A Gentle Reminder: 2018 Crystal Charity Ball Grant Application Deadline Nears

The clock is ticking and there are a heck of a lot of nonprofit types who are hard at work to meet the Tuesday, October 17, deadline. That’s when the 2018 Crystal Charity Ball applications are due.  

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Patty Leyendecker (File photo)

2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson and Charity Selection Chair Patty Leyendecker are making no exception. The forms have to be physically in the CCB offices by high noon… not 12:01 p.m. No email applications will be accepted. FYI: If you decide to mail the application, it won’t matter what the postmark is. If it ain’t in the CCB office by noon, it ain’t gonna make the cut.

It’s well worth the hard work. Since 1953, CCB has provided $131,244,558 for Dallas children’s charities. If you need proof, check with any of the past beneficiaries.

So, stop reading and get back to filling out those dang forms. And if you’ve put it all off until the last minute, the form is available here.

The 2018 beneficiaries will be selected Thursday, February 1.

Columbus Day Is The Holiday That Isn’t A Holiday

Monday is Columbus Day and it’s a tricky one. While banks, the U.S. Postal Service and Federal offices do consider it to be a holiday, the state of Texas doesn’t.

Bad news for the kiddos. Most schools will be in session.

So why not take a long lunch and be grateful that you weren’t on the Niña, the Pinta or the Santa Maria because accommodations weren’t exactly top drawer and they weren’t quite sure where they were headed.

BTW, Monday is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. If you know a Canadian, wish ’em a happy Thanksgiving.

A Gentle Reminder: Rosh Hashanah Begins This Evening

If you’re holding an event this evening and wonder why the turnout isn’t as stellar as hoped, it may be because Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset. On this evening members of the Jewish faith will be home by 7:26 p.m. to celebrate around the dinner table with a special feast.   

The holiday will end Friday evening.

Gentle Reminder: Crystal Charity Ball 2018 Charity Selections Are Now Available Online

Any Dallas County children’s nonprofit dreaming of qualifying for the Crystal Charity Ball grants should check out the CBB website. The applications for the 2018 grants are available online now.

Claire Emanuelson (File photo)

Patty Leyendecker (File photo)

According to 2018 CCB Chair Claire Emanuelson and Charity Selection Chair Patty Leyendecker, the timeline for this year’s grant process is

  • Wednesday, September 20, at 9 a.m. — Orientation meeting for prospective applicants. Attendance is not mandatory, but strong encouraged.
  • Tuesday, October 17, noon — Applications “must be mailed or hand-delivered to the CCB office. No email applications will be accepted.
  • Thursday, February 1 — 2018 beneficiaries will be selected.

To qualify for a grant, the organizations must

  • serve children in Dallas County
  • have had a 501 (c) 3 designation for at least three years
  • have provided services in Dallas County for at least three year

Since 1952, CCB has provided more than $137M to more than 100 children’s charities, so why not take the opportunity to land one of the grants?

Now Is The Time To Rise And Shine

For longer than anyone can remember, there’s seemed to be a competition between two of Texas’ siblings. The Gulf Coast boasted having one of the largest cities in the nation, the world’s most ginormous oil companies and a shoreline. North Texas laid claim to having more Super Bowl rings, a TV series called “Dallas” and the birthplace of Neiman Marcus. Both have proved to be the comeback kids. Houston rebounded from oil busts, and Dallas recovered from a presidential assassination and the Ebola virus.

In recent time when it came to weather, North Texas trumped the competition with the 2011 Super Bowl ice storm.

But be honest! Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, the Gulf Coast has won the weather woes category. This epic situation has totally redefined the word “devastation.”

(Above video courtesy of WFAA-TV)

People who have prided themselves on paying their bills have suddenly found themselves without homes. Their children, who were to start school this week, are now without even uniforms, let alone classrooms. The elderly and disabled, who have depended on others, have found themselves alone through no fault of their caretakers. Family pets that were so dependent upon their human companions are being turned in or sadly lost.

This situation has provided North Texas with a time to rise and shine. Over the years, North Texas has been known for philanthropy and generosity thanks to its residents. But now it has the chance to open its arms and provide for the hundreds thousands of evacuees seeking help, comfort and hope. Some will call North Texas home only temporarily; others will become our neighbors.

