Dr. Lonnie King – Board member of the ORHS
With our summer temperatures rising above 90 degrees and high humidity, summertime livin’ isn’t always easy. This is especially true when it comes to protecting our pets from the dangers of hot weather. Just remember when it is too hot for us, it is too hot for our pets as well.
Obviously, our dogs and cats have very different physiology than people. First, pets have fur and their coats, in some cases, add an extra burden when they are attempting to cool down. Both dogs and cats sweat through their paws but cannot sweat from their skin like we do, and this sweating is only marginally helpful to them for cooling down. Pets primarily cool down by panting. This allows their saliva to be exposed to the air and to evaporate from their tongues and mouth which helps cool them down. Dog’s blood vessels can dilatate around their head and face which allows more blood to flow from their internal organs closer to the external environment around the face which helps to reduce their temperature. Panting also facilitates the air to circulate through a pet’s body and thus further help reduce its temperature. Cats will commonly lick their coats and groom themselves more in the summer to add saliva to their fur which promotes more evaporation and cooling.
When dogs and cats get overheated and cannot cool down effectively, they may suffer a heat stroke or hyperthermia which can be a serious and life-threatening condition. Certain breeds of dogs and cats that have flat faces like bulldogs, pugs, boxers, shih tzus and Persian cats are especially susceptible to overheating and potential heat strokes because they have restricted and short airways. Pets that are older, obese or have existing heart or respiratory conditions are also at higher risk for these medical conditions in extreme heat.
How Can You Help?
Here are 8 tips for you to follow during our hot summer weather.
What Are the Signs of Heat Stroke and What Should You Do?
Heat stroke or hyperthermia occurs when the body temperature rises significantly above normal levels. A normal dog temperature range is from 100.5 – 102.5 and a normal cat temperature range is from 99.5 – 102.5. It is a myth that one can tell the health or temperature of a pet by checking its nose; the only way to accurately determine a pet’s temperature is by using a thermometer. Taking the pet’s rectal temperature using a human digital thermometer works well. Pets exhibiting signs of heat stroke will have a body temperature of 104 degrees or even much higher. If suffering from a heat stroke a dog or cat will pant heavily and excessively (remember some panting is normal). They may experience increased heart and respiratory rates, drool and salivate profusely, experience weakness or be non-responsive, they may vomit, collapse or have a seizure.
If you believe that your pet is having a heat stroke, get the pet into an air-conditioned home, run cool water (Not Cold!) over the pet especially over its head, neck and chest and then wrap it in a cool, water-soaked towel and then take the pet directly to the veterinarian as this can be a life-threatening condition that will require emergency and expert care. It is helpful to call ahead and let the veterinarian know that you are coming with an emergency so that the veterinary clinic be well prepared when you arrive.
It’s summer in lake country which means it’s the perfect time of the year for family visits, boating, and rounds of golf. Of course, the summer holiday of July 4th is right around the corner, and with that will come the fireworks displays. Even though these celebrations are loved by humans, they can be distressing for our four-legged friends. The flashes of light, loud noises, and smells of fireworks can be incredibly stressful for many dogs. Below are some tips to keep your furry family members safe this Fourth of July!
We hope that these pointers will ensure that every member of your family has a safe and happy holiday. Happy Fourth of July from everyone here at Oconee Regional Humane Society!
Hi, I'm Sally! I am a super sweet yellow lab/hound mix who came to ORHS to find my forever home. I have adjusted well to being at ORHS, but I would really like to be in a home with a family to call my own. I have made friends with several of the other dogs at the center and love to play with them in our fenced yard. I am house trained and know some basic commands. Please consider adding me to your family.
Hello, my name is Lola. I am a 2-year-old Lab/Terrier mix that loves to be with people. I love being outside and going for walks on a leash. I am very affectionate, and love everybody I meet. I especially love children and their affection they give to me. When I meet you, don’t be surprised if I roll over and show you my belly and look for tickles. I also love to play with my toys. Flipping the up in the air and just having fun seeing if they will squeak.
I am 100% housebroken! I have never had any accidents at my foster home. I look forward to my walks where I take care of my business. As much as I love my walks, I would love it even more if I had a fenced in yard to run and play in. I would also like to have a brother or sister that I can play with, but if not, then I can entertain myself with my toys until my family can spend time playing with me.
