The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : March 2015 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

People With Disabilities from the Misercordia Heart of Mercy House, Are Invited to Watch as Staff At the Brookfield Zoo Give a 450 Pound Lion a Check Up

Brookfield, IL - In a small but state-of-the-art medical room at Brookfield Zoo, this 450-pound lion is about as dangerous as a sleeping house cat. Doctors put Zenda under to give him a good once-over and give people a chance to learn about the animal and conservation.

“We look at everything,” said Dr. Michael Adkesson with the Brookfield Zoo. “So we look at him from head to toe on a physical exam, we draw blood for various testing, to look at his organ function. We do a full set of X-rays on him, ultrasound, really everything we can do we take care of him while we got him here.

In addition to making sure the 8-year-old is in good physical shape, the Brookfield Zoo invited a few people over from the Misercordia Heart of Mercy House. It’s a facility that helps people with mental and physical disabilities, and on this day, they are learning about the lion and conservation.

Before they got comfortable shaking hands with the sleeping giant, they admit they were more than just a little nervous.

But within minutes and a few reassuring words from the zoo’s staff, their fear quickly transformed into just plain fun.

“For us to able to share that and showcase the care we provide the animals, as well as the conservation messages behind that, with some really amazing people today, a very neat opportunity,” Adkesson said.

While they may not remember everything they learned about the lion this day, you can bet no one will forget the time they got to try and make the “king of the jungle” purr.

The Brookfield Zoo medical staff says they put Zenda and the other lion under every two years for their checkup and they say he’s in really great shape.


Washington Humane Society Announces 28th Annual Bark Ball: DC’s Premiere Black-Tie Gala for the Four-on-the-Floor Crowd

Washington, DC – Shake out that suit and brush off your tails, the Washington Humane Society Bark Ball returns for the 28th year on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Guests are invited to celebrate in style at DC’s original black-tie gala for humans and their canine companions.

This year we welcome back Larry Michael, the Washington Redskin’s Senior Vice President and Executive Producer of Media, as our Master of Ceremonies. The gala will also feature stage design by Design Foundry.

The benefit kicks off with a reception, an extensive silent auction, and Bark Bar at 6:00.p.m, followed by dinner, a formal program, live auction, and special surprises from 7:00.p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Leashed dogs are encouraged to attend (no retractable leashes please).

General tickets are $250 each and tables are $2,500. Once again, we are offering a limited number of Young Professionals tickets for those 35 and under at just $150. Tickets and tables are available online at

Last year’s event brought together 1,000 animal advocates and 500 dogs, raising over $620,000 to benefit the critical programs and services of the Washington Humane Society.

This event will sell out!

To purchase tickets and for more information, including sponsorship information, visit us online at, call 202-735-0324, or email

A limited number of Bark Ball Press Passes are available. Please contact Zenit Chughtai at or 202-735-0321 for information.


Website: Washington Humane Society

Take a look at some of the photos from last year's Bark Ball
27th Annual Bark Ball To Benefit The Washington Humane Society

Redskin Cheerleaders Teleza, Madison, Monique and Adriana with Scrappy. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

Rachael Hesling of the Garrison Breck Group (Sotheby’s) holding Henri, pictured with Jessica Van Buskirk of Rob and Brent (Sotheby’s) holding Sam. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

Dr. Leanne Kalinsky of Suburban Animal Hospital (Arlginton, VA) holding Monty donning a top hat! (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

DC London’s Sean Nobel pictured with Frank Luntz and Renee Hudson with husband Congressman Richard Hudson (North Carolina). (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

WHS Ambassador of the evening, WUSA’s Howard Bernstein pictured with his very own pup, Ahsoka. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

WHS volunteers Laura Gabatino and Meg Milroy pictured with Andi and Tigger. These dogs are available for adoption through the Washington Humane Society! (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

WHS Board Member Louie Dweck pictured with dedicated WHS volunteer Susan Wedlan. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

Rebecca Oliver (Director, Chairman’s Program at U.S. Chamber of Commerce) pictured with Judah. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

Group photo of Ryan Ward, Kathleen Goudling, Scott and Jill Openshaw with Boone. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

Guests Jessica Lemos and Rodger with Mary Ann and Cassie. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

Tickeled pink (and purple): Joy the Poodle and mascot of Doggie Washerette. (Photo Credit: Sarah MacLellan)

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Two Clouded Leopard Kittens Born March 9th in Miami Zoo: A Victory in the Fight to Preserve a Vulnerable Species

Two clouded leopard kittens were born this month at the Miami Zoo, a treat for the doting keepers and a victory in the fight to preserve a vulnerable species.

