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During lease signing you received information from the American Red Cross about preparing your own personal emergency response kit. For the next 4 Mondays we’ll highlight some important ways that you can be prepared in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. This entry was posted in Community Living, Emergency Preparedness and tagged emergency prep, NAP sites by Betsy. In 1998, I decided to go to the Buddy Dog Humane Society because I thought I would like to volunteer. If you are still not convinced, keep in mind there are peripheral activities you can do to help a shelter and its residents. The animal shelter I am involved with, The Buddy Dog Humane Society, has used the Thundershirt to calm hyper and abused dogs with surprising results.  It is effective and, although you can supplement any behavior modification with drug therapy, it is often not necessary.
For my dog, this great product was not available, so we had to resort to doggie meds.  The medication helped calm Bristie down so we could eventually modify his behavior, but the drug-free more immediate option of the Thundershirt would have been wonderful!
Another good feature about Thundershirt is that it’s hard to screw up.  You can quickly put it on your pooch with self-fastening Velcro flaps, so getting it on your dog is quick and easy. It’s believed the gentle pressure of the wrap calms the animal’s nervous system, and while the exact science cannot be confirmed, it is believed the pressure causes release of a calming hormone like endorphins.  It’s been a common practice for years to use pressure to relieve anxiety in both animals and people. Thundershirt for dogs has been so successful, they have developed a wrap for cats which is also getting rave reviews!
For now the Bandits of the world will have to sustain me.  He was a special pup, and I loved meeting him!
We lost our 17 ? year old rescue dog, Chloe, last month.  I knew it would be hard to adjust, but I never thought she would leave such a hole in my world. Finishing dinner, cleaning up, taking Chloe for her evening walkies.  Old habits die hard, and the expectation of time to be spent with her searches for other activities to fill the void. She slowed down a bit that year, but still went for three walks a day and would bark that special little bark at us to come and play with her in the living room.
I can’t imagine my life without another dog someday, but Chloe’s loss is going to take a while to find its place in my life and for the pain to soften. Wow!  Last night’s event on emergency preparedness for your pets was a real eye-opener…both for my pets and for me. I realized I don’t even have a plan for myself and my husband if our house catches on fire.  How would we get out?  What if we are trapped on the second story? Some of the people who left their pets behind tried to return to their homes in order to rescue their pets, thereby creating more crisis situations.  In addition, the soup that was the mess in the streets was so toxic with oil, sewage and debris, that being exposed to it was extremely dangerous for everyone. We had a staff member at the Buddy Dog Humane Society who went to Louisiana and volunteered with the animal rescue efforts during that disaster.  It was a heartwarming and a heart chilling experience she will never forget.

The email continued… “Many of us don’t think about preparedness until an emergency happens.
I signed up immediately.  Just by reading the rest of the email, I found out that my area has a regional emergency pet sheltering supply trailer…who knew?! Bones!  They can be very dangerous for your pet.  Splinters from bones can cause obstructions and lacerations in his digestive system.
Alcohol  – In addition to the rather obvious result of intoxication, alcohol can cause vomiting, coma and death. Macadamia Nuts – These nuts can cause vomiting, stiff joints, hind quarter lameness and  weakness as well as tremors. Grapes, Currants, Raisins – In lesser amounts, these can cause vomiting and abdominal distress.  In greater amounts, they can cause kidney damage or even kidney failure. From personal experience I can say that, especially as your dog ages, alternative or integrative care is a wonderful option to consider. I fell into a long relationship for my dog with an integrative veterinarian quite by accident. The following Monday, I found my chiropractor who had since opened his own Integrative veterinary practice. It has long been known that changing your dog’s food suddenly can cause stomach and intestinal distress.  From time to time and for different reasons, changing his food becomes necessary. In addition, who wouldn’t like a little change of pace?  Don’t you often wonder if your dog ever gets bored with his food?  Maybe he walks over to his dish at dinner time and thinks…”What…this again?”  I know I often wonder about that. Several years ago, with the melamine problem in the dog food, it became necessary to switch dog food very quickly.  If this becomes the case (for whatever reason), adding a tablespoon of plain yogurt or giving your dog a probiotic during the transition will give you a better chance to keep his inner workings on a more even keel.
The best course is always to avoid switching your dog’s food quickly, so do your best to make a gradual transition if a change becomes necessary.
If you’re not a label reader, you should become one very quickly; for yourself and for your dog. In the 18 months prior to September of last year, 360 canine deaths associated with this problem had been reported. It is important to be aware of and prepared for floods where you live, where you have property or animals and where you work.
Anyone needing information regarding displaced families, road closures, welfare assistance and all other general enquiries should call the Public Information and Inquiry Centre (PIIC) on 1800 227 228. This is a great location for your roommates or family members to congregate and to find each other after a large scale emergency.  Housing Assistants or other volunteers will be deployed to each NAP site and will check folks in on a roster. I walked through the kennels and walked out without signing up; I was convinced I could never do it.

I decided to go back again; this time with a different attitude…if I truly wanted to make a difference, I’d better get over it, and deal!
You can help with fund raising on either a large or a small scale, you can help with mailings, and you can collect items the shelter needs to have on a regular basis. There is always something you can do to help your local shelter that will fit with your time, your skill set and your personality. As dogs age, conditions like arthritis and organ issues can trigger a traditional vet to prescribe drugs that may be avoided or at least postponed with an integrative veterinarian.
Many years ago, I had a wonderful dog who, at 8 years old, suddenly started having severe neck pain.
Two chiropractic visits later and some prescribed “puppy range of motion exercises” as I called them, and my dog was fine! I took Chloe in, and after two visits to adjust a pelvis that was out, she was fine!!!!!  Hello!!!  No drugs; just the cost of a total of two chiropractic visits!
Shelters have lists of things they need on a regular basis; you can get the lists by stopping by the shelter or from their website.
Integrative medicine will include herbs, chiropractic, and acupuncture incorporated with traditional vet care. This approach is the most open minded as this type of vet can look at a variety of options to choose what is best for your dog rather than just approaching the situation from only one perspective. Randy Caviness at Integrative Animal Health Center in Bolton, MA ever since he adjusted her pelvis at age 14.
Members of the public seeking emergency assistance during storms or flood should call the NSW SES on 132 500. It gave me a chance to showcase some of our dogs and cats who needed extra visibility or who didn’t present well in the shelter and were being over-looked. The hardest lesson I have learned at the shelter is that you can’t save them all, but you sure can try; and you can determine to never stop trying.
If the term “integrative veterinarian” is new to you, I can assure you, it is new to many people. You are responsible for providing your own drinking water and food as well as any other personal items you might need in case of an emergency. An integrative veterinarian is one who combines conventional veterinary medicine and holistic medicine.

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