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Black Cats, Halloween and Debunking the MythsBlack cat

Halloween is nigh. Often what follows are the countless myths about black cats. From being bad luck to the numerous stories told throughout the years about black cats who are used for ritualistic torture, you can’t help but wonder what’s true and what’s a hoax. So how do you determine fact from fiction when it comes to black felines at this time of year?

One myth is that there are those who steal black cats from yards or off the streets in order to use them for rituals, while another myth says black cats are adopted from shelters prior to Halloween to be used for decoration, only to then be returned to the shelter. It is also heavily advised to keep black cats and pets in general indoors because of the nature of the holiday. Any of the scenarios are just as horrifying as some of the scary movies that are released this time of year.

Whether the myths are just rumor or speculation, there are many shelters throughout the country that refrain from adopting out black cats during this time of year as a simple precaution.

However, what’s the truth, and will we ever really get to the bottom of the rumors?

In the article by Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, “Are Black Cats in Greater Danger Around Halloween?” at VetStreet, the concerns are “based on little more than hearsay, that black cats are sought out on Halloween for Satanic rituals” along with the other myths. “In the meantime, people who’d offer perfect homes for these pets may not come into the shelter at all while an adoption ban is in effect.”

For those who blame Halloween and rituals on cats not returning home or being killed, there are typically explanations such as being hit by a car, being poisoned by accident or on purpose, or caught by coyotes, the article said. This is reason enough to keep cats inside the home during Halloween and throughout the year.

According to Becker’s article, Francis Battista, cofounder of the Best Friends Animal Society said, “There is no evidence that black cats are at special risk of abuse if adopted around Halloween.” She added that the “fear-driven policy” only puts cats of all colors at risk of dying in shelters “due to overcrowding.”

In the article, Becker points out that good shelters look for reasons to adopt out their pets. “They recognize that powerful, positive marketing (such as through the Shelter Pet Project and Petfinder) helps get pets into great homes. The shelters that put black cats ‘on special’ are using a ‘hook’ to get people thinking about adoption.”

And that’s no trick. It’s actually the best treat there is!

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From Tricks to Treats: How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Most everyone loves Halloween. Between the costumes and all the treats you can eat, it’s a great time for children, adults and pets. There’s ways to ensure your pets stay safe. From dangerous costume materials to toxic foods, it’s important to keep your pets out of harm’s way.

According to the ASPCA’s “Halloween Safety Tips,” remember to keep all that tasty candy away from pets. Your pets may want those tasty treats, but they can be downright deadly to them, and that’s real scary! “Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets,” according to the ASPCA. If you fear your pet has gotten into anything toxic, contact your veterinarian or immediately contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

You may not realize the dangers Halloween decorations can pose to your pets. Be careful of wires and even a carved jack-o-lantern. According to the ASPCA, “pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire.” Also remember that kittens are curious and easily can get burned by candle flames. The ASPCA also suggests keeping your pets away from pumpkins and “decorative corn.” They may not be totally toxic to pets but they can cause an upset stomach.

Your dog may look absolutely adorable in that Batman costume. And kitty may wow them in a Wonder Woman getup. However, costumes are not for every pet and “may cause undue stress.” Unless you know your pet is up for that costume, the ASPCA doesn’t recommend it. If the costume is a go, the ASPCA says:
• Ensure the costume does not limit “movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow.”
• Ensure the costume does not have any “small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces” that could cause choking.
• Ensure the costume fits correctly so that it does not “get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.”

Keep your pet calm during the activities of Halloween, including when strangers come to the door. If your pets get too stressed out, it’s best to leave them in another room. Always “be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside,” and that they are wearing ID at all times, just in case, according to the ASPCA.


October is Dedicated to the Welfare and Care of Domestic and Wild Animals

African Dog
October is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month, an entire month dedicated to the welfare of animals, both domestic and wild. National Animal Safety and Prevention Month was created by the PALS Foundation, which was founded to help “people and animals coexist in a way that benefits all nature,” according to This special month was “dedicated to promoting the safe practices of handling and caring for both domestic and wild animals.” It recognizes the importance of animals and the roles they play in our lives, even to those without pets. It hopes to ensure “that they are treated kindly and with the respect and care they deserve.”

According to, there are a variety of ways in which to participate in National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Here are some ideas:

  • Tend to the needs of your own pets, starting with ensuring they are microchipped for their safety. Make sure they wear ID tags at all times.
  • Your home has many items that can be dangerous or toxic to pets. Pet proof your home so your pets can’t get into anything that is harmful.
  • Create a “disaster escape plan in case you ever need to evacuate your pets quickly from the home.”

For those who don’t have pets, here are some great ideas:

  • Volunteer at a local shelter
  • Foster a pet
  • Donate money
  • Donate supplies to shelters

It’s a great time to get others involved and spread the word, especially for those who don’t know about National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Contact your local newspaper, TV and radio stations and tell them about it and ask what they will do to help promote and bring awareness. The more people who know, the more who can get involved to help ensure that safety practices for animals are in place this month and throughout the year.


Foods to Keep Away from Pets to Ensure Their Health

Every year, usually beginning in October due to Halloween and other upcoming holidays, we are reminded once again of toxic foods and pets. It’s a good reminder to keep a list handy now and throughout the year.

