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animal life

September 2017
Tri-State Area Pet News

Your pet. Our purpose.

Tail of the Storm page 3
Sonsini Mission page 5
Birthday Bash page 7
Skys the Limit page 10-11
Compassion page 12
Benjamin, Adams, MA Complimentary

On the Our pets are at
the mercy of
our preparedness
Tail both
in advance of
a disaster and
of the at the
time of
a disaster.
On the tail of Hurricane Harvey that approached Texas, with resulting flooding Determine in advance if the local emergency shelter for people will take pets as
and disaster, it gives us pause the think about how to prepare for disaster in the well. The Berkshire Red Cross is a resource for this information. Do NOT show
Berkshires. up at an emergency shelter with pets if they are unable to take them.
Our pets are at the mercy of our preparedness both in advance of a disaster and
at the time of a disaster. In the Berkshires we have experienced tornados, micro Take Your Dog/Pet With You
bursts of hurricane proportion and blizzards. Other disasters include fire or gas
The best way to assure the safety of your dog and other pets is to take them with
leaks when we are not at home. You can also have a sudden medical emergency
you if you evacuate. If left alone, animals panic and flee from frightening
that requires leaving pets. Planning well in advance of these events insures the
situations, especially if you are gone. They will become lost, injured or killed.
safety of your beloved companion.
Remember to keep your dog on leash and keep close watch. Dogs react differently
to stress in these situations.
Heres how to plan in advance
Make a checklist of items you need to gather in case of emergency. Keep these If You Must Leave Your Dog
items easily accessible. Keep a pet suitcase stocked and ready to go. Items include
medical records, basic medication, first-aid kit, portable food/water bowls, NEVER tie them indoors or especially outdoors!
leashes, non-perishable treats, toys, towels, blankets, brushes. Do NOT leave them outside in a kennel or pen
1. Food- for at least 5 if you need to leave your home. Some people keep dry Confine them inside in a small space like a bathroom, laundry room, etc. Put
food in bulk, in a large, difficult to move container. Keep a small movable, water their bed in there and some of your clothing with your scent.
proof container available and transfer the food at the first alert of an emergency Do NOT put dogs and cats together
2. Water Keep empty gallon milk bottles or other large water container and Leave fresh water in buckets. If in a room with a tub or sink, leave tap on drip
fill these at first alert. Water becomes contaminated quickly. Also changing water with a stop in the drain, so water can be collected.
sources can cause diarrhea, even if not contaminated.
Leave enough dry dog food in bowls for several days
3. Medication Discuss with your vet what medication is appropriate for
your animals in case of an emergency. Items might include eye ointment, limited If flooding is a potential danger place the dog on the 2nd or 3rd floor. Put them
pain meds ( i.e. Doggie aspirin) Be sure all prescription medicines are in a quan- in a room with a piece of furniture (i.e. bed) or counter they can climb into.
tity to cover at least 5-10 days. Turn electric off to lower the risk of electrocution.
Post stickers to indicate what type and how many animals are inside. Post this Do NOT leave a slip collar (i.e. choke chain or other) that could get caught and
at every entrance and on your fridge (firemen look there for info!) These stickers hang the dog or impede his ability to move. Use a flat collar with current I.D.
are available at Pet Stores or make and laminate your own. Ideally, in addition to tags, the contact information should be embroidered on the
Contact local motels and hotels to know in advance who is pet-friendly in your collar itself. This assures if the tags come off the collar has proper I.D. Check to
and surrounding areas. Keep their phone numbers handy in case you need to be sure phone numbers, etc., are all current.
move quickly. Microchip now so this information is permanently with your dog.
Contact friends or relatives in the region and ask if you and your pets could stay
a few days if needed. Have a plan made in advance With these minimal guidelines you and your animals
Many people leave their animals. This occurs when shelters or friends/family will be better prepared to weather the storm
accept humans but not animals. In this case, check in advance with local shelters
to determine if they will accept your animal until the emergency is over. Also Jody Chiquoine is the owner of Fitter Critters, Canine Rehabilitat ion & Aquatic
check with your veterinarian to determine if they will do the same Therapies in Lee, MA. She is actively involved with Great Pyrenees Dog Rescue
Maintain a list of pet-sitters who would be willing to come to your home and stay for North East Pyrenees Rescue.
with the animals if you have a medical emergency and need to be away from
home. Discuss this in advance with a home pet-sitter. Include, if they cannot
stay, can they make boarding arrangements for your pets.

Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com 3

Trap Neuter Return
Animal DREAMS has had a busy year fixing cats that live outside. Every proj- ment to socialization that would have been required. Melissa took them in so she,
ect is different, but some are more complicated than others. In May, we received under the auspices of Berkshire Humane Society, could socialize them, get them
a call from a north county resident named Violet. She told us about a feral cat their appropriate vaccines, and have them spayed and neutered. They will be
colony who had been living around her house for over ten years. We learned about found homes through BHS. Two of those kittens are still quite skittish, so its
a colony of feral cats including an old female cat who had many litters over the taking an extra long time to socialize them. Meanwhile, Melissa began trapping
years and was currently raising a litter. She relayed a decades worth of sad sto- feral cats to fix and return.
ries about litters that did not survive, cats with deformi- So far, we have fixed 22 cats from this colony. Some
ties, and a long list of cats and kittens currently there. We who were friendly now live in homes. The feral cats have
knew that this was a colony we wanted to stabilize been returned, where they will continue to be cared for.
through TNR, and we put our expert trapper, Melissa, on There are two feral cats yet to be fixed that live in aban-
the project. doned building. We call them the roof cats, as thats
Deciding to fix a colony and actually carrying out the where theyre seen and fed by caring neighbors. Theyre
task are two different things; TNR is rarely straightfor- the most illusive ones of the group, but we wont give
ward. First, Violet broke her hip, and she was not avail- up; once theyre fixed, this will be a stable colony that
able to get the project started. Even after she came home, will have an easier time surviving, and that will get
she missed appointments with Melissa to create a plan, smaller as the cats die of natural causes.
and her resident family member would not participate
without Violets involvement. Carol Lew
Eventually, Melissa put traps on the property, and the TNR Coordinator
cats began to get used to eating in the traps. Around that Animal DREAMS
time, there were eight kittens who were about seven
weeks old. Neighbors and friends of neighbors had the
idea that they would take the kittens and give them away.

animal life
They may or may not have understood the time commit-

Win Round Trip Tickets

Celebrating Our 20th Year! for Two to
Your pet. Our purpose.

Publisher/Owner Block Island for the Day.

Kim Arre-Gerber
Contributing Writers
Iris Bass
Carol Lew
Jody Chiquoine
Kathy Heinz
Karen Karlberg
Rebecca Stanard
Leea Foran
Circulation SAME DAY FLIGHT Tickets 1 for $5, or 3 for $10
Fred Speyrer & Martha Chiorgno FROM NORTH ADAMS, MA
To purchase tickets (until September 15th, 2017) Call 413-664-3643
Cover photo by
or email: Skippy10@outlook.com or at
Kim Arre-Gerber
For advertising rates or $50 AMEX Gift Card.

Drawing is September 16th

information call 413-459-5894
on September 9, 2017 at Bowe Field in Adams, MA
Airport is one mile from downtown,
beaches, etc.
Mailing Address:
9 County Court, Pittsfield, MA 01201 All Proceeds benefit: Got Spots Etc., Pawz for Optimal Wellness (501c3 in process), Affiliate of SPCATarboro, NC(501c3)

www.animallifeonline.com All care provided by Berkshire Veterinary Hospital to rescued dogs with life threatening/altering health conditions.
Date and time of the trip to be determined by the winning couple and the pilot, weather permitting. Weight limit of the winning couple and their belongings is 400lbs.
A Paw Print Division of Animal Laughter Studio.

Tickets are available at these locations and are available through September 15th.
All original content copyright 2017 Animal Life.
Original content contained herin can not be reproduced
without written permission of the publisher.

Berkshire Veterinary, Crane Ave., Pittsfield, Hot Dog Ranch, West Housatonic St., Pittsfield
Bark N Cat, North Adams, Dalton General Store, Dalton

4 Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com

At the Sonsini Shelter ....
We believe that every companion animal deserves a chance to lead a happy and healthy life. We
recognize the unique, close association that humans have with dogs and cats, and we pledge to protect
the abandoned and distressed dogs and cats in our care.
We do not condone euthanasia as a means of animal population control, however in extreme cases of
an incurably sick animal, one who is suffering and whose quality of life is poor, or one who is vicious
with little chance of rehabilitation, it may be the only recourse.
We promote the idea that adopting a homeless cat or dog is a great act of kindness; it is the gift of life
itself. We hold the ideal that there exists a home for every animal and that one day there will be no
homeless pets.

