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“When Mike and I began volunteering for Safe Place we never expected to need their services. But when we did, we knew that Beau would be cared for and loved. That gave Mike a lot of peace in his last days.”

- Kate Harvey, fiancée of Michael Duncan


New Pet Adoption Center Opens in Manitou Having served the local community for the past 17 years as a virtual nonprofit, Safe Place for Pets has recently achieved the enormous goal of opening its doors to the public for the very first time. The Manitou Springs facility will serve as a shelter, adoption center and new home for our organization. Assisting both people and pets in El Paso and Teller counties, Safe Place is dedicated to finding loving, forever homes for the pets of terminally ill owners. Founded in 1996 by local hospice nurse Joanne Bonicelli our all-volunteer team has found loving homes for hundreds of bereaved pets by providing veterinary care and other quality-of-life needs. The generous gifts received over the years combined with past GIVE! Campaigns have made it possible for Safe Place to develop new programs to aid in the adoption of its furry friends. These funds have allowed us to support the health and wellness of the often traumatized, grieving pets entering our program. Many of our animals require medical procedures or behavioral training before they can be adopted. Safe Place is dedicated to offering peace of mind to families and their pets dealing with the complexities and sorrows of terminal illness. Our Wellness Program for Pets helps cover expenses related to an animal that has been surrendered to us, but is still living with its owner. Our goal is to provide comfort and assurance for both the beloved pet and their owner facing an end-of-life illness. Future donations will help us improve our new animal rescue facility to optimally meet our foster pets’ needs. “Fostering is such a crucial part of our rescue process. We are taking someone’s wellloved pet and placing it in a foster’s home. The love, attention and stability that fosters give to our rescued pets helps them transition to their new forever home more easily,” says Sandy Thornton, Dog Intake Coordinator and Safe Place Board member.

You Can Make A Difference! Foster Volunteer Donate Adopt Pet Adoption Center 1141 Manitou Avenue Manitou Springs, CO 80829

(719) 359-0201 44

With volunteers being the real heartbeat of Safe Place for Pets, we must thank our foster Follow us on Like us on twitter facebook families and the fantastic network of 100plus hard-working, compassionate supporters that have helped us fulfill We are unable to accept animals on a “walk-in/drop-off “basis. our unique mission. “Our Safe Place for Pets volunteers are passionate about providing our clients and their pets with the best possible quality of life during the most difficult time of their lives. Every adopted pet is someone’s best friend saved,” says Ann Davenport, President of the Board of Directors for Safe Place for Pets. As our existence depends completely on the generosity of others, Safe Place gratefully accepts in-kind donations, as well as monetary and volunteer support. We have an ongoing need for people who can foster animals until permanent placement is arranged, and support our community outreach programs and fundraising efforts. The new Safe Place Pet Adoption Center is located at 1141 Manitou Avenue in Manitou Springs. For more information on receiving assistance from Safe Place, volunteering, donating or adopting a Safe Place pet please contact us at (719) 359-0201 or visit us online at

from the publisher Our hearts go out to all those affected by the Black Forest Fire. We are proud to highlight some of individuals and organizations that worked tirelessly to save and protect lives both human and animal. Please take a few minutes to read our cover story on the wildfire and if possible reach out to those organizations in need of donations and assistance.

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Stress affects animals in many ways and Dr. Laura Scott of Northgate Animal Hospital does a great job of highlighting stressors and their behavioral responses in this issue’s Vet Central article on pages 6 and 7. Bringing your cat in for a Veterinary visit can also be a huge stressor for even the most well rounded feline. Happy Cats Haven provides 10 great tips to help lower that fear.

Table of Contents

Please be sure to check out all the wonderful animal related Fall Events in our community below. Wishing you and your pet a safe and stress-free season!


Calendar of Events Woof Stock Music Festival September 15, 11 am – 5 pm America the Beautiful Park


Pawtoberfest 2013 September 21- 10 am – 3 pm Bear Creek National Park Festival, food, beer, contests, dog activities and fun! The Pawtoberfest festival is open to the public and admission is $5 for ages 13 and over. If you register for the 5K or 3K entrance, the festival is FREE! Children age 12 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult. Well behaved pets welcome. Fundraiser for Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region For more information:

Bone Appetit Gala Friday, September 27, 2013 Black-tie Dinner & Dessert Auction All Breed Rescue & Training For more information:

ASPCA Mega Match-a-Thon Saturday, October 19, 2013 Pet Adoption Event & Family Fun Day Humane Society Pikes Peak Region For more information: or

Whine & Cheese Evening Auction November 16, 2013 Wine and Local Beer, Live Music, Hors d’oeuvres All Breed Rescue & Training For more information:


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3 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19

Safe Place: New Adoption Center Opens in Manitou Calendar of Events Vet Central: Animal Stress Pet Business Owners Take Flight Tips on Hiking with Dogs Cover Story: Walking the Dog Cover Story: Wildfires...Again Breed Bio: Dachshund Ask the Doc: What Do I Do? My Pet Ate Rat Poison Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses? HSPPR: Animal Tails from the Black Forest Fire Woof Ranch Dog Park Friendly Veterinary Care for your Cat Pet Aftercare: Dos and Don’ts When Talking with a Friend in Grief


Pet Profile: Rats


Around the Globe: Mastino Napoletano


Detection Dogs Match Game


Business Card Marketplace: Pet Loving Businesses


vet central

Animal Stress Behavior and Health

Austin Bluffs Animal Clinic 4323 Austin Bluffs Pkwy. Co Spgs, CO 80918 (719) 598-7879 Richard Monyek, DVM Eli Layman, DVM

Black Forest Veterinary Clinic (719) 495-3666 Ted H. Mohr, DVM Rick E. Coufal, DVM Amy C. Mueller, DVM Though we lost our building in the fire, we are thankful that everyone is safe. Construction on our new building should be complete in the next few weeks at the Black Forest Center, 12655 Black Forest Road, right across the street from our old clinic. Our entrance will be front and center, Suite 118.

Thank you to our clients and our community for the incredible support that you've given us during this transition. We are hoping to open sometime between mid-September and the first of October.

