Friday, September 23, 2016

Happy Fall!

There are many great festivities that you, your family and your pets can do in the fall. However, there are also a few things pet parents should be aware of to protect their four legged family members. This article will go over some of the fun festivities available and some of the dangers to be aware of.

Living on Long Island I grew up with the tradition of going apple picking and pumpkin picking in the fall. All you have to do is drive out east and you will find a plethora of farms that host various kinds of “Pick Your Own.” Many of them have websites and you can find out if they are having any special events. A number of them do allow leashed dogs, plus your dog can enjoy a healthy snack of apple slices and fresh pumpkin! (Just make sure there are no spices on it)

As the weather begins to cool, it’ll be easier to take your dog on longer walks without worry of heat exhaustion or burning asphalt. On Long Island we have a number of dog friendly parks that offer hiking trails where you can take in the sights of the leaves changing colors. I frequently take my dog to Blydenburgh County Park, where there are many trails following the lake, it is a beautiful place to go especially during the changing season. This is a great way to get you and your family out for exercise and your dog will most certainly enjoy it.

Speaking of trails… Long Island is all around a historical area and many of the towns host a slew of events geared towards this. From Ghost Tours to festivals it feels like every town has something unique to offer and a lot of them are outside. Call ahead and see if they allow dogs to join in the fun!

As the leaves fall off the trees, we start raking them into piles for fall clean up. However, these piles can also lead to a lot more fun and photographic opportunity! Many dogs enjoy running through piles of leaves just as much as children. Just make sure the leaves are dry! 


As people begin to prepare for fall and for winter, there become a number of things that loving pet owners should be aware of for the safety of their animals:


  • Not to contradict the fun of playing in leaf piles but, if it’s rained or very humid, leaves can start to decompose and become host to a number of bacteria and mold that are not safe for pets or children.  Besides these dangers, also watch your yard for the growth of mushrooms and remove them quickly! Most mushrooms are toxic to ingest and now is the time of year they start to appear more frequently.
  • Watch were your pets go! Pay attention to public announcements of spraying for insects as pesticides are not pet (or human) friendly. Many people put down fertilizer and other chemicals on their lawn during this time of year so make sure to keep your pets off unfamiliar yards or walking in the brush along maintained trails that have notices of chemical spray. 
  • In addition to outside sprays for insects, some people still use moth balls in their closet to prevent moth damage to clothing or moth balls in storage bins. These are toxic for cats and dogs who might try to play with them or ingest them. A safer alternative is to use cedar wood hangers, or to place/hang cedar in pouches and keep it above animal height in the closet. Many local retailers now sell this alternative such as Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart.
  • Also during this time of year many families spray rodentcidies or put down bait traps that are toxic if our pets ingest. Pets can also become ill in the event they catch a poisoned rodent and ingest it.

  • With people doing their fall yard clean up and prepping their vehicles for winter, keep an eye on your pets to prevent them from drinking out of random puddles. This time of year we have to be careful of poisoning due to engine coolant, oil and other toxic spills.
  • Daylight hours are currently decreasing more and more, consider getting your pet a reflective collar or vest or one that lights up. They are not very expensive and can be purchased on most online websites for pets and amazon. These can be real life savers for your animals as in low lighting your pet might not be visible to a driver. If you are walking your dog on the road, stand between your dog and the traffic. A driver is more likely to see a human but your furry friend might be below their field of sight from the vehicle.
  • Heartworm! Make sure you dog is up to date on their heartworm, if they need a blood test now is the time to get it done and many of the preventative medications are a once a month chewable. It’s a simple way to protect your pet.
  • From now the temperature is going to only get cooler to cold out. If your dog normally gets shaved in the summer, it’s now time to let their coat grow in so they will have their full coat by winter. If you have a short hair dog, consider getting them a sweater or jacket just in case.  Our pets don’t enjoy being cold any more than we do.

Lastly,
Little Shelter does always encourages keeping cats indoors, they will live longer healthier lives and not be put at risk of getting hit by a car or attacked by wild predators. We do have Coyotes on Long Island as well as foxes. 

During this time of year these animals can present more of a threat for kitty as they try to bulk up a bit more before the coming cold. In addition cats are less likely to be seen by passing cars and accident rates go up around this time of year as the hours of darkness increase. Consider keeping your cat inside until late spring, or at least from dusk to dawn if you’re not ready to switch kitty to living indoors only.

