Power outageJuly 9, 2014
**UPDATE** Our power is on, and we are back to business as usual!
The HLLC lost power last night! Our staff and volunteers are still here cleaning and caring for the animals, but we’ll be unable to process adoptions. Our power is expected to be restored around 5 pm this evening, we hope to be back to normal operations tomorrow at 11 am.
HLLC WILL BE CLOSED ON July 4thJuly 2, 2014
The Humane League of Lancaster County will be closed on Friday, July 4th. From all the staff at the HLLC, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!
Declaration of Independence Adoption WeekendJuly 2, 2014
Join us for family fun in Phoenixville on July 4th, for Phoenixville’s First Friday celebration with live music, theatrical performances, and local artists. And what better way to kick off the holiday weekend than to DECLARE that all cats and kittens are FREE to a Great Home? The Borough of Phoenixville’s First Friday begins at 6 pm, but at The Humane Society Phoenixville, free adoptions commence at noon and continue through 8 pm. Take part in the spirit of the holiday and help us to liberate pets from homelessness – a venture of which Thomas Jefferson would surely approve!
While the Fourth of July festivities in Phoenixville only last one day, we don’t believe in limiting the celebration. The weekend continues with fun in Reading at the Humane Society of Berks County on Sunday, July 6th, from 10 am through 4 pm. Stop by to participate in games, win prizes, enjoy ice cream (graciously donated by the Carvel located on 5th St. Highway in Reading), and adopt a new pet. All cats and kittens are FREE to a Great Home and all dogs are just $17.76. Celebrate freedom by adopting a shelter pet!
This adoption promotion will take place across all Humane Pennsylvania locations, with $17.76 dog adoption fees from July 5th through July 11th and free cat adoptions throughout the summer. (Please note – special activities are limited to the locations and dates listed above). The Humane Society of Berks County has two locations, in Reading and Douglassville, and has cats, dogs, and critters available for adoption. Like the HSBC, the Humane League of Lancaster County offers a variety of cats and dogs for adoption. The Humane Society Phoenixville features a unique twist to adoption - the Art Deska Gallery, where adopters can meet with available cats in an art-filled setting. Animals in all locations have a 30-day Adoption Health Guarantee.
June Volunteer of the Month - Carolyn LyngJune 18, 2014
The Humane League is so excited to highlight Carolyn Lyng as a June Volunteer of the Month! If you want to meet a woman on a mission who has a heart of gold who is willing to go to the moon and back to help animals in need, then Carolyn is who you are looking for! Carolyn brings a tremendous wealth of personal experience in animal welfare and administration, as well as a genuine love for the animals she works so hard to help.
Carolyn joined the dog walking program in November 2013 and has been a weekly member of the dog walking team ever since. This may have been the coldest, snowiest, iciest winter, but that didn’t slow Carolyn down, as she was still here for the dogs, bundled head to toe and ready to make sure they had their play time and snuggles. To see this dedication in action, truly is an inspiration to the staff & volunteers, and we can’t imagine the dog walking program without her!
Most recently, Carolyn became the Volunteer Program Management Intern here at the Humane League, and this opportunity is allowing her to connect her professional administrative background to the Humane League volunteer program, and we can’t help but count our lucky stars to have her on board! As a Volunteer Program Management Intern Carolyn is directly involved with the daily operations of the 300+ volunteer program in every aspect from the new volunteer welcoming process, research, scheduling, and so much more! Carolyn has jumped right into taking on the project of streamlining the volunteer schedule process by learning the ins and outs of our volunteer management software – volunteers stay tuned for exciting updates and information coming shortly! With years of professional experience in logistics, program development, assessment, and more you can bet Carolyn is such an important part of making sure the Humane League has the best volunteer program around and is doing the best for our volunteers!
In addition to all this, Carolyn has also been a Foster Family, and is always researching & excited to share ideas about how we can all do better for animals by staying updated about what is going on for animals not only across Lancaster County, but in animal welfare overall. For Carolyn, it all comes back to the animals and helping her fellow volunteers and staff, and we can’t thank her enough!
Thank you Carolyn – you are truly an inspiration to us all!
HLLC Will Be Closed on Memorial DayMay 21, 2014
The Humane League will be closed on Monday, May 26th in honor of the Memorial Day Holiday. From all of the staff at the HLLC, we wish you a Happy Memorial Day!
THE GREAT CATSBY ADOPTION EVENTApril 29, 2014
Beginning April 28th and running through May 31st, 2014, the partner shelters of Humane Pennsylvania in Lancaster, Reading, Phoenixville, and Douglassville are offering a two-for-one adoption special. Set in the Roar-r-ring Twenties, this adoption promotion encourages families to consider adding one of our stylish felines to their home. To a homeless cat every home is a mansion, and you most certainly can buy love at the Humane Society of Berks County, the Humane League of Lancaster County, and the Humane Society Phoenixville with our adoption special. Only have room for one cat? Friends don’t let friends adopt alone! Friends who come in together can each adopt a cat and split the adoption fee.
