Thursday, December 6, 2012

Twelve Dog Days of Christmas

As you hang the jingle bells and strategically place the mistletoe, deck the halls, trim the tree and shop for gifts in all the holiday hubbub, don’t forget your pooch.  Man’s best friend, your loyal companion, the one who forever promises you unconditional love should also earn a place on your holiday gift list.  Having trouble deciding what to buy your canine kid this year?  Check out these gift ideas:

The Halti harness by Gentle Leader - the folks at HOTLR cannot get enough of this wonderful harness.  It is the best harness around for your large dog.  The Halti harness is unique in that it attaches to the leash in the front of the chest rather than at the back as traditional harnesses do.  This puts pressure on the dog’s chest if they pull or lunge as opposed to the back and neck which has the potential to cause injury.  Also, for super strong pullers, the attachment in the front allows you to attach the leash to both collar and harness giving you a little extra support.  These harnesses are the best!!!  Get it here: Halti Harness

How fun would it be to design a collar and leash set for your own dog? If you are interested in handmade collars and leashes that are of the highest quality, handmade and flashy too, then check out this website where Shannon Barry of Lucky Fiona will make your pet the most envied pooch on the block.  You can even join the calendar of the month club and get a new collar each month for your pet.  Collars for kitty are available too.  Cost for collars is around $16. Check out the Lucky Fiona offerings here:

Are you on the look-out for some healthy dog cookies that are Labrador sized? Rather than risking your fingers and feeding handfuls of treats to your dogs, check out these great treats from Innova.  Innova was the first company to begin making holistic food for your pets.  These dog treats are made with turkey and chicken protein and then apples, blueberries, carrots, green beans and pumpkin are added to round out their nutrition.  Innova Baked Heath Bars come in large and small sizes with the large size being the perfect size for your Lab.  Think about stuffing your pet’s stocking with these little bits of yum!!!

ChuckIt - The all time best toy for the fetching phenom in your life.  If you don’t know what a ChuckIt is, then both you and your pup are missing out.  This product allows you to launch a ball in such a way that you’ll wonder if your pup will ever come back.  Plus it has a built in ball “picker upper” to keep your hands clean and dry during the playtime process.  We also love the rubber ChuckIt balls that are sold separately.  These rubber balls are nearly indestructible and float in the water as well.  Traditional tennis balls can be hard on your dogs teeth as the outside covering acts as sandpaper and can cause damage to your pet’s teeth over time.  With the ChuckIT rubber ball, this worry is put to rest.  The balls also come in different sizes to accommodate your pet’s mouth.  The launcher - Chuck It Classic Launcher and the ChuckIt rubber balls - ChuckIt Medium Ultra Balls

If you are familiar with Labs and senior pets, you’ll know that arthritis is inevitable. Especially in these active large dogs.  Make sure your pet stays protected throughout the his/her life by beginning supplements early.  JointMax Triple Strength Joint products are a great way to get your “big dog” the supplements needed to protect those important joints.  Speak to your veterinarian about his or her recommendation for joint protection as well.  There are many products on the market to choose from and it can be confusing.  Check out more information on JointMax products here:

Eco Nap Dog Bed - Do you crate your dog when you are gone?  Or do you need an easy travel pet bed for family vacations and overnights?  Then check out this pet bed you can feel good about buying.  Made right here in Montana, USA the West Paw products are some of our favorites.  They have a variety of pet beds to choose from.  This particular style makes a great crate liner or travel bed and is made with both functionality and sustainability in mind.  Don’t be afraid to toss this guy in the washer either....the pet bed is easily maintained and built to last:

Costco Pet Beds - If a more economical pet bed is more your style, then you can’t beat the pet beds at Costco.  Large enough for the biggest Lab in your family, the Costco pet beds come in stylish designs and colors.  The cushion is stuffed with cedar and batting to keep your pet comfortable and smelling fresh while also detracting bugs.  Removable covers are easy to wash, but should be line dried.  Costco pet beds typically run less than $20.  Check out your local Costco store for the most current selection. Check out this link for a Costco near you: Costco Store Locator

Here’s yet another product we love from West Paw Designs. This is a great hard rubber ball that is virtually indestructible even from the most aggressive chewer.  This product is recyclable and BPA free.  The ball floats in the water and will provide hours of entertainment for the water dog in your house.  If you buy this ball you’ll never buy another, unless your pup manages to lose it.  It’s one tough ball!!

