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.


Dec 23 2017

Department Highlight: Admissions

Happy Holidays everyone! 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 Canine Care Technicians, and this time, we would like to showcase our Admissions Department. They do such a wonderful job in overseeing the care of our animals when they first come in, and work directly with the public, local animal controls, and shelters to get as many animals in a safe environment, and well on their way to a forever home.

Pictured above is the Admissions Manager Elizabeth, who has worked at Wayside Waifs for seven+ years. She oversees how the majority of our animals get brought to our campus. As some might know, we receive animals from places like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and sometimes New York! We will do anything we can to help others out, and we also partner with local shelters like Great Plains SPCA, Kansas City Pet Project, and Spay and Neuter Kansas City. She manages the three person team, and is a good reason as to why we have so many resources involved in rescuing any animal we can!

Pictured above is the recent transfer of a few dogs from Kansas City Pet Project. When animals first get to Wayside, they get a brief physical examination, a behavior exam, updated or first vaccines depending on their history, a name if they need one, a microchip scan, and then a kennel or run. The transferred animals and owner surrenders will usually have names, but we will name stray animals ourselves. They get a few days to get assimilated to shelter life, and then staff and volunteers begin working with them, whether it be socialization or TLC.

Admissions’ first priority is to make sure the animal is safe, wherever it may end up. They strive to help people and animals alike, as much as Wayside can. Elizabeth mentions this as part of her favorite thing about working in this department. “People are extremely grateful that we can help. As a limited admissions facility, we are unable to accept every animal that comes through those doors, but we do as much as we can, to be a no-kill shelter. It is rewarding knowing I have made decisions to save many animals over the years, because every little bit helps.”

Pictured above is Ashley, who has worked at Wayside a little over six months. She has previous experience in other shelters, and truly enjoys working with animals! She is an Admissions Counselor, who works directly with Elizabeth and the public to save as many animals as we can. When asked what her favorite part of working in this department was, she knew the answer immediately. “I enjoy seeing the entire journey of the animal. When they come in malnourished or scared, and then one or two months late, I see them happy and healthy, and getting adopted. It is rewarding to be part of a compassionate team when we all have the same mission.”

Pictured in the cover photo, and above, is Brad, who is the newest Admissions Counselor/Behavior Team Member. He has been with us for a few months now, and his position is unique. He works with Elizabeth in picking animals to transfer in, and assist with said transfers. He also assists with the behavior team in assessing the dogs over six months of age that come through our facility. We do behavior tests to see a dog’s temperament, and see if they need any training or extra love while in our care. When asked, Brad mentions how his position is beneficial in Admissions as well. “I have the benefit of bringing animals in to start their journey, and then work with the dogs firsthand to continue their journey. I get to meet every dog, and see their personality shine after a week or a month. It makes my work in Admissions all the more rewarding, because I can bring animals in knowing what lengths we go to.”

Without our Admissions team, our shelter would not be like it is today. We are limited admissions because of our no-kill status, and we are proud to be that! We only take in what our building can hold, even if we want to accept more. It is not an easy job to tell people no, but Elizabeth, Ashley, and Brad are those decision-makers for us, and we could not appreciate them more! Thank you for all that you do!

Happy Holidays everyone! Consider visiting us during our adoption hours!

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

Written by Teryn J.


Dec 15 2017

Canine Care: Department Highlight

Happy Holidays everyone! 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 Pet Memorial Services, and this month, we would like to showcase our Canine Care Technicians. They do such a wonderful job in overseeing the care of our canine companions, rehabilitating them towards getting adopted, and helping with after-hour duties as well.

Pictured above is Sarah, a Canine Care Technician with a former waif, Spice. Sarah has been with our company a little less than three years now, and she enjoys her time here! She does an excellent job in caring for our canine friends here, and excels in helping our shy and fearful and high energy dogs get ready for adoption. Thank you for all you do Sarah!

The CCT’s (Canine Care Technicians) as well as the Feline side of things, are the heart of our shelter. They are the people directly caring for our waifs, and see them everyday. They are helping them get ready for adoption, whether that be behaviorally or noticing medical issues. On top of that, they regularly clean up after our waifs to make our dog adoption and holding areas look really nice for visitors!

