The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : January 2014 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : January 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Did You Know That Sugar-Free Gum Contains Xylitol, a Sugar-Free Sweetener That is Toxic to Dogs

Sharing from: Pet Poison Helpline

As many pet owners know, xylitol is toxic to dogs and even small amounts of a product with xylitol can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure. The most well-known source of xylitol is sugar-free gum. Here at Pet Poison Helpline, we keep a close watch out for this often-deadly ingredient and we are seeing it in more and more products.

Click here:  To see where else this product is popping up and how to keep it away from your curious pups! 

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SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's County - This Simple Tool Makes it Super Easy to Fight Breed Discrimination in Maryland - Do it Today, So HB 422 Will Pass!

Currently in Maryland, any local government can interfere with property rights and ban or restrict any breed of dog they want. This rips friendly pets from their homes, increasing the number of dogs and puppies killed in shelters.

This is America. Responsible citizens should be allowed to own whatever breed of dog they choose. Indeed, a national survey done by Luntz Global for Best Friends Animal Society revealed that 84% of Americans don’t believe a government should tell citizens what breed of dog they can own. Studies show that the most effective and comprehensive dangerous-dog laws are breed-neutral.

Please ask your legislators to support HB 422 to prohibit local governments from infringing on a pet owner's rights. Politics is not a spectator sport. Together, we can Save Them All.

Please read: MD: Support HB 422 to Stop Breed Discrimination

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Do You Have a Plan for Your Pet's Care, In the Event They Outlive You?

Sharing from: Pets for Patriots

We read a sad story today about a pair of bonded senior dogs left homeless after their owner's death. Don't wait until it's too late to make a plan for your pet's care in the event they outlive you - or even if you are hospitalized, become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to take care of them:

Please read: Pets and Estate Planning

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

VA-Certified Service Dogs Receive Unlimited Access to Veterinary Care - The U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program and Trupanion Will Cover 100 Percent of Veterinary Bills for Eligible Dogs

Sharing from my friends: Pets for Patriots

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), in conjunction with Trupanion, will launch the U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program Jan. 27. The program will allow U.S. veterans with certified service dogs unlimited access to veterinary care. The program enables Trupanion to pay 100 percent of veterans’ certified service dogs’ veterinary bills.

The VA hopes the program will ease the financial stress veterans experience providing veterinary care for their animals. Trupanion says it’s a “win-win-win” opportunity for dogs, veterans and veterinarians. “Veterans and veterinarians no longer have to worry about the cost of the treatment, giving veterinarians the ability to do what they do best—care for pets,” a Trupanion release states.

A spokesman for Trupanion says execution of the program will be simple: “All veterinarians have to do is send us the bill.” Veterinarians can opt to be paid up front as well.

“Whether it’s a regular veterinary practice or an emergency hospital in the middle of the night—they can call us at any time,” the spokesperson says. “They then just need to e-mail or fax the bill to us and we can pay them directly through Vet Direct Pay, a system that allows them to receive direct payment. They can also request reimbursement. ... In that case they send us the bill and let us know how and when they want to be paid. We can even pay them over the phone if they wish as soon as the treatment is over and before the veteran walks out of the building.”

The VA will provide a list of the certified service dogs eligible for the program to Trupanion. Each dog will have a tag with a policy number created by Trupanion similar to the ones current policyholders wear. “All [veterans] have to do is show that to their veterinarian and the veterinarian can rest assured Trupanion will pay the bill,” Trupanion’s spokesperson says.

Veterans who request a service dog and qualify according to a VA evaluation do not pay for the dog or the associated training. For more information on the Veterans Health Administration’s guide and service dog benefits, go to Trupanion has a two-year contract with the VA for the U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program. For more information or if you have questions about the program, call Trupanion at (855) 482-0163.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Washington Humane Society - Do You Need Someone to Foster Your Pet? - Check Out Foster a DC Pet Program - Designed to Help People in Need of Temporary Housing Solutions for Their Pets

Are you in the middle of a move and looking for someone to foster your pet? Or are you wanting to help keep animals with their families while they go through a transitional period? Then you need to check out Foster a DC Pet. Foster a DC Pet is a program based out of Washington, DC and the surrounding metro region designed to help people in need of temporary housing solutions for their pets find a foster home for a predetermined amount of time. "Like" the facebook page to get connected and make sure to check out

"Like" them on Facebook:

From: Washington Humane Society's Blog
Why you should Foster a DC Pet

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Do You Love Animals? Are You a Student? Have You Heard About the Internship Program at The Washington Humane Society?

