Helping Those in Need

Have you ever lost everything in a disaster? Fire? Or maybe you lost your job and what little assistance you could find didn’t cover your poor fury family members.

When you were hardest hit with nowhere to turn, down on your luck and by the grace of kindness from strangers, helped pick you up.

Would you like to return the favor but do not know of a group that helps?  Against Cruelty a 501C3 Organization that tries to help local communities in the New England area by keeping families together. They would rather help buy your animals food or help pay a vet bill than see your family torn apart because of a hardship.

Help us help others! Donate, volunteer or come join in one of our fundraisers.

If your interested in joining our Bowl-a-thon contact Christine at or call 603-809-5116.

Thank You from the bottom of our hearts,

Against Cruelty

P.O. Box 1341

Merrimack, NH 03054



Compassion or Not, an Internal Debate

HS staff kennel euthinize wait




I have an internal debate that I hope all of you good people can help me resolve. I have had this internal debate going on for as long as I have worked with rescues and in the pet care field. A couple of recent events have stirred the turmoil into overdrive.

I have always tried not to judge the position of the people who have to euthanize animals to harshly because having worked with many of these people over the years I know that it is a very difficult job to do. Let me give a little background on what provoked this round of my internal debate so you can understand where I am coming from.

I have started taking a training course as a volunteer for Hospice, yes for people. As I already do Hospice care for animals taking care of people seems like it would be an easy transition but not the case. Actually I am partly doing this for those families that have animals that when they are caring for their loved one sometimes the furry family member gets forgotten. With the understanding I am leaving a lot of detail out about the reasons and purpose for me training to do this type of volunteer work, it is more the training exercise combined with the view of the people who has caused this turmoil. vet Don’t get me wrong the people are all wonderful and exceptional for doing this and I respect each and every one of them and their opinions. My problem remains to be my internal debate on whether or not there is a level of compassion for animals that are being euthanized in shelters or in vet offices and the level of “family” status they are given.

As I sat in training, we got into small groups and were asked to imagine we had a life threatening illness and talk about how we would want others to interact with us. Somehow my groups conversation went toward certain professions and how people perceive animals. Someone mentioned that a relative cries over the death of a pet but they cannot understand this because they are around it all the time and it is “JUST” an animal. I tried to explain that not everyone feels that way and most people see their furry four-legged pet as one of their children, a true part of their family and they become connected in a special way. This was met with a very dismissive response.

By the time I left training I was still trying to understand how anyone can be so uncaring even if they are trying to keep themselves removed from their job of euthanizing animals. By the time I came home for the day, I had a message from a representative for a rescue league. Without getting into the details of this situation (my apologies but I value the privacy of others), after speaking with the representative and hearing his compassion for the animals that he helps to rescue, the people he must take them from, the decision of which ones must be euthanized, and the choices he must make regarding the owners, I found myself reeling again due to my inner turmoil of how different individuals, but with similar positions have a different approach to their job and level of compassion.

animal control officerofficer rep for dog call If anyone can give me their insight and help me understand how ANYONE can say they like or love animals but euthanize them and say “it’s just an animal”? How can there be so little compassion in these professions? Don’t people take these positions to give compassion to the ones that need it most? Or do they REALLY take these jobs just to have a job?

Pet Friendly or Just Pretend?

As I was looking into my area hotels that are “pet friendly” I was very excited over the number of them that list themselves as “pet friendly”. As a pet sitter this expands my potential clients greatly; one would think. However, the information I was finding began to disturb me on several different levels. Let me break it down on what I was finding:

COST: I found that some places were charging $100 NON REFUNDABLE fee. Now I can understand a charge however it is the NON refundable part that bothers me. This was based on no matter how many days you stayed so whether one day or five days you were charged this $100. It also had a lot of restrictions that I will get into in a moment. The limits and restrictions make it almost impossible to bring along your pets. There is the limits of one animal per room but you may or may not be allowed only two pets, for instance if you have two animals you have to get separate rooms AND pay another $100 fee. Oh and then there is this weight limit thing. No animal over 25lbs. Last time I checked over half the population has an animal over that, including cats being over 25lbs.

LENGTH OF STAY: OK this one item I just DON’T get. Why would you limit them a stay of up to five days or less??? No matter the amount of restrictions why, why, why, would you tell your patron they could only stay five days or less? Don’t you WANT to make money? This restriction is not only ridiculous it would seem to me not very good for business.

