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May/June 2014

Your Guide To All Things Pets

A Shelter Story PLUS: Disaster Preparedness Social Media Saves Lives Movement Toward Health & Much More!

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to good homes

Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014



To meet any of these adoptables contact FUREVER PURR RESCUE (661) 255-9979 or email All of these wonderful cats are healthy, up-to-date on shots, altered, microchipped and have tested negative for FELV/FIV. Please consider opening your home and heart to one of these very special cats in need.

apricot – FLAME POINT SIAMESE APRICOT – I am a flamepoint Siamese. I am a REALLY sweet boy. I am friendly and happy and love my BFF Casper who I met in foster. We would love to find a home together. I am about a year old. I was turned into the shelter as a stray.

bentley – POLYDACTYL MAINE COON BENTLEY – I am a VERY friendly and BIG Maine Coone! I weigh 24 lbs. My owner died and her family left me at the shelter. I would love my own human to cuddle up with. I am a polydactyl, so I have extra toes. I am 6 years old.

callie – SIAMESE MIX CALLIE – I am a sweet girl with beautiful blue eyes. I have been waiting for my forever home for such a long time. I am a really good girl and I like other cats too! I am only 2 years old. I was turned into the shelter as a pregnant stray.

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casper – I AM DEAF CASPER – I am about 2 yrs. old. I love to be held. I have two different color eyes. I am deaf. I would like to be adopted with my BFF Apricot; we met in foster care. I was found on the street and turned into the shelter.

amelia – SIAMESE MIX I am super friendly! I am very sweet and get along well with other cats. I was rescued out of the shelter while giving birth. All of my babies were adopted and now I’m hoping it’s my turn. I am 2 years old. I was turned into the shelter as a pregnant stray.

tuxs – DECLAWED TUXEDO TUXS – I am a DECLAWED large tuxedo cat! I am very friendly and very smart. I love to play with toys, bugs, dust…really anything that I can find. However, I would rather have a human to play with me. I had a home, but they didn’t want me anymore. I would like someone to spend time with; I don’t have that in my foster situation. I get along with most other cats. I am only 6 years old.

May/June 2014

Contents 4 A Shelter Story 9 Don’t forget about your pets when it comes to Disaster Preparedness 10 Social Media Saves Lives 12 Vomiting vs Regurgitation 14 S-S-S-Spring Has Sprung 17 Best Friends’ NKLA Adoption Weekend 20 Movement Toward Health 21 Interview with Dr. Jeanette Yamamoto 22 Directory for All Things Pets

Advertising Information Direct: 661.255.9979 Fax: 866.259.9201 29743 Seco Cyn. Rd. #518, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

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Please Contact Us For A Subscription – Annual Subscription By Mail: $12 PUBLISHER AND EDITOR Bridget Alves EDITOR Caroline Squires ART DIRECTOR Doug Conboy COVER PHOTO By Bridget Alves

As we transition from spring to summer, we observe and partake in many changes. Cooler temperatures to blasting heat waves, kids in school to summer vacations, dining on all the delicious summer foods, and spending longer evenings with our family, friends, and of course, pets. With these changes comes a sense of renewal and possibilities. Perhaps this summer you might bring home a new four-legged friend. The opportunities are endless when considering adding a pet to your home. Whether it be visiting shelters, rescue groups, adoption events, or reading online posts about pets in need of an owner, you are bound to make a connection. Sometimes when you least expect it, the animal meant to be yours will find its way into your life. I love hearing stories about how an owner found his/her pet and it will never cease to amaze me how these meant to be encounters transpired. This issue contains various articles about taking chances and how amazing events can happen when we leave ourselves open to possibilities. This issue also features informative articles about how to be prepared and proactive with your pet. Knowledge is power, and it’s my desire that pet owners are aware of resources in their area and are educated about pet issues. As always, thank you for your wonderful email and kind support. Please continue sending your input as it assists us in providing you with the information you want. We appreciate the privilege of bringing you Pet Me! Magazine.

Bridget Alves Publisher & Editor

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

A Shelter Story

By Bridget Alves


here was nothing different about that day. With coffee in hand, I had sat down at my computer and brought up the shelter website to see who needed help. As an animal lover and rescuer, this is always a gut-wrenching but necessary task. My search always begins in the isolation room. This is where the sick, the injured, and the “deemed” feral cats are housed. These are the ill-fated kitties that are most in need of help. They are often improperly labeled feral by shelter workers simply because they are so scared that they may let out a hiss or two. These are the kitties that have little hope of ever seeing a ray of sunshine or hearing a kind voice whisper words of reassurance. They have been imprisoned, condemned, and will likely be killed; no one will cry for them, no one will miss them, they will become a forgotten statistic, one of millions. But, on that day I didn’t dwell on the sadness of the situation. Instead, I focused on how to bring hope and help to them. There were several cats in the ISO area, but for some inexplicable reason I was drawn to three in particular, one Calico and two tabbies. As I scrolled down to look at the others, it seemed as though my mind had control of the mouse and I was back to the three. The kennel card read stray. I needed more information. I was told by a shelter volunteer that she did not think they were feral, but they were definitely petrified. She told me that one in particular, one of the young tabbies, was desperately trying to communicate with her by 4 Pet Me! Magazine™