I have just completed treatment for heartworms. It was a very long process, and I am so happy the people at ORHS loved me enough to send me to a wonderful place to get the treatment I needed. My vet tells me that I will be just fine and will live a long and happy life. All I ask is that whoever adopts me, please make sure I get my monthly preventative, so I do not have to go through this again.
I want to thank ORHS for believing in me and getting me the treatment, I needed. I also want to especially thank my foster family for loving me and showing me what it’s like to be a part of a family.
I am sweet, and very loving, and just want the chance to complete your family. Please bring me home.
Dogs have owners. Cats have staff. If you work well with others and need an executive to head up your staff, the month of June is the perfect time to find the perfect cat! June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and at Oconee Regional Humane Society (ORHS), we’re pretty sure we may have just the cat for the job!
Adopt a Shelter Cat Month was established by the ASPCA to promote the adoption of cats from local shelters. It’s estimated that 3.2 million cats enter animal shelters every year and many of them never find a home. If you’ve been thinking about adding a kitty to your family, June is a great time because ORHS offers a reduced adoption fee of $25 for all cats over one year old—this fee includes a test for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS, spay or neuter surgery, age appropriate vaccinations, deworming, flea control and a microchip.
Here are some reasons you may need a feline executive to head up your staff:
Article from the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
When we decide to have a pet we take on a complex responsibility and covenant to protect and be there for it — in every way. The time may come when he or she grows sick or infirm, and it is our unavoidable duty to do what is best for the pet, despite the heartbreak that may bring to us, personally. In doing that, euthanasia is our last and most profound act of love and stewardship. In making that terrible moral decision we must step beyond our own feelings, and do what is best for the pet. And it now all comes down to quality of life.
The death of a beloved pet can be so tragic for us. That is such a hard concept. But if they outlived us who would care for and love them when they die? Maybe somehow, this is the best way.
Nobody wants to live forever. And when we can also somehow put that into perspective for our dear animal companions, it makes a lot of new sense. They have their own strong sense of dignity, too. Unfortunately, that is too often overlooked.
One of the most common complaints we hear is that people fear they may have waited too long — or not long enough — before having their beloved companion animals euthanized. If it is feasible, we suggest filling this scale out three times, on three successive days, to get a more accurate appraisal.
We can be too emotionally involved and subjective to easily make a clear decision. The following Quality of Life Assessment System is a means designed to help you make a more objective evaluation.
It is strongly suggested that you confer with your veterinarian, in deciding on that last accommodation.
Meet Reecey! Reecey is a beautiful 4-year-old tortoiseshell cat who was adopted and returned to ORHS twice, due to illnesses of her adopters both times. Her sister was just adopted again leaving Reecey alone to find her forever family. She is very sweet and will run to greet you when you enter the room. Reecey is very interested in what is going on around her and would like nothing more than to participate in family life. Please consider adding Reecey to your family.
Meet Elsa, a beautiful Boxer mix puppy who was rescued by a local animal control. Elsa LOVES getting attention from the volunteers and visitors at ORHS. She loves chewing on her toys and chasing tennis balls. She was a stray, so she needs to learn a few basic commands. Do not worry though, she is very smart and will learn in no time. Please consider Elsa as the newest member of your family.
When Huck’s foster parents asked him what qualities he’s looking for in his forever parents, Huck said they should be loving, devoted, active, smart, patient … and a tad stubborn. They said, “Wow Huck—that’s just like you!” At 47 pounds and a mix of a couple of breeds of hound, Huck knows what he wants for his forever family.
Huck came to stay with this foster mom and dad about two months ago, after being turned back in to ORHS by his original adopters. Specific details aren’t known but he came to ORHS very fearful, mostly of men but also with small children. He was friendlier with women but sometimes would spook if they approached him too quickly. It seems Huck may have been abused by a male in his former home, and perhaps tormented by small children. He sometimes would cower in fear of getting hit.
Huck bonded very quickly with his foster parents, never showing any aggression. They took him to Rockin’ Rescue Obedience which seemed to do him a world of good. When he first began training classes, Huck was fearful of all the people and curious of the other dogs. By the time he finished the classes he allowed other adults to walk him and ran and played with all the other eight or nine dogs. He even whined when they pulled into the parking lot because he was so happy to be going to class! The trainer suggested Huck would be great at agility training—his intelligence, speed and natural athleticism would make him a great candidate and would give him confidence.
Huck is now doing so much better with new people—if strangers allow Huck to approach them instead of them approaching him first, he is less fearful. Aside from the fear issues, which are subsiding rapidly, his foster parents say he is the most loving dog they have ever “owned” in their 50 years of marriage. They say he is very smart, figures things out quickly and loves to play chase. When he wants to play, he will get his favorite toy and drop it at their feet. He is extremely fast and loves to run. He is completely house broken and lets you know when he needs something.
The ideal home for Huck would be with folks who have a lot of love and patience, are active outdoors, and have a large fenced or very remote area. Huck would love to spend his 2nd birthday in August with his new family. Just look at that face—he’s waiting for you. Contact ORHS to give Huck the family he deserves.
“Hi, I’m Mia, and I almost wasn’t here today to tell my story. I’m barely a year old, a 20 pound schnauzer mix and I found myself on the street in a bad way – I was very pregnant. When Animal Control showed up I was sure it was all over. I was in no shape to run from them and if I got caught, well …
Luckily ORHS took me in the next day and since I looked like I was about to explode, they thought I would deliver my pups any minute. They gave me a warm place, a soft bed and good food. I felt better but nothing was happening with my puppies, except they were growing, lots. I couldn’t even walk across the parking lot to the grass to potty.
Eleven days later I went into labor in the middle of the night while I was alone. I had 5 puppies by myself but even though I was trying to push hard, no more puppies. Someone came in to check on me Saturday morning at 5AM. She realized that I was exhausted and as hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to deliver the next pup. Dr. Ladue from Park Place Animal Hospital was ready for the news and came in right away. They had even set up for a C-Section just in case. When she wasn’t able to turn the puppy that was sideways, we all knew surgery was a must.
We barely made it in time. Even though there were six people ready to take my puppies, to stimulate them to breathe – to do what I would have done if I could, we were afraid we would lose at least a few. The first puppy was large and had blocked the birth canal. She was slow to take a breath but they didn’t give up. Then it was a few minutes before another pup was handed over. It turned out that the last 5 puppies were twisted together in a knot. I never would have been able to deliver them. They would have died, I would have died, and the puppies I had delivered would have died.
My story had a happy ending because everybody lived, and now I will never have to have puppies again. I know I am so lucky to be at ORHS where everybody loves me, and they try to help with my puppies too. But I’m skin and bones, I can’t eat enough, and my puppies are taking all I have to give and more. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have help. I’m so grateful. Soon they promise me that I’ll get to have my own home with my own family to love and to love me back. I hope so. I’m just so very tired.”
Mia’s story could have been tragic. She was lucky but so many are not. We are a small rescue group is dedicated to save and find forever homes for all the animals we take in. There are times when the cost of caring for our animals is much greater than anticipated. This was the case with our sweet Mia. We have been very fortunate in the past to have received great support from the community for the care of our animals. We are again looking for genuine and caring individuals to help us with these unexpected expenses in saving the life of our Mia and her 11 puppies.
Please donate today. Your generosity is oh so greatly appreciated.
Hi - I'm Bosco! I am a very sweet, calm and quiet 2-year-old Dachshund/Basset Hound Mix. I love to play with my toys and take long naps on the couch in my foster home. I am friendly with other dogs, but I would prefer to snuggle with my foster mommy. I promise to be the best companion ever and very loyal to my friends.
Hi! My name is Rocky! I am a two year old Dalmatian Mix. I am super sweet and loving. I love to give kisses to the volunteers, play fetch with a tennis ball, and play with the puppies at the center. I am currently working with a trainer to learn basic commands and am being told I am learning really fast. I like being here at ORHS, but I would love to have a family and a home to call my own.
Lucy is a super sweet five month old Lab/Hound Mix who arrived at ORHS after being found as strays in a nearby neighborhood. Lucy's siblings have all been adopted, leaving only Lucy left to find her forever home. She loves belly rubs, long walks, and laying across your lap. She gets along well with other dogs and would be a great addition to any home.
Rex is a Hound mix who came to ORHS with his siblings. His siblings has all been adopted, leaving him behind to find his forever home. Rex is very sweet and playful. He is very attentive and eager to learn. He already knows simple commands such as “sit” and “stay”. He walks nice on a leash and would make a great companion in any home. Rex is a very special boy as he does have seasonal allergies which can be controlled with regular medication.
Did you know October is adopt a shelter dog month? In recognition of this, ORHS will be running a special the entire month. Our adoption fee for all our puppies will be lowered to $175. This fee includes spay or neuter of the pup, microchipping, age appropriate vaccines and deworming. We will also offer an additional $25 rebate once any of our canine adopters submit proof of completion of a training/obedience course with a professional trainer. Course must be completed within 6 months of the date of adoption to qualify for the rebate.
This Fall’s latest and best accessory!
Well, it seems as if Fall has finally arrived at the Lake Country!
Time to give some consideration to changes in your landscape, daylight savings time and in your wardrobe. So don’t overlook this Fall’s newest and best accessory: a tabby!
Yes, friends, these little nuggets of fun are sure to please. They are super sweet, very playful, adapt to almost any situation and look nice with absolutely any outfit or décor. Our tabbies are sure to make you the envy of all your friends!
Each tabby comes with age appropriate vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, a test for FeLV/FIV, deworming, flea control and a microchip. They are available in both male and female versions, and each one comes with a unique one-of-a-kind color and spot/stripe pattern.
The special adoption fee for these cuties is $50.00 (which is much less than the cost of the spay/neuter surgery alone).
So hurry…beat the rush and be the first on your block to get your new best friend today!
By Maggie Moran
As summer is winding down, I look back on the last eight months and wonder, as we all do, where did the time go. We have been very busy at The Oconee Regional Humane Society Center. We have had many litters of puppies and kittens as well as older dogs and cats. It’s always great to get a healthy dog or cat but sometimes their condition, when we rescue them, would break your heart. And some will look into your eyes and almost say “thank you”. Most of the time we were at max capacity with one recent litter born in the bathroom. But we have also had wonderful families that show the love and care these helpless animals need. As we say goodbye to our furry friends, as they go to their forever homes, we know that the work we do at ORHS is more than rewarding.
ORHS is dedicated to improving the lives of animals in our community. We rescue animals from animal control facilities and from other homeless situations. We provide a safe haven with foster families or at our Adoption Center, until the animals are adopted into loving homes. We work to end animal over population and disease through an aggressive spay/neuter program. We do our best to socialize them before they go off to their forever homes.
Since March 1st, we have been collecting donations for our Treasure/ Yard Sale on September 22nd and 23rd. This is our big fundraiser of the year and I can tell you our many volunteers have shown up and worked until the job was done. Pricing, packing up boxes, moving and rearranging storage units and meeting customers for pre-sales. Our community has been very generous with their donations.
With fall approaching, we will be advertising for board members. You might ask, what does an ORHS Board member do? Each member serves a three-year term and is expected to attend a monthly meeting, and actively participate in at least one committee. All members serve on a voluntary basis. But the real reward is knowing that you played a major role, in saving a desperate animal and helped in finding them a forever home. If you are interested, please stop by for a board application or call us at 706-454-1508.
WILL YOU HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
As it goes with many Lake Oconee residents, Chris and Darrell Kaniowski began as part-time members of our community in 2013. Chris was a stay-at-home mom to their daughter, Jennifer, and Darrell was the head of gas turbine manufacturing for Siemens in Charlotte, North Carolina. During Darrell’s 36-year tenure with Siemens, the Kaniowski’s moved many, many times…even living in Saudi Arabia twice! Chris became a permanent resident of Lake Oconee in 2016, with Darrell continuing full time employment until just several weeks ago. They look forward to traveling a lot over the next few years, even venturing to Australia in 2020!
ORHS is now, however, the lucky recipient of their volunteer time! Both Chris and Darrell want to give back to the community and feel that ORHS is the perfect place to start. When they came by to visit the shelter and volunteer, both said they didn’t care what they did…they just want to help where they were needed most! The Kaniowski’s now help primarily with our Cat Program but can be seen helping when the dogs need it too. Darrell enjoys helping those who can’t help themselves and has become a “regular” since his recent retirement. Chris, however, has been with of our Team for a while now and continues to be an integral part of enriching the lives of so many homeless animals.
A huge thank you, Chris and Darrell, for your willingness to help and determination to make a difference!
by Amy Manville, ORHS Dog Director
Penny Davis arrived in the Lake area a little over a year ago. She is a retired Nurse and Healthcare Executive from Chicago. Her passion for animals led her straight to ORHS, when a friend told her about the organization. She's been volunteering on the Puppy Care Team and helping with Adoption events for 9 months. She has two Rescue pups of her own, “Stella”, a 15-year-old Lab/terrier mix, and “Rizzo”, a 2 year old complete mix. She spends her days golfing, reading, playing Bunco, enjoying her grandbabies, and helping out at ORHS. We love her tenacity, Chicagoan accent, and true love for the rescue dogs and puppies.
