The Ft Myers Bass Pro Shops recently hosted a workshop on how to keep your pets safe and comfortable while participating in outdoor activities. While primarily set up as a children’s event (participating kids received activity books and pins) the speaker shared a wealth of information any pet owner would benefit from.
The series of workshops will be ongoing every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from now through July 10, 2011 (for a complete schedule click on this link Fort Myers Bass Pro Shops Workshops and will cover the topics of camping, hiking, fishimg, shooting, bird watching, plants and insects,animal identification, and archery as well as outdoor pets. Children can receive pins (while supplies last) for participating in all of these workshops, additionally, there will be crafts in the evening, photo opportunities, and a free “summer fun guide” for parents.
“HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS FOR FAMILY PETS”
While it appears Fort Myers will be spared a direct or indirect hit from Hurricane “Irene” the time is now to review how well prepared you are to , not only take care of yourself, but your pets as well. Emergency Management and Animal Services officials recommend pet owners create a checklist when assembling their own hurricane supply kits. Here are some tips compiled from websites across the nation:
■ Make sure pet vaccinations are up to date.
■ Arrange for family or friends to shelter you and your pet inland, away from the storm if you cannot leave or cannot find alternative pet-friendly lodging. If your pet is on medications, ask if your vet offers shelter.
■ Bring extra food, water and medications — enough to last several days to three weeks.
■ Include pictures of you and your pet in the emergency kit.
■ Bring an appropriate-sized carrier for your pet with identification information on the sides. Keep each pet in a separate carrier, confining smaller animals away from larger ones.
■ Carry important pet paperwork and veterinarian records in plastic, watertight bags.
■ Bring food and water dishes, a can opener, utensils, cat litter, litter box, pooper-scooper and bags, first-aid kit, leashes, dish soap, paper towels, blankets, some favorite toys or treats, flea collars or flea-repellent drops.
■ Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags and label all your pet’s belongings. Also consider microchipping your pet.
■ Transport hamsters, gerbils, ferrets and other small mammals in carriers that can maintain the animals while at the boarding location. Take food, water, bowls, bottles, bedding and other necessary items.
■ For birds or lizards, transport them in secure travel cages or carriers without water. Keep the cage in a quiet area and don’t let them out. Take a photo for identification and either leg band or microchip the bird. Bring medicine, medical records, water, food, toys, newspapers or cage lining and cleaning supplies.
■ For reptiles, a pillowcase is a good transport carrier for snakes, as long as the snake is immediately transferred to a more secure cage once you reach the boarding location. Bring adequate food — especially if the reptile requires frequent feedings — along with a water bowl and heating pad.
If you remain at home with your pet:
■ Noise from a storm can frighten a pet. If possible, keep the pet within sight.
■ Use the supplies in your pet survival kit for your pet’s sanitary and food needs.
■ Never leave your pet chained outside.
■ Never tranquilize pets. They need to use survival instincts to escape potential danger.
■ Anchor outside objects that cannot be brought inside to avoid injury to animals, humans or property.
■ Walk pets on a leash until they become reoriented to their home. Often, familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets can easily be confused and become lost.
■ Downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris also can pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
■ Pets can become aggressive or defensive after a hurricane, so monitor their behavior.
■ If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered. If possible, bring a picture of your pet.
Make plans in advance regarding where you will go in the event of an emergency. If there are no family or friends in an area unaffected by the storm you can visit for a few days make it a point to research hotels and motels, both locally and outside the affected area of the storm, that welcome pets. Also check with local pet friendly shelters with regards to policies and capacity.
South Fort Myers High School, 14020 Plantation Road, Fort Myers
East Lee County High, 715 Thomas Sherwin Avenue S, Lehigh Acres
A Ft Myers pet sitter/dog walker recently found an apparatus that connected to her bike and allowed her to provide a personally tailored exercise plan for her clients pets. Not all dogs can get the proper amount of exercise they need from a short walk twice a day. Young healthy dogs need to move at a pace that can get their hearts beating faster and raise their metabolism to help maintain a healthy body weight and good over all muscle tone.
aparatus shown above and below keeps the dog a safe distance from the bike, allows nearly free range of movement, and allows the rider to first warm-up the pet, then raise the intensity of the workout for a bit, and finally cooling the pet down slowly. Proper exercise and a healthy diet not only increase the number of years he will live, but also the quality of those years as well.
Check out the video … the dog in this exercise session had a great time!
Dogs rescued from dog fighting rings are currently labeled as “dangerous” animals in Florida and 12 other states, a status which makes them ineligible for adoption. A new bill making its way through the Florida State Senate would remove the mandatory classification and allow animal shelters housing the dogs to determine their suitability for adoption. Senator Jim Norman’s bill (SB 722) was approved unanimously by the Senate Community Affairs Committee and will now be considered by the full chamber.
As the legislators announced at a press conference that the bill had cleared the Senate committee, “Dolly” a pit bull rescued from a dog fighting organization sat calmly at their side as evidence that dogs rescued from such operations are often times redeemable. Attorney Ledy VanKavage of The Best Friends Animal Society said “very few abused animals are beyond redemption.” Erica Daniel, the animal control worker who took in “Dolly” has complete confidence in her and asserts “We need to judge every dog as an individual … and not as a breed.”
The attorney, VanKavage stated that following NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s arrest for his involvement in the dog fighting industry 53 dogs were rescued from his pens in Virginia and only one was deemed dangerous enough to warrant being “put down.” 22 of the dogs were given shelter at the Best Friends Animal Society, and 6 of those have already been placed with new owners.
Ft Myers pet owners, animal lover’s, and pet care providers seem to have created a community of their own. Dog owners in south west Florida have a variety of activities, events, and places to go with their pets. Both owner and pet get fresh air, exercise, and a chance to make friends. Some of the best places in Lee County to walk your dog or let it get some exercise are:
Dog Beach on Lover’s Key
Barkingham Park at Buckingham Park
K-9 Corral at Estero Community Park
Pooch Park at Judd Park (N Ft Myers)
John Yarborough Ten Mile Park
Causeway Island Park between Ft Myers and Sanibel
Wa-Ke Hatchee Park of Bass Rd. in Ft Myers
Waggin Tails Dog Park in Cape Coral
Additionally there are numerous other parks where dogs are welcome “on leash”