Summer Snackin’

June 22nd, 2020 | Posted by Chelsea Cappellano in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
By Madisyn Marker, Animal Care Technician for the Humane League of Lancaster County

With summer coming up, there’s no better time to learn new ways to keep your pups cool in the heat. First, let’s talk about why it’s so important to keep dogs cool when it’s hot out. For starters, dogs don’t sweat like humans can so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature. Overheated dogs can suffer heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmia. While these are all serious issues people run into, there are plenty of ways to help prevent it.

Frozen dog snacks are a great way to help keep your forever friend cool in the summer. Not only is it tasty and refreshing but they can make great enrichment too! Frozen snacks can vary from ingredients to size to complexity. What’s your dog’s favorite snack? Is it something you can incorporate into a frozen treat? The answer is likely yes and here’s how.

Frozen water bowls are fun and enriching for the brain. They are super easy to make too. All you need is a container that will fit in your freezer. Your container can be a dog bowl, an old box laying around or Tupperware. Your container of choosing has to be able to hold water without leaks. You can fill the whole container up, freeze it and serve as is or you can make it a fun game. If you want to add a little pizzazz to it there are different routes you can go. If you’re uninterested in making layers all you have to do is fill your container, drop some of your dog’s favorite snacks (fruit, veggies, etc.) freeze it up and serve. If you want to go all out, you can freeze different layers with different snacks. Example: Fill the container just a little bit, drop some cut carrots in and freeze. Next fill the container up a little more, drop in some chopped watermelon and freeze. Lastly fill the rest of the way, drop in some chopped banana and freeze. Viola! Now you have a complex, layered treat and awesome enrichment for your dog. This will not only help keep your dog cool on those hot days but it’ll give them something to work for as they try to lick their way each frozen treat.

If you are looking for a special frozen goodie for your dog, don’t worry I have just the thing. Now, my dogs love watermelon but that’s not the same for every dog so this recipe will vary depending on what fruit your dog likes. All you need is fruit, molds for fun shapes (cupcake tins will also work) and plain Greek yogurt (optional). Of course, yogurt and other snacks should be given in moderation but every good boy and girl deserves to be a little spoiled from time to time. First, you’ll start by placing a little Greek yogurt in the bottom of your tin or mold. You can surpass this step if your dog is lactose intolerant or if you don’t want your dog to have yogurt. Next, blend your fruit until liquid and pour into tin or molds. Lastly, place your work of art in the freezer and once frozen, serve. These treats are sweet and satisfying.

Even though frozen treats will help cool your dog down, please remember that if your dog is outside they should have access to fresh water, shade and the option to go inside if they choose. These are a couple frozen choices but the possibilities are endless! Now that you’re a pro at making some pawsome frozen fun, get creative and explore new ideas! Don’t be afraid to get your paws a little dirty and have a blast while bonding with your furry friend over ice cold snacks.

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Written By: Dr. Alicia Simoneau, Chief Veterinary Officer, Humane Pennsylvania

The Humane Veterinary Hospitals are still here for you and your pets. Access to affordable veterinary care is paramount in our mission as an organization. During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania we have commenced a partial shutdown of both our hospitals. Services we regularly offered are being altered at this time. The whole veterinary community nationwide has had to adapt. Our main goal is to do our part to help keep you, our staff and our community safe. We are doing this by maintaining social distancing, decreasing public access into our facilities and implementing stringent cleaning protocols.

To this end, we have moved to a curbside concierge service to bring your pet into our hospital when an appointment to see a doctor is needed. You speak to a doctor via a phone call during the appointment as if you were in an exam room. We are prioritizing sick pet visits and postponing elective procedures at this time. Elective surgeries such as sterilization have been suspended by the veterinary community locally and nationally mainly to conserve the use of personal protective equipment such as disposable gowns and gloves. This also allows us to utilize time to serve a greater number sick pets. Lifesaving surgeries will continue to be offered on an as needed basis. These measures are consistent with what all healthcare workers have been asked to do by the state government.

By concentrating our efforts in this way we are helping the community by offering advice to clients’ pets over the phone, utilizing telemedicine as much as possible and continuing hospital appointments as needed to avoid a trip to the emergency vet. Medication pick-ups have continued to be available with a parking lot pick up by calling ahead. Of course, end of life services are still available as needed. Previously postponed vaccination appointments for puppies and kittens will be able to be scheduled starting in mid-April. Our adapted protocols are expected to continue into summer. Our staff is prepared to meet the challenges of our current national situation while maintaining our AAHA standards and our community’s needs. Updates will be provided regularly via our Facebook pages and website.

