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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Pet


Is it okay to toss your pet a grape? How about the skin you just pulled off your baked chicken? We know it’s hard to resist those big eyes and wagging tongue, but beware: The very thing your pet’s dying to eat may just do more harm than good.

Here, Dr. Samantha Klau, veterinarian for the doggy-care center Biscuits & Bath, shares 9 types of food that are bad for your dog or cat.

Onions and garlic
Whether fresh, cooked, dried or powdered, these veggies cause damage to red blood cells and gastrointestinal problems in pets. "The small amounts found in dog food and supplements usually don't cause a problem, but we recommend not giving it to your pet," Klau said.

Signs that you should call your vet: weakness, shortness of breath, loss of appetite or vomiting

Alcohol
Make sure you keep alcohol far away from your pets, advises Klau. Beer, liquor or wine damages your pet’s liver, brain and can cause diarrhea, disorientation, dehydration and put your pet in a comatose state if not treated quickly.

Signs that you should call your vet: vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, disorientation, stupor and, in severe cases, coma, seizures or the inability to stand up.

Caffeine
If consumed in large enough quantities, anything caffeinated can kill your pet. That includes coffee (even the grounds), tea, energy drinks and medications.

Signs that you should call your vet: rapid heartbeat, muscle tremors, bleeding, restlessness, rapid breathing or seizure-like symptoms.

Grapes and raisins
These snacks are perfect for people, but not so much for pets. Small amounts can make your sidekick sick, while larger amounts can cause kidney failure.

Signs that you should call your vet: non-stop vomiting, exhaustion or depression.

Unbaked bread dough
If it’s made with live yeast, raw dough can expand in your pet's stomach. Small amounts can lead to gastrointestinal upset, bloating and a belly ache.

Signs that you should call your vet: vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, disorientation, stupor and, in severe cases, coma, seizures, swelling belly or the inability to stand up.

Raw eggs, meat and fish
Uncooked food may be contaminated with salmonella or E. coli, which can upset your pet's gastrointestinal tract.

Signs that you should call your vet: vomiting, fever or enlarged lymph nodes.

Fat trimmings and bones
Sure, they’re delicious for pets, but fat trimmings and bones just as dangerous. Fat, whether cooked or raw, can cause pancreatitis, and bone splinters can get lodged in your pet's mouth and throat and even block or perforate the digestive system.

Signs that you should call your vet: diarrhea, blood in the stool, abdominal pain or loss of appetite.

Dairy
Milk and other dairy products are not well tolerated by cats and is particularly rough on dogs. "Dogs don't posses a significant amount of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down milk," Klau said. Dairy products also predispose pets to food allergies.







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Saturday, September 27, 2014

What Horse Owners Should Know About West Nile Virus


What Is West Nile Encephalitis?
West Nile encephalitis describes an inflammation of the central nervous system, which is caused by infection with West Nile Virus. Prior to 1999 West Nile Virus was found only in Africa, Eastern Europe, and West Asia. In August of 1999 it was identified in the United States.

How Do People Or Animals Become Infected With West Nile Virus?
People and animals can become infected from the bite of certain kinds of mosquitoes that are infected with the virus. Mosquitoes may pick up the virus when they bite, or take a blood meal, from wild birds that are infected with West Nile Virus. Those mosquitoes may then transmit the virus to people and other animals when biting to take a blood meal. Infection occurs primarily in the late summer or early fall in the northeast and Mid Atlantic regions.

Does Infection Always Lead To Illness?
Infection with West Nile Virus does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals. Horses appear to be a species that is susceptible to infection with the virus. In horses that do become clinically ill, the virus infects the central nervous system and may cause symptoms of encephalitis. Clinical signs of encephalitis in horses may include a general loss of appetite and depression, in addition to any combination of the following signs:

  • fever
  • weakness of hind limbs
  • paralysis of hind limbs
  • impaired vision
  • ataxia (weakness)
  • head pressing
  • aimless wandering
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • inability to swallow
  • walking in circles
  • hyperexcitability
  • coma

It is important to note that not all horses with clinical signs of encephalitis have West Nile encephalitis. Certain other diseases can cause a horse to have symptoms similar to those resulting from infection with West Nile Virus. If you are concerned that your horse may be exhibiting signs of encephalitis, please contact your veterinarian. Laboratory tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis.

Is Treatment Available For West Nile Encephalitis In Horses?
There is no specific treatment for West Nile encephalitis in horses. Supportive veterinary care is recommended. It is important to diagnose WNV because infection is an indication that mosquitoes carrying the virus are in the area and need to be eliminated.

