Hug Your Hound Day!

Hug Your Hound Day!

We love our hounds at Hallie Hill – we took this day as an excuse to give our hounds some extra love!

Here are some photos of our staff and volunteers with just some of our hounds!

Hounds at Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary Hounds at Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary Hounds at Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary

Communicating with a Deaf Pet

Communicating with a Deaf Pet

September 20th-26th is Deaf Dog Awareness Week! … Our very own Ariel is deaf!

Source: Mikkel Becker for VetStreet | September 23, 2013 | Article here

Communicating with a Deaf Pet

One of the greatest challenges for an aging dog — and his humans — is hearing loss. Just because your pet may be losing his hearing, however, doesn’t mean he can’t continue to be a fully functioning member of your household. It simply takes a little creativity and training to bridge the communication gap.

Where to Start
If you notice hearing loss in your pet, the first place to go is to your veterinarian. Your dog’s change in hearing may simply be age-related, but there are a number of possible causes, including ear infections or a foreign body or growth in the ear, which need to be addressed by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can rule out specific issues, and in some cases can treat, and even reverse, the loss.

However, your dog’s hearing loss may be permanent, and this will call for a change in the way you communicate with your four-legged companion.

Communicating With Your Pet
Giving your dog audible feedback becomes more difficult when your pet has hearing loss, since he won’t be easily able to hear a clicker or your voice. Instead, you will need to teach your dog a signal, like a hand clap or a thumbs up that means “good dog” or “job well done.” Teach your pet to recognize the “good dog” signal by immediately following it with a reward such as a treat, for example, or another enjoyable activity like being petted, chasing a ball, playing tug or going outside.

A hearing-impaired dog needs to be taught to focus on his handler’s body to see visual commands for various behaviors, including sit and down. It is essential that you have a signal, or a “look at me” cue, to get your dog’s attention. This cue tells your dog to look at you; he can then be led by a visual command to do a desired behavior.

When you are walking your dog, a gentle, low pull, or a jingle on his leash can be a signal for him to reorient his body to face you. When off leash, a hand wave, a gentle touch on the shoulder or back, or a flashlight or other visual stimulus serves the same purpose. As with any signal, you must teach your pet what the signal means.

Change Your Cues
To teach your pet to look at you in response to the “look at me” cue, initiate the stimulus, such as a light touch on his shoulder or a gentle pull on the leash, and move a treat out in front of his nose and up toward your eye level. As soon as your dog gives eye contact, mark with your “good dog” signal, such as a thumbs up, followed by a treat. Once your pet is readily giving you eye contact in response to the signal, begin to phase out the treat. Move your empty hand, still shaped like it has a treat inside it, up toward your eye level; reward your dog for making eye contact. Eventually, begin to fade out the hand signal by only moving your hand partially toward your face.

The goal is to get your pooch to make eye contact in response to the first cue, such as the shoulder touch or gentle leash pull, without any extra direction from you. Continue to highlight the wanted behavior with your “good dog” signal and a reward, or immediately ask your dog to do another behavior, such as a sit, when he looks at you. Commands your dog previously learned on a verbal signal will need to be retaught with a visual or physical cue. (Vetstreet has some helpful hints on how to transfer cues.)

Once your dog has learned to make eye contact with you, teach him other hand signals for everyday activities. Invent your own signals or use American Sign Language to teach your dog words like dinner, walk, car, bedtime and outside. Simply use the designated signal (such as the ASL sign for “walk”) and immediately follow it with the activity (head out the door for a walk with your dog). Be sure all members of your family are consistently using the same signals.

The more you use visual and physical signals with your pet, the better he will understand what you’re telling him. Changing the way your pet communicates will make his hearing loss easier on him — and on you.

Source: Mikkel Becker for VetStreet | September 23, 2013 | Article here

Laps for Love 2020 is a wrap!

Laps for Love 2020 is a wrap!

Laps for Love was a huge success! Thank you to our swimmers and supporters! We can’t do what we do without your support.

Thank you to our talented swimmers: Daniela Schneider, Chuck Shoemaker, Steve Ingerski, Josh Taber, Simon DiMaggio, Ben Middleton and Joshua Middleton!

Pawp Up Yard Sale!

Pawp Up Yard Sale!

Thank you Consign Charleston for being our gracious host and for always being a valued supporter of Hallie Hill!

And a giant THANK YOU to all that came out in the heat to shop, or donated items! We appreciate you!

Pawp Up Yard Sale Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary

Thank you for helping us to Raise the Woof!

Thank you for helping us to Raise the Woof!

WOW! We could not be more appreciative of our giving community for coming together to help us fix our leaking barn roof. Our animals and supplies are now dry, and are SO grateful!

Barn Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary

Crazy for Catnip

Crazy for Catnip

Source: Humane Society of the United States | Article here

So, what is catnip anyway?
Catnip is one of the approximate 250 species in the mint family and has a leafy green appearance. Nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, can turn even the laziest couch potato into a crazy furball—if said furball happens to have inherited the sensitivity to its effects. The trait doesn’t emerge until a cat is between three and six months old; until then, a kitten will not have a response. Catnip sensitivity is hereditary—an estimated 50 percent of cats have no reaction.

Smelling vs. Eating
The most intense catnip experience starts with the nose—one whiff of the stuff and your cat promptly goes nuts. Researchers suspect that catnip targets feline “happy” receptors in the brain. When eaten, however, catnip tends to have the opposite effect and your cat mellows out.

Most cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out. They may meow or growl at the same time. Other cats become hyperactive or downright aggressive, especially if you approach them.

Usually these sessions last about 10 minutes, after which your cat loses interest. It may take as long as two hours for him to “reset” and become susceptible to catnip again. Be mindful of overindulgence though—cats are unlikely to overdose on catnip, but they can get sick if they eat too much. Trust your kitty to know when they’ve had enough.

A snack worth sharing
Catnip isn’t just for cats! It’s been grown in medicinal gardens for centuries for its sedative effect on humans. Made into a tea, catnip has calming properties similar to chamomile. Concentrated nepetalactone also makes for a powerful mosquito repellent. The only hitch is that it lasts just a few hours.

Keep it fresh
Catnip does lose its potency over time, so store it in the freezer in an airtight container for maximum effect.

Source: Humane Society of the United States | Article here