Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter, Paw Prints! We plan to publish every two months to keep you updated with rescue activities, provide you with tips for fostering or caring for your adopted dog(s), and any other news that we think will be relevant or entertaining to our supporters.
Wiggly Tails Dog Rescue acquired a “new to us” replacement transport vehicle, with which we have had a number of mechanical difficulties, yet we have been successful in muddling through the challenge of limping it down to California and back for a number of essential transports in 2021. (With more upcoming repairs, we will be able to use this vehicle for years to come.) We are THRILLED to say we have managed to add approximately 20 new intermittent foster home providers and also switched to a new data system to assist in more comprehensive pet adoption tracking, pet intake, and medical management. We are also anxiously awaiting the launch of our new website! (Watch for that announcement.)
Both 2020 and 2021 came with challenges of the unknown, pushing us to re-evaluate how we process adoptions and gifting us with the pleasure of meeting so many new and loving adoptive families. All of these challenges have allowed us to up our game and find more ways to advocate for our foster pets and assist in matching them with the best fit for them and those who adopt them. It’s been our pleasure and we look forward to what 2022 has to offer. We wish you all a happy holiday season!
This winter in western Oregon is predicted to be a La Niña event again. This means it will be colder than last year, with snow expected at least once—even in lower elevations. Here are some tips for protecting your dog during this time:
Be aware of his health: Has your dog had a physical in the past year? Very young or very old dogs may not tolerate the cold as well. If your dog has a condition such as arthritis, heart disease, or kidney disease, among others, talk to your vet about what you can do to make her more comfortable in the winter.
Ensure a safe sleeping location: If your house is drafty, consider providing a different location for sleeping for your dog or, if he sleeps on your bed, get a warm blanket for him to cover up with. A blanket thrown over a crate will also help keep your dog warmer, as well as a cozy blanket inside. Just like you, pets prefer comfortable sleeping places and may change their location based on their need for more or less warmth. Give them some safe options to allow them to vary their sleeping place to adjust to their needs.
My sister and I put a heater next to the pen for her geriatric, blind, and deaf chihuahua in the winter to make sure she stayed warm because she was unable to regulate her temperature or even stay under covers.
Never keep outdoors. Keep dogs inside during cold weather—except for certain breeds that are more tolerant to and don’t mind the cold as much. My livestock guardian dog, who lives with the goats and has a barn to retreat to can sometimes be found sleeping outside in the snow. In general, dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, despite their fur.
Protect the paws: When you take your dog out for a bathroom break or on a walk, make sure to check his paws during or after the walk for bleeding or other injury caused by the cold. I remember walking my Scottie, Ebony, during a heavy snow and, after a short time, so much snow had built up on her feet that I had to carry her home. Sometimes it is not so obvious, but if you are walking your dog in snow or ice, watch for limping caused by ice or snow between her toes. Clipping any hair between toes will also help or, if you can justify the cost and think he will wear them, buy some proper-fitting boots for your dog.
Buy a winter wardrobe: It’s fun to dress dogs up and many short-haired dogs, such as dachshunds or chihuahuas, often like it, too. One way to keep your dogs warm and dry when they have to go out is to buy them a few sweaters or coats—so you have a dry one when they go out. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder.
Dry her off: I keep a towel by each door and my dogs learn that they have to stand to be dried off when they come in. Of course, some of them mind and others don’t—but they know they have to do it. If you are walking in the city, not only will they get wet, but their feet and fur may also get exposed to toxic de-icers or antifreeze that are used in the winter. Wiping them off after a walk will reduce any risk of poisoning if the dog licks them off her feet or belly.
Be prepared: We rarely have excessively cold weather here, but even heavy rain or snow can lead to power outages. Make sure to have a disaster kit available that includes items needed for your dog(s). This includes food, water, and any routine medication that your dog takes.
If you are fostering or have adopted a new puppy, it is pretty normal for adult dogs to hate on puppies. If you are fostering a puppy or adding a new puppy to your pack, the reactions by existing dogs can vary widely—some little dogs, for example, get very barky/growly and territorial with puppies, putting them in their place. Big dogs may be puppy whisperers and love playing with them, although you need to watch them because they may also think they are just a large puppy. Like people, they all have their own reactions to other people’s kids, and that is okay. Some tips to keep the peace:
Did you know that Wiggly Tails Dog Rescue (WTDR) provides shelter, via foster-based in-home assistance, to an average of over 400 animals every year?
For WTDR to stay afloat and continue to provide essentials such as feeding animals in need, offering crucial medical care, providing supportive care for pregnant moms and their puppies, transporting pets from California to Oregon, and so much more, we rely on the generous and ongoing donations from our wonderful donors, followers, friends, and family.
With the support of our WTDR friends and followers like you, dogs and puppies in our care (and sometimes cats, kittens, and bunnies) have found their forever homes, where they are now thriving.
Over the past two years, we have been navigating the uncharted waters of Covid-19 isolation, and now look forward to a return to “normal” life and work. As a result of the high volume of adoptions in the first year and a half of the pandemic, rescue organizations like ours now must take on the challenge of an unexpected (and also gingerly anticipated) higher number of pets being returned or, in some cases, dumped at high-kill shelters. In times of crisis, our work does not slow down. The animals awaiting our help are counting on us and because of caring people like you, we are able to save them.
Any donation—regardless of size—goes toward our foster pets’ care and upkeep, as well costs to transport them to Eugene. There are several ways that you can help us. You can send a tax-deductible donation to:
We also accept in-kind donations, such as:
We appreciate your kindness, support, and generous donations! Every one of them allow us to stay proactive in the care and health management of those animals that we have been able to rescue. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts; our rescue, our volunteers, our foster families and, most importantly, the countless numbers of puppies and dogs we care for thank you, too.