Tag: md spca

Shop-a-Paw-Looza to Benefit the MD SPCA

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SPCA auction

catch of the day fish (2)Though usually on the weekend we recommend getting up and out, sometimes you just want to spend as much time in your pajamas as possible. After all, it doesn’t feel like much of a day off when you’re immediately rushing around, trying to urgently cram in as much fun and as many life-affirming activities as possible. So here’s a Catch you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home– your own bed, even. It’s the Maryland SPCA’s 10th Annual Shop-a-Paw-Looza. It’s an amazing online auction; and it benefits our favorite animal-loving organization while satisfying our desire to shop without getting dressed, as well.

MDSPCA Weekly Pet Adoption: Forget Honey Boo Boo, Meet Honey Bunches

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#73250 Honey Bunches

As told to Vincent Jennings, MDSPCA adoption counselor

“Hi there! I’m an active young girl looking for an equally active home. I love to play and socialize with people and most other dogs. I want to have great manners, so I would totally love to attend Obedience Training since my previous parents couldn’t take me. Please visit me at the Maryland SPCA adoption center and let’s go home together today!”

Honey Bunches, 1 1/2 year old, neutered female, 66 lbs, Labrador Retriever mix

Contact the MDSPCA for the latest information.

Visitation Hours:

Monday & Tuesday 2:30 pm – 6:15 pm

Wednesday – Friday 12:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am – 3:45 pm

Register now for the 2013 March for the Animals and help us save lives! Don’t miss this exciting day of contests, demonstrations, vendors, entertainment and a 1.5-mile walk around Druid Hill Reservoir to benefit the Maryland SPCA. It is our biggest, most important fundraiser of the year, and it takes place Sunday, April 21. Register at www.marchfortheanimals.org.

No national organization supports our operations, and we receive no government funds. We depend upon local donations to make a difference in the lives of animals.

MDSPCA Weekly Pet Adoption: Meet Dream Catcher

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As told to Vincent Jennings, MDSPCA adoption counselor

“Hi there! I’m an older fella looking for a new home. I’m a little different than most dogs since I’m blind, but I’m super friendly and love to be with calm people. If you’re looking for a relaxed older dog that needs some TLC then I’m the right one for you. Please visit me at the MDSPCA adoption center and take me home today.”

Contact the MDSPCA for the latest information.

Dream Catcher, 10 years old, neutered male, 14 lbs, Bichon Frise mix

Join the MD SPCA on FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for our next Wine and Wag Happy Hour of the summer to benefit the homeless pets in our adoption center! Learn more at www.mdspca.org.

Baltimore Food Truck Rally: Start Fasting Now

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Baltimore Food Truck rally this Friday!Baltimore’s food trucks will sell you peaches and cream cupcakes, lobster mac and cheese, crab cake tacos and/or South Carolina barbecue; the problem is, you usually have to drive all over town to find them. This Friday, however, you’re in luck — six of Baltimore’s most beloved food trucks will be rallying in Hampden, allowing you an easy stroll from Kooper’s Chowhound Burger Wagon to Souper Freak to Iced Gems Creation. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase.

Last year’s food truck rallies were a resounding success, and this year they’re continuing the tradition of rallying for a good cause. The trucks will circle up at the Maryland SPCA‘s Hampden location from 5 – 8 p.m., and volunteers will show off some of the shelter’s adoptable pets. Some proceeds from the event will go to the SPCA as well.

We recommend getting there early, and on an empty stomach.

Your Pet Wants You to Buy These Things

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Now that your dog’s hogging the TV, watching commercials broadcasted in frequencies that you can’t even hear, how are you supposed to spend your spare time?

We humbly suggest a peek at the online “Shop-a-Paw-Looza” auction, a fundraiser for the Maryland SPCA. They’ve got everything from club-level Ravens tickets to custom Charm City Cakes confectioneries to wine tasting tours to spa gift certificates to dolphin breakfasts (that is, breakfast WITH, not OF, dolphins). If you really want to make your animals feel appreciated (or guilty), consider bidding on a pet photo shoot, or a “luxury getaway at the Perfect Pet Resort!”

And, of course, the best part is that the auction funds go to the homeless dogs and cats at the Maryland SPCA. Bidding opens today, October 4, at noon, and runs through October 25 at 9 PM… and there are special prizes for early bidders.

AND THEY CALLED IT SENIOR LOVE

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In the pet world, stumbling puppies and tottering kittens get plenty of play; after all, it’s hard to argue with a little lapful of helpless fur. Some would claim that pets get even more lovable as they get older–Lauren Bond, for example. A trainer at B-More Charming obedience school, behavioralist/food expert at Howl pet store, and owner of a nine-year-old Border Collie, Bond can’t help but make a case for the animal kingdom’s elder statesmen and -women. 

“You lose a lot of that tough stuff about owning a dog if you adopt or own a senior dog,” she says. “They like to lay on the couch and go on relaxing walks. On some level, they need less from their people.”

Marlyand SPCA vet Dr. Cristina Mollenkopf, DVM, agrees, with a caveat.

“The most common reason people adopt an older pet is companionship, with the benefit that the animal is probably already housebroken, less likely to be destructive, already knows [its] name and some basic commands, and will be calmer than a puppy or kitten,” she notes by e-mail. “The thing people should consider is that they may need more medical care.”

That’s where the America Veterinary Health Association’s Senior Pet Health Care Month comes in: running through September, the event draws attention to our animal buddies’ needs as they reach middle age and beyond. To celebrate the occasion, we spoke with an array of veterinarians and pet professionals to get some tips on helping the aged and cuddly.

• Keep your pet close, but your vet closer.

Unless you’re Dr. Doolittle, there’s a good chance your animal will never mention its internal maladies to you. The solution?

“Be your pet’s advocate,” says Falls Road Animal Hospital owner Dr. Kim Hammond, DVM.  Hammond, who started the hospital in 1981, recently lost a dog to old age and emphasized giving elderly animals the same yearly physical and blood tests one would assign a human. “They’re not going to come out and tell you that their teeth hurt or their bones ache or they have arthritis,” he says.  “Be proactive.”

Mollenkopf agrees. “There are almost as many specialties in veterinary medicine as in the human field.  So a dog with hip dysplasia can have a hip replacement. A veterinary opthamologist can do cataract surgery.  Just as with people, regular check ups are important.”

• The best defense is a good dinner.

In the late ‘80s, cats’ life expectancies nearly doubled–from one decade to two–when scientists realized dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a common feline death sentence, stemmed from a lack of the amino acid taurine in supermarket cat food. Thus began a zeitgeist of high-end animal food, all following improved American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards. Dr. Hammond applauds the new landscape, suggesting that pet owners look for AAFCO’s rigorously tested “complete and balanced” seal on pet food packages.

“In the olden days, we were reactive,” Hammond says.  “Now we try to prevent animals from getting sick. It’s an equation: proper nutrition plus an expert who can tell you, ‘Gosh, there might be some genetic factors involved, too.’ Whether it’s rodents or humans, it’s all about nutrition and husbandry.”  By the same token, he cautions owners to be wary of dietary fads.  “Raw food is in vogue, but it’s not the smartest thing–it’s more marketing than science,” he says.  “Raw meat can overload the kidneys with protein.  It’s very much not balanced.”

• When it comes to life, quality beats quantity.

“It really is a blessing that we can let our animals go when their quality of life gets worse,” Bond says. “We can say enough is enough.”

It’s a sentiment echoed across the board in the veterinary community.  “The last thing we want is an animal hanging out and not really enjoying anything,” Falls Road vet Dr. Keisha Adkins, DVM, says.  Though she notes the decision should always be up to the owner, she proposes a rule of thumb in considering the heavy topic of euthanasia: “Think back about six months about what the animal enjoyed–eating, playing, and so on.  If they’re starting to not enjoy those activities anymore, then it’s time to start thinking about it.”

• Oh, and you can teach a dog new tricks.

Meds and vet visits of the golden years aside, Bond wants to be clear: Like a Boomer uncle taking up golf in retirement, your pet’s still got plenty of life in it–it’s just a bit more relaxed.  Don’t consign it to couch potato status quite yet.

“They’re content to do less,” she says.  “But animals can be trained until their cerebral cortex stops working or they stop eating.  Until it breathes its last breath, your pet’s still learning things.”

Let the Barks Fly: Neighborhood Pit Bull Day is Sunday!

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Last winter, I learned firsthand that pit bulls, even the most tough-acting, can make excellent pets. I was living in Greektown, and each time I delivered my garbage to the rat-racing alley, encountered a defensive pit watchdog, with shining black eyes and enormous floppy ears, sequestered in his postage stamp of a concrete yard. He barked on fast-forward–he scared me. Once I realized the barking boy wasn’t being fed regularly, walked, or let inside on snowy nights, though, I made a point to talk to him through the fence, softly, woman to bull. We became friends easily. He went from barking to whining when he saw me. Soon my very cool acquaintance David offered to rescue/adopt the dog, and the rest is a Disney movie. Today that formerly raucous pup, Nico, rides gleefully in David’s Camry, cuddles with him for TV-viewing, and hogs his bed. Nico is now the most loving, and loved, elephant-eared canine you can imagine.

This story, not just reader-friendly but relevant, echoes many rescuers’ experiences. I’m not saying that an abused or neglected dog is always a dog we can safely save or that we shouldn’t approach unfamiliar animals with great caution. But pits have unfairly earned a nasty reputation of late, due to the Michael Vick’s scandal and other well publicized reports of abusive dog-fighting rings, and due to the fact that it’s typical style right now for tough, macho, pants-hanging males to walk taller with a growling pit on a short chain (the dog’s ears clipped, its collar studded). In honor of Neighborhood Pit Bull Day, a BARCS and Best Friends Animal Society event this Sunday (dog-friendly party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Carroll Park, area two), I want to help set the record straight, and emphasize that we human beings are the ones who have trained certain bulls, and other breeds as well, to bite and growl and bark like mad villains. Bad breath aside, these dogs deserve a PR-makeover.  

“A lot of people train various breeds to be violent,” explains Lisa Morabito, shelter partners for pit bulls coordinator at BARCS, and herself an enthusiastic pit bull owner. “It was German Shepherds, then Rottweilers and Dobermans first; pit bulls are the current breed of choice for people who want to train dogs inappropriately to fight viciously.”

The weekend before David volunteered to take Nico in, it was frigid out. Nico’s owners were in the process of moving, and had no plans to bring their dog with them. I needed to find an emergency foster option. The nice dog activist woman who agreed by phone to help us short-term refused to house Nico as long as she sometimes held foster dogs, because she feared the pit personality, the press reports, and believed that pits have extra-large jaws and more aggressive DNA, two very common misconceptions.

“The pit bull’s jaw genetically is no stronger than another dog’s; it’s a huge myth about them,” Morabito says.

And Tami Gosheff, special events coordinator at the MD SPCA, backs Morabito up. (She, too, owns two pit-bull mixes.) “There are many myths about pit bulls,” Gosheff says. “Pit bulls do not have locking jaws. What they do have is strength, determination and drive. These things in turn make them great exercise partners and excellent candidates for canine competitions such as agility, fly ball, etc. Owners love that their pit bulls are ‘breed ambassadors’ and help to diffuse the myths and stereotypes that surround the breed. Often you’ll find pit bulls certified as therapy dogs, visiting children in schools, the elderly in senior centers, and more.”

Gosheff says that pit bulls pass the American Temperament Testing Society’s test at a rate similar to, if not higher than, many other medium-to-large, powerful breeds. “The American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier pass at rates of 84.3 percent, 83.4 percent, and 88.8 percent, respectively. Compare this to Golden Retrievers (84.2 percent), Great Danes (79.2 percent), Weimaraners (80.1 percent), and standard poodles (85.3 percent).”

“We’ve taken so many dogs from horrible situations into BARCS–many are pit bulls–and their resilience and their unconditional love for humans, even after being abused by a human, is amazing,” Morabito notes.

BARCS is an unlimited intake shelter, which means they have to take every dog and cat who arrives, roughly 35 animals a day. The shelter currently houses more than 100 pit bulls and pit mixes. Last month, 73 were adopted or went to rescue organizations. Like the SPCA, the city shelter provides low-cost spay and neuter options, crucial to solving the problem of animal overpopulation.

BARCS is open for animal visitation and adoption: M-F 2-6, Saturday and Sunday 12-4
Dog-walking volunteers are needed.
301 Stockholm Street

To meet adoptable pets at the Maryland SPCA, visit Monday & Tuesday— 2:30-6:30, Wednesday through Friday—noon to 5, Saturday & Sunday—11-4
3300 Falls Road

Neighborhood Pit Bull Day
When: Sunday, July 10th, from 10-2
Where: Carroll Park, area two
What goes down: People bring their dogs, receive free treats, leashes, collars, and micro-chipping, free spay and neuter vouchers, and get a chance to talk to professional dog trainers and vets, at no cost. A kids’ face-painting booth will be on hand, too.

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