How I Met My Pet~ Vol. 3

This is Ace (short for AC Slater), and he’s my foster fail.


As a volunteer for Rescue Me Ohio, I regularly see posts about animals that are up for adoption or need a foster home. One day I saw a post about a cat found in the Cleveland area that needed a foster home – he wasn’t in great condition and not yet ready to be put up for adoption. So, I volunteered to take him in.

I had to wait a couple of days for him to be fully evaluated by the vet at the Cleveland APL, and on the day that I was supposed to pick him up they let me know that he was having more issues. There was something wrong with his skin – he had wounds all over his neck and front – and so they had to shave off the fur in the area to treat the wounds. When I went to pick him up, he looked terrible – he was about 6 pounds, had scabs and wounds all over his front and was scared to death. My heart broke immediately.

As soon as we got home and brought him to his room, he ran and hid under the bed. I tried setting out food and water for him, but he refused to come out. The next morning, when I went in to give him more food,  I found him sitting on top of the bed ready to meet me. He came right up to be and wanted some pets. I couldn’t believe how loving this poor guy was! From then on we became fast friends. I spent time in his room every day with him (I had to split my time between him and my other fur baby, who couldn’t be around him just yet) and he would cuddle up to me the moment I sat down.

It took him a long time to heal due to the extent of his injuries, and so I had been fostering him for about 3 months when the APL finally cleared him to be put up for adoption. He had put on a healthy amount of weight and his wounds had healed, but his fur hadn’t completely grown back yet. I thought about him all day the next day – thinking about the number of cats that were available for adoption and worrying that he wouldn’t be chosen because he still looked a little scraggly and could be scared at times.

So, I went to go see how he was doing at the APL. I walked around the cat room and looked in all of the crates but I couldn’t find him. Finally, I went to ask someone where he was. They assured me that he was in the room, and walked back with me to his crate. When we got there, it looked like there wasn’t a cat in there at all. But, when the woman picked up the bed that was in the crate, there he was. Curled up into a little ball and shaking with fear. In that moment I knew there was no way I would leave without him.

I brought him home (to no one’s surprise) and officially made him part of our little family. His sister Bean wasn’t so crazy about her new sibling at first, but she eventually grew to love him. Today they are best friends and even though he tends to be a little trouble-maker at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Christine Friscic

Cleveland, Ohio

To learn more about fostering and how it makes such a big difference visit https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/23/foster-shelter-pet_n_6720804.html

 

 

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Calling Ohio Pups: Let’s Get BarkHappy!

If you’re anything like me, you love having your pets with you at all times.

Anyone who has adopted a dog knows all of the joy and love that they bring into your life. You want them with you as much as possible – whether it’s running errands, going to a friend’s house or taking an afternoon stroll. And, I’m willing to bet your dog loves being out and about with you as well, seeing new things and meeting new dogs and their humans. The founder of BarkHappy, Ninis Samuel, knew this feeling!

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He knew how much his dog Kerby enjoyed going places with him and wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to spend more time with their dogs – that’s why he created BarkHappy. 

“It’s all about having real experiences with your dog instead of always leaving them at home,” says Ninis. “Dogs are happiest when they are with you and meeting new friends just like us.  We want you to enjoy life with your dog and connect with the dog friendly world around you.”  

BarkHappy is on a mission to build an active, engaged community of dogs, their owners and a platform for dog-friendly businesses and events through real life experiences. Download the BarkHappy app to:

  • Search for dog-friendly restaurants, stores, hotels, parks and more; and see their pet policies and amenities.
  • See upcoming dog-friendly events and create/host your own group play dates with friends.
  • Connect with other dogs nearby to make new friends – send wags, messages and more!
  • Create lost or found reports and alert other users in that area with your dog’s photo and important information
  • Find special deals just for BarkHappy users on products for your pup.

According to BarkHappy.com, BarkHappy means “a state of overt enjoyment and happiness that leads to uncontrollable expression through barking. e.g. The dog was having so much fun at the dog park, he was getting BarkHappy.” It’s the feeling your pups will get when they are able to spend more time with you!

In addition to helping dogs be happier and live more active social lives, BarkHappy also actively supports charities across the country. BarkHappy helps its charity partners by hosting dog-friendly events and donating a portion of the proceeds to their partners. Rescue Me Ohio is lucky to be BarkHappy’s charity partner in Cleveland, and we have had several great events this summer!  

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Dog parents nationwide can download the app on their Apple iOS (8+) and Android devices!

Please note: BarkHappy is a charity partner of Rescue Me Ohio.

