Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hot Oven, Hot Car - Same Thing!

Summer is coming, and we’ll be in search of ways to beat the heat. But don’t forget it’s up to us to keep it cool for our pets.  With fur coats and no sweat glands, dogs can overheat quickly, often with fatal consequences.

While it’s tempting to leave a furry friend in the car while running a quick errand, think again – and don’t do it!  Either leave your buddy at home, or take a friend or family member to wait in the car, keeping an eye on the temperature and perhaps going for a short stroll.  Even leaving windows open a crack won’t provide enough ventilation in a hot day, and curious dogs have been known to get their heads wedged in car windows. They can also escape if the window is open too widely, or even bite people through the crack.

On a 78 degree day, temperatures inside a shaded car can reach 90 degrees - and that shoots up to 160 if the car is in the sun! Most experts recommend that if the air temperature is 60 degrees or more, your pets should stay at home or come into the store with you, if allowed (and that goes for your kids too). Some people try to get around this by leaving the engine and air conditioning running, but this is not fail-safe. If the engine overheats or the air conditioner malfunctions, the animal is in just as much peril as before.

It's also not a great idea to let your dog ride loose in the bed of a pick up truck. The hot metal can scorch the dog's paws, sudden turns or stops can cause it to tumble around and potentially harm itself, and no matter how well trained, any dog might jump out at a stop light or in a parking lot.
This is not going to end well.
Greenville Animal Control officers receive 20 to 30 calls each summer, and will respond quickly to remove a dog from a hot car.  Temperatures can rise to 120 degrees in less than 20 minutes, and officers will break car windows in order to save an animal if the owner cannot be located immediately.  Criminal penalties can include fines and up to six months in jail.

It’s up to all of us to prevent tragedy by keeping our pets out of hot vehicles, and by looking out for those locked up by negligent owners. Call police if you see a dog in distress. Greenville Animal Control can be reached at 252-329-4387, or, in an emergency, 252-329-4300.

This summer, stay safe and enjoy the weather – and make sure your pet does, too!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Success Story - Ezy, Soft, and Balto

Every animal that comes through our doors is loved, but there are those few cats or dogs that really touch the heart. For some reason - length of stay, special needs, health concerns - everyone who works or volunteers at HSEC knows these extra-special guys, and we celebrate even more when they have success. So let's take a look at three of our recent extra-special success stories: Ezy, Soft, and Balto.


When we began this blog in October of 2011, we had just one candidate for the very first blog dog - Ezy. By October Ezy had already been at the facility for longer than a year. Ezy was brought in as a stray with an uncertain pedigree and it was clear that he wasn't very comfortable around people. He was never mean or vicious, but he was very shy. Staff and volunteers had to be careful to approach Ezy the right way. He quickly warmed up to his favorites, but was often overlooked by potential adopters because of his shy personality.

A wise volunteer once said "there's a lid for every pot", meaning that every animal had an owner out there already waiting for them. Well, in Ezy's case he's more like a stock pot - and his lid has finally found him. His adopter is a volunteer who spent several weeks getting to know Ezy and making him comfortable before finally taking him home.

Some adoptions are so happy they just make you cry. We couldn't be happier that Ezy has found his pot!


Soft was another long-timer at HSEC. This older cat came from a home where the owner could no longer care for her, and it was clear that the seven-year-old was stressed out at the facility. We give our residents the best care possible, but our environment can be loud and scary and is no replacement for a permanent home.

Soft was also our very first cat of the month in October 2011, and she had already been in the facility for several months at that point. Because she was stressed, she could be shy and even temperamental. She certainly wasn't putting her best foot forward for potential adopters. Luckily for this beautiful long-haired cat, she was fostered by a wonderful family who finally made things official by adopting her in April.

Older cats can have a difficult time finding a home, and we were all a little worried about Soft. This is an adoption to celebrate for sure!


Balto was a more recent addition to our facility. A year-old malamute should have plenty of energy to spare, but Balto is hampered by the painful condition of hip dysplasia. He needed two surgeries just to have a normal, pain-free life.

We reached out to our friends through Facebook and on the blog to help us fund Balto's surgeries, using a new tool called ChipIn to track donations. We're happy to announce that we have completely funded Balto's surgery and care, raising $1005 in total!

Balto has already had his first surgery, and is doing well in his foster home. And best of all, potential adopters have stepped forward to give him a forever home! This is the best kind of happy ending and we couldn't be more grateful for the role you played in making it come true.

So from Ezy, Soft, Balto, and all of us at HSEC...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just the Facts - March and April

It seems like the past few months have flown by, and all of a sudden we're right around the corner from summer. Our freshly painted Cat Palace is looking great, and a beautiful mural has just been finished - we'll be sure to share pictures as soon as we have them.

Adoptions generally slow down a little bit during the summer months, but during March and April we've had quite a few to celebrate.

In March we took in 32 animals in total - 19 cats and 13 dogs. And just to keep things nice and symmetrical, we've adopted out 32! This includes 9 adult cats, 6 kittens, 10 adult dogs, and 7 puppies. 9 of these adoptions were off-site.

In April, we took in 23 animals, 9 cats and 14 dogs. But again with that magic number, we adopted out 32 - 11 adult cats, 3 kittens, 10 adult dogs, and 8 puppies. 8 of these adoptions were off-site.

