Greyhounds take flight to retirement

SUBMITTED PHOTOS COURTESY OF PERSONALIZED GREYHOUNDS Six greyhounds peer out the windows of Brave Tide's plane upon landing April 10  at Allied Aviation near Lancaster Regional Airport.

SUBMITTED PHOTOS COURTESY OF PERSONALIZED GREYHOUNDS
Six greyhounds peer out the windows of Brave Tide’s plane upon landing April 10 at Allied Aviation near Lancaster Regional Airport.

Six greyhounds peer out the windows of Brave Tide’s plane upon landing April 10 at Allied Aviation near Lancaster Regional Airport.[/caption] On a recent Thursday, I found myself surrounded by greyhounds at Alliance Aviation near Lancaster Regional Airport, which is one of the best ways I can think of to start any day. The first thing that struck me about the dogs was how calm they were, considering they had just disembarked from a small airplane after a five-hour ride from Florida. All the dogs are retired racing greyhounds.

SUBMITTED Lois, a brindle greyhound, is what's known as a "leaner." She leans into your legs when standing next to you. Her bent ears only add to her adorableness. She was one of six greyhounds flown from Florida to the Lancaster, PA, area on April 10. She's being fostered by Personalized Greyhounds Inc. and will be available for adoption.

SUBMITTED
Lois, a brindle greyhound, is what’s known as a “leaner.” She leans into your legs when standing next to you. Her bent ears only add to her adorableness. She was one of six greyhounds flown from Florida to the Lancaster, PA, area on April 10. She’s being fostered by Personalized Greyhounds Inc. and will be available for adoption.

There were volunteers from Personalized Greyhounds Inc. and Nittany Greyhounds adoption groups waiting to greet the six dogs and transport them on the next step of their journey. Three greyhounds — Money, Kimbrel and Lois — were going to Personalized Greyhounds foster homes in the York and Carlisle area, and the other three — Samantha, Charles and Corky — were going to Nittany Greyhounds in the State College area. One couple was there just to meet the greyhounds; they had previously adopted a dog through Personalized Greyhounds and are hoping to adopt another one.

SUBMITTED Money, a black greyhound, was a bit shy at first but still a friendly girl. She was one of six greyhounds flown from Florida to the Lancaster, PA, area on April 10.  She's being fostered by Personalized Greyhounds Inc., and will be available for adoption.

SUBMITTED
Money, a black greyhound, was a bit shy at first but still a friendly girl. She was one of six greyhounds flown from Florida to the Lancaster, PA, area on April 10.
She’s being fostered by Personalized Greyhounds Inc., and will be available for adoption.

When I commented on how calm the dogs were, one of the volunteers said greyhounds are known as “45-mile-an-hour couch potatoes,” explaining that, although they do like to run at times, for the most part they’re calm, affectionate and laid-back dogs.

ROSE HAYES -- YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS Kimbrel, a fawn-colored greyhound, was one of six greyhounds flown from Florida to the Lancaster, PA, area on April 10. He's being fostered by Personalized Greyhounds Inc., and will be available for adoption.

ROSE HAYES — YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS
Kimbrel, a fawn-colored greyhound, was one of six greyhounds flown from Florida to the Lancaster, PA, area on April 10. He’s being fostered by Personalized Greyhounds Inc., and will be available for adoption.

The dogs and volunteers who were driving to the State College area left soon after I arrived at the airport, but I did get to spend some time with the three dogs going to Personalized Greyhound foster homes. They were all very friendly. Lois, a brindle greyhound, was what some in dog circles call a “leaner.” She would lean into my legs as I was petting her, or even when I was just standing next to her, as if she just wanted contact with someone. Money, a black female with a bit of white around her muzzle, seemed a bit more shy but was friendly. Kimbrel, a fawn-colored male greyhound, was very good at “posing” for photos. (I think he knows how handsome he is.)

