Today’s guest was Melissa Jenkins, Program Coordinator of Operation Catnip, located in Alachua County, Gainesville, Florida. Operation Catnip recently celebrated 20 years of service to the cat community. Along with their dedicated students, volunteer veterinarians and community volunteers they have helped to care for more than 56,000 cats since their inception in 1998.
We learned a lot today about the mission of Operation Catnip. Their life-saving work improves the lives of cats and the communities they live in. They are committed to a number of initiatives including the spaying, neutering and vaccinating of free-roaming (community cats), preventing the birth of kittens, mentoring other programs around the country and training veterinarians to save America’s cats.
What exactly are community cats? Essentially, they are unowned, “free=roaming” cats that are not confined to a yard or a house. They can be well-socialized, friendly and loving. On the other hand, a feral cat speaks more to the behavior or socialization status of a cat as opposed to where it lives. Feral cats are defined as untamed and evasive, generally not interested in a relationship with humans. Sometimes the lines defining these different categories get blurred because some owned cats are allowed to freely roam their neighborhoods. Owned cats can become lost, thus becoming a stray. If they live in the wild for an extended period of time, they may become feral. Sometimes, formerly feral cats can become tamed.
There are programs throughout the United States designed to reduce or manage the populations of community cats. These programs include Trap Neuter Return (or Release, known as TNR), Shelter Neuter Return (SNR) and Return to Field (RTF). Each of these programs has the goal of sterilizing the community cat so it can no longer add to the cat population and then returning it to the location where it was found or trapped. Cats that are returned (as opposed to simply released to an unfamiliar area) to their home communities have a chance to live out their lives as free-roaming cats.
Another novel solution is the concept of Working Cats. A Working Cats is one that can be adopted to a family where its home environment will be a barn, stable, garage, office, retail store or warehouse. These will not be your typical indoor cats that never go outside. Instead, they will likely have an outdoor or indoor/outdoor habitat. Go green! Get a Working Cat to help you control your outdoor rodent or pest populations.
From an estate planning perspective, there are many kind people who support community cats. If something happens to them; either disability or death, what will become of the cats? That's why organizations like Operation Catnip need your support.
If you want more information about Operation Catnip, visit their website or seek them out on social media on FaceBook. You can make a donation to help support their mission.
Today’s guest was Kim Merritt, co-founder and chief advocate for Good Dog in a Box. Good Dog in a Box is a dog products company with it’s roots in positive reinforcement dog training. Their flagship product is a subscription dog training programs for families and their dogs. The program includes a little bit old school mail order, a little bit high tech e-learning, a dash of fun and games, and a pinch of puppy love. You can get a six month or 12- month subscription. Every month there’s a set of new activities for families and their dogs to work through. The goal is to have happy, well-trained dogs and happy families where everyone has learned to speak the language of their dog.
One of the goals of Good Dog in a Box is to reduce the number of dog bites in this country. Kim reported there are 4.7 million dog bites per year. The most common victims are children between the ages of five and nine. A new study reveals that dog bites are not breed specific as the categories of “unknown” and mixed breed are in the top 3 named sources. Biting is most likely to occur when a dog is teased or when a child pulls a tail, tugs the dog’s hair or yanks the dog’s paw. All of these can be avoided through the proper training and education of humans – both children and adults.
To make learning fun, Good Dog in a Box has developed the Dog Smart Card Game and the SAFE Dog Bite Prevention curriculum including a SAFE curriculum for obtaining a Girl Scout’s patch.
Good Dog in a Box now also offers Good Dog Pro with curriculums and training programs for the professional dog trainer. Part of this program includes two new podcasts, including Good Dog Nation. Some of the new courses are a puppy course with Gila Kurtz, founder of Dog is Good, Pet End of Life with Jodi Clock of Clock’s Timeless Pets, Therapy Dog Training with Michelle McCarthy and Estate Planning for Pets with yours truly, Peggy Hoyt.
