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Vol. 3 Issue 9 Spring 2018

Atlanta’s Pet Life Style Magazine

Don t Come Home to a Sassy Lassie! ’

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PetSuites City of Norcross 678.870.6117 6865 Jimmy Carter Blvd Norcross GA 30071

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Advertising/Marketing/Social Media Services Bill Garst | 941.702.0155 Graphics and Layout Stacy Wright |

Spring has finally sprung!!! Beeee careful out there. We love the flowers and blooms, the smell of cut grass and the sound of birds chirping. However, the bees and wasps are buzzing all around! Please check with your veterinarian or near by pet emergency location so you are prepared in case of a sting. We are also ready for happy sounds in the park and music all around. Check out our cover story on the good works by Tommy Shaw of Styx and we hope to see you at Rock for the Rescues. Meet the nation’s most popular college mascot. See our article on UGA X the latest Bulldog & official mascot. Go Dawgs….. The Editors - Tango, Lilly, Hallie and Blue Kitty Join the Atlanta Pet Life Community Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

April-June 2018, Vol. 3, No. 9 Atlanta Pet Life (ISSN 2472-3290) We want to hear from you! Send your comments, questions, or concerns to Stacy Wright, Call: 470-239-4088 All submissions become the property of Mercury Gold Studio, LLC and cannot be returned to the sender. Submissions chosen for publication may be edited for length or clarity. Copyright ©2018 Atlanta Pet Life by Mercury Gold Studio, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. Responsibility for advertised products lies with the advertisers. Atlanta Pet Life will not knowingly publish fraudulent materials and is not liable for any damages arising from the purchase or use of any products. If you have any consumer complaints concerning goods purchased from our advertisers, please send us written notification to aid our screening process.


LadyBelle Michelle Claudine Wilkins and Jessica Rock Jill Narak, DVM, MS, DACVIM Rachel Roberts Sparrow Marcioni W. Michael Younker, DVM


Cherese Cobb Niko Berry Photo Credit Jason Powell Photos of Tommy Shaw and family 4

Atlanta Pet Life Where all our great articles are waiting for you. Does Your Cat Have PTSD? K-9 Sports Rescue A Family Affair

Furkids and Growing 11 Photo credits:

Furkids and Growing

Tracey Luttgens of Heart Spot Pet & Family Portraits #heartspot

Rock to the Rescue


Meet The Nation’s Most Popular College Mascot, Uga

6 9

Pompous in the Office


1,000,000 Raised for Atlanta Animals in Need


Lets’ Rock and Rescue


Events Spring and Summer Events

Departments 16

Cat Rangers Overcoming Separation Anxiety


PaWty Animals Winter festivals and Galas


Animal Law Dumped, The tragedy of Animal Abandonment


Vet Talk Back Pain in Dogs


What Happened to the Country Vet


Tour De Paws High,Loews, and Music Row


Story by Niko Berry Atlanta is hosting a charity team up, that wants to harness the raw power of rock and channel it toward helping the homeless animals. This year’s Rock for Rescues concert is teaming up with Styx and REO Speedwagons heavy metal charity, Rock to the Rescue. Rock to the Rescue is the philanthropic brainchild of Tommy Shaw of Styx fame. Tracing its roots to the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, started as Styx and REO Speedwagon's effort to gather all the bands, venues, and crew he could Together they put on a show to raise money for the families of deceased first responders. Through grit, hustle, and donations of time, space, and talent, Rock to the Rescue managed to get its first show together within three weeks of the tragedy, and was able to raise almost 800 thousand dollars, which went directly to families of deceased first responders. Rock to the Rescue went dormant for a decade before reappearing full time in 2012 - this time, as a constant feature of Styx’s shows. Now, every Styx show has a booth for Rock to the Rescue accepting donations and features a raffle for a guitar signed by the band. This sustained fundraising mirrored a change in perspective from Tommy and the other members of the band. They found that they wanted to inspire charity in other people and their mindset is encapsulated in Tommy’s quote on the subject: “All this time our main goal 6

Atlanta Pet Life

has been to engage people and lift their spirits through our music, but now we realize that we can also come together and engage them in doing good for their communities and for the world. It’s the same kind of inertia that happens with music; it all starts with an idea, and that idea grows into something that has the power to inspire change.” Rock to the Rescue donates 25% of each guitar raffle proceeds to a charity local to areas they play in. When you combine this with a nation spanning touring schedule, Rock to the Rescue works with a wide range of charities. Far from being an absentee foundation owner, Tommy is involved in all the decisions he’s made. Tommy and his wife Jeanne are lifelong pet owners - according to his manager, two is the fewest pets they’ve ever had - and Rock to the Rescue mirrors their companionship with its charity selection. At the local level, Rock to the Rescue donates to animal shelters frequently and nationally, works with Angels Among Us and other animal charity groups to save animals of all sizes - with one of their donations being to the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary, they do mean any size. If you would like to support Tommy and Styx’s efforts, feel free to check out their website or head over to Rock for Rescues April 28th, noon– 6pm, To those of you about to rock for rescues, we salute you. Atlanta Pet Life


Meet the Nation’s Most Popular College Mascot: Uga Story by Cherese Cobb

Uga X (pronounced “Ugg-uh” for the uninitiated) snores gently, almost melodically, like the white noise from a bedroom fan. He’s completely conked out on a bag of ice. When the temperature rises above 75°F, though, he raises his watermelon-sized head and blinks a couple of times. Then he waddles into his air-conditioned dog house that’s located on the sidelines near the cheerleaders. When the game’s not close or if it’s raining, owner and handler Charles Seiler—who has the most photographed feet in college football—crouches inside with the 60-pound hound. “I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, so it’s no big deal for me,” Seiler says. “Except when they renovated it, they raised the floor about five inches so that I don’t fit very well in it.” Meanwhile, Que, as he’s better known, casts a weary glance at his owner’s guests. The five-year-old bulldog, who holds a 10-3 record, is a little different because the Seilers didn’t get him until he was two years old. “He actually grew up on a cotton farm,” Seiler tells Atlanta Pet Life. “When I first got him and I knew he was going to be the mascot, I had to spend a lot of time with him…[because] he was afraid of riding in the car, having to put on his jersey, and simple noises like people closing hotel doors.” “I think he’s a tradition,” adds Linda Fernekes, the President of the UGA Alumni Association in Denver, Colorado. While plenty of other animals have taken their crack at being Georgia’s main mascot—the team’s first mascot was actually a 8

