DID YOU KNOW?
THAT THE CHEMUNG COUNTY SPCA …
- Is the oldest organization in our community dedicated to caring for animals from Chemung County and surrounding areas
- Finds loving new homes for hundreds and hundreds of homeless animals each year
- Provides veterinary care to shelter animals to alleviate their suffering and to prepare them for brighter futures
- In collaboration with its partner organizations, hosts low-cost spay neuter clinics to reduce overpopulation and unwanted pets
- Offers programs and services, like our county’s only pet food pantry, designed to help keep pets in their homes and out of the shelter system
- Assists victims of domestic violence and displaced pet owners by providing short-term care for their pets, free of charge
- Provides humane education programs to schools and youth programs to promote responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of all animals
- Organizes and facilitates the county’s free rabies clinics
- Offers dog training classes to promote canine good citizens and enhance the bond between dogs and their owners
- Provides lifesaving options to other shelters faced with overcrowding issues
- Provides affordable end-of-life services for pets
All of these programs and services make life better for companion animals in our region.
- 1. No answering the door: Keep dogs and cats away from the door during trick-or-treating hours. Even if your pets are polite at the door, well-mannered greeters, trick-or-treaters, especially young ones, may not be used to an animal coming up to them, sniffing their bags, or barking at them, and may not react well. Besides, the constant opening of the door makes it easy for your pet to dart outside. Your dog may become territorial/anxious with the number of loud, boisterous and costumed strangers coming to your door and not act themselves.
- 2. No trick-or-treating: Don’t take your pets trick-or-treating, even if you’re confident that they will be able to handle it. Even if your dog is well-adjusted, some others you encounter may not be. Plus, seeing a bunch of kids in costumes can unnerve even the calmest of dogs.
- Keep pets inside: Not everyone has the best interest of your pets in mind. Halloween pranksters, overly excited kids can end up teasing, harming, and even stealing pets. Keep your animals safe by keeping them inside and away from the door. Take your dog for a walk well ahead of time when trick-or-treaters are out.
- Pumpkin safety: Lit pumpkins can easily be knocked over by a swish of a dog’s or cat’s tail, or by them jumping next to it, and cause a fire as a result. Curious paws or noses can easily get singed or even burned by an open flame. To avoid such tragedies, use electric or battery-operated “candles” or relocate jack-o-lanterns to a safer, out of the way location.
- Tag them: Make sure your pets’ tags are up to date. Better safe than sorry to have your pet’s id tags on at all times while they are in your house or yard in case they inadvertently make a dash through an open door to the street. This piece of advice is equally important for both dogs and cats. Regardless of whether they are microchipped, wearing an id tag with their owner’s contact information is one of the best ways for your pet to find their way back home.
- Help reduce their stress level: The sounds of strangers approaching your house, the doorbell or doorknocker repeatedly be used, and the sound of firecrackers going off can be extremely stressful to your animals. You can try to desensitize them in advance of Hallowe’en night by ringing the doorbell or knocking in the days leading up to the night so they are more prepared. Treating them with animal-friendly treats immediately for staying calm will help to reinforce the behavior*. Cuddling with them on the couch during the big night or setting them up in a room as far from the activities as possible may also help to reduce their stress. For those pets who become so anxious and stressed by it all, may do better by making arrangements to professionally board them or an overnight stay at a friend’s or family member’s house where there will it will be calmer.
- Keep candy and treats out of reach: Both chocolate and xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free gum and other sweets can be fatal to dogs and cats. It’s best to keep all candies and treats as far out of reach as possible. If you suspect your animal has ingested chocolate or candy, call your veterinarian or contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures.
- Think twice about costumes: Not every pet likes to dress up no matter how cute you think it is. If your pet pants or acts stressed while dressing up, skip the costume. If your pet enjoys showing off, be sure that s/he can easily move around, breathe, hear, bark or meow, and also stay cool while in costume. Perhaps a simple, Hallowe’en-themed bandana will be a good compromise for both of you. It’s always good to try this out in the days leading up to Hallowe’en to gauge your pet’s reaction to dressing up. If your pet is a ham and enjoys wearing a costume, check the outfit carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could be choking hazards. Ill-fitting costumes can easily get twisted on household objects, furniture, or your pet’s own paws or neck, leading to injury.
References: CityDog Magazine, Victoria Stillwell, Dr. Nicholas Dogman, Dr. Marty Becker; PetMD; ASPCA
*We only recommend working on desensitizing your pets to the doorbell or doorknocker well in advance of Hallowe’en and with the aid and guidance of a professional dog trainer. We don’t recommend doing this on your own.