Widdle Wants to Thank You

 

Sometimes it takes a big team to help a tiny animal.  At just two weeks old, Widdle and her three siblings were found in an abandoned apartment, with no mother or anyone else feed and care for them.  Without a mother, kittens this young will not survive without human intervention. Wee Widdle would face additional hurdles – and it would take almost the entire RHS team to see her through it.

The tiny foursome’s first encounter with the RHS was with our Receiving staff, who gave each kitten a general health check.  The news wasn’t good as each was showing signs of illness.  The kittens were moved to our Veterinary team for a more thorough examination and it was found that each was suffering from an upper respiratory infection along with eye infections caused by the same virus.  While many cats have a bout of this cold-like illness, it can usually be treated successfully.  But, left untreated, it can be fatal with kittens so young and the tide can turn very quickly.  The infant patients were put on medications along with a regimen of hearty kitten milk replacement formula to fill their empty tummies.  But, while three of the kittens responded positively, Widdle seemed to struggle.  She was not eating well and as the tiniest of the group, her small size made her battle with the illness that much more difficult.  It seemed that the stress of the whole experience was proving too much for her and her condition quickly deteriorated to the point of being critical, and it was feared she would not make it through her first night since being found.  Her siblings were moved to recover and grow in the peace and quiet of one of our foster family homes, but Widdle would need special attention. One of the Society’s Registered Veterinary Technologists took her home to monitor her condition around the clock and give her the best chance at winning her fight to survive the night.

And survive she did!  By the next day, she had turned the corner and was beginning to show signs of improvement.  She started eating, her medications were beginning to help as her courage and spirit began to shine through.  As the next week passed, she continued to improve to the point where she was out of danger and well on the road to what we hope will be a full recovery.  Hope is high that within a few weeks, the four abandoned kittens will be strong enough to be put up for adoption into their forever homes.

The journey of Widdle and her three siblings took them through the caring hands of our Receiving and Veterinary teams and into the homes of one of our wonderful Foster Care volunteers.   But, it also took them through your hands.  Because of your support of the Society every day, those hands were there, ready to help, when these four tiny souls needed them most.

On behalf of Widdle and her litter-mates, thank you.

 

Shortly after arrival at the RHS

In the hands of her foster.

Eye infection!

Dog Park Safety

 

Dog parks can be a great place for our dogs to burn off a little energy, get some exercise and socialize with other dogs, but, just like people, not all dogs are going to get along. Unfortunately, play can escalate and an incident can occur very quickly, so it’s important to be able to recognize when things are heading in the wrong direction and when you may need to intervene.

When you arrive at the dog park take a moment to see how the other dogs are interacting, before you enter the park, and note any behaviour you don’t like or is questionable.  This includes not only dogs, but owners too.  Remember, even in an off-leash park, all pet owners must be immediately aware of their dog’s actions and have control of their dog at all times.  If you see concerning behaviour or lack of control of dogs by their owners, it may be best to come back later or another day.  As you visit the park more often, you will get to know many of the dogs, including ones who are often not on their best behaviour and should be avoided.

Appropriate and safe play between dogs:

  • Role reversal (for example, changing roles between the chaser and the one being chased)
  • Frequent breaks in between play sessions
  • Loose and “happy’ body language

Inappropriate play to look out for:

  • Pinning and not allowing another dog to stand up
  • Prolonged staring
  • Snarling/growling
  • Tense/stiff body language
  • Nervous or fearful body language
  • Cornering or multiple dogs ganging up on one dog
  • Frantic fleeing

When inappropriate play begins to take over, it’s important to know how to safely intervene. Here are a few ways you can do this:

Call your dog away: It is important that your dog has a reliable recall signal before they go to the dog park.  Just as other owners must have control over their pets, so do you.  Be sure to practice this at home regularly by calling them away from play for a short break.  If your dog enters into an altercation at the park which is intervened with a recall, after a short break you can try allowing your dog to play again, or it may be time to leave the park.

Place something between the dogs: By placing an item in between the dogs you reduce the risk of harm in the engagement for you or the pets. If you’re at the park, you can use a light jacket, for example.

Wait until the dogs have released their hold: If dogs are engaged, or one dog has a hold of another with their mouth, wait until the dog(s) have released before separating them. Trying to do so while they are engaged can cause more damage.