Sonsini has long been the little, often overlooked, shelter. Built on the citys little bit harder to find the right home for than your average golden retriever,
capped landfill, the shelter is simply a repurposed city garage. Over the last ten miniature poodle or Bengal cat. These traits that make them harder to find the
years many different Boards, staff members, donors and volunteers have spent perfect home for, also usually quickly make them staff favorites. Over the last
countless hours slowly improving the facility. They have built the kennels, a cat couple of years, many long-term Sonsini animals that we loved dearly finally
colony room and a real life room. Donors purchased an air exchange to ensure the found their forever homes after stays of nine months or more, including dogs like
animals were healthy. Staff, the Board and Volunteers joined with inmates to apply Tucker, Pearl, Zoey, Cleo and Diesel. It is through tears of joy, I write this as I was
fresh paint after a local business sealed the concrete floors with an epoxy sealant. lucky enough to be present at the shelter this weekend to see our dear Clarice be
Still others powder coated the interior kennel doors, donated appliances, and built sent home with an amazing couple just shy of her two year anniversary of being
a chicken coop. A local business donated the labor to replace the fencing in the a shelter resident. We will truly miss her.
exterior runs. Another constructed an exercise area in the front of the shelter for In the end, ours is really a simple mission: to protect and love each of
the dogs, while others volunteered to build a massive shade structure to cover the animals in our care until their ideal forever home can be located.
the outside runs. Donations provided for the construction of a covered kennel It is not just a mission; it is a calling. No one is in the sheltering
for our escape artists. So many have given so much to assist Sonsini in all of business for fame and fortune. We are here for the animals in our
these endeavors. They must know what those of us here in the care today and those who will come in tomor-
trenches already know. Sonsinis mission is one row. We are here because we know that we
born of absolute selfless love. are making a difference one life at a time.
Our mission carries the responsibility It is our purpose. It is a calling that precious
to find each animal that sees its way few will answer. We at Sonsini have never
into our care its forever home. lost sight of our mission and our animal friends
Until we find the perfect match can rest assured that we never will.
for that dog or cat, it is our job
to love and care for each of Krista Wroldson Miller

them as if they are our own. Board Chair
This is exactly what we do. We Sonsini Animal Shelter
have had many extended stay
residents here at Sonsini who have
stayed far longer than any animal
should ever have to live in shelter. De-
We at Sonsini have never lost sight of our
spite their lengthy stay, we did eventually find
them their perfect homes. And, when we did, although it truly pained us to see
them go, we celebrated finding the perfect match for each one of our harder to mission and our animal friends can rest

assured that we never will.
place animals. Animals can be hard to place due to considerations like breed,
age, medical needs, or characteristics that do not universally appeal to all living
situations. There is nothing wrong with any one of these animals, they are just a

Do You Have the Ultimate Dog?

Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com 5

training the canine mind!
myth &truth about dog behavior
Our rescue dog is giving us a hard time when taking him to the groomer.

When we first got him and had him groomed he was fine. The second
time the groomer was almost done and he bit her (with an open faced
muzzle). Third time I stayed with him, muzzle on and he bit a new
groomer through the muzzle. Fourth attempt was the worst and could-
n't even get him washed. What do we do now? He needs to be groomed

and trimmed. Do we try ourselves or try yet another groomer?

Dedicated Professional
Certified Professional Dog Trainer
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant
Training for Real Life Needs

From the progression/escalation of behavior you have described I would bet that the
Certified Tellington TTouch Practitioner II
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
very first grooming experience was not at all fine for him. Though he didnt bite
Amer Red Cross Pet First Aid Instructor
With 36 Years of

anyone that day he may have been very scared and may have displayed body lan-
Teaching Experience

guage that said STOP! When that wasnt recognized or honored, he was, in a
I believe that training should bring a smile to your face & a wag to your tail. I will never use

way, forced to get his point across. He has now learned that biting makes the scary
force or intimidation to train your dog. Positive reinforcement and up-to-date scientifically
based behavior modification programs bring positive results and lasting change. Leea

grooming stop.
If you first took him for grooming soon after you adopted him (first month), he
was likely in a highly stressed state from all the changes and upheaval in his life.

A new experience like grooming may have been very overwhelming. Groomers are

Training Services
there to do the job you have paid them to do and they have time limits. They don't
want to hurt or scare your dog but any strangers handling him and moving faster
than he is comfortable with and feels helpless about will likely continue to produce
similar results. I dont think another groomer will help unless you try a very dif-
For appointment and/or ferent situation like a mobile groomer coming to your home whom you have told
Upcoming Class Schedule has permission to do as little or much as he will tolerate without force or struggle.
call If this is not an option for you or if you try and this is still intolerable then you will
518-764-1320 want to begin to do a small amount of daily grooming in a fun and relaxed manner
with him. No restraining, no forcing or holding him down. A few brush strokes and
he is set free to play or relax with you in a way he really enjoys. By taking baby
steps like this with him you may win his trust and make enough progress to even-
Susan & George Clark, ABCDT sadsam12@hotmail.com www.foryourpetshealth.com tually get the job done. In the meantime if grooming and nail trimming are essen-
tial for his health and well being you should discuss the problem with your
veterinarian and see if a prescription for a short duration medication would help

Taiz him through a grooming sessions.