This adoption promotion kicks off as the warmer weather brings an increase in the number of homeless cats at animal shelters throughout the community. Luckily for those homeless pets, the partner agencies of Humane Pennsylvania have the capability to have an enormous impact across the entire region through working together. This adoption promotion is in effect throughout all of the partner shelters in Reading, Lancaster, Douglassville and Phoenixville. The Great Catsby Adoption event is the first multi-county cat adoption event in this area, a truly life saving innovation. “Through combining the adoption programs and utilizing the resources of shelters across county lines we can have an even greater life saving impact.” states Mr. Karel Minor, President/CEO of Humane Pennsylvania.
With multiple locations to choose from, adopters have an even wider choice of options for finding a new cat or cats to adopt. The Great Catsby Adoption event coincides with the Humane Society of Berks County’s Art for Arf’s Sake Art Auction, which also has a Great Gatsby theme. The proceeds from the art auction benefit the cats and dogs of our shelters, from caring for homeless pets to making high quality veterinary care available to thousands of pets each year. The Humane Society of Berks County has two locations, in Reading and Douglassville, and an open admission policy ensuring a larger number of available cats to choose from. The Humane Society Phoenixville features the Art Deska Gallery, so adopters can meet with available cats for adoption in an art filled setting. The Humane League of Lancaster County offers a variety of cats for adoption, now with the same 30-day Adoption Health Guarantee as the other partner shelters.
There are many benefits to having multiple cats. They can provide each other with exercise and social interaction. Cats frequently benefit from the company of another feline, and are less likely to be destructive when they have another cat to play with. Some of our cats come into the shelter already very bonded with each other, and adopting them together guarantees a good match! Introducing new felines can go well with just a few easy tips, and staff at each partner shelter will be happy to share tips and suggestions for helping your new felines settle right into their swell new digs.
For more information on the benefits of adopting pairs of cats, or to see the variety of cats available for adoption at the four locations visit www.humaneleague.com and
About the Humane Pennsylvania: The vision of the Humane Pennsylvania is to ensure that all animals and people have access to the support and services they need to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. Since 1900, Humane Pennsylvania and its partners have been leaders in animal welfare. Operating adoptions centers, veterinary clinics, an equine rescue facility and public dog park, Humane Pennsylvania is the largest network of animal welfare facilities in Pennsylvania, serving tens of thousands of animals across Pennsylvania each year. For more information, visit www.humanepa.org
Heart & Soul Volunteer: Rosalba FinazzoApril 24, 2014
The Humane League of Lancaster County is so excited to announce that Rosalba Finazzo is a Heart & Soul Volunteer of the Year! Rosalba started volunteering in April 2013 and has become such an important part of the Humane League family that we can’t believe Rosalba hasn’t been with us longer than a year, but this just goes to show you how much love she brings to everything she does for the animals, staff, and her fellow volunteers!
Rosalba is a dog lover through and through, and nothing beats Rosalba’s smile and laughter as she romps around with the dogs in the play yard or on a walk – her pure love and passion for making the days brighter for our shelter dogs lights up the whole place and has a way of getting everyone around her caught up in the fun, too! Rosalba is literally up for anything that will make a dog’s day better…and that can get pretty interesting here at the Humane League! Rosalba has regularly dedicated several days/week at the Humane League giving the dogs extra long play yard sessions, hours at a time, and despite spending those hours running around playing fetch, teaching the dogs to use the agility equipment, splashing around in the dog pools, and of course, making sure they are showered with love and snuggles, you’ll find her smiling and bubbling over with excitement to tell you all about her dog adventures. Rosalba has helped with our Canine Enrichment Program, where she spends time making puzzle toys, icy treat toys, special games during feeding times, and other creative ways to keep the dogs having fun. On top of all this, Rosalba’s strong connection to the dogs and handling skills make her one of our “go-to” volunteers to work on behavior plans for dogs who need extra support, and we know with Rosalba on the case, we’ll get full reports and the dogs have a cheerleader every step of the way as they learn important skills that will give them the best paw forward with their new family.
Rosalba has become of our regular “Canine Field Trip” volunteers, often coming in every week, to take a special dog to enjoy a fun day of adventure out and about Lancaster County! This field trip program is not only fun for the volunteers and dogs, but it provides a very real benefit – keeps the dogs happy and less stressed, gives them an adoption boost, and collects important information about the dogs for fellow staff and volunteers. Rosalba has a sweet spot for longer-term residents and those high energy dogs who need an extra outlet, and loves to feature these dogs on her field trips. Rosalba also is creative and has a love of photography that make her excel at capturing the dogs personalities on their Field Trips. If you follow the Humane League on Facebook, receive our newsletters, etc; chances are you’ve seen Rosalba’s beautiful photos and been drawn in by their magic, just like us!
Rosalba; on behalf of the thousands of dogs you’ve made a difference for here at the Humane League and beyond, and your fellow volunteers and staff, and for being such an inspiration to us all, we all extend a heartfelt THANK YOU!
Heart & Soul Volunteer: Michelle ButlerApril 23, 2014
The Humane League of Lancaster County is so excited to announce that Michelle Butler is a Heart & Soul Volunteer of the Year! Michelle has been a Humane League volunteer since August 2012 and brings with her a love of helping animals in need and love of volunteer management that has played a direct role in growing the volunteer program here at the Humane League! With a volunteer program of over 300+ volunteers across programs who donate over 12,000 hours each year, her impact simply can’t be denied!
Michelle started as a volunteer in the cat facility with her two daughters where they made sure the cats all had their special snuggles, play time and treats that is such an important part of keeping them happy and healthy until their new family falls in love. It’s not always as easy as it sounds – after all, liter boxes still need scooped, and laundry and dishes still need washed! – but whether it is cat cuddles or cleaning, Michelle and her daughters were always willing to help.
In March of 2013 Michelle came on board to assist in the volunteer department, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect! With the Humane League rolling out many new shelter and community programs as part of the transition to a no kill shelter and expanded volunteer opportunities, Michelle was there making it possible to welcome many new volunteers! In fact, thanks to Michelle’s help, 2013 was the first year the Humane League was able to offer two New Volunteer Information Sessions a month! Michelle has helped with everything from data entry, keeping volunteer files updated, updating the volunteer e-mail list, calling and e-mailing volunteers to schedule them for their Orientation, and so much more. Michelle has a love of both program development and volunteering, combined with a strong attention – more like love! – to detail that make her excel in this role. As the Humane League has rolled out new volunteer program features such as the new online schedule system, Michelle has been right there with us, sharing her insight and ideas to keep us doing better and better, not only for the animals, but our amazing volunteer team that keeps us going!
2014 shows no signs of slowing down and you can bet Michelle is by our sides helping us move forward! Michelle most recently has taken on the new responsibility to help do new volunteer meetings, which provide the one-on-one time that answers new volunteer questions and matches their interests and passions to the best volunteer opportunity for them to get started. While you may not have seen Michelle yet, you can bet if you are a volunteer of the Humane League past, present or future, you have benefited from Michelle’s time and efforts, which truly, come straight from the heart. On top of all this, Michelle also has one of the greatest sense of humor and is always ready for a smile that she brightens up our days every time we see her!
We simply couldn’t do what we do for animals & pet parents in need without volunteers, and we extend a heartfelt thank you to Michelle for all you do for the staff, animals, and your fellow volunteers, it means the world!
Heart & Soul Volunteer: Courtney DuceyApril 22, 2014
The Humane League is so excited to announce that Courtney Ducey is a Heart & Soul Volunteer of the Year! Courtney started volunteering November 2012 and her love of animals, big heart, and ready smile make her a treasured member of the Humane League, and we simply can’t picture the Humane League without her.
Courtney started volunteering as a part of the Saturday dog walking team, and from the first play session and dog snuggle, there was no looking back for Courtney! Courtney works hard to make sure all the dogs get their play time and walks that are such an important part of keeping the dogs happy and healthy until they find their new home. To see Courtney in action is to see magic, as she has a special way of connecting with the dogs and making sure she gives them all time to do what they love best, whether that is a snuggle and hug under the gazebo, an active game of Frisbee or fetch, splashing around in the pools, or walks with plenty of time to stop and see the sights along the way. Courtney is also a member of the Humane League B.A.R.C. Program, which provides specialized training to volunteers working with the dogs, particularly those who need extra support. As a member of the B.A.R.C. Program Courtney has dedicated countless hours to dogs that need extra support, such as shy dogs who need help gaining confidence, socialization, positive outlets for the many active, exuberant dogs that need to burn off mountains of energy, and so much more. Courtney is always ready to go the extra mile needed for the dogs, and is right there celebrating with the staff & her fellow volunteers when they finally have their very own family to love! Courtney is also a Volunteer Mentor for the dog facility, where she welcomes and trains new volunteers with the dogs, sharing her knowledge and passion, and over and over again her new trainees have glowing reviews about their training sessions with her!
Last year Courtney joined the Dog Facility Adoption Team, where she works closely with the staff on all steps of the adoption process. She’s always ready with a friendly smile for visitors, talks up the dogs, helps with meet & greets, and throughout has a wealth of personal information about the dogs to share with their new adopters. The dog facility can be a very busy place, and Courtney’s friendly smile and great customer service, go a long way to make visitors feel comfortable and enjoy their experience adopting!
