• On June 10 there will be a wonderful event by the Herman Bennett Foundation to raise funds for our K9 officers in the Harbor. Please see the ad in this issue and plan to attend. The Breeze will be there so stop by to say hello and pick up a tennis ball for your pet.
• by Victoria Usher
In a case study of one 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his family’s dog, researchers found an intervention program led to a wide range of improvements for the child, including physical activity as well as motor skills, and quality of life. The researchers detailed the child’s experience in the adapted physical activity intervention program in a case study just published in the journal Animals.
Co-authors are Monique Udell of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences; Craig Ruaux of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine; Samantha Ross of the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences; Amanda Tepfer of Norwich University and Wendy Baltzer of Massey University in New Zealand.
Children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy spend less time participating in physical activity compared to their peers. Researchers designed an intervention where the family dog would help improve the child’s overall physical activity, motor skills and quality of life. After researchers and a veterinarian did separate assessments of the child and a year-old Pomeranian for participation, they began the eight-week intervention, which included a supervised physical activity program once a week for 60 minutes and participation such as brushing the dog with each hand; playing fetch and alternating hands; balancing on a wobble board; and marching on a balancing disc.
The child also wore an accelerometer to measure physical activity levels at home. Researchers re-assessed the child after the intervention and found that his quality of life had increased in several areas such as emotional, social, and physical health. Based on the initial positive results, researchers hope to pursue additional studies involving children with disabilities and their family dogs.
• From Dogtime.com
Pet owners searching for an apartment know it can sometimes be difficult finding a landlord willing to rent to you and your dog or cat. But once you find the perfect place, there are certain precautions you should take before signing your name to a lease and moving in.
Landlords are not necessarily skeptical of people with dogs or cats. Responsible pet owners are usually responsible tenants, and landlords who permit pets know they have a larger pool of prospective tenants to draw from — especially ones who are likely to stay longer if they feel their pets are welcomed.
But renters have their own burden. If a landlord is reluctant to rent for any reason, you may have to prove that you and your pet can live within set guidelines and be good tenants.
You should also read and understand the fine print regarding pets — size and weight restrictions, policies about barking, the number of dogs or cats you’re permitted to own — plus security and cleaning deposits you’ll have to pay. In recent years, some landlords have even begun charging pet rent; it’s possible you may be charged $30 a month for your pet, in addition to deposits.
Your ability to prove that you care for your dog may be what gets you through the front door — and it could be what keeps you there.
First, read the lease thoroughly, especially the parts that relate to your pet. Make sure your dog or cat (or parakeet or snake, for that matter) fits within the limits established in the lease. If the apartment only allows small dogs and you own a Golden Retriever or a larger mixed breed, ask for an allowance — and then make sure it’s written into the lease and initialed by you and the landlord. But negotiating might not always work. For instance, if a landlord does not allow a specific breed of dog because it can be known to be dangerous, don’t expect him to stretch the rules.
Be sure that you understand any required deposits. Before moving in, do a walk-through with the landlord to identify existing marks on carpeting or walls. Take photos and attach those to the lease. When you leave, they may help you get back your deposit if you have kept your apartment clean.
The best way to convince your prospective landlord that you and your dog will make good tenants is to bring your dog for a visit when you find the right apartment. Bring along vet records showing that your pet has been spayed or neutered, is in good health, and is up to date on all vaccinations. Show proof that you apply flea medication on a monthly basis. Be willing to put in writing that you’ll keep your dog on a leash when he’s on property and that you’ll pick up and dispose of his droppings; also, that you’ll prevent him from relieving himself in flower beds.
Some of these suggestions come from the San Francisco SPCA, which has had an Open Door Program in place for several years promoting policies and agreements between landlords and tenants. Prospective renters are shown how to write a pet resume and show their dog in the best light. Apartment owners are provided sample pet policies and checklists for screening and recognizing responsible pet people.
“It benefits people who have pets because it means they don’t have to give them up, which benefits shelters, too,” says Christine Rosenblat, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco SPCA.