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Happy Tales Blog

How to Care for Outdoor Cats in Winter

feralcatshelterShelter, food, and water are especially important to stray and feral cats in cold weather.

Who are those cats you see outside on cold days? They may be pets whose owners let (or put) them outside.

Or they could be community cats, a group that includes ferals (who are afraid of people) and strays (who’ve been lost or abandoned). No matter how resourceful these outdoor cats are, they need help surviving winter.

Follow our tips for making sure your local outdoor cats have shelter, food and water during the cold months.

Give outdoor cats shelter from the cold

Yes, their thickened winter coats help feral and stray cats weather winter’s chill, but they still need warm, dry, well-insulated and appropriate-sized shelters.

It’s cheapest to build your own shelters, and there are many plans and instructions that can help you get started.

You may find inexpensive or free materials by asking building-supply stores or contractors if they have scrap lumber. Ask friends, neighbors and coworkers for used dog houses, which can be modified to make good shelters. You can even use a storage bin from the local hardware store.

Creating a life-saving shelter for outdoor cats can be easy and inexpensive.

A shelter must trap the cats’ body heat to warm its interior. If the shelter is too large, it will be difficult for the cats’ body heat to keep the space warm.

Straw is the best material to put in a shelter because it allows cats to burrow. Pillowcases loosely stuffed with packing peanuts and shredded newspaper also work.

Keep things clean: Replace straw and newspaper if moist or dirty, and wash and re-stuff pillowcases as needed.

However, if it’s really cold where you live and you can’t check on the shelters regularly, don’t use the above insulations. Instead, “wallpaper” the shelter’s inner walls and floor with Mylar. It reflects back body heat, and it’s okay for cats to lie on it.

Don’t use blankets, towels or folded newspaper; they absorb body heat and chill cats who are lying on them. Forego hay, too, which may irritate noses and cause allergic reactions.

feralcatshelter2Where to place food and water

Protect outdoor cats from hunger and thirst this winter by keeping their food and water from freezing.

If you can do so without compromising the privacy and security of the shelter, place food and water near the shelter so the cats won’t have to travel far.

A way to protect food and water is to place two shelters—doorways facing each other—two feet apart. Then create a canopy between them by securing a wide board from one roof to the other. Then put the food and water under the canopy.

What you put food and water in can make a difference. A thick plastic water container that’s deep and wide is better-insulated than a thin plastic or ceramic container. A solar-heated water bowl can prevent or delay water and canned food from freezing.

If shelters are well-insulated, you can put bowls of dry or moist food inside them, far from the doorway. Even if the moist food freezes, the cats’ body heat will defrost it when they hunker down in their shelter.

Don’t put water bowls inside the shelter. Water is easily spilled, and a wet shelter will feel more like a refrigerator than a warm haven.

 

SOURCE – Humane Society of the United States
SOURCE – image 1
SOURCE – image 2

Ebola and Pets

ebola-and-petsWith the spread of Ebola in the United States, many pet parents are concerned about the risk of their animals becoming infected with the disease or becoming infected from their pet.  At this time, the Centers for Disease Control has no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of the disease being spread to people by their animals.

Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has sent the following information to SCRAPS regarding the risks of Ebola being spread through contact with pets:

  • There is no evidence that pets become sick with Ebola from routine contact with people who are infected with the virus.
  • There is no evidence that pets can transmit Ebola to humans through routine contact.
  • It is suggested that, in the rare instance that a pet is determined to be potentially exposed, the pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian in consultation with the Washington State Public Health Veterinarian and Spokane County Public Health.
  • A potentially exposed pet should have limited contact with people for a minimum of three weeks from the time of potential exposure to the virus.
  • Only a few species of mammals (for example, humans, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus.

Currently, the CDC is working with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the US Department of Agriculture to develop more specific guidance for pet owners and veterinarians. SCRAPS will receive that information as soon as it becomes available.

 

SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, October 22, 2014

Frightening Statistics: Keeping Your Pets Safe This Halloween!

Classic-Jack-o-Lantern1Halloween is supposed to be fun and a little frightening, but the holiday can turn downright scary if your pet runs away.

Sudden noises and strange-looking costumes can spook your pet, causing them to bolt through the open door.  The best idea is to always adorn your pet with a collar and identification tag, along with microchipping them.

“If you haven’t already licensed and microchipped your pet, now is the time – especially your cat,” said Nancy Hill, the Regional Director of SCRAPS.  “SCRAPS reunites about 60% of dogs with their owners.  That statistic for cats is only about 3% due to the lack of licensing and microchipping in cats.”

scaredycatHere are some extra precautions to take this Halloween:

  • Gauge your pet’s typical reaction while greeting visitors and decide if putting up a baby gate or leaving your dog or cat in a back room of the house would keep them calmer throughout the evening.
  • Your pet’s Halloween garb should not constrict his movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Be sure to try on costumes in advance—and if your furry friend seems distressed, you’ll want to ditch the mini-pirate hat and vest.
  • That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.  Chocolate in all forms — especially dark or baking chocolate — can be very dangerous for dogs and cats.  Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems.
  • A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

 

SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, October 21, 2014

Rabbits, Roosters, and Billy Goats (Oh my!) – Adoption Event at SCRAPS

Animals rescued from a recent seizure in Deer Park are up for adoption at a special event on Wednesday, October 1st from 2 – 6 p.m. at the Spokane County Fairgrounds.

Adults interested in adopting any of these animals as a family pet can come to the Spokane County Fairgrounds through the Broadway entrance.

Currently available for adoption:
60 Rabbits
14 Roosters
2 Billy Goats

bunny billygoats rooster

A $25 adoption fee is requested for rabbits, $10 for roosters and $50 for the Billy goats. The adoption fee helps recover the cost of care and feeding of the animals during their holding period. Donations to the SCRAPS Animal Medical Fund are also greatly appreciated.

The other animals taken in the seizure have been adopted through SCRAPS rescue partners.

SCRAPS Animal Protection Officers executed a search warrant at 503 W. Bridges Road #10 in unincorporated north Spokane County on September 26th. A SCRAPS officer was at the location and made the following observations: Animals without water or the water provided was dirty with green algae or feces. The property was covered in garbage, hazardous debris and animal waste. Some animals had injuries and were covered with flies. Additionally, animals were in small cages with no shelter in unsanitary conditions – standing in their own waste.

