Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Neglect Turned Around

Can you believe this is the same dog?  Lucky Meatball (yes that's his name) came to the SPCA in May.  He was underweight, suffered from mange, and an eyelid that had turned inward.  After surgical repair of his eyelid, good food, and multiple medicated bath; this happy-go-lucky dog is in good health.  He loves everyone he meets and he will especially love his next family.  Lucky Meatball is a must meet canine! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How to Train a Dog

Right off, you should know that you will not learn how to train your dog from this blog. However, you will learn some dos and don'ts.

Recently, an adopter put out a plea for help on facebook.  She described her problem and received many different suggestions.  A month later, she was asking our SPCA trainer for help.  So what went wrong? 

First off, training a dog requires patience. For those of you who have housebroken a puppy, you know that the puppy does not learn in one easy lesson.  It requires consistent, repeated, positive training.  So teaching a dog not to bark, chase cars, jump on visitors, counter surf, etc., requires consistent, repeated, positive training.  And that takes time and does not happen over night.

Secondly, the owner of the dog needs to decide which training method to use and stick to the plan.  Our SPCA dog trainer trains with positive reinforcement.  Dogs receive lots of play and praise for doing the right thing.  So if you decided to train positively, you need to do it consistently and not change when you don't see instant results.  Changing patterns of training confuses the dog and frustrates the owner.

Third, it is worth spending the money to take a class or two.  Trust me on this one.

Fourth, training does not end with the classes.  If you want a well behaved dog, keep up with the training from leash walking to where the dog sleeps.  Both the dog and owner will be happier.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tell the Truth About Your Animal

Recently, our SPCA received a "stray" dog.  Several days later a woman comes in to claim the dog.  She has paperwork with the "finder's name and address on it.  So the poor dog was in the shelter for 3 days as a vindictive move on the part of the ex-boyfriend. 

So it is lose-lose all around.  When an animal is surrendered as a stray and the person who surrenders it knows the animal, we cannot get good information about the animal.  Plus the animal is held at the shelter for the required hold period and cannot be adopted until the hold period is over.  It has financial implications as well because it costs the shelter money to inoculate, feed, and shelter the animal.

So please do not lie about an animal when you bring it to a shelter.  It isn't in the best interest of the animal.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Raising Funds For Charity

I am often amazed by the individuals and groups that will host various fundraising events to help raise funds to care for homeless animals.  From young children to adults the ambition and ingenuity
of our supporters is amazing.  From home made pet treats to lemonade stands, we have had people work hard and give generously.  There are also tons of businesses that donate when purchases are made. 

A new twist on fundraising is an app named Walk for a Dog.  More information can be found at WoofTrax.com.  There you can learn more about the app, and should you choose to download the app, you can choose your favorite charity.  Wooftrax will make a donation based on your use for that charity.  The Lycoming County SPCA received a donation from Wooftrax, and that is how we found out about it.

 Once in a great while there will be some people who will raise funds for their own benefit.  And that is a difficult thing to reign in. My advice is to always write a check to your favorite charity and only pay cash if you are paying it directly at the charity's facility. 

The Lycoming County SPCA likes to acknowledge donations we receive with a thank you letter-another great reason to write a check.  And THANK YOU for your support!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Necessary Veterinary Care

Every pet owner should establish a relationship with a veterinarian.  This is important for many reasons.  First and foremost, your veterinarian will make sure that your pet is up-to-date on necessary vaccinations and free from disease.  Just as you would vaccinate a child against polio, you need to vaccinate your pet against disease.  Puppies and kittens need a series of shots so that they can build immunity as they grow, they need to be wormed, receive flea preventative, rabies vaccine,  and get checked for diseases such as heartworm, feline leukemia, etc.  Trust me. It is worth the expense. 

Yes, it may seem expensive to you, but as anyone who has attended college will tell you, schooling is expensive.  And many veterinarians who have been in practice several years may still be paying off their college loans. Then you have to pay for the rent, utilities, supplies, the receptionist and vet tech, insurance, health care, and make enough for their own paycheck. 

Another reason you need to see a veterinarian is that you need that relationship in case something happens to your pet.  It could break a leg, swallow a poison, get attacked by another animal, the list can be quite long.  If you are not a client with an established veterinarian, it is unlikely that they will see you in case of an emergency unless you can pay ahead of time.  And if you cannot afford routine veterinary care, you should wait to have a pet until you can afford to care for it.