Dr. Seuss Never Wrote 'Cat in a Bong'

The Dog Days of Summer: Ten Tips On How to Keep Your Pet Safe

NEW YORK CITY – With summer just around the corner, dog owners are anxious to get their pets -- and themselves -- off the sofa and out into the glorious land of blue skies, fresh air and endless sunshine. As tempting as it may be to want to take Fido with you everywhere you go, remember that the sweltering heat can take its toll on your dog. Here are a few important things to remember as you and your dog prepare for fun in the sun this summer:

#1: Dogs suffer from heat stroke
Like humans, dogs can quickly come down with a bad case of heat stroke. However, unlike people, our canine counterparts have very limited ability to cool off by sweating. Dogs have sweat glands on their foot pads only. Their main mechanism for cooling down is panting and it can be insufficient to lower body temperature on a very hot day.

#2: Keep your pet hydrated
Whether your dog is playing in the back yard or you’re exercising with your dog in the park, make sure you always have an ample supply of water on hand. At home, make sure his or her water bowl is in the shade so the water stays as cool as possible and so your pet doesn’t run the risk of burning its tongue on an over-heated bowl. An easy way to do this is to use half ice and half cold water. If you’re out and about with your pet carry an extra bottle of water with you and bring along a small container from which they can drink.

#3: Walk your dog during cooler hours
In the hot summer months, consider walking your dog either in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is least harsh. Additionally, be sure to walk your dog on grass or dirt to avoid burning their paws on the hot pavement and provide access to shade at all times.

#4: Protect your dog from ticks, fleas and other pests
As summer nears, it’s important to provide your pet with proper treatment for the prevention of heartworms, ticks and fleas. Depending upon the climate in which you live there are varying guidelines, check with your pet’s vet to ensure you’re doing everything possible to protect your pet. Make sure your vet knows all of the products you are using as well as all the medication your pet is on to prevent any drug interactions. If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, also look into purchasing a pet-safe bug repellent to prevent annoying insect bites.

#5: Avoid crowded summer events
While it might seem like a good idea to bring your pooch along to the local festival or parade, your dog is almost always better off at home. The heat, noise, crowds and general excitement can be physically and emotionally taxing for your pet causing a great deal of anxiety and stress.

#6: Do your homework before shaving your dog
In the heat of the summer, many pet owners believe it’s best to shave their dogs – and in some cases it is. In others, it’s not such a good idea. If your dog is a swimmer, gets easily matted, tends to shed a lot or spends a lot of time outdoors, you might want to consider a summer shave. Reasons not to shave your dog include that their fur provides protection from the sun, biting flies, and mosquitoes. Believe it or not, many dogs feel “naked” and vulnerable without their coats. Always check with your vet before shaving your dog in the summer.

#7: Dogs need protection from the sun
As in people, overexposure to UV rays can give your dog a nasty case of sunburn, peeling skin, painful inflammation and also increase the risk of skin cancer. Because dogs have fur, people often assume they are not in danger of getting sunburned. This isn’t true. While fur does provide some level of sun protection, the bridge of the nose, ear tips, skin around the lips and other areas lacking pigmentation are highly susceptible to sun damage. There are specially formulated sunscreens available for dogs but check with your vet to find the best solution for your pet.

#8: Not all dogs are born swimmers
Swimming with your dog is great exercise and can also provide relief from summer heat. Despite popular belief, not all dogs were born to swim. Theoretically all dogs can swim, however, some breeds such as Bulldogs, Basset hounds and Pugs have more difficulty than others. When encouraging your dog to swim it’s important to know its physical ability, stamina, body shape, condition and breathing ability. Fit your dog with a PFD (personal flotation device) if you are not sure about his swimming ability or if you plan on taking him boating. Life jackets made for dogs keep their head above water and have a handle on the back to make it easier to grab them out of the water. The most important thing is to remember to never force the dog, take is slow, have reasonable expectations and have fun.

