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.

 

2016 Pet Food Drive Collects Over 20K Pounds for Ohio’s Pet Food Pantries

We’re very excited to announce the results of our second-annual Statewide Pet Food Drive! Drumroll, please…The event, which took place on Nov. 19th, brought in over 20,000 pounds (20,544.76 to be exact) of pet food! 

We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone involved in making this year’s event a success, especially our sponsor Coldwell Banker and all of those who came out to donate and support RMO and our partners.

All of the pet food and supplies collected went to six local non-profits that provide pet food pantry services, offering assistance to individuals and families in the area who have fallen on hard times and are struggling to feed their beloved pets. With all of the food collected, these groups will be able feed even more pets this year, and help keep them in their homes.

The beneficiaries for each region are:

The region that collected the most pet food and, in turn, was the recipient of an additional cash donation from Coldwell Banker was Youngstown, benefiting Legacy Dog Rescue.

“Legacy Dog Rescue was thrilled to be chosen as the Youngstown area beneficiary for the food drive – and we’re even more pleased with the results. Many families with pets will be able to be helped because of this. This time of year especially is hard on people; no one should have to decide between paying a gas bill or buying pet food,” says Jenn Overmier of Legacy Dog Rescue.

“We run solely off of donations, and can only distribute food when and if we have it, so this is exciting! We have a big holiday food giveaway on Sunday, Dec. 4th with more food than we’ve ever had to distribute. Huge thanks to everyone who helped make that possible.”

For additional information about Rescue Me Ohio, our annual pet food drive and other activities, please visit us on Facebook or at rescuemeohio.org.

Help Feed Pets in Need at Rescue Me Ohio’s Annual Statewide Pet Food Drive

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Statewide companion animal education and advocacy organization Rescue Me Ohio is excited to announce its second annual Statewide Pet Food Drive! This year’s pet food drive will be held in six regions across Ohio – Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. The event will benefit one organization in each region that acts as a pet food pantry for the community, providing pet food to families who need temporary assistance in feeding their pets.

 The goal of the event is to help ensure that these organizations can continue to support the families and companion animals in their region and reduce the number of owner surrenders across the state. Last year, Rescue Me Ohio collected over 7,400 pounds of food for pet food pantries across the state, and we’re hoping to collect even more at this year’s pet food drive.

 The beneficiaries and collection sites for each region are as follows:

  • Akron beneficiary: People Care Pet Pantry
    • Collection sites: Petco (Brimfield), Petco (Macedonia)
  • Cleveland beneficiary: The Animal Rescue Center (ARC)
    • Collection sites: PetSmart (Willoughby), Pet Supplies Plus (Westlake), Pet Supplies Plus (Lakewood)
  • Columbus beneficiary: Hospets
    • Collection sites: Hospets Headquarters (Marysville), Pet Valu (Clintonville), Captivating Canines, Pet Valu (Lewis Center), Pet Valu (Marysville)
  • Dayton beneficiary: Advocates 4 Animals
    • Collection site: Petco (Clayton)
  • Toledo beneficiary: Humane Ohio
    • Collection site: Pet Supplies Plus (Alexis)
  • Youngstown beneficiary: Legacy Dog Rescue

    • Collection sites: Dar’s Dirty Dogs, OM Yoga & Healthy Balance, DogSmartzUnleased, Warren Harley Davidson

We’re also pleased to announce that Coldwell Banker will be partnering with Rescue Me Ohio as a sponsor for the event. Coldwell Banker will be collecting pet food for Rescue Me Ohio’s Pet Food Drive at several of its locations across Ohio.

Pet food can be dropped off at the following Coldwell Banker locations on November 19th from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.:

  • Twinsburg – 9005 Darrow Rd.
  • Willoughby Hills – 2804 SOM Center Rd.
  • Westlake – 24600 Detroit Rd.
  • Brecksville – 8915 Brecksville Rd.
  • Portage Lakes – 344 West Turkeyfoot Rd.
  • North Ridgeville – 32648 Center Ridge Rd.
  • Canton – 4686 Douglas Circle Nw.
  • Strongsville – 15380 Pearl Rd.

Additionally, Coldwell Banker has generously agreed to donate prize money to be awarded to the beneficiary in the region that collects the most pet food, in ounces.

Rescue Me Ohio would like to invite our communities across Ohio to come out on November 19th and participate in our annual pet food drive. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the beneficiaries in each region. For more information about Rescue Me Ohio’s Pet Food Drive in your region, you can contact your regional lead, find us on Facebook or visit rescuemeohio.org.

Have a question about your region’s food drive? Contact our regional leads:

For media inquiries, please contact Christine at pr@rescuemeohio.org.