WEIGHT LIMITS: Is this one a joke? I have a hard time understanding this one. This one tells anyone that if you have anything other than a toy dog or maybe a stuffed animal…. no offense to those that have small dogs but…..they are telling you if you do not have one of these then you can not stay here. But really we ARE pet friendly. Last time I checked over half the population that has pets and go on vacation have medium to large dogs, that means they weigh more than 25lbs. Again this greatly lowers your clients that may think you are “pet friendly” Just because a dog is larger does not say they are any more at risk of misbehaving.

WHEN IN ROOM: This one I can kind of understand because being a pet sitter I know that animals in a strange place or under stress don’t always behave as well as they do at home. But then again you ARE charging an astronomical fee in case of damages so why again are you telling people they can NEVER leave the animal alone in the room? Maybe if you are going to charge such a fee maybe you should pair up with a pet sitter and offer these services.

Crazy Questions a Pet Sitter Needs To Ask

There are your standard questions that every pet sitter needs to ask before caring for your pet like do they have any allergies? or is your pet other pet friendly? However because of situations that may arise in our day to day adventures we may consider for the safety of you and the pet asking a few crazy and maybe bizarre questions.

1) Has your pet ever jumped out a window? Yes this may seem very odd but have you ever seen a dog like this Bermese Mountain Dog jump out of one of these Cabin Window better

2) Another question may be; does your pet swim? Now this is very important especially if the dog is elderly or just in the habit of darting straight for every body of water known to man.

3) Is your pet in the habit of eating even the smallest of road kill and what actions should you take?

4) Does your pet know or listen to ANY commands? This is very important to clarify especially when you are told they do know simple commands because when the pet is darting off to the body of water completely ignoring your every stay, sit, stop NOOOOOOO command and they are swimming out to where the boats go and you are fully clothed with no means of getting to them if there should be a problem.

5) Does your pet have any problems with a particular gender, color, type of clothing, hat or vehicle or other type of animal?

6) Does your pet experience any kind of anxiety when you leave?

7) Does your pet have an off button? This is essential especially if the pet likes to bark non stop when you arrive even in the middle of the night and the neighbor starts yelling to shut that thing up!

8) Does your pet like to use their paws and mouth for anything other than the obvious? When a large or small animal wraps themselves around one of your limbs and just hangs on and nibbles on you as you try to remove the dangling animal it is important to know how to detach them.

9) Is your pet in the habit of eating acorns? And if they make a meal of this despite your every effort of giving tasty foods what should you do so they do not become sick?

10) Does your pet know their name? Truly? This is important for both recall and locating the pet.

11) This one relates to the last question but in the event your pet likes to play hide and seek…. where would they hide? And yes will they come when called?

12) Does your VERY large pet have small dog syndrome? Do they believe that your lap will hold their entire body and ask what’s wrong with you when they don’t quite fit?

13) Is your pet into sneak attacks? This is very important so that we as pet sitters can be prepared for any leaps and bounds out of no where. It helps us stay on our feet not on our butts.

14) Is your pet in the habit of making chase at the site of anything in particular? Again this keeps us on our feet not being dragged up a hill like a rag doll.

15) Is it normal for your dog to climb things like a cat?

16) Does your pet know how to open doors?

17) Is there a particular ring tone for a phone that freaks your pet out? I do not recommend having the theme song for Nightmare Before Christmas……

18) Does your pet like to roll on their back even when up on a bed, sofa or sofa top where they forget that YES they will roll off and blame you for shoving them instead?

19) Does your pet know how to take a treat gently? And if they need reminding what is the catch phrase other than “g– D@#$ son *& a b*^#@!” ?

20) Does your pet have a habit of pouncing on your child’s ball and popping it freaking them out beyond consoling?

These may seem silly but put them in perspective, the basis of these questions may just save the pet you are watching or at the very least keep you from having heart failure.

Why Choose A Professional Pet Sitter?

dog at home dog in kennel

The difference between the comfort of home and the comfort of boarding……………..

Most pets like humans are less stressed with routine. Using a professional pet sitter will enable your pets to keep normal eating, playtime, exercise, and sleep routines.

Your pets stay in their own home where they are most comfortable, no stress from being transported to a strange place.

When your pets are on medication, or other medical treatment, your pet sitter will be able to keep them on their regular schedule.

Your pets will not be exposed to illnesses that they may contract at a kennel.