It was wonderful to see so many animals go off to their forever homes, and this opens up more space in our facility to transfer in more critters. Remember, when you adopt a pet from a no-kill operation, you're not just giving that animal a home. You're also opening a space for another unwanted animal in the facility. You're saving TWO lives - and providing the no-kill facility with the funds to continue operating. Thank you!

So without further ado let's take a look at some of the sweet guys that found their forever homes in March and April!


Ezy!!! Blog Dog of the Month October AND November 2010




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dog Food Recall - Check Your Labels!

A Gaston dog food plant has temporarily halted production due to an outbreak of salmonella that was traced back to the plant. Diamond Pet Foods, which owns the plant, has recalled several varieties of food. Other companies which also use the plant have voluntarily made recalls as well. If you have any of the following brands in your home, please visit www.DiamondPetRecall.com and the FDA bulletin to check your lot dates:
  • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul 
  • Country Value
  • Diamond
  • Diamond Naturals
  • Premium Edge
  • Professional
  • 4Health
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Apex (distributed only in the state of South Carolina)
  • Kirkland Signature
  • Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain
  • Canidae
  • Natural Balance
  • Wellpet Complete Health
  • Wellness Complete Health
  • Solid Gold
So far, fourteen individuals in nine states have been infected with salmonella. No animal cases have yet been reported. Pet food contamination is a serious concern for both you and your pet, as humans can become infected after handling food or treats. If you have any of these foods, please stop giving them to your pet right away.

The symptoms of salmonella poisoning in humans and animals include lethargy, stomach pain and cramping, fever, and diarrhea.  Click here for more information on salmonella poisoning in humans, and here for animals. The majority of humans and pets will be able to recover from salmonella poisoning on their own, though a few cases are serious and even fatal. Those most at risk for a more serious outcome are the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems. If you or your pet has become ill after coming into contact with these products, call your doctor or vet.

For more information, a complete list of recalled products, or a product replacement or refund, you can visit www.DiamondPetRecall.com or call toll-free 1-800-442-0402, 8AM-6PM Monday-Friday.

Pet food recalls are not uncommon. It's a good idea to keep up to date on recalls, and the FDA's recalls website is a good resource.

In order to avoid salmonella infection, only buy food that is within the expiration date and in good condition (properly sealed, no dings in cans, etc). Use good hygiene and common sense when dispensing food - wash your hands, wash out the food bowls after use, and make sure the preparation area is clean. Store wet foods promptly in the fridge and keep dry foods in a dry, cool container with a lid. To avoid cross-contamination, keep your pets away from food preparation areas and out of the trash. (source)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cat Palace Makeover 2012

After two full days and five cans of paint we're happy to report that the HSEC Cat Palace Makeover 2012 is complete!! 

Rumor has it the HSEC Cat Palace hadn't seen a fresh coat of paint in at least 25 years!  Some of our volunteers decided it was time to make a change.  Here are some before pictures to demonstrate this major transformation:

Special thanks to Inner Banks Paint in Greenville for donating over $100 in paint and supplies!!  Without their generous donation and support in helping us select just the right color our dreams of a fabulous new Cat Palace would not have come true!

We'd also like to send a special thank you to all the volunteers who came out to paint with us, many of them came out for both painting days and we couldn't have done it without them!  If you see any of these happy faces around the facility be sure to thank them for their hard work!

 Haley putting a first coat around the door frame
 Anna hard at work brightening up the ceiling with a fresh coat of white paint
 Alexa and Shelby jazzing up the walls with a pop of purple
Shelby and Jennifer finishing up the left wall before lunch

(Thank yous also goes out to Hannah, Austin, Ryan, David, and Lauren, not pictured.)

Thanks to all their hard work and hours of dedication the entire Cat Palace has been painted purple, the ceiling saw two coats of white paint which brighten up the room tremendously, and we also got donations of a new clock and adorable sign!  Here are the after photos:

Of course pictures just don't do justice to the fantastic new look of our facility, now it really is a cat palace!  We hope you'll stop by soon to see it in person and visit with our wonderful adoptable cats and kittens!  Also, stay tuned for a follow up post with more pictures of the mural being completed by student artists! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Purrfect Post Cat of the Month - Smokey Joe!

Looking for a cool cat who’s also smokin’ hot?  Look no further than our Smokey Joe.  This handsome gray tabby is a big fellow with a heart and personality to match.

Smokey Joe will instantly disprove the belief that cats are aloof and independent.  He loves to greet visitors with a head butt to the hand, asking for attention.  His silky blue-gray coat just invites a good petting, and his big gold eyes are looking for love.

A champion purrer, Smokey Joe is not shy about expressing his contentment.  In fact, he’s just about the purrfect cat – all that’s missing is a loving, forever home where he can lavish his affection on a human, or a family of humans, of his very own.

Smokey Joe is FIV positive, although that certainly doesn’t slow him down.  Most cats who test positive live long and healthy lives, but some potential adopters are needlessly scared away. Smokey Joe doesn’t require any special treatment – just regular visits to the vet like any other pet.  Check out our post about FIV for more information.

Although he’s a volunteer favorite, a cat as friendly and affectionate as Smokey Joe deserves the love and attention he can only find in a place of his own.  Stop by and visit him – and share this post with your friends.  Let’s send this great guy home!

You can see Smokey Joe's Petfinder page here. All cats with the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina are spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccines, dewormed, on flea prevention and tested for FIV/FeLV. Adoptions come with a small bag of Hill's Science Diet food and one month free of pet health insurance.