Author Archives: Steve

Pet-Friendly GetAways

posted July 19th, 2014 by
Logo

Your ideal vacation may entail hiking mountain trails or sipping tea in a Victorian parlor, noshing on a downhome breakfast or doing sunrise yoga, singing around a campfire or shopping ‘til you drop! Whatever your style, we have an extensive list of pet-friendly resort getaways who welcome you to do it all with Fido and Fluffy at your side.

For the full listing, check out our Online Directory under the “Pet-Friendly” tab at www.OkcPetsMagazine.com/directory. We have all the details to help you choose the perfect getaway—written descriptions, information, photos aplenty, links, maps, and all of the contact information.

Each listing even has an online gallery for photos of their four-legged guests. So be sure to share your getaway snapshots this summer no matter where they are from. Please include first names of everyone (two-legged or four) and the name of the getaway!

Each resort’s pet policy varies, so be sure to check with the proprietor when making plans for your pet-friendly getaway! If you have a pet-friendly getaway that we should know about, email [email protected]

Pet Friendly GetAways2

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue

posted July 17th, 2014 by
Blaze's

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue

17667 Markita Dr.  Jones, OK  73049

(405) 399-3084 or (405) 615-5267

[email protected] www.blazesequinerescue.com

July 16, 2014

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue, Inc. located in Jones, Oklahoma, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that strives to improve the lives of neglected, starved, and abused horses.  We provide equine rescue regardless of age or disability.  We promote and teach horse care and humane, natural methods of training horses.  Our primary focus is Animal Cruelty Cases.  We work closely with the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office with their Equine related Animal Cruelty Cases.  We also assist any other local/rural county sheriff’s office who request our assistance.

Rescues:

I apologize that we are so far behind on our quarterly newsletters.  As I am sure you can imagine, we have been extremely busy.  I want to start this newsletter off a bit differently and go over what Blaze’s Equine Rescue has done for the last 13 years.  We have built this organization with an open door policy, so to speak.  Our family has dedicated everything to rescuing neglected horses and caring for them.  We made huge sacrifices to follow my passion.  To follow the path that God has lead me to.  We have saved nearly 1200 horses in the last 13 years.  Many have come to us from deplorable conditions.  Many have scars that can’t be undone.  But, all of them deserve love and deserve the highest standard of care.  We do our best to meet that highest standard of care.  Sadly, we are only limited to 20 acres of land, plus foster homes.  We are the only rescue in the State of Oklahoma and most of the surrounding states that care for 100 to 200 head of rescued horses at any given time. 

 

We have to feed hay year around.  Can you imagine the expense involved for caring for so many horses?  We feed 24 Round Bales of Sprayed/Fertilized Bermuda Hay every 7 days.  That is $60.00 a bale with delivery.  We feed roughly 96 bales a month costing us $5,760.00 just for hay a month.  We do occasionally receive the rare donation of round bales, but sadly, one of our largest expenses is Hay.  We also have to have square bales of hay for the horses in the barn.  We just purchased 100 square bales of hay at $5.50 a bale.

 

Of course, the expenses don’t stop there.  We have Veterinary care, vaccinations, wormers, farrier care, grain, supplements, shavings, mineral blocks, medical supplies, wound care supplies, and freeze branding expenses that go into the actual horse.  Now, let’s consider all the other needs in order to just run the rescue.  For instance, the office supplies that go into keeping everything accounted for, sending donation receipts, newsletters, records for each horse, etc., What about travel and wear and tear on our vehicles and trailers?  Every day, I have to run and pick up supplies, such as a grain, shavings, etc.   I pick up horses weekly, as well as, occasionally deliver a horse to an adopted home.  The expense involved for fuel, etc., is also very taxing.  We also have maintenance on our facility, from fencing, to repairs, to land payments, etc., the day to day cost is unbelievable to keep this organization running.  We work from sun up to sun down caring for these horses and seeing to it that every need is always met.  They never go without.  My family built this organization from the ground up and it is something that I am very proud of.  My husband, Shawn Cross, works for the City of Edmond.  He works so hard to care for the Cross family and then come home and care for the horses in our program.  It is an endeavor that usually goes without recognition.  We don’t do it for glory, recognition or rewards.  We do it because we love horses and feel that someone has to be their voice.

