Finding Hope for Homeless Pets, One Flight at a Time

rescue flights hackbitzBy Langley Cornwell

There are many angels in the pet rescue world. I’m consistently amazed by some people’s willingness to donate their time, resources and skills to better an animal’s life. It’s heartwarming. Not to get too sentimental here, but its stories like these that renew my faith in humanity. When you spend time researching and writing about animals, you come across some pretty horrific articles. Then, thankfully, you read stories about organizations that take the bitter taste out of your mouth. These organizations and the volunteers who make it all happen are heroes.

Geography can be a problem when it comes to abandoned pets that need new homes and people who are searching for a pet to share their life with. Generally speaking, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and California have an overabundance of animals in the shelter system. Conversely, states like Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, New York and even Florida typically have more potential adoptees than animals. Solving this logistical problem and finding a way to get the pets to people who could adopt them used to be impossible. But now, thanks to pet flight rescue organizations, all that is changing.

Pet flight rescue organizations are a fairly new concept. These non-profit groups find a way to connect general aviation pilots with animal rescue volunteers to fly homeless and abandoned pets to safe havens; to areas where they can find forever families that will take good care of them, feed them a healthy pet food like CANIDAE, and offer them a lifetime of love and companionship.

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How Weather Plays a Role in Tick Outbreaks

ticks Katie BradyBy Linda Cole

Just the mention of ticks causes a tingling on the back of your neck. An afternoon hike in the woods can end with a thorough search through your dog’s coat and your hair to make sure none of those bloodsuckers hitched a ride. Some years are worse than others, and weather plays a big role in how bad a tick outbreak might be and when tick season begins.

Ticks are found everywhere in the United States, and which species you encounter depends on where you live. There are four stages in the life cycle of ticks: egg, larvae (smaller than a period), nymph (size of a pinhead), and adult. It takes two years for them to develop into adults, and except for the egg stage, each stage requires a blood meal before it can molt into the next one. Females can lay around 3,000 eggs.

Ticks do not die off during the winter months. To survive the cold and snow, most ticks find shelter in leaf litter and are dormant until spring. However, adult deer ticks (black-legged ticks) remain active year round. You or your pet could pick up a hitchhiker anytime the air temperature is close to freezing or above and the ground isn’t frozen or snow covered. In freezing weather, deer ticks hunker down under the snow in leaf litter, on firewood or a tree trunk, and come out during warm spells. If you find a tick inside during the winter, it probably hitched a ride on firewood.

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Dog Rescuer Diane Perrigo

Diane PerrigoBy Laurie Darroch

It takes a certain kind of heart to rescue dogs, and Diane Perrigo is all about that kind of heart. Living between two countries, Diane and her husband Alan have spread the care across the border as well, spending time in both California and Baja, Mexico.

Diane remembers having dogs as part of her family when she was growing up, including a St. Bernard and Dachshunds that were pheasant hunting dogs of her fathers, but the importance of rescuing dogs in need did not hit home until about 20 years ago.

Her basic philosophy behind her dog rescue efforts is, “If I can help get a dog in need to a good home, I want to.” Her time and efforts include offering temporary foster care, transportation for dogs on their way to a new forever home, and helping to find a home for dogs in need.  “I want to prevent the unnecessary killing of so many unwanted, abused or neglected dogs,” she told me. She believes that somewhere there is a home for each of these dogs, and she wants to help find them that home. Over the years, Diane has helped rehome dozens of dogs.

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Bad Kitty Confessions: Is There Anything This Cat Won’t Do?

By Rocky Williams. Feline Guest Blogger

bad kitty davidI’m sure you’ve heard that saying “A leopard can’t change his spots” that refers to humans who can’t change their nature. Well, the same is true for naughty house cats. Once a bad kitty, always a bad kitty; I’m living proof of that. In fact, my Warden says “Bad Kitty!” to me so often that sometimes I forget my real name is Rocky. I’m not ashamed though. I wear my naughtiness like a badge.

I don’t really try to be a bad kitty, it’s just who I am. Most of the time when I do bad things, I don’t even think about it. For instance, if I see some tasty looking morsel of food, I just grab it. Who has time to meow nicely to ask for it? And what if the answer was no? If I take it without asking, I get what I want! You can’t argue with that end result.

The only downside to being a bad kitty is that not every human would put up with me. At least that’s what the Warden keeps saying. She’s still worried something will happen to her and no one will adopt me. I think she’s just trying to scare me into being good, but I can’t change my spots, now can I?

I’ve been keeping a diary confessional. I’m thinking, maybe if I record all of my many bad kitty accomplishments, someone will give me an award. You, perhaps? Take a look:

Dear Diary: Today was awesome. It was dairy day! First, I found a glass of unattended milk on the counter and lapped it right up. Then the Warden put whipped cream on her latte and turned toward the fridge. When she turned back around and saw me, she burst out laughing. I was like, “What?” Apparently, a cat with a whipped cream mustache is funny.

Dear Diary: Today I was lounging on the Warden’s lap when I heard footsteps on the deck. I hightailed it for my safe spot and in the process, my nails left a long, deep gash on her leg. Oops. She was not amused. That will heal, right? Darn that UPS man!

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How to Help Dogs Overcome Gender Fears

gender fears tonyBy Langley Cornwell

When you share your life with a dog and there are no other humans living in your house, your pet may become so accustomed to interacting with your gender that she develops a fear of the opposite sex. Not the sex opposite from her, but the sex opposite from you! This can become a serious issue. Since your dog has limited opportunities to interact with the other gender on a regular basis, they are strange and unusual to her. She may react badly towards them.

I’ve seen it from both sides. My cousin lives alone with his German shepherd mix, Leon. These two are inseparable; the dog goes everywhere with him. People often talk about the special bond my cousin and Leon have, and it is a beautiful thing to see. The other side of the coin, however, is that the dog is not friendly towards women. It’s so bad that he will snarl and show his teeth when a woman is anywhere near. He behaves differently towards men.

A neighbor friend and her roommate live with a tiny Chihuahua named Brutus. The two women and Brutus take long walks every afternoon. Whenever my husband and I happen upon them, Brutus allows me to pat him but he won’t let my husband within a 10 foot radius. The women say Brutus acts that way towards all men.

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Is Your Cat Affected by Tom and Jerry Syndrome?

tom and jerry IainBy Linda Cole

Accounts of elderly cats suffering seizures have been reported by cat owners worldwide for years. What triggered the seizures was unknown until a study was finally launched to discover the answer. Researchers nicknamed the condition “Tom and Jerry Syndrome” after Tom the cartoon cat, because of his surprised reactions to loud sounds that caused his body to jerk involuntary. (The sounds were usually produced by Jerry the mouse, to foil Tom’s attempts to catch him). The name of the syndrome may be humorous, but the condition can be scary for a cat and her owner dealing with this type of seizure which is triggered by certain household sounds.

Feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS) is a new type of epilepsy in cats recently discovered after a United Kingdom charity, Cat Care International, contacted veterinary specialists. The condition has mystified cat owners for a long time, but until the pet charity raised an alarm very little was known about the condition by vets and there was no data to explain this strange phenomenon. Owners and vets were puzzled why some cats suddenly began to jerk involuntarily, foam at the mouth, lose consciousness or become confused after hearing a high-pitched noise. Reactions to sounds varied from cat to cat. Some cats experience seizures several times a day, which is extremely distressing for both cat and owner – especially when the cause is unknown.

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