Happy Tails and Happy Travels!

While we all know winter is coming every year, when it does arrive it still seems like a shock!

Many of us will look to take our pets with us on our vacation, but travelling with your pet can be nerve-racking, especially for first timers – but it doesn’t have to be!

Here are a few tips to help ensure everyone has the fun in the sun they are looking for:

Check with your Airline

Be sure to check with your airline regarding what is required for your pet to travel including proper crate, food, water and medical documents. Many airlines will allow smaller pets to be in the cabin with you, but may have special requirements to do so. A good quality carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn around is a must!

Visit the Vet

A trip to your family vet is a good idea to get any required vaccinations and legal documents that may be required for your pet to travel and be with you at your destination. The check-up will also ensure that your pet is medically healthy and able to make the trip safely.

One Step at a Time

If you are introducing your pet to a new carrier for the trip, set it up at home for a few days before with the door open so your pet can explore and get used to it. Tossing a few treats inside now and then will help your pet to see it as a happy place!

The Big Day

A little exercise is a good idea to burn off some energy before you leave for the airport, especially if you dog tends to have high energy. Give them a light meal a few hours ahead of the flight, but they can have water right up until take off. And don’t forget a potty break at the airport before boarding!

Avoid Surprises!

Be sure to research your destination and any rules or regulations that may be in effect including regulations regarding bringing pets to that jurisdiction, leash laws and any breed specific legislation. Plan ahead and have the address and phone numbers of some nearby veterinary clinics just in case your pet becomes ill or injured. It’s a good idea to have ID tags on your pet’s collar that include your contact information at destination so they can be easily returned should they wander off.

Happy Travels!

32 Ways to Give

Help make the 32nd Annual Regina Humane Society Telethon, presented by Access Communications, a huge success!

This year’s Telethon is Sunday, March 15, 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 32+ creative ways to fundraise, but the options are endless!

Tune in Sunday, March 15 from 6:00 to 9:00 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: 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!
  2. Bonus vacation day: Sell raffle tickets for $10 and the prize is an extra day off work.
  3. Buy a parking spot: Sell or auction off prime parking spots.
  4. Chili cook-off
  5. Corporate donation matching day or month
  6. Donate your spare change or coffee cash
  7. Dress down day
  8. Gift card raffle: Have restaurants/businesses donate gift cards and raffle them off.
  9. Guess the baby: 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.
  10. Hot chocolate and/or coffee sale
  11. Jailbreak: 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.
  12. Pack a lunch challenge: Pack a lunch and donate the money you would have spent eating out.
  13. Potluck days: Have each department host a potluck for the entire staff. Staff pay the hosts for their meal.
  14. Silent auction
  15. Steak night
  16. Swear jar: 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.
  17. Take your pets to work

The Perfect Holiday Pairing

Late one night in August, Marbles and 78 other cats were seized from a hoarding situation by RHS Animal Protection Officers. Having suffered through living in such poor conditions, Marbles was extremely shy and shut down. He would hide in the back of his kennel and hiss at anyone who attempted to touch him.

Armed with patience, treats and the magic of chin scratches, the RHS Lifesaving Coordinator slowly discovered that under his tough exterior, Marbles was actually a big softie. After a few more days of gentle interaction, it was felt Marbles was ready to venture into foster care to continue building his trust.

His foster mom quickly won Marbles’ affection, proving him to be a very cuddly boy. But still, his fear continued to get the best of him, finding comfort hiding under the couch much of the time. After a couple weeks of little progress came the notion that adding some feline companionship might help bring Marbles out of his shell.

With the support of Krissy, Janet and Catarina, three four-week-old orphaned kittens who were also being fostered in the home, Marbles quickly learned that life beyond the underside of the couch was pretty grand. Soon he was spending his time playing and cuddling, and he would even run to his food dish at dinner time with his new-found friends! As days went by, he seemed to blossom into a much happier and content fellow – so much so that he was made available for adoption while still in foster, hoping that he would continue on his path of healing.

