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June 2012

May 2012

Summer Activity for Kids Who Love Animals: "Critter Camp"

ScreenHunter_01 May. 08 14.30"Critter Camp" is a week long half-day summer camp program designed for children who love animals. Age-appropriate activities, field trips, and guest presenters teach young people about animal care in a fun, safe hands-on environment. The camp is operated by Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, located at 31 Glendale Avenue in Asheville.

All sessions run for two weeks, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM. The enrollment fee is $200 per camper; an additional sibling is $175. Here is the schedule for the summer:

  • Grades 1 and 2 - June 11 - 15 or July 16 - 20
  • Grades 3 and 4 - June 18 - 22 or July 23 - 27
  • Grades 5 and 6 - June 25 - 29 or July 30 - August 3
  • Grades 7 and up - July 9 - 13 or August 6 - 10

Enrollments are accepted online at: . For more information, call (828) 545-0066.

Tips for Small Dog Owners

PuppychihuauhuaDr. Jon of has some good tips for small dog owners which he says people may not think about. For example:

  • Make sure your yard fencing is adequate if your small dog spends time outdoors. "Small dogs are much better at wriggling through small spaces like the ones between fence slats or under support beams," says Dr. Jon.
  • The smaller the dog, the more likely he or she will be a target of birds of prey, such as falcons and hawks. These birds are common in the Carolina mountains, so make sure your small dog is not left unattended outside or off-leash on a hike.
  • Small dogs tend to need more grooming than larger dogs, particularly if they are breeds that require a special style, such as a bichon, poodle, or shih tzu. They are lower to the ground so they typically need to be washed more often than larger dogs. Small dogs' nails grow faster than larger dogs, and their teeth typically need to be cleaned more than larger dogs. They could also be prone to more diseases, since small dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs.

These are just a few things small dog owners should be aware of... and keep these tips in mind if you're thinking about acquiring a small dog.

Image: olovedog /

Spring Adoptathon, Asheville, May 26, 27

ScreenHunter_01 May. 11 14.25The 13th annual Prestige Subaru Spring Adoptathon will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, from 11 AM to 5 PM. The event will be held in the Province 620 restuarant parking lot across from Pet Harmony, 803 Fairview Street, off Hendersonville Road in Asheville, as well as inside Pet Harmony, Animal Compassion Network's store for rescued pets.

Participating organizations include Animal Compassion Network, Asheville Humane Society, Blue Ridge Humane Society, Boxer Butts and Other Mutts, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Chain Free Asheville, Friends of Ashe County, Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love, Holi-Hounds, Hope for Horses, Howlin4Spirit Companion Animal Rescue, PAWS Animal Shelter, Pet Behavior Aid, Rusty's Legacy, Sarge's Animal Rescue Foundation, Unchain Buncombe, and Yancey County Humane Society.

Over 200 dogs and cats will be available for adoption. There will be free "pawdicures," a Kids Corner with bounce house and dunk tank, a tour of the newest Subaru models, a meet and greet with mascot Scooby Neuter, pizza from Frank's Roman Pizza, and a live radio remote from 98.1 The River. Prestige Subaru, the Southeast's largest Subaru dealer, is sponsoring the Adoptathon for the thirteenth year. The Adoptathon is hosted by Animal Compassion Network (ACN), WNC's largest safe-for-life animal welfare organization.

Stop by, have some fun, and adopt a pet or two!

Stop the Barking, Free-Asheville, May 26

ScreenHunter_03 Jan. 13 16.13Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free session to help dog owners deal with barking. If you tried everything you know to do do to stop your dog from barking so much, then this session is for you. Learn the different types of barks, what they mean, and creative ways to stop the barking.

The session will be held on Saturday, May 26 from 10 AM to 11 AM atthe  Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads near the WNC Farmers Market).

For more information, visit or call (828) 707-0644. This session is sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, an organization dedicated to to increasing the retention of companion animals in their homes in Western North Carolina.

Your Dog and Outdoor Restaurants

Lunch With Your Dog at the Sidewalk Cafe

By Stacy Braslau-Schneck for Exceptional Canine

Most people who picture a pleasant hour or so with their dog at a coffee shop or sidewalk cafe concentrate on what the dog should not be doing. Don’t eat the food off the table. Don’t jump on the waiter. Don’t jump on passersby. Don’t chase the kids on skateboards, the baby strollers, or other dogs or trucks. Don’t fret about strangers who stare at you, lean toward you, reach toward you or even touch you.

