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Animal Welfare Expo this Saturday!

posted March 22nd, 2018 by
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Nicole Castillo

Animal Welfare Expo this Saturday!

Animal Welfare Expo 2018What are you doing this weekend? If you’re one of the cool cats in town, you will be heading to Norman for the Animal Welfare Expo this Saturday. Hands Helping Paws teamed up with the Cleveland County Fairgrounds to put on a great day of high-flying dogs, mouth-watering food trucks, great booths, free adoptions, and a special visit from the Kitten Lady.

You can get your pet micro-chipped for $10, watch a disc demonstration by Tornado Alley Disc Dogs, look for a forever friend from Norman Animal Welfare, have lunch at one of the food trucks, and if you have registered, attend a Kitten Workshop by the Kitten Lady. The workshop is sold out of tickets as of today.

What you need to know:

Animal Welfare Expo, Saturday, March 24, 9am – 2pm, Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615. E. Robinson Street, Norman.

Tornado Alley Disc Dogs Demo at NOON.

Norman Animal Welfare will have Fee Waived Dog Adoptions.

In addition, NAW is hosting the microchip outreach and will be using the HomeAgain chips. Each chip is $10 each. Dogs must be on a leash and cats in carriers. As an existing HomeAgain customer, you are entitled to basic recovery service for life. None of the annual membership benefits (Lost Pet Alerts, Emergency Medical Hotline, Travel Assistance, etc.) will be available to you unless you choose membership for $19.99/year.

Food Trucks (11am – 1pm) – Big Truck Tacos, Phill Me Up CheesesteaksEskimo Sno

In preparation of puppy and kitten season Norman Animal Welfare will be accepting donations. Below is a list of some suggested items.

DONATION DRIVE FOR PUPPIES/DOGS – Kong’s, collars, leashes, canned puppy food or adult food. Small bags of dry food.

DONATION DRIVE FOR KITTENS/CATS SUPPLIES- Ciao Churu Creamy Purée Cat Treats – Four 0.5 oz. Tubes – Tuna with Chicken Recipe (Walmart); So Phresh Heavy Duty Litter Scoop (Petco); Whisker City® Pet Nail Scissors (PetSmart); SENTRY® PurrScriptions® Flea Cat Comb (PetSmart); ExquisiCat® Naturals Paper Cat Litter – Natural, Fragrance Free (PetSmart); Nursing bottle Kits (Petco, PetSmart, Atwoods); Dry Kibble – Royal Canin® Feline Health Nutrition™ Mother & Babycat Cat Food (Petco and PetSmart); Canned Baby Food – Royal Canin® Baby Cat Instinctive Kitten Food- LOAF in SAUCE (Petco and PetSmart) ; Toys- mice, feathers, crinkle balls;

DONATION DRIVE FOR OTHER SUPPLIES: Paper towels, Dawn Dish Soap original scent 8 FL OZ bottle, Lysol® Dual Action Citrus Scent Disinfecting Wipes 35 ct Plastic Container

Animal Welfare Expo 2018

All Your Pet Wants for Christmas is…

posted December 22nd, 2017 by
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Hands Helping Paws Launches TNR Program

All Your Pet Wants for Christmas is…

It’s definitely feeling a lot like Christmas today! The temperature is icy, and everywhere I go the twinkling lights of Oklahoma City sparkle cheerily at me from shop windows and neighborhoods. Have you finished your holiday shopping? Were there any furry family members or fluffy friends on your list?

What do our pets really want for Christmas? I asked a few friends and found out!

Oakley got a Christmas bandanna and Carlo got a new Christmas sweater!! It was exactly what they wished for!

 All Your Pets Want for Christmas is...

Max is a collector of all the treasures! He may be part border collie and part pirate, because of the bounty of things hidden in his yard. He likes to chew on everything! Especially water hoses and flower pots. He would like for Santa to bring him something to help keep him busy… and of course, something on which he can gnaw.

 All Your Pets Want for Christmas is...

Kaia (right) wants to be able to run and play again. She is not feeling well right now. Rhea (left) wants her sister to get well soon so they can go on adventures!

All Your Pets Want for Christmas is...

Ruby wants her busy mom to spend more time with her!

All Your Pets Want for Christmas is...

Sophie wants a stuffed toy. And it looks like she got her wish!



Most of all, our pets just want our love and attention. Be sure to cuddle up with your furry and/or feathered family this chilly weekend, and they will have the happiest of holidays. They deserve it.

Free To Live Benefit Auction Kicks Off Fall Festivities

posted October 9th, 2017 by
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Hands Helping Paws Launches TNR Program


Free To Live Benefit Auction Kicks Off Fall Festivities

Free To Live Benefit Auction Kicks Off Fall FestivitiesThe Free To Live Animal Sanctuary Benefit Auction was the perfect start to this season’s events. Free To Live is the largest no-kill shelter in Oklahoma, housing around 300 cats and dogs. The shelter is located in the sprawling hills of north Edmond and the minute you arrive, you can feel the commitment and love dedicated to these animals every day.

