Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013.
There are 220 days left in the year.
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NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of Central Oklahoma Humane Society (OK Humane) in Oklahoma City, Okla., has dispatched its disaster response team to assist with shelter operations as the facility experiences an influx of animals affected by the devastating tornado that hit Moore, Okla. on May 20. The ASPCA and OK Humane are also coordinating the distribution of pet food to impacted areas.
The ASPCA has also enlisted the assistance of the following agencies for this joint disaster relief effort: IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) of Yarmouth Port, Mass.; Code 3 Associates Animal Disaster Response of Longmont, Colo.; and RedRover of Sacramento, Calif. Representatives from SAWA (Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) are also en route to Oklahoma Humane to lend their support.
Since the tornado, local animal control officers with the City of Oklahoma City have brought 110 lost, stray, injured or displaced pets to OK Humane where they are being assessed and cared for; that number could rise in the coming days. OK Humane has also reunited 46 pets so far with their families.
“OK Humane is very fortunate to have the ASPCA as a partner,” said Christy Counts, president and executive director of OK Humane. “We feel confident that with their assistance and support during this critical time, we will be able to provide excellent disaster response to this tragic situation.”
“We’re happy to lend a hand to Central Oklahoma Humane by providing staffing to handle the influx of animals affected by this disaster,” said Dick Green, director of disaster response for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “Our goal is to help make sure things run smoothly, and to see that the animals are comfortable and find their way back to their families as soon as possible.”
“In the face of overwhelming loss, IFAW is proud to be there for families separated from their beloved pets during the tornado,” said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW manager for disaster response. “We are assigning teams to help care for animals at the shelter and assist with reunifications.”
“Code 3 Associates is helping to provide care and logistical support to the animals located at OK Humane’s dedicated animal housing facility,” said Eric Thompson, director of emergency services for Code 3. “We stand ready with additional staff and assets to provide further assistance should additional needs be identified.”
“We at RedRover are heartbroken about the devastation this tornado brought to Oklahoma. We will be assisting with the process to reunite people with their pets," said Beth Gammie, RedRover emergency services manager. "For families who have lost so much, knowing that their pets are safe means everything.”
For more information about how you can help the pets and people of Oklahoma, please visit OK Humane. Moore-area pet owners who are searching for a lost cat or dog, please visits www.okclostpets.com.
About Central Oklahoma Humane Society
The Central Oklahoma Humane Society was founded in 2007 and works in close partnership with the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Division (OKC Animal Shelter). Its primary focus is to eliminate the needless euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals in Oklahoma City. Since its beginning in 2007, it has found homes for over 11,000 cats and dogs and spayed and neutered about 50,000 pets. For more information, please visit www.okhumane.org.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Code 3 Associates, Inc.
Code 3 Associates, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is dedicated to providing professional animal disaster response and resources to communities, as well as providing professional training to individuals and agencies involved in animal related law enforcement and emergency response. Our mission is accomplished through hands-on animal rescue and care operations during disaster events in the United States and Canada, and through our certified animal welfare training seminars which include animal cruelty training for investigators. For more information, please visit www.code3associates.org.
Founded in 1987, the mission of RedRover is to bring animals out of crisis and strengthen the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. RedRover accomplishes its mission by engaging volunteers and supporters, collaborating with others and maximizing the use of online technology. For more information, please visit www.redrover.org.
About Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA)
The Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) is a non-profit individual membership organization of international professionals in animal welfare, care & control, dedicated to the growth and prestige of our industry. SAWA strives to advocate humane ideals through professional advancement of members. Animal welfare leaders network with peers, establish mentor relationships, share best practices, form successful collaborations, and advance the field. For more information, visit www.sawanetwork.org.
Establishes Temporary Sheltering and Placement for Seized Animals
to Support Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office
Lake City, Mich.—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) Field Investigations and Response team is assisting with the removal and sheltering of more than 150 dogs from two separate locations owned by a large, substandard, unlicensed breeding facility called JRT John's Jack Russell and Shiba Inu Kennel in Lake City, Mich. The removal of the animals is a result of a civil action, prompted by violation of Michigan’s Dog Law, led by the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office and the Roscommon County Animal Shelter.