#9: Exercise good water safety for your dog
There are many safety precautions you should take when your dog is around water. First and foremost, make sure your dog can swim. Other dangers are less about the dog and more about the place they are swimming. The key to water safety is to be aware of your surroundings, make sure your pet is wearing a flotation device, never let your pet drink the water in which it is swimming, and always hose off your pet after swimming. If boating with your pet remember the following: dogs get seasick too so be prepared, make sure your pet has proper identification or is micro chipped in case it falls overboard and is picked up by another boater or swims to land, and remember, dogs don’t know how to use the head so have a potty plan in mind.

#10: Never leave your dog in the car
You should NEVER leave your dog in the car no matter how brief a time. A car can heat up quickly even when it’s relatively mild outside, even with the windows cracked. On a summer day temperatures inside a vehicle can climb in minutes and can spike more than 40 degrees in just an hour. While you think you’re making your dog happy by bringing it along for the ride, you could very well be jeopardizing its safety. And you know the old adage . . . better safe than sorry.

Remember Your Pets in Storm Prep Plans
JANNETTE PIPPIN - enctoday.com

MOREHEAD CITY - With the start of hurricane season just weeks away, the Pet Adoption and Welfare Society of Carteret County is encouraging residents to remember their pets in their storm preparation plans.

Carteret County has one designated shelter that will accept pets in the case of storm or disaster. PAWS, which partners with Carteret County Emergency Services and county Animal Control to provide the service, is encouraging pet owners to pre-register now for use of the shelter.

The 2009 hurricane season begins June 1 and PAWS Board of Directors member Cynthia Thompson said preparing now helps both pet owners and the people who run the shelter.

"It would help them so that they don't have to rush around at the last minute and it streamlines the process for us," she said. "It's a mutual benefit."

For instance, she said, verification of rabies vaccination is needed along with other pet information.

When storm shelters are opened, Newport Middle School serves as a pet-friendly location for people seeking a safe haven.

"We're trying to let people know we're there (when needed)," Thompson said.

Pre-registration doesn't commit a pet owner to staying at the shelter but it ensures the needed information is there if they do find that they need it.

While PAWS has worked on the pet friendly shelter project for three years, a tropical storm last season marked the first time that they had to implement plans during a storm event.

Only a few people came to the shelter, and none came with pets, but coordinators were ready for any that did arrive.

"It was a good dry run" Thompson said.

PAWS Vice President and Director Donna Youraine agreed. "We stayed all night and even though there were no animals, we were ready," she said.

PAWS leaders say it takes time to make emergency plans for pets just as it does for the rest of the family.

"It takes a little bit of time to get the things they'll need together and make sure their vaccinations are up to date," Youraine said.

PAWS also invites community members to volunteer with the pet-friendly shelter project.

For more information, call 252-726-7221. To register online, visit www.pawsofcarteret.org. Or e-mail PAWS at info@pawsofcarteret.org.

If you plan to stay at the shelter with your pet:

-Dogs, cats and other domestic pets such as birds are accepted at the shelter. The pet owner must stay at the shelter as well and is required to care for their pets while they are there.

-Pets must be have an airline-approved carrier and are kept in a separate area from the people staying at the shelter. Pet owners must provide current vaccinations and records as well as food, water medications, and clean-up supplies.

-Pets must be on a leash anytime they are outside of carrier and owners are responsible for damages or injury to property, persons or other animals.

Annual Event Turns Cotton Bowl Over to the Dogs
By JEFF MOSIER / The Dallas Morning News

The list of athletes who have roamed the Cotton Bowl field is long and illustrious, from Doak Walker to Roger Staubach to Earl Campbell.

On Sunday, those legends were joined by another star athlete, Roscoe, a champion dachshund from Arlington with an insatiable desire to fetch.

He and about 1,000 other dogs chased around the Cotton Bowl field with the exuberance of puppies, or at the very least, the exuberance of college football players.

"I don't think he was concerned about the other dogs out here," said Jeremy Dingle, whose dog has competed nationally in dachshund races. "As long as he has his ball, he couldn't care less."

Friends of Fair Park held their third Dog Bowl on Sunday afternoon, turning the stadium into a massive pooch park for at least 2,500 people and their pets.

Craig Holcomb, president of Friends of Fair Park, said the event is more about raising awareness of the 277-acre complex than raising money. He said the Dog Bowl is a reminder that Fair Park is an entertainment destination.

However, the event started as something more personal.

