Mon, Jan. 20

Holiday traveling with your pets

The Verde Valley Humane Society “Pet of the Week” is our beautiful “Betty.” She is a hound mix that greets you at her kennel with her tail wagging for attention. Her adoption fee has been discounted by $20 thanks to our generous supporters.

The Verde Valley Humane Society “Pet of the Week” is our beautiful “Betty.” She is a hound mix that greets you at her kennel with her tail wagging for attention. Her adoption fee has been discounted by $20 thanks to our generous supporters.

This week’s Pet Corner is going to be about the adventure of traveling with your pets. First I would like to share my experience this morning.

This experience says how much we really need to be able to finish the new Adoption Facility and house all of the animals inside the buildings.

As I slept all snug in my bed about four this morning the police department called me to let me know that the terrible storm and wind had actually taken the roof off the outside kennels at VVHS.

I pulled myself together and headed over in the dark to see what I could do for the animals that were living outside.

Driving in I did get the pleasure of seeing snowflakes in the headlights, but that was about the only thing I enjoyed seeing.

As I arrived at the shelter with my flashlight I could see the different roof coverings hanging from the tree tops and all over the grounds.

All of the animals living in the outside kennels were exposed to all of the elements. No roof, only their blankets and dog houses.

Checking on the animals I was fortunate to find that everyone was fine just scared beyond belief.

After reassuring everyone I called my crew and asked them to head in immediately to get everyone moved inside.

What if your animal had gotten out and had been impounded last night? Your “furry best friend” would have also had to experience the howling wind and metal pieces flying through the air.

I can’t even imagine how the animals felt outside alone in the dark with all of the commotion going on. I felt so bad that they had to go through that entire storm with things flying through the air.

We did get everyone calmed down, moved inside and reassured that everything was going to be alright. By daybreak everything with the animals was back to normal.

On the other hand the new facility sat unscathed by the fierceness of Mother Nature and her show of temperament last night. The regrettable thing was that none of our animals were safe inside.

Folks, we can do this in the very near future with just a little more of your help! Let’s get these animals inside a building in cages that they deserve. Please help us help the animals.

Now let’s get to the fun part of the holidays. Holidays are so exciting and they go so much smoother if we keep them as stress free as possible.

“Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go” so the song goes. One of my favorites since I know that song means that the holidays are right around the corner.

Part of what this also means to me is that I need to get some information out to all of you about traveling with your pets.

Two of the biggest days of the year are right around the corner. Have you started any of your preparations yet?

Many of us will be heading out of town to be with our friends and family. How exciting, everyone getting together this time of year.

In our planning we have to think of our animals. Is it better to take them with us or would another option be easier on them?

This is something that requires a lot of thought, not a hasty decision. An unwise choice may possibly ruin what would have been a wonderful time.

Another big question is how do our hosts feel about our animals coming with us? If you plan to stay with someone, please be considerate. Are your pets really welcome?

Find out well in advance if your pet will be welcome. Do your hosts have pet allergies? Do they have a place safe for your pets to be contained?

If your trip will involve any nights in hotels, campgrounds or motels, make sure you find the ones that are pet friendly.

Will this trip cause more stress than being left with friends or in a boarding kennel? Pet-sitters will come to your house, so that’s another option.

Call VVHS at 634-7387 for a list of boarding kennels, vet offices and pet-sitters that offer care for your animals if taking them isn’t an option.

Planning and preparation to travel with your pet is just as necessary as planning for the rest of the family.

Traveling with your pets is not as simple as throwing a few things in a suitcase and remembering your toothbrush.

Make sure that you write a list of everything that your pet will need and check it off as you pack. Start your list early, it really helps. I found it works wonders at my house.

Has your “best friend” been seen by your vet recently? Make sure he or she has a clean bill of health and is current on all of the necessary vaccinations.

Talk to your vet about your plans to travel and make sure that the trip is advisable for your pet.

What type of identification does your pet have? Tags or a microchip are very important when traveling, just as in everyday life.

