Archives for April 2016

What Type of Pet ID Do Your Pets Need?

Pet ID

National Pet ID Week
April 17-23

National Pet ID Week

Have you ever found yourself wondering what type of pet ID your pets need? With the weather getting warmer and our pets and their humans outside more, we have a timely reminder about putting ID on your pets.  After all, April 10-17 is National Pet ID Week.

Types of Pet ID for the Collar

There are numerous types of Pet ID that you dog or cat can wear on his collar.  Here are just a few.

  • Engraved brass nameplates screwed to the collar
  • Metal name tags affixed to the collar with a D ring
  • Plastic name tags affixed to the collar with a D ring
  • Name tags with information embroidered to the collar
  • GPS tracking collars that also include owner information

You can go the “just the facts maam” route or you can dress up your pet’s ID with cute bone shapes or paw prints. You pet’s ID can be colorful or just in black.  The choice is entirely up to you. The important point is to be sure that your contact information is on your pet’s ID. It’s advisable to provide your home and cell phone numbers.  It’s up to you about providing your address.  We only provide the name of the town we live in along with our pet’s name, our last name, one cell number and one home number.

If we are traveling with our dogs we can be reached by the cell number.  But for added insurance some folks also purchase a temporary ID tag that indicates where they are staying when out of town or provides the name of a trusted friend or neighbor.  As professional pet sitters, some of our clients use a temporary ID tag that provides our contact information.  Either way, this readily visible information provides the quickest way for your lost cat or dog to find his way home. When your pet is wearing a collar it’s also much easier for someone who finds her to grab your frightened pet before she escapes fro  her would be rescuer.

A study conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and published in 2012 provided interesting information indicating that far fewer of the animals that end up in shelters belong to someone who is looking for them than was previously believed.  However, 15% of the dogs that were reunited were wearing a collar with ID or were micro chipped. The good news is that 93% of lost dogs and 74% of lost cats were recovered.


We strongly advocate that you also have your vet implant a small micro-chip in your cat or dog.  All too often pets, especially cats, escape the house without a collar.  Pets can wriggle out of their collars and unscrupulous people can steal pets and then present them as their own.

Virtually all veterinarian clinics have micro-chip readers and most shelters do too.  Our veterinarian practices a great safety check. When we first presented with either of our two adopted dogs, the clinic scanned the chip to assure it was indeed registered to us. This is important because people do steal pets.

There are several micro-chip companies available. Here are a few.

No matter which company you choose, please be sure to keep your information updated. When your pet adoption is final, contact the microchip company and be certain the registration has changed over to your name.  If you move or get a new phone number be sure to contact the chip company and any registration services you use and update the information.  If your pet ever goes missing you will be glad he was wearing a collar with ID and had an up to date microchip!  Just do it.

Beth Leatherman Harwell and her husband Billy Harwell own and operate a small pet sitting business, Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC.  Along with a professionally trained group of team members, they provide pet sitting and dog walking services to pets who live in any part of Mooresville, NC 28115 and those who live in near by areas of Mooresville, NC 28117, Cornelius, Davidson and Mount Ulla, NC.


Puppy Farms Are a Form of Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty

The month of April is designated as prevention of cruelty to animals month. There are numerous types of animal cruelty.  In this post we discuss puppy farms or puppy mills.

Puppy Farms or Mills as a Form of Animal Cruelty


puppy farms

Courtesy USHS

You have probably heard the term “puppy mills” pretty often.  But do you really know and understand what puppy farms and puppy mills are? What about the origination of puppy mills?  Jessica Remitz writing for Pet 360 offers this insight.

Puppy mills came into existence in the U.S. after World War II, Menkin said, as an opportunity for farmers to make money in the face of widespread failures. As pet store owners began to realize their business would increase as a result of putting puppies in their windows, the demand for puppies increased rapidly, causing them to turn to these farmers on a regular basis for their animals. Unfortunately, the conditions under which puppies were bred and being raised at these facilities was often mediocre at best.

‘At that time, they were converting old fridges and rabbit cages into dog crates and frames,” Menkin said. “These farmers were encouraged by the USDA to raise puppies as a cash crop … and were doing it by decreasing their overhead costs and increasing their profit.’

As time went on, the demand for pet store puppies continued to rise, keeping puppy mills across the country in business from the 1940s through today. While there is no legal definition of a puppy mill, the ASPCA defines puppy mills as “any commercial breeding facility that puts profit ahead of the wellbeing of the dog,” Menkin said. Because such facilities have been successful, the conditions under which many dogs live in at puppy mills continues to be less than ideal.

‘Dogs are kept in overcrowded conditions, with tiny cages stacked on top of each other and wire flooring that can be detrimental to their paws,” she said. “Females are bred at every heat cycle to make as much money as possible and produce as many puppies as possible.’

Unfortunately the puppy “farming industry” has only increased.  If you want to learn more we encourage you to visit the National Mill Dog Rescue website as well as their Face Book page. The video posted below gives you a bird’s eye view of the horror and the transformation.

Puppy Farms in North Carolina

Lest you think the state of North Carolina is immune from this shameful condition of puppy farms, think again.

Here’s a video of 300 dogs and puppies rescued in Caldwell County in June 2011.

In February 2013, more than 60 dogs were rescued in Sampson County.  In October 2013 more than 100 dogs and other animals were rescued in Pender County, North Carolina. The Humane Society of the US along with local and nearby organizations participated in the rescue. In November 2013 more than 40 dogs and 75 other animals (horses, cats, mini-horses, bunnies and chickens) were rescued from a puppy farm or puppy mill and cruelty site in Gates County.

In March 2014, a similar story with 60 dogs, this time in Hertford County.  A similar situation in Iredell County was addressed in March 2014.  The HSUS, Iredell County Animal Services, Guilford County Animal Shelter, Iredell County Sheriff’s Department and Humane Society of Iredell County rescued these 55 dogs.

In June 2014 over 50 dogs and puppies were rescued from a puppy mill or puppy farm operation in Rutherford County.

In October 2014 the USHS, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Iredell County Animal Services, Cashiers Highlands Humane Society  and Humane Society of Charlotte participated in a rescue of more than 50 dogs and cats from an internet seller in Rutherford County.

We’ve barely touched the surface with these facts, but we think you get the picture.  So what can we do about puppy farms you might ask.

  • Educate, advocate and legislate
  • Educate yourselves and others with the power of this information
  • Make sure that folks know not to buy from a “breeder” that ships their dogs
  • Be wary of pretty internet sites of happy puppies frolicking across green meadows
  • Be aware that a license from the USDA does not indicate a quality operation
  • Be aware that registration with the American Kennel Club does not necessarily mean the seller is a reputable breeder
  • Be aware that breeders who love one or two dog breeds and breed them to better the breed typically lose money, not make a profit
  • Explore the local shelters, local rescue organizations and breed specific rescue organizations when you want to add a dog to your family
  • Be aware that shelters often have full breed dogs of all ages available
  • If you are insistent that you buy from a breeder, fully explore their background and qualifications, visit the kennel and ask to see the male and female parents
  • Be aware that reputable breeders will have you sign a contract agreeing to return the dog if you decide not to keep it
  • Please choose to adopt
  • Get to know Harley and get to know #HarleysDream
  • Get to know Lil Olive, Lee, the One and Only, Nori the Iggy, Leo Puppy Mill Survivor and Sophie the Shy Mill Girl
  • Meet Teddy, Zoie, Harley Jr and Princess Ava Bisou
  • Visit Safehaven Small Breed Rescue
  • Checkout NC Voters for Animal Welfare to educate yourselves on how local and state politicians feel, act and vote on matters regarding animal welfare
  • Contact your local, state and federal officials and legislators and be the voice for the animals

Beth Leatherman Harwell is one of the owners of a Lake Norman area pet sitting business, Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC.  She owns and operates the pet sitting business along with her husband, Billy Harwell.  Beth is a retired licensed clinical social worker and Billy is retired from the USAF.  Together, they coddle your pets when you cannot.


April is All About Pets

April is All About Pets

April provides lots of opportunities for education about issues important for the health, safety and general well being for our pets. Some of the topics can be a little overwhelming so we recommend you think globally and act locally on the issues all about pets of the most importance to you.

April is all about animals

Beau was a happy dog!!

Click on the links to learn more about the ones of interest to you.

Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty takes many forms ranging from being tethered or “tied-out,” dog fighting, puppy mills, animal hoarding, factory farms, horse slaughter, greyhound racing and cock fighting. Take the time to educate yourselves on all of them.  Then choose the one that you can impact locally.  Our animals are counting on you.

Pet First Aid

Hopefully you will never have to use the skills you learn in pet first aid, but it’s very reassuring to know you could do the right thing in an emergency. Our next Pet First Aid and CPR class is scheduled for May 21.

April is All About Pets

Trooper is a muddy boy

Heartworm Disease

When we fostered to adopt Trooper he was heartworm positive.  His elderly owner just did not know about heartworm disease so did not protect him from it. Trooper had to endure three very painful injections and remain very inactive during the two months of crate rest.  We rejoice that today he is an active fun loving Springer boy. Now he enjoys digging and gets frequent trips to the dog shower!

