General Interest

Pet Friendly Getaways for You & Elmo

posted July 8th, 2013 by
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See complete listings at:

Nuyaka Creek Winery

OK Wine Country

35230 S. 177th W. Ave.

Bristow, OK 74010

(918) 756-8485

[email protected] 

Ambassador Hotel

Near Downtown Tulsa, OK

1324 S. Main Street

Tulsa, OK 74119

(918) 587-8200

[email protected]

MarVal Family Resort

Illinoise River, OK

Rt. 3, Box 60

Gore, OK 74435

(800) 340-4280

[email protected]

Bull Mountain Resort

Bull Shoals Lake, AR

2224 Central Blvd.

Bull Shoals, AR 72619

(870) 445-5971

[email protected]

The Campbell Hotel

Near University of Tulsa, OK

2636 E. 11th St.

Tulsa, OK 74104

(918) 744-5500

[email protected]

White Wing Resort

Table Rock Lake, MO

1028 Jakes Creek Trail

Branson, MO 65616

(417) 338-2318

[email protected]

Lake Hudson Inn

Lake Hudson, OK

178 Lewis Drive

Adair, OK 74330

(918) 785-2608

[email protected]

Honey Creek Resort

Grand Lake, OK

2511 S Main St.

Grove, OK 74344

(918) 786-5119

[email protected]

Lago Vista

Bed & Breakfast

Broken Bow Lake, OK

489 Bowfin Ln,

Broken Bow, OK 74728

(580) 494-7378

[email protected]

Beaver Lake View Resort

Beaver Lake, AR

3034 Mundell Rd.

Eureka Springs, AR 72631

(888) 253-8166

[email protected]

Retreat at Sky Ridge

Beaver Lake, AR

637 County Rd. 111

Eureka Springs, AR 72631

(479) 253-9465

[email protected]

Stone Meadow Resort

Table Rock Lake, AR

57 County Rd. 242

Eureka Springs, AR 72631

(479) 253-6118

[email protected]

Dinner Bell Ranch & Resort

Kings River, AR

4462 County Rd. 302

Eureka Springs, AR 72632

(479) 253-2900

[email protected]

Pine Lodge Resort

Grand Lake, OK

33635 Dock Road

Afton, OK 74331

(800) 640-3173

[email protected]

5 Ojo Inn

Bed and Breakfast

Downtown Eureka Springs, AR

5 Ojo Street

Eureka Springs, AR 72632

(800) 656-6734

[email protected]

Arsenic and Old Lace

Bed and Breakfast

Downtown Eureka Springs, AR

60 Hillside Ave.

Eureka Springs, AR 72632

(800) 243-5223

[email protected]

Sugar Ridge Resort

Beaver Lake, AR

1216 County Rd. 113

Eureka Springs, AR 72631

(800) 867-8439

[email protected]

From mountain trails to Victorian parlors, grape vines to pontoon boats, log cabins to luxury suites, down home breakfasts to yoga, campfires to shopping. It’s all there for you and Elmo to explore! There is an extensive listing about each of these unique Getaways in the TulsaPets Magazine Online Directory under “Pet Friendly” at: . That includes written descriptions, information, plenty of pictures, links, maps, and all of the contact information that you will need to arrange a GREAT TIME at any of these delightful pet-friendly destinations! Everyone’s pet policy varies, so be sure to check with the proprietor when making plans for your Pet Friendly GetAway! If you have a pet friendly getaway that we should know about, email [email protected] with the information.

Tribute for Misty

posted May 27th, 2013 by
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by Murray Thibobeaux

July 12, 2012, we put Misty to sleep. Misty could not overcome the complications that come with advanced diabetes. I buried her across the pond on the side of a hill, so we could always see the tree we planted over her.

A few weeks had passed when the radio fence alarm went off, showing the wire was cut. I geared up with extra wire, wire strippers, wire nuts and electrical tape and began my routine of following the 4,000-plus feet of antenna wire around our property.

While following the large loop of wire, I walked right past Misty’s grave. That’s when I saw it—a big rawhide bone was on her grave. This is odd, I thought. Why would my wife leave a bone on Misty’s grave instead of flowers? After I fixed the wire break and went to the house, I asked Frances if she put the bone on Misty’s grave. She didn’t do it. That’s when we knew. It was Boris.

