The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too

Friday, May 22, 2015

Why This Domestic Violence Center's Pet Shelter Is Crucial For Both Animals And People

A 12-year-boy and his beloved cat have been reunited after a Phoenix domestic violence center opened a shelter for residents’ pets.

When Robert Pressler and his mother, Jennifer Pressler, arrived at the Sojourner Center two months ago, they didn’t want to leave their orange cat, Clark Kent, behind.

At the time, the center had been building a facility for pets for about a year and a half but did not yet have a place for Clark Kent to stay, Teri Hauser, chief advancement officer at the center, told The Huffington Post. Jennifer Pressler even considered leaving the center because the cat couldn't stay there.

“We were going to leave and I didn't have anywhere to go,” Pressler told local TV station Fox 10.

With funding assistance from pet rescue group RedRover, the Sojourner Center found temporary housing for the cat at local animal shelter Lost Our Home. (Since 2008, RedRover has helped Sojourner Center pay for temporary housing for residents' pets).

Nevertheless, being separated from his cat during such a traumatic time was “devastating” for Robert, Hauser said, and the boy began helping with the construction of the onsite pet facility any way he could.

"He’d come in every day," Hauser said. "He was very much a participant in helping the guys do what they felt was safe for him."

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Young People in South Korea Risk Jail Time for Getting Tattoos of Their Feline Friends

While getting a tattoo of a beloved pet may seem okay, young men and women in South Korea who are embracing a trend of getting tattoos of their feline friends may be facing jail time.

While tattoos themselves are not technically illegal, the permanent ink designs must be administered by a licensed doctor- prompting the adventurous to risk consequences just as permanent as their ink by visiting a tattoo parlor.

One parlor is Sol Tattoo, an underground parlor in Seoul which specializes in cat tattoos and encourages its customers to break the law in a very unique way.

The tattoos, which range from several centimeters high to covering a whole forearm, show off customers four-legged friends through cartoons, portraits and etchings.

The parlor also specializes in intricate floral designs, as well as other animals including whales and dogs.

Sol Tattoo regularly posts their detailed creations and 'cat tats' onto social media, showing the growing demand for the unusual ink.

In South Korea, tattoos have long been associated with organized crime, but, championed by sporting heroes, K-pop stars and other celebrities with passionate fan bases, the ink is slowly working its way into the mainstream.

According to the Association of Korean Tattooists, more than a million people have tattoos, prompting many young Koreans to protest against laws which label tattoos as a medical procedure.

“Korean tattooists have good hands, so they're recognized globally like the break-dancers. But because it is illegal, it creates more problems in a shadowy area”, the Association's President, Jang Joon-hyuck told The Korea Times.
“In Korea, you can shave your jawbone, slice your eye socket open for bigger eyes, adjust your nose and breasts as you please, but drawing on your body is deemed crazy and illegal”, said a local blogger.

“This old-fashioned attitude needs to change, considering Korea openly supports other forms of body adjustment.”

Korea and Japan are the only countries in the world where the activity is illegal, and police regularly raid local shops believed to be fronting underground tattoo parlors.

Jang Jun-Hyuk, the owner of Tattooism, another underground parlor in Seoul, had his shop targeted in a random raid, and he ended up in court, where he was fined $3,000 and given a one-year suspended jail sentence for violating public health codes.

“If you want to get a tattoo, you're supposed to go to a hospital? It's just absurd,” Jang said.

Despite sporadic crackdowns, the number of studios has continued to grow and some, like Maverick in the expat-friendly district of Itaewon, have grown bold enough to put up neon signs.

“It's a form of passive resistance”, said Maverick owner Lee Sung-Je.
“It's my way of saying 'I'm here, doing my work.”

Lee claims customers across the social spectrum, including a smattering of civil servants, and executives working at straight-laced conglomerates like Samsung.
“Though they do tend to go for tattoos that can be covered up easily,” he said.

Despite the proposition of a bill in December last year that could see the industry regulated, no concrete laws have been introduced to certify tattoo artistry as a legal profession, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wagga Wagga, New South Wales: Millions of Spiders Turn Green Fields White as Branches and Bushes Are Cocooned in Sticky Silk

At first glance it looks like the fields have been blanketed with snow - but this ghostly white landscape in Australia is the work of millions of spiders.

As flood waters raced past the town of Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, the spiders were forced to clamber up trees and bushes, spinning their webs as they climbed.

The result was this amazing panorama - glistening sheets of web covering just about everything in sight.

Branches were cocooned in the sticky webs, while tall grasses appeared to be enrobed in silk.

