Three Simple Ways to Spread the Love to Rescue Animals

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s not forget about our four-legged friends on this day of love! Here are three simple ways to spread the love to rescue animals that won’t cost you a dime.

ONE: Spread the love by sharing an adoptable animal’s profile. The more exposure the animal gets, the more likely they are to find their loving forever home. We truly appreciate every like, share, and comment. Once the animal is adopted, a spot is freed up in a foster home for another animal in need. You can find our adoptable animals’ profiles here.

TWO: Volunteer your time! Did you know that Zoe’s is 100% volunteer run? You do not have to commit a certain amount of hours per week or month to volunteer to make a positive impact. Instead, with Zoe’s, you can jump in when you are available. We are always looking for help with fundraising, event organizing, transporting animals and supplies, photography, blogging and of course… fostering! Learn more about volunteering here.

THREE: Share the message to spay and neuter! Zoe’s does everything in our power to help to end the cycle of homeless animals including ensuring that every single adopted animal is either spayed or neutered before the adoption is finalized. There are so many deserving animals in local rescues, and so many waiting to come into care. Help to reduce the population of stray and unwanted animals by reminding people to spay and neuter their pets. You can find a list of vets that we like to work with here. In addition, the Edmonton Humane Society offers a great program for those with pets that cannot afford to spay and neuter. Check out their PALS program here.

 

Foster of the Week: Reepacheep

Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!

I’m Reepacheep, but I prefer to be called Henry. Henry Rollengardner.

I’m a chinchilla! (I don’t know why I need to announce that. Maybe because chinchilla is fun to say? Chinchilla! Chinchilla! Chinchilla!)

I came to Zoe’s because my previous home was too, too busy and it stressed me out. I don’t mind a little hustle or small bits of bustle, but I do need my rest. Chinchillas are nocturnal, which can be a bit of a challenge for people. They are awake when I want to sleep and when they want to sleep, I want to play! The easiest way to handle this is to have my enclosure away from high-traffic areas in the home. That way I can be in the busy parts of the house when I want to play, but also have quiet when I want to sleep. Plus my nighttime antics won’t disturb you while you’re sleeping.

I’ve been a little skittish when it comes to human contact. Smaller animals tend to take longer to form a bond and trust their humans. My foster family has been patiently and slowly working to boost my confidence and help me become more comfortable with handling. I’m still unsure about being picked up, but I am starting to love pets and scratches. I have a sweet spot and if you find it, I will coo and smile in delight! I LOVE to be out of my enclosure to run and explore and chase my humans. Especially when they have treats. Be sure to keep a close eye on me when I am loose, though, I can be mischevious and chewy.

I may be partial, but chinchillas make great companion animals! We are generally quiet and low-maintenance, but also sweet and silly and fun. The most important part of being a chinchilla parent is providing an appropriate environment, like making sure there are places to tuck in and hide as well as chinchilla exercise equipment like a running wheel and climbing structures.

If your home sounds like a great home for me, and you’re looking to add some fun and silliness to your life, visit my bio and apply to adopt me!

Foster of the Week: Gilligan Katt

 

Hey there! I’m Gilligan!

Do you like to play? I do!! My favourite things to play with are string toys and wand toys. Anything I can chase, pounce, and bat!

I like people too. They’re wonderful! I can be a bit demanding when I want affection from my people. Ok, a lot demanding. But I love to cuddle! I love pets and scratches and belly rubs. I have this spot that I just LOVE to be scratched. When my people scratch that spot, I can’t help but flop over in absolute bliss.

I like other animals, too. Cats, dogs, kids…. I like them all! What’s that? Kids aren’t animals?? Uh….if you say so…. Whatever they are, I like them!

I’m an adventurer at heart. I love exploring and climbing. I especially like sneaking into the pantry and the cupboards. Peek-a-boo!! I like water, too. I’m always hanging out in the sink or the bathtub. My foster family says I am a curious cat who always makes them laugh. They’re so sweet.

I may not look it, but I am still a kitten. Full of energy and silliness. I am also a perfect gentleman. Quiet and affectionate.

You won’t find a cat much better than me! I am well-rounded, lovable, fun and dashingly handsome…. My ideal home would be full of things to love – adults, kids, cats and dogs, the more the merrier! My home should also have lots of places and spaces for me to explore, plus at least a few sinks and a spacious bathtub. Also well-stocked with soft and cozy blankets. After a day of playing and exploring, I love to curl up in a warm lap covered with a soft blanket.