How Many Horses Have Been Affected By West Nile Virus?
In 1999, approximately 25 horses became ill from infection with West Nile Virus. In 2000, there were 60 documented clinical cases of infection. Approximately 60% of horses that actually showed signs of illness in 1999 and 2000 recovered from the infection. Others were euthanized or died as a result of infection. Many more horses were infected without showing any clinical symptoms of disease. In 2001, there were 159 documented clinical cases of infection.

Is A Vaccine Available To Protect Against Infection With West Nile Virus?
A WNV vaccine for horses is now available. It has recently been approved for marketing, on a conditional license, which means that the efficacy of the vaccine will be studied for a year. Because it is impossible to distinguish between vaccinated and naturally infected horses with current testing methods, it is important that vaccination records be kept updated for each horse that receives the vaccine. Horses vaccinated against Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis are not protected against infection with West Nile Virus.

How Can I Protect My Horse Against Infection With West Nile Virus?
Vaccination of horses is not a guarantee of protection against infection, and does not offer any protection for other animals or people. The best method of prevention of infection with West Nile Virus for people and animals is to reduce the risk of exposure to the mosquitoes that may carry the virus. Reducing the risk involves eliminating mosquito breeding sites to reduce the number of hatching mosquitoes, and to reduce exposure to adult mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so reduction of breeding sites involves eliminating stagnant water sources. To reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites:


  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, buckets, ceramic pots or other unwanted water-holding containers on your property.
  • Pay special attention to discarded tires. Tires are important mosquito breeding sites.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors. Containers with drainage holes located only on the sides collect enough water to act as mosquito breeding sites.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters every year. Millions of mosquitoes can breed in roof gutters each season.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and don't let water stagnate in birdbaths.
  • Empty and refill outdoor water troughs or buckets every few days.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools when not in use. Mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.

Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property, especially near manure storage areas. Mosquitoes may breed in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.
Additional steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of exposure of horses to adult mosquitoes:

Reduce the number of birds in and around the stable area. Eliminate roosting areas in the rafters of the stable. Certain species of wild birds are thought to be the main reservoir for the virus. (Although pigeons have been shown to become infected with West Nile Virus, they do not appear to act as reservoirs and therefore don't transmit the virus to mosquitoes).

Periodically look around the property for dead birds, such as crows. Dead birds may be reported to the DEP online at anytime of the year. However, suitable birds will only be picked up or tested for WNV between May 1 and September 30. Use gloves to handle dead birds and place the birds in plastic bags.
Topical preparations containing mosquito repellents are available for horses. Read the product label before using.

For help in assessing mosquito exposure risks on your property and for suggested control practices, please contact your county extension office, county Department of Environmental Protection, county Department of Health, or mosquito and pest control company.

Can A Horse Infected With West Nile Virus Infect Other Horses?
There is no evidence that infected horses can transmit the virus to other animals, people, or mosquitoes. Only a wild bird-mosquito transmission cycle has been proven as a means of transmitting West Nile Virus.

Can Ticks Spread West Nile Virus?
Research is ongoing within the public health community to determine the role ticks play in the vectoring of West Nile virus. Scientists have confirmed ticks become infected with West Nile virus and may be able to amplify the disease within the avian community. Some researchers have also suggested that the ticks pass West Nile virus between generations and that is how the disease survives the winter in Pennsylvania. The Department will monitor this research closely to see what role ticks may play, if any, in the West Nile virus cycle.

Where Can I Get More Information About West Nile Virus?

For more information:

United States Department of Agriculture (717) 782-3442 http://www.aphis.usda.gov/oa/wnv/index.html
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (717) 783-6897 http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/
Department of Health 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258). http://www.WestNile.state.pa.us/







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How To Tell If Your Pet Is Bored, And What To Do About It


Have you ever seen your cat try to climb a wall, repeatedly jump on your shelves to knock items off or leap onto the chandelier? Or has your dog ever tried to dig up your wall-to-wall carpeting or decided that it’s fun to play tug-of-war with the curtains? These could all be signs that your pet is not getting enough mental stimulation.

Dr. Wailani Sung, a Washington veterinarian, is sharing ways that you can tell if your pet is suffering from boredom — and easy ways to change that.

To read more on this story, click here: Is Your Pet Bored?




