Monday, April 30, 2012

Lunch Puppy

Today was one of those days that I felt like throwing in the towel by the time I went home I pretty much just took a shower and knocked out. Hopefully tomorrow will be a much better day! Yesterday I did dog adoptions all day and 9 were able to go home; such an awesome day :) Then today we received about 7 new dogs...sigh, it's a never ending cycle. 

I thought I'd just share some pictures of the puppy I spent most of my lunch break with today - hence the name "Lunch Puppy"! She's a small Boston/terrier mix that came from a litter of 5 (mentioned in a previous post). Her other brothers and sisters have already gotten adopted and she's the only one left. She's getting treated for a punctured eye in Iso, so I've been trying to socialize with her since she's all alone! :(

Here are pictures after the mini-photo shoot I had of her during my lunch break (in order):

I managed to creep in and take a picture of her while she was sleeping. Yes in that position...

And then she woke up!

Look at that face :)

Oh hello there!

Did you come to play with me?

And then she started getting more and more rambunctious...

OoOoh a string...

What's over here?

Made my day better :)

May I chew on you?

Oh, what's this?

Nom nom nom...

I swear I would only let a cute puppy like her chew on my book - she thought it was a delicious treat! This is the book I am currently reading called Dog Sense by John Bradshaw. I'm going to cover a topic I've been reading and learning about in my next stay tuned!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mr. Fluff the Persian

I have this love/hate relationship with Saturdays...I LOVE that we get a lot of people in and a lot of adoptions. I hate how stressful the day can be and how exhausted I feel at the end of the day. I worked in cat Iso (Isolation) for the entire morning since we have a full house...around 40 sick kitties. Yikes! It takes a lot of work to medicate and clean in Iso, so we didn't finish until around 11am. There was also one young orange cat that made cleaning a bit more difficult. He learned how to open his cage by body slamming himself against the door and I'd find him walking around the room like it's all good. I freaked out the first time because I couldn't find him until I saw the tip of a tail underneath the cages...he then ran right up to me and nudged his head against my leg in affection. How could I get mad at him after that? Silly kitty.

Later, an orange cat named Rascal from one of my previous posts was adopted out and sent home today. He's been at the shelter since early January and is such a friendly and sweet cat that really deserved a good home. YAY to happy endings!

Persian Cat

I also wanted to share with you one of my favorite cats at the shelter named Mr. Fluff.

They originated from Persia, modern-day Iran, and have become a very popular breed in the United States. Persians were pets for royalty at one point in time, with owners such as Queen Victoria, and now they are one of the most popular pedigreed cat in North America. They are unique with their short flat pushed in face (doll-like) and thick fluffy coat. Personality wise, they are extremely sweet and serene companions...not at all an active or energetic breed. They prefer a calm environment, although they can easily adapt to a louder environment if their needs are met. Mr. Fluff has a special lion trim cut that was most likely done because of matted hair and to keep him cool (in this Florida weather). I'll update on him if he gets adopted :)

Last but not least, I wanted to post two pictures of a big old pit who was adopted out today to a wonderful new home. His name is Buddah and his friendly personality won me over the day he arrived at the shelter. Thankfully he was at the shelter for only about three weeks and not any longer. Here are the pictures I took of him today:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What a day!

Wow...what a day. I don't even know where to begin! We were a bit short staffed today, meaning we had our work cut out for us. My 8 hour work shift felt like it all happened within an the time I knew it was 5 o'clock and time to clock out! I usually get to the shelter around 7:20 am and start the cleaning in either cats or dogs, and today I was in cats. We had plenty of work to do, including cleaning the cages and scrubbing out the 4 free roam rooms. To top it off, we have these HUGE new cat trees in the rooms which are wonderful...but a pain in the butt to move in order for us to clean the rooms (pictures below). We need to finish cleaning by 9:45 since we open at 10am, but today we barely finished at 9:50 and didn't have time to get a break.

