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Exclusive Cesar Millan interview


to wild wings sanctuary

A Cat’s Rescue... with beth adams w w w. r o c h e s t e r a n i m a l m ag . c o m


82 34


contents purrrfect picks: fabulous pet finds


for an animals cause: wild wings


cover story: beth adams-pitoniak


an rwm exclusive: the dog whisperer - cesar millan


rwm’s featured pet: our facebook winner


a extra special feature: allie larkin


behavior and training: the rochester women’s giving circle


RWM’s green pets


a day in the life: pet assisted therapy


healthy pets


spike’s corner

16 86


Bet you’re wondering how I got to be the editor of Rochester Woman Magazine’s new Petpalooza Extra huh? Well, let me just say, it pays to know people. You see, my owner publishes Rochester Woman Magazine so I talked her into expanding her furry vocabulary (besides it’s a cool way to pick up chicks) a few times a year to include all of us two and four-legged friends. I mean really where would you all be without the pets in your life huh? Don’t we deserve a little respect? So, in this first issue we sit down with WHAM’s Beth Adams and find out why she is a cat lover (personally I don’t get it, but hey cats have to have fans too I guess). We also were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Cesar Millan, National Geographic’s The Dog Whisperer. I love that guy; I watch his show all the time, well that is, when ever I can get the remote away from that darn Shar-pei I live with. Always watching her soaps when no one’s looking…women, go figure! We also have some great pet products for you to try, well actually for you to buy for us. I’ve personally checked them all out, and I highly recommend the Cozy Puff dog bed (which my mom took a picture of me squeezing all of my 120lbs. into. I gotta tell ya, it almost makes me want to stay off my owner’s bed….well, ok, let’s not get carried away! Hope you enjoy our first edition! If you have any comments or suggestions, send me an email and I’ll pass it on to the publishers, well my owner. Until next time, be good to your pets and hey, let ‘em have a table scrap now and then will ya.


our petpalooza extra team Publishers Kelly Breuer Barb McSpadden Editor-in-Chief Spike Creative Director Kelly Breuer Graphic Design Melissa Meritt Jessica Bates

Writers Kate Antoniades Joanne Brokaw Kristin V. Elliott Zachary Grove Dr. Simon Kirk Mark Patrick Nicole Shein Sales Scott Doe


Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp Training you to train your dog!

Mark Forrest Patrick Certified Dog Trainer 585-429-0320

Rush Inter Pet, Inc. Pet Cemetery Crematory Funeral Home

Rochester’s Only Canine, Feline and Equine Rehabilitative Veterinary Care Center Providing Veterinary Rehab, Acupuncture, Sports Medicine, and Chiropractic Services By Referral Only Also offering Home-Away-From-Home Boarding

Kristin Browne, DVM

For 32 years, we at Rush Inter Pet have offered body transportation, cremation services and urns, keepsakes, memorial headstones, caskets and interments in our beautiful cemetery for any size pet. Rush Inter Pet Since 1979

139 Rush-West Rush Road, Rush, NY 14543 585-533-1685

Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist Certified Veterinary Chiropractor

TheraVet...because our heart is in it! 1748 Kennedy Road,Webster, NY 14580 585-872-3791

FABULOUS 1 ::purrrfect picks

Doodie Pack


Doodie Pack is a light weight, highly functional utility dog backpack and durable pet waste management system designed to improve your quality of life and relationship between you and your dog. 585.749.5824 I WWW.DOODIEPACK.COM



PET FINDS Located in Massachusetts, Cozy Puff Dog Beds are made of Polar Fleece from Polartec® and hypoallergenic polyfill. Cozy Puff comes in four different sizes and portions of every sale are donated to “Operation Baghdad Pups.” 413.754.4333 I WWW.COZYPUFF.COM

3 fabulous

Hip Green Pet

Hip Green Pet offers a wide range of USA made, earth friendly products for your pets. Here you can find durable, non-toxic hemp toys, 100% organic bamboo collars, leashes and harnesses, and also Eco Nap Dog & Cat Beds made from recycled plastic bottles. 585.479.7132 I WWW.HIPGREENPET.COM

FABULOUS 4 The Gray Cottage Pet Spa & Boutique The Gray Cottage Pet Spa & Boutique grooms both dogs and cats of all breeds and sizes and will leave your pet feeling clean and fresh. They offer various treatments such as their doggie facials and no water cat baths in a stress-free, spa environment. 585.329.2162 I WWW.THEGRAYCOTTAGE.COM



