Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Sweaters and Coats from Pepito & Co.

New Sweaters and Coats from Pepito & Co.

Can I get three woofs for Sweater Weather!? *woof woof woof* Autumn is by far the best season of all, obviously, and with the changing temps comes the need for cozy layers. Update your dog’s sweater game this fall with one of Pepito & Co.‘s snazzy organic cotton pullovers. Want something a bit more substantial for inclement weather? A Rocker coat accessorized with patches is what your cool (fur) kid needs. Shop the complete collection at www.pepitoandco.com.

New Sweaters and Coats from Pepito & Co.

New Sweaters and Coats from Pepito & Co.

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© 2017 Dog Milk | Posted by capree in Clothing | Permalink | No comments

A Guide for Introducing Dogs to Puppies

People love puppies. We experience them as cute, little bundles of love. But while humans find puppies irresistible, many adult dogs do not. The day you bring home a puppy to meet your resident dog may not unfold into the joyful scene you’re imagining. The puppy may be met with a friendly greeting or a physical assault. Your dog’s personality, history and age are all factors in how he’ll respond to a puppy. Introducing dogs to puppies the right way can make a big difference. What is the best way to introduce dogs to puppies, and how do the introductions vary by age?

Introducing a Puppy to Another Puppy

Two puppies hanging out together.

Introducing dogs? Puppies meeting puppies is one of the easiest dog introductions! Photography ©Voren1 | Thinkstock.

The younger a puppy, the more likely he is to love other puppies. It’s a rare 12-week-old pup who isn’t happy to see another baby his own age. In fact, the majority of puppies up to a year old enjoy the company of other puppies, assuming they have been socialized with other dogs. An older puppy who hasn’t interacted with another dog since he was taken from his littermates may not feel comfortable around a puppy.

If you want to introduce two puppies about the same age, you probably don’t have to worry about them getting along. If the pups are old enough to be on a leash, let them greet one another with humans holding their leashes. You’ll most likely see a lot of excitement from both pups as they go almost instantly into play mode. If you’re adept at reading canine body language, you’ll know right away that it’s love at first sight when you see play bows, low wagging tails and squeals of excitement.

If one puppy is considerably older than the other, keep a close eye on them as they interact off leash. When my dog, Mookie, was 12 weeks old, I introduced him to 16-week-old Denali, a friend’s puppy. It didn’t take long for Mookie to become uncomfortable with Denali, who was twice his size. Denali wanted to wrestle, but although Mookie loved to play with Candy, my gentle adult dog, he didn’t appreciate Denali’s wild puppy advances. It wasn’t long before we had to separate them because Mookie had had enough.

Introducing an Adult Dog to a Puppy

As dogs mature, they can become less enthused about puppies. Playful adult dogs might appreciate the energy of a rambunctious puppy, but dogs who are mellow and don’t like to play can find a puppy to be extremely obnoxious. Gauge how your adult dog feels about puppies before you allow her unsupervised time with a pup. (Do not allow unsupervised time with an adult dog that doesn’t get along with the puppy.) The way you introduce the dogs can help with your adult dog’s attitude.

You’ll need someone to help you with the introductions, because you want both your puppy and your adult dog on leash when they meet. Make the introduction on neutral ground. That means a place where neither dog has spent time and laid claim. Let the dogs approach each other slowly, and allow them to sniff each other. If the puppy starts trying to jump on the adult dog, don’t be surprised if the adult dog growls or snaps at the pup. This is an appropriate response considering the puppy is behaving rudely. Most pups don’t know the rules of dog etiquette and need to learn them.

If your adult dog ceases the assertive behavior after the pup backs off, she’s most likely going to be fine being around a young dog.
If the puppy doesn’t do anything overt yet the adult dog becomes aggressive at the mere sight of him — growling, snarling, snapping or lunging assertively — end the introduction. Realize that your dog may be a “puppy hater.” Some adult dogs just don’t like puppies. Period. Never leave an adult dog unsupervised with a young puppy, particularly if the adult dog has show aggression toward the pup.

