All Past Articles

Making a Distinction – Making a Difference

posted November 19th, 2016 by
  • Share
Holiday Gift

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

Facebook

Twitter

Dog Smells

posted November 13th, 2016 by
  • Share
Dog Smells

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Dog Smells

without Expensive Products

Dog SmellsThere are plenty of great things about owning a dog. Companionship, exercise and love to name a few. But one of the downsides is that “doggy” smell that seems to be impossible to remove.

Considering the benefits of owning a dog, most owners are happy to just accept the smell as part of the deal. Dogs don’t hold themselves to the same hygiene standards as humans, so it’s not a surprise they smell a bit! But the good news is that a dog smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable side-effect of owning a dog, as we’ll see in this article.

What Causes the Dog Smell?

All animals have a natural smell, but the dog version seems to be particularly strong and distinctive. This is mainly because dogs are larger than other indoor domestic animals, which is why cat owners don’t have a similar problem.

The doggy smell is often caused by paw sweat which is carried around the home. The continuous build-up of sweat and bacteria leads to sofas and other furniture starting to smell.

Smells may also be caused by unconscious scent-marking. Don’t worry – this doesn’t involve urinating on the carpet! Dogs naturally produce a smell to mark their territory, and this is often the main culprit when it comes to a lingering smell in your home. Other causes for a dog smell include skin oil, which is why dogs with oily skin often smell more strongly, and ear wax.

In many cases, the smell is simply because your pet is dirty. Dirt provides the perfect environment for odor-releasing bacteria (just like humans).

Tip #1 – Freshen Up Your Upholstery

Furniture is one of the most commonly overlooked sources of a dog smell. Most people don’t vacuum upholstery as often as carpets, which is why the fabric can harbor odors – especially if your pet loves to sleep on the sofa.

 The first step is to remove and wash any covers that can be machine washed. Use a high heat (check the label first though) to quickly get rid of odor-releasing particles.

For parts of the sofa that can’t be machine washed, baking soda can be useful for getting rid of smells. Just sprinkle it over areas you think are particularly smelly and leave for 2-3 hours, before vacuuming up the powder.

Tip #2 – Wash (And Dry) Your Dog More Regularly

The cleaner your dog, the less he is going to smell. When giving your pet a bath, make sure you check the feet and fur for anything he might have stepped or rolled in. Then use a dog shampoo (don’t use regular shampoo) on his entire body.

Once washed, it’s also important to dry your dog thoroughly. Dog hair is a perfect location for bacteria, which also thrives on moist conditions. This is why “wet dog” is such a distinctive smell!

Unfortunately, most dogs hate having baths. You can often make the process more fun for them by providing the occasional treat throughout the process.

Tip #3 – Get Rid of Carpet Smells

Carpets, wood floors and even vinyl can start to smell if not cleaned regularly. In fact, flooring is probably the most common cause of a dog smell that never seems to go away. This is because your dog’s feet picks up all sorts of bacteria on walks, which are then carried into the home.

For this reason, hard floors should be regularly cleaned with an anti-bacterial floor cleaner that’s suitable for the type of material. The goal isn’t to make the floor look clean, although this is a bonus, but to kill bacteria living on the floor.

You can also use the baking soda trick on carpets to clean areas that smell noticeably bad. Sprinkle the powder on the worst areas and leave it overnight.

Note: if your carpets are heavily soiled, you may need to hire a professional carpet cleaner. This can be expensive, but provides a much cleaner starting point to maintain a smell-free home.

Tip #4 – Vacuum Three Times Each Week

Dog hair isn’t the only thing that drops off your pet. Skin particles, bacteria and dirt are all released from your dog – especially when he shakes after a walk.

That’s why it’s a good idea to vacuum at least three times per week. This sounds like a lot, but you’ll be amazed at how much dirt and hair a vacuum with strong suction will remove from your home even when cleaning regularly.

If you own a steam cleaner, the high pressure output can kill bacteria in carpets and on hard floors. Some steam cleaners also come with an upholstery tool, which can be useful for removing stubborn odors from sofas and other furniture.

