Sit Stay Heal

Sit Stay Heal

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

It’s tough to fathom how anyone could hurt a lovable, fuzzy animal that only seeks love and affection. And yet, it happens. Cruelty to animals is a very real problem in our world. According to the Humane Society, as many as 10 million pet dogs and pet cats are abused each year, often by people who also abuse their children and spouses. It’s horrifying to think of, and from intentional harm like animal fighting to general neglect, or even mutilation for breed modifications to ears and tails, cruelty to animals is wrong on every level.

Say No to Animal Cruelty
Luckily, good people in the world are standing up for the rights of animals, and you can, too.

“My mission is to ensure that all animals are treated humanely in accordance to Pennsylvania State animal cruelty laws,” says Humane Police Officer Barbara Morgan. “Along the journey to that mission my heart breaks and is filled with joy. The ability to help not only the animals but also the community is a blessing.”

If you see something amiss, report potential abuse or neglect to your local authorities or in Lehigh County, by calling Officer Morgan at
484-619-2074. Advocacy needs to start somewhere for those that cannot protect themselves.

Support Optimal Pet Health
Regular veterinary visits and routine care can help pets live longer and healthier lives. Keeping up to date on wellness exams and medications can make a huge difference in overall pet health. For example, heartworm can be devastating but it is highly preventable with a regular, monthly medication regimen and annual testing. Likewise, a flea and tick preventative can shield your pet from many tickborne illnesses.

Similarly, pet first aid is another key responsibility as a pet owner. You can certainly take your pet directly to the vet, but some minor issues may be treatable at home. Rely on your level of comfort, and when in doubt, give your veterinarian a call to discuss the situation.

Encourage Canine Fitness
Leading active lives can help pets stay healthy, too. A walk a day is a great place to start. Many dog breeds make excellent running buddies as well. If your dog likes to play, build in time for fetch or frisbee, or for older pets, keep their mental stimulation going with pet puzzles and interactive toys that dispense treats.

If your pet should face an illness or injury, you can find ways to support the recovery process. Holistic and alternative treatments are not limited to humans, and various therapy options can help to speed recovery.

“Our job and our position is to make dogs comfortable in most situations if they’re in pain,” says Christina Gehring, director of operations at Animal Therapy Center in Bethlehem. “We offer hydrotherapy, acupuncture, laser therapy, underwater treadmills, and therapeutic exercises to manage pain for patients. We offer holistic and integrative approaches to properly ensure that everyone involved in that pet’s care is informed. We encourage the pets by making it a fun experience, whether that is through owner encouragement, toys, or food, and most of our pets love coming here.”

“Some dogs show results in a few short weeks,” she says. “For our senior dogs, we find their quality of life improves in a very short time as they respond well to treatment. If they have issues getting up from a lay or a sit, these are the early signs of discomfort. We encourage clients to see us when their pets are experiencing those symptoms.”

Enjoy Them
Like children, pets depend on us, not just for life’s most essential needs, but for love and companionship. Take photos and give them attention as often as possible, even a scratch during life’s crazy, whirlwind moments. Make a commitment each day to love your pet to the fullest!

Local Rescues and Animal Shelters:

Fun Ideas for National Pet Month

Pets are part of the family, so it’s only fitting we find special ways to show them we care. Try these suggestions for extra fun with your furry friend during National Pet Month.

•Go on a hike, complete with picnic. The Lehigh Valley offers an abundance of hiking trails of varying lengths and skill levels, such as the Appalachian Trail. Also be sure to try the Lehigh Parkway, Lehigh Canal, or the Trexler Nature Preserve.

•Make your own pet treats. Baking a special snack for your pets is a great family activity. Try a recipe you find online for homemade liver treats for pets, or if you aren’t into baking, visit a local pet bakery like The Dining Dog.

• Try a new activity with your pet. Fetch, frisbee, and going for walks can’t be beat, but high energy breeds may enjoy something new. Consider local dog training facilities that offer obedience classes, agility, or even flyball.

•Enjoy pet-friendly dining or ‘Yappy Hour.’ You’ll find no shortage of dog-friendly restaurants in the Valley. (Use to find one near you.) Try Bethlehem Brew Works, Fegley’s Brew Works, Billy’s Downtown Diner, or the Apollo Grill, among others.

• Adopt a pet. If you have more space in your heart and home, bring another lovable pet into your life. You can find plenty of adoptable pets in and around the Lehigh Valley.


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