World Rabies Day Is September 28th – Protect Yourself AND Your Pets!

September 28th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on World Rabies Day Is September 28th – Protect Yourself AND Your Pets!)
By: Alexandra Young: Community Outreach Programs Manager

Rabies has been found in ancient literary works dating back as far as 300 B.C., including a paper by Aristotle.[1] Rabies is a viral disease that infects the nervous system, which leads to horrific symptoms and causing great fear worldwide. Even in very early days, it was clear that the virus was carried via saliva (and brain tissue), and humans were susceptible to catching it through animal bites. Bats and skunks are mentioned most often in history, but dogs have also been noted as an ever-present species that carries the virus.

Early symptoms in humans may be flu-like. But later, more unique symptoms include[2]:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Fear brought on by attempts to drink fluids because of difficulty swallowing water
  • Fear brought on by air blown on the face
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Partial paralysis

The Rabies Vaccine and Treatment

The origin of the word rabies is debatable. It could come from the Sanskrit word “rabhas” (to do violence) or the Latin word “rabere” (to rage). The ancient Greeks called rabies “lyssa” (violence), in reference to the symptoms.

The French chemist Louis Pasteur created the first rabies vaccine for humans in the 1880s after conducting several experiments with chicken, cattle, dogs, and rabbits. His animal studies showed promise, but he wanted more time to purify his vaccine before trying it on himself. When a 9-year-old boy named Joseph Meister was bitten at least 14 times by a rabid dog on July 6, 1885, a local doctor told the family that Pasteur was their only hope.

After consulting with several doctors who said the child was a “dead boy walking,” Pasteur agreed to treat him. Joseph received 13 inoculations in 11 days and made a complete recovery. The word leaked out and patients came streaming in the world over. At the time of Pasteur’s death nine years later, more than 20,000 people had been given his post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) vaccine.[3]

Even with the news of Pasteur’s treatment spreading like wildfire through word of mouth, pets were not routinely vaccinated against rabies until the 1920s, when vaccinations were developed for a variety of domesticated animals.

Why Vaccinate Your Pets Against Rabies?

Today in the United States, most of our pets are vaccinated against this contagious and deadly virus. Usually, people don’t think too much about it anymore and it gets downplayed, which can be dangerous to us and the animals we love. Currently, cases of rabid cats outnumber those of dogs, and wild animal cases involve mostly raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. One must be extremely careful with bats since they rarely look sick, but they can squeeze through very tiny openings in our homes and expose us and our pets to this deadly disease.

How Rabies Is Diagnosed

The only way to definitively diagnose rabies is through a direct fluorescence antibody (dFA) test.[5] Samples of brain tissue are processed in a very specific way (including being refrigerated during shipment), and the test must be performed by a state-approved laboratory. Therefore, this test can only be done on animals after they have died or been humanely euthanized.

A veterinarian may be able to make a clinical diagnosis on a living animal, based on history, symptoms (drooling, agitation, loss of motor functions, confusion), environmental conditions, and lifestyle/risk factors. But early stages of rabies can be confused with other medical conditions that have similar symptoms.

PREVENTION is the key to avoiding heart-breaking situations. Furthermore, those not working in the animal welfare industry may not realize that there is no way to test an animal (wild or pet) for rabies unless it is deceased.

 

Don’t take this unnecessary risk with your family and beloved pets. Contact Humane Pennsylvania (humanepa.org) or our Humane Veterinary Hospitals (hvhospitals.org) today to discuss the different ways you can access affordable basic veterinary care.

[1] https://www.news-medical.net/health/Rabies-History.aspx

[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rabies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351821

[3] https://www.tuckahoevet.com/post/a-history-of-rabies

[4] https://www.tuckahoevet.com/post/a-history-of-rabies

[5] https://www.smalldoorvet.com/learning-center/medical/rabies-in-dogs

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Love Your Pet by Making Your Plans this Make-A-Will Month

August 25th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Love Your Pet by Making Your Plans this Make-A-Will Month)

One meaningful way to show up for the people and animals you love is to make a plan for them in your will. August is National Make-A-Will Month, and you can start the month off on the right paw by creating a plan for the future.

