Connecting Friends For Life

The SAHS is a non-profit, no-kill organization that has served Bexar County and its surrounding areas since 1952.

Our mission is to protect and improve the lives of dogs and cats by providing shelter, care, adoption, rescue, spay and neuter programs, and community education.

September 14th is National Pet Memorial Day! This is a very special day in which pet owners can honor their faithful companions, both past and present. Pets play a huge role in the lives of humans so it makes sense for pet lovers to find special ways to honor their loved ones.

At the San Antonio Humane Society we offer two pet memorial opportunities, tribute bricks and memorials/honorariums, because our forever friends live in our hearts and memories.

Tribute Bricks: Before entering the SAHS, you will see a brick path. Each brick is a flagstone; a permanent tribute by those who wish to honor or remember a loved one or special pet, mark an important occasion, or simply demonstrate their love of animals and show their support for our life-saving work.

Memorial or Honorarium: A memorial is a way to show a loved one that you will never forget them. An honorarium is a gift in honor of a loved one who is celebrating a special occasion or someone who has passed away. You can get a honorarium gift in name of your father’s birthday, your sister’s wedding, or to honor your pet.

These gifts to remember or honor someone will help us to provide for the pets in our community.

If your precious pup or cuddly kitty has recently passed away, you may have been wondering what you could do to honor their memory. There are many ways to keep your companion with you even after they have gone. PetAdviser.com provides a few ways to remember a deceased pet:

- Urns are a popular choice to store your pet’s remains if they are cremated. Urns come in varying sizes depending on the animal, and they are available in many different materials. Some are eco-friendly for ashes distribution while others are made of wood, marble, metal or ceramic, and there are many designs to choose from. Some of them may be customizable.

- Headstones, grave markers and pet garden memorial stones offer unique and custom designs. Most of these come in granite, marble or stone, but there are additional options as well as choices of 3-D shapes, ground stakes and plantable bones.

- Plaques can be created to be placed on items that are not able to be engraved. Some of these are placed on stands while others are adhered to urns, boxes and other types of memorial containers. Most companies offer engraving, and some can even have your pet’s picture on the engraving (done from a photograph).

- Viewing photos of your deceased pet can be an aid to the grieving process, and there are many options online to upload your photos into a print book or album. Some services offer custom covers, lettering and a variety of material options.

- A custom work of art can be a beautiful way to display your pet. There are services and artists that can create a beautiful painting or graphite sketch of your pet for display. Custom or handmade work is usually more expensive, but it will be unique.

Make September 14th a day to remember pets of the past and a day to make your present pets feel special!

As the summer months begin to fade away the kids start returning to school and parents say farewell to vacation time; it’s important to keep your pets in mind. In many instances, pet owners are home more frequently throughout the summer and spend more quality time with their beloved cat or dog, but what happens when summer is over?

Sometimes your pet may enjoy their alone time, but if you’re at work or school all day long, your faithful companion may not be quite as content. Without proper provisions your pet may become bored or lonely, which can ultimately result in behavioral, and/or medical issues.

Most pet owners are aware that their sweet little angels can sometimes get themselves into a big mess of trouble when left to their own devices. If you begin to notice that your pet has become destructive or begins to misbehave frequently, there is a simple explanation. They are BORED! Imagine being left home all alone all day long without anything to do or anyone to spend time with. Bored yet? Your pet feels the same way!

PetsAdviser.com suggests a couple ways to keep your dog entertained while you’re at work:

  1. Run of that energy! Possibly one of the easiest solutions to this problem is to increase the amount of exercise your dog gets, especially before you leave. The common underlying cause of why dogs have destructive behavior problems is that they have not expended the amount of energy they have each day. The more your dog is using his energy in acceptable ways such as through exercise and training, the less chance he is going to become destructive when you are gone.
  2. Toys! If getting up at the crack of dawn and taking your pup out for a healthy jog isn’t realistic, there are toys that can keep your dog occupied. Some popular toys are manufactured to help improve cognition and allow your dog to improve his problem-solving skills. Among these playthings are KONGs. The simplest use is to stuff one of these hard rubber toys with peanut butter and leave it out for your dog. Check out the SAHS Store to see all of our awesome dog and cat toys, including KONGs!
  3. Doggie Popsicle! Giving this to your dog is a fun way to keep him hydrated and is best given outside on a warm day. It is particularly good to give your dog this treat if he has any degree of separation anxiety. Frequently offering your dog something like this when you leave will help him create a positive association with your departure. Check out SAhumane.org/PetCareTips for more information regarding separation anxiety!

