Adopt, Don’t Shop: Why Adoption and Rescue Matter

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What Shelter Life Looks Like

Envision an animal shelter full of anxious dogs, crying out for attention. Some howling at all hours of the night, just patiently waiting for their next walk or meal. Imagine the dogs (and cats) at extra-crowded “high kill” shelters, most of whom face the horrible fate of being put down due to lack of space, resources, and homes. These dogs are waiting for someone with a big enough heart like you to come and adopt/rescue them!

The Numbers Don’t Lie

According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year (including 3.3 million dogs, and 3.2 million cats). Conservative numbers state that of those animals, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year.

That means that 670,000 dogs — or 20% of dogs that enter animal shelters — and 860,000 cats — or 27% of cats that enter animal shelters — are euthanized annually. The good news is that adoption numbers are encouraging —approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats).

 

orange tabby cat beside fawn short coated puppy

Millions of dogs and cats are euthanized at shelters every year due to lack of homes.

 

The High Cost of Breeding

So, with pet overpopulation an ongoing issue, why would anyone still purchase a dog through a breeder or pet store? Sadly, breeders’ primary interest is making a profit from breeding animals; in contrast, animal shelters and rescue organizations are dedicated to finding homes for dogs and cats rather than making money.

In fact, adoption fees are minimal particularly in comparison to the high costs charged by breeders and pet stores. Plus, nearly all pet store dogs come from horribly cruel puppy mills, which are rampant with abuse and neglect. Furthermore, just in terms of logistics, why drive many miles to an out-of-state breeder or even ship a dog on an airplane (which is not only dangerous but traumatic for animals), when you can drive just down the street and adopt an amazing pet?

Breaking Down Stereotypes

Despite common misconception, most shelter and/or rescue dogs are perfectly “normal” —happy, healthy dogs. Sadly, dogs and cats end up in shelters for many reasons. Often, their owners can no longer take care of them or are unable to keep them, so they surrender them to an animal shelter.

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Sadie, a Hurrican Harvey survivor, is just one of the many dogs adoptable through STAR.

In the case of rescue groups, the aim is to get animals, particularly dogs, out of “high kill” shelters as soon as possible, giving them a chance at life. Once out of that stressful environment, many dogs thrive in foster homes before getting adopted out to their forever homes. The importance of rescue cannot be underestimated, and the statistics only paint a partial picture of the larger issue.

In terms of placing animals in homes, shelters and rescues do their due diligence to ensure that dogs (and cats) are placed in good, appropriate homes, whereas most breeders and pet stores don’t and will sell a dog to just about anyone for a profit. Not only is this lack of oversight irresponsible, but is also a major safety issue and often ends up leading to MORE dogs in shelters as are owners find they cannot handle a particular type/size/breed of dog.

My Adoption Story

Furthermore, I can tell you from my own experience that it is SO worth it to adopt/rescue a dog. Ten years ago, my husband and I rescued our own dog from a shelter! My own dog came from a shelter ten years ago, when my husband adopted him. Our now 12-year-old pitbull/terrier mix has the same personality and spunk as he did when we first got him and he still has lots of love to give! Plus, he came to us trained with basic commands and a file full of paperwork that included basic health info, vaccination dates, microchip information, etc. Adoption made it easier to make him part of our family.

So, please — adopt, don’t shop. Visit your local animal shelter or rescue organization, in person or online. If you cannot take on the responsibility of adopting/rescuing a dog, you can always help by volunteering. Most non-profits could not function without volunteers, and many (like us!) are actually are 100% volunteer run. Other ways to help include sharing posts on social media or attending a local fundraising event to raise money for a good cause. Together we can help these animals find loving homes!

For a listing of pets available for adoption, visit our Survivor Tails website or Facebook page.

This post was written by STAR volunteer Kerry Richards. If you are interested in helping with the STAR blog, please contact marketing@survivortails.org.

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Urgent: Hurricane Relief Help Needed

Donations Needed for Generator

Our Southern rescue partners are bracing as Florence makes landfall. Many of our partners are in the path of imminent danger and will likely be without power for days or weeks after the rain and high winds.