Holcomb said that he was shaving one morning a few years ago when he decided that it would be fun to have his chocolate standard poodle, Harry, run around on the Cotton Bowl grass.

"And it wouldn't be fun if he was alone," Holcomb said.

The gathering has filled Fair Park with barking and scampering dogs for three of the last four years. The Dog Bowl was canceled last year because of Cotton Bowl renovations.

Mike Garza, a Dallas resident and die-hard University of Texas fan, said he knew he had to attend Sunday with his miniature pinscher Zoe. They wore matching burnt-orange Longhorns jerseys.

"I wanted her to walk on the hallowed ground," Garza said.

She did for a while, but Garza said he picked her up after she was stepped on a couple of times by bigger dogs. Some in the canine crowd were small enough to fit in the palm of a hand and others were nearly as big as their adult owners.

The field was packed with dogs rolling around on the grass, chasing tennis balls and flying discs, and flopping into kiddie pools filled with cool water.

Bands played on two separate stages, and vendors sold everything from microchips to beef flavored, non-alcoholic, non-carbonated doggie beer.

More than 200 people paid to have their photos taken with their dogs and then displayed on the Cotton Bowl video board.

Holcomb said that with so many different breeds and sizes of dogs, some people are surprised that there isn't more trouble.

But he said the participants are mostly well-behaved and simply happy to go outside and play.

Read Kerr of Oak Cliff brought Georgia, his chocolate Lab, mainly to socialize.

He said she is crazy about humans and dogs alike, which made the Cotton Bowl a perfect spot for her.

"My dog is 70 pounds of love," he said.

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Blog: Take a Bite Out of Dog Bite Stats
By Sandra M. Klepach - news-herald.com

Woodrow was the kind of dog who never needed a collar -- essentially my parents' first child.

But when my elementary school basketball coach showed up at the back door of the Klepach family home many years ago to collect a sports fee, and only myself, my little sister and my grandma were inside, Woodrow protectively chomped down on his arm.

This, his single biting incident, has stuck with me all these years because Woody was otherwise the most docile, obedient and loving dog I've ever known. Mom and Dad struggled to wrap their heads around this. Woody was up in age by then, maybe more skittish, they theorized. But this was also a great example of the animal instincts still locked within many-a-man's best friend -- no matter how docile, obedient or loving.

Today kicks off National Dog Bite Prevention Week. You may think your dog would never bite, but according to the Veterinary Medical Association as many as 800,000 people are admitted to emergency rooms every year from dog bites.

It's worse for kids, highest between the ages of 5 and 9. Childhood emergency room visits for dog bites exceed those for skateboard, inline skating, baby walker, all-terrain vehicle and horseback riding accidents combined, according to PreventTheBite.org.

The U.S. Postal Service adds that children are 900 times more likely than letter carriers to get bit, and the elderly are second most threatened, but dogs also sunk their teeth into 3,000 letter carriers delivering last year's mail.

Most dogs aren't intrinsically ferocious, however. They bite based on natural urges and thought processes associated with getting loose. For instance, a letter carrier handing mail directly to a child may look like a threatening gesture through a dog's eyes -- as the exchange of my basketball fee did to Woodrow.

The USPS also offers these prevention tips:

• Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.

• If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, and then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.

• Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.

• If you choose to pet a dog, always let the dog see and sniff you before petting it.

• If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.

The Humane Society of the United States also has a Web site, NoDogBites.org, with several lists about how to prevent dog bites. Even if the dogs in your life have impeccable behavior, please take a few moments this week to educate yourself and your family.

Pamper Pet Before, During Move
Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore - Scripps Howard News Service

Moving with animals? Check the laws to see whether you need their health records while traveling.

Ashleigh, a marketing associate who works with us, recently moved to Los Angeles - 1,958 air miles from her Michigan hometown. That in itself was stressful enough.

But the worst part of the move: coordinating getting her two "babies" - Ragdoll cats Lilleigh and Breagan - to their new home.

Ashleigh and boyfriend Brett spent $300 to carry the cats in travel bags in the airplane cabin with them. The process was grueling. Why? Because she was so wrapped up in other elements of the big move that she forgot to take the proper measures to prepare her pets.