Tip #5 – Brush Your Pooch’s Teeth

Finally, bad dog breath is another common source of unwanted odors. The best way to solve this is to regularly clean your dog’s teeth.

Admittedly, many dogs hate having their teeth cleaned. If your pet won’t let you clean his teeth, you can try treats that clean while the dog chews them. These aren’t as effective as a proper toothbrush though.

Summary

An unpleasant smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable consequence of owning a dog. By following the tips in this post, you can get rid of the dog smell and make your home smell fresh and inviting.

While it’s a good idea to follow all the tips in this post, the most important is keeping your upholstery and carpets as clean as possible. These are reservoirs of bacteria that cause your home to smell, so cleaning them can have a big effect on odors.

- Andrew Webster

Home Veterinary Care brings clinic to your living room

posted October 19th, 2016 by
  • Share
4571d8f73535e990dd3a8381e6272dc0

Home Veterinary Care

Have you ever tried to take three cats to the vet? Or just one really stressed out cat? Maybe your large dog is sick and having trouble hopping into the car. Maybe your pet isn’t the problem, but your kid lost his shoes… again. Whatever it is that makes getting to the vet difficult, Tulsa’s newest mobile veterinarian can help.

Dr. Gabrielle Fielstra, who is also a mom to three young children, wanted to take charge of her schedule after working as veterinarian in a clinic for 10 years.

“I have thought about it for a while and it’s something I definitely think there is a need for here in town, ” said Fielstra, who launched Home Veterinary Care in June.

Many of her clients had pets that were stressed by coming into the clinic and had asked about home visits, says Fielstra.

Home Veterinary Care

Dr. Gabrielle Fielstra and vet tech Ashley Jones.

“It’s a lot more personalized,” she said. “I get to know my clients a lot better when I’m standing in their living room than in an exam room. And you can see the patients better; you can see them in their environment.”

For example, a limping dog may hide their injury in the clinic.

“The big thing is behavior, you can see the source,” Fielstra explained. “If a pet is going to the bathroom in the house, you can see their environment and what is going on with the litter box or the yard; things the client may not even think to tell you when they are standing in an exam room.”

Another service offered quality of life evaluations and end of life care.

“I can give my advice on the patient’s quality of life and if there is anything we can do to help improve quality of life or if it is time and help [clients] come to terms with that,” Fielstra said. “That’s the hardest part is getting to that point.

“We do a lot of referrals for home euthanasia,” Fielstra continued. “It’s a lot more comfortable. People are upset and they don’t want to be upset at a clinic in an exam room. We work with all of the pet funeral homes so we can help take care of the remains.”

Fielstra books her appointments in one-hour blocks allowing 15 to 20 minutes for travel, leaving 30 to 45 minutes for the actual appointment time.

Supplies are carried in the van including medications, a mini lab with microscopes and some basic tests. The exam is conducted in the house or yard if the pet is an outdoor animal.

“I think one thing that people hesitate on is the price; people assume it’s going to be really expensive,” Fielstra said. “We try to price it where it is still really reasonable.”

There is a travel fee separate from the exam fee. If you are having multiple animals examined, there is still only one travel fee. Package discounts for annual shots are also offered.

Home Veterinary Care serves Tulsa and the surrounding area Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit homevetcaretulsa.com or call 918.892.9382.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Mutt Strut to benefit DVIS kennel

posted October 16th, 2016 by
  • Share
muttstruttsquare

Mutt Strut

Bring your mutt out to strut his stuff and raise awareness for the DVIS kennel this Saturday at Hunter Park, 5804 E 91st St.

The third annual Mutt Strut starts at 9 a.m. and will include a .9 mile awareness walk and the first 100 dogs to arrive will receive a bag of treats from Bridges Barkery. There will also be a costume contest with a King and Queen of the Mutt Strut. There is also a chance to win best owner/dog duo.

Mutt Strut

Participants of last years Mutt Strut. Photo provided by DVIS.