Be aware that you should monitor your pet with his/her new toys before leaving them alone for long periods of time to ensure safety. Do not leave them alone with toys they could potentially swallow and/or injure themselves in some way while playing.

Many people may not realize that when you leave for the whole day and your dog or cat doesn’t have enough activity, all they do is sleep.  Here is the typical day for a puppy or kitty when you’re not there: they wake up, go outside, come back in, wait for you to leave, and then they sleep until you come home and eat dinner. This cycle may cause your furry friend to become overweight, which can turn into a serious medical issue.

According to the ASPCA, “Obesity is an extremely common problem in pets and, as with humans, can be detrimental to the health of a dog or cat. The overweight pet has many added stresses upon his body and is at an increased risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain.”

In order to avoid this health problem, make sure that your pet is getting enough exercise during the times you are at home. If you have a feline friend consider buying a cat tower, toys with feathers or a laser pointer, something that they can run or jump after. Taking your dog for a regular walk or run before and after work will help to impact their day. Other opportunities include training classes and/or day cares for your dog. Visit SAhumane.org for dog training resources and local grooming/boarding facilities!

Even though the summer fun is nearing the end, don’t forget about your pet’s needs when you go back to work and/or school!

If you’re a pet owner then you know that your fur baby loves you with his/her whole heart! Are you doing everything to protect theirs? To help keep your pet’s heart healthy, it’s a good idea to learn about heartworms. What are heartworms?

Heartworm disease is a serious and common health problem that affects thousands and thousands of dogs each year (and less commonly cats as well). Canine heartworm disease is spread by an ordinary mosquito (not dog to dog), that can be found wherever mosquitoes breed (in the south, mosquitos can be found year-round). The cycle of this dangerous disease begins when an infected mosquito deposits larvae into the skin of the dog. The infective larvae then burrow into the tissue for 3-4 months where it develops into small adult worms. The infective larvae then penetrates into the veins of the dog proceeding to move toward the ride side of heart, where as adults they can live for 5 years. The lengths of these adult worms vary but can reach up to 12 inches. When adult worms of both sexes are present in the heart, they mate and produce thousands of live young called microfilaria. If the microfilaria are to continue their life cycle they must go to a secondary host, the mosquito. However, as these thousands of microfilaria wait for a mosquito, they remain alive in the dog’s bloodstream for as long as 3 years. If and when these microfilaria are ingested by a mosquito they too develop into an infected larvae where they wait to begin the cycle once again.

Check out SAhumane.org/petcaretips as well as information under the Services tab to learn more about heartworms!

Here are a few our of adoptable heartworm positive dogs!

How do you know your dog has heartworms? Most dogs infected with heartworm disease show no visible signs for the first several years. Signs that do eventually appear depend on the number of worms present in the heart and bloodstream, the duration of the infection and the immune system of the dog.

Common symptoms of heartworm disease include:

  • Weight loss
  • A soft, deep cough that gets worse with exertion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lack of will to exercise, the dog will tire easily
  • Weakness and listlessness
  • Bloody mucus

Keep in mind that as the disease progresses, symptoms become more and more prominent. If your dog does have heartworms here are some of the affects that heartworms may have on your pet:

  • Adult worms live in the pulmonary arteries and the right side of the heart. As the lengths and number of these adult worms continues to increase and invade the right ventricle and atrium of the heart, it can interfere with the mechanics of the heart and cause heart failure.
  • Pulmonary thromboembolism happens when heartworms are carried into the branches of the pulmonary circulation and produce clotting of the arteries. This is very dangerous because it can cause a loss of lung function and cardiac failure in the dog.
  • Heartworm disease can cause vena cavae syndrome. This basically means that the heartworms begin to form clumps in the anterior and posterior vena cavae (hepatic veins) of the dog. Once this happens, you will see signs of acute liver failure develop causing the dog to collapse or die within two to three days.

