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Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season Manage Diabetic Pets at Home

Losing a Pet: Easing the Transition

Adopting Out Your Beloved Pet Protect Cats Year-Round Volume 2 Issue 1 | Jan-Feb-Mar 2016

Paradise Pets Magazine is published by Publish In Paradise for the purpose of uniting and supporting our communities. 10% of all advertising revenue is donated to local animal rescue organizations. For advertising inquiries, please visit us online or email © 2016 Publish in Paradise Paradise Pets Magazine Publisher: Publish In Paradise Editor: Angela J. Richards

From the Editor This is a year of new beginnings for Paradise Pets Magazine–we are expanding our Key West edition to include all of the Keys and have invited the FKSPCA Marathon Shelter to join the fun! We will now be promoting advertisers throughout the Keys and bringing you stories of pet parents and their fur babies all up the Florida Keys. We hope that as we expand our horizons in the beautiful Keys, we bring some festive fun and healing light into your hearts and homes in this next year and the years to come.


Contributors: Karen Thomas Angela J. Richards Family Features

On the cover: Daashia and Phoenix. See story on page 10. Photo courtesy of Karen Thomas. © 2015 Karen Thomas. Used with permission.

PARADISE PETS MAGAZINE DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and interest purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. Veterinarians cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarianclient-patient relationship. Your pet's medical protocol should be given by your local holistic veterinarian.

Features 10

Losing a Pet: Easing the Transition

18 Adopting Out Your Beloved Pet


Departments Pet Parents 5 FKSPCA, Marathon Pets Awaiting Parents


15 FKSPCA, Key West Pets Awaiting Parents

Pet Health 6

Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season


Purr-fect Tips to Protect Cats Year-Round


7 Resource Guide

8 18 Find us on Facebook Follow Us on Instagram & Twitter

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Marathon Pets Awaiting Adoption… If anyone is interested in adopting from the FKSPCA Marathon, they ask that you come to the shelter to meet and greet their animals in person so they can get to know you and see if it’s good chemistry between the animal and the potential owner.

Come and visit your potential new pet at the Florida Keys SPCA Marathon Campus at 10550 Aviation Blvd. in Marathon, Florida. Give them a call at (305) 743-4800 or visit them online for more information.

Buddy is a 5 year old double declawed orange tabby. He stands out from his other cat friends because he’s actually a little cross-eyed! Buddy prefers to be the only cat in the house…

Gauge is a 5-year-old Yellow Labrador mix who has been at the FKSPCA Marathon Campus since October. Gauge is a large dog weighing in at 73 pounds and loves to be outside.

Lucille is a gorgeous domestic long hair cat who has resided at the Marathon Campus for nearly two years! She's beautiful, petite and cat and dog friendly.

Mr. Rogers - Mr. Rogers is a young 9-month-old mixed breed brindle male who was found in Layton wearing a sweater! He is a sweet dog. He's dog and cat friendly and loves companionship.

Navy is a 3-year-old Pointer or Spaniel mix weighing about 50 pounds. He is well socialized, gets along with other dogs and would love to have an active family to keep him forever!

Sterling is a beautiful gray rabbit who actually resembles a chinchilla! Sterling has a rabbit friend at the shelter and enjoys hanging out with cats. All of our rabbits are cat friendly!

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season


eople who have suffered from the flu know how exhausting the fever, chills and upset stomach can be. Your dog may be at risk for the same symptoms. One type of canine influenza virus - CIV H3N8 - has been around for years, and a new type (CIV H3N2) was identified in Chicago in March 2015. Since then, the virus has spread to more than 25 states, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Center.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs frequently in contact with other dogs are at high risk of infection. This includes dogs that are boarded, enrolled in day care and visit groomers or dog parks.

CIV H3N2 is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs and from contact with contaminated objects, such as toys, clothing, water bowls, etc.

In the initial phase of infection, the dog appears healthy, but can spread the virus to other dogs. Symptoms include: coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever and discharge from the eyes and nose.

