The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too

Saturday, March 28, 2015

‘White God', The Movie: ’Man Bites Dog, Dog Bites Back' - 250 Trained Dogs Seize an Opportunity to Escape from the Animal Shelter, and Revolt Against Mankind

A cautionary tale between a superior species and its disgraced inferior... Favoring pedigree dogs, a new regulation puts a severe tax on mixed breeds. Owners dump their dogs and shelters become overcrowded. 13-year-old Lili fights desperately to protect her pet Hagen, but her father eventually sets the dog free on the streets. Hagen and his pretty master search desperately for each other until Lili loses faith. Struggling to survive, homeless Hagen realizes that not everyone is a dog’s best friend. Hagen joins a gang of stray dogs, but is soon captured and sent to the pound. With little hope inside there, the dogs will seize an opportunity to escape and revolt against mankind. Their revenge will be merciless. Lili may be the only one who can halt this unexpected war between man and dog.

When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because it's mixed-breed heritage is deemed 'unfit' by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called 'unfit' dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time house pet who has learned all too well from his 'Masters' in his journey through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beats him.

R (for violent content including bloody images, and language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Kornél Mundruczó
Written By:
Kornel Mundrunczo , Viktoria Petranyi , Kata Wéber , Kornél Mundruczó
In Theaters:
Mar 27, 2015 Limited
1 hr. 57 min.
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site 


The hand that feeds — and also brutalizes — is righteously bitten in “White God,” a Hungarian revenge fantasy that’s like nothing you’ve seen on screen before. The story is as simple as a parable, a campfire story, a children’s book: A faithful animal, separated from its loving owner, endures, suffers, struggles and resists while trying to transcend its brutal fate. The director, Kornel Mundruczo, has said that he was partly inspired by J. M. Coetzee’s devastating novel “Disgrace,” but the movie also invokes haunting animal classics like “Black Beauty” and “The Call of the Wild.”

Like Buck, the four-legged hero of “The Call of the Wild,” the dog protagonist in “White God,” Hagen — played with full-bodied expressivity by the canine siblings Bodie and Luke — is a mixed breed. For his closest companion, a solemn-faced 13-year-old named Lili (Zsofia Psotta), Hagen’s ancestry isn’t an issue, but it is one for those state officials who tax dogs that aren’t purebreds. Lili’s father, Daniel (Sandor Zsoter), who has custody of her for a few months, has no interest in paying the tax or keeping the dog, which is how Hagen ends up on the streets of Budapest, initially alone, then in the hands of a cruel master and then with a pack.

That pack in all its barking, panting, tail-wagging glory is the big payoff in “White God,” which features 250 or so dogs that were trained for the movie, not a computer-generated pooch among them. Mr. Mundruczo has said that his movie was shot using the American film industry’s guidelines on the use of animal performers. That’s not entirely reassuring given the abuses that nonetheless occur during productions, as a ghastly 2013 exposé in The Hollywood Reporter affirmed. Still, viewers concerned about the welfare of the dogs, especially in some of the tougher scenes, should pay close attention to the cunning editing and camera angles as well as all those happy tails. Mr. Mundruczo has also produced, smartly, a reassuring behind-the-scenes video that’s available on YouTube.


Two Pink Chickens Found Running the Portland Waterfront: Owner Did it to Make People Smile

The owner of two pink chickens found running the Portland Waterfront, in Portland, Oregon, Bruce Whitman, says his prank succeeded beyond his wildest hopes.

He says, he used food coloring, beet juice and kool-aid,  to dye the two birds, then released them to "make people smile."

He tucked the chickens into a tree to roost early Thursday, in a waterfront park, figuring they'd wake to a good day with water nearby and bugs to eat, spread some smiles and he'd pick them up Thursday evening. He soon heard news reports that the birds had become poultry celebrities.

KATU News went to look for the chickens after a viewer emailed pictures of the brightly colored animals wandering along the waterfront.

"Pink chickens. Are they native to Portland?" one tourist joked.

No one knew where they came from or how long they had been there.

KATU News, called Multnomah County Animal Services. The county sent an officer to pick up the chickens to make sure they were safe while they tried to identify an owner.

They will remain with Animal Services for 72 hours, at which point they could be put up for adoption.

Animal Services billed Whitman about $16 per bird for their time in custody, and cautioned him about the risks of releasing birds in public places. He says he probably won't do it again — but he and the birds have now been invited to a couple of parades.

The county sent out the following statement concerning the popular pink birds:

One of our officers just rescued two pink chickens from the park on the waterfront. If you or someone you know lost two pink chickens, please contact us!


Puppy Mill Rescue Teams Are Finding More, and More Designer Dogs in, Farms Where Dogs Are Kept In Misery: Labradoodles

A couple and their four children, wanted a dog in the worst way. Not just any dog, but the type more popular today than any of the dazzling breeds at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

They wanted a labradoodle.

With luck and money, they found one not far from where they live in Connecticut. The breeder claimed the dog came from several generations of labradoodles, who in turn were carefully bred from miniature poodles and Labrador retrievers in Australia, where labradoodles were popularized 25 years ago. A ball of chocolate fluff, the puppy cost $2,800. That's more than it would have cost the family to adopt every single dog at their local shelter. But it was not outlandishly priced for a labradoodle.

The family installed an electric fence inside the house to keep the pup contained, paid for obedience classes from a trainer, and were set.

Only they weren't. Theirs is a cautionary tale, an increasingly common one, of what can happen when a dog becomes too popular for its own good.

 The Heartbreaking Truth About Those Cute Doodle Dogs
The puppy did not have the docile temperament of a lab, as advertised. He was high-strung, as poodles can be sometimes, especially miniature poodles. He was not good with children; he competed with them as if they were littermates—scolding, wrestling, biting them. He was not, as labradoodles are marketed, low-maintenance. Like both a poodle and a labrador, the puppy craved constant company. Being confined to two rooms by an absurd, zapping, invisible "fence" drove him crazy. So did the children and the nanny, who were inconsistent with their attention and discipline.

Like more and more labradoodles, and their cousins, the golden doodles, a golden retriever-poodle mix—this pup was dumped. He ended up at the Doodle Rescue Collective, Inc., based in Dumont, New Jersey, which fields calls from doodle owners all over the country desperate to dump their dogs.

Since the Doodle Rescue Collective began rescuing doodles in 2006, it has helped over 1,200 dogs and counting. And it is not alone. There are dozens of other poodle-mix rescues, including rescues for cockapoos, or cocker spaniel-poodle mixes; schnoodles, for schnauzer-poodles; chi-poos, for chihuahua poodles; maltipoos, for maltese-poodle mixes; and so on. The rescues often spend thousands of dollars in healthcare and rehabilitation for these so-called designer dogs, mutts actually, whose owners spent months on breeder waiting lists to get them, and thousands of dollars to buy them, only to abandon them within a year or two.

Of course, not all labradoodle breeders run puppy mills. Gail Widman, president of the Australian Labradoodle Club of America, said that all members of the club must adhere to strict breeding standards, using DNA tests as proof, register with the source group in Australia, and guarantee the health and temperament of their dogs.

Given all those qualifications, Widman said, for people who might not be able to have a dog otherwise because of allergies, the true labradoodle, she claimed, "is the perfect dog."

"You'll be hard-pressed to find a real Australian labradoodle in a shelter," Widman said. "They have wonderful temperaments, no smell, no shedding—they're brilliant dogs and they simply do not get given up."

But it is true, Widman added, "That a lot of breeders call their dogs Australian labradoodles and they aren't."

These dogs have become victims of their hype, rescuers say. It's a phenomenon that happens to many breeds of dog. Every time a type of dog captures the public's imagination, the clamor surrounding it creates new backyard breeders, a new product for puppy mills, and new owners swept up by the hype. Dalmatians were all the rage after Disney's 101 Dalmations was released. Cocker spaniels had their day after Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Paris Hilton made teacup Chihuahuas dressed up in tutus a fleeting fad.

Each time a breed becomes too popular, it gets inbred and overbred, causing severe health problems or behavioral issues they dogs' guardians don't want to pay for or live with. Labradoodles and other poodle mixes are marketed as hypo-allergenic, non-shedding and odor-free, attracting some people who have never lived with a dog before, but like the idea of one that sounds low-maintenance.

Labradoodles attract some people, in short, who probably shouldn't own dogs.