The Top 5 Reasons to Attend Rescue Me Ohio’s Fourth Birthday Party and Fundraiser

BDAY PARTY

Who doesn’t love a carnival? To celebrate four years of success in supporting Ohio’s rescue community, Rescue Me Ohio will be hosting a street carnival themed birthday party extravaganza this Saturday in the Columbus area!

We invite you to join us at the Amvets Post 102 (485 Park Ave, Delaware, Ohio) from 1:00-5:00 p.m. this Saturday, May 21st for a fun-filled afternoon. This is an event you don’t want to miss, and here’s why:

Fun Games
What’s a carnival without games? We’ve got everything from Skee Ball, to Ring Toss and a Duck Pond and more! Games are free with admission, and offer the opportunity to win some great prizes.

Awesome Entertainment
DJ Suzy Waud will be playing your favorite hits throughout day (make sure to check out her page for a preview)!

We’ll also have a hypnotist – The Great Dean-O – and a fortune teller to complete the carnival experience. Don’t miss the fortune teller, from 2-4 p.m., and the hypnotist, from 3-4 p.m.

Fantastic Food
Two of Columbus’s favorite food trucks will be on-site: Burrito Bus and Explorers Club. They’ll be donating 10% of all sales during the party back to Rescue Me Ohio, so come hungry!  

Check out their menus in the meantime: Burrito Bus menu, Explorers Club menu.

Prizes, Prizes and More Prizes!
We’ve got so many awesome prizes to give away! Take your chances on a 50/50 raffle, win awesome donated gifts in our Chinese raffle and play your odds on our gift card tree. We’ve got over 20 items to give away in the Chinese raffle, and $1500 in donated gift cards for you to win!13178676_1391461270898042_1072684769317132556_n

Support a Great Cause
What makes the event even more fun? Supporting a great cause! All of the proceeds from the event will go directly to Rescue Me Ohio, helping us cover our operating costs, funding various programs and events to support Ohio’s companion animal organizations and educating the general public.

You can find more information on our Facebook page, or in our press release. Make sure to get their early, too, because the first 50 people through the door will receive a swag bag from Mutts & Co.! We hope to see you there!

Why Our Feline Friends Are Better Off Indoors

Considering letting your cat live as an outdoor cat? Read this first.

For those of you cat parents out there, I’m sure you’ve had an internal debate at some point in time about whether or not you should let your cat outside or keep them in doors. As many cats often spend their time staring out the window, or eager to try to sneak out the door every time it’s opened, it may seem like your feline friends would prefer life in the great outdoors.

While it is true that your cat may enjoy spending time outside, what you may not realize is that they are much better off indoors. In fact, allowing your cat to roam around outside as they please can actually put them at great risk. According to this article on paws.org, the average lifespan of an outdoor cat is 2 to 3 years, while an indoor-only cat can enjoy life anywhere from 15-20 years. Speaking as a cat owner myself, I think it’s safe to say that we all would prefer for our cats to have longer, healthier lives!

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So, when thinking about this age-old debate on whether or not to let your cat outside, here are a few reasons you should consider keeping them indoors:

They are safe from diseases, and other ailments, in the comfort of your home.
When roaming around outside, your cat will inevitably come into contact with other outdoor cats, which could easily spread a number of illnesses. That includes serious (and often fatal) diseases like Feline Leukemia (FeLV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Other cats can share parasites, ringworm and other kinds of infections, too.

In addition to catching an illness from another cat, your cat can easily pick them up from the mice that they’re hunting and bringing home to you. And, if your cat is spending a lot of time outside, that makes it harder for you to monitor your cat’s health and know when something is wrong.

Cats get cold, too!
Especially with the looming winter weather here in Ohio, it’s very important that your cat stays indoors where you know they are warm! Many humans don’t like being out in the cold – and, our cats don’t either! They risk freezing to death, or suffering from severe hypothermia and/or frostbite, if they spend too much time outdoors in the winter. Just like humans, they don’t enjoy being cold and stuck outside in the snow.

Keeping cats indoors prevents them from getting hit by oncoming cars.
According to earthcaretaker.com, more cats are killed by cars (5.4 million) than in U.S. animal shelters each year. While most cats are pretty fast, it’s impossible to guarantee that your cat will be safe from oncoming traffic when left to roam around outside.  

Outdoor cats risk harm from wild animals and not-so-kind humans.
Other animals pose a major risk to outdoor cats. Whether they encounter owls, coyotes or even  stray or neighborhood dogs, keeping your cat indoors prevents them from an attack and ensures that they are safe from these dangers.