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billy-goat that wore a black coat with red letters on each side and a hat that had ribbons—the University of Georgia officially adopted the bulldog in the 1920s. Thirty-six years later, the first Seiler bulldog, Hood’s Ole Dan, stood on the sidelines, cooling off in the bushes at Stanford Stadium. At the time, Charles’ father, Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler, was in his first year of law school at Georgia, and had a part-time job selling tickets at the athletics office. ”We took our white English bulldog puppy that we got as a wedding present to the Sigma Chi fraternity house before the first home game,” Seiler, 85, recalls. “[My late wife] Cecelia had made a shirt for him to wear out of a child’s T-shirt and sewed a ‘G’ on the front made from felt. We took him over there never intending to take him to the game. But, after several iced teas— you know how that goes—everybody’s just, ‘Let’s take him to the game!’”

He gulped, believing that head coach Wally Butts was about to fire him for bringing a mutt. into the stadium.

A few days later, over a cup of coffee, Billy Young, one of Seiler’s college friends, suggested the nickname Uga, a play on the common abbreviation of the University of Georgia. Around the same time, Seiler’s phone started ringing off the hook. He gulped, believing that head coach Wally Butts was about to fire him for bringing a mutt into the stadium. But after a 3-0 win over Florida State, “the pioneer of the passing game in the South” was pleading for permission to use Hood’s Ole Dan as Georgia’s mascot. Bulldog Nation was officially born.

More than a half-century later, the same family cares for college football’s most popular mascot. “We do it for free,” Seiler says. “It’s an honor.” In the deep south, where football is king, Seiler lauds Uga X’s approachability, saying, “Have you ever pet a gator, yellow jacket, tiger, or buffalo?” With his pure white coat, spiked collar, stubby legs, and wrinkled grin, Uga X can actually be touched, rubbed, petted. An international icon, he’s not much of a preener, even if he does fly by that time-honored star’s method: first class. Last season, he tore his back meniscus, the rubbery knee cartilage that cushions the shinbone from the thigh bone. He’s not allowed to jump on furniture—a good rule, no matter the breed—or get out of the car by himself. After enjoying his long afternoon nap, the big-headed beast wakes up to the rustle of cellophane. He flashes a “give me your sandwich” look” at Seiler, so he’s given a heaping helping of Royal Canin: Frito-shaped kibble that boasts “highly digestible proteins,” because bulldogs are the most relentless farters in the dog world. Not much of a toy man, afterwards he starts chewing, again, on the rugs in his kennel. “I wish he’d just leave them laying flat,” Seiler says. In the den where the pair spends most of their time, he starts pointing out the portraits of every dog in the Uga line, from Magillicuddy II to Whatchagot Loran, and the signs that say “Go Dawgs! Sic ‘em!”. There are also piles of bulldog-themed Christmas ornaments, dolls, and children’s books. After a devastating national championship loss against Alabama, the Dawgs were still able to recruit on a high level. “If we stay in the top 10, we’ll be competitive for years and years and years. I see smooth sailing going forward,” Seiler says, leaning forward. And Que lets out a little grunt in agreement. Atlanta Pet Life



Atlanta Pet Life

furkids and Growing

Story by Niko Berry

Photography by Tracey Luttgens of Heart Spot Pet & Family Portraits, #heartspot

If you’ve been involved with any step of animal adoption in the Atlanta area, there’s a good chance you know the name Furkids. For starters, they’re big; the biggest in the American Southeast and a real success story in the world of animal-focused nonprofits. When you describe what Furkids does, you tend to use the word “and” a lot. They’re a cat shelter, and a dog shelter, and they run a bunch of the adoption centers at pet stores, and they have a thrift store, and a cat cafe, and a commercial that went viral and, if they have their say, that’s only them getting started. When you meet Samantha Shelton, the founder and CEO of Furkids, it’s easy to see how this pillar of charitable work burst onto the scene, making a huge impact in only a little over a decade. When Sam and I first spoke, both of us were recovering from the flu and she was fresh off the plane from a pet rescue conference in Austin. When the conversation started, neither of us sounded like we were in a talking mood; that didn’t last. When it comes to Furkids, a paltry case of influenza doesn’t slow Sam down. She spoke about the work the charity did with an energy that I couldn’t help but mirror as I listened. It takes a lot of grit to run a nonprofit in the best of times and Sam did not start Furkids in the best of times for animals in Atlanta. Atlanta Pet Life


As a relative newcomer to Atlanta, I could take for granted the no-kill shelters in driving distance. Last year, when there was a stray cat dwelling outside of my apartment that did not belong to any of my neighbors, I was able to take it to a shelter—Furkids, of course—and not worry. When Sam found a litter of kittens outside her house in 2001, there were almost zero no-kill options in Atlanta. Animal control, then as now, would have just destroyed a stray cat, shelters were few and far between, and the prognosis looked grim. Through persistence, Sam eventually managed to find a home for that first litter of kittens, but the ordeal leading to it was a Damascene moment. As she put it, “It led into a lot of research about just how bad the situation for homeless animals was and how few options were available. Even after I found them a home, it just wasn’t something I could walk away from.” One of the things that makes Furkids unique among animal shelters is their creativity as an organization. That shows in the small things, like their commercial, an oddball comedy piece that wouldn’t be out of place as a sketch on Saturday Night Live. But it also shows in how they find ways to make the most of all their resources. Talking about in-kind donations, Sam said, “A lot of people would come to us and they wouldn’t be able to give us money, but they could donate a couch or some clothes. We didn’t want to turn them away, so we figured we could find some way to turn their donations into the money we needed. We started with garage sales and it grew into our thrift stores.”

