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Christy Savarino Pet Photography

Contributors Editor In Chief Rudolfo Lopez Operaons Heather Templeton Outreach Erika Mariani Bilingual Correspondent Gisela Guerrez Patricia Schwebel Photographer Christy Savarino Christy Savarino Pet Photography


¡Hola Amigos!

Jessica Saavedra

This month’s issue of SA Amigo we are happy and excited to introduce you to so many great people who are striving to make a difference in the animal community. May is mental health awareness month, and in recognition of this, we are honored to feature The Children’s Shelter of San Antonio and therapy animal celebrity Bellin! Both are tremendous advocates for mental health in San Antonio; The Children’s Shelter with its programs aimed and mental health rehabilitation, and Bellin with his and his team’s tireless work with Pet Partners of South Texas. This month’s SA Amigo Spotlight highlights Raising Cane’s, a recent addition to the local restaurant chain family in San Antonio. We had a chance to talk with them about what they’re doing to help raise money and awareness for pet wellness. Special thanks also goes out to all of the other wonderful people and organizations in this month’s issue. We have feature articles from The San Antonio Aquarium, Paws for Purple Hearts, Pup Pup & Away, and more. Thank you everyone for your love and support! We hope you all have a safe and amazing summer! 2

SA Amigo is a bilingual pet magazine created in San Antonio, Texas.

SA Amigo is a publicaon of Any Pet Can. To find out more, visit If you would like to adverse in our magazine, please contact us at:

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Soulmate - one who is perfectly suited for another

Fostering A New Beginning The Children’s Shelter “Hi, it’s so great to meet you!”

I am at the end. This is the end for me. I lay on the floor. The muscles in my legs are aching. My body shakes as I slowly stretch out. I inhale, and a ravaging pain of hunger flows through me like a current. I see an object, the shine of the metal meets my gaze. I close my eyes and exhale. Crippled in fear, my body ghtens as I sense the object coming closer. The pain is unbearable. I cannot stand or move, but I feel my body being lied from the ground, by the gentlest of hands. It is the end. I am free.

Anais Biera welcomes us with a bright and cheerful greeng for our tour of The Children’s Shelter on city’s west side. Nestled deep within the community is a beauful campus with a wealth of care put into the people of whom it houses. Anais begins our tour by explaining what The Children’s Shelter is all about. This is not only a place where children can come to feel safe from difficult situaons, this is a place where their mental healing and rehabilitaon can begin.

Steve Fontenot arrives at Animal Care Services on a cold day in 2012. He’s anxious because he has never received a call from them to visit a dog that has yet to be placed up for adopon. In Steve’s many years of rescuing huskies with his wife Kassia, the stories of neglect and abuse never cease from being tragic. Yet today, there is an uncertainty about his impending meeng that gives today an unknown sense of importance. Though he has yet to fully realize, today will be a day a crical day of importance for the lives of many. Today was the day he would meet Bellin...

The Children’s Shelter is a private and naonally accredited nonprofit organizaon that is dedicated to providing a safe place for vicms of abuse, neglect, and abandonment in Bexar County. Established in 1901, The Children’s Shelter has served thousands upon thousands of the city’s youth by not only providing them with a safe place to live, but also by providing them with a place in which they can begin their healing process with a multude of mental health programs.


Anais walks us through the lunch room and explains the daily nutrion schedule for the children. As she explains, for so many children first coming to the shelter, the meals provided here are the first real meals they’ve had in a long while. Different sizes of tables and chairs occupy the cafeteria space, highlighng the diversity and age ranges of the different children whom the shelter serves. Children at the shelter range in ages from birth to age 16.

As we walk to the mental health center, we pass by a housing building for older children. Nearly 30 bicycles are lined up around the outside of the building. You can see these bicycles and imagine the fun all the children have riding them around. I imagine the children coming across puddles, either choosing to avoid them, or driving right through them. The Children’s Shelter provides the children with the ability to run right through the literal puddles that occupy their past. - to confront and recognize the challenges of their lives and give them the healing power they need to rebuild.


“The nursery area houses children up to age 2,” Anais explains. We see several children in a large play area interacng with the staff and having a great me. They wave at us as we pass by, and one lile boy even offers up his football as a gi.