This morning when you wake up in the comfort of your snugly bed, have a warm shower and enjoy that drive to Starbucks for coffee with a blue sky above, consider those who have had to take an ax to the roof of their house to survive, who haven’t been dry in days, who have no idea if they’ll have anything to return to, and who have children asking unanswerable questions.

Luckily, this is Texas and its resilience is legendary with good reason. Thanks to Harvey, it will once again prove true.

If you’re stepping up and making a donation in any form, please make sure that the money will be used for North Texas efforts by a reputable group. Unfortunately, during these situations, there are some who just might take advantage of the kindness of others.

A Gentle Reminder: Hot Times In The Old Town

Today is supposed to be the hottest one so far this year. The thermometers should hit 101 degrees around 3, but it’s gonna feel like 108. The good news is that the weather guessers are promising a cold front is on its way. Did you get start putting your sundresses in rest mode and reawake those cashmere sweaters?

Oops! The guessers’ understanding of “cold front” is different from normal folks. Their weather maps are transitioning from Dragon’s Breath red to a Carolina Reaper red.

Now that’s a real cold front (File photo)

Even the thought of heading to the pool and slathering on sunscreen seems like a prison sentence. Others have scattered to such places as the Hamptons, Colorado and the West Coast. For the rest of those left behind, it’s chilling under misters on patios with icy drinks or sidling up next the air-conditioning vent.

However, for kids, the elderly and pets, the heat can be dangerous. Consider how

  • Vehicles can become ovens within minutes.
  • Dehydration drains strength.
  • In an attempt to save money, some cut off on electricity resulting in suffocating conditions.
  • Normal friendly playground playsets can sizzle burning munchkins.
  • Hot pavements may not bother stilettos and sneakers, but they can hurt feet and paws.

Realize that the most vulnerable in the community are very susceptible to the raging temperatures.

Don’t Let The Halfway Downers Get You Down

Okay, everybody stop. Did you stop? No, seriously, did you? The North Texas community is at the half-way point in the summer and the temperatures are starting to really hit home. Then there’s that problem of thinking about the rest of the year trying to raise funds. And, heaven forbid, 2018!

Summer doldrums

Whatever you’re doing, stop. Take a chill pill. What’s a chill pill? Some peeps call it a “time out.” Others just say, “Go to that friendly place.” Doesn’t matter if you go to Ninth Planet or snuggle under your yummy Charlotte Thomas sheets, just close those eyes … it may take a bit more effort for those with caterpillar eyelashes… and take deep breaths to fill those inner sanctums of your lungs that haven’t been filled since you could do a cartwheel. Try that five times and don’t forget to breath out!

Now, kick those flip-flops and stilettos off and spread your pedicured toes far apart and then back together. Now point them upward and then downward. Like breathing, try that five times.

Finally, remember that everything will work out, if you relax, put together your “gotta-do list” (must-do lists are so passé) and tackle them one by one. As you check them off, your anxiety will be knocked off bit by bit.

The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon Registration Deadline Approaches

How about a marathon that requires absolutely no sunscreen, sunglasses or sweating? That’s exactly what the Dallas Film Society and Studio Movie Grill have on “The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon” agenda for Sunday, July 16, at Studio Movie Grill at Spring Valley.

First Annual Movie Madness Marathon*

Guests will watch four movies — “Despicable Me 3,” “Spider Man – Homecoming,” “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Baby Driver” — continuously starting at 11 a.m. with the goal of raising funds for the various DFS programs (DFS Summer Film Camp, DFS College Intern Program, DFS High School Roundtable Education Program, Dallas International Film Festival and DFS Premiere Film Screening, to mention a few).

Here’s the plan. Each moviegoer registers here to “secure a seat” in the marathon. The registration fee is $25. Then, besides OD-ing on popcorn, they’ll be asked to get friends, family and anyone they can convince to donate money for a minimum goal of $500.

According to organizers, you’ll be asked during registration “if you want to use your name or create a fun, movie-themed team name. This is how donors will find you. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a link you can share on social media and send via email to friends and family asking them to make a pledge to support you.”

The problem is that the deadline for registering is today! Holy Batman yipes!  But you just know the DFS folks know how to make room for movie lovers, so go ahead and send your registration in pronto.

Oh, and, yes, for those who wonder, there will be bathroom breaks between movies.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Film Society

A Human’s Holiday Celebration Is A Pet’s Night Of Fear And Anxiety

This Fourth of July promises to have clear skies just perfect for firework displays throughout the North Texas area. Why you may not even have to leave your mansion to hear the ka-booms and see the flashes overhead.

