Thursday, February 26, 2009

Little Rock, Arkansas Dogs and Cats Who Need a Home

My campaign to help 1000 dogs and cats find homes this year continues. This time we focus on Little Rock, Arkansas and the pets available through CARE - Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals.

CARE was established in 1998 for the dual purpose of rescuing abandoned dogs and cats facing euthanasia as well as to provide programs to help people get their pets sterilized. From a group of 4 initial volunteers, CARE has grown to the point where hundreds of volunteers devote thousands of hours to our rescue and spay-neuter operations. Since CARE does not have a shelter facility, they use their website as a virtual shelter where you can view pets available for adoption and submit an adoption application on line.

The animals pictured on this page are homeless, and in immediate need of a foster or permanent home. Who are they? These are animals that have been identified by CARE as adoptable pets. Where are they? These animals are currently housed at the animal shelter of one of central Arkansas’s municipal or county animal-services departments OR have been otherwise abandoned OR are living in some other situation where the animal cannot or should not remain.

If CARE can locate a volunteer foster home for these animals, then CARE plans to take them into its rescue program and proceed to search for a permanent (“adoptive”) home for each of them. The first step in that process is to place the animal in a foster home. CARE has no kennel or boarding facility of its own, but relies upon volunteers to provide temporary (“foster”) homes for the animals that are in its rescue program. For this reason, without volunteer foster homes, CARE's rescue program could NOT operate.

With respect to animals in the municipal or county animal-services shelters, each animal is assigned an “available date” that is based upon the date when the animal is admitted into the shelter. The “available date” is the date when the animal becomes available either to be adopted from the shelter or to be euthanized there. Each of these shelters is required to accept all animals within its jurisdiction that are surrendered to the shelter or are collected by the shelter in the course of its duties. Thus, unless an animal in the shelter is timely rescued by its owner or adopted directly from the shelter, the animal must be euthanized at some point after its ”available date” in order to make room in that shelter for more animals.

If you can open your heart and your home to save one of these lives, please contact CARE at telephone: 501-603-2273 or telephone: 501-804-2273 or email CARE at

Sweetie Petey is a wonderful cat, who truly fits his name. He comes to CARE from Little Rock Animal Village where he was picked up as a stray. Sweetie Petey has a great disposition -- very affectionate with a calm, laid-back personality. He gets on well with other cats and seems to be okay with dogs as well. Sweetie Petey loves to be petted, and rolls back and forth on his back when he wants a belly rub. He also rides well in a car. Sweetey Petey is neutered and vaccinated; he will be microchipped. [01-23-09]

Jessie comes to CARE from the Mayflower Animal Control where she was found walking down a busy road. Jessie is a beautiful dog with a sweet personality. She is very smart and quickly learns commands. Jessie loves to cuddle and be close to you. She loves to play frisbee and will be happiest in a home with a yard. Jessie is being treated for heartworms; she will be vaccinated, spayed and microchipped. [2-12-09]

Marcy is a happy, active two-year-old yellow Labrador retriever. She is getting along well in her foster home and plays happily with the foster's two dogs and six-year-old daughter. Marcy loves playing with toys and playing chase with them. She loves to eat and happily sits for treats. In keeping with her Labrador-retriever genes, Marcy loves water. She does well with other dogs and children. Marcy has been spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped. She was a rescue from Benton Animal Control. Marcy is doing well with housetraining and walking on a leash. [12-28-08]

Buck comes to CARE from Mayflower Animal Control where he was picked up as a stray. Buck is a very strong, happy dog and is eager to learn. He knows basic commands like "sit" and "stay," and Buck loves his treats. He will be vaccinated, neutered, and microchipped.
Save a life today! Sometimes just a few extra days can mean the difference between life and death for a dog or a cat on "death row" at animal shelters. CARE is often asked to rescue gentle, well-mannered, healthy dogs and cats from animal control shelters and emergency situations. Their ability to help these animals is limited to the availability of foster homes. If you love animals, please consider opening your heart and home to one that might otherwise die.
I was lucky. I have a Mom and Dad who love me and I have lived with them for a very long time. Please help me give other cats and dogs the same opportunity. A foster pet may stay at your home for as short a time as two or three days. Sometimes, it takes a couple of weeks before he or she finds a permanent home. Fostering an animal, whether for a day or a week, is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Are your a Person who thinks "Gee, I'd love to foster, but I won't be able to let them go to another home." -- everyone at CARE has gone through that stage. One thought helps the most - if you let this one go to a great home (maybe not as great as yours, but still a very good one... ), that opens up your house to save another cat or dog.

Click here to find out more information about becoming a CARE foster home.
Save a life. Call today and foster or adopt a pet! Tell them Traveling Bob sent you!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Have You Fed The Birds Today?

Mom just came home from shopping. I saw the bag from the pet store and thought it was a treat for me. No such luck. All she bought was a bunch of bird seed! BIRD SEED!? I don't eat bird seed. I was a little upset - alright I was a lot upset. But then Mom reminded me how much I enjoy chasing birds. And she told me that in the winter, birds have a hard time finding food. She told me that it's so hard for them that people all over are joining together to remind others that they need to feed the birds. After listening to her, I felt bad that I had been mad. I like the birds. I can chase them. And when I'm tired and I'm just sitting in the sun, I can listen to them sing. It helps me sleep. I would not like a world without birds. So I've decided to do my part by sharing some information Mom got from the Wild Bird Center.

Consider that: - A typical backyard bird doesn't weigh as much as two nickels. - Birds spend most of their waking hours searching for food -- without the help of "hands" and "fingers". - They may consume 15% of their body weight overnight just keeping warm enough to survive. - Like mail carriers, they're outside in sleet, snow, wind and cold.

