Jun 8 2018

Meet Kathi Bassett

Meet Kathi Bassett – Wayside’s longest consecutive employee! She has worked in every department, and is now transferring to become a veterinary assistant. She sat down with us and answered ten questions about shelter life, animal welfare, and her time helping thousands of animals find homes.

1. How long have you been at Wayside Waifs?

“It’s going to be nineteen years in October.”

2. What made you decide to work in animal welfare?

“I’ve always loved animals and happened to hear about Wayside from a friend.”

3. What has been your favorite department to work in, and why?

“My favorite department is admissions. We are helping animals, but we are also educating the public.”

4. Do you have animals personally, and if so, how many?

“I have several Waifs. Three dogs and three cats.”

5. How do you work in animal welfare and not get compassion fatigue?

“It’s important to take a break. Often time people feel overwhelmed and then guilty. It’s easy to let animal welfare consume you. Finding a healthy balance can be difficult, but important for longevity.”

6. How do you feel about euthanasia? 

“Euthanasia can be difficult for many people. I have learned that it can be very emotional and sometimes as a shelter worker, it makes you feel like you have failed in some way. Offering end of life compassion is a very important responsibility. It isn’t always something shelter workers like speak about, but I’m grateful to be apart of a team that makes every moment count.”

7. What made you choose shelter work instead of private practice?

“Shelter work was always my number one choice. Giving animals a new beginning is the most rewarding thing.”

8. What does your new position entail?

“Becoming a veterinary assistant will allow me to learn more about the medical side of the shelter. I never want to stop learning.”

9. What was the old shelter like?

“The old Wayside was very different. We are extremely lucky to have and to be able to offer the things we do. There once was a time that many things were very limited. Growth is always an amazing thing.”

10. Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue a career in animal welfare?

“My advice would be to remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of the animals. Always have an open mind and heart. Through our love and determination, we are changing the world each day.”

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication Kathi! We love having you on Team Wayside, and the animals benefit from your care so much.

Consider visiting us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


May 25 2018

Wayside Veterinarians

 

 

Here at Wayside Waifs, we appreciate every individual’s dedication and compassion they bring to our organization. This includes our wonderful veterinarians, Dr. Scott and Dr. Spangler. We decided to ask both of them a few questions so our readers could get to know them a little better!

1. What made you decide to be a veterinarian?

Dr. Scott: “I grew up in a pet friendly household. My family loves pets, and from early on I’ve always had an affection for animals. I excelled in science, and I just combined the two.”

Dr. Spangler: “Along with liking animals, I liked that it was challenging and involved problem solving. You do have to enjoy the day-t0-day that comes with working with animals.”

2. What kind of animals do you have personally?

Dr. Scott: “I have German Shepards and English Bulldogs, a Siamese cat, and two fish.”

Dr. Spangler: “One bird, two fish, two rats, two dogs, one cat, and one frog.”

3. Do you have a preference of animals you work with, such as dogs, cats, or small animals?

Dr. Scott: “I don’t really have a preference, I like all animals equally.”

Dr. Spangler: “I do actually like working with cats more, but like them all.”

4. How do you stay up to date in the field of veterinary medicine?

Dr. Scott: “I collaborate with the vets here and the vet students. I also read several journal articles. All of that combined with trial and error and clinical experience help me stay current.”

Dr. Spangler: “I use the same techniques as Dr. Scott, but I prefer to read journal and online articles mostly.”

5. What was your favorite thing to learn in school? Least favorite?

Dr. Scott: “Everyone was nice to learn because of the other students. We all had such wonderful teamwork, and we would help study with each other. My favorite subject might have been anatomy. My least favorite part was learning about time management. I woke up, studied, went to class, studied again, and went to bed. Time management was essential to succeed.”

Dr. Spangler: My favorite subject was Physiology, but my least favorite was Anatomy.”

6. Can you think of one medical case that you’ve encountered that has defined your career/that you will always remember?

Dr. Scott: “A six-year-old male neutered cat was going under sedation for a urinary catheter, and his owner was worried about sedation. She called me several times that day, and the last thing I said to her was ‘Trust me, everything will be fine.’ The cat died under anesthesia, and I felt terrible. Come to find out, during the necropsy we found out he had aggressive cancer and would’ve passed in a few months. While it was still sad, I was able to console the owner, and we became long-term friends after the fact. I’ll never forget this one.”