                Washington Humane Society Internship Program

The Washington Humane Society has been the leading voice for animals in the District of Columbia since 1870. WHS is committed to remaining a model for all humane communities across the nation. WHS's Internship Program provides a wide range of opportunities for students to gain insight into the work of WHS. Every year a limited number of places for internships are available.

Departments that Internships are available are as follows:
Volunteer Programs
Animal Care
Shelter Medical Department (New York Avenue)
Field Services
Special Events
Behavior and Learning
Development (graphic designer experience needed)
Marketing and Communications
Human Resources

To take part in the program, we look for the following minimum eligibility criteria:
  • Applicants must be US citizens and should have a strong academic record (3.0 GPA or better).
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree program in a college or university, second university degree or higher, at the time of application and during the internship.
  • A minimum of 18 years of age
Approval from the department’s internship adviser and completed Internship Application Package should be turned in before starting the internship.

To Apply:

To apply for any of the positions listed above, please submit a resume, letter of interest (including salary expectations), and completed printout of the online job application. Due to the volume of applications we receive and in the interest of thoughtfully considering individuals best suited for each position, the Human Resources Department will contact only those applicants moving forward in the selection process. No phone calls, please.

Via mail:
Washington Humane Society
Human Resources Department
4590 MacArthur Blvd, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Via e-mail:
(Please include position title in subject line)
Via fax:
Attention: Human Resources

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2013 Was a Tremendous Year for the Washington Humane Society!

2013 was a tremendous year for the Washington Humane Society
(WHS). We had a live release rate of over 80 percent, and many of the animals that we took in to our facilities found loving forever homes. This is thanks in large part to our wonderful volunteers, donors and advocates.

Read this article in the DCist to see how your support helped us grow and save lives: Washington Humane Society Ends Year With Highest Release Rate Ever

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A Homeless Dog That Was Found Carrying A Mysterious Photo in his Collar, Needs Help Finding His Family

A mysterious photo found in a homeless dog's collar has captured the imaginations of supporters of Greenville County Pet Rescue and has many of them playing detective.

A 2-year-old Pit Bull who arrived at the shelter in South Carolina and had an old, battered photo of a man tucked away in his collar. The dog, since named Soldier, has not been claimed and no one has identified the man in the photo.

Several people on the shelter's Facebook page have commented that the man appears to be holding a knife in his right hand. Others say he may be holding a soldier's cap. But the person in the black & white picture remains a mystery.

As for Soldier, he is now looking for a forever home. He's friendly with people and with dogs and is healthy. For more information on adopting Soldier visit Greenville County Pet Rescue's website  (dog ID #21844639).

                          Soldier (right) was found with an old photo in his collar. Photo: Greenville County Animal Care

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Montgomery County Humane Society - What Would You Do with Your Pets in an Emergency? - Preparing for Your Pets Now Makes Sense

New Year's Pet Owner Resolution #5 Make an emergency plan that includes your pets. Get or make a pet emergency supply kit. Plan what you will do in an emergency -- where you will go, who your contacts are (including your vet), and how you will accommodate your pets. Stay informed about different kinds of emergencies.

If you are like millions of animal owners nation-wide, your pet is an important member of your household. The likelihood that you and your animals would survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a buddy pet care system, are the same for any emergency.

Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for you animals.

If you must evacuate take your pets with you if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for your shelter alternatives that will work both for you and your pets.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

To print out the Pet Brochure, click HERE!

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Washington, DC - The Washington Humane Society - The Staff Reminds You of All The Goodness in the World - Take a Look at Their Video!

Take a look at this video from the Washington Humane Society.  The staff reminds you of all the goodness in the world! (Turn your speakers up!)

