Monday, June 29, 2009

Fireworks and Pets

Yay it's summer!! I am excited that summer is finally here!! I love the smell of fresh cut grass, the sound of kids playing outside, ice cream and riding the Sky Ride at Lagoon. Life just feels a little more laid back, and no one cares if you wear flop flops to work. The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I look forward to it every year. I enjoy having friends and family over for a BBQ, staying out late in the warm summer air and shooting off fireworks.

Although fireworks are fun for us, they are not so fun for our pets. It is important to practice safety when shooting off fireworks around them.
I know my animals get scared, so we make sure the house is secure before we celebrate. My little terrier mix "Sassy" gets so scared that she might need to go over to grandma's house this year.

While you are out celebrating, let your pet stay indoors. Close the curtains and turn on some soft music to filter out some of the noise. Give them some treats or toys to keep them preoccupied. They might be too scared to go potty during the fireworks, so give them a lot of time outside before the fireworks start. This should help prevent an accident inside as well.

If your pet is known as an escape artist, keeping them in a kennel or crate is a good idea. Some pets may try to hide, so having a little sanctuary of their own to bury in can be a comfort. People often take their dogs with them to the park to participate in the festivities. The loud noises can stress your pet out so much that they can become physically ill. They just don't understand what is going on, so leaving them at home is best. If you absolutely must take your pet along, keep them on a leash or in a carrier at all times.

Also make sure your pets have current tags and microchips. Each year many animals are so frightened by fireworks that they run away from home. Scared and lost, many never make it home again. Some may end up at the shelter, but sadly most are not found in time by their owners.

If by chance your pet does get out, having your current contact information can be life saving. By having your phone number and address on your pets collar, whoever finds them can contact you right away. But if by some chance your pet loses their collar, a microchip will give them your information as well.
Both ways are equally important and can be life saving if they have your current contact information.

In general with it being summertime, please leave your pets at home and not inside the car. When the temperature is hot to us, it is even hotter to our furry friends.
Even in the shade and with the windows down, it only takes a few minutes for them to start feeling heat exhaustion. Heatstroke in pets can be fatal.
If you need to run into the store and your dog is along with you, please consider taking them home first.

With some basic safety knowledge, we can all have a safe and fun summer.
Your pets will appreciate it!

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

-Maranda Hawkes
Volunteer Director

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lessons from "Marley and Me"

With all the rain lately, I have found myself staying indoors, grabbing some popcorn and settling down for some movie watching marathons.

Recently I rented "Marley and Me", the movie based on the popular book by John Grogan. On the surface it's a tale of a lovable but uncontrollable dog that journeys with the Grogan Family through their good times and bad. I think the biggest lesson to be learned from the movie is to work with your pet even if they have behavior problems or if your family is going through some life changes.

Sometimes when people adopt a rambunctious puppy or an animal with behavior problems, their first inclination is to find a new home for the animal or take them to the shelter. When faced with pet behavioral issues, take the time to complete a training course or consult a pet behaviorist. If your animal is not using the litter box or urinating indoors, it may be sign of a medical condition and your pet may need to be seen by a vet. Should the time come for you to move, take the time to search out pet-friendly housing so that your pet can come with you. If your family grows, include your pet in the preparations along with the new baby.

The Grogan family was with Marley until the end despite all of his problems. I think John Grogan put it best:

"Commitment matters. That 'in good times and bad, in sickness and in health' really means something. We didn't give up on Marley when it would have been easy to, and in the end he came through and proved himself a great and memorable pet."

Standy by the commitment you've made to your pet and in return they will love you unconditionally.

-Lydia Beuning, Office Manager

Friday, June 12, 2009

Inspired by solidarity of animal lovers!

All of us here at NMHPU are recovering from Strut Your Mutt. I don't want to make it sound like Strut Your Mutt is in any way an infliction; in fact I feel deeply honored to be a part of this amazing event. It is simply very tiring.....very gratifying and very tiring. 2,502 people registered for the event this year, record attendance! This year, I found myself up on the hill, doing crowd control, at the start of the was there I saw the start.....
a veritable sea of people and their pooches making their way around the park, it literally took my breath away to witness such solidarity.

In that moment I knew that we can end the tragedy of pet overpopulation, that we will end killing animals as a way to reduce their numbers.

Killing animals as a means to control their populations is the number one cause of death of cats and dogs in this country. I know people are no longer complacent to view this as a necessary tragedy, people know that we CAN stop the killing and people are demanding of their governments to support life-saving sheltering measures in their communities. We all must do our part: individuals, government, private agencies, corporate partners, shelters, and veterinarians. No one entity has the power to stop the killing alone and yet as No More Homeless Pets in Utah and others have proven, one person, one entity, one agency CAN make great strides towards the day in which there will truly be No More Homeless Pets in Utah.

-Holly Sizemore

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet Ellen Welsh, Statistics Coordinator

Hi, my name is Ellen Welsh and I’m the Statistics Coordinator for No More Homeless Pets in Utah. I also do the scheduling and promotion for the Big Fix, our Mobile Spay & Neuter Clinic.

My work for this amazing team started in 2002 a few months after I had moved to Kanab from Hamburg, Germany.
I didn’t have much of a background in animal welfare, but I’ve always loved animals and nature, and I feel a great sense of respect for all life.

I collect statistics from the Shelters and No-Kill Organizations in Utah to create our reports. Sometimes I am asked whether it isn’t a bit ‘dry’ to work with numbers, and what’s the sense in doing it. My answer is that keeping statistics is very important and necessary so that we know what’s happening, it’s our measuring tool. Otherwise it would be difficult to put funds toward programming. We need to know whether what’s been done works or whether it doesn’t.

Every number in our statistics tells a story. Every number represents a life. A life saved or a life lost. And for every life lost we need to increase our efforts!! Offering information, education, and access to low cost spay & neuter is the key!! That’s why I love the other part of my workday just as much. Working for the Big Fix team, creating a schedule where we can reach as many pet owners and communities as possible. Making their wish for accessible and affordable spaying / neutering and vaccinating / microchipping come true!! And simply: fixing as many animals as possible to counteract our pet over-population.

Seeing the progress that has been happening over the years in Utah’s Animal World is our reward, despite some very tough times we’re all facing!! And there is always more to do. But seeing that what you do has a positive impact just makes you want to continue and do more, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Meet Kalinda Solbes, Spay and Neuter Director!!!

I am Kalinda Solbes, Spay and Neuter Director for NMPHU. Spay and Neuter is a core value of mine. A must to reach our mission! I have the pleasure to work with some GREAT people. Dr. Tanya Kjesldberg, Dr. Dave Sweeney, Dr. J Manning, Dr. T Kirkland, Carla, Mary, Cami, Lisa, Carissa, Christy and the rest of NMHPU staff and volunteers. I admire the dedication and hard work that goes on everyday.

Spay and neuter is not glamorous. The day starts early, and for the Big Fix staff starts with a drive to a location somewhere in the state of Utah. They are there snow, sleet, rain and shine fixing animals (yes they are broken). I started out on the Big Fix and found it the most physically demanding job that I have ever had and also the most rewarding. The Big Fix is able to reach many communities that have no low cost s/n options. My first year on the Big Fix we fixed over 8,000 dogs and cats. I am very proud to say that I was a part of that life saving work!!! Just imagine how many animals lives were saved because people fixed their pets. Please help spread the word about how important spaying and neutering is!