STARelief now offers Free Humane Rx cards

At STARelief, we are always trying to find out ways of helping families in need of assistance. To continue with our mission, we have tied up with Humane Rx.

Did you know that medication non-adherence kills 125,000 people a year, and adds an extra $290 billion dollars on to our nation’s health care bill? A recent Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey found that in 2012, 50 million adults, ages 19-64, failed to fill a prescription because of financial difficulty, up from 48,000,000 in 2010. Consumer Reports found that almost half (47%) of patients are unwilling to discuss financial difficulties with their doctor; and 68% are uncomfortable discussing them with their pharmacist. In a survey of 2,400 CVS pharmacists, 62% believe that high prescription drug costs are the primary reason why an estimated one third of their customers fail to fill their prescriptions.

bigstock-Animal-doctor-closeup-with-pet-45732859-2The Humane Rx card improves prescription affordability for everyone. All you need to do is print a free Humane Rx Prescription Card and present it to the pharmacist to get up to 75% off. The card offers discounts on Human and Animal medication at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart and other stores. Consumers can also present the following Humane Rx discount code to their pharmacist to gain immediate access to lower, pre-negotiated discount prices on most prescription drugs: BIN: 600428, PCN: 05100000, GRP: 06400001, UID: STARPR, Pharmacy Help Line: 1-866-921-7286. There is no paperwork, no exclusions, no hassles, just discounted medicines! Prescription discount cards have been around for 15+ years, saving consumers billions of dollars. Most people don’t know about these cards and end up paying more for their prescriptions. The program is funded by a small fee paid by the pharmacy each time a card produces a discount for consumers. Consumers can only save using the cards. We have partnered with Humane Rx to make giving to the less fortunate, easier!

bigstock-Cute-dog-giving-a-kiss-to-the--43915867For every time that the Humane Rx card produces a discount for the card holder, we get $2 from Causes Rx. So as you save on your medication, you are helping save the life of a dear pet! We already have cards that you can collect, or you can just print out a card for yourself from this link – www.humanerx.com/star. For more information on how this works, visit www.humanerx.com/

 

 

 

 

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Post by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

The Downside of Declawing CATS

Like many cat owners, you may be fed up with finding scratch marks on everything from your floors and furniture to your curtains and comforters, cushions and clothes. And skin. But before you consider resolving the problem by choosing declawing as your only solution, be advised that declawing your cat is NOT a matter of solely removing its claws. Nor is it as simple a procedure as a manicure, or in this case, a pedicure.

In fact, it is a serious SURGICAL procedure that requires a general anesthetic. Commonly referred to as onychectomy, implying that only the claw is removed, the more appropriate term should be phalangectomy, which refers to the excision of the toe bone itself. Why? Because a cat’s claw, unlike a toenail, adheres so closely to the bone that to remove the claws on a single foot is to remove the last bone of all five toes. In other words: amputation. Not only is the operation itself extremely painful, but so is the protracted period of recovery. If “recovery” is even the proper word.

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A cat’s body is uniquely designed, allowing it to move with agility and grace, and its claws are an integral part of that design. Amputating so vital a part of their anatomy drastically alters the conformation of their feet, and since cats walk on their toes, this surgery actually changes the way their bodies work. Because of this, their back and leg muscles may weaken over time, potentially leading to chronic back and joint pain. Other complications from the procedure may include postoperative hemorrhage, nerve damage, and displaced bone chips that prevent proper healing. Post-operative care can be complicated and difficult, both for you and your cat.

Because a declawed cat must wear bandages on its paws until the incisions heal, exercise must be limited for at least one month and cat litter replaced with shredded newspaper to keep litter granules from embedding themselves in the healing tissue. Your vet may prescribe medications to help with the pain, and you must monitor your cat carefully for swollen paws, bleeding and a reluctance to walk, as well as any changes in appetite and behavior. While some cats exhibit no changes in personality after being declawed, others may become anxious, shy, or show an increase in aggression. Feeling defenseless without their claws may cause them to bite if they feel cornered. And the pain associated with the procedure may result in urinating and defecating outside the litter box.

Because scratching is as innate to cats as purring, most experts recommend other alternatives to the trauma and dangers of declawing. Keep your cat’s nails carefully trimmed and direct its scratching behavior to inexpensive cardboard scratchers, scratching posts or emery scratching pads that dull its claws. Use remote aversion devices such as Scat Mats. But if all else fails, the newest and most popular alternative to declawing is the application of vinyl nail caps, available through your veterinarian or pet store. Non-toxic glue binds the caps to the claws, and the caps are replaced when your cat sheds its claw sheaths (usually every four to six weeks).