My sisters have found their forever home, it’s my turn! If your home is lacking a purrrrfect gentleman, I am your cat! Visit my bio and apply to adopt me!

Foster of the Week: Morgan

Hi! Morgan here again!

How have you been since we last chatted? I’ve been great! I’ve been in this foster home for about four or five months and I love it! I have three foster siblings, that weirdo behind me is one of them. Mickey. He’s good stuff. I’m way in love with my foster sister, Minnie. We snuggle all the time, she lets me nibble her toes. She’s the sweetest girl I’ve ever met. And then there’s Habib. Silly Habib…..

I can’t imagine life without doggy siblings. Not only because I enjoy their company, but because I get very scared and nervous (and LOUD) when I am alone.

A few other things I don’t like:

Cats. I swear they taunt and tease me because they know I can’t see them. But I can smell them. And I can CHASE them!
Squirrels. They are conspiring with the cats, I know it.

You know, I think that’s it. I’m a very happy guy! Always smiling and enjoying life. I like people a lot. I like being around people, I like cuddling with people, I like the food people eat….. If you’re looking for a solid Netflix (and snack) and chill companion, I am your guy.

It’s impossible to have a bad day when I’m around. I have that sort of personality that turns the frowniest of frowns upside down. I excel at snuggling, too. Everyone knows the best remedy for grouchiness is a good dog, you won’t find a dog better than me!

Let’s meet in person. Visit my bio, send in an application and come on over!

A new adoption, what to expect in the first month.


Did you know that first month is the hardest for any newly adopted animal?

Some things you can possibly expect to deal with the first month:

  • Separation anxiety: It is very common especially more so with dogs/puppies but can happen in cats.
  • House training/litter box issues: Dogs/puppies have to relearn a new routine which can be different than what they are used to. It can also take awhile for the new owner to tell the telltale signs of them having to pee. For cats, some like certain litter or litter box styles, and placement is equally important. It is actually a good idea to see if you can take some used litter from the foster home to place into the new litter box. Cats are all about the smell so by placing the litter in the new litter box the cat will know that that is the place they should go in.
  • Aggression/fear of resident pets: Proper introductions is very important not just for dogs but for cats too. Just because your cat or dog had a previous friend it doesn’t mean this new pet will become their instant best friend. Like people, not everyone gets along or sometimes it takes quite awhile to adjust. This is why proper slow introductions are important for cats, it can take months for cats to become friends or at least put up with each other so expect to take at least a week possibly more for a cat/kitten to be in a sanctuary room.
  • Runners: The first week has the highest chance of pets escaping, dogs especially that is why some suggest not taking them for a walk until after the first week or have two leashes on the dog a harness and a leash just in case the dog slips one you will still have the second.
  • Shyness: Let’s face it, it’s scary to go to any new place but when you add in other pets, different people, and a busy household it can be very overwhelming. So expect at least two weeks to be best able to assess their personality.
  • Retraining: Even if a dog or cat is said to be perfect everyone’s idea of perfect can be different. Some people are ok with a dog on the couch while others not so much likewise with a cat on the table. So expect to have to train the new animal to have to learn the new house rules.
  • Unsure/scared/aggressive to the kids: Even if a foster home has kids, like resident pets, everyone is different. Some kids can be cat/dog savvy and know body language really well and know not to push an animal too far or be quieter in the home while others not so much. So especially for the first week, you want your kids to only be around the new pet under supervision as well make an effort to teach them how to be gentle and to understand warning cues. 

It’s also very important to set up your new puppy or kitten for success. So don’t let them get away with something you won’t find as cute when they are much older. Even kittens can be trained, some people thinks cats can’t be but they know that they can easily train us to please them, that’s how smart they are.

It will take at least a month for any new animal to settle into a household sometimes even more. Set them up for success by researching as much as possible beforehand in regards to training, and be honest with what exactly you are looking for, what you can handle medically/behaviorally, and if your resident pet(s) even want a new friend. Don’t get a pet just because it’s cute as it is a 10-20 year commitment that requires a lot of work and training to ensure they become a great part of the family. If you aren’t sure of any allergies in the family, bring the entire family to a friend’s or family members place to spend quite a bit of time with their dogs/cats to assess any allergies before adopting. Getting a new family member can be the best thing you ever do but it’s best to not have expectations that just aren’t fair for any new animal to live up to so quickly. 