How I Met My Pet~ Vol. 2

Want to know what puppy mill survivor looks like?
Her name is Shae Marie.
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I grew up with dachshunds and felt like it was time to have another. From the time I moved to Columbus in 1992, I had shelties. Miss Heidi passed away in the year 2001 at the ripe old age of 16 and I had Kira who was just a pup. She was very sad being alone, and it was clear she needed a companion. One of my friends at the dog park told me that she had gotten her dog off of skinnypuppies.com, a rescue. Well, of course I was curious. In checking it out for myself, I found this little 9 week old chocolate ball of fur and fell in love. Kira and I went to meet her. Kira, being the wonderful dog she is, took her in and showed her the ropes.
When I rescued her, she had every parasite known to dogs. In the mid 90’s, before people knew the truth behind puppy mills, a husband and wife team tried to help, the only way they knew how, by raising money and buying dogs from auctions. They wanted the dogs to have a normal life, safe from over breeding and abuse. Their efforts inadvertently had a negative effect because by buying the dogs they supported the mills. Once they realized this of course, they ceased that angle.
Once in my home and clear of all those nasty parasites, Shae Marie flourished! Fast forward to July 10th 2017, when she recently celebrated her 10th Birthday. People always think she is the shy one, but she actually rules the roost!
Karen Fairhust
Columbus, Ohio
To learn more about Puppy Mills and how you can help make change visit https://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/puppy-mills

How I Met My Pet

Just like us humans, animals can come with a variety of special needs. These needs however , should not deter or discourage one from adoptiong or caring for these animals. They are so worthy of love and will repay you with more companionship than you could ever ask for. Here is one such story of how Grizzly the cat came to be such a special part of Sandra’s life;

I had been keeping my garage door partially open so that the stray cats I feed could get out of the cold and eat. One evening a big black tomcat that I had never seen showed up. His breathing was so congested that I thought he was dying and rushed him to the emergency vet. It was there, waiting to be seen, that I noticed how sweet and loving he was. His nose was running and one eye was half closed, he was sneezing and wheezing, and he looked pathetic but he could not stop purring.  He had a respiratory infection and needed antibiotics twice a day. I ran a humidifier around the clock in his room hoping to help him breathe easier. My plan was to get him healthy, get him fixed and release him. I would continue to provide shelter in my garage; food and whatever else he needed but I already had a full house. (I really did have a full house with 4 crazy cat chasing dogs and 3 cats).

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When I took Grizzly to get neutered, I found out he is FIV+. I was told that I should not release him and if that was my intention, I should have him humanely euthanized instead. This cat had his shredded ears, bald patches, scars all over, a broken toe that healed in a weird position, lots of missing teeth, and now FIV+, but hit the jackpot for the first time in his life. Grizzly officially became my cat that day. I wanted him to know love and kindness and to make up for all the bad things that he had endured in his life.

I am trying to keep him as healthy as possible for as long as I can. He has his own room with a window and a cat tree, toys, treats and soft beds. He even has a stray cat girlfriend that I had planned to TNR to spend his life with. They really are cute together.

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I don’t know how old Grizzly is or how long he has been FIV+ but I do know that he will not be failed by another human. He is going to live the rest of his days being loved and spoiled. And when the time comes that he is having more bad days than good days and we decide that it is time for him to cross the rainbow bridge, I will hold him and tell him that I was the luckiest girl in the world when he picked me to share his life with.

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(You can tell from the pictures, all he wants is love!)

By: Sandra Cathey

Reynoldsburg, Ohio

To learn more about FIV, check out this link provided by WebMD. http://pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-fiv-feline-immunodeficiency-virus#1

Rescue Me Ohio Brings Community Together to Help Local Man Save His Beloved Dog

Rescue Me Ohio Brings Community Together to Help Local Man Save His Beloved Dog

After hearing about a Columbus-area man’s concern for his dog, who had a massive growth on his underbelly, Rescue Me Ohio raised over $600 to help him get the care he needed to save his dog. Read their story, below.

By Laurie Deerwester – Volunteer for Rescue Me Ohio

Overheard conversations.  Concern for another person.  Concern for an animal.  Caring about your neighbor and the goodness that we often don’t see in people.

I found out about Max third hand. After overhearing his story in a retail establishment, a concerned women shared it with her daughter, who brought me into the loop.  

The woman overheard Steve, the dog’s owner and a Columbus-area resident, talking about how concerned he was for his dog. Max is a 5-year-old, 138-pound Bull Mastiff who had a massive growth on his underbelly. As Steve spoke about Max, the woman could hear in his voice that we was not able to do for his dog what he wished he could (and provide the medical attention he needed). The woman who overheard Steve’s story later shared it with her daughter. The daughter called me once she was able to go to the store and verify the story with Steve.