Dura-Chew Nylabone Galileo bone - Here’s great chew toy for your large dog.  Nylabone’s Galileo bone is made for the big dog in the house. Made of extremely durable nylon, the Nylabone provides hours of chewing entertainment for your dog.  As your dog chews, the tiniest pieces shred from the bone guaranteeing that no large pieces will break off and hurt your dog. Think your dog won’t like the taste of nylon?  Boil the bone in a little chicken broth for a few minutes.  I bet your dog won’t be able to resist....

One of the best things about owning pets is that they can guilt you into exercise.  If you’re a runner, hiker or walker, a skateboarder or roller blader, then this hand-free waist leash is for you.  Attached to the leash is a little bag made of stretchy material that can hold your key, cell phone and pooh bag.  This is a must have for every exercise savvy pet owner....Check out this model from REI: Handsfree Leash

Texas is that funny fickle state where owning a lighted collar for your pet is a necessity.  Thanks to the hot summer weather, you may be restricted to walking your pet at dawn or after dark to escape the brutal heat of a summer’s day.  Then, once it cools down to a respectable temperature, the time change during the winter months has us all struggling to get a good walk in after work, but before dark.  That’s why a collar that lights is another essential item for your and your pet.  There are various models available.  Check 'em out: Lighted Dog Collar

Finally, one of the greatest gifts we can give our pets is that of a nutritious high quality food.  Avoid the pitfalls and health hazards of feeding table scraps to your dog and give them their own holiday healthy dinner by buying a few cans of high quality canned food.  Talk to your veterinarian about the pet food he/she likes best.  The quality of food we feed our pets can definitely make a difference in their quality of life.  We see it every day as HOTLR volunteers.  It is not difficult to tell the rescues who’ve had poor quality diets.  They shed more, their haircoats are dull, and they may be itchy.  If they look like this on the outside, imagine how little support their vital organs are receiving.  In the long run, you may pay a little more for a high quality diet, but your pet will be healthier (less trips to the vet) and will experience a better quality of life.  And that makes us all happy.  Check out these canned food offerings from Wellness Pet Foods: Canned Diets or for everyday, check out Wellness Super5Mix for Large Breed Dogs - Wellness Super 5 Mix - Large Breed Adult

We actually wrap our dog's Christmas presents.  We use scraps of paper that would otherwise be thrown away.   It makes it fun for all on Christmas morning.  So, remember all the joy and giggles your pet gives to you throughout the year, and get 'em a little something special this year for Christmas.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

HOTLR Dylan Give Back

HOTLR Dylan donates blood to help a sick dog while
he patiently waits for his own surgery.
Many of you are probably familiar with Dylan’s story.  Desperately needing hip replacement surgery, Dylan has been the star of recent news about Heart of Texas Lab Rescue as we seek to raise money for his surgery.  

But there is another side to Dylan’s story.  Last week, while he was at Cypress Creek Pet Care, a 12 year old Lab named Lillie came into the animal hospital requiring emergency surgery.  Lillie had been diagnosed with a mass on her spleen that had ruptured and she was bleeding internally.  Growing weaker by the minute due to the loss of blood, Dr. Ray Bouloy and his veterinary technicians worked hard to stabilize Lillie for the surgery.  Lillie’s loss of blood was a major concern for the medical care team.  Lillie would require a blood transfusion to save her life.

Here entered our HOTLR hero Dylan.  While he patiently waits for money to be raised for his own surgery, he gave back to a fellow Lab by donating his blood to Lillie.  Sadly, Lillie’s owners made the difficult decision to euthanize her at the last minute before surgery due to her age and condition.  But Dylan’s efforts were not wasted.

