Pet of the Week

At last, it seems like old man Winter has finally headed down the road for good. I hope y’all managed to spend some time outdoors this past weekend and enjoy the beautiful weather. The volunteers and board members have been working hard getting ready for our first annual “Bark in the Park” fundraiser. It will be held May 19th (rain day May 26th) from 9 am – 1pm in the Yellville City Park. We will have a pet costume contest, a parade of pets around the track, dog/owner look-alike contest, demonstrations by North Arkansas Kennel Club and more. If you wish to participate in the dog parade/walk, you will need to register for the event, preferably in advance. Your $20.00 registration fee includes a t-shirt for you and a bandana for your pooch. If you don’t want to participate in the parade, come on out anyway and show your support for our shelter. Look for flyers around town, or check our website, www.haveaheartpetshelter.org. You can see the flyer online and also download the registration form. Registration forms are available at the shelter. Info is also available on our Facebook page. There are some common sense rules on the registration form. Hope to see you there.

Before I get to this week’s featured pet, I would like to talk a bit about a serious feline disease that has been showing up in our area. It’s called Bobcat fever and it’s a very serious and often fatal illness for domestic cats. Bobcat fever is a tick borne illness. Infected ticks transmit a parasite into the cat’s bloodstream. It may seem like your cat is just “not feeling good.” The initial signs include sluggishness and loss of appetite. Once the onset of the infection starts, the cat will deteriorate rapidly.  Early symptoms are seen 5-20 days after the tick bite. But after that, it takes only a few days for the disease to progress to the final stages and if not treated early, almost always results in death. There is no vaccine for Bobcat fever. The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent the ticks. Treat your cat for fleas and ticks and also check by hand for ticks. “Tick picks” are a ritual around my house during the warm weather. Indoor cats are not as high a risk as outdoor cats, but they should still be treated with tick preventative if there are dogs or other animals in the home that could possibly carry a tick into the house. If your cat exhibits any of the early symptoms, you should get them to the vet as soon as possible. The earlier this disease is detected and treated, the better the chance for survival.  We have info at the shelter if you would like to learn more about Bobcat fever.

Zakary is our featured cat this week. Zakary was adopted from another shelter and had a good home until his owner passed away and he found himself at Have a Heart. When interviewed for this article, he said “I really want a home where I can spend a lot of time cuddled in my human’s lap. I’m really sweet and laid back and I hope I can find a fur-ever home soon.” We estimate Zakary to be 2-3 years young, up to date on vaccines and he has been declawed. Stop by and meet him and our other adoptable kitties.

Our featured dog this week is Rowdy. Rowdy is a 6 month old Labrador Retriever mix pup who was found as a stray by some nice folks in the Caney/14 South area. They kept him for a while thinking he was just lost, but no one came looking for him.  He has been at the shelter since April 11th.  Rowdy is a healthy, very active, playful young fellow who currently weighs 31 lbs. and may mature at 45-55 lbs. when grown. He seems to perhaps have some herding instinct as well. He’s outgoing and friendly with people and tolerant of other dogs, though he can play pretty roughly at times. Initially he showed some food aggression, but that has greatly diminished since he knows he is going to be fed regularly. We don’t know how he behaves with cats or other animals. Rowdy is a dominant pup that would benefit greatly from basic obedience training and a firm, but fair, hand to give him some guidance because he does want to please. Stop by to meet Rowdy and see if he might be the dog to complete your home. Have a Heart is located at 657 Highway 202 in Yellville. The shelter and thrift store are open Tuesday through Saturday 9am-3pm. Closed Sunday and Monday (but we still walk the dogs.)  Phone 870-449-7387.