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Kits & Pits

  • This dog enjoying one of Chicago Animal Care and Control's new, fenced Puppy Playgrounds seems to agree: Play groups are better than kennel time, by leaps and bounds! Jeff Jenkins

Helping Cats Breathe Easier

Shelter cats commonly break with upper respiratory infections. Some shelters are now fighting the problem with nebulization therapy.

A nebulizer is a device that aerosolizes liquids to moisten and break up mucous and inflammatory cells clogging nasal passages and sinuses, allowing a cat’s own immune cells to attack pathogens. “When it’s being effective, you’ll start seeing some pretty productive cats, coughing up mucous and crusts and things that you hadn’t seen before,” notes veterinarian Michael Greenberg, a Maddie’s Shelter Medicine program fellow at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

(Follow the link below to read the full article.)

Play Time for Pitties

One of the biggest challenges shelters face is providing sufficient exercise for dogs. Leash walks, training, and yard time can be great, but well-designed play groups can be a wonderful addition. They offer the chance for multiple dogs to exercise and gain valuable social skills at the same time. Play groups can exhaust several dogs at once, which is more efficient and frees up staff for other tasks. Observing dogs at play can also provide valuable information that will aid in the adoption process.

Your behavior department staff should be involved in designing play groups. The better group supervisors understand body language and appropriate play, the more successful the groups will be. Supervising staff should discuss the dogs, their personalities, and how to best manage the yard/room. It should be clear who is in charge of the entrance where dogs will come and go, and one person should be in charge of deciding when a dog needs to be removed.

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