Friday, April 4, 2014

Preparing Your Pets for an Emergency

Do you have a preparedness plan in case of an emergency, like a fire, flood, or tornado? Your family's plan for emergency safety should include plans for your pets as well. With tornado season about to start in Texas, take some time to make sure you are ready and prepared.

Step One: Make a Pet Emergency Supply Kit
  • Include 3 days worth of pet food in a waterproof, airtight container and at least 3 days worth of bottled water.
  • If your pet takes medication, keep an extra supply in a waterproof container.
  • Keep a copy of your pet's medical records, vaccination records, and adoption paperwork ready to go.
  • Include a first aid kit with bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, flea and tick preventative, heartworm preventative, gloves, rubbing alcohol, and saline solution.
  • Have an extra collar, leash and ID tags handy.
  • Keep your pet's crate or travel carrier in a convenient location that you could grab easily and go when time is of the essence.
  • Have extra bathroom supplies on hand and ready to go: litter, litter box, scoop, dog waste bags, newspaper or puppy pads, paper towels, etc.
Step Two: Plan for What to Do in an Emergency
  • Communicate with your family about what your plan is for various types of emergency, such as fire, flood, tornado, power outage, etc. Know where your nearest shelter is, and if they will allow pets, if you must evacuate there in case of emergency. If pets are not allowed, consider other friends or family that could shelter you or consider pet-friendly hotel lodging. Finding out where these places are located before an emergency can save precious time when it matters most.
  • Depending on your emergency, determine if you must evacuate or shelter in place. Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet for instructions from the local authorities, if necessary. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Plan with neighbors, family, and friends on what your emergency plan is and if someone would be able to take care of your pets if you were unable to.
  • Consider microchipping your pet, which is a permanent form of identification, should your pet  become separated from you.  
  • Gather contact information on local emergency animal hospitals, should your pet need urgent care.
  • Obtain "Pets Inside" stickers for your home's front and back doors. In an emergency, rescue crews would know to check for your pets inside of the home.
Step Three: Stay Informed
  • Be aware of inclement weather conditions that could pose risks to your family and pets.
  • Keep batteries in your smoke detectors and test them regularly.
  • For more information about emergency preparedness, visit www.ready.gov.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Catio Partitions are Complete!

A dream has come true for the cats at Operation Kindness! New partitions have been installed on both ends of our cat porch (also known as our "catio") that will enable some of our long-term residents to get out of their cages and stretch their legs.
 
Catio without partitions
Catio with closed partitions

Garfield enjoys the catio
Cats at Operation Kindness that are not free-roaming are kept in cages in the cat rooms. These cats are typically in their own private space because they are either on a special diet or do not enjoy the company of other cats. Unfortunately, this means they do not get to enjoy the fun of the free-roaming catio. But not anymore!
 
The partitions will allow private use by cat residents who are not free roaming. The partitions easily open and close to allow the staff and volunteers to place cats on the porch on a rotating basis. This enrichment of our cat area was made possible by a generous donation from Kathleen Bailey.

Garfield got some fresh air and play time for the first time in more than a year. He spent a few hours on the porch, laying in the sun and playing with the staff.
 
Garfield is a 2 year old, male domestic shorthair cat that is available for adoption. You can find out more about him at www.OperationKindness.org.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Story of Hope

Animals are amazingly resilient creatures, but it is a sad thing when dogs are abandoned to fend for themselves.  As animal caregivers, the staff and volunteers at Operation Kindness see this every single day.  Just when you think you have seen everything, something happens that gives you pause for concern. Luckily, our medical team is able to intervene and save animals.  

Hope upon arrival at Operation Kindness
On Saint Patrick’s Day, a man brought us a small, dirty, severely matted little two year old Shih Tzu mix that he had found in an alley near his home.  The little dog was not putting any weight on her rear legs and was having a very hard time foraging for food.  The kind man brought her to Operation Kindness hoping we could help her. Upon examination, we discovered that her hair was so badly matted it was cutting off the circulation to her rear legs and feet.  Our medical team could not even cut the mat out because the hair was so tightly wound around her foot. 