Humane Pennsylvania is proud to help make this important task more accessible to our caring community and all those who need to write a plan. Make-A-Will Month offers a moment to take stock of the people and causes we love and make sure their futures are provided for when we are no longer able to care for them.

Write my will today

Creating a legal will is an opportunity to craft intentional plans that protect your loved ones and eternalize the values that have guided your life, like compassion and caring for animals in need. Legacy support is an easy way to be a part of the solution for years to come.

And, contrary to popular belief, writing your will doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or scary. This free online tool from our friends at FreeWill makes the process quick and easy, allowing you to complete your will in just 20 minutes from the comfort of your home.

If you don’t have an up-to-date will, we invite you to use FreeWill to create your plan this month, and to consider including a legacy gift for Humane Pennsylvania. It’s an easy way to make your mark — in a good way!

If you have already created a lasting legacy with Humane Pennsylvania, please fill out our online form to let us know about your gift! We would love to thank you for supporting area animals in such a powerful way.

Take Control of Your Legacy

 Why should you make a will?

No matter your circumstances, every person who is 18 or older needs a legal will in place to plan for the future and make a lasting commitment to the people and causes that matter most to them. Writing a will is a vital part of protecting your loved ones — including your animal companions — and making a plan for how your assets are to be distributed.

Why use this free estate planning tool?

Making a will doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but many people avoid the task because they assume it will be. Our friends at FreeWill make the process easy, intuitive, and free. In less than 20 minutes your will can be completed and ready for your signature. You don’t have to submit any sensitive personal information, and you’ll finish with a PDF of your will that is valid in all 50 states.

Why should you begin your legacy with Humane Pennsylvania?

Creating a legacy with Humane Pennsylvania is a powerful way to transform the lives of animals and their caretakers, for generations to come. It represents your lasting commitment to saving animal lives and being part of the solution — today, tomorrow, and forever.

If an immediate cash gift isn’t right for you, or if you want to make a profound long-term investment in the welfare of area animals, we encourage you to consider including a gift to Humane Pennsylvania in your will. Your support would mean so much!

Get started creating your free will today.

If you have questions about FreeWill or planned giving at Humane Pennsylvania, please contact Lauren Henderson Pignetti at 610-750-6100 ext. 211 or lhenderson@humanepa.org.

 

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July Is Pet Hydration Awareness Month

July 18th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on July Is Pet Hydration Awareness Month)

July Is Pet Hydration Awareness Month!

It’s the middle of summer. The sun and humidity are high, the sweat is pouring, and those wavy mirage lines are floating above road surfaces. We’re bombarded by heat warnings reminding us that if we don’t drink enough water we can become dehydrated, develop heat stroke, or even end up in the hospital. And the same goes for our pets.

How can you tell if your dog or cat is dehydrated? How can you make sure your pet gets enough water every day? What are the signs of a pet drinking too much water?

The general rule for water consumption for dogs and cats is one ounce per pound of body weight per day. If this need isn’t met — or too much is lost due to the heat — dehydration occurs.

Some signs of dehydration in dogs and cats include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Panting
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Dry nose
  • Vomiting
  • Skin stays up when you gently pinch and pull up on it (tenting)

There are several ways to make sure your dog or cat is getting enough water every day. 

Feeding them canned food, which is about 70% water, can make a big difference.

The water bowl is also an important factor when it comes to water consumption. Stainless steel bowls are best, as they delay the growth of bacteria, and they should be cleaned daily to make sure there is no build-up of bacteria. 

Make sure the bowl isn’t near your cat’s litterbox and that it’s out of direct sunlight. If your cat likes to drink out of the faucet or has trouble drinking out of a traditional water bowl, consider a water fountain.

For dogs that spend time outside, a sprinkler system may be beneficial (just let the hose run for a bit first, to flush out the hot water that sits in the tubing). 

Don’t offer your dog ice cubes or ice water, especially after playing outside. They can shock the stomach and cause a life-threatening condition called bloat. Instead, you can offer them chilled, pet-safe fruits and veggies for a moisture-filled treat.

Some pets can’t get enough of the pool, garden hose, or river water — which can provide lots of entertainment, but also some serious health problems.

