Animal Advocacy

Here We Go Again

posted January 15th, 2016 by
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Here We Go Again! – A Cat Tale

by Camille Hulen
As I sit here and watch this kitten gaze into my eyes, I cannot help but think: “Here we go again!” This little girl came to me on Thanksgiving Day from a litter of three orphans. One kitten was already dead, with mama cat nowhere to be found. As spring approaches, this scenario will play out all too often. Fortunately, this girl and her brother were in good shape and readily took a bottle. Others will not be so lucky.
What can you do? Spay and neuter now before the major mating season begins!
You, the TulsaPets reader, probably think I sound like a broken record because you care about your pets. However, the Tulsa area still has a problem with pet overpopulation. Statistics for 2014 are incomplete as of this writing, but here is the depressing news for 2013 from Tulsa Animal Welfare: 3,785 cats were taken in, and 2,562 were euthanized! This doesn’t even include dogs or animals from suburbs such as Broken Arrow, Sapulpa or Owasso.
Nationally, some progress is being made on pet sterilization. I was excited to read recently in a Wall Street Journal article, “Too Many Dogs: A Simple Solution,” about a new chemical method for males which could be significantly cheaper—as low as $1 per animal. It consists of an injection of calcium chloride into the testicles and requires only a light sedative with no need for anesthesia or incisions. This method has been studied primarily on dogs but could be applicable to cats as well. An extensive study was done in India, and calcium chloride has been used on dogs on the Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. Closer to home, an animal shelter in Lawton, Okla., has been using it since last spring.
Although the calcium chloride research goes back to the 1970s, it has not been approved by the FDA. It is such a common chemical that it cannot be patented, so drug companies have no motivation to invest the money ($10 million, according to the Wall Street Journal) for FDA approved trials. A few local veterinarians with whom I spoke seemed somewhat ambivalent.
Ruth Steinberger of SpayFirst! says her organization uses calcium chloride, but did not run blindly into the method without first conducting research. They had testosterone tests run at the endocrine lab at Colorado State University. After reading all of the already conclusive research, they still worked on this for months before feeling that they had enough data to support using it in the field. On another front, an approved sterilant called Zeuterin should be available for about $20 per animal to nonprofits.
Regarding feral cats specifically, most experts feel that sterilizing females is more effective than working on males. If a female goes into season, it doesn’t matter how many males in the colony are fixed; one from somewhere will likely find her. Neutering colony males only stops that particular male from being the father; it may not prevent a litter. But another chemical, megestrol acetate, is being tested on female cats. This is added to canned food on a weekly basis. It could be beneficial when a feral colony is being fed but cannot be captured. Apparently this method has been known about for decades, but is being ignored because there is no profit in it.
While a few dedicated researchers continue their studies in new methods, education of the public is the biggest challenge. Not everyone knows about the low-cost spay and neuter clinics available. What’s worse, not enough people care! My hope in writing this article is to bring this problem to your attention once again. When I tell people the sad story of how many cats are euthanized (I prefer the word “killed”) everyday, they are shocked. They cite rescue societies without realizing that they are always overloaded.
Locally, SpayOK is a great resource, with two locations in Tulsa, and StreetCats issues vouchers for low-cost spay/neuters. Both Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and StreetCats have traps available for loan. Please spread the word. We do not need more homeless orphans like the kitten pictured here. Let’s continue to speak out for her and others who cannot speak for themselves.

Dumped to Die

posted January 11th, 2016 by
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Dumped to die is something that no one who loves animals will ever understand!  How can people can drive to a deserted place and put a box of puppies on the side of the road …then drive away.  Or leave them next to a mailbox……by the railroad tracks……or in a dumpster.  For those who are in rescue, it causes high blood pressure, insomnia and anger management issues to name a few.

It may not be an epidemic in rural, northeastern, Oklahoma, but it sure feels and looks like it is.  How someone can look at themselves in the mirror, face their family and live with the memory that they sentenced innocent puppies to death – – – puppies who had no voice – – who were born because oh dear lord we can’t spay our momma dog and we sure aren’t going to neuter our male.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  Then you take care of the offspring, raise them yourself and provide for them.  But do not dump them!!!!

