Please join AHR for the event of the summer! They are hosting their first annual “Tails to Trails Dog Walk” on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at Lower Allen Community Park. Registration will start at 9:00 a.m. and the Walk will begin at 10:00 a.m. You and your 4-legged friend can walk the beautiful “George & Rita Garstad Nature Trails” which meander along the Yellow Breeches Creek and through the scenic meadows alive with birds and butterflies. If you walk the larger loop, you will cover approximately 8/10 of a mile. The smaller loop is approximately 1/2 mile.
The cost to participate is $20 per person. Those who register by July 1, 2013 will receive a free t-shirt.
For more information, go to: www.animalhouserescuepa.org
Last day of school in Mechanicsburg and the teachers are cleaning out their rooms when a box with six kittens ~3-4 weeks of age were found in the dumpster. A day later and the result would likely have been tragic. This litttle guy came in for an exam with us – in the teacher’s bookbin, Adorable! All six were adopted by teachers or staff!
Today these adorable labradoodles visited Winding Hill Vets for the first time. They are two years old and brother and sister. They have been together since the beginning.
Chances are they do everything together – go out together – eat together – play together etc. My thoughts turned to friends of mine that have two adorable mixed terriers that have been soul mates for years. One was just diagnosed with Lymphoma. My friends could not help but wonder how the one left behind was going to fare when the other took the journey across the Rainbow Bridge.
They asked “do pets mourn? – “do they grieve”? I do not know if they grieve as we do. What I do know is that they display many behaviors which make me think they do. The change in routine, the change in the pack and in structure can be powerful. Pets feed off of our emotions as well. I have seen dogs and cats go off their food, become restless, agitated, depressed or aloof. Changes in bladder and bowel habits are often noted. Searching behavior for the lost pet can be exhibited.
To my friends I offer this advice. Today, while they are still together, allow them plenty of time to enjoy each other. At the same time start some separate “just you” activity with each dog. This will give you some special moments with your special boy while he is still here with us. Most importantly it will be the basis of your little girl’s life without him. A walk around the block with you, special play time with you or grooming and massage will be most appreciated.
When a pet is experiencing the loss of another pet try to keep routine as normal as possible. Resist the urge to allow bad behavior if it begins. Structure is important at this time. Add to the normal routine some additional exercise. Exercise is, in my opinion, the universal answer to many “pet issues”. Increased walks for dogs with varying venues can be mentally, physically and emotionally beneficial. Tailor the length of the walk to the dog’s physical condition. Dogs that socialize well with others may enjoy play dates. Interactive toys for dogs and cats are brimming over at pet shops everywhere. Some cats learn to walk outside with their owners as well. There are many indoor games that one can enjoy with our feline friends. Chasing beams of light is a favorite. Flavored and safe for pets bubbles are a huge hit.
In summation: Losing a pet is very difficult for us and for other pets in the family. Keeping a routine supplemented by some new activity can so assist in healing for us and for them. Start from the beginning doing some activities with the pets individually. Increased human-animal bonding is very likely to happen and this can make the loss of a pet down the road less traumatic for all.
– Terri Heck CVT
When the record-breaking EF-5 tornado tore through the heart of Moore, Okla., the afternoon of May 20, many pets were home alone, their owners not yet back from work. “If they weren’t in arm, they were pretty well dispersed,” says Leslie Cole, DVM, chair of the disaster issue committee with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association.
Countless pets were missing and feared dead in the storm’s aftermath. Winds up to 200 mph had battered animals with debris and tossed them like ragdolls. The safety of shelter disappeared as structures crumbled around them. Many terrified pets simply bolted. “Dogs and cats scatter to the four winds” during a storm, Cole says. “In the previous big tornadoes, dogs showed up 10 miles from home two weeks later.”
Pets that were lost, injured, trapped, traumatized–and often without identification–were found amongst the rubble by veterinary practitioners, volunteers and residents. The McClain County Animal Response Team (McCART) processed 102 animals in the first 24 hours.
As the number of displaced pets mounted, emergency shelters were created and a process put in place to reunite pets with owners. “The animals were found, triaged and sent to the most appropriate receiving station,” Cole says. “There they were photographed and put on the Facebook page.”
Facebook pages were created for triage centers and shelters, then populated with images of dogs and cats. “Back in ’99 we didn’t have Facebook like we have now,” says Dustin Brown, DVM, owner of two veterinary clinics not far from Moore. “I’m so pleased with how many pets are finding their owners so quickly.”
Brown says volunteers were often able to reunite pets with their owners more quickly if pets had microchips. All animals were scanned as soon as they were received at the shelters.
Brown’s receptionist found only her dog’s broken crate after the storm–no sign of her dog at all. Then she got a phone call that her pet was alive and well with just a minor laceration on her leg.
Brown wishes more pets were microchipped. “The importance of microchipping really paid off,” he says. He plans to run a special on microchipping at his clinics to encourage more people to do it.
Kristi Scroggins, DVM, owner of Scroggins Animal Hospital in Moore, was thrilled when the American Kennel Club donated microchips for the recovery effort the Cleveland County Fair Grounds emergency shelter. “Everyone taken in is microchipped,” she says.
Brown says the combined resources of microchipping and social media have proved far more successful than in previous tornadoes. “The reuniting is going quicker than I expected with Facebook and the Internet,” he says. “It’s just one right after the other getting back with their owners. It makes it all worthwhile.”
Of course, there are still plenty more pets still waiting to be reunited. So those manning the shelters continue to call numbers scanned from microchips and post pictures of fuzzy faces on Facebook with the hope that every surviving pet will go home again. “It’s amazing to watch people who are separated from their pets,” Brown says. “They don’t care about all they’ve lost. It makes it all better when their pets are fine.”