Puppy Mill Awareness

Puppy Mill Awareness

Today marks the beginning of Puppy Mill Action Week. There aren’t many things that are cuter in the world than a puppy. That breath! Those eyes! And of course, all of the unconditional love they bring. Deciding to get a puppy is a big decision, but perhaps even more important is where you get your puppy from.

“Adopt don’t shop” holds a special place in our hearts as an animal rescue. There are so many wonderful puppies and young dogs around the world who are searching for their forever homes. So, we always encourage prospective pet parents to research this option before contacting a breeder.

On the topic of breeders, there are those who do practice responsible breeding. However, puppy mills are still a serious problem in the US, and if you’re an inexperienced pet owner, they may be tough to spot. So today, we wanted to share some of the benefits of adopting a rescue dog in addition to shedding some light on the issue of puppy mills.

What Is a Puppy Mill?

Puppy mills are commercial dog breeding facilities where the focus is always quantity over quality. The conditions are inhumane, and canine health takes a back seat to profits by unscrupulous breeders. Most of the time, dogs are kept in cages for their entire lives. They are bred over and over again without any care for their health or time for recovery between litters. Most of the puppies that are sold in pet stores around the country are sourced from puppy mills.

Signs It’s a Puppy Mill

There are several red flags when it comes to spotting a puppy mill, but these really only apply if you are dealing directly. Here are a few:

  • Puppies that have been separated from their mothers prematurely and are being sold at less than six weeks of age.
  • Sellers with many different types of purebred or hybrid breed dogs.
  • Local breeders won’t allow you to see their facility or grounds where their animals are bred, raised, and kept.
  • Out-of-state breeders who are quick to accept payment (click-and-pay), and will ship a dog to an owner without meeting them first.
  • Lack of commitment to the puppy and contact with you as their owner. Responsible breeders will want to know where their puppies are going and who they will be living with.

Puppy Mill Laws

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of laws governing puppy mills. They are legal, which surprises many people because of their cruel nature. The good news is that some states like California are making changes to laws that directly impact puppy mills. As of January 1, 2019, California pet stores can no longer sell certain animals sourced from anywhere other than animal rescues and shelters. Known as California Assembly Bill 485, commercial pet stores may only sell dogs, cats, and rabbits from these sources. Additionally, they are obligated to keep records of where the animal was obtained from in addition to their spay and neuter documents, and all of this information is required to be posted near the animal’s cage. It’s not a complete fix for the puppy mill issue, but it’s certainly a start.

Benefits of Adopting

Of course, one of the best ways to counteract puppy mills is to adopt your next puppy from a reputable animal rescue or shelter. There are millions of dogs who are looking for a loving forever home! Here are some of the benefits of adopting:

  • Breed-Specific Rescues Exist: If you have your heart set on a specific breed of dog, look for breed-specific rescues who can help! There is typically a rescue for every breed as often people buy a puppy from a breeder and change their minds. Example: If you are looking for a pug, simply Google ‘pug rescue’.
  • Shelter Dogs Aim To Please: Many shelter pups are ecstatic to finally have human contact! They want so much to be loved and will give that love back unconditionally!
  • Social Opportunities: Not only will your new shelter pup need to have the opportunity to socialize, but this will also give you the chance to meet other pet parents in your neighborhood, at the dog park, etc. Plus, when you mention your pup is a rescue, chances are, you are going to get the opportunity to share your pup’s story with other rescue pup parents.
  • Up-To-Date on Basic Vet Care: Adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter will almost always mean that they are up-to-date on their vaccinations (if they are old enough, of course). The same is true for spaying and neutering, as most rescues and shelters require the pet to be altered before they will adopt it out. Also, an adopted pet is microchipped too!
  • Shelter Pets Are Often Housebroken: Ask any puppy parent and they will tell you that the biggest challenge is often potty training! The good news about shelter dogs is that they are almost always housebroken when you bring them home. If you adopt a dog that isn’t house-trained, there are several resources available to help. Older dogs usually get the hang of things faster.
  • Puppies Aren’t For Everyone: In addition to potty training a puppy, there are many other behaviors that require tons of time, training, and attention. Not everyone is up to the task, or the time and energy a puppy requires. But that’s okay! Shelters are filled with adult dogs too who would love to come home with you, so you can skip the puppy phase if it’s too much.

We hope you found this article helpful. We are always available to answer any questions you might have about adding a puppy to your family. If you’re interested in adopting, fostering, or volunteering with Paw Prints In The Sand animal rescue, please reach out to us at info@pawprintsinthesand.org. We appreciate your ongoing support!

Author profile:
Kyle Colton is a freelance copywriter, flight, and pet mom to Henri (a 13-year-old Landseer Newfoundland), Pearl (a 5-year-old PPITS alum kitty), and Ruby (a 2-year-old rescue kitty).

It’s Kitten Season! Here’s What You Need to Know

It’s Kitten Season! Here’s What You Need to Know

Spring has sprung, and that means that “kitten season” is here! While kittens are some of the most adorable creatures on the planet, kitten season can be overwhelming for animal shelters and rescues who end up caring for the abundance of tiny baby kitties that are born homeless.

Generally speaking, kitten season runs from March through October. However, in warmer climates like right here in southern California, kitten season actually happens twice per year. That’s because weather plays a big part in regulating the heat cycle in felines.

The timeline goes something like this: an unaltered female cat goes into heat (usually in early spring to late fall), she becomes pregnant, and 60 days later, she gives birth to her litter. Typically, a mama cat will give birth to between four and eight kittens.

When you consider that female cats can have more than one litter each year, it’s easy to see why the cat population grows so quickly. Shelters and rescues fill-up with kittens at this time of year, so if you have been thinking about adding a kitten to your family, we encourage you to visit a local shelter or rescue first. Also, consider adopting kittens in pairs if your situation provides for it. Kittens love having playmates, and it honestly doesn’t add any more work to have two versus one.

Here are some quick kitten stats!  

  • Felines are considered kittens until they have reached one year in age.
  • Kittens instinctively know to use a litter box.
  • All kittens are born with blue eyes, and their permanent eye color appears around four weeks of age.
  • A kitten can be spayed or neutered when they reach two pounds in body weight, typically at eight weeks of age.
  • Unaltered female cats can become pregnant at just four months old, so it is crucial to spay (and neuter) your kittens!

Spaying and neutering cats is the best way to control the pet population, and to help prevent overwhelmed shelters and rescues during kitten season. In some places, local officials have established trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs for community cats to help slow down this cycle. It has dramatically reduced the number of cats that are euthanized at community shelters.

If you’re looking for ways to get involved locally during kitten season, here are some things you can do!

  • Consider fostering a litter of kittens
  • Donate old towels, blankets, toys, food, litter, and more to a local animal shelter or rescue
  • Use social media to share posts about adoptable pets or fundraising efforts
  • Volunteer your time at a rescue or animal shelter
  • Ask your local shelter or rescue if they have an Amazon Wish List for supplies, and host a virtual “kitten shower” with your friends, coworkers and/or family members

While kittens are absolutely adorable, it’s very important to do your part in keeping kitten season under control for the rescues and animal shelters on the front lines. In an upcoming blog post, we will explore what you should do if you encounter newborn kittens with or without their mom.

If you’re interested in adopting, fostering or volunteering with Paw Prints In The Sand animal rescue, please reach out to us at info@pawprintsinthesand.org. We appreciate your ongoing support!

Author profile:
Kyle Colton is a freelance copywriter, flight attendant, and animal mom to Henri (a 13-year-old Landseer Newfoundland), Pearl (a 5-year-old PPITS alum kitty), and Ruby (a 2-year-old rescue kitty). 

