3rd Annual Hope for Homeless Animals Benefit – November 8



Thursday, November 8th, 2012
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Burke’s of Ireland
564 N. Citrus Avenue, Crystal River

Celebrity Bartenders
Tammy Barron, DVM – Plantation Animal Clinic
Wade Phillips, DVM – Lecanto Veterinary Hospital

Live Music by Doug Nicholson
Silent Auction
All donations and tips go directly to the rescues

For more information:
A’Nue Salon @ 352.563.2110
Burke’s of Ireland @ 352.795.0956
Plantation Animal Hospital@ 352.794.0001

Click here to download a pdf copy:

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Celebrate National Dog Week

This week marks the 84th observance of National Dog Week
For those who own them, dogs become a huge part of their daily lives. They are excellent “cuddle buddies,” and are some of the most loyal companions you could find. For their loyal companionship and for all of the ways that dogs work to enhance human life, a week has been set aside to honor dogs all across the country. And it’s no new occurrence; the week, dubbed National Dog Week, is being observed for the 84th time.

National Dog Week was pioneered 84 years ago by Captain William Lewis Judy, a dog enthusiast who felt we ought to celebrate the military service of our canine companions as well as celebrate the ways that dogs all across our country enrich our lives.

The week is also used to raise awareness about what it means to be a responsible pet owner. National Dog Week supports and promotes certain important issues including spay and neuter initiatives, canine health and shelter reformation.


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Validating Pet Loss & its Resulting Grief Workshop – June 26

More and more resources are becoming available to help bereaved pet owners realize they are not alone and what they are feeling is entirely normal.
Join us as we find support in remembering and honoring the memory of our pets.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
2:00 pm

Wings Community Education Center
8471 W Periwinkle Lane, Homosassa

for more information or to register (seating is limited):
Lynn Miller
Workshop is offered free to the community.

Moderated by Lucia Hartman  / Hospice of Citrus County

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If you love animals, please join us on June 30

Homosassa River Fireworks Festival & Poker Run

When:    Saturday, June 30, 2012 – All Day & Evening

Where:  The Freezer 5590 S. Boulevard Dr., Homosassa

This year The Freezer will sponsor local charities:

Dobie Ranch Rescue
Safe at Home Pet Rescue

For every beer you buy we will donate $.25 to the charities. Also, our own local veterinarian Tammy Barron, DVM will be pouring the beer. All her tips will go to the charities.

 The Freezer Event Schedule

1:00PM – Tug-A-War

4:00PM – Blue Crab Races

9:15PM – Fireworks

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Main Reason Why It’s Difficult to Treat Dogs Demodectic Mange

Getting rid of demodectic mange can be a rather difficult task, mainly because it seems that the treatments given for it don’t always work.  What can cure a dog’smange in a week for one person may require another to wait a month before seeing any result, if at all.

This is partly why everyone seems to have differing theories about the best treatment option to use for demodectic mange, and why there are so many suggestions floating about.  One example is, of course, the infamous ‘motor oil treatment’, where the dog is drenched in the greasy, synthetic substance while praying for a positive outcome.  Regardless of the forms they take, it should be noted that most, if not all of them have some merit.  However, what they’re all missing is a crucial component in their puzzle that makes their remedies foolproof, and that component is the one reason why everyone’s finding it so hard to cure demodectic mange reliably.

So what’s the mystery ingredient?  Well, it’s the immune system.

This little piece of information may be familiar to some, but for others it could just be the thing to steer their efforts in the right direction.  You may have heard about the immune system being related to demodectic mange somewhere, but just in case you haven’t, let’s do a quick overview of the causes of demodectic mange, and then we’ll move on to how the immune system can factor into it.

The Immune System: How It Works

Meet the demodex mite and his humongous family.  They are the sole reason why your dog is experiencing massive hair loss, leathery skin and all other symptoms of demodectic mange.  He wriggles around on your dog’s skin, munching on oil and dirt and squeezing out eggs in the hair follicles, which irritates it a lot and causes the hairs to drop off your dog’s back.  Also, his dietary and hygiene habits also cause the skin to be intensely irritated as well, causing red sores to erupt all over.  That’s how a dog gets his demodectic mange, and how you get a massive headache-inducing problem in your hands.

The truth is that demodex mites aren’t malicious parasites all of the time.  About 90% of the time, the mites are actually rather harmless.  They don’t cause hair loss and they don’t go around creating sores.  In fact, they’re so peaceful that their presence is virtually unnoticed by everyone.

For example, did you know that all dogs naturally harbor demodex mites on their skin?  If the mites were a really nasty lot, every dog on the planet would be suffering from mange.  But they don’t, so that does prove something.  To go even further, even humans have demodex mites living on them.  They could even be puttering about on your nose right now.  There’s no need to be afraid of them, but feel free to take a couple seconds now to scratch your nose, just to reassure yourself.  If he really is harmless, what’s causing all this trouble, then?