Photography by Tracey Luttgens of Heart Spot Pet & Family Portraits, #heartspot

“...We didn’t want to turn them away, so we figured we could find some way to turn their donations into the money we needed. We started with garage sales and it grew into our thrift stores.” As a person from a corporate background, Sam describes herself as somebody using the tools of business to make the most of a nonprofit. The approaches that Furkids is taking to getting pets sheltered and adopted is underpinned by a level of creativity and nimbleness that most similarly sized businesses would be jealous of. One facet of their nimbleness is their partnerships with other organizations. In fact, this inter-organizational work helped Furkids expand its range past the borders of Georgia. “There are shelters outside of Georgia that have the opposite problem that we have. They have plenty of homes looking for cats, but not enough homeless animals,” Sam explained. “So, we sent our first truckload of pets north to other shelters.” I asked her what she meant when she said “north,” expecting to hear North Carolina. To my shock, Furkids delivered a truckload of cats into the waiting arms of homes in Minnesota. “Dang… that really is north,” I responded. “It’s a long way away, but they had the opposite problem than we had and we had the resources to make it happen,” she replied. When I asked what was next for Furkids, Sam presented me with a gleaming vision of what future Furkids expan-

sions could provide for the community. “We’re trying to expand the idea of what people think of when they think of an animal shelter. I personally think there are all sorts of niche that a shelter like ours can fill. Our cat cafe [Happy Tabby Cat Café] is an example of that. It lets people meet and socialize with the animals with the time they have. We’re also looking at ways volunteering can help the people doing it. Places like our thrift stores offer opportunities for people with disabilities to build skills and confidence working with other people that they can use to be independent.” As a CEO with a knack for finding creative ways a shelter can work in the community, I asked Sam what her vision for Furkids’ next shelter would be. “For a grand vision, if we could ever find the right property for it, I would like to see us make something somewhere between an animal shelter and a community center.. something that is central, available, that brings people in so they can work (with)

the animals and help (in) the ways they can. Because that’s really what it is all about, taking however much people can give, even if it is only a little bit, and making it work for the animals.” Things have come a long way since 2001, when Sam first opened her home to a family of homeless animals in need, and though Atlanta still has a long way to go before it can claim the lofty title of no-kill shelter city, there are plenty of reasons to find positivity. That, perhaps more than anything, is one of Furkids’ main achievements. They are the animal shelter as a positive force in the life of not only animals, but people as well. If you want to donate, volunteer, or stop in for one of their events, check out Furkids’ website at Atlanta Pet Life


s u o p m o P in the office

Meet Pompous Albert, the Most Judgmental Cat on the Internet Story by Cherese Cobb

If your emails are piling up, your head is reeling, your calm is cracking, and you’re counting down the minutes until closing, well, you’re not alone. Pompous Albert hates punching the time clock as much as you do. However, he’s not your typical office worker—he’s an office cat with untidy grey hair, a permanent scowl, and icy eyes that’ll send your computer mice running for cover. The 10-year-old Selkirk Rex, from Salt Lake City, was named after his famous doppelgänger Albert Einstein—thanks to his curly, thick, wool-like coat, which “looks the same before and after you brush him.” A rejected show cat who’s sworn revenge on the snooty judges that thought his head was too small, he’s clawing his way to Grumpy Cat fame, racking up an impressive 146 thousand followers on Instagram. His rise to Insta-success started when he’d stand completely unfazed on his cat tree by the entrance of Sagebrush Art: the office where the sheep-cat lords over his allergy pill-popping staff and fellow felines, Lucky and Buddy. “People would be like, “Wait-is that cat real?” says owner Susan Singleton. “He [constantly] looks like he’s preparing to take over the world,” says Deana Peat, one of his “employees”. A handsome devil, he has paws of steel, and he’s not afraid to rake his underlings over the coals, saying things like: “It’s not that difficult Ned, just push the button. Coffee doesn’t make itself” and “Riveting as that story is Floyd, I’m hoping cardboard is soundproof.” Add in the fact that he’s also a sharp dresser with a razor-edged tongue and an IQ that allows him to “get whatever he wants” and you have a modern-day cat-sanova. Where does he get his swag? “He’s a combination of me and my sister, his aunt,” Singleton told Atlanta Pet Life. “We chat every morning, and we decide who’s feeling snarkier or has the best combination of wit about what to say that day.”


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When he isn’t glaring deep into the camera lens, he’s doing typical cat stuff—you know, knocking stuff off of desks, like necklaces, keys, and beverages, or stealing all of the gravy off of the wet food and leaving behind the pate for his cat-siblings. Sure, he stretches out across co-workers’ keyboards, fishes paper out of the printer, and uses the fax machine as his personal mini-sauna. But, don’t let this patronizing pussycat fool you. It’s all an act. “He’s a teddy bear,” Singleton said. He absolutely adores children and is super tolerant of being handled and held, which are traits that are common to his breed. “You can literally put Albert in a box and drag him around in the warehouse. He doesn’t care,” she said. He’s always unfazed by comings and goings, lights and sounds, or clothes and accessories—which is why Honda decided to feature him in a 36-second commercial as well as a variety of gifs and meses. The sourpuss also has huge plans for his on-line minions. This year, he’s planning to lure in more lackeys, using his “around-the-water-cooler humor.” Perhaps world domination is in his future? Follow him on Instagram at @pompous.albert.

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May 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Briscoe Park, Briscoe Park 2500 Sawyer Parkway, Snellville, $10 for the first run, $5 for the second run. Come join us at PAWfest benefiting the Gwinnett Humane Society. This is a great event to bring your dog. It’s an up and coming festival with a relaxed pace, perfect for dogs that love to run, but get over stimulated by hectic activity and who may have a hard time waiting for their turn to run. If you dog loves to run more than once, this is a great festival for them since our wait times are not as long.