It takes time and energy - in short supply during a move - to ensure that pets are taken care of before the big day and during the period of adjustment after a move. Learn from Ashleigh's mistakes and ensure that your move is smoother for you and your pets.

Alicia on “Before the big move”
Pets like consistency and routine, and there's nothing consistent or routine about moving. Your pet's house is being boxed up and stacked around you, so your pet lacks an explanation why. The result? It may feel scared by changes in its environment.

To help ease the transition, do your best to keep the pet's things out and in the same areas of your home as long as possible. For example, cats can have a difficult time when you change the position of their litter box, and your dog may be upset if you move his bed.

Try to keep the food in the same place, too. And continue to spend as much time as you can pampering your pet. It's also best to keep it caged or in one room while you're moving things out to avoid the animal slipping out an open door.

Sarah on “Planning for transportation”
You know your pets better than anyone else. If you are driving to your new residence and it's more than three or four hours away, consider stopping at a hotel, rest stop or park. If your pet is high-stressed on a normal day, be prepared for it to be very upset on the day you leave. If flying with a small pet, do what you can to bring it with you in the cabin, as it is warmer and your voice can be comforting.

If you must ship a pet in the cargo hold, speak with your veterinarian and an airline representative first about the pros and cons. The cheapest option may be the best for your wallet, but not your pet.

Think ahead. Do you need room in your budget for pet-related moving expenses like carriers and transportation? You may even want to have a friend or relative watch your pet for a few days while you move and set up your new home. This way you can give it your full attention when it arrives in its new territory.

Additionally ...
1. Know the travel regulations.

Airlines require paperwork on health status. These certificates cost $30 to $100 per animal. You may also find that your destination requires extra vaccines to bring a pet there - especially for an international move. Some countries require a quarantine period of up to six months for foreign pets.

Some airlines allow only working animals in the cabin. Check your state's laws for crossing state borders even when traveling by car.

2. Acclimate to your new home.

All of the new sights, sounds and smells will certainly have your pet's mind racing. You may want to consider confining your pet to one room for the first few days. This will allow it to explore and get comfortable at a slower and less overwhelming pace.

Also, avoid stacking heavy boxes that your pet could knock over on itself.

3. Have a new emergency plan.

Find new emergency and regular vets as soon as possible. You can ask your current vet whether she has any recommendations in your new region.

Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a firm dedicated to helping women get organized.

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Plumber Uses Snake with Camera to Find Cat in Wall
The Associated Press

MARION, Ark. -- When Bubba the cat disappeared inside the home he shares with Cheryl and Phillip Albers, they knocked holes in walls looking for him, but he couldn't be found. Bubba's meows could be heard through the night last Monday, Cheryl Albers said, after he vanished following a visit from an air-conditioner repairman.

Bubba normally hides high atop a kitchen cabinet when there is a stranger in the house that he doesn't want to meet, Albers said. He wasn't there, however, after the repairman left.

Taking their cue from where they thought the meowing was coming from, the Albers cut holes in the walls of their dining room, their hallway and their closet. Then, they cut through the floor boards in their attic and ripped out insulation _ all to no avail. The meows continued, but there was no sign of the cat making them.

Finally, on Thursday, the Albers called Roto Rooter.

"We're plumbers, not cat finders," Roto Rooter's Fred Simmons told Memphis, Tenn., television station WMC.

But using a camera-equipped metal snake to search between the walls, Simmons turned out to be a cat finder after all.

"We just run the camera down through it and seen two eyes," Simmons said.

Bubba had fallen into a hole in the wall at her favorite hiding place and got stuck in a narrow passageway between the cabinet and the wall. After putting one more hole in the hall closet, Bubba was set free.

"She's really good today," Albers said Friday. "She's eating and drinking and we're all happy again."

In typical cat style, Bubba snubbed the man who saved her life, but her owner couldn't be more grateful.

Simmons said Roto Rooter won't be charging the Albers for the hours spent looking for Bubba.

But Bubba's adventure won't be cheap _ they still have to repair the damage they did to their home.

