Pet Fire Safety Day

by Iesha Harris

In 2009, the American Kennel Club & ADT Security Services declared July 15 Pet Fire Safety Day. This day was dedicated to reduce the 500,000 pets that are affected by home fires each year, and the national awareness day is intended to educate pet owners about potential risks when pets are left home alone. Keep the following tips in mind to keep your pets safe from fire:

• Don’t leave your pet with open flames: Check cooking appliances, candles, and your fireplace to make sure there are no open flames when you leave your pet.
• Pet proof your home: Look for areas where pets could possibly start a fire such as loose wires, stove knobs, and other potential hazards. Use baby gates to keep pets away from those areas when you’re away, or purchase pet- or baby-proofing items to prevent hazards from being accidentally activated by a pet.
• Have your pets’ “spot” when you’re gone near an entrance if possible: If a fire starts, pets near entrances will be easily seen and saved by firefighters.
• Practice escape routes: Keep leashes and collars near entrances so you can reach them or firefighters can when evacuating.
• Put up a window cling or sticker so firefighters will know how many pets are in the home. We offer them at HSMSC for free—stop by the front desk today to pick yours up!

Now that you have some helpful tips about keeping your pets safe during an emergency, share these tips with family members, co-workers, and friends who are pet owners too. Keep your beloved family members safe!

July 14, 2014


Temperatures dropped below freezing last night in Memphis. It's time for some reminders on keeping your pets safe and healthy in the cold weather.

First and foremost, we recommend that your companion animals be kept inside. Dogs are social animals and want to live WITH their families, not outside of a dwelling that their family is in. And although cats can be solitary animals, they will never be as safe outdoors as they are indoors. According to the ASPCA, indoor cats live longer, healthier lives than outdoor cats. So ideally, your pet already lives inside, and all you need to do is monitor their time outdoors to make sure they're not in cold temperatures too long.

If your pets live outside, can you bring them into a covered porch or garage when temperatures are below freezing? If not, you must make sure that your pet has a shelter. The legal definition of a shelter is a roof and walls. A doghouse or a small cat shelter will help keep your pet covered from the cold wind. Be sure to keep dry blankets or towels in it or straw.

Tolerance for cold varies by the individual animal. Big, fluffy dogs at a healthy weight are normally able to handle colder temperatures than cats, small dogs, or dogs that are underweight or with little fur.



November 12, 2013

October by the Numbers

Dogs: 55
Cats: 67

Dogs: 56
Cats: 29

Cruelty Investigations:
Cruelty investigations: 57
Ambulance calls: 10
Incidents addressed: 130
Cruelty cases in active prosecution: 9
1 case closed - Guilty plea, 21 days in prison, court order entered

November 6, 2013

September by the Numbers

Dogs: 34
Cats: 39

Dogs: 56
Cats: 46

Cruelty Investigations:
Cruelty investigations: 69
Ambulance calls: 12
Cases addressed: 127
Cruelty cases in active prosecution: 9
1 arrest
1 case closed - Guilty plea, court order entered, $150 fine

October 9, 2013

August by the Numbers

Dogs: 60
Cats: 38

Dogs: 49
Cats: 83

Cruelty Investigations:
Cruelty investigations: 81
Ambulance calls: 7
Cases addressed: 159
Cruelty cases in active prosecution: 9
1 arrest
1 case closed - Court order entered
4 cases heard in court

September 10, 2013

July by the Numbers:

Dogs: 73
Cats: 70

Dogs: 70
Cats: 73

Cruelty Investigations:
Cruelty investigations: 93
Ambulance calls: 6
Cases addressed: 176
Cruelty cases in active prosecution: 9
1 felony arrest
2 emergency management trainings

August 8, 2013
Humane Greetings Available

You can help support our life-saving work while showing friends and family how much you care about them with Humane Greetings! Plus, you can take the hassle and stress out of getting your holiday cards sent out, and enjoy what the season is supposed to be all about-precious time with loved ones. For a donation of $10 per card, we will mail your holiday greetings for you using the card above. Simply email Peggy Foster at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .to participate.

November 6, 2013

June by the Numbers

• Dogs: 54
    o (6 owner returns)
• Cats: 63

• Dogs: 73
• Cats: 87

Cruelty Investigations
• Cruelty investigations: 75
• Ambulance calls: 5
• Cases addressed: 151
• Cruelty cases in active prosecution: 9
• Prosecution results:
   o 1 2-day jail sentence served
   o 1 15-day jail sentence served
   o 1 suspended sentence + probation
   o 1 probation
   o 2 ordered not to own dogs
   o 6 fined

July 16, 2013

Contagious (but Preventable) Diseases in Dogs

by Luke Ledford

As good and responsible pet parents, we must be aware of what diseases can affect our pets, as well as what we can do to keep our pets safe from them.