Meanwhile, dogs,or cats that might be a better fit languish in shelters, or are euthanized for lack of space. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that out of the six to eight million dogs and cats animal shelters care for each year, three to four million healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized.

Puppy mill rescue teams are finding more and more designer dogs in farms where dogs are kept in misery— in cages, usually in filthy conditions, in every state in the country. Such dogs are often in poor health. Breeding females are treated like puppy factories, pregnant at every heat for years on end. A breeder may use the same miniature poodle—or cockapoo, which looks like a miniature poodle—to breed labradoodles, maltipoos, schnoodles, affenpoos (affenpinscher-poodles) or jackipoos (Jack Russell terrier-poodles).

The HSUS announced it had investigated a large suspected puppy mill in Arkansas, and posted a picture of one of the 121 dogs it rescued, a severely matted goldendoodle.

Kathleen Summers, director of outreach and research for the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills Campaign, said the HSUS is finding designer dogs in half of all the puppy mills it investigates.

“The hybrid breeds are very attractive for the puppy mills to produce,” Summers said. “They really cash in on the whole ‘hypoallergenic’ sales pitch that there are some dogs that don’t shed and that won’t aggravate some people’s allergies. Puppy mill breeders try to sell the notion that anything mixed with poodle is going to be hypoallergenic.”

While people research their breeders on the Internet, what they don't know, Summers said, is the amount of false advertising presented in the marketing of the dogs.

"Most of the websites for puppy mills that we've shut down for horrific conditions," Summers said, "say things on their site like 'We don't support puppy mills.'"

No one has lamented the popularity of the doodles more urgently than Wally Conron, who created the first labradoodle. As the puppy-breeding manager at the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia, Conron was trying to fulfill the need for a guide dog from a woman in Hawaii whose husband was allergic to dogs. He bred a standard poodle with a Labrador retriever for this couple. But there was more than one puppy in the litter, and no one on his three- to six-month waiting list for guide dogs wanted a crossbreed. So, "We came up with the name labradoodle," Conron said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. "We told people we had a new dog and all of a sudden, people wanted this wonder dog."

With all the breeds and crossbreeds in the world, Conron says, he is horrified at the proliferation of labradoodles and the other poodle mixes. He blames himself for "creating a Frankenstein.” Instead of breeding out problems, he said, clueless and unscrupulous breeders are breeding them in.

"For every perfect one," he says, "you're going to find a lot of crazy ones."

The gold standard for labradoodles remains the Rutland Manor Labradoodle Breeding and Research Center in Australia, which now calls its dogs "cobberdogs." Rutland Manor claims the true Australian labradoodle has developed over two decades of careful breeding into a breed in its own right. Its hallmarks, the Rutland Manor website says, "are a highly developed intuitive nature, a love of training and a yearning for eye contact. It has a 98 percent record for allergy friendliness, a reliably non-shedding coat and is sociable and non-aggressive."

But at the Carolina Poodle Rescue, outside Spartanberg, S.C., Donna Ezell, who has been rescuing poodles for 15 years, said that labradoodles and other poodle mixes she sees are not only unpredictable in size, shape and looks, but also in temperament.

"If you have a purebred poodle or a purebred boxer from a reputable breeder," she said, "you know what you're going to get. You know what it's going to look like. You have a pretty good idea of its temperament. With the doodles and maltipoos and all these others, they don't breed true. You can't predict what they'll be. They all look different. They have different temperaments. And some are non-shedding, some are not."

Jacqueline Yorke of the Doodle Rescue Collective, said poodle-mix owners are often surprised to find that they are still allergic to their "hypoallergenic" dogs. "They may be allergic to the dog's saliva, or the skin it sheds or the fur it does shed," she said. "And they've also found out that non-shedding does not mean no work. If the fur doesn't shed, it grows and grows. They need to be mowed down and groomed every six to eight weeks."

Yorke said the rescue has taken in dogs with fur so matted the dogs were unable to relieve themselves; their feces were stuck in their fur.

Time and again, the rescue has fostered dogs with the same health conditions, including hip dysplasia, cataracts, torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries which require expensive surgery, and megaesophagus, a potentially life-threatening disease which causes the dog to choke on its food.

But the primary reason doodles end up in the rescue, Yorke said, are issues with children."We just got three more," she said. "Every one listed 'aggressive with children.'"