SUBMITTED Brave Tide pilot Jason Hilt  hangs out with Money, one of six greyhounds Hilt flew from Florida to Lancaster, PA, on April 10. Three of the dogs went to Nittany Greyhounds near State College, and three went to Personalized Greyhounds Inc. foster homes in the York and Carlisle area.

SUBMITTED
Brave Tide pilot Jason Hilt hangs out with Money, one of six greyhounds Hilt flew from Florida to Lancaster, PA, on April 10. Three of the dogs went to Nittany Greyhounds near State College, and three went to Personalized Greyhounds Inc. foster homes in the York and Carlisle area.

The pilot, Jason Hilt, stayed and talked with the volunteers and answered questions about his organization, The Brave Tide Foundation. He is an adjunct graduate school instructor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia, but makes several trips a month to fly greyhounds to adoption groups. Brave Tide also flies other dogs and cats to safety, as well as supplies and volunteers for emergency situations, but Hilt said right now it’s mostly greyhounds.

The plane is a 1970 single-engine Piper Cherokee Six, meaning it’s a six-seater, although the seats had been removed to create a large, padded area for the dogs. There is a crate on the plane, in case one of the dogs needs to be crated, but for the most part, the dogs are muzzled and can move around freely. There is a barrier between the pilot’s area and the dogs’ area, to ensure the dogs don’t decide to “help” to fly the plane.

Hilt said the plane goes about 180 miles an hour, “with a bit of a tailwind,” and can haul 1300 pounds. It was purchased with the help of a Petco Foundation grant.

“I fly most of the missions. My father (Dan Hilt) is also a pilot and assists on many flights,” Hilt said. “We also have other local pilots who volunteer their time to assist with missions when necessary.”

Hilt said the most animals in one Brave Tide flight was seven greyhounds. The longest flight was from Pottstown, PA, to Houston, TX, to transport one displaced borzoi.

“Since March 14, 2014, we have transported 42 dogs, covering a distance of over 13,000 nautical miles,” he said. “2014 total to date is 48 dogs and 14,800 miles traveled.”

As we were leaving the fenced-in area, we had to go through a gate made of black metal bars, and the dogs’ energy level seemed to increase. Lois was really pulling against her leash. As soon as they were through the gate and into the parking area, the dogs went back to being mellow again. I wonder if the gate reminded them of something at the racetrack?

ABOUT BRAVE TIDE:

The Brave Tide Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2012 providing humanitarian services including animal rescue and relocation, emergency preparedness, and educational programs.

The foundation coordinates with adoption agencies, humane societies, and rescue shelters to transport animals for rehoming, fostering and relocation. Animal transports are conducted based upon need and are funded through donations and grants. The average distance travelled is 500 to 1,000 miles, at a cost of $200 for large dogs and $100 for small dogs and cats. Overall, travel by air is more expensive than driving for trips greater than 500 miles, because of the higher cost of aviation fuel. But advantages include significantly less travel time resulting in less stress on the animals; more control over environmental conditions in the aircraft cabin vs. van or hauler; and the ability to deliver animals to multiple states in one day.

Brave Tide also transports volunteers and supplies to communities impacted by natural disasters and provides financial aid to high school seniors entering the fields of education, aviation, and veterinary medicine.

The foundation relies on volunteers for mission planning and coordination, fundraising and community outreach programs. If you’d like to help, send an email with contact information and a brief narrative about why you are interested in volunteering to info@bravetide.org.

Donations toward transport costs are welcomed. You can donate $5, $10, or more to Brave Tide via PayPal or by check to:
Brave Tide Foundation Inc.
PO Box 735
Boyertown, PA 19512

For $100, donors can sponsor the transport of a specific greyhound and receive a boarding pass and sponsorship certificate with the dog’s photo, bio, and travel information. Check bravetide.org to see photos and info on animals needing transport sponsors. You can also get updates on Brave Tide’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bravetide.

ABOUT PERSONALIZED GREYHOUNDS

ROSE HAYES -- YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS Janice Matthews, president of Personalized Greyhounds Inc., looks over the paperwork that accompanied the three greyhounds PG picked up at Allied Aviation on April 10 after the dogs were flown from Florida.

