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An update on the MaxFund Dog Shelter:


By Julie Malone - March 23, 2020

As of Monday, March 23 we are closing the dog adoption center to the public to adhere to CDC recommendations, and protect the health of the community & our staff. We have found temporary foster homes for most of our pups to relieve the demand on our team, so that we can practice social distancing.
The cat shelter will remain open as we process more temporary foster applications & pick-ups the next few days.
Keep an eye on this page for more updates.
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A note to the MaxFund Community about MaxFund and Coronavirus

from MaxFund Executive Director Nanci Suro

MaxFund Executive Director Nanci Suro

During these challenging times, we are grateful for the steadfast support of the MaxFund community. We are all interconnected, and we will all get through this together.
I want to let you know of some of the things that we are doing to deal with coronavirus/COVID-19 issues.

What we’re doing at the shelter.
One, the continued welfare of the dogs and cats in our care is always our top priority. We’re making sure we have the staffing and supplies we need. The animals depend on us to give them the care they need every single day regardless of what’s going on with the humans around them. The two things we are doing to make sure we’re prepared are (1) making sure there’s full kennel staff coverage, supplemented by the wonderful work of volunteers who have been trained to assist on days when we don’t have enough staff coverage; and (2) actively seeking temporary foster homes to the extent possible. 
Two, our mission depends on the continued health and safety of our staff and volunteers. But kennel work and veterinary work can’t be done “remotely.” We are encouraging everyone who serves MaxFund – staff and volunteers – to stay home if they don’t feel well. And, although we are a non-profit with a lean budget, we’re providing sick leave benefits to our staff, in order to reduce the financial burden that an absence from work would otherwise cause. For work that can be done from home, we’ve authorized telecommuting.
Three, we’re complying with “best practices” directives and recommendations. We’re always conscious about sanitary hygiene practices in a shelter environment, but we’ve upped our practices in that regard. We have asked everyone in the shelter to maintain social distancing to the extent practicable. We have cancelled all events and face-to-face meetings, including new volunteer orientations, for the time being. Please note, the cancellations INCLUDE the annual open public meeting that we scheduled for March 28, 2020. We will reschedule that open public meeting at a later date.
And finally, while both the shelter and the vet clinic remain open at this time, we are, for now, limiting shelter intakes and transfers. We will always stand by our commitment to take back a dog or cat you’ve adopted from MaxFund if you must relinquish one. But we hope that you’ll work with us to ensure that this can be done in an orderly way to limit the burdens that could otherwise affect our shelter animals. Email us at sheltermanager@maxfund.org to discuss further. 

What you can do to help.

MaxFund relies on the generosity of our community. We could not exist if not for the support of the individuals and businesses who believe, as we do, in the MaxFund mission. We hope you’ll find it in your hearts to continue to support MaxFund. Like others, our expenses are rising, and our fundraising activities have had to be curtailed.
Support doesn’t just mean dollars, although dollars are, of course, critical. Help us out by bringing by your donations. In particular, any and all donations of dog food and cat food (unopened and unexpired, please) are extremely welcome. Our shelter animals have food supplies. But your dog food/cat food donations will be used to support our low-income food program. 
Also welcome are the “extras” that we may not have an adequate budget for. If you’re able to bring in jarred meat baby food (chicken, turkey), those are appreciated by our picky animals. Check our Amazon wish list for other things we can use. If you’re isolation-shopping, we’re happy to be included!

About your own safety and that of your own companion animals.

The World Health Organization has stated that there’s no evidence that coronavirus transmission can happen between you and your companion animals. The ASPCA has a number of good suggestions for keeping you and your pets safe during this time here. They include following basic hygiene practices, making sure you have a supply of pet foods, medicines, cat litter, etc., designating a caregiver just in case, and creating a “dossier” of info a caregiver may need. 

Conclusion.
The current circumstances are a challenge for us. They’re challenging for you. But we will continue our important work for the homeless dogs and cats in our care. And we know we can depend on your continued support. We are in this together. Thank you.

