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A Chat with Kaycee Chance of OKC Pets

posted November 30th, 2016 by
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Nicole Castillo

   photo-nov-30-7-28-34-pm Kaycee Chance is a good friend of mine. She writes for OKC Pets Magazine  and volunteers and works at Free to Live Animal Sanctuary in Edmond, Oklahoma.

She is also the Wonder Woman of dogs who stray from their homes. Her Facebook page is sprinkled with witty tales of stopping by the side of the road to collect befuddled and lost dogs and return them to their worried owners. As I prepared to write this blog, I scrolled through her page and quickly found five of these stories, complete with pictures.
I asked her if there was a particular dog that stood out in her mind and she told me about Duke, a dog who had wandered away from his yard.

“Ok, so this is the story of Duke: I was driving through Nichols Hills one day and saw a big, beautiful, well cared for dog running frantically in the middle of the street. I keep a kit in my car that has dog treats, cat treats, a few medical supplies, some bottled water, bowls, towels, and leashes for this kind of situation.

photo-nov-29-10-49-43-amI could tell he was TERRIFIED and that he was not going to be easy to catch. But he had a collar on, so there was no chance I was letting him get away. There are a lot of major streets nearby (Penn and Britton) so I was really worried. I lingered in my car for a second watching his behavior. He was timid, tail between his legs, completely docile, just scared. There was a lady in her front yard with her dog on a leash while she gardened. Duke (although I didn’t know his name at the time) lingered around her dog for a second, but took off when she approached.

This gave me a good indication that he was a member of somebody’s pack, as his natural instinct was to go by the other dog for comfort. I saw him go through the fence into somebody’s backyard, so I knew I had a few minutes to act on my master plan.

I approached the lady doing her gardening and explained that I was trying to get the dog and explained that I thought her dog might be helpful. I asked if she would be willing to simply walk her dog nearby the house where Duke had gone into the backyard. She was down to help and I was glad! She lingered in the front yard with her dog while I slowly called for him “come here, baby, it’s ok” with a few treats in my hand. I was low to the ground, kept my body language completely calm, and sat by the hole in the fence waiting.

He kept eyeing me and the other dog and after a few minutes he approached the fence, I stuck my hand out on the ground with a treat in it and he took it. After a few more treats and chin scratches (always go under the chin first for a shy/nervous dog) he came through the fence and I was able to leash him. Once he was on the leash he became more comfortable and plopped down next to me for some lovin’. I got him some water from one of my bottles and THANKFULLY he was properly tagged.

I called the number on his tag and a frantic voice answered, “I found your dog, Duke,” I said. The young woman on the other end began SOBBING. She explained to me that she got up to let her dogs out at about 12:00 AM the night before and when she went to let them in 10 minutes later all the dogs were there except for Duke. She said she and her fiancé had been out looking for him nonstop for the past fifteen hours. They were overjoyed, Duke was overjoyed, and I was overjoyed. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s always worth it.”
photo-nov-30-7-33-18-pm-1   There are animal lovers, and then there are animal warriors like Kaycee. She has opened her home to to five cats, and two dogs. Each pet has a unique past and all are happy to call the Chances’ house home. Kaycee gave me the rundown of her tribe.

Etsel and Ely, age 8, are my sweet “handicats” as I call them. They have deformed back legs and they were my inspiration to get so heavily involved in the rescue world.

Lillian, age 7, is my sweetest companion who I basically consider me in cat form: lazy, hungry, and sassy.

Harlow, age 3 is my crazy girl, always running wild around the house. Found her as a stray with her kittens and rehabilitated them back to health. Once all the kittens were adopted she became part of my kitty clan.

Valentine, age 14, is my old man. He loves nothing more than to sleep, eat constantly, and play with his favorite toy monkey (which is actually a big Kong toy for dogs hahah).

Sparrow, age 8, a Pitbull mastiff mix who was once considered extremely aggressive. After being rehabilitated by the Free to Live staff he is now the best big brother to his five kitties.

Faith, age 12, once belonged to the executive director of FTL, who passed away a few years ago. She is shy as all get out, but photo-nov-29-10-42-40-amonce you get her to open up she is the sweetest old gal. Loves her walks, bacon strips, and a good romp around the yard with Sparrow.

You can find Kaycee at Free to Live Animal Sanctuary, walking, feeding, cleaning, and playing with the furry residents. She also has a teaching apprenticeship at the University of Central and writes fabulous poetry. She is truly a lady of many hats and the lost pets of the OKC metro are fortunate to have her patrolling the streets, making sure all the animals are tucked in at night.

The Holiday Gift

posted November 30th, 2016 by
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Holiday Gift

The Holiday Gift

For most of us, there’s always at least one person on our holiday gift-giving list that has us completely stumped.  However, if in a flash of brilliance you decide what that person needs is a four-legged companion (ie something that barks or purrs), please STOP.  That cute ball of fur may warm the holiday season, but there is little guarantee it will really be the gift of the century unless you know for sure, without a doubt, there’s no hesitation you have a viable Plan B if the gift needs to be re-homed.

