5 coolest things we've seen all week
We asked the Chief of Veterinary Services, Dr. Louisa Poon, at the Denver Animal Shelter to answer some questions we've always wanted to know about working at an animal shelter. If you're just as curious as us, grab some tissues and read on, a few of these answers will give you some serious feels.
1. How do shelter veterinarians differ from those who work at or run a private practice?
Shelter veterinarians are tasked with "herd health" which is essentially infectious disease control in a large group of animals. On any given day, Denver Animal Shelter will have 150-300 animals in our care. Also, shelter veterinarians commonly will do up to 30 surgeries per day which is quite uncommon in a private practice.
2. What does high-quality care mean in a shelter setting?
When thinking about high-quality care in a shelter setting, we think of the "5 Freedoms". The "5 Freedoms" are:
3. What areas of expertise are employed by a shelter vet?
As the Chief of Veterinary Services, I focus on: infectious disease control (herd health); high quality, high volume spay/neuter surgeries; and routine examination and diagnosis of sick and injured animals.
4. Why do shelters need a veterinarian?
Many stray animals come into the shelter with injuries and without a veterinarian at the shelter, the sick and injured animals would not be able to receive timely diagnostics and treatment. Shelter veterinarians also provide spay/neuter surgeries to intact animals prior to adoption.
5. What is the biggest comeback in an animal's health you've witnessed?
A cat with a severe injury to the head after being hit by a car. The cat had sustained so much trauma that the left eye was pushed out of the socket, the hard palate was fractured down the middle, and the lower jaw was fractured. It took a while for the cat to recover but after six weeks of care, the cat was adopted!
6. Have you yourself rescued an animal that you've treated?
Yes definitely, sometimes it is hard to let go. Besides working full time at the shelter, I foster for a few different rescue groups as well. I adopted a little terrier that came to the shelter after being attacked by a large dog. I fostered this little terrier for 3 weeks and fell in love. Now he is a member of my pack.
7. Historically animal shelters seemed more like processing centers, where animals were either adopted or euthanized within a few days. But now, with no-kill shelters becoming more and more popular, how do you keep up with the large number of animals coming in that need treatment?
It is very fortunate that I live and work in Colorado where all the rescue groups and shelters work closely with one another. We help each other by providing expertise, equipment, and other resources to make sure each animal gets the best care and outcome. Without the support of our partners, we would not be able to save as many lives as we do. Another big part of our success is due to the generosity of our volunteers and donors like Buckley. Resources are always limited but with our volunteers and donors, we are able to help so many more animals.
8. Now that the weather is starting to heat up a bit, what are some precautions I can take for my dog in hot weather? How do I know if my dog is dehydrated and what should I do if they are?
When the expected temperature exceeds 80° F, it is best to exercise during the early morning or in the evening, when it is cooler. Always have water available for your dog. Just like with people, certain individuals are more suspected to heat stroke. So if your dog is a puppy, elderly, sick, or overweight, your dog will be more susceptible to overheating. Certain breeds such as English bulldogs, French bulldogs, and other breeds with a "flat face", overheat and suffer from heat stroke very easily. If you are concerned that your dog is dehydrated or is panting heavily due to overheating, seek veterinary care immediately.
9. How do you detach from the emotional stress of your job when you go home?
Processing the negative emotions that come up with the job can be very difficult and to be honest, I am not always successful. My veterinary staff is amazing and we provide each other a lot of emotional support. After all, the people that are "in the trenches" with you are the people who understand the situation the best. WIthout their understanding and never-ending support, I don't think I would be able to handle the stresses of this job. Another thing that helps me to detach from the emotional stress of my job when I go home is a balanced home life. I love to spend time with my dogs and my spouse. I am very active and love to exercise. Without other interests and hobbies in my home life, I would constantly be thinking about work and that would be super stressful!
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We are in awe of the passion and dedication it takes to work as a veterinarian in an animal shelter and we are so thankful for all of their hard work. Thank you again to Dr. Lisa Poon from the Denver Animal Shelter! Stay tuned for our follow-up blog: Ten Questions We've Always Wanted to Ask a Shelter Sargent.
It was only a year ago now that Johanne, of Eugene, Oregon, laid eyes on who was to become her new life companion, Tonto. Though she didn’t know it at the time, this scruffy street dog on her Costa Rican vacation was going to steal her heart and she’d end up going to great lengths to make sure he was able to come back home with her.
It all started when Johanne spotted Tonto on a walk around the town of Dominical, he took a liking to her and began following her around everywhere she went. She fell in love with his stubborn personality and silly behavior, reminiscent of her girlfriend, Emilie, whom she was missing back home. She let Tonto follow her for the next week, they did everything together. Their friendship blossomed over the week she was in there, but she was already scheduled to leave for a distant town. She made up her mind that if she made it back to the town after, she would adopt him. She wanted to bring him home.
