Pet Emergencies and Trapping Safety

Do you know when to consider a pet injury or ailment an emergency? On November 4th, SOS Pets hosted a clinic to explore pet first aid and the basics of trapping safety at the Seward Volunteer Fire Department. The class was well attended by about 20 local folks and lasted about two hours.

One of the first thoughts shared by our presenters was, “If you’re thinking ‘Is this bad enough to go to the vet?’ the answer is probably yes.” The next question was, “What constitutes an emergency?” We learned the basics of what is normal body function for dogs and cats and when to worry.

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We also covered toxic foods and found out a few foods many didn’t know were toxic to dogs and cats. Everyone knows chocolate and grapes can be toxic, but did you know onions and garlic are bad for dogs as well? Garlic and other members of the allium family, including onions, contain thiosulfate, which is toxic to dogs but not to humans.
Another lesser known fact was that some peanut butter types are very bad for dogs as they contain Xylitol, a naturally occurring substance which is often used as a sugar substitute.  While safe for humans, Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death. Our presenters recommended pet parents only use all natural peanut butter which does not contain Xylitol. Grapes, xylitol, chocolate, onions, and garlic are also toxic to your cat.

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Our session also covered pet safety and trapping. Most of the attendees assumed there are regulations in place when it comes to trapping locations and areas commonly used by the public and their pets. We soon learned that the Eastern Kenai Peninsula has very few regulations and that trapping is allowed virtually everywhere except for Seward City limits. Our presenter mentioned an ethical, well-versed hunter will place their traps in places very unlikely to capture a pet but new trappers may not know any better.

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Our next topic covered how to release a pet from a trap. These situations can be stressful and it’s recommended to muzzle or cover the head of a trapped dog so as not to accidentally get bit. We reviewed how each trap functioned and how to release it before heading outside to practice with each trap.

There are several online resources for learning about Alaska Trapping and what to do should you find yourself dealing with a trapped pet.

Alaska Trappers Association: alaskatrapper.orgSharing Alaska’s Trails

Alaska Department of Fish & Game: adfg.govTrapping Information

Alaska Department of Fish & Game: adfg.govTrap Safety for Pet Owners

Alaska Department of Fish & Game: adfg.govSharing the Trails

Should you find a trap while out with your pet it’s best to leave it alone. Alaska Law forbids springing a trap. However, if it’s near a trail and potentially a hazard to others you can report it to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s Soldotna office at Phone (907) 262-9368.

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SOS Pets Hosting Concessions Stand on October 27th
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Come on out to the KM Rae Building on October 27th for the Skip & Marie Fletcher Winter Movie Series and support SOS Pets. Just pick up a popcorn or candy bar and 75% of the proceeds raised will go to SOS Pets! Or just drop a couple bucks into the SOS Pet donation jar.  The SOS Team will be running the booth and you'll have a chance to get to know some of our board members! 

See you October 27th!

Stephanie MillaneComment
The Seward Animal Shelter has a New Cattery!

The Seward Animal Shelter has had several updates over the last few months and one of those additions is a brand new Cattery. One of the advantages of the outdoor cattery is that it appeals to their need to burrow and hide in niches and quirky tight spots. Feral cats, that typically do not have amicable social skills around other cats or people, are especially attracted to the outside area. One cat that remained crouched and shy while inside, became loving and approachable when outside. 

While no occupancy numbers were kept at the shelter, reports are that the cats loved venturing outside to hang out on the many cat trees and benches and kennels. Cats love tight spaces and a netted ramp leading from the in/out cat door seemed to appeal to them. 

Now cats have an escape from loose and loud dogs and overly inquisitive human hands inside the shared area of the shelter. They can watch humans and retreat or sidle up to them. The area provides sun and some shelter from the rain.

A gated wall separates the outside cattery from an escape proof outside adoption area where potential adopters can enjoy some one-on-one time with cats (and dogs!). This small, calm area is also a great place for staff to have lunch and take a break form the demands of the shelter.

Stephanie MillaneComment
Is Your Pet Microchipped? Why not?

It’s common for dogs to run off for various reasons.  Perhaps the kids didn’t close the door all the way, or fireworks spooked your dog and she ran off in fear, or maybe your furry friend is still working on his selective hearing issue and decided to take himself for a walk against your wishes.  

Whatever the case, wouldn’t you want to make it as easy as possible to identify your pet?  The American Humane Associate estimates over 10 million (10 MILLION?!) dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year.   According to a study published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Associated, only about 22% of lost dogs that enter shelters were reunited with their families.  However, that return rate jumped to 52% for microchipped dogs.  Cats have it even worse.  Less than 2% of cats that enter shelters are reunited with their families.  The return rate for microchipped cats is 30%, a huge increase!

Getting your pet microchipped is easy and painless.  The chip, a small identifying electronic circuit about the size of a grain of rice, can be implanted by your vet in a matter of seconds.   The cost is usually $25-$50 depending on your provider.  However, Save Our Seward Pets offers low cost microchipping to any interested pet owner. 

If you’re interested in low-cost microchipping drop us a note at sospets@ymail.com or keep an eye on our event calendar for our next microchipping event!

Seward City Council Designates $20,000 for Shelter Repairs

Success!  On Monday, February 13, 2017, the Seward City Council unanimously approved Resolution 2017-010, which designates $20,000 of funding toward general repairs for the Seward Animal Shelter.   The repairs include installation of outdoor electric outlets, temporary heating improvements, plumbing repairs, installation of a wireless internet connection for security cameras, improved flooring, and roofing repairs.   The City Manager has been authorized to use these funds immediately.

In addition, the city recognized there has been interest in plans to relocate the current animal shelter and will be exploring grant opportunities for longer-term animal shelter relocation.  We’re one step closer to a new Seward Animal Shelter!

We’d like to thank the Seward City Council for recognizing and addressing the immediate needs of the Seward Animal Shelter.  We’d also like to thank our community members who took a moment to write or speak on behalf of approving the funding toward the shelter.  Together we can build a vibrant, welcoming and prosperous community!