I’ve never received a puppy or kitten as a present.  However, as the Mom of three I’ve had many dogs and cats suddenly change their address to my house because my child is moving, getting married, leaving the country, has a boyfriend/girlfriend who doesn’t like animals, is just too busy to care for anything other than themselves.  The list may be endless, but the solution was Mom’s house.

Likewise when you give a gift of love that requires feeding, care and responsibility, please be sure you’ve also realize that gift may someday be living with you.  If that is not an option for you, then change the gift list for that person to something else.

The television and news ads will also show children getting a puppy or kitten for Christmas.  If that child lives in your house, all of us in rescue hope you have made a silent commitment to yourself that the gift has found a home and will not be returned to the rescue/shelter/breeder/craig’s list/neighbor – it will be your responsibility too.

This is the season of love, hope, holidays, families, memories, traditions and gift-giving.  Making the right choice is not always easy.  Making the wrong choice can result in a gift being returned.  There’s a huge difference between returning a gift to Target, Macy’s, et al and returning an animal. 

Write your list, check it twice, then make the right decision if it involves a pet. 

Happy Christmas Shopping

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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Male Cat Urinary Obstruction

posted November 29th, 2016 by
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Holiday Safety

Male Cat Urinary Obstruction

One of the most common challenges we see in the ER when it comes to cats is urinary obstruction in male cats, also commonly called “blocked tom.”  The obstructions are developed when the tube that drains urine from the bladder becomes blocked when mucus, crystals or other small stones are formed in the kidneys and pass down through the bladder and become stuck. 

As a male cat owner, it is important to be aware of this problem and be vigilant in watching for symptoms.  Here are the most common symptoms to keep an eye out for:

~straining to urinate

~frequent urination

~blood in the urine

~painful urination

~inappropriate urination (urinating outside the litter box)

An examination at the first sign of these symptoms is important as urinary blockage can become life threatening if urine can’t empty from the bladder. 

Treatment often requires emergency care as the blockage may need to be flushed with a catheter or surgically removed. 

There are some ways to try and prevent urinary stones and potential blockage.  The following are some good practices for any cat:

~Keep your cat at a healthy weight.

~Give your cat canned food to help increase moisture and which also more closely resembles their natural diet.

~Keep water fresh and clean

~Make sure you have enough litter boxes for your cat/cats

~Minimize stress for your cat

Outdoor Cats

posted November 21st, 2016 by
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Outdoor Cats

OUTDOOR CATS: TEN WINTER WEATHER TIPS

 

Outdoor CatsBETHESDA, Md., USA – Nov. 17, 2016 – As temperatures across the country begin to drop, many people find themselves concerned about how to care for outdoor cats in the wintertime. Cats are resilient, but they can always use a hand staying warm and healthy during cold weather.

“Cats live and thrive outdoors in all kinds of climates,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “But a little extra help during the winter months can go a long way for protecting community cats.”

Alley Cat Allies offers ten easy ways people can make life outdoors even more comfortable for cats:

Protection from the Cold

  • Provide shelters to keep cats warm. These can be easy and inexpensive to build yourself, or can be purchased pre-made online. Check out our new do-it-yourself shelter video at http://www.alleycat.org/resources/how-to-build-an-outdoor-shelter/.
  • Insulate shelters with straw. Not only is straw less expensive and easy to come by (just check your local pet supply store or garden center), but straw repels moisture.
  • Remove snow from all shelter entrances and exits. It’s important to keep cats from getting snowed in.

Outdoor CatsExtra Food and Water

  • Increase food portions to help cats conserve energy and stay warm. Canned or wet food, which takes less energy to digest, should be in insulated containers. Dry food, which will not freeze, also works.
  • Keep water from freezing to prevent dehydration. To keep water drinkable, use bowls that are deep rather than wide and place them in a sunny spot. Or use heated electric bowls.

A Little Precaution Could Save a Cat’s Life

  • Do not use antifreeze, which is deadly, in an area accessible to cats. Keep antifreeze out of reach and clean up spills. Most antifreeze brands use ethylene glycol as the main ingredient, so be sure to switch to a brand made with propylene glycol because it is less toxic.
  • Refrain from using salt and chemicals to melt snow. These can be lethal when licked off paws or ingested from melting puddles and can hurt a cat’s paw pads.
  • Check your car before you drive. Look between your tires and give the hood of your car a few taps before starting it to make sure that a cat has not hidden underneath or inside the engine for warmth.

Outdoor CatsSpay and Neuter Before Kitten Season

Winter is the prime breeding season for community cats and the ideal time to spay and neuter. If you’re conducting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)—the only humane and effective approach to stabilize community cat populations—in the winter, follow these safety tips:

  • Check the traps frequently and provide a warm holding area, pre-and-post surgery. If it’s too cold for you, then it’s probably too cold for cats to be in traps, exposed to the elements, for extended periods of time. Keep traps covered and secured in a temperature-controlled vehicle or building.
  • Ask your veterinarian to shave only a small area for spay/neuter surgery. This will help the cats stay warm by maintaining maximum fur coverage.