Dr. Spangler: “I performed my first FHO(see below) surgery on a dog, and I ended up adopting it. The second FHO surgery I performed resulted in me taking that dog home too. I still have both of those dogs so I won’t forget those surgeries and those outcomes.”

An FHO, or femoral head ostectomy, is a surgical procedure that aims to restore pain-free mobility to a diseased or damaged hip, by removing the head and neck of the femur (the long leg bone or thighbone).

7. What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

Dr. Scott: “Everyone thinks we are in it for the money. Veterinarians don’t make what people assume, and we still have student loans too. We absolutely do what we do for the animals!”

Dr. Spangler: “Everyone talks about how great puppy breath is. It reminds them of something, or they just love the smell. I actually don’t like it that much, but everyone assumes we must love it.”

8. What made you decide to work in a shelter environment versus a private practice?

Dr. Scott: “I was recruited, and it basically chose me. I enjoy it too much to think about changing, and I thought so then too!”

Dr. Spangler: “I like the fast-paced environment shelters bring. There is always something knew, and I like the idea of finding them homes. That never gets old.”

9. How do you feel about euthanasia?

Dr. Scott: “It’s not something any of us want to do, but it is a necessary evil. I take their quality of life very seriously, so I feel comfortable performing them knowing I’m easing their suffering.”

Dr. Spangler: “We are ending their suffering, even though it is still very sad. I help animals move to the next stage of their life, while giving them the most comfortable relief of pain and discomfort. They are surrounded by people who care for them and have stood by them.”

10. Do you find it difficult separating your personal life from your professional life?

Dr. Scott: “I can separate personal from work, but not work from personal. Social media brings more ways of communication and to most everyone, I’m always a veterinarian answering questions.”

Dr. Spangler: “It kind of comes with the job. I get called in on my days off sometimes, or at least questions. When people find out what my job is, I immediately get questions and find out about their animals, and all of their past animals. It comes with the territory.”

We appreciate their efforts and dedication to our Waifs! Meet some of the animals they have treated during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


May 18 2018

Memorial Weekend Tips

Next weekend is Memorial weekend, and it’s time to go soak in the sun! We thought it would be helpful to provide some tips that can make the holiday weekend enjoyable for all of your family members!

1. Have updated ID and photos of all your pets.

This goes without saying, but sometimes the animals get so nervous and scared they might try to run off and find a safe place. Having proper identification and updated photos greatly increases their chances of coming home sooner. At our store Whiskers & Wags, we sell a variety of collars and ID tags that you can purchase on campus.

2. Have safe and quality fun!

Barbequing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep all the food and drink away from your friends, even if they beg politely! Many barbecue-typical foods are toxic to animals.

3. Brush up on flea/tick treatment.

Ticks and fleas are more abundant than ever because of the mild winter we had. They will find a host environment in dogs and cats, and during a celebration it might go unnoticed. We also sell seresto collars which help battle unwanted visitors for up to eight months. They will help during that barbecue and high heated areas! They can be found at our retail store Whiskers & Wags.

4. Always keep fresh, clean water at the ready.

This should be nothing new, but always provide a nice clean bowl of fresh water for your pet. I personally have two bowls of water in the house and one outside on our patio, if my dog wants to lay in the shade outside. If it is too hot, only take them outside for necessary potty breaks, and no need to over-exercise. We wouldn’t want you or your pet to get overheated!

5. Be careful around the pool.

Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.

6. Buckle up!

Of course most pets will love a car ride, but warmer weather can include different insects and allergens as well. Be careful of letting them stick their head out the window, as they are at risk for injuries and infections if anything lands on them. Technically a seatbelt or any safety harness would be best to travel with.

7. Be a little shady!

Be sure any outdoor dog or cat always has a comfortable place in the shade. Don’t tether a pet because shade locations will change during the day. Tethering also doesn’t allow an animal to move away from bees or other annoying insects.

 

8. Consider keeping them in a separate room.

With strangers coming to the door over the weekend, they might be on edge. By keeping them in a separate room, not only will they not escape, they will feel safer in the comfort of their home, not seeing scary objects!