Meet the Bouncer

This is where the dog’s immune system comes into the big picture: it’s the only one monitoring the mites.  More specifically, they’re constantly looking into the number of them that live on the dog.  In normal circumstances, the immune system actively suppresses the demodex mites’ ability to reproduce.  Without that suppression, the mites are able to enlarge their population so quickly that their growth can only be labeled as ‘exponential’.  Thus, controlling their population is the only thing the immune system is good at, and it’s the only thing keeping them from running amok.  It’s kind of like a bouncer in a nightclub; they’re there to make sure everyone has a good time without trashing the place, and if someone (the mites) get a bit rowdy, they get escorted off the premises (the dog’s skin).

But all security systems have their vulnerabilities, and a dog’s immunity is no exception.  They are frequently exposed to a multitude of threats, such as stress, a new vaccine, or even a prior illness.  The immune system is usually strong enough to withstand those things and still manage to control the mites, but they do have their limits.  Once it gets too much for them to handle, the dog’s immunity becomes weaker as a whole; they’re spread so thin that they can’t respond effectively to all the things they’re supposed to protect against.

When the immune system is weakened by some factor or other, the mites will tend to seize control where they can, and start reproducing their numbers way past the limit previously set.  This is normally how mange starts, and manifests in several small bald spots that you’ll be able to see on your dog, usually in the head area.

But it obviously doesn’t stop there.  Once the mite population reaches critical mass, the mites will be able to suppress the immune system entirely due to the sheer quantity of their kind.  At this point, the drastic loss of hair and badly damaged skin will become apparent to the owner.

So as you can tell by now, the immune system plays a vital part in preventing the onset of a dog’s demodectic mange.  It’s the only thing keeping the ever-present demodex mites from breaking loose and multiplying like crazy; without it, the mites will cause significant damage to the skin due to their activities.

What This Means for You

If you have a dog with demodectic mange, it’s important for you to understand how the immune system plays a huge part in controlling the skin problem.  Of course, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you have a very good idea of how it goes.

Lots of medicines and remedies out there focus primarily on how to kill the mites.  In itself, it’s not a bad plan at all – quite a few cases are solved just by focusing on this aspect – but not everyone is that lucky.  The fact remains that if no attention is paid to the state of the immune system while reducing the number of demodex mites on your dog’s skin, it’s very likely that the mange will always return.

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Disaster Planning for Pets, Family

How to prepare for hurricanes and other natural disasters

Rule one: If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets

Evacuate as soon as you are advised to go. And when you evacuate, take your furried and winged family members with you.

Start with the basics

“A person who plans for disaster is going to be far more able to safeguard herself and her animal companions,” says Sara Varsa, director of operations for the Animal Rescue Team.

There are things you can do to get ready for natural disasters with pets, horses, and farm animals in mind. For pet owners, it can be relatively simple:

  • Prepare a plan (even for everyday emergencies), including identifying a place to stay that will accept your pets
  • Develop a checklist for all your pets’ supplies and medical information
  • Identify a friend, neighbor, or family member who can take care of your pet if you are away

You CAN take your pets

The federal government now officially supports including pets in disaster plans. In 2000 The HSUS and FEMA signed an historic partnership agreement to encourage and assist people who want to safeguard their pets in a natural disaster. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate puts it plainly: “Animals are important members of millions of families across this country—and as such they should also be included in our family emergency plans.” With this video, FEMA designated May 8, 2010, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.

Since FEMA came on board, it’s become easier to find a shelter that will accept your pets. But don’t assume any shelter you go to will allow you to keep your dog or cat with you, cautions Varsa. “Before disaster hits, reach out to local officials—work with them to confirm that you will be allowed to evacuate with your pets and that cohabitated shelters [ones that take people and their pets] will be available in your area.”

If you stay put, stay safe

When you’re advised to evacuate, pack up your pets and supplies, and go. But in situations when sitting out the disaster is the best (or only) option, plan to have on hand all the supplies you’ll need for your pets. Then follow these safety guidelines:

  • Bring your pets indoors as soon as local authorities say there is an imminent problem. Keep pets under your direct control; you won’t have to spend time trying to find them if you must evacuate. Dogs that are tethered as a means of confinement or other animals that may be left outside may drown, choke to death on tangled leads, or suffer other serious injuries. Make sure they are wearing collars and tags, and keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers.
  • If you have a room you can designate as a “safe room,” put your emergency supplies in that room in advance, including your pet’s crate and supplies. If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door, or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape.
  • Listen to the radio periodically, and don’t come out until you know it’s safe.

Keep your pet safe when you’re not home

The best way to keep your pets safe when you can’t be with them is to plan ahead:

  • Make sure your pets (both dogs and cats) are outfitted with collars and ids. Increase your chances of being reunited with a lost pet by having him or her microchipped.
  • Find a trusted neighbor and give them a key to your house or barn. Make sure this person is comfortable and familiar with your pets.
  • Make sure the neighbor knows your pets’ whereabouts and habits, so they won’t have to waste precious time trying to find or catch them.
  • Create a pet emergency/disaster kit and place it in a prominent place where your neighbor can find it.
  • If the emergency involves evacuation, make sure the neighbor would be willing to take your pets and has access to the appropriate carriers and leashes. Plan to meet at a prearranged location.
  • If you use a pet sitting service, they may be available to help, but discuss the possibility well in advance.
  • Pets need to be provided for in the event that you lose electricity, so make certain they have adequate food and water.

