Friday, July 3, 2015

Fourth of July Pet Safety

Special thanks to Banfield Pet Hospital for this holiday themed blog. Keep your pets safe this holiday weekend!
With July Fourth weekend just around the corner, many Americans have begun to plan their Independence Day festivities. Celebrations would not be complete without family, friends, outdoor fun and fireworks. While most of us love the colorful displays, not every family member does – especially the furry, four-legged family member.
Pets don’t associate the noise, flashes and burning smell of pyrotechnics with enjoyment. Terrified pets panic and try to run and hide from the loud whizzes and bangs that fireworks produce.
The American Humane Association reports that July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters. Many companion animals flee the night before and are found miles from their homes, disoriented and exhausted. Pet owners end up searching their neighborhood streets and shelters looking for their beloved family member whose fear drove them to break a leash, dig under a wall or jump a high fence. Regrettably, these terrified animals wind up lost, injured or accidentally killed.
Banfield Pet Hospital identifies four keys to keeping your pet safe this Fourth of July holiday:
  1. Have your pet properly identified – make sure your pet is wearing a collar and the identification tag is current and readable. Proper identification tags will help local neighbors contact you should they find your pet. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your pet has a microchip that’s up to date with your current contact information. Most shelters, veterinarians and animal control centers have scanners that can read the information contained on the microchip.
  2. Food safety –holiday food favorites are hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, but it can be a dangerous attraction for pets. The smell of delicious food is hard to resist for all of us and especially pets. To avoid accidents and fire hazards, keep pets away from matches, lighters, and outside grills. Dispose of all meat trays, bags, tin foil, or other food containers to prevent your pet from eating the plastic or Styrofoam. Tasty foods for humans may be toxic to pets, so be aware. Check out this list of Summer Toxins foods from Banfield Pet Hospital’s website.
  3. Fireworks – we all want to share holiday celebrations with our furry family members, but its best to resist that urge during Fourth of July. Protect their sensitive ears and eyes by keeping your pet in a quiet, sheltered and “escape-proof” area of your home. Prevent harm by creating a safe environment. Create white noise and block outside sights and sounds by lowering blinds, turning on the TV or playing soothing music. If your pet is known to have anxiety, it’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian before the 4th for recommended products or medications.
  4. Be prepared – Have a plan so that you know what to do in case your pet escapes or becomes lost. Keep your veterinarian number handy and familiarize yourself with local animal care facilities, shelters and emergency veterinary hospitals. If your pet does run away, immediately post flyers with a photo of your pet around the neighborhood, especially at schools, parks and dog parks.
The best way to enjoy your Fourth of July celebration with your pets is to exclude them from the holiday festivities. Finding a safe, secure location in your home ensures they will be there when you get back. Your pet will thank you.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Animal Friends' Home-to-Home Program presents: Sadie!

Woof (that's hello in dog-language!)  My name is Sadie and I am a 4 1/2 year old Collie mix (my birthday is November 20, 2010).  If you are looking for an affectionate, outgoing and energetic dog, then look no further than ME!  I LOVE cuddles, pets, kisses, rubs, and anything else having to do with getting your attention.  I love to play fetch and will even bring the ball back to you (and if you say "drop it", I'll even do that too).  I am house-broken, crate-trained, walk well when using a sensi-harness and I like to go on car rides.  I have medium-length hair but Mom tries to keep it clipped short (she said that my paws look like Grinch feet when the fur grows long!).  I don't LOVE baths but I will stand there nicely while you scrub me down.  I do well with most other dogs (I currently like with a Pekingese) so I would love to meet any potential four-legged siblings first.  No cats though please! 

My parents really love me, but I unfortunately need to find a new home.  About a year ago, they had a baby...Even though I love my parents, I am not a huge fan of the baby.  Because of that, my parents think that I would be more comfortable in a home without young children (I think I prefer teenagers and older).  I tend to get anxious around the noises and commotion that comes along w/ young children. 

I don't like it when they touch my things either; I've always been fine when adults have touched my stuff, but not little kids.  My parents currently keep me separate from the baby, but they feel really bad that I'm not getting the love and attention that I deserve 24/7.

