Welcome Melissa Mackey! HSFC s New Office Manager

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1 STATE OF THE ARK Dedicated to rescuing, housing and adopting homeless animals HSFC s Beautiful Spring Pups from A to Z LITERALLY! Alvin (center pillow) surrounded by Zorra, Zipper, Zack and Zeke They were adopted almost as quickly as they came in to our care. This wonderful batch of pups was merely steps away from euthanasia when Cara Donato swooped in to the Caroline County shelter and packaged them up for transport. As of April 30, only Zack from the Z-litter is still at the farm keeping Hayden company. Welcome Melissa Mackey! HSFC s New Office Manager Amongst the chaos, bleached walls and floors and the frightful appearance of our offices, we welcomed our new office manager, Melissa Mackey. When she didn t run for the hills after seeing our mess, we knew she d be perfect for us. Melissa and her husband Steve, a geotechnical engineer, live in Clifton with their 4 legged baby, Murdock, a yellow Labrador. He was adopted through Lab Rescue, has survived cancer and is one lucky dog to live with this wonderful family. Melissa is an avid gardener, and founded the Clifton Gourmet Book Club. Her hidden talent, which we hope she ll be happy to share with us, is award winning cooking. Her Salsa and Coleslaw have both been awarded first place at the Clifton Farmers Market! Thankfully, Melissa has 15 years of marketing experience, is a wiz on the computer, has already revamped our offices, has all kinds of new and innovative ideas, and is the pleasant voice you hear when you call. Her upbeat personality is just what we were looking for: someone to keep us smiling and the people we help glad that they called us. We welcome Melissa with open arms and know you will do the same. Come by to meet her soon you ll enjoy her enthusiasm as much as we do. Spring, 2007 Page 1

2 HSFC ADOPTION STATS, 2007 Adoptions through March 31, 2007! 8 cats! 17 dogs A special thanks to all of our foster homes, home visit volunteers, socializers, outreach program volunteers and adoption placement volunteers. Anyone interested in offering foster care to an animal in need should contact the main office at (PETS). A Special Thanks to a Special Friend HSFC wishes to thank Judy Harlowe, a volunteer who in late 2006, spoiled the HSFC dogs and horses rotten. Judy and Cara trekked to Petco for a shopping spree (photos below) and, while shopping, people stopped to pet Atryeu and would ask why they were filling the cart to overflowing. Cara explained that Judy was being Santa for the HSFC dogs and horses. Then they had to go shopping for containers to store the enormous amount of food, treats and supplies. Judy, thank you for your incredible generosity! With Much Appreciation from the HSFC Canine and Equine Residents HELPING THE COMMUNITY, 2007 Through March 31, 2007, we provided financial assistance or supplies to the public for approximately seven animals to receive the medical care or supplies they needed. The feral TNR (Trap, Neuter & Return) program that began in late 2003 has been quite successful! Through March, 2007, the feral outreach program trapped, neutered and released (TNR d) approximately 35 cats and kittens. Through March, 2007, our administrative offices have responded to 1,454 phone calls and 2,876 s. In addition, 663 people visited the main offices including volunteers, members of the community seeking educational materials, etc. Atreyu helps Judy load the many gifts! Pet Food Recalls! Keep up to date with the latest info on pet food recalls at You may subscribe to their mailing list and will receive daily updates (it seems!) to the growing number of recalled products. HSFC is conducting its own review and comparison of the products given to the animals in our care. Watch for the results in later issues. Spring, 2007 Page 2

