Fostering Trust

When Raven (previously known as Berg) was finally found and brought to the Regina Humane Society (RHS), it was immediately clear that she had spent considerable time on her own. Dehydrated and displaying a veracious appetite, she had also become timid and unsure of herself around strangers. Now entering a shelter, while safe and warm, it meant new smells, people and other animals that our shy girl would need to deal with.

Often, unsocialized or timid animals need a quieter and more relaxed environment in order to build their confidence and trust.  The RHS Foster Program can the perfect solution for a dog such as Raven. Not all foster situations are due to age or a pet that is recovering from illness or physical injury. Sometimes, they just need the time to relax, experience new things and realize that everything will be ok.

Raven spent several weeks with a RHS foster family to do just that. A gentle hand. A calming voice.  Care and attention. In time, Raven began to understand that her life had changed – for the better.  Eventually, our young pup became more self-assured and less fearful, reaching a point where she could be introduced to potential adopters. To ensure she was at her best, Raven stayed with her foster family while available for adoption, and they would bring her to the shelter whenever someone wanted to meet her. Because of her foster’s dedication, it wasn’t long before it happened – eyes met, a connection was made, and everyone knew that Raven would never be alone again, when “the one” came through our doors and fell in love with her. After a send-off seen through ‘happy-tears” of our staff, Raven is now in her new home. Her journey will continue surrounded by love, patience and the encouragement she needs to continue grow and flourish into the happy pup she was meant to be.

Without your support of the RHS and our Foster Program, as well as the time and caring of our foster families, the road to recovery for many pets could be very long and difficult. Raven is a shining example of how when a community comes together that meets the needs of the pet, wonderful things happen, lives are saved and families are made.

 

10 Must-Know Tips for a Great Summer of Travel With Your Pet

Summer holidays are right around the corner. If you plan on taking your pets on that cross-country road trip, or even just to visit some friends at the lake – the RHS encourages you to plan ahead. Sometimes, leaving your pet with a friend or family member or a local kennel is the best option. But, if you are heading out with your pet in tow, consider the following tips to ensure a happy and safe vacation for everyone:

  1. Visit the vet.
    Consider scheduling a visit to the vet before you leave on holidays to ensure your pet is healthy and able to make the trip. It is also a great time to pick-up any medications that may be required for an extended time away from home. Also, make a list of vets in the area that you will be vacationing in, just in case.
  2. Plan your stay ahead of time.
    If you plan to stay in a hotel or resort, check to ensure that the resort allows for your type of pet. Some accommodations may say they’re pet friendly but have restrictions on the size of animal and require your pet to be crated if left alone.
  3. Pack well.
    Pack all of your pet supplies including leash and harness, food and water from home (and a bowl for use while traveling), required medications, vaccination and ownership papers, first aid kit and a couple of favourite toys for comfort.
  4. Buckle up.
    Pets should always be secured while travelling by car with a properly fitting car harness or in an appropriately sized carrier or kennel.  Unsecured pets could be severely injured or injure others in case of an accident.
  5. Watch the windows.
    Avoid letting your pet stick their head out the window while you drive. Although they may love having the wind blow their fur, they are subject to injury from insects or highway debris.
  6. Take a break.
    Make the journey comfortable for your pet by planning plenty of rest stops so your pet can stretch their legs and visit the nearest tree if needed.
  7. Never leave your pet alone in a hot car, even for a few minutes.
    Temperatures can rise very quickly to levels that can result in severe injury to your pet or even death. Rolling down the windows or leaving the air conditioning running are not suitable solutions.
  8. Know the rules.
    Make sure you know local laws at your destination; some may ban or restrict certain types of animals or specific breeds. Also, be sure to know the rules with respect to where you can and cannot walk with your pet such as parks and beach areas.
  9. Watch out.
    Although your pet may do very well-off leash at home, it’s not always the same case in a new area where sounds, smells, traffic and other animals (including wildlife) may differ. Avoid any wandering and keep a close eye on your pet.
  10. Ensure identification is clear and accurate.
    Should your pet become separated from you, clear and accurate identification is critical in finding your pet. Be sure your pet is properly identified with collar tags and microchip and that all of your contact information with your vet and the microchip company are up to date. Whenever possible include a collar tag with your contact information when away from home, such as a cellphone number, so you can easily be reached on the road.

The Comfort of Love

Lynne arrived at the Regina Humane Society (RHS) as a stray in early May. She was ravenous and in need of medical care to treat a terrible case of ear mites. It was obvious she was both exhausted and relieved, falling into a deep slumber knowing she was finally safe. With some extra attention and a little time in shelter care, she improved quickly, and was soon ready to search for a forever home. Due to her sweet personality and willingness to love, the dream of finding a caring family came true in no time.

