Most Frequently Asked Questions

Within the first two weeks of having your new best friend home you may observe symptoms that concern you. Call us. We’ll ask a few questions about those symptoms. If an exam or treatment is needed, we will schedule a time 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday.

My dog has a reverse sneeze. What is that?

It’s an upper respiratory infection. We’ll treat it if it occurs within two weeks of adoption. You can also call your vet.

I adopted my animal from you and it needs its booster shots.

When we rescue a homeless animal, we give it all the needed age-appropriate vaccinations. Once you’ve adopted your pet, its care, including booster vaccinations are your responsibility. The only exception is if the boosters are due within 14 days of the adoption.

Do dogs need yearly vaccinations their entire lives? What are the most important shots that cannot be missed?

In general, yes. The rabies vaccine is required by law, but can be administered every three years if given on time, and if a vaccine labeled for three years is used. Any dog with exposure to wildlife (raccoons, opossums, etc.) or rats, mice, roaches should be vaccinated for leptospirosis because that is contagious to people. The vaccine for leptospirosis is only labeled for one year.

My puppy has diarrhea or is vomiting.

Both issues are very serious and symptomatic of Parvo. We treat all illness within the first 14 days after the adoption. Please call us ASAP. If we’re not open, please see your emergency veterinarian ASAP. Please understand that Operation Kindness does not reimburse for visits to other vets but we will continue its treatment.

I’m seeing worms like rice moving in my dog’s poop.

Your dog may have tapeworms. If this happens within 14 days of the adoption, please call us and we’ll provide an oral medication. Your dog doesn’t have to come in.

Why do I have to give my dog heartworm pills? He never sees other dogs.

Heartworm is spread by mosquitos. The heartworm life cycle is essentially an infected dog that is bitten by a mosquito that takes an immature, larval heartworm and then bites your dog. After a variable amount of time, about six months, the larval heartworm then develops into an adult in the heart and lungs. The fortunate thing is that heartworm can easily be prevented. A simple blood test is used to make sure your dog doesn’t have it already, since putting a dog that has it on preventative can lead to complications.

Once it’s determined that your dog doesn’t have heartworm, a very safe medication, given at monthly intervals is prescribed to kill those larval heartworms before they mature into adults in the heart and lungs. Heartworm preventative should be given minimally during the warm weather months, April through November. Advances in the medication now also treat and prevent the infestation of other parasites such as intestinal worms and external parasites. So many people use the preventative all year round. So, the fact that your dog doesn’t see other dogs doesn’t matter. He doesn’t need to, not with those pesky little mosquitoes around.

My cat won’t use her litter box

These common litter box problems could be repelling your cat:

  • An unclean litter box
  • Too few litter boxes for the cats in the household
  • A cramped litter box
  • A litter box with a hood or liner
  • A litter box with sides that are high
  • Too much litter in the box
  • An uncomfortable location that doesn’t allow for privacy and multiple escape routes
  • A change in the kind of litter you use
  • Negative associations. Your cat may have been upset while using the box. She may also connect the box with painful elimination, even if her health is back to normal
  • Stressors like moving, adding new animals or family members to the household
  • A conflict with another cat in the household
  • A new preference for eliminating on certain surfaces or textures like carpet, potting soil, or bedding
You can make a few changes to see if you can steer your cat back to the litter box:
  • Scoop and change your cat’s litter at least once a day.
  • Thoroughly rinse out the box with baking soda or unscented soap once a week.
  • Use less litter. Cats like a shallow bed of litter -- no more than two inches deep.
  • Use a larger litter box.
  • Use clumping, unscented litter of a medium to fine texture or the litter she used as a kitten. You could try putting a few clean boxes side by side, each with a different type of litter, to see which one your cat prefers.
  • Don’t use box liners or lids.
  • Try a self-cleaning box, which is generally cleaner than a traditional litter box.
  • Move the litter box to a quiet, low-light location where your cat is able to see anyone approaching and can escape quickly. The litter box should be out of sight of her food and water dishes.
  • Add a few litter boxes in different locations, all of which have multiple escape routes. Make sure that children or other animals don’t have access to the boxes.
  • If your cat is old or arthritic, use a litter box with low sides so she can climb in easily.
  • Provide a litter box for each of your cats, plus one extra. If you live in a multi-storey residence, place a box on each level.
Medical conditions and litter box problems

These common medical conditions problems could be repelling your cat:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI). If your cat frequently enters her litter box but produces small amounts of urine, she may have a UTI.
  • Feline interstitial cystitis. Feline interstitial cystitis is a complex disease that causes inflammation of the bladder. It can cause a cat to eliminate outside the litter box because of the urgency to urinate.
  • Bladder stones or blockage. If your cat has bladder stones or a blockage, she may frequently enter her litter box. She may also experience pain and mew or cry when she tries to eliminate. Her abdomen may be tender to the touch.
Didn’t adopt my pet from you. Will you still provide care?

Operation Kindness provides medical care only for the animals that are legally transferred and surrendered to us. We will continue care for the 14 days following adoption. We are not a low-cost clinic. We are not a general veterinarian practice for strays or animals that have not been adopted from us.