The Scoop-News and notes from the Outer Banks SPCA/ Dare County Animal Shelter

The Scoop-News and notes from the Outer Banks SPCA/ Dare County Animal Shelter

A Story by obxaco

latest edition of local newspaper column





By: Richard C. Crino


Welcome back! I, for one, am glad that the heat wave of last week has passed and the temperatures are returning to some that are more reasonable. Thanks to all of you that volunteered and visited the S.P.C.A. at the Dare Day celebration and "First Friday" in downtown Manteo. It's always nice to get out in the community to see old friends and meet new ones. I'm sure that this is the beginning of what will be a great summer season.

Last week, the heat index flirted with 100 degrees and my Husky, Reba, (who is admittedly spoiled rotten) tried very hard to convince me that she really didn't need to go outside at all. She thought that she would just as soon stay in the air conditioned house and catch up on her sleep. I realized, of course, that this was just not practical and insisted that she at least make an occasional short visit to the yard to do her "business" after which she promptly returned scratching at the door.

These hot summer months are extra difficult for the animals who have a very limited ability to keep themselves cool. Add to this the smoke that we've been getting from the wildfire (that seems to have made itself at home for the summer) and we have some serious concerns for Sparky's well being. The responsibility lies with us, the owners. In addition to the obvious provision of shade and plenty of water here are some signs to watch for that might indicate overheating...



Keep in mind that heavy coated dogs (like Huskies) and short snouted dogs (like Bulldogs and Pugs), those with heart and lung disease and any with a previous episode of heatstroke will be more susceptible to overheating. You may want to take your walks in the early morning or late evening. Remember, if you’re hot, those with the fur coats are even hotter. According to the Red Cross publication Pet First Aid by Bobbie Mammato D.V.M. we should watch for…

Excessive salivating, panting, or difficulty breathing

Glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst

Body temperature above 104 degrees F

Bloody diarrhea or vomit

Depression, lethargy, dizziness, stupor, or collapse

Check mucous membranes (gums or inner lower eyelids) for color redder than normal (pink is normal)



Take steps to gradually lower the body temperature immediately

Get your pet out of the heat and into a shaded or air conditioned area

Spray him/her with cool (not cold) water or apply water-soaked towels to the head, neck, feet, chest, and abdomen.

Let him or her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

Rub a small amount of alcohol under the animal’s legs or on the pads of the feet (too much is toxic!)

Get Sparky to the Vet immediately!

Don't forget about the cats as well. We've actually had more seriously dehydrated cats than dogs at the shelter this month. I can think of at least three cats that have required intravenous fluids. I don't think cats show symptoms as readily as dogs and they are often in pretty bad shape by the time that a problem becomes obvious.




One of the most common calls that animal control receives at this time of year relates to sea birds on the beach. They usually go something like this..."Hi, I am renting a house on the ocean and there is an injured bird that has just been laying on the beach. It's not moving and I think there is something wrong with it. I did see it try to get up and walk when some people got close and it waddled and kicked and tried to push with it's wings. Then it just gives up and lays back down in the sand."

Having answered these calls on a regular basis, we know which questions to ask. "Can you describe the bird for me?" "Yes, it's sort of gray and white with a pointed beak and red eyes." this is a fairly common answer that leads to our asking for a report on it's condition. "Do you see any obvious injuries such as a broken wing or perhaps blood or fishing line?" If this is the case, we are all quite practiced in picking them up safely and transporting them to our wildlife vets. If the answer is no, we counsel that "it is most likely a Loon that has come to the beach to rest." I've been told that Loons, Gannets (blue eyes, pointy beak), and other seabirds will "rest" on the beach for sometimes up to 72 hours. Being sea birds, they look as if they could be injured as they're really not designed for walking. We usually recommend leaving it alone while keeping an eye on it as long as it's not in harm's way. More often than not the bird will be gone the next morning. If you are in doubt, certainly give us a call and we'll be glad to help.



Miss Martina Farmer had a fifth birthday party and raised over $200 in donations in addition to cat and dog food, treats and toys for our animals! She made a beautiful poster that she donated to the shelter as well. Happy Birthday Martina and thank you so much!

We had a nice visit with Girl Scout Troop #2540 from Manteo and Manns Harbor on Saturday, June 14th. The Troop toured the shelter and a got a chance to see some of the behind the scenes workings of animal control and an animal shelter. We enjoy seeing these kids take an interest in helping animals and are always thrilled to have an opportunity to fill a sometimes overlooked aspect of education- the care and treatment of animals. Thanks so much for coming! Guests included Amber Copeland, Caitlin Grubbs, Natalee Twiford, Rebecca Boyce, Breann Saunders, Kassey Twiford, and Megan Morse.

If you would like to arrange a tour for your group, call Shelter Director Denise Lambiotte at 475-5620 and she will help with the details.




Adoptions are what helps to get us through the day and makes it all worthwhile. Adoptions since last we met include: Sprout, Spud, Vega, Tracker, Socks, Shoes, and Slippers, Sydney, Wags, Juno, and my special little buddy, Merle! As always, we hope you’ll bring ‘em back to visit or at least send pictures for our “Wall of Fame”.

Reminder…this is Adopt-A-Shelter Cat month and there are still a lot of adorable kittens here looking for homes!!




Have you heard of FIP? Our darling kitten Holly died on Friday and the vet said that's what she had. It was very sad seeing her deteriorate and there was nothing anyone could do. My son, Steve is heartbroken- she was his birthday kitty and only 10 months old. She was a real doll and very affectionate for a cat. Sue S. Lakewood, Oh.


We are very sorry to hear about Holly and send our condolences to your son , Steve. I did some research with the help of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and this is some of what I found. FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) is a viral disease of cats caused by certain strains of the feline coronavirus. A small percentage (5 to 10 percent) of cats infected with this virus will progress to clinical FIPV. Unfortunately, the disease is progressive and almost always fatal. Although it is not highly contagious, it can be spread through cat to cat contact and through exposure to feces. The most common transmission of feline coronavirus is from mother cat to kitten. This virus CAN live in the environment for several weeks so it is advisable to hold off on getting another cat for a few months and to start fresh with new beds, bowls, litter pans, etc.




Let’s not forget, too, that we humans invited and encouraged these animals to become dependent on us and we now have an obligation to care for them!


Send your questions or comments to:

Ask Animal Control

C/o Dare County Animal Shelter

P.O. Box 1000

Manteo, N.C. 27954


Rich at [email protected]



© 2008 obxaco

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on June 21, 2008