meowing loudly every time she entered the isolation room. What was this scared kitty trying to tell her? I dug deeper and found that these cats were brought to the shelter in traps. Apparently an elderly gentleman had been feeding them, but he passed away. I had no other information on the cats, except that they were deemed feral and couldn’t be handled. Because of that we didn’t know their genders. I presumed the calico was female (as most calico cats are). Something about the three cats pulled at me and made me want to save them. It’s not uncommon for me to help with sick, injured or elderly cats, but I normally don’t rescue feral kitties. Feral cats are unadoptable. I want to save every cat, but I simply have nowhere for them to go. I told myself I could find them a home as barn cats, and that was the plan. I reached out far and wide. After much networking, plenty of phone calls, pleading and begging for help, someone stepped up and said she would take all three as barn cats. Whoo Hoo! They would be saved. I was elated. Coordinating adoption, transport and vetting took a couple of days. We needed to work quickly because their time was running out. If they weren’t picked up from the shelter by that evening they would be destroyed. My colleague, Larissa, a shelter volunteer, and I arrived at the shelter with carriers in hand. We were prepared! Armed with big towels, heavy gloves, calming spray, treats, and other supplies, we set up for battle;

Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

however, what transpired was completely unexpected! We gingerly approached and opened the first cage, all the while speaking words of encouragement, and trying to soothe them with our voices. Without further ado, Larissa calmly reached in and brought out the first kitty. All was well. At that moment it seemed quite apparent to Larissa that this kitty was in some serious need of cuddling, and that is exactly what happened next. Larissa gently caressed this little furry being and kissed the top of its head. I was completely flabbergasted, but not altogether surprised. This little kitty was basking in the warmth of someone who cared; she knew it, she loved it, and she responded to it. What in heaven’s name was going on here? Why was this kitty labeled feral? The answer is simple; unfortunately, many people working in shelters have no concept of cat behavior. Cats are incredibly sensitive and very emotional; they are creatures of habit and their environments. When put in cold, scary, and unfamiliar situations they act out, like most humans would do under similar circumstances. Humans, however, don’t get the death penalty for acting out. Getting the other two wasn’t quite as easy as the first, but it was certainly not the battle we anticipated. I don’t care who you are; no one can pick up a truly feral adult cat with just gloves and towels, without the risk of serious injury. These three were definitely not feral. Our next task was a trip to the vet. It was determined that all three were girls and tested negative for FELV/FIV. They were a little apprehensive during their vet stay, but nevertheless, very docile and sweet. As elated as I was about rescuing them from the shelter and learning that they were healthy, I was now faced with a dilemma. How could I subject these three sweet, little girls to the harsh reality of life outdoors in a barn? It quickly became apparent that this was no longer an option. The girls came to my house to be fostered and a new adoption/networking plan began to take shape. The girls who are a mama (the calico), and her two daughters, Holly and Candy, thrived in their new, cozy, loving environment. What a sweet family. The bond between them is so special. It’s no wonder poor Holly was crying to the shelter volunteer when she walked in the room; she wanted to be reunited with her mama. Why had she been taken away from her mama when they were so bonded? Now that some time had passed, I was faced with another dilemma, that of separating the family. How was I ever going to find an adopter to take all three? The world of rescue has many sides that most people can’t even fathom. Six weeks had passed since I rescued the cats. I marveled at how beautiful they had grown. Their coats were luxurious and silky and their demeanor had changed. The soulful sadness in their eyes that originally drew me to them had been replaced with peace and contentment. Saturdays are a very busy day at the rescue. Every day is busy,

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continued from page 5 but Saturdays are particularly busy! Litter pans are washed out, and all of the big cleaning jobs are done. It’s like spring cleaning; only it occurs every week. One Saturday afternoon, I went into the foster room to pick up the breakfast bowls, clean litters, check water bowls, and give hugs and kisses. I glanced over at mama cat; she was comfortably stretched out, purring away. I turned away to continue my work, but as if in a scene from a movie, I blinked, rubbed my eyes and did a double take because I realized that mama was not alone. I looked again to make sure that what I thought I had seen was actually what I had seen. To my surprise mama was now a mama again! Five tiny kittens we’re contentedly nursing away. I could not believe my eyes! I had no idea she was pregnant! In that instant all sorts of absurd and crazy scenarios entered my mind: someone played a joke on me, one of my rescue friends planted them there, I’m on Candid Camera, or I’m seeing things! I thought that if I blinked, rubbed my eyes and looked again I would see that it was all an illusion. However, the realization soon hit me that I had become a grandmother. I thought Mama was getting a little plump, but I attributed it to the good food that she was now getting. Boy was I wrong! I took a step closer, and saw five tiny babies. How cute. How adorable. How completely and utterly unexpected. The babies appeared to be about four days old. Mama had a

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furry igloo in her condo where she slept and had hidden the babies in there for the first few days. Tiny newborns only cry when they are hungry or in distress. These little pumpkins never made a peep; Mama was doing an exceptional job. She must have known it was a Saturday, and she decided to make it extra special by presenting her precious babies to me on that beautiful, sunny day. She looked deep into my eyes as if to say thank you for saving her life, her daughters’ lives and the lives of her unborn babies. I cannot explain the emotions that raced through my body at that moment; tears of joy, and also tears of sadness, for the many that have perished…some with babies on the way, like my beautiful mama cat. I had to share the beauty of this unexpected moment so I ran to get my video camera. I wanted to show the world the beautiful and wonderful thing that had happened. It was not what rescue people normally embrace. Of course we love the kittens when they are here, but our objective is to prevent overpopulation. I had planned to take her to get spayed the week following her arrival with me, but I wanted her to feel completely safe and secure after her shelter