 

Now, we would like to show you how much Blaze’s Equine Rescue has grown throughout the years and how much State/City officials have come to rely on us to assist them with their animal cruelty cases.  We are never paid by the State or City for assisting them with their equine neglect cases.  All funding we receive is from private donations, private grants, adoption fees and fundraiser’s.  Please see below our numbers for the last 13 years we have operated.

 

We have rescued 1,167 horses since 2001.  We have successfully adopted out 959 horses into forever, loving homes.  We are currently caring for 108 rescued horses at this time.  Blaze’s has an 82% adoption rate.  We have sadly lost 8.8% of the rescued horses.  We either had to make the heart wrenching decision to end their suffering or they were not able to survive rehabilitation due to the extreme neglect they suffered.  When we first started, our first Veterinarian informed us that we would lose 20% of all rescues.  I am proud to say, we haven’t lost 20% in 13 years.  We have 28 lifers currently in our program.  What constitutes a lifer?  A lifer is a horse that is deemed unadoptable due to their medical disabilities or a horse that has been adopted out and returned 3 or more times.  These horses still maintain a good quality of life and will most likely live out the remainder of their life here at Blaze’s. 

 

We have many positive changes to Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue.  We would like to welcome our two newest board members Jennifer Bates and Vicki Ingram.  Jennifer & Vicki have been working hard on the upcoming playday, they hope to bring this event back each year.  The playday is a great way to have a fun family day with your horses.  We would love to see our adopted horses participate in the event.  We have a great group of board members, each actively involved in our day to day activities.  We can’t thank them all enough for all they have done to help make Blaze’s Equine Rescue the success it is.  Thank you Desiree Walling, Brian Walling, Leslie Brown, A’Lissa Devorss, Jennifer McCannon, Larry Bishop, Tina Hummell, Jennifer Bates, and Vicki Ingram.

 

We have many wonderful horses seeking their forever, loving home.  We have horses from yearlings to 30 years of age.  We have horses that are broke to ride and horses ready to go into training.  We have a select few horses that are just companion animals only.  Adoptions are very important to us, as for every horse adopted, that opens a spot for another horse to come in.  Adoptions save two lives.  Our adoption fee’s range from $300.00 to $800.00.  All adoption fees go back into our program for the next horse that comes in.  Sadly, we will never be able to recoup the expenses that we have put into each horse.  We ask that you please spread the word of our adoptable horses here at the rescue.  You won’t regret opening your heart and your home to a rescued horse.  The experience and the relationship you will form will be like no other.  Just ask any of our adopters, they will tell you how much their adopted horse means to them and what an impact that horse has brought to their lives, in a positive way.

 

Here are just a few of our current rescues that need your support.  The cost to rehabilitate a horse can be overwhelming.  We currently have 4 horses waiting for surgery.  3 horses need hernia surgery and 1 other horse is a crypt-orchard and needs surgery to be properly gelded.  All other horses receive full veterinary care and the proper diet to rehabilitate.  Please consider making a donation to help the horses currently in our rescue program. 

 

Cloud 20140717Cloud came into our rescue program on May 30, 2014.  Cloud came into our rescue program as an owner surrender.  Cloud is a Beautiful, Gray, Quarter Horse, Gelding.  Cloud is estimated to be 25 to 30 years of age.  Cloud is a body score of a 1.  He is infested with internal/external parasites.  He is an extremely sweet boy and loves attention.  It is clear this sweet boy has done something in his life.  He has a great personality, although a bit of a pig pen, he is doing well.  He stands for the farrier and loads in a trailer.  This beautiful boy has a long road to recovery ahead of him.  Please consider making a donation towards Cloud’s rehabilitation. 

