The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : July 2011 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : July 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Michael Vick's Dogs - Where Are They Now?

Michael Vick's dogs, where are they now? Meet Jonny who was one of 51 pit bulls seized in April 2007 from Bad Newz Kennels, the Smithfield, Va., dogfighting ring run by Michael Vick, then quarterback of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

Although too young to have been a fighter, Jonny probably had his mettle tested a few times, and like most of the other Bad Newz dogs, he’d spent his entire life either locked up in a pen or chained to a rotating axle in the woods, with little or no positive interaction with people or other dogs.

After the raid on Vick’s property, Jonny and the other dogs were deemed evidence, and put into shelters to be held until the investigation was complete. Conditions varied, but even the best dogs can break down, after a few months of confinement. With Vick’s dogs, this wasn’t much of a concern; it was assumed they all would be destroyed upon the delivery of a verdict.

Jonny was one of the un-socialized but happy crowd, which is how he ended up with Cohen, who had a pit bull of his own. He had previously fostered six others as a volunteer for the rescue group BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls). “The first step was to let him unwind his kennel stress,” Cohen says, referring to the jitters that follow dogs out of long-term confinement. He countered Jonny’s anxiety with quiet time and “the rut,” as he calls it. “Dogs love a schedule,” he explains. “They love knowing that the same things are going to happen at the same times every day. Once they have that consistency, they can relax.”

Workers with the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) are trying to counter the bad reputation of the pit bull breed with an initiative to encourage people to adopt the dogs. Leilani is a three-year-old female pit bull and at the center of the push to get the controversial breed back into loving homes.

“In every city, pit bulls are the victims, victims of abuse of neglect of the way we treat them of overpopulation,” said Gary Weitzman, of the Washington Animal Rescue League. To keep the dogs from becoming overpopulated themselves, the league is waiving the $150 adoption fee and offering training classes at a discount over the Fourth of July weekend.

The league is hoping to rehab the image of the breed, which they say have been tarnished by reports of recent pit bull attacks. The perceived bad reputation is something pit bull owner Darius Baker encounters all the time when out with his dog buddy. “They're probably the most misunderstood out of all the breeds of dogs for the most part their behavior is just like any other dog, they just have that stigma about them,” Baker said.

That stigma is what Anne Eigeman expected to see from the pit bull living in her apartment building.“Initially I was maybe little hesitant around them because I had heard they could be more aggressive than other dogs, but I’ve found that not to be a general rule,” she said.

Of the 47dogs rescued from the Bad Newz kennels, 21 went to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, which is the largest no-kill sanctuary in Utah. The rest either found foster homes, or are in permanent homes.

Michael Vick's Dogs Then...

...And Now!


Monday, July 25, 2011

How To Give Your Cat a Relaxing Massage

Massaging your cat can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your cat.  If you have ever had a massage, then you can understand what your cat will be experiencing! It can reduce stress and blood pressure levels in both you and your cat.

American vet and qualified masseur, Dr Michael Fox, recommends that you massage your cat weekly. This will allow you to use your fingers to observe any unusual growths on your cat.

The time spent massaging your cat is well worth the time devoted towards relaxation and closeness with your pet. You may choose to massage your cat yourself, or have it done professionally. Either way your cat will love you for it!

Cat massages serve to help soothe your cat’s tired or sore muscles. It eases pain from surgery or other injuries, and can help if they have any type of ailments. It gains your cat’s trust, and increases the bond between you, and your cat. The time spent massaging your cat is well worth the time devoted towards relaxation and closeness with your pet.


How to Give Your Dog a Relaxing Massage

We all love a massage! Did you know that your dog  would too? Maybe you rub, brush or scratch your dog, but are you doing it the right way?

Dogs are generally hyperactive creatures, and it is necessary to find a way of calming your dog, particularly if it gets excited easily. If a massage has ever relaxed you, then you have some understanding of what your dog will experience when it is massaged.

American Vet and qualified masseur, Dr Michael Fox, recommends that you massage your dog weekly. This will allow you to use your fingers to observe any unusual growths on your dog.

If your dog does not like it, however, he’ll be somewhat tense and his tail will be hiding under his body. The benefits of massaging your dog will actually help you relax as well since you’ll need to take a deep breath and relax in order to help your dog be at ease.

Dog massages serve to help soothe your dog’s tired or sore muscles. It eases pain from surgery or other injuries. It helps your dog to feel better if they have any ailments. It gains your dog’s trust, and increases the bond between you, and your dog. The time spent massaging your dog is well worth the time devoted towards relaxation and closeness with your pet.

You may choose to massage your dog yourself, or have it done professionally. Either way your dog will love you for it!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Florida Couple Has 15 Pet Skunks in Their Home

I guess I never thought of having a skunk as a pet. Apparently, this couple did. This couple likes skunks so much that they have adopted 15 of the stink-spraying animals, which share their home.

Don and Brenda Hoch, of Hudson, Fla., got their first skunk, named Spike, from a pet store. They liked him so much that they now take in foster skunks from Florida Skunk Rescue. They're up to 15 now.

"A lot of our rescues are skunks that needed someone to work with them because they were neglected in the home they came from and consequently became biters," Brenda Hoch said. "We've worked with them and have gotten them to become friendly again."

But the Hochs don't have to keep gallons of tomato juice handy: The skunks they've taken in have all had their stinkbags removed.

View more videos at:


A person should never try to rescue a skunk from the wild, mostly because it could have rabies, which can be fatal to humans. Harbor pet skunks much like other small pets are kept with information from a veterinarian in this free video on exotic pets and pet care.

Skunk Pet Rescue -- powered by ehow


Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Tour of the Washington Animal Rescue League Facility & Book Signing for Wayne Pacelle, CEO & President, Humane Society of the United States

On July 18, 2011, my husband and I were guest at the Washington Animal Rescue League, in Washington, DC.

We were invited to attend their “First-Ever Speaker Series” event. This special evening featured Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization.

We also planned to get a tour of the facility. Most people who adopt from an animal shelter never really get to see the full aspect of what really goes on behind the scenes in an animal shelter. Some shelters, however, do offer tours of their facilities to the public.

My husband and I arrive early for our tour of the facility. When I walked into the lobby, I was totally surprised at the beauty of the lobby. I guess I was surprised because I did not expect an animal shelter to look like this! The lobby was adorned with brick and beautiful oak wood, including a wood staircase leading to the upper floor. There were large paintings of cats and dogs on the walls, and as I looked up at the upper level, I noticed a lot of natural sunlight shinning through. If it wasn’t for all of the “happy barking” that I heard, I would not have known that I was in an animal shelter.

We were greeted by, Robert Blizard, Chief Development Officer, who works on all fundraising programs of the League with three additional members of the Development Office staff.

Mr. Blizard started our tour showing us their Medical Center. The Center was very clean, and setup just like a hospital unit. The staff wore gowns and mask. We entered a room where a feral cat was being either spayed or neutered (I don’t know if it was male or female) because the only thing visible was a small opening where the doctors were operating. I was warned by Mr. Blizard of what I would see, in case I was squeamish. Normally, I am, but realizing that they were helping animals, gave me no problems. This cat was one of the many feral cats that the League are spaying and neutering to help with the feral cat population in the communities.

Our next stop was outside to take a look at the League’s customized van for transporting animals to and from adoption events, and to bring animals to the shelter from puppy mill busts, and natural disaster sites. The van is also used for accepting dogs and cats from other shelters so they can be adopted at the League.

The van was purchased with donations given by several individuals and organizations. They include a $60,000 donation from Dr. Shari Barton, in honor of her beloved canine companion, Cassie, who’s cute picture can be seen on the van! Contributions also came from other League friends, including: Ms. Marie Burkart, Philip L. Graham Fund, Leonisis Foundation, Life 4 Animals Thrift Shop, Miller & Chevalier, Dr. & Mrs. Matthew A. Parker and Mr. Richard J. Perry, Jr.

After viewing the rescue van, Mr. Blizard suggested that we walk around the facility and take a look at the different areas. I immediately went to the big dog area, and from there to the little dog area, and the cat area appropriately called “Kitty City!” I was so excited, I think I spoke to every animal in the League!

Most of the animals had separate rooms…yes, I called them rooms because I did not see any cages. Some small dogs and cats had 2-3 to a room with plenty of room to run around. All of the rooms were equipped with nice flooring, dogie beds, blankets and toys! I was told that the floors are heated for the winter. They have water bowls that actually refill themselves! While standing in the dog area, I heard what sounded like soft water flowing. I stopped one of the staff and asked what it was. She told me that it was the waterfall that flows over the top of the ceilings of the rooms.

