A kitten named Speedo is getting the physical therapy he needs.
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is treating a two-month-old domestic shorthair known as a “swimmer” cat who walks by making swimming-like motions with his front paws.
Born with rear legs that splay outward, Speedo was dropped off at the AWLA at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. by an owner who wasn’t in the position to deal with his medical issues, Chief Operating Officer Susan Sherman said.
The shelter found a foster home for the kitten, who gets physical therapy treatments every day. Rather than opting for surgery on his legs, Speedo gets massages and may even receive acupuncture treatments.
“The massage is meant to train the muscles and ligaments,” Sherman said. “The acupuncture would stimulate nerves.
“We do not believe he’s in any pain,” she added.
AWLA veterinarians made a special “alley” for Speedo to walk through with his hind legs bound, encouraging him to walk correctly.
To help pets like Speedo, AWLA is asking for donations to their Woody and Mickey Healthy Pet Fund, which helps special needs pets by paying for”above and beyond” services like orthopedic surgery, blood tests and dental surgery.
Despite his ongoing treatments, Speedo is a sweetheart, Sherman said.
“He is adorable. He’s very sweet and amazingly friendly.”
AWLA expects the kitten will need a permanent home later this year.
“We’re going to see how much he’s able to progress, and as soon as we think he’s going to be able to live a healthy, happy life, he’ll be up for adoption,” she said.
AWLA made this video of Speedo walking through his “alley”:
The inaugural event will be held at Lubber Run Amphitheater this Sunday, June 29, starting at 6:00 p.m.
Attendees can bring their dogs and a picnic meal, or buy boxed dinners from La Cote d’Or onsite. The AWLA will also hold a raffle for a birdhouse replica of the Lincoln-era White House. The philharmonic will play “marches and animal-related classics” from pieces by Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa and Johann Sebastian Bach, according to an AWLA press release.
“Both of our organizations are really quite enthused about this, so we’ll see what the public response is,” John Ratigan, board chair of the philharmonic, said. The philharmonic and the AWLA hope “Pops for Pets” will become an annual event.
A combination of the open amphitheater and “accessible” music selection, Ratigan said, makes this event more of a crowd-pleaser than a typical orchestral performance.
Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette’s 13-year-old Border Collie-mix, Cassie, will serve as honorary co-chair of the event.
“She is like a little Buddah,” Fisette said of his dog, which he found on the street while visiting family in Texas.
Concert-goers’ donations will go toward funding the event and “the missions of both organizations,” AWLA Board Chair Pat Ragan said. “It’ll be a great community event.”
Following its 7oth Anniversary Summer Soiree, “Pops for Pets” will continue to celebrate both AWLA’s anniversary and their on-going efforts to find homes and provide care for over 3,000 animals.
AWLA was founded during World War II, and the foresight of the founders is not lost on AWLA President and CEO Neil Trent.
“Back in the ’40s they thought of this in a coffee shop with a war going on,” Trent said. “They said hey, let’s help animals… and they weren’t sitting at the corner Starbucks either.”
Retractable leashes will not be allowed at the event. In the event of inclement weather, “Pops for Pets” will be rescheduled for Tuesday, July 1 at 6:00 p.m.
