Cold Outside? You Can Still Have Plenty of Winter Fun With Your Pets During Winter!

Even though Old Man Winter has us in his icy grip, you can still keep your dog happy and healthy by exercising both her mind and body. If you just can’t stand the thought of bundling up and heading out into the snow and ice, here are some tips to help you out:

• Consider taking a class with your dog. She can learn some new skills or brush up on some old ones. Many classes not only give your dog some great physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well. Plus, it is a great time for both of you to meet some new friends!

• There are many puzzles and games available in pet stores that will have your dog searching for treats behind sliding doors or buried in hollow toys. These wonderful canine games will challenge her mentally and keep her occupied for hours!

• Hire a dog walker or take your pet to doggy daycare for a chance to get out of the house and socialize with others.

• Teach an old dog new tricks! While your dog may have mastered “sit” and “lie down”, try teaching her some new tricks such as “roll-over”, “shake a paw” “leave it”.

• Change it up. Keep your dog engaged with their playthings by alternating toys every week or so.

• Run some stairs. If your dog has good mobility, doing some reps up and down the stairs can give you both a great work out. If stairs aren’t your cup of tea, try tossing a ball down the stairs and have your dog retrieve it. She’ll be tired in no time, and then you can both settle in for a nice winter’s nap on the couch!

An hour of healthy activity each day will help avoid winter boredom and keep your dog healthy and happy all winter long!

How to Find the Perfect Pet Sitter

 

Kent, UK - December 5th 2012: A man walks his dogs as the snow falls in Whistable, Kent


As many of us look towards the sunny climates of the south for a winter getaway, what to do with our pets can be a problem if no friends or family are available or willing to pet sit while we are away. Or, perhaps you have some business trips coming up or periods where you will be working long hours on a regular basis, and need someone to feed your pets and ensure they are ok. Pet sitters are becoming a popular option, but there’s a lot to consider when choosing one. Most often, these services will check on your pets, walk them, feed them and spend some time with them.  They will also check on the house.  Not only are they caring for valued family members, they’re coming into your home.  So, they need to be trustworthy, professional, knowledgeable and able to handle emergencies. And your pet should feel comfortable around them

It’s important to interview your potential pet sitter, and have your pets meet them to ensure there are no issues and that you feel this is the right person.  Always ask for references and follow up on them.  If they can’t or will not provide them, you may want to move on.  But, sometimes, you just need to trust your gut and go with what feels right for you.

Here are some other tips to aid your search:

The search

The internet and bulletin boards of local stores and veterinarian offices are great places to start. Reading online reviews and even checking out candidates’ Facebook pages can help narrow down your search.  You can also ask family, friends and co-workers for referrals.

The interview

Make a list of questions for potential pet sitters before you reach out. You can start by asking about fees, since there’s no point in moving forward if you can’t afford their services. At the same time, don’t just go with the cheapest rate; you want a qualified professional. And don’t be afraid to have a long conversation. Some good questions to ask are what services they offer, how long they’ve been in business, what their backup plan is if something prevents them from coming to your house and if they know about your pets’ species.  Ask candidates if they can accommodate your pet’s specific needs, such as medications; whether they have special training or certifications; and whether they’re bonded and insured (which could protect you in certain situations, such as if your dog bites another person while on a walk with the sitter). It’s also good to pose one or two emergency scenarios to see how candidates respond, such as what they would do if the furnace breaks down when it is -30 degrees outside or your pet starts vomiting.  All candidates should provide a criminal record check before being hired.

Meet and greet

Before you book a pet-sitting date, you and your pets should meet the candidate. This will allow you to get to know the person better, discuss any special needs or instructions you may have and observe how the sitter interacts with your pet. Go on a walk with them and your pet or go in the yard for some playtime.  This may give a good sense how things will go when you are away and if your pet, particularly if it is a dog, trusts and responds to the sitter. 

You can also look for some of those ‘little’ things that can indicate their level of professionalism – for example, did they offer to take their shoes off when they entered your home, were they respectful of you, your home and your pet.  If children were present, how did they interact with them?

Quality assurance

Unfortunately, no matter how thoroughly you screen sitters, you may still hire the wrong person. But there are signs to help you determine whether the person is doing his or her job.  Are things put away as they should be?  Is the proper amount of food or medications being used?  Are there suddenly ‘accidents’ that are happening that would not normally?  There was one story of a woman who suspected her sitter was not even coming to the house, so she left a broom propped against the inside front door where the sitter would enter the home.  When she returned and the broom had not moved, she knew here sitter had not attended to the animals as she was paid to do and she was promptly fired.