All of the animals looked well groomed to me. Some of the dogs would come to the door and jump up to see me, as I talked to them. Some were taking naps. I was so excited to see all of the animals, but sadden that they haven’t found forever homes yet. The one thing that I did notice was that there was no animal smell. I wondered how it was possible to have so many dogs in an area, and no smell. I did noticed staff wiping the glass doors and cleaning.

We ventured into “Kitty City”, where I saw some of the most beautiful cats and kittens. They too where in rooms…not cages. The area is so big that some were in rooms and others were allowed to walk freely around the big outside area. One cat saw me and jumped into a box, peeking out to see if I was looking! They had beds, scratching trees, high shelves, food/water bowls and toys. I saw a staff member sitting in one of the rooms cuddling a kitten, while two others chased each other around the room. She told me that all of the animals receive human touching to help get them ready for adoption.

It was getting close to 6:00 p.m., so we headed upstairs to the reception area. The first thing I noticed was the waterfall on either side of this wide long hallway. It was beautiful. I stood there for a few moments watching the water flowing and thought how soothing this must be to the animals. The reception tables were set with vegan cuisine. This was the first time that I had tasted vegan…and I like it! The reception was really nice, my husband and I met several guest, and we talked about animals of course, each showing pictures of our pets!

As it got closer to 7:00 p.m., we all went downstairs to take our seats for the featured guest speaker, Wayne Pacelle. He was here for a book signing for his new book, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them. His book examines our contradictory attitudes towards animals and points to a better way forward. Mr. Pacelle has helped to bring animal protection from the margins to the mainstream during his quarter century of work in the field, which includes 17 years at the Humane Society for the United States (HSUS).

"The Bond" has appeared on many best-seller lists, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Pacelle, an excellent speaker, talked about the state of the Humane Society of the United States and took questions from the audience.

We were then led into the signing area for the book signing. Standing in line, I watched as he greeted each person with a smile and signed their book. Since I had my camera with me, I asked if I could take a picture with him, he smiled and said, yes. I handed my camera to someone in the line, who took our picture.

It was a pleasure meeting Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States, at his book signing.

We really enjoyed our evening at the Washington Animal Rescue League. You can contact the League to schedule a tour of the facility, and see all the animals available for adoption. The League always has adoption events going on, and I will keep you posted. While the animals are being treated very well here…they still long for a forever home. If you have room in your heart and in your home, please come to these events, and consider adoption! Who knows…you may find your next best friend!

I met some new friends. Please look at their videos. They are all available for adoption!

Please take time to view the League's video below:

I would like to thank the Washington Animal Rescue League for a wonderful evening. May God bless you all, for what you do for these homeless animals.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Never Allow A Veterinarian To Euthanize Your Pet Without A Second Opinion

I wrote this story back in January 2011. It tells what happened to me when my little shih-tzu, Domino became sick.

Today is January 23, 2011, and it is my Birthday. I am writing this story to hopefully help someone who may be going through what I experience with my dog, Domino a 12 year old shih-tzu.

Domino no longer goes to the groomers. He get’s so upset that he has a seizure, and I always received a call to come and pick him up. He is groomed at home. I have the equipment, and my son usually cuts him with me standing close by supervising.

On January 18th I decided that I could give him a haircut without my son. Why I started shaving him in the middle of his back, I don’t know…clearly I had no idea what I was doing! After shaving what looks like a large belt area around him, I realized that I should have waited for my son. I did notice that he started lying down on the table and would not stay standing. When my son saw it we laughed, and decided not to finish because he seemed to want to just lay down.

Later that day, I noticed that Domino was lethargic and he already hadn’t eaten in a few days. Since his Veterinarian was out of town, I made an appointment with a local animal clinic for the next day. I was given an 11:00 a.m. appointment and arrived promptly the next day.

We met with the Vet who asked us a few questions, and quickly took Domino off to a back room. I stopped him and showed him where I had tried to groom him. I did not want him to mistake it for hair loss. When the Vet returned we were told that x-rays were needed, of course, I agreed.

When the Vet returned he showed us the x-rays. He showed us a round item on the ex-ray that he explained was a “tumor on his spleen”. He kept pushing surgery, but also saying at the same time. “he probably won’t make it though the anesthesia, most don’t”.

