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10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let’s face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.
Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …

6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.
If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

8. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.
If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.

9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

10. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.

by PetMD

“Santa Paws” is coming to town!

“Santa Paws” is coming to town!

Get Your Pet’s Portrait Taken With Santa!

Friday, Nov. 4 — 5 – 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 — 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 6 — 12 – 4 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 11 — 5 – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 13 — 12 – 4 p.m.

Toy House
400 N Mechanic St, Jackson, MI 49201

Please call 517-787-7387 ext. 30 on or after October 10th to make your appointment.
Sitting fee and a 5×7 photograph are just $15.
Christmas cards, coffee mugs, and additional 5x7s will be available for purchase as well.

Exciting Milestone Reached!

Exciting Milestone Reached!

Cascades Humane Society reached a milestone this year – adopting out more than 1,000 animals!

CHS adopted 1,057 animals during our last fiscal year from July 2015 through June 2016. This is the most adoptions CHS has done during a one-year time span! In addition, CHS is on track to pass the 1,000 adoptions mark in the 2016 calendar year as well.

This is exciting news for all of us here at CHS. These adoptions are due to the tireless efforts of our staff and volunteers, working to make sure every pet is cared for as if they were their own. Staff are dedicated to the animals, and to our mission, of connecting animals in need with people who care. They are the front line, matching these animals with their new families and making sure all of their needs are met. Volunteers help in so many integral ways–from cleaning kennels and walking dogs to helping at the adoption desk and answering phones. No matter what they do for us, volunteers contribute to these animals finding their forever homes.

So where do all these pets come from? CHS accepts owner-surrendered animals, strays, and transferred animals from other shelters. We are pleased with the relationships we have built with other shelters, such as the Jackson County Animal Shelter, Ingham County Animal Shelter, Addison Veterinary Clinic, Hillsdale Humane Society, and the Detroit Animal Care and Control. Animals at these shelters are at risk for euthanasia due to space constraints. Being a no-kill facility that will not euthanize for space, we are able to give these unwanted pets a second chance at finding their forever families. The more adoptions we do–the more animals we can save.

Since 1966 we have been making a difference in Jackson County. Adoptions are just one piece of this, as the programs we offer help hundreds of families a year, many of whom are facing financial hardships. We are proud to say we spayed or neutered 733 owned animals this fiscal year as a part of our low-cost spay or neuter program (SNAP). These are all animals that will not be furthering the unwanted pet population. We also spayed or neutered 267 feral cats through our Forgotten Feline Program. Through this program feral cats are trapped, sterilized, and re-released to ensure they will not produce more litters of kittens (and for only $10 each, as it is subsidized through generous donors!). Lastly, we gave out 34,000 pounds of dog and cat food to families who can’t afford to feed their pets, helping to keep the animals in their homes!

We are lucky to be able to do what we love, and we are grateful that so many people in the Jackson Community (and beyond!) support our work. Not only through adopting our animals, but with generous in-kind and monetary donations. In-kind donations of food, cat litter, cleaning supplies, toys and bedding go a long way at CHS! We are always in of these items and getting them donated means we can spend more of our budget on the animals themselves!  We are also thankful for the gifts of money, in any amount. Every dollar goes to keeping the shelter running and the animals taken care of. Without any funding from the government, we truly rely on individuals, businesses and events to help make all that we do possible.

So, thank you to our staff, volunteers, and generous supporters for all that you do! This milestone is YOURS to celebrate!


Bella’s Long Road Home

Bella’s Long Road Home

bellas-homeRight from the git-go everyone pitched in to save beautiful Bella. I mean, c’mon—just look at that face. You can actually see the sweetness in this cat’s eyes and Mona Lisa smile. We all knew there was just something special about this pretty calico cat. She has an ideal personality-gets along with everyone—kids, other cats, even dogs. Bella is very quick to fill any available lap for love and snuggles.

She was surrendered to us by an owner that realized he had too many cats in July of 2015. One look at her face when she arrived and we knew, right away, something was wrong. Her jaw looked painfully sore with an obvious lesion. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing more than the kitty equivalent of a cold sore. First problem solved.

But then, our animal care staff quickly noticed that Bella was using her litter box way more often than the average cat. We tested her for Diabetes. The results came back positive. In fact, her test values were scary high. We worked with a local veterinarian to come up with a treatment plan for her.

Some cats stabilize their glucose levels easily. Others take more work. Most cats with Diabetes do best with an insulin injection administered twice daily in 12-hour intervals. This was true for Bella as well. Once learned, it’s actually quite easy to administer insulin shots to a cat. However, Cascades Humane Society could not effectively meet Bella’s ideal insulin schedule as we were not open to give them 12 hours apart.