Introducing a Puppy to an Older Dog

Many dogs become less tolerant of puppies as they enter their senior years. My Corgi, Nigel, loved other dogs, particularly puppies, until he hit about 10. By that age, his former love had turned to disdain and intolerance. Senior dogs often have arthritis or other health conditions that render them uncomfortable and perpetually irritated by puppies, who always want to play. Other seniors, while healthy, just find puppies annoying. Most puppies lack social skills and will pounce on older dogs when they want to play. Senior canines seem particularly irked by this and will often school a puppy to teach her how to behave.

When introducing a senior dog to a puppy, keep the puppy on a leash and under control. Take the pair to a neutral spot, and let them greet each other. If the older dog ignores the puppy or doesn’t react aggressively to the puppy’s invitation to play, the two will probably get along. That said, don’t be surprised if the older dog regularly puts the puppy in her place once they are living together. As long as she doesn’t hurt the puppy but instead growls or snaps if the puppy nags her to play, accept this behavior for what it is — your older dog is teaching your youngster the rules of being a dog.

While your senior will probably do a good job of letting the puppy know how to behave, you still need to intercede if the puppy is particularly annoying. This means giving the older dog a break when the puppy gets too obnoxious. Confine the puppy to a crate or pen to teach her to settle down while also giving the senior dog some peace and quiet. Your senior will be more patient with the puppy if she’s able to get away from her for a while.

Can Older Dogs and Puppies Get Along?

Older and younger dogs can become great companions, like Beaudry, the 12-year-old Golden Retriever I recently met, and his young friend, Gus the Lab. Gus is lively and rambunctious, while Beaudry is half blind and arthritic. Yet the two have found a way to have a good relationship, despite being in such different places in their lives.

Read more about puppies on Dogster.com:

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Let’s Talk About Dog Nipples

Picture this: You’re scratching your dog’s belly. Then your fingers run along something small and bumpy. If you’re like me, you have to dig through a layer of dog fur to figure out what it is. Eventually, you find a weird, fleshy, mole-like bump and realize: Hey, that’s a nipple! This can lead you to a whole number of questions: why does my dog have nipples? Do male dogs have nipples, too? And how many nipples do dogs have?

What Do Nipples Do in Dogs?

A nursing puppy.

There’s more to dog nipples than nursing puppies. Photography by kukiatB/Thinkstock.

For female mammals (including humans), nipples secrete/produce milk to feed infants. That’s the same role nipples play for female dogs and their puppies, says Nataya Chayasriwong, associate veterinarian at Country Oaks Pet Hospital in Sacramento, California. But, as Dr. Chayasriwong points out, the typical dog owner won’t ever see that.

“We don’t really see milk production in our dogs nowadays since most of our animals are spayed,” Dr. Chayasriwong explains. “So, they don’t develop the mammary glands like they would if they were intact.”

The mammary glands swell up on female dogs during heat or when they are lactating. The nipples are usually larger and more pronounced than the small bumps you find on spayed females.

Nipples range in color from pink to black, depending on your dog’s breed and coloration.

How Many Nipples Do Dogs Have?

It all depends on the breed, Dr. Chayasriwong says. “It can range from 6 to 10 on average,” she explains. “Most dogs are symmetrical, meaning they have an even number of nipples on both sides. Sometimes there are an odd number of nipples, though.”

But why do dogs have so many nipples? It’s because they have large litters with about two to eight puppies. All those puppies need feeding, hence plenty of nipples for them choose from. Dr. Chayasriwong explains that you can actually tell how many babies a particular mammal has based on their nipples.

“Cats have large litters, so they have around 6 to 10 nipples on average,” she says. “Humans usually only have one or two babies at a time, so they only have two nipples. Horses have two nipples, since they, at most, have two foals.”

The more you know!

Do Male Dogs Have Nipples, Too?

Yup! You might have noticed that the human men in your life have nipples — they have them for the same reason dogs do. As Live Science reports, “During the first several weeks, male and female embryos follow the same blueprint, which includes the development of nipples.” This is before the genes that develop male genitalia switch on; by then, as Live Science puts it, “those nipples aren’t going anywhere.”

