Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hectic Schedule

I'm baaack! I know, it's been a while (or at least it feels like it) since my last post. Last week had to have been the most physically exhausting week I've ever had...seriously. The temperature outside has been rising and it gets really hot inside the kennels, especially since we don't have air condition just fans. We're also a bit short staffed so we've been working on overdrive to get things done! And because I'm a masochist, I head to my gym (Crossfit) after work, and last week was an intense week. I was soooo SORE that by Friday, all I wanted to do was lay in bed and recover.

Summer is also one our busiest times of the year because of the amount of animals we receive. Many of them include puppies and kittens that people just can't take care of and a lot of people move or leave for the summer. In other words...IT'S BEEN HECTIC! AHHHH!

I was able to get a picture (of a picture) of Lucky Charm in his new home and wanted to share. My co-worker has been giving me updates and she said that he's been adjusting AMAZINGLY into his new home and is as happy as can be. He spends his days in the dog park, playing with her daughter, running away from the cats, and lounging around the house like every dog should be. This picture is of Lucky with his new friend Java, a female black cat, that is always at his heels. Java has been following Lucky since day one around the house while Lucky does the opposite and walks away scared and confused (although they don't do anything to him). My co-worker got Lucky this new bed the other day and as Lucky went to go test it out for the first did Java. Both of their faces are PRICELESS in this picture, one is curious and the other is resigned . I'm so glad Lucky Charm has such a good home :)

Meet Belle, a 5 year old Boxer/Lab mix that has a unique personality. Belle loves to nudge me whenever I go into her kennel, then gently grabs my forearm in her mouth and tugs me to the cage door as if saying "take me out!". She also has this habit of grabbing the leash with her mouth and taking it upon herself to take the lead whenever she takes a walk. She is quite a special dog that so many people overlook just because she's older and not as "cute" as the other dogs. This is a picture of her doing what she does best - squishing herself into a corner and stretching herself on the floor. Belle's a trip :)

Last but not least, I just wanted to share a picture of these adorable 8 week old puppies. They are (wait for it...) Chihuahua/Lab/Min Pin mixed pups. Bet you've never heard of a mix like that before! These were fostered out and brought in a couple of days ago and since then have already been adopted, and I managed to snag an adorable pic of them before they left. One puppy decided to plop himself on top of his brother and snooze away without a worry in the world, while the other one tried to wiggle himself free. Needless to say he failed and had no choice but to just lay there until his brother decided to wake up. Silly puppies.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spay and Neuter Your Pet

We have been receiving an overwhelming amount of kittens and puppies these past couple of days and OH MAN are they adorable! At the same time, it's alarming to me how many young ones have been coming in because it just shows how many people don't spay and neuter their pets. It is SO important to spay/neuter your pet for a variety of reasons.

At the moment we have around 18 puppies and over 50 kittens...some in foster homes and some at the shelter. Here is picture of a litter of 10 Pit mixed puppies that came in on Saturday:

Here are 3 more Pit mixed puppies from a different litter:

Yes they are adorable and fun to play with, but I bet you the majority of them will end up back in a shelter. It boggles my mind that people will purposely breed their dogs or cats to be able to sell the puppies when shelters are FULL of homeless animals. It's selfish and completely irresponsible in my opinion. So next time a friend tries to sell you a puppy from a litter their dog just had in the backyard...think twice please! Save a homeless animal from a shelter :)

6 Reasons why spaying and neutering your pet is important, for cats and dogs:

  1. It helps fight pet overpopulation.
    • Thousands of puppies and kittens enter shelters nationwide; many that are euthanized and with some ending up as strays. It's a vicious cycle that needs to stop, and it begins with people taking responsibility and spaying/neutering their pet.
  2. Drastically reduces the chances of your pet having health problems. 
    • Having your pet fixed early will remove the likelihood of them getting many types of cancer: such as uterine, mammary, and/or testicular cancer
  3. No more female unspayed females going into heat.
    • Need I say more? Less of a mess to clean up! It is best to do it before the dog's first head which is usually around 6 months, that way you can avoid having to deal with a frustrated female looking for a mate. They tend to yowl, look for a way out, and unfortunately bleed.
  4. Male dogs and cats won't roam away from home.
    • Where do you think they're off to? To find a female in heat of course! Reproduction and finding a mate is their instinct and if they are not neutered, be prepared to go hunting for your dog and cat. 
  5. It is highly cost effective.
    • It costs way less to spay and neuter your pet than it costs to care for a litter of puppies or kittens. There are many rescue and reasonably priced clinics that will do the surgery for an affordable price. 
  6. More well-behaved neutered males at home.
    • Male cats and dogs use spraying to mark spots as their territory, in the home and outside. Neutering removes the desire to do this behavior and also reduces aggression in males. Testosterone is reduced after neutering and is the hormone that creates that behavior.

