Tinsle’s Story

I felt so bad for so long, I didn’t remember what it felt like to feel good. My fur was so matted that it pulled on my skin and hurt dreadfully. My ears were so full of mites and infection that I scratched them raw. My owners said the mats were good for protection against other neighborhood cats. Fortunately I come from good hardy stock. AniMeals took me in and nursed me back to health, got me a new haircut and I’m on top of the world again! The only thing that would make my life  better would be a family to love me!



Donny’s Story


He’s one of the 21 cats that were rescued from the 3rd Street trailer park. He’s got things to do and living in a shelter was not part of his plan! This is an extremely inconvenient turn of events. He wants to “bust outa here”. He wants to feel the sun on his face and the grass between his toes! He wants to live life to the fullest! He wants a forever family that won’t leave him again. He wants to come home with YOU!



The Fourth of July is a time of celebration…all about family, fun, food…and fireworks.  However, animal welfare groups assert that it is the most dangerous day of the year for your dog, and  rescues and shelters are inundated in the days following the Fourth with pets who,  panicked at the noise of firecrackers , simply bolted and ran, winding up lost, injured, or killed.  The truth is that fireworks and dogs simply do not mix well! Even the bravest dogs can become terrified by the explosions of fireworks,  which  are loud to the human ear, and your dog’s  hearing is more sensitive than the human ear can even register.  The most important thing you can do is to keep her away from fireworks displays!

dogfire*Do NOT leave your dog outside.   Many otherwise calm dogs have broken their restraint or jumped a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.  If you have friends or neighbors who leave their dogs outdoors, please visit with them about the dangers involved.

*Be sure your pet’s information is up-to-date.   Often fireworks are set off ahead of the official scheduled time, by well meaning neighbors or friends, and your dog can escape if he is startled by the fire and thunder shattering the night!  If your pet doesn’t have a collar with current info on it, as well as a microchip with your current information, now is the time to get them.  Identification is the best way to be reunited with a lost dog.

*Never use fireworks around your pets.  While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns or trauma, even unused fireworks can be hazardous.  Many fireworks contain potentially toxic substances including potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals.

*Exercise your dog early in the day before the fireworks begin, and  take him outside to relieve himself a few hours before the fireworks begin.   Then confine him to a quiet area of your home that is somewhat sheltered from outside noise. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure to remove items that they might destroy or be harmful to them if chewed.  Create a safe haven  with a cozy, inviting bed,  favorite toys, and maybe a Kong or two.

Is Your Cat Or Dog Afraid of Fireworks Or Thunderstorms, pets, pet, dogs, dog,*Turn on a fan, the radio, or the television  (or maybe all three) to drown out the popping and the booming, and close  the curtains or blinds   We have a shelf full of CD’s promising to calm dogs, and most of them are what I call “snake oil,”  but we did find one that works…itreally calms frightened or traumatized dogs.   Canine Lullabies is amazing; we have used it for years at the TLC Canine Center.   For information on this CD, go to www.caninelullabies.com, or call toll free, 1-800-537-7748.   Actually I suggest you check out the website to get basic info, and then call and visit with Terry.

*Bach Rescue Remedy is a homeopathic  natural relief for any stressful situation, and  this blend of 5 of the 38 Bach Original Flower Essences, developed by Dr. Edward Bach, has been used by humans for more  than 70 years.  It has also been found helpful in creating calming effect when your  pet needs help overcoming a variety of emotional or behavioral problems.  I have found it to be very effective on some dogs.   Check it out at www.rescueremedy.com

*We have also successfully used a commercial product, the Thundershirt.  Created by behavioral experts, this item often calms dogs in a manner similar to swaddling an infant.  It uses gentle hugging  to lessen anxiety or fear.  How does it work?   I don’t know, and it doesn’t work on every dog, but for those who have anxious or traumatized dogs, it is worth a try.  It is believed that the pressure possibly releases a calming hormone like endorphins, and certainly using pressure to relieve anxiety in both people and animals has been a common practice for years.  Many medical professionals today routinely teach swaddling to new parents, and families and friends have been passing down this wisdom for centuries. Go to www.thundershirt.com  for info.

