Happy Tails
Monthly Newsletter from Juneau Animal Rescue
March 2023
Dear Animal Lover,

After fourteen years at Juneau Animal Rescue and six years at the helm, Samantha Blankenship has announced that she will be retiring from her position as Executive Director later this year. When Samantha told me, I went through a myriad of emotions, including panic and sadness. It is hard to imagine a JAR without Samantha at the helm. As Board President, I will miss working with her, but I also know that she will be leaving JAR much better than she found it. Through her compassionate leadership and creativity, JAR has gracefully adapted to the ever-changing challenges of providing for the pets of Juneau. 

In the early days of the pandemic, JAR faced a lot of uncertainty. We didn’t know how long it would last, the effects it would have on the community’s public and economic health, whether animals were large vectors for transmission of the COVID-19 virus, or how many animals we would have to shelter from infected homes. Samantha’s leadership and determination to stick to our mission allowed JAR to gracefully navigate animal care, employee and public safety, and customer service. We were able to continue to care for animals, adopt out animals, keep our employees safe and working, and assist the public through a series of creative operational adaptations. 

When Juneau faced a veterinarian shortage, Samantha expanded JAR’s vaccination clinics to include a full battery of vaccinations to ensure the health of the community’s pet population, brought on a part-time vet to care for the shelter’s animals, and worked with the board to ensure funding for a surgical clinic. 

The veterinarians we did have were forced to prioritize critical care for pets not only because of the pandemic, but because there were so many pets needing care. In addition, pet owners stayed home and limited exposure to others. As a result, a large number of Juneau’s pets didn’t get fixed. This led to a large influx of kittens at the shelter that needed extra care. Not only did Samantha address the current problem by expanding foster care for the kittens, but also worked to solve the problem in the future, working with our veterinarian to offer spay/neuter services to the public, with a priority given to low-income families.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that I have been in awe of Samantha’s ability to match our resources with the needs of the community and make things happen with lightning quickness. Her first priority is the animals and her never-ending love for them. I could often find her working into the evening, the only light on in the building, with her adopted dogs dozing at her feet. 

In keeping with Samantha’s dedication to the pets we serve and JAR’s mission, she will be staying on and helping us transition to new leadership. The Board is working with The Foraker Group and following a thoughtful and thorough process to ensure that the next leader we have at JAR is as up to the challenges we face as Samantha has been. Samantha’s hard work and endurance has bolstered JAR as an organization, lighting the way for the next Executive Director to shine as well. 

Please reach out to me at aurora@akjar.org if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about our leadership transition.

With gratitude,
Aurora Hauke, President
Juneau Animal Rescue Board of Directors
Pet Story of the Month
Moose is Looking for Home
Right now, Juneau Animal Rescue has some wonderful animals looking for homes.

Animals like Moose...
Moose was brought to JAR at the beginning of January by his former owner when unresolved medical issues raised concerns. His owner did not have the financial ability to take him to the vet, so he brought him to JAR to receive the care he needed.

Upon his arrival at JAR, Moose was quickly evaluated by veterinary staff. Standard vaccines and care were provided, and tests were run to determine the cause of Moose's symptoms. Fortunately, it wasn't a complex issue that required heavy medication or surgery: Moose was diagnosed with a moderate case of gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which can be either the stomach or intestines, or both. While there can be many causes of gastroenteritis, common causes include bacteria, viruses, parasites, or even upset caused by medication or new food. In Moose's case, his gastroenteritis manifested as diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms are often accompanied by abdominal pain, resulting in a very unhappy and uncomfortable pet. The constant vomiting and diarrhea often results in lethargy and loss of appetite.
To treat gastroenteritis, the cause of the condition must be determined by your veterinarian. Without early diagnosis and intervention, the condition can progress into acute gastroenteritis, which often requires IV fluids to safely rehydrate the animal, as well as medications and supplemental food or fluids to provide electrolytes and other necessary nutrients that vomiting and diarrhea have expunged.

