Our Mission: To help as many animals as we can

Dog Toys: The Good, the Bad and the Dangerous? Fetch edition!

go fetchGood morning CHS supporters!

 

We hope you have all been enjoying the lovely fall weather. Now is the perfect time to enjoy the sun with Fido before the Weather Event That Shall Not Be Named arrives and puts a damper on outdoor fun.

 

Today on the blog, we’re talking dog toys, the good, the bad and the dangerous. Because whether you use them inside or outside we know you probably have lots of them!

 

Dogs need to be both mentally and physically active to be healthy. While the amount of physical activity your dog needs may vary by breed, size, age and health, all dogs still require something to fill their time and provide amusement. A variety of dog toys can be the perfect thing to keep brains and paws busy.

 

Throughout dog month, we are going to bring you a couple of installments on the good, the bad and the dangerous of dog toys! Today? It’s the Fetch Edition! Continue reading…

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Dog Noses (and maybe even a little more)

dog noses

Happy Early Thanksgiving CHS Supporters!

We hope you are all excited for the upcoming long weekend and we hope you have some fun plans. If those plans include gathering for a big family meal of turkey (or tofurkey for the vegetarians in the house) then here is your reminder to be cautious about how many treats your pet receives! While a small bite of turkey may be fine for most pets, too much rich food like turkey, gravy and other delicious Thanksgiving treats can lead to pancreatitis and gastrointestinal problems.

But today on the blog we have decided to bypass the talk of treat hazards (we have done previous articles on this if you are interested) and instead we are going to talk about another body part that gets a good Thanksgiving workout… your pooch’s nose!

Yep, that’s right, it’s all about the schnoz today. We’re bringing you the cute, the cool and the curious about the canine olfactory system. Continue reading…

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Tips on choosing a kennel or pet sitter for your pooch

dogboarding

Welcome to dog month, CHS supporters!

That’s right! October marks the celebration of man’s best friend here at the shelter. We hope you’re having a great dog adoption month so far! At the shelter we are seeing lots of awesome pooches heading off to loving forever homes, so it doesn’t get much better than that!

Last month, we asked you what topics you would like to see on the blog for dog month. We got some great topics (one if which is being featured today), but if you missed this shout out then there is still lots of time to get your suggestions in. Share your suggestions in our Facebook community, leave a comment on the blog or email community@calgaryhumane.ca! Today we are featuring the most popular suggestion from our awesome supporters: How do I choose a service to watch my pets when I am on holidays?

We’re glad you asked! One of the questions we are commonly asked here at the shelter is whether or not we can recommend a ‘good’ boarding kennel/groomer/veterinarian etc. Continue reading…

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How Rabbits Hear: the long and short of bunny ears

ears

You put your bunny ears in
(Place hands on head to make ears)

You put your bunny ears out.

You put your bunny ears in.

And you shake them all about.

You do the Bunny Pokey
And hop yourself around…
That’s what it’s all about!

Goooooood morning CHS supporters!

We hope you are all having a very safe and happy fall season. If you are a wildlife fan you may be celebrating “rabbit month” by watching for the prairie hares to start changing colour (let us know in the comments or on Facebook if you’d like to see a blog entry on that phenomenon). The rest of us? Well, we’re still firmly in denial about the upcoming winter season… so today on the blog we’re looking at one of the coolest features bunnies have… some pretty awesome ears!

So, aside from being incredibly difficult to fit for earmuffs, what makes rabbit ears so special?

Rabbit ears have a unique shape. Continue reading…

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Calgary Humane Society Seizes 92 Animals Bringing Seizure Numbers to an All Time High

September 19th, 2014
Calgary, AB — Immediate Release

On Saturday August 30, 2014, Calgary Humane Society Peace Officers, in collaboration with Calgary Police Service and City of Calgary Animal Services, removed 92 animals from a home in Southeast Calgary. The rabbits and hamsters were removed due to lack of adequate space, unsanitary conditions and medical neglect. Approximately a quarter of the population had to be euthanized as a result of their poor condition.

