Previous month:
September 2013
Next month:
November 2013

October 2013

$ 3 Adoptions-Asheville, Oct. 31, Nov. 1,2

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 31 11.18What a great time to fall in love with a dog or cat of your choice! There are plenty of wonderful animals available for adoption, and right now, you can get a dog six months or older, a cat, or a kitten, for the incredibly low adoption price of just $3 each. The adoption fee includes spay/neuter, microchip, and a complete medical exam.

This "$3 for 3 Days" promotion is running on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, October 31, November 1, and November 2 from 10 AM to 6 PM at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors and near the WNC Farmers Market). Stop by and see all the animals waiting for YOU!

Planning the Perfect Birthday Party for Your Dog

Guest Post by Mickey Jones

Birthday party dogWe all tend to celebrate birthdays of our friends, family members, and loved ones, so why leave out our beloved pets? Pets hold a special place in our lives and hearts and so what could be a better way or a better gesture to celebrate this special bond than throwing your pet a birthday party? Following are seven steps to plan the perfect doggie birthday party!

Party Date

If you’re looking to organize a party for your pet, you’ve got to come up with an appropriate date! Obviously, organizing the party on your dog’s birthday makes sense but you’ve got to make sure the date is convenient for other guests who will be attending. Moreover, if you are not sure about your dog’s actually birth date, you can celebrate it on the first day that you took your dog home or the first day you adopted it.


Once the date has been decided upon, you can then go on to look at locations for the party. You might want to go for a nice open area or a grassy area where your dog and its playmates can have a good time. You can even go for your very own backyard provided the backyard is nicely fenced. If not your backyard, you could also consider taking your dog and its playmates to the beach or to a dog park. However, you might want to watch out for furry gatecrashers!

Preparing the Guest List

Okay, so after the date and the location, the next important step towards a successful doggie birthday party is preparing the guest list. While listing out your dog’s furry friends and their humans, make sure you refrain from inviting dogs that have a history of aggression. Not all dogs socialize that well so ensure that you invite playmates that your dog gets along with. Be realistic about the number of dogs you invite since the last thing you want to end up with is a dog fight or an overly aggressive dog trying to dominate the other doggie guests. So keep the guest list small and make sure there are enough humans to supervise the furry gang. 

Invitation Cards

When it comes to invitation cards for the guests, you can get them from a nearby pet store or you could also shop for them online. There are some amazing themed cards available in the market for you to lay your hands on, or if you fancy, you can even get creative by making your very own personalized invitation cards! Whether you design a card shaped like a bone, or something based on the breed of your furry friend, there are thousands of ingenious ideas you could come up with to make a smashing invitation card!

Deciding a Theme of the Party and Decorating

For your dog’s birthday party you can come up with some interesting themes in order to make the party all the more exciting. You could either decide a theme that revolves around the breed of your dog, or you could even come up with themes and decorations based on popular dogs from TV and cartoons such as Snoopy, Scooby, Pluto, Astro, Eddie (from Frasier), Beethoven, and many more! You could even include balloons, streamers, hats, decorative tableware, cute bowls, wall hangings, and so on, to add to the fun. You just need to give a slight push to your thoughts and imagination and you will come with an endless list of thrilling ideas!

Party Food and Cake

Coming to the most important part of any birthday party – the food! For your pet’s birthday party, you might want to keep the menu as simple as possible, and yet at the same time, make sure you give it a special touch. You could pick up some pet delicacies, biscuits, and other dog treats from a nearby pet store. Most importantly, don’t forget to pick up a huge doggie cake for your pet and its playmates. You can easily pick up these cakes specially made for dogs from a pet store, or if you want to give it a special touch, you can even look up some recipes online and make a cake for your beloved doggie yourself!

Activities and Entertainment

No party is complete without entertainment and some fun activities to go along with! Again, there are plenty of ways you could have fun with your pets. You could take them to a beach, arrange for some great dog games, host a fancy dress competition for your dog and its friends, set up an obstacle course in your backyard, make them go berserk with balls, toys, and Frisbees, and so much more! There are plenty of more such fun ideas that will guarantee to keep your pet, its playmates, and their humans entertained right till the end.

Mickey Jones is an animal lover who writes for Pet Heaven NQ, a privately owned pet cemetery and crematorium based in Australia. His other hobbies include gardening and photography.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

Thank Your Local Shelter, Nov. 3 - 9

DogwithformThe week of November 3 through November 9 has been designated National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). 

Now incorporating rescue groups as well, this campaign is designed to acknowledge and promote the invaluable role shelters and other animal welfare organizations play in their communities and to increase public awareness of animal welfare issues and shelter services. During National Animal Shelter (and Rescue!) Appreciation Week, the HSUS promotes and celebrates animal shelters and rescue groups across the country through media and public outreach.

