Monday, July 22, 2013

Jammin with Judd - Let's Meet!

Judd is an adorable three-year old white and tabby fellow who’s living in a foster home since life at the facility was starting to get him down. He tells us he will blog every week until he gets adopted.  He really wants a place of his own! Follow his adventures through HSEC social media - #jamminwithjudd

Well, another week in my foster home, and I must say that I am certainly a living in a home kinda
guy.  I just love having room to sprawl out, and having humans around is absolute heaven.  Being petted and having laps to sit on – now that’s the life!

The only sad thing is that I know this is not my forever home, and I really want one.  I was a little shy and spooked when I arrived here, but after a couple of days I got very happy, and I know I can do it again!  Really, all I need is some loving, some treats, and a place of my own.  Is that too much for a guy to ask?

There is one thing that has been worrying me.  Since I’m not at the Humane Society’s facility, how would someone go about meeting me and adopting me?  Resourceful cat that I am, I scratched around a bit and found out that all a human would need to do is to call HSEC on any kind of telephone at 252-413-7247 or email on a computer or smart phone to fill out a pre-adoption application, which is easy to do.

The people there are very nice, and they will make sure you and I will be a good match (I’ll bet we will).  Then they’ll find a good time for us to meet and greet at their facility.  My schedule is pretty much wide open, but you, my foster mom and the people at the facility can find a time that works for everybody.

I must confess that I’m not much of a traveler – not many of us cats are – but I really do want to meet my forever humans, so I’ll try to be brave.  So let’s get together!  I’ll bet we can be each other’s BFFs!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bow Wow BINGO - This Thursday!

There was a farmer had a dog and BINGO was his name-o. …. Oh no wait, that’s the wrong
Your participation benefits dogs like Sadie Lou!
thing. We’re here to talk about our upcoming event, BOW WOW BINGO.  

Join us Thursday, July 18 at Pitt County Community Schools & Recreation (4561 County Home Rd) for a fun night of BINGO play. 

This won’t be your ordinary game of BINGO. There will be cash prizes, and you will be supporting two great causes. Bow Wow BINGO is a FUNdraiser for Spay Today, our local low-cost spay/neuter clinic, and HSEC. We’re working together to reduce pet overpopulation in eastern North Carolina. 100% of the proceeds are split evenly between the two nonprofit organizations. 

Admission is $20, which includes 6 cards to all regular BINGO games and a dabber. Additional cards, jackpot specials, 50/50 raffle tickets and light refreshments will be available for purchase.

Come out for a night of fun. And when you get five in a row, don’t forget to yell, “BOW WOW BINGO!”

Doors open at 6:00pm, and the game starts at 6:30. We hope to see you there!

Can’t make it this Thursday? Make your calendar for upcoming Bow Wow BINGO nights: August 15, September 19 and October 17.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jammin with Judd - A New Place

Judd is an adorable three-year old white and tabby fellow who’s been hanging out at the Humane Society looking for a home.  He tells us he will blog every week until he gets adopted.  He really wants a place of his own! Follow Judd's adventures on Facebook and Twitter, #jamminwithjudd

Me (Judd) and a friend
Wow, have I ever had a whirlwind of a week!  I must admit I was getting a little down in the dumps at the Humane Society.  I mean, it’s bright and cheerful, and everyone is very nice to us cats, but it’s full of commotion and there are way too many kittens bouncing around and making kitten noises.  And it’s just not home.

Because the people there saw that I was a bit depressed, a lady who works there decided to take me home with her for a cage break.  I’ve seen her around before, and she was always a very pleasant human.  But as I mentioned before, I do get upset sometimes in unfamiliar situations, so this was a big, scary change for me.

Next thing I knew, I was being loaded into a carrier and into a car, and I was on my way to Ana’s house.  I’ll admit it was overwhelming to be in a strange place with a very young human and a couple of other cats – there were lots of brand new sights and smells.  Lucky for me, there was a great couch to hide under for a couple of days, although I did sneak out for food, water, and the litter box when nobody was looking.

