The Time to Reach the Next Generation is Now

19 02 2011

As I write this post, I am sitting at a Starbucks in the middle of a busy mall.

Directly in front of me is a rescue group “Going Home Greyhounds” out of Pennsylvania. They are here with several dogs in an attempt to educate and adopt these beautiful animals out.

 As I sit here watching the interaction between the group, the dogs and the crowd it strikes me that there are many children drawn to the booth. Sure, they are more interested in seeing the “doggies” but it became so apparent to me that with the natural draw children have toward animals, it only makes sense that they be the future voice of animals.

  Children, particularly younger ones, have minds like sponges and still want to help and please others. Isn’t it wise to use that natural urge to please to teach them the importance of being kind to animals and how to teach others to do the same?

Our Animal Rescue Superhighway has just the vehicle to help teach tomorrow’s generation today. The Koala Kid’s Club™ is our children’s humane education program designed with elementary-aged children in grades 1-6 in mind. We believe that by reaching children at this young age, we’re preparing a whole new generation to deal with the plights of animals and how to protect them.

By taking part in a humane program like the Koala Kid’s Club™ – a program that reinforces positive behavior and positive attitudes – children learn to extend mercy and kindness to animals, which in turn, allow them to become more considerate and caring in their relationships with others.

If you would like more information on how to bring a Koala Kid’s Club™ program to your area, please visit our site to learn more and contact us today. It’s never too soon to start.

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Are Vet Costs Contributing to the Increase of Owner Surrenders?

21 11 2010

Just like your family doctor, your veterinarian is an important part of your family. Even healthy dogs have to see the vet for vaccines, yearly checkups and overall routine treatments. But are you being overcharged for your vet’s services?

Our animals, just like us, have health issues; whether these  appear as a puppy or are the diseases that come along with aging like heart failure, diabetes and cancer, they aren’t any different from us in that respect. But just as we complain about the high cost of our own medical treatments, some believe that the cost for caring for our animals is too high, and as a result, contributing to the increase in owner surrenders.

One pet owner recently expressed her frustration with the veterinarians who only consider the financial aspect of veterinary medicine and the charges implemented by her small animal vet, “Although I totally agree with responsible pet ownership, small animal vets make it impossible for people to “do the right thing.” Thank God we can afford the high vet bills for our small animals but I think to myself, “How in the world can the average family afford to take care of their animals veterinary care?”

Most pet owners know when they agree to take on the responsibility of a pet that it will include medical costs, just as bringing a baby into the family does. But for those who haven’t done their homework before adopting a pet, read on as we outline some ways to help make veterinary costs a little more bearable.

PLEASE NOTE: These tips are suggestions only and not meant to take the place of vet care – particularly in an emergency. The information below is intended for healthy animals;, if your pet shows signs of illness, serious or otherwise, or if you are unsure of or uncomfortable with any of the suggestions we have outlined here, talk to your vet immediately.

Vaccines

Veterinarians have told us for years that our dogs need a yearly booster vaccine. A little known fact, and one that some veterinarians aren’t likely to share you with you without a little prompting is that we have been, in fact, over-vaccinating our pets. Once your dog reaches the “adult” stage of life, the yearly vaccine boosters are actually bad for the dog’s immune system and their overall health.

Now before you set your keyboard on fire typing out a comment to this…stop. I’m not saying vaccines aren’t necessary – they are. I’m simply trying to outline ways for you to save a little money and still be a responsible pet owner.

Healthy puppies need the boosters because their immune systems aren’t healthy enough to fend off illness. As such, you should avoid taking your puppy to public places, like dog parks and even the groomer, until they have had three boosters; otherwise you are opening up yourself and your puppy up to contracting the deadly Parvo virus.

Saving money on these important boosters is easy. Buy the boosters online or check with your local feed store. IMPORTANT: If you find them at your local feed store, remember that the boosters need to be constantly refrigerated so bring a small sandwich cooler with some ice for your trip home. Also remember – the vaccines are NOT to be shaken before injected! This causes the medication to break down, thus rendering the vaccine useless.

Veterinarians charge you for the office visit AND mark up the cost of these boosters in order for them to  make money on their services. By the time your puppy is twelve weeks old, he/she will need three boosters and de-worming shots. By buying and administering the shots yourself, you can enjoy a savings of up to $200.

Diagnostic Tests

 Another area veterinarians tend to either overcharge or perform services that may not necessarily be in your pet’s best interest is diagnostic testing.

While certain diagnostic tests are necessary in assisting with diagnosis, as a pet owner, you are entitled to know what tests are being administered and whether or not they are necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask if the test is necessary. Ask what the test will determine.  Ask if there is another option to the testing.

Become an Empowered Pet Owner

When you bring a four-legged member into your family, it is your duty to be a responsible pet owner. When it comes to their health, it your responsibility to become an EMPOWERED pet owner. It is your right to ask questions and if necessary, ask for a second opinion. When, and only when, you have all of the facts at your fingertips can you make the right choice for, and act in, the best interest of your pet.

If you are interested in receiving a FREE report on how to avoid being taken advantage of at your veterinarian’s office, please contact us.





Is The Poor Economy Even Affecting Pet Owners?

17 11 2010

As the economy continues to take its time to turn around, more and more pet owners are forced to choose between caring for their families and caring for their pets. Animal shelters, veterinarians and other pet experts are seeing a growing trend of what some are calling the “economic euthanasia” of pets, as many are opting to have their family pets put to sleep because they are unable to financially care for them anymore.

