May 25, 2013

7 Myths about Spaying and Neutering – BUSTED!

Phote credits:

Spaying and neutering can save the lives of millions of animals who otherwise end up homeless and on the streets of our cities where they are mistreated.

1. Spaying/ Neutering is Wrong
Anyone who thinks that spaying/ neutering an animal is wrong, is ignorant. It is not wrong to neuter/spay but it is wrong to allow animals to breed more unwanted animals that will eventually be killed because they were homeless. Spaying and neutering helps save the lives of thousands of animals who will never find good homes and will instead end up on the streets. It prevents animals from being born accidently. Read more on the benefits of spaying or neutering your pets.

2. Spaying/Neutering will cost a lot
Generally the cost depends on the animal’s age and gender. However, spaying or neutering does not cost a lot. Most vets in Karachi charge approximately *Rs. 2000 to 3000 for strays and *Rs. 5000 to 6000 for domestic pets.

3. Pure breed pets should not be spayed
Many times even pure breed animals end up on the streets and in shelters. Your cat or dog, if not spayed/neutered will contribute to the over population of stray animals.

4. I want my pet to breed. I will get all the kittens or puppies adopted in good homes
There is no guarantee of that. And even if you are able to find good homes for your pets, it would be unfair for all the stray animals in the shelters, waiting to be adopted into good homes. If every good home adopts at least one cat or dog from the shelter instead of adopting one from the pure breed litter that you are giving away, they will be saving lives and giving homes to deserving animals.

5. Neutering will alter my pet's personality
If anything, neutering will make your pet more healthy and active. They will not be distracted by their instinctive need to mate which means no heat realted aggressive behavior and mess.

6. Neutering/ spaying will make my pet over weight
Overfeeding and no exercise will make your pet fat, not spaying or neutering. With proper diet and exercise your pet will remain healthy and fit.

7. Can't shelters take care of strays
In Pakistan we do not have proper animal shelters. The few that exist are non-profit and cannot take in thousands of stray animals. Some times the animals left for long in shelters also end up sick or with a disease. We cannot expect a few people to take care of thousands of stray animals.

* Charges may vary

April 13, 2013

Why Spay or Neuter your Pet?

Every year thousands of cats and dogs end up homeless and on the streets in Pakistan. Sadly we don’t have proper shelters or enough good homes for them. Only a few of these animals are able to find permanent loving homes or make it to small non-profit shelters. Even a smaller number of these stray animals are able to find individuals caring enough to feed them daily. Countless cats and dogs are run over by careless drivers and end up either dead or badly wounded.

Spaying or neutering animals help save lives of these animals that are otherwise thrown out on the street and left to their own devices. Did you know that cats can become pregnant at five months old while dogs can become pregnant as early as six months? Both, cats and dogs are capable of having 2 to 3 litters per year.
So when you spay or neuter your pet or a stray, you are basically saving their kittens or puppies from ending up homeless.

But Some People Say that Neutering/Spaying is Bad...

There is nothing ethically or morally wrong with spaying or neutering an animal. For those who tell you that it’s wrong, please ask them this:

How many stray animals have they given shelters to?
How many strays have they adopted?
Will they take care of all the cats & dogs that end up on the streets because their parents were not spayed?

FYI...What is Spaying and Neutering?

Neutering: Having the testicles of a male animal surgically removed so he cannot impregnate a female.
Spaying: Having the reproductive organs of a female animal surgically removed so she cannot become pregnant.

Read about the Benefits of Spaying or Neutering your Pet

April 06, 2013

2 Heartfelt 'Adopt a Pet' Posters

Instead of buying pets, adopt them from shelters and save lives. If you have enough space at your home and time on your hands, foster an animal till there is a permanent home for it or better yet, provide it a permanent loving home.

Here are two posters I found that will touch your heart.