What Issues Affect Dog Nipples? Dog Mammary Cancer

Now that you know about your dog’s nipples, let’s look at what problems or issues affect them.

“The mammary tissues can develop cancers,” Dr. Chayasriwong says. “That’s why it’s really important for people to bring in dogs regularly so we can check for any weird bumps or lumps. Problems in mammary glands are more likely to appear in female dogs who are intact, or female dogs who were spayed later in life.”

This is because the hormones during heat that cause dog mammary glands to grow can cause abnormal growth, which may lead to cancer. “On rare occasions, you’ll see mammary gland cancers in male dogs, too,” Dr. Chayasriwong adds.

Another Issue That Affects Dog Nipples? Mastitis in Dogs

Another issue that affects a dog’s mammary glands is a bacterial infection called mastitis. This condition can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Mastitis is often seen in intact female dogs who either just had puppies or had a pseudo-pregnancy during heat. (Basically, a female dog at the end of her heat acts like she has puppies, with her mammary glands swelling as a result. She may also do things like guard her toys like they are her puppies.)

It isn’t just limited to intact female dogs, though. Spayed females and even male dogs can develop mastitis as well.

The Merck Veterinary Manual reports that mastitis can occur due to “poor sanitary conditions, trauma inflicted by offspring and systemic infection.” Signs of the infection include swollen mammary glands that may or may not be leaking pus, and your dog appearing lethargic and/or not eating. If your dog does have puppies, she may not be feeding them and the puppies may appear malnourished.

Mastitis in Dogs Treatment

If you suspect your dog has mastitis, he or she needs to get to the veterinarian right away. Left untreated, mastitis can lead to septic shock and kill your dog. Once your veterinarian confirms mastitis as the diagnosis, she will prescribe antibiotics for your dog. She may also have you apply warm compresses to the affected glands, and regularly milk them out to clear out the ducts.

In serious cases, your dog may need intravenous fluid therapy to treat shock or dehydration. If the mammary gland is abscessed or just can’t be saved, surgery is required to remove it. If there are puppies involved, they may need treatment too if they are malnourished and dehydrated. You might find yourself feeding them until mom is better.

You’re in luck, though: Mastis in dogs is easily treatable if caught early. Most dogs make a full recovery.

And Here’s a Weird Thing About Dog Nipples …

You might find them in unusual places. Like the inside of your dog’s legs.

Why would a nipple grow there? “There are lines nipples typically follow during development of the placenta,” Dr. Chayasriwong explains. “Typically, the lines extend from their arms to their feet. Those lines are why nipples are where they are on a dog’s [body], but sometimes there’s a stray one that develops in a weird place.”

If you do find a fleshy bump on the inside of your dog’s leg (or other odd place), check the opposite leg for anything similar. Dr. Chayasriwong says if there is an identical bump symmetrical to the first bump, chances are it’s a nipple. If you don’t, have your veterinarian check the bump over just in case it’s something serious.

Thumbnail: Photography by GlobalP/Thinkstock.

Read more about dog health on Dogster.com:

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Labbvenn‘s Nordic-inspired dog beds and blankets complement just about any interior space, while still holding up to the demands of house doggos everywhere. Made from natural, organic materials like wool, cotton, and beechwood, Labbvenn perfectly combines design and functionality.

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Check out all their beds, blankets, and travel mats at labbvenn.com.

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

Modern Dog Beds and Blankets from Labbvenn

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© 2017 Dog Milk | Posted by capree in Beds + Furniture | Permalink | No comments

The Best Dog Food for All Life Stages

If it were up to your dog, he’d be on a steady diet of pizza and cheeseburgers. Since those things aren’t good for dogs, your job as a pet parent is to pick healthy food made especially for canines. Choosing a food brand can be daunting enough with all the different choices out there. And what about type of food? And then there’s canned versus dry — which should you pick? Let’s break things down by the best dog food for all life stages.

What to feed a puppy

What should you feed your puppy?

