Downtown Knoxville will be going to the dogs on March 2nd, 2013. Friends of Young-Williams Animal Center and the City of Knoxville will host the 6th annual Mardi Growl Parade and Festival, with all proceeds going to Young-Williams Animal Center. Rain or shine, pets and their owners will parade around downtown Knoxville dressed in their finest competing for a variety of costume prizes including best costume, best naked dog, dog/owner look alike, best vol spirit, and most congenial.
The parade begins at the PetSafe Downtown Dog Park and winds it was through the Old City to Gay Street, ending at Market Square. You can register online for $15 per pet through February 22, with the first 1000 people registered receiving a goody bag. Day of event registration starts at 9am and is $20 per pet.
After the parade is over, festivities continue on Market Square through 2pm. Prizes for the costume categories will be awarded and you can browse through the pet-related product vendors who will have tents covering the Market Square area. There will also be an opportunity for $10 microchips and rabies vaccinations.
Parking is free on Market Square, State Street and Locust Street garages, and on meters. You can find out more information about the event on Young-Williams Animal Center website.
You’re a loving pet parent who has all the latest and greatest toys, yummiest foods, and softest beds for your dog or cat. But do you know where the nearest emergency vet clinic is?
Being prepared for a pet emergency is one of the most important skills you can learn to be a great pet parent. Although emergency pet first aid is not a substitute for veterinary care, it can be a life-safer between the time of an accident and your arrival at the vet clinic. You’ll want to be sure you have a well stocked pet first aid kit at the ready, as well as consider taking a course in pet first aid to brush up on your care skills. Take a look at our helpful resources to be sure you are ready when your pet most needs you.
Knoxville Pet First Aid Classes:
American Red Cross, Knoxville Chapter, 865.588.1835
PETCO Online Pet First Aid Course, www.petco.com
Knoxville Emergency Vet Clinics:
After-Hours Pet Emegency Clinic, 865.966.3888
Animal Emergency Critical Care and Referral Center, 865.693.4440
Knoxville Pet Emergnecy Clinic, 865.637.0114
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 888.426.4435
First Aid Online Literature:
Agility is the fastest growing sport for dogs in the United States. It is also one of the most exciting for human spectators to watch!
A handler directs a dog through an obstacle course made up of tunnels, jumps, and weave poles using only voice commands and hand signals. The dogs are judged on their course speed and accuracy. Typically, an agility course is 100 x 100 feet, with 10 to 20 feet between obstacles. The first canine agility demonstrations are thought to have been in the late 1970s, held at dogs shows in the United Kingdom. In the early 1980s, the sport quickly become more popular in the United States, and several national and international agility organizations were formed.
In agility dogs of all sizes are welcome. Lightweight, fast dogs like the Border Collie are normally some of the best at the sport, but any dog in good physical condition, regardless of size or pedigree, is welcome to compete. There are even special courses built for small dogs in The Teacup Dogs Agility Association. The obstacles are scaled down to allow dogs under 17 inches tall to excel at the course.
To get started in agility you’ll want to find a good trainer to get you started in the right direction. However, first you’ll want to be sure that your dog is well trained in the basic commands for “sit” and “come” before starting more rigorous training. In Knoxville and the surrounding area there are several dog parks with agility equipment, as well as trainers who specialize in agility training. Check out the resources below to help you and your dog get started in this sport.
Knoxville Agility Training:
Agility Adventures 865.604.1565
Dawn Darr 865.584.6553
Oak Ridge Kennel Club www.discoveret.org/orkc
Dog Parks with Agility Equipment:
PetSafe Village Dog Park, 10424 Electric Avenue
Dogwood Park at Victor Ashe Park, 4901 Bradshaw Road
Knoxville has come a long way in making our city a more pet friendly place. Dog parks continue to be constructed around the city, and restaurants continue to be added to the list of pet-friendly establishments.
Another organization supporting the pets in our community is the Companion Animal Initiative in Tennessee, or CAIT for short. CAIT is part of the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and is a network of professionals and volunteers who focus on legislation, education, and sterilization. They provide a wide variety of programs for veterinary students, animal professionals, and the general public.
CAIT was established as an initiative of the nine-county “One Vision” task forced formed in 2000 to explore how to make the East Tennessee region a better place to live. When investigating local citizen’s main concerns, animal welfare ranked fifth on the long list. CAIT now provides a variety of programs including providing education for vet students on shelter medicine, monitoring animal related legislation, and sitting up spay-neuter clinics for feral cats. CAIT currently sterilizes and vaccinates over 400 feral cats each year in an effort to reduce the surplus of homeless animals in Tennessee.
To learn more about CAIT or how to volunteer visit their website: www.vet.utk.edu/cait
Did you know that there are over 300 dogs in our Knoxville community that spend one hour each week working with HABIT, a nationally recognized animal-assisted therapy program?
HABIT or Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee, is a non-profit group of volunteers that works to promote the bond between humans and animals. Through the program children and adults in retirement/nursing homes, assisted living centers, hospitals, and schools receive animal assisted therapy. Even though dogs are the main animal volunteers in the program, there are a few cats and rabbits that participate as well.
HABIT has been around since 1986 when it was founded as a collaborative effort between the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Social Work. Today over 120 facilities in Knox and the surrounding counties are served by HABIT and many more are on the waiting list.
Before being accepted into the program, animals are medically screened and evaluated for behavior. The human volunteers then go through an orientation and training to learn how the program works and what is expected of them. The volunteers are then placed in a facility such as a school where children can read to the dog, or a rehabilitation center where the dog can help clients with their speech or motor skills. Once the visits begin, experienced volunteers monitor, and provide ongoing feedback and evaluation to help ensure that the visits are benefiting both the client, volunteer, and animal.
If you are interested in volunteering with HABIT, there are four steps to get started:
1. Attend a 2 hour HABIT informational meeting to learn about the program.
2. Submit your paperwork to the HABIT offices.
3. Take your pet to an hour-long behavior assessment by HABIT volunteers
4. Once you’re approved for the program, attend an orientation at your assigned facility.
For more information you can contact HABIT: