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Your best friend  - ARF's blog for all things animal!


Welcome to our ARF blog! Check in for animal rescue news, animal care, training advice and much much more.

By Ali, Mar 7 2014 04:24AM

The south is full of special dogs that are common in our shelters but virtually unknown in other areas of the country. When I moved to Alabama almost 9 years ago, I thought I knew a lot about dogs. I never expected to discover a whole other world of dogs, full of breeds I'd never seen!

In honor of these special dogs, I'll periodically profile them in Spotlight on Southern Dogs.

First up, the Feist. The Feist isn't a true breed of dog that you'll see at a dog show. Really, they're a group of similar looking dogs that have been crossbred from many types of hunting breeds to specialize in hunting small prey. To the untrained eye, a Feist would easily be mistaken for a Jack Russell mix. These small dogs are under 30 pounds with short coats and longer legs than a purebred Jack Russell. They're sometimes called "squirrel dogs". The popular AKC recognized Rat Terrier is thought to be a descendant of the Feist. For this reason, many southern shelter dogs are usually labelled as Jack Rusell or Rat Terrier when in reality, many are actually feists.

These dogs may be small but they're brave. This excerpt from this story from the mid 1800's highlights how a brave little feist can tree much more than squirrels... this one was treeing a panther!

"Father put a sack of shelled corn on our mare, tied to fast and I sat on the

middle of the sack. I called my feist dog to follow and we were off to the

mill. But when we came near White Rock the fiest suddenly met a big cat just

below the trail and barking furiously, scared if so badly that it climbed a

tree near the trail. The old mare was more frightened than the cat; she

whirled about and ran home with me. And to tell the truth I was not sorry

she did so.

Arriving at our home, I quickly told father about the big cat. He unloaded

the corn, took down his old flintlock rifle and followed the trail toward

White Rock where he found the brave little dog still barking at the panther

in the tree. It was easy for father to shoot the beast, which measured

eleven feet from tip to tip.

But I was too badly frightened to go to the mill that day."

Visit a shelter today to adopt one of these special dogs!

Meet Wendy! Jack Russell mix or a Feist? Adopt her today!
Meet Wendy! Jack Russell mix or a Feist? Adopt her today!

By Ali, Feb 28 2014 05:05PM

Sam loves Mardi Gras! And he's up for adoption... check him out!
Sam loves Mardi Gras! And he's up for adoption... check him out!

Happy Mardi Gras! If you live on the Gulf Coast, you know that this time of year is full of parades, formal balls and general merriment. But, what does this have to do with your pet?

We all know that 4th of July fireworks scare pets and Christmas tree tinsel can be dangerous, so what about Mardi Gras? Are there any dangers lurking while we let the good times roll?

Stuffed Animals - If you don't have kids at home, the piles of stuffed animals from parades often make their way home for the dogs. While dogs (mine included) love to rip those to shreds, remember they're not dog toys! These animals often have hard button eyes that are choking hazards if they chew them off. That stuffing can also cause obstructions if your pooch decides to eat it too. While we might not think polyester stuffing as particularly tasty, dogs often do. If you give your dog a toy like this, only let him play with it under strict supervision. After 5 minutes of destroying the toy, clean up the mess and give him something more durable like a Kong.

Candy and moonpies - Most savvy parade goers know to bring a bag for their loot. When you get home, remember those throws often include edible items that your dog will want to sniff out. I've definitely been guilty of tossing a bead fillled bag on the floor and forgetting about the moonpies until once of my pups is head first, digging in the bag to get it out for me. We all know chocolate and dogs don't mix. Sugar isn't great for them either. Worst of all, they'll often eat these items wrapper and all which could be dangerous.

The hazards of Mardi Gras are actually common everyday hazards too. Just like child proofing a home, you should always remember to dog proof too! Those little noses can get into a lot of trouble without a mindful eye.

Happy Mardi Gras!

By Ali, Feb 25 2014 02:00PM

Animal overpopulation is the unfortunate problem that drives all we do in animal rescue. Quite simply, there are too many unwanted pets! Anywhere from 6-8 million animals enter animal shelters each year but only 3-4 million are adopted. We work tirelessly to save them but to really solve the problem, we must control the population of dogs and cats by spaying and neutering all pets!

If a female dog isn't spayed, she could start having puppies when she is less than a year old... really still a puppy herself! The chance of a female dog getting pregnant is actually much higher than you would expect, particularly if she spends a lot of time outside. Male dogs are very motivated to seek out female dogs and can even climb fences into a yard to get to a female in heat. And, females are more likely to roam making her more likely to bolt out the front door or dig out of the yard. Even with the most watchful eye, accidents happen and an owner may suddenly end up with a dozen puppies. Good news, spaying and neutering your pets will prevent any "surprises".

But, there are lots of other benefits to spaying and neutering your pets!

Did you know...

spaying a female dog before she goes into heat will drastically reduce her risk of getting mammary (breast) cancer?

neutering your male dog elimates the risk of testicular cancer, a common cancer in older male dogs?

neutering also decreases your male dog's urge to mark with his urine?

spaying and neutering will decrease your dog's urge to roam to find a mate? Roaming dogs are much more likely to wander into roads and other dangerous situations.

Luckily, spay and neuter has become a very affordable option for all pet owners. Nearly every city now has a discount spay and neuter clinic. Many of these discount clinics also offer other discounted services like vaccinations, heartworm tests and even dental cleanings. There are also programs that offer even lower prices to people on Social Security or other fixed income. Contact your local animal shelter if you need information on discount spay and neuter in your area.

ARF spays and neuters all animals prior to adoption. We believe that altering your pets is the only way to end animal overpopulation and end the suffering of homeless pets.

Need a recommendation in the Mobile, AL area? Email us at info@animalrescuemobile.org.

By Ali, Feb 24 2014 06:49AM

It's finally here... an ARF blog! We updated our website about 6 months ago and have been waiting to finally launch a blog too. That day is here!

Rescuing dogs and cats is a crazy, fun, stressful, rewarding adventure. There's so much to learn and share in rescue news and we want this blog to be a fun way to communicate with all our volunteers, adopters and anyone else interested in animal rescue.

Stay tuned as we begin to post our first "real" posts. We've been brainstorming like crazy and are excited to share a lot of interesting and fun topics with you.

Have a topic you'd like us to cover? Email us at Blog@animalrescuemobile.org. We have a huge team of animal experts that share their know how and they'd love to answer any questions you have right here.

Huh? We have a blog?
Huh? We have a blog?
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