Our recent spell of surprisingly hot weather has turned many people's thoughts turn toward spending more time outside - often with their family pets. It's important to keep in mind that, not only are your tomatoes growing nicely and fragrant blossoms are on the trees, but there is also more opportunity for your pet to be at risk of poisoning due to growth of toxic plants and potential exposure to common household chemicals. Familiarizing yourself with common yard and garden hazards and taking some preventative measures now can help you to keep your pets safe all summer long. The Animal Poison Hotline (APH) and PROSAR International Poison Center have some valuable tips:

Lawn care products such as fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are a potential risk for your pet if they are inappropriately stored or applied incorrectly. Dogs are especially good at finding poorly stored containers, chewing them up and drinking or eating the contents. Dogs may be exposed to insecticides by various means, such as digging up treated earth or chewing on pellets. Common springtime plants can be a source of trouble as well: Tulips (bulbs), lily of the valley and azaleas can be deadly to pets if ingested in large enough quantities. Here are some general rules of thumb relating to both chemical and herbal toxins: Read all package instructions carefully before any applying products to your lawn or garden, be sure you are mixing or applying chemicals correctly, check with your local garden center about the safety of your garden plants, and be sure to close the top tightly on all containers and put them in an area where your pets do not have access to them.

Our featured pet today is Skittles, a Domestic Shorthair/mix young lady whose friendly meow will announce her presence even before you see her walk into a room. She is quite the conversationalist. This sweet feline has a lot of charisma, which she uses to get the attention she craves. Skittles is happy to jump onto your lap and give you gentle kisses and nuzzles. She values quiet times and gentle interactions with other cats. Skittles would be a wonderful companion for anyone who needs a little love! If you come down to the shelter to meet her, she will be happy to tell you all about herself and win over your heart. Stop by today to meet Skittles and her other furry friends!

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