Contact Us

Please use the form on the right to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

1265 Bumble Bee Rd
Accident, MD, 21520
United States

301-387-7729

website_BannerImg_05_EventsNews_B.jpg

Stories from HART

What to Do for a Stress-Free Visit to the Vet

Sarah Myers

We’ve all seen how stressed and anxious the word vet makes our dogs or cats. You may have a hard time getting him or her in the kennel or in the car, and he may not budge when you try to walk him into our office. A stressful vet visit may also stick in your pet’s memory and he may be forever scared to go.

This can be stressful and tiring for pet owners as well.

How can you make a visit to our clinic less stressful for you and your pet?

Read More

Why is it Important to have an Annual Vet Checkup?

Sarah Myers

Pet expenditure in the U.S. is almost $70 billion with approximately $30 billion of that going towards pet healthcare. Numbers like that highlight the importance of preventative healthcare for your pets. The earlier you identify potential health concerns, the less you're likely to spend on treatment. One of the best ways you can invest in pet wellness is with annual vet checkups.

 But why exactly is an annual checkup so worthwhile? And what does Dr. Jessy check for when she performs an annual exam?

Read More

How do I Develop a Strong Relationship with my Veterinarian?

Sarah Myers

Developing a strong, positive veterinary client patient relationship is key to keeping your pet healthy. We are happy to have your pet here at the Bredel Veterinary Clinic and get to know you, too! Both sides of the relationship need to work together to support the treatment and health of your pet. Equally, both sides have their responsibilities to make the relationship work.

Read More

How do I Prepare my Pet for Travel?

Sarah Myers

68% of U.S. households own a pet. So odds are, there'll come a time when most of us will have to travel with our best friend. Assembling a pet travel kit is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth journey for you and your pet. But what exactly should you include in your kit and how should you otherwise prepare for the trip?

 Here's everything you need to know about traveling with a pet: how to prepare for the journey ahead and what to include in your travel kit.

Read More

What Common Foods are Dangerous for My Pet?

Sarah Myers

When eating meals, it is hard to ignore the sweet begging eyes of our animals asking, “Can I have a bite? Just a little bite?” You may wonder what common foods are dangerous for our pets.

Here is a list of foods TO KEEP AWAY from your dog or cat: 

Alcohol

Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma, and, in some cases, death. So next time you’re having a beer or any adult beverage and your dog is begging, don’t pour beer in the dog bowl. If you think your pet has ingested any alcohol, contact the Bredel Veterinary Clinic immediately.

Coffee, Tea and Caffeine
We all know how coffee makes us jittery and now we know that it can have the same effect on pets. Initially, the dog or cat will have increased heartrate and get restless. But, too much caffeine can increase blood pressure and cause the pet to have tremor or seizures.

Chocolate

Pets shouldn’t have chocolate. But why? Chocolate contains theobromine. This ingredient is very toxic to pets. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, abnormal heart rhythm, hyperactivity, and death.

 

Grapes

Grapes and raisins can cause liver and kidney problems in cats and dogs. Even a little bit can bring issues such as sluggishness and decreased appetite. Excessive amounts can cause kidney failure or death.

 

Greasy/Fatty Foods

We’ve all eaten a big juicy hamburger and saw our pets tail wagging excitedly at the sight and smell. However, don’t give in to those big eyes and the happy tail. These foods are not necessarily toxic on ingestion but can cause vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues, and pancreatitis. It is difficult to see our pets in pain, so don’t put them in that unnecessary position.

 

Fat/Bones

Be careful when you’re trimming the fat off of steak or throwing bones to your dog as it can cause liver and pancreatic issues. Even cooked bones can cause splinters or sharp pieces that can cut the digestive tract or cause internal bleeding.
 

Nuts

Feeding pets nuts can cause lethargy, seizures, vomiting, and loss of muscle control. Nuts also have a lot of salt and fat in them, which can also cause a number of health issues.