For Moose, he was switched to a special prescription diet that is gentler on his gastrointestinal system than his previous food. Quickly after being switched to a prescription diet, Moose began to recover. He will need to stay on this diet to finish recovering, and can then possibly be changed over to a non-prescription food, provided that his gastroenteritis does not return.
Because of his sensitive stomach, Moose will need to be kept on a consistent food that agrees with his system, and be given limited amounts of treats to avoid upset. Also, Moose cannot be given table scraps or any other human food, as it is likely that such "treats" are what triggered his gastroenteritis in the first place.

Early on in his recovery, it was clear to shelter staff that Moose is a big bundle of love that just wants attention and to snuggle up with his humans. He would be a great couch potato to binge-watch shows with, and a happy and curious trail buddy. Moose has never had to share his toys with any canine roommates, so he will likely do best in a home where he doesn't have to share his favorite things.

If you are interested in adopting one of our amazing pets, check out our adoption page HERE.

Juneau Animal Rescue can house and care for cats like these for longer time frames through funding from our Greatest Need Fund. You can help us maintain this valuable fund so that we can continue to help animals that need veterinary evaluation and care.

Will you please consider contributing to our Greatest Need Fund? Just click on the button below and be sure to select Greatest Need Fund from the (Optional) "Use this donation for" drop-down menu. Your donation goes directly to help pets like Moose who need urgent veterinary care. Help us help them by donating today.
Samantha Blankenship
Executive Director
Spaying & Neutering: Anesthesia
Why Spay or Neuter?
Spaying and neutering cats and dogs lowers the risk of medical issues and prevents unwanted or unplanned litters.

Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. In addition, female dogs and cats in heat are more likely to escape your home in search of a mate, and female cats in heat are more likely to mark your home and yowl as biological reactions to trying to attract a mate. Spaying your pet before her first heat prevents you from having to care for a pet in heat and provides much better protection against malignant tumors developing later in life, which means a longer, happier life for them and more time for snuggles and play with you!

Intact males can be escape artists to try and find a mate, especially if they detect a female in heat nearby. Unneutered males are far more likely to escape than their neutered counterparts; once loose, they are at risk of getting hurt in traffic, by wildlife, or in altercations with other escaped pets and stray animals. Neutered males also tend to be better behaved, due to the decreased amount of testosterone in their system. In addition to behavioral benefits, neutering prevents your companion from developing testicular cancer and can prevent other prostate problems as well.
Is Anesthesia Dangerous?
Some pet owners may be nervous at the idea of spaying or neutering their pets because it requires anesthesia. Similar to human anesthesia, veterinary anesthesia creates a controlled unconsciousness used to prevent movement and pain for your pet when undergoing surgery, dental procedures, and imaging.

While there are some risks with any use of anesthesia, veterinary anesthesia is becoming increasingly safer and more effective. However, some pets may be at higher risk of complications than others.

Healthy pets are more likely to undergo anesthesia without complications, so keeping your pet at a healthy weight and having regular veterinary check-ups to ensure your pet doesn't have unknown and untreated health conditions will keep them safe if anesthesia is necessary for spaying/neutering or other veterinary needs.

Despite common belief, advanced age is not a major factor when it comes to the ability to safely undergo anesthesia. Age is not a disease, although many diseases and conditions may not appear until later in life. Just because your pet may be a senior, doesn't mean they can't be healthy, happy, and perfectly fit to undergo anesthesia. With proper care and planning, anesthesia is a safe, routine practice for your pet.

Find more information on anesthesia from the American Veterinary Medical Association HERE.
Shelter Activity - February 2023
Incoming animals
Dogs: Stray= 11, Relinquished= 10 (21 Total)
Cats: Stray= 14, Relinquished= 4 (18 Total)
Other: Stray= 0, Relinquished= 3 (3 Total)

Outgoing animals
Dogs: RTO= 6, Adopted= 13 (19 Total)
Cats: RTO= 3, Adopted= 9 (12 Total)
Other: RTO= 0, Adopted= 6 (6 Total)
RTO=Return to Owner
Juneau Animal Rescue| 907.789.0260