Board Members Spar Over Streetcar PR Funds — Of the $7-8 million contract with Parsons Transportation Group to serve as project manager of Arlington’s streetcar system, up to $650,000 will be spent on “public-education efforts during the first year of the contract.” That isn’t sitting well with Board member and streetcar critic Libby Garvey. “We should not be wasting $650,000 on PR,” she is quoted as saying. [InsideNova]
DJ Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Women — DJ Joey Flash, who counts A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston among his former clients, has pleaded guilty to charges of rape and sexual battery. The nightlife fixture, whose real name is Joseph Rivera, admitted to bringing highly intoxicated women back from bars, having sex with them while they were unconscious, and filming the encounters. [Washington Post]
Capital Bikeshare Runs Out of Membership Keys — Anyone wanting to sign up for Capital Bikeshare will have to wait until the second week of July. CaBi says it has run out of membership keys “due to issues with our supplier, and heavier than anticipated member sign ups.” [DCist]
Animal Hospital Coming to Shirlington — Two veterinarians will be opening a new facility, Shirlington Animal Hospital, this fall at 2770 S. Arlington Mill Drive. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Sinclair Hoping to Close on WJLA Sale Soon — Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is buying Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7), is hoping to close on the sale by July 27. The company is selling TV stations in Harrisburg, Pa. and Charleson, S.C. to facilitate FCC approval of the acquisition of WJLA and six other Allbritton Communications stations. [Arkansas Business]
Flickr pool photo by David Bender
The “Be Mine” promotion runs from Friday, Feb. 14 to Monday, Feb. 17. Prospective pet owners can pay a discounted fee of $14 to bring home a cat, rabbit or other small animal. The fee covers a certificate for a free exam with a participating veterinarian, spay or neuter surgery, a feline leukemia and feline AIDS test (for cats), age-appropriate vaccinations, a personalized I.D. tag, a microchip, an information packet and an emergency sticker.
“There is nothing like the companionship and unconditional love you receive from a four-legged friend,” AWLA President and CEO Neil Trent said in a press release. “We invite the community to come to the League, meet their match and provide a shelter animal with a loving home.”
AWLA is located at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive. It is open on Friday from noon to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Photo via Facebook
There are a number of events happening around Arlington for the holiday this weekend. Among them:
Doorways’ Howl-o-ween Dog Walk for the Homeless
Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Doorways, a domestic violence shelter for women and their children, is hosting a dog-walking fundraiser at Big Walnut Park (1915 N. Harrison Street). While many similar shelters don’t allow pets, Doorways provides a place for both victims of domestic abuse and their pets. Visitors are encouraged to dress themselves and their pets in Halloween costumes, and dogs can compete for prizes. Registration is $30 for adults and $20 for children under 16, with proceeds going to Doorways.
FALLoween at Market Common Clarendon
Saturday, Oct. 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Market Common Clarendon, at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, is hosting its own pet-friendly parade Saturday morning. There will be trick-or-treating, a mini pumpkin and a petting zoo. A pet and human costume parade will start at 11:00 a.m. and a “Princess vs. Superhero fitness contest” will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All events are free.
Douglas Park Halloween Trail of Terror
Saturday, Oct. 26, starting at 7:00 p.m.
Douglas Park will host its second annual haunted trail this Saturday evening Starting at 1620 S. Quincy Street, visitors will walk through Douglas Park and walk through trails where they’ll encounter goblins, swamp monsters and other ghouls and ghosts. There will also be a children’s area with milder fun. To experience the trail, visitors should bring canned food for donation to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
Elliot in the Morning’s Halloween Bash
Friday, Oct. 25, starting at 8:00 p.m.
Friday night at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd), DC101’s Elliot in the Morning show will host a costume party with a $3,000 cash prize going to the winner. Doors will open at 8:00 p.m. and the cover charge is $15 before 10:00 p.m. No costumes with stilts or weapons will be permitted. Sixty party-goers will be selected by judges in the crowd to be finalists by 10:30 p.m., and crowd applause will determine the winner among those 60.
Not So Silent Cinema Presents Nosferatu
Saturday, Oct. 26, starting at 8:00 p.m.
At Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd) Saturday night, a klezmer quintet will play accompaniment to the 1922 silent movie classic “Nosferatu,” cinema’s first vampire flick. The movie will be shown at the Dome Theater. Tickets are $15.
HiBall Monster Bar Crawl
Friday, Oct. 25, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.
HiBall events is hosting a bar crawl Friday evening from Courthouse to Ballston, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Participating bars include Spider Kelly’s, World of Beer, Wilson Tavern, Whitlow’s on Wilson and The Front Page. Tickets are $15 and participating revelers can participate in a costume contest via Facebook, with the winner getting $200 and gift cards from participating restaurants.
