Archive for June, 2013

New Mexico: Pet Project: Keeping Animals Safe When Disaster Strikes

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

APNM Supporting Efforts to Improve Evacuation Plans

Ever since the devastating images of pets left behind during Hurricane Katrina, and after major evacuations of Los Alamos and Ruidoso in 2011 and 2012, more New Mexicans are thinking about how to deal with the evacuation needs of over 70 percent of New Mexican families who have companion animals. Leaving animals behind not only endangers the animals but creates potential risks and loss for people as well.

For over a year, Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM), a statewide animal advocacy organization, has been working at all levels to increase awareness and encourage more conversations about this important piece of emergency management. Working with state agencies, community groups, and local emergency managers, APNM is expanding their online Disaster Preparedness information and developing a statewide Emergency Animal Resources Guide for use by emergency response officials.

Today, a number of individual citizens, local organizations, and dedicated emergency managers are taking significant steps toward making a big difference for animals in community planning and preparedness efforts around the state. Local and county agencies are rewriting emergency operations and evacuation plans, exploring options to locate emergency animal shelters at or near human shelters, coordinating with neighboring jurisdictions for animal sheltering support, expanding training opportunities for animal response teams, and including animal scenarios in emergency exercises and drills.

Individuals can do the same by creating their own plans, talking to neighbors about a buddy system if they’re not home during an evacuation, and conducting family fire drills with their animals. Sharon Jonas, APNM’s Disaster Preparedness Program Coordinator, recommends making a ‘To Do List’ today to start your own disaster planning. “Write down everything you need to do to be ready if you have to evacuate: creating an evacuation plan, preparing Emergency Kits for both people and animals, deciding where you would go and where to take your animals,” suggests Ms. Jonas. “Then make more detailed lists of what to put in your Emergency Kits, what supplies you need, which documents to gather, what to research online, and who to call.” Having proper identification with your animals, photos of you and your animals, and copies of vaccination records are also critical for emergency sheltering or if your animal is lost.

APNM’s Disaster Preparedness webpage (apnm.org/disaster) has a wide range of advice and resources on disaster planning, updates on what’s happening around the state, and contacts for volunteers.

Keeping You and Your Animals Safe When Disaster Strikes

When it’s not safe for you, it isn’t safe for your animals either. With another dangerously dry year, one can’t help but think, What would I do with my animals? Where would we go? How would I move them? …take care of them? …keep them safe? If you haven’t already answered these questions yourself to make your own plan, Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM) suggests you begin TODAY.
1. Be Ready To Do List – what you need to do, what to buy, documents to gather, who to call, and what to research online, and talking to neighbors about a buddy system in case you’re not home when your area is evacuated.
2. Supplies for your Animal Emergency Kit for 3-7 days away from home.
3. What you’ll need to do, a detailed Evacuation Plan for both people and animals.
3. Safe Places to bring your animals. Contact information for friends, family, pet-friendly hotels, animal shelters or veterinarians in nearby communities (confirm arrangements first).
4. Grab-And-Go List of important last-minute items not in your Evacuation Kit.
5. ID Ready. Have identification and emergency contact number with your animal (always); microchip your animals; label collars, harnesses, crates and carriers; have a photo of you with your animals.
6. Become part of the solution in your community:
Join New Mexico Citizen Corps or offer to help create a planning committee (contact www.nmdhsem.org/Citizen_Corp.aspx, 505-476-9633 or your local emergency manager)
Participate in training or rescue exercises for you or your animals
Ask your county or municipal Emergency Management Office about what’s going on in your community to address the needs of families with companion animals during a disaster and how you can help
Become an emergency response volunteer or join a volunteer network at:
➢ APNM at 505-265-2322, ext. 23
➢ your local animal shelter (see local listings or APNM’s NM Animal Resources Guide at www.apnm.org/nmarg)
➢ Equine Protection Fund (www.equineprotectionfund.org or 505-967-5297)
➢ NM Back Country Horsemen, seven chapters (www.bchnm.org or 505-753-3531)
➢ New Mexico’s seven Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT’s) (http://www.citizencorps.gov/cc/CertIndex.do?reportsForState&cert=&state=NM)

