General Interest

PAWS for MAPS 4 Included!

posted August 23rd, 2019 by
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PAWS for MAPS 4

 PAWS for MAPS 4

 

Dear Partners, Friends, Volunteers, and Supporters,Moments ago, the MAPS 4 package was officially posted on the City Council agenda. I’m thrilled to tell you that the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter is included in the overall package at $38 million!

 

 

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CONGRATULATIONS to all of you who worked tirelessly and lent your voice on behalf of the voiceless—the more than 21,000 animals that enter the Oklahoma City animal shelter each year. There have been many hurdles to cross in this year-long endeavor, but none bigger that the news shared within the last hour. WE ARE IN!

 

 

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To the tens of thousands of animal advocates, volunteers, funders, nonprofit leaders, and city employees who devote their lives to creating humane outcomes for animals of all kinds—this is a moment to rejoice in! A new animal shelter for Oklahoma City promises to be a game changer—here, statewide, and even nationwide. Today’s great news never would have happened without the big and small efforts of more than five thousand animal-loving Oklahoma City residents. A toast to you all! Thank you.Importantly, our work is not done. In fact, in many ways, it’s just beginning. The next three days are critical. It is vital that the City Council unite around the entire MAPS 4 package in a spirit of all for one and one for all. To that end, I encourage each of you to galvanize around the whole of MAPS 4—all projects, all proposals. The Animal Shelter is in the same league and on the same team as each of the other projects. Now is the time to join forces and act as one. MAPS 4 truly offers something for every single one of our residents. Not one of us is left behind. Indeed, MAPS 4 is the symbol of a city in full.

 

Right now, the most important thing you can do now is advocate for MAPS 4 in three ways:

1) Contact your city councilor if you haven’t already, today, and let them know that you are an animal advocate who supports the whole MAPS package. (Be sure to identify yourself as a PAWS for MAPS 4 supporter or animal shelter advocate and include your residential address.)

 

2) Begin the process of getting your organization to endorse MAPS 4. Each endorsement will matter, no matter how large or small your group is.

 

3) Join us in the City Council chamber at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday to demonstrate your support for MAPS 4. WEAR RED!

 

We’ve successfully crossed many hurdles over the last year and particularly the last few months. With a successful YES vote this Tuesday, the campaign for the hearts and minds of Oklahoma City municipal voters begins in earnest. We want you to be a part of it! 

 

As ever,

Louisa McCune

Education Director

PAWS for MAPS 4

 

 PAWS for MAPS 4

Network for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims

posted August 12th, 2019 by
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Network for Pets

New organization seeks to help pets of domestic violence victims

A new Oklahoma-based charitable organization aims to help domestic violence victims reach safety with their beloved companion animals. The Network for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims is dedicated to connecting animal care resources with the domestic violence shelters that need them. Many victims will delay leaving a dangerous situation if they cannot bring their pet with them, however, most domestic violence shelters do not have the facilities for companion animal care. NPDVV aims to bridge the gap. Domestic violence shelters seeking assistance as well as animal shelters, veterinarians, and potential pet fosters simply fill out the form on the website at www.npdvv.org. The information is then added to the growing database and matched based on location. The domestic violence shelter is provided with a list of contacts for available animal care resources in their area. By having this information in advance, domestic violence shelters can save precious time and can welcome more victims with pets to safety. Jonna Whetsel, a veterinary student at Oklahoma State University, is the organization’s founder. The idea was conceived in April 2017 while working on a project for a master’s program in veterinary forensic science. Whetsel was tasked with creating a training presentation addressing the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence. As she built the presentation illustrating how animal shelters and veterinarians can help domestic violence shelters, she decided to lead by example. She finished the presentation and added a companion website, which became the basis for the Network for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims. After two years of working on the concept, the first week of its release has proven to be a success. Whetsel says there has been a tremendous outpouring of support and that the NPDVV site has already begun to receive form submissions from several states. To learn more about the program and what you can do to help pets of domestic violence victims, please visit www.npdvv.org.

