Unleashed – PAWsitive Stories from Salt Lake County Animal Services
Gummy Bear: Second Chances on Old Cats
Salt Lake County Animal Services is all about second chances. Many pets come to our facility in poor physical condition and need lots of love and rehabilitation. Gummy Bear (aka Grimsby) is one such story. Here's to taking second chances on old cats.
Gummy Bear came to the shelter as a stray in
January 2017. When we first saw him, he was in horrible condition:
matted, very sick (upper respiratory infection), and his mouth was in bad
condition. We started him on antibiotics for the URI and housed him in our
infirmary until that was resolved. We then realized how bad his mouth was. He
was missing several teeth, and the ones he had left were not in good condition.
We did full blood work and a dental, removing all remaining teeth.
Once we had resolved his major medical issues, he went up for adoption but still had a lot of issues with
his gums, and couldn’t stop drooling. The veterinarians diagnosed him with
stomatitis, making it hard for him to keep up on grooming. We sent him off to
the groomers for a nice spa day!
He continued to struggle with the stress of the shelter
life, but that didn’t stop our vets from trying! We kept him on a soft food
diet, steroids, and green tea to help with the inflammation.
In March 2017 Liz Garcia came into the shelter and decided
to adopt this handsome guy, and his life changed forever!
A note from Gummy Bears mom Liz Garcia:
Gummy Bear (aka Grimsby) was adopted March 25, 2017. He had
stomatitis and was under weight. I asked my family veterinarian Dr. Llewellyn
at Alcor Cresta if he was up to the challenge of helping Gummy Bear and he was.
We didn't expect him to live long, but didn't want him to die at the shelter.
We tried different dosages of steroids, multiple sessions of laser treatments,
and finally added a new med, Atopica, to the mix. About two months after
starting Atopica Gummy's life changed. He now eats kibble, his favorite food!
Because he no longer needs to worry about pain in his mouth
he concentrates on more important things like chasing his sister Mini, playing
with his toys, soaking up the sun, watching the birds, being his human's
shadow, and biting everyone with his toothless mouth.
Gummy Bear is the most loving cat. He is a great example of
why it is worth taking a chance on an old raggedy cat. They may just turn out
to be the best pet you've ever had!
A year later, he no longer looks like the skinny 16 year old
scraggly cat we once knew!
Thank you Liz for taking a chance on Gummy Bear!
Get Your Dog Ready for Spring
It's time to get ready for spring with your pets! We can all hope that this cold weather will be behind us
soon and that Spring is truly “in the air”. This does not just mean it will be time for spring cleaning.
It is also a time to get your dog ready for spring!
Here are some simple steps that we can take to get our
canine companions ready for the warmer seasons so they can enjoy it to the
Take your dog to the
First and foremost, you should take your dog to see the
veterinarian for their annual check-up. After all, an ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure, which is as applicable to dogs as it is to humans.
Make sure your dog is vaccinated:
Since your dog will be spending more time outdoors in the summer
it is important to make sure that their vaccinations are up-to-date. This will
help them to be protected from a wide range of serious medical conditions that
they are more likely to be exposed to.
Your dog is ready to shed their winter coat. Get ahead of the
furry mess by grooming them regularly. If you are strapped for time check out a local grooming salon. For a fee, these groomers will scrub and brush your pup while you run around doing errands.
Keep those New Year’s resolutions:
People are not the only ones who pack on the pounds in winter.
Your dog has likely spent the last few months staying warm and being a little
less active. Remember to start slowly with short walks and gradually build up
to longer walks.
Sensible fashion is a must!
It's important to take a look at your dog’s collar and leash
and other accessories to make sure that they are still in good condition. If
they are breaking or fraying, replace them before you start any outdoor
activities. Make sure that their tags are in good shape and all your
information is up to date.
Every pet owner wants to keep their pets as safe as possible. Placing a collar with an Identification tag is important, but
sometimes collars become lost so you want to make sure that your pet is
properly identified. That is where a microchip comes in handy. A microchip is a
way to ensure that your pet finds their way back home.