Water intoxication can cause a deficiency of sodium, which can lead to neurological issues like seizures or incoordination, or gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, vomiting, excessive drooling, or even troubled breathing.

When should you seek veterinary care for dehydration or heat stroke? If you notice any of the signs listed above, get your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. You can apply lukewarm or cool water to their paw pads. Soaking a wet towel in lukewarm or cool water — not icy! — and draping it over the body can also help bring down their temperature.

If your pet isn’t back to its usual self after 30 minutes, call your vet. If your pet is dizzy, disoriented, struggling to breathe, vomiting, or having diarrhea with blood, call your vet or go to a veterinarian ER!

Just remember — if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them! Be safe, be well, and stay hydrated this summer.

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By Humane Pennsylvania Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Alicia Simoneau, DVM

Last month, something big started for pets and their caretakers in our community. Did you hear? Humane Pennsylvania’s Healthy Pets Walk-In Clinic opened its doors at the Freedom Center for Animal Life-Saving at 1801 N. 11th Street in Reading!

Humane Pennsylvania (HPA) staff had been planning the venture for quite some time, and the pandemic delayed the greatly anticipated opening of the Healthy Pets Walk-In Clinic for far too long.

The concept of the Walk-In Clinic grew out of HPA’s pioneering Healthy Pets Initiative, which provides meaningful access to veterinary care for all in need. This clinic was made possible through the visionary generosity of the Giorgi Family Foundation and Jay Rosenson, in memory of Eileen Rosenson. Their leadership is helping HPA build the best communities anywhere to be an animal or animal caretaker.

The new Freedom Center, which opened July 1, 2021, included space for the Walk-In Clinic, but it took nearly a year to come to fruition. The Walk-In Clinic features two exam rooms and a comfortable lobby at the entrance at 11th and Bern Streets.

The Walk-In Clinic adds to the continuum of access to veterinary care for Berks County and surrounding communities. Access to affordable veterinary care for every community member is central to Humane Pennsylvania’s mission. HPA has many different ways for animal caretakers to access vet care, depending on their needs: Humane Veterinary Hospitals in Reading and Lancaster, Neighborhood Pay-What-You-Can Vaccine and Microchip Clinics, and now the Healthy Pets Walk-In Clinic.

The HPA Healthy Pets Walk-In Clinic offers comprehensive preventative vaccinations, care, and advice, without an appointment — and it’s designed to serve more community members at an affordable price point of only 60% of normal veterinary hospital rates.

Humane PA’s Healthy Pets Walk-In Clinic will be open every Wednesday and Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm. The clinic is first come, first served.

Current services offered for dogs: Exam with a veterinarian ($32, required with any other service), Vaccinations ($14-15), flea and tick preventatives ($9), deworming (starting at $9), Microchip (Free, including registration, with every exam).

Current services offered for cats: Exam with a veterinarian ($32, required with any other service), Vaccinations ($14-15), flea and ear mite preventatives ($9), deworming (starting at $9), Microchip (Free, including registration, with every exam).

At this time, no sick or injured care is provided at the Healthy Pets Wilk-In Clinic. Please contact Humane Veterinary Hospitals in Reading or Lancaster or another veterinary hospital to make an appointment for sick or injured care for your pet.

Visit humanepa.org for additional hours and to see what services will be provided in the coming months.

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Celebrating National Garfield The Cat Day

June 16th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Adopt A Shelter Cat | Adopt A Shelter Pet | Adoption Story | Cat Lovers | Feel Good Story | Garfield The Cat Day | Humane Pennsylvania - (Comments Off on Celebrating National Garfield The Cat Day)
By Humane Pennsylvania Donor Relations Manager, Chelsea Cappellano

Most of us know and have come to love Garfield the Cat. While he has many distinctive characteristics, he is best known for being lazy, loving lasagna (and just about every other food), and hating Mondays. National Garfield the Cat Day celebrates this beloved cartoon character each year on June 19. The holiday was first celebrated in 1998 on the 20th anniversary of the comic strip and, perhaps coincidentally, Garfield’s birthday.

There are many ways to celebrate this lovable tabby, especially in a world full of cat (and animal!) lovers. For me, an owner of three orange tabby cats, this fun holiday is very relatable. While my orange kitties don’t necessarily have a strong love of lasagna or coffee, they have wonderful, silly personalities and love to lay in the sun, much like Garfield.

