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PurrkUp! Cat Cafe Kickstarter launched

posted May 16th, 2016 by
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Cat with vintage ornament, silhouette

PurrkUp! Cat Cafe

Susan Cram is planning to bring the cat cafe craze to Tulsa this fall and help shelter cats in the process. Purrk Up! is in its early stages and a Kickstarter page launched today in an effort to raise $60,000.

For the uninitiated, a cat cafe is exactly what it sounds like: a themed coffee shop whose main attraction is its resident cats that can be watched or played with.

While many of the cat cafes that have become so popular in Asia house their cats permanently, Cram will be partnering with Tulsa Animal Welfare and Tulsa SPCA to foster adoptable cats, getting them out of cages and in the public eye.

“In a cat cafe, you can at least see how they behave socially with other cats and with people and you’re not judging them by how they behave in a cage,” Cram explained.

The goal is that in showcasing adoptable cats in the coffee shop setting, cats who may have otherwise been passed over in a shelter will find their forever homes.

“I have adopted cats before that were thought to have issues and once they got in a house, a lot of times those issues disappeared,” she said. “They were just scared and depressed and they were hiding in the back corner of a cage. They were marked to be put down and you get them in a home and they are the most affectionate, loving, playful cats.”

Cram, who relocated from Denver three years ago, had only been living in Tulsa about a month when she was faced with the community’s pet overpopulation problem. A neighbor brought a stray cat to her house and after having trouble finding a rescue to take her, Cram ended up taking the cat to Tulsa Animal Welfare.

“That was my first impression, thinking there was a little bit of a problem here,” Cram said. “And there have been other strays since then and the same problem.”

The coffee shop and the cat lounge will be two separate rooms to stay in compliance with the Health Department. Patrons will only be able to enter through the coffee shop but will be able to take their food and beverages into the cat lounge if they wish.

Special activities for the cafe are also in the works, appealing to a broad range of cat people. So far, plans include yoga, live music, sushi nights, reserved time for seniors and workshops for children.

“No one likes to hear the bad statistics about dogs and cats being put down, but there is only so much room in the shelter and there is only so much funding that they get. They are not miracle workers,” Cram said. “If there was no pet overpopulation problem, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

You can learn more about Cram’s plans for Purrk Up! and choose from a variety of pledge options to back the project at the Kickstarter page here.

--Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Pet Prevention: Saving Homeless Pets

posted May 15th, 2016 by
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Coconut Oil

