Help 'Hurricane' Dogs At Pet Fair

FOCUS ON PETS

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The Katrina dogs living at the Buddhist sanctuary are getting cold and wet. If you have an extra doghouse, it would be put to good use.

Representatives from the Buddhist sanctuary will have a booth at Dog Day in the Park this Saturday at the Payson Off-Leash Dog Park. They will have photos and will answer your questions. Besides housing, they need quantities of metal food and water bowls, 4- to 6-foot leashes, bungee cords, 30-gallon plastic trash cans and heavy plastic bags to use with them, along with sweaters of all sizes.

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Come to Dog Day in the Park to see how the universal scanner reads both the Avid and HomeAgain microchips and what information is provided to the individual finding your pet.

Dog igloos and houses are the most important need right now. Pigs' ears would be a welcome treat. Bring whatever of the above items that you can spare to the pet fair on Saturday. Your donations will be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers are desperately needed to help care for the dogs at the sanctuary. The small Buddhist group has taken on a gigantic task. They all have jobs, and when they don't work, they do not get paid. This is a volunteer project for them also. They need help with walking, feeding and caring for the dogs. They will have photos and descriptions of dogs that are ready to be fostered at Saturday's event. Do you have room for an extra dog for 60 days or so? Give it some thought.

According to Mary Metzner, of Avid Microchip Company, Louisiana law requires all horses to be microchipped. As a result, 80 percent of the horses misplaced during Katrina have been reunited with their owners. The dogs were not that fortunate. Few dogs were microchipped. Most had no identification, nor were they current on vaccinations. Avid donated 10,000 chips for dogs rescued from Katrina. Included in the "chipping" was the location where the dogs were found and any other information known about them.

Schering-Plough Animal Health Company markets the HomeAgain microchip. Company representative Julie Lux said the company donated microchips, scanners, vaccines, heartworm preventative and surgical supplies to veterinary hospitals, humane societies and dog groups that are helping with the rescue of pets caught in the Katrina and Rita disasters.

Metzner stressed the importance of having a disaster preparedness kit for your pet. Included should be one week's supply of food, water for two weeks, identification, including a photo of you and your pet together; first aid and medication and cleaning supplies, including soap and disinfectant. Keep a copy of your pet's health record, name and telephone number of your veterinarian, an alternate telephone number and his microchip identification number in the kit. For a full listing of items for the emergency preparedness kit, including horses, dogs, cats and birds, check out UAN.org. The United Animal Nations sponsors the Emergency Animal Rescue Service, EARS, which is there to help all animals caught in an emergency situation.

Several important forms of pet identification will be available at the pet fair, including pet tags, town and county licenses, photos and microchips. Bring shot records.

See how the microchip and scanner are used to identify your dog. Information will be available about both the Avid and HomeAgain microchips. A universal scanner will read chips from both companies. Get your dog microchipped at the pet fair. All proceeds from the microchip clinic will go into the Payson Humane Society's building fund. All veterinarians in the area do microchipping using either the Avid or HomeAgain chip. It is an important part of your pet's identification. Get your dog microchipped at the pet fair or at your own veterinarian, but get him chipped.

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you have room in your heart and home for one more dog or cat, the need is great. A plastic bag containing few-day-old kittens was found beside the road recently. Is that responsible pet ownership? Dedicated volunteers are trying to save these babies. What is it going to take to make people aware of the need for responsible pet ownership? Please, if you do not want a pet, don't get one. It is just not fair.

If you love your pet, come to the pet fair. Information and products will be available from the many vendors. Games and contests for pets and pet people of all ages will be found under the Big Top. Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International testing will be done beginning at 11 a.m. There will be food, fun and prizes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Your dog is welcome, on leash. See you there.

Christy Powers is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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