Elise is another CCT, and she has been here for eight years! Besides seeing the journey of all of the waifs, she enjoys working one-on-one with our behavior dogs. Those are dogs that need a little extra training or attention to help make them less stressed, or learn control. In fact, one of her favorite waifs right now is Shelby, pictured below. Shelby is a long-termer, and she was in our Peace Academy(high energy) for a while. She has a few restrictions, but is overall a sweetheart! Learn more about her here!

While taking care of our canine waifs is their main duty, the CCT’s perform a variety of odd jobs around the shelter. They take care of the laundry for the building, they help with adoption meet and greets and dog to dogs, they help with lost dogs, food pantry, and pet memorials during and after hours. They also handle our donation bin, and sort through things for each department. We are very thankful for our CCT’s! Below is CCT Jeff doing a move-over.

A move-over is what our CCT’s do when an animal is ready to be available for adoption. They are responsible for moving dogs over during the day and in the evening, after the Canine Care Manager Jess has done it in the morning. They are moving the dogs from our holding area to the adoption area, so they can be seen better!

Jeff has been with the department for a year, and he has enjoyed working with the volunteers the best. We have over 1200 volunteers at Wayside, and all of them go above and beyond to help  out around the shelter, canine care included! Here Jeff is taking care of our Puppy Nursery. This is where young puppies go if they are waiting to go to foster, or they are being held for an event. It is separate from other parts of the shelter for medical safety, and we had some cute Chihuahua puppies in there!

Another aspect of CCT’s is the Canine Isolation area. This is Kathi, and she has been with Wayside seventeen years! WOW! Kathi has pretty much worked in every department, but currently she works full-time in the ISO area. She is responsible for giving the dogs back there medicine, and giving dogs with ringworm lyme dips, pictured above. Hagrid is being a good sport and wearing his protective headgear!

The CCT’s in Isolation also work with the dogs to get daily exercise and TLC. When they are sick, they feel down, and can regress in shelter life. With the help of Kathi, and a few others, animals do not regress at all! They spend time working with them when they are on the mend, and they are equally as happy as healthy dogs! Kathi’s has many favorite things about working here, but currently, she enjoys the pace and style of Isolation. When there are less animals in the ward, she can work more individually with the ones in there, and she likes to help them get healthy as quickly as possible!

Others in the department, but not pictured, are Jess, our Canine Care/Behavior Manager, and Shea, Brittany, and Carolyn, other CCT’s. Thank you for all that you do, and we appreciate it!

Please visit us during our regular adoption hours as well!

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

Written by Teryn J.

 

 


Dec 8 2017

Preparing For the Holiday Season

It is going to happen, and we all know it; snowfall. Missouri winters are something to either look forward to or approach with extreme dread. We here at Wayside try to make the holiday season enjoyable for our waifs while they are in our care. We decorate the shelter, and invite volunteers and staff to participate in fun activities with our animals. We want to provide some helpful winter tips for bracing the cold, and preparing for the big holiday gathering!

1. Check your pets’ microchip information, and update their tags.

We know we always use this one, but it is important for owners to always keep tabs on their pets’ identification. Winter is a common season for people to lose their animals, and having correct phone numbers and chip information will allow them to be found easier and quicker.

2. Check under the hood of your car for cats!

If you park your car outside, chances are a cat sneaks under the hood at night for warmth. If you go to drive, always check by the tires, and any place you think a tiny animal can fit. Believe me, it is possible for them to find areas you might not think of.

3. Wipe their paws after going outside for any reason.

Now is the time of year when we salt the pavement, and other chemicals such as antifreeze, or de-icers are used. If an animal were to ingest these, it could bring on severe illness, or even crack their paws. Just doing a quick swipe with a towel does the trick!

4. Pay attention to your dog’s ability in the snow.

Some dogs, like Huskies, are able to withstand the cold for longer periods of time than others. That does not mean you have to skip their walks, but they might need to be shorter. Short hair, thin, elderly, or young pups are more susceptible to getting cold quicker.