Some of the cats enjoying the tree houses that were donated :)

Anyways, after cleaning we opened the doors and already had people lined up in front of cat and dog receiving. (-____-) That's all I can say to that. I received the first 2 cats and then 4 kittens right after. Luckily they were all healthy and in good shape, so they were all able to be put up for adoption! I then ran over to dogs and did the dog meds, then worked up front (adoptions) for most of the day; I was the only dog adoption counselor on staff and I am proud to say that I can finally do all the paperwork comfortably and feel confident in adoptions. I sent Boosie home today from my previous post and helped the new owners lift him into their car - he was a bit woozy from the surgery. He gave me a big wet doggy kiss after putting him in the can...which was pretty much the highlight of my day :)

I also did five adoptions; three of them were sent home today and two were put up for spay/neuter for tomorrow morning. For being so short staffed and having a million things to do on top of was a great dog adoption day! Throughout the day we also had some other things come up, such as a dog getting loose (from a customer, not ours) and girl scouts getting a tour of the shelter. AND to top it all off, we still had to deal with the Parvo incident from yesterday and had to clean out some kennels and areas over again with bleach then let it soak...meaning our space was limited.

Somehow we managed and at the end of the day, being able to have dogs and cats get adopted out to good homes makes it all worthwhile :) It can be really stressful at times and there are moments where I feel like escaping and just hiding in a kennel with the dogs. All they do is give us love and are always excited to see us...I couldn't ask for a better stress reliever there.


Here's a video I've been meaning to add of two ADORABLE terrier puppies that were recently adopted at the shelter. After watching this video, you'll see what I mean by how excited they are to see you! If I'm ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed at times, I take a minute to sit in a kennel and just enjoy their company :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Dreaded Parvo

 PARVO!!! One of the most dreaded and scariest diseases you could get at a shelter or kennel. Parvo is something that kennels sometimes have to deal with and fortunately we haven't had to in a while, but I decided to research on it anyways. I have also decided that in my blog, I will write about health topics, behavior related topics, and of course the shelter life. Whatever inspires me the most that day, especially if something stood out, is what I will generally write about. And since I am striving to go to Veterinary School, you will definitely find plenty of health related blog posts as it will benefit me in learning about all this crazy stuff. It's always good to learn something new right? :)

What is Parvo?

Let me start out by first explaining what Parvovirus, or Parvo, really is. Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that is caused by the canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) virus. It is very common in puppies under 6 months and is easily transmissible to other dogs through feces and bodily fluids; but can also be passed through the objects that came into contact with the virus. Symptoms are shown after the incubation period, which is usually 4-6 days. This is lousy for puppies at the shelter because it makes it difficult for us to detect the signs of parvo early, before they get adopted (puppies get adopted fairly quick). It's a very unfortunate and rare case...but it does happen and when it does, it causes everyone a lot of heartache.

Clinical Signs
  • Foul smelling diarrhea
  • Vomitting
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration - this is usually what results in death if not treated quickly! 
  • Sudden death
Treatment & Prevention

If treated early and aggressively, many puppies can recover after weeks of treatment. It is extremely difficult to treat in a shelter because of the high risk rate of exposure and the stressful environment the dog is in. A veterinary hospital with the proper tools is required to provide supportive care. 85 - 90% of dogs can surpass this terrible disease if treated early, but the mortality rate is as high as 90% if not caught early or treated at all. In other words...PARVO SUCKS!

There is one saying that I abide by now and will continue to preach:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

This goes for SO many other illnesses and diseases that can be avoided for both cats and dogs through early prevention. For dog owners, the best thing you can do to prevent your dog from getting parvo is to make sure that they are up to date on all of their shots and vaccinations (especially distemper). As an Animal Care Specialist and future Veterinarian (positive thinking!), it is crucial to educate people about why prevention is SO important and how it can help avoid you some serious vet bills.

For example, a simple chewable monthly tablet of Heartguard can prevent a dog from contracting Heartworms; which is very common in warm weather. Heartworms in dogs is a slow killer and it generally takes over 3 months of serious treatment to get rid of. Not to mention that amount of money it takes! Prevention is key to a happy and healthy animal that will live a long fruitful life.


And now to end the post on a lighter Boosie [pronounced BOO-SEE]. This guy was definitely a favorite of mine at the shelter and I am so happy that he got adopted today! I took these pictures yesterday and was gonna write about him then, but of course I got writers block and sort of lazy. Today I was gonna write about him and BAM, he got adopted! He's a 2 year old Chocolate Lab/American Bulldog mix that is ridiculously loving and playful. I was prepared to take this guy home if he stayed at the shelter for too long! Here are some pictures of him enjoying the outdoors during my lunch break :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Angry people...and more PUPPIES!

Yesterday I had the day off but from what my co-workers told me, I missed quite an interesting day! We had one lady who got her application for a dog denied because she lost a cat she adopted from us (and didn't really seem to care) and has a history of neglecting pets. Apparently she threw a HUGE fit and after yelling at the top of her lungs in the lobby, she proceeded to go outside and knock down one of our signs. To make it even worse, she had two young children with her (one who couldn't even walk), which didn't seem to slow her down one bit. The cops were called on her for damage to the property and I hope that they look more into her history for the safety of those kids.

This type of situation is EXACTLY what I'm worried about encountering when doing adoptions. I haven't had to deny an application yet, but I'm hoping that when I won't go down like that. Here's to hoping! People who are denied for dogs (I've seen) act a lot crazier and usually are a lot more angry than the people in cats. I'm not sure if it's because they become attached to the idea of getting the dog or what, but I'm not looking forward to it. I enjoy approving applications and actually sending the dogs out to good homes; it genuinely makes my day! :) You know what else makes my day? Puppies! So here are some more puppies for you to gush over.

Big Puppies

This pair came in on Thursday and have both been adopted and sent home since then. Both are only three months old (!!!) and are German Shepard/Great Dane mixed named Sakura and Buddy. Sakura was actually adopted by one of my co-workers and went home today. So you'll probably get an update for her in one of my future blog posts :)

Small Puppies

All the staff and volunteers have been besotted with these cuties and have been gushing over them ever since they arrived. They are eight week old Boston/Terrier mix puppies and three of them have already been adopted while the other still waiting to be adopted. I can't get enough of puppies...seriously.

Extra Small Puppies!

Say hello again to the smuppies (as my boyfriend likes to say), the extra small puppies! These two are the newborn pups that were born at the shelter about a week ago, and so far they've been doing very well! Cookie, the mom, has been an excellent and very attentive mother. They haven't opened their eyes yet but I'll update on these two later once they start walking and being more alert. I'm gonna see if I can think of some cute names for them soon :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bogart the Boxer

Adoptions, adoptions, adoptions...I started doing adoptions this past Sunday and did my first adoption application all by myself yesterday; and wow is it a lot to learn! It's a heck of a lot of paperwork to learn how to do and make sure that everything is done right. Thankfully I'm very comfortable with talking to people (and the public) and explaining/educating them about our pets and how to take care of them. I'm thankful that in my college years (can't believe I can say that), I've learned a lot about public speaking and being self aware when speaking to others. So with all that experience, the talking part of doing adoptions came easy to me, it was the all the paperwork that made me nervous! I didn't want to forget anything while going through the information with the adopters or leave anything out. Luckily I got the hang of it fairly quickly and was able to do my first adoption alone yesteryday. 

That feeling you get after an application is approved is pretty amazing; and after doing all the paperwork and watching the dog (or cat) walk out that door to their new home is even more rewarding. The part I'm not really looking forward to is denying an application...and so far I haven't had to do that. But I know that day is going to come eventually and I've seen how some people react to that denial...and sometimes it doesn't go so well! It doesn't happen often but when it does, there is a reason why it's not in the best interest of the animal to go home with that person. There are the usual reasons such as the landlord won't allow them or there is a weight limit at an apartment complex.