3 WAGS, PURRS, CHIRPS, NICKERS, SNICKERS, SQUEALS, HUGS AND NEIGHS TO THESE SPECIAL ANGELS Special thanks to: Glenn Dallaire for providing cases of canned cat food and treats for our felines to enjoy. Lots of purrs coming his way! Lynn Nelson-Paretta for her generous donations and tons of linens for our animals to recline on. Dan Larivey and Kelly Fiddler for more than we can possibly mention on one page. They have gone way above the call of duty to help us in a million ways. The time they ve given at our farm, the car loads of donations, and their willingness to always be available when needed makes them special angels to the animals and us. Giant grocery store, in Oakton, donated truck loads of food, toys, and animal supplies, so our cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs would have lots of goodies to keep them happy. Cara Donato, our farm manager, always goes the extra mile for the animals. A special thanks for rounding up and rescuing the pups from shelters out of our area and putting even more miles on her car to do a barn check, way out yonder. Dr. Cheema at Potomac Valley Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Laney Rhymes at Parkway Veterinary Hospital for their advice, expert knowledge and a shoulder to lean on during our spore epidemic. Lisa Milican, for her continued expertise to teach our resident dogs, our newly adopted dogs and the new owners of these dogs, lots of training tips. With her help, now everyone with two legs and four legs knows how to sit and stay " There are some mighty happy horses showing off their new halters at the farm thanks to Judy Harlowe. Seems like every time we turn around she s bringing more gifts for the animals. Betsy Thompson, Julie Parker and Jeanne Taylor have been working overtime to help our canines find forever homes. And John Taylor has been working overtime to help our resident canine, Daisy, stay safe and at home. Daisy will no longer leap tall buildings or fences in a single bound thanks to John (and his helper/son Brock) installing an underground fence system. The Kellar Family Foundation has made it possible for us to provide financial assistance to several emergency situations this month. Among the animals helped by their generous donation was a 10 year old lab mix dog who was shot in the heart and needed extensive surgery to save his life, a dog who was run over by a car and had a broken leg and a cat, who had a large tumor, which restricted it s breathing. Our thanks, also, to The Hope Center, in Vienna for their devotion in making sure all these animals were helped in record time. Springwood Elementary School students, under the direction of Beverly Thomas, once again showed their love for the animals. Their second annual collection drive was a huge success with gifts and supplies galore for all our cats and dogs. Penny Clapp, a longtime volunteer, invited HSFC to speak at the New Neighbors Ladies Club last month, where she is a member. Our VP, Mary Kendall, did the honors and spoke about all the projects HSFC is involved in, as well as our history and future plans. In addition to a wonderful luncheon, Mary was given a generous stipend, which she donated to the HSFC. Our older horses have a real spring to their steps these days thanks to Avanthi Gopallawa. Her generous donation of the special supplement needed to keep them moving pain free is greatly appreciated by the horses she has helped and us. Spring, 2007 Page 3

4 More thanks And (Your name could be here) for saving the life of a homeless and orphaned kitten. Spring brings beautiful flowers, warm wonderful days, and too many kittens to count. Please call us if you can foster a mom and her babies or if you can help us with orphaned newborns. Training provided, if needed. Happy days, endless love and fulfillment guaranteed. Team Ringworm to the Rescue As most of the HSFC volunteers are aware, the main office in Fairfax suffered an epidemic of ringworm over the past few months. This was quite distressing and required a huge amount of support from our volunteers, staff and several Board members to resolve. We are pleased to report that the first set of lab tests has come back entirely negative with only one more round to go. We are confident the hours and hours of disinfecting and bleaching and scrubbing and sweeping were the trick needed to purge this from the office. A huge thank you to the cleaning brigade for the months of backbreaking work, watery eyes, burning throats and waterlogged fingers that were required to keep our building sanitized during the recent quarantine. A simple thank you would never be enough for the following very devoted friends: Pat Trenner Marlene Hammer Mary Kendall Vicki Kirby Lynne Mayo Debra Otto Tim Tuggle Shannon Pederson Diane Hale Zoraida Palencia Glenis Weisz And to Mike and Deb Siluk thank you for our space suits so that we could work without fear or concern for our own susceptibility to this parasite. We may have looked pretty funny in the suits but we are so grateful to have had them. This was certainly an extreme event and required a tremendous effort on the parts of those involved. Please know how much we appreciate your tireless dedication and devotion. TNR HELP NEEDED Did you know an intact male and female cat will produce 16 kittens in a one-year timeframe? If all are left intact, the continuing births of kittens will create over 400,000 cats in 7 years!!!! Be part of the solution. Join the Feral Cat Program and help us make a difference. Opportunities include transporters, trappers, trapper wanna-bees. We also need more traps and old bath towels to cover the traps. Please contact Barb Becker at to discuss the opportunities. If any recipients of this newsletter are aware of a colony of freely roaming feral cats and would like to "make a difference," please contact Barb. Spring, 2007 Page 4

