Author Archives: Steve

No Miracle Worker

posted June 24th, 2016 by
Holiday Gift

No Miracle Worker

The 4th of July – – a day to celebrate what it means to live in America. For those who’ve served our country or lived in a third-world country – – it has a special meaning. There will be picnics, family get togethers, barbecue, homemade ice cream and fireworks – – lots and lots of fireworks.

For those of us who work in rescue, we also know it is the time, each year, that thousands of dogs are lost. The loud noises scare them; they’re in unfamiliar surroundings and they bolt; their collars with ID are not on them; their owners forgot to have them micro-chipped; they’re micro-chipped, but their owners didn’t change the registration from the shelter.

And, on July 5th the phones will start ringing. People will want to drop off a dog they found in their yard; a dog they rescued running down the street; a dog someone dumped in their neighborhood. Likewise, all of us will get calls from frantic pet owners, all too frequently, demanding that we find their dog NOW.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road and it gets interesting. No shelter, no rescue, no one can take in all the dogs that are homeless in this area. Why??? Because there are too many homeless dogs already in shelters and rescues.

There is literally No Room in the Inn.

Soooo – – we will celebrate along with our family and friends, then come to work on Tuesday July 5th, take a deep breath and get ready. Tragically, it happens every year and in areas, like northeast Oklahoma, where there are thousands of homeless dogs and cats – – rescuers will bear the brunt of unhappy adults who expect a Miracle.

And

There Is No Miracle Worker

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

No Miracle Worker

Reward offered in Oklahoma City cat cruelty case

posted June 22nd, 2016 by
Reward

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­abandoning 24 cats in four small pet carriers, leaving them to starve and suffocate to death in sweltering summer temperatures in Oklahoma City.

This HSUS’ reward is in addition to $2,500 offered by the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals to make the total reward $7,500.

The Case: According to news reports, on June 10, Oklahoma City Animal Welfare discovered the pet carriers thrown behind tall grass in a field near the intersection of S. MacArthur Road and Newcastle Road.

Reports suggest the carriers were thrown from a vehicle while the animals were still alive. Workers removed two dozen dead cats: three from the first crate, seven from the second crate, six from the third crate and eight from the final crate.

Based on the conditions of their bodies and the maggots in the cages, officers estimate the cats were in the field for one week.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

The HSUS recently conducted a series of trainings on animal cruelty laws and how to handle animal cruelty cases from first response to prosecution for more than 700 law enforcement personnel across the state of Oklahoma.

Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma senior state director for The HSUS said: “Abandoning these animals to die a slow and excruciating death is a despicable act of animal cruelty. We hope our reward helps find the person or persons who committed this heinous crime.”

Jamee Suarez, president of the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals said: “It is a truly callous individual who would pack these innocent cats into tiny carriers, toss them along a roadside like garbage and then drive away to let them starve to death.”

The Investigators: The Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division is investigating and asks anyone with information about the case to call 405-297-3100 or Crime Stoppers at 405-235-7300.

Resources: The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty.

The National Sheriffs’ Association and The HSUS launched ICE BlackBox, a free smartphone tool, to allow users to record video of illegal animal cruelty and share it securely with law enforcement for possible investigation and prosecution.

The HSUS doubled its standard cruelty reward from $2,500 to $5,000 thanks to a generous donation from an HSUS board member. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.  

Fat Dog Kitchen

posted June 4th, 2016 by
Fat Dog

Fat Dog Kitchen & Bar, Anchor Down

We’ve made a couple of stops at some new-ish pup friendly places that we want to mention. Also, we have some updated dog-friendly events for late spring!

Fat DogFirst off, Fat Dog Kitchen & Bar has opened in Midtown at 1234 N. Western Ave. At the time of our visit, they had not yet received their liquor license so only 3.2 beer was available which disappointed Mom and Pops. They have a great set up for me, with an easily accessible patio and dedicated pup water bowls. Mom got fish tacos and Pops got a burger. Both were decent, but we’re not sure if this is going to be our first pick when we’re heading down into the city. We may visit again after they’ve been up and running a while longer.

Next, we made a quick visit to Anchor Down in Deep Deuce, at 30 NE 2nd St. Anchor Down specializes in craft beer and corn dogs. They are welcoming to me on the patio, and even have an adjacent dog park!! We didn’t eat a full meal here because we were hopping around to several places on that day. We are glad this joint exists, but… read more

A Rewarding Week

posted May 28th, 2016 by
Holiday Gift

A Rewarding Week

It’s been a rewarding week – – a week to look back, reflect and realize we are making a difference.  And, best of all, it’s the week Xavier went to his forever home.  He’d been with us a long, long time.

I had the privilege of telling our story to the Vinita Rotary Club on Wednesday. I gave them our year in review and the exciting new programs we now have – – –  there are no words to describe the feeling of acceptance and validation I received.

A Rewarding WeekIn a little more than one year, 800+ animals have been touched by PAAS in some way – – – adoption, out-of-state transport, low cost spay/neuter, feral cat Trap/Neuter/Release.  We’re making a difference – and people are taking notice.

Xavier has been with us for a year.  Smart dog, loves people, tolerates cats and accepts other dogs.  For some reason, people just kept walking past him – or not selecting him for transport.  Yes, he has a square face – yes pit bulls have square faces – but so do lots of other dogs.  Then, on Thursday, his new owner walked through our door – looked at our dogs and chose Xavier.  Picture is below.

Also on Thursday, we had our first graduates from the training program at Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center.  The program is off to an excellent start and the next class will be 5 dogs – 10 inmates will be selected to work/train them.  The pictures show Xavier and his new Dad, and Jackson & George with their trainers.