Officers are investigating for violations of the Revised Code of Washington:
• Animal Cruelty in the first degree
• Animal Cruelty in the second degree
• Confinement in an Unsafe Manner

A citizen called SCRAPS and was concerned about animals that were being kept in unsanitary living conditions and that there were dead animals.

Animal Cruelty in the First degree (RWC 16.52.205) is a Class C Felony with 5 years confinement and/or a $10,000 fine. RCW 16.52.207 indicates animal cruelty in the 2nd degree and is a gross misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and/or a $5000 fine. RCW 16.52.080 indicates confinement in an unsafe manner is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

 

SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, September 30, 2014

A Year of Cats!

scraps logoA record 355 cats and kittens have come to SCRAPS in the first two weeks of September.  Last year during the same period, SCRAPS impounded 150 cats and kittens.

“This September we have had an overwhelming number of cats brought in,” said Nancy Hill, Director of SCRAPS.  “If we adopted one cat per day, it would take almost a year to empty out our cat room.”

Unfortunately, SCRAPS doesn’t have a year to find homes for these animals.   So far this summer, over 500 kittens have been placed into the SCRAPS foster care program.  These babies are so young they must be hand-fed.  As they become available for adoption, they will continue to keep the cages full in our new facility.

All of the animals taken into SCRAPS are from the Spokane area – SCRAPS does not import animals from out of the area into our shelter.  These cats and kittens are from Spokane and need homes here in Spokane.

Please remember to spay/neuter, license and microchip your pets.

CAT SPECIAL THIS FRIDAY, SATURDAY, and SUNDAY!
The SCRAPS cat room is nearing capacity and they need the public’s help in finding homes for all of the cats and kittens in their care. They are offering a special starting Friday, September 19th through Sunday, September 21st 2014. Owners can adopt an adult cat, young cat, or kitten for $15 – the cost of a license. This includes spay/neutering, micro-hipping, vaccinations, and exam.

 

SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, 9/18/2014

Take a Walk in the Park for SCRAPS Hope Foundation!

walkintheparkIt’s time to put on your walking shoes and join SCRAPS for a fun-packed day to raise money to provide medical treatment to the homeless animals taken in by the shelter! You can walk with or without a dog, with your ‘pack’, in memory of a beloved pet, as a virtual walker, or even in honor of your cat.

A Walk in the Park on Saturday, September 27th 2014 from 10am-2pm, is a pledge walk to support the SCRAPS Hope Foundation Animal Medical Fund, which provides live-saving medical treatment, enrichment, and care to homeless dogs in our area.

Registration is free and can be done online at: SCRAPSHopeFoundation.org (or on the date of the event). Once you have registered you can collect pledges from family, friends, and coworkers to help support animals in the care of SCRAPS Hope Foundation. Registration includes a doggie bag and a chance to win prizes for you and your pooch!

A Walk in the Park will take place at Prairie View Park on Spokane’s South Hill (61st Avenue and the Palouse Highway). It will feature a Puppy Track and a Big Dog Track for kids and adults.

Don’t let this great opportunity to get out and play with your dogs for a great cause pass you by! Register now for A Walk in the Park, start collecting pledges, and see you out there on September 27th!

Heat Returns Along with Danger to Pets

scraps logoThis weekend the Spokane area enjoyed some relief from the soaring temperatures, but the forecast for the next few days shows escalating heat and that can be dangerous for pets left in a vehicle while the owner runs an errand.

The last day over 90 degrees in Spokane translated into 15 calls of dogs confined in hot cars for SCRAPS Animal Protection Officers. Two of those owners face charges and fines for leaving their dogs in vehicles that were both above 110 degrees.

“Despite repeated warnings, people are still taking their pet with them for a trip to the store,” said Nancy Hill, Regional Director of SCRAPS. “Those few seconds inside a car in the heat could be fatal for your pet – even if you open the window an inch or two.”

SCRAPS is asking the public to leave their pets at home during these extreme temperatures.

The signs of heat stoke include:
1. Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing.
2. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red.
3. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits.
4. The rectal temperature rises to 104° to 110°F (40° to 43.3°C).
5. The dog becomes progressively unsteady and passes bloody diarrhea.
6. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray.
7. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death rapidly ensue

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, July 2014)

Cats Near Capacity at SCRAPS!

scraps logoFourteen cats have become the latest residents of the SCRAPS free roaming cat room after they were surrenderedThey are all adult cats that came from one home and are in good health and ready for adoption.  They joined the already near capacity number of felines, both adults and kittens, that are in the SCRAPS cat room.

“Our new facility holds almost twice the number of cats as before, but we are still almost full in our cat room,” said Nancy Hill, Regional Director of SCRAPS.  “This has been an incredibly busy kitten season and now we are seeing more and more adult cats being surrendered including this latest group.”  The pet parent of these cats passed away and the family could not find homes for them.  The limit for pets in one house-hold is four cats and four dogs in Spokane County (and just four pets total in the City of Spokane).

To ensure that each of these cats and all of the felines at the shelter can find a forever home, SCRAPS will be holding a two-day cat adoption event.  On Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th, you can adopt a cat for free with the cost of the license, which is fifteen dollars The spay/neutering, microchipping, exam and vaccinations are all free.

“We have every age, weight, size and breed available,” said Hill.  “Our facilities are really stretched to the limit and we hope the community will help us and come find a forever friend.”

SCRAPS is open seven days a week:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 5:30 p.m.  Wednesday the shelter is open from  noon to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. SCRAPS is located at 6815 E. Trent in the Spokane Valley.

 

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, 7/25/2014)

Emergency Preparedness For Your Pets!

Preparing for an emergency for your pet.

Preparing for an emergency for your pet.

Tips to prepare your pet for an emergency.

Emergencies come in many different forms, and you may need to evacuate your home on a temporary basis or a longer, unknown amount of time.

SCRAPS urges pet owners to be prepared for any circumstance by making sure their pets are always wearing up-to-date identification in the form of a license and  microchip. “Pets can easily get lost and lose their collars in the chaos of an emergency,” said Nancy Hill, Regional Director of SCRAPS. “A microchip with current information will get your pet home.”

Preparing an Emergency Kit for your pet before disaster strikes is another way to help keep your pets safe. The kit should include:

  • food
  • water
  • medicines (with instructions) for five days
  • medical and veterinary records (many temporary boarding facilities will require proof of vaccinations)
  • carrier
  • toys
  • blanket or bed
  • litter box and litter
  • current photos of your pet(s) with description in case they get lost

Other tips include:

Make a Plan for a Shelter

Plan ahead and do research. Find out what hotels outside of your immediate area might accept pets and make a list of potential boarding facilities for your pets including phone numbers. Check with friends and relatives outside of the area to see if they would be willing to help out.

