Tag Archives: pets

Displaced pets find comfort after Sandy


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ASPCA

Caring for five dogs requires patience. Caring for five dogs during a superstorm requires a miracle.

When Sandy struck, Kathleen Fessmann and her quintet of dogs — Yogi, Java, Rannie, Katie and Mocha — remained in their Broad Channel home, waiting out the storm. With nowhere to take the pooches, she figured they would stick it out until the rain and wind had passed. The storm wasn’t supposed to be that bad, she thought.

The water rose seven feet, flooding her house, knocking over the fence in her backyard and capsizing the fuel tank in her basement. When two of the dogs became sick from breathing in fumes from the spilled fuel tank, she knew they needed to leave.

Since the storm hit, nearly 300 animals have been rescued by American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) responders, and through pet supply distribution and mobile wellness clinics, the organization assisted nearly 16,000 animals in New York City and Long Island.

“We recognize the great need to help pet owners during this difficult time by temporarily caring for their animals while they get back on their feet,” said Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The ASPCA is working with local and national animal welfare agencies to assist animals affected by the storm, and we’re grateful to have these valued partners helping us manage the emergency boarding facility and provide relief for both people and pets alike.”

Temporary shelters constructed in the Waldbaum’s parking lot at 112-15 Beach Channel Drive in Belle Harbor and Rockapup at 145 Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park held displaced Queens pets for several weeks after the storm before they were moved to the more permanent kennels in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which will remain open until December 17.

“The emergency boarding facility allows pet owners the ability to get their lives back together while knowing that their pets are being taken care of,” said ASPCA spokesperson Kelly Krause.

All five of Fessman’s dogs were sent to an interim home at the Sean Casey Animal Shelter in Windsor Terrace before being moved to the ASPCA shelter in Bedford–Stuyvesant. While at the shelter, veterinarians discovered that two of the dogs had enlarged lymph nodes, a side-effect from breathing in the fuel fumes. The ASPCA provided free treatment for both ill animals.

Fessman, a registered nurse, visits her canine clan in their temporary Brooklyn home several times a week. She recently hired a contractor to begin repairs on her home, estimating the dogs will be back in their rightful residence in three weeks.

“It’s been terrible. It’s been bad. I just feel bad for them,” Fessman said. “I can talk about it and get it out of my system but it’s them I feel bad for. It’s just really sad for them, but they’re being taken care of really well.”

Puppy Love: Pet photographers capture our best friends


| SKakar@queenscourier.com

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Landscapes and portraits are usually the subjects of professional photographers. At Kiki’s Pet Photography, the lenses aim at a different subject.

Kiki’s has been centering its focus on the local pets of Long Island City, particularly LIC’s precious pooches.

The company is owned by two photographers, Junenoire Mitchell, 27, and Arianys Wilson, 32, who began their business together more than a year-and-a-half ago.

Mitchell and Wilson met while photographing an event at Brooklyn’s Third Ward. The duo admired each other’s work and decided to partner up.

“[Long Island City] is where we started. We wanted to come together and do something together. We saw so many dogs in Long Island City and it’s such a dog friendly neighborhood, we thought it would be really fun,” said Mitchell.

The pair initially wanted to photograph children and their pets, as Mitchell has a background in shooting models and Wilson has experience photographing families. As their business grew, their specialty shifted into solely shooting pets, partnering with dog day cares and other local pet businesses. However, he photographers don’t rule out snapping people with their beloved pets.

“We’d like to photograph cats and other pets but it’s primarily dogs in Long Island City,” Mitchell said of the neighborhood’s canine-crazy mentality.

The duo uses the streets of LIC, dog parks and homes of clients as their studio, working on every shoot together — Mitchell situating the doggy models and Wilson taking the shot.

“It’s definitely a two person job. You can ask anybody who has taken a picture of a dog, it isn’t the easiest thing to do,” said Mitchell. “Arianys focuses on the pictures and I focus on the creative direction. Arianys has great timing to catch a lot of the great expressions.”

During shoots, Mitchell and Wilson go back and forth between posed photos and candid shots, doling out treats to keep the pups pleased.

The photographers said filling a niche, even in a neighborhood as dog friendly as Long Island City, isn’t always easy.

“We don’t have tons of business but the few people we have, we really work for their needs,” said Wilson.

The team is hoping to eventually expand the business throughout Queens, snapping puppy portraits all over the borough.

