It’s that time of year when the thoughts of children of all ages turn to ghosts, goblins, and sugary treats. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when many pet owners frantically rush their cats and dogs to veterinary hospitals and emergency rooms. Halloween is great fun for humans, but it can be filled with hazards for animals. “Halloween candy is on store shelves; costumes & decorations are on sale at party stores. It’s a fun time for you and your family…but please be cautious for your pets,” said Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park (AHS). AHS offers a list of tips for a happy Halloween for you and your pets.
- Keep pets inside and under your control. Pets are best kept in a quiet area of the house so that they do not see strange creatures coming and going. Many pets left unattended in yards become targets and are sometimes stolen, tortured and even killed. Cats, particularly black ones, are especially preyed upon this time of year.
- Enjoy your candy, but please don’t share. Sugary foods are unhealthy for most animals and their wrappers are a hazard as well. Keep candy well out of reach of pets. Candy containing the artificial sweetener, Xylitol is EXTREMELY toxic to dogs. If you want to give your pet a treat, give them something made especially for dogs and cats.
- Let your pet dress as him or herself: Unless you know that your dog or cat really enjoys dressing up, don’t do it. While it may be fun to see your pet in costumes, in most cases it causes stress to the animal. If you must put a costume on your pet, make sure their view is not obstructed and that they are dressed for only a brief period of time.
- Keep jack-o-lanterns, candles and any other flammable items out of the way. Curious pets can knock over items, burning themselves or causing a fire.
- Make sure your dog or cat is wearing proper identification or is micro-chipped. In case he or she bolts, your chances are much better of having your pet safely returned to you if they are easily identified.
- Pets make the best treats! If you want to treat yourself to something sweeter than candy, that can be shared with your entire family, consider adopting a dog or cat. There are hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for adoption at the Associated Humane Societies’ Animal Care Centers in Newark, Forked River, and Tinton Falls. Or, encourage your child to trick or treat on behalf of Associated Humane Societies. To learn more or see the animals looking for forever homes, visit us at www.ahscares.org .
Here are some photos from the NFCD spay/neuter clinics AHS held last week. Over 100 feral cats were spayed and neutered at our three shelter locations, and we are so happy to have participated. The Mobile Unit usually holds at LEAST one feral cat S/N clinic per month, so check the schedule (tab link up top) to see when we’ll be in your area next. Call 973.824.7080 ext. 118 to inquire about holding a clinic for your organization or New Jersey town.
Both our mobile spay/neuter unit and some of our AWESOME DOGS will be in Scotch Plains at a Pet Adoption Fair on Saturday, October 19th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The unit will be there for micro-chipping, the dogs will be there looking to adopt new families. Please contact Debbie at 973-824-7080 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Location: Parker Gardens, 1325 Terrill Road, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.
Our countdown timer to the right of this page tells us we’re only six days away! Associated Humane Societies (AHS) is proud to be a participating organization in National Feral Cat Day® with Alley Cat Allies. Taking place on Wednesday, October 16th, National Feral Cat Day consists of organizations throughout the country participating in spay and neuter events, fundraisers, and activities to raise to awareness about feral cats and how to keep them healthy and safe.
Calling it ‘Spay it Forward,’ AHS locations in Newark, Tinton Falls and Forked River will each have their own spay/neuter events, working with local organizations who practice “TNR,” or “Trap-Neuter-Return” by bringing in feral cats from local cat colonies or individual strays, spaying and neutering them, then returning them to their home outdoors.
Many people are unaware that feral cats can maintain healthy existences outside of human care. Feral cats are the same species as domestics cats, but they are NOT domestic cats—they are not able to live indoors and behave in the way that house cats do (kittens socialized with humans at an early age may be able to be domesticated). But, this does not mean they are to be pitied or erased from urban and rural landscapes. They can thrive alone and in “cat colonies,” and are protected under the same state anti-cruelty laws as domesticated cats.
AHS has worked with individuals and organizations such as One By One Cat Rescue for years, spaying and neutering cats in order to control feral populations and prevent thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of cats and kittens from entering the overtaxed animal shelter system each year. Our Mobile Unit travels throughout New Jersey to bring services directly to individual cat lovers and organizations that specialize in TNR.
If you’re interested in learning more about feral cats, visit Alley Cat Allies at http://www.alleycat.org/. If you’re interested in helping this worthwhile cause, your tweets and Facebook status updates that inform friends and family about feral cats are great, as are contributions to the Mobile Unit, which can be made by clicking here, http://www.ahscares.org/shop/category.asp?catid=40.
Photo credit: Alley Cat Allies
Not the TV show, but the kind that we humans leave behind when the football game is over, or the Thanksgiving turkey is carved and served. Football season and the food holidays that are in our near futures pose one large food danger for pets: bones. Hot wings, turkey legs and wishbones abound, and while Fido may look up longingly at you and your clean plate, Dr. H advises that we not be tempted to give this particular food as a treat to dogs. Small bones are prone to breaking and splintering, which can cause intestinal damage if too-large pieces are swallowed. Dr. H is a fan of rawhide bones—ones that are appropriately sized and given under supervision. Give your dog a bone that’s a challenge (not as challenging as the funny photo above), not one that they can devour in a few, overly-large pieces. And again, only give them rawhide bones when you’re home to monitor them, because dogs can choke. Photo: Microsoft stock images