There is an organization,  The Link Coalition, which tracks animal, child and spousal abuse.  There is a connection between the three.  Oklahoma has a high percentage of child abuse and spousal abuse per capita ratios.  If we tracked dumped, abandoned dogs we would be shocked.

The answer – is spay/neuter.  If you have a litter of puppies that need a home and you’re not willing to get the mother dog fixed, I have no words to describe how angry/sad that makes all of us who, every day, look into the eyes of scared, homeless dogs and work tirelessly to find them new homes.

I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again.  Oklahomans make a difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kay Stout, Director 

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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Going to the Dogs

posted January 3rd, 2016 by
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Going to the Dogs

Pet Amenities Aren’t a Luxury Anymore

From Multi-Housing News

by Keith Loria

Pet amenities aren’t a luxury anymore—they’re expected.

The American Pet Products Association estimates that approximately 60 percent of all Americans own at least one pet, with nearly 80 million dogs and 96 million cats as part of that lofty figure.

“That’s a significant amount of prospective renters,” said Gina Bertagnolli Slater, regional property manager for Pinnacle, Las Vegas. “For our pet owners their furry friends are family. Our ability to provide an extraordinary experience for the entire family is paramount in fulfilling our mission of consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations—and that includes their pets.”

The rental housing market adapted to the fact that people consider their pets as family members, and property owners are focusing more and more each year on pet-friendly amenities and services to attract and retain residents with pets. It’s a view shared by many in the multifamily business today, with developers doing all they can to attract people (especially Millennials) with pets, and companies adding a host of pet-friendly services and amenities to their communities.

Features like pet parks, pet spas, pet concierge services, and even pet welcome gifts are becoming more common for people moving into apartments. Plus, with the number of Millennials moving into urban cores where there are fewer opportunities to care for a pet, it makes it even more vital to cater to the pet lover.

“In most growing and developed urban markets around the United States, pets, specifically dogs, are the children of condominium and multifamily building residents,” said Scott Leventhal, president & CEO of The Trillist Companies. “Failing to cater to the needs of the full extension of someone’s family provides a shortfall in services. That is why we see the importance to provide those services to our residents.”

That’s why the Trillist Companies installed Pet Respite into its buildings, which provides pet grooming facilities that call to mind mini-spas for four-legged friends. Some even include indoor pet relief areas. Lisa Newton, Hines’ vice president of multifamily, said trends show people continue to spend a significant amount of time and money on their fur-babies and savvy pet owners will seek out apartment communities that provide the amenities needed to cater to their pets. “At a minimum, we are seeing pet waste stations, outdoor dog runs and indoor washing facilities,” she said. “However, pet spas/grooming services, doggie day cares, rooftop dog parks, and personalized walking services are becoming more popular—especially in urban areas where there may be limited amounts of grassy areas.”

Kevin Sheehan, senior managing director of real estate for Greystar, Charleston, S.C., said many of the Greystar communities host pet-friendly events such as “Yappy Hours,” pet costume contests, and other get-togethers to encourage responsible pet adoption from area shelters. “Some communities sponsor pet training seminars, and coordinate dog walking services as well as bringing in mobile pet groomers that visit the community on a regular basis,” he said. “Owners are taking advantage of underutilized areas within the community to create dog parks and pet washing stations to help attract this renter demographic.”

Stephen Santola, executive vice president and general counsel for Woodmont Properties, noted that about 10 years ago, a number of high-end luxury rental communities were not allowing pets. “Since the entire Woodmont executive team is filled with dog owners, we were surprised at this ‘pet discrimination,’” he said. So the company has added amenities designed to make pet care easy and fun. Now, dog runs and “pooper scooper stations” are included in every Woodmont community.

Additionally, indoor pet washing stations have been added to each over the last year.
“Dog owners have a safe, clean and free place to wash their dog, thus saving them time and frustration of an outdoor hose or money with a professional pet groomer,” Santola said. “As apartment owners, we prefer clean pets in our apartments, so making a quick shampoo easy on our residents means more clean and happy dogs in our communities. It also helps prevent residents from using our bathroom sinks or tubs for pet shampoos.”

Something different
Thinking outside the box is often a way to attract pet owners. At Avana Alexandria, for instance, Greystar recently added a dog park with an agility course that has been a huge hit with its residents.