 

9. Make the area secure.

Memorial Day is a high traffic holiday with so many people heading out for a cookout. When the kids are playing in the yard, please remind them to keep the gate closed at all times if the dog has access to a fenced-in area. This will ensure that your pet does not run into oncoming traffic or a busy street and get struck.

10. Always protect with sunscreen!

Never use a repellant intended for a human on a pet. Many of the chemicals that are in these products can easily harm your animal if they are ingested. There are special repellents and sun screens you can use on your pets. Make sure you read all information about these products before you try them out on the family dog.

Hopefully these tips find you and are useful. You can also visit our campus and meet some adoptable waifs!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


Apr 27 2018

Prepping For Summer Break

Even though Spring is barely passing through, we can still look forward to summer right?! You loyal readers know we always try to provide fun and helpful tips to get you guys through major holidays and seasons. Let’s start this season off right, before it comes in June.

1. Have updated ID and photos of all your pets.

This goes without saying, but sometimes the animals get so nervous and scared they might try to run off and find a safe place. Having proper identification and updated photos greatly increases their chances of coming home sooner. At our store Whiskers & Wags, we sell a variety of collars and ID tags that you can purchase on campus.

 

2. Brush up on flea/tick treatment.

Ticks and fleas are more abundant than ever because of the mild winter we had. They will find a host environment in dogs and cats, and during a celebration it might go unnoticed. We also sell seresto collars which help battle unwanted visitors for up to eight months. They will help during that barbecue and high heated areas! They can be found at our retail store Whiskers & Wags.

3. Be cautious of open/screen windows.

Warmer weather means we want to open up our windows! Just be cautious of how well your animal can handle that, as cats more than anything love to press against them and potentially go through. Adding screens are the best safety feature, but be cautious anyways.

4. Buckle up!

Of course most pets will love a car ride, but warmer weather can include different insects and allergens as well. Be careful of letting them stick their head out the window, as they are at risk for injuries and infections if anything lands on them. Technically a seatbelt or any safety harness would be best to travel with.

5. Landscaping and Yard work beware!

Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully.

6. Beware of rat poison, antifreeze, and other chemicals.

Ingesting antifreeze is lethal. Unfortunately both cats and dogs have been known to lick this up if any spills are is out and within reach. Make sure to check your car for leaks and make sure all bottles are stored far away from your pets. Be careful when it comes to mouse traps and rodenticides like rat and mouse poison. Direct ingestion can be deadly. If your pet does ingest any chemical, seek emergency care immediately. 

7. Always keep fresh, clean water at the ready.

This should be nothing new, but always provide a nice clean bowl of fresh water for your pet. I personally have two bowls of water in the house and one outside on our patio, if my dog wants to lay in the shade outside. If it is too hot, only take them outside for necessary potty breaks, and no need to over-exercise. We wouldn’t want you or your pet to get overheated!

8. Be careful about grooming your pets.

Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.

9. Ice Treats

This is always fun to make, and you can do it at home! Instead of soda flavors or fruit, you can freeze peanut butter or dog treats and give it to your pet on a hot day. It gives them something to work on, and it tastes great to them as well! Some people even freeze their toys for some extra fun times. Just make sure all the food is dog/cat friendly. 

10. Bugs, bugs, bugs.

Summertime brings awesome weather—and an onslaught of bugs! Keep an eye out for those snakes, spiders, and anything that resurfaces during the warmer months. Your pet will thank you for it!

Please feel free to visit us during our adoption hours! Also, feel free to check out our brand new summer camp, Camp Wayside! More info here.

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


Apr 20 2018

Spring into Spring!

It may not feel like it yet, but springtime is well underway! We have passed Easter, and now we are moving on through April towards May. Soon it’ll be summer before you know it! With the change in season comes new things to watch out for in your furry friends. We figured we would put together a few items that can help you prepare for warmer weather, and unpredictable weather. 

1. Have updated ID and photos of all your pets.

This may sound like a broken record, but it can never hurt to remind everyone. Having proper identification and updated photos greatly increases their chances of coming home sooner, if that ever were to happen. At our store Whiskers & Wags, we sell a variety of collars and ID tags that you can purchase on campus.

2. Be cautious of open/screen windows.

Warmer weather means we want to open up our windows! Just be cautious of how well your animal can handle that, as cats more than anything love to press against them and potentially go through. Adding screens are the best safety feature, but be cautious anyways.

