Economic woes affect pets, too

By Heloise Cruse

King Features Syndicate

DEAR HELOISE: Thank you so much for your recent mention of how the sour economy is affecting innocent pets who are being given up or not adopted. Your own love for animals is well-known, and your reach to loyal readers is unsurpassed.

It is devastating to learn of cats, dogs, bunnies, birds and others being left behind in empty apartments or houses when people move out, or surrendered to already-crowded shelters or simply dumped.

If people cannot adopt an animal, they might consider donating pet food or supplies like cat litter to a local shelter for distribution. Some shelters are offering pet owners help, like a food bank for pets.


I keep hoping veterinarians will give people a break, even a small discount, on basic services. My vet recently lamented that people are just skipping routine health services for their pets, citing economic hard times. Pet owners who get such a break now will certainly remember it when times get better, and that is good for business.

Our animals give so much unconditionally, why should they be made to suffer because of humankind’s mistakes or hardships? — Kathy Blumenstock, Germantown, Md.

DEAR READERS: It is important that your bird’s cage remain clean. Cover the bottom of the cage with newspaper or brown paper bags. Cut several layers so you can remove the top one, and the cage will be good until the next changing.

Specialists recommend thoroughly cleaning your bird cage at least once a week. Wash out food and water dishes and perches. Use a spray bottle with a mixture of 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water and spray the areas, wait a few minutes and wipe with a paper towel. — Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: While away from my family on a trip one Easter season, my children decided that Mom needed a duck chick for a present. But our youngest son determined that one chick would be lonely, so he persuaded his older sister to buy two. They named them, most appropriately, Cheese and Quackers. — Jerry Needham, Crescent, Iowa

DEAR HELOISE: My dog had surgery, with stitches, and had to wear an Elizabethan collar. A few days after surgery, he was back to his old self, and I would take the collar off and let him run around the yard. Then when we were settling down for the night watching TV, I would take the collar off and give him a neck massage. He wasn’t quite as miserable. — Michelle in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to

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