1. ASPCA Happy Tails: A Nose Ahead
Like so many other homeless pups, Wally, a young black Pit Bull mix, had been living the shelter life far too long before the tides finally started to turn in his favor. Sweet-faced and youthful, he arrived at the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS)an ASPCA Mission: Orange partner shelterearlier this summer with a strong personality that made him stand out from the pack. And yet, he still didn’t meet his match.
But thanks to the shelter’s selfless corps of volunteers, Wally wasn’t far from the minds of several Good Samaritan animal lovers, including SCRAPS volunteer Karen Allen. When Karen read an article about scent-detection dogs, like those who work with conservationists to study whales and their habitats, she immediately thought of Wally. Whale conservation dogs work from boats to locate whale scat samples, and many can detect it from more than one nautical mile away. These samples are key clues in determining why whales are disappearing from their natural homes.
Everyone at SCRAPS knew Wally had the drive and work ethic to make a successful working dogand what better way to give back than by helping to preserve another living species? After receiving the go-ahead from SCRAPS staff, Karen contacted the head of a whale conservation program in western Washington. One of the program’s canine handlers came to SCRAPS to test Wally, who passed with flying colors and was considered a promising candidate. In late July, he made his way across the state to begin training to become a conservation dog.
“Our volunteers are always working hard to help find homes for our pets,” said Nancy Hill, Director of SCRAPS. “But this time they really went the extra mile to give Wally a very unique new home and hopefully a new job!”
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2. Labor Day Dangers to Avoid
Labor Day weekend marks summer’s unofficial end, and many families are heading outwith their companion animalsfor end-of-season getaways. The ASPCA hopes you enjoy the last days of summer and reminds you to make sure your four-legged friends enjoy a safe holiday, too. By following these simple safety tips, you can rest assured your pet will remain happy and healthy during his last summer blast!
Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
Always assign a dog guardian. No matter where you’re celebrating, be sure to assign a friend or member of the family to keep an eye on your poochespecially if you’re not in a fenced-in yard or other secure area. With all the festivities, it’s easy to overlook a dog on the run!
Made in the shade. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure they have a shady place to escape the sun. Be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathingor even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested, can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
Keep your pet on his normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that people foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, salt, yeast dough, grapes and raisins can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingesting any of these items can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression in your pets, and if inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.
Never leave your dog alone in the car. Traveling with your dog means occasionally you’ll make stops in places where he’s not permitted. Be sure to rotate dog walking duties between family members, and never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time, even with the windows opennot to mention it’s illegal in several states!
Make a safe splash. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a poolnot all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
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3. Pet Poison Alert: Accidental Ingestion of Wood Glue on the Rise
Our country’s new-found thrift has lead many homeowners to save a penny by tackling do-it-yourself home improvement projects. But take care, pet parentsyou may be exposing your furry friends to dangerous tools and tricks of the trade. Polyurethane glue, a water-resistant adhesive and favorite of woodworkers, is highly toxic if ingested by cats and dogs.
According to data from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), pet poisonings from wood gluesand other adhesives containing the substance diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI)are on the rise. In the past 12 months, the APCC handled more than 170 cases of pets who ingested expanding glues. Of those incidents, the majority involved dogs and were evaluated at high or medium risk for developing severe, life-threatening problems.
Polyurethane gluealso known by brand names like Gorilla Glue and Elmer’s Pro-Bondis prized for its ability to bond to wood. If eaten, however, the glue expands in the stomach’s warm, moist environment and forms a softball-sized lump. A dog who eats even a small amount of MDI-based adhesive can experience severe gastrointestinal problems resulting in blockages and requiring emergency surgery to remove the mass.
Pet parents should treat any expanding adhesive as a potential hazard, since the offending chemical MDI is not always listed on product labels. Like all toxic household products, wood glue should be stored in a secure cabinet to prevent your furry beloveds from coming into contact with it. If you suspect your pet has ingested polyurethane glue, please call your vet or the ASPCA’s 24-hour poison hotline at (888) 426-4435. And for more information about keeping your pet domestically sound, check out our handy online guide to creating a poison-safe home.
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