Future programs will include Dogsurance, a program designed for business owners that allow dogs in the workplace.
For more information about Good Dog in a Box, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Today’s guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats with Peggy Hoyt was Johnna Devereaux, a clinical pet nutritionist, founder of Fetch RI, a holistic pet boutique and Director of the Bow Wow Labs Nutrition and Wellness Center.
Johnna is pet mom to two American Staffordshire dogs – Diego, adopted 9 years ago and Lola, adopted 5 years ago. (Check out their pictures at FetchRI.com) When Diego came into Johnna’s life as a shelter volunteer, he changed everything for her. Diego had lots of health problems that started Johnna doing a lot of research. What she discovered was there was a void in the world of canine nutrition. This motivated her to enroll at the Academy of Natural Health Sciences to earn her accreditation as a Clinical Pet Nutritionist. She then opened her holistic pet boutique; Fetch RI. And, the rest is history – almost.
One day Johnna got a phone call from Michael, one of the founders of Bow Wow Labs. He told Johnna they had invented a safety device for dogs called the Bully Buddy. Her ears perked up and her interest was piqued. They have now joined forces and plan to launch the Bow Wow Labs Nutrition and Wellness Center, a one-stop holistic resource center for pet parents who crave information for their dogs.
Now my interest is piqued too! I told Johnna I would be willing to work with them to address the concerns pet parents have about making sure they have an estate plan that includes the lifetime care needs for their kids in fur coats; the pets that make our lives whole. Stay tuned for more information on this topic.
More about the Bully Buddy – this was the safety device Michael told Johnna about. It’s a way for dogs to enjoy a bully stick without the danger of choking or getting an abdominal obstruction. This safety device comes in 6 sizes so you can get the one that’s right for your dog. Bow Wow Labs can help you find the right size for your dog. Then, you need the right size bully stick for your Bully Buddy. Bow Wow Labs only sells bully sticks that are made from free-range, grass-fed cattle raised in the Patagonia region of Argentina. They are a single-ingredient, fully digestible treat and a healthier alternative to rawhide chews. They offer a Starter Kit and Easyship. You can also read their reviews and enjoy their blog, Story Tails.
Bow Wow Labs recommends you only feed a bully stick 3-4 times weekly and not every day. This was a fact that impressed Johnna – finally, a company that cared more about the health of her dog than just making a sale!
Johnna’s personal philosophy on canine nutrition focuses on both the needs of the canine species and then on the specific individual. Not two dogs are alike, and each should be evaluated for their special nutritional needs. She encourages pet parents to feed the best quality dog food they can afford. She says to look for limited ingredients and no soy, wheat, corn or sugar.
A big thanks to Johnna and Bow Wow Labs for all they are doing to ensure that our pets (especially our dogs) are safe, healthy and happy.
Today's guest was Cheri Wells, Executie Chairman and Co-Founder of Lovey Loaves Rescue and Sanctuary. Cheri and her husband Ward have a heart for dogs with special needs.
It all started with their dog, Smudge, who at age 12 needed surgery to amputate one of his legs. it was devastating to Cheri and Ward but Smudge took it all in stride. It changed their life and opened a new door, one that would introduce them to the world of dogs with special needs.
Today, Cheri is certified in aqua therapy so she can help provide this specialized therapy to dogs who are in her care. They provide lots of holistic care to their dogs and find special treatments that meet each dog's individual needs.
One special dog currently at the rescue is Savannah. Savannah was a gun shot victim. She was lost from her family and while living on the streets was shot by an uncaring, unkind human. She was turned in to Orange County Animal Control who immediately contacted Cheri, knowing she could provide Savannah with the right kind of care. Today, Savannah is recovering and recently learned to use a cart until she can hopefully return to four legs. You can see her video on FaceBook.
