Thursday, April 28, 2011


Since the storms began last week and the waters continued to rise, NAFA A.I.D. (Animals in Disaster) teams have been assisting with animals in distress.

· One team answered a call for an elderly couple who refused to leave their home in danger from rising water, until shelter was found for their dog and cat.

· One team answered an urgent call for a momma dog and 3 puppies found near a ditch. NAFA believes the dog had moved the puppies into the culvert of the ditch and as the water began to rise she moved them. They were rain soaked, cold and terrified. But they are now safely in foster care. Neighbors alerted us to the owners who surrendered the dog and puppies. Storm damage to their fence resulted in them not being able to provide proper care.

· One team answered a call from neighbors who watched as waters rose around a home across the road. A male boxer and female lab pup stayed on the porch until the water poured on to the porch. The dogs dove in and swam to the neighbors camper. NAFA arranged to pick up both the dogs yesterday evening. Unfortunately, the male boxer was stolen from their yard. NAFA now has possession of the lab puppy. The neighbors indicated that they saw the family pack up and leave several days before the waters began rising. No one returned for the dogs. NAFA investigators are actively searching for the individual who stole the boxer and the original owners who left the dogs behind. These animals were in the Powhattan community.

· NAFA has been in contact with the Red Cross in Randolph County and offered assistance to any individuals arriving at the Red Cross Shelter with pets.

· Additionally, NAFA will make available food, cat litter, bedding, treats, carriers or dog houses to individuals who have lost possessions in the storm. Individuals wishing to apply for assistance should email

We hope that all of your family members (people and pets) are safe!!

Until Next Time,
Tut & Issi, AID Volunteer

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pet Loss Group

New group for people mourning the loss of pets. It is free to the public and will meet every Wednesday at noon beginning April 20th. It meets at Life Journey's Counseling Center located at 512 Washington Street in Jonesboro, Arkansas. People can call 870-935-5433 for more information or call Keren at 919-7629.

Thanks for letting us know,
Tut & Ella

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


With Easter right around the corner, pet stores are stocking up on bunnies, ducks, and chicks.

Many parents are tempted to buy these adorable critters as children's Easter gifts. This is NOT a good idea. People don't always realize that these cute, cuddly baby animals grow up into large, not so cute and cuddly adults. Little bunnies grow into 10 lb rabbits. Downy chicks and ducklings sprout "ugly" feathers.

Rabbits, chicks, and ducks are not "low-maintenance" pets. They require constant temperatures, special housing, excellent nutrition, and daily care. The responsibility of caring for them is far too great for a child or busy adult.

Cute little ducks and chicks can pose health risks. Ducks and chickens can be carriers of salmonellosis - an intestinal disease that can be transferred to humans. Salmonellosis is especially dangerous in children and people with weakened immune systems (such the elderly).

Baby animals are very fragile.

They can be accidentally killed or permanently injured if handled too roughly. This is a very common cause of death in Easter pets.

These animals require a long commitment. The average life span of a rabbit is 5-10 years, and 12+ is not uncommon. The average backyard chicken lives between 7-8 years. Ducks can live up to 15 years.

Most chicks, ducks, and bunnies given as Easter gifts die within a few weeks of the holiday.


- Rabbits require as much work as a dog or cat and can live 10-15 years.

- They do NOT make good pets for children (they can inflict painful bites and scratches). Due to fragile bones and backs, they must also be picked up and supported in a specific way that is difficult for children.

- Rabbits must be provided with large quantities of timothy hay and vegetables (mostly dark leafy greens), and limited quantities of commercial rabbit pellets.

- They also eat their own feces (called 'cecal pellets') in order to extract all of the necessary nutrients from their high-fiber, hard-to-digest diet.

- Rabbits should be kept indoors if possible. Outdoor housing is not recommended because outdoor conditions can be very dangerous to a rabbit's health due to outdoor predators, weather extremes, boredom, loneliness, and depression.

- Cages with solid flooring are always preferred to those with wire mesh floors, due to the fact that the wire is hard on rabbits' feet and nails. If a wire mesh bottomed cage is used, it is necessary to provide a solid place for the rabbit to rest on (such as a grass mat).

- Cages should have enough room to allow the rabbit to lay down across the width of the cage, to sit up on its hind legs without its ears touching the top of the cage, and to lay on the floor outside of its hiding place. Most pet stores stock only cages of an appropriate size for very small rabbits. Larger breeds require multi-floor cages, such as those designed for ferrets or chinchillas.

- Cages should have: a place to hide, a food dish, a litter box, a water bottle, toys, and a hay box.

- Rabbits need at least 4 hrs a day outside of their cages for exercise.

- Rabbits must be spayed or neutered or they will mark your house with feces and urine.

- According to the House Rabbit Society, rabbits "are suffering the same fate as our other companion animals -- abandonment. It's a sad fact that no matter where you live, you are within 10 miles of a rabbit who needs a home".


- Without the protective oils produced by their mother, a duckling's down soaks up water like a sponge. They will tire quickly and drown if left unattended by water.

- A duckling is a fully grown duck in about 30 days.

- Ducks are not suitable pets for children. They can pinch and peck aggressively if provoked.

- Contrary to popular belief, bread and crackers are not a good staple food for ducks. They need a well balanced, varied diet, from pelleted mash, vegetable trimmings, algae, plants, snails, meal worms, night crawlers, coy food, feeder goldfish, and grass.

- Ducks require a constant supply of fresh, clean water for drinking, swimming, eating, and cleaning themselves.

- Ducks do not have the physical anatomy required (a sphincter muscle) to be potty trained.
They are very messy.

- Domestic ducks will NOT survive in the wild. Unlike their wild duck cousins, domestic ducks cannot fly to safety when predators attack. They cannot migrate to food when existing food sources disappear in the winter. Without human intervention, they often starve to death or are euthanized by animal control workers.

- Even in the city, predators are a major threat. Dogs, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, cats, rats, and snakes are all possible predators.

- Pet ducks should never be caged once they are full grown. If you can't allow your duck to roam your entire yard, give them an area of their own that is clean, safe from predators, and accessible for daily maintenance and feeding. They also require some sort of shelter (a dog kennel, etc.) from the elements. Wire bottom cages are NOT suitable as they can cause severe foot injuries.


- The largest, most experienced chicken hatcheries only guarantee about 90% sexing accuracy - that means you might end up with a constantly crowing, nasty tempered rooster!

- Roosters, and even some hens, can become very aggressive.

- Keeping chickens is illegal in some cities.

- Chickens can make a great deal of noise, especially after laying eggs.

- Chickens need to be outdoors at least part of the day. They love to scratch in dirt, take dust baths, eat tender new shoots (remember that some house plants can be poisonous), and lay sprawled out in the sun.

- Chicken houses need perches at varying levels and a laying box.

- Even in the city, predators are a major threat. Dogs, coyotes, raccoons, and opossums can be devastating. Young chicks can be killed by cats, rats, and snakes.


Spread the word that live animals do not make good gifts for Easter. Instead of live animals, give children (and adults) critter shaped chocolate and marshmallow treats. Stuffed animals are also great gifts for animal lovers.

Have a safe and Happy Easter,

Tut & Ella