The scenes are reminiscent of the coat of spiders' webs that were spun in Pakistan after last year's floods turning trees into what appeared like giant sticks of candy floss.

Residents of Wagga Wagga, returning to their evacuated homes as flood waters raced towards them after torrential rain turned rivers into raging torrents, were astonished to find the fields surrounding their houses transformed from green to white.

But while the town's residents are breathing a sigh of relief that they have escaped the threatening dangers of the floods, fears were growing today for the safety of two teenage men who have gone missing in a flood-affected part of Queensland.

Luke Andus and Solomon Love, 19, set out from the town of Normanton at the weekend to travel 180 miles to the west - but have not arrived.

"Police and family hold concerns for their welfare with some roads in the area impassable due to local flooding," said a police spokesman.

Dozens of freight trucks and hundreds of motorists remain stranded by the flood waters after the Bruce Highway was cut off in three places south of the town of Gympie.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Army Veteran Who Says He Broke a Car Window to Save a Dog Inside Has Had the Charges Against Him Dropped

Oconee County, Ga. - Michael Hammons said when he heard a dog was in distress, he jumped into action. The tiny, Pomeranian-mix was left inside a hot car, with no water, in an Athens shopping center.

Hammons said he grabbed the foot rest of his wife's wheelchair and smashed the windows of the car to get the dog out.

When the dog's owner came out of the store, Hammons said she was irate. "She said you broke my window, and I said I did. She says why would you do that? I said to save your dog." said Hammons.

Oconee County authorities said the owner of the car insisted on pressing charges against Hammons. Chief Deputy Lee Weems, said he understands why Hammons did what he did.

"We didn't want to charge him, but he told us he broke the windows and when you have a victim there saying she wants him charged, we had no other choice," said Chief Weems.

 Monday, District Attorney Kenneth W. Mauldin filed a motion dismissing the charges stating that "persecution of this case is not warranted."

Hammons served in Desert Storm. His wife, Saundra, said he battles PTSD and is always the one to come to the rescue in the face of danger.

"He has seen so much, and been through so much, his thing is he's got to save him. 

Michael says I have to save lives because I couldn't save everyone else over there," said Saundra Hammons.

Hammons said despite the arrest and the likelihood he will have to pay for the windows he smashed, he said there's no doubt he'd do it again.

Hammons said "I knew there'd be consequences, but it didn't matter. Glass, they make new glass every day, but they could never replace that dog."The dog's owner was issued a citation from animal control. The citation was for proper care.

PETA announced Wednesday Hammons will be honored with a Compassionate Action Award.

"Every summer, PETA receives dozens of calls about dogs left in hot cars for whom help came too late to save their lives," says PETA Senior Director Colleen O'Brien. "Rather than be arrested, this man should be applauded for deciding not to stand idly by, but for acting in the best interests of the victim."

There is now a fundraising website for Hammons. Some supporters are calling for the charges to be dropped.

But the Oconee County Sheriff's Office said Hammons not only broke one window on the car, but two. And, while they understand the emotional aspect of what happened, Hammons broke the law.

Tips on Preventing Pet Accidents When Spring Cleaning and Doing Summer Projects

Spring is here, and it’s time for spring cleaning and summer projects. Whether you’re deep cleaning the house, repairing your lawn, or building a deck in your backyard, this time of year will bring a lot of chaos to your pet’s life.

It’s important to keep a clean house, it’s even more important that you pay attention to how you manage your spring projects so that your pets stay healthy. Here are a few tips  that can help prevent any accidents, and will make your tasks go by much more smoothly.

Most of spring cleaning and home projects are going to be done inside, where there is a huge range of areas that need cleaning, and just as many products needed to address them.  So let’s break things down room by room.

Kitchen and Bathrooms

The kitchen and the bathroom are probably the most heavily used rooms in the house, and they also have the highest likelihood of nasty build up. Even the most diligent can be terrified when they move their stove away from the wall and see the results. Since both rooms require such deep cleaning and disinfecting, you need the most potent cleaners. But be careful.
  • Always look for “non-toxic” and “pet friendly” cleaners. Thankfully, most products mark this very clearly on the label.
  • Watch out for chemicals like ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene, oxybenzene, and perchloroethylene. Most heavy cleaning products have one or more of these chemicals, so aim to avoid them whenever possible. This is especially important to people with birds, who are dangerously sensitive to aerosols.
  • Pine oil is found in a number of cleaning products, especially those used to mop kitchen floors, but it is also terrible for cats. They are extremely sensitive to it, so make sure they are far away before breaking out the mop.
  • Ant and mouse traps can be deadly for your pets, so make sure to be judicious in your use, and place them where you animals can’t come in contact with them.
  • Toilet bowl cleaners are a potent mixture of very dangerous chemicals, so keep the lid down while letting it sit, and if you use a clip on cleaner year round, NEVER let pets anywhere near it.
  • Pets can have allergies to dust and mold just like we can, so make sure you remove and/or prevent mold from growing in the bathroom as well.
 Bedrooms and Living rooms