Stay calm: Try not to yell or make a loud noise as this can sometimes aggravate the situation.

It is important to know that not all dogs will be comfortable in a busy dog park nor get along with every dog they meet, which is absolutely natural. Ways to overcome this can be done by going to the park at different times of day with different dogs, entering the park when it is less busy, or by going to private areas with a few of your dog’s pet friends they get along with.

And remember, you are responsible to be aware of your pet and what it is doing at all times – no chatting with a group of other owners with your coffee as your dog runs around the far end of the park.  Also, be sure any small children are safe and avoid giving them snacks that a hungry dog might like a bite of too.

With a little patience, awareness and training, the dog park can be a safe and fun place for everyone!

The RHS offers numerous dog training classes, including Recall.  You can learn more here.

 

 

Beanie Needs a Little Help

 

All pets are special.  But, every once in a while we meet one who needs a little extra care, attention and help to complete their journey to a new life.  Beanie is one of those animals, and to give her the best life possible, we need to find her special someone.

Beanie arrived at the shelter with a severe injury to one of her front legs. How the injury happened is unclear, but amputation was necessary as the damage was too great to save her critically damaged limb. Following surgery, Beanie was moved into the Animal Protection Office to receive some extra love and snuggles as she recovered. Although she had been through a lot in her young life, she remained timid and withdrawn despite staffs’ best attempts to raise her spirits.  A move to foster care would surely help Beanie find her way!  Slow going at first, Beanie spent much of her time looking for places to hide. But soon her foster family’s dog showed her that life could be fun if you open your heart and trust, just a little bit. Beanie still has a ways to go to feel confident and secure – that’s where you come in!

Beanie loves being outside, so she will need a family with a fully fenced yard where she can get plenty of outside time, without much need for a leash.  Although she manages well on her three legs, her new family will need to encourage her to keep active so she builds strength in her core and other limbs.  Physiotherapy may also benefit her in the future.

Beanie is just as sweet and lovable as any dog – and don’t get us started about her love of hot dogs and head rubs! But, she needs a family who will be patient and guide her to realizing how wonderful life can be as she has lots of life to live and lots of love to give.  If you feel you are her special someone, please contact us at 306-543-6363 ext. 244 or [email protected] to talk about giving this wonderful soul the happy and loving life she deserves.

After surgery

In foster

 

Protect Your Pet from the Heat

 

As we start to emerge from our pandemic cocoons and spend more time outside, many of those adventures may include our pets, especially dogs. Whether out on a hike, traveling by car or even an ‘everyday’ walk around the neigbourhood, be on the lookout for the effects of spring and summer heat on your pet.

How animals overheat 

Excessive exercise, dehydration and inadequate shade or shelter can cause your pet to overheat quickly in hot and humid weather.  Be sure they have plenty of fresh water and breaks in the shade. Consider walking your dog in the early morning and late afternoon or evening to avoid the scorching heat of the day. Keep playtime short and always be mindful of the signs of overheating—excessive panting, muscle twitching, anxious or dazed look, vomiting, lethargy, increased drooling or diarrhea.

In addition, be mindful of potentially hot surfaces such as asphalt, concrete or sand.  The summer sun can heat these surfaces to dangerous temperatures that can quickly injure your pets’ sensitive paws.

Older, more obese or short-nosed dogs (like Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers) should be watched extra carefully as they are not able to pant as efficiently as other breeds, making them especially susceptible to over-heating. Puppies, kittens, and pets with health issues should also be carefully monitored. Keep these guys in cool, air-conditioned areas as often as you can.

What to do if you think your pet is overheating 

As noted above, watch for symptoms of heatstroke – excessive panting, muscle twitching, an anxious or dazed look, vomiting, lethargy, increased drooling, and diarrhea.

If you suspect heatstroke or difficulty due to the heat, move your pet to a cool and shaded area as soon as possible.  Provide them with cool, not cold, water. If you have a fan, direct the fan on them. Then, with cool, damp towels, slowly and carefully begin dabbing the back of their neck, in the armpits, and around the groin area.  As soon as you are able, get them to a veterinarian as heat stroke can cause permanent health issues or even death.