If you would like to find out more about me, please contact my parents.  It takes me some time to warm up to strangers, but once I do, I am their friend for life; can you be my friend?  My parents will give my new family my bed, crate, favorite toys, leash/harness, remaining food, remaining Frontline and remaining Heartgard.  They can be reached by emailing or by calling (412) 860-3724. 

I really look forward to meeting you!  Maybe I can show you how well I play fetch! Woof (that's also bye in dog-language!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Just as Sweet as Her Name Suggests - Kit Kat!

Through no fault of her own, 11-year-old Kit Kat was returned to Animal Friends in August 2013.  She had been living happily in a busy home for ten years before a severe allergy, developed by a young member of her human family, necessitated Kit Kat’s relocation.

Although Kit Kat arrived without any glaring behavioral issues, ten years in a noisy household may have taken a toll on this green eyed beauty.  She prefers adults to children, and quiet to chaos.   As long as it is Kit Kat’s idea, she loves to snuggle into a lap for long restful naps.  

Kit Kat has been back at Animal Friends for almost two years now, and it is an anniversary she would like to miss.  She is full of personality and longing for a calm quiet place to become her new forever home.

Someone believes in Kit Kat so much, her adoption has been sponsored! Come visit her today!

Ready to add some fur to your family tree? Check out our adoption guidelines here and then make a trip down to visit Kit Kat. She's waiting to meet you!

The Only Bug You'll Ever Need To Love - Bug The Cat!

Meet the only bug you will ever love!  Bug is a four-year-old cat who has been at Animal Friends since July 2013.  She was rescued during a Humane Investigation case involving an animal hoarder, which involved 25-40 animals living in unsanitary conditions.
As a result of her previous living situation, Bug arrived at Animal Friends a pretty fearful little girl who avoided handling.  She immediately entered a foster home and began to receive the love and attention that she needed.  Within a few weeks, Bug was making great progress.  She began waiting at the front of her crate for attention, instead of hiding at the back avoiding human contact, and was eagerly settling into a few laps for some snuggle time. 
Staff and volunteers work with Bug each week, and she continues to make wonderful progress.  She loves to play with her toy flying mouse and chase any laser pointer she can find.  Bug needs a patient owner who can further develop a growing bond of trust, while helping her leave her shy ways behind.  She is currently living with cats at Animal Friends, and she would be great in a multi-cat family.

Someone believes in Bug so much, her adoption has been sponsored! Come visit Bug today!

Ready to add some fur to your family tree? Check out our adoption guidelines here and then make a trip down to visit Bug. She's waiting to meet you!

Cat Enrichment Fun for Adopt a Cat Month and Every Month!

Guest Blogger: Suzanne Denk, Animal Enrichment Specialist

A cat’s quality of life can be easily improved with a variety of toys and activities which provide mental stimulation.

Try the following easy activities with your cat:
  • Blow bubbles
  • Let your cat drink from the bathroom faucet
  • Read a story to your cat
  • Put a bird feeder outside a window
  • Hide treats in a cardboard egg carton
  • Play with a feather teaser
  • Provide a scratching board or post
  • Grow cat grass
  • Hide toys and treats throughout the house to provide a chance for hunting while your cat is alone. 
  • Feed dry food in a puzzle ball.
Create a Cat Activity Center:
Throwaway items can be made into entertaining play stations for cats.  The activity center can include scratchers, candy trays, toilet paper tubes, pipe cleaners, clean medicine cups, ribbon spools, or egg cartons.  The only limit is your imagination.  Once the items have been securely glued in place, add pinches of catnip, balls, toy mice, or treats.  Let the cat explore on his own.  The textures, smells, and nooks will get your cat thinking!  Once the cat has lost interest, refill with the goodies, wait a couple of days, and move the activity center to another location.  Your cat will think they have made a brand new discovery! 

Make a toy from things around the house:
  • Plastic Bottle caps
  • Milk jug rings
  • Toilet paper tubes – fringed edges are fun!
  • Pipe cleaner twists
  • Origami balls or Origami lucky stars
  • Drinking straws
  • ½ of a plastic Easter egg with wet food spread inside
  • Plastic Easter egg with a pinch of catnip
  • Empty spool of thread
  • Tea bag envelope pinched open for unique scent
  • A pinch of catnip in an old sock
  • Ping pong ball in a tissue box or in the bathtub (no water)

Rotate toys regularly to keep them new and interesting.