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PAWsh Palaces voting kicks off

posted November 2nd, 2018 by
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Adrien, Katelyn, Alyssa and Kaylen show off their prototype.

After you vote at the polls head on over to Woodland Hills Mall to vote in the inaugural PAWsh Palaces competition.

Voting is now open for the Tulsa SPCA’s newest event in partnership with the Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAEOK), the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA) and Tulsa area schools.

Located just outside the lower level of Macy’s, shoppers can vote on six dog houses and one cat condo, each paired with a student team prototype. Each $5 vote gives participants a chance to win their favorite creation while raising funds for the Tulsa SPCA.

Mindy Tiner, executive director of the Tulsa SPCA, said via press release the program is modeled on a similar event hosted by the SPCA of Texas. “We currently offer school presentations on a variety of subjects including anti-bullying (using animals to teach empathy) and responsible pet ownership. This event fits in perfectly as it uses STEM skills to teach students about shelter and pet responsibilities for outdoor animals.”

The seven AIA architect teams, working with local builders, began work on dog house and cat condo designs in July. This fall, students in STEM programs in local elementary schools began making prototype doghouses and cat condos with mentorship from architects, according to a press release.

Students and architects both presented their designs this morning at Woodland Hills Mall. Student prototypes included themes such as Halloween house and rainbow house and featured finishing touches like chandeliers, TV’s and a safe room.

The life-size dog houses also included some extraordinary features, including a reflecting pool, storage areas and places for owners to sit with their pets.

The school teams were paired with the AIA/Builder team entrants and their works will be displayed side by side through Nov. 18 when voting closes.

Rebecca Harris, media specialist for Mark Twain Elementary who also helps with after school programs, said this has been a dream for her students.

“Teachers are so limited right now on any type of learning that has to do with starting from scratch, whether it be writing, creating a dog house or anything else where the kids have that luxury of being able to have divergent thinking from knowledge gleaned from whatever professional or educator and then to build on that. That’s a luxury,” Harris said.

“And so the fact that these people came, these angels, from the architecture society, from STEM, from SPCA, what wonderful people those are in our community,” Harris continued.  “They gave up their time to help these children have an understanding to where they can make this happen.”

Harris said at first the children were not sure what to make of the program, but each week she could see their self-esteem building and their sense of community growing as they worked on creating and building together.

Kaylen, Katelyn, Alyssa, Adrien are the students who made up the peer-voted team representing Mark Twain Elementary. Adrien said working on the project was a lot of hard work but also fun.

“An architect came and he was telling us about architecture and he was telling about how to build everything. We had to make a checklist,” Adrien said. “In the second meeting we had our client and we had to talk to the client, which was a dog. We measured the dog and talk to it and figured out what it wanted.”

After that the team put together blueprints and finally began construction on their project.

“It was really fun and the best part is that we get to come to Woodland Hills Mall and show it off and try to win,” Adrien said.

His teammate Katelyn agreed saying, “This is the best after school program I have ever been to.”

Both children said they would be interested in learning more about architecture in the future.

The top three STEM elementary school teams will win awards of $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively. Architect/Builder design+build award winners will be determined by a jury panel, while the People’s Choice award will go to the team with the most votes received by the public

An awards celebration will take place at 5 p.m. Nov. 18 at Woodland Hills Mall.

Participating schools include Tulsa Public Schools Mark Twain Elementary and Union Public Schools Ochoa, Boevers, Clark, Jarman, Jefferson and McAuliffe.

You can view all of the submissions below.

— Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Free pet tag on Shutterfly today only

posted April 11th, 2018 by
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Did you know you could create pet tags on Shutterfly? Neither did I. Today only, you can snag your favorite pet a free pet tag using the code PETDAY.

You can choose bone, heart or circle shaped tags and customize with up to 2 photos. Of course, there are plenty of designs available as well.

Get started on your custom tag here.

–Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Chiropractic care beneficial for pets

posted February 21st, 2017 by
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Holistic healthcare for our families, both human and furry members, continues to gain popularity. If you haven’t had a chance to read about Dr. Corinna Tressler and her work with acupuncture, be sure to pick up the January/February issue of Tulsa Pets Magazine or read it online.

Also falling under the umbrella of holistic healthcare is chiropractic care, an Eastern medicine approach that deals primarily with the mechanics of the spine and associated joints. Exams include adjustments or a short, controlled thrust by hand directed at a joint to improve function and motion.

Dr. Willa Weisel, DC, CAC,bonnie_dr_duree_shoulder_adj_236x300 is a doctor of chiropractic care who is also certified in animal chiropractic through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Her practice, American Chiropractic Clinic, is located in Shawnee but she makes monthly visits to Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Norman.

Many pet owners who seek chiropractic care for their animals do so because of an injury.

“If you have a dog or a cat, you know they have a tendency to be very active and to jump on and off of things. And that very thing is what can be the start of repetitive stressor that leads to a real significant disability for them,” Weisel said. “It’s almost always the case that I don’t see that dog or cat or horse until the problem is so big that it is really disabling for the animal.”

Weisel is also involved with a variety of canine sports and will attend agility trials and other events to adjust dogs that become injured on the spot.

“If you have a dog that is involved with sports, agility, fly ball, discs, those types of things, they are athletes just like you and I are athletes if we are out playing volleyball or running track,” Weisel added. “So they need to get checked. They are going to have problems just from the repetitive stress exerting themselves in a physical nature like that.”

While chiropractic does not replace traditional veterinary care, it does offer a drug-free and noninvasive approach that can be used preventatively as a wellness tool in addition to treatment for existing problems.

“It should be a wellness treatment, a supportive treatment,” Weisel said. “We all have bumps and grinds, everyday.”

Though Weisel began her career focusing on chiropractic for people, her first animal adjustment happened by chance in 1988. A client who wanted her to adjust a foal born with an S-curve in its back approached Weisel and she agreed to take a look at the horse and give it a try.

“I went out there and this little horse was really cute. She couldn’t go backwards and she couldn’t go to the right and so she had kind of adapted to that,” Weisel recalled. “She had taken the horse several places and they had all advised her to euthanize the horse and she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. This little horse was not thriving though. She had diarrhea and she wasn’t processing food. I made one simple adjustment on her pelvis and it was so interesting … I can still see this blonde little horse, she turned around and she touched her nose right on her butt to the right and then she galloped off to the right and kicked her heels up and came back around.”

From that moment on, Weisel knew she would pursue expanding her practice to animals. Shortly after becoming certified through the AVCA, Weisel moved to Oklahoma and opened her practice in Shawnee in 2006.

In addition to the cats and dogs that visit her in the office, Weisel has had the chance to work with goats, sheep, a rabbit, a duck and even a llama.

“I was very much interested in pursuing that part of my practice and it has just grown and I love it,” Weisel said.

Weisel books appointments in Oklahoma City the first Saturday of the month, in Tulsa the third Saturday of the month and in Norman the second Tuesday of the month. To make an appointment, call 405-275-6363. You can learn more about Weisel and her clinic at drwillaanimalchiropractic.com or follow her Facebook page.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, l[email protected].

Home Veterinary Care brings clinic to your living room

posted October 19th, 2016 by
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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
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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]

PurrkUp! Cat Cafe Kickstarter launched

posted May 16th, 2016 by
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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]

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