Leea Foran, CDBC, CPTA-KA is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and
Behavior consultant, Certified Tellington TTouch Practitioner Level 2 and owner

of Foranimals, LLC in Lenox, MA.
For more information: www .trainingforanimals.com or 413-445-8843

Kennel Since 1972
He who feeds a hungry animal
feeds his own soul.
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training -Charlie Chaplin
All Breed - All Ages
Specializing in the behavior and transition
problems of shelter and rescue dogs.
Training & Certification for
Therapy Dogs International
Home of:
Select AKC Champions 2000 Canadian Grand Victrix
United States Top Ten Police K-9 Unit Service Dogs
AKC Obedience, Agility and Herding titleholders NADAC &
Schutzhund titleholders Therapy Dogs and Canine Good
Citizens GSDCA Performance Award of Merit Recipients

Charlene Marchand
North Chatham, NY 518-766-3804
Charlene Marchand is a syndicated columnist for training, behavior, and health issues. She is
actively involved in canine rescue and sheltering, and is the co-creator and trainer for Columbia
County Sheriffs highly acclaimed A New Leash On Life Cell Dog Program.
25th Birthday Bash at the Colonial Theatre
Berkshire Humane Society Celebrates Its 25th Birthday:
Because of Compassion, Anything is Possible

Something very special is happening on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at the Colo-
nial Theatre in Pittsfield Berkshire Humane Society (BHS) will celebrate its
25th Birthday Bash hosted by Pet Connections Steve Caporizzo (Chief Meteor- I remember the old days, and to see where
we are today is absolutely amazing. There is so
ologist for News10 and animal advocate). Since 1992, Berkshire Humane has
sheltered rehomed some 50,000 animals, touching the lives of countless people
and their pets through its humane programming. much more to be done, but I know this is just
the beginning for so much good for Berkshire
I am truly looking forward to being part of this special 25th anniversary cele-
bration for the Berkshire Humane Society, said Steve Caporizzo. I remember the
old days, and to see where we are today is absolutely amazing. There is so much
Countys homeless pets. Im proud to have
more to be done, but I know this is just the beginning for so much good for Berk-
shire Countys homeless pets. Im proud to have Berkshire Humane Society as Berkshire Humane Society as part of the

part of the Pet Connection Family.
The event is divided into two parts, brunch and a special presentation. Two tiers
Pet Connection Family.
Steve Caporizzo
of tickets will be sold: Champion for Animals (brunch and presentation for $125)
and Animal Heroes (coffee, pastry and presentation for $20 advance/$25 at the
Champion for Animals ticketholders will enjoy a seasonal brunch by SoMa ABOUT OUR FEATURED PROGRAMS
Catering, cocktails such as Barkn Maries and Meowmosas, and a silent auction
while rubbing elbows with Mr. Caporizzo. Animal Hero ticketholders will join Humane Education: Berkshire Humane Society believes that promoting humane
after brunch for coffee and pastry. All ticketholders are invited to attend a special education is essential for improving the welfare of all animalsincluding hu-
live presentation on the beautiful stage of the Colonial Theatre. Dogs and special mans. Therefore, we strive to provide a range of innovative educational programs
guests will make an appearance. to children and adults. These programs include Humane Heroes, Camp Humane,
Ive been in this business more than 30 years, and I never thought I would see Explorers Post 9214, Key Program, Coffee Hour Speaking Series, and school
the day when a 13-year-old cat gets adopted, or a fearful dog finds a home, said visits/tours. We thank the Chervenak-Nunnalles Foundation for supporting our
John Perreault, BHS Executive Director. Our building and programs have grown humane education programs.
far beyond our wildest expectations. Ive spent this year pondering the incredible Ken Freeberg Fund: Animals surrendered to BHS sometimes have extraordinary
compassion that has made our achievements possible. The compassion of our health problems that make them unadoptable. Thanks to the Ken Freeberg Fund,
staff, of our community. Berkshire Humane has come a long way since its incep- we are able to accept and care for these animals, giving them a chance at finding
tion, and were excited to move into our next 25 years. Because of our compas- a new home. Whenever possible, we solicit contributions from our community to
sion, anything is possible! support this important fund.
A silent raffle will be announced in early October and will conclude at the event. SafePet Program: Initially, this program was created for the Elizabeth Freeman
A paddles-up auction to raise money for BHS programs, such as Humane Center to provide foster care for the pets of women and families leaving abusive
Education, the Ken Freeburg Fund, the SafePet Program, and situations. However, BHS has expanded this program, and we now work with
Animal Care and Rehabilitation, will happen during the presentation. more agencies, such as the Brien Center and Elder Protective
Purchase tickets through Berkshire Theatre Groups website. Services of Berkshire County, in order to offer temporary
care to the pets of community members who are in crisis.
Visit Special Events under On Our Stages The addition of our on-site, secure SafePet Room ensures
at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. that we can respond more quickly to a greater number of
All proceeds from the event directly benefit the requests for assistance.
shelter animals and operations.
The Berkshire Humane Society (berkshirehumane.org) is a private,
nonprofit, open-admission animal support organization with a
twofold mission: to ensure the compassionate care, treatment,
and whenever possible, placement of homeless animals through
the shelter operation; and to promote and improve the welfare
of all animals through community education and outreach.

Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com 7

September is
National Emergency Preparedness Month
- include your pets in your emergency plan!
The Berkshire Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) was formed
in 2009 under the auspices of the Berkshire Medical Reserve Corps
as a result of a heightened awareness and growing concern for the
vulnerability of animals in disaster situations, and the impact a lack
of animal emergency planning has had on people and communities.
The Mission of Berkshire DART is to One of the ironic things is that we
assist with evacuation and care of ani- train to be ready for that which we hope
mals displaced by natural and man- does not happen says Director,
made disasters. This is done by Corinne McKeown. To help the com-
operating a pet shelter concurrent with munity and keep volunteers active on
shelters for people during disasters. an ongoing basis, Berkshire DART
Berkshire DART also promotes educa- conducts outreach and education at
tion, safety and disaster planning assis- community events and animal related
tance to animal owners, city or town
government leaders, emergency re-
initiatives. DART collaborates with
other Berkshire County animal advo- One of the ironic
sponders and other interested parties. cacy groups, and conducts an annual things is that we
Highlights of DARTs accomplishments pet food drive to benefit our fellow
train to be ready for
that which we hope
include the procurement of a stocked animal-loving groups, such as the
emergency cargo trailer, funded by the Berkshire Humane Society and Animal
Western Region Homeland Security
Advisory Council (WRHSAC), which
Dreams and many worthy others.
Berkshire DART is actively seeking
does not happen
enables volunteers to set up and operate volunteers to assist in many different
an emergency animal shelter during capacities - with preparedness educa-
disasters. DART has received dona- tion to pet owners, raising funds for
tions of a microchip scanner and a de- equipment or a second emergency
contamination kit for animals, and response trailer, and to staff emergency
continues to stock our trailer to ensure co-shelters in the event shelters must be
that the needs of animals will be met opened. If you think youd like to help
most fully in times of community crisis. animals and their people during a
Berkshire DART held a Large Animal disaster wed like to hear from you
Response Group, with a focus on now! Please visit www.WMDART.org The Berkshire Disaster Animal
Equines and help a Large Animal Res- for more information about joining or
cue Training for First Responders this supporting Berkshire DART and for Response Team
past summer. tips on keeping your pets safe during
Since its inception, DART volunteers disasters. You can also find DART on
have tirelessly responded to disasters Facebook. NEEDS
throughout Western MA such as the
Springfield and Monson Area Tornados VOLUNTEERS
and Hurricane Irene. We can no
longer say that disasters only happen with all backgrounds for
someplace else anymore says Dave
Melle, long time Volunteer with Berk-
shire DART. This is why we are al-
a variety of jobs.
ways looking for volunteers. One of
the awesome benefits of membership is Go to
the training DART offers, most of
which is cost-free. We know that ani-
mal lovers will want to help in times of
need and its important that they are
trained before the emergency strikes
so that they can actually help instead of
adding the chaos.

Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com 9

For Some Dogs, T
I ask myself why I do what
are dogs that are left in high
responsibility to properly ca
I have had the good fortu
that were always filled and m
was back then I became add
advocate for animal rights.
With the grace of God, I c
boro NC. Along with her, I h
get a kick butt rescue team.
Most recently, I could sa
salesman wandering throu
and put in the shelter where
these dogs.
With the help of voluntee
Anita Fung, provided the nee
ing that time, Peggy reached
up for them with little trepid
Between Peggy and I we
to me. Peggy coordinated th
to assist on the flight path w
in contact with the transport
Team one was Pam and S
a large non- profit organizati
cial expert. They had recentl
after him, they started Pilot D
and Pam is the coordinator a
The second pilot to fly th
water prior to being loaded i
Bob is an Electrical Engi
lots up and down the east co
the need to give back for tha
and was drawn to that cause
A Special Thank You to waste of a valuable resource
Trevor Gilman of Teamfly, Once the dogs landed here
North Adams for all you do! their exit exam and brought
Flying dogs is not cheap.
The only pay these pilots
the pilots and the rescuers k
transportation can take up to
For my team and I, there
entering shelters yearly and 3
to ask yourself: How can I h
Cause and if that does not br
a few days.
Special thanks to my frie
me and encourages me to ne

Kathy Mikaniewicz Hynes, RN

as work partners . She is the ow
is pending 501c3 status and aff

10 Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com

The Skys the Limit Flying dogs is not cheap. It costs approximately
200 dollars for every 100 miles.
These pilots do not get paid for this.

