Animal Tales August 2013

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animal tales Adopt an animal in need from the SPCA a special advertising Supplement of the bermuda sun august 16, 2013 page 1

In this edition of the Bermuda Sun’s Animal Tales, we focus on abandoned and neglected animals. Tomorrow (August 17) is International Homeless Animals’ Day. Read our feature inside (page 2) on how you can prevent needless deaths in your community by having your pet spayed or neutered. We also encourage readers to considering adopting a pet from the Bermuda SPCA. The charity currently has 13 cats, three guinea pigs, two birds and a rabbit in need of a home. Inside this edition of Animal Tales you will also find the winner’s to our Pet Pix 2013 contest, sponsored by Purina and Animal House & Garden.

By Amanda Dale

If you are looking for a pet, the Bermuda SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has some beautiful animals in need of a home. Some have been abandoned, some neglected, and some surrendered by their previous owners for economic reasons, but all have been socialized and vaccinated. Each year, the SPCA finds homes for up to 500 animals.

Prior to adoption they each undergo socialization/training and receive preventive medical care. Cats and dogs are spayed or neutered, dewormed and treated for fleas. Cats are also tested for FIV/FeLV (feline immunodeficiency virus/leukaemia) and dogs for Heartworm, and they are vaccinated as necessary. Each animal is also microchipped. Adopting a pet is easier than you think. But first of all, ask yourself if you have the time, money and

responsibility to look after an animal. Consider that cats can live up to 20 years, dogs 12-16 years, and rabbits and guinea pigs for up to seven. You not only have to have the resources to be able to feed your pet every day but also take care of its medical bills; and vets in Bermuda are not cheap. Whereas cats and smaller animals are fairly independent, dogs may require obedience training and will also need to be walked twice a day.

Commitment Not only must the people you live with be accepting of a pet; you should weigh up whether you have a suitable environment in which to keep it. Dogs, for example, need a yard or garden to stretch out in and play. The SPCA asks potential adoptees to ask themselves

the following questions: n Why are you interested in adopting an animal? The best way to choose the right pet for you is to figure out why you want one. n Are you ready to make a long-term commitment? Keep in mind life changes such as moving house or overseas, college, getting married or having children. n Can you afford a pet? After leaving the SPCA a cat will still need annual vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, food, toys and emergency care. If you are adopting a kitten, you will be responsible for ensuring it receives its second inoculation at 12 weeks, and that it is spayed or neutered at six months. n Are you prepared to petproof your home? Remove dangerous materials, foods and plants, and See adoption, page 11

Inside this supplement Why you should consider adopting an animal from the SPCA Pages 1, 11 and 16 International Homeless Animals’ Day — Remembering the lost and abandoned Pages 2-3 How to keep your pet cool in the heat of a Bermuda summer Pages 4 and 14 Pet Pix 2013 contest: Winner of the Bermuda Sun Choice Award Page 6 Winner of essay contest Me & My Pet Page 7 Winner of the Hot Dog title Page 8 Winner of the Cool Cat title Page 9 Winner of Perfect Pet Page 10

Bermuda Sun 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton, Bermuda HM 10 Tel 295-3902 Fax 292-5597 E-mail This special supplement is produced and published by Bermuda Sun Limited and printed in Bermuda by Island Press Limited.

Publisher Randy French President Lisa Beauchamp Editorial Amanda Dale Layout Amanda Dale Advertising Sales Carlita Burgess (deputy advertising manager), Larissa French, Diane Gilbert, Claire James Creative Services Christina White, Colby Medeiros Circulation & Distribution Michelle Furbert

Meet Lady Mila — a pampered pet Pages 13 and 16 Don’t forget to pick up after your dog / Rules and regulations for pets on public beaches Page 14 How to prepare your pet for a hurricane Page 15

The Bermuda Sun publishes twice weekly and is a subsidiary of MediaHouse Limited. We are members of the Inland Press Association, International Newspaper Marketing Association and the Newspaper Association of America. We are located at: 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton HM 10; P.O. Box HM 1241, Hamilton HM FX Tel: 295-3902 Fax: 292-5597. Visit our website:

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n august 17 / International Homeless Animals’ Day

Remembering the lost and abandoned By Amanda Dale

Tomorrow around the world, communities will commemorate the needless deaths of thousands of animals. August 17 is International Homeless Animals’ Day — a time to remember the abandoned and stray animals without a loving home, many of whom have to be put to sleep. In the US, it is estimated up to three million healthy dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are euthanized every year due to ‘pet overpopulation’. International Homeless Animals’ Day was launched by the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) in the US, with the aim of raising awareness of overbreeding and its tragic consequences.