3. Buckle up!

Of course most pets will love a car ride, but warmer weather can include different insects and allergens as well. Be careful of letting them stick their head out the window, as they are at risk for injuries and infections if anything lands on them. Technically a seatbelt or any safety harness would be best to travel with.

4. Be careful of Spring Cleaning!

Spring Cleaning is a time-honored tradition for many, but just keep your pets in mind when you leave out certain items. Any cleaning products can contain certain chemicals that are hazardous to pets. Just store them properly during use, and for storage.

5. Home Improvement 101.

Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

6. Landscaping and Yard work beware!

Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully.

7. Sneezing, Coughing, and red eyes, oh my!

Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

8. Bugs, bugs, bugs.

April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet.

And that’s it! Hopefully this will be beneficial to you and your furry friends as we spring into spring!

Please visit our animals during adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.


Mar 30 2018

Volunteer Program Highlight: TABBY

A few months back, we featured volunteers doing numerous things around our campus, and we featured playgroups. We figured we’d highlight another wonderful aspect of volunteering with our feline friends; TABBY! TABBY is To Achieve Best Behavior Yet, and focuses on cats finding balance.  TABBY is mostly for cats waiting to be deemed available.  These are the cat that are shy/fearful, desparate for attention or are high energy.  Finding them a balance can reduce stress, and help them move to the adoption floor faster. Today, I met with TABBY volunteer Elizabeth to give me some insight into our cat behavior program.

Elizabeth is pictured above, and after each session, TABBY volunteers do a recap about how long it was, what transpired, etc. It helps present information to other TABBY volunteers, and the Feline Care Manager Bonnie as to who has been worked with or who has made any progress. As stated above, TABBY is mostly for cats waiting to be deemed available, meaning they are not quite adoption ready yet, but definitely can be! They just need that one-on-one time to really improve and gain socialization skills. Volunteers like Elizabeth work weekly with select kitties who need that extra attention, and we greatly appreciate it!

Briefly, we want to show you our current TABBY board. This board is able to help Bonnie communicate to volunteers on what cat needs what. Sometimes the cats only need talking to, and sometimes they need playtime and socialization. Each cat gets unlimited time to improve because everyone improves differently. We also participate in clicker and target training, to help mentally stimulate the cats. Really, each cat is a case by case basis, but this board is updated whenever anyone hits a certain stride.

We decided to work with Breanna first, and boy was she interesting. She hissed, growled, and did a little bit of everything besides interact with us. We quickly realized we needed to play with a barrier between us, and then we saw glimpses of the real Breanna. She is deemed high arousal, so stressful situations like shelter environment can be really hard on her. She did enjoy her cat dancer after a few minutes!

Pictured above is Layla, who is also labeled play with a barrier. She apparently lunges, but we didn’t see that behavior today. She enjoyed us talking to her and playing with her cat dancer, so she is well on her way to graduating! Bonnie determines when a cat will graduate TABBY, and at that point they usually go to the adoption floor. This is where you can see the progress they made, and how well they do in the shelter now. We’ve taken a few photos of some of our TABBY graduates, and would love to show you them so they can brag about how well they’ve done!

Dave is the black cat in the back, and this is his new best friend Vivi. Dave used to hide and cower, but now has blossomed with another cat. He greets people at the door now!

This is Titan Athena, and she was a tough case at first. She was more feral than all of our barn cats when she first was brought to Wayside. Now you can go visit her and as long as she solicits attention first, she will love to sit and chat with you! We’ll also provide a picture of her warning sign, and a video of her being sweet and lovable!

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Our last TABBY graduate is staff favorite Jammers. She was briefly on TABBY but quickly was graduated and moved to the floor. She still has her quirks, but she certainly is a sweetheart!

That was just a little insight of our TABBY program. Come meet some of our TABBY graduates during our adoption hours.

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.

 

 

 

 


Mar 22 2018

Barn Cat Program


We have barn cats among barn cats! We have five barn cats available for adoption and we figured it was a good time to discuss our barn cat program. Note: We’d like to state that we do not KNOWINGLY accept barn cats to our program. These are cats that have been deemed barn cats by our Feline Care Manager, and usually come in as strays. We only adopt out barn cats. If you are interested in one of our barn cats, at the end of the post we’ll provide a link to get more information about how to get on the waiting list.*

Some cats prefer the call of the wild and don’t envision their life on a warm lap, being pampered to 24 hours a day.  For this reason, Wayside Waifs has started our own Barn Cat Program.  This program is for cats that are not deemed adoptable but are healthy.  This would include cats that are feral (fearful and unsocial) or who are housesoilers/sprayers.  All cats will have bloodwork done and must be negative for Felv and FIV.

