The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : May 2012 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : May 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Loyal Stray Dog in China, Wins Chinese Hearts after Following Cyclists for 1,000 Miles and Over 12 Mountains



A stray dog showed incredible loyalty, willpower and endurance, after she ran an extraordinary 1833 kilometers (1,056 miles) between China and Tibet. The small dog followed a team of cross-country cyclists after they fed her. She ran with them for 24 days, traveling from Kangding Sichuan province in China, to Lhasa in Tibet.

After they reached their destination, one of the cyclists decided to adopt the dog.

Zhang Heng, 22, told the China Daily he took up the grueling, mountainous bike race as a graduation trip to see if he could make it.

When he made a stop in Sichuan province, a small, hungry white dog approached him. "She was lying, tired, on the street," Zhang said. "So we fed her, and then she followed our team."

The little dog stayed by his team’s side night and day. At first they thought she was simply following them for the adventure. Then, Zhang said, "We felt she might want to come along with us, so we decided to bring her along to the end."

The team decided to name the dog Xiao Sa (a combination of "little" and the second syllable of Lhasa.)

The team fixed a small basket on a bike for Little Sa to carry her when she became tired and wanted to rest. However, most of the time, she insisted on running. Little Sa could run 50 to 60 kilometers a day. Cyclist Wang Zi remarked, "...She ran all the time, making me feel that she never feels tired."

As the race progressed, the number of cyclists dropped from 300 to six. Little Sa encouraged all of the remaining riders every day, as they climbed 10 grueling mountains, each higher than 4,000 meters.

"Many people stopped cycling in some sections, then took the bus, but the dog made it," Zang said. When biking downhill, Zhang put Little Sa on the back of his bike to protect her from the speeding bikes.

Little Sa would sometimes stop at milestones along the road, waiting for cyclists to catch up. When Zhang fell behind, she would put her paws on him to encourage him to keep going.

One cyclist said, "She's very smart and knows the route, because she never got lost even when we passed through mountains."

When they finally reached their destination, Zhang said he saw Little Sa as "a buddy and a friend".

"Little Sa's perseverance moved us a lot. With her encouragement we finally reached the Potala Palace." Zhang said. "I would like to take the dog home and take care of her. She has been a stray on the road for a long time. She needs a home."






FOLLOW US!
/

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why Your Dog Should Learn to Wear a Muzzle? - Teaching Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle



The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says, that if you teach your dog to accept one, a muzzle can be an effective, humane tool for managing your dog’s behavior. For most situations, we recommend a basket muzzle. Although a dog wearing this kind of muzzle looks more frightening than a dog wearing a snug-fitting nylon muzzle, the basket style is safer because it allows the dog to pant (which is how dogs regulate their body temperature) and to drink water. The wire basket muzzles sold at www.morrco.com are sturdy and come in a wide range of sizes and shapes to fit any breed.









FOLLOW US!
/

Tips on Pet Safety Around the Cookout



The summer is here...and it's time for cooking out, time for an afternoon filled with family, fun, and great food. However, if you are a dog owner these fun filled parties can be dangerous for your dog. Most people wouldn't think a family cookout could pose a danger to your dog, but there are some very real dangers you have to watch out for. Here are some tips to ensure your dog and guest are safe during a cookout.

No feeding the dog
  • Inform your guest that they should not feed your pet. It can becoming tempting to hand Fido a piece of chicken off of their plate. However, there are a large number of human foods, and ingredients that aren't good for dogs. They can cause anything from a mild stomach upset to death, so it's extremely important not to allow your dog to eat anything other than dog food. Pancreatitis, is a serious and potentially fatal inflammation of the pancreas, is often caused when pets eat "greasy, spicy, fatty foods--exactly what people eat at barbecues.
  • Try and keep your dog away from the area where people are eating. Make sure that the guest inform their children not to feed the dog. 
  • Even if you are conscientious about not giving your pet barbecue food, you can't control your guests, especially children. It's almost impossible to resist when a dog begs, especially if it's not your dog. Keep children away from the dog.
  • If you are having guest at your home who are not familiar with your dog, it is best to keep your dog away from the cookout. Children, just being children will want to play and feed the dog. Keeping the dog and kids separate is easier than explaining why your dog bit their child.

Keep the dog away from the grill
  • Most dogs are controlled by their nose. The smell of the food cooking can excite a dog and they may hang around or run into the grill.
  • Keep your pet away from matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system. Before you light that hot grill make sure your four legged family member is out of harms way.
  • Barbecues on Memorial Day and other holidays often lead to trash bags full of bones and other unsafe items that are extremely attractive to pets. Keep pets away from the garbage.
Even though it seems like a bummer, your pet is better off in a bedroom, with an air conditioner, some cold water, and the door closed, safe and sound, away from all that food and temptation.

With a little thought and careful consideration a summer cookout can be fun for every member of the family including the furry ones.

Please Share! FOLLOW US!
/

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Blind Pet - They Can Still Live a Happy Normal Life



A blind pet does have some special needs, including a protected environment. This is particularly important because they behave so normally that you may forget that they are handicapped. Hazards for a blind pet include swimming pools, traffic and balconies. A blind dog should always be kept on a leash when outside of a fenced yard; you may find a harness works better than a collar for guiding your pet on walks outdoors. There are tools available to help you keep your pet safe while still allowing some freedom. For example, there is an alarm you can attach to your pets collar to alert you if they fall in the swimming pool.

While there are certainly some things that they may be unable to do, most of the activities that are important to our pets are still possible. A blind dog or cat will behave remarkably normally in their own home. Animals that lose vision gradually appear to adjust better than those that lose vision rapidly. In both cases, with a bit of patience, we have found that almost every pet can make this adjustment. They will remember where their food and water are and rarely bump into things in the home.

Try not to rearrange the furniture and you will be amazed at how well your pet will remember the floor plan, even going up and down stairs. They will still play with toys and may prefer a ball with a bell or a squeak toy. They will enjoy interacting with their human family in most all of the same ways as they did before they lost vision. A blind pet can continue in every way in their primary role as a loving companion.


FOLLOW US!
/

Couple Splits Over 550 House Cats



A man from southern Israel divorced his wife this week because she had brought 550 cats into their home.

The husband, apparently not a cat lover, told the Rabbinical Court in Beersheba that he was unable to sleep in his bedroom because the surface of the marital bed was constantly covered with cats who refused to lie on the floor.

The man, in his divorce request, complained that the cats also blocked his access to the bathroom and did not allow him to prepare meals in the kitchen, the Hebrew daily Maariv reported Wednesday. When he sat to eat, cats jumped onto the table and stole his food.

The couple attempted reconciliation at the behest of the rabbinical court. The wife, however, was unable to part from her cats… and preferred to part from her husband.


FOLLOW US!
/

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tips on Introducing Your New Adopted Puppy/Dog to Your Home



First let me congratulate you for adopting a pet, and saving a life! The animal shelters are full of homeless animals that need forever homes...and you chose to give one a forever home! Congratulations!

There is nothing more exciting then bringing home your new dog or puppy.   Here are a few simple tips you can use in order to make the transition smooth:

  • Ask the shelter what type of dog food they were using so you can retain a little bit of consistency for him. keeping the food the same, it gives him something familiar to sink his teeth into.   
  • If you decide to change his brand of food, introduce it to him gradually after the initial week, so his digestive system can get used to it.
  • If you already have other dogs in the home, feed your dogs at different locations so they are not fighting over their food.
  • Be sure to set up your new dog’s safe retreat area prior to bringing him home.  Put his toys, bowls, and blanket there too.  
  • When you bring him home, show him his special new area and let him get used to it at his own pace.  Consider setting up this special place for him in the family room or kitchen so he’s near where the action is versus the garage or basement.  
  • Dogs are social and so it’s important for him to know that people are around!
  • Introduce him to the entire family by letting everyone hold and gently play with him.  Keep a watchful eye on younger children as their excitement could be overwhelming to some dogs.
  • Your dog may be especially lonely at night when the house is quite and dark.  Consider putting his crate into your bedroom so he knows you’re nearby.
  • Keep a leash nearby as your dog will most likely need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  You don’t want to be scurrying around in the dark looking for the leash!
  • If you’re bringing home a dog where there are already two resident dogs, you may notice them exhibiting pack behavior where they may begin ganging up on the newcomer.  If this happens, assert yourself and immediately stop this behavior.
  • If you have a resident dog and introduce a newcomer, don’t forget to shower love and affection upon the resident dog too.  If you don’t, it could produce an anxiety and jealous ridden dog who will then exhibit aggressive behavior toward the newcomer.
  • Introduce a newcomer to resident dog in a neutral location, such as a fenced in area.  Supervise the dogs’ interactions with each other.  When the dogs are interacting, give a lot of praise for your dog’s good behavior and make sure you’re stern when he isn’t good.
  • Make sure you have different spots for your dogs to retreat to when they are tired and need to relax.  You don’t want your resident dog fighting over his territory when he’s already trying to adjust to a newcomer!
  • At the end of the day, it’s important to stick with a routine so he knows what to expect and when.

And the best advice of all is to shower your new dog, and any resident dogs with plenty of love and attention as he’s now a part of your family!


FOLLOW US!
/

Legal Rights of Dog Bite Victims in the USA



Most states and the District of Columbia impose liability on a dog owner for all dog bites even if the dog previously was a "good dog." The victim is compensated through the dog owner's homeowners or renters insurance. A minority of states observe the "one bite rule" which shields a dog owner from liability unless he knew that it tended to bite, or caused the bite negligently or intentionally, or violated a leash law or other animal control law.


For more information on the legal rights of dog bite victims, visit the websites below:
Legal Rights of Dog Bite Victims in the USA
If Your Dog Bites Someone
One Bite Rule


FOLLOW US!
/

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If You Have a Dog, Please Read - Chinese Pet Treats Linked to 900 Dog Deaths, Illnesses



Just six months after issuing its latest warning about chicken jerky dog treats made in China, the Food and Drug Administration confirms it has logged more than 900 complaints from pet owners who say their dogs either were sickened or died after eating the treats.

The number of complaints has nearly doubled since the story was first reported by ABC News in March. The FDA says its investigation is ongoing and that it continues to test samples of the popular treats, which dog owners across the country say have caused kidney failure in their pets, resulting in severe illness or death.

Consumers have largely blamed two brands for the reported illnesses. Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch, both produced by Nestle Purina and made in China, are reportedly included in the samples being tested by the FDA. The agency told ABC News it has solicited samples of treats from the owners of the pets allegedly affected, but will not say whether it is tested those samples. To date, the FDA has not been able to determine a cause for the reported illnesses.

The FDA issued its first warning about chicken jerky treats from China in 2007 and again in 2008, both times based on consumer complaints. But it wasn't until a third warning -- in late 2011 -- that the momentum of complaints accelerated as an angry population of pet owners demanded to know what in the Chinese treats might be sickening their dogs.

"It's hard to believe that we're still fighting the same battle," said Terry Safranek, whose 9-year old Fox Terrier named Sampson died of kidney failure in January.

"The last thing that he ate and then threw up was the chicken jerky," said Safranek. "It kills me that the treats I fed him killed him."

Safranek is a member of a Facebook group called "Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made In China," which has grown to 4,500 members and includes hundreds of photos of dogs whose owners claim were sickened or died from chicken jerky treats.

"We're just the ones who are online. There literally could be tens of thousands of people whose dogs were affected," said Safranek.

The group also keeps its own spreadsheet of victims, ranging from a 1-year old, five-pound Chihuahua named Kiarra to a 111-pound German Shepherd named Floyd.

"The problem with the issue is getting the word out," said Dr. Richard Goldstein, Chief of Medicine at The Animal Medical Center in New York City. Goldstein has been studying the connection between pet illnesses and chicken jerky treats made in China since 2007 and says although deaths have been rare in his experience, it's still crucial to seek veterinary care if a dog shows symptoms such as vomiting or lethargy.

"These are still on the shelves and cases are still popping up," said Goldstein, urging pet owners to be vigilant.

The issue has gained attention in Washington, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D.-Ohio, who has been urging Congress to look closely at products coming from China, recently blasted the head of the FDA over the issue. At a Senate Appropriations hearing in April, Brown told Dr. Margaret Hamburg he was concerned that pet owners were still buying the treats, unaware they may possibly be tainted. "The FDA must be as aggressive as possible to find the source of this contamination," he said later in a press release.

A spokesperson for Nestle Purina told ABC News in March that the safety of pets is the company's utmost priority and that production of the treats in China is held to the highest quality and safety standards. Nestle Purina has not been named in any of the FDA warnings and the company points out that reported illnesses may be the result of eating things other than the chicken treats. "We've looked at this, and we continue to look at this," Keith Schopp told ABC News.

FOLLOW US!
/

Tips on How to Keep Your Pet's Coat Healthy



Every pet owner wants their pet's coat to be shiny, soft and full. With proper diet, nutrition and grooming, the dullest of fur can be brought back to life. Making a pet's coat shiny can be achieved within a few weeks of maintenance. To preserve the shiny coat, a new lifestyle of high protein foods and regular grooming must be maintained.

Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free. And grooming time’s a great time to check for fleas and flea dirt, those little black specks that indicate your pet is playing host to a flea family.






FOLLOW US!
/

Dog Bite Liability Payouts Rise to $479 Million in 2011



Dog bites cost insurance companies about $479 million in 2011, accounting for an increasingly large chunk of payouts under homeowner’s liability policies, according to a recent study.

While there was a slight decline in the number of dog bite claims, the price tag per case has risen 54 percent since 2003 — to an average of $29,400 in 2011 — making up more than one-third of total liability claims paid out by homeowners, according to the Insurance Information Institute, which conducted the study.

"These increases can be attributed to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which have risen well above the rate of inflation in recent years," the institute said in a release.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and about 800,000 of them seek medical attention. Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency room and 16 die, according to the CDC.

Kevin M. Phillips, a Beverly Hills based attorney who specializes in representing dog bite victims around the country, told msnbc.com  that studies suggest that the popularity of pit bulls in the United States are likely a contributing factor in the rising cost of claims paid out by insurance companies.

"Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs," concluded a study published in the Annals of Surgery in April 2011 .

In some places, the law now provides different consideration for dog breeds like pit bulls, said Phillips. For instance, in Maryland, pit bulls are now deemed inherently dangerous, unlike most other breeds, said Phillips.

"If you own a pit bull and the pit bull hurts someone, no one has to prove it’s dangerous. It is presumed to be so," he said.

Traditionally, a homeowner liability policy covers dog bites, but some insurance companies are modifying how they write policies.

A CDC report on dogs involved in fatal human attacks between 1979 and 1998 — which the center specifies is not intended for policy making decisions — is nevertheless used as a guide for some insurers, according to a report in the Des Moines Register . At the top of  that list are pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Doberman pinschers and chow chows.

"Insurance companies started experimenting with cutting out the coverage for dog bites. Homeowners have got to confirm they have the coverage," said Phillips.

For some breeds of dogs associated with attacks, you may actually need a special canine liability insurance, he said. Without it, a serious dog attack can run up medical bills and compensation worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs to the pet owner.

"If your dog bites a child on the face, which is where a dog bites a child, it can wipe you out," he added.

FOLLOW US!
/

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Prepare Your Pet for Your New Baby



There's nothing as exciting as preparing for the birth of a baby. While you're planning the color of the nursery and picking out items for your baby registry, don't overlook one very important step in getting ready for your new baby - preparing the family pet.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)  says, shelters are still visited by tearful mothers-to-be with cats in tow, having made their appointments after well-meaning relatives or old-school obstetricians have convinced them that keeping a cat risks the health and well-being of their unborn child. Don't succumb to these old wives' tales. Knowing the facts will help provide ways to safeguard both fetus and feline.

You never, ever want to leave any animal alone with a baby. Your cat should never sleep with your baby, because a cat can accidentally smother an infant. There can also be severe allergic reactions at that age. Other people will think, ‘My dog loves people, so it’s okay to leave him in the room with the baby for just a minute,’ but it’s not true. Dogs don’t recognize babies as human beings for the first few months of their lives. For some reason, the baby’s smell is different than an adult’s and a newborn also sounds like an injured rabbit. This can spark an animal’s prey drive, even in an otherwise calm dog.

When you are in the room with the dog and the baby, make sure that the baby is always higher, physically, than the dog. You want the dog to know that the baby is dominant over him. Having pets and kids together can be a great experience. You just always want to err on the side of caution with how you handle it.


FOLLOW US!
/

How to Remove a Tick from Your Pet



The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says, So, you’ve found a tick on your pet...how do you deal with it? While it’s important to get these little suckers off quickly, (ASPCA) veterinarians advise that you stay calm and don’t rush it. Moving too fast when removing a tick could potentially create more problems, both for your pet and for you.

There are some very good products on the market designed specifically for safe tick removal. If you live in a tick-heavy area or are taking your pets to a place where they are likely to get ticks, it’s a good idea to buy one of these tools and have it on hand. They generally work better than tweezers at getting out the whole tick, and are relatively inexpensive.




FOLLOW US!
/

How to Remove a Tick from a Person



Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely may help you avoid diseases such as Lyme disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where it bit you.

When you return home from areas where ticks might live, carefully examine your skin and scalp for ticks. Check your pets, too.


FOLLOW US!
/

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Startling Birth Control Ads for Pets - What Do You Think About These Ads?



Parents of teens know that at that certain age they can't avoid having the dreaded "sex talk" with their kids, but what about with their pets?  What if pet owners started thinking of their pets as their teens when it comes to avoiding pregnancy?

That's the dramatic, but humorous, approach taken in a new series of public service announcements and advertisements produced by the Best Friends Animal Society, the nation's largest sanctuary for homeless animals.

In the spots, voiced by "NCIS: LA" actress Linda Hunt and "Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet, parents appear to be reacting to their kids' promiscuity, only to have the kids replaced by their pets.  In other words, once you start thinking of your pets as your kids, it's a lot easier to think of what needs to be done to keep them from delivering offspring.

Called "Prevent more. Fix at month four," the campaign is the first national effort to educate pet owners on when, not just why, they should spay and neuter, according to the Society.

"We felt it was important to present the messaging in an attention getting way that didn't make people feel guilty or sad," Amber Ayers, the society's senior marketing and creative manager, told ABCNews.com. "When we looked at the research, most people planned on spaying or neutering their pets, but there was just a lot of confusion about when to do so and this leads to the 'oops' litter. "

The Utah-based non-profit says it hopes the ads will grow into a "cultural movement."
"We are hoping to maintain long-term traction by shifting the mindset of our country," said Ayers.  "It will become commonplace to fix your pet at four months, reducing the number of pets that enter, and ultimately never leave our shelters. "




What do you think about these ads?

FOLLOW US!
/

Sleeping with Your Pet - Do You Think it's Unhealthy?



We love sleeping with our pets, but some veterinary scientists don’t agree. They say that sleeping with and “kissing” your animals on their little pet lips puts you at risk for some serious medical problems, even when those pusses and pooches are seemingly healthy.

According to “Zoonoses in the Bedroom,” a study published in the February issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases:

“The risk of contracting something is rare, but if you’re that person who gets a disease from a pet, rare doesn’t matter that much,” says the paper’s co-author Bruno Chomel, a professor at the University of California-Davis school of veterinary medicine and an expert in zoonoses, the transmission of disease from animal to human. “I know this will make me unpopular, but pets really don’t belong in your bed.”

video platform video management video solutions video player



FOLLOW US!
/

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dog Houses Are They a Thing of the Past?



Dog houses used to be fixtures in the American suburban landscape. That doesn't seem to be the case today. I couldn't find any statistics regarding dog houses' possible demise, but I did note that no less a source than the American Pet Product Association recently acknowledged that dogs are "moving from the dog house into our houses."

Dogs are pack animals that thrive on companionship. Much like their wolf ancestors, dogs are very social. In fact, dogs are more social than humans and need to be part of human families. When you own a dog, you become the dog's pack and he wants to be with his pack. Forcing a dog to live outside with little or no human companionship is one of the most psychological damaging things a pet owner can do to a dog.

I think dogs tend to sleep inside now in a crate or on a dog bed, as opposed to being put out for the night to sleep in a doghouse. It was once rare to have the family dog spend the night inside.

Take a look at dog houses of the past...

                                                          Click on images to enlarge.

            photo DogHousepicforstory_zps76ef9bd2.jpg        photo Doghouse-2_zpse6af5a65.jpg        photo Doghouse-1_zps0f50fe71.jpg


...and present!

                                                         Click on images to enlarge.

            photo luxurydoghouse-2_zps0504de78.jpg        photo luxurydoghouse-1_zps93cb39c1.jpg        photo luxurydoghouse-4_zpscb727f22.jpg

             photo luxurydoghouse-3_zps42eff1dc.jpg

Doggy Doors
With more people keeping their dogs indoors, they still want them to have access to the backyard.  For several years people have started installing doggy doors in their homes to give their pets access to the yard when they are not home. Do you have a doggy door? Would you consider having a doggy door?

Take a look at this doggy door:



FOLLOW US!
/

Man spends $60,000 in Custody Fight for Dog



Embroiled in a legal battle over the custody of his dog, a Brooklyn man is offering everything from a $250 game of fetch with his beloved puggle to limited edition art pieces to raise money for his depleted legal fund.

Manhattan art gallery employee Craig Dershowitz, 34, has already burned through $60,000 of his own savings in the cross-country court battle for the return of Knuckles, who is one-quarter pug and three-quarters beagle.

Dershowitz’s ex-girlfriend, wardrobe stylist Sarah Brega, currently has the dog in her home in California.

"He snores like an old man. His whole butt wiggles when he wags his tail. He is so loving and sweet and warm. He's incredible," Dershowitz says in a video that he's posted on a site he created to shed light on his case and raise money.

The couple dated for four years and broke up in March, 2011, but were sharing custody of "Knux" until November when Dershowitz claimed in court papers that she “kidnapped’’ the dog.

Dershowitz said he purchased the dog when the couple was together two years ago and grew very attached to him. While searching for a new place to live after the couple broke up, Dershowitz claims that Brega kept the dog when she was supposed to return to him after Dershowitz settled in a new spot.

Brega has retained a lawyer to fight for custody of the dog in court in California and New York.

“Knuckles lives a happy and healthy life in California with me, where he has ample room to play, and lives in close proximity to a beach for off-leash dog-park outings,” Brega said in court documents.

Dershowitz claims that his former girlfriend is deliberately forcing him to exhaust his limited resources.

“Obviously we dated many years and she knew my finances intimately, so she knew all the money I had was from savings and years of working two jobs,’’ Dershowitz told TODAY.com.

He appeared on TODAY Tuesday to dispel claims that he's doing this for revenge, saying "this is an expensive revenge; not something I want to do."

"Knuckles has been with me his whole life," Sarah Brega told TODAY in a statement. "It is unfortunate that Craig is using the courts and a fraudulent fundraiser to continue to harrass me. He is taking advantage of unsuspecting donors.

"Craig thrives on media attention and he is seeking it out in order to further his career while exacting revenge."

Dershowitz admitted that when Brega first kept the dog he contemplated stealing it back from her family’s home in Massachusetts but did not want to create any legal trouble and decided to take the high road.

“I don't mean to insult people who have had terrible things happen to their human children, but Knuckles is very much, in my mind, my son,’’ Dershowitz said. “We are connected on a very serious level.’’

'Free Knux'

To raise money for his legal bills, on his web site Dershowitz offers everything from “Free Knux’’ T-shirts to a $200 professional portrait of Knuckles to big-ticket items like a $3,500 wardrobe styling by a stylist friend of Dershowitz’s.

 “I have a ton of friends who are artists, so I wanted to provide something in every media of art that I could,’’ Dershowitz told TODAY.com. “Knuckles grew up with them. Some of them have crashed on my couch and he slept alongside them, or they have played fetch with them, so when I set up the website overnight, they all were willing to help out to get him back.’’

As of Monday afternoon he'd only raised $140, but believes at least one of every item will be sold as his story, which was first reported by The New York Post, gains exposure. His goal is $20,000 in order to defray his anticipated legal fees over the next two to three months.

Cross-country court battle

The legal battle over Knuckles began four months ago when Dershowitz filed papers on Jan. 31. Dershowitz said that a Manhattan court has already ruled that Knux should be in his custody but the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department will not retrieve him from Brega’s home until a ruling is made in a Los Angeles court. Dershowitz said a hearing is coming Wednesday in Los Angeles where he is hoping the judge will sign a document that would allow the sheriff’s department to enforce the ruling from the New York court.

 “Best-case scenario, I get the [document] and I’m on an airplane before the end of this week,’’ he said. “The sheriff’s department would retrieve Knux, hopefully that day, and I would have him stay with a friend of mine out there until I fly out to take him back.’’
If that comes to fruition, Dershowitz will be happy to complete the transaction for anyone who has put in a payment on his webpage for a game of fetch or a smooch from Knuckles.

“It goes without saying that they can only play with Knux once he comes back,’’ Dershowitz said. “I have full faith that it will happen.’’







FOLLOW US!
/

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Washington Humane Society Unveiled it's New Pet Transport Vehicle on May 12 - Pet Parents and Their Dogs Participate in Doga - Dogie Yoga! - Take a Look at the Pictures!