5 Volunteer of the Quarter: Mike Hammer Mike became a volunteer with the HSFC about 5 years ago his wife, Marlene, was working at the Humane Society and subsequently became a Board member. This sparked Mike s interest in the organization. As he transitioned into retirement, he saw the HSFC as a place where he could contribute some of the skills developed while consulting to large and small businesses during his career with General Motors, Mobil and his own company, JLS Consulting. During that time, he had developed skills in Information Systems and web site development which were easy to transfer as support to the Humane Society. Mike currently volunteers his support to our web site and to creating a Humane Society Database accessible to staff from any location with Internet access. Mike and Marlene presently are the proud pet parents of Shadow, a rescued huge black lab, found abandoned in Shot Tower State Park, and Hope, a long-haired calico cat adopted from HSFC. Their daughters also rely on them for workday doggie daycare to the Hammer grandpets, Buford (St Bernard mix), Maxwell (Chow/Golden mix), and the most recent addition, Lucy (Husky/Akita mix). Between their volunteer activities taking care of 4 dogs on a regular basis, there is no shortage of activity! Mike enjoys working on the HSFC website and other similar projects as a contribution to nonprofit organizations like the HSFC. When asked why he likes volunteering with the HSFC, Mike replied Because of the satisfaction associated with providing help to an organization that is dedicated to providing forever homes for all rescued animals. Thank you, Mike, for all that you do for us. Jake A Success Story Remember Jake? Hello, I adopted Jake from HSFC this past August I assure you Jake is spoiled and loved more than imaginable. Anybody who meets him immediately falls in love with those big brown eyes - he is irresistible! He absolutely loves to go hiking, and has proven to be a much better climber than me! A friend of mine introduced me to a dog park near my home, and it is guaranteed that every time Jake goes there he will end up in the muddy stream covered in water and dirt and dog slobber from his friends. He sleeps on the bed with me every night, and a few weeks ago he discovered the wonders of sleeping under the covers - it amazes me how much room a 50 pound dog can take up! Also, I included a picture from Halloween - when he dressed up as a clown because he felt he had the personality for it :) I just wanted to let you know that Jake is doing wonderfully and is an amazing addition to our home! Thank you for allowing me to adopt the love of my life. Crystal M. Spring, 2007 Page 5

6 Warm Weather Tips Gone are the days when the pets stayed behind as the owners left to frolic in the summer sun! But during warm weather, the inside of your car can reach 120 in a matter of minutes, even if you're parked in the shade. This can mean real trouble for your companion animals left in the car since dogs and cats can t perspire. They can then suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage, and can even die. Even if you think a quick trip inside a convenience store on a very hot day is okay, please think again. And if you do happen to see a pet in a car alone during the hot summer months, alert the management of the store where the car is parked. If the owner does not return promptly, call local animal control or the police department immediately. A few other summer tips:! Did you know that plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them? In addition, more than 700 plants can produce physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals.! Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar and identification tag. If you are separated from your pet, an ID tag may very well be his or her ticket home.! Be sure to keep current on your pet s heartworm preventive!! Pets and pools can equal disaster. Prevent free access to pools and always supervise a pet in a pool.! Provide plenty of water and shade for your pets while they're enjoying the great outdoors so they can stay cool.! If you plan on traveling with your pet during the summer, take the time to prepare for your furry friends in advance. Many airlines have summer pet embargoes, and most trains and ships do not allow pets other than service animals.! Pets need exercise even when it is hot, but extra care needs to be taken with older dogs, short-nosed dogs, and those with thick coats. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws.! Another summertime threat is fleas and ticks. Try to use only flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian as some OTC products can be toxic. Products should always be used according to the instructions.! Pets can get sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen on his or her nose and ear tips. Pets with lightcolored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer.! Don't take your pets to crowded summer events such as concerts or fairs. The loud noises and crowds, combined with the heat, can be stressful and dangerous for pets. For your pet's well being, leave her at home. Be especially aware of these threats during holidays, such as the Fourth of July.! In summer heat your pet can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These conditions are very serious and could cause your pet to die. You should be aware of the signs of heat stress, which could include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. If your pet does become overheated, you need to immediately lower his body temperature. Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water over his body to gradually lower his core body temperature. Apply cold towels or ice packs to your pet's head, neck, and chest only. Let your pet drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. Most importantly, get him to a veterinarian immediately. Excerpted from Spring, 2007 Page 6

