September is Disaster Preparedness Month

September is Disaster Preparedness Month!

The Harvey and Irma Hurricanes are yet another good reminder to have an emergency plan in place.  Even though we are in California and don’t get hurricanes, we still have to contend with earthquakes and fires that can suddenly impact our lives without notice.  For the most part the National Weather Service is able to predict when a hurricane will hit land, but predicting earthquakes and fires is nearly impossible.

It has been hard to watch the news, and read the online news reports of the number of stray animals that have been found after the Harvey and Irma Hurricanes.  It is hard to say whether or not an emergency plan would have prevented some of the lost animals from going missing, but it should be a good enough reason for pet owners to have one in place.  That is a part of being a pet parent because our pets are not able to fend for themselves long term.

If you do not have a plan in place, the ASPCA has a great article to help get you started:  https://www.aspca.org/news/disaster-preparedness-month-take-three-actions-protect-your-pets

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Hurricane Harvey Donations

Photo credit: cnn.com

If you have been watching the news lately, you might have seen the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has caused in Texas and parts of Louisiana.  Every day the news media shares new photos and information on the lives that have been affected by this natural disaster.

It is amazing how many people would not leave their homes without their pets.  Some people did not have the luxury of taking their pets for many reasons, and they called upon any help to return to their residences to save their pets.

One of the rescue groups that has helped so many pets was the Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) pet rescue group.  APA! immediately jumped into action by opening their doors to incoming stray and lost pets, and provided rescue mission efforts by going in small boats to flooded residential areas to save stranded and missing pets.

We supported a fellow animal rescuer in making a donation to her fundraising campaign for the APA! rescue group, which is also a 501c3 nonprofit organization so donations are tax deductible.

We would like to ask for your support in making a donation to the campaign as well.  You don’t need to send a $25,000 donation like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson!  No amount is ever too small and every $1 helps.  If you can’t donate, then would you please share this fundraising campaign?  The Texas pets thank you!

Click here to make a donation:  https://www.facebook.com/donate/336404263473115/

Sacramento City/County Cooling Center Opening June 17-21

The official first day of summer is Tuesday, June 20th, but the heat has already arrived!

The heat is such a difficult time for our pets.  If possible bring your pets inside, and make sure they have access to fresh clean water.  Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated too!

Don’t leave your pet in a car alone, period.

The ground can cause severe damage to their paw pads, so please walk your dogs in the morning and late evening.

Also, we received the following information for the Sacramento City/County cooling center.  Pets are welcome too!

Due to the excessive heat warning, City and County of Sacramento officials are opening a cooling center at Hart Senior Center that is located at 915 27th Street in midtown Sacramento. The cooling center will allow people to get out of the heat from 1 – 8 p.m., beginning Saturday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 21. Water will be available and pets will be welcomed. With the triple digit temperatures, Sacramento County reminds you take steps to keep cool. Stay in air conditioned buildings whenever possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, visit public places, such as libraries, malls, community centers, if possible. You are also encouraged to drink plenty of cool water and to remember to check on seniors and those with mobility issues. For a list of other cooling centers in the area, please call 2-1-1, or visit: http://www.211sacramento.org/211/2017/06/16/warm-weather-event-june-16-june-23-2017/ Please read the following heat safety tips: Sacramento Ready: http://www.sacramentoready.org/Emergencies/Pages/Heat.aspx City of Sacramento Heat: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/Living-Here/Summer-Heat SacCountyNews: http://bit.ly/2sEFsng Sacramento City Express: https://sacramentocityexpress.com/2017/06/16/updated-june-16-2017-in-wake-of-heat-wave-city-adds-to-list-of-community-daytime-cooling-centers/

Dogs and Hot Weather

Summer is almost officially here, and with that comes the hot weather.  With every heat wave comes to debate about leaving our pets in cars and how to handle these situations.

As a member of the Paws on Patrol volunteer group with the Elk Grove Police Department, we received the following information:

Recent changes in California law allow for citizens to remove an animal from a vehicle under certain circumstances, these would  include animals being left unattended during certain weather conditions. However, allowing local authorities to assess the animal is the recommended plan of action. They have received extensive training and have experience related to animals overheating.

If action must be taken to prevent further suffering or death of an animal the law requires you to:

  1. Check to see if the vehicle doors are locked.
  2. Have a good faith belief that forcible entry is needed because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if it is not immediately removed from the vehicle, and, based upon the circumstances known to the person at the time, the belief is a reasonable one.
  3. You must contact local authorities, i.e. Animal Control, Fire Department, Police, etc. prior to forcibly entering the vehicle.
  4. Remain with the animal in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the vehicle, until an animal control, police officer, or other first aid responder arrives.
  5. Use no more force than reasonably necessary to enter the vehicle and remove the animal.
  6. You must immediately turn over the animal to an animal control representative or law enforcement official.

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.

If you see an animal left alone in a hot car, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Call 916-714-5111 and have someone keep an eye on the animal. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.

If the animal is removed please provide water to drink, and if possible spray the animal down with cool water. If you can place the animal inside a vehicle with the air condition on if waiting for animal control or police to arrive. Be careful not to use ice or cold water, and don’t overcool the animal.

Estate Planning Seminar

I’m so happy to hear about this!  As a shelter volunteer, I have heard about a number of pets being surrendered to animal shelters after a pet parent unexpectedly passes.  Family and friends have no idea what to do with your pet, or they may not have the ability to help take care of them.  If your pet ends up in the shelter, then your pet is dealing with the loss of their best friend, home and people they are familiar with.

The Sacramento SPCA is offering a complimentary 90-minute Estate Planning Seminar with acclaimed special guest speaker Mark Drobny, Attorney at Law, Master of Laws (L.L.M.), Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and member of The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Topics for discussion will include:

  • Introduction to wills and trusts
  • Pet trusts
  • Planning for your pets to be taken care of after you are gone
  • How your advanced planning can enable the Sacramento SPCA to help other animals
  • Retirement and tax planning strategies
  • How to liquidate securities and real estate and pay no capital gains tax
  • How to take IRA distributions and pay little or no income tax on them

You should definitely take advantage of this opportunity if you have no plans in place for your pets after your passing.

For more information or to register for the event click here.

Are you and your pets prepared to handle an emergency?

With all of the devastation happening from the fires in California to the flooding in Louisiana, it is a sad reminder that an emergency plan is a necessity.

Even for myself, I had a gas leak inside of my home and had to immediately remove my pets from inside of our home while we waited for the utility company to respond.

If you are not ready, here is a checklist to help you get started:

http://thedailyworld.com/news/local/disaster-emergency-plans-include-your-pets

Keep Your Dog Safe in a Heat Wave

Dog Walking by PetWatch 916Now that outdoor temperatures are rising, it is important to remember to keep your pets safe from the heat.  Click on the link below for some good information from Petfinder.com:

Keep Your Dog Safe in a Heat Wave

Have you seen a dog left alone in a car on a hot day?  Click on the link below to find out how you can help a rescue a dog from a hot car:

4 Easy Steps to Help Dogs in Cars

RSVP for the Estate Planning Seminar

As an animal shelter volunteer I have witnessed people surrendering their late family member’s pets to the shelter because they cannot take care of the pets.  There is nothing more heartbreaking and scary for a pet than to lose a member of their family, and then end up in a kennel at the shelter.

Do you have a plan in place for your pets in the event something happens to you?  If not, sign up for the Estate Planning Seminar being offered by the Sacramento SPCA at the following link:

https://secure3.convio.net/sspca/site/SSurvey;jsessionid=51878DDB78244A0CB43D45230A84A1FE.app350a?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=1501