By Dr. Laura l Scott


s a veterinarian people bring their pets to me most often with concerns regarding physical health problems. Clients often have concerns about an animal’s separation anxiety, thunderstorm phobia and fear of fireworks. I have always considered and discussed with my clients how physical and emotional stress contribute to physical illness of animals. This summer, due to many professional and personal experiences, the concept of stress and how it affects our furry friends has become a new special interest for me as a doctor and as an animal guardian. I have a new understanding and appreciation for the limitless scope of what may stress an animal and another limitless spectrum of how that stress may affect the animal. Stress is often perceived as a consequence of a negative situation, but positive situations may be stressful as well. A poignant example is of a dog developing behavior changes and anxiety with no known physical abnormalities or changes in the household. After a normal physical exam and discussing the situation in depth with the dog’s guardian, I assessed the behavior changes were likely in response to the mixed bad and good stressors of a busy household. There are 3 young children, the oldest of which often argues with her mother, the middle child having a significant disability, a toddler, and the father returning, from a 1 year deployment, the next day. The household was filled with negative and positive high level energy and the dog was very affected by all of it. Some of the management options we discussed included a talk between the oldest child and her mother to minimize conflict, ensure structured walks/exercise with the dog and an adult, and for each family member to be more aware of how each person’s emotional energy affects their dog. Other options for stress management include very light use of lavender aromatherapy oil on the dog bed and areas where the dog spends time, Rescue Remedy flower extract as a calming water additive, a calming pheromone collar, an anxiety shirt and a quiet confined place for the dog to retreat. There of course are stronger pharmaceutical options for anti-anxiety medication as well. continued next page


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Brown Veterinary Hospital 45 E. Broadmoor Road Co Spgs, CO 80906 (719) 636-3341 Jeffrey Gross, DVM Theresa MacNab,DVM Harrison Wellman, DVM Companion Animal Clinic 2873 Dublin Blvd. Co Spgs, CO 80918 (719) 593-7740 Patrick Keith, DVM Susan N. Whitmore, DVM

Cook Veterinary Hospital 21 W. Cimarron Just east of I-25 on Cimarron Co Spgs, CO 80903 (719) 633-7769 Carin Ramsel, DVM

Natural Healthcare Center for Animals (NHCA) Countryside Veterinary Clinic INC. 7111 McLaughlin Road Falcon, CO 80831 (719) 494-1156 Jim Friedly, DVM


North Powers Animal Hospital 5470 Powers Center Pt., Suite 100 Co Spgs, CO 80920 (719) 282-1222 Russell Welfare, DVM

Northgate Animal Hospital 12225 Voyager Pkwy #12 Co Spgs, CO 80921 (719) 481-3080 Laura J. Scott, DVM Gwen Carlson, DVM

Southern Colorado Veterinary Internal Medicine 5520 N. Nevada Ave. #110 Co Spgs, CO 80918 (719) 272-4004 Chris Reynolds, DVM, DACVIM Karin Cannizzo, DVM, DACVIM Brad Hines, DVM, DACVIM Macon Miles, DVM, DACVIM

St. Francis Animal Hospital Located in Briargate 8834 N. Union Blvd Co Spgs, CO 80920 (719) 282-3443 Kim Kaufer, DVM Kerri Mozinski, DVM

COMPOUNDED MEDICINE FOR PETS The Medicine Shoppe #0437 2431 N. Union Blvd Co Spgs, CO 80909 (719) 630-3154 Gene Bockrath R.Ph.

vet central

Animal Stress: Behavior and Health


Cats are just as likely to develop behavior problems secondary to stress. In addition to the methods mentioned above it is very important to have clean litter boxes and at least one litter box per cat and sometimes even one extra box per cat. Inter-cat stress is very common in even the apparently friendly household. Above all, cats can be very subtle about showing stress and/or may be reacting to very subtle stressors. Many owners don’t recognize the stressors in their cats’ environments. Following is a list of many possible stressors and many possible symptoms or manifestations of stress in animals. Stressors: Moving, death of humans or other animals, illness of the animal or humans or other animals, fighting between humans or other animals, new human baby, new animal family member, bullying by other animals, crowding, competition for food, toys, attention, a family member moving away or moving home, natural disasters, construction in the home or surrounding area, neighboring animals, stray animals, repetitive stress e.g. evacuation, temporary housing, new housing, aromatic products such as scented candles, plug-in deodorizers, incense, cigarettes, laundry detergent, scented cat litter, perfume, shampoo, vet visit, grooming visit, travel, being lost, being injured, chronic pain, obesity, boredom, lack of exercise, loneliness, violence, neglect, hunger, cold/ heat, thirst, inappropriate nutrition, loud noises, machines...etc, etc, etc. Behavioral responses: Fear, shaking, overgrooming, vocalizing, clinging, hiding, decreased appetite, house-soiling, biting, scratching, fighting, barking, whining, drooling, panting, diarrhea, vomiting, hair loss, destruction, cowering, aggression, depression, hyperactivity, any and all completely unexpected and uncharacteristic behavior. The concept I believe is so important to convey is the sensitivity of our furry friends to their people and their environment. Animal senses are hundreds and thousands of times more sensitive than our own. These senses of smell, sight, hearing, touch, taste perception of body language and tone, are all inundated by highly stimulating human environments. The overstimulation of these acute animal senses lead to the manifestation of undesirable, and unhealthy behavior problems. All behavior problems must be evaluated in light of physical exam and additional appropriate physical diagnostic evaluation in order to rule out or treat illness that may be causing the change in behavior. The next step is to evaluate the physical and emotional stressors in the animal’s environment to develop a strategy to decrease these stressors. Please consult your veterinarian for help with your furry friend’s mental and emotional health as well as physical health. The staff at Northgate Animal Hospital loves your animals and our job is to help you keep them happy and healthy. Please call with any questions or concerns so that we may help you provide the best care possible for you companion.

Dr. Laura J. Scott List your veterinary office in Vet Central Contact us at

To learn more about how we can help your furry friend, please call Northgate Animal Hospital at (719) 481- 3080 or visit the website

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he adventure began when Susan McIntyre saw a Groupon coupon for half price Tandem Skydiving in Canon City. Always one for adventure, McIntyre asked colleague Lauri Arnold and her friend Jeri McGinnis if they wanted to go. Turns out, skydiving was on McGinnis’ “bucket list.” And, McGinnis doesn’t shy away from adventures. She is the owner of Gigi’s – The Animal Lovers’ Giftshop in Manitou Springs, a fixture in the historic town since 1989. “Last year Susan and I went white water rafting (which was a ball!) and she knew I had always wanted to go skydiving,” McGinnis said.

Pet Business Owners

Take Flight

A date in June was set. They headed to Canon City. The trio pulled up to the facility and all remained calm. Then came time to sign the waiver describing all the things that could go wrong. The women stayed strong, signed the waiver, and began to listen intently to the instructors. One of the last training directives was lifting your legs to a certain height while landing. “Try as I might, I couldn’t do it,” McGinnis said. “The instructor said if I couldn’t I’d surely break my legs. With a busy summer season at Gigi’s, I couldn’t chance it. I felt bad but not as bad as broken legs would feel!”

“In February of 2012, I was in Vegas for a Pet Sitter’s convention,” said McIntyre. “That’s when I took the first big leap. I was so scared that I couldn’t enjoy the experience. Las Vegas is a beautiful place to jump. I hoped I would be less nervous the second time and would be one of those people smiling when they landed, not shaking like a leaf.” Arnold, Home Visit Team Leader for National Mill Dog Rescue and Vice President of Poop Control for Playtime Pet Sitters, however, wasn’t as thrilled. “Years ago I used to want to skydive, but then the feeling passed as I got older and I thought no more about it until now,” Arnold said. “I have worked with Susan

as a pet sitter for close to three years and have taken several dog walks. Therefore, I didn’t think I had a physical reason to say no. It was more like ‘Why Not?’ ”

By Debbie l Evert

McIntyre had planned to dive with McGinnis, but since she couldn’t jump, McIntyre went ahead with Plan A. “I am very glad I did the second jump because I was able to relax and enjoy it,” McIntyre said. “Taking the step out of the plane, I don’t know if I could ever do that myself. That’s the terrifying part. On the other hand, the few seconds after the exit are the best physically. Because you go out back first, and because there is a person strapped to your back (they get the brunt of the wind) you feel like you are floating… on a cloud.”

