Welcome to the blog for It's Meow or Never Animal Rescue, a 501(c)(3), non-profit, no-kill animal rescue organization. We rescue cats and dogs and after having them seen by the vet, we adopt them to loving, forever homes. Please come back often as we will try and update this site every day.

Please contact us if you need adoption assistance with an animal - if you provide a photo of the animal, we can list it on national databases to help find it a suitable home.

Please*do not* ever give your animal away for free ... learn why.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ten "Do's" for Your Dog

Your dog gives you a lifetime of unconditional love, loyalty, and friendship. In return, she counts on you to provide her with food, water, safe shelter, regular veterinary care, exercise, companionship, and more. Take care of these ten essentials, and you'll be guaranteed to develop a rewarding relationship with your canine companion.

  • Outfit your dog with a collar and ID tag that includes your name, address, and telephone number. No matter how careful you are, there's a chance your companion may become lost—an ID tag greatly increases the chance that your pet will be returned home safely.
  • Follow local laws for licensing your dog and vaccinating him for rabies. Check with your local animal shelter or humane society for information regarding legal requirements, where to obtain tags, and where to have your pet vaccinated.
  • Follow this simple rule—off property, on leash. Even a dog with a valid license, rabies tag, and ID tag should not be allowed to roam outside of your home or fenced yard. It is best for you, your community, and your dog to keep your pet under control at all times.
  • Give your dog proper shelter. A fenced yard with a doghouse is a bonus, especially for large and active dogs; however, dogs should never be left outside alone or for extended periods of time. Dogs need and crave companionship and should spend most of their time inside with their family.
  • Take your dog to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. If you do not have a veterinarian, ask your local animal shelter or a pet-owning friend for a referral and check out our information on choosing a veterinarian.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Dogs who have this routine surgery tend to live longer, be healthier, and have fewer behavior problems (e.g., biting, running away). By spaying or neutering your dog, you are also doing your part to reduce the problem of pet overpopulation.
  • Give your pooch a nutritionally balanced diet, including constant access to fresh water. Ask your veterinarian for advice on what and how often to feed your pet.
  • Enroll your dog in a training class. Positive training will allow you to control your companion's behavior safely and humanely, and the experience offers a terrific opportunity to enhance the bond you share with your dog. Check out our information on choosing a dog trainer.
  • Give your dog enough exercise to keep him physically fit (but not exhausted). Most dog owners find that playing with their canine companion, along with walking him twice a day, provides sufficient exercise. If you have questions about the level of exercise appropriate for your dog, consult your veterinarian.
  • Be loyal to and patient with your faithful companion. Make sure the expectations you have of your dog are reasonable and remember that the vast majority of behavior problems can be solved. If you are struggling with your pet's behavior, contact us or your veterinarian for advice.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Silencing the Problem Barker

Barking is generally considered a normal behavior that most dogs display. Some breeds tend to bark more than others, and domesticated dogs seem to bark more frequently and for different reasons than wild dogs. Barking is, after all, a method by which dogs communicate with one another and with their human companions.

However, dogs that bark in excess can become annoying or downright disruptive to the general peace. Some cities have ordinances to govern the barking of dogs and assess fines or other penalties to people who own dogs that bark excessively. Barking has even been known to cause neighborhood disputes and subsequent court battles.

It is prudent, therefore, to learn how to control your dog's barking. To do so, it is important to understand the reasons that dog bark.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

We've identified seven general reasons for barking. Each generates a different kind of bark with a unique sound.

1. Barking to induce play.
This bark is generally muffled, with accompanying tail wagging and the characteristic crouching with head lowered to the ground, hindquarters raised. Dogs will stop barking as the play proceeds. If you do not play with the dog, the animal will eventually give up and stop barking.

2. Barking to discipline young.
This sound usually involves a snap and a sharp bark, uttered when puppies or younger dogs do something that irritates an older dog. The bark itself generally does not persist, as one or two warnings usually stop younger animals in their tracks.

3. Barking to warn of danger.
This is a deep, repeated bark. The dog's tail will be motionless or lowered to the ground and the dog's forelimbs will be widely spaced on the ground. The barking will generally persist until the source of danger is removed or until the dog is able to retreat to a position of safety.

4. Barking to threaten intruders.
This bark may include an angry growl. The dog may raise its hackles and the hair on its back and tail. The dog will plant all four feet squarely and assume a fighting stance. As the dog barks, the teeth and gums will be readily visible. To stop such a bark, you must either remove the intruder or remove the dog from the situation. Sometimes, stepping to the dog's side and assuring it that all is well will cause it to stop barking.

