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

Monday, October 31, 2011

We Have All Heard of Pet Insurance for Your Dog or Cat – Did You Know that There is an Insurance Company that Will Cover Your Horse or Pony?

Did you know that after buying a home or a car, a horse can be one of the most expensive purchases that many people make? You protect your family, home, cars and even your pets with insurance, so why not your horse?

You probably never thought about it…or even knew that there was a such thing as “horse or pony” insurance.

According to Neal King, former president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, vet’s fees are increasing at around 11% year on year. Could you afford to pay your horse’s vet’s bill if it ran into hundreds, or even thousands of pounds? Many of us couldn’t, which is why it makes sense to protect yourself should the unexpected happen, with good quality horse insurance.

I want to tell you about a company that can give you the added protection that you need for your horse or pony.

What They Offer:

They excel in offering comprehensive cover for your horse or pony. They are dedicated to providing you with competitive premiums and a great product. provides the coverage, and gives you the freedom to choose a policy that suits your requirements.

On their website, they have an easy to use quote system which will allow you to build a policy unique to your requirements. You will be able to get your instant quotation and then proceed to buying online and having instant cover. Their horse and pony insurance is an exclusive online policy. is a scheme administered and underwritten by Equine & Livestock Insurance Co. Ltd. (Registered in England & Wales no. 294940) which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA register number 202748). Equine & Livestock Insurance Co. Ltd is also a member of the Association of British Insurers and the Financial Ombudsman Service.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Animals are Helping Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warriors heal with help of iconic animals. In Arlington,Virginia, when  Lt. Col. Sam Nerove grabs the reigns to guide a 2000 pound horse, she is taking control of something else too.

"I was in the deepest, darkest, hell hole," says Nerove.

She was injured in the early 1990s in Dessert Storm. She returned to combat in Iraq in 2008.

"Similar environment. More rockets, bombs, bullets, and bodies," says Nerove.

Soon her post traumatic stress disorder  was so bad she had to be medevaced out.

"It got so bad that I couldn't even tell the difference between tents and buildings," says Nerove.

She still jumps at the sound of a plane landing at nearby Reagan National. She takes a deep breath and then resumes talking.

Nerove is part of the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Program at Fort Myer.

"Through this program, I have learned that I can do anything. If I can guide a horse, I can guide my life," says Nerove.

At a rider's side, members of the Old Guard. These are the same horses that pull the caisson at Arlington National Cemetery.

"If these horses weren't out here carrying their wounded comrades on their backs, they'd be pulling the caisson carrying one of their fallen comrades to their final resting place," says Larry Pence, a retired Command Sgt. Major in the Army.

The program's been in place since 2006 and so far they've had about 125 wounded warriors out riding.

"The one thing they all have in common is that they all want to be contributing members of our society. It's humbling and inspirational every Thursday for me and it's just a blessing, of course, to be a part of it," says Pence.

He and retired Navy Commander Mary Jo Beckman started the program. Brian Isenhouer was stationed in Italy when he suffered a head injury in a car accident. He hopes driving the wagon is preparing him to one day get his driver's license back.

"It's helped me a lot, really it has," says Isenhouer.

The program's being expanded nationwide.

"There was nothing to really prepare me for just the magic, the magic of what this really is and what it does," says Nerove.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Genetically-Modified Beagle Glows in the Dark – What Do You Think?

Scientists in South Korea said two-year-old Tegon, a genetically-modified beagle, actually glows in the dark.

When the scientists from Seoul National University feed Tegon doxycycline she glows fluorescent green under ultraviolet light.  Removing the drug from her food effectively turns off the radiant effect.

The researchers hope that their discovery can help develop human treatments for some of the 268 illnesses that dogs and people share in common.

"The creation of Tegon opens new horizons since the gene injected to make the dog glow can be substituted with genes that trigger fatal human diseases," lead researcher Lee Byeong-chun told Yonhap news agency.

The dog was created using the same somatic cell transfer technology that the University team used to create the world's first cloned puppy, Snuppy, in 2005.

According to Reuters the discovery took four years of research worth roughly $3 million.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Rare Baby Seahorse Found in London River

The discovery of a baby seahorse in east London raised the possibility that a colony of the rare creatures is living in the River Thames, scientists said.

The short-snouted juvenile hippocampus was discovered during a routine fisheries survey at Greenwich, suggesting that adult seahorses were breeding nearby, the UK's Environment Agency said Friday.

The cute creatures once thought only to visit Britain during warm weather were declared protected in 2008 after several were found near the mouth of the Thames. Those sightings raised scientists' hopes that a family could be living in the river.

The latest discovery was the furthest inland that the seahorses were detected so far.

"We hope that further improvements to water quality and habitat in the Thames will encourage more of these rare species to take up residence in the river," Environment Agency fisheries officer Emma Barton said.

Seahorses are one of the few animals that mate for life, after elaborate courtship rituals.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

The National Aquarium, Washington, DC - Unveiled an Extremely Rare Albino Alligator

On October 7, the National Aquarium, Washington, DC, unveiled an extremely rare albino alligator in the new Secrets of the Swamp, here for a very limited time. Don't miss this opportunity to get up close to this rare and special animal!

An extremely rare albino alligator from the swamps of Louisiana is taking up residence in Washington, D.C., dazzling visitors with her brilliant white skin.

The 3-year-old is the first of its kind ever to go on exhibition at the National Aquarium,  home to more than 200 marine species from goldfish and frogs to piranhas and sharks.

"There are less than 100 albino alligators in the world," Ryan Dumas, a herpetologist  at the tourist attraction, told AFP on Thursday. "They are very rare."

Hatched in captivity in, after its egg was found in the wild, the ghost-like alligator with pink eyes came to Washington via the privately owned Saint Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida.

"Local lore in parts of Louisiana, is that it's incredible good luck to see an albino alligator," Dumas said, adding however that because of their color, few if any survive in the wild.

"A white alligator is going to have a very hard time keeping itself hidden in a dark swamp," said Dumas, because the lack of camouflage exposes hatchlings to predators or gives them away to prey.

The alligator, which dines on fish and rodents, will be on display until February of next year. A facebook campaign will be launched by the aquarium shortly, to give her a name.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Have You Ever Had a Hermit Crab as a Pet?

Have you ever had a hermit crab as a pet? I did…well it wasn’t exactly mine. I don’t remember where I got the idea to get my son a hermit crab. I think it was because he wanted a dog, and we were living in an apartment that did not allow dogs. He was very young maybe around 4 –5 years old.

I got the aquarium and everything all set up and showed it to him. His first response was that he took off running when he saw it move!  He came back into the room and looked at it closely and gave me that…what is that look. Then it moved again…and off running he went!

I started to let him watch it eat and he became a little more comfortable with it, however, it didn’t come out of its shell much. I didn’t realize at the time that they are nocturnal.

It’s been years…so I have no idea what happened to the hermit crab. I can assure you as an animal lover, no harm was done to it. I probably gave it away or took it back to a pet shop. We ended up eventually getting him a fish aquarium…and a dog!

Hermit refers to the fact that the crabs borrow the shell that they are in.  They have no real "home" of their own, they are hermits. As the hermit crab grows in size, it must find a larger shell.

Hermit crabs are nocturnal scavengers that will eat almost anything. They live in large groups in the wild, and do best in groups of three or more.  They wear the label “hermit” because of the shell they carry on their back that they hide in when sensing danger.

low maintenance
have colorful shells

no bonding
not interactive

Anatomy: Hermit crabs are invertebrates, animals without a backbone. They have an exoskeleton, an outer shell that provides support for their body but does not provide much protection from predators. They vary widely in color, from red to brown to purple, with stripes, dots, and other patterns. They have ten jointed legs; the front two legs have large, grasping claws (called pincers or chelipeds) and the rear pair of legs are very small. They have a flattened body, sensory antennae, two eyes located at the ends of stalks, and a soft, twisted abdomen (which the hermit crab keeps hidden inside its shell).