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Ferguson Subaru & GDB Partnering for Share the Love

posted December 6th, 2014 by
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Share the LoveFerguson Subaru

Subaru of America has helped support nearly 300 animal shelters, grant more than 600 wishes, fund over one million meal deliveries to seniors, and support over 70 national parks through the “Share the Love” event. The Subaru “Share the Love” Event is held every year between November and January. For each new Subaru purchased during the “Share the Love” event, Subaru donates $250 to a charity of the new Subaru owner’s choice. New Subaru owners can choose between 4 national charities or 1 local charity . Subaru encourages each Subaru dealership across the country to partner with one local charity. This year Ferguson Subaru is partnering with Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB).

Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.

Guide Dogs for the Blind empowers lives through exceptional partnerships between people, dogs and communities. Guide Dogs for the Blind envisions a world with greater inclusion, opportunity and independence, by optimizing the unique capabilities of people and dogs. Guide Dogs and K9 Buddy Dogs for visually impaired youngsters are provided at no cost to those requesting them, through support from people like you. Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers is a group of volunteers who raise puppies in their homes to become future service dogs. Right now there are 33 graduates who have a guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind who live in Oklahoma!

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Petunia Pet Records App

posted November 13th, 2014 by
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PetuniaLouisville, Colo., USA (5 November 2014)—We are proud to announce the release of Petunia, the app that helps keep your pets safe, and their records close when it matters most.

Petunia is a freemium iPad app that saves your pet’s health history and personality quirks and makes it easy to share that information with your pet sitters and veterinarians. Want to make sure the pet sitter remembers that Fluffy likes her food warmed 12 seconds in the microwave? Petunia’s got that. Need to note when Fido did not eat his dinner? Don’t write it down on a napkin. Note it in Petunia where Fido’s information is backed-up and organized. Information is critical in the health-care equation. Make sure that your pet sitters know when to give Sparky his medications, and that your new vet knows the manufacturer of Sparky’s vaccinations.

The app is great for single pet households and multiple pet households. Pet owners can update each pet’s unique profile anytime and simply email or print it for a sitter or the vet. No need to fill out pet forms over and over again. Get it at http://www.GetPetunia.com

Petunia helps you with:
• Pet sitting: Minimize stress and reduce the risk of missing important health-information when leaving pets in someone else’s care. Petunia lets you share critical pet care details with pet sitters.
• Symptom tracking: Record when your cat threw up, or when Fido needs his heartworm pill. You’ll see trends that can keep your pets healthy and never forget details.
• Changing vets: When traveling, keep your pets’ medical records close and share them with new vets any time, even in emergencies.

Petunia’s free features:
• Record profiles, vet visits, and home care for all of your pets
• Share information about one pet, using email, within a single page PDF
• Automatically add dates, e.g., vet appointments, into calendar
• Graph weight history of pets
• Customize your pet’s photos on his or her profile page

Petunia’s paid features:
• Share information about all your pets in text format or multi-page PDF’s through email, Dropbox, and Google Drive. US$0.99/year, or US$4.99 for permanent use.
• Advertising removal. US$0.99/year, or US$4.99 permanently.

Petunia was developed by pet-loving folks at Spastic Muffin, LLC, a software development company in Louisville, Colorado, USA. Our pets inspired the idea for Petunia and helped with the testing.

Walk for a Dog iphone and android app

posted November 8th, 2014 by
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Walk for a Dog

GPRO Supporters,

We have a new fundraiser that we’re asking for your participation. Take your Walk for a Dog iphone and android app Supports

Great Pyrenees Rescue of OK & the other rescues networked with National Great Pyrenees Rescue simply by walking your dog! Use the app each time you grab for the leash. It’s healthy for you, your dog, and your favorite rescue. Go to http://www.wooftrax.com and click “Get the App” at the top of the page, install the free Android or iPhone app, and start taking your Walk for a Dog every day. You can set the rescue you are walking for to National Great Pyrenees Rescue in the setup tab of the app for iPhone users, or in the settings menu for Android users. The more people walking for the rescue, the more donations earned.

