Dixie Goes Home!

It was a cold, February morning, 2 days after Valentine’s Day. A black dog had been found on the side of the road.  She couldn’t walk, and it appeared that she had been hit by a car.  The frostbite on her stomach indicated that she had been lying in the ditch, in subzero temperatures, for days.

black pit hit by car 6

We could tell almost immediately that this girl, who we named Dixie, was a fighter.  We put out a plea to gather donations that would cover a life-saving surgery for Dixie.  In less than 24 hours the donation goal had been met, and exceeded.

black pit hit by car 4

Over the next few months, Dixie was monitored by veterinarians, and recovered in a foster home.  By summer, she was ready to be placed up for adoption.  She was beloved by so many of our staff and volunteers, that it became a united mission to find Dixie a home.  We shared Dixie’s story with the public.  We took photos, videos, dressed her up, took her to events, did everything we could to show the world what a great dog Dixie was. Everyone was rooting for Dixie, our little 4-legged survivor.  One generous donor even sponsored Dixie’s adoption fee, hoping that would help her get adopted faster.

SONY DSC

Because of the way in which Dixie came to our shelter, we didn’t know anything about her background.  All we knew was that she didn’t always play nice with other animals, and she became very protective of anyone she claimed as “hers.”  This meant she needed to find a home where she would be the only pet, and where there wouldn’t be a lot of in-and-out company–not the easiest to find, it turns out!

Snapchat-cropped-4182228879090579881

So, the months slowly passed, and we waited patiently alongside our, “Mama Dixie,” as she was affectionately nicknamed, for the perfect family to come along.  We held onto hope that someone was out there, looking for a dog just like Dixie.

Then one day…

A woman named Sherry visited our adoption center.  She met Dixie, and it was love at first sight.  Because we knew Dixie could be somewhat temperamental, we allowed Sherry to foster Dixie in her home for 2 weeks, just to make sure it was a good fit.  Sure enough, it was.

2016-01-19 11.20.28_resized

On February 19, Sherry brought Dixie back to Cedar Bend to adopt her.  We couldn’t believe our eyes:  Dixie was a new dog!  She was happier than we had ever seen her before.  We all took turns hugging “Mama Dixie.” She wagged her tail and gave lots of kisses, all while staying close to her new mom, Sherry, with whom she had clearly formed a bond.

After a few tears, we all waved goodbye as Dixie waddled out the door.  Finally, our girl was headed home.

Congratulations to Dixie and Sherry, and thank you to everyone who helped Dixie find her way home.  Your donations and support truly are life-saving.

 

 

Advertisements

Cold Weather Care for Your Pet

When the temperature falls below freezing, your pets need extra care.  The following list provides you with some things to keep in mind during the cold winter season.

Irish-Setter-and-Cat-in-snow6-WEB-Only_ml

Frostbite
Even with a coat of fur, your pets can still feel the cold, and can even get frostbite! Cats and small dogs should be kept indoors during freezing weather. Your pets will still need exercise, and walks are important, but shorten your walks this time of year.  If your pet has a short coat, they may appreciate a warm sweater, jacket, or even a hat!

dobears

 

Rock Salt and De-icers
Ice melting products will irritate a pet’s paws. Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s paws when they come into the house to prevent them from accidentally ingesting dangerous chemicals when they lick their paws. Before going onto sidewalks that may have these products on them, you may want to rub baby oil on the pads of the paws and sprinkle baby powder on them. This will help protect your pet’s paws from becoming sore.  Click here to shop for pet-friendly de-icing products.

139856735-cold-weather-dog-paw-care-632x475

Diet
Your pet’s metabolism will change during the cold winter months and demands different eating patterns. If your pet enjoys spending time outdoors, it will need more calories to help it produce body heat to keep itself warm. If your pet spends more time indoors during the winter, it may need fewer calories because of its more relaxed lifestyle.

snowcat

Beware of cats under your car!
During cold weather, cats may seek warm shelter under your car. They like to crawl up by the engine where it is warm. Before starting your car, make sure there are not any cats under your engine by lifting the hood of your car, honking your horn, or slapping the hood hard enough to frighten a cat out. If you start the car with a cat under the engine, it could get caught in the fan and become seriously injured.

Away from drafts
Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.  Or you could always invite your pet into your bed–they make great bed warmers!

Dog-sleeping-in-bed

 

 

Music Therapy Linked to Increased Shelter Adoptions

If you’ve ever visited the Adoption Center at the Cedar Bend Humane Society, you probably already know that you can hear our adoptable dogs before you can see them.  “Just follow the barks,” our adoption counselors will say cheerfully, as folks walk in asking to see the dogs we have available for adoption.

While barking is a healthy, normal part of being a dog, it can also be a sign of stress. Even the best shelters can be stressful environments, especially for new dog residents. There are many sights, sounds, and smells to get used to, and a whole new routine. Sometimes a bark can simply mean, “Hello! I’m so glad to meet you!”  But other times it can mean, “I’m scared and don’t understand why I’m here!”

Here at Cedar Bend, we employ many techniques to help keep our pet residents at ease, many of which involve the help of volunteers and service groups. Kennel enrichment, treat puzzles, chew toys, rawhides, and plenty of trips outside are a good start…but what about the noise?

One of the most effective ways we’ve found to combat stress barking is music.

Classical music is widely known among animal behaviorists to be calming to the canine ear. Low, slow sounds are less harsh to their ears than other kinds of music, and offer a soothing, relaxing effect.

