This Sunday marks the official beginning of spring. It’s time to get those gardens back in shape. When choosing plants and flowers, keep in mind that some can be toxic to animals, even ingested in very small amounts.

The following is a list of some of the most poisonous plants that should be avoided in areas pets have access to:

SAGO PALM: Also known as the Palm Sunday Palm, the entire plant and the seeds in particular contain a potent toxin called cycasin that can be fatal, even if an animal eats only a single seed. Ingestion of any part or amount of this plant warrants immediate emergency veterinarian treatment.

AZALEA: Ingesting even just a few leaves can cause serious issues such as upset stomach, drooling, loss of appetite, weakness and leg paralysis, and in some cases, coma or death.

HIBISCUS: Signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and anorexia.

DAFFODILS: They contain poisonous alkaloids that can cause vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, convulsions, tremors and heart problems. The bulbs are the most dangerous part of the plant.

DIEFFENBACHIA: Though it’s often recommended or natural indoor air purification, when eaten, it not only burns the mouth and throat, but also causes the esophagus to swell, potentially blocking the animal’s airway.

OTHER HIGHLY TOXIC PLANTS: Poinsettia, mushrooms, lilies, daisies, geraniums, hydrangeas and tomatoes. A full list of toxic plants for pets, complete with photos, can be found at

The safest way to prevent poisoning is to keep pets away from these plants or not to have them at all. If you suspect that your pet has come into contact with a poisonous plant, contact a vet immediately.


SATURDAY-SUNDAY: North Shore Animal League America’s Tour For Life, a lifesaving national tour geared to promoting shelter pet adoptions, arrives in Metairie to partner with Jefferson SPCA and other area animal welfare organizations for a special mobile adoption event at the intersection of Clearview and Veterans boulevards from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Tour for Life is the world’s largest cooperative mobile pet adoption initiative aimed at reinforcing the importance and advantages of shelter pet adoptions and familiarizing communities with their local shelter. For more information, send an email to

SATURDAY: A Dog Park Etiquette Workshop will be held at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd. Have more fun and remain safer at the dog park by learning about appropriate play styles, canine body language and techniques for managing your dog off leash. This cost to attend this one-hour, humans-only workshop is $10 per person. Registration is required. Visit for more info and to register.

SATURDAY: Offsite Pet Adoption, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA, will be held at St. Margaret’s Belleville Assisted Living, 813 Pelican Ave. in New Orleans, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Louisiana SPCA adoption counselors and volunteers will be on hand to help you select the right pet for your family. A variety of shapes, colors and sizes of four-legged friends eager to find a new home will be available for adoption. Call (504) 368-5191 or visit for more information.

SUNDAY: Sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA and the Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association, the Palm Sunday Rabies Vaccination Drive will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

Engine 1 Fire House, 2920 Magazine St.

Engine 12 Fire House, 5600 Franklin Ave.

Engine 17 Fire House, 4115 Woodland Drive

Engine 16 Fire House, 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Engine 24 Fire House, 1040 Poland Ave.

Engine 25 Fire House,2430 S. Carrollton Ave.

Engine 27 Fire House, 2118 Elysian Fields Ave.

Engine 35 Fire House, 964 N. Carrollton Ave.

Engine 36 Fire House, 5403 Read Blvd.

Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd.

The cost is only $15, cash only, for a dog or cat rabies vaccination, tag and license. Dogs must be on leashes, and cats must be in carriers or on leashes. The rabies vaccination drive is made possible by the Louisiana SPCA, Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association and Fire Department. All vaccinations are administered by members of the SLVA. For more information visit

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to In Jefferson Parish, send to and, and in St. Bernard Parish send to

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at or visit