A few days before, we had given Boris and Lucy big rawhide bones. We sometimes give our dogs something they really like when they seem stressed. Misty’s death had affected both of them. One-year-old Lucy was still a puppy and seemed a little confused as to why the other Great Dane she felt a strong kinship with was gone.

And Boris—even though our adopted Pit Bull had only been with us for about a year—had formed a strong bond with the towering matriarch of the small pack. Boris seemed to have lost the spring in his step, so we gave them the big bones to cheer them up. They immediately took their prizes outside to enjoy while basking in the sun.

We know Lucy did not go past the dam to the other side of the pond. We knew Boris patrolled the other side of the pond regularly. It had to be Boris. Instead of enjoying the bone himself, Boris took his bone to Misty and placed it on her grave.

Just as you and I place flowers on a loved one’s grave, Boris gave the most valuable thing he had as a tribute for Misty. The bone stayed on Misty’s grave for weeks until one day it was gone, probably taken by coyotes or some other wild animal.

Many experts, vets, and other dog owners have never heard of anything like this. They all have stories about a dog that sleeps on the grave of another family pet, or will not give up a toy that belonged to a deceased pet, or maybe clothing from a dead owner being faithfully guarded. None have heard of paying tribute to another such as Boris did with Misty.

I can no longer look at Boris without seeing him as a spiritual creature. Some say we are foolish to give human qualities to our dogs. Are we human because of the shape of our bodies or because we have intellect and emotions? Some days I think Boris is more human than some people I know.

The Pet Prescription and Returning the Healing Favor

posted May 27th, 2013 by
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by Anna Holton-Dean

The Pet Prescription

Your formula for good health might only require a little “lab” work or “cat” scan.

Pet lovers know the obvious physical benefits of owning a pet. As you walk Fido, you will reap the reward of burned calories. But wait, there’s more. The scientific research of pet ownership’s effects on health continues to grow, showing lowered blood pressure, less risk of heart disease and reduced anxiety. These benefits aren’t from your daily walks, but rather the bond between you and your four-legged friend.

“Owning a pet gives you a sense of purpose and belonging that can increase feelings of positivity and lower stress levels, all of which translates to health benefits,” Dr. Allen McConnell, a psychology professor at Miami University, says.

Current research backs up this notion. Women asked to solve a math equation with their dogs nearby experienced less stress than women who worked with a human friend in a study conducted by the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology and neuropsychological researcher at the University of British Columbia, has published nine books on the people- animal bond, and he explains that when people interact with a friendly animal, their blood pressure lowers and their muscles relax.

However, this isn’t shockingly new information. Pets have been used for over 150 years in medical settings, according to “One could even look at Florence Nightingale recognizing that animals provided a level of social support in the institutional care of the mentally ill,” Dr. Aubrey Fine, a clinical psychologist and professor at California State Polytechnic University, says.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that scientific research began to explain the human- animal bond and benefit. states one of the earliest studies in this area, conducted in the 1980s, found heart attack patients who owned dogs lived longer than those who did not.

Pets have an effect on a chemical level. Owning a pet decreases cortisol, the damaging stress hormone, and increases dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical. says you can maximize the benefits of your pet’s presence by reaching out and petting him or her. Do not simply vent your cares aloud to your pet. Petting results in an increase of immunoglobulin A, an immune-boosting antibody.

While one might assume it’s the soft fur that activates this response, it isn’t this alone, but rather the simple power of touch. Stroking a pet snake could bring down its owner’s blood pressure and heart rate, according to a study in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Dr. Coren says it is the power of touch that establishes love and comfort, resulting in the desired physical benefits.

More good news shows that people who interact with animals experience a boost in oxytocin, the hormone that promotes love and trust—also linked to reduced blood pressure and heart rate—intertwining the physical and emotional benefits.

While oxytocin’s immediate results are good, its long-term effects are even better, Rebecca Johnson, head of the Research Center for Human/ Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine, says.

“Oxytocin has some powerful effects for us in the body’s ability to be in a state of readiness to heal, and also to grow new cells, so it predisposes us to an environment in our own bodies where we can be healthier,” she says.