5. Curiosity barking.
In general, this bark is displayed when there is some activity near a dog, but in such a place where the animal cannot have a good look. It is as if the dog is saying, "Hey, what's up?" The dog will display excitement and tend to pace erratically with a slightly wagging tail. To stop the barking, all you have to do is let the dog see what it is curious about.

6. Barking for companionship.
This is an incessant, repetitive bark, accompanied by a relatively motionless tail and concentration toward the area most associated with the dog's owners. The solution to this type of bark is to spend more time with the dog and to allow the dog access to the area where humans spend their time. This bark is often displayed by dogs that are ignored, tied out by themselves or locked up alone.

7. Barking for reward.
Finally, dogs can be inadvertently trained to bark and will persist with remarkable resistance. Barking can become associated with almost any activity that leads to reward. For instance, a dog that barks at garbage trucks because they intrude within its territory will learn that persistent barking leads to the disappearance of the trucks. This rewards the barking behavior, and a cycle is begun that is difficult to break. Persistent barking can then generalize to other objects-school buses, neighbors walking by, children on the way to school, the paper boy, mailman, milkman and so on. To break the cycle, it is necessary to interrupt the natural system of reward.

Solutions to Barking

The first five reasons for barking are rarely the cause of "excessive" or "annoying" barking. They are usually specific to certain situations and short-lived. The sixth and seventh reasons are those most likely to be considered problem barking, and they are not unrelated.

Barking for companionship can turn into barking for reward: The dog barks to get its owner's attention, the owner comes to the dog to tell it to be quiet, perhaps petting it or playing with it, and goes away again. The dog is quiet while the owner is there, but has learned that barking will bring the owner back. Thus the system of barking and reward is established. A solution, again, is to spend more time with your dog and have it near you rather than tied up somewhere separate from you. However, if your dog is separated from you and it begins to bark to get your attention, do not immediately go to the dog. It must learn that barking will not guarantee your presence. By spending more time with the dog at regular intervals not instigated by barking, your dog will feel more assured that it will get sufficient attention from you and will not have as much inclination to bark for companionship.

How do you teach a barking dog to distinguish between friends and strangers? The solution is to show the dog that certain individuals (garbage collectors, mailmen, milkmen) are, indeed, friends. To accomplish this, the dog has to be introduced to these people and given an opportunity to get to know them. While this is not always practical, it is nonetheless a potential solution. As you restrain your dog, stop delivery people and have a short conversation with them, letting them meet the dog for a brief period. Repeat and lengthen the process over the next few weeks. Eventually, your dog should accept these individuals and all will be well until your regular mailman is sick and another takes his place.

What do you do with a dog that barks at guests in your house? One solution is to take the dog to another room and give it something to do. Or, if the guest comes to your home often and you don't want to have to lock up the dog every time, work to gradually introduce one to the other. Have the guest get on his knees, pet the dog, offer it a treat, and more or less become part of the family. Let your dog establish the speed at which this relationship develops: Don't force it, or your dog may become alarmed by a "pushy" guest.

How do you deal with a dog that barks at the phone? This is simply a case of a dog that has been reward- ed for barking at the phone ringing. When the dog barks, someone eventually answers the phone and it stops ringing. To stop your dog from doing this, have a friend call and let the phone ring until the dog loses interest. Continue over a period of days, and in time the dog will learn that barking at the phone accomplishes nothing.

Finally, what do you do with the dog that barks while you are away from home? There are several possible solutions. One is to act as if you are leaving, then stand outside the door until the dog barks. When it does, return and scold it verbally. Another is to get your dog a companion - but you might end up with two barkers! A third is to use a sound-activated tape recorder. When the dog barks, the sound switch turns on the tape recorder for a minute. The tape plays your voice scolding the dog. Some systems can repeat as many as 45 times while you are away.

The best way to reduce your dog's barking is to pay attention to the reasons for the bark. If you can satisfy the dog's needs, barking will automatically be reduced. By the same token, learned barking can be extremely persistent. Internal rewards can cause the cycle to go on for years. The best solution is prevention, so be aware of the possibilities and work to stop problem barking before it starts.

We won Charity of the Month!

We're very excited to be chosen as Etsy for Charity's June Charity of the month thanks to your votes! We earned a whopping 70% of the votes!

