Are you considering a new pet for Christmas?

This is a popular time of year for animals purchases and adoptions. While I don’t want to discourage animal adoptions, I feel anyone considering giving an animal as a gift this holiday should evaluate the situation before proceeding further. Sadly, many animals given as gifts end up in shelters at the start of the new year. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Does the recipient want an animal? While a new puppy sounds like a nice surprise, it isn’t fair to either the animal or the person to expect someone who did not ask for a new dog to be prepared to take care of it.
  2. Is the recipient prepared for the responsibility? Kids are notorious for asking for a new cat or dog for Christmas, but are they prepared to take on the responsibility of a pet? If not, are you THE PARENT ready to take on the responsibility of a new animal?
  3. Does the recipient have enough time, money, and energy to care for this pet? Regardless of whether a person wants and feels they are ready for an animal, do you truly think the person’s lifestyle will allow for this animal?
  4. Is this the right animal for the recipient? Selecting a new animal should not be done on impulse. Often, it takes quite a bit of time to find the right animal for a certain person, household, or family. Plus, many people would probably prefer to select their own pet based on certain criteria.

Remember, many animals such as dogs or cats are going to be around for 13 or more years! They are not like toys that kids can just tire of and throw in the back of their closets. Even smaller animals such as gheckos, lizards, and birds can be around for a long time. Also, many animals require special habitats and accessories that you will have to buy, such as heat lamps, special food, etc. Even most fish cannot be put in a simply glass bowl! So please think long and hard about giving an animal as a gift this Christmas. If you have considered these things and have decided to give an animal this Christmas, please consider adopting. There are millions of animals in shelters that would love a home for Christmas (not just dogs & cats, but lizards, birds, rabbits, and more!)


Keep your furry friends safe this Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family. For many of us, pets are part of our family and we want them to share in the festivties; however, Thanksgiving can pose some extra risks to our furry and feathered companions. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that both you and your animal friends have a fun, happy Thanksgiving.

  • Thanksgiving meals often occur earlier in the day. If it is close enough to your pet’s normal feeding time, feed him/her their normal meal before guests arrive. If guests will be arriving too early, feed your pet at his/her normal feeding time. Animals do better with a routine and this will also help cut back on their begging or stealing.
  • If you are going to share some of your holiday meal with your dog or cat, give them a small portion of plain turkey. Ensure there are NO BONES. Bones can cause choking and/or splinter and injure your pet, and/or get lodged in her or her stomach/intestines. Rich, fatty foods such as turkey skin, ham, mashed potatoes, butter, and gravy can upset your pet’s stomach. Bread can cause discomfort and bloat. Onions and garlic are poisonous to dogs.
  • Do not feed your animal chocolate; it can be fatal. Sugar and sweets are also unhealthy, as they can cause kidney failure in dogs and are difficult for animals to digest. Ensure that all sweets are out of your animal’s reach.
  • Make sure all aluminum foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, toothpicks, skewers, and string. Animals like to play with these materials, especially when covered with food, but they pose fatal risks. Also, cover or enclose your trashcan well. Cats and dogs can be notorious food hounds and you wouldn’t want them finding a turkey bone in the trash and choking on it.
  • Inform your guests. Ask them to not feed the animals table scraps. Also, notify them about whether or not your animal is allowed outside. Make sure they know to close to door behind themselves.
  • It is a good idea to not allow your cats outside on Thanksgiving, even if you allow them out at other times. One reason is because many people have guests over, meaning there are a lot of cars coming and going. This puts your cat in extra danger of being hit. Also, during winter cats like to crawl up inside cars or tire wells, which can often be fatal. (It is best to keep cats indoors all winter for this reason.)
  • If applicable, ensure your pet has current ID tags incase they slip out the door.
  • Give your pet a chance to relax away from guests. Put them in another room where they can de-stress and take a nap. A walk with you canine buddy is also a good idea. Animals can become overly excited or even stressed out with all the guests and commotion.
  • Do not forget about your pet’s needs. It is easy to get caught up in the festivities and guests, but make sure to check on your pet, give him/her attention, and ensure they have fresh clean water.
  • If you’re traveling, don’t wait until the last minute to make arrangements for your pet. If you are leaving your pet at home, make sure you have a pet sitter or a reservation at a boarding facility/your vet lined up. If travelling with your pet, do not wait until the last minute to pack all of your pet’s necessities. Write a list and double check it.
  • Do not take dogs to Thanksgiving Day parades. The crowds can be overwhelming for dogs and cause them to panic or stress out. This increases their chances of accidentally getting lost in the crowd.
Information from HERE and HERE.

Palatka/Putnam County, FL – Desperate dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens looking for homes for the holidays!

The following animals are located at the Putnam County Animal Shelter in Palatka, Florida. They are all VERY URGENT. These furry friends need to be adopted into a home or rescued by an organization. This shelter always has a large flow of incoming animals, so many are euthanized each week. These following animals could be euthanized at any time, but none will last beyond November 25. To survive, all animals must get out of the shelter before or on November 24. The animals below are just a small group of those in immediate need at this shelter. To view more of the animals, please take a look at the Putnam County Animal Shelter PHOTOALBUM, each animal’s details are listed below his/her picture. The following animals are those that shelter workers indicated as being most in need.


