Critter Chronicles Newsletter - December 2005

Critter Chronicles Newsletter - December 2005

Cover - December 2005

December 2005 Volume 1, Issue 2

Inside this issue:


Prepare Your Pet for Emergencies

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina set forth many stories and scenes of abandoned pets struggling to survive. While many were helped to safety through the efforts of volunteer workers and rescue organizations, the reality of the situation became grim because not all could be saved.

Being prepared is the best way to ensure the safety of your pet(s). Just as you have an emergency plan for your family, you should also consider what steps you will take in evacuating your pet at the time of an emergency. * Here are some simple tips to help you prepare your pet.

  1. Have a first aid kit that and be sure that they are includes all the basic medical supplies, and be sure to include a supply of your pet's medications.
  2. Store at least 5 gallons of bottled water for your family and pet(s).
  3. Keep a supply of at least 3 days worth of pet food available.
  4. Have a back-up leash, collar, and pet carrier available to transport your pet
  5. Make sure all identification records (microchip, take in evacuating your at the license, and personal tags) are up to date.
  6. Have a copy of your pet's vaccination records on file and be sure that they are current.
  7. Carry a picture of each pet in a wallet or purse in case of separation.

Be sure that each family member is aware of your specific emergency evacuation plan and where to find the items that are listed here. Remember, your animals are counting on you to protect them and keep them safe in case of an emergency!

* Helpful tips taken from article written by Jessica Being prepared is the best way to Silver-Greenburg. Newsweek. 07 November 2005.

We're here for you

  • Animal Care Center 714-935-6943
  • Stray Animal Pick-up 714-935-6848
  • After Hours Pick-up 714-935-7158
  • Volunteer Information 714-935-6194
  • Pet Licensing Information 714-935-6300
  • Visit us on the Web www.ocpetinfo.com

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Poison Prevention Tips

poison bottle graphic

Did you know that many substances commonly found in and around your home can be dangerous to your pets? Most of us know that chocolate is one of the deadliest foods that an animal can encounter, but it is not the only one! There are a list of foods that can be toxic to pets if eaten in significant quantities: avocados, coffee, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins/grapes, salt, fatty foods, moldy or spoiled food, and yeast dough. The individual effects of these foods can cause mild-severe vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal problems, liver and/or kidney damage.

While they may add a decorative touch to your home, many houseplants can be poisonous to your pets too. Plants like aloe, lilies, rhododendron, and cycads are toxic to animals and should be considered before planting in your garden or yard. Be aware of the pesticides and fertilizers you use to maintain your plants as well. Always follow directions that are listed on these types of products, and do not allow access to these areas until the appropriate amount of time has passed. You can receive a full list of plant names and descriptions from your veterinarian's office, or by visiting www.apcc.aspca.org.

Always be sure that any medicines, house cleaners, paints, and automotive supplies (antifreeze and motor oil) are kept out of reach, and locked in a cabinet or shed. All of these items can be extremely harmful to your animal(s), even when the smallest amount is ingested. Clean-up any spills immediately to prevent your pet from coming into contact with toxic substances. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

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The 411 on Bunny Basics

Do you think you know all you need to about caring for rabbits? Take this short quiz before you consider bringing one home!
  1. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box. True or False
      Answer: TRUE. Rabbits naturally return to the same spot in their cage when nature calls. Placing a litter box in that area will encourage them to use it, and will be easier for you to clean-up after!
  2. Rabbits only eat carrots and lettuce. True or False
      Answer: FALSE. Rabbits require a balanced diet which includes a mix of vitamins, minerals and protein. A balanced bunny diet should consist of pellets, fresh vegetables, a constant supply of hay, and fresh water.
  3. Rabbits do not need a lot of space. True or False
      Answer: FALSE. Rabbits should have a considerable amount of space in their cages. They should generally have enough room to house a nesting box, stretch out comfortably, as well as hop around. Their cages should also be cleaned daily to help prevent disease.
  4. Rabbits can withstand hot temperatures. True or False
      Answer: FALSE. Rabbits need to be protected from weather conditions if they are caged outside, especially from heat! Rabbits cannot perspire, and the only way they can cool themselves is through their ears. Place frozen water bottles in the cage during the hottest points in the day to prevent heat exhaustion.
  5. Rabbits make better pets when spayed / neutered. True or False
      Answer: TRUE. Rabbits that have been altered are healthier, calmer, easier to housetrain, less aggressive, and less destructive.,/ul>
  6. It is OK to pick up a rabbit by its ears. True or False rabbits graphic
      Answer: FALSE. Rabbits should NEVER be picked up by their ears, and should be handled very carefully because they tend to frighten easily.
  7. The best place to get a rabbit is a pet store True or False
      Answer: FALSE. Although rabbits can be found in a variety of places, the best source is a shelter or rescue organization. All animals that are acquired from a shelter are altered, vaccinated, and microchipped.

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Canine Flu Information

Many recent reports on the canine influenza virus have created a big stir among pet owners. Although the canine flu can be a serious illness, and pet owners should be cautious, there is no need to panic. OCAC goes to great lengths to provide our public with the facts and we hope that the information provided will be helpful as well as aid you in keeping your pets healthy and safe.

The canine influenza strain is caused by the h1N8 influenza virus, and is known to be a mutated form of the equine virus which can be found in horses. The canine flu virus is spread through the air from respiratory discharge, and from coming into contact with contaminated dog toys and water bowls. While canine flu is more likely to spread throughout kennels, parks, and shelters, it should be noted that humans can spread the disease to a healthy dog after contact with an infected dog. The overall incidence of death caused by the canine virus is low.

The symptoms of canine influenza include a persistent cough and nasal discharge, along with a pronounced fever. Some forms become more severe and the canine virus can develop into pneumonia. A more common bacterial infection known as kennel cough has recently been associated with the canine virus. Although similar symptoms occur in both illnesses, canine influenza may become more severe.

While there is currently no vaccine available for the canine flu strain, veterinarians will commonly treat the illness with antibiotics and mild cough suppressants. It is recommended that pet owners limit their animal's contact with unfamiliar dogs, and that they find alternative care options when they need to leave their pets for traveling. Reported cases of the canine flu virus have been found in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. If you suspect that your animal may be sick, or you have further questions about the canine flu you should contact your local veterinarian.

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Adopt-a-Pet

adopt a pet photos

Name: "Lil' Floyd"
ID#: A0727342
Sex: Neutered
Age: 1 year
Breed: Orange Tabby

Name: "Rex"
ID#: A0627215
Sex: Neutered
Age: 2 years
Breed: Airedale Terrier

Name: "George"
ID#: A0725977
Sex: Male
Age: 1 year
Breed: Rabbit

more adopt a pets graphic

Name: "Devo"
ID#: A0723824
Sex: Male
Age: 1 year
Breed: Domestic Med. Hair

Name: "Chewbaca"
ID#: A0728754
Sex: Neutered
Age: 5 years
Breed: Cocker Spaniel Mix

Name: "Missy"
ID#: A0726585
Sex: Female
Age: 3 years
Breed: Labrador Retriever

Orange County OC Animal Care makes every effort to promote all of the wonderful animals we have available for adoption. At the time of publication, these animals were in need of lifelong homes.

All adopted animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped prior to leaving the shelter. If you are interested in adopting a pet, please visit us online at: www.ocpetinfo.com, or simply come down to the shelter.

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Our Pets Have Christmas Spirit Too!

All of us here at OCAC enjoy being able to spoil our loved ones for the holidays, especially when it comes to our pets! Many of us treat our pets to special toys, stuffed stockings, baked goodies, or dress them up to play jolly old Saint Nick! We simply cannot let our special friends go unnoticed around the holidays, especially since they bring us so much joy throughout the year. Here are a few stories that were collected from OCAC employees, we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

"Roxy, our Jack Russell Terrier, is obsessed with toys, and absolutely loves Christmas! As soon as the Christmas tree arrives, she is sniffing around for her presents. We can't put any of her presents under the tree before December 25 because she knows exactly how we wrap them, and will start having a field day. So, on Christmas morning, we scatter her presents under the tree and she opens them with the family. Once she's gone through them all, she then goes to work on desqueaking and destuffing them. She may make a mess, but the smile on her face makes it all worth it!" ~Submitted by Kathy Miller

"Santa brings our two Australian Shepherds, Kiowa and Lakota, a big bag of toys (Frisbees, tennis balls, etc). We first let them open up their presents so they stay busy, and are out of our hair for a bit. Once everyone has opened everything, and the mess is cleaned up, we all head down to Huntington Dog Beach. My husband surfs, and my daughter Ellis and I play with the dogs. Christmas morning is usually very sunny, so it is nice to spend time with every one and appreciate how fortunate we all are!" ~Submitted by Sgt. Waterman Leonardo photo

ACO Abercromby's dog Leonardo, enjoys being able to open presents with the family on Christmas morning. He is shown here going to work on one of his many gifts! ~ Submitted by ACO Abercromby

Carla photo

"Our resident American Shorthair, Carla, enjoys dressing up as Santa Claus and delivering presents to all the animals here at OCAC. Her favorite holiday motto is, "Tis the season to be jolly!" ~Submitted by Lt. Susan Miller

"Christmas of 2004 was a very scary time as I had almost lost my Siamese cat Taz-bo (pictured at right). Both of my cats are solely indoor animals, so when reality struck that Taz had gotten out of the house, I was panicked! After posting signs, calling Riverside Animal Control, and searching the streets, I received Taz-bo photoa call from a neighbor who recognized my cat and said he had an inkling of where he might be. Apparently when my neighbor had arrived at the Tyler mall, his steering wheel appeared to move on its own! He opened the hood to his car and found a cat lying motionless on the engine compartment. He went into the mall to get something to remove the cat, and upon returning had noticed the cat was gone. I showed up at the mall after hearing the story, and searched everywhere trying not to lose hope. After looking all over the parking lots, and calling for him, I heard the sweetest meow come from a bush! I called Taz's name again and he replied. I couldn't believe he was alive! After getting him home and cleaning him up, we found that his paws were badly burned. Finding him was truly the best present of all. It has been almost a year since our scare, but we are sure Taz-bo will come around. We look forward to spending the holidays as a happy worry-free family!" ~Submitted by Sgt. Morgan 3

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Mobile Adoption & Shelter Events for December-February

Mobile Adoption Van photo - The Mobile Adoption van makes transporting animals animals easy and efficient.

OC Animal Care is always looking for ways to promote adoptable animals and bring them into the public eye. One way that we do this is through our participation in local community events. Each week we prepare animals at our shelter to go out into the public, and potentially find a new home. Mobile adoptions are a great way to promote animals, provide information to the public, and inform our local communities of the services we provide. Here is a list of the upcoming mobile events that OCAC will be participating in:

  • PetSmart Mobile Adoptions occur every 2nd Saturday of each month (December 10, January 14, and February 11) at the following location: 620 W. 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627.
  • Sunday, December 4, 2005, City of Orange Tree Lighting Ceremony and Candlelight Choir Procession. Event will be held in Old Towne Orange from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 11th, 2006, "Adopt a LOVE-able Pet Day." Event will be held at Orange County Animal Care Center, 561 The City Dr., Orange, CA 92868 from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • OCAC is always looking for new events to participate in. If you have an upcoming community event that you would like us to be a part of, please send your information to Rachel Gorman, Public Education Officer, at the address listed below, or call her at (714) 935-6301.

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Success Story of the Quarter

Orange County OC Animal Care takes great pride in promoting the successes we have in adopting our animals to lifelong homes. We often get letters from visitors that tell us heart warming stories of how they were either reunited with their lost pet, or had found the perfect companion to take home. Here is a letter from a visitor that was able to give "Baby" a second chance at a great life!

Baby' photoTo Whom It May Concern:

I just wanted to let you know how much our family loves "Baby." She is gentle, playful, and happy- exactly the type of dog I was looking for. When I first met her at the shelter, I could not figure out why her previous owners would have given her up. I thought she might have been sick, but after adopting her and taking her to the vet, I found out that she was perfectly healthy!

"Baby" is truly special to us. She loves to go for daily walks, and has her own bed that she can curl up on and rest. I was amazed to find out all of the services your shelter provides for the animals on a daily basis! The care you consistently provide for all of the animals ensured me that "Baby" was in good hands. Thanks again for all of your hard work and care!

~ Sincerely, Mary Dubois Corona, CA

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