Working From Home With Pets

Working From Home With Pets

So many of us have found ourselves working from home over the course of the last year. And for pet parents, this has caused an abrupt and unexpected change in routine for our four-legged family members. Let’s face it: our pets love having us at home, but it’s not exactly possible to explain to your pet why you can’t hang out with them all day long.

But you can’t exactly hide the fact that you’re home. Pets have an incredibly strong sense of hearing and smell, so there’s no disguising when their favorite humans are on the premises. Working from home with pets in the house can cause them to be confused about your availability, but there are ways to mitigate this by keeping a routine and structure in place. Here are some tips to keep your work-from-home balance in order, while also keeping your pets happy and healthy.

Establish Designated Eat, Play & Potty Times

Just like humans, our pets thrive when they have an established daily schedule. This especially pertains to eating, playing and potty breaks. Take some time to map out a daily routine where your pet’s schedule and your work schedule can live in harmony. Create a schedule for meals, play breaks and potty opportunities that you can schedule around your work commitments. This will keep your pet healthy and happy, while also allowing you to focus during your working hours. If you have to make adjustments because of last-minute things, don’t stress. Try to keep as much routine in place as possible.  

Create a Separate Pet-Free Work Space

In some ways, this may be easier said than done, especially if you have pets who aren’t fans of closed doors. But creating a pet-free work space will allow you to remain distraction-free while you’re working, taking conference calls, etc… If your pet nudges you or cries for attention, start working with them on a command like “place” where they know to retreat to their designated spot when this training word is said. This could be their bed, a different room, and so on. Remember: training takes time and patience, and this won’t be an immediate solution. But keep working toward your goal and you will get there together!

Put Together a “Boredom Box”

Pets are a lot like humans, and they can get bored in a hurry. Consider putting together a “boredom box” that’s filled with chew bones, food puzzles, toys, and more. While this may work better for our canine companions, there are lots of toys and items to help stimulate cats too. Grab a leftover cardboard box and create a fun place for them to hide or play. This can buy you some time while you work through an important project, especially if you have a pet who resorts to destruction when they get bored or left alone. You might also consider rotating your pets available toys/activities in the “boredom box” from week to week to help stimulate their interest.

Keep Things Consistent

As you and your pet(s) learn about the necessary boundaries that working from home requires, consistency will be key. Focus on the progress that you’re making together, and understand that creating routine will cut down on unnecessary anxiety and stress for your pets. You may be tempted to leave your desk in the middle of the day to play or go on a walk, but try to stick with your established routine as much as you can. It will be best for both of you! 

How have you been successful in transitioning to working from home with your pets? We would love to hear your tips and ideas! Feel free to leave us a comment below.

And if you’re interested in adopting, fostering or volunteering with Paw Prints In The Sand animal rescue, please reach out to us at info@pawprintsinthesand.org.

We appreciate your ongoing support!

Author profile:
Kyle Colton is a freelance copywriter, flight attendant, and animal mom to Henri (a 13-year-old Landseer Newfoundland), Pearl (a 5-year-old PPITS alum kitty), and Ruby (a 2-year-old rescue kitty). 

Caring for a Senior Pet

Caring for a Senior Pet

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month!

Here at PPITS, we love our senior pets. We even created a program called Murray’s Purpose for at-risk senior shelter pets.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a senior pet to your home, or if your current pet is starting to show signs of age, then it’s important to know how to care for these very special animals.

When you first adopted your pet, chances are they were young and full of vigor. But even puppies and kittens grow old. Or, maybe you decided to adopt a senior pet because well, they’re amazing!

Thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine and more owner awareness, pets are living longer now than they ever have before – but as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. It’s important to know what happens in the pet aging process. It’s really no different from humans as we grow old. Here are some things to expect as your pet gets older (Note: you may not experience all of these, or any of these, but these are things we commonly see when it comes to seniors):

  • Decrease in energy
  • Development of cataracts
  • Hearing loss
  • Arthritis and loss of bone density
  • Bowel and/or bladder issues
  • Increased risk of risk of kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or becoming obese

While these all sound serious, and they can be, there are ways to mitigate these common senior pet health issues so you can keep your senior pet happy, healthy, comfortable, and free of stress during their golden years.

Feed them an age-appropriate diet

Senior pets have different dietary requirements than younger pets, so it’s important to feed them a diet that is appropriate for their age and dietary needs. Because senior pets tend to be more sedentary than puppies or kittens, they are more likely to gain weight. They don’t have the energy they used to. A low-fat diet with fewer calories is recommended to keep your pet at a healthy weight.

Talk to your veterinarian about foods that provide the balance of nutrition they will need. If your senior pet has digestive allergies or skin problems, they will need a diet that includes the right protiens. Your pup may be allergic to a variety of foods including wheat, dairy, chicken, and eggs, so find them a food that won’t trigger an immune response.

Regular exercise

Even though your senior pet has slowed down and doesn’t have the energy they used to, it is still very important that they maintain a regular exercise routine. This will help your pet maintain a healthy weight and it’s beneficial to their overall health. Talk to your vet about the right exercises for your senior pet. However, it’s best to keep exercises low-key with walks or light jogs. This is especially important if you adopted a senior pet as they likely didn’t receive the care they needed throughout their lives, so they will need to start slow and work their way up.

We also recommend mental exercises to keep your pet’s mind healthy and active. There are some great games for your senior dog or cat that will not only help keep them mentally stimulated; these are great exercises if your senior pet doesn’t get around well any more.  

 Pay attention to their teeth.

Dogs and cats alike require dental care. The Drake Center for Veterinary Care in California notes that cats over the age of four can develop gingivitis and periodontal disease. The older they get, the more alarming these issues can be. Dogs are likewise at risk of oral health concerns. Bad breath, visible plaque, and reduced appetite are all signs that your aging pup is dealing with tooth problems. You can offset many of these issues by brushing your dog’s teeth. Dental chews and water additives may also help if your dog doesn’t like their teeth being touched or are visibly uncomfortable when doing so.

Regular vet visits

Older animals tend to have more healthcare requirements with each passing year. Your vet may recommend a senior blood panel to check heart, liver, and kidney function. Because pets tend to develop health issues like the ones previously mentioned, it is likely you will be seeing your vet more frequently, which can get very expensive. Sadly, because of this, so many senior pets end up in our shelters because their owners cannot afford their care. Therefore, it is very important to be financially prepared for your senior pet’s medical needs.

You may be able to get pet insurance to offset medical expenses. Before you buy, look into various plans to find out if they cover the services you need and accept older pets. Most do not cover any pre-existing conditions, but do your research. We recommend pet insurance by the ASPCA, but there are other quality pet insurance providers. 

Make your home senior pet friendly

While you probably don’t need to add wheelchair access to your home to accommodate an aging animal, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them to get around. Older pets tend to develop bone and joint problems as they age, which could affect their mobility. This is why we recommend making certain accommodation for your senior pet.

If your dog sleeps on the bed or lay on the couch, a pet ramp can help them get to their sleeping spot without trying to jump. Likewise, if you notice that they slip and slide on tile or hardwood floors, consider adding non-skid runners throughout their preferred path.

Regular grooming

As your pet ages, it’s likely that their coat will start to lose its luster. Seniors often suffer with dry, flaky skin. If you have a long-haired pet, we recommend you brush your pet regularly to avoid mats and tangles. Also, use natural oatmeal-based shampoos to help nourish dry, irritated skin.

As you can see, taking care of an older animal is not that different from taking care of yourself when your own hair starts to gray. It requires both mental and physical exercise, proper nutrition, a relationship with their health care professional, and a few simple home modifications. These tips can help you help your beloved pet thrive and enjoy their sunset years.

Note sure when or if your pet is considered a senior? Check out this chart by the American Veterinary Medical Association for more information.