In fact they bring to light a very important gift that we as Labrador guardians have to give - that of the gift of blood to save another dog’s life.  Everyday across the country dogs require blood transfusions for various illnesses and injuries, but sadly blood for transfusions is in short supply.  Some people don’t realize that their pet could even be a donor or that there is even a need.  However, Lillie’s story tells us how important blood donors are to the world of animal health.

Are you willing to allow your dog to become a blood donor to save another dog’s life?  In the Austin area, Dr. Scott Johnson of the Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin is the co-founder and president of the Texas Animal Blood Bank, a volunteer canine blood bank.  Below is a checklist of information on how your dog can become a donor:
  1. Over 50lbs
  2. Between the ages of 1 - 7 years
  3. Healthy & friendly - no medication except heartworm and flea preventative
  4. No history of serious diseases
  5. No history of blood transfusions
  6. No international travel
Your dog will first have it’s blood drawn to have it typed.  Dogs can have 12 different types of blood.  And like O negative for humans, some dogs have a universal blood type that can be given to any dog without many complications.  However, as the number of transfusions increases, the number of complications such as rejection increases as well if a dog’s blood type is not matched, thus the need for typing.

Next, your dog’s blood will be sent out to an independent lab for a complete blood count (CBC) and to test for any problems or infectious diseases.  Once this information comes back within normal limits, your dog will be scheduled for a blood donation.

A blood donation will be performed by placing an IV catheter in your dog’s jugular vein.  The blood will be withdrawn through this catheter.  The entire procedure should take approximately 30 minutes and is done without anesthesia.

There should be no side effects from the procedure, however, you will probably want to take your dog home and let him rest for 24 hours before exercising him.  A little extra TLC and maybe a special dinner might also be in order.

It's that simple.  Your Lab can become a hero just like Dylan and save another dog's life.

Check out this website for more info on canine blood donations:

To find out more information on how your dog can become a blood donor:
Please contact the Animal Emergency Hospital of Northwest Austin for more information.  They can be reached at (512) 331-6121.

To Donate to Dylan's Hip Surgery Fund: 
Go to and click on the PayPal donation button midway down the page.  Please put "Dylan's Surgery" in the description so we can properly thank you.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Howl-i-day Safety TIps

HOTLR Alum Susie shows her Halloween spirit

We can no longer deny it.  The holidays are upon us.  But before we all get wrapped up in the full craziness of the holiday season, it's important to review some important tips about pet care that come to the forefront during the holidays.  Check out these tips below:

1) Microchip your pets - many of us travel during the holiday season and for some of us that means are pets travel too.  Whether you take your pet with you or leave him with a friend, relative or neighbor unfortunate incidents can happen.  With all the noise, lights, costumes, people, decorations, new environment and general hubbub, your pet may find himself or herself overwhelmed. An unfortunate escape through the front door or backyard could put your pet in danger and you out of your mind with worry.  Having your pet identified with tags and microchipped is the safest way to increase the chances your pet will be found and returned to you.

Check with your veterinarian to learn more about microchipping.

2) Holiday food - and we don't just mean candy....Most of know about the dangers of your pet ingesting chocolate.  An 80lb dog can get ill from just a 8oz of baking chocolate and while it takes more dark chocolate and even more milk chocolate to make a big dog sick, it takes far less for a little dog to become ill.  Chocolate toxicity can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure and.or coma.  Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate.  Be sure to store your candy in a safe place away from your pet.

Same goes for food rich in fat, turkey or chicken bones or really any other foods your dog does not regularly eat.  Dogs that get table scraps or get into holiday dinner trash can become ill.  Symptoms may be anything from a mild bout of diarrhea and/or vomiting to a more severe illness such as pancreatitis or hemorrhagic diarrhea requiring expensive treatment and overnight hospitalization.  While most veterinarians keep pretty regular hours during the holidays, many vets close for the holidays themselves meaning that you will need to seek emergency care costing much more....