This is all volunteer.

I do and then I ask why are so many others doing what I do? I am referring to rescuing destitute canines. These
kill shelters for no other reason other than they were born because some humans had lacked the compassion and
are for them.
une or maybe misfortune to have lived for over a dozen years in a geographic area that had numerous kill shelters
many times over capacity. In that, I have met some amazing and caring rescue organizations and individuals. It
dicted to helping these animals that had no voice by becoming a volunteer and foster mom. In addition, a strong

could connect with one of the most stellar rescue individuals. That person is Peggy Harrell, SPCA Director in Tar-
have met through her and through my career as a flight nurse some awesome pilots. Combine that mix and you

ave 2 very destitute canines. They became known as Benjamin and Kasey. Benjamin was a travelling gregarious
ugh the fields and woods of Edgecombe County NC into private properties. Then there is Kasey. Kasey was found
she cowered, shivered and refused to eat. Peggy was contacted by the Animal Control folks to assist in helping

ers, like Robin, these 2 dogs were sprung from jail and sent to Tarboro Animal Clinic where her veterinarian, Dr.
eded medical care, spaying and neutering. They then went to foster homes for socialization and some training. Dur-
d out to me and other foster/rescue folks to assist in taking them to assist in finding their forever homes. I stepped
e contacted our flight team and they sprang into action. They coordinated the day and time to get the dogs flown
he trip to the vet for their health certs and ground transportation to the airport to meet their first pilot. Volunteers
were also contacted in case of weather or aircraft problems. During the travel phase, the receiving party, remained
Steve Rhodes. They are the founders of Pilot Dog Foundation. Pam was an Executive Director of Why and How,
ion. Steve is a medical professional, author, founder, and chair of a large non-profit as well as a consumer finan-
ly lost their precious Dude and knew they had to do something in his memory. Not only did they name their plane
Dog. Since 2015, they have flown 1-2 rescue missions along the east coast every week. Steve is the licensed pilot
and dog flight attendant.
his duo was Bob Villa. Bob met them in Delaware. Here the dogs got a brief walk to do their duty and get some
into his plane. Bob too has some very personal reasons why he does what he does.
ineer and has owned a successful business for over 30 years. He travels in his private plane which he himself pi-
oast weekly. He relayed he has been blessed with financial means and skills to own and operate aircraft and felt
at good fortune. He further stated he did not realize how many animals are abandoned and euthanized in shelters
e. He started flying rescue missions 5 years ago and was hooked after his first one. He continued to say it is a
e to not combine business with rescue.
e at the Pittsfield Airport, they were driven to meet their 48-hour isolation. At the end of 48 hours, they were given
t to their foster home while waiting for their forever home. Further medical care is provided during this time if

It costs approximately 200 dollars for every 100 miles. These pilots do not get paid for this. This is all volunteer.
get is the warmth they feel in their hearts knowing they saved a life that may not have been saved. In addition,
know it is far less stressful to fly the dogs long distance as the time from NC to MA is less than 6 hours. Ground
o 15 hours and there is the risk of the dog getting loose when being exercised or changing into different vehicles.
e is not enough space to tell you all the reasons why we do what we do. We know there are 6 to 8 million animals
3-4 million are killed. Yes, KILLED!! Euthanized is a term used to end a life due to suffering. So, I challenge you
help those who enter a shelter? I urge you to view the following on YouTube: CHOOSE ME by Musicians for a
ring a tear to your eye, then spend a day at a high kill shelter and see the fate of so many that are residing there for

ends and family who understand my drive to do what I do especially Bob, my extraordinary guy who understands
ever quit. And all the pilots and ground crews that have helped me over the years.

Happy Tails Until Next Month!

N BSN is a veteran AirForce Flight Nurse and has done research on the Human-Animal Bond as well as used her rescue dogs
wner/operator of Got Spots: an organization to promote optimal wellness through the human-animal bond. The organization
filiated with SPCA Tarboro NC 501c3 (active). She is presently employed as a Nurse Manager at Berkshire Farm Center.

Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com 11

No Compassion
is Too Small
When people visit the Berkshire Humane Society (BHS), they are usually look- Come to the shelter
ing for a dog or cat, but the shelter provides care for small animals also looking first. See what we
for forever homes. Currently, BHS is caring for 16 guinea pigs 5 of which were have.
born a couple weeks ago along with a rabbit. Everything from birds and fish to
chinchillas and rats have found shelter and care at BHS while they wait for their
new families to discover them. Interested in adopting?
The recent influx of guinea pigs (which shelter staff often refer to simply as Learn more about our available
pigs) are mainly surrendered by families who are experiencing a change in guinea pigs and all small animals online.
lifestyle. Most small animals are surrendered when their owners often children Drop by the shelter and meet them in person! Staff will introduce you and answer
who have grown bored or who are going off to college no longer wish to care questions. BerkshireHumane.org/Adopt/Critters/
for them. Other ways to help:
People sometimes release [small animals] outside, thinking that they will know Berkshire Humane Society is always in need of new rabbit and small animal
how to fend for themselves, or can handle being in the wild, which is definitely cages, apple tree branches, small animal toys, and fresh fruits and veggies. If
not the case at all, said Lindsay Hermanksi, Animal Care Specialist at BHS. youd like to make a donation, please call and speak to Lindsay Hermanski at
People dont always know that BHS will take them in. Of course its better for (413) 447-7878.
all animals to remain in their home for the duration of their life. SO MUCH JOY
Whether a dog, cat, or small mammal, the adoption process at BHS is thorough. By Lindsay Hermanski
The shelters goal is to assist people in finding the best match for their expecta-
tions and lifestyle, ensuring an adoption that will stick. (BHS always accepts its My first pet was a small animal. I adopted Spider Pig, a
animals back if an adoption doesnt work out.) Adoption counselors focus on ed- 6-month-old guinea pig. He too was a surrender due to col-
ucation, which Lindsay feels is key. lege kids getting him and not wanting to keep him after
Guinea pigs need a lot of care, just like a dog or a cat. Daily feeding, cleaning, school was out. I'd never had a "real" pet growing up. Spid
exercise, and annual trips to the vet are necessary. Rabbits and guinea pigs dont was my first pet and my first true love at the age of 19.
need vaccines, but they should still be examined each year. Ferrets, on the other Even though I was older, he taught me so much about taking care
hand, have to be vaccinated annually. Also, people dont always realize that guinea of an animal and how much responsibility it truly is.
pigs can live for 8 to 10 years. Taking one into your home is a commitment, and That's what I want to teach families when they come in
it shouldnt be taken lightly. looking for small animals to join their household - or to at
Social by nature, guinea pigs like to be in pairs unless they have spent their en- least have the chance to open their eyes to how amazing little
tire adult life alone. They should be separated by sex or, when requested, males creatures are. I want to show them how smart they are and how lov-
can be neutered. These animals produce quickly and have large litters, leading to ing they can be. There is so much joy having that responsibility and taking care
over population. Guinea pigs sexually mature as early as four weeks. Unwanted of another life, and when you're young, growing up with that animal.
litters can easily be avoided with responsible planning. I'm just very passionate about these small animals, and I was very excited when
BHS evaluates the health of each and every critter brought to the shelter. Rab- I was promoted to overseeing the small animal room at BHS. These little guys
bits are spayed or neutered and microchipped. Fixing pets is extremely impor- have taught me so much - they communicate with each other and with people,
tant, both for the health and wellbeing of the pet and to prevent breeding. and they each have personalities and likes and dislikes. It's so rewarding to share
Microchipping is the best way to be reunited with your pet if it becomes lost and this with people when they visit the shelter. And it's not just kids. I get a lot of fam-
is found. Shelters and animal control officers scan all animals. ilies - with and without children - wanting to adopt. There are many adults who
Spaying and neutering also gives rabbits a longer lifespan, said Lindsay. Its love small animals and want to add one to their little four-legged family!
responsible pet ownership, and this is a service that comes as part of your adop-
tion fee. If you bought a rabbit from a feed store or pet store, youd have to pay Guinea Pig Facts
a vet to perform the surgery. We always encourage people to adopt, dont shop. Guinea pigs can be very active animals. They prefer to play during the day, and
Through BHSs Buddy Program, two guinea pigs can be adopted together for rest at night. Daily exercise, socialization, and enrichment for your guinea pig is
only $40. Single pigs are $25. A wellness exam, starter food, and hay are all pro- key to his or her wellbeing.
vided, along with a lifetime of advice and support from shelter staff. They are actually very clean! Guinea pigs love to groom themselves. Help out
Guinea pigs are great pets, and they can go home with other animals too. I have by keeping their cage clean and providing fresh hay, bedding, and water, and
two dogs and they hang out with my pig all the time. I advise people to put them youll have a clean and happy pig.
in a social area of the house where they can see people. They thrive on super- The lifespan of a guinea pig can range from 4 to 7+ years. Many live longer
vised play and exercise every day just like any other pet. when they are well cared for.
Lindsay often brings the small animals to Albany for an appearance on Steve Ca- Guinea pigs are herbivores and eat mostly grass and hay. They love fresh veg-
porizzos Pet Connection, or she arranges to have them featured on the radio, gies!
which is another opportunity to educate people about the joys and responsibilities Their teeth continue to grow throughout their life, so its important to give them
of small pet ownership. food and toys they can chew on.
Its amazing how many people come into the shelter and say, I didnt know you Lindsays Favorite Fact: Baby guinea pigs are called pups, and they are born
had these animals. Its nice that we have outlets like the radio and Pet Connec- with their eyes open and their bodies completely covered in fur. Within hours of
tion, so maybe people wont go to the pet store to find a guinea pig or rabbit.
being born, they can run around and eat hay and food pellets.