Remember Lucky Charm? Well he ALMOST got adopted out a week ago, and when we called the apartment to see if they allowed dogs; they said they only didn't allow Pitbulls. UGH! That's sadly a common reason why we have so many Pitbulls that can't get adopted, because of insurance policies and landlords who won't allow them. I don't even want to get started on that topic right now. So far, I've done 4 adoptions and I was able to approve all of them. Woohoo! :)

And now here's a video of a fun loving boxer named Bogart that was recently adopted out. I took him out to play the other day and found out the he LOVES water! Enjoy the video!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Newborn Pups and Rory Goes Home

Newborn Puppies

Well I definitely got a little surprise the other day while feeding the dogs...I found a small little black rat looking thing beside one of our dogs, Cookie, a Jack Russel terrier mix. I went inside to get a closer look and to my surprise I realized it was a newborn puppy! You can just imagine the shock I was in when I realized what it was. It must have been only 30 minutes old because not even an hour ago she looked normal. It was quite surprising to all of us because she did not look pregnant AT ALL; she was extremely hyper and energetic like the other dogs and she definitely did not look heavier. I tried to take a picture of the puppies but in today's rush...I took a pretty dismal picture, but I tried!

We ended up moving her into a kennel on the inside, not on the adoption side, and made a whelping box for her in a quite and warm area so she could finish giving birth to the rest of her puppies. Dogs can be in labor for up to 24 hours and usually have each puppy within 1-2 hours of each other. So an hour later we saw the second puppy come out - 2 healthy puppies! I also called the vet over to check her out and see if she was ok; he said she looked fine as did the puppies and just to keep an eye on her to make sure she is taking care of her pups. It is not necessary for us to intervene unless we see that the mother is not licking them or nursing them. Cookie ended up having only those 2 puppies and thus far, has been a wonderful mommy! She has been eating well, nursing the puppies, and watching over them like any good mother. Once her puppies are old enough to be separated from her, they will be fostered out until they are old enough to be put up for adoption. Such a cool experience to be a part of and watch! I've seen 3 live foal births and now I can add puppies to that :)

Here's some pictures of Cookie -the last one is a dark pic of her curled up with her 1 hour old puppy snuggled inside:

Rory goes home!

In my previous post I wrote about a wonderful dog named Rory that I was going to work with. In this past week (that I've neglected to write...), I was able to socialize with him and get him to loosen up.

As you can see in the first picture, he was confused and timid and didn't really know what to do with himself. Rory's ears were laid back and he just kind of sat there staring at me...for a good 5 minutes. He quickly figured out what to do in the next few minutes once he realized that all I wanted was to play with him. I couldn't stop him from playing after that little breakthrough and had to coax him to get back on his leash to go back to his kennel! It's like he had all this pent-up chipper energy caged in him somewhere and once he realized that he could be happy, he let all that happy dog energy loose! Silly puppy.

I was off on Saturday and I got a text from a coworker saying that Rory had got adopted. I was so excited he got adopted and that he was able to show someone else what a lovable and friendly dog he is. I think it's a good thing I wasn't there when he left because my sappy self probably would've cried or been sad to see him go...when I am obviously elated that he went home! It's such a wonderful feeling to see them actually walk out those doors with their new family and begin their new life with them.

I thought I would share a video of him on the day I was able to get him to play for the first time. Again, I apologize for the not so great video quality...I'll upgrade eventually!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kitten Season is Coming!

When we start getting boxes full of kittens...that's when we know kitten season is upon us. We received about 15 kittens in these past two days alone; and this is just the beginning of it! Many people find these kittens outside their homes from a feral cat or "miraculously" their indoor/outdoor cat became pregnant and had kittens. This is why spaying and neutering our pets is so crucial! This is also including feral cats. Our mission is to reduce the number of unwanted pets and rehoming those who are homeless already; and the only way to spread that message is through educating the public. In the meantime, our job is to help these homeless pets and give them a temporary home until they can have a more permanent home.

Out of the 15 kittens, 5 were too young to be put up for adoption so they will be sent to a foster home tomorrow and the rest have been put up for adoption. 3 of them were adopted out yesterday, and 2 out today. These furry little kittens go so quick!

How can I help?

There are so many ways for you to help! I'm asked this all the time and having the community involved in helping the shelter animals is very important. First thing is first, ADOPT! If you can't adopt then foster. If you can't foster then volunteer. If you can't volunteer then donate.

What can I donate?

The easiest and most helpful thing you can donate is: money. Any donation, big or small, is a big help to a rescue organization. There are also a lot of other items you could donate, household items, that we use as well:

-Cat Litter
-Canned food
-Crates and cages
-and more!

Those are the basics but ANYTHING helps! We go through so many towels, cat litter, and bleach on a daily basis that we are constantly in need. And I'm sure other rescues are just as appreciative and in need as we are. So think about your local shelter from time to time, they could use your help :)


Remember Rebel from the previous post? The people who adopted him ended up cancelling, meaning he went back up for adoption today. It turns out that he is also partially deaf! Most likely something in his genetics that correlates to his bright blue eyes and white coat color. Found it pretty interesting and thought I would share :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to spend my Easter with my family because I had to work from 7am to 11am today...le sigh. Some of us have to go in to clean and feed the animals, but at least we were able to leave early and relax for the rest of the day. The plus side is that I got to see some of my furry friends and wish them a Happy Easter :) I was going to bring them some goodies but I got crunched for time, so I'm going to make it up to them somehow. Yummy treats maybe?

The puppy in the top picture is named Rebel; he's a 7 month old Whippet mix with blue eyes and huge dumbo-like ears. He was adopted the day after he came in, which doesn't surprise me since puppies never last at the shelter. They go home so quick which is awesome! But I also try to remind people about the perks of adopting an older pet. Anyways, here's a video of the crazy Rebel playing tug-of-war with me.

I also have a new buddy at the shelter named Rory, a 9 month old Great Dane/Dalmation mix boy. He came into the shelter about 2 weeks ago and had to have a minor surgery to remove a lump on his back. He is in recovery now and will be put up for adoption soon after he completely heals. Rory is my current project; he is VERY skittish of people and whenever any of us walks by his cage, he runs to the back and cowers in the corner. It breaks my heart that such a young puppy is so scared of people and it makes me wonder what must have happened to him earlier, in his critical period of puppyhood? Those first few months are the most important time period in getting a dog socialized with people and other animals. It is much more difficult to socialize an animal after that time period, but it is still very doable! It just requires a bit more time and patience. This is Rory:

Here are some more pictures of Rory - notice the last picture with the arrow pointing to the tail in between his legs. I hope I can show you all pictures of his progress and maybe even one of him playing!

I was able to walk him the other day and once I got him out of his kennel and into the rec yard, he began to loosen up a bit and started smelling everything around him. He seemed more comfortable and actually came up to me to be petted and then sat right next to me. Progress! I hope to work with him more this week and increase his chances of getting adopted by working on his behavior using positive methods. He is so young and deserves a chance of being adopted into a loving home. Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Artsy Self

Hello again! Greetings from Monkey, a very sweet and independent kitty at the shelter. I was able to catch him in the best pose and wanted to share it :)

So there's been a lot going on in the shelter...mainly that we are close to reaching capacity in the dog building :( We've been receiving and intaking dogs at an alarming rate (to me) and it hasn't stopped! For example, today when we opened at 10 am, there were four people outside in line to relinquish their pets. That's nuts! And it didn't stop until sometime in the afternoon. We also have a good amount of small dogs which is unusual...meaning adoptions have kind of slowed down these past couple of weeks since we usually just have big dogs. People need to start coming in so we can adopt these guys out!