Spaying and neutering is essential in reducing the amount of unwanted pets that are left homeless and that are euthanized. It is important for us as a community to spread the word and make people understand why it is necessary for us to spay and neuter our animals. It will benefit both of you in the long run!

I wanted to end the post with a picture of my sleepy cat Jax. He loves to snuggle and plop himself next to me and snooze away :)

1) Spaying or neutering your pet. (2011, August 26). Retrieved from
2) Top 10 reasons to spay or neuter your pet. (2012). Retrieved from

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Sneak Peak Inside

Ever wondered what it really looks like INSIDE of the shelter? I can't share much, but I'll give you a little glimpse inside.

Today was, simply put, rough. It was hot, we were tired, and to top it off we were short staffed. The morning cleaning requires a certain number of people to be able to run smoothly and finish on time, but today we had to rush and pick up the pace since we had less people. Just another day at the shelter! Here's a look at what my day kind of look liked:

I was working with the dogs today (mostly cleaning) and this is the long hall of kennels I work in everyday. You'll usually find me walking or running in here throughout the day.

We started an adoption special today for the entire weekend since we have a full house in both cats and in dogs. So hopefully this will get some adoptions going this weekend! The price includes: microchip, shots & vaccinations, spay/neuter, and a free follow-up visit with the clinic. Bet a [yucky] pet store doesn't give you that kind of deal ;)

We had a nice little surprise today! All the staff and volunteers were treated to free ice cream! Such a yummy treat to have in the middle of a hot day.

We had two Newfoundland mix puppies come in yesterday named Sid and Nancy, male and female. I've only seen one purebred Newfoundland come in to the shelter since I've been here; they are rare in Florida because of the warm climate. These two are going to grow up to be HUGE they are definitely not for the inexperienced dog owner. They are currently being dewormed before they can be put up for adoption :)

The dogs know when it's lunch time and they are usually sitting right at their doors, patiently waiting for me to bring in their bowls of food.

I first load up the black wagon with dog food and bowls and then roll it outside to begin feeding. I used to struggle with those giant bags of dog food when I first started...but thanks to some physical labor and Crossfit - they got nothing on me now ;)

After feeding time, many of the dogs start to take naps and I find many of them in these adorable, and sometimes questionable, cuddling positions. I guess the food plus the commotion of the day wipes them out and FINALLY my ears can catch a break from all the barking.

This pic is of Diva, a 2 year old female Lab/Pit mix that is definitely one of my current favorites. She has very expressive eyes and is always wagging her tail anytime I come near her kennel. I spent some time with her and Bear, her kennel mate, towards the end of the day - a pleasant way to end my day.

Updates: Dusty, Cookie, & Monkey

I wanted to share a quick update on three animals that have been adopted out that were mentioned in previous posts. You can click on their names beside the number to see the post they were mentioned in before. THIS is what makes it all worthwhile...seeing them finally get their happy endings and go to their new forever homes :)

#1 - Dusty

Dusty has been here since early March and was being treated for Heartworms in Iso for a period of 3 months. He was put up for adoption today...and was adopted that same day! Didn't I say he would get adopted quickly? I called it ;) He went to a very nice family with kids and huge backyard.

#2- Cookie aka Cookie Monster

Remember Mama Cookie? She was the one who had the newborn pups AT the shelter! Her puppies were sent to a foster home a couple of days ago now that they're old enough to walk and eat on their own. Cookie was put up for adoption soon after and was luckily adopted out not even a day or two later :) Oh and her two puppies (boy & girl) were named after me and another coworker...since we were the ones that found them. Apparently, "Puppy-Laura" is a fiesty little one!

# 3 - Monkey

Monkey was an intriguing cat to me; his face was always so devoid of emotion and he commonly had this characteristic look of disdain to him at all times. Yet once you got to know him, he was the sweetest thing! Just goes to show that looks can be deceiving :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Tebow Time

FUN FACT: Although it’s commonly believed that ants never sleep, a study on fire ants showed that the workers within the colony experienced 253 sleep episodes per day and each lasted about 1.1 minutes (click for source).

I thought that was hilarious! Can you imagine a person sleeping like that throughout the day? Yes simple things like this amuse me. Anyways, on to the post! 