Nanci Suro, MaxFund Executive Director 
 
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THE NEW CORONAVIRUS- IS IT A CONCERN FOR MY PET?


By Scott Hafeman DVM PhD

By Scott Hafeman DVM PhD
There has been a lot of information in the news about the newly emerged coronavirus that is causing illness in China and around the world. This month I will answer many of the common questions that I have been hearing concerning this virus. As always feel free to stop by the clinic with any further questions or concerns that you might have.

Are cats and dogs at risk of contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus? There is currently no evidence that dogs or cats can be infected with the 2019-nCoV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Are other types of pets (rats, ferrets, turtles, etc.) at risk from the 2019-nCoV? While public health officials believe that 2019-nCoV probably originally emerged from an animal source, it now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. There is no reason to think that any animals or pets in 6the United States are at risk of contracting 2019-nCoV or are a source for infection. However, as a precaution, the CDC recommends that people traveling to China avoid contact with both live and dead animals while there. The practice of selling/consuming wildlife that may carry the virus has
been implicated as the source of the current novel coronavirus outbreak in China. As such, the CDC does not advise acquiring an exotic pet at this time as it is unknown which species might be viral carriers. Any time a new pet is acquired, regardless of species, it should be quarantined away
from your other pets until a veterinarian confirms that it is free of disease. Always wash your hands after handling pets—there are many common diseases that may be spread from pets to people. If you have any questions about the health of your exotic pet, contact your veterinarian.

Can humans pass the 2019 novel coronavirus to their pets? And can pets pass it to humans? At present, there is no evidence that people can spread 2019- nCoV to their pets or vice versa. However, there are other diseases that can be spread from people to pets and pets to people. It's always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets, especially those that do not belong to you. Other ways to avoid spreading disease between pets and people include making sure that your pets are up to date on their vaccinations and receive regular parasite control. Additionally, it is not a good idea to feed raw food to cats and dogs as this can put both pets and their owners at risk for common bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.

Are face masks made for dogs a useful protection against coronavirus or other illnesses? Veterinarians do not recommend face masks for dogs. While pictures of Chinese dogs wearing face masks are showing up online, there’s no scientific evidence that these masks protect dogs from either infectious diseases or air pollutants. Dogs’ faces have a lot more variation than human faces do, meaning that a face mask designed to fit one type or breed of dog is unlikely to fit most others. Additional- ly, we cannot explain to a dog why we are putting something potentially scary and uncomfortable on their face. A dog who has not been carefully trained to wear a face mask may panic, harming themselves. This is especially true for brachycephalic dogs (those with short muzzles or “flat faces”) who may already have difficulty breathing due to their conformation.

Do coronaviruses ever effect pets? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in several species of domestic and wild animals including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and humans. The type of disease caused by coronaviruses depends on the strain of coronavirus and the species of animal affected. In humans, coronaviruses typically cause mild respiratory infections. In cows and pigs they may cause diarrhea, while in chickens they can cause upper respiratory disease.

What are the symptoms of a pet with coronavirus? Canine coronavirus (CCoV) typically affects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. Most dogs with CCoV do not show any clinical signs, but some dogs, particularly young puppies, may become seriously ill. The most common symptom of CCoV is diarrhea, which may be accompanied by lethargy and decreased appetite. Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is often asymptomatic, but can cause mild diarrhea, especially in young kittens. Rarely, a mutation of the virus can cause a disease called Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), which causes a severe inflammatory reaction in the abdomen, kidney, or brain. While a typical FCoV infection is mild, FIP is almost always fatal. It’s important to remember that there are many causes of diarrhea in dogs and cats. If a pet has diarrhea that does not resolve within twenty-four hours, is bloody, or is associated with significant lethargy or loss of appetite, it is important to see a veterinarian right away so that appropriate diagnosis and treatment can occur.