Thinking of us? As we our part as an essential business in your community continued donations of cleaning supplies like Clorox wipes, bleach, laundry detergent, washable triple layer cloth facemasks, hand sanitizer and hand soap would be appreciated.

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By: Inga Fricke, Director of Community Initiatives of Humane Pennsylvania

At the beginning of this year, Humane Pennsylvania’s (HPA) Healthy Pets Initiative was truly hitting its stride. We were holding mass vaccination/microchip clinics for dogs every week and for cats every other week, creating a consistency of service that pet owners in our community could rely on. Spike’s Pet Pantry was serving a steady flow of clients, establishing personal connections with people who love their pets but just needed a little extra support. Our subsidized spay/neuter surgeries were booked out months in advance as people took advantage of our low-cost pricing.  And we were just days away from launching our brand new initiative, a targeted wellness program aimed at bringing veterinary care directly to those who needed it most: the homeless, at-risk veterans and victims of domestic violence.  We were proud of the help we had already been able to provide and were looking forward to doing even more.

Then our world went sideways, just as it did for the rest of you, and it felt like all of our planning and momentum went right along with it. In the blink of an eye we could no longer invite people into our pantry and chat with them about their pets’ needs. We couldn’t perform spay/neuter surgeries anymore, low-cost or otherwise, even though to most animal welfare professionals they are absolutely essential for healthy communities. And we certainly couldn’t invite hundreds of people into a community center to perform mass pet vaccinations. It would have been completely understandable for us to feel helpless and defeated.  But at HPA we look for opportunities to serve no matter the challenge before us, so instead of simply waiting for “normal” to return, we looked for new ways to help, and boy did we find them!

Our first challenge was to completely revamp our in-house Spike’s Pet Pantry to ensure we could continue providing pet food to residents without compromising safety. That meant figuring out a system for communicating with clients without actually coming face-to-face with them. We purchased a video doorbell to facilitate conversations, and figured out a system whereby we hold up signs at our door to ask questions like “How many dogs do you have?” and “Do you need more cat food or dog food today?” While it sounds very impersonal, I can honestly say a highlight of my day is hearing my colleague laughing with Spike’s patrons about the challenges of through-the-glass-door communication, making the very best of a completely unnatural situation. And our numbers tell the story of how critical our service has become – since March 15, more than 13,000 lbs of pet food have passed out the doors of Spike’s Pet Pantry, a more than 200% increase over the same period last year. Perhaps more telling is the fact that over 55% percent of those receiving that food had never had to use our services before this pandemic hit.

Next, we saw an opportunity to leverage the unique relationships we have cultivated with national organizations like Greater Good to allow us to serve as the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team’s official pet food distribution hub for Eastern Pennsylvania.  Within a week we had secured donated warehouse space (our thanks to NAI Keystone) and begun accepting, inventorying and tracking truckloads of donated pet food. To date, we have fielded more than a dozen deliveries to that warehouse and have distributed over 75,000 lbs. of pet food to dozens of groups from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, including schools, community organizations and food pantries.

While that effort alone would have been enough for most organizations, HPA continued looking for opportunities to serve. We began providing pet food delivery to individuals who found themselves unable to reach our pantry, and we arranged multiple drive-thru pet food giveaways in communities across our region. Almost 13,000 lbs. of pet food has been distributed through these efforts, enough to keep more than 1,300 pets fed for a full month, and more of food giveaway events are planned.

Most recently we asked ourselves “How can we restart our mass pet vaccine clinics safely?” We’ve found a way, holding our first ever drive-in pet vaccination clinic at the end of last month. By adapting our service delivery in this creative manner, we are able to ensure that we can continue providing critical, lifesaving, preventative vaccinations and microchips to pet owners in our community without compromising safety, and we are in the process of adding more drive-in clinics to our calendar.

Are we 100% back to normal? Certainly not. Spay/neuter services are still largely on hold due to state and national veterinary restrictions, and despite our best efforts, our drive-in vaccine clinics will likely not serve every pet owner the way our prior walk-in clinics did. But HPA will continue stretching, adapting and innovating to keep meeting the challenge of helping as many pet owners in need as possible. It’s what we do, and it’s all part of our commitment to make this the best community anywhere to be an animal.

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As we work to fully reopen our facilities, we are following State mandates and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff, clients, volunteers, and supporters.