Photo by @leazaglinphotography
A week later Johanne made her way back to the town of Dominical. She searched high and low, asking the locals if they had seen this scruffy grey dog running around the streets, of course they had, they’d seen hundreds. If you’re not familiar with Costa Rica (or most Latin American countries) street dogs are normal, like part of the furniture in the living room of life. But Johanne didn't give up, she wanted to find Tonto.
Photo by @leazaglinphotography
On the last night of Johanne’s visit to Dominical, she went to a bar near her hotel to say goodbye to some friends she had made on her travels. There, sitting on a couch between a few of her friends, was Tonto. She was elated. Johanne couldn’t believe she had actually found this dog she had fallen in love with a week prior. She kept her promise to adopt him and spent the next few days getting all of the paperwork together to bring him home.
Photo by @leazaglinphotography
After convincing her friends and family that this was the right thing to do, Johanne and Tonto bordered one of the four flights they needed to take to get back to Eugene. The first couple of days weren't easy, a snowstorm and broken water pipes in her home forced them take the long drive up to Seattle to stay with friends while repairs were made. It’s no surprise that the weather was hard for Tonto at first. From the tropical climate of Costa Rica, to the cold and rainy winters of the Pacific Northwest was no easy transition, but big blankets and lots of cuddles helped Tonto acclimate.
Today, Johanne and Tonto have been together for 1 year. Not every day is easy, he’s still a street dog at heart, but everybody that meets Tonto immediately falls in love and he makes friends out of every stranger, dog and human. Like all love stories, theirs comes with ups and downs, but the joy of having each other makes every second worth it.
We hope you all have a lovely Valentines day and that you’re able to spend it with the ones you love, whether it's your favorite human or your #Buckleypet. Stay tuned for more love stories and other Buckley “tails” over the coming months! See you soon!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for 1 year old, Wyatt!
Paco and Bruno have been very good boys this year, Santa!
Missy is going all out for her first Christmas!
Kobi Bear is looking forward to treats from Santa!
Santa Paws is coming to town and he looks a lot like Jax!
Bear is only 4 months old and already on the good list!
With 5 Christmas’s under her belt, Apple Bee knows what it takes to get on Santa’s good list.
We hope you and your furry family had an awesome holiday season and 2017--Happy New Year!
Thanksgiving is the day we celebrate friends, family, and pets by sitting down around the table (some under it) to eat, talk and laugh. When the day comes to an end, we often find ourselves with an abundance of leftover food. In case you were in need of some inspiration for using your Thanksgiving scraps, we’ve compiled a couple of our favorite Thanksgiving-inspired recipes from “hoomans” that you can share with your #Buckleypet.
It’s Turkey Time!
This recipe is one of our favorites and it’s made by Jennifer in Bainbridge Island, WA, for her two dogs, Finn and Angus, who love Thanksgiving dinner as much as anyone else in her family. This recipe uses turkey, which is not only delicious but lean and healthy. With the perfect balance of protein and tasty vegetables, it’s perfect for your pup! If you’re using the turkey leftover from dinner, skip the cooking part and be sure to use the white meat only and to take out all of the bones before serving.
You will need: 1 pound ground (if not using leftovers) turkey, 2 cups brown rice, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.
Cook about 2 cups of brown rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, cook your frozen veggies according to the package directions. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the pot is heated, add 1 pound of ground turkey and cook until browned on each side. This process is made easier if you continuously crumble and stir the turkey as it cooks. After the turkey is cooked, add the veggies and brown rice. Cook until all of the ingredients are heated. This should only take a few minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool before serving.
If you’re a vegetarian, chances are that your dog will be too. Lucky for you, there a plenty of healthy recipes that don't need meat and are great for your pup! Sarah, from Seattle, WA, loves feeding her dog “healthy scraps” after her Thanksgiving dinner. If all of the ingredients are coming from your table, be sure that they are safe for your dog to eat and you haven’t added too much sugar or dairy. Onions are a big no-no and corn is harder for your dog to digest, so it’s recommended that you don’t feed them corn very often. There are plenty of online articles that will help you determine what food is safe and not so safe for your dog to eat.
You will need: 1 cup of leftover mashed potatoes (or cook up a new batch using no dairy products), 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can peas, 1 can of corn and 1 cup of cooked carrots and anything else you might think your dog will enjoy.
Put all of the ingredients in a large pot and warm them over medium heat. Once all of the ingredients are warm, take off the heat and let it cool before serving.
