April 2008

Critter Chronicles Newsletter - April 2008

April 2008 Critter Chronicles newsletter cover

April 2008 - Volume 3, Issue 3

Inside this issue:


Community Service Day

Big smiles as flowers are planted around the shelterOn Saturday, March 15th, 54 eager youth made their way to the shelter to participate in OC Animal Care’s first-ever Community Service Day. With a waiting list of over 100 participants, the event was very popular with individuals, youth groups, and schools throughout the county.

 Big smiles as flowers are planted around the shelter

OC Animal Care receives numerous phone calls every week from youth who want to make a difference for animals. Volunteers at the shelter must be over 18 years of age, so this event was designed especially for kids who want to make an impact on the animals inphoto - This Girl Scout troop shows off their handmade signs for the shelter dogs their community.

The youth at the event left their mark on the shelter after they had completed a variety of projects to benefit the animals. The participants completed projects such as: catnip toys for the cats, handmade bandanas for the dogs, decorative signs to promote adoptable animals, and planting flowers throughout the shelter. Additionally , the participants took a tour of the facility, learned all about responsible pet ownership, and careers in animal care by playing educational games. Parents and guardians that accompanied their children to the event were pleasantly surprised by how much they learned about animals as well.

 This Girl Scout troop shows off their handmade signs for the shelter dogs

photo - Bandanas were a big hit at the shelter for adoptable dogs!The decorative signs promoting adoptable animals proved to be very successful, as several of the animals found forever homes within hours of their sign being posted on their kennel. The animals at the shelter seemed to perk up as their kennels were filled with toys and treats. OC Animal Care hopes to offer more events like this in the future to provide opportunities for youth to show their love for animals. Thank you to all those who attended the event and helped to make it a huge success! If you would like to attend a Community Service Day in the future, please e-mail Lindsey Sevigny, Public Education Officer, at lsevigny@ochca.com.

 Bandanas were a big hit at the shelter for adoptable dogs!

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OC Animal Care increased adoptions by 14.6% from 2006 to 2007. Over 11,500 animals were placed in new homes and local rescue groups.

logo - Find a Forever Friend - County of Orange OC Animal Care [ocpetinfo.com]

We’re Here for You OC Animal Care (714) 935-6848 After Hours Pick-up (714) 935-7158 Visit Us Online ocpetinfo.com

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It’s Raining Kittens

Pounce, purr, and play...the life of a kitten in a foster home is always a blast. Each year OC Animal Care receives hundreds of kittens in need of immediate care. Once the weather begins to warm up, kittens pour into the shelter by the litter. While some of the kittens are quickly put up for adoption, other kittens are too young to be placed in their permanent homes. Kittens weighing under two pounds cannot be adopted as they are too young to be spayed or neutered.

photo - This group of 17 kittens arrived at the shelter in a laundry basket and within a matter of hours all of them were transferred to adoption partners This group of 17 kittens arrived at the shelter in a laundry basket and within a matter of hours all of them were transferred to adoption partners

For many OC Animal Care staff and volunteers, it is difficult to resist a litter of wide-eyed kittens. In 2007, over 300 underage kittens were placed in foster homes to provide them with temporary care. Kittens stay with their foster caretakers until they reach two pounds, generally from two to four weeks. For most foster caretakers, bringing their kittens back to the shelter is bittersweet; as they must say goodbye to their new found friends, but they know the kittens will find a loving home once they are returned to the shelter. While the shelter is filled with kittens by the dozen, most foster kittens are adopted within hours of their return. Within a matter of days, many foster caretakers will have a new litter of cuddly kittens to care for. Some foster caretakers will have up to eight litters of kittens in one year.

While hundreds of kittens are placed in temporary foster homes, hundreds more are too young to be without round the clock care. Fortunately, OC Animal Care has over 240 adoption partners, consisting of local rescue groups and veterinary hospitals. Kittens too young to be placed in foster homes are transferred to the adoption partners. Some adoption partners will provide care for nursing mothers of kittens as well as bottle fed kittens.

With so many kittens arriving at the shelter daily, OC Animal Care couldn’t find homes for so many kittens without the help of dedicated foster caretakers and adoption partners. If you are interested in becoming a foster caretaker, Foster Caretaker Seminars are held on the third Saturday of April, May, June, and July from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. Information and program sign-up will be offered during the seminar. For more information, contact Katie Craddock, Volunteer Program Coordinator at (714) 935-6194 or kcraddock@ochca.com.

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Kitten Supplies Needed

The following items can be donated to OC Animal Care for kitten care...

  • The Guide to Hand Raising Kittens by Susan Easterly

  • High Quality Dry and Moist Food

  • Small Blankets

  • Small Litter Boxes

  • Kitten Milk Replacement

  • Food and Water Dishes

  • Small Bags of Litter

  • Small Pet Carriers

  • Nursing Bottles

  • Beds

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Adopt-a-Pet

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 ocpetinfo.com, or simply come down to the shelter!





photo - Jesse the dogName: Jesse ID: A0852133 Age: 2 years Breed: Belgian malinois mix Jesse is friendly and he wants to meet you.





photo - Camille the catName: Camille ID: A0878180 Age: 3 years Beed: Domestic short hair Camille is affectionate and she would make a great lap kitty.





photo - Tilly the rabbitName: Tilly ID: A0870287 Age: 1 year Breed: Short hair rabbit Tilly wants to find a family to love her forever.





photo - Harley the dogName: Harley ID: A0880378 Age: 5 months Breed: Pointer mix Harley will steal your heart with his puppy-dog eyes and wagging tail.





photo - Jasper the catName: Jasper ID: A0863555 Age: 2 years Breed: Domestic short hair Jasper has lots of love to give and will purr for your attention.





photo - Joy the rabbitName: Joy ID: A0881810 Age: 4 years Breed: Short hair rabbit Joy is sweet, easy to handle, and she does well with children.

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Katie’s Korner

photo - Katie with puppy

Are you wondering how to house train your newly adopted dog? Both young and old dogs may need a little help at first to learn the right places to go. Try these simple steps to start off on the right foot.

  • Take your dog outside frequently, especially after playing, nap time, and eating/drinking.

  • Reward your dog immediately every time that he eliminates outdoors.

  • Provide scheduled meals to your new dog to better predict when he will need to go.

  • Don’t give your new dog a chance to soil in the house, keep an eye on him whenever he is inside.

  • Limit the area that your dog has access to when you are not at home.

Although house training can sometimes be a frustrating process, with a little patience and consistency, it should be a breeze.

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Pet Fair 2008

horse rider holding dog

Grab your cowboy boots, hats, and chaps because Pet Fair 2008 “Get along little doggie” is just around the corner. On June 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., OC Animal Care will host our annual Pet Fair. We are calling all animal lovers to join in on the fun. There will be hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, birds, reptiles, and other critters available for adoption at this exciting event. It will be a day filled with live animal demonstrations, wildlife exhibitors, breed rescue groups, and pet care product vendors. Don’t forget to bring your kids. There will be activities for youngsters, tours of the facility, and the Soccer Collies kick-off will definitely be a highlight. The best part is that the event is free, so mosey on down to the shelter to be a part of Pet Fair 2008! For more information visit us online at ocpetinfo.com or call (714) 935-6848.

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Prison Pups

Four special dogs were selected from OC Animal photo - Trixie and Bosco with their new familiesCare in October to participate in Canine Support Team’s Prison Pups Program at the Youth Correctional Facility in Chino, California. Trixie, Sparky, Cocoa, and Bosco were fully obedience trained, crate trained, and housebroken by a select group of inmates. In return, the dogs taught the inmates unconditional love, responsibility, and respect. It was a tearful goodbye as the inmates wished their dogs well on their journey back to the shelter. Each of the inmates wrote a letter to the future families of their beloved dogs to help them find the best possible homes.

 photo - Trixie and Bosco with their new families Trixie and Bosco with their new families

The Prison Pups made their return to OC Animal Care on Saturday, March 1st for a special event welcoming their return to the shelter. With a new set of skills, the dogs had high hopes for finding the perfect home. Visitors arrived as early as 7:00 a.m. in hopes of adopting one of the Prison Pups. As soon as the dogs made their way through the shelter entrance, a crowd had gathered eager to meet these four special dogs. During the program, the inmate handlers introduced their Prison Pups to their own families and passed along the knowledge they had learned from the program. Trixie and Cocoa were adopted by their inmate handler’s families and couldn’t be happier. Trixie’s inmate handler was released just in time to attend the event and add his very own Prison Pup to his family. Trixie is now living in Texas with her owner who has made a fresh start. Cocoa’s inmate handler and new owner will be released and rejoin his family in late April.

The event was a huge success. The dogs have all settled into their new homes and are continuing with their training. Six new dogs have been selected for the program and began their training on March 14th. They will be ready for adoption around June. For more information about the Prison Pups, visit us online at ocpetinfo.com.

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Malcolm’s New Life

photo - Malcolm the cat

On March 12, 2008 a cat with beautiful gold eyes and a sweet disposition was brought to OC Animal Care with a severely injured leg. X-rays showed that his rear leg had an old fracture, possibly the result of being struck by a car. Malcolm was immediately given pain medication by OC Animal Care vet staff, and housed in the clinic in order to be closely monitored. The next morning, OC Animal Care veterinary staff evaluated Malcolm, and decided to surgically treat his injured leg. On March 18th, OC Animal Care performed surgery that required removing the end of the broken bone in Malcolm’s leg. Veterinary staff was happily surprised the next day to see Malcolm standing in his cage eating, and excited to see them. He had improved so much over the next 7 days it was decided that he should be placed for adoption. On March 29th, his loud purring and loving temperament won the hearts of a new family. Malcolm is enjoying a new life (indoors) where he is safe from cars, animals, and other hazards.

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Calling All Kids

The moment four paws and a wagging tail enter the library, smiles spread across kids’ faces. Each summer OC Animal Care hosts the “Reading with Fido” photo - Minnie the Dog is all ears for this tale of a shelter dog’s happy ending!program at Orange County Libraries. “Reading with Fido” was designed to give children the opportunity to interact with animals, while learning about responsible pet ownership. With exciting topics, interactive activities, give-a-ways for participants, and an opportunity to meet some four-legged friends from the animal shelter, this will be an opportunity your kids won’t want to miss.

 Minnie the Dog is all ears for this tale of a shelter dog’s happy ending!

clipart - Reading with Fido and friends

This summer, a few new friends from the shelter are joining in on the fun. Carla the Cat, Hildi the Iguana, and Bobby the Boa, will be making appearances at local libraries with our favorite canine pals . If you are interested in attending a “Reading with Fido,” please contact your local library for a list of scheduled appearances.

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Hot Weather Tips

The “Dog Days” of summer will soon be here and it’s the perfect time to review some safety tips that will keep your pets healthy and happy in the upcoming months.

California law requires that we as pet owners take extra care and precautions for our animals during the summer months. There may be serious consequences for those that leave their pets unattended in a hot car or with little to no relief from the sun while they are in a backyard. On an 80 degree day, temperatures inside a parked car, with the windows partially open, can exceed 100 degrees in 5 minutes, and over 120 degrees in just 10 minutes.

For the benefit of our pets and their owners, OC Animal Care recommends the following helpful hot weather tips:

  • Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. It can still reach deadly temperatures with the windows open.

  • In hot, humid weather, never force your pet to get exercise after a meal. Always exercise your pet in the cool of the morning or evening.

  • In extreme hot weather, never leave your pet standing on the hot pavement, and keep walks to a minimum. Your pet is much closer to the ground and his body can heat up quickly.

  • Never take your pet on an outing unless you can provide a shady spot to rest and plenty of fresh water to drink.

  • A clean coat can help prevent summer skin problems, so keep your dog and cat well groomed. If your pet sports a heavy coat, shaving your dog's hair to a 1-inch length will help prevent overheating. Do not shave your dog's hair down to the skin as this robs him of protection from the sun. A cat should be brushed frequently to keep its coat tangle-free.

  • Always provide plenty of shade for your pets that stay outside of the house. Bring your pet inside during the heat of the day and let them rest in a cool part of the house. Be sensitive to the needs of older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs, especially Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus, and those with heart and lung disease should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.

    photos - dog cooled by fan

If your pet begins to show symptoms of possible heatstroke, you must act quickly! Move your pet to a shaded area and bathe them with cool (not cold) water. Use a fan to blow air over them to promote evaporation and cooling. Immediately take your pet to a veterinarian! Hesitating could cost your friend their life.

Sticking to the tips provided will help keep your pets happy and safe. OC Animal Care recommends a safe, happy, healthy, and most of all FUN "Dog Days" of summer for you and your furry friends!

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Upcoming Shelter and Mobile Events

photo - proud new owners with dog OC Animal Care is always looking for ways to promote adoptable animals and bring them into the public eye. One way that we do that 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 in which OC Animal Care will be participating:

  • Volunteer Orientation at OC Animal Care, Orange Saturday, April 5, 2008: 10 a.m. - 12 noon

  • Volunteer Orientation at OC Animal Care, Orange Wednesday, April 9, 2008: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

  • Mobile Adoptions at the Pet Expo, Orange County Fairgrounds Friday, Saturday, Sunday April 11-13, 2008: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Mobile Adoptions at PetSmart, Fullerton Sunday, April 20, 2008: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Mobile Adoptions at PetSmart, Fullerton Sunday, May 18, 2008: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Mobile Adoptions at Tustin Police Department Open House Saturday, June 14, 2008: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Mobile Adoptions at PetSmart, Fullerton Sunday, June 15, 2008: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Pet Fair at OC Animal Care, Orange Saturday, June 28, 2008: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

OC Animal Care is always looking to participate in new events. If you have an upcoming community event that you would like us to be a part of, please send your information to Lindsey Sevigny, Public Education Officer, 561 The City Drive South, Orange, CA 92868, e-mail her at lsevigny@ochca.com or call her at (714) 935-6301.

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Celebrating Success

OC Animal Care takes great pride in promoting our success in adopting our animals to forever homes. We often receive updates 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 story of two dogs named Jonsee and Fritz who found their forever homes.

photo - Kisses from Jonsee!

Kisses from Jonsee!

“I just wanted to first of all say thank you for all that you do for these animals. They deserve to be safe and loved. I’ve had two successful adoptions so far from your facility and I wanted to share my story in hopes that it will encourage someone else to realize what wonderful dogs you can find in a shelter.

Several years ago my husband and I found a beautiful six year old German shepherd in your shelter and fell in love with him. When we visited with him, all it took was a kiss on the hand and a paw on my knee to seal the deal! He was well behaved from the start and bursting with love. He was a wonderful dog that will forever have a place in my heart. Unfortunately he developed bone cancer, as is common in dogs of his size and breed. It broke my heart to lose him and I miss him immensely, but when one door closes another door opens.

photo - Fritz the “Peaceful Ruler”

Fritz the “Peaceful Ruler"

”We opened our home and hearts to another dog from your shelter just about a month ago, another German shepherd. He is wonderful, shy, sweet and full of love. It took him a week or so to warm up to us, but now he greets us at the door, tail wagging and so excited to see us! We named him Fritz which means “Peaceful Ruler” in German, very fitting for the sweet little guy. These are wonderful animals that needed a loving home and I’m so happy I’ve been able to provide that for them. It’s through no fault of their own that they found themselves abandoned and unwanted. I am so thankful to your shelter for rescuing these animals so people like us can find loving companions. Jonsee and Fritz thank you as well!” Donell

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