 

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Dogs4U — in the path of Hurrican Florence — needs help for animals! 

 

 

Dog4You is a Southern rescue farm with cows, horse, and a ton of dogs. Since they cannot evacuate they are in desperate need of a generator to help them get through the aftermath of Florence. Water to care for all of these animals requires electricity and temps will be in the 90s even after the storm. Please consider donating any amount to help these animals. Two ways to help: https://fundrazr.com/11Oth1?ref=ab_5YSge_ab_2lXEABsuIe32lXEABsuIe3 or Paypal – Kristina@dog4u.org please note “for relief generators.”

Foster Homes Needed ASAP

Survivor Tails is also looking for foster homes to help take in dogs after the storm. After natural disasters, shelters are overrun with displaced dogs, strays, and surrenders. Foster homes help save lives by providing a safe outlet for dogs and cats. Please fill out an application here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSem_gZXY5rYhQRFCdagSM_kZBYRx3BWEQuxbx1t-ud6ceSNBg/viewform

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Get Your Pets Ready for Back to School

As summer ends and the kids head back to school, it is important to think about the 4-legged children in your life too!Boy heading back to school.

Dogs and cats need routines just like human children, and transitioning back to a different schedule — one that includes more alone time for them — can be tough.

The best way to avoid anxiety and possible behavioral issues is to have a plan in place to help your dogs and cats ease back into the fall and coming winter seasons.

Be Prepared

By now you know when your kids will head back to school (if they haven’t already). With that in mind begin preparing about a week (or two) before departure date to help everyone adjust. Get up earlier as you do during the school year to help your pup adjust to the new schedule.

Try to keep the rest of your pet’s routine as normal as possible with regular walks and feeding times. If feeding times change during the school year, start adjusting to the new times a week or two before so they don’t feel too many changes all at once.

Days can feel long and lonely, especially for dogs, when they have been used to human companionship. A morning walk or playtime in the yard is good bonding time and will help your pup get out some energy.

Keep Moving!

During the summer the days are longer and more people are around, which means more play time, walk time, and fun time. Once the school year starts, dogs and cats spend more time alone and get less exercise. Make sure you are keeping up with your dog’s exercise needs.

Bored dogs can gain weight and develop behavioral issues; it is not uncommon for dogs to “act out” once the kids are gone all day. Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation, so be sure to keep them active even when schedules change. While cats have a reputation for laziness, they do need exercise and stimulation as well, so don’t overlook their need for playtime.

Dog running with ball

Make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise before and after school!

A morning and afternoon walk or appropriate play time in the yard or park are often enough to keep man’s best friend happy. If you have a very active dog who needs lots of exercise and attention, consider a mid-day dog walker or doggy daycare to keep your pup busy and healthy.

Be Patient

Animals are sensitive, sentient creatures. They can sense changes and feel stress just like us, so remember to factor your faithful feline and canine companions into your changing routines.

Stressed, scared, or anxious animals can exhibit less than desirable behaviors — not because they are trying to be difficult, but because they are trying to express themselves. Stressed animals can bark, cry, pace, house soil, or becomes destructive.

stretching white cat

Cats need playtime and stimulation too!

While it would be easier If they could verbalize, if we pay attention, we can understand that they are communicating with us in different ways. Think about how you can minimize stress for your pet while you are away. Puzzle toys or food puzzle can provide great mental stimulation for bored dogs.

Soft music or quiet TV in the background can also help animals feel less alone; remember they are used to hearing noise and voices most of the stay. Stick with softer music choices and quiet television programs (think HGTV, not Cops) to help comfort. Remember, don’t select sounds that are overstimulating, which can agitate your pet.

Give Lots of Love

While it is harder for us humans, it is easier on our pets if we minimize the drama involved in our departures and arrivals.

When you leave in the am, make sure your pets are set up for the day, say goodbye, and go. Remind your kids that over-the-top farewells can actually upset your dog or cat who will anticipate that you are leaving. When you arrive home, greet your dogs and cats with love and affection without going over the top.

