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Humane Society of Greater Dayton
Jan 1

Keep Pets Safe During Cold Weather

Dog in Snow


The holidays are here and winter is upon the Miami Valley. With it, also comes bitterly cold air, rain, sleet and snow. All of these weather conditions can take a toll on your pet’s skin and paws. In fact, it can cause chapped or itchy paws and flaky dry skin. As the temperatures drop, your pet is also at risk for many injuries or even death if left outdoors for long periods of time. Follow these simple tips to make sure you and your pets get through the cold winter ahead safely. 

Battle Cold Weather

Take pets inside with the exception of periods of exercise. This will protect them from the winter elements. Consider dressing your pet in a sweater or coat for outdoor activities. This will help them retain their body heat and will also prevent their skin from drying out. Whenever your pets go outdoors, you need to also protect their paws as much as possible.  Booties can help lower your pet’s exposure to painful salt crystals and other ice-melting elements. If booties aren’t an option, try rubbing petroleum jelly into the pads of your pet’s paws before you go out. This will protect your pet from salts and other chemicals. When you bring them indoors wipe off their paws with a dry towel immediately, making sure to pay attention to between their toes. 


Provide Proper Shelter

Although we recommend all animals stay indoors, the sad truth is many are outdoors even in the cold. If your pet must be outdoors, provide them with well-equipped shelter.You want shelter that is dry, draft-free and large enough for your pet to turn around, sit and lie down comfortably. Also, avoid placing blankets or towels in shelters when it is cold. These items absorb the wetness and actually can harm pets more than keep them warm. Instead, use straw in shelters. This helps circulate air, stays dry and adds warmth and padding to your pet.


Keep Pets Nourished

Did you know that in the winter months pets tend to use more energy to stay warm. Make sure to feed your pets a little more food during the winter and give them plenty of water. This will help them produce the energy they need to stay warmer and will keep them hydrated, which will help moisturize their skin.  Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. 


Bang Car Hood

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, which may crawl up under the hood for warmth. To avoid injuring animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine. 


Groom Your Pets

Animals with longer coats tend to have issues with salt crystals, snow balls or even de-icing chemicals clinging to their fur, which can dry your pet’s skin out. Keep fur trimmed to stop some of this from collecting on your pet. Don’t forget to also clip the hair between their paws. By also brushing your pet frequently, you can stimulate blood circulation, which improves your pet’s overall skin condition. You do however want to also limit the number of baths you give your pets during the winter months. Washing too often can remove the essential oils your pets need to keep their skin healthy. Your vet can recommend a good moisturizing shampoo or rinse for you to use on your pets to help their skin. 


Avoid Salt and Chemicals

Keep paws free of salt and other winter chemicals. The salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before yourpet licks them and irritates his or her mouth, too. 


Keep Antifreeze Out of Reach

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze where it cannot be accessed by pets. If your pet does ingest even the smallest bit of antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately or call the ASPCA’s Poison Control line at 888-426-4435.


Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded in 1902, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit

Dec 20

Humane Society Plans Expansion to Transform Animal Welfare

Today, exciting news broke about how the Humane Society of Greater Dayton is in talks to purchase land near Austin Landing. In May of 2016, we spoke to all of you about our Vision for the Future for animal care in the Miami Valley. With our Vision, we plan to:

  1. Tackle our community’s pet overpopulation
  2. Expand our ability to care for animals who are abused
  3. Provide more homes for pets in need
  4. Assist struggling families in taking better care of their pets

Last night, members of the Miami Township Board of Trustees met and agreed to allow a purchase agreement to be signed pending due diligence by the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. This is a very exciting time for not only the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, but for the community as a whole. After years of extensive research, strategic planning and feasibility studies we have listened to our donors, supporters and community members and it has been determined that we need an adoption facility in a high-traffic area that will gain more exposure to the animals in our care, which will ultimately find more animals forever homes faster. We have seen with our more than 20 current offsite adoption locations that having animals in high-traffic areas can greatly impact the number of animals who find loving, forever homes and we want to do everything in our power to give as many homeless animals homes as we can.

This is an extremely exciting time to be with the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. For years we have been planning and researching what choice is best to impact the lives of so many animals in our community and we are now moving forward in the right direction to make this vision a reality.

