Spaying a dog
or cat before their first heat cycle virtually
eliminates the possibility of the pet getting
mammary (breast) cancer. Neutering will
eliminate the possibility of the pet getting
testicular cancer and greatly cut down on the
prostate problems. Spaying and neutering
sterilizes the animal and thus reduces unwanted
litters. It also may reduce undesirable
behaviors such as spraying, marking, aggression
toward other animals, roaming and mating
vaccinations does my dog need?
DOGS - The available dog vaccinations
are listed below:
DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis,
leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvo
PUPPIES - The available puppy
vaccinations are listed below:
1 year old and yearly thereafter:
DHLPP, Corona, Lyme
1 year old and every 3 years
*Give a Bordetella
vaccination if the dog is going to be boarded in
a boarding kennel during your vacation. Remember
to have your pet wormed every time it gets
vaccinations, especially when it is a puppy.
Why should I keep a
collar and identification tags on my pet?
If the shelter finds a pet
with a collar and identification on it, we make
every effort (phone calls, letters) to contact
the owner and tell them that their pet is at our
shelter. The less time your pet spends at the
shelter, the less it will cost you to redeem it
and the quicker you will have your pet back.
Microchipping is permanent and a great addition
to the tags. Most shelters and veterinary
clinics will check for microchips in animals.
Then they can compare the national database and
match up the animal with their owner.
Please remember, a pet is a
privilege, not a right. If you are not prepared
to take proper care of the pet (and this
includes paying the Vet bills), then you
shouldn't own a pet. There is inexpensive pet
insurance available from several companies. Your
Vet can probably give you more information on
which companies they have dealt with in the
past. Another idea is to start a savings account
for your pet. If you contribute $25.00 a week
into the account, you will have $1,300.00 by the
end of one year. This will help cover yearly
vaccinations, dental care and emergency visits.
All of the name-brand
commercial foods have complete and balanced
nutrition. This means that if your pet ate only
this food all its life, it would survive fine.
Most of the time, dogs and cats do not need
additional vitamin or mineral supplementation.
If you pet has a medical condition that requires
a special diet, your Vet can recommend a
prescription diet that is formulated especially
for the pet's condition (Aivilas Petfood, Hills
Science Diets, IAMs Prescription diets, Purina
CNM diets). For small rodents, birds and
reptiles, we would recommend asking a Vet who
specializes in these animals what diet would be
the best to feed them. Reading about the animal
in books from the library is also a good idea.
In some animals, the wrong diet can lead to
death, so before you get an exotic pet, know how
to care for it.
This is a subject that is
open to much debate. The short answer is: ATTACK
ON ALL FRONTS AND NEVER GIVE UP! Spray the yard,
spray and flea-bomb the house, flea bathe the
cat or dog and then use either powders/sprays of
one of the new spot-on products (Advantage or
Frontline). The powders/sprays need daily
application, while the spot-on products are
applied monthly. It may take a few months to see
good results, but the war can be won.
Heartworm is a parasitic
disease of dogs and cats that causes heart
failure. The mature worms live in the chambers
of the heart and the larvae are in the blood.
The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. There
is a blood test that your Vet can do to see if
your pet has heartworm and medicine the the Vet
can prescribe to prevent the pet from getting
heartworm. If your pet travels outside the city,
it is a good idea to see your Vet and get on the
preventative medication. Treatment for heartworm
disease is costly and can be harmful to the pet
so prevention is definitely a better
Lyme disease is transmitted
by ticks and causes inflamed joints, fever and
systemic illness. It can be costly and difficult
to treat. There is a vaccination for dogs that
will help prevent this disease and it is
recommended any pet owner to ask your Vet about
the vaccination. Using flea powders/sprays or
the spot-on Frontline or Advantix will help kill
First, go the the library
and find out how to care for the type of animal
you are interested in. Call around and find a
Vet who has experience in treating the pet. Ask
other people who have these type of pets about
their experiences. Many exotic animals die
because their owner did not know how to car for
them. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND
Why do you
spay/neuter puppies and kittens? Doesn't it harm
them to do this when they are young?
There have been several
studies over the years on this subject. They
have all found that, even when done at 2 months
of age, spaying and neutering puppies and
kittens does not harm them and greatly decreases
the pet over population problem. All animal
adopted from the shelter are required by law to
be spayed or neuter3d. Early age neutering and
spaying also virtually eliminates mammary
(breast) cancer and testicular cancer and will
reduce any future prostate problems. THERE IS NO
GOOD REASON NOT TO SPAY OR NEUTER!
Can my pet
catch anything from raccoons or other wildlife?
Raccoons carry canine (dog)
distemper. They can also carry rabies. Raccoons
also have an intestinal parasitic worm that will
cause severe disease if it infects humans. Do no
ever handle a raccoon or touch its feces.