Pet Prevention: Saving Homeless Pets

By Kiley Roberson

IN every community throughout the country, there are homeless animals. In the U.S., there are an estimated 6 to 8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. According to the Humane Society of the United States, barely half of these animals are adopted. Tragically, the rest are euthanized. These were healthy, sweet pets that could have made great companions.
We have thousands of homeless animals in our shelters right here in Oklahoma. These are not the offspring of homeless “street” animals—these are the puppies and kittens of cherished family pets and even purebreds. Oklahoma, like most states, has several animal rescue groups, adoptions centers and more, but one local organization says it’s not enough.
Anita Stepp is the president of NeuterSooner, an organization that provides low-cost options for people to have their pets spayed or neutered. She says rehoming the animals isn’t solving the initial problem.
“We have rescued and sheltered far more pets than we can count, and the problem was still staring back at us,” Anita says. “So we decided to change our focus and solve the problem by prevention.”
NeuterSooner was founded in Bartlesville in 2009 as a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals by offering low-cost spay/neuter programs to those who can’t afford the cost. Neuter-Sooner sells spay/neuter vouchers available to families with incomes less than $40,000 annually. Cost for the vouchers is based on family income.
“We were concerned about the number of pets ending up in the Tulsa City Shelter and having to be killed,” Anita says. “There was a need for more spay and neuter services that were easily accessible and affordable. NeuterSooner decided to help fill that need by providing mobile spay neuter clinics in the Tulsa area.”
Oklahoma Alliance for Animals agreed to help fund the clinics, and NeuterSooner has partnered with five regional veterinary clinics to provide the spay/neuter surgeries.
Today, NeuterSooner has spayed or neutered more than 2,200 pets at clinics in Bartlesville, Tulsa, Dewey, Ochelata, Ramona, Skiatook, Nowata, Cleveland, Jennings and Broken Arrow. Even with this success, Anita says there is still a lot to do.
“The need is so great, and we need help, too,” she says. “We can always use more volunteers at the clinics. We especially need people who can answer phone calls, do the scheduling, help with set up and clean up afterward. Donations are also needed to help make spay/neuter services affordable.”
The decision to spay or neuter your pet can be the single best decision you make for his or her long-term welfare. Not only does spaying or neutering help control the pet population, but it also has positive health and behavioral benefits for pets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than unneutered male dogs, and spayed female dogs live 23 percent longer than unspayed female dogs.
Part of the reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can be attributed to their increased urge to roam, exposing them to fights with other animals, getting struck by cars and other mishaps.
Another contributor to the increased longevity of altered pets involves the reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Unspayed female cats and dogs have a far greater chance of developing pyometra (a fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer and other cancers of the reproductive system.
Medical evidence indicates that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as 8 weeks old.
Male pets that are neutered eliminate their chances of getting testicular cancer, and it is thought that they have lowered rates of prostate cancer as well.
Veterinarians also suggest that spaying and neutering pets can help curb bad behavior. Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking (lifting of leg) than neutered dogs. Although it is most often associated with male dogs, females may do it, too. Spaying or neutering your dog should reduce urine-marking and may stop it altogether.
For felines, the urge to spray is extremely strong in an intact cat, and the simplest solution is to get yours neutered or spayed by 4 months of age before there’s even a problem. Neutering solves 90 percent of all marking issues, even in cats that have been doing it for a while. It can also minimize howling, the urge to roam and fighting with other males.
In both cats and dogs, the longer you wait, the greater the risk you run of the surgery not doing the trick because the behavior is so ingrained.
When you factor in the long-term costs potentially incurred by a non-altered pet, the savings afforded by spay/neuter are clear, especially with the help of low-cost spay/neuter clinics like NeuterSooner.
Caring for a pet with reproductive system cancer or pyometra can easily run into the thousands of dollars—five to 10 times as much as a routine spay surgery. Additionally, unaltered pets can be more destructive or high-strung, destroying furniture, household items and fighting with other unaltered pets.
With all this in mind, NeuterSooner says the answer is clear. If we want empty shelters and healthy pets, prevention is key. And the “Sooner,” the better!
You can find out more about Neuter- Sooner on their website (neutersooner.org) or give them a call at (918) 332-6341.

Purrk Up! Cat Cafe

posted May 10th, 2016 by
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Cat with vintage ornament, silhouette

Purrk Up! Cat Cafe

Tulsa’s Original Cat Café

a Place Where Cats and Cat People Meet Over Coffee

Purrk UpPurrk Up!,Tulsa’s Original Cat Café, launches its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on Monday, May 16. Proceeds from the campaign will be combined with personal funds from founder, Susan Cram, to secure the cafe site near Hillcrest Medical Center and the University of Tulsa. Preparations will then continue for an opening targeted for this fall. Adoptable shelter cats from Tulsa Animal Welfare and the Tulsa SPCA will be available at Purrk Up! until each cat is placed with their forever home. The felines will thrive in the space where they can roam freely, play and be pampered to their hearts’ content. All patrons will be able to enjoy these cats – whether that’s someone who can’t have a cat in their home, someone who enjoys the therapeutic effect of cats, or someone looking for a home companion. Most importantly, this environment allows the cats to be more relaxed and ready to meet that special person who has come in specifically to adopt their next furry friend.
Local roaster, Topeca Coffee, will provide coffee beans to the cat café and several commercial sources of fresh baked goods and sandwiches are being considered as the café will most likely not start out with its own kitchen.
The design of the cat café will comply with local Health Department guidelines by separating the cat lounge from the coffee shop. Patrons will enter the coffee shop and either stay to enjoy their beverage and snack or take it with them into the lounge. No cats will be allowed in the coffee shop side. An online reservation system will ensure that the number of visitors won’t overwhelm the number of cats. However, there will likely be periods of the day when walk-ins can be accommodated as well.
The cat café concept has been wildly popular in the U.S. with approximately 40 locations in operation or close to opening. The idea isn’t new, however. Almost 20 years ago the first cat café opened in Taiwan with hundreds following across Asia with Europe following suit. While the early cat cafés in Asia primarily addressed the difficulty in having pets, the ones in the U.S. introduced adoptable cats into the picture which has resulted in increased adoptions and decreased euthanasia numbers.
If you are excited about having a cat café in Tulsa and would like to contribute to this project, time is limited to visit Purrk Up!’s Kickstarter page here

