Cheryl Wicks: Gearing up for winter |

Cheryl Wicks: Gearing up for winter


There are so many things to write about at this time of the year that my head is spinning. This article will be a potpourri of several different topics, hopefully useful to you and beneficial to our animals friends.

We are fast moving into the holidays. We are reminded of love and generosity and caring for our fellow beings. Sammie’s Friends would like to invite you to volunteer with us. We have many volunteers tell us the best part of their whole week is the time they volunteer with Sammie’s Friends. What a wonderful gift your time and love is for the animals. At this time we are particularly looking for volunteers to work the morning shift at the Kitty Kove. This entails cleaning up the kitties living quarters after a night in their kennels. It is also an opportunity to interact with some pretty cool four-legged furballs. Most of all you give yourself that good feeling of “I did something good and made a difference for some kitties living in a shelter.”

If you prefer dogs, the dog facility is looking for office help, dish washers and transporters. If you would like to walk dogs please apply if you are up to handling large dogs (65 pounds plus) with limited training (meaning they pull on the leash and jump up when they are excited). The majority of dogs we receive are large. We do get a few small dogs; at this time we have an adequate number of small-dog walkers.

Fill out an application online at For the Kitty Kove call 530-274-1955, and for the Dog Facility call 530-471-5041.

One of the ways we support our efforts is that we operate Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop. Volunteers are always needed there to receive, sort and price items and to work the cash registers. Sammie’s Nifty Thrift is located at 535 E. Main St., Grass Valley and the number is 530-273-0603.

During the holidays remember to keep your pets safe. Some are more social than others. When company arrives, some love to be right in among the guests. Others become overwhelmed and anxiety stricken and would be happier sequestered in a bedroom with a toy and occasional visits from a family member. Be careful of human party food and holiday meals. That food is meant for humans and pets eating overly rich food can make them seriously ill. Please be sure your animals stay warm enough during these winter months. If you’re cold, they probably are too. Most cats and dogs live indoors and are warm enough. Farm animals need protection and shelter during these cold months. When it is cold, outside animals burn more calories and need to have their food supply increased, especially older horses and livestock.

Several plants that are often used as Christmas decorations are toxic to your pets, such as poinsettias, lilies, holly berries and mistletoe, Christmas roses and Amaryllis. Keep them away from your pets. They can cause serious illness and even death. Lillies are the most toxic.

Ticks are most active during winter, so if you are hiking in forested and grassy areas be sure you use some type of tick preventative. Ask your veterinarian for advice. Over the counter cures are sometimes toxic to some animals. Your dog also needs to be on heartworm protection 12 months out of the year. Heartworms come from infected mosquitos and your dog can be bitten any time there are mosquitos. (not meaning to imply that all mosquitos carry heartworms, you just don’t know which ones do/don’t.)

Happy Holidays to our beloved supporters and all our four legged, finned and feathered friends!

Cheryl Wicks is the Co-Founder and President of Sammie’s Friends

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