The frist time I met Sara Willerson with Horses, Heart and Soul, I knew I had a friend who shared a common passion - horses, horses, horses! Sara is a life coach, psychotherapist and founder of Horses, Heart & Soul. In 2001 Sara's dad gave her the book The Tau of Equus. This book confirmed what she already knew; that horses can help us heal. Since 2003 her practice has focused on the benefits of equine facilitated therapies; specifically psychotherapy and now, life coaching.
Sara and her herd teach us how to be present, grounded and mindful. These are attributes we can all aspire to in our daily lives. Horses, as highly intelligent and intuitive beings, can help us listen to our emotions and provide insightful guidance. A horse is a prey animal that is constantly scanning its environment and evaluating everything that comes into their space. Without this ability to be "ultra aware", a horse in the wild could not survive. This is one reason Sara particularly enjoys working with wild Mustangs.
Sara is working on bringing a new program to her clients - The Art of Holding Space. This program should be available this summer and can be attended by Zoom teleconference. Visit Horses, Heart and Soul for more information and to join her mailing list.
All My Children Wear Fur Coats (the podcast) was honored to speak today to Stephen Bardy, Executive Director of the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando (PAGO). Steve shared with the listeners some of the exciting initiatives being undertaken by PAGO to make the lives of Central Florida pets better.
The Pet Apartment Registry is making an impact. More than twenty-one (21) apartment communities in Central Florida now participate. PAGO has a goal of 100 pet friendly communities as part of their program. A participating apartment community has no breed or size restrictions for dogs and also welcomes cats. PAGO has learned there is a 7:1 return on investment for communities that participate. In addition to having higher and longer occupancy rates, communities that allow pets of all breeds and sizes are safer. People are outside, walking their dogs, talking to each other and are more aware of their surroundings. Steve says, "You may not know your neighbor's name, but you will likely know their dog's name!" The Pet Apartment Registry has resulted in fewer dogs being surrendered to PAGO because someone couldn't find a "dog friendly" community.
The Community Cats initiative is working to Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) feral or community cats. A community cat is a cat that lives outside, is not owned by one person and may be cared for by a number of people. Sometimes these cats are feral, but some are tame but don't live inside. TNR programs are designed to alter (spay and neuter) free-roaming cats to reduce the overall cat population. Cats in Florida can have two litters a year because of the moderate climate. The ASPCA reports that in just seven years, one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens! Reducing the number of kittens born annually will result in an overall reduction of community cats. PAGO estimates there are approximately 70,000 community cats in Orange County, Florida. PAGO is working directly with larger colonies of more than 30 cats. Other organizations like Care Feline TNR are working with midsize cat colonies and Orange County Animal Services through their "dial 311" program is working with individuals who may have one or two cats in their neighborhood. The Orange County program is ideal for residents who are willing to have the cats on their property but would like them to be sterilized and vaccinated. The Orange County Animal Services TNR program is free to Orange County residents for up to five cats per household.
The Pawsitive Care Program allows responsible, senior or terminally ill Pet Parents to sign up in advance for the re-homing of their pet when they are no longer able to care for the pet. Forms are available online for submission. PAGO requests but does not require a donation to participate in this very valuable program. Animal Care Trust USA is also available for consultation for Pet Parents that want their Loved Pet to stay at home or if they have horses or other pets (like parrots) that need a Forever Home.
Thanks to Steve Bardy and the PAGO team for all the great work they do. You can participate at one of their annual fundraising events like the upcoming Dine for Paws , FurBall or Paws in the Park. Volunteers and donations are welcomed as well. If you have an elementary or middle school student, check out PAGO's summer camp for kids. Look for PAGO on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram!
Today's show on All My Children Wear Fur Coats featured Rachel Clark with the Community Health Coalition. Their mission is to eradicate rabies one vaccine at a time. You can find more information at knockoutrabies.org. Rachel and her husband John, a veterinarian live in Vero Beach, Florida but are passionate about rabies throughout the world, especially Malawi and Zambia.
In the United States we tend to think about rabies from the perspective of getting our pets vaccinated at regular intervals. What we don't think about is rabies from a world view. Rachel says, "Every year around 60,000 people die from rabies. Most of these deaths occur in children under the age of 15." By vaccinating dogs and eliminating rabies around the world, we are also saving the world's children.
You don't have to be bitten by a "rabid" dog to get rabies. Dogs can be infected with rabies and you may not even know. A playful puppy could be infected and accidentally nip you or lick a scratch on your arm or leg. In AFrica, the majority of transmission is via canine bites or saliva transmission.
Rabies symptoms in humans can mimic other illnesses, including meningitis or the flu, so there isn't always a proper diagnosis when someone gets sick. Treatment for a person who has rabies is not the horror story we might remember from our childhood, but still requires four innoculations that can be very painful. Only one person in the world is known to have survived rabies - death from rabies is unfortunately, a certainty. The cost of treatment is not only painful, but expensive and getting access to the Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) may require travel to an urban area with quality medical care. This type of treatment is not easily accessible for those who live in poor, rural areas.
In the developing world, people cannot afford basic care for themselves, not to mention getting vaccines for the dogs. Over the last few years, Rachel and John have successfully vaccinated approximately 16,000 dogs. If 70% of the dogs can be vaccinated, then rabies can be eliminated. You can see pictures of the communities they have helped by visiting knockoutrabies.org. Other organizations that can provide information include the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health and Rabies Free Africa. The Rabies Free Africa program hopes to eliminate rabies by the year 2030 through their Zero by 30 initiative.
Ask your veterinarian to enroll int he Rabies Free Africa program where a portion of each dollar you spend vaccinating your pets can go toward eliminating rabies around the world. A gift of Ten Dollars ($10.00) will vaccinate a child's dog from rabies and distemper, another major cause of mortality in young dogs.
Pet Connect App
Todays show was super exciting! We met Jason Hanny and Hector Ocasio, the co-founders of Pet Connect, a petfriendly application for your phone. You can visit the app store on your phone today to download! I've already downloaded mine and it was super easy - you can also use your FaceBook account so you don't have to create or enter a user name and password.
Pet Connect offers Pet Owners a one-stop petfriendly application for all things pet related. You can upload all of your pet's information AND you can connect with the petfriendly businesses in your area that you use to provide excellent care for your loved pet. You can even share your pet's information with other family members who have also downloaded the application.
The idea for Pet Connect grew out of an experience where Mason, Hector's beloved dog needed emergency vet care and they were out of town, in a community where they didn't know the pet service providers. A google search sent them to an empty building - the vet clinic had moved and they hadn't updated their online information.
For Business Owners, Pet Connect is the best app for showcasing your petfriendly business and all of its offerings. There are three opportunities - basic ($0), enhanced ($9 per month) and premier ($59/month). There's a choice that's right for you. Not for profit organizations can get an enhanced listing for life, free of charge.. Reach out to Pet Connect for more information.
Pet Connect has a number of strategic business partners. One viital company is Get Your Pet, a company we've featured on All My Children Wear Fur Coats on a past show. The mission of Get Your Pet is to keep dogs and cats from ever seeing the inside of a shelter, so they can love and be loved in new homes. Saving lives. Unburdening shelters. Creating community to make a difference. That's the mission of Get Your Pet.
Peggy R. Hoyt, Founder/CEO