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Pet-Safe Garage

posted July 31st, 2016 by
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Pet-Safe Garage

Pet parents are responsible for the safety of their furry friends. Many invest in high-tech or “green” pet food, toys and cleaners. Pets are considered part of the family and as such, are typically allowed to go practically anywhere in the home. But there is one place that might pose a threat to pets; the garage. The garage is a repository for all sorts of items, sharp tools, cars that might leak dangerous chemicals, or fertilizers. These items may not seem as dangerous to humans, but they can be deadly to pets. Updating a few things in the garage can transform the space into one that is safe for pets!  


Update Lighting:

The typical garage light is dim and poorly illuminates more than a few feet, leaving a good portion of the garage in shadow. Lighting is important when it comes to pulling the family vehicle in and out of the garage. Pets can easily vanish in the shadows and end up in the path of the car. To eliminate those shadowy spaces, switch garage lighting for updated bulbs or add additional lights.


Temperature Control:

Pet-SafeMost garages do not have proper insulation so they can get extremely cold in the winter or hot in the summer. Extreme temperatures and beloved pets do not mix. If pets are left in the garage for prolonged periods of time, it’s important to maintain an even and comfortable temperature. The garage door is the most vulnerable to fluctuating temperatures. Add insulated panels to your garage door or invest in a completely new door. It’s also a good idea to add weatherstripping to the garage door to seal the garage against extreme temperatures in winter and summer.


Secure Storage Options:

When you walk into your garage do you see garden tools propped up against the walls or stacks of boxes in the corner? Perhaps there is sports’ equipment strewn across the floor? These unreliable storage solutions could harm your furry best friend. They could easily knock items over onto themselves, which could lead to serious harm. Sharp items like shovels and saws should also be stored out of reach of pets. Instead of storing your items haphazardly in the garage, utilize the walls and ceiling. Invest in sturdy shelves or cabinets that easily get your items out of reach of your pets.


Separate Storage:Pet-Safe

Because garages are a  catch-all for countless items,these items sometimes get jumbled together. If homeowners are not careful, harmful chemicals could be stored right next to pet food or toys. It’s important to set aside a special and specific place for pet supplies. Store cleaning supplies, fertilizers, or other hazardous items safely behind lockable cabinet doors or up on shelves. Even if cleaning supplies are stored in plastic containers, it is better to store Fido’s gear elsewhere.


Be Aware:

This tip is closely related to the lighting tip, but takes it one step further. During the colder months, smaller pets – like cats seek warmth from a variety of places. Felines have been known to seek warmth in the wheelwell or under the hood of vehicles. Before you move any vehicles, it’s always a good idea to take a peek around to ensure no pets are napping nearby.


Pet Dishes and Food:

Pet-SafeIf you keep your pet’s food or water dishes in the garage, it’s wise to routinely check that no chemicals or pests have found their way into the dishes. Pet food should always be stored securely, but especially if it is being stored in the garage. Your furry friend’s food can attract some unwanted guests if left open. Don’t go straight for plastic containers for your pet food as they can contaminate it. The best solution for pet food storage is keeping the food in the original bag, inside a sealable container to avoid attracting pests and maintaining the healthiness of the food.


Oil, Gas or Chemical Spills:

Most vehicles will leak at some point in their lifespan, leaving pools of oil or coolant behind in the garage. These little spills can be deadly to curious pets. Taking your car in for routine checkups is important if Fido will be poking around in the garage.


Taking a few minutes to ensure a pet’s safety is never wasted time. The garage is easily forgotten when it comes to pet safety. Updating lighting, properly storing items and maintaining the separation of pet supplies and other items keeps your pet safe and healthy in the garage. Ensure your pet’s safety and enjoy spending time with your friend while you work on various projects in the garage!


For more help getting your garage organized visit




Bri works for Monkey Bars of Kansas City a garage storage and organization company that helps homeowners create custom garage storage solutions. Bri graduated from BYU-Idaho in Advertising and Public Relations. When she’s not working, she enjoys all things film, good books and making memories with her husband and German Shepherd.


Concentrated Animal Feeding

posted July 30th, 2016 by
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State Question 777

Concentrated Animal Feeding

Also, we have the claim that industrial agriculture—in particular, concentrated animal feeding operations—keep food prices down. These graphs show the change in food prices for select poultry and swine commodities in the Southern Region of the US (which includes Oklahoma) beginning in 1992, the year after Oklahoma first allowed concentrated pork and chicken production.

