Posts Tagged ‘McDowell Mountain Ranch’

Keep Your Pets Safe While Outdoors!

As I was driving around McDowell Mountain Ranch this past month, I could not but help notice the abundance of wildlife running around. It is not uncommon for me to see coyotes, rabbits, bobcats, and once even a mountain lion! As recently as this week, there was a man on the news who lost 3 of his 4 dogs to a coyote attack in his own backyard. This all got me thinking about the safety and security of your four legged loved ones and prompted me to do some research. Here is what I found from the Arizona Game and Fish Department:


  • Coyotes have adapted to living in cities, suburbs and rural towns.  They live in our neighborhoods and do not just  “come down from the mountain to have a snack.”


  • If one appears in your backyard or while walking your pet you should try and appear as large and as threatening as possible moving your arms and legs around.


  • It is suggested that you keep a “coyote shaker” in your backyard near the door. This is a soda can with pennies or rocks in it sealed with duct tape. When shaken it makes a loud rattle and will scare a coyote off.


Discourage them from your yard by:

-eliminating any sources of food

-store garbage in a secure place

-keep bird seed and water off the ground.

– have an 8ft of higher fence. Coyotes can easily jump 6 ft.


  • When outside with your pets – supervise your dog or cat at all times. Coyotes and other wildlife will not hesitate to take your pet while you are with it or even when it is on a leash. NEVER let your pet off the leash! (besides – it is a law!)


  • Do not let your cat or small dog outside. Even if there is not a coyote present, owls, hawks and other wildlife have been known to prey on these types of animals.


  • Having a coyote in your neighbor’s yard is the same as having one in yours. Be extra careful if there is an attack in your neighborhood. Coyotes remember and come back for more.


  • Fence your garden to keep out javelina and rabbits because they serve as prey for species such as mountain lions.


  • Shrubbery should be trimmed from the ground up.


This information has been provided to you by Danielle Vasta, Owner of Bella’s House & Pet Sitting. Please contact her at: (480)330-4552 or for any of your pet sitting needs!

ID Your Pet!!!!

Just last month as I was driving around McDowell Mountain Ranch doing my morning visits, I spotted a small terrier mix sprinting around the neighborhood. It was only 9AM, but it was already at least one hundred degrees outside. I stopped my car and did the trick of, “Here little buddy! Do you want a  treat?” He came to me and I checked the blue collar around his neck for identification.  There was nothing there. Just a collar. I scooped the little guy up put him in my air conditioned car and drove him to Dr. Sosnow at North Scottsdale Animal Hospital (that office is great!) We scanned the little guy for a mico chip and he didn’t have one. So now I had a dog who’s owner I did not know and I was not about to surrender it to Animal Control. 


This type of situation happens all of the time.  If you are one of Bella’s House & Pet Sitting clients, chances are you have heard our speech about ID YOUR PET! Accidents happen, that is why we have car and health insurance. If your door ever opens in your home, or you take your pet for a walk, then there is a possibility that your pet will escape. Without proper identification, your chances of finding them are slim.


If your pet escapes:

          Wildlife could harm or kill your pets if they get loose.

          Someone may be bold enough to just keep your pet and assume you don’t want it. I have heard some stories!

          Your pet could end up with Animal Control. If you do not go to the facility every day to check to see if your pet turned up, they could put your pet down after the third day!!! Did you know that Arizona pet overpopulation is so bad that 75% of sheltered animals are put down! (Don’t buy, adopt a pet!)


Luckily this story ended happily. When I found the dog, I contacted the Debbie the activities director and she put a bulletin on the community TV Channel. The owner walked in the office just a few minutes later looking for “Smokey” and the owner and pet were happily reunited.  Please consider this a serious warning about IDing your pets. Not all stories end happily.



This information has been provided to you by Danielle Vasta, Owner of Bella’s House & Pet Sitting. Please contact her at: (480)330-4552 or for any of your pet sitting needs!




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