Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pet’s Lost and Found in Real Life

“Have you ever lost and found your pet? Where was the little guy hiding out?”

We asked our PetRescuers Facebook community from the more popular microchip manufactures and here is what they said.,. Stories of families reunited with their beloved pets poured in from coast to coast of families reunited with their beloved pets. Some reunions came after years apart and hundreds of miles of separation. Here are just a few of the uplifting stories we’ve received:

Six Years Later

“On Memorial Day weekend in 2005, some fireworks scared our little dog Stinky away from where we were staying. We did everything we could think of to find her—called local shelters, hung posters—but nothing worked. Over the next six years, I never gave up hope. Then in May, 2011, I got a call from animal control. Unbelievably, they’d found Stinky and contacted us through HomeAgain. Never give up!” -- Amy

A Real Scare on Halloween

“Right before Halloween 2010, we lost our beloved cat Squeaky. Our children made lost posters and searched the neighborhood with no luck. After seven months lost, the local shelter found her and tracked her to us through her microchip. I’m a true believer in the microchip now.” --

Stolen—and Recovered

“Over two years ago, the unthinkable happened—my Chihuahua, Pinto, was stolen. I cried day and night, and eventually gave up hope of finding her. Then one day I got a call from the chip company and she had been found over 100 miles away! Getting Pinto back was the best day of my life.” -- Marrissa

One Mile Away and Completely Lost

“One night during a horrible snow storm, our 10-year-old German Shepherd got lost. He was gone for over a week. My husband put flyers in all the neighbors’ mailboxes. It ends up, our dog was only a mile away, but he couldn’t find his way home in all the snow. If it wasn’t for my husband and having the implant I don’t know how I would have found him.” –Robbii M. (Facebook PetRescuer)

Looking for Mom

“While I was stationed in Iraq, I called home and found out my dog had run away over a week before. Some kids found her seven miles from home and took her to the Emergency Room. The ER scanned her microchip and got her home safe. I think she was looking for her Mama, poor girl.” –Toni D. (Facebook PetRescuer)

Susana Labradors real life stories as told by 2 of my puppy clients

After getting a yellow Labrador puppies from Susana Labradors, I had Bucky outside while the phone rang.  I should have let it go to the machine, but instead I ran inside leaving Bucky out front to do his business.  When I returned a minute later, Bucky was gone.  So of course I combed the neighborhood looking for my tiny 8 week old puppy to no avail.  An hour later, the phone rang and to my surprise, a woman going to work spotted my puppy, took her in her car with her as she made her way to work which was 60 miles from my house.  She pooped into a local vet and admitted “I found this puppy, and if it doesn’t belong to anyone, I want to keep him” Well, luckily we had Susana Labradors chip him, and once scanned I was notified to pick up my puppy.  Thank goodness for the chip..or some woman would be walking my precious Bucky.

While I loved my white Labrador puppy that I got from Susana Labs, she was a crafty one.  She figured out how to get out of my back gate while I was away.  3 months later after I contacted Susana Labradors and bought a second puppy assuming Sadie was gone forever…the phone rang…I guess crafty Sadie figured out how to escape her new owners place too.  She is back in my arms thanks to the recovery chip, and by the way, Sasha and Sadie are the best of friends!

Almost Half of You Have Lost Pets

Every year, as many as 10 million pets are reported lost. It can happen to anyone. In our recent Facebook poll, 49% of our PetRescuer community told us they’d lost a pet once, and 15% said they’d lost a pet more than once.

Why do pets run away? Animals are highly curious by nature, so exploring and chasing objects is instinctual. They are hard-wired with a desire to find out what lies beyond their territory. Often, their sense of smell can get them into all kinds of trouble—whether they smell food or other animals. Just the scent of another dog or cat can lure your pet away. The good news is spaying and neutering can reduce this likelihood by as much as 90%.

If your pet gets lost, stay calm and start looking immediately in your area. In many cases, your pet won't have gotten far by the time you realize they're missing. The majority of our Facebook responders said they'd found their pets inside their own homes—in a drawer, the pantry, the garage or under furniture.