There are many great opportunities to get out with your furry friends this season and create some wonderful memories. Just because the summer is over, doesn't mean the fun has to be and with these helpful tips we can keep our four legged loved ones safe. In the comments, post some of your favorite fall past times that your pet partakes in. We would love to see some photos! Or links to fur friendly activities to promote getting out there with your pet.

See you soon!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Storm Safety and Preparedness...


As fall is quickly approaching we look not only to the changing of the leaves, but also to the quickly changing weather patterns around us. Over the past few years Long Island has faced a number of serious storms during the months of September and October.

We would like to provide our friends and families with some helpful tips to keep our furry loved ones safe should the need arise. With better preparedness we can help keep our four legged family members safe from harm and prevent families from becoming separated.

Keep your eyes on the weather reports, this is the time of year that storms can pop up quickly and can suddenly change from rain to a hurricane overnight. Stay alert to what’s going on around you so you do not get caught by surprise.


If a storm is predicted in your area, here are some ways you can help prepare your family:

1.       Always make sure you have plenty of food, if the pet food is down to half a bag it is recommended to grab another in case shipments get delayed or you are stuck for a few days.


2.       Buy gallon jugs of water, you will not only need them for yourself, but your pets will need access to fresh water as well.


3.       If your pets are on medication, make sure you have enough to last a couple of weeks in case you can’t get it refilled for a while. Keep them stored in air/liquid proof containers.
4.       Create an animal emergency supply kit that is always quickly accessible, it should have extra collars and id tags, medications, treats, medical records in a waterproof container, emergency contacts, supply of baggies, toys and any other special supplies your pet may need. Also keep photos of your pets in case you get separated.


5.       Consider getting all your pets micro chipped, should you ever get separated or one looses their collar you will still have a chance of your pet being returned to you.


6.       For cats, if their indoor/outdoor, bring them in and get them situated in a room a few days prior to the bad weather hitting. Cats will seek shelter prior to the storm and you may not be able to find them when the storm starts. Make sure you have plenty of clean kitty litter to last you a few weeks just in case.


7.       Cats are known for their ability to hide, especially if they sense something is not right. Make sure that whatever room they are in you can easily find them, should you need to relocate for safety.


8.      Have a carrier for each individual animal that is easily accessible.
9.       For cats and small dogs: If there is space in your home, keep the carriers around and put a blanket with their scent on it into the carrier. This will encourage the cats to use the carrier and become accustomed to it, making it a lot less of a struggle if you need to get them in there later on.


10.   If you live in an evacuation area, pre-pack your vehicle. If you have a large dog, put a carrier in the vehicle along with food, water, leash, and baggies. Then pack the rest of supplies you might need if you must go to a shelter or otherwise leave your home. If you have cats or small dogs (small carriers) make sure you leave designated space in the vehicle for their carriers and pack the rest of the car around it. During a storm if possible small pets should not be transported unless in a carrier, large dogs should be taken to the vehicle on a leash and loaded securely.


11.   Check with local emergency shelters in advance to see if your pets are welcomed with you. Some local shelters are now allowing pet owners to bring their furry family members with them. (But remember a shelter should be your last resort)


12.   Keep a list at home of hotels and motels in surrounding areas that are either pet friendly or otherwise would agree to waiver the “no pet” policy under emergence circumstances. Also have a list of friends and family that would be willing to house your pets should an emergency situation ever happen. In addition you should also find animal boarding facilities outside the emergency areas and know what their policies are for boarding an animal.


13.   Make a contingency plan with neighbors or close by friends/family. You might not be home when an evacuation order comes. Make sure there is someone you trust who can get your animals out of danger and meet up with you at a per-designated location.


Most importantly, comfort your pet during a disaster! They are counting on you to make sure they are safe and that everything is going to be okay. Make sure you have some of their favorite treats/toys on hand so they feel more secure, or a favorite blanket. Give them praise and affection so they are less afraid.



631-368-8770
Little Shelter
33 Warner Rd
Huntington, NY 11743
#littleshelter
 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Reasons Why A Senior Dog Should Be Your New Best Friend



A senior dog can be one of the best friends you will ever have in your life. There are many reasons to adopt a senior dog. Here are just some of the reasons you might want to consider adding the love of a senior dog to your life!

Senior dogs can make for some of the best snugglers! Most of the time a senior dog spends their days (and nights) curled up somewhere comfortable. Of course there is nothing more comfortable than mom or dad’s bed! Gentle and mellow, a senior dog is great to lie in bed with and watch movies or snuggle up on a cold night to keep warm. 