Sit Jump Fetch Sit Jump Fetch provides homemade dog treats and snacks that are healthy, and baked fresh for each order. Treats come in many different flavors and are a great gift idea for fellow dog lovers. 585.334.7060 I WWW.SITJUMPFETCH.COM :: october 2011


SHIFT+CONTROL ::wild wings

wild wings Home for Non-Releasable Raptors Takes Flight BY Zachary Grove

The Wild Wings house sits nestled behind flowery posts and bird displays, off to the side of the Nature Center at Mendon Ponds Park in Mendon, NY. You might think it was an administrative building for the park if you didn’t know better, or if you happened to miss Athena, the facility’s female bald eagle with a nearly seven-foot wingspan, screech in the joy of her morning mist bath.

Athena, a native eagle of Alaska, was rescued and brought to Wild Wings after being shot and suffering nerve damage to her wing. Unable to fly or hunt for herself, she is now non-releasable and will spend the rest of her days in Mendon. thena is one of 24 raptors housed at the Wild Wings facility, which also takes care of a bobcat, Tara, the mascot of the bunch. These animals have been brought here from as far away as Oregon, Wyoming, Alaska, and New Mexico to educate the community about wildlife preservation. While some of the birds were hit and injured by cars, others were deemed non-releasable due to human ignorance. For example, Barf the turkey vulture (named after turkey vultures’ vomiting defense mechanism), was brought to Wild Wings due to human imprinting. Wild Wings’ mission is to dispel this type of ignorance and promote proper treatment of the animals through education. “These birds serve as ambassadors for the rest of their species out in the wild,” says Terry Kozakiewicz, director, Wild Wings. “Hopefully seeing Athena or Tara up close will help the people on our tours realize that it’s not okay to trap or shoot or keep these animals as pets. The birds we have here, at this proximity, speak volumes for those in the wild.” Wild Wings itself receives no funding from Monroe County, and with the exception of one staff person, operates on a volunteer basis. In fact, it is a testament to the generosity of Monroe County that the local non-profit has grown. Wild Wings first operated out of a barn in Hilton, NY in 1995. The old facility did not allow for inhouse programming or expansion to house more animals. In 2006, the organization engineered a move to Mendon Ponds which included building its current facility through the help of volunteers (with pro bono supervision from local architects), adopting many more eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls. Wild Wings also instituted a travel program with the raptors for educational purposes—all funded by volunteers, donors and grants. 80 october 2011 ::

Today, Thirty-five full-time volunteers run the show, in addition to a home schooled student and college interns, including one Cornell University veterinary medicine student who spends her summers learning how to care for, handle and feed the animals. Wild Wings also enjoys the help of local Boy Scouts, whose Eagle Projects have contributed signs, railing posts, and park benches in the Mendon facility. Despite the commitment of volunteers, the non-profit relies heavily on visitor contributions and funds generated from traveling and inhouse educational programs. Wild Wings offers live bird of prey demonstrations on-site and in our community at festivals, fairs, and even corporate meetings, and programs such as the Owl Pellet Dissection Workshop, a popular one for schools. Other in-house programs in the newly-renovated classroom at the Mendon Ponds facility are available for all ages, like the birdhouse workshop in which participants learn scientific facts, then build and take home their own nest box to attract wild songbirds. As a low-cost birthday party option ($60 for two hours at the facility, including bird demonstrations and the classroom facility), Wild Wings also offers the opportunity to learn more about our natural world while providing a place for kids to have fun. Educational programs help cover the facility’s expenses, the largest of which is purchasing food and medicine for injured raptors. Taxdeductible monetary donations are graciously accepted as well as items from the sanctuary’s “Wish List” like paper towels, sponges, postage stamps, garbage bags, sunflower seed, computer paper, rubber gloves, venison and even ravioli for Korbin, an American Crow who was kept as an illegal pet and loves Italian food. While sustaining and caring for non-releasable birds of prey like Athena, the grassroots facility hopes to continue its mission of fostering awareness of wild animals and promoting personal responsibility for the natural world around us.

