Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

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27 Feb 13

Demand justice for Queenie, others ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

My heart broke when I saw Queenie’s picture on Facebook.  I quickly read the caption, and thought she was actually dead from the horrific picture posted – her body being skin and bones.  I couldn’t look more than a few seconds at it, thinking who would ever do something like that to a dog?  Then I thought back to Joey, the 3 month old pit bull puppy who was thrown from a moving car last year, or the little puppy I met a couple years ago who had mangled back legs from being a bait dog for a dog fighting here on Long Island.  Or some of you might even remember Maximus the pit bull who was set on fire and chained up in Brentwood, who later succumb to his unimaginable injuries – his owner went to jail – he could be out by now.  The really sad truth is that these stories come up way to often in our culture, here on Long Island and throughout our country.  I always try to shine a light on those amazing people doing good in the world for pets – who make a difference locally in pet’s and human’s lives.  But seeing Queenie’s picture, made me so sad, sick to my stomach and incredibly mad – there is no longer a reason to remain silent on this issue.

Why does our society continue to let this happen?  We have laws in place against animal abuse – but obviously they are not scary enough consequences for people who are the scum of the earth to not do these things.  We have all read how studies of animal abusers often and most times lead to human abusers – so why isn’t more done to stop these people?

When will our society rise up and demand better solutions for animal abusers?  I am not talking about people who don’t know the best or proper care for their pets that need education on the matter, (that is a whole different topic).  I am talking about demanding more serious consquences for people who do things like they did to Queenie, Joey, Maximus and countless other pets who are killed, tormented and tortured.  Will her owner, once he is caught, get a year or two in jail then released?  Will he get fined, a slap on the wrist?  How will they track this guy from ever owning a pet again?

The fact that Queenie survived and is eating, and walking is a miracle and shows the sheer determination and depth of a dogs will to live and persevere.  Joey too, after months of rehabilitation, he now is doing amazingly well considering his injuries.  That is, as animal lovers what we gravitate towards – how resilient our pets are.

We know there are more good people in the world than bad, especially when it comes to our pets and animals, and many people want to help.  If you can’t directly help Queenie or Guardians of Rescue who stepped in to help save her, there are many great organizations on Long Island that can use additional volunteers, donations.  But the one thing I would ask you to do, is not to look away, not to turn your head – our society often ‘doesn’t want to know’ when it comes to animal abuse or horrible situations like this.  I get it, my first reaction was to not look, but mainly because I am in the pet industry and sadly see things like this more often then not via social media and the press.  But looking away or not wanting to know will not help solve the epidemic of animal abuse.  Think about how you can help make a difference so we start to see less of this.

Show this to your kids and show them how wrong it is and ask them what they think can be done to help turn around lack of respect for our pets, animals and world we share with them.  Call you local politician and demand better punishment for people who abuse animals.  Take a stand and work with local organizations to help protect our animals that depend on us.

Queenie. Photo Credit: Guardians of Rescue

Joey. Photo Credit: Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island (VMCLI)

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19 Jul 11

Bird Owner’s Selling Your Home ...

by Susan Chamberlain of 14KaratParrot

Bird Owner’s Guide to Selling Your Home

Are you planning to sell your home this year? Watch any television program geared toward helping people sell their homes, and you’ll learn that one of the first pieces of advice realtors give is “Relocate the pets!” It isn’t always practical to move the pets out for open houses and showings, and if you have numerous birds, it may be close to impossible.

This is the one time you can look at your birds as part of the décor. Use them to enhance the ambience of your home. I’ve sold two homes with most of my birds present. The first house was in New York and quite small, so I boarded my four Amazon parrots with a friend during the open house. The macaw, Senegal parrots and budgies remained in the house-for-sale and didn’t seem to detract from the showing. Because the ‘green gang’ and their cages were absent, the space looked larger, and the house was peaceful and quiet.

My parrots actually added to the appeal of my house in Florida. It was a piling house surrounded by tropical foliage on a barrier island, and the birds fit right in. Several of them were on the screened porch, and the Amazons and macaw were indoors. Large windows and sliding glass doors brought the outside in, and the birds seemed to be a natural part of the décor. Cages and surrounding areas were kept scrupulously clean at all times so that the house could be shown on 30 minutes notice. Consider marketing your home as your new full-time job. Estimate how long it will take to get your house ready for impromptu showings, and let your realtor know how much lead time you’ll require.

