Happy Halloween my tricksters and trolls! It looks like you lucky lot have survived to the final day of our weeklong virtual Creeptacular Event at the Seattle Animal Shelter. Let’s talk about what you have encountered and witnessed throughout this scaringly delightful event.
Firstly, we pulled videos right out of our witch hats featuring several bunnies who have resided at the shelter. These cute videos highlight some very important daily needs of a bunny in a household. As you learned from the videos, they can be very social, inquisitive and they are super smart. We even showed you one bunny who is trained to do various tricks! These adorable critters have an average life span of 8-10 years and during their life span they require daily companionship and physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy members of your family. Our videos of bunnies also depicted lots of chewing and eating, both are big parts of their daily routines. As mentioned earlier in the week, their teeth are ever growing. That means that they need to be provided with appropriate chews and toys that will help them maintain good dental health. Because of this it is important to “rabbit proof” their space so they do not decide to practice their dental hygiene on your cords and baseboards. Another way that they maintain their chompers is through a balanced and appropriate diet consisting of lots of hay, some rabbit pellets, a daily salad and the occasional treats.
Around the second shockingly wonderful corner of our journey came the piggies, guinea pigs to be specific. As shown in the videos featuring guineas, these social butterflies enjoy the company of other guineas and/or the gentle companionship of human family members. These social critters are also quite the little chatterboxes, as one of the videos picks up, and they elicit a variety of adorable wheeks and squeaks to communicate. Like rabbits, guinea pigs love to eat and they spend a lot of time eating. They need a balanced diet consisting of a variety of components to maintain the health of their ever-growing teeth and their digestive system. In addition to eating hay, guinea pigs need a daily salad, a small amount of guinea pig pellets and vitamin C.
On our next eye-popping stop in our journey we discovered the fun and amazing habits of some of the smaller mammals who come to the shelter. We got a couple doses of cuteness overload from videos portraying their adorable eating habits of sitting up and chomping down on some healthy and delicious produce, a daily dietary necessity. We learned that some species of rodents, including hamsters, have cheek pouches that allow them to overly stuff their cheeks with food that they find so they can go take it back to their caches and eat later. Boy would cheek pouches come in handy when bringing groceries into the house…although I’m sure that most people would not find that food very appetizing afterwards! Mice also create food storage areas as well as bathrooms and sophisticated tunneling systems throughout their habitats. Their fun and fascinating design schemes are only limited by the size of their enclosure and the nesting materials provided to them.
And let’s not forget the bone- chilling lessons we covered in reptiles after the little fuzzy furries. We witnessed a tortoise murdering some innocent lettuces. Our ectothermic bearded dragon basked in the spooky red glow of his heat lamp to keep warm. And a ball python slithered his shiny waterproof scales across the screen.
After our visit with critters covered in scales and scutes, we made a ghastly stop to critters with feathers who come through our shelter doors. Do you know what type of critters I am referring to? That’s right, birds! We care for a wide variety of birds, including: budgies, parrots, doves, ducks and even chickens and roosters. While the barnyard birds do well in our climate, with the appropriate enclosure, the companion parrots and birds come from warmer climates and need to be housed indoors. This will also help these social birds to flourish by being around their human companions. They will provide your household with free daily music. They do not come with a scan option though. So sometimes your feathered companion will sing you a soft and mellow jazz tune and other times heavy metal might be more their calling.
And now that we have recapped our frightful journey so far, we are nearing the end of our ghastly adventure together. Watch today for the answers and winner of our spine-chilling trivia contest, complete with a dreadfully wonderful prize. We hope that we have cast a spell on you with our fun critter knowledge and made your eyes pop right out with the variety of amazing critters that we have available for adoption at our shelter. If you are looking for a critter companion, get information about adoption here: http://www.seattle.gov/animal-shelter/find-an-animal/adopt
If you are curious about critter care, start with our care guides here: http://www.seattle.gov/animal-shelter/resources/critter-care-guides
If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our expert staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 386-4294.
Have a fun and safe Halloween and we hope you will join us again next year!
– Courtney Bunn, Animal Care Officer