Anxious pooch (File photo)

But while such a sight is breathtaking and all in the best spirit, the sounds and sights can be devastating for some… like pets.

According to Lost Dogs of America, more dogs “run away from home over the Fourth of July holiday than any other.” 

Here are some tips to prepare for that “just in case” situation:

  • Make sure your pet is microchipped and, most importantly, that its registration is current.
  • Do not take your pet to Fourth of July festivities.
  • Take your dog for a walk during the day. The cat doesn’t need to take a stroll.
  • If you’re set on taking the pooch to a parade, remember the pavement is going to be hot. So, walk and have them sit on a grassy spot and bring along some water. You may not get thirsty, but you’re not wearing a fur coat.
  • Secure them in an indoor crate with the TV and/or music playing, preferably in a room with window shades down.
  • The ASPCA has provided a free app to help you locate your pet, just in case the night results in their running away from home.
  • Ask your vet for advice specifically on how to deal with your animal companion’s anxiety.

BTW, have a current photo of your pet? Even if you don’t have a camera, you can take a cellphone picture. It will be vital if your pet does make a mad dash, so that you can immediately post on social media as well as distribute handouts.

La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser Offers Some Helpful Hints For This Weekend’s Fundraising Festivities

Anne Besser (File photo)

Just as Heloise provides household hints, so La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas Gala Co-Chair Anne Besser has a suggestion or two for this weekend’s La Fiesta De Las Seis Banderas comings and goings.

Since the Friday night event is taking place in a very cool residential area and Saturday’s gala is at The Fairmont, Anne is recommending the following:

  • Uber/Lyft
  • Have a friend drop you and your buds off
  • Use the buddy system and carpool
  • Despite a slight chance of Friday night having a touch of drizzle, don’t worry. The home is big enough to handle the guests inside.
  • Saturday night, park at the Baptist Church multi-level parking lot
  • Saturday night, get yourself a room at The Fairmont and slumber-party it. Think room service for Sunday morning breakfast. No, make that late morning brunch.

This annual summer fundraiser is showy, fun and family-oriented.

Was There Something You Forgot Before Heading Out For The Summer?

MySweetCharity

Vacation plans are made. The kids are tapping their fingers waiting for the final bell of the semester. You’ve bought enough sunscreen to cover Big Tex. You’ve made reservations for the pets to go to camp, while you’re away.

But wait! There was that something that you were supposed do. Yup, it was really important when you thought of it. Something about a calendar. That’s it! You wanted to make sure that you got your upcoming nonprofit events on the MySweetCharity Calendar. No problem. Here’s the link to submit any and all nonprofit events. It’s free unless you want to add bells and whistles.

MySweetCharity Submit An Event

As for staying in tune with the North Texas news, people and happenings, don’t worry that pretty gray matter one iota. MySweetCharity will continue to keep you up-to-date on the goings on. Take MSC to the beach, the mountains or wherever you may go. All you need is an internet connection and you’ll have MSC.

BTW, if you subscribe to MSC, then you’ll get your daily fix around 6:02 in the morning as usual.

There’s No Messing Around When Dealing With Strokes

Say the word, “stroke.” Some will immediately fall back on their days at Camp Longhorn when they paddled their way across Inks Lake. Some will think about their cat’s favorite relationship with its human owner. But for way-far-too many, the word is like a lightning flash to the spine changing the world that they’ve known and throwing their family and friends into a universe of helplessness.

T. Boone Pickens (File photo)

Nearly 800,000 Americans suffered strokes in 2016, including Dallas philanthropist T. Boone Pickens. Thanks to swift actions, Boone’s “mini-stroke” did minimal damage that thanks to rehabilitation has been all but eliminated

While this medical condition has been scoffed off as a baby boomer problem, it has devastated way too many young people and their families. According to the National Stroke Association, there was “a spike of 44% in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke in the past decade, and over 73% are not familiar with stroke symptoms and the need for urgent care.”

Munchkins are also victims of stroke due to “head trauma, sickle cell or unknown origins.”

Also known as a “brain attack, a stroke occurs when a clot blocks the supply of blood to the brain or a blood vessel in the brain bursts.”

That is why the American Heart Association has partnered with the American Stroke Association to spread the word that both heart disease and strokes are life-changers and killers that can be conquered.