For a list of foods that can cause harm to your pet, check out this link from the ASPCA:

ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: (888) 426-4435

3) Holiday decor - If you are a Lab owner then you probably already know that a Labrador can find almost anything entertaining.  Some of my dogs' favorite toys (empty water bottles, cardboard wrapping paper rolls, socks, shoes and plastic flower pots) were not designed with dogs in mind.  Neither are holiday decorations.  Make sure that you keep your pet safe from chewing on or eating any holiday decor that could harm him.  Christmas tree balls and electrical power cords could tempt an inquisitive puppy or young Lab.  Be aware of decorations that your pet might find interesting.

4) Holiday gifts - I can't resist it.  Every year on Christmas Eve, my husband and I hit the local pet store and stock up on holiday gifts for our dogs.  We use scraps of gift wrapping and wrap the presents so the dogs can "open" them on Christmas morning.  You've probably guessed by now that we don't have human children.

Many of our friends and relatives will stop by with gift for our pups as well.  Unfortunately, though many have tried, indestructible Labrador toys are few and far between.  That's why it is of utmost importance that you think carefully before you purchase toys for your pets.  As with anything, it seems the better quality (in this case, harder to destroy) toys are more expensive.  Make sure you purchase toys that are appropriate for the size and personality of your dog.  Consider speaking to shop owners or your veterinarian for recommendations on the best type of toy for your pet.  Last but not least, always supervise your pet when he/she is at play.

For more information on holiday safety tips specific to Halloween, please click here: Halloween Safety Tips.

Heart of Texas Lab Rescue News Flash is written by Marcy Stellfox, HOTLR Board Member, Foster & Adopter.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dylan's Dilemma

Dylan hams it up for the camera!!

When HOTLR walks into an animal shelter, there is no way for us to know what we may find.  We only know the very basics of the dogs we look at - male or female, approximate age, their color.

What we cannot know are the stories they have to tell.  Why dogs that seem so happy, healthy and perfect are sitting in a 2 foot by 6 foot run scared and alone.  They cannot tell us the reasons that brought them to the shelter. But it’s our job to rescue these dogs and give them a second chance.

When we pull the dogs from the animal shelter to join the HOTLR program, we make a promise to them the moment they enter “the Sweet Pickle” gherkin-colored transport van.  HOTLR will to the very best of our ability “fix what’s broke” and get these dogs into the best possible home we can find.

Over the weeks, as they join foster families, we begin to discover the things about them that make them unique.  Maybe they have a cute way of letting you kow they are hungry.  Perhaps, they have a mad, crazy ball drive.    Maybe they like cats, maybe they don’t.  Are they really the mellow couch potato they protrayed themselves to be in the shelter, or are they “ninety to nothin’ Nascar worthy racers”?  These are some of the joys of fostering....watching your shelter dog unfold into the dog they are meant to be.

Sometimes however, we find that they are less than perfect.  Maybe it’s a behavior issue that’s easily fixed with some training.  But sometimes it’s a health issue.  Sometimes it’s easy - skin allergies that clear up with the proper food, a wound that needs attention and antibiotics.  Sometimes it’s much more serious - a knee injury that requires surgery, a hip that is so malformed the only hope is replacement.

Such is the case with Dylan.  Dylan is a sweet laid back chocolate 3 year old.  Recently, he began to show painful symptoms in the hind end of his body.  Then one day, his back end completely gave out and he was unable to get up.  A visit to the doctor and a few xrays later, Dylan was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia.  He was referred to a specialist.  The visit to the specialist resulted in the recommendation for a total hip replacement.

And this is where we need you.  Dylan’s surgery will not be cheap.  The recommended procedure costs $4,000 in addition to several weeks of physical therapy afterwards.  HOTLR makes a promise to each dog we take in.....we will fix what’s broke...but sometimes we need a little help to keep our promise.  

Can you make a donation to help this sweet boy get the care he needs and give him the second chance he deserves?  Click on this link: HOTLR Donations to donate via Paypal (scroll down the page to the PayPal logo).  Make sure to put “Dylan’s surgery” in the description line so we can properly thank you.  You can also mail a check to: 

Heart of Texas Lab Rescue, Inc.
PO Box 81821
Austin, TX 78708-1821

Whatever you can give is always appreciated.  Just do it for Dylan......