Watch for allergies:
Pet can get seasonal allergies just like we do.
- Is your dog scratching more?
- Is his/her skin red?
- Are their ears dirtier than normal? Or smell?
- Are their tear stains darker?
- Are they licking their paws more?
These can all be signs of allergies. When the seasons change, these symptoms can come on hard.
Watch for overheating:
Some breeds can handle the heat better than others. However, no
matter what breed your dog is, you need to make sure they will not overheat.
Make sure that they have access to plenty of water for hydration and provide
them with shaded places to rest and relax. Above all else you should never
leave your dog alone in your car. The interior can become much hotter than the
exterior because of the absorbed sunlight and can be fatal to your dog. If you do see a dog in a hot car please call your local animal control or 911.
Volunteer of the Month: Michelle Larson
March Volunteer of the Month is Michelle Larson!
Michelle Larson is one of our first and most dedicated
rabbit volunteers! She has experience with bunnies and offered to come to the
shelter and assist in their care and enrichment. It was clear from the get go
that Michelle had a lot to offer Salt Lake County Animal Services.
immediately began bringing in enrichment items, the bunnies favorite hay,
getting to know their personalities, and attending events. She even wrote up a
wonderful FAQ for adopters! Not only does she stop by every day, she has also
recruited other volunteers to join the Salt Lake County Animal Services
volunteer family. Michelle is now a volunteer Bunny Mentor and helps train new
volunteers in the bunny area. We couldn’t do what we do without her and her
passion for the rabbits.
Thank you Michelle for helping us make a difference. People
like you should volunteer in abundance.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of
life is to give it away.” — William Shakespeare
Interested in volunteering, find out more on our volunteer page.
February: National Pet Dental Month
"Open your mouth kitty....please? Say AAAAH"?
We know brushing cat teeth can be quite difficult. Here are
some tips and tricks on making it a little easier. February is National Pet Dental Health Month and we want to help your kitty have pearly whites.
- Massage and handle your cats face often to get them used to
having part of their face held. Do this for a few minutes each day until they
feel comfortable with their face being touched.
- Once they have gotten used to you handling the outside of
their face, you can start massaging their teeth and gums. You can do this with
your finger, a soft cloth, or gauze. Also do this for a few minutes each day
until they become comfortable.
- Choose a toothpaste and toothbrush made specifically for
cats! Let your cat sniff and taste the toothpaste before using it.
- Don’t force them through any of it. If they aren’t ready for
the next step, keep working on the previous step a bit longer.
- Brush their teeth every day. Brushing is most successful at
preventing oral disease if it’s done every day. Plus, if you do it every day
your cat won’t have to get familiar with the process each time.
- Give praise and reward when finished! Cats love praise and
treats! Definitely find the tasty treats too.
- Some other helpful things to keep your cats teeth clean if
brushing is just not working
- Dental treats
- Dental wipes
- Chew toys
- Dental cat food
If your cat refuses to brush their teeth, you can visit your local vet, who can clean your cats' teeth. If your cat is refusing to eat or chewing, it may be because of tooth pain, and we would recommend you take them to the vet immediately.
Celebrate Your Pet: National Love Your Pet Month
With February being National love your pet month we thought
this would be a fun time to talk about the many reasons we love our pets and
the way we describe our pets.
There are so many descriptions that apply to our dogs and how
they enrich our lives on a daily basis.
Is your dog a:
And of course……
It's hard to imagine life without pets. Every animal brings their own joy, laughter, frustration, learning, adventure and enrichment
to this world.
Here at Salt Lake County Animal Services, we have the privilege of sharing our space with them,
learning from them and having a job where we not only get to work with them but
get to work for them and help be a part of the solution in advocating,
educating and adopting.
For National Love
your pet month we would love to know how our readers describe their pet? Have a story about your pet you want to share with us and our followers? Please email email@example.com and we will highlight you and your pets.
Interested in pampering your pet this month? Join us for our Spa Day at Dirty Johnson's Dog Wash on February 25 from 10 AM - 3 PM. For $25/dog, volunteers will wash and dry your dog and trim their nails. Find out more on our event page.