Hospital officials say therapy dogs a great way to reduce stress, boost morale and bring cheer to patients

Hospital officials say therapy dogs a great way to reduce stress, boost morale and bring cheer to patients (via NJ.com)

When 8-year-old Bailey makes her way through Capital Health Medical Center — Hopewell sporting a therapy dog identification badge, the Dalmatian-border collie mix attracts visitors and staff like a magnet, giving affection and getting some in return…


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Pet Art Benefits Area Animal Shelter

Pet Art Benefits Area Animal Shelter (via Repost Video News)

JOPLIN, MO.— An area couple is helping the Joplin Humane Society with their art. Tim and Sherry Wemple have created Andy’s Paw Prints. They take pictures of your pets and transform them into pieces of art.

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Children Improve Reading While Comforting Homeless Shelter Pets

Baltimore Humane Society Kicks Off Reading To Animals Program 

See Spot.  See Sally read to Spot.  Sally and Spot love to read together.  Baltimore Humane Society’s new program, Read to the Animals, is giving children an opportunity to improve their reading skills while also comforting homeless dogs, cats, and rabbits.   The launch coincides two days before National Kids &Pets Day on April 26th.

On April 24th, come to Baltimore Humane Society and you may think you’ve walked into a classroom instead of a dog kennel.  Rather than the sound of dogs barking, you’ll hear children sounding out letters. Pre-K children reading aloud will be heard in the dog kennel and cattery at Baltimore Humane Society as the no-kill shelter launches its Read to the Animals program with Sweet Potato Kids Children’s Community Center.  The intent is for both the animals and children to benefit.

Studies have shown that children who read to animals dramatically increase their reading and comprehension skills.  One study by University of California found that over the course of a ten week program, children improved their reading skills by thirty percent.  The judgment-free attitudes of the companion pets help motivate the kids to want to practice reading, give them more confidence, and in turn become more competent readers.  The extra bonus is that they learn to be more respectful of animals.

The children are not the only ones to benefit.  With the quiet one-on-one attention of the readers, the dogs, cats, and rabbits gain companionship and an overall calming effect.   Bonus — they learn to enjoy the company of children.

Michelle Hall-Davis, founder and COO of the Randallstown-based Sweet Potato Kids says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our children to improve their reading skills in a fun way and learn to be kind to animals.  We’re very excited to be partnering with Baltimore Humane Society on this new venture.”

The program will begin with Sweet Potato Kids coming once a month.  Baltimore Humane Society hopes that they will be able to increase the frequency of reading sessions, or to partner with an additional educational program on some of the other weeks.

About Baltimore Humane Society

The Baltimore Humane Society, founded in 1927 by Mrs. Elsie Seeger Barton, is an independent, non-profit, no-kill animal shelter, which offers low-cost veterinary care to the public, and a pet cemetery with grief support services. We receive no operational funding from the local or federal governments, or any national animal welfare organizations.  For more information about BHS, and how you can contribute, volunteer, adopt, or foster, please visit www.bmorehumane.org.

About Sweet Potato Kids

Sweet Potato Kids is a pre-school, pre-k, after school, and summer camp program in Randallstown, Maryland.  It is committed to the growth and enrichment of each child by encouraging their natural curiosity.  Sweet Potato Kids believes every child is unique and that success and growth come from encouragement and praise.

 

 
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Spring into Action: Adopt a Pet at PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Weekend, May 2-4

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Watch: Experience the adoption process from a homeless pet’s perspective

Start this spring off on the right paw. Spring into action and adopt a pet at the PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend, sponsored by PetSmart®, from May 2-4 at your local PetSmart store. The weekend-long event allows people to meet thousands of friendly, lovable dogs and cats waiting for someone to spring into action and adopt them. Whether it’s a clever cat or a playful puppy, you are bound to find a new best friend.

More than 2,000 animal welfare organizations will be on-site at all 1,300 PetSmart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Prospective pet parents can meet the dogs and cats available for adoption and talk with volunteers about the adoption process and how to prepare to bring a new pet into their home.

“If you are interested in adding a new furry companion to your family, you may be considering buying. But, homeless cats and dogs can be even more rewarding and a better choice,” said Jan Wilkins, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. “Adopting a cat or dog is sure to bring you a lifetime of unconditional love.”

“At PetSmart, we believe pets make us better people,” said David Lenhardt, chief executive officer, PetSmart. “Partnering with PetSmart Charities for National Adoption Weekend events allow us to create more moments for people to be inspired by pets.”

PetSmart Charities will reward all participating adoption partners; each will receive $35 in adoption-reward grants for every pet adopted during the event. PetSmart, Inc., Purina® Pro Plan® and Tidy Cats® (MAXX Scoop® in Canada) are proud sponsors of National Adoption Weekend.