The RHS is able to provide medical care for animals just like Lynne because of your continued generosity. Thanks to you, Lynne now looks forward to a lifetime of cat naps, knowing she’s protected and loved.

April is Canine Fitness Month!

Be it walks, runs or even a little swimming when the water warms, keeping your dog mentally and physically active will help burn off access energy and avoid boredom – and the associated issues that can result such as chewing on your favourite shoes! Getting into a regular routine of exercise and play will do wonders for your dog – and you too!

Here are some great tips to help keep your pooch happy and active!

  1. Go for a discovery walk – It’s not always how far you walk, but what you DO on that walk. Dogs love to explore, sniffing around almost anything to see who’s been there and to take in all the smells of their surroundings. Why not go for a 40 minute walk and let your dog spend as much time as she wants sniffing around a tree or whatever she wants – and let her choose where the walk goes! You may only get a block or two, but your dog will love it and be ready for a snooze when you get home. All that nose-work will be tiring!
  2. Break out the toys – Dogs love to play. Playing provides not only physical exercise, but it can also exercise their mind.  You can use a toy to reward a good “sit” or simply toss it across the yard and have him bring it back. Hiding treats under one of 3 or 4 upside-down buckets will get his detective skills going as he tries to figure out which bucket contains the treasure. Keep an assortment of toys and games on hand to keep things interesting!
  3. Take a training class – The RHS offers a variety of classes that are all based around play and reward. From the basics in our Foundation 101 class and Leash Reactivity, to Agility and Nosework, learning new skills not only provides excellent exercise and stimulation, it develops overall good behaviour and habits. You can check out all the classes on our dog training website.
  4. Play scent games – Hide some treats in a few boxes or containers around the room and encourage your dog to sniff them out. Make it easy at first by only loosely covering the treats so she learns the game. Gradually make it a little more challenging by changing the hiding places and more tightly closing the container to keep the game fun.
  5. Go for a run – Winters usually mean a lot of time spent on the couch while the snow and wind blow outside. Time to get outside! Going for a gentle run or jog will help both you and your pet shake off the winter blues. Start easy at first and gradually build up speed and distance at a pace you are both comfortable with. Be sure to have a solid harness and a leash no more than six feet long to keep everyone close and safe. Having some water for both of you is a good idea too. If running at night, be seen with clothing with reflective striping. Or,  why not attach a small light to your dogs collar for extra visibility? These are inexpensive and can purchased at most pet stores.
  6. Practice some old tricks – Has it been a while since you put in a good session of “sit”, “down” or “roll over”? Grab a few treats and review some old tricks and maybe even add a few new ones. There’s plenty of inspiration to be found with reward-based online videos or training classes.
  7. Challenge him with a puzzle toy – Instead of feeding your pet in her bowl, put her kibble in a puzzle toy. These games can be home-made or purchased, and usually allow you to hide kibble or treats under removable covers or sliding drawers. Others require your dog roll or manipulate the toy to release kibble.  Pets may not understand the game at first so be prepared to show them how it works so they don’t get frustrated.

Whatever activities you choose, be sure that they are ones both you and your pet enjoy. Remember, the goal is exercise and mental stimulation, but you want it to be fun too!

 

The Tale of Her Tail

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It was just a few days after New Year’s Day when Extravaganza arrived at the Regina Humane Society (RHS) from an area in northeast Regina. While this two-year-old Husky cross looked a little thin and ragged, Shelter staff members were more concerned with her tail, which had suffered a severe injury. After examination by RHS veterinarians, the decision was made that about half of her tail would need to be amputated to ensure her long-term health.

Following her successful surgery, Extravaganza spent some time with one of our dedicated foster families while she healed and got accustomed to life without all of her once beautiful tail. But as she recovered, she realized that life would go on, and she was just as gorgeous as she ever was. Her cheery personality and good nature helped her over-come her, shall we say, “short-comings”.

Once healed, Extravaganza traveled back to the Shelter and quickly became a staff favourite as she waited to find her new family. As the days passed, staff and volunteers ensured that she didn’t miss her walks and time in the play yard, as well as ample chin rubs and encouragement that she would go home soon.

Happily that day arrived in late February, when that one special someone walked through the door in search of a life-long friend. That friend turned out to be Extravaganza.

When the time came to leave, this special pup couldn’t leave without stopping to say “thanks” to some of our staff who had gathered to see her off.

We will never know what happened to Extravaganza before she arrived at the RHS and what lead to her injury, but we are grateful for your support so that the Society could be there when she needed it. Now, with ear to ear smiles, she is off with her new dad in search of new adventures and journeys in the sunshine.

Don’t Be a Kidnapper!

Each spring, the Regina Humane Society receives many calls about “orphaned” wildlife or birds. While all have good intentions, disturbing the animals would likely do more harm than good.