We are thrilled that his story ends in the best way possible! After two months of slowly learning what it feels like to be a well-loved house cat, Marbles found his new family. To ensure we all had tears of joy in both eyes, Marbles was adopted with his bonded pal Catarina, one of the three tiny orphans who helped save his soul. Marbles now gets to spend the holidays and the rest of his days chatting and snuggling with his best buddy.

Your Holiday Gift Catalogue Donations in Action

Since being introduced in 2009, the gifts provided through Regina Humane Society Holiday Gift Catalogue by people like you have made an incredible difference in the lives of homeless animals.

Last year’s catalogue helped provide bottle-feeding formula for newborn puppies and kittens, like Selkie. With no mom in sight, one-week-old Selkie and her two siblings were in significant distress when they were found on a porch in early November. An RHS staff member stepped in as a surrogate mother bottle-feeding the wee orphans with milk replacement formula every two hours around the clock.

This year give a gift that really matters! Shop the Holiday Gift Catalogue now. 

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 pets safe, and enjoy your holiday season!

Team Bosco for the Win! 

Bosco arrived at the Regina Humane Society (RHS) in late summer with a year-old hip fracture. Despite his goofy attitude and big smile, it was clear the two-year-old Labrador Retriever cross was hiding pain and struggling to walk normally. Following examination and x-rays, the RHS Veterinary team determined Bosco would need surgery to help him enjoy a good quality of life.

Fortunately for Bosco, he had a team standing with him on his road to recovery. This cheering squad extended far beyond the RHS and included the amazing staff at Indian Head Animal Clinic, who quickly stepped up and offered to provide Bosco’s surgery. After his operation, Bosco needed many weeks’ time to rest and recover. He went to stay with a devoted foster family, another key player in Bosco’s recovery – encouraging the energetic young dog, while showering Bosco with love and attention. His foster worked hard to get him ready for his forever home.

Fully recovered, Bosco came back to the Shelter in late October and waited patiently to find a family – fortunately he still had many people helping him on his journey. He even had a little help from a young girl who posted his story on her social media animal rescue page, which took his story even further. After just a few weeks, his special people found him and he knew he had found his soulmates. Now, Bosco is living his dream of a new family and the joy of pain-free running and playing! Thanks Team!

Thank You, 24 HR Animal Care Centre

Many of the animals that arrive at the Regina Humane Society are in need of immediate or ongoing veterinary care and treatment. When demand for these services outweighs the Society’s financial resources, we sometimes must ask for outside support from one of our lifesaving partners in Regina’s veterinary community. One of the partners that we can rely on is 24 HR Animal Care Centre.

Since 2012, 24 HR Animal Care Centre has donated a variety of surgeries to help many pets along to adoption, including spay/neuter surgeries, cherry eye repairs and dental procedures. Thanks to 24 HR Animal Care Centre, 40 shelter animals have benefited from their services.

Hospital Manager Leeanne Olynick says 24 HR Animal Care Centre is motivated to continue helping animals and giving pets the desperate dental care that they need. Dental disease is something that so many animals struggle with each and every day. Not only does it affect the mouth, but can also lead to more serious health problems such as heart, lung and kidney disease. “If we can help find forever homes for deserving pets by giving back and treating this issue, the equation makes total sense for our clinic. At 24 HR Animal Care Centre, we believe that pets deserve love, care and attention to be happy members of your family. We want them to live full and happy lives and are honoured to be a part of the process,” said Olynick.

The RHS extends its deepest and heartfelt thanks to the entire team at 24 HR Animal Care Centre for their dedication to improving the lives of animals and people in our community.

No Scaredy-Cats (or Dogs!)

While Halloween can be a scary-good-time for kids and families, for pets it can be a nightmare! This year, take the stress and danger out of Halloween by following a few easy steps:

  • Keep treats away from your pets – Halloween treats can be toxic to your dog or cat- especially chocolate, with dark chocolate being the worst. Many can also be a choking hazard due to their size, shape or wrapping.
  • Keep pets away from the door – Besides the possibility that Boots may bolt out the door, pets can be stressed or frightened by costumes and noise from Trick or Treaters. It is best to keep them in a room away from the Halloween action.
  • Avoid leaving pets in the yard – Pets may become agitated if left outside in the middle of Halloween noise and movement. Additionally, by keeping them inside, you avoid excited Halloween’ers who may offer your pet treats that could be harmful or mischief makers who could hurt them.
  • Leave the dog at home – While taking the dog Trick or Treating with the kids may seem like a great opportunity for a walk, your dog could be frightened by all the people, noise and costumes and may react unpredictably towards others.
  • Exercise caution with burn or fire hazards – Decorative candles and electrical cords should be kept out of reach from curious pets.
  • ID’s please – Always make sure that your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes or becomes lost, a collar and tags or microchip can be a lifesaver increasing the chances your pet will be returned to you.