March 29, 2013

Funny Cat Comics

I came across a couple of months back and since then it's been one of my favorite sites. Today I felt like sharing a few of my very favorite cat comics. Mind you, these are very relatable too ;)

Comic credits:

March 23, 2013

Neutering Helps Prevent Homeless Pets

Photo credits:
The other day a guy told me that it is criminal to spay or neuter animals because, according to him, when we do this we are "depriving a creature of its rights of pleasure and reproduction". Honestly, sometimes I don't know what to say to such people. I can give him a million reasons for why neutering is a better option but doing so is usually futile, especially in such cases, when the other party just doesn't want to understand. They would rather lecture you on the religious, moral and ethical implications of neutering. Blah blah...

So for all those who think neutering is cruel, I ask you this...

Isn't it cruel to throw animals out on the streets, leaving them to fend for themselves, because you cannot take care of them? Isn't it cruel to breed when you are unable to find good homes for the litter and then leaving them at shelters or depriving them of a home? Would you rather have an animal homeless and subjected to cruelty or would you neuter it so it can live a healthy life without breeding more strays?

There are hundreds of cases every week in our country where animals are run over by cars, or hit by bikes or pelted with stones by kids. If we would neuter strays, instead of letting them breed we would save their lives and their future generations from curelty. Neutering an animal means that you will not have a litter to provide to. Unless you are capable of taking care of the whole litter of your pet or a stray (for their entire lives, mind you) DON'T BREED. Spay or neuter your pets, especially strays.

Neutering strays is a lot better than letting them be poisoned at the hands of DHA or KMC authorities who would want to clean up the nuisance created by overpopulation of strays.

March 21, 2013

The Power of Pet Love

Pets are a wonderful source of happiness. The love they exude for you helps release stress and makes you feel good. It is a known fact that petting a dog or a cat lowers high blood pressure. Only a pet owner can tell you the joys of coming back home to a pet. Whether you come back from a long holiday or just a stressful day at work - one look at your pet can take all that stress away.

James Ray - Philosopher, Lecturer, Author and Creator of Prosperity and Human Potential Programs explains in Rhonda Byrne's book The Secret:

"The principle of feeling good applies to your family pet... Animals are wonderful, because they put you in a great emotional state. When you feel love for your pet, that great state of love will bring goodness into your life. And what a gift that is."

I agree whole heartedly. Won't you?

March 17, 2013

Benefits of Spaying or Neutering your Pet

spay cats and dogs

Spaying and neutering helps fight animal overpopulation. Every year thousands of stray cats and dogs are killed or die of hunger. This can be prevented with spaying and neutering.

There are several benefits of spaying or neutering cats and dogs. Here are ten top reasons for why you should get your pets and stray animals neutered:
  1. It eliminates the frustration caused by heat in female animals as they will no longer feel the need to mate or attract other animals.
  2. It decreases the chances of the animal aggression in male animals as they will not get into fights over mates.
  3. It reduces the chances of prostate problems in male animals while saves the females from uterine infections.
  4. It stops animals from spraying to mark territory, wailing or making inappropriate sexual advances on other animals or people.
  5. It is cost effective as it costs a lot less than what it would cost you to take care of a litter (not to mention the amount you will have to spend on vaccinations of the litter).
  6. There is no stress on your mind of having to find good homes for the unwanted/accidental litter that might arrive in a few months.
  7. It eliminates the chances of neglecting animals or abandoning them.

Best of all neutering/spaying your pet will make them lead a healthy and long life. Not to mention, neutered animals are well behaved as they will not have heat or mating related aggression issues.

March 12, 2013

10 Common Household Hazards for Pets

Our homes are full of things that can become hazardous for pets. Several everyday household products and common substances are hazards waiting to happen. But with precaution we can make our homes a safe place for our pets.

Here are a few common everyday items that you should keep out of reach of your cats and dogs:

1. People Food like chocolates, raisins, garlic, onions, oil, butter and several dairy products can cause serious digestive issues in cats and dogs, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity and in some cases, cause seizures and even death. Avoid feeding your pet table scrapes and make sure you have a good understanding of what foods are good and bad for your pets.