Vigils Since 1992, it has helped to organize candlelight vigils in countries around the world in commemoration of unloved and unwanted animals. Not only is this day a sombre and moving occasion for all communities, but it serves as a wake-up call to encourage pet owners to be more responsible, by discouraging unwanted breeding. Colleen Gedrich, ISAR programme coordinator, said: “This annual event is a form of educating the public on the desperate need for worldwide spay/neuter programmes, and to stop the senseless killing of millions of our beloved companion animals. “It is a day set aside (on the third Saturday of August) to shed light on the pet overpopulation epidemic and its simple solution: spay/neuter. “Events take place on a global scale. We have many dedicated vigil coordinators who put their heart and soul into their events each year.

n Photo courtesy of ISAR

poignant: At this overseas memorial, each candle signifies one stray or abandoned animal put to sleep. “We also welcome many new vigil coordinators to participate in International Homeless Animals’ Day. “They include members involved with humane societies, shelters, rescues, petfriendly businesses, veterinarians’ offices, concerned individuals, and so on. “So far this year, we have 18 US states and eight confirmed international observances, and this will grow. “In previous years, we have had international participation from locations including the Bahamas, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Panama, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the Virgin Islands, to name a few. “As a direct result of ISAR’s International Homeless Animals’ Day and candlelight vigils, countless shelter animals have found permanent loving homes, and equally countless numbers of pets are now spayed and neutered, saving millions of animals’ lives.” The candlelit vigils serve as a memorial to euthanized animals in the local community, and so serve to emphasize the tragedy of

pet overpopulation. Some humane societies and animal rescue centres also use the day to collect donations towards spay/ neuter programmes. Individual candles are lit for animals who have been put to sleep, with prayers, poems, readings and songs also performed. Some organizers also link pet collars or paper collars to form a chain around the venue, with each collar representing an animal killed that year. This creates a powerful image that reinforces the tragedy of unwanted dogs and cats killed because there are no homes for them. Ms Gedrich told the Bermuda Sun: “We have been in touch with groups from Bermuda, who have expressed interest in joining us for International Homeless Animals’ Day.” Animal charities such as the Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau (BFAB) say they are hoping to gather enough support from the general public to organize an event on the island for 2014. In the meantime, they are asking pet owners to ensure their animals are spayed or neutered to reduce over-

breeding in Bermuda. A BFAB spokeswoman said: “BFAB’s main aim is to spay/neuter feral cats in Bermuda. “Because of our climate, cat breeding can quickly get out of hand, with the season lasting all year round. “Because of the cost of neutering, not all cat caregivers have their cats neutered. Some delay neutering for various reasons and then end up with an unplanned litter. “Some people also believe that cats should have a litter of kittens before being neutered. They are then unable to find homes for all of them. “Unneutered homeless or abandoned cats, and cats who have a home but are not neutered, are all adding to the cat population in Bermuda. “The solution to this is BFAB’s early spay/neuter programme, which is supported by donations. This has reduced the number of cats born without a home or in a home which cannot support multiple cats, and the risks of starvation and disease.” She added: “Having legislation to further support neutering and microchipping would also be key in bringing about a major reduction in the number of homeless cats in Bermuda. “Please be a part of the solution and have your cat neutered and microchipped now. “Microchipping your pet cat helps people to find you if your cat becomes lost and appears as a stray, and therefore at risk. “BFAB, the SPCA and vets on the island have microchip readers to be able to check the animal’s ownership and then reunite the pet with its family. “Please microchip at the time of neutering. There is also a new Facebook page for ‘Bermuda Lost & Found Pets’ where you can post See homeless, page 3


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homeless: Spay or neuter your pet to reduce breeding Continued from page 2 pictures and information if you have lost or have found a pet.” She added: “Many cats are used to being fed from living with people, and so cannot live successfully without human support. Abandoning your family pet, thinking that he or she will be fine is not necessarily true. “Cats can starve or die of dehydration. Anyone leaving an animal in a location where there is no food or water is acting cruelly. “If you need advice, please contact the BFAB, SPCA, or a vet for information. “On Saturday, please celebrate the life of your pet who found a home with you and remember the homeless pets.” The spokeswoman added that increasing numbers of cats have been abandoned over the last couple of years, due to the recession.

“People are in dire straits financially, losing their jobs and homes, and this means they have to make very difficult decisions about their pets,” she said. “Sometimes this results in abandonment as they do not know what else to do.” She added: “BFAB is also aware that cats are being caught by irresponsible people and dumped in locations where there is no food or water. They are also being disposed of in inhumane ways, or taken to the vets for euthanasia.