Happy Halloween!

Alone and Suffering – RHS Animal Protection Officers Respond to a Heartbreaking Scene

Found abandoned in a cardboard box in a back alley, wee Oscar arrived at the Regina Humane Society (RHS) earlier this month in pretty rough shape. He was in agony suffering from a severe case of sarcoptic mange and a bacterial skin infection which caused him to howl in pain as he tried to scratch his itchy and ravaged skin. He was rushed to Shelter veterinarians who provided relief for their young patient. Fortunately, Oscar responded well to treatment and was able to spend his journey to recovery with a loving foster family.

Your support makes it possible for the RHS to be there for all of the Oscars who have nowhere else to turn. You came through for this pint-sized fellow – through words of encouragement, sharing his story and with donations to help cover the cost of his treatment and care.

And, here is what it is all about…healed and happy, Oscar has been adopted and is now getting to know his new family.

Thank you for caring and being a champion for little souls like Oscar, when they need you most. If you’d like to help support other animals who will find themselves in desperate need of care, please click here.

RHS Animal Protection Officers Seize Dozens of Cats and Kittens from Regina Residence

Seventy-nine cats and kittens were taken into the care of the Regina Humane Society earlier this month after being seized from a Regina residence by the Society’s Animal Protection Officers. Officers discovered the felines after responding to concerns of a possible animal hoarding situation. All animals were subsequently voluntarily surrendered by their owner. The pets were found living without proper access to food and water and among garbage, feces and urine.

After emergent care, including the provision of food and water and the treatment of any animals in immediate distress, a general health assessment of each animal was made. It is typical in similar situations for Officers to discover extremely ill, distressed or even deceased animals on site. Despite the deplorable living conditions, most of the animals had not yet deteriorated to the point of needing intensive care and gradually some were made available for adoption as soon as a week later. However, the sudden and massive intake of animals – in addition to the animals already in care – put significant stress on shelter financial and other resources to the point of exceeding capacity. With so many felines together, maintaining the health of each animal also became concern. Through extensive promotion, media support and a reduced adoption fee offer to help expedite adoptions, with the exception of a few still in recovery, the vast majority of cats and kittens have already found new loving homes, leaving their awful past behind them.

While the RHS provides enforcement of the provincial Animal Protection Act for companion animals in Regina, the Society receives no funding from the Province to provide these critical services to animals in need. The organization relies solely on donations from the public in order to maintain this service which comes with significant costs for officers, training, vehicles and equipment as well as housing and care of animals seized as a result of investigations.

Anyone wishing to help ensure the RHS is able to continue to provide this service in the future, is encouraged to make a donation online at www.reginahumanesociety.ca/donate, by calling 306-543-6363, visiting the at the Shelter on Armour Road or by mail at PO Box 3143, Regina, SK S4P 3G7.

Don’t Fall for the Fake Mews! Busting Myths about Fostering Kittens

With summer, you may hear a lot of buzz about “kitten season”, along with the importance of, and the critical need for, kitten fosters. Kitten fosters provide love and care for kittens who are too young to thrive in a shelter. This kitten season, we are encouraging everyone to consider fostering—it’s easier than you think!

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what it means to be a foster caregiver for itty bitty kitties. We are here to break down those myths and let you know just how easy and rewarding it is to foster our most vulnerable furry friends.

Myth: My home is too small to foster kittens. I don’t have enough space!

Fact: Fostering kittens actually doesn’t require much space. (Have you seen the size of a kitten?!) All you need is a small room, such as a bathroom or spare bedroom, to house the kittens while you’re caring for them. If you don’t have a spare small room for them, you can use an enclosed playpen to house the kitten(s).

