From Trash to Treasure
Below is the complaint and how it read when it came into the NJ SPCA:
“…..dog was running loose, came to her car and jumped in. Some man came and grabbed the dog and said “it’s mine.” He pulled the dog out of the car and kicked the dog and drug it into the house. She said the dog was trembling and very skinny”
When the NJ SPCA officer went to the location to investigate the above complaint, the officer found a young yellow Labrador named Blaze tied up out back with no food, no water and absolutely no protection from the weather. He was very thin with his hips and ribs protruding. Despite his condition, he happily wagged his tail and jumped up and down at the end of his chain in hopes of having someone pet him.
A warning was written to the owner who was told to get Blaze to a vet due to his overall physical condition and to provide him with food, water and shelter. The woman told the officer that the dog was not hers, it belonged to her husband who was in the hospital and when he got out later that day, they would take care of it.
Several follow-up visits were made to the location to make sure that Blaze was being provided food and water and to insure that he had been taken in for veterinary care as ordered. A short time after the last follow-up visit, the NJ SPCA officer received a call from a woman stating "I need you to come get this dog, my husband has been thrown out and I don’t want Blaze."
The NJ SPCA officer made a few calls and found someone willing to take Blaze into their home rather than taking him to a shelter. Arrangements were made to have Blaze picked up and transported to his new foster family.
While in foster care, Blaze received medical care, good food to eat and clean water to drink. He lived inside and learned what it was to be loved and well cared for.
After a few months of tender loving care, Blaze was ready to find his permanent home. He was put up for adoption and before long, a family saw him and knew that they wanted him to become a member of their family.
Today, Blaze lives the life that all pets should. He is loved, well cared for and a true member of a loving family.
DID YOU KNOW that NJ SPCA is a Non Profit 501c3? That they receive NO Federal, State or local funding? That all funding for NJ SPCA comes from fines and donations?
The above article "From Trash to Treasure" written by Tracie Williams ran in the Burlington County Times on Tuesday, December 20th, 2010 on the Paws & Claws, Wings & Thing's page under the column heading Sniper's Snip-Pets. All rights reserved.
Choosing a Trainer for Your Best Friend
It seems that there are new dog trainers and facilities popping up everywhere. Since there are no state or federal licensing requirements for dog trainers, how do you know which trainer/facility would be best suited to work with you and your dog and which “trainers” are just out to get your money? Where would you begin? Here are a few suggestions to help you make the best possible decision.
- Do your homework! Talk to vets, friends, co-workers, pet store employees, people at dog parks or anyone else that you can think of who have dogs that have been trained or currently enrolled in a training program. Remember that word of mouth is the BEST advertisement for a good training establishment.
- Compile a list of trainers that you are interested in contacting. The first trainer you find may not necessarily be the best choice for you and your dog.
- Ask questions about the trainer and the training! A trainer too busy to answer questions may be too busy to solve problems or spend the individual time needed to help you with your dog. Some important questions to ask are where did the trainer get his/her experience? How long has he/she been training? Has the trainer received any professional education or received any certifications in the field of dog training? How does the trainer continue his/her training education? What type of training does the trainer do? What are training class schedules? Are there any training guarantees? What will your dog learn? What special equipment, if any, will your dog need? How long is the training program? (Just to list a few)
- Observe the trainer! (If a trainer won’t allow you observe them, find another trainer!) Watch how the trainer interacts with dogs and people BEFORE enrolling. How does the trainer handle the dogs he/she works with? How does the trainer interact with his/her own dogs and how does the dog(s) respond to him/her? Are they happy dogs, fearful dogs, shy dogs, well kept and well trained dogs? Does the trainer TRULY enjoy dogs? How does YOUR dog respond to the trainer? How do YOU respond to the trainer? Are you comfortable around him/her or does he/she make you feel uneasy? Does the trainer communicate clearly with you and seem knowledgeable?
- Observe training classes BEFORE enrolling! (If a trainer won’t allow you to observe a class, find another trainer!) Are lessons conducted in an orderly fashion or is there mass chaos? Do handlers seem to be enjoying themselves? Are there handlers having problems with their dogs with no help in sight? Are classes overly crowded? Are there other training staff members on hand to assist with large classes? Are the trainers prepared for classes? Are classes interesting and informative? What is the condition of the training facility and training equipment? Does the facility have any safety procedures in place?
- Remember PRICE is NOT everything. General rule of thumb “You get what you pay for!” Good instructors are not cheap. Make sure the trainer you choose is more interested in quality than quantity.
- Listen to your gut reaction! Do not deal with trainers or training facilities that make you uncomfortable.
DO PETS GRIEVE?
ABSOLUTELY, some pets do grieve the loss of their canine companion. According to Nickolas Dodman, DVM, an animal behaviorist at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, “Dogs do miss each other and mourn the loss of a friend. It is especially true when dogs are closely bonded, or where one dog relies on the other.”
Many people have noticed changes in their dogs’ behavior after a canine buddy has died. Some changes may include loss of appetite, increase or decrease in sleeping, barking and whining in a normally quiet dog. They seem lost or clingier with their owners.
What can you do to help your grieving pet? First get him/her a medical check up to make sure it is not a health issue. If the vet gives your dog a clean bill of health, one of the following ideas may help:
- Take your dog for long walks. Try new places where scenes and scents are different.
