Animal care during hot days

Published 12:16 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

The Dog Days of summer are truly here, and I am personally grateful for air conditioning and fans. Also ice cream, although I confess that I am relegated to shameless begging in that regard.
During these beastly hot days, please remember the animals. Make sure everyone has shade, and lots of cool water to drink. And please don’t leave us in the car or truck bed. Even with the windows down, it quickly becomes unbearable in a vehicle, and the bed of a truck can turn into an oven. Too many animals die this way every year, so please don’t take us along if you will have to leave us. I for one have a very heavy (but beautiful) fur coat and believe me, I am hot even in the air conditioning some days.
I hope you are planning to go to Coon Dog Day in Saluda this Saturday, July 7. Unfortunately, it is a bit too hot for me, and besides, I am a therapy dog, not a coon dog, but the humans seem to enjoy it quite a bit. For the second year in a row, Wasabi Publicity, owners of the parking lot at the corner of Ozone Drive and Highway 176, have made it available to raise money for Po’Kitties. We charge $10 per car, and you can’t park any closer to downtown Saluda. The shelter’s On The Road crew and trailer will be there with adoptable animals, and you can watch the Po’Kitties volunteers run around and sweat. The parade starts at 11, but the parking lot will be full long before then. Please support Po’Kitties by parking in our lot. A huge thank you goes out to the awesome folks at Wasabi Publicity for their amazing generosity.
By the way, did you know that when I was rescued in 2003, I had heartworms? Yep, I went through the treatments, and had to be quiet and rest while I was on the medication. Thankfully, modern medicine can cure heartworms pretty quickly these days. Many dogs arrive at the shelter with heartworms, so don’t be afraid of loving and adopting them. It is a disorder that is curable and after all, look at me — nine years later and I am still glorious and fluffy. Not to mention just about perfect in every way.
I think that most of my readers know how I feel about Foothills Humane Society shelter. I am so proud of all the progress that has been made, and continues to be made every day. It is a beautiful shelter with great outcomes for the animals. I am proud of the board, the staff, the volunteers, and the donors. Everyone has pitched in to ensure that the animals come first, and our Live Release Rate of 99 percent to date in 2012 proves it. Polk County, this is an amazing shelter, one of the best rural open admission shelters in the nation, and you have every right to be just as proud of it as I am.
Our shelter has entered the PetFinder Shelter Challenge, and all it takes for us to win up to $5,000 is your vote. Go to The Animal Rescue Site ( and click on the purple square. Each day that you do that, sponsors will donate more than half a bowl of food for a shelter animal, which is a really good thing. Next, on the right side of the page, click on the third tab down, “Shelter Challenge,” and type in Foothills Humane Society. Because there is another shelter with a similar name, please make sure to type in Columbus, N.C., and then click to vote. You can vote once a day from each computer. It’s a great way to help the animals and doesn’t cost anything.
It is still kitten season, and we are still inundated with kittens and puppies. Remember we have programs to help with spay/neuter, support or animal food. Please call us for information. Let’s get the pet population under control. And please call Dana at 828-894-2088 if you need help spaying/neutering your outdoor cats and strays.
And lastly, my usual plea. We need volunteers. We need foster homes. And we need forever homes for our terrific animals. Please call us at 828-863-4444 and be a part of a team that is committed to helping the animals. Call us if you need more information about any of our programs. Come see us.
I plan to stay cool during the Dog Days, and hope you and your animals do too.
– Champ

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