Vaccinate your pet for distemper and rabies and
keep them on leash when in areas where raccoons
are living. Pigeon feces can be a source of
fungal spores which can cause diseases in humans
and animals. Skunks and bats can carry rabies.
Cats use their claws to
exercise, play stretch, climb, hunt and mark
their territory. Although your cat might use you
hands or furniture for these activities,
declawing in NOT the answer. Declawing is a
painful and difficult operation. It is the same
as removing the first joint on all your fingers.
It impairs the cat's balance and causes weakness
from muscular disuse. Declawed cats are
defenseless. Cats need their claws for
protection. You may know that your indoor cat
will never have to climb a tree in order to
escape their neighbor's chihuahua, but your cat
doesn't know it. Declawing makes a cat feel
insecure and defenseless. It is radical to cut
off so many parts of the body to prevent such a
simple behavior problem.
In addition, declawing destroys one of the cat's
most enjoyable activities - climbing. It is
natural for cats to scratch. It is perfectly
normal feline behavior. It is unfair and
inhumane to punish a cat for acting like a cat.
The stress resulting from being declawed creates
more problems than it allegedly solves. Some
declawed cats become more nervous biters; others
are known to become even more destructive to
furniture than before the operation, and many
cats stop using the litter box.
There are alternatives to declawing. Exercise
and play with your cat regularly. Give him a
scratching post and teach him to use it. See the
sheet on "Scratching Furniture" enclosed in your
adoption packet. Temporarily confine your cat to
a small area where he does not have access to
your furniture. A few days in a room with a
litter box, food, water and of course a
scratching post is much more humane than
declawing. Trim your cat's nails on a regular
basis. The curved tip of the claw is the part
that hooks into fabric, rugs, etc., and causes
the most damage. If your cat is scratching you
in play, see the sheet on "Biting and
Scratching" enclosed in your adoption packet.
Preparations to do on behalf of your pet's care
in an emergency or disaster!
Before Disaster Strikes
Identify You Pet
Keep you pet's license current.
Make sure that collar and identification
tags are worn at all time.
Consider having a safe, permanent
microchip implanted in your pet. This type
of ID cannot fall of or be removed. Most
veterinarians offer micorchipping services
to their customers.
Crate Train Your Pet
Train your pet to enter his/her carrier
or crate at you command. Try putting your
pet's favorite treat in his/her carrier and
sounding a bell at the same time. Repeat
this process every day until your pet comes
running at the sound of the bell. Continue
this routine often enough to keep it fresh
in you pet's mind. This training will be
extremely helpful when locating a frightened
Also important -- make sure your pet is
comfortable being handled.
Prepare a First Aid Kit --
large and small bandages
hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting or
clean deep wounds
eye wash (saline)
K-Y Jelly (water soluble)
any special medications prescribed by
Secure Bird Cages and Aquariums
Because these items may move and/or
break during a disaster; securing them on
low stands or tables is advisable. Tighten
the latch on your birdcage so that the door
cannot be shaken open easily.
Develop a Neighborhood Plan
Get to know your neighbors and their
Keep an updated list of their home and
work phone numbers (remember to update these
Select a neighborhood coordinator who
will be ready to assist a disaster occur
when you are not at home. Make sure this
person spends much of their time at home, or
that they work within walking distance of
Select one or two backup coordinators in
case the primary person is not available.
In Case of Evacuation
Red Cross shelters do not accept pets.
Prepare a list of backup arrangements such
as homes of friends and family, hotels that
allow pets, boarding facilities,
veterinarians and/or shelters.
It is generally not recommended that you
leave your pet behind during an evacuation.
If you must, follow these guidelines to help
ensure your pet's safety.
Post a highly visible sign in a
window to let rescue workers know how
many pets were left behind.
Leave plenty of water in a large
open container that cannot be tipped
Leave plenty of food in timed
feeders (check local pet supply stores).
These will prevent your pet from
Do not tie or cage your pet! The
chances for survival are greater if
he/she can escape easily.
Pet Disaster Kit
A prepared disaster kit,
kept in a save and easily accessible place, will
enable you to provide immediate care to your pet
in an emergency. A calm, well trained pet, who
is either on leash, or in a carrier, will be
more welcome wherever you go.
Items to include:
Sturdy crate and /or pet carrier
Identification tag and collar
Food and water - 7-day supply for each
Litter box and litter
Any special medications
Manual can opener and plastic lid
Pet's vaccination history
Recent photos of each pet
Pet First-Aid book
Pet First-Aid Kit
Phone number of a local emergency
Phone number of your local animal
Long-term confinement equipment: chains,
cable-runs, tie out stakes, portable caging