If you want to enhance the nutritional value of your pups Thanksgiving feast, add Liberty™ Freeze-Dried as a topper.
Now it’s time to feast! We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to share it with the people and pets you love!
If you’re a dog owner, you’re probably aware that having a dog isn’t cheap. From quality dog food, to surprise vet visits, our furry friend often cost us a pretty penny. Dog toys can also end up costing you (especially if your dog tears through one or two a week), so we want to share a few easy projects using old T-shirts that are durable, easy, and that you can do yourself!
Braided T-Shirt with Ball.
This is a favorite of ours. All you need is an old t-shirt and a tennis ball.
That’s it! You and your pup now have a new favorite tug and fetch toy. Prepare yourself for hours of fun!
DIY T-Shirt Ball
For this project, you're only going to need a ball (a tennis ball is ideal), two large strips of fabric, a long small strip of fabric, and a pair of Scissors.
There you have it! Now your pup has more than a ball, they have a ball with legs!
The Four-Legged Friend
A four-legged friend for our four-legged friend? Yes, please! This one is perfect for a pup to play tug of war or a chew on with a few playmates.
Voila! You have a brand new (and very durable) toy for your furry four-legged friend!
There you have it! You don’t need money to give your dog the coolest new toys, just lots of old t-shirts! If you get a chance to make one of these toys, be sure to share with us on social using our #buckleypet hashtag! We would love to see how your dog likes them!
***Also, don't forget that October is Adopt-A-Dog month and we’re pretty sure there are plenty of furry friends in need of a home and some homemade toys! Even if you’re not in the position to adopt right now, consider making some of these toys and donating them. Stop by your local animal shelter to learn how you can get involved!
Sometimes all you need is a second chance. When you adopt, you're saving a life and opening up room in shelters for other pets in need. To celebrate Adopt-A-Dog Month in October, we are sharing the ups and downs of adoption from the perspective of four families.
Chelle, Clint, and Buckley Pet Ambassadors Whitley, Alfie, and Morrie from Inwood, WV.
“We always wanted to adopt but also had a specific breed in mind so it sounded awesome for us to rescue our favorite breed. We have three Jack Russell Terriers, two of them are rescues. Whitley is a rescue (he was from a puppy mill and then given to us by his first owner who said she didn't have time for him). When we got him, he was skin and bones, timid, and very independent. He's been with us for over a year now and his personality has completely morphed into the way that we love him. He is now a snuggle bug, playful, and just has a wonderful zest for life. Our oldest dog, Alfie was severely abused. We were told that he was locked in a crate, muzzled, and then stuffed in a closet for many years. When he got to us, he was terrified of windows going down, brooms, and the sound of traffic. It took a lot of time and patience to teach him that our hands were for love and that what he was experiencing in his life now was normal and nothing to be scared of. There were tough times with both of our rescues even though Alfie was the hardest. We know he counts on us to give him happiness for the rest of his life. Be patient, very patient and just give love - all a dog really wants in life is love.”
Leah and Buckley Pet Sachi from Seattle, WA.
“If you buy a purebred puppy from a breeder there’s no guarantee that it’s personality/style will match yours. Every dog is different and is going to have different needs. If you go to a shelter, you at least have the opportunity to look at/interact with adult dogs to get an idea of their personality and energy level and decide if that dog would fit your lifestyle. I knew that I wanted a pit bull or pit mix and there are so many of them in rescues and shelters waiting for a forever home that it was not hard to find the kind of dog I was looking for (on the smaller side, housebroken, etc) without going to a breeder. I met and played with a few dogs at the shelter before finding Sachi, the one I ended up taking home. I saw Sachi in a kennel and thought she was cute so I decided to take her out to the field and throw a tennis ball for her to fetch. When she brought the ball back, instead of dropping it for me to throw again, she laid down in my lap with it and was much more interested in me than playing fetch. How could I say no to that?!
Ronnie and Buckley Pet Chloe from Salem, OR.
“Chloe is a big, beautiful dog. She is actually a Staffordshire Terrier mixed with boxer. People are drawn to her personality, probably the smile and the way she dances when she meets people. I call it "puppying". She can be very protective but not aggressive. Three years ago my first grandchild came along and Chloe loves that little girl. I became convinced that all Chloe needed to make her life happier was to have a kid to call her own. We now have a two-year-old at home who adores her and they are inseparable. It never occurred to me to buy a dog because there are so many dogs out there who needed a home. Who’s to say that a purebred puppy is going to match your personality or lifestyle any better than a sweet dog who has never experienced the joy of a fur-ever home? The joy Chloe has brought to me and to the family is much greater than any of the difficulties we have had. When a great big dog climbs into your lap and tries to curl up like a lap dog, you know they love and trust you. They are finally experiencing love and joy for the first time in a long time.”