The medium-sized cat, which is not closely related to the African leopard, lives in forests of South East Asia and fewer than 10,000 are thought to exist in the wild.

The zoon said the kittens, both females born on March 9, are in an enclosure with their mother to "avoid any external stress and allow the mother to properly bond with them."

Their mother Serai and father Rajasi were born in 2011 in other American zoos. The kittens are the parents' second successful litter.

"Both offspring are doing well and the mother continues to be attentive and nurse them on a regular basis," the zoo said.

They already sport the clouded leopard's characteristic large, dark and cloud-like spots on a light background.

Visitors should be able to view them in the coming weeks.

Found in the wild in southern China, Myanmar and Malaysia, adult clouded leopards usually weigh between 30 and 50 pounds (14 to 23 kilograms) and have a very long tail with relatively short legs and large paws.

They eat birds and mammals such as monkeys, deer and porcupines, and are turn prey to human hunters who prize them for their pelts.


The Dog Missing After Car Crash in Banks County Georgia, Has Been Reunited with Her Owner

On March 23, 2015, the Love family, from Banks County, Ga., was traveling on Interstate 85 with Georgia, their son’s 14-month-old German Shepherd. A drunk driver hit their forcing it to roll over multiple times. Fortunately Mr. and Mrs. Love walked away from the accident unharmed, but Georgia got spooked and ran away from the scene. 

Five days after the accident, and after dozens of volunteers stepped up to help search for Georgia, the pup was found and reunited with her owner.

As soon as the accident happened, Eric Love, Georgia’s owner, took to social media to ask for help finding his dog. He posted pictures of the pet and asked everyone in the area to keep and eye open for his dog.

Many volunteered to drive around and search, but no one had any luck spotting or finding the dog.

On Saturday, March 28th, Georgia was finally spotted off exit 160. Love rushed to the area to find and reunite with his dog.

Many expected a long chase. Usually when a dog gets lost the pet goes into survival mode, and even though a strong bond exists between the pet and the owner, it takes a lot of coaxing for the dog to come around, trust those trying to help and recognize his or her owner. However, this was not the case with Georgia and Eric.

“She walked right up out of the woods and into my arms,” Love told Fox 5 News.

Five days apart seemed like an eternity for Eric, but in just one second that Saturday morning, Eric’s life and heart became whole again when Georgia walked into her owner’s arms.

Georgia was unharmed and Eric said that “after three cheeseburgers, eight pieces of bacon, and a bag of treats, this little girl is trying not to fall asleep!”

You may be interested in reading the initial story when Georgia went missing: Banks County, Georgia - Family Searching For Lost Dog After Car Crash: Have You Seen This Dog?


Monday, March 30, 2015

Woman's Beautiful Lullaby To Her Sick Pig Will Make You Feel Better, Too

Bentley the piglet has been in the hospital for a little over a month now, recovering from an illness, believed to be meningitis, that has left him blind.

Adoptive mom Corinne DiLorenzo, the founder of Illinois-based EARTH Animal Sanctuary, goes to visit Bentley most days. And when she does, the trained opera singer sings an old Irish lullaby, the "Connemara Cradle Song," to her 9-month-old, 14-pound piglet.

"It just comes out naturally to me, when there is someone who needs comfort," DiLorenzo says.

Traditionally, the lullaby's lyrics celebrate fishing for herring. But DiLorenzo has changed the words a little, so now the song's about sailing with the herring instead of sailing with them caught aboard the boat.

"We need to start changing the way we view animals," explains DiLorenzo. Until Bentley is discharged, she'll keep going to the hospital, singing a version of the cradle song that she used to croon to her own son when he was a baby.

Home for Bentley, DiLorenzo, and her now 13-year-old son is a 7-acre farm in central Illinois, where DiLorenzo takes in primarily, sick, elderly and special needs animals.

"Mostly our sanctuary is for the unadoptables," says DiLorenzo, who bought the property about a year and a half ago. She hopes in the future to open a bed and breakfast and vegan restaurant on site.

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Multicolored Collars Resembling Scrunchies Claim to Stop Cats from Catching Birds by Ruining the Cat's Camouflage

Brightly colored neck attire can hamper cats from chasing birds, however researchers warn that non-safety versions can be lethal.

