Stafford Animal Shelter is grateful to generous Guardian Sponsor Libby Burr and Bridger Feeds for sponsoring a wonderful commercial starring our recent litter of very diverse pups, who were all quickly adopted. (Yes, all these pups have the same Mom, but several different Dads). The crew at Max Media got down on the floor to help send the puppies in front of the camera to play with great toys from our friends at West Paws, cleaned up puppy piddles, and chased them around the studio pulling cords and tripods out of their mouths laughing the whole time. They did a wonderful job editing the film of the 8 week old puppies on their very first time outside of the Shelter. Thanks so much to Libby at Bridger Feeds and the film crew for capturing and sharing shelter pup cuteness at its best!
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Global Wildlife Resources will be giving a free 3-hour workshop on “Humane Handling of Fearful Dogs” at the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter on Saturday, May 4 2013 at 3pm.
This workshop is open to anyone who wishes to attend and will be especially valuable for shelter staff, animal control officers, spay/neuter programs, dog rescue groups, and disaster responders. The 3 hour presentation will include slides, videos and discussion.
Want to help out at the Shelter walking dogs? The next 3 volunteer orientations are: this Thursday, April 26th at 1 pm, Wednesday May 1st at 3 pm and Saturday May 4th at noon. They take about an hour and afterwards you can volunteer as frequently or infrequently as your schedule allows during our business hours Tues – Sat noon to 5 pm. Call 222-1313 or email email@example.com to sign up. Read the recent Livingston Enterprise story:
Small “pocket” pets are a great fit for children learning the responsibilities and joys of pet care. While pocket pets are generally less work and more contained than a dog or cat, each have unique requirements and should be researched before deciding which is the best fit for your family.
Did you know Stafford Animal Shelter is the only Shelter in the region and one of few in the state to take in – and adopt out – pocket and exotic pets? In addition to familiar pets waiting at the Shelter – rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and parakeets – we have the occasional exotic like hedgehogs, teacup pigs, chameleons, pythons, and parrots. When considering pets, please think of those waiting for adoption at Shelters before purchasing one.
Rabbits are the small pets most often surrendered to us. Reasons include: rabbits purchased as Easter “gifts”, unaltered rabbits breeding unwanted litters, rabbits requiring more care than expected, and introducing rabbit ‘buddies’ that aren’t a good match.
If you are considering getting a child a live bunny for Easter, be ready to commit to a rabbit’s decade-long lifespan and care requirements. “Freeing” a later unwanted pet rabbit in the wild is cruel; unlike wild rabbits (which should ALWAYS be left in the wild) domestic bunnies are unprepared to fend for themselves and will be victims of starvation, traffic or animal predators.
Cuddly as they look, rabbits usually don’t like to be cuddled. They are by nature prey animals unaccustomed to being picked up or held and need to be slowly and gently acclimated to being handled. An agitated rabbit can break its own spine while struggling since its hind legs are more powerful than its spine.
Rabbits have complicated digestive systems and do best with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (primarily leafy greens) and plenty of timothy hay and fresh water. They exercise at dusk and dawn and require an area without cords and other bunny ‘chewables’ but can be trained to use a litter box and roam freely in a ‘rabbit-proofed’ home.
Pet rabbits don’t thrive in outdoor hutches; they attract predators and can have fatal heart attacks even if not physically attacked. They don’t tolerate extreme temperatures – hot or cold – and can die from weather exposure. Frequently, rabbits kept outside are forgotten and undersocialized. Thorough research is needed to build a safe, large enough outdoor rabbit hutch to address bunnies’ tender feet, weather, predator and exercise needs.
Rabbits enjoy bunny buddies but their gender is very difficult to distinguish so have a veterinarian examine (and spay or neuter!) them to prevent having a pair who fight or reproduce. Male and female pairs bond best but never just put two rabbits together and hope for the best; they should be introduced gradually using techniques like adjoining kennels and supervised introductory visits. To learn more about pairing rabbits, rabbit proofing your home, dietary and exercise needs and more, visit: Bozeman Rabbit Resource.
For many families, a chocolate bunny is a better gift for a child than a live one at Easter, but there are a wide range of great smaller pets, like rabbits, available for adoption when your child is ready for a furry little friend.