critter cover

    September 2007 - Volume 3, Issue 1

    Inside this issue:

    Keeping your pets safe!

    IDog with grapes, chocolate, avocado, and coffee grounds at his feet.t is not easy resisting the urge to give your pet a treat from your dinner plate. For the safety of your pet it is best not to give in. Every year thousands of animals get severely ill and even die after eating food or products not intended for them. Pet lovers know that chocolate is dangerous to dogs and cats, but not everyone is aware that raisins and grapes are just as harmful. Some things that seem innocent can cause severe complications. Items such as rubber bands and string that are swallowed can damage the digestive system. Animals will eat things that smell good to them. Numerous animals die each year from common items such as anti-freeze and tobacco. The following is a list of some of the most common and potentially dangerous products found around the home:

    • Alcohol - It might seem funny to see a small dog lap up a beer, but they have a much smaller body to absorb the alcohol. This can cause coma and even death.
    • Avocado - An enzyme in any part of the fruit, pit or plant can cause a fluid accumulation in the lungs, heart, or abdomen causing difficulty breathing.

    • Bones - Poultry and fish bones may cause obstructions in the throat or splinter after being chewed and lacerate the throat or digestive organs. Cooked beef, mutton, and pork bones can also splinter and cause problems when swallowed. "Safe" bones or substitutes are available at most pet supply stores.

    • Caffeine - Coffee, coffee grounds, and brewed tea or tea leaves can over-stimulate the central nervous system causing vomiting, heart palpitations, and death.

    • Chocolate - One of our favorite foods contains theobromine or theophyline which is toxic to dogs and cats. Dark chocolate is more dangerous, but any chocolate can cause seizures or comas, and may be fatal. One ounce of chocolate is enough to kill a 30 pound dog. Because the symptoms may not show up for hours, you should contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate.

    • Fruit seeds, pips, pits - Fruits with pits, such as cherries, peaches, apricots, and plums as well as apple seeds and pear pips contain cyanide which is poisonous to pets.

    • Grapes and Raisins - A single human serving of either of these can cause kidney failure and death for your dog or cat.

    • Macadamia Nuts - These contain a toxin that attacks the digestive, nervous, and muscle systems. Symptoms include weakness, muscle tremors, and paralysis.

    • Onions and Garlic - The sulfoxides and disulfides in these foods damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more sensitive to these than dogs. Garlic is usually less toxic than onions. Onion and garlic powders are to be avoided also.

    • Tobacco - The same nicotine that is harmful to humans adversely affects the digestive and nervous systems of animals. Because most pets have smaller body masses, even small amounts can be fatal.

    • Walnuts - The meat and shell are poisonous to dogs.

    • Xylitol - Many human diet products contain this artificial sweetener. This chemical can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar leading to loss of coordination, seizures, and death.

    • Yeast Dough - Dough prepared for foods such as pizza and bread will expand and produce gas in the digestive system. If untreated, the expanded dough and gas could rupture the stomach or intestines.

    These are just a few common foods and products that may injure your dog or cat. The internet is an excellent resource for information on food, plants, and A wooden sign saying 'Please do not feed the dog!products that may harm your pet. If you have questions about symptoms you are seeing in your dog or cat, or think it may have eaten something it should not have, contact a veterinarian immediately. Delaying treatment could result in more serious complications or death. Factors such as the size of your pet and amount of the item ingested will determine if it will be just a bad case of diarrhea or require emergency treatment. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a 24 hour hotline with veterinary toxicologists ready to help if you suspect your animal has been poisoned. The National Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at (888) 4ANIHELP (426-4435). You will be charged a fee for the service. Another source is the K-State Animal Poison Control Hotline (Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine). This is a free 24-hour service that can be reached at (785) 532-5679. They request the line only be used for emergency situations. Keeping your friend safe requires some diligence and planning on your part. Animals, especially puppies and kittens, can be like human toddlers, getting into what you don't want them too. If it is not something you would give a child, do not give it to a pet.

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    The Black Cat Misconception

    Beautiful black catWhen a full moon lights the night sky, most people agree they would be fearful if a black cat crossed their path. During the month of October many are even more wary of black cats because they are commonly associated with witches and spells. But how many of these black beauties get a bad reputation when they are neither bad luck nor evil? Black cats tend to suffer the consequences of the superstitions that surround them when they are just ordinary house pets. Perhaps a new outlook on these animals would reduce the fear and superstition many experience during the Halloween season. These misunderstood felines are believed to be bad luck in North America; yet they are thought to bring good fortune and luck in Japan and the United Kingdom. The frequent misconception that they cause bad luck keeps them in animal shelters for longer periods of time due to the superstition many have not yet overcome. However, many people who own black cats would consider themselves lucky for the love and affection they receive from their pets. Throughout our history, black cats have been associated with witches and were also thought to have mystical powers. Many people still believe this to be true, so they involve these unfortunate felines in their Halloween mischief. Black cats are subject to higher instances of abuse during the month of October. OC Animal Care desires to keep these cats safe, so two weeks prior to Halloween, and one week after, they are not adopted out to the public to ensure they will not be harmed. If you own a black cat please keep it indoors, especially during the month of October, to protect it from harm. Even if you do not own a black cat please consider keeping your pets in a room with the door shut on Halloween so they feel safe and secure as trick-or-treaters visit your door.

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    Nina-ID#: A0839887-6-year old, female Cocker Spaniel Nina
    ID#: A0839887
    Sex: Female
    Age: 6 years Breed: Cocker Spaniel
    I am a friendly girl and I love walks!
    Rhino-ID#: A0845217-3-year old male Chihuahua Mix Rhino
    ID#: A0845217
    Sex: Male
    Age: 3 years
    Breed: Chihuahua Mix
    I am a gentle boy and I enjoy belly rubs!
    Alley-ID#: A0840939-3year old, spayed female, domestic shorthair Alley
    ID#: A0840939
    Sex: Spayed
    Age: 3 years
    Breed: Domestic Shorthair
    I am quiet and I enjoy lying in the sun!
    Taz-ID#: A0841688-1-year old, female domestic shorthair Taz
    ID#: A0841688
    Sex: Female
    Age: 1 year
    Breed: Domestic Shorthair
    I am playful and I like other cats!
    Puff-ID#: A0843458-2-year old male Angora rabbit Puff
    ID#: A0843458
    Sex: Male
    Age: 2 years
    Breed: Angora
    I am an easy going and gentle bunny!
    Snickers-ID#: A0840301-3-months old male shorthair rabbit Snickers
    ID#: A0840301
    Sex: Male
    Age: 3 months
    Breed: Shorthair Rabbit
    I am a young bunny who likes to hop about and play!

    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 http://www.ocpetinfo.com/, or simply come down to the shelter!

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    OCAC through a dog's eyes

    Close up of a dog's eyesIf your pet came to Orange County OC Animal Care (OCAC), this is how they might have experienced it. Alright! I'm outside. Let me see what's different from last night. I'll check out by the back fence to see if that silly neighbor cat came by. Nope, I don't smell anything. I wonder what's over on this side of the house. Wait! Hey, the gate's open and I can see what's out front. Cool, lots of great smells here. Oh! There's that cat, I'm going to show him who's boss. Hey cat, don't run so fast! Rats, where did he go? Wait, where am I? I think home is this way. Anical Care Officer unloading dog from vehicle(Car horn, screeching brakes) Wow, that thing almost hit me. Yikes, where are all these things going? This ones stopping. Who's this guy? (Animal Control Officer) "Hi buddy, what are you doing in the street?  Do you want to go for a ride?" A ride, is he kidding, I love rides. Wait, I don't want to ride in the back. Well at least it's cool back here. Hey, you guys are going for a ride too? (Later that day at the shelter) "Okay kid it's your turn." (OCAC Veterinary Technician to Veterinarian.) "I've got an intact male, beagle mix with no collar but he does have a microchip. He appears healthy hold still so we can get your picture." What is this place, why are all these dogs barking at me? Oh, this is interesting - wait I don't want to be in here! (The next morning in the Kennel Office.) "Good morning Mr. Smith, our officers found your dog Charlie in the street yesterday afternoon and brought him to Orange County OC Animal Care for his safety. You can pick him up between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. He is in cage 231." (Kennel Attendant in the kennel cleaning.) "Hello cutie, how are you doing" Hi, what are you doing? Thanks for the fresh water. See you later. (After the shelter opens) "Charlie! Mom I found Charlie, he's in this one." Oh boy, it's my pack. Where have you guys been!? Get me out of here. "Here's your dog Mrs. Smith. It was good he had a microchip. If he had been wearing a collar with an ID tag the Animal Control Officer might have been able to bring him home yesterday." "You're right, we gave him a bath and forgot to put it back on. Thank you for keeping him safe." Can we please leave, NOW! They took good care of me here, but I want to go home.

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    Katie's Korner

    Katie and a puppy

    Are you thinking of bringing a new pet into your family? If so, here's a step-by-step process to smooth introductions with other furry family members.

    • Introduce new pets gradually over a few days by separating them into different rooms and letting them sniff it out under the door.

    • Trade bedding or toys between pets so they can get used to each other's scent.

    • The first face to face contact between pets should be on neutral ground (i.e. if you are introducing two dogs, start by walking them together in a park or down the block).

    • After the initial introductions, make sure you give each pet their own food and water dishes and sleeping areas.

    • Plan on supervised visits until you feel that the pets are bonded with one another.

    With patience and these few simple tips, you are well on your way to sharing your home with a new forever friend.

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    Rabies Prevention

    Did you know that September 8, 2007 was World Rabies Day? It was a global initiative to raise Raccoon in treeawareness about the continuing burden of rabies and how the disease can be prevented.  What is rabies?Rabies is one of the oldest known viral diseases of mammals, yet today it remains a significant wildlife-management and public health challenge. Rabies is a frequently fatal, acute viral infection that occurs naturally in wild carnivores, mostly in raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. In domestic animals, rabies is seen mostly in cats, dogs, and cattle. It is a virus that attacks the brain and nervous system. The virus travels from the wound to the brain, where it causes swelling, called inflammation. This inflammation results in the symptoms of the disease. It is transmitted from animal to animal and from animal to human. Rabies may also be spread from person to person through organ transplantation. If left untreated in humans and animals, rabies is usually fatal. Worldwide, rabies kills at least 55,000 people annually or 1 person every 10 minutes. Rabies is 100% preventable through vaccinations and awareness! What should you do if an animal bites you?If an animal bites you, try to gather as much information about the animal as possible. Clean the wound well with soap and water for 10 minutes, and seek professional medical help immediately. Call your local animal control authorities to safely capture the animal. If there is any risk of rabies, you will be given a preventative vaccine. What types of exposure are considered risks for rabies? Bites, scratches by teeth, and contact with saliva are considered ways to become infected with rabies. How can you prevent rabies? Prevention depends upon enforcement of the following public health policies:

    • Vaccination of dogs and cats against rabies.

    • Avoiding contact with animals you do not know.

    • Vaccination of travelers to high rabies risk areas.

    • Quarantine regulations on importing dogs and other mammals in disease-free countries.

    • Also, keep outdoor trash cans carefully sealed, so you don't attract wild animals known to carry rabies. By closing your trash can, you'll be shutting the lid on rabies too!

    Stop signRabies Warning If you think you have been bitten or exposed to an animal that you suspect might have rabies (wild or domestic), do not wait! Go to the nearest hospital emergency room or medical professional as soon as possible. An animal can seem normal and still carry the rabies virus. Following exposure, the only way to avoid rabies' deadly symptoms is to get medical attention immediately!

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    OCAC' First Ever Free Adoption Event

    These 150 animals found their forever homes!Orange County OC Animal Care' (OCAC) first "Forever Friends for Free" held on Aug. 18-19 proved to be a success with a total of 150 animals being adopted during the two-day weekend event.  Families, friends, and rescue groups filled the shelter in search of their own "forever friend" over the weekend. The number of animals who found forever homes included 92 dogs, 47 cats, eight rabbits, two turtles, and one iguana. The event was offered as a special promotion in response to generous donations received to support the animals at OCAC. Among those adopted were two animals we would like to feature including, "Patches," a 4-year old neutered male miniature poodle mix and "Felix," a 3-year old neutered domestic medium haired cat. Patches came to OCAC as a stray on July 23rd with severe matting down to his skin. A group of dedicated OCAC volunteers took notice of the hopeful look in his eyes and groomed him to increase his chances of adoption. On Sunday, Aug. 19th OCAC' adoption partner group, Friends of Orange County's Homeless Pets, adopted Patches to give him a greater chance of finding a permanent home through their rescue group. On June 16th, Felix also came to the shelter as a stray and was overlooked many times by visitors of the shelter due to his large size and shyness in his kennel. After being featured in the Pet Directory for the Orange County Register on a weekly basis and also starring on KDOC's Pet Place television show, he finally found his forever home on Saturday, Aug. 18th. Patches and Felix are just two of the 150 animals who contributed to the great success of OCAC' first ever "Forever Friends for Free."

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    Upcoming Shelter and Mobile Events

    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

    Chris and Rachelle with their new family member, Gypsy, on February 18, 2007

     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.

    • Saturday, September 22, 2007: Mobile Adoptions for Hometown Safety Day (2 p.m. - 6 p.m.) Home Depot, Lake Forest.

    • Sunday, September 23, 2007: Mobile Adoptions (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) PetSmart, Fullerton.

    • Friday, October 5, 2007: Mobile Adoptions for Tustin Tiller Days (4 p.m. - 11 p.m.) Columbus Tustin Park.

    • Saturday, October 6, 2007: Mobile Adoptions for Tustin Tiller Days (11 a.m. - 11 p.m.) Columbus Tustin Park.

    • Sunday, October 7, 2007: Mobile Adoptions for Tustin Tiller Days (12 p.m. - 8 p.m.) Columbus Tustin Park.

    • Wednesday, October 10, 2007: Volunteer Orientation (6 p.m. - 7 p.m.) OC Animal Care, Orange.

    • Saturday, October 13, 2007: Dog-tober Fest (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) OC Animal Care, Orange.

    • Saturday, October 13, 2007: Mobile Adoptions (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) PetSmart, Aliso Viejo.

    • Saturday, October 20, 2007: Mobile Adoptions (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) PetSmart, Fullerton.

    • Saturday, October 27, 2007: Mobile Adoptions (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) PetSmart Brea.

    • Saturday, November 3, 2007: Mobile Adoptions (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) PetSmart Aliso Viejo.

    • Saturday, November 10, 2007: Mobile Adoptions (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) PetSmart Fullerton.

    • Saturday, November 17, 2007: Mobile Adoptions (11 a.m. - 3 p.m. ) PetSmart Brea.

    OCAC 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 JJ Johnson, Public Education Officer, 561 The City Drive South, Orange, CA 92868, email him at jjjohnson@ochca.com or call him at (714) 935-7681.

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    Celebrating Success

    CJ and his best buddy, AnnieOrange County OC Animal Care takes great pride in promoting our success in adopting our animals to lifelong 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 a dog named Annie who has found her forever home. After losing our beloved Bailey, our dog, Hana, was lost and so lonely. I asked my husband to go and find a dog from your facility. I had two children under age three and had no desire for a puppy. My husband found Annie and she has been the perfect addition to our family. My son, CJ (pictured) has his best buddy with him all the time. They spend endless hours in the backyard. Sometimes when CJ doesn't know I am watching, I hear him tell Annie she is his best friend and how much he loves her. Annie was microchipped but her previous owners never claimed her. I cannot understand why. She is very lovable and so gentle. Thank you for all you do. We will always adopt from you in the future and love telling anyone and everyone about our great experience adopting from your shelter. Julie Laguna Niguel, CA

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