colonies.  They typically prefer not to interact with humans, even when those humans leave food, toys or treats out for them.  They are skittish around people and don't consider humans to be potential companions.

A feral kitten at my sister's house.  She named him Jake, but later found out Jake was a girl!
Feral cats can quickly breed, becoming a large colony, and a nuisance in the neighborhood.  People used to round them up and drop them at the nearest shelter where they would be euthanized, because they are considered "unadoptable".  It's very difficult to convert a feral cat into a domesticated pet.   It has been discovered over the years that if you remove feral cats from an area, other feral cats will move right in to take their place!  Therefore, removing feral cats isn't a good solution. 

The best way to control a feral cat colony is to Trap, Neuter, & Return (TNR) feral cats one by one.  Feral cats are trapped, usually by residents in the neighborhood, by leaving food in an animal cage trap.  Then they are brought to a shelter or participating TNR Veterinarian to be spayed/neutered, and then returned to the area where they were living. This helps prevent the colony from growing out of control.  It also curtails unwanted behavior such as fighting and marking their territory.  Kittens need to be about 2 pounds in weight before they can be spayed/neutered, which is approximately 12 weeks of age.  Most TNR programs will refer you to a shelter or Vet who will spay/neuter feral cats at no cost to you, however some programs offer a low cost spay/neuter program instead.

Little Jake sitting right at my sister's front door like he owns the place!
My sister recently discovered that a beautiful cat started hanging out on her front porch.  Being the animal lover she is, my sister started feeding the cat, whom she named Cashmere.  Cashmere found a male companion and quickly ended up having 4 kittens in my sister's yard.  Now they had a dilemma, they didn't want the cats to start multiplying.  She worked with a local animal welfare agency to help her trap and neuter each of the cats, and then let them return to living in the yard.  It wasn't easy to get all 6 of the cats, it took most of the Summer, but she did it!  I'm really proud of my sister for chosing to do the responsible thing by TNR-ing Cashmere, her boyfriend, and their 4 beautiful kittens!


Jake actually got to the point where she seems to want to come into the house!  We hope she will eventually come inside, because everyone loves this sweet little kitty!
My sister and her husband love their feral kitties!  They recently bought an outdoor cat house from Amazon.com so they can get warm on the front porch over the Winter.  The cats have investigated the new cat house but haven't yet gone inside it.  Little Jake is the only one that comes close to the family, but they're hoping all the kittens may get to a point where they can be pet someday.  Until then, they will all have a home on my sister's front porch!

Check out the web site  Alleycat.org.  They provide lots of news and information about feral cats, and how to make life with feral kitties easier and more pleasurable!

Have you had any experiences with feral cats in your neighborhood?  What did you do about it?

OCTOBER IS ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH: 2 Pups Have Been In A Shelter Far Too Long!

OCTOBER IS ADOPT A SHELTER DOG MONTH!! 

October is a very special month because the entire month is dedicated to helping dogs in shelters everywhere find Furever homes!  In the spirit of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, I'm dedicating weekly posts to helping some Pawsome dogs who are in need of loving homes.

Today I'd like to introduce you to 2 wonderful dogs who have been in the shelter for quite some time.  Perhaps you or someone you know has room in their heart and their home for one of these beauties? They are both long term shelter pups at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) in Phoenix, Arizona where I have been a volunteer for the past 5 years.

Khalua smiles brightly during a Day Foster outing from the shelter!
5 year old Khalua has been at the shelter since March 5th!  She was surrendered to the shelter because she wasn’t good with other animals.  MCACC’s staff believe that even though Khalua needs to be the only pet in a home, it doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be given a chance!  Despite being at the shelter for seven long months, Khalua is still happy and energetic!

Khalua loves being in the water - any water!
 Khalua has gone on several outings with our Day Foster volunteers – special trips where dogs who have been at the shelter for a while get the opportunity to spend time outside of the shelter. It was on one of these outings that volunteers discovered Khalua LOVES anything water related – baths, swimming, or just lounging on the shores of a local community lake.  If you are interested in adopting Khalua, she is currently at MCACC’s East Valley Animal Care Center in Mesa, AZ (2630 W. Rio Salado Parkway/Loop 101).  Her adoption fee has already been sponsored by a kind donor!  Khalua's Identification number is A2878505.

Tennis ball anyone??
Even though Charon has been at MCACC since April, he still perks up at the sight of a bright yellow tennis ball!  The 6-year-old, neutered male came to the shelter as a stray and like most strays that enter MCACC, no one came to claim him.   He’s listed as  a Pit Bull mix, but staff and volunteers definitely think there’s some Labrador in this silly boy!  He loves water, playing fetch and spending time with people.  Charon was recently taken to a roller derby bout in the hopes of finding him a new family. Although he didn’t find a home, he enjoyed being with everyone and didn’t mind the fact that everyone around him was on rollerskates. 

Heads up, Charon!!
During a Day Foster outing, Charon was introduced to other dogs and seemed to get along with everyone, but he will chase cats – so perhaps a feline free home is best for this guy.  He does fine with kids. Charon is currently at MCACC’s East Valley Animal Care Center in Mesa, AZ (2630 W. Rio Salado Parkway/Loop 101).  His adoption fee has already been sponsored by a kind donor!  Charon's Identification number is A3450205.

PLEASE SHARE THEIR STORIES, AND HELP GET KHALUA AND CHARON OUT OF THE SHELTER AND INTO FUREVER HOMES!!

NOTE: If you are interested in adopting Khalua or Charon, please contact MCACC (602) 506-7387and provide the dog's Identification number above. It's possible that Khalua or Charon may have already been adopted by the time you get to the shelter, but there are hundreds of other wonderful animals in search of loving homes!
 
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