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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Women Find Python In The Trunk Of Their Rental Car


Kennebunk, Maine (AP) - Police say two women opened the trunk of their rental car to retrieve their luggage and were greeted by a snake.

The women drove the rental car from Boston to Kennebunk, Maine, where they discovered the ball python Wednesday night and called police.

The snake was turned over to the Maine Warden Service on Thursday and was being transported to the Center for Wildlife in York.

Ball pythons generally grow to 3 to 5 feet long and aren't considered dangerous. The ball python is a common pet snake, but authorities say it's unclear why the snake was in the vehicle.

Kennebunk Deputy Police Chief Dan Jones tells the Portland Press Herald that the women wanted a new rental car even after the snake was removed.




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This Amazing Utah Canyon Hike Comes With a Rescue Dog


In a world of resorts eager to find a competitive edge in guest amenities, one Utah resort has truly gone to the dogs.

Flash was huffing and puffing even more than I was on a hot Saturday afternoon. His tongue was lolling out of his mouth as he wound his way in between my knees. The border collie wasn’t used to being on a leash, and all he wanted to do was herd me as we made our way to the trailhead of Snow Canyon.

By, Jo Piazza, An award-winning author and editor who has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the New York Daily News.


To read more on this story, click here: Hiking Comes With a Rescue Dog


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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Starting Next Year The FBI Will Add Animal Cruelty Cases To National Crime Report


The Federal Bureau of investigation announced this week that it will start reporting crimes of animal cruelty - intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly taking an action that mistreats or kills any animal without just cause, such as torturing, tormenting, mutilation, maiming, poisoning, or abandonment.

The FBI will treat animal cruelty  as a separate offense under its uniform reporting system, leading the way for more comprehensive statistics on animal abuse.

Previously, crimes against animals were recorded under a generic “all other offense” category in the Uniform Crime Report, widely considered the most comprehensive source of crime statistics in the United States.

More recently, social media sites have provided platforms for caught-on-tape exposés and forums focused on publicly shaming animal abusers. The proliferation of such online venues has helped fuel the outrage of many Americans.

The Humane Society, the Animal Welfare Institute Program and the Animal Legal Defense Fund were among the groups to laud FBI Director James B. Comey's decision to include animal cruelty as a distinct category on the annual index, the nation's prime source for US crime information.

Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote on his blog on Wednesday, "No longer will extremely violent cases be included in the 'other offense' category simply because the victims were animals."

Included are:
  • Instances of duty to provide care, e.g., shelter, food, water, care if sick or injured;
  • Transporting or confining an animal in a manner likely to cause injury or death;
  • Causing an animal to fight with another;
  • Inflicting excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering, e.g., uses objects to beat or injure an animal.

This definition does not include proper maintenance of animals for show or sport or use of animals for food, lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.

Before establishing the special category, there was no easy way to track the number of animal cruelty cases in the US But high-profile cases ranging from NFL quarterback Michael Vick's illegal dog fighting ring to a puppy-kicking episode implicating Desmond Hague, the former CEO of a sports catering company that provides services to several NFL teams, have helped shine a national spotlight on the issue.

The issue is a national problem, while cruelty cases occurring in all 50 states.



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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Humane Society: Faux Fur On Kohl's Jacket Is Real Raccoon Dog


An investigation by The Humane Society of the United States has found that a men's parka sold by retailer Kohl's with the description "faux-fur trim" uses real fur from raccoon dogs.

The Humane Society tested the men's R&O Hooded Parka which was purchased online for testing on June 23.

"Raccoon dog fur is the species we'd consider the most misrepresented," said PJ Smith, the Humane Society's corporate outreach manager. He said the raccoon dog traces back to Asia and is in the same family as the domestic dog, fox and wolf.

Once the coat was purchased online by investigators, Smith said it was sent to a lab that determined with "a great degree of certainty that it was this particular species."

It's the second time in a year that the Humane Society has used investigators to reveal real fur marked as fake fur from Kohl's — on Cyber Monday in December 2013, the organization released a consumer warning that the retailer was selling handbags lined with real rabbit fur.

Raccoon dogs, seen here in Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, are often used in clothing and can be mislabeled as faux fur.(Photo: Chiaki Tsukumo, AP)

Kohl's is not the only company caught mislabeling fur. In 2011, The HSUS filed an Federal Trade Commission petition resulting in enforcement action against Neiman Marcus, Revolve Clothing and DrJays.com, which could result in fines of $16,000 an instance if they were found mislabeling again.