Photo courtesy of Doorways
Saturday, from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m., St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church will hold blessings for pets on the grassy area at the Clarendon intersection of Fairfax Drive, Washington Blvd and Clarendon Blvd, next to Northside Social. The service is being held in honor of medieval animal lover St. Francis of Assisi, and “Catholic and non-Catholic pets and people are welcome,” according to the event announcement.
On Sunday, the Rock Spring Congregational UCC will hold its own Blessing of the Animals, at 3:00 p.m. The service will be held on the church’s lawn at 5010 N. Little Falls Road. Visitors are encouraged to “come with the pets who share their life with us.”
Image via St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
The new “Unleashed by Petco” store in Ballston is expected to open next week.
A sign on the door of the store, on the 3900 block of Wilson Blvd, says it will open on Wednesday, Sept. 4. The former tenant, a burger restaurant called Wiinky’s, closed on March 31.
Unleashed by Petco is a “boutique” version of the pet retailer’s large-format stores. There is a limited amount of free, off-street surface parking in front of the store.
The Fourth of July — traditionally filled with fireworks exploding and open flames for barbecues — can be dangerous for pets, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington warns. All sorts of hazards can cause dogs and other critters harm or cause them to run away.
“Dogs have acute hearing — far more sensitive than human hearing — so firework explosions, excited voices, visual stimulation and smells can panic dogs causing them to be fearful, which can activate their fight or flight response,” Alice Burton, Chief Animal Control Officer for the AWLA, said in a press release. “For their own safety this holiday, indoor-outdoor cats should be kept indoors and when outside, dogs should be kept on a leash.”
The AWLA offers some tips to make sure the household pets have a safe holiday.
- Leave them at home inside. Fireworks, crowds and fanfare can be stressful for pets, causing them to panic or run off. Leave them in a safe area with a television or radio playing to mask frightening sounds.
- Alcoholic drinks poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure.
- Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent that is not specifically indicated for animals. Ingestion can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Deet, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
- Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets. Chlorates, a chemical substance found in some matches, if ingested, can cause difficulty breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. Lighter fluid can cause skin irritation, respiratory and gastric problems.
- Citronella and insect coils harm pets. Insect repellants are irritating toxins to pets. Inhalation can cause severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia, which can harm a pet’s nervous system.
- Resist feeding table food. A change in diet can give a pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
- Keep pets away from glow jewelry. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling, gastrointestinal irritation and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing the pieces of plastic.
- Never use fireworks around pets. While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
Flickr pool photo by ameschen
This Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, the chapel is holding its annual Honoring Animals Weekend. From pet portraits to a behavior class to a blessing of the animals service, a variety of activities will be offered. Perhaps one of the largest draws, however, will be pet psychic Diane Roadcap.
Roadcap has been featured in a variety of publications, such as the Washington Post, because she says she can communicate with animals. She has also been lauded for her assistance to shelter animals.
Roadcap will be holding a class called “Animal Communication: Yes, you can do it!” on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Her psychic pet reading sessions have already sold out for the weekend.
Other instructors will also hold classes and consultation sessions, such as reiki healing and dog massages, at Arlington Metaphysical Chapel (5618 Wilson Blvd) for Honoring Animals Weekend. The full class list and registration can be found online.
Recently, a dog owner in Virginia left a store only to discover police and rescue personnel surrounding her car. The two dogs she had left in the car, parked in the shade with the windows cracked for about an hour, had died. In spite of her insistence that she had just “made a mistake — a huge mistake,” the dog owner was charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty.
She didn’t know her actions would cause her dogs harm, and unfortunately for many dogs, she’s not alone. According to Alice Burton, Chief of Animal Control Animal Welfare League of Arlington, it happens more often than you might think.
“We have 62 cases in our system where our Animal Control Officers responded to a call of a dog trapped in a hot car,” Burton said. “However, the number of times it is reported is higher (probably 80) because if the dog is not in distress (panting, barking) we do not respond, but will monitor the situation. Owners that leave their pet in the vehicle could be charged with Cruelty to Animals which is a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
On a warm, sunny or even an overcast day, the average normal-muzzle dog left to wait in a parked vehicle will be in respiratory distress in 10 minutes and dead in 20. A dog with a shorter muzzle (such as a Pug or Boston Terrier) will expire in even less time.