Loavey Loves got its name because Dachunds looks like "little lovey loaves of bread" when they are lying down. Cheri and Ward have a soft spot for Doxies and that's how the rescue was named. Their long term goal is to have a physical sanctuary where special needs dogs can receive love and treatment. The organization is currently using a network of fosters who open their homes to these special dogs. If you want to be a foster, you can reach out to Cheri.
Other ways you can help are to donate, attend a special fund-raising event or purchase a WagAware charm. From now untl the end of September, 100% of all sales are being donated to Loavey Loves. Get yours today!
For more information visit LoveyLoaves. You can find adoptable dogs on PetFinder.
Today’s episode of All My Children Wear Fur Coats welcomed Beth Stultz-Hairston, Vice-President, Marketing and Operation for Pet Sitters International (PSI). Beth is a pet lover who has been working in the industry for more than 15 years. She is also a pet parent to cats, dogs, chickens and assorted farm critters.
PSI was founded by Patti J. Moran in 1994. She is the author of Pet Sitting for Profit, now considered to be the “bible” of professional pet sitting. Patti entered the world of professional pet sitting in 1983 when she started her own pet sitting business. At that time there were few resources available on pet sitting or in-home pet care.
For more than two decades, PSI has been a pioneer in the pet-sitting industry and a trusted educational resource for both pet sitters and pet owners. The association’s commitment o industry excellence is reflected in its continually evolving resources and programs.
PSI’s industry contributions include:
At this year’s Pet Sitter World Education Conference & Expo, I’ll be presenting on the topic Creating Estate plans that Work for Pets…and their People. It’s an honor to be among some of the finest speakers in the pet industry.
PSI’s website is chock full of resources for both the professional pet-sitter, pet parents that only want the bet for the pets and those who might be interested in making pet-sitting a professional career. Their online locator can help pet parents find qualified people, dedicated to the craft of pet-sitting to take care of your children who wear fur coats.
Join us next week on Monday at 3 p.m. for another edition of All My Children Wear Fur Coats with Peggy Hoyt.
Today’s guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats with host, Peggy Hoyt, featured Dr. Raye Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a veterinarian with Blue Skies Pet.com. This organization focuses on end of life care for our beloved pets. They believe that making an end-of-life choice for our pets is a difficult decision. Their goal is to honor our relationship with our pets while guiding us through a difficult decision with compassionate support.
Dr. Taylor is a mixed animal veterinarian. Her passions include lots of animals including insects (honey bees), exotics, zoo animals, wildlife, fish, horses, production animals, and of course, small animals like dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, and reptiles. She is one of a growing number of Human-Animal Bond Certified veterinarians. Her background includes research, microbiology, and immunology at Iowa State University. Her veterinary training is through St George's University and the University of Minnesota.
She came to be a veterinarian through a very traumatic experience as a young teenager when her beloved childhood Great Dane was euthanized at home in an agonizing, painful way. As a result of this experience she was determined no family should have to say farewell to their beloved pet without love, peace, compassion, and respect. She encourages all ages of family and other pets to be a part of this loving process. She believes in the focus on the balance of quality of life, even in death.
When Dr. Taylor isn’t working, she enjoys sailing, travel, and the arts, including her own writing. She is an active volunteer at Eagle Brook Church, VeTouch, and Nepris. She also serves as an instructor for BART (Basic Animal Response Training) and as member of the MNVMRC (Minnesota Veterinary Medicine Reserve Corps). She has a wonderful husband, a golden/lab mix Nelli, a practically untouchable super-soft cat Makita, and occasionally a bird and a bearded dragon. She says she has a special spot in her heart for Schipperkes.
Dr. Raye Taylor is a new member of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance (PLPA). The membership of PLPA is committed to being an educational resource to its members. Members include pet loss suppliers, pet death care professionals and others committed to the lifetime care of our beloved pets.