Wild Wings is a non-profit educational organization and sanctuary dedicated to the care of permanently injured birds of prey. For more information on Wild Wings, call 585-334-7790 or visit

::cover story

82 october 2011 ::


ms talks

::cover story

about cats, cats, and … well, cats! BY Joanne Brokaw i PHOTOS BY MICHELLE MACIRELLA

Chances are that you know Beth Adams as the co-host of radio’s WHAM Morning Show. But she’s also a lifelong animal lover who uses her platform in the media to help call attention to animal issues in the Rochester area. That fact made her a perfect choice for the cover of the first issue of Rochester Animal Magazine. Or should we say “purr-fect” choice, because as you’ll soon find out, Beth Adams is a cat lover. Adams, the youngest of five children, describes her childhood in Lancaster, N.Y. as filled with a steady stream of pets that included a cocker spaniel named Taffy, a canary named Mickey, gerbils and hamsters, mice, turtles, two rabbits named Uno and Blackie, and another dog named Freckles — but no cats. That was most likely because her mother didn’t like cats. So despite growing up surrounded by animals, it wasn’t until she was 29-years-old that Beth Adams realized she was a cat person. She had moved around while establishing her career, not exactly a lifestyle suited to having a pet. While living in Florida, she often borrowed her friend’s dog to get a fur fix. This particular friend also had three cats. One day, Adams was stretched out on her friend’s couch; the two were enjoying a postwork cocktail and chatting. Suddenly one of the cats snuck out from under a bed, climbed up onto Adams’ lap, and promptly curled up for a nap. Her friend was shocked because that particular cat was normally afraid of people. But on this day, the finicky feline was completely content to snuggle with its new friend. “You’re a cat person,” the friend declared. This was a revelation to Adams, who really had no experience with cats. But when she moved back to Western New York, she decided to change that. Her older brother’s cat had just kittens, and she took one home. The kitten was Amico and he was born with feline leukemia. Amico only lived about 20 months but he taught Adams a valuable lesson: She really is a cat person. “I love all animals,” she says. “I specialize in cats. I think I may be on the same emotional frequency as them or something.” In June 1994, three weeks after Amico died, Adams visited Lollypop Farm. This was back when the cat cages were accessible to the public, and one little six-week-old kitty was screaming and reaching out of his cage to get her attention. It was love at first sight. She brought the kitten home, named him Oscar, and the two began a kitty-human love affair that lasted more than 14 years. Oscar, she says, was her soul mate and the love of her life. So in 2006, when a whirlwind romance brought local sportswriter Scott Pitoniak into her life, Adams included Oscar right from the start. At the time, she was living in a condo, and when Pitoniak came to pick Adams up for their first date she could have just met him in the lobby. Instead, she invited him upstairs to meet her cat.

“Oscar was sitting on the back of a wing chair like a king,” Adams laughs. “Scott was friendly and tried to talk to him; Oscar just had a deadpan look.” But Pitoniak was determined to win the cat over and plied him with food. It worked. One day Adams walked into the living room and found Oscar sitting on Pitoniak’s lap, an honor that until then he’d reserved for his mom only. “It was kind of his stamp of approval,” she says. Adams and Pitoniak (and Oscar) were married in 2007. Oscar passed away from renal carcinoma on December 13, 2008. One night not long before Oscar died, Adams witnessed a touching conversation between her husband and her cat. “I was standing behind them and Oscar was sprawled out on the bed and Scott was saying, ‘It’s OK, buddy, I’ll take care of her forever. You don’t have to worry.’ And Oscar just kind of sighed and put his head down…I really believe Oscar was waiting for me to meet Scott before he left the planet. I really do.” “They say you marry someone who is really like one of your parents,” Adams muses. “I realize that I married my cat. Scott has all of the qualities that Oscar had. The sweetness, the loyalty, the sense of humor, the intelligence, the playfulness. He has so much in common with Oscar.” Adams and Pitoniak now share their home with a four-year-old cat named Sassy. After Oscar died, Adams missed having a cat but wasn’t ready to make a commitment to another feline. Someone suggested she foster a cat. She thought it was a great compromise and soon took in Sassy, who had bounced around before ending up with a rescue group. Not surprisingly, Adams says, “Two days later I was signing the adoption papers.” Adams admits that she a different relationship with Sassy than she did with Oscar. Sassy is sweet, loving and easy-going, but she “went through so much before I met her…She’s pretty independent.” Oscar, however, is never far from her thoughts. She thinks he may return to her in a new body, she says. “I kind of think Oscar might come back as a dog.” That would be OK with Adams. When she was seven-years-old, her brother adopted a Springer Spaniel mix from the Erie County ASPCA, and Adams quickly commandeered the dog, named Freckles, for herself. Adams explains that around that same time, her father left the family. While she hasn’t seen him in many years, he impacted her relationship with animals in a disturbingly profound way. “He was abusive, and actually he was abusive to my animals,” she says candidly. She and Freckles helped each other through a very difficult time. Those experiences motivated her to become an advocate for animals, although she’s never been able to actually volunteer in a shelter. “I don’t know if I could handle some of what goes on there,” she admits. “I probably sound cowardly but it would traumatize me.” :: october 2011