How to Deal with the Loss of a Pet

How to Deal with the Loss of a Pet

They say our pets are like family. I say, they’re not “like” family; they are family, and when you lose one, it’s a like a part of your heart and soul gets ripped out and taken with them.

As the co-founder of PPITS, I’ve seen my fair share of pet loss. It is absolutely devastating on so many levels. As an NLP certified personal development coach, I have helped many friends, family members, and colleagues through the end of life stages of their pets.

I always get the “when will I know it’s time?” question when someone is dealing with a senior pet who’s health is on a serious or rapid decline. The only answer I can ever give is “you’ll know when.” Other than the physical signs of suffering, pets have an uncanny ability of letting us know when they’re ready to go. Sometimes, they’ll go on their own terms. Either way, it’s never easy.

“People often minimize the significance of losing a pet, but in reality, the loss can be experienced as more painful than the loss of a human friend or family member,” said Arolyn Burns, M.A. LMFT, LPCC. “Pets give us unconditional love. There’s no conflict over race, religion, or politics. They don’t judge us, and there’s no bitterness or resentment. The pain can be quite significant and last a very long time.”

Losing a pet can be especially difficult if you’re single and have no children. Your pets are your children. They are often your sole source of daily companionship.

And now, with the fear, uncertainty, and isolation due to COVID, our pets have become an even greater source of comfort and companionship. Losing one during this time can be even more devastating.

So how do you get past that level of grief?

1.Seek help. Don’t go it alone. Contact a grief counselor, therapist, or yours truly. In her book, On Death & Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s important to have an experienced and grounded ear to help you cycle through these phases. “The grief can be crippling. If it is causing a significant impact on your life, please seek help from a licensed professional therapist,” said Burns.

2. Be ok with your grief. Everyone experiences grief differently. Some feel guilty about grieving a pet. Often times that’s due to societal judgements: “It was just a dog…” (or cat, bird, guinea pig, bearded dragon, what have you). No, “it” was so much more to you than anyone could ever imagine, especially if it was what we call your “heart pet”. My heart cat was named Vivian. When she passed, that was it. There will never be another cat like Vivian to me, and therefore I shall never have another cat. I am more than happy to rescue them, but to me, Viv was the cat’s meow of cats.

3. Know that grief has no timeline. We’ve had so many adopters tell us they lost their beloved pet and just couldn’t bring themselves to adopt another one for a certain amount of time. Some come to us within one week of their pet’s passing. For others, it took years. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, don’t rush through the process and force yourself to try to feel better. Often, those who live alone grieve for longer because their pet was such a focal point of their lives. The same is true for those who lose a therapy pet or service animal. The pet wasn’t ‘just a pet’. There was a deeper bond as he or she performed specific tasks, which enabled their owner to have a better quality of life.

4. Consider a ‘transition’ pet. People often come to us to adopt a younger pet because their current pet is getting old, and they want another to help with the transition when the older one eventually passes. Having the other pet there automatically fills the void that the family would have felt with the loss. It allows them to maintain their routine and gives them something to continue to focus on and care for. The concept of adopting a transition pet tends to be more common with people who are single. they don’t want to be left alone. Often times, the younger pet serves as a companion for the older one, which can give them a new lease on life and increases their lifespan.

5. Practice self care. Losing a pet can take an extreme emotional toll, which can zap your energy. Look after your emotional needs during this time. Try to avoid stressful situations and the negativity of social media. Meditate, spend personal time with friends and family, eat healthy, get out in nature, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. These things are recommended under normal circumstances, but they are especially important when you’re going through the grief process.

Other recommendations:

  • Create a legacy by planting a tree, flowers, or creating a memorial for your pet.

However you handle the painful loss of your pet, grief is a normal process and should be taken very seriously. “Losing a pet is a significant loss. It is going to going to hurt. Don’t ignore it or avoid it,” said Burns.

Being open to feelings of grief and taking time to work through your sorrow will help the healing process. Eventually, you will get to the point where you can only look back with fond memories of your beloved pet with a mended heart and soul.