 

Amanda 20140717Amanda came into our rescue program on June 25, 2014.  Amanda came into our rescue program from the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division as a cruelty case.  Amanda is a Beautiful, Bay, Standardbred X, Mare.  Amanda is estimated to be 18 years of age.  Amanda was a body score of a 1 when she entered OKC-AWD.  She was infested with internal/external parasites and covered in rain rot.  She is a sweet girl and loves attention.  She stands for the farrier and loads in a trailer.  This beautiful girl still has a bit of recovery ahead of her.  Please consider making a donation towards Amanda’s Rehabilitation. 

 

Oakley 20140717Oakley came into our rescue program on June 29, 2014.  Oakley came into our rescue program from the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division.  Oakley is a Beautiful, Sorrel, Quarter Horse, Gelding.  Oakley is estimated to be 8 years of age.  Oakley is a body score of a 1.  He is infested with internal/external parasites and covered in rain rot.  He is a sweet boy and loves attention.  He stands for the farrier and loads in a trailer.  This beautiful boy has a long road of recovery ahead of him.  Please consider making a donation towards Oakley’s Rehabilitation.


Griffin 20140717Griffin came into our rescue program on July 11, 2014. Griffin came from the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division.  Griffin is a Beautiful, Bay, Miniature, Stud.  Griffin is estimated to be 20 years of age. Griffin is a body score of a 2.  His feet are in horrible condition.  This is a super sweet boy that loves attention.  He has a long road of recovery ahead of him.  Once he puts on a suitable amount of weight, he will be gelded.  Please consider making a donation towards Griffin’s Rehabilitation.

 

Victor E. 20140717Victor E. came into our rescue program on June 03, 2014. Victor E. came from the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division.  Victor E. is a Beautiful, Sorrel, Quarter Horse, Gelding.  Victor E.  is estimated to be 25 years of age. Victor E. is a body score of a 1.  He is infested with internal/external parasites.  This is a super sweet boy that loves attention.  He has a long road of recovery ahead of him.  Please consider making a donation towards Victor E’s Rehabilitation.

 

We have so many wonderful horses in our program, and so many with needs that ask for your assistance.  From horses with lameness issues that need treated, to horses with severe fungus issues, emaciation, wounds, hernia surgeries, castrations, EPM Treatment, teeth floating, vaccinations, deworming, etc.,  Our horses are our top priority and it takes a lot to properly care for so many rescued horses.  Whether you make a monetary donation, adopt a horse, or simply say a prayer for Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue, we truly appreciate your support.

 

Because of YOU and your heartfelt generosity, we are able to save these horses and many others from an uncertain death.  We ask for your assistance as we have so many more horses in our program that need your help.  Our average monthly expenses now total $8500.00.  If you can please help us, continue to save rescued horses, please make a donation to:

 

Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue

17667 Markita Drive

Jones, Oklahoma  73049 

or you can donate on-line through paypal @

www.blazesequinerescue.com

 

We are currently caring for 108 horses in our rescue program.  We have many wonderful horses that are seeking their forever, loving homes.  I hope that you will consider adopting a rescued horse.  Whether you are able to make a donation or adopt a rescued horse, both help us tremendously. 

 

Blaze’s 1st Annual Play Day

 

Come join us for a fun family day of horsing around on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at the Schrock Park Arena, West Main St, Tuttle, Oklahoma  73089.  We will have Barrels, Poles, Flags, and Bow Tie Events.  Cost is $10.00 per event, per rider on the day of the event without pre-registration.  Gates open at 4:00 pm, Books open at 5:00 pm and Events start at 7:00 pm.  We have ages from lead line to over 40!  All proceeds to benefit Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue. 

 

 

 

Blaze’s Haunt for the Horses Benefit Trail Ride

 

You are invited to join us October 25, 2014 for our 5th Annual Blaze’s Haunt for the Horses Benefit Trail Ride at Bell Cow Lake, Chandler, Oklahoma.  Check in begins @ 9:00 am. Guided and Self Paced rides will begin to leave at 10:00 am.  Lunch will be served at the pavilion at 12:30 and the costume contest starts at 2:00 pm.  Come join us for treats on the trail, door prizes, drawing, and good times with friends.  All proceeds benefit Blaze’s Equine Rescue.  Watch the website for early registration.  Registration covers T-Shirt, Lunch, and Trail Fee’s.  Paid pre-registration guarantees ride T-Shirt in your size.  For more information please call Leslie Brown @ 405-245-7309 or Natalee Cross @ 405-399-3084. 