Prevention is very easy…just give your dog the monthly pill prescribed by your veterinarian or the injection that provides protection for a period of 6 months.  Trooper assures you it is worth it and he will happily undergo his prevention shot two times a year to avoid ever having to have treatment for heartworms again.


Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is transmitted by infected ticks.  The primary symptom is recurrent lameness due to joint inflammation. Sometimes kidney damage also occurs. Diagnosis can be difficult but once diagnosed can be treated with antibiotics. There is a vaccine but its use is somewhat controversial.  It’s best for your dog to avoid deer tick infested areas. Always check your dogs for ticks after they have played outside. Another great option is to regularly use a flea and tick preventive. We like the Seresto collar. Although it is initially expensive, the protection lasts for a full 8 months so is quite cost effective.

Here’s a demonstration of properly removing a tick from your pet.

 Greyhound Adoption

Greyhound racing is one of the forms of animal cruelty we mentioned earlier.  There are seven states that still allow this so called sport. Fortunately a great deal has been done to ban the practice.  In the meantime there are multiple rescues that assist “retired racers” with finding forever homes.

Meet Cal the Greyhound.  He says he’s ready for a long term commitment!

Special Weeks All About Pets

Most people don’t know that dog waste i.e. poop is a health hazard to humans, pets and the environment.  Besides, who wants to step in dog poop whether in your back yard, on the trail in the park or in your own front yard where someone else failed to pick up after their dog!?!

The work of animal control officers and staffs is physically demanding, sometimes dangerous and often heart breaking.  Consider taking this opportunity to let your local animal control staff know how much you appreciate them.

No one plans for their pet to go missing. Unfortunately though, it does happen. While prevention is best, your dog or cat will most likely be returned to you if he is wearing a collar with identification including your name and phone number  Microchips are incredibly helpful too, just be sure to keep the information updated if you move or chanf=ge your phone number.

As a retired licensed clinical social worker with a great deal of experience in child welfare I clearly see a theme running through these issues.  I have long known the link between physical health and mental health. Likewise I have seen in action the link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans.


Special Days All About Pets

all about pets

  • April 8    National Dog Fighting Awareness Day
  • April 10  National Hug Your Dog Day
  • Hug that dog, unchain that dog, don’t make that dog fight.



Healthy physical, emotional, mental and social lifestyles are closely linked. We encourage you to take the time to interact with your dogs, cats, birds or other pets. Curling up with a cat on your lap can be very relaxing and go a long way to reduce your stress level.

Walking with your dog will improve your physical and mental health and that of your dog.This activity also strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Spending time in nature is restorative for the soul.  And did you know you can also teach your cat to walk on a leash?


In addition to having our pets micro-chipped we need to make sure they wear collars with ID in the event they ever go missing. We have previously shared tips to keep your pet from getting lost andtips for finding your lost pets.  ID tags and microchips are key components in getting a lost pet home.

We hope April is a great month for you and your pet family!!

Special Event to Benefit State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption Center

 Special Event to Benefit State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption Center

State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption Center

Artist Rendering of Pet Education and Adoption Center

Get ready for it…wait for it…go for it! The East Lake Norman Women’s Networking Group is sponsoring a delightful evening,  For the Love of the Animals FUNdraising Event on April 14. The event venue is The Pearl Weddings and Events in Cornelius and this delightful event begins at 6:30 p.m.

The evening includes appetizers, dinner, music, demonstrations by local animal artists, a raffle and silent auction of some fantastic gifts.The most special activity will be puppy smooches!! A cash bar will be available.

Just a few of the raffle items include a Zoom Take Home Teeth Whitening Kit dontated by Welborne and White Dentistry, a five days Day Care Pass from Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, lunch for two from Novanta 90 Pizzeria Napolenta, and from us a cat scratcher basket full of kittie toys, food, dishes, catnip, Greenies, nail clippers, treats and a book on cat care perfect for a new cat guardian or long time cat lover.

About Friends of the Animals

Proceeds from this first annual event will go toward helping Friends of the Animals build their state of the art Pet Education and Adoption Center. Friends of the Animals’ mission is  to promote responsible pet ownership, provide low-cost spay neuter services, and promote adoption of homeless pets.

State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption CenterOnce built, the Friends of the Animals facility will take educational programs to local schools to help young people develop kindness, respect and compassion for animals.  In-school programs and summer camps at the center will empower young people by learning about responsible pet ownership and the importance of spay/ neuter. Education will be a primary focus for helping change the current situation of too many homeless pets in our region.

How to Get Tickets

Better hurry to purchase tickets. You can purchase on line via the link or by mail at Friends of the Animals, PO Box 3937, Mooresville 28117. The deadline is March 31. A little birdy told me maybe if you smile sweetly they will extend that deadline a few days, but hurry to be sure!!