One important and crucial aspect of the children’s shelter is its focus on mental therapy and well-being. The campus contains a new mental health clinic that provides traumasensive therapeuc intervenons for children impacted by maltreatment. These intervenons include regular sessions with counselors in confidenal and calming sengs. The shelter also provides family strengthening programs that involve parents and counselors in supervised sessions with the children. The purpose of the program is to teach nurturing parenng skills to families in need.

“This one won’t be in the system, and it’s very important to have this one checked out.” The words had rung through Steve’s head since he heard them from the Animal Control Services Coordinator the previous day. Everything surrounding this day had been odd, yet that only heightened the importance of the events yet to come. As Steve reaches out to pet the dog, everyone watches him anxiously. The scars and cuts are impossible to ignore. The dog freezes up at the touch of Steve. He is paralyzed with fear. Steve thinks to himself that this poor being has been taken to a place of abuse where there is no coming back. The fear of geng hit again is too strong to create any kind of bond or meaningful connecon. He looks over at the Animal Control Officer and both share a sad glance. Just as Steve begins to turn away, the dog reaches out and licks his hand. Everyone watches in disbelief as tears begin to flow from all eyes looking on.

The Children’s Shelter is much more than a temporary place of residence for children in an immediate crisis. While the shelter is a safe-haven for vicms of abuse, neglect, and malnourishment, the goal of The Children’s Shelter is to provide the people it serves with the tools necessary to overcome trauma and begin a long healing process. A unique facility and dedicated staff work relessly every day to ensure the success of the many lives looking for a new start and second

chance. For the children that come in every day, this is a crucial opportunity to show them that people care about who they are and the potenal that they have to live a life full of love and happiness. Countless volunteers and foster families play a huge role in improving the lives of so many, and guiding the lost souls to the light of the future.

The days following the first kiss from the badly abused dog have been full of uncertainty. Steve worries that the owner who put the poor dog through unimaginable pain will sll come through and take him back. The thought angers Steve to no end. Steve has seen and felt so much hope for his poor friend. On this day, the final day of reclamaon, Steve awaits the phone call that will decide the fate of so many lives for years to come. The phone rings, “Hello, this is Steve…”

“We hear from many people that have come through The Children’s Center,” Anais explains. “It’s truly touching when they share their success stories with us. It really shows that what happens here can be life-changing.” The success stories and generosity of the community shine such a posive light on what would otherwise be a dark and oppressive seng. Through the work of volunteers and a wonderfully dedicated staff, children are given a chance for success every day.

Our trip ends with a visit from Bellin. As soon as they see him, the children run over in excitement. Bellin is a celebrity here and it’s not hard to see why. As he’s being peed, he gives everyone kisses. He’s calm and happy, feeding off the love and energy from the children around him. Watching Bellin with the children is a perfect symbol of the rescue process coming full circle. Bellin and the children came from situaons no one would wish upon anyone. While the children are sll in the healing process, Bellin has already come full circle and stands as a symbol of hope for them. He is proof that there is love out there that can heal and strengthen a broken soul. He represents their future. Bellin has been there before, and almost as if he feels it’s his duty, he’s here now to play his part in improving their lives, one pet and tail wag at a me.



Christy Savarino Pet Photography


Meet Bellin! both centers, and each time he visits, he’s treated like a rockstar.

This month’s cover of SA Amigo features a very wellknown figure in the animal therapy community, Bellin Bellin!

Bellin has been featured on multiple local talk shows and news segments, most recently during the month of April for Child Abuse Prevention Month and Animal Cruelty Prevention Month. He lives at home with Steve, Kassia, and with his sister Jewel and new foster pup Fintan.

Bellin is a therapy dog for the group Pet Partners. Together with his team and adopted parents Steve Fontenot and Dr. Kassia Kubena-Fontenot, Bellin visits people all across the city in an effort to improve mental wellness. Bellin’s story is also an incredibly inspiring one as well. Bellin began his life as an abused animal. After being rescued by Steve and Kassia, Bellin was brought into a caring and loving home, where he was completely rehabilitated and transformed into an animal focused on helping others.

Steve and Kassia are a husband/wife team who recently celebrated their 18th anniversary of marriage. The Fontenot’s have fostered and rescued over 80 dogs together and maintain their passion to foster and rescue even more. As they explain, “It’s very hard to let a foster go, but at the same time, we know that by letting our foster get adopted, we have the chance to foster and save another life.”