 

 

 

4th Annual Blaze’s Ride to the Rescue Trainers Challenge

 

 

They say they can gentle an untrained horse.  “The Challenge is an event designed to showcase the skills of local equine trainers, while increasing the adoptability of previously untrained rescued horses”. 

 

Mark your calendars and plan to join us May 2nd, 2015 at the Lazy E Arena, Guthrie, Oklahoma for our 4th Annual Blaze’s Ride to the Rescue Trainers Challenge.  We will be accepting applications soon for local trainers.  If you are a Horse Trainer and interested in competing in our 4th Annual Blaze’s Ride to the Rescue Trainers Challenge, please email [email protected] and request the application.  We have made many changes to the Trainers Challenge, with a completely different competition format.  We can’t wait for you to see the new and improved Trainers Challenge.  

 

 

 

 

 

Success Stories

 

This is why we do what we do!  Success stories like this, is the reward for our countless hours of dedication, every last penny spent to save a life, the countless time we have fallen in love and the numerous times we have cried over a life lost.  This is why we sacrifice our needs daily, to see the wonderful success of a rescued horse and their adopter.  Every horse is different and every horse responds and works differently with different people.  We try our hardest to match the right horse with the right person.  It breaks our hearts, when it doesn’t work.  But, the pure joy and pride you feel, when you see the successful relationship, is indescribable.  See below for just a few of our success stories.

 

“I adopted little Miss Sno-Pea from you guys last August!  When she first arrived she was scared and very shy.  Since then she has really opened up, she comes when she’s called and behaves so well with children.  Her two favorite things to do (other than eating and more eating) is giving out rides to kids and tagging along on the trail rides.”

Chumley 20140717

“This is Chumley.  He was part of the 60 something horses rescued in April 2013.  I don’t know what he’s been thru in his 20 years but I do know he will NEVER know hunger, neglect, or abuse again!  He is such a joy to be around, loves to hang out with Doc, my only other male horse but his favorite buddy is June, my 30 something mare.  He always brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.  I’m blessed to have him J Thank you Blaze’s!”

 Chumley2 20140717

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support!!  We wouldn’t be here today, without each and every one of you!!  Thank you on behalf of the entire Blaze’s Family!  So many horses would be lost without you! 

 

Over 1168 horses saved in the last 13 years!

Oklahoma Shelter Animal Survey

posted July 15th, 2014 by
Spay First Logo 2

by Ruth Steinberger

for The Kirkpatrick Foundation

Read the entire  2014 Spay FIRST Survey

The Oklahoma Shelter Animal Survey was designed to examine the myriad of factors that affect the numbers and conditions of unwanted dogs and cats in Oklahoma. We gathered data on shelter access, shelter protocols, affordable spay/neuter programs, household incomes and population density in order to present a matrix that describes the lives of at-risk pets.  We hope that this information will help to define the challenges facing those who strive to help homeless animals; we hope this information will empower their efforts.

We surveyed municipal shelters regarding general practices and asked for 1) the number of animals received, 2) the number euthanized, 3) method of euthanasia and carcass disposal, 4) what agency typically handles cruelty complaints, 5) are animals adopted out already altered or with a spay/neuter contract, 6) if a contract is used, is it enforced, 7) an estimate on number of calls for help from outside of jurisdiction, 8) is there a tag and/or spay neuter ordinance and, 9) is it enforced?   We truly appreciate the officers who spent time speaking with us.  We located as many as we learned of; please let us know if you see shelters that are not included in the survey.  It will remain online and information will be added in as it gets to us. Whenever animals are at risk, information about them is vital.

Because population is generally concentrated near highways, the information cites highway corridors in order to give the reader a visual description of the data.  The number of people per square mile is cited for each county because that information, combined with income levels, indicates the depth of the tax base that supports public services, including animal sheltering.