When the Humane League launched our Canine Field Trip Program for the shelter dogs in the fall of 2013, Courtney was one of our first volunteers to sign up to become involved, and would come in throughout the week to give the dogs an extra special field trip around town. Together they would do everything from take a romp in the park, hiking trails, a swim in the river, and so much more. Plus, it seemed every time she came back from a Field Trip, her dog had an extra special toy or treat they picked up on their outing together!
Courtney – you are an inspiration to everyone around you, and with your time you have given a priceless gift to so many, and we can’t thank you enough!
Heart & Soul Volunteer: Roger GordonApril 21, 2014
The Humane League of Lancaster County is so proud to announce that Roger Gordon is a Heart & Soul Volunteer of the Year! Roger started volunteering at the Humane League in December of 2012 and his energy, excitement and love shines through in everything he does and truly is an inspiration to everyone around him.
Roger volunteers as a part of our morning Kennel Crew team 1 – 2 days each week, with shifts starting at 7 a.m., where he works as a team with the staff and fellow volunteers on the morning cleaning routine – piles of laundry & dishes, making sure the cats & the dogs all have fresh blankets, toys, treats & more to start the day off right – plus is always willing to jump in with any surprise projects of the day, no matter how dirty. In fact, Roger’s smile and enthusiasm have a way of making these projects full of fun and lucky is the staff that gets to spend their shifts with Roger! Roger has an extraordinary attention to detail and sense of responsibility, so it wasn’t long before Roger was leading the morning cleaning in the cat facility, getting a jump start to the day for our feline friends. When Roger is in, not only can we rest assured the cat facility cleaning projects are in good hands, of course the cats are too with loads of cuddles and snuggles. To make this possible, Roger splits his work shifts to allow him to take a break (yes, his day starts earlier than 7 a.m.!) to come in to volunteer and help the lucky staff & animals at the Humane League!
Roger is always willing to help with all kinds of projects that pop up unexpectedly, such as picking up pallets of donated dog food that will go towards helping pets and pet parents in need, hauling away washers and dryers that have given their last load of laundry a whirl, Service Day yard work days raking up dozens upon dozens of leaves, and so much more. Most recently Roger has joined our team of dedicated Volunteer Mentors in the cat facility where he is able to share his passion about volunteering with new volunteers to help them get started on their own journey. Roger will go to the ends of the earth for what he loves, and we are so incredibly thankful to have Roger by our side and look forward to many exciting years ahead with Roger! On behalf of the thousands of animals you’ve been a part of helping and the countless days you’ve brightened for the Humane League staff & volunteers – THANK YOU ROGER!
The HLLC Will Be Closed Easter SundayApril 18, 2014
The Humane League will be closed on Sunday, April 20th in honor of the Easter Holiday. From all of the staff at the HLLC, we wish you a Happy Easter!
Introducing: Free To A Great Home Adoption Program!March 20, 2014
Adoption fees will now be waived for older pets and long-term residents!
Previously, only our senior cats have been free to a good home, but we are excited to announce that we are expanding the program to be in line with the nationally recognized Free To A Great Home adoption incentive program! This award-winning program was first introduced by sister shelter, Humane Society of Berks County in 2005 and continues to be an active program at their shelter today. The HLLC hopes that this expanded program will help even more pets be quickly adopted into loving homes, making more resources available to help a greater number pets in our community.
How the program works:
- Interested adopters go through the normal adoption screening process.
- If approved for adoption, any dog eight years and over and any cat eleven years and over are adopted at no charge. Also, any cat or dog which has been up for adoption for eight weeks or more may be adopted at no charge through the FTAGH program!
- Adopters receive all the same benefits and responsibilities as regular adopters.
Humane League of Lancaster County Offers Innovative 30-Day Adoption Health GuaranteeMarch 4, 2014
The Humane League of Lancaster County is proud to announce that every cat and dog adopted at the Humane League of Lancaster County’s adoption center or at any satellite adoption center will now receive our exclusive 30 Day Adoption Health Guarantee. This innovative program provides adopted pets with complete coverage for a wide variety of common canine and feline illnesses.
“Our goal is to provide adopters and their pets with the best possible health care and to avoid adoption returns due to uncommon but simple and treatable illnesses,” explains Karel Minor, President of the Humane League of Lancaster County. “This cutting edge animal welfare program makes the choice of adopting a pet easier and more accessible to area families, so we can help even more homeless pets transition from the shelter to adoptive homes.”
This program, the first of its kind in Lancaster County, is focused on increasing adoptions and decreasing the number of pets who might be returned for treatable illnesses which could easily be treated through this program. For more information of the 30 Day Adoption Health Guarantee, including the list of covered illnesses, visit www.humaneleague.com. As part of this program within the first 30 days after adoption The Humane League of Lancaster County Animal Hospital will provide adopted pets with a complimentary Overall Wellness Exam on the new pet.
