The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : April 2013 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : April 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Homeland Security Program - Special Anti-Terrorism Dogs Will be Used at High Profile Events Around the University of Maryland Campus

College Park, MD - Special anti-terrorism dogs are sniffing around the University of Maryland campus, but they're not just looking for bombs, they're looking for people with a dangerous scent.

These dogs will be used where students congregate, and at high profile events on campus.

Take a look at the video below to see what's behind the use of these special investigative canines.


Have You Heard of Zeutering? A Procedure Alternative to Canine Neutering - Would You Consider this for Your Dog?

If you have a new pet, one of the most important decisions concerning the health of your pet is to have your male cat or dog neutered or your female pet spayed.

Neutering is the removal of the dog or cat’s testicles and spaying is the removal of the cat or dog’s ovaries and uterus. They are both relatively simple surgeries that require only a minimal hospital stay for the pet.

Neutering and spaying reduces a pet’s desire to roam and reproduce. Pets who have been sterilized are better behaved and less aggressive.  Serious medical conditions such as cancer of the ovaries, uterus and mammary glands can be avoided when kittens are spayed before their first estrus cycle.

Not only will these procedures keep your pet healthier and happier, it is one of the most common methods used to help prevent the overpopulation of unwanted cats and dogs that end up in shelters, hoping that a loving an permanent home for them can be found.

Some dog owners are not willing to have their pets sterilized because they are concerned about the dangers of anesthesia, even though the benefits of the surgery far outweigh this minor risk. And some dog owners want their male dogs looking like "boys", and feel that neutering diminishes their appearance.

For dog owners preferring not to have their male dogs surgically castrated, a non-surgical neutering technique approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is available for dogs between the ages of 3 and 10 months old. A veterinarian injects Zeuterin, (a compound of zinc gluconate and arginine) into both of the dog’s testicles. This compound destroys the cells that produce sperm. This procedure is not yet available for male cats.

While surgical castration reduces testosterone levels almost completely, according to the product’s manufacturer, Ark Sciences, testosterone levels are only reduced by 50 percent. Although the dog who has undergone “zeutering” is incapable of siring offspring, much in the same way that dogs who have been surgically castrated, they may exhibit roaming, marking, marking and aggressive behavior. However, Ark Sciences states that some testosterone remains to “support critical endocrine functions.”

While the testicles remain in place, they generally shrink in size.  To prove they have been sterilized, “zeutered” dogs can be tattooed with a “Z” or microchipped.

America’s Veterinarian, Dr. Marty Becker talked about “zeutering” in an article on Vetstreet. After finishing his training to perform the procedure, Dr. Becker refers to zeutering as “a shot of good news.” He writes, “Zeuterin is ideal for animal shelters and spay-neuter clinics, with dogs usually in and out within about half an hour.” Dr. Marty considers the procedure far less stressful for dogs, since no invasive surgery is required. Most dogs experience only a needle-stick, much like that of a vaccination with little to no pain involved.

The Pros and Cons
For people who cannot fathom the thought of their dog living without testicles, Zeuterin™ may be the solution because the organs remain in place after sterilization. On the other hand, if the primary goal of neutering is elimination of negative male behaviors such as roaming and aggression, surgery may still be the procedure of choice. Zeuterin™ does not completely eliminate testosterone production within the testicles, although it does reduce it by up to 50 percent. Surgical neutering drops testosterone production to zero.

Zeuterin™ may be a real boon for animal shelters and sterilization clinics in their fight against pet overpopulation. Proponents believe chemical neutering is safer, simpler, less time-consuming and cheaper to perform than traditional surgery, meaning more dogs potentially can be neutered with available shelter resources.

Is chemical castration likely to replace traditional surgical neutering in our population of pet dogs?

Would you consider chemical rather than surgical neutering for your male dog?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Are You Considering Getting a Bird as a Pet?

It happens all too often. An unsuspecting person pays a visit to a neighborhood pet store. Once inside, they round a corner to find themselves face to face with beautiful, vividly colored birds.  Instantly, the person is smitten, and minutes later they are driving home with their new bird.

Having a pet bird is a big responsibility for any animal lover. While on the surface, owning a bird may seem as easy as owning any other pet, birds require stringent, specific care to stay healthy.

Each species has different needs: some birds are domesticated and adapt well to life in a small cage, while some are large, untamed and unruly, and are not appropriate for most people to keep as pets. Small birds like canaries, parakeets and lovebirds are well suited to live in a typical household setting.

There are an abundance of resources available to help you raise birds properly, including instructional books, pet supplies and local veterinarian offices that can treat them. They tend to need less of your attention than, say, a parrot or cockatoo would, and they interact more easily with people.