Dumping “In June, someone told me that they had trapped cats and then had them euthanized. “Usually the people who do this do not consider that the cat may be a beloved companion and that the loss may cause great grief.” She added the BFAB does not put any stray, aban-

doned or feral cats to sleep. “BFAB only euthanizes animals with Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), very sick or injured cats.” Jeffrey Benevides, head animal warden of the Bermuda Government Department of Environmental Protection, said: “We do see the occasional dumping of unwanted animals in the parks and reserves, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and terrapins. “I would encourage the public to call the Animal Wardens section at the Department of Environmental Protection, so that the unwanted animals can be collected and if possible be rehomed. “We do not encounter homeless dogs, so there are none that have to be euthanized. Unwanted adoptable dogs are sent to the SPCA

where they can be rehomed. “We do not have any unwanted/homeless animals in our possession at this time. In the event that we have an adoptable animal, it is transferred to the SPCA for adoption.” In certain situations however, stray cats may have to be euthanized. One warden told the Bermuda Sun: “We do have strays we collect and who may have to be put to sleep because no one has claimed them.” n

For more information on ISAR see www.isaronline. org. For the BFAB’s spay/ neuter programme, see Check out ‘Bermuda Lost & Found Pets’ on Facebook or contact the Animal Wardens office on 239-2327 if you have lost a pet or found a stray/abandoned animal. The Bermuda SPCA can be contacted at 236-7333, or on 737-1108 for the emergency hotline.

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Staying cool in the dog days of summer

chemicals used in insect/ mosquito sprays, and away from citronella candles. If there is a firework display, make sure your dog is on a lead and cannot bolt.

By Amanda Dale

In the heat of a Bermuda summer, dog owners will often hear that familiar panting sound. As humans we may find August temperatures unbearably hot and sticky, but just imagine what it is like for your canine companion, who has to wear a fur coat on their back. This summer please remember to keep your hot dog cool in the house and when you’re out and about. The Bermuda SPCA offers the following safety tips.

Keep your dog groomed If you have a longer haired dog, brush their hair regularly to avoid tangles. Tangled hair can trap excess body heat and lead to overheating. The same advice also goes for cats.

Parasites Make sure your dog (or cat) is up to date with vaccinations and treatments, particularly fleas and heartworm. Heartworms are parasites transmitted by mosquitoes, and can be fatal to dogs and cats.

Heat and shade Keep any animal inside as much as possible. But if they have to go outside, keep a close eye on them. As the sun moves throughout the day, a patch of shade will not be shady for long, so don’t leave your pet outside for long periods of time. Animals overheat quickly. Never leave them alone out-

Car trouble

n istock photo

hydration: Make sure your dog has enough water. side during the hottest part of the day.

Water Ensure your pet always has clean, fresh, cool drinking water, preferably in a ‘tip-proof’ bowl.

Walking Try to take your dog for a walk in the early mornings and evenings, to avoid the day’s heat. Remember that asphalt or sand can reach scolding temperatures on their paws, so avoid walking on the road and stay in the shade. Take some water with you and a collapsible bowl. The SPCA also recommends: “Older dogs, smaller dogs and any breed with a shorter snout should not be walked during the day at all during the summer months.”

Exercise Off the leash, your dog

has the potential to overexert themselves in the summer heat. Use caution.

Swimming and boating If introducing your dog to the water, do it slowly and gradually. On a boat a dog should always wear a flotation device, such as a dog lifejacket. Don’t allow dogs to drink swimming pool water — the chlorine will upset their stomachs.

Beaches As tempting as it may be to take your dog to the beach to run and swim-off, remember that dogs in Bermuda are not allowed on public beaches from April 1 to October 31.

Barbecues Dogs may salivate around a barbecue but try not to feed them human treats. Keep pets away from the

It does not take long for a car to feel like an oven. If it’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit (F) outside, it will only take 10 minutes for the temperature to reach 100F inside. At 85F the temperature will reach 90F inside within five minutes, and if it’s 100F outside, it will only take 15 minutes for your car to hit 140F. Even with the windows left slightly rolled down, leaving your dog in a car can be fatal. If you have to park up, don’t take them along for the ride. It’s just not worth the risk.

Watch out for heatstroke Watch out for heavy panting, staring, an anxious expression, refusal to obey commands, a warm skin, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting or collapse. If your pet has any of these signs, try to stay calm and contact a vet immediately. Cool down your pet by placing cold wet towels on them to bring down their body temperature. Age, weight and breed are all factors in how quickly a dog can overheat. Remember that older dogs cannot regulate their body temperature as easily. Snub-nosed breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers and Shih Tzus cannot pant as efficiently. Overweight dogs will have extra layers of fat which store heat and can restrict breathing and regulation of body temperature., an online source of pet travel tips offers the following safety advice. Signs of heatstroke also include: rapid panting; a bright red tongue; thick, sticky saliva and diarrhoea. Move your pet into the See summer tips, page 14


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n bermuda sun choice award

Winner: Dennis and Lisa Whitehead, and their Red Eared Slider Turtles Red Eared Sliders

By Amanda Dale

The craze for these turtles as pets around the world exploded in the late-1980’s with the cartoon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. n The freshwater terrapin is native to the southern US and northern Mexico, but is an invasive species in many countries, due to people releasing them into the wild. n They can grow to eight inches long and live up to 30 years. n They are found in almost every freshwater or brackish pond in Bermuda, and will eat almost anything — including endemic species.



he winners of our Pet Pix 2013 Bermuda Sun Choice Award are Lisa and Dennis Whitehead. Mr and Mrs Whitehead, of Paget, own a ‘bale’ of unusual pets — seven Red Eared Slider Turtles. It all started with a couple of abandoned turtles, and now, several years later, the couple have a pond full in the garden of their home. Each turtle is a rescue animal which was either abandoned or found in the wild, and the Whiteheads have been doing their bit for the environment by taking them in. Mr Whitehead said: “Originally we heard someone was going to dump a couple of these creatures, and so we decided to look after them.