June Dachshund Doxie Wiener Dog Derby Race Dash September June 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. , Mister Migs, 2137 Flintstone Party for the PAWS Dr Tucker, Benefiting Little Paws Dachshund Rescue,

Atlanta Adult Prom ‘18, Purple Rain June 30, 8:00 PM, Piedmont Room and Piedmont Garden Tent, 500 10th Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309 “Dig if you will the picture,” of you and your hot date or a group of your best friends dancing and laughing the night away, in the Purple Rain! Atlanta is in for a royal

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treat as Royal Rockstar Party & Events has teamed up with Park Tavern and Amp’d Entertainment, spinning all the hits from the 80’s! This will be a night of the ultimate nostalgia! Dress to impress as Fusion Photography of St. Pete will be capturing those priceless moments and “strike a pose” for our VIP red carpet! And for all you “Pet Shop Boys” (and West End Girls!) we will have a silent auction benefiting PAWS Atlanta, re-live prom night for a great cause! Ticket price includes; VIP red carpet, open bar beer and wine til 11p.m. (full bar available for purchase), small bites, Amp’d Entertainment DJ, professional photographer, silent auction benefiting PAWS Atlanta, crowned prom king and queen, PRICELESS memories dancing &”laughing in the Purple Rain!” Hosted by Rock 100.5’s Jesse Kage, *10% of ticket sales & 100% of silent auction sales will go to support PAWS Atlanta! Cocktail attire. Hints of purple are encouraged!

Chastain Horse Park, 4371 Powers Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, September 29, 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 a.m.,Cocktails • Catered Cuisine • Silent Auction • Adoptable dogs.This year, Party for the PAWS will be held at Chastain Horse Park, a nonprofit that empowers riders of all abilities through life changing relationships with horses. Featuring cocktails, music, adoptable dogs, and delicious food from Avenue Catering Concepts, this year’s event will be a night to remember - all to benefit our beloved shelter pets. Corporate Sponsorship

Find More events. Post Your Pet Event


Raised For Atlanta Animals in Need

Toby Tobias and Tanya Mahrous Tobias and mascot Riley

Second Life the upscale thrift store celebrates its seventh anniversary, they are elated to announce that they have now donated over a million dollars -- $1,000,000 -- in cash grants to animal rescues and spay/neuter programs, providing help with medical care, community outreach, spay/neuter assistance, education, and more. While achieving the $1 million milestone is testimony to the dedication of many people, hearing the “happy tails” stories from the charities really exemplifies our their mission -- in very canine (and human) terms. With over 6,500 square feet in their side-by-side stores, shoppers find gently used clothing, housewares, electronics,

home decor, furniture, books, and so much more! Second Life has two upscale thrift stores created with the mission of giving homeless pets a second chance at life. Their main store is located at 1 N. Clarendon Avenue and their Furniture, Decor & More store is located next door at 89 N. Clarendon Avenue in downtown Avondale Estates, just a half mile from the DeKalb Farmer’s Market and close to downtown Decatur. A nonprofit organization, donations are tax deductible and volunteers are always needed and welcome. For more information call Second Life at 678-974-5671, email them at contactus@ or visit online at www. Media information may be found at media/.


April 21st  11a-3p


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Lets Rock

and Rescue

Bringing together arts, charitable causes, and community is what sets the Rock for Rescues project apart. An idea that formed in the summer of 2017 really began to pick up steam when a conversation with the Community Outreach Manager for the City of Milton, Courtney Spriggs, ended with a simple, “Let’s make this happen.” Rock for Rescues is a street festival produced by the Vox Artium Foundation, chartered as the “voice of the arts in philanthropy.” The foundation provides a platform to showcase local Atlanta artists and musicians while benefiting locally based charitable organizations in support of animals, children, and military veterans. Rock for Rescues 2018 will be held on Saturday, April 28th from 12–6 p.m. in partnership with the City of Milton and the Crabapple Community Association and will offer a free, family-friendly street festival atmosphere for learning more about Atlanta’s vibrant music scene and the pet rescue organizations they support. The 2018 festival will feature original music by Atlanta bands a slow boat to china, Pony League, Chip McGuire Band, and Linnie & Amy Joy. In addition, there will be a hands-on interactive music space presented by Music Matters and performances by their “Rock U” touring band. Radio station 97.1 The River FM will be on site, along with human and furry representatives from each of the benefiting rescue organizations, local vendors, a variety of great food, onsite pet microchipping, an auction of memorabilia from music and sports celebrities with Atlanta ties and games and activities for kids of all ages. Rock for Rescues’ organizers are also excited that the event has been chosen as the Atlanta charity for Rock To The Rescue, the nonprofit founded by rock bands Styx and REO Speedwagon. Their focus is working at the grassroots level on community causes, and luckily for all of us, animal welfare is something they care about too.


Life ife 18

Atlanta Pet Life

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the Rock for Rescues festival will be donated to this year’s five designated animal rescue organizations, including Canine Cellmates, Furkids, Pets for Vets, Pilots ‘n Paws, and Special Equestrians of Georgia. The organizations were chosen for their comple-

mentary focus in the community; no two serve exactly the same population. They address unique parts of the animal welfare actions in Georgia, and all demonstrate transparent fiscal responsibility. To everyone involved, it is important to connect the human audience with the rescue community and communicate the importance of adoption, the value of the human-animal connection, and how it, as part of this community, can participate.

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“This event was the perfect opportunity for a fresh approach to Milton’s signature spring event,” said Spriggs. “Just as the city was exploring possible ways to re-energize our annual Milton Jubilee event, Vox approached us with this amazing idea.”

“...Rock For Rescues have done an awesome job selecting a lineup of amazing Georgia-based artists ...”