In Case You Are Not at Home

In case something should happen when you aren’t in town, make arrangements for a trusted neighbor to take your pets and meet you at a specified location. Be sure the person is comfortable with your pets and your pets are familiar with him/her, knows where your animals are likely to be, knows where your disaster supplies are kept and has a key to your home.

 

(SOURCE (text and image) – SCRAPS Hope Foundation press release, July 2014)

Top Tips for Finding a Lost Pet!

scraps logoWhen a pet goes missing it can be devastating to your family. Before you panic and give your missing pet up as gone forever, here are some tips and actions you can take that may help return to your pet to your family ASAP!

Stop by SCRAPS.
SCRAPS is the only place where a neighbor, passerby, or Animal Protection Officer will bring your lost pet. No other organization houses stray or lost animals in Spokane County. Look on our website under Impound to see if your pet has been brought to the shelter or better yet, stop by. If your pet has a license microchip, we will contact you immediately.

Begin your search right away, especially for cats.
The longer you wait to begin your search the less likely you will be reunited with your pet. Waiting for your pet to find its own way home increases the chances that your pet will travel further away or become injured.

Fill out a Lost Pet Report on the SCRAPS website.

Post a “Lost Dog/Cat” ad on the community “Lost and Found” and “Pets” section of Craigslist.
Also check for “Found” pets on Craigslist to see if your animal has been found by someone trying to find the owner. Re-post your ad every other day, since sometimes there are so any ads that yours will fall to the second page and may not be seen. WARNING: If you are contacted by someone who wants a reward for returning your pet, it may be a scam. If your pet has a license, it is considered your property. You can file a theft charge against the person holding your animal. If you are willing to pay the fee, ask for proof and meet in a public place so that you can view the animal before any money changes hands.

Ask your neighbors if they have seen your pet.
Many people place a stray animal in their garage and start looking for the owner.

Make “Lost Dog/Cat” posters and flyers.
Use bright neon paper and write “LOST DOG/LOST CAT” in large block print. Hang posters, following your town’s sign ordinances, at major intersections so that they can be seen and read by people driving by. Hand out flyers to people, hang them in store windows, and post them on bulletin boards. Hand out your flyers in a 20-block radius around your home. Flyers should have a photo of your pet, a complete description, and your phone number. “Tag” your car using a neon window marker as well. Use several bright colors and write three or four words to describe your pet.

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS informational flyer)

Full House and Sale at SCRAPS!!!

scraps logoIn a one week period from July 1st through July 6th, the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) has taken in 89 dogs and 145 cats – a total of 234 animals. That’s thirty nine animals per day for the last six days.

“Even during this busy season, that’s an unbelievable amount of incoming animals for us,” said Nancy Hill, SCRAPS Regional Director. “These pets have no identification – no license or microchip – so we must find them homes immediately.” Last year, SCRAPS took in 43 dogs and 59 cats during the same period of time and that number is considered high.

No matter how you add it up, SCRAPS is full. Every cat cage and dog pod is almost full to capacity and we are seeking the public’s help in finding new homes for the animals in our care. To ensure that each of these animals can find a forever home, SCRAPS will be holding an adoption event here at the shelter. On Tuesday, July 8th through Sunday, July 13th, you can adopt a dog or cat for free when you purchase a license. Licenses are $15 for cats and $25 for dogs. The adoption fee and the cost of the spay/neutering, microchipping, vaccinations and exam are all free.

“If you’ve been thinking about adopting a new dog, cat or kitten, please help us find good homes for these great pets,” said Hill. “Also, please remember to license and microchip your animals. It the best way to guarantee they will find their way home.” Licensing is required by law for both dogs and cats in Spokane County.

SCRAPS is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 –5:00 p.m. We are located at 6815 E. Trent in the Spokane Valley.

 

About SCRAPS:
Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is a progressive municipal animal care and protection agency serving the unincorporated areas of Spokane County, the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Deer Park, Fairfield, Liberty Lake, Millwood, and Medical Lake.

SCRAPS has deputized animal protection officers extensively trained to enforce animal laws and respond to emergency situations. SCRAPS is also active in educational and community outreach programs and is dedicated to its continued investment in innovative behavioral programs.

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release)

Furry Friends and Fireworks

independentdogTips for keeping your pets safe this Fourth of July!

As you celebrate our country’s independence this Fourth of July, make sure your pets don’t become independent from you! More pets are lost on this upcoming holiday than any other day of the year. A dogs’ hearing is ten times more sensitive than a humans and the loud noises can be especially difficult for them.

If you’re thinking of taking your dog outside to watch the fireworks with you…Think again! You and your dog will have a much more enjoyable evening if you leave the dog at home. Aside from the danger associated with your dog being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the large amount of people, loud noises and repeated flashes of light are likely to have a traumatic effect on them.

Whatever you do, don’t leave your dog in the car! Many pet owners think cracking a car window open or just running into the store for a minute is alright but it doesn’t take long for your dog to become over heated. On a 78 degree day, temperatures inside a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees – a scorching 160 degrees in the sun.

Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe!

• Go for a long walk before celebrating. If you normally take your dog out for thirty minutes, take a two-hour hike instead! This way his brain will be so tired that he won’t be able to concentrate on the fireworks.

• Keep your cat in a safe place indoors like a bedroom or bathroom with the door closed.

• Distract your dog. Once the fireworks go off, ask him to do obedience behavior and them focus on something other than the noise.

• Keep your dog on a leash. This will give you more control and help prevent your dog from running off.

• Double check to make sure your pets have enough water during the hot temperatures.

• Make sure your dog has I.D. If your dog does become lost, tags, a license and microchips can get him back to you safely.

 

(SOURCE (text and image) – SCRAPS Hope Foundation press release, June 2014)

Checklist of a Safe Summer for Your Pets!

CarterwearingmysunglassesKeep cool. Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of water when it is hot outdoors. Also make sure your pet has a shady place to escape the sun if outside and when the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your dog’s body can heat up quickly and sensitive paw pads can burn.

Spot the symptoms. The symptoms of overheating in pets can include increased heart rate, drooling, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, mild weakness, seizures, and an elevated body temperature (over 104 degrees). Elderly, overweight, and pets with heart or lung diseases are more susceptible to heatstroke. Pets with short muzzles like pugs, bulldogs, and Persian cats become overheated because they cannot effectively pant. These pet should be kept in air conditioning to stay cool.

Visit the vet. A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations. Pets should also be given a blood test for heartworm disease every year in the early spring. The deadly parasite is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and it is recommended that dogs and cats be on a monthly preventative medication year round.

Keep up-to-date. Make sure your pet’s shots are up-to-date and your license and microchip information is up-to-date. In warm weather there’s more traffic in and out of your door and more chance that your pet may get out. Without updated information, SCRAPS can not help them find their way home.

Party smarts. Summertime can be perfect for backyard barbecues or parties but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets and remember that the snacks you serve your friends should not be treats for your pet. Any change of diet – even for one meal – may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Make sure to avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol, since these are poisonous to pets.

Fireworks are not friendly. Leave pets at home when you head out for fireworks and don’t ignite fireworks around pets. Aside from sounding scary, exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and unused fireworks can be hazardous. Many fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic, and other heavy metals.

Splash safely. Do no leave dogs unsupervised around a pool as not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear a flotation device on board a boat. Rinse your dog after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from fur and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset. Also, make sure that your pet does not have access to the concentrated pool chemicals, as they are highly toxic to animals if ingested.

Love the leash. Warm weather can lead to longer walks and sometimes the summer is the first time pet owners have the opportunity to take their dog outside for extended periods. While this is exciting for both dog and dog owner, it is important that dogs always be kept on leash with a collar and ID tag to protect them from getting loose and injuring themselves or others.

 

 

(SOURCE text – SCRAPS Press Release, June 2014)
(SOURCE image – ahappypets.com)

Hot Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe!

hot dogThe official start to summer is less than a month away, but the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) wants to remind everyone how dangerous warm weather can be to pets.

On Thursday, June 5th at 11 a.m., SCRAPS Animal Protection Officers will demonstrate how quickly the inside of a car can become over heated and talk about summer safety tips at the south parking lot of the Spokane Valley Mall near the Regal Cinema. “Every summer, we respond to numerous calls of animals being left in cars,” said Nancy Hill, Regional Director of SCRAPS. “Inside a car, the temperature will rapidly increase and can overwhelm a pet in a very short time period – sometimes with fatal consequences.”

Many pet owners think cracking a window open or just running inside the store for a minute or two is alright but since dogs are unable to sweat, it doesn’t take long before an animal can become over heated. “The temperature outside doesn’t have to be in the 90’s or more for a problem to exist,” said Hill. “On a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees — and hit a scorching 160 degrees if parked in the sun.” Anyone leaving a pet in a vehicle during warm weather may be charged with confinement in an unsafe manner which is a misdemeanor and may additionally be charged with animal cruelty which could result in felony charges.

She also adds that if pets are outside, owners need to provide plenty of water and shelter from the sun. SCRAPS has free dog houses available for people who are in need of one. SCRAPS is asking anyone who sees an animal left in a car to call 477-2533 right away and help keep animals safe.

 

About SCRAPS: Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is a progressive municipal animal care and protection agency serving the unincorporated areas of Spokane County, the Cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Deer Park, Fairfield, Medical Lake, Liberty Lake, Millwood, and Cheney. SCRAPS has deputized animal protection officers extensively trained to enforce animal laws and respond to emergency situations. SCRAPS is also active in educational and community outreach programs and is dedicated to its continued investment in innovative behavioral programs.

(SOURCE – SCRAPS Press Release, 5/28/14)

SCRAPS is Moving!

Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) has begun the countdown to our move into the Regional Animal Facility at 6815 E. Trent!

Before we move, SCRAPS is looking for adopters to help us find homes for the animals in our care so we don’t have to transport them. All animals will be free with the purchase of a license; $15 for cats/kittens and $25 for dogs/puppies. The cost includes spay/neutering, vaccinations, micro chipping, license and exam. The sale starts Thursday, May 29th and runs until Sunday, June 8th.

Our current shelter at 2521 N. Flora will be closed on Tuesday, June 10th and Wednesday, June 11th in order to transport any remaining animals, office items and supplies. No licenses can be purchased nor will SCRAPS be adopting out animals. Owners can redeem their lost pets by appointment and officers will be responding to calls through our dispatch center.

On June 12th, SCRAPS will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. at the new site at 6815 E. Trent.

On June 21st, the public is invited to our official leash cutting at 9:45 a.m. during our Band Together for the Animals. The event is a free, public open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.* Guests can come see the new facility with a self-guided tour, meet animal rescue groups that help us save lives, enter for the hourly door prizes, attend animal-related seminars and more:
• Guests can bring donated clothes and make money for SCRAPS
• Find out how to make pet-friendly treats at home
• Purchase lunch at the Taco Tumbras truck
• Learn how to keep your pet safe this summer
• Attend a seminar in dog training
• Find out what to do if your pet gets lost
• Enjoy free cake for people
• Learn grooming techniques from a pro
• Stop by the kids’ craft station
• Adopt a new pet
• Bid on fabulous items during our Off Leash Online Auction at www.scrapshopefoundation.org

 

*Some of the Fox28 digital media team will be at the event so be sure to say ‘hi!’ if you attend and see them there!

About SCRAPS: Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is a progressive municipal animal care and protection agency serving the unincorporated areas of Spokane County, the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Fairfield, Deer Park, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, and Millwood. SCRAPS has deputized animal protection officers extensively trained to enforce animal laws and respond to emergency situations. SCRAPS is also active in educational and community outreach programs and is dedicated to its continued investment in innovative behavioral programs.

 

(SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, Janet Dixon)

Oldies But Goodies – Consider Adopting an Older Pet

When it comes time to adopt, most people think about a puppy or a kitten, but that may not be the best option for you and your family. With a puppy, you are taking on a twelve to twenty year commitment in the long run and a 24/7 commitment until your youngster learns some manners. “A young puppy is cute, but it requires training and supervision,” said Kathy Keeney, the Rescue Coordinator for SCRAPS.

“Adopting an older dog means you are already passed the teething years and are getting someone who is in all likelihood house trained.” Contrary to the popular expression, older animals can be taught new tricks much faster than young ones. Older dogs in particular are calmer and more focused.

You also need to consider your traits. “If you are a couch potato it makes no sense to get a high energy puppy,” said Keeney. “With an older dog, you already know the personality, size and temperament of your new family member.”

And the most important reason to adopt an older animal? You save a life. At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.