We all want to consider our dogs part of the family. We want to take them everywhere. But dogs differ from humans in ways that, if we aren’t careful, can result in tragic accidents.
Humans and some animals (horses, for example) sweat to cool themselves. Our type of sweating allows us to expend energy over long periods while maintaining safe body function. We have endurance. We can also acclimate to warming temperatures.
Although dogs have sweat glands, too, they’re not designed for cooling. Dogs cool themselves by panting, which cools the mouth and tongue as well as the blood flowing through the head, an obviously inefficient process. They also get some extra support by finding good places to rest. They find cool surfaces to press against the thinly furred areas of their bodies.
Watch your dog when it’s hot. Outdoors, he’ll select a shady spot, maybe dig up some cool earth beneath the surface, and lie in that spot. Indoors, he’ll flop onto a cool tile floor.
A parked car collects sunlight like a solar cell. The temperature in the car rises rapidly, turning the interior into an oven. Dogs can’t say “let me out,” and we often misinterpret their body language and limitations. There is no cool earth or tile floor in a car, and the dog can’t open the door to go look for a cooler spot. As animal guardians, we need to educate ourselves on how to prevent these dangerous situations. Laws like Virginia’s are designed to help speed the education process along.
What might surprise you is that it doesn’t have to be a hot summer day to be deadly to take your dog along while you run errands. When it’s just 70 degrees outdoors, the interior of your car becomes dangerous. To help remember this, think of the “Canine Car Cutoff” — 40/70.
- When it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below outside, your dog DOES NOT ride along with you.
- When it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit or above outside, your dog DOES NOT ride along with you.
- When it’s between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s OKAY to take your dog on a ride-along where he might be unattended in your parked vehicle with access to water for short periods.
This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Kochi, an 8-year-old rescue kitty who lives in Aurora Hills.
Kochi is a survivor. She overcame a near-death experience last Christmas, says her owner, Martha.
Last Christmas, Kochi nearly died because her vet recommended an an over the counter drug to relieve a skin condition. It was not specified that the medicine should not contain aspirin or ibuprofen, which as it turns out, is toxic to both cats and dogs.
After an IV and blood transfusion from another good-hearted donor kitty, Kochi is fully recovered. She knows most pet owners are familiar with toxics like Poinsettia, chocolate and antifreeze, but wants to warn other pets that if anyone tries to give you aspirin or ibuprofen, spit it out quickly and go get a big drink of water!
The Arlington Pet of the Week is sponsored by Dogma Bakery, which has locations at The Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) and the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2445 N. Harrison Street).
Want your pet to be considered to be the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] Each week’s winner receives either a $25 Dogma gift card or a prize from another pet-related business.
Water Main Work Complete — Arlington County crews completed repairs on a 30″ water main near Arlington Boulevard and N. Irving Street Friday. As of Saturday, parts of the county that experienced low water pressure as a result of the repairs were back to normal service, according to the Department of Environmental Services.
New Asst. Superintendent Appointed — The Arlington School Board has appointed a new Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. Connie Skelton, a 22-year APS employee who started her career as a middle school science teacher, has been appointed to the position effective immediately. She replaces Dr. Mark Johnston, who was one of numerous senior APS staffers to depart since 2010. [Arlington Public Schools]
Vote on New Williamsburg School Expected Feb. 7 — School Board members are expected to vote on the concept for a new elementary school on the Williamsburg Middle School campus on Feb. 7. The $43 million school project has attracted scrutiny from Fairfax County due to possible traffic impacts. [Sun Gazette]
Fmr. CIA Officer Sentenced — John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who lives in Arlington, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison. Kiriakou pleaded guilty in October to intentionally disclosing the identity of a covert CIA agent to a journalist. [U.S. Dept. of Justice]
‘Unleashed’ Open at Pentagon Row — Unleashed by Petco, a new pet store, has opened at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street). The store offers “everyday pet essentials along with top-shelf natural, raw, organic, dehydrated and freeze-dried nutrition.” [Petco]
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is touting the benefits of adopting a rescue animal as a pet.
