Author Archives: Staff

Oklahoma Shelter Study to be Released

posted May 4th, 2014 by
Spay First Logo 2

Foshay PhotographersThis event will release the results of a shelter study done by SPAYFIRST!, and generously funded by Kirkpatrick Foundation.  It tracks the numbers of shelters in Oklahoma, what area of each county has access to a shelter and what their overall policies are.  A shockingly low number of Oklahoma shelters comply with the 1986 Oklahoma Dog and Cat Sterilization Act, over half keep no records of the numbers and some refuse to say how they euthanize or dispose of carcasses.

This event is for everyone who cares about homeless animals. Please join us on this day for homeless dogs and cats in Oklahoma.

The event is from noon to 1 in the Blue Room at the Capitol.  We want everyone who cares about unwanted animals to join us.

For information call 580-326-4100

Ask the Vet

posted May 27th, 2013 by

Dear Dr. Best :

I have an opossum in my yard, and I’m not sure exactly if it’s just one. I have fountains around with water, and they probably drink out of them. I also have two dogs. Is it safe to have opossums in the same yard as dogs? I called the City and they said they could trap and relocate them. Any advice is appreciated. And, of course, my dogs are vaccinated for rabies.

Thanks,     A worried dog mom

To the worried dog mom:

It generally is not harmful to have opossums sharing the same yard, but there is a slight risk of opossums and raccoons transmitting Leptospirosis, which is a bacterial infection of the kidneys. However, I wouldn’t be worried about it, just aware of the possibility. Opossums do not commonly carry rabies, so that generally isn’t a concern. If you don’t want them in the yard, you will need to make the yard less attractive to them—taking away food and water sources and places they could hide or sleep.

Dear Dr. Best :

I have incredibly dry skin and lotion up every morning. However, my dogs love the lotion smell and can smell it several rooms away when I am applying it. They want to lick, lick, lick on me all day. And I discourage this. I use all types of lotions, but do you know if licking it will hurt them?

Thanks in advance,     The dry dog mom

To the dry dog mom:

Most lotions will not be harmful if the dogs lick some of it, although I certainly would recommend discouraging the behavior. If the lotions are medicated, like with steroids or tea tree oil or antibiotics, they could be harmful. If you can’t discourage them from licking it, you may have to keep away from them until it is absorbed.

This issue’s participating veterinarian is Dr. Carol Best of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital, Tulsa. Thank you Dr. Best for answering our readers’ questions. If you have a question of a non-urgent nature for a Tulsa vet, please email [email protected]

Vote NO to Horse Slaughter!

posted March 25th, 2013 by
6-11 418 (3)

Don’t take Oklahoma out on a limb 

Horse slaughter is a high-risk investment for Oklahoma.  Last Friday the EU (the largest horse meat market) confirmed that US horsemeat will not be permitted to be sold for human consumption in Europe. 

Why is the Oklahoma legislature spending time reinventing ceiling wax?  They need to work on real solutions.


Horse slaughter is not a humane alternative to starvation.    We have laws to stop starvation.

Why do they want to reopen horse slaughter plants? To make money. The families of Representatives Skye McNiel, Curtis McDaniel and others want to buy and sell cheap horses. They hope that a slaughter plant will help them do so.  However, it won’t and Oklahoma will pay the price.

Where did “all these horses” really come from? Oklahoma has too many horses because of overbreeding. The number of horses in the U.S. grew by over two million between 1986 and 2011 (over 25%). Horse registries encouraged overbreeding, even offering “registration papers” for mixed breed horses. The overproduction placed, “hundred dollar horses” into the backyards of people who could not afford to feed them, much less breed them. Now, horse dealers want their ‘heyday’ back again at any cost.

Will a slaughter plant solve the crisis? No.  Only corruption sustained the appearance of a horse meat market. The current European (EU) horse meat scandal revealed that horse meat[i]  was sold as beef for over two years.

The supply of horse meat greatly exceeded the demand for it.  With a dying overseas market, SB 375 is intended to make horse meat into an Oklahoma staple; that is very unlikely to happen.

Additionally, commonly used equine medications are dangerous to people, slaughter horses going to the EU may require drug history as is required for cattle[ii]. On Friday March 22, the EU confirmed that horse meat from the U.S. will not be accepted for human consumption.   Oklahoma may have a horse slaughter plant with no market to sell to.

What then?   There is no actual market.   While the world figures out who actually buys horse meat when they know what they are buying, dealers would bring slaughter horses to Oklahoma by the thousands.    This scheme is short-sighted and high-risk for Oklahoma.

Can horse slaughter increase crime in Oklahoma? Of course it will.  In 2012 Oklahoma George Baker of Stroud, OK, a foremost “killer buyer” and trucker of Oklahoma’s slaughter bound horses,  along with five others, were indicted in a multiple count grand jury indictment involving nine Oklahoma counties and extending to Texas.[iii]

Charges against Baker include buying and selling stolen property and farm equipment, and conspiracy and racketeering. Baker’s violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) are on the USDA website[iv]. Similar organized crime connections were noted throughout the EU scandal.[v] The UK Guardian noted that governments discussed organized crime because, “Previous convictions of dealers and traders, along with intelligence, suggest a link between the horse trade, meat laundering and various forms of trafficking.”