 

(Source – SCRAPS Hope Foundation “Tail Waggin’ Times” newsletter, Vol. 6-2013 Issue 2)

SCRAPS Wants YOU! To Help Transport Animals!

scrapstransport2One of the volunteer opportunities available at SCRAPS is running a transport to the west side of the state. It’s like a road trip with nine or ten of your best friends. Nine or ten furry, fuzzy, meowing, barking, whining friends.

Nine or ten friends you are helping take to new, happy, forever homes.

SCRAPS currently has dozens of partners across the state and in Canada who take dogs and cats from our shelter when we near capacity or an animal has a special need. It’s one more of the life-saving programs SCRAPS has enacted in the last few years. “We’ve become part of a great network of animal welfare organizations,” said Stephanie Kuritz, SCRAPS Transport Coordinator. “Our goal is to double the number of transports we have as we double the intake of animals we have in the regional system.”

scrapstransportThis increase of transports has become critical as other animal agencies in the Spokane area have begun importing cats and dogs from out of the area. “Often times, we have transports taking animals to an area where another agency has just taken animals from,” said Janet Dixon, the Development and Public Relations Manager at SCRAPS. “It means that SCRAPS has to work twice as hard just to maintain the same live release rate for our animals.”

In 2013, nearly 2,000 animals were sent to partner agencies like NOAH. NOAH, the Northwest Organization for Animal Help, is located in Stanwood, Washington and has become one of the most relied upon agencies. Thanks to them and other animal welfare organizations, SCRAPS has achieved one of the highest live release rates of any municipal agency.

scrapstransport3Other ways SCRAPS increases their live release rate includes adding more permanent off-site adoption centers such as Petco and PetSmart and holding more outreach events in the area.

To volunteer with the transport program, call Stephanie Kuritz at 477-2532. To help provide funds to the transport program, send your donation (marked “transport”) to the SCRAPS Hope Foundation.

 

 

(Source – SCRAPS Hope Foundation newsletter)

Eulogy for a Special Friend

This weekend I lost someone I loved very much. Someone who had been in my life for the last seven years, and part of my best friend’s life for the past 22 years.

This weekend I lost a pet who held a very special place in my heart. He was more than just a part of the landscape of my home, more than just another mouth to feed or another consideration to take into account when it was time to move.

Monty was a very special part of my life, even though many people couldn’t understand just why I loved him so much.

monty1You see, Monty was a Burmese python – a very large snake for those not into herpetology. He was nine feet of beautiful gold and green/brown scales who loved sleeping under heat lamps, eating large rats, and escaping to climb bookcases and create giant messes.

I suppose for people that have only ever had cats and dogs as pets it can seem strange to open your home and heart to exotic creatures. How can you love something that doesn’t seem to love you back? That doesn’t seem to care whether you are coming or going in their lives?

Of course those people have never walked up to the tortoise box and had little faces turn up in expectation of food or attention. They’ve never had a Bearded dragon snuggle down in their lap for a nap, enjoying human warmth while you get a cuddle. They’ve never enjoyed ‘snake snuggle time’ (trademark pending) which is … exactly what it sounds like actually.

monty3Perhaps my reptiles don’t show me affection the way a cat or dog will, and perhaps they don’t love me the same as another mammal might. But that doesn’t make my love for them any less. That doesn’t mean I care for them with any less of my time and energy than I would a different kind of pet.

That doesn’t make them any less special than cats or dogs I’ve met. My exotics all have their own personalities and quirks. My little Russian tortoise Nadia thinks she can climb walls and is afraid of nothing. My Bearded dragon Elliot hates me but loves some of my friends.

And Monty. Monty was amazing. Monty helped hundreds of children learn about snakes and reptiles and get over their fears of scaly creatures. He traveled to schools and pet stores and daycare centers for over two decades to help with exotic animal education. There are hundreds of people out there that will always have a memory of meeting Monty. Of petting him and holding him and learning about him.

That helps my heart a little. Knowing that even if most of those people never interact with a snake again in their lives, they did once and it was special (or weird or frightening or surprising) for them and their memory of that moment will live on.

withmonty2I loved Monty. I loved him for the hours I’d spend chattering at him while he’d coil up in my lap like he was listening (he wasn’t of course, snakes don’t have ears, but I liked to pretend anyway). I loved him for how he’d try to hide his ridiculously long body in small bags, or tiny boxes, so really just his head was hidden but the rest of him was out where I could see. I loved him for the way he’d splash water everywhere and knock over shampoo bottles and make a mess just like any dog or kid when I had to give him a bath in the bathtub (cause he was much too big for the sink).

I loved him for all of those special moments I got to spend with him. I loved him because he was gentle and amazing and fun to observe and he’d hide in my hair when I held him and because every day I’d walk into my room and there he would be. And maybe he only showed interest in what I was doing because I might have a tasty rat for him, but that didn’t matter to me

I didn’t love him any less because he didn’t love me the way I loved him. I’m just grateful that love doesn’t rely on rules and conditions like that to exist. I’m grateful I got to have him in my life for the years that I did.

– Mia V.

 

*The Humane Society of the United States has a great article on coping with grief after losing a pet. You can check it out here.

Chewing: The Whys and Hows of Stopping a Gnawing Problem

Sooner or later every dog lover returns home to find some unexpected damage inflicted by his or her dog; or, more specifically, that dog’s teeth. Although dogs make great use of their vision and sense of smell to explore the world, one of their favorite ways to take in new information is to put their mouths to work.

Fortunately, chewing can be directed onto appropriate items so your dog isn’t destroying things you value or jeopardizing his own safety. Until he’s learned what he can and can’t chew, however, it’s your responsibility to manage the situation as much as possible, so he doesn’t have the opportunity to chew on unacceptable objects.

Why dogs chew

Puppies, like infants and toddlers, explore their world by putting objects in their mouths. And, like babies, they teethe for about 6 months, which usually creates some discomfort. Chewing not only facilitates teething, but also makes sore gums feel better.

Adult dogs may engage in destructive chewing for any number of reasons. In order to deal with the behavior, you must first determine why your dog is chewing—and remember, he’s not doing it to spite you. Possible reasons for destructive chewing include:

  • As a puppy, he wasn’t taught what to chew and what not to chew.
  • He’s bored.
  • He suffers from separation anxiety.
  • His behavior is fear-related.
  • He wants attention.

Important! You may need to consult a behavior professional for help with both separation anxiety and fear-related behaviors.

Manage the situation

Take responsibility for your own belongings. If you don’t want it in your dog’s mouth, don’t make it available. Keep clothing, shoes, books, trash, eyeglasses, and remote control devices out of your dog’s reach.

