Pets in the Pre-Nup? The New World of Pet Custody Battles

pet custodyCouples who adopt pets together are most likely not thinking about what will happen to these pets in the event of a breakup, but maybe they should. With over 70% of U.S. households containing a pet, combined with a 50% divorce rate, it makes sense that pet custody battles are on the rise.

The Law of the Land

In most states, pets are considered part of a couple’s joint assets, except in cases where one party brings the pet into the relationship. In that case, the pet is considered that person’s nonmarital property.

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Where Can You Take Your Dog? Almost Anywhere!

take your dogWith more than 69 million pet dogs in our country alone, it just makes sense that our canine counterparts would be welcome at a variety of public establishments; some employers are even encouraging their employees to bring their pets to work! With evidence of reduced stress, increased productivity, and higher morale, integrating pets into all areas of life seems natural.

In spite of widespread progress in this department, though, dogs aren’t allowed everywhere we want to go (yet!). The great news is that there are some amazing businesses out there that allow you to take your dog, and we’ve got them listed here!

From “No Pets” to “Yes, Please!”

With increased education, socialization, and training programs, dogs are becoming excellent participants in all manner of outings. It used to be that dogs were only allowed in outdoor areas, but now it’s common to take your dog to grocery stores, malls, restaurants, hotels, and more.
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Pet Owner Tax Breaks You Should Know About

Tuesday, April 18th is drawing nearer, and those of us who haven’t filed our taxes yet are scrambling to get our documents together, ahead of the looming deadline. Although figuring out which tax deductions you are eligible for can be a headache, it may be worth looking into, especially if you’re a pet owner. While you probably won’t be able to write off that $79 football jersey you bought for your Boston Terrier, chances are you may qualify for other pet owner tax breaks.

Pet Owner Tax Breaks

You may consider Fido or Fluffy a full-fledged family member, but the IRS doesn’t see it that way. Although you won’t be able to claim your dog, cat, parakeet, guinea pig, bearded dragon lizard, or any other pet as a dependent, there are a few ways to offset some of the expense that goes along with owning a pet.

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Go Spartans! A Healthy Dose of March Madness

For many, team sports are exceedingly fun to watch – but we’re hard pressed to find a sport that surpasses the chaos and fanfare of college basketball. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is known for hosting sizable tournaments in a variety of sports. However, they’ve achieved unmatched distinction through the promotion and organization of exciting (dare we say frenzied?) basketball games.

This time of year gives way to explosive competitions. The term March Madness describes the heightened enthusiasm surrounding men’s and women’s college basketball, and all of us at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services are eager to thoroughly enjoy this basketball phenomenon. We invite you to join us/compete with us to help determine the next champions of college basketball with our OVRS March Madness Pool! Continue…

5 Reasons to Hang Out with Your Pet on Valentine’s Day

Does the idea of spending Valentine’s Day at home with your pet sound more fun than going out on the town? Would you rather enjoy a Netflix binge next to your sleeping kitty than worry about what to wear on a date? Do you cringe at the thought of sitting across from someone in a Valentine’s crowded restaurant, battling awkward silences?

If the above statements sound like you, rest assured you’re not alone. According to a survey by pet-sitting service DogVacay, more than 75 percent of people would rather be with their pet on Valentine’s Day than with a significant other!

Here at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, we couldn’t agree more that pets make great Valentine’s Day dates, and here’s why…
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Ringing in the New Year with Our Top Pet Posts of 2016

Celebrating the New Year just wouldn’t be the same without a classic countdown. Some of our favorite New Year’s pastimes include watching countdown shows, listening to countdown broadcasts, and trolling our social media feeds for those year in review snippets. Oakland Veterinary Referral Services can’t help but join in the fun, too. In case you missed our best pet posts of 2016, here they are for your reading enjoyment.

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Lights, Camera, Action! The Best Holiday Films Featuring Animals

No one (except maybe Ebenezer Scrooge) could argue with the magical splendor, festive revelry, and spirited generosity that seem to be everywhere this time of year. While it’s simply wonderful to participate in the endless social events and family gatherings, sometimes you just need a night in. If curling up under a chenille throw with your best furry friend doesn’t sound reasonable enough, perhaps our list of holiday films featuring animals will entice you. Go on, get comfy!

Beyond the Standards

Holiday movies have that charming je ne sais quoi that other films just don’t have. Of course, old standards like Elf, Home Alone, and A Christmas Story have their place among all classics. However, our favorite holiday films featuring animals not only elevate the experience of pet ownership but also highlight the power of the human-animal bond. Continue…

It’s That Time Again: Our 2016 TEAR Cancer Fundraiser

Pug with hospital maskAt Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, helping pets in need is our passion; which is why October is such an exciting month for us! After much planning and many preparations, we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our annual TEAR Cancer Evening & Auction fundraising event, October 21, 2016 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.

Our TEAR fundraiser will include a scrumptious buffet dinner, a live and silent auction, and a variety of raffles, including the Lucky Charms raffle and the Bugaboo Whitt Memorial raffle. Tickets are priced at $100 each, or you may purchase a table of 10, along with a champagne toast and introduction, for $950. Continue…

Not Always Easy as ABC: What to Know About Service Dogs in Schools

Enjoying SchoolWe’ve all seen firsthand or heard stories of the wonderful ways in which service dogs are trained to help people. From dogs trained to guide visually impaired individuals, to those who can detect and alert a person of an impending seizure or blood sugar drop, there is no question that service dogs impact the lives of their owners in profoundly positive ways.

These amazing animals help children as well as adults, but complications can arise when it comes to having service dogs in schools.

What is a Service Dog?

A “service animal”, as defined by the American Disabilities Act (ADA), is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks that benefit an individual with a disability. This includes sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, and other disabilities. The tasks a service dog performs must be directly related to the person’s disability. Service dogs are not considered “pets”. Continue…

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Our Favorite DIY Pet Toys

Playful CatDo you bring a new dog toy home from the store just to have it destroyed in a matter of hours or days by your exuberant pup? Does your energetic  kitty shred every toy you buy? Or, worse yet, shun the expensive store bought toys in favor of your favorite slippers or the corner of your new chair?

Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or don’t consider yourself to be the crafty type, our list of fun, economical, and Earth-friendly DIY pet toys is sure to please your furry friend, without taxing your budget or your patience.

DIY Pet Toys Made Simple

What better way to save the Earth, and your pocket book, than by whipping up a new toy for your pet out of items you already have lying around the home? Continue…