Showing newest 8 of 14 posts from 08/06/10. Show older posts
Showing newest 8 of 14 posts from 08/06/10. Show older posts

Friday, August 6, 2010

Should We Ban Sales Of Pets In Stores?


Those puppy-dog eyes. That cute furry face. The tiny tail that won’t stop wagging when you press your face against the glass window.
There is nothing more irresistible than an adorable animal in a pet store and Dean Maher knows this.
But Maher, who is running for city councillor in Ward 20-Trinity Spadina, also sees the animals that wind up neglected or languishing in shelters. So, on Aug. 13, Maher will appear before the city’s licensing and standards committee to propose a city-wide ban on the sale of cats and dogs from pet stores.
“Why would you buy a kitten when the Humane Society is packed with cats?” Maher said Thursday night. “I’m hoping that removing the impulse buying from the pet shop will make people better pet owners.”
But Ian Butt, manager of Feed Me More Pet Foods near Church and Wellesley Sts., hopes the bylaw never sees the light of day.
“I’m opposed to it,” says Butt, 27, whose store sells both cats and dogs. “There’s always this negative stigma with pet stores. But there’s no reason why pet stores shouldn’t sell pets as long as they are careful where they are getting the animals.”
Under Maher’s proposal, all pet stores, flea markets and retail shops would be banned from selling cats or dogs. Registered humane societies and rescue centres would be exempt.
Maher wants to reduce the number of unwanted animals in the city and in his report, he points to alarming statistics that say more than 25,000 dogs and cats were euthanized by Toronto Animal Services between 2002 and 2007.
“That number alone says to me animals are just too easily picked up and dropped off and thought of as disposable,” Maher said. “Hopefully in the long run, (banning pet shop sales) will reduce unwanted animals.”
While Maher doesn’t think his proposed bylaw will solve the problem completely, he feels it would be a “very significant step” towards reducing unwanted animals and promoting more humane treatment. Removing cats and dogs from pet stores would also force prospective owners to do more research before buying their pets, he said.
Veterinarian Dr. Kenneth Hill, who owns Bloor Mill Veterinary Hospital, is supporting Maher’s bylaw proposal and has written a letter of support, asserting a ban would help reduce the number of puppy and kitten mills that often keep pet stores stocked.
He said pet store employees also tend to be poorly-trained and under-informed when it comes to properly advising prospective pet owners.
“This results in pet owners who become dissatisfied with their pet or who are unable to cope with breed-specific behaviour and health issues,” Hill wrote. “Dogs and cats are then prone to suffer neglect or in worse case scenarios show-up in veterinary offices to be euthanized.”
Maher expects his ban will be well-received by Torontonians and feels confident his proposal will be approved by committee to go before city council. He pledges to continue pursuing the issue even if he isn’t elected as city councilor in October.
Butt, however, contends pet stores can responsibly sell cats and dogs.
The Church St. pet store manager says his store buys from home breeders and tries to ensure older pets are sold before bringing in a fresh crop of kittens and puppies. He says he would be saddened to see the ban implemented — not only would he lose revenue, he would also lose the opportunity to sell pets to first-time owners.
“For independent stores, they are a good place for people who are first-time pet owners,” he argues. “Yes, I think, cats and dogs are overbred. At the same time, I don’t think people who are inexperienced pet owners should be getting pets from shelters.”
Butt would like to see stricter regulations placed on pet stores rather than an outright ban.
“Make them a little more strict,” he says. “But completely banning (pet store sales) altogether is not the answer.”
According to Maher’s report, Toronto had 27 registered pet shops as of March 28, eleven of which sold cats or dogs. In his bylaw proposal, stores currently selling dogs or cats would have one year to sell off their inventory.

*Taken from the Toronto Star

Business Spotlight - Orchard Grove Animal Clinic

On the south side of Old Orchard Grove, just east of Avenue Road, is where you will meet Dr. Alex Sunarich and his wonderful and always cheery assistants Jen and Laura. The Orchard Grove Animal Clinic has been tending to the medical, dietary, and overall wellness needs of neighbourhood pets big and small for the past seventeen years. One great aspect of the clinic is it's familiarity. Rest assured, for whatever purpose you bring your furry companion in, he or she will always be treated with great TLC by the same veterinarian upon each visit.