Finally Ana coaxed me out from under the couch, and you know what?  It’s really a lot of fun here!  There are little plastic balls to play with, and they have a great sprawling floor!  And I love to follow Ana from room to room, and my very favorite thing is to lay on her tummy!  Humans are so cuddly!

So in the past week, I went from depressed to scared to happy.  Funny how that happened.  I really, really want a home of my very own that I never have to leave – I’ve decided that I will try to be brave when I have to move again, but I want it to be forever.  Do you happen to be looking for a cuddle buddy, play pal and all around fun cat?  I hope so.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Staycations: Explore your area with your pet!

Before we get into today's post about staycations with your pet - that's taking a vacation in your own town - let's do a little housekeeping!

Due to the sad demise of Google Reader, we have made the HSEC blog available on feedly, an alternative blog reading platform. Do you have another favorite blog reader? Let us know! You can also sign up for email updates. Just enter your email on the right side of the screen, and you will receive each new post straight to your inbox. Is there another way you would like us to be accessible? Leave us a comment and we'll do our best!

We have kittens coming out our ears! Do you want to have a little kitten cuteness in your life? Sign up for a volunteer spot in the cat palace - we really need volunteers to help ensure the cats and dogs are properly exercised and socialized every day. We're also looking for volunteers for our next dog wash, which will take place on July 27th. Sign up for both opportunities through the volunteer website.

Now, onto the post!

Last week we talked about the fun ways you can incorporate your pet into your vacation. It takes a bit more planning and some basic preparations, but it's great to share those memories with your pet. But what if you just can't take the time - or spend the money - for a grand family vacation this year? A staycation, where you take advantage of local activities instead of heading for a distant tourist spot, might be just what you need.

Staycationing can easily include your pet with much less hassle, expense, and stress than a traditional vacation, since you can keep up your pet's normal schedule and return to a familiar place each night. Below are a few tips to help you staycation, Greenville style.
Buttercup is looking for summer fun in a forever home!

Take a Walk
Lace up those tennis shoes and hit the trail! Your dog will love the new smells, and you'll love the feeling of being outside, getting some exercise, and exploring your own backyard. It's easy to find a trail to suit any fitness level, from a leisurely stroll around Town Common, to a one-mile loop in Alice F. Keene Park, to a longer walk in River Park North. For a complete list of trails in Pitt County, click here.

Get Back to Nature
If you're slightly more adventurous, consider taking your staycation to the next level by checking out a nearby state park. Goose Creek is the closest to Greenville, but there are several other parks within an easy drive, including Cliffs of the Neuse and Medoc Mountain. Hiking, swimming, camping, and picnicking are always better with a fuzzy friend to share the trail. For more information about North Carolina State Parks, consult their website. Read carefully to learn which areas and activities allow dogs.

Safety Tip: Be careful about exercising your dog during the heat of the day. Make sure they always have access to water, and watch for signs of over-exertion, especially if they are usually couch potatoes.

Make Some Friends
Sometimes you just have to get out there and sniff a few butts. Well - your dog does, anyway. Dog parks can be great places for your dog to meet some new buddies and blow off a little steam. Check out the Greenville dog park, just half a mile down from Town Common.

Ok, but what about meeting other human dog-lovers? What about organizing a dog-walking group, or a socialization or training club with some of those new friends you're making at the dog park? is a good place to find like-minded people, but there aren't any Greenville groups for pets and animals - yet. Maybe you're the one to get the ball rolling!

Safety Tip: Be aware of how your dog reacts to unfamiliar dogs. Always be alert and ready to intervene if a disagreement begins. For some dogs, the dog park is simply not a safe option.

HSEC alum Lemon checks out the patio at Peasant's Pub
Grab some Good Eats
North Carolina law prohibits dogs from entering restaurants. And that's probably a good thing. But, dogs are allowed in outside areas, as long as it's permitted by the individual restaurant. Scope out restaurants with outside dining, like Sup Dogs or Peasant's Pub, both of which allow dogs on their outdoor patios. For dessert, hop on over to Loreta's Frozen Yogurt, which even has special doggie fro-yo. Or consider an eatery like Sonic where you can eat in your vehicle. Just be sure to call a restaurant first before bringing your pet to make sure that they are dog-friendly.

