Animal Advocacy

Intersection – Oklahoma Link Coalition Conference

posted October 25th, 2017 by
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Intersection

Oklahoma City Conference on November 7

Will Address the Link Between Animal and Human Abuse

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at the Oklahoma History Center, professionals from across Oklahoma will engage in a day-long discussion about the link between animal abuse and the cycle of family and societal violence. Called INTERSECTION, the conference is presented by the Oklahoma Link Coalition and Kirkpatrick Foundation; the event costs $15 and includes lunch. The conference will offer six CLEET hours (including two mental health), 6.5 CEUs for Oklahoma-licensed social workers, and 6.5 CEUs for Oklahoma-licensed veterinarians. We have capacity for 110 registrants and only twenty seats remain available. Check in begins at 9:30 a.m. with the first session at 10 a.m.; the day concludes at 4:15 p.m. A special announcement will take place at noon. If you are interested in attending the event, please follow this link and register now: http://www.oklahomalinkcoalition.org/events.html.

As you no doubt know, acts of animal cruelty are often the predictors and indicators of escalating violence against the human members of the family, with serious implications for society as well. Since its inception in June 2014, the Oklahoma Link Coalition’s mission has been to promote advocacy, cross-training, and networking across disparate fields and spreading awareness of “the Link” to as many professionals as possible, as well as to the public. INTERSECTION presenters include:

Randall Lockwood, PhD Senior VP for Forensic Sciences and Anti- Cruelty Projects, ASPCA

Melinda Merck, DVM leading forensic veterinarian

Dr. Mary Anne McCaffree, MD neonatologist and member of the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse

Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma state director of the Humane Society of the Unites States

Diana Webster, president of the Native America Humane Society; Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa County District Attorney; and Lt. Kimberly Teachman, Oklahoma City Police Department

Training on the AniCare Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse, the first professionally developed psychological intervention program for adults and children who have abused animals.

Intersection

Looking Back – Moving Forward

posted October 22nd, 2017 by
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Looking Back

Looking Back – Moving Forward

 

Two years ago PAAS had just begun to transport dogs (and a few cats) out-of-state.  It was a difficult time of transition.  PAAS had been conceived as a local rescue that would adopt dogs and cats locally.  The reality did not match the dream.

Looking BackIt wasn’t an easy transition for those who’d worked so hard and believed in the dream of PAAS as a local adoption center.  They cared enough to change their perception and help PAAS become a regional transport center, Pets for Life center for Vinita residents and a Pet Over-Population resource for those who live outside Vinita.  In addition, the inmate/shelter program at Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center is changing the lives of the inmates, their families and the dogs who graduate with a Canine Good Citizen certificate to go on to further training to be certified as a service/therapy dog.

Mixed amongst the progress are wonderful stories.  Here are a couple.

Looking BackRecently, a very scared, very pregnant Miss Bailey arrived at the shelter.  She was so terrified in the shelter, she would not walk on a leash, her tail was tucked and she shook.  Fast forward to our Birthing Center Angels at the Richardson/Rexwinkle Birthing Center.  Once she knew she was safe, she delivered 11 puppies – took wonderful care of them – and is now living the good life in Colorado.  Her puppies also went to Colorado and were adopted as soon as their pictures were up on the Dumb Friends League site.  We really celebrated when Miss Bailey also found her new home – who could resist those beautiful eyes.

And then there’s Copper.  He came to us from the Vinita pound.  Small, chunky guy – long in the tooth (older) – who liked a few and tolerated everyone else.  Fortunately, he decided Avis was going to be his new Mom.  Not sure Avis understood that at first – but it quickly became apparent wherever Avis went – here came Copper.  And, oh good lord, did he let all of us know when she went home at night – he was not a happy camper.  Yes you know the rest of this story – Avis saw the light and adopted Copper!!!!

Equally important is that of the 2,300+ dogs who’ve traveled to Dumb Friends League via the PAAS transport – not one of them will either a) have puppies or  b) be the father of a litter.  If you even try to do the math on how many puppies could have been born if the 2,300 dogs had not been “fixed” – it becomes very clear.