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but that is what is happening nationwide in our shelters every day. Innocent little lives are lost because too many shelter employees are inexperienced and don’t know how to properly interact with frightened animals. Many shelter employees are not adequately trained to recognize animal behavior and sadly, some simply do not care to learn or expand their knowledge because they lack passion for their job. I look at my newly extended family and pray for the millions that won’t make it out of shelters in the future. I will continue to help those in need at my local shelter and in my community, and I hope that this article will inspire others to do the same. Momma and Candy relaxed in foster care.

continued from page 7 ordeal. I decided a couple of weeks of TLC before her spay would be best. As if to validate the decision to delay spay surgeries, Holly and Candy had gone into heat. I thought Mama did too, as she had become extremely friendly. For the safety of the cats, it was recommended to wait to spay until they came out of heat. All three were scheduled to be spayed the following week. The best laid plans of mice and men! The moral of this story is not to judge a book by its cover,

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

Don’t forget about your pets when it comes to

Disaster Preparedness By Dr. Evelyn Vega, DVM, Happy Pets Veterinary


n light of the natural disasters that have taken place in the recent past in the US, we must be prepared not only for ourselves but for our pets as well. Here in the Santa Clarita Valley, we must always be prepared for natural disasters as well such as earthquakes and wildfires. Here are some tips to get started in order to be prepared for the safety and well-being of your pets if disaster strikes. The importance of having pets microchipped is often overlooked by pet owners, but it has proved lifesaving in many situations. Many of our beloved pets would never run away from home under normal circumstances, but when they are struck with fear, many pets may find themselves lost. A microchip may sometimes be the only ID available that can safely bring your pets back home. If your pets are microchipped, always be sure to keep all contact information up-to-date and always include a contact person that lives outside our valley just in case there is a need to evacuate. If you don’t already have one, get a window alert sticker so emergency responders know there is an animal in your home that needs to be rescued. You can find these decals for different types of animals at pet stores or other sites like, or you can make your own. If you leave and have the time, please note on them that your pets have been removed from your home so rescuers don’t waste time needlessly looking for a pet that isn’t there. Having a first aid kit handy for your pet is never a bad idea. To make your own, the Red Cross and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) all offer handy lists of items that should be in it, or if you don’t want to make one yourself, you can buy a ready-made one from a number of places, including  Happy pets Veterinary Center or the ASPCA. Having a bag or container of supplies ready to go can obvi-

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ously save time if you need to leave in a hurry and will also be useful if you get trapped at home. Does anyone really want to spend time looking for the can opener or trying to remember what your pet will need for two weeks when you have been given limited time to evacuate? Some essential items to have on hand include; stored water, extra cat litter, newspaper and trash bags – in case it’s not safe to go outside – crates, carriers and cages, bowls, toys, treats, extra food and medication. Having up-to-date tags with the correct contact information is probably a given, but having extra, or temporary tags with the contact information for where you’ll be staying if you know ahead of time, or a backup person’s contact information, will be useful in the event that you should get separated from your pet or are otherwise unreachable. Along with your supplies and first aid kit, keep records in a waterproof container that include copies of your pets medical history, information on food and any current medications, special needs, contact information for yourself, your vet and anyone else who should be contacted as a backup in an emergency if you are unreachable. Also, be sure to include photos of your pet and of yourself with your pet to help prove ownership. Unfortunately, there are many places that will not allow pets during a disaster, including Red Cross shelters. However, you can check in advance to see if there are hotels/motels in your area that allow pets, or ones that will make exceptions to allow them in an emergency situation. There are also a number of websites that list pet-friendly accommodations, including  and Shelters, boarding facilities, vet practices or other animal-related businesses may also be willing and able to take pets on a temporary basis during a disaster.


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s ocial Media Saves Lives

Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

By Caroline Squires


estimated in the animal rescue world. It allows rescue groups and shelters to get the word out about animals in desperate situations. Utilizing social media demonstrates how it really takes a village to achieve a goal. Whenever I see people rally behind an animal and network to help it, my faith in humanity is renewed. Whether it be donating money, sharing a picture, helping to transport, offering to foster, or wanting to adopt an animal, social media definitely has its benefits and has saved countless animals’ lives. Many rescue organizations and shelters are also sharing videos of their pets. Shelter volunteers and workers take short videos of themselves interacting with the pet and talk about why he/she is in need of a home. These videos allow the public to get a sense of the size and temperament, which is something a shelter picture can’t achieve. Hearing a shelter cat purr as it is petted or seeing a shelter dog snuggle up on someone’s lap could be all it takes to catch someone’s interest and inspire them to take action…because in the end, these animals are not just arbitrary pictures; they are living, breathing companions that are relying on us to help them in whatever way possible.

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don’t know what made me “share” his photograph with my Facebook friends. I receive so many messages about animals in need of a home that I often don’t “share” all the posts. Maybe it was his striking, blue eyes or his white and grey fur that caught my eye. Or was it something else…a sixth sense that perhaps this forlorn kitty was to be part of my life? I remember thinking to myself hey, you never know…if it’s meant to be; it will be. With a click of someone’s camera and a click of a Facebook share button, a shelter cat was networked and found his forever home. Kaiju, a 4 year-old Lynx Point cat, was surrendered to the North Central Animal Shelter because his owner had too many cats. After being at the shelter for almost a month, his time was running out. Many people had shared his picture, but no one had committed to adopt him. It wasn’t long before a friend of mine commented on his picture and inquired about what it would take to adopt him. Social media is a powerful tool and should not be under-

Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

Recently, I have discovered that many cities have their own MISSING PETS Facebook page, which allows people to post lost and found animal information. Many pets have been reunited through such networking on Facebook. For example, I was driving early one morning and spotted a German Shepherd running loose along side the road; I tried to catch her, but wasn’t able to get close enough. I didn’t want to just drive off, so I posted where I was and the description of the dog on a local group’s Facebook page who are dedicated to reuniting found pets with their owners and getting the word out about lost pets. Later in the day, I checked to see if there had been any reply to my post; amazingly, the Facebook group wrote back and said someone from their group had found the dog and had her safely contained. The power of social media yet again! An online community working together to help animals is just one positive aspect of social media. If you haven’t tried utilizing all the social media outlets at your disposal than consider logging in and discovering what goals you can accomplish and lives you can save.

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hen you wake up and find a mess on your floor right away you might assume that your dog vomited and start to wonder what he or she ate that could have caused this. However, there are really two possibilities: vomiting or regurgitation. Knowing the difference between the two can help you to begin to understand the underlying cause or if you need to take your pet to see a veterinarian. There are many causes for vomiting, which results in the stomach expelling its contents up through the mouth. Characteristically, dogs tend to drool, lick their lips, and swallow excessively just before vomiting or when they feel nauseous. Some may eat grass to relieve gastric irritation or serve as a self-induced emetic. Another characteristic of vomiting is active retching, which is a strenuous activity that utilizes abdominal muscles to bring up the contents out of the body. Sometimes when the vomiting is bad it can also cause intestinal fluids to come up as well. The fluids, or vomitus, can be a range of colors, from white, brown, yellow, green or can have red when blood is in it. There can be other items in the vomit as well depending on what the dog ingested, such as undigest-

ed dog food, or indigestible objects like plastic, cloth, or metal. Repetitive or serious vomiting should be investigated, which can be done by making an appointment with your veterinarian because some causes of vomiting can include kidney disease, liver problems, food allergies, pancreatitis, and parasites. The other possibility of the mess on the floor could be the result of regurgitation, which comes from problems in the esophagus, which is the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach. Regurgitation is a relatively effortless expulsion of undigested food and does not include retching. Many times food will come up completely undigested. If your pet chronically regurgitates, that could suggest a partial obstruction caused by mega esophagus, structure, or tumor. Therefore, it is important to consult with your regular veterinarian to determine what the problem is. Please call Valencia Veterinary Center with any questions 661‑263–9000. Where pets are people too!



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S-S-S-Spring rattlesnake, red diamond rattlesnake, speckled rattlesnake, sidewinder, and Mohave rattlesnake. All of which have venom that can be toxic to humans and our pets. Rattlesnakes are most active at dusk and dawn. In the interest of pet and public safety, we are The striking speed of a rerunning our 2012 story rattlesnake is astounding. on rattlesnakes. They can strike up to 2/3 of their body length By Kim A. Schumann and it is suggested to stay at least 10 feet away. Snakes like to hide under rocks, in holes, and brush piles, which also “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, happen to be all of the places your dog (and cat) like to stick I wonders where the birdies is...” their noses. It’s a good idea to keep thick brush and foliage cleared from your yard and walkways. pringtime in the Santa Clarita Valley is something to The physical appearance of each snake species varies and behold. The surrounding mountains and rolling hills it is difficult to tell what species of snake you’re looking at. are covered with an emerald green carpet. The flowers Some general appearances of poisonous snakes are: and trees burst forth with blooms of violet, yellow, pink and • Broad, triangular head with a noticeable “neck” behind orange. The warmer weather lures people from their homes the head. to tend to their gardens, to take their dogs to the park or • Vertical pupils (non-poisonous snakes have round for a hike on one of the many mountain trails. What was pupils) though hopefully one would not be close dormant during the cool, gray winter has come to life again. enough to determine this. Yes, the desert in spring can be breathtaking... but it can • Rattlesnakes are also called “pit vipers” because they also be life-threatening. have heat-sensing “pits” on their faces between the eye One morning, while in your backyard with your beloved and nostril. The pits help them locate prey. dog, you hear it. The sound is unmistakable. You freeze Rattlesnakes can be found in rural areas as well as suburban out of fear and scan the yard. There it is, coiled under the areas where there is a sufficient food source and natural habitat. azalea – a rattlesnake. Unfortunately, your dog has seen it In Southern California, snakes can be active all year round too and heads over to check things out. Before you can get but activity increases as the weather gets warmer. As early as the command out... it’s too late. The snake rattles again and March through September, phone calls to Animal Control then strikes, biting your dog on the muzzle. He lets out a about snakes triple in frequency. Although a percentage of the yelp and the snake retreats, slithering back down the hillside. calls turn out to be harmless gopher snakes, king snakes, or red Now what? You panic. Your dog is still yelping and his face racers all snake calls are treated as emergency/priority calls. is swelling... Dogs encounter snakes on trails, in parks or in their very The only venomous snakes in California are rattlesnakes. own backyards. Most bites to dogs occur on the face or legs. The six rattlesnake’s native to Southern California include The swelling is often dramatic with up to 1/3 of the total the Southern Pacific rattlesnake, Western diamondback blood circulation being lost to the affected area in a matter


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Has Sprung of hours. The toxin further disrupts normal blood clotting leading to uncontrolled bleeding. This kind of blood loss induces shock and eventually death. Facial bites are often more lethal as the swelling may block the throat or impair the ability to breathe. An exception would be the Mojave rattlesnake whose venom is “neurotoxic.” The bite of this snake causes rapid paralysis. This includes paralysis of the respiratory muscles and leads to suffocation. How serious a snakebite is depends on two factors: • The species of snake • The size of the dog The amount of venom injected varies. Approximately 20-25% of bites are “dry” meaning no venom has been injected, 30% of bites are mild meaning they cause local pain and swelling in the bite area and no systemic symptoms, and 40% of bites are severe with approximately 5% actually being fatal. The faster the bite is recognized, the more effective the treatment is. Do not try to cut the bite wound open or suck out the poison. Seek veterinary care immediately for proper treatment. ANTIVENIN There are numerous misconceptions about antivenin. The first is simply the name of the product. It is not “anti-venom.” It is not a single injection that provides the antidote to a snake’s venom. Antivenin is a biological product consisting of antibodies made by horses in response to exposure to four common snake venoms. The antibody serum is reconstituted into an intravenous drip that is run into the patient over at least 30 minutes or so. Antivenin is expensive (at least $400 per vial) and a large dog with a severe bite is likely to require several vials.

Because the product is of horse origin, often a scratch test to the ear flap is used to test for immunological sensitivity (i.e. to predict whether the patient is likely to have anaphylactic reaction to the antivenin once it is administered intravenously). The patient will likely always be sensitive to equine products after administration of antivenin which makes future snake bite treatment problematic. A newer, more purified antivenin of sheep origin has recently been marketed (“Cro-Fab” antivenin) but this is even more expensive (approximately $700 per vial). Antivenin is very helpful in the inactivation of snake venom, but there is a narrow window during which it must be used. After about 4 hours post-bite, antivenin is of minimal use. VACCINATION Initial vaccination is given in 2 doses 3-6 weeks apart. Dogs over 100 lbs and dogs less than 30 lbs in body weight need 3 doses 3-6 weeks apart. • Annual boosters are best given approximately one month before snake season starts in the spring. Dogs who live where snake season is year-round or who hike year-round should have boosters every 6 months. If a vaccine is skipped, the initial vaccination protocol should be re-started. • Vaccines are safe for pregnant and lactating females and for puppies 4 months of age and older. • Vaccine reactions occur in 0.27% of cases (27 per 10,000 doses given) and are largely limited to swelling at the vaccine site occurring 7-10 days after vaccination. This is particularly true for dogs with a past history of bee stings. • Vaccinated dogs typically develop protection comparable to 2-3 vials of antivenin.

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

continued from page 15 PREVENTION As Santa Clarita Valley expands into the surrounding desert mountains, the more we are going to disrupt the existing wildlife. Coyotes, snakes, bats and bobcat sightings are increasing every year. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the wildlife indigenous to the desert, because knowledge is power and your best defense. Prepare and protect yourself, your family, and your pets. Training dogs to avoid being bitten by rattlesnakes has many names. Snake breaking, snake proofing, snake avoidance, snake aversion and snake busting all come to mind. While these terms all mean the same thing, dog training procedures, techniques and methods vary between those performing the snake avoidance programs. The important thing is that the training is accessible, affordable and invaluable. The snakes used during the rattlesnake avoidance training are either muzzled or contained in a “blind box” to ensure the safety of the dogs being trained. The snakes are always treated humanely and your dog will never be in danger. The trainers will use a low frequency shock collar on your dog during the training the rattlesnake aversion training consists of three phases: Phase One: Smell Recognition The handler will take an inanimate object that has been scented like a rattlesnake and introduce it to your dog several times. After the dog shows interest in the scent a low level stimulation will be applied. This teaches your dog to avoid the smell of a rattlesnake. After your dog learns aversion behavior, he/she will proceed to the next phase. Phase Two: Sound Recognition The handler will bring your dog to the “blind box” multiple times and from 16 Pet Me! Magazine™

different angles. A low level stimulus is applied each time your dog acknowledges the rattle from a live rattlesnake. This teaches the dog to avoid the sound of a rattlesnake. Once your dog learns aversion behavior, he/she will proceed to the next phase. Phase Three: Applying Phases One and Two The handler will bring your dog up to a live rattlesnake multiple times and from multiple angles. The dog has the ability to see, hear and smell the rattlesnake. This is where the animal can put all three together and understand what a rattlesnake is. When your dog shows consistent avoidance behavior they have been successfully trained. There is no time like the present when it comes to preparing for and preventing a potentially life-threatening encounter with a snake. In addition to the training, it is always a good idea to check your yard before you allow your dog outside in the morning or at sundown. Conduct a quick scan of your yard’s perimeter, under bushes or piles of brush. Install snake fencing to discourage snakes from coming into your yard, and also keep the number of a 24/7 veterinary hospital on hand. Now that you are armed with knowledge about our slithering neighbors, you, your family, and your pet can enjoy Santa Clarita Valley in the spring and summer months.


