Posts in Guest Post

It’s Raining Feral Cats!

You may know Pharrell Williams. Probably Will Ferrell too. But have you heard the term “feral cats” before? If you aren’t quite sure what a feral cat is, don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

A “feral” cat is a cat who has reverted in some form or another to a wild state. Feral cats originate from former domestic cats who were lost or abandoned and then learned to live outdoors or in environments involving little human contact. In the Greater Toronto Area alone there are estimated to be over 100,000 feral cats roaming the streets. Now that’s a lot of cats!

Luckily, the Ontario SPCA has created three innovative programs to help the kind people that care for the feral cats of our communities rain or shine! The first is a Feral Cat Trap Depot Program where the Society loans out cat traps to feral cat caretakers at no charge. The hope is that these cats will undergo the TNR program (Trap, Neuter and Return) and will rejoin the stray cat population without the possibility of having more babies.

The second is a Free Feral Food Bank which provides a steady support of food to help out the feral cat caretakers. Without this program, the dedicated caretakers use their own money to personally care for these cats that have unfortunately been abandoned by our society.

And last but not least, the Ontario SPCA and their volunteers build feral cat shelters for feral cat caretakers so that they can provide a safe, warm place for feral cats during our cold, harsh winters. We know how cold it can be for us (who have warm houses to deal with the extreme temperatures), so you can understand why the need for these cats to have a warm place to call their own is so important. No one wants to be stuck out in a blizzard with no where to take shelter!

So why are the numbers of feral cats so high? We think it’s from a lack of spaying and neutering. To give you some perspective, in seven years, just one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 80,000 kittens!

Shelters across the country are constantly taking in animals that are unfixed. According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, 25,000 cats and over 8,500 dogs were spayed or neutered while at shelters in 2013 (please note: this does not include statistics from the Ontario SPCA).

It’s been proven over the years that spaying and neutering pets can really make a difference in the number of homeless pets on our streets. For example, since the Ontario SPCA Marion Vernon Memorial Animal Clinic opened in Barrie in 2009, the Ontario SPCA Barrie Branch has seen shelter cat intake reduce by 53%! In six years, that’s definitely a lot less homeless pets on the streets! Overall at Ontario SPCA Branches across the province, shelter intake has reduced by 27%.

Doing your part to help manage the current pet overpopulation crisis makes such a large impact that it can be seen in communities across Ontario. Imagine what we could accomplish if everyone spayed and neutered their pets?

Want to learn more about the importance of fixing your pet? Visit fixyourpet.ca – it’s the kindest thing you can do!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Kijiji Hunter: 5 Easy Methods to Consistently Find Good Deals

For some people, home is a place where you can take your socks off, kick back and just relax. For me, home is a yellow banner with six blue letters and a seemingly endless assortment of everything I could ever dream of.

Kijiji has become an incredible resource for me. I find all sorts of unique and inexpensive things that I probably wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. My house, job, dogs, car, appliances, electronics – honestly just about everything in my life has come from Kijiji.

Often I share my treasures with my friends on Facebook and so many of them seem amazed by what I’m able to find and bring home. To me, I don’t do anything out of the ordinary, but I thought I’d share a few of my search habits that help me to discover those hidden gems on my favourite classified site.

1. Call it Something Else

Think outside of yourself. If you’re looking for a couch, try words like ‘sofa’ or ‘sectional’ to find other items that you might not find by just searching for the word ‘couch’. Sometimes people label things differently than you might, so knowing which words to search for can help you to find hidden gems on Kijiji.

Using the example of the couch still, you can narrow it down by the colour, type of material, etc. If you want a leather sectional, why bother going through hundreds of couches that aren’t what you’re really looking for? Read other ads and see if they use other words that you didn’t think of.

2. Broaden Your Search

Once you feel like you’ve gone through all of the obvious words that the item could be called, start thinking outside the category. Just as people might not name things the same as you, sometimes they’ll list an item in a category that you wouldn’t normally expect to find it.

Broaden your search to all of Kijiji and type in ‘leather sectional’. Maybe that couch you’re looking for is hidden away in a not so obvious place you might otherwise miss if you only search in the ‘couches, futons’ category on Kijiji.

3. How Much Do You Want to Pay?

I find a lot of things because I also narrow my searches by price. If I want to pay $100 for something, I might start with a maximum price of $60 and see what comes up. If I don’t find anything, I’ll do another search between $61-80 and so on. It can help to narrow down a big list of results and also give you an idea of what a good deal is in that category.

