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Common Misconceptions Pet Owners Have About Microchips

Colonel is a Schnauzer mix who is waiting for a new home at HCWS.

Colonel is a Schnauzer mix who is waiting for a new home at HCWS.

By Amber Mahrou

Does your pet have a microchip? If your furry buddy is from Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, the answer to that question is—yes!  Heaven Can Wait microchips all of the cats and dogs that find new homes through our adoption program, but many pet parents don’t receive the full benefit that a microchip provides because of these common misconceptions.

Micro-Myth 1: There is no need to do anything with your pet’s microchip; it is already set up for use.

Actually, although the microchip is always functional, you must register the microchip with your own name and address in order for it to be helpful in reuniting you and your pet in the case that Fido or Fluffy gets lost. Don’t forget to update the contact information you have registered if you change your phone number or address! Think of the microchip as an emergency ID tag which your pet can never lose; you wouldn’t want the wrong number or address hanging around your pet’s neck in case of accidental separation, would you?  Registering your pet is done by contacting the company that provided the microchip.  The two top companies are Avid or Home Again.  Information should be provided in your adoption packet. That said—

Micro-Myth 2: Microchips replace ID tags.

Although microchips contain the same information, or more, as an ID tag, you need special equipment to scan and read it. Veterinarians and animal shelter staff can check for microchips on lost pets, but your average Good Samaritan will not be able to see that information in order to return your pet to you. An easy to read ID tag attached to your pet’s collar is a must have item. Of course, Heaven Can Wait encourages everyone who finds a lost pet to take them to a veterinarian to be scanned for a microchip. You never know when a small act like this will help reunite an adventurous pet with their original owner!

Micro-Myth 3: Microchips can act as small GPS units, allowing owners to pinpoint the location of lost pets.

Since they are essentially small, un-lose-able ID tags, microchips only provide the details that would be necessary for a pet’s recovery—the owner’s name, address, and phone number, as well as your pet’s name. There are devices for sale on the market that DO act as a small GPS unit when placed on your pet’s collar, but microchips are not such devices!

Not sure whether your pet has a microchip? You can find out by having them scanned at your veterinarian’s office.  If they do not have a chip already, you may get one for your pet as an added security measure. The chip itself is about the size of a grain of rice, which is injected under a pet’s skin around the neck. It does not hurt any more than a routine vaccination, and most pets don’t even notice when they are being given one. Microchips may not be ID replacements or GPS units, but they still reunite thousands of pets with their owners every month; register yours, and your furry friend has a better chance of being one of those lucky pets if you ever become separated!  It’s the responsible thing to do.

Heaven Can Wait pet adoptions are held every Thursday – Sunday for cats and each Saturday for dogs.  For details check our website: www.hcws.org

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Chester The Lab Mix Seeks a Stable, Quiet and Loving Forever Home

Chester is a laid back boy who is waiting for a special person to share a forever home with him.

Chester is a laid back boy who is waiting for a special person to share a forever home with him.

By Keely Biggs

When you approach Chester’s cage at the HCWS adoption center, you won’t see him get up to greet you wagging his tail with wide, bright eyes. The easy going Lab mix doesn’t get as excited as a young puppy anymore.  He’s learned that life can bring disappointments and doesn’t always work out as you hope.

Chester hasn’t given up hope he is patiently waiting for the one special person who will prove their commitment to him before “giving his heart” again.

Chester was originally found as a stray running on the streets with his best buddy, a dog named Manny. The pair was rescued by a man who intended to keep them, but ultimately had to find them another home. Chester and Manny were placed in a home with eight other dogs.  All ten dogs lived in the back yard and didn’t have a lot of interaction with their owners.  The ordeal left Chester a little “selective” about meeting new dogs.

Chester’s second home was foreclosed and he and Manny moved around a bit. Eventually they ended up at Heaven Can Wait. Both dogs were enrolled in the Pups on Parole program and did very well learning all their commands and new skills.  The HCWS dog coordinators also got their first glimpse into Chester’s gentle soul.

Chester has learned that life doesn't always turn out as you hope it would.

Chester has learned that life doesn’t always turn out as you hope it would.

Once the dogs had completed the program Manny was quickly adopted into a new home.

Chester’s best friend and stable companion was gone and it was quite a disappointment to him.

To cheer him up, the coordinators had a puppy move in with Chester and the two dogs became good friends.  Chester’s calm nature allowed the puppy to crawl all over him while he just laid back and enjoyed the antics.

The HCWS dog coordinators say that Chester’s easy going demeanor is what is keeping him from finding a new home.  People pass by his pen each week because he doesn’t exhibit the outgoing characteristics prospective owners are used to seeing.