The temperature during the day has also been rising and I am not looking forward to what the summer has to bring. If it's already in the high 80s and mid 90s now, I can't even imagine how unbearable it's going to be in the summer. I tried to take as many dogs as I could out today and get them into the rec yard to play in the doggy pool and with the hose. I am so not ready for the

Every once in a while I like to do some arts and crafts and thanks to Pinterest, I felt inspired to to this painting the other day. I stumbled upon this DIY idea from this awesome blog called The Space Between, and I decided to make something similar.

Ta-dah! I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the background is a light purple and just incase, it's a dog silhouette. I printed out the silhouette and drew a grid on the printed paper, then I drew a grid on the wood board and drew it out with the help of the grid. I went old school with this...didn't think I could eyeball it. Here are some more pictures of when I was making it and then after I hung it up in my office space. I love how it came out :)

I also painted some ceramic bowls at a DIY ceramic paint store for my kitty cat Jax. I wrote his name on the side and on the back of one bowl, the date I adopted him. Here are some pictures of them:

Lastly, I found these cute pears online and decided to print them out and glue them onto a rectangular board I painted white. I was originally going to paint them on but I decided just to use Mod Podge glue to stick the pretty pears onto it. The pictures I posted here of the board is still the unfinished product (still need to paint it all white)...but I thought I would include it so you could get the idea! I'm going to hang it in the kitchen once I'm done with it. It's nice to unwind with some arts and crafts every once in a while :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Little Bit the 30 Pound Cat

First there was Scruffy, a very hefty and round kitty that up until Little Bit arrived, was the biggest cat I've ever seen. I would always marvel at his big size and thought to myself, how in the world does this cat even move? Pfft little did I know that an even bigger cat would come into the shelter not too long after Scruffy arrived.

Meet the star of this post, Little Bit. This 8 year old girl was brought into the shelter because her previous family was moving and the new apartment didn't allow cats. Ironically, her name would fool anyone because she is ANYTHING but little. She weighed in at a whopping 30 pounds and after testing her urine and having the vet check her, besides her weight, she is relatively healthy. We wanted to rule out any thyroid or other health issues that might explain her weight problem. Turns out it was clear negligence from her owners who fed her constantly and probably had no room for her to run around. 

So now, Little Bit is our current fat camper and is not up for adoption until she loses some weight. She is such a sweet cat that purrs like crazy whenever you pet her and give her some love. Also, because of her humongous size, she can barely walk and has to army crawl her way around. It's a miracle that she can even use the litter box! Little Bit also can't groom herself properly because she can't reach most of her body to lick it a result she is a bit stinky. Anytime I have some free time, I head back to the room she is at and wipe her down with this waterless shampoo for cats and brush her fur. Someone's gotta do it!

Like I said in my previous Fat Camper's post, it is crucial for us as owners to monitor our animals' food intake and make sure they don't overeat. It is easy to let that happen since many people just leave out food all day and continue to refill when it is empty. People are "killing them with kindness" and it is not necessary to refill! Limit the food to a certain amount either once or twice a day; or better yet ask your Vet to see what the proper caloric intake your pet needs.

Overweight cats end up having a much shorter life span than cats at their normal weight (just like people). They are in high risk of diabetes, lameness, liver disease, dental diseases, and chronic skin conditions. The overall wellness of our pets can sometimes be tricky and even the best of pet owners can let their cat or dogs gain weight. That is why going to the Vet and making sure you are taking the appropriate steps to keeping your pet healthy is very important.


Here is a video I took of the pudgy Little Bit when I was in the back grooming her. I was able to capture her trying to walk so you can see for yourself how real the problem is. Our goal is to reduce her weight by upping her daily physical activity and limiting her food intake.