Zoo Babies: Winter 2018 »
Check out the cutest newborns from zoos around the country and learn where you can see them.
Check out the cutest newborns from zoos around the country and learn where you can see them.
From frayed wires to down powerlines, what can an electrician do to help your home get back on track.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
AWFUL! What a horrible experience from beginning to end in attempt to find a new edition to our family. On 12/27/2016 My son applied for a specific puppy/dog. Answered all the questions about other animals noting we have both dogs and cats. Was allowed to meet and bond a little. He was then told he had to bring our other dogs to meet - which was fine. What wasn't fine is that he was reminded repeatedly that they wouldn't hold the dog. On 12/28 The very next morning me and my husband arrived with our dogs to meet the new dog because my son had to work. We were informed that we could not see the dog because my son had to be there. We said we would wait till he could get there and AGAIN we were informed they would not hold the dog. Seriously? My son got out of work early and raced to the shelter. We had a meet and greet with the new dog. All went swimmingly. A behaviorist comes in and asks some lame questions. I certainly know more than she did. Anyway, we appeased them with all the formalities. My son was just happy to have finally found a companion.Thinking we are set to sign and adopt, At the last minute we are asked if we have cats. We answered yes as the application and our perfectly up to date vet records indicated. They now tell us he has to be tested with cats. Okay... So they leave us again as we continue to fall more in love with the dog. The "care giver" returns and tells us she did some "digging" and learned that the puppy was surrendered by its former owner in Tennessee because it attacked a cat severely injuring it. I'm wondering why this additional research was conducted now. The young girl proceeds to say I won't test him with cats and You can't take him because you have cats. Seriously? I'm not even sure I believe it. Or did they go digging and make up this bs story in effort to deny my son the dog? you are supposed to know these things first. Go to a rescue. This place treats you like a criminal from the beginning.
Rude condescending staff would don't know much about a puppy but bark orders and blame u for gently looking at pup and then call you demeaning for not listening. Need to train staff in vet care and manners. I would never ever go there or to their events at petsmarts
I recently just went there with my mother to get her a cat for her and my dad for company..went through the whole process of papers..come to find out over an hour we were there that she wasn't allowed to bring that cat home due to no previous vet records..I just can't seem to understand why they have so many animals but so few are allowed to adopt..furthermore let's just say if your looking to adopt don't go through SPCA!!!
We've adopted twice from the SPCA of Upstate NY. Both times have been wonderful successes. First of all, most of the people who work here are volunteers. Yes, it is stressful to go there and look at the available dogs. It's never easy for us to think of the dogs spending their lives in cages. But this is a far safer way for these dogs to live than out on the streets or in abusive homes. The shelter provides for their safety, their health, and their security. They are fed, and kept clean. They are given all their shots, and they have playtime 4 times a day supervised by dedicated volunteers. Both times I first saw our future family member at the PetSmart in Wilton. Our first SPCA dog (which became our 3rd dog) was a puppy from Tennessee. We just got Teddy, our 4th, last week. He is 2.5 years old and has spent over 2 years at the shelter. His disposition is wonderful. He is such a sweet, gentle dog. He gets along well with our other dogs and happily settles into his crate when he's over stimulated or when it's bed time. Teddy's ability to adapt speaks to his own nature as well as to the wonderful work the people at the SPCA do. Living in a shelter for over two years is not a great way to grow up, but I am grateful that they kept him safe until I could find him. The puppies come and go, but some dogs stay for a long time until someone can look beyond their age and see the potential these older dogs offer. The volunteers become these dogs' family and they love and care for them as long as they need to. And hopefully they can celebrate when an older animal finally finds its forever home.What is terribly upsetting for me is the fact that this beautiful dog with such a sweet nature was left at the shelter for over two years. Most people want the puppies and don't give the older dogs a second look. Both times I went to look at an older dog. We got the puppy the first time because my other two dogs did not like the other dogs they met. I commend the work the SPCA does. If all pet owners were responsible, we could put places like this out of business.
I first met Cathy Cloutier @ Petsmart where she was running an adoption clinic. I adopted a wonderfu puppy mutt that has been an important member of our family for the last 15 years. She was so helpful to me to make my decision on this wonderful member of my family.I worked for a breed specific rescue group, and when Cathy Cloutier notified me that they had done a rescue from a terrible hoarding / puppy mill (the home had been condemed, and the dogs pulled and sent to ASPCA). The dogs had never spayed / neutered, been socialized, or been outdoors. She worked with my group to help get these dogs sent to good homes. She allowed me to go in on weekends to help socialize, groom, get pictures of these dogs for our website. She spent a great deal of time working with our group to help transfer these wonderful animals to our group to get them adopted to forever homes.I have now known her, and the staff of this facility for many years. They are so dedicated to the wefare of all the animals that are in there care. Each and every dog and cat are treated as if they were their own pet. Every one there goes the extra mile to assure that each adoption goes to the home that will give the animal the forever home that they deserve. Sadly, this does not make every one happy, but the staff is far more interested in the welfare and the animals best interest.Koodos to Cathy and here staff.
I have to say that this has to be one of the most poorly run place I have ever seen. You are treated so rudely right from the get go!! I just got word that a very dear woman who lives alone called there because she's looking for a companion. She was told that she was TO OLD! I bet if Cathy's grandmother wanted a kitten for a companion she wouldn't be told "she's to old"! Well for this lovely grandmother things worked out perfect. My purebred Maine-coon Queen just gave birth to 2 lovely kittens. Not only is this lovely lady getting one of my babies, she's getting him for FREE! I've waived the price because I know this woman's going to give this kitten an amazing home! Once again Cathy YOU LOSE! You don't even need a shovel to dig that place into the ground! To think I used to donate to a place that DISCRIMINATES makes me sick!!! I know it's not the animals fault and I do feel bad about that BUT, she's just to difficult to deal with!! I'm sure this "OLD LADY" will bring my kitten so much joy and vice-versa!!!
Excellent, Fast and Proffessional Service. The electricians were safety minded and educating.
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.