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Open 7 Days a Week - Mondays thru Saturdays 9-9 PM and Sundays 10-6 PM :: october 2011


::an rwm exclusive

86 october 2011 ::

an int

terview with

::an rwm exclusive

the one and only dog whisperer Cesar Millan

BY Nicole Shein

Dogs are our pets, our companions, our proverbial best friends. They assist the blind, accessorize starlets, and add a necessary dose of unconditional love to our everyday lives. Yet Cesar Millan, a.k.a the Dog Whisperer, prefers to think of dogs as teachers.

“We can transform ourselves a lot if we are willing to learn from the dogs,” says Millan, the internationally known trainer whose work is just as much about the people who love their canine companions as it is about the dogs themselves. “I encourage people to see their dog as a teacher, not as a student, and to be more humble and open-minded.” Millan knows a bit about humility. Born in Mexico, he entered the U.S. illegally in 1990, with little money and even less English. Now, he reigns over a media empire that includes a magazine called Cesar’s Way, numerous best-selling books and instructional DVDs, and even an iPhone app--as well as his wildly popular National Geographic Channel reality program, “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.” Now in its seventh season, the Emmy award-winning show and its star are not without controversy. Detractors say that Millan, whose primary approach to dog behavior relies on establishing and asserting dominance over the animals, relies too heavily on physical techniques to rein in aggressive, out-of-control dogs. Despite the fact that “The Dog Whisperer” issues numerous disclaimers that caution against the at-home use of Millan’s methods, many critics-including the American Humane Association--have denounced both the show and the trainer. Millan’s methods have been called inhumane, cruel, outdated and ineffectual, yet he takes the criticism in stride, maintaining that dog owners need to find their own path. “I never say that my way is the only way, it’s just a way,” states Millan. “I send people to professionals; I tell them, ‘Follow what your dog needs. You want to use positive reinforcement? Absolutely. Whatever works for you.’” The AHA made headlines last year when it reached out to the celebrity trainer, asking him to attend a symposium on humane training methods. For his part, Millan also invited representatives of the animal-rights organization to attend a taping of his show in order to watch him in action. “I believe in sitting down and communicating,” Millan says.“I want my kids [Calvin, 10, and Andre, 7] to see that even if you don’t agree with someone, you can still invite him to your house and you can change the world together. My energy can change

your perception of things, but you have to feel me, experience me. A dog would never judge someone without meeting them.” Millan also thinks that dogs can teach us a lot about what really matters in life. “So often we get distracted from what should give us enjoyment: family, nature, unconditional love, acceptance of yourself, hope,” he muses. “Acceptance is a big deal here in America, but it has to start with yourself. When a dog has three legs, he accepts himself right away. He doesn’t say, ‘I’m not pretty, I have a belly, I need the Botox.’ Acceptance is one thing that the dog can bring into our lives.” Not surprisingly, Cesar Millan also enjoys working with the earth. “I would like to have a big plantation of orange trees and apple trees,” he says. “I’d like to be a farmer. Working with the earth, to me, is super fun -- to see everything grow, it’s so relaxing. And I love to ride a John Deere!” Like dogs, Millan says, plants offer copious rewards for our efforts in helping them flourish. “They’re not asking anything in return,” he says. “They just want attention and time with you. I love nature because it keeps you grounded. After all, only people give value to money. The dog doesn’t know anything about money. You give $100 to a dog? He’ll pee on it.” Instead of throwing money at problem dogs, Millan suggests we would do better to give them our time and attention. “Everyone focuses on buying the most expensive leash in the world,” he says, “but the best leash is made of honesty, integrity and responsibility.”

