February is all about being a responsible pet owner. What do responsible pet owners do?
They have their pets spayed and neutered, and encourage their friends and family to do the same. Spaying and neutering not only helps control animal population, but it can also protect dogs and cats from various diseases, including cancer.
They give their pets plenty of exercise, whether by walking their dogs, or taking them for romps in city or dog parks. Exercise in park settings often promotes confidence and socialization for dogs. And cats can often benefit from exercise in the home setting, as well.
They feed their pets a nutritious diet, thus boosting their immune system, which helps to keep them healthy.
They groom their pets as often as required for the specific breeds they own. Good grooming includes trimming, washing and brushing their coats; trimming their nails; cleaning their ears and teeth.
They allow their dogs to live inside their house, rather than having them stay outside in a backyard kennel. Dogs are social, pack animals and their confidence and sense of wellbeing is jeopardized when they are left alone outside.
They train their dogs. Training a dog gives the dog a job to do and guidelines for proper behavior. It also instills confidence. Behavior problems are often eliminated with regular, positive training.
They have their dogs wear collars with up-to-date identification and their current rabies vaccination tag. Indoor cats benefit by wearing collars and tags in case they escape from their house. Responsible cat owners also make sure their indoor-outdoor cats wear a collar with identification tags.
They carry bags and clean up after their dog when they go for outdoor outings. This helps prevent the spread of diseases, and assures a clean environment for everyone to enjoy.
February is the month in which pet owners are urged to be responsible by spaying and neutering their pets. It is one of the most important things responsible pet owners can do to help their pets lead a happy and healthy life!
In 2009, a very special documentary, No Dog Left Behind was released about the efforts by American soldiers in Iraq to bring home dogs who had become their friends and comforters. The Internet Movie Database summarizes the story this way:
"A deeply personal documentary that reveals the power of the human-animal
bond to comfort, heal and inspire the best in people in the worst of
times and to find their humanity in the midst of dehumanizing
conditions. It is a story about the enduring friendships forged in
wartime between four military men and women and the dogs they rescued in
Iraq, dogs who became heroes in unexpected ways. Battling military
prohibitions and all but impossible odds, these soldiers and Marines
attempt to bring their canine battle buddies home to safety in the U.S.
with the help of a determined rescuer - fighting not just for their
animals' lives, but for their own."
Ellen Goosenberg Kent
The Military Channel originally aired the documentary in 2009, but is repeating it this month. According to their website, it is being aired 10/12 - 10/27. Check your local listings. You can see 4 different trailers for the moviehere.
The "determined rescuer" referred to in the IMBDb summary above is Terri Crisp, an SPCA Internationalstaffer who was given the assignment of figuring out a way to help "Charlie" out of Iraq. Ms. Crisp has a new book about her experiences -- "No Buddy Left Behind."
We offer our admiration and thanks to SPCA International and Terri Crisp for their hard work over the years in rescuing these and other disaster animals.
In addition to the movie trailers, below is a video about "Nubs" (which leads to another video about the Stateside reunion of these two) and an interview with Terri Crisp about her new book.
We wish you a safe, happy weekend, and, as always, we welcome your comments.
One look at the glossy yellow and red cover of Guide to Pet Safety and you know it means business. On first glance, its slim size made me wonder, though, how comprehensive it would be. All it took was reading the extensive Table of Contents and I knew I was looking at a valuable resource. Its seventeen short chapters are chock-full of vital information for any responsible pet owner.
Want a step-by-step guide on making your own animal evacuation kit and plan? It's in there. Whether you have a cat or dog, a ferret or fish or bird, a snake or a frog, or horses and livestock, Guide to Pet Safety will help you prepare and keep them safe during an emergency.
In addition to disaster and emergency preparation, it also contains extensive first aid information, from making a first aid kit to transporting an injured animal, from recognizing distress in an animal to protecting them through all seasons and holidays. There's even an illustrated section on poisonous plants.
Aside from the information, there are other features I particularly like. One is the size - 8-1/2" x 11." The thinness that deceived me in the beginning makes this book easy to store in your evacuation kit or on a shelf as a ready reference. The other is the sideways "headers" on key sections that allow the reader to quickly find information by flipping the pages without opening the book completely. It would be nice if this book were spiral bound so it could lay flat when open, but that's a minor detail compared to the overall value of this great guide.
The author, Cameron R. White-Thumwood, spent years compiling the information and consulted many experts to ensure that the book contains solid and user-friendly information. It has been endorsed by veterinarians and emergency response officials. Guide to Pet Safety is available at Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle formats. You also can contact PetAlert.com for more information.
Full Disclosure: We were provided a copy of "Guide to Pet Safety" at no charge for the purpose of this review. No one from Humanity Road or Animals in Disaster has received or will receive any monetary compensation for writing this review, nor were the opinions expressed influenced by the author or anyone else involved with the book.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: PROTECT ANIMALS WHEN DISASTER STRIKES
by Katherine Noyes
Hurricane Katrina revealed just how much further this country's disaster
planning still had to come to adequately protect both people and animals in
emergencies. Plans for rescuing animals, in particular, were virtually
nonexistent both among individuals and at the government level. Subsequent
passage of the
Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act has since helped the nation
take a big step forward in that respect, but much of its effectiveness depends
on the improved disaster preparedness of individuals and communities.
That's where you come in. When disaster strikes, many of the essential
services we typically take for granted are no longer available, even including
basics like fresh water. It's important to remember that any situation that
isn't safe for us isn't safe for our animals, either. Without a strategy for
protecting the animals who depend on us, they can get trapped in
life-threatening situations or escape into the elements, get disoriented and be
exposed to countless potentially fatal hazards. Their very lives may well depend
on your preparation to keep them safe.