Buyers are waiting for great deals in a sluggish market and there are a lot of homes for sale, but you can compete. The first impression is the lasting impression. What will the buyer see first? A jumble of cages, bird food and play stands in the living room won’t pass muster, especially if the potential buyer isn’t a ‘bird person’.  Before you even call a Realtor®, convert your bird room back into a dining room or den. Remove the swings and perches hanging from the ceiling and stow the assortment of parrot paraphernalia that’s cluttering your bookshelves. Shampoo or replace carpeting. Green stains will not go over well.

Yvonne Papaemanuel a Licensed Sales Agent and Certified Buyer Representative (LSA/CBR) with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Ronkonkoma, NY agreed. “They’re our pets and we love them, but it doesn’t mean the potential buyer does. Cleanliness is key to everything, right alongside de-cluttering. Put all pet food and accessories away.”

Realtor® Janie Howland, an associate with Re/Max of the Islands on Sanibel Island, FL, concurred. “With any animal, I ask the seller to make the pet area as clean as possible. You don’t want people walking over bird seed or smelling pet odors. One advantage of birds over cats and dogs is that there’s virtually no odor.

“In my experience, most people like birds, but some might be put off by a very loud bird. In that case, I might move the cage to the smallest bedroom, or the den — to a room that isn’t the focal point of the home,” continued Frese. “I wouldn’t want a home that is perfect in every way to be remembered as the ‘house with that awful bird in it’! If the sellers are motivated, they should do whatever they can to minimize the negative impact of their animals. They know how their pets react to strangers coming into the room. For instance, covering the cage might keep a loud bird quiet.”

Once your house is in contract, you can begin looking for your new home. Are you looking at a development or a condo? Review the rules regarding noise and pets. Are you planning an outdoor aviary? Check the zoning regulations.  Do you want cathedral ceilings so your macaw will have plenty of headroom?  A roll-in shower for bird cages? A sunporch for your cockatiels? Happy house hunting!

Biting and Other Problems

If you have aggressive birds, post signs in front of cages warning people away. Ms. Papaemanuel suggested keeping it friendly with something like, “We know we’re cute, but please don’t touch!”

Tell your agent not to allow people to poke at the birds, or remain in the house to supervise if you feel it’s necessary. “It’s better to be absent during showings,” according to Papaemanuel, “because it makes it easier for potential buyers to imagine the home as their own. If you remain in the home, tend to the pets but leave all the talking to the agent. Don’t hover. Stay out of the way. On the plus side, there may be some questions that need answering and you can do so on the spot.”

Janie Howland addressed another situation that occurs quite frequently. “When another realtor shows one of my listings and there are animals present, I warn them about what to expect. I instruct the realtor to control the client. I tell them not to approach the cage and not to stick their fingers in the cage. If I have any misgivings, I’ll accompany them to the showing.” (It should be noted that Ms. Howland sells homes on an island where it is not unusual to encounter 6-foot iguanas on a porch or pet peacocks in the yard!)

Some people are superstitious about birds indoors. Others may be fearful. Ask your Realtor® to advise potential clients that you have pet birds prior to a showing, and if necessary, arrange to temporarily relocate the feathered members of your family.

“During an open house, you never know who’s coming through, so you can’t forewarn potential buyers that birds are present,” said Papaemanuel. “Keep the attention off the birds, even if you need to cover them during an open house. Keep the focus on the house.”


In general, people perceive exotic birds as valuable. Don’t include your birds in virtual tour or online photos, especially if the address of your home is included in the listing. Using a real estate agent makes it more likely that prospects will be screened to some degree.

“Don’t mention pending trips, work schedules or other away-from-home activities in front of prospective buyers,” Yvonne Papaemanuel advised, “Remove daily calendars and phone numbers from sight. If a buyer asks you about availability for a future showing, say you’ll get back to the sales agent with the information.  You never know who’s walking into your house. For added security, work with certified buyer’s agent. That agent is working for the buyer, much like a personal shopper and the buyer is going to be screened and pre-approved.”