DVIS or Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. has been serving Tulsa for 40 years.

“As we took crisis calls and spoke with survivors we noticed that fear for the lives of pets was a common barrier that prevented families from seeking safety at our shelter,” said Carissa Bratschun, director of communication and marketing for DVIS.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 71% of pet owners entering domestic violence shelters report that their batterer had threatened, injured or killed family pets. Additionally, it was found that 25% to 40% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they worry about what will happen to their pets should they leave.

DVIS was the first domestic violence shelter in Oklahoma to build kennels for dogs and cats.

“Before the kennels opened in July 2015, families would have to leave their pets behind or find other options to keep them safe,” Bratschun said. “We built the kennels to help our clients feel at home and to ensure pet safety was not a barrier to families seeking shelter with DVIS.”

The DVIS kennel can house up to two large dogs, three small dogs, three medium dogs and four cats. Pets staying with DVIS get shots, medicine and spay/neutering through spay Oklahoma. DVIS also provides food, bowls, leashes, collars, flea/tick medicine, toys, shampoo, blankets, cat litter, scoopers, litter boxes, etc.

Admission to the event is free with an in-kind donation to the kennel. Most needed items are: pet carriers; potty pads; pet first aid kits; flea and tick prevention; deworming medication.

Last year’s event filled two truck beds of in-kind donations for the kennels. “This year, we are going to have a moving truck and we hope to fill it to the brim!” Bratschun said.

You can register for the event at dvis.org or call 918.508.2711.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Promises Made

posted October 9th, 2016 by
  • Share
Holiday Gift

Promises Made

PromisesPeople live longer and so do their pets.  Unfortunately, too often the pet outlives the owner and someone is left with a problem that has many options for a solution – only most of them are not realistic.

Families are frequently scattered hundreds of miles apart, have busy lives and do not feel they can take care of an elderly cat or dog that was the beloved pet of one of their parents or relatives.  When that is the case, it really helps all of us in rescue if a sibling or relative will make the necessary decisions regarding the pet’s future. Sadly, too often, that isn’t the case and it is left to a friend or neighbor.

There are no easy answers. But here are some facts that need to be considered.  Elderly dogs and cats are very difficult, if not impossible, to rehome.  Rescues are hard-pressed to find a good home for the puppies/kittens and young dogs/cats. When you call us and we listen, then explain why we can’t take the pet – it tears at our hearts.  But we also know, we have to be sure we save as many homeless dogs and cats as possible and the stark reality then means we can’t save all of them.

I can speak for PAAS and the 15+ rescues who now work with us – – we are saving 100+ dogs each month that are transferred to our partner in Colorado.  That keeps us going because we can see the positive impact it has.  We also know we can’t lose sight of that progress when faced with a phone call or conversation with someone who’s promised a friend/relative they would take care of their elderly pet, then realize it isn’t possible.

Social media can sometimes come to the rescue – especially Facebook sites.  But there’s no guarantee.  Plans and decisions should be made ahead of time – – for everyone involved.

Remember your pets have no voice – – you – – only you  – – are their voice.

Kay Stout, Director 

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

Facebook

Twitter

Amoré Pits in Paradise

posted October 6th, 2016 by
  • Share
13958270_1748568692059043_6546490432840813243_o

Amoré Pit Bull Rescue

Join Amoré Pit Bull Rescue next weekend for food, fun and games while raising funds for animals in need.

The only Pit Bull rescue in the Tulsa area, Amoré is dedicated to changing the conversation about Pit Bulls, educating the community about the breed and finding homes for their rescued dogs.

Misty Bilby, who founded Amoré in 2014. says sometimes when they are showing their dogs available for adoption, members of the public will sometimes comment that they are wasting their time.

“It’s really sad because they are really good breed,” Bilby said. “They are a very sweet breed of dog.”

Pits in Paradise will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 in OU Founders Hall, 4502 E. 41st St., and will feature a sit down dinner catered by Ludger’s, a silent auction and trivia.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased in advance online at amorepitbullrescue.com/pip.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]