Helping stray cats: TNR is the key

By | September 17th, 2019|Categories: Advocacy, Cleveland News, General, Lost Pets, Pet Advice|

Nearly three-quarters of cats who enter our nation’s animal shelters each year are killed. Most are free-roaming, stray or feral cats. Here at Best Friends, we refer to them as community cats. Although some of these cats are adoptable, many more are not. And for unadoptable cats, a trip to the shelter is often fatal. TNR saves cats’ lives Trap-neuter-return (TNR) entails trapping, neutering, vaccinating, and returning community cats to their original outdoor locations. It is not only the most humane method of preventing cats from entering the shelter system, it’s the most effective. TNR also ensures the cats’ health and welfare. Once these cats are sterilized and vaccinated, they can live healthy, happy lives in their communities, where caring residents look out for them. Sterilization and vaccination provide a public health benefit to the community, too, a vast improvement over the failed trap-and-kill approach that’s been used for generations. What is Best Friends doing to help? Best Friends sterilizes, vaccinates and releases tens of thousands of community cats each year, preventing many thousands of births. Support TNR and help reduce the number of community cats, and ultimately the number of cats being killed in America’s shelters. Find a program [...]

It’s summer! Please don’t leave your dog in your car!

By | June 4th, 2019|Categories: Cleveland News, General, Pet Advice, Pet Safety Tips|

Every spring and summer there are many well-meaning animal lovers who leave their (primarily) dogs in vehicles while they shop or run errands without realizing that their beloved pet may end up suffering — or even dying — due to the effects of heatstroke. Most people don’t know that even on mild days, with temperatures in the low to mid-70’s, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach 100 degrees. In warmer, 85-degree weather, temperatures can reach 120 degrees within a half hour, even if a car window is left open a crack. Leaving animals unattended in a vehicle on a warm or hot day  is not only unsafe, it’s also illegal. Leaving an animal unattended in a vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably cause suffering, disability, or death is a crime that carries with it up to six months in jail in L.A. (Penal Code 597.7). Click here to read the entire article on and for links to download the Hot Oven, Hot Car poster.

What to do if your dog’s been skunked

By | June 4th, 2019|Categories: Cleveland News, General, Pet Advice|

Spring brings us pretty flowers, chirping birds, and litters of kittens that come from roaming unneutered cats. Other wildlife comes out of their winter nests to forage for food and mating too. Typically this activity is at a peak in early spring and fall when the weather is warmer. One of the most active critters that we see or smell the entire spring and summer season is the little black-and-white varmint known as a skunk. They are typically active at dawn and dusk. No matter their size, skunks can secrete from their specialized anal sacs for several feet a potent and foul smelling oil that sometimes can be harmful – even deadly – to dogs if the spray gets in their eyes, nose or throat. Skunks have tested positive for rabies in the United States and Canada. This is another well-documented reason why our pets need to be current on immunizations. Save yourself the stress and mess of using tomato juice, vinegar, pretty smelling soaps or shampoo. There are three safe and effective products to have on hand for a veterinarian-approved recipe you can make in your own kitchen to neutralize the skunk spray on your dog. Simply mix together 1/4 [...]

The Best Food-Dispensing Toys 2019

By | May 30th, 2019|Categories: General, Pet Advice|

If you're not using treat-dispensing toys with your dog, you're missing out on one of the greatest training inventions of the last 100 years - seriously! These wonderful tools and toys can help you with a long list of dog-training and -management challenges, including boredom-busting, excessively fast eating, high-energy consumption, building mental skills, counter-conditioning, redirecting inappropriate behavior, and much more. In the mid-1980s, when I acquired my first Australian Kelpie, food-stuffed toys were an unknown. A tennis ball was "the thing" - and Keli, my Kelpie, was quite addicted to hers. Then we discovered the Kong. Still perceived primarily as a fetch toy in those days, the hollow, snowman-shaped, hard, rubber toy delighted my dog with its high-flying unpredictable bounces. Almost as good as herding sheep! She switched her allegiance from ball to Kong.   Read the Full Article

Your dog is trying to talk to you. Are you listening?

By | May 23rd, 2019|Categories: General, Pet Advice|

Don't ignore him! You can recognize what your dog is saying to you - even what he's thinking - just by learning his body language. Have you ever noticed how a puppy yawns when picked up? He's trying to calm himself down. Have you noticed that your dog barks at seemingly random times - even if he's not a "barker"? This is a reaction to something you've not noticed. Stay alert, and you'll begin to pick up what your dog is telling you - things like… - What stresses him out when he goes outside - "I'm really bored!" - The best time to eat - "Leave me alone!" Decoding Your Dog is a revolutionary book that will show you how to use canine communication techniques to eliminate "bad" behaviors - like seemingly random barking - and encourage "good" ones, such as politely greeting strangers. You'll learn how an eye movement can lessen your dog's anxiety...when a growl isn't aggressive...when that adorable, wide-eyed look isn't a good thing...and the one thing to do that will help your dog calm down when he seems like he's lost it! Don't let a language barrier hold you back from building a better relationship with [...]

What is your dog’s bike style?

By | May 22nd, 2019|Categories: General|

Westlake | Bay Village Observer by Nancy Brown The growing popularity of pups participating with biking enthusiasts has evolved into a growing industry in recent years. A variety of smart and safe canine biking accessories, books, websites and even travel destinations are available for the potential barking buddy biker. Barking bikers of all sizes can now safely join family members and friends on this adventure because of education on precautions to take including the importance of training, conditioning and proper equipment. It is essential to have your dog thoroughly examined by a veterinarian to rule out any condition that could inhibit this new activity. Certain breeds and body structures are not recommended for biking on a leash or attachment next to the bike. This would be puppies and senior dogs, along with those 30 pounds and under, flat nose breeds, and dogs with short legs or long bodies. There are accessories like sturdy baskets and towing devices at bike shops and online for these canine types to safely participate. A padded, well-fitting harness is clearly safer for the dog cruising next to the bike. Reflective and other attire add-ons are great safety choices to consider. Check out cooling vests/collars and [...]

Clean it up and be responsible

By | May 7th, 2019|Categories: General|

Two recent dog incidents prompted me to write this to educate readers about a couple of dog laws that, if not complied with, can lead to health and environmental issues. Incident number one: A Bay resident found significant bags of dog waste tossed over a bridge and in a creek as he was doing yard maintenance. This prompted the resident to look back on home security footage to witness the repeat offender daily tossing dog-waste-filled bags in the creek. This person was less then two blocks from a park entrance that greets everyone with trash cans. Incident number two: Bay Village Police received a complaint about an adult walking dogs on a regular basis during the day and repeatedly putting full dog-waste bags in a street sewer. The Bay Village codified ordinance states: "It shall be the duty of all persons having control of animal to curb such animal and immediately remove all feces and dispose of same in sanitary and safe manner." Canine waste contaminates water and is not a fertilizer. EPA studies show canine waste pollutes waterways. The EPA categorizes it the same as oil and mine run-off. The Clean Water Campaign released these facts about pet waste [...]

Do not let Fido get you a ticket!

By | April 16th, 2019|Categories: General, Pet Advice, Pet Safety Tips|

According to the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer, just under 1,200 dogs are current on 2019 county dog licenses for both Westlake and Bay Village combined. That is a significant decline from previous years. At this time the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter is monitoring communities that are or have become non-compliant with keeping current licenses on dogs. However, our dog population has not declined with dogs walking in our communities, visible in our parks, animal hospitals and other professional pet care providers caring for new and multiple pet family members. Alarming is the frustrating and growing presence of "no tags or collar" in animal facilities and on social media. The Ohio Codified Ordinance 955.01 states, in brief: "Ohio law requires owners of dogs to purchase/renew their dog license each year between December 1 and January 31." Fines are applicable for late registration of a county dog license application. Fines from local law enforcement can range from $20 and up per incident. Some municipalities have also retained dogs until the owner could prove or provide proof of a current tag and then been fined a daily charge for the dog being held. Even if you missed the renewal period to purchase a [...]

87-year-old Lakewood woman warned by police for violating retractable leash law ban

By | April 1st, 2019|Categories: General|

POSTED 5:14 PM, MARCH 27, 2019, BY ROOSEVELT LEFTWICH Watch the video here. LAKEWOOD, Ohio-- She just wanted to take Boo and Lulu on their daily walk. But for Fay Olson, that walk turned into a brush with the law. The Lakewood woman was using a retractable leash, the kind she's used for 20 years. "I was coming down my driveway and he was already parked, waiting for me. And when I hit the sidewalk, he got out of the van and told me I was being illegal. I haven't broken a law in 87 years and now I'm illegal," Olson said. Last year, Lakewood updated its dog ordinance with guidelines for everything from liability insurance to the type of leash you can use. Olson said the retractable leash works best for her because her dogs are trained and they respond well to it. Lakewood city officials declined to comment about the leash part of the ordinance. Retractable leash bans are already enforced in other places, including San Francisco and California State Parks. Veterinarians also caution the leashes can do harm to dogs. Cleveland Animal Protective League President Sharon Harvey said she understands why Lakewood and some cities banned them but [...]

Available for purchase online and in retail stores

By | March 25th, 2019|Categories: General|