Hurricane Pet Tips & Pet Friendly Shelters

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando
Operation Hours during Hurricane Irma

  • Pet Alliance will be CLOSED on Monday and Tuesday.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is June 1st to November 30th. Be prepared with these tips from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

Download our Hurricane Preparedness Sheet (PDF)
Download our Hurricane Preparedness Sheet (PDF)

Are you and your pet prepared?

  1. Never leave your pet behind.
  2. The safest place for your pet is with you! If you must evacuate, take your pet along.
  3. Place two ID tags on your pet’s collar. Include a temporary tag with the phone number of a friend or relative who lives outside your immediate area.
  4. Microchip your pet and make sure the chip registration is updated. Be sure to locate and update your microchip registry.
  5. Prepare a travel kit for your pet. Include bowls, food, bottled water, towels, needed prescriptions, bathing supplies, flea/tick control, and leashes.
  6. Make sure your pets are current on vaccinations.
  7. Create a record file for each pet. Include your pet’s vaccination records.
  8. Always travel with photographs of your pet.
  9. Have travel carriers handy for evacuation. Make your pet’s carrier a fun and safe place by placing treats, toys and meals in it on a routine basis.
  10. Most public evacuation shelters do not accept pets. Know ahead of time pet friendly accommodations. Visit ‘Bring Fido‘ to locate pet friendly accommodations, and view our map below for area shelters that do allow them.
  11. Take your dogs on a long walk before the storm.
  12. Keep your pets routine as normal as possible (feeding time and potty time
  13. Bonus tip: you can buy a small area of fake grass and a baby pool and put in the garage for them to use the bathroom during the storm.

For the latest storm information, visit the National Hurricane Center.

Keep checking back for more tips, first-hand accounts, and more, designed to help pet owners be prepared for hurricane season.

You can help a pet in need by supporting the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, donate today!

Pet Friendly Shelters

Below is a map of Pet Friendly shelters in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Volusia and Brevard counties:

If you do take your pet to a shelter, remember:

  • Shelters are first-come, first-served, so get there early.
  • You must have the pet in a carrier or cage.
  • You must provide proof of current vaccinations.
  • Bring Food, water and serving containers.

The shelter locations in the map above where current as of 9/5/2017 and may change. Please view your county website for full shelter information:

Osceola County
Seminole County
Orange County
Lake County
Brevard County
Volusia County

Heartworm Awareness Month

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can be deadly, if left untreated.  “Dogs get heartworms by being bitten by mosquitoes,” says Dr. Rhoades, Medical Director for the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. “Keeping dogs on a heartworm prevention is required year-round to keep them healthy here in Florida.”  Prescription heartworm prevention is available for dogs who have tested negative for the disease for about $10 a month.

 

What do heartworms do to a dog?

It takes about seven months, once a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito, for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms.  Adult heartworms can grow up to a foot long and can live for 5-7 years.  They can fill the heart chambers, lungs and clog major blood vessels leading from the heart.  Heartworms can cause difficulty in breathing and reduced blood flow to major organs of the body.  The heart, lungs, liver and kidneys can all be caused to malfunction by an infection of adult heartworms.

heartworm3The signs of heartworm disease depend on the number of adult worms present, the location of the worms, the length of time the worms have been in the dog and the degree of damage that has been sustained by the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

The most obvious clinical signs of heartworm disease are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness, nervousness, listlessness and loss of stamina. All of these signs are most noticeable following exercise, when some dogs may even faint or become disoriented. Your veterinarian may notice abnormal lung and heart sounds when listening to the chest with a stethoscope. In advanced cases, congestive heart failure may be apparent and the abdomen and legs will swell from fluid accumulation. There may also be evidence of weight loss, poor condition and anemia. Severely infected dogs may die suddenly during exercise or excitement.

It usually takes time before the dog displays clear signs of infection. Consequently, the disease is diagnosed mainly in two to eight year old dogs. Unfortunately, by the time clinical signs are seen, the disease is usually well advanced.  This is why we cannot stress the importance of testing your dog annually and then keeping them current on heartworm preventative.

 

How is heartworm disease spread?

Since transmission requires the mosquito as an intermediate host, the disease is not spread directly from dog to dog. Spread of the disease coincides with mosquito season, which last year-round in Florida.

The mosquito usually bites the dog where the hair coat is thinnest. However, having long hair certainly does not prevent a dog from getting heartworms.

 

How is heartworm disease treated?

heartworm2The treatment consists of both oral and injectable drugs and takes approximately four months to complete.  Initially, thirty days of oral antibiotics (doxycycline) are prescribed followed by two sessions of injectable drugs a month apart.  It is critical to restrict exercise during this treatment period while the adult heartworms die and are reabsorbed by the body.  Your veterinarian will determine the specific treatment schedule according to your dog’s condition.

The adult worms die in a few days and start to decompose following the injectable phase of the treatment. As they break up, they are carried to the lungs, where they lodge in the small blood vessels and are eventually reabsorbed by the body. This can be a dangerous period so it is absolutely essential that the dog be kept as quiet as possible and is not allowed to exercise for one month following treatment. The first week after the injections is critical because this is when the worms are dying. A cough is noticeable for seven to eight weeks after treatment in many heavily infected dogs

 

What is the response to treatment and prognosis?

Dog owners are usually pleasantly surprised at the improvement in their dog following treatment for heartworms, especially if the dog had been demonstrating any clinical signs of heartworm disease. Many dogs display renewed vigor and vitality, improved appetite and weight gain.

 

How can I prevent my dog from getting heartworms?

You can prevent your dog from getting heartworms by using a heartworm preventive. When a dog has been successfully treated for heartworms, it is essential to maintain them on a heartworm prevention program to prevent future recurrence. With the safe and affordable heartworm preventives available today, no pet should ever have to endure this dreaded disease.

Thanksgiving Pet Dangers

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pause and give thanks for the joys in your life, especially your furry friends!  It’s also a time when your home may be full of wonderfully tempting foods for your pets.

Of course, it’s always best to never give your pet table food but we realize the holidays are a time of indulgence for some.

Here are 10 foods you should be aware of the dangers for your pet this Thanksgiving:

  1. Turkey bones are coking hazards for your pets that can puncture the stomach and intestines which could be fatal.  If you must share with your pet, give them small bites of cooked turkey with all the bones removed.
  2. Stuffing often contains scallions, garlic and onions, all of which are toxic to animals and can result in anemia.
  3. Nutmeg has mild hallucinogenic properties that when ingested by your pet can result in seizures, tremors and other problems.  Pumpkin and sweet potatoes when pure in form can be very good for your dog.
  4. Alcohol is never, ever, okay for your pet.  They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, and even death.
  5. Nuts of all kind including almonds, pecans and walnuts are high in oils and fats that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets.
  6. Dough is dangerous when ingested raw because the yeast continues to convert sugars into carbon dioxide gas and alcohol which can caught the pet to become intoxicated, a life-threatening emergency.
  7. Chocolate is well known to most pet owners but it’s great to remind guests not to share their tasty treats with your pets.
  8. Cooking debris such as cooking twine, discarded fat and greasy paper towels will attract your pets attention if left out or in an easy to access trashcan.  Be sure to guard against them consuming these.

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.

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando wishes you, and your pets, a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We will be closed on Thursday, November 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will resume normal operations on Friday, November 25.

Halloween Pet Safety

HalloweenSafetyEveryone at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando wants you to have a happy, and safe, Halloween!  While this holiday can be a lot of fun, it can be terrifying and even dangerous for your pets.  Keep these 10 tips in mind to ensure they are able to enjoy the holidays safely.

  • Save the candy for trick-or-treaters, not Wags and Whiskers. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for pets. 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.
  • Halloween can be an exciting time for you and your pet, use caution when opening the door for trick-or-treaters to ensure your pet doesn’t dart outside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dressing your pet can be adorable but 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 – that’s not what the holidays are about, right?
  • If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t stressful or unsafe. It should not restrict their movement or hearing, or impede the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month

Kane at Reed (2)Throughout October we celebrate Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month. This annual celebration raises awareness of the approximately 4 million dogs in shelters in the United States right now.

