Attention animal lovers -- it's almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying "trick or treat!" all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you


If you come upon a litter of recently born kittens in your yard or neighborhood, unless absolutely necessary, DO NOT MOVE THEM.  This time of year, every rescuer and shelter is going to be full because of all the kittens being born all over the Valley, abandoned pets, etc. Whatever you do, do not take them to (or call) the county pounds or Humane Society. If they are feral, they will be euthanized—cute kittens or not! Please read the information on our Feral Cat page and call one of the feral/street cat help organizations listed on the Resource page for more assistance.

BIRDS & WILDLIFE – It’s mating/baby season

Please be on the lookout for baby birds over the next few months (see our information on baby birds if you come across one) and BE EXTRA CAREFUL WHILE DRIVING as wild bird parents of all kinds are constantly building nests searching for food, obtaining food, and feeding their young. This often involves swooping low across streets from one source to another. The bird you hit could leave orphaned nestlings without food.  Most prevalent during morning and evening heavy traffic times, so please remember they live here too and DO NOT understand what cars are all about – to them they are just big moving, noisy objects they try to avoid.


We also seem to have an abundance of “wild” chickens in some areas as well as a variety of ducks near water sources (especially Scottsdale), both of which have a tendency to cross the road with their flock of chicks or ducklings waddling behind them.  PLEASE be alert for them and give them time to get across safely.  In areas I know they are, I drive a little more slowly and look to the sides of the street ahead of me.

Bunny rabbits are on the move now too and scampering into the streets more often – be especially alert during early morning hours and at dusk

PLEASE DO NOT HAVE TREES TRIMMED DURING BABY BIRD SEASON.  Most birds are done mating and nestlings have found their way out of the nests and learning to fly by June,  with the exception of pigeons who pretty much mate all year along except the coldest months.  I will trim trees in summer or fall and any trees housing pigeons in December or January. 




Please help our local shelters and rescue organizations find homes for the many, many animals, especially cats and kittens they all have an overabundance of and reduce the unnecessary euthanization of adorable, adoptable animals by adopting from anyone of them this month and all summer long.

If you cannot adopt at this time, please consider being a foster home for any of the shelters or organizations and HELP SAVE ANIMALS LIVES! Foster homes are especially needed for the youngest, the sick and others who need a little extra TLC.

Spay and neuter your pets! Spayed and neutered pets live longer, healthier and often happier lives. Altering your animals helps decrease the problem of pet overpopulation and ensures that more animals can find loving homes.

There are many sources available for low-cost spay and neuter services across the valley. In particular Altered Tails provides very reasonable spay/neuter mobile services and free for pit bulls, AHCCCS recipient discounts and help with stray and feral cats.

Show your love of animals and help control the pet overpopulation problem. Buy a pet-friendly license plat and part of the proceeds to support statewide spay/neuter services. Go to for details or request when registering your vehicle.

Become an “animal advocate! Get active in local animal welfare policies and legislation.

Make a donation to your local animal shelter. All shelters and rescue groups rely on the kindness and generosity of local citizens for cash donations, needed items, volunteer time and bequests to support our life-saving work.

Teach children about the importance of being kind to animals. There are many programs and summer camps available to help children understand how to select an appropriate pet and how to be a responsible pet owner.


BEWARE!! of organizations advertising that they will "humanely" remove unwanted feral cats (or other animals) from your property for a fee. They might catch them humanely, but then what happens to the animals is anyone's guess -- but most likely turned into the county to be euthanized. If you or anyone is having issues with feral cats, please contact ADLA at 602-265-7729 or email at .