Fosters of the Week: Blue & George

Hey, Blue! I think I see it!

See what?

Our forever home.

Really?

Yeah, I’m sure of it.

We’ve been adopted, George??

Not yet. They don’t know we are here.

If they don’t know we are here, how can it be our forever home?

It just is.

George, you’re crazy.

Maybe, but I’m still right. Our forever home is out there.

I dunno, George. We’ve been here a long time.

I know, but that doesn’t mean our people won’t find us. Look at Moose, it took his people over a year to find him!

That is true. His forever home is wonderful, he’s a very lucky guy!

That will be us, Blue. I know it, I feel it in my fur.

How will our forever people find us?

The universe will send them.

Oh, George. You really ARE crazy.

Crazy for cuddles!!

Good grief, George. You’re lucky I love you so much.

Our people will love us like you love me.

You are a hopeless optimist. I’m going to have a nap.

That sounds like a great plan, Blue. I’ll join you, we can dream about our people.

Yeah, maybe we can control the universe with our dreams and make our people find us today.

I feel like you’re being sarcastic, Blue.

That’s PREPOSTEROUS!

Is it, Blue? IS IT REALLY?

Oh, settle down, George. Let’s go find our foster mom and curl up with her.

Fine. But I am telling you, our people ARE out there.

I know they are, George.

You’re just saying that so I’ll stop talking.

Well, yes. I would like to have a nap. But I do believe you.

Really?

Yes, George.

I love you, Blue.

I love you, too George.

Home-made Environmental Enrichment for the Indoor Kitty

by Crisia Tabacaru

As a loving cat parent, no doubt you’re already providing food, water and a warm home for your feline friend, but, just like you need more than the necessities to keep you at your best, your kitties will be happier and healthier if you understand their instincts, behaviours, and what will make them feel safe and content.

Let’s look at it from a biological perspective: Cats come from wild species that are both predators and prey, and many of their instinctive behaviours stem from this history. For instance, you’ve likely noticed that your kitties like to be high up, which helps them to both observe and feel safe. Providing such spaces in your home means that you’ll have a happier, less aggressive kitty, with fewer behavioural issues in general. For multiple cat households, increased vertical space will also help with stress related to territorial issues.

Many cat parents meet these needs with store-bought cat trees, hammocks or cat walks. There is nothing wrong with purchasing a cat tree, but a home-made one can be a very fulfilling project for both you and your kitty, not to mention a money-saver. In fact, one of our Zoe’s adopters built one for their kitty Neelix (Zoe’s alum, formerly Tator) and he loves his new cat tree!

This is one of my favourites. The instructions are very clear and it won’t cramp your style either. Seriously, check out those gorgeous branches!

 

Image courtesy of By Brittany Goldwyn

 

You can also take the scratching post approach and provide a climbing workout like this easy-to-follow project. Another way to give your cat observation powers is to provide cat shelves like this crafty cat owner did. The only limit is your imagination! (And maybe your handiness with tools…)

The next need to consider is mental stimulation and engagement. Boredom from a lack of environmental enrichment is often accompanied by stress and “bad” behaviours like urine marking and aggression. Increasing complexity in their environment is a way to engage cats and provide much needed mental stimulation. One way to do this is to create physical structures with attached toys and other complexities for them to play with, sleep on, scratch, and explore. This one uses readily available Ikea furniture and is attractive to boot.

Image courtesy of By Brittany Goldwyn

Another way is to provide a challenge in the form of toy or treat puzzles like these. Heck, have fun with it and make them a climbing wall!

Get inspired by these DIYs and let your imagination run wild!

Bonus: Geeky DIY cat projects

These projects are just so deliciously geeky, that I couldn’t resist!

Foster of the Week: Chance


 

Hi! Chance here!

It’s been a few months since we chatted. I’ve been learning so much and working so hard, I want to tell you all about it!

First of all, I attended Leash Monsters in October and have had a private training session. My people said I did very well, I’m so proud of myself! Working on my leash manners has been challenging, but also rewarding. (By ‘rewarding’, I mean I get LOTS of delicious food when I listen and do my best. Yum!!) I have a new leash and harness too, it helps me stop lunging and pulling. I’ve also been working on boundary reactivity. I often forget and bark! bark! bark!, but I’m getting much better at stopping and listening when my foster people call me. I still have some work to do, but I have come so far.

adore people. I really do. Love and affection are my favourite things. (Next to food, of course.) My favourite way to tell you I love you is to put my face right in your face and touch noses. I call it a Chance Smooch!

I also love other animals. There are two cats in my foster home, they are wonderful friends and great nap buddies. I very much enjoy playing with the kitten, however, there is a considerable size difference between us and I forget that sometimes. My foster people keep an eye on me to make sure I don’t play too rough or paw-sy. And, despite my excitability around other dogs while on a leash, I am happy as a clam and positive as a pickle when meeting friends off-leash.

I am full of life and energy. I love walks, runs and playing in water – the muddier, the better!! I love playing period. I join the cats chasing the laser pointer and play fetch in the house when it’s too cold to get out for long walks. I’m kind of a toy shredder. I love ripping the fluff out of stuffies. I don’t rip up anything else in the house! Just my toys. You might want to look into a wholesale stuffy supplier….

I am a huge goofball, I have no shame saying that. I am fun, funny, sweet and silly. If we meet, I know you will agree. Visit my bio to read more about me and apply to adopt me!

Five Tips for a Successful Adoption Application

We get a high volume of applications for some dogs and cats. The interest in great! But it also means we sometimes have to pass on wonderful homes. Our choices are based on each individual animal: their temperament, energy level, health, behaviour, likes, dislikes, and reactions we’ve noted during their foster care. We try to match every pet with the best possible home for its needs. Zoe’s Animal Rescue has a 4% return rate – one of the lowest in Canada – and it’s because of our commitment to ensuring every pet finds his or her purrrfect fur-ever home.

We’ve put together a list of five tips to increase your chances of being selected for a meet and greet:

  1. Fill out the adoption application entirely. Be free with information and elaborate where possible! If we have two applications for the same dog or cat and one is missing some answers or has one-word answers, we are going to be inclined to go with the one with the most information first. 
  2. Read the animal’s profile on the website and apply for animals that you are a match with. For example, if the profile says the animal is not good with cats and you have a cat, that is not the best fit for you or the animal. But if you have a separate area for the cat or a plan to keep the two apart, please let us know in your application! 
  3. Go to adoption events and meet our volunteers! It can be hard to get a sense of who someone is when reading their responses to the application questions. When we have a face and personality to put to a name, we feel like we know you. That will add weight to your application. 
  4. Apply for animals who have been in care for a while. Puppies, kittens, and other charismatic animals tend to get lots of applications and we might lose your application in the mix. Consider applying for one of our adult or senior companions who have been on the website for a bit. You might be surprised at how quickly you form a bond with them, and you probably won’t miss getting up at 3 a.m. to let a puppy out for a pee break. 
  5. Apply to foster or volunteer with us! You automatically have a leg up when you’re part of the team. We know you, know you are committed and trust you already! Plus you’ll know just who to bribe with cookies.

If you’ve submitted an application in the past and haven’t been chosen, don’t take it personally. Keep trying until you find your match. Your fluffy soulmate is waiting!

Paw Wax Fundraiser!

Zoe’s Paw Wax is an all natural product made from beeswax, shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil. It’s safe for your pet to lick, although my lick-a-holic dogs haven’t bothered to lick it yet, and it’s safe for your own skin.

Apply paw wax a few minutes before going outside on a walk. It will protect your dog’s paws from snowballs, ice, and painful salt! If you go through deep snow where a buildup of snow on the paws is inevitable, paw wax keeps the snow from sticking or becoming embedded between the pads. You’ll be able to wipe it off and continue your walk.

In the summer paw wax will protect paws from hot asphalt, although use caution for hot surfaces and reapply as needed.

To apply paw wax:

  1. Trim your dog’s paw hair, including between the pads. Be careful not to grip his foot too hard and hurt him, and careful with those scissors
  2. Scoop out some paw wax and rub it on the pads and the areas deep between the pads. The oils in the paw wax will absorb into your dog’s foot and the wax will form a protective barrier.
  3. Repeat for all 4 paws
  4. Paw wax is good for about a week before you need to reapply. You don’t need to trim the hair each time. Apply more often if it’s very cold or you do a lot of walking.

Apply paw wax on a washable surface in your home, or get your dog to stand on a towel. The paw wax will leave light footprints for the first few steps your dog takes but the majority of the product will be absorbed into the paw.

Purchase Zoe’s Paw Wax for $8 here. Proceeds to Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society.