"I take my dogs to dog parks and because they're social, I'm concerned they'll catch the virus and it will spread in those areas," said Kelsey Risher, a Chicago-area owner of two active dogs.

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Most dogs recover in two to three weeks. However, because CIV H3N2 can be difficult to diagnose and in severe instances may be fatal, effective prevention is critical.

Resource Guide Key West, FL

In November 2015, Zoetis, the world's largest animal health company, was the first to be granted a conditional license for a vaccine for CIV H3N2.

Florida Keys SPCA Adoption services, animal control, and more. 5230 College Road, Key West, FL (305) 294-4857 |

"I'll be telling clients I recommend the vaccination," said Dr. Scott Rovner, a Chicago veterinarian. "I'll be vaccinating my own two dogs who go to day care. I think it's going to be a great product to help slow down and lessen the clinical signs that we see with our patients."

Xena Fund Financial help with veterinary care 1623 Laird Street, Key West, FL (305) 432-0494 |

Preventive measures to help protect your dog include: ● Washing toys, bowls and bedding regularly. ● After contact with other dogs, wash your hands thoroughly before handling your own pet. ● Consulting with your veterinarian regarding the appropriate vaccination protocol for your dog. By following these simple measures and consulting your veterinarian, this flu season can be easier for your canine companions. Visit for more information about preventing canine influenza.

Marathon, FL Florida Keys SPCA, Marathon Campus Adoption services, animal control, and more. 10550 Aviation Blvd., Marathon, FL (305) 743-4800 | Pawsitive Touch Giving your animal companions the energy to heal P.O. Box 500591, Marathon, FL 305.481.0868 |

Do you have a pet business? A pet friendly motel, restaurant or other establishment? Get listed in our resource guide and we will connect you to pet parents in the Keys and beyond.

Source: Zoetis | Family Features Paradise Pets Magazine, Key West, FL Vol. 2 Issue 1 © 2016 Publish In Paradise | | 7

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Purr-fect Tips to Protect Cats Year-Round


hen cooler weather arrives, you may assume your pet is safe from parasites - especially if your cat lives mostly or exclusively indoors. To the contrary, identifying the risk for parasites, such as fleas, ear mites and heartworms, and providing true pest protection for your pets has very little to do with the seasons. "Back when I was in veterinary school, we believed there were parasite 'seasons,'" said Chris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM, a board certified parasitologist, veterinary specialist at Zoetis and former veterinary practice owner in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. "Today's highly variable weather patterns have resulted in the possibility of parasite transmission well

beyond traditionally warmer months, and in turn, increasing the likelihood of infection or infestation to your pets." Cat owner Lauren Swern learned the hard way that even indoor cats can be afflicted with parasites and ultimately traced a flea infestation in her cat, Oreo, back to a pair of sneakers she'd worn in the garden. After trashing most of Oreo's toys and bedding, Swern's veterinarian recommended a topical, broad-spectrum preventive. After treatment with RevolutionÂŽ (selamectin), Swern's home was again flea-free and continues that way

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thanks to monthly treatments she applies to her cat.

The best way to protect your furry feline friend year-round is by following a few simple tips: Routine checkups. You may believe that once your kitten has received its vaccinations, you're finished with veterinary visits. Actually, it's important to continue taking your cat for annual examinations to help maintain a high quality of life. Cats tend to hide illness very well, and your veterinarian can help identify problems you may miss at home as well as guide you in areas such as dental care, nutrition and behavior. Preventive medication. Regular use of a monthly parasite preventive, such as Revolution, can protect your cat from many common internal and external parasites. Along with fleas, broadspectrum preventives can address risks related to heartworm disease, ear mites (Otodectes cynotis), roundworms (Toxocara cati) and hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme). Behavior monitoring. Don't assume that a cat that begins exhibiting behavior problems is simply acting out. Most undesirable behaviors, such as suddenly refusing to use a litter box or aggression, can actually be signs of illness. Consulting a veterinarian can help you determine the best course of action. Consider the climate. Just as extreme temperatures can affect people, excess heat and cold may impact your cat. Cozy bedding in front of a bright window may provide just the right warmth in winter,

