Whole Dog Journal Blog

Want to Help Animals? There Are Many Ways You Can

January 11, 2019 - It may be that when someone talks about volunteering to help animals in a shelter, that the average person imagines herself walking dogs or cleaning cat boxes in a shelter facility. Those are tasks that shelters can often use! But there is literally no end to the ways that people can help homeless animals.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:45PM Comments (5)

Lessons From the Camp Fire Aftermath

January 10, 2019 - At the peak of the Camp Fire emergency, over 2,000 animals were in temporary shelters in a number of locations. This included large animals – horses, donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and llamas – who were all taken to a local fairgrounds, where they were held in pens much like any they had ever been held in. I’m sure they experienced some anxiety, but given that their feed and housing was not much different than what most of them had experienced before, I would hazard a guess that they were more or less none the worse for wear. I’d guess the same could be said for the barnyard poultry: hundreds of geese, ducks, and chickens who were also evacuated or rescued from the fires. Lots of these birds were held temporarily at the shelter where I spent the most time volunteering, and they all seemed mentally and physically just fine, even the ones being held in crates in the medical treatment rooms while under treatment for injuries or illness.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 11:19AM Comments (12)

Foster Puppy Update: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

January 3, 2019 - When I last told you about the puppies, I was at the U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) with the largest pup, who has something going on with one of his eyes.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:00AM Comments (13)

New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Caretakers

December 27, 2018 - I had to check last year’s blog posts to see if I had published any New Year’s resolutions last year; I didn’t, so I don’t have to admit how much or even whether I met any of my resolutions. But this year, I want to give public resolutions a go, to see if it will help me get any of them done.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:19AM Comments (9)

Thoughts from a UC Davis Veterinary Hospital Waiting Room

December 20, 2018 - I am back at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital [VMTH] at UC Davis, just a week after my last visit. Last week, I was here with a dying puppy. This week, I’m here for an emergency ophthalmology consult for another puppy from the same foster litter. Not quite three weeks ago, the biggest, strongest pup in the litter suddenly developed a big swollen eye.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 11:26AM Comments (49)

Frustration and Heartbreak on the Road to Saving Sick Puppies

December 13, 2018 - I wasn’t certain the pup would make it through the night, but she did. And while she had, as the vet put it, “reduced mentation,” not responding like a well puppy, when I spoke to her and praised her, she would wag her tail and brighten. She lapped weakly at water and broth and watered/down canned A/D (food for debilitated dogs) that I syringed into her mouth or held in a spoon on her lips, but would get a little panicky if too much went into her mouth at once.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:11PM Comments (24)

Updates on Dog Food Recalls, the Camp Fire Aftermath, and My Sickly Foster Pups

December 6, 2018 - In my neck of the woods, we still have a huge ongoing mess to sort out with trying to reunite animals with their people following the devastating Camp Fire. Currently, there are three temporary emergency shelters that are caring for hundreds of dogs and cats (and other animals). It’s hard to get exact figures, but more than half of the animals have not yet been identified by any owners, for many reasons.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:52AM Comments (22)

Camp Fire: More Notes from a Disaster Area

November 29, 2018 - Tens of thousands of people and animals have been affected by the fire, and thousands of people are helping those displaced. Several emergency shelters were hastily set up to contain pets. Some of the pets were left at the shelters by owners who were themselves homeless and staying in shelters; many more were rescued and brought to the shelters with either an address or rough estimate of where they had been rescued from.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:38AM Comments (34)

Camp Fire: Notes from a Disaster Zone, Part Two

November 21, 2018 - Within a day, there were more than 1,000 dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, pet birds, snakes, and more at these shelters. Large animals including horses, cows, goats, sheep, and pigs were taken to other shelters. Care and feeding of the animals – not an insignificant task that involved taking dogs out of their cages to potty, and cleaning cat boxes – fell to NVADG volunteers.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:56AM Comments (11)

Camp Fire: Dispatch from a Disaster Area

November 15, 2018 - By midday November 8, the “adopt the puppies” project was forgotten; all local media and social media was about evacuation, emergency shelter sites for evacuated people and animals, and rescue. This fire had a name, the Camp Fire; it was so named after the road closest to the place where it started, Camp Creek Road.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:28AM Comments (23)

Some Dog Food Recalls Are More Critical Than Others; This One Is Critical

November 8, 2018 - On November 2, the FDA announced a voluntary recall by Nutrisca pet food. Three sizes of a single variety of Nutrisca dry dog food, Chicken and Chickpea, was found to contain dangerously high levels of vitamin D. The FDA also announced a voluntary recall by Natural Life Pet Products, whose Chicken and Potato dry dog food in 17.5-lb. bags was also found to have dangerously high levels of vitamin D.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:16AM Comments (2)

A Glut of Puppies at My Local Shelter

November 1, 2018 - The shelter broke up this litter of 10 into two groups, and altered the four largest, healthiest puppies first; this happened two weeks ago. Those four puppies went up for adoption while I was out of town for six days, and every day while I was gone, I checked the shelter website to see who got adopted. Not ONE got adopted!
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:06PM Comments (67)

Coming Home to My Dogs

October 24, 2018 - Like most dog owners, my dogs top the list of things I have to deal with when I come home from a trip. I was away from home for five nights and six days, having traveled to Memphis for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers’ annual conference (which was awesome), and then one extra night in San Diego, to watch my son compete in the national championship for his sport.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 03:41PM Comments (8)

Pat Miller Honored with APDT’s Lifetime Achievement Award

October 18, 2018 - I felt strongly compelled to make the journey to Memphis to see Pat honored in this way, because she’s been extremely important to WDJ from day one and remains so today. You can read more about her professional accomplishments in this press release from the APDT, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to tell you about why I appreciate Pat Miller.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 11:16AM Comments (9)

National Association of Professional Petsitters

October 11, 2018 - The “professional” dog walkers have all but taken over all of the dog parks in the area, too – so much so that many of the cities that host these parks have had to pass local ordinances capping the number of dogs that any one person can bring at one time to the parks. And I have to say that for people who seem to have a full-time occupation, none of the folks I saw were being all that professional.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 11:37AM Comments (10)