Keeping pets and the community safe

Keeping pets and the community safe

As the coronavirus started to spread a month ago, you probably saw information on creating an emergency plan for your pets in case you or a family member fall ill and can’t care for them. Minneapolis Animal Care and Control reminds us that the best place for our pets is at home and/or being cared for by someone they know, and having a detailed plan and emergency kit packed for your pets helps ensure this can happen. Right now it is also important to have more than one temporary caretaker lined up in the event one of them is unable to take on the responsibility.

MACC has other tips for emergency planning for pets here: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/animals/emergencyplanning

But the current pandemic has shown some other issues with pets that MACC would like you to be aware of.

  • MACC Field Staff has also seen a significant increase in the number of stray and loose loose this spring. This is most likely caused by more kids and family members at home, and dogs sneaking out of doors or gates that aren’t properly latched.
  • And dog bite/incident calls have also risen this spring – an 87% increase in calls between March 1st and April 8th this year compared to last year. Nearly half of the cases reported were in conjunction with the aggressor dog being off leash. More people are taking their dogs for walks, and not always keeping them leashed as is required by law.
  • Cats are also slipping out of the house: MACC has seen a huge increase in the number of loose cats that have been injured by cars or dogs.

As you spend more time at home, please make sure to pay special attention to your pets’ surroundings. Make sure doors and gates are secure, and take special care with kids to make sure they aren’t letting pets escape. When walking your dogs, keep them leashed at all times and honor the social distancing guidelines for other dogs as well – not all dogs like to be close to other dogs!

Currently Minneapolis Animal Control  is only responding to emergency calls (sick, injured or dangerous dogs) so we need to work together and do everything we can to help keep our pets, ourselves, and our neighbors safe.

What to do you find a stray

Find a safe place for the dog to stay.

Call on any tags if the dog is wearing a collar.

Walk the dog around the neighborhood and/or knock on doors to see if someone recognizes the dog.

Have the dog scanned for a microchip, most vets will do this for you.

Ask local vets to see if they received a report of a missing pet or have that dog on record as a client.

Take photos of the dog and post online:
• Facebook pages for Lost/Found
• Animal Humane Society Found
• Neighborhood group pages
• Craigslist (Pets section and Lost & Found sections)
• Nextdoor app
Lostdogsmn.com

Make posters to hang up in the area it was found.

Message us with a photo, location, date found, etc. and we’ll post to our page and help network.

Always try to require proof of ownership (veterinary records, bill of sale, photos of you and your pet together, etc.) from anyone who wants to claim a lost dog. You want to be sure they are going to the right home.

Call Minneapolis Animal Control to make a FOUND report. If someone is looking for the dog, they can reach out and connect you with the owner.

If you can’t keep the dog safe, or if the dog is sick, injured or dangerous, please call Animal Control at 612.673.6222 or call 311.

We are unsure exactly what the policy is on the intake of stray dogs at Animal Control at this time, please call them and ask questions.

 

 

Family Pet Resources

Family Pet Resources

We are glad to have you as part of the Save-a-Bull family! We’re here to support you, and your dog, in times of need and every day. Here are some resources if you need help with vet care, housing, training and more:

VETERINARY CARE

 

Animal Humane Society
Financial assistance, domestic violence resources, foster homes for active and retired soldiers/veterans, low-cost veterinary care, senior citizens
https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/health/financial-or-domestic-assistance

Care Credit
No-interest payment plans
https://www.carecredit.com/vetmed

Frankie’s Friends
Grants to partially cover emergency or specialty pet care
https://www.frankiesfriends.org/

Magic Bullet Fund
Assist with treatment costs for dogs/cats with cancer
https://themagicbulletfund.org/

Minnesota Spay & Neuter Assistance Program
Low cost spay and neuter
https://mnsnap.org/

Mission Animal Hospital
Veterinary services at reduced cost to low income families or on government assistance programs. Financing options available.
https://www.missionah.org/

Red Rover Relief
Urgent care grants, domestic violence grants
https://redrover.org/relief/

The Mosby Foundation
Assistance with sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs
https://www.themosbyfoundation.org/

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation
Medical care grants
http://www.onyxandbreezy.org/

The Pet Fund
Assistance with veterinary care costs
https://www.thepetfund.com/

Ruff Start Rescue
Reduced cost microchip and shot clinics
https://www.ruffstartrescue.com/

A Rotta Love
Reduced cost microchip and shot clinics

https://arottalove.org/

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 EMERGENCY

Red Rover Relief – COVID-19 Emergency resources
Veterinary care grants, emergency boarding grants, pet food, emergency plans for pets
https://redrover.org/news/coronavirus/