If being in a state of readiness to heal sounds like a state you want to be in, try anthropomorphizing your pet. “People get more physical and psychological benefits the more they [do this],” McConnell says. Creating an emotional bond with your pet just as you would a human friend pays hefty health dividends.

If you’ve ever wanted to dress up your furry friend or bake a doggie birthday cake, now you have medical reasons to do so. Go ahead and throw the pet party of your dreams… for your health’s sake, of course. Sources:, “How Your Pet Can Heal You”, “Pet Therapy: How Animals and Humans Heal Each Other” TulsaPets May/June 2013

Returning the Healing Favor

Dr. Jana Layton of Riverbrook Animal Hospital shares insights from her own experience

of how animals receive healing from their human counterparts


The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about my years in practice is the difference cats’ people make in their recovery. Most people think of cats as extremely independent, as if they could care less about humans, but I’ve witnessed the opposite to be true. I’ve seen many cats over the years that needed to be hospitalized for a few days, and they get depressed! They typically won’t eat, hide in their litter boxes and sink deeper into depression.

Having their owners visit even just once a day, many times, resulted in my witnessing them eating from their owners’ hands. Their eyes went from glazed over indifference to bright eyed and willing to go on for another day of treatment. Reversely, it is encouraging to the pet owner and to all of us in the hospital. I believe there is healing that happens for all involved.

I have one diabetic feline patient whose owners went out of state to visit family. While they were gone, he developed life-threatening pancreatitis and went into kidney failure. Unable to return home immediately, his owners asked if I would visit him in the emergency care clinic—I have treated him for five years—so he could see someone he knew who cared about him.

When I arrived, he was curled up in the litter box, facing the corner of his cage with tubes coming out of several places. He seemed so depressed; no one thought he would recover. As he looked at me and my technician, I saw recognition in his eyes. I turned him around to face us, and we loved on him a while.

When we were ready to leave, I turned him back toward the wall, and he got up and turned himself around to look at us! There was a noticeable change in him from dull and lifeless to what appeared to be a sense of hope. As we were leaving the hospital, I spoke with the vet in charge, and he was not very hopeful about the cat’s recovery, as he had never seen one this bad recover.

Other people the cat knew came to visit over the next few days. His owners returned home, and he recovered. He is as happy and healthy as he was before he got sick!

Another case that stands out in my memory is of a 12-year-old Labrador diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in her cartilage that invaded her spinal cord and hips. She did well for a year after diagnosis, but eventually became non-weight bearing on the affected hind leg and had difficulty getting around. She was otherwise happy and not in pain, so quality of life was still present.

In this case, also, her owner had to leave the country for two weeks for work, and Emma, the Lab, stayed with a friend. A week after her owner left, Emma fell down outside and could not get up. The friend brought her in to see me, and we determined the tumor had affected the entire spinal cord, leading to nerve damage in both hind legs, leaving her unable to stand or walk.

I Skyped with her owner who was in Scotland, and she knew the time to euthanize Emma was near, but couldn’t bear the thought of not being there for Emma when Emma had always been there for her. We talked about how she was still eating, and I couldn’t find her to be in pain (the lone benefit of the cancer invading the spinal cord).

Because she wasn’t in pain, we decided to take things one day at a time. As long as she was eating and pain free, we would wait until her owner returned home. While Emma’s appetite declined over the coming days, she held on. By the time her owner returned, she had stopped eating, had discharge coming from both eyes and looked like she wanted to die.

As soon as Emma saw her, she perked up, started wagging her tail and made every effort to get up and leave with her. She was leaving this hospital even if she had to drag her hind end behind her to do it! Emma did return home with her owner although she couldn’t walk, and the two of them enjoyed two more weeks together without Emma suffering. I saw healing for both of them in this.

Emma was not healed of cancer or able to walk, but she was able to be happy again even if just for a few more days. Again, the owner had a vital, irreplaceable role to play in Emma’s life to the very end of it, which, in turn, healed her owner’s heart.

We all need to feel we are vital, important, needed and necessary in this life, and our pets are a gift to teach us that role. They are such an example of resiliency, free spiritedness, unconditional love and forgiveness in this sometimes harsh reality that we so often live in.

How could we not heal from them?