When you are home, make sure Fluffy and Fido get plenty of attention and tons of treats! Try to keep the rest of their routine as regular as possible so that they don’t feel overwhelmed. Ensure they are happy and safe by petting them, snuggling with them, playing with them, walking them, and talking to them. 

Small child playing with dog.

Reduce back-to-school stress with proper transitions, regular routines, and appropriate playtime.

Remember, slowly transitioning back to the school routine, rather than lots of changes happening all at once, can help reduce anxiety in dogs and cats who have gotten used to having their pals around all summer. 

Fostering 101

Foster Pic for Blog Post

Fostering 101

A quick scroll through social media and you will likely see tons of pets in need of foster homes. Fostering animals is critically important to saving lives. And while many people want to help, we understand there is a lot of information to digest. Here we answer some fostering FAQs and highlight ways you can help.

What Fostering Means

Fostering a pet means taking them into your home for a limited period of time before they find their forever home. Survivor Tails is a foster-based rescue which means that we do not have a shelter location. All of our animals are in foster homes before they are adopted out. That means we could not survive without appropriate foster parents for our pups — you literally help us save lives!

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Fostering an animal can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the situation and the dog’s age, breed, temperament, and other criteria. Some pups take longer to adjust to their new surroundings, so patience is essential when fostering an animal. We currently foster in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and we adopt out to both of those states as well as New Hampshire.

Why Fostering is Important

Without foster homes, we would not be able to rescue dogs (and cats) from high-kill areas, particularly in the south. By providing a safe home to dogs and cats, you are the first stop on the path to a new life. Many of the animals we rescue have been through some tough times are unsure of what love and happiness feel like. By welcoming them into your home and family, you are offering them hope and kindness. Plus, most dogs do not thrive in a shelter environment; many animals open up much better in a home.

Fosters are the much-needed bridge to a forever family for our animals — and sometimes the first kind word and soft touch they ever experience.

What Is Expected of Me?

Once you welcome a foster pet into your home, you are expected to love, care for, and be patient with the new (temporary) addition to your family. You will need to walk and play with your dog, help them establish a routine for potty breaks, and help teach them the basics. Since many dogs come from uncertain situations, the specific needs are determined by the individual dog; for example, some dogs need more help learning commands while other might need a refresher in housebreaking. As mentioned above, being patient and caring are critical to helping your furry pal adjust.

You will also provide updates, feedback, and photos of your foster friend. The more information we have on a dog, the better job we can do finding him or her the best possible forever home. We want all of our dogs and their people to be happy, so keeping us up-to-date on behavior, training, and temperament is essential to our cause. We LOVE pictures and videos — and so do potential adopters!

Shelter dog fosters needed

Is Fostering Expensive?

Not at all. In fact, it is pretty much free! Survivor Tails covers all expenses except for food and toys. All animals arrive fully vetted and spayed/neutered if of age. If anything happens and your foster becomes ill or injured, we cover all veterinary costs. We also provide the foster pup’s ID tag, leash, martingale collar, harness, and a carabiner clip. We can also supply a crate if needed. Plus, we offer plenty of instructions and support to help your new buddy adjust to your home.

Why Should I Foster?

It’s no secret that dogs are the best! And, science has proven that people with pets are happier and live longer. Perhaps you can’t commit to adopting right now; fostering is an excellent way to get some furry love and help an animal in need. Plus, there is no better feeling than helping an animal in need!

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Ready to Save a Life?

Great, here are some ways to proceed:

Questions? Feel free to reach out to foster@survivortails.org for more information. We have lots of info to share with potential fosters and adopters.

Ready to fill out a foster application? You can find one here!

Want to see some of the dogs (and cats) in need of a foster home? Visit our Facebook album! More of a cat person? Fear not! While we tend to need more homes for dogs, we love to help our feline friends as well!

Can’t foster, but still want to help? Please start by sharing this post and consider making a much-appreciated financial donation.

Also, check out our website check out our website and social media pages for more information!

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Keep Your Furry Friends Safe During Fourth Festivities

 

July 4th safety

Independence Day is known for sun and fun — barbeques, pool parties, and fireworks. But did you know that the 4th of July is a really scary holiday for pets? In fact, more pets go missing on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year! That is because the loud, overwhelming noises and unfamiliar surrounding can be terrifying for dogs and cats.

Here are some safety tips to help you and furry friends to have a happy and safe holiday.

Preparation and Prevention

The best first step to a happy holiday is to be prepared. Fireworks might be fun for you, but the loud noises are terrifying for many animals, especially dogs. While you are celebrating, chances are your dog is panicking.

Be sure that your pets are microchipped and that your contact information is up to date. Make sure your dog is wearing identification information. It is also a good idea to have a current picture of your dog with you. (This should be easy since we know that just like us you all have 500 pix of your pets on your phone!)

If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, make sure that they are chipped and are wearing a break-away collar with identification. Better, yet, keep cats inside on and around Independence Day for their own safety.

 

Hund mit Kätzchen

For their own safety, keep dogs and cats indoors during cookouts and fireworks. Allow them time to enjoy the great outdoors before the festivities begin.

 

When letting your dogs out, be sure that your yard is fenced securely and/or that your animal has on a proper harness and leash. When frightened, the “fight or flight” instinct takes over, and many dogs take off, attempting to run to safety. Never leave dogs outside unattended, even in a fenced area.

If your pet does go missing, don’t panic. Follow some simple steps to help get him or her home safe. Lost Dogs of America has multiple resources devoted specifically to Fourth of July.

Party Smarts

If you plan to attend some cookouts or parties on the Fourth, it might be a good idea to leave Fido or Fluffy at home. As mentioned above, unfamiliar surroundings, lots of new people, and loud noises can be super scary even for otherwise calm dogs.

Plus, there will be plenty of food and snacks around. While we all want to spoil our pups, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Too many treats and table scraps (often from well-meaning friends and family) can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. And, many common foods are actually toxic to animals. And, many common foods are actually toxic to animals.].

With so much going on, it can be tough to keep a constant eye on your pooch, which is why sometimes dogs simply wander off. If you have a chill dog who does well at parties, be sure to keep a close eye on them at all times, ensure they have access to fresh water and shade, keep them securely leashed, and make sure they don’t get too many treats!

Home Alone

If you do leave your dog(s) at home, make sure that they are safe and comfortable. Be sure they have plenty of fresh water and AC or fans to keep them cool. Nervous dogs pant and pace so they need be kept well hydrated.

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Be sure your pets have plenty of fresh water and access to shady areas when they are outside. When indoors, fresh water and fans are a must!

Consider leaving the TV or music on to help drown out the scary noises outside. Many people find success with crating their dogs or confining them to a safe, escape-proof room. Be sure your pup has access to their favorite bed or cozy spot. For example, one of my dogs finds solace under our bed, so we let him “hide” there where he is most comfortable when he gets nervous.

There are plenty of herbal calming treats available with natural ingredients such as chamomile and lavender that can help dogs relax during scary times. In extreme cases, talk to your veterinarian about medication or holistic treatment options to help keep your dog or cat calm over the holiday season.

Compression vests, such as the Thundershirt or similar, can also be very helpful for calming anxious or fearful dogs.

Make Your Own Fun

If you have an animal who is especially terrified of firework festivities, consider staying home with your furry friend.

As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog, so plan ahead. During the day, take your dog for a nice long walk, go to the park, or have a playdate. Letting your dog(s) run around, play, and romp during the day is a great way to ensure they will be tired later on.

 

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To help your dog relax during fireworks, be sure to exercise them earlier in the day so they can run around and get out some energy. This will ensure they are tired later on in the evening.

 

As the evening approaches, make sure your dog eats dinner and uses the bathroom before the fireworks and festivities begin. If you plan to administer calming medication or treats to your pets, always follow instructions and allow time for them to kick in.

Be sure to keep windows closed (especially if you leave your pooch home alone) since open windows let in more noise and insect screens will NOT contain your pet. Dogs and cats can easily escape from open windows. Turn up the TV or soothing music and snuggle on the couch with your favorite buddy and let them know they are safe.