Yes – – – it’s been a good week.

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

Xavier

Taming the Rude Greeter

posted May 21st, 2016 by
What's in Your Dog Shampoo

Taming the Rude Greeter – Training 911

by Nancy Haddock

Imagine quietly relaxing on your sofa, enjoying a favorite TV program, when suddenly your peaceful evening is interrupted by a knock at the front door. Chaotic barking shatters the calm as Fido explodes into four alarm style while spinning and jumping as he prepares to spring onto your house guest with all the enthusiastic welcome four paws and a cold, wet nose can muster.

If this sounds familiar, do you long for a different scenario where your well-behaved pooch calmly and politely greets your house guests? 

Let us compare the above behavior with the sport of agility. Agility is a high-intensity sport in which dogs run through an obstacle course with adrenaline pumping through their veins. The dogs require an enormous amount of self control in the presence of heightened excitement. This is very similar to the heightened excitement many dogs experience when a visitor comes to the front door. You can use some of the same training techniques we use in agility training to teach your family pet to politely greet guests. 

Before we start, your dog must know how to sit on command. If you dog is inclined to bolt out the front door if it’s open, I suggest you start with a door to the backyard. 

Step One: 

Let’s begin by teaching the dog to sit while a door is opened and wait patiently for permission to go through that door. Position the dog two to four feet from the door. With the door closed, ask your dog to sit, and then reach for the door handle. If the dog moves, simply remove your hand from the door. Do not tell him “no” or “stay;” just simply remove your hand from the door knob. Wait until the dog is sitting still again and reach  for the door handle. If the dog moves, remove your hand from the door handle. If the dog holds still, start to open the door. As soon as he moves, shut the door. Continue repeating  this process until the dog remains seated      as you hold the handle. During this period, I absolutely say nothing to the dog, except “sit.” Most dogs catch on very quickly. If he sits still, I will reach for the handle and open the door, and if he moves, I shut the door in front of his face. 

Each time the dog remains sitting, open the door farther and farther, but always be prepared to shut it quickly as soon as he moves. When you can open the door to a width the dog can walk through, yet he shows self control by sitting politely, reward him by saying “OK” to verbally release him   to go out.  Next, call the dog back into the house and reward him with treats and           an enthusiastic round of petting and praise. Then, shut the door, ask your dog to sit and repeat the training process from the beginning.

This simple process presents the dog with stimulus (the door) and presence of a reward (going out the door). The dog must figure out which behavior earns him a reward. We have limited his behavior choices to simply either move forward or hold still. The dog should quickly conclude sitting politely still is what causes you to give him his reward of opening the door and allowing him to go outside. 

Step TWO: 

When your dog will sit still despite the open door, and not move until you verbally release him to go, you are ready to add more stimulus, such as the sound of knocking. I also add a food reward during this stage since previously the reward was being released to go out. Now your dog will not be released to go out but will be required to sit still. 

Knock on the door, and as the dog starts barking, ask him to sit near the front door and wait for him to quit barking. Then, immediately give him a treat. Reach out for the door handle; if he moves, remind him to sit and reward him. Knock on the door again and reward him if he remains seated. This is the exact same process of choice and reward we used before, only we have increased stimulus with knocking and switched the reward to food instead of permission to go out. However, even though I have shifted the reward to treats, on approximately every fourth successful attempt, I will release the dog to go. Alternating the reward increases his self control.

Step THREE: 

When your dog can successfully sit politely without moving through the knocking and opening of the door phase of training, we will increase stimulus by adding another person into the exercise. Employ the help of a friend or family member. Provide your helper with dog treats, such as a handful of kibble.  Instruct your helper to approach the door from the outside and knock. Ask your dog to sit and repeat the whole process above until your dog can successfully sit politely while you open the door as the helper stands quietly on the other side of the open door.  

Step FOUR: 

Finally, when your dog will remain seated as you open the door, instruct your helper to enter the house and immediately drop multiple pieces of kibble on the floor as he walks in. As your dog has almost finished all the kibble, your guest should drop several more pieces. As the dog finishes the kibble, quickly ask him to sit and reward him multiple times with treats. 

Dropping the kibble cleverly succeeds in two outcomes: no jumping and a guest calmly entering the house. By dropping the kibble on the floor, you have cunningly manipulated your dog’s behavior from rudely greeting a guest, to calmly welcoming a visitor. 

If step four does not go quite as smoothly as I have outlined above, simply send your helper back out the door and start over, just like you have done in steps one, two and three. This is a process, and it is vitally important your dog is successful with each step before moving on to the next. Also, if you live in a multi-dog household, only train one dog at a time. Place the other dogs outside or confine them to another room, so they are not distracting to the working dog.

Learning response time will differ with each dog. Just follow the plan and expect results!

OKC Pets Mag May / June 2016

posted May 12th, 2016 by
OKC Pets

OKC Pets Magazine  May/June 2016

Publisher – Marilyn King  [email protected]

Creative Director – Debra Fite

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Nancy Harrison, Cheryl Steckler, Nicole Castillo

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick  [email protected]

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Pat Becker, Nicole Castillo, Kaycee Chance, Anna Holton-Dean, Emily Perry, Kirstee Starr Carter, Sharon Beuchaw, Nancy Gallimore, Sherri Goodall, Camille Hulen, Brian Jones.

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

(918) 520-0611

(918) 346-6044 Fax

©2016 All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express consent of the publisher.

OKC Pets Magazine provides Oklahoma City area pet owners with a one-stop resource for local products, services, events and information.  Now OKC Pets Magazine Online is able to provide you with all of that and much more, interactive and up-to-the-minute!