Bird owner’s Top Ten Selling Tips

De-clutter.  Pack non-essential items and stack boxes neatly in the garage or other non-living area. If necessary, rent a storage unit. Store bird carriers, travel cages, play stands and other avian ‘furniture’ out of sight.  Potential buyers will open cabinet doors and drawers. Make sure bird food is neatly organized in a designated space.

De-personalize: Remove family photos and personal items from view. Yes, you can leave that gorgeous macaw portrait over the fireplace, but remove and store knick-knacks and other decorative avian items. Take your beloved “Beware of Attack Parrot” sign down and pack it away for you next home.

Deodorize. Healthy birds and clean cages are not odiferous. Make sure cages are pristine. Wash floors, shampoo the rugs, launder draperies and bedding and don’t smoke indoors. One of the first things prospective buyers notice is how the house smells. Simmer a little potpourri on the stove prior to a showing, and open the windows for fresh air.

Dust! Be aware that people with allergies may look at your home. Mist your birds daily to reduce dander. Change cage tray paper just prior to a showing. Use an electronic air filter to further reduce airborne allergens. Change or wash air conditioner filters frequently, and vacuum daily. When possible, open windows during showings.

Advertise in bird related publications and on avian websites. What makes your home ideal for your birds may attract a buyer with birds. My current home has a 28 foot conservatory style room that’s perfect for birds and it’s right up the hill from a top-notch bird store!

Are your birds nervous around strangers?  Cover the cages or advise people not to approach them. Take your bird out for a ride during showings or relocate your pet to a friend’s house.

Noisy birds?  Relocate to a friend’s or cover the cages. Play soft background music to soothe the tropical soul.

Do you have an unused area to relocate birds, such as finished basement, enclosed porch or playroom?  Designate that area as a temporary bird room.

Move cage to a large room or area so it doesn’t dominate the room. Buy some large, inexpensive potted palms at Home Depot and place them strategically near cages for a tropical look.

Is your bird’s cage beginning to look shabby? This is the ideal time to purchase a new one. Think of it as a ‘home improvement’ that will help sell your house!

©Susan Chamberlain 2011–No part of this article may be reprinted or reproduced without the express, written permission of the author.

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29 Jun 11

Pets & the 4th of July ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

While we may love the 4th of July and all the pomp and circumstance – it may be a very different story for our four legged and feathered friends. Sudden loud fireworks going off nearby, loud parties, or just having more friends and family over can very easily stress out your otherwise well behaved pets. To enjoy the 4th, here are some simple tips to help your pet and family make it through the weekend!

  • Make sure you have a collar with ID tags on your pets at all times during this weekend.  Some owners like to take their pet’s flat collar off when they are in the house – but the first block buster that goes off could scare your pet so much they may bolt out your front door and take off.
  • If you know your pet is terrified of loud noises, try using products like Rescue Remedy® or Canine Calm™ or in extreme cases contact your veterinarian for tranquilizer/valium pills ahead of time.
  • Leave your pets home in a secured house.  Pets do not need to be at firework shows, it’s almost inhumane if you are not sure of how your dog may react.  Know your dog, some dogs don’t seem to mind, but think about their sensitive hearing.
  • Having a 4th BBQ? Friends and family tend to want to feed your dog or cat while at a party, to avoid this ask them not to or have your pet in a safe cool room away from all the guests.  Check on the pet often, make sure he has fresh water and a comfy place to sleep away from the crowd.  (Lock the door if you can!) Guests that are not pet savvy could accidentally open or leave the door open and the pet could escape.
  • Parades and pets.  Some dogs, horses, and yes even cats are fine while attending a parade with you.  Again, know your pet – if you see the animal shaking, panting, drooling, pulling on the leash – those are all signs of stress.  Some pets do not do well in large crowds, people, kids petting poking at them, loud sirens from fire trucks going by, etc.  If you see your dog is stressed – leave the parade – don’t comfort the dog with, “It’s ok” while petting the panicked animal – that will just make it worse.
  • Bringing your dog out on your boat or too the beach? Bring plenty of cold bottled water, pet safe bug spray and sunscreen, extra leash and collar with ID, treats, doggie life jacket, and monitor them for overheating, bug bites, ticks and make sure their paws are not on hot surfaces for a long time -concrete and sand can be scorching- and of course bring poop pick up bags!
  • Traveling for the 4th and bringing your pet?  Find out where the nearest 24hour emergency clinic is at your destination.  Make sure there are no Breed Restrictions at your location.  While en route use a safety harness that clips into the seatbelt of your car, or crate your pet while traveling. Have a first aid kit in your car especially for pets and bring extra pet food and water – you never know if your car breaks down you get stuck somewhere.

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26 May 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Breath of Fresh Air

While many of our volunteer fire companies on Long Island have been struggling to keep our animal friends safe, they are unable to purchase pet oxygen masks and as a result animals from dogs to cats are being put in serious danger, with many dying from the effects of smoke asphyxiation.  Pets in Suffolk County will now be breathing easier, and so will some of our local fire departments all because of the efforts of two teenage boys in Dix Hills and their partnership with Canine Fence.    Matthew and Marc Klinger, 15 and 13, co-founders of the Paws4Air foundation wanted to change that.  They started Paws4Air when they found out that their fire department did not carry pet oxygen masks on any of their fire trucks. Fire departments cannot use their money to buy these masks, because they can only purchase equipment that is used to help humans. They quickly used their birthday money to purchase the sets needed for their fire department. “Our goal is to equip every first response truck in Suffolk County with the much needed pet oxygen masks.” said Matthew and Marc.

Paws4Air created pet oxygen awareness bands that they sell to raise funds and awareness. Bands can be purchased from their website . They have had great help in selling the bands to students in their school district, Half Hollow Hills from the Animal Friends and Advocates Clubs at both the high schools, East and West, and the Leaders Club at West Hollow Middle School.

With their good fortune to partner up with Canine Fence, Paws4Air will be able to obtain their goal much faster!  Canine Fence have generously pledged to donate 50 Project Breathe O2 pet masks to help in the effort to equip every first response fire truck in Suffolk County, Long Island. As well as match one set for every one set purchased through fundraising by Paws 4Air. With the donations from Canine Fence and the sales of awareness bands, Paws4Air were able to give the fire companies in Commack, East Northport, and Elwood pet oxygen masks. In the next few weeks, many more fire departments in the Suffolk county area will be getting their sets!

Thanks to the efforts of two young men, and their charitable organization Paws4Air along with the contributions of Canine Fence® steps are being taken in the right direction.

Photo (left to right) Maryflorence Brennan (Canine Fence), Kieran Keane (Commack Fire Department), Marc Klinger (Paws4Air), Matthew Klinger (Paws4Air)

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17 Mar 11

Paws for Japan ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Paws for Japan

This St. Patrick’s Day, my favorite green holiday, instead of talking about “kissing the blarney stone” or drinking so much green beer you forgot you kissed the blarney stone -  I would ask anyone reading this to turn their attention to the disaster in Japan.  We have seen the most horrendous and unimaginable footage on CNN, GMA and other new sources and of course we think of how this has affected all the people of Japan.  But what about the pets and animals?  As many people are displaced and missing so are many beloved pets.  Pets that are injured, lost and in desperate need of medical attention, shelter, food and water – just like their human counterparts.

So this St. Patrick’s Day the pet blog community is uniting to bring attention to the wonderful organization of WorldVets who is currently organizing groups to deploy to Japan to help all the animals.  As of March 16th their first deployment is enroute to meet up with Animal Friends Niigata. They will be headed toward the disaster area for an overnight trip to help any animals they find.

Thank dog for this organization, and if you don’t want to spend your green on green beer or bagels why not chip in a few bucks towards WorldVets so they can help as many animals as possible.   You can also donate veterinary supplies and/or medicines that are being requested from are the following: De-worming medicines, vaccinations, fluid replacements, wound treatments, and cages. Donations of these items can be shipped to: World Vets headquarters, 802 1st Ave N, Fargo ND  58102.

Maybe you can play the “unicorn song” while your are making a contribution, spread the word and help the pets of Japan.  

Paws for Japan