Information from: WMC-TV,http://www.wmctv.com/

Dog's Lives Saved by Pet Oxygen Masks After Fire

WICHITA, Kan. (NBC NEWS) - Firefighters administered oxygen to a tiny chihuahua -- one of two dogs they found unresponsive after fire swept through a mobile home

Fire victim Verna Goff said "I never really knew how much they meant to me until I saw them lying there."

Goff says her 4-year-old grandson set a mattress on fire while playing with a cigarette lighter. Everyone else got out okay, except for the two dogs.

Goff’s sister Suzie Hyatt explains why they were still in house.

"They could've went out but they were too afraid...they went and hid instead of getting out the doggie door."

Firefighters found the two pets in a back room -- and both were having a hard-time breathing.

Forty-two of these new specialized oxygen masks (designed specifically for pets) were donated to the department earlier this year by Invisible Fence.

It's believed this is the first time firefighters have used them.

Capt. Brad Boyd of the Wichita Fire Department says saving pets may help the health of the owner as well.

"Animals aren't that much different than people so there's little treatments you can do that'll make a difference. For the owner whose ecstatic we saved both her pets, you can make a difference."

After being treated by firefighters both dogs appeared fine. It's a huge relief to their owner -- who couldn't have been happier the department had the right equipment to save her pets.

"Thank God they had them [the masks]. They're just like family. I don't know what I’d do without them," Goff said.

"Things can be replaced. Lives can’t. Whether they're animals or people."

Top 10 Pet Travel Tips for Memorial Day

PurinaCare offers pet owners the keys to stress-free travel with your pet

Every Memorial Day thousands of families hit the road for a getaway. For those traveling with pets, additional preparation can make the difference between a stress-free holiday and a trip filled with anxiety for you and your pet.

PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance (www.purinacare.com) is dedicated to providing pet owners the tools they need to care for their pets. This Memorial Day, PurinaCare is offering Top 10 Pet Travel Tips to help prepare families and their pets for the summer travel season.

PurinaCare(R) Top 10 Pet Travel Tips for Memorial Day

--Take updated vaccinations / medical records with you on the trip.
--Carry a copy of your veterinarian's business card or phone number.
--Pack any medications (including heartworm prevention).
--Make sure your pet's collar has updated I.D. information.
--Have a leash and harness easily accessible.
--Pack containers of water for rest stops; plan to stop at least every two hours.
--Have an adequate supply of pet food in a watertight container.
--Never leave your pet in the car. Plan stops at pet friendly locations.
--Look for pet friendly hotels and call ahead to make reservations.
--For cats carry a litter box and supply of litter.

Information provided by:

William H. Craig, DVM, Chief Medical and Underwriting Director of PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance. Dr. Craig brings 30 years in private veterinary practice to PurinaCare.

About PurinaCare(R) Insurance Services Inc.

PurinaCare(R) Insurance Services Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestle Purina PetCare Company - one of the leading global players in the pet food industry. As part of the Nestle Purina PetCare family, PurinaCare(R) Insurance Services Inc. promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. PurinaCare(R) Insurance Services Inc. markets and sells PurinaCare(R) policies as a licensed insurance agency. www.purinacare.com

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Man Shoots Dog After It Attacked His Cat

SCOTT TOWNSHIP -- A German Shepherd dog was taken to an animal hospital in Tiffin after being shot by a man who claims the dog wandered onto his property.

According to Sandusky County Sheriff reports, deputies responded to the 6100 block of Sandusky County Road 11 just after 1 p.m. on a report of a dog being shot.

When the police arrived, they met with the dog's owner who said his neighbor was responsible. The dog had injuries to both front legs and was being bandaged up at the time, reports say.

The neighbor who shot the dog, said the dog was by his house and had one of his cats in his mouth. He stated he yelled at the dog before retrieving his gun.

He said he fired the gun into the ground but must have hit it in the leg.

Animal Cruelty Investigator Denny Hammond arrived on scene and the alleged cat involved was found and did appear to have dog saliva and was frightened, the report said.

The report is forwarded to the Hammond for a follow up investigation.

"Cat Bong" Case in Court
Lincoln Reporter: KOLNKGIN

A Lincoln man and his girlfriend, facing animal cruelty charges after putting a cat in a makeshift marijuana bong, were in court again Tuesday.