Disaster Preparedness: What To Do in the Event of An Emergency

Disaster Preparedness: What To Do in the Event of An Emergency

When disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, or fires strike a community, the impact reaches not only people but also resident livestock and companion animals. The impact on animals can include animals getting stranded and needing rescue, or permanent separation of companion animals from their owners or fosters.

Recent disasters highlighted the need for emergency response plans that include provisions for pet evacuations and to communicate relevant information to our fosters and volunteers. It is important for the Animal Emergency Preparedness Plan to be flexible and scalable, providing the protocols needed in the event of any disaster.

What To Do in the Event of An Emergency

If you have to evacuate please take all pets in the home, including foster pets. If it’s not safe for you to remain in your home, then it is not safe for the pets in your home to remain either.

Evacuate early. Don’t wait for an emergency evacuation order. Evacuating before conditions become severe will keep everyone safer and make the process less stressful.

Be Prepared!

1.    Check for and prevent any hazards that may already exist in your home such as:

  • Propane tanks – ensure they are safely kept
  • Monitor candles and heat emitting appliances such as ovens, stove, or clothes iron
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets
  • Test smoke alarms frequently to ensure they are in working order
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it
  • Prevent carbon monoxide leaks by having your HVAC system, water heater, and other appliances that use gas, oil, or coal serviced by a professional every year
  • Make sure to always keep anything that gives off heat at least 3 feet away from flammable materials or items
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure your chimney is checked and cleaned by a professional once a year. Use a metal or glass screen that is large enough to prevent escaping embers
  • Check the testing labels on all major appliances that indicate you purchased them in safe working order. You may not find testing labels on older appliances, so consider whether it’s time to replace them or have them checked by a professional.
  • Avoid cluttering debris or junk near a furnace, heater or nay heat source

2.    Make sure that all information on identification tags and microchips are current and that both include your cell phone number and the contact information of a backup contact.

3.    Prepare a disaster kit that includes:

  • Food & water for at least 5 days
  • Bowls
  • Manual can opener
  • Medications and vet records
  • Litter, litter boxes and/or poopie bags
  • Harnesses, collars with tags (preferably martingale collars so your dog can’t “back out” of the collar in fear), leashes and crates/carriers

4.    In the event another foster home is needed, write down anything a temporary foster may need to know about your pet(s) and foster pet(s) including behavior, feeding times, any medical issues, medication, etc.

5.    Develop an evacuation transport plan including where pets will immediately go in an emergency (car, neighbor’s house, etc). Determine the number of crates or carriers needed, and an emergency destination (Red Cross or FEMA shelter, family or friend’s house, vet’s office, etc.).

  • Contact hotels/motels that are at least 50 miles from you to see if they take pets during an emergency.
  • Other essential supplies to store in a secure room in the home:

    • Nonperishable food
    • Bottled water
    • Battery-powered radios
    • First-aid supplies
    • Flashlights
    • Batteries
    • Duct tape
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Plastic garbage bags

Fires and Emergency Situations in the Home

In the event of a fire or emergency situation, call 9-1-1 immediately! Then:

  • Notify all people in your home as soon as possible by sounding any form of alarm- air horn, whistle, smoke alarm, or verbal.
  • Provide instructions to all occupants of the home as to where to exit and where to go once they exit the home.
  • Once all occupants including pets in the home are safe and emergency personnel have arrived on the scene, contact a friend or family member to notify them of the emergency and your location. Also provide an alternate contact number for anyone who is with you.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to fight a fire that has passed the incipient stage (that which can be put out with a single fire extinguisher), nor should you attempt to enter a burning building to conduct search and rescue. These actions should be left to emergency services professionals who have the necessary training, equipment, and experience (such as the fire department or emergency medical professionals). Untrained individuals may endanger themselves and/or those they are trying to rescue.

Evacuation Routes

Develop an evacuation route plan of your home, assign a Designated Assembly Area or Evacuation Site for your home.