Paw Newman is an 8-year-old orange tabby I adopted after fostering in April 2016. He was my first official adoption while working for Humane Pennsylvania (HPA). He is a BIG cat with a heart of gold. He loves long cat naps and bird watching, and he has always had a go-with-the-flow attitude. After all, he made himself at home in a stranger’s garage, where he was first found as a stray.

Next came Reuben, an 8-year-old orange tabby I adopted through HPA in March 2017. Reuben is extremely outgoing and greets everyone as soon as they walk in the door. He will also “talk” to you and chirp the answers to any questions you ask him. He loves to be petted and will cuddle right up any lap or bed pillow (at night) that’s available.

I didn’t purposely set out to bring home a second orange cat. But once I had two of them, I understood why people fall in love with them so easily.

Then came Bronson, the last member of my orange tabby clowder*. Bronson is also 8 years old, and I adopted him through HPA as well, in April 2019. At this point, I knew my love for orange tabby cats was strong. So as soon as I saw him in his cage, rolling around and reaching for me on the other side of the glass, it was game over. He fits in with his brothers very well, and he has such a charming personality. He purrs loudly, loves hard, and craves human affection.

If you’re lucky enough to welcome a feline into your home, my highest (and admittedly biased) recommendation is to consider an orange tabby.

In my head, the sky is blue, the grass is green, and cats are orange.” – Jim Davis (creator of Garfield).

View our adoptable cats, check out our website, or visit one of our campuses in Lancaster or Berks County. More information can be found at https://humanepa.org/adoption/cats/.

*Clowder means a group of three or more.

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June is Adopt-a-Cat Month!

June 9th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Adopt A Shelter Cat | Adopt A Shelter Pet | Animal Welfare | Cat Lovers - (Comments Off on June is Adopt-a-Cat Month!)
By: Humane Pennsylvania Community Outreach Programs Manager, Alexandra Young

June is Adopt-a-Cat Month! Our Community Outreach Programs, Alexandra Young, loves cats so much, she wanted to tell you all about why cats make pawsome pets!

“Many people eagerly await the spring showers and flowers in April, as well as the pleasant warmth of summer temperatures in June. But for people who work and volunteer in animal welfare and cat rescue, spring marks the start of kitten season as free-roaming, outdoor cats start giving birth to litters of up to seven kittens.

Forty-five years ago, this inevitable tidal wave of kittens was the impetus behind American Humane’s first Adopt-a-Cat Month campaign to urge the public to adopt cats and kittens from local animal shelters rather than buying them from breeders. The organization has existed for over 100 years, creating public service campaigns and performing animal rescue during wars, 9/11, and weather disasters.

I have been a pet owner since childhood, caring for a variety of creatures, including lizards, fish, birds, rodents, cats, and dogs. Each species presents certain challenges, but if you’re looking for a warm-blooded, soft, fuzzy friend, it’s wise to consider adopting a shelter cat or kitten.

Cats make excellent pets for many of the same reasons dogs do: unconditional love, affirmation of the human-animal bond, stress reduction, and providing you with a sense of purpose. And cats have some outstanding characteristics that may make them more suitable companions than dogs, which are higher-maintenance pets.

Independence: For busy working folks, especially ones who travel or have an unpredictable work schedule, the self-sufficient nature of cats is a big bonus. They instinctively use litter boxes as tiny kittens and, if basic maintenance guidelines are followed (and there are no health issues), they’ll reliably use them when needed. It’s simple!

With the advent of motion-activated gadgets, it’s even easier to leave your cats for a few days, as long as your pet is familiar with a routine using automatic food dispensers (set to timed meals) and litter boxes.

They should already have plenty of high shelves and cat trees near windows on which to perch and view their kingdom, which will keep them occupied and content. Battery-operated interactive toys and food puzzles abound, so a friend could come every other day and reset such items for their fun time.

Even cats that are very bonded to their people do not typically suffer from separation anxiety, so there is very low risk for property damage while you’re away, regardless of the time frame.

Intelligence: Many people know that cats inherently do not try very hard to please their owners, and their respect must be earned. But people may not realize that cats can also be taught as many tricks as a dog can!

