First two clinics in August are: Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, on Thursday, August 15th, and on Thursday, August 22nd at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.
∙ Do you have a plan in the event of a major earthquake? Does it include your pets? In the wake of two significant quakes recently in Southern California, the Humane Society of Ventura County wants to remind all pet owners of the importance of having an earthquake plan – for the entire household including the pets.
“Southern California is prone to all types of natural disasters and being prepared should be at the forefront for every resident,” said Greg Cooper, director of community outreach for the nonprofit HSVC. “But unlike weather-related disasters, an earthquake can strike without warning, so planning in advance is key.”
There are a number of things pet owners can do in preparation and in the event of an earthquake. Here are some tips from the HSVC:
Microchips: Your pets should always have up-to-date ID tags on their collars, and they should also have embedded microchips. “Have your pet microchipped in advance in case they get separated during an emergency,” said Arlene MacSween, assistant director of the HSVC’s Ojai shelter. “Don’t forget to register the microchip and keep those records up to date for any changes in address or phone numbers.
Go-bags: If you need to evacuate your home, having preassembled go-bags for every person and pet in the household is a must. Your pets’ go-bags should include food, water, poop bags and cat litter, spare leashes, and collars with ID tags. Also, have copies of vet records, pet medications and recent photos. And don’t forget pet treats and toys to help keep them comfortable during trying times.
Crates: Having portable crates for your pets can help keep them safe in a contained space. Store your pet crates in easy-to-reach places.
Pet sanctuary: In the event of an evacuation, you’ll want to know what hotels are pet-friendly; research hotels in advance, locally and regionally. Also, check with local animal shelters to see if they may provide sanctuary for your pets during the emergency.
Breathe: You help yourself and your pets by staying calm. “Animals get scared and nervous and may act differently during earthquakes,” said Tracy Vail, HSVC senior humane officer. “They can feed off of our emotions when we’re uneasy during a disaster.”
The HSVC offers shelter whenever it’s needed for evacuated pets and livestock at no cost to the owners. The Ojai shelter is at 402 Bryant St.
For more information about the resources and services offered by the HSVC, visit hsvc.org/disaster_preparedness or call 805-646-6505.
∙ Thes are TurfMutt’s top five tips for ensuring the family yard is a place everyone can enjoy year-round.
Consider your dog’s needs.
Each dog – senior, puppy, small, big, active breed or not-so-much – has different needs. Is your dog a water hound? Maybe you should include a splash pool or water fountain. Got a digger? A sand pit might work well to keep your dog entertained – and the mess contained. Does your dog love to run the perimeter of your yard? Design your yard with his path in mind. Does she have dog friends next door? Maybe an eye-level hole in the fence would keep her from barking. Jot down everything your dog needs from your family yard, then you map out your landscaping accordingly.
Keep your pet safe and sound
One of the most important pet features in your family yard is a secure fence – whether it’s made of wood, metal, vinyl or concrete. Inspect and fix your fence – or install one – so you can rest easy knowing your dog is safely within the boundary of your yard.
Turfgrass is safe – unlike concrete, asphalt or hard ground – and offers your pet a soft, cool spot to lie down, even during the hottest conditions. It also creates a comfortable backyard playground and provides a place to take care of business. There are many types of turfgrass that can handle “ruff-housing” from dogs and kids alike. Check your climate zone to make sure you’re selecting an appropriate grass species for where you live. (Another bonus benefit is grass is very good at capturing and filtering rainwater.)
Select the right plants
You’ll want to have a balance of grass, flower plants, trees and shrubs in your family yard. Including this mix of species will not only be beautiful, it will also help support biodiversity. Remember, nature starts in your own backyard! Keeping your climate zone in mind, select appropriate landscaping for the areas you’ve identified in your yard. Around walking paths, for instance, you’ll want to include sturdy, yet soft foliage that can stand up to puppy and people traffic without scratching. Use elevated boxes and patio planters for more delicate flowering plants.
Avoid toxic plants
One last word of important advice – there are some plants and shrubs that are poisonous to dogs. You’ll want to avoid these in your outdoor living room entirely. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a list of toxic plants that you should refer to when shopping for your family yard.