The Humane Society claims Kohl's is in violation of the Fur Products Labeling Act that requires retailers to disclose the name and origin of the animal killed.

"This is obviously problematic for people who want to go to a store and buy something not associated with the fur trade cruelty," said Smith. "We believe the best way for retailers like Kohl's to correct these problems is to go fur-free because this is an industry-wide problem."

USA Today Network has reached out to Kohl's for comment. Initial efforts have proven unsuccessful.







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It Could Cost as Much as $2,000 a Year to Have a Dog


A new report says many of the most popular breeds these days are also very expensive, and can cost you thousands of dollars a year, something many people don't realize at the time of adoption.

Dog lovers won't like a report in Daily Finance  that says the first year cost of a puppy in 2014 can exceed $2,000, for initial cost, vaccinations, spaying, and training.

And, depending on the dog, you could easily pay another $2,000 a year after that.

For the average grown dog, you'll pay:

$200 to $500 a year for food ($1 a day for an average dog, but it adds up)
$200 a year for boarding for your week's vacation (unless you have relatives willing to help)
$500 for grooming (small designer dogs can cost much more in grooming costs)
$200 for annual vet visits (which is actually a low figure)
$500 for flea, tick, and heartworm medicine
That does not include leashes, travel boxes, rawhide treats and other items that cost several hundred dollars over a year.

And it does not include the cost of installing the very popular invisible fencing around your yard, which can cost $1,000 or more.

High cost of emergency vet care, as pets these days get care as good as humans.

Consumer Reports Magazine says to avoid a surprise $5,000 bill, you may want to consider pet insurance, or put a little bit in a "pet emergency fund" every month.







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This Portly Pig Was A Beloved Pet That Had To Leave Her Family: Thankfully She Found A Forever Home!


Pigs may start out small and cute, but people often don’t realize how large they can really get. This family raised Peggy Sue from a tiny piglet to a full grown pig. Sadly, Burbank California limits the weight of pets to 100 pounds, which Peggy easily exceeded. Her family had to find a solution, and it was equally heartbreaking and up-lifting.

See her lucky journey below!







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Another Great Budweiser Commercial, “Friends Are Waiting” - Watch It And You’ll Never Drink And Drive Again


When it comes to making smart decisions, sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder from your dog. That is exactly what the good people over at Budweiser did in their new ad campaign promoting responsible drinking.

The “Friends Are Waiting” campaign will definitely tug at your heartstrings and maybe make you tear up a bit but the message is completely spot on and brilliant. Although everyone knows that drinking and driving is the dumbest thing anyone can do, people still get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink. It’s heartbreaking but it’s a sad fact, but what if we gave people just one more reason why they shouldn’t drink and drive?

What if we reminded them how every single time they leave the house, there is someone patiently waiting for you to return and that someone is your dog. It kind of changes everything doesn’t it?

Please share this amazing video and help promote responsible drinking with your friends and family!







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Monday, September 22, 2014

Come Join Us For The 2014 DC Walk for the Animals & Pet-A-Palooza, September 27 - The Washington Humane Society


Washington, DC - The Washington Humane Society (WHS) DC Walk for the Animals & Pet-A-Palooza is just over a week away! Join us on Saturday, September 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at The Kingsbury Center (5000 14th Street, NW) for a free community event, offering fun for both two- and four-footed members of the family.

We are pleased to announce that our Masters of Ceremonies will be ABC7/WJLA Senior Political Reporter Scott Thuman and WTTG Fox 5 Reporter Lauren DeMarco. This dynamic duo will help to kick off the festivities of the day, including our fundraising Walk, festival of games, contests, and activities for kids, adults, and dogs.

There is still plenty of time to register as a walker or to create a team to help raise critical funds for DC
animals; registration is $20 for adults, $15 for kids (four to 12 years old), and free for children ages three and under. Registering online at www.dclovesdcanimals.org is easy, plus you can set up your own fundraising page to motivate friends and family to get involved. Online registration is open through 5:00 pm on Friday, September 26, and onsite registration will also be available ($30 for adults, $25 for kids).

In an exciting new partnership, Cartoonist Brian Basset (creator of the comic strip Red and Rover - distributed in over 250 newspapers) has designed a collection of comic strips exclusively for this event. Basset will be onsite to meet fans and help with the program. Learn more about this partnership at www.washhumane.org/redandrover.

Don’t have a dog? Don’t worry! We encourage all animal lovers to come and join the fun, plus, Adopt Force One (the WHS mobile adoption unit) will be on-site with plenty of adoptable animals looking to find their forever homes on this special day.