When he saw my hesitation, he began to tell me that Domino will not make it through the night without the surgery…ah, didn’t you just say…“he probably won’t make it though the anesthesia”. Finally, realizing that I was not going to let him do the $2-$3 thousand dollar surgery, he said…"look just put him to sleep, get yourself $500 and go buy a puppy!” As his words registered in my mind…I asked God to numb my tongue! Fearing my response, my son, the Minister decided that we should leave. We paid our bill and left without so much as looking back.

I cried all the way home hugging my little Domino, who was looking at me as if to say, “Mommy what’s wrong?” After I arrived home, I got on the internet and looked for an animal hospital to get a second opinion. I found one, made an appointment for the next day.

I then called another animal hospital where my little Sugar had passed in 2008. To make arrangements for his cremation, believing that he was not going to make it through the night, I wanted to be prepared. I asked what I should do if he passes after they close at 6:00 p.m. I was then asked if I had a home freezer. I immediately asked, “do you mean a food freezer”, thinking …I know she is not suggesting that I put him in the freezer! She immediately corrected herself and said, “I am sorry, I did not mean to ask you that”.

I got off of the phone thinking why am I making cremation arrangements for a pet that is still walking around like normal? I was getting sick to the stomach from listening to her describe the different urns and the prices. I finally agreed to come in and pick up a brochure, which I never did.

Later that same evening, while sitting and wondering what to do next, I started thinking of what the Vet had said earlier. I was so upset, I was thinking what if he does die tonight? I called my son and decided to take him through emergency at the animal hospital.

We met with a Vet and made the mistake of giving him the release form from the first Vet. I also told him about the haircut and that it was not hair loss. You could clearly see that he had been shaved. Hair loss falls out in patches. He smiled and took Domino with him. Later another Vet came in, he was so young he looked like he was in training. He introduces himself and says “Domino has several tumors (now its several tumors not just one like the first Vet said) and he has blood in his belly”. I almost jumped out of the chair! I asked him to repeat himself and he did. I asked how he knew they were tumors without taking an x-ray…he told me he could feel them! He actually said, “I can feel the blood slushing around in his belly”. He then said that he stuck a needle in his belly and drew blood! He also told me that his heart, lungs and liver where fine. They never offered to draw blood! He immediately hands me this sheet with the surgery already totaled up. He then says, 80% is due now by credit card only, and you can pay the balance when the dog leaves the hospital.

I am sitting there about to hyperventilate, when the first Vet comes back in. The first thing he does is apologize for the Vet at the clinic where I took him earlier that morning. He called him by name and said, “while his bedside manner is not the best…he is a good doctor.” That’s when I realized that he knew the Vet that I had went to earlier in the morning. I am sure that it is not unusual for Doctors to know each other.

Without taking any x-rays or blood work, he began to tell me a similar story that I had heard earlier only he was a little kinder. He pushed the surgery and told me that he may live a day, weeks or a month after surgery…but definitely not 6 months. He then said “we can put him to sleep now or you can have your Vet do it.

I told him that if Domino was going to die, he was going to do it at home with me. He then said, “it might not be a pretty picture, he could start thrashing around and having a seizure”. He then said, if money is the problem, we can open him up to see what is going on, that would cost between $700 - $900. What! I am thinking…are you saying that for $700 - $900 you will open him up…then what? Does the $700 - $900 include closing him up!

My head was about to burst! I told my son to put Domino’s coat on him. As I was standing at the front desk ready to pay my second Vet bill for the day. I noticed in the little business card tray the same business cards that I had seen earlier in the animal clinic. I asked the nurse if they were associated with that clinic. She said yes. I had actually ended up in the hospital that was associated with the clinic that I had gone to earlier in the day. I had no way of knowing since they were listed under two different names.

Here’s what his release paper said:

Advised that animal should be pts (put to sleep) immediately.
Suggested surgery
Massive hair loss (What!…didn’t I tell you that I was trying to groom him!)
One thing both Vets’ noticed was that Domino was not in any pain or discomfort.

I arrived home and held Domino close to me. I said a prayer and I told God if you must take Domino, I will understand.