A Puppy eating by Shutterstock.

When my Corgi, Nigel, was a puppy, I fed him the puppy food recommended by his breeder. It was a quality premium brand, and he liked it. He only ate dry kibble because his sensitive tummy couldn’t handle the canned version. Dry food has less moisture than canned, so Nigel was less likely to get loose stools with dry food.

Puppies are as different from dogs as human babies are from adults when it comes to what their digestive systems will tolerate. While Nigel had trouble with canned food, my parents’ Pomeranian, Monique, did great on canned food as a puppy.

Whether it’s dry or canned, what’s most important is that the food is made especially for puppies. “Puppies need more protein than adult dogs do,” said canine nutrition expert Mary Straus of DogAware.com, who added that, despite what some people think, high protein does not cause orthopedic problems in growing pups. “Too much calcium and overfeeding in general are the culprits there.”

The best way to feed a puppy is to use a food formulated especially for young dogs and to give the amount listed on the bag or can. Being a Corgi, Nigel would have eaten three times the recommended amount of food if I’d let him, but the result would have been an overweight puppy who may have developed joint problems. I had to deal with sad puppy eyes when he asked for more and I said no, but it was for his own good.

What to feed a growing dog

Dogs in the age range of 6 to 18 months are ready for adult dog food. They need a lot of energy at this age, so a quality food with a good amount of calories is the best choice.

My friend, Jorge, feeds his 10-month-old German Shepherd a premium-brand kibble for adult dogs. Hemi is a bundle of energy, and Jorge finds it hard to keep weight on him. Hemi gets a big helping of dry food twice a day and is still hungry all the time. Dogs his age are very active and are still growing, so they usually have big appetites.

For some owners of young, growing dogs, money can be an issue. That makes dry food a more obvious choice. “Dry food is almost always cheaper than canned food, providing a comparable number of calories,” Straus said. “This impacts owners of large dogs more than those with small dogs, who may also have trouble getting through a bag of kibble while it is still fresh.”

Luckily, dog food manufacturers usually offer kibble in different sized bags. You can find bags starting at 5 pounds all the way up to 50 for some brands. If you have a small dog, you should buy a smaller bag. You don’t want to store dry food for more than 30 days because it starts to lose its freshness.

What to feed an adult dog

What should you feed an adult dog?

A six-year-old Groenendael by Shutterstock.

My 6-year-old Australian Shepherd mix, Candy, has a slow metabolism. When I first adopted her from my local shelter, she was about 5 pounds overweight. She was probably eating kibble at her former home, and I’m sure that’s what she was getting at the shelter. To help her lose weight, I started her on a quality canned food. Canned food is generally lower in carbohydrates than dry food, and since Candy isn’t a very active dog, I thought putting her on a lower-carb diet would help her shed the pounds.

Of course I had to be careful with fat content, too. “Too much fat can lead to weight gain, especially in dogs who are not very active,” Strauss said. “If the amount fed must be strictly limited to prevent weight gain, this could contribute to nutritional deficiency, so I would reserve higher-fat foods for young, active dogs.”

After a few months of eating a measured amount of canned food, Candy dropped her extra 5 pounds. I then put her on a maintenance diet, which consists of both canned and dry food. She’s now at a good weight on this diet.

My friend Michelle, on the other hand, recently had to increase her Australian Cattle Dog’s food portions because Annabelle was a little too lean. After her vet referred to Annabelle as “a Victoria’s Secret model with no fat reserves to fall back on,” Michelle upped Annabelle’s kibble ration. Annabelle quickly gained about 2 pounds. She still has a lean body, but you can’t feel her ribs or hips anymore.

What to feed an older dog

What should you feed an older dog?

A senior dog by Shutterstock.

My neighbor’s senior Dachshund, Maynard, has arthritis and some other health issues that mean paying special attention to what he eats. Not only are Maynard’s teeth not working really well these days, he also has a tendency toward a picky appetite. His owners feed him a brand of canned food that he really likes. The wet food is easy for him to chew, and it also gives him more water in his diet.