As a therapy dog since 2011, Bellin has visited nursing homes and adult daycares, but his main passion lies in his involvement with the children at The Children’s To read more about Bellin and his remarkable story, visShelter of San Antonio and The Children’s Bereavement it his Facebook page at Center of South Texas. Bellin is a frequent visitor of the 9

These toys should only come out during meal time. Play some games that channel your dog’s most powerful sense: smell! Hide some of your pooch’s favorite treats around the living room and watch him sniff them out. At first, make the finds easy by simply scattering them around the room on the floor. As your pup harnesses his skills, make the finds more difficult. Hide treats behind furniture and under various objects. Try not to give your dog help. Once he understands the game, his little sniffer will do all the work! Simple walks with ample smelling time will help tire out the brain too. Train some basic behaviors and tricks. Nothing gets your dog’s brain working like learning a new behavior. Start off with the basics, like sit, down, leave it, and come. Then, you’ll be ready to tackle some cool tricks, like shake, roll over, or spin. You can build upon these simple tricks by teaching things like play dead, high five, or fetch my slippers. You never know, your dog could be the next YouTube sensation! While more mental stimulation will help reduce some of your behavioral issues and hyperactivity, it won’t solve them all. Complete training is imperative to teaching your dog what rules you have set and how to adhere to those rules. In the meantime, the above tips should help ensure that tending to your dog’s mental needs will be loads of fun for the both of you!


Paw Print Styles has been making fashionable bowties and flowers that velcro onto any pet’s collar for a little over a year now. We offer a variety of fabrics in four different sizes, and also do custom orders. Paw Print Styles was created around my amazing dogs, Odie and Olive, whom I love dearly. Odie is my 11 year old Jack Russell terrier with a sassy, loving personality. He has been by my side since he was a puppy. Odie is very smart, and quite the adventurer when it comes to going places and learning new things. He lights up in front of the camera, and has made a wonderful model for many of my products.

Photo by Christy Savarino 13

Olive is my 3 year old border collie rescue. Olive was rescued June 2014, and has brought a tremendous amount of love and joy to our lives. From the moment we got her, I knew she would make a wonderful therapy dog. So once Olive got healthier, we started taking classes towards the goal of becoming a therapy dog team. In August 2016, Olive became a therapy dog for Delta Pet Partners of San Antonio. She now visits a hospice care facility once per week, and a few other events monthly. She will also soon be involved with a reading program for schools called “Tale of Tails,” where we will be reading to a classroom of children. Olive continues to show compassion and unconditional love to each person she meets. Olive’s journey as a therapy dog has been very rewarding not only for those she visits, but also for the both of us. The best part about it is showing everyone how much that animals can help us when we are sick, or in need of a little love and support. Our motto is spreading love one paw at a time.

SA AMIGO Spotlight

Perhaps you’ve seen them around town. Since 2010, Raising Cane’s has been serving the finest chicken tenders to its San Antonio patrons. What you may not know is that Raising Cane’s does more than serve food. As the pictures of a yellow Labrador surrounding each store hint at, Raising Cane’s has a unique passion for helping the pet community. We had the chance to talk about Raising Cane’s unique way of giving back to the communies it serves with General Manager, Fry Cook & Cashier Mahew Neurich.

Perrito Grito this year, and also aend various community pet-focused events throughout the year. We also sell an What are some of the community annual Fiesta medal, with 100% of events that your business has been a proceeds given to a local pet welfare part of? organizaon. Last year we donated Our company name comes from our $5,000 to San Antonio Pets Alive! We founder’s yellow Labrador, so as a We work closely with the Rampage also sponsor the Fiesta Pooch Parade company we are commied to supand Stars to present two in-arena in Alamo Heights and the Schertz Dogporng local pet welfare iniaves, adopon days. All adopon organiza- gy Dash. Each year, we sell a limited with specific aenon to no-kill inia- ons are invited to showcase adopta- edion plush puppy each holiday seaves. This has aracted many unique ble pets and related services during a son for local pet welfare organizaemployees with a personal interest in featured game. Fans are also invited ons. pet welfare, so Cane’s Crewmembers to bring their four-legged family memenjoy working in various ways to sup- bers to enjoy the game! We will be at It's not common for a restaurant business to be so involved in the pet community. What drives Raising Cane's towards being so acve and involved?

port adopon efforts throughout the city.