7 Poisons, Poisons, Everywhere! By Deb M. Eldredge, DVM The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center recently released a list of the ten most common poisons that dogs ingest. What is immediately striking about the list is how ordinary each of the poisons is most of us have these compounds in our homes or garages. The list is a reminder that it is important to keep medications and potentially toxic items locked up or stored safely away from our pets. Here is a list of the toxins that you need to keep out of your pet s reach: Ibuprofen Ibuprofen is a widely used human non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. In dogs, this medication can cause stomach and kidney problems and even impact the nervous system causing symptoms such as depression and seizures. If you drop a pill, be very careful to find it before your dog does. Labs and Beagles are notorious for snarfing up dropped drugs. If this happens in your household, be sure to make your dog vomit, if you can, as soon as you suspect he ate any pills, and then call your veterinarian. Never give your dog ibuprofen for pain or discomfort. Chocolate Chocolate has two potent substances theobromine and caffeine. The amount of these compounds present in chocolate varies greatly depending upon the type and brand of chocolate. The dog who indulges in chocolate with large amounts of theobromine or caffeine may show increased heart rate and excitability leading to possible seizures. If you can make your dog vomit close to the time of ingestion, do so. Then head to your veterinarian. It may take up to three days for the theobromine effects to wear off, and this can be dangerous for your dog s heart. Ant and Roach Baits Ant and roach baits may be found in motels when you travel, as well as in areas around your home. Luckily the toxic substances are generally present in small amounts, but they are often mixed in with tasty treats like peanut butter that your dog may find irresistible. If your dog ingests the bait, he is more likely to have a problem with the parts of the container he eats than with the ingredients, but take him into your veterinarian just the same. Better to be safe than sorry. Rodenticides People often rely on rodenticides to remove mice and rats when they don t have a good cat or a skilled terrier to do the dirty work. Most of these products contain anticoagulants that stimulate fatal bleeding in rodents. They can also stimulate bleeding in dogs that eat the treated blocks. Paralysis, seizures, and kidney failure are all possible effects of these potent drugs. Induce vomiting if you can, but then head directly to your veterinarian. Your dog may need fluids, blood tests to follow the progression of treatment, vitamin K injections, and possibly even a blood transfusion. Some versions of rodenticides have cholecalciferol that can cause elevated blood calcium and phosphorus levels, which lead to renal failure. This may require a much different course of action for your pet. If possible, bring the container for the poison into your vet s office, so they can determine exactly what your dog is up against. Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an extremely common pain medication for people. Unfortunately, this drug can cause liver failure, swelling of the face and paws, a problem with oxygen transport in the blood, and even a decrease in tear production for dogs. N-acetylcysteine is an antidote to the problem, but it needs to be repeated until all signs of poisoning are cleared. Supportive treatment for the liver and dry eyes is recommended. If your dog ingests acetaminophen, he will probably need to be hospitalized. (continued on next page) Spring, 2007 Page 7