On September 18, 2014, Anthony and Chris BERRY of Calgary were arrested and each charged with 92 counts of 445.1(1)(a) wilfully cause or permit to be caused, unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal and 92 counts of 446(1)(b)Wilfully neglect or fail to provide adequate food, water, shelter and care for an animal under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Brad Nichols, Manager, Cruelty Investigations with Calgary Humane Society said, “we are just thankful we were able to remove these animals from a very bad situation and there will be accountability for their suffering. We are very grateful for the efforts provided during this mass removal by the Calgary Police and Animal Services.”

Due to this unfortunate situation Calgary Humane Society has an abundance of rabbits available for adoption. September is also rabbit adoption month. CHS is therefore urging the public to come and see the rabbits available for
adoption and consider giving one a second chance.

Calgary Humane Society always encourages the public to call CHS if they witness an animal in any situation where they are being abused or neglected. All information provided remains confidential.

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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Rabbits Until Now!

Facts

Hello CHS Supporters!

We hope you have been enjoying “Rabbit Adoption Month” here on the blog and learning lots more about these fun and engaging little critters. Did you know that each and every rabbit at Calgary Humane Society receives fresh salad each morning? It’s true! All of our bunnies, guinea pigs, chinchillas and other vegetarian species receive nutritious leafy greens, carrots and other healthy fruits and vegetables as part of their daily diet.

To celebrate rabbit adoption month, today on the blog we bring you some cool facts about rabbits!

1. Rabbits are not rodents! Many people think that rabbits are cousins to mice or guinea pigs and are surprised to learn that rabbits are not rodents at all! While rabbits Continue reading…

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Hoppin’ Happy! A brief guide to bunny body language

Hoppin

Happy rabbit month, CHS supporters!

If you are like me, a long time cat and dog lover, then you may find rabbits a little intimidating. Sure, they’re cute, they’re fluffy and they’re vegetarian… but for those of us more familiar with cats and dogs they are a terrifying ball of unpredictability! Today on the blog, I am delving into the mysteries of the lapin to share with you just a few of the things I learned about bunny body language in my attempt to conquer my fears of all things rabbit.

First things first… Rabbits are a prey species! Many potential rabbit owners are attracted to bunnies due to their vegetarian status and small stature. Unfortunately, in the wild this often means that rabbits are destined to be on the menu for a multitude of other species. This “prey” status in the predator/prey relationship can actually be seen just by looking at a rabbit’s face vs. a cat or dog’s face – “Eyes on the side like to run away and hide… eyes on the front like to go out and hunt!” So, knowing that about the eye placement of predators and prey… go look in the mirror. Humans also join the ranks of predators with our forward facing eyes.

What does this mean for pet rabbits? Well, it means they are a prey species living with a predator – an odd couple at best. This also means that a rabbit, as prey, will have a very different approach to the world compared to a predator.

Prey animals tend to display more vigilance than predators. They startle easily and are constantly scanning their environment for threats. Prey animals are acutely aware of changes in their environments, including sights, sounds, smells and even vibrations in the ground. While more direct movements and confident approaches may work for predator species, prey species require a softer and gentler approach to interaction.

This vigilance to the environment means it is extra important to be aware of what is going on around you when socializing with your rabbit. Think carefully about what your rabbit can see, hear, feel and smell during the interaction. Also, watch for subtle changes in the environment and observe how those affect the bunny you are greeting.

OK! On to body language!

Like other animals, rabbits have specific body language that they use to communicate with other bunnies. In reality, the rabbit body language system is very complex, so today we are going to look at only a few major bunny body language cues. If you are interested in learning more about bunny body language, we highly recommend checking out some of the great online resources, like the House Rabbit Society, for more information.

Bunny Binkies – This is the best thing ever. Seriously. This is the happiest thing I have ever learned. Are you ready???

Rabbit dance when they’re happy.

Yeah, that’s right. I’ll give you a minute to get that adorable image under control.

When rabbits are happy and having fun, they do a small hopping ‘dance’ that is often referred to as “binkies’. Want to see this cuteness in action? Of COURSE we found you a video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLWp86XR9-0

Laying down – Rabbits have two primary styles when they lay down. One is similar to “meatloaf pose” in cats (legs tucked under, ears laying flat against the body) and the other is the “sprawling relaxation” pose (laying on the tummy or side with the legs sprawled out). Both of these poses are usually accompanies by a relaxed eye that is partially closed and both of these poses indicate relaxation. The sprawling relaxation pose generally indicates that your bunny is extremely comfortable and is feeling absolutely no threat from their environment.

