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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]

Botanic Garden Dog Night is back

posted April 5th, 2017 by
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If you have not yet made the trek about 8 miles north of downtown to see the amazing sights at the Tulsa Botanic Garden, this is the perfect opportunity for any dog lover.

Thursday, April 6, will kick off the first dog night of the season at the Tulsa Botanic Garden, 3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive.

From 5-8 p.m., leashed dogs are welcome to explore the gardens with their owners. Dog Night

The Tulsa SPCA‘s mobile adoption unit will be on site with adoptable animals. PetsWell Pantry will be passing out samples of fresh, organic dog food and treats.

Dog Night will take place 5-8 p.m. the first Thursday of the month through August. Dogs must also be up to date on vaccinations and registration and only one dog per person. Please plan to clean up after your dog while visiting the gardens.

The event is free for Garden members and their dogs; Admission is $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3-12; $4 per dog for non-members.

For those who attend be, sure to snap a pic of your pooch and send it to me at [email protected] for use in a future post.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

 

Hot cars = hot ovens

posted May 26th, 2014 by
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My dogs love a good car ride. Especially when it is hot out and none of us feels like walking outside. There is nothing better than the sunroof back and going through a drive through. Soda for me, a cup of ice for them. And if the AC isn’t running, they aren’t in the car.

While I am confident that Tulsa Pets Magazine readers know better than to leave their pet in a hot car, what should you do if you come across an animal who has been left in such a situation?

The Tulsa SPCA recently addressed the issue with the following posting on their Facebook page from cruelty investigator Tim Green:

“This is a common problem that occurs more often than you would believe. it is my dilemma as well. If I come across a dog in a car I immediately contact the authorities, whether in the city or rurally. While waiting for them, I try to force a window down to let some air in. I’ve been able to get most windows down at least a few inches, all the way around the vehicle, without causing damage. When officers do arrive it is up to them to determine how to continue. Many times the car is parked at a mall or in the parking area of a store and I help by going into the businesses to have them make an announcement to contact an owner. This has worked a number of times. If all else fails, it is at the officers discretion whether to break a window. I’m sure they would before letting an animal die. I think it is most important to get authorities on the scene as soon as you can.”

Animals can suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes, according to PETA’s website. On a hot summer day in Oklahoma, the temperature of a parked car could easily reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Check PETA’s website for more information on heatstroke in animals.

Below, are several ideas from petfinder.com to avoid needing to leave your pet in the car.

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- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Passion by Design Sale for Tulsa SPCA

posted November 7th, 2013 by
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Passion By Design

Passion By Design is helping the Tulsa SPCA celebrate their 100th Anniversary by selling collection of Norman Rockwell framed prints!

Tulsa SPCA celebrating 100th anniversary

posted June 5th, 2013 by
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For the past 100 years the Tulsa SPCA has been giving back to the community and its animals. In celebration of its centennial year, the organization will be celebrating with a variety of amazing events for the community.

So let’s show them some love and support by attending one (or all!) of the following events this summer.

Kicking things off is the Paws & Pictures event. Bring your family, furry members included, to the Admiral Twin Drive-In on June 20 for games and live music followed by two feature films when the sun goes down.

Doors will open at 7 p.m., movies will begin at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. Pets must be leashed.

Proceeds from the ticket and concession sales will benefit the operations at TSPCA.

On June 21, head on over to KingsPointe Village for a benefit concert featuring the Easy Street Band starting at 7:30 p.m.

TSPCA volunteers will be collecting dog and cat food, blankets, treats, toys, bowls, leashes, collars and distilled water. They will also be selling their anniversary T-shirts and cookbooks.

KingsPointe Village is located at the corner of 61st Street and Yale Avenue.

Wrapping up the celebration is a Bingo Bash on July 20.

In addition to bingo, there will be a silent auction, door prizes, wine grab bag, restaurant pull and cash bar.

The event will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at The Campbell Hotel, 2636 E. 11th St. Tickets are $30 each or $25 for four or more.

And of course, if you are not able to attend any of the events, donations are always welcomed.

For more information on any of the events or to donate, visit http://tulsaspca.org/ or like Tulsa SPCA on Facebook.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Animal Cops Tulsa

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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by Nancy Gallimore Werhane

Photos by Bob Foshay

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN episodes of Animal Planet’s Animal Cop? There are versions shot in Houston, Miami, New York and Detroit. Each program shows what appear to be small armies of uni­formed authorities fighting the good fight for animal welfare.

So, what about Animal Cops: Tulsa? Meet Tim Geen, the one-man army working the field for the Tulsa Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA). Retired from 28 years of mili­tary service, along with the Beaumont Police Department in Texas, Geen ap­propriately found his way into his new job when he rescued two puppies from the side of the highway near the TSPCA shelter. He was an acquaintance of for­mer TSPCA Cruelty Investigator Wade Farnan, who passed away in the spring of 2011. So when he took the pups to the shelter for assistance, he asked if they happened to be hiring. The answer was an enthusiastic “yes!” Eight months later, Geen hasn’t looked back once, and quite frankly, hasn’t had the time.

Having always enjoyed an active life, retirement just wasn’t suiting him. “You can only paint a room in your house and turn around to repaint the same room again the next week so many times,” Geen said with a laugh. “You mow the lawn and then wait for it to grow, so you can mow it again. That just wasn’t for me.” Now it’s a safe bet that Geen’s lawn may no longer be so well manicured. Tulsa’s animal cop, a self-proclaimed dog lover, is on the job before the sun comes up every morning and arrives home after sunset each workday. Geen not only covers Tulsa County but also every bordering county. That means long hours and a lot of miles on the road, as he fields calls for cats and dogs, horses, cattle, goats, rabbits and any animal in need.

The demand for his services is high. Geen fields an average of 100 calls a month for the TSPCA. Of those calls, he says he can generally resolve about 25 of them through phone counsel­ing. That leaves a balance of 75 cases a month that he physically visits. The math alone shows you how busy this man is. During the course of our hour-long interview, his phone rang no fewer than four times.

In addition to fielding calls and travel­ing to check on animals throughout an eight-county region, Geen also care­fully documents each case. While he is not permitted to go directly to the city district attorney (D.A.) to pursue pros­ecution on neglect and abuse cases, his careful documentation has lead to sev­eral cases being prosecuted.

“If I have a case that I feel needs to go to the D.A., I have to take my informa­tion to Tulsa Animal Welfare to pursue through legal channels,” Geen said. “I will work with them and will do any­thing I can to support prosecution if it comes to that.”

In one such case, a man was found guilty of animal abuse for first hanging his dog and then shooting it. Geen was accompanied on the call by the Tulsa police officers who helped him docu­ment the case.

“The owner admitted to shooting the dog, but denied hanging it. Of course, it was a little hard to deny since there was still a hangman’s noose around the de­ceased dog’s neck,” he said. “The case went to court, and the guy received a $150 fine and six months probation. It can be frustrating because you pursue these terrible animal abuse and cruelty cases, yet very little happens. You often see higher fines for traffic violations.”

The most common calls Geen receives are for dogs living on chains and dogs without proper food, water and shelter. He claims that most of those cases can be resolved through counseling owners and conducting careful follow-up calls, though the outcome is not always what he would like to see for the dogs in question. “There is no law in Oklahoma prohibiting people from chaining a dog, and I sure hate to see any animal living like that,” Geen said. “Sometimes, the best I can do is to make sure the dog has shelter and water within reach.”

When asked about the hardest part of his job, Geen thinks for only a moment. Injured and sick animals are obviously high on his list, but from an emotional standpoint, abandoned animals are among the hardest cases he handles. “We see a lot of confused animals—primarily dogs—left behind at rental homes with no one to care for them,” he said. “I will provide the basics for the animal while we wait to see if the owner will return to claim it.” If that doesn’t happen, Geen will remove the dog.

“The hard part is that the TSPCA shelter doesn’t always have room for every abandoned dog. If I can’t bring the dog here, I have to take it to the Tulsa Animal Welfare shelter, and I know it may have to be euthanized there,” explained Geen. The harsh reality he faces in rescuing animals is that space for them is always at a premium, and options are limited.

That means that a good deal of Geen’s time is spent finding solu­tions. “I will make calls and explore all options I can to find assistance or safe placement for an animal.” Geen has even found foster homes willing to care for livestock and has been known to foster dogs in his own home until a permanent home can be found.

For all of the hard cases Geen sees, his joy in helping animals is evident. When I asked him to show me some of the animals he had recently res­cued, his smile was quick; he imme­diately led me to the shelter clinic to visit a litter of chubby, fluffy Rottwei­ler-mix puppies. Holding the largest puppy from the litter as it enthusias­tically licked his face, Geen pointed to an adjacent yard where two other dogs stood watching.

“The big Rottweiler male is their daddy, and that Border Collie standing behind him is their mom. We were able to rescue the whole family,” Geen said with obvious delight. The dogs were removed from a home that had been raided by Tulsa police officers as a sus­pected meth lab.

“I see a lot of sad things—animals that have been injured, abused and neglect­ed. But then I go out and get to save these pups, along with their mom and dad, and it just makes me smile.” Geen is quick to add that all of the pups—now weaned and temporarily housed in quarantine while receiving vaccina­tions—are healthy and should be avail­able for adoption very soon. “Nothing makes me happier,” he said.

Our interview ended abruptly when one of the TSPCA employees tracked us down to give Geen information on a call that had just come in, reporting a horse caught in a fence along the Will Rogers Turnpike. Geen was up, on his phone and headed to his car in an in­stant.

As he took off on yet another case, it was obvious that Geen has found his perfect “retirement” career. “I wouldn’t trade this job for any other job at any price,” he said. “I will keep doing what I’m doing until they run me off—I love my critters.”

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