CANINE CAMP Castaic Canine Camp is literally a home away from home for dogs

Let’s face it, when it comes to your canine children, you want the best for them. A place where the love and attention they need and want is guaranteed. Castaic Canine Camp sits on 17 pristine acres of land adjacent Castaic Lake. Castaic Canine Camp offers boarding, daycare, training facilities, and services for all ages, breeds and sizes of canines. Castaic Canine Camp accepts furry guests for a day visit or extended stay, and offers interaction with other dogs or separate accommodations according to your pet’s special needs...and your needs for them. Pet P taxi is for those of you who know your pet

Castaic Canine Cam Camp O Offers: ers Boarding Daycare Pet Sittitng D lki Dog W Walking

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Pet Taxi isi well to stay at home while you're gone for the d But you know you can't make it on time to day. tta your pet out where they need to go. We take ppr provide transportation to vet's office, ggr groomer' s, friend or relative's house, and even tth airport. Wherever your pet may need to go the o be picked up we can transport him. This or sse is not only for dogs, we also provide service ttra transportation for livestock. Also we can pi pick-up and deliver any supply you may need fo your livestock and house pets. Rates depend for on mileage, please call for more details.

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

1,000+ Fantastic Pets Looking for Homes at Best Friends’ NKLA Adoption Weekend May 3-4 LOS ANGELES –


rom playful pups and cute kittens to sweet senior dogs and cats, more than 1,000 adoptable pets will be showcased at the NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles) Adoption Weekend Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Adoptable pets from more than 50 local shelters and rescues including LA Animal Services and Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Mission Hills, Yorkie Rescue, plus NKLA coalition partners such as Border Collies in Need, Boston Buddies, Inc., German Shepherd Rescue Los Angeles, Wags N Walks, Labs and, Angel City Pit Bulls, Kitten Rescue and A Cat’s Tale, will be featured. You can even bring your dog for a meet-and-greet.

Pets from both city and county shelters will be available with adoption fees as low as $25. All pets are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and micro-chipped. The popular event is hosted by Best Friends Animal Society as part of its NKLA initiative, which has a mission of turning L.A. into the nation’s largest No-Kill City by 2017. By bringing together NKLA coalition partners and passionate animal lovers eager to match shelters pets with loving families, the NKLA Adoption Weekend is a tangible way to save lives. Last fall, the NKLA Adoption Weekend found homes for close to 400 dogs and cats in 48 hours and they hope to beat that number this spring.

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

continued from page 17 Several animal-loving celebrity supporters of Best Friends Animal Society’s lifesaving work will entertain at the free, family-friendly event, while guests can enjoy tasty cuisine from LA’s hottest food trucks such as The Grilled Cheese, Coolhaus, Southern Fried Vegan BBQ and Juice Box. Adopters at the NKLA Adoption Weekend will also receive a free starter kit with pet food, treats, and other items from event sponsors Natural Balance, Precious Cat Litter, Kong, Mammoth Pet Products. Banfield, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities will also be on site with samples and information about pet services.

Pet Me! Magazine™


Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

Movement Toward Health By Sylvia Hathaway, Acupressurist & Reiki Master


e are mesmerized by the beauty of athletic movement; the grace of exquisite control; movement that is fluid... elegant. Seeing your dog leap, twist, and catch a Frisbee on-the-fly; or your cat, seemingly pause in mid-air before landing on a high shelf, gives you some appreciation of their abilities. Such grace and skill requires control. Control requires strength. Strength requires use. Bodies were designed to move. And move, they must; not only to stay limber but for the proper functioning of internal organs as well. Un-used, muscles atrophy. Heart and lungs weaken. Digeston, metabolism, indeed all bodily systems, get sluggish. Toxins do not clear. Joints stiffen. The mind becomes dull, somnolent. Rest after rest is exhausting. Rest after extensive physical

exertion is restorative. There is a satisfying fullness to the way it feels. Movement is crucial to health. Nowadays it takes some sort of strong motivation to get us moving. No longer fleeing from something that wants to eat you; nor chasing down your own next meal, the ultimate stimulus is lacking. But, the need remains. The same holds true for our companion pets. Their bodies too, were designed to move. We relish the joyful exuberance of a puppy or a kitten; chuckling whenever their efforts exceed their youthful skill They, however, have not lost sight of the importance of attaining physical prowess. They still naturally reach to strengthen and hone all their phyhsical faculties as a whole. If they fall short in an attempt, they’re up trying again; without missing a beat. Cats in particular, seem to have remained a little closer to their roots as a predator in the wild; exhibiting stealth with such grace they could re-define movement itself as poetry. How can we allow the beautifully-evolved bodies of our cherished companions to sit and grow increasingly weak and stiff? Of course they will accept their plight as they do most things. Rarely do they have options. And they will ‘accept’ the ill-health that results. But how much better it could be if we take action. Look for opportunities to provide safe, freedom or movement. Be creative. Take the long way around the block. Move a couple pieces of furniture to open a pathway (‘runway’) through your home... ending at a tall cat tree. Or, enclose part of your patio or yard with netting or screens. Provide the tallest cat trees possible (and ways to climb them for the less upwardly-mobile kitties). And don’t be surprised if you begin to see some ‘idiopathic’ issues resolve... some digestive problems lessen... or some behavioural complaints disappear. Because movement provides vital support for health and well-being (and a good night’s sleep). Sylvia can be reached by email at ... Your comments and/or questions may appear in next issue’s article.

