From our Allen County SPCA family to yours, wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are thankful for you!
#GivingTuesday - Donate and Receive a Cool and Useful Gift on Tuesday, December 1st

In the world of nonprofit, the first Tuesday in December is known as #GivingTuesday. This is a chance for animal lovers to donate online and share their support for us by using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

For every donation we get at our PayPal site on Tuesday, December 1st, donors will receive a very cool "My Pet is Home Alone" wallet card. Now, in the event of an emergency, responders will be able to contact your loved ones so that your pets are tended to in your absence. We'll remind you again on #GivingTuesday; so, be prepared to help us spread the word to win support for the Allen County SPCA!

Adoptable Petsadoptables
Bella Rose

Bella Rose is a 4 year-old, spayed female, grey and white, medium-sized, domestic shorthair cat.

Bella Rose here-- great to meet you! I know there are lots of cats you're looking at, but let me tell you what makes me so special. Not only am I quiet-- although I do love to play-- I also love to receive attention. But don't just take my word for it, come to the Allen County SPCA, and let me show you how sweet I can be in person.
Korra is an almost 2 year-old, spayed female, black and white, large-sized, Bluetick Coonhound / Siberian Husky Mix.

Hey there, Korra here! PLAY BALL! I know baseball season is over, but I just want to play ball. Do you enjoy a good game of fetch? To me nothing could be better than running after a bouncing ball thrown by someone in my new forever family. Is that "someone" you? Swing by the Allen County SPCA, and we can find out together.

Visit our web site to see more of the Allen County SPCA's adoptable cats and dogs!
3 Basic Manners Every Dog Should Know
There are 3 basic manners every dog should know to be a happy member of your household.

This video shows you how to get started training your dog to sit, come and wait.

Training your dog is a great way to spend time with them and can be fun too!

A Real, BIG Problem 
Jason and his dog Sandie* were taking their normal evening walk and enjoying the end of a nice, warm and sunny day. Jason didn't hear the car roll to a stop on the curb beside him, but like any good Beagle, Sandie did. She turned, ears raised, barking just a bit to let Jason know of things changing around him. He turned and saw that one of his neighbors was in the car. The window rolled down and his neighbor congratulated him on his new canine addition to the family. Jason was a bit perplexed and was now wondering if his wife had an unplanned surprise waiting for him at his home when he returned from his walk. Jason then explained that they didn't have any new dogs. They only had Sandie and she had been a part of the family for years.

Now his neighbor was confused and pointed to Sandie, asking, "Then what dog is that?"

Jason smiled at this question, because he immediately understood why the neighbor was asking about his "new dog". Jason knew he still had Sandie on the other end of the leash, but she was definitely not the same dog.

Confused? Let me give you some background. When Sandie originally started coming to see me, she was like so many of my Beagle patients: friendly, dedicated to her owners, fairly vocal and obese. Very, very obese. It's a problem I see often. So, I had explained the perils of obesity to Jason and worked closely with him to change her food, the way she eats, how much she eats, and the activity level she sustained. Jason was invested in her health, so he worked hard at it. Over the next year, as we rechecked her weight loss journey, we got to see those pounds melt away and find the true, healthy-weight Sandie that had been hiding underneath all that time. She truly was the same Sandie, but she was also truly a brand new dog.

Obesity is one of the two top diseases that I see daily (dental disease is the other). I want to stress one critical word in that last sentence: Obesity is a disease in every sense of the word. So, we have to treat it that way. We cannot casually dismiss it as "winter weight" or a few "vanity pounds" or something that has little impact, because it means so much to so many of my patients. Obesity is painful, decreases life span, and creates many other problems.

The most recent studies have been similar to those before, demonstrating that approximately 55-60% of our pets are overweight or obese. That number should be terrifying, yet so many of us don't look at it that way. If I said that 60% of our pets had cancer, diabetes, arthritis, pneumonia or anemia, I would think we would all be rushing to find answers, prevent those illnesses and help return those afflicted back to normal.

