Message from the Executive Director
Fourth of July is a time for both commemoration and celebration, but for many of our veterans who suffer from PTSD, this can be extremely stressful. We ask our readers to give thought to the military veterans residing in your neighborhood. The noises can trigger flashbacks and exacerbate PTSD. We ask that each of you do your part to help create safe space for our military veterans here in our community.
Remember, too, more pets go missing over July 4th weekend than at any other time of the year.
Some tips to safeguard your pet/service dog:
- keep your pets/service dog safe inside
- close all exterior doors and windows
- turn on television or play calming music
- give them distractions such as kongs filled with their favorite food
- make sure your dog’s microchip information is up-to-date
We wish everyone a safe weekend!.
Summer has officially arrived, and along with this come hurricane and monsoon seasons. This traditionally brings with it thunder and lightening storms, and this month we focus on keeping your animals safe during stormy weather.
For some animals, loud sounds can be frightening. Thunder can cause stress for some, and increases the risk for others that they will run off in fear and become lost. The same is true for fireworks. Traditionally, July is the busiest month in the nation for lost pets. While humans can understand the cause of the loud noises from thunder or fireworks, and the flashing light of lightening, a dog does not understand this. For many dogs, this sudden intrusion into the normal quiet of their homes can be terrifying. There are many factors that contribute to this, and these include but are not limited to:
- A dog has a more acute sense of hearing, and are more sensitive to loud noises.
- Fear – fear and stress travel down the leash, and if an adult or child in the home is fearful of noise the dog can sense this and react in a negative manner.
Since dogs often communicate through body language, some signs to be on the lookout for include:
- whining or howling
- urinating or defecating indoors
- lowering the ears and tail
- destructive behavior
Some steps that you can take to help calm your dog include:
- Create a safe space with bedding and a favorite toy
- Play soft music to soothe your dog while you sit with them
- Use positive reinforcement only, praising calm behavior
- Desensitize your dog in advance with background music and storms, softly at first and then gradually increase volume
- Use of specialized shirts, such as the Thundershirt
- Medications prescribed by a veterinarian should be a last resort for those dogs who do not respond to the above
Remember never to leave your dog outdoors in a storm. If you are not home when a storm hits, seek shelter indoors. Each year many pets run away and are lost during storms. Make sure that your dog has a microchip as well as a collar ID tag with current home and cell phone numbers. Ensure that your dog remains on a leash at all times when you leave home.
Wishing you all a safe storm season.
Lindsey/Shannon & Bailey- Lindsey has been taking Bailey on a lot of fun public outings such as Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs and Bailey did great! She had no issues doing her tasks out in public which is amazing progress. We have done meet and greets with unfamiliar dogs in public to work on generalizing her skills and Bailey has performed really good with her tasks working around distractions. Big thanks to our trainer Lindsey for all her hard work and consistency!
Sharon/Tom& Ruby- Ruby has passed her AKC S.T.A.R Puppy test with flying colors and has now started public access training. This team is doing great with exposing Ruby to new environments and working on her obedience. She also has gone to many restaurants and performs “under” with no issues. Ruby has been doing really well walking next to a shopping cart along with walking at heel side next to Toms walker. Ruby has been successful with listening to her commands around distractions such as other dogs in a public setting. With classes starting on July 9th, Ruby will now have other humans and canines to join her!
Our heartfelt thanks to each of you who have generously provided financial support during the month of June: