Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

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29 May 12

by Nancy E. Hassel,

About six weeks ago I hosted a networking event for pet professionals with the topic, “Think outside the box,” because so many of us get stuck in a rut with the same pet events, marketing plans, etc.  It can be challenging to think of something new to do to promote your pet business or rescue group.  One rescue group that often thinks outside the box in a very creative way is the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.  ARF has many different events that are not your norm, and they wisely use the location in which they are situated in to host such unique events.  All which help the animals in which they rescue and care for.

Over the Memorial Day weekend I was at the 2nd Annual Designer ShowHouse at the ARF in Sagaponack, NY.  ARF transformed their thrift and treasure shop into a designer showhouse for the weekend to raise funds for ARF to help the organization continue to find homes for the animals in need.

Talk about thinking outside the box, most people wouldn’t think of interior design and pets as a hand-in-hand event, but ARF and the designers pulled it off flawlessly.  Ten rooms were beautifully styled by some of New York’s most illustrious interior decorators in which some of the rooms had whimsical pet themes.  Over 200 people attended the kick-off cocktail party fundraiser held on Saturday, May 26th from 5 – 8pm with 5pm being the exclusive preview hour at $300 per person and $150 per person for general admission at 6pm.  The showhouse was open to the public for a suggested $10 donation Sunday & Monday, May 27th & May 28th as well.

The Thrift and Treasure shop itself is a priority for the organization’s long term strategic planning as almost 20% of ARF’s annual operating budget comes from funds raised there. Last year, the Thrift Shop, a charming Dutch colonial building was renovated and expanded allowing ARF to accept more donations and continue to successfully fund the organization’s animal Adoption Center.

Sara Davidson, Executive Director of ARF with one of the ARF dogs up for adoption

“Last year’s first designer showhouse and grand re-opening was such a success that we decided to make the designer showhouse an annual event for ARF. The funds raised by the designer showhouse and Thrift & Treasure Shop are vital to the organization and its mission to provide for the health and welfare of dogs and cats on the East End of Long Island.  We are in awe of the designers’ creativity who will transform the shop.” said Sara Davison, Executive Director of ARF.

The line up of top designers, who created rooms for the second annual showhouse, included: Jeffery Howard Brodersen, Nancy Corzine, Gary Crain and James Alan Smith, Michael Grim, Gigi Mahon, Jeff Pfeifle, Scott Salvator, Rob Southern, and Tony Urrutia.  All the designers are animal lovers who are donating their time and expertise to help the ARF cats and dogs, who are less fortunate than their own beloved pets.  Each room will feature Thrift Shop items and pieces donated from the designers’ own collections.  Unlike traditional showhouses, every item in the ARF designer showhouse was for sale. There were also many adoptable pets on hand in ARF’s brand new adoption truck in which they rolled out for display for the evening’s event. 

So regardless of your location, think outside the box of something different you can do for your rescue group or pet business.  What is in your local community that might be different than others?  Start thinking more creatively and look around in your own backyard to see what you can come up with!

More Pictures below of the ARF Designer ShowHouse!

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22 May 12

Sleepover for Fido & Fluffy? ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

With summer almost upon us, and vacations or day-cations being planned, as pet owners we may think we are limited as to places or people our pets can stay with while we are away.  Often times we rely on family or friends to watch our pets, but that may not always be fair to them.  And sometimes our family or friends may not be as responsible about our pets as a professional pet sitter or pet boarding facility might be.  I have heard stories of dogs getting out because a family or friend watching the pet forgot to close the gate or door – especially if they are not pet owners it is easy for them to forget by accident or habit (not worrying about a pet getting loose).  Last year I knew of a Doberman in a local shelter who got out after the owners brother left the gate open – the dog wound up at a local shelter and was there for weeks, and almost got adopted out.  The dog had no ID and the owner was in a different country for over a month and didn’t know the dog was missing.  The happy ending to this story is that the dog and owner were reunited when she got back – but it might not always be the case.

In our world today, we are fortunate to have many pet professionals who are experienced, trained, licensed, insured and bonded who are available to care for your pet.  Whether it is someone staying at your house, stopping in to take your pet out or clean a cage, or if you are leaving the pet overnight at a pet sitters house or boarding facility.  This is their passion, caring for pets, and their livelihood – so why not interview a pet sitter or visit a boarding facility. Ask your friends and veterinarian for referrals of who they hire to care for their pets when they go away.  It could make your vacation that much more pleasant knowing your pet is in the hands of a professional.  Many companies can even send you emails or text message updates about your pet, and some are even equipped with live camera feeds of your pet.  On Long Island and the surrounding Burroughs there are many sitters and boarding facilities for you to choose from. Check out the ones below and contact them for more information about their services:

Queens & Nassau County:

In Home Pet Services, Inc., in Bellerose, NY, has a cage free, boarding facility that provides boarding for their clients and all the IHPS locations are able to access this if there is room available.  Call Robyn Elman at (718)-347-PETS (7387) for more info.

In Home Pet Services of Nassau’s Gold Coast offers boarding in Great Neck, NY, for small and medium sized dogs. They also have cage free boarding with 3-4 walks a day, a private dog run to play off leash, toys, treats, bedding, and more. Call Heather information (516) 829-0707.

In Home Pet Services of East Nassau offers boarding for cats as well as dog walking and other pet sitting services.  They are located in Levittown, NY. Contact Danielle Citarella at (516) 442-2822. Meow!

The Barrie Inn in Woodmere, NY, is celebrating 10 years of service this year, but also offer cage less boarding in their facility specializing in overnight boarding for all dog breeds. tel: 516-569-PAWS (7297).

Crawford Dog and Cat Clinic in Garden City, NY, offers veterinary supervised kenneling for dogs and cats. Pets stay in their own runs or cages. Dogs are walked 2 – 3 times a day. Contact Keith Niesenbaum, VMD for more information.

Little Paws Of Hope – Boarding Daycare, Training offers in-home boarding that is cage free. Each pet has personal attention, walks, swimming, movie night, socialization and live web cams to check in on your pet’s fun.  They are located in Levittown and can be reached at 917-519-5708.

Goodnight Lucky has a rather unique approach to dog boarding: they board dogs with loving host families, where each dog has free roam in the home of a true dog lover and his regular routines and schedules are maintained.  They offer this service throughout Nassau County, western Suffolk County & eastern Queens.
Suffolk County:

Fetch! Pet Care of Islip to Lindy, offers private boarding at various boarder’s homes, incorporating them into their family while clients are away.

Fetch! Pet Care of North Central Suffolk County offers private boarding in their pet sitters homes where pet’s are integrated into their sitter’s home environment as part of the family. Pets will not be caged or kenneled during his/her stay unless specifically requested by pet parent. They also offer In-Home where their sitter arrives at your home at 6:30 pm & stay until 8:00 am. Visits include a dog walks (where applicable).


Devine Solutions located in Huntington Station, NY, provides boarding for small and big dogs in their home.  Call Jennifer Devine at (631) 697-5995.

We Board Labs, Inc. located in Huntington open their home to caring for well-behaved Labrador Retrievers.  Dogs have free run of their entire home and quarter acre, fenced-in shady yard; it is not a kennel. Call (631) 549-8263 for more info.

The K-9 Keeper located in Huntington offers cozy, cage-free, family-style boarding in our home. And they also welcome dogs that have special needs. (631) 219-3719.


Paw-Fect Dog Training and Pet Sitting, Inc., located in Medford, NY offers pet sitting in their home where the pets are treated just like if they were in their own homes. Any size dog is welcome contact Lissa Blom at 516-779-2309. Email is


Pet Peeves Dog Training LLC located in Centereach, NY, provides boarding for all their clients at an affordable rate.

East End:

C-Dogs Unlimited LLC, in Calverton, NY, offers home boarding in a country setting, complete with professional grooming services. They also offer personalized care in a holistic environment with reasonable rates.

Dog Town NY located on the North Fork in Southold offers the only Dog Boarding, Daycare (socialization) & Grooming on the North fork. Call 631-765-8844 to find out more.

East End Boarding Kennel located in Westhampton Beach, NY, is a boarding kennel situated on four quiet country acres and your dog will be attended to by caring and attentive staff. Open 365 days a year and can accommodate up to fifty dogs in an environment that is clean, safe, and secure. All dogs are housed in large individual heated indoor- outdoor runs and enjoy time outside in one of our grassed exercise yard several times a day.

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29 Nov 11

Met the breeds! ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Were you at Meet the Breeds at the Javits Center in New York City recently?  No?? You missed out on a great event-but I have a ton of great pictures below.  I have been to many dog shows and we all know Westminster is the king of dog shows – but Meet the Breeds hosted by the AKC was a entirely different way to meet both dog and cat breeds up close and not feel squished by the large dog show crowds.  And not to mention there were many fabulous vendors selling and some even giving away products – it was a heavy tote bag trip back to Penn Station for me!