DogFriendly.com’s New Mexico Dog Travel Guide

Santa Fe Dog Travel Guide

Albuquerque Dog Travel Guide

Companies Have Good Reasons to Embrace Dog-Friendly Workplace

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Looking to improve your workplace? The answer may be resting at your feet. According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, employees who bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol. Stress is a major contributor to employee absenteeism, morale and burnout and results in significant loss of productivity and resources. But a preliminary study, published in the March 2012 issue of the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, found that dogs in the workplace may buffer the impact of stress during the workday for their owners and make the job more satisfying for those with whom they come into contact.

The VCU researchers compared employees who bring their dogs to work, employees who do not bring their dogs to work and employees without pets in the areas of stress, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and support. “Although preliminary, this study provides the first quantitative study of the effects of employees’ pet dogs in the workplace setting on employee stress, job satisfaction, support and commitment,” said principal investigator Randolph T. Barker, Ph.D., professor of management in the VCU School of Business. “Pet presence may serve as a low-cost, wellness intervention readily available to many organizations and may enhance organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support. Of course, it is important to have policies in place to ensure only friendly, clean and well-behaved pets are present in the workplace,” he said.

Another study from 2010, headed by Christopher Honts, at Central Michigan University, found that the mere presence of a canine in the office could help make people collaborate more effectively. The researchers also showed that the staff who worked with a dog gave all their teammates higher scores for trust and team cohesion than those who worked in dog-free groups.

A recent survey of 50 companies that welcome pets found: 1. Lower stress levels and less absenteeism than in pet-free offices; 2. Productivity and employee morale got a boost when canine companions joined the work force; 3. Employees were more willing to work overtime, thanks to the addition of pets in the workplace.

So, if your company doesn’t have a dog-in-the-workplace policy—Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 21 is an opportune time to test out this growing trend. The following tips can be used to help set up a successful dog-policy.

1. Start off with a committee made up of dog owners and non-dog owners to draft a policy.

2. Dogs must be friendly to human and other dogs and have a good social personality.

3. Follow a dog ‘hire’ policy where a new dog is interviewed for acceptability into the workplace.

4. Fearful or shy dogs might not do well in a busy office.

5. Basic training is a must and dogs should be housebroken.

6. Dogs should be clean, free of illness, and should be up on routine vaccinations.

7. Introduce a dog slowly into the workplace, and introduce a new dog to the other office dogs in a neutral area.

8. Employees should sign a waiver and be responsible for any damage or harm to equipment, facility or other dogs and humans.

9. Dogs can be leashed, and the use of baby gates or crates can also be useful.

10. Consider a dog-free zone for employees who might have allergies or who are frightened of dogs.

If your business is a new or proven dog-friendly practitioner—”consider entering Bark’s Best Places to Work presented by Zuke’s. The Bark is searching for the most dog-friendly workplaces in America. Three winning companies will be featured in Bark’s Winter 2013 issue and each of their office pups will receive a year’s worth of Zuke’s dog treats! Contest details, rules and entry form are available here: http://thebark.com/content/barks-best-places-work

New York: A Dog-Friendly Black-Tie Ball

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Bring your dog as a date to the 110th anniversary celebration of Bideawee, the leading pet welfare and adoption organization serving the Great New York Area. This dog-friendly, black-tie gala held at Gotham Hall on Monday, June 17th celebrates the organization’s array of traditional and innovative programs and services that have benefited pets and pet lovers for over a century. Monday evening will be hosted by Mayor Bloomberg’s daughter, Georgina Bloomberg and will include live music, dinner, dancing, and a silent and live auction of special and unique offerings.

This 2013 Bideawee Ball honors not only the organizations mission of providing shelter, care and compassion to the homeless animals of New York but also New York Live hosts Sara Gore and Jacque Reid for their commitment to helping homeless animals as well as Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks for their on-going volunteer commitment to Bideawee.

For the Full Story on Joonbug.com

DogFriendly.com’s New York Guide