Etsy for Charity is a group of Etsy sellers who contribute to the community with their crafts.

Through these crafts, "EFC" wishes to generate as much funds as possible to be donated to the various charity organizations from all parts of the world. EFC has come together to run the EFC Store at http://etsyforcharity.etsy.com.

100% of the sales (less the Etsy and Paypal fees) from this team store will be donated to the Charity of the Month.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lost & Found - Helpful Tips for Pet Reunion Success

Lost a Pet?

If you've lost a pet, here are some helpful tips:
  • Search your neighborhood leaving the description of your pet and your name and phone number with as many people as possible.
  • Post signs in the area where your pet was lost that includes a photo, detailed description, date and how you can be contacted. Note: be aware that some city ordinances prohibit posting of signs. Check with the authorities before doing this.
  • Search on and post a message to our Lost & Found Pet message board
  • Visit your local animal shelter. Ask them if they have a message board that you can post a message on.
  • Keep looking for and asking about your pet. Often, kind-hearted neighbors may not take your pet to a shelter right away in the hopes that they'll be able to find the owner on their own.
  • Post a prominent advertisement in your local paper with a photo, detailed description, date and and how you can be contacted.
  • Be sure to read the "Found" ads in your local paper regularly. Remember that others may not describe your pet the way that you would so it's important to check out any possible leads
Found a Pet?

If you've found a pet, here are some helpful tips:
  • Post an ad in your local paper.
  • Ask all of your neighbors if they recognize the animal.
  • Post signs in the area where the pet was found that includes a photo, detailed description, date and how you can be contacted. Note: be aware that some city ordinances prohibit posting of signs. Check with the authorities before doing this.
  • Be sure to read the "Found" ads in your local paper regularly.
  • Search on and post a message to our Lost & Found Pet message board.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inkjet Cartridges, Toner and Cell Phones

Wait! Don't throw out that empty cartridge or old phone! Put them to good use by donating them to It's Meow or Never Animal Rescue & Sanctuary!

We can recycle your empty printer cartridges or old, broken cell phones in an environmentally-friendly way while raising money to open our adoption center.

Simply mail your cartridges and phones to us at:

It's Meow or Never Animal Rescue & Sanctuary
PO Box 733
Woodinville, WA 98072

The animals thank you!

Free to a Good Home ...

If you find yourself in a situation where you must find a home for a pet, please remember one thing. Never give an animal away for free!

You should always charge at least $25 per animal.

Why? Because there are many people who use "free to good home" ads to collect free cats, kittens and dogs and then sell them to research labs. They usually get about $20 dollars a piece. Thus, $25 is the least you should charge.

Even worse, there are people involved in dog fighting that will use cats, kittens, and dogs to "train" pitbulls for dogfighting. Other people just enjoy torturing animals. So as you can see, "Free to good home" ads are a very bad idea!

Don't feel bad for charging a fee. If you do, you can donate the money to an animal rescue.

Obviously you don't have to charge a close friend or family member. But if a stranger wants your pet, remember to charge them an adoption fee.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our Purrfurred Catnip

Our 100 "purrcent" pure organic catnip is guaranteed to please the most discriminating kitty! All proceeds benefit the animals in our care.

Treat your favorite feline friend to the gift of a fresh bag of our Purrfurred Catnip™! The same powerful catnip we use to make our Kitty Kickers catnip toys is now available to you in your choice of a 3 ounce, 1 pound or 5 pound bag!

3 ounce bag
$3.50 + $1.50 shipping

1 pound bag
$12.00 + 6.00 shipping

5 Pound bag
$48.00 + $14 shipping

Help Stop U.S. Birthrate of 5,500 Pets Per Hour

Every hour in the United States, more than 2,000 dogs and 3,500 cats are born, compared to 415 humans. The yearly statistics include more than 17 million dogs and 30 million cats. Add these animals to an existing pet population of 54 million dogs and 56 million cats and the total exceeds one hundred million!

Earlier puberty, multiple births and briefer pregnancies make dogs and cats far more prolific than humans.

Animal care and control agencies do their best to find loving, responsible owners for as many pets as possible, but there are simply not enough homes for all these animals.

American Humane estimates more than 15 million healthy, friendly dogs and cats will be euthanized this year simply because they are "unwanted".

You can save lives and help solve the pet overpopulation tragedy by neutering or spaying your pet. This will reduce the number of dogs and cats being euthanized by reducing the number of pets being born.