  • Designated Assembly Area (DAA) is an outside location at least 50 feet from the building, away from roads and walkways used by emergency vehicles
  • Evacuation Site (ES) a building in close proximity to the evacuated building that will provide protection from the weather or other elements in the case of a prolonged evacuation.

If an emergency occurs while at home or work, local emergency personnel will instruct and direct you to the nearest DAA or ES.

Discuss all emergency evacuation plans with all members of your household.

  • Appoint 1-2 people responsible for evacuation assistance in your home.
  • In the event that a fire/emergency alarm is sounded or instructions for evacuation are given:

    • Everyone should immediately exit the premises/building(s) at the nearest exits, as shown in the escape route
    • Meet as soon as possible at the Designated Assembly Area.
    • The people responsible for evacuation are to check all rooms for occupants and pets.
    • Once a room has been checked and cleared, close the door to that room, but leave it unlocked. This will decrease the chances of a fire spreading.
    • Leave home exit doors open to allow any pets that may remain to escape to the outdoors. If you must, break a window to the room where you think pets may be hiding.

Securing Property and Equipment

In the event that evacuation of the premises is necessary make sure that gas mains, electricity breaker boxes and water mains are shut off.  Determine who in your home will be responsible for shutting off this equipment in your home.

Accounting for members of your household after an evacuation

Once a home evacuation has occurred to an evacuation site, an adult should account for each person and pet that was in the home and report this to emergency personnel.

Home Evacuation Re-entry

Once your home has been evacuated, do not re-enter it for any reason. All members of the home should remain at the Designated Assembly Areas or Evacuation Sites until the fire department or other emergency response agency notifies you that either it is safe to re-enter, or if relocation to a new location is discussed and determined.

Sheltering in Place: When not to evacuate

In the event of an emergency where authorities may determine that it is safer to remain where you are rather than evacuate in such instances as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminates have been released into the environment in such quantity and/or proximity to your home, please follow all instructions by emergency personnel and do the following:

  • Immediately lock exterior doors and close windows, doggy doors, and air vents.
  • Turn off, seal, or disable all fans, heating and air conditioning systems, and clothes dryers, especially those systems that automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air.
  • If there is a danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Ensure all pets are inside.

If you have a room you can designate as a “safe room,” put your emergency supplies in that room in advance. A safe room is a room that has no windows or exposure to the outside such as a walk-in closet, bathroom, basement or underground shelter.  Bring all supplies listed above (pet crate and supplies, any medications and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency supplies.) If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape.

Write down the names of everyone in the home and inform emergency personnel outside of the building of who is in the room. Listen to the radio, monitor TV, phone or check Facebook updates. Do not come out until you know it’s safe and have been instructed to do so by emergency personnel.

Reporting Emergency Situations

All emergency situations must be reported as soon as possible. Emergency situations may include but are not limited to fires, earthquakes, floods, vehicle accidents during animal transport, injuries incurred by human or animal from bites and animal injuries incurred during physical exercise.

We want to ensure all members of your home are safe and accounted for in case of an emergency – both people and pets. For more information and tips on emergency situations, please visit the Red Cross and FEMA web sites. Also, please contact your local animal shelter and discuss their emergency plans for animal evacuations. You should also contact neighbors, family and friends to discuss emergency plans.




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Happy World Spay Day! (Neuter too!)

Happy World Spay Day! (Neuter too!)

Today is World Spay Day! Yay! Why dedicate a whole day to it? Every year, 2.7 million companion animals are put to sleep in our nation’s shelter system. This is primarily due to overcrowding and people not spaying or neutering their pets. It costs American taxpayers...

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Adopting for the Holidays? Shelters vs. Rescues

Adopting for the Holidays? Shelters vs. Rescues

Recently, a man walked into the Petco store where we have our rescue kittens on display. He was looking to adopt a dog. The store clerk politely sent the man to see me, letting him know that I was the rescue representative. He was looking for a small white dog for his...

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