Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our Birthday Wish List

There’s nothing better than a birthday celebration!  And we’re not ashamed of our age- in fact, we’re
Buy your own dog birthday cake hat here! (Not affiliated with HSEC)
proud to say we’re turning 35 (that’s 245 in dog years)!

We’re grateful for the support from the community that has allowed us to serve homeless dogs and cats, and we know the pets we’ve placed are grateful for a second chance.  We’ll be celebrating our birthday all throughout May, and we’ll be hosting a virtual party on our social media sites (the blog, Facebook, and Twitter) on May 15th, as well as a special party at our facility on May 18 – more details to come!

One of the toughest things about birthday celebrations is knowing what gifts to bring.  We’ve made it easy for our friends by creating a wish list on Amazon.  After clicking on the link, it’s a piece of birthday cake to order some of the items we really need.

Our list is modest and practical, starting with litter boxes and food bowls at less than $6.  Greenies pill pockets allow us to hide medications to be gobbled down like treats.  Sprayers will help us keep the facility clean, and a variety of carriers and cages on our list will help us transport our furry friends and keep them safe. 

“Adopt Me” vests can be worn when our pets are offsite, encouraging potential adopters to spend a few moments getting to know and love them.  Gift cards at Lowe’s and Sam’s Club are also on our Amazon list; available in any denomination, they will allow us to remain well-stocked.

With your support, we’re looking forward to the next 35.  We hope we can count on you to donate, volunteer, adopt, spread the word – and join the party animals at the Humane Society for a celebration of our milestone!  Tail wags and kisses of gratitude will surely come your way!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pet Vaccinations

Whether you’re a first time pet owner with a 7 month old or an experienced pet veteran with an old
companion, there is always a lot to learn when it comes to pet vaccinations. Throughout your pet’s life, there will most certainly be necessary vaccinations to ensure their health and wellbeing.

Newborn kittens and puppies have plenty of threats lying ahead of them and a few inexpensive will help to prevent a great deal of worry down the road. The threats for dogs include; Rabies, Distemper, Canine Adenovirus, Parvo, and Coronarvis. Luckily there is an all-inclusive “5 in 1” shot to eradicate these threats. Felines will need to have a series of shots called, DRCC/FCRCP, covering; Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Chlamydia. This should be followed up a few weeks later with a Rabies shot. The DRCC/FCRCP is similar price-wise to the “5 in 1” shot summing up to cost around $150-$200.

In addition, your pet will need regular medication to prevent heartworm disease. We suggest asking your veterinarian about an ideal schedule for preventative treatment for heartworms, which can be a very serious disease for pets.

Scheduling all vaccinations is a fairly easy process, however, it is key that you stay on top of the shot schedule recommended for your pet. A good deal of shots require booster shots that should take place weeks or even years after the initial shot to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine. The best way to do this is by placing the dates on your calendar far ahead of time maybe with stickers or special colored markings.

Pet vaccination is not only beneficial to your pet but can also directly affect the people and like animals that are in direct interaction. For this reason, many dog parks, groomers, and boarding facilities (doggie and kitty hotels) require to see that your pet received certain vaccinations. These records are simple signs that your pet has undergone the necessary protocol and are fit to be in a public/social pet setting. Typically the records are easily accessed at your vet’s office or through a website.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Celebrating Blossom

It is with heavy hearts today that we mourn the passing of Blossom, the pit bull that we have featured before on the blog. Her story is here.

Any discussion of Blossom's life must include at least some mention of its hard beginning. Consider it therefore mentioned, so that we may focus instead on the last and happiest part of Blossom's life - the home she shared with owners Ashley and Dan. After all, while dogs may remember the past they do not dwell in it, nor do they count the days and grieve for what might have been. From the moment Blossom went home, all that she knew was that she was cherished and loved.

Everyone here at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina knew Blossom, but only Ashley and Dan had the honor of seeing her become - blossom - into her true self. Their endless patience and love transformed this dog from a nervous stray into a pet that was playful and mischievous, clever and cuddly. She slept in the bed with her people every night, her head pillowed on Dan's shoulder. She enjoyed daily walks, and was often adorned in costumes created by Ashley. She even got to see the ocean.

On Tuesday, April 16, Blossom went into cardiac arrest during a routine surgical operation and passed away despite heroic resuscitation attempts by the attending veterinarians. She was brought home, lovingly dressed in her favorite pink tutu, and laid to rest in one of her favorite places beneath hundreds of brilliant springtime flowers. As she had been in life, she was surrounded by her family and others who loved her. She will never know how many lives she touched with her sweetness, gentility, and above all, her ability to trust despite her many past hardships.

"She made us a family," Ashley says. Blossom was a remarkable dog, and she will be greatly missed.

"Every life is noted and is cherished,
And nothing loved is ever lost or perished."
- Madeline L'Engle

For those who are mourning the loss of a pet, please read our entry here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How to Get Rid of Pet Smell

We all love our pets very much. And we do anything to make them happy. But sometimes we don’t love how our pets smell (or the smells they leave behind).

Don't be defeated by stink!
The first thing to do to combat smell is to increase cleaning frequency. Scoop the litter box daily, and
change the litter once per week to avoid that catbox smell, washing out the box each time. Wash pet bedding weekly, as smells linger in fabric. You may be able to isolate the bad odor to a favorite couch or pillow, which can be cleaned with particular care.

Ok, but maybe you've tried that. You’ve tried everything – from air fresheners to frequent cleaning to containing your furry friend to one room in your house. Nothing has seemed to get rid of the smell!

There are multiple things that can be causing your dog or cat to have a lingering smell. Some of these include bad breath, frequent flatulence, health problems such as kidney disease or diabetes, infected ears or anal glands, or simply just not having a bath in awhile. Some of these odor causing problems can be cured by remembering to bathe your pet frequently. There are special pet shampoos available that get rid of odors, not just cover them up. Remember to dry with towel or hairdryer (on low) because no one likes the smell of wet fur. If you continue to give baths but are still stuck with the smell, make an appointment to see your vet. There may be something wrong that you don’t even know about.

Grooming your pet is just as important as bathing. Removing knots and tangles in your pet’s fur should be done gently. Depending on the length and type of fur, you’ll want to find the perfect brush or comb. Get into a habit of brushing once a day, especially with animals that have longer fur. Back-comb to help remove more loose hairs; a wet comb can help to pick up more loose material.
Additional cleaning should be done along with bathing and grooming. Clean your pet’s ears with special solutions. Waxy build up may attract ear mites. Follow the instructions on the package of specialty pet ear cleaners. Don’t forget about their teeth as well. Just imagine how bad your breath would be if you didn’t brush for months on end. Click here for our previous post about doggy dental care.

Diet is not only an important part of our pet’s health, but what you put in their mouths also has an effect on how they smell. Avoid feeding your dog: chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, tomatoes, avocados, nuts, and foods containing caffeine or xylitol! These can be harmful and poisonous to your dog. Corn should not be the main ingredient in your pet’s food, neither should soy. Check your labels. Most dogs and cats are lactose intolerant (as are most adult mammals). If you're adding anything to your pet's diet that includes lactose, flatulence may well be the end result. When switch your pet’s diet, do so gradually; three days is a good grace period –reduce the old food by a third each day.

For the smell that just won’t leave your carpet or furniture, try using a mixture of general household items. Many people will tell you to try white vinegar and water or baking soda, but this tends to only mask the smell for a week or so. Your best bet is to use hydrogen peroxide (or buy the premade deodorizers at your local store; anything with enzymes in it will work). In a spray bottle, gently mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide and ¼ cup baking soda. Mist the stinky spot and let dry, repeat two or three times. If there’s any residue left behind you can vacuum that up. Spot test on fabrics first. To maintain fresh scent between cleanings, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, let sit fifteen minutes, then vacuum.

Sometimes a good smelling home starts with a good smelling pet!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Link Roundup

Welcome to another link roundup! We are happy to bring you the internet's animal news.

Did you run with your furry friend in our recent 5k? Dogs make great running partners! The Daily Reflector has an article about how to safely and productively run with your dog.

Cats... they aren't like us. Here's a collection of 36 cartoons featuring everyone's favorite feline jokes.

Keeping your indoor cat happy can be a challenge. Some people have even made catios - that is, a screened-in patio where their cat can safely enjoy the outdoors. And here's a DIY project that will also allow kitty limited access to the outside world. 

Heroism is everywhere, even in our own backyard! A Manteo, NC boy came across a group of kids tormenting a cat and stepped in to save the animal's life. The cat, Jackson, is now recuperating at the Outer Banks SPCA.

Big or small, cats just love cardboard boxes.

Normally we don't condone dogs jumping up on anyone - but when the dog is welcoming home a deployed soldier, we'll make an exception! This video features some of the happiest dogs you'll ever see.