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is proud to support this national event by offering $25 adoptions all month long on regularly priced pets (normally $75), age six months or older, at our Orlando and Sanford shelters.

Can’t adopt or already have pets? There’s still a lot you can do to help dogs in need during Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month.

10 ways to help shelter dogs:

  1. Help spread the word! Share adoptable pet photos from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando on Facebook and encourage friends to do the same.
  2. Ensure your pet is spayed or neutered. This is a vital step toward preventing additional unwanted puppies and kittens.
  3. Create your very own personal page to celebrate your pets adopt-a-versary,  birthday, Halloween or any other creative idea you have! Then ask friends or family to support you. Each donation, whether $5 or $10, is significant toward providing care to pets in need.
  4. Share our shelter wish list with friends and family or start a donation drive. Items like dog and cat treats, toys, and towels go a long way toward making pets stay in our shelter more comfortable. Most items can be easily purchased on Amazon.
  5. Microchip your pet! By reuniting lost pets with their owners, we reduce the stress on local shelters in the area. Without a microchip, only 15% of dogs that enter a shelter are reunited with their owners.
  6. Attend the 25th Anniversary of Furball on Saturday, November 5 at Rosen Shingle Creek.  Tickets are available online now.
  7. Tweet about it! This is a great start: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month! Check out @PetAllianceGO’s pets now: https://bit.ly/adPAGO”
  8. Donate!  We invest $356.50 in each dog and $225.50 in each cat up for adoption. Fees are typically $75, we depend on community support for the difference.
  9. Sign up to volunteer at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. We have shelters in Orlando and Sanford with opportunities in a variety of areas including photography, fostering, helping with special events or just being advocates for us in the community.
  10. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! It’s fast, free and fun! Each month you’ll get event news, pet health tips and more!

 

 

Congratulations, Finalists!

The 3rd annual ‘My Best Friend’ Wine Label Contest sponsored by Quantum Leap Winery was the most competitive to date with more than $24,000 raised to benefit Pet Alliance!  

The top three pets in each category, in terms of total votes, moved on to the final round and the grand prize winners will be announced at this year’s Furball. Winners will have their pets photo, name and story featured on the 2016 My Best Friend Rescue Red Wine produced by Quantum Leap Winery.  

Each finalists story can be read online here.

Finalists in the Dog Category:

untitled-design-1Wink

“She was barely a week old when she was dropped off at animal control and she found her way into our hearts a few weeks later.  She is the happiest little soul we have ever met and we are so fortunate to have found her.” -Catherine Reynolds


untitled-design-9Barkley

“When Barkley saw the lion statue in our front yard so diligently guarding our home, Barkley immediately (with no prompt) struck an identical pose to the statue.  We are now into our third year as a family.  Thank you, Barkley, for the love, joy and companionship you so willingly share!” -Sue Drake

 


untitled-design-6Sophie

“Sophie was part of a large group of puppies rescued from a house in Ft. Pierce.  I had recently lost my dog and swore I would never go through that hurt again.  When I realized the hurt was from not having my couch companion and faithful wake up face licker, I did a search to find a dog to fill that ever growing hole in my life.  How lucky am I to have found her!” -Stephen Bardy

 


Finalists in the Cat Category:

untitled-design-17Daphne

“We were grieving the unexpected passing of our family cat. For months, we did everything we could to try to save our kitty and just when we thought we were over the hurdle, she crossed over the rainbow bridge. Heartbroken and distraught, I read about Daphne’s story and immediately knew I needed to meet this little survivor. Her resilience and spunk for life spoke directly to my heart, and within minutes of meeting this beauty, I knew she was the newest addition to our family!” – Kimberly Pouncey

 


untitled-design-15Luna

“I fell in love with Luna the second I saw her. I was working my volunteer shift at the Pet Alliance the morning that she went up for adoption and knew that she was for me.” -Michele Hand

 


untitled-design-14Sammy

“Sammy was someone’s pet that ended up with a feral colony in Osceola county. He looked thin and pregnant from worms and was not neutered. I took him to my vet where we found out he was positive for feline AIDS and Leukemia. He underwent antibiotic treatment and targeted lymphocyte therapy and became the picture of great health. He had 20 months of happiness and love.” -Lisa Ericson