Eco-system “Then over the next few years, people just gave them to us. “I also found one walking across a road in Spanish Point about three years ago and took him home. “And then my wife found one during a KBB (Keep Bermuda Beautiful) cleanup. It just dropped out of a hedge as she brushed against it. “We didn’t think they were that good climbers, but they are extremely fast runners. “If you put one down and turn your back, you’d be surprised at how fast they can move; they can clip right along. “You have to be careful with these turtles because they bite and are very strong. “Although they are members of the terrapin family, they are in fact carnivores. “They are a nuisance in the wild because they eat anything. Because parts of Bermuda have such a delicate eco-system, if they are allowed to roam free they can upset the balance, and so they can do a lot of damage.”

n Photo by Nicola muirhead

rescue: Dennis and Lisa Whitehead with their pet turtles. The Whiteheads have named their turtles Honu (Hawaiian for ‘green sea turtle’), Ali (after Muhammad Ali), Gale, Stormy, Speedy, Gonzalez and Road Runner. “Honu is the largest and he’s my favourite,” said Mr Whitehead. “Road Runner is the second largest and is extremely quick, while Speedy is the smallest. “Stormy is very aggressive, he’s like a little fighter. If you have some food he will come to you first.” Mr Whitehead, an exterior decorator, said: “When we first got some of the turtles they were only about the size of a 50 cents piece, but now the largest one has a shell the size of a dinner plate. “You can buy Red Eared Slider Turtles for very little money at pet stores, but look out as they grow and grow, and they can be very aggressive. “When they are four or five years old especially,

they will nip you hard.” The turtles live in a pond at the back of the Whiteheads’ home, in a water enclosure. Mr Whitehead said: “They can’t get out of the pond as it’s too high. They are easy to look after as you just have to change the freshwater in the pond twice a week. “In terms of food, we give them reptile food. But it is expensive, at about $52 a bag, which lasts for two months. “As far as making good pets is concerned, a rabbit, cat or dog would make a better pet, but they are unusual and are low maintenance. “After a while they get used to you and will come and look for you. “They are also amazing to watch — it’s fun to see what they are going to do next, whether it’s running around or hiding.” Mr Whitehead said: “We like to think that by taking these creatures in, we have helped Bermuda’s environ-

ment in some way, as well as saving their lives. “Unfortunately people will dump them after getting them from pet shops, probably because they grow so large and start biting. Or perhaps their children just get bored or tired of them once the novelty wears off. “I don’t think pet stores should be bringing in these turtles to Bermuda, because once they grow big people will let them go in the wild, which is a big mistake. “The next thing you know, you will be missing certain species.” The Bermuda Sun Choice Award is not the first time the Whiteheads have won a prize through their pets. Earlier this year, the couple won a weekend in Puerto Rico after purchasing Purina Beneful dog food and entering a draw by wholesale distributors BGA. The Whiteheads’ dogs, Rusty and Gracie, are two German Shepherd/ Rottweiler crosses — rescue dogs from the SPCA. Mr Whitehead said Rusty and Gracie keep their distance from the turtles. “The dogs will move away when they come towards them, but always seem bemused by it all.” The Whiteheads were chosen from all of our Pet Pix 2013 entrants to win a cover shoot for this edition of the Animal Tales magazine. n


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n essay ‘me & my pet’

Winner: India Smith (age 11) and Nibbles Thumper Smith

The Bunny Project — why rabbits make great pets By India Smith


y rabbit is named Nibbles Thumper Smith. He has various nicknames but the one that we use the most is Nibbs. Nibbles is a calico rabbit, he weighs about eight pounds and has big long ears. He loves to be petted with your foot. While relaxing he will creep his head under your foot as if to say, ‘pet me please!’. He will literally let you pet him for hours. He also likes jumping around, nibbling on hard things and sleeping. Nibbles is two years old and is already 20 inches long.

Adorable We let him out of his cage every day for a little while so he can jump around the house. He is potty-trained so if he needs to go to the bathroom he will go back in his cage to use his potty, then jump back out. I also have another pet named Wasabi. He is a ginger and white male cat who is one years’ old. Nibbles and Wasabi love to play together, nose-kiss, and race up and down the stairs. Wasabi sometimes instigates fights with Nibbles when he is in his hunting mood. Wasabi will stalk Nibbles, sneak up on him, and then jump on Nibbles, which is

n Photo supplied

cool character: India Smith with ‘Nibbs’ and Wasabi. really funny. The great thing about Nibbles is that he lets me — and only me — hold him for as long as I want. I can even hold him upside down if I want to. Nibbles loves to give long wet kisses, licks, and loves to play. He is so cute that my mother and I created a song called, He’s the cutest little bunny in the world. It goes like this…