And while, you may love your cat (and animals in general) there are people out there who do not share the same opinions. Cats roaming around the area are easy targets for groups of youths with too much time on their hands, for cat-haters who have no problem using your cat for target practice or selling them to an abusive owner, or for vicious neighbors who will easily remove your cat from their yard whatever way they can. It’s hard to imagine people who could abuse animals, but it’s important to consider the next time you’re thinking of letting your cat go outside.

Keeping your cat indoors may require a lifestyle change for them, if they are used to going outside regularly. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to make sure that they are happy and healthy indoors:

  • Make sure they get plenty of exercise – You can do this by playing with them, and giving them with interactive toys, climbing towers and scratching posts to use when you’re not around.
  • Keep your cat stimulated with various types of toys that allow them to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. Try switching their toys around every now and then to keep it interesting for them.
  • Place perches or towers near a window so that your cat can enjoy the sunlight, and see what’s going on outside from the safety of your home. 
  • Provide a screened-in porch or other enclosure in which they can safely enjoy the outdoors.
  • Leash train your cats so that you can take them on supervised strolls around the neighborhood, and protect them from any potential danger.

Next time you’re considering letting your cat go outside, please consider the reasons outlined above. It may seem like your cat would be happier outside, but in the end they will be much safer and live longer, healthier lives in the comfort of your home!

8 Things Your Rescue Dog is Thankful for This Year!

Thanksgiving is only a day away and a lot of us at Rescue Me Ohio are getting ready to give thanks for our friends, families, food in our bellies and the fur-babies we love so much.  If you’re anything like me, “fur-baby” falls under the same category as “family”!  I couldn’t imagine my life without them and feel grateful every day I get to share with them.  Some days I wonder if they feel the same way!

When I heard people saying that rescue dogs (and cats) give you a certain look that says thank you, I didn’t quite believe it.  That’s a nice ideaI would think.  But here I am, almost two and a half years into owning two rescue dogs and I can say with certainty that it’s true.  It’s a look, a sigh, a head resting on your lap with tired eyes looking up at you that can tell you so much.   It’s that happy smile you finally get to see on their face, after months of undoing bad habits that were hard to break.

And that one time, after a really long day when your emotions were running high that they made their way onto your lap and snuggled their big heads next to yours that lets you know how truly thankful they are.  And how much they love you.  I imagine if my dogs (and yours!) could talk, they would tell us what they’re thankful for and it would be close to these 8 things.

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Thank you for…

  1.  Making me part of your family. I once had a family and then I was homeless. I am not sure what happened but I like having a family.  I like feeling like someone truly cares about me.  You will always be my family!
  2.  The warm, cozy bed (or couch) I share with you each and every night. There have been nights where I was left outside in the cold, chained up, trying to stay warm. I am so thankful to have a warm, soft, comfy bed to rest my head on every night. 
  3.  Filling my food and water bowl up every day, and the treats you give me. Thank you for feeding me every day and sneaking me a few treats here and there! I didn’t always have food or clean water, I made do but I sure do love knowing I won’t ever feel hungry again.
  4.  Taking me on walks, runs, hikes and swims.  I love being out with you. My most favorite thing in this world to do is to be out-and-about with you! Swimming, hiking, going for walks, playing fetch and car rides.  Whenever I see you pull out my leash I know I’m about to have the time of my life with you, thank you!
  5.  Taking a chance on me.  I might not be alive if it weren’t for you. When you took a chance on me I was about to be put to sleep because nobody wanted me. I don’t know why but I can’t tell you how thankful I am that you took a chance on me.
  6.  Giving me ice cream cones here and there.  They are delicious! I never got ice cream cones until you adopted me, they are so yummy!
  7.  Understanding I still have work to do and that I’m trying my best, considering everything that’s happened to me. There are parts of my story you will never know.  I wish I could explain why I misbehave but I can’t.  Thank you for understanding and being patient with me.  I don’t mean to do the things I do but I’m still learning too.
  8.  Showing me what unconditional love really is. When I was dropped off at the shelter I thought my parents were coming back for me, but they never returned. I sat there, looking through bars, waiting and waiting.  Then you came!  Now my whole life has changed.  Thank you for protecting, respecting and loving me as much as you do.  I love you so much!

Even if those thoughts never cross my pups’ minds, I sure am glad they are part of my family and that they took a chance on me.  It’s completely changed my life for the better.  Please consider adopting a cat or a dog at one of your local shelters this season.  If you aren’t in a position to adopt, please consider donating money or items your local shelter is in need of!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Have a wonderful, warm, safe and happy holiday!