Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pet Nutrition Seminar To Benefit Homeless Animals

This article appeared in Coast Magazine Online Friday Sept. 18th, 2010. Sasha is doing great and is a client of Ask Ariel Your Pet Nutritionist

Here is a link to the original article:

Pets in Need
WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Pets are suffering along with the rest of us through this economic downturn. Learn how you can do your part in helping Orange County's homeless pets.

BY Ariana Morin
September 17, 2010 - 4:36 PM
Photo By Mindy Schauer/The Orange County Register
More on OC Pet Shelters and Rescues::

Marcia Leong wanted another pet for some time. She had a German shepherd mix that passed away and she missed him dearly. But she already had an elderly cat and a beagle, Chuckie. It just didn’t seem like a good time for another pet. When Leong’s cat passed way, however, she knew it was time. She wanted another German shepherd and she wanted a dog that really needed a home. Leong found nine-year-old German shepherd, Sasha, through the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County, recommended by local animal lover and founder of Ariel Rescue Susan Davis. Sasha had been living with an elderly woman when her owner passed away. The owner's body went undiscovered for 10 days. By the time the coroner was called, Sasha was anxious and confused. She hadn’t had food or water for that time and had started eating away at the baseboards in the home out of frustration. Sasha wouldn’t let the coroner near her owner’s body.
Once at a shelter, Sasha began chewing at her own fur. Patches of her body were chewed raw. She was emaciated and losing hair. And to make things worse, no one was willing to adopt her because of her condition. The shelter placed her on its list of animals to be euthanized – which is when the German Shepherd Rescue stepped in. The first time Leong saw Sasha, she was shocked at her emaciated state – this once beautiful, strong, majestic dog was a mere 47 pounds. Sasha’s hair was thinning and Leong could see stitches from where Sasha chewed at herself. Leong gave the dog a hug and took her home.
At first, Sasha didn’t wag her tail and was distant and aloof. But after one night, Sasha’s demeanor changed for the better. And over time, Sasha became the loving, sweet, playful dog she once was and Leong’s new best friend. Stories like Sasha's are typical of what you hear at shelters and rescues. While opinions vary on how many animals are currently living in shelters, several local shelter workers say there are more animals in shelters and rescues than ever before. Since the economy's plummet, people who have lost their jobs and homes have lost their pets as well.
Over the years, Davis has noticed that summer is often a busy time for shelters and rescues as people go on vacations and either cannot afford or don’t want to pay the boarding fees for their pets – so they give them up instead. But summer 2010 seemed to be worse than any other, she says. On top of the high number of pets being given up for adoption, there also aren’t many people adopting pets. It used to take about one to two weeks for a dog to be adopted from Ariel Rescue, now it is taking about two months, sometimes even longer. In terms of pet shopping, it’s a buyers market: There are plenty of purebreds, puppies and kittens at shelters and rescues, which wasn’t the case in the past. A few years ago, people would line up early at local shelters to get first pick. These days, people line up to relinquish their pets. There are more animals being turned away at shelters and rescues than ever before and more pets in need of loving homes than ever before.
Here are a few things you can do to help them find homes:
Donate money directly to a rescue. Rescues, like all nonprofits are hurting. Each pet they save costs them hundreds of dollars. They have to make sure the animal is fixed, up to date on its shots, healthy, and ready to go to a home. Any amount of money can help save an animal’s life.
Attend a pet rescue fundraiser. Ariel Rescue is having a holistic pet care seminar on Saturday, September 25, 2010. All proceeds will go to benefit homeless pets. e-mail Ask your vet or local shelter for information about more upcoming events at local shelters and rescues.
Spay or neuter your pet. Overpopulation is a huge problem within the pet community. If everyone spayed and neutered their pets, there would be a much lower number of animals in shelters and rescues, which means there would be more pets in loving homes and less on the streets.
Become a foster parent. Many rescues are in need of volunteers or foster parents to help take care of the animals they rescue. If you want a pet but aren’t sure you are ready to commit to one full time, volunteering with a rescue is a good way to test the waters of pet parenthood.
Adopt. With the high number of puppies and healthy, well-trained pets at local shelters and rescues, it is the perfect time to adopt a great pet at a low price. You will be saving a life and your pet will thank you for it for the rest of his or her life.
Commit. Many people get a pet not realizing the commitment it entails. Make sure when you get an animal that you are committing to it for the length of his/her life.Ensure your pet has a way to get back home. Many animals end up in shelters simply because they don’t have tags or microchips. Last year alone, the Orange County Animal Shelter reunited 4,000 lost dogs and 250 cats with the help of tags and microchips.

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