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Somewhere in the Middle

posted August 13th, 2016 by
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Holiday Gift

Somewhere in the Middle

Like many people in the world of animal rescue, I follow several facebook pages/groups including a few “closed groups”. This past week, we’ve all been deluged with situations that question our sanity, makes us realize why we never give up and continue to rescue, and, occasionally, leave us either sad or speechless (sometimes both at the same time).

Somewhere in the middle

April

And then, you have a ray of sunshine that completely changes your perspective.
For me it was a conversation with April’s Mom. April came to us from a municipal shelter where she would have been euthanized. The Richardson Birthing Center came to the rescue and April delivered her puppies in a safe, loving environment.

Now, thanks to our partnership with Dumb Friends League in Denver, Colorado, April has been adopted. Her Mom, Stephanie, reached out to me as she had some questions. What made me smile was when Stephanie said her Mom had flown out to meet April, That didn’t erase all the irate phone calls, desperate situations we’d encountered this week – but it helped – – it really, really helped.

Somewhere in the middle is where we need to be. Every month some animals need a home in this area. Fix your critter/Save a litter has played a key role in the number of unwanted puppies and kittens born each year. And, most importantly, we’re writing great April stories about dogs and cats in northeastern Oklahoma.

We will get there – – it’s what keeps us going

Until we do, the letters, pictures, videos and phone calls from happy adopters out-of-state will make us smile and reenergize us to keep on keeping on.

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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Pet-Safe Garage

posted July 31st, 2016 by
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Pet-Safe

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 http://garagesolutionskansascity.com/

 

BIO:

 

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

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.

#VoteNoOn777

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 www.votenoon777.com

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 www.votenoon777.com.

What’s in Your Dog Shampoo?

posted July 7th, 2016 by
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What's in Your Dog Shampoo

What’s in Your Dog Shampoo? – Words of Wellness

By Emily Cefalo

 

Choosing a shampoo is an important part of your dog’s skin and coat health.

 

Well-known shampoos, such as Hartz Love Your Dog Shampoo, Miracle Coat Premium, Lambert Kay, Sergeant’s Fur-So-Fresh, Natural Research, and Pure Pet’s Pure Care, are among those without the ingredients listed on the label. So what kind of shampoo does your groomer use?

Before I became self-employed, I was amazed at how many groomers use Dawn soap on dogs. The risk of soap burning the skin and eyes is profoundly common. Shampoos containing sulfates, soap and parabens can cause a variety of skin disorders, not to mention they can be toxic and harmful. Even using human shampoo can cause reactions.

We want our pets clean, but we do not want their skin stripped of natural oils. There are many pet shampoos to choose from—just make certain you buy one that is gentle on your beloved pet.

Look for “soap and paraben free” and “pH balanced” when you’re shopping for a safe shampoo. Earthbath Mediterranean Magic is one of our favorites and is used on almost every dog. Another favorite used is Show Season Essential shampoo. We like the way it smells; it has aromatherapy and is infused with organic rosemary, olive and sunflower oil.

You always have the option to take your shampoo with you to your pet’s grooming appointments. If you aren’t sure what is used on your beloved pet, ask to take a peek behind the curtain to ensure your pet is getting the very best!

 

Wags & Kisses

Mia & Co. Pet Salon