I was so traumatized…I had not eaten since breakfast, and had no plans on eating or sleeping. I slept on the sofa with my little Domino in his bed next to me watching him all night. I finally dozed off, and woke up frightened. I touched his little body and could feel him breathing.

I am still afraid to go to sleep at night, fearing that I may wake up in the morning and he has passed. I have left little Domino’s fate in God. He has the last say…not man. He is doing so much better. He is acting normal, but I am still having a little problem with him eating.

Some wonderful friends on my facebook page, “All Animals Welcomed”, suggested a appetite stimulant called Nutri-Cal. He has started eating a little.

I am still a little shaken not knowing what his regular Vet is going to find when I take him back. Please know that I can not reveal the names of the Clinic or Hospital. I will say that I will never enter either one of them again with any pet that I may have.

My happiest Birthday gift was when I woke up this morning and saw my little baby standing, waiting to go out and do his business! I still think what if I had made the wrong decision? I would have missed at least 5 days of life without him. I guess I would have never known.

By no means am I suggesting that all Veterinarians are bad. I have had my Vet for 14 years and there is some reason that I keep him. When I first met him I was bringing in my little Sugar, who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2008. She was only about 6-8 weeks old. One of the things he let me know, was that he was not about money, but more about caring for your pet. He said, “Please bring her in for all of her shots, or if she is sick. Do not avoid it because you don’t have the money”, “I will always work something out with you”.

My little Domino crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on February 25, 2011. I had 5 more weeks from the time that the Vet suggested that I put him to sleep to spend with him. I was with him we he quietly passed. I chose to allow him to die at home.

I hope this story will help someone in making a decision on their pet’s life. Never allow a Vet to euthanize (to put to death ) your pet without a second opinion.


Borneo Rainbow Toad Spotted for First Time in 87 Years

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Scientists scouring the mountains of Borneo spotted a species of toads last seen by European explorers in 1924, providing the world with the first photographs of the colorful, spindly legged creature.

In recent years, the Washington-based Conservation International   placed the Sambas Stream Toad, also known as the Bornean Rainbow Toad, on a list of the world's "Top 10 Most Wanted Lost Frogs" and voiced fears that it might be extinct.

Researchers found three of the slender-limbed toads living on trees during a night search last month in a remote mountainous region of Malaysia's eastern Sarawak state in Borneo, said Indraneil Das, a conservation professor at the Sarawak Malaysia University who led the expedition.

Only illustrations of the toads previously existed. Das said his team first decided to seek the toad last August, but months of searching proved fruitless until they went higher up the Penrissen mountain range, which has rarely been explored in the past century.

"It is good to know that nature can surprise us when we are close to giving up hope, especially amidst our planet's escalating extinction crisis," Robin Moore, a specialist on amphibians  at Conservation International, said in a statement announcing the discovery.

The toads found on three separate trees measured up to 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) in size and comprised an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile, the statement said.

Das declined to reveal the exact site of his team's discovery because of fears of illegal poaching due to strong demand for bright-hued amphibians. Researchers will continue work to find out more about the Borneo Rainbow Toad and other amphibians in Penrissen.

Conservationists say many endangered animals in Borneo are threatened by hunting and habitat loss sparked by logging, plantations and other human development.

The Search for Lost Frogs

 This photo, taken June 13, 2011 and released by Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Have You Ever Heard of Hero Dogs for Veterans?

Have you ever heard of “Hero Dogs for Veterans?” As we honor our military veterans, let’s not forget our wounded vets who have returned home from the war. Hero Dogs, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation located in Brookeville, Maryland.  They provide service dogs only to veterans or active members of the United States Armed Forces whose disability was caused by illness or injury sustained while serving on active duty.

Hero Dogs, Inc. has chosen to serve veterans exclusively. They train dogs to meet multiple disabilities -- mobility, hearing, and/or psychiatric disorders. Other assistance dog organizations traditionally train a dog for a single purpose only (e.g., leading the blind, aiding the hearing impaired). In addition, the Washington, D.C. area is home to thousands of returning veterans with special service needs. These heroes must compete with other disabled individuals applying for a service dog via a few national-level service programs.

What does a service dog do?
A service dog helps a person with a disability achieve independence. The dog reduces that person's reliance on other people by doing tasks that the person either cannot do for him/herself or needs to ask for another person's assistance to do. A service dog can give a person with a disability the support and confidence to travel outside the home independently, (re)join the workforce, or even just accomplish the everyday tasks of living.

