Halloween pet dangers

This Halloween, pet owners partaking in frightening family fun should remember to keep all their little ghouls and goblins safe — including the four-legged ones.

Tricks for treats? Only if those treats are safe for pets, since many Halloween candies can be toxic to animals. Chocolate and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be particularly dangerous if ingested, so keep your pet from sniffing around the candy bowl.

With trick-or-treaters roaming the streets, pets can become disoriented and scared. Be sure to provide a safe, quiet space they can retreat to if needed, and watch the door for escape artists. Many pets will try to disappear outside if given the chance.

Keeping your pet safe this Halloween doesn’t have to be tricky. With a few simple precautions, the entire family can safely enjoy the holiday’s spooky scares.

Dr. Kwane Stewart

Chief veterinary officer

American Humane

Retired teachers never stop caring

The week of Nov. 5-11 is California's 19th annual Retired Teachers Week. As members of the California Retired Teachers Association we urge everyone to find a way to give back to our community. Statewide, CalRTA members logged nearly 2 million hours of service to their communities. That's worth more than $55 million in services.

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Anywhere you go in the Lompoc or Santa Maria area you are likely to find retired teacher volunteers. They tutor in the local schools, distribute food to those in need, drive seniors to appointments, and work at hospitals.

Since 1998, the California Retired Teachers Association has sponsored Retired Teachers Week as a way to not only spotlight our members' extensive volunteerism but to encourage others to do the same.

We cared about our students and our communities while we worked as educators, and that caring doesn't stop at retirement. Join our call to give back. You'll find the effort is well worth your time.

Julie Davies and Sandy Healy

Co-Presidents

Santa Maria/Lompoc Division of CalRTA

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