One extremely serious and contagious disease is Distemper. This upper respiratory disease can also affect the nervous system, and cause major damage to both and can cause major issues in both. This disease can be prevented through vaccination, but if left untreated could lead to death. Symptoms include green nasal discharge and green eye discharge, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures, so there is no time to waste when dealing with Distemper. These symptoms call for immediate veterinary treatment.

One of the most common canine ailments out there is known as Parvo. This potentially deadly sickness, also known as Parvovirus, affects the bowels of your dog and can cause troubles such as diarrhea and vomiting. It is normally transferred to other dogs through contaminated feces, but can also be transferred by on the animal’s paws or fur. This disease is easily preventable by getting your dog vaccinated, but if your dog is not vaccinated and you notice these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary treatment. Parvo is fatal without treatment.

Lastly, but certainly not least, is the very well known… Rabies. Most everyone knows about it or what it is, and in today’s world, most pets are vaccinated against it. Unfortunately, this is one of the few diseases from your beloved pup that can be given to humans as well as dogs. All it takes is a bite from a rabid animal, such as a dog, fox, raccoon, or even a rat, and the rabies virus can be put into your system. Vaccination against rabies is mandatory for all dogs throughout North America.

Each one of these diseases is preventable through vaccination. Always remember to keep your pet and yourself up to date with the necessary vaccinations and immunizations, and most importantly, stay happy and healthy. Any time you adopt a pet from HSMSC, rest assured knowing that he or she is up to date on all vaccinations, but it’s up to you to keep it up with proper veterinary care and continued age-appropriate vaccinations.

August 1, 2013

Just Keep the Kibble

by Luke Ledford

As we all know, it can be extremely difficult to not feed our cute loved ones from the table or kitchen counter when they are begging and oh-so-innocent. But precautions as to what you feed your pet, aside from their given diet of dog or cat food, need to be taken.

The first thing most people think of as a pet no-no is chocolate. We’ve all heard the horror stories of careless owners feeding their pets a piece of chocolate and then of course bad things to follow, but what is it exactly that chocolate does to our pets? Chemicals called methylxanthines which are found in items such as coffee and chocolate are potentially deadly to our furry loved ones. The darker the chocolate, the more hazardous the effect will be. The bottom line is: Keep that chocolate heart from Valentine’s Day to yourself.

Unfortunately, many people think that all fruits and vegetables are okay to feed to their little snuggle bunches, and this is not the case. Items such as avocados, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, and chives are out of the question and off the menu for our pets. Persin, a natural chemical found in avocados, can be very threatening to your pet. Vomiting, diarrhea, and even death can result for your dog, cat, or even rat, consuming this poison found naturally in the green super fruit. As for grapes and raisins, the exact cause of issues from these yummy snacks is unknown. What veterinarians have come to realize though, is that consumption of them by your animals can cause kidney failure and lead to death.

Many scraps from the table or even some dog or cat treats can contain any of these potentially damaging ingredients: Onions, garlic, and chives. These vegetables may taste wonderful in your mothers lasagna, but put the leftovers in the fridge and not in the bowl on the floor. Gastrointestinal issues that can lead to death could occur if these ingredients are fed to your pet in large enough quantities

But it’s not ALL doom and gloom when it comes to “people” food…there are plenty of whole foods you can safely feed your pet. Always ask your vet before making any change in your pet’s diet, but in general, foods such as plain yogurt, ground flaxseed, oatmeal (dogs only), green beans, salmon, and even pumpkin can be very healthy for your furry friend. The active cultures in yogurt can have the same benefits for animals as they do humans, and the calcium is valued as well. Omega-3 fatty acids are also very healthy for your pet and are found in both salmon and flax seeds. Green beans are great snacks for dogs who need to lose or maintain their weight, and are a great source of fiber and vitamins K and C. Pumpkins are also a good source of fiber as well as beta carotene.

If you have any further questions about making sure your animal is eating a healthy diet and being fed properly, consult your trusted veterinarian, or maybe even do some research of your own. As always, care for your animal with proper knowledge and love, especially when it comes to meal time.

July 3, 2013


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Protect your pet. ShelterCare Pet Insurance Programs

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Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County · 935 Farm Road · Memphis TN, 38134 · 901.937.3900
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