We didn’t want Bella to suffer a minute longer. Left untreated, Diabetes can cause lethargy, weakness, skin and coat problems, and a shortened lifespan. Her medical needs of the insulin injections, as well as the cost of insulin, made Bella a challenging placement. So we knew she needed to be in a foster home in order for her to get her shots when she needs them and while we waited for her forever family to come forward.

bella-admiring-yodaThen, something wonderful happened. A generous donor offered to provided the needed insulin for Bella for a year—maybe more. Now the hunt was on for just the right foster family. And, after considerable searching, we found it! We had a secure, loving environment for Bella while we continued the search for a permanent home.

But then bad luck struck again.

Bella’s foster parents lost their home and were forced to return Bella to CHS once more. Karen Glaser, a staff member, took Bella home while we looked again for a home for Bella. When Karen went on vacation, a longtime kitten foster mom for CHS took Bella in until Karen returned. Ultimately, Karen cared for Bella for just about 6 weeks.

Cats often get attached to the places in which they live as much as they do to their owners. This poor baby had been bounced around quite a lot. She always adapted well, though, and welcomed each new home and foster parent with love and affection. We were amazed at her ability to adjust and be so resilient. Maybe she knew we were trying to find her the right match while keeping her on her life saving medication.

We posted Bella on Facebook and on our website. We put the word out to everyone we knew. Karen, made flyers and put them out wherever she could. Since Bella was once again living with Karen we knew we would have to make appointments for interested adopters to meet Bella at CHS. To make matters worse, having Bella in foster and not at CHS cut down on her exposure to potential adopters. We would have to make appointments for any interested adopters to meet Bella out at CHS, and Karen would have to go home each time just to get her. We knew it would be worth all that trouble someday!

At this point Bella had been in our care for more than 9 months! Staff was still resolute on finding her a forever home!

At last, a couple spotted our pleas for help with Bella. Jeff and Catherine Burtch agreed to meet with her. Luckily, the day the Burtches wanted to meet with Bella was the same day she was due to come into Cascades Humane Society to have her insulin levels checked. Well–it was love at first sight. Clearly cat lovers, this couple already had four cats of their own and felt they could handle her medical issues. Bella snuggled down into their laps as if she had known them all her life.

Bella was home for good.

Every animal placed in a loving home brings joy to everyone here at CHS. It is incredibly satisfying when we find that perfect home for our animals. It’s why we do what we do every day–and the rewards are great to everyone here at CH. To all of our supporters, donors and adopters—we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Poncho – Big Changes for a Little Guy

Poncho – Big Changes for a Little Guy

pancho_2The process was slow at first. It was decided just one staff member should work on gaining his trust so the little guy wouldn’t be overwhelmed. That person was Sue Chambers, our Director of Operations here at CHS.

With endless patience Sue just sat quietly with little Poncho in her lap, petting him and giving him treats. Once he started to feel more comfortable around people Poncho started spending his days in our administration office, away from the din of noise in the kennels. Little Poncho’s curiosity got the better of him: he started to approach other people in the office. He was quickly rewarded with lots of cuddles and delicious treats.

image3And yet, little Poncho needed something more; to gain needed confidence he needed to experience the love and warmth that comes only from living with a family.

Then longtime volunteers Paula and Joel Freehling, pictured below, stepped up to the challenge–as they have done so many times before–they took little Poncho home to foster him. Under their loving care Poncho blossomed. His personality really started to shine.

IMG_1221It’s not easy to give your heart to a foster animal that needs your help as the Freehlings have done many times before. A little piece of your heart leaves with the animal when it goes to a new home. Giving up that attachment is really hard, but those who have the courage to do this reap many rewards; they know they’ve literally saved an animal’s life, and, by letting this one go they can do it again, and again…CHS is deeply thankful to all the wonderful foster parents who do this work. It saves many animal’s lives.

Paula and Joel Freehling—Poncho’s foster parents

Paula and Joel Freehling—Poncho’s foster parents


It all ends with the best of “Happy Tails.” Poncho was quickly adopted by a loving family of his very own. Poncho’s adoring adopters Mathew Farrell and Subrina Bartel

It all ends with the best of “Happy Tails.” Poncho
was quickly adopted by a loving family of his very
own. Poncho’s adoring adopters Mathew Farrell
and Subrina Bartel

This is why we do what we do every day!

This is why we do what we do every day!

Unfortunately we’ve all seen pictures like this.

You can hardly turn on the TV, cruise the internet, or read a magazine or newspaper without coming across images of neglected and abused animals. They’re all sad sights. But sadder still when they happen right in our own “backyard.”

This is what Isabelle looked like when she was found. The term “starving to death” didn’t do her justice. She, and animals like her, need our help. Thankfully for Isabelle, she had an entire team of people working for her care and recovery.

Isabelle required a nutrition plan, medical attention and lots of TLC. Staff and volunteers worked with her to regain her trust.

This 3-year-old Pitbull Mix recovered and grew into an energetic but very sweet dog. Very quickly Isabelle captured the hearts of both staff and volunteers. Izzy got the royal treatment: lots of walks, the biggest kennels, food dispenser toys to engage her mind and…tons of love and attention.

Sadly, Isabelle’s struggles continued as she was passed over time and again by potential adopters. Her high energy and pickiness about her canine companions didn’t help. Our staff trainer worked with Izzy on her manners, and, under watchful supervision, we started to introduce her to more and more dogs. Izzy started to relax and became less reactive to other dogs.

But…she was still here. And we started to worry. This exceptionally beautiful, intelligent dog deserved a home of her own. Staff and volunteers at CHS redoubled our efforts to find that home for Isabelle.

And it worked! Isabelle was adopted by the Fauls family just over a year after she had arrived. She now has children to play with and parents who will make sure she never faces starvation again.

This is why we do what we do every day at Cascades Humane Society — to save animals like Isabelle.

We can’t do this work without your help. If you can, please consider taking a moment to click here to donate whatever you can to help other animals like Isabelle. Every dollar counts. Thanks for your continued support.

Starting to Blossom

Starting to Blossom

A Letter to CHS Staff from Sam`s new family –

Dear CHS Staff,

Sam is doing wonderful and adjusting slowly to his new home. His personality is starting to blossom and he is a very playful, intelligent dog. He is learning to walk nicely with the assistance of the easy-walk harness. Likes buttered toast for his breakfast with his pack of humans. He isn`t an early riser and likes to snuggle down into the blankets and sleep an extra couple of hours when he can. He enjoys long walks and I have received so many compliments on his color pattern from all the neighbors and people we meet. Sam knows his commands like no, sit, stay, and leave it. We are working on halt and proceed when walking. He alerts us to anything unusual on his patrols around of the yard. Otherwise, he is a very quiet dog.

I want to thank you for letting us become a family. He is a wonderful addition! He will be loved and cared for!

Thank you!

Scotty’s Adventure

Scotty’s Adventure

Cute little Scotty was adopted May 11, 2016 to a wonderful family. He is absolutely loved by his new family. They’ve found he is a little trickster and loves to play and tease. He is already house trained, friendly to other animals, quite obedient, and communicates when needed. He also plays well with the grandchildren and is being spoiled by the great grandmother that is living with them. (They are giving her all the credit for that, anyway!)

Scotty ended up in the “dog house” recently when he decided to go across the street to visit the neighbors. The main problem, he went through the window screen to do it! The neighbors didn’t mind the company, but he was discovered when all was too quiet in the house.

Thanks to CHS staff for making this adoption possible. It was a perfect fit!

True Love!

True Love!

Echo came to CHS on March 3, 2016 and quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite due to her sweet nature.

She showed how gentle and kind she was and how much she loves to play, especially in the snow and water. She already knew basic commands, which was so helpful, and was more than happy to show off with any toy staff gave her.

March 16, 2016, Jamie and her son fell in love. They were looking for a dog that get along well with cats and would fit into their busy lives. Echo was the one. True love as you can see in the photo.

Some things are worth waiting for!

Some things are worth waiting for!

A shy, frightened black and rust Brindle Terrier/Pit Mix came to CHS as a stray from Jackson County Animal Shelter in June of 2014. She was named Angelina for her pretty markings which seemed to fit her very well. Staff and volunteers fell in love with her and she quickly became a favorite who warmed up to people shortly after meeting them. Angelina looked forward to seeing “her people” every day during her stay, but it was time she found a good home.

Adoption day finally came and what an extremely happy girl she was. Unfortunately, our hearts were saddened when she was surrendered back to CHS on February 19, 2016, due to a move. Angelina  tried to take it in stride and greeted everyone who ever took care of her like a long lost buddy. Although everyone was here for her, she became stressed shortly after her arrival. She didn’t understand what she did wrong and why she was back where she started.

CHS behaviorists quickly responded with enrichment and training to keep her mind active and learning new things. Angelina also enjoyed her daily walks with staff and volunteers, who continued her training on a daily basis. Several wished they had room for her at their homes, but were already at capacity. This sweet “lap dog” needed a real home for sure!

On April 12, 2016, her miracle happened! A family of her very own walked through the doors of CHS. The Tedder family asked to meet with her and they fell in love! They told staff they were so happy to give this girl a forever home! They were also pleased to learn that she is just as happy to play as she is to snuggle up on the sofa.

They also ensured staff that she will rarely be left alone, which will be wonderful for Angelina.

Some things are just worth waiting for!