What about theft?  Unlike cattle, most horses are easily handled. An apple can lure a valuable horse into a trailer; a quick trip to a sale barn can reward a thief before the owner is even home from work.

What stands between your daughters’ horse and a thief is HB 1999.  Tell your legislator to safeguard you, not Skye McNiel’s money.

Horse slaughter is a bad deal for Oklahoma.

Below are the Oklahoma legislators who will vote on Monday whether or not they want to help Skye McNiel make money killing horses. Let them know you oppose horse slaughter.

Please be sure to reach your own legislator.

If you an Oklahoman let them know that you are tired of being called a “radical” or an outsider because you do not agree with greed and corruption.

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected],  [email protected], [email protected],   [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected]gov[email protected], [email protected][email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected]

NO Horse Slaughter!

posted February 18th, 2013 by

Horse slaughter is not a humane alternative to responsible horse care; we have laws in Oklahoma to stop animal neglect.   The entities that want to open slaughter houses include the Unwanted Horse Coalition; despite the name, that is not an animal welfare organization, it is a consortium of horse breeding registries including the American Quarter Horse Association.  Is that because “too many” are okay as long as they can keep making money?

Say no to HB 199 and SB 375

Please contact your legislator to tell them to vote NO to horse slaughter in Oklahoma ask that they let you know how they voted on horse slaughter.  Find your legislator at


When contacting your own legislator, tell them that you are a constituent.


A sample e mail:

Dear  ________________;

I urge you to vote NO on HB 1999 and SB 735, the measures that would make Oklahoma into the horse slaughter capitol of the US. Horse slaughter is not part of our legacy.

Contrary to what the proponents say, this measure only helps those who breed horses.  Slaughter will not make a problem go away; it will make overbreeding profitable and ensure the breeding of excess horses.  Especially in view of the EU issues, if this international industry downsizes, Oklahoma could be left with many more unwanted horses that we are concerned about now.

Horse slaughter has been found to be tied to organized crime (, with large-scale Oklahoma horse slaughter dealer George Baker indicted on February 8 by a grand jury with counts that include conspiracy and racketeering. The indictment covered nine Oklahoma counties and extended to Texas; we do not need this “underworld” industry (

Responsible ownership is the answer; horse slaughter is not. The equation is not starve or be butchered.  We have laws to prevent starvation. Oklahoma should not be the horse killing state.

No to HB1999 and SB 375.





In the coming weeks “ag” organizations and other interests will work together to decide what legislative bills they support.  This issue affects all Oklahomans.

Even though they speak about the “sad” abundance of unwanted horses, most of the nationwide entities that support reopening horse slaughter are involved in breeding more horses.   

The following organizations are active at our capitol.  Please let them know that you hope they will join us in saying NO to horse slaughter in Oklahoma.    

Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce (Oklahoma City) use link:

Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce (Tulsa) [email protected]

Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association- please call them at (405) 235-4391 and ask them to not support (or oppose) the horse slaughter bill.  Horse slaughter is not a part of Oklahoma’s legacy and it is not a part of our agricultural heritage. 

Oklahoma Farm Bureau use link:

Oklahoma Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association  [email protected]

Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association use link:  

Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation [email protected]

Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association [email protected]


A Sample e-mail to these organizations is:


Dear  [name of organization]

During this session, please do not join forces with those who support the “horse slaughter” measures before the Oklahoma legislature.

Oklahoma needs jobs and infrastructure, not get-rich-quick schemes and crime.  Horse slaughter is not part of our legacy and it is not a promising business for us.

Contrary to what the proponents say, this measure helps those who breed horses.  Slaughter will not make a problem go away; it will make overbreeding profitable and ensure the ongoing breeding of excess horses.

Horse slaughter has been found to be tied to organized crime (, with large-scale Oklahoma horse slaughter dealer George Baker indicted on February 8 by a grand jury with counts that include conspiracy and racketeering. The indictment covered nine Oklahoma counties and extended to Texas; we do not need an “underworld” industry (

Responsible ownership is the answer; horse slaughter is not. The equation is not starve or be butchered.  We have laws to prevent starvation. Oklahoma should not be the horse killing state.

Please stand with Oklahoma on common sense and do not join with the horse slaughter proponents.

No to HB1999 and SB 375.



Pet Peace of Mind

posted November 24th, 2012 by

For 15 years, Brandi and Eddie grew up in a quiet Tulsa home. Lying under the grand piano many days, they had heard concertos and sonatas being taught by their “mom,” Georgann. Their “dad” had been a successful attorney, having argued successfully three times before the Supreme Court, when he was not traveling as a professional football referee. Both were Hospice of Green Country patients and died within five months of each other.

When their owners came on service, Brandi and Eddie, who were 90 years old in human years, were enrolled in Pet Peace of Mind (PPOM), a program created by HGC in 2007 to take care of the pets of patients when they are no longer able. When owners/patients pass away, PPOM finds a new loving home for the animals. It was that last promise that HGC knew was going to be hard—finding a forever home for two 15-year-old Dachshunds. To exacerbate the situation, Brandi is almost blind, partially deaf, and requires daily pain medications for her degenerating spine.