Free Kittens – A Cat Tale

posted May 27th, 2013 by
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by Camille Hulen

“Kittens, free to good home.” It’s spring! The newspaper classified pages and Craigslist abound with ads for free kittens. In addition, kittens are peddled from the back of pick-ups in parking lots or on street corners, where a few sellers will ask a nominal amount for them.

The child sees them: “Oh, aren’t they cute?” Then Mom relents and takes one home. We won’t talk about the unsold ones dumped in the country or drowned in the river. The following is the story of one kitten purchased under such circumstances.

Two friends of mine were driving through a neighborhood when they spied a beautiful Siamese loose in the middle of the street, anxiously trotting along to follow a woman who was paying no attention.

When they stopped to inquire, the woman admitted that this was her cat. However, she no longer wanted it. “I got this kitten for my little boy, but he’s gonna kill it, so I turned it loose.” She then proceeded to tote her case of beer toward the apartment.

My compassionate friends, of course, followed up. “How did you get this kitten? Has it had its vaccinations?”

“Well, I gave $150 for this cat and just put it in my pocket and brought it home. What vaccinations? I don’t know about that stuff,” the lady replied.

The lady agreed to relinquish ownership of the cat, and my friend Linda then made arrangements to pick up the kitten from her the next day.

When Linda arrived, there the kitten presented a pitiful picture sitting alone outside the door with all of its belongings: a kitty condo, a litter box and food. The kitten was immediately taken to a veterinarian, and spayed and vaccinated at the expense of some Good Samaritans.

Fortunately for this kitten, our Internet network was able to find a loving home with owners whose cat had died recently. Kitty is now well cared for and will lead a wonderful life.

How many other kittens are not so lucky as this one because their owners have no idea of what responsible pet ownership entails? They think buying a big bag of cat food monthly, along with a toy at Christmas, is sufficient.

This is the reason that rescue organizations ask so many questions to screen applicants carefully. Reputable agencies will also be sure the cat is already spayed or neutered and must charge a fee to cover this expense. How many “free” kittens are abandoned when the novelty wears off? We see them every day: former pets, unspayed and forming feral colonies with their offspring, or taken to the shelter and euthanized.

Adoption is a commitment to a lifetime relationship—a cat will live close to 20 years. ASPCA estimates a first year cost of cat ownership to be approximately $1,000, and at least $670 per year thereafter. Kiplinger agrees, putting the cost between $500 and $1,000 per year.

What are some of the costs? To begin with, a sizable pet deposit is generally required of tenants with pets. Some estimates of recurring annual costs are: food, $115; litter, $165; treatment for flea prevention, $144; annual medical exams and vaccinations, $160.

This does not include miscellaneous things such as grooming expenses and care while you are on vacation. There should also be savings available for emergency veterinary care in case of illness or accidents.

So, the next time a person asks, “How much is that kitty (doggie) in the window?” The answer is, “There is no such thing as a free cat.” However, the love of a cat is priceless.


posted May 27th, 2013 by
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by Lauren Cavagnolo


It was a typical day in September last year for Felicia Russell and her dog Deacon. Russell was getting ready for work and Deacon, a 9-yearold German Shorthaired Pointer, was outside.

When it was time for her to leave, he came right into the house and settled into his crate.

“He didn’t act unusual, and I had no reason to inspect him for anything,” Russell said. She left for work and returned about six hours later.

“When I opened the crate, he staggered out drooling, and his head was the size of a football,” Russell said. “His left eye was swollen shut, and I saw blood on his legs and face. I knew immediately what had happened because I have had a dog bitten by a copperhead previously. For some odd reason, I checked the crate for a snake!”

She quickly loaded Deacon into the car and took him to Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists, an all-hours emergency facility, and called from the road to let them know they were on the way.

“They were ready when we came in the door,” Russell said. “Since he had been in his crate for over six hours immediately after the bite, his blood was seriously affected, and they determined antivenin therapy was the best option.”

Inspection showed he had at least a half dozen bites and three envenomated bites, one of which was only a quarter of an inch from his eye. Left untreated, serious damage could have been done to his internal organs, Russell said.

Deacon stayed at OVS for four days until he was stable enough to go home. Overall, the cost of his treatment exceeded $4,500.