Kay Stout, Director 

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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Dr. Carlos Risco is new OSU Veterinary Dean

posted October 20th, 2017 by
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Carlos Risco

Oklahoma State names Dr. Carlos Risco Center for Veterinary Health Sciences dean

 

(STILLWATER, Okla., October 20, 2017) – The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents today approved the appointment of Dr. Carlos A. Risco as dean of the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. He is expected to assume his position in March.

Carlos RiscoRisco is currently at the University of Florida where he serves as a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve as dean,” Risco said. “The strong culture of scholarship, outstanding curriculum and the multidisciplinary approach to improve both animal and human health has led to the excellent reputation of the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

“This reputation makes Oklahoma State a place where students want to attend,” Risco said. “As dean, I look forward to working with our talented faculty and staff to continue progress in the center’s role as a regional, national and international leader in veterinary medical education, research, and service.”

OSU Provost and Senior Vice President Gary Sandefur said, “We are pleased to have Dr. Risco join the OSU team. He will provide strong vision and leadership for our excellent veterinary program. I want to thank Vice President Thomas Coon and members of the search and screening committee for leading our national search and identifying an outstanding pool of candidates. I also appreciate Chris Ross and his solid leadership as interim dean.”

Risco received his DVM degree in 1980 from the University of Florida and advanced clinical training as an intern in private dairy practice at the Chino Valley Veterinary Associates in California. He is a diplomate in the American College of Theriogenologists.

From 1982 to 1990, he was a full partner at Chino Valley Veterinary Associates, a nine-veterinarian dairy practice. In 1990, he joined the faculty at the University of Florida as an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Risco’s main research focus pertains to metabolic disorders and reproductive management of dairy cows.

 

CONTACT: Gary Shutt | OSU Communications | 405-744-4800 | [email protected]

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years. 

 

Derinda D. Blakeney, APR

Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator

Oklahoma State University

Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

308 McElroy Hall

Stillwater, OK 74078

(405) 744-6740 (office)

(405) 744-5233 (fax)

(405) 612-4019 (mobile)

[email protected]

 

Play by the Rules

posted September 24th, 2017 by
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Looking Back

Play by the Rules – It Works

My son played soccer, baseball and football in high school – three sports – three different sets of rules, coaches, players.  When I asked him if he had any trouble changing sports/coaches – – he said “No”. Next question – did he like everyone on each team “No”  – – and most importantly, why did he adjust to each sport’s rules, coaches, referees, players, the weather, et al.  He gave me that “look” that teenagers have perfected and said (with great exasperation) “Mom, I want to play the game.”

Those six words I want to play the game were the deciding factor for him.

PlayFourteen months ago, we began in earnest to transport homeless dogs (a few cats) from northeast Oklahoma to Dumb Friends League in Colorado.  We just surpassed the 2000 mark!!!!  And, it’s worked so well because we all play by the same rules.

Dumb Friends League sets the standard.  And, yes, at first we would gritch about it – but quickly realized they knew what they were doing.  Today we have more than 15 area rescues/shelters who collaborate with us so every Tuesday evening 30+ dogs (and sometimes a few cats) head to a new home in Colorado.  All of our partners follow the guidelines established by Dumb Friends League.  And, yes, for some of them it is hard to follow new rules- and, yes, we understand – – but in the end when everyone plays by the same rules – more lives are saved. 

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma saw large organizations collaborate, work together and, consequently save the lives of thousands of pets – including a pot belly pig.  They agreed on the rules they were going to follow, got to work and “got ‘er done”.

So, yes, we follow the rules – – yes it works – – and yes – – when you do follow the rules everyone wins.  Like the rules – – don’t have to – – just follow them.

Your son/daughter will accept an umpire/referee’s call – – play a position the coach gives them – – and wear a uniform in all kinds of weather – – to play the game. 

Well, it works for rescue as well.

Kay Stout, Director 

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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New Sign – New Direction

posted August 21st, 2017 by
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Looking Back

New Sign – New Direction

 

New SignWhen you drive past 628 Wilson – look at the new sign.  It shows our van, PAAS Ride to Rescue, Pets for Life, our phone number and the very important words
“Pets for Life  Resource Center  918-240-7950”.