One-third of the adult population feeds wild birds in their backyards. Providing food, water and shelter helps birds survive, benefits the environment and supplements wild birds' natural diet of weed seeds and harmful insects.

Backyard bird feeding is an entertaining, educational and inexpensive pastime that can be enjoyed by children and adults. It provides a needed break from today's frantic lifestyles that helps keep families together. Young children are drawn naturally to the activities involved in feeding wild birds. Chickadees, for example, fly back and forth between a feeder and a nearby tree. On each trip, they take a single seed and fly to a perch. While holding the seed with their feet, they peck it open and eat the kernel. This can capture a youngster's imagination.

Adults enjoy the relaxation and peacefulness afforded by watching birds. Nature serves to relieve the stress and can get one's day going on a tranquil note. For example, the Northern cardinal is a common visitor to many feeding stations. A beautiful bird, the bright red male and his more camouflaged mate often will be the first at the feeder in the morning and last to leave at night. Mated for life, they can be observed sharing morsels of sunflower and safflower seeds during the nesting season.

Feeding wild birds in the backyard is an easy hobby to start, and it need not overtax the family budget. It can be as simple as mounting a single feeder outside a window and filling it with good-quality birdseed or oil sunflower seeds. This feeder can be a hopper, platform or tubular variety or one that sticks to the window.

Parents can challenge an inquisitive child's mind as they explore together these factors to encourage visits by their favorite birds. It also makes excellent material for school projects and reports. In fact, bird feeding is an excellent teaching tool. Children can assume daily responsibility for cleaning and filling the feeders. Different species of birds can be identified with a field guide. And the activity can be expanded form that point, depending on the interest of the family.

For example, suet products often are put out in wire baskets to attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and others. Another variation of feeding is to provide sugar water in special red-colored feeders to attract hummingbirds in the summer. These little wonders of nature will hover right in front of you to drink, and present an entire bird study all by themselves.

If you offer water, particularly if it's dripping or running, you may attract birds that do not visit your feeders. Many interesting and eye-catching species are not seedeaters, preferring insects or berries instead. Adding a birdbath warmer to keep water from freezing in northern states during winter creates an oasis for bird watching. To round out the family's backyard birding program, birdhouses can be purchased to provide shelter in winter and breeding sanctuaries during spring for cavity-nesting birds.

Feeding backyard songbirds is an extremely popular wildlife-related recreational activity around the home. A stress-free and inexpensive activity, backyard birding brings a welcome flash of color and dash of motion and splash of sound into everyone's daily life.

Mom and I will fill our bird feeders tomorrow. She has lots of them all over our yard. We have a big yard so she needs them all. I hope you will feed them too.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Little Rock, Arkansas - A Great Destination

I decided to continue our tour of my home state, Arkansas, with a visit to the state capital. Little Rock offers lots of exciting things for you and your parents to do. Made famous by "Bill and Hil", Little Rock has become a favorite destination for travelers.

Where do you stay when visiting Little Rock? Like all good pet-friendly cities, there is a wide range of choices. But as usual, I have my favorite. It's where Mom and I stay whenever we're in town. The Comfort Inn and Suites Downtown is a nice hotel with a very friendly staff. The fact that they are also smoke-free is a huge plus. Cigarette smoke makes me sneeze and Mom cough. The beds are so comfy - plush, plush, plush! And they have microwaves and refrigerators, so Mom and I can have breakfast together. Some of the rooms even have recliners, so Mom and I can relax just like we do at home.

In Little Rock, the first place everyone wants to see is the Clinton Presidential Center and Library. The Center has numerous exhibits and Mom says it houses the largest archival collection in American presidential history. I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds important. Mom only goes when Dad or someone else is in Little Rock with her because she likes to look at the exhibits and I'm not allowed inside. But I am allowed on the grounds and trails by the river. Since Dad wasn't a fan of Bill's, he doesn't mind keeping me company on our walks while Mom satisfies her historical and political cravings. I do have to be on my leash while we walk, but it's so nice here, I don't mind a bit. I love being near the river!

History buff that she is, Mom also likes to visit the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. She says General MacArthur was born right here (in the museum?) and that it honors Arkansas men and women who served in the Armed Forces, just like Dad and she did. I'm not that much of a history fan, so it doesn't bother me that I am not allowed in the buildings. I am allowed throughout the park and, just as when we visit the Clinton Center, Dad usually keeps me company while Mom goes inside. I sure have a great Dad!

After abandoning me to Dad all day, Mom usually feels guilty enough that she tries to make it up to me by taking me to the River Market District! It's always great, whenever we go. As long as I'm on my leash, I can go with Mom through all the streets of the district and even some of the open air restaurants. She always lets me have some BBQ - even though it's not all that good for me. I do only get a few bites. And sometimes, if I've been especially good, she lets me have a bite of her caramel cheesecake. It's yummy! I don't get as many treats as I used to though. I'm still on that diet.

After caramel cheesecake and BBQ, we go to Paws Park at Murray Park for some exercise. Paws Park is a fenced, OFF-LEASH, dog park. It has fences so the big dogs are kept away from little dogs like me. And there are water troughs so I can drink whenever I'm thirsty. Mom and I will play for a while and then she and I will sit on one of the benches and rest before dinner.

MY favorite place to eat is the Arkansas Burger Company. They have the best burgers in town - and you know how I love burgers! I like to sit at the outside tables and share a "Hog" with Mom and Dad. (For you non-burger lovers, a "Hog" is the world's best bacon cheeseburger!).

I just love it when Mom says lets go to Little Rock for the weekend. It has everything needed for the perfect dog-friendly getaway.