Vet technicians work to remove the painful mats from Hope's hair
Our veterinarian put her under anesthesia and one of the veterinarian technicians began working on the mat, shaving a hair at a time out of the mat.  Finally, the foot and lower leg were free, but the damage to her lower leg was a severe injury.  There was a deep cut caused by the hair digging into her leg. After working for over 2 hours, she was cleaned up and free from the mats that were causing her so much pain.
 
Hope during her treatment
Hope, as we named her, is now resting comfortably without the shackles of her own hair binding her legs.  She will need weeks of rehabilitation in our shelter before she is ready for adoption. We believe with medical attention and therapy, we will be able to save her leg and she will get to run and play like all dogs should be able to do. 

Hope enjoys a short trip outside

For the time being, she is enjoying all the love and attention she is receiving from staff and volunteers. We'll keep you updated on her recovery and when she is made available for adoption. Click here to donate to help animals like Hope.
  
 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Helping Tails Helps Operation Kindness


Meet Candy, a 7 year old Shih Tzu mix, that was rescued from the streets and transferred to Operation Kindness. As you can see in her "before" photo, she was horribly matted, filthy and frightened. Candy received medical treatment and was made available for adoption.

Candy was specially helped by the Operation Kindness' Grooming Committee. This group of volunteers is dedicated to getting the dogs bathed, groomed, and looking gorgeous so that they will be more likely to be adopted into forever homes. Once the committee took Candy to be groomed and she received her "makeover" she was very quickly adopted!

The Operation Kindness Grooming Committee is supported by Helping Tales Publishers. A portion of each sale of the books "Patches Awesome Day" and "Diamonds in the Ruff" is donated back to the Grooming Committee to help more dogs to look their best! These two fabulous children's books were actually written by an Operation Kindness volunteer, James Martinez!

In Patches’ Awesome Day, Patches the dog invites the reader to come along and share his day, reminding us of the importance of smiling, laughter, playing, and friends.

Diamonds in the Ruff is a story about the rewarding world of volunteering, helping those in need, and discovering the inner beauty that is within us all. Readers will love this story about a mom and her son volunteering at an animal shelter and their desire to make a difference. Both books are appropriate for kids of all ages!

To learn how to become an Operation Kindness volunteer or how to help support the Grooming Committee, visit our website.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Artists for Animals: Meet Maria!


Mark your calendar for the Artists for Animals Concert Fusion Experience on Friday, March 14th at 7:00PM at the Addison Conference and Theatre Center! 

The evening will include a live performance from members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra with a beautiful backdrop of amazing photos exemplifying the human/canine bond by portrait photographer Teresa Berg.

The evening includes a wine reception paired with desserts! Original art and art photography will be offered during the silent auction and artists will be in attendance to demonstrate and talk about their creative process. All proceeds from Artists for Animals will benefit the animals at Operation Kindness No-kill Animal Shelter. To purchase tickets online, visit http://bit.ly/1aMqJmL.

The beautiful dog featured in the above photo is Maria, and she is currently available for adoption at Operation Kindness! Maria came to Operation Kindness from another shelter because she is so sweet and loving we knew she needed a second chance. Our Animal Care Director walked past her cage, and Maria greeted her with a fast tail wag and kisses. It was then we knew this girl deserved a bright future! She's a 1 year old Pit Bull mix.


She first went to a foster home for 6 weeks with her day-old puppies where she was named Maria, and her puppies were named after the Von Trapp children in the Sound of Music! Her foster family learned she is potty trained, likes her crate, and is very affectionate. They said she is a huge cuddler! Maria came back to the shelter when her puppies were old enough and they were quickly adopted. It's been a few weeks and sweet Maria is still here and she is making friends fast.
 
There isn't a person she has ever met that she didn't absolutely love! Kids, men, teenagers... she likes, ahem, LOVES them all! Maria is a wonderful dog with people, and she is in a play group with other dogs. She sometimes does not like the company of other females so we would require a doggie intro for any potential canines siblings. This social butterfly will steal your heart if you come and meet her. We're confident that the person or family who takes this girl home will think they hit the doggie jackpot! For more information on how to adopt Maria, visit www.operationkindness.org or call 972-418-PAWS.