While adopting animals is the primary mission of most shelters and rescue groups, many of these organizations are today involved in numerous other programs to help save the lives of abandoned, neglected, and homeless animals and serve the public. For example, through the Buncombe County Animal Shelter, operated by Asheville Humane Society, animals are transported to other shelters and rescue groups on a regular basis to keep the animal population manageable. Other services provided include the Safety Net program, which keeps families and pets together by providing alternatives to surrendering a pet to the shelter, a lost and found program, a microchip and free collar/ID tag program, a low cost spay/neuter program, and more.

This week, be sure to visit your local shelter or rescue group and thank them for their service to the community. You will find a list of local shelters on our Adoption page. Shelter staff work tirelessly to help save the lives of companion animals and they rarely get the credit they deserve.

Image courtesy of pandpstock001 /

Doggie Depression and What to Do About It

By Stacey Brecher for The Dog Daily

The Main Causes of Doggy Depression, and What to Do About It

While depression is not recognized as a medical condition in dogs, that doesn’t mean that your dog cannot have depressive symptoms. In fact, symptoms of dog depression may indicate a larger medical condition, and therefore should be monitored carefully.

The main things that usually alerts owners to their dog being unhappy are changes in behavior. Dr. Leslie Sinn, DVM, CPDT-KA and member of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, explains: “This could mean that the dog is not interacting the way she usually does, or not engaging the way she normally does. It might include not wanting to go for walks, or not eating meals.”

If these behaviors last more than a day or two, they can indicate a medical problem, and you should bring your dog to the veterinarian to run tests.

Many older dogs can exhibit symptoms that seem like depression but turn out to be something else. “A big concern is untreated pain, which can mirror depressive symptoms,” says Dr. Sinn.  “In our older dogs, for example, we worry a lot about untreated pain, such as arthritis. These symptoms could mirror ‘depressive’ symptoms, but actually point to a much greater and more dangerous condition.”

More information about depressive symptoms can be found here.

One symptom in particular that is often mistaken for a depressive symptom is an increase in lethargy. Before bringing your dog to the veterinarian, try to engage him in activities that he previously enjoyed, like fetch. Sometimes, one-on-one time with you might be all your pup needs to cheer up. If this doesn’t work, consult your vet to rule out medial problems.

It’s also important to monitor your dog’s appetite. “If the animal is feeling very poorly and refuses to eat for an extended period of time, that would put their decline ahead of schedule and is considered very harmful,” warns Dr. Sinn. “If a pet is refusing to eat for an extended period of time, this could be a serious problem.”

New stressors in a dog’s environment can bring on anxiety as well. “There are a number of things the owner can do to help lower stress, including keeping the dog away from crowded situations, decreasing chaos and unscheduled activities in the home, providing the pup with toys, walks and an increase in one-on-one interaction,” recommends Dr. Sinn. If these changes do not work on your dog, there are medications that your vet can give your dog to help with the anxiety.

The keys to stopping depressive symptoms in your dog, if there are no real medical problems, are very similar to what you would do for a person who is sad. Increasing positive interactions and decreasing chaos and stress will have your dog playing and running around in no time. 

Stacey Brecher is a freelance writer. She has contributed to Animal Fair magazine, and her blogs have previously appeared on The Dog Daily. 

Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade, Black Mountain, Oct. 26

HalloweenThe annual Black Mountain "Howl-O-Ween" Pet Parade and Costume Contest will be held on Saturday, October 26 in downtown Black Mountain. Registration for the costume contest ($5 fee donated to local animal welfare organizations) begins at 1 PM. The parade (free) begins at 3 PM, with the costume contest following.

Prizes will be awarded for the three best costumes in three categories: pet, human, and pet-only.

Bring your pet to Black Mountain and join in the fun. For further information, call (828) 669-0706.

Image courtesy of Feelart /

Halloween Canine Carnival, Asheville, Oct. 26

4dogs_dressed_for_halloweenA Halloween Canine Carnival will be held on Saturday, October 26 from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Biltmore Square Mall, Brevard Road in Asheville.

It will be a fun day for the whole family, including:

  • a Pet Parade
  • Pet Costume Contests with celebrity judges
  • activities and games for kids
  • a "haunted" doggie playground
  • photo booth, and much more. 

Plus, there'll be a special appearance by Rocky the UNCA mascot of the Bulldogs. The carnival will be held by and benefits Asheville Humane Society. Don't miss this spooktacular event!