All cats will be altered and vaccinated before they leave as to help control the pet population. They will also receive flea/tick control. Adoption fees are waived for these cats.

Adopters must provide:

  • Safe and warm conditions/shelter
  • Fresh water and food daily
  • Provide medical care as needed

If you are interested in adopting a cat from our Barn Cat program, just inquire with our Adoptions Team when you arrive at Wayside Waifs. Wayside Waifs does not take in cats for the purpose of the program. Only cats already in our shelter that are not suited to a traditional home setting are deemed barn cats and placed in this program.  We also suggest you give staff your name and email so they can communicate with you on what kind of barn cat you’d like. We definitely have a waiting list, but we stay on top of it! We’d like to feature a few of our current barn cats we have:

 

Aspen is a semi-friendly barn cat.

Roberta is a normal feral barn cat.

Cat is a normal feral barn cat.

Breanna is a semi-friendly barn cat. We also have another barn cat who is not a fan of the spotlight, and declined an interview with us. They are looking for a non-traditional home, but a home nonetheless. Please inquire about them through email linked above. Thanks!

Written by Teryn J.

 

 

 


Feb 16 2018

Volunteer Highlight: Playgroups

A few months back, we featured volunteers doing numerous things around our campus, and we featured Candy Brown who is a volunteer adoptions counselor. We figured we’d highlight another wonderful aspect of volunteering with our canine friends; playgroups! Playgroups are a wonderful way for our dogs to get some exercise, have fun, make new friends, and enjoy a break from shelter life! While the videos and picture provided will only feature dogs, we’ll tell you a little bit about the volunteers who regularly run these fun play sessions.

As pictured above, playgroups can teach us a lot about how dogs behave around other dogs. We do testing to see how they get along when canines are first brought in, but playgroups can provide some more detailed information. Do they like other dogs? Do they LOVE other dogs? Do they perk up at the idea of having a playmate? Another aspect of learning during these sessions is we can see a play style. Does the dog play gentle or rough? Do they take corrections well? Dogs playing may look a little aggressive, but you can quickly tell the difference between rough play and aggressive play. Check out the link below:

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While you see a lot of teeth and jumping up, notice the body language. Tails are up, eyes are relaxed, body is relaxed. They take a few seconds of breathing breaks, which is a good sign they are having fun! Even tongues can show that it is nothing to worry about, such as if they are hanging off to the side of their mouths. They are having a howling good time! (Excuse the pun.) We do most of our playgroups in our Agility Park, and we have some fun obstacles for dogs if they want to try those out. Check out the movie below:

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You see one of the dogs jump over a pole! Notice how halfway through the video, they are touching, but they take a few seconds of still positions. They are taking a break, while seeing who is going to make the first move to play again. It is really fascinating that they communicate solely through looks and body languages. We do playgroups all year-round, during all of the seasons. Dogs seem to enjoy the summer playgroups, because we set up pools for them; the ultimate cool-down!

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Those dogs are really enjoying that pool! You might be wondering how we determine which dogs might benefit from playgroups. We keep a board in our dog area that keep track of every dog we’ve tried. We give them “yes,” “no,” or “re-try.” Some dogs don’t play well, and some do, and some might be having an off day, or just had surgery. Dogs are not allowed to play with recent stitches or certain illnesses or infections they may have, but liking other dogs is a must! Our volunteers bring whistles with them just in case a fight might break out, but those rarely happen! We sometimes have large playgroups with more than two dogs; and those can be a blast!

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The way they all stop and go immediately is so funny! We have a good amount of volunteers and staff who run playgroups, but here are some volunteer testimonies of how much this benefits both the dogs and humans:

“The dogs can forget they are homeless and enjoy playing with their dog friends for a few minutes.”

“Love seeing pure dog joy.”

“Seeing dogs who are so fearful come to life when they have a chance to play with other dogs.”

” I love seeing the dogs enjoy spending time making new friends and just learning how to have fun ‘being a dog.'”

