Archive for October, 2008

Halloween is Here!
October 25, 2008

Well, I couldn’t say it better myself – The ASPCA has come out with a great article about keeping your pets safe this Halloween.  So, without delay, here it is – compliments of the ASPCA…


No Boo! Hoos: Treat Your Pets to a Safe Halloween 

That parade of kids, adults—and yes, even pets—in funny outfits is due to arrive at your door next week, bringing all the sweet and scary joys of Halloween! But pet parents, as you carve the jack-o-lanterns and fill those bowls of candy, please be aware that your furry friends may stumble upon dangers you hadn’t thought of.

Warns Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President, ASPCA Animal Health Services, which includes the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, IL, “Many of our favorite Halloween traditions could pose a potential threat to our companion animals. As pet parents start to make plans for trick-or-treating or costumes, they should be aware of Halloween-related products and activities that can be potentially dangerous to pets.”

The following are just a few precautions you should take:

No Chocolate: Even if your pet has a sweet tooth, ingesting chocolate—especially baker’s and dark chocolate—can be dangerous for dogs and cats, possibly causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and even seizures.

No Sweets for the Sweet: Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.

Dangerous Décor: Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

Don’t Play with Fire: Keep your pets away from jack-o-lanterns with lit candles inside—knocking the pumpkin over can easily cause a fire. And curious kittens can get burned or singed by candle flames.

Costume Caution: Please don’t put your pet in a costume unless you know that he or she loves it. Costumes can cause skin irritations, obstruct a pet’s vision or impede his breathing.

For more information on having a safe Halloween with your pets, please visit our complete list of Halloween Safety Tips. And if your pet accidentally ingests potentially harmful products, immediately consult your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.



EASY Fundraising!
October 18, 2008

I have to say, I HATE fund raising!  Especially when it’s calling everyone I know to beg them to buy cookies they don’t want, wrapping paper they already have or magazines they already read.  It should be called “Guilting Someone” instead of “Fund Raising”.


However, like many other groups out there, animal rescues rely heavily on fund raising to keep their heads above water.  Let’s face it – times are tough all over and rescues are no exception.  For non-profit animal rescues, fund raising is about the only thing that keeps us able to do what we do so we’re always out there, pleading for financial help.


It is with that in mind that I make my plea to you….. This past summer, Bandit’s Place lost 5 out of 9 puppies to something called Parvo Virus – a fast-spreading, deadly virus that affects puppies and unvaccinated dogs.  Hospitalization ran over $500.00 per dog and only 4 were saved   It was heavy toll, financially, but also one emotionally for everyone involved.


A few months ago Bandit’s Place was approached by Nodine’s Smoke House out in Torrington.  Nodines wanted to help!  They’ve offered to give to Bandit’s Place 25% of each order they receive on behalf of us!  We were thrilled!

Here’s how it works – Go to  and browse around.  The prices you see are NOT marked up for the fundraising!  These are the regular prices. Once you’ve picked out your purchases, click on  Fund Raiser Supporter… From there, scroll down until you see Organizations / Clubs – We’re listed there!  Once you’ve picked out what you want, you’ll see it in your “shopping basket” – Our code, 1028, is needed for the 25% of the sale to come to us.  Please think about this for your holiday shopping!


You can also use Nodine’s fund raising for your school, church, etc!  Just contact them and they’ll set it up for you.


So, short and sweet this week – We, like many, many other animal rescue groups, are in need of financial support from where ever we can get it.  We can’t help the animals in need without asking for help ourselves.  Please consider helping!  Whether it’s Bandit’s Place or another rescue – we’re all in this together!

Fall Reminders
October 11, 2008

As I take my daily walk, I am reminded of things I’d like to tell you not to forget as we approach the colder weather.


First, if you have rabbits that are outside, now is the time to start giving them extra bedding hay.  They will need it as most hutches are open on at least two sides and that wind will be a-blowin very soon!  Give them more hay and they’ll make their own burrows.