Since May is Stroke Awareness Month, our good friends at Parkland Health And Hospital have provided the acronym “BE FASTT” for common stroke symptoms:

  • Balance: Do they have a sudden loss of balance?
  • Eyes: Do they have a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes?
  • Facial droop: When they smile, does one side of their face droop?
  • Arm drift: When they raise both arms, does one arm drift downward?
  • Slurred speech: When they repeat a sentence, are any of the words slurred?
  • Terrible headache: Do they have a sudden, severe headache with other neurological deficits?
  • Time is key: If a person shows any of the above symptoms, call 911.

If these signals arise, don’t hesitate because you need to put on your makeup or worry about “What will the neighbors say?” Call 911. The sooner a stroke victim can get medical treatment, the less devastation will take place. 

According to Parkland Stroke Program Medical Director/assistant professor of Neurology And Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center Dr. Alejandro Magadan, “In most cases of stroke, we only have 3 to 4 hours to safely deliver clot-busting drugs and 6 to 8 hours after symptoms begin to perform surgery to extract the clot.”

To reduce the chances of encountering this very swift and deadly disease, here are some suggestions:

49th Annual Family Night At Six Flags Over Texas Raises Funds And Fun For Children’s Medical Center Letting Early Birds Save Some Money

What’s better than a bargain? A bargain and a night at Six Flags! That’s exactly what’s available until Friday, April 7, thanks to the Children’s Women’s Auxiliary’s 49th Family Night at Six Flags Over Texas.

Tweety Bird, Joanna Clark, Sylvester, Sally Dutter and Bugs Bunny*

How about some questions?

  • What kind of bargain? The tickets at the gate will be $74.99 plus tax on the night of the event. If tickets are purchased online or at DFW-area Tom Thumbs beforehand, they’re only $40! Yup! That’s a $30 discount.
  • What do you have to do to get the discount? No need to give your social security number or your firstborn. If you decide to purchase via online, just go here.
  • Are there any freebies? Yes, but you have to be two years old and younger.
  • Are sponsorships available? You need ask. Want proof? Here!
  • So, have fun, raise funds and save yourself some fivers.
* Photo provided by Children's Medical Center Foundation

The Perfect Fix For St. Patrick’s Day Weekend’s Need For Green

Dallas Arboretum tulips

It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Instead of flying off to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone or hitting the pubs for a tankard of Guinness Extra Stout, why not surround yourself in picture-perfect green?

It can be found at the Dallas Arboretum with acres of  magnificent green grounds being highlighted by 500,000 blossoms.

And if you’re set on kissing something, the Arboretum has plenty of tulips. Wink, wink.

A Gentle Reminder: Spring An Hour Forward This Weekend

Clock confusion

Spring break gets underway this weekend, but so does that infamous Daylight Savings Time start.

So, after you finish partying on Greenville and before you tuck yourself in for bed Saturday night, turn your clocks ahead an hour. If you don’t, you’re gonna be arriving at church as everyone else is heading to brunch.

BTW, you’ll get that hour back on Sunday, November 5.

A Gentle Reminder: Greenville Avenue’s St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk, Parade And Festival To Take Place This Saturday

2017 Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival map**

While St. Patrick’s Day is still a week away, the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival will take place this Saturday along Greenville Avenue benefiting the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association.

2017 St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville 5K*

But before the parade kicks off at 11 a.m., the 22nd Annual St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville will start at 8 a.m. Organizers are predicting 5,000 participants will run/walk the 5K down “the St. Patrick’s Day parade route, tree-lined Southwestern Blvd., Skillman and University Blvd.,” benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.

Hopefully, all the runners/walkers will be across the finish line before the parade’s floats hit the avenue.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

Now, some suggestions:

  • Barriers and other preparations for the run and parade will start showing up Friday afternoon. So, it might be wise to run those errands today and early tomorrow. Be forewarned: Some stores like Office Depot along Greenville might be closed Saturday during the parade.
  • Weather guessers are claiming that Saturday morning may be damp-ish, so if you’re gonna be among the 100,000+ spectators, you might want to bring along a slicker or umbrella.
  • Take DART to the Greenville station because parking is going to be painfully limited.
  • If you decide to linger into the afternoon and night enjoying the adult libations, reconsider driving yourself home. No matter how responsible you may think you are, you’ll be much more so by having Uber or another professional service drive you home.
*Graphic courtesy of Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival 
** Graphic courtesy of St. Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville 5k

A Gentle Reminder: Get Your Mailing And Banking Done Before Monday’s Presidents Day Holiday

If you were planning on doing some banking on Monday, rethink it because it’s a bank holiday thanks to President’s Day. But if you were expecting bills, you can rest easy because there ain’t gonna be any mail delivery either.