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Fostering Rocks - Reason 8,112

Dolly Sue cooling off in the Lampasas River

Some may say I’m spoiled, some may say I’m lucky.  I choose to think that I am blessed.  These are the thoughts that entered my head the other day as I walked the trail along a peaceful country path headed to the Lampasas River.

I had spent the night in Kempner and the rain had fallen all night.  The windows were open all through the house.   Home builders of the 1940s knew how to take advantage of a Texas breeze and I had spent one of the most restful nights in a long time in this 1940s farmhouse.  You see, my friend Margaret has an old house on her property that she no longer uses.  Since I have a horse up there (about an hour’s drive from Austin), the farmhouse makes a perfect overnight spot once in a while after a long day with my horse.

The other beautiful thing is that since Margaret is a Lab rescue person, my dogs are always welcome at the farmhouse (and her own house for that matter), so I am never lonely. And we have 77 acres, a pond and a river to explore all to ourselves.

That day last week was the first day of autumn to roll in trumpeting its grace and sending off the end of summer.  It was cool, the breeze blowing.  The rain the day before had rejuvenated the trees and the pastures surrounding the property were sighing grateful of the respite from the heat.  Deer bounded along side of me, birds sang festively, and rabbits sprung across my path.

My sole companion only added to the beauty of the day.  I had brought my foster dog with me for some one on one time.  She was Dolly Sue, the yellow Lab I have been fostering for almost 9 months.  During our walk to the river, the joy in Dolly’s movement touched me.  She started out next to me, but quickly ran ahead.  Never so far ahead that she couIdn’t see me.  And as a Lab will, she constantly ran back to me, checking in, making sure I was still coming, reassuring herself we were still headed in the right direction together.  I realized yet again, how much I love fostering, how much I enjoy nurturing these rescues back to health, watching the transformation take place.

Many of you know Dolly’s story.....126lbs when we took her in and heartworm positive.  Today she is 75lbs, heartworm free, and has some mad skill with a tennis ball.  She knows when it’s play time and she knows when its “chill time.”  I had not spent much one on one time with her because I have other dogs.  But our last two days together made me realize what a special dog she all of our rescues.  They have unique backgrounds, sad stories, and health and behavior issues to overcome.  But each one of them is worthy of a second chance, a place in a family, people to call their own,  unconditional love to give and to receive.

Heart of Texas Lab Rescue recently left the kennel we used to house our overflow Lab population until we could get them into foster care.  We could use extra fosters now.  Have you ever thought about fostering?  Are you on the fence?  Afraid you’ll get too attached?  I’d lie to you to say you won’t get attached, but it’s worth it...every minute.  The joy of the adoptive family when you deliver your foster dog to their forever home makes every moment worth it.  The unique experience you get with each dog you foster makes every moment worth it.  The one on one time you get to have we these beautiful, amazing, resilient creatures is worth it.  Wouldn’t you love to spend a morning like I did with a foster dog?  C’mon, give it a shot.....I promise, you won’t regret can be spoiled, lucky and blessed....just like me and love and rehabilitate a rescue in the process.  For more about fostering and other volunteer opportunities, check out the HOTLR website at:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Life with Labs Silent Auction & Fundraiser

Come One, Come All

To HOTLR's Biggest Event of the Fall

Heart of Texas lab Rescue proudly presents Life with Labs Silent Auction and Fundraiser on September 22 from 7pm until 10pm.  This is our biggest shin-dig of the year and we are thrilled to be back at River Place Country Club for the second year in a row.

We have collected a wonderful list of nearly 100 items for the auction including 2012 ACL Festival  passes, a Colorado vacation stay, a Port Aransas weekend, UT tickets, rounds of golf at some of the best local area golf courses and Seaworld tickets just to name a few. 

Have you been jonesin' for an iPod Nano, Amazon Kindle Fire or Vivatar mini camcorder? These awesome items are up for bidding too.  If you're a culinary fan, you'll find everything from local area  cookbooks to numerous choices of restaurant gift cards from places like  Hudson's on the Bend, Fogo de Chao & Perry's Steakhouse and Grille.  

Maybe a night out on a 15 person Dutch bicycle, a two hour class on a trapeze, or a trip to the spa are more your style. We'll also have various gift baskets ranging from dog related products, to wine, to gourmet oil and vinegar.  Whatever your price range, you'll be sure to find something you can't live without.  And the best part? 100% of your ticket price and proceeds from the items you win will go to support the HOTLR Dogs.

Light snacks including veggies and dips, cheese and crackers, and southwest party tray will be provided along with plenty of wine for tasting.  If wine isn't your thing, there'll be a cash bar, and iced tea and water.  No party is complete without something sweet so be sure to sample our light dessert fare as well.

So don't delay...purchase your $25 tickets now by contacting Julie Ellison at or buy tickets on the HOTLR website, click on the PayPal button and type "Life with Labs Tix" in the description.  

Just look at that face.....Don't you think she deserves a chance at a better life?  Then join us for Life with Labs.  HOTLR cannot make a difference without your help....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Maintaining the Senior Spirit

The perception of pets as true family members as well as advancements in veterinary medicine have allowed the dogs in our lives to live longer, healthier lives.  Pets are living more active, high quality lives well into their senior years.  So how do you keep your senior pet healthy?  Check out these tips below:

A thorough check up at your veterinarian annually including blood work and X-rays (if your pet is experiencing mobility issues) is the best place to start.   Remember dogs age more quickly than humans, and the larger the dog the more quickly they age.  For Labradors, senior wellness checks can start as early as 6 years old.  Discuss with your veterinarian changes in your pet's mental and physical health.  Is your pet slowing down or seem painful?  There is a multitude of pain relievers that work on different pain receptors in the body to help relieve arthritis in your pet.  If you don't see any improvement from one medication alone, talk to your vet about adding additional pain medications.  Although some can be a bit pricey such as prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Rimadyl or Deramaxx, others are very inexpensive such as Tramadol and Gabapentin.  Fortunately, they work together at lower doses leaving your pet free from side effects such as lethargy or grogginess.

In addition to prescription medications, nutritional supplements can also help your senior pet.  Glucosamine and chondroitin help to keep joints healthy and slow the progression of arthritis.  Fish oil helps provide important Omega-3 fatty acids known to aid in arthritis, allergies, and other inflammatory diseases.  Fish oil also helps to keep the skin and haircoat healthy.  Ask you veterinarian about the proper dosages and products for your pet.

To carry on with the subject of nutrition, feed your senior pet a high quality dog food recommended and approved by your veterinarian. The Whole Dog Journal has a fabulous article on low fat diets for your pet, including seniors (Special Needs Diets).  Make sure the diet you feed while lower in fat is not also lower in protein. Keeping your pet from becoming overweight will also help fight off diseases such as cancer and diabetes, aid in reducing the pain of arthritis and keep your pet's heart, kidneys and liver healthier longer.

Other options for pain relief and to keep your pet healthy include low impact exercise such as walks and swimming, as well as physical therapy.  Sandra Hudson of the Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Center specializes in senior pets and pets recovering from post op surgery.  Take a look at her Facebook site here: Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for your pet.  

Finally, from memory foam beds to elevated dog feeders, the number of products to keep your senior comfortable continues to grow.  Check out a list of products from Drs. Foster & Smith that can help you and your senior pet get around easier.

While Labrador puppies can be the cutest things on Earth, there is something to be said about the wisdom and dignity of the senior pet in your life.  For me, nothing is more majestic than the graying muzzle of a healthy well-cared for senior pet.

At Heart of Texas Lab Rescue, we specialize in Labs of all ages and sizes.  Some of our best dogs are well beyond the chaos and energy of younger pups.  Most are housebroken and have had enough training to behave well in the home and around other people and animals.  If one of these pups sounds like your perfect companion, check out our website to learn more about the dogs such as Shaggy (pictured above) we have available for adoption: HOTLR Labs Needing Homes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

HOTLR Star of the Week: Meet Maple

The best part of volunteering for a rescue group is to watch the transformation of a lonely, sick and heartbroken dog to a happy, healthy and self confident pup.  The excitement (and yes, chaos) of a meet ‘n greet as dogs and families come together is also very rewarding.  But probably the best part of it all is to watch a new family take into their arms for the very first time their new dog....Adoption day is the day that each of our dogs patiently waits for.