Two Hour Delay on March 3rdMarch 2, 2014
Due to the anticipated slippery conditions tomorrow morning, the Humane League of Lancaster will be operating on a two hour delay. Adoption hours will start at 1PM on Monday, March 3rd. Please be safe!
Public Policy for Animals SeminarFebruary 25, 2014
Please join us at 7 pm on Thursday evening at the Humane Society of Berks County Lindy Scholar Center in Reading for an HSUS seminar presented by former Pennsylvania State Senator Roy Afflerbach. Attendance is free, but please RSVP to ensure adequate space and materials.
Open for regular hours todayFebruary 14, 2014
The Humane League will be open for regular adoption hours today, February 14, 2014. Come meet your new furry Valentine!
HLLC Closed - 2/13/2014February 12, 2014
Due to the impending snowstorm, the Humane League of Lancaster will be closed tomorrow, 2/13/2014!
HLLC CLOSED - 2/5/2014February 5, 2014
The Humane League of Lancaster County is closed today! Please be safe and stay warm!
Join Us For First Friday at Humane Society PhoenixvilleFebruary 3, 2014
You are invited to the February First Friday Art Exhibition!
February 7th from 5-7 pm at the Humane Society Phoenixville
This First Friday is a great opportunity to meet our CEO, Mr. Karel Minor. Please stop by to see the work of our featured artist, visit with some kitties, and learn more about our exciting new animal welfare initiatives in your community. There will be light food as well as beer and wine provided. We hope to see you there!
Featured artist for February is Berks County-based artist Matthew Mazurkiewicz. He is widely-recognized for his mastery of creating a fleeting moment through his artistic and abstract flexibility. Having spent much of his adult life creating art in many of its various forms, Mazurkiewicz’s recent body of work highlights both his process and his command of media. Employing everything from household paint, charcoal, roofing tar, and whatever else will stick to his canvas, Mazurkiewicz implores the viewer not only to see what he has seen, but also to imagine the touch, taste, and scent of the material and subject as well.
Where: Humane Society Phoenixville, Art Deska Gallery
12 S Main St, Phoenixville, PA19464
When: Feb. 7, 2014
What Time: 5pm to 7pm
You are Invited to Leo’s Birthday and Art ShowJanuary 28, 2014
You are invited to Leo’s Birthday and Art Show
Come enjoy an awesome evening of arts and music in honor of our friend, Leo the rescue dog! Help support a great cause at this family and dog friendly event! This event is free but attendees are encouraged to bring a donation from the HLLC wishlist or make a financial donation at the door!
There is lots of free parking, food catered by Splits and Giggles Ice Cream, and Darrenkamp’s Family Markets.
Artists: Lisa Madenspacher, PhotOle, Paris Wyatt Llanso, Stephen Gambone, The Potomac Bead Co., My Best Friend’s Pawstry LLC., Miesse Candies, Sergio Riera, Melody Pet Photography, Dana Stacey, and Conestoga Creek Pottery.
Don & Mary Senft
Gramaco Granite and Marble
% of sales goes to support the HLLC: credit, cash, check accepted
Questions: email Joe Hess at firstname.lastname@example.org
where: Natural Stoneworks, 455 Ice Ave. Lancaster Pa 17602
when: March 22, 2014 from 5pm to 8pm
why: help raise funds for the homeless animals at the HLLC!
Save the Date for Wags and Whiskers 2014!January 23, 2014
Be sure to mark your calendars, because you do not want to miss this year’s Wags and Whiskers! The Trust Performing Arts Center will be transformed into a gala of glitz and glamor hosted by the renowned, Mr. Gatsby .
You are Invited
I would be honored if you would join me on
April 25th, 2014 for the Humane League
of Lancaster County’s Wags & Whiskers
event. A formal invite is to come! I
sincerely look forward to seeing you then.
- Jay Gatsby (and HLLC staff)
When: April 25th, 2014
Where: The Trust Performing Arts Center, 37 N. Market Street, Lancaster, Pa 17603
What time: 5pm to 9pm
Why: Raise funds for the homeless animals of Lancaster County and indulge yourself in music, drink, food and dance! Remember glitz, glamor,& fun will be the key words of the evening, but do not even mention the word moderation!
Tickets: Are not on sale yet, but don’t forget to mark your calendars for this event!
More information: contact Joe Hess at email@example.com or call 717 393-6551 ext. 223
Temperatures are Droppping and so are our doggie outwear prices!January 23, 2014
You already know that the temperature is dropping, but did you know so are the prices of our canine outerwear? Help your canine friend stay warm even during the snowiest and coldest of days, by buying him/her stylish outerwear. All dog outerwear is now reduced to $10 for any size or style!
Our hours are Sunday through Saturday, 11am to 5pm, so why not stop by! Hurry styles and quantities are limited!
HLLC Closed: 1/21/14January 21, 2014
Due to poor weather conditions, the Humane League of Lancaster County will be closed today, Jan. 21, 2014. Please be safe!