That leaves the first-timer, Arnold. “So, off I go with our handsome, young, strong instructor, and two other employees,” Arnold said. “We climb into the plane and I try to follow his instructions which are basically, ‘Don’t move’ and ‘Don’t touch anything!’ He attaches himself to you and when he moves, so do you.  No turning back now.” Although her tandem said something about the rope being twisted, Arnold wasn’t sure if he was kidding. He also was taking photos of their flight. “We made it down to the ground and the landing was fine,” Arnold said.  “Holding my feet up was harder than expected because the harness made it difficult, but I did it. On the ground everyone asked if I enjoyed it and if I would do it again….” Let’s just say she said no. Emphatically. McIntyre, owner of PlayTime Pet Sitters since 1997, was inspired years ago by a Mark Twain quote: “In 20 years you will regret what you didn’t do more than you will regret what you did do.” “That quote has changed my life,” she said. “That’s what motivated me to quit retail management and go back to school to start my own business. Having my own business wasn’t the dream; working with plants and animals was the dream. I worked toward my horticulture degree and started PlayTime Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers. “And that is what motivates me, especially as I get older, to have as many adventurous experiences as possible. When my time comes I want as little regret as possible.” Stay tuned for the next big adventure. Rock climbing? SCUBA?


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outdoor living

Tips on Hiking with Dogs

l Follow the rules of the trail! Do not take your dog on a trail where dogs are forbidden or take him off-leash when the rules call for on-leash dogs only. l Carry enough clean water for you and your dog. Drinking out of mountain streams can give your dog (and you) some nasty parasites. Purchase a soft, collapsible dog bowl that is light weight and convenient for hikes. l Make sure your dog is fit enough for the length of hike, and the type of trail you are planning to tackle, and always take a good trail map. l Always clean up after your dog. Bring plenty of potty bags in case of more than one clean up event. l Make sure you bring basic first aid materials for humans and canines alike. Also bring a cell phone in case of an injury that leaves you or your dog immobile. It is always best to hike in groups. l Move to the right of the trail when passing another hiker, and restrain your dog. Not everyone wants to meet and greet your four-legged buddy! l Teach your dog to pay attention to you when passing other hikers or animals. Bring a toy or treats to gain your dog’s attention while passing another dog or person. l Use the right equipment. If you know your dog pulls while walking, switch to a harness or “Gentle Leader”. Pulling is no fun for dog or owner! For hiking maps of the Pikes Peak Region visit: POCKET PALS TRAIL GUIDES NEVER GET LOST AGAIN!

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cover story


housands of years ago, dogs worked alongside humans. They scavenged for food, cared for their litters, guarded their dens, and played together. Today’s dogs don’t work nearly as hard as their ancestors. While they still care for their litters, guard their space, and play, they rarely have to scavenge for food… unless walking to their indoor food and water bowls count as scavenge. According to, “A problem modern dogs face, because they rarely work anymore, is a lack of opportunities to exercise. Some pet parents make the mistake of assuming that if a dog has access to a yard, he’s getting exercise. But your dog doesn’t run laps by himself in your yard, or do much of anything besides waiting for you to come outside or let him back inside. It’s the interaction with you that counts!”

Walking the Dog: Not Just a Yo-Yo Trick

No set of rules exist for how much exercise a dog needs. However, if you start when they are young, exercise will be part of their daily behavior. It will also be part of yours as a pet parent., suggests you check with your dog’s veterinarian before starting an exercise program. He or she can check your dog for any health issues that may be aggravated by exercise and suggest safe activities. Some size, breed and age considerations are: Breeds that are prone to bloat have, deep-chested, narrow-bodied breeds, such as German shepherd dogs, Doberman pinschers and Great Danes should not be exercised right after meals.

By Debbie l Evert

Breeds with short or flat noses (brachycephalic breeds) can have trouble breathing when exercised vigorously. Sustained jogging or running is not recommended for young dogs whose bones haven’t finished growing. Because large dogs are more prone to cruciate ligament injuries, arthritis and hip dysplasia, sustained jogging can be hard on their joints and bones, too. Sighthounds, like greyhounds and whippets, are built for short-distance sprinting, not long-distance runs. You get the “OK” from the vet. Now what? “Before you start walking your puppy you must train him to walk politely on a leash,” said Linda Brennan of Canine Coach, Inc. “First get your puppy used to wearing his collar for a few days. Once he has stopped fussing and pawing at his collar, introduce him to the leash by attaching it to his collar and let him drag it around for short periods throughout the day. Spray the leash with a chewing deterrent, like bitter apple, and let it dry before attaching it. “Next, for a few days you can pick up the leash and follow your puppy around as he wanders around your house and yard. The puppy should get used to you being ‘attached’ to him without you interfering with his exploration and travels. During these same few days, whenever your puppy is off leash, coax him to follow you by using a high pitch voice, kissy noises or clapping your hands. “Now you are ready to put it all together. Attach the leash to your puppy and walk him around the yard, praising him whenever he chooses to follow you. If he stops to sniff or gets distracted simply coax him to follow you. The most important part of this training is to NEVER pull on your puppy’s leash. If you don’t pull him, he will get used to walking with you on a loose leash, and he won’t learn to pull you!” But I Can’t Walk for Miles Every Day! You don’t have to be an athlete to walk your dog. says that dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes per week, whereas people without dogs walk only about 168 minutes. So the philosophy behind the phrase “If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise” is as true for you as it is for your dog. The first step is the most difficult, but once a routine is established, you and your dog will look forward to walking together. Varying the route you take will help keep you both interested in the sights, sounds, and smells of your exercise time.

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One of the more exciting products on the market today is DoopleBags. They provide a stylish, convenient, sanitary and dignified solution to dog owner custodial duties. “Not finding anything to suit my needs, I set out to create the perfect leash bag,” said Christine Conley, creator of DoopleBags. “It had to hold its shape, have an easy-to-access opening so I can simply drop my filled plastic bag inside, have a way to empty so I don’t have to re-handle the waste, and also pockets to carry my belongings (phone, keys, emergency allergy meds, water bottle, etc). Of course it had to be of unisex style, washable, and made of something to help minimize odor.” So, you have a daily routine for you and your puppy. You even have a stylish way to take care of his business. What you didn’t expect was to get a special project at your job. Your work hours have been increased and you cannot enjoy this shared time. What now? Find a dog walker!

Small or short-legged dogs usually don’t need as much walking as larger dogs.


The real poop. You love everything about your daily walks except for the dreaded poop. After forgetting a plastic bag the first couple of walks, you have learned to stuff bags in every pocket. However, you look frumpy and know your dog is embarrassed being seen with you. You are embarrassed to be seen with you!