 

TRAINING/BEHAVIOR

Wag & Train

Training and behavioral needs
https://wagandtrain.com/

Animal Humane Society
Pet behavior resources
https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/behavior/pet-behavior-resources 

Twin Cities Obedience Training Club
Puppy, obedience and agility classes and more
http://www.tcotc.com/

 

MORE RESOURCES

Handicapped Pets Foundation

Donate mobility equipment to pets in need
https://www.hpets.org/

People & Pets Together
Offers free pet food in times of need
http://www.peopleandpetstogether.org/people-and-pets-together-food-shelf/

Pets for Patriots
Connects veterans with homeless pets
https://www.petsforpatriots.org/

My Pit Bull Is Family
Pit bull friendly rental listings and resources for North Minneapolis families
https://www.mypitbullisfamily.org/

Cornerstone
Protection for pets in crisis and crime victim situations
https://cornerstonemn.org/emergency-services/protection-for-pets/

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control
No-cost kenneling for victims of domestic violence
http://www.minneapolismn.gov/animals/safe-kenneling

The Zebra

Sourcing tool to evaluate homeowners insurance plans that cover pets 

https://www.thezebra.com/homeowners-insurance/coverage/does-homeowners-insurance-cover-pets/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties

If you’re a dog parent, you know they love to sleep. But why do they sleep so much, and are they really dreaming when you see their paws twitch in their sleep? Keep reading to discover the answers to these questions and more.

How much do dogs sleep?

On average, dogs spend 12 to 14 hours per day sleeping. Your dog’s particular sleep needs may vary around that range, depending on his age, size, breed, activity level, and overall health:

  • Larger breeds tend to sleep more than smaller breeds.
  • Working dogs with activity-filled days sleep less, while those who lead sedentary lives will sleep more.
  • Puppies can spend up to 20 hours sleeping a day. Growing and learning how to be a dog takes a lot of energy!
  • As dogs age into their senior years, they spend more time sleeping since they tire more easily.

Wild dogs and wolves may sleep even more than domesticated dogs. They have to hunt for their food, which expends more energy. When food is scarce, they need to conserve their energy. An expedient way to do that is by sleeping.

Do dogs experience the same sleep cycles as humans?

Like humans and other mammals, dogs progress through different stages of sleep. Also like us, dogs experience REM sleep.

The main difference between dog sleep and human sleep is how much time they spend in the different stages, as well as a dog’s tendency to sleep in bursts throughout the day. Dogs tend to experience sleep-wake cycles of 16 minutes asleep, 5 minutes awake – quite the contrast with our typical sleep-wake cycle of 7 to 9 hours asleep, 15 to 17 hours awake.

When dogs fall asleep, they enter deep sleep. Their breathing and heart rate slow while their blood pressure drops. About 10 minutes in, they enter REM sleep and dream like humans. You can often identify this stage because their eyes roll under their eyelids, and they may start twitching in their sleep as they dream of chasing after squirrels.

Since dogs are always on the alert to protect their pack from intruders, they’re able to wake more easily. It’s common for them to wake up before completing a full sleep-wake cycle, from deep to REM sleep. As a result, scientists estimate they need to sleep more often overall in order to get their sufficient amount of REM.

What does a day in the life of a dog look like?

The typical dog spends half of his day asleep, and nearly a third of his day just lying around. The rest of his day is reserved for playing, using the restroom, and begging for treats.

Dogs are flexible sleepers. They have no problem adjusting their sleep schedule to their owner’s needs. If you work a 9 to 5 job, your dog may adapt to spend more of the daytime sleeping, so he can be awake and available to play with you when you get home at night. Working dogs like police or service dogs have more energy, and can stay awake for longer stretches of time performing their important duties.

Dogs don’t sleep as deeply as we do. That’s why they can wake up immediately if necessary and bound out of bed to raise the alarm for an intruder or gobble up the kibble as you pour it.

When is my dog sleeping too much?

If you note drastic changes in the amount of time your dog spends sleeping, or he seems excessively lethargic, it could be indicative of a larger problem. Lethargy is a common symptom of diabetes, parvovirus, Lyme disease, depression, and hypothyroidism in dogs.

If a major upset occurs in the life of your dog, such as the death of a loved one or a big move, he may sleep more or less than usual. This is a normal reaction, as dogs find comfort in routine and a major change affects their emotional wellbeing, but keep an eye out if their sleep doesn’t return to normal within a reasonable amount of time.