The advantage to a senior dog is that in behavior, what you see is what you get. Rather than worry about behavior issues with a young dog, a senior dog shows pretty much who they are when you meet them. There are no surprises with a senior dog and when adopting you will already know what kind of temperament they have. There is also no guessing what size the dog will grow up to be as they are already full grown. Many times seniors are already house broken and have settled down from their puppy behaviors such as the infamous “chewing” phase.

Another advantage many senior dogs have over puppies is there is no getting up every couple of hours throughout the night to let the dog out. A senior dog loves their sleep and will sleep throughout the night without a problem. This means you get a better night’s sleep too.  Being most senior dogs are already house broken and don’t have to go as frequently as a puppy, they allow for more flexibility with your daily schedule as well.

Also don’t forget that picture perfect face! There is just something about a grey muzzle that screams adorable and senior dogs are some of the most photogenic pets you can have. Not to mention, a senior dog will be less distracted and more likely to stay put while you capture that perfect image.
All that said…

Meet Blanche the super sweet senior Pointer. She is definitely one of the good ol’ gals and takes life at her own pace. She loves going on short walks or spend time trotting around the yard. However, she does tire quickly and will spend the rest of her day sleeping. We can tell she dreams, often when you pass her kennel you will see her hind legs quivering and her front legs pawing at something only she can see. 
Maybe she’s dreaming of running through a meadow with her new family?



Blanche is very sweet and enjoys being able to spend time with the staff and volunteers, her face lights up anytime someone comes in to sit with her. She loves getting her head scratched, her favorite spot is under the chin! She is very food motivated and will follow you anywhere for a treat. 

The girl is looking for a loving family that will be with her through her golden years. She has a lot of love to give and is waiting for the right person to share it with. Come to Little Shelter and meet Blanche today!



631-368-8770
 Little Shelter
 33 Warner Rd
Huntington, NY 11743
http://littleshelter.com/blanche
#littleshelter





Thursday, July 7, 2016

Rescue From Baku - Escaping Streets Of Death

In rescue we deal with many heartbreaking situations on a constant basis. However, sometimes there are situations that go beyond anything we deal with frequently. On Saturday, June 25th Little Shelter rescued 11 dogs from a certain death situation.


While Little Shelter normally deals with local rescue based in our surrounding communities, we also have Nation Wide Rescue with our Passage To Freedom Program. On that Saturday our program went even further than we had previously imagined, as we were called on to save lives from the other side of the world.

Many countries have little to no animal rights or laws that are enforced to protect animals from abusive situations. Baku, is one such area. The streets are overwhelmed with stray cats and dogs, and the governments way of handling that problem has been to use methods of shooting, beating, poisoning and burning (sometimes still alive) animals that are found roaming around.

Out of compassion, a few groups have formed in Baku to try and rescue as many of these animals as possible. One such group is Baku Street Dog Rescue. However, rescue efforts are difficult due to lack of resources, the sheer number of animals in need and the difficulties faced with getting the animals into safety. How did this come to affect Little Shelter? Read on...


An urgent call was received late afternoon on Thursday, June 23rd. Baku Street Dog Rescue had 11 Dogs that they had pulled from the streets and were currently transporting to the USA. However, plans had changed last minute and the dogs suddenly had no where to go upon arrival. Little Shelter didn't hesitate to step in and take all 11 dogs. This included 3 mothers whose puppies were pulled by another rescue group but the moms themselves were left behind. Little Shelter will always take the mom when rescuing a litter of puppies! The transport with the dogs would be arriving early to mid day on Saturday which left the staff of Little Shelter less than 48hrs to make preparations for the dogs arrival.

Coming from overseas and being stressed, we wanted to make sure the Baku dogs had a quarantined area for the first two weeks they stay at the shelter. This is a protective measure for both shelter residents and the Baku dogs. A quarantined area also allows them to adjust to their new surroundings at their own pace, giving them peace of mind and space to relax.

The rest of Thursday and all of Friday were spent with staff moving dogs into different kennels, washing and sterilizing rooms and cages, printing photographs of the Baku dogs, tagging each cage with the individual dogs information and preparing our intake paperwork. This may not sound like a lot, but it essentially required the entire shelter grounds to be rearranged as we already were pretty full from a recent local rescue operation.

On Saturday, the transport from Baku arrived at noon with two of the rescuers coming as the dogs flight buddies. This was their first time seeing where the dogs went after leaving the airport. A full team of Little Shelter staff was waiting ready for them. Each dog was taken swiftly off the transport, photographed, tagged, paperwork processed and led to their new kennel. The goal was to make the transfer as quick and stress free as possible for the dogs. The members from Baku Street Dog Rescue were very grateful that these dogs whose future was undetermined now had somewhere safe to go. Some happy tears were shed at the moment of realization of what was happening hit. 