  • Upon entering any of our facilities, we ask that everyone complies with the CDC guidance and has on a face mask. We ask that you keep this face mask on during the entire length of stay at our facilities. If you do not have one, one will be provided to you.
  • Humane Pennsylvania Lancaster adoption center continues to take great care of the animals in our shelter! Over the last two and a half months, we have adapted some of our policies and started doing adoptions by delivery, which allowed many animals to find their forever homes. If you are interested in adopting an animal, please visit humanepa.org. We have also resumed animal intake appointments.
  • Humane Veterinary Hospitals Reading and Lancaster, in response to revised State mandates, have started expanding services offered and are now accepting appointments for wellness visits, surgeries, and sick visits. At this time, we are still asking all clients to wait in their vehicle outside and call us when they arrive, and we will come out to get their pet. Please call to schedule an appointment, Reading 610-921-8387 and Lancaster 717-826-9762. Our televet services and curbside medication pick ups are still available. Please refer to hvhopsitals.org for continuing updates and information.
  • Healthy Pets Initiative continues to operate our Spike’s Pet Pantry. We have seen a 575% increase of clients served. We have also started to resume our vaccine and microchip clinics. Please visit humanepa.org/healthypets for continued updates and information.
  • We have contacted all Humane Pennsylvania volunteers, and have remained in weekly communication with them. At this time, we are approaching the subject of returning to assist in our shelter, vet hospitals, and events, as a decision for each volunteer based on their comfort level. We have plans in place to ensure their volunteering is done in a safe space, and also provides us with critical support.
  • Most events that were scheduled over the last two and a half months have been canceled or postponed. We are starting to see an increase in events being hosted in June, July, etc., and are eager to participate in a safe way. Check our social media pages for updates on events and how you can support us!
  • One of our biggest events, Walk for the Animals & Walktoberfest has gone virtual this year! Click here for more information on how you can get involved! 2020 Mega Pints for Pups has been canceled, and will now take place in the summer of 2021. The Art for Arf’s Sake Auction is still scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14th.
  • While we understand and want everyone to focus on their own safety and the safety of their family first, Humane Pennsylvania is still in need of lifesaving monetary donations. If you wish to help us when we need it most, we would welcome it. Consider setting up monthly giving, then you won’t even need to think about it! Click here for more information.

Humane Pennsylvania has remained well suited to handle this situation. We deal with illness and disease routinely, from kennel cough to parvo to ringworm. We know that thoughtful, consistent, decisive action is the key to saving lives and keeping a bad situation from getting worse. In this case, we are continuing to do this for our human friends and family.

We will continue social distancing, wearing masks, and frequently changing gloves, as long as public health directives require it, as it is our responsibility to protect our animals, staff, volunteers, and the public.

Thank you to everyone for their continued support, understanding, and service to our mission. We can’t do our work without you and we truly wish you and your family safety and good health.

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Virtual

June 3rd, 2020 | Posted by Chelsea Cappellano in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
By: Lauren Henderson, Director of Events & Corporate Relations of Humane Pennsylvania

Virtual. A word I’ve never used so much in my life, than I have these last two months. I think I’ve developed a love hate relationship with it. On one hand I’m thrilled to have the technology and virtual world to still be able to do my job, communicate with donors, adaptive ways of fundraising, and getting our message out through social media. And on the other hand, I’m missing the in person interaction all of our events and fundraisers have to offer. Our annual Art for Arf’s Sake Auction had to be rescheduled from May 16th to November 14th. Our mega 2020 Pints for Pups event had to canceled and rescheduled for next summer. And now our 43rd Annual Walk for the Animals & Walktoberfest has gone, you guessed it, virtual!

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the safety of gathering together 1,000+ people and their pups, we made the decision to move up our Walk to take place now in the spring, June 19th – 21st, to help us raise some critically needed funds for our organization. Last year, our Walk raised over $125,000 for our organization, which was the most its raised in many years. We were hoping to take that momentum into 2020, but COVID-19 had other plans. Now we’re in full swing of promotion for this year’s virtual Walk, with the hopes that supporters from all over the country will support our efforts!

With each event that is canceled, postponed, or paused, it hurts our overall fundraising efforts. So I am looking to each donor and supporter to help us fill this gap and support our virtual Walk. It’s not the same and it definitely feels different, but it’s the funds raised that make the biggest impact.

Let’s embrace the virtual, and register to walk virtually, form a pack virtually, become a virtual sponsor or vendor, make a virtual donation, and/or purchase virtual raffle tickets! The event might be virtual, but the funds raised are real, and they’re lifesaving.

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