The poor dog featured at the beginning of this article ended up being euthanized after he attacked and bit Yorke and was evaluated by veterinarians and trainers who deemed him dangerous. But that kind of extreme situation, Yorke said, is rare.

One bit of good news, Yorke said, is that doodles and other designer dogs are so popular rescues have long waiting lists of potential adopters.

 "We have hundreds on our list," Yorke said. Most will not make the cut when vetted by the group. The rescue will not adopt out doodles to families with small children, for example. The goal is to provide the dogs a permanent home, Yorke said, and not see them back at the rescue.

"We get hate mail all the time from people mad at us for not handing them a dog. They'll say, 'Well, I'm going to a breeder.'"

Her response? Buyer beware.

Labradoodles and other poodle mixes are very trendy, but is it ethical to get one?

A Tacoma, Washington, Police Dog Has Died After Ingesting Methamphetamine During A Narcotics Investigation

A police dog named Barney, has died after ingesting methamphetamine during a narcotics investigation, the Pierce County prosecutor's office said Thursday.

The 11-year-old Lab mix was with his handler, Officer Henry Betts, as he was serving a search warrant when he became sick. Barney had a body temperature of 109 and was having seizures when they took him to the BluePearl Veterinary Hospital on Tuesday night.

By Wednesday morning, he was becoming more alert and responsive, but passed away on Thursday.

Narcotics dogs usually signal when drugs are present, by placing their noses on the substance. But in this case, the drugs were unwrapped and Barney came in direct contact with the meth.

The search warrant did lead to the discovery of 44 pounds of meth and $225,000 in cash, prosecutors said. Three people have been charged with drug possession with two of them additionally charged with intent to sell.

Prosecutors haven't decided yet whether to amend the charges to include the death of the police dog.

Ever Wonder Why Your Dog Eats His Food Away From His Bowl?

After you put food in your dog’s bowl, he takes a mouthful, walks across the room, drops it onto your carpet and then munches away. And he repeats this curious ritual until his chow is all gone.

It doesn’t seem like an efficient way to eat, not to mention that he's getting crumbs on your rug.

So what gives?

Possible Reasons Behind the Curious Mealtime Behavior
The answer to this propensity lies in two words: pack mentality.

When dogs in the wild make a kill, the outranked animals drag pieces of food away so they don’t have to fight the leader or a more dominant canine for it, says Dr. Julie Albright-Keck, DVM, MA, DACVB, an assistant professor of veterinary behavior at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

“Fighting is obviously very risky, so most animals, especially subordinate ones, will go to great lengths to avoid an altercation,” says Dr. Albright.

Although the competition in your house may not even be real, particularly if you only have one dog, it’s his evolutionary instinct taking over.

Another possibility: If you use a metal bowl, the noise of the food moving around in the dish or even his collar tags hitting the side can be frightening or annoying, notes Dr. Albright, so he may be taking the kibble away from the trigger of the sound.

How to Put the Kibosh on This Kibble Ritual
If you want to curb this unusual eating behavior, Dr. Albright suggests swapping metal bowls for plastic versions or paper plates to rule out issues with noise.

“If the dog still takes the food away, find a more secluded or confined area for him to eat,” she says. “And if there are other dogs in the house, separate them at feeding time to allow for privacy, so there’s no threat of competition, either real or imagined.”

Friday, March 27, 2015

Banks County, Georgia - Family Searching For Lost Dog After Car Crash: Have You Seen This Dog?

Eric Love told FOX 5 News that his parents got into accident in Banks County on their way to Lake Hartwell around 5:00 p.m.. Monday. They say a driver hit them causing their Expedition to roll multiple times on Interstate 85. They were able to walk away safe, but their puppy Georgia went missing.

He said the dog has a chip and hopes that if anyone in north Georgia finds Georgia that they will get the chip read.

A post on Eric's Facebook page stated that a friend might have seen the dog Tuesday night underneath the Neal lane Bridge over Interstate 85.

Eric Love shared this photo on facebook:

Evening all! We have continued to spread the flyers and word around exit 160. I'll be heading up midday tomorrow to start moving farther north, back towards my family's lakehouse. Anyone who wants to come out, drive the country roads, take a walk in the woods, spread the word, and hopefully put some eyes on Georgia is always appreciated! As a reminder, never drink and drive!

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