Today, there are a number of things you can do to protect animals ahead of time,
and to get ready to help rescue them the next time disaster strikes.
Start at home. The most basic step in disaster
preparedness is to develop a disaster plan for the
animals in your family. The Humane Society of the
United States offers a
Disaster Preparedness Quiz for animal owners
that can identify areas you might not have already
thought about. There are even brochures with tips
specific to owners of
livestock, as well as
domestic pets. The American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) also offers
pet first-aid kit and guide book as well as a
free pet safety pack to alert rescue workers to
the presence of animals at your home. United Animal
Nations offers a variety of its own useful
disaster preparedness tips.
Look to your community. To
learn about your community's disaster preparedness
efforts, talk to your local shelter or animal
control or welfare department. (To find your local
shelter, visit the
ASPCA or you can enter your ZIP code at
Pets 911.) If you live in an apartment building
or townhouse community, encourage your landlord or
community association to keep track of all the
animals living there for easy access by police and
disaster response efforts. Offer to provide backup
care for a trusted
neighbor's pets in the event of an emergency,
and see if they'll do the same for you. If you live
in a rural area, join forces with neighbors to
develop a plan to ensure the safety of livestock in
the case of a disaster. The
American Red Cross and the
American Humane Association both have tips and
suggestions for creating such plans.
Get certified. The images and
stories of the animal victims of Katrina inspired
thousands to offer their help, but often those
would-be volunteers lacked the experience and
training most needed by
disaster animal response teams such as the one
operated by the Humane Society. To become qualified
to help next time it's needed, you can choose from
among a variety of training options:
Emergency Management Institute offers an
Independent Study Program with an array of
downloadable and online self-study courses in
disaster preparedness, including several
specific to animals. Certificates are awarded
for the successful completion of every course.
American Red Cross also offers numerous
classes in disaster preparedness through its local
The American Humane
Association offers two-day training sessions for
those interested in volunteering for its
Animal Emergency Services Volunteer program.
Volunteers are also encouraged to take courses
through FEMA and the Red Cross.
There's no telling when the next disaster may come,
but we can be certain that it will, sooner or later.
Once it does, a little preparedness will go a long
way toward easing its effects on the animals who
share our lives.
Every year, thousands of pets die from smoke inhalation due to fires. Firefighters and EMTs have oxygen masks to help human fire victims, but the masks are too large for most family pets. One company, Invisible Fence, decided to change this situation, and has made it their goal "to ensure that every fire department and rescue unit is equipped with these life saving pet oxygen masks."
Humanity Road commends Invisible Fence for initiating this worthy, life-saving project. Does your local fire department have pet oxygen masks? If not, please watch this video and consider helping them acquire a kit through Project Breathe™.
In times of crisis, people and organizations come together and perform extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion. A case in point is Sierra Vista Riding Club in Arizona. The "Monument" fire has forced the evacuation of many people and hundreds of animals. The Sierra Vista Riding Club stepped up to the challenge, offering fire victims a place to shelter their animals.
As the Sierra Vista Herald reported, in an article entitled "Horse Community Comes Together over Fire:"
"The Sierra Vista Riding Club has been a flurry of activity since offering to help evacuated residents needing a place to keep horses and other animals. Cell phones were ringing continuously, volunteers taking messages and drivers being sent to pick up animals at other destinations. Members of the community arrived with truckloads of hay, feed and other supplies. Businesses dropped off horse panels — which are being used as corrals or holding pens — and water buckets were filled by volunteers."
This is a huge effort, and we salute you!
Many other people and organizations are donating time, money, supplies and hard work in hot weather and dangerous conditions to help people and animals displaced by the Monument fire. We honor and thank them as well.
As one volunteer put it, "I want to help,” he said. “This is what America is all about.”
Bismark, ND Flood: "As for animals, the flood will cause some harm. Cows and deer are known to get swept up in the current. Any resulting algae blooms will take oxygen away from fish. The muddiness of the water also will make things difficult for fish that rely on their sight to find food.
“Chances are the fish may move somewhere they can see like Lake Oahe if it’s easier there,” said Scott Gangl, fisheries management section leader for game and fish. “Some fish like salmon may be drawn toward the dam.”
Gangl said the massive amount of water will dilute chemicals and stop them from harming fish, but the same water may leave some of them on the shore as it recedes, leaving a snack for birds." Full Story
Coastal hurricane planning extends to pets ... "the ideal is for a shelter that can host people and pets in separate wings, with owners feeding and caring for their own animals. That reduces the chance of separation, and brings comfort in unfamiliar surroundings." Full Story
Monument Fire: "Only people who lived in the area could go to rescue their animals, until even that was ended because of the increased fire danger. One woman tried to talk her way past a Cochise County Sheriff Office roadblock, to no avail. Despondent, she put her head on the steering wheel and cried, her body shaking with distress." Full Story
Executive and philanthropist Arthur E. Benjamin today announced the launch of a national, viral, social media campaign to raise much needed funds for animal rescue efforts and disaster relief in Joplin, MO. Benjamin will donate $1 to the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO) for every Facebook fan who 'likes' the American Dog Rescue page. Source
Humanity Road, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public with critical recovery information before, during and after a catastrophic disaster. Humanity Road, Inc. and its global volunteers endeavor to provide information that is useful, timely and as accurate as possible, however, they should not be viewed as an authoritative source. Please do not rely solely on the content of this web site for emergency response decision making without verification through alternate sources.