The city’s decision to partner on Rock for Rescues comes on the heels of last year’s highly successful summer outdoor concert at Bell Memorial Park in Milton.


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Gus Fernandez of Pony League said, “We’re so happy to have been asked to perform for the city of Milton and for such a great cause. We all have rescue animals and we’ll be rocking for them on April 28. The folks at Rock For Rescues have done an awesome job selecting a lineup of amazing Georgia-based artists when they could’ve easily gone with some big-time touring act. Come check out what could be your new favorite band!” For more information about the upcoming Rock for Rescues festival, details about the bands and the benefiting pet rescue organizations, visit their website at You can also order your Rock for Rescues 2018 concert t-shirt or make a tax-deductible donation that will directly benefit animals in our area. Rock for Rescues is the signature event produced by the Vox Artium Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization chartered as the “voice of the arts in philanthropy.” (Vox The foundation showcases local Atlanta artists and musicians while benefiting locally-based charitable organizations in support of animals, children, and military veterans. Rock for Rescues 2018 will be held on April 28th in partnership with the City of Milton and the Crabapple Community Association and will offer a free, family-friendly street festival atmosphere for learning more about Atlanta’s vibrant music scene and the pet rescue organizations they support. For full details, including sponsorship and donation information, visit or email Let’s Make This Happen… Rock for Rescues 2018 – April 28th, noon–6pm, Broadwell Road, Milton, GA It’s o.k. for your pet to sit still Or stay put Or rollover Once you sit in a Subaru, you’ll stay.

(678) 244-4100 820 Atlanta Hwy. , Cumming, GA 30040

Atlanta Pet Life


Overcoming Separation Anxiety

Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety AnxietyAnxiety


Contributed by Sparrow Marcioni

We’ve all seen it: that forlorn look on your pet’s face when you pick up your car keys and head toward the door. Sometimes it’s a look of fear or even anger, but no matter what the emotional expression is, if it happens very often, you will need to find a solution to help your pet overcome its separation anxiety. This can be particularly difficult if your pet is a cat. Many dog owners have similar experiences, but they have doggy day care centers as a resource to keep their pet occupied and happy—not exactly a great idea for your kitty. Cats are quite averse to changes in their lives and taking them away from home is very stressful for them. They may also bond with their humans and want to be around them continuously. Often, a past trauma from being abandoned by either a cat or a human friend can exaggerate their response to your leaving, and in some situations this can result in destructive behavior or inappropriate litterbox habits. 20

Atlanta Pet Life

There are a few things you can do to help your kitty adjust to being separated from you. Cats associate certain actions with a specific result and can often anticipate what will happen next if they see those actions. If your kitty has associated being left behind with getting very hungry or even lonely, you will need to counter that by replacing the image with a more positive one. You may be able to do this by leaving and returning immediately so they begin to realize that absences can also be for just a short time. You can also offer your cat a treat before you leave the room, so they don’t actually see you depart, and always spend time with them as soon as possible when you return. At Maison du Chat, we use the Jackson Galaxy Solutions for Separation Anxiety whenever this behavior is encountered, as it works well in most cases. (Note: Jackson Galaxy Solutions are a holistic remedy containing flower essences in liquid form that support emo-

It’s also very important not to let any behavior problem continue very long without addressing it, as once it becomes a habit, it is much more difficult to correct.

tional health and healing; they can be applied to pets’ surroundings, directly to the pet or added to food and drinking water). Adding Feliway MultiCat pheromone diffusers to the environment can help also, as they mimic the scent of a nursing mother. If your kitty is healing a broken heart or fear of abandonment, time and patience may be the best remedies, but you can make him or her more comfortable so they will heal more quickly in your absence by leaving calming music or even the television on for them. Boredom is your enemy in this situation, so leave lots of toys for self-entertainment and change them frequently. Scratching and stretching relieves stress, so a good scratching post or two will also be welcomed. If he or she doesn’t have a kitty companion and you’re not able to consider adopting a friend, sometimes a stuffed animal can help; there are even several stuffed pet companions available that purr. If your kitty is turning your home into her own private litterbox when you are away, there are several things you can do in addition to everything mentioned above. If they are “acting out” and have no physical reason for their behavior, you may need to resolve the separation issues to eliminate the litterbox problems. However, it’s critical to treat any area that your kitty has soiled with a good enzymatic cleaner so there is no remaining odor to provoke a relapse. We use a product called Dumb Cat that can be purchased on-line. It is a custom-made enzymatic that actually consumes biological material. We also recommend adding a special type of litter called Cat Attract to your litter box, as it will make the box a bit more enticing to use. The most important thing to remember is that cats will know if you are angry or frustrated with him or her, so it is critical not to lose hope or yell at them when you return and see what they have done while you were away. It’s also very important not to let any behavior problem continue very long without addressing it, as once it becomes a habit, it is much more difficult to correct. If you are having difficulty overcoming your cat’s emotional issues, find a local cat behaviorist that can assist you, but please don’t wait. Sparrow Marcioni is the Chief Behaviorist at La Maison du Chat, a Reiki Practitioner and Founder of CatRangers Cat Rescue. She is available for consultation by emailing or by calling 770-831-5513. Atlanta Pet Life


PaWty Animals Holly Lucy

Follow our fashionable charity-hopping trio who snoop out where the fun is happening inside the Atlanta pet scene. by Lucy, Holly & Kathi Welch

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Angels Among Us Pet Rescue - Fourth Annual “For the Love of Paws” Masquerade Gala – February 20, 2018 Sweet dreams are made of this! And with dreams come angels—lots of angels. A multitude of angels opened their hearts and wallets to support and attend the Fourth Annual “For the Love of Paws” Masquerade Gala, emceed by Rikki Klaus of WSB. Unquestionably the most superb formal fundraising event of the season, this chic soirée was held at the prestigious Grand Hyatt Atlanta, located in the heart of Buckhead. Stylish guests in tuxedos, dazzling gowns and fashionable cocktail attire enjoyed a marvelous evening complete with an elegant seated dinner, an open bar, dancing with party music by The Celebrity Allstars Band, featuring lead vocalist Jon Mero (from “The Voice”) and band members who formerly played with Earth, Wind & Fire, Better Midler and Janet Jackson. In the silent auction, guests bid on one-of-a-kind experiences, beautiful artwork, couture pet fashions, exciting trips, sports memorabilia and packages filled with local favorites. One of the auction items was an awesome guitar belonging to and personally autographed by Taylor Swift. Angels showcased their silent auction items through mobile apps and on-line checkout services, giving guests a high-tech way to monitor coveted items from their seats throughout the evening. Attendees included many of Atlanta’s elite. Among them were guests of honor Kanga and Roo, two-legged Chihuahua siblings seen recently on Animal Planet’s “Cute as Fluff,” and their fantastic pet parents, with whom Atlanta GirlZ Club™ had the honor of sharing a table. Also on hand was Mirkwood, a handsome and happy beagle who just last year was found abandoned by the side of the road, emaciated and barely clinging to life. Through the efforts of Angels Among Us volunteers, he was nursed back to health. His story of determination, triumph Inspired by Atlanta GirlZ Club®

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and pure love stole everyone’s heart—what a joy to meet him and his loving family! Another special guest was miracle dog Ivanna, a gorgeous and courageous dog who incredibly survived a gunshot wound and received life-saving treatment at Blue Pearl Animal Hospital in Sandy Springs. Angels Rescue wanted Ivanna to wear something spectacular to the gala. Through the generosity, kindness and creative genius of couture pet fashion designer Barbara Merrifield, proprietor of Bark N Boujee, Evanna wore a brilliant custom gown created especially for her. Successful outcomes like these are at the heart of Angels Rescue. “For the Love of Paws” sponsors were Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, Kroger, Enhance Floors and More, VCA Animal Hospitals, Chattahoochee Animal Clinic, Joey D’s Oak Room, Greens Beverages, Kendra Scott, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. Atlanta GirlZ Club™ proudly supports Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. PaWty Animals Lucy and Holly happily cover and participate in many of Angels Rescue events and fund-raisers. Raising money at unique, upscale fundraising events like “For the Love of Paws” helps Angels provide the best medical care to some of the most broken dogs and cats in the state of Georgia. Angels Among Us Pet Rescue is a 501(c) (3) non-profit charity dedicated to saving dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in north Georgia. Angels Rescue operates through the assistance of a network of volunteers who have a love for animals and are trying to save dogs and cats. There are so many animals that end up in shelters for so many reasons. The majority are euthanized due to lack of space in shelters. Please visit their website to make a donation, to volunteer and for additional information about Angels Rescue and how to view their adoptable pets in need of “forever” homes,

Atlanta GirlZ Club™ Lucy and Holly | Pet Influencers | Public Figures Fashion, Runway & Print Models Couture Brand Reps | Good Will Ambassadors Find us at pet events for a chance to be Featured in our “PAWTY ANIMALS” column in APL! Follow us at @lucyandholly_atlgirlzclub Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Books We’re all about FASHION, FUN & FUNDRAISING!

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Atlanta Botanical Garden Annual Reindog Parade, December 2, 2017 It’s not only Santa that symbolizes the arrival of the festive holiday season. Atlantans and visitors alike know the holidays are officially here when the Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts its annual Reindog Parade, one of the most enjoyable and elaborate events of the HOWLidays. It’s the only day of the year when four-legged family members can set paw in the picturesque gardens dressed in all their finery to compete for terrific prizes in front of celebrity judges. Victoria Stillwell, Atlanta resident and host of the Animal Planet show “It’s Me or the Dog” and Vincent Martinez (“Fashionado” innovative connoisseur and one of Atlanta GirlZ Club’s favorite superstars), emceed the event.

ceived a lovely trophy. Adorable little “Harry Potter” dressed as Santa won Best in Show 2017 and PaWty Animals Lucy and Holly were tickled to win in the Best Dog Pack category. Reindog Parade also offered a Dogie Expo with canine-related products, services and information from local canine enthusiasts and businesses. Warm holiday refreshments were available under the Pup Tent and everyone could have photos with their Furkids taken with Botanical Saint Nick. Categories included Best Puppy, Best Adult, Best Botanical, Best Dog-Owner Dress-alike, Best Dog Pack, and ultimately, Best in Show. All category winners received an impressive ribbon badge and marvelous gift bags. Best in Show also re-

Reindog Parade is always part of the Garden’s array of holiday offerings, including the annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, featuring “Nature’s Wonders,” the world’s largest curtain of lights synchronized with music and sound effects. For more information about the Atlanta Botanical Garden, visit

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Falling in Love with Raw Seminar, February 13, 2018, Top Dogs Kennesaw What better way to celebrate the season of love and Valentine’s than Date Night with Your Dog? Atlanta GirlZ Club™ enjoyed attending “Falling in Love with Raw,” a seminar presented by Vital Essentials this past February 13, hosted by Top Dogs Pet Boutique in Kennesaw, who provided goodies and tasty treats for both humans and pets.

tion in general. For example, as natural carnivores, dogs and cats thrive on the essential nutrients that come from other animals and aren’t designed to handle carbohydrates like rice, corn and potatoes. Vital Essentials uses only fresh, single-sourced whole USDA animal proteins and never uses grains, fillers, artificial preservatives or rendered by-products in any of its products. The seminar was a relaxed atmosphere that also included an informative Q&A for attendees to find out specifics about raw-feeding their family pets.

Numerous pet paw-rents and their wonderful pets gathered to hear Jason Petercheff, Vital Essentials’ Southeast Regional Manager, give an impressive presentation about the many benefits of raw feeding. Jason is a marvelous speaker and provided extensive and helpful information about raw feeding and pet nutriAtlanta Pet Life


Back Pain in Dogs Contributed by Jill Narak, DVM, MS, DACVIM As human beings, one of he most painful and debilitating health issues from which we can suffer is back trouble. We may not think of our pets, particularly dogs, suffering from back problems, but it’s not uncommon and can cause them as much distress as they do to us.