Salty foods

A lot of salt can cause pets to be very thirsty and excessively urinate. In some cases, a lot of salt can even cause sodium ion poisoning. Sodium ion poisoning can cause neurological issues and seizures.
 

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions contain ingredients that can cause damage to your pet’s red blood cells and cause anemia. Whether it is whole or in powder form, you should keep these foods away from your pets at all times.

 

Raw Fish

This is not necessarily toxic to dogs, but can have harmful bacteria in it that can cause food poisoning or other food borne illnesses for your pet. Your pet just doesn’t need this food.

Xylitol
Some candy, gum, toothpaste, and diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. This sweetener can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and even cause liver failure. Initial symptoms of poisoning can include vomiting, lethargy, and coordination problems for pets.

If your pet has gotten into human food that they were not supposed to and are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact Dr. Jessy or Dr. Weimer at HART Bredel Veterinary Clinic as soon as possible for the best treatment options.

How Do I Care for My Elderly Dog?

Sarah Myers

Dogs truly are man's best friend. No one wants to see their best friend age, but odds are that you're going to have to care for your pet well into his senior years. Depending on your dog's breed, most dogs will live to around 10 years old. You want to make sure every one of those years is enjoyable and comfortable. 

 Caring for an elderly dog? Here are several tips for providing the best senior dog care.

Read More

Why Should I Spay or Neuter My Pet?

Sarah Myers

You have probably heard people talking about spaying or neutering their pets. You may also wonder, “why should I spay or neuter my pet?”

Spaying or neutering procedures offer both health benefits for your pet and help to control pet homelessness.

Read More

What is Feline Leukemia?

Sarah Myers

The Feline Leukemia Virus is quite common in cats. It affects 2-3% of cats in the United States. Cats who are already ill are more likely to get the virus. However, due to an effective vaccine, the presence of the virus has decreased.

Read More

How Do I Get Rid of Fleas?

Sarah Myers

Fleas are a pain! A flea is a wingless insect that can jump onto an animal and feed on the pet’s blood by biting. When fleas bite, it ​itches!​ Not to mention there are bacterial infections and tapeworms that can be transmitted by a flea bite. Pets can get fleas from being outside, going to the groomers, and even stray animals. Most pet owners aren’t aware of the four distinct stages of flea maturity and, therefore, have trouble removing fleas from their home.

Read More

How Can I Prevent or Manage Ticks?

Sarah Myers

Ticks are small, blood-sucking parasites from the same class as spiders. But, the greatest danger ticks pose isn't the loss of blood, but rather the bacteria and diseases they carry to hosts that can cause serious illness and even death.

The most susceptible targets are our pets who spend a significant amount of time outside and are more likely to brush up against vegetation where ticks reside.

Read on for our guide on preventing, recognizing, and treating tick bites in your pets.

Read More

HART ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF DR. KATLYN WEIMER, DVM

Paula Yudelevit

K.+Weimer.jpg

HART for Animals is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Katlyn Weimer, DVM, to the Bredel Veterinary Clinic at the HART Animal Center. Dr. Weimer joined the HART team on June 17, and is responsible for the health and wellbeing of dogs, cats and pocket pets. In addition, Dr. Weimer will be managing the health of the adoptable animals in the HART Adoption Wing, including the spay/neuter surgeries prior to adoption.

Raised in Michigan, Dr. Weimer spent most summers at the home of her grandparents in Oakland. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Macomb Community College, a B.A. from Walsh College of Business, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Weimer interned at HART in 2016, during her second year in veterinary school and has a keen interest in shelter medicine.

The Bredel Clinic is a full-service veterinary center providing consultations, examinations, surgeries, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, dentals, radiographs, and lab tests for dogs, cats and pocket pets. As part of its mission to protect the lives of all animals, the Bredel Clinic will continue to offer no-cost spay/neuters for qualifying families through their Lifesaver program, funded by the Maryland Spay and Neuter Grants Program. Low-cost spay/neuters are also available for residents in nearby states.