“The added moisture in canned foods may be beneficial for older dogs to help them stay hydrated,” said Straus, who pointed out that adding water to dry food can do the same. But in Maynard’s case, he doesn’t want dry food. He only wants canned. And at his advanced age of 16, Maynard gets what Maynard wants.

Once a dog gets to a certain age, giving him a quality food that he enjoys eating is the best approach, whether it’s canned or dry. “The question of canned or dry doesn’t have to be either/or,” Straus said. “It’s fine to feed both, either together or in separate meals, as long as it agrees with your dog.”

How to add fresh food to your dog’s diet

Straus said you can improve commercial diets of all kinds at any stage of your dog’s life by adding fresh foods to her diet, including:

  • Lean meats
  • Eggs
  • Canned fish without bones (sardines, pink salmon, jack mackerel)
  • Dairy (yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (as long as you stay away from grapes or raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs).

If you share some of these healthy foods with your dog, only give him a little bit as a top dressing on his dog food. Too much of a good thing can upset his stomach — and leave you wishing you’d stuck with dog food.

Thumbnail: Photography by Shutterstock.

Read more on what to feed your dog on Dogster.com:

About the author: An award-winning professional writer and editor, Audrey Pavia is a former managing editor of DOG FANCY magazine and former senior editor of the AKC Gazette. She is the author of The Labrador Retriever Handbook (Barrons) and has also written extensively on horses as well as other pets. She shares her home in Norco, California, with a rescue dog named Candy.

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How Adorable Are These Pet Accessories From Puff Puff Paws?

Who would think that a bed shaped like an intimidating underwater creature would make a cute sleeping spot (and perfect Instagram photo op)? The shark bed collection — which comes in traditional gray as well as blue, blue polka dot and pink — is just one of many cute accessories from actress Regina Hall’s pet lifestyle brand, Puff Puff Paws.

Regina’s bright, fun and functional accessories are especially Instagrammable. Deck your dog out in pet-sized backpacks shaped like pigs, LED dog collars, camo harnesses and striped jumpsuits. Even bath time is fun with pet bathrobes that look like bunnies and ducks.

Puff Puff Paws creator actress Regina Hall.

Puff Puff Paws creator actress Regina Hall. Photography courtesy Puff Puff Paws.

And, it’s all for a good cause. Regina, who starred in this summer’s anticipated Girls Trip alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish and Queen Latifah, shows her support of animals by donating a portion of Puff Puff Paws’ proceeds to Animal Hope and Wellness, which rescues severely abused and neglected animals. Now that’s something we can really “like.”

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Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you

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Friday, September 15, 2017

How to Help Animals Affected by Hurricane Irma

With so many rescue and donation efforts taking place in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, animals lovers are stepping up again to offer support after Hurricane Irma smashed through island nations and much of Florida.

Below is a list of rescues and organizations who are in extreme need of supplies and financial help to support rescue, relief and reunions, and a list of websites and apps folks can use to find beloved lost pets. We will continue to update this list as more information becomes available.

Lost and Found for Pets in Areas Affected by Hurricane Irma

For local residents who may have lost a beloved pet or who are fostering a found pet until his or her owner can be located, there are some useful website and apps to share lost and found listings to assist reunions.

To offer a temporary foster home for families as they rebuild, visit fosterahurricanepet.org.

VetsPlusMore app

Paw Boost app

Finding Rover app

Florida Keys SPCA

One of the hardest hit areas in the United States, with 90% of homes damaged or destroyed, the Florida Keys SPCA preemptively evacuated its 200+ cats and dogs from West Keys and Marathon, Florida shelters, placing them in foster care. It released the following statement:

“At this time, we do not know the physical status of the shelter buildings but hope to begin clean-up and repair as soon as we are allowed to do so and return all 200 evacuated animals safely — many of whom are as frightened as we are…. We sadly expect our shelter population to grow when we return — some animals will have been abandoned by their owners and others will be voluntarily surrendered as owners move into temporary housing. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of love to get Key West back on its feet again.”