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is still early in the planning process, but this is a big step for the organization and not one that was taken lightly. With every decision we make we wholeheartedly consider the impact to the animals in our care. If we move forward with this land, the only facility that will be located at the Austin Landing location at this time will be the Adoption Center. There is also currently a structure on this property that will be repurposed to fit our needs We plan on expanding our current location at 1661 Nicholas Road to include a High-Volume Spay/Neuter Clinic, which will increase our ability to spay/neuter animals from 4,000 yearly to between 20,000 and 25,000 animals each year. We will also include a Cruelty/Neglect Structure that can better house large-scale cases as well as large-breed animals who have been rescued from abusive situations. Lastly, we will also include a Full-Service Animal Hospital at our current location. Fees will be on a sliding scale so that no one will have to worry about properly caring for the animals in their home no matter their income level.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we receive donations in many different ways. The money being used to cover the cost of the land and building will not be coming from monies designated for animal care. This money has been given for the growth of our organization. These funds are completely separate from our day-to-day expenses and the two funds are not mutually exclusive. In the past 115 years of serving the Miami Valley, we have proven to be fiscally responsible with all funds donated to our facility. We currently have a 4-star rating with Charity Navigator as well as a Platinum-standing with Guidestar, two national third-party watchdog groups ensuring nonprofits remain transparent and good stewards to all funding received. We receive no government funding and all support for this project comes through donations from our community.

Again, we are thrilled to continue to grow to better service the Miami Valley and look forward to 115 more years of helping ensure all animals are valued and free from suffering in our community. For more information on this campaign, we encourage everyone to check out

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and receives no county or state funding. It is not affiliated with any other organization including the Humane Society of the United States. As the area’s oldest, most-established no-kill animal welfare agency our organization relies solely on donations from individuals, companies and grants to run our programs and services. For more information, visit

Dec 7

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season

SantaWithPetsThis time of year is magical for so many people. It is a time to come together with family and friends and celebrate togetherness and love. This holiday season we need to also keep our beloved furry friends in our minds and make sure we aren’t putting them into any harmful situations. To keep pets safe during the holiday season, here are a few tips we recommend so everyone rings in 2018 safe and healthy.

Safe Stocking Stuffers

We all want to spoil our pets during the holidays, but if you are getting ready to stuff your pet’s stocking make sure you are buying gifts that are safe for your pets. Dogs are known for ripping apart toys and even digesting the stuffing or smaller inner components. These items can become stuck in the esophagus, stomach or intestines and cause problems for your pets. Try to stick with chew toys and treats that are indestructible for pets. Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy treats or Nylabones are great options for your dog. Also, avoid cat toys that have ribbons, yarns or other small loose parts that can be digested by your cat. If these items become stuck in your cat’s intestines there is only one way to remove them and that typically involves surgery. A safer option for your cat would be to surprise them with a ball that is large enough that they can’t swallow it or a toy filled with catnip.

Tree Tips

Many cats not only enjoying laying under a Christmas tree, but many like to climb up into it as well. Make sure your tree is properly anchored so it won’t tip or fall, causing injury to your pet. In addition, if you have a living tree, keep your pets away from the water at the base of the tree. This stagnant water can be a breeding ground for bacteria and if it is ingested by your pet it may result in diarrhea or nausea.

Nix the Tinsel

Let’s face it. If it is sparkly and looks like a ribbon your cat will want to play with it. This is why we recommend avoiding tinsel on your tree. Tinsel is easy for your cats to grab, play with and even eat. However, what seems like a “toy” to your cat can mean trouble down the road. If it is eaten, it can cause an obstruction to your cat’s digestive tract, which can lead to severe-vomiting, dehydration and possibly even surgery. If your cat does ingest tinsel, please do not try to remove it yourself. If it has become wrapped around anything internally, you pulling on it can cause more damage to your pet.

Family Feast

By now most of us know that items such as chocolate or any items sweetened with xylitol can be extremely toxic to our pets. However, don’t underestimate the lengths in which your pets will go to chomp down on these treats. Make sure to keep your pets away from unattended plates and keep lids on garbage cans. Also avoid giving fatty or spicy food to your pets and make sure they can’t get into any discarded turkey or chicken bones. These bones easily splinter and can potentially cause a choking hazard for your pet.

Stress-Free Option

If your pets can be on the shy or nervous side it may be good to place them in an isolated area while friends and family are over. A lot of noise and excitement can cause unnecessary stress to your pet and can make them very anxious. Simply place them in their own room away from the excitement of holiday parties and maybe even turn on a television or radio to drown out some of the other noises. Don’t forget to also place some food, water, a litter box and a cozy place to snuggle in the room for your pets. Filling it with familiar items such as their bed or favorite toys can also help ease their stress.

Distracting Decorations

From chewing on wires to puncturing batteries, some holiday decorations can harm  your pets. If bitten, live wires can give your pets a potentially lethal shock and punctured batteries can cause burns to your pet’s mouth and esophagus. In addition, do not leave candles unattended. Your pets may become intrigued by the flame of the fire and end up burning themselves or knocking the candle over.

Hazardous Plants

Poinsettias, holly and mistletoe can be staples to holiday decorating, but they can also be very harmful to your pets. When ingested, holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in pets. Mistletoe also causes cardiovascular problems or gastrointestinal upset. Poinsettias can cause vomiting, diarrhea, blistering in the mouth and will make it difficult for your cat to breathe. In addition, there are also many varieties of lilies that can cause kidney failure if they are eaten by your pets. To keep these items as part of your holiday decorations, but also keep your pets safe, opt to use artificial versions of these plants.

From our Humane Society family to yours, we wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season and hope all of you will ring in 2018 with a furry friend curled up by your side!



Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded in 1902, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit

Nov 17

Keep Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

thanksgivingAlthough some have overlooked it, we at the Humane Society are excited to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday! Spending a day with our loved ones is something we cherish, but we want to encourage all of you to not overlook your pets on this day of thanks. Please keep your pets in mind especially when it comes to preparing your traditional Thanksgiving feast. Although some food items may be a staple to your family around the dinner table, they can be harmful to your pets. Here are a few things to keep in mind this Thanksgiving.

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Nov 10

START Program Sets Dogs Up for Success


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We all know and love the animals here at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. They all manage to steal the hearts of our volunteers and staff! Sadly though, many dogs at our shelter get overlooked when people walk through our shelter, which it turns means they stay at our shelter longer. It leaves us asking, “Why is such a good dog still here?”

Sometimes it can be a dog’s health, size, age, or even appearance that hinders its chance of getting adopted. Additionally, visitors take a quick average of 70 seconds to evaluate whether a dog will be a good fit for their family (Wells & Hepper, 2001). Between kennel presence and first impressions on the leash, that doesn’t give the energetic, untrained dog a great chance of letting their personality shine. In the end, these dogs often become “long-term residents” of the shelter, anxiously waiting for their home while trying not to succumb to shelter stress.

So how can you help? While volunteers that are part of the Canine Crew are essential for maintaining any level of training the dog may have, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton is grateful to work closely with the Dayton Dog Training Club to provide a higher-level program in turn making these overlooked dogs more adoptable. The Saved Trained Adopt Remain Together (S.T.A.R.T.) volunteers donate extra blocks of time to work specifically with dogs that are in need of behavior improvement. In addition to Wednesday evening courses, START volunteers practice with their assigned shelter dogs 2 to 3 times per week to continue progress of a training regime. 

When a dog is brought to a START class for the first time, they are met with treats of all types. The dog gets to pick which treat they fancy, and the trainer will use that for future motivation. The dog then gets to experience play time with several different toys and choose his favorite style of play to bond with the trainer. The assistant trainers of the club observe and evaluate the dog for any potential issues to be worked with, including marking, guarding, and potential dog fear/ aggression. During the trainer part of the course, the dog/ trainer pairs work on name recognition, focus, and various commands including “sit," “lie down," “wait," “come," and “leave it.” Darlene, the leader of the START Program creates a training plan for the dog and trainer to work through up until the dog’s adoption.

The trainers and dogs are assigned to each other based on abilities, personalities, and training styles. However, all trainers are taught to use positive reinforcement with the dogs. This style of training eliminates the use of dominance practices and creates a stress-free environment for the dog to learn by redirecting “bad” or “unwanted” behaviors into “good” or “positive” behaviors. 

The result of this training may be a reduction of stress in the dog’s life at the shelter, as well as a shorter stay. The dog learns to sit politely when pet, refrains from being “mouthy” with potential new families, and is able to focus on a visiting family—therefore increasing their chance of a connection. All in all, this means a shorter stay for the dog, and lesser chance of a returned adoption. While all adoptions are cheerful, it’s a special event when a START dog gets adopted.

Plus, to ensure the dog stays well-behaved after finding their forever home, the Dayton Dog Training Club generously offers two free training sessions to all people who adopt a dog from the START program. It's a win-win for the dogs and for the community!