The Washington Humane Society unveiled it's new pet transport vehicle on May 12, 2012. This new mobile adoption center, an accessible animal transport van that will help the organization bring more adoptable pets into the Washington metro community. The vehicle was acquired thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation, a New York based foundation created by Dr. Frank Stanton, a media pioneer and lifelong dog owner and admirer.

The mobile adoption center will allow DC animals to meet members of our community in the neighborhoods where they live and work, providing tremendous opportunity to build hundreds, and eventually thousands more families.

When people have the opportunity to meet dogs outside the shelter environment it is much easier for them to make a connection and visualize them in their own homes.

To celebrate the arrival of its new mobile adoption center, the Washington Humane Society hosted an unveiling in conjunction with its 8th Annual Doga event on May 12, 2012.

Take a look at the pictures of this event! You may have missed this year's, but you will have time to attend the 9th Annual Doga Event, next year!



FOLLOW US!
/

Do Cats Eat Their Poop Like Dogs? - Yes, They Do



Eating one’s own stool, a behavior also known as coprophagia, is common in dogs but very rare in cats. Dogs are notorious for eating things that humans find extremely distasteful, stool included. However cats do not normally eat their own stool, and when they do this type of behavior could be a sign of an underlying mental problem.


Cats that have been severely abused or kept in extremely unsanitary conditions with little food or water may have picked up the practice of coprophagia as a survival mechanism. Even though the cat is now in a safe place, it may still feel like it is necessary to eat its own stool.

Young cats and kittens may also develop coprophagia from a type of mental disorder. Cats are prone to developing mental disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, and coprophagia in cats could be a manifestation of some type of mental disorder. Kittens may also confuse their own stool with food, and it may take them awhile to realize that their stool is not food.

If our cat is eating its own stool, have your cat examined by a veterinarian to ensure first that no medical conditions are causing the behavior. Keeping the litter boxes clean, and making sure that your cat feels safe and secure in its environment, may help to reduce further incidences of coprophagia.

Did you know that mother cats eat kittens feces while kittens are suckling on the mother?

It's perfectly normal and quite safe in that a mother cat licks her kittens' bottoms while and just after a kitten has nursed on her. They do this to stimulate the kitten to wee and poop as kittens don't have an automatic nerve self stimulus to do so until they are about 3 - 4 weeks old. If the mother cat does not do this the kitten will stop feeding, get very poorly, get blood poisoning and die. The mother cat swallows her kittens' defecation at this time to keep her nursing nest clean. The kittens' wee and poop at this age are so small that it's almost undetectable.


FOLLOW US!
/

Pet Allergies, Are You Allergic to Your Pet? - Do You Know the Symptoms?



What is pet dander?

Cats and dogs have pet dander. It is tiny flakes of dead skin that slough off the pet continuously. Breathing in pet dander is the number one reason that people have an allergic reaction to animals. The dander is hard to see on some animals, and on others it looks like a bad case of dandruff, and the animal smells even after a bath. When the dander combines with oil and dirt, it becomes a glue-like substance trapping the undercoat and causing the hair to turn into large wadded mats.

What are the most common causes for pet allergies?

Cat and dog danderhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dander, or skin flakes, as well as their saliva and urine, can cause an allergic reaction such as: sneezing, wheezing, and running eyes and nose.

Both feathers and the droppings from birds, another common kind of pets, can increase the allergen exposure. Bird droppings can also be a source of bacteria, dust, fungi and mold. This also applies to the droppings of other caged pets, such as gerbils, hamsters and mice.

Animal hair is not considered to be a very significant allergen, however, the hair or fur can collect pollen, dust, mold, and other allergens. Although individual pets may produce more or less allergen, there is no relationship between the pet's hair length and allergen production. There is also no such thing as a non-allergenic breed.

Animal allergens are found mostly in homes where pets are present. What is surprising, however, is that these allergens are also found (in lesser amounts) in places where pets have never been present, such as schools, workplaces, and other public spaces. Since dander allergens are sticky, they can be brought to these places on the clothing of pet owners. Also, while dander on a smooth surface (such as a wall) can be easily wiped off, in soft materials, such as carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and clothing, it can persist for long periods of time. That is why, unless special steps are taken, pet dander can remain in a home for up to six months after the pet has been removed.

Rabbit Allergy

Many people gets surprised when they first hear about rabbit allergy, it is something that they don’t even consider before buying a rabbit as a pet, however it is a type of allergy found in some homes.  Just like other types of animal allergies its origin is in the proteins found in the saliva and blood of the animal and not in the fur.

When the immune system is weak to fight these allergens, it enters into a defense mode, producing the infamous allergic reactions.  Watery eyes and nose dripping are used by the body to wash away the allergens.  This means that the body reacts to an attack, this attack by itself is not dangerous but it could be if the symptoms complicate.



FOLLOW US!
/

Military Dogs Euthanized as 'Equipment' Under Cruel Law



If roadside bombs and other hazards of war don't kill military dogs, senseless government regulations and red tape might.

The United States is breeding 100 puppies a year to train for bomb sniffing and other soldierly duties, but many aren't making it back to happy homes because an obscure federal law classifies them as "equipment" rather than personnel, and makes adopting them a financial and bureaucratic nightmare. A bill to require that the military ship the heroic dogs home and ease potential veterinarian costs for adopting families is currently bogged down in Congress, as dogs continue to be euthanized.



FOLLOW US!
/

Does Your Dog Eat Poop?



Yes, it’s disgusting. Yes, it’s potentially unhealthy. And, yes, it’s fairly common in the animal world.

Only one of my dogs did this, and at the most inappropriate time...when we were eating or had company!

My little Sugar, who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2008, would eat her poop.

One day I noticed Sugar eating her poop. My first reaction was to run over and make her stop.

The next time that I noticed it was when my husband let them in, and she came running pass me with it hanging out of her mouth.

Finally, I found some in her bed and decided that she need to go to the vet.

Their visit to the vet was in a couple of days, so I waited and asked him when I got there.

He told me, that a dog will eat their own poop for a number of reasons:

  • They think it smells and tastes good. Dogs are notoriously poor arbiters of taste.
  • They are hungry.
  • They may be missing key nutrients in their diet or suffer malabsorption.
  • They like to keep their territory or bedding clean.
  • They have fun playing with it. This is especially true for dogs that are mouthy.
  • They are bored.
  • They know that removing the evidence means no punishment for inappropriate elimination.
  • They know that fewer predators will give him grief if there is no physical evidence of his having been around.

In Sugar's case, she was lacking nutrients. She was put on medication and finally stopped.