History lesson: President’s Day was originally held on February 22 to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. It was started in 1800 following Washington’s death in 1799. It wasn’t until the late 1870’s when it was declared an official federal holiday. But then in the late 1960s Congress got busy and created the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that “sought to shift the celebration of several federal holidays from specific dates to a series of predetermined Mondays. The proposed change was seen by many as a novel way to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers, and it was believed that ensuring holidays always fell on the same weekday would reduce employee absenteeism.”

For some folks, the three-day holiday has become a 3½-day holiday, since some folks took off for a very long lunch.

Barack Obama, Barbara and George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush (File photo)

If you see a U.S. President, give ‘em a kiss for the day off.

Be Forewarned: 2017 New Year’s Day Holiday Will Continue Through Monday For Many

New Year’s Day(s) 2017

Happy newest year of your life! And because January 1, 2017, falls on a Sunday, there will be a lot of businesses and government offices that will be observing the holiday on Monday as well. Here is a brief rundown of some of the closures:

  • Banks
  • City of Dallas departments
  • Dallas County departments
  • Most public and private schools
  • SMU
  • U.S. Federal offices
  • U.S. Post Office

BTW, while other public schools will resume classes on Tuesday, January 3, Dallas Independent School District will continue celebrating the holidays through Friday, January 6.

Happily, most retailers will be wide open for business, as well as movie theaters.

The Passing Of Too Many Took Place in 2016

While 2016 may be remembered for many things like a national election, Dallas being cast in the national spotlight due to a July tragedy and countless acts of philanthropy, it will also be one in which we lost too many people whose lives served as inspiration.

Before celebrating the year to come, let us remember and honor just some of those who have left us:

Paige Anderson (File photo)

Betty Blake (File photo)

Jo Guerin (File photo)

Bill Booziotis (File photo)

  • Paige Anderson
  • Betty Blake
  • Bill Booziotis
  • Antoinette Brown
  • Sis Carr
  • Dallas Police (Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa)
  • Jo Guerin

Joe Laird (File photo)

Rusty Rose (File photo)

Karen Settle (File photo)

Karol Wilson (File photo)

  • Joe Laird
  • Roy Orr
  • Rusty Rose
  • Mickey Rosmarin
  • Karen Settle
  • George Underwood Jr.
  • Karol Wilson

Starting Sunday Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyer Children’s Adventure Garden To Take Time Off To Prepare For Spring Festivities

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden (File photo)

Not only is 2016 closing down Saturday, the Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is going on hiatus until Friday, February 24.

Dallas Blooms (File photo)

During this time period, the staffers will be providing “winter maintenance” and getting it prepared for the spring festivities including Dallas Blooms: Flower Power that starts Saturday, February 25, with 500,000 blooming flowers.

Thanksgiving Holiday Breaks Are Taking Place All Week For Area Schools

As if anyone needs to tell you, it’s Thanksgiving week when turkeys hide for cover and shoppers warm up for Black Friday sales.

But it’s also a topsy-turvy scheduling of schools. Some are starting their Thanksgiving break today. Others are holding out until Wednesday. Check out the MySweetCharity Calendar for which school zones will have the flashing lights and which aren’t.

And speaking of the MSC Calendar, start getting those 2017 dates on the schedule. It’s easy and it’s free, unless you want some bells and whistles. Just fill out this form and hit the “submit” button. Not only will you let the world know that your event has locked down that date, but you’ll give the MSC Calendar elves something to do. Their stubby, little fingers need a work out!

Seasonal Dip In Temperatures Approaches

Some folks have been complaining about temperatures hitting the upper 80s this month. After all, it is November and it just seems downright unnatural to wear shorts when you have a herd of woollies in your closet bleating to come out.

February 2015

February 2015 (File photo)

Well, pack up the shorts and pull out the cashmeres because today the temps are going to be dipping like a debutante on stage. Word has it that Saturday night, it just might hit the upper 30s. But this first cold front of the season ain’t going to be anything like the freezers of 2011 or 2015. Still, why not prepare now for what probably lies ahead in the weeks to come?