Emily, Miles, and Buckley Pet Lady Bird from San Francisco, CA.
“We love dogs and initially wanted a Golden Retriever or Aussie, but after our friends had positive dog adoption stories, we widened our scope to other breeds that were available in shelters. We both grew up with purebred dogs but agree that rescue mutts are just as, if not more, awesome and deserve a second shot at life. When I first saw Lady Bird (she was Birdie back then) she was crying and trying to shove her face through the gap in her pen to lick me. I was first on the waiting list to meet with her, and she ran out into the meeting area wiggling, soft, and full of personality. You know your rescue dog is yours when you can't imagine living another second of your life without them! The first few months were a perfect storm with everything from giardia to kennel cough and even her sucking the ink out of a ballpoint pen. It felt like we were living with a coyote. Since then, her personality has bloomed and she’s transformed into a furry potato dog that thinks she’s a Shih Tzu. With lots of work, my boyfriend and I have learned when to give her space and what works to nix her bad behavior. She loves small children, peanuts, yogurt, and has claimed all our dirty socks as her babies.”
Thank you to all our Buckley Pets and their humans for sharing their stories with us. Tune into our social accounts for more adoption stories throughout the rest of Adopt-A-Dog month!
Maybe it was four years ago, maybe it was four days ago, whenever it was, you’ll never forget the day you brought home your four-legged fur-ever friend. With all the joy that comes with owning a new pet, comes many uncertainties. But if there’s one thing you're absolutely sure about, it’s giving your pet the best life possible. The decision to bring them to a traditional vet versus trying a more holistic approach is an important one, so we took a closer look at the practice.
In a nutshell, holistic medicine studies the overall health of a person or animal. This means a balance of the mind, the body, and the spirit for a healthy life. Holistic vets search for ways to treat the causes of a disease or ailment, rather than just the symptoms. With holistic medicine on the rise, more and more veterinarians are analyzing pet’s environments, nutrition, daily physical activity, and emotions. When a vet has a better understanding of a pet as a whole, they can treat them with diet, massage therapy, acupuncture or herbal remedies.
Holistic vets usually encourage a change in your pet’s diet to fight off obesity, cancer and other serious diseases. The hard part is, most of the food you find at your local market is made with soy, wheat, corn, and other ingredients that aren’t necessarily great for your dog to consume on a daily basis. If you do your research and feed your dog more raw food, you can give them the wholesome nutrients that they need for a healthy stomach, skin, and bones.
Let’s be honest, not everybody has the time or money to feed their dog raw food and take them to a holistic vet, but this doesn't mean you can’t make little changes in your dog's daily life to help their overall health. Try using our Liberty Freeze Dried as a meal topper - It's a great way to incorporate raw food into your pup's diet without breaking the bank. By feeding them whole animal nutrition with antioxidant rich vegetables and healthy oils and by doing your research when picking a vet, you’re on the path to supporting optimal health for your dog.
If you want to give holistic medicine a try, we recommend you go into your local holistic veterinarian to learn more. You can also reward your pup with our wholesome, all-natural dog food and treats, made to give your pup a happier and healthier life.
For more info on holistic pet care, check out the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association online.
Traveling with pets can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a bit stressful (particularly if your pet can get anxious when you deviate from routine). There are pet-specific logistics to arrange and some extra considerations to take into account, but if you plan properly, your trip with your furbaby can be much smoother!
Written by Buckley Ambassador Dog-Mom, Taly Matiteyahu (@greywolf.blackfox)
Summer’s officially here! There are plenty of things going on, so why not build your outings around the dogs? Whether it’s opting for staycations, hitting the trails, or finding a pet-friendly hotel, bringing your dog can be easy with a bit of planning. You'll be pleasantly surprised with where you end up…. And lucky for your pup, we’ve got a few new flavors for them to try on your next adventure.
Washington native, Will, for instance, took his two dogs Sissy and Arthur to a furr-iendly eatery and ale house in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, Norm’s (named after the owner’s dog). The walls are adorned with portraits of pups, the couches are worn from years of canine cuddle piles, and you’ll find they have a menu made especially for dogs. The best part is Norm’s is almost always filled with other furry friends.
Find more places like Norm’s by checking out online services like BringFido.com, that make finding places to stay, play and eat with your dog easy. If you’re looking for an adventure out of the city, also try websites like Tripswithpets.com and gopetfriendly.com. Stay tuned for more tips on traveling with your pets on next month’s blog...