Pets and vehicles 

Every year, the RHS sees heart-breaking stories of pets suffering distress or even dying of heatstroke after being left in a parked vehicle.  Each of these sad stories is completely avoidable.

Here are some facts:  

The inside of a vehilce can become a death trap for pets whether it’s sunny or cloudy, hot or humid or mild or breezy.  Rolling down the windows does little as temperatures can still soar in minutes.  Leaving the vehicle and air-conditioning running is also a poor solution – engines fail, temperatures can still reach dangerous levels and even small dogs can trigger window buttons and door locks.

Dogs do not have the ability to sweat through glands in the skin to keep cool.  While they do sweat somewhat through their paws (not very effective if standing on a hot car seat), they pant in an attempt to keep cool.  Unfortunately, the combination of a fur coat and a hot vehicle, makes this method woefully inadequate as a cooling method.

What to do if you find a pet in a vehicle 

In Regina, call RHS Animal Protection Services, 306-777-7700 or call the local police.

In the meantime, record the time you found the dog and take down the license plate and car information, as these details may assist in an investigation. If you can, try to locate the owner, but remain calm as confrontation will do little to help the situation or the animal.

Assess the situation. Check for signs of overheating—excessive panting, glazed eyes, fatigue, dazed (look like they are “out of it”), or vomiting. If the animal is unresponsive to your approach, they could be suffering from heatstroke. If you can, offer the animals some cool water until help arrives.

 

Love is Blind – Misty’s Story

 

A petite and immensely friendly cat, Misty is about as playful as they come.  She loves to explore her world and bat a ball around a room like any other six-month-old kitten.  However, she is not like any other cat.  Misty came to the RHS almost totally blind.

Despite her young age, Misty had developed a severe form of cataracts – a condition she was born with. As a result, her right eye was blind, and her left eye close to it.  To avoid life-long complications from the condition, RHS veterinarians performed a bilateral enucleation – the surgical removal of both eyes.  Since Misty had not been able to see with her deteriorating eyes, not having them would change her day-to-day life very little, if at all.

The RHS Veterinary team tended to their small patient with the best of care and once the operation was complete, she was off to a foster home for several weeks of rest and recovery.

When Misty was ready to find a new home, she took up residence in Society’s large open cat communal room where she became right at home in her new surroundings.   RHS staff were thrilled that her playful antics and affectionate spirit remained as she pawed for cuddles at every opportunity and entertained everyone as she played with toys – always seeming to know exactly where they were.

Even though Misty is a true sweetheart, her special needs made her more difficult to adopt as many saw her blindness as a burden. Of course, that could not be farther from the truth.  When she was featured  on social media, RHS followers shared her story so it would reach far and wide, and, hopefully, the person who would become her special someone.  Then, one bright spring day, it happened –  her new family found her.  It was love at first purr and there was no looking back from that moment on.  Today, Misty has settled into her new home and is curiously exploring every nook and cranny under the watchful eye of her loving family.

Post-Surgery

Adoption day!

Exploring her new home

How to Play With Your Puppy – Perfectly!

 

Playing with your puppy is an important part of building a positive relationship and developing good communication between the two of you.  Starting when your pup is young will get things off on the right “paw” towards a lifetime of fun and learning.

Here are some pointers for happy and proper puppy play:

You are not the toy

Don’t let your pup grab your hand, or mouth at other parts of your body. Even if it was not intentional, stop play immediately when your pup makes inappropriate contact with you – regardless of the intensity of the contact.  This will teach your dog to avoid using their teeth as play always will stop when they do.  When they do forget, be sure to redirect them to a favourite toy.  If they persist in biting you or mouthing too hard, end the play session by walking away.

Offer rewards

Positive reinforcement rewards good behaviour as opposed to punishing poor behaviour.  Your dog will learn to associate an action with a positive outcome such as getting a toy to play with or a yummy treat.  It also helps build a strong relationship between the two of you by reinforcing appropriate behaviours such as coming when called, sitting or laying down, not jumping up on people or walking on a leash politely and without pulling.

You determine when it’s playtime

Your dog may love to play, and they may love it more when you are involved.  But, when they start jumping on you or barking as they demand playtime, it can become a problematic habit that can be tough to break once established.  Pick different times of day when you play as well so they don’t associate things like supper or your arrival home from work as the trigger for playtime.  Additionally, make sure your puppy understands that if you end playtime, playtime is over.  If they don’t get the message, remove yourself or their toy from the situation.

Be inventive

Part of keeping your pet engaged is to change up the game a little – no one wants to play the same game all the time!  There are hundreds of games and toys available in pet stores or you can create your own games with items you have around the house.  For example, place some treats in half of the holes of a muffin tray, then cover all the holes with a tennis ball or even balled socks. Then place the tray on the floor.  Your pup will get some awesome mental stimulation as they try to figure where the treats are and how to remove the obstacle that’s in the way!  Another variation is to hide a treat under one of three or more plastic cups and see if your pup can find the one hiding the treasure.

You can get a few more ideas on homemade enrichment fun on our website here.

Keep games fun, but short

The longer you play with your pup, the more excited they will get. The more excited they get, the less control they may have.  Take some breaks for a calming-down period before continuing with play.  This way, you’ll have fewer behaviour ‘accidents’ and more fun and relationship building too!

Want to learn more?

The Regina Humane Society offers many dog training courses, including Puppy Play to Learn, to get you both off on the right paw.  For more information on classes and to register, visit our Dog Training Website, here.

 

 

Home-made Fun for Your Feline!

 

You’ve likely seen social media posts about the new “Assistants” we have all gained while working from home.  From furry bottoms occupying the keyboard to cat walks across our Zoom screen, we could all use some ideas about how to keep kitty busy during our workday!

Here are some quick and easy DIY toys from household objects you likely already have on hand:

Toilet paper rolls

Cut small holes in the body of the roll, put treats inside and scrunch up the ends for a quick and easy puzzle feeder.  You can even insert pipe cleaners for extra springy fun!

Shoelaces

These can be made into safe and simple toys. Just tie them onto the end of a broken wand toy, drawer handles, or door handles.  They can also be braided to make wonderfully nimble throw toys!

Cardboard boxes

If you’ve had anything delivered to your home, you know how much cats love cardboard boxes. Why not keep a few around and make them official kitty kastles?  You can leave them open or close the top and cut a doorway in one side to make purrfect hideaway.

Paper Bags

With many ditching plastic grocery bags in favour of paper, there is a new opportunity for feline fun!  Just like the cardboard boxes, a paper bag tossed on the floor makes a wonderful hiding place and vantage point to secretly keep an eye on the room.

Socks

Grab two socks you no longer use, put one sock inside the other (you could even add catnip!) and tie off the end of the outer sock like a tail. This creates a toy for your cat to grab onto, kick and bite. Kid’s socks are especially great as they’re smaller and easy to play with.  You can also scrunch a bit of newspaper into a ball and place it in the toe, giving it some extra fun sound!

Plastic Bottle Tops

You’ll need four or five plastic milk or juice bottle caps, a straw and some twine.  Punch holes, big enough to feed the twine through, in each of the caps and cut the straw into two or three-inch segments.  Take about a foot of the twine and tie a big knot at one end.  Then, string one of the plastic tops on the twine and move it to the knot.  Place a section of straw on the twine and move it to the plastic top.  String another top on the twine followed by another section of the straw.  Continue this pattern until all tops and straw segments are on the twine.  Hang the string from an easily accessible spot to your cat, such as a chair or cabinet knob, and watch the fun begin!

Get more ideas for home-made toys for cats and dogs on our website here.

 Safety first – never let your pet play with new toys unattended.  

The Joys of a Senior Pet

 

While many of those looking to add a new furry family member to their clan seek the adventure that is having a kitten or puppy, many are just as happy to adopt a senior pet – and why not?  Sure, they may have put on a pound or two by now (but who hasn’t?) or they may not run quite as fast as they once did, but there are so many great reasons to offer some of our older pets some love and happiness too:

More love, less work

No one can deny that a puppy has the ability to melt your heart with a single “puppy dog eyes” glance.  But along with all that cuteness of tiny paws and round tummies, comes poop on the carpet, some chewed slippers and the odd chew mark on the furniture.

Puppies (and kittens) require patience, time, supervision and consistent training to become adjusted to their new life. While many people are able and willing to put in the time and effort of raising a young pet, for others, a senior pet represents a calmer, more laid-back experience.  As most seniors have been living in homes for most of their lives, they usually have already learned the skills needed to be a welcome, well-adjusted and loving member of their new family.  Besides being well versed in the basics of being house-trained, they may even have picked up a few tricks along the way!

Children will be children!

It’s no secret that kids love other kids – especially if the other “kid” is a puppy or kitten!  But, the energetic and unpredictable nature of puppies and kittens can be a handful for young kids.  This is particularly true when a young dog gains a few dozen pounds but still acts like a tiny puppy!  Senior pets tend to be more mellow, calm and can make wonderful companions for your kids – or grand kids!

What you see is what you get

When you bring home a senior animal, you know exactly WHO you’re bringing home and should have very few surprises. You will know what their personality is right away, unlike with puppies and kittens, where their personalities will develop over time  –  and it may not be the one you counted on!

You’re a senior too!

As we grow older as humans, we may not be looking for the 15 to 20 (or more) year commitment that a young pet requires.  Perhaps we see our lives as being more able to travel or spend time with the grandkids.  Making the golden few years of a senior pet happy and full of love and happiness, may be the best thing ever for the both of you!

Generally, pets are considered to be senior once they have reached seven years of age.  You can see all pets who are available at the RHS anytime on our website here.

Leo’s Lifesavers

 

We don’t know how Leo came to be stranded on a Regina street with a badly broken leg one early winter morning.  On the surface, it would seem that his luck had run out. But that changed when he met a kind stranger who was walking to work.

The young puppy melted into the arms of his rescuer, who delivered him to the care and safety of the Regina Humane Society.

When examined by Shelter Veterinarians, it was clear that young Leo had suffered a severe injury to one of his rear legs, most likely the result of being struck by a vehicle.  The break was so grave that removing the damaged leg would be necessary to get our little patient up running and playing again as a young pup should be.

Leo’s surgery went without a hitch in the skilled hands of the RHS Veterinary staff and was then off for some well-deserved rest and recovery in one of our foster homes.

Leo’s luck continued to soar as his foster family had recently adopted Winston from the Society.  Last year, after being shot, Winston also suffered the loss of one of his legs.  The two became fast friends as Winston showed his little buddy that three legs don’t slow you down one bit!

It didn’t take long for Leo’s fun-loving character and love to be revealed with his constant smile and non-stop tail wagging. Once recovered and back at the Shelter, it was no surprise that little Leo spent only a few short days waiting for his new family to find him and whisk him away to a lifetime of love, happiness and warm snoozes.

If Leo could talk, we know he would say “Thank you” to all who helped to save him – the kind stranger who rescued him from the cold, the Shelter Veterinary staff for their skill and expertise, his foster family, and his doggie pal Winston for keeping him company while he healed.  But, his biggest thanks would be to you.  Because of your support of the Regina Humane Society, Leo received the critical care he needed and is living his best life now.

On behalf of Leo, thank you for caring and helping to make sure good news stories like his can continue to be told.

Post-Surgery

Leo’s special bandage

Leo and Winston

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for adoption!

Finally home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveller’s Unwanted Car Ride

 

This time of year, we hear many stories about animals left outside to face winter’s wrath. Traveller came to the RHS after experiencing not one, but two of the season’s perils.

In mid-December, the Regina Humane Society (RHS) received a call to help a tiny kitten found alone beside the highway.  Suffering from cold trauma and obvious injuries, she was rushed into the care of the RHS Veterinary team where it was determined her chin had been degloved. This type of injury, where the skin is torn away from the body, is extremely painful and frequently seen in animals with road injuries.  Sadly, she was either tossed from a moving vehicle or, after taking refuge in a parked car engine for warmth, was dislodged onto the pavement as the vehicle sped along the highway.  Found sometime later by a passing motorist, she was suffering from frostbite in addition to her injuries. Sadly, the cold had taken its toll, and she would lose part of one ear and the end of her tail to frostbite. Dubbed Traveler by Shelter staff, the little survivor was warmed, fed, and prepared for surgery to repair her lip and damaged extremities. After surgery, she was off to a loving RHS foster family for several weeks of rest and recovery.

If not for you and your support of the Society’s lifesaving services, Traveler’s young life may have ended that cold December day. Now, many indoor adventures lie ahead for her as she begins a happy new journey with a family to call her own.

 

Traveller’s unique smile

Post-surgery