Give your dog toys that are clearly distinguishable from household goods. Don’t confuse him by offering shoes and socks as toys and then expecting him to distinguish between his shoe and yours. 

Supervise your dog until he learns the house rules. Keep him with you on his leash in the house so he can’t make a mistake out of your sight. Confine him when you’re unable to keep an eye on him. Choose a “safe place” that’s dog-proof, and provide fresh water and “safe” toys. If your dog is crate trained, you may also place him in his crate for short periods of time.

Give your dog plenty of people-time. Your dog won’t know how to behave if you don’t teach him alternatives to inappropriate behavior, and he can’t learn these when he’s in the yard by himself.

Give your dog plenty of physical and mental exercise. If your dog is bored, he’ll find something to do to amuse himself and you probably won’t like the choices he makes. On the other hand, a tired dog is a good dog, so make sure he gets lots of physical and mental activity. The amount of exercise should be based on his age, health, and breed characteristics.

If you catch your dog chewing on something he shouldn’t, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise. Offer him an acceptable chew toy instead, and praise him lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.

Build a toy obsession in your dog. Use his toys to feed him. At mealtimes, fill a Kong-type toy with his kibble.

If your puppy is teething, try freezing a wet washcloth for him to chew on. The cold cloth will soothe his gums. Supervise your puppy so he doesn’t chew up and swallow any pieces of the washcloth.

Make items unpleasant to your dog. Furniture and other items can be coated with a taste deterrent (such as Bitter Apple®) to make them unappealing.

Caution! Supervise your dog when you first try one of these deterrents. Some dogs will chew an object even if it’s coated with a taste deterrent. Also be aware that you must reapply some of these deterrents to maintain their effectiveness.

Offer your dog a treat in exchange for the item in his mouth. As your dog catches on to this idea, you can add the command “Give” as his cue to release the object in exchange for the yummy treat.

Don’t chase your dog if he grabs an object and runs. If you chase him, you are only giving your dog what he wants. Being chased by his human is fun! Instead call him to you or offer him a treat.

Have realistic expectations. At some point your dog will inevitably chew up something you value; this is often part of the transition to a new home. Your dog needs time to learn the house rules and you need to remember to take precautions and keep things out of his reach.

What not to do

Never discipline or punish your dog after the fact. If you discover a chewed item even minutes after he’s chewed it, you’re too late.

Animals associate punishment with what they’re doing at the time they’re being corrected. Your dog can’t reason that, “I tore up those shoes an hour ago and that’s why I’m being scolded now.” Some people believe this is what a dog is thinking because he runs and hides or because he “looks guilty.”

In reality, “guilty looks” are actually canine submissive postures that dogs show when they’re threatened. When you’re angry and upset, your dog feels threatened by your tone of voice, body postures, and/or facial expressions, so he may hide or show submissive postures. Punishment after the fact will not only fail to eliminate the undesirable behavior, but could provoke other undesirable behaviors as well.

 

(SOURCE – Humane Society of the United States of America)

It Was Reigning Cats and Dogs at the Annual SCRAPS Auction!

It was a night of cats, dogs, chocolate, wine, small prizes, large prizes, fun, and excitement. It was a night when people from around the area gathered together to celebrate and support SCRAPS and SCRAPS Hope Foundation. Yep, last Friday night was the annual Reigning Cats and Dogs Auction and Chocolate Festival out at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center and we were there – along with our awesome Happy Tales partners Paw Print Genetics – to enjoy the evening.

partycollage

 

We arrived just after doors opened at 5:30pm and wandered about, checking out custom dog houses, nibbling on pizza and cheese and waffles topped with cherries and whipped cream, perusing the items up for silent auction, and entering some raffles for cash and prizes. We also met some dogs and cats who were happy to work the crowd in search of the perfect people to take them home.

Later when the live auction started the room really got going as attendees good-naturedly worked to outbid each other on trips to New Orleans, dog house prize packs, and dinner cruises. Our own digital sales specialist won a Seahawks-themed dog house loaded with goodies, while others in our group went home with silent auction winnings and table center pieces. It was great to see so many people and businesses there to support SCRAPS and SCRAPS Hope Foundation so they can continue doing all their great work for animals and the community!

 

10 Interesting Facts About Beagles

Beagles are one of the most beloved breeds of dog around the world. Snoopy, perhaps the world’s most famous dog, is a beagle. Here are some other interesting facts about beagles.

  • Beagles were originally bred as hunters, especially rabbits, so if you have small pets around, be careful if you get a beagle. He might think he’s doing you a favor by bringing you a pet hamster.
  • Beagles come in many colors, but mostly are of the tri-color variety: black, white, and tan. They are usually born black and white and they develop their tan fur as they get older.
  • Purebred beagles should always have a white tail or a white-tipped tail. This trait was bred into them by hunters to be able to see the dogs when their heads were to the ground pursuing a scent.
  • While the current Queen Elizabeth is know for her fondness of Corgis, Queen Elizabeth I was a beagle fan. Some portraits of her even included her dogs. King James I called her “his dear little beagle”.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson had two beagles in the White House named Him and Her that he would famously (or infamously) hold up by the ears.
  • A “Beagle Brigade” was employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1980s to sniff out airport luggage that contained food that could have pests that might be dangerous to crops. Their noses contain about 220 million smell receptors; humans have about 5 million.
  • Beagles are notorious overeaters. Their strong sense of smell enables them to find food no matter how carefully it’s stashed away. Get between a beagle and its food at your own risk. A regular amount of exercise is a must for beagles, or they will quickly become obese. Despite their penchant for food, they don’t drool like many other breeds.
  • Beagles were bred so their coats would repel water and not attract burrs or other plants while hunting. As a result, they are easy to groom and they don’t have a “dog smell”.
  • Because they were bred for hunting rabbits, beagles were often owned in packs to cover more ground. As a result, beagles seek out and enjoy the company of other dogs (and humans, if that’s the best they can find). For reasons undetermined, beagles tend to bond more strongly with women than men.
  • Beagles are well represented in our culture. Snoopy, from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, is probably the best-known ambassador of the breed, but Odie, Garfield’s pal/nemesis in Jim Davis’s strip is also a beagle. Charles Darwin’s ship on his five-year nature voyage was called the HMS Beagle, an appropriate name for a seeking expedition. The beagle even appears in some of Shakespeare’s works, including Twelfth Night.