$5 Adoptions at Asheville Humane Society Oct. 18-19

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 18 12.34Asheville Humane Society is overloaded with wonderful adoptable animals, so the organization is holding a special "$5 Fall in Love" promotion on Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19.

Come over to the beautiful Adoption Center at 14 Forever Friends Lane in Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market, behind Harmony Motors) and adopt an adult dog, cat or kitten for just $5 each.

The Adoption Center is open from 10 AM to 6 PM, and you can check out all the animals available for adoption on the Asheville Humane Society website:

Don't miss this opportunity to FALL IN LOVE!

Bark for Life Helps Fight Cancer - October 19

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 12 10.51The 4th Annual Bark for Life Asheville Event will be held from 2 to 5 PM on Saturday, October 19 at Highland Brewing Company, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville. The event, which raises money to support the American Cancer Society, is a great way to have fun while supporting a worthy cause.

Registration starts at 1:30 PM and is followed by a welcome and the Parade of Dogs. The Dog Party features live music from Alarm Clock Conspiracy and various food vendors. Registered dogs will receive a goody bag with a special bandana and the owner will get a t-shirt and one complimentary drink ticket.

Registration is $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the event. Go to to register.

Rabies and Shot Clinic, Asheville, Oct. 19

Dog_being_vaccinatedNeed to get your dog or cat vaccinated? Come to a low-cost shot clinic on Saturday, October 19. 

The clinic will be held from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Biltmore Square Mall, Brevard Road, Asheville (near the site of the old Garfield's restaurant). Rabies vaccinations and other vaccinations will be available at low cost.

Microchips to protect your pet if lost are also available at a low fee.

Fund Raiser for Logan's Run Rescue, Cherokee County, Oct. 19

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 04 15.24Logan's Run Rescue is a small animal rescue in Cherokee County that serves Western North Carolina. The organization will be holding a benefit fund raiser, "Mutt Dillon and Miss Kitty's BBQ Hoedown," on Saturday, October 19 from 4 to 8 PM.

The event takes place at Shiloh Stables, 148 Shepherd Drive in Hayesville. Tickets are $15 each or two for $25. Tickets are available at Logan's Run Rescue Thrift Store in Murphy, or from Logan's Run Rescue, PO Box 725, Marble, NC 28905 (write "BBQ fundraiser" on check). You can also call (828) 644-5014. 

Check out the organization's website -- --  for information about Logan's Run Rescue.

10th Annual Taste of Compassion on Nov. 14 - Buy Tickets Now!

ScreenHunter_02 Oct. 11 17.55"Taste of Compassion," the premiere event in WNC animal rescue, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Organized by Animal Compassion Network, now a part of Asheville Humane Society, proceeds from Taste of Compassion benefit the Safety Net Program, which keeps families and pets together by providing alternatives to surrendering pets to a shelter. Tough economic times have created a high rate of pet surrender by owners, so this program is especially crucial. 

Join Animal Compassion Network/Asheville Humane Society as they present over twenty different wines for tasting. Sample delectable vegetarian fare from area restaurants. Bid on hundreds of silent and live auction items donated by local businesses, artists, and organizations. You might even be the winning bidder for a 2014 Subaru Outback from Prestige Subaru!

Here are all the details:

10th Annual Taste of Compassion

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

5:30 PM - 9 PM

* New location this year *

Crowne Plaza Resort Expo Center

1 Resort Drive, West Asheville


Vegetarian hors d'oeuvres and desserts

Live auction featuring a 2014 Subaru Outback from Prestige Subaru

Silent auction featuring hundreds of items from local businesses and artists

Music by band One Leg Up and DJ from Sound Extreme Entertainment

Free parking!

Buy tickets here, or for more information, contact Eileen Bouressa, email: 

Fund Raiser for Animal Haven-Asheville, Oct. 13

ScreenHunter_01 Sep. 29 15.25Animal Haven of Asheville, a place where lost and abandoned animals can find food and shelter, holds its fall fund raiser on Sunday, October 13 from 2 to 7 PM. The event will take place at Animal Haven, 65 Lower Grassy Branch Road, Asheville.

Help raise money for the 100-plus animals cared for by Animal Haven. $15 admission includes vegan food (veggie burgers and hot dogs), salads, desserts, beer, and soda. Live music by Bear Down Easy-bluegrass and Appalachian roots, silent auction, tours of the sanctuary, and shopping at the on site thrift shop. This is a family friendly event and no registration is required -- just pay at the door.

Directions from Asheville: Take I-240 to exit 7. Turn left onto Tunnel Road East. Go 3-4 miles, pass VA Hospital on left, go under Blue Ridge Parkway overpass to red light. Turn left, go 1/2 mile, see signs. Parking is available at the sanctuary.