The Aphora at Marina San Pablo in Jacksonville, Fla., has a designated pet elevator to better accommodate those with pets, as well as a pet spa and grooming station. The Oaks of Vernon Hills, Northbrook, Ill., is a 304-unit rental community that has a dog park and hosts monthly “Yappy Hours,” held the first Saturday of each month. “We know that pet amenities are an important consideration for renters in a lifestyle community like The Oaks,” said Matt Nix, principal of REVA Development Partners, developer of The Oaks. “We wanted to go beyond just allotting space for a dog park and provide a place for our residents, both two-legged and four-legged, to get out and get to know their neighbors.”

Darren Pierce, director of asset management for Crescent Communities, noted creative programming and events that cater to pets and innovative, integrated spaces are some ways to stand out to pet lovers. For example, one of its communities in Atlanta has an artistic water feature where dogs can play, and it’s bordered by tables with WiFi so owners can watch their pets and get work done.

Over the last few years, Camden, Houston, Texas, invested in creating outdoor spaces that pet-loving residents can use, including gated pet parks where dogs can be off-leash. Some properties include agility equipment and washing stations.

In development
Next summer, YOO on the Park in Atlanta, rising above midtown Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, will open and include indoor pet facilities as well as dog grooming and a pet spa.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, slated for delivery in 2016, will house an elite pet spa suite, where residents can bring their pets for grooming and bathing at self-serve stations or arrange for a specialized grooming service or dog-walking appointment with an experienced professional.

Coming in 2018, Paramount’s 60-story Miami Worldcenter will include an expansive six-acre upper deck, spanning 120 feet above downtown Miami and will include a designated dog park and a 0.5 km jogging path that will allow residents to take an invigorating run with their pet without leaving the confinements of their home.
An increased amount of pet amenity offerings are also providing an opportunity for residents to mix and mingle, as many who are pet owners have forged new friendships in dog parks or at the pet events.

“As a way to further enhance the resident experience, we are leveraging technology to foster the pet owner community within the communities that we manage,” Sheehan said. “We are able to establish pet-walking and play groups at our properties that provide a way for our residents with pets (and their four-legged companions) to interact and get to know each other.” In today’s world, pet amenities aren’t just a luxury, they’re expected.

PAAS 2015

posted December 29th, 2015 by
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2015 has been a year of firsts for PAAS.

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PAAS opened our doors on April 17th.  By May 17th it was clear we needed to implement a plan B in order to save the homeless dogs and cats in our area.Plan B was transport out-of-state.  Thanks to Denver Dumb Friends League, Boulder Valley Humane Society and Cheyenne Animal Welfare 255+ dogs have found new homes.  Cats – – we’re still working on a solution – – it may be The Netherlands!!!

Miss Ruby is first on the video – she was our first rescue (pregnant – sick – malnourished).  Her puppies quickly found homes in Wyoming.  Miss Ruby now lives the life of luxury in Enid, OK.  Our fantastic volunteers, Tom & Vicki, established the Richardson Birthing Center – the go-to place for all our pregnant dogs.

We’re busy, we’re saving lives and we’re so grateful for all the financial support – –

Watch the video – – support our mission – – help us save lives.

http://tinyurl.com/zmqzrmw                Donate Now

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

The Gift of Life

posted December 18th, 2015 by
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The Gift of Life

The spirit of giving is alive and well at the Richardson Birthing and Special Needs Center, a division of PAAS Vinita.   The following stories are written from the heart by Vicki who oversees the birthing center – – she and her husband Tom play key roles in saving the lives of special dogs.  It is truly a gift.