2. Human Medicines can be lethal for pets. Over-the-counter drugs, medications, pain killers and supplements are the most common hazards in our homes. Don't ever give your pet ANY medicines without your vet's prescription. Pets can easily lick or eat medicines lying around the house. Which is why it is essential that you immediately clean any medicines that might have accidently dropped on the floor and avoid leaving them in easy to reach places around the house.

3. House Plants carry a variety of bacteria and toxins that are harmful for pets. Mushrooms, morning glory, aloe, cactus, iris, ivy, fern, holly, fruit salad plant and various species of lily are a few toxic household plants. Most of these plants are specially toxic and life-threatening for cats. View the complete list of dangerous plants for cats and dogs at ASPCA website.

4. Insecticides & Pesticides might get rid of pests in your home but they are generally unwelcoming for your pets. One common insecticide is flea and tick powder which can be easily misused if used without veterinarian consultation. Do not use any flea powder on your cat or dog without consulting your vet first. Also avoid spraying pesticides while your pet is in the same room. Certain chemicals in insecticides can be life-threatening if ingested by cats or dogs.

5. Garden Products like fertilizers and other plant foods can cause gastric issues and even cause poisoning if consumed in large amounts. Keep your dogs and cats away from such products.

6. Household Cleaners like drain cleaners, paint thinners and floor cleaners can easily cause health issues like gastric upset, respiratory difficulties, poisoning and chemical burns in cats and dogs. A pet that walks on the floors that have just been treated with floor cleaners is venerable to poisoning as it can lick its paw and ingest the chemicals.

7. Paints & Heavy Metals such as mercury, lead and zinc can be lethal for pets if they are exposed to it. Lead can be found in paints and other consumer products. Pets can be easily exposed to lead in an environment where scraped or sanded paint is found.

8. Strings, Threads, Wool, cords and other similar strings that your cat loves to play with can cause severe intestinal damage if ingested. Never leave these things lying around with an unattended pet.

9. Plastic bags should be kept out of reach and not left around the house when you are not around. Cats love to play with and sleep inside plastic and grocery bags. This might look cute to you but cats can easily suffocate in them if left with a plastic bag at their own devices. So please keep them out of reach.

10. Small Toys & Rubber Bands should be kept out of reach of pets. Cats especially love to play with these and they can easily ingest them, leading to life-threatening consequences.

By being a little cautious we can make our homes a safe place for our pets. After all, no one wants to put their pet in a life threatening position on purpose.

Did I miss out on mentioning any common household item that can be dangerous for pets? Please do leave a comment and add to this list. Your feedback is appreciated.

March 08, 2013

Leaving Your Pet in the Car can Kill them

Not many people know that leaving a pet alone in a car is a bad idea. Even on a cool day leaving your pet in the car for a few minutes can be dangerous.

We live in a region where temperatures remain hot and humid for most part of the year. Cars, even with air conditioning on, can heat up real fast on a typical summer day. Come back to a parked car just after a few minutes and you will feel like you’re sitting inside an oven, especially when you have to sit on hot leather/vinyl covered seats. When you know how hot the inside of your car can get, it is mere common sense to not leave your pet unattended in it.

In summers, the inside of a car can heat up really fast. Even cars parked in shady areas with windows cracked open are not safe for animals. Within 5 - 10 minutes the temperature inside your car can rise up really high. Did you know that your pet can suffer from heatstroke and even die if you leave it unattended in the car? Sadly many people don’t realize this.

Your Car is an Oven for an Unattended Pet
Your dog or cat cannot sweat like you, which is why they are unable to release the heat in their body as fast as perhaps a human can. Leaving your pet in the car “for just a few minutes” can be fatal. Hot weather and humidity can combine to become lethal for an animal left in a closed vehicle or areas of high humidity. Your pets can only withstand the high temperatures for a short while, after which they will start panting, their body temperatures will rise up quickly and if you do not take immediate steps to get them out of the heat, they can also suffer from severe illness and even death.

Just remember NEVER EVER Leave your Pet Unattended in a Car! It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you absolutely must keep your pet in the car and have no other choice, then make sure that all windows and vents of the car are opened as wide as possible. Check your pet every 5 minutes to ensure that your pet is not panting excessively or showing any signs of sickness. Keep fresh water at hand for your pet.

What to Do If Your Pet has Heatstroke?
Heatstroke can be fatal. If your pet is suffering from a heatstroke, take it to a vet immediately. Meanwhile apply towels soaked in cool (not very cold or icy) water to the hairless part of the animal’s body to lower its body temperature.

Symptoms of Heatstroke:
  • Excessive Panting
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Anxious
  • Reddened Tongue
  • Blank Stare
  • Dry Skin
  • High Fever
  • Sudden Collapse
Cars are not the only death traps in hot weather. Leaving your pet outside on a hot day without any shelter or shade is also just as bad. Don’t leave your pet in a cage outside or chain them in areas where they will be directly in the sun.

How you can Help?
  • Educate – Make flyers for distributing in your neighborhood. Create posters and email them to friends and family or spread the word around, online and offline. Let people know the dangers of leaving pets in a car. You can find a few great posters here.
  • Speak Up – If you see an animal sitting unattended in a parked car outside a building or supermarket, try and locate the owner. Keep an eye out for the animal and if you see it panting badly or looking sick, raise an alarm, if possible.
  • Proper Shelter – If you keep your pet outside, ensure that there is adequate shelter, the area is shaded and well ventilated. Keep plenty of fresh water for your pet and avoid excessive outdoor activity.

March 02, 2013

10 Bad Foods for Dogs

We love our pets. We love to spoil them and pamper them and feed them. But did you know that some human foods can be fatal for your pet's health? There are some food items that your dog should not eat, no matter how tasty they might seem to you.

Here are 10 foods your dog should not eat:

1. Dairy Products, Milk & Ice Cream

Milk or ice cream might seem potentially harmless for your pet, but the case is quite the opposite. Dogs cannot digest lactose well. This is why giving your dog any milk based product can lead to digestive issues and diarrhea. It is always better to ask your vet for a healthy milk substitute or giving them processed milk created especially for dogs.

2. Raw & Uncooked Eggs

Eating raw eggs can contain bacteria like Salmonella. Eating raw eggs frequently can cause skin and hair problem in dogs. Although the reaction might not be as strong for a dog as it is for a cat, it is better to avoid giving uncooked eggs to your pet. Always cook the eggs properly before giving and also try not to give it to your dog too often.

3. Raw Meat, Poultry, Fish & Bones

The image of a dog chewing away at a raw piece of meat and bone is cliched. Bones, especially cooked bones can cause serious health hazards, leading to choking, digestive blockage and even dental issues. Raw meat and fish can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E coli that can harm your pet's digestive system. Always purchase raw meat from a reliable meat vendor and consult a vet or animal nutritionist before feeding your dog raw meat. Read more about the pros and cons of a raw meat diet for dogs.

4. All Chocolates & Coca Items

Chocolate is poison for your dog. It contains toxic elements like methylxanthine and theobromine, which can be lethal. White, dark or brown, all kinds of chocolates contain this chemical in varying amounts. Reactions like vomiting, muscle spasm, restlessness can occur which can eventually lead to death.

5. Garlic, Onion & Chives

These cause gastric tract problems, serious red blood cell damage, liver damage and even asthma attacks in dogs. Severe reactions like diarrhea, vomiting and lethargy can occur. Although dogs will naturally avoid such vegetables, however they cannot tell the different in cooked food, so please don't feed your dog anything that will have onions, garlic, chives and the likes of it as these can easily kill your pet.

6. Coffee, Tea & Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine might help keep you awake but it will not do the same for your dog. It contains methylxanthine which is harmful for your dog. It will cause indigestion, lead to vomiting, diarrhea, panting, increased thirst, hyperactivity, excessive urination, tremors, abnormal heart beat and even death. So do not give your dog any kind of coffee, tea, energy drink, colas or other caffeinated beverages.

