Adorable Adoptables Rufus & Papa and July 4th Pet Safety Tips

Not one, but two handsome fellas are available for adoption this weekend! For current pet owners, please remember that 4th of July weekend means fun and fireworks, but this holiday isn't a favorite of our ...

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This sweet Papa is hoping to get a second shake at life.

Photo by: Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter

LI's Adorable Adoptables is a weekly column by Allison Matos, a lifelong Long Island resident who has been advocating animal adoption since 2012. Allison's weekly posts highlight local animals in need of adoption, and cover general animal welfare topics as well.
Papa is an adorable, brindle and white, fluffy pit mix. He was surrendered to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter by his owner due to behavior issues. Papa does have issues with people near his food. Unfortunately, Papa was acquired from his previous owners at just 8 weeks old, so if food issues developed as he got older, it would seem that they didn't nip the behavior in the bud.
So here we are, Papa is now 2 1/2 years old and he is homeless, sitting in an animal shelter, hoping he gets a second chance. Papa is super sweet and friendly with people, but due to his food issues, he is recommended for a home with kids 17 and up. Papa is social with other dogs and is said to know the commands "sit", "stay", "come" and is house trained and crate trained. Please call for more information: 516-785-5220 or come visit us at: 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh NY 11793. 
For readers who missed Rufus' amazing story, here it is once again, and fyi- this sweet pea is thriving and couldn't be more ready to find his forever home.  
Rufus comes to New York from North Carolina, where he was found lost in the woods in awful shape. Rufus was fixed-up and rescued by an amazing New York based organization known as Rescue Dogs Rock. All seemed on the up-and-up for Rufus until he wound up in the care of a not-so-nice trainer ultimately accused of animal cruelty.  
Thankfully, early last year little Rufus found his way into a wonderful foster home where he continues to receive the love and proper training he so desperately deserves. This foster care has turned Rufus into the most lovable, laid back sidekick a human could ask for. 
In an effort to get this little boy into tip-top shape, Rufus required 4 surgeries to repair his ACL. He is recovering beautifully, and while he continues his physical therapy, he will need to ease into long walks and certain extraneous physical activity. 
Rufus is about 3-4 years old and is a tiny guy, weight about 30-40 pounds. If adopted, Rufus needs slow introductions to other dogs and he does seem a little uneasy around cats. As per his current foster, favorite activities include having fun with squeaky toys and "cuddling up at the end of a bed with his cute little butt wiggling when you come home". I mean come on, who needs more than that?
Thanks to the efforts of rescue groups and fosters, this precious miracle is available for adoption and ready now more than ever to find a loving, forever home. For information on adopting Rufus, please contact his current foster, Daisy, at 718-663-1737 or email her

1. NEVER leave a pet in unattended parked car. Remember a car can reach high temperatures in minutes even with windows cracked. Heat exposure can result in organ damage, heart problems and sudden death. Partially opened windows on hot days do not provide sufficient air flow but can put your pet in jeopardy of being stolen. So, leave your pet at home if you are considering locking them in the car.


2. Stay Shaded. Like humans, pets can also suffer from heatstroke, so avoid by keeping your pet in shaded areas on very hot and warms days. Remember that pets sweat from the pads of their feet and cool off by panting so they need extra help cooling down in the warm weather. Protect your pet from potentially deadly heatstroke by keeping your pet shaded from the sun when the mercury rises.


3. Stay hydrated! Dehydration is the #1 concern and danger during those long summer heat waves. Make sure you have a generous amount of fresh water on hand to quench your pet's thirst, especially during and after a good game of 4th of July fetch or Frisbee. Keep a large bowl of water under a shaded tree or pavilion to keep the water cool. Fill the water bowl with half water and half ice.


4. Scaredy Pet. Your pet can become easily frightened by 4th of July fireworks and loud celebrations. Make sure your pet is wearing a properly fitted collar with proper identification & tags just in case your pet becomes scared and runs away from home. Better yet, you might want to have your pet micro-chipped as a precaution to make it easier for your pet to be returned home safely & promptly. Around the 4th of July their appears to be an upsurge in lost pets and strays so keep a watchful eye on your pet whereabouts at all time.


5. Firework-phobic pets. Knowing your pet's temperament is half the battle. Fireworks are no blast for some pets, with many pets becoming easily frightened by unfamiliar loud noises, lightening and thunderstorms. Unfortunately the 4th of July is filled with the deafening sound of loud fireworks bursting with light and loud celebrations. So you can imagine that this can cause some pets to cower, shiver, panic, escape or go in a destructive chewing rampage (put away precious family heirlooms). Leaving your pet indoors (not leashed in the yard) on the 4th of July in a safe, secure, escape proof room of the house with comfy bed, food and water is the safest option. We would advise someone to stay home with the pet, but if your pet is left alone lower the blinds and turn on the tv or radio at normal volume to keep your pet company, this will help to disguise those terrifying loud 4th of July noises. If he is crate trained put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure. For preventive measures make sure all doors (doggy doors), windows, and gates are closed and locked securely.


6. Alcohol Free Zone. If you and your pet are invited to any Independence Day picnic or BBQ celebrations remember that alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets so NEVER leave your beverage unattended. If alcohol is ingested, your pet could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. In very severe instances death from respiratory failure caused by alcohol consumption can result.


7. No picnic table and grill scraps. Always be aware of what friends and family are sneaking and your pet under the table. While tempting on such a festive occasion, human food (bones, onions, avocado, grapes and raisins) should be off limits at all times to your pet. Some human food may be toxic or dangerous if ingested and cause stomach upset. So advise friends and family to NOT feed your pet table scraps. Like us, your vet would advise you to maintain your pet's normal & strict diet to avoid potential health problems or an emergency run to the vet.


8. 4th of July Decorations. Remember that your pet may easily mistake your red, white and blue decorations and glow sticks as chew toys. So, make sure to dog proof your home and keep fun glow sticks out of paws reach.


As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy the holiday, adopt a homeless animal in need, and keep your current fur babies safe. Pass it on!