Over the past several years we have taken in, cared for and either adopted out or adopted ourselves, many special needs dogs. Crippled, cancer, very ill, heart disease, failure to thrive pups and kittens. They also need to be considered in the rescue world. When you look into their eyes and they look back, you can see them just asking for help. Let me recap just a few.
Camille, a little 6 yr. old mini doxie, was brought into Second Chance Shelter 3 years ago. She was pregnant, had massive infections on her skin and in her mouth. When it came time to have her pups, she was so weak, she couldn’t do it, so had a c-section. After they were weaned we noticed a nodule in one of her breasts. Removal and biopsy showed cancer, a slow growing one, but cancer never the less. 6 months later it came back and was removed again. 6 months after that, it was back, and the docs remove almost the entire breast. It never recurred after that, but no one was interested in adopting her, so we did. After 3 years of having her, we got a call from one of Tom’s high school friends that her father, actually the preacher that married Tom and I, had been recently widowed, and felt he needed a dog to keep him company. Tom took a couple of fosters we had and at the last minute, threw in Camille. She had done well with us, but was a very needy little girl, and had a difficult time sharing me with the other dogs. It was a match made in heaven. He has had her for 3 months now and adores her and spoils her rotten.
The GiftBubba Henry, a little shih tzu, paralyzed in the back legs, was pulled from a high kill shelter in OKC, on the day he was to be euthanized. He came to us a year ago. We worked with him, but the damage was too bad and we eventually got him a wheel chair. He is very sweet, loving and ours.
Strawberry, a little schnauzer, yorkie mix was stepped on by her mama when she was just a few days old. A young couple took her and raised her with such love and compassion, but financial and time constraints, forced them to look elsewhere for care for her. They knew she had very little quality of life, but were so attached to her they reached out to us to take her, instead of having her euthanized. She was about 7 months old at the time. She was very independent and determined to do what the other dogs did. We had her several months and worked with her legs, built her a wheelchair and she was eventually was adopted to a home where a 14 year old girl wanted a special needs pup. She is fiercely protective of her family now, and goes all over the ranch. Her legs have gotten stronger, and she even herds the goats.
There are many others, but will give just one more example. Little Skipper was brought into PAAS in Vinita. He was an older skipperke. His teeth were rotten, he couldn’t eat and was very weak. First thing they did, was get him to a foster home (us), and get his teeth cleaned. He gradually gained strength and after a month or so, was integrated into our family, running in the yard and laying in the sun. After 3 months a couple contacted the shelter. They saw his picture in the paper and were hoping that it was their little dog, they had been looking for for 3 months. It was and they were happily reunited a week ago.
Would it have been better to euthanize these dogs? This is usually what happens to dogs in these situations. But the wonderful people that adopted these dogs, love them in spite of, or maybe because, they are special.   They see the courage, determination, love and loyalty in their eyes and would not give them up for anything.

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

This Holiday Season

posted December 10th, 2015 by
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Holiday SeasonHoliday Season

This holiday season remember those who serve others.  Vicki oversees our birthing center and the following heartfelt story says it perfectly.  Remember the shelters and rescues – – they need your help and support.

As most of you know, we had another litter of puppies born at our house on Thanksgiving morning. These are blessed events are part of Tom and I’s ministry here on earth. We have had countless puppies born at our house. Some have needed c-sections, others, such as Foxy would have died in the birth process, if she had been left in a shelter. When we lived in California, I was well schooled in the birth process of dogs by my then boss, Dr. Sue Buxton. Little did I know how handy that would be when we moved to Oklahoma, but the all knowing Father knew. It is funny how things work out, if we just follow His lead. Sometimes I feel like I am going blindly, but have to trust. Tom and I feel blessed to be entrusted with the care of these little ones that we know are precious to Him, but sometimes forgotten.

Unfortunately, the need is great. We long for a time when the birthing tubs and boxes are no longer needed. When people learn that their animals need to be spayed and neutered. I am not talking about the quality breeders of specific breeds, but the puppy mills, and backyard breeders, and irresponsible dog owners that have clogged our shelters and streets with unwanted pets. These unwanted ones face horrible tortuous lives. We must all become conscious of this problem. As animal lovers, if each of us could take up the cause, it would make a big difference. It does not have to be rescue and fostering, although that is extremely important, it is not for everyone. You could be a volunteer at your local shelter, even those who think they have no skills, can learn. Walking dogs, cuddling kitties, tearing newspapers, working at the desk as a greeter, helping with computer work, cleaning cages. I did all of this before I found my niche, so did Tom. If you have time constraints, but have a few extra dollars, they would most be appreciated to help defray the enormous cost of this effort. If you are unable to do any of this, talk it up, encourage people to spay and neuter their pets, help out with one of the many spay and neuter clinics run in our area. We in the business call them SNEUTERS. Share posts of available dogs on Facebook. Unlimited opportunities are there for people that want to help. It will help the animals, and make you feel so blessed.

 

Kay Stout, Executive Director    PAAS, Vinita, Oklahoma    628 S Wilson  918-256-7227