500 North 12th St. l Mayfield, KY 42066 l 270-251-0130 l Hours: Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri, 12:00 to 5:00 Sat 12:00 to 4:00 pm CLOSED WED & SUN
Our Shelter Information
ADOPTING A PET
The adoption fee for cats and kittens is $100.00, Puppies are $200.00, and dogs are $110.00. We make every effort to insure that the animals leaving our shelter to join a new family are as healthy as possible. All of our dogs are up to date on shots, have been dewormed, have been heartworm tested if they are old enough, and are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. All of our cats are also up to date on shots, have been tested for feline leukemia and FIV (if 6 months or older), and are spayed or neutered prior to going to their new home. We hope that the pets adopted from our shelter will live healthy lives and provide many years of pleasure and companionship for their new owners.
Many changes have taken place at our shelter in the past several years. We have made major renovations to the existing facility and have added twenty-two new kennels for the adult dogs with inside/ outside access. We now have isolation rooms for dogs and cats coming into the shelter, and incoming animals are kept away from the resident animals for observation, evaluation and treatment. We have a "Meet and Greet" room where potential adopters can visit with the small animals and an outside fenced area to get acquainted with the larger dogs and puppies. We also participate with many rescue organizations across the country in order to give as many dogs and cats as we can a better chance at finding a new home. Each month, we send many pets to rescues in Illinois, New Hampshire, Michigan, and several other areas. We also participate in adoption events at Petsmart in Paducah on the first Saturday of each month, and if there is a 5th Saturday in the month, we will be there that day as well. Working with rescue groups and Petsmart has enabled us to reduce our euthanasia rate significantly and give many pets a better chance at a new life.
Our shelter is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12:00 to 5:00 and Saturday from 12:00 to 4:00. The Shelter is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.
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Support our shelter! Buy Frontline Plus and pet medications today! Buy online or Call 1-800-738-6337 and Mention: "MGCANIMAL".
BRINGING OUTDOOR CATS INSIDEComing in from the Cold
Autumn is slowly making way for Old Man Winter, and your concern is steadily growing for the stray cat who settled into your backyard last summer. Homeless Hildegarde has been enjoying your fresh-air hospitality under the deck all season, but with cold weather approaching, there's no better time to introduce her to the pleasures of indoor living. Luckily, bringing a friendly stray in from the cold or keeping an indoor/outdoor feline entirely inside is not as difficult as one might think. All it takes is some environmental enrichment and a bit of training.
Litter box training is the biggest concern for most people. If the cat was ever box trained, she will likely fall right back into the habit. For the former indoor/outdoor cat, a two-box system filled with fine-grain, clumping litter works best. Place one where you want the litter box to permanently reside, and put the transitional box at the door the cat once used to exit the house. When she finds that she can't get outside to the topsoil, she will use the box by the door. After that habit is established, slowly move the transitional box closer to the permanent setup. Once the boxes are side by side, you can remove one of them.
For the cat who has never been litter box trained, a confinement method is usually necessary. Set the cat up in a cattery cage or a large dog crate complete with litter box, resting space, food, water and toys. When the cat is consistently using her litter box, she can be moved to a small room, like a bathroom or galley kitchen. After she gets the hang of that, you can increase her space yet again. If she has a lapse, return to the last space the cat kept clean. Don't forget to visit her often and release her for supervised exercise, grooming and affection during the confinement period. Also, once she has earned the free run of your home, make sure she isn't tempted to use your potted plants as a litter box. Cover soil with aluminum foil, or pack glass pebbles or marbles around the plant.
Enhancing Your Cat's Habitat
When litter box training is complete, you can begin to enrich your cat's new environment. Since her days will no longer be spent searching for her supper, she'll need something else to while away the hours. Window perches allow your indoor cat to keep an eye on the backyard bird population while safely basking in the sun. An indoor planter containing feline favorites such as catnip and wheat grass enables your cat to nosh on cat-safe greenery. Toys are a must for these reformed hunters; interactive playthings sporting feathers are especially enticing. Just remember to rotate toys every week or two to keep your feline's interest piqued.