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

Interview with

Dr. Jeanette Yamamoto Veterinarian and Businesswoman By Caroline Squires


had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jeanette Yamamoto and learning more about who she is and the unique service she is providing for pets. Within minutes of speaking with Dr. Yamamoto, I found her to be professional and a compassionate individual. As I spoke with her, Dr. Yamamoto’s kind demeanor and passion for helping pets and owners alike were also very evident. Dr. Yamamoto has worked in the field of veterinary emergency and critical care for eleven years, but recently left that field to be closer to home and to spend more time with her family.  In addition to providing services through Peaceful Pets, she is currently employed as a part-time veterinarian at Valley Lyons Pet Hospital. Most pet owners will face the need to make difficult and emotionally painful end of life decisions for their pet. As a veterinarian, Dr. Yamamoto knows all too well that trying to make something that is so unfortunate peaceful and comfortable in a veterinary clinic environment is tough. The one place most pets despise going to is the vet’s office, so why have a pet’s last moments be in a place that brings stress? Vet offices can be busy and noisy and the last thing you want to do is to walk out of a room and cry in front of complete strangers.

These concerns led Dr. Yamamoto to start Peaceful Pets InHome Euthanasia Services in 2011. She wanted to provide an alternative, in which a pet owner or family could say good-bye in a way and to minimize added stress by keeping the pet in familiar surroundings. Because she is committed to meeting the needs of the pet, she is able to make the process a more peaceful one. Dr. Yamamoto’s compassion was evident as she described how she makes a connection with the pet owner, talks about the pet by having the owner share stories, and reflects on the good times, instead of being focused on the loss. Due to her background, Dr. Yamamoto provides insightful information for the pet owner and works closely with the owner to arrange aftercare following euthanasia. She is about making the process simple and helps by thinking about the things you might not. She primarily works with dogs and cats, but is also able to assist owners of exotics, birds, and reptiles. Dr. Yamamoto can be contacted through Google, Facebook, Yelp, or her website: She travels to Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley, Woodland Hills, Reseda, Northridge, and Simi Valley.


●Intradermal Allergy Testing ●Dermatohistopathology Service ●Otitis and Video-Otoscopy ●Carbon Dioxide Laser Therapy ●Dermatology at the Multi Specialty Facilities*


Amy Shumaker, DVM, DACVD Valencia Veterinary Center 23928 Summerhill Lane Valencia, CA 91354 Phone: (661) 855-4870

Pet Me! Magazine™


Cal Pet Crematory (310) 278-0633 (818) 983-2313 (323) 875-0633 Guardian Animal Aftercare (818) 768-6465 Pawpular Pet Suppliers Fox Feed 17028 Sierra Highway Canyon Country, 91387 (661) 252-9790 Pet Supply Santa Clarita 26831 Bouquet Canyon Road Santa Clarita, 91350-2372 (661) 296-2654 Dermatology for Pets Amy Shumaker, DVM, DACVD Valencia Veterinary Center 23928 Summerhill Lane Valencia, CA 91354 (661) 855-4870 Animal Control Centers Castaic Animal Shelter 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Rd. Castaic (661) 257-3191 Lancaster Animal Shelter 5210 W. Ave. I Lancaster, CA 93536 (661) 940-4191 Rescue Organizations Visit our website for a complete list of rescue organizations

Best Friends Pet Adoption Center 15321 Brand Blvd., Mission Hills, CA 91354 (818) 643-3989

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for all things Brittany Foundation Agua Dulce (661) 713-5240

Citizens for Sheltered Animals, Inc. 21150 Alaminos Dr, Saugus, CA 91350 (661) 513-9288 Forgotten Angels Cat Rescue (661) 273-9822 Furever Purr Rescue (818) 635-6473 New Leash On Life Animal Rescue (661) 255-0097 Ratz Nest Rat Rescue (661) 303-7872 Saffyre Sanctuary (Horse Rescue) Sylmar, CA Save A Kitty, Inc. (818) 825-3096 PetSave Foundation Bunny Rescue (661) 478-7360 St. Bonnie’s Sanctuary/ Lange Foundation 27567 Oak Spring Canyon Rd. Canyon Country, CA 91387 (661) 251.5590

Trusted Vets In and Around SCV

All Creatures Veterinary Center 22722 Lyons Ave # 5 Newhall, 91321-2876 (661) 291-1121 Animal Medical Center 25848 McBean Parkway Valencia, 91355 (661) 255-5555 Canyon Country Veterinary Hospital 18840 Soledad Canyon Road Canyon Country, 91351-3772 (661) 424-9900 Cinema Veterinary Centre 23460 Cinema Drive, Unit L Valencia, 91355 (661) 253-9300 Happy Pets Veterinary Center 27550 Newhall Ranch Road Valencia, CA 91355 (661) 295-9972 Peaceful Pets In-Home Euthanasia Services (661) 621-3750 Valencia Veterinary Center 24036 Summerhill Ln. Santa Clarita, 91354 (661) 263-9000 VIP Veterinary Services 26111 Bouquet Cyn. Rd. Suite D-5, Saugus, CA 91350 (661) 222-PETS

See individual ads for details on Low Cost Spay/Neuter and Vaccine Clinics and FREE New Client Exams!