Hit the Road
Expand your staycation horizons just a tad and consider a day trip! Check out dog parks in Raleigh, or find a dog friendly beach (the closest to Greenville is Atlantic Beach). Take on part (or all!) of the Mountains to Sea Trail that runs a thousand miles across the state from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. The best part? You'll still be home for dinner.

Safety tip: Don't push too far or expect too much from your pet.

With these guidelines, we know you'll have some great adventures this summer staycationing with your buddy. Do you know of any other great local pet-friendly businesses, or have other ideas for fun things to do with your pets? Let us know in the comments!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jammin With Judd: Holiday Edition

Judd is an adorable three-year old white and tabby fellow who’s hanging out at the Humane Society looking for a home.  He tells us he will blog every week until he gets adopted.  He really wants a place of his own! Follow Judd's adventures - and share your own experiences with him - on Twitter, #jamminwithjudd

I understand that this week is a time when humans like to set off fireworks.  Well, I would like to be your firework!  Although having booms and lights in the sky seems a bit strange to me, I am willing to do my best.

Being a shelter cat does get a bit monotonous, you know.  I am ready to bust out of here, just my own personal Independence Day.  The problem is that I’m not really an independent kind of guy.  I figure I need humans for several very important things, like food, water, toys, playing, treats, and most of all, love!  Yes, I am a very committed love bug, with a special fondness for petting  and laps!  So while I want to be independent of the cage thing, I can’t imagine life without people!

I’m hoping that my time is coming.  What are you doing this weekend, now that the holiday is over?  I’m still hanging out at the Humane Society, and I’m wondering if you’re the one to help me explode in a stunning display of kitty joy?  We can be one another’s fireworks…any time you’re ready!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pack up Your Paws Part 2: How to Get There

Welcome to summer reruns! This was originally posted in July 2012. We'll be back with new content - an update from Judd - tomorrow! This is Part 2 of our two-part post on vacationing with your pets. You can read Part 1 here.

Now that your planning is done, you can look forward to the vacation itself. And you know how they say that "getting there is half the fun"? Well, that's true of traveling with pets - as long as you're prepared. Otherwise, traveling can be stressful for you and for them. Having a fun vacation with your pet will start with safe traveling.

Each airline has their own rules when it comes to traveling pets. Small dogs and cats are usually able to travel with you in the cabin, if their carrier can safely be placed under the seat in front of you. Some airlines may require you to purchase an extra seat for your pet, or you may prefer to do this for your (and your pet's) comfort. For larger dogs that will have to travel in cargo, buy a sturdy, airline approved cargo crate with a good latch on the door.

Your pilot has turned on the no-walkies sign...

When traveling by plane it is important to think of anything that could happen. Tape a recent picture to your pet’s carrier, and keep one with you as well; it’ll be a lot easier for everyone to identify your four-legged friend, especially if something were to happen during travel. Feed your dog or cat 3-5 hours before you travel. Freeze a bowl of water to keep in their travel crate so it won’t spill during loading, but will melt by the time s/he is thirsty. You can also tape a small pouch of dried food outside of the crate so airline personnel will be able to feed your pet during longer flights or a layover. If possible, book a direct flight. If you don’t want your pet treated like “luggage” think of booking them their own flight via Pet Airways (

When traveling by car, the main thing to remember is to keep your pet secure. Dogs are easier to travel with in general, but more so when driving. Most dogs will be excited to join you for a ride, just make sure they are either fitted for a dog-friendly seat belt or a travel harness; crates are an option as well, provided you have the room. Do not allow your pet to roam freely in the car, and do not let them sit on your lap - especially if you are driving. Unless they are exceptionally calm and seasoned travelers, cats should be crated. Cats like to hide in new places, and may choose to stuff themselves under the brake pedal or try and make a break for an open door.