Cats have the mental capacity and physical ability (maybe even more than dogs!) to learn the same kinds of antics and obstacle course athletics, but they respond well only to positive reinforcement and force-free training methods, such as clicker training[1].

This method is also used regularly — and successfully — on animals in zoos and aquariums to desensitize them to being handled in certain ways so they can be examined and undergo important medical procedures. If they can train a grizzly bear to safely display his teeth, you can certainly teach your kitty to give a high-five, fetch, or roll over on command.

Budget-friendly: Because of their small size, any anesthesia or medicine a cat needs will cost less than it would for a medium- or larger-size dog. Of course, cats should still be sterilized and get the same basic veterinary care annually (or more often as they get older), but they are generally more affordable to keep.

Opportunity: Lastly, but far from the least important factor, is that when you adopt a cat, you save more than just that kitty! When you adopt a shelter cat, you save that cat’s life as well as open up a space at the facility for another needy purrball. Although not all outside cats are suitable for adoption[2], if you rescue a neighborhood cat that clearly enjoys being a family house cat, you remove that cat as a breeder from the area and provide it with a healthy, safe home.

Even in areas with robust programs that humanely manage cat colonies, there are still lost pets, kittens that are born outside, and older cats that are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them that end up in shelters and are looking for their next family.

Be a part of the solution to pet overpopulation in our country and don’t shop, but adopt your next pet. Stop in either Humane Pennsylvania’s Berks or Lancaster County animal shelters to find your next faithful, furry friend!”

[1] https://www.clickertraining.com/cat-training

2 https://blog.humanepa.org/?m=202110

 

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Pet Appreciation Week: Henry’s Story

June 1st, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Adopt A Shelter Pet | Adoption Story | Animal Rescue | Feel Good Story | Humane Pennsylvania - (Comments Off on Pet Appreciation Week: Henry’s Story)
By Laura Gibbs, Humane Pennsylvania Client Care Representative

June 5th – 11th is National Pet Appreciation Week! To celebrate this awesome holiday, our Client Care Representative, Laura Gibbs, decided to share her adoption story!

“My best friend arrived at the Humane League of Lancaster in April 2017. He was a smelly, filthy, hot mess of a cat with a laundry list of medical issues and a heartbreaking past.

Henry, as I named him, was one of six cats who had been living in a condemned home. The house was uninhabitable, and Henry and his siblings had been stuffed into a dog crate where they shared a single litter box that was never scooped. Of the six cats, three (including Henry) were blind, three (including Henry) were bald, and all had urinary issues.

The smell that came from these cats was enough to turn even the strongest stomach. Nevertheless, I immediately fell deeply in love with this goofy boy. Henry would greet me with a loud meow and his signature purr — which is the strangest, loudest sounding purr you’ve ever heard. Despite his terrible past, he is truly the happiest, most affectionate cat I’ve ever met.

Though I had my eye on him from the get-go, I couldn’t bring him home right away. I was in the middle of house hunting and moving, so I had to wait — and hope that by the time we found a place he would still be available.

It wasn’t until July that the stars finally aligned, and I made it official: Henry was mine! He fit in so easily with the rest of my crew, it was like he had been with us forever.

Today, Henry is still the most loving kitty I’ve ever met. He readily welcomes new family members and fosters with open paws, and they respond accordingly. Even timid animals gravitate toward Henry and his docile nature. Whenever a person tells me they don’t like cats, I introduce them to Henry — and they always change their mind after they receive a gentle headbonk and purr session. He’s just that good.

It’s been almost five years since I brought Henry home, and we have our routine down pat. He supervises me in the bathroom in the mornings while I get ready for my day, and he’s one of the first to greet me when I get home from work. He keeps me and my husband on a strict schedule for meals and ensures we are in bed at a decent hour.

During the day, Henry can often be found curled up in his igloo bed, cuddling with his best friend Chester, or chasing around things that make a crinkle noise. Henry’s newest BFF is our foster-to-adopt rabbit. He loves to spend time in her room, and she gets so delighted when he visits her!

So, the moral of the story is this: Don’t judge a kitty by his putrid smell — he may just become your best friend.”