ROSE HAYES — YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS
Janice Matthews, president of Personalized Greyhounds Inc., looks over the paperwork that accompanied the three greyhounds PG picked up at Allied Aviation on April 10 after the dogs were flown from Florida.

Personalized Greyhounds Inc. is a Pennsylvania 501(C)3) nonprofit providing greyhound adoption services in the Harrisburg area and in other parts of Central Pennsylvania, suburban Philadelphia and northern Maryland. Staff consists entirely of volunteers. Personalized Greyhounds was founded in January 1995 by Peggy Levin.

Representatives:

Camp Hill, Dover and Dillsburg:
Janice Matthews, president
Dover, PA
Email citajnm@aol.com

York area:
Carolyn Wagner
Manchester, PA
717-266-5480
Email CDWag51@comcast.net

Palmyra/Hershey area:
Sandra Robbins
717-838-3570
Email monkeyslr@yahoo.com

Carlisle area:
Maribeth Macke
Carlisle, PA
717-249-2914 or 717-243-5121
Email macke@dickinson.edu

Personalized Greyhounds usually has around 10 foster homes, four or five of which foster continuously.

For more information, visit www.pgreys.org.

UPCOMING PG EVENTS:

  • Greyhound Walkabouts are held at 2 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month at at various area parks. It’s a nice way to spend an hour or so with other adopters and for the hounds to say hello to one another too. David Miller organizes the walks and sends out an email to the Yahoo group listing the monthly location. All are welcome to stroll along.
  • Greyhounds in Gettysburg takes place April 24 to 27 at the Allstar Expo Center/Eisenhower Hotel in Gettysburg. This event has become the largest greyhound reunion in the country and 2014 will be the 16th year for this educational, social, and ]shopping event. For details, visit www.greyhoundsingettysburg.org.
  • Personalized Greyhounds will be featured as the Community Organization of the Game for the Senators baseball game on Thursday, May 1, at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg. PG volunteers will be introducing greyhounds to the public on the “Boardwalk,” and will be on the “big screen” for a pre-game on-field interview and on the radio for an interview between innings.
  • The 19th annual Personalized Greyhounds picnic and fundraiser will be May 31. The event will include food, Chinese and silent auctions, a 50/50 drawing and a drawing for a $200 Bon-Ton gift certificate. Vendors will include Veronica King, Balance Photography and the PG Houndware Store. K9 Pearly Whites will provide anesthesia-free dental cleaning services for the hounds in their mobile clinic. Cleanings are by appointment only and can be scheduled online at www.k9pearlywhites.com.
  • The Grapehound Wine Tour Virginia will be May 9 to 11 about 12 miles south of Leesburg, Virginia. This year the host winery is Quattro Gombas Winery. Quattro Gombas has a tasting room, a basement social area, a large barn social area where they bake pizzas, and acres of field parking. Vendors will be open on Saturday and Sunday, May 10 and 11, and Personalized Greyhounds will be there with the Houndware Store. There will also be a social tent for visiting and relaxing. Visit www.grapehounds.com for details. There will also be a Grapehound Wine Tour July 24 to 27 in Seneca Lake, New York.
  • Personalized Greyhounds holds meet-and-greets at various times and locations. For details, visit www.pgreys.org/meet_and_greets.htm.
    SUBMITTED  Jason Hilt, pilot and president of Brave Tide Foundation, lands his 1970 single-engine Piper Cherokee Six at Allied Aviation near Lancaster Airport on April 10. He was flying six greyhounds from Florida to adoption groups in Pennsylvania.

    SUBMITTED
    Jason Hilt, pilot and president of Brave Tide Foundation, lands his 1970 single-engine Piper Cherokee Six at Allied Aviation near Lancaster Airport on April 10. He was flying six greyhounds from Florida to adoption groups in Pennsylvania.