Unable to join the walk? Become a “virtual walker” to support DC animals by making an online gift. 100% of the proceeds from this event support the animals and the work of WHS. For more information and to sign up, visit www.dclovesdcanimals.org.

                                                                           2013









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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Would You Give Up Your Dog to a New Home If He Bit Your Child?



Rehoming my Pug was a hard decision, but the right one; finding the right family was a struggle. By Eden Strong


Read her story here: Rehoming my Pug










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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dog Branded With The "F-Word" On Her Side Gets Cosmetic Surgery


A pit-bull puppy named Felicity that was branded with the "f-word" by chemical burns had cosmetic surgery in Kentucky on Thursday to mask the scar.

Felicity was found last month tied to a fence in Lexington with the scar on her side. She was taken in by the Lexington Humane Society, who said that they wanted to perform the surgery before sending her to a new home. Liz Ubelhor, the veterinarian who performed the procedure, said the people who burned her likely used a chemical paste or liquid.

Lexington Humane Society development manager Ashley Hammond told WKYT, "We think doing plastic surgery on her will make her a little more adoptable and we don't want people to make judgments on her based on her appearance." Hundreds of dollars were donated to help the Humane Society pay for Felicity's procedure.

The Lexington Humane Society is offering a $3,500 reward for information on who burned Felicity. Despite tips Animal Control has received, no arrests have been made, WKYT reports. Animal control has asked that anyone with information on what happened to Felicity to contact them at 859-255-9033 ext. 229.







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Animal Cruelty Behind Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Domino’s Revealed


Animal cruelty has been discovered behind the scenes at popular pizza cheese suppliers. This might change your mind if you had plans to order a pie from Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, or Domino’s.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Idaho was among several states whose Ag Gag law was declared unconstitutional. What this means is that they made it a criminal offense to film what happens in the process of meat or milk production. It was created as a way to protect the public from the sometimes barbaric way the animals are treated, and now it seems the first results have appeared from its removal.

Mozzarella giant Leprino Foods in New Mexico supplies cheese to three of the biggest fast food pizza chains in the United States. An undercover activist uncovered a shocking (literally) secret behind the processing of the milk used for their cheese.

Apparently the cows’ genitals were being shocked into aggressive milk production. Other actions used on the dairy farm in question are punching and kicking of the livestock, as well as whipping and stabbing them with screwdrivers, as revealed in the disturbing video below.







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Retired Ailing Senior Police Dog Dropped Off At Shelter: Doing Better And Now Looking For New Home


K-9 the canine was dropped off at a Kansas animal shelter this summer, by an owner who said the elderly German shepherd was a retired police dog with cancer and wanted to have him euthanized.

The former owner's health claims were quickly found to be wrong, when a veterinarian diagnosed K-9 as having thyroid and joint problems, not cancer, and put him on the appropriate medicine. Physically, the pup has been "doing pretty well" ever since, says Jim Percival, who works with the volunteer-run Coffeyville Friends of Animals Shelter and Adoption Center.

But after a couple of months, K-9 went onto the shelter's "urgent" adoption list -- which more or less meant, in the grim language of animal rescue, he was running out of time to make it out alive.

That could have marked an even darker turn for K-9. Except suddenly, the shelter was inundated with "phone calls from all over the country. All these people wanting this dog," says Percival, explaining he "thinks the key here" was K-9's perceived background as a police dog.

That background was never checked, since "we take people at their word," he says. "To me he was well-behaved, never gave us one bit of problem. But as far as commands and all that? I don't think we know. We all just took a liking to him."

Lisa Moser, a longtime animal welfare advocate who runs a parrot rescue in Oklahoma, made one of those calls.

"I have always had a heart for animals. I was the kid who brought home baby bunnies and birds and other assorted creatures. All of my own personal pets were somebody else's castoffs," she says.

And the story attached to K-9's adoption listing, Moser says, "tore my heart."

"How could a dog that had given loyal service be cast aside when he became old and ill? My heart breaks for all of the animals in shelters who lose their lives, but how could this happen to this guy?"

She went to collect him on Thursday morning. Not for herself, she already has three dogs, four cats, two sugar gliders, a half-dozen birds, a husband and a couple of kids. But she wanted to transport K-9 to a German shepherd rescue group in Tulsa, where he will be put in foster care until he can be placed with a permanent family.

