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ASPCA

An estimated 70 percent of Subaru Owners Have Pets; More than Any Other Auto Manufacturer

Pittsfield, MA (November 29, 2013) — Berkshire Humane Society (BHS) will join the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Subaru of America for the annual year-end Subaru “Share the Love” event and celebration, which kicks off November 21, 2013 and runs through January 2, 2014. As part of this national effort, BHS and Haddad Subaru have teamed up to create “100 Cats for Christmas,” a low-cost spaying and neutering event for cats in Berkshire County on Wednesday, December 18.

For every new Subaru purchased or leased during the “Share the Love” event, Subaru donates $250 to the owner’s choice of participating charities, one of which is ASPCA.  A majority of the ASPCA’s “Share the Love” donation is targeted for distribution as grants to animal welfare organizations, and BHS is pleased to be a recipient of a grant.

“Our shelter is committed to controlling the overpopulation of cats in Berkshire County,” says John Perreault, Executive Director of BHS. “With the funds from the ASPCA and help from our friends at Haddad Subaru in Pittsfield, our goal is to spay or neuter 100 cats before Christmas,” he explains. “This event will help our neighbors who can’t afford spaying or neutering but who want to be good, responsible cat owners.”

According to Perreault, BHS applied for ASPCA funding to host “100 Cats for Christmas” because of the ongoing need for low-cost spaying and neutering of cats in the community. Currently, the shelter offers other programs for this service, but the need constantly exceeds the number of openings.  For example, although the shelter’s Feline Spay Neuter Program, or CatSNIP, spayed and neutered about 200 cats this year, the wait for future appointments is over two months.

Perreault explains that Berkshire County residents registered to participate in “100 Cats for Christmas” will drop off their cats at BHS between 7:00am and 8:00am on Wednesday, December 18.  Sales staff from Haddad Subaru will then drive the cats to their appointments at local veterinarians, who have reduced their fees for this special day.  BHS staff will return the cats for pick-up at the shelter in the afternoon.

To participate in “100 Cats for Christmas,” residents of Berkshire County will need to preregister by coming to BHS, completing a registration form, and paying a non-refundable $25 fee before Saturday, December 14.  Registration is on a first come, first serve basis; the $25 fee also includes a rabies vaccination.  On the morning of the event, all cats must arrive at BHS in carriers with proper identification – the owner’s name and contact information as well as the cat’s name and description. BHS will provide carriers for cat owners who don’t have them.

Located on East Street, Haddad Subaru has been a long-time supporter of BHS.  Most recently, it partnered with the shelter on several satellite canine adoptions and the 2014 Subaru Outback Raffle, a major fundraiser for BHS. The car dealership also sponsors a “Dog of the Week” and generously donates $50 toward the adoption fee of this dog.

For more information about “100 Cats for Christmas,” call the BHS feline staff at 413-447-7878, ext. 24 or visit BerkshireHumane.org.  To learn more about the “Share the Love” campaign, visit www.aspca.org/subaru.

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Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

By the ASPCA

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you

 

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