ASPCA-Subaru Grant saved Lives

posted May 9th, 2016 by
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Looking Back

ASPCA-Subaru Grant saved Lives

125 – – and counting

ASPCA-SubaruThanks to a grant from ASPCA-Subaru – – 125 dogs found new homes in Colorado. And, yes, saving lives frequently comes down to “Show Me the Money”. Gasoline is not free, nor are meals for the drivers, and food for the animals. The per animal cost was $39.47 x 125 = $4,934.24 – Our grant was $4,000.00 – – – money very well spent.

No matter how you look at rescue – – it starts and ends with “Show me the Money”.
Sometimes, when we’re sitting around kibitzing in general – -we imagine how nice it would be if – – big IF – we could just fill up the van at no cost, buy all the supplies and medications at no cost and – – in a dream world – – because we worked in rescue – we could get our groceries, living expenses covered by some magic wand. However, that isn’t going to happen – – ever. So – – Show Me the Money is the only way we can continue to rescue dogs and cats, then help them find new homes.

Individual donations, foundation grants, fund raisers by volunteers, monthly contributions – – – collectively they keep us going. No donation is too small; planned donations are our lifeblood (similar to paychecks); grants from foundations literally make the difference

We are grateful to the ASPCA and Subaru for their grant Everyone working together leads to success. And we know the 125 dogs who now have a good life would give kisses, tail bumps and snuggles as their way of saying “Thanks for saving me”.

Kids and Canines

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

Kids and Canines – Training 911

By Mary Green

 

My mailbox has been full lately with questions about kids and dogs. I grew up with dogs, and there were dogs in our household when my son was growing up. So from my perspective, kids and animals go together like peanut butter and jelly. But you must have a good plan of action and realistic expectations of the amount of work involved. And understand that all dogs aren’t Lassie, and all kids aren’t Timmy.

What’s a good age for a child to get a dog? School-aged children can help a lot with a dog! They can learn how to measure the dog food and scoop it into the dog bowl. Feeding the dog presents a great opportunity for the dog to learn some self-control, like sit and wait for food. If you teach the kids, and the dog, the kids can help brush the dog’s fur. Taking the dog for a walk should be a family activity—there should always be an adult present.

There are two very important rules for children to learn: Never touch or bother a dog while he is eating, and leave sleeping dogs alone. Obeying these simple rules reduces potential dog bites.

One mother writes, “How can I get my  16-week-old puppy to play gently with my kids. They are 1 and 3 years old.” My answer may not have been quite what mom wanted to hear. At 16 weeks of age, the puppy needs to be in a good training class, learning how to “sit” on cue, take treats gently, and how to settle. And the adults need to be training the pup.

A 1-year-old child is too young to play with a puppy. Children in this age range don’t generally have a concept of “personal space” that a dog may need. They also love to hug dogs (which dogs do not like), and they pursue dogs no matter where the dog tries to go! Every interaction between the puppy and the 1-year-old must be closely supervised by an adult. We certainly don’t want the puppy and the baby to be afraid of each other, so don’t segregate them—but supervision is essential to ensure a positive experience for them both.

A 1-year-old can learn how to properly pet a dog. Preferably an older, calm dog to start with! Use a stuffed dog if an older, calm dog isn’t available. The puppy can learn that cool things happen when the baby is around. If the baby is present, the puppy can be rewarded for calm behavior.