He’s my nibbles Oh, he’s my nibbles He’s the cutest little bunny in the world, yes he is. He’s the cutest little bunny He’s the cutest little bunny He’s the cutest little bunny in the world, yes he is. Nibbles is the best pet you could ever ask for. He is a

vegetarian, who eats lots of vegetables, fruits and pellets. I love taking him for walks on his leash. His favorite things to do on his walk are to eat grass, sit under a big shady tree and feel the nice cool breeze. When Nibbles is happy he loves to do a big binky. A binky is when a rabbit jumps around and kicks his hind legs up, super high, and jerk all around. It’s hilarious to watch. Nibbles looks adorable when he eats, yawns and licks his lips. I fall head over heels when he does it. Before I had Nibbles I was having a lot of trouble in school. My school and my mom were trying so hard to find ways to keep me busy so that I would stop getting into trouble. My therapist suggested getting me a pet and it worked. He helped me to be happy and now I have improved in school, at home and in my grades. I would recommend getting a bunny to anyone — they are great. n

Purina Essay ‘Me and My Pet’ Grand prize: Mini iPad from Purina/BGA Judges: Bermuda SPCA Prizes to be collected from the BDA Sun, MediaHouse, 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton.

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BDA Sun reADerS choice for

Purina Dog Chow: Hot Dog WINNER

Congratulations Daisy, the Purina Dog Chow Hot Dog for 2013! owned by chloe Baron Daisy wins a years worth of food from Purina Dog Chow, c/o BGA, 1 case per month

finALiSTS... Congratulations to the HOT finalists!

Franklin owned by Jacqui frith

Rusty owned by Linda Mello

Peanut owned by Kelsey Pearman


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BDA Sun reADerS choice for

Purina Friskies: Cool Cat WINNER

Congratulations Yazzy, the Purina Friskies Cool Cat for 2013! owned by Alison Murdoch-Smith Yazzy wins a years worth of food from Purina Friskies, c/o BGA, 1 case per month

finALiSTS... Congratulations to the COOL finalists!

Sirocco owned by JoAnn Bernard


Aria owned by JoAnn Bernard

Charlie owned by elizabeth Stewart


to our sponsors

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BDA Sun reADerS choice for

Animal House & Garden: Perfect WINNER

Congratulations Gizmo and Lightning, the Animal House & Garden Perfect Pet for 2013! owned by Lucas Summers Gizmo and Lightning win a gift certificate for Animal House & Garden

finALiSTS... Congratulations to the PERFECT finalists!

Hog Penny owned by Anne Powell

Mysty owned by Sedona-Sky Duffy

Clippy & Gio owned by Pippa Barritt


Animal tales: a special advertising supplement

adoption: Choosing an animal from the SPCA Continued from page 1 any unsafe hiding areas. Small mammals may chew wires and tapestries, so remove them out of the way. n Is your family/are your roommates ready for a pet? Do you have a baby who needs a lot of attention, or another pet who will be territorial? If you live with other people, make sure they are involved in the selection process, and make sure no one has allergies. Don’t make a quick decision — get to know the personalities and types of behaviour of the animals first, before you choose. The SPCA Animal Care staff can give you tips on how to feed and care for your pet. They also advise you get your pet’s living area set up before you take them home, to ease their acclimatization.

Environment Set aside an area in a room that is quiet, and set up the pet’s food, bed/cage, litter box, scratching post, chews and toys. It may also be worth initiating a routine for feeding, playing, walking, grooming and cleaning. Before you adopt an animal from the SPCA you need to fill out an Adoption Application form at the shelter, show your ID and

pay a nominal fee. Your landlord and/or roommates’ contact details may also be required to check they are willing to share the living space. The staff at the SPCA will then try to match you up with a suitable pet, according to your lifestyle and preferences. When it comes to dogs, the shortage of dogs on the island means there is a waiting list of people wanting to adopt. All dog applications also require a property check by the SPCA Inspector, to ensure your home environment is suitable for a canine. For example it must have a fenced-in yard/enclosure of at least 60 square feet — more for larger breeds. Each entrance must have a locking gate and the dog must have protection from the elements. A shaded area, waterproof dog house and ample drinking water are all important. A Government Animal Warden will also need to approve your property prior to adoption. The SPCA will not allow you to adopt a dog if you have been banned by the courts from owning animals, or if you intend to keep the dog outside in a kennel. The SPCA believes dogs should be a part of the family. It will also not allow

n Photo supplied

affectionate: Billie, a two-year-old neutered ginger tom (male), is just one of the beautiful cats available at the SPCA.

someone adopt if their work/life schedule does not have enough exercise and human interaction time. Dogs that come into the shelter are also matched up with suitable owners. For example, are they good with small children? Do they get along with other animals? If a dog is on a Restricted or Prohibited Breeds list then it must be previously licensed by Government in order for an adoption to take place.