5. Be prepared for any kind of emergency.

The cold weather can bring severe winter storms, including power outages, and snow-ins. It is best to stock up on emergency kit items so you can always be prepared. Having a first-aid kit handy is always a good thing too! Items like flashlights, candles, extra food, blankets, and water are some of the important things to have handy during those power outages.

Now we will share some holiday tips!

1. Choose your decorations wisely.

It is no secret that cats love shiny, crinkly, and colorful toys. Well, ornaments and decorations look exactly like a toy to them! Some dogs even enjoy playing with stockings or the tree. Pick essential decor so you will not be angry it is broken, but also plan accordingly so it is out of reach.

2. Make sure the holiday party food is out of reach.

Some of those festive feasts have perfectly good snacks for pets, but to be safe, keep them in a safe, out of reach place to avoid any accidents or illnesses. A little turkey, and unsalted potatoes is perfectly okay for a holiday dinner for canines and felines!

3. Keep everyone happy during your family gathering.

While hosting a big party, make sure your guests know if your animals are prone to sneaking out any doors.  We would not want a loose animal in the cold! Also, think about dedicating a safe room for your animals if they are wary of big crowds. Then you will not have to worry about them, and they will not be stressed!

4. Stay away from dangerous holiday plants.

Mistletoe and holly are fun items to decorate with, but your animal might think of it as a toy. Accidentally ingesting these plants can be very harmful to them. It can cause severe illness, so it is best to avoid using them altogether.

5. When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. 

When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.

Come visit us this Saturday, during our Open House, and meet Santa Paws!

Please visit us during our regular adoption hours as well!

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

Written by Teryn J.

 


Nov 17 2017

The Importance of Play in Cats

Contrary to the adorable picture above, playtime is not just for kittens! Adult cats enjoy and benefit from playtime as well. Even senior cats like to get in on the fun! This blog post is meant to educate our readers on the importance of play in cats, and how it can answer many questions you may have about your cat’s behavior!

When kittens first start to play, they are very young, and they learn social skills, and mimic hunting behavior. The next time your cat is playing, pay attention. Does your cat wiggle its butt before pouncing on a toy? Cats do this to steady themselves before they pounce on their prey (or toy). Are your cat’s eyes dilated or constricted?  Before they pounce, their pupils might be dilated. This is to take in a larger surrounding area and it means they’re excited. Once they have caught their prey (toy), their pupils might be more constricted to focus on the one object. What do they do with the toy? Toss it in the air, carry it around, paw at it, scoot it across the floor to chase it around more, or hold and kick it. They might not want to share their prey/toy with others, including their human! Some toys are so valuable, and if you interrupt your cat, they might swat at you or growl.  Let them have their prize!

It’s all about the hunt. The best way to play with your cat is to mimic a cat’s hunting sequence. Following this sequence fulfills their need to hunt. Starting with a wand toy, move it around to entice them. Move it around the way bugs or birds flit around, or a snake slowly moves around objects. Lead your cat around furniture, through a tunnel, up and over the sofa, etc… Some cats prefer slow movements and others prefer fast movements. See what your cat prefers most! Mix it up a little even; allow your cat to catch the toy often, otherwise they might become frustrated and lose interest.

Some cats will play for a few minutes, others will continue to play for 20 minutes or more. Once you have an idea of how long your cat usually will play, slow the movements down during the last 5 minutes of the play session, and then completely stop all movement (in other words, the cat has killed its prey). Once it’s “dead”, cats often leave the toy alone. Give your cat a few treats, or feed your cat its meal immediately afterwards. This makes the cat feel fulfilled, in that they have hunted, caught, killed and is now eating their prey. Their natural instincts should take over, and after a good meal, they will likely groom themselves and then take a nice, long nap.