Debbie Spann means so much to ORHS. She came into our world almost a decade ago and immediately made an impact. We got to see a side of Debbie that not everyone knew or could appreciate. She began volunteering at adoptions and soon became chairman. From there her soft heart and generosity seemed endless. She became our landlord in 2012, offering much needed space for our adoption center and allowed us to really make ourselves at home. We would see her most days when she would stop by volunteering for puppy duty or for her puppy and kitten fix. When she met a couple of special needs puppies, she knew they needed her so she adopted them. At last count she had adopted 3 dogs and 2 cats.
When we began to hold our Treasure Sale events, Debbie was there in a completely different role, first providing an amazing space for the sale and then with her pickup truck and trailer and some much needed helpers to do furniture pickups that helped us bring in extra dollars in sales. She would often find one of us to share her thoughts and ideas for the future, many of which we’ve implemented. Once she knew what we needed, she simply made it happen.
Recently Debbie moved to Savannah to be near some friends and we feel her absence every day. She promised to visit often and before she left she told us “I’m only three hours away. Just call and I’ll be there.” And we have no doubt she will always be there for us. That’s the Debbie we know and love. We miss you Debbie!
by Jackie Stolarski
It was about seven years ago that two very special people came into the ORHS world. Porge and JJ Casey had just moved to the lake and couldn’t wait to get involved. Porge had helped establish a rescue group in Baton Rouge and was a wealth of information and ideas, and JJ quickly stepped up to be our Treasurer. Their involvement only continued to grow, and in no time they were board members, running our community food program, creating our newsletter, helping with adoptions and volunteering for animal care. Any time we needed help they were there for us, and they have truly made an impact to our organization.
Porge and JJ are about to make a move to the Atlanta area and it will surely be impossible to replace them. Although we will miss seeing their smiling faces every week, they have promised not to be strangers. We will look forward to their visits and hope to see them often. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity and willingness to do whatever it takes for the animals. We wish them all the best!
LAKE OCONEE DENTISTRY PATIENTS CELEBRATE “MUTTS” AND HELP RAISE MONEY FOR ORHS
Lake Oconee Dentistry presented members of The Oconee Regional Humane Society with a donation to help them continue in their mission of improving the lives of animals in the community and finding loving and permanent homes for the cats and dogs in their care. Throughout the month of July, the dental practice offered free x-rays to anyone who scheduled an appointment and made a $10 or more donation to the ORHS. Lake Oconee Dentistry also matched every donation, dollar for dollar, up to the first $1,000 raised.
Celebrated on July 31st, National Mutt Day was created in 2005 by animal welfare activist Colleen Paige, to help highlight the many mixed breed dogs in need of homes. According to national statistics, approximately 80% of all dogs in shelters are mixed breed. Mixed breed dogs end up in shelters more frequently, and they tend to wait longer in shelters before getting adopted due to the higher demand for pure breeds. Despite this, there are many advantages to owning a mixed breed dog, as they tend to be healthier, better behaved, and live longer than pure breeds.
"The Oconee Regional Humane Society provides a great service in our community but that also requires a lot of volunteer power and financial assistance,” says Dr. David Bradley. “We wanted to do something special for National Mutt Day that would help support their mission."
ORHS is most grateful to the Bradley’s and Lake Oconee Dentistry for initiating this special outreach fundraiser and for the support they share with the community.
This summer, Del Webb invited us to participate in their annual Open House. This event showcases community businesses and groups that residents new to the area might want to become involved in, but not know that they are available. The response to ORHS is always welcoming and supportive. We are able supply people with information on our many programs and offer a variety of volunteer opportunities to fit their schedules and interests. ORHS is thankful to Del Webb for allowing us to share our love of animals with them each year.
by Lynn Herbert
Who knew we could paint??
43 dog, cat, chicken and rooster lovers got together at The Iron Fork in Eatonton one night in August to do just that. Many thanks to Katie Bragg, owner of The Iron Fork, for opening up her restaurant to us for the evening. Thanks also to Kate Cook, owner of Artini’s Art Lounge in Athens, for spearheading the event. While guiding us on each portrait and lending a “small” amount of true artistic tweaking, we each went home with a picture of our fur baby! Some might hang over the fireplace, while others in the bathroom… but we all had a great time! Best of all, we raised money for ORHS! It was a sell-out, so look for it next year and book early!