How much does it cost to train a service dog?
It costs approximately $30,000 to raise, train, and place a Hero Dog with one of America’s wounded warriors. Hero Dogs depends on donations, gifts, and fundraising events to support its efforts to provide these dogs, at no charge, to our deserving veterans.

Hero Dogs video showing Ike practicing basic commands. Once you view their video, you can subscribe on their Youtube site to view and receive new videos!

Hero Dogs, Inc., can be contacted at:
Hero Dogs, Inc.
P.O. Box 64
Brookeville, MD 20833-0064
1-888-570-8653 FOLLOW US!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth

Just like humans, dogs teeth are prone to plaque buildup, and when allowed to combine with saliva and residual food between the tooth and gum, plaque turns to tartar. If plaque and tartar are not removed routinely by your veterinarian, they may cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums most commonly caused by the accumulation of food particles in the crevices between the gums and the teeth.

The most common signs of oral disease are:
Yellow and brown tartar buildup
Bad breath
Red inflamed gums
Difficulty chewing
Change in eating habits
Pawing at the mouth

Never use human toothpaste on dogs! You can purchase a tooth brush and special flavored toothpaste for dogs. Most Vets will tell you to brush your dog’s teeth every day, if not possible, than at least once a week.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Would You Keep A Frog As A Pet?

As a kid, I did not like frogs. Once my brother bought one home in a jar…and sent me screaming! Then there was my biology class, in junior high school…I can still smell the ammonia! My teacher put  one on my desk, and after staring into it’s little eyes…I decided that I was not going to do it…dead or not!

Finally, one of my classmates did it for me. I was a teenager and I cried. I still felt like I was hurting one of God’s little animals.  Did you know that some schools now use computerized software to dissect frogs?

As an adult my husband and I got my then 6 year-old son a fish aquarium. He had been learning about frogs in school. So we decided to get him an aquarium frog (aquatic). He named him George. George was really cute…all over the aquarium! We put in some lily pads, and would find him asleep on them.

Some people find frogs boring, though some of the smaller frogs are quite active. However, many of the larger frogs are quite sedentary and don't move around much. Most pet shops in the United States can no longer sell the aquatic frogs.

Frog Facts:
  • Frogs, are always  wet and slimy.
  • They hop
  • A frog is a reptile, not a fish, and reptiles like to get out of the water occasionally
  • Rising temperatures are responsible for pushing dozens of frog species over the brink of extinction in the past three decades, according to findings being reported today by a team of Latin American and U.S. scientists.
  • Frogs have lungs for breathing, but they also breathe through their skin Many frogs solve that problem by producing slimy stuff and oozing it all over their skin.
  • Frogs are so slimy. They need to stay a little wet, even when they’re on land.
  • Frogs absorb water to keep their skin slimy to protect them from predators. Slime makes frogs slippery, and sometimes it has poison in it.
  • Some frog slime is even being studied by scientists for its potential to cure human diseases!

Did You Know That Toads Are  Harmful To Dogs?

Toads secrete a substance that can irritate a dog's eyes or tongue. Catching and chewing a toad can cause excessive salivation and sometimes disorientation, but usually nothing very serious. If your dog has caught a toad, flushing his mouth with water to relieve the unpleasant symptoms is usually all that's needed. But there are some deadly exceptions!

Several species of giant toads are a serious threat to pets. The Colorado River Toad, found in Southwestern states from Arizona to Southern California, and the Giant Brown Toad (also known as Marine Toads, Cane Toads or Bufo Toads) found in South Texas and Florida, are the two most common poisonous toads in the U.S. There are also a large number of Bufo Toads in Hawaii. These giant toads can grow to be 4" to about 9" long and to weigh more than 2 pounds.

Dog You Know the difference between a frog and a toad?

Need to live near water
  • Have smooth, moist skin that makes them look “slimy”
  • Have a narrow body
  • Have higher, rounder, bulgier eyes
  • Have longer hind legs
  • Take long high jumps
  • Have many predators

  • Do not need to live near water to survive
  • Have rough, dry, bumpy skin
  • Have a wider body
  • Have lower, football shaped eyes
  • Have shorter, less powerful hind legs
  • Will run or take small hops rather than jump
  • Do not have many predators.
  • Toad’s skin lets out a bitter taste and smell that burns the eyes and nostrils of its predators, much like a skunk does.