Make one of the amazing animals in our care yours forever! Visit https://humanepa.org/adoption/ today!

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National Rescue Dog Day: Gracie’s Story

May 26th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Adopt A Shelter Pet | Adoption Story | Animal Rescue | Feel Good Story | Humane Pennsylvania - (Comments Off on National Rescue Dog Day: Gracie’s Story)
By Taylor Althouse, Freedom Center for Animal Life-Saving, Client Care Representative

May 20th was National Rescue Dog Day! To celebrate this special howliday, Freedom Center for Animal Life-Saving Client Care Representative, Taylor Althouse, shared a heartwarming rescue story that truly changed her life.

I got the chance to care for Gracie during her temporary stay with us at the beginning of this year. While I get to meet and interact with lots of amazing animals in my position, I genuinely believe Gracie has, by far, had the greatest impact on me.

In January 2022, Humane Pennsylvania’s Berks Campus Shelter Manager Brandea Taylor re-introduced the concept of Pet-Projects. Each member of the Freedom Center for Animal Life-Saving team chose a specific animal to dedicate time to every day, to provide comfort and enrichment during the animal’s stay at the shelter. Our facility had just received a new group of rescued dogs from Louisiana, so I decided to choose one of the new faces that had just flown in.

That’s how I met Gracie (previously called Joni).

After I passed the other wagging tails, I got to the last kennel and saw a trembling, chocolate Lab with the prettiest golden eyes staring back at me. I decided right then that I would do everything in my power to help this special girl.

My plan was to spend all my extra time trying to make her comfortable with me and gain her trust. This started with us standing on opposite sides of the kennel — and lots of treats. She slowly became comfortable enough to eat them, but only if I was not looking directly at her.

This was progress! I took this little leap in stride and upped the ante! I sat on my side of the kennel and offered Gracie small piece of hot dog. Gracie repeatedly looked back and forth, from the hot dog to me and back again. I turned my face away, with my hand still out. And a few seconds later, I felt a small, wet nose push against my hand and take the hot dog. I could not believe it!

Over the next few weeks, Gracie became more and more comfortable with me. I began sitting on her side of the kennel with her and taking her on walks outside. She went from slinking across the ground to standing fully and sniffing around.

Soon, she became so comfortable with me that she began nudging my hand for head rubs and giving me so many kisses that I’m sure my coworkers got tired of me bragging about it. I was just so proud and happy about her progress in such a short amount of time.

Gracie was on the adoption floor for most of her time at the shelter, but everyone who asked about her was disappointed that she was not the typical one-year-old Lab. She was essentially the exact opposite, just shaking in the back of her kennel.

I was still nervous about how she would do when she got her first adoption meet. When the day came, I warned the nice couple about how nervous Gracie was and I gave them her favorite treats to help ease her nerves.

We took Gracie into the play yard, where she immediately went to the corner and hid. The couple kept giving Gracie treats and calmly talking to her to coax her out of her shell, and she eventually gave in to their kind attempts.

As we discussed her progress, Gracie started crouching toward the couple, trying to sniff them. This was a huge moment for everyone involved. Throughout her time at the shelter, she would not voluntarily get close to anyone besides me, and it took what seemed like forever for us to get to that point.

The couple visiting Gracie had brought their dog Leo to meet her. Leo instantly wanted to be her friend, but Gracie sat frozen behind me. Although she was frightened, there were no signs of aggression from either of the dogs. And with the counsel of our Animal Care Coordinator, Katie Litz, the adopters decided to go through with the adoption!

I took the time I had left with Gracie to sit with her and tell her how awesome her new life was going to be. Her true personality was just locked up inside, and I was confident that her new family would help her be her authentic self.

Since Gracie’s adoption in February, we have received the most precious pictures and updates on her progress.

“When we got Gracie, she was incredibly shut down and would run away from us and hide any chance she got. She no longer hides and is often found roaming around, exploring the house while wagging her tail. Even more frequently, she can be found sitting on top of anyone who is willing to give her her favorite neck rubs. She has started giving us face kisses and smiles when she gets to run around outside. She’s such a good dog, and I’m so glad that you all believed in her and in us.” – Bryan and Alicia (Gracie’s adopters)

Stories like Gracie’s are why we do what we do. These animals leave an unforgettable impact on the people who experience them, and they provide all the motivation we need to continue to provide the care they deserve.