The dogs—mainly Jack Russell terriers and Shiba Inus—were discovered living in outdoor enclosures with little protection from the elements. Many dogs had no access to clean drinking water or proper shelter, with plastic carriers being their only refuge from rain, snow or sun. Responders on the scene found the dogs were unsocialized and fearful when handled by humans. The ASPCA believes the facility to be a puppy mill, a large-scale breeding operation, where profit is given priority over the well-being of the animals.
“Puppy mill dogs may suffer from living in a variety of inhumane conditions including unsanitary conditions, inadequate veterinary care, and lack of basic necessities and socialization,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We are pleased to aid the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office and Roscommon County Animal Shelter by providing expertise and resources to support the case and remove the dogs from this situation. Our goal is to see that these animals are healthy and placed with rescue groups where they can find new homes as quickly as possible.”
“This case has been years in the making and we felt strongly that something had to be done to protect these animals,” said Sherriff Jim Bosscher. “The ASPCA’s resources and sheltering knowledge, combined with the support of the Roscommon County Animal Shelter, will finally allow these dogs the chance to have a happy life.”
Dogs requiring medical examinations are being transported to a nearby temporary shelter, where they will receive veterinary care from the ASPCA’s medical team, led by medical director Dr. Sarah Kirk. Dogs that are medically and behaviorally sound will be immediately placed by Roscommon County Animal Shelter with ASPCA response partners, including Medina County SPCA (Medina, Ohio) and Animal Humane Society (Golden Valley, Minn.), which are also supporting the sheltering operation and will help provide daily care for the animals. Other agencies in Michigan assisting the operation include Michigan Humane Society (Bingham Farms), Kalkaska County Animal Control (Kalkaska) and Clare County Animal Shelter (Harrison). PetSmart Charities® has generously contributed to this operation by providing critical supplies for the sheltering and transport of the animals.
“We are thankful to the ASPCA for making such a large-scale seizure possible,” said Terry MacKillop, director of Roscommon County Animal Shelter. “Our staff will be working closely with ASPCA responders to ensure the best possible outcome for these dogs.”
Once medical exams are complete, the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team will begin behavior evaluations of dogs at the temporary shelter and work with Roscommon County Animal Shelter and ASPCA response partners to determine placement options.
The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued countless dogs from puppy mills across the nation. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in promoting legislation that would strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills, including the Puppy Protection Act currently before the Michigan legislature. Additionally, the ASPCA launched a national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the connection between puppy mills and pet stores and end the demand for puppy mill dogs. For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.
Photos from breeding facility and removal of animals for media use: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ncuw9v5vnshbt6o/g0G23ICssv
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.
New technology provides a way for Pet Owners to keep their pets safe! Protector® was designed specifically to help pet owners deter dog attacks.
Now there is an effective, humane way to keep you and your pet safe!
It happens every 75 seconds and it can take less than 10 seconds for tragedy to happen. Over 1,000 (pets, pet owners or both) suffer from dog bites each day.
According to the JAMA, dog attack victims now suffer up to $2 billion dollars annually and dog bites make up a third of all home owners’ liability claims. It’s extremely unfortunate but true; a nice walk in the park can turn into one hundred stitches, a week of intensive care and thousands of dollars in hospital bills.
Man’s best friend is considered by most pet owners to be a member of their family and most will do whatever it takes to protect theirs. Unfortunately, many give little thought to protecting their lovable friend until it is too late. These dangerous attacks leave panicked owners searching for any means possible to separate and deter the attacking dog. 2x4’s, sticks, purses, their own hands and sometimes even weapons have been used to stop attacks. Unfortunately, these situations often result in serious injuries to the attacking dog, the pet and the owner.
Now an environmentally friendly, safe and effective option allows pet owners to keep their best friend safe by deterring attacking dogs at a safe distance. Recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, Protector Dog Spray provides an all-natural food grade pepper spray formulation which stops the attack safely. With a range of up to 15 feet, Protector® temporarily stings and closes the eyes of the attacking dog. All effects reverse in just a few minutes leaving no injuries to the attacking dog and the necessary time for you and your pet to escape to safety.
Protect yourself and your pet. Walk confidently with Protector® dog spray.
Family owned and operated since 1975, Security Equipment Corporation (SEC) is the manufacturer of Protector Dog Attack spray, Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent and SABRE and SABRE RED personal & professional safety sprays. A dedication to innovation coupled with a commitment to producing very safe products and formulations has made SEC the industry leader in sprays designed to keep individuals and now their pets safe.
THE CAT WHISPERER
Why Cats Do What They Do—and How to Get Them to Do What You Want
By Mieshelle Nagelschneider
Foreword by Gwen Cooper
A Bantam Books Hardcover | On Sale: March 5, 2013
Advance Praise for THE CAT WHISPERER
“Full of “think like a cat” advice, Nagelschneider’s work will make for happier human-feline households.” —Booklist
“Pet-owners despairing of getting their cats to behave will find new hope in this comprehensive guide. More than meets Nagelschneider’s goal of guiding owners to the strategies for behavioral and environmental change needed to address issues such as urination outside the litter box and aggressiveness.”
“I wish I had read The Cat Whisperer before I started filming Must Love Cats. The cats would have liked me a lot more.”
—John Fulton, host of Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats
“The reason people are so mesmerized by house cats is because they are truly miniature versions of lions, tigers, and leopards. In her book The Cat Whisperer, Mieshelle explains in the behavior of the house cat an unprecedented and a most accessible way, with her unique insight into the often misunderstood companion animal that is as wild as we have become civilized.”
—Jordan Carlton Schaul, PhD, Contributing Editor, National Geographic Society and Curator, Orange County Zoo
“Nagelschneider is a wizard at demystifying cat behavior and providing easy-to-follow steps for solving vexing problems. I dog-eared (or should I say cat-eared) so many pages for later reference that my book doesn’t want to close. Living with six demanding cats in a small house, I wish I’d had this excellent guide years ago.”
—Bob Tarte, Author of Kitty Cornered, Enslaved by Ducks, and Fowl Weather
Who says you can’t train a cat? Just when you thought you had reached the end of your ball of twine, Mieshelle Nagelschneider, one of America’s most popular (and Harvard trained) cat behaviorists, comes to the rescue of perplexed cat owners everywhere with her authoritative new guide THE CAT WHISPERER: Why Cats Do What They Do—and How to Get Them to Do What You Want
(Bantam Book Hardcover; March 5, 2013). In it, Nagelschneider, who has been helping cat owners for over two decades, provides practical and effective strategies for solving every feline behavior problem imaginable—from litter box issues to scratching, spraying, biting, and beyond.
In this indispensible book, Nagelschneider explains that cats, like dogs, can be trained, but they require a different approach. To train a cat you need to understand how the mind of a creature who is not a pack animal works. This keen understanding of the unique way cats see the world—their need for safety and security, their acute territoriality, and their insatiable desire to catch and kill prey—is central to Nagelschneider’s work. In THE CAT WHISPERER, she takes readers step-by-step through her proven C.A.T. cat behavior modification plan, which is a commonsense course of action that can be specifically tailored to each individual cat. These easy-to-implement solutions help transform even the most anxiety-riddled companions into confident, gregarious, and relaxed cats who live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
In THE CAT WHISPERER, cat owners will learn:
· How to harness the power of “friendly pheromones” along with the importance of implementing an all-encompassing behavior plan (her proprietary 3-Part C.A.T. Plan) that covers every aspect of the behavior issue as well as transforming the cat’s environment.
· How to end aggression in multiple-cat households and help their cats coexist peacefully with groundbreaking techniques (including the Nagelschneider Method) based on social facilitation that creates a social glue between a tense multi-cat household that will help cats get along.
· Resolve once and for all the number one behavior issue in cats: litter box issues—even the notoriously difficult “pooping outside the box” issue.
· We are all cat whisperers—some anthropologists now believe we are genetically inclined to read animals well since we have lived amongst them for thousands of years. Mieshelle helps cat owners look at the world through the cat’s eyes to fix behavior problems.
Peppered throughout with stories and also her childhood memoir where cat whispering all began, Mieshelle Nagelschneider’s The Cat Whisperer is both an entertaining read and an endlessly useful resource.
About the Author:
Mieshelle Nagelschneider has worked extensively with thousands of cat owners and vets nationally and internationally solving their cat’s behavior issues. In 1999, she founded The Cat Behavior Clinic, a science-based consulting service that helps cat owners around the world understand and help their furry felines. She has been featured in Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats, Martha Stewart Living Radio, USA Today, Cat Fancy, Real Simple, and Feline Wellness, as well as on Salon.com, Pawnation.com, and NBC’s Petside.com.
THE CAT WHISPERER
Why Cats Do What They Do—and How to Get Them to Do What You Want
by Mieshelle Nagelschneider
A Bantam Hardcover * March 5, 2013
(May 20, 2013)—As we prepare to kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend, The Humane Society of the United States reminds everyone to keep pets safe during the warm months ahead.
“Summer is the perfect time to enjoy being with your pets,” said KC Theisen, director of pet care issues at The Humane Society of the United States. “But it’s important to keep your pets’ ID tags current in case they get lost, and beware of dangers associated with the warm weather, like hot pavement, hot cars and garden chemicals. With just a few extra precautions, you and your four-legged family members can have a happy and safe sun-filled season.”
The HSUS offers a few tips to keep your pets safe and healthy during summer:
Safer summer outings
- While Fido may leap at the opportunity for a joy ride, leaving any pet—dog, cat, rabbit, etc.— alone in a parked car during warm weather can be deadly. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car, even with the windows cracked open, can reach 102 degrees within just 10 minutes, and after 30 minutes the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour.
- Your four-legged friend needs exercise too. However, exercising in the summer heat can be just as uncomfortable for your pet as it is for you. Take your walks in the early mornings or late evening, not in the heat of midday, and remember that hot pavement can burn the pads of your pet’s paws.
- Keep your pet inside moving cars whenever you travel. A carrier is the safest place for your cat. Letting your dog travel with his or her head outside the open car window is dangerous—flying particles and debris can cause eye damage, and some pets have actually fallen out of moving vehicles. And dogs should never ride unsecured in the back of pickup trucks, regardless of how slow you are moving.
- Heartworms, ticks and fleas are more of a problem in warmer months and can cause serious health problems. Contact your veterinarian about products that will keep your pet healthy and parasite free.
- Avoid using cocoa mulch, pesticides, fertilizers and other gardening products that can pose hazards to pets, and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
- Summertime can also bring major weather events like hurricanes and tornados. Remember, never leave your pets behind – if conditions aren’t safe for you, they are not safe for your pets. Visit humanesociety.org/disaster for tips on disaster preparedness.
- Sunburn is a hazard for pets who spend time outdoors. Use a pet-safe sunscreen to protect your pet from the sun’s harming rays, which can cause skin cancer especially of the ears and nose.
- For pet owners in the East Coast, while cicadas may be a tempting treat for dogs, eating too many can cause digestive upset.
Avoid losing your pets:
- Check that your pet’s ID tags and microchip information are current, and that their collar is secure. Tags and microchips are life preservers in the event you lose a pet, and will allow whoever finds your pet to notify you quickly.
- Keep your feline friends safe and content indoors by providing them with cat grass and window perches that bring the great outdoors inside. Or consider screening in a porch or outdoor patio where you can allow your kitty some safe outdoor time. Also, cats can be trained to “walk” on a harness (never just use a collar and leash or tie your cat out), allowing you both to enjoy a little more leisure time in the yard.
- Common summer noises like fireworks and thunder may startle pets. For many animal shelters, the day after a town fireworks display is one of the busiest days of the year, as family pets become lost fleeing the sounds. Before a storm or fireworks display, bring your pet indoors or put him/her on a leash or secure tether.
For more pet health and safety tips visit humanesociety.org/pets.
May 18, the 138th day of 2013.
There are 227 days left in the year
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o One Rewards dog treats are all-natural pieces of 100% meat. Unlike the majority of dog treats created for pets, One Rewards do not contain additives, grains or fillers.
o These simple, savory treats come in:
§ Chicken Breast
§ Duck Breast
§ Chicken Liver
§ Ocean Whitefish
o Benefits of One Rewards pet treats:
§ Tasty flavor that dogs love
§ Easy to chew
§ Highly digestible
§ Low fat
§ High in protein
o The Process: One Rewards are freeze-dried to remove roughly 97% of moisture while locking in essential natural vitamins and nutrients of the meats. The treats come in a re-sealable bag to maintain their freshness for a minimum of 12 months from the production date. Proper feeding guidelines, developed by a leading independent pet nutritionist, are listed on each One Rewards package.
o Availability: One Rewards are currently available at Target stores across Canada with expected distribution to the US market in 2013. They can also be purchased online at OneRewardsTreats.com
One Rewards website: http://onerewardstreats.com/
Collaboration Promotes National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 19-25
WASHINGTON — As a prelude to National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the Postal Service released its dog attack city rankings today and urged pet owners to help reduce the incidence of dog bites to letter carriers.