Pet Hospice and Home Euthanasia are two of the services offered by Blue Skies Pet.com. Hospice care for pets is designed to provide pain-relieving and comfort-giving care for pet companions near the end of their lives. It also allows pet owners the time they need to come to terms with their pets’ illness and determine the appropriate level of comfort care or optional treatments. Part of hospice care is accepting death as a part of life. Blue Skies Pet.com offers both a comprehensive hospice consultation that contemplates up to two months (60 days) of support as well as single in-home hospice visits.
There’s no right or wrong time, yet we feel like we can’t be sure. That’s where a dedicated professional that can provide guidance and compassion may make all the difference.
When it’s time to say good-bye, Blue Skies Pet.com is there to ease the way. Their in-home euthanasia service allows the pet parent to be in the comfort of their home, surrounded by family including other pets, friends and others that want to celebrate the life of your beloved pet.
Other family pets can feel the loss of their pet friend. Our pets are extremely sensitive. Dr. Taylor explained that having them present can help to ease their sense of loss, including the development of “broken heart syndrome” or other illnesses related to their grief. A pet simply doesn’t understand if their companion pet “goes away” and “never returns.”
Thank you to Dr. Raye Taylor and the other veterinarians at Blue Skies Pet.com, along with all of the other proactive veterinarians across our country committed to one thing – the best relationship we can have with our pets.
While Blue Skies Pet.com is only available in Minnesota and Wisconsin, check with your personal veterinarian for a referral in your area.
You can memorialize a departed pet by making a donation in their name to Animal Care Trust, USA, Inc.
"Today's guest was Kim Pruett. Kim is a "retired" rescuer and self-made animal advocate. Kim's life changed in a big way about fifteen years ago when she adopted her dog Rebel (now 15) from a shelter. Before that, Kim didn't know that animal shelters euthanized healthy, adoptable pets. Since then, she has been speaking up on behalf of animals everywhere!
Kim is passionate about all things pets. Today's show focused on a couple of her current concerns. We learned about the 12 steps to becoming a "no kill" shelter. Defined, a no kill shelter is one that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even whent eh shelter is full. Euthanasia is reserved for terminally ill animals or those that are considered dangerous to the public safety. Here are the 12 steps:
1. Feral Cat TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) Programs. Communities that embrace TNR have a lower kill level because feral cats are neutered and then returned to their colonies instead of being euthanized.
2. Comprehensive Adoption Programs. Most shelters are not welcoming adoption centers but instead are cold, inhospitabble holding facilities. Studies show that people get their pets from shelters only 20% of the time. We need to change these numbers. Let's adopt the motto, "Until there are none, adopt one!"
3. Low Cost Spay and Neuter programs. These programs will lead to fewer unwanted animals entering the shelter system. Fewer animals coming in means more animals getting a chance at adoption and a forever home.
4. Rescue Groups. Developing a working relationship with local rescue organizations and breed specific rescues helps to free up shelter space, reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning and ultimately, killing.
5. Social Media. Use the power of social media to let rescue groups, animal advocates and the public know about animals that need to find homes.
6. Foster Care Programs. Volunteer foster care is critical to lowering euthanasia rates. It is low cost or no cost and increases the capacity of a shelter to take more pets, improves public relations, enhances public perception and allows for the rehabilitation of sick, injured or behaviorally challenged animals. Many shelters and rescue organizations have adopted, "Take a Dog to Lunch" or "Foster for a Weekend" type programs. Foster programs increase the probabability of an animal finding its forever home.
7. Rehabilitation Programs - Medical and Behavioral. Shelters who have behavioral trainers on staff and who implement comprehensive vaccine, handling and socialization programs have higher adoption rates. A shelter is a scary place for many animals who just need an opportunity to find their forever home.
8. Public Relations/Community Involvement. A shelters public image is important to its success and its survival. Good, consistent marketing and public relations is crucial.
9. Volunteers. These people are the backbone of every successful no kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough money to hire more staff and always more to do than there are hours in the day.