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Restricted Breeds also have conditions that must be met by the owner, as directed by Government Animal Wardens. At the Bermuda SPCA, you can come in and adopt a cat on the same day, but a dog application will take longer. Sara Corday, development and volunteer coordinator, said: “We don’t get dogs that often. When we do they are See adoption, page 16

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Meet Lady Mila — a pampered pet By Amanda Dale

We all spoil our pets to some degree. After all, they are members of the family. But how far would you go beyond the basic needs of food, love and shelter? Rhonda Pereira, the owner of a two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, admits she has a “pampered pet”. Lady Mila was a birthday gift from a friend and arrived at LF Wade International Airport from the UK, aged 10 weeks old. It was “love at first sight” when Ms Pereira saw the “tiny little round ball of fur”. And ever since then, she has showered her with affection.

n Photo by nicola muirhead


chic: Rhonda Pereira with her beloved Yorkie, Lady Mila.

Ms Pereira has owned pets throughout her life, since she was a child, but describes her Yorkie as akin to “a child”. “I’ve owned anything from a mouse to a German Shepherd; I’ve had cats, a Fox Terrier, guinea pigs and even a rat,” said Ms Pereira. “But Lady Mila is more spoilt. She is literally like a child.” Although Ms Pereira’s house in Warwick is also home to Skyla, a Calico short-hair cat, the two animals are “perfect friends”.

Ms Pereira, a seamstress, enjoys making clothes for Lady Mila and even buys bows for her hair. “When I found out she was a girl I went out and bought dresses and bows for her. I treat all my animals like the precious things they are, but I dress her up more than the others because she is tinier. “I can sit at the sewing machine and create anything I want, and it doesn’t take very long. She doesn’t mind sitting there and getting dressed.” If anything, Lady Mila

seems to like showing off her new outfits when she walks down the street. “She is pert and has a little swig (swagger) to her,” said Ms Pereira. “When she is wearing her outfits her head pops up a bit higher, so I guess she is showing off, being pert. “Passers-by will say, ‘Oh that’s a girl, that’s definitely a girl!’ “And she loves children. If she hears a child’s voice she will go up to them and play with them. “The little girls in the neighbourhood love her out-

fits. One of them keeps asking me, ‘Where’s mine?’ “Lady Mila was a black and tan puppy but is grey in colour now. She doesn’t have the straight hair a lot of Yorkies have; hers is all curled up. “She’s also not a ‘yappy’ dog, she’s fairly quiet. But she’s very sociable. “Even when she goes to the vets (Ettrick Animal Hospital), she pulls me through the door. She’s not like one of those dogs that don’t want to go in. “People like her because she’s quiet and doesn’t bark a lot. She will go up to anyone to get a pet and will lick their hand. “Everyone thinks she’s really cute. She goes up to them and is like, ‘Who are you? Speak to me’. Ms Pereira said her personal favourite outfits for Lady Mila are a red and white crocheted dress that she wears on Valentine’s Day, and a green outfit with tulle skirt and green pants worn at Christmas. “I’ve got a lot of material sitting by my sewing machine, just waiting for me to put something new together,” she added. “I have to make her a raincoat soon as she doesn’t like to get wet when it’s raining. See pampered, page 16

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summer tips Continued from page 4 shade and apply cool (not cold) water over their body. Apply ice packs or cool towels to their head, neck and chest, and let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Then take the dog to the nearest vet.

Cool techniques Take an umbrella if you’re out and about to provide shade, plus lots of fresh, cool water. Don’t forget a towel. Water can also be used in a spray bottle to spray the dog down and cool its temperature. It can also be used to clean sand and saltwater from a dog’s paws, thus preventing irritation and dried out sensitive paws.

Animal tales: a special advertising supplement

Respect others Wherever you go, respect others and follow public safety rules. Don’t let your dog out of your sight, and do remember to clean up. The American Kennel Club also offers summer tips for dogs. n Don’t let a dog drink sea or saltwater. Excessive sodium can make them sick. Put some ice cubes in your cooler as a treat. n Don’t forget the sunscreen. See online for sunscreen made for canines. Hairless and light-skinned dogs are more susceptible to sunburn. n Rinse your dog off. Salt and sand can irritate your dog’s coat, so rinse them off after playing. n

For more advice see, or

Don’t forget to clean up... It’s an offence to not pick up after your dog, and in the heat of summer this can also cause more of a health hazard to passers-by. Jeffrey Benevides, head animal warden for the Department of Environmental Protection, said: “It is an offence to allow your dog to defecate on public property. But most people do clean up after their dog. “People used to walk their dogs by the roadside and


not pick up but you don’t see that much anymore. It’s a changing of the mindset.” The Dogs Act 2008 stipulates a fine of $50 for the soiling of property, when a dog “deposits faeces on property other than property of the keeper and the person fails to collect the faeces and dispose of it in a reasonable manner”. n

Contact the Department of Environmental Protection on 236-4201 for more info.

n file photo

happy days: Your dog or horse may love the beach, but check the Department of Parks’ regulations on access first.

