PET TRAVEL TIPS
Pets On Planes
Thinking about taking your dog on your next vacation, but feeling anxious about flying to your destination? Here are a few pointers that may make the journey easier on both of you:
- Pack well. Choose a travel crate that's well ventilated and the right size for your dog. She should be able to sit, stand, and move around comfortably. And give her a chance to get used to the crate before the flight; it may help reduce in-flight anxiety.
- Minimize travel time. Book the most direct flight possible. If nonstop simply isn't an option, avoid layovers in cities with extreme temperatures that could endanger your dog.
- Do your homework. Check with the airline ahead of time to get the current pet regulations, and ask your veterinarian for specific advice on traveling with your dog.
DOG BITE PREVENTION
Dog bites are the number one public health problem of children, with more than half of all children bitten before reaching age twelve! The most common bite site is the face and in most cases the dog that bit them was their own dog, a friend's or a neighbor's dog and the bite occurred at someone's home. This is a wonderful website that offers pages and pages of information on how to prevent dog bites, along with fun activities to help teach children how to behave appropriately around dogs.
For more information, visit: www.doggonesafe.com
DOG OBEDIENCE TRAINING
All Breed Obedience Training Club (ABOTC) for any animal adopted from an animal shelter or rescue group. ABOTC dog obedience classes are a wonderful way to encourage close bonds between owners and their dogs. The also make living together much easier for everyone involved!
For more information, visit: www.abotc.com
Keep Your Cat Safe at Home: HSUS's Safe Cats Campaign
Cats are America's most popular pets, but they are also the pets most likely to die prematurely from diseases, poisons, attacks by other animals, abuse by humans, or speeding vehicles. The reason is simple: Owners often don't realize that allowing their cat to roam outdoors can be a one-way ticket to trouble.
Millions of cats suffer and die because their owners give them free reign to roam the neighborhood. The vast majority of these owners aren't cruel or thoughtless; many love their animals as much as the rest of us. They just believe that cats are happiest outdoors. In fact, many cat caregivers acquired their felines by "taking in" or caring for someone's cat who was allowed to stray.
For more information, visit: www.safecats.com
SPAY/NEUTER AWARENESS MONTH - FEBRUARY
- Get information on Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics and other medical expenses.
City of Richardson Animal Shelter
1330 Columbia Drive
Richardson,TX 75081 (972) 744-4480
HOUSEHOLD HARMFUL TO YOUR PET
To list a few chocolate, pork, dog/cat flea products, tobacco, houseplants and antifreeze can be life threatening to your pets. Quick response if your pet has been exposed may save a life. So PLEASE add the phone # of the National Animal Poison Control Center to your list of emergency numbers: 1-800-548-2423.
ADOPT A PET: THEY ARE GOOD FOR YOU
It has been proven that pets are good for our emotional and physical health. Caring for an animal provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessens feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups. It's well known that relaxed, happy people do not become ill as often as those who suffer from stress and depression do.
SPCA LOST & FOUND ONLINE
The SPCA online Lost & Found e-Pole provides an opportunity to take advantage of our website traffic to post lost and found animal listings. Listings are free and stay online for one-month. We remind people to include as much information as possible about the lost/found animal – description, closest intersection where lost/found or zip, contact information (phone number or minimum an email address). You can also upload a .jpg of the animal.
For more information, visit: www.spca.org/lostfound
AFRICANIZED HONEY BEES
The USDA Agricultural Research Service offers the following tips on what to do if you find yourself attacked by a swarm of bees.
Honey bees are extremely beneficial insects. Not only do they produce honey, but they also play an important role in the production of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and flowers. Africanized honey bees (AHBs) are more prone to swarming and may be more defensive about their hives than the familiar European honey bee (or EHB). They also build their homes in a wider range of areas. As a result of their spread through the American southwest, it is generally a good idea to treat all bees with caution. If a bee hive is not too close to an inhabited area, it should be left alone. Swarms of bees should be avoided. The USDA Agricultural Research Service offers the following tips on what to do if you find yourself attacked by a swarm of bees.
- RUN away quickly. Do not stop to help others. However, small children and the disabled may need some assistance.
- As you are running, pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face, but make sure it does not slow your progress. This will help keep the bees from targeting the sensitive areas around your head and eyes.
- Continue to RUN. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or building. A few bees may follow you indoors. However, if you run to a well-lit area, the bees will tend to become confused and fly to windows. Do not jump into water! The bees will wait for you to come up for air. If you are trapped for some reason, cover up with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, or whatever else is immediately available.
- Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms. Bees are attracted to movement and crushed bees emit a smell that will attract more bees.
- Once you have reached shelter or have outrun the bees, remove all stingers. When a honey bees stings, it leaves its stinger in the skin. This kills the honey bee so it can't sting again, but it also means that venom continues to enter into the wound for a short time.
- Do not pull stingers out with tweezers or your fingers. This will only squeeze more venom into the wound. Instead, scrape the stinger out sideways using your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, a dull knife blade or other straight-edged object.
- If you see someone being attacked by bees, encourage them to run away or seek shelter. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Call 911 to report a serious stinging attack. The emergency response personnel in your area have probably been trained to handle bee attacks.
- If you have been stung more than 15 times, or are feeling ill, or if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight. This means that although 500 stings can kill a child, the average adult could withstand more than 1100 stings.
For more information, visit: www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=11059
LIVING WITH BATS
Did you know that there are more than 40 species of bats found throughout Canada and the United States? Although bats are more commonly associated with the transmission of rabies to people than any other type of animal, the incidence of this disease in bat populations is estimated to be less than one-half of one percent. Rabid bats generally do not become aggressive and do not bite without provocation, but any bat may bite in self-defense if handled with bare hands. Please remember that bats are wild animals and are afraid of humans. A bat who allows you to touch him or her may be sick.
Because bats are not aggressive, you need only leave them alone to be safe. Typically, conflicts between humans and bats only occur with a few species, including the Brazilian free-tailed bat, common in North Texas. This species often roosts in houses (usually attics), sometimes for years, without being noticed by humans. Attics are often used as nurseries because they maintain the desired temperatures for raising pups (baby bats).
Occasionally, an individual bat is found inside a house, flying around and landing on curtains or furniture. The rule with any bat encounter is to remain calm and keep pets and children away. If you find a live bat in your home or on the ground, DO NOT TOUCH THE BAT! Call your local Animal Services as soon as possible. Remember that bats rarely cause problems for humans and are the most important natural enemies of night-flying insects.
For more information, visit: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/bats/
ELECT TO ADOPT AND CELEBRATE THE WORK OF RICHARDSON ANIMAL SERVICES WITH THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES
Animal shelters offer many services to animals and people alike:
Just to name a few…
Please take this opportunity to stop by the Richardson Animal Shelter, visit the animals, and find out what you can do to help animals in need and/or elect to adopt a new friend. Your involvement will go a long way toward helping the animals.
The Richardson Animal Shelter is located at 1330 Columbia Drive, Richardson, TX 75081. Columbia Drive is one street south of the Arapaho/Plano Road intersection. For more information, please contact us at (972) 744-4480.
WILDLIFE: KEEPING BABY ANIMALS SAFE
The Humane Society of the United States Has Tips for Homeowners to Help Prevent Wildlife Injuries During Baby Season and Keep Wild Neighbors Safe.
Before mowing, always walk over the lawn to check for wildlife - especially turtles and nests of baby rabbits. Taking time for a walk through can save lives.
- Turtles may be gently moved out of harms way
- Rabbit nests should be left alone so that the mother rabbits can find their young when they come back to feed them. They’ll be weaned and on their own within three weeks. Be patient and work around them if possible.
Before trimming trees, check all limbs for bird and squirrel nests.
- It is a myth that birds will reject babies touched by humans
- If you accidentally knock a bird’s nest out of a tree, retrieve the babies and their nest and re-nest them in the same location
- If the nest is broken, you can make a replacement using a small nest-size wicker basket secured firmly at the location limb from where the original nest was. Then watch for the parents to return
- For baby squirrels knocked out of nests, place the babies at the base of the same tree in a shallow box with something warm underneath (like a heating pad on low or a hot water bottle) so they don’t get cold and compromised while they wait for their mother to return
Many homeowners hope to attract more wildlife to their property and brush piles can help do the trick. Use tree limbs, leaves, and other garden debris to make a brush pile in a corner of the yard. This is an inexpensive and easy way to provide critical shelter and cover for ground-nesting birds, reptiles and amphibians, chipmunks, rabbits, and other small mammals.
