Pet Column: Local changes when rehoming cats (& safety tips for hiking with dogs) |

Pet Column: Local changes when rehoming cats (& safety tips for hiking with dogs)

Caitlin Row
Cat's House
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto


Keep your pet hydrated by taking water for both you and your pet (along with a way to hydrate your animal).

Know local leash laws; many areas throughout the county require dogs to be leashed on hikes.

Keep your dog(s) from jumping on other people or other dogs without invitation.

Clean up your dog’s poop and dispose of it properly.

Don’t let dogs outnumber people when heading outside; it should be one dog to one person, or it can get out of hand.

Keep your dog up to date on its rabies shot, or risk quarantine of up to six months if your pet is exposed.

Watch your dog for heat exhaustion by looking for deep breathing, anxious behavior, confusion, thickened saliva, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, high temperature, and other related symptoms.

If a pet is overheated, move it to a cool place (ideally with a fan). Spray cool water on the animal’s arm pits and groin areas; then quickly take the animal to a vet.

SOURCE: All information provided by Penny McCarty, Mesa County Animal Services

Editor’s note: “Out with your dog,” a regular Free Press column, discusses the many facets of loving and caring for family pets. Have a topic you’d like discussed? Want to weigh in? Email

In case you haven’t heard, we thought we’d spread the word. Mesa County Animal Services will no longer be acting as “a middle man” when folks rehome local cats. People seeking to relinquish felines will be referred to CLAWS Rescue and Adoption Center and Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

What does this mean really? If you’re moving away or just can’t keep a cat, Mesa County Animal Services will direct you to a partner group rather than taking the cat as it has in the past. There will also likely be a fee to rehome pets through local nonprofits, which is meant to encourage responsible pet ownership.

According to Mesa County Animal Services director Penny McCarty, cats will be accepted at their shelter (near the landfill in Whitewater) in specific cases of quarantine (cat bites/rabies exposure); when “humanitarian reasons” are at play (like sickness, injury, discovery of orphaned kittens, etc.); humane euthanasia by request; animal cruelty; spay & neuter program services; pet licensing; plus rehabilitation and rehoming (again for humanitarian reasons, like abuse).

“Our hope is that the public will embrace and support the nonprofit agencies that focus on rehoming pet cats,” she said. “We also hope that this will encourage cat owners to become more involved in the process of rehoming their pets.”

Want more information about feline services? Interested in donating time and money to two local animal-care nonprofits in need?

Visit Roice-Hurst’s website —, and CLAWS — They have your cat needs covered!

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