” It’s a fantastic energy release for the dogs. 20 minutes of playtime is amazing exercise.”

“I love the bond we made with fellow volunteers.”

It’s not just great for the dogs, but most of these volunteers have become friends through Wayside and their volunteer programs! We couldn’t do this without them, and we appreciate all the dedication they have towards our Waifs. Thanks for giving our dogs a break and allowing them to make new friends!

Please feel free to visit us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Feb 9 2018

Department Highlight: Behavior Team

We like to highlight departments in our shelter, as there are so many people that are working “behind the scenes” to make Wayside Waifs what it is today. Previously, we showcased our Vet Clinic, and this time, we would like to showcase our Behavior Team. This small but important section of our organization is responsible for overseeing every dog’s temperament in the shelter. They test them, work with them, and are able to pinpoint certain behaviors to help match an animal with that perfect home.

This picture includes our entire behavior team. Jess is the Behavior Team Manager, and Ben and Brad are our Behavior Evaluators. Here they are meeting in our Admissions Department to go over an appointment. With dog surrenders, we do a behavior exam on intake before they are admitted into our facility. The dog should be able to eventually qualify for adoption, even if they need a little work now. The exams also help to pinpoint certain good and bad behaviors we can continue and change over time.

Brad is seeing if new dog Haley is treat motivated. Brad mentioned he enjoys working with all these dogs to work with different aspects of dog behavior. You see it all in a shelter, and you can see the wonderful turnaround they can make. During these exams, the team tests several different aspects, such as reactivity, motivations, restraint, and touch, to name a few. Haley is nervous as she is in a new place with new people for the first time, so our tests aren’t all that strict as they are more informative. We just want to get an idea of the dog’s personality, both in general and in a new situation.

Something we learned about Haley was that she is not so interested in treats as she is praise and toys. She enjoyed hanging out with all of us, and chasing after a tennis ball or two! You may be thinking that all the BE team does for a living is play with dogs, but that is far from the truth! Besides testing, they answer questions that have been submitted by the public, they oversee our Peace Academy(high-arousal) and Confidence College(shy and fearful) dogs, and they also teach classes that the public can attend!

Ben is having a cute moment with Haley after she got to know everyone. She will not be available yet, but she is well on her way! Ben is the veteran on this team, and is now teaching our classes and answering behavior questions. If you’re interested in either of those, please click here. Ben mentioned the benefits to meeting all of the adult dogs at Wayside. While some of them may not need any extra TLC, some do, and he enjoys seeing their progress to become “a normal dog.”

When asked, the manager of the team, Jess, mentioned her dual position. She is also our Canine Care Manager, so technically she is in charge of two different departments. “In my position, I’m able to communicate with my staff better. I can get our canine care techs involved in behavior, and vice versa. We all can learn about dog behavior that way, and there is never a dull moment!” We’d also like to mention that BE is looking for someone to join their team. If you’re interested, check this link out.

Here Ben is working with Brute, a Peace Academy dog, on ‘look’ and ‘sit.’ At Wayside Waifs, we believe in positive reinforcement training, and we also use whistles. Brute normally fixates on people’s hands, so learning ‘look’ was essential to his well-being. He can learn that he’ll still get a treat, and doesn’t have to necessarily fight for it. Brute has already made some wonderful improvements! He is actually from St. Croix, so he is an island dog at heart!

To sum it up, we wouldn’t be able to adopt out near as many animals as we do if it wasn’t for this behavior team. We can work with animals directly and get to the root of the problems, and we can get a vague idea of what they are like in a home. Thanks to Jess, Ben, and Brad! You make Wayside a better place! Keep up the good work!

You can visit us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.

 


Jan 26 2018

Department Highlight: Vet Clinic

We like to highlight departments in our shelter, as there are so many people that are working “behind the scenes” to make Wayside Waifs what it is today. Previously, we showcased our Admissions Department, and this time, we would like to showcase our Vet Clinic. They are certainly the backbone of our organization, as they oversee the care of each individual animal. We wouldn’t have the reputation we have if it wasn’t for them! *Warning: You may see some pictures of animals in surgery, but we promise nothing is being shown other than the animal. Just a warning before anyone scrolls down and is faint-hearted.*

Ashley is one of our Veterinary Care Technicians. She is pictured organizing the surgery schedule and getting everyone’s vaccines ready, if needed. The day starts with surgery, and sometimes, we have up to thirty or forty animals being altered or getting dentals done a day. We can have up to five-hundred animals at one time, so it is important to get as many surgeries done as possible. When asked what her favorite thing about her job was, Ashley mentioned fostering animals. “I see them when they first come in, so I know if I’m able to help. With my job, I have the opportunity to help an animal thrive, and I can see them all day!” Thanks for your dedication Ashley!