Kitty Cohabitation: Introducing a new kitty to the equationJanuary 20, 2014
I adopted a stray cat about four months ago. This wouldn’t have been a problem, except that we already had a cat.
Our existing cat, Sunshine is not a big fan of other cats. When we got her from the Humane League, they told us a story about her picking on the cat in the cage next to her (a cat that was roughly two times her size). One time she actually pulled the collar right off of him. We even did a little trial in a “socializing room” where we brought different cats in with her. However, she hissed at each one.
When we made the decision to adopt Sunshine, we figured that it would probably have to be a one cat home. However, a little over a year later and to our surprise, we ended up with another cat, Shadow.
It was a struggle at first. But, we followed the guidance of our veterinarian, family and friends. We also did research online. We worked at following recommendations to ease introductions. At first the two cats wanted nothing to do with each other. They hissed, growled, smacked and avoided one another; for about a week Sunshine didn’t even want to be the in the same room as Shadow. She sat in our office and only came out when she absolutely needed to. It was definitely frustrating in the beginning, but we were constantly reminded to be patient and give it time.
It’s been almost four months now and quite honestly they aren’t the best of friends, like I’d prefer. However, they have made a lot of progress. They tolerate one another, often hang out in the same room, and eat within a foot of one another (sometimes with tails touching)… They’ve even once or twice been spotted lying near one another. It’s not perfect, but it works.
I’ve talked to numerous people who’ve introduced new pets into their homes. I’ve heard of rare cases where it just works, but more often than not, I’ve heard otherwise. Various people have noted that they encountered problems when introducing a new pet into their household. It may have included fighting, hissing, growling or even marking. However, a couple of those people used tactics to help ease tensions in their households. In fact; in some of the cases, overtime, the cats became best friends: grooming, sleeping, and playing with one another.
There are various multi-pet households; they don’t all work the same. However, they usually survive. There are only a few cases I’ve learned about where the owner had to give up one of the pets. Although, keep in mind a veterinarian or behavioral specialist can help in these worse case scenarios. There are also several steps you can take to help ease introductions…
The Dos and Don’ts
Step 1: Put the newcomer in a “safe room.” This allows the new cat to get adjusted to his/her surroundings. Provide the new cat with a litter box, toys, a scratching post, and food and water dishes.
Step 2: Take the new cat to the vet before any introductions are made. If it’s a stray cat it may need vaccinations and should be given an examination. The cats should be kept separated for about a week to ensure the newcomer doesn’t have any viruses.
Step 3: Do introductions slowly. The cats should be able to hear and smell one another. Before you do face to face introductions, allow their scents to mingle. Exchange blankets and toys. Comb them with the same brush.
Step 4: Allow them to interact underneath the door; use a toy to play under the door. This can help build positive relations.
Step 5: Try and do an introduction between a tall baby gate or door screen. If possible, have a person with each cat. Before allowing the new cat to roam freely, it is a good idea to also try some face to face time in a one room of the house. It is normal to experience hissing, growling or avoidance. However, if they behave violently, it is best to provide them with separation from one other for a bit. You can continue trying until you can trust them alone with one another.
Step 6: Keep an eye on the cats as they begin to interact with one another. Allow them to do it at their pace, don’t force it. Try feeding them near each other; you can try moving their dishes closer as they get more comfortable with one another. If they do fight, you can clap or talk loudly to distract them. Don’t smack them; this behavior can cause further problems, as cats do not react well to this type of discipline.
Step 7: Give it time and be patient. It can take up to a year to determine what the outcome might be. Even if they don’t become best friends, they will most likely learn to tolerate or avoid one another at the least.
These are just seven steps to help ease the tensions between a newcomer and a resident cat. However, there are a variety of other tips which can be beneficial. If you’d like further information feel free to ask your local veterinarian or Humane League employee/ volunteer. You can also take a look at the sources below. Introducing a new cat to an existing one can take time and patience. Just because they aren’t immediately best friends doesn’t mean they won’t grow to be.
Written by Guest Writer: Ashley Horst
[Animal Discovery]http://animal.discovery.com/pets/how-to-introduce-a-new-cat-to-an-old-cat.htm [Pet Finder]http://www.petfinder.com/cats/bringing-a-cat-home/cat-to-cat-introductions/ [ASPCA]http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-behavior/introducing-your-cat-new-cat
Winter Shelter Bins for Community Cats FAQs from ASPCA ProfessionalJanuary 16, 2014
Simple foam cooler bins can be re-purposed into easy and inexpensive winter shelters for the community cats in your neighborhood.
Is it really as simple as it looks? It really is! The foam cooler, with about two inches of thickness, is both waterproof and insulated, and a doorway can easily be created with a knife or box cutter. Another good option,…, is a Rubbermaid bin – these should be double-insulated, and you can place weights in the bottom to make them sturdier.