Pets on public beaches The Bermuda National Parks Regulations 1988 state that: n No dog can be taken onto a public beach in a protected area (eg. national park under the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986) from April 1 until October 31. From November 1 to March 31, dogs are allowed on public beaches but must be on a leash at all times. n Dogs are not allowed in the main show ring of the Botanical Gardens or access to Coopers Island Nature Reserve. n Horses are not allowed on Horseshoe Bay, John Smith’s Bay and Elbow Beach from November 1 until April 30, but are allowed on all other public

beaches below the high water mark at any time. n From May 1 to October 31, horses are not allowed on Horseshoe Bay, John Smith’s Bay, Elbow Beach and Shelly Bay, but can go on to all other public beaches below the high water mark, between 5am and 8am. n In national parks, horses must stay on designated roadways and trails. Riders must also ride at under 15km per hour and ensure their horse is bridled. When passing members of the public, the horse must be restricted to a slow walk. n

For more information contact the Department of Parks on 236-5902.


Animal tales: a special advertising supplement

August 16, 2013 n 15

How to prepare your pet for a hurricane collar with its identification in clear view at all times.

By Amanda Dale

September is a time to take extra-special care of your pet as hurricanes loom on the horizon. This is traditionally the month when Bermuda is most likely to be affected by tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic basin. Howling winds and crashing debris can be very frightening for animals — big or small — and the humidity from such a storm can be stifling. Although it has been 10 years since Bermuda was hit by a major hurricane (the Category 3 Fabian in September 2003), there have been plenty of near misses since. This year, hurricane forecasters are predicting a more active season than normal, so islanders can’t afford to be complacent. Don’t let your guard down — as we go into September, make sure your pet is prepared for the eventuality of a storm. The best time to start your preparations however, is now. Sometimes tropical systems can creep up on us in August, and the same is also true during October and November. Despite forecasters’ predictions, you should also treat each year as an ‘active’ hurricane season and pre-

Health Make sure all your animal’s inoculations are current. You should ensure a two-week supply of medicine if your pet takes regular, daily medication.

Carriers Write your name, pet’s name and their microchip number on their carrier. n file photo

emergency supplies: Ensure your pet also has everything it needs to ride the storm through safely. pare accordingly. It only takes one storm to affect Bermuda and for lives and property to be put at risk. Bearing this in mind, please follow these tips from the Bermuda SPCA to prepare you and your pet for a hurricane. Before any storm, it’s best to take the following precautions.

Microchip your pet If you get separated or your pet bolts outside in fear, hopefully it will be found and you will be reunited. Keep an up-to-date photo of your pet in your wallet or phone.

Arrange a safe haven If you are close to the

shoreline or an area prone to tornadoes or waterspouts, have a list of safe locations you could take your pet to in the event of evacuation.

Pet hurricane kit As well as a safety kit for your family, it’s important to prepare one for your pet too. See the sidebar below.

Petsitter/caregiver Designate someone to step in to look after your pet if you need to leave the house or are overseas. This could be a family member or neighbour, with access to a spare key.

Collars Your pet should wear its

Emergency items Ensure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlight with spare batteries, a fully charged cellphone, bottled water, cash, gas and medications ready.

Do’s n Bring your pet indoors — do not set them free or leave them outside. n Prepare a two-week supply of food and water — even after the storm, it may take a while for supplies to resume to the island. n Set up a ‘bathroom’ area for your animal(s). n Familiarize/get your pet used to going into its carrier, before the storm hits. If you are moving pet birds then cover the cage with a sheet or blanket. n

For more information see

Hurricane kit for animals Useful contact numbers Pet carrier. Two weeks’ supply of food (preferably wet food, with a pop-top). n One to two weeks’ supply of medication (dosage information should be kept in a waterproof container). n Collapsible food and water bowls. n Plenty of bottled water. n A list of your pet’s identifying features and an upto-date photo. n Microchip information. n Your emergency contact information. n Your pet’s contact inforn n

mation — details of its vet, petsitter/caregiver, etc. n Extra collar and leash. n Vaccination and medical records (in a waterproof container). n Cat litter box and litter. n Newspaper and paper towels for mop-up. n Plastic bags for waste disposal. n Mild soap and disinfectant. n A flashlight with extra batteries. n Pet beds and toys. n

n Check the storm’s development at the Bermuda Sun website at n Get the latest updates on the Bermuda Weather Service website at www. n The Emergency Broadcast Station is on FM 100.1 MHz. n Emergency Measures Organization (EMO): 2950011. n Ambulance, fire and police emergency services: 911. n BELCO: 955.

n BTC: 611. n Department

of Works and Engineering: 295-5151. n Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre (Harbour Radio): 297-1010. n Bermuda SPCA animal emergency number: 7371108. n Government Animal Wardens: 239-2327. n Endsmeet Animal Hospital: 236-3292. n Ettrick Animal Hospital: 236-0007. n Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau: 291-1737. n