HOW TO KEEP WILDLIFE OUT OF YOUR HOME THIS WINTER
… and Save on Energy Costs in the Process
Temperatures are dropping fast and the days are getting shorter, which reminds wildlife that it is time to seek winter quarters. The wildlife conflict specialists at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) want people to be aware that raccoons, skunks, squirrels and others may seek shelter in places that homeowners do not even realize they are providing through openings in their chimneys, attics, vents, porches and sheds. Homeowners should take some simple steps before Thanksgiving, in order to keep unwanted winter visitors out of the house.
John Griffin, director of Humane Wildlife Services for The HSUS reports, "Animals are the first to alert us to unknown openings above our gutters and out of our sight lines on roofs and chimneys - - places homeowners rarely inspect. Unfortunately, once they have alerted us, they have already been using them. This is the optimal time of year to see if openings exist and to make immediate repairs so that there is not a conflict in the future. The best way to do this is by inspecting your house from foundation to roof."
Exterior openings are not only attractive to animals but they are also energy-robbing outlets for heat to escape and damaging moisture inlets for weather to infiltrate. It is the best time to combine your fall exterior tasks like gutter cleaning and limb-trimming with a comprehensive inspection where you "view" your house through the eyes of wildlife around you.
The HSUS warns that it is imperative, however, that before closing, sealing or capping any potential entry points, make absolutely sure there are no animals already inside. Griffin explains, "People often take steps to seal openings and find that they have trapped someone inside."
Tools you will need to keep wildlife from making your home, their home:
- Binoculars to help see parts of the roof-level elements of your house like trim board, siding and vents up close if climbing a ladder is not an option.
- A flashlight to illuminate openings in the darker areas of your home.
- A camera to document what needs to be sealed for reference and help you monitor the condition of the exterior of your roof, trim and siding.
Starting from the ground up, inspect the foundation for potential entry points and signs of animal activity where pipes, vents and cables exit the house. Pay attention to where different types of building materials come together. Window wells, dryer exhaust vents, thresholds, brick and siding gaps can all be potential openings at the foundation level. If these openings are smaller than a few inches they can be caulked, stuffed with copper mesh or filled with expandable foam. Larger openings should be repaired to original condition.
Inspect attics with a flashlight for any signs of animals. Look for droppings, chewing and nesting material. If a hole is found, assume an animal is present and NEVER seal it up until you are completely sure that all animals are gone. To inspect, turn off any attic lights and look for outside light leaking in, which will alert you to holes that could be potential entry points. Pay attention to the roof trim board intersection and any gable or exhaust vents. These are often covered with light bug screen that will not stand up to squirrels and raccoons.
You can test if an opening is being used by stuffing the hole loosely with a paper towel and waiting to see if it gets pushed in or out. If after three days the paper stays in place, you can safely close up. Use caulk for small holes, staple or screw hardware cloth over larger holes or make permanent repairs.
Take caution when it comes to bats. Bats won’t leave tracks or push through paper, and they can be difficult to see. So they require a different type of inspection. Look carefully on the attic floor and on insulation for quarter-inch pellets that are a bit shiny and friable. Call a bat removal specialist if you suspect these animals are using the attic.
Check inside by shining a light up the flue looking for animal signs on the damper and smoke shelf. Also check the chimney flue from the roof (or have a chimney sweep do it) to make sure no animals are present and install an animal-proof chimney cap.
From the outside and/or from a ladder look for loose vent screens, warped siding, trim board that is deteriorated and pulled away from the wall or roof holes and make permanent repairs once you have completed the attic inspection.
- Trash: Secure trash containers with cords, ropes or weights, or put trash out the morning of collection, not the night before.
- Trees/leaves: Keep branches trimmed six feet away from your house to limit access for wildlife, and clean debris – especially leaf piles – in gutters and around the foundation.
- Compost: Cover and secure compost piles. Never compost meat scraps.
The HSUS Wild Neighbors Program promotes non-lethal means for resolving conflicts between people and wildlife and cultivates understanding and appreciation for wild animals commonly found in cities and towns. Humane Wildlife Services was developed around proven strategies addressing the needs of homeowners, businesses and communities experiencing wildlife conflicts. HWS solves people’s problems while respecting and protecting the lives of the animals involved.
For more information, visit: www.wildneighbors.org
The Richardson Animal Shelter is open seven days a week! Please stop by and have a look around. You may just find the newest member of your family! For more information, please contact the Richardson Animal Shelter at 1330 Columbia Drive, Richardson, TX 75081, or call (972) 744-4480. We look forward to assisting you with your animal-related issues in the future!