All three of these conditions are signs of advanced heartworm disease and must be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately.

Here are a few more of our of adoptable heartworm positive dogs!

The GOOD news is, there are treatments available to help your dog become heartworm free! Treatment is very effective when the disease is detected early. Once heartworm disease is diagnosed, treatment must begin as soon as possible under the care of a licensed veterinarian. Furthermore, due to the nature of the treatment and the dangers involved, the dog must be given an evaluation to make sure he/she is healthy enough to handle the administration of drugs used to kill the worms. (The hardest part of heartworm treatment is keeping the dog calm and confined for so long. The period can be up to 6 months of no running, jumping or playing! It’s hard but absolutely necessary. Walking on a leash and low activity is crucial. If they are overly active, it can affect their treatment.)

The steps of this treatment are as follows:

  1. Adulticide Therapy: A very effective drug is administered intravenously to the affected dog in two doses per day for two days to kill the adult worms. Possible side effects include loss of appetite, coughing, vomiting and jaundice. The dog must then rest for several weeks allowing the body to absorb the dead worms. In those animals that are critically ill, the adult worms may have to be removed surgically.
  2. Filaricide Therapy: Two different drugs can be used during this process of killing the microfilaria.
  • Invermectim (Heartguard-30) is one drug that may be used and is given by mouth. The dog must then be observed for 6-8 hours for possible side effects such as weakness, difficulty walking, vomiting and diarrhea. The number of microfilaria will begin to decline dramatically within hours. And after about 3 weeks, 90% of the microfilaria will have been eliminated from the dog’s body. Tests are then given to see if the treatment was successful, if not then medication must be administered once again.
  • Levamisole is another oral drug that can be used to rid the body of microfilaria. However, the medications are different in that this drug must be administered to the affected animals for 7-14 days.

Although there are a variety of drugs available, the two most common offered ONLY by veterinarians are Interceptor and Ivermectin (Heartguard-30). Both of these drugs are given orally to your pet once a month and are FDA approved. There are many products available in both topical and chewable, but ALL of them require a prescription. Products purchased from pet stores do not contain heartworm medication, only intestinal worm prevention. Annual blood tests are recommended for all dogs (all breeds, indoor and outdoor dogs) including those on prevention medication because no medication provides 100% protection against heartworms.

Other ways of lowering the risk of heartworm disease is to spray your yard, bedding and any other areas your pet frequents. Furthermore, another way to protect your dog from being bitten by an infected mosquito is to keep him/her indoors in the late afternoons and evenings when mosquitoes are feeding.

As you can see, heartworm disease is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, it is important to test your pet for heartworms annually if at least six months or older and to keep your beloved pet on some kind of preventive. Most heartworm preventions must be given once a month to your pet for their ENTIRE life. There is no miracle drug for the prevention of heartworms.

If you would like to help our heartworm positive adoptable dogs become heartworm free, donate to our Help a Friend Fund at SAhumane.org/donate.

Heartworms can be prevented and treated! Please check with your veterinarian for prevention and treatment options. Thinking about adopting a heartworm positive dog from the SAHS? Visit SAhumane.org/adopt to see all of our adoptable heartworm positive dogs!

Did you know that spaying (females) or neutering (males) your pet can prevent them from developing mammary tumors and certain cancers, such as testicular and ovarian? There are a lot of things to consider when caring for your pet, but if you have a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix there is a great opportunity coming up in the month of August!

The San Antonio Humane Society is offering a spay/neuter opportunity called Primp Your Pit. For only $20, your Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix can be spayed or neutered at the SAHS during the month of August! If needed, a rabies vaccine and nail trim are also included. To make an appointment, call (210) 424-7595 or visit SAhumane.org/spayneuter.

Attention! For Primp Your Pit, a $20 deposit is required (which is the cost of the spay/neuter surgery). Please pay via PayPal and provide transaction ID in the “Other Info” box when you fill out the spay/neuter appointment form! If you do not keep your scheduled appointment the deposit will not be refunded.

We hope to see you and your Pit Bull soon!

Come meet Simon at the SAHS today! He’s a 2 month old sweetheart with a very calm pawsonality! #SAHS #Puppy #Adopt #ConnectingFriendsForLife #instagramdogs #instadog