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.

 

 

Press Release: KHS announces $4.75 mil capital campaign for new facility; $3 mil already raised

PRESS RELEASE

proposal

June 13, 2017
MEDIA CONTACT:
Aaron Winters, Executive Director
Kalamazoo Humane Society
269-345-1181 / awinters@kazoohumane.org

$4.75 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
TO CREATE CRUCIAL CARE AND RESOURCE CENTER FOR ANIMALS

Kalamazoo Humane Society Kicks Off Fundraiser for New Facility
Expanding Spay/Neuter Services, Education, Support Services

KALAMAZOO, Michigan—The Kalamazoo Humane Society’s new animal care and resource facility edged closer to reality today as the Kalamazoo Humane Society (KHS) announced it had raised $3 million toward a goal of $4.75 million and invited the community to help finish the task.

KHS kicked off the public portion of its capital campaign at a news conference in downtown Kalamazoo, surrounded by supporters, local dignitaries and a few pets.
“The amazingly generous response we’ve seen in the early part of our capital campaign shows what I’ve always known, that this community loves, cares for and wants to protect its animals,” said Aaron Winters, Executive Director of KHS.

Robert Cinabro and Colleen Killen-Roberts, co-chairs of the Compassion/Prevention/Results Campaign, shared Winters’ enthusiasm.

“The Kalamazoo Humane Society’s campaign began with a simple goal: to fund an animal care and resource center to tackle increased demand for access to services that help not only reduce the number of unwanted pets in shelters and on the streets but also help keep pets safe and in their own homes,” said Cinabro. “Thanks to the vision and commitment of 140 donors to date, we’ve made outstanding progress toward that goal.”

“The specific needs of the Kalamazoo community may have changed over 120 years, but the Kalamazoo Humane Society has remained committed to protecting the vulnerable since 1897,” added Killen-Roberts. “This new animal care and resource center, which expands the Humane Society’s crucial medical, education and support services, is the next step in advancing our identity as a compassionate community. Now we’re asking the rest of the community to take us over the finish line in this important campaign.”
The new facility will be located in Comstock Township at River Street and the I-94 Business Loop. It will replace the Humane Society’s current home, which is a converted bridal shop. Winters said the center will expand KHS’s low-cost spay and neuter services to reduce unwanted litters, increase access to its emergency pet food bank and other services for pet owners in crisis, and provide humane education activities to promote responsible treatment of animals.

Operation Fix-It, KHS’s spay and neuter program, has exceeded 60,000 procedures since 2002, which correlates to dramatic reductions in the number of animals housed in the shelter operated by Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement. Reportedly, in 2015 no dogs were euthanized for lack of space—a result attributed to Operation Fix-It.
The new animal care and resource center will increase the scope of Operation Fix-It, according to Winters.

“When complete, our new home will allow us to grow programs that reduce the number of shelter animals through education and access to medical services and assistance,” Winters said.

Construction of the animal care and resource center should begin by spring 2018.
The Kalamazoo Humane Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, meaning gifts are tax-deductible. Individuals and groups wishing to support the Compassion/Prevention/Results Campaign may do so in any of the following ways:

• A one-time cash gift
• A multi-year pledge commitment that can be paid over three years
• A gift of appreciated assets, such as stocks
• A donation of an asset that can be converted to cash, such as property, a car, collectibles, etc.
• An estate gift

More information about the Kalamazoo Humane Society and the Animal Care and Resource Center, including an informational video, is available online at www.kazoohumane.org/campaign

About the Kalamazoo Humane Society
Founded in 1897, the Kalamazoo Humane Society provides humane education, pet population control and emergency response services to pets and pet owners throughout Kalamazoo County and many under-served Southwest Michigan communities. Find out more at http://www.kazoohumane.org, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Bills 413, 414 and 416 need your support! #protectMIanimals

DSC_0015In 2012 as an Animal Services Officer I reached out to the Humane Society of the United States to help me investigate dog fighting here in Kalamazoo.  With limited resources and training, I knew I needed help and the HSUS stepped in and gave myself and my department all the tools we needed to go after the big names on my list.  The HSUS invested $250,000 into investigating and prosecuting dog fighting here in Kalamazoo.  The 2012 string of dog fighting raids was a success because of the help of the experts and generous donors of the HSUS.