8 Poisons (continued from previous page) Pseudoephedrine Containing Cold Medications Numerous over the counter cold medications contain pseudoephedrine. In dogs, this drug causes panting, excitement, increased temperature, and increased heart rate. Sedation and even general anesthesia may be required to settle your dog down, while fluid therapy will help to flush this substance from your dog s system. Thyroid Hormones Thyroid hormones are used to treat both people and dogs with low thyroid levels. Luckily, most dogs handle an overdose of these medications quite well. An increased heart rate and a hyperactive dog that is bouncing off the walls are common signs that your dog has eaten something he shouldn t. Bleach Most bleach products used at home are fairly dilute. Commercial bleaches, however, can be very strong and cause irritation to your dog s eyes or skin. A quick bath is ideal if bleach is on your dog s skin or coat. If your dog inhales bleach, especially any bleach mixed with ammonia products, she could develop a deadly chemical pneumonitis. This can affect you too, so don t breathe deeply yourself. Get your dog out into fresh air as quickly as possible and then to your veterinarian. Fertilizer, Including Plant Foods Fertilizer can be very attractive to dogs. Additives such as bone meal are enticing. While the basic fertilizer formulas of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are generally not highly toxic, additives such as fungicides can be. Most dogs that ingest fertilizer show gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and/or diarrhea, but they do recover on their own. In some cases, however, they need fluids for hydration and medications to settle and soothe the stomach and intestines. Consult with your veterinarian for the best course of treatment when your dog ingests fertilizer. Hydrocarbons Including Paints, Polishes, and Fuel Oils Rounding out the list is hydrocarbons. These products can be found in paints, polishes, and fuel oils including kerosene, acetone, and gasoline. Dogs that swallow these products tend to have gastrointestinal upsets. The skin can also be irritated from contact. If your dog simply breathes in fumes or aspirates these products, he may suffer from depression or hyperexcitability along with secondary pneumonia and liver or kidney damage. Dogs that have breathed or ingested hydrocarbons should not be made to vomit as the risk of aspiration is too high. Instead, they need symptomatic treatment and supportive care such as fluids to flush their systems, baths to remove any residue, and saline flushing of the eyes if any residue splashed into them. Take Care All of the products on the ASPCA list can be found in most of our households. To keep your pet safe, be proactive. Store goods safely in locked cupboards, use secure, non-breakable containers, and always keep careful track of all medications in the household. Taking some basic precautions can go a long way toward avoiding a catastrophe for your dog. If you have questions about the safety of a substance or you suspect your pet may have ingested something he shouldn t have, don t wait--call the National Animal Poison Control Center at: Deb M. Eldredge, DVM graduated from Cornell University as the first recipient of the Gentle Doctor Award. She has been in private practice and is active in virtually all dog sports. She is also an award winning writer - most recently co-authoring a book with her 15 yr old daughter - Head of the Class National Capital Poison Center Spring, 2007 Page 8

9 Doggie Dictionary Leash: A strap which attaches to your collar, enabling you to lead your mom and dad where you want him/her to go. Dog Bed: Any soft, clean surface, like the white bedspread in the guest room or the newly upholstered couch in the living room. Drool: What you do when your mom and dad have food and you don't. To do this properly, you must sit as close as you can, look sad and let the drool fall to the floor. Or better yet, on their laps. Sniff: A social custom to use when you greet other dogs. Place your nose as close as you can to the other dog's rear end and inhale deeply. Repeat several times or until your person makes you stop. Garbage Can: A container where mom and dad put food they don't want to test your ingenuity. You must stand on your hind legs and try to push the lid off with your nose. If you do it right you are rewarded with margarine wrappers to shred, beef bones to consume and moldy crusts of bread. Bicycles: Two-wheeled exercise machines invented for dogs to control body fat. To get maximum aerobic benefit, you must hide behind a bush and dash out, bark loudly and run alongside for a few yards. The person then swerves and falls into the bushes and you prance away. Deafness: This is an affliction which affects dogs when their mom or dad want them in and they want to stay out. Symptoms include staring blankly at the person, then running in the opposite direction or lying down. Thunder: This is a signal that the world is coming to an end. Mom and dad remain amazingly calm during thunderstorms, so it is necessary to warn them of the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, rolling your eyes wildly and following their every move. Wastebasket: This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes and old candy wrappers. When you get bored, turn over the basket and strew the papers all over the house until your mom and dad come home. Sofas: Are to dogs like napkins are to people. After eating, it is polite to run up and down the front of the sofa and wipe your whiskers clean. Bath: This is a process by which mom and dad drench the floor, walls and themselves. You can help by shaking vigorously and frequently. Lean: Every good dog's response to the command "sit!" Especially if your mom and dad are dressed for an evening out. This is incredibly effective before black tie events. Bump: The best way to get your mom and dad's attention when they are drinking a fresh cup of coffee or tea. Goose bump: A maneuver to use as a last resort when the regular bump doesn't get the attention you require. Especially effective when combined with the sniff. See above. Love: Is a feeling of intense affection, given freely and without restriction. The best way you can show your love is to wag your tail. If you're lucky, a human will love you in return. Spring, 2007 Page 9