A harness keeps you and your buddy safe on the road and is stylish to boot
For those dogs that may be a bit more timid about being your backseat buddy, start slow. Get your pup used to being the car without it running first; feed them a meal in the backseat and reward them for being calm. Start with short 10-15 minute trips and then gradually increase the distance you drive. Don’t just take your dog to the vet or the groomers in the car, as that could make them associate being in the car with a bad experience. Have your end destination be part of the reward during training; take a drive to a local dog park, or pet friendly store/restaurant. For those nonstop barking travel dogs, stuff a toy with treats and they’ll be too busy to bark.

Some dogs and cats get carsick, just like us! It's generally best for them to travel with an empty stomach, although some may do better with a small meal before you go. Experiment to see what's best for your pet, and never deny them water. Nausea may be relieved if the pet can see the surrounding scenery. Your vet may also prescribe anti-nausea medication as a last resort.

You will need to make pit stops for your dog about every two hours, so that they can stretch and empty their bladders. Cats can be expected to make it about six hours without a toilet. This should be calculated into your travel plans. A certain loss of spontaneity is to be expected when traveling with pets. Plan ahead to make sure that your hotel or lodging is pet friendly, and be a good customer - don't sneak pets into places where they are not allowed.

Margaritas on the deck at sunset... you're buying.
Now that you're at your destination, include your pet in your plans. Ask about local dog parks and dog-friendly cafes. Be patient with your baby if they are nervous or stressed out, and try to avoid leaving them alone in your hotel for an extended period of time (even if crated). In no time at all, your pet should be relaxing right alongside you.

No matter where you go or how you get there, keep your pet’s health and well being in the front of your mind. Don’t wait to buy food until you arrive, because your pet’s favorite may not be available. When packing, bring along some comforts of home, such as a favorite toy or blanket. Maintain your normal routine as much as possible; feeding times and play times shouldn’t alter too much while on vacation. Train, don’t drug, your pet into being a good traveler and you’re sure to have a great time!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pack up Your Paws Pt. 1: Planning a vacation with pets

Welcome to summer re-runs! Today, we'll take a look at how to plan a vacation with your pet. This post originally went up on June 29, 2012. We'll be back with fresh new content on Monday - Happy 4th of July!

Vacations are always much more fun with your best friend. Just because your best friend has four legs, doesn’t mean s/he should be left at home. It is becoming more and more popular for pets to tag along on vacations. With just a bit of research and planning ahead, you and your pet can share the vacation memories together.

If you're traveling this week for the 4th of July, remember that more pets are lost on the 4th than any other day during the year. Make plans for your pets to be safely and securely contained, particularly during the firework displays.

Before you travel anywhere, stop in the veterinarian’s office for a general check-up and to obtain a health certificate dated within 10 days of departure. Make sure you bring along vaccination records, your pet’s medical history, and any medication they will need. On your pet’s collar you should include an ID tag with your name and contact information, as well as your vacation destination. Microchipping your pet would also be very wise. You can read our post on microchipping here.

Traveling can be stressful enough for your pet, so crate train before you leave home. Most likely, at some point during your vacation you’ll need to keep your pet in a crate of some sort, whether that is during travel or once you reach your destination. Pet-friendly hotels may require your pet to be crated at night or anytime left alone in the room. Make it comfortable with blankets or towels on the bottom, and some familiarities of home, such as a favorite toy.

Think about your budget. Traveling with a pet will often save you money by foregoing expensive pet boarding and kennel fees, but don’t think it will be cheap. Airlines and hotels won’t accommodate your pet for free; there’s always a pet fee of some sort.

When planning your vacation, make sure all of your activities include your pet as well. What is the point in bringing them along if they’re just going to be left behind anyway? If you find yourself wanting to spend a pet-free day, find a local pet spa/day care, pet hotel/kennel, or some way to keep your pet safe and entertained during the day. If you’re staying at a pet-friendly location they should have information on local pet-friendly activities.

The planning process is when you should also take some time to consider if your pet will benefit from traveling with you. Many pets love heading out on the road, while others can be very stressed from the change (cats in particular). Know your pet and their limits - and if you are confident that everyone will have a good time, go have some fun!

This is the first of our two-part post on traveling with your pets. Stay tuned for Part 2 on Friday!

