The Learning Lab
Games to keep your pets happy
Your dog or cat can get bored. Here are some games you both can play to keep your pet happy.
Hide & Seek
Hide treats in your house and watch your dog or cat find them. Be sure to let them know how proud you are of their accomplishment.
Fill a Kong® or other brand of rubberized toy with treats then cover the opening with peanut butter. Place in the freezer until you need to step out.
Teach your dog or cat tricks. It is common for a dog to learn to sit, shake and lay down. Cats can learn these tricks too. Give it a try!
Play a cat or dog-friendly DVD on your TV. Cats and dogs are interested in TV too. They just need the right movie to watch.
Get a bottle of pet-friendly bubbles and watch your dog or cat try to catch them
Run & Chase
Tie a few cat or dog toys onto a string and walk through your house with it. Watch your dog or cat follow the toys.
Choose not to declaw your cats
Cats' claws are a vital part of their arsenal for both offense and defense. They use them to settle disputes among themselves as well as with other animals and people who are hurting, threatening or annoying them. In addition, a cat who is attempting to climb to safety uses her claws to grip a surface and hold on.
A variety of humane methods exist to manage the problem of destructive clawing and to prevent injury from cat scratches. These include having your cats nails trimmed or filed down regularly in order to blunt the tips and providing scratching pads, posts and other appealing structures for the cat to use — and employing behavior modification techniques to induce the cat to use them.
Unfortunately, many cat guardians opt instead to have their cat surgically declawed, perhaps not appreciating the fact that removing a cat's claws would be comparable to removing their own fingernails, along with the bones to which they are attached. Declawing, or onchyectomy, is the amputation of the last digital bone, including the nail bed and claw, on each front toe. If the surgery is performed correctly and the entire nail bed is removed, the claw cannot regrow, and the procedure is considered a permanent solution. The surgery involves the risk of anesthetization, excessive bleeding and postoperative complications, including infection, and is accompanied by severe pain that may last from several days to much longer unless appropriate analgesia is provided. Post-operative care and the length of time the cat must remain in the veterinary hospital depend on how the surgical procedure is performed and the skill of the surgical team.
Want to help
Our center is always on the lookout for supplies that will help keep our dogs and cats healthy, safe and happy. From food to toys, we welcome a number of items that will give our fur friends a comfortable lifestyle. Some items can be purchased directly from our wishlist on Amazon.com. Just follow the links.
• Kuranda vinyl cat perches
• Kuranda dog beds
• Canned wet dog or cat food - any brand
• Sidewalk sandwich board sign
• 10x10 Instant Shelter PopUp - for our dogs at outreach events
• Pet safe salt for our outside dog areas
• 9 volt batteries
• Hand soap & hand sanitizer
• Disinfectant spray such as Lysol
• Dish detergent
• Tall kitchen trash bags
• Paper towels
• Toilet paper
• Dust pans with hand held brushes
• Basic tool kit: hammer, screw drivers etc.
• Postage stamps
• Address labels- white 1" x 2 5/8"
• Black HP4250 Toner Cartridges
• White & color copy paper
Cat & Dog Needs
• Kennel slipleads
• Box lids from copy paper cases (for disposable litter boxes)
• Heavy weight paper bowls for medication
• Ziplock plastic bags - quart size
• Red & green duct tape
• 4” x 4” gauze pads
• Screw on cage food & water bowls
• Interactive dog and cat toys
• Litter scoops
• Disposable scratchers
• Litter box deodorizer
• Double end snap clips for our kennel gates
• Non-scoopable clay litter (unscented)
• Covered cat play houses (no carpeting)
• Kitty condos
• Cat muzzles
• Kitty Kongs
• Martingale-style collars (medium & large sizes)
• Stainless steel pet pails
• Made in the USA rawhide chews
• Gift cards to PETCO, PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, Green DogGoods, & Tractor Supply
Our Cat & Dog Food
We feed our dogs and cats the following food while in our care.
• 4health Cat & Kitten Food - available at Tracter Supply
• Purina One Smart Blend Healthy Puppy Formula
• Purina One Smart Blend Dog Food Adult Chicken & Rice Formula
• Purina One Smart Blend Dog Food Adult Lamb & Rice Formula
• Purina One Smart Blend Dog Food Small Bites Beef & Rice Formula
• Canned wet food - any brand dog or cat food
For Our Community Pet Food Donation program
• Dog and cat food, dry or canned
• Brown paper sacks (grocery store size)
• Aluminum cans, cell phones, laptops, iPods, empty ink & toner cartridges
• New and used books, CDs and DVDs in their original cases.
Box up your new and used books, CDs and DVDs in their original cases and bring them to the shelter. We are paid by a local buyer for your books! Help raise money for us while you reclaim valuable storage space.
* We do not take comforters. (Some of our dogs like to chew the stuffing out of them.)
Donations may be dropped off during our regular business hours.
Article written by volunteer Debra Lockhart
I’ve been volunteering with a local rescue for about a year now and have loved every minute of it. In the past year, I’ve transported dogs, helped rescue dogs off of a chain, helped a dog give birth, adopted and said goodbye as some of my favorites have found their forever home. I’ve gotten to know some dogs more than others and have cheered nearly every adoption and only shed a tear or two for a few who have especially touched me in some way.
Still, there was something missing. This rescue is foster based, and at this time that is the one thing I’m not able to do, so most of my interactions come from adoption events or transport services. If I could bring my dog to work with me things might be different, because sometimes you just need to hug a dog or play with a kitty, so I began volunteering at our local SPCA. I figured that they were located close enough to my office that I could spend a lunch hour or two each week relaxing in the company of a furry little friend under the guise of helping them while in all actuality, reaping the benefits that come with cuddling a pet. Orientation was in two parts so after part one, I was able to ‘socialize with cats’ and I spent a good portion of a lunch hour on the floor of a kitty room getting and giving some soft purr-y love.
Part two allowed us to interact with the dogs and there was a special boy whom I met at both orientations and I was eager to go back and really interact with him on my first “dog day.” Its funny how a dog (or any animal, really) can grab your heartstrings and how it varies from person to person as to who that special furry pal may be. A fellow volunteer nudged me and pointed at a dog, “That’s my dog. I’m going to adopt that one.” “Hmmm, cute dog, nothing special,” I thought. He or she was the kind of dog I might not have given a second glance at if I weren’t here to generally socialize with the dogs.
In the kennel next to “her dog” was the special someone who had me at first glance. Truth be told, “special boy” is not usually someone who would grab my attention… except he did. He was just a medium sized dog, medium hair, medium build but with a deep chest and funny white paws that were too big for his body. (As a further testament to how perception skews what we actually see, he is listed as a large dog with long hair.) There was nothing exceptional… but his eyes. Ah, those soulful cinnamon eyes peering at me over the chew toy he hopefully offered me, they had me at hello.
Fri, Dec 13, 4 pm - 7 pm
Adopt a Dog for $13
Friday the 13th at
Fort Wayne Subaru
5000 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne, IN
Sat, Dec 14, 11 am - 4 pm
Picture Your Pet With Santa at
1760 Apple Glen Blvd &
10260 Maysville Rd
Fort Wayne, IN
Proceeds benefit our shelter.
Sat, Dec 14, 11 am - 2 pm
Pet Supplies Plus Community Outreach
4714 Coldwater Rd, Ft Wayne, IN
See who is available for adoption!
Sat, Dec 28, 11 am - 2 pm
PetSmart Community Outreach
1760 Apple Glen Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN
See who is available for adoption!