“Most of our dog walking clients work long hours and do not want to leave their pets at home alone for long periods of time,” said Lindsay Carlton of Tranquility Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Service. “That’s where we come in. We offer their pet interaction, exercise, a potty break, socialization, treats, and lots of love. We also provide service to elderly clients who are no longer able to walk their dog. We have also helped clients during a short term injury/illness that prevented them from walking their doggies.” Lindsay and her husband Frank have been in business since 2010 and work on the west side of Colorado Springs. “In addition to the basic needs of food and shelter, a dog needs social interaction, positive attention, exercise, and mental stimulation,” said Carlton. “Many of these needs can be met by simply taking your dog for a walk. Walking your pet is a bonding experience. It also helps promote a healthy, active lifestyle.” In addition to what was discussed above in the story, be sure to get the best collar, harness, or head halter for your dog. One style does not fit all breeds. It’s important to choose a collar ideal for your pet’s age, weight and training purpose or check with your vet for the best fit for your best friend. In our upcoming winter issue of PETacular we will go into detail of the variety of collars and leashes that are available. Enjoy the time you spend with your dog as you both focus on healthy living. Doople Bags are currently only sold online at Use the code COL15 when you order for a 15% Petacular reader discount.

cover story


ntil June 10, 2012, the worst fire in Colorado history was the Waldo Canyon fire that left much of the western side of Colorado Springs charred. Unfortunately, our state broke that record June 11. What became known as the Black Forest fire destroyed approximately 500 houses and took the lives of two residents.

Wildfires... again

Homeowners live in this area northeast of Colorado Springs to enjoy acres of country life and the abundance of evergreen trees. Horses, cattle, as well as dogs and cats are regulars as well as the people that take care of them.

All Breed Rescue and Training also has current needs because of the resources spent during the fire’s evacuations. “We had to replace one of the floors in the training room,” Simon said. “We managed to get a lot of donations of items during the crisis but as the crisis has passed so too have the donations.  We are always looking for donations of cleaning supplies, paper products including copy paper, and of course monetary donations.” For more information please go to www.

Like the Waldo Canyon fire, people were evacuated in advance of the fast-spreading flames. Some had time to pack up treasures and pets. Some could not take their pets and had to leave them behind. All Breed Rescue and Training was one of the first organizations to post on the “Colorado Black Forest Fire 2013” Facebook page that they could take in displaced pets. Like last year, they were actively involved in pet placement. “We took in 70 animals, mostly dogs, though we had a rabbit, 7 cats, and a guinea pig,” according to Sara Simon, public relations director/Indy GIVE coordinator of ABRT. “Thanks to Twitter we knew very early on that a fire was starting to rage and we reached out to our contacts at the Humane Society to see what the plan was for evacuated animals and if we needed to be ready to take some of their animals to make room. We also started contacting our people in that area to make sure they knew what was happening.”

teams during the Waldo Canyon Fire, Haymon Fire, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “We are in immediate need of funding as we spent our reserves on the Black Forest Fire efforts,” Van Pelt said. “We gave away equipment, need new equipment for the rescue teams. We do not own our own horse or stock trailer or truck and desperately need one of each to continue helping animals.  We always have over 100 animals in our program which includes a network of foster homes.” For more information please go to

By Debbie l Evert

Unfortunately, the Black Forest Veterinary Clinic was destroyed in the fire, but that didn’t stop Dr. Rick Coufal from helping others. He cared for many burned cats. The clinic will relocate to the Black Forest

Center across the street from the original clinic location. Construction should wind up in September at the Black Forest Center, 12655 Black Forest Road. The entrance will be in the front and center, Suite 118.

More than 300 ABRT volunteers got busy. Working 24 hours a day for 10 days, these community-minded people walked dogs, did laundry, cleaned, and stayed busy doing logistics type things like finding food for dogs & humans, ice, bedding, fans, etc. In addition to the displaced animals, “ABRT took in 38 dogs from the Humane Society to make room for them to take in evacuated animals, said Simon. These dogs were housed in one of our training rooms and Black Forest Evacuees were housed in our other training room.” The most unique pet BFAS helped was an African grey parrot from a home.  Other local rescues were actively involved in helping evacuated pets. Blue Lion Rescue in Yoder took in dogs from the Pyrenees Rescue that was evacuated.  Wild Blue Animal Rescue was evacuated and sent cats to Happy Cat Haven. Black Forest Animal Sanctuary was taking in horses and dogs and then they themselves were evacuated to Castle Rock.  Black Forest Animal Sanctuary was credited with saving about 1,000 animals from the fire and many teams came very close to the flames. “We were dispatched by the Sheriff’s Office and Animal Law Enforcement to various locations,” said director Tracy Van Pelt. “Every pet found was photographed, provided an animal id number, and transported to safety. “We know we were the first group activated in the fire,” Van Pelt said.  “Our phones started ringing by friends, volunteers, and veterinarians of ours asking us to come to their houses.  The sheriff flagged us down numerous times to rescue horses trapped by flames, running down the road, etc. We not only helped animals but know we saved human lives. There were several stubborn people that would not leave their homes without their horses and had no trailer and no transportation. We rescued the horses and the owners at the same time.” “We also saved the most critically injured and burned horse, Sundance, from the fire along with several angus cattle,” said Van Pelt. “Sundance’s friend Monty died in the fire. Sundance was taken to the hospital by Team One of BFAS with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. He is doing well and we have a Sundance medical fund now to help burned and injured animals.” Black Forest Animal Sanctuary has been a local nonprofit since 1999. Not only did they participate several weeks with the Black Forest fire, they ran rescue

By the time this issue of PETacular goes to print “Rising Above the Ashes” a fundraiser benefiting the victims of the fire will have been held Sunday, August 25 at the Black Forest Community Center. Contact Tri-Lake Cares for information on how you can help.

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breed bio Size: Standard, 8-9 inches, 16-32 pounds;

Mini, 5-6 inches, less than 11 pounds

Aside from coming in the Standard or Mini sizes, the Dachshund also comes in a variety of colors and coat types. Choose from red, black and tan, cream, black, sable, chocolate, dapple or double dapple, piebald, or wild boar. Coat types range from longhair, shorthair (smooth), or wirehair.


Personality: Doxies are affectionate, lively and determined. Territorial in nature, depend on this dog to alert the house to approaching strangers. Never described as shy, Dachshunds have daily physical and mental needs. Because of their long backs, exercise and a regimented diet help prevent any orthopedic problems, and a varied routine will prevent any barking issues. The Longhairs seem to be the calmest; Shorthairs the liveliest; and the Wirehairs most affectionate.


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Dachshund A lot of mighty in a small package.

History: Dachshund means “badger dog.�

Historical paintings from the 15th century picture low to the ground dogs with houndshaped faces in full pursuit of their prey. In 17th century Germany, the smoothcoated and long-haired Dachshunds were registered, and the wire-haired variety did not make the books until 1890. The smaller sized Dachshund was used to hunt fox and hares, while the larger sized dog was used to hunt badgers and even boar. The Dachshund Club of America has promoted the dog since 1895 and the AKC added Dachshunds to their registry in 1935.

Family Match: Dachshunds are devoted

to its own family, but they may be snappish around children. They are reserved towards strangers and not good with small pets and rodents. They make wonderful dogs for small quarters and are most popular with apartment dwellers.

ask the doc


ne of the most common types of toxicities seen in veterinary practices is poisonings from ingesting rodenticides. There are several commonly used rodenticides which we will discuss in a minute, but the most important thing to do is have your pet examined by your veterinarian right away. The longer any toxin is in the system the harder it is to treat.