Many people care about the animals. However, in small cities in Oklahoma it is typical for a part time worker to manage the shelter and be responsible for other public works as well; animal welfare often takes a back seat.  Fewer than one fourth of cities have procedures that actually support compliance with the 1986 Oklahoma Dog and Cat Sterilization Act, a law intended to keep shelter animals from giving birth to more unwanted animals; many do not keep records of the number of animals handled and 28 shelters refused to return calls or told us they would not discuss their shelter policies with the public.    A small number of shelters regularly shoot at least some of the animals; shooting was earlier deemed a humane method of killing and to be acceptable for Oklahoma towns and cities with populations under 10,000 people.   That population describes over three quarters of Oklahoma municipalities.

Sensitive comments were excluded from this data.  Staff reports of using gunshot to kill dogs are not listed, as we could not confirm the information with city officials. Other shelters without licensed euthanasia technicians, and which refused to speak with us, may do likewise.

Unless the animal is being released to a research facility, there is no mandatory record keeping on the intakes, hold times and disposal of sheltered animals in Oklahoma.

With the exception of Broken Arrow all Oklahoma cities at or close to populations of 100,000 (Oklahoma City, City of Tulsa, City of Norman, City of Lawton) provided actual numbers for this survey.  With the exception of Broken Arrow the large cities sterilize all animals before release; Broken Arrow continues to release intact kittens and puppies.     Large population cities adopt out the greatest volume of shelter animals, meaning that it is likely that most shelter animals in Oklahoma are altered before release.

However, a steady flow of intact animals are released from shelters in rural areas that concomitantly have the least access to shelters overall, keep few records and have the lowest levels of income and law enforcement staffing per population; these areas lag far behind in terms of prevention, shelter access and animal welfare. The offspring of pets which are released to county homes that allow them to have a litter are without the original safety net of the shelter that originally released the parent, a situation that represents a decline in safety for the pets.

Two components have the greatest impact on the numbers of, and quality of life of, at-risk animals; the first is convenient access to affordable spay/neuter  programs  so  households may  prevent unwanted  litters  (see  map  on page  62), and the  second is  whether  or  not the  local municipality operates an animal collection facility that strives to engage best practices. We assessed the portion of households in each county that have access to a shelter and which do not (pp 63-73).    Those without shelter access are left to their own devices to deal with a stray or unwanted animal. A lack of sheltering makes abandonment into a de facto solution.

To describe access to spay/neuter services we focused on households earning under $25,000 per year, those earning under $35,000 per year and whether or not the home has access to services that charge under 90 percent of a day’s take home pay at minimum wage ($48 to $53) for a spay or neuter, the services are located within 40 miles from the county and are able to provide an appointment within 30 days.  We used those parameters as gas money, time lost from work and other incidentals add to the cost.

We focused on those two particular income groups because $35,000 has been defined as a threshold under which there is a significant decline in neutering of pets [JAVMA, Vol 234, No.8, April 15, 2009] and almost one third of US households earn under $25,000 per year [Census.gov].  The volume of Oklahoma households in these income groups is higher than the national average; data at the bottom of each map comp ares the corridor to the national and state average.   Spay/neuter events such as Spay Day events were not included as spay/neuter access for the purpose of this survey.

It is a bit complicated to describe the number of homes with access to an animal shelter. A little known state statute limits sheltering to counties with populations exceeding 200,000 people, and only three out of 77 Oklahoma counties meet that population.  This statute creates a lack of infrastructure and a lot of suffering; legislative resistance to changing that law has come from county commissioners’ organi zations. Because of this statute people living within a town or city that is within a certain county have access to a shelter, those living in the county do not.

Our vision was to understand at-risk animals in the contexts in which they live and to define as many factors as possible that affect their lives.