Portuguese Pointer

One of the really interesting breeds I came across, and I have been to rare breed dog shows, but have never seen the Portuguese Pointer before.  A very pretty dog and I hate to say it, but kind of a puggle face – but prettier – sorry puggle fans – the Portuguese Pointer was fawn in color with some white blazing on her chest and dates back to the 14th Century, long before a mix of beagle and puggle became so popular.  So if you’re looking for a bigger dog that is a purebred and who’s face kinda sorta resembles the puggle this dog could be for you.  BUT you should always research ANY breed before you decide to adopt from a rescue group or purchase from a reputable breeder.  That’s why Meet the Breeds is such a great event – there are experts in the breeds representing many types of dogs and cats – and these breeder, owner and dog handlers can tell you much about the breeds, their habits, traits, health and much more.  They can even help you in determining if a breed is right for your lifestyle, like if you are an active person, looking for a jogging companion, or just looking for a lap dog.

Barbet - there is a dog under all that fur!

Another breed I never saw in person was the Barbet – a French water dog – most similar to the Portuguese water dog.  The Barbet also dates back to the 14th century.  The there was the Cirneco dell’Etna – which is basically looks exactly like a Pharaoh Hound, just about ½ the size – very unique and pretty looking dog and in existence for 2,500 years having it’s first pictorial reference in Sicily.  The Cirneco, like the Pharaoh hound is both a sight and scent hound.


In the cat section, there were so many beautiful cats, I was in cat heaven – and did not have one allergy problem.  The coolest cat I saw, not just because of his beautiful markings but he was so chilled out was the Bengal.  Gorgeous cat – and his owner had a ton of information for the crowd of people asking.  Another cat was the Munchkin, which has legs about ½ the size of a normal cat.  The owner say it doesn’t affect their movement or agility – but I did feel a little bad for the cat – but then thinking about it, I don’t feel bad for their short legged counterparts like a bassett hound!  Another cat you don’t see every day was the American Curls – who have ears that at the tip are curled back a bit – adorable cat – very playful and sweet.  For more information on cat breeds go to The International Cat Association.  Go to Meet the Breeds for more information on next year’s show and see below for more pictures I took from the event.

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21 Nov 11

Holiday Kitty Care tips! ...

By Robyn Elman of In Home Pet Services, Inc.

As much as the U.S. population reveres their pet dogs as true members of their family, cats are equally beloved by their owners – and just as particular about their care.

Cats are generally believed to be a more low-maintenance pet than a dog. They don’t need to be regularly walked on a leash, and you can leave them for a day with a bowl of food and water. That low-maintenance perception leads people to “collect” these pets, rescuing them from the outdoors or from shelters. It’s estimated that greater than 20% of cats owned in the U.S. are acquired as strays. This may be why we rarely hear a person described as a “dog lady,” yet “cat lady” seems to be a commonplace term. Once you have owned a cat, you will know that they present their own set of challenges and behaviors, and to care for them may mean almost the same amount of dedication and work as that of a fellow dog owner.

I have come to find that pet sitters are more likely to be afraid of a cat than a dog. Cats have 5 ways they can hurt you. A mouth that can bite and 4 paws with claws that scratch! Their behaviors are also often more difficult to read. While it’s unlikely that a dog will turn around and attack you while it’s sitting on your lap being brushed, it is a more commonplace event with cats. Cats also have a more sensitive metabolic system and when ill, they can go downhill much more quickly than a dog.

If you are a pet sitter, or thinking about going into the business, you are bound to have cat only households as clients. It’s important you learn about cat specific behaviors and especially signs of illness. These include changes in behavior, eating, litter box habits, and the amount of water they are drinking. Take a Pet first Aid & CPR class so you will prepared in an emergency situation such as poisoning, choking, bleeding, etc. Most importantly, make sure your client tells you as much specific information about their cats as possible, including places he or she does or doesn’t like to be touched, favorite toys, specific feeding schedules, litter habits, and especially hiding places! It’s important to be able to see the cats in your care and knowing their favorite hideouts can save you a lot of time. I have cared for cats that hide on bookshelves, on top of refrigerators (and like to pounce on you from above!), behind washing machines, and in boxes in closets. Be extra careful when entering and leaving the home as some cats are sneaky and try to escape outside. As a person in the pet sitting business for almost 10 years, I have seen a lot – especially with cats. We have cat only clients that want everything from overnight stays with their cats, to twice a day visits, to a visit only every other day. It’s not uncommon for an owner to accidentally close a pet cat in a closet before leaving for a trip, and that’s why I recommend at least one visit every day for a pet cat.