This is a set of skills that requires the command of, basically, “Leave it.” Oh sure, a good “Settle” -- or its stricter older cousin, “Down-stay” -- is helpful too. But with “Leave it,” even if your dog spends most of the time standing or sniffing a few feet around your table, you’ll have a nice outing at the cafe.

It’s a Zen Thing
In fact, “Leave it” is one of my favorite things to teach. Some people call it “doggy zen” because the dog learns that “to get what you want, you have to give up what you want.”

To train your dog for this, start with a treat in your closed fist. Allow your dog to sniff it or lick at it -- but pretend you’re holding some forbidden food like chocolate, and don’t let him have it. Instead, wait patiently until he gives up trying to get it. At the moment he backs away, click your clicker or say “Yes!” and reward him with a different treat from your other hand. Repeat this, and once he is doing it predictably, start saying “Leave it” just before he backs away.

You’re looking for the moment when he gives up trying to get it. That’s when your dog has learned to be “zen” -- so you click or say “Yes!” and reward your dog. You can use toys or other distractions instead of food as well, of course.

Practice and Expand
After practicing this a bit, your dog will learn that “Leave it” means backing away from whatever has his interest. You can use this for food on the table, crumbs on the floor, dogs, people and strollers passing by. Teaching a good and generalized “Leave it” will make outdoor dining and almost any public outing more pleasurable -- for both you and your dog.

Stacy Braslau-Schneck is a longtime dog trainer and a professional member of the Association of Dog Pet Trainers. She works closely with the Human Society Silicon Valley and is the owner of Stacy’s Wag’N’Train, which offers small group classes and private lessons in San Jose, Calif. Stacy writes frequently for Exceptional Canine.

Pawsitively Purrfect Evening, Cashiers, June 15

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 11 13.27The "Pawsitively Purrfect Evening" is the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society’s annual gala supporting a worthwhile cause — helping abused and neglected pets from the local community to receive the care they need and to find loving homes.

This exciting event will be held at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley on Friday, June 15, 2012, from 6:00PM to 10:30PM. Ticket prices are $350 per couple or $175 per individual and include cocktails, dinner, dancing and a live auction.

For more information, call (828) 743-5752 or email Debbie Bennett at

Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

ScratchingdogAllergies cause a great deal of discomfort in humans. Pollens in the air at this time of year can make allergy sufferers miserable.

Well, it turns out that allergic reactions are common in dogs too. Instead of getting watery eyes and sneezing like humans, though, a dog's reaction to an allergic substance most comonly shows up in the form of a skin condition.

Dogs can be allergic to a number of things, including certain ingredients in dog food (gluten is a common problem, for example), flea bites, and environmental allergens, such as grasses, pollen, molds, and dust mites. During the spring and summer, flea bites and seasonal allergens like pollen can be chronic.

Environmental allergens are often seasonal. They typically cause severe itching. The dog is seen scratching, chewing, or constantly licking one or more areas on the body. They may rub their ears or faces on carpeting or rugs. Hot spots, or skin irritations, may develop. Constant licking can even cause a dog to develop open sores.

Fleas cause allergic reactions when they bite a dog because the dog's system reacts to the saliva. Again, scratching and licking are common. Fleas are the easiest allergen to control with regular, monthly application of a topical flea preventative product.

Food allergies are difficult to diagnose. A dog with a food allergy will likely be sensitive to a single ingredient, but you won't know what that ingredient is. If you suspect a food allergy, you can try to deal with it by putting your dog on a special diet, but always check with your veterinarian first. Your vet will likely want to do tests to try to identify the specific allergen so it can be removed from your dog's diet.

Allergic reactions, regardless of the cause, can all be treated the same way -- by providing relief for the skin condition. Topical treatments include cool baths with colloidal oatmeal or medicated shampoos. In more severe cases, steroids or antihistamines may be called for. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids may also be helpful because of their anti-inflammatory benefits. Ask your vet to recommend the appropriate treatments based on the condition.

Image: anankkml /

Yappy Hour, Asheville, May 17

Dog drinking cocktailIt's another season of the area's finest event for Fido: Asheville Humane Society's Yappy Hours!

During the Spring and Summer months, your four-legged friend can enjoy specially made doggie treats and doggie drinks while socializing with other cool canines at various locations around town.

