Next Event: Sat 12/20 Cats at Hillside PetCo
Dogs at Westmont Pet Supplies Plus and North Riverside Petco,

December 2014 Newsletter

Happy Holidays from Magnificent Mutts

Where did the time go? It seems just like yesterday we were celebrating Independence Day and now we are counting down to Christmas (17 days, but who's counting anyways.) The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, and at Magnificent Mutts it is no different. We want to thank all of you, wether you are an adopter or a volunteer, you are a supporter of Magnificent Mutts. Without you and your support it would not be possible to do what we do today and we are eternally grateful. We would like to invite our past alumni, volunteers, supporters and potential adopters to celebrate the Holidays with us at our Holiday Craft Show and Adoption Event on Saturady December 13th. We hope to see you all there!

Safe Pets

Keeping your Pets Safe in the Holidays

The following list is from the American Humane Association website ( There were many more tips on the website concerning other holidays, such as Halloween and Fourth of July, so make sure to check it out!


Holidays bring special cards, gifts decorated with ribbons, tinsel or yarn, and special decorations like Christmas trees. Unfortunately, animals appreciate these items, as well -- and many of them can cause serious damage.

Christmas trees

  • Anchor trees securely. Climbing cats and dogs with wagging tails can knock over your tree.
  • Hang breakable, glass ornaments well out of reach. The small glass and metal fastenings can be stepped on or even swallowed by your pet.
  • Keep tinsel, ribbons and garland out of pets’ reach, especially cats that are intrigued by them. These can become lodged in their intestines, cause obstructions and lead to surgery or death.
  • Clean up pine needles frequently. They can be toxic when eaten by your pet.
  • Prevent your pet from drinking water in the tree stand if you have added preservative chemicals. These can be poisonous to pets. Also, stagnant water can contain bacteria, which may lead to vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.

Holiday house plants

Although they add a warm touch, many plants can harm your pets. Keep these potentially dangerous bloomers well out of reach.
  • Lilies can be deadly to cats, and many types can cause cats to have kidney failure.
  • Poinsettias, although not as toxic as people often think, can upset your pet's digestive system.
  • Mistletoe, especially the berries, is highly toxic, can cause stomach upset and has the potential to cause fatal heart problems.
  • Holly can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and lethargy.
  • Certain types of ivy, such as English ivy, can also cause severe harm.
  • Amaryllis can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Hibiscus can cause diarrhea.

Lights, candles and fragrance

  • Keep lights and extension cords safely secured or covered to deter chewing, which can lead to electric shock or even electrocution. Better yet, invest in pet-proof extension cords, or spray with products such as Bitter Apple or Chew Stop.
  • Candles can be fragrant and enticing to pets. But they can be a fire hazard if knocked over by an exuberant pet, and the fumes can be harmful to birds.
  • Liquid potpourri and sachets, popular during the holidays, can be very dangerous. Exposure can cause skin or oral damage to your pet and may cause illness or death.

Food Hazards

Before you give in to those gorgeous, pleading eyes and feed your pet that leftover turkey leg or Halloween candy bar, be aware of the harmful and even deadly consequences of feeding “people” food to any companion animal.One way to reduce this temptation is to feed your pet before guests arrive, so your pet will be less likely to beg and steal food. Inform your guests of the house rules regarding your pet, such as not feeding him scraps from the table. Also, if your guests smoke, be extra vigilant and keep nicotine and alcohol out of your pet’s reach. These can be highly toxic -- even deadly! Below are some foods that can be harmful to your pet on holidays and year-round:
  • Rich, fatty foods, such as turkey skins or gravy can cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of a digestive gland, and can be very painful and serious, leading to hospitalization. Stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur if pets consume these items. Limit table scraps, and let your guests know as well.
  • Any kind of bone can tear or obstruct your pet's intestinal tract. Make certain all bones are disposed of properly. Poultry bones can be especially dangerous or even fatal to animals.
  • Often used to tie the turkey during roasting, strings can tie up your pet's insides, too.
  • Found in abundance in turkey stuffing, onions are toxic and can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. Foods containing high amounts of onion powder should also be avoided.
  • Grapes and raisins are beautiful to look at but harmful to pets. Keep that cornucopia filled with fresh fruits out of reach. Grapes especially contain toxins that can cause kidney failure.
  • Chocolate -- especially baking chocolate -- can actually kill your dog, so keep all such goodies well out of reach. Chocolate can affect the nervous system and cause urinary system and heart muscle damage in your pet. It also contains theobromine, which can be especially harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities.
  • Coffee is also dangerous to animals. Watch out for grounds and whole beans.
  • Nicotine is a stimulant that can increase the heart rate leading to collapse, and in the worst case, even death.
  • Alcoholic beverages should be kept away from animals year-round.
  • Watch the string that ties up the turkey or roast, as well as the little red "pop-up" thermometers. Dogs and cats often eat these tasty things, causing intestinal blockage.

In addition, keep all leftover food out of reach in a closed container. Any garbage can contain toxins such as e-coli that can affect your pet's organs. This includes leftover tinfoil that, when chewed, can obstruct your pet’s intestinal tract. If you suspect your pet has gotten into a potentially poisonous substance, call your veterinarian immediately! Have the telephone number to your local emergency animal hospital readily available, as well as the number for the national animal poison control center.

Make the holidays special for your pet

Provide your pet some extra love and attention to let them know they’re not forgotten during busy holiday times.
  • Take your dog for an extra walk -- it’ll help both you and your pet relieve some of that holiday stress.
  • Keep a supply of pet treats handy and reach for one before you’re tempted to toss your pet that little bite of “people” food.
  • Let your pet get into the gift-giving spirit by making a donation (e.g., food, litter, toys) to your local shelter in his name.
  • Perhaps your dog would like a new bed, or your cat a new scratching post. Birds love mirrors or other fun items for the cage. Get creative!

Enjoy some extra snuggle time. Whichever treat or special activity you choose, you’ll be enhancing the bond you share -- and your pet will love it!


Holidays can bring stress to all of us, and pets are no exception. When routines are disrupted and new activities occur, your pet may be the first to notice. Follow these tips to make the holidays more relaxing for everyone, including your companion animals.
  • Shy animals can get stressed with the hustle and bustle of holiday guests, so provide a quiet room where your pets can escape the hustle and bustle. Provide plenty of food and water and let your pet catch up on some Zs.
  • Holiday guests may not know your pets' routines. If your guests smoke, make sure they are careful with their cigarettes. Also, let them know in advance whether they are allowed to give treats to your animals.
  • As your holiday visitors come and go, or as trick-or-treaters come to your door, there will be many escape opportunities for your pets. Make sure that your pets always wear identification tags, and watch the door!
  • Always keep your veterinarian’s number handy, along with the number of the animal poison control center, in case of emergency.


We are a group of dedicated volunteers who provide love, hope, and a safe sanctuary to animals in need. Some of our volunteers transport, foster, feed, and train our rescued animals. Other volunteers help with organizing adoption events, paperwork, fundraising, creating flyers and various other marketing media to promote our organization. If you are interested in volunteering for Magnificent Mutts please visit our volunteer page.


Donating to Magnificent Mutts

There are several ways you can donate and help the animals of Magnificent Mutts. Some are monetary, but others may not. Remember, Magnificent Mutts is an all volunteer non-profit organization. We wouldn't be able to help all the animals we do without the support and kindness of people like you!

Donate via Animal Rescue Aid

To donate please visit "Donate Now" below and enter "Magnificent Mutts" in the shelter/rescue group field.

Donations Page

Are You Ready to Adopt?

Adopting a dog or cat is a big commitment. We want to make sure our dogs and cats go to their forever homes and never have to look back. Please read the questions on our Adoption page and answer them honestly. These questions are designed to help you truly understand the commitment you are making to adopt a dog/cat.