He was just one of 21 dogs with snake bites that required antivenin therapy treated by OVS veterinarians last year, according to Shad Wilkerson, DVM, at OVS.

Though Deacon was able to go home just several days after being treated, he also had some longterm effects from the attack.

For the most part, he made a swift recovery, Russell says, “with the exception of the necrotic tissue on his face. That took a few weeks to slough off. He still lacks hair in the directly affected areas.”

Deacon also suffered from clotting issues and red blood cell restriction.

“I can’t do rabies on him anymore because of the effect on his blood,” Russell said. “There have been a couple of cases of snake bitten dogs that had brain seizures and swelling following rabies vaccination. If I ever have a question about his immunity to rabies, I will have a titer done.”

Elena Shirley, DVM, of Hunters Glen Veterinary Hospital, explains that depending on the type of snake and the type of poison, it can interfere in different ways with the animal’s clotting factors.

“Some animals can experience bleeding disorders or coagulopathies, those are the kind of things, even once we get the immediate symptoms under control, that can linger, and we have to monitor that as you go forward,” Shirley said.

Shirley, a general practitioner who has treated her share of dogs with snake bites, says it can take up to two weeks for other symptoms to kick in.

Rarely, some animals will experience what is called “serum sickness” or an unusual reaction to any foreign substance in the body, she said. Symptoms include hives, joint pain, fever and general malaise.

Where we seem to get a lot of snakebites is late summer when it’s really hot outside, Wilkerson said. “The rattlesnakes and the copperheads, in particular, tend to become more crepuscular or active at dusk and dawn because it is really hot in the middle of the day.”

People also tend to keep their pets inside at the hottest part of the day.

“It’s too hot in the daytime for all the different creatures to be out so everybody congregates in the cooler hours of the day,” Wilkerson said.

Even though late summer is when a lot of snake bites occur, venomous snakes start to come out as early as April, he said.

Typical spring cleaning behaviors, such as taking pool covers off and clearing leaves and underbrush can unintentionally disturb venomous snakes, Shirley said.

“They are not lying in wait to kill people, but they are protecting themselves,” Shirley said. “They are conserving energy at certain times of the year, and they are also protecting nests, and if you see them out during the day, it’s pretty unusual.”

Wilkerson and Shirley both say that the most common venomous snakes in the area are the copperhead, rattlesnake and the occasional water moccasin.

“We really don’t see water moccasins in our area so much,” Wilkerson said. “People are always talking about it, and it really is mostly a misconception.”

There are some varieties of water snakes that look similar to the cottonmouth or water moccasin but are not poisonous, which is what most people are seeing, Wilkerson said.

“We see copperhead bites the most, and luckily they are the least dangerous of the ones we have here,” Wilkerson said.

Pet owners who don’t actually see their animal get bitten by a snake may not immediately put all of the symptoms together and think “snakebite,” Shirley said. Bites are not always the first sign pet owners will notice, especially if the animal has longer hair.

“Either the pet is lying around, has lowered energy, possibly some nausea, some throwing up. Possibly some trembling, and very possibly some problems in the area of the skin where the bite took place. The point is when you see any of that, it’s not that owners aren’t responsible, good people,” Shirley said. “But they may not put it together what is happening. They may think ‘Oh, he’s got an abscess on his foot, or he’s hurt his toe.’”

A pet owner who does see his or her animal attacked by a snake should immediately bring the animal to an emergency vet center, Wilkerson said.

“The best thing to do is just to keep them calm and get them somewhere where they can receive antivenin,” Wilkerson said. “A dog that gets bit by a venomous snake, you’ll see the fang marks, and the tissue starts to swell. It’s very painful, and the swelling is dramatic.”

Wilkerson also advises against using a tourniquet on the animal or administering Benadryl or any other antihistamine.

“I usually do not use Benadryl or any other type of antihistamine with them because the antivenin does a better job, and the two are not to be used together,” Wilkerson said.

Shirley agrees that a tourniquet should not be used on an animal with a snakebite, but says there are instances where the use of an antihistamine like Benadryl is appropriate, depending on the type of antivenin. It can also be used to prevent and treat allergic reactions to antivenin.

Pet owners should call their veterinarians to find out what the proper protocol is.