Being able to change a life by giving pets in our care the support they need and helping them find their perfect match is what our jobs (and mission) are all about, and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to help Gracie.

To rescue an animal like Gracie, please visit https://humanepa.org/adoption/.

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May Is National Chip Your Pet Month

May 16th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Animal Health | Healthy Pets | Healthy Pets Initiative | Humane Pennsylvania | Humane Veterinary Hospitals | Microchipping - (Comments Off on May Is National Chip Your Pet Month)
By: Dr. Alicia Simoneau, Chief Veterinary Officer

Should you have your pet microchipped? Absolutely yes, no bones about it.

Microchips save lives! The majority of reunions that animal shelters facilitate between pets and their owners happen because the pets are microchipped and registered with up-to-date contact information.

You may not think your pet is at risk of becoming a stray, but what might happen if someone visiting your home would leave a window or door unsecured? There’s also a chance that a weather event or other accident could damage your home and cause a pet to stray.

Accidents happen. Microchipping is kind of an insurance policy

Also, you can save money by getting a lifetime license when a dog is microchipped and spayed or neutered.

What Is a Microchip?

A microchip is a transponder that works using radio waves when activated by a scanner that is waved over the animal. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It is implanted under the skin, above muscle, in the subcutaneous layer. It is implanted by medical professionals using a sterile hypodermic needle, similar to a vaccination. Once implanted, the microchip remains active for the rest of the animal’s life.

In dogs and cats, the microchip is usually placed in the area between the shoulder blades or on the animal’s upper back. It’s a good idea to have the pet scanned by a vet or animal hospital a month or two after implantation to ensure that the chip is still in and hasn’t migrated out of the implantation site.

How Does a Microchip Work?

Each microchip has a unique number, an ID number of sorts, that needs to be registered with the pet owner’s name, address, and phone number. It is important to ensure a chip is registered and information is kept up to date.

When a microchip scanner is hovered above an animal with a microchip, the unique microchip number appears on the scanner’s screen. A facility staff member can then contact the appropriate microchip company and get the pet owner’s contact information. Every animal hospital and animal shelter has the ability to scan an animal to see if they have a microchip.

There are also tags that can be placed on pet collars to identify that an animal has a microchip. This is helpful if a dog or cat is found, as it indicates the pet has a home and a family that is eager for a reunion. The finder can call the microchip company and get the pet owner’s contact information, and then get that reunion started!

 Misconceptions About Microchips

A microchip is a GPS tracking device. This is not true. A microchip is not a GPS tracking device and will not provide any type of tracking whatsoever. A microchip provides a pet owner’s self-reported contact information.

Microchips are dangerous for animals. Microchips are, in fact, very safe. Millions upon millions of microchips have been implanted worldwide, with virtually no adverse reactions.

Microchipping your pet is expensive. There are no ongoing or recurring fees required for a microchip. Once a microchip is implanted and registered, it’s good for the animal’s life.

It typically it costs between $20 and $75 for microchip implantation and registration. However, at Humane Pennsylvania we think microchips are so important we will microchip and register any cat or dog for FREE!

How You Can Get Your Pet Microchipped

Our Humane Veterinary Hospitals in Reading and Lancaster can scan and implant a microchip at any regular appointment.

Or you can bring a pet to one of our Healthy Pets Initiative Clinics for a free microchip, needed vaccines (Rabies, DA2PP or FVRCP) and deworming, also at no cost to you.

For more information about our microchip and vaccination clinics, please visit https://humanepa.org/healthypets/upcomingclinicdates/.

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Prepare Your Pets For Natural Disasters

May 10th, 2022 | Posted by CCadmin1* in Animal Rescue | Animal Welfare | Emergency Preparedness | Humane Pennsylvania | Natural Disasters - (Comments Off on Prepare Your Pets For Natural Disasters)
By: Humane Pennsylvania Community Outreach Programs Manager, Alexandra Young

In 2005, I spent several months in Louisiana doing animal rescue and recovery work after Hurricane Katrina. Of the 250+ cats in our care at the Alley Cat Allies base camp in Bogalusa, LA during that time, only 11 pets were reunited with their owners. Although some progress has been made since then, human evacuation shelters do not automatically accept pets in the same areas where their owners are living (called co-sheltering).