I have been a volunteer for Rescue Me Ohio (RMO), a statewide education and advocacy organization, for almost four years. One of the most rewarding things about volunteering for Rescue Me Ohio is getting the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of companion animals and their humans.  When I heard Steve’s story, I thought RMO might be able to help him get Max the medical attention he needed and deserved. I didn’t know what I was getting us into!

I shared Max’s story, along with pictures, with our group and proposed a fundraiser to help Steve cover the costs of treatment. Shortly after, Steve updated me that the mass had begun to ooze – he was very concerned about the dog’s health and well-being while he was away at work. I told him that I was trying to figure out a solution.

After a short trip to the pet store, I headed over to Steve’s with the biggest cone they had to accommodate a dog of Max’s size. I took some pictures of Max and the mass dangling from under his ribcage, which was threatening to rupture. I left telling Steve that I would get back to him as soon as I knew more about whether Rescue Me Ohio would be able to assist.

Max with mass

Most in our group were shocked when I sent an update and pictures of the dog’s current condition. RMO’s Board of Directors agreed immediately that we needed to do something to help, and decided to host an online fundraiser to try to cover the expenses of getting Max’s mass removed. Rescue Me Ohio shared Max’s story and fundraising information  on our Facebook page and within our networks. Rescue Me Ohio raised about $625, and covered the remaining cost of Max’s surgery.

 

Getting the medical attention Max needed
I contacted Dr. Michelle Gonzales (Dr. G) of Rascal Animal Hospital and Rascal Unit to get her opinion of Max’s growth, and whether she would be willing to do the surgery. It turns out that the mass was not a lipoma – a benign tumor composed of fat – which is what Steve had been told previously. Instead, the mass was necrotic (meaning the tissue was dying) and needed to be removed as soon as possible.

Dr. G provided me with an estimate on the cost of the surgery, and agreed to perform it.

I immediately shared the good news with Steve and made arrangements to meet him to transfer Max.  On Sunday June 13th  I brought Max into Rascal Animal Hospital in Dublin; they had him in surgery that evening with Dr. Seiple, a veterinarian at the hospital.  The vet shared a very positive update that evening: Dr. Seiple removed the mass (which weighed 4.5lbs!). They medicated Max and put in a chest tube for drainage; the biopsy of the mass would be sent out for testing, which would take 5 to 7 business days.

The area affected by the surgery was quite extensive. Rascal Animal Hospital had to remove a lot of Max’s skin around the mass, because if it was cancer they would need to remove as much tissue as possible.

The recovery process
Max had some difficulty with the sutures – they didn’t want to heal. Being such a big dog – who is often taking people for walks (instead of vice versa) – it was challenging to keep him calm enough to allow the wound to heal.

Rascal Animal Hospital updated me on Max every day for 13 days. I passed the updates along to Steve so that he knew what was happening at every step of the way. On Saturday June 24th I was told that Max was ready to be released. However, he still had an open area on his chest that remained from removing the chest tube and that needed to be monitored for infection or tearing.

Eager to beat the crowd and get Max back to his dad as quickly as possible, I returned to the hospital early on Sunday morning. Rascal Animal Hospital provided medication and wound care instructions and we were ready to go. Max came bounding out of the back room – he had enough of being caged up and wanted to get home! He was very excited and strong, dragging me across the parking lot to my car. We hopped in and headed home so that he could be reunited with Steve.

Once at Steve’s, I reviewed all of the instructions from the hospital and the importance of keeping Max calm. I left them to get reacquainted, and told Steve to call me or the hospital if there were any problems.

Today, Max is doing well. He was diagnosed with cancer, but it is slow-growing and he is expected to live a long life.

Rescue Me Ohio would like to sincerely thank everyone who donated to Max’s cause!

Max post-surgery
Max was excited to get back home to his dad!

Vaccinating Your Pets: Why It’s So Important

Vaccinating Your Pets: Why It’s So Important

Regular preventative pet healthcare is essential in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. Vaccines are a simple way to protect your pet from highly contagious and often deadly diseases, and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

In fact, experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Some of the most common vaccinations recommended by veterinarians include:

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Dogs

  • Rabies: a fatal viral infection of the brain and nerves that affects mammals – infection usually occurs through bites from infected animals, most commonly skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats
    * Vaccination for both dogs and cats is recommended, and is required in most states
  • Canine Parvovirus: a highly contagious virus that attacks a dog’s gastrointestinal tract; it is transmitted through oral contact with infected feces
  • Canine Distemper: a viral illness that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous system of dogs; it can be spread through the air, through direct contact with an infected animal or via contaminated objects
  • Bortadella: a bacteria commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs and a common cause of kennel cough; it is highly contagious and can be transmitted through the air or direct contact.
    * Although Bortadella isn’t one of the “core vaccines” that are recommended for most pets, the vaccine is a common requirement when boarding your dog.

