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pet column

Welcome to the first Paw Prints, a monthly column for animal lovers dedicated to helping shelter pets!

Shelter Pets of the Month
Randi

Meet Randi!

This inquisitive young lady is Randi, a 5-year-old tabby available for adoption at Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption Center in Huntington. Randi wants to watch whatever you are doing, and then double-check your work! This beauty likes to play and be pampered. Why not stop by and visit with her? Call 631-368-8770 for more information.

Barney

Meet Barney!

Barney is available for adoption at the Smithtown Animal Shelter. This lowriding handsome man is a Dachshund mix believed to be 10 to 12 years old. He seems to have slight hearing and sight impairments and his hips are significantly arthritic. He is happy to go for walks and be around people and has a fighting spirit. Barney would do best with quiet dogs his size and in a home with older children. Call 631-360-7575.

Rudy and Sophia

Meet Rudy and Sophia!

Rudy, an 11-year-old Yorkie mix, and Sophia, an 11-year-Bassett Hound are up for adoption at Little Shelter in Huntington. These bonded friends eagerly reconnect with wagging tails, swapping stories and catching up on one another’s day before setting off on their walks. Social and outgoing, this duo will expand your world, drawing others into your circle with their charming personalities. They like other dogs and cats and would do best in a home with children ages 12 and up. Call 631-368-8770.

Paw news around town

Betty White Challenge

Fans of the late Betty White have found a great way to honor the beloved actress. The “Betty White Challenge,” an online event set for Jan. 17, on what would’ve been the TV icon’s 100th birthday, has been gaining steam among fans online. The social media challenge encourages people to donate $5 to their favorite animal shelters and animal-welfare groups in her name. Read more about Betty White on page B23.

Adopt, don’t shop

Each year, it’s estimated that more than one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet. The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.

Free adoptions

To celebrate the legacy of Betty White, Little Shelter Animal Rescue, 33 Warner Ave., Huntington will waive adoption fees to qualified adopters for senior cats and dogs, 10 years or older, from Jan. 17 to 21. For more information, call 631-368-8770.

5 tips to keep pets safe and warm this winter

Just as people prepare their homes, cars and families for extreme temperatures and weather events of winter, it’s important to remember pets’ needs this time of year. As cold weather sets in, Dr. Jennifer Freeman, DVM, resident veterinarian at PetSmart, shares these tips to prepare and ensure your pets are warm and happy throughout winter.

Take caution when outdoors

When temperatures reach levels of extreme cold, Freeman recommends limiting outdoor walks and monitoring your pet’s behavior for signs of stress or discomfort. Letting your dog outside to use the bathroom or go for a quick walk is OK, but never leave a pet outside for a long period of time, especially during a winter storm. “Don’t let your dog off its leash after snowfall, as snow can mask familiar scents,” Freeman said. “This can cause your pet to become disoriented or lost if they get too far away.”

Add extra layers

Despite efforts to limit time outdoors, your pet needs to go outside for bathroom breaks and exercise. Pets who are small, short-haired, old or have any health issues or illnesses may be more sensitive to cold weather. Pet sweaters can help keep your pet warm. If your pet is shivering, that’s a sign they need extra layers. To help trap body heat and protect paws from extreme cold, consider using booties when venturing outside.

Watch out for hazardous chemicals

Many people use snow-melting products like deicers, antifreeze and salt, which can cause skin irritation and be fatal if ingested by your pet. Pet parents should keep an eye on their pets when they’re outside and be mindful of hazards. After a walk, it’s important to thoroughly rinse your pet’s paws and stomach especially after walking in areas where these products are frequently used.

Keep skin protected

Just like humans, many pets get dry skin during the winter. When your pet needs a bath, try using a pet-friendly moisturizing shampoo to help keep skin healthy and hydrated. If your pet’s skin seems extra dry, supplements like fish oil can be added to your pets’ food to help the skin and coat. It’s important to keep an eye on skin health and check with your vet if issues persist as they could be signs of larger problems.

Ensure ID information is current

While winter emergencies may add to the importance, it’s crucial your pet wears a tag displaying your phone number year-round. Microchip and register your pet with current contact information and tuck a copy of their vaccination and medical records, veterinary contact information and a current photo in your emergency kit

*Check out the next Paw Prints in the issue of February 10 in print and online.