If you are a cat owner and are thinking about hiring a sitter, find one that you can afford to come at least one time a day. Although cats are more self sufficient than dogs (in most cases), they still need to be looked in on once a day to make sure they haven’t gotten themselves into trouble, and to make sure they are eating, drinking, and using their litter box normally. It’s important you provide your sitter with plenty of food and extra litter while you are gone. If you run out and the sitter is forced to get a different kind of litter, for example, the cat may not want to use the box and go somewhere else – like your bed! As mentioned above, it’s important you tell your sitter details about your cats hiding places. This is especially vital should you need the sitter to administer any medications. Be realistic about this. Boarding at the vet might be your best option if medications are essential and you have a difficult cat.

The Holidays can be stressful for your cat, as their normal daily routine can easily be interrupted by our crazy schedules. When you have guests over you may want to consider confining your cat to a room or section of the house away from the noise and people. With the people coming in and out, a cat can easily run out the door unnoticed. Make it clear to guests not to feed your cat from the table. Turkey skin and other fatty foods can cause pancreas problems, onions can cause liver failure, and grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Of course we all know to keep chocolate away from our cats, but also keep any sugarless items away as well. Cats cannot process the chemicals such as xylitol, and their blood sugar can rapidly crash. The Christmas tree also poses another danger. It’s easy to climb on, which makes it easy to topple over, and the water at the base of the tree can be toxic. Consider use of a repellent or “Scat Mat” to keep your cat safely away from the tree. Alternatively you can set up a ‘cat room’ just for your cat during the holidays complete with bed, scratching post or tree, litter box, fresh water and food – and a latch at the top of the door so kids can’t get into the room while you’re celebrating over the holiday season. Cats will adapt to the room and you won’t have to worry about the cat getting out, or jumping on the Christmas tree!

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31 Aug 11

Blogging about Blog Paws ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Last week after the earthquake and before the hurricane there was a pet conference taking place in Vienna, Virginia called BlogPaws – the 3rd annual and all for the pet blogging community!  We, a few Long Island Pet Professional members, and many New York pet bloggers and from all across the country were fortunate enough to be in attendance at a furtastic conference.  One of the organizers, Caroline Golon is also a local Long Islander and of the blog fame – and she along with her BlogPaws partners, Yvonne DiVita and Tom Collins of Scratchings and Sniffings did an amazing job – dispite mother nature’s wrath!  BlogPaws 2011 was a great way for all of us in the pet blogging world to meet face to face – since so many of us follow each other on Twitter or are friends on Facebook, but nothing beats meeting in person.  The conference ran so smoothly and everyone was so excited to be there and meet each other – even all the pets!

The breakout sessions that I attended on Friday were fabulous and even if you think you know a lot – you can always learn so much at a conference like BlogPaws or even at a networking event.  I have pages and pages of notes to go over, and hundreds of business cards – many of which I already reached out too, and even found more pet people and media to follow on Twitter.  This was my first BlogPaws conference and I really hope to make the next one in Salt Lake City, Utah.   I mean seriously there were even people from Disney – this was the conference if you are a blogger not to miss.

And where else are you at a conference where you can bring your pet to sit in the breakout sessions with you?  Many times during a session a dog would bark in agreement with what the expert speaker was saying – it was quite funny – and made the conference just all that much more refreshing.  Some people even brought their cats, yes their cats, and their ferrets too.  All the pets seemed to be getting along and having just as much fun as the attendees themselves.

The only unfortunate thing about it was that we had to head back to Long Island because of rude Hurricane Irene, so many of us missed the 2nd day.  Very disappointing, but we had to head back ahead of the storm.  But still attending the day & ½ that we did – it was pawsome!  And did I mention the ridiculously filled to the brim swag bag? Holy crap – we got so much amazing free stuff in the swag bag Max’s, my pit bull was too very excited when I got back!  In addition to the swag, the BlogPaws event raised over $12,500 and donated it to five different charities.  The next event is scheduled for next June in Salt Lake City – so who’s going?