Placing the head down onto the ground while sitting in a classic sphinx rabbit pose – Many pet rabbits will do this to request petting. Many rabbits use this pose to greet other rabbits as well.

Standing up on the hind legs – Wild rabbits will do this to scan for threats. House rabbits may do this if they are worried, but may also do this out of curiosity or to get your attention.

“Thumping” the back feet – A rabbit that is thumping it’s back feet is warning other rabbits of danger. This is a good indication your rabbit is feeling uneasy. A thump followed by a quick dash away indicates you rabbit is feeling quite threatened.

Grunting, Thumping and Charging – These are territorial signs from a rabbit that you are invading their space. Some rabbits will also do this when threatened.

Screaming – Yes, rabbits can scream, but typically only do so when gravely injured or severely threatened. If your rabbit is cornered and unable to escape they may escalate from the grunting behavior into a screaming behavior.

There you have it! A few bunny body language basics. There are many, many more subtle cues within the rabbit body language system. We invite you to share them with us! Feel free to post below here on the blog, or join the discussion on our Facebook group!

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Take it Outside: Hiking with Fido

2

It’s almost fall and you want to enjoy this perfect weather with you furry four legged friends. There are many off-leash parks in the Calgary area but what about going hiking?

The Bragg Creek area is a great place to take your dog on a hike close to Calgary, whether you are going on a short or long trail there are few things to consider when taking your dog hiking with you.

  1. Remember that a trail that isn’t difficult for you could be quiet hard for your dog. Rocky trail beds can hurt your furry friend paws and stream crossings can be harder for a smaller or fearful dog. Choose your trail wisely, start with shorter and easier trail if your dog isn’t used to long exercises. Continue reading…
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Calgary Humane Society Looking for Public’s Help to Identify a Dog Left With Devastating Injuries

September 11, 2014
Calgary, AB — Immediate Release

On Friday September 5, 2014, a white female Bulldog cross was found wandering around a strip mall in the Ogden area of SE Calgary. The dog, affectionately named “Ruby” by the veterinary clinic who admitted her, was suffering from severe neglect. A good Samaritan had picked her up and brought her to the clinic immediately as she was suffering from large facial and hind wounds, severe emaciation, eye and ear infections, and fecal staining of her paws. “Ruby” unfortunately succumbed to the multitude of neglect related afflictions while under anesthetic to repair her most serious injuries. Calgary Humane Society’s Protection and Investigations team is investigating. “This poor dog had no permanent identification and as a result we are very limited in our ability to investigate further,” says Brad Nichols, Manager, Cruelty Investigations. “This is some of the most severe overall neglect I have witnessed and, most certainly, would warrant charges for animal cruelty. We are asking for the public’s help in finding the owner or caretaker of this dog. If you recognize this dog or have information relevant to this investigation, we ask that you please call the Calgary Humane Society at 403-205-4455”.

Calgary Humane Society always encourages the public to call CHS if they witness an animal in any situation where they are being abused or neglected. All information provided remains confidential.

Bulldog

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Rabbits and Children: the Perfect Pair?

Rabbit

Rabbits are fun and rabbits are funny, and now my child wants a bunny?

At Calgary Humane Society, we love rabbits! For the right home, a rabbit can be a wonderful companion animal, but we also know that a rabbit is not right for every home. Unfortunately, for many years rabbits have been (wrongly) advertised as being excellent “starter pets” for children and a lot of misinformation has been spread about the kind of husbandry and commitment a pet rabbit needs. Like any pet, rabbits have specific needs and require some specialized care.

Today on the blog, we are sharing what you need to know about rabbits before you decide on a pet!

1. Rabbits live a LONG life! One of the most common beliefs we hear about rabbits at Calgary Humane is related to the lifespan of a rabbit. In fact, we see a lot of rabbits surrendered at 3-5 years of age from those that have purchased a rabbit without understanding what a rabbit lifespan is. Many people still believe that rabbits live 2-5 years, similar to a hamster or guinea pig. In reality, the average lifespan for a rabbit is closer to 8-12 years depending on breed, but there are plenty of rabbits who have lived to 16+ with proper care.  Continue reading…

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