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Cammy Presents: "Will you be my Valentine?"
Cassy says...

Hi there! Cammy here!

Will you be my Valentine? One of our furry friends would love to be yours!

We sure have been through some holidays lately, haven't we? All of the dogs and cats here at the shelter have had some excitement and now are easing back into the "waiting-to-be-adopted-by-the-right-family" mindset. The shelter sometimes buzzes with visitors that are searching for that special furry friend to give to their loved one for a holiday, birthday or maybe now, Valentine gift. I know that this seems like a really fabulous idea when you want to find just that special gift that will WOW her/him. The only problem is, it just might not be the right match.

Now, I know that we have the cutest puppies and kittens and dogs and cats here at the shelter. But, I have a suggestion for you if you would really like to give the perfect gift to that special someone on your list. Why not plan a trip to the shelter with your special person. You can give a coupon in a card that says "one trip to the Camden County Animal Shelter and one dog or cat of your choice." This way your special person can have the fun of picking out their own dog or cat to suit his or her own wish list. What I might think is the greatest pup or kitty in the world, may not be the one for your special friend. Give your loved one a special gift this Valentine's day of a furry one that really needs a home and let them have the fun of picking it out. This sure would make one of our furry companions happy and it would also be a fun present for your loved one. And, the most important thing to remember is that at the Camden County Animal Shelter, there is always help available from "pick out" time, up to and including taking home and training your new furry one.

Every dog adopter is provided with a packet with a lot of information and input from shelter volunteers who know the furry friend you are adopting. It has lots of information for the adjustment period when a dog first goes home and includes helpful articles on things such as introducing the dog to children, cats and other dogs. We also provide information regarding getting a discount for training. A few days after adoption, the family of the adopted furry one is called to see how their new companion is doing. At that time, we help trouble-shoot with any problem issues you may be having. Shelter e-mails are answered on a regular basis providing needed support. The act of adopting a shelter animal from CCAS is not the end, but the beginning of a partnership with CCAS helping the whole family through the transitional period. A word to the wise, you must put forth the time and effort necessary to own a pet. When one adopts a baby or a child, they hardly ever do it alone. They use all the avenues available to blend the family and ease the transition of a new addition. Adopting a furry companion is the same - assistance is required and available - but it is up to the new family to use it. Don't be shy - ask for help! That's why we at the shelter designed these programs - to assist you!

Some Valentine Safety Tips

Now, let's move on to some more advice. If you remember, in my holiday column, I went over lots of dangers of holiday luxuries and fun that are harmful to our furry friends. I'm going to do it again just so our companions are safe during yet, another holiday.

  • Chocolate - it really is a "no-no" for animals. Chocolates may contain fat and caffeine-like substances known as methylxanthines, which can potentially cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea to panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death in severe cases. Now, do you still want to feed that furry one some candy?
  • Gum or candy sweetened with a sugar substitute called xylitol. This can cause a fairly sudden drop in loss of coordination and seizures. If you suspect your dog may have eaten products containing any of these harmful ingredients, seek veterinary treatment immediately.
  • Flowers - roses and other flowers can be deadly to animals. Roses, in particular have thorns which could be potentially harmful if the furry plays with, bites, steps or swallows the thorns. Of course in my holiday column, I went into great detail on all of the harms of outside and inside plants for furries. The best thing is to just keep them away for all plants and flowers - we can never really know just which ones will be fatal if eaten by a furry.

Please remember to keep your pets safe, if you suspect that your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

So, once more, enjoy your holiday - whatever it might be - and always be very aware of your pet and the dangers that special holiday flowers candy, drinks, etc. can do to them

Signing off,

Love, Cammy