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September 2017

Archive for September, 2017

Nailing Down the Adoption Process

Friday, September 15, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

Ok, you’ve made a decision to add a new member to your family, now it’s time to determine a pet that would be the best fit for your family. Here is the adoption process in the state of Delaware but it is very similar everywhere else.

Step 1 – Starts with a visit to your local shelter. The staff at the shelter  can give you all the guidance you need and provide you with an adoption questionnaire. The questionnaire will help them learn more about you so that they can help match you with the perfect pet.

Step 2 –If you find a pet you’d love to adopt, the staff at the shelter will review your adoption application  and make sure the situation is best for the animal and you.

Step 3 – If you’re adopting a dog and have other dogs in your home, you will be asked to do a meet and greet at the shelter before taking the animal home. They’ll need proof of rabies vaccinations for your current pets. The primary caregiver must be at the meet and greet.  Children age 10 and under that live in the home must also meet the pet before adoption.

Step 4 –  Once the adoption has been approved, you pay the adoption fee and take your new friend home for a lifetime of love!

The shelter should take care of everything you need to get started, including:

  • Spaying or neutering
  • Canine DHPP and Bordetella vaccinations and feline DRTC vaccinationsCanine DHPP and Bordetella vaccinations and feline DRTC vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Rabies vaccination
  • De-worming
  • Feline leukemia/ FIV test
  • Heartworm testing

***Thanks to the Delaware SPCA for providing some of this information.

Remember, your pets count!

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Pet Stress with Home Remodeling

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

Home remodeling can cause stress on both you and your pets. There’s always the mess, work and upheaval.  What an inconvenience! Imagine how our pets feel during this unsettling time.  They don’t know that all of the strangers in the house are actually being paid for this disruption. There are some ways that you could minimize the stress. If the construction is major, see if a friend or kennel can board your pet during the construction period. If not, keep pets confined to an area far away from the noise. Provide a cozy crate along with favorite dog or cat toys, blankets and clothes with your scent. When the workers go away, your pets may come out but keep them away from paints, solvents, nails or anything that could injure them. Try to maintain your normal routines during remodeling. Feed, walk and play with your pet as usual. This will help you both stay calm until the dust clears and the workers are gone! Remember, your pets count!

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add comment    Comments Off on Pet Stress with Home Remodeling reported the following story on how many pets were abandoned during hurricane Irma. It is inconceivable to me that people would just leave their pets behind. Luckily many of these pets were rescued and will be given better homes. If you own a pet and abandoned it, you don’t deserve to get that pet back. That pet deserves a better, more loving home with someone else. Here’s the story published by

As Hurricane Irma bore down on the Florida Keys with 130-miles-per-hour winds Sunday morning, Florida animal control officers were scrambling to rescue dozens of pets that had been abandoned by their owners before the Category 4 hurricane raked up Florida’s west coast. Palm Beach County Animal Care reported animal control had found – and rescued – more than 50 dogs and cats abandoned outside ahead of Hurricane Irma. Given the danger of the approaching hurricane, many have characterized the pet owners’ abandonment as animal cruelty.

In the last 48 hours, Palm Beach Country Animal Care rescued 48 dogs and two cats left to brave the incoming hurricane outside by neglectful owners. According to local news broadcaster NBC 12, the animals were abandoned outside, trapped in yards and crates or tied to trees and cars, by owners who’d appeared to have evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma. Given Hurricane Irma’s violent winds, heavy rains, and life-threatening storm surge, the animals would have likely had a slim chance of surviving the storm outside.

Palm Beach County Animal Care Director Diane Sauve told local ABC affiliate WFTS, it appeared that the animals had been consciously abandoned outside. “They are left in a yard [or] in a pen they cannot escape from or tethered to trees or poles,” Sauve said, emphasizing how at risk pets abandoned outside during storms as potentially deadly as Hurricane Irma stands to be were. “Even a tiny bit of sand can hurt an animal when it’s traveling through 100-plus mile per hour winds.”


Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
But pet owners who left their animals in harms way may find there are severe consequences to their decision. While Palm Beach County has a law against leaving a dog unattended while it is chained or tethered, Florida officials have said the crime becomes felony animal cruelty when done under such potentially dangerous conditions. “This is a prime example of animal cruelty,” Florida State Attorney Dave Aronberg told CNN affiliate WPTV. “We will find you, and we will prosecute you.”

Sauve also claimed that local authorities would determine who’d abandoned their pets to the elements. “It’s unconscionable,” she told WPT of owners who left their pets outside ahead of the hurricane. “We will not stand for it here in Palm Beach County.”

I am glad that the local authorities are going to determine who abandoned their pets. Hopefully there will be a hefty price to pay!

Remember, your pets count!

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Always walk your dog on his dog leash. In doing so, you re being a kind and considerate neighbor. I know that your neighbors would not appreciate your dog digging holes in their yard, stepping on their newly planted flowers or relieving himself on their front steps.  Not having a dog on a leash poses a threat to everyone. Your dog could  jump on a little child and injured him, he could attack another pet or another pet could attack and injure him. If he is running free, he could be hit by a car, eat grass containing fresh pesticides that could harm or even kill him. There are too may things to mention. Yet, I still see dogs off of their leash. Be a responsible pet owner and be considerate of others. Keep your pet out of danger and always walk him on his dog leash. There is no reason to keep him off his leash unless you are in a dog run area.

Remember, your pets count!

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Checking Your Pet Evacuation Checklist

Friday, September 8, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

As the hours get closer for landfall of Hurricane Irma in Florida, stress is building. You have most of today to make the final preparations for yourself and your pet. Dr. Sandra Truli Springer of VMD Truly Holistic Veterinary Services has put together a detailed list and some items you may not have thought of.

Hydrogen peroxide 3%                                                    Pharmacy or medical supply
Turkey baster or needle-less 12 cc syringe                  Supermarket or vet’s
Saline Eye Wash
Artificial tear ointment
Mild grease-cutting detergent (Dawn)
Forceps (tweezers)
Bandages/guaze/Medical tape
Triple antibiotic ointment (Neosporin)

Pet carrier
Collar, leash for dogs
Collapsible Water and Food dishes
3-4 days of canned food (keeps, and can’t get wet and spoil in a flood, etc)

A few weeks of your pet’s medication.

Unlike pharmacy law for people, there is no emergency pharmacy law for pets. If your pet runs out of an essential medicine, especially one which causes withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly like high-dose prednisone, phenobarbital, prozac, etc., the pharmacist cannot legally give you a few pills to tide you over. I know this sounds inhumane, but there is a gap in the law which has not been remedied as of this time! Make sure you call your family veterinarian ahead of a storm or other dire prediction. Well ahead, everyone else will call, too!

Thank you Dr. Springer for this valuable information!

Remember, your pets count!

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Hurricane Irma with it’s 185 mile an hour winds devastated the Leeward Islands. 90% of all of the structures on the small island of Barbuda were destroyed. The system is now headed toward the Turks and Caico’s and Bahama’s before it strikes Florida and heads up to Georgia or South Carolina. There are millions of people and pets in the destructive hurricanes path. Now is the time to complete your emergency plans.

Please include a plan for your pets. Click on the link below for a detailed plan on how to protect your precious pets now. Read it and make sure that your kit includes all of the  important items.


Remember your pets count!

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Prepare Your Pets For Hurricane Irma

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

This is a very active hurricane season for the US. Already, we’ve had devastating hurricane Harvey in Texas and now hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane is churning in the Atlantic ready to bare down on the Leeward Island, Puerto Rico and Florida. It is vital that you prepare now and make sure that you include your pets.

The ASPCA has put together a list of things to include for your pet. As you prepare yourselves, make sure you include your furry friends in that preparation.

Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs.
  • Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:
  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include:
    3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry (be sure to rotate every two months) food.
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
  • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner
  • You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

You should start finalizing your plans now.

Remember your pets count!

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Dogs and Worms

Monday, September 4, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

Worms are the most common health problem for a dog.  This problem is very treatable with the large variety of dog wormer products on the market.  First of all, it’s important to know if you are diagnosing the correct problem. Here are some symptoms that it is a worm problem.

  1. You see visible feces or worms on your dog.
  2. You see worms around you dogs rear. Tapeworm may appear as small moving segments which later dry out to resemble grains of rice.
  3. Your dog is scratching or rubbing himself  against the furniture. Signs of itchiness could be a sign of a gland problem rather than worms.
  4. Vomiting with visible worms.
  5. Weakness, increased appetite with weight loss can indicate that your dogs have worms. The worms steal your dogs nutrition causing these symptoms.
  6. Bloated stomach or belly.
  7. Diarrhea with blood in it.

Always check with your vet who will put you on the right track in treating your dog.

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Millie’s New Friend

Saturday, September 2, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

Recently, we have been feeding a stray cat in our neighborhood. The cat as far as we know does not belong to anyone in our community. Since we already have two cats, and my older cat Molly has medical issues, we decided to feed him on our porch and not take him inside. Most of the time a feral cat is frightened of people. This is because they were always used to avoiding prey and have never been around any humans.

I would not recommend trying to acclimate a feral cat immediately to a completely new environment. If the cat seems friendly and lets you pet him and doesn’t seem to mind being around people, then I would first, let a Veterinarian examine him. I would then gradually introduce him to his new environment. Keep him in a separate room for while. If you have other cats, let them see each other but not have contact just yet. Gradually give the new addition more freedom until you feel confident that he will fit in fine with both your human and pet family.

In the meantime, I’m going to let Millie enjoy her new friend from behind closed doors. She enjoys waiting for him to arrive for his food each morning. When she sees him, she begins to jump up and purr. I believe that she would probably bond well with this cat but we have to keep him behind closed doors for now.

Remember, your pets count!

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Bonding with Dog Tricks

Friday, September 1, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

Your dog knows the basics. He’ll sit on command, hold his paw out when you say “shake,” and lie down when you tell him to. Now, you need him to get to the next level. Teaching a dog tricks could be a fun way to bond. So if you want to go beyond the basic commands with your dog, Try teaching him to stand on two legs or bow.  Start by giving your dog a verbal cue then reward him with a dog treat when he actually performs the action. For example, dogs often bow when they want to play or when they wake up from a nap. Then, using the dog treat and a verbal command, guide the dog to perform the action again. Remember, keep practicing, be patient and use positive reinforcement.  Before long you and your dog will be able to impress all of your friends!

Remember, your pets count!

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