While declawing remains peculiar to the United States, an ever-increasing number of countries throughout the world consider it both “inhumane” and a “form of mutilation” (except in the most extreme cases or for medical reasons) and have banned the procedure. In fact, a global online campaign declared March 29, 2014 as Declaw Awareness Day.

What are your thoughts on Declawing? Let us know in the comments section of this blog!

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Article by Nomi Berger

Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and now devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations throughout Canada and the USA.

 

STARelief’s featured Volunteer of the week – Sarah

 For us at STARelief, every pet family we help is a small victory. Yet, being a completely volunteer run organization, we are able to only do as much as time and resources allow. And this is where every additional hand that helps is a special one. Today we’d like to introduce a very special volunteer- Sarah! Sarah is a 7th grader at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford.  She is  twelve and a half years old and has already raised more than $1000 for STARelief! Other than fundraising for STARelief, Sarah has also been in the Stamford All School Musical three years in a row. We decided to catch up with this young star and ask her what motivates this dog and dolphin lover!
 IMG_2601What inspired you to begin volunteering and fundraising?
I started fundraising because of my upcoming Bat Mitzvah this March.
Why did you choose STARelief?
The thought that pets might not have enough to eat or people might have to give up their pets because they can’t afford to feed them made me realize that my beagle Hunter and I were very fortunate. I love that STARelief helps people and their pets.
Tell us a little about Hunter’s Help
Hunter’s Help is my way of honoring my beagle Hunter who died at fifteen and a half in September. Hunter never wanted for a treat and in fact, may have had too many!  I felt this would be a great way to honor his life.
How did you come up with the idea of a dog wash to fund-raise?
I decided to do several dog washes in memory of Hunter.  Heather from STARelief told me that Pet Valu in Stamford was always willing to help and so I decided to approach them and have dog washes to help raise the money.
What plans do you have in the future to help fund raise?
I would love to continue Hunter’s Help even after my Bat Mitzvah and help STARelief whenever you need me!Sara1
We at STARelief, are thrilled to see such young and enthusiastic supporters for our cause and thank Sarah for all her help! We hope that her example leads many more youngsters to join causes and achieve like she has!
Sarah set her goal at $1000 which, at that time seemed unobtainable.  Its amazing what one person can do! She says she was touched by the generosity of the community, especially shoppers who came into Pet Valu to just buy food, who gave so selflessly and generously when she told them what she was doing.  They enabled her to exceed her goal.  “Hunter’s tail is wagging knowing that he helped people keep their pets happy, healthy and home” she signs off!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

13 years down the line- A tribute to the 9/11 victims

Bravery is a term most often used to describe a human being and his/ her capability to tackle a situation head on. Rarely do we use the term to describe the qualities of our animal counter parts. Yet, if we discount the bravery of our furry friends, we do them a great injustice. 13 years ago a terrible tragedy and injustice struck this nation and had ripple effects in the rest of the world. Yet in the face of adversity we saw heroes emerge from among us. Stories of Roselle and a hundred other dogs resonate to this day. Here is a glimpse of some of those dogs who served, loyally and bravely, who deserve no less praise than our fire-fighters, medical teams and rescue workers: Charlotte Dumas’s tribute, Hero Dogs

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Miraculous tales of survival and bravery, and heartbreaking tales of misery and sorrow emerged. Today, we send out a thought and a prayer to the innocents who lost their lives on the 11 of September 2001. And have also learnt that bravery is not a term we can restrict to the human kind, for the contributions of our four-legged friends in the companionship, search and rescue of victims is no mean feat.

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

How does STARelief make a difference?

Often you see STARelief events, fundraisers and more on our Social Media pages. So how do these translate into the success stories that we share? How does our organization identify whom to assist and how do we use the funds we collect? This post is an insight into how STARelief hopes to make a difference in the lives of a pet family in need.

Why we do what we do

We at STARelief, believe that no pet family should have to give up their pet due to financial constraints. Many of our volunteers previously worked at shelters and realized that many families end up surrendering their pets because they could no longer afford to care for their ailing pets. Having to choose between feeding one’s self and caring for one’s pet is a position no one should be in. And it was from this belief that STARelief was born. You can read more about our work here.

How we do it: Fundraising and Pet food pantry

doggy daySTARelief is a completely volunteer run organization. All the funds we get go into helping pet owners who cant afford to care for their pets. We participate and host events which is our main source of funding. Recently we participated in New Canaan Dog days, where we were able to raise aid money. We also partner with others (like Web Thrift Store, Amazon Smile etc.) that offer a service in return for any donations. When you shop at Web Thrift Store or Amazon Smile, a percentage of the price you pay is donated to STARelief. We also host other events such as bake sales, tag sales, the dog wash at PetValu and our upcoming event Doggy Day Palooza. All the funds we raise through these events go directly into aiding pet families in need.