Two years ago our mission stated we would save thousands of homeless pets.  And, today, we are – – it’s just not the way it was originally envisioned.  As a transfer station, 30 – 45+ dogs (and some cats) head to a new home in Colorado every Tuesday night.  As a result, you see fewer homeless dogs and cats roaming the streets of Vinita.  Our Oklahoma partners, many of them municipal shelters, no longer face over-crowding in their kennels.  At the moment 28 rescues/shelters are our Oklahoma partners.  Many of them, in turn, rescue from other shelters/rescues – – so 35+ in total are part of our transfer program.  And the number continues to grow as the good word spreads.

A huge thanks goes to the PAAS Board who was willing to let us find a solution.  Next are our donors, each  and every one makes a difference in the life of one of our rescues.  Grants play a key role in the funding and growth of our programs.  Partnerships with organizations like Dumb Friends League of Colorado provide a destination point.  And, last, but most importantly, a staff of 7 make the organization run like a well-oiled machine. 

Our next goal is expansion of the NOCC inmate/shelter dog training program.  We now have two training organizations selecting dogs from our program.  One is in training for a young person with Asperger’s  and one has passed the high standard to be trained as a mobility dog (think open doors, close doors, pick up things on the floor). 

It’s an exciting time to be at PAAS

Kay Stout, Director

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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When Pets Grieve

posted August 10th, 2017 by
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When Pets Grieve

By Cindy Webb

When Pets Grieve

Turns out, Isabelle wasn’t dying, but she was a mess. One veterinarian recommended immediate euthanasia. Unwilling to give up on the little cat, Kathryn took Isabelle to another veterinarian who found that most of Isabelle’s teeth were bad. After dental surgery and a few weeks on a gluten-free diet, Isabelle blossomed.

Scarlet, however, was not happy with the newcomer. Growling, spitting and even slapping were common occurrences over the next three years that the cats shared living space. Yet, when Isabelle suddenly and tragically passed away one night, Kathryn and her husband were shocked to discover that Scarlet seemed to share their grief.

“She seemed depressed and was clingy,” said Kathryn of the usually aloof cat. “She became very needy and wanted to cuddle all the time. We have lots of pictures of her from that time because it was so unusual.”

“It might surprise people that pets grieve just as we do,” said Lindsay Benson, M.S., LPC, and certified pet loss and bereavement therapist. “But there’s actually a lot of scientific evidence to support that fact. In the wild, and in the home, animal behaviorists see definite changes in behavior when there’s been a loss.”

According to Benson, people often don’t realize their pets are grieving because they are so caught up in their own grief.

“I’ve had many people come in after they’ve lost their pet and say, ‘My other dog is being so bad. He peed in the house, and he’s just being so annoying.’ I try to help them understand that the dog they lost, and the dog they still have, were best friends.”

Signs of Grief in a Pet

“Grieving animals might display anxious behaviors, much like a human would,” said Benson. “In humans, anxiety is a huge marker of grief. Another common indicator that an animal is grieving is pacing or going to the preferred spot of the animal that died,” said Benson. “It can be comparable to separation anxiety.”

Additional behaviors that are common in grieving animals include:

Loss of appetite: You may notice there is still food in the bowl after feeding them.

Lethargy: You might find them hiding under the bed, taking longer naps, or just not having the zest for life they once had.

Anxiety: You might find that they can’t sleep because they are searching, pacing, and whining. They might seem restless, checking the windows and doors.

Excessive clinginess: Following you from room to room, or wanting to be cuddled and petted.

Negative behaviors: chewing, digging, and housetraining accidents.

Supporting the Surviving Animals

“Your pet grieving the loss of another pet is normal. This is very important to understand,” said Benson. “You can’t stop it from happening, and it needs to happen. But you can do certain things to support them and make the transition easier for them. First,” she said, “you need to own it, and be aware that it is happening: ‘I’m grieving the loss of my pet and so are my other pets.’ Your next job is to support yourself and your pet through the journey of grief.”

Here are Benson’s suggestions for the journey:

Maintain a normal routine: Routine is the biggest indicator to the animal that everything is going to be OK.