16 n August 16, 2013

Animal tales: a special advertising supplement

pampered: ‘She certainly has expensive tastes’ Continued from page 13 “I don’t do costumes but I will put on her dresses and put her hair up in a bow.” As for Lady Mila, Ms Pereira believes her Yorkie’s favourite outfit is a denim jacket with a daisy on the back. “It’s a bit too small for her now because she’s grown, but it was the first thing I made for her and so she wore it a lot,” said Ms Pereira. “I made it so that the leash could hook right onto it, rather than her wearing a separate harness or collar.” Lady Mila also has her own collar in pink with her name spelt out in rhinestones. At home her food

and drink bowls are ordinary stainless steel and she eats regular dog treats. However, she expensive taste when it comes to her food. “She doesn’t like regular dog food, she likes people food more,” said Ms Pereira.

Toe polish “At dinner, she gets anything from hamburger to chicken and vegetables. “She certainly has expensive tastes, because regular dog food would be cheaper. “She also goes to the beauty parlour more than I do,” she added. Lady Mila attends SnipPets each fortnight for “the full works”. This includes a shampoo,

conditioner and blow dry, hair trim and toes. “She also has her toes done. Not as in clipped, but as in polished,” said Ms Pereira. “We usually choose feminine colours, so no blues or greens, but reds and pinks. “She just sits there and lets you do whatever. “I like spoiling her. Animals rely on their owners to take care of them and if I was a dog I’d want someone to take care of me too. “I love Lady Mila like a child. My immediate family has all passed away so it’s just me and cat and dog. “Lady Mila is a very good company. We watch TV together, we go out in the yard to play together, and when it’s time for bed she

adoption Continued from page 11 usually owner-surrendered, because the person is leaving or perhaps can no longer take care of them. “With any dog, we work with different trainers on the island to make sure they are good canine citizens, that they are obedient and can walk and do recall. “Each of our animals at the SPCA is well looked after. And once an adoption takes place we will call the ‘adopters’ a month later to see how they are doing and to ask them to send a photo of the pet so we can see how they are.

Personalities “We would encourage anyone to adopt a pet from the SPCA. It’s giving these animals a second chance and a ‘forever home’, as we say. “Some may have been abandoned and some may always have been strays but it gives them another shot at a happy life. “These are the community’s animals and are just temporary residents at the shelter, so we hope each one of them will eventually find a home.” Kittens tend to be adopted

‘We would encourage anyone to adopt a pet from the SPCA. It’s giving these animals a second chance and a “forever home”... ’ sara corday SPCA development and volunteer coordinator

quickly but the shelter currently has 13 adult cats aged between one and five looking for a home. “We have calico cats, gingers, tabbies and black cats; a real variety,” she said. “We also get ‘tuxedo’ cats, with white chests and white paws. “They all have different personalities. Some are shy whereas others just want to play, but most of them get along well.” Miss Corday said the shelter gets a mix of stray and domesticated cats. The kittens have pens and a small playroom whereas the adult cats are free to roam in their own playroom. Volunteers come in every day to help socialize the

cats, groom and play with them. “Some are strays but most are adult cats who have been surrendered by their owners. This is usually when someone has to leave the island or is moving to another apartment that won’t take pets,” said Miss Corday. “It’s usually due to economic circumstances, and we’ve seen that happening a lot more in the last few years. “With the stray cats, people usually call us if they spot one or they’ll bring in the cat themselves, particularly if it’s a mother and her litter. It’s always best to keep a mother and kittens together.


sleeps on the bed with me. “Between her and the cat they have one half of the bed, and I get the other.” Ms Pereira said anyone considering getting a pet should first of all consider whether they can afford to keep it, and secondly, “whether it’s something they can handle”. As for dressing them up, there are clothing websites online, but you should first of all consider whether your pet is comfortable with wearing any apparel. “If you have to force your dog to be put in something, then don’t put it on them because this means they don’t want to wear the item of clothing,” said Ms Pereira. n

“Sometimes, if someone hasn’t had their cat spayed, they will end up bringing in litters of kittens because they don’t know what to do with them. “With any stray animal, we will hold them here first for four days in case anyone claims them. After that we put them up for adoption.” The Bermuda SPCA’s website and Facebook page feature animals currently available, as well as stories of pets finding loving homes. The adoption fees are: $100 for kittens/cats underthree years old; $50 for cats over-three; $250 for dogs; and $450 for a puppy under six months old. Cats older than six are free. Bring a carrier with you; alternatively, cardboard carriers cost $15. n

Bermuda SPCA, 32 Valley Road, Paget, is open for adoptions from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-4pm. Contact 236-7333 or see or the charity’s Facebook page. Before adopting a dog, contact the Bermuda Dog Training Club at, Animal Wardens at animals@gov. bm and the Department of Planning at www.planning. for advice.

Keep pets safe during a storm. Just as we care for ourselves differently at different times of the year, we should be sensitive to our pet’s needs during hurricanes. Visit us on the web to learn more.

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