Spring is Sprung!

The Pet Corner

It’s the time of year when gardening gets underway and into full swing. While planting, weeding, fertilizing and fighting off the pests that threaten our efforts, we also need to keep in mind that many of the products we use in the garden can be dangerous to pets. At the top of the list is cocoa mulch. Made from the shells of the cocoa bean and popular in many landscapes, this mulch has a sweet smell and can be attractive to pets. It’s also very dangerous if ingested. Better to use hardwood or pine. Some herbicides and insecticides can cause cancer risks. Choose a non phenoxy containing herbicide for your plants. Slug, snail, and mole bait present risks as do many of the common flowers we love. Geraniums, hostas, lilies (especially for cats), tulips and daffodils can be toxic. This doesn’t mean you can’t have these plants in your garden, but be aware they can cause serious problems. If you have the sort of pet who likes to snack on flowers, it’s best to keep them away from your garden areas. They should also be kept away from compost piles and lawns that have been recently treated. Do plant catnip, cat thyme, and cat grass for your kitties to enjoy. If you have questions about what is safe to use and plant in your garden, check out the websites: www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants, www.PetPoisonHelpline.com or call 1-800-213-6680.

It’s also the beginning of golf season here in southwest Michigan and Animal Aid will sponsor a golf scramble on Sunday, June 14, at Blossom Trails Golf Club, 1565 E. Britain Ave., Benton Harbor. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. with arrival at 9:45. The $40.00 entry fee ($50 after June 1) includes golf, cart, lunch, and trophies for First and Last Place teams, Men’s and Women’s Longest Drive, Longest Putt and Ugly Outfit. Raffle tickets will be sold for great prizes. To register contact Dave (daverjohnson17@gmail.com 269-325-1907) or Josh (joshhatheway@gmail.com 269-277-3527). Proceeds from the event will help the many animals that are cared for by Animal Aid.

Animal Aid, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been serving the southwestern Michigan community since 1979, providing foster homes for abused, neglected, and homeless cats and dogs, and re-homing them. They have offered emergency rescue and is a leader in promoting spaying and neutering to prevent pet overpopulation. They are supported by donations, fund-raising and occasional grants. For more information and to see animals that are up for adoption from Animal Aid, please visit their website at: www.animalaidswmi.org.

Spring also brings out the baby animals in our wonderful forest and field areas. While enjoying a hike in the woods or just relaxing in your own backyard, please remember that wild baby animals are best left in the wild. Just because a wild baby is left alone does not mean the mother has deserted it or has died. Unless you know for certain that the mother is not coming back, it’s most helpful to just observe and wait. Baby birds can be placed back in their nest, if it can be safely reached, and the parent birds will still care for it. We have done this before and in a few weeks were able to watch the baby fly away with its other siblings. It’s always a joyous thing to see!

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4 Comments on “Spring is Sprung!”

  1. margohoornstra Says:

    All good advice. Each year we have a robin build a nest on our garage light. We turn off the power and enjoy watching what unfolds. I should say hatches. The last baby flew the nest yesterday! Hooray!


    • It’s always so fun to watch them grow. A pair of robins nested at the top of a downspout for several years. It was one of their babies that was always hanging out and I knew he was going to fall. When he did, we helped him back into the nest and he was fine. I think he was the adventurer. There’s one in every family!

  2. melissakeir Says:

    Very helpful post! I didn’t realize so many plants were dangerous to our pets. I’m glad that mine don’t go outside alone. They are small and we have wildlife that would love to make a meal out of them.


    • I know, I didn’t either till I did some research! So far Foofoo doesn’t eat flowers, but I am careful about what I bring inside because the cats like to sample whatever there is.


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