For more information, call 828-299-1635.

Bark for Life, Asheville, October 19

BarkforLifeThe 4th Annual Bark for Life Asheville Event will be held from 2 to 5 PM on Saturday, October 19 at Highland Brewing Company, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville. The event, which raises money to support the American Cancer Society, is a great way to have fun while supporting a worthy cause.

Registration starts at 1:30 PM and is followed by a welcome and the Parade of Dogs. The Dog Party features live music from Alarm Clock Conspiracy and various food vendors. Registered dogs will receive a goody bag with a special bandana and the owner will get a t-shirt and one complimentary drink ticket.

Registration is $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the event. Go to to register.

Volunteers are still needed for the day of the Bark for Life event. If you are interested informing a team, volunteering, or becoming a corporate sponsor, please call Jill Lydic, Event Chair, at 828-665-1010, or Sarah Miles, Community Manager, ACS, at 828-631-3310.

Low Cost Adoptions at Asheville Humane Society Through Oct. 17!

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 06 20.54Asheville Humane Society is overloaded with wonderful adoptable animals, so the organization is holding a special "Canine & Kitties Carnival" through October 17.

Come over to the beautiful Adoption Center at 14 Forever Friends Lane in Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market, behind Harmony Motors) and set your own price on adult dogs and kittens -- up to 75 percent off the regular adoption fees. Plus, adult cats are available without any adoption fee at all!

The Adoption Center is open from Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM, and you can check out all the animals available for adoption on the Asheville Humane Society website:

Don't miss this opportunity to adopt the love of your life!

Photos: Asheville Humane Society

Dog Depression - Causes and Cures

From the Editors of The Dog Daily

Dog Depression: Causes and Cures

George and Fritz -- two canine littermates -- spent their entire lives together. In the mornings they squabbled over the tastiest bowl bites. Sufficiently fueled, they then seemed to collaborate on clever schemes, like stealing tennis shoe laces or sneaking into forbidden places. They went on walks together, played and napped side by side.

This went on for 14 years until Fritz died. Suddenly, George no longer acted like the same dog. He slept more, withdrew from social activities and lost interest in his food.

At that point, a visit to the vet was in order. "In such cases, I always begin by looking for a physical cause," said Dr. Raymond Van Lienden, DVM, a veterinarian at The Animal Clinic of Clifton, Va. "I conduct a full examination, do the blood work, run x-rays and analyze the dog's complete health history to see what may be wrong." He added that for dogs like George, no physical malady might show up in the barrage of medical tests. "It's then that we have to look at other possible causes, including grief and depression."

Is Dog Depression Real?
Dr. Van Lienden says that no study has yet unequivocally proven that depression exists in dogs, but he is convinced animals have emotions. "When you come home, your dog may appear happy and excited to see you, and when you scold it, it may slink away with apparent guilt," he said, adding that dog's appear to suffer from physical as well as emotional pain. A recent University of Portsmouth study further found that pet owners observed emotions like pride, embarrassment, shame and even jealousy in cats, pigs, horses, rabbits, rats and hamsters, as well as dogs. Since mammals appear to experience comparable emotions, depression could be added to the list.

The challenge in diagnosing depression is that symptoms mimic those for many other health problems. These symptoms may include lethargy, weight loss, lack of interest in food, drink and social activities, and a tendency to sleep more. Medical examinations are critical to rule out health problems that may include anything from a chemical imbalance to a thyroid-related condition.

Causes for Depression
According to Dr. Van Lienden, change is usually at the root of canine depression. As for George, the change could be a sudden death, or other disappearance, of a valued dog or human companion. It might be an unwanted change of scenery, such as when the owner moves from one location to another. Or it could be an unwanted addition, like a new baby, pet, or housemate that has altered the dog's routine in some way.

Dr. Van Lienden offered these suggestions for preventing and treating depression in your dog:

  • If some kind of major change is forthcoming, try to gradually transition your dog by maintaining its usual schedule and keeping familiar toys and objects at hand/paw. Then slowly introduce your dog to the new person or place, allowing it to sniff and investigate as much as possible.
  • If another dog in your family dies, consider replacing it with a new dog, as studies suggest canines enjoy having same species companionship.
  • Once your vet rules out medical conditions as a cause for your dog's problems, say something like, "Humor me, doctor. Could my dog be depressed?" Some vets are more open to the possibility than others, so you may have to step in as your dog's mental health advocate.
  • In severe cases, consider medications that your veterinarian could prescribe, such as Prozac, which can "buy some time" to get your dog through the worst period.