Come to a Yappy Hour, sponsored by Mix 96.5 and Kia, on Thursday, May 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Neo Cantina in Biltmore Village, Asheville. Dogs are always free and their people cost just $10 each. All proceeds benefit Asheville Humane Society and the homeless animals of Buncombe County.

Low Cost Vaccinations, Asheville, May 19

Dog_being_vaccinatedNeed to get your dog vaccinated? Come to a low-cost shot clinic on Saturday, May 19 from 11 AM to 3 PM at Pet Harmony, the Pet Store for Rescued Pets, 803 Fairview Street (adjacent to Province 620 restaurant on Hendersonville Road) in Asheville.

1 and 3-year rabies shots are just $10. (You must have a prior certificate to get a 3-year vaccine.) DHLPP or DHPP is $15 and Bordetella (kennel cough) is $15. Microchip with free registration is $15, and a single application of Advantix/Advantage is $15 for a dog. Low and no cost spay/neuter vouchers are also available.

This service is sponsored by Animal Compassion Network and provided by Dr. Margaret Moncure, DVM. For more information call (828) 274-3647.

Feed Our Furry Friends, Asheville, May 12

FeedOurFurryFriends"Feed Our Furry Friends," an Empty Bowl Project, will be held on Saturday, May 12 from 11 AM to 3 PM at The Village Potters & Riverview Station, 191 Lyman Street, in the River Arts District of Asheville.

Admission is $20, or $10 plus 10 cans or a bag of pet food. The price includes a hand-crafted pottery bowl of your choice and a chance to win a gift basket from Sensibilities Day Spa. Live music will be proivded by No Justice, and there will be free "pawdicures" and other goodies for your four-legged family members. A "barktique" with donated items for sale will be available, along with a silent auction.

 Proceeds from the event benefit Animal Compassion Network's Pet Food Assistance Program. Since 1999, ACN has provided free pet food to help people and their pets get through difficult times. The program has grown to include 9 partnering agencies and has provided over 100,000 free meals to WNC pets.

Visit for more information.

Free Puppy Social, Asheville, May 12

363406epsh595e2Get your puppy ready for the summer grilling season with a puppy social on Saturday, May 12,  9 to 10 AM, at Asheville Humane Society's Adooption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market).

Mingle with other puppy parents and get your training questions answered by certified trainers while your puppy romps with other pups and meets new and different people and things. Doggie treat bag and human treats provided for all participants.

- Ages 9-20 weeks of age
- Puppies must be healthy
- Must be in home at least 10 days prior to coming to social
- Must have at least 2 sets of vaccinations
(copy of vet records required)
- Rabies vaccine is required (16 weeks and older)

This is a FREE family friendly event, but space is limited! Reserve your puppy’s spot today.
Call (828) 707-0644 or email to make a reservation. For more information visit

Image: nixxphotography /

Take Action Against NC Puppy Mills

ScreenHunter_01 May. 03 15.03North Carolina is home to puppy mills, and current state legislation does not adequately protect dogs in puppy mills against neglect and abuse. North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare is asking all concerned citizens to reach out to legislators to get puppy mill legislation passed in 2012.

Take action now! Visit this page for an easy way to send a message to the appropriate legislators. Go to the organization's website for additional information:

Howl In at Full Moon Farm, Black Mountain, May 5

ScreenHunter_03 Apr. 11 13.15Join the Full Moon Farm wolfdog sanctuary for a "Howl In" on Saturday, May 5, where you'll get to meet wolfdogs, hear their stories and learn about the breed.

A tour of the farm begins at 3 PM and you are invited to stay for the farm's "pot luck" at 5 PM. Drinks, hot dogs and burgers are provided; please bring a covered dish to share. A $5 donation to cover food expenses is appreciated.

Full Moon Farm is an organization dedicated to the well being of the wolfdog (wolf hybrid). Situated on 17 beautiful mountain acres in Black Mountain, NC, the farm is a not-for-profit organization for abused and refused wolfdogs who find themselves in need of love, shelter, and care through no fault of their own.

Full Moon Farm provides a safe haven for animals that cannot be placed into homes for the rest of their lives. Rescued wolfdogs come from animal control agencies, closed breeding situations and occasionally, an owner in crisis. 

Call (828) 664-9818 or visit for additional information.