Our Mission: To help as many animals as we can

Cupcake Day 2015 Kickoff!

CCD_2015_Postcard

Cupcakes can help animals in need? They can on Cupcake Day! 

We’re proud to announce the launch of our participation in National Cupcake Day 2015! Last year, you raised $15,000 to help animals in need in the city of Calgary – do you think we can do better in 2015?!? We think so!

Read more about how to participate in Cupcake Day 2015 and register today.

We will be partnering with Crave Cookies and Cupcakes again for an in-store event on February 23rd and once we have finalized the details, you guys will be the first to know! Spoiler alert: it will be cute and delicious!

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Top 10 things you learn while fostering kittens!

Top 10 things you learn while fostering kittens!

10. Trying to contain 6 kittens to a foster room is like trying to put an octopus in a mesh bag… and it’s a GREAT cardio workout.

9. To a curious kitten, a cat tent looks like a covered litter box. Refrain from cat tents until kittens learn object sub-categories

8. To kitten proof your foster home, invite 15 toddlers to your house and give them spiderman-like climbing powers. Anything still standing after an hour is probably safe. Maybe.

7. Expect the occasional “poop-party”

6. If you thought keeping them in the foster room was hard, wait until you try the post poop-party bath!

5. There is nothing softer or sweeter than kitten toes

4. …Those toes get even sweeter when you accidentally leave a slice of birthday cake unattended on the coffee table.

3. Scratching posts are a vital investment for 6 curious kittens… In fact, you may just want to cover the whole house in carpet

2. Prepare for some of the most fun, hilarious, goofy and antic-filled weeks of your LIFE!

1. It is worth every second you spend cleaning, chasing and wrangling… you’ll be irrevocably hooked.

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Fostering an Animal 101

Fostering and animal 101

Happy New Year!!!!

We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season! January marks the start of a new year and around CHS that means we mark the occasion by celebrating a very special program that creates hundreds of new beginnings each year… our foster program!

Today on the blog, we’re answering the question: Why am I asked to be a foster parent for 3-6 months before adopting any of my foster animals?

Alright, so you have read up on our foster program, booked yourself into an orientation and are ready to take the plunge! You cannot wait to start seeing all those sweet potential foster faces in your email inbox and you begin to imagine how you will possibly choose which animal to host in your home. You cannot wait to start setting up your foster room and you are already thinking about all the fun you and your foster pet will have as you teach them everything they need to know to find a loving forever home.

Being a foster parent is a fun and incredible journey. Continue reading…

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If Cats Wrote Christmas Carols

(brought to you by Gary VanMeowski)

Deck the halls with boughs of catnip!
Meow Meow Meow Meow Meowwwww Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow

On the stairs, my human I’ll trip
Meow Meow Meow Meow Meowww Meow Meow Meow Meow

Check out all the wrapping paper!
Meow Meow Meow… Meow Meow Meow… Meow Meow Meow!

Steeeeeealing bows is quite the caper!
Meow Meow Meow Meow Meowww… Meow Meow! Meow! MEOWWWWW!!! Continue reading…

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Holiday Hazards + Your Pet

Holiday Hazards

Have a Hazard Free Holiday!

Happy Holidays all of you awesome CHS supporters! We hope you are enjoying the lead up to the festive season (and the unseasonably nice weather we’ve been having!).

We love the holiday season at the shelter! During the festive season we see a flood of generosity and kindness that would warm even the coldest of hearts (I’m lookin’ at you, Gary VanMeowski) and we also LOVE seeing our awesome adoptable friends find a new home for the holidays. Every so often we’ll even get a Christmas card from a former adoptee – a definite bright point for the season!

While the holidays is a great time to celebrate the love our pets bring to our lives, this time of year can also be hazardous to our furry friends. Today on the blog we bring you some tips to ensure a healthy and happy holiday season!

Holiday Hazards

The Food Continue reading…

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Twas the week before Stuff a Pooch Pad…

Stuff a Pooch Pad 2014-w

Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through CHS
The kitties were tidy… The puppies? A MESS!
The bunnies were nibbling on lettuce and hay
While the birds in the flight deck flapped and twittered away

The hammies were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of yogurt treats danced in their heads      
The adoptions staff closed up the place for the night
Making sure each sweet pet was tucked in safe and right

When up from the office arose such a clatter
Gary the cat was as mad as a hatter
“Stuff a POOCH PAD?!” he cried as he stomped past the vents
He was sure those darn dogs would steal all of the presents

 Past all the cubicles he flew like a flash
He hacked the computers and looked through the cache
Gary searched through the Facebook and read all the emails
He dug through the photos and tried to find details

“The cats deserve gifties” Gary thought from his palace
Then he got an idea just dripping with malice.
“I’ll steal all the presents from those mean greedy hounds”
“I’ll hide them all somewhere, those gifts I’ll impound!”