The good news is that, unlike humans, dogs live more for the moment. Although grief and depression can linger for weeks or even months in canines, the feelings and related symptoms are usually temporary. "Most dogs will overcome the problems on their own," said Dr. Van Lienden. "It may just take a bit of time for them to cope and adjust."

October is "Adopt a Shelter Dog Month"

Adopt MeThe month of October is designated "Adopt a Shelter Dog Month," so there couldn't be a better time to visit your local shelter and find the love of your life!

For information about adopting, along with a list of shelters and rescue organizations in the Carolina mountains, please visit our ADOPTING page.

Below are five great reasons to adopt a shelter dog, courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States:

1. You'll save a life

Sadly, around 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States simply because too many people give up their pets, and too few people adopt from shelters. Because there is limited space at shelters, staff members sometimes need to make very hard decisions to euthanize animals who haven't been adopted.

The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. By adopting from a private humane society or animal shelter, breed rescue group, or the local animal control agency, you'll help save the lives of two animals—the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because of space you helped free up.

2. You'll get a healthy pet

Animal shelters are brimming with happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelters examine and give vaccinations to animals when they arrive, and many spay or neuter them before being adopted. In addition to medical care, more and more shelters also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure each family finds the right pet for its lifestyle.

It is a common misconception that animals end up in shelters because they've been abused or done something "wrong." In fact, most animals are given to shelters because of "people reasons," not because of anything they've done. Things like a divorce, a move, lack of time, and financial constraints are among the most common reasons pets lose their homes.

3. You'll save money

Adopting a pet from an animal shelter is much less expensive than buying a pet at a pet store or through other sources. In addition, animals from many shelters are already spayed or neutered and vaccinated, which makes the shelter's fee a real bargain. 

4. You'll feel better

Pets have a way of putting a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally, and physically beneficial. Caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups.

Pets can help your physical health as well—just spending time with an animal can help lower a person's blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and dog walking, pet grooming, and even petting provide increased physical activity that can help strengthen the heart, improve blood circulation, and slow the loss of bone tissue. Put simply, pets aren't just good friends; they're also good medicine and can improve a person's well-being in many ways. 

5. You won't be supporting puppy mills and pet stores

Puppy mills are "factory style" dog-breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Most dogs raised in puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and the parents of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they're no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.

Puppy-mill puppies are sold to unsuspecting consumers in pet stores, over the Internet, and through newspaper classified advertisements to whoever is willing to pay for them.

Marketed as coming from great breeders, well-rehearsed sales tactics keep money flowing to the puppy mill by ensuring that buyers never get to see where the pups actually come from (a vital step in puppy-buying). Many of the puppies have serious behavioral and health problems that might not be apparent for months, including medical problems that can cost thousands of dollars to treat, if they are treatable at all. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not even aware that puppy mills exist, so when they buy a pet from a pet store, online or other retail outlet, they are unwittingly supporting this cruel industry.

By adopting instead of buying a pet, you can be certain you aren't supporting cruel puppy mills with your money. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop purchasing their dogs. Instead of buying a dog, visit your local shelter where you will likely to find dozens of healthy, well-socialized puppies and adult dogs—including purebreds—just waiting for that special home—yours.

(Five reasons copyright 2013, Humane Society of the United States)

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti /

Blue Ridge Hike-With-Your-Dog Festival, Oct. 3-6

ScreenHunter_02 Sep. 15 18.59According to Doug Gelbert, author of Doggin' Asheville and over 20 other books on hiking with your dog, "You won't be able to wipe the wag off your dog's tail" during the first Blue Ridge Hike-With-Your-Dog Festival around Asheville-Brevard-Hendersonville from October 3 to 6. Even though all hikes are in the mountains, each is designed to be enjoyable for even canine hiking beginners and will last between one and two hours. Guided hikes are led by Gelbert. All events are free and open without registration. 

Gelbert says he is unaware of any similar event. "I receive a lot of requests to organize hikes with dogs and suggest places to go, so instead of one meet-up I designed three days of events. You can't begin to get the experience of the Blue Ridge Mountains with a single hike." In addition to the regular canine hikes, there is an organized Doggie Swim and a Senior Stroll on the schedule of the Blue Ridge Hike-With-Your-Dog Festival.

Not all great hikes take place on dirt and grass. On Friday afternoon, Oct. 4, Gelbert, who has written over 400 historical and architectural walking tours of towns across America, will lead a History Hound Hike around downtown Asheville. On Thursday evening at 5 PM, the festival kicks off with a special Yappy Hour gathering at Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique, located at 231-A N. Main Street in Hendersonville.
Full details and a schedule of hikes for each day are available at the website