The organization is currently in the midst of building a hurricane-proof shelter, which is expected to open in March 2018, but perhaps later now with hurricane damage cleanup.

Donations can be made here.

Humane Society of Greater Miami

The scene inside the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

The scene inside the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Photography courtesy the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

The Humane Society of Greater Miami’s Soffer and Fine Adoption Center has suffered an estimated $500,000 in damages and downtime as a result of Irma — including roof leaks, a broken air conditioner in hot and humid conditions, uprooted trees in its pet cemetery and damage to its medical clinic. While it is still able to triage care for over 400 animals who survived the storm, it’s in need of financial support to make major repairs, take in more lost/found animals, provide medical care and provide generators and air conditioning to keep all cats and dogs alive.

Donations can be made here.

Humane Society of United States

The HSUS evacuated 450 animals ahead of the storm from the Ft. Lauderdale area, transported dogs and cats from Tampa, and has flights planned with its partners Wings of Rescue and GreaterGood.org to fly animals from Clay County in the north, Alachua County in the central part of the state and Collier County in the south. Additionally, its global organization is assisting animal rescue efforts in the British Virgin Islands.

To help, text LOVE to 20222 to donate $10 to the Humane Society’s disaster relief fund, or make a donation here.

Code 3 Associates

This unique team provides professional technical animal rescue and recovery to communities affected by catastrophic disasters throughout North America. Its volunteers and staff, who are highly trained in dangerous rescues and animal handling, respond upon an official request for assistance from the local emergency managers and officials. As a non-profit, it depends upon public support to continue training, education and maintain its ability to deploy in times of need.

You can support this vital rescue group by donating here.

First Coast No More Homeless Pets

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, this rescue has partnered with Best Friends Animal Society to take in as many lost and found felines and canines as possible. It has set up a logistics and distribution center to support animal welfare organizations across the hard-hit state and are in need of critical supplies to support injured, lost and rescued animals.

Here is the group’s Amazon wishlist.

Efforts can be supported by donating here.

Atlanta Humane Society

This shelter has taken in over 400 animals in the wake of Irma, and is expecting a few hundred more in the coming days. Its biggest needs are monetary donations to keep operations running, and foster homes for the incoming pets as it prepares them for adoption.

Donations can be made here.

To apply as a foster in the Atlanta area, visit here.

Humane Society for Greater Savannah, GA

Inside the Inside the Humane Society of Greater Savannah, Georgia after Hurricane Irma. Photography courtesy Humane Society for Greater Savannah, Georgia, after Hurricane Irma.

Inside the Inside the Humane Society for Greater Savannah, Georgia after Hurricane Irma. Photography courtesy Humane Society for Greater Savannah.

All cats and dogs from this shelter were transported further inland to Atlanta and into foster homes until the hurricane passed. Over 100 fosters are now being returned to the shelter, where there will be plenty of hungry mouths to feed and tend to until they are adopted.

Donations can be made here.

The Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago

On September 9, in anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s arrival in Florida, The Anti-Cruelty Society teamed up with the ASPCA to take in animals that were in the shelters in Lee County, Florida. The Anti-Cruelty Society took in 49 cats and dogs on ahead of the hurricane (and nearly 200 from other southern states) and is actively recruiting dog foster homes. People interested in fostering can fill out a form at http://bit.ly/Irma_ACS.

To help with Hurricane Irma and Harvey relief efforts, donate here.

Jacksonville Humane Society

Donate at donatenow.networkforgood.org.

Caribbean Rescues and Shelters

Several island nations and commonwealths in the Caribbean were hit hard. The devastation and damage is still being assessed, and slowly reported out as most forms of communication are down. While most animal shelters are reporting safe cats and dogs via Facebook posts, most are without critical supplies, reliable communications and power, and in need of facility repairs. Here are a few island humane societies and shelters in need of financial support and supplies.

 Thumbnail: Photography courtesy Humane Society of the United States.

Tell us: How are you helping Hurricane Irma recovery efforts? What other animal welfare organizations should we add to this list?

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