To safeguard furniture from a cat who's used to scratching wherever she pleases, offer several kinds of scratching posts to determine her pleasure. Look for posts that are sturdy enough to climb. Cat tree furniture, which usually includes several resting platforms atop natural tree trunks or posts wrapped in sisal, is a good bet. Placement near a sunny window or patio door guarantees enjoyment. In addition, cardboard scratch pads embedded with catnip are inexpensive and can be scattered throughout your home.
Overcoming the Lure of the Outdoors
Although indoor living has many perks, the call of the wild can be intense for some cats. Given the opportunity, these cats will attempt to dash for freedom whenever a window is opened or a door is left ajar. Make sure screens fit snugly in windows and cannot be dislodged by a persistent cat. Dissuade door-dashing by drawing your cat away from doorways before entering and departing your home. Roll a toy or toss a treat across the room to focus kitty's attention away from the door. If there are children in your home who come and go frequently, stage practice runs with your cat. Leave the door ajar; if she begins to saunter out of it, startle her with a blast of canned air or a spritz of water from the outside. If the outdoors proves inhospitable, it's likely to dampen her ardor for adventuring. A backyard cat enclosure can fulfill the fresh air needs of a hardcore outdoor lover while keeping the cat and nature safe from one another.
By the time winter sets in, you'll be able to sit back and enjoy watching the first snowflakes fly. Hildegarde will be napping on the hearth, safe and warm and there to stay.
Jacque Lynn Schultz, CPDT ASPCA Companion Animal Programs Advisor National Shelter Outreach
424 East 92nd Street New York, NY 10128-6804 www.aspca.org
They may be small, but these little guys are BIG on personality. Do you have what it takes to be a hamster pet parent?
Hamsters were first discovered in Syria, but they are native to many parts of the world. The name they go by today is derived from the German word “hamstern,” which means “hoard”—because that is exactly what they do with any extra food they might find. Although their downright cuteness makes them popular with prospective pet parents, these animals have some special requirements that must be met in order for them to be happy and healthy.
The most common pet hamster is the six-inch Syrian, also known as the golden hamster or teddy bear hamster. Syrians have a lifespan of two to three years. Dwarf species such as the Siberian, Roborovsky’s Djungarian, and Chinese are smaller than Syrians, at about two to three inches. They have an average lifespan of one to two years, but it is not unheard of for them to live 3,4, or 5 years with excellent care.
Although they’ve been viewed as the quintessential pet for kids, hamsters are nocturnal by nature—which does not fit well into a young child’s schedule. If you are up in the wee small hours or won’t be bothered by your pet’s nightly digging, scratching and wheel-running, a hamster may fit in nicely in your home.
Hamsters also have gained a reputation for biting, but they mostly tend to nip when awakened during the day—the time they are “biologically programmed” to sleep. Because of their nocturnal nature and tendency to nip, hamsters of any species are not appropriate pets for families with small children. Children under the age of six should not be allowed to handle these fragile animals, and those over six should always be supervised by an adult.
When you first get your pet, you’ll need to spend $35 for a cage. Food runs about $50 a year, plus $20 annually for toys and treats, and $220 each year for litter and bedding material.
The ASPCA recommends that you get your hamster from a responsible breeder or, better yet, adopt one from a shelter or small-animal rescue group. Call your local shelter and search on sites such as Petfinder.com for hammies in need of loving homes.
When selecting a cage, keep in mind the golden rules of happy hamster housing. Syrian hamsters are solitary and MUST live alone. One Syrian hamster per cage—no exceptions! Dwarf hamsters are social, on the other hand, and like to live in pairs. Do not house male and female dwarf hamsters together, since rodents breed quickly—and often—with large litters.
Keep your Syrian hamster in a wire cage or a ten-gallon aquarium with a wire-mesh top. The fancier cages with tubes, tunnels and hideaways are good, too, but they generally cost more and are harder to clean. If you have space for a larger cage, it will be much appreciated. Dwarf hamsters can be kept in a cage made for mice.
The enclosure should be placed away from direct sunlight and drafts, and lined with an absorbent bedding such as timothy hay, aspen shavings, shredded paper or pelleted bedding. Do not use pine or cedar chips, as the fumes from these products can be harmful to your pets.
Hamsters are big on exercise, so please make sure yours has a wheel for running. Hamsters also like to hide and sleep inside enclosed spaces, so you’ll need a small box with an entrance hole or a small flower pot for this purpose. And they love crawling through tubes, which can be homemade (empty cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper!) or purchased from a pet supply store. And finally, you may notice that your hammy is a major creature of comfort. Remember to regularly give him small pieces of paper towel or napkin to shred and make a nest with.