 

We also run a pet food pantry where we accept donations in the form of Pet food. We run numerous donation drives at various locations. We donate the food we have collected to pet families that can’t afford to purchase pet food.

Who benefits?penelope

A few ways we reach out to people who are in need of support are through our online presence (Facebook, Twitter, Website etc.),  partner organizations and through direct referrals. So far we have provided $ 45, 325 in veterinary care. Some of our criteria to provide aid are listed here. We have been successful in aiding over 300 pets in need. Here are some of their stories.

We also recognize the invaluable services of our military veterans. We run the Pet-for-Vets program to aid our veterans.

What can you do to help?

You can get involved in many ways. We are always looking for volunteers who are inclined to make a difference. You or someone you know can join our team by writing in to us. You can also contribute monetarily by donating here. Another way you can engage with us is to donate pet food to our pantry. We love to hear from our supporters, so if you have some great ideas for STARelief, or are passionate about animals, we would love to hear from you!

As always, please help us spread the message of our work and share this post with as many people as you can!

 

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

 

 

A hectic July for STARelief

July has begun with a flurry of activities and opportunities for us at STARelief! So here’s a quick peak into our calendar for the month.

We began the month with Web Thrift Store’s Thrift Snap contest.   After this we had the wonderful opportunity of winning a $500 donation from DGP for pets through votes on Facebook. We had our supporters vote for us on the DGP For Pets page and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support!

Starelief Slider Image Calendar no back

pop up sale july

 

 

The month isn’t over yet though. STARelief has organized a Pop-up tag sale on the 19th of July (yes it’s the coming Saturday!) from 9 am to 2 pm at our pet food pantry on High Ridge road (High Ridge Shopping center, 1137 High Ridge road, Stamford, CT). The proceeds from each sale will go towards assisting pet families in need. So please join us and aid in making a difference to a loved pet and his family!

 

 

 

 

 

We have yet another contest that we are participating in this month. It is the #ThriftyEstateDrive from Web Thrift Store. Donate anything over the value of $50 (original price paid for the item needs to exceed $50) by listing it on our store at www.starelief.webthriftstore.com and help us win 100% of the proceeds from their sale! We are right now at the 7th place, but with your help we can place much higher! So clear out your cupboards and donate those unused earrings, bags, jackets or shoes. Who knows, cleaning your closet may help keep a pet Happy, Healthy and Home!

Help us win and make a difference in the lives of numerous pets and pet owners! For after all, it’s your support that keeps us going!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

Managing your pet’s anxiety this 4th of July

It’s time to bring out the grill and prepare to have family and friends over this 4th of July weekend! Whether you plan to stay home and have guests over or are planning to take a trip over the long weekend, the anxiety over how your pet is going to handle this noisy celebration is sure to dampen spirits. Many pet owners confess that the 4th of July holiday is one of the most stressful times for themselves as well as their pets. Indeed the highest number of missing pets is reported the very next day. The reason for this is that dogs and cats (in fact most animals) are far more sensitive to noise than us humans. They can often hear more than 1.5 times our normal range of sounds! However, this holiday does not need to be as stressful if we are better prepared.

Please keep us safe - STARelief

Here are some tips to help you ease your pet’s anxiety this holiday!

  1. Make sure to let your pets out early in the day: Try to walk your dog or let out your cat earlier in the day. Ideally your pet needs to get his/ her fresh air and exercise before the streets get crowded and the fireworks begin. Even if you normally take him/ her out only in the evening, make an exception and get your pets to exercise early in the day. However, do not deny them their usual outing. This may cause your pet more stress.
  2. Make your home comfortable: before the fireworks begin, make sure to close the curtains and drapes around the house to cut out the excess noise. You can also create some white noise like running the washing machine or the vacuum cleaner. You can also play some soothing music to calm your pet.
  3. Give them company: When pets are anxious and stressed they automatically look to their humans for comfort. Try to stay around them and calm or soothe them with your presence. Ensure that you are not stressed yourself for the animal can sense you anxiety and will think that there is some cause for concern.
  4. Keep special treats handy: Keeping your pets favorite treats handy will help in diverting their attention from any commotion outside. You can also engage them in some activity and hand out these treats as a reward.
  5.  Last and not least- Microchip your pet: Enough stress cannot be laid on the need to microchip your pet at a time when they can easily get lost. Microchipping your pet helps you track them even if they get lost. Animal control officers and Veterinarians often look for Microchips on pets that have strayed or are lost to identify the owner and ensure a safe return. You can learn more about how microchips are inserted and used here.