Some dogs with shorter noses are also at risk for sleep apnea, which can make your dog more tired during the day due to experiencing less restful sleep.

What are the common dog sleep positions?

Does your dog have a favorite sleeping position? Dogs tend to sleep in one of three positions, and they have a reason why for each.

  • On their side with four legs stretched out: This is a comfortable position for your dog when he’s feeling very relaxed. It also exposes some of his belly to the air which can help him cool down.
  • On their back with all four paws in the air: When a dog is in this position, he’s at his most vulnerable. It’s the toughest for him to get up from and it exposes his neck and belly. If you catch him in this position, you know that he feels safe and secure. It’s also a good way for him to cool down since his belly is exposed.
  • Curled in a ball: This is the least comfortable position for a dog to sleep in, as it requires them to use their muscles to stay curled up. However, it is the easiest for them to spring up upon waking, making it a defensive position. Dogs who have been abused or are unsure of their environment often sleep in this position. However, sometimes dogs sleep curled up simply to keep warm.

Your dog may sleep in any of these positions with their back to you, or another human or animal member of the pack. In dog packs, dogs sleep close to each other for comfort and safety, so consider this a high honor. Your dog views you as part of the pack!

How can I help my dog get better sleep?

Follow these tips to give your pup more restful shuteye.
1. Give your dog plenty of exercise and playtime during the day to stimulate his mind and tire him out by bedtime.
2. Feed your dog well. Some pet foods contain fewer nutrients than others, which can lower your dog’s energy during the day.
3. Don’t miss your vet check-ups. These regular appointments are a good way to identify any health conditions early on.
4. Give your dog a comfortable place to sleep.
• If you choose to share your bed with your dog, like nearly half of dog owners do, make sure you get a mattress that’s big enough for everyone to fit, and offers excellent motion isolation so you’re not woken up by them moving around. Memory foam and latex mattresses are good options for pet owners.
• If you prefer your dog sleeps in a kennel or dog bed, make it cozy like a den would be in the wild. Give them a blanket or even a dirty old t-shirt that smells like you to provide comfort. There are various dog beds available to suit your dog’s favorite sleep positions – big ones made for stretching out vs. small nesting beds for those who like to curl up.

All of this is true, and as dog parents we’ve seen it first hand – every day. We asked Save-a-Bull adopters to share photos of their dogs showing off their best sleeping skills and here’s a little of what we got! Enjoy:

Article source www.tuck.com

Female/Female Dog Households

Female/Female Dog Households

The conversation comes up all the time, and it’s been a topic of discussion again recently: “Should you, or should you not, have two female dogs in the same household?” We hear plenty of stories about two females that get along great together – and that’s amazing, but it’s not typical. There are countless research studies that show females have a higher rate of aggression toward other females than they do toward males, or than males have toward other males. And we have to give creed to all this information. Here are just a few snipits of this type of research:

“There is a higher incidence of aggressive behavior between dogs of the same sex. Two males or two females will often view each other as rivals, even if they appear to get along most of the time. This is a fact for every breed.”
Source: http://www.pbrc.net/

“When two dogs of the same sex live in a household together, they are required to decide which one will be the top dog and which one will be the bottom dog. The ‘decision making’ can become nasty and even violent. The ultimate pecking order can have an undesirable effect on both of the dog’s personalities—one of the dogs can become dominant to an unhealthy degree and the other can be pushed so far into submission that it’s not good for him. In this common scenario, the top dog becomes tyrannical and the bottom dog lives a nerve-wracking life of perpetual submission. This is an unyieldingly stressful set of circumstances for the entire household.”
Source: https://www.canidae.com/blog/2012/02/does-gender-matter-when-adopting-second/

“Generally, I like male/female pairings in a two-dog household, then male/male pairings, with female/female pairings at the bottom of the list. That is not to say you can’t see successful duos with all of these combos, but I think most behavior consultants would agree that the worst cases of interdog aggression are usually between females, and when these dogs live in the same home, managing the situation can be a nightmare for the owners — and is tough on the dogs, too. Generally, a second dog of the opposite sex is a good idea for most families.”
Source: http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/5-things-to-consider-second-dog

“Same-sex dogs are more likely to fight. Two males (or two females) are much more likely to fight than a male and a female. This is true of every breed, not just pit bulls, because two dogs of the same sex are likely to see each other as rivals.”
Source: http://www.bullymax.com