“ The best leash is made of honesty, integrity and responsibility.” :: october 2011


::RWM’s featured pet

For the inaugural issue of Rochester Woman Magazine’s Petpalooza Extra, we held a photo contest on Facebook to find out which of our fans had the cutest pet. We soon discovered that you all have very cute animals and the voting was fast and furious, but in the end Layla was the clear winner. How can anyone resist that beautiful face! We sat down with Layla’s owner, Amanda Lang to find out more about our adorable winner. Q. Tell me about choosing Layla. How did you know she was the right dog for you? A. We were drawn to the Newfoundland breed because of their calm and sweet disposition. We had been looking to adopt a Newf puppy for a while, when I saw that Southshore Newfoundlands (a highly regarded Newfoundland Breeder) had puppies available. When we saw Layla, we were more than impressed! Q. What are Layla’s best qualities? A. She is really good at making people smile, especially strangers who pass us on the road when we take her for car rides and walks. She has a lot of personality in her face and always has her tongue sticking out. It is a quite a funny sight and people in other cars always take notice. More often than not, when stopped at a light, I look and see a car full of passengers

giggling and pointing at the big funny dog with her tongue sticking out. I like to think she makes their day a little bit happier. Layla also visits a local retirement home, where she lights up staff and residents alike. Q. What is the best advice you have for other dog owners/people thinking about getting a dog? A. Do your research. Every breed is unique in personality, size, temperament and commitment from their owners. Newfoundlands, for example, grow fast - and therefore, only stay small for a short time. It is important that those interested in getting a dog understand puppies will only stay puppies for a short time - owners must be prepared to raise and care for a full grown adult dog. Q. What is the best moment you have had with Layla? A. Her first night home was a lot of fun. At the time, I was commuting once a week to Washington D.C. Originally, we had decided to pick Layla up on Saturday evening so we could go together. But we couldn’t wait and Henry picked her up on Friday evening. I remember sitting in the airport impatiently waiting to get home so I could meet our puppy. It was the longest one hour flight ever. Arriving home at midnight to a Newfoundland puppy sleeping on the floor was the best welcome home!

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Breeding Broodmare Boarding

Heather & Brian St. Germain 5275 Parrish Street Ext. Canandaigua, NY, 14424 88 october 2011 :: 585-545-1313

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Allie Larkin’s debut novel

SHIFT+CONTROL :: allie larkin

honors rochester dogs

In Allie Larkin’s debut novel, Stay, set partly in Rochester, Savannah Leone deals with heartbreak, loss, and the dog that got her through it all – one chewed shoe at a time.

The story grew out of a writing assignment Larkin was given while attending St. John Fisher College. Over several years, the story went through numerous revisions and plot changes as she tried to get it just right. Growing up in Somers, N.Y., Larkin didn’t have a dog – unless you count her imaginary dog, Starr. Then Larkin and her husband got a German Shepherd named Argo. Since getting a dog changed her life, she figured her character Savannah needed a dog, too. And that’s when the story came together.

“We got Argo when he was five months old and he was already fifty pounds,” Larkin says. “I thought, ‘How weird would it be to go to the airport and pick up a fully trained German Shepherd that doesn’t understand English?’” So in the book, Savannah gets drunk and orders a dog off the internet. Rather than picking up a cute little puppy at the airport, she’s presented with a hundred-pound beast who only understands Slovakian. While Argo inspired the doggie plot twist (and he graced the cover of the book’s hard cover edition), he’s not like Savannah’s dog, Joe. Argo (who, for the record, was not purchased on the internet) is a calm, sweet dog. “The worst thing he did was chew the shoes my husband was going to wear for the wedding,” Larkin says. Joe, on the other hand, completely takes over Savannah’s life. Which is a little bit like Larkin’s other dog, Stella. Larkin and her husband thought Argo needed a playmate, and since life with him had been so easy they assumed it would be the same the second

time around. So when they were asked to take in a 13-month-old dog whose owner didn’t have time for her, Larkin and her husband jumped at the offer. When they went to meet Stella, also a German Shepherd, she seemed really shy and sweet, and was immediately “starry-eyed in love” with Argo. “And then she got to our house and was like a wild animal,” Larkin says. “She chewed everything, talked back, barked at us whenever we tried to get her to do something. It seriously was like having a wild animal in the house.” Argo was miserable. Their cat was miserable. And Larkin, who writes from home, was having second thoughts about whether this was going to work. “But I thought, ‘What was going to happen to this dog if we don’t keep her? How long is somebody else going to try?’” So they got help, read everything they could, and stuck it out. It took Argo almost a full year to go from being annoyed with Stella to wildly in love with her. Now the two are inseparable. It’s safe to say that Argo and Stella provide Larkin with lots of material for future projects, which at press time are still under wraps. And it’s also possible Rochester will make another appearance. It’s Larkin’s way of saying thank you to the city she’s called home for her entire adult life, because living here allowed her to write a book. Rochester is affordable, she says, which meant she and her husband could live on one income while she wrote full-time. And, she adds with a laugh, “We have really long, depressing winters where you want to be somewhere else in your head. Rochester’s actually a pretty good place to be a writer.” For more information on Allie’s book” Stay”, visit

BY Joanne Brokaw

‘What was going to happen to this dog if we don’t keep her? :: october 2011


Make the New Puppy Experience a True Pleasure ::Behavior & training SHIFT+CONTROL


Bringing a puppy home can be an exciting time for you and your family member. Unfortunately, it can also be a stressful time for all concerned. Some pre-planning for the big event can reduce the stress and make the new puppy experience a true pleasure.

