Helping Kalamazoo’s Neediest

The Kalamazoo Humane Society will be taking the Pet Food Bank to the Mothers Of Hope Ultimate Family Reunion and we need your help to make the biggest impact!


For the second year, KHS will be attending the Mothers of Hope Ultimate Family Reunion at LaCrone Park in Kalamazoo’s Northside neighborhood on Saturday, August 5th.  We knew this event was important for our community, but I didn’t realize just how important until I was there.

The Ultimate Family Reunion had organizations and businesses from all over Kalamazoo helping those in our community that need it most.  There were free haircuts for kids, school bags and school supplies to be handed out and a lot of information about services for families who are struggling.  It was a very positive environment with entertainment, food and activities.

Not knowing what to expect, I brought all of our leftover Dog Walk t-shirts from previous years, pencils and information about our Pet Food Bank and Operation Fix-It.  We had a few hundred t-shirts to give away and I couldn’t believe we ran out before the event was half over.

In the crowd were a lot of homeless citizens who were happy for a new clean shirt to wear.  I remember when we were down to the last shirt, a small boy who couldn’t have been more than 8-10 years old asked me if he could have a shirt.  The only shirt I had left as an Adult 2X so I told him it was too big, and that I was out of kid shirts.  He looked at me, and the shirt I was holding up, and said that he would still wear it, and that he could tuck it in.  I knew then that he needed this shirt, even if it was going to be way too big.  I handed it to him, and he thanked me with excellent manners.

There were so many kids at this event with their families that all needed things.  Things for school, things to wear, things to eat, things to do, things for their pets.  When I was driving away, I saw a family who had just left the event walking down the street, all wearing new KHS Dog Walk t-shirts.  Having two young boys of my own I was deeply effected by the kids I met at this event and the need of the people who came to the Ultimate Family Reunion.

For 2017, to be able to offer even more help, we’re planning to bring our Pet Food Bank so that we can distribute food for pets while we’re there.  We’ll be taking sign-ups for the food bank program on-site and helping as many as we can while supplies last.  Based on my experience last year, I know we’ll be giving out a lot of pet food and supplies to people who truly need a helping hand.

This is where we need your help!  Anyone who has pet items, or who can donate pet food, cat litter and pet supplies is strongly encouraged to bring items to our office by Thursday, August 3rd.  I’ll be loading up the KHS van on Friday to get ready for the event on Saturday.

Any items in new or used and good condition will be accepted, especially leashes, collars, harnesses, brushes, nail clippers or other basic pet supplies for cats and dogs.  Donations of small bags of food (5-7 lb bags work great), cat litter, canned food or treats would also be appreciated.

These donations will be driven directly to LaCrone Park on Saturday, August 5th, to help some of the most impoverished pet owners in Kalamazoo.  Thank you for your help!

Tips For Fun, Safe Summer Travel With Your Dog

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By Kaitlyn Manktelow @Kurgo, the dog travel experts

With the beautiful weather outside, it seems almost a crime for you and your favorite canine to stay inside, instead of enjoying the sunshine together. While it seems pretty easy to just pack up and hit the road with your furry friend, there are some hidden dangers to traveling with a dog that you may not be aware of. Here are some safety tips to ensure both parties have a safe and fun time!

Keep Arms & Legs & Paws Inside at All Times

We know your dog loves to stick his head out the window. While it may seem like an innocent and ‘cute’ thing to allow your pooch to do, it is actually incredibly unsafe.

As human beings, we have a windshield to protect our eyes from different traveling dangers. Hanging with their heads out the window, leaves our four-legged friend’s eyes vulnerable to being hit by foreign objects like rocks, twigs and other forms of debris. The cornea of a dog’s eye is very sensitive and hard to repair if damaged. It also exposes their lungs to breathing in toxic fumes which can cause pneumonia.

Even worse, an unrestrained dog with its head out the window can jump out of a moving car. If a car swerves or is involved with a collision, your pup can be thrown out the window. The severity of these injuries can be anywhere from road rash, to broken bones to even fatal injuries.

Everyone Two-legged and Four, Should Be Buckled Up

Most of us put on a seatbelt in the car without giving it a second thought. We make sure that all human passengers are strapped in, but what about our animal family members?