Concentrated Animal Feeding

Pro-Animal Regulations

posted July 29th, 2016 by
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State Question 777

Pro Animal Regulations

A key point of dispute in the debate over State Question 777 is whether pro-animal regulations lead to higher food prices. There’s been specific attention paid to the price of eggs in California since the 2008 passage of pro-animal Proposition 2, and its implementation in early 2015. The infographics below present data on egg prices nationally, and in California, to bring factual clarity to this important discussion.

Pro-Animal Regulations

A Morning at the Barking Dog Bakery

posted July 29th, 2016 by
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Nicole Castillo

Barking Dog BakeryHave you discovered the Barking Dog Bakery?

Remember watching the wonderful candy store scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Remember the children’s shining eyes as the happy candyman sang songs of sugar and miracles. Well, that’s the feeling your dog gets when he or she walks into this magical stop in Oklahoma City. Cheyanne, my senior Border Collie mix, and I visited Sherri Lanier at her shop on a muggy Thursday morning. We were immediately welcomed by her sweet voice inviting us to make ourselves at home. There are goodies everywhere you look. The bright walls and whimsical décor create a feast for the eyes as I peruse the various shelves of treats. A bouncy honey-colored poodle, who I learn is 5-year-old Peyton, trots over and he and Cheyanne proceed to do the sniffing-circle-dance as Sherri and I chat.

All the baked goods in her store are sodium, sugar, and preservative free. There is a glass display case with festive cookies iced with egg protein, large bone-shaped biscuits, ice cream cones decorated with honey based yogurt and bags of treats in flavors like Pumpkin, Bbq, Cinnamon Apple, Banana, and even Pizza! There is also frozen sorbet to keep your pet cool on these blazing summer days! The sorbet comes in BanaNut, Blueberry & Cranberry, Coconut & Pineapple, and Pumpkin & Sweet Potato. What dog wouldn’t want a refreshing Pumpkin & Sweet Potato sorbet right now? Seriously, I was starting to get hungry!Barking Dog Bakery Sherri picked out some fresh soft Snicker Poodle treats for Cheyanne’s sensitive tummy. She loves them! And you know what? My cat does too! She quickly cleans all crumbs left behind. It is rare to find a special snack my old girl actually perks her ears to, but Sherri hit it on the nose. Her creations are so popular, they are given out at many metro Sonic Drive In locations. Just ask for a dog treat!

Barking Dog Bakery doesn’t stop at healthy delectable delights, oh no. They have everything you need to throw your pet one heck of a shindig! Make sure your pet is dressed to the nines with party hats, dresses, and shirts, and remember to bring the gift of a chew, stuffed toy, or new food bowl.  Sherri believes in featuring local artists and you can find adorable crocheted party hats, unique ceramic bowls, one-of-a-kind collars, bandanas, and soaps all created in Oklahoma. Barking Dog BAkery

The bakery also carries a variety of dog food and some feline products. It’s really a cozy one-stop shop fur all your pet needs. The best thing about this business is the comfortable atmosphere and great customer service Sherri provides. She truly puts the health of our cherished furry companions first. Her love for animals is palpable and she made my hesitant little dog feel right at home. Check out the website here and connect with Barking Dog Bakery on Facebook here.Barking Dog BakeryIf you haven’t already, take a quick drive over to the Barking Dog Bakery and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. You may even start singing, “Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two. The candyman can, the candyman can.” Although in this case it would be covered in egg protein or peanut butter, not chocolate. “The candyman can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.” If this is not the perfect description of Sherri Lanier, I don’t know what is!

Barking Dog Bakery

Animal Lovers Unite

posted July 15th, 2016 by
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Animal Lovers

Animal Lovers Unite

by Drew Edmondson

When Oklahomans hear “right to farm,” we immediately think of family farms and generational growers of chickens, cows and crops. The three words undeniably elicit emotion tied to our pioneering spirit, heartland traditions and our deeply held democratic convictions about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Animal LoversThat’s exactly why multi-national corporations behind State Question 777 have hijacked the phrase. They know few of us would ever argue that farmers shouldn’t have the right to farm. They also know on Election Day this November, if Oklahoma voters understand what this state question is really about, they will reject it. They fear Oklahoma voters will see it for what it is: one of the worst state questions ever to be presented to Oklahoma voters.

But why, you may be asking, am I writing about all of this—and to readers of OKC Pets?

Simply put, I want to offer you some insight into the real implications of this state question, which protects corporations and leaves people, and animals, powerless.

Puppy Mills and Cockfighting

If passed, SQ777 could be the first dangerous step in rolling back state regulations on puppy mill operations and cockfighting. Under the law, those who participate in these inhumane practices could be identified as “farmers” and their animals as “livestock,” propping the door open for them to operate without scrutiny in Oklahoma. In fact, language in the state question allows virtually anyone to identify as a farmer if their activities have anything to do with animals; it essentially allows them to do whatever they want with the animals on their property, even if their practices would be considered inhumane by most Oklahomans’ standards or cause a nuisance or even damage to other landowners.

Responsible pet owners have a stake in ensuring our state is unfriendly to puppy mills and cockfighting. Puppy mills are massive breeding operations where the bottom line, not animal welfare, is the priority. Females are typically allowed no recovery time between litters. Neglect, illness, genetic defects and mistreatment of the animals are rampant. Animals are caged 24/7, and some live their entire lives without ever touching grass. Dogs are often debarked by ramming a steel rod down their throats to rupture their vocal cords. Nutrition is so poor animals lose their teeth at an early age from tooth decay and are often emaciated.

Cockfighting involves two roosters wearing blades on their feet and fighting to the death while human spectators place bets on the outcome. Gambling and illegal drugs are common at cockfighting events.

Because the language in SQ777 would allow puppy mill and cockfighting breeders to define themselves as “farmers,” there is little state and local governments could do to enact safeguards against such practices, even though Oklahomans have been clear they don’t want such operations in our state.

But we aren’t just talking about puppy mills and cockfighting. For example, if SQ777 passes, your next-door neighbors could choose to breed exotic snakes on a large scale. The same could be said for insects or exotic animals of all species. Cities like Tulsa could pass no new laws to regulate activity concerning animals, so complaining to your city council wouldn’t do any good. The State of Oklahoma couldn’t intervene either because SQ777 requires proof of a “compelling state interest” before anything could be done to stop activity involving animals, no matter how dangerous or damaging. Want to make a full-fledged snake pit of your backyard swimming pool? SQ777 is just the ticket. Don’t want to live next door to said snake pit? Then you’d better vote no.

Foreign Ownership, No Local Control

The deep pockets behind SQ777 are not lobbying hard for the proposal because their main interest is puppy mills and cockfighting. They are more focused on ensuring multinational corporations are able to use land and natural resources with no government oversight. TheAnimal Loversy also seek to use growth hormones, pesticides and fertilizer with no state or local oversight, despite the impact the chemicals can have on local water supplies.

Just as alarming, SQ777 benefits foreign companies more than family farmers. It may surprise you to know that in America, one in four pigs is owned by Chinese-owned corporations. And there’s a vast difference between how an American family farm operates and how a Chinese farm operates in this country. Family farmers have been on their land for generations. They plan to stay, and they take care of their land accordingly. They take pride in their work, and they honor their ancestors by caring for their land and their animals.

Chinese-owned farms are a different case completely. Their goal is to breed animals and make money, pure and simple. They do that by putting as many animals as possible on their ever-growing plot of American land. They want to turn over their “crop” quickly, and they cut corners to make that happen. Waste is laid to the land. The waterways that surround them are disregarded as chemicals, fecal matter and carcasses pile up.

If you have the misfortune of living next to one of these operations, you know the smell. If your family farm is in the shadow of one of these foreign-owned farms, you may soon be swallowed up—generations of hard work and cultivation of your land undone by companies whose owners do not live here and do not care about us.

State Question 777 grants foreign corporations the power to use Oklahoma land for any “farming” purpose they deem profitable. The law will also stop the Legislature and local communities from passing laws or ordinances after November 2016 to address any water and air pollution caused by factory farms, harm to other farmers’ and residents’ land not withstanding.

Giving free rein to multi-national factory farming in Oklahoma and minimizing state and local government’s ability to provide any oversight is what the pro-SQ777 coalition is really after.

Animal LoversThe ALEC Link

Most Oklahomans have no idea what ALEC is, but you should. The acronym stands for the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC includes many individual members who are lawmakers from across the country. Yet, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, 98 percent of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations seeking to use the organization as the medium for enacting state laws favorable to their particular business and industry.

The wording of SQ777 has been copied and pasted from a measure that was written by ALEC and its corporate members. They have been successful in getting SQ777 measures enacted in two other states: North Dakota and Missouri.

ALEC isn’t only involved in agriculture; they are also proponents of corporate education, and they have been widely credited with crafting legislation that is crippling public education in Oklahoma and across the country.

The common tie between ALEC’s interest in education and agriculture? Big corporations.


The Oklahoma Stewardship Council, of which I am chair, has brought together a broad coalition to help fight SQ777. From the Five Civilized Tribes, to the Humane Society of the United States, and to such groups as Save the Illinois River and many others, we are working to protect Oklahoma’s water and natural resources and maintain Oklahomans’ right to determine animal welfare standards— not foreign corporations. Our list of #VoteNoOn777 partners continues to grow every day.