 Gary cackled and purred as he plotted his plot
He imagined the dogs waking up all distraught
“The kitties!” he thought “Will be merry indeed!”
“But to make this all happen I must act with speed”

He snuck through the hallways and gathered some bags
But when he got to the door, his plan hit some snags
“LOCKED!” Gary grumbled as he rattled the handle
He wished that the door could be struck by a vandal

But Gary was always a determined cat
No locked door would stop him, and that would be that
He looked round the office with determined intent
And that is when Gary remembered the vents

He unscrewed the screws and pulled back the cover
And crept through the duct work to remain undiscovered
He snuck past admissions and through the vet clinic
“Bah Humbug to holidays!” thought Gary the cynic

Gary trekked through the ducts leaving fur in his wake
He kept up the speed – no time for a break
He ran through each tunnel and kept up his shedding
He jogged with no clue as to where he was treading

At last Gary reached his goal destination
Then crashed through the screen that provided filtration
He ran through adoptions, his face filled with glee
“I’ll get gifts for all felines… especially ME!”

Gary peered in the pooch pads to find all the gifts
He looked and he scrambled… he jumped, scratched and sniffed!
He snuck round the corners and stared down the halls
He inspected each doorway and even the walls.

When finally he found it, the room filled with loot!
“AH HA!” cried the cat “It was worth the commute!
Gary leapt for the handle and swung open the door
And was astonished to find he could not see the floor!

There were boxes of goodies, too much to behold
There were bags full of food, and treats wrapped in gold
There were stuffies and catnip and big fluffy beds
Gary could not imagine such a bountiful spread

There was plenty enough for pets all to share
Gary flopped on a soft poofy bed like a chair
He thought of the pooches, tucked in safe and warm
And that was enough to make Gary reform

“There are gifties for all here” Gary thought as he sat
“There are gifties for bunnies, birds, doggies and cats”
“But who gave these gifties? Who brought us so much?”
“They deserve lots of thank mews and smooches and such”

Gary sat and he wondered, he thought and he pondered
Then he got up and wondered and thought while he wandered
He walked past the bunnies who quietly slept
He walked past the tanks where the turtles were kept

He crept through adoptions and eyed all the cats
He checked out the fittings for each feline flat
Each kitty had bedding and lots of fun toys
And each flat was themed for a girl or a boy

Gary slunk to the presents with feelings of shame
Now his plot to steal gifties just seemed rather lame
There were plenty of presents, each shiny and new
A flood of new gifties from a generous crew

As he headed back home he thought of the stuff
As he coated the ducts in a pound of his fluff
Safely back in his office, Gary could not believe
That he ever could possibly be so naïve

Gary drafted a letter to send to reporters
To say thank you to all of our awesome supporters
You make CHS a place special to be
And thanks to you there’ll be gifts under the tree

So as we head into Christmas, a great festive season
We have to point out that you guys are the reason
We can house every critter, the old and the new
And for that we must give you a big huge THANK YOU!!!!!

So to all our supporters, the big and the small
THANK YOU for this wonderful holiday haul
But more than that THANK YOU for all that you do
Without you we could not do this, that is true.

***

From all of us at Calgary Humane Society (including Gary) to all of you, our awesome supporters, THANK YOU for another amazing year of our “Stuff a Pooch Pad” campaign. We are not even at the finish line yet and we are already amazed at how generous everyone has been! Thank you for making the holiday season brighter for all of the pets that are still waiting at CHS for their “purr-fect” family.

We are still accepting donations for our Stuff a Pooch Pad campaign! If you would like to drop off donations or check out the amazing pile of goodies that has been delivered so far, come and visit us at the shelter! We can’t wait to see you!

P.S. If you were wondering why we had to clean the ducts this week… wellll…. We hope this answers it for you!

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Caring for your senior pet: Mobility edition

Mobility edition

Hello CHS Supporters!

We hope you have enjoyed senior pet month on the blog. This week, we are wrapping up our celebration of old souls with the final edition of caring for your senior pet… the mobility edition!

Older pets can often suffer from mobility issues as they get older. Just like older humans, many older pets will develop some arthritis or degenerative joint issues as they age. These changes may be so mild you do not even notice in day-to-day life or so severe that they greatly impact quality of life. If hip dysplasia is a problem for your pet it is especially important to monitor the condition as your pet ages – many pets with hip dysplasia will develop osteoarthritis in later years.

So, what should you do if your senior pet is having mobility problems?

First… To The Vet! Continue reading…

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Caring for a senior pet: Hearing Impaired Edition

Hearing Impaired

Good morning everyone!

Last week we brought you some tips on caring for a pet experiencing vision loss. Today, we’re continuing our little senior pet month series by moving to another important sense for pets: sound.

There are a wide number of reasons why a pet might become deaf and while some have to do with age, many do not. Pets can be deaf from birth due to a physical abnormality or genetic issue (in some breeds certain white coat genes are linked to deafness) while younger pets can develop hearing loss in response to ear infections, certain viruses (like canine distemper), waxy build up or trauma.