A hearing for 20-year-old Acea Schomaker has been set for June 30 in Lancaster County Court. A decision could be made then whether Schomaker's case will go to trial. A trial date was set for Schomaker's girlfriend, 22-year-old Marissa Vieux, who is also accused in the case. A jury trial for Vieux has been scheduled June 8.

Schomaker also faces other drug charges stemming from the March 1 incident.

Schomaker acknowledged to The Associated Press in an interview that he had smoked pot from the bong with a 6-month-old cat named Shadow inside. Schomaker says he was not being intentionally cruel, that he was just trying to calm the cat because she was hyper.

Puppy Love

Elk Grove pet owners love their animals

Pets can be a lot of work, but they add so much joy to a person’s life

The loyal dog is man’s best friend. The intuitive cat knows when you need some cuddling. Some birds talk to people.

Animals don’t speak our language, but they seem to understand our needs and emotions pretty well.

This week I interviewed many pet lovers in Elk Grove. I discovered that Elk Grove is full of dedicated pet owners and animal-services business owners.

I met with Dr. Thomas Zehnder and Dr. Michael Johnson, owners of the Bradshaw Vet Clinic. The most surprising fact I learned about pet health was that pet dental care is important for internal health, just as it is for humans.

My childhood dog Bartley lived a long life. Near the end of his life in 1997, the vet recommended we brush his teeth with a toothbrush. I suppose this was when doggie dental care was really taking off and maybe this could have helped him live longer had we started it earlier. At the time we thought this looked silly. I still think brushing a dog’s teeth looks ridiculous (and kind of cute), but it is essential for their health. If I had a dog now I would definitely brush their teeth.

Dr. Zehnder and Dr. Johnson had so much useful pet care information. I also learned a new term referring to small pets. “Pocket pets,” said Dr. Johnson, are guinea pigs and other small critters.

I also used this opportunity to ask them other animal-related questions I had wanted to know. I asked them “How rare is a two-headed guinea pig?”

As a child, I raised a family of guinea pigs. The father was named Cinnamon, the mother was Pepper; you might be able to guess the colors of their coats. Cinnamon and Pepper had a couple of litters. One litter produced a two-headed guinea pig. Unfortunately, it only lived one day. I also had hundreds of pet mice and one of those had two heads; it did not live long either. My fish gave birth to a two-headed guppy as well.

The doctors said two-headed pets were rare. I guess my two-headed pet experience was just by chance. However, they also had a two-headed animal once.

“We had a two headed calf,” Johnson said. “We kept that alive long enough that everybody fell in love with it.”

People these days are more bonded than ever with their pets.

Not only did the veterinarians share that sentiment, but so did artist Erin Martinelli, who creates “BarkArt” dog portraits.

Her dog Barkley inspired the name of her artwork in which she uses acrylic paint to create dog paintings from photographs.

Martinelli will set-up a table and display her art at this year’s 16th Annual Doggie Dash and Bark at the Park Festival on Saturday, May 30 presented by the Sacramento SPCA. This event is also in our “Arts Calendar.”

She’s donating 10 percent of her sales’ profits to the organization.

Martinelli said the SPCA needs financial help right now because so many pets are being given-up, or worse, abandoned due to foreclosures.

I spoke with Lesley Kirrene, Director of Public Relations at the Sacramento SPCA this week. She confirmed what Martinelli said about pets being abandoned.

“We experienced an increase in people who say ‘we’ve lost our homes,’” she said.

Often, when people move out of a house they owned into a rental, the rental does not allow pets, so they have to get rid of their pet.

The SPCA offers a list of apartments that allow pets. Kirrene also said that if someone absolutely cannot keep their animal, it’s best to give them to the Sacramento SPCA because animals cannot survive on their own.

“It is a better choice to bring an animal to shelter rather than leave them to fend for themselves, which they can’t,” she said.

A common misconception is that all animal shelters put animals to sleep after a certain number of days. The Sacramento SPCA only puts aggressive animals to sleep after five days. The rest of the animals are kept and cared for until they’re adopted out.

“At least at a shelter, they’re given a chance,” Kirrene said. “There’s a chance at a another home for them.”

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