Monthly Archives: August 2017

For millennia, philosophers have debated the question: “what is a person?” Are insects people? How about fish or birds? Robots or computers? Some people say yes, others say no. But one thing’s for sure: if you’re a pet person, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your pet is a person. After all she or he has a distinct personality, right? And only a person can have a personality. Case closed.

Maybe my argument isn’t very philosophical, but it works for me, and probably for most pet owners. Pets sure seem to experience emotions and feelings very much like we do. And just like us, they tend to spend more time outside during the summer months. So as pet owners, it’s our responsibility to make sure they stay healthy, happy, and cool all summer long!

Here are some tips to heat your pets beat the heat:

  • Make sure your pets have plenty of fresh, cool water throughout the day. This is probably the single-most important thing you can to help your pet avoid dehydration and heat-exhaustion.
  • Provide plenty of shade for your pets. For example, if you have a sunny yard, make sure there are some trees your pet can rest beneath.
  • NEVER leave your pet in your car unattended. Even with the windows “cracked,” temperatures in your car can quickly rise to dangerous levels and put your pet in danger of heat exhaustion or stroke.
  • Be prepared in case your pet succumbs to heat stroke. Consult “How To Treat Heat Strokes In Pets” published on the American Red Cross website for information.

No Pets in Cars

In addition to beating the heat, be sure your pets are wearing collars and ID tags so they can be easily identified and returned to you if they get lost. Also be sure they are protected against heart-worm, fleas, and ticks by giving your pets medication recommended by your veterinarian.

To be even more prepared to assist your pet in the event of a summer health or safety emergency, consider downloading the Red Cross Pet First Aid App for your smartphone or tablet. It is available free from the Apple iTunes App Store, Google Play, and Amazon.

So, if you ever wonder if your pet is a person, just look at that little face. Of course, your pet is a person! And just like other people, pets don’t always make the right decisions about how to stay healthy and safe during the hot summer months. But as your pet’s best friend, you can help.

-Written by Randy Hulshizer

Want to help save lives during a road trip with friends? Offer some assistance to others on a rainy afternoon while on a beach house getaway? Or even pitch in while visiting out-of-state family members? Now is your chance. Donating blood from anywhere in the country is possible thanks to the American Red Cross.

This summer, the Red Cross is facing a significant blood donation shortage, reporting 61,000 fewer donations than needed across all blood types. The demand for blood is far outpacing recent collection amounts because of a huge drop-off in new donors, a group mostly made up of high school and college students who are on summer break until classes resume in the fall. For regular Red Cross blood donors, vacation plans may prevent them from donating.

Blood Emergency Give Now

“We have a huge unmet need,” said Alana Mauger, External Communications Manager for the Northeastern Pennsylvania and Penn-New Jersey Blood Services Region. While the number of donation appointments has increased since the call for donors began after Independence Day, Mauger said a big factor still effecting the nation’s blood supply is donors who haven’t followed through and arrived at their scheduled appointments. “You may take a vacation, but the need for blood doesn’t.”

New and returning donors who want to get involved can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit or use the free Blood Donor App to learn more about blood donation eligibility and to sign up to give blood. The Blood Donor App allows donors, especially those who may be on vacation, to participate from anywhere in the U.S. by texting “BLOODAPP” to 90999. The Blood App enables donors to search zip codes for nearby donation centers, schedule appointments and complete a RapidPass online health history questionnaire to speed up the donation process. The Blood App even lets donors track where their own blood donation has gone, whether on a local or national level.

Mauger said one of the most common misconceptions about blood donation is the length of time it takes to donate from sign-in to recovery. It’s important for donors to know what blood donation options are available, and just how much time is involved for each type of donation, which include:

Whole Blood
Blood is donated and then manufactured into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
Amount: Approximately a pint of blood
Appointment Length: About 1 hour from sign-in to recovery; 8-10 minutes for blood to be drawn and collected
Where to Donate: All Red Cross Blood Donation Centers and Blood Drives
Frequency: You are eligible to donate every 56 days

Power Red Donation
Red blood cells are the most transfused blood component and often in short supply. With a Power Red donation, red blood cells are collected while plasma and platelets are returned to the donor.
Amount: Approximately 2 units of red blood cells
Appointment Length: About 1.5 hours from sign-in to recovery, with 20-30 minutes for blood to be drawn and collected
Where to Donate: Most Red Cross Blood Donation Centers and some Blood Drives
Frequency: You are eligible to donate every 112 days

Platelet Apheresis
The Red Cross collects platelets along with some plasma by using an apheresis machine. Red and white blood cells are returned to the donor. Platelets and are important for cancer treatment, organ transplants, surgical procedures and blood loss.
Amount: One full transfusable unit
Appointment Length: About 2.5 to 3 hours from sign-in to recovery
Where to Donate: Select Red Cross Blood Donation Centers
Frequency: You are eligible to donate every 7 days, up to 24 times a year

Plasma Apheresis
The Red Cross collects plasma by an apheresis machine simultaneously with a platelet donation. Plasma is important for trauma or emergency situations, patients with bleeding disorders or difficulty fighting infections because of immune diseases.
Amount: One full transfusable unit
Appointment Length: About 1 hour, 15 minutes from sign-in to recovery
Where to Donate: Select Red Cross Blood Donation Centers
Frequency: You are eligible to donate every 28 days, up to 13 times a year


By Elizabeth McLaren