“The first thing that might be surprising to most people is that female dogs are more often involved in fights than are males. [In a recent study] only 32 percent of aggressive incidents involved conflict between two males, while in the remaining 68 percent, females were active participants. This is consistent with previous research which showed that when females get into an aggressive situation, injuries are apt to be more severe and the fights tend to be longer and more furious.”
Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201404/aggression-between-dogs-in-the-same-household

To sum up, Save-a-Bull’s position is this: dog aggression is a behavior found in every breed, but because of their breed history, pit bulls might be less tolerant of other dogs. Add to this the research showing female dogs are less tolerant of other females and it can create a recipe for disaster. As pit bull advocates and owners, it is our responsibility to understand our dogs and to put them in a position to succeed. It is because of this that we will not place a female dog into a home with another female dog.

“Let’s not blame the dogs for a trait bred into them by the evilness of man. Let’s understand them instead, so we can provide responsible ownership and give them a chance to show the world why they are so deserving of our love.
~ Unknown

Pay attention to who your dog is, not who you want them to be.

Pay attention to who your dog is, not who you want them to be.

As we sit smack in the middle of outdoor patio season, let’s pause to take a moment to think about our dogs. We love sitting on the patio with our friends, meeting new people and socializing for a few few hours (we especially love coming to the Save-a-Bull brew tour events!) But how does your dog feel about that? While we promote dog-friendly events, and encourage you to bring your dog, if he enjoys such things, please take a moment to consider if he actually wants to be there.

The following is an excerpt from an article by Jill Kessler;  it’s an oldie but a goodie. The author talks about her disdain for dog parks and why. We see many similar correlations in overcrowded, loud, fun-for-us patios. Be sure your dog loves this chaos as much as you do, as controlled experiences are key training opportunities for your dog.

I am not a Dog Park advocate.

October 8, 2015  |  Jill Kessler Miller

…let’s look at [dog parks, patios]  from a dog’s point of view. Dogs thrive on stable relationships. Notice I did not say “pack!” They set up and like to maintain relationships with things that they know: their people, our human friends, their dog friends, their housemates, etc. Unless there are the exact same dogs every time they go to the dog park (which is nearly impossible), they have to re-establish their relationships with not only the dogs they already know in context of the new dog present, but they also have to establish a relationship with that specific new dog.

Some dogs can handle the stress of this–but most cannot. Thus you’ll get what appears to be random fighting, random aggression towards a dog they know, random odd behaviors (“gee, never done that before”), seemingly sudden guarding behaviors (territory, owner, another dog) etc. It’s not random or unpredictable–it’s the stress you, as an owner, causes by going to the dog park! Dog parks require skills that most dogs do not possess, nor would they according to how we have bred them for hundreds of years.

Lastly, I’m very wary of the “unknown” factors. Unknown dogs, unknown owners, unknown relationships and interactions, unknown damages. I don’t like surprises, and dog parks hold way too many unknown factors for dogs’ safety.

One of my main reasons for not being a dog park advocate is what I can’t control my dog’s experience and/or other people’s dogs (and I think it goes without saying, the dog owners). Because dogs are learning all the time, I must control as much of their experiences as possible, so that they build a solid foundation of behaviors that are appropriate and desirable, such as impulse control, bite inhabitation, and exchanging rewarding, affiliative, positive social interactions. 



All mammals remember frightening encounters over non-eventful or even fun encounters. It’s a primal survival brain mechanism, designed to keep us alive. Dozens of positive encounters can be overridden by one bad one; thus I must make sure my dog has only positive experiences for several years, until they are mature and have a solid foundation before I expose them to a possibly unsure environment.

If your dog gets bullied, attacked, frightened or even just overwhelmed at the dog park, he will bring that experience and the subsequent conclusions he made with him everywhere. The reactions can vary from “I’m scared and must get away as quickly as possible at all costs” to “If I come on strong and attack first, maybe I’ll be okay,” to just about anything in between.

Also keep in mind that fighting and bullying in dogs is a learned behavior just as much as anything else, and therefore once your dog does it a few times, it’s now learned and bound to be repeated over and over again. And make no mistake–many dogs enjoy being a jerk! Your best bet is to not let it start in the first place, whether it’s your dog being the bully or being the target.

Of course I recommend dog-to-dog play! If your dog has a few friends that he or she really enjoys, please go for it! Set up play dates, meet somewhere where they can safely run, sprint, wrassle, and jump about. Since dogs generally play in pairs, try for either just the two, or in even numbers, you’ll find it works out better. Some dogs only want or need a few friends (just like people), and some are social butterflies, and can make friends wherever they go. Pay attention to who your dog is, not who you want them to be. Stay within your dog’s comfort zone, and you’ll have a happier, safer dog.