SOURCE – cesarsway.com
Read more: http://www.cesarsway.com/dogbehavior/basics/10-Interesting-Facts-About-Beagles#ixzz2zv2HWWDF

Pit Bulls: The Myths, the Legends, the Reality

Mention the words “Pit Bull,” and an intense debate will almost inevitably follow. Unscrupulous breeding by less-than-upstanding citizens, negatively sensationalized (and often false) media accounts, and longstanding myths surrounding these types of dogs have led to their vilification. Some people, in response to misperceptions about the breed, believe that all Pit Bull-type dogs are to be feared and promote banning these breeds. Pit Bull advocates, deeply dedicated to protecting dogs they know to be friendly, loyal, loving family companions, can be as tenacious as the dogs to whom they are dedicated.

The general term “Pit Bull” refers to a number of breeds and mixes, including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, and any dogs made up of or resembling these breeds. Pit Bulls are physically powerful, strong, agile, and energetic dogs with an unrivaled joie de vivre. They are also known for the determination they bring to any task. These traits can sometimes combine to make the Pit Bull “too much dog” for an inexperienced pet parent or a family with small children, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they can’t be loving, wonderful dogs in the right homes.

Let’s take a look at some common Pit Bull myths and the corresponding realities.

Myth: Pit Bulls have locking jaws and a higher biting power than other breeds.

Reality: There are no unique mechanisms in the jaws of Pit Bulls, and these dogs cannot lock their jaws. Additionally, in a test of biting pressure that included a German Shepherd Dog, a Rottweiler, and an American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier had the least amount of bite pressure.

Myth: Pit Bulls are vicious to people or more dangerous than other dogs.

Reality: There is no room for human aggression in a behaviorally sound Pit Bull, and the reality is that most Pit Bulls are not aggressive toward people; many are extremely sociable and adore children. A Pit Bull who passes a behavioral evaluation poses no more of a threat to people than any other large dog. The American Temperament Test (see The American Temperament Society at www.atts.org) shows that Pit Bulls consistently score above the average for all breeds tested over the years. As of December 2007, American Pit Bull Terriers had a pass rate of 84.3 percent compared to a pass rate for all breeds tested of 81.6 percent.

Myth: Adopting a Pit Bull is the same as adding any other type of dog to your family.

Reality: While behaviorally sound Pit Bulls make excellent family companions, the reality is that adopting a Pit Bull does require some special considerations:

Dog-to-dog aggression can be an issue with these dogs, and despite your best socialization efforts, a Pit Bull may become dog aggressive upon reaching maturity (roughly two years old). This will affect your ability to have other pets in your home as well as your responsibility for ensuring that your dog never has the opportunity to injure someone else’s beloved pet.

Pit Bulls face misunderstanding and prejudice from many people who do not know much about them, so adopting one requires a willingness to consider your friends’ and neighbors’ concerns and to educate them about Pit Bulls in general and your dog in particular.

Prejudice and discrimination can extend beyond individuals, and in some places can include local legislation banning Pit Bulls from the community. Be sure to check local laws before adopting and before moving with your Pit Bull. Securing homeowners’ insurance can also be more of a challenge if you live with a Pit Bull, but there are insurance companies that do not discriminate based on the breed of dog.

The reality is that, as with all breeds, there are great Pit Bulls and Pit Bulls who–due to poor breeding, handling, or socialization–are not suitable as pets. While we urge shelters and rescue groups to perform a behavioral assessment on all dogs who enter their programs, it is particularly important to be sure that this has been done with the Pit Bull you are going to adopt. While a mistake in judgment with even a small dog can have serious consequences, a similar mistake with a large, strong breed such as a Pit Bull (or Akita, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Labrador Retriever, etc.) can be deadly.

If you are prepared, know your local laws, and have decided that a Pit Bull is a good fit for your family, do consider adopting one from a shelter or rescue group who carefully evaluates their dogs.

 

(Source – Petfinder.com “The Adopted Dog Bible”)

Are You Ready for a Puppy?

By Brian Lynn – Paw Print Genetics 

Puppy jumping on the beachThe kids might be whining for a puppy, and you might actually be considering bringing one into your home.

But are you actually ready for a puppy?

Let’s see.

It’s not the kids’ dog

You can tell your spouse, co-workers, friends, the kids and even yourself, that the new puppy belongs to the kids and they are responsible for it. But that’s a lie.

This is your puppy, and soon-to-be adult dog. Don’t try to fool everyone else or yourself. After about two weeks, the kids’ attention will shift to something else – school, sports, cartoons, sitting on the couch. If the kids have soccer practice, homework, slumber parties or whatever else, the feeding, exercising, potty-break and clean-up responsibilities fall to you – more than likely that will happen even if they don’t have something going on.

Even if your kids do consistently take responsibility for the dog, you’re probably going to have to remind them to do it. In essence, you’re taking on another child for the next 10 to 15 years. Are you ready for that?

Equipment

Before you bring a puppy into the home, you’ll need a few basics: food and water bowls, a crate and blanket/sleeping pad, chew toys and a leash. Oh, and plenty of plastics bags and a perhaps a shovel – those are for you to clean up after your new addition (unlike with children, bathroom duty never ends with a dog). Depending upon your home and personal desires, you can add door gates to restrict access to rooms in the house.

If your puppy/dog will spend a significant portion of time outside, tack on a dog house, secure kennel and/or a tie-out that’s long enough to allow the dog freedom of movement – the ability to find shade or rest in several areas and to do so without laying in his own feces or urine. It should be secured to something immovable – a large tree or other object sufficiently anchored into the ground.

If your dog will be trained for hunting or another endeavor, such as agility, you’ll eventually need equipment related to that: bumpers, scents, blank pistols, dummy launchers, weave poles, ramps and loads of other stuff.

Living situation

Is your home suitable for a puppy, and for the adult dog it will become? Is your living situation stable?

Picking a puppy simply because it’s cute, without considering the breed’s requirements, is a surefire descent into unhappiness for you and the dog. Cooping up an active or large-breed dog in a small apartment will end badly for both of you – usually the dog gets the worst of it. Know what you’re buying and pick a puppy from breed that fits your lifestyle.

Additionally, consider the stability of your living situation. Do you own or are you renting? Are you prepared, perhaps in the future, to find a rental property or homeowners’ association that accepts your breed – even if it costs more or you have to pass on a place that’s perfect otherwise?