In announcing the new veterinarian, HART’s Bredel Veterinary Clinic Director, Dr. Jessy Vandevender, noted that 92% of HART’s total revenue goes directly into the care of the animals rescued by HART. She added, “In addition to our excellent service, our clinic and boarding clients have the satisfaction of knowing that their fees go to save the lives of homeless animals in our region.”

Are You Introducing a New Pet to Your Family?

Sarah Myers

Adding a pet to your family is a big responsibility, but can be incredibly rewarding.

There's a long list of health benefits of having a pet, and it teaches your kids how to care for something else. Like any new member of your family though, Dr. Jessy wants to ensure that you introduce your new pet the right way.

Make sure to keep the following things in mind to make a smooth transition

Introducing a New Pet to Kids

There are things we take for granted as adults that kids don't understand. Here's how to make sure your kids and your new pet begin bonding from the start.

1. Steer Clear of Surprises

We've all seen those videos online of parents surprising their kids with a new puppy. As cute as it can be when those surprises go right, they can also go terribly wrong.

Kids tend to screech and yell when they're excited and surprised. Those sudden loud noises are understandably scary for a new pet. You run the risk of the fear created becoming defensive and even leading to a bite.

Simply surprise your kids with the news of their new dog or cat instead so they are calm when they meet their new friend.

2. Have a Training Session

Kids are still building their motor skills and they often don't know their own strength. To teach them how to be gentle and how to treat a pet kindly, Dr. Jessy recommends using stuffed animals for "training." 

Kids should be taught to refrain from disturbing their pets when they are resting or sleeping, handling them roughly, screaming or shouting at them, getting too close to the pet’s face, hugging the pet or trying to take their toys or food.

The younger your kids are, the less developed their motor skills are and the more important this training is as a first step.

3. Set Up the Approach

When it's time for your kids to meet their new furry friend, be careful about the way they are introduced. An adult should have the pet on lead and let the pet observe the kids first. Kids should be sitting on the floor quietly and calmly with several treats in their hands. The kids should take turns saying the pet’s name and tossing a treat in the pet’s direction as the pet moves closer to the children.

This method gives the pet the choice of how close to approach which is determined by the pet’s comfort level.

Also, be sure everyone avoids approaching a pet from behind until the pet is comfortable in his or her new home.

4. Love the Leash

When you're bringing a new dog into the family, a leash is your best friend. The leash gives you a way to control the dog in case they exhibit an unwanted behavior; i.e. pick up an item they shouldn’t have, try to chase a running kid, decide to check out the trash, etc.  And, the truth is, you’re not sure how a new dog will react with your family.

Some people skip the leash because they plan to hold the dog, but this isn't recommended. A dog can squirm out of your arms in an instant, and you don't want to put your own safety or that of your family at risk. A leash is the only way to go.

Building Your Family Four Legs at a Time

Every family who gets a pet can’t wait until the pet and the kids are best friends, playing in the yard or cuddling together. But, don't assume that will happen on day one. The tips above can help you arrange a peaceful, successful start to your growing family's bond.

If you’re not adopting from us here at HART, be sure to bring your pet to see Dr. Jessy to make sure your new pet is in good health and his or her vaccines are up-to-date.

Call our office for your new pet's first appointment.

“FEAR FREE” CARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PETS AT HART

Paula Yudelevit

HART staff earns certifications to ease pets’ fear, anxiety during visits

 Can you imagine telling your dog, “Let’s go to the vet!” and seeing her tail wag? How about getting out your cat’s carrier and seeing him come running?

 Pet owners won’t need to imagine it when they visit the HART Animal Center in Accident, Maryland. The Director of the Bredel Clinic, Dr. Jessy Vandevender, and her staff, and the department managers and supervisors in the Adoption Wing, Bed ‘n Bark Inn and MuttWorks Grooming, are all part of a new initiative in veterinary medicine designed to ease the stress, fear, and anxiety so many pets experience while at the veterinarian.