but prove too toasty in the summer. Make adjustments throughout the year to keep your kitty comfortable as temperatures change. Ample activities. Even mellow kitties can benefit from exercise, just like humans. Provide toys to encourage cats to keep active and healthy - and offer diversions such as scratching posts from temptations like carpet or furniture. Mental stimulation is also important. Placing birdfeeders or birdbaths outside of windows and hiding small amounts of food at different levels throughout the house for your cat to find can help keep your pet entertained as well as mentally sharp. Learn more about protecting your cat from common parasites and take The 9 Lies of Cats quiz for a chance to win a KitNipBox subscription at

Source: Zoetis |Family Features

Important Safety Information: Do not use Revolution on sick, weak or underweight cats. Use only on cats 8 weeks and older. Side effects may include digestive upset and temporary hair loss at application site with possible inflammation. In people, Revolution may be irritating to skin and eyes. Wash hands after use. See full prescribing information.

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Losing a Pet: Easing the Transition By Karen Thomas

Phoenix with his favorite bear


osing a pet is never easy, no matter how much we think we’re prepared. Our faithful companions give us so much unconditional love and joy, and it’s comforting to know that there are many ways we can support them during the last phase of their lives. My partner, Daashia, and I recently lost our beloved nine-year-old Mastiff/ American Bulldog mix, Phoenix, two months after he was diagnosed with oral cancer. As painful as it was to let go, I can now reflect on how very beautiful the end of his life was. For years I would volunteer at local animal shelters and find myself gravitating to the senior, sick or otherwise ‘difficult to adopt’ animals. In one way or another they were

nearing the end of their lives, and I wanted to contribute to giving them the love, respect and gratitude they deserved. During my Healing Touch for Animals (HTA) training, I learned techniques to utilize during a euthanasia procedure. These techniques serve to bridge this lifetime to the next realm using love and compassion. I had the honor of supporting several animal clients through this process of crossing over the rainbow bridge. Around the end of my formal training I attended the American Animal Hospital Association conference and listened to a presentation by Dr. Kathleen Cooney, DVM, president of The International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC). This concept of animal hospice resonated with the very core of my being, and I knew I needed to

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Daashia and Phoenix paddle boarding in the Florida Keys.

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We found something exciting in every place we stopped to enjoy as a family. One evening a few weeks after we arrived home, near the end of October, Daashia and I noticed Phoenix was having trouble swallowing. Upon closer inspection we found a walnut-size mass on the back part of the roof of his mouth, which seemed to have come out of nowhere. When our skilled and accomplished vet, Dr. Dunn, said the mass appeared too deep for him to remove and referred us to specialists in Miami, my heart sank. I knew this wasn’t good.

Skylar, Libby and Phoenix

pursue this area of study. As a registered nurse for over twenty-three years I’ve had much experience with hospice for humans, and always thought the philosophy should apply to our animal companions as well. I began utilizing the concepts in my private practice and saw how bonding was enhanced and spirits were lifted. In September, 2015 Daashia and I decided, rather spur of the moment, to pack up our RV and take our three dogs - Phoenix, Libby and Skylar, on a road trip to Arizona. Our schedules somehow opened up in such a way that we had more than three weeks to enjoy time with our dogs camping, hiking and exploring new places.

The next day we drove to Miami where two different specialists examined Phoenix. They both concluded that this tumor was indeed cancerous and could not be successfully removed due to its size and location. The oncologist discussed radiation to try to shrink it. The thought of putting Phoenix through that did not resonate with us at all. At that moment we decided to skip the suggested biopsy, take him home and treat him palliatively. After a few days of letting this reality sink in and witnessing this tumor grow before our eyes, Daashia and I made peace with the fact that we could not ‘fix’ this. We surrendered and then embraced the idea that Phoenix was now an official hospice patient, and we were going to make the very best of his days left on Earth. Over the next two months our lives shifted rapidly as our daily routine focused on Phoenix. Collaborating with our amazing vet we put together a holistic plan of care. In addition to his already healthy lifestyle

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Phoenix plenty of space to rest and offered a beautiful calm healing presence when I was working with him.

Phoenix relaxing on the paddle board.

I added Raindrop Therapy (using all organic, therapeutic-grade essential oils) with massage almost daily to support his immune system. He was taking Frankincense oil internally along with a mushroom complex, CBD hemp oil and supportive herbs. I also gave Phoenix HTA treatments daily and alternated sound and vibrational therapy. Within the first couple days of this new routine Phoenix caught on quickly. He would joyfully saunter into the healing room around the same time each day to happily receive his therapy. I also prepared home cooked meals for him and pureed them for ease of swallowing. Phoenix was enjoying organic chicken, beef, eggs and freshly caught fish, along with a variety of veggies and complex starches. To say he was over the moon about all of this is quite an understatement. Our other two dogs, Libby and Skylar, truly understood and accepted what was happening. They gave

Phoenix loved swimming at the beach, shredding coconuts and most of all riding on a paddle board with Daashia. She would take him out on calm days, and he would be willing to stay on the board for hours. Jumping off the board for a short swim then climbing back on quickly became a favorite activity. When he wasn’t resting, swimming or receiving treatments, Phoenix enjoyed frequent car rides, trips to Home Depot and pet friendly restaurants. Many friends and family were praying for him and the energy was palpable. Our entire household felt protected by a legion of angels. As the days went on, Phoenix became increasingly tired and was losing weight (despite an excellent appetite) while slowly adjusting to the rapidly growing mass in his mouth. We thanked him every day for the gift of his beautiful spirit, and he returned the sentiment through his soulful eyes filled with gratitude. Every couple weeks we checked in with Dr. Dunn who was quite impressed with Phoenix’s good spirits despite the advancement of cancer. We continued with our routine and counted each day that Phoenix chose to stay with us a blessing. On December 30 Phoenix awoke with swelling around his eye, as the tumor had grown so large and was causing pressure. When, for the first time in two months, he didn’t finish his gourmet breakfast, we knew by the look in his eyes that he was

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ready to leave his tired body. We made an appointment with Dr. Dunn for that afternoon with a knowing that this would be his day. Daashia and I took him to the beach for a final time and walked together along the shoreline, our hearts and steps in sync. The water was rough and he had no interest in swimming. We then gave him a good bath which not only felt good to him, but honored his desire to always be clean and handsome as ever. For the next hour we laid with him on the floor under the dining room table–one of his favorite places. We fed him his favorite snack of cheese while sharing stories of our adventures together. Our hearts were overflowing with love yet felt so heavy at the same time.

dying as a normal process, as animals do, is an opportunity for growth. Allowing our deserving companions to live as fully and comfortably as possible is one of the most compassionate ways we can give back to them.

For more information about The International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative care, or to find hospice service providers in your area, please visit

Karen Thomas, R.N., is a Healing Touch for Animals (HTA) Practitioner in the Florida Keys. Karen can be contacted through her website or email her directly at

When we arrived at our appointment Phoenix put his nose in the corner of the exam room avoiding looking at Dr. Dunn, as if to say, ‘let’s not discuss this, let’s just do it’. Knowing Phoenix for so long Dr. Dunn agreed that yes, he was ready. We sat on the floor with him for the procedure and cocooned him in love and light. Within seconds Phoenix passed peacefully in Daashia’s arms. Though we miss Phoenix terribly and his magnificent presence, we know his spirit remains with us. Looking back I know everything was in divine and perfect order, and we wouldn’t have changed a thing. Realizing that healing isn't always about curing, but providing a safe, soft place for our pets during the last chapter of their lives is very consoling. Seeing

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Key West Pets Awaiting Adoption… If anyone is interested in adopting from the FKSPCA, they ask that you come to the shelter to meet and greet their animals in person so they can get to know you and see if it’s good chemistry between the animal and the potential owner.