To see the video, click here:  WHS

Washington Humane Society:
On Facebook:

Hours and Locations
Georgia Avenue Adoption Center
7319 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20012

Adoption Center Hours:
12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily
Closed for adoptions on Wednesdays

To report animal cruelty/ neglect, call 202-723-5730
Cruelty reports are accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

District of Columbia Animal Care and Control 
(New York Avenue Adoption Center - WHS is contracted by the Department of Health to operate this facility)
1201 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Adoption Center Hours:
12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily
Closed for adoptions on Wednesdays

                       Stray animals are accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

New! T-Shirts by Doug Ratner - "I'd Rather Be With My Cat" - (Doug Ratner & The Watchmen)

I recently posted about my friend Doug Ratner...come on you know the name and the music! Doug Ratner & The Watchmen!

I told you that he had just launched his new company, " I'd Rather Be With My Dog."

If you want to show the world just how much you love your cat, make sure to get an "I'd Rather Be With My Cat" tee from Doug Ratner & The Watchmen. The Washington Humane Society, (WHS) will receive $6 for every shirt if you write "WHS" in your order notes.

From Doug:
Check out the shirts, read about the charities, check out the blogs, and tell us what you think and remember that every single one of YOU played a little part in inspiring me to launch this new company.

Cat T-Shirt
He has now added a new t-shirt to his collection! "I'd Rather Be With My Cat." For all you Cat lovers out there, you know that you’d rather be with your cat than be with anyone else, and now you have a t-shirt to show everyone how you feel!
  • The Cat shirt makes the perfect holiday present, birthday gift, party favor, and even something to send to an ex girlfriend or boyfriend!
  • Share your cat pictures with us on INSTAGRAM
  • We donate a percentage of all our sales to rescues and shelters throughout the country!
Watch the video below that started this brand!

About: Doug Ratner & The Watchmen
Doug Ratner & The Watchmen have covered a lot of ground in a pretty short space of time. If rock n’ roll and the highway make a perfect marriage, the power trio out of Longmeadow, Massachusetts has spent the last year-and-a-half on its honeymoon.


Ready to Order! Click HERE!

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Crash Test Involving Some Common Dog Car Restraints - The Results Are Alarming - Take a Look at This Crash Test Video

Dog owners are being given a timely reminder about the safety of their pets in the car.

For the first time the National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) has carried out a crash test involving some common restraints - and the results are alarming.

Crash test dogs have been used to highlight the disturbing statistic that 40 per cent of those people surveyed admit to carrying their dog in their car unrestrained.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed admitted having pets unrestrained in the back seat, front seat and their laps.

A simple, low speed traffic light accident can send a dog flying, as demonstrated in this simulated crash test.

Not only can the dog be seriously injured or killed but it becomes a deadly missile for those people still in the car.

Another shocking statistic is that 92 per cent of harnesses available on the market failed the crash test.

Only Purina's Roadie for dogs under 35kg and the Sleepy Pod Clickit for large dogs, tested up to speeds of 35 km/h, passed the test.

Failing to restrain an animal can lead to a $405 fine and the loss of three demerit points.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's Raining Bats in Australia - Thousands of Bats Killed in Queensland Heatwave

As most of the U.S. freezes and the UK drowns in floods, a blistering heat wave in Australia is so bad 100,000 cooked bats have fallen out of the sky, dead.

Southern Queensland is being gripped by furnace-like temperatures, said the local Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

This has in turn caused mass deaths with at least 25 separate colonies wiped out since the weekend, including at Mt Ommaney, Redbank, Boonah, Palmwoods, Laidley and Gatton.

As many as 100,000 of the winged mammals fell from the sky and died, the result of an incredible heat wave, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spokesman Michael Beatty told ABC that the heat wave, with temperatures close to 109 degrees Fahrenheit, was "basically a catastrophe for all the bat colonies in southeast Queensland."

'That's obviously going to have a pretty disturbing impact on those colonies and those colonies are vital to our ecosystem."

Hundreds of bats also lie dead in trees and nearby bushes, and are being eaten by maggots.

The council today advised local residents it will not send workers into nearby bushland to collect the remaining bat carcasses, as it could cause further disruption to the nearby colony.

One resident has told ABC she is receiving anti-viral treatment after being scratched by a baby bat while clearing the dead animals out of her tree with a rake.

