Hercules: A Strong and Mighty Cat

You have often heard that thanks to your support of the RHS, we can be there when an animal is in desperate need of help. This was certainly the case for Hercules.

When he arrived at the Shelter, battered, bruised and with fur missing from parts of his body, Hercules was immediately placed in the care of RHS veterinarians where his injuries, which were most serious around his face and front leg, were tended to. So severe was his leg wound, that the team feared amputation may be needed to save their small patient. Still, despite being in considerable pain, Hercules was affectionate and kind during his examination and as his wounds were cleaned and bandaged.  Afterwards, he was able to rest while shelter staff kept a close eye on his recovery.

What happened next was miraculous to say the least. Not only had Hercules simply survived, but his healing power and determination was remarkable! His battered leg improved dramatically with each passing day, and with that, the fear of amputation soon diminished as well. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Hercules no longer needed frequent vet care and was ready to carry out his recovery in the peace of a loving foster home. 

After a few weeks healing and regaining his strength, yet another surprise awaited him. When Hercules returned to the Shelter ready for adoption, he learned his adoption fee had been fully sponsored! The kind person who had rescued him had stayed in close contact with the RHS throughout his journey and wanted to help him find his permanent home as quickly as possible. The strength of kindness prevailed, and Hercules won his battle!

Thank You, Careport Animal Hospital!

The Regina Humane Society (RHS) depends on many individuals and organizations to be able to deliver the programs and services that it does each and every day. The Society is very proud of the partnership that has been built over many years with Regina’s veterinary community. A shining example is Careport Animal Hospital (formerly Airport Animal Hospital).

Since 2012, Careport Animal Hospital (CAH) has donated monthly spay and neuter surgeries for pets that have been adopted from the RHS. In that time, over 600 surgeries have been performed on shelter animals by CAH!

CAH owner Dr. Melissa Hunchak sees her hospital’s relationship with the RHS as a way to make a difference for the animals in our community and to be a respectable and caring corporate citizen. The hospital rebranded earlier this year and one of the main reasons to change the name from Airport to Careport was to showcase how much caring is a part of what they do. Helping the RHS exemplifies their hospital vision “We care for you like family” and has been a wonderful way to showcase how much they care for the animals in our community. By donating surgeries to the RHS they are able to relieve some of the pressure on the RHS and their resources as well as allowing their team to be a bigger part of the pet overpopulation problem. “Our team really likes to help out as well”, Dr. Hunchak says. “They recognize that they are helping beyond just our regular scope of practice”. As her front-line team deal directly with the public each day, they often receive the thanks from adopters – providing a sense of satisfaction and pride for her entire team.

The RHS extends its deepest and heartfelt thanks to Dr. Hunchak and the Careport Animal Hospital team for their dedication to improving the lives of animals and people in our community.

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.

 

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.

“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!

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!

All Healed for the Holidays

In late October, Georgina, a beautiful three-year-old orange tabby arrived at the Regina Humane Society (RHS) appearing very pregnant, but also terribly thin. She was immediately fed, to which she happily demolished her meal and looked up with gratitude for more. Soon after Georgina was sent to the RHS veterinarian team for further examination, where they worried the bulge wasn’t a pregnancy at all, but possibly a large tumour. Fearing the worst, an exploratory surgery was performed to confirm the cause of the bulge.

To everyone’s surprise the problem was more than a little hairy… it was a gigantic hairball weighing 0.21 kg! Georgina weighed just 2.98 kg, so the hairball was taking up a lot of stomach space and needed to be surgically removed. After a successful operation, Georgina went into foster care to recover, gain weight and receive the love and adoration she needed and deserved.

Now, fully recovered – we’re happy to say, Georgina found her permanent home in time for the holidays!

From Forgotten to Forever

It was a pretty exciting day for Gertrude yesterday. Why? Read on.

RHS Animals Protection Officers brought her to the safety of the Shelter after being found lashed to a fence and abandoned. No one to care for her. No one to feed her or provide water. It goes without saying that in this situation, she could not even fend for herself if she wanted to – and she most certainly would need to try if no one came to her aid. As if that wasn’t enough, she lives with a congenital abnormality in one of her eyes, that left it very clouded looking and blind. She was in dire need of grooming and looked like she had been through a war zone. We can only guess at what her life may have been like prior to being cast off and forgotten.

But thankfully, that is where her life took a turn for the better. Once at the shelter, she received the warmth and food that she needed and a check with RHS Veterinarians. Happily, she seemed to be in good shape despite her ordeal, and was soon given the go ahead to put her past behind her and be put up for adoption. Still, it was uncertain what affect her unusual look may have.

It is said there is someone for everyone, and staff were thrilled when after only a few days, her saviour walked through our door with a promise of blue skies, happy times and peaceful nights for the rest of her days.

We think this little girl has earned that. Way to go Gertrude!

It’s thanks to our community of support that stories like Gertrude’s have a happily ever after. Generous donations help fund our Animal Protection Services, vet care, shelter stays and so much more. Thank you for your continued support.

Purrs for Kindness

When people demonstrate compassion and patience, amazing things happen.

It was a bitter April morning when two young men spotted a stray cat alone in the street struggling to walk. They became even more concerned when they saw a large bulge on the cats back leg. Knowing the animal was in desperate need of help, the citizens sprang into action. Armed with patience and a lot of treats, they were able to build trust with the frightened feline and persuade her to allow them to help. As soon as they were able, they rushed the cat to the Regina Humane Society for some much-needed medical treatment.

Her constant gentle purr, despite having an uncomfortable mango sized growth on her leg, earned her the name Purrsia. Sadly, upon examination and tests by the RHS veterinary team, it was determined that the lump was cancerous and Purrsia’s best chance for survival would be to have her leg amputated.

After surgery, Purrsia moved in with a loving foster family to recover and adjust. She adapted quickly to having three legs and became even more sweet than before. Being the happy cat she is, Purrsia fit in perfectly with her foster family. Together they enjoyed one another’s company and frequent naps on the couch.

Fully recovered and ready for adoption, it didn’t take long for a Shelter visitor to see (and hear!) all the love Purrsia had to offer. We’re happy to report that she is onto her next chapter in a permanent and loving home. Working together with our community of supporters,  we are rewriting the heartbreaking stories of so many animals in need to become tales of happily ever after. . .