Why is it so important for local business to take an interest in the beerment of the community? Have you seen that drive posively affect the morale of your staff? Beyond pet welfare iniaves, we also support community organizaons that focus on educaon, entrepreneurship, feeding the hungry, or acve lifestyles. We also work with health care organizaons (cancer research, etc.) and faith-based organizaons. We consider ourselves to be members of the communies we serve, not just a business operang inside it. This drives us to support the organizaons that provide vital services and work to improve the lives of our neighbors and Customers.

Editor’s Note: Our interview took place at Raising Cane’s at The Rim (17518 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78257). I couldn’t help but noce the fun atmosphere on display at the restaurant. The enre staff was friendly and welcoming. I observed Ma switching job dues on the fly, from greeng customers, to working the drive-thru, to taking orders at the front cash register. His posive atude and interacons with his team no doubt play a large factor in the happy morale for the employees at Raising Cane’s.

Do you have any pets of your own? If so, can you tell us more about them?

No, I don't have any pets besides a fish. I am currently looking to adopt a dog. What else would you like for our readers to know about Raising Cane's? You can visit us at to request support for your organizaon.


Briana Schmidt Assistant Marine Director of The San Antonio Aquarium Imagine starting your first days of life living in a small swimming pool. It is filled with cloudy water and you are surrounded by your flapping brothers and sisters every second of every day. You wake up to the sun and it’s your favorite thing in existence. The light and the warmth energize you and make you feel strong. When the sun retreats, you sleep on a pile of your siblings on a strategically placed cinder block in the middle of the pool. You’re barely six days old when you’re packed into a bucket and taken off on a dark journey that lasts for what seems like forever, only to be removed from your dark transport and placed into another tiny plastic pool in a place full of loud noises and strange smells. You’re at a summer festival. The man running your booth sets up a sign next to some tiny plastic “lagoons” that says “FREE BABY TURTLE WITH PURCHASE” and immediately a crowd begins to grow. One by one, you watch your siblings disappear. Happy children with enthusiastic sparkles in their eyes grasp eagerly at plastic

containers with their new friends inside, as they bound away from the booth. Hours pass until it is finally your turn to go to your new home. You are placed in your little transport container with one of your sisters, and are jostled around by your new 7-year-old owner as he excitedly runs you to the family car. Another long car ride goes by, and before you know what’s going on, you’ve already met the neighborhood kids, been swatted at by the cat, and experienced the cold breeze of the home’s AC unit as you settle into your new home—a shallow plastic container with a small ramp that leads up to a fake palm tree. It’s cold and the water is stagnant, already clouded from the handfuls of pellets tossed at you in eager hopes that you will chow down for everyone to see. Your sister sits in the corner, hardly moving. Night comes and you are exhausted. All you can do for the time being is sleep. Surely the sun will return with its welcoming lights and gentle warmth tomorrow.


Days turn into weeks and weeks give way into months. The heat has never returned, and despite being cold all the time, you find enough hunger in you to eat something every once in awhile. Your sister is gone—her eyes had inflamed and her lethargy got worse with time. She never really perked up since moving. One day, the water was exceptionally foul and dark colored. She was gone. Over time, you are often forgotten. The child that cares for you has moved on to other focuses in life. Sometimes food is tossed to you, sometimes it isn’t. More often than not, you are forgotten long enough for the water to completely disappear from your tiny home. Despite the absence of sun, you are growing, and you can tell that you will outgrow your home soon. You can feel your bones becoming soft, your eyesight is wavering— your home is too small to move around in very much, and even so, your energy is waning. You live another year and a half, dreaming of the sun every day until you eventually drift away into an eternal sleep.

inches doesn’t sound very large at first, but when you remember that this is an animal that lives inside of a hard shell and needs a semi-aquatic habitat to survive, the cost and space requirements of a proper enclosure suddenly skyrocket.

need proper lighting (that can be quite expensive) in place and maintained to ensure that their bones do not go soft. Without UVB rays— whether natural or artificial—to soak up, the animal’s internal health suffers. There’s a disease that reptiles can get called Metabolic Bone DisA turtle “growing to the size of its ease or MBD for short. They start to enclosure” is also a myth, and a wide- look like they are melting from the spread one at that—thought to apply inside out. If caught early, MBD can to any strange and misunderstood be stopped; however, the skeletal deanimal, this myth is not true of any- formities from it cannot be reversed. thing—not turtles, not fish, and not tigers. Placing an animal into a small- Reptiles are also cold-blooded, which er enclosure to ensure that they do means that they do not produce their not grow is abuse. It is willingly deown heat. Even if you have the UVB priving that creature of what it needs situation all figured out, many of to live a full and healthy life. Many these bulbs do not produce heat as animals are smarter than we humans well. External and artificial heat is very important for your animal to be able to move around and digest their food. Without heat, their metabolism slows and it makes proper digestion a challenge.