Tips before you adopt a pet


| editorial@queenscourier.com

By Debbie Graham

How adorable is that doggy in the window? Did you ever pass by a pet store that sells puppies and kittens and find them hard to resist? A friend of mine did. Because she made a spontaneous purchase of a weimeranner puppy without first doing her homework, she ended up with an uncontrollable animal with no money or knowledge about how to rectify the situation. If you are thinking of adopting or purchasing a pet, think about this:

• Does everyone in the family agree on getting a pet? If not, ignoring their wishes may very well cause damage to your relationships.

• Make sure it’s okay with the landlord to have pets.

• Decide who will care for the pet before you get one and make sure they stick to their promise. Many animals are surrendered to shelters because the people who were supposed to care for them lost interest.

• Determine before you acquire a pet that no one who will be coming in contact with it is allergic. This is another reason animals end up in shelters.

• Do your research. If you’ve never had a cat, but are thinking of getting one, talk to people you know who have one. Find out what the pros and cons are. Can you live with the worst of it?

• Maintaining a pet can be an expensive proposition. Make sure you can afford the price of food and litter. If you want to get a dog, it needs a license. There may be times when you will need emergency vet care. Your new puppy will need a lot of training. You may need to hire a professional to work out the kinks.

If you have a penchant for a pooch or a pussy cat, these are just a few tips for becoming a responsible pet owner. Follow them and your family, neighbors and pet will love you for it.

Pet food recall


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Pet food company Lafeber has issued a voluntary bird food recall. Some grains stored in hot humid conditions can develop hot spots, randomly increasing their moisture, said the company, and the increased moisture level can lead to problems with the food over time, such as bacterial or fungal growth.

Though no problems have been reported, the company is recommending that those who have bird food with certain lot numbers, stop feeding it to their pets. Lafeber will be replacing the recalled food and contacting customers about how to make arrangements for replacing and returning the products.

Products affected by the recall:

● Parrot Nutri-Berries (12 oz. tubs), with a Best Before date of 121913B

● Parrot Nurti-Berries (3.25 lb. tubs and 20-lb. boxes) with a Best Before date of 121813A, 121813B, 121913A, 122713A, 122713B and 010514

● Parrot Popcorn Nutri-Berries (4 oz. and 1-lb. bags) with a Best Before date of 122013 122613

● Cockatiel Sunny Orchard Nutri-Berries (10 oz. bags) with a Best Before date of 122113 and 010214

● Parrot Sunny Orchard Nutri-Berries (10 oz. and 3-lb. bags) with a Best Before date of 122513 and 122813

Keep your pets safe in the extreme heat


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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The 100 degree heat does not affect only humans, but pets as well.

Pet owners should take steps to ensure their pets remain cool and safe.

“It is imperative that pet owners take precautions and special care of their pets in the next few days,” said Dr. Steven Fox, president and CEO of Central Veterinary Associates. “The hot weather and dehydration can have serious effects on your pet’s health so it is essential to provide your pet with fresh water at all times and maintain a comfortable environment further.”

Central Veterinary Associates has offered some tips to help keep pets safe as the temperature rises:

● Look for signs of heat stroke in your pet — Because of their fur, pets are more susceptible to heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke in pets include a body temperature between 104 and 110 degrees, excessive panting, tongue and gums that are sticky and a dark or bright red color, staggering, stupor or seizures. In extreme cases, heat stroke for pets may result in bloody diarrhea, coma or death.

● Avoid strenuous exercise when it’s really hot outside — The hottest part of the day is between noon and 4 p.m., so that would not be a good time to take your pet for a walk. It is better to exercise your pet either in the early mornings or evenings when the heat is less intense. Also, avoid walking your pet on asphalt or sand, as the hot surface temperature may burn their paws.

● Maintain your pet’s water supply — Always provide a bowl of clean, fresh water for your pet, both inside and outside. Keeping your pet properly hydrated will improve their health and prevent illness.

● Do not leave pets in a home without air conditioning — Without air conditioning, indoor temperatures will reach uncomfortable and often dangerously high levels. Always keep the air conditioning and any fans on for your pets.

● Do not leave pets in a car for any reason — Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake. Even with the windows open, temperatures will rapidly climb to a dangerous level. Leaving your pet unattended in a car will expose them to heat stroke, dehydration, brain damage, suffocation and ultimately death.