Support them nutritionally: Loss of appetite is normal, but if it goes on for days, try putting some favorite treats in their bowl along with their food to entice them. But don’t get excessive with treats, because you don’t want to set a new standard of expectation from your animals.

Increase bonding time: This can be as simple as petting, grooming, or giving them a massage. Touch is calming for them and for you.

Increase exercise: You may want to add more walks and games for dogs or more play time for cats. Exercise can be especially helpful for animals that are anxious and searching. Greater activity tires them out and allows them to rest.

Set boundaries on negative behaviors: Be consistent in discipline. Even though you can acknowledge that their acting up behavior is probably a sign of grief, you can’t just let it go, as it can easily become the norm.

Benson does not recommend medication for the grieving pet but suggests that essential oil compounds “specifically blended for animals” might help calm them. Pheromone sprays can be helpful for cats. When a cat smells a pheromone from its own species, the endocrine system releases a calming chemical.

Remember that your pet’s grieving behaviors won’t last forever. “These behaviors typically last for a few days to a few weeks,” said Benson. “Animals’ recovery time from grief is definitely faster than for humans.”

Sharing in the Experience

According to Benson, there is evidence to support the idea of allowing the other pets in the home to be present for the euthanasia of a furry family member when possible.

“Researchers have found that around 80 percent of the time, the surviving pets will come over to the deceased animal and smell, nuzzle and investigate. They then seem to understand that their companion animal has died,” said Benson. She added that when the other pets are present for the passing, they show less anxious, searching behavior.

“They might search for a few hours, and then it subsides,” she said. “When they are not a part of the passing, it can be days and weeks that they continue that behavior.”

Benson suggests discussing home euthanasia with your veterinarian. Many veterinarians now offer that service. “You can also take your other animals with you to the vet if you don’t feel comfortable having it done in your home,” she said.

Our family opted for having our other pets present for the passing of our 14-year-old Springer Spaniel, Cubby. His hind legs had been failing him for almost a year, and the day came when he simply couldn’t get up. His pleading eyes told us all we needed to know. When our veterinarian arrived at our home, she encouraged us to have our other animals present for the euthanasia. Our surviving dog, Roxie, and cat, Agatha, watched motionless and tense throughout the procedure. Our vet said they would know when Cubby was gone by a change in his scent.

I was concerned that Roxie would have anxiety issues after Cubby’s passing, as she always did when separated from him. Yet, maybe because she was present when he died, she didn’t express the anxious checking and whining behaviors she showed when he went to the groomer or the vet.

Getting a New Pet

According to Benson, the first thing you need to do when you are tempted to get a new pet after a pet dies, is ask yourself: “Why?”

“If you think that it’s going to end your grief, or heal the hurt you are experiencing, that is not the right reason,” said Benson. “Grief is a natural journey after loss, and there is no escaping it. No cute, fluffy kitten or puppy is going to make it go away.”

She recommends that people wait at least 30 days before making any decisions about getting a new pet. “After the 30 days, you will be in a better mental state for making a decision,” said Benson.

Benson“Give yourself time, and make sure the reasons behind getting the new pet are appropriate. You don’t want to get a new pet to replace the lost animal or to stop yourself from grieving. What I find when people jump the gun, is they start feeling resentment toward the new pet because it isn’t just like the pet they lost,” said Benson. “The new pet never stood a chance.”

She said that postponing getting a new pet is also important for your surviving pets. “The grieving pet needs to process its grief before being introduced to another new pet,” said Benson.

“Bringing a new pet into the household is a big transition no matter what the circumstances. You may see an increase in acting out behaviors and accidents if you bring in a pet too soon. Everyone needs to be as emotionally stable as possible before getting a new pet.”

Be Patient with the Process

“While you want to support your pets through grief, there is no magic wand that will make it go away,” said Benson. “People want to hurry through grieving, but that is not realistic. You can’t do that for yourself; you can’t do it for your pet… But,” she added, “the more supportive and aware we are about our surviving pet’s grief, the more kindness we are probably showing to ourselves as we also grieve.”

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