Michigan has some of the best laws out there to protect animals from fighting and abuse, but it lacks in the ability to punish people who break these laws.  Time and time again we have watched dog fighters in Kalamazoo, Detroit, and all over the state get away with minor penalties for felony offenses, and as a result they pick up where they left off and get more dogs to continue.

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It’s important to know that for people who are fighting dogs, this blood sport is a business, a way of life, and an addiction.  It isn’t something they’ll give up without a compelling reason.  A 1-30 day sentence to jail is worth it, because the rewards greatly outweigh the risks.

This game of cat and mouse between law enforcement and dog fighters is maddening, because even though law enforcement may “win” in a legal sense, the offender knows that nothing has really changed, and they can continue as soon as probation is over.  In the end, with these cases taking months to years to properly investigate and prosecute, it’s hard to justify the effort.  The only silver lining is knowing that the dogs we were able to rescue would never know that kind of life again.  Getting the dogs out was the only thing that made it worth the time.

dog3After watching Kelvin Thomas receive a slap on the wrist for his 3rd dog fighting offense, we knew something had to change.  Our system was broken and needed fixing.  Public outrage over the sentencing of Kelvin Thomas made it clear that it was time to take this problem to the next level.

Again, we reached out to our friends at the HSUS and we began working to make changes to the current laws.  Senator Margaret O’Brien sponsored these changes that would eventually become bills 413 and 414, and would create mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders.

Yesterday I was able to sit in on a hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee regarding bills 413 and 414.  The bills passed the Senate unanimously and will continue to move through the legislative process.  We hope to have these bills written into the law before the end of 2017 but it could be 2018.

Also introduced was bill 416.  Currently, if a humane agency is in custody of a dog that is known to be bred or trained for fighting purposes, it is illegal to adopt those dogs.  This goes for puppies, dogs that will not fight and breeding females.  In many cases the outcome is euthanasia after spending weeks to months in an animal shelter, as there is no place for these dogs to go unless an out of state agency is able to take them on.  Bill 416 would allow humane agencies the ability to adopt out dogs that can safely re-homed.  This bill would give the animal victims of dog fighting a chance at a better life, and a chance to become a pet.  It is no fault of the dog that they have found themselves in the hands of a dog fighter.  Together, bills 413, 414 and 416 make the necessary changes to our existing laws that allow humane law enforcement officers and court workers to effectively manage dog fighters and their animal victims in the aftermath of an investigation.

These bills can be supported individually or together.  This is the time to make it clear to our legislators that there is public support for these changes.  Please contact your legislator by writing a letter or an email, and express your support for bills 413/414 and 416.

All 3 bills (413, 414 and 416) were passed 4-0 with no objections with a recommendation to be immediately effective.  The video below is the recording of that Judiciary Committee hearing at 3:00PM June 6th, 2017.  413, 414 and 416 can be seen from the beginning of the video until 21:08, and voting begins at 44:40.

https://misenate.viebit.com/vod/?v=bshLUsD22WjV&s=false

Resources:

A Citizens Guide to State Government (2017; Michigan) – This PDF file includes all the information you would need to contact your legislator, and also outlines the process these bills are subject to.

Bill 413 – Details and PDF download of Bill 413

Bill 414 – Details and PDF download of Bill 414

Bill 416 – Details and PDF download of Bill 416

Dogfighting in Kalamazoo:

Marvis Blanks, 2012
HSUS Coverage of 2012 Collaberation
Leonard Turner, 2012
August 2012, Leonard Turner and Kelvin Thomas

Local UAW 2093 Annual Poker Run to benefit the Kalamazoo Humane Society

The Local UAW 2093 Annual Poker Run will be July 16th, 2017!  Pre-register thru June 29th for just $25, which includes the event shirt and after ride meal, soda and water (feel free to bring your own beverages)!  Music provided by the Nicky Platinum Band.

Proceeds will be used to purchase items for the St. Joseph County Animal Control and the Kalamazoo Humane Society.  Feel free to bring extra donations of dog and cat food, flea and tick medication, blankets, cat litter, paper towels, leashes or other pet supplies.

$150 – Best Hand
$50 – Worst Hand
50/50 Drawing
Door Prizes!

Click here for registration form –>
http://www.kazoohumane.org/pdf/pokerrun2017.pdf

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Poets Unleashed benefit at Meadow Run Dog Park

Find the event on facebook here –>
https://www.facebook.com/events/1152805721515501


Join us Wednesday, May 31st at 6:30pm for a dog-friendly poetry reading and book signing at Meadow Run Dog Park!

The Kalamazoo Poetry Festival and the Kalamazoo Humane Society present a reading celebrating poetry and animals. Michigan News Agency will sell books by the poets after the event, and a portion of the proceeds of the sale of “To Unsnare Time’s Warp: Stories and Poems About Dogs” will be donated to the Kalamazoo Humane Society.

Well behaved dogs on leash are welcome! This event is FREE and open to the public.

Poets reading at this event include:
Kit Almy
Margaret DeRitter
Kathleen McGookey
Mark Nepo
Jennifer Clark
Elizabeth Kerlikowske
Gail Martin
Lynn Pattison

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Menards hosts May pet supply drive

Throughout the month of May, Menards is hosting a pet supply drive for the Kalamazoo Humane Society.  Donations of pet supplies can be purchased at thee Menards on West Main or Gull Road in Kalamazoo, MI, and then left at the store to be donated to KHS at the end of May.

Supplies in high-demand include dog and cat food (wet and dry), cat litter, treats and pet grooming products.  Other items needed include bleach, zip top baggies, disinfectant wipes, laundry soap, antibacterial hand soap and paper towels.  We can also large items such as crates and dog houses.

Thank you, Menards for hosting this amazing pet supply drive!  Your participating local Menards can be found here:

Menards on West Main
Address: 6800 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: (269) 544-1461

Menards on Gull Road
Address: 5300 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

See you at the Women’s Expo!

As I type this there are a million things I SHOULD be doing right now, but before I go set up at the Women’s Expo I wanted to give you all one last reminder that we’ll be there selling beer and wine tickets for samples and full pours of some amazing brews and wines!

All proceeds benefit KHS, which helps animals, which makes Kalamazoo an even better place to live!  Please don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!  How many times in your life can you actually say that you drank to help animals?  But seriously…

The Women’s Expo is Friday, 12-6 and Saturday, 9-4 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center at 2900 Lake St, Kalamazoo MI  49048.

Register for the Dog Walk while you’re there!  Just $20 – if you can’t make it, register online at http://www.kazoohumane.org/dogwalk

See you there!

PS – BIG Dog Walk updates coming next week!  I have so many things I’m dying to tell you but we need to get through the Women’s Expo first!

Dog surgery scheduled booked through April!

Our dog schedule is completely full through the end of April!  We’re still taking appointments for cats, but we’ve temporarily closed registration for dogs.

We plan to resume scheduling of dogs on April 1st, when the May schedule will be ready.  The $20 Fix-A-Pit promotion will still be available at that time.

Thanks for being such amazing dog owners!

Dog license renewals due March 1!

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In Michigan, all dogs 4 months of age and older are required to be licensed in the county you reside.  If you have just acquired your dog, you have 30 days to license it.  If your puppy is less than 4 months old, you have until it is 4 months old to license it.