“If our letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the Post Office until it’s safe to deliver,” said Ken Snavely, acting postmaster of Los Angeles, where 69 postal employees were attacked last year, placing the City of Angels as the most vicious for dog attacks. Nationwide, 5,879 postal employees were attacked.
Snavely noted that in situations where a dog roams the neighborhood, delivery to the owner’s neighbors could be curtailed as well. Additionally, when letter carriers come to a customer’s door, pet owners are asked to place dogs in a separate room and close the door, as many canines have been known to jump through screen and glass doors.
Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Nearly 5,900 letter carriers were attacked last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans annually bitten by dogs — more than half of whom are children — according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by declaring May 19-25 as National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
“Many dogs are cherished members of their family and people believe their dog won’t bite, but given the right circumstances, any dog can attack," said Snavely. “Dogs do not reason like people do and they will react to their instinct to protect their family and territory. Working with animal behavior experts, the Postal Service has developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.”
How to be a Responsible Dog Owner
The National Dog Bite Prevention Week partners offer the following tips:
The Postal Service; the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),aap.org; the American Humane Association (AHA) americanhumane.org, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), microsurg.org;the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA),avma.org;the Insurance Information Institute (III),iii.org; State Farm Insurance,statefarm.com; and Prevent The Bite (PTB),preventthebite.org, are driving home the message that dog bites are a nationwide issue and that education can help prevent dog attacks to people of all ages.
American Academy of Pediatricians
“Parents, please don’t ever leave a young child unsupervised around any dog, even a dog well-known to your family,” said AAP President Dr. Robert Block. “Even very young children should be taught not to tease or hurt animals. And with school almost over for the year, children will be spending more time in parks, at friends’ homes, and other places where they may encounter dogs.
American Humane Association
Children should be taught to never approach an unfamiliar dog. Infants and young children should never be left alone with any dog; interactions between children and dogs should always be monitored to ensure safety for both the dog and the child. Children should be taught to treat the dog with respect and not engage in rough or aggressive play. American Humane Association has a brochure“Pet Meets Baby”, available for families with infants, that is available online americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/interaction/pet-meets-baby-2013.pdf and offers many helpful tips.
American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery
“Most children love dogs and like to put their face up close to the dog’s face. Parents should never permit this,” said Dr. Joseph Serletti, president of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. “Even the friendliest dog may bite when startled or surprised. Be cautious, once a child is scarred they are scarred for life. We hear this line all the time ‘The dog has never bitten anyone before’. A dog’s reaction to being surprised or angered is not predictable.”
American Veterinary Medical Association
Any dog can bite. Protect your family and community and the welfare of dogs with early education programs. The Blue Dog Parent Guide and CD is targeted and tested for children from 3 to 6 years old and is intended as a tool to be incorporated as part of a more comprehensive prevention program. Visitavma.org/dogbite for information on dog bite prevention material from the AVMA and its National Dog Bite Prevention Week partners.
Insurance Information Institute
Dog bites account for more than a third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability if your dog injures another person or damages someone else’s property. The best way to protect yourself is to prevent your dog from biting anyone in the first place.
Prevent The Bite
A nonprofit organization devoted to keeping children safe fromdog bites, Prevent The Bitemeets the national standards of education, and makes it possible for anyone to teach children how to avoid being bitten. Dog attack victim Kelly Voigt is available for interviews.
State Farm Insurance
As the nation’s largest property and casualty insurer in the country, State Farm understands the damage that a dog bite can do. In 2012, the company paid more than $136 million dollars as a result of nearly 4,500 dog bite claims. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners. State Farm does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns in the United States. Instead, we urge owners to be responsible with their pets. Visitlearningcenter.statefarm.com/ for information on keeping your family and pets safe.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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DENVER, CO - Alpacas have been highlighted on national news shows, on syndicated television stories, in your favorite magazine, and the most popular newspapers. Most recently, they were even featured in a Super Bowl commercial!
But what better way to learn more about the alpaca industry than to talk to hundreds of breeders and meet over 1,000 alpacas face-to-face, all under one roof? Now you can. And it's FREE!