7. Baking Powder, Soda & Yeast

If you love to bake then make sure your baking ingredients are kept well away from your pet. Don't even let any of these products on your pet's paws as they can lick it. Uncooked yeast dough can expand in your pet's stomach, causing gastric issues, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, bloating and can most likely rupture your dog's stomach and intestines. Although cooked bread is not as harmful as uncooked yeast, however it is better to avoid giving bread to your pet, instead feed it healthy dog-treats and processed dog food.

8. Nuts, Raisins & Grapes

These are highly toxic for your pet which is why it is essential that you keep any product that contain these foods out of their reach. Products like cereals, raisin bars, cookies and fruits salads tend to contain these, to name just a few. Raisins, nuts (raw & roasted both), currents and grapes can cause vomiting, lethargy, tremors, weakness, kidney failure and also death. Symptoms generally start showing with 12 to 48 hours. Reactions of these food can worsen as time passes, leading to paralysis. Therefore it is imperative that you carefully check all ingredients of any product before you feed it to your dog. If your pet eats any such food, please contact a vet immediately.

9. Artificial Sweeteners, Candies & Sugar-free Cookies

These contain a element called 'Xylitol' which can trigger a fatal reaction in your pet immediately. Eating any such food can cause lowered blood sugar level which will lead to liver failure within a few days. Initial symptoms can include vomiting, coordination issues, weakness and seizures. Avoid feeding your pet any candy, gums or cookies that you eat. Intake of any kinds of sugar in your pet's daily diet is not good.

10. Butter, Ghee, Margarine & Oil

Avoid giving all kinds of fats to your pet. Whether it's ghee, butter, margarine, lard, oil or any fat trimmings. Given in large amounts these can cause liver damage. A few oils like coconut oil and those containing omega fatty acids can be given in small amounts only, however it is best to consult with your vet before feeding any such thing to your pet.

Other products and foods that can be toxic for your dog and must be avoided include: Avocado, Alcohol & Beer, Gums, Toothpaste, Food Coloring, Mushrooms, Beans, Mutard Seeds, Raw & Green Potatoes, Potato leaves and stems, Salt and seeds of all kinds of fruits. Also please don't give your pet any medicine without consulting with your vet as most human medicines are deadly for animals.

To read more about dangerous food for dogs, please visit

February 14, 2013

Adopt a Jack Russell Terrier

Another success story... This adorable pup was adopted a few days back into a loving home.

February 10, 2013

Pet Care Tips for Cold Weather

Pets needs extra special care in winters
Winter time means snuggling up in your warm bed with your cat or warming up to the warm fire while drinking coca with a satisfied dog at your feet, it also at times means suffering from cold and flu. But did you know that where winter can make you sick it can be specially hard on your pets?

Here are a couple of suggestions which will help keep your pets safe during winters:
  • Keep your pets inside the house as much as you can. Even if your pet needs to go out, go along with them so that you can bring them back in after a while.
  • Don't leave your pet out for too long. Frost bite can be harmful for your pet.
  • Give them warm food and water.
  • Make sure that your pet's bedding is also slightly warm and not too cold for them.
  • Don't bathe your pet a lot during winter. Minimize the baths, keeping them mostly for when your pet seems dirty or smells.
  • Exercise your pet during the winter as this will help keep them warm.
  • Feed your pet a few extra calories if it stays outside more as this will help keep the body temperature balanced.
  • If your pets has been outside in the snow, make sure that you wipe your pet's feet with a damp towel when it comes in the house.
  • Take your pets for a winter check up to the vet.
Whether young or old, don't leave your pets out in the cold for too long. Dogs and cats can get frost bits on their ears, nose and under their paws. Keep a close eye on your pet when it is outside in the cold to make sure that they are comfortable.

So there you have it... A few suggestions that will help you take better care of your pet in winter!

