Madison Magazine Holiday 2020 - Page 25

Pets , Pets , Pets

Despite the sadness , uncertainty and disruption to millions of people ’ s lives , the novel coronavirus COVID- 19 has provided some silver linings . One such positive side effect of people being asked to spend more time at home is the opportunity for individuals and families to open their abodes to needy animals . Pet adoptions have increased as people have found more personal time to devote to companion animals . The Pet Health Network says that people experiencing loneliness from being apart from others often turn to pets to help them feel better . Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Virginia brought in 149 animals from high-kill shelters in March 2020 and adopted 134 in a single week , matching the agency ’ s monthly average . Data on New York City animal shelters indicates that , as of early May 2020 , 43.5 percent of shelters were experiencing an increased demand for adoption since the COVID-19 outbreak .
As pet adoptions increase , new pet parents are urged to remember to take every precaution to keep their companions safe and secure . The summer months can be a prime time for pets to become lost . Increased thunderstorms as well as fireworks displays can frighten pets . Also , more time spent outdoors may make it easier for “ escape artists ” to find their way out of backyards or
The arrival of winter forces everyone to confront the changes synonymous with the season , and local wildlife is no exception . Low temperatures , harsh winter storms and a scarcity of food can make it challenging for wildlife ,

5 ways to prevent lost pets

How to care for wild birds this winter

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• ID and collar : Pets should wear collars with attached identification at all times . This should include an up-to-date contact number . ID tags can be made at pet supply stores or are available at the Animal Humane Society facilities .
• Microchip : Microchips are small devices that are implanted under the pet ’ s skin . About the size of a grain of rice , microchips emit a low radio frequency that can be read by a handheld scanner . Virtually all vet offices and animal shelters are equipped with scanners . Microchips are designed to last the pet ’ s lifetime , according to HomeAgain , a microchip company . Once the pet is registered , the chip will link to a record of owner information that can be updated easily online .
• Sterilization : AHS says studies show that pets that have been spayed or neutered are less likely to roam for mates and potentially get lost .
• Pet-proof : Homeowners may have to make adjustments to their yards and homes to ensure pets cannot escape . Some dogs and cats can climb over tall fences or dig underneath . Speak with your veterinarian about how to
including birds , to thrive throughout the winter .
Even though several species of birds are migratory and travel to warmer climates to wait out winter , many others stay put .
Another way of keeping warm is building up fat as an insulator and energy source . The Audubon Society says more than 10 percent of some birds ’ winter body weight may be fat . That can be challenging to maintain when common sources of food , such as insects and berries , disappear as winter wears on . This is when some human intervention can prove handy , advise ornithologists . A few simple efforts may benefit birds and other wildlife that may not hibernate winter away or escape to the tropics .
• Have a supply of food , bird feeders , houses , and any other bird-related gear at the ready before the storms really rev up .
• Invest in nutritious food , such as black oil sunflower seeds or blends that are high in black oil sunflower seeds . You also can make available more foods that are high in fat , such as suet , peanut butter or even whole peanuts . Mother Nature Network also suggests adding meal worms if they can be found .
• Choose feeders that will keep seed dry ; otherwise , it will be prone to bacterial and fungal growth .
• Don ’ t discard fallen leaves or any downed twigs or pruned boughs from trees . This will give birds material for creating shelter or hiding away when the weather gets especially brutal . When the
pet-proof your property .
• Leash pets : Prey instinct can be high and even the most well-behaved pets may act differently when away from home . A secure collar / harness and leash will help keep pets safe on walks .
New pet parents should familiarize themselves with the steps to help prevent lost pets .
Christmas tree is finished for the season , place it in the yard as a windbreak for birds .
• Put shallow water sources around so birds can drink . Replace them frequently if water freezes .

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April-May 2020 Madison Magazine25