Alpacas and alpaca enthusiasts, as well as fiber art enthusiasts, gather from across the country for the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) National Alpaca Show. This year, the show will be held at the National Western Complex in Denver, CO beginning THIS Friday, May 17th and continuing through Sunday, May 19th.
Admission is FREE and open to the public. Hours are:
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Alpacas from across the country will be featured in the show ring competition. The show will be comprised of classes judging conformation and fleece quality in many categories for both Suri and Huacaya alpacas.
Artisans will showcase alpaca fiber and examples of felting, fiber arts, and more. Dozens of vendors and farm displays will sell the latest alpaca fashions and hand-crafted items.
On Friday, at 10:00 a.m., an alpaca costume contest will take place. This is one event you won't want to miss! Children and adults show their creativity with themed costumes for themselves and their alpacas.
Later that day, an alpaca auction will begin at 1:00 p.m. and run until 6:00 p.m. Admission is free and a cash bar will be available. The National Auction is the premiere event of the year for the North American alpaca industry.
Mayor Hancock Declares May National Alpaca Awareness Month
In honor of the Great Western Alpaca Show (held May 3-5) and National Alpaca Show being held in Denver, as well as the growing interest in the alpaca industry resulting in more than 500 alpaca farms throughout Colorado, Mayor Michael B. Hancock declared May to be known as National Alpaca Awareness Month.
Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are beautiful, intelligent animals native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The United States first commercially imported alpacas in 1984. There are now more than 180,000 ARI (Alpaca Registry, Inc.) registered alpacas in North America.
There are two types of alpacas in the United States today. Although almost physically identical, what distinguishes the two types of alpacas is their fiber. The Huacaya (wa-Ki'-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. The Suri (SUR-ee) is the rarer of the two and has fiber that is silky and resembles pencil-locks.
Adult alpacas stand at approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors. Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and predictable. Social animals that seek companionship, they communicate most commonly by softly humming.
About Alpaca Fiber
Alpacas are shorn, without harm, every 12 to 18 months. They produced five to 10 pounds of luxurious fiber. Long ago, alpaca fiber was reserved for royalty. Today it is purchased in its raw fleece form by hand-spinners and fiber artists. Knitters buy it as yarn.
Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. Making the fiber even more coveted, it has the luster of silk. Alpaca fiber is just as warm as, yet 1/3 the weight of wool. It comes in 22 natural colors, yet can be dyed any desired shade.
Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool because alpaca fiber is smooth. Additional performance characteristics include: stretch, water repellency and odor reduction. For travelers, clothing made from alpaca is desirable because it is wrinkle-resistant.
Alpacas come in 22 natural colors, but they are all green!
Sensitive to their environment in every respect, alpacas have soft padded feet instead of hooves and can leave even the most delicate terrain undamaged. Damage to topsoil decreases long-term soil fertility and in the process, the soil is eroded and weed invasion is encouraged.
However, alpacas do not mind eating brush, fallen leaves and other "undesirable" vegetation, leaving the "good stuff" for species that do not have the stomach to digest such roughage.
Alpacas' pellet-like droppings are PH balanced and are an excellent, natural, slow-release, low-odor fertilizer. This rich fertilizer is perfect for growing fruits and vegetables. Because alpacas consolidate their feces in one or two communal spots in the pasture, it is easy to collect and compost, and the spread of parasites is controlled.
While alpacas are environmentally friendly ... and even beneficial... to the land, what makes them even more "green" is the fiber they produce. No chemicals are employed either during feeding or during the industrial production of alpaca fleece into fiber. If dying is desired, only 20% of a normal dye quantity is required.
All fiber from an alpaca can be used. Even the fiber from the lower legs, belly, neck, etc is being used for things such as natural weed mats to be placed around trees. Alpaca fiber is biodegradable.
Alpacas require no insecticides, herbicides or fertilizers that pollute the groundwater.
Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., the Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association (AOBA) serves to facilitate the expansion of a strong and sustainable alpaca industry through the growth and development of the national herd and its products. Since AOBA's formation in 1988, its membership has grown steadily to more than 3,500 members with over 180,000 registered alpacas in North America.
For more information about alpacas or the AOBA National Alpaca Show, visit www.alpacainfo.com.