Most Dogs Do Not Like Hugs Plus Other Communication and Bite Prevention Facts

Dogs are known as man’s best friend for a reason. They are great companions, emotional support, working dogs and much more. They deserve a kiss, hug and a pat on the head right?  Wrong. Most dogs don’t like hugs, kisses, or pats on the head according to animal behaviorists. There are some 70 million great dogs and any dog can bite.

Every year, almost 5 million people are bitten by dogs and most of those bitten are children. Strange dogs are not the most common offenders, 77% of bites come from a family or friend’s dog!

Preventing dog bites is everyone’s responsibility. Simple measures can be very effective. Being aware of the risk and active supervision is important. For example, a calm and gentle dog surprised or startled can react uncharacteristically if a toddler crawls up and kisses a sleeping dog. 10440678_796489223779881_6550008399635534847_nIt is obvious a child poking or pulling a dog tail or ear could provoke a bite. Animal behaviorists find dogs guarding resources including food, toys, or even its owner is the cause for most bites.

Many animal organizations and adoption centers offer fun classes on safe interaction with animals to prevent bites. For example, in Saint Louis the APA Adoption Center (Animal Protective Association of Missouri) offers a variety of classes for kids and adults. You can learn the ways dogs and cats communicate, the proper way to approach a dog and what to do if approached by a stray animal.

11025160_807130716029148_5874756013793407181_nYou can attend a class at the APA Adoption Center or instructors and trained pets can come to you. To check out some of the programs and classes available to all age groups check out the APA website or follow this link: http://www.apamo.org/education/group-programs/group-programs-list/

If you are outside the Saint Louis area, check with local adoption agencies or visit https://www.avma.org for more information on dog bite prevention.
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Civic and Community Connections at APA Adoption Center Improve Lives of People and Pets

10440678_796489223779881_6550008399635534847_n You expect to see pets at the APA Adoption Center. But often it seems there are as many smiling faces of people there as eager animals waiting for a home. The APA welcomes civic, community, school and scouting groups almost every day. No matter your age, there is always something new to learn about pets, animal legislation, safety and the therapeutic value of animal visits to hospitals and health care facilities. It is exciting how many animal lovers want to reach out and support animal programs and pet initiatives.10860847_10153132346084184_3833746411222779365_o

Many visitors to the APA adoption facility not only take away new experiences and knowledge they leave contributions behind. For example, scouts take classes to learn about animal care and safety and get experience making pet beds and toys. Civic and school groups who come for tours and classes often bring collected donations of household items and craft supplies needed by the APA. In the APA education room where parties, craft classes and safety education sessions are held you will find “sit-upons” and pet toys made by local scouts.

1962588_796617773767026_3786104654545183798_n“Our community and civic partners are crucial to bringing people and pets together. From our toddler classes and scouting programs to the senior adults we depend on; age is not a barrier in making a difference for pets and the people who love them, “explains Jennifer Blome, Director of APA Humane Education.

IMG_4335If you are coming to the APA you will find another community connection in the lobby. April Showers, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s community service program has a collection bin near the front door. The Girl Scouts largest community service project, April Showers, provides personal care items to those in need and teaches scouts the importance of giving back.

11054375_796617727100364_6108358309687484906_nItems needed for the April Showers Collection Drive include soap, shampoo, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, feminine hygiene products, facial tissue, disposable diapers, baby wipes and first aid supplies.
The APA also has a donation wish list you can find online at http://www.apamo.org/donate/wish-list/volunteers at carnival

A Smart Spring Break Stay-Cation Idea: Fun With Furry Friends at APA Adoption Center

ttttttumblr_n2r4gqdeib1r3zbhoo3_1280Spring break may prompt thoughts of a beach getaway or an exotic trip but family fun and adventures don’t have to include travel. A “stay-cation” in Saint Louis is filled with wonderful possibilities.

One creative and fun option is the Animal Protective Association of Missouri or APA. The APA Adoption Center offers many choices of activities and interactive sessions for kids of all ages.

Parents often get together and plan a joint outing for several families during spring break. This is easily done because the options at APA‘s Adoption Center are customizable and cost effective. There are a variety of classes about animal care, safety, center tours, pet related crafts and interaction with animals mixed with fun and games.

Not all lessons during spring break take place at the Adoption Center. For some youngsters, anticipation of the animal adventure begins days before as they join forces to collect supplies to help homeless pets. These collection efforts can take on the air of a scavenger hunt involving extended family and neighbors. It is a great opportunity to share the joy of volunteering and practice the lesson of selflessness with children. There is a wish list of easy to find items for homeless pets on the APA website.