Turtles are one of the most commonly and impulsively bought pet reptiles, sold in mass quantities every year to people who may be misinformed about the level of care they actually need. Often times, the misinformation is brought about by someone trying to make a sale on the small souls they are there to unload.

give them credit for. Animals will recognize that they are about to outgrow their habitat and their body will stunt their growth until they find a proper home to expand in. When in captivity, they are completely reliant upon their human keepers to provide them a larger enclosure. When that need is not met in a timely manner, their body systems will fail and they will “They are miniature.” die. You may have a small turtle, but “They grow to the size of their enclo- a small turtle that could have lived sure.” well into its 30s is could now be dead at a year and a half old. “All they need is water and food.” Turtles are a diurnal animal. This “Super easy to keep!” means that they are awake during the These statements are all false. Turtles day and they sleep at night. Diurnal get BIG- and the most common spe- animals thrive on the sun to stay alive cies being sold in this way is the red and healthy. Diurnal animals are eared slider—an animal that can grow awake with the sun for a reason, and turtles are definitely no excepto be a foot long. Perhaps twelve tion. When being kept indoors, they 17

Lastly, turtles are aquatic animals. They need a way to submerge themselves in the water, and require a basking area to get completely out of it. The water portion of their enclosure is not only their water source, but is also their toilet. As turtles grow, so does their waste. Without proper filtration and regular water changes, the bacteria in the water can cause upper respiratory issues, eye infections, and oftentimes even death. Research is always key to obtaining and owning any pet, and turtles are no exception. A little bit of digging into seemingly “common” household pets will yield a lot of new information that may even deter you from having a potential pet at home. New pets are a commitment, maybe not for the duration of your life, but oftentimes for the duration of that animal’s life. Reading up on keeping a new little life is never a bad thing, and education is always key to humans and animals living in harmony.

Briana Schmidt Assistant Marine Director of The San Antonio Aquarium Imagina comenzar tus primeros días de vida viviendo en un pequeño estanque. Esta lleno de agua turbia y te encuentras rodeado de tus hermanos y hermanas que aletean cada segundo de cada día. Despiertas con el sol y es tu mayor deleite en la vida. La luz y el calor te llenan de energía y te ayudan a sentirte fuerte. Cuando oscurece, duermes sobre la pirámide formada por tus hermanos en un espacio en el centro del estanque. Apenas cumples seis días de vida cuando te meten en una cubeta y te llevan en un viaje de oscuridad que dura como si fuera una eternidad, sólo para que del transporte oscuro te coloquen adentro de un recipiente pequeñito, en un lugar ruidoso de extraños olores.

alejan del puesto.

Pasan horas hasta que por fin es tu turno de ir a tu nueva casa. Te colocan en un transporte muy pequeño con una de tus hermanas y zarandeados por tu nuevo dueño, de 7 años de edad, en su carrera al auto de la familia. Después de otro largo viaje, y antes de entender lo que esta sucediendo, ya conociste a los niños vecinos, el gato que te manotea, y sientes la brisa fría del aire acondicionado de la casa cuando te instalan en tu nuevo hogar – una caja de plástico con una pequeña rampa que te lleva a una palmera artificial. Se siente frío y el agua esta estancada y turbia del puño de comida que te arrojaron con la esperanza que te la comas para que todo el mundo te vea. Tu hermana se Estás en un festival de verano. El hombre que atiende tu queda en el rincón - inmóvil. Llega la noche y estas expuesto coloca un letrero junto a unos diminutos lagos hausto, asi que lo único que puedes hacer por ahora, es hechos de plástico que dice “TORTUGA GRATIS CON dormir. Seguramente el sol regresará mañana, acompaSU COMPRA” y de inmediato aumenta el número de curi- ñado de su luz y calor. osos. Uno por uno, ves como desaparecen tus hermanos. Niños felices con miradas de entusiasmo toman los recipientes con sus nuevas mascotas al mismo tiempo que se 18