Although Independence Day is technically only one day a year, people tend to celebrate for a week or so before and after. So be sure that you are adequately prepared to keep your dogs and cats happy and safe during this holiday season.

Health Benefits of Having a Pet

By: Erin Ford

Pet owners are well aware of the many benefits of pet ownership — unconditional love,

something to cherish at the end of the day, a being to care for beyond yourself. Beyond those fulfilling, life-affirming reasons, there are some tangible health benefits to being a pet owner. Below I’ve outlined some of the most common health gains that come from owning a pet.

 

  • Less stress and lower blood pressure

 

When petting a cat or dog, you brain can release the chemical oxytocin, which results in happiness and bonding. But you don’t even need to pet the animal to activate that chemical release. This study showed that even having a pet present during a stressful event helped people relax. The conclusion made was that people see their pets as supportive parts of their lives, and having them by their side during a challenging time was reassuring. This study, focused on hypertension, found that pet ownership helped with blood pressure during a stressful event more than a certain pharmaceutical drug.

 

  • Less anxiety, which decreases pain

 

Whenever you feel as though nothing’s going right in life — just look at your pet. No matter what mess-ups, challenges, or disappointments are going on in your life, your pet will still have unconditional love for you. As long as they have your love, some food, and a warm place to sleep, they are happy. Realizing this may help pull you out of an anxiety attack or a gloomy mood. The presence of pets is scientifically shown to decrease anxiety and can help with chronic pain. College campuses across the country bring therapy dogs onto campus, especially during finals week, to ease students stress and anxiety. (Here is a heartwarming article about the great impact service dogs have.) In addition, there are many therapy animals that people depend on for anxiety. This article is about Otitis the rescue cat, who in turn, rescued his owner in helping her with her severe anxiety. This study from Loyola University found that patients recovering from total joint replacement surgery who receive animal-assisted therapy (AAT) require less pain medication than those who do not experience this type of therapy.

 

 

Pets can be a great motivator to get outside and get active. Dogs need to be walked at least twice a day, which can motivate their owners. There have been times when I would have much rather snuggled on the couch under a blanket, but I couldn’t let my dog down. It benefits both you and your pup, as getting some fresh air and your heart pumping is an important part of each day. You can explore new places and go on hikes with your companion, so you’re never lonely. These outings can potentially introduce you to new people. If you take your dog to the dog park, you have a community of fellow dog-lovers to get to know. So, with your pet, you are introduced to new places and people.

While we may feel firsthand the emotional and mental health benefits that pet provide, just know that the next time you snuggle, pet, or walk your four-legged friend, your body will thank you for it!

You can read more on this topic by visiting:

 

Benefits of Adopting an Older Pet

4 reasons

By: Erin Ford

When thinking of adopting a pet, many people gravitate towards the undeniably adorable puppies and kittens. When in shelters, they’re adopted incredibly quickly and effortlessly. But one thing that many people don’t consider is adopting an older pet. These animals are more often than not overlooked at shelters, waiting all the while for a new home. There are so many incredible benefits to adopting an older pet — below are the top 4!

  1. Predictable personality

 

 

When you adopt a puppy or kitten, you can’t be sure that their personality and needs mesh with your lifestyle. When adopting a pet that’s grown, you can already get a sense of their personality. Maybe they’re a lap cat who just wants to snuggle, or a dog who loves outdoor adventures. When you know what you’re getting, you can pick one that fits with what you’re looking for.

Bonus: Many older pets adopted out of the shelter can develop a new and improved demeanor once they come home. Spending months in a cage in a loud environment can be taxing. But once the pet is brought to a warm, loving home, they are less stressed out and start to come out of their shell. So sometimes, it can only get better!

  1. Trained and housebroken

Most of these pets have had homes before, so someone else has done the hard work of training the pet. Potty training is a lot of work, and for the most part,  if you adopt an adult dog, they’ll be accident-free. These pets are also more likely to know commands and right from wrong (no jumping on the counter!). Some pets are used to the family dynamic, and may already be used to spending time with kids, too!

  1. More calm and relaxed

One word that’s synonymous with puppies and kittens is ENERGETIC. Caring for them is similar to caring for a toddler. Kittens sprint throughout the house at all hours of the night, and puppies will eat almost anything off the floor. While this is just a part of pet ownership, for some that phase can be too much to handle. A pet that’s already grown has calmed down from that level of bursting energy, and are more easy going. Senior cats and dogs still need to be walked and/or played with, but they also appreciate naps, lounging in the sunlight, and being pet.

  1. Extremely grateful

Most importantly, adopting a senior pet is giving the animal comfort in its older years. Many senior animals in shelters don’t have too much time left, and those final years shouldn’t be spent in a cage. They should be spent relaxing with a loving family in a peaceful home.

When you bring these pets home, they are elated and so grateful to you for rescuing them. You’ve giving them a second chance at life.

If you’d like to see more on the impact of adopting a senior pet, take a look at some of the heartwarming links below.

This woman who adopted a senior cat, and he will not sleep unless she’s holding his paw!

This woman dedicates her life to finding homes for senior dogs.

‘No dog should die alone’: Photographer promotes senior pet adoption
Family adopted a 20 year old cat from the shelter, never expected how much love he had left to give
Man Devotes His Life To Adopting Old Dogs Who Can’t Find Forever Homes

5 Feline Diseases that are Preventable by Simple Vaccinations

 

by Traci Raley

cat-kitten-pet-cuteKitten season is upon us again!  That became evident to me last week when my husband brought home an orphaned kitten that he found at the job site where he was working.  It was good timing though.  Our other cats are all over the age of 8, and we had been threatening for awhile to bring home a new kitten to chase them around and keep them on their toes!  Because it’s been awhile since we’ve had a kitten in the house, I decided to do some reading to refresh my memory on kitten healthcare and vaccinations.  

Vaccinations protect cats and dogs against some nasty viral diseases, and can also protect their caregivers against unnecessary vet visits and large vet bills down the road.  The three most common vaccines for kittens are rabies, FVRCP, and FeLV.  By keeping up with your kitten’s vaccination schedule, these are some of the diseases you are protecting her against.  

  1. Rabies

This one is probably the most important, as rabies is zoonotic (it can be passed to humans) and is almost always fatal.  The rabies virus is passed through the saliva of an animal that is already infected, usually through a bite or open wound.  The virus then enters the nerves where it travels to the brain and then the salivary glands.  If your pet becomes infected with rabies, you will first notice changes in his or her behavior, followed by hyperactivity and unprovoked aggression.  This will soon progress into paralysis, respiratory failure, and death.  Recognizable symptoms include difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, and paralysis in the back legs.  There is no known cure for rabies.

2. Rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpesvirus)

Rhinotracheitis is one of three viral infections covered by the FVRCP vaccine.  It is caused by a strain of the herpesvirus that is unique to felines.  Infection with this virus leads to a highly contagious upper respiratory disease that can be spread to other cats by direct contact or sneezing.  Symptoms can include sneezing, watery eyes, discharge from the nose and eyes, and fever.

3. Feline Calicivirus

This virus is also covered by the FVRCP vaccine.  Like the feline herpesvirus, it causes a severe upper respiratory tract infection, but it can also cause ulcers to form in your cat’s mouth.  It is transmitted by direct contact.

4. Feline Panleukopenia

Panleukopenia is the third disease that is covered by the FVRCP vaccine.  This disease is caused by the feline parvovirus, which is similar to the parvovirus that infects dogs.  This virus will cause vomiting, anorexia, foul-smelling diarrhea and dehydration.

     5. Feline Leukemia

The FeLV vaccine is usually only recommended for outdoor cats or cats who are likely to come in contact with the virus, as it can only be transmitted through close contact.  Symptoms of the disease can include anorexia, weight loss, anemia, diarrhea, and kidney problems.  Cats with feline leukemia need to be housed separately from other cats.  There is no cure for feline leukemia, but symptoms can be managed with anti-viral and other drugs.