There may be other reasons for routine coprophagy, as the condition is known. It can be hard to figure out why a dog chooses to eat poop, but if the problem persists, ask your veterinarian about a remedy for this habit. What veterinarians do know is that it is normal behavior for a wide variety of species, even if humans are revolted by the very idea.

The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says, The act of dogs consuming their own or other animals’ feces is known as coprophagia . Although it’s not known exactly why it occurs, coprophagia is a normal behavior in many species, including dogs. Ingesting one’s own or other dogs’ feces is particularly prevalent in puppies.


FOLLOW US!
/

Friday, May 11, 2012

Washington Humane Society to Unveil New Mobile Adoption Center Saturday, May 12



The Washington Humane Society (WHS) will unveil its new mobile adoption center, an accessible animal transport van that will help the organization bring more adoptable pets into the Washington metro community in conjunction with its 8th Annual Doga (doggie yoga) event.

The community is invited to:

  • Meet adoptable pets
  • Tour the vehicle and submit suggestions to “name” it through a Facebook voting contest
  • Ask volunteers about fostering and helping WHS
  • Participate with their dog in doga (doggie yoga), an hour of stretching, snacks, and dog treats with Tranquil Space Yoga

The vehicle was acquired thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation, a New York based foundation created by Dr. Frank Stanton, a media pioneer and lifelong dog owner and admirer.

When:
Saturday, May 12, 2012
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Doga will take place from 11 a.m. to noon

Where:
Rose Park
Near 26th and P Streets NW
Washington, DC


Please Share!



FOLLOW US!
/

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pit Bull Saves Owner from Getting Hit by Train



A dog frantically pulled its owner from the tracks in Shirley, Massachusetts, moments before a freight train came barreling through, hitting the canine.

According to reports, 8-year-old Lilly, a pit bull, dragged her unconscious owner out of the train's path on May 4, but was unable to move in time to avoid being hit herself.

While her owner, Christine Spain, was okay, Lilly lost the muscle and skin on her right foot, broke her pelvis in multiple places and suffered from internal injuries.

The train's conductor told Shirley police he saw the dog drag Spain away from the oncoming train, and after being hit, stayed by Spain's side until help arrived, despite her injuries.

According to police, Spain passed out while walking the dog, on the way to a friend's house.

The dog was taken to an animal hospital in Acton, and then rushed to the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, where emergency veterinarians examined Lilly.

Doctors there had to amputate the dog's right front leg because of the extensive injury it sustained after being hit by the train.

Lilly had a second surgery on Sunday and is now recovering at Angell's Emergency and Critical Care unit.



According to reports, Lilly was a present to Spain, given to her by her son, Boston Police officer David Lanteigne, for therapy.

"Lilly's recovery from this horrific ordeal is my top priority right now and I'll do everything possible to get her back home to us," said Lanteigne.

Doctors at the MSPCA said bills for Lilly's medical treatment will run thousands of dollars, so they have started a fund for the inured animal where people can donate to help her get better.

"Lilly's selfless bravery has captured the hearts of our entire staff.  Her injuries are very serious and her road to recovery will be long.  But she's got the character and spirit that sometimes trumps all of our medical advances when it comes to recovery," said Dr. Meg Whalen, a staff criticalist at Angell's Emergency and Critical Care unit.

If you would like to make a donation to help with Lilly's medical treatment, click HERE.



Please Share!
FOLLOW US!
/

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Help Protect Maryland Dogs - Maryland Court Finds Pit Bulls are 'Inherently Dangerous' - This Decision Hurts Both People and Dogs



The following letter is from Wayne Pacelle, Humane Society of the United States.

Dear Friend,
As you may have heard, the Maryland Court of Appeals just issued an opinion declaring that all pit bull-type dogs are "inherently dangerous" potentially making owners, landlords, veterinarians, kennels, animal shelters, rescue groups, and anyone in custody of a dog automatically liable, regardless of whether they know a dog actually poses a threat. This decision hurts both people and dogs, and could force thousands of law-abiding dog owners to choose between their homes and their beloved pets.

Please call Governor O'Malley at 410-974-3901 to urge him to pass legislation to help overturn this breed-specific rule during the special session. And don't forget to send a follow-up message.

Sincerely,
Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO

Act Now


FOLLOW US!
/

HUGE Recall on Several Diamond Brand Dog and Cat Foods



The Diamond Recall has expanded. Initially, there was a recall on Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice.  This was followed by a recall of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul.  Then, there was a recall on Diamond Puppy Food, and now the recall has been expanded to include several other brands, including Kirkland food sold at Costco.

Diamond put out a press release with more information about the expanded recall.  This is a voluntary recall.  They claim that, so far, none of the recalled bags have tested positive for salmonella.

The type of Salmonella that is causing these infections is believed to be a rare strain called Salmonella Infantis.

The following brands are involved in the recall:
  • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
  • Country Value
  • Diamond
  • Diamond Naturals
  • Premium Edge
  • Professional
  • 4Health
  • Taste of the Wild
Kirkland Foods (see below)
For these foods, Diamond gives the following instructions to know if your particular bag is recalled:

“To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production codes on the back of bags that have a number “2” or a “3” in the 9th or 10th digit and an “X” in the 11th digit. The best-before dates for the recalled brands listed above are December 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013.”

The following Kirkland pet foods are being recalled:
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best BeforeDecember 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula (Best BeforeDecember 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula (Best BeforeDecember 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables(Best Before December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula (Best BeforeDecember 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
  • Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs (December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013)
For the Kirkland foods, Diamond gives the following instructions to know if the food is recalled:

“To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production codes on the back of bags must have both a number “3” in the 10th digit and an “X” in the 11th digit. The best-before dates for the recalled brands listed are December 9, 2012 through January 31, 2013.”

The recall affects foods sold in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Symptoms of Salmonella Poisoning:
Salmonella poisoning can cause a dog to have vomiting, diarrhea that sometimes may be bloody, fever, abdominal pain and chills.  If your dog has eaten a Diamond pet food and has these symptoms, please see your vet.

What will the vet do?
If the dog is not terribly sick, the treatment may be quite simple.  The vet may prescribe medication to help with intestinal upset as well as a special food that is gentle on the intestines.  But, if your dog is dehydrated, has a fever, or extremely lethargic then the treatment may involve intensive hospitalization with intravenous fluids, blood testing, and medications.

There have been a number of reported cases where people may have gotten ill from either handling the tainted dog food, or the stools of pets who have eaten this food. If your dog has eaten one of the recalled foods, and you, or a family member is unwell with vomiting, diarrhea or fever, then please see your physician immediately.