Because of the current economic conditions, pet owners are being forced to make difficult and even painful choices where their pets are concerned; choices that include anything from giving their pet away to friends or family, surrendering their pet to a local animal shelter or having their pets euthanized.

Vets See Economic Euthanasia On The Rise

In vet hospitals, particularly those who offer emergency services, there is a steady rise in pets being brought in who need to be euthanized because of extensive injury or terminal illness. While this may not be an alarming fact, what IS disturbing is the number of animals being euthanized because owners are no longer able to care for them.

The Flip Side of Economic Euthanasia

Still some pet owners are choosing another method of dealing with their pet’s injuries and illnesses, both common and terminal. Something even more bizarre than having the animal put down: they are choosing, instead, to take their pet home without having it treated at all.  And the reason for this behavior? Financial difficulties.  

Shelters and Humane Societies are Seeing More Owner Surrenders

Heritage Humane Society in Williamsburg, Virginia, for example,  is just one of the many groups seeing a vast increase in owner surrenders. Just one day in November saw thirteen owner surrenders versus fourteen in the entire month of January. Still need further proof of this ever-increasing situation? The HHS manages to adopt between 80 and 90 animals per month – but has an intake of an average of 115. I’m no math wizard but this adds up to a huge problem that must be solved quickly.

What Can Be Done?

Plenty! These animals don’t need to be separated from their families and they certainly don’t need to be euthanized because of a family’s financial situation. More needs to be done to stress responsible pet ownership. More needs to be done to stress the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Local animal shelters, humane societies and other animal welfare agencies need to do more to offer resources for families who are truly in need.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be a responsible pet owner. If your family is already suffering from the current economic downturn, don’t add to the stress by bringing a four-legged mouth to feed into your home and hope you can rely on others to help you keep it. This is a recipe for disaster and the animal will end up in a local shelter or worse. Choose your pets wisely. If there is a chance you are going to move to a place that doesn’t welcome pets, begin working with your local humane society to have your pet re-homed.

The point I am trying to make here is this: you HAVE options. Your pet didn’t ask to be put into this situation and he or she shouldn’t have to suffer from consequences of which they have no control.





Are Your Children Ready To Help the Strays of Straytown?

28 10 2010

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know our main “diet” of posts is geared toward helping to educate our readers on animal rescue and helping nonprofits to extend their reach into their community. We don’t normally do “product reviews.” Well, this post is a little different. I want to take just a few minutes of your time and introduce you to a product that I stumbled upon while putting together our children’s humane education program: Koala’s Kids Klub.

There are many unique humane education programs circulating the animal rescue community. However, there is one that stands out and that is the Fur-Ever Home, The Animal Rescue Game. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about a board game. Children love to play, and when you combine playing with learning valuable information, you’ve created the perfect environment for teaching children to truly make a difference.

Fur-Ever Home, The Animal Rescue Game is produced by Petsapalooza and offers a unique look into the animal rescue world. Children eight and up can play with three of their friends to help Spaghetti, Meatball and their friends of Straytown who are lost. Children will learn how a rescue operates – from the intake of animals to the struggles of keeping the lights on to what to do when the shelter is full.

If you are looking for a way to connect with your children and teach them about an important aspect of animal rescue, this game is for you. Combine teaching a love and understanding of animals to your children with quality family time and it’s a win-win situation for all.





Animal Awareness: Teaching Tomorrow’s Community Today

22 10 2010

Some mistakenly believe that Humane Education is only for those in the animal rescue community and, more specifically, for adults only. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While different methods of teaching need to be used, there is no limit for how young a child can be teach them how to be kind to animals and how to be a responsible pet owner. Some children are very young when they have their first pet – albeit a goldfish or a hamster – but it’s still a pet, nonetheless. How many times after their pet goldfish has died, have we heard a child say “Oh, I guess I forgot to feed it.”

Some of you reading this may be thinking, “How does a child know not to be kind to animals?” Sadly, many children who ARE unkind to animals, have learned by watching an adult. They may see it on television, at their friends’ homes or even in their own homes. Teasing animals, or disregarding the animal’s feelings in some other manner can often times lead to animal cruelty.

One woman has come up with a fun and unique way to teach children as young as eight years old about being kind to animals. Carianne Burnley, of Ohio, used her marketing and business savvy and combined it with her animal rescue experience to come up with a unique game: Fur-Ever Home, The Animal Rescue Game. The game play is simple and revolves around rescue groups and shelters workign together to help the stray animals of the fictional “Straytown.” The game provides a way to teach children about animal rescue AND a portion of the game price goes right back to the animal community.

This game is but one way of many to teach children the importance of treating animals kindly:

  • Teach by example. The mind of a child is very much like a sponge – they absorb everything around them.  One of the best ways to teach a child to be kind, is for you, yourself, to be kind. Be kind to your animals. When they are old enough, take them to your local animal shelter and let them help walk some of the smaller dogs.
  • Volunteer to work with children in their classroom or other group setting to teach them how to be kind. You may be able to partner with your local animal shelter and bring a few of the animals into the classroom.

Violence breeds violence. Those who start out by abusing animals, go on to abuse children and their spouses and some have even gone on to murder. You don’t have to be a “teacher” to instill values into children, you simply have to have compassion and knowledge to show them the right way. The lessons they learn from you can last a lifetime.

If you would like more information on how to work with children in your area or how to form a youth group in your area. Please contact us today!