Dr. Chet Thomas of City Veterinary Hospital came to Brandi and Eddie’s rescue. He thought he knew a young woman with two rescued Dachshunds of her own who might volunteer to at least be their foster “mom.” “OMG!” as the young people say. It was a match made in heaven, or at least by the Brady Bunch!

The two elderly wiener dogs went from life under the grand piano to a house and backyard rollicking with two young Dachshunds, 8-year old Smitty and 1-year old Halle; an elderly chocolate Lab, Elle, with a tumor on her back so she needed help going up and down; and two young rescue Siamese-Tabby brothers, Maverick and Goose, who like to mix-it-up with the wieners. Shannon, the new foster “mom,” has taken the elderly additions to her menagerie in stride—she and her friends are in the rescue business. There are plenty of beds and bowls for everyone.

With its mission of improving the quality of life at the end of life, HGC understands the critical role pets play in calming and relaxing their patients. One patient, Lela, confirmed this understanding. “These dogs are my life,” she says. I love having them here with me. They keep me company, and they make me feel better.”

When Lela eventually moved to a 24-hour care facility, PPOM volunteers made sure her dogs were fostered in loving homes and that they made frequent visits to see their “mom.” Lela could be having a really difficult day, but the minute Boo-Boo and Cookie walked in, she would light up and delight in the sight of her babies. Lela died knowing that Boo-Boo and Cookie were going to live with her daughter who would love them as she had loved them.

That final peace of mind, of knowing that your beloved pet is going to a good home, is critical in the last stretch of the patient’s journey. HGC saw this peace when their patient Frieda, who had been hanging on to life against all odds, died with a sigh and a small smile within hours of knowing that her little dog Tuffy was going to a loving home.

Hospice of Green Country launched Pet Peace of Mind in July 2007. At that time, the Director of Spiritual Care, Rev. Delana Taylor McNac—a veterinarian no longer in practice—recognized that all too often terminally ill patients give up their pets because they can’t afford pet food or vet care. She said she would then see cases of rapid decline in both the physical and emotional health of these patients. Conversely, when they could keep their animals without the stress of paying for decent pet food or medications, McNac says patients were more content, more at ease with the process they were going through.

Since its beginning in 2007, the Pet Peace of Mind Program has taken care of 263 pets of 122 patients. The program enlists the help of over 50 volunteers from the Hospice Volunteer Corps, as well as a network of local veterinarians who often provide services at a discount. PPOM is financially supported by donations from individuals, as well as local corporations and foundations.

In 2009, Hospice of Green Country gave the copyright of Pet Peace of Mind to Banfield Charitable Trust, which is replicating the program with grants and program guidelines to nonprofit hospices across the country. Currently, there are 46 other PPOM programs operating with another three in the wings.

There are many pets in need of forever homes. The Hospice of Green Country website lists descriptions and circumstances of pets currently in need of a loving adopted family. Visit their website: (http://www.hospiceofgreencountry. org/hospice/Pets_Available_ for_Adoption3.asp) for more info. If you are interested in Hospice of Green Country for a family member or would like to volunteer, call Amy at (918) 388- 1324 or email [email protected] org.

Our hearts go out to these pets— they have just lost the most important people in their lives, and now they are making the adjustment to a new home. They need as much understanding and love as possible. Thanks to PPOM and likeminded people, many have already found their place in a new adoptive family with many more on the way

The Perfect Combination of Compassion and Expertise

posted September 16th, 2012 by

A cute little Chihuahua arrived at an area animal shelter with what appeared to be a very infected eye. Volunteers put out a plea for a veterinarian to examine the little dog, known as Baby, and the doctors at Hammond Animal Hospital were happy to take a look. Examination revealed that Baby actually suffered from microphthalmia, a congenital disorder resulting in a small eye that is recessed in the socket and often blind. To add to the tiny dog’s troubles, the veterinarians also noticed that Baby had an unusual gait and further diagnosed bilaterally luxated patellas– a condition in which the patellas, or kneecaps, in the dog’s hind legs dislocate or move out of their normal location. Baby needed surgery to not only remove her blind eye, but also to repair both knees.

None of this is good news for a homeless dog that is living in limbo in a small shelter with limited resources. But there was good news for Baby. Thanks to the expertise and generosity of Dr. Dennis Henson and Dr. Lauren Johnson, along with an outpouring of support from concerned animal lovers, the tough little Chihuahua received the surgeries she needed followed by excellent support during her recovery and rehabilitation. Baby quickly became a hospital favorite. In fact, so much so that she and Dr. Johnson, who oversaw her recovery, quickly became inseparable. So instead of returning to the shelter to await adoption, Baby was adopted by one of her favorite docs and can be found making the rounds with Dr. Johnson on a regular basis.

Whether it’s a beloved family pet or a homeless animal in need, the veterinarians and staff at Hammond Animal Hospital deliver the perfect combination of compassionate care and expertise to each case. The result? Many happy tales…and tails!

Page 1 of 1812345678910111213...Last »