College Students with Dogs

Did you bring your dog with you to school?  You too, must also license your dog.  You may choose to license your dog in the county you’re living in now, or you can license it in the county you came from if your permanent address is in Michigan as well, but in either case, the tag must be on your dog at all times.

Some other states do not require a license, and only require a Rabies tag.  In Michigan, even dogs with a Rabies tag must have a separate license tag issued by the county you’re currently living in.

Proof of Rabies is Required

Anyone applying for a dog license must provide proof of Rabies signed by a licensed veterinarian.  Every time you Rabies vaccinate your dog, the vet clinic will give you a rabies certificate or other proof of the vaccine.  Save this paper and bring it with you to Animal Services, the Treasurer, or your licensing agency.  At this time of year, those selling licenses are extremely busy and likely won’t be able to call your vet for you to get your proof of Rabies.  It’s part of your pet-parent responsibilities to have this documentation with you, so make sure you have it, or call your vet in advance and get a duplicate copy if you’ve lost yours.

Some counties do things differently!

Michigan requires it, but they’ve left it up to each county to figure out how to manage it.  Make sure you know the requirements in the county you reside in, because if you’ve recently moved from one county to another, things could be a little different than you’re used to.

Service Dogs must be licensed, too!

Your service dog is entitled to a license at no charge, but you must still apply for it on time.  Service dogs are different from emotional support dogs and therapy dogs.  For questions about service dog licensing requirements, contact your local dog licensing agency.

Where to get your License in Kalamazoo County

kcase-logoIn Kalamazoo County, licenses are issued for 1 year at a time.  All renewals are due March 1 and can be purchased at Kalamazoo County Animal Services or the county Treasurer.  Many veterinarians are also selling them, so if you’re upping your Rabies vaccine this week, don’t forget to ask your get to sell you a license too!

Kalamazoo County Residents can visit or mail your license information to:
Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement
2500 Lake St
Kalamazoo, MI  49048

KCASE also has a convenient drop box in their lobby, so you can put your renewal, proof of rabies and payment in an envelope and drop it off in the box without having to wait in line during regular business hours!

Their website is also a wealth of information:  KCASE Licensing Page
Printable Kalamazoo County Dog License Application:  Click Here for PDF

Residents outside of Kalamazoo County

Check with your own licensing agent to find out more about fees and due dates.  Here’s a quick list of whom to contact:

Southwest Michigan Area dog licensing agencies can be reached at the following numbers:

• Allegan County residents call the Allegan County Treasurer’s Office at 269-673-0260
• Barry County residents call the Barry County Animal Control at 269-948-4885
• Berrien County residents call the Berrien County Animal Control at 269-471-7531
• Branch County residents call the Branch County Animal Control at 517-639-3210
• Calhoun County residents call the Calhoun County Treasurer’s Office at 269-781-0807
(Residents in the Battle Creek City Limits must purchase from the Battle Creek City Offices)
• Cass County residents call the Cass County Treasurer’s Office at 269-445-4468
• Kalamazoo County residents call Kalamazoo County Animal Services at 269-383-8775
• Kent County residents call the Kent County Animal Control at 616-632-7100
• St. Joe County residents call the St. Joe County Animal Control at 269-467-6475
• Van Buren County residents call the Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office at 269-657-8228

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Beer and wine tasting to benefit KHS

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We’re so excited to be a part of the Greater Kalamazoo Women’s LifeStyle Expo!  We have 11 amazing breweries and wineries lined up with a huge group of our amazing volunteers ready to serve samples and full cups during the expo.

Drink tickets are $1.00 each and can be purchased at the expo.  Sample pours are 1 ticket, and full pours are 4 tickets.  All proceeds benefit the Kalamazoo Humane Society!

You can also sign up for the Dog Walk & K-9 Festival while you’re there!  See you next weekend!

Click here for $1 off your entry into the expo:
http://womenslifestylekazooexpo.com/coupons.html

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KHS Blog Authors

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