All told, massive deaths at 25 separate colonies have been reported, according to ABC.

In the aftermath, one person recorded the numbers of fallen bats in a nearby forest. Warning: Some may find the video below disturbing.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

If You Have a Pet - Take a Look at This Video - Caring for Your Pet in the Cold Weather, With ChristieLyn Diller From the Washington Humane Society

Sweet pup Rocks is sporting a cozy sweater to stay warm in the frigid temps today! Take a look at the video below for some tips on keeping pets safe in the icy weather, and to see Rocks' cuteness in action.

Interested in giving this love bug a forever home? He will soon be available for adoption at our New York Avenue Adoption Center!

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Workers at Chicago Animal Shelter Lose Jobs - Inmates Begin Cleaning Animal Kennels

Seven days a week, year around, 16 Cook County jail inmates clean kennels and more at the Animal Care and Control building. The program started two years ago, but now, workers say inmates are replacing jobs.

An Animal Care and Control worker of 6 years who asked to remain anonymous says at least 11 full time employees were laid off four months after the facility's kennel-inmate program launched.

"When you say you know we're going to lay you off for fiscal reasons, we expect that as Chicagoans but then you turn around and you say we're going to bring in people who are incarcerated to do your job that hurts people," the worker told FOX 32's Tisha Lewis. "Some people have worked there 20 years so when you have someone come in and say we're going to bring in these inmates and they're going to do cleaning and stuff like that and you know what, there's going to be a lay off."

Cook County Sheriff's spokesperson Cara Smith says the inmates earn a dollar a day. They clean the cages and feed and water the animals before business hours.

"It's my understanding that the layoffs had nothing to do with this program, the work that's being done now is not being done by anyone who would have been displaced," Smith explained.

But this volunteer say otherwise about the inmates cleaning cages.

"I'm not involved in the program therefore I don't have to worry about it," volunteer Robin Cember said. "[The program] was actually done by people who were employed here."

"Some of these people were averaging pay of mid-30's and some of them lived on the West side or they lived in Englewood and stuff like that, their families relied on that money so that's going to affect those communities too," the anonymous worker added.

Most of the inmates in the kennel program are serving short jail sentences for non-violent crimes. The money they make can be used at the jail commissary to purchase small items. A worker says most of the employees laid off made about $30,000 a year.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Have You Ever Seen a Yellow Ribbon Tied on a Dog's Collar? Do You Know What it Means?

You are out in the park with your family, playing, running, maybe even having a picnic.  Perhaps your dog is with you; however, off in the distance you see adorable dog approaching with their handler and your children immediately begin to run towards this adorable dog.  As the dog is becoming closer, you see a yellow ribbon tied on the dog’s collar.  What goes through your mind?

Well, perhaps at first, Tony Orlando and Dawn’s hit song, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” (did I just age myself?!) lyrics may begin to replay in your mind.  While both the yellow ribbon around the dog’s collar and oak tree signify awareness, one is awareness about bringing soldiers home safely, while the other is keep children (adults too) safe.

A yellow ribbon around a dog’s collar is to help children identify that a dog needs to proceed with caution; the dog may not be child friendly, may have fear or anxiety issues; or, may be overly excited.  Either way, caution should be applied when approaching.

The Yellow Dog Project is a nonprofit organization that is a global effort to help raise awareness and education around dogs that require a little extra distance upon approaching.  Does this mean that the dog is aggressive or mean?  No, there are numerous reasons why a dog may have a yellow ribbon; new dog with the handler; under medical care; in foster care for instance.

The purpose of this project is to assist with the proper techniques to approach a dog; children have a lot of energy and often to run up and pet a dog, not all dogs understand this and become fearful.  With proper education, all parties concerning are put in a less stressful environment, which in turn reduces opportunities for an unforeseen accident.

Back to your children running towards the adorable dog with the yellow ribbon, what would your next steps be?

For more information about this wonderful cause, please visit: The Yellow Dog Facebook page.  Learn how to educate family, friends, colleagues, even yourself.  When there is knowledge; there is understanding.

Have you ever seen a dog wearing a yellow ribbon?  Did you know what it meant prior to this article? Do you have a dog that may need to wear a yellow ribbon? Please share this to help spread the word.

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