Please do  yourself  (and your dog) a favor this holiday and keep her safely inside, away from dangerous, toxic, hot, frightening items.  By just taking a few precautions, everyone…canine and human… will  have a safe, happy, Fourth of July.

Larsen can be contacted at Paw Prints, Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 or by e-mail at plarsen@rconnect.com



Give LOCAL Missoula is going on RIGHT NOW and ends at midnight tonight! Follow this link to donate to AniMeals in this 24 hour online donation campaign. So far we only have one donation, lets see if we can increase the number of gifts to 10 by 10am! Lets feed some hungry animals!


PET FRIENDLY GARDENING TIPS (written by Pauline Larsen)

dog-gardenSpring is finally bringing more pleasant weather, and gardening season is here!   It’s time to prepare your garden…or at least your outdoor flower pots, for the bountiful time ahead, but if you have a dog, you  need to know that gardens can be hazardous to their health.   The ASPCA reminds animal caregivers to be mindful of the well-being of  their pets as April showers bring May flowers.  The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received more than 60,000 calls last year involving pets who had been exposed to toxic plants, insecticides, and weed killers.

While  plants  found in our gardens are beautiful to look at,  I was naively unaware  that these same plants can cause serious problems for our animals.  Lilies are one of the most  common poisonous plants found both in gardens and in indoor bouquets, but there are many other types of plants that can be poisonous.  Rhododendrons, azaleas, Japanese ewe, foxglove, tulips, hyacinth, daffodils,  crocus, lily of the valley,  oleanders, caster beans, sago palms, amaryllis, English ivy,  chrysanthemums, (and marijuana J),  are among those that can cause serious health problems for your dog.


Tulips  and hyacinths contain allergenic lactones  that contain concentrated amounts in the bulbs, so make sure your dog isn’t digging up the bulbs in  your garden.  When the plant parts or bulbs are ingested , it can result in tissue irritation, and cause vomiting or diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed.    With large ingestions of the bulb,  increase in heart rate and changes in respiration can occur, and should be treated by a veterinarian.

Ingestion of daffodil bulbs, plants, or flowers can result in severe vomiting, diarrhea, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias, and again, veterinary care is recommended.

There are dangerous and benign lilies out there, with the Peace, and Calla lilies just causing minor irritations.  More dangerous, potentially fatal  ones  include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies.

There are two Crocus plants:  one that blooms in the spring and the other in the autumn.  The spring plants are more common and can cause general gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea.  The  Autumn Crocus is highly toxic  and can cause severe problems, including liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure.  If you are like me, you may not be sure what plant you have, so it is best to consult your vet for care.  (Signs of ingestion may be seen immediately, but can also be delayed for several days)

I  love Lily of the Valley, but this plant can cause symptoms similar to foxglove ingestion, including  vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures, and will need to be professionally treated.

. It is important to remember that all dogs are different.  An older dog might not  be as likely to get into  dangerous toxins, but a curious puppy could be a different story.  Puppies  chew on just about anything, so it is imperative to sure that these unintentional “chew toys” aren’t  available to them.  Also, consider the activity level of your individual pet…some breeds are known for high-level curiosity.

Dr. Tina Wismer,   at the ASPCA’s poison control center, asserts, “Our number one phone call to poison control is about Labrador Retrievers.  They are big dogs that can get on the table or counter, and they are retrievers, so everything goes into their mouths, but Labs aren’t the only breed at risk.  Gardeners need to be aware that insecticides and mold growing on compost pile can be deadly to any dog, and fertilizers , and cocoa mulch, often used in landscaping, also pose health risks when large amounts are consumed.  Garden tools, including rakes, tillers, hoes, and trowels can be hazardous, and rusty, sharp tools caked in dirt pose a risk for tetanus, so be sure all tools are stored in a safe place. Prevention is always to best approach, so it is best to keep your dog restricted from any potentially harmful section of your garden.  Both you and your dog will benefit!”

For a complete list of plants that are toxic to dogs, go to www.aspca.org/toxicplants.

Larsen can be contacted at Paw Prints, Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 or by e-mail at plarsen@rconnect.com