As of this writing, the list of organizations standing against SQ777 includes Save the Illinois River, Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, Oklahoma Municipal League, League of Women Voters, Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Bella Foundation, Oklahomans for Food, Farm and Family, Oklahoma Food Cooperative, Sierra Club, Oklahoma Welfare League, Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and Oklahoma Coalition of Animal Rescuers.

Our work is cut out for us. The other side will spare no expense to convince Oklahomans to surrender their rights. Their message will be designed to mislead the public under the guise of “right to farm.” Politicians seeking election/reelection in 2016, or eyeing statewide offices in 2018, have—or likely will—accept campaign donations from the pro-SQ777 lobby.

All Oklahomans who believe in animal welfare, who believe that we must protect our water and natural resources, and who believe that we should have some oversight of those contributing to our food supply must get engaged in this issue.

In the coming months, be on the lookout for pro-SQ777 scare tactics and name-calling. For instance, if you hear that SQ777 is needed to help protect family farms from bureaucracy, or that it’s critical to reducing hunger in Oklahoma, don’t be fooled. It is a smokescreen. Family farms won’t be helped by this state question because it’s about factory farming.

Hunger won’t be addressed by SQ777 either. Factory farms use our farmland for profit. They sell and ship their goods where they get the most profit for their investment. Moreover, the Chinese are using American farmland to increase the food supply back home, where usable farmland is dwarfed in comparison to the size and needs of their population.

Common Sense, Not Corporations

I’m just like most Oklahomans; I love my state and its heritage. I have a deep respect for those who work the land and take a common sense approach to livestock, crops and natural resources.

For economic stability, we must have a balance between agriculture, commerce, environmental protection and animal welfare.

We’ve been working on achieving that balance in Oklahoma. Holding factory farms accountable for water pollution, encouraging sustainable farming science, making cockfighting illegal and closing down puppy mills have all been a part of achieving balance.

The corporations backing SQ777 would like us to reverse all that, to strike our state off balance and to tip the scales in their favor—permanently—by changing our state constitution. We must tell them no and reject any attempt by special interests to determine the future of Oklahoma’s water, land and animals.

The stakes are high, and I hope you will consider joining us in this fight.

For more information or to get involved, visit

Animal LoversDrew Edmondson, who served four terms as Oklahoma’s
attorney general, is co-chair of the Oklahoma
Stewardship Council, a coalition of family farmers,
community leaders and concerned citizens opposing
State Question 777. For more information about the
OSC, visit

Pokémon Go Walk your Dog

posted July 13th, 2016 by
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Nicole Castillo

image3Pokémon Go Walk your Dog

I must confess. I have, along with millions of others, literally stumbled into the world of Pokémon Go. This is an augmented reality game that inspires you to collect adorable cartoon creatures called Pokémon. Augmented reality means that when you open the game, you can see your surrounding area on the screen. Streets and buildings are visible and when you walk around, you will see Pokémon pop up or other special game items right in your neighborhood. You are playing a virtual game in the real world. This iPhone and Android app encourages users to get up and get outside to search for these little guys.  The phenomenal global participation has inspired more than a few amusing headlines and warnings from public safety officials. Police departments across the country have cautioned citizens to be aware of your surroundings while playing the game as people are walking into busy streets and not looking where they are going. Myriad Botanical Gardens has asked gamers to please stay off the flower beds while they hunt. CNN has posted a Beginner’s Guide to Pokémon Go, Everything you wanted to know about Pokémon GO but were afraid to ask.
Although I have not walked into anything, I have noticed the amount of time spent outside with my senior dog, Cheyanne, has doubled. We explored nooks and crannies of our neighborhood that I never would have ventured before. She happily wanders and sniffs while I throw pokéballs at a floppy Magikarp.
I know many of you are wondering if I’ve gone mad and am just making up words to write in my blog. This is not the case! I assure you, MagiKarp exists. He was down by the creek behind our home.

image1What I’m excited about, is the adventures I’m going to have with my dog. She is not as active as she used to be, so ambling around a park is a perfect evening for her. As you see, I am obsessed with not only catching Pokémon, but catching both the cartoon and Cheyanne in a picture!
For those of you who have drunk the Pokémon Kool-Aid, I urge you to not forget the best creature in your pokedex, your furry four-legged friend sitting beside you! Throw the leash on your dog, pack some cold water for both of you, and head out! Remember to keep an eye on your companion while you search for Pokémon. Make sure he or she doesn’t wander into the street or clothesline someone with the leash. As the game says every time it opens, be aware of your surroundings!

Do you have any pictures of your pet and a Pokémon? Check out our Facebook page for details on how to enter our Pokémon Epic Pet Pic Contest!