Los días se convierten en semanas y éstas en meses. El calor nunca regresó, y a pesar de tener frío todo el tiempo, sientes suficiente hambre para comer de vez en cuando. Tu hermana ya no está – sus ojos inflamados y su letargo empeoraron con el paso del tiempo. Nunca se recuperó desde que llegamos a este lugar y un día el agua estaba tan oscura que olía mal. Mi hermana desapareció. Con el paso del tiempo, te olvidaron. El niño que te cuida, ahora se interesa en otras cosas; de vez en cuando te avientan comida y otras veces no. La mayor parte del tiempo te olvidan por tantos días que hasta el agua en tu pequeñísima casa se seca. A pesar de la ausencia del sol, estas creciendo, pero te das cuenta que muy pronto ya no vas a caber en tu casa. Puedes sentir que tus huesos se ablandan, tu vista esta fallando. Tu casa es demasiado pequeña para poder moverte y así cada día tienes menos energía. Vives otro año y medio, soñando todos los días con el sol, hasta que finalmente flotas hacia un sueño eterno. Las tortugas son los reptiles que más son comprados impulsivamente. Cada año se venden en cantidades masivas a personas mal informadas sobre el nivel de cuidado que requieren. En la mayoria de los casos, la falta de información es alentada por alguien que trata de lograr una venta diciendo cosas como: “Son muy pequeñas” “Crecen al tamaño de su vivienda” “Lo único que necesitan es agua y comida” “Muy fácil de cuidar” Todas estas son falsedades. Las tortugas crecen GRANDES – y la especie que más se vende es precisamente la de oídos rojos conocida como “red eared slider” – un animal que puede llegar a medir hasta un pie de largo. Es posible que al principio doce pulgadas no suenan como algo de gran tamaño, pero debes recordar que este es un animal que vive adentro de una concha dura y que necesita un habitat semi-acuático para sobrevivir. Es entonces cuando el costo y el espacio que requieren para vivir se vuelven demasiado caros. “Crecen al tamaño de su vivienda” es también un mito muy común que se aplica a cualquier animal sobre el que tenemos poco conocimiento. Se aplica a las tortugas, peces, tigres. Colocar a un animal en un lugar más pequeño para asegurar que no crezca es maltrato, porque priva a la criatura de lo que requiere para vivir una vida plena y saludable. Muchos animales son más inteligentes de lo que los seres humanos les damos crédito. Se dan cuenta que estan por crecer más que el tamaño de su hábitat y su cuerpo frenará su crecimiento hasta que

encuentre un lugar adecuado para poder expanderse. Cuando están en cautiverio, dependen completamente de los seres humanos que los cuidan para proporcionarles su vivienda y si esto no sucede en el momento que lo requieren, sus organismos van a fallar y morir. Tu puedes tener una pequeña tortuga, pero una tortuga que puede vivir hasta 30 años, ahora esta muerta al año y medio de vida. Las tortugas son animales diurnos. Quiere decir que estan despiertos de día y duermen de noche. Los animales diurnos se desarrollan con el sol para sobrevivir sanamente. Están despiertos con el sol por esa razón – y las tortugas no son la excepción. Cuando se les mantiene adentro de una casa, requieren luz adecuada (que puede ser bastante cara), en un lugar que asegure que sus huesos no se ablanden. Sin rayos de luz ultravioleta – natural o artificial – para absorber en su organismo, se perjudica la salud interna del animal. Existe una enfermedad que sufren los reptiles que se llama Enfermedad de Metabolismo de Huesos o MBD (por sus siglas en Inglés). La enfermedad da la apariencia que comienzan a derretirse por dentro y si es detectada a tiempo, se puede detener, pero las deformidades del esqueleto no se pueden corregir. Los reptiles también son de sangre fría, lo que quiere decir que no producen su propio calor. Aunque se encuentren en un lugar que les proporcione los rayos de luz ultravioleta, muchos de estos focos no producen calor. El calor externo y artificial es muy importante para que el animal pueda moverse y digerir lo que come. Sin calor, su metabolismo baja y la digestión adecuada se dificulta. Por último, estos son animales acuáticos. Requieren poder sumergirse por sí solos en el agua, y también de una superficie donde asolearse afuera del agua. La parte del agua de su vivienda es su fuente de agua, pero tambien su excusado. En la medida que las tortugas crecen, también aumentan sus desechos. Sin la filtración adecuada y cambios frecuentes de agua, las bacterias en el agua pueden causar infecciones respiratorias, de ojos, y a veces, hasta la muerte. Los estudios científicos son muy importantes para obtener y poseer cualquier mascota y las tortugas no son la excepción. Un poco de investigación en lo que aparentan ser mascotas “comunes” puede proporcionar información que posiblemente lo convenza antes de tener una mascota en casa. Tener mascotas son una rsponsabilidad – quizá no para el resto de su vida, pero la mayoria de las veces, durante la vida del animal. La lectura para informarse sobre lo que la vida de una mascota requiere no es mala y la educación es clave.