The 3-year-old child can give basic cues, such as sit, lie down, and stay, once the puppy understands these behaviors. Kids of this age can deliver a treat to the puppy, as long as the puppy has learned to take treats gently. Again, every interaction is well supervised by an adult. Playing together means there is a toy for the dog. It does not mean wrestling or chasing! It does not mean teasing the puppy with the toy. The child can toss the toy away and see the puppy get it—the puppy may not bring it back, but the interaction provides a positive experience for the puppy.

From another parent: “My 7-year-old son has been begging us to get him a dog. I don’t really have time for a dog, but he has his heart set. Is he old enough?”

Two (anonymous) quotes come to mind when I hear this question. “Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one,” and “Every boy who has a dog should also have a mother, so the dog can be fed regularly.”

At 7 years of age, basically your son can feed and water the dog. He cannot be responsible for walking the dog. He cannot drive the dog to training class, and he needs a lot of support to train the dog. He can play with the dog if he is taught how to do so appropriately (no chasing, no wrestling). That being said, a dog can be a great friend to your son! As they both grow up, they can have a great relationship and do lots of things together. Just be realistic that for the time being, the majority of dog duties will fall to the adults.

“I’ve told my boys that if they don’t stop tormenting our dog he’s gonna bite them.” “Yes,” I thought. “He sure will.”

 Teasing a dog is a great way to provoke a bite. Teasing, tormenting, bullying, and scaring are not fun for a dog to experience. Younger kids may be able to understand   this if parents can relate it to how the kids feel when they are teased, bullied or tormented. Again, if proper adult super-vision is happening, this will stop! And don’t threaten to “get rid of the dog” if the kids’ (or dog’s) behavior doesn’t improve. 

Some dogs that have not been around children are fine, while others are very uncomfortable. Dogs that are used to children of a certain age may be wary of younger or older children. Your family dog may be safe and trustworthy around your own kids, but may not be safe around visiting children. Be smart! Do whatever management you need to in order to keep everyone safe. My advice to one pet owner whose grandchildren were coming to visit from out of state was to board her dog when they were here. It would be less stress on the family and less stress on the dog!

Each year nearly 2.8 million children are bitten by a dog. Most of these bites are not coming from some scary dog that got loose. Sensational stories make headlines, but most dog bites are more commonplace. Half come from the family’s own dog, and another 40 percent come from a friend or neighbor’s dog.*

I know that kids and dogs belong together. There are so many fun activities for kids   and dogs, like going for a walk or hike, playing fetch, running agility courses and just hanging out. I’ve seen some awesome Junior Handlers in the Obedience, Rally and Agility rings. My own dogs get super excited when my grandchildren come over. The older kids love to help with dog chores. Jackson, who is 6 years old, loves to let the dogs go outside. He tells them to sit and wait at the door, and sends them out politely. Julie, who is only 3 years old, is very proud that she can say, “Brutus, sit,” and using the hand signal, the 6-month-old puppy responds. They are going to have big fun with Grammy’s dogs, and maybe they will have a dog of their own some day.

 

*Colleen Pelar’s Living With Kids and Dogs.com

Win tickets to Bark in the Park

posted May 3rd, 2016 by
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Bark in the Park

Bark in the Park

Bark in the ParkSpring has sprung, and with it a new baseball season. Dog lovers in Tulsa know that the best Drillers games to attend are the much-loved Bark in the Park nights when baseball fans can bring their canine buddies along to enjoy America’s favorite pastime.

This year, Tulsa Pets Magazine readers have the chance to win tickets to the upcoming May 25 Bark in the Park night as well as future Bark in the Park games through the season.

Simply upload a video to YouTube telling everyone why you and your pooch should be selected and submit it here. All submissions have a chance of being aired at OneOK Field at the discretion of the Tulsa Drillers, so get creative and have fun!

2016 season Bark in the Park nights

Wednesday, May 25 @7:05 p.m. vs Frisco

Wednesday, June 22 @7:05 p.m. vs Springfield

Wednesday, July 6 @7:05 p.m. vs San Antonio

Wednesday, July 20 @7:05 p.m. vs NW Arkansas

Wednesday, July 27 @7:05 p.m. vs Springfield

Wednesday, August 10 @7:05 p.m. vs Midland

Wednesday August 24 @7:05 p.m. vs Arkansas

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]