First, you should put some thought into your puppy’s day-to-day routine, and for that we will start with feeding. You will want to look for a high-quality food with healthy ingredients. You should discuss any special nutritional needs for your breed or breed mix with your veterinarian. When feeding your puppy, you will want to establish feeding times and try to adhere as closely as possible to them; dogs are creatures of habit and will know when it is time to be fed. You may be tempted to leave food out for your canine friend so that he/ she has access to it when you are not there. Avoid this temptation; some breeds have a habit of overeating if the food is available and run the risk of obesity and the health risks associated with it. Just as important, you want your puppy to understand that you are the provider of his/her food and therefore the “alpha dog”. He/she will respect you as such and be more likely to obey. Play time will be an important part of your puppy’s day and will give you the opportunity to establish yourself as the leader of the pack in your household. Understand that the leader (you) will start and stop all games. If your puppy brings you a toy as an invitation to play, take the toy and set it aside for a few minutes. Then, initiate the play time. Make sure you have possession of the toy when you are ready to end playtime. You never want to chase your puppy to regain possession of the toy. Possession of the toy establishes dominance in your puppy’s mind. Start early and train your puppy to drop the toy and bring the toy to you before ending playtime. Avoid roughhousing and tug-ofwar games with your puppy. Roughhousing can establish rough and even aggressive behavior such as jumping on and mouthing you or other people in your home. Exercise is also an important part of your puppy’s daily routine. Initially, playtime may be enough, but as your puppy gets older, you will want to initiate daily walks. A comfortable fitting harness, 6 foot leash, and poop bags are all important to have when walking your puppy. A harness is recommended instead of a collar; collars can slip

90 october 2011 ::

off easily. A solid leash as opposed to a retractable leash is preferred. Retractable leashes tend to get tangled and don’t allow you as much control of your puppy. Both playtime and walk time are opportunities to establish yourself as the alpha dog. You are going to want to use positive reinforcement training with your puppy will respect you, not fear you. Good quality treats are an important part of positive reinforcement training. Always reward your puppy when he/she obeys, either with a treat or positive words, touching and tone. Sleep time for you and your new puppy is just as important as the rest of the day. Your new puppy’s sleep quarters should be a small crate. Big enough for him/her to stand up and turn around. Keep the crate in a draft-free area. For the first three weeks, be prepared to take your puppy out on a leash to a predetermined relieving area when he/she cries during the night; it is his/her way of letting you know he/she “has to go.” When he/she is done, put him/her right back into his/ her crate, no treats or playtime allowed. He/she should go back to sleep fairly quickly if you follow these rules. A comfortable blanket and an unstuffed toy to snuggle with may help she/he transition from sleeping with his littermates to sleeping alone. If he/she whines during the night, resist the temptation to put she/he into your bed. Once established, this is difficult habit to break. A puppy in your bed may be cute, but think about sharing your bed with a full grown dog for ten-to-fifteen years. A lot of people do it. Just be aware of the long term consequences of bringing little Elmo or Lola to bed with you. Your puppy will quickly become a part of your family and you will want to give him/her all the love and good quality of life that the human members of your family enjoy. May you have many happy years with the newest member of your family.

Happy Endings A Destination Pets Helping People Protecting Animals

Fresh Air, Fill, or Flush?

