• Animal Cruelty Tracking by the FBI

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    "The Tracking Animal Cruelty Crimes Act (S. 2439), recently introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), directs the U.S. Attorney General to modify the FBI’s crime data reporting systems to list cruelty to animals as a separate offense category."

    Read the full details here:
  • Wags, Whiskers and Wine Tasting

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Special Event: Wags, Whiskers and Wine Tasting!

    Downtown New Port Richey from 6-9pm, Friday August 15th, Cavilier Square.

    See the labs and taste some wine, and enjoy the beautiful summer night on the Cottee River in New Port Richey. Watch this space for more info or call 727-834-9908.

    Labs attending: TBA.
  • Cats and Dogs, Are They BFF

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Fighting like cats and dogs is a well known colloquialism, but is it accurate? Certainly, many households have successfully integrated both species, so let’s examine some of their secrets.

    1. Adopt the cat first. Research by Feuerstein and Terkel showed that dogs demonstrated more affiliative behaviors towards the family cats if the cats were established in the household prior to the dog’s arrival.

    2. Adopt while at least one animal is a juvenile. Animals are more accepting of other individuals, either from their own or other species, before reaching maturity. In general, the younger the animal, the more open they are to socialization.

    3. Consider breed tendency and history. Don’t forget that some breeds of dogs have been bred to chase and kill small animals. This doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t successfully live with cats, but the process to get to that point may take more time, training and patience than you are willing to expend. A far easier route to take is to adopt an animal with a history of affiliative relations with the other species. Adopting a cat that has previously gotten along well with dogs, and vice versa, will generally make for a much easier integration.

    4. Utilize an introduction protocol. Don’t just place the two animals together and hope they get along. Set up a safe room for the new addition, so that they can relax and become accustomed to their new home. Once the newcomer is relaxed, you can start scent swapping by switching animals to each other’s area and placing items such as a towel or bedding in different areas for investigation. Use management techniques, such as leash, crate, baby gates, etc. until you are certain the two will be safe together.

    5. Provide safe areas for each animal. This is particularly important in the beginning, while the two are getting acquainted. Cats need to have elevated areas such as shelves, furniture, and cat trees that the dog can’t reach. Utilize furniture placement to give cats a safe path around the periphery of a room. For example, place the sofa a few inches from the wall so kitty can travel behind it, but doggie can’t. Don’t forget to utilize space under furniture if kitty can fit. Additionally, dogs need their safe area too, so don’t allow kitty into the dog’s crate or bed until they become friendly and decide to share spaces.

    6. Don’t forget training. Doggie manners will be very helpful when introductions begin and to maintain good relations in the future. A dog that knows basic skills such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘leave it’, and the ‘look game’ will have a much easier time controlling themselves around a new arrival. Don’t forget cats can be trained too! Clicker training is one of the fastest and most fun ways to teach your cat appropriate behavior.

    7. Reward desired behaviors. If your cat and dog have a good interaction, don’t forget to reward them for it. Often, we have a tendency to ignore desired behavior and pay attention to the undesired behaviors. For example, if the cat approaches to sniff the dog and the dog stays calm, praise them both and give a treat if you have one.

    These are just a few ideas to help integrate cats and dogs into one household. If you would like to learn more about cat training or are having trouble with your cat/dog relations contact Jacqueline at Jacque@courteouscanine.com or 813-760-9541.

  • Friends of Animal Services, Inc June 2008

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    This month the Friends of Animal Services opened the new enclosure at Pasco County Animal Services.

    You can read more about it in this pdf.
  • Puppy House Training Basics

    Friday, June 06, 2008

    This article has been moved to www.caninetalk.com/community/joflower/articles/Puppy-House-Training-Basics

    House training is a concern for all new puppy owners. No one wants puppy poo on their new rug. As a new puppy owner you will be exposed to many different styles of house training, some good and some bad. This article explains how you can house train your new puppy using positive reinforcement. Positive Reinforcement uses treats and praise to teach your dog wanted behavior. For example, if your puppy eliminates in an appropriate area he receives gentle praise and a food reward. By giving a treat and praise you are telling you puppy “good job” for eliminating in his appropriate area. Your puppy is more likely to repeat the behavior in order to receive more praise and another treat.

    When we begin to house train a new puppy your puppy has homework and so do you. Your homework starts with a “potty schedule”. A potty schedule allows for a set time for specific activities, which means you will be able to predict when your puppy has to eliminate. Potty schedules start in the morning and end at bed time. Scheduled activities should include crate time, play time and feeding time. Puppies will usually eliminate 10-15 minutes after eating or drinking and right after coming out of or going into their crate. Crate time includes over night stays and nap time. It is very important that everyone in the household follows our potty schedule.

    Now that you have a potty schedule, you must choose a spot outside that will be our puppy’s “potty place”. A potty place is an area where the puppy goes to eliminate only. This way you can differentiate potty time from play time. The puppy should go to his potty place on leash with his owner. You keep your puppy on leash so you can encourage him with gentle praise and treats when he eliminates (you want to link the praise and treats with the action of eliminating). When he does eliminate say “go potty” or “go pee pee”. Remember that puppies can be distracted very easily so if a squirrel looks at your puppy he may forget that he has to go potty. This is a common frustration felt by new puppy owners “he was outside for 15 minutes and as soon as he came back in the house he pooped on the carpet”. Well there are no squirrels inside looking at your puppy and then he remembers he has to go potty. What can you do to avoid these accidents? Try to keep your puppies mind on the task at hand. Tell him to go potty when he is distracted or walk him away from the stimuli. Keep an eye on him when you come back inside so you can look for potty signals. Tethering him to your belt buckle so he can follow you allows you to watch him closely and can have an added benefit of helping with leash training. If you are unable to watch him put him in his crate.

    Crate training is a very useful tool when potty training a puppy. Usually if a puppy’s crate is the appropriate size he will not urinate or defecate in it. His crate should be large enough for him to turn around and stand up comfortably. A crate can be used for over night stays and nap time. Keep in mind that puppies can “hold it” for as many hours as their age in months plus one. For example a three month old puppy should not be expected to hold it for more than four hours.

    How do you know your puppy has to eliminate? Well, you have your potty schedule, your potty place and your crate time, now you need your “ohhh the puppy has to pee” time. Being able to recognize signals that a puppy has to eliminate is very important. A puppy may wander off on his own, sniff the floor and circle or, while playing with a toy, stop and urinate (puppies often have to eliminate after playing and chewing). Remember to always keep an eye on your puppy. If your puppy is playing hard with a toy and he takes a break have him go outside to his potty place. If he wanders off or starts to sniff and circle, take him to his potty place. Remember the treats!

    Avoid any accidents by following your potty schedule, and use tools such as crates, commands and positive reinforcement. What do you do if you have followed your schedule and watched for signals and your puppy still has an accident? Accidents are a very normal part of potty training. Remember your pup has no idea that pooping on the rug is inappropriate. If you catch your puppy eliminating inside interrupt the behavior with a clap of the hands or an “uh oh”. Do not scare the puppy. Take your puppy to his potty place, encourage elimination with “go potty” and reward him when he goes. Punishment should never be a part of potty training. You want to associate potty training with praise and treats. If you are using punishment, your puppy may associate the act of eliminating in front of you with the punishment. This may cause your puppy not to eliminate in front of you even when outside in his potty area. No putting your pup’s nose in his own fecal matter.

    Always remember to be patient. Potty training takes time and consistency. Everyone in the household has to work together. Love your puppy and everything will come with time.

  • Here Kitty Kitty

    Friday, June 06, 2008

    Here Kitty Kitty is a book on training cats. Really training cats! Cats can be taught to do anything and this book tells you not only that it can be done but how you can do it in your own home. Cats are bored and often engage in undesirable behaviors. There is no need for it! Cats benefit from work and cat ownership can be both fun and entertaining. It doesn't take much time and the relationship you can build with your cat is nothing like you ever imagined possible.

    Problem correction, walking on leash, coming when called, negotiating an obstacle course, it's all in this book!

    Available for Check or money order for $9.95 plus $4.95 shipping
    Crawmer's Animal Training
    PO Box 364
    West Sand Lake, NY 12196

  • Bite Prevention Week

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    This part stood out to me the most, "most important is that dog bites are largely preventable. Through appropriate dog training and education of adults and children, these numbers could be dramatically reduced. That's why Dog Bite Prevention Week is so important, because it brings to attention this preventable medical problem."

    The full article from the AVMA can be found below and originally from here:

    There are very few public health crises that can truly be cured by public awareness and education ... but dog bites are one of them. There are 4. 7 million people bitten by dogs every year, and this suffering, injury, disability and mortality is completely unnecessary. It's up to people, not dogs, to stop dog bites.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has joined with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in sponsoring Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 18-24th, 2008, to help prevent dog bites. Small children are the most common victims, followed by older people and USPS employees.

    "Every year approximately 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites, and half of these victims are children, so this is a very serious problem," says Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA president. "About a dozen dog bite victims die every year. What's most important is that dog bites are largely preventable. Through appropriate dog training and education of adults and children, these numbers could be dramatically reduced. That's why Dog Bite Prevention Week is so important, because it brings to attention this preventable medical problem."

    "The Postal ServiceTM continues its tradition of joining forces with the AVMA to call attention to one of the nation's most commonly reported public health problems: dog attacks and bites," says Patrick R. Donahoe, Deputy postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer. "From nips and bites to actual attacks, violent dog behavior continues to pose a serious threat to our employees. Last year, more than 3,000 Postal Service employees were victimized by dogs. We hope that by joining forces we can greatly reduce the risk to our employees.

    To help educate the public about dog bites, the AVMA has developed a brochure, "What you should know about dog bite prevention," offering tips on how to avoid being bitten, what dog owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting and how to treat dog bites. For more information on National Dog Bite Prevention Week and to access the brochure online, visit here.

    Important dog bite prevention tips include:

    - Pick a dog that is good match for your home. Consult your veterinarian for details about the behavior of different breeds.

    - Socialize your pet. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of people and other animals so it feels at ease in these situations; continue this exposure as your dog gets older.

    - Train your dog. Commands can build a bond of obedience and trust between man and dog. Avoid aggressive games like wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog.

    - Vaccinate your dog against rabies and other diseases.

    - Neuter or spay your dog. These dogs are less likely to bite.

    - Teach your child to ask a dog owner for permission before petting any dog.

    - Let a strange dog sniff you or your child before touching it, and pet it gently, avoiding the face, head and tail.

    - Never bother a dog if it is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.

    - Do not to run past a dog.

    - If a dog threatens you, remain calm. Avoid eye contact. Stand still or back away slowly until the dog leaves. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and protect your face with your arms and fists.

    If bitten, request proof of rabies vaccination from the dog owner, get the owner's name and contact information, and contact the dog's veterinarian to check vaccination records. Then immediately consult with your doctor. Clean bite wound with soup and water as soon as possible. If the attack victim is bleeding from a dog bite, immediately take them to a doctor or emergency room.

    For more information, please visit the AVMA web site at http://www.avma.org. For a Dog Bite Prevention Week pod cast, visit the AVMA's Media Library here.

    The AVMA and its more than 76,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at http://www.avma.org for more information.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub specialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

    Since 1775, the U.S. Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. An independent federal agency, the Postal Service makes deliveries to more than 142 million addresses every day and is the only service provider to deliver to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations but derives its operation revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services.

    American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Cheryl Ward's Painting Horses on CBS Early Show on May 14th

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    May 14, 2008

    See the four painting horses make their national television debut on the CBS News Early Show. Wed, May 14, 7-9am.

    Update May 16th: For those that missed it you can see it on CBS's website here.
  • Be kind to animals week

    Wednesday, May 07, 2008

    I am a volunteer at Pasco County Animal Services, Spay/Pasco, Labrador Rescue and Friends of Animal Services. I do what I can to help animals because they have no voice of their own.

    I personally have rescued many dogs and cats and they now have a forever home. They receive good care and have a great place to live.

    I would love to do more bu tI think it is important to do what you can and do it to the best of your ability.

  • May 6 to 13th is National Be Kind to Animals Week

    Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    How will you be kind to animals this week?

    Adopt a homeless pet
    Volunteer at your local shelter
    Report Animal Abuse
    Enroll is a reward based dog training class to learn how to speak dog.

    Remove choke chains, prong/pinch and electronic collars from your dog. Replace with a buckle collar and a new perspective.
    Go to school - don't be cruel.

    To find great trainers that will not dominate, shove, grab and roll your dog check out The Tampa Bay Animal Friendly Trainers website.

    Be kind to horses too paintinghorse.com.

    - National Be Kind to Animals Week was originally started in 1915.