The auction is the sanctuary’s most vital fundraising effort. There was a silent auction with rows upon rows of donated art, gift baskets, and pet products. A live auction took place later in the evening for the larger donations.

I was fortunate to meet Kaycee Chance, volunteer coordinator at Free To Live, writer at OKC Pets, and the lady behind-the-scenes at the benefit auction. She gave me a tour of the auction and a quick run-down of the mission of this life-changing shelter. You can check out the videos of the auction on our Facebook page. Just click videos and they won’t be hard to find.

Free To Live Benefit Auction Kicks Off Fall FestivitiesThe evening was a huge success, with a packed house, lovely people to meet and talk to, and open hearts and wallets to snatch up unique gifts to help the hundreds of residents at the sanctuary. Over $56,000 was raised that night, and each and every dollar will go to back to the animals. Cat food, dog food, vet bills, cat litter, and utilities certainly add up when caring for 300 cats and dogs. This auction means a second chance for many of the residents. You can follow Free To Live on Facebook and Instagram, or check out their website here.


There are more exciting pet events in the upcoming weeks, so mark your calendars for these fun festivities.

Click each event for details!

October 14th

Pumpkin Patch Party & Fundraiser

Azani Howl-O-Ween Party

October 15th

DogFest Walk ‘n Roll OKC 2017

Pawtoberfest 2017

October 22nd

Spooky Pooch Parade sponsored by Midtown Vets

October 28th

Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade and Costume Contest

Howl-oween Meow-loween Fundraiser & Adoption Event

Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To Live

posted September 6th, 2017 by
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Nicole Castillo

Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To Live

Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To LiveThe Oklahoma Designer Show House opens this Friday! This event not only features the hard work of thirteen local design firms, it also benefits Free To Live Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill animal shelter in Edmond. Free To Live houses and rehabilitates animals that have been abused or abandoned. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The show house is at 13300 Hickory Hills Road in Arcadia and tours start at 11am. I had the pleasure of corresponding with Andrea Meister, chairman of the show house, to find out why this event and Free To Live go hand in hand, or paw.


Q: Andrea, tell me a bit about yourself and your pets.

Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To LiveA: I’m owner & lead designer for Roost Oklahoma! I have 4 kids, Lauren 25, Preston 23, Hunter 21, Isaac 17. I’m married to a super sexy guy named Ralph.

On my Instagram profile it reads “Designer. Animal freedom fighter. Mother of parrots.”

I have 2 German Shepherds, 1 orange tabby (rescue), 3 macaws (2 are rescues).

Q: How important are animals to you?

A: I probably can’t put into words how important animals are to me. Each animal, a squirrel, a turtle on the side of the road…these are all lives…you can’t recreate that. My husband is equally passionate about animals rights as I am.

Q: What made you decide to benefit Free to Live again this year?

We love FTL and all that they do!! If you’ve never been, please go!! All the work that their staff does is so great!

It will change you! There are so many dogs and cats that are so awesome that need homes!

Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To LiveThey are the largest no kill shelter in the state of Oklahoma! They really focus on placing great pets in great homes!

We’re doing something new this year too! On the first Saturday of the tour September 9th from 1:00-3:00 Free To Live is having an adoption event and one of our biggest sponsors, Advanced Air Specialists, is paying all the adoption fees!! They’re also paying for Magic 104.1 to have a live remote during the adoption event.

Out of all my love for all animals, my husband and I are obsessed with Macaws.

Macaws are the largest breeds of parrots.

Parrots are like dogs, with tons of different colors and sizes, Macaws are the Great Danes of the parrot world.Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To Live

My mother grew up in South America. They always had random “stray” parrots show up to their house & never leave. By stray, I mean, parrots are smart & like to interact with humans even when they’re wild!

So, my entire life I always kind of wanted one.

Once I talked Ralph into it we bought our first one, Roman, almost six years ago. We knew just enough to keep her alive.

We had no idea what door we just opened.

The journey we’ve had over the last 6 years is just the beginning.

It is about as high maintenance of a pet you could have. They’re like really bratty 2-year-olds that bite all the time and live as long as we do!

I carry around postcards when I take one of my birds out that I give to people that talk to us, basically saying “please don’t go get a parrot because you see me out with mine”.

Please watch the documentary Parrot Confidential. There is a bad bad problem here in the US with parrots. There are huge rescues with hundreds of birds!

We don’t have a good rescue here in Oklahoma yet, but it’s something that is on my radar and think about a lot!Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To Live

Our first macaw, Roman, is a blue and gold.

My second one Ruby, is a military, she was being given away on a garage sale website and a design client of mine grabbed her. We ended up taking her five days later and she never left. So, I always say Ruby found us.

And our newest is Sidney, she’s a Green Wing. We’ve had her about three months. She came from a divorced home, being mainly bonded to the husband who traveled out of town for several days at a time and she started plucking all her feathers from depression & loneliness. Birds are flock animals, they don’t like to be alone.