More winter weather tips for outdoor cats are available at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 600,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

Making a Distinction – Making a Difference

posted November 19th, 2016 by
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Making a Distinction

Making a Distinction – Making a Difference

People who work in rescue are passionate about their calling.  Sometimes that passion gets in the way of collaboration, working together and solving a problem.  All of us face that challenge and each of us, in our own way, chart our course.

Most recently, with the success PAAS has had transporting dogs from the Vinita area, as well as rescues/shelters throughout Oklahoma, we’ve come to realize we save lives by transporting.  Our transports are built on trust with Denver Dumb Friends League. That doesn’t work for everyone.

Some people need to interview each adopter, visit the home and check on the references.  Their focus, their success is measured much differently.  Other rescuers adopt via PetSmart/Atwoods/et al.  Some choose to ensure they find the perfect home – which can take years.  I think of them as sanctuaries where the animals are safe. Some send their dogs, one-by-one, on transports to other destinations.   Thanks to social media – especially Facebook – this works beautifully.

At the end of the year, we, collectively, have saved thousands of dogs and cats.  Each rescue, in their own way, has found the path that works for them.

This past year it has been rewarding to see rescues work together, share resources and save lives.  My hope is it will continue to grow.  If you’re involved with a shelter or rescue, I hope you will think about how you rescue, who you rescue and, most importantly, how many find a new home.

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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Thanksgiving: 10 Things to be Thankful for

posted November 15th, 2016 by
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Nicole Castillo

Thanksgiving is around the corner and we are reminded of what we are grateful for. Pet owners are, of course, thankful for their pets, but this year, I am thinking of the little details that make life with animals so much easier, and I am thankful for these things.

 

The Litter GenieThanksgiving

If you have cats and don’t know what this is, then this is a life-changing moment for you. Much like the Diaper Genie, the Litter Genie is a cat waste system that eliminates poo odors from creeping through your house. I will never be without this product. Thank you, Litter Genie, my house smells like apple-cinnamon because you do your job so well.

Thanksgiving

 Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Water Additive

My senior dog, Cheyanne, has a heart murmur and cannot be put under anesthesia, therefore she can’t have her teeth cleaned by the vet. I clean her teeth as best I can, but her breath smells horrible. A few drops of this in her water make a great difference! It is safe for both cats and dogs and uses green tea extract to help freshen breath. Thank you, Tropiclean, for making car trips with this old dog much more pleasant!

 

Groomers

Thanksgiving

I used to be a pet groomer and I understand the back-breaking job it is to send 10-20 furry customers home shiny and smelling like heaven. These people work extra hard to clean and style over-excited, frightened, or downright livid pets every day, without injury to the pet or human. It’s a dangerous job! Thank you, groomers, for making our pets look like a million bucks.

Thanksgiving

 

 Large Cat Litter Pans

If you have ever owned a plus-sized cat, you know what I’m talking about. Thank you, XL cat litter pans, for thinking of the husky domestic felines who need to use the litter just like any other cat.

 

 

Veterinarian staff Thanksgiving

These people have seen it all. They have vaccinated new puppies, performed life-saving surgeries, and held hands of those who must say good-bye to their best friend. Though it may look chaotic and fun, a vet office is a labor of love. Thank you to our veterinarians and vet techs, you keep our furry families together as much as you can. (Britton Road Veterinarians shown in picture)

Thanksgiving

 Furminator

I know this sounds violent, but I assure you, it’s not. The Furminator is a de-shedding brush that catches your dog or cats’ wooly undercoat. It’s a must-have tool come springtime when your pet starts to shed like crazy. Thank you furminator, for combing out a pile of fur that is equal in size to the animal being combed.

 

 Animal Shelters

Thanksgiving

These individuals never take a day off. This Thanksgiving and Christmas, while most are at home with their families, the staff at these shelters will be walking and feeding those who have no home or family to go to. They fall in love with the animals and cry happy tears when a dog or cat is finally adopted. Selfless. Optimistic. Kind. Thank you to all who work at our Oklahoma animal shelters, you are changing the world, one soul at a time.

 

 

 ThanksgivingRetractable leashes

How did we manage before retractable leashes? Although it not a great idea to use these leashes where there are many people, these are great for quiet walks at the park. Once you’re dog is leash trained, it is a nice treat to let them roam about with a bit more freedom. Thank you, retractable leash, for allowing my dog to run around while I stay still!

Locally-owned Pet StoresThanksgiving

You guys are the bread and butter of the pet community. Not only do you provide healthy food and products for our pets, but your store is an adventure to all four-legged customers who trot through the door. Thank you, local pet store owners, for giving us a fun place to shop and spend time with our fur kids.

 

 

YouThanksgiving

I am thankful for you, sweet reader. You are the pet community. There is no better gathering than a pet event, filled with loving, gentle people who all have one thing in common. We love animals. We care for animals. We fight for animals. We work for animals. We write for animals. We see the good in the world through the innocent eyes of our fur kids. Because of you, thousands of dogs and cats have loving homes. Because of you, our animal shelters stay afloat. Because of you, I can write a blog about what I am thankful for. Thank you, pet community, for always choosing love, and making more room in your heart and life for your pets. (Free to Live Animal Sanctuary in picture)