What Works In Sheltering: Adoption Follow-Up and CounselingMarch 5, 2014
The “adopt them out and cross your fingers” approach is still the dominant one in many shelters. Trust that you made a good match and leave the success in the hands of the adopter, who we can conveniently blame for any failure. As mentioned in the last post, for those shelters trying to actually exert some control over their adoption destinies, an adoption health guarantee can help keep pets from returning by fixing foreseeable health issues.
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.
What Works In Sheltering: Adoption Health GuaranteesMarch 3, 2014
I’ve been on a bit of a Debby Downer tear about what doesn’t work in sheltering so I thought I’d turn to a couple things which do work! Over the next few days I’ll focus on effective programs. A couple of these target the dirty little secret of the animal adoption world: adoption returns.
Clearly, not every adoption will work out when half of all marriages fail eventually. However, anything we can do to reduce the likelihood of a pet being returned helps the pet, helps the adopter, and helps our shelter by reducing incoming numbers.
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!
All Dogs Are Victims, All Children Are MonstersFebruary 28, 2014
People are often surprised to learn that many of the earliest animal welfare organizations formed in the US were also dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to the other innocent and helpless population in the world: children. Somewhere along the way that duel approach ended and our application of “humaneness” has become reserved for animals. For proof of this, one need look no further than how animal people respond to attacks on children by dogs and attacks on dogs by children. Click here to continue reading...
No Kill Firing Squad: Fun With NumbersFebruary 26, 2014
It is with increasing amusement that I see the definition of No Kill sliding down the slope from what it sounds like it means, that you don’t kill animals, to what we probably suspect it always meant, you don’t kill healthy or treatable animals, to the newest definition: you kill fewer than 10% of animals. Click here to continue reading...
Taking Another Look: “Bad” Places to Obtain a PetFebruary 25, 2014
One of the oft repeated wisdoms in the animal welfare world is that animals which are given as gifts or bought from breeders are more likely to end up in shelters than “responsibly sourced” pets. This is presumably because the recipient did not have the strong guiding hand and depth of experience which can only be brought to you by an adoption counselor with no academic or vocational training in the field and who has worked in animal welfare for a year or two and makes ten dollars an hour, at best. Also known as the average person handling pet adoptions in the United States.
Consider subscribing to the blog to stay in touch with current trends in animal welfare and to learn more about our innovative approach to saving lives!
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.
Taking Another Look: Revisiting Pet RelinquishmentFebruary 24, 2014
After a century of working from the gut, animal welfare has now fully embraced a faux analytics to prove that everything our gut told us was, in fact, true. The web, the source of all serious data, is full of claims based on research which allows us to continue believing precisely what we did before, but now based on facts. Overpopulation is the problem, check! People are bad and irresponsible, check! Overpopulation is not the problem and every pet would have a home if people would just adopt, check! Things are just as bad as they’ve always been, check, check, check! Click here to continue reading...
Where Are All The Dogs?February 20, 2014
Believe it or not, this question is being asked in animal shelters around the country. It seems like a crazy question to be asking, since we know that about three million animals are euthanized in shelters each year nationwide and we hear the never ending chant of “too many animals, please save this one” every time we turn on the TV or open our Facebook page. Click here to continue reading.
Please read, and consider subscribing to the blog to stay in touch with current trends in animal welfare and to learn more about our innovative approach to saving lives!
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!
December 14 HLLC Closing EarlyDecember 14, 2013
The Humane League of Lancaster County will be closing early on December 14 due to bad weather and poor driving conditions. Please be safe!
The Wellness Clinic Will Be Closed In Honor of the HolidaysDecember 13, 2013
The Wellness Clinic will be closed on December 24 and December 31 in honor of the Holidays. From all of the staff at the HLLC, we wish you a happy and safe Holiday Season!
The HLLC is Closed December 10December 10, 2013
The Humane League of Lancaster is closed today, December 10, due to bad weather and poor driving conditions. Please be safe.
Wellness Clinic is Closed December 10December 10, 2013
The Wellness Clinic is closed today, December 10. It will re-open next Tuesday at the regular time.
HLLC Closing EarlyDecember 8, 2013
The Humane League of Lancaster County is closing early today, December 8th. Please drive safely.