In 2010, as a direct response to the outcomes of Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Citizen Corps declared May 8 as the National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day to raise awareness and encourage pet owners to actively plan for their pets’ safety long before a disaster strikes.

Why Being Prepared Is Important

Some thoughtful planning and a little research will go a long way when you find yourself and your beloved pets in an unexpected situation.

In our area of Pennsylvania, we don’t have to worry too much about natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. However, severe weather here can easily lead to flooding. And no matter where you live, you can be affected by a local water main break or power outages due to high winds and ice storms.

A more common scenario, and one that’s often overlooked, includes auto accidents. Dogs can easily be thrown from vehicles — especially if they’re smaller, sitting on your lap, or near an open window. A crate secured with a seatbelt is generally considered the safest method to transport a dog.

New safety products are always emerging, although few pet seatbelts/harnesses are actually crash tested. However, there are some products that have been independently reviewed that may increase the chances of your dog surviving a car accident. [1] [2]

Remember: Your pet will observe your behavior and mirror your energy — especially during an unusual, chaotic situation. The key to calmness is advanced preparation: Envision the difference between trying to corral your loose dog with…your bare hands, or maybe a belt, versus clipping a sturdy leash to his well-fitting collar! Taking the following steps now can significantly reduce everyone’s stress later, regardless of the scale of “disaster”.

How To Get Prepared

Get Ready

  • Pack a “go” bag of your pet’s essentials: medications, food and water for several days, extra collars, leashes, and/or harnesses, and a favorite toy/scent article. Pack a duplicate bag to keep in the car if you travel often with your pet, and be sure to rotate medications so they stay fresh.
  • Consider investing in a solar-powered battery pack for your phone, water treatment tablets, and a solar-powered weather/emergency radio. Pack these in your personal “go” bag with other human essentials.
  • Regularly incorporate positive association tasks with your pet so traveling and confinement (crates and carriers) are normal places for treats, toys, and relaxation.
  • Create a first aid kit that covers basic needs for both you and your pet in case of minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites, or other minor injuries. Large towels make great slings and can act as padding or absorbent material.

Be Current

  • Keep your pet’s vaccinations and microchip registration updated in case you need to board them or stay at a pet-friendly hotel. Pandemic schedules are still causing longer wait times for veterinary appointments, so don’t wait!
  • Ensure your vet’s records are easily accessible, both on your phone and as hard copies in your vehicle. Use a PVC pipe with threaded end caps to store hard copies that show yours and your pet’s veterinarian’s contact information, along with your pet’s most recent vaccination history and medical conditions.
  • Keep digital and hard copies of current photos of you with your pet in case you get separated. It’s especially important to show multiple views of markings on cats.

Stay Informed

  • Keep a list of local boarding kennels (preferably with veterinarians on-site), pet-friendly hotels, and the local animal shelter if they offer emergency services.
  • Research your county’s disaster response agencies and keep their contact information handy.
  • Confirm if any local agencies offer co-sheltering options during disaster evacuations.

Extend Your Family

  • Identify one or two trusted people who can access and care for your pet in case you are separated, injured, or otherwise unable to do so.

Humane Pennsylvania Maintains Disaster Preparedness

Humane Pennsylvania is home to the Berks County Animal Response Team (CART), which works directly with the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team (PSART) and serves as the primary Eastern Pennsylvania large-scale emergency distribution resource for pet food and supplies. We are gearing up to deploy emergency supplies for up to 1,500 animals.

We attend ongoing training with the Berks County Department of Emergency Services and coordinate with numerous other county agencies to prepare for a variety of disasters, including chemical spills, radiation contamination, and severe weather damage.

Our organization also supports families and their pets by offering temporary foster housing for needy pets in emergencies. PeNet has been recognized by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as a “Government Innovation” program. Find more information on both of these programs and much more at humanepa.org.

 

[1] https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/care/collars-harnesses-leashes-muzzles/dog-car-harnesses-review/

[2] https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/lifestyle/small-dog-car-safety/

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