Pets and Adoptions

More and more Americans are adopting their pets.  Rescue dogs have become a bit of a status symbol in certain groups.  While it’s doubtful you will find one like “Weego” in the Bud Light commercial, a rescue pet will provide the same love, companionship and loyalty as any purebred.  A recent article passed along to me from the Christian Science Monitor shows how the number of homeless animals being put to death has decreased dramatically since 1970.  The article quotes a stat from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that the number of animals euthanized each year has decreased from 20 million in 1970 to about 3 million last year.  During that same time the number of pets has doubled.

A couple of reasons are given for this.  One is the awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering animals.  Another reason is the rise of “no-kill” shelters.  And with so many people electing to take the pets home from these shelters, many lives are being saved. Image

There are many places around the northern part of the metro area where pets can be adopted.  The Atlanta Humane Society has opened a beautiful facility off Mansell Rd.  I do some volunteer work at the Humane Society of Cobb County.  Mostly cats are available there because they don’t have room to keep many dogs.  Here are just some of the other places I’m familiar with around the area that do adoptions:

Kittens are available at the Cat Clinic of Cobb on Sandy Plains.

Georgia Homeless Pets has pets available on weekend afternoons at the PetSmarts in Smyrna, Dunwoody and Austell.

Angels Among Us is a group that finds homes for animals.  Follow the link to their website for more information.

Mostly Mutts hosts events each week to try and find homes for dogs.

Our Pal’s Place on Canton Rd. is open on weekend afternoons for adoptions.

If you must have a specific breed, many breeds have rescue programs around the area.  Just do an internet search for them.  Most places give the animals the appropriate shots before they go home with you.  Most have been fixed, or you get a voucher to have that done.  Exactly what is done is one of the main reasons the prices vary from facility to facility.  Be sure and ask plenty of questions.

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If you can’t decide if it’s the right time for a pet some of these groups have a “foster” program where you would care for the pet on a temporary basis.  Also all of these facilities not only need money, but volunteers to help care for the animals.  A lot of the animals just need some attention and having loving hands and a soothing voice for a just a few minutes can do wonders for a animal.

If you’ve decided you’re ready to make the commitment to save an animal’s life and bring it into your home congratulations.  I think you’ll find it as rewarding for you as the animal does.

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides in-home pet care and dog walking as well as cat care services in Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia.

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Pets and Travelling

With spring officially here, many of us are looking forward to taking trips.  You’ve made the transportation arrangements, the accommodations are lined up, but what are you going to do with your pet?.  If you’re one of my satisfied clients, and you’ve already booked our service during your trip, you don’t need to read any further.   You are a prepared pet owner and your pet is lucky.  If you don’t have specific plans for your pet with a professional to take care of them, keep reading.

Yes I own a pet sitting and dog walking service.  But I understand that our service is not best for everyone.  There are many different ways you can make sure your pet gets the same care it would when you are at home.  I want what’s best for the pet, so I’m going to look at some of those of options.

In home pet sitter – That’s what Fetch! does.  This is when someone comes into your home several times a day or to stay.  They feed, exercise and give companionship to your pets.  There are several things you should check before hiring someone to come into your home.  Several of these are obvious.  Make sure they are bonded and insured.  Make sure you check some references from prior clients.  Check out their webpage and if they have a Facebook page look to see how professional and frequent  the posts are.  Make sure they offer to come over and meet you and the pet before everything is agreed to.  This way you can meet them in person, and more importantly see how they interact with your pet and how your pet reacts to them.  Animals are a very good judge of character and they can sense unease with someone.  Ask them how they will communicate with you.  A good sitter will send you as many updates as you need, via text, phone calls, emails or whatever works best for you.

One of the big advantages of this service is that your house won’t be empty for a long period of time.  It also allows your pet to maintain its routine.

Jameson playing with his favorite ball

It can sleep in the same spot, play in the same areas and eat the same food, in the same bowl at the same time every day.  The pet will be most comfortable this way.  Do you have a neighborhood kid do this?  You could, but would you have a neighborhood kid sell your house or fix your car?  Of course not, unless that’s what they do.   You get what you pay for and having a reputable sitter in your home will ensure that your pet gets the same love and attention while you are away as when you are home.  If you have several pets this is usually a very cost effective way to go.  Most sitters just charge small increases for extra pets.

Boarding – This is when you take your pet to your vet or to a kennel.  This is great for some dogs.  A trip to the kennel is an adventure for some dogs.  I used to take my Lab to a boarding facility and it was “camp” to him.  The staff seemed to really like him and he seemed happy when he returned.  If you are going to do this, make sure you see the cages where the pets will be kept.  Find out if there will be staff around overnight.  Have them show you where the dogs are walked.  Is it clean or do all the dogs do their business there.   Be very suspicious of a place that won’t let you see where your pet will be kept.  You’ll also need to have some shots.  If this isn’t your vet, you should also get some references from clients.  You can also check comments on the internet.