For more information about pet-friendly travel tips and destinations check out these links:

Pet Hotels of America (

Bring Fido (

Dog Friendly (

Pet Vacation Homes (   

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Welcome to summer reruns! All this week we will be taking another look at a few summer-themed favorites, so take a second look at great information you may have missed the first time around. This post originally debuted on August 10th, 2012. 

It’s the dog days of summer, and that means it’s hot, hot, hot outside! As you’re heading to the beach or sitting in the park or running those back-to-school errands, take some time to observe your pet’s behavior and ensure that they’re as comfortable as possible.

Cats and dogs don’t sweat, and may have a difficult time cooling off, particularly in humid conditions like right here in Eastern NC. Although both dogs and cats pant to keep cool, this may not always be enough to prevent heatstroke. All animals can get heatstroke, and more susceptible pets include those with short snouts, long-haired breeds, the very old or very young, the chronically ill, and the overweight. Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, anxiety, lethargy, weakness, dizziness, thick saliva, vomiting, and diarrhea, and can eventually proceed to shock, coma, and death.

But don’t fear! With a little awareness, you can avoid heat distress.

  • Try to schedule outside time during the cooler morning and evening hours.
  • Find a shady spot to rest, and take frequent breaks. Make sure outdoor cats have a cool place to hide from the sun.
  • Keep cool, fresh water available. You can bring a small tupperware or collapsable container on hikes or to the beach to use as a bowl, and some dogs will drink from a water bottle.
  • If you have a water-loving dog, fill a baby pool with enough water for them to splash around in.
  • Be the leader - many dogs don’t know when to call it quits on playtime. When they exhibit signs of overheating, end the game.
  • Keep your pets groomed and comb out their woolly winter undercoat (you know, the stuff in your carpets). Some dogs may benefit from a complete shave, but check with a professional groomer first. For some breeds, the long overcoat helps to keep them cool and removal may be stressful to the dog. Full shaves for cats are not generally recommended. Not only does their dignity forbid it, but the overcoat helps them maintain their body temperature.
  • During the summer, never leave your dog in a parked car for any length of time. Even with the air on it’s not a good idea.
If your pet appears to have heatstroke, remove them from the heat and place them in a cool, comfortable area, preferably indoors. Their temperature must be gradually brought down or they can go into shock. Wet them with lukewarm (NOT ice cold) water, gradually switching to cooler water as their temperature decreases, and increase air circulation if possible to help them cool down. Finally, if the pet is really in distress, seek medical attention. Cooling methods can be employed on the way to the vet.

Also consider the effect of the sun on your pet’s skin and feet. Dogs and cats get sunburned just like we do, and also just like us, can develop skin cancer. For light colored animals, hairless breeds, and those without dark pigmentation around their eyes, apply sunscreen to sensitive areas, particularly the tips of the ears, the nose, and under the eyes. Indoor cats can also get burned through the windows, so be mindful of this if your kitty spends a lot of time in that favorite sunbeam. Check your cat’s ears for inflammation, flaking, tenderness, or mild hair loss. It’s also important to use a pet-specific brand for cats in particular, as the ingredients in sunscreen can be toxic if ingested.

For those tootsies, be sure to consider the temperature of the ground, especially dark pavement, metal, and sand. We think of a dog’s footpads as thick and tough, but they do get burned. Walking in the early morning or evening helps ensure cool pavement, and walking on grass is a great way to beat the heat. You can’t always tell with the naked eye if the pad is burnt, so keep these symptoms in mind:
  • Limping or refusing to walk
  • Licking or chewing at the bottom of the feet (which could also be allergies)
  • Dark pads, red pads, blisters, or a missing portion of a pad
If you suspect your pet has burned pads, get them off the hot surface and indoors, flush the area with cool water, and keep them from licking the pads. Your vet might recommend an antibiotic treatment, as these injuries can become infected. If you need to walk your dog in the middle of the day over asphalt or sand, consider doggie booties to protect their feet, or carry a towel with you that they can stand on if necessary.

With a little bit of planning and care, you can enjoy the dog days with your companion beside you. So get out there, and have fun in the sun!