:: rwm’s green pets

BY Kristin V. Elliott

People love their pets but the waste they produce is a big problem, not only in America, but worldwide. With over 71 million dogs in the United States alone, over 29,000 tons of waste is produced each day. If left “unscooped”, fecal matter breaks down and runs directly in the watersheds and is responsible for up to 90% of bacterial E.coli and salmonella (parasite) pollution, as studies have shown. Ordinances are in place to govern the proper management of pet waste, and there are programs in place to educate consumers about products on the market that ease the burden and embarrassment of picking up. Now that you have followed doodie pick up protocol, what do you do with it? One solution is to compost the waste, but according to experts and environmentalists, unless you have an accurate “How To” understanding, this is not commonly advised. You could be doing more harm than good and putting yourself at risk. The proper steps to safety decompose the neutralize contaminants and microbes is timely and requires a sturdy containment system, septic starter, and commitment. More information can be found on-line about proper composting technique. Another option is to throw the litter bag into the garbage, which ultimately moves it into the municipal landfill. With over 10 million tons of pet waste being added to landfills each year, most contained in “biodegradable” plastic, the volume of pet waste nearly exceeds that of disposable diapers. Outside of the fact that overcrowding of waste is an issue, what is misunderstood and misused is the idea of biodegradability. Often we are led to believe “If you use a biodegradable bag, you are reducing your overall contribution.” Not so true. Many products that would, quite naturally, biodegrade in soil, such as tree and leaf matter, food, and paper, will not breakdown when placed in landfills. The landfill environment lacks the necessary light, water and bacterial activity required for the decay process to begin. A case study in point: “The Garbage Project, an anthropological study of our waste conducted by a group at the University of Arizona, has unearthed hot dogs, corn cobs and grapes that were twenty-five years old and still recognizable, as well as newspapers dating back to 1952 that were still easily readable.” Newly designed landfills promote biodegradation through the injection of water, oxygen, and microbes. But these kinds of facilities are costly have not caught on. So what other options are there? Though not as immediate as your neighbor’s curb-side trash barrel, the option to flush is seeing ever-increasing popularity. Consumers are finding available doodie bags that are designed specifically to be processed through municipal waste treatment centers following a flush. There is a caution, however. “Typical” plastic market bags are not designed for this process and can create bigger issues if misused. Innovators are getting creative…more and more flushable bags, pooch potties and direct lines to waste systems in the yard are showing up on the market. One thing is clear; you need to make an educated decision about to how to properly manage your pet’s waste. Leaving it for someone else, or nature, to “deal with” sends the wrong message. Think through the options: compost, toss, or flush. It makes for happy neighbors, and a healthier environment. Kristin Elliott is the owner of Doodie Pack, LLC

92 october 2011 ::

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::a day in the life

Pet Assisted Therapy Brings Joy to Clients and Volunteers Alike

BY Kate Antoniades The handmade greeting card from the young girl says it all: “It makes us very sad that you have to leave. We will miss you so, so, so, so, so much. We love you.” The card is decorated with a shining sun, a green hill topped with three flowers, and a pink-and-red heart with a banner reading, “Love.” The card’s artist is a past participant in R.E.A.D.® (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), one of the Pet Assisted Therapy services provided by Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. Through R.E.A.D., which launched in 2008, children read to therapy dogs to improve skills, gain a love of books, and boost self-esteem. This year, volunteer/dog teams are visiting the afterschool program at James P.B. Duffy School #12. Pet Assisted Therapy Coordinator Joette Hartman says she hopes to add other sites, such as local libraries, in the future. Lollypop Farm’s Pet Assisted Therapy program reaches far beyond one school and one age group. Five days a week, about 60 volunteers and their animals visit more than 90 locations around the community, including Rochester General Hospital, CP Rochester, Ontario ARC, and many area nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. They also make appearances at local events, like the annual CURE Childhood Cancer Association picnic. These visits make a big difference in the lives of patients and residents, who get to hold, pet, brush, walk, or just spend time with an animal. “We hear lots of reports from staff members like, ‘Ethel hasn’t talked in two weeks, but as soon as the animals show up, she starts talking,’” says Hartman. “Or people who have uncontrollable shaking—the minute they come into contact with the animal, the shaking stops.” Hartman relates an anecdote that happened before she came on board as the program’s coordinator. One patient, who had been in a coma when a Pet Assisted Therapy volunteer had gently placed a rabbit on her chest, was able to recall the animal’s visit when she later returned to consciousness. The volunteers themselves find the visits rewarding, says Hartman. “They get so much out of it, because it’s the perfect way to spend quality time with their animals while giving back to the community.”

“We hear lots of reports from staff members like, ‘Ethel hasn’t talked in two weeks, but as soon as the animals show up, she starts talking,’” 94 october 2011 ::

Most of the therapy animals in the program are dogs, but four cats, one rabbit, and two guinea pigs also make the rounds. Hartman would like to find additional therapy cats, but it can be tough to find an easygoing feline who is comfortable with travel, able to adjust to unfamiliar places, and friendly with new people. “It takes a very special type of kitty to do this work,” she says. “Everywhere we go, people ask for cats, especially elderly women. So I wish we had more.” Hartman also hopes to find more human volunteers. The current teams of animals and handlers are able to visit certain facilities just a few times a year, and Hartman feels that is not enough. “We’re always looking for new volunteers,” she says. “I’d like to triple or quadruple the number.” Kate Antoniades is the Communications and Social Media Coordinator for Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester For more information on Pet Assisted Therapy at Lollypop Farm, visit

Rochester Animal Services

Adopt a new best friend B

Rochester Animal Services wants to find new homes for 1,000 loving pets.