10. Proactive Redemptions. This means getting strays or lost pets back to their owners before they ever get to the shelter. A shift from a passive to an active approach to getting pets back to their owners is a first step.
11. Pet Retention through Community Education. Shelters need to work with pet owners to educate them about how to keep their pets, not surrender them. Responsible pet ownership programs and behavioral training programs are just a few ways to accomplish this goal.
12. Leadership. A strong, proactive and compassionate leader is an absolute must.
Kim was also passionate about eliminating "pet mills" or "puppy mills" - establishments that exist for only one reason, to supply puppies, kittens and rabbits to the retail pet industry. If you buy a puppy from a puppy store, almost without exception it will be from a puppy mill. These breeder animals live in desperation. They never experience love, a home, proper veterinary care and healthy food and water. They don't have exercise or toys or sleep in a warm bed. They exist for only one reason, to produce more babies. When they can no longer produce, they are no longer wanted. Encourage your community and your state to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.
Get involved with your County Commission. Get some friends and make your voices heard. Get access to public documents. Demand accountability. Get your state and county officials to do the right things for animals - always.
Encourage your officials to adopt a state wide animal abuse registry. The link between animal abuse and domestic violence is well documented. Let's make the identities of these abusers known so they won't be allowed to own or adopt pets. You can learn more by clicking on the picture of Molly below - she's a survivor and the Ambassador for Marion County, Florida's Animal Abuse Registry.
Kim Kapes is the founder/director of In Harmony with Nature Animal Haven located in Orlando, Florida. Their passion is helping animals in need; specifically wolves and wolfdogs. You might also find some typical canines, cats, pigs and reptiles. You can visit their website at IHWN.org.
Kim is also the author of the book, From Wags to Riches, where you can learn from your dog the secrets and principles of becoming a better human being. Kim is a K9 Relations Specialist. She calls herself a specialist because she believes that dogs are truly the experts. In the book, Kim shares her experience and gives you the tools to not only give your dog the best but to be the best yourself. She wants to help people achieve the relationship they desire with their dogs. Kim will guide you thorugh the process of:
*The keys to grow personally fo the benefit of YOU and YOUR DOG
*Learning to bring into your life what you want
*The responsibilities of leadership adn what that means for your dog and your life
*Understanding survival instinct, and the importance of decision making skills
*Earning trust and respect by guiding your emotions and feelings
Kiim is an expert in wolf and wolfdog behavior. She does not recommend these animals be bred or kept as pets. Like any wild animal, they have strong instincts for survival. Issues of specific concern can include: 1. Digging, 2. Jumping (fences of 6 feet or more), 3. Climbing, 4. Escape artist techniques where they actually watch and learn from you (e.g. opening a gate), 5. Potty training - takes a year or more (if ever), 6. Interior destruction, especially things made of leather, 7. Integration with other animals including small dogs, cats and other small family pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, and 8. Social interaction - most wolves and wolfdogs have a low desire to interact with people and can be reclusive in nature.
You can helpIn Harmony with Nature Animal Haven by making a donation of money, building materials or other needed items such as paper towels and clorox. Reach out to find out what they need most.
You can also find them on FaceBook.
Today's show featured Pet Perennials co-founder, Remy Bibaud. Remy and her partner, Lori, created Cherished Ones, LLC and Pet Perennials in response to their own loved pets that had passed away. They wanted to find a way to remember and memorialize loved pets that would be meaningful to Pet Parents throughout the world.
Their first product, the Pet Perennials Kit, is a patented process where you and your family can create a living legacy for your loved pet. The kit comes with everything you need to create heart and paw-shaped wafers containing perennial plant seeds and if desired, pet cremains. These wafers are then planted and each year will produce a beautiful floral reminder of your loved pet. This product is eco-friendly and helps our environment through pollination. The Pet Perennials Kit is a loving way to teach younger family members about the loss of a Loved Pet.