Most Commonly Asked Questions
Q: How much do they cost and where can I find them?
A: These bins are generally used to ship perishable food and medical supplies. Restaurants and medical offices often end up throwing them away, so ask them to save the boxes for you – or just trash-pick them. Some shelter, rescue and TNR groups stockpile foam boxes to give away to community cat caretakers, so you may want to start doing that at your organization. And check out free giveaway sites like the Freecycle Network.
Q: What about the need for keeping the cats out of harm’s reach?
A: Placement of shelters is important in keeping cats safe from predators. If unleashed dogs are in the area, place your shelter behind a fence where the dogs can’t get in, or have the entrance face a wall so only the cats can get in and out, and be sure the shelter is weighted down and hard to move. Having a small cat-sized doorway will also keep larger predators from getting in, or make two doorways to provide an escape route. Two doorways means less protection from cold, so be sure to put flaps over the doorways. If snow is deep, it’s possible you might need to shovel out the doorway so the cats do not get trapped inside.
Q: Why should the bin be raised off the ground?
A: Raising the shelter off the cold ground makes it easier for the cats to warm the inside with their body heat. To keep it even warmer, you can place straw underneath. Raising the shelter and cutting the doorway several inches above the bottom also keeps the weather out – rain won’t splash up and in from the ground, and snow is less likely to block the door.
Q: Would this attract other animals such as rats?
A: If the cats are using the shelters regularly, other animals such as rats or opossums will be discouraged from “squatting” in them. Also, cut the door as small as possible to discourage larger, bolder animals such as raccoons from taking over. Cats don’t need a very large opening – only about 5-1/2 or 6 inches in diameter, or the width of their whiskers. A smaller opening also has the added advantage of keeping more heat in.
Q: Would cats try to chew on the foam where the opening is cut?
A: If chewing is a problem, you can frame the doorway with duct tape. Or, if you decide to camouflage-paint the shelter, daubing the doorway with paint will make it unattractive to a chewer.
Q: What’s the best bedding material?
A: Blankets and towels don’t work well because they’re not insulating and can retain wetness. Straw repels moisture, making it ideal for keeping cats and other animals warm and comfy all winter long. See this fact page on Alley Cat Allies for more information.
Q: Why is the bin on a slant?
A: Putting the shelter on a slant helps to keep rain from pooling or snow from piling up on the roof. Also, our shelter has a little hole drilled in the side to allow water to drain out if rain blows in the front door. A slanted roof might also discourage predators from sitting on the roof to stalk.
Q: Wouldn’t cats claw the foam to shreds?
A: To prevent the cats from shredding the floor as they settle into the bedding, put a vinyl floor tile, thick contact paper or piece of plywood under the bedding. Community cats are unlikely to use the outside of the shelter as a scratching post; they prefer scratching on wooden fences and trees.
Q: Winter winds here would blow those things around. What could you use to weigh it down?
A: These lightweight shelters definitely need to be secured against the wind. Here are some ideas:
Put a couple of 5- to 10-pound flat barbell weights on the floor of the shelter under the bedding
Put heavy, flat rocks or pavers/bricks on the lid (some people glue the rocks on with Liquid Nails)
Place two shelters with the doorways facing each other and put a large board on top of both shelters – this weighs the shelters down and provides a protected entryway
Q: How about using old dog crates?
A: We don’t recommend using dog igloos, dog houses or pet carriers as winter cat shelters. The doors are too large, they’re hard to insulate correctly, and especially with igloos and dog houses the ceiling is too high. Remember, heat rises. The secret to keeping a cat shelter warm is a small opening and a small, low enough sleeping space so the cats’ body heat will stay around them.
Q: What about painting the outside in brown or camouflage colors?
A: Painting your cat shelters in camouflage or earth tones is a good idea that will keep unwanted attention away.
Wellness Clinic Updates!January 7, 2014
The Humane League of Lancaster County’s Wellness Clinic has made a few changes for 2014! Please be sure to read the changes listed below.
Hours of Operation: The Wellness Clinic will be open on Tuesdays from 9:00 am and close at 4:00 pm.
Clients: Walk-in clients will be seen on a first come, first served basis as time allows, however, appointments are recommended. Please call (717) 393-6551 ext. 306 to schedule your appointment.
For more information regarding the Wellness Clinic click here.
Keep Your Canine Safe In Cold Weather: Tips from PASARTJanuary 6, 2014
While it’s easy to think that dogs are immune to cold because of their fur, the fact is that more dogs perish in the winter than at any other time of the year.Some are better equipped to handle the cold weather than others. Frostbite, hypothermia and antifreeze poisoning present the biggest winter threats to pets. By taking a few precautions and using common sense, pet owners can keep their dogs safe this winter.
