Keep pets safe this holiday season

15 years ago
By Christine Cowett Robinson
Special to the Star-Herald

    Santa Paws visited the Central Aroostook Humane Society last weekend. We had a wonderful time and we had a great turnout. It is so nice to see so many familiar faces and also to meet new friends. 

Santa was in rare form and we had some delicious goodies baked by Kim Weeks. Fun was had by all and the best thing about it is that you can come next weekend, Dec. 6, if you missed last weekend. Yes, two weekends in a row; we must have been very good this year for Santa to take time this time of year to stop in for two visits.  
    This is the time of year when everyone is in a hurry, and sometimes our pets get a little lost in the shuffle. We must be even more aware during the holidays to keep our pets safe. Here are some pointers to help you out:
• Most kitties like to climb so you need to be sure that your tree is secure so it doesn’t topple over or the cat is not left unattended with the Christmas tree;
• Make sure the Christmas lights are out of reach. Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens like to chew on things so make sure they can’t get to the lights or electrical chords hung from the tree;
• Christmas tinsel needs to be high enough so your pet can’t ingest it. Lots of things are shiny and bright this time of year; the packages are decorated to catch the eye of the beholder, just make sure the beholder isn’t your precious pet;
• Keep the pet’s water supply clean and fresh daily. We don’t want your pet drinking from the tree stand; and
• Watch those holiday plants. Several plants are poisonous to pets, the poinsettia is no exception. Should you believe your pet has eaten something that may be poisonous to him, you may call the poison control hotline for immediate suggestions on how to treat your pet. This service is available to you for both your pets and your children.
    It is also important to carefully contain your pets when guests arrive so they do not dart out the door.  Please be aware of all of the goodies that come through your door as well. Too much of anything can cause stomach upset. Cooked turkey bones are dangerous as they may splinter. One thing that I personally have had a close call with is bread dough. Dogs will eat it and when it hits their tummies, it will expand and then you are in trouble. If you fear your dog has ingested bread dough, take him to your vet immediately! It is much better to be safe than sorry.
    We have so many things to be thankful for during the holidays and the one thing we value more than anything at the Central Aroostook Humane Society are our loyal supporters. We couldn’t do it without you. This is the time of year when everyone should stop and reflect on all of the generosity brought to them throughout the year. We are so thankful to the adopters as well; you open your hearts and your homes to a pet in need. Last month alone we adopted out 30 cats! Seeing empty cages makes me so happy, especially when I know that we have taken them off the streets, cold and hungry, given them a warm place to sleep, vetted them and then given you an inviting place to meet and fall in love.  
    We have been doing this since 1966; lots has changed since then but the bottom line is that our love and dedication for the animals has never waned. It is a huge commitment, caring for the unwanted animals, but one we take very seriously. There is no time limit in which we keep the animals, no deadline; we keep safe, sane, sound animals until they find a home, bottom line. We are a place of peace and comfort, a place where an animal can find refuge from the struggle of survival. Do we euthanize? Of course we do, but only when we must; we will not let animals suffer unnecessarily. We work very closely with local veterinarians who offer us the best medical advice available. We offer you open doors. Come by the Central Aroostook Humane Society and see for yourselves, ask questions, request a tour. I think you will find that our staff is the absolute best and the animals are very well cared for.  
    With the public announcement of the closing of Caribou Pet Rescue, there have been many rumors going around, and we have heard some pretty good ones. Some people may speak as though they know us and who we are, but  if you have any questions about the Central Aroostook Humane Society, please get your information firsthand by calling 764-3441 and speaking to our manager. We will be happy to clear up any misconceptions regarding our policies, procedures or practices. Please note, our current agreement is with CPR and not with the city of Caribou. We are not taking strays from Caribou or Limestone at this time.  
    Again, there is a Christmas wish list here at CAHS. The list includes:
• Non scoopable cat litter;
• Bleach;
• Odo Ban;
• Laundry detergent;
• Paper towels;
• Cat and dog treats;
• Nail clippers;
• Pet shampoo;
• Donations towards our fuel bill made directly to DOC;
• Wal-Mart gift cards; and
• Your time – volunteers are always welcome.
    Have a safe and happy holiday and we hope to see you at Pictures with Santa Paws at the Central Aroostook Humane Society, Saturday, Dec. 6,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or give us a call at 764-3441.
    Please have your pets spayed or neutered.


ImageStaff photo/Kathy McCarty
    LOUIE THE ‘REINDEER’ enjoyed his visit with Santa ‘Paws’ during Santa’s recent visit to the Central Aroostook Humane Society in Presque Isle on Nov. 29. Louie, a former shelter resident, made the trip from his home in Woodland with his owner, Heather Curry, to get his picture taken during the annual fund-raising event. All proceeds benefit the shelter and its residents. Santa will be back in town on Saturday, Dec. 6, providing another opportunity for those who missed him last week to get a picture of their pet or loved one taken with St. Nick before he heads back to his home at the North Pole to prepare for the big night later this month. Refreshments will be provided.