Throughout these past weeks, I've learned some new skills, such as how to do a proper fecal exam. First, you need to take a fecal sample in this blue little tube which is usually done in animals that have runny feces or noticable worms in them (gross I know). Then, you need to prepare the slides and check it under a microscope...I knew microbiology would come in handy eventually! I also learned how to make Doxycyline (an immune booster for cats) and have drastically improved my blood drawing skills in dogs and cats. A Veterinarian at the clinic also taught me how to do a skin scrape on dogs to be able to test for skin conditions such as demodex and mange. So much fun stuff :)

Thanks to the Spring and upcoming Summer time, we've had a HUGE increase in the amount of kittens we have been receiving. At the moment, we have around 15-20 kittens up for adoption and around (guesstimating here) 50 kittens that are too young in foster homes. Our cages were almost at capacity the other day! I mentioned before how much I love puppies and kittens, and I do! They are absolutely adorable and cuddly...but at the same time it makes it so much more difficult for the older pets to get adopted (that have been here for a while) since so many people prefer getting a younger pet. I understand it though...who can resist a squishy little puppy or kitten? Here are 4 pictures of cages that each have a littler of kittens...I know they're a little blurry :-/ but you get the idea!

And now...IT'S TEBOW TIME!!!

This wonderful cat named Tebow came in a couple of weeks ago and I've been meaning to write about him...because he's so awesome! And no it's not just his name that makes him so cool (although I may be a tad bit biased)...he really is a pretty cool cat. He is 2 years old and is an orange tabby that comes from a very nice family with children and dogs; so he get's a long with pretty much anybody. Unfortunately, a newborn in the family developed allergies to poor Tebow and they had to tough decision of relinquishing him to the shelter. The family were big Gator fans and were heartbroken when they brought him in, so I'm hoping he gets adopted soon! Tebow loves to snuggle and is a total lap cat...and it's so appropriate that he's an orange cat with a blue collar ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lucky Charm goes HOME!!!

It's good to be back! Although it took me an extra 15 minutes to drag myself out of my comfy bed, I had a nice welcome back. A week away from the shelter is like a lifetime there, SO much happens in a week that it feels like I've been gone for months. I came back to a whole bunch of new faces and old faces missing...but in a good way!

First off, I started cleaning in cats and since I haven't been around many cats in a while (besides Jax), my allergies were out to get me in full force! It really sucked. Thankfully by midday it calmed down and I was able to collect myself again.

I then proceeded to look through the dog kennels to see who was there and who wasn't, and I'm happy to say that many of the dogs got adopted! Remember my lunch puppy from my previous post? Well she got adopted! Woo hoo :)

Another special kitty from another one of my posts also went home:

This adorable puppy that came in yesterday was adopted out by a friend of mine today, and OMG is she freaking cute!!! She is a 3 month old Cockalier puppy and if you've ever seen Sex and the City...then you've probably seen this dog before (well...similar enough lol) - Charlotte had one in the SATC movies. Cockaliers are a cross between Cocker Spaniel and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel which are now recognized as its own breed; similar to the Cockapoo and Labradoodle (click here for more info on the breed). The second I saw her in the kennels I texted my friend ASAP because I knew she was looking for one, so you'll probably see a picture of her later on in her new home :)

And now to finish off the post with the STAR of the post...LUCKY CHARM GOES HOME!!! This truly made my my WEEK! He is going home on Tuesday with a very special family; one of my coworkers :) She has been trying to convince her husband to be ok with the adoption and he finally said yes; and how could you say no after seeing that smiling face? I am so glad that the luck finally swung his way and now he can go home. It's good to be back.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Vacation Time

I'm currently on vacation in my hometown visiting family and friends enjoying a much needed break! I'll be back at the shelter on Saturday after a week long vacation. It's nice to have a break from all the craziness and stress from the shelter, but I gotta admit that I do miss my dogs! Everytime I'm around an animal (cat or dog) here at home, I stop and wonder - how are they doing at the shelter? Has anyone been adopted? How many new faces are there?

Their names pop into my head all the time! Here are some of the dog's that I've been keeping in mind:

Roxy, Rio, Lucky, Zahar, London, Bear, Belle, Reese, Ahura, RC, Tyson, Chewey, Socco, Rahj, Pebbles, Lilly, CJ, Gabby, Cookie and the pups, Chloe, and Zenna. 

I can't help but think of them! I see dogs walking around with their owners in the streets, at parks, riding in their cars...they're the lucky ones. The ones who have a family that will love them (hopefully) until the end. It makes me sad to think that all these beautiful dogs I just named have no choice but to stay in a kennel until someone decides to adopt them. *Sigh* I need to take a longer vacation! Just I hope when I get back that I see most of these guys adopted!

Adopt a Shelter Dog and Cat <3