What is the treatment for coronaviruses in pets? There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses in dogs or cats. Mild clinical signs are unlikely to require therapy. Supportive care including replacement of lost fluids, nutritional support, and anti-nausea medication may be used for more severe cases. Rarely, hospitalization is necessary. Antibiotics are NOT effective against viruses and, therefore, will not help treat coronavirus infections.

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The Newly Adopted Dog and the Runaway Syndrome


The scenario: You adopt a dog and bring him home, with high hopes for a great life together. You’ve seen the “homecoming” memes on social media: there’s the dog with her head on your shoulder as you drive home, both of you smiling as you contemplate your happy future together. Or the dog is snuggled in his brand new bed, a look of contentment and relief on his face. “Aah. I’m home!”

But the reality may not be so meme-worthy. Your first few days may be no honeymoon. You may observe concerning behaviors like fear, inappropriate potty habits, or separation anxiety. Or you just don’t seem to be “bonding.” Or perhaps the dog has tried to run away (or worse, succeeded). After a frustrating 48 hours, you give him up and bring him back to MaxFund. You’re dismayed. We’re dismayed. The dog’s dismayed. What happened?

It’s not uncommon for a newly adopted dog to run away during her first hours, days, or weeks in a new home. This has happened with a number of newly-adopted MaxFund dogs. This can also happen in a fostering situation, or even an overnight visit. This phenomenon occurs frequently enough that it deserves a name: we’ll call it the Runaway Syndrome. Why does this happen, and what can be done about it?

(Note: This issue deals only with the “Runaway Syndrome.” But of course, there can be other issues involved in the transition from shelter to home. These issues include introducing the dog to other pets, ensuring a kid-safe and dog-safe experience if you have younger children, identifying and reducing household hazards, potty-training, behavior issues, and many others. MaxFund is always happy to help new adopters in dealing with such issues. We want the transition from “shelter dog” to “your beloved forever companion” to be successful and as stress-free as possible!)

What you think and what the dog thinks about “homecoming” may be two different things

From a human-centric standpoint, we think that a dog should be delighted to be out of the shelter and in the lovely home of his forever family. Now, the dog has his own comfy bed, furniture to loll on, yummy food, fun toys, loving attention, and maybe even a luxurious backyard to romp in! What’s not to love?

But it’s important to look at this change in circumstances from the dog’s standpoint. As far as the dog is concerned, this new place is not “home”!  “Home” is where he’s been sleeping and eating for the past days, weeks, or months. In other words, the animal shelter is “home”; this new place is scary, unfamiliar, and decidedly not “home.” The dog’s impulse may be to run away and get back home…to the shelter! 

So give the dog some time to become acclimated, and take special precautions until this happens. This may take days, weeks, or even months. But by planning for this initial period of uncertainty, and guarding against the escape risks, you can give your new dog a safe introduction to what surely will be a great forever homecoming.

Your door is the dog’s way out!

It’s critical, during the period when the Runaway Syndrome may be in effect, to take special precautions to ensure the dog doesn’t escape. Even the act of opening your door may give the dog a chance to run away. Some MaxFund dogs have escaped during their first hour at home when the front door was opened. So make sure everyone in the family is extra-careful to ensure, when opening the door, that the dog isn’t in a position to squeeze through and take off.

Also, think about who else may have key access to your home. If you have a friend or service provider with such access, then the risk of escape is heightened. They may not exercise the same degree of care that you would, or just be caught unawares. We recently heard about the tragedy of a dog who escaped when a friend let herself in while the dog’s new human was out on a quick errand. The dog was hit by a car and died. This happened within two hours of the dog’s arrival home. You can avoid such a tragedy by contacting everyone who has key access, and asking them not to let themselves in while you’re not home, until you say otherwise. If access is via a passcode, change the passcode to prevent access until the Runaway Syndrome is over.

Your backyard is not as secure as you think.