Dr. Michael Calver of Murdoch University, Western Australia, has published several studies on techniques to reduce the toll domestic cats are wreaking on native wildlife. Calver and his PhD student Catherine Hall discovered a website, Birdsbesafe, selling multicolored collars resembling scrunchies that claimed to stop cats catching birds by ruining the cat's camouflage.

While the website claims the collars reduce bird kills by 87%, at that time there was no independent evidence to verify the claim, so Hall went to work. Her results have now been published in Applied Animal Behavior Science.

Hall couldn't back up the 87% claim, but she did find the collars cut down kills by 54% compared to similar periods with no neck attire. This could make a big difference to the hundreds of millions of small animals killed each year. Numerous native species are being pushed to the edge of extinction by cats, and while much of the damage is being done by those that have gone feral, domestic animals are also a big factor.

Hall found that the 114 cats unwillingly enrolled in the program brought home far fewer lizards and frogs when wearing the collars, and that there was also a reduction, albeit smaller, in the number of birds they caught. She observed the cats did not seem to adapt to the collars as some do to bells, and received reports that birds were more likely to avoid the ground when a collar-wearing cat was on the prowl. A study run around the same time in North America found the collars to be even more effective for protecting American birds, but did not investigate reptiles or amphibians.

However, Calver stresses that no one should be rummaging around the back of their cupboards for a scrunchy the 90s forgot, as some have suggested after the story broke. “That's really dangerous,” he told IFLS. Birdsbesafe products attach to safety collars with breakaway buckles that prevent the feline from throttling itself if snagged.

“Captures of mammals were not significantly reduced,” the paper reports. Calver attributes this to most small mammals lacking color vision. He acknowledges, “Some marsupials have color vision, but they are mostly nocturnal and the cats probably hunt them at night so it may not do much good.”

Rodents' lack of color vision could prove an advantage, however. Cat owners who want their pets to control rats and mice but stay off the birds can use the scrunchy collars to achieve both effects. In this way, the scrunchy-style collars do much better than previous control mechanisms Calver has tried, including cat bibs that prevent pouncing and alarms that sound when the cat charges its prey. Unlike all the previous methods Calver's team have tested, the scrunchy-collars protected frogs and lizards as well as birds.

The cats spent more time at home now that their hunting was curtailed. A few dropped out of the trial because the owners believed the scrunchies had given them dermatitis, but 96% either showed no signs of distress or quickly got used to wearing the scrunchies, proving the study was done in Perth not New York. Most of the owners planned to continue with the collars after the study finished. However, one cat left the trial because its owner reported the household dogs wouldn't stop barking at it.


Cat Food Recall: Primal Pet Foods is Voluntarily Recalling a Single Batch Production Code of Feline Turkey Raw Frozen Formula 3-Pound Bag

Primal Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling a single batch production code of Feline Turkey Raw Frozen Formula 3-pound bag. FDA tested product in response to a single consumer complaint. Primal Pet Foods was alerted by FDA that the testing of two bags of this lot resulted in a low thiamine level. Neither FDA nor Primal have received any other reports concerning Thiamine in Primal products. No other product manufactured by Primal Pet Foods is involved in this voluntary recall.

Only the product with the following Best By date and production code is included in the voluntary recall.  It is best to check the production code on the back of the bag to determine if the product has been recalled or not.

The lot involved in this voluntary recall is:

Primal Pet Foods Feline Turkey Raw Frozen Formula 3-pound bag (UPC# 8 50334-00414 0) with Best By date 060815 B22.

Primal takes very seriously, the need for adequate Thiamine levels in our feline diets. We include Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder as a natural B-Complex supplement to ensure that adequate levels of Thiamine are met. Additionally, Thiamine occurs naturally in other ingredients contained in our Feline Turkey Formula such as: Turkey Muscle Meat (including heart), Turkey Liver, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Dried Organic Kelp, Organic Collard Greens and Organic Squash.

Consumers who still have bags of cat food from this lot should stop feeding it to their cats and call at (866) 566-4652 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm PST.