Understand that many apartments, rental houses and homeowners’ associations have breed and size restrictions, and that pet deposits and non-refundable fees are usually standard. Be a responsible dog owner and plan ahead; think of what you’re willing to do should circumstances change.

Time

Puppies take time – time to housebreak, time to train good citizen behaviors, time to exercise daily. Dogs only learn through consistent repetition, so not only do you have to dedicate time to training, you have to be sure to repeat the training exactly the same way each session – and you have to make sure that you’re keeping that training exciting, interesting and rewarding to the dog. Further, you have to make sure that you’re not untraining those behaviors throughout the rest of the day –allowing the dog on furniture for 10 hours a day will override even the most positive of 10-minute training sessions.

Travel considerations

A dog is not a hermit crab. You can’t drop a little food in its bowl and skip town for a long weekend. A dog requires fresh, clean water daily, along with food. It needs shelter from heat, cold and other weather. It needs exercise and interaction. Some dogs require daily medication.

If you leave town for business or pleasure, for a weekend or a more than a week, you must plan for your dog’s care. That could be a friend or family member coming over to play with, feed and clean up after your pup, or it could that person staying with or inviting the dog into their home. The other option is boarding your pup with a kennel, which will cost a minimum of $10 to $15 per day – more if the dog requires medications or you want extra exercise time, grooming, etc.

Of course, you can always bring the dog with you, but plan on stopping every two-to-four hours to give the dog water, exercise and a bathroom break. You’ll also have to consider lodging and whether your hotel(s) accept dogs, and be willing to pay that fee. Stopping at restaurants and roadside attractions is another concern – you can’t leave a dog in hot car during summer months.

Before bringing that dog home, consider how much you and your family travel, and if you have contingency plans for the dog.

Costs

Lastly, you have to be realistic about how much a dog costs, and if you can afford that price tag for the next 10 to 15 years. The upfront costs – the purchase price and one-time investments (crate, food bowl, leash, etc.) – are the smallest financial costs associated with buying a dog.

At a minimum, you’re likely to spend $1,000 or more per year on food, routine veterinarian bills, boarding, grooming, toys and all the other costs that come with dog ownership. The AKC estimates those yearly costs much higher – $2,500, based on surveys of their members.

That’s a lot of dough. Are you financially willing, ready and able to take on that responsibility for more than a decade?

While the kids might say that they want (or even need) a dog, and while you might actually want one too, you have to pause for a moment and consider if you’re in the right place – both physically and financially – and time in your life to responsibly provide for that dog.

Sources:

Original Article: Courtesy of Brian Lynn, Paw Print Genetics Blog

Photo Credit: Courtesy of zeusclawz via Flickr

Special Thank You to Paw Print Genetics, The Definitive Resource for Canine Genetic Health

Paw Print Genetics Logo

The Importance of Having Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

Did you know an unspayed female cat and her mate can produce 2.5 litters per year? Over ten years, that’s over 11,000,000 cats!

Ever summer, the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) is inundated with cats. As many as seven litters, with a litter being 3 – 5 kittens each, can come through our doors in just one day. We urge cat owners to get their pets spayed or neutered now and help avoid the population explosion later.

Despite popular myth, altering your pet does not cause them to become lethargic, fat or change their personality. In fact, spaying and neutering has life-long health benefits for your pet – and you get a better behaved furry friend.

Your female cat will live a longer, healthier life with reduced risk of cancer.
• Your male cat won’t want to roam away from home.
• Finding those adorable kittens new homes isn’t as easy as you think.
• Your neutered male will be less prone to biting/fighting and more affectionate.

The stray and homeless animals that arrive here at SCRAPS are not the offspring of “street” animals—these are the kittens of cherished family pets and even purebreds. Help us reduce the number of homeless and unwanted animals in Spokane. Spay or neuter your pet – It’s the only cure for Spring Fever!

 

Source – SCRAPS Hope Foundation

Don’t Forget Your Pets When the Weather Gets Cold!

FREE DOG HOUSES AVAILABLE NOW AT SCRAPS!

The temperature is expected to drop into the single digits in the next few days and SCRAPS wants to remind everyone that leaving your pets outside in severe weather may put you in the dog house!

Every winter, the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) checks on the condition of countless animals in our community to make sure that they have appropriate shelter and care. “Despite their fur, dogs can suffer from the cold just like humans,” said Nancy Hill, Director of SCRAPS. “A good rule to follow is if the temperature is twenty degrees or less, your dog should spend only a limited time outside.” That means just a short trip to the bathroom and then back in the house to warm up.

A cat should not be outside at all in temperatures less than twenty degrees since cats are not made for temperatures that cold.

Even when temperatures are above twenty degrees, it is very important for animals that are outside to always have shelter.

To help keep dogs safe and warm, SCRAPS is holding our annual Dog House Drive.

The community is asked to donate gently used and new dog houses that we can distribute to animals in need. It is a great way to give back to the community and put a no longer needed shelter to good use.

You can pick up a dog house free of charge at SCRAPS.

“It is also important for animals to have fresh, potable water available at all times,” said Nancy Hill, President of the SCRAPS Hope Foundation. “For dogs that are outside for part of the day, pet stores sell heated water bowls which work well in our winter climate.”

 

(Source – SCRAPS Hope Foundation)

Get the Facts on: Bluetick Coonhounds!

bluetick coonhound

Blue (#0226) at SCRAPS

Bluetick Coonhounds are medium to large size dogs, ranging from 45-80 pounds and 21 to 27 inches tall (at the shoulder). They live around 11 to 12 years and are part of the “working” dogs classification, meaning they are very active and are happiest when they have some form of ‘job’ to do – such as hunting, obedience, or agility training. They have a short, glossy coat with a dark blue mottled pattern, which is where they get their name. Like many hound dog breeds they also have a bawling type of bark and will use it when on the trail of something.

Bluetick Coonhounds were bred to hunt raccoons and other small animals. They are good at tracking and treeing these critters and will become so invested in a hunt once they’ve gotten the scent of something that it can be hard to get them to return without good obedience training. Very active and athletic, these dogs need to be a part of an active family where they will get lots of exercise and play time. They won’t do well in apartments where they don’t have room or time to run around.

While very loyal and loving with a family, Bluetick Coonhounds are better with older children than younger ones. They can get along with other dogs, but are not usually good with other types of pets as their hunting instincts are very strong. They are very intelligent and can learn proper obedience as long as their owners take the time to teach them. While not prone to many health issues, they have been known for hip dysplasia, cataracts, and Krabbes disease.

 

Sources -
AKC
Dog Breed Info