Having a pet sitter come to your home also works to deter crime. Most sitters will bring in the mail, turn lights off/on or switch which light stays on, open/close draperies, etc. to give your home a lived in look.

In the event of an emergency, they will be able to contact you immediately rather than you coming home to find a problem with your home or call a pre-designated contact.

You won’t inconvenience family or friends. While they mean well, and intend to give excellent care, sometimes they fall short of your expectations. Hiring a professional pet sitter creates a business relationship with clear expectations and guide lines for you and your pet sitter.

Many pet sitters will further their education and continue to improve their skills to give your pets the best care possible (first aid training, pet CPR, pet behavior seminars, etc.).

Your pet will get consistent and personalized care from one person who knows your pet well.

You won’t have to carve time out of your busy schedule to drop off or pick up your pet from a kennel. Your pet will be home waiting for you!


Pets with separation anxiety, other behavioral issues, or pets with delicate medical conditions may require stay in visits when veterinary boarding facilities are not available. If you have concerns, be sure to talk to your pet sitter or veterinarian, who will be able to help you determine the best option for your pet.

Warm Weather Safety

The warm weather is upon us and with it we need to take precautions for us and our furry friends. Here is a list of things to keep in mind to beat the heat and a few fun things to help everyone stay cool.

Make sure everyone has lots and lots of cool clean water to drink, if everyone does not stay properly hydrated it makes beating the heat that much harder. You can also add ice cubes to everyone’s water for a great thirst quenching drink.

Every one should wear sunscreen, yes even your animals if they are going to be in the sun any length of time. Also don’t forget the bug repellent, not only are the bites pesky they can cause certain diseases. If you are not sure what kind to use check with your veterinarian they will be happy to recommend one suitable for your pet.

                                                                                   Please remember do not leave your animals outside in the sun, bring everyone into a nice cool environment if you can, but if you need to leave them outside make sure they have a nice shaded and well ventilated place to lay and be comfortable. Think of how you feel sitting in the sun with all that fur and the inability to sweat.

Trim down their fur or hair providing they do not have a coat that helps them stay cool. If you are not sure ask your vet or a professional groomer.

                 NEVER EVER leave animals, even for a brief time, in a vehicle during even slightly warm weather since your car can heat up to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. You could cause severe heat stroke or death.

This is also the time of year for parties and fireworks. Remember to remind everyone that gates and doors need to be secured properly when pets and children are around. They both have very sensitive ears and fireworks can not only hurt their ears but frighten them. If you can avoid it DON’T bring them to festivities that will have fireworks unless there is a well protected quiet place they can “hide” or sleep.

Make sure your window and door screens are secure and strong. Although cats like to sit in windows a dog or a child could push on a screen and someone can get hurt falling out a window or get loose through an open screen.

If weather permits try to keep walks to early morning or evenings during the cooler parts of the day. However, if there is too much humidity use other options and leave out any kind of strenuous activity just to be safe. Check out the list of other activities.

  •  Using a mister with fans may also help keep everyone cool. Be cautious and introduce these slowly as it can scare your animals if done too suddenly.
  • Play with a favorite toy in a nice air-conditioned house for a bit of exercise on really humid days, or roll a ball down a hallway if room permits.

  • If you do not have a pool or not an appropriate one for your pets, pick up a small kiddy pool as dogs may like this to just lay in.
  • With the kiddy pool you can play with a ball or bob for hotdogs with cut up portions of hotdogs. Just remember to wash the pool very good after each of these games.
  • Frozen yogurt makes a great healthy cool treat for everyone.  They are easy to make by using ice-cube trays or just dollops on a tray and placed in a freezer. Everyone can eat these and you can make them as big or small as you want.
  •  Another great frozen treat is to make ice cubes or ice cups with good treats inside for your pet to work at getting.  Hotdogs, carrots and peanut butter work great. Be creative!

Remember to pick up any uneaten food! Ants and or bacteria are the biggest problems this time of year.

Now with all that fun let me leave you with some signs to watch for in case your pet may not be handling the heat well.

  •  Watch for dry gums and increased panting
  • Thick drool
  • A darker tongue, especially in the early stages
  • Gums may be pale or grey in later stages
  • Vomitting and diarrhea
  • Lethargy or unconsciousness
  • Seizures or anything unusual

Call your vet IMMEDIATELY! Your vet will not mind you calling to ask questions. BE SAFE NOT SORRY!

Just remember, be cautious and safe while you have fun!  Enjoy this time with your family.