Cage 66, Brindle mix, Male, Nice dog, Owner-surrender:

Cage 66, Tricolor Terrier mix, Female, Very sweet, Owner-surrender:

Cage 67, Lab mix, Female, Nice dog, Owner-Surrender:

Cage 67, Yellow Lab (looks to be purebred), Male, Beautiful, Owner-Surrender:

Cage 80, Mix, Male, Extremely nice, playful, and friendly, Found as stray:

Cage 46, “Sandy,” Tan mix, Female, Very sweet, Abandoned by owners:

Cage 51, “Henry,” Black-white Lab mix, Male, Very Sweet, Found as stray:

Cage 78, Blue Heeler, Female, Found as stray, (she is PREGNANT-please consider giving her a safe place to give birth where she does not have to fear herself or her puppies being put to death):

Cage 48, Red-white mix, Female, Nice dog, Picked up as Stray, (She has been taking care of the puppies in this photo, but they are not her’s. She rescued these pups, now it’s her turn to be rescued!):

Cage 22, Beautiful silver tabby kitten, (the eyes just look funky in the photo):

Cage 25, Black Hemmingway, Double paws (this poses no problem, it’s just very cute), Very sweet:

Cage 30, Large Snowshoe Siamese, Bright blue eyes, Sweet cat, (bad picture):

Cage 31, Medium long-haired orange Tabby cat, Very nice:

Cage 40, White & Tabby cat/kitten, Beautiful eyes:

If you are interested in adopting or rescuing any of these or any of the other animals at the Putnam County Animal Services, please: (it is best to call & email to cover all your bases)

Call: 386-329-0399 or 386-329-0396 (If you get the answering machine, leave a message including your name, the cage # of the animal(s) you’re interested in, the description of the animal you’re interested in, request that the shelter hold this animal until you can talk to them, and leave your phone number.

Email: (Include your name, contact info, the cage # of the animal(s) you’re interested in, the description of the animal(s) you’re interested in, and ask the shelter to hold that animal)

Feline Medical Care Basics

Here are some helpful tips for keeping your kitty companion feeling safe, healthy, and months or years younger than he or she actually is!

Regular Vet Visits
Why: Many symptoms of feline health conditions are subtle, and cats often don’t show obvious signs of illness or pain. Regular physicals allow your veterinarian to detect feline health problems before they turn into serious illnesses.

When: Adult cats should visit the vet once a year. Senior cats 11 years or older may need biannual visits.

Routine Vaccines
Why: Vaccinations can help protect both indoor and outdoor cats against serious and sometimes fatal diseases, including feline panleukopenia (FPV) and rabies. Ask your cat’s veterinarian which vaccinations are appropriate for your pet based on your cat’s lifestyle and surroundings. Remember, over-vaccination can pose health risks, such as increasing your cat’s chances of developing cancer. This is why consulting with your veterinarian about which illnesses are common in your geographical area can be helpful.

When: Vaccination schedules should begin as early as 6 to 8 weeks of age. However, many adult cats may still be eligible for most vaccinations. Your cat’s vaccine schedule will depend on your cat’s particular health care needs. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best schedule.

Two More Preventive Measures
In addition to scheduling regular checkups and getting recommended vaccines for your pet, two other basics of cat health care include keeping your pet indoors, if possible, and having your cat spayed or neutered.

Keeping your cat inside greatly reduces his or her exposure to parasites, predators, and disease and can increase his or her life expectancy by 15 years or more.

Keeping your cat indoors can help your cat live a longer, healthier life. House cats have a life expectancy of 15 years or more, whereas outdoor cats typically live an average of only 5 years. Here are three reasons why indoor cats live longer:

  • Shielding your cat from the outside world reduces his or her risk of attack by other cats, dogs, coyotes, and other predators, as well as reduces the risk of being hit by a car—one of the most common outdoor threats.
  • House cats are less likely to contract disease or parasites from other outdoor animals. Free-roaming cats are more likely to encounter ticks, fleas, and worms, as well as become infected with feline leukemia, rabies, and respiratory diseases.
  • Cats that stay inside are less likely to require emergency treatment or costly prescription cat medicines. Healthy, safe house cats minimize the need for any potential expensive medical care costs associated with the treatment of feline diseases and parasites contracted from other cats and wildlife.

Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor pet, he or she should always be clearly identified with a collar and an identification tag.

Spaying or neutering your cat not only cuts down on unwanted litters, but also reduces risk of uterine infections or prostate problems. This includes various forms of cancer.

Information taken from CatAge .

Akron, OH – Adorable cats, kittens, and dogs at county pound need adoption or rescue!

The following animals are located at the Summit County Animal Control Facility. These are only a small fraction of the animals currently available there. Please consider opening your home and heart to one. This facility does not have the best reputation and I would not wish my worst enemies there. Click HERE to discover some of the recent horrible history about this place!