 Known as “Fear Free,” the training and certification program help veterinarians and animal care-givers modify their procedures, handling, and facilities to help pets feel safe and comfortable while receiving the medical care they need.

 The “Fear Free” initiative aims to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments. Utilization of Fear Free methods and protocols leads to reduction or removal of anxiety triggers, which creates an experience that is rewarding and safer for all involved including pets, their owners, and veterinary health care teams.

 “I saw how fearful many dogs and cats can be when visiting a veterinarian clinic or boarding facility,” says Dr. Jessy. “Many of these pets have bad experiences and owners are reluctant to bring them for care or to leave them for an extended stay. With this training, our staff at HART can help alleviate the stress and anxiety and create a happier visit for pets and their owners. The adoptable animals in the Adoption Wing are also happier because of the training the staff received.”

Founded by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free Certification Program was developed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and board-certified veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.

“Providing veterinarians with the tools they need to ease this burden of fear and anxiety for our patients is the pinnacle of my 37-year veterinary career,” said Dr. Becker, who was dubbed “America’s Veterinarian” by Dr. Oz and appeared on Good Morning America for 17 years. “Veterinary professionals are hungry for this information. Animals and their humans need and deserve it. And now it’s here!”

 To become certified, those participating in the program are required to complete a comprehensive, 8-part educational course and exam. They also have to take continuing education to remain certified.

 The HART staff who have completed and are certified in the “Fear Free” course are Bredel Clinic staff: Dr. Jessy Vandevender, Veterinarian Technician, Stacey Hershman, Veterinarian Assistants, Sarah Maust and Courtney Lowery; Adoption Wing staff: Adoption Manager and Behaviorist Debbie Snyder, Adoption Wing and Rescue & Transport Manager Caroline Robison, and Supervisors, Kelsey VanSickle and Ashley Diehl, and Adoption Coordinator, Janessa Beitzel; Bed ‘n Bark Inn staff: Manager, Rachel Dudok and Supervisors, Kerri Sanders and Megan Sherbin; and groomer, Heather Umbel.

 Pet owners who would like their pets to experience the “Fear Free” difference can schedule an appointment at the Bredel Clinic, or MuttWorks, make a reservation at the Bed ‘n Bark Inn, or visit our adoptable animals, by calling 301.387.7729.

From Top:

Adoption Wing: Heather Umbel (MuttWorks Grooming), Janessa Beitzel, Caroline Robison, Kelsey VanSickle, Ashley Diehl, Debbie Snyder

Bed ‘n Bark Inn: Megan Sherbin, Rachel Dudok, Kerri Sanders

Bredel Veterinary Clinic: Dr. Jessy Vandevender, Sarah Maust, Stacey Hershman, Courtney Lowery

Does My Pet Have A Food Allergy?

Sarah Myers

Pets can be vulnerable to food allergies just like humans.

 Does your dog constantly have ear infections? Has he been scratching his sides until they’re bald? Does he chew on his paws?

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be a food allergy. Be sure to note, though, only about 10-15% of allergic reactions are caused by food. The majority of allergies are flea or environmental allergies.

Read More

What Common Human Medications Are Dangerous for Pets?

Sarah Myers

It is difficult to see our pets suffer in pain. While there are some human medications that our pets can have, there are some common medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, that are extremely dangerous for pets. Before considering giving your pet any human treatment, it is important to contact Dr. Jessy at HART Bredel Veterinary Clinic to determine if the medicine is safe. 

Here is a short list of medications that are dangerous for your pet:

Read More

How Do I Care for My Pet’s Teeth?

Sarah Myers

Just like for humans, dental care is an essential part of a pet’s overall health. Issues with a pet’s mouth and teeth can be caused by either obvious or underlying diseases and conditions that your pet may have. Dental issues can also cause deterioration of a pet’s health if not taken care of properly. Your pet should visit the Bredel Veterinary Clinic at HART for veterinary dentistry in order to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

Read More

MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AWARDS 2019 SPAY/NEUTER GRANT TO HART FOR ANIMALS

Paula Yudelevit

Vet Tech, Stacey Hershman and Dr. Jessy Vandevender, with Chi.