If I mentally agree that $100 is my maximum price, I would search all the way up to $150. Remember that Kijiji is great for bartering. No matter what I inquire about, I always ask what the seller’s best price is. Sometimes they’ll say the price listed is their best price, but many times the person will drop their asking price by a few dollars if you agree to pick up the item sooner than later.

4. Search Away from Home

It’s great when you can find something and it’s close to home. By venturing outside of your area code, you open up a whole new world of opportunities. Driving a little further can be completely worth it if the price is right or if there’s something you want that you haven’t been able to find nearer to where you live.

I usually keep a wish list of things that would be great to have. If I’m planning to go away for the day or on a weekend roadtrip, I do a quick Kijiji search to see if any of those items will be on my route or near my destination. I’ve found lots of things away from home. Sometimes they’re a little too far to drive for just that, but because I was planning to go there already, it was totally worth it.

5. Patience

Every once in a while you get lucky and find just what you want exactly when you want it. Other times, patience is the key. As I mentioned, I keep a list of things that I need or would like to have either just in my head, or in a word processor.

To some, it might seem like I’m finding things all the time, but in reality it can just be that the timing is right. Other times, I’ve been searching for something for a few months and it’s just happened to come up now. Setting up Kijiji email alerts is a really easy way to find what you want, if you don’t check the website as often as I do.

So that’s it. No rocket science, just simple tips to help you find awesome things on Kijiji.

Happy Hunting!

This post was contributed by Greg Lehman, who considers himself to be a hippie in a business suit. When he’s not busy working or taking hunting for great deals on Kijiji, you’ll find him lost in the forest with his dogs Dakota & Casey. He also enjoys cooking, travelling and writing about himself in third person. Connect with him here at about.me/GregLehman.

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Tips

‘Tis the Season to Keep Pets Safe! Remember Fido When Planning Your Holiday Celebrations

Can you believe the holidays are already upon us?! Time to start ticking names off that holiday shopping list and gathering all the yummy ingredients for your holiday meal. It’s an exciting time, but when it comes to our pets, let’s not forget the dangers that come along with all the festivities. So many new scents, visitors coming and going, treats, candy and so much more. Our furry friends become vulnerable to many new dangers at this time of year. It’s important to keep them safe because let’s face it – the holidays would be missing something special if our pets were injured or sick because they got into something they shouldn’t have!

Christmas Cat Says Stay Safe

What can you do to make sure Fido and Whiskers are safe this holiday season?

Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit more than getting out our favourite holiday decorations and putting them in the perfect spots throughout our home. Tinsel is one of those things that comes to mind when we think of holiday decorating. It is fun to play with and hang on the Christmas tree, but cats and dogs are attracted to tinsel and if swallowed, it could cause serious harm. If tinsel is a holiday staple in your apartment or house, make sure it’s out of pet’s reach.

Our furry friends are always quite curious, so putting up a decorated tree will definitely peak their curiosity! To prevent your tree from falling on your pet, we recommend securing it to the wall. You wouldn’t want it to fall over when your pup goes by to sniff your new masterpiece!

Beware of pets around open flames on candles as this may also peak their curiosity. If they get too close, they may knock them over and accidently injure themselves or start a fire.

We all know how much our pets love to chew. When they see wires, batteries, glass and plastic ornaments, they probably wouldn’t think twice about chowing down! The simple solution is to hang your ornaments higher up on the tree, and hide any kind of wires as much as possible.

Holiday plants and flowers add lots of atmosphere to any home. But did you know, Holly can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea? Mistletoe and poinsettia can also cause stomach upset. It’s best to choose some other festive item (like fake flowers and plants) when decorating your home to make sure it stays pet-friendly.

Do you include your pets in your holiday gift-giving? Do they have their own special stocking hanging next to mom and dad’s? If you’re giving gifts to your pets, choose gifts that are safe for them. Some pets like to eat the stuffing found in toys. If this sounds like your pet, it’s best to avoid these types of toys.

We bet your holiday meal smells delicious! Remember: it also smells delicious to your pets! They may be tempted to sneak a bite or two of their own so it might be a good idea to keep them in a separate and comfortable room while serving and eating your holiday meal. If you’re serving alcohol, like human food and chocolate, alcoholic beverages are not meant for pets.