It is important to recognize the signs of back pain in our furry friends because they cannot tell us if or where it hurts. Many dogs will become withdrawn when they are painful. Specific to back pain, you may notice reluctance to jump or be picked up, hiding, or loss of appetite. Some dogs will be more overt in their response to a painful back and may yelp, growl, or try to bite you when you pet them. You may also note muscle spasms (a tense back) or a hunched back appearance (known as kyphosis). In some cases, there can be signs of overt dysfunction such as weakness, stumbling, or even paralysis. The most common cause of back pain is a slipped or ruptured disk (intervertebral disk herniation). Other possibilities include meningitis, infection of the intervertebral disk, cancer, and trauma.


Mild cases of back pain can often be successfully managed with rest and medications, including pain medicine, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxers. Acupuncture and cold laser treatments can help alleviate pain, as well. If your dog’s back pain is not responsive to such therapies, or if the condition worsens, then a referral to a specialist for advanced imaging and possibly surgery is recommended.






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There are many causes of back pain, as well as ways to treat it, so please contact your veterinarian at the first indication your dog may have a painful back. Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical exam, which should include a neurologic examination and placing tests to evaluate your dog’s reflexes. Part of this examination also involves “asking” the dog if he or she is painful by palpating or pressing along the spine. Tests, including spinal x-rays, may be ordered. In many cases x-rays can provide a diagnosis, but sometimes advanced imaging such as CT scan or MRI may be necessary; this requires referral to a specialist.

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Jill Narak, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology) Board-certified Veterinary Neurologist Veterinary Referral Surgical Practice Facebook and Instagram @neuronarak

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Dumped The Tragedy of Animal Abandonment

Contributed by Claudine Wilkins and Jessica Rock Have you ever seen an unfamiliar cat or dog in your neighborhood and suspected that someone dumped it there? Most of us cannot fathom the idea of kicking our beloved dog or cat to the street curb, and driving away, hoping it will fend for itself or go knock on someone’s door hoping to find a new home. It’s cruel, but it happens every day and everywhere in the U.S. Like most states, Georgia makes animal abandonment a crime. Animal abandonment is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail for each count of abandonment. Animal cruelty can also be charged in addition to animal abandonment (O.C.G.A §16-12-4), which may be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. In cases in which more than one animal is abandoned simultaneously, charges are brought for each animal abandoned. Georgia state law has two state criminal codes pertaining to the crime of abandoning an animal: The first is Domestic Animal Abandonment (O.C.G.A. § 4-11-15.1), which states that: “It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly and intentionally to abandon any domesticated animal upon any public or private property or public right of way.” The second is Dog Abandonment (O.C.G.A. § 4-8-3): “No person shall release a dog on any property, public or private, with the 28

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intention of abandoning the dog.” (The Dog Abandonment statute became law before Domestic Animal Abandonment but has remained on the books; although the Domestic Animal law is used more often, either one can be used for dogs). Pet abandonment applies to all domestic animals, not just cats and dogs. For legal purposes, the person in custody and control of the animal is deemed to be the owner. Charges can be brought if that person intended to abandon an animal. This can be shown by circumstantial evidence; an example would be an owner who is evicted from their apartment who takes their belongings but leaves their dog locked in a bathroom.   If the owner or person in charge of the animal intends to leave an animal for any period that would cause that animal to be without water or food for a long period of time, a prosecutor would most likely be able to prove abandonment, and may add another charge of animal cruelty. At a minimum, the person in charge of an animal in this scenario will have violated the animal cruelty law. One who leaves property or fails to return to property as a result of an unforeseen event may not intend to abandon the animal. A person who must leave their property and fails to return due to an emergency or arrest should take reasonable precautions for the animal by notifying police, animal control and/or a friend

or family member to care for or remove the animal. If the person did not “intend” to abandon the animal, the crime of abandonment would not be supported. An animal does not have to be suffering, neglected or abused in order to meet the conditions for abandonment to be considered a crime. Abandonment occurs when one “intends to abandon” an animal; the condition of the animal is irrelevant. Should the animal suffer or die as a result of being abandoned, animal cruelty charges should be added as well.   Animal abandonment can happen anywhere: Recent cases include animals left at houses, apartments, cars, parks, woods, on the side of the road, and thrown out the window a of moving vehicle. Many times abandonment occurs at kennels or other pet businesses; these businesses may be able to file a lien against the person who abandoned as well as ask for restitution in the criminal court. We see a lot of abandonment cases at apartment complexes or rented homes. Residents are evicted or have to move to another place that does not accept animals, so they leave the pet behind. Landlords and realtors can share horror stories of animals that starved to death weeks after their owner took off. Many times, a person will drop off an animal at a veterinary clinic with no in-

tention of returning, especially at emergency clinics. For this reason, almost all emergency clinics will not initiate treatment on any animal until cash or credit payment has been received first and will request two phone numbers at which the client can be reached. Veterinarians are private citizens, and therefore, cannot impound an animal, any more than the average Joe could do. A vet who does so would possibly be subject to theft charges and civil procedures. If a vet suspects abandonment or animal abuse, the proper course for the vet would be to call law enforcement, just like a pediatrician who suspects child abuse. Vets do not have a duty to report under the law.  However, if they report abuse in good faith, they are immune from civil liability. There are many excuses given when someone abandons an animal. The most commonly heard include: “I don’t have time or resources to take care of it,” “It became too hard to handle or a liability,” “It was my kid’s pet and they moved out ,so I don’t want it,” “ Someone else may be able to give it a better life and someone is bound to pick it up.” None of these excuses are defenses under the law. If an animal is not wanted, the proper action is to find a new home for the animal or failing that, to bring it to an animal shelter or veterinary office and formally surrender it. If for some reason we’re not able to maintain a home for our pets, we owe it to them to attempt in good faith to find another place for them. They deserve it, because in their eyes, we are their home.