Address : 397 Old Orchard Grove
Phone Number : 416-783-5958
Hours of operation : Monday to Wednesday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm, Thursday 8:30 am - 7:00 pm, Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm ***Only the first Saturday of every month, Closed Sunday.

Staff : Dr. Alex Sunarich (BSc. , D.V.M.) , Jen Gonsalves (Assistant), Laura Civichino (Assistant).

Services Offered : Wellness examinations, vaccinations, medicine, parasite prevention programs, dentistry, surgery, senior wellness programs, nutritional counseling, diagnostic laboratory services, xray, ultrasound, endoscopy, telemedicine, pet care products and supplements, therapeutic diets.

Business Spotlight - Jump Start Dog Training


Jump Start Dog Training comes to you, offering private personalized lessons for dogs of all ages - puppies to adults. Lessons cover anything from house-breaking, puppy manners, obedience to problem solving. In our approach to training, sessions take place where the trouble exists - your home, park or city street. Our individualized programs are tailored to fit you and your dog's needs because we've found that working one on one produces positive results.

Cheryl Bell, the owner and operator of Jump Start Dog Training has been working professionally with dogs for over 20 years. She has been living and working with dogs in the Lawrence Park area for 13 years, also training throughout the Toronto area.
Cheryl also trains her own dogs to compete in Licensed Obedience and Agility trails, through which she has achieved a CD, CDX & Utility Title and Starters Agility Title.

Contact info:
Cheryl Bell
Jump Start Dog Training
416-782-7576
e-mail [email protected]
web-site www.jumpstartdogtraining.com

Business Spotlight - Snoopy Spaw On Avenue Road North

On Avenue Road between Old Orchard Grove and Deloraine Avenue, across from the L.C.B.O., you'll find Maggie busy clipping away and washing those messy doggies! Besides grooming, Maggie offers a unique collection of pet supplies (leashes, coats, toys, bowls, cookie jars and more).

Been grooming? : Seven years.

At this location? : Three years.

Hardest breed to groom? : Standard Poodles (time consuming!)
and Huskies (lots of shedding and brushing).

Most common breed you get? : Labradoodles and Golden-Poos.

Why I love the area : "There are a wide variety of shopping opportunities, and plenty of dogs! The neighbourhood also has very nice people, is a safe environment, and has great scenery!"

Add ImageAddress : 1845 Avenue RoadPhone Number : (416) 916-2178Hours of Operation : Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am - 3:30 pm, Closed Sunday.

A Touching Story From One Of My Readers

MOONSHINE RILEY RETURNS . . . sort of 



It began about 15 years ago when our dear fluffy black cat, Porky, died of old age. He came to us from the Toronto Humane Society when it was located on Wellesley St. and lived with us in our Willowdale home. On moving day to Lawrence Park, he got out, ran up a tree and stayed there for a couple of days. Some days you never forget. His passing was, as they say, nature’s way but gosh it was hard to take. 


Our neighborhood animal clinic waited a couple of weeks and phoned to say they had a skinny black cat named Moonshine, about two years old, needing a good home. He had been adopted by another family but it didn’t work out and he was orphaned once again. Suckers, we adopted Moonshine and gave him a second moniker - Riley - as in so lucky to be alive and living the life of Riley. On a Friday night shortly thereafter he “dropped into” the basement of the church centre under construction across the street to be rescued by the construction crew the following Monday morning. Very hungry. That’s when his attitude started to show. The church is one of his favourite spots. We were never sure what he did in that building, but if he spotted the front doors opening up, he was gone and inside in a flash. Moonshine Riley remains a Christian cat (United Church of Canada) to this day. 


Five years ago a dear friend of ours in Orillia died. She had asked us to take her three year old tabby Zoe into our home. Zoe is a sweet, loveable puffball and immediately and willingly took her place as secondary cat in the house. The two actually get along nicely and have set up a regimen of rules I have yet to figure out but it works for them. Then a couple of years ago, Moonshine packed up his bag and moved in with the family 5 houses away. It was winter and when we didn’t see him for several weeks, assumed the worst. We heard about his new life from the new family at a social gathering and could hardly believe our ears. When the snow melts and the sun shines, he visits us every few days to see what is in the food bowl and what is new in the house. His visits rarely last more than 15 minutes. 