    ]

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Parasitic worm common in wildlife found in U.S. cats

From Cornell University:

When Cornell University veterinarians found half-foot-long worms living in their feline patients, they had discovered something new: The worms, Dracunculus insignis, had never before been seen in cats.

“First Report of Dracunculus Insignis in Two Naturally Infected Cats from the Northeastern USA,” published in the February issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, document the first proof that this raccoon parasite can infect cats.

The worms can grow to almost a foot long and must emerge from its host to lay eggs that hatch into larvae. It forms a blister-like protrusion in an extremity, such as a leg, from which it slowly emerges over the course of days to deposit its young into the water.

Worms in the Dracunculus genus are well known in human medicine. D. insignis’ sister worm, the waterborne Guinea worm, infected millions of humans around the world until eradication efforts beginning in the 1980s removed it from all but four countries – with only 148 cases reported in 2013. Other Dracunculus worms infect a host of other mammals – but Dranunculus insignis mainly infects raccoons and other wild mammals and, in rare cases, dogs. It does not infect humans.

The cats that contracted the Dranunculus insignis worms likely ingested the parasites by drinking unfiltered water or by hunting frogs,” said Araceli Lucio-Forster, a Cornell veterinary researcher and the paper’s lead author.

It takes a year from the time a mammal ingests the worm until the females are ready to migrate to an extremity and start the cycle anew.

While the worms do little direct harm beyond creating shallow ulcers in the skin, secondary infections and painful inflammatory responses may result from the worm’s emergence from the host. There are no drugs to treat a D. insignis infection; the worms must be removed surgically.

“Although rare in cats, this worm may be common in wildlife and the only way to protect animals from it is to keep them from drinking unfiltered water and from hunting — in other words, keep them indoors,” said Lucio-Forster.

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Cute Yorkie mix pups hope to be adopted together

Jenny and Pugsley are Yorkshire terrier mixes

Jenny and Pugsley are Yorkshire terrier mixes

Jenny and her brother Pugsley are 10-pound Yorkshire terrier mixes who were born in a 2nd Chance 4 Life Rescue foster home. Their mom, Trixie, was pregnant when she was rescued from a high-kill shelter.

Jenny and Pugsley are now a year old and are spayed and neutered, house-trained and vaccinated.

“This sweet and spirited pair loves to play, cuddle and sleep together, writes Tiffany of 2nd Chance 4 Life. “A bonded pair, Jenny and Pugsley hope to find a home together. They are very affectionate, and will need a fenced yard in which to play.”

Tiffany said Jenny and Pugsley are great with other dogs and kids 5 or older, but not with cats.

Check out the video of Jenny and Pugsley.

2nd Chance 4 Life Rescue is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dog foster network dedicated to saving the lives of neglected, unwanted, injured, abused, and forgotten dogs. 2nd Chance provides foster homes for rescued dogs until a forever home is found. 2nd Chance 4 Life is a volunteer organization solely supported by donors. For more information, please visit 2ndChance4LifeRescue.org or check them out on Facebook. You can also view a complete listing of available 2nd Chance dogs, visit www.2ndchance4liferescue.org/animals/list.

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Beware: That pretty Easter lily can be toxic to your pets, especially cats

easter-lily4 The white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily is a popular decoration in homes at this time of year. But did you know it could kill your kitty?

The entire lily plant — leaves, pollen and flowers — can be toxic cats. Even if they eat just a couple leaves or lick some pollen grains off their fur, cats can suffer acute kidney failure. And it’s not just Easter lilies; other varieties of lilies, such as Tiger, Asiatic, Day and Japanese Show lilies, are a health threat to your feline friends.

If your cat has eaten part of a lily, the first thing you’ll notice is vomiting soon afterwards, which may gradually lessen over two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat might start to urinate frequently; then, if kidney failure sets in, the cat’s kidneys will no longer be able to produce urine.

If left untreated, a cat will die within seven days of eating a lily.