Information to Take to Your Veterinarian l l l

Active ingredient (bring in the packaging) When your pet at the poison

Roughly how much was eaten

What Do I Do?

My Pet Ate Rat Poison

Long-acting Anticoagulants- Warfarin, Brodifacoum, Diphacinone These are the most common and well known type of mouse and rat poisons. They work by preventing the blood from clotting, leading to internal bleeding. Common signs are lethargy, pale gums, bruising, weakness, exercise intolerance, coughing and difficulty breathing. Fortunately, this poison does have an antidote called vitamin K1. Treatment for at least three to four weeks is necessary and over-thecounter medications or food with high vitamin K content will not be sufficient substitutes. Usually if these pets are treated early enough they will make a full recovery. Bromethalin This is a dangerous poison with a name that is often mistaken for an anticoagulant. It works by damaging the function of the brain and liver, causing swelling of the brain. Common signs are ataxia (incoordination), tremors, seizures, paralysis, and eventually death. These signs will depend on how much is ingested and can happen very quickly. This poison has long-lasting effects, and the toxic dose is very small. In-hospital care for multiple days may be needed. Treatment consists of head elevation and methods to reduce brain swelling. Sometimes, despite treatment, these pets will not recover.

Knowing the active ingredient in the poison is the first step to providing treatment, so take the packaging into your veterinarian. These poisons cannot be identified based on color or shape alone, so having the packaging is very important. Also the packaging will often have treatment information listed near the active ingredient. If you can tell the receptionist what the label says prior to arriving at the office, it can help your vet set up treatment faster. It is also important to know when your By Dr. Russell l Welfare pet ate the poison and how much poison was eaten, as this will determine what kinds of treatment can be effective and will help your veterinarian know what to watch for Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) to determine if treatment is working. This is one of the most dangerous mouse and rat poisons on the market and it That being said, let’s look at the common rodenticides. There are three seems to be gaining in popularity. This poison works by continuously increasing predominant active ingredients and they vary dramatically in toxicity and the calcium and phosphorus levels, which can result in secondary kidney failure. Common signs are increased thirst and urination, becoming weak and lethargic, mechanism of action. and having a decreased appetite. These signs usually happen within the first 24 hours after ingestion, and kidney failure is typically noted two to four days after ingestion. This can be one of the most difficult rodenticides to treat, because extensive therapy and laboratory monitoring, which can be costly, is required for a positive outcome. There is no specific antidote, but poisoning does respond to several therapies. Aggressive treatment and frequent monitoring of blood work is often needed for two to four weeks after ingestion. Ingesting only a small amount of this poison can be potentially fatal.

The longer any toxin is in the system the harder it is to treat.

There are a couple of important take home messages here-

Early intervention is the best way to improve survival. If your veterinarian sees your pet right after ingestion, often the poison can be removed from the body before it does any damage. Check your house and know if there are any poisons down and where they are. Previous owners may have placed poisons in areas that you don’t usually inspect- like above cupboards, behind appliances (stove, water heater, washer), or in crawlspaces. If you have to place poisons in your home, pick the ones that are easiest to treat- Long-Acting Anticoagulants. And be careful not to confuse Brodifacoum with Bromethalin! As a last note, be very careful with zinc, calcium, and aluminum phosphides which are commonly found in mole or gopher baits. Phosphides turn into phosphine gas in the stomach which is very dangerous. If these animals are induced to vomit, the gas can cause respiratory issues in people near the pet. These pets should only be treated by veterinary professionals and care should be taken to inform them when mole or gopher bait may be involved. Please call us at (719) 282-1222 with any questions. Dr. Russell Welfare North Powers Animal Hospital

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dog facts


rimarily, dogs regulate their body temperature through panting and sweating via their paws.

A dog’s principle means for cooling down is by opening their mouths wide and panting. Some scientists suggest that having a cold, wet nose  also plays into this cool-down equation. A little moisture on the nose keeps it cooler (hence the cold), and therefore helps to keep the dog cooled down on hot days. A dry nose is not a good sign, and might suggest that the dog is dehydrated, and a warm nose suggests the dog may be running a fever. Another reason that dogs have cold, wet noses is because they’re quite fond of licking their noses. Many  dogs  have long tongues with which they can easily reach their nose — possibly enhancing coolness and transferring moisture to the nose. Further, after a dog has eaten, you’ll frequently find them using their tongues to clean off their  noses, particularly when the meal is messy. This in turn leads to the cold, wet noses we’ve come to expect in dogs.

An alternate explanation as to why dogs  have cold,  wet  noses  may have to do with survival skills, and predate domestication of our furry friends. It’s suggested by some scientists that


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Why Do Dogs Have Cold, Wet Noses?

extra moisture on the nose may increase a dog’s olfactory capacity: in other words, the dog’s sense of smell. While the modern pampered pooch may not need to have a particularly good sense of smell, this aspect of the dog is still relied upon. Working dogs  especially, need great “smelling” skills to herd, find pests, look for missing people or sniff out illegal substances at airports. Cold,  wet  noses  may simply be better at smelling thing than a dry nose would. The dog that likes to explore outdoors will frequently present its owner with a very cold wet  nose.  Dogs  can pick up moisture from the ground or grasses, and if the weather is cool, their noses are liable to be even cooler. While it may not be the best thing in the world to be sniffed over by a dog that’s just spent some time exploring the outdoors, and while the reasons may be something of mystery, cold,  wet  noses  tend to serve  dogs  well and be just one of the features expected in these animals. Special thanks to

610 Abbot Lane


Colorado Springs CO 80905



4600 Eagleridge Place l Pueblo CO 81008 l 719.544.3005



Animal Tails from the Black Forest Fire Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) stands ready to activate during emergencies when animals are affected, including wildfires, flooding or tornadoes. Under the direction of HSPPR, the Community Animal Response Team (CART) cared for more than 1,200 animals during the Black Forest Fire in June, 672 of which were stranded and rescued from the evacuation zone by Animal Law Enforcement (ALE) teams. Volunteers worked around the clock to care for all kinds of animals. They fed and walked pets at emergency shelters, provided veterinary care to animals affected by smoke, entered the fire zone to load stranded animals into trailers and reunited lost pets with their families. . Poindexter’s Tail: Poindexter had been stranded for days in the Black Forest Fire evacuation zone and most of the area around him had burned. Firefighters were making sure he had water and HSPPR’s ALE officers carried in feed. Crews were finally able to cut down trees in the area so officers could get a horse trailer in. It took four ALE officers using portable fencing about 15 minutes to corral him. Two of Poindexter’s llama friends were rescued a few days earlier and taken to the El Paso County Fairgrounds. They could be heard humming when Poindexter moved into the corral next to them. Kali’s Tail: Escape artist Kali got out of her carrier and ran off as her owners were evacuating. Days later, she was found, singed but alive, and brought to HSPPR where veterinary staff looked her over and treated her wounds. HSPPR’s lost and found team leapt into action. They sent out emails with her picture to everyone who had reported a lost calico cat, and her people responded within hours. Sherwin’s Tail: When Sherwin’s owners evacuated, they tried to take Sherwin with them, but he didn’t handle living in a small apartment well. So they brought Sherwin to the emergency shelter at HSPPR. According to Sherwin’s owner, “I was so worried about how he might be stressed out by being handled by strangers and in a new place, but he was so calm, happy and well-cared for when my husband came back to bring him home! Thanks so much to all of you that took such great care of him - it helped us in such a stressful time!”

