Dear animal lover,
Here's our April newsletter, highlighting the latest news on animal rescues and animal welfare across Quebec and Ontario (click the bolded words to read the full stories). If you have any news or upcoming events you'd like us to share next month, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article of the Month
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How to entertain your pet during this quarantine
By: Melanie Dziengo
This is an unusual time for all of us humans. But, to our pets, it means their favourite person is home more often, and that means playtime (no matter what you need to get done)! Read on to find out how you can entertain your pet while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine.
Firstly, you’re still allowed to walk your dog, but take some precautions while doing so. This includes avoiding large groups, particularly if your local dog park is still open, and being in close contact with other people. Just remember social distancing guidelines, and apply them while you’re walking your dog.
There are several ways to keep your dog entertained, especially if you have work assignments to finish. Firstly, you can put peanut butter (or whatever else your dog likes) in a KONG. This will keep their focus on attaining the peanut butter, while also not looking to you to be an entertainment committee. You can also use a food puzzle, or hide food around the house. Just try to keep your dog’s nose busy — that way they’re more focused on tracking down whatever food you’ve hidden, and not you.
We know most cats are good at entertaining themselves, but occasionally they do like to be the centre of attention. So, keep your cat busy by leaving them an empty box. They love to scratch them, or even just sit in them (also, try not to pull out your phone to take a new Instagram photo — even if your cat sitting in a new box is the cutest they’ve ever been. You’re supposed to be working!), providing cats hours of entertainment. You can also use the cat version of a Kong. Just like dogs, the goal is to keep their minds focused on something else, giving you the ability to get your work done. You can also buy more cat toys! There are many on the market, and you know your cat best, so choose what you think is appropriate. Lastly, if you need a break from your work and you want to entertain your cat, try a laser pointer. It not only keeps your cat amused and exercising, it also provides you with some joy!
Both cats and dogs
A quick tip for keeping both cats and dogs entertained is to turn on the radio or play animal videos on YouTube. It will give them something to listen to, and hopefully relax them a bit.
With these tips, we hope you and your animals continue to be safe, happy, and healthy. We know these are challenging times, and we can get through it if we do so together.
Various rescues in the Greater Toronto Area are looking for foster pet parents. If you’re interested, click here to find out which organizations could use your help. We know these are difficult and uncertain times, so bringing a pet into your life may help you get through them.
A dog in China was found to possibly have a “low-level infection” of coronavirus. Officials could not rule it out because there wasn’t a strong immune response, and there weren’t enough measurable amounts of antibodies in the dog’s blood. But, some experts say there may be a need to quarantine your pets.
In Milton, ON, Halton Regional Police are investigating a potential dognapping. The eight-month-old bulldog mix, named Maisie, was stolen from Iron Horse Equestrian Complex. Anyone with information is asked to call the police or Crime Stoppers.
A resident may have taken it upon themselves to put bicycle locks on the gates of the off-leash dog area at Wychwood Barns Park in Toronto. According to residents, one neighbour is allegedly particularly angry about the sound of barking dogs.
Two dogs in New Brunswick had quite the adventure, sailing on an ice floe for five days. The dogs, named Heidi and King, travelled 80 km from their home in Belledune, NB to Janeville, NB. It is believed they were chasing a fox, and then were led to the ice.
The new “dangerous dogs” modifications to Bill-128 went into effect in Quebec on March 3. Enforcement of the law will be applied at both provincial and municipal levels. The new laws include municipal inspectors being allowed to enter cars where a dangerous dog is seen or suspected to be, and municipalities can prohibit residents from owning, acquiring, keeping, or breeding a dog they deem dangerous for a certain period of time, in addition to other changes.
An investigation is underway after a video that was posted to Facebook showed an employee at a dog sled facility allegedly hitting and slapping dogs. The woman who took the video was at Expedition Mi-Loup in Saint-Jean-de-l’île-d’Orléans, and says that she witnessed the alleged abuse and neglect.
After the Edmonton Humane Society put out a request for foster homes because they were forced to close their doors due to COVID-19, the humane society found they quickly had to close applications due to an “outpouring of support.”
Veterinarian clinics in Nova Scotia are changing the way they operate, only taking essential appointments, and having staff triage patients over the phone. Also, the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association is campaigning the provincial government to request that veterinarians be declared an essential service.
Humane societies across Canada are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have to close to the general public and send volunteers home, and are struggling to make ends meet. However, they are also finding innovation, with the Toronto Humane Society continuing adoptions digitally, with phone interviews and in-person meet and greets at the shelter still proceeding.
Animal shelters and veterinary offices have been declared an essential service in Quebec. They are now putting measures in place to ensure staff, animals, and clients stay safe. Also, the SPCA has moved their application system online, and are only providing essential services to animals in need.
York Regional Police are searching for a 3-year-old Alaskan Malamute that was stolen outside of a Markham, Ont. condo building. The dog, Zhipi, is 100 pounds, with black and white fur, brown eyes, and a black nose with a pink spot in the centre. If you know anything about the dog’s whereabouts, please contact Crimestoppers.
If you are infected with COVID-19, you cannot pass it on to your pets. But, if you do test positive, you should limit contact with your pets as much as possible. There have been cases of animals testing contracting COVID-19, but it is extremely rare.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association wants pet owners to know that they are prepared to handle medical services during the current pandemic. Veterinarians are taking the necessary precautions, admitting patients one by one, and handling inquiries over the phone, if it’s not essential the animal has to come in.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking financial assistance after they rescued 53 animals, including 36 miniature horses in the province’s interior. The animals were found in terrible condition, and now have foster homes, and some have been adopted. But, the costs associated with the animals’ care and recovery is quickly adding up.
Pets of the Month