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What Happened to the Country Vet?

Contributed by W. Michael Younker, DVM At the age of 12, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Several reasons factored into this decision, including a love for animals, a scientific bent, and a passion for fixing broken things. But one of the other factors was the view of veterinary medicine through the eyes of James Herriot, a British veterinarian and author of the 20th century, famous for his “All Creatures Great and Small” series of books. As most of his stories included farm animals, dogs and cats were certainly part of that mix. During the 1900’s, world economies transitioned from an agrarian to a service model. As we have moved into the 21st century, the world continued to move into the age of the internet and an experience economy. Veterinary medicine has slowly—sometimes reluctantly—but surely progressed with modern society. There is still a great need in rural areas for the “country vet”, but his or her truck is now stocked with equipment that would amaze Mr. Herriot today. In addition to using a full-arm sleeve to do a rectal exam to check for pregnancy in a mare, the doctor now has the use of a portable ultrasound machine the size of a laptop computer. An electrocardiograph machine (EKG) is actually an app on a smartphone. The x-ray machine can produce digital images that are available in six seconds on site without having to go back to the hospital to have them developed. Most veterinarians today have a small an30

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imal focus, meaning that they spend most or all of their day seeing dogs, cats, pocket pets such as gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, and pet birds. Initially, the main purpose of the small animal veterinarian was to prevent the spread of diseases, especially rabies, to the human population. Now, much of their time is spent in practicing preventative medicine and educating owners on the proper care of their pets. The concept of routine surgeries has progressed from spays and neuters have progressed to include all sorts of other surgical and dental procedures. As society has changed, so has the human-animal bond. Our pets have progressed over the decades from the yard, to the porch, to inside the house, to sleeping at the foot of the bed, to having their own pillow in the bed with their owners. Pets have moved into a prominent place as a family member. Because of this increased bond, pet owners have an increased interest in the health of their pet, and are increasingly willing to spend more than the monetary value of their pet on their health care if it will enhance that bond. In response to this, many veterinary graduates have entered areas of specialty, such as surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, oncology, emergency treatment and critical care. Very difficult surgical procedures such as hip replacement, knee repair, and back surgery fill the surgeon’s day, while diabetes complications or

liver failure may be cases of the day for a veterinary internist. Oftentimes, a dermatologist is needed to get a dog’s itchy allergies under control. Retinal reattachment is a surgery performed by only five veterinary ophthalmologists in North America, and the SAVES Center in Fayetteville is fortunate to have one of these specialists in ophthalmology. Dogs have been flown in from all over the country for Dr. Eric Storey to reattach a retina, thereby restoring the eyesight of a beloved pet. Although veterinary specialty centers exist throughout the country, the need for the general practitioner still abounds. Dentists and doctors try to create a better experience during the visit, and veterinarians realize that pets and their owners want the same. Atlanta’s newest general practice just opened in Inman Park, called Common Companion Vet Co. It provides that great experience and is a prime example of how veterinarians are aggressively moving into the future. The days of the country vet are not completely over, but a new day has dawned, creating a new experience for owners of all animals. The combination of education, technology, talent, and relationship make for a bright future for pet owners of today. Find a veterinarian who not only knows the science and art of practice, but one who will be around for a long time and will be a friend for life.

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Barkatcha furBelles and Beaus! It’s me! Miss LB! ‘The Most Interesting Belle in the World’ on the road again with my nose to the ground and tail in the air, sniffing out the best furry furiendly places to take your paw-rent! I was ‘top dawg’ at Graduate Athens, so what’s next for a southern LadyBelle? Next stop? Nashville! Touring the town with mommy in tow, we’re on our way to Music Row for a little “Renegade” rock-n-roll! Waggin’ my tail, walkin’ the line, “Fallin’ to Pieces” for Cash and Cline! Being the canine connoisseur that I am, I had to choose one of the best paw-rent furiendly and puppy approved hotels in Nashville. One that caters to our pampered pallet and indulges in our every wish, wag and whim. Forget the highs, it’s all about the Loews - Loews Vanderbilt Nashville of course because “Loews Loves Pets”! From the moment I stepped into the hotel, BINGO! I knew I made the right choice. This hotel truly values their four-legged furiends and coveted canines. I was immediately greeted by the concierge who spared no ex-PAW-ense with my stay: the exclusive Loews Welcome Bag was filled with my own personal mat, dish, bags, and official ‘pet’tiquette letter--to avoid any embarrassing faux paws of course! I shook the concierge’s hand, grabbed our key and walked mommy to the elevator to take her to our V(ery) I(mportant) P(up) suite. I opened the door, let mommy in, and feasted my puppy dog eyes on the gourmet meal prepared especially for me. How did they know my love for chicken, bacon, carrots and peas? All training in pet etiquette went out the door, and I indulged in my doggie delights! After my gourmet meal I jumped on the biggest, fluffiest doggie bed ever-- fit for a queen! This room was truly furBelle fabulous with a paw-sonalized pet menu and a picture paw-fect view overlooking one of my favorite places-- the dog park! Knowing I had a full day of sights, sounds, and sniffs ahead of me, I put the doggie ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door and mommy and I made out our schedule: Final review? Two paws up – this pup loves Loews!

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Follow Tour de Paws and ‘The Most Interesting Belle in the World’ LadyBelle Michelle, for more of her ‘Divinely Canine ExPAWriences’ and pawrent friendly locales in pup-coming issues of Atlanta Pet Life magazine! Instagram: Facebook: Website:

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Tommy Shaw of Styx talks about Rock to the Rescue. Local animal rescue Furkids plans for growing their outreach efforts. Legal issues of an...


Tommy Shaw of Styx talks about Rock to the Rescue. Local animal rescue Furkids plans for growing their outreach efforts. Legal issues of an...