Be Prepared It’s not a matter of if, but when. Make a plan for evacuating and taking care of pets in the event of a disaster.

Karlee’s l

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Always ensure your pet is identified with tags, a collar and a microchip if possible. Keep your pet up to date on vaccinations and healthcare. Keep photographs of you and your pet together in case you need

further identification.

You will also want to pack a “Go Kit” to sustain your pets for at least 72 hours should you be forced to evacuate. Some examples of items you might

pack include: l l l


Pet food and water Pet medications

Leashes or harnesses Kennels / carriers

(a pillowcase can be used to transport cats in an extreme emergency)

Find more information and checklists online at

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dog parks

Woof Ranch Dog Park W

Luke & Will Sellmayer and their GoldenDoodle, Bo

oof Ranch Dog Park is located in Wolf Ranch, on the west side of Tutt Boulevard between Wolf Village Drive and Revelstoke Drive, across from Ranch Creek Elementary School. On-street parking is plentiful, and the walking path winds up to the entrance of the WOOF Ranch Dog Park. Overflow parking is available at the elementary school. The dog park is natural landscaping and the amenities include: l l l l l l l l

Small dog area Large dog area Agility section with 9 pieces of equipment 6 benches for sitting Dog trash station Leash dock for hanging leashes Bulletin board for information Bring your own water

Colorado Springs Dog Parks Bear Creek Dog Park 21st St and Rio Grande This exemplary park has everything a dog and his master could want! It is 25 acres and includes a creek, ball and doggie waste bag dispensers, and a small dog area. Cheyenne Meadows Dog Park Canoe Creek and Charmwood This park is fenced and on-leash. Devon’s Dog Park: (Monument) E Noe Rd, off the E Greenland Rd exit Larkspur, CO Greenland Open space- The first open space area. Garden of the Gods Off-Leash Dog Area 3130 N. 30th St. This off-leash area is open between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. from May through October, and until 9 p.m. the rest of the year. Palmer Dog Park and Palmer Park (Yucca Flats) Off Leash Dog Area 3650 Maizeland Rd. This park has the standard dog waste pickup bags and a water fountain for humans as well as an accompanying one for dogs in the shape of a bowl. Rampart Dog Park 8270 Lexington Dr. and Union There are several water spigots to entertain the dogs, and several beaches. This park is also open between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. from May through October, and until 9 p.m. the remainder of the year. Red Rock Canyon Off-Leash Dog Area This area is unfenced and off -leash.

High St

Woof Ranch Dog Park Wolf Ranch Community near North Powers Blvd. and Research Parkway. Off leash small and big dog areas.


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There is a sign with Laws of the Pack, which includes the continual message: Please pick up after your pets. We invite you to visit the WOOF Ranch Dog Park that is made possible, thanks to the efforts of the three brothers, along with the support of community volunteers and financial donations. For more information about the community effort to construct WOOF Ranch Dog Park, please visit: woofranch.html


ojo was a plump orange Garfield impersonator. A one-woman cat, he was fearful to the point of aggression when he visited his veterinarian, Dr. James Olson of Cat Specialist. Diagnosed with diabetes at aged 5, Mojo was destined to visit Dr. Olson a lot over the years. Feline-only practices, like Cat Specialist in Castle Rock and Carefree Cats in Colorado Springs, dedicate their expertise to one species, as well as train their staff in feline friendly handling. Considering the time a cat spends with veterinary technicians, respectful handling by friendly support staff can be crucial for your cat.

feline focus

Friendly Veterinary Care

for your Cat

As many pet guardians know, even the most outgoing cats can find car rides scary. Experts suggest lowering fear on a vet visit can start even before you get to the car.


Tip #1: Play with a towel. At home, give your cats a towel to be petted with, rolled in and slept on. Pairing that with their favorite treats makes it even better. Later you can use it to calm during travel and examinations. Tip #2: Make the carrier friendly. Find a carrier with an easily removed top. Start by giving cats their favorite treats or even feeding them regular meals in their carrier. If they associate it with yummy food, the carrier can soon become a favorite place. Tip#3: Use a carrier cover. This can be as simple as a small towel or blanket laid over the top, limiting unfamiliar sights and sounds to lower stress. Tip #4: Make car rides friendly. Line the carrier with the favorite towel and practice simply moving around the house, continuing to treat. You can also use a product called Feliway, a calming agent that can be sprayed on the towel.

Some mobile doctors, like Compassionate Care, offer specialized services. Acupuncture for pain management, hospice, and in-home euthanasia allow your little loved one to ease out of this life gracefully.


Tip #10: Reintroduce slowly. Cats may come home from the vet smelling and behaving differently. If you have other animals, you can ease this by by putting the examined cat in a separate room until they exchange scents under the door and acclimate. With the help of Dr. Olson, Mojo lived to be over 19 years old, in spite of his illnesses. His guardian helped lower the stress of traveling and the veterinary staff became his friends, helping make visits to them friendly and happy for Mojo.

Contacts: All About Pets: 719-633-1010 Aspenwood Veterinary Hospital: 719-578-1030 Bear Creek Veterinary Care: 719-685-1177 Carefree Cats Veterinary Hospital: 719-573-1670 Cat Specialist: 303-663-2287 CATalyst Council: Compassionate Care Veterinary Support: 719-330-1926 Dr. Sophia Yin: Northwest Animal Hospital: 719-593-8582

Once these “house rides” are normal, take your slightly hungry cats to the car, feed them in the carrier, then bring them back inside. Build that up to short car rides, continuing to feed treats.


To cats, a waiting room can be the place where they end up trapped right next to an unfamiliar cat, dog or human, any of whom can feel like a predator. Cat-only practices like Carefree Cats and Cat Specialist are the least imposing, but even small mixed clinics can help limit these fear factors. Tip #5: Keep it quiet. Aspenwood Veterinary Hospital suggests asking your vet for less busy appointment times or an empty exam room. If you must wait in a crowded room, be sure to keep your cat above ground level, either on your lap or on a counter. You can also ask if they offer Feliway for waiting and exam rooms like most of the practices mentioned do. Some practices offer special cat days, like Bear Creek Veterinary Care’s Feline Friendly Fridays. On these days, the clinic is open only to cats, so they have less exposure to stressful sights, smells and sounds. Like the cat-only practices, their staff is also trained in gentle handling and offers Feliway.