Most dogs are recovered within a two-mile radius of their home. They normally wouldn't run in a straight line for an extended distance, no matter how strong or fast they are. Small dogs may be able to go half a mile at most. Friendly pets typically find people or other pets to play with—so look for them in public parks or neighbors’ yards. If your pet is shy, you may find them hiding under bushes and parked cars.
Most importantly, if Fido or Fluffy get lost, don’t give up hope. When pets have been microchippped and your contact info is kept up-to-date, there’s always a way to track him or her back to you; As these lost pet stories prove—even over several years and from hundreds of miles away.

Rescuing a Lost Pet

We all know losing our own pets would be heartbreaking. But what if you see a stray dog or cat that you suspect is lost? Most strays have a home—usually a good, loving home—but somehow got away. Many animal lovers have a hard time passing a pet that seems alone without at least wondering where he or she belongs. If you’re one of those people, here are a few tips to help get Rover or Fluffy back home:

  1. Determine that the pet is really lost. Is he or she walking down the street with purpose? Does the pet look street savvy? If you’re in a rural area, the animal may just be headed home.
  2. Look for signs he’s not a stray. True strays may look confused and scared and be dirty, thin, or haggard. Lost pets, on the other hand, will probably look well fed and groomed, and have a friendlier disposition.
  3. Get the pet’s attention. In order not to startle him, make a soft clucking noise with your tongue or call him gently to you. Does he have a collar with ID tags? If so, you’ve got a great shot at finding the owners right away. If not, he may have been microchipped, so take him to your local shelter or vet so that they can scan him. You don’t have to relinquish the pet to the shelter—you’re just trying to find his or her owners.
  4. Offer treats. Some lost pets may come to you and then shy away when you reach for them. It’s helpful to have treats or food with you. Toss the food gently to one side of the animal, not directly at him.
  5. Never corner a fearful animal. Be careful if a dog bears his teeth, growls, or snaps at you, or if a cat arches and hisses. It’s a good idea to leave aggressive pets alone and call animal control.
  6. Find a leash or crate. If the animal doesn’t have a collar, you can use a belt or tie as a makeshift collar and leash so that you can control him. In many instances, the best way of capturing a stray cat is with a humane baited crate, which you can get at a feed store or hardware store.
  7. Protect your passenger. Often, a pet will come if you open your car door and call him or her. If you can get a lost dog or cat into your car, crate him. If you don’t have a crate, try to secure him in the backseat. You don’t want a fearful animal jumping into your lap as you drive.
  8. Proceed with caution. If you take a pet home, remember that you don’t know this animal and that he may be unpredictable. Don’t corner him, leave him alone with children, or try to take food or treats away from him.
  9. Get the word out. If the animal doesn’t have ID or a microchip, post brightly colored FOUND DOG or FOUND CAT posters at busy intersections in the neighborhood where the pet was found. Don’t include too much information about the animal just in case a scammer contacts you.
  10. Next steps. If you’ve managed to catch a friendly dog or cat, make every attempt to find his owner. Call local shelters, get the animal scanned for a microchip, and check local classifieds for lost pet ads. Remember, there is a possibility that the dog or cat was dumped and now you’re his owner. Perhaps you’ll want to keep Rover or Fluffy if every attempt to find his owners has failed.

This article was written by someone else other than us at Susana Labradors.  However, I thought it was worth the read.  You know, from time to time we may see a lost Labrador wandering around the street.  The last one I saw was a yellow Labrador adult male dog.  We managed to get him to come towards us, and immediately collared him and put an appropriate sized dog chain around our mail box, so he couldn’t wander.  This gave him a little room to get up and turn around but it secured him . We gave him food and water and sat with him for a while.  As darkness approached, we left him to sit there on a blanket by our mailbox.  Sure enough, his rightful owners came driving by looking for him and claimed him.  They left me a Thank you note in the mailbox, with their name and address.

About a week later I was crossing the street and saw a few cop cars and a civilian car pulled over next to the busy street where we live off of.  Apparently this same dog got out and this time was unfortunately, hit by a car.  Out of curiosity, I made my way through the crowd and recognized the dog.  I alerted the officer, that I knew where the owners lived.  I ran home and grabbed their business card they had left me and my work for the day was done.

