Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The Humane Society of Central Arizona recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to Nov. 1.
No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms —especially dark or baking chocolate — can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian.
Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.
If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.
Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.
IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
Wall of Hope
The Wall of Hope project is a fund-raising effort to offset some of the financial needs of operating the shelter as we head into the winter months. Julia Randall Elementary students have created a display with decorated envelopes. Stop by the HSCAZ shelter at 605 W. Wilson Court, and choose an envelope to donate any amount from $1 to $200. The envelopes may be viewed and chosen during regular shelter hours through Nov. 20. Envelopes may also be claimed over the telephone or through www.humanesocietycentralaz.org.
Shelter hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Following are just a few of the many pets currently in need of loving homes. All have been spayed or neutered and are current on vaccinations.
Guy is a 2-year-old, neutered male smooth coat collie mix. “I am shy and reserved here because I am new to the shelter and still figuring things out. Please be patient, I do like to be petted! I just need a little time to warm up. Call me gently and I will come say ‘Hi.’ I like some dogs, but I prefer my dog friends be calm and non-invasive. I am curious about toys, but still not sure about playing. Maybe you can be the one to teach me?”
Nellie is a 1-year-old, spayed female Shetland sheepdog/aussie mix. Nellie is a little social butterfly. She came in with some skin issues, but that didn’t affect her friendliness with the staff one bit! She’s a playful, outgoing little pup. She does need work on her leash manners and some basic training, but she’s a very smart girl who picks things up quickly. She is dog friendly, and loves romping in the yard with other playful pups. She’s already house trained, spayed and up to date on all vaccines.
Moe is a 1-year-old, neutered male spaniel mix. Does your dog need a friend? Moe is an energetic, young dog with a calm, friendly demeanor. He is a little shy at first but warms up quickly with attention. He has a great rapport with other dogs, and makes a great play buddy. Moe can go home with kids of all ages.
Tabitha is a 1-year-old, spayed female domestic short hair. “I love human company and am a great lap cat! I will be very loyal and loving... if you never cheat on me! See, I am a one-cat kind of a girl and I don’t like to share.”
Bootsie is a 2-year-old, spayed female domestic short hair. “I’m a lovable girl. My favorite places are in your lap or right next to you. I like other cats and kids. I DO NOT like dogs, though. I don’t know what they are and I have no interest in finding out. I love to play even if I am an adult. I came into the shelter as an owner surrender and was adopted out. But I had to come back because my mom couldn’t take me to her new house. The landlords weren’t cat people. I’m OK though, being in here twice now. I’m just waiting to find my fur-ever home.”
Holly is a 5-month-old, spayed female domestic short hair. “I’m a very outgoing kitty and I’m not afraid of a lot. I LOVE to play with everything. I also love other kittens my age since they have a lot of energy for playtime just like me! I know when it’s cuddle time and playtime — usually. I think I would do great with kids to play with all the time!”