Last summer my husband Gary became ill and over the weeks he was hospitalized, Moonshine visited the house every day despite weather conditions. (I have to add here he detests getting his feel wet and/or cold.) Gary died in April. Not a sunny day has passed since without a visit from Moonshine. Now he looks throughout the whole house, behind doors and under furniture before checking out the food bowl and saying hello to me and Zoe. Occasionally he even catches some winks but a visitor he remains. Not that I have any say about the matter.

Common Pet Toxins And Treatment

This page lists some common toxins and their effects and treatments. Diagnosing toxicity based on clinical signs is very difficult. Toxins do not always show the typical clinical signs listed here. If you suspect your pet has come in contact with a toxin, even if they aren't showing clinical signs, go to a veterinarian immediately.

Coffee

Mechanism of action: Intoxication is due to the ingestion of caffeine which results in stimulation of the nervous system.

Clinical Signs:

* increased heart rate
* increased respiratory rate
* hyperexcitability
* tremors
* seizures
* heart rate irregularities

Treatment: There is no antidote. Treatment is supportive depending on clinical signs. Contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Chocolate

Notes: Dark chocolate is the worse than milk chocolate, which is worse than white chocolate. Also, the higher the quality of the chocolate, the more toxic it is (e.g. baking chocolate is much more toxic that inexpensive Easter chocolate).
Mechanism of action:

Intoxication is due to the ingestion of theobromine which also results in the stimulation of the nervous system.

Clinical signs:

* increased blood pressure
* increased heart rate
* heart rate irregularities
* excitability
* nervousness
* tremors
* seizures
* possible coma

Treatment: There is no antidote. Treatment is supportive depending on clinical signs. Contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Easter Lilies:

Notes: The entire plant is toxic to cats.

Mechanism of action: An unknown toxin causes significant damage to the kidneys leading to kidney failure within 24-48 hours after ingestion.

Clinical Signs:

* vomiting
* loss of appetite
* depression
* weakness
* increased urination
* increased consumption of water
* dehydration

Treatment: There is no antidote. Aggressive intravenous fluids may increase recovery rate. Please contact your veterinarian ASAP.

Antifreeze:

Mechanism of action: The toxic effects are due to ethylene glycol and this product is pleasant tasting to animals. This will cause central nervous system depression and eventually lead to kidney damage.

Clinical Signs:

* nausea
* vomiting
* depression
* loss of balance
* seizures
* increased urination and drinking
* increased heart rate
* increased respiratory rate
* coma
* may lead to death

Treatment: There is an antidote and time is of the essence. The animal must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Hartz Onespot treatment / over the counter flea products

Notes: These contain pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Never use these on cats.
Mechanism of action: Some over the counter flea products can be toxic especially to cats. These products are toxic to the nervous system.

Clinical Signs:

* depression
* increased salivation
* muscle tremors
* vomiting
* loss of balance
* respiratory distress (difficulty breathing
* loss of appetite
* seizures

Treatment: There is no antidote but there are medications to control the seizures or tremors. Treatment is supportive depending on clinical signs. Must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Rat poison (rodenticide):

Mechanism of action: Most rodenticides are vitamin-K antagonists. Vitamin K is required for a normal blood clotting response.

Clinical Signs:

* blood loss in:
o stools
o vomit
o nose
o urine
* depression
* pallor
* weakness

Treatment: Effects are reversed with vitamin K administration. Must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Tylenol: (acetaminophen)

Mechanism of action: One of the products of acetaminophen when metabolized is a toxin that can cause damage to the liver in dogs and to red blood cells in cats.

Clinical Signs:

* blue or brown mucous membranes (gums)
* difficulty breathing
* facial swelling
* depression
* hypothermia
* vomiting
* weakness
* coma
* death

Treatment: There is an antidote. Please contact your veterinarian.

Marijuana:

Mechanism of action: When ingested, a percentage of THC goes into the bloodstream.