Animal Aftercare

Best Boarding Facilities Canine Country Club 20341 Blue Cloud Road Santa Clarita, 91390-1259 (661) 296-0566

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Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014

Castaic Canine Camp 36975 Ridge Route Road Castaic, 91384 (661) 257-0957 Santa Clarita’s Premier Dog Lodge Trish Cohen (661) 618-6628 Pampering Pet Sitters Debbie’s Best Pet Sitting (661) 803-1842 Dogone-it Marlee (661) 251-3873 Kyle’s Custom Critter Care (661) 305-4981 Laurie’s Pet Sitting (661) 257-1237 Alternative Medicines & Healing Sylvia Nahale Hathaway Acupressurist & Reiki Master (661) 378-8612

Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014



To adopt one of these pets please contact Castaic Animal Shelter at 661.257.3191 or visit their website at All dogs are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and come with a free vet visit!


Miss DAISY! A4693494 She is a delightful mix of a dog. You have to see her to believe it – she has the long body of a Basset Hound and her head resembles a Staffordshire Terrier. A low rider! Sooooo adorable and unusual looking! She is a 4 year old red/white Pit mix female who was owner surrendered on April 5th because they moved. The owners gave her a very positive owner report: She has been an indoor dog who is housebroken. She is playful with kids and adults! She has intermediate training and knows sit, shake and stay. She loves to play fetch and take walks. She is already spayed and up-todate on shots.


Poor little POOKIE A3535824 and WESTIE A3535825. They were both owner surrendered from the same home on April 15th because they are moving into an apartment sooner or later. (Yes, it actually said that) Pookie is a 6-year-old American Eskimo/Finish Spitz male. According to his owners, he is playful with kids, good in a car and on a leash, is crate trained and has had intermediate training. He is not destructive and seems gentle and friendly. He has super intelligent eyes – gorgeous!


AUSTIN A4692589 is a Cutie Pawtootie 2-year-old altered male Maltese/Mix. Austin was surrendered to the shelter on 4/21 because they just had no time for him and he spent most of the day in a crate. Austin has medium energy and is playful with children. Per his former owner, Austin is housebroken and gets along with small dogs. He still has that puppy attitude of loving everybody.



WESTIE is an 8-year-old Terrier female. She seems a bit shy and scared right now but when taken out seems gentle and shy but friendly. She has intermediate training. She is not destructive and likes other small dogs. Would love to see her and Pookie get adopted or rescued together.


DONNIE A4695997 is a soulful 6-year-old cream male Chihuahua. He found himself at the shelter on 4/12 because his former owner passed away and no family member wanted to take Donnie. He walks ok on the leash, we believe he is housebroken and gets along with other small dogs. Donnie is a little timid being at the shelter but his true personality will come out when he finds his new family. We think Donnie is a good match for a family with older children. Donnie is playful and loves to give kisses. He would be a fantastic companion for a senior citizen.

OLIVIA (A4653709) is an 8-year-old chihuahua who is the biggest lap dog around. She loves children, especially if they want someone to snuggle and watch a movie with. She enjoys the company of other dogs, tolerates cats, enjoys little strolls and knows how to use a doggy door and grass potty pad. She is spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and has even had a dental - surely someone is looking for the perfect low-maintenance doggy to cuddle up to; she would love to give her devoted attention to her family in return!


KASHMERE A4679359 is a 4-year-old Corgi/Chihuahua female whose owner had to go in a nursing home. According to the owner sheet, she is housebroken and crate trained. She likes other small dogs as well as big dogs. She has medium energy and is easy to handle. She just loves taking walks! She seems quiet and shy but friendly. Owner said she has a wheat allergy and she has some skin irritation around eyes and on hind feet.


POPSY A4679723 is a Ballaholic. She is a 1 1/2 year old Tan/White female Pit Bull Puppy. She was surrendered at the shelter on 2/26 because they had no time for her. They got Popsy as a cute puppy and now she needs training and direction so they dumped her at the shelter. She has puppy energy and pulls on the leash. Popsy is so eager to please she will learn quickly. She already knows how to sit. She is super playful and has passed her shelter temperament test with flying colors! She wants to play ball 24/7 and is going to be a fantastic playmate for children. Posy will make a wonderful indoor pet for an active individual or family and a great running buddy.

Pet Me! Magazine™


Pet Me! Magazine™ MAY/JUNE 2014


“pets are people too!”

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24 Pet Me! Magazine™



May/June 2014 Issue of Pet Me! Magazine  

A pet magazine with a focus on education, adoption and rescue. Featured stories in this issue, A shelter story, Disaster Preparedness, Socia...

May/June 2014 Issue of Pet Me! Magazine  

A pet magazine with a focus on education, adoption and rescue. Featured stories in this issue, A shelter story, Disaster Preparedness, Socia...