Cats fed only diets low in thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurologic signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. If your cat has consumed the recalled lot and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

‘White God', The Movie: ’Man Bites Dog, Dog Bites Back' - 250 Trained Dogs Seize an Opportunity to Escape from the Animal Shelter, and Revolt Against Mankind

A cautionary tale between a superior species and its disgraced inferior... Favoring pedigree dogs, a new regulation puts a severe tax on mixed breeds. Owners dump their dogs and shelters become overcrowded. 13-year-old Lili fights desperately to protect her pet Hagen, but her father eventually sets the dog free on the streets. Hagen and his pretty master search desperately for each other until Lili loses faith. Struggling to survive, homeless Hagen realizes that not everyone is a dog’s best friend. Hagen joins a gang of stray dogs, but is soon captured and sent to the pound. With little hope inside there, the dogs will seize an opportunity to escape and revolt against mankind. Their revenge will be merciless. Lili may be the only one who can halt this unexpected war between man and dog.

When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because it's mixed-breed heritage is deemed 'unfit' by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called 'unfit' dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time house pet who has learned all too well from his 'Masters' in his journey through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beats him.

R (for violent content including bloody images, and language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Kornél Mundruczó
Written By:
Kornel Mundrunczo , Viktoria Petranyi , Kata Wéber , Kornél Mundruczó
In Theaters:
Mar 27, 2015 Limited
1 hr. 57 min.
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site 


The hand that feeds — and also brutalizes — is righteously bitten in “White God,” a Hungarian revenge fantasy that’s like nothing you’ve seen on screen before. The story is as simple as a parable, a campfire story, a children’s book: A faithful animal, separated from its loving owner, endures, suffers, struggles and resists while trying to transcend its brutal fate. The director, Kornel Mundruczo, has said that he was partly inspired by J. M. Coetzee’s devastating novel “Disgrace,” but the movie also invokes haunting animal classics like “Black Beauty” and “The Call of the Wild.”

Like Buck, the four-legged hero of “The Call of the Wild,” the dog protagonist in “White God,” Hagen — played with full-bodied expressivity by the canine siblings Bodie and Luke — is a mixed breed. For his closest companion, a solemn-faced 13-year-old named Lili (Zsofia Psotta), Hagen’s ancestry isn’t an issue, but it is one for those state officials who tax dogs that aren’t purebreds. Lili’s father, Daniel (Sandor Zsoter), who has custody of her for a few months, has no interest in paying the tax or keeping the dog, which is how Hagen ends up on the streets of Budapest, initially alone, then in the hands of a cruel master and then with a pack.

That pack in all its barking, panting, tail-wagging glory is the big payoff in “White God,” which features 250 or so dogs that were trained for the movie, not a computer-generated pooch among them. Mr. Mundruczo has said that his movie was shot using the American film industry’s guidelines on the use of animal performers. That’s not entirely reassuring given the abuses that nonetheless occur during productions, as a ghastly 2013 exposé in The Hollywood Reporter affirmed. Still, viewers concerned about the welfare of the dogs, especially in some of the tougher scenes, should pay close attention to the cunning editing and camera angles as well as all those happy tails. Mr. Mundruczo has also produced, smartly, a reassuring behind-the-scenes video that’s available on YouTube.

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Two Pink Chickens Found Running the Portland Waterfront: Owner Did it to Make People Smile

The owner of two pink chickens found running the Portland Waterfront, in Portland, Oregon, Bruce Whitman, says his prank succeeded beyond his wildest hopes.

He says, he used food coloring, beet juice and kool-aid,  to dye the two birds, then released them to "make people smile."

He tucked the chickens into a tree to roost early Thursday, in a waterfront park, figuring they'd wake to a good day with water nearby and bugs to eat, spread some smiles and he'd pick them up Thursday evening. He soon heard news reports that the birds had become poultry celebrities.

KATU News went to look for the chickens after a viewer emailed pictures of the brightly colored animals wandering along the waterfront.

"Pink chickens. Are they native to Portland?" one tourist joked.

No one knew where they came from or how long they had been there.

KATU News, called Multnomah County Animal Services. The county sent an officer to pick up the chickens to make sure they were safe while they tried to identify an owner.

They will remain with Animal Services for 72 hours, at which point they could be put up for adoption.

Animal Services billed Whitman about $16 per bird for their time in custody, and cautioned him about the risks of releasing birds in public places. He says he probably won't do it again — but he and the birds have now been invited to a couple of parades.

The county sent out the following statement concerning the popular pink birds:

One of our officers just rescued two pink chickens from the park on the waterfront. If you or someone you know lost two pink chickens, please contact us!