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NSAC Closed Saturday, Feb. 10

The Next Step Adoption Center will be closed this Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, for our purse and shoe sale. We will be open Sunday, Feb. 11.

Purse and Shoe Sale

Our February 2018 purse and shoe sale is coming up this weekend!

The sneak peek preview sale will be Friday night from 6-8 pm at Sedgefield Presbyterian Church at 4216 Wayne Rd in Greensboro. It’s $10 to get in to the Sneak Peek sale, which not only gets you first crack at all the purses, bags, and shoes we have for sale, but also gets you beverages and hors d’oeuvres to keep you going strong while you shop!

Saturday’s sale starts at 8 am and goes until 1 pm. There’s no charge to get into the sale on Saturday — which means you’ll have even more money to spend on bags and shoes!

LuLaRoe will also be in the house both days with their super comfy clothes — perfect for finding a new outfit (or two!) to go with your new accessories.

As always, proceeds from the shoe and purse sale benefit ARFP and Loving Pet Inn Adoptions, to help both groups rescue and provide medical care for more homeless pets.

NSAC Closed Due to Snow

The ARFP adoption center will be closed this evening due to snow. Stay safe and warm!

NSAC Closed for Father’s Day

The ARFP Next Step Adoption Center will be closed this Sunday, June 18, 2017, for Father’s Day.

Which means if you want to stop by this weekend to see the adorable puppies and kittens we have available for adoption, you need to do it tomorrow, Saturday June 17, from 11 am until 3 pm. We hope to see you then!

Introducing a New Cat to a Resident Dog

Dogs and cats that are not familiar with each other will require some extra time to become accustomed to each other. Dogs usually want to chase and play with cats, and cats are usually afraid and defensive. You can use any of the techniques described in “Introducing a New Cat / Kitten to Your Current Cat.” In addition:

  1. If your dog does not already know the commands “sit, down, come, and stay,” you should begin working on them. Little tidbits of food increase your dog’s motivation to perform, which will be necessary in the presence of such a strong distraction as a new cat. Even if your dog already knows the commands, work on obeying commands in return for a tidbit.
  2. After the animals have become comfortable eating on either side of the door, and have been exposed to each other’s scents, you can attempt a face-to-face introduction in a controlled manner. Put your dog’s leash on, and command him to either “sit” or “down” or “stay,” using food tidbits. Have another family member enter the room and quietly sit down with the cat on his/her lap. The cat should also be offered some special tidbits. At first, the cat and dog should be on OPPOSITE sides of the room. Repeat this step several times until both the cat and dog are tolerating each other without fear, aggression, or other uncontrollable behavior.
  3. Next, move the animals a little closer together, with the dog still on a leash and the cat gently held in a lap. If the cat does not like to be held, you can use a wire crate or carrier instead. If the dog gets up from its “stay” position, it should be firmly repositioned, and praised and rewarded for obeying the “stay” command. If the cat becomes frightened, increase the distance between the animals and progress more slowly. Eventually, the animals should be brought close enough together to allow them to investigate each other.
  4. Although your dog must be taught that chasing or being rough with the cat in unacceptable behavior, your dog must also be taught how to behave appropriately, and be rewarded for doing so (e.g. sitting, coming when called, or lying down in return for a tidbit). If your dog is always punished whenever the cat is around, and never has “good things” happen in the cat’s presence, your dog may redirect aggression toward the cat.
  5. You may want to keep your dog on a leash and with you when the cat is free in the house during the introduction process. Be sure that your cat has an escape route, and a place to hide. Keep the dog and cat separated when you aren’t home until you are certain they will both be safe.

Precautions: Dogs like to eat cat food because it is very high in protein, and therefore very tasty. Keep cat food out on the dog’s reach (in a closet, on a high shelf, etc.). Why dogs like to eat cat feces is not well understood but it is a relatively common behavior. Although there are no health hazards to the dog from this habit, it is usually distasteful to the owners. Attempts to keep the dog out of the litterbox by “booby trapping” will also keep the cat away as well. Punishment after the fact will NOT change the dog’s behavior. Probably the best solution is to place the litterbox where the dog cannot access it – such as behind a baby gate, or in a closet with the door anchored open (from both sides) just wide enough for the cat. Always feed your dog alone. Cats should not eat dog food as it may cause dietary deficiencies.

Written by Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Denver Dumb Friends League (Humane Society of Denver)

They have pillaged & plundered… now they nap


Gunnar and Sigurd, tuckered out after a busy morning of running around their foster home

While their siblings are off getting spayed and neutered today, Viking kittens Gunnar and Sigurd decided to stay home and run around instead. I’m their foster mom, Andi, and right now we have so many foster kittens in our house that we had to split them into groups for neutering because we can’t fit them all in our car at once! Yeah, kitten season is definitely here in force.

Brunhilde and Ragnar are taking part in today’s excursion to the vet because they’re actually from a different litter and are a little older. Not a lot, but enough that they’re at the top of our snip list. Magnus and Heimdall, who are true littermates with Gunnar and Sigurd, are getting neutered today, too, because they’re already adoption pending. Yay!

Because each kitten has to be in a separate carrier when they go to the spay/neuter clinic and we can only fit four carriers in our car at a time, Gunnar and Sigurd get to stay here at home with Chad and me today. One of the perks of working from home is getting to hang out with our foster cats all day.

Of course, it’s hard to get any work done when you’ve got cuties like these running around. All I want to do is watch them play – which for Sigurd and Gunnar today has meant chasing each other and our one-year-old cat Monet up and down the stairs – and up and down and up and down! – and all over the living room and dining room. Believe it or not, the kittens got tuckered out before Monet did! (Although if you’ve met Monet, that’s not much of a surprise.)