Another significant part of a Veterinary Care Technician’s job is prepping the animals for surgery. This puppy has been giving anesthesia and our vets need to see where to do the incision. The vet techs will shave a spot so they can accurately alter the animal quickly, accurately, and safely. Here is Traci, our Veterinary Clinic Manager, prepping a puppy! Traci took on the role of manager last year, and says her favorite part is the organized chaos of it all. “I like organizing and running the clinic, as it can be hectic, but it helps when making sure every animal is watched over and cared for.” Thanks for helping the cause Traci!

After everyone is ready, the actual surgery takes place. This is Dr. Lutton, our newest veterinarian. The vet clinic graciously covered up the surgeries for pictures to be taken, but this is our surgery suite. We have four tables for dogs to be taken in and altered, or any other surgery needed. It allows the doctors a quiet and organized space to accurately perform these surgeries. When asked, Dr. Lutton mentioned the success stories. “I really enjoy seeing them find homes. I enjoy seeing an animal I have personally worked with go on to have a happy life.” Thanks for all that you do Dr. Lutton!

Next comes another important component for surgeries. Monitoring and making sure they wake up is essential, as with humans, because there is a risk with anesthesia. Our vet techs and vets will stay with our animals and help them wake up, and make sure nothing is wrong. Cassie is pictured with a puppy, and she is another Veterinary Care Technician. She mentioned she enjoys working with those tough cases the most. “Those animals that would otherwise be failure-to-thrive, I enjoy working with them because if it wasn’t for us, they probably wouldn’t make it. Seeing them go from the bottom to a healthy, happy animal, is so rewarding.” Thanks for all that you do Cassie!

After their morning surgeries, Animal Care Technicians take all of the animals and put them back in their designated kennel. Caitlin is pictured above carrying a puppy back, who is a little unsure of our camera! It is their responsibility to watch the animal recover, and take them out for potty breaks. They also clean both sides of the clinic everyday, to make sure everything is sanitary for our animals. When asked, Caitlin said she enjoys the uncertainty of her job. “It’s different everyday, so I never expect the same thing, and I meet a lot of our animals!” Thanks Caitlin!

Another aspect of their job is to administer medication to our sick animals. From upper respiratory infection to skin conditions, our vet clinic is responsible for administering and providing our animals with medication. Pictured above is Jess, another Veterinary Care Technician, preparing med cards and printing labels for the bottles. Likewise, she said her favorite thing about working here is seeing the profession of an animal. “I like seeing the medication work, even after a few days. Seeing them feeling bad one day, and then seeing them excited and happy a few days later shows that we really are making them feel better.” Big thanks to Jess!

But what would a vet clinic be without medical exams? These two fabulous ladies are Dr. Scott, our Vice President of Veterinary Services, and her cat Sydney (I hope I spelled that correctly!) She brought her cat in for a simple nail trim, but she and the other vets look over every animal that comes in our doors. Anything from drawing blood and giving vaccinations, to checking if they need any type of surgery and if they need a special diet. Dr. Scott is in charge of our vet clinic, and we appreciate her and her dedication to our Waifs! Thank you Dr. Scott!

Last, and certainly not least, is Dr. Spangler, pictured above. He performed an eye removal on Spinach earlier today, and he actually rescued him from the streets this morning! He is our other veterinarian, and makes the clinic a very fun place to work. When we asked what his favorite part of his job is, he mentioned his favorite task. “I like performing surgeries, but more than anything, I like using my medical abilities to help animals in need, and to help them find their homes.” Thanks for all that you do Dr. Spangler!

Not pictured is Sarah, another Veterinary Care Technician. She works certain days, but we appreciate her nonetheless! Our vet clinic is pretty fantastic, and we have saved many animals because of the people pictured above. Without them, we wouldn’t be the Wayside Waifs we are today.

Consider visiting us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


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