Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society

Finding Homes, Saving Lives


January 2014 Newsletter

February 3, 2014 | Posted by Stephanie Reese


S.O.A.P.S MEETINGS: Third Monday of each month: January 20, February 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17.


February 25, 2014, Vidalia Community Center, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, $10.00 per ticket.  Tickets can be picked up at the next meeting or get in touch with Marcia and she will get them to you. PR and Tickets sells will start February 1st. Volunteers will be needed. Downtown Bistro will be doing the catering. We will also be doing a Bake Sale at the dinner, so get those baking sheets out and ready, please.


It has been an incredibly busy year for SOAPS. Some days I wonder if there will ever be an end to the sadness and suffering we see. Despite heroic efforts that included moving more than 1500 animals to rescue and providing a similar number of reduced cost sterilizations, the phone calls never end.

On December 23 at 2:30 pm as I prepared to spend the holidays with my family, I received a phone call from a lady who had 5 puppies that were only 6 weeks old.  She told me on the phone if SOAPS didn’t take them that day she was going to “turn them out to fend for themselves” because she was tired of feeding them.

Then, just a few days ago another SOAPS member gets a similar call from a man with a litter of small puppies whose mother was killed.  He had decided if we didn’t get these little ones the “most humane thing” would be to shoot them.  Even though their homes are over-flowing, somehow the foster parents find ONE more place and get these babies to safety AND our rescue coordinators go into high gear and find them a safe haven.

BUT, this is done at huge costs to SOAPS and these individuals who work nearly 24-7. Our organization lacks the sustainable funds needed to carry on this tremendously important mission.  And just as critical, the handful of dedicated volunteers who do 99% of the work are maxed out physically and mentally.

I hope, as each of you read this, you will decide that YOUR goal for 2014 will be to find the time and motivation to be more active in our group. We desperately need foster parents, people who can transport animals, AND money.  If you aren’t willing or able to do direct care for the dogs and cats, then please consider getting on the phone and calling everyone you know and asking for a tax deductible donation.

We need a hundred people to pledge $2000 to SOAPS for next year. That means spending a $100 less each month on eating out or buying junk at Wal Mart.  Even small donations mount up, so call 200 people and ask for $10.

Saving lives, finding homes—IT IS what we do.

pet tips 

How do I know if my dog needs a sweater or coat this winter?

A. I feel safe in saying that if you have a healthy, young Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute who’s acclimated to the cold and has the glorious coat common in the Northern breeds, you likely won’t have to invest in canine clothing for walks in the snow. In general, there are three kinds of dogs who benefit from the insulation provided by a sweater or coat, as well as the protection afforded by life as a pampered house pet:

  • Small dogs
  • Dogs who are elderly, chronically ill or both
  • Greyhounds, Whippets and dogs of a similar thin body type, especially those with short fur

What these dogs have in common is that they have a more difficult time generating and retaining enough body heat on their own. For these dogs, a little help keeping dry and warm is always a good thing. Though protection from the elements is the biggest reason to put clothes on dogs headed outside, it doesn’t hurt to leave a sweater on these dogs inside if you’re keeping the heat down to save energy and money.

Heinz 57s, would get jackets when they go out in the cold, as do thin-coated Pugs. Big dogs, (Labrador Retriever-Pit Bull mix, Golden Retrievers,, do just fine without sweaters or coats.

If you have a dog with arthritis, protective clothing is just one thing you can do to make winters more comfortable. Pet-safe heated orthopedic beds are a great idea; you can also talk to your veterinarian about nutraceuticals, such as glucosamine and omega-3 oils that are clinically proven to ease joint pain. Other dogs may benefit additionally from the use of pain-control medication, typically nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Even if your dog doesn’t need a coat, having one certainly won’t hurt him. I know many people who put slickers on their pets before taking a walk in the rain or snow because it saves them the trouble of cleaning a wet dog at the door before coming inside, for example. Boots help keep things neater, too, and where de-icing solutions are used, they can protect your pet from licking toxic chemicals off his paws.



Do You Know What a Yellow Ribbon

Tied on a Dog’s Collar Means?


You are out in the park with your family, playing, running, maybe even having a picnic.  Perhaps your dog is with you; however, off in the distance you see adorable dog approaching with their handler and your children immediately begin to run towards this adorable dog.  As the dog is getting closer, you see a yellow ribbon tied on the dog’s collar.  What goes through your mind?

A yellow ribbon around a dog’s collar is to help children identify that you need to proceed with caution. The dog may not be child friendly, may have fear or anxiety issues, or may be overly excited.  Either way, caution should be applied when approaching.

The Yellow Dog Project is a nonprofit organization that is a global effort to help raise awareness and education around dogs that require a little extra distance upon approaching.  Does this mean that the dog is aggressive or mean?  No, there are numerous reasons why a dog may have a yellow ribbon. It may mean the dog is new with the handler, is under medical care, or in foster care for instance.

The purpose of this project is to assist with the proper techniques to approach a dog. Children have a lot of energy and often to run up and pet a dog. Not all dogs understand this and can become fearful.  With proper education, all parties are put in a less stressful environment, which in turn reduces opportunities for an unforeseen accident.