Category Archives: The Pet Page

Vol. 13, No. 26 – Sept 23 – Oct 6, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use.

SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two upcoming clinics in October are: Friday, October 9th at the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 and a second on Friday, October 23rd at SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main).

Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

Dr. Sisk performed a facial reconstructive procedure on Black Balls.

∙The HSVC (Humane Society of Ventura County) would like to recognize our Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Christina Sisk for her recent outstanding work in reconstructing the face of a severely injured feral cat.

Affectionately known as Black Balls, this injured cat was brought to the shelter by our rescue partners, Foundling Kitten Society. His mouth and lips were completely torn open and he had a huge gash up the side of his nose. It is unknown how the cat received these injuries. Dr. Sisk performed a facial reconstructive procedure on Black Balls and was able to repair nearly all the damage on the injured cat’s face. As an added bonus, the shelter was able to cover the cost of Black Balls’ procedure and the Herman Bennett Foundation was able to cover the cost of his neuter surgery.

The HSVC has many resources to assist those wanting to help reduce the overpopulation of feral and stray cats in our community. We accept feral cats for TNR (trap, neuter, and release) surgeries for free every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The shelter also provides feral cat traps to those wanting to trap local feral and community cats for spaying/neutering. Please call the shelter at 805-646-6505 for more information or to make an appointment to bring in a feral cat for spay/neuter surgery.

∙A vet nurse has recently been made aware of the toxicity for pets, of a fairly common prescription cream for humans. Veterinary Nurse Kaylene Doust, said that losing one pet can be heartbreaking, especially if they are young and their death is sudden. “Losing two young pets within a few days of one another is even more tragic.”

Doust said that these were the circumstances faced by a local pet owner after her dogs accidentally ingested Fluorouracil 5% topical skin cancer cream (in this instance marketed as Efudix 5%).

In the early evening, soon after applying this cream to her skin from a nearly full tube, the owner left the room to answer a phone call, leaving the capped tube on a nearby coffee table. When she returned, she noticed the cream all over the blanket on the lounge and found the oldest of her three dogs had the punctured and the near empty tube in its mouth.’

The woman removed the tube and placed the blanket into the washing machine. With all three dogs yet unaffected, no clear idea of which ones were exposed, and no sense of the danger posed by ingestion of this chemical, no veterinary advice was sought at this time. After a few days two of her dogs died.

∙September is National Preparedness Month, and planning ahead is the key to keeping yourself and your pets safe if disaster strikes. It is important to remember: If it’s not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets.

You can follow these tips to make an emergency plan for your pets:

1. Microchip your pets: Microchip identification is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your pet are reunited if you are separated. Be sure to keep the microchip registration up-to-date, and include at least one emergency number of a friend or relative who resides out of your immediate area.

2. Keep a collar and tag on all cats and dogs: Keep several current phone numbers on your animal’s identification tag. Identification on indoor-only cats is especially important. If your home is damaged during a disaster, they could easily escape.

3. Plan a pet-friendly place to stay: Search in advance for out-of-area pet-friendly hotels or boarding facilities, or make a housing exchange agreement with an out-of-area friend or relative. Never leave your pet behind if you evacuate!

4. Use the buddy system: Exchange pet information, evacuation plans and house keys with a few trusted neighbors or nearby friends. If you’re caught outside evacuation lines when an evacuation order is issued, your neighbors or friends can evacuate your pets for you.

5. Prepare an emergency kit for each animal: To help alleviate some of the stress that happens during an evacuation, we recommend creating and taking an emergency kit for each of your animals if you are forced to leave unexpectedly. You should keep your kit in an easy-to-grab container or bag, and periodically check and update as needed. Here is a list of suggested items to keep in your kit(s):

6. Identify emergency veterinary facilities outside of your immediate area: If a disaster has affected your community, emergency veterinary facilities may be closed.

7. Plan for temporary confinement: Physical structures, like walls, fences and barns may be destroyed during a disaster. Have a plan for keeping your animals safely confined. You may need a tie-out, crate or kennel. Caregivers of multiple cats or other small animals may want to use an EvacSak instead of a carrier, which is easy to store and use for transport. Read more tips for ensuring your pets’ safety during an evacuation.

8. Comfort your animals: Your animals will appreciate your calm presence and soft, comforting voice if they are stressed following a disaster or while evacuated, and you may find it comforting to spend time with them, too. Some animals, especially cats, may be too scared to be comforted. Interact with them on their terms. Some animals may find toys, especially long-lasting chew toys, comforting.

9. Know where to search for lost animals: When animals become lost during a disaster, they often end up at a local shelter. Keep the locations and phone numbers of the shelters in your area readily accessible.

10. Get children involved in disaster preparedness plans: The book Ready or Not, Here it Comes! by RedRover Responders Team Leader, Howard Edelstein, discusses how to prepare for all types of disasters to safeguard families and the animals in their care.

To learn more visit and download our 5 Animal Disaster Preparedness Essentials checklist (PDF) here.

Cassie’s Cats-Fostering, Love and Forever Homes for Cats and Kittens

Jennifer with one of her saved kitties.

by Jill Forman

When Jennifer Thompson was 10 years old, she got her first cat, Cassie. Cassie was loved for 19 years, and now she lives on in Cassie’s Cats.

Fast forward a few years to 2006, a friend of Thompson’s found an abandoned litter of kittens and brought them to her. “I had no idea what to do! I did a lot of Googling and gave myself a crash course on caring for orphaned newborn kittens. I raised those kittens successfully and got all four adopted out.” Since then she has fostered almost 50 cats and kittens, 15 so far in 2020.

She incorporated Cassie’s Cats in January of this year. It is a nonprofit 501©3 with the mission of finding safe, permanent, loving homes for cats and kittens.

She has an ambitious dream to accomplish this. “Cassie’s Cats will be a lounge and adoption center in Ventura. The idea of “cat cafes” is catching on in this country as spaces for people to come relax and hang out with cats. Giving cats a space that is more like a normal home environment helps them relax and allows their real personalities to emerge. This will also allow prospective adopters to get to know the cats and visit with them in a comfortable environment.”

Thompson, 49, has lived in Ventura almost 15 years. She has been a teacher and a college counselor. “My whole life has been spent in ‘helping’ professions and having meaningful work in my life is important. Saving cats and kittens fits right in.”

A diagnosis of breast cancer in 2014 “… was a transformative experience in so many ways and I think it helped give me the courage to create the life I wanted for myself and make changes instead of always playing it safe.”

Currently she is building a support base to raise awareness and funds. She uses social media to publicize photos of fosters, fundraisers, and updates.

Including merchandise. “We have all kinds of handmade items in our online shop – toys for cats, note cards featuring original watercolor paintings, cat-themed jewelry, and masks made with whimsical cat print fabrics! My mom has even been helping from afar, sewing dozens of masks for us to use in our fundraisers. We’re selling t-shirts and sweatshirts too in a variety of designs on the fundraising site The response to all of these fundraisers has been fantastic so far! We are so heartened by the support our community is already showing for our organization.”


Vol. 13, No. 25 – Sept 9 – Sept 22, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and in need of volunteers to operate day to day. If you are interested or have questions please call (805) 641-1170 to inquire.

In addition, SPAN is back and providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

The next one is at the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 on Friday, September 11th. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙Three types of dog foods sold nationwide recalled over high levels of mold by-product

By Mallika Kallingal, CNN

Sunshine Mills has issued a voluntary recall of three dog food products due to high levels of aflatoxin, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mold by-product and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities.

Family Pet Meaty Cuts beef chicken & cheese flavors premium dog food, Heartland Farms grilled favorites beef chicken & cheese flavor, and Paws Happy Life butcher’s choice dog food have been affected by the recall announced Wednesday. The products were distributed in retail stores nationwide.

So far, no illnesses have been reported in association with these products, the FDA says, and other Sunshine Mills pet food products are not affected. The FDA says these products were recalled as a precautionary measure and no adverse health effects related to them have been reported.

“Pets that have consumed any of the recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian,” the FDA statement says.

Retailers have been asked to pull the affected products from their inventory and customers who have purchased the products can return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

The potential for aflatoxin levels above the acceptable limit in these products was discovered by routine sampling performed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the FDA says.

∙Sometimes research provides groundbreaking information that can change our lives. Other times it confirms what we already know, but provides empirical evidence to bolster nagging. A study of pet feeding practices recently published in the British Medical Journals’ Vet Record definitely falls into the second category. A survey of 3,673 English-speaking pet owners in five countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.S., and the U.K.) found that only 13% of dogs and 32% of cats ate pet food and pet food only.

In the abstract of the paper, they conclude: “As an increased risk of nutrient insufficiency and associated conditions have been attributed to unconventional feeding practices, veterinarians must be aware of pet feeding trends and educate clients about the nutritional needs of companion animals.” Which seems like a lot of work to go through to get vets to tell humans to be careful about feeding their pets, but whatever works, I guess.

The Toronto Sun spoke to Sarah Dodd, the lead author of the study, who said that one of the researchers’ biggest concerns was people feeding their pets raw food: “We have concerns, particularly for potential microbial contamination (harmful bacteria) and how that can affect not only the pets in the household but also the people.” She added that people are suspicious of conventional pet food because it’s processed, and they’ve been warned about the dangers of processed foods to humans.

Pet food, Dodd said, is different: kibbles contain a nutritional balance that can’t be duplicated by homemade food alone. And then she said the thing that vets always say: before you make any drastic changes in your pet’s diet, consult their vet!Dogs possess an ability that humans can only dream of dog compass

Vol. 13, No. 24 – Aug 26 – Sept 8, 2020 – The Pet Page

Topa had been locked in a car for nearly eight hours.

∙From the Search Dog Foundation: Topa had been locked in a car for nearly eight hours by the time concerned citizens noticed and called the police to rescue this Border Collie mix. When her owner was discovered in a nearby bar, he was arrested for animal neglect and other outstanding legal issues, forcing him to surrender ownership of Topa to the Western Hills Humane Society. Soon after she arrived, Topa was discovered by SDF recruiters, who quickly evaluated her and determined she was a great fit for our program! Benefiting from the generous support raised by The Rachael Ray Rescue Brigade in 2018 and 2019, Topa completed her search dog training in September, 2019 and was partnered with Rudy Valencia of the Berkeley Fire Department in California. The team is now training and working toward FEMA certification, making them deployable anywhere in the United States as part of California Task Force 4.

∙The North Korean government is reportedly ordering more “decadent” citizens to hand over their dogs so that other people can eat.

According to Canadian news outlet the National Post, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo reported that President Kim Jong-Un calls pet ownership a byproduct of “bourgeois ideology” and is ordering dog owners to surrender those pets so they can be slaughtered and fed to hungry North Koreans.

“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them up or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” a source reportedly told South Korean media.

That report states that common folks in the communist “Hermit Kingdom” raise livestock for sustenance but owning an animal for companionship is a luxury enjoyed by people of privilege. The fact that some North Koreans can afford dogs has “stoked some resentment.”

Soo you dog owners should be happy to know that you are people of privilege. How sad this is.

∙For the first time, the RedRover Responders training is available online to those who are eager to help animals and people in crisis. This online course will be offered at no charge.

RedRover Responders volunteers are specially trained to care for and shelter large numbers of animals after they have been rescued from cruelty and neglect cases or natural disasters. The volunteers provide the workforce which enables communities to address their animal needs swiftly and efficiently. Additionally, volunteers often deploy to help build pet-friendly spaces at domestic violence shelters in conjunction with RedRover Safe Housing grants.

The online course is self-paced and can be completed in just a few hours, while offering the expert information and training that RedRover is known for in preparing volunteers for future deployments.

With more than 4,000 trained volunteers in the United States and Canada, RedRover can deploy its volunteers quickly when communities become overburdened by a crisis involving large numbers of animals. Since 1987, RedRover has responded to more than 200 natural disasters and other crises nationwide, including Hurricanes Harvey and Katrina, Camp Fire, Superstorm Sandy, 9/11, Joplin Tornado, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and many more.

Deployments and in-person training workshops are currently on hold due to COVID-19, but will resume once it is determined to be safe.

To learn how to become a RedRover Responders volunteer, visit:

Since 1987, RedRover has focused on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the human-animal bond through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and humane education. RedRover is a founding member of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC), established after Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on more people and animals than any other storm in United States history. To learn how RedRover is creating a more compassionate world, please visit

∙Houseplants are a wholesome addition to the ambiance of any room. They can provide several health benefits, including keeping carbon dioxide levels down, removing pollutants, and improving moisture levels in your home. However, there are some common houseplants that can be toxic to your furry friends. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), the following houseplants could be potentially dangerous to the wellbeing of your pets.

Mildly Toxic Plants:

Fiddle Leaf Fig and Spider Plant can be toxic to both dogs and cats. Small ingestions of either plant can cause mild gastrointestinal irritation, skin irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea.

These plants contain insoluble calcium oxalates. The stem, leaf stalk, and leaves contain crystals that can cause irritation to the mouth and GI tract when chewed or ingested. Additional symptoms include nausea, drooling, gagging, vomiting, and diarrhea.

In addition to Calla Liles and Peace Lilies, there are several other Lilies that are extremely toxic to cats. According to Pet Poison Helpline, Lilies classified as “True Lilies” and “Day Lilies”, including Easter Lilies, Tiger Lilies, Stargazer Lilies, Japanese Show Lilies, and Asiatic Lilies, can trigger sudden kidney failure in cats. Pet owners should avoid having these types of Lilies in their homes or yards to avoid harm to their animals.

Exposure to these plants are not considered life threatening, but pets that show more severe symptoms may require a visit to your local vet.

Moderately Toxic Plants:

Small exposure to these plants can cause vomiting or diarrhea in dogs and cats. Larger exposure can lead to depression, weakness, and lack of coordination. Additional symptoms for cats may include enlarged pupils, rapid breathing, elevated heart rate, drooling, and abdominal discomfort. Exposure to Jade plants in both cats and dogs may also cause lethargy, ataxia, and muscle tremors.

Severely Toxic Plants:


All parts of the Sago Palm plant are extremely toxic to both cats and dogs. However, the seeds contain the highest concentration of toxins. If exposed, pets can experience immediate vomiting, diarrhea with blood, lethargy, anorexia, and seizures. The most extreme symptom is liver failure, which can develop within three days of consumption.

Easter Lilies are very toxic to cats. Even the smallest amount of exposure to this plant can result in kidney injury and death, which can develop within 48-72 hours. Other symptoms include vomiting, depression, lethargy, and anorexia. Dogs often experience less severe symptoms than cats.

It is important to have an emergency plan in place if/when your animal is exposed to a toxic plant. Have emergency vet numbers easily accessible, including your own vet and a poison control hotline. The APC can be contacted at 888-426-4435. If symptoms are severe and you need to take your pet in for veterinary assistance, it may be helpful to bring a picture of the plant so your vet knows exactly what was consumed. In most cases, it is best to contact your vet if your pet is exposed to a large amount of these plants.

If you currently own any of these indoor plants, be sure they are placed on a high shelf or counter and are out of reach of your animal. If your pet likes to roam your fenced yard, you should consider avoiding these types of toxic plants in your landscaping. Pet owners should context their vet immediately if your pet has been exposed to either of these plants. You can also contact APCC at 888-426-4435.

Vol. 13, No. 23 – Aug 12 – Aug 25, 2020 – The Pet Page

SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and in need of volunteers to operate day to day. If you are interested or have questions please call (805) 641-1170 to inquire.

In addition to that, SPAN is back and providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two clinics in August are: Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 on Friday, August 14th, and another one on Friday, August 21st at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

Molly handles stressful situations much better with CBD dog treats.

Ventura couple launches CBD Dog Treats

It’s extremely common for pets to suffer from anxiety, such as trembling uncontrollably at the sound of loud noises, acting fearful around strangers, or panicking at the vet’s office.

A new family-owned company, Shelter CBD, strives to help dog owners manage their pets’ anxious behaviors. Founded by Ventura couple Ryan and Emily Miller, the firm offers CBD dog treats designed to calm the nerves of stressed-out canines and provide dogs with access to the many other medicinal benefits attributed to cannabidiol (CBD).

The Millers launched Shelter CBD after struggling to find a dog-friendly cannabidiol product for their family pet, a Black Labrador named Buddha. The adorable pooch had battled anxiety since being hospitalized with a gastrointestinal illness as a puppy. Familiar with CBD as a treatment for anxiety in humans, Millers wanted Buddha to enjoy the same type of non-toxic, medicinal support.

Working with a veterinarian and animal nutritionist, the couple developed a beef-flavored dog treat that contains CBD and other phytonutrients derived from the hemp plant. Unlike many CBD products for humans, Shelter CBD treats contain zero THC compounds; the chemical that creates the “high” associated with cannabis and is not appropriate for animals. A third-party laboratory tests the treats to ensure they contain the correct potency of CBD, as well as no trace of THC or harmful pesticides. It’s one of the only products of its kind on the market.

“These are good tasting treats that dogs actually want to eat,” said co-founder Ryan Miller. “We have customers seeking it out for when they have to leave their dogs at home for an extended period, when they’re traveling with their dogs by car or plane, and by people who have a reactive dog.”

Other pet owners use the treats to help their dogs build strong joints, improve longevity, and manage pain. Repeat customers get reduced pricing through a Shelter CBD subscription program.

As part of their mission to improve the lives of dogs, the Millers are donating 5% of the profits, as a starting point; from each sale to local animal shelters. The donations are central to Shelter CBD’s business model, and inspired the company’s name.

“There are just so many dogs in shelters needing a home,” explained Emily Miller. “We just want to do our part by helping dog owners and industry professionals realize the power of CBD. In helping dogs we will consider our company successful.”

Visit or call (805) 203-3311

As if there were no end to their talents, dogs have proved to be remarkably effective at detecting Covid-19 with their super-sensitive sniffing.

Researchers led by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in Germany trained eight sniffer dogs from the German military to identify scents associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, in samples of human saliva and phlegm. After a week of training, they were able to differentiate between samples from infected patients and non-infected peoples with 96 percent accuracy. This boiled down to 1,157 correct indications of positive, 792 correct rejections of negative, and around 63 incorrect indications or rejections.

The research is considered a small pilot study, but the promising findings suggest that sniffer dogs could play some role in the detection and management of Covid-19 infections in the future. The study was published last week in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases.

These preliminary findings indicating that pre-trained scent detection dogs can discriminate reliably, accurately and rapidly between samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and negative controls is truly exciting. We have built a solid foundation for future studies to explore what the dogs do scent and if they can be used to discriminate also between different disease timepoints or clinical phenotypes,” Professor Holger A Volk, department chair of small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, said in a statement.

As summer comes (eventually in Ventura) consider the following.

The temperatures inside a parked car, the bed of a pickup truck and even the sidewalk can be significantly higher than the ambient temperature and can seriously injure or even be fatal to pets.

Here are some things to remember, from the Humane Society of Ventura County:

Walk your dogs in the early morning and evening hours and, before taking them out, check the temperature of asphalt or sidewalks. “Place your hand on the surface for seven seconds,” said Senior Humane Officer T. Vail of the HSVC. “If you can bear it, then it’s safe.”

Avoid traveling with your dogs in the exposed backs of pickup trucks, which can be 20 to 40 degrees hotter than ambient temperature and unsafe for transport during the heat.

Never leave a dog in a parked car in the heat; even with the windows ajar, the temps inside the car can quickly soar to dangerous levels.

At home, if your pets are outdoors or contained in a hot space, it is crucial to have a proper setup for them. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water (in the shade) in a nontip, light-colored plastic container and ensure they have access to proper shelter. In addition, HSVC Humane Officer K. King said, “If you live in a particularly hot area, it’s important to have proper ventilation at all times.”

If your pets show any sign of heat distress, remove them from the situation immediately, give them a limited amount of water, douse them in cool (not cold) water, and seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Signs of heatstroke (hyperthermia) and other heat distress in dogs can include panting, drooling, salivating, agitation, a bright red tongue, very red or pale gums, an increased heartrate, breathing distress, vomiting and diarrhea.

To avoid the danger in the first place, keep your pets indoors during the hottest part of the day. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Take them outside only when the ambient temperatures are mild.

Vol. 13, No. 22 – July 29 – Aug 11, 2020 – The Pet Page

Just before 8 p.m. on June 18, 2020, Handler Eric Darling received a call from the Ventura County Fire Department to assist in confirming no one was left behind after a fire in a drainage pipe in Santa Paula, CA. The tube is a space known to be used as a shelter by the homeless in the area, so it needed to be thoroughly checked.

Both of Eric’s search dogs — Mazie, a human remains detection canine, and Ben, a 12-year-old SDF-trained live find canine — searched well and made quick work of their mission. Eric shared that this may well be Ben’s last deployment as he recently completed his fourth FEMA Certification in February and is already past the age when most search dogs retire.

Search dogs in training at the Search Dog Foundation (SDF)are climbing to new heights

Search dogs in training are climbing to new heights at the campus, thanks to new agility space

In June, SDF celebrated the completion of the latest training area on the campus — the new Paws For Play Agility Yard! Generously provided by longtime SDF friend and supporter, Marie Morrisroe, the welcoming new space is fully enclosed, allowing for more off-leash work with dogs who may not be as far along in their training, and new pieces of agility equipment, including a sway bridge and raised platforms.

Judging by all the happy tail wags, it seems canines-in-training are loving the new area to run and play, while also learning valuable skills needed for disaster search. Coupled with our other existing agility equipment under our covered training arena, the new agility area enables the SDF Training Team to work with multiple canine recruits simultaneously, providing more repetitions on the obstacles and more training interactions every day. The agility exercises foster better footing stability for our canines when they eventually search the rubble pile, giving them confidence and helping to minimize the risk of injuries – all while having fun while they are at it!

∙What to consider as dog adoptions surge during pandemic:

Four Tips from Susan Marie, Host of The Doggy Diva Show

As word grew that people were going to have to shelter-in-place for an unspecified length of time, animal shelters began to empty. Thousands of people realized that they may be lonely during this time of social-distancing from family and friends. In some situations, parents came to the conclusion that their children needed a happy diversion and agreed to add a furkid to their family. Whatever the reason, shelters began to empty and animal lovers, like myself, were thrilled. However, families are seeking guidance on what dog might be right for them. Those who have already added a dog to their family are concerned with how to keep their new pet happy. Below are some points to consider, as you ponder which animal to bring home and what to do once they step their excited paws through your threshold.

1. The coronavirus pandemic will not last forever, but adopting your “furever friend” is a lifetime commitment of unconditional love. The first thing to consider is your family’s lifestyle. Are you looking for a dog that is high energy that will join the kids in playful romps in the yard and long runs? Or are you looking for a less active dog who enjoys binge watching TV while you are on Zoom meetings and the kids are in online classes? Do you want your dog to be happy with a leisurely walk after dinner and easy, quiet fun in the home or yard? A senior citizen might consider a smaller senior pup who enjoys cuddling on the sofa and healthy snacks. It is important to keep in mind your pup’s breed, size and temperament when considering what your home and lifestyle can reasonably accommodate. Though the adoption process itself may differ slightly during COVID-19, please feel free to contact your local shelter and rescue organization and they will gladly help you choose the “furever friend” that is best for your home and family.

2. Consider preparing for the pandemic as you would to prepare for a disaster, like hurricane season. Compile a first aid kit and an emergency kit and for your pet that includes at least two weeks of food and treats, medications, medical records, veterinarian(s) contact information. Also be sure to have all necessary everyday supplies, such as collars, leashes, harnesses and disposable bags. Make sure your dog has ID tags and is microchipped with your current contact information as well as that of an emergency contact outside the area.

3. How much time will you be able to spend with your dog during and after the pandemic? More time spent at home together while you work from home is a great opportunity to bond with your furkid and also increases your availability to train. For some behavioral concerns, including separation anxiety, please contact a professional trainer who may offer online classes. When you return to work, keep in mind who will look after your pup during the day. You may decide to take your pup to doggy day care or hire a professional pet sitter to visit your home in the morning and afternoon for bathroom breaks and exercise.

4. If adopting is something that you may not be able to commit to at this time, please consider fostering a dog. Contact your local shelter or rescue organization to see if they have a foster plan that better suits your family’s lifestyle. Keep in mind adopting a pet into your family is a lifetime commitment that will change both of your lives “furever.”

For over fifteen years, Susan Marie has been spreading the word about puppy love through her national weekly radio show, The Doggy Diva Show. Susan is also the author of the award-winning Miss Olive children’s book trilogy The Doggy Diva Diaries.

Hi and Lois

Intelligent Life

Beetle Bailey

Vol. 13, No. 21 – July 15 – July 28, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and in dire need of volunteers to operate day to day. If you are interested or have questions please call (805) 641-1170 to inquire.

In addition to that, SPAN is back and providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two clinics in July are: Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 on Friday, July 17th, and another one on Friday, July 31st at Shiell Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙Your dog might be older than you think

By Dr. Chad Dodd, Veterinarian

We have always thought our dogs age seven years for every one of ours, but new research shows that puppies age much faster than humans, so that ratio is wrong.

According to a study from the University of California San Diego, a one-year-old dog is more like a 30 year-old human. That’s because new genetic evidence shows puppies and younger dogs age at a faster pace. Then, as dogs age, the process slows down, so researchers found that a 12-year-old Labrador is similar to a 70-year old human.

Dogs live an average of 12 years. Life expectancy in humans is about 5 times that. That means you’ve probably been estimating your dog’s human age equivalent incorrectly. The researchers found that a 6-year-old dog would be the human equivalent of about 60 years old.

Veterinarian Chad Dodd says, “this means we should be checking a dog’s mobility sooner, even if there are no outward signs.”

Whether 2 years old or 12, Dr. Dodd has some tips to make sure your dog is ready for a brisk walk or dog park or has joint issues:

Check their joints – is Fido a bit creaky from sitting on your lap or under your office desk? If your dog is limping, licking at joints, hesitant to walk on hard surfaces, and not jumping onto your bed as usual, they might have more challenging joint issues. It’s key to keep joints healthy for your dog’s mobility throughout their life, and now biology is showing that there might be joint issues at a younger age.

Build up their stamina – your dog just might be a little out of practice. Start with two, 15-minute walks a day and see how they do.

Start with a game of tag – grab your dog’s favorite toy, toss it, and then race your dog to retrieve it.

Play hide and seek – with some kibble or favorite toys to get your dog moving outdoors or around the house to keep up their activity levels.

Ask your vet for advice and consider adding a joint supplement to their diet to support their joint health. Even if there are no outward signs, given this new study, you might consider a joint supplement at 3 or 4 years-old vs. 7 or 8.

∙By Alexis Stevens, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Georgia dog is believed to be the second in the country to positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, the state Department of Public Health said Wednesday.

The owners of the 6-year-old mixed breed dog tested positive for the coronavirus, the DPH said. But the dog did not have any evidence of respiratory disease. The animal did have a sudden onset of neurological illness, which progressed quickly over a matter of days, health officials said. The dog was humanely euthanized.

The first U.S. case of an animal testing positive for COVID-19 was a tiger at a NY zoo, according to the CDC. A small number of pet cats have tested positive for the virus, which was also discovered in mink on multiple farms in the Netherlands, the CDC said. On June 2, the USDA said a German shepherd in New York state was the first in the U.S. to test positive for the coronavirus. Despite the animals that have tested positive, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the CDC.

People who test positive for COVID-19 should take precautions if they have pets in the household, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.

Avoid contact with your pet including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.

If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

Paw’s Corner

By Sam Mazzotta

Fostering a Pet vs. Adopting

Dear Paw’s Corner: What is the difference between pet adoption and fostering? — Jess in Knoxville

Dear Jess: An adopted pet is going to his or her forever home, a successful story every animal shelter wants to see replay again and again. But many pets aren’t quite ready to be adopted. They may be too young. They may be recovering from abuse and injuries. They may need to be observed to figure out what home environment is best for them.

Sometimes, a shelter runs out of space. And some rescue organizations don’t have shelter facilities at all. In all these circumstances, this is where foster families come into play.

A foster is a temporary arrangement, either for a predetermined amount of time or until a pet is adopted. Rather than being stuck in a chilly kennel with little interaction, a foster pet stays in a warm, loving home — an arrangement that vastly reduces their stress and helps them heal.

Some pets are never ready for adoption and remain a foster for the rest of their life. Others are adopted by the foster family if approved by the rescue organization.

Caring for a foster pet takes dedication, and it helps to have experience caring for pets. If you’re interested in being a foster parent to a pet, check with the local shelter or rescue group. They will have an application for you to fill out, and then will evaluate you and your living space to determine if you are a good fit for the foster program and which pets would do best in your care.

(c) 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

Vol. 13, No. 20 – July 1 – July 14, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙4th of July pet safety

by Amy King

Summer is here and the 4th of July is just around the corner! While you may be celebrating the holiday a little differently this year, it is still very important to remember these dos and don’ts to keep your pets safe.

Fireworks. Keep your pets away from any and all fireworks! These noises can terrify animals and will cause them to run away. The safest place for your pet during this time is in a secure room indoors. Remember that animals can hear things that we can’t, so be mindful of your animal’s behavior. Make sure that your pets are in a safe enclosed area like a crate or bedroom. Leave a TV or radio on for them and tune it to a channel or station that is soothing.

Heat Stroke. Temperatures in the summer can easily reach the triple digits. Provide all animals attending your holiday festivities with access to the same comforts as your human guests. Remember that your pets don’t wear shoes, so make sure they stay off the pavement, concrete, and sand as it can reach over 130 degrees. Make sure there is a shaded area and plenty of fresh water available at all times. Adding a few ice cubes to a bowl of water can make drinking more enticing to help pets stay hydrated.

Identification & Collar. Make sure your animal is always wearing an ID tag and a secure collar. We highly recommend that you have your pet microchipped. Microchips make it much easier to reunite lost pets with their owners. Make sure you have a recent photo of your animal handy in case they do escape to help identify them.

Food & Drinks. Keeping your pet on their normal diet is the safest way to keep them from suffering from any type of food-related illness. Dogs left unsupervised can easily get into things that are potentially hazardous such as bones, twine, and toothpicks. Foods like onions, avocados, grapes, and yeast dough can be very dangerous to your animal’s health. Don’t forget to keep alcoholic drinks away from your pets!

Insect Repellant & Sunscreen. Do not apply any insect repellant or sunscreen on your animal that is not specifically made for pets! Animals may lick off these topical lotions and become very sick. Insect repellant with the ingredient DEET can cause neurological problems in your animal. Signs that your pet may have ingested one of these include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Products such as Citronella candles and insect coils should be kept away from animals at all times. If ingested, it can affect their nervous system and even result in death.

Applying these safety precautions throughout the long weekend will help ensure that you and pets have a fun and safe holiday! The HSVC will be closed on July 4th in observance of the holiday.

∙More people than ever before are opening their hearts and homes to puppies during the coronavirus pandemic. For those who are self-isolating, puppies provide welcome wagging tails and comforting cuddles. Plus, many puppy seekers are discovering they now have the crucial element needed to raise a good dog: time.

So, is now the right time to get a puppy? The answer to that question depends on each person and family. Were you prepared to get a puppy before COVID-19? Do you have the financial stability and resources? Do you have access to a vet? After you return to your normal schedule, are you prepared to continue caring for your dog? Make sure you are prepared to socialize your puppy during social distancing.

For those who are fully prepared for the responsibility puppyhood brings, it’s a perfect time to help a new pet adjust to their home and work on essential training skills. ∙

If you decide to get a puppy, make sure you wash your hands, clothes, and shoes before and after picking up your new dog. Stay at least 6-12 feet from any breeder or person. Do not make any stops on the way to the breeder, and complete payment and paperwork ahead of time. While dogs are not currently at risk of contracting COVID-19, it is possible an infected person could transmit it from their mouth to the dog’s fur or face, and you could pick it up from touching the dog then touching your face.

Curious about what it’s really like to get a puppy right now?

Brian Goldberg, Sam Busa, and Barkley: “He brings a lot of joy to people.”

Brian Goldberg and his wife, Sam Busa, spoke for months before the pandemic about bringing home a puppy. But between careers and commutes, these new homeowners couldn’t get the timing right. When their jobs transitioned to remote, they realized they had a unique opportunity.

That’s when Goldberg began reaching out to breeders within a 250-mile radius in search of the perfect pup. The couple knew what they wanted: an 8- to 10-week-old male Golden Retriever puppy.

Goldberg began by sorting through breeders on the AKC Marketplace. He found a breeder in Vermont, three hours away, that had one available.

Since the breeder was far away, most communication was virtual. They traded questions, videos, and photos over the phone before meeting.

The couple knew they wanted to make the final decision in person. When they met the breeder, they stayed six feet apart and weren’t allowed to enter any buildings. The puppy walked toward Goldberg and Busa, and they knew this was the one they wanted. They scooped the puppy off the ground without ever coming closer to the breeder.

“It felt pretty weird not to shake hands with the guy who just gave you a pup but we took all the precautions we could,” said Goldberg, “and then we brought him home.”

In the span of a week, they went from talking about puppyhood to welcoming 8-week-old Barkley to their home.

Even taking Barkley to his first veterinarian visit was different during the coronavirus. Goldberg had to determine which veterinarians were open. He then did a curbside appointment with a veterinarian dressed in full PPE gear. Though Goldberg was sad he couldn’t go inside with his new puppy, he understood the importance of safety. Goldberg and Busa ordered every puppy necessity online instead of shopping for supplies.

Barkley is now an honorary staff member as he entertains their colleagues during Zoom meetings.

“I think he brings a lot of joy to people who are otherwise kind of down these days,” said Goldberg. “It’s wonderful to have him at home. He’s been a very pleasant distraction. Our moods have 100 percent improved since having him. Now it’s much more pleasurable to be stuck in the house.”

Vol. 13, No. 19 – June 17 – June 30, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙ SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and in dire need of volunteers to operate day to day. If you are interested or have questions, please call (805) 641-1170 to inquire.

In addition to that, SPAN is back and providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

The next one is Friday, June 26th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015.

Please call to schedule an appointment

(805) 584-3823.

K-9 Boss, is a Belgium Malinois

∙ K-9 Boss, is a Belgium Malinois who has worked for the City of Miami Police Department for seven years. His K-9 unit recently received a grant to assist with his medical expenses. The collaborative grant is from the local National Police Dog Foundation and the Search Dog Foundation who administers funds provided by the Petco Foundation for the treatment of cancer in K-9s.

K-9 Boss is charged with responding to situations that necessitate the specialized skills of the canine teams. As a dual-purpose canine, these situations include interior and exterior searches, evidence searches, and narcotic detection. Boss participates weekly in-service training and must pass annual proficiency evaluations.

Boss participated in the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) National Trials. He placed 2nd in obedience, 2nd in team trials, and was placed 11th overall dog in the nation.

Boss was found to have a cancerous growth in his spleen. His one-month recovery from the spleen removal was followed by three weeks limited duty. He also received time off for bloat surgery.

Despite all of the spleen’s functions, dogs can live normally without their spleen. Most dogs never have a problem.

“K-9 Boss is definitely a fighter. Even the doctors are amazed on how well he’s recovered from his surgeries. He’s eager to work and still gives Sgt. Perez a good pull when he’s out training. K-9 Boss is here with us to thanks to the amazing service and care provided by Knowles Animal Clinics, says Lieutenant Maurice Sodre, City of Miami Police Department SWAT/Canine K-9 unit.

∙Animal rights groups choose Coronavirus over your safety

By Matthew R. Bailey

Fortunately, the world’s top medical researchers are working on a vaccine for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. That vaccine is poised to be the product of animal research. It’s a case study in how crucial animal research is to improving public health.

Two researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison just announced that they’ll “test medical countermeasures such as vaccines and therapeutics” in nonhuman primates. They hope to discover how much of the coronavirus enters the body, where it infects the lungs, and how immune systems respond to it.

Scientists at New York-based biotechnology company Regeneron are working with mice to see how they respond after being infected with the coronavirus. Researchers have modified the mice’s genetic code to mimic a human’s immune system. They hope to use antibodies the mice generate following infection to develop an effective treatment.

Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health is investigating whether an existing antiviral drug, “remdesivir” might work against COVID-19. Originally developed using rhesus macaques, remdesivir is effective against Nipah virus, Ebola, and “MERS,” another coronavirus strain that has killed over 800 people since first emerging in 2012.

The initial results have been promising. A 35-year-old American coronavirus patient recently used Washington’s “compassionate use” laws, which allow critically ill patients to access unlicensed drugs, to gain access to remdesivir. He quickly recovered, but it’s too early to definitively attribute his recovery to the drug.

Researchers working on vaccines or treatments for threats like COVID-19 depend on animal models because they provide the closest approximation of how a potential therapy will operate in the human body.

The interaction between a promising vaccine or treatment and a living organism is too complex to replicate in a petri dish or computer simulation. For this work, there’s simply no substitute for a live animal model.

That’s why animal research is the basis for so many medical advances, including vaccines for measles and polio as well as life-saving diabetes drugs.

Consider the progress against HIV/AIDS. A few decades ago, the virus killed more people between the ages of 25 and 44 than any other disease in a number of communities nationwide. An HIV diagnosis was effectively a death sentence.

No more. Powerful drug cocktails have rendered HIV/AIDS a manageable disease. Those medicines were developed using macaque monkeys and “humanized mice” genetically modified to have compromised immune systems that more closely approximate human patients with HIV. Animal research yielded AZT, the breakthrough HIV/AIDS drug cocktail approved by the FDA in 1987.

Despite the medical progress animal research has enabled, some activists are trying to restrict its use by arguing that it’s inhumane. But animal research is tightly regulated by the federal government. Just like in hospitals, researchers are required to use appropriate anesthetic and analgesic drugs to ensure animals don’t experience pain. Those responsible for overseeing research must certify that use of animals is necessary. Even then, scientists are required to use as few as possible.

Yet according to a Pew survey, slightly less than half of Americans — 46 percent — favor animal research. Once animal research yields a treatment for the coronavirus, perhaps the remainder will change their minds.

Matthew R. Bailey is president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research. This piece originally ran in the Detroit News.


Vol. 13, No. 18 – June 3 – June 16, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and in dire need of volunteers to operate day to day. If you are interested or have questions please call (805) 641-1170 to inquire.

In addition to that, SPAN is back and providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two clinics in June are: Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 on Friday, June 12th, and Friday, June 26th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙Wondering how popular your pooch really is? Now you can find out. The most popular dog breeds of 2019 were released on May 1, 2020 (also National Purebred Dog Day) based on 2019 AKC registration statistics.

It may come as no surprise that the Labrador Retriever takes the top spot for the 29th year in a row, but other big movers and shakers include the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which broke into the top 10 this year for the first time ever. Other notable changes include the Icelandic Sheepdog, which jumped up 24 spots since last year.

So why do registration statistics matter? Registration is not only beneficial for your dog, but for dogs everywhere. The American Kennel Club and its affiliates have donated over $38 million to canine health research and $7 million to pet disaster relief.

Additionally, the AKC is the only purebred dog registry in the United States that maintains a systematic and sustained investigation and inspection effort. The AKC conducts thousands of inspections each year to ensure compliance with standards that support the health, safety, and welfare of dogs and the environments in which they live.

Shih Tzu’s were number 20 so, obviously being adorable doesn’t count for much.

∙Working from home can be an adjustment, not just for you, but your pets too.

By Christopher Gavin, Staff

As Dr. Edward Schettino, vice president of animal welfare and veterinary services at the Animal Rescue League of Boston points out, your dog or cat may not be thrilled with no longer having the house to themselves all day.

Keeping a routine is important.

Dogs are creatures of habit, according to Schettino. (There’s a good chance your cat, however, will just keep their routine humming on their own.)

The dog park isn’t really the place for social distancing, so don’t underestimate the power of a good walk.

“Taking your dog on a long walk, just exhausting your dog, will keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated,” Schettino said.

Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center, agrees. “It’s a good time to go out for a walk with your dog, or a hike in the woods with a dog,” he said.

There aren’t any cases of animals contracting COVID-19, according to Schettino. But experts believe the coronavirus can live on fur and hair.

That means washing your pup when you return home, especially after a pet from a neighbor or passerby.

It’s also a good time to practice training. Keiley said the MSPCA is working on getting advice on that up on its website soon.

In the event that someone becomes sick and is unable to walk and/or take care of their pet, both Schettino and Keiley said they recommend they reach out to neighbors, family, or friends.

“If someone is sick and asking you to walk their dog, just be careful,” Schettino said, pointing to the need to wash animals — and your hands — upon returning home.

According to Keiley, it’s also important that pet owners have a plan in place should they get separated or need to be separated from their animal. That includes having food and pet records readily available.

And don’t forget to check in on pet owners proactively.

“Obviously, we are always a backup… but given this crisis and the potential impact, we really need the whole community to support each other through this,” Keiley said.

∙As states grapple with COVID-19 mitigation, questions have immediately arisen as to whether veterinary practices are considered “essential businesses.” The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), its 95,000 plus members, and key veterinary stakeholders urge that veterinary practices be considered “essential businesses” in cases where non-essential retail facilities are asked to close or repurpose personal protective equipment (PPE) due to COVID-19. Veterinary teams provide essential animal care, play a critical role in protecting the health of animals that enter the food supply, and serve as trusted members of the local community in disaster situations.

Last week, risk mitigation strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 were announced by the federal government and many state and local governments. In some localities, such as San Francisco, and states, like Maryland and Pennsylvania, veterinary practices are appropriately considered “essential businesses.” They recognized that the services veterinary teams provide are critical to animal and public health, and thereby specifically designated veterinary practices as “essential businesses,” in line with other healthcare providers, supermarkets, and pharmacies. We urge all authorities to similarly designate veterinary practices as essential businesses, and also ensure their ability to obtain necessary medical supplies.

Veterinary practices provide the following essential services:

Frontline veterinary practitioners and staff are among the healthcare professionals who provide surveillance for diseases deemed reportable by state and federal governments, including zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, influenza and Lyme Disease. They are also responsible for issuing certificates of veterinary inspection that are required for the movement of animals between states and countries, including those entering the food supply.

Veterinarians are an integral part of our nation’s food and fiber industries. Veterinary care is critical to ensure that only healthy animals enter the food supply. While primarily housed on farms, food animals are also present in urban areas.

Veterinary practices provide medical and surgical care daily for critically ill and injured animals.

Veterinarians provide care for service and therapy animals, supporting both animal and human welfare.

Veterinarians also oversee the care of laboratory animals, which are critical to research that leads to the development of pharmaceuticals and biologics, including vaccines such as those currently being developed to combat COVID-19.

Veterinarians care for rare, threatened, and endangered animals in zoos, aquaria, wildlife rehabilitation clinics, and wildlife facilities. Even if such entities need to be closed to the public for COVID-19 mitigation, veterinarians and animal care staff must continue to care for these animals.

Veterinarians and our support staff are trusted professionals involved in disaster situations. While perhaps different from a statutory and regulatory perspective, the training, education, and experience of veterinarians and our staff in disasters are clearly transferrable skills in whatever COVID-19 risk mitigation is deemed necessary.