### For more information, please contact Jonna Whetsel at [email protected]

Facial Recognition Tech

posted May 31st, 2019 by
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Oklahoma Humane Society

OKLAHOMA HUMANE SOCIETY USING NEW FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY FOR LOST PETS

Partnering with Finding Rover using revolutionary technology to identify lost pets in Oklahoma

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – May 2, 2019 – Oklahoma Humane Society joins the ranks of shelters and rescues across the nation in using facial recognition technology to identify lost dogs and cats.

Now every dog and cat that enters the Oklahoma Humane Society system becomes registered on Finding Rover. Users of Finding Rover can search OK Humane and surrounding areas right from their smartphone or computer in efforts to find their missing pet, a neighbor’s missing pet, or the family of a found pet.

Every dog and cat that leaves Oklahoma Humane Society, through a reunion or an adoption, can remain protected on Finding Rover when the pet parent registers on Finding Rover with the same email address that OK Humane has on file. If that dog or cat ever gets lost, their record will already be in the system, and identifying that pet will be a snap.

Registration of your pet is FREE and as simple as 1, 2, 3! Just go to www.FindingRover.com and:

  1. Upload your pet’s photo
  2. Enter a few details about your pet
  3. Enter your name, email address, and zip code

That’s it! Once your pets are registered, they’re protected for life.

“Dogs and cats are beloved family members, and if he or she goes missing, it can be devastating to everyone involved. We want to do everything we can to safeguard our pets from being lost forever. Registering on Finding Rover is another step all pet parents should take to further protect their furry family members.” — John Polimeno, CEO and Founder of Finding Rover.

You can view search for lost pets with just a click on our Finding Rover website widget on our “Lost A Pet” page at okhumane.org!

Helpful links:

Finding Rover is online at www.FindingRover.com

Finding Rover is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FindingRover/

Finding Rover is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/findingrover

Together our community can become the NUMBER ONE user of this new technology. Register for FREE on Finding Rover today and help spread the word! The more people that are registered on Finding Rover, the more we can all help reunite lost dogs and cats with their families and place adoptable pets in now homes. In doing this we can all help to save more lives!

###

About Oklahoma Humane Society

The Oklahoma Humane Society is the largest animal-related charity in the state of Oklahoma with the goal of eliminating euthanasia in our community through pet adoption, spay and neuter, out-of-state pet relocation, community cats, and saving infants through our neonate nursery.  We are an independent 501(c) 3 non-profit unaffiliated with the Humane Society of the United States and receive no government funding or tax dollars. Visit www.okhumane.org to learn more.

Willie the Crow

posted May 26th, 2019 by
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Willie the Crow

Willie the Crow – Certified Great Read!

Linda Harkey just won the RWYK (Reading With Your Kids) award – Certified Great Read Status for her picture book “The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow” (A Hickory Doc’s Tale).

Here is the link of the video that was created and published on their YouTube Channel to announce the achievement of her book.

The Remarkable Story Of Willie The Crow” by Linda Harkey | RWYK Certified Great Read

Willie the Crow

Conscientious Dog Owner

posted April 22nd, 2019 by
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Conscienteous b

How to be a Conscientious Dog Owner

by   Nick Burton

Conscienteous

 

As a dog owner, it may be a shock to learn that not everyone shares your love for man’s best friend. You see Spot as more than a companion; he is an essential member of your family. You accept his flaws, laugh when he tracks mud in your kitchen and love when he answers your hugs with sloppy face licks.

Others, like those you run into during a walk and your neighbors,  probably won’t share your enthusiasm, so here are a few tips to make sure that your dog isn’t a disturbance.

 

You are the master — be in control

A courteous dog owner values the importance of obedience. Some people shun training because they believe it requires a certain amount of meanness toward the dog, but it is, in fact, a crucial element to your dog’s happiness. Think about what happens in the absolute absence of obedience training. An untrained dog will likely be aggressive, destroy property and possibly hurt someone. This undesirable behavior is not because the dog is “bad,” but because he doesn’t know any better. Dogs are pack animals that look to a pack leader for guidance on correct behavior. And for your dog, you are the pack leader.