Come and visit your potential new pet at the Florida Keys SPCA at 5230 College Road in Key West, Florida. Give them a call at (305) 294-4857 or visit them online for more information.

Diesel is a 2 year old Pit Bull Mix. He is incredibly energetic, happy and playful. He has big kisses and an even bigger heart that he is willing to give any family home.

Dodger is a 6½ year old Miniature Poodle Mix. He is a sweet and cuddly dog that loves to go on walks, sit for treats and be a right by your side.

Goose is a 7 year old American S t a f f o r d s h i r e Terrier/Bullmastiff Mix. Goose is one of the most social dogs we have. He loves to swim, go on walks, play, and get lots of belly scratches.

Agnus is a 2-year-old female Domestic Shorthair. She is an independent cat who is always up for snack time and treats and would love more than anything to get them from a new owner.

India is a 3 ½ year old Domestic Shorthair. She has been at our shelter for over 1000 days! She loves sunbathing on the porch and curling up on a nice soft blanket.

Patches is a 7-month-old male rabbit. He loves to play with his toy keys, chew on his hay and be scratched on his head. He is a very social bunny that could make a good friend to the right rabbit.

*We also have guinea pigs and hamsters available for adoption!” Paradise Pets Magazine, Key West, FL Vol. 2 Issue 1 © 2016 Publish In Paradise | | 15

Chances are good that you know someone who has diabetes. However, you may not realize this disease that commonly affects humans is on the rise among dogs and cats. Like humans, a diagnosis of diabetes requires lifestyle changes and heightened health monitoring, yet with proper care, your pet can live a full and active life. During a recent four-year study, Banfield hospitals have seen a 32 percent jump in cases of canine diabetes and a 16 percent increase in feline diabetes.1 Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot process glucose (sugar) into cells, resulting in too much glucose in the blood and not enough glucose in the cells for energy.

Untreated, diabetes can be fatal in dogs and cats, but veterinary care and at-home blood glucose monitoring can help you manage the disease in your four-legged friends. The first step is identifying warning signs of diabetes in your pet. Certain risk factors may increase the chances of your pet getting diabetes. In both dogs and cats, these include age, obesity and breeds with a genetic predisposition. Signs of diabetes in pets are often very similar to those in humans and include fatigue or weakness, increased hunger, weight loss, increased thirst and increased urination. If you observe one or more of

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Photo courtesy of Getty images

Manage Diabetic Pets at Home

these signs, consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause. If your veterinarian diagnoses diabetes, they will create a management plan that addresses your pet's dietary and dental care needs. The plan also will call for monitoring blood glucose levels and often include a prescription for insulin. – Diet and exercise Diabetic pets are usually prescribed diets that minimize blood sugar spikes. For diabetic dogs, diets high in fiber are typical because they are lower in carbohydrates the source of sugar - and take longer to digest. For diabetic cats, your veterinarian may recommend a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Exercise and physical activity are also important when managing diabetic pets. In general, physical activity and exercise lower blood glucose levels. This is why consistency in your pet's daily exercise schedule is important. – At-home monitoring The goal of pet diabetes management is to make pets feel better by controlling glucose levels and minimizing the risk of complications. Monitoring of blood glucose is one way to assess the diabetes management plan. While veterinarians can test at the office, research shows both biological and psychosocial benefits of using at-home blood glucose monitoring systems. Monitoring blood glucose at home helps you follow your veterinarian's

prescribed management plan while eliminating the pet's stress over frequent veterinarian visits. At-home monitoring systems for pets are very different than at-home monitoring systems for humans and should not be used interchangeably. You actually can use the same at-home monitoring systems that your veterinarian uses, such as AlphaTRAK(r) 2, which is available through your veterinarian. Specifically calibrated for dogs and cats, it is easy to use and priced affordably to make at-home monitoring convenient and economical. Once you have a prescribed plan in place, you should meet with your veterinarian three to four times a year for him/her to adjust the plan as needed to keep your pet comfortable. Successful diabetes management is achieved through compliance with your pet's prescribed plan, at-home blood glucose monitoring and consistent communication and follow-up appointments with your veterinarian. Visit to learn more about diabetes management.

1 Vernon D (2011). Banfield releases major veterinary study showing spike in diabetes, dental disease and otitis externa. DVM 360. April 21, 2011. [2015 November 19] Available from: Source: Zoetis/AlphaTRAK | Family Features

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Adopting Out Your Beloved Pet By Angela J. Richards

any pet owners are not pet “owners” at all, we are pet parents and our pets tend to own us. When my children were teenagers, I saw less and less of them and became increasingly attached to our family pets, Joey (a Chihuahua mix) and DJ (our long haired Dachshund). As a mom, I wasn’t ready for my children to need me less and I became a “mom” to our dogs. Laugh all you want, but I know I am not the only one who loves our pets like children.


Several years ago our family moved to Florida from Alaska, and during the planning I could not bear the thought of leaving our fur babies behind. So, we paid astronomical fees to prepare them for travel and flew them across the country with us. Sometimes I wonder if we did the right thing by taking them out of their environment in Ketchikan, Alaska and moving them to unknown territory in Key West, Florida. While in Florida, Joey and DJ enjoyed fun in the sun, playing at the beaches, and chasing iguanas. We had to protect their nosey noses from trouble with snakes and scorpions—and other things we don’t have to worry about in Alaska. At one time, DJ

Angela’s “fur baby”, Joey, with her daughter, Cristina.

had gotten stuck under our deck in the back yard, and my son, Chris, had to climb under and drag him out because he was unable to move—he had been paralyzed by a Cane Toad (of all things). With many prayers and healing touches, DJ escaped death by the toad and lived on to run around enjoying fun in the Florida sun. We, being Alaskans, were unprepared for the dangers that our beloved fur babies would be faced with in such a different climate.

DJ in Alaska, playing with our food.

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Within a year of moving to Florida, we were faced with housing challenges, like many in Key West are, and had to make the difficult decision to adopt our pets out to new pet parents who were able to provide a stable home for DJ and Joey. That decision was a painful one, but also an inescapable one. We had no other choice. The people who graciously accepted our fur babies into their lives made it very clear, that at any time we were able to have them again they were more than willing to foster them for us. But that time did not come. It has been a couple years now since we had to say goodbye to our beloved pets, and now we are back in Alaska. As I look back, I see that I should have left them in their home environment in Ketchikan, rather than selfishly taking them across the country where DJ almost lost his life, and where we ended up losing them completely.

having the time of his life at the home of his new “Dad”, or seeing Joey in the arms of his new loving mama at the Kmart in Key West. I could see on her face that, like me, she couldn’t bear the thought of losing him, and I had to completely let him go. It was the best thing for us all. In the past year I have traveled through many states, from Florida to Montana and then back home to Alaska. This was not planned, like many things in life, and I would have had a very difficult time traveling with even just Joey in my arms. Adopting him out to a stable home was the best thing for him, even though for me it was heart wrenching. I may have been late in making the difficult decision to adopt out our family pets, my beloved fur babies, but our Heavenly Father works all things out for the good.

If we had adopted them out before we moved, they would have been well cared for in a loving home with no snakes, scorpions or poisonous frogs to deal with. And they would have most likely still been in our home town of Ketchikan when we returned and we would be able to see them once again. Even though a piece of my heart went with DJ, and most especially Joey (my baby), I always have the peace in knowing that the people who adopted them were a perfect fit. I will never forget seeing DJ run and play with his new Dachshund siblings,

DJ with his new pet parent.

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Paradise Pets, Key West, FL Vol. 2 Issue 1  

In This Issue: Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season; Purr-fect Tips to Protect Cats Year-Round; Losing a Pet: Easing the Transition; FKSPCA Pets N...

Paradise Pets, Key West, FL Vol. 2 Issue 1  

In This Issue: Help Your Dog Fight Flu Season; Purr-fect Tips to Protect Cats Year-Round; Losing a Pet: Easing the Transition; FKSPCA Pets N...