Clinical Signs:

* behavioral changes
* euphoria
* increased heart rate
* hypotension
* muscle weakness
* red eyes
* depression
* stupor
* loss of balance
* hypothermia
* possible vomiting

Treatment: If ingestion is recent, your veterinarian may decide to induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal afterwards to minimize absorption. May need other supportive treatment depending on clinical signs. Please contact your veterinarian. You need not worry as all information remains confidential. We just want to take care of your pets.

Nicotine: (cigarettes)

Mechanism of action: Affects the nervous system including the brain.

Clinical signs:

* excitement
* hyperactive
* salivation
* vomiting
* diarrhea
* increased respiratory rate
* urination
* tremors
* muscle twitches
* difficulty breathing
* increased heart rate
* collapse
* coma
* may lead to death

Treatment: This is an emergency situation. The animal must be seen by a vet ASAP to be stabilized. An antidote exists depending on clinical signs being exhibited.

Organophosphates:

Notes: These include pesticides, fly bait, etc.

Mechanism of action: The product will cause a constant state of nerve stimulation.

Clinical signs:

* difficulty breathing
* salivation
* constricted pupils
* urination
* defecation
* heart rate abnormalities
* twitching
* muscle tremors
* weakness
* paralysis
* convulsions
* loss of balance
* anxiety
* respiratory failure
* depression
* aggression
* death

Treatment: There is an antidote. The animal must be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.

Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories

Notes: These includes ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, etc.

Mechanism of action: Inhibits the protective barrier of the gastrointestinal tract leading to gastrointestinal ulceration. This product may also cause damage to the kidneys.

Clinical Signs:

* abdominal pain
* lethargy
* anemia
* blood in stool
* blood in vomit

If perforation of the ulcer occurs, this may cause:

* fever
* increased heart rate
* shock

If renal damage occurs, this will cause:

* increased drinking
* increased urination

Treatment: There is no antidote. Treatment is supportive for the ulcers and kidneys. Contact your veterinarian ASAP.

***Information taken from Secord Animal Hospital.

Lawrence Park Leads City's Dog Population


According to the Toronto Star, as of October 2008, the majority of registered dogs in the city's boundaries reside right in our very own community! Coming in second, and not very surprising, is the Beaches. Above is a list of the most popular dogs within the entirecity, compared with ownership four years ago (taken from the same article).

Finding The Right Dog Walker

As many of you know, Lawrence Park has the highest rate of dog ownership of any neighbourhood in the city (I was surprised that we surpassed the beaches!). With this in mind, there is naturally a desire for all of you puppy and dog owners to find the best match when it comes to who will be caring for your pooch. First and foremost, there is nothing more important than for you to DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!I'm sure that if you were searching for a caregiver for you child you would not simply stop looking after interviewing one prospect, and potential walkers should require the same treatment. Make sure that you find someone who most meets the needs of both yourself and your dog, and do not be afraid to either turn away or stop using the services of someone who you do not feel is the right fit. Here are some questions that every person looking toward this service should ask of their prospective walker :

1) Are you insured? 

2) Are you licensed by the city of Toronto? 

3) Can you provide references? (Naturally almost all walkers will provide positive references of existing clients, but it is important to contact these references to have a quick discussion and get honest feedback of any concerns you may have).

4) Where do you take the dogs?

5) What breeds of dogs, and more importantly, WHAT ARE THE PERSONALITIES OF THE DOGS that will be walking with my dog?

6) What training techniques do you use? While some dog walkers are certified trainers, the majority are not. Therefore, you want to ensure that your walker is using the same techniques that you use at home. This is important, as each dog is trained in a different way, and different methods work for different people and dogs.


As a dog owner, it is extremely important when meeting a prospective walker that you are completely honest about your dog's behaviour. Don't be ashamed if your dog tugs like crazy on the leash or exhibits some aggression toward a particular size or breed of dog. Remember, the more the walker knows, the better equipped he or is she in providing the care to ensure that your dog has a great experience out of the home.

One final thing : Don't think that outings to a local park are more beneficial to puppies, or that smaller breeds will be overcome by all of the activity. It is my personal experience that while the older dogs often stick to themselves and avoid the "roughhousers", they are always just as excited to go on an outing and the exercise is very beneficial. With regard to the smaller breeds, keep in mind that in most cases, it is the little guys and gals that keep their larger counterparts in line!!!