Video: Adoption through the Eyes of a Pet

PetSmart Charities placed collar cameras on homeless cats and dogs to gather insight into what they see in a shelter as they wait to be adopted. See for yourself in this fun, new video.

How to Adopt

Visit the PetSmart Charities’ adoption center inside any PetSmart store in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 4. To find the PetSmart store nearest you, visit http://pets.petsmart.com/adoptions/ or call 1-877-473-8762.

Join the Conversation

You can follow PetSmart Charities and PetSmart on Facebook throughout National Adoption Weekend at www.facebook.com/PetSmartCharities and www.facebook.com/PetSmart. Or, talk with us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PetSmartChariTs and https://twitter.com/PetSmart and by following the hashtag #adoptlove. We also invite you to share your adoption story. Your pet’s happy “tail” will be posted on PetSmart Charities Pet Adoption Announcements page.

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 400,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through our adoption program in all PetSmart® stores and our sponsored adoption events. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding spay/neuter services that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, separate from PetSmart, Inc.

 

 
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Preventing Pet Pests This Spring

Preventing Pet Pests This Spring (via Repost Video News)

The time to protect your pets from fleas and ticks is now.


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Emergency Smarts: Disaster Planning for Your Pets from Allstate

Reposted with permission from Allstate and theAllstateBlog

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We’re all advised to make emergency preparedness plans for our family, but what about our pets? Whether you care for dogs, birds or cats, their safety is equally at risk during an emergency. And, as with the members of your family, advance preparations can make all the difference in keeping your pets safe when disaster strikes.

Here are some key points for putting together an emergency plan for your pets:

Make plans to shelter your animals.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website Ready.gov says never to leave your pets at home if you need to evacuate during an emergency. And because many emergency shelters will not accept pets, according to Ready.gov, it’s important to identify a few out-of-town locations now where you can shelter your animals. Be sure to ask about any restrictions (like the number of pets, the size of the animal, etc.) so you have accurate information.

Emergency shelters. Start by contacting your local emergency management office (likely a county-level department), and ask if any of the local shelters are among the few that do accept pets.

Boarding kennels. Kennels are another option for sheltering your pet in an emergency, though they’ll typically require your pets to be up to date on all vaccinations (often requiring proof), so discuss this with your vet during your pet’s next check-up.

Pet-friendly lodging. Motels or hotels can be another option; try one of the many online directories of pet-friendly hotels to begin your research, and then create a list with phone numbers and addresses to keep with your emergency kit.

Friends and family. You might also contact out-of-town acquaintances to see if they might be able to offer your animals accommodations in the event of an emergency.

If you have more than one pet, you may need to make separate arrangements to shelter them all safely. Some facilities may have restrictions on the number of animals they can accept. And it’s possible that even friends and family may find that caring for more than one pet is overwhelming.

Update your pet’s identification.

Ensure your pets have up-to-date identification tags with their names and your phone number (a cell phone number is probably best) attached to their collars at all times. Ready.gov suggests that, during an emergency, you also attach your pet’s shelter location and phone number to his collar; if he becomes lost, that extra layer of information may help you reunite with him.

Another precaution may be to microchip each of your pets; these services are typically done by a veterinarian and cost less than $50, according to the online adoption center Petfinder.com; a microchip registers your pet with a nationwide database accessible to vets and rescue shelters.

If you take this option, know that there may be an annual maintenance fee and that you’ll be responsible for updating the contact information associated with your pet.

Create a pet survival kit.

Put together an animal version of your own emergency kit, which will be essential for your pets during an emergency (whether you shelter in place or evacuate). Ready.gov suggests a number of items:

  • Copies of your pets’ health records
  • Current photos to use as as reference if you become separated
  • Food and water, plus feeding bowls
  • Medications and grooming supplies
  • Blankets, toys and other comfort items to help your pet release nervous energy
  • Leash, carrier and potentially even a muzzle to help you maintain control over a nervous pet

Know what to do during a disaster.

Ready.gov also offers helpful advice on how to protect your pet during a severe storm, hurricane or other disaster:

  • Bring your pets inside if you’re home and severe weather is on its way. Some animals exhibit nervous signs when they sense severe weather changes, Ready.gov says, so bring them in well in advance to prevent a runaway.

  • Lay down newspapers or potty pads for pets that usually relieve themselves outside.
  • Provide moist foods such as canned meat, so that the animal will require less water to drink.
  • Separate pets that don’t get along, if necessary, to prevent fights.
  • Bring your pet with you if you have to evacuate, Ready.gov says. Never leave your pet outside or tie him up during a storm.
 
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