Make your plan now

The HSUS has not only been at the forefront of working with government agencies to make sure that animals aren’t left to fend for themselves, but “we’ve also developed a highly trained team that can be deployed to offer animal rescue and sheltering services in the wake of disasters,” says Varsa. “While our rescue team stands at the ready to offer disaster-response aid, I advise everyone to be proactive and make their own preparedness plans. That’s the best way to look after the animals in your care. It will help you sleep easier—and be able to offer help to those who are less fortunate than you are.”


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National Dog Bite Prevention Week: Dog Bite Emergencies

If you are bitten by a dog, here is a checklist of things you should do:

If the dog’s owner is present, request proof of rabies vaccination, and get the owner’s name and contact information.

Clean bite wound with soap and water as soon as possible.

Consult your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if it’s after office hours.

Contact the dog’s veterinarian to check vaccination records.

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May 20-26, 2012, is National Dog Bite Prevention Week!

Did you know that …

  • 4.7 million people in this country are bitten by dogs every year
  • children are by far the most common victims
  • 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites each year
  • children are far more likely to be severely injured; approximately 400,000 receive medical attention every year
  • most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs
  • senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims
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National Pet Week: Coping with the loss of a pet

Coping with the loss of a pet

The bond that we form with animals can be very deep and fulfilling, and the loss of a beloved animal can have an impact on us that is as great, or even greater, than the loss of a family member or friend. This bond is what makes our interactions with animals rich and rewarding, but also what makes the grief process so complicated. The grief can seem to come in waves, may be brought on more intensely by a sight or sound that sparks your memory, and may seem overwhelming at times.

After your pet has died or been lost, it is natural and normal to feel grief and sorrow. The amount of time a person grieves for the loss of their pet may be very different for different people. Although grief is an internal and private response, there are certain stages of grief that most people experience, and not everyone experiences them all or in the same order.

The stages of grief include denial, anger, guilt, depression, acceptance, and resolution. Denial – an unwillingness to accept the fact that your pet has died or that death is unavoidable – may begin when you first learn the seriousness of your animal’s illness or injuries. Often, the more sudden the death, the more difficult the loss is to accept and the stronger the denial.

Anger and guilt often follow denial. Your anger may be directed toward people you normally love and respect, including your family, friends or your veterinarian. People coping with death will often say things that they do not really mean, unintentionally hurting those whom they do not mean to hurt. You may feel guilty or blame others for not recognizing the illness earlier, for not doing something sooner, for not being able to afford other types of or further treatment, or for being careless and allowing the animal to be injured.

Depression is a common experience after the death of a special pet. The tears flow, there are knots in your stomach, and you feel drained of all your energy. Day-to-day tasks can seem impossible to perform and you may feel isolated and alone. Many depressed people will avoid the company of friends and family. It might be hard to get out of bed in the morning, especially if your morning routine involved caring for your pet’s needs. Sometimes you may even wonder if you can go on without your pet. The answer is yes, but there are times when special assistance may be helpful in dealing with your loss. Do not feel guilty or weak for seeking professional assistance to help you cope with the grief you feel.

Eventually, you will come to terms with your feelings. You begin to accept your pet’s death. Resolution has occurred when you can remember your pet and your time with them without feeling the intense grief and emotional pain you previously felt. Acceptance and resolution are normal and do not mean that you no longer feel a sense of loss, just that you have come to terms with the fact that your pet has died. Even when you have reached resolution and acceptance, feelings of anger, denial, guilt, and depression may reappear. If this does happen, these feelings will usually be less intense, and with time they will be replaced with fond memories.

Although everyone experiences the stages of grief, grieving is always a very personal process. Some people take longer than others to come to terms with denial, anger, guilt, and depression, and each loss is different. If you understand that these are normal reactions, you will be better prepared to cope with your feelings and to help others face theirs. Family and friends should be reassured that sorrow and grief are normal and natural responses to death.

Just as everyone may grieve differently, people may choose to honor their pet’s life in a number of ways. One person may prefer a memorial service or funeral for their pet, while another may prefer a symbol of remembrance, such as a pawprint cast in plaster or stone or a lock of hair from a horse’s mane or tail. Whatever you choose to honor your pet and your life together is as personal as your grieving process.

Allow yourself time to grieve and heal, and be thankful that your life was made that much better by sharing it with your beloved pet.

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National Pet Week: Test your knowledge about America’s pet population!

Did You Know?

Test your knowledge about America’s pet population!

  • There are more dog owners than cat owners in America, but more cats than dogs in those homes?
  • There are 43 million dog owning households compared with 37.5 million cat owning households, but 81.7 million cats compared to 72 million dogs.
  • About 64% of all pet-owning households owned more than one pet.
  • Women are the primary caregivers for pets (74%)
  • Five of the top 10 pet owning states are in the Northwest- Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

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