Beware of cold temperatures. While many pets can be safe in outside temperatures with proper shelter (see below), puppies, smaller dogs, older dogs and cats should not be left outdoors when the temperature falls below 40 degrees.
Keep older, arthritic pets inside. These animals should not be left outside under any circumstances. Escort the older dog outside for toileting and use a leash if the yard has ice or snow. Older dogs can easily fall and seriously injure themselves.
Watch for signs of frostbite and injury. Dogs’ ears, paws and tails are especially susceptible to frostbite. If you suspect frostbite, contact your veterinarian. If your dog plays on ice or hard, frozen dirt, his paws are susceptible to cuts as his paws slide across these rough surfaces. Always wipe your dog’s feet after a walk in the snow to remove ice balls and salt deposits from the road. Salt irritates a dog’s paws and can be toxic if ingested. Use only pet-safe ice melt.
Keep an eye out for hypothermia. If you notice shivering, lethargy, low heart rate and unresponsiveness, bring your pet into a warm area, place a light blanket over him, and call your veterinarian.
Eliminate the possibility of poisoning. Unfortunately, dogs like the sweet taste of antifreeze, which can cause sickness or even death if ingested. Make certain that all antifreeze containers are well out of reach of dogs and thoroughly clean any spills immediately.
Provide a protective shelter. If your dog or cat stays outside much of the time in the winter, his shelter needs to be raised a couple of inches off the frozen ground or concrete. The inside needs to have a blanket, cedar shavings or straw, which should be changed frequently to keep him warm and dry. Add a flap to the door, and face the shelter away from the weather. The size of the shelter should be large enough so your pet can sit and stand, but small enough so his body heat will be retained in the house. Use a plastic water bowl to ensure your pet’s tongue does not get stuck to cold metal, and change the water often to keep it from freezing.
Keep your dog on a leash. Dogs rely heavily on a strong sense of smell to figure out where they are and can easily get lost during winter storms. Snow covering the ground will make their surroundings less familiar. Keeping your dog on a leash at all times – especially during winter storms – can help stop your dog from becoming lost. Also talk to your veterinarian about micro-chipping your dog, just in case.
Don’t leave your dog inside of a parked car. Most people know this rule for the summer. A parked car can quickly amplify the effects of extreme weather. During the winter it can act as an icebox and trap cold air inside.
With the frigid temperatures quickly approaching, PASART encourages all residents of the Commonwealth to take precautions when using space heaters. According to the US Fire Administration, in 2011, space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third of home heating fires and four out of five of home heating fire deaths.
The leading factor contributing to home heating fires was failure to properly clean heating equipment, primarily chimneys before use. Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, were among the leading factors contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half of home heating fire deaths.
In the event of a fire, your pets need protection as much as the rest of the family. Here is a list of some things you can do in your home…
· Be sure you have working smoke detectors on every level of your home.
· Have an emergency exit plan that includes your pets, and practice the plan regularly.
· Make sure pets always wear identification
Research a safe place to take your pets.
· Assemble a disaster kit.
· Give a key to a trusted neighbor.
· Ask your local fire department if they carry pet oxygen masks on their fire trucks.
· Listen to your dog.
About CARTs: County Animal Response Teams were formed as an initiative the PA State Animal Response Team (PASART) a private non-profit organization which receives the majority of its funding from the federal government through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). CARTs consists of volunteers from all walks of life - from experienced emergency responders, veterinary technicians, animal trainers and handlers to other men and women concerned with the welfare of animals. CARTs are based on the principals of the Incident Command System developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and involves a coordinated effort of government, corporate and animal organizations. For more information regarding Pennsylvania CARTS visit www.pasart.us
Starting January 2, 2014 New Adoption Hours and Days at the HLLC!December 27, 2013
We are ringing in the New Year with change! The HLLC is happy to announce that our adoption hours and days will change beginning on January 2, 2014!
Sunday: 11am to 5pm Thursday: 11am to 5pm
Monday: 11am to 5pm Friday: 11am to 5pm
Tuesday: 11am to 5pm Saturday: 11am to 5pm
Wednesday: 11am to 5pm
Owner Surrenders: By appointment only
Adoption Hours for the remainder of 2013:
Friday, Dec. 27: 3pm-8pm
Saturday, Dec. 28: 12pm-7pm
Sunday, Dec. 29: 11am-5pm
Monday, Dec. 30: closed for owner surrenders
Tuesday, Dec. 31: Closed for New Year’s Eve
Wednesday, Jan 1: Closed for New Year’s Day
HLLC Closed December 31st and January 1stDecember 20, 2013
The Humane League of Lancaster County will be closed on December 31st and January 1st in honor of New Year’s Eve Day and New Year’s Day. Have a happy and safe Holiday!
HLLC will be closed December 25th and 26thDecember 20, 2013
In honor of the Christmas Holiday, the Humane League of Lancaster County will be closed on December 25th and 26th. Have a happy and safe Holiday!