Source: www.jillkessler.com, Photo by Jeremy Wiens

Save-a-Bull Volunteers Go The Extra Mile to Make Clinics a Success

Save-a-Bull Volunteers Go The Extra Mile to Make Clinics a Success

When we decided to launch the Fix Your Pit spay/neuter clinics, we partnered with Kindest Cut – a low-cost veterinary provider that now operates as part of the AHS in Golden Valley. Obviously we are passionate about these clinics so when we were asked to assist on the days of our clinics, volunteers jumped at the opportunity to help!

A group of nine volunteers showed up to help at each of our four clinics. They took on a variety of jobs like greeting clients and helping them fill out registration paperwork. As they checked dogs into the clinic, they weighted each one and escorted them to their kennels to await surgery. Many clients did not have a regular experience with a veterinary office and were a bit nervous about leaving their beloved dogs, so a big part of the process was helping reassure them that their dogs would be fine and that they were doing the best thing for the dogs they love!

 

volunteer_carol


“I loved talking to the owners while they brought their dogs in. Most of them just wanted to know they were going to be okay.”

CAROL, Save-a-Bull Volunteer


“These owners genuinely cared about their dogs – there were lots of hugs and kisses before we took their dog into the back!”

MACKENZIE, Save-a-Bull Volunteer

 

While the staff prepped dogs and performed the spay and neuter surgeries, volunteers assisted with cleaning surgical equipment, laundry, making ID tags for the dogs who got vaccines and anything else the surgical team needed. As dogs came out of surgery, volunteers used hot bean bags and blankets to keep their body temperatures up. And when they started to wake up, the dogs got lots of cuddling and reassurance to get on their feet and walk off the anesthesia.

 


“The staff at the clinic really stood out to me. They knew the name and other details of every dog. They really cared about the dogs and would tell us who was shy, cuddly, etc. It made me feel good about the work they do.”

JESS, Save-a-Bull Volunteer

volunteer_cassie


“My favorite part was helping the pups wake up. I also enjoyed watching the surgical process. It was very interesting.”

CASSIE, Save-a-Bull Volunteer

 

Once the surgeries were complete, and the dogs were awake and alert, their owners began to come back for them. Each owner got a full recap of the pre-surgical exam and complete post-op care instructions. They were happy to see their dogs and the dogs were certainly happy to see them too!

 

volunteer__lorelei


“Clients were so nervous at first but really grateful once they realized the experience was a smooth one.”

LORELEI, Save-a-Bull Volunteer

 

Animal Humane Society’s Kindest Cut program is a full service veterinary office that offers low-cost spay and neuter surgeries, wellness services, and dental care to cats, dogs and rabbits belonging to families with limited means. When we partner with them, we cover the full cost of spay/neuter, vaccines and microchips for pit bull owners who sign up for our select clinic dates. It is our hope that we also bring awareness that low-cost veterinary options are available, so everyone has the resources to care for their pets.

 

volunteer_jeanette


“For families who are financially limited, ensuring their animals can be spayed and neutered is invaluable.”

Jeanette, Save-a-Bull Volunteer

 

Each of our four clinics this year was completely booked. In total we spayed or neutered 81 dogs and helped set their owners up with a positive experience and information about proper veterinary care for their pets. It was extremely gratifying to meet and talk to the people in our community and to offer this assistance to those who really want the best for their pets and care about making a difference in not only the lives of their own pets, but for the breed in general.

 

volunteer_beth


“The more people in these communities who we can educate the more they can hopefully educate others.

BETH, Save-a-Bull Volunteer

 

volunteer_holly


“I’d love to see us be able to do MORE clinics!”

HOLLY, Save-a-Bull Volunteer

 

Because the clinics were so overwhelmingly well received, we knew we had to find a way to host more clinics next year, so we’ve put the wheels in motion and have six clinics already scheduled for 2017:

February 11, April 8, June 10, August 12, October 14 and December 9. Watch for these dates to be added to our schedule and for booking of appointments to open up a month or two before each date!

Of course our goal on Give to the Max Day is to raise the money needed to cover all these clinics now. Please help us with a donation today – thank you!


Thanks to you, Save-a-Bull has had the opportunity to rescue and rehome a lot of deserving dogs this year. But that’s not enough! Supporting spay and neuter assistance programs for our community will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day. Donate today and be a part of our Fix Your Pit program!

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