Once you get to your vet, there are many things you and the staff can do to keep the stress down, according to the CATalyst Council, a non-profit advocacy group for cats. Tip #6: Bring those treats. Like car rides, distracting your cats with their very favorite treat can lower stress and make handling less fearful. Again, withholding food for a few hours prior may make them more likely to take a treat. Tip #7: Pop the top. Try simply removing the carrier top so your veterinarian can reach your cat. Use your friendly towel to make a temporary cave to lower stress while maintaining access for your veterinarian. Tip #8: Examine in place. Northwest Animal Hospital says they assess each cat individually, examining them where they are most comfortable, whether in their guardian’s arms or roaming around the exam room.


Tip #9: Bring the vet to you. If your kitty continues to be fearful, consider a mobile veterinary service. All About Pets provides medical as well as surgical services at your home. This allows your cats to stay in their safe place while being examined and treated. fall 2013



osing a beloved pet and your “unconditional best friend” is always difficult, and grieving that loss is handled very differently by each person. The mission of Memorial Paw is to simplify the difficult process of expressing sympathy by offering a meaningful selection of nontraditional gifts designed to acknowledge loss rather than to minimize it. Pet loss and a pet sympathy gifts are a great way to show someone you care about them and that you understand the devastating loss of their fourfooted family member.

Memorial Paw

Keeping Their Memory Alive

Over the years we have lost many pets and understand the profound sense of sadness that accompanies such loss. When we knew that others were in the same position, we realized there was very little available as a condolence gesture which was, “appropriately affordable” for the occasion,  yet included everything we wanted.  That’s when we created the Memorial Paw Ensembles for dogs, cats and horses. Each beautiful package includes a keepsake, the Rainbow Bridge Poem, a condolence message and a card for a personal note. 

Our pet memorial keepsakes are all designed, owned and copyrighted by us. Memorial Paw is a family owned and operated “pet loving” company. The keepsakes are designed by us as small treasures to keep the memory close to you of that lost love. They’ve rapidly become a favorite for parents seeking a remembrance gift for their child to help reduce the pain of the loss.

We first introduced the Memorial Paw via veterinarians, groomers and pet gift stores along with the early days of the web, starting in 1996 and we take pride in our products and our services. It can be hard to know what to say to a friend or family member after they have lost a beloved pet. Our unique line of pet sympathy gifts which will speak

volumes about how much you care, without you having to say a word. We always ask, “Imagine the comfort your friend will feel knowing you cared enough to give them one of our pet loss gifts in memory of their dog or cat. They always cherish your thoughtful gift. We knew from personal experience how hard it can be for a young child who has shared their love and companionship every day of their life. Pet memorial gifts offer a great deal of comfort to help them through such a difficult time in their life. We even realized that we didn’t want to forget about ourselves because our pet has been a special part of the family for so many years. It wasn’t long before we were receiving calls nationwide from retailers, Gift Shops, Pet Boutiques, Groomers, Pet Sitters, and veterinarians. They’re all looking for a simple and meaningful gift for the owners who have lost a best friend. In fact, in the last year our Memorial Paw sales have dramatically increased as we now see them being ordered by owners of Boarding & Kennels, Doggie Day Care Centers, Florists, Sympathy Baskets, and as a Fundraising tool. Most recently, many Rescues Organizations have purchased our keepsakes; everyone understands the value of a “memorial gift” and how important it is to have on hand when a loss occurs.

Now we’ve evolved to a point where we offer a Fulfillment Contract. For example because space is limited in most vet offices, a Veterinarian can now call us with the name and address of the “lost pet”. We handle the selection (dog, cat or horse) assemble, package and mail the memorial gift to their pet owner and invoice the vet’s office. Please visit us at or you can reach us at 719-527-0430.

What TO do l l

l l l l



l l

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What NOT to do Listen in a non-judgmental manner l Do NOT impose a timeline for feeling better— Let them ‘tell their story’ as many times as they there is no timeline for grief need l Do NOT tell them you know exactly how they Ask them how they are doing feel—no one can ever experience pain, grief, Offer to help—repeat this offer and loss in exactly the same way l Let your friend know you are there for them Do NOT tell them time heals all or that the person or animal they loved is in a better place. From the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Share with them your wonderful memories of the l Do NOT try to ‘fix them’ or make it all better—no companion animal who has died one can ever do that Share that there is NO right or wrong behavior for l grieving—everyone is different. Do NOT use euphemisms that tend to deny the extent of the loss Reflect on the feelings they are expressing and l Do NOT get a new pet for your friend!! help them explore them and the reality of the death l Do NOT tell them they can ‘get another dog/cat/ Know that they may have emotional set backs horse/bird’ Be there for them in the days as well as weeks, l months, and years following the death Do NOT compare one griever’s loss or experience to another’s. Comparisons are Allow periods of silence attempts to minimize the loss or to force the Know that your friend will always grieve the loss griever to behave the right way but will learn to live with it l Do NOT encourage them to make major changes Help celebrate the life of the one they have lost in their life Help those who are in the process of grieving develop the rituals they need to l Do NOT suggest they medicate their pain with alcohol or tranquilizing drugs.  get through those early difficult times Avoiding the immediate symptoms of grief can ultimately lead to complicated and unresolved grief If the person who is in grief is suicidal it is your moral and ethical responsibility l to refer them to a mental health professional Do NOT scold, give advice, lecture or pep talks to them when they are feeling down—let the grief process take its course. Offer suggestions to help them through their grief.

pet aftercare

Dos and Don’ts

when Talking With a Friend in Grief

Homeward Bound Pet Memorial Center & Crematorium Skye M. Stevens has been a co-owner of Homeward Bound Pet Memorial Center and Crematorium in Colorado Springs for over 18 years. She has a degree in Animal Health Technology and worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician for 20 years. She continued her education while managing her husband’s veterinary hospital, and obtained a BS in Management/ Accounting followed by an MBA in Finance/ Accounting from Regis University. She passed the CPA exam in 1992 and was as an accountant in private practice for several years. She assumed the chief executive duties for Homeward Bound in 2004, and she and her husband, M. Bruce Cottrell, DVM continue to operate the memorial center and crematory. Skye received certification as a Pet Loss Professional and a Grief Companion through the Pet Loss Professional Alliance in 2011.

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hile reviled throughout history as plaguebearing vermin, rats have risen to pet status in the last century. The last ten years have even seen an upsurge in rat clubs and sanctioned rat shows. Rats can make good pets because they are small and quiet, their habitats are relatively easy to maintain, and they don’t cost very much to feed.

pet profile


According to Carol Himsel Daly who wrote Rats: A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual, the word rodent means “to gnaw”. Rats originated in India, Central Asia, and China, and it was through shipping routes that they were transported throughout the world. Rats invaded Europe in the twelfth century and hitchhiked their way to America by the sixteenth century. By the 1800s, rats were kept for sport in a gruesome game called “rat baiting,” which entailed setting a dog loose to kill as many rats as it could in an allotted time. Even then, the unusual rats of different colors and coat textures were kept for breeding and showing. All domesticated rats derive from the original brown rat. Daly says there are four main varieties of rats: standard, dumbo (larger ears like the elephant), hairless, and tailless. Rat colors vary from dark brown, black, chocolate, gray, to lavender, lilac, yellow, and silver. The albino rats, of course, have pink eyes and are called PEWs for pink-eyed whites. The patterns of rat coats also vary to include: hooded, notched, Irish, and Berkshire, which refers to whether a certain body part is colored or not. There are also color-pointed rats that have a Siamese markings, and rex-coated rats that have curly coats. The cost for a pet rat ranges from a $6 pet store rat to a fancy rat from a breeder, which can cost around $30. A group of rats is called a mischief, male rats are called bucks, females are does, and babies are pups. Rats are very social animals and do better in pairs—it is best to keep same-sex pairs to prevent unwanted litters. Rats can reproduce at as young as five weeks old.