Using these tips won’t take up too much of your time, but they’ll definitely help keep the feline and canine members of your family out of trouble! So when you’re drinking your eggnog, playing some festive holiday music and celebrating with your loved ones, you can rest assured that your pets’ safety has been taken care of. Wishing everyone and their pets a very happy-and safe-holiday!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Because there’s No Greater Gift than the Love of an Animal, iAdopt for the Holidays

Be a part of a Canadian program that drives pet adoption during the upcoming holiday season!  

The Ontario SPCA had such amazing success with their “iAdopt for the Holidays” adoption campaign last year that it’s back again this year across Canada! Over 50+ participating SPCA’s, Humane Societies and Animal Rescues are on board to get as many pets adopted into their new loving homes over the holidays as possible.  
OSPCA: adopt a cat this holiday season

What is iAdopt for the Holidays all about? iAdopt For the Holidays is a two-month adoption drive that aims to change the lives of orphaned pets. Since more families bring a new pet home during the holidays than any other time of the year, this campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption by sharing the positive real life pet adoption stories of others.  
OSPCA: adopt a dog this holiday season
How can you make this campaign an ever greater success this year? Drop in to one of many participating societies across Canada from November 1st to December 31st to meet your new furrrever friend! We also invite you to take part in the iAdopt Facebook contest. Submit your pet adoption story along with a photo of your pet and your reason for adopting, for a chance to win great prizes!   If you’re interested in learning more about iAdopt for the Holidays and finding your local participating society, check out www.iadopt.ca.

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Hey New Roomie, Now That We Live Together, Want to Adopt Or Something?

So you and your best bud have decided to become roommates and rent an apartment. How exciting! What could be better than getting a pet to celebrate the new apartment and cement your friendship? While it may look like a good idea on the surface, it’s going to take some great planning and mutual understanding to make it successful and keep both you and your new pet happy. Let’s have a look at some of the FAQs we get asked about with this kind of thing.

Adopting a pet with roommates

Who really owns the pet? Have you ever heard the expression, “the piece of paper always wins?” It basically means that a written signature on paper is going to win over any verbal agreements you may claim to have. So whose name is on the adoption paperwork? Whose name is on the dog license with your local Municipality? Whose name appears on the veterinarian records? Sounds like a lot to think about right? This can become really confusing if different names are on different registrations listed above. The solution? Talk about it with your new roomy before you get the pet. Decide who will be the one person listed on all the paperwork with the understanding that if anything goes wrong, this is the person who will end up with the pet and all the responsibilities that go with it.

What if there is an emergency? We all hope that we won’t have to experience an emergency, but the reality is that it could happen! Having a pet with a roommate is a great situation for you to think about pet insurance. It can be a real lifesaver if you don’t have money saved up for vet emergencies! At least with pet insurance all you have to worry about is what you should do to treat emergency problems. That’s going to be enough to handle at the moment without having to make financial decisions too.

Okay, so let’s talk about something less dramatic – what to feed your furry friend and who adopts it? Set out a game plan in advance – maybe swap out every month and talk over what you both think is a good diet to feed your pet (you can also chat with your veterinarian about this). Also on a day-to-day basis, who disciplines the pet if they chew on something or have a leaky bladder episode? This is where keeping those lines of communication open are going to be really important. Talk it over early what you’re going to do if you encounter the common problems. Chewing is big one – what would you do differently if the pet chewed up some shared furniture versus chewing up one roommates favourite sweater? It may seem trivial until it happens and everyone is really upset. Some good advice? Talk over some basic ground rules before you need them.

Lastly, what happens if something goes wrong and you and your best bud aren’t really best buds anymore, or it’s the end of the school year – who gets the final responsibility of the pet? If it’s the end of the school year, then hopefully you’ll be coming back in the fall with the same roommate for the next year. But if people are graduating or you split up for good, then what happens? Several Ontario SPCA Communities have to deal with abandoned pets or surrendered pets that they just adopted out eight months earlier. Again, pet ownership is something to talk over while you’re still talking and communicating well. Make a plan just in case things don’t go as well as they are right now… just in case.

So what are we trying to say here? In the end, we’re not saying that it can’t be done – it’s just that it takes great planning, being mature and keeping the lines of communication open between you and your roommate to make for a great rewarding pet experience. Try to remember to always put your pet’s needs and wants first over any problems you may have living with a roommate, big or small!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets