Recent posts in the Happy Tails category. Click a title to view the full post.

Don’t Wait – Adopt a Cat Today

I have no idea why I waited so long . . I really missed having a cat & the mice were driving me nuts. A quick sweep through the cat quarters and a cat picked me. I say that because if you know cats as I do, people don’t have cats; cats have people. Twiggy twined between my legs and hopped into my lap each time I knelt at a cage door, purring and kneading. My eyes scanned the cages and hammocks trying to sort through the options, personalities and needs. Then Natasha jumped down off the sill onto my back, walked to my shoulder and rubbed my face with her whiskers. So the decision was over. I filled out the papers, loaded my two friends into the car and headed home to the country.
Since it was my son’s birthday and he had 4 friends sleeping over, I tucked the cats into the old dog house to protect them from the madness that 5 fourteen year-old boys were sure to inflict on the evening. But not for long. Natasha forced her way past the closure and soon both cats were in the thick of the events; Twiggy watching somberly from the window sill and Natasha, paws curled under her chest, lay right in the middle of the flying pillows and wads of wrapping paper, fascinated and content to observe the ‘wildlife’.
The cats now sleep with whomever they choose, obey the sanctity of the kitchen and romp the night away after lazy days of sunning on the back of a couch or window seats. Both are well trained at using their box and containing the claws to only toys and an occasional bug.
Don’t wait like I did to adopt. Cats are one of life’s simple pleasures and ask very little in return. Stop by the shelter and let a cat find you.

Submitted by: Barb

Foster Families Needed

If you have an enclosed space that can be separate from your pets, we need temporary foster homes for bottle baby kittens and nursing moms and babies. It’s hard work to follow all the medical protocol, feed them frequently and keep them clean and dry but SO rewarding to save little, furry, mewling lives! Please email staffordshelter@imt.net or phone Angie Sue at 222-2111 if you are interested. We also need foster homes for some special needs dogs who do poorly in the Shelter environment. They don’t have to be separated from your dogs, but some don’t do well with cats. THANKS for considering SAVING LIVES!

Fire Safety and Your Pet

Fall is often fire season – inside and out. We should all have an evacuation plan that includes our pets in case of nearby fires as well as preventing fires indoors as we begin to heat our homes for the first time in the season.

Let’s start with prevention. It’s a good idea to have your heaters, fireplace and chimney inspected before the cold kicks in. Use a fireplace screen to minimize sparks and make sure all fires are completly out before going to bed or leaving the house. The open flames of fireplaces, woodstoves and candles may lead to pets unintentionally starting fires so don’t leave those flames unattended and accessible to your pets. According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year more than 1,000 house fires are accidentally started by pets. Electrical wires and cords are vulnerable too, so keep them secured and out of your pet’s reach. The most common way pets start house fires is to lick or chew on stove knobs flavored by spills and kitchen smells thus turning the oven or stove on. If your knobs turn easily, remove them or protect them with covers when you leave.

While stories abound of pets waking their owners to alert them to fire, having plenty of working smoke detectors is a more reliable way to protect both you and your pet. Set up a reminder on your calendar, computer or cell phone to check the smoke detector batteries monthly. If you are away a lot and your pet is home alone, for their safety consider getting monitored smoke detectors; this system sends an immediate alert to a call center letting them know smoke has been detected.  

When it gets cold outside, cigarette smokers tend to smoke inside more. Not only does this increase fire hazards but greatly increases pets’ chance of getting cancer. And pets don’t just breathe cigarette smoke, but their fur traps smoke particles and chemicals and they can ingest large doses of harmful substances when they lick their coats. So keep your home and pets safer (and better smelling) by smoking outdoors (or quitting).

An evacuation plan and supplies can prevent a pet’s death or harm if there is a home or regional fire. Identify several safe havens where your pets could be brought and include this information with a copy of their veterinary records to be held by a designated person in case you aren’t available. The list should include someone nearby who could get to – and in – your home quickly, a boarding facility, and friends’ or families’ homes and motels where both you and your pets are welcome.

Keep an emergency kit for your pet next to your own (you have one put together, right?) that is ready to grab along with your pets as you leave your home. Supplies for birds, fish, snakes, lizards and other exotics are more complicated but for dogs, cats, and most pocket pets simply fill a sturdy bag with a pet first-aid kit, pop-top canned food and utensil (cans are more mouse-proof than dry food in bags but any food should be rotated), food and water dishes, soap and plastic bags for clean up, a blanket (works for bedding and scooping up a fearful pet), recent photos (in case you become separated from your pet and need to make “lost pet” posters), photocopies of medical records, a supply of your pets’ medication (again, rotating before meds expire), a calming aid such as Rescue Remedy (good for pets and people) is a good idea as are extra leashes for dogs and if possible have a carrier or crate for each pet and always: enough bottled water for all. For cats, you’ll need litter (or even paper towels) and aluminum roasting trays are good disposable litter pans, and a pillow case is good for keeping an agitated cat, rabbit or pocket pet safe during transfer. Many of these supplies can be gathered affordably at the Community Closet.

At all times (yes, even right after a bath!) pets should wear a collar and tag with up-to-date identification. If you don’t have an identification chip implanted yet, make an appointment with your Veterinarian to implant this humane and permanent ID. Just make sure your current address and phone are registered with the chip company. Your contact information should also be on your pet’s carrier.

Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of an outdoor disaster. If the danger is inside, put pets outside in their crate while you grab things and evacuate. Pets can easily become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.

Keep warm, cozy and SAFE this season with your pets; the safest personal heaters around!

Friends of Chester Marion Animal Fund

Jodi was adopted August 28th!

Stafford Animal Shelter is grateful to Kim Goodwine and the many friends of Chester Marion and Tena Versland and Chester’s family for their generous donations to sponsor his dogs and cats we took in after his untimely passing. All the dogs have been adopted, but several of his cats are STILL waiting for homes. Jodi was the last of his dogs at the Shelter and her new owner Ross said of her first day in his home, “She is doing awesome! Already playing fetch and rolling over for tummy scratches! Best dog ever!” Stafford is so appreciative of adopters as well as donors. Memorials may also be made in Chester Marion’s name. Thank you for caring. Read an article about Marion in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

When life hands you lemons, make … pet food?

Yes, the Shelter is now the beneficiary of a wonderful lemonade stand. Thanks to Carrie Jazwiecki of Head, Heart and Hand who donated her “World’s Best Lemonade” stand, supplies and secret recipe to Stafford Animal Shelter, Isabel, Simone, Seabring and Colin Davis for volunteering to do fresh lemon-flavored outreach for Stafford Animal Shelter and 2nd Street Bistro for donating lemons. Look for the stand at the Livingston Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays in August to see the adoptable pets of the week, upcoming events and to get your lemonade fix. Thanks everyone who has made this tasty venture so successful. Read the story in the Livingston Enterprise!