Do you want a bird that will be eager to come out of his cage and socialize, or would you prefer a pet that likes to be seen but not touched? The way your bird relates to you will be an important factor in the quality of your ownership experience. Keeping this in mind, it is important to note that different species of birds exhibit various behavior patterns and dispositions. An African Grey will behave quite differently from a Canary, for example. Those in the market for a pet bird should make sure to research the species that they are interested in so they can choose the bird whose personality will be most compatible with their own.

There are more than 10,000 species of birds on the planet, but only a few of them can happily live as our companions. Certain species, like cockatiels, budgerigars, finches, doves, and lovebirds, can thrive as pets with proper care. But most other birds, like macaws, cockatoos, and so many more, are best left in the wild; they’re too social, intelligent, and complex to have all of their needs met in captivity.

Before choosing this bird make sure you understand that they can live for close to 100 years. They birds have special dietary requirements, and they need to be handled and let out daily.

Tips for choosing a bird
This video will give you tips on how to choose the right pet bird for you. Learn what to consider before buying your bird, including how to determine the bird's health, what supplies you'll need, how to train the bird, how to make space in a birdcage, what medical costs to expect and what food to feed your pet bird.

Best Pet Bird for a Child


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dog Parks - Some of the Hazards You May Encounter

You would think that dog parks are one of the best places for you and your pooch to be. They encourage you and your dog to get fresh air, explore, exercise, and bond with each other. With the blissful image of our four-legged companions playing and horsing around with their tails wagging, it’s hard to think of a flaw when it comes to visiting dog parks.

While it may be true that dog parks are a wonderful place to go to, aren’t always the best place for both you and your dog to stay safe. If you look closely, there are a number of dog park hazards that you need to watch out for to ensure that you both make it home in safely.

Dog Park Dangers 

Sick Dogs:
Bringing your pooch to the park can expose him to other pets which may not be in great health. Further, plenty of visitors neglect to pick-up after their pets, leaving little piles of germs strewn about. Because there’s no easy way for you to know which other animals are good for your dog to mingle with, protect your dog from possible health risks by updating all of his vaccinations. Deworm your dog on a regular basis and ensure that he receives shots that prevent kennel cough and canine flu. Spaying and neutering your pooch is recommended (sometimes required) before visiting an off-leash park.

Extreme Heat:
Because heat stroke is a life-threatening situation for dogs, it is crucial that as a responsible owner, you do your best to keep your dog from exceedingly high temperatures. Dogs do not sweat the way we do. In fact, their only way to cool down is panting. Because of this, it’s far more difficult for dogs to control their body temperatures once they are out in the open. To avoid putting your dog in this grave situation, don’t take him out during the hottest hours of the day. Always look for a shady spot where he can rest and don’t forget to provide him with plenty of fresh water to drink. If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke, immediately seek out the nearest vet hospital.

Aggressive Dogs:
Not every dog owner is as thoughtful and responsible as you are. Many people bring their dogs to the park with the attitude that “the dogs will work it out.” If you suspect another dog at the park is aggressive, it may be in your best interest to leave and try again later, after they’re gone. Likewise, if your own dog doesn’t always play well with others, it’s best to bring him when the park is empty. It’s also important to note that many perfectly gentle, friendly dogs can become toy or leash aggressive. It’s best to leave the toys at home, and unleash your dog once inside the park to avoid any unnecessary conflict.

Small Children:
Although dogs and small kids are commonly a good combination, there are times when children are a hazard at dog parks. A child who runs up to an unfamiliar pooch to play with him can cause the dog to feel rather threatened which often never ends well. Also, a small child’s size can put them at the dog’s muzzle level; making them more vulnerable to injury. To prevent this from happening, always be alert about everything that’s going on around you.

Potential for Injuries:
Some of the typical activities at dog parks are playing fetch and running. Letting your dog run at maximum speed may be great as a form of exercise. However, it can result in mild to severe injuries if he accidentally steps into a hole or on anything sharp. To avoid this, always see to it that you know very well the condition of the area where your pooch is playing. Inspect for holes that other dogs have dug, and check the area for sharp objects that he could hurt himself on.

Remember, you are responsible for picking up after your dog; it is not another person’s responsibility.

For many of us, and our pets, a trip to the dog park is fun and rewarding. As long as you’re aware of your dog and his surroundings at all times, it can be a great place to wear off some energy and make new friends.

Take a look at the video below:


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Maryland Pit Bull Bill Compromise Falls Apart - What Went Wrong

I am sharing this story from the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's County.

This was written before the "pit bull bill" failed, but it's a good explanation of what went wrong. It's a shame Marylanders and their dogs are going to have to live with the misguided court ruling for another year. It's already been too long.

Please read: Maryland Pit Bull Bill Compromise Falls Apart In General Assembly.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pit Bull Legislation Failed to Pass

Annapolis, MD - Lawmakers on the final day of the Maryland General Assembly failed to pass a measure that would change a court ruling that designated pit bulls as an "inherently dangerous" breed.

The bill, which received unanimous approval from the Senate on Monday, stalled in the House of Delegates. House Speaker Michael Busch said the House did not have enough votes to pass the measure.

"From a comprehensive standpoint, there were a lot very good bills passed," said Busch, underscoring the passage of several measures this session, including a death penalty repeal bill and gun control legislation. "There were so many pieces of legislation that had a great impact on the citizens of Maryland. The only one we did not come to resolve, unfortunately, was the dog legislation."

The legislation would have required all dog owners to prove by clear and convincing evidence they had no prior knowledge that their dog was prone to biting for incidents involving victims 12 years old and younger. For older victims, owners would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they had no knowledge their dog was prone to biting, a lesser standard.

The requirement would not apply if the victim was trespassing or was bitten while committing a crime.

Lawmakers sought to address a court ruling last year that made pit bull owners and landlords strictly liable for bites without previous evidence of a dog being dangerous. The court's decision brought an outcry from pet owners and animal rights activists who said it focused on a single breed and made it harder for homeless pit bulls to be adopted.

Under the failed legislation, all breeds would be treated equally and landlords would not be held to the strict liability test.

"The big issue on the ground is the notices that people are getting from landlords, saying that they have to get rid of their dogs," said Tami Santelli, Maryland state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "I don't think that there is any question that this issue will be back next year."

The Humane Society estimates that about 70,000 Marylanders have pit bull-type dogs.

Last year's ruling was made in the case of Dominic Solesky, who was badly injured in a pit bull attack in Baltimore County in 2007 when he was 10.

Opponents of the measure said the legislation would make it difficult for dog owners to get homeowner's insurance at affordable rates.

"If the people who own pit bulls can't get insurance now, what do you think is going to happen when if you take the other 98 percent of dog owners and put strict liability on them?" asked Delegate Luiz Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat.

Supporters of the legislation argued that the bill was needed to protect children.

"The number of fatal dog bites and serious injury-causing dog bites has gone up dramatically over the last two decades," said Sen. Jamie Raskin, also a Montgomery County Democrat. "We are saying that if you've got a dog that is violent and dangerous, you are strictly responsible if it goes after a kid."

The legislation emerged out of a conference committee after the House and Senate reached a stalemate earlier in the session over the burden of proof an owner would need to meet in court about whether there was reason to believe the dog was likely to bite someone. House members wanted owners to prove by a preponderance of the evidence they had no prior knowledge their dog was prone to biting. The Senate wanted dog owners to prove it by clear and convincing evidence, a higher standard.

Senate President Mike Miller said lawmakers had reached a compromise that was acceptable to all.

Many disappointed measure failed, say issue will be back next year


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spay/Neuter Bill Passed, Shark Fins Bill Passed, Bait Dog Bill Passed - They Are Still Working on Pit Bulls - Please Call to Urge the Lawmakers to Make the Right Decision

I am sharing from the Montgomery County Humane Society's facebook page:

Montgomery County Humane Society via The Humane Society of the United States - Maryland

from The Humane Society of the United States - Maryland:

Just 3 more days until the legislature adjourns, and here's the tally:

Spay/Neuter - PASSED!
Shark Fins - PASSED!
Bait Dogs - PASSED!

They are still working on "pit bulls" - call these 6 critical lawmakers (even over the weekend is fine - just leave a message) and urge them to find a solution. Monday is the last day to get this fixed!

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Do You Need Assistance with Veterinary Bills? Here is a List of Angel Organizations that May be Able to Help Provide Financial Assistance

I am not sure exactly how these organizations work. I personally know how high vet bills can get.

I am sharing hoping that this information will help someone who is in need of financial assistance to help with their vet bills.

Supporting the Human-Animal Bond... here is a list of angel organizations that may be able to help provide financial assistance with veterinary bills in a time of need.

Groups Providing Financial Assistance For Veterinary Bills
American Animal Hospital Association
"Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
"Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need."

Brown Dog Foundation
Provides funding to families who find themselves with a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to an unforseen circumstance, there is not enough money immediately available to make it happen.

Canine Cancer Awareness
Donations made to Canine Cancer Awareness are used for veterinary care for dogs with cancer whose families are financially unable to provide treatment.

Care Credit
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget."

Cats in Crisis
Is dedicated to helping cats and kittens with special medical needs receive the veterinary treatment they need to live happy, healthy lives. We believe in a Commitment for Life and feel that no special needs cat should be euthanized due to a caretaker's limited financial means.

Extend credit
Offers payment plans to pet owners that can help provide needed emergency treatments for pets.

Fairy Dog Parents
Fairy DogParents is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that helps prevent dogs from being surrendered to shelters.We provide assistance with food, medical and general wellness needs of qualified dog recipients in Massachusetts. If you are faced with the choice of surrendering your dog because of personal financial circumstances you may qualify for our assistance.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
"Seniors, People with disabilities, People who have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten - any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion."

The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

Frankie's Friends
We are a non-profit foundation dedicated to finding cures and saving pets with cancer and other serious pet diseases. We fund Grants for emergency and specialty care from our Hope Funds to treat pets with promising outcomes whose families cannot afford the full cost of care. Shared contributions are also made by the treating hospital and treating veterinarian to give the family the most financial help possible.

God's Creatures Ministry
"This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help."

Gracie's Mission
Gracie's Mission is to educate pet owners about holistic medical treatments and to provide financial assistance to individuals of limited income that meet the guidelines set forth by the Mission.

Paws 4 A Cure
The mission of Paws 4 A Cure is to provide financial assistance for canine and feline owners who cannot afford veterinary care for their beloved furry family members otherwise.

Shakespeare Animal Fund
Shakespeare Animal Fund, a non-profit charity, was founded after the loss of a beloved Cocker Spaniel "Shakespeare". He died after a very costly illness, and in his memory this fund was founded to help others who might face financial problems while trying to save their pet. Let Shakespeare help you!

The Dog & Cat Cancer Fund
We work directly with veterinarians to help needy families get treatment for their cats and dogs suffering from cancer.

The Magic Bullet Fund
Every day 8,000 dogs are diagnosed with cancer. We help the families who can't afford treatment costs.

The Mosby Foundation
The Mosby Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable purposes, to assist in the care of critically sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs through financial support and public education.

The Pet Fund
While costs are an inevitable part of the responsibility of owning companion animals, The Pet Fund assists owners in covering medical costs beyond the normal expenses of vaccination, spay & neuter surgeries, food and routine veterinary care. Adopting a companion animal always involves both expense and commitment, and if owners have a resource to help with medical services, their animals can receive necessary care despite the financial burdens involved.

National Animal Organizations that may provide assistance: 

Alley Cat Allies
Are you facing tough financial times and struggling to make ends meet for your entire family-including your pets and feral cat colony? Alley Cat Allies has ideas on how to make providing care more affordable, including resources for obtaining food and for helping you cover emergency veterinary costs

American Humane Association
American Humane Association's Second Chance Fund helps offset the cost of treating homeless animal victims of abuse or neglect. Through the Second Chance Fund, American Humane Association is able to financially assist agencies that rescue, care for, and re-home abused or neglected animals.

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced the establishment of the Cohen Family Veterinary Care Assistance Fund, a new $300,000 program that will fund emergency medical treatment of at-risk dogs and cats in Miami-Dade County, Fla. It will be used to treat dogs and cats that have entered either HSGM or partner agency Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) with emergency medical needs, either as strays or whose owners are no longer able to care for them.

Best Friends Animal Society

Humane Society of the US
The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Rural Area Veterinary Services Program (HSVMA-RAVS) is a non-profit veterinary outreach program. We combine community service and education to bring free veterinary services to under-served rural communities, where poverty and geographic isolation make regular veterinary care inaccessible.

Petco Foundation
We Are Family, Too - short-term and seed funding for animal welfare groups to help pet owners who have lost their homes or are experiencing temporary financial hurdles. We Are Family, Too funds such programs as Pet food banks, Product donations, Referral lists of pet-friendly housing, Short-term foster pet care, andVeterinary services.

Petsmart Charities
We provide emergency relief funding and supplies to assist pets in three different types of situations: Large-scale disasters (e.g. hurricanes, fires and other natural catastrophes); Multiple-animal rescue disasters; One-animal victim of abuse or violence. Our Emergency Relief Waggin' program helps the pet victims of natural and manmade disasters. Our six, 53-foot semi-trailers are pre-loaded with donated emergency supplies so we can quickly assist pets and the people working to save them.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Have You Heard of Project Pets - Spay, Neuter, Love? - Their Goal is to Reduce the Numbers of Animals Killed in Animal Shelters Daily

Have you heard of Project Pets - Spay, Neuter, Love? Their goal is to reduce the numbers of animals killed in shelters daily and to reduce the number in pet over population. Please support your local spay/neuter clinics! Imagine the lives that will be saved.

From Project Pets - Spay, Neuter, Love:

We will lower the homeless pet population and save millions of lives with effective S/N programs. Project Pets helps owners do the right thing.

Started: October 2010
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina 27438
Awards: SPA
Products: DONATE : EVC6

Contact Information:
Visit them on Facebook:

Take a look at the video below:

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