 

Train for courtesy, and your sanity

Obedience training will accomplish several goals. People appreciate a friendly, well-trained dog. It’s easier than you think to instill good behavior in your dog because your canine companion naturally wants to be led.

Consider two typical problem dog behaviors: pulling on leashes during walks and excessive barking. Simple repetition of expected actions during walks can nip lousy leash habits. Take steps to calm a dog as part of the walking process, such as slowly pulling on the leash, then stopping to do a few household tasks. This doesn’t confuse your dog, it reinforces the need for restraint and cements your position as the one in control.

Dog barking is similarly best curtailed as a process of establishing acceptable behavior, but also requires some common-sense tactics on your part. Ignoring barking, refraining from yelling (to your dog, it’s like you’re barking along with him), teaching the “quiet” command and asking for incompatible behavior such as giving a treat for going to his bed when another dog passes the house – are all training-based ways to limit barking.

If you need additional weapons in your training arsenal, look to training accessories. For example, some people opt for clicker training, others like to use training collars. The latter can be particularly effective at behavior modification, especially if your dog has a tendency to bark at the mailman or ignores commands. Whatever method you choose, remember that you’re helping your dog be a model animal citizen.

 

Wear him out

A tired dog is usually a well-behaved dog. And remember, by keeping your dog active, you’re not only helping him to expend pent-up energy, but you’re also contributing to his health and fitness. Avoid missing walks and play time to ensure your dog’s behavior doesn’t falter. If you need the extra help, look into hiring a regular pet sitter to help your dog get in his daily steps when you’re stuck at work.

 

Protect the planet from pooch poop

A courteous, well-behaved dog owner, of course, picks up after their pet. Make sure dog waste is bagged and properly disposed of during a walk – every time. And, since dog feces contain numerous nasty pathogens, it’s essential to remove it from your yard quickly, too. A yard full of dog poop is not just your problem – it can be a neighborhood eyesore, foul-smelling and unhealthy for your dog.

 

Accept others’ opinions

Not everyone is going to love your dog. Your pet could sit quietly and happily in his poop-free yard, and your neighbor across the street may still complain. Some just aren’t dog people. You may think non-dog lovers are missing out on a joy of life, but they disagree. And research suggests that the benefits of dog ownership may be exaggerated. Resist the need as a die-hard dog lover to defend the species. Accept their opinion, and do your best to prove them wrong through training and proper dog ownership practices.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

Luna the Therapy Dog

posted March 26th, 2019 by
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THE LOVE AND LIFE OF LUNA THE THERAPY DOG

By Heide Brandes

 

Nacole Schopfer’s mother was unable to speak or walk. When Nacole visited her mother in hospice care, the only way they could communicate was through hand signals. It was a depressing and hard time for them both.

 

But when Nacole started bringing her new snow-white Husky pup named Luna to the nursing home on visits, she noticed a change in her mom’s attitude.

 

“I just saw the huge impact that Luna had on my mom and how much happier my mom became. Luna was really good at it. She would always walk up to the bed and say hi to mom,” said Nacole. “My mom was unable to walk or speak, but when Luna would come and visit, it would just make her day. She’d be smiling and happy, and that was a huge thing. And the other residents, they loved Luna too.”

 

Although Nacole already had two other dogs, she had an idea that Luna could be more than just a pet and a companion. She had an impact on people. She had a calming influence on people. She could help people.

 

“Once I realized that she was a really good fit for therapy work, I started looking more into it,” Nacole said.

 

Thanks to training and an eager spirit, Luna is now known as “Luna The Therapy Dog.” Every month, she and Nacole visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools and more to help others deal with stress and other life challenges.

 

For the white dog with the fluffy tail and bright pink booties on, helping others seems to come naturally.

 

THE LIFE OF LUNA

Nacole found Luna as a puppy through a Craigslist ad in December 2014. She had two other dogs already, but she had always wanted a Husky. Knowing that Huskies are a high-energy and intelligent breed, she also knew Luna would need training.