Many shelters who practice “music therapy” with their adoptable pets find that, as a result, adoptions are on the rise.   A quiet, relaxed dog is more inviting than one who is barking and bouncing off the walls from stress. A potential adopter will equate an animal’s behavior at a shelter with its behavior in their home.   When soothing, classical music is playing, the cats are less “catty,” and the dogs bark and howl less. As a result, shelter visitors want to stay longer, ultimately resulting in more adoptions.

Even if you aren’t able to adopt a pet from Cedar Bend yourself, you can still help them get adopted by helping reduce their stress.

Monetary donations may be made here to help us fund our animal enrichment efforts. Or, pay a visit to our Amazon Wishlist, found here and send the gift of relaxing stress relief right to our shelter! You’ll see–making a difference in the life of a homeless pet, and helping one find its way home, is as easy as a song .

References:

http://dogtime.com “Music Therapy for Dogs & Cats,” Michelle C. Hollow, March 5, 2015

http://throughadogsear.com “The Influence of Auditory Stimulation on the Behavior of Dogs Housed in a Rescue Shelter.” Wells, D. L., et al. 2002

Winter is Coming: Our Shelter Pets Need Beds

kuranda1
As colder weather approaches, we need cozy, pet-pampering beds more than ever!  Kuranda beds are durable, chew-proof, and offer the orthopedic support pets need, plus they’re elevated, and offer pets a cozy alternative to the floor.
Our friends at Kuranda.com have made it quick and easy to donate beds to the Cedar Bend Humane Society with one click.  Beds donated through Kuranda.com are specially discounted for donation, and ship directly to us!  Click here to send us a Kuranda bed that will keep our homeless shelter pets warm and cozy during their stay with us.
Additionally, you may donate Kuranda beds and other shelter items via our Amazon.com wishlist, found here, or by adding us as your desired charity through Amazon Smile, here.  Amazon smile donates 0.5% of your everyday Amazon purchases to CBHS when you choose us as your designated charitable organization.  Cool, right?  Please help if you can, the animals will thank you for it!
amazonsmile

Put the “Breed Mystery” to Rest With a DNA Test

As many of us can agree, “rescued” is our favorite breed. And to those of us who adopt, it’s safe to say that we’re never completely certain what breed our loveable “mutt” really is.  We see Lab in the face, Boxer in the chest, and those ears can only be described as…Cocker Spaniel–ish?

We know breed is irrelevant to how much you love your furry friend, but breed does play an important role in how the animal will age, possible health problems to look out for (and prevent early-on), and what kind of temperament and behaviors to expect.

While it is true that today’s domesticated dogs descend from wolves, many breeds are a far cry from their ancient ancestors.  This is because of centuries of careful and selective breeding.  Particular dog breeds were essentially “designed” to inherit the desirable qualities their owner wanted them to possess.  Hunting, herding, sporting–a dog for every day!

Former CBHS staff member, Danielle Wagner, adopted Missy last April. Even Missy’s previous owner wasn’t sure what her breed was.

“With most shelter dogs, we don’t know their background or their ancestry,” says Danielle. “I adopted Missy as an adult dog, and we knew very little about her.”

Finally, Danielle gave Missy the Wisdom Panel DNA test, and the results were definitely interesting.

“While tossing out guesses for Missy’s possible breeds, I never once suspected Pekingese,” says Danielle. “I guess she deserves all the royal treatment we give her since she descends from dogs of nobility!”

It turns out that Missy is a Pekingese/Chihuahua mix. However, a portion of Missy’s ancestry was predicted to be mixed beyond the three generations tested by Wisdom Panel. The test predicts the majority of her mixed breed ancestry is from the herding group, which includes Australian Cattle Dog and Border Collie.

Danielle says that knowing Missy’s ancestry gives her a better understanding of her dog, and her behaviors.

“Despite her small size, I definitely see tendencies of the herding breed in Missy. She loves rounding up her toys, and she needs much more exercise and ways to stay busy than my other two dogs.”

If you would like to learn more about the ancestry of YOUR canine companion, Wisdom Panel DNA tests are available for purchase in the Cedar Bend Humane Society Adoption Center.  The cost is $75 (+ tax). Click here for more information about Wisdom Panel DNA tests.

Missy Collage

Keeping Pets Safe and Happy on the Fourth of July

flagpet

Remember to keep your pets safe this holiday!

Loud noises and flashing lights cause pets a great deal of anxiety, resulting in pets behaving differently than they typically would.  Frightened pets break leashes, jump fences, run away and even bite.

  • PLEASE KEEP YOUR PET SAFE FROM THE NOISE IN A QUIET, SHELTERED, AND ESCAPE-PROOF AREA OF YOUR HOME. 
  • DO NOT TAKE YOUR PET TO INDEPENDENCE DAY FESTIVITIES.
  • BE SURE YOUR PET HAS AN I.D. TAG. THIS WILL ENSURE THEIR SAFE RETURN HOME, SHOULD THEY GET LOOSE.
  • NEVER USE FIREWORKS AROUND YOUR PET.
  • NEVER LEAVE ALCOHOLIC DRINKS UNATTENDED WHERE PETS CAN REACH THEM.
  • ALWAYS KEEP MATCHES AND LIGHTER FLUID AWAY FROM YOUR PETS.
  • DO NOT PUT GLOW JEWELRY ON YOUR PETS, OR ALLOW THEM TO PLAY WITH IT.