National Pet Week May 2 – 8, 2010
Thursday, May 6th, 2010

It’s National Pet Week!

This year’s theme to promote the importance of exercise for people and pets. To help you and your dog get some exercise, get outside and enjoy some local parks.

St. Petersburg dog park locations:

  • North Shore Dog Park: 7th Avenue and North Shore Dr. NE
  • Lake Vista Dog Park: 1401 62nd Ave. S.
  • Walter Fuller Dog Park: 7901 30th Ave. N.
  • Crescent Lake Dog Park: 1320 5th St. N.
  • Coquina key Dog Park: 3595 Locust St. SE
  • Kenwood Dog Park: 401 20th Street N.

National Pet week was founded in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and Auxiliary, with the goals of promoting responsible pet ownership, celebrating the human-animal bond, and promoting public awareness of veterinary medicine.

Serving Family Members with Fur, Feathers, Scales and Tails
Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Labradors? Beagles? Persians or Siamese? When asked about the most common animal services, the Pet Passages team has a difficult time determining the most popular. The most unique, however, encourages a lively discussion.

“Birds, rabbits, ferrets, rats, gerbils, hamsters, lizards, snakes, iguanas and a pot-bellied pig,” said Jillian Holzhueter, Pet Passages coordinator. “We’ve seen it all, and the stories are often as moving as our human services.”

While they may be nontraditional, these unique pets represent an important place in the lives of the families we serve. Their owners point to the unique personalities, the unconditional love and the immeasurable happiness and joy they brought to their lives.

Exotic pet owners become accustomed to going the extra mile to care for their precious companions – from specialty food stores and veterinarians, to finding that particular friend or neighbor to check in while they travel. At Pet Passages, we wanted to make sure we served all members of the family, even the ones less common.

A Note About Pets
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

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Pets represent some of the most faithful relationships we humans have in our lifetime. Whether a dog, a cat, or other special animal, it is hard to put to words just how we feel when we say goodbye to our furry loved one. Tears come, and despite the relief that many feel when a pet’s suffering comes to an end, our need to mourn the loss of our pet remains.

When a child is faced with the loss of an animal companion, it’s possible for you to help them through this most difficult and heart-breaking time. But first – a few words of caution:

Most experts agree that children younger than about 7 or 8 have a hard time understanding that death is a permanent, non-reversible event.

Resist the temptation to discuss what happens to a pet after death, since different religious perspectives offer myriad views.

Take your time finding a new pet for your family. It will not be quite as easy to replace all of the losses your family will encounter as quickly. Use this time of separation as a valuable teachable experience.

A few suggestions in creating an opportunity to say goodbye, from our Anderson-McQueen professionals:

  • Begin by asking your child what he or she thinks happened to the family pet. They may know more than you think – and by allowing them to say what she believes, in her own words, you can better prepare your response.
  • Always avoid using terminology that is unclear – like “has gone to heaven, or he has gone to sleep.” Those are very confusing to a younger child.
  • Explain that your family was lucky to have such a great pet, and the animal companion was equally lucky to have a family to care for him or her.
  • Once you have the urn containing your pet’s cremated remains, you may want to consider burying the urn at your home.
  • If the child is young, ask them if he or she would like to help say goodbye, by coloring a picture from memory of her favorite time with the pet. Even older children may enjoy this act of love.
  • Allow them to choose a site for the burial of the urn, or if the urn is to be kept – ask him or her where it should be kept in your home. Don’t be too alarmed if, for a while, the urn has a very prevalent place in your home. After a while, the pain of separation will subside for everyone in your household – and the time and place will ideally present itself for a final goodbye of your beloved companion’s cremated remains, in a perfect location.

If we can be of any assistance to you and your family during a similar grieving experience, please call or email us.

Holiday Pet Safety Tips
Thursday, October 1st, 2009

holidaypetKeep these tips in mind as you decorate your home for the Fall and Winter holidays:

Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous. Symptoms include seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate.

Pumpkins and decorative corn are relatively harmless, yet can produce intestinal upset or even blockage if large pieces are swallowed.

Plants to keep out of reach are holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, pine needles and lilies.

Cords, plugs and other fixtures can look like chew toys.Unplug decorations when you are not home. Tape down or cover cords to help avoid shocks, burns or other serious injuries.

If you dress up your pet, make sure the costume is safe. It should not constrict movement, hearing or breathing. Try on costumes beforehand. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturel or donning a festive bandana.

Remember Your Pets at the SPCA PetWalk
Thursday, October 1st, 2009

“If we measure lives not in time, but in grace, in the joy with which they lived, and in the love they leave behind, then we have much to learn from our pets.” – Unknown

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Visit the Pet Passages booth near the main stage at the SPCA PetWalk and bring a photo of a beloved pet you’ve lost to post on our Memorial Wall. All of the photos collected will be placed in a memory box in the Rainbow Bridge room at our Tyrone location. Walkers will also receive a bandana compliments of Pet Passages.

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SPCA PetWalk
Saturday, October 24th
North Shore Park

Visit www.petwalk.org to register.

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