Image credits:

February 09, 2013

Russell Terrier up for Adoption - Karachi

A female Jack Russell Terrier is up for adoption.

Age: under 6 months. Very playful and friendly. Owners cannot keep it any more. Giving up for a small adoption fee. Interested parties, please send us a message below.

Availability: Karachi only

Photo credites: NK Photography

February 08, 2013

A Visit to St Francis Assissi Animal Shelter

It's always heartwarming to see individuals trying to make a difference in this world in whatever little way that they can. It makes you feel that there is still hope and that the world is not at a loss just yet. It is wonderful to see that there are still caring people out there who are effortlessly working hard day and night saving lives. One such individual is Carol Noreen, who owns a small shelter for animals in Karachi. It is a much appreciated individual effort, supported by a few volunteers.

We recently visited St. Francis Assissi Animals Shelter. Located in Gulistan-e-Johar Block 8, this small shelter is home to many unfortunate animals, both cats and dogs alike. Carol is kind enough to take in many injured strays. Some people leave their unwell pets with her for a temporary period too. There were some great stories we heard at the shelter. One such story was of Bruno, a white stray dog who was taken in by Carol a few months back when he had both his hind legs badly injured. He is now healthy and doing well.

Left - A healthy Bruno. Right - image of Bruno's injured legs (now healed)
The shelter is also home to 6 adorable Russian breed puppies (4 of these have been adopted while 2 puppies are still looking for permanent loving homes). These puppies are lovingly called the new year as they were born on the 1st of Jan this year.

Adorable New Year puppies
Most animals at the shelter are up for adoption for a small fee. The good thing I find about this shelter is that they have a proper procedure for adoptions and a follow up protocol to ensure that animals adopted from here are well taken care of.

The shelter has been running on its own fundings for a while now. It is in dire need of donations and material help. Those who wish to volunteer or interested in providing material support in the form of litter boxes, food etc. should contact the shelter. They can do with a helping hand.

To contact please call 03222559709 or visit St. Francis Animal Shelter Facebook page.

February 07, 2013

Stop Discarding Your Pets

Stop treating pets like discarded toys
It's heart breaking to see people throwing out their animals when they become incapable of taking care of them. When you adopt a pet, you adopt it for life. Not for 'until I have something better'. This is not a toy which you can pass your time with and then discard when you've had enough. It's a living being. Another life.

So please stop thorwing your pets out. They are not trash that you can throw out or broken toys which you can discard. Love them for life and only adopt if you are capable of doing so. Otherwise please just get yourself a battery operated toy and refrain from adopting an animal.

I have seen countless incidents where people adopt a dog or cat only because they find them 'cute'. Then later when the animal fall sick or needs a bit of tending, they throw them out on the streets because it's too expensive to take care of them .Just because you have seen another person with a breed dog or an awesome cat, doesn't mean they you are capable of owning one too. In order to owe one, you must know how to take care of it and vow to keep it for life, in sickness and in health.

Adopting a pet is just like adopting a child. Difference is that a human child will grow, a pet will stay like a one year old human child for it's life. So please only adopt if you are a responsible person.

January 09, 2013

Pet Posters that Make you Want to Adopt

Animals deserve better than being abandoned on streets or left alone in shelters. Adopting a pet is a responsibility of a lifetime, though I wish more of us understood that. Many people treat cats and dogs just like they would treat a toy, play with them for a while and once old or broken, discard them.

Animals in shelters and on the streets need our love and attention. Instead of abandoning animals, adopt them for life. Today I am sharing a few heartfelt posters with you. I came across these recently and what I love about them is their simplicity and attention grabbing quality. So here goes...

Have an animal shelter poster caught your eye recently? Did you come across an 'adopt a pet' poster that made you actually want to help an animal? Do share with us.

January 03, 2013

We're Back!

And we are back!

We are back this year hoping to make a difference. It's a new year and we have lots of new things to share and lots of cute animals to find homes for. So here's to re-starting this blog and saving lives!