The Shirlington-based organization, in a press release (below), said shelter pets can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions.
Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) encourages you to make pets a part of your New Year’s resolution plan. Resolving to adopt a shelter pet will not only improve the quality of life for that animal, but will also enhance your own. A new pet can help you achieve many of the following most popular resolutions made each year.
- Lose Weight, Get Healthy: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. Nearly 13.6 percent of Arlingtonians are obese, compared to the 24 percent national average. Adopting a dog as a workout partner can provide that needed motivation for daily exercise. Taking your dog for a daily 30-minute walk (or two 15-minute walks, one in the morning and one in the evening) will keep you moving and ensure that you meet the minimum recommendations for healthy physical activity. There are many dogs at the League waiting for a new human companion who wants to walk, jog, or run every day.
- Reduce Stress: There is no better stress reducer than the companionship of a devoted pet. Stroking a cat, dog, or small companion animal is a calming activity, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure. Research has indicated that when people spend time with a pet their levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered while their level of serotonin, a hormone associated with improved mood and well-being, is increased.
- Spend More Time with Friends and Family: Pets are an excellent way to bring families together, and dog walking is a great way to meet new people. Humans are social animals and need to interact with others. Pet owners have a tendency to want to share time and experiences with other pet owners. Walking your dog or visiting a dog park lets you socialize with other owners while your dog socializes with their dogs.
- Help Others: People can experience a big boost in their own mood from doing something good for others. By adopting an animal you will not only be helping, you will be rescuing a life. Most pet owners report that they actually benefit more from the relationship than their pet. Resolving to adopt from or volunteer with AWLA will not only provide you with an intrinsic reward, but also the satisfaction of enriching the lives of animals.
- Enjoy Life More: Having a pet can really make a difference in your daily quality of life. While the bond between pets and their people can be described in many ways, the bond at its root is an unconditional and uncomplicated love. Pets are not only a devoted source of comfort and loyalty, but can also provide a sense of safety and security. Caring for a pet can lead to a richer, fuller, and more meaningful life.
This year make a New Year’s resolution to enrich your life by rescuing a shelter animal. To learn more about AWLA’s diverse selection of companion animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and hamsters, download Arlington Pets App; visit the League at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Drive or www.awla.org .
Each week, we’ll pick a new “Arlington Pet of the Week.” From dogs, cats, birds, fish and everything in between, the feature will include photos and an explanation of what makes that week’s pet so special. The owner of each Pet of the Week will receive a gift card to a local pet store, in addition to the recognition of just how awesome his or her pet is.
If you think your little guy should be a contender for Arlington Pet of the Week, email one or more photos of and a 2-3 paragraph write-up about your pet to [email protected]. Please also include your name and the neighborhood you live in. All material sent to ARLnow.com may be used for publication.
The stickers were mailed out on Nov. 26 as part of an ongoing Arlington health department initiative to remind restaurants that it’s against county code for animals to be in “areas where food is prepared, cooked or served,” according to Arlington County Department of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick.
Restaurants are not required to post the stickers, but a number of eateries, like Sawatdee Thai (2250 Clarendon Blvd), pictured, have already displayed them prominently for customers entering the establishment.
Larrick says the “no pets” rule applies to sidewalk cafes, too.
“The code applies to indoor and outdoor settings,” he said. “With the growth in outdoor dining in the County over the last year or so it seemed like a timely reminder. We started work on the signs this summer but it just took a while to get them done.”
The stickers note, however, that service animals, like seeing eye dogs, are exempt from the regulations. As for why your favorite fluffy friend is a no-no at restaurants, Larrick says it comes down to health concerns.
“The presence of animals would create a risk of people getting sick due to fecal contamination,” he said.