- 1. Sensitive Stomach: Is Your Pet Allergic to His Food?
- 2. Tennessee Puppy Mill Dogs Find Forever Homes
- 3. Last Chance to Vote in the ASPCA Adopt-A-Bull Contest!
- 4. ASPCA Job of the Week
- 5. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: The Doggie Wears Prada
- 6. True Tales: Your Pet’s Best Buddy
1. Sensitive Stomach: Is Your Pet Allergic to His Food?
Allergies caused by environmental factors like pollen, mold and fleas are fairly common in pets. But what many pet parents don’t realize is that Fido’s excessive scratching or stomach upset could also be the result of an everyday food allergy.
The culprits? According to our experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, the main source of protein in a pet's diet is sometimes responsible for allergic reactionsbut cats and dogs can also suffer allergies to carbohydrates like wheat or soy. ASPCA Client Services Associate Jessica Rushin suggests that sweet potatoes and rice, which are often found in foods formulated for pets with sensitive stomachs, can be good carb substitutes.
“It’s important for pet owners to work closely with their veterinarian to find out the source of a pet's allergy and formulate a treatment plan,” says Rushin. “Often different types of allergies present similar signs, so determining the source of the allergy at home can be difficult.”
Pet allergies can cause such varied symptoms as excessive chewing or licking of the skin, paws, muzzle or ears; dry, flaky skin; chronic ear issues; swelling of the lips, tongue or eyelids, and gastrointestinal signs like vomiting and diarrhea. If a food allergy is suspected, your veterinarian may recommend a feeding trial with a prescription diet to determine the cause. Food intolerancemarked by vomiting and diarrhea, but no skin problemsis often mistaken for a true food allergy, further highlighting the need for proper diagnosis.
And what about homemade diets as a remedy? Homemade diets require a substantial amount of work to ensure the final product includes a complete nutritional balance. If you wish to use a homemade diet, please consult with your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist for an acceptable recipe. “Be sure to follow the instructions exactly,” advises Mindy Bough, Senior Director of Client Services at the ASPCA. “Take care not to omit or substitute ingredients unless the recipe or your veterinarian specifically states to do so.” Bough also recommends having your pet's nutritional status evaluated every few months by your veterinarian.
For more information about your pet’s health and nutrition, please read our online guide to pet care.
2. Tennessee Puppy Mill Dogs Find Forever Homes
Earlier this month, the ASPCA led a multi-group raid of a puppy mill in White County, TN, resulting in the rescue of almost 300 small-breed dogs. As promised in last week’s ASPCA News Alert, public adoptions of the dogs who were transferred to the ASPCA’s New York City Adoption Center began last Friday. Thanks to loads of positive publicity, our puppy mill dog-adoption hotline was ringing off the hook with people seeking information in the days leading up to February 20.
And what an adoption day it was! “The scene at the ASPCA Adoption Center on Friday morning was nothing short of incredible,” recounts Anita Edson, ASPCA Senior Director, Media & Communications. “Lines began to form outside the ASPCA well before sunrise, with eager adopters camping out with lawn chairs and blankets as early as 5:00 A.M.! The lobby was teeminga mix of the bustling crowd and the equally excited Adoptions staff, all ready to help place the Tennessee dogs with the best possible matches. By the end of the day, over 200 adoption forms had been filled out!”
We are thrilled to report that of the 39 eligible dogs, 38 have been adopted. The dogs will leave the ASPCA for their new homes after they have been spayed or neutered, microchipped and given the final “okay” from our veterinarians. The more than 200 dogs whom the ASPCA entrusted to animal welfare groups based in other states are doing well, too, garnering their own share of media attention and admirers eager to provide them with loving homes.
While the Boston terriers, miniature pinschers, Pomeranians, dachshunds, Chihuahuas and other rescued pups are putting their pasts behind them, the ASPCA is still working the case to make sure that justice is delivered. As with most criminal investigations of this large scale, there is much evidence to be gathered, sorted and analyzed. At this time, the ASPCA’s Field Services division is still preparing evidence in conjunction with the White County Sheriff's Department. We will keep you posted on both the legal case and the dogs’ fresh starts as New Yorkersstay tuned for updates on some of the adopted dogs in upcoming NYC Success Stories.
3. Last Chance to Vote in the ASPCA Adopt-A-Bull Contest!
Over the past year, you’ve met wild woman Wanda, soulful Lola, goofy Gunther and Elsie the healerthe quarter-finalists in the ASPCA Adopt-A-Bull Contest, sponsored by New York-based Animal Farm Foundation and open to pet parents and shelters who made successful, happy adoptions through the ASPCA's Meet Your Match™ program.
Now we're asking animal lovers everywhere to do the impossiblevote for just one of these four-legged finalists to be the grand-prize winner! If you haven’t yet voted, please do so todayvoting officially ends at midnight on Saturday, February 28.
Who's YOUR favorite match? Cast your vote and tell us today!
4. ASPCA Job of the Week
Calling all legal minds! The ASPCA is searching for a Corporate Counsel to manage our legal department and oversee intellectual property matters, including trademark acquisition, reprint requests and infringements. We’re searching for someone with five to seven years of corporate legal experience, a law degree and excellent judgment and discretion. If you’re a pro at drafting licensing agreements and establishing legal protocols, we’d love to hear from you!
The ASPCA offers generous benefit packages for full-time employees. Please submit your resume and salary requirements for our prompt consideration.
5. ASPCA Success Story of the Week: The Doggie Wears Prada
While driving through Marion, AR, in October 2008, Suzanne Musashe spotted a little terrier following an SUV up the street. “As the vehicle drove off, the dog sat in the middle of the road looking bewildered,” Suzanne recalls.
Afraid for the dog’s life, Suzanne got out of her car and called to her. “She ran as fast as her little feet could go and jumped into my arms,” Suzanne tells us. “We’d never met, but this little ball of energy seemed very happy to see me.”
Since the pooch was wearing a pink collar, Suzanne was sure she belonged to someone. “An animal control officer came over to me and said he’d been called about a little dog,” Suzanne recalls. “I reluctantly gave her up, hoping that her owners would be found.”
Two days later, when Suzanne visited the shelter to see if her furry friend had been claimed, she was shocked to see the pooch waiting in a kennel. Ten days later, guess who found herself a new member of the Musashe family?
Now known as Ziva, this little spitfire makes it her business to keep the Musashes’ former-couch potato pug on his toes. “Ziva chases him all around the house and outside in the fenced yard,” Suzanne tells us. “She takes toys from him and nips at his legs in hopes that he’ll come after her. Let me just say that our pug has shed a couple of pounds in the last few months.”
And what a girlie girl! Ziva not only stands up on her two back legs and does a little dance when she wants treats, but she’s got wardrobe! “She loves when I dress her, especially in her pink rain jacket and poolside gear,” says Suzanne. “She has a Vera Bradley purse carrier and a Sydney Love flying carrier for trips out to Portland to visit my son. Is my Ziva spoiled? You be the judge!”
6. True Tales: Your Pet’s Best Buddy
This February, incelebration of Valentine’s Day, we put out a call for stories honoring your pet and his non-human BFFand boy, did you guys deliver. We received hundreds of stories of unlikely companions, from a hamster who hangs out in his feline pal’s food dish to a bird who perches on the head of his happy guinea pig friend. Your stories have also put to rest, once and for all, that age-old questioncan cats and dogs be friends? Oh yes, they can be friends and much, much more!
Meet our favorite best buddies on our website and keep spreading the furry love.