Inspect your backyard before bringing a dog home, and don’t ever leave the dog unattended in the backyard. An agile dog may be able to jump any fence lower than 6 feet, and some dogs can jump even higher fences (especially if waste receptacles or other items can be used as “steps”). Dogs can easily dig their way out from under a fence, and some dogs have an instinct for finding a loose or broken fence slat. Chain link fences can be climbed easily, and some gate latches are no match for a smart dog.

Assume that your new dog is going to be smarter than you are about finding an escape route from your backyard! This doesn’t mean the backyard has to be off limits. It just means that you can never take your eyes off the dog while you are in the backyard together! Once the Runaway Syndrome has receded, you can be a bit more relaxed.

Walks can be extra hazardous

Be very careful on walks. If a leash will be attached to the dog’s collar, make sure the collar is tight enough that it won’t slip off. Consider using a Martingale-style collar that tightens when the dog tries to pull, or a slip lead that tightens similarly. If using a harness, or a head collar (such as a Halti or Gentle Leader), use a back-up clip that attaches to the collar. Don’t use a rigid handle leash (such as a Flexi) with a large dog, especially one who pulls. A traditional loop-handle leash is more likely to stay in your grasp, especially if you put your wrist all the way through the handle first before grasping the leash. 

But keep in mind that no method of leashing a dog is foolproof. There’s no substitute for paying close attention during walks, and reacting quickly if the dog assumes any posture that could mean slipping out of a collar, harness, or lead.

And don’t even think about going to an off-leash park! An off-leash area may seem like a great amenity. But you don’t know for sure how well-secured it is. You don’t know how your dog will behave when meeting other dogs, and you don’t know how other dogs will behave towards yours. You likely don’t know for sure that your dog will come back to you reliably when called. All of these and other factors make off-leash parks too risky, especially for a new dog.

Other suggestions for those first hours, days, and weeks.

Tour the house, keep your dog close, and take frequent potty breaks.Take the dog on a tour when she arrives at her new home. Keep her on leash and walk around with her so that she can sniff and explore the house. You can gradually take the dog off the leash as she learns about house rules and boundaries. Reinforce potty-training during this time with frequent potty breaks, and praise your new dog lavishly for doing her “business” outside!

Stay home!If possible, you should remain at home with the dog as much as possible, at least during the first few days. One dog was adopted from MaxFund right before his new dad had to take a rare week-long trip away from home, and his new mom worked full-time. Although she went home every day at mid-day, she found that the poor dog was so anxious about being left alone that he tried to chew his way out of his new home (as attested by tooth marks on the drywall and door frames). After that unfortunate start, this good dog never showed any other signs of separation anxiety. So the lesson learned was that the humans should have been smarter about the timing of their absences following adoption!

Delay the parties!A similar lesson applies to having visitors (or worse, a party) to celebrate the dog’s arrival! Keep the home situation stable and predictable for a while. Having a raucous party, or visitors popping in and out, can create additional stresses for the dog. Worse, your guests may not be as cautious as you when it comes to guarding the door, creating escape opportunities.

Shopping or other excursions? Maybe later!Limit trips for the dog to those that are absolutely necessary. For example, you might be inclined to take your new buddy shopping for new dog gear on his way home from the shelter. But think about all of the escape opportunities while getting in and out of your car, and while in a strange store, not to mention the stresses of all those strange people, things, and smells! Your dog will have a lot more fun going shopping if you hold off for a few weeks.

We humans know that stress can weaken our immune systems. The stresses of a new environment can have a similar impact on a dog’s immune system, contributing to the possibility of a new or recurring illness. This is another good reason to limit the dog’s excursions for a little while. All those new and unfamiliar destinations can add to both the dog’s stress levels, and the possibility of picking up an unwanted bug!

Certainly, you don’t want to delay needed veterinary attention. But if you’re contemplating a routine vet visit, determine whether it can wait for a few days. That way, you’ll give your new dog time to have full confidence in her new guardian…you! The vet visit can then be less stressful for everyone – you, your dog, and the vet!