Vet Tech, Stacey Hershman and Dr. Jessy Vandevender, with Chi.

HART for Animals was awarded a 2019 grant by the Maryland Department of Agriculture as part of their Spay and Neuter Program designed to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs euthanized in shelters across the state. This is the fifth year in which HART has been awarded the grant and, to date has provided 2,123 no-cost spay/neuter surgeries to low-income Maryland residents in Garrett and Allegany Counties. This year’s grant will enable HART’s Lifesaver program to perform 85 dog spays, 128 cat spays, 85 dog neuters and 127 cat neuters. Residents who meet the income-eligibility requirements for Lifesaver can begin to schedule appointments now for 2019. To do so, please call 301.387.7729.

The Maryland Spay/Neuter Program was conceived and initiated by Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA), and implemented in accordance with the recommendations of a task force created by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in 2011. The task force’s report detailed that 50% of the cats and 33% of the dogs in Maryland’s shelter populations were being euthanized at a tremendous cost to Maryland taxpayers.

The bill to develop the state Spay and Neuter Grants Program became law in 2013. The objective of the program was to provide affordable spay and neuter services throughout the state in order to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia rates. Funding for the program is provided from fees paid by the pet food industry.

“Spaying and neutering your pet does matter,” says Caroline Robison, HART’s Rescue and Adoption Manager. “We all want to reduce the shelter intake and euthanasia rates. But also, 18% of neutered dogs live longer than unneutered dogs, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs, and have less health-related issues” she adds. “Another reason for the reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can be attributed to their increased urge to roam, which exposes them to fights with other animals, getting struck by cars, and other life-threatening situations.”

Dr. Jessy Vandevender, HART’s Bredel Clinic veterinarian, notes that altered pets also have a reduced risk of certain types of cancers. “An unspayed female dog or cat has a greater chance of developing pyometra (a potential fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer and other cancers of the reproductive system.” Male dogs have health issues as well. The doctor adds, “Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male dog helps prevent testicular cancer.”

The effectiveness of HART’s Lifesaver program and its low-cost HARTHelp program has been very positive, says Paula Yudelevit, Executive Director of HART. “HART has been keeping rescue and intake statistics from the Garrett County Animal Shelter since 2003. In 2011, the shelter took in 1,684 animals – the highest number ever – but in 2018, that number dropped to 1,301. The difference lies in the 9,233 animals HART has spayed or neutered through our programs since 2009.”

HART for Animals, Inc. is a charitable animal welfare organization founded in 2003 to improve the condition of homeless animals in the Western Maryland region. HART is a 501 (c) (3) corporation and all donations are tax-deductible. For additional information on HART, the HART Animal Center or any of its programs, or to donate, visit the HART web site at www.hartforanimals.org.

How Do I Prepare My Pet for Boarding?

Sarah Myers

It is great to be able to travel with your pet but what do you do with your furry friend when you can’t take him along? Luckily, HART for Animals offers boarding for your cat(s) and/or dog(s). HART for Animals boasts 25 dog suites with heated floors, doggie doors leading to private patios, cat condos with 3 different levels for sleep and play, a play area with toys, and lots of love and attention. The Bed ‘N Bark Inn at HART is a luxurious place for your pet to stay where he or she will receive the best care possible. So when you are planning a trip out of town, how do you prepare your pet for boarding?

Read More

You Found a Kitten - Now What?

Sarah Myers

You’re going to clear the snow off your driveway so you head out to the shed in your backyard. You open the door, move the snow blower, and you see a tiny kitten that has no collar. What do you do?

First, you should investigate. If the kitten is sleeping peacefully and doesn’t look too dirty or matted, there is a good chance that the mother is nearby and will come back for it. However, if you think the kitten has been lost or abandoned, you may have to intervene.

Read More