Sophie Jane’s Story

posted November 4th, 2014 by
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Adherence To proper diet and nutrition could mean the difference between life and death.

 

Sophie

By Megan Miers

 

Just a few short months after her Shih Tzu mix, Sofie Jane, was euthanized due to severe illness, Debbie Davis still finds it hard to talk about her beloved pooch without tearing up.

 

Adopted two years ago, the then 6-year-old Sofie Jane was overweight at 22 pounds—normal weight for a Shih Tzu is roughly 12 pounds—and suffering from several health issues brought on by a poor diet and lack of good nutrition.

“She was very sweet and she would tilt her little  head to the side when she looked at you,” Davis says of her furry friend, whom she says loved food and going  for rides in the car.

Davis, the office manager at Muddy Paws grooming salon and doggie daycare center in Tulsa, was often joined at work by Sofie Jane, who made herself at home by the salon’s front desk, greeting customers and being loved on by Muddy Paws staff members.

With the knowledge that Sofie Jane had previously been on a poor diet, Davis immediately switched her to a nutritionally-sound, high-quality dog food to get her back on the road to good health. After a year, when Sofie Jane was due for her annual vaccinations and checkup, Davis brought her to Dr. Lauren Davied at Riverbrook Animal Hospital in Tulsa where she learned Sofie Jane was suffering from kidney disease.

Despite switching Sofie Jane to a kidney-friendly diet, helping her lose the excess weight and putting her on medication for her health issues, long-term damage had already been done. After nearly a year of dietary changes and veterinary treatment, in December 2013, Davis and Dr. Davied made the difficult decision to put Sofie Jane to sleep.

“She was so sick, she couldn’t even hold her head up or hold down water or food,” Davis says of Sofie Jane’s last days.

The loss of Sofie Jane, and the realization that a poor diet ultimately contributed to her death, now has Davis speaking out in hopes of alerting other pet owners to the importance of feeding their furry family members properly and foregoing the rich treats that can make them sick.

“I want the public to realize there are consequences to a poor diet and that you’ll see deterioration of your dog’s health if you feed them the wrong things,” Davis says, noting that pet owners all too often feed their dogs regular people food and table scraps without considering the effects it might have. “Dogs are defenseless. I believe that God gave us our pets to take care of and that we should take that responsibility seriously.”

In Sofie Jane’s case, her previous owners had fed her a steady diet of greasy, fatty fast-food chicken nuggets and hot dogs and not much else. The long-term effects of such a nutritionally-unsound diet contributed to dental issues, allergies and kidney disease, a problem that became apparent after Davis brought Sofie Jane to Dr. Davied for her checkup.

“Sofie Jane had started having GI and upset stomach issues,” Dr. Davied explains. “We did blood work and found that her kidney values were very elevated.”

Initially treated for a kidney infection, Sofie Jane was then put on a prescription dog food, Science Diet k/d formula, which is formulated for dogs with kidney disease, as well as medication for kidney failure.

“Some people just don’t care, and they feed their dog whatever they want,” Davis says, adding that pet owners should be careful about checking food labels and being aware of issues such as allergies—Sofie Jane was later found to be allergic to chicken—when feeding their pets.

Prescription dog food, such as the formula Sofie Jane was on, is often part of a maintenance program for dogs with chronic kidney disease, Dr. Davied says.

Other steps may be taken, such as periodic blood tests to check kidney function, ensuring adequate water intake, including phosphorus-binding additives to a dog’s food—excess phosphorus levels can indicate kidney disease—and carefully watching the protein and sodium content in a dog’s diet.

Benazepril, a blood pressure medication belonging to a class of drugs known as ACE inhibitors, may also be given to dogs with kidney disease, as it helps with kidney failure and conditions where excess protein is being excreted through the dog’s kidneys into the urine.

“When we do an exam, we look at a dog’s teeth, their weight, their coat and how shiny it is, and their overall health status,” Dr. Davied says. “That tells us a lot about their diet.”

Poor diet can lead to a host of health problems for dogs, some of which can be very serious or even fatal as in Sofie Jane’s case.

“The biggest thing we worry about long-term with a poor diet is nutritional deficiencies,” Dr. Davied says. “Then you also have problems with obesity, bad bones, joint pain and toxins in certain foods that can make dogs sick.”

Feeding a dog table scraps or rich, fatty foods can also lead to pancreatitis, according to Dr. Davied. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which can result in abdominal pain, gastrointestinal upset, kidney failure and even death.

Most pet owners are conscientious of what they are feeding their dogs, Dr. Davied says, but that’s not always the case. What seems like an OK treat for the humans may not be so good for the four-legged members of the family, who can be very convincing with their happily-wagging tails and pleading puppy dog eyes.

“There are so many good foods and low-fat treats on the market now,” Dr. Davied says, adding that so-called “people” food isn’t even necessary for a happy and healthy dog. Some typical human foods that also are acceptable as occasional dog treats include plain, boiled or baked chicken breast without the skin or added seasonings, raw carrots and canned green beans without added salt.

When choosing food for your dogs, whether it is treats or their regular food, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet first for recommendations, Dr. Davied says, adding that owners should shop mindfully and be careful to pick the right dog food or treat formula based on their dog’s age, size and other factors, such as allergies or stomach sensitivity.

Davis, who recently adopted two rescued pups named Charlie Joe and Katherine Jane, agrees.

“Check labels, know the nutrition your dogs need and be aware of any allergies,” she cautions. “If your dogs get sick because of a poor diet, don’t expect the vet to be able to save them.”

Reporting Dog Abuse – Citizens Taking Action

posted October 28th, 2014 by
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Citizens

By Wilhelm Murg

 

A few weeks ago, I played a small but important part in an animal abuse investigation;

I brought a gruesome web video to the attention of KOTV News, which broadcast a report about it on local television, and more importantly, put the original uncut video on their website.

 

The KOTV page received over 850 comments, three petitions were started online with one getting over 10,000 signatures, a Facebook community was started over the incident, and the Wagoner County Sherriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office were inundated with calls from concerned citizens.

What I realized from this experience is a tiny amount of effort can get a snowball rolling. I’m a professional journalist and that helped a little in choosing the right words, but ultimately, I was calling people and simply describing a video I witnessed—something anyone can do.

It all started on the morning of Monday, February 3. A disturbing video had been linked on the Joe Station Bark Park Facebook page of three dogs mauling another dog to death in the snow. Whoever filmed it did not seem to try to stop the fight at any point.

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when you see dogs killing one another is that you are witnessing dog fighting, which is illegal in Oklahoma. The video was originally incorrectly identified as coming from Coweta; it turned out it came from neighboring Bixby.

The video link was posted by a woman justifiably upset by the content. It was going around Facebook, and she posted it on the dog park page to notify someone, anyone, who might know what to do about it.

I called my friend, animal advocate and TulsaPets contributor Ruth Steinberger, who is involved in an ongoing case where someone had dumped dog carcasses in North Tulsa. She was booked solid that day, so she told me to report it to the police, call the animal control officers at the Tulsa Animal Shelter and call the media.

The video was originally posted on the Facebook page of Taylor Given. Given’s girlfriend, Amy Kaye Jacobsen, had commented on the post that the three attacking dogs belonged to her. In the comments section, she had gotten into a series of arguments with outraged people who had seen the video, which was     going viral.