The Baku dogs are all happy, healthy and safe at Little Shelter. This Saturday will mark their two weeks of quarantine. The dogs will be available for adoption this Saturday and given their sweet personalities and beautiful looks, we do not expect them to be here long. The dogs range in age from about 3 months old to 2 years old.

Little Shelter focuses on local rescue, but we were called to step in for these 11 precious lives. These 11 dogs represent that the overpopulation problem of animals does not belong to one area alone, nor is it up to just once rescue group to solve. By uniting together, educating and helping other groups when it is possible, we can overcome this issue together so fewer animals will never know what a "good boy/girl" is.

~

 Hope you enjoyed the article & the sneak peek at some of the rescues. Come down this Saturday, July 9th to meet them in person!

Little Shelter
33 Warner Rd,
Huntington, NY 11743
www.littleshelter.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Time Is Here! Here Are Some Helpful Tips To Keep Your Animals Safe!

Summer is a great time for pet owners and pets alike to get outside and be more active. There are many places that are becoming more welcoming to our four legged friends, making it easier to take them with us on travel. However, there are some precautions every pet owner should take when bringing their furry companions along on trips or even just out in the yard.

Travel
If you're headed to the beach (or anywhere) with the pup in the car, make sure you get all shopping done prior to them coming with you. In the summer heat, even leaving the windows cracked open is not enough to prevent dangerous temperatures from occurring in a vehicle. If you need to get something for your trip, try to find a market that has a drive thru or see if you can take the animal in the store with you.
Also, while "Fido" might prefer to sit shotgun, an animal is always safer traveling in the back seat of the car. There are many seat belt adapters on the market made for keeping your furry friend safe.

Sun & Surf!
Believe it or not some dogs can get sunburned, especially on their nose. This is something to keep in mind while spending the day at the beach. Many dogs like jumping through the waves, but the blazing sun can do real damage to their skin. Fortunately, there are a few doggie sunscreens on the market in a variety of different applications.

Keeping The Morning Jog!
If running with you dog is a normal part of your routine, make sure to do it in early morning or late evening. The direct afternoon sun is too hot and can cause dehydration for both animal and owner alike. If you normally run on the road, try to find hiking trails instead. The woods will provide shade and will be cooler than running in direct sun and the dirt trails are better for paw pads. If you do go running on the asphalt, test the temperature first to make sure your dog won't get burns on his paw pads. Stand barefoot on the asphalt in direct sun, if it's too hot for you to walk comfortably barefoot, it's too hot for the dog. (This test should also be done before allowing kitty outside if you have an indoor/outdoor cat.)


  Also, make sure to take water along, when ever you stop to rest allow puppy to drink.

Keep Off The Grass!
When walking your dog, keep them off neighbors yards. During this time of year many people put down fertilizer and pesticides that are toxic to our beloved pets. This also applies to anyone who has an indoor/outdoor cat. Kitty is always safer being kept inside, especially since cats groom themselves and will end up ingesting any chemicals that gets on their fur. 
Tall grasses can also contain ticks, fleas and other things we don't want our animals getting into or coming home with. Talk to your vet about different flea and tick preventatives available and which options might be best for you and your animals.

Watch For Puddles!
During the hot months a lot of cars can leak fluids from overheating or expanding. Unfortunately, dogs and cats both find the taste of antifreeze to be sweet and might try to drink it. Antifreeze is highly toxic if ingested so make sure you keep a watch on your dog and any puddles they might try to drink from. Since cats like to travel and you can't always watch where kitty goes exploring, think about keeping kitty inside.

Tips & Tricks To Beat The Heat:
  • Always keep a fresh water source available and filled. You can put a water bowl under a dripping spigot so it will automatically replenish. To encourage cats to drink more, try getting a pet water fountain as the cycling water encourages them to drink more.
  • If you need to cool down a pet fast, be careful that you don't put their body into shock. Use room temp/slightly warm water to "soak" down an animal who is too hot. This helps to make sure the temperature change is not so drastic. Alternatively you can wipe an animals paw pads with rubbing alcohol which will also lower their body temperature as it evaporates.
  • With a damp towel, wipe the inside of the animals ears. This will help disperse heat similarly to the paw pad trick.
  • Get one of the self spray misters and use it on your dog.
  • Many animals like to lay on tile floors on a hot day because it is cool. You can make this even more effective by placing a damp towel on the tile for them to lay on. 
  • If you have your dog outside in the yard with you for extended periods of time, make sure their is a shady spot that they can lay down to escape the sun.
Most importantly, spend time together and have fun!



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Happy Tale of Tails... Jerry & Carvel Go Home!

“Boys will be boys no matter how old they get and these two share the story of a life time. At 10 years old, these two little chihuahuas have spend their entire life together. From early days of puppy hood, to being men in their prime, they have been by each others side. Now in their golden years, as grumbly ol' men they suddenly found themselves at Little Shelter when their owner could no longer care for them. This odd couple is always there for each other, they eat together, walk together and sleep together...”

Some of you might remember this excerpt from the story Little Shelter posted a few weeks ago about our two lovable chihuahuas Jerry & Carvel. I'm very happy to announce that their story got it's happy ending!

After being at Little Shelter for a couple of months, Jerry & Carvel were whisked away off into the sunset to their furever home this past weekend. As the celebration and festivities carried on at Little Shelter's 89th Anniversary this past Sunday, an even bigger celebration was going on inside the adoption office. A family who are long time friends and supporters of Little Shelter, came in to ask about Jerry and Carvel after hearing their story. Then before anyone knew it, the dynamic duo were off to their new home. We can not think of a better way to celebrate the anniversary of Little Shelter than a happy ending to their story. Everyone at Little Shelter wishes the best for these precious boys and their new family, may there be many happy days ahead of you!

We want to thank everyone who liked and shared their story, it is because YOU that their furever family found them. Thank you!



Friday, April 15, 2016

Kitten Season Has Begun....

This Just In At Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption Center....



Spring brings us to the beginning of kitten season. This is just one of the many "bottle baby" litters we expect to have this season. While it's great to be able to give everyone a sneak peak at some of the kittens to soon be available. There's more reasons to write to you.

"Bottle babies" are very common in rescue. It means the kittens are found without the mother or for specific reasons can not be breast feed from the mama cat. The staff here will take on the challenge no matter how young the kittens are. However, a lot of work goes into caring for these newborns and a lot of resources.

Bottle babies depending on age need to be bottle fed anywhere from every 2 hours to every 4 hours until they begin eating kitten chow on their own. This means someone needs to be with them 24/7 for up to 5-6 weeks depending on their age. Also, they need someone to help them go to the bathroom because at this age they need stimulation to do so (a warm damp washcloth or paper towel on the butt). At the same time, they need to be kept in a clean area where they can't come into contact with another animal as their immune system is still being developed. Lastly and most importantly, these kittens need interaction, love, attention, someone to play with them and hold them, socialization.

Each litter that comes in is quickly checked, medically treated (if possible), cleaned, and sent right out into foster care. Besides occasional checkups we won't see these kittens again until they are ready to go up for adoption. A Foster Care person, is someone who works with the shelter and brings these kittens into their home promising to care for them until their old enough to come back to the shelter and go into the kitten adoption room. Little Shelter provides the "Foster Parent" with everything they will need to take care of the kittens. Some of these items include:
  • Beds
  • Cages
  • Kitten Formula
  • Kitten Food
  • Towels
  • Toys
  • Medicine (If Applicable)
 Usually when a Foster Parent takes on a litter, we try to line them up with kittens that match their level of experience. A new Foster Parent will usually start off with older kittens who are already eating on their own and work towards handling the younger bottle babies. However, this leaves us with two problems. Even though many Fosters double up and take more than one litter, their are still many more kittens in need of rescue than the number of fosters we have available to help care for them. The other problem is we really need donations to help care for these kittens, as you can see by the list of just some of the supplies needed.

Please consider donating to help the fight against overpopulation today. If you can donate any of the items on the list, or make a donation through our website. Click Here Anything you can contribute does make a difference.
 
If you want to get involved, call our Cattery for find out more about becoming a Foster Parent for Little Shelter's kittens. The more Foster Parents we have, the more kittens we can rescue. The season is just getting started, call today and join our Foster Family. (631-368-8770 et.32)

Being a Foster Parent has so many rewards, between knowing that because of you these lives have been saved, to the love of a kitten as it cries for your attention. If you have never fostered, it is truly one of the most rewarding experiences in life. You will constantly be amazed with each individual kitten, their different personalities and how they develop. Plus raising a bottle baby to the time it's old enough to run around and play is just a marvel in itself. I started in animal rescue as a Foster Parent, so I'm speaking from my own personal experiences. Till next time.

~



Make a Difference Today
631-368-8770
Little Shelter
33 Warner Rd
Huntington, NY 11743
www.littleshelter.com