Take your pet with you – This option is gaining in popularity as more and more venues are accepting of pets.  There’s a website, www.bringfido.com that has a lot of great information for people who want to travel with a pet.  They also have a list of many pet services including dog walking companiesand boarding facilities if you decide to leave a pet at home.  If you choose to take one of your pets you may want to break them in with a short trip first to see how they handle being away from home.  Also you want to check with your vet about anything you may need to be aware of regarding specific behavior of your pet.  If you’re traveling by car, make sure you allow time for plenty of potty stops your pet will need.

Dog in seat belt from petaholics.com

If the car is full of luggage, you’ll need to allow a comfortable place for the pets.

Traveling for pleasure is supposed to be a time for you to relax and recharge.  You don’t need to be worrying about your pets back home.  Your planning and budgeting for pet care as part of your vacation plan will lead to peace of mind for you and a happy pet when you return home.

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides in-home pet care and dog walking as well as cat care services in Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia.

Mascot Injury Update

Most bloggers on Tuesday were talking about the Syracuse center being declared ineligible for the tournament, but I want to update the readers here on one of the mascots who won’t be able to make the trip to the tournament because of an injury.

Jack, the bulldog mascot from Georgetown, has torn his ACL and will not be able to make the trip to Columbus, Ohio with the team. Jack’s handler sent out the following tweet:

Jack the Bulldog, from Georgetown University Traditions.

“Dang… Jack has torn his dog ‘ACL’! Surgery probably; 2 mo. recovery. Happened Sunday; likely from jumping on couch. He’s limping badly.”

We wish Jack a speedy recovery and hope there aren’t any other injuries to mascots, or  players during the tournament.

Animals as Mascots

Most of us love animals.  We all know that.  Many colleges seem to love animals too.  So much in fact, they have adopted an animal as their mascot.  Of the 68 schools playing in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament this week, 38 have an animal nickname.  Three of the ones that don’t have an animal nickname (Alabama, Georgetown, UNC) have an animal mascot.  So if you’re having some trouble filling out your bracket, maybe I can help you based on a team’s mascot.

Georgetown's Mascot

Georgetown's Mascot

There is a wide selection of animals represented from the Badger (Wisconsin) to the Bruin (Belmont).   Some are closely identified with their state like the Longhorn (Texas),  the Gator (Florida), the Buffalo (Colorado) or the Grizzly (Montana).  There are some odd colored animals like the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss and Marquette.  The Bears from California are Golden.  The ones from Baylor are not.  Some are vicious like the Bulls (South Florida) and some are kind of cute like the Jackrabbits (South Dakota State).  Some are fast, like the Racers from Murray State (a thoroughbred is their mascot) and some are just quick, like the Wolverine (Michigan).  You are more likely to find a Ram around the Colorado State campus than on the Virginia Commonwealth campus in Richmond.

Most of these wouldn’t be animals you’d want around the house as a pet.   But there are 7 kinds of birds, some of which you may find in your backyard like Cardinals (Louisville and Lamar), Blue Jays (Creighton) or Blackbirds (LIU-Brooklyn).  In addition to the Golden Eagles, there are Mountain Hawks (Lehigh) Owls (Temple) and Jayhawks (Kansas).

There are 3 dog breeds, Husky (Connecticut), Bulldog (Gonzaga and UNC-Asheville) and Greyhound (Loyola, MD).  There’s also a Wolfpack (N.C. State).  The cats are more numerous and there’s a wider variety.  The most popular are Wildcats (Kentucky, Kansas St. and Davidson) and Tigers (Missouri and Memphis).  There is also a Bobcat (Ohio), a Catamount (Vermont), a Bearcat (Cincinnati) and a Cougar (BYU).

We are lucky that the tournament committee made the controversial decision to exclude Drexel because I didn’t want to debate if a Dragon is an animal or not.   The mild winter must have made it tough for the Penguins of Youngstown State to play basketball very well this season.  I’m sorry the Kangaroos of Missouri-Kansas City didn’t make it.  That would be one team I’d pull for.  For the millions of Americans who own Labrador Retrievers you may be surprised that of all the colleges in this country, none of them have chosen this lovable dog to be their mascot.

Let me know what your favorite mascots, not schools, are in the tournament. Enjoy the tournament and may your bracket win!

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides in-home pet care and dog walking as well as cat care services in Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia.

Pets and Fertilizer

This time of year we’re seeing the lawn service trucks come back into neighborhoods to spray yards with weed killer and fertilizer as dormant lawns come to life in the warmer temperatures.  ImageThat makes the yards look great but it can be dangerous for your pets.  When you see the signs in a yard that say it’s been serviced, you know not to let your pet walk into that yard.  But even by keeping your pet out of the grass, the weed killer can get on his paws.  If it’s a windy day, the spray can get on sidewalks or the road, but even it’s not windy the spray can go where it’s not intended.   If the pet gets fertilizer on its paws it will track in your house where it could be picked up by others.  Your pet may lick its paws and ingest the poison.

There is something quite easy for you to do to prevent this.  You can keep disinfectant wipes by your door and wipe off your pet’s paws before it goes back in the house.  ImageAs part of your pet and family first aid plan you should have the local poison control center number readily available.  In metro Atlanta call 404-616-9000.  Here’s the link to the website.

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides in-home pet care and dog walking as well as cat care services in Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia.