Tag Archives: dog


Chaining/tethering – not the right solution

Neck damaged by long-term chaining

Neck damaged by long-term chaining

This is one clear reason why a dog should not be chained for long periods of time (more than an hour is too much); fencing, kenneling, or keeping the dog inside are all better solutions than chaining/tethering.

It isn’t difficult to housetrain a dog so they can stay safely inside, or to crate train a dog… a moderately sized fenced portion of the yard or a humanely sized chain link dog kennel isn’t too much to ask if the dog needs to stay outside.

If all else fails, closing off a mud room or bathroom for the dog’s comfort when home alone can be a simple solution. Anyone who just can’t take the time to do one of those things really doesn’t need a dog. Doesn’t your dog deserve better than this?

This beautiful girl will be going up for adoption soon; chainers need not apply.



Bringing Home Your New Dog

Yay, a new toy!

Yay, a new toy!

One key to making successful shelter dog placements is managing the expectations of their new people. Here is some information, gleaned from various websites and the personal experiences of our adopters and volunteers, which we like to share with each dog adopter before the day they bring their new family member home. Have other ideas to help make the transition easier? Send us a comment below! You can never have too much good advice.

Welcome home!

Finding the dog of your dreams may have been easy, but fitting a new canine friend into your household usually requires a little patience and time.

To make your dog’s transition as comfortable as possible, we recommend keeping your new dog on a leash or at your side at first.  Show him where his water and food dish are kept.  Show him where he is to sleep.  When he is indoors be sure to keep him confined or with you, taking him outdoors at frequent intervals to relieve himself.   Take him to the same spot each time and praise him heartily when he goes.   Until he learns this new routine he will have to be watched closely.  If there is an accident in the house please do not assume he is not housebroken.  He must get accustomed to his new home and his new routines.  However, if you catch him in the act of eliminating in the house, loudly say “NO!” and take him outside immediately.  NEVER hit your dog if an accident occurs.   Praise, not punishment, is the key to a well behaved pet.

The first couple of weeks you and your pet are “getting to know one another”; he doesn’t know why he has come to your home, nor what is expected of him.   Please be patient with him and anticipate problems before they occur.  Don’t leave tempting shoes, clothing, or children’s toys within reach of your dog.

When he’s first settling in, your dog may experience shyness, anxiety, restlessness, excitement, crying or barking.  He may exhibit excessive water drinking, frequent urination, or diarrhea.  His appetite may not be good.  It is best to continue feeding the food your dog is used to from the shelter, and to slowly mix that food in with the food you and your veterinarian have chosen for your dog’s new regular diet.  Until your dog is settled, try to give bits of his regular kibble as treats, rather than introducing new forms of treats that may upset your dog’s digestive system; new treats may be added slowly after the dog has settled into his new routine in your home.  If your dog exhibits any medical symptoms that last more than a few days, take him to your veterinarian for evaluation.

Your new dog must learn a whole set of new rules.  Be patient and be consistent. If you want him off the furniture, don’t allow him to sit on the couch “sometimes”.  Don’t allow him to do something one time and forbid it another.  There are numerous resources for training tips and methods, online and at your library. If you have access to obedience classes, they can be a great way to bond with your new dog and teach him what you want him to do – dogs just want to please you!




Meeting the Big Dog

Meeting the Big Dog




Introduce the dogs in a neutral location so that your resident dog is less likely to view the newcomer as a territorial intruder. Each dog should be handled by a separate person. With both dogs on a leash, take them to an area with which neither is familiar, such as a park or a neighbor’s yard.  From the first meeting, you want both dogs to expect “good things” to happen when they’re in each other’s presence. Let them sniff each other, which is normal canine greeting behavior. As they do, talk to them in a happy, friendly tone of voice – never use a threatening tone of voice. Don’t allow them to investigate and sniff each other for a prolonged time, as this may escalate to an aggressive response. After a short time, get both dogs’ attention, and give each dog a treat in return for obeying a simple command, such as “sit” or “stay.” Take the dogs for a walk and let them sniff and investigate each other at intervals. Continue with the “happy talk,” food rewards and simple commands.  Watch carefully for body postures that indicate an aggressive response, including hair standing up on the other dog’s back, teeth-baring, deep growls, a stiff legged gait or a prolonged stare. If you see such postures, interrupt the interaction immediately by calmly and positively getting each dog interested in something else.

Puppies usually pester adult dogs unmercifully. Before the age of four months, puppies may not recognize subtle body postures from adult dogs signaling that they’ve had enough. Well-socialized adult dogs with good temperaments may set limits with puppies with a growl or snarl. These behaviors are normal and should be allowed. Adult dogs that aren’t well-socialized, or that have a history of fighting with other dogs, may attempt to set limits with more aggressive behaviors, such as biting, which could harm the puppy. For this reason, a puppy shouldn’t be left alone with an adult dog until you’re confident the puppy isn’t in any danger. Be sure to give the adult dog some quiet time away from the puppy, and perhaps, some individual attention as described above. (Humane Society of the United States, 2009)




Fast Friends

Fast Friends



Be sure the dog is restrained on a firmly held short leash and the cat is free to escape; do not allow the cat to come within the dog’s biting range.  If your dog guards its food, the cat may risk injury if it approaches the dog’s food, and it may be necessary to move the dog’s food or confine the cat.  If the dog acts aggressively toward the cat, use corrective behavior techniques with the dog.  Dogs can usually be trained to ignore, or even play with, cats. When you leave the house, separate the animals in physically, securely separated areas. Give each access to water, a bed or other suitable resting place, and some toys. Be sure the cat has access to a litter box. For the cat’s safety, make sure the cat has escape routes to get away from the dog. For example, a cat door leading to another room in the house and ledges on which he can easily jump. Always provide places where each animal can retreat for safety and privacy, a spot that is his or hers alone. A cat can use the top of the refrigerator; a dog can use a crate. (Fry, 2005)


Consistency is the key. One well-received training method involves three different types of confinement.

1. When you will be at home, keep the puppy on a leash at your side at all times. Take him outside each hour, to your chosen “bathroom” area, and stay there for 5-10 minutes. If your pup goes, praise him enthusiastically and reward him with a treat. If he doesn’t go, just bring him back inside and keep him on the leash next to you; repeat the process in another hour.

2. When you will be away for short periods (1-2 hours for very young pups, 3-6 hours for older pups), confine the pup to his comfy crate with his favorite cuddly toy and a treat; make the crate a fun place for him, but make sure it isn’t large enough for him to choose one corner as his bathroom! He needs just enough room to stand up, turn around, lie down, and have small food & water dishes available. He will try VERY VERY HARD to not soil his crate if it is his “bedroom” and “kitchen” and doesn’t have room to be the “bathroom” too.  Be sure to let the pup outside immediately when you return, and praise him and reward him when he goes (particularly if he tries to make it all the way to the designated spot in the yard).

3. When you must be away for a longer period, it is unrealistic to expect a young pup to “hold it” for 5, 8, or 10 hours.  Instead, you must find a place where the pup can be confined to a cleanable area; many people use exercise pens on a bathroom, laundry room, kitchen or garage floor. Inside the pen, place newspapers across most of the floor space; put the puppy’s crate inside the pen, propped open, with a comfort toy and a treat, and put food and water dishes close to the crate; you have now created the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom areas for the pup.  As your pup gets better at this, gradually reduce the amount of floor that is covered in newspaper… your pup will eventually become so good at going only on the paper, that you can leave just one width of newspaper down and the pup will go there every time. (NOTE: adult dogs trained in this method can reliably be expected to seek out any newspaper they can find if they are left at home alone for a little too long; this can save your slippers in the long run).

If this method doesn’t work for you, there are many websites and books dedicated to different training methods – keep trying until you find one that works for you AND your new companion! Here’s a great web article: http://www.wikihow.com/Communicate-With-Your-Dog


Enjoy your new friend – here’s hoping you have many happy years to enjoy each other!


  • Animal Match Rescue Team, Initials. (2011, May 15). Tips on adopting a dog. Retrieved from http://www.amrt.net/adoptdog.html
  • Fry, J. (2005, September 25). Bringing a dog into a cat’s home. Retrieved from http://en.allexperts.com/q/Ask-Veterinarian-700/Bringing-dog-cat-home.htm
  • Humane Society of the United States, The. (2009, November 3). Introducing a dog to other pets. Retrieved from http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/introducing_new_dog.html

Image credits:
Fast Friends: Copyright © 2005 Sean Gillen, available under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported.

The Big Black Dog Dilemma, featuring Teague

People are often amazed to learn that there are many factors that can hinder even the friendliest dog’s chance of adoption.

Meet Teague, who has been waiting for a new forever home for two months. Teague is a perfect dog to illustrate many of the “less-desirable” qualities that keep him waiting while he sees newer arrivals joyously celebrating their adoptions all around him.


Teague (photo by local photographer Lance Young)

OK, now that you’ve seen Teague, see how many attributes you can think of that are keeping him languishing in the shelter day after day. Go ahead, scribble a list.

Some you can see; some you can’t. Make some wild guesses!

Done? OK, here is a breakdown of Teague’s particular problems:

1. AGE – Teague came in as a stray, so there is no way for us to know exactly how old he is. Based on his grey muzzle and his teeth, we are assuming he is at least 6 years old; he may be as old as 10, 12, ?? He still has the inner joy and playfulness of a puppy, but even the most die-hard dog lover is hesitant to adopt an older dog. Most pet lovers have felt the pain of losing a furry best friend in the past… it takes a very special person (one with a stronger tolerance for pain than I have) to be willing to open their heart up to a pet that is already as much as halfway through its lifespan.

2. SIZE – Teague is a bit over 60 pounds, which counts as a “large” dog. The most requested size for an adoptable dog is under 20 pounds – that is because many housing associations, condominiums, and apartments have firm size restrictions. The next most popular size is generally up to 40-50 pounds; people like knowing that they could pick their pet up if they had to.  Then there is a HUGE jump (no pun intended) to people looking for 100-pound-plus dogs; the Mastiffs, Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds of the world have some really dedicated fans! That leaves Teague in the least popular weight category, 60-100 pounds.

3. COLOR – Black. Black, black, black. Yes, black is beautiful, but it is also the last color pup chosen from a litter… the last adult dog to be oooohed and aaaaaahed over in the shelter kennels. Some people think black dogs look “mean” – others just think they aren’t as pretty as the more “colorful” varieties. Because black is a dominant color gene, black dogs are also the most common color (particularly in “mutts”), so there are just plain too many of them looking for homes. They are also cursed with a general lack of photogenic charm (though our latest volunteer photographer, Lance Young, has found the art of capturing black dogs on camera).

4. BREED MIX – Notice that dusky purplish tongue? Purple tongues usually indicate that a dog like Teague has some Chow in his mix. Chows often suffer from breed-banning-overkill, along with several other “dangerous” dog breeds including Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Pit Bulls. Think that covers the banned breeds? Not even close. Some municipalities, homeowners insurance, and housing authorities routinely ban perennial favorites like Australian Shepherds, Airedale Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, and more. See more of the breeds that have been singled out in legislation around the US on the URDOG site. Of course, a dog’s breed doesn’t make a dog dangerous. Bad breeding and bad treatment make a dog dangerous.

5. GENDER – More adopters express a preference for female dogs, often because they are afraid a male dog will mark, or wander, or be more aggressive than a female dog. Often, when an adopter who originally wanted a female ends up falling in love with a male, they tell me how surprised they are at their new male buddy’s affectionate, easy-going nature.

6. INCOMPATIBLE WITH SOME OTHER PETS – In Teague’s case, he is cat aggressive and cannot be placed in a home with cats. (The flip-side is, he would be a fantastic rat-catcher-dog!) Teague should get along well with most other dogs, but a majority of potential adopters looking to add to their family either already have cats, plan to get a cat, or have neighbors whose cats sometimes wander across the property.

So, there you have a picture of one of the friendliest, most loving, easy-keeper dogs I’ve seen this year… and still he waits for someone to choose him.

What can we do to help Teague find his new family? The most important thing is to pass the word around, that this beautiful, affectionate, playful dog needs a home where he can be loved for the rest of his time, whether that is 1 year or 10 years.

Watch his videos on his listing page on our website to see his playful nature. Share his information with everyone you can think of who might be willing to offer Teague a place to enjoy life. Together, we can make a happy ending for Teague.

Teague is growing depressed in the shelter, and would enjoy a cat-free foster home in the Republic area, preferably with a fenced yard, while he waits for his forever-home.

Underweight Pets

Underweight dog

Underfed Oatmeal at her January 15, 2011, arrival at the shelter.

If your pet looks like this, make sure that you’re feeding them enough; check the package on their food and make sure that you’re meeting or exceeding the feeding recommendations. If you are, check with your veterinarian: weight loss can be caused by parasites, thyroid disorders, diabetes, and other serious but treatable conditions.

Normal-weight dog

Oatmeal on January 23, 2011, after gaining weight from proper feeding at the shelter.

Since her arrival at the shelter, Oatmeal has filled out nicely and has been adopted!

Volunteer to help dogs

Forget Me Not Animal Shelter now has both cat buildings and dog buildings open and accepting adoptable pets – YAY!

Unfortunately, the only way we can continue accepting dogs into the adoption program is if more people sign up to volunteer as dog caregivers. We are losing two of our primary dog caregivers, and will no longer have enough volunteers to provide the necessary daily care for us to safely and humanely house dogs. Please do not make the mistake of thinking “someone else will do it” – so far, Someone Else has not stepped up, leaving us in danger of closing just when we finally got going. We need your help!

There are 14 caregiver shifts per week: 7 morning shifts, generally starting around 8:30 (although a bit earlier or later is OK), and 7 evening shifts, generally starting 5:30-6:30.

Depending on the type and number of dogs in the shelter, each shift generally lasts from 1 to 2 hours.

Dog caregiver duties include:

  • removing dog from kennel & bringing outside, either to a tie-out or for a walk if time permits
  • cleaning kennel if soiled, straightening kennel if not soiled
  • filling food and water bowls
  • occasional medication and grooming needs

The types of dogs being cared for are usually quite varied; we’ve had everything from 5-pound hyper chihuahua mixes, to 10-year-old slowpoke senior bulldogs, to a 75-pound crazy, goofy, untrained lab mix. Dog caregivers must be comfortable working with a wide range of dogs, though we do NOT intake aggressive or dangerous dogs, so you would not be asked to care for an aggressive dog.

If you can spare 2 hours per week to help Ferry County’s homeless dogs, or if you’d just like to sign up to be an occasional fill-in dog caregiver, please let us know. Contact Kim at kim@forgetmenotshelter.org to make an appointment for shelter duty introduction and training, to see if you’d like to take on a shift.

To make it extra-fun, sign up with a buddy! It’s always easier if there are 2 people per shift. We can also pair you up with another volunteer as needed. You can sign up as either a shift supervisor, or as a shift assistant, depending on your preferences.

Shift supervisors are the primary dog caregivers, and need to be in fairly good physical condition (duties include working with all the dogs of all sizes, sometimes hauling 40-pound food bags, and some physical work scrubbing, rinsing, and drying soiled kennels). Shift assistants will work with shift supervisors, and can perform whatever duties they are physically capable of doing.

Can’t do a morning or evening shift? We could also use dog walkers on a drop-in basis in the afternoons; let us know if you’d like to sign up as a dog walker and we’ll arrange an orientation visit for you. Dog walkers may choose which dogs they prefer to walk; you do not need to walk all the dogs, just whichever dogs you are most comfortable with, and on whatever days and times work with your schedule.

Prefer cats to dogs? Let us know that, too, and we’ll get you connected to some cat volunteers.

If you are unable to help out in person, please pass the word along to as many of your friends, neighbors, and coworkers as possible. We need at least 8 new dog caregiver volunteers to sign up before the end of the year.

We’ve worked hard to reach the point where Ferry County now has an actual shelter for our homeless and unwanted pets; now we need your help to continue this work, and to make a difference in the lives of these dogs and cats. Thanks for caring about shelter pets!


Note: This blog was mistakenly blogged before the blog was to be blogged in our blog. If you read this blog before 5:30 PM PST on November 15, 2010, note that some information in this blog was changed at that time and reblogged.

You’ll sometimes hear people talking about pets – or themselves – contracting “ringworm.” With such an ominous-sounding name, it must be bad, right?

Here’s a little quiz. Don’t worry, it won’t count toward your final grade.
Which of these is ringworm most closely related to?
Common cold
B. Tapeworm
C. Mushroom
D. Earthworm

If you answered A, understand that ringworm isn’t a virus, and it can be treated in many ways, unlike the common cold, to which the only remedy is chicken-noodle soup.
If you answered B, you’re on the right track, but ringworm isn’t a parasite in the usual sense, and it isn’t deadly. And it isn’t a worm.
If you answered C, congratulations, you’ve won… nothing. Your answer was correct, though – ringworm is a fungus, just like the mushrooms you eat. But try not to eat ringworm, please.
If you answered D, ringworm isn’t actually a worm, and it would be difficult to catch fish with it.

So what is ringworm?

Tricophyton rubrum


Ringworm is a contagious skin disease caused by a fungal infection, generally from either the Tricophyton rubrum [right] or Tricophyton mentagrophytes fungi.

Usually, though, when you hear people talking about ringworm, they’re referring to the symptom of this disease, itchy, red “rings” on the skin, shown on the left on a human arm. This is where ringworm gets its name.

To avoid confusion, the remainder of this post will use the scientific terms tinea corporis for the skin disease and dermatophytosis for the symptom caused by the skin disease. When referring to the infection that causes the skin disease, ringworm infection will be used, ringworm fungus for the fungi that causes the infection, and ringworm for these four elements as a whole.

In other words, ringworm consists of a ringworm fungus causing a ringworm infection causing tinea corporis causing dermatophytosis.

Ringworm can be transferred in either direction between humans and pets, most commonly cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits, in that order.

You shouldn’t be afraid of ringworm. If you see dermatophytosis on your pet or yourself, don’t panic, and don’t rush to the nearest (pet) hospital. Tinea corporis just isn’t that big of a deal. It’s not going to make you sick – it’s more similar to athlete’s foot than anything, and even less severe in many cases.

So what should you do in the case of ringworm? If you see dermatophytosis on your pet, make sure to keep it away as best you can from other pets and humans. If you contract ringworm, try to avoid contact with others, wash your hands often, and refrain from touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Tinea corporis can be treated and ringworm fungi killed in four ways:

  • The normal best option, for pets and people, is applying over-the-counter creams to dermatophytosis-ridden areas of the skin. Look for creams to treat athlete’s foot; we recommend clotrimazole creams (brand names include Lotrimin and Mycelex).
  • For more serious cases, prescription oral treatments (pills) may be given; we recommend griseofulvin (brand names include Grisovin) or itraconazole (brand names include Sporanox). Talk to your veterinarian or physician.
  • For more serious cases in pets, a solution of lime sulfur (available at your local gardening store, we don’t know why) diluted (16:1 to 32:1) can be used as a pet dip. Make sure to dilute it; if you don’t, it will cause serious injuries and possibly dissolving of your pet.
  • For minor cases in pets, try washing them with specialized shampoos and sprays; we recommend EQyss Micro-Tek. Make sure to read the instructions on the bottle.

It is also often recommended to use a 10:1 diluted bleach solution on household surfaces to eliminate ringworm fungus spores.

Note also that ringworm will usually die down in varying amounts of time even if left untreated.

Ringworm outbreak at shelter infects eighteen adoptable pets

An October ringworm outbreak at the shelter has left eighteen of our twenty-one adoptable pets infected. Infected pets include:

  • Alameda
  • Adriano (adopted after infection)
  • Acosta
  • Aguafria
  • SilverBelle
  • ChiangMai
  • Siobhan
  • Wasabe
  • Lambert
  • Fantasia
  • Doolittle
  • Melinda
  • Six unnamed leMutte puppies

This leaves only Cupid (who is on “longtimers discount”), Surat (currently on “adoption pending”), and Zorro uninfected.

All of these pets (except, of course, Adriano, since he’s already with his new owner) entered treatment on Monday, November 1.

It is important to understand that ringworm is nothing to be afraid of. It is, in fact, even less serious of an infection than athlete’s foot or those mushrooms in your lawn. Stay tuned for a blog about ringworm and why it’s nothing to fear.

Donate a Kuranda Bed

Donate a Bed
Our dogs and cats love to sleep on Kuranda beds, but we don’t have enough for everyone. If you would like to donate a bed at a special wholesale price for a another dog or cat to sleep in comfort, please donate a Kuranda bed