Second, it’s still flea and tick season.  Bringing in wood for the fire can bring in some ticks as well so make sure to check your pets frequently for unwanted visitors.  And once you turn that heat on, the flea eggs that have fallen into the carpet under the heat registers or through the cracks in the wood floor will start hatching.  They love the warmth and all of a sudden you’ll find an infestation you didn’t want!  I also sprinkle flea powder around and UNDER the heaters.  That way, when I vacuum, I get the eggs up AND the larvae and neither will survive once they hit that powder.


Make sure to keep your pooch (and kitty) on heartworm preventative.  The preventatives actually work backwards, so giving them a pill this month kills what ever they were exposed to LAST month.  Some of these meds also de-worm so that’s an added bonus!


Now, if you keep your dogs outside during they day, you’re going to have to start

re-thinking this thought!  Unless your dog is of the double coat variety, it will not do well outside in the cold.  Very young dogs, dogs of poor health and old dogs are especially vulnerable to the cold weather.  Even just a “chilly” day can have an affect on them.  Try and switch to a more climate controlled area, such as a garage.  But remember to put the dog’s house up on something like a palate to make sure it’s off the cement floor (which sucks the warmth out of your dog).  If your pooch MUST stay outside during the day, get the dog house up, off the ground for extra warmth.  Surrounding the house with bales of hay or straw and elongating the entrance to the dog house with the straw will also help cut the wind and cold.


Your dog will most likely require extra calories if he / she is going to be kept out so keep that in mind!  Those extra calories will help Poochie maintain bodily warmth.


And remember, it’s illegal in the state of Connecticut to tie, tether, or otherwise keep your dog outside 24 / 7.  Do this and you might find yourself facing a judge.


Cats are of concern at this point, too.  Remember that from dusk until dawn predatory animals are out there, looking for food.  Putting Kitty out for the night is an open invitation to any predators in the area, so keep Kitty safe and warm INSIDE.


Well that’s all I can think of right now.  Got any more suggestions?  Let me know and I’ll post them!

Fun Fall Frolicking With Fido
October 4, 2008


Fall is a fun time to frolic with Fido!  Ok, I’ll stop.  But it really is!  There is no excuse NOT to have fun with your canine companion (or other furry companions for that matter).


My rabbit used to love to play in leaves we raked up for him.  We’d rake up a pile and plop him in the middle.  He’d start to burrow down and would then pop out at some other location.  He loved this and it was a great way to play.


Bring some leaves in for the kitty to play with!  You’ll find the kitten in your cat in a great way!


Going hiking with Fido is also a wonderful way to get both of you more fit for the winter months.  Start out slow if neither of you have been doing much hiking!  Go for trails that are well worn and flatter until you both build up endurance.  Nothing worse (believe me) thank getting your dog to hike aaaaaaallllllll the way up a hill and then having to carry the pooch back down because, well, you tired him out!!! 


Dogs’ pads are also a concern this time of year if you’re planning on starting that hiking routine.  Remember, those tender tootsies have not been exposed to rocks or sticks and they can get torn very quickly if you go on terrain that’s too rough.  Use caution and always carry first aid supplies for Fido.  A clean, white sock with some medical tape can be put over the paw and taped onto Fido’s leg in a pinch if the pad gets torn or cut.  Then make sure to get the pooch to the vet ASAP for treatment.


Also beware of sticks!  Believe it or not, your mother was right – You CAN poke an eye out with that thing!  Watch for sudden tearing or rubbing of the eye – or obvious injury.  At one time, when I was working for an emergency veterinary hospital, we had a dog come in who would not put weight on his leg.  The owner had taken the pooch for a hike in the woods and the dog suddenly went lame.  The owner checked the dog’s feet and found a puncture but nothing much else.  Well, it turned out that the dog stepped on a stick and it acted much like a nail, going INTO the foot of the dog.  Once removed, everyone was MUCH happier.  So don’t just think your dog went lame with a sore muscle – check out their piggy toes!


Beware of critters trying to get ready for winter!  Mr.Skunk and Mr. Porcupine are out there and they’re mighty ready to defend themselves if Mr. Pooch decides to try and become friends!  Nuff said…


Oh and one more thing… Hunting season opens soon.  Make SURE you AND your pets wear ORANGE so you can enjoy a fun and SAFE time in the great outdoors.