Cats tend to play more often in the early morning and early evening. That is because cats are crepuscular; meaning, they tend to be more alert and playful during twilight hours. Because cats are both a predator and a prey animal, this is the best time of day to hunt, but also to be on the move to avoid their own predators.  This is often the reason guardians are woken up by their cat running around around the house or asking to be fed at this time of day. Providing mental and physical enrichment can help to alleviate any stress a cat might be experiencing. A fulfilled and tired cat is a good cat! If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your cat, please consult with your veterinarian first.

Types of Play:

  • Individual play – leave cat toys lying around; rotate toys weekly or as needed so they don’t become bored; kongs with treats or some canned food inside; strategically place toys as if they are hiding (keeps cat busy when you are out)

  • Team Play (person & cat) – increases the bond between human and cat, as it is a positive experience; for cats that are very exhuberant and are high energy, it provides safe distance so the cat doesn’t grab or bite anything except the toy; wand toys should never be left out unsupervised since cats could ingest the wire, string or feathers; depending on cat’s energy level, play session should last 10-20 mins. per session; some cats need several pay sessions throughout the day.  Cats at Wayside Waifs highly recommend Da Bird, the Cat Dancer or the Cat Charmer wand toy.

  • Playing with another cat (or dog!) – some cats love to have a buddy of their own to play, chase, and wrestle with.

The following is a video where Mercury, a shy and fearful cat, is using play to reduce stress and build trust with people. Mercury came in two days ago, and was untouchable. Now look at Mercury! It truly shows how important play is in helping cats relax, and enjoy their time at the shelter, and more importantly, in their homes! Click on the link here to enjoy!

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So, don’t just leave toys out for your cat to play with, but take the time to play WITH your cat. They will love you for it!

Meet some of our fun feline friends, and canines, during our adoption hours!

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

Edited by Teryn J. Written by guest Bonnie Still-Wayside Waifs’ Feline Care Manager, and certified Cat Behavioralist.


Nov 10 2017

Thanksgiving Treats and Tips

It’s that time of year when we travel to our family member’s house, and have what is the most exhausting and delicious feast of the year. Thanksgiving is coming up, and we here at Wayside thought it would be nice to send out a friendly reminder of what you can, and cannot feed your pets. We also thought we would include fun dog and cat friendly recipes that are fun to make, and they have fun eating them!

  1. Turkey-Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. You will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.
  2. Potatoes-Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. However even though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, be aware of additional ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in a pet’s diet.
  3. Cranberry Sauce-Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it, or have no sugar at all to be safe. It is probably best to only provide a small helping to your pet’s plate.
  4. Macaroni and Cheese-If you know your pet’s stomach handles dairy alright, macaroni and cheese is a safe leftover to share. If you are unsure though, it may be best to just give plain macaroni. Cats often develop lactose intolerance when they become adults.
  5. Green Beans-Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a green bean casserole though, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.
  6. Corn-Loose corn is fine, but avoid corn on the cob.
  7. Homemade Rolls-Rolls fall to the ground during the annual food fight and are nibbled up by your kitty? Never fear. As long as they don’t have a lot of butter on them, they are safe for your pets to enjoy. 

Sweet Potatoes-Sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that provide plenty of nutritional benefits for our canine companions.

There are also some fun receipts you can try to make Thanksgiving a little more pet friendly, besides just human treats! PetPlan has several fun recipes that you can try, both for dogs and cats! Pumpkin smoothies, sweet potato cookies, sorbet, oh my! EntirelyPets also features fun, simple recipes such as Muttballs, Puppy Meatloaf, and Catnip Cookies!

Finally, just as a reminder, please always keep your pets’ tags and information updated, because more company means more doors opening and closing. If you are going out of town, and have to board your animal, make sure to book in advance, as holidays are times when facilities fill up quicker. Continue taking the dogs on walks if they have a heavier meal, and put in some extra playtime with those kitties to work off those extra calories! Try your best to ignore the stare they will give you from below the table-the above treats and recipes should help you out! Be wary of counter surfing, as the aroma may overwhelm your pet. Immediately throw out scraps and bones you will not use and keep it out of reach from pets. Sometimes they get a little curious, and go dumpster diving!

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy your time with your family, pets included! Keep an eye out for Black Friday, as we might have a special going on. In the meantime, consider meeting some of our pets 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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