In 19 Oklahoma counties, between 17 and 24 percent of households earn under $10,000 per year; 14 of those counties do not have easy access to affordable spay/neuter services, most have minimal access to sheltering and sheltering in these counties is generally not compliant with good practices.  We called these the ‘crisis counties.’  Law enforcement staffing in the crisis counties operates at 15 to 40 percent of the national level of law enforcement staffing (see pages 76-77).  Infrastructure for stopping neglect is poor as in these 19 counties as, 1) it is virtually impossible for many homes to prevent litters because they cannot afford to have pets spayed at full service prices, clinics are far away and our state license plate fund is underfunded, 2) there is little household access to shelters at which to release an unwanted animal and 3) deputies handle two to five times the number of cases as their counterparts in other states, making investigation of cruelty or abandonment problematic.

Abandonment is described as a problem in all Oklahoma counties; if we presume that most do not have a fairy tale ending, it is safe to say that conservatively thousands of animals are at-risk of becoming abandoned and subject to cruelty that are never even counted.

We collected data from phone calls, and relied on Census.gov and Dept of Justice (DoJ) for statistics regarding population, income and law enforcement staffing.   We made at least three attempts to reach shelters before deeming them unwilling to speak.   Those that personally refused to respond are listed as such. Shelters were asked to provide either actual or estimated numbers.

We extend our warmest thanks to the officers and county workers who generously shared their time to provide insights, observations and guidance as we sought to understand these issues.   Many officers expressed the desire to see meaningful change for homeless animals in our state and we know they truly meant it.  We thank the Kirkpatrick Foundation for generous funding, and Program Director Paulette Black, Executive Director Louisa McCune and survey coordinator Kristi Wicker for their thoughtful guidance as this survey developed.   Thank you to Spay Oklahoma for support of my role in this endeavor, to the Spay FIRST board for supporting all efforts to help animals that are left out in the cold and to Melanie Anderson for the connections that brought us together.  Last but certainly not least, a very warm thank y ou to Vanessa Wandersee of Mission, SD, a dedicated research assistant who spent countless hours reaching out to shelters and documenting the status of companion animals in Oklahoma.  Her compassion toward animals, and insight about the communities they live in, contributed greatly to this document.

Thank you and we hope you will join us in seeking greater accountability for the lives of homeless pets in Oklahoma.

Sincerely,

Ruth Steinberger

[email protected]

 

 

July / August OKC Pets Magazine

posted July 13th, 2014 by
20140715

Security breach

posted July 5th, 2014 by
Lauren Pic 6

My dog’s fenced in yard experienced a breach of security this week after the gate was left wide open.

We had our yard sprayed for pests and the worker forgot to close the gate behind him.

This is something I usually double check when anyone works in our yard. But sometimes life gets in the way and it slipped my mind.

When I let my dogs out later that afternoon only one came back when I opened the door and called them.

I was first panicked and then furious with myself for forgetting to double check the gate. Although it should be a reasonable expectation to have your yard and home left as it was found if someone needs to work on your property. People are only human and mistakes are made.

But to all of the workers who must enter someone’s yard for any number of reasons: meter reading, pest control, yard work, AC repair, the list goes on… Please, please try remember to shut and latch the gate behind you.

This small step will keep dog mommas (and little kid mommas) everywhere grateful.

Thankfully, I found my advantage-taking dog frolicking only a street over. He was hot and thirsty but otherwise unharmed. And for that I am truly grateful.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

escapelarge

My adventurer, back in his own yard. Sorry, buddy.

Zoes Kitchen

posted July 5th, 2014 by
Ween Pic 16

Ween Pic 15 Zoes Kitchen

is a fast-casual chain that has recently opened up at 14110 Pennsylvania Avenue. (Grammar nerd mom is trying not to be bugged too much by the lack of an apostrophe in their name.) It features Mediterranean-inspired wraps, sandwiches, salads, and entrees.

The patio is pretty decent-sized for a non sit-down restaurant. We didn’t bother asking if I was allowed since it is a walk-on patio. Mom did some quick research and saw that most of the Zoes in Texas are pet-friendly so she figured we were good.

Mom got a grilled chicken pita (pictured) and Pops got a tuna salad pita. The food is pretty straightforward and fresh. Read More…

Plaza Sunday is this Sunday, July 6th, in the Plaza District. We may finally try out Empire Slice House because our favorite waiter from Urban Wineworks works there now.

See you on the scene!