For senior pets, some of the most common types of hearing loss seen are the result of changes to the nervous system or physical structures of the ear, exposure to medication or chronic ear infections. Like humans, as animals age they experience age-related changes in their bodies. Age-related hearing loss is also referred to as presbycusis and will normally affect both ears. These age-related hearing changes are normally the result of changes to the auditory nerve (the nerve that carries signals from the ear to the brain), the loss of the tiny hair cells that move in the ear as your hear (stereocilia) or a change in the function of either the inner ear bones or the eardrum.

In addition to these age-related changes, senior pets may also experience hearing loss due to medications. Certain types of chemotherapy, antibiotics and diuretic drugs have been known to cause hearing loss. It is important to note, however, that is your veterinarian is prescribing a medication that may cause hearing loss it would normally be in response to a far more serious condition and you should not stop giving your pet the medication without first speaking with your vet. Another common reason for hearing loss in senior pets can be an obstruction (blockage) in the ear canal. This could be the result of scar tissue from chronic ear infections or it may be caused by a build-up of wax and fur in the ear canal. All cases of suspected hearing loss should be seen by your vet as early as possible so your vet can examine your pet and determine what, if any, treatment is needed.

So what do you do if your cherished friend loses their hearing with age? Here are a few tips…

Make sure others know your pet cannot hear. Alert and remind all visitors to the house, especially children, that your pet cannot hear and ask them to avoid approaching your pet from behind or bothering your pet while they are sleeping.

Stomp. Yes, seriously. Stomp. We mentioned above to ask guests not to approach your deaf pet while it is sleeping, but this is not always realistic. You may need to approach your hearing-impaired pet while it is sleeping or when it is not looking at you. Stomping your feet to create vibrations in the floor is sometimes enough to get your pet’s attention and alert them that someone is approaching. Keep in mind that this will not work on concrete floors (you’ll just wind up with sore feet!).

Consider a vibrating collar. Several companies have now come out with collars that will vibrate in response to a signal from a remote. If you decide to purchase one of these collars, remember that you are not using this a corrective tool but as a gentle way of alerting your pet and select the most comfortable setting for your pet. If you are unsure if a vibrating collar would be appropriate for your pet, speak with your veterinarian or a professional trainer in your area who has experience working with hearing-impaired pets. Also keep in mind, if you invest in a vibrating collar you will need to teach your pet what that vibration means!

Training required! If your pet begins to lose their hearing gradually, teaching your pet hand signals for known verbal commands can help to ease the transition. For pets that have lost their hearing suddenly, or for new skills (like responding to a vibrating collar) you may need to do some extra training with your pet. At Calgary Humane Society, our behavior team offers a behavior help line and private consultations and would be happy to suggest strategies and help you determine what additional training your pet may require.

For multiple pet homes, ensure there are escape routes. Hearing-impaired pets can feel vulnerable in multi-pet households because it is easy for other pets to ‘sneak up’ on the pet that cannot hear, either by accident or on purpose. When setting up furniture or pet items, try to avoid any areas that may cause ‘dead ends’ or blind corners (areas where there is only one entrance or exit route or areas where a pet cannot see who is coming or going). Watching your pets interact can be a helpful way to determine what areas of the house result in these unexpected sneak attacks.

There you have it! A few tips and tricks to manage pet hearing loss. Did we miss one of your favorite techniques? Do you have a story of a hearing-impaired pet to share? Connect with our community by posting a comment below or sharing your comments on our Facebook! We would love to know what you think! Is there a topic you would like to see covered during senior pet month? Let us know by sharing a comment or emailing community@calgaryhumane.ca.

Until next time, CHS supporters! Happy Senior Pet Month!

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We Heart Grey Muzzles!

grey muzzles

Good morning CHS Supporters! We hope you having a great week so far! As winter begins and you and your dog enjoy cooler walks, don’t forget to stay safe and bundle up! Also, a reminder to all of you that the use of ice melt products is back in full swing and these products can cause burns to unprotected paws, so keep an eye out to prevent Fido or Fluffy from walking on it!

Today on the blog, we’re tackling the cutest of senior pet subjects….

Grey muzzles!

Ohhhh yeahhhhh. We’re going there today. Continue reading…

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Caring for a senior pet: Blind Animal Edition

Caring for a senior pet Blind Animal Edition

Happy Friday CHS Supporters!

We hope you are enjoying senior pet month so far. All month long we’ll be bringing you the latest and greatest tips, tricks and information about elderly animals.

Today we start a new series that will give you the ins and outs of caring for your senior pet. If you caught Global noon hour last Friday, you likely saw our community outreach manager talking about owning blind dogs. We thought it would be a great topic to continue here on the blog!

Just like aging humans, elderly dogs will often experience a natural decline in their vision as they grow older. In addition to this natural decline in eyesight a senior animal may also experience an illness or eye disorder that leads to blindness. Depending on the cause of the vision loss, a blind animal may sometimes be able to see light, shadows and/or some movement or they may have absolutely no vision at all.

Again, depending on cause, vision loss may occur suddenly or gradually over many years. Continue reading…

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