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Animals are a big part of Trinity Village. We share our lives with both pets and wildlife here, so this is a page of information concerning our four legged friends.

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      FERAL CATS


Feral cats are prolific breeders, and if fed without management, can multiply rapidly. An unneutered tom can impregnate 450 female cats, while an unspayed female and her kittens can collectively produce hundreds of cats within just a few years. A pair of breeding cats and their offspring can exponentially produce over 400,000 cats in 7 years, according to the San Diego Feral Cat Coalition.


A colony of unneutered/unspayed feral cats can produce a number of problems, including:

      

    * frequent and loud noise from fighting and mating behavior

    * strong foul odors from unneutered male cats spraying to

 mark their territory

    * damage to planted items from fecal waste

    * visible suffering from dying kittens and injured adults

    * decline in population of native wildlife (i.e. birds) 

    * increased danger to human and domestic pet health from

 rabies*, cat scratch fever, flea infestations,etc. 

To deal with a large feral cat colony here in the Village, concerned citizens formed a committee to trap and alter feral cats (Charlene Lundblade, Mary Brown, and Cindy Gatioan).  Individual efforts had been made to deal with the problem, but it was an  expensive and overwhelming task. To help support their efforts, the TVIA board approved funding for a Feral Cat Project.  Thus far the TVIA sponsored Feral Cat Project members have trapped and altered 10 cats( 3 of which were pregnant).  In addition, a litter of 6 kittens and some slightly older cats have been adopted. 


For more information on the Feral Cat Project, contact Cindy 629-3503, Mary 629-3793 , or Charlene 629-4208.




* See the TIMES STANDARD (5/21/2011) front page article “Feral Cats Identified as Possible Willow Creek Rabies Source”


         Animal CPR

We love our pets and often think of them as our children.  Are we prepared if our dog or cat goes into cardiac arrest?  Dogs and cats don’t have heart attacks , but several conditions can stop their hearts.  For example, a blow to the chest from a fall or car accident, temperature extremes (heatstroke), suffocation (choking or drowning), or diseases like heartworm may cause a pet to go into cardiac arrest.  


The Trinity Village Voice’s website <gotrinityvillage.com> has a pet CPR guide available on  this “Animals” Page (see below) along with a Pet Information / Persmission to Treat Form.  The simple CPR directions from the guide will empower pet owners and provide some peace of mind.   Hopefully no pet owner will be faced with such a pet emergency. However, knowing what to do if such an emergency occurs can mean the difference between a pet’s life or death.


Book Recommendation:

The First Aid Companion for Cats and Dogs  by Amy D. Shojai (great advice from more than 80 top veterinarians)

 

Summer Pet Safety   

Dogs and cats have a harder time cooling down during the long hot days of summer because they do not perspire. They release body heat by panting and through the pads of their feet.  Some breeds such as bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, Persian and Himalayan cats ,have a more difficult time panting because of their snub-nose. It is important to limit their time outdoors and never leave them in a car---it can reach well over 100 degrees within minutes.  Make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water.  Keep your home cool. According to Gregory Hammer, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, your pet displays signs of heat stress (heatstroke)---heavy panting,rapid pulse, vomiting, lethargy---lower the body temperature immediately by applying cool, wet towels, and call your vet.


Like their owners, animals can sunburn.  Light colored cats and dogs are especially at risk for skin cancer. Apply a pet-safe SPF 15 or 40 sunscreen from to the bridge of a dog’s nose and to the tips of both dogs’ and cats’ ears to prevent them from burning.  Since cats often try to wipe creams off, you may have to use a flea spray with SPF instead.


Flea bites can lead to serious allergic reactions and skin problems for your pet during all four seasons of the yea. Ticks are active nearly all year round here and can transmit Lyme disease in this part of the country and Rocky Mountains spotted fever elsewhere. These diseases cause joint pain and neurological problems in animals. Dr. Hammer recommends a daily comb-through to check for fleas and ticks.  For fleas use a flea and tick shampoo, but be sure to get your vet’s advice about this as well as his or her recommendation of a flea/tick collar or a flea/tick monthly solution. He cautions that you should never use a flea and tick solution made for dogs on cats because they contain permethrin, which can be fatal to felines.


Mosquitoes  are the agents of transmitting the deadly heartworm, especially to dogs (cat infection rate is only 1 to 5 percent of that in dogs). The heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that is spread from host to host through the bites of mosquitoes. The disease when unchecked causes death by congestive heart failure. See your vet about a year round monthly medication which is the best defense against heartworm.  


Fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides can bring death to your pet if it chews into packages containing them. Veterinary toxicologist Steven Hansen, DVM, director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center recommends that you store concentrated products in areas inaccessible to pets. If your pet ingests toxins, call Animal Poison Control immediately (888-426-4435).  Antifreeze tastes sweet to animals.  Dr. Hansen warns that kidney failure can develop within hours of ingesting it. He recommends that you use a less toxic antifreeze made with propylene glycol, not ethylene glycol ( the label will say ”dog safe” ); store it securely and watch for car leaks. If your pet ingests antifreeze, take him to the vet immediately.


Salmon  poisoning ( caused by salmonid fish and other fish that swim upstream to breed) is preventable by cooking all fish before feeding your dog. If you are outdoors hiking, camping, or near streams and rivers where salmon spawn, keep a close eye on your dog.  Do not let him or her run free to insure that no fish carcasses are ingested.  If you suspect your dog has ingested raw fish, see you vet immediately.

Winter Pet Safety

Cats
During the winter, cats that are outside look for warm places to sleep. Many times they will find shelter under the hood of a vehicle like your car. The cat could be injured or possibly killed if the engine is started. It is a good idea to bang on the hood or make loud noises before you start any vehicle.

Dogs
Dogs often lose their scent in the snow and can become lost or confused. Make sure they always wear their ID tags. If you normally groom your dog and keep their hair cut short, be sure to let it grow longer in the winter. This is especially true if they are outside only pets. If you house your pet outside, be sure they have adequate shelter. A dog house with plenty of blankets and that is small enough to retain heat is ideal

A Note About Dogs

Trinity County Animal Control Officer, Christine Edwards, says, "What dog owners need to remember, is if their dog damages someone's property, or attacks another animal or person, that owner is criminally responsible for a misdemeanor, with possible fines, a jail sentence, and the cost of all damages. With a bite, they will most likely loose all homeowners insurance, and have to get rid of the dog in order to get new insurance. The dog can be taken away, and possibly euthanised. People who have been attacked, or their animals attacked, or even harassed, should file a report of the incident so it can be put in the record. An attack doesn't need a bite or an injury to be filed. And if you even just warn or complain to a neighbor about their dog, call the sheriff to have that put in the record. Animal control will call the dog's owner and verify your complaint."

Additionally, a dog owner can be sued in civil court. California imposes strict liability on the owner of a dog, and a dog does not get one free bite. The dog bite statute says the risk of a dog unexpectedly biting a person is to be borne by the person who has chosen to own that dog, even when the owner is not at fault in any way and has no reason to know that the dog is vicious. The statute is designed..."to prevent dogs from being a hazard to the community."

Dog Tethering Bill Passed by Governor Schwarzenegger

Starting January 1st, 2007, SB 1578 prohibits dog owners from the cruel practice of tethering their pets to a stationary object for more than 3 hours a day. Dog owners can be cited if their dog is tied up for any extended period. Tethering a dog will result in an infraction or misdemeanor, depending on the offense, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1000 per dog and/or up to six months in the county jail.

"This bill helps protect dogs from cruelty, and enhances public safety by preventing aggressive animal behavior that can result from inhumane tethering," says Governor Schwarzenegger. Keeping dogs chained is inhumane and a threat to the safety of the confined dog, and other animals and humans. Dogs that are chained develop physical and psychological problems.

Owners that keep their dogs on a chain are less likely to clean the area of waste. Frequently chained dogs suffer from sporadic feedings and empty water bowls. In addition, dogs that are kept continuously chained become neurotic,unhappy and often are aggressive---to neighbors, other animals, and often even toward their owners.

Lt. Steve Knight head of Animal Control for Humboldt County says, "Dogs that are chained up all their lives often develop health and behavioral problems. It is unfair for a dog to live like that. It can even create a dangerous situation where the dog becomes abnormally protective of what little space it has. The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has already begun actively enforcing this new law."

Unfortunately, many dog owners are not aware of this new law and will probably continue the practice of tying or chaining their dog to a doghouse, fence, tree, etc. You can help by telling your friends and neighbors about the new regulations, and by calling your local animal control agency if you know of any animals that are being tied up for long periods.

For information about this new law call the Animal Control Agencies in your area.
Trinity County Animal Control 623-1370 or the Sheriff 623-2611
Humboldt County 445-7251
Blue Lake 668-5895
Eureka 441-4060
Ferndale 786-4224
Fortuna 725-7552
Rio Dell 764-5754
Trinidad 677-0223