In addition to being injured in a crash, a loose pet can also be a possible hazard for human passengers in an accident. An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of force on anything it hits, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert about 2400 pounds of force.

A loose dog can also limit a driver’s ability to steer, use the gas and brakes as well as create blind spots.

One car safety solution is to use a dog seat belt with a crash-tested dog car harness. Now your dog is safely buckled up just like you.

Click it or ticket – did you know there are laws being put into place in the United States and across the globe making it illegal to drive with a loose pet?

Bring A ‘Pet-Friendly’ Travel Kit

When humans travel, we have our go-to items like a water bottle, favorite snack or comfy sweatpants. Make your pet more comfortable on the trip by bringing them creature comforts too. Hydration is important in the summer, so be sure to throw in water for your dog and a portable dog travel bowl. Some dogs have anxiety so giving them something that smells like home such as a favorite toy or blanket can ease their fears. And of course snacks. Treats can be an easy way to coax a reluctant dog back in the car after a rest stop break.

Never, Ever Leave Your Pup Alone in the Car

A dog should never be left in an unattended car, no matter the season. However, in summer heat, it is even more important considering that on an 85 degree day, car temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees within 10 minutes even with the windows open!

For more tips, check out this Pet Travel Safety Tips Video.

About Kaitlyn Manktelow – Kaitlyn is a writer and videographer for Kurgo, a dog travel and outdoor products company. She enjoys filming, traveling, and singing way too loud with her rescue dog Samuel Jackson.

Tips for Bonding with a New Pet for First-Time Owners

Pet Bonding Photo

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

One of the main reasons we, as humans, decide to adopt a new pet is so that we can have a new companion in our lives. We don’t just want to open up a dog or cat hotel – we want an intimate bond with our pets. For first-time pet owners, knowing how to create a strong bond can be difficult. Sometimes it comes easy, and sometimes it’s not so simple. Here are some tips to ensure you and your new pet bond.

Start training your dog immediately

Whether you’re adopting an older dog or getting a puppy, it’s vital that you begin to train them as soon as they step foot into their new home. Dogs prefer structure and purpose, and an untrained dog is not just a pain – it’s an unhappy dog. When your dog is properly trained, you can spend more time enjoying each other’s company and less time trying to correct/discipline bad behaviors.

“Well-trained dogs are allowed greater freedom. If they come when called, they get to spend more time off leash. If they don’t go for the food on the table, they can stay nearby during meals. Training also reduces frustration because when you ask your dog to do something he’s been taught to do, he knows what you want,” says TheBark.com.

Always remain calm

Dogs and cats pick up on your energy, and if you are angry, nervous, or stressed out around them, they’re going to know it. It’s important to always be calm when dealing with your new pet – even if they’ve just eaten through your favorite pair of jeans or broken your grandma’s favorite vase.

The quickest ways to damage the bond between you and your pet is to be aggressive – physically or emotionally. And this sort of damage is very hard to reverse. Dogs have a hard time recovering from fear.

Be generous with the praise

“Praising your dog is a super easy way to let him know that you appreciate his good behavior, which will encourage him to continue making the right decisions. There are endless daily opportunities to give your dog positive feedback,” says PetMD.

You don’t have to give your dog treats every time they do anything good, a nice pat on the head, belly rub, and “atta boy” will do just fine. But it’s important that you always acknowledge good behavior, instead of just reacting to bad behavior. Physical contact is one of the best ways to bond with your new pet.

Spend lots of time with them

This may sound like a no brainer, but with cats and dogs alike, the most important way to develop a strong bond is to spend a lot of time together. Some people mistakenly think that pets are mostly solitary creatures who can spend a lot of time alone, and just a few interactions a day is enough to make them happy. If you want a strong bond, however, you have to do things together. If you work long days or your job requires you to be gone during the night or on lengthy business trips, you may need to make considerations for your pet to get some attention and exercise. You can seek out a local dog walking service, for instance. Or you can have a friend come over and play with your new pet when you’re not around.

The main ways in which you can create a stronger bond with your new pet are to give it plenty of attention, train it to the best of your ability, always stay calm and never be mean or aggressive, and be overly generous with the praise. If you start with those steps, you’ll be well on your way to forming a rewarding friendship with your new animal pal.

 

 

KHS Blog Authors

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