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Pets In Need of Greater Cincinnati Offers Veterinary Care

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Pets bring us so much unconditional love. Their presence in our lives gives us joy when the world sometimes deals harsh blows. Their ever present companionship is a very special gift.

And that is why it is beyond hurt to see a family’s anguish when their financial challenges mean facing the reality that they simply cannot afford the expenses of a pet.

I love the idea of the Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry that has helped thousands feed their pet. Now there is nonprofit Pets In Need of Greater Cincinnati. In partnership with the University of Cincinnati’s veterinary program, the organization is dedicated to providing basic veterinary care for income-qualified individuals who cannot afford to take their pets to private veterinarians (with a limit of three pets per household).

“Through Pets In Need, we are helping animals that might otherwise wind up in already over-crowded shelters because their families can’t afford to give them the care they need. And we are helping pet owners who want to do the right thing for their pets, but who may have to balance that with the need to feed and clothe their children, pay the rent and keep the lights burning at home. Pets In Need is  dedicated to ensuring that it’s a choice no one in Greater Cincinnati ever will have to make again,” said Carol A. Sanger, president.

Beginning in February 2013, Pets In Need will offer regularly scheduled pet wellness clinics at its Lockland location (520 W. Wyoming Ave.; Cincinnati, OH 45215), where dogs and cats will be seen by licensed veterinarians and professional veterinary staff.

At a minimum, each animal will receive a routine health check-up, get their annual rabies and booster shots, and take home flea and tick medications, all at deeply discounted prices. Vouchers for low-cost spay/neuter also will be provided to PIN clients, and eligibility for follow-up care at Pets In Need will be contingent on having any unaltered animal spayed or neutered prior to their next visit. In addition, dental clinics will be offered several times a year as part of the PIN wellness program.

OPEN HOUSE

Sunday, November 4 from 2 to 5 pm
520 W Wyoming Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio 45215

Spring Safety Tips For Pets

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It’s hard to believe but it’s finally spring! We can all go out and work in the yard or play. I bet your pet is also enjoying the longer days and nicer weather. With the season change, I thought it’d be a good time to devote another column to reminding you of some things to consider when it comes to your furry or feathered friend.

Whether you’re in a home or an apartment, this is the time of year when we all like to keep our windows open. Please check all of your window screens to make sure there are no large holes. You don’t want to take chances on any insects, particularly mosquitoes that could have west nile virus. Birds can chew through screens so make sure their cages are kept out of reach of open windows.

In the same thought, always make sure you know where your pets are when you’re opening doors. All it takes is a split moment for a flighted bird, dog or cat to be past you on their way outside.

When it comes to spring cleaning, always be aware that household cleaners and chemicals are toxic to pets. Air fresheners can even be deadly to birds so use them with caution.

Are all of your pets’ vaccinations current? If not, now is a good time to make a visit to the vet.

Before you let your dog romp around in your back yard, if it’s fenced, make sure there is no winter damage that will allow your pet to escape. Also, this is a great time to make sure you are current with your license and identification tag, you may even want to consider microchipping as a permanent means of identification. Avoid letting your dog play in areas that have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. If you suspect your dog has accidentally walked on treated lawns, call your veterinarian right away.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to know which plants in your garden may be toxic to your pet. Here is a sample of some plants to be careful of:  Azalea, Boxwood, Caladium, Chinaberry Tree, Daffodil bulbs, Elephant Ear, Foxglove, Holly berries, Hyacinth bulbs, Hydrangea, Lily of the Valley, Mushrooms, Philodendron, and Rhododendron. If you suspect your pet has eaten a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Always be mindful of conditions that could cause your pet to over heat. Heat stroke can be deadly but it’s so preventable. Never leave your pet inside an enclosed car in warm temperatures. Make sure your dog or cat has plenty of fresh, cool water and plenty of shade. Shaving your dog or cat can actually make it more susceptible to heat stroke because its fur was designed as an insulator.

If your pet is starting to overheat, one of the first warning signs is an increased and noisy panting rate. Other symptoms include thick saliva, red mucus membranes, hot skin, dazed look, vomiting and diarrhea, and an inability to move or get up. If you suspect your pet is overheating, offer small amounts of water or completely soak your pet with coot water. In extreme cases, contact your veterinarian immediately.

When it comes to traveling with your pet, make sure you call ahead. Airlines have policies on when they will and how they will allow pets to travel in cargo holds (due to safety issues with regard to the heat). If you take your dog to the beach, remember saltwater can cause vomiting or dehydration. It’s better to carry some extra water just in case. On boats, pets should always have life jackets. If you’re hiking, it’s best to avoid letting your dog drink from streams that could be contaminated with parasites and always carry a first aid kit for those unforeseen emergencies.

And, one last note. Be nice to your neighbors…clean-up after your pooch and please don’t leave a barking dog outside for hours.

Happy spring!

Livy Lu Found Her Forever Home

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This past weekend was a very special event. Shelters and rescue groups from throughout the Tri-State joined forces to find forever homes for over 1800 dogs, cats, rabbits and even rodents. Bringing an animal into your home is such a wonderful gift and even more so when you are offering your heart to another living being who has somehow been let down by life in its past.

It is one thing to adopt an adorable puppy still so filled with rambunctious happiness, but so often the adult dogs who just aren’t as cute are the ones who face the most uncertain future. And for the ones who, by no fault of their own, have the most baggage by humans who failed them…well, they will be lucky if they find themselves with a kind foster parent or in a caring no-kill shelter.

Livy Lou Was One Of The Lucky Ones

A little terrier mix with a long white beard, bushy eyebrows and ears that flop over, Olivia (better known as Livy Lou) was 15 pounds of sheer terror when the Strubbes came by the shelter where Livy Lou had been spending her days. She was caged with large dogs – many at least double her weight – who didn’t understand the magnitude of their size or the concept of leaving a frightened animal alone. There really wasn’t enough space for that distance anyway.

The year was 2004. Sharon and David Strubbe had just become empty nesters and their house was getting awfully lonely without their long companion, a beautiful Samoyed who died just weeks earlier.

So, the couple visited the SCPA. “I didn’t want another big dog,” Sharon said…each time they left. They went back three times and each time she walked out crying because she didn’t see what she wanted but she hated leaving behind so many dogs that each had a need for love.

Their fourth attempt to find a new friend was at the League For Animal Welfare. “Is this one still here?,” Sharon asked of the dog in the picture. “Well, you had better meet her,” was the staff person’s response.

It turns out Livy Lu was all set to be adopted the week earlier. That is until she snapped and bit the woman’s ankle as she was paying the fee.

But that didn’t bother Sharon. If anything, it made her more determined. Sharon was going to win over Livy Lu’s heart and she wasn’t going to leave until she did it. After thirty minutes, Livy Lu still wouldn’t come close. She only barked and growled.

The rest of the story is what tells me what a huge heart Sharon and David have and makes me so grateful to know there are people in this world just like them.

A Heart Opened

They were brought into an enclosed room – Sharon, David and a little ferocious beast who took guard of the corner. Time went by. Finally Livy Lu took a step forward, wagged her tail, and returned to the only place in that space that seemed safe at the time. “I just had to have her,” Sharon said. “I wasn’t going to give up.”

And neither was Livy Lu. Sharon and David patiently kept their distance, allowing this dog who until then had no reason to trust anyone, to somehow find the strength to have courage enough to try. That’s when magic happened. Livy Lu took a leap and landed on Sharon’s lap.

“She’s coming home with us,” Sharon told her husband.

They have been together ever since. Livy Lu is about 15 years old now and is deaf. Lucky for her, the most important language of life – the language of love, needs no words.

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