We’ll pick up the rest of the Viking horde from the spay/neuter clinic later today. Kittens bounce back from surgery quickly, especially the boys, so Brunhilde, Ragnar, Sigurd, and Gunnar will all be at the adoption center on Sunday from 1-4 pm.

As for Magnus and Heimdall, they’ll be heading to their new forever home early next week! Did I say yay? Because YAYYYYYY! 😀

NSAC Closed Jan 23 & 24, 2016

Well, it looks like the snowstorm made good on its promise! So the Next Step Adoption Center will be closed this weekend. Stay warm, and stay safe!

NSAC Closed Jan 20, 2016

Because of that white stuff falling from the sky, the Next Step Adoption Center will be closed tonight, January 20, 2016. The puppies and kitties will miss visiting with you, but they know that snow brings slick roads around here, and they want you to be safe.

Spay and Neuter to Save Lives

During puppy and kitten season animal shelters and rescue groups are overwhelmed with litters of puppies and kittens looking for homes. While ARFP is a no-kill rescue group, not all rescues and shelters are. This year, an estimated four million animals will be euthanized in shelters around the country, simply because they don’t have a home. You can help prevent this tragedy by having your pet spayed or neutered. Not only does spaying/neutering help with the pet overpopulation problem, but it also has many health and behavioral benefits for your pet. Consult your vet today, or contact one of the organizations listed below for information on their low cost spay/neuter programs.

Piedmont Communities Spay Neuter & Wellness Clinic
4527 West Wendover Ave.
Greensboro, NC 27409

Triad Spay/Neuter Clinic
3163 Hines Chapel Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27405

Low Cost Spay Neuter Clinic
2780 West Mountain St.
Kernersville, NC 27284

Play Biting

One of the biggest complaints we hear about puppies is about their play biting. Puppies begin to learn bite inhibition from their litter mates and mother when they are young, and it becomes our job to continue this education. At the same time play biting seems to be self-reinforcing to the puppy; it just plain feels good to chew on us, especially during the teething stages. Unfortunately, we sometimes unintentionally reinforce the problem by letting little puppies nibble on our hands (when it doesn’t hurt at all), and by letting them pull on our pants legs and bite our shoe laces ( when they are too small to do any damage).

Puppies must learn that biting is never acceptable, even in play. Traditional force methods such as clamping down and holding the muzzle shut or jabbing your finger in the puppy’s mouth, are not effective in 90% of dogs and can be very dangerous. These methods can make your dog afraid of you as well as turn him into an aggressive biter.

As with most behavioral problems, mouthing and play biting usually stop once the puppy learns more acceptable ways of getting attention. If you teach your puppy to Sit and to Sit for Attention, then you can tell the puppy to Sit whenever he starts to present an unacceptable behavior. By distracting the puppy away from negative behavior and having him respond with a positive replacement behavior, the negative behavior will often go away with out stern physical corrections which, if used, could lead to more serious aggression.

The games you play with your puppy and how you play them are very important. Rough play such as pushing side-to-side or back and forth at the shoulders, tug-of-war, or chase games result in an adrenaline rush which encourages play biting and mouthiness — behaviors which could continue for the rest of the puppy’s life. Until your puppy understands the command “Enough” and instantly stops whatever he is doing, you should not rough house with your puppy. Aggressive play lessens bite inhibition and is actually a “game” used to teach protection dogs for “bite” work.

What should you do about play biting? First, teach Sit. When your puppy starts mouthing, withdraw your hands, tell him to Sit, praise calmly and offer an acceptable chew toy. Never let children put their hands in or around the puppy’s mouth. Do not ever let the puppy use you or any family member as a chew toy, but do not make a big fuss out of play biting, either! If you give play biting too much attention, you are still reinforcing this unacceptable behavior.

If your puppy is wound up and totally out of control, help calm him down and start to learn self control. Say “Enough” in a calm , but firm voice. Take him out side to run off excess energy, try a toy of play fetch. Whatever you do, suspend the play that was resulting in play biting. At times, some puppies can get so wound up and overstimulated that a quiet time-out for a nap in a crate will help. Since some puppies can only handle very limited playtime with young children before biting gets out of control, it is especially important to supervise these interactions. The puppy must not be allowed to practice this unacceptable behavior, and must learn respect for the children as well as adults.

If your timing is right , a loud and dramatic “Ouch” or a moderate scream of pain the instant the puppy bites can be very effective. You really have to mean it (which usually is not hard since play biting can hurt). Then, stand back and fold your arms and give the puppy a disapproving look, and then turn your back and walk away, as if to say, “I won’t play this game.” Ignore the puppy for a minute or two and then call him to you, have him Sit, and offer praise and reward in the form of a dog treat or play toy.

Another option is the “freeze and ignore” technique. If the puppy puts your hand in his mouth , stay still, do nothing — do not even look at the puppy until he gets the message that biting is not getting your attention. When he quits biting, you should praise him, tell him to Sit, and calmly praise and pet him. If he goes for your hands again, freeze and totally ignore him (no eye or physical contact) until he sits, repeating as needed until he understands that biting gets nothing, but sitting gets positive attention from you.

Consistency is crucial! All family members need to handle the play biting problem in the same way. By addressing the playbiting problem while it is a minor behavioral problem, you can prevent it from becoming a major and painful (for you) lifetime habit. The sooner you interrupt the play biting cycle by helping the puppy understand every single time what behavior is required, the faster the puppy will become a welcome and well-adjusted member of your household.

The above information was furnished by Melanie Schlaginhaufen and Judy Allen of Best Friends Bed and Biscuit. Reprinted with permission. For more information or a consultation contact Best Friends Bed And Biscuit @ (336) 643-9096.