Warriors Helping Warriors 1. Warriors helping warriors is such a powerful concept. Can you tell us about your organization and how it got started? Paws for Purple Hearts is the first program of its kind to offer Dog Training Canine Assisted Therapy for Veterans and active-duty military personnel by teaching those facing Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma to train service dogs for their comrades battling combat related disabilities. Founded at the Bergin University for Canines Studies (BUCS) in 2007, Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2011. We have grown to five locations in the United States. Our goal is to open 2-3 facilities per year which will enable to reach approximately 80% of the Veteran population being within a two-hour drive of one of our facilities. 2. How does owning a service dog help to heal the psychological scars of war Owning a service dog can result in a variety of therapeutic benefits including a decreased dependence on pharmaceutical medications, lessened anxiety and depression, increased patience, better impulse control, a better emotion regulation. Other benefits include greater sociability and a more positive outlook on life in general. 3. Can you share with us one particular unique or inspiring story about Purple Hearts? A veteran at the VA we work with in California was very closed in, wore hats and sunglasses all the time and spoke to a very few. He was attending therapy sessions weekly with little progress until one of the Paws for Purple Hearts puppies in training rested their head on his lap. The next day, he asked to be a part of the dog program and throughout time, he’s been one of the best volunteers - and one of the most outgoing. A service dog placed with a veteran showed a huge difference in not only the veteran’s life, but in his wife’s life as well. She was able to relax and give a sigh of relief when she would leave the house knowing that her husband's service dog would be home to be there for him in the case of if he were to fall, get hurt, or even just have a bad day. His independence was greatly increased with the addition of a service dog. 4. If people would like to help your organization, how would they go about doing so? Is there anything you need in particular? Volunteers are always welcome! We are on the road to opening a facility in May/June and could use volunteers on site when that moment comes. General volunteers, puppy petting, and puppy families are our main three types of volunteers are we are always accepting applications for volunteers so please send an email to with a subject line of “volunteer” for more information!


Community Local Animal Agencies

Animal Care Services 210.207.4PET Animal Defense League 210.655.1481 San Antonio Humane Society

Metro Health Healthy Start Hosts Pet PawChanga

210.226.7461 San Antonio Pets Alive! 210.651.2559 Kirby Animal Shelter 210.661.2100

Pets Paw-Changa, the Westside Resident Leadership Team’s first neighborhood project, was a great success! Despite the rainy weather, community members arrived up to two and a half hours early to receive 150 free microchips provided by Animal Care Services and 100 free rabies shots, plus low-cost pet vaccinations, pro-vided by Pet Shotz, Inc.

Live Oak Animal Shelter 210.653.9140 x228 Universal City Animal Shelter 210.658.0700 Converse Animal Shelter 210.658.4821 SNAP (Spay & Neuter Assistance Program) 210.673.7722 Rudy’s Feed Store (vaccination clinic) 210.223.2832 Pet Shotz 210.735.1004

The residents brought a variety of animals including dogs, cats, and even a bunny! Pet adoptions were also provided by the Animal Defense League and SA Pets Alive! Community members were able to participate in several events, including re-source fair, STD testing, and a pet costume contest. 22


SHWEIKIMEDIA We take printing seriously...not ourselves!

The Shweiki Media Family are huge animal lovers and supporters of anything furry! We are great with magazines/catalogs/flyers/calendars, postcards and pretty much anything you can think we can print! Email to receive free samples & pricing!

4954 Space Center Dr., San Antonio, TX 78218 | 210.480.0860 |

SA Amigo  

Summer 2017

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