K-9 went to a new veterinarian on Friday morning, who said that his heart and lungs sound good, and that he's a charming and friendly boy, but his skin is in bad shape and will need treatment.

"He is very thin, lots of hair loss and smelled horrible," says Karla Wilson, of the German Shepherd Rescue of Tulsa. "I truly think he was neglected."

Blood tests will reveal any other problems that need attention. They will not, of course, reveal the truth about K-9's professional resume, though Wilson thinks it's possible that he really was a police dog, as his former owner purported him to be, since he "does appear to know German commands."

For now, Wilson will be taking care of K-9 at her home, where he can luxuriate on a big orthopedic bed, before he completes his medical vetting and treatment, for which the group is requesting donations. After that, she says, "he should go to a calmer household, due to his advanced age."







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Arkansas Woman Calls Police After Spotting What She Thought Was a 'Dead Tiger'


An Arkansas woman called police to report seeing a deceased tiger on the side of the roadway, according to the Bryant Police Department's Facebook page.

Police said the woman would have stopped to take photos, but she was too scared to approach the tiger.

Officer VanVeelen arrived to discover that the tiger was a large stuffed animal, according to Chief Kizer with the Bryant Police Department.

The officer decided to give the stuffed animal a ride back to the station.









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Friday, September 19, 2014

Photographer Seth Casteel - 9 Ridiculously Cute Underwater Puppies



A few years ago, award-winning animal photographer Seth Casteel became an overnight sensation when his photos of dogs underwater went viral. What followed was a book deal that resulted in the New York Times best-seller Underwater Dogs.

Casteel tells NPR's David Greene about using rescue dogs in his photo shoots and about the logistics of photographing puppies

It was not even my idea, actually, it was a dog's idea, which makes sense.

Buster the cavalier King Charles spaniel, back in 2010. At an on-land photo shoot, he decided he would rather be in the swimming pool, so he just started jumping in, over and over again. I was supposed to just document his personality through a series of photographs on land, but he had other plans. And after he just kept jumping in over and over again ... I'm jumping in! So, yeah, I got a little point-and-shoot underwater camera, took a few snapshots, and that was the beginning of the series of Underwater Dogs.

This little dog changed my life. I was just telling somebody the other day, you know, the original book, Underwater Dogs, it really shouldn't have my name on the cover; it should say, "Underwater Dogs by Buster ... with a little help from Seth Casteel."


On why he decided to use puppies in his new book


Seth Casteel is a professional photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine and The Washington Post.

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.
Dogs was just such a random project, and it became successful out of nowhere. It changed my life, literally, overnight. And I was thinking about other things that I wanted to do: What's the next project? I thought, "Hey, puppies. Can I do puppies?" And what I found out was not only could I do it, but I needed to do it for a couple of different reasons. No. 1: swimming pool safety — super-duper important for all the listeners out there with their pets. So many people forget that our swimming pools, as much fun as they are, they are a danger, and they can be a danger to our children and to our fur children. And they will learn. I mean, a lot of these puppies I work with — for Underwater Puppies I worked with over 1,500 — all it took was just a few times, putting them in the water and teaching them where the exit is, and they figured it out.

On many of the book's puppies being rescue dogs
That's another big part of why I wanted to make this book. I got started in photography back in 2007 just through volunteering at local animal shelters to take better pictures to get the dogs and cats adopted. I thought, "Hey, let's use some incredible adoptable puppy ambassadors just to show people how terrific these little guys are."

“ I'm wearing a dog costume so that the dogs can feel like I'm one of the pack. ... Just kidding. ... I usually just wear a wet suit.

On the logistics of photographing puppies underwater
I'm wearing a dog costume so that the dogs can feel like I'm one of the pack. ... Just kidding. ... I usually just wear a wet suit just in case. You know, if you spend 12 hours in a pool with a bunch of dogs, inevitably you're going to get scratched up a little bit. So I do wear a wet suit. But I just hold my breath — that's about it. I'm underwater sometimes just a few seconds, sometimes 30 seconds, 60 seconds. But I have my wet suit on. I bring the toys. I bring the fun. And we just have a blast.

On what it is about puppies
You know, puppies lift our spirits. They don't care who you are, what you've been doing, where you're going, they just want to love you and they just want to be your friend. And I think that's always going to make us feel good.

To purchase the book or calenders, click on the pictures below to be taken to Amazon.com.

Underwater Dogs


Underwater Dogs 2015 Wall Calendar


Underwater Puppies 2015 Mini Calendar 













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