The Pet Perennials Kit was so popular, they then released the Healing Hearts Candle, made from lavender and chamomile. After you've enjoyed the candle, you'll find a suprise - a heart shaped gemstone that is a forever keepsake and daily reminder of the loved shared with your pet.
You can also purchase their Rainbow Bridge mug. The Rainbow Bridge mug is a useful daily reminder that our loved pets are waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge - that magical place in heaven where all of the pets wait for their owners.
Their latest product is the Crystal Rainbow Suncatcher. This timeless keepsake begins with angel wings and transitions into a cascade of crystals, representing the colors of the rainbow and reminding us of the Rainbow Bridge. At the end of the cascade is a teardrop-prism representing the tears we shed on the day we welcomed our pet and those when we said our final goodbyes. There's a special option for horse lovers too.
New products can also be expected to help Pet Parents celebrate certain pet milestones; getting a new pet, a pet birthday; honoring a brave service dog, just to name a few. Stay tuned as these and other items become available.
Ordering is easy. You can buy for yourself or send a Sympathy Package to a friend or client. It's easy to sign up and there are no minimums or monthly obligations.
The Pet Perennials product line is a perfect gift from a veterinarian, groomer, pet professional or friend to celebrate the amazing legacy of our loved pets. Order yours today!
Today's show is my favorite subject - Estate Planning for Pets! It's the reason I wrote "All My Children Wear Fur Coats" and the reason I founded Animal Care Trust USA, Inc. It's also the reason every Monday I feature another guest that brings value to the world of Loved Pets.
Estate Planning for Pets is not new - it's been around since the 1990's. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have now adopted Pet Trust Statutes. That means that Pet Trusts are legal in every state. A Pet Trust is a trust where a Loved Pet is the primary beneficiary, rather than a person. It means our Loved Pets can be protected for life.
If you are ready to plan for your Loved Pets, the first thing to do is determine who will be your Pet Caregiver. This could be a person or an organization. If you don't have anyone, that's where Animal Care Trust USA and our Forever Program can help. You need at least two Pet Caregivers - a primary and a backup. Ideally, you'll have three with a perpetual care organization as one of your choices - organizations are a lot more likely to be around for the lifetime care of your Loved Pet than a person.
Next, create a notebook for each Loved Pet detailing all of the care requirements for your Loved Pet. Include all of their personal history as well as their medical history and their unique qualities. Think of this like "babysitter instructions" for a minor child you are leaving for the first time with a babysitter and you won't be available for questions.
Now you are ready to incorporate these instructions into your Pet Trust. I prefer a stand alone Pet Trust rather than one that's included in a Revocable Living Trust or a Will. A stand alone Pet Trust will be specific just for the care of your Loved Pets. A Pet Trust in a Revocable Living Trust is another option. However, the Pet Trust won't be funded until after your disability or death. Pet Trusts as part of a Last Will are not recommended as they may be subject to the delays of probate.
In addition to your Pet Caregivers, you'll also need to nominate a Pet Trustee. This can be a person or an organization. Most trust organizations are not set up to provide lifetime oversight for Loved Pets. That's why Animal Care Trust USA was created - to be the Nation's premier Pet Trustee. If you choose an individual, make sure it's someone that has financial experience and will have your Loved Pets best interests at heart. It is not recommended to choose the same person as the Pet Caregiver as this may create a conflict of interest.
You may also want to consider a Pet Care Panel - a couple of people you trust, which could include your veterinarian, to provide an additional level of oversight for both your Pet Caregiver and Pet Trustee. A Pet Care Panel is not required, just something to consider when crafting your Pet Trust Plan.
If you need help creating a Pet Trust Plan for your Loved Pet, reach out to us today! Animal Care Trust USA's mission is to keep Loved Pets in Loving Homes. We need you - Give, Volunteer, Plan. You can also reach out to me personally at Peggy@HoytBryan.com.
Peggy R. Hoyt, Founder/CEO