Some dogs are in and out of the program before we really get to know them.  They are healthy and young and need no additional vet care.  They warm up to the first family they meet and it’s love at first sight.
But some dogs come to us more broken than others.  It takes times to heal their wounds, nurse them back to health from illnesses, and mend their broken hearts so they know they are worthy of the love each dog deserves from his/her owner.
Sometimes they are a little older, sometimes it takes more time for them to recover, sometimes they quite simply just "fly under the radar".  New dogs come in and take their place at the top of our dog listing and the dogs that have been in the program for awhile drift toward the bottom.
These dogs are no less worthy or desirable than the newer dogs....sometimes they just need an update to their bio and some renewed face time.  We’ve got some wonderful dogs right now that have been with us for some time.  We know they will make perfect dogs for a special family and they are more than ready to move into their forever homes right now.
One of these special “sweet peas” is Maple.  She is our HOTLR Dog of the Week!!  Check out why Maple is such a "catch" by visiting her bio on the HOTLR website.

Other reasons to consider Maple:

Consider Maple if you want a quiet, easy-going companion that does not demand attention or require intense exercise! I'll be the first to admit that adopting a senior dog of any breed isn't for everybody but I will tell you that there's nothing like a senior dog, especially a Lab, to make you realize just how wonderful life is!! Seniors are relaxed and have a quiet dignity that a rowdy puppy will need some years to acquire.  Puppies are always cute and cuddly but there is something special about a senior that you will never ever forget. Maple is looking for her forever home. Do you know a family that would be perfect for Maple? Could it be with you?

Be sure to follow us on Facebook where we will continue to spotlight a HOTLR dog of the week and check the HOTLR website often for updates on existing dogs as well as info on new dogs!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Heart of Texas Lab Rescue Needs You to Shop for a Cause


Calling all shopaholics.....this one’s for you AND it’ll help Heart of Texas Rescue Labradors too!!

On Saturday, August 25, Macy’s will host is 7th Annual Shop for A Cause benefitting charities nationwide including our very own Heart of Texas Lab Rescue....
How does it work?  Simple.  
  • Purchase a $5 savings pass from Heart of Texas Lab Rescue
  • Show up at any Macy’s on Saturday August 25th with your savings pass
  • Shop until your heart’s content enjoying 25% savings on regular, sale and clearance merchandise, as well as 10% off furniture, mattresses and area rugs.
The good news?  You save lots of money while helping HOTLR at the same time!
HOTLR receives 100% of the proceeds on the sale of $5 Savings Passes!!!
You know and your kids know that back to school is just around the corner.  What a great time to enjoy extra savings on name brand quality Macy’s merchandise while doing your back to school shopping!!  Heck, you might even get crazy and get your Christmas shopping done too!! So get your Macy’s Shop for a Cause Savings Pass today!!
Contact HOTLR's fundraising coordinator Julie Ellison to purchase your Savings Pass!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just a Click for Just For Pets = Dollars for HOTLR Dogs

Hey Lab Fans - check out the easiest way ever to earn donations for your favorite Labrador charity, Heart of Texas Lab Rescue.  The wonderful folks at Just For Pets, an Austin luxury pet supply store located in northwest Austin have dedicated the month of July to the dogs of HOTLR. They offer a variety of pet related products including food, toys and bedding.  They also provide holistic dietary consultations and a full range of grooming services. Just for Pets has been a wonderful supporter to HOTLR in the past via silent auction donations and other support. Now, it's HOTLR's turn to give back plus we get dollars for dogs in the process!!  

All you have to do to earn a little extra dough for HOTLR's rescue pups is simply go to the Just for Pets Facebook page and click "Like"Nothing could be simpler.  In return for your Like, you'll be informed of all the latest news at Just for Pets, including on-line specials and the latest blog posts.  And most importantly, HOTLR earns $2 for each new "Like" through the month of July.

You know you're a Facebook addict already, so go ahead and "Like" the Just for Pets page for a good cause.  Spread the word, tell you family, neighbors and of course, your Facebook Friends.  Giving to HOTLR has never been so easy and all it costs you is a click of your mouse.  Be sure to check out Just for Pets website and visit their store in person: 3742 Far West Blvd, Suite 104, Austin, TX.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

WagN’ into Pet Emergency Preparedness

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.

"A person who plans for disaster is going to be far more able to safeguard themselves and their animals,” Stacy Moore- Guajardo assistant Emergency Manager, Austin Travis County.

By this point most of us know the hazards that face us in our communities; preparing for the specific hazards is essential. For example if you live on the coast it is important to have an evacuation plan for yourself and your pets.  

Remember if you are asked to evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind.  Pets left behind have very low chances of surviving on their own.   Unfortunately they can be isolated for days or weeks, your home may suddenly be in the path of the disaster, and there is no guarantee that a responder or rescue group can rescue your pet.   If you release your pet, the chances of survival are still slim and they are more vulnerable to disease and death.   Always plan to take your pet with you to a safe location,” Jennifer Hawes District Coordinator, Houston, Texas Division of Emergency Management.

For example the wildfires that occurred this time last year, numerous pets were lost in the fires. A young couple entered a local evacuation shelter for fire victims. Both Veterans who recently returned from Iraq, the couple was distraught. They had left their home to get supplies in case they had to evacuate, by the time they returned home the fire had jumped and their home was on fire.  They watched helpless as their home with all of their pets in it burned to the ground. The young lady tears streaming down her face said, “I could hear my babies (pets) crying as they burned.” This heartbreaking story serves as a grim reminder that preparedness can save lives.

After Katarina the PETS Act was created to amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to ensure that State and local emergency preparedness operational plans address the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals following a major disaster or emergency.  This act ensures that pets are included in Federal, State, and Local Emergency Management plans.  It also provides another layer of protection for individuals and their pets allowing for the evacuation of pets with their owners.

“It is important to check with your local jurisdiction about their plans to help evacuate pets,” Ruben Alonzo, Director of State Operations, Texas Military Forces

You may not be able to prevent a disaster from occurring but you can reduce its impact. A little planning can help reduce injuries, loss, and suffering. This applies to your household pet(s), service animal(s), and yourself. You are ultimately responsible for the survival and well-being of your household pets and service animals. You should have an emergency response plan and readily accessible kits with provisions for family members, household pet(s), and service animal(s).

One of the most important disaster preparedness steps is to assemble a disaster kit (or Go-Kit) containing basic necessities and important information. The kit should include information and items you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate. Remember to:
  • Store your disaster kit in an area where it can easily be retrieved.
  • Check the contents of the disaster kit twice a year when the clocks change for daylight savings.
  • Rotate all foods into use and replace with fresh food every 2 months.

Your go kit should include:
  • Food, water, and bowls for each pet. (Keep a 3-day supply for evacuations, and a 2-week supply for sheltering-in-place at home.)
  • Paper towels, plastic bags, and spray disinfectant for animal waste cleanup.
  • Extra collars and tags, harnesses, and leashes for all pets (including cats).
  •  A 2-week supply of medication, along with a copy of the current prescription.
  • A recent photo of you with your pet.
  • A crate or traveling carrier large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. Label the crate with your pet’s name, your name, and where you can be reached.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Manual can opener (P-38)
  • Pet comfort items such as blankets and toys
  •  A list of hotels and boarding kennels that accept pets
  • A list of veterinary offices
  •  Detailed instructions for someone else in case you cannot care for your pet
  • Copies of your pet’s medical and vaccination records. Boarding facilities may not accept your pets without proof of health.

“It is important for your pet to be up-to-date on vaccinations. During an evacuation your pet will come in contact with humans as well as other animals. It is crucial for the safety of all involved for immunizations to be current,” Ruben Alonzo, Director of State Operation, Texas Military Forces.
Remember by including your pets in your personal and professional emergency management plans you are Wag’n in the right direction!!