Please Share!

FOLLOW US!
/

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What to Do Immediately After Being Bit by a Dog



If you or someone near you has been bitten by a dog, try to stay calm or keep the other person calm. Try to identify the dog because you will need to observe it later. It is important to identify the animal that bit you, because if it is a stray and you cannot identify it, you're facing the possibility of having to submit to treatment for rabies, which can be painful.

Also, if you were attacked by a dog or any wild animal being kept by a person, you probably are entitled to receive compensation from the animal's owner, and you might really need that compensation to pay your medical bills, reimburse you for lost income, pay for cosmetic surgery in the future, and help you overcome the pain and suffering from your injuries.

Treat your wound at once, even before going to the hospital. Quickly attend to the wound.

Next, wash the wound by letting cool running water flow over it. Get some soap and wash the wound thoroughly. Keep the water running at all times as you wash it. You may need to reapply the soap two to three times to fully cleanse the area. Rinse thoroughly and dab dry with a clean towel.

Then, apply antiseptic lotion and antibacterial cream on the wound to prevent contamination. Do not put any bandages on the wound, leave them off  to hasten healing through air drying. If it is a small wound, you can put on a band-aid or sterile bandage. Larger and deep wounds should be washed the same way with soap and running water, then brought to the hospital for possible stitches and other wound treatments.

Finally, always go to your doctor or the hospital after a dog bite so that you can get the necessary shots needed to prevent viral contamination or infection. Some individuals are more susceptible to developing infection or diseases after a dog bite, like children, HIV or AIDS patients, organ donors, and the elderly. These people must take extra caution after being bitten to prevent complications.

A dog bite is never a pretty sight. Every dog's saliva contains enzymes that are potentially lethal to the human body. It will take several years before symptoms develop but, once present, are irreversible. You have to know the immediate and appropriate measures in order to save yourself.

Bites to the hand, are potentially dangerous because of the structure of the hand. There are many bones, tendons, and joints in the hand and there is less blood circulation in these areas. This makes it harder for the body to fight infection in the hand. Infections that develop in the hand may lead to severe complications, such as osteomyelitis or septic arthritis.

In small children, bites to the face, neck, or head are extremely hazardous. Because their small stature often puts their heads near dogs’ mouths, children are often bitten in these areas. Dog bites can cause fractures of the face and skull and lead to brain and nervous system infections.

If the dog owner is insured, you might get a call from an insurance company representative. You should ask him or her for the following information:
  • Name of insurance company
  • Address of his or her office
  • Telephone number
  • Claim number
  • Name of the person who is insured
The amount of money available to pay medical expenses (not everything, just medical expenses) Do not do any of the following:
  • Do not discuss money, payment of money, settlement, injury value or anything else involving money
  • Do not set up an appointment
  • Do not write a letter or a memo
  • Do not permit yourself to be tape recorded
  • Do not allow the victim to be photographed
  • Do not discuss who is responsible
  • Do not accept any money

FOLLOW US!
/

Monday, May 7, 2012

Meow, the Famous 39 Pound Cat Dies Of Pulmonary Failure



The animal world lost a (furry) gem on Saturday when Meow, a 39-lb, two-year-old rescue cat, died of pulmonary failure.

Weighing in at just under 40 pounds, Meow was originally dropped off at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society by his elderly owner. His extreme weight and desired 25-lb weight loss was featured on both the “Today Show” and “Anderson 360,” making Meow an overnight sensation.

Meow was even a much-loved celebrity on Facebook, with nearly 6,000 fans.

His death was first announced on the Humane Society’s Facebook page, when Mary Martin, the executive director, stated that despite having four veterinarians at his side they “were unable to stop the progression of what turned out to be pulmonary failure.”

“We will forever be grateful for the attention Meow’s size brought to pet obesity and to animal shelters across the country.”

FOLLOW US!
/

5 Wild Animals Back on Ohio Farm - Safety Debated



In Columbus, Ohio five exotic animals are back on the eastern Ohio farm where they lived months ago before their owner abandoned them and released dozens of other wild animals into the rural community, then killed himself.

The widow of Terry Thompson picked up two leopards, two primates and a bear from the Columbus zoo on Friday and returned them to their former home in Zanesville where 50 animals - including black bears, mountain lions and Bengal tigers - were released Oct. 18.

Authorities killed 48 of the animals, fearing for the public's safety. Two others were presumed eaten by other animals. The surviving animals were found in cages and placed under quarantine at the zoo. Ohio's agriculture director lifted the quarantine order Monday, after test results showed all five animals were free of dangerously contagious or infectious diseases.

Thompson's suicide, the animals' release, and their killings led lawmakers to re-examine Ohio's restrictions on exotic pets, which are considered some of the nation's weakest.

Now that Marian Thompson has retrieved the animals, nothing in Ohio law allows state officials to check on their welfare or require improvements to conditions in which they are kept. The state's agriculture department says it will be up to local authorities to be alert to their caretaking.

"Ohio has done everything in its power to keep local officials informed throughout this process to ensure they had as much information as possible in advance of this threat returning to their backyard," said David Daniels, the state's agriculture director.

Ohio lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban new ownership of dangerous animals - but grandfather in owners such as Thompson. The bill is on track to pass the Legislature this month.

Should it become law, Thompson would have to register the animals with the state, obtain liability insurance and pay permit fees of at least $1,000 by 2014. She also would have to pass a background check, microchip the animals and meet strict new caretaking standards, including fencing requirements.

For now, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said there is not much local authorities can do as long as the animals are being cared for properly. "At the first complaint we have, we'll follow up," he said.

Ron Welch, the county's assistant prosecuting attorney, said his office made several attempts to persuade Thompson's attorney to allow an inspector, the sheriff and a humane officer to see the cages at the property before the animals returned. They were denied.

"We were very disappointed with that because we felt that we just wanted at that point to provide some sense of security to our citizens and our community that this was in fact a safe place for these animals to be kept," Welch said.

Thompson arrived at a loading area at the zoo mid-morning Friday, driving a pickup truck pulling a silver horse trailer. The two leopards growled as they were loaded into crates in the trailer. A forklift loaded a steel cage carrying the bear. Thompson put her hand on the metal cage, as if to comfort the animal. In smaller carriers, the monkeys were placed inside the backseat of the truck cab.

Zoo staffers, including veterinarians and keepers, helped with the transfer. Two U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors were also on hand. Thompson ignored shouted questions from nearby news reporters.