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A rat’s home can be a cage or aquarium, but they need at least ten gallons per rat of space. Wire cages need to have either a solid floor or a sub floor of plastic mesh to prevent foot sores. Aquariums obviously need a screen secured to the top. Some use ferret cages, but Daly does not advise the hamster-sized Habitrails, as they are too small for rats. Bedding can be paper or wood (not cedar), and cleanliness is a must. Rats need fresh water every day and a selection of foods— rat chow and fresh veggies, fruits, and seeds are good. Some rats can be litter box trained; these boxes are triangular and fit in a corner. A nesting box should also be provided.

Daly says that rat registries are becoming more common and are set up much like the American Kennel Club is for dogs. The current situation is such that different rat clubs around the world each have their own sets of rat standards, and these standards may vary from one club to the next. There are two kinds of shows, according to Critters USA magazine. There are rat-free shows and ratfests where there are no rats, just information disseminated, and there are pet rat shows and standards shows where rats are shown. Pet Rat Shows have categories such as “biggest” or “longest tail”. Standards Shows are where rats are judged on how well they conform to the particular club’s standards in terms of body structure, color, coat, markings, and temperament. The website of the Association of Colorado Rat Enthusiasts also contains helpful tips on taming, training, and caring for pet rats. They are non-profit group that is “dedicated to the betterment of the fancy rat through ethical and responsible breeding, and by encouraging proper rat care and ownership at home”. For more information: This story was researched from the following: Rats: A Complete Pet Owner’s Manual by Carol Himsel Daly, DVM “Rats that Quest for the Win,” Critters USA. by Carol Lawton


riving down the Appian Way from Rome to Gaeta traveling to my latest assignment I was looking for something to inspire me for my next article. As my driver and I drew close to our destination the trees that grew on both sides of the road to shade Cesar’s soldiers were in the foreground framing our view of distant mountain ranges. Oh, the history that was made on this road. The arrow straight Appian Way soon gave way to narrow roads nestled between the mountains and the sea. If you looked out the tiny Fiat windows to the left you missed the vista on the right and vice versa. It was quite frustrating trying to keep up with all the beauty disappearing rapidly behind the twists and turns of the seaside road.

around the globe

Mastino Napoletano

showing off his obedience and ability to be trained. Or lastly, he was just living up to his nature of being a tad bit…lazy which seems like such a harsh word so I’ll call it under energized. What of this ancient mountainous dog from Roman times? For one thing it’s big (bet you didn’t have any problems guessing that). Males can weigh as much as 180 pounds. They have loose blue, black, brindle or tan coats. The face has a somewhat short muzzle with lots of skin folds. Loose jowls contribute to them drooling incessantly. Its temperament is to be protective of family but gentle with those who have been determined to be friends. It will expend energy in short spurts but is more likely found lounging around observing. They take well to training but don’t expect these behemoths to participate in fly ball.

The driver was native to Gaeta so these views By Bradley l Ritzenthaler weren’t new to him yet he must have been taken in by the exquisiteness of our surroundings It is not uncommon to see the Mastinos portrayed because he nearly missed seeing a middle aged in movies about Roman times as a gladiator dog. man crossing the street with his Neapolitan Mastiff Typically they show them menacing armored (Mastino Napoletano in Italian). The driver left Photo courtesy attacking the vanguard of the opposing troops. a little bit of his Pirelli tires on the asphalt while Dressed out in battle gear to include breastplates, breaking. As near misses go, we really didn’t come close to hitting anyone, we just made a little noise. The owner gave us a “what spiked shoulder guards and helmets they appear fearsome. This is not a historically for” with some Italian hand gestures that I dare not translate into words. The dog, accurate depiction. The Mastino most likely was used in camp by troops but only as watchdogs. The size and energy level of the Mastino are exactly opposite of massive as the hills we were speeding past, didn’t give us the time of day. what is required of a dog to attack opposing forces. A formidable foe in close The Mastino’s reaction struck me as odd because they are a breed that has been quarters, it would not have been effective chasing down horses in an open field. used since Roman times as a guard dog. To an American the traffic in Italy is chaotic, though I’ve noticed it’s improved dramatically since I was here 17 years Now that I’ve rekindled my familiarity with the ancient breed of Napoli, I think my ago. I can only imagine a canine raised in the United States would be constantly next animal related trip in Italy will take me back to ancient times again. I’ll write jumping out of its skin over all the near misses while walking down the road. you from a house buried in the ash of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the famous Cave So if this guard dog, who was breed to sound the alarm at the sight of danger, Canum (Beware the Dog) mosaic at the House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii. didn’t react to our car screeching to a stop that would mean one of three things. What a doggie treat that will be. The Mastino wasn’t the least bit threatened by the tiny Fiat Cinquecento (500) Bradley Ritzenthaler is a Medical Services Officer at showing his fearlessness. He has been completely desensitized to the traffic US Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

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Detection dogs have been trained to search for many substances, including: Small animals and game in conservation settings Human or human remains

Match the Detection Dog to the Substance

Crime evidence Currency Drugs Explosives Firearms Mobile phones (as contraband in prisons) Mold Plants, animals, produce, and other agricultural items Polycarbonate optical discs such as DVDs (used to search for bootleg recordings) Pest control: Termites and Bedbugs

Can you match the stereotypical breed to their main tracking subject?


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Source: Wikipedia

ANSWERS: Bloodhound - human; Beagle - small game; Shepherd - drugs; Labradors - pest control

Being a good scent dog has more to do with a dog’s drive and the quality of training than its lineage. Most any physically normal dog has an olfactory sense capable of performing scent detection and discrimination. However, just as with people, some dogs are driven and some aren’t.

pet-loving businesses

Thank you for supporting these pet-loving businesses in our community. Look for the special offers and mention you saw them in PETacular.

Colorado Petacular is published by Production Plan-it Inc. and is distributed to over 150 locations in the Colorado Springs and area communities. Copyright 2013 Production Plan-it Inc. 6620 Dreamweaver Drive, Colo Springs CO 80923 (719) 339-3625 or (719) 964-2486. Customer Service, Advertising and other questions: All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers. Publishers/Editors: Kelly Crnokrak, Audree M. Grubesic Creative Director: Alison Harder Contributing Writers: Debbie Evert, Sara Ferguson, Bradley Ritzenthaler, Dr. Laura Scott, Skye M. Stevens, Dr. Russell Welfare We would like to thank you for reading the PETacular magazine. Our advertisers allow this publication to be FREE by their support and contribution. Please visit them today.

Petacular Fall 2013  

A quarterly magazine for pet lovers highlighting stories and businesses in the Colorado Springs area.

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