Your pet will do well on hamster mix, which contains seeds, grains, cracked corn and pellets, and is readily available at pet supply stores.
The ASPCA recommends that you supplement your pet’s diet with fresh foods every two or three days. Try fresh grains, sunflower seeds and nuts (not too many, please, as these are high in fat), alfalfa pellets, and fresh fruits and vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, carrots and apples. Be sure to clean up any leftover fresh food before it spoils. Never give your pet raw kidney beans, onions, raw potato, rhubarb, chocolate, candy or junk food.
Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. It is best to use an inverted bottle with a drinking tube, which should be changed daily.
Curious hammy habit #1: Yes, your hammy will stuff his face (literally!) and then empty out whatever’s in his pouch for some late-night snacking. That’s why it’s important to check the corners of the cage for any hidden stashes when cleaning.
Don’t forget your housekeeping duties! Remove droppings, uneaten food and soiled bedding every day. Every week, remove and replace all the bedding, and scrub the bottom of the cage with hot, soapy water.
A hamster’s teeth grow continuously, so your pet will need to chew—a lot—to keep his choppers in tip-top condition. Make sure he always has a piece of wood or twig that has not been treated with pesticides, other chemicals or paints. Pieces of dog biscuit will work well, too.
It’s important to get your little guy (or gal) used to you, and used to being handled. Start by feeding your hamster treats; once he’s comfortable accepting treats from your hand, you can gently and securely pick him up. Hold him for a short time at first, and then gradually increase your time with him.
Once you’ve hand-tamed your hamster, every day you should let him play outside of the cage, in a secure, enclosed area, while you supervise. Be sure to remove any electrical wires from the area, and anything else your curious pet could, but shouldn’t, gnaw on.
If you think your pet is sick, don’t delay—seek medical attention immediately. Common signs that something isn’t right with your hamster may include dull-looking eyes, matted fur, weight loss, shaking, runny nose and diarrhea. Also note that hamsters seem to be susceptible to respiratory problems, especially the common cold, which they can catch from their human pet parents.
Hamster Supply Checklist
- 10-gallon aquarium (minimum) with wire cover, wire cage or plastic rodent habitat
- Timothy hay, aspen shavings or pelleted bedding
- Small boxes or flower pots
- Exercise wheel (solid, no rungs)
- Cardboard tubes (recycle from paper towel and toilet paper rolls)
- Hamster mix
- Attachable water bottle with drinking tube
- Unpainted, untreated piece of wood or safe chew toy
MICROCHIP INFORMATIONHelp your pet find his way home!
Only 15% of dogs are returned to their owners and 2% of cats (HSUS). If shelters routinely scanned, and more owners microchipped their pets...more could be returned.
A microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted between the shoulder blades of a dog in a relatively painless and quick procedure. Each microchip transponder has a unique number which enables a shelter or veterinary clinic to scan the animal for this number which will be registered with a national database allowing the owner to be contacted when the pet is found. Local veterinary offices and the animal shelter have scanners to read these microchips.
HSUS ADVICE: IF YOU SEE A TURTLE IN THE ROAD
Have you ever been driving down the road when that tire fragment in the distance begins to move? As you get closer, you realize that the tire fragment is actually a turtle, slowly attempting to cross the highway. Turtles often make this perilous journey to get to a good, sunny location with loose soil in which to lay eggs, and to return back to familiar territory—be it a woodland, pond or desert burrow.
It is in just this situation that so many turtles lose their status as wild animals and are consigned to an unnatural, and unnaturally short, life in a back yard. By all means, help that turtle cross the road in the direction she (or he) was heading, if you can do so safely. But then leave her in the wild where she belongs.
The collection of turtles by passersby seriously contributes to the ongoing population declines in many species. Turtles and tortoises are particularly vulnerable to collecting, since they are slow-moving and generally non-aggressive.
Likewise, their populations are vulnerable as well. As is typical of long-lived animals, turtles are slow to sexually mature. They lay relatively few eggs, and mortality of eggs and hatchlings is frequently very high. In addition, their habitat is increasingly fractured by roads and carved up into housing developments and shopping centers, causing local extinctions. Thus every turtle who survives to adulthood is critical to his population.