APA Director of Humane Education Jennifer Blome works with educators and volunteers to deliver fun and meaningful opportunities; “It is more than learning to love and play with animals in the right way. We have a curriculum of age appropriate lessons and activities to engage minds and hearts.”

It doesn’t have to be spring break to take a class. The APA offers birthday parties and other special events customizable for your group. Some of the party details can be found here. 

The APA works year around to educate on the importance of treating each other and animals with compassion and respect. APA presentations are held in the community along with group classes for scout, school and community groups. You can see a list of some program options by clicking here or on the website: http://www.apamo.org/education/group-programs/group-programs-list/

You can sign up for a public class as an individual adult, or bring your child to a family event. For information on upcoming classes and programs through community organizations, email jennifer@apamo.org.

Scheduling a class or event at the APA Adoption Center can be such a rewarding and unforgettable experience; it may become a favorite family tradition. Remember to bring a camera to capture the learning and play of your APA day.

Personalize your visit to the APA of MO for fun, crafts, safety, and more!

Personalize your visit to the APA of MO for fun, crafts, safety, and more!

A Day for Those Who Build America and Keep it Strong

There is “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, “Cheeseburger Day” and all sorts of observances that are a lot of fun and without a serious message.  But National Tradesmen Day is an annual national celebration to honor the men and women who work with their hands to build America and keep it running strong.

 It is an observance dear to my heart.  Both my father and his father were craftsmen.  Carpenters who worked out of a union hall at a time when there were not many tradespeople represented by unions in the Deep South.  They spent years in apprentice and training to perfect their skills for the wide variety jobs they completed.  I remember Sunday afternoon family drives after church, where my father would point with pride to a skyscraper or school he helped build.  It could be a bridge or a courthouse he had contributed to.  My father and grandfather knew how to build concrete forms or do intricate finishes.  Designers using exotic and expensive woods used in boardrooms or courtrooms knew my Dad could make the cuts and trim out their projects to their specifications. It was a point of pride for him to show off his work to his children.

I believe America’s tradespeople build our homes, roads, businesses, and schools. They keep our cars running, our lights on, our water flowing, and so much more. They are the backbone of our functioning nation IRWIN® Tools; a manufacturer of hand tools and power tool accessories has been honoring them for years with celebrations, recognition events and activities throughout the country

Friday, September 20, 2013 is National Tradesmen Day.  It also puts a spotlight on a problem in our nation—one caused by a shortage of people willing to work with their hands. Manpower’s recent talent shortage survey reports that for the fourth consecutive year, skilled trades are the most difficult jobs to fill in the United States. The American Society of Civil Engineers says America’s roads and bridges are in disrepair, assigning a D+ grade to America’s overall infrastructure. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate continues to hover at historically high levels while a critical need for skilled tradesmen exists. Some believe not only does our nation have a jobs problem; America has a skills shortage.

At one time, ironworkers and welders were glorified. Photographs of tradesmen eating an open-air lunch on a girder high atop a yet-to-be completed skyscraper take us back to a very different world—one where working with your hands was a dignified way to earn a living. Today, a four-year degree and a desk job are considered the keys to a desirable lifestyle. Most high schools eliminated shop class years ago, and now only six percent of high school seniors consider a career in the trades. The National Association of Manufacturing, The National Center for Career Education and Research and several other business organizations believe more schools should teach students some trades offer challenging careers where they can often out-earn their college educated peers. 

 “It’s time that we once again present the trades as a respectable career option for the next generation. Becoming a trained plumber, electrician, or welder offers a clear and stable career path where working with your hands allows you to contribute meaningfully to our society,” says Rich Mathews, Senior Vice President of Marketing for IRWIN Tools.

There are an estimated 600,000 open jobs in the skilled trades, simply because people don’t have the proper training to fill the positions.  Many business leaders say they believe our nation is not only facing a job shortage, but a skills shortage.

Today is a day to recognize the people who lace up boots each morning before heading to the jobsite. Many of them have spent as much or more time learning their craft than workers who grab a tie and head to a high-rise office.  Recognize the contributions the trades make in your life. If you go onto a job site, or anywhere you see a skilled laborer working such as a drywall or electrician, carpenter and simply shake his or her hand and say “thanks for the work that you do.”

To learn more the annual observance head to http://www.irwin.com/nationaltradesmenday or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nationaltradesmenday

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