 

“Luna went through training with Kira Schultz Area Pet Trainer. We took six- to eight-week classes at PetSmart—beginner, intermediate, advanced and therapy. And before her therapy class started, we took our Canine Good Citizen test and passed that,” Nacole said. “Kira is able to do the testing for therapy and Canine Good Citizen, but not every PetSmart trainer is. After all of those classes and training, we tested with Alliance of Therapy Dogs and became certified in June.”

 

Training Luna early and daily was the secret to her becoming a natural for therapy work. Exposing the young hound to the nursing home environment to visit Nacole’s mother also helped.

 

“Luna was able to visit my mom without being certified because my mom was a resident, and Luna was so well behaved,” she said. “I saw the huge positive impact it had not just on my mom but on other residents as well, so we decided to become a certified therapy team.”

 

After her PetSmart training, Luna didn’t have to go through all of the training to pass the test with ATD, but Nacole wanted her to be the best therapy dog possible, and with that comes lots of training.

 

“But I thoroughly enjoy it; it’s such a bonding experience,” Nacole said.

 

A DOG’S LIFE

Once Luna received her therapy dog certification, the requests for her came quickly. Within that same month, Luna and Nacole made their first site visit to the First Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.

 

“I’m not sure if it was a preschool or daycare type of facility, but this school found Luna’s page on Facebook and messaged us to come out during the summer for an animal camp,” Nacole said. “We got to go and visit the kids, and we loved it. We had snow cones and the little kids got to read to her. Luna loved it. She loved all the kids hugging on her and all the attention that she got from the kids and the teachers.”

 

Seeing the success of Luna’s first visit, Nacole looked into other places to bring her. She emailed organizations throughout the metro, offering the pair’s services.

 

“We started visiting [the Academy of Contemporary Music] at UCO once a month to visit all the students and teachers there,” Nacole said. “They loved it, and seeing Luna was definitely stress relief for them. They call it their ‘Stress Paws’ event.”

 

Soon, Luna was in high demand. The team visited the University of Oklahoma Medical Center patients and staff, specifically patients who requested therapy dogs. Next, the two partnered with Good Shepherd Hospice and The Fountains at Canterbury (assisted living) to make visits as well.

 

While Luna and Nacole took the month of January off in remembrance of Nacole’s mother’s passing, the months fill up quickly for Luna.

 

“I can see how she gives stress relief. I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces, and they love interacting with her,” said Nacole. “We also do education. We did an education seminar at Dogtopia where I worked on the differences between service dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support animals because not many people know the differences among the three. We have another one planned for sometime in the spring.”

 

Nacole said Luna’s personality is what makes her so good with other people.

 

“She’s very curious, and she’s a character. She’s my most vocal dog, and she loves doing anything and everything,” said Nacole. “She’s also very courteous. She likes to know what’s going on all the time.”

 

Nacole also knows the responsibility and impact therapy dogs can have. It’s a responsibility she takes seriously.

 

“I know personally what it feels like to be a family member of a hospice patient. I was really, really close with my mom. So I understand how much having a therapy dog visit can brighten your day because you don’t always have people to come and visit,” she said. “I definitely wouldn’t be able to volunteer at hospice with a different dog or on my own. Luna is definitely my support, and I just want to spread her love and her joy to other people.”

 

The need for more therapy dogs in the area is growing. Many times, Luna and Nacole may be the only visitors residents and patients have every month.

 

“If you are interested, contact us. I can answer any questions,” Nacole said. “You should start training early because the dogs have to be OK with wheelchairs and noises and food and just a variety of situations.”

 

Luna now has her own following on Facebook and Instagram as well. You, too, can follow on Facebook @LunaTheTherapyHusky and on Instagram @luna.thetherapydog.

 

And when people see Luna, they also notice her hot pink and black booties.

 

“Everyone asks about the boots. Not only does it help to keep her feet sanitary and protect people from accidental scratches, it’s also how she knows she is working,” Nacole said. “It’s just so rewarding for both of us to help other people.”

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