- Give your dog a daily massage. It is quality, hands-on time with your best friend.
- Start a new activity. Agility, rally and fly ball, to name a few, are exciting doggie sports and we humans enjoy them too!
- If you are going out to run a few errands, take your dog with you. Most dogs enjoy those car rides…even if they are short ones. Just remember NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR IN WARM WEATHER! Low temperature days with bright sunshine in a car with the windows up can be fatal to your dog.
- Plan play times with friends that have friendly dogs or investigate doggie day cares for a couple of hours of free play for your dog.
Most of all, be patient with your dog. Give him/her enough time to recover from the loss. Most dogs should be back to their “old” selves in two to three weeks. If not, see your veterinarian.
Did you know that not all dogs are born swimmers?
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise and play for dogs but not all dogs are born swimmers. Some breeds cannot instinctively stay afloat and swim because of their body structure- their build, legs, high muscle or heavy weight. Some breeds that may have difficulty in the water are the Basset Hounds, Boston Terriers, Dachshunds, Greyhounds, Corgis, Pugs, Scotties, West Highland Terriers, Dobermans, Mastiffs, Great Danes and Boxers.
If you're planning on making swimming a regular part of your dog’s routine, a canine life jacket may be a very valuable purchase. Canine life jackets keep your dog afloat if they are accidentally knocked into the water or if they become tired quickly while swimming. Canine life jackets are also great to use if your dog is nervous or lacks confidence in the water.
Pool Safety- If you have a swimming pool, train your dog how to get in and, especially, how to get out. Many dogs drown in pools because they panic and exhaust themselves trying to find their way out of the water.
Remember---never leave your dog alone in a body of water.
In addition to regular grooming and bathing, keeping your dog's ears clean is the first step to avoiding painful ear infections. Be warned, however, that too frequent and overly vigorous inner ear washes may be damaging to the inner ear. Checking your dog's ears at least once a week will help ensure that they are kept healthy and that any infections that develop are quickly detected. If you suspect that your dogs’ ears are infected or if they smell bad, you should have the dog looked at by a vet so that medication can be prescribed if needed. Your veterinarian will determine and advise you on proper care procedure for your dog.
HOT CARS ARE DEATH TRAPS FOR YOUR PET!
We have all seen it - Someone who has gone into a store and left their pet in the car. Even mild days can be dangerous to a pet left in a vehicle. I found the following article and wanted to share it with our reades.
(May 18, 2010) – United Animal Nations (UAN), a national nonprofit animal protection organization, is imploring pet owners to avoid leaving their dogs in hot cars this summer – a practice that can lead to serious illness and even death.
“Often people leave their dogs in the car while they shop or run errands, but doing so when the weather is warm can literally be a death sentence for your pet,” said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth.
Forsyth offered five reasons why leaving a dog in a hot car can be deadly:
1. Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet.
2. Even on seemingly mild days, an enclosed car can be deadly. In a Stanford University study, when it was 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature climbed to 116 degrees within one hour.
3. Enclosed cars heat up quickly. In a study by San Francisco State University, when it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes.
4. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.
5. Studies show that cracking the windows has little effect on a car’s internal temperature.
Bottom line: If you are going to be making stops, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR PET AT HOME!
The Furminator-Does it REALLY work?
In one word YES. The Furminator works wonders for the majority of dog and cat breeds. It removes loose undercoat hair with minimal effort. It works especially well on heavy shedding breeds such as Germans Shepherds, Huskies and Chows.
The Furminator comes in 3 sizes (small, medium, large) and ranges in price from $19.99-$59.99 depending on size and retailer. (The best prices can be found by spending a few minutes searching the internet)
Choosing a Boarding Facility
You want your beloved pet to be safe and comfortable during those times that you are away and he/she must be left behind. Would you know what to look for when choosing a boarding facility for your pet or would you pick the facility closest to your home or with the lowest rates?
If you have never boarded before or if you are looking for a new boarding facility, begin by asking friends, family, veterinarians and dog trainers who they recommend. You can also check the Yellow Pages under “Kennels & Pet Boarding.”
Also, find out if your state requires boarding kennel inspections. If so, ask the facilities you are considering to show you their certificate showing they meet state standards. You can also call the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against any kennel you are considering.
ALWAYS visit the boarding facility before booking your reservation. Some of the key items to look for and to ask during your visit: Does the facility look and smell clean? Is there sufficient ventilation and light? Does each dog have an adequately sized indoor/outdoor run and an exercise schedule? Will bedding be provided to allow dogs to rest off concrete floors? Is the temperature in the kennel area comfortable? Are cats kept in an area away from dogs? How often are pets fed? What does the facility feed? Can the owner bring a special food? If yes, is there a separate charge to feed it? Is there a vet on standby? Are there other pet related services available such as grooming and/or training? Are pets required to be current on vaccinations, including Bordetella? Does the staff seem knowledgeable and caring? Finally, ask about rates and any additional charges for services such as medication administration, exercise and early pick-up/drop-off.
Your pet depends on you to take good care of him/her, even when you go out of town. Make sure you have done your homework prior to boarding to insure your pets comfort and your peace of mind.