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Social media a boon for animal charities

posted August 16th, 2013 by
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A recent study has found that animal-related causes are twice as popular on social media compared to human rights and other issues, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

While I would never want to downplay the importance of human rights, the environment, poverty, etc., this is something for animal charities to take note of.

It makes sense to me. A lot of people look to the internet and social media for more lighthearted fare… I’m forever seeing adorable kitten videos in my Facebook feed. So issues that relate generate more attention, according to the article.

And animal charities should be using that to their advantage.

I have found that most of our area rescues and shelters are quite active on Facebook and I hope that it is making a difference. For those that haven’t made social media a priority for their group, I hope they are paying attention.

Websites like Kickstarter offer a new avenue for fundraising and Facebook and Twitter can help spread the word quickly.

So put yourselves out there and let’s continue to give a voice and online presence to our furry friends.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Dogs and kids?

posted August 14th, 2013 by
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I recently stumbled upon an article headlined “The One Thing No One Tells You Before You Have Kids: Don’t get a dog.” Since I am expecting my second child any day and share my home with 6 furry children, I clicked on the title intrigued and already a little put off.

And then I read this:

“It’s not that I don’t love my dog. It’s just that I don’t love my dog. And I am not alone. A very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who had a dog and then had kids now wishes they had never got the dog. This is a near universal truth, even for parents with just one child, though I have more.”

I cannot disagree more. And my very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who has pets and kids also disagrees.

The writer of the article sounds like someone who was unprepared for the realities of pet ownership and parenthood. Neither are easy and both are very messy and chaotic.

And it’s always been my understanding that love can only grow, as was the case when my husband and I welcomed home our baby (human) girl two years ago.

There was so much more love in our home it almost burst. The love of parents for their daughter and her love for us, the love (and protectiveness) our animals clearly felt for her and her love and delight in them.

As she gets older, that love and bond they have gets stronger. And seeing how my animals love her makes me love them even more! See? Our house is going to explode from all the love when the second one arrives!

Our pets not only have a third person paying attention to them, playing with them, and most importantly sneaking them food under the table, but they go on on just as many family outings as they ever have. Maybe even more.

It’s been a fun summer of camping, parks and the drive-in. I’ve found that most places that it is acceptable to bring a kid, you can also bring dogs. Not that I’m comparing the two or anything…

And I certainly can’t imagine depriving my child of all of the unique learning experiences that come with pets. They were some of her first friends and continue to be her best buddies.

She loves to let the boys out of their crates first thing in the morning and pour food in their dog bowls.

She puts the cat food bowls on the floor and calls all four cats to come eat by name.

And she has learned that she can tell our dogs to sit before giving them a treat.

I think all of that is pretty impressive for a not quite two-year-old.

And I truly believe that her love of the animals in our home has sparked a love and curiosity of all types of animals. She has picked up and kissed a few large bugs in our backyard that I won’t even touch.

Having kids and pets is a juggling act. I’m not perfect at it. I get frustrated with all of the ‘children’ in my home at some time or another. But stop loving them? Never!

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Wildlife rescue vs. pet rescue

posted July 26th, 2013 by
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I hope everyone has had a chance to check out the July/August issue of Tulsa Pets Magazine. I learned quite a bit while writing my article on WING IT or Wildlife in Need Group in Tulsa. I just couldn’t squeeze everything into my article, so for the next few blog posts, I will continue to share what I learned from the group about wildlife in Tulsa.

If you haven’t already, read the article at

During the course of my interview with several WING IT volunteers, many of them mentioned their love for animals, especially the domesticated kinds we talk about so often at Tulsa Pets Magazine.

So why choose wildlife rescue instead of pet rescue?

“I’ve just been an animal lover my whole life, I’m a dog lover and I would probably do dog rescue except for the fact that I would fall in love and keep every one of them, said Karla Edmonds, WING IT volunteer. “This way I get my critter fix and turn them back to mother nature, I have no choice in the matter.”

Fellow volunteer Kathy Locker can relate saying, “I agree with the dog rescue thing, It’s such a big, awesome thing that people do, but I would be so attached.”

However, just because the animals they work with aren’t cats and dogs doesn’t mean they don’t still get attached. 

Above: Volunteer Kathy Locker bottle feeds a baby raccoon.

“I do get attached and it’s hard on the heart to release them…but it’s bittersweet because you know it’s a happy thing for them and when rehabbed correctly they really do become instinctually wilder which also makes it easier,” Locker said. “It’s so fascinating to see every little creature has their own personality.”

Dr. Paul Welch, DVM at Forest Trails, also points out that when working with a cat or dog group, owners must be secured.

“We don’t have to find owners, so that’s nice,” Welch said.

Not having to find owners for rehabbed animals means they can be released when they are ready, making more room for animals in need.

However, wildlife rehab can be more demanding in other ways depending on the animal being cared for, its age and whether or not it is injured. 

Baby birds, for instance, need to be fed about every half hour. Bunnies may only need care for two to four weeks while other animals may need several months of rehab.

Similarities and differences aside, the bottom line is animal rescue, be it pet or wildlife, is tough work. All of Tulsa’s volunteers deserve recognition for what they do for our community’s animal population.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

OAA’s adoption event was rockin’

posted July 15th, 2013 by
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I hope everyone had a great weekend and is enjoying the cooler weather this week!

In case you didn’t make it out to Guthrie Green on Saturday, here are some photos from Oklahoma Alliance for Animal’s adoption event, Rock & Rescue. More than 100 homeless animals were featured at the event and according to the group’s Facebook page, at least a dozen pets found new homes.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Getting through the dog days of summer

posted July 5th, 2013 by
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I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July!

As the summer fun continues, here are some new ideas for helping your furry friends beat the heat:

Puppy Ice Pops

Make your own frozen treats for your pups by freezing chicken or beef broth in ice cube trays. Make sure you are using fat-free, low sodium broth without any onion ingredients.

Serve them up to your pup for a crunchy treat or add a few to the water bowl to keep it cool and add some flavor.

For more frozen treat ideas, visit

Cool down

For some cool entertainment, try freezing one of your pet’s favorite toys or treats.

Fill a large container halfway with water and add the toy. Allow it to freeze, fill the rest of the way with water and put it back in the freezer.

Give your pooch the block of ice containing his favorite toy on a hot afternoon and let him have at it.

Chill out

And for the dogs (or cats!) who would most like to spend their time lounging, check out these cooling mats on Amazon:

Pressure activated, these mats require no electricity or water and cool pets down 7 to 9 degrees.

Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

OAA announces Rock & Rescue details

posted July 1st, 2013 by
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This year’s 6th annual Rock & Rescue hosted by Oklahoma Alliance for Animals is set for July 13 at Guthrie Green from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

I look forward to this event every year and love that it brings area rescue groups together.

The event focuses on adoption of homeless pets from more than a dozen area rescue groups, though attendees are invited to bring their own pets as well.

The pet-friendly event in the park will include music, food and pet related vendors.

OAA will be offering $25 microchipping and all proceeds will benefit OAA in their mission to overcome pet overpopulation.

For vendor or sponsorship info or rescue groups interested in participating, visit

View the Facebook event page at

Hope to see you all there!

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]