Chester is 4 to 6 years-old and has a mild case of arthritis. He would do great in a quiet home with older children and another mature dog. He is a loyal dog that will sit at your feet and reciprocate the love you show to him. He needs stability, love, patience and companionship but, most of all, a permanent home.

Come by to meet Chester on a Saturday at Bogart’s Bone Appetit at 4985 S. Fort Apache Road Las Vegas, NV 89148 between the hours of 10 am to 4 pm.  Or call us at: 702-227-5555.

Let’s make this the week that shows Chester friends and family stay in our lives forever!

Let's help Chester learn that friends and families Do Last Forever!

Let’s help Chester learn that friends and families Do Last Forever!

Meet The Boys From Heaven Can Wait

T-Bone is one of the cutest cats you may ever meet.

T-Bone is one of the cutest cats you may ever meet.

Here are some of the adorable boys waiting to find their forever homes at the Heaven Can Wait Adoption Center.  You can meet them every Thursday – Sunday inside PetSmart at 7050 Arroyo Crossing Parkway (Rainbow and I-215exit).  Or email us for details at: cats@hcws.org.

T-Bone (pictured above) was rescued from a travel trailer where he was living with 70 other cats.  This big boy is extremely affectionate and loves to be around other felines.  Our cat coordinate calls him, “One of the cutest cats you may ever meet.”

Max is a senior citizen who is young at heart.

Max is a senior citizen who is young at heart.

Max is a beautiful senior citizen who is young at heart.  He is also a special needs kitty with diabetes.  Max needs a home that can help him with daily insulin shots and a special diet.  In return this big boy will fill his family’s home with lots of love and kisses.

Tiger is full of personality.

Tiger is full of personality.

If you are looking for a cat with a BIG personality, Tiger is your kind of guy.  This cat will love to chase around your house playing with toys and when he is done, he will curl up in your lap being as sweet as can be.

Jess is a little timid until he gets to know people.

Jess is a little timid until he gets to know people.

Some cats, like Jess are shy and take time to warm up to new people.   Our coordinator says offering Jess a treat or brushing his hair helps ease his timid nature, but this cat will probably need a guardian who is very patient.

Check out All of the wonderful cats and dogs at Heaven Can Wait by Clicking Here.   Not Ready To Adopt?  You can Sponsor a Cat or Dog by Clicking Here.

April Warehouse Sale

Yard%20sale%20for%20April%202013Send your Spring Cleaning items to Heaven Can Wait Animal Society.  Proceeds from our monthly Warehouse/Garage Sales benefit the homeless animals in our care.

Looking New Four-Legged Buddy?  Heaven Can Wait adoptions are held each weekend.  Dogs are adopted every Saturday at Bone Appetit on W. Tropicana and Ft. Apache – Cats are adopted Thursday thru Sunday inside Petsmart at 7050 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy. ( I-215 and S. Rainbow exit)  Check out all the pets waiting for new homes: www.hcws.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Erin

Erin has volunteered with Heaven Can Wait cat adoptions for 2 years.

Erin has volunteered with Heaven Can Wait cat adoptions for 2 years.

By Colette Hayes

Heaven Can Wait Animal Society relies on a network of volunteers to do a variety of tasks. One volunteer is Erin.  For the last 2 years, Erin has volunteered with cat adoptions at PetSmart.  Erin began her volunteer work with Heaven Can Wait in part because of our beliefs in spaying and neutering and her own passion for animals. Erin says she felt that, “animals needed a voice,” and she wanted to be that voice. Volunteering, Erin says, was also a great way to get away from the stress of her regular job and give to the animals.

Growing up Erin did not have any pets and was not around any, except for her Grandmother’s unfriendly cat.   Erin’s first cat Roxie came to her in an unusual way. Erin had moved into a new apartment and one day heard a noise at her front door. Checking the peep hole, she saw no one, hearing the sound again; she opened the door to discover a big calico cat. Roxie darted into the apartment and Erin surmised that Roxie must have lived with her people in the apartment before Erin moved in. Erin kept Roxie, who sat up like a squirrel and chirped like a bird.   Roxie eventually passed away and Erin has since opened her to home to more cats. Currently, she shares her life with three cats, Little Cat, Bella and Grace.

As part of her volunteer work with cat adoptions, Erin must make sure that the cats and humans are going to be a good match.  Erin says, “We are trying to find the cats their forever home.”

up for adoption

Elaine, HCWS Cat Coordinator says that Erin is, “good at listening.” She is also someone that Elaine can count on to come in on time and be responsible. Although volunteering with cat adoptions offers the opportunity to be around a variety of cats, it does require a real commitment to the animals. To do that, Erin must listen to what potential adoptees are looking for.