For oldtimers, you know the drill. For newcomers, here are some suggestions:

Snow covers neighborhoods (File photo)

February 2011 (File photo)

  • Bundle up with gloves, caps and jackets, if you’re going to catch a Friday night lights game.
  • Remember to take care of the three P’s — pets, plants and plumbing. It’s not going to freeze, but why not prepare those pipes now?
  • Put a blanket and some water in your car. Who knows? If you get stuck, you just might want a gulp of water and a wrapper until you get a tow.
  • Have your HVAC checked. It’s been a while since you turned on the heating element.
  • Check on your senior buds and physically challenged folks. Cold weather seems to hit them harder than you hardy types. See if their windows and doors are sealed to keep out the cold. And while you’re at it check yours, too.
  • It’s not too late to have a chimney sweep check your fireplace. You might also want them to clean your clothes dryer, too. After all, you don’t want the holiday glow to be your home going up in smoke.
  • Stock up on all those comfort foods. Homes just seem to handle the chill when hot chocolate is served or brownies are in the oven.
  • Remember those old blankets that you replaced with brand new ones? Why not donate the older ones to Goodwill or Dallas Animal Services?
  • Stock up on batteries, candles and matches.
  • Get a book and a couple of board games and/or jigsaw puzzles. If you lose electricity, you’ll find high tech goes down the drain and these old-timers can come in handy to handle the boredom.
  • Buy a toy. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with staving off the cold, but you just know you’re going to want to donate to a toy drive, so why not buy something now!

A Gentle Reminder: It’s Time To Get Shot Up

It’s getting pretty late to get that necessary injection if you’re going to make it through the holiday party season. No, not that Botox treatment. Rather it’s your flu shot. After all it takes a couple of weeks to settle in to fight off that nasty, sneezy, headachy stuff. And you just know that you’ll want to be prepared for all the hugging and air kissing that’s in your future.

So, toddle to you fav doctor or pharmacy and get the needle. And, no, you probably won’t get a lollipop, but then you probably won’t be getting the flu either.

Suggestions For A Safe Howl-oween

With Halloween approaching, parents know the drill about checking candy and keeping a watchful eye on little costumed folks not making the rounds alone.

Trick-or-treaters (File photo)

Trick-or-treaters (File photo)

But precautions also extend to pet owners. For instance, candy and pooches don’t mix well. Chocolate may be dandy for humans, but it can be lethal for dogs.

Pooch (File photo)

Pooch (File photo)

The SPCA of Texas has provided the following reminders on how to take care of critters on the night of goblins and ghouls.

  • Keep pets away from live flame decorations like candles and jack-o-lanterns, and restrict your pet’s access to hanging decorations such as streamers. Pets are curious and can become tangled or even choke if they chew on the decorations.
  • Pets may be terrified by tiny gremlins carrying big, orange, pumpkins full of sugar… wouldn’t you? If you have a protective dog that might feel threatened by strangers, keep him/her away from the door when trick-or-treaters arrive. Keep pets in a familiar place with lots of toys and soothing music to distract them from the doorbell.
  • Don’t let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Although bringing your pooch may seem like a fun family outing, your pet would likely feel much safer and more comfortable in his or her own home away from all the Halloween festivities.
  • Make sure your pet’s Halloween costume includes a collar and identification tags, so you can be contacted if he or she does slip away during all the Halloween commotion. In addition to identification tags, ensure your pet is microchipped and the information is current, too.
  • And of course, if the thought of more homeless, unwanted dogs and cats scares you like it does the SPCA of Texas, you can help us spay and neuter more pets by donating today.
Black cat (File photo)

Black cat (File photo)

While in the past some shelter have not adopted out black cats around Halloween, SPCA’s Maura Davies reports, “We are not suspending the adoption of black cats until after Halloween or at any time during the year. We do not have any reason to believe that black cats adopted from us are at risk of being cruelly treated if adopted around Halloween or any time. Tragically, animals of all species, breeds and coat colors can become victims of animal cruelty or abuse any day of the year. Our Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit is here for those animals.

“We stand behind our wonderful staff who facilitate each adoption and our regular adoption counseling processes that ensure that all of our pets are adopted into loving homes. Further, we contact all of our adopters to follow up and offer any needed support after the adoption takes place.”