To help you cope with this holiday, we are holding a FREE Pet Wellness clinic this Sunday (22nd June) at the VCA Davis Animal hospital between 12 pm and 3 pm. Bring your pet for a free Rabies vaccine and microchip. Be prepared and enjoy this long weekend!

advocate_pet wellness

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

Free Pet wellness clinic at STARelief

With 4th of July less than a month away, many pets and their owners tend to get hassled. The inevitable fireworks leave most pets scared and their owners stressed! Many Veterinarians say that the 3rd of July is amongst the busiest days at their clinics with many families coming in to collect medication and complete checkups before the holiday. More pets are lost on Independence day than any other day of the year!  This July 4th be better prepared to face (or shy away from) the fireworks.

STARelief has partnered with VCA Davis Animal Hospital to provide a FREE Pet wellness clinic! On the 22nd of June, bring your pet for a free Rabies Vaccine and Microchip between 12 pm and 3 pm to the VCA Davis Animal Hospital in Stamford. Do bring your pet and help spread the word.

2014 Pet Wellness Clinic Creative

 

 

 

Keep watching this space for some more tips on how to keep your pets safe and comfortable during this holiday!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

Are we over-protective of our pets?

I know of a friend who is a great animal lover. She often rescues abandoned pets and tries to provide loving homes for them. So great is her love for the critters that she views her own dog as a ‘child’ (at this point there are many of us who are probably silently nodding in approval- for after all we are all guilty of this to some extent!). Yet, when she hands over the rescued animal, she hands over a list of do’s and dont’s, constantly calls the to-be-owners with instructions and borders on intrusive behavior, successfully scaring away many a prospective loving owners! So here comes the all important question- Do we allow our love for animals to blur our reality?

Image courtesy: www.nydailynews.com

As one who works with rescuing abandoned animals, it becomes natural to view the world with cynicism. Yet, doesn’t it also become one’s responsibility to recognize good intentions and trust our fellow human beings? 

Have you had similar experiences with an over-protective owner or rescue worker? What are your views? Let us know in the comments section!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

Puppies from the pet store? No Thanks!

How often have you gone to the pet store and stood staring at the beautiful little puppies and kittens on display? Sometimes you can pet them, hold them and cuddle. And boy do they love the attention. Ever wondered what that little puppy has undergone before it landed up at your local pet store?

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Here is the harsh reality. Almost all pet store puppies come from puppy mills. These puppies and their parents are subjected to extremely harsh and filthy living environments. A puppy mill is a for-profit organization which seeks to minimize overhead costs and focuses on generating revenue. This means that a puppy mill will focus on breeding dogs and selling them as quickly as possible, and until that sale is made, the dogs are made to live in appalling conditions.

Since the focus is on minimizing costs, very often 3 – 4 small dogs are stuffed into a single cage with hardly any room to move around. They are fed poorly and often develop diseases due to poor hygiene. Many a time, these dogs develop behavioral problems due to the extreme conditions they are raised in. Most puppy mills have poor lighting, ventilation and sanitation. Very often these animals even lack access to veterinary care. To say that these puppy mills are cruel, would be putting it mildly. Here is a video by the Humane Society of the United States which throws some light on the pathetic conditions of these poor animals.

Volunteers helping

Every year, retail pet stores sell more than 500,000 dogs, while 5 to 7 million dogs enter shelters. In many states, puppy mills are legal. Only 26 states in the U.S have laws to regulate commercial kennels to prevent cruelty to animals. It is hence our responsibility to look out for our canine friends. When you are looking for a pet, make a conscious choice. Check in your local shelter to see if you can find a pet suitable to your needs. If you choose to go to a breeder, ensure that the breeder has a good reputation. Do your research. A good breeder will ensure that the animal has been treated well and is healthy and happy. The need for a good home for the pet ranks higher than profit for a breeder of repute. Avoid purchasing your pet at pet stores or online. Most pet stores deny sourcing their puppies from puppy mills and do not disclose the true history of the animal. Before making a decision to buy from a pet store, explore other reliable sources.

Pets bring great joy into our world. It is our responsibility to ensure that cruelty towards these wonderful creatures is stopped.

 

Resources:

http://savepuppymilldogs.com/

http://nopetstorepuppies.com/puppy-mills-are-cruel

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

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STARelief and Pet Assistance
P.O. Box 3035
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone: 203-636-0971
Fax: 203-883-0325
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