Dear animal lover,
Here's our June 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 .
Article of the Month
How to bond with your new rescue cat
By: Melanie Dziengo
You’ve done your research about what kind of pet is right for you and your lifestyle, you’ve looked up which rescue or shelter you’d like to work with, met the cat that you want to welcome into your home, and have gone through the adoption process successfully. Now comes the time when you have to establish a strong bond with your new best friend. How can you go about doing so? Read on to find out.
When you first bring a cat home, you must give them their own space. This means having an extra room where the cat can hang out and adjust to its new surroundings. You should also leave the litter box, food, water, toys, and other essentials in the room. Also, avoid petting your cat. Yes, you will want to scoop up your cat, play with him or her, etc., but this isn’t a good idea because, according to one expert, “Cats see the world differently than [humans] do.” And, not having space at first and giving your cat time to adjust will definitely ruin the bond you’re trying to establish.
Let the cat come to you
After a day or so, or when you think your new cat has adjusted some more, you can let him or her out to explore the rest of your home. This means living your life as normally as possible, and letting the cat come to you. How long this will take depends on your cat, and he or she is leading the way in that regard. Some cats take a few days, others may take longer. Either way, you have to be patient. And, you know you’ve started to establish a bond when “the cat walks right up to you, and starts rubbing you with her forehead,” says Dr. Nicolas Dodman.
Look for warning signs
You should pay attention to your new cat’s behaviour and body language when you’re interacting with him or her. This includes dilated pupils, flattened ears, and a tail that sways aggressively. If this happens, leave your cat alone. It is also a good opportunity to give your cat a chance to go back to his or her safe space. If your cat comes to you again, then you know he or she has calmed down, and you can give your cat a treat so he or she knows they’re safe.
Establish a routine
Cats in particular thrive on routine. In fact, researchers at the Ohio State University looked at how stress affected cats. They found 12 of 32 cats involved in the study were healthy, while 20 had an inflammatory condition of their bladders and urinary tracts. Furthermore, when the cats’ routine changed, the healthy cats started to get sick more often. This is why it’s important to establish a routine — and stick to it — early. You can ask the rescue for information on your new cat’s routine, and then slowly adapt it to fit your lifestyle. Even if you decide to not change the routine, remember: It’s vital to establish the routine and stick to it.
Help the bonding along
Have treats, toys, such as a laser pointer, and food around when you’re hanging out with your cat. If you do this, your cat will start to associate happy moments with you, helping to continue building your bond with each other. Also, if you think your cat is comfortable, you can pet your cat. If you do all this, your cat will begin to trust you, see you as a safe space, and continue to build your bond.
With these tips, you will have a connection with your cat that will last a lifetime. If you’re thinking of adopting a cat, June is the perfect time to do so because it’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month! Good luck.
An Ontario woman was scammed out of $950 after trying to get a puppy that was allegedly in Thunder Bay, Ont. She found a dog on the website eclassifieds 4 U, and wired $500, another $450 in Google Play cards, and $450 Steam gift cards.
Pets are a big part of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and social isolation. In fact, animal rescue groups across Canada are seeing an increase in the number of adoptions. This also means that potential owners should think about the long-term consequences.
Durham Regional Police are warning the public about an increase in puppy scams. More than 15 cases have been reported since January, and all involved victims responding to online ads.
Researchers from the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College are trying to figure out why some pets can be infected with COVID-19, while others cannot. They are looking at households who have had symptoms or a positive COVID-19 test, and who have cats, dogs, or ferrets. It is the first study of its kind.
Dog parks across the country are opening once again. While dog parks can be used, you should be cautious, and you and your dog should follow social distancing rules.
A stray dog in Moose Jaw, Sask. has found a forever home, partly because of the pandemic. The local humane society tried to rescue her, but she was too afraid of people. Eventually the dog, now named Boo, was rescued and bonded with another dog who lived across the street. Boo now lives with the family who had patience, and showed Boo how to love and trust people.
York Regional Police are asking the public for information after a dog got sick and died after eating potentially poisoned food in Markham, Ont. They say an unknown substance was left in a water bottle that was cut open.
Animal experts and police across the country are asking pet owners to leave their pets at home as the temperature rises due to the risk of their animals being left in hot cars. Some police departments have stated that they have already received calls for pets left in vehicles.
Public Health Ontario is urging pet owners to not touch their pets if owners are sick. They say that while there is currently no evidence that symptoms of COVID-19 can be passed on to animals, it is better to err on the side of caution. So, if you are sick, avoid contact with your pets the same way would avoid contact with other people.
Since our pets have gotten used to us being home more often, they — especially dogs — may start to experience separation anxiety. In order to alleviate some of that stress when pet owners do go back to work, they can give their pets more alone time.
A Winnipeg dog rescue, called Spirit of Hope Rescue, got creative in the way they fundraise in the wake of the global pandemic. Instead of holding in-store events, volunteers have been collecting cans, bottles, and other refundable recyclables in order to raise money for the dogs’ vet bills. Doing so has helped put the rescue back in the black.
China has approved a directive excluding dogs from being classified as farm animals. This comes just weeks ahead of the Yulin festival, which is a dog meat festival. It also means potentially 10 million dogs a year could be saved from being killed for meat.
Obesity can also affect cats and dogs. One global study found more than half of owners will give their pets food if the animals beg for it. Click here to find out more.
Pets of the Month