A crate may be great!See if the shelter knows whether the dog has been crate-trained. A dog who’s been properly introduced to the crate will view it as a relaxing haven, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that she won’t be wreaking havoc around the house (and possibly hurting herself). Don’t crate a dog for more than a few hours at a time, and don’t use a crate until and unless you know the dog is crate-trained. A dog who’s not crate-trained may be traumatized by the confinement, and may injure himself trying to get out. 

Get help!A trainer may be able to give you behavioral suggestions for easing the transition to a new and happy life together. A trainer can also help you with the basics of crate-training. Training classes can help both of you brush up on the skills needed to form a lasting bond of mutual trust. MaxFund’s staff includes a great trainer who will be happy to consult with you.

Conclusion. 

If a dog’s lucky enough to have been adopted by you (and vice versa), don’t let the Runaway Syndrome cause a reversal of fortune that could be tragic. By understanding the dog’s perspective about homecoming, and by taking extra precautions to prevent the dog from escaping, you can help ensure that the two of you will have a long and happy life together.
 
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You Can Afford to Give Your Pet a Luxurious Life


Photo by Pexels

Do you have a cat or dog you dote on? If you’re a pet lover, you may want to give your four-legged family member a life of luxury, and have everything they need to be happy. Fortunately, your pet can live life in style and you can pamper your pet without spending a fortune. 

It Starts with a Good Bed

Whether your pet sleeps at your feet or on your pillow during the night, they deserve a plush bed for their daytime naps. Don’t keep the chewed up pillow in the corner, and opt for something suited just for them. Not only will your pet enjoy the ultimate comfort, but they can also lounge in style with fashionable daybeds that will delight your pooch, and be a great accent to your home. These don’t have to be expensive, and you can find great deals on all the best pet beds if you search for coupons and discounts. If you’re crafty, you can even try a DIY bed, and with a variety of fun materials, you can watch the savings add up. 

Who Doesn’t Love Treats?

One of the best ways to give your pet a luxurious life is with amazing treats they’ll love. Why settle for cheap treats that are bad for your pet’s health? Find luxury treats at a great price, and find the flavors that make your pet go wild. If you’re of a mind to make them yourself, it’s easy to whip up a scrumptious biscuit they’ll love. Look for recipes that use standard kitchen ingredients like peanut butter or pumpkin, many of which you can find on sale at the grocery store. 

The Best Bath

Do you have a pet that loves baths? Pamper your pet with a luxurious bath and brushing to shower them with love. You don’t have to take your pet to a luxury spa to give them the royal treatment. A great bath doesn’t have to be expensive, and you can easily find all the pet supplies you need using coupons and cashback offers to get great deals. Find apet shampoo that will leave your pet smelling amazing, and that softens their fur and pampers their skin. Dry your pet with their favorite towel and give them lots of love. Don’t forget to finish the bath with some of those tasty treats.

Finding a Friend

Are you worried your pet isn’t socializing enough? If your pet spends a lot of time indoors, or you don’t often visit the dog park, you may wonder if your pet feels lonely. You can find companionship for your pet on websites like Pets Dating, and help your pet find friends or even romance. No luxurious life is complete without friends, and best of all, this site is completely free to use for the best in budget-friendly luxury. 

Party Planning

Is your pet’s birthday right around the corner? If you have a dog with lots of furry friends, why not host a party? Give your dog luxurious treatment, and don’t settle for a simple chew toy gift. You could hire a party planning service, but planning it on your own will make party planning more affordable and fun. Choose a theme, get some decorations, and find the perfect gift for your pet, like a toy they’ll love, or a new pillow for their bed. Make sure you have treats for all your pet’s friends and some snacks for all the adults.

Show your pet how much you love them by giving them a luxurious life. They deserve every comfort, the best food, and time with pet friends. You can give your pet an amazing life without breaking the bank, so keep your eyes peeled for coupons and cashback offers to get great deals on all the luxury merchandise you and your pet will love.
 
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