Back to School for Fido

Back to school is an exciting time for children, but have you ever considered sending Fido back to school as well?

 

Fall is not just an adjustment for humans; it marks an adjustment for dogs as well. Fall weather often replaces lazy days in the backyard with more indoor activities. Shorter walks as the temperatures drop often replace long hikes or sessions at the dog park. September also marks the start of many organized activities and sports, which can mean more time alone at home for our four-legged family members.

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Snake Mythssss Bussssted!

 

Myth 1: Snakes are slimy.

Snakes are shiny, not slimy! People often confuse reptiles and amphibians. Snakes are reptiles, which means they are covered in shiny scales while amphibians, like frogs and salamanders, have slimy skin. If you ever get a chance to pet a friendly snake you will notice that they are very smooth. Remember to always pet a snake in the direction of their scales, as petting them the other way is uncomfortable for the snake. (more…)

How to Show Your Cat Affection

The truth is, not all cats enjoy being hugged, even if it’s International Hug a Cat Day. Being held in a tight embrace, often above the ground, can be a scary situation for a kitty. You especially shouldn’t hug a cat that you don’t know well. If your feline friend isn’t one for hugs, we recommend trying some of these other ideas to show your cat a bit of extra love.

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Black Dog Syndrome and 7 Reasons Why Black Dogs are Awesome

Black dogs are often overlooked in shelters because of something known as “Black Dog Syndrome”.

There’s several explanations as why black dogs might not be adopted as quickly as light-coloured dogs. It could be because black dogs are often portrayed as mean or violent in films or that a stigma against certain types of breeds has put people off of adopting other black dogs. Sometimes potential adopters might pass by a black dog due to superstitious beliefs, similar to the phenomenon surrounding black cats (see our blog post on why it takes so long for black cats to find a home for more information).

 

We think black dogs are awesome! Here are our top 7 reasons why we know this is true:

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Dog in a Hot Car: What Are You Willing to Lose?

We get it! It’s a perfect day for a picnic. Pack up the dog, head out in the car and just pit stop at the grocery store on the way, right?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “only” 5 minutes when it comes to a pet in a hot car.

Things happen. Maybe there was a line-up, maybe you realized you needed ‘just one more thing’, maybe you ran in to an old friend. Pretty soon “only” 5 minutes becomes 10, 15 or 30 minutes. In the air conditioned store, you may not even realize how fast time has passed, but for a dog in a hot car, even 5 minutes can feel like an eternity. (more…)

Story on the death of Jeremy Quaile

 

We were contacted by CBC about a story they were planning to publish regarding the suicide of Jeremy Quaile. We expressed our concerns with the story which makes many presumptions as to the details surrounding Mr. Quaile’s death and the factors that led up to it. We provided a statement which unfortunately was not published in its entirety so we are sharing it here for the benefit of all readers.

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How Spaying or Neutering Your Cat Helps Overpopulation

Have you ever wondered if spay and neuter works to reduce pet overpopulation? The answer is a resounding yes, and we have the numbers to prove it! That’s right, we’re talking about math!

 

spay-day-image

 

Now before you press the back button on your browser. bear with us here! An un-spayed female cat who roams and breeds regularly can have kittens approximately three times per year and will usually have between two and six kittens. For this example, let’s assume that our feline couple in this example have kittens three times per year and have four kittens per litter (the middle of the average litter range).

This means that just one pair of cats, in just one year, turn into 14 breeding cats! The next year, these 14 breeding cats each have three litters of four kittens and turn into 182 cats. The year after that, those 182 cats turn into 2366 cats. The year after that, we see an astonishing 30,758 cats… then 399,854… etc.

 

That, my friends, is a lot of homeless cats.

 

Now let’s run the same numbers, but assume half of the cats are spayed or neutered by responsible pet owners. Those numbers in the previous example now drop to: 1, 7, 49, 392 and 2744.

Now, we know that the example above is pretty simplified, and it also doesn’t take into account the high mortality rates for outdoor cats and kittens (the average lifespan for an outdoor cat is only 2-4 years and, in some locations, kitten mortality will approach 50-75%). But the question remains… how on earth does spay or neuter do so much to reduce cat overpopulation?

Well this is the wonder of exponents. By spaying or neutering one cat, you not only help protect the health of that cat (spayed or neutered cats are less likely to roam or develop cancer of their reproductive organs) but you also prevent future generations of cats who would otherwise be out and breeding. In just a few generations you can see a significant reduction in the number of unwanted felines, and the same can be shown for dogs.

spay-blog-kittens

 

Does Spay and Neuter work?

 

You bet it does! In Calgary, we have seen first hand how well spay and neuter works. In the 1990s, Calgary Humane Society saw the height of our animal admissions peak at over 13,000 animals per year, a majority of which were stray cats. Today? That number has fallen significantly to less than 7,500 animals per year. We have also seen a huge change in where these animals are coming from. In the 1990s, a vast majority of the animals received by CHS were stray or homeless animals found on the streets of Calgary whereas today the balance of stray vs. owner surrender is closer to 50/50. We are also seeing a lot more animals come in already spayed or neutered, which is an exciting trend!