Myth: I can’t foster because I have other pets.

Fact: Because foster kittens are kept separate in a small room like a bathroom, your pets will be away from your foster feline(s) for the most part. We recommend you keep any resident pets away from your foster kitten(s) for at least two weeks before you consider a meet-and-greet. That way your foster(s) will have time to grow, and your pets will have time to adjust to having them in the house.

Myth: I won’t be able to let my foster animal go. I’m worried that I’ll get too attached!

Fact: It’s very easy to become attached to your foster animal. After fostering your first animal, you’ll feel empowered when sending your kitten(s) off to a new home! Knowing you’ve provided your foster kittens with the chance to live a long, happy and healthy life is extremely rewarding!

Myth: I have no idea how to teach kittens to use the litter box. It sounds too hard!

Fact: Kittens may be little, but they’re smart! Learning how to use the litter box is an important part of early feline development, but “training” is a bit of a misnomer! Kittens naturally understand the litter box and will be drawn to use it as long as you provide them the proper encouragement. Placing them in their litter box a few times and ensuring they have easy access will make their tidy feline instincts kick in.

Myth: I have a 9-5 job and just don’t have time to foster kittens.

Fact: Fostering doesn’t always have to be a full-time job – there are many types of foster animals that are able to be left alone during the day such as moms with kittens or kittens over the age of four-weeks-old that are eating on their own. At the Regina Humane Society (RHS) we’re very transparent about the needs of each foster animal when we’re requesting a foster family for them, so you’ll know what’s needed before you even offer to take a foster animal on!

Fostering kittens ages four-to-eight weeks old requires a surprisingly little amount time out of your busy schedule! As long as your kittens are healthy and eating on their own, you can feed the kittens three or four times a day, give them socialization (and snuggles) and monitor their health both before you leave and when you get home from work and you’re good to go!

Myth: I can’t take on the financial responsibility. I just don’t have the money to care for foster kittens.

Fact: The RHS provides any supplies you may need during the foster process! The RHS also covers all costs related to the veterinary care of the animal (including vaccination and deworming treatments). Throughout the foster process if you’re in need of additional supplies, all you need to do is contact the Life-Saving Coordinator at the RHS and they can be set aside for you to pick-up!

Myth: I have children, so I can’t foster.

Fact: You can certainly foster kittens if you have children. We actually encourage it! With supervision, children have the opportunity to learn how to care for kittens, play with and socialize them. They’re learning at a young age to love and care for animals responsibly—and we’re all for that! Just be sure that your children wash their hands before and after handling the kittens.

Myth: I like to travel so fostering wouldn’t work for me.

Fact: Fostering may be the perfect set up for you! You can still enjoy the companionship of an animal when you’re available to foster while maintaining the freedom to travel as you’d like! When you take a foster animal from the RHS, you always have an idea as to how long the animal will be with you, so you can easily plan fostering around your travel schedule! It’s truly the best of both worlds!

With content from the ASPCA.

How Climate Change Impacts Pets

The effects of climate change are being felt around the world, including in Saskatchewan. Prairie provinces are experiencing more years with mild winters. Though cold can sometimes seem unbearable, the reality is it serves an important purpose. The freeze is crucial to killing off unwanted pests, and without it, the life cycle of insects like flea and ticks become unpredictable.

Once seasonal, fleas are now starting to live year-round in some locations and ticks are becoming a nuisance earlier in the spring than before. Additionally, heartworm, a serious parasite spread by mosquitoes, is showing up in more regions of the globe.

To keep your animal happy and healthy, make sure you consult with your veterinarian on possible solutions to keep your pet protected.

Warm temperatures can also have an impact on heat cycles for cats, allowing for longer mating seasons. While kittens are cute, sadly Regina and surrounding areas are already overpopulated with felines. With overpopulation comes a rise in the number of feral and homeless cats, and unnecessary suffering. The Regina Humane Society is committed to end animal overpopulation, and as part of that initiative, spay and neuter surgeries are always included with feline and canine adoptions and through our Subsidized Spay Neuter Program in conjunction with the City of Regina.

With content from the Toronto Humane Society.