You may ask your pet sitter to leave notes about each visit or send pictures of the visit via cell phone. Or you can go to the extreme and install cameras or an alarm system to monitor who comes and goes. There are also GPS collars available that can be tracked to ensure your pet was walked as planned.

While it’s good to be cautious when starting with someone new, keep in mind that most people who choose pet-sitting as a career are animal lovers and will show your pet and your home nothing but tender loving care. Over time, a sitter can become a trusted friend to you and your pet, and even be part of your pet’s extended family. 

New RHS Dog Training Program Looking for Indoor Space!

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The Regina Humane Society (RHS) has long anticipated the opportunity to deliver dog training classes as part of the services offered by the shelter.  A comprehensive training curriculum has been developed, however, the aged condition and lack of useable space in the existing shelter continues to be an obstacle in moving forward with this valuable resource.  Do you have a space that would be great for us?

Ideally, the space would be approximately 4,000 square feet of heated, indoor space, with a small storage area which is accessible year round.  Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., and throughout the afternoon and evening on Saturdays from 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.  Although a singular location would be ideal, two different locations for each day of training would also be an option. 

As a non-profit charity, a donated or discounted space would allow the Society to conserve its funds for animal rescue and rehoming.

Training for dogs has been shown to be the number one indicator that a dog will stay in their forever home.  It is as preventative as a vaccination. Your donation of a space will help hundreds of dogs every year, by giving their owners the education they need to work with their dog throughout his lifetime. It is truly a gift too large to describe.

Media recognition, tax considerations, networking and more are available for any business or individual who has a great space available for the RHS. If you have an available space, we would love to hear from you.  (Email here)

Oracle – Blind and Alone

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One cold day in November, a kind citizen delivered a skinny orange kitten who he had found alone and shivering outdoors to the Regina Humane Society Shelter. But, something was very different about this young orphan. She could not see and appeared to have no eyes. Filled with fear, she would hiss and spit at any movement or sound in her most heroic attempt to scare off possible dangers. Unimaginable terror of the unknown filled her dark world. That she had survived alone in the elements was a miracle.

RHS Veterinary staff treated their hungry and cold pint-sized patient and determined her condition as Microphtalmia. Oracle, as she was named, was born with non-functioning eyes that are so small that it appears that she has none at all. For Oracle’s future to be healthy and happy, this courageous little one will need to have her useless eyes surgically removed to avoid continuing infection.

Weighing only .71 kilograms and ready to do battle with hidden threats at every moment, Oracle needs some time to grow, trust and see the world in a new way before her surgery can proceed. Step in RHS Foster Family to the rescue! Experienced in the rehabilitation of feral kittens, her new foster home and their big loping lovable dog Indie (click here for video) have helped countless spitfire kittens and young cats find their way to love and trust again following their tough lives in an uncertain world.

Oracle is doing wonderfully and is learning to play and romp just like a normal kitten.  Join us on Facebook in the coming weeks as we share her brave journey to recovery. We can’t help Oracle alone. Your donations give abandoned pets like Oracle hope and a second chance at life. She has a long battle in front of her, but with your caring and support, she will see a future that is filled with love and happiness. Help Oracle today.

Watch Oracle as she learns about the world through the eyes of her foster family dog Indie!

Regina Airport Authority donates $21,000 to the Regina Humane Society

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It was a beautiful sunny day in mid-August when 140 golfers got together for a day on the links and to help homeless animals in our community.

On August 12, 2016, the Regina Airport Authority (RAA) held its annual charity golf tournament – and this year the RHS was absolutely thrilled to be chosen as their beneficiary!

On October 18, RAA President and CEO Dick Graham, along with the organizing committee for this wonderful event stopped by the Shelter to make a donation of $21,000 and take a tour of our facility.

Words cannot express how grateful we are to the RAA for not only providing a first class airport facility to our community, but giving back to that community as well! 

On behalf of the over 4,000 animals that will be in our care in the coming year – Thank You!

‘Tis the Season to Take a “Paws”!

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Please join in the festivities on Sunday December 4, 2016
at the Regina Humane Society’s Paws for the Season Open House.

Drop in anytime at the shelter from 1p.m.-5p.m. for hot drinks, a bake sale and raffle. Our friends from Big Dog 92.7 will also be on hand to celebrate the season!

If possible, please bring a gift for our shelter pets to leave under their tree. Even things like detergent help us keep them clean and tidy! We hope all of your animals will be home for the holidays, but for those who may not, your gift will bring a little ray of sunshine to their life.

A list of suggested items can be seen on our website: https://reginahumanesociety.ca/how-to-help/needed-items/.

Thank you – and Happy Holidays!

November – A Great Time to Adopt a Senior Pet

Every month at the RHS is exciting, but November, being Adopt a Senior Pet Month is especially so! Senior shelter pets are just as in need of a home as their younger counter-parts. Many have known the warmth and comfort of a family home, but suddenly, through no fault of their own, they are alone.  Whether a change in the family situation or simply becoming separated from home and lost, these more mature pets can be among the most affected when they are no longer part of a family. Sadly, these pets are often over-looked as being too old or because they have lost their kitten or puppy charm.

But, these older pets can make the best pets when given a chance. There are many reasons to adopt a senior pet, but here are just a few that may just help you to decide that one of these special souls is just perfect for you…

They are fully matured:  Younger pets are still in the process of learning, growing and developing. With an older pet, you can be more certain of the demeanour, personality and temperament.

They tend to be calmer:  Many older pets have passed the puppy or kitten stage and are much more content to be by your side on a walk, on the couch or simply taking a nap while you carry on with your day. This is why many do well in homes with younger children or first-time pet owners. 

They have manners:  Because many older pets have lived in a home before, they have a good idea of household rules and basic etiquette. They will likely already be house trained and more experienced socially towards humans and other animals.

The commitment is shorter: Many families area simply not able to commit the 15 years or so that are generally required when adopting a kitten or puppy. But, these families can still experience the joy and caring that a shelter pet brings to a home by adopting an older pet.

Ready to find your special new family member? You can see all of our pets on our website here. We promise that they would love to meet you!

Work Hard, Give Back

You can be a hero to animals in need simply by doing your job! 

Many companies have charitable giving programs that allow employees to give back to an organization or charity that they care about. Most programs will have contributions deducted directly from your pay cheque and donated to the charity of your choice. Some companies will event match your donation!

In addition to monetary programs, some companies encourage their employees to get involved in the community by granting time away from the office with pay to volunteer at a charity or community organization. Depending on the company, this can be done individually or as a group.

You can see a list of companies that may match your donations on our website here. To find out if your employer offers this type of program, or if the Regina Humane Society qualifies, check with your Human Resources department. 

Lost for Five Weeks – Ellie goes Home!

ellie1In mid-September of this year, a beautiful tabby named Ellie went missing from her home in Swift Current. Her family searched endlessly for her, but as the weeks ticked by, they had all but given up hope. 

Five weeks later, a caring person found a cat in the Cathedral area of Regina, and took her out of the cold and to the warmth and safety of the RHSDuring examination of the cat upon her arrival at the shelter, RHS staff checked for a microchip and found one. When the ID was checked, it was discovered that it was Ellie!

Ellie’s family was ecstatic when RHS staff called with the good news that their beloved Ellie was safe, especially their nine-year old child who missed her cat dearly.

Dad Kirk made the trip from Swift Current to the RHS to bring Ellie home.

How Ellie travelled from Swift Current to Regina is still a mystery, but how she got home is no mystery at all – her microchip. Without it, she may never have been returned to her family where she belongs and is loved.

Every day at the RHS we are reminded about the importance of micro-chipping your pet. Sadly, many pets that slip outdoors or are separated from their family will never find their way back home. While microchips do not track your pet, they contain vital information that will allow shelters or veterinarians to learn who a pet belongs to if found and return it home safely. The RHS has seen a steep increase in the number of pets returned to their owners since micro-chipping all of our adopted pets began in 2011. It is the single most effective means of identifying pets and their owners.

Help ensure your pet has the best chance possible to come home if they are ever separated from you, just like Ellie. The RHS holds monthly microchip clinics on the last Thursday of each month, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It only takes a few minutes and costs just $30. You can book your appointment at 306-543-6363 Ext. 233.

Oh, and welcome back home, Ellie!

Holiday Catalogue

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Every year it’s the same thing – what to buy for that “hard to buy for” person?

This year, give a gift that really matters! The Regina Humane Society Holiday Gift Catalogue is now available. By supporting the 2016 Holiday Catalogue and donating items or services for the animals instead of (or in addition to) providing gifts for your friends and family, you will make an immediate difference in the lives of homeless animals.

From bottle feeding formula for newborn kittens and puppies to x-rays and casts for traumatically injured animals, your chosen gifts are a meaningful way to truly celebrate the spirit of giving.

Watch your mailbox for your copy, pick one up at the Shelter or simply go on-line to order:  https://reginahumanesociety.ca/product/2016-holiday-catalogue-order-form/