Got animal-lovers on your gift list? Why not give them a gift that benefits our fine feathered and four-legged friends?
Birds can struggle mightily when it’s brutally cold, says Karen Reese, who owns Wild Bird House at 7342 W. 80th St. in downtown Overland Park with her husband, Ed Reese.
“The problem with winter months for birds is when it’s below freezing, creeks freeze, ground water freezes, bird baths freeze,” Reese says. “So unless it snows, there’s nothing for them to drink. It’s important to provide them with water. Birds suffer during winter, not from a lack of food, but from not having enough to drink.”
Wild Bird House carries several types of heated birdbaths, including a heated plastic birdbath by Allied Precision Industries that attaches to your deck rail with a hinged bracket, so it can be tipped upward for cleaning.
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“If you already have a birdbath and just want something for that, you can buy a heated rock,” Reese says. “(Some are) thermostatically controlled to shut off when it hits a certain temperature. We have them in 50 and 75 watt versions.” Prices for the rocks are $54 and $60.
Reese recommends the Aspects Bird Feeder Peanut Silo for avid bird-watchers.
“The bird doesn’t just pull the peanut right out. They have to work at it, so they hang around a while,” she says. “The peanuts also last longer, so you don’t have to constantly fill it.”
KC Pet Project
Remember Roadrunner, the Tibetan spaniel who lost both his eyes a couple of weeks ago after he was beaten, then thrown off a third-floor balcony at a Kansas City apartment?
KC Pet Project has placed Roadrunner in a foster home and is taking care of his ongoing medical expenses. But it needs help paying for his care and for that of another 470 or so animals that have been brought to the shelter after being abused or neglected.
You can help by shopping online at the Pet Junkie Store. KC Pet Project receives 35 percent of all sales of products from Pet Junkie when you log on to the shop’s website through KCPetProject.org/shop. The Summit Pedestal Bowl ($19.95) is perfect for big, gregarious eaters like my Ralph, a 100-pound Rottweiler mix. It’s crafted from solid cast resin, making it hard to push around during meals.
Perhaps you have a Furry Princess Ginger Von Butterscotch, like my Frankie. The Quincy Rope Twist bed ($99.95) crafted from solid ash wood and veneer, would allow any pet to sleep in the regal fashion it deserves.
More deserving causes
The Parkville Animal Shelter is selling a 2015 calendar ($15) that highlights its homeless cats and volunteers to raise money and awareness about its efforts. You can get one at FOPAS Fabulous Finds Store, 8 East St., Parkville, or by calling 816-842-8765. All proceeds benefit the Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter.
Check with other local animal shelters to see how else you can help.
And remember, sales proceeds from the Deja Zoo Gift shop at the Kansas City Zoo benefit wildlife conservation projects around the world.