09-053: (Adult male Shepherd mix)

09-101 (Adult female Sheperd mix):

09-102 (Adult male Collie mix):

C10-113 (Young male, domestic mix):

C10-115 (Young female Tabby mix):

C10-151 (Baby, male, domestic mix):

If you are interested in adopting or rescuing any of these animals, please call the shelter at: (330) 643-2845.

Visit the Summit County Animal Control’s PETFINDER PAGE to view many more animals that need a home! 

National Black Cat Day!

November 17th marks the second annual National Black Cat Day in Italy. It is not only in the U.S. that black cats are seen as signs of evil curses and bad luck. The Italian Association in Defense of Animals and the Environment organized National Black Cat Day to try to spread the truth about black cats and rto educe the number of black cats killed in Italy each year. An estimated 60,000 black cats are killed in Italy each year. Many are also kidnapped and/or abandoned.

Of course, black cats have it bad in America as well. The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare found that in shelters, black cats are half as likely to get adopted as are tabby cats and two-thrids less likely to be adopted than white cats. Many rescue organizations and shelters even have to probihit the adoption of black cats during October due to the nasty treatment many unfortunately receive.

But, I am here to tell you that black cats and wonderful and should be celebrated. I have known several black cats in my day and not one of them brought with them evil curses or years of bad luck! In fact, it seems it is the cats themselves that have the bad luck, on behalf of human behavior.

So, here are the top ten reasons why everyone should adopt a black cat:

    10. You’ll save money on their Halloween costumes.
    9. You can always find them in the snow.
    8. Holding a black cat is very slimming.
    7. Black cats will match any decor.
    6. A link brush isn’t required for a black-tie affair.5. When you love a black cat, luck is on your side.

    4. Black cats are like onyx, a beautiful gem!

    3. Hey, they don’t care what color you are!

    2.They are least likely to be adopted.

    1. Love knows no color.

List take from HERE (slightly modified by me).

Leitchfield/Grayson County, KY – 100+ cats free to approved rescues, adoption fee reduced! URGENT!


When the Leitchfield Veterinary Clinic was recently asked to assist with cat euthanasias for the Grayson County Humane Society (GCHS) – the first feline PTS’s to be “needed” (due to lack of space) by the shelter in the last two years – employees at the clinic were heartbroken that the successful placement of shelter cats was nearing an end and that lives were now being lost. They decided that they wanted to do something to help the shelter and to make sure that such a sad ending didn’t happen again anytime soon.

As part of the national Make A Difference Day (which occurred on October 25th), the Leitchfield Veterinary Clinic graciously (and blessedly!) performed 40+ cat neuters and cat spays – all free of charge – for cats waiting to adopted or rescued from the GCHS.

With more than 100 cats/kittens now filling every available space at the shelter (and with several more in foster care), it’s BEYOND urgent that the ones that are fully vetted and/or sponsored (i.e. fees paid to be vetted) find loving homes or rescues ASAP. This is CRITICAL in order to save the lives of the unaltered shelter cats that are still waiting for their second chance at a happy ending. When space becomes limited (which it already is!), unaltered/unsponsored cats will unfortunately be the first ones to be euthanized.

ANY cat that is now at the Grayson County Humane Society can go to an approved rescue group FREE OF CHARGE. Many – if not most – of the cats/kittens that are four-months-old or older, are now fully vetted (spayed/neutered, rabies vaccinated, FVRCPC vaccinated, FeLV/FIV tested, dewormed, and treated with flea preventative) and ready to go. Any sponsored kitten that isn’t yet altered, can still go to an approved rescue group and the sponsorship money will be sent along to the group to use as needed for such vetting.

Adoptions – which normally cost $55 for a fully vetted cat – are now only $30. Out-of-state adoptions ARE allowed, but please understand that the approval process can sometimes take longer than it does for local adoptions. To speed up the process, you can fill out an adoption application online at .

Please don’t let distance prevent you from rescuing or adopting any of the Grayson cats. Transport to the northeast or towards the Chicago area can often be arranged. The Grayson County Humane Society has an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers who not only donate their time and energy to transport these furry angels to rescue groups and adopters, but whom also pay for such life-saving journeys out of their own pocket (although a donation towards gas is always appreciated).

While there are only a few precious Grayson cat photos posted below, you can see many more pictures and get additional helpful information about each one of the Grayson furrpurrs by clicking on the “Click Here To Only See Our Cats” link on the Grayson County Humane Society/SPCA Petfinder web site at .

If you can rescue or adopt any of these fabulous felines or if you have questions about any of the cats that are listed, please contact the shelter volunteers at ( or (, or call 270-230-8839. If you don’t have room in your rescue group or loving home for a cat, but if you know of someone who does, please forward this message on to them ASAP.

Please share in the amazing generosity of the Leitchfield Veterinary Clinic and help extend the meaning of the Make a Difference Day. By opening your heart and home to just one of the Grayson cats, you will have made a world of difference to that precious life. We can’t save them all, but we can certainly try to save as many as possible. Thank you for any and all help that you can provide.

Donna Schwender
Friend of the Grayson County Humane Society