For dogs, an alternative option to routine vaccinations are titer tests. These tests, which can be performed by your veterinarian can help determine if a previous vaccine is still protecting your dog.

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Cats

  • Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV): the FIV disease weakens a cat’s immune system, leaving cats dangerously vulnerable to serious infections
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV): a viral disease that weakens the immune system and is often passed from mother to kitten or through exposure to an infected cat’s saliva or other body fluids
  • Feline panleukopenia: Also known as feline distemper, this highly contagious viral illness attacks cells in the lymph nodes, bone marrow and intestinal tract. It is spread from cat to cat through contact with body fluids or contaminated objects.
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis and Feline calicivirus infection: infectious diseases that often cause upper respiratory disease in cats.

Unfortunately, many people forgo vaccinations and routine healthcare for their pets because they are unable to afford this care. That’s why Rescue Me Ohio (RMO) and Ohio Voters for Companion Animals (OVCA) are sponsoring two upcoming H.O.P.E. Clinics, which offer affordable vaccinations for Ohio pets. The first clinic that we will be sponsoring will be this Sunday, April 30th, in the Columbus area. Please read our press release, or visit our Facebook events page for full details.

Learn more about pet vaccination by visiting the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Vaccination FAQ page. For more information about the H.O.P.E. Clinics that RMO and OVCA are sponsoring, please contact us.

Outside of Ohio? Visit the Humane Society’s website for a directory of organizations that provide financial assistance for veterinary care needs.

 

What You Need to Know About Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

What You Need to Know About Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

Spaying or neutering is one of the best things that can be done to benefit the lives of cats and dogs. In addition to helping to curb pet overpopulation, it can help make your pet healthier and help to reduce poor behavior. In an effort to spread the word about the benefits of spaying and neutering, the HSUS, the Humane Society International and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association runs its annual World Spay Day campaign.

Observed on the last Tuesday of February, World Spay Day brings awareness to the impact of affordable, accessible spay/neuter options to save the lives of companion animals, stray/feral cats, and stray dogs who may otherwise be put down in shelters or killed on the street. This year will be the 23rd annual World Spay Day, and will be observed on February 28, 2017.pexels-photo-133069

In honor of World Spay Day, we’re taking a look at some of the invaluable benefits that spaying and neutering your pets can bring:

Reduce the number of homeless pets killed – There are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering shelters every day. Barely half of those animals get adopted. Unfortunately, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters each year.

Improve your pet’s health – Pets who live in the states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest, according to this USA today study. Neutered males dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs, and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs. The reduced lifespan for unaltered pets can be attributed, in part, to their increased urge to roam, exposing them to fights with other animals, running out into the roads and other mishaps.animal-cute-kitten-cat.jpg

Also to consider is the reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Unspayed female cats and dogs have a far greater risk of developing pyrometra (fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer and other cancers of the reproductive system. Male pets who are neutered eliminate their chances of developing testicular cancer.

Reduce poor behavior – Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking than neutered dogs. Although this behavior is most-commonly associated with male dogs, females can do it too. For cats, the urge to spray is extremely strong in an intact cat. The simplest solution is to have yours neutered or spayed by four months of age, before there’s even a problem.

Neutering solves 90 percent of all marking issues, even in cats that have been doing it for a while. It can also minimize howling, the urge to roam, and fighting with other males. In both cats and dogs, the longer you wait, the greater risk you run of the surgery not doing the trick because the behavior is so ingrained.

Other behaviors that spaying and neutering can alleviate include:

  • Roaming, especially when females are “in heat”
  • Aggression; studies show that most dog bites involve dogs who are unaltered
  • Excessive barking, mounting or other dominance-related behaviors

And despite what many may think, while getting your pets spayed/neutered can help curb undesirable behaviors, it will not change their fundamental personality, like their protective instinct.

Given these reasons, it would seem that it doesn’t make sense to not have your pet spayed or neutered. But still, many pets are left unaltered. One of the most common reasons that people skip out on this critical part of their pet’s health is due to cost. What many may not consider, however, is the costs of caring for litters of puppies or kittens, medical costs for cancers of the reproductive system, and the medical costs associated with fights involving unneutered or unspayed pets. In the long run, having your pet spayed or neutered is more cost-effective.

If you or someone you know is looking for an affordable option to spay or neuter a pet, the Humane Society can help you identify low-cost options in your area.

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For more information on World Spay Day, visit http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/spay_day/