We went and got her after we heard about her from a friend. She’s getting better every day.


Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To LiveAndrea’s love for birds is in her blood. The black and white photo is her grandpa and mom (in the middle) in Bolivia. You can meet her, and perhaps her feathered family, at the Oklahoma Designer Show House.

Oklahoma Designer Show House Benefits Free To LiveRemember that Free To Live will be present for Dog Days adoption event on Saturday from 1:00-3:00pm. Adoption fees will be sponsored by Advanced Air Specialist.

You can also shop in the fabulous boutique set up for visitors. Stay up to date with the show house on Facebook and Instagram. Stop by and see a truly unique house with each space created by a different design firm in Oklahoma City. Hope to see you there!

Cool Treats for Hot Dogs

posted May 31st, 2017 by
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Nicole Castillo

Cool Treats for Hot Dogs

Summer heat is here! We’ve been waiting for it and now need to focus on keeping our pets comfortable as the temperature creeps up the thermometer. Check out these frozen treats to spoil your pet this summer.

Cool Treats

Sherri Lanier at The Barking Dog Bakery offers frozen sorbets in a variety of flavors. Choose from Strawberry, Banana, Coconut, Pineapple, and Banana Nut. The sorbets are made with all natural ingredients and no sugar. This business focuses on clean, healthy, nutritionally stable treats and foods for pets. Barking Dog Bakery is located at 10455 N May Ave, Oklahoma City, or you may call them at (405) 879-2280.

cool treats

All Fur Paws Pet Health Market carries a plethora of cool treats to spoil your dog. I spoke to Carolyn Wernet and she listed the best summer treats in the store. They have frozen bones of all sizes. Beef ribs for large pups, a six-pack of marrow bones for your medium canine, and one-inch bison bones for your little one. Frozen yogurt from The Bear & The Rat are available in Pumpkin and Bacon Peanut Butter. Carolyn also shared a fun recipe her dogs go crazy for. The ingredients are Shredded Coconut Flakes by K9, and organic canned pumpkin, both of which can be purchased at All Fur Paws. In an ice cube tray, she adds a teaspoon of coconut to each cube and fills the rest with the canned pumpkin and freezes them. Her dogs literally beg at the freezer door, waiting for these treats. I’m going to try this for my senior dog, Cheyanne. She likes pumpkin and it will be gentle on her elderly stomach. All Fur Paws is located at 15220 N. Western Ave., Suite E2 in Edmond, or you may call (405) 348-6888.

cool treats


Pawtopia, Your Pet’s Nutritionist is another sweet stop for this summer. Gwen Pruitt gave me inside scoop on the coolest treats in Yukon. Scoop of yogurt, that is. They also carry The Bear & The Rat yogurt in mouth-drooling flavors of Bacon Peanut Butter and Pumpkin. Frozen yogurt is the must-have treat for all the trendy dogs out there, you know. Pawtopia also carries everything on your dogs to-chew list. Choose from frozen chicken backs, turkey necks, and the popular beef marrow bone. Pawtopia is located at 335 S Mustang Rd, Ste E, Yukon, or you can reach them at (405) 265-2950.


Kaycee Chance, good friend and fellow writer at OKC Pets, makes her own frozen treats for her furry family. She fills a Kong toy or old marrow bone with natural peanut butter or plain yogurt and freezes them. Sometimes she will add dry food to the peanut butter and a small amount of pineapple chunks to the yogurt. Kaycee also has a cute star-shaped ice tray that she uses for these recipes. Her pets have a blast snacking on these great concoctions! Below is a cute pic of Faith, Kaycee’s senior girl, happily licking away at her frozen treat.

Cool Treats

So, as we raise our ice cold glasses to toast the sunny season, let us not forget our four-legged friends while we celebrate all that is summer.


Forecast Calls for Cute Canines!

posted May 9th, 2017 by
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Nicole Castillo

Forecast calls for Cute Canines!

emily sutton - littleIn Oklahoma, we have a unique relationship with our local meteorologists. Here, weather is tricky. Deadly storms can spring up in minutes and the need to be informed and forewarned is priority during the blustery months. It is in these times we connect with our weather warriors. Their voices guide us through damaging winds, hail, floods, and tornadoes. They risk their lives to bring us as much information as they can about upcoming torrents. Wind shear, hook echoes, debris balls, and dry lines are words we know well because each day our weather experts teach us something to keep us safe. I had the pleasure of meeting one particular meteorologist who keeps us in the know on everything from cumulus clouds to funnel clouds, Emily Sutton.

sutton 1Emily, her husband Michael, and their famous fur babies Okie and Winnie don the cover of the May/June issue of OKC Pets Magazine that is piping hot off the press and circulating through the metro as we speak. Pick up an issue to hear a harrowing tornadic experience, puppy love, and the story of a woman from the windy city of Chicago finding her home and heartsong in the sometimes treacherous tailwinds of Oklahoma.



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