More information on these vaccines can be found at http://www.petmd.com/cat/centers/kitten/health/evr_ct_kitten_vaccination_schedule, or by contacting your veterianarian.
Sources

http://www.petmd.com/cat/centers/kitten/health/evr_ct_kitten_vaccination_schedule

Common Diseases of Companion Animals by Alleice Summers, 2002, ISBN 0-323-01260-4

 

Meet Bella Claire!

unnamedBy: Michelle Pincus

Bella Claire is a beautiful 3 ½ year-old, female Pitbull/Hound mix who weighs 40lbs and is as sweet as sweet can be! A petite southern belle, she has a lot of energy and loves to run, play fetch or take casual walks on the beach. She loves car rides and will happily keep you company. When it’s time to take a break and snuggle, Bella Claire will save you a spot on the couch, right next to her! She loves belly rubs and hugs!

Keeping with her southern roots, this belle of the ball is extremely well-mannered and is working on her housetraining and leash walking with her foster. She can sit on command and is overall very obedient and food motivated. Bella Claire is very friendly with adults, older children and well behaved dogs, with proper introductions, of course! At this time, we are unsure about cats.

unnamed (1)Last month, Bella Claire was on the radio!  Check out her “interview” here.

If you are interested in welcoming Bella Claire into your family, please fill out an application at survivortails.org or email adoptions@survivortails.org with any questions.

Please note: We can only adopt in MA, CT and NH.

 

Keep your pup busy, while you’re busy

As much as we hate it, we have to leave our pets home alone while we go to work. If you’re anything like me, you feel guilty that you have to leave your dog for hours. So what can you do to keep your pet occupied during the day? Here are a few suggestions that I’ve found helpful.

Bella Claire

Bella Claire is available to adopt!

First, daycare. Yup, just like children, pets can go to daycare. And yes, they can get expensive, but many places offer package options and/or incentives for referring friends. My dog goes to daycare a few times a week. This way, my wallet isn’t sucked dry and my dog is getting good socialization as well as constant supervision, and constant access to water and grass. Here are a few places that I was able to find through a simple google search. I do recommend checking out the facility before signing your pet up to ensure the daycare is up to your standards. Some places are 100% concrete and others keep dogs separated all day. Each dog is different so it’s important to find a place that will fit your budget and your dog’s personality.

Similarly, hiring a dog walker can be a great benefit for dogs who may not socialize well or maybe don’t have high activity level. By hiring a dog walker you can get a more personalized schedule, as well as love and attention that is 100% directed to your dog. Local dog walkers can be found via a internet search, this does require a little more work on your part, but I also recommend using Care.com. Care.com allows you to search through dog walkers in your area and see their resumes, pay requirements and personal schedule.

Note: It also never hurts to get to know the local kids in your community, kids tend to get out of school before the work day ends and you don’t have to pay as much as professional! (speaking as a former after school dog walker).

zelda

Zelda is looking for her forever home!

And finally, a mind stimulating toy or puzzle can keep your dog busy and wear them out! Toys such as a frozen peanut butter filled kong, treat filled puzzle games or even a new toy. A kong can keep my dog busy for an hour or more. I give one to my pup if it’s a rainy day or if I know I won’t make it home for lunch. Once he gets a sniff of the peanut butter, he immediately forgets I’m leaving the house. I recommend buying two kongs, that way one is always in the freezer ready to go. Puzzles also give dogs a good break from the mundane. Figuring out how to move the pieces around in order to get a treat will keep a dog mentally stimulated and out of your hair. You can pick up puzzles from your local pet store like Petco. Another simple idea is to keep a “rainy day toy,” I keep a new toy hidden away for a day where I’m busy or the weather isn’t cooperating. Just breaking out a brand new ball or rope is so exciting for my dog, I can leave him running laps around the house in excitement.

Note: Puzzles and kongs are not recommended for all dogs. If your dog likes to destroy and swallow pieces of toys, it is not recommended to leave your dog unattended with toys or bones.