12 Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com

In this Life
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14 Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com

this side of purradise
Mellow Milena
Iris Bass

Some cats take a while to warm up to you, some pick and choose when and how over and waited expectantly, and I was glad to deliver what she had signaled she
close to come, and some treat you like an old friend on sight. That last was the case wanted. (Note: Some cats wont even let you touch that area, so had Cathy not
when I was introduced to four-year-old tuxedo Milena on August 25 at Purradise. mentioned that Milena liked it, I likely would not have attempted it with a cat I
Staffer Cathy had already given me a heads up that Milena loved to snuggle, so had just met.) In a way, this final exchange took us full circle from her happy
into the shelters snug Nook we went for a little one-on-one. Milena did not dis- memory of kneading her mothers abdomen, through her holding onto my lap, to
appoint. As soon as I sat on the fleece-covered settee, she hopped up her finally offering her own tummy to my hand!
to investigate my lap and then stretched up for a kitty-lips- Whether Milena, so literally laid back, so luxuriously tactile, is
smacking kiss. as trusting and affectionate with everyone she meets is hard
But then she had some unique personal business to to determine from this single meeting, but be it with one
attend to, which Cathy had also told me about. human or within in a household of several people, she
Kneading a soft surface is a trait many cats have is sure to quickly bond with a special someone who
in common, hearkening back to when they will not only be around to share their greater home
pressed their mama cats tummy during nursing. space but who will encourage the close and personal
Milena took this a step further, enhancing her contact that this loving bundle of black and white
experience with her own special oral twist: al- fur clearly cravesbe it sitting together by day or
ready on old friend of the textured fleece throw in bed at nightfor hour upon hour of quiet mutual
on our settee, she seized an edge of the fabric appreciation.
with her mouth and, while not actually suckling
on it, held it up firmly between her teeth while her Lean on me: Milena and author. This series follows the special human-feline bond at
paws worked at the soft cloth below. 2017 Sheila Heflin. Purradise, the Berkshire Humane Society Cat Adoption
When she had satiated that need, she took some time off Center at 301 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230
to explore the room, then returned to my lap for more snug- (413-717-4244), berkshirehumane.org. Open Wed., Fri., & Sat. 10

gling. I should say to the side of my lap, as she seemed to prefer a.m.4 p.m.; Thurs. 10 a.m.6 p.m.; and Sun. noon4 p.m.
tucking herself against me than relinquishing all control. That said, though, re-
laxed and purring, she might have stayed there for hours had I not been there for Iris Bass, coauthor of the Cat Lovers Daily Companion, shares her Lee home
just a visit. Even when she caught sight of birds at the feeder outside the window, with five shelter cats.
she issued that chattering sound that cats often do when they see creatures in

Some cats take a while to warm up to you,

flight...but stayed put against my jeans, unwilling to give up my warmth and touch
just for a couple of out-of-reach creatures.
some pick and choose when and how close
She had yet another endearing trait up her white-paw-tipped sleeve, which she
showed off for me just as I rose to leave: Cathy had tipped me off that Milena likes
to lie on her back to solicit a tummy rub, but it took my kneeling down to face her to come, and some treat you like an

at eye level (she remained on the settee) for it to click into action: Milena rolled
old friend on sight


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Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com 15

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Emma is a 4 year old sassy Chihuahua who may be
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am a house trained girl. I am looking for an adult house-
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stretch, sniff and explore in the fenced play yard. I will be
forever grateful if you adopt me!

Animal Life r September 2017 animallifeonline.com 17

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D Berkshire Disaster Animal Response Team
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Animal Life September 2017 animallifeonline.com 19

Quality Foods, Equipment and Supplies
Convenient Location with Ample Parking

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.

- Immanuel Kant -

A Naval Helicopter Crewman rescues two dogs after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey
reached the grounds of their shelter at an elementary school in Vidor, Texas.