All 21 dogs treated with antivenin last year at OVS lived, according to their records.

“[Antivenin] is the gold standard, so that’s what’s recommended. It really does a good job,” Wilkerson said.

Crotalidae polyvalent antivenin is most commonly used in this part of the country and is what both OVS and the Animal Emergency Center keep on hand. A general practice veterinarian may or may not keep antivenin on the shelves.

Russell, Deacon’s owner, knows he is one lucky dog and has this message for pet owners who may be facing the same situation:

“If you have a dog bitten by a snake, and you are unsure if it is a venomous snake, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care,” Russell said. “Don’t even waste time on first aid. Just stabilize and transport.”

Tulsa SPCA 100th Year!

posted May 27th, 2013 by
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by Kiley Roberson

The year is 1913. Postage stamps are .02 cents, Albert Einstein is working on a new Theory of Gravity, gasoline costs .12 cents per gallon and a concerned Tulsan holds an in-home meeting to help animals in the community. The Tulsa SPCA (TSPCA ) is born. The mission: to help homeless dogs and cats and prevent abuse of draft animals used for work.

Flash forward, 2013. It costs .46 cents to send a letter. People throughout the world are constantly trying to defy gravity, and gasoline is more than $3 per gallon. Much has changed since the TSPCA formed 100 years ago, but one thing has stayed the same—the organization’s unswerving dedication to improving the lives of animals in the Tulsa area.

Today, the TSPCA is a private, nonprofit organization supported solely by contributions from the public, bequests, grants and some fees for services. The organization provides many vital services for people and pets such as positive behavior training to enhance the pets’ adoption opportunities, investigating animal cruelty and neglect, educational programs for children and adults and even a nursing home visitation program.

“We’ve come a long way,” explains TSPCA volunteer D’Ann Berson. “The current organization has grown from a time when the pets were rescued but kenneled 24 hours a day, to now where they are loved, played with and cared for while they await their forever families.”

Berson is a longtime volunteer of the TSPCA , beginning her service in 1988.

“I began as a volunteer that came every Saturday and Sunday afternoon to help with animal care and adoptions. There was no formal volunteer program then, and I just sort of filled in at various needs,” Berson says. “There is little I have not done over all the years.”

Berson has since served on the TSPCA Board of Directors, as director of the organization and now in a community outreach role. After 25 years of service, her love for the animals is unwavering.

“I remember doing flea dips in parking lots, tending shifts in booths to educate the public, taking pets to adoptathons and varieties of shelter cleanup and improvement projects,” Berson says. “I wouldn’t change any of it.”

Volunteers and donors like Berson are the real heroes behind the growth of the TSPCA . The organization’s current shelter on Mohawk Boulevard opened in the 1940s and sits on seven acres with plenty of room for the dogs to play and exercise outside.

The pups are only kenneled at night and in inclement weather. The cats reside in a big colony room of about 16 felines and have access to an outdoor play yard that is totally enclosed. The room looks like a giant kitty playground.

There is also an on-site veterinary clinic, which was built in the late 1980s. The clinic cares for all of the shelter pets and makes sure they are healthy and ready for adoption. The clinic also offers an open-to-the-public vaccination service every Friday, providing low-cost vaccinations and some tests for common disorders in dogs and cats.

It’s been 100 years in the making, but as the longest-running animal rescue organization in Tulsa, the TSPCA has reason to celebrate. In fact, the organization is celebrating its centennial all year long. This summer you can join in the festivities by coming to its first ever Paws And Pictures event on June 20.

You, your family and your pets are all invited to come watch movies at the Admiral Twin Drive-In. There will be games, music, and fun prior to the showing so you will want to get there early! The TSPCA will also be sharing the wealth this year by offering every 100th service for free. This includes both adoptions and the shot clinic.

It’s sure to be a year full of fun, and while the organization says it’s proud of its past, they hope there won’t be another 100 years ahead. “The Tulsa SPCA is always working to put ourselves out of business,” says Berson. “We’re hoping for a day when there are enough good homes for pets, no euthanizing of healthy pets and no more need for our services for the homeless and abused.”

The TSPCA always appreciates donations and volunteers. Find out how you can help by visiting the website at