Animal waste left in public areas and in neighborhood yards is a familiar complaint called into our Animal Care & Control department. As much as neighbors might enjoy seeing your dog, they do not enjoy seeing what he leaves behind. Now that warmer temperatures are here, dogs will be spending more time outside and enjoying walks in city parks. As a reminder, sanitation law requires citizens to remove animal waste immediately from public lands and from the property of another. Citizens must also maintain their own animal areas in a sanitary manner regularly and as often as necessary to prevent odor, or health and sanitation problems.

When sharing common areas, be considerate of where you take your dog to eliminate. Although it is not a legal requirement to remove animal urine, allowing a dog to eliminate in public areas where children play is unsanitary. If you encounter an on-going problem concerning sanitation, report the concern to Animal Care & Control at 427-1244. If at all possible, a timely photograph has been known to result in a $50 citation to the animal’s owner.

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Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is urging dog owners to be proactive in keeping young puppies and adult dogs vaccinated against the highly contagious and deadly disease of parvovirus. Unvaccinated puppies that are 6 to 20 weeks of age are at the highest risk, but make no mistake; parvovirus can affect dogs of all ages.

The virus is spread by:
• direct dog-to-dog contact
• contact with contaminated dog feces
• contaminated environments
• people who have handled infectious objects or animals
• people who have walked through contaminated ground

The virus may be carried on a dog’s hair and feet, as well as on contaminated dog care items, a person’s shoes or clothing, and other objects. When a healthy dog licks the fecal material off their hair, feet, or anything that came in contact with infected feces, the dog acquires the disease.

Unlike other viruses, parvovirus is stable in the environment and is resistant to heat, detergents and alcohol. It can remain infectious for at least one year in the soil to continue infecting other dogs. If you’ve had an infected dog in your home or yard, do not bring home another dog or puppy until talking with your veterinarian.

If you see any change in the health or behavior of your dog, call your veterinarian right away. Warning signs can include a lack of appetite, depressed behavior, fever, severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Parvovirus is deadly, so take action to vaccinate your adult dogs on time each year, and be sure that your puppy receives more than one vaccination over a period of weeks.

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With the holidays fast approaching, we encourage families to set aside a few moments on Wednesday, December 11th to visit the city’s Animal Care & Control Holiday Open House for the Animals. Shelter staff and volunteers will guide tours throughout the building and provide a fun children’s area plus holiday cookies. It’s a great opportunity to meet the staff, learn about volunteer opportunities and meet the animals. Gifts of canned food designated for puppies and kittens or adult dogs and cats are greatly appreciated. Year-end donations to the shelter’s medical fund are also needed. Continue reading

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The Fort Wayne Fire Department is reminding you to keep safety in mind as holiday meals are being prepared. It can be easy to get wrapped up in entertaining guests, but it is important to monitor meal preparation closely.

Home cooking fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. With most cooking fires starting because cooking has been left unattended, the Fort Wayne Fire Department urges you to stay in the kitchen or other food cooking areas (e.g., outside for deep fryer, grill), and follow these safety tips during meal preparation.
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The Fort Wayne Police Department offers the following Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween:

Candy Safety:
• Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
• Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected.
• Tell children not to accept—or eat—anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
• Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
• Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers.
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Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is appealing for members of the public to donate any unwanted blankets, towels or bath mats, so they can provide them to cats and dogs for warm bedding. According to spokesperson Peggy Bender, “The blankets and towels we have do get dirty quickly and need to be washed frequently. In time the bedding begins to fall apart. Donations are greatly needed at this time.”
Blankets are a source of warmth and comfort to dogs and cats, especially the new arrivals. To make No Sew Fleece cat beds, visit the shelter website at www.fwacc.org , Wish List, for a pattern and instructions. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter located at 3020 Hillegas Road.
Contributed by Peggy Bender, Community Relations and Education Specialist, Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control

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Far too often drivers of passenger motor vehicles who have been involved in a collision with a motorcycle report that they never saw the motorcyclist and failed to respond in time. Last year in Indiana, 152 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes. Yet inattentiveness is no excuse – we must all drive and ride defensively in order to prevent unnecessary crashes, injuries and fatalities from occurring. Here are some helpful reminders for motorists and motorcyclists: Continue reading

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Should You Feed Stray Cats?
It’s difficult to see hungry stray cats, but feeding them might not be the best thing to do. Animal lovers understandably want strays to have a reliable food source, but if you become that source by leaving cat food outside, you will be attracting even more problems. Here are a few facts and solutions to consider:
• Stray cats are nearly always unaltered and will begin having litters from spring through fall by the time they are six months of age. One stray cat soon becomes many.
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When snow melts and temperatures warm we frequently see people making plans to add a new pet to the home. The Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control department always has a great selection of animals available and ready for your family to meet. The process of adopting takes one day to select a pet and a second day to take home the pet. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

• No, a fenced yard is not required to adopt a dog. It’s a common misconception, but we feel that many families are able to raise a dog with great success without a fenced backyard.
• Come one come all. We are happy to talk with people from outside Fort Wayne or Allen County or even the state of Indiana who want to adopt a great FWACC animal. Continue reading

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Animal Care & Control has live cat traps available for any city resident who may want to remove one or more stray cats from an area.  With current cold temperatures and wind chills, stray animals are more likely to experience painful frostbite and hypothermia.  Removing them humanely from the streets with a live trap not only prevents suffering, but can also reduce the spread of disease and animal waste.  To obtain a live trap, call 260-427-1244 (option one on the menu) to speak with a clerk.  Stray cats breed continually from spring until fall, which creates additional stray cats that pray on song birds, and cause disturbances for neighbors. 

As much as we want to help homeless animals, feeding strays only encourages them to continue multiplying. By city law, any person who puts out food for strays is harboring and may be held responsible for the vaccinations and spay/neutering of those animals.  Call the shelter office for trap availability and as always, keep your own cats inside your home for safety.

Contributed by Peggy Bender, Community Relations and Education Specialist, Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control

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