Little Duck

If you encounter baby wildlife, please keep the following in mind:

  • If a young bird has fallen out of the nest, you may return it to the nest if it is immediate danger, but it is best to leave it alone. The mother will not reject the baby because you have touched it and babies usually fall out of the nest as a natural part of learning to fly;
  • If you find a young hare with no obvious injuries, leave it alone or put it back where it was found because the mother is likely nearby and will return once you leave. She will not reject it because you touched it;
  • Most young wild animals do very poorly in captivity. The best chance for their survival is to be reunited with their mother;
  • It is especially important to avoid contact with young raccoons and skunks because they can be carriers of rabies and parasites;
  • It is against the law to keep a wild animal.

We also receive calls regarding geese and other birds nesting in unusual places such as parking lots, fields or alleys. Unless the bird is injured, it is best to leave it be. While the location of the nest may seem unusual to us, they have chosen it based on their natural instincts and will very likely be just fine if left alone. If you are concerned about a young wild animal and an adult animal has not been seen for several days or the animal is injured, contact your local conservation officer, Salthaven West, or the Wascana Centre Authority if within the park, for assistance (please note that the RHS is not equipped to handle wildlife).

There is almost never a good reason to remove a young wild animal from its natural environment.

“He has left his paw print on us forever!”

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We recently received a letter from a family who adopted a yellow lab named Howard from the RHS over seven years ago. They wanted to let us know how he was doing. It was such a touching message that we wanted to share it with you…

Hi, my name is Deidre Soderberg. My husband Drew and I adopted a giant yellow lab named Howard in September of 2011. Howard was featured on the RHS telethon that year as well. I just wanted to write and say how fortunate we were to come across Howard that day. We weren’t looking for anything specific, but he just stole my heart that day!

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We have since moved back to BC from Regina and we still have Howard! He was 5.5 years old when we got him so that means he is in his 14th year now! He is on multiple meds to help with joint pain and other things but he is so happy and still thriving. He enriched our world so much. He has been an incredibly amazing dog from the get go! He has been the comedian of our fur babies. Never an active lab but boy has he been a very hilariously scheming boy who always had us in stitches and belly laughs in his younger years! He also has been the absolute kindest, snuggliest, thoughtful, sensitive heart of gold boy.

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Always loving everyone that comes his way. He has also left quite the imprint on family, friends and lots of strangers! He really should have been a therapy dog. He has been a wonderful little brother for quite some time as well as being the oldest brother now.

We know our time is limited with Howard as he is 14!!! But I just wanted to share that he is still here and he has been so much loved by us and all around us. Watching our family grow always keen and happy to adhere with the changes. He truly is one of the best things we did for ourselves. And we are sure we were the best thing for him too! Such a beautiful gentle soul who we will always fondly cherish.

Unknown-14-300x225From the bottom of our hearts a sincere thank you to you guys for allowing us to meet Howard that day! He has left his paw print on us forever!

Partner Profile – Metro Pet Market

Metro Pet Market is passionate about animals and their welfare. As a proud Regina Humane Society partner, they provide us with approximately 1,000 ounces of premium high-moisture Lotus Natural Pet Food each month to serve the cats in our communal rooms.

Since 2007, Metro Pet Market has been leading the Real Food Revolution in Regina. They believe that nutrition is the foundation of good health, and sell only the freshest and most wholesome pet foods in their stores.

Many commercial foods contain filler ingredients and by-products which may not promote optimal health for our furry family members. Metro Pet Market offers a variety of natural and biologically-appropriate food for pets, including Lotus Natural Pet Foods’ unique line of holistic canned stews. We’re grateful they are here to help ensure that our Shelter cats receive quality nutrition.

To learn more about Metro Pet Market and what they can offer your furry friend, click here.

To learn more about the adorable cats and kittens available for adoption, click here.

Metro Pet Market

31 Ways to Give

Help make the 31st Annual Regina Humane Society Telethon, presented by Access Communications, a huge success!
This year’s Telethon is Sunday, March 17, but you can help now! Start your fundraising activities today. Whether you’re an individual, office, school, or group – you can make a difference in the lives of homeless animals in your community.

Stuck for ideas? We put together a list of 31+ creative ways to fundraise, but the options are endless!

Tune in Sunday, March 17 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. and watch Access7 or stream the Telethon online and see how your support has directly helped thousands of animals! The Telethon will feature visits from a few special animals who will come back to say thank you! Plus, success stories, behind the scenes looks at the RHS, information and entertainment!

Each year our Telethon is a success because of you!