When calling the media or the authorities, it’s important to have a simple narrative; clarity is essential in your description. My narrative was: (a.) I saw this video and in the accompanying comments a woman claimed the three attacking dogs were hers; (b.) Whoever filmed the incident did not seem to attempt to stop it; (c.) I know there are ongoing investigations about dog fighting, and this could be connected to it; (d.) I grew up in the country with a pack of dogs; I’ve owned dogs my whole life, and this never happened. Dogs are survivors by nature; they don’t normally attempt one-against-three suicidal attacks.

You can call the newsroom and sell a reporter on a story, but if the editor doesn’t like it, it gets thrown in the trash. The more media outlets you call, the better chance you have that one of them will be interested in your story.

I called the Tulsa Police Department (thinking the video was made in Tulsa County). They had received other calls, but they were trying to figure out if this was in their jurisdiction. Animal Control and the various news outlets had also received multiple calls. After calling all of the TV stations (except KTUL as I got sidetracked), The Tulsa World and KRMG, I sat back and let them mull it over.

I knew the video would be a double-edged sword; it would get the reporters’ attention because the video is so brutal, but at the same time the content was so violent that it could not be broadcast.

That afternoon I got a call from KOTV reporter Ashlei King. Earlier this year, King had also reported on the dumped dog carcasses (mentioned above). Given gave her an interview, so she wanted me to give my side of the story on-camera for the broadcast.

When I met King, she told me that Given and Jacobsen were now saying that all four dogs were strays and that, for some reason, they only feed three of the four. In the original post, Jacobsen claimed they were her dogs, and contradictions like that, coupled with the video, added fuel to the upcoming fire.

KOTV put the story on their 9 p.m. newscast that evening and posted the entire unedited video on their website. That’s when interest exploded with the petitions and the Facebook page, where they posthumously named the deceased dog “Spirit,” so he would have a name.

It also started an unofficial online investigation by people who were digging through Given’s and Jacobsen’s Facebook and Instagram pages, which were still open for the public. They wisely changed their profiles to private the next day.

While all of this was going on, there were virtual screaming matches going on between Jacobsen and complete strangers via Facebook while people claiming to be friends of the couple were defending their actions on the KOTV commentary section. Obviously the video was going viral, as people from other countries signed the petitions.

Of all the comments, my favorite was from a woman who was very upset with the video, but at the same time she questioned KOTV’s labeling of me as an “animal advocate.”  I “liked” her comment because she hit the nail on the head; I am not a professional “animal advocate.”

I am just a normal citizen who made six or seven telephone calls one morning,  which may have taken 30 minutes out of my day. I saw something that might be criminal and, as my Grandmother taught me when I was a child, I reported it.

I became a member of the Facebook   page, which had to become private due to supporters of Given and Jacobsen trolling the group. People posted questions, asking permission to call the Wagoner Sheriff and the District Attorney about the case. I kept restating that, as citizens, it is their right to call and inquire; they do not need anyone’s permission. Everyone should remember that.

As I look back at the story, I feel the real reason it took off was because there were two videos: the news story and the gruesome original video. The news story promoted the video, so people could read the story and then decide if they wanted to see the original video.

I was amazed that a video as gruesome as this, with footage that many animal rights advocates have attempted to get disseminated, was published by a main-stream TV station on the web before a general audience.

Sadly, for all this effort and attention, no charges were ever brought up. As of this writing, nearly two months since the video was posted, the investigation has gone back and forth between the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Department and the D.A.’s Office, but nothing has happened.

A call to the Wagoner County District Attorney’s Office was not immediately returned. One can only hope that there will be some movement in the near future on  this case.

No matter the outcome of this particular case, it proves everyday citizens’ voices can be heard when they work together. Change must begin somewhere, and simply speaking up is a good starting point.

Paw Law

posted October 21st, 2014 by
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Paw Law

by Lauren Sanchez

 

As summer draws near, we all anticipate spending more time outdoors for not only ourselves but also for our beloved pets as well. Many people will chain their dogs in the front or backyard, believing it will be beneficial, adding protection to your house or even giving you a break from cleaning all the dog hair.

What most people do not realize is this is a form of animal abuse, and Tulsa County does not have any laws governing this form of abuse. Chaining or tethering of a pet is a practice commonly used for pet owners to exercise control of their animals.

By keeping animals confined to an area outdoors, pets are oftentimes left without a shelter to protect them from the outdoor elements. More often than not, these pets also lack clean water, regular veterinary care, and over time will exhibit more aggressive, reclusive behavior.

The Humane Society of the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and many animal experts have issued statements that confirm the resounding hypothesis: the practice of chaining is an inhumane practice that endangers the physical and mental health of the animal.

Studies show chaining causes a strain on the animal’s body, causing skin sores, rashes and raw skin. In severe cases, the collar can become embedded in the skin. During this year’s harsh winter and promising sweltering sun, hundreds of dogs will be chained in our county.

Dogs, like humans, are susceptible to frost bite, heat exhaustion and other similar health problems when exposed to harsh weather elements. The HSUS recommends that if an animal must remain outdoors, he or she should be placed in a sizable pen with adequate food, water and shelter from the elements.

While conducting an on-site visit with a member of Unchain OK, an Oklahoma Alliance for Animals affiliate, I personally assisted a volunteer in creating a longer chain for a 6-month-old puppy.

Upon our arrival, I immediately noticed the pup, almost fully grown, chained to a wire fence; his metal clad chain was a mere 4 feet long. This dog was only months old, yet he had already outgrown his puppy cuteness.

He was put outside and tied up on such a short lead. The graceful volunteer and I unbound the tangled mess of wires, unhooked the part that had been fastened tightly around his neck and put the dog on a “tree trolley.” This new trolley gave the pup better room to move about, enter his dog house (that had been donated) and access his water.

The dog was instantaneously happier, and we left satisfied. Although our efforts seem menial, we may have saved a life. The sad reality of dog chaining is that it is just as dangerous for the dog’s health as it is the general public.

Dogs that are chained have a tendency to be more aggressive and exhibit psychological problems. There have been documented attacks by chained dogs that attack passersby, visitors of the property or even other animals within reach. If a chained dog becomes free of his chain, the degree of harm is increased.

Dogs that live their lives on chains are also subject to harassment by other animals, and even people who break into the property, leaving the dog helpless to fend for itself. Tethered dogs are also targets for those stealing dogs for animal fights, research institutions and the like.

It is well known that animal cruelty laws in Oklahoma are scant. There are no specific laws addressing dog chaining. As long as the dog has some type of shelter, food and water, the state sees this as sufficient enough.

While Tulsa County has no statutes that determine how long a dog can be chained, nearby counties have addressed the issue. Bartlesville limits the chaining of dogs to five hours per day. While it is better than no ordinance, it is nearly impossible to enforce or keep track of unless someone is avidly watching the property for more than five hours at a time.

Last year, a dog was chained up in Bartlesville during the heat of the summer and died because animal control could not do anything. The only county in Oklahoma that prohibits dog chaining   altogether is Lawton.

In other states, dog chaining ordinances are more stringent. Currently, 30 states have passed laws that regulate the practice of tethering animals. In two counties, Maumelle, Ark., and Tucson, Ariz., unattended tethering of dogs is completely prohibited. Many other communities only allow tethering for limited periods of time or during certain conditions.

In Texas, for example, the law prohibits an owner from keeping a dog outside and unattended by use of a restraint that (1) unreasonably limits the dog’s movement between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; (2) is within 500 feet of the premises of a school; or (3) where extreme weather conditions are present under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and when there is a heat advisory.

The law also provides requirements as to the appropriate type of collar and tether length.

So what can you do? You can get involved with Unchain OK via Facebook or even speak to your state legislature. If your time is limited, you can even help out by visiting Unchain OK’s Amazon “Wish List” account where needed items can be purchased and donated.

For more information, visit unchainok.org. We can make a difference in Tulsa; all we need is you.