Thompson previously tried to get the animals back from the zoo, but the quarantine prevented her from taking them.

Her home in Zanesville sits about a quarter-mile from a rural road, surrounded by fields and pastures where horses graze. A "Welcome Back!" balloon was tied to the mailbox, as her truck carrying the animals made its way down the property's long lane.

News media could see the bear being unloaded into a cage, of what appeared to be thick iron bars, in the yard. Some of her neighbors were concerned about the animals' return.

Sam Kopchak, 65, said if the animals were healthy, then his neighbor should get them back.

"I just wish she would take them somewhere else," said Kopchak, a retired teacher whose property shares a border with Thompson's.

Thompson's lawyer has told the state's agriculture department that his client has adequate cages for the surviving animals. Multiple messages left for Robert McClelland were not returned.

Tom Stalf, the Columbus zoo's chief operating officer, was at Thompson's the day of the Zanesville release. He said the primates taken in the zoo had been held in separate, small bird cages, and the brown bear was kept in a cage that wasn't fit for its size.

"There was feces on the floor, in the cages," Stalf said. "You could not get a fresh breath."

Cyndi Huntsman, a friend of Thompson's, has told The Associated Press that Thompson had cleaned the cages.

Of the animals that Terry Thompson released, three leopards, two Celebes macaques and a bear survived and were taken to the zoo. One spotted leopard had to be euthanized at the zoo in January. The macaques are small primates.

The zoo said it raised more than $44,000 in online donations to help cover the costs of at least $120,000 to care for the animals.



FOLLOW US!
/

Friday, May 4, 2012

If You Have a Dog - PLEASE READ - Multiple Diamond Dog Foods Now Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Humans



It now appears multiple Diamond Dog Food products have been linked to salmonella infections in the human population.

In a bulletin dated May 3, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced the agency is collaborating with public health officials in multiple states along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigate an ongoing multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis infections.
According to the report.

Public health investigators used DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. They used data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. The outbreak strain is rare and typically 0-3 isolates are reported per month.

Multiple brands of dry pet food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections. People who think they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten dry pet food should consult their health care providers.

So far, among the 14 individuals reported having the infection, five were hospitalized — and no deaths have been reported.

Public health investigations are ongoing to determine if other brands of dry dog food produced at the South Carolina facility are also contaminated with Salmonella – and possibly linked to human illnesses.

The Bottom Line
What’s especially troubling about this story is that the illnesses date back to October 8, 2011 – almost 7 months ago.

This fact alone makes the health complaints reported by many of our readers under some of the Diamond product reviews on this website more noteworthy. For this reason, we’re now becoming increasingly suspicious of the actual extent of Diamond’s Salmonella contamination issue.

And so, we must recommend special caution if you’re feeding any product manufactured by Diamond at its South Carolina plant.

Unfortunately, it’s still unclear which products are produced at that location. So, without more information from Diamond Pet Foods or the FDA, it’s impossible for anyone to reliably predict if – or when – another recall may materialize.

What to Do
I can’t stress enough how important it is to check the Diamond Pet Foods Recall website for exact products, images and production codes associated with the recall.


Please Share!

FOLLOW US!
/

Enrique Iglesias Rescues a German Shepherd



Pop star Enrique Iglesias is a new dad — to a rescued German shepherd!

Although fans of the singer have long suggested he’s a commitment phobe, it seems that when it comes to pets, he has no trouble committing.

According to Teddy Hilton, Iglesias adopted the pooch last Saturday from L.A.’s Westside German Shepherd Rescue, which is a no-kill shelter. German Shepherds are often classified as an aggressive breed, and many end up in shelters, so it’s nice to see a celeb doing his part to reduce that number.

The new dog, whose name has not yet been released, has definitely found a pooch-friendly home, considering that Iglesias also has two other dogs: Lucas, who is also a German Shepherd, and Golden Retriever Grammy. The singer often takes his pets on yachts and jet skis, so it’s a good bet that the new addition will have lots of fun adventures this summer!

Up next for Iglesias is an appearance on the Today Show Toyota Summer Concert Series, which is scheduled to air in July.

FOLLOW US!
/

National Zoo Elephant Plays the Harmonica



In Washington, DC, a 36-year-old Asian elephant named Shanthi is developing her musical talents by playing harmonicas and other instruments within the reach of her trunk.

In a video released Wednesday by the Smithsonian's National Zoo http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ in Washington, Shanthi has a harmonica attached to her stall and plays tunes even when no humans are around.

Elephant keeper Debbie Flinkman says Shanthi is musically inclined, playing her own songs that always have a big crescendo at the end. Shanthi also likes to tap things, flap her ears against objects to make noise and rub her leg up and down shrubs to repeat noises.

Flinkman says she doesn't make Shanthi play the harmonica. It's something she enjoys.
Shanthi was a gift from Sri Lanka and is the mother of 10-year-old Kandula.




FOLLOW US!
/

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Maryland Court Finds Pit Bulls are 'Inherently Dangerous'



A new ruling makes it easier for anyone attacked by a pit bull or pit bull mix in Maryland to take legal action against the dog's owner.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruling declares pit bulls as a breed are "inherently dangerous," and the owner of a pit bull or a cross-bred pit that attacks is strictly liable for damages, as is any landlord who rents to a pit bull owner.

The Maryland SPCA, which arranges adoptions for dogs that need homes, currently has three pit bulls under its care: a five-month-old Brutus is scheduled to be adopted this week, Ayoki is available and Valentina will be put up for adoption soon. But the SPCA is concerned that it may be harder to find adoptive homes and families may abandon pit bulls after the recent ruling.

“We believe that an animal’s behavior should be the determining factor in whether or not the animal is considered dangerous,” said Cheryl Bernard Smith, of SPCA. “We don't believe that a particular breed should be pinpointed for that."

"All dogs, if you don't train them and show them love, can turn out to be mean animals,” said Rodney Taylor, of Prince George’s County Animal Management. “It has a lot to do with the owner and how you raise the pet."

The Maryland Court of Appeals decision dealt with the case of a young boy who suffered life-threatening injuries when he was attacked by a pit bull.

Pit bulls are banned in Prince George's County.

"Back in 1997 they passed a law saying you could not own or harbor a pit bull or a pit bull mix in Prince George's County,” Taylor said. “If you happen to have one or are caught with one you could be arrested. It does carry six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for having one."

Now the law finds pit bull owners throughout Maryland absolutely accountable for the behavior of their dogs.



FOLLOW US!
/