Help us win the ASPCA 100K Challenge! Here’s how:

Adopt from the shelter Become a volunteer SAVING MORE Become a foster home Host an adoption event



Send us your ideas for increasing adoptions & promoting the shelter Participate in events Join the Verona Street Animal Society

$100K CHALLENGE To find out about Animal Services, the ASPCA Challenge & our strategies for winning call 428-7274 or visit 100% HAND MADE TO ORDER IN NEW ENGLAND OF POLARTEC FLEECE AND HANDSTUFFED WITH OUR NEW HYPOALLERGENIC POLYFILL.



WE ARE :: october 2011


SHIFT+CONTROL ::healthy pets

Seemingly harmless household items that could poison your pet BY Dr. Simon Kirk

Most pet owners know that chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs. However, many other common household items can harm your pet’s health, too. It’s important that pet owners know what these are so they can avoid an emergency situation, or something even worse. Xylitol, a commonly used sugar substitute, can be found in sugarless gum, sugar-free baked goods, candy and toothpaste, among other items. It’s harmless for humans but can cause dogs to suffer severe side effects, such as low blood sugar and liver failure. Outwardly, dogs who ingest xylitol may demonstrate weakness, staggering and seizures within 30-60 minutes of ingestion. As early as nine hours after ingestion, liver failure evidence appears. Symptoms of liver failure include vomiting, lack of appetite and jaundice. Dogs treated before liver failure begins have a good prognosis for recovery, while those who develop liver failure have a more guarded prognosis. This is why it’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you suspect your pet ingested something toxic. Bread dough can harm dogs because of the ethanol amounts the yeast produces. The warm temperature of the dog’s stomach makes the dough rise rapidly, releasing ethanol that causes physical bloating and discomfort, respiratory depression, central nervous system, depression, coma or death. If treated early, the prognosis for full recovery of bread dough ingestion is good, but many owners are unaware that bread dough ingestion is problematic and, therefore, do not seek veterinary assistance until poisoning has developed. Finally, the holiday season is right around the corner, so take note that some popular holiday plants, such as holly, poinsettias and mistletoe, can be deadly to pets. Poinsettias and holly contain saponin, which can irritate the digestive system, causing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Exposure to saponin is certainly uncomfortable and not something you want to deal with, but it is rarely fatal. However, large ingestions of holly can cause a bowel obstruction. Finally, pets who eat mistletoe could suffer from self-limiting vomiting, mild neurological depression, low blood pressure and cardiovascular collapse. It is very important to seek veterinary advice or attention as soon as possible following a known ingestion of something that is toxic or that you think could be toxic. It is important to keep handy poison control numbers, such as the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 and the National Animal Poison Control Center at 800-213-6680. Also, keep Veterinary Specialists and Animal Emergency Service’s number — (585) 424-1277 — where you can easily access it. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to advise you with emergency situations you may encounter with your pet. Our pets don’t understand the dangers that can be present in certain items; therefore, it is our responsibility as pet owners to ensure our best friends do not ingest toxic items. If they do happen to ingest something they shouldn’t, we must take prompt action to ensure their safety. Keeping them safe from toxic materials is the least we can do for all the love they show us! Dr. Simon Kirk is the co-director of Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service in Rochester. He received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College in 2002 and joined the Emergency Service as an intern after graduating. His primary professional interest is in veterinary emergency medicine.

96 october 2011 ::

Drs. Kim Dodge, Tom Linnenbrink and Kristen Woosley of Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service contributed to this article. For more information on VSES, visit

It’s going to be a


Family & Pet

Holiday Expo December 3rd Saturday 10am-5pm

Main Street Armory 900 East Main Street Rochester, NY 14605

Enter to win VIP Lunch with Shorty & Hercules! Join the Fun!

Special Guests..

Shorty Rossi & Hercules hit show,

“Pit Boss”


98 october 2011 ::

RWM's Petpalooza Extra  

Rochester Woman Magazine's new bi-monthly pet magazine insert. This month's issue features local radio personality Beth Adams from WHAM rad...

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