If we let our pets have the run of the house, they would eat anything and everything. However, that would be a very bad idea. Very often the foods we love to eat can be very dangerous to our pets and sometimes can even cause death. So it’s best to know what foods are OK and those that are not.

Remember, it is always a good idea to discuss food choices with your veterinarian. In addition, the Humane Society of the United States provides a list of foods that may be poisonous for your pets:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot pits
  • Avocados
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushroom plants
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Peach pits
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea (because it contains caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Walnuts
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
  • Yeast dough

If you feel your pet has gotten into any food that may be poisonous, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling (888) 426-4435. (A fee many apply.)


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There’s Hope for Dogs Who Suffer with Arthritis

Not a day goes by without hearing or seeing a commercial about arthritis. Just as with people, our dogs can suffer from the debilitating joint disease. As a matter of fact, arthritis is unfortunately becoming more prevalent in dogs and “is one of the most common health problems seen by veterinarians,” according to a PET MD article, “How to Treat Arthritis in Dogs: Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Steroids, and NSAIDs.”

It can be more difficult to determine arthritis in dogs because dogs tend “to ignore soreness and discomfort until the arthritic changes in the joints have progressed significantly,” the article said.

For most dogs, the signs of joint disease don’t show up until the later years, but that “varies depending on your pet’s breed,” according to an article at The article listed the most common signs of joint disease to include limping, stiffness, noticeable pain, not able to jump or climb stairs, or inability to rise.

It is important to note that diet and nutrition will not turn back the clock or stop arthritis. However, there are supplements that can help ease joint pain.

From joint fractures and developmental disorders such as hip dysplasia to degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) and inflammatory joint disease, there are many causes of arthritis, according to the article.

The article discusses various ways to manage arthritis such as medical treatment, including the availability of supplements and drugs. “Through proper diet, exercise, supplements, anti-inflammatories, and pain relief, you may be able to decrease the progression of degenerative joint disease, but the looseness in the joint or bony changes will not change significantly,” the article said.

It’s very important to keep your dog at a good weight ensuring he or she is not overweight. Exercise that offers “good range of motion and muscle building and limits wear and tear on the joints is the best,” the article said. This includes activities such as leash walking and swimming. Always keep your pet warm and provide a comfortable sleeping area with an orthopedic bed.

Make sure to speak with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s situation so that you can provide the most optimal treatment to ensure your pet’s pain is managed for his or her beat health.


Peanut Butter As A Dog Treat: Be in the Know About This Tasty Treat

For years people have been giving their dogs peanut butter as a tasty treat. Fill up a Kong with some peanut butter and you can let your dog go to town and keep him busy, right? Not so fast. You may want to rethink this. Or at least you should find out everything about the peanut butter you give to your dogs.images

Because peanut butter is exceptionally high in fat, some companies have been using a sweetener called xylitol, “a sugar-free substance used as a sugar substitute,” according to Xylitol Poisoning In Dogs: A Deadly Sugar Substitute at But buyer beware as xylitol can be very dangerous and even deadly for dogs, even in the smallest of quantities. So you don’t want your dog to get ahold of any of it.

According to the article This Popular Peanut Butter Ingredient Could Kill Your Dog, it is always best to check the ingredients on any peanut butter jar just to be sure it doesn’t contain xylitol, which is not dangerous to humans. If you suspect your dog has ingested xylitol, make sure to call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

The following is a list of nut butters (at containing xylitol, so be sure to keep your dog away from them:
• Go Nuts, Co.
• Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter
• Krush Nutrition
• Nuts ‘N More
• P28

According to Is Peanut Butter Safe For Dogs? Please Beware – Some Could Be Deadly! at, peanut butter is OK for your dog, but only on occasion for a treat as long as your dog is not overweight as it can lead to obesity and “too much can cause pancreatitis.”

As often is the case, if you have any concerns, talk to your veterinarian.


Let Everyone Know Cats Are Happy and Cuddly, Too!

Did you know September is Happy Cat month? Created by the CATalyst Council, the special month is “an event that serves to educate and inform cat owners in regards to what they can do to ensure their pet is happy.”

CATalyst Council strives to “advance the health, welfare and value of companion cats,” according to the website. “This will ensure all cats are cared for and valued as pets.” The organization works hard to show that cats enjoy bonding with their humans and need care.

Happy Cat Month annually helps to spread the word about cats as beloved pets. Because cats often are seen as aloof and self-reliant and not needing the medical care that dogs do, the event was created “to counteract these stereotypes and ensure cats are well cared for, enriched, and receive the preventive care they require.”

So when it comes to cats, Second Home Pet Resort knows what great companions they are for people. Just in time for Happy Cat Month, Second Home introduces Daisy, a very sweet Calico who is available for adoption.

Daisy is a darling 11 year-old kitty who would be a great match for someone at home who enjoys hanging out, talking and listening. She is always happy and ready to hear about your day. Not only is Daisy loving, she is a cat who loves her treats. Daisy needs a great home where she can get all the attention she deserves, so she would be best as an only pet. She is spayed, microchipped and up to date on vaccinations. If you have room in your heart to adopt sweet Daisy, please contact Second Home Pet Resort.IMG_7490