Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This week begins the holiday season, and leading the pack is Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Yule, and New Year's. And it's always wonderful to get your pets in on the celebrations, as well as some safety tips to keep in mind for the upcoming holiday celebrations.
Coming up on December 9th is our "Santa Clause and Paws" event. For a $10 minimum donation, you and your beloved pet can get your photos taken with Santa Clause. You will recieve a four inch by six inch photo in a special holiday folder. This event runs from 4 PM to 8 PM at the Market on State Street (formerly the University Mall) in Athens.
All pets must be up to date on their vaccinations and properly contained under their owner's control by leash or carrier. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets, otherwise they will be placed on Santa's "Naughty" list and have to deal with a present far worse than coal.
There is nothing better about the holidays (aside, of course, from our Clause and Paws event!) than food. With very few exceptions, holidays are the time to indulge in some of the most luxuriously spiced and seasoned foods of the year. But these foods can also lead to illness when given to pets.
Avoid giving table scraps to your pets, and discourage guests from doing so. These scraps, particularly the high seasoning and fat content, can cause vomiting, diarrhea and in some cases, inflammation of the pancreas, also called pancreatitis. This is a life threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.
But don't think it's just the meat that's a problem. Turkey bones, and all poultry bones, can easily splinter and cause throat or bowel perforations. Double bag the bones and keep them out of reach of your pets. If wild animals or neglected animals frequently raid your trash, avoid placing scraps and bones out until trash day, or consider chaining and locking your trash can lids to discourage these animals from coming to harm.
Those of us with dogs (and some particularly lanky and intrepid cats) may be familiar with the sport known as "Counter Surfing". Be aware that your animals cannot resist the call of holiday food any more than your Great Aunt Margaret. Keep an eye on them, and keep your scraps out of access, and you'll be fine.
Avoid allowing your animals to ingest alcoholic drinks. This may seem like a no-brainer, but to a cat egg nog can seem like a special treat just for them, and it takes only a moment before they are lapping away at it. Animals' livers do not work in the same way the human liver does, and allowing your animal to drink even a small bit of alcohol can cause some serious harm.
This isn't to say you can't let your animals in on the food festivities, though. Place a dollop of packed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) on top of their food. They will love you for it!
Have a safe, happy holiday season! We hope to see you at our Santa Clause and Paws event!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Athens County Humane Society has had quite a successful week full of Puppy Mill awareness! With the help of generous volunteers, the ACHS was able to spread awareness all around Ohio University’s campus and throughout the Athens city community.
The week started off with two days at College Gate, just outside of College Green on Ohio University’s campus. At this location, there was a table full of information on puppy mills, t-shirts for sale, and treats for dogs and for humans! Probably the best part were the dogs and cats on hand to give students the opportunity to actually see the animals that the ACHS fosters and puts up for adoption. A couple of the dogs wore costumes for Halloween, and definitely sidetracked many students from getting to class on time! In addition to gaining knowledge about puppy mills, a few people picked up adoption applications, and many asked on ways to volunteer. The Messenger picked up the story, as well as WOUB, further spreading the information about puppy mills.
The week wrapped up with an event at Donkey Coffee, collaborating with Open Mic Night on Thursday. After a slight scare with a couple bands cancelling, the coffee shop quickly filled up around 9:30pm and by 10pm it was packed! The ImPRessions account for the Athens County Humane Society stood up in between the acts to give some facts about puppy mills and ways everyone can help the cause. A band even sang a song about the brutalities of puppy mills, and other ways people can help with animal rights. Everyone that attended was very open to the information, and the group left well informed. The Donkey staff was very welcoming and receptive to holding future events there…so look out for that!
Overall, Puppy Mill Awareness Week was a definite success and everyone that was involved made a great effort to get the information out to the public. Keep checking for updates about future events held by ACHS and ImPRessions!
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Rachel Csaszar- Athens County Humane Society ImPRessions Account member