Originally Published: October 23, 2013 6 a.m.
The Yavapai Humane Society (YHS) is throwing a Howl-a-ween Pawty and you're invited! From today through Sunday, every animal at YHS can be adopted for just $10. You read right. Every YHS animal is spayed or neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. That is nearly a $400 value - and there's more. Every YHS dog and cat has been pampered, cuddled and socialized by YHS employees and volunteers.
Unlike most shelters who know little about the animals they take in, YHS employees and volunteers really get to know our animals. We understand their personalities, quirks and preferences. All this insight helps ensure successful adoptions into the right home.
If you are looking for a pet for yourself or your family, now is the time to visit YHS to select the perfect pet because now you can get all this value for just $10 (although donations are always welcomed).
If you already have a pet, remember, it's almost the spookiest night of the year and YHS is recommending some common sense precautions this Howl-a-ween to keep you and your pet safe and happy.
1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms - especially dark or baking chocolate - can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. When you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian immediately.
2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
4. A carved pumpkin is festive, but exercise caution when you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their "birthday suits," however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.
6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider forgoing the costume in lieu of donning a festive bandana.
7. Take a closer look at your pet's costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.
10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
Ed Boks, executive director of the Yavapai Humane Society, can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 445-2666, ext. 21.