Fundraising Ideas for Schools and Corporate Groups

  1. 50/50 raffle
  2. Bake sale
  3. Battle of the bands
  4. Bottle drive
  5. Bowl-a-thon
  6. Candy gram fundraiser
  7. Craft sale
  8. Dunk tank
  9. Garage sale
  10. Jellybean count
  11. Pancake breakfast
  12. Pie someone
  13. Spelling bee
  14. Scavenger hunt
Fundraising Ideas for Schools
  1. Book sale
  2. Coin challenge
  3. Challenge students to cover an entire classroom floor with coins.
  4. Dress like a Disney character or superhero
  5. Family dance
  6. Hat day
  7. Lemonade stand
  8. Movie night
  9. Pyjama day
  10. Parents night out
  11. Read-a-thon
  12. Sports day
  13. Talent show
  14. Winter carnival
Fundraising Ideas for Corporate Groups
  1. Board game tournament
  2. – Players pay or fundraise to participate, with a prize of bragging rights and helping a good cause. Bonus, you get to see the Monopoly side of someone!

  3. Bonus vacation day
  4. – Sell raffle tickets for $10 and the prize is an extra day off work.

  5. Buy a parking spot
  6. – Sell or auction off prime parking spots.

  7. Chili cook-off
  8. Corporate donation matching day or month
  9. Donate your spare change or coffee cash
  10. Dress down day
  11. Gift card raffle
  12. – Have restaurants/businesses donate gift cards and raffle them off.

  13. Guess the baby
  14. – Ask everyone in the team to send you a baby photo of them and pin the photos up in your main meeting room. Charge a small fee for entry and ask your colleagues to guess who’s who on a sheet of answer paper. The person with the most correct guesses wins a prize.

  15. Hot chocolate and/or coffee sale
  16. Jailbreak
  17. – Lock the boss in the boardroom with only their mobile phone and the promise that they can come out once they’ve raised their donation target from their contacts.

  18. Pack a lunch challenge
  19. – Pack a lunch and donate the money you would have spent eating out.

  20. Potluck days
  21. – Have each department host a potluck for the entire staff. Staff pay the hosts for their meal.

  22. Silent auction
  23. Steak night
  24. Swear jar
  25. – Set up a swear jar in the office and any time somebody curses, they need to make a donation. If you’re not an office full of potty-mouths, you could set up a buzzword jar instead. Colleagues would need to pay up when they use some of the well-known buzzwords in your corporation.

  26. Take your pets to work

A Very Lonely Welcome to the World

Late one cold November evening, a cat arrived at the RHS in while in labour. Later that night tiny Toothless was born. But, by morning, his mother had rejected him. Suddenly, at only a few minutes old, it seemed that this new and precious life was alone. But he wasn’t.

Sensing that the new mom just wasn’t able to accept her young one, two RHS staff members stepped up to care for the abandoned kitten and act as his surrogate moms, providing bottle feedings and stimulation every two hours. Their efforts paid off, as their young charge began to show signs of response and grew more resilient and thriving under their devoted care. At two-and-a-half-weeks-old, another miracle presented itself…a nursing cat arrived at the Shelter. Shelter caregivers carefully placed Toothless near her and her already growing litter, in hopes that they might accept little Toothless as one of their own. Only moments later there were smiles everywhere as Toothless inched his way closer to the mom and her kittens and eventually right among them where she allowed him to suckle – and enjoy his first much needed “momma meal”! Now a full-fledged member of his new feline foster family, Toothless joined them as they moved into a human foster family’s home where the mom could care for her brood in the quiet and peace as they grew big and strong so they all could find their permanent homes.

Without so many helping hands, little Toothless may not be where he is today. Fortunately, the RHS is built of a community of caring staff, volunteers and supporters – who together help animals like Toothless flourish and find happy forever homes.

We are very happy to add that Toothless went home for good in early January!

Pets and the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and it can be a hectic and exciting time for every family member! With all the holiday bustle, don’t forget that some gifts and holiday treats may pose danger to our beloved pets. Help keep your four-legged family members safe and ensure everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season!

Just like us, they’re very curious about what’s wrapped up and tucked under the tree, cooking in the oven, or set out on the treat tray.

Here is a list of some common holiday hazards for pets to watch out for:

Plants:

  • Christmas tree preservatives
  • Poinsettia
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Ivy

Food and beverages:

  • Uncooked poultry
  • Onions, along with garlic, leeks, shallots and chives
  • Sage
  • Bread dough
  • Chocolate
  • Candy
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Fruitcake
  • Grapes and dried vine fruits
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Artificial sweeteners

Other dangerous items:

  • Glass decorations
  • Salt-dough ornaments
  • Homemade play dough
  • Candles
  • Potpourri
  • Medications

Always make sure your pet has a safe and quiet space of their own to retreat to during the holiday festivities, including water and comfortable place to rest. This will allow them to get away if they’re feeling frightened or overwhelmed.

Keep your pet’s safe, and enjoy your holiday season!