Turtles are said to make good pets, yet they have specific dietary and habitat requirements and can pass diseases, such as salmonellosis, to humans. What's more, their attempts to escape from backyards and return to familiar territory puts them at tremendous risk of being crushed in the road.
The HSUS believes that wild turtles belong in the wild. Help make this a humane summer by helping them get to the other side of the road—and then leaving them there.
THE DOG WHISPERER ON SPAY & NEUTER MYTHS
Spaying or neutering your dog is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Unneutered male dogs that are not able to mate experience frustration, which can lead to aggression. Unspayed female dogs attract unwanted attention every six months. From a psychological and biological point-of-view, it is the best thing for your dog. Pet overpopulation and euthanasia are a continuing problem. Be a part of the solution: spay or neuter your pets.--Caesar Milan
In the United States, seven puppies and kittens are born for every one human. As a result, there are just not enough homes for the animals, and four to five million dogs and cats are euthanized every year.
Sterilizing dogs and cats has been hailed as the most effective method for pet population control. You can help save lives by spaying and neutering your pet. If pets can’t breed, they don’t produce puppies that end up in animal shelters to be adopted or euthanized. Currently, over 56% of dogs and approximately 75% of cats entering shelters are put to sleep.
The perpetuation of myths about spaying and neutering and the high cost cause many people to avoid the procedures, but the fact is sterilization makes your dog a better behaved, healthier pet and will save you money in the long run.
Many people, particularly men, have a hard time sterilizing their pets, imposing upon their dogs their own feelings on losing reproductive abilities. A dog will not feel like less of a “man” or “woman” after being sterilized. It will not suffer an identity crisis or mourn the loss of its reproductive capability. Your dog will simply have one less need to fulfill.
A dog’s basic personality is formed more by environment and genetics than by sex hormones, so sterilization will not change your dog’s basic personality, make your dog sluggish or affect its natural instinct to protect the pack. But it will give you a better behaved pet.
Neutered dogs have less desire to roam, mark territory (like your couch!) and exert dominance over the pack. Spayed dogs no longer experience the hormonal changes during heat cycles that turn your pet into a nervous dog that cries incessantly and attracts unwanted male dogs. Sterilized dogs are more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, become aggressive, or get into a fight.
Another myth is that spaying and neutering cause weight gain. Dogs do not get fat simply by being sterilized. Just like humans, dogs gain weight if they eat too much and exercise too little or if they are genetically programmed to be overweight. The weight gain that people may witness after sterilization is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high energy diet to a dog that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size.
Dogs do not mourn their lost capability to reproduce. They reproduce solely to ensure the survival of their species. They do not raise a puppy for eighteen years. They do not dream of their puppy’s wedding. They do not hope for the comfort of grandchildren in their old age. Female dogs nurse for a few weeks, teach the puppies rules, boundaries, and limitations and send them off to join the pack. Male dogs are not “fathers” in the human sense of the word; they do not even recognize puppies as their own.
As for expense, today there are enough low cost and free spay and neuter programs that this can no longer be an excuse! Even if these programs are not available in your area, the emotional distress and money spent on medical treatments you will save down the line makes it an investment that will be worth every penny.
Sterilization reduces the risk of incidence of a number of health problems that are difficult and expensive to treat. In females, it eliminates the possibility of developing uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the chance of breast cancer. Also, some females experience false pregnancies and uterine infections that can be fatal. Prostate cancer risk is greatly reduced in males. By sterilizing your pet, your dog will live a healthier and longer life.
Efforts by programs such as SPAY/USA already seem to be having an effect. In 1980, approximately 23.4 million animals were euthanized. Twenty-two years later, the estimate was down to 4.6 million. In towns and cities that have already implemented sterilization programs, the number of companion animals who had to be euthanized is showing a decline of 30 to 60 percent.
The truth is that neutered and spayed dogs are better pets. And though we’re heading in the right direction, the problem of euthanasia continues. Be a part of the solution. Spay or neuter your pet today!
For more information, please visit: http://www.spayusa.org/
Sources: The Humane Society of the United States, SPAY/USA Visit Caesar Milan's website for more information on his training methods and his dog psychology center!
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