But we don't do that with obesity, even though it is shown to cause increased risks of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, respiratory problems and cardiac disease amongst many other problems. One study in dogs showed that those who maintain a healthy weight lived 15% longer than those who didn't (that's two years, on average, of longer and higher quality life.) Early on in my career I saw the problem obesity posed and became a real advocate to discuss calorie counting, weight loss and healthy weight management with my patients. I do this because I have to treat obesity like the disease that it is and talk about it when I see it.

I also like to do it, though, because obesity is the most treatable and most curable disease on the planet. With some work, and some effort, it can be eliminated over time. It doesn't change overnight, but it can be fixed. So, let's talk about some general advice about how to try to avoid getting there and what to do when it's already happened.

Calories will always be king. You must know your pet's caloric needs (your veterinarian can help you determine that), the calories in the food you are feeding and the calories in every type of treat that you give. In general, no more than 5-10% of your pet's total daily intake should come from anything other than food. And that food should be divided into multiple, small meals throughout the day (at least 2-3, more if needed). Forget what the bag of food tells you to feed. It is almost always wrong. Instead, do the calorie math for yourself, with your vet's help, to make sure what your pet takes in is appropriate.

Exercise matters a lot more for dogs than for cats. Cats don't get nearly enough sustained aerobic activity in a day for it to really count. Weight loss with cats is about 90-95% calorie intake. Dogs are like us in terms of aerobic activity, though, and their "weight loss formula" is about 60% food, 40% activity. They should get ideally 30-60 minutes of good, sustained aerobic activity daily through fast paced walks and other play activity. (I always tell my clients that a good aerobic walk has two important attributes: You don't stop during the walk and you should be walking fast enough that you are lightly sweating at the end.)

I generally recommend avoiding treats altogether. Many studies show that our pets don't actually know what they are getting, simply that they are getting something from us (i.e. those treats are marketed to us, not our pets, since your dog doesn't care if he gets an extra kibble of food or a bacon flavored stick.) Most treats are very high in calorie and make adjusting for them difficult. If you feel you have to give them, work with your veterinarian to try to find lower calorie options (like carrots, green beans, or some types of berries.)

Many pets must also transition to prescription weight loss foods in order to have success with weight loss (just like how many people need to radically change their diet to lose weight). Others may need to be tested and potentially treated for other internal disorders before we can help them lose weight (hypothyroidism is an easy example). But, all can be successfully managed if we identify the disease, come up with a plan, and stick to it. Lastly, regular rechecks with your veterinarian are critical during the weight loss journey. I typically do one every four months so that we can monitor progress, make sure the weight loss is healthy, and adjust the plan as needed.

So, please talk to your veterinarian and help all of your pets maintain a normal, healthy body weight. Their lives and happiness depend on it. (Plus, like Jason, you'll feel great when your neighbors think you got a bunch of new pets.)

*To protect confidentiality, the names in this story have been changed, but the details are all too real.
Dr. Brandon Stapleton
Managing Doctor/Medical Director
Upcoming Events events
Fri, Dec 11, 7:30 pm
Sat, Dec 12,
2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sat, Dec 19,
2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Holiday "Pups"
(aka Holiday Pops)

Embassy Theatre
125 West Jefferson Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN
See who is available
for adoption!
Sat, Dec 12, 11 am - 2 pm
Community Outreach
315 E Coliseum Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN
See who is available
for adoption!
Sat, Dec 19, 12 pm - 3 pm
Pet Supplies Plus
Community Outreach
4714 Coldwater Rd.
Ft Wayne, IN
See who is available
for adoption!

The Allen County SPCA, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been providing shelter to northeast Indiana's homeless cats and dogs for over 60 years. Our mission is to promote the prevention of cruelty to animals by providing a safe haven for animals, an effective and comprehensive adoption program, education and outreach programs for the community and deep and broad membership and volunteer programs.

Allen County SPCA | 260-744-0454 | |
At Hanna & Pettit
4914 S. Hanna Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46806