Collars/harnesses and leashes are a must when traveling. Remember, you need to be in charge of your pet at all times.

There have been many occasions when people vacationing have come into VVHS looking for their lost pets. It is so sad to see them have to leave without their furry best friend.

Please ID your animals. Can you imagine going home from a trip without your best friend? Your holidays could be totally ruined if this disaster would happen.

Have you thought about how you are going to transport your pet as you drive to your destination? Crates secured in a vehicle are recommended for the safety of the animal and for you.

Several manufacturers also make “doggie seatbelts” and “doggie car seats” that secure your animal in the seat if you will be transporting a dog.

The best way to travel with your cat is with him being securely kept in a crate large enough for his litter box.

The last thing you need to do while driving is have to worry about what your pet is doing. Traffic is heavy this time of year and the last thing you need is some type of surprise distraction.

Just the other day I was driving down the street to do some shopping and actually saw a cat sitting on the dashboard of a car right above the steering wheel.

That practice is very hazardous for not only you, but your cat and other motorists. Please contain any animal you are traveling with.

Protect your furry friends and yourself not only this holiday season, but all year round. Being free to roam inside your car could be a death sentence for all of you.

Prior to your trip make sure that your pets have had food and water available. Approximately three hours before you leave, remove the food and water.

Animals, just as humans can experience motion sickness. If you have already experienced motion sickness in your pet, you may want to contact your vet about medications that are available to make the trip easier.

Animals with motion sickness are generally quiet and even a little depressed because they feel so terrible. Don’t add to their misery by feeding them.

Vomit happens, so just in case of an accident, bring paper towels and a trash bag that can be tied securely. Save the large meals for at night when you stop to rest, your pet will thank you.

If you are traveling with your dog, please don’t forget to take items to clean up after your dog on “potty breaks.” Hopefully the people visiting the rest areas before you have done the same thing.

Remember as you travel, there will be times when you need to get out of the car. Don’t leave your friend in the car for extended periods of time. They can suffer from the elements just as humans.

Your time outside the car should be limited, unless you have a solution for your pet. I haven’t seen many restaurants that welcome our caged family members.

Fast food or a picnic lunch for your family may be the solution to this problem. Since you chose to travel with your pet you need to accommodate their needs also.

As you head out this holiday season, please keep this in mind. Once again, your attention needs to be on the road, not on the pet.

As hard as it may be a crate safely secured in the seat or the use of a seatbelt is necessary, your pet is going to be fine.

Something else is very important for you to remember.

There are going to plenty of opportunities at the end of the day to give your pet the much deserved food, love and attention that he needs.

Be safe, have a wonderful trip. All eyes on the road! Your pet will thank you and so will your loved ones.

Many of you are inquiring about the “Bricks of Honor” that will pave the way to the new Adoption Facility so I will take this opportunity to answer your questions.

The larger of the two bricks measures 8 ¾ inches wide and 6 inches high and the cost is $90.

The smaller brick is 5 ¾ inches wide and 6 inches high, with a cost of $50. Both bricks are very impressive and will accommodate full names.

These are perfect gifts for those who have everything this holiday season.

They also make great birthday, anniversary, graduation and any other celebration presents.

It’s time to place your order now. The deadline of Dec. 15 is slowly approaching.

There are samples at VVHS for your inspection. Stop in and see them at 1502 W. Mingus Ave.

If you are having trouble getting into the shelter you may send your choice of bricks along with your name, phone number, check and clearly printed wording to: VVHS Building Fun P.O. Box 1429 Cottonwood, AZ 86326.

Don’t forget to shop at our thrift store, the Good Buy Shoppe this holiday season. You will find many treasures that can’t be found in Malls and other stores.

The week of Dec. 14, make it a point to stop in the Good Buy Shoppe. We are going to have a table of brand new items to give as Christmas presents.

Shopping, donating or volunteering at our Good Buy Shoppe all benefits the animals at VVHS.

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