Early veterinary treatment is critical. If you even suspect your cat has eaten a lily or its pollen, you should call your veterinarian immediately or take your cat to an emergency animal hospital. If your cat has only recently ingested the plant material and has still not vomited, your veterinarian will try to induce vomiting. Activated charcoal will be given orally to absorb any toxin that might remain. The key to survival is high volumes of fluids given intravenously to try to prevent dehydration and preserve kidney function. The fluids will be given for 1 to 2 days.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting (pieces of plant in the vomitus)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased urination, followed by lack of urination after 1 to 2 days
  • Dehydration

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Other lilies, such as Calla and Peace lilies, don’t cause fatal kidney failure but they can irritate your cat’s mouth and esophagus, causing drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Lilies of the Valley are toxic to the heart, causing an abnormal heart rhythm and low blood pressure, which can progress to seizures or coma.

If you think your cat has eaten any type of lily, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Lilies are not considered to be life-threatening to dogs, although some dogs might have some gastrointestinal issues if they eat a lily.

Sources: US Food and Drug Administration and Pet MD

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Hamster Ball Derby is today (April 12) at Petco

On Saturday, April 12, Petco stores nationwide (except Hawaii) will host Hamster Ball Derby events.

Starting at 1:30 p.m., families are invited to bring their pet hamster and hamster ball to their local Petco store to watch these tiny companions race to the finish line in an effort to win the grand prize, a Super Pet Hamtrac Exercise Loop.

petco-hamster2 Participating racers must bring their own hamster ball or purchase one prior to the race.

Participants will learn about the different ways they can continue the fun at home, such as adding a tunnel or wheel to their hamster habitat.

Staff members will be on hand to help kids 6 to 13 years old learn why hamsters make good pets and how to best care for these furry critters.

To get hamster fans excited about Hamster Ball Derby, Petco shared the following fun facts:

  • Hamsters’ eyesight isn’t great; be sure to approach them slowly to avoid startling them.
  • Hamsters are naturally nocturnal and are active through the night
  • Hamsters can run up to eight miles a day on their hamster wheels
  • Hamsters are naturally curious about their surroundings, hamster balls are the perfect way to keep them safe while allowing them to explore
  • Hamsters can carry up to half their body weight in food in their cheek pouches
  • Hamsters are smart and can be trained to perform tricks
  • Hamsters like to be clean, be sure to wash hands before and after play time to keep everyone healthy

For more information about hamsters and Petco’s Hamster Ball Derby, visit www.petco.com/HamsterBallDerby or go to the nearest Petco Store.

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Do you drive with your pet on your lap?

Do you allow your pet to ride in the car unsecured? I’ve seen people driving with their small dogs on their laps, and one friend’s dog used to stand on the front seat with his front paws on the dashboard. While I’m sure that’s fun for the dog, it’s definitely not safe.

Keep your pets safe while riding in the car by using a carrier or seat belt harness.

Keep your pets safe while riding in the car by using a carrier or seat belt harness.

When I drive with my cats in the car, I always have them in a pet carrier. I also secure the pet carrier in place by putting the seat belt through the handle of the carrier.

But I will admit, years ago when I had a dog, he was not secured in a carrier or with a seat belt when riding in my car. He was not a small dog, and didn’t try to sit in my lap while I was driving, but he did stand on the front seat and put his head out the window. (Yikes!)

I learned not to allow animals to roam free in the car the hard way, when I picked up an injured stray kitten that I found along the road. I drove her to my veterinarian’s office without a pet carrier, because I didn’t have one in the car. The kitten was in shock, so at first she just stayed on the front seat and didn’t make a sound. About halfway to the vet’s office, she snapped out of it and freaked out. She hissed, growled and jumped off the front seat and right under my brake pedal — while I was driving!

Continue reading “Do you drive with your pet on your lap?” »

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Can you help? Long-haired, FeLV+ cat losing home because of issues with new dog

This beautiful girl needs a home because she's having trouble adjusting to a new dog in the household.

This beautiful girl needs a home because she’s having trouble adjusting to a new dog in the household.

Harvi, a 3-year-old long-haired dilute calico (or dilute tortoiseshell) cat, is in need of a home because she is not adjusting well to the addition of a dog to the household. She is declawed, spayed and up-to-date on vaccines and vet visits. (Paperwork will be provided.)

Harvi is a leukemia-positive cat, which means it’s not a good idea to have keep her with other cats unless they are also leukemia-positive. She does not do well with dogs, as they tend to scare her. Harvi is shy at first, and takes some time to warm up to people.

“Harvi was rescued from the outdoors as a kitten and deserves a shot at being in a household that is suitable for her and her needs; unfortunately, I can’t provide that,” writes Mike.

There is a rehoming charge of $30 to adopt Harvi. If you can help her, call Mike at 570-299-5982.

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Lhasa/Cavalier mix dog lost in West York

20140406-045347.jpg
EDDIE HAS BEEN FOUND! A black-and-tan Lhasa/Cavalier mix dog named Eddie was lost April 4 in the South Adams Street area of West York.

He’s 4years old, not neutered, weighs about 20 to 25 pounds and was wearing an aqua/turquoise collar with no tags.

His eyes are dry and have heavy discharge.

A reward is offered for his safe return.

If you see Eddie, please call 717-858-3928 or email
robertasmith@ups.com.

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Help save kittens’ lives with a ‘kitten shower’

spitfire
In 2013, the Humane League of Lancaster County’s foster families provided TLC to more than 200 mama cats and kittens.

HLLC is gearing up for the 2014 “kitten season,” when many litters of kittens will be brought to the shelter. Many of these kittens will be too young for adoption and will need to be cared for by foster families. Caring for this many kittens requires a significant amount of specialized resources and that’s where you can help.

HLLC is looking for individuals willing to donate needed items; or, if you’d like to make a bigger impact, encourage your friends or co-workers to get involved by throwing a kitten shower to collect supplies.

Click HERE for ideas on how to make your kitten shower a success.

HLLC KITTEN WISH LIST:
kim-gaston

  • KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) cans & powder
  • Canned Kitten Food
  • Baby food – Stage 2 meats
  • Heating Pads or heating discs and covers
  • Unscented baby wipes
  • Small litter boxes
  • Litter scoops
  • Small blankets/bedding
  • Dawn dish detergent
  • Kitchen/food scales
  • Pet store gift cards

Also, check out the amazon.com wish list, where you can place your order online and have your tax-deductible gift shipped straight to the HLLC.

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Letter: Make anti-cruelty laws to protect all animals, not just police dogs

A proposal to make killing or torturing a police dog a second-degree felony was unanimously approved Tuesday (3/18/14) by the Pennsylvania State House. The penalty: up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Great! I’m very happy for the passing of this legislation, but what about the rest of the dogs in Pennsylvania who suffer beatings, cruelty and death every single day? Are their lives less valuable than that of a police dog?
The dog cruelty laws (and animal cruelty laws in general) in Pennsylvania are an insult to anyone with a minimal amount of empathy or compassion for our canine (and feline) companions!

Is one human’s life more valuable than another? Is the punishment for the intentional death of a celebrity more severe than that of a laborer? Homicide is a crime no matter who the victim is, and the punishment should be equal under the law.

But, what about the intentional harming of a dog? What justifies the State House moving so quickly (less than two months after the stabbing death of a police dog in Pittsburgh) to enact a law (unanimously) as a second-degree felony, yet the very same criminal who shot the police dog could shoot an arrow into a dog or cat (both of which occurred in Lancaster County in the past year), and if caught, would get a slap on the wrist and maybe a minimal fine?

Statistics show a trend that most serial killers begin by harming pets. Research shows that violence toward pets is often related to domestic violence toward children, spouses, and the elderly.

It’s time for our legislators to wake up to the reality of the ripple effect that cruelty to animals has on everyone else in society … and do something about it, not just for police dogs, but for ALL animals.

Bob Rudy
Lancaster County

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