10 EMERGENCY SERVICES South Paws Emergency Clinic 8500 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax, VA Hope Center for Advancement of Vet. Medicine /Emergency Vet Clinic of Northern Virginia 416 Maple Ave., West, Vienna, VA Prince William Emergency Vet Clinic 8610 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA Leesburg Emergency Animal Hospital 2 Cardinal Park Drive, #101B, Leesburg VA Springfield Emergency Vet Clinic 6651-F Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA VA/MD Vet Emergency Services 2660 Duke St., Alexandria, VA Fairfax County Animal Shelter (Warden) Wildlife Assistance Hotline ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING The HSFC annual membership meeting will be held Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. at the administrative offices in the City of Fairfax. At this meeting, Board members nominated and recommended by the nominating committee will be voted on by the membership. In addition, an update on 2006 and current year activities will be provided. Only members of the organization are allowed to attend the meeting. For those who are not members but would like to learn more about becoming a member, please contact Melissa at for a membership brochure. Spring, 2007 Page 10

11 FUTURE ISSUES OF STATE OF THE ARK Anyone wishing to include an article in the next issue of State of the Ark should submit content in writing to the Administrative Office, Attention, Jeanne Taylor by July 15, In addition, anyone interested in helping put the newsletter together, please contact Jeanne as well. HUMANE SOCIETY MISSION The Humane Society of Fairfax County, Inc. (HSFC) is a non-profit, private organization established in The mission of the Humane Society of Fairfax County, Inc. is to promote humane education; to prevent all forms of cruelty to animals, both domestic and wild, by every legitimate means; and to assist the community with all matters pertaining to the welfare of animals. HOURS & INFORMATION HSFC Administrative Office 4057 Chain Bridge Rd. Fairfax PETS Hours of operation: Monday - Friday 10-5 Saturday 10-4; Sunday - Closed Cat and Small Mammal Adoptions- Administrative offices Chain Bridge Rd. Fairfax PETS Adoption hours: Monday - Friday 10-3 Saturday 10-3; Sunday - Closed Second Chance 1 - Thrift Store 4057 Chain Bridge Rd. Fairfax Hours of operation: Monday - Friday 10-4 Saturday 10-3; Sunday - Closed Second Chance 2 - Thrift Store 929 W. Broad St. Falls Church Hours of operation: Monday - Friday 10-4 Saturday 10-4; Sunday Closed HSFC Farm Lee Highway Centreville All visitors must call ahead Dog and Horse adoptions -by appointment only HSFC Outreach Cat Program Cat Adoptions held at area PetSmart and Wylie Wagg stores- check our website " for dates and times or call PETS Chief Administrative Personnel Full-time Office Manager: Melissa Mackey Full-time Thrift Store Manager: Elisa Botera Full-time Animal/Farm Caretaker: Cara Donato Board of Directors President: Vicki Kirby Vice President / Treasurer: Mary Kendall Corresponding Secretary: Marlene Hammer Recording Secretary: Lynne Mayo Director: Jeanne Taylor United Way Campaign # 8734 Spring, 2007 Page 11

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