While the bedroom and living room are vastly different in regards to usage, they share many of the same burdens in terms of cleaning. Carpeted rooms can be tough, especially considering how much pet hair can accumulate deep in the fibers. These rooms take a bit of chicanery to get cleaned, so be cautious.
  • Beware carpet cleaners! Earlier this year, a powdered carpet cleaner was linked to the death of a cat and bird. While certainly an outlier, the story proves how vital it is to keep pets safely tucked away from the room you are working on.
  • If you want to take a break, there are numerous services that offer pet-friendly carpet cleanings! You can take a break and let someone else do the deep cleaning, and you can rest assured your pet will be safe.
  • When selecting furniture polish, refer to the list of no-no chemicals above, and make sure surfaces are completely dry before letting your animals back in.
  • Make sure any house plants are pet friendly! Lilies are extremely poisonous to cats, while the Sago plant is deadly for dogs. Double check to make sure you aren’t harboring a dangerous plant inside.
Lawn and Garden

Many dogs, and some cats, spend a great deal of time outside, and so do we. Maintaining a lawn and/or a garden can be a huge amount of work, but it’s also one of the most American of traditions. Unfortunately, it can be the most dangerous for animals as well.
  • Fertilizers are often bad news! Most fertilizers contain dangerous levels of chemicals, natural or not, that can linger for longer than you think. Make sure you check the ingredients and observe the proper waiting period before letting your loved ones frolic around in the lawn.
  • Herbicides and pesticides are another major risk. If they haven’t been rinsed and dried properly, your pets can walk on them, and ingest them from licking their paws. Make sure you find the most animal friendly, and make sure it’s safe before letting them run around.
  • Metaldehyde is a chemical found in slug and snail bait, and it is highly toxic for dogs and cats. Make sure to avoid using it, or keep your pets well clear of the bait if you do use it. This is one of the most dangerous items you may be using in your garden.
  • Mouse and rat poison are also extremely dangerous for animals, so finding a humane way to fix your rodent problem is going to be the best way to protect your pets.
Of course, there are numerous other safety tips to keep in mind, and this is by no means a comprehensive list. Read your labels, make sure your house is well ventilated, and keep your pets locked up while you’re deep cleaning. But most importantly, enjoy the process! You and your pets will love having a fresh place to play.

Trucker Survives a Medical Emergency Out of Town, Dog Put in Shelter is Finally Returned to Him

Chris Price and his dog, best friend and co-pilot Coco are a “bonded pair” if ever there was such a thing. 

They go everywhere together, even on long haul trips.  One day while at a truck stop, Price had a medical emergency that required extended hospitalization.  Not only was his own life in the balance, but he almost was separated from Coco permanently.

On April 24th, Price was loading his truck for a haul, when he noticed that he didn’t feel well. 

“When I loaded I couldn’t even move, so I took a two-hour nap, and went a couple miles to a truck stop and collapsed,” said Price.

An ambulance was called to the truck stop, and brought Price to the hospital.  The whole time, Price seemed to be more concerned about that was going to happen to Coco.

“911 had to deal with the dog, they can’t take me to the hospital and leave the dog in the truck,” Price said.

Animal control decided to hand Coco over to the KC Pet Project.  They can only hold a dog for ten days, and to call conditions there overcrowded is an understatement.  Someone’s always waiting for an open spot.

“Going to the pound 500 miles away from home, you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Price.

When Price found out that he had a staph infection that went into his bloodstream.  This prompted Price to call Stephanie Bell from KC Pet Project, as that hospital stay was going to be a lot longer than ten days.

“You have someone here who’s stranded where they don’t live, with no assistance just because of the nature of where they’re at — out-of-state,” said Bell.  “You kind of empathize with someone in that position.”

The KC Pet Project posted information about the situation with Coco and Price on their Facebook page.  The post got over 6,000 “likes” and was shared almost 1,000 times across the site.

“It’s unbelievable… I tell this story to my friends and they don’t believe it,” said Price.  “She’s just really important to me.”

Both Price and Coco are being transported back to their hometown, and each is doing very well.