“I ask questions,” Erin says. “I have conversations with people and find out how this cat will fit in their lives.” Erin says that she is happy to answer questions people may have and to help them make the right choice. Working with the cats eligible for adoption, Erin gets to know their personalities and can help the potential new owner choose a cat that will fit into their lives.

Erin says it is hard letting the cats go to their new homes, but knows that a forever home is the goal of adoption. “My favorite adoption story is this couple who took several weeks to adopt.” Erin says the husband and wife came in regularly looking at the cats and discussing what cat and its personality would fit into their lives. Eventually the couple, with Erin’s help, picked out two cats to take home and it was a perfect fit.

Hard to resist this beautiful kitty waiting to find a new family.  Adoptions are held Thursday - Sunday in Petsmart 7050 Arroyo Crossing Parkway.

Hard to resist this beautiful kitty waiting to find a new family. Adoptions are held Thursday – Sunday in Petsmart 7050 Arroyo Crossing Parkway.

Once an adoption takes place, HCWS follows up with the new families. “We like to call and find out how things are going,” Erin says. Finding out that cat and person were a good match is a good feeling. Erin says it feels good to know you helped someone make the right choice and a cat got its forever home. “It’s not about me, but about the cat,” Erin says. Matching up cats to people is a rewarding and sometimes challenging task, but it is one that Erin gladly takes on.

Another cutie waiting for a forever family.

Another cutie waiting for a forever family.

Click Here To See The HCWS Cat Ready For Adoption  – Adoptions are held Thursday – Sunday inside PetSmart at 7050 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy.  Arroyo Crossing Center – I-215 and S. Rainbow exit.  Email: cats@hcws.org with questions.

If you are not ready to adopt a cat, but would like to help support the program Click Here.

Learn how to become a volunteer like Erin by completing an application at www.hcws.org

Learn how to become a volunteer like Erin by completing an application at http://www.hcws.org

Saving Feral Cats Is A Passion For Two Sisters

Joy Reyes considered herself an amateur cat rescuer until she ran across a home with 40 feral cats.

Joy Reyes considered herself an amateur cat rescuer until she ran across a home with 40 feral cats.

College student Joy Reyes calls herself and her sister Jane, “amateur cat rescuers.”  The sisters love cats and as kids they brought home a variety of strays.  Each time they saw that the cats were examined by a Vet, spayed or neutered and adopted into a good home.  Last year Joy ran into her first feral cat colony and after seeing so many cats living on their own, she thought there must be a better way to save these animals.

Joy turned to the Internet for answers and learned about Heaven Can Wait Animal Society’s feral cat clinics that sterilize and vaccinate free roaming cats. HCWS loaned traps to the sisters and they returned to the clinic with 10 cats.  All of the felines were fixed, got their shots and had their ears-tipped so they could be identified by other trappers.  Joy and Jane returned the cats to their colony.  On their next trip to HCWS, the girls had 19 cats in tow.

The Reyes sisters learned more about the plight of feral cats who are susceptible to starvation, predators and the elements.  They volunteered to hand out flyers for the HCWS program called Operation Clean Sweep that spays and neuters every free roaming cat and owned pets in at-risk neighborhoods.  The girls were especially helpful because they are bilingual and could answer questions from the Spanish speaking neighbors.

While handing out flyers, Joy came across a house with cats running everywhere.   The situation was the perfect example of how fast a colony can grow if the cats aren’t fixed.  She spoke with the owner who agreed to let her trap all of them.

Jane with Cocoa, one of the many cats the sisters have rescued.

Jane with Cocoa, one of the many cats the sisters have rescued.

The project became a family affair for the Reyes clan, which included help from the girls’ parents, Tony and Sofia.  Shortly after dark the family set out traps on the property and waited in their truck until they heard the clap of a trap shutting tight.  Then one of them would grab the trap, label it and stow in the truck.  At about 1a.m. they would move the cats to the clinic, give them fresh food and water and go home.

“It was exhausting, but nice that our family worked together,” said Joy.

The process took nearly a week, but a total of 40 feral cats were caught.  Members of the Reyes family checked in on the felines every day and were especially attentive to those that were held for recovery.

Dad Tony provided protection when the girls trapped at night and Mom Sofia soothed the kitties after surgery.

Dad Tony provided protection when the girls trapped at night and Mom Sofia soothed the kitties after surgery.

Of the 40 cats, a litter of 4 kittens, one friendly adult and a friendly youngster were kept by Heaven Can Wait for adoption.  All have been placed into new homes.