I don’t know the outcome of this poor dog that kept breaking out of their gate, if he lived or died.  But without dog collars for Identification, or a microchip implant, it is a big mystery as to how to get these dogs home.  Luckily for him I was there.  The odd thing is that I rarely get opportunity to leave my ranch, as I am kept so busy raising and training our Labrador’s here.  I just happened to be out on foot that day and it was as if I was supposed to be there right at that time for the livelihood of this poor dog.  Otherwise, no one would have known where this dog lived and the owners may not have checked the veterinarian’s offices.

Before we let one of our precious yellow Labrador puppies go to a new owner, I always ask “how will my puppy be living”?  Just to make sure that they have proper gating and fencing.  Most people who buy our Labrador puppy’s will love them and care for them, but it is a constant caring as they grow and change and develop personality’s.  Some dogs can be jumpers or diggers left alone to their own accord and tragedies can happen with a dog that is bored. 

So keep an eye on your dog, be sure it is safe for him if you leave your property.  We suggest a commercial kennel or run that is puppy/dog safe for him to live in while you are away. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Helping Your Dog Cope with Loud Thunder and Fireworks

Fear of loud noises, especially thunder and fireworks, is a common phobia in dogs. It’s usually displayed by hiding, whining, barking, pawing or even urination. Trying to help your dog cope with loud noises is important because the anxiety usually gets progressively more pronounced with age. A dog suffering from a fear of thunderstorms may begin to display anxious behavior before the thunder begins. Rain on the roof of the house, bright flashes of light or even the drop in air pressure before a storm may be enough to trigger anxiety. It is important not to punish your dog for being anxious, but equally important not to cuddle too much.

·         Punishing your dog will just create more fear and anxiety because thunder will then be associated with both fear and punishment

·         Cuddling or comforting your dog too much isn’t a good idea because it teaches your dog that anxious behavior is appropriate

Instead, first provide your dog with a safe place to seek refuge. Dog crates, under a bed or under a chair are common hiding places for a dog. Your dog chooses these places because she feels protected and the noise of thunder or fireworks is muffled. If your dog has not already picked out a place, provide one. Try leaving a few treats or a real beef bone in a safe place to encourage your dog to go there.

Try desensitizing your dog to loud noises so the sound becomes normal. This is usually done by playing recorded thunder at a low volume and in short intervals while you monitor your dog’s behavior. Try to distract your dog while the noise is present by playing fetch or engaging in some sort of enjoyable activity. If your dog is too frightened to participate, you need to turn down the intensity of your thunder stimulus and try again later. This process is long and requires patience, but in the end your dog will be much more comfortable during a storm.

For help with further treating your dog’s anxiety, seek advice from your veterinarian.

Angel, our beloved yellow Labrador, our first lab who is about age 14 now is so afraid of the fireworks that I just put her in my bedroom and close the door and make it really nice and dark for her.  It is a cool spot and we have a doggie bed in there, which she can lay on.  I check on her constantly throughout the night on the 4th of July.

Sometimes, I will put a scarred dog inside the house and put her safely in a crate. Cover it with a big beach towel. Put a soft radio on next to the crate.  A bone inside helps. 

If your dog is not secure inside, the noise outside is so intense, that the dogs can hurt themselves trying to get away from the intense sound.

We have seen it over the years..many accidents happen and dogs can break out, get loose in the street and be lost or injured.

If you have a scarred dog, it is best to stay home on those evenings, or have someone come in..perhaps consider the crate idea.

Rescue Remedy is a natural soothing remedy made up of flowers and herbs, and the dogs don’t mind the taste.  I give this often as it takes the edge off.

This can be purchased here at Susana Labradors, or at a health food store.  This is what we do for our yellow Labrador puppys in training or raising at our ranch.  It is natural, and seems to help quite a bit.
Maybe for extreme cases or a mature dog, seeing the vet with your concerns may be the best measure.  He may be able to get you some doggie downers to help with the stress of  holiday fireworks.