Operation Roger... Truckers Pet Transport

Someone on my facebook page mentioned this organization. After visiting their website, I decided to share the story about this wonderful organization and what they are doing to help animals. Roger is here to tell you all about them.

Hi, I'm Roger, a Toy Manchester Terrier.  Thanks for coming to this wonderful website - at least from my point of view. Yep, that's me over on the right!

Did you know it is a sad fact each year, millions of us healthy, adoptable pets are admitted to animal shelters or are taken in by animal rescue groups across the United States.  Many of us, like me, are adopted into new homes, but too many others are not so fortunate.

It is also a fact there are thousands of homes who would adopt many of us, but how do you get a dog in Alabama to a new home in New Hampshire? How do you transport a cat in California to it's forever home in Florida?
Many of you would dread a 500 mile or more drive, but for wonderful volunteer truck drivers, it's another day at the office -

They are Operation Roger... Truckers Pet Transport.  But now for just Who They Are...

Operation Roger is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of regional and long-haul truckers who volunteer their time to transport needy pets as they do their regular jobs of delivering freight across the country.  They take each pet in the cab of their trucks and give us all the TLC which so many of us need desperately.  Because we get all the individual love and care we need, these truckers only take one or two of us at a time.  We get to lay our chins on their lap as they drive and get talked to and petted.  We even get to sit in the passenger seat and watch the scenery.  We protect the truck when the trucker is out of it.  Often, we even get to sleep with them.

We've been abused and abandoned, lost, or left behind when our humans had to move and couldn't take us with them, or any of other reasons for us to find ourselves in need of human help. Then rescuers come to the shelters, bail us out, and find us new homes. Sometimes we are adopted to loving homes in a state far away from where we are.   Sometimes it is a rescue who has room for us.  Often our humans, who had to leave us behind when they moved and left us in good hands with someone they knew, are now able to care for us in their new place.  Oh, how we long for that reunion.

What they do not transport are animals used in the show circuit or from/to for-profit breeders unless they have been retired and are altered.  There are many, many pets in kill shelters now who are pure bred.  I was myself.

It is also a fact every day and night, tractor/trailers are rolling up and down the nations highways, heading to far away places hauling the food, clothing, dog food, etc. you all depend on.  Operation Roger serves us pets as the trucks serve the economy while helping everyone interested in helping us pets save valuable resources at the same time.  It is a win-win situation.

I was a rescue from a shelter after having lost my way.  My human took me on one of those trucks for two years.  I loved every minute of it and couldn't wait to get back on the road when we did go home for a few days.  I loved barking at the cows in the fields.  My human would roll down the window and that was my cue to wake up and act like a big bad motor scooter.  Afterwards, I would grin and go back to sleep.  I made it my mission to protect my human as she worked around the truck and on our walks.  I would stay between her and anyone who came near us.  One day she was able to go see the Grand Canyon and had to put me in boarding.  I loved it.  I found a prairie dog hole and, true to my breeding, I was furiously digging when discovered by the man taking care of me.  His description reminded my human of a cartoon where my tail was like a helicopter blade.  Down below was Daddy Prairie Dog sitting in his easy chair reading a paper. Mama Prairie Dog came in wiping her paws on her apron and looking up at the dirt falling down on her clean floor.

One day though, I crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and became the mascot for Operation Roger only three months later after Hurricane Katrina.  I may be gone, but the need to help other pets like me goes on, every day, every week, every month.

They need volunteer Truck Drivers to transport us.  They need Layover Homes and Shuttle Drivers to give us shelter in between drivers.  They occasionally receive requests to move donated pet food or other pet items from rescue to rescue.  For this they need drivers who perhaps can't transport us pets but would be able to get a few bags of food to a needy rescue.

They also need sponsors, corporate and individual, to defray their moderate expenses. To do this, on the Menu Bar go to Home and then Sponsorship Information in the drop down box.  Help them help us.  Volunteer your time and/or resources.  All we pets want is to be loved and a chance to love in return.  We depend upon you to provide for us and in return we will provide you with devotion.
... And This Is How I Felt The Day My Human Walked By ... Roger (2001-2005).

For more information, please visit our website at: Operation Roger FOLLOW US!