That made Joy especially proud.  “It’s nice to know that you helped reduce the number of feral cats, but it’s really nice to know some were adopted,” said Joy.

The woman living on the property has moved away so Joy and Jane have become the guardians of the colony.  They go to the feeding site often and the neighbors know to contact them if any new litters are born nearby.

Judy, the HCWS Clinic Coordinator, is very proud of Joy and Jane and says with their help, “The feral cat population in that neighborhood has been greatly reduced.”

HCWS Feral Cat Clinics are held monthly.  To date we have spayed and neutered more than 80,000 free roaming and owned pets.  If you would like to get involved or learn more: CLICK HERE.

A Happy Ending For BFF’s Tiger Lily and Tucker

HCWS knew they could find a home for Tucker, but were unsure about his BFF Tiger Lily who is 9 years-old.

HCWS knew they could find a home for Tucker, but were unsure about his BFF Tiger Lily who is 9 years-old.

By Charlene Proto

‘If dogs don’t go to heaven, when I die I want to go wherever they went.” — Attributed to Will Rogers

Every dog owner who has ever lost a beloved companion will agree with Will Rogers’ sentiment in this much quoted aphorism.  Life is wonderful filled with exuberant joy, playfulness and boundless love when our dog is young.  Middle age brings little change to these seemingly ageless happy go lucky very best friends of ours.  However as with humans, old age brings some subtle and some not so subtle changes that owners cannot ignore.  Some dogs leap and kiss and frolic right up to their last days.  Others unfortunately mimic the human condition and become frail, weak and subject to age related illness.  And just like with humans this is when they most need our love, affection and care.  And tragically this is when many owners decide to abandon their aging pet, renege on that commitment that is made when we take a pet into our family – the life time commitment to love and care for them for all of their lives.

Fortunately the King family believes very strongly in the commitment that when an animal comes into our lives it is a lifelong contract that they would never dream of breaking.  Samantha King (Sam) loves animals and particularly loves Boxers.  There were two very special Boxers in her family for many years – Kane and Maverick.  Both were getting to be senior dogs and when Kane died last year she felt she should find another companion for Maverick.  He seemed depressed, listless and lonely without his constant friend.  Sam and her husband too grieved for Kane and felt a piece missing in their hearts.  Sam likened it to the “empty nest” syndrome, but felt it much more difficult to bear with a pet.  Another dog was needed to assuage the sorrow for both Maverick and the Kings.

Sam’s boss told her about Heaven Can Wait Animal Society and the search began.  The dog adoption coordinator (DAC) sent pictures providing options for possible adoptees.  Sam was seriously considering one Boxer but finally decided he was too much for her old guy Maverick to handle.  Over the months the DAC and Samantha got to know and understand each other.

Tiger Lily and Tucker had been shuffled to several homes before coming to Heaven Can Wait.

Tiger Lily and Tucker had been shuffled to several homes before coming to Heaven Can Wait.

Then two Boxers named Tiger Lily and Tucker were turned into Heaven Can Wait.  These two best buddy Boxers had been together most of their lives.  Unfortunately they had also been shuffled about among different owners a lot in their lives.  When HCWS called a Vet’s office for records they were alarmed to hear, “Oh, no the Doctor will be so upset to hear they have been returned again.”  These were two very good dogs.  Tucker the young handsome guy would probably have no problem being adopted but his 9 year-old “BFF” Tiger Lily was another story.  Many people looking to adopt are only interested in the “Tuckers”.

When HCWS approached Sam about the pair they were so pleased to find that the Kings were interested.  They not only understood how difficult finding a home for an older dog was, but were eager to accept the challenge.

As so often happens at Heaven Can Wait a miracle occurs and a match is made – two good dogs with two good people with big hearts and “good souls.”

The dogs were all gradually introduced in the yard and then into Maverick’s domain of the Kings’ home.  They feared Tucker might be too rambunctious for their senior but as time went by the dogs all became friends and fit nicely into the King family which included their cat.  Sam’s husband would often take the dogs to their property in Pahrump for a weekend romp in the “country”!

Sadly both Maverick and the family cat recently died.   The Kings however have two good buddies to help them work through their grief.  There is of course no substitute for a loved pet who provided many years of companionship, but a pair of wagging tails and happy doggie smiles can lift even the saddest heart for a little while.

Heaven Can Wait is ready with lots of awesome cats and dogs that need new homes.  Adoptions are Thursday – Sunday for cats at Petsmart in the Arroyo Crossing Center and dogs are adopted on Saturday inside Bone Appetit on W. Tropicana and Ft. Apache.  Click Here to see the pets available.

Related Storues and Programs:

Second Chance For Happiness

Pawsitively Seniors

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