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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Could Your Cat’s Food Be Making Them Smelly?

No one likes having a smelly cat. It isn’t their fault, and they shouldn’t be blamed for it. The real culprit? It’s probably you.

No, we’re not saying you’re a bad parent! The majority of maldigestion issues are the result of poor nutrition. Sadly, most of the food out there is made primarily of carbs and plant based proteins, both of which lack the nutrition cats need to stay healthy. Cats have specific nutritional needs, namely protein, vitamins, and minerals. Do you know what they don’t need? 

Carbohydrates. Yes, the much maligned nutrient is something that cats are not naturally inclined to eat. Yet most commercial cat foods contain as much as 70% carbohydrates!

So, if cats don’t NEED carbs in their food, why is it impossible to avoid them, and what kind of complications do they lead to? While not inherently life threatening, carbs may hold the key to your smelly and gassy feline.

Carbs serve a fairly important job in cat food, stretching out the amount of food to help keep prices down, and providing an easily digestible energy source. That’s right, even though cats typically only get about 5% of their nutrition in the wild from carbs, they can digest carbs and use them for energy. Dry food uses carbohydrates to give the food form, texture, and to keep it together in a way that’s easy to handle. Without them we wouldn’t have dry food at all! This leads to the important question. If these carbs aren’t BAD for you cat, how can they lead to digestion issues?

The issue come from the amount of carbs you find in your cats food.

The most obvious reason an excess of carbs is dangerous for your kitty is the same reason carbs are so maligned in the human nutrition world. While a quick and easy form of energy, carbs are easily converted to glucose, meaning that it is very easy for a cat to take in far more fuel than they can burn off. The result is obesity and other serious digestion problems, from mild to severe, that can include excessive gas, bloating, and diarrhea. While small amounts are easily digestible, the larger the quantity, the more difficult it is for cats to digest, leaving portions that aren’t broken down. The undigested carbohydrates will then ferment and create bacterial overgrowth resulting in the production of gas, and leading to other symptoms of maldigestion, including that unpleasant odor.

If you need to de-stink your cat, the most effective way is to scrutinize the nutritional content in his food. Protein is the most important ingredient.  Look for “complete and balanced” on the label as a great indication that the food uses high quality proteins. The term “complete and balanced” officially indicates compliance with The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) requirements.

Protein sources with “named” protein in the listed ingredients are vital to search for as well. Chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, etc are key. A huge number of brand name foods contain by-products, meat or bone meal, and other wiggle words that apply to things your cat should NOT be eating. Corn or rice meal are another sign to tell you to put the bag down and move on.

The final piece of the puzzle is water. Cats are not huge water drinkers, and in the wild they get the majority of their fluid intake from their food. Adding wet food to their diet is a fantastic way to help keep them hydrated, a more natural way for them to consume their nutrients, and will also help them better digest their dry food. Treat them to a few cans a week and you will notice a marked difference in their litter boxes.

And as a helpful reminder to not ostracize smelly cats, we’ll wrap up with this classic hit.  Remember while you laugh: diet can make a cat more socially acceptable – and healthier.


Rare Two-Headed Calf Born in Baker County, Florida

Baker County, Florida - A family of farmers are shocked after their cow gave birth to a two-headed calf.

The calf's name is Annabel and she was born Monday in the middle of a field on the Crews family farm.

Carolyn Crews says she comes out to feed the two-headed calf at least four times a day.

"It was just like a surprise because no one has even seen anything like this around here," said Crews.

Or really anywhere, for that matter. A birth like this happens every one in 400 million times.

Annabel has four eyes, two mouths, two noses and two ears and two heads.

"I don't think it was meant to be for something like this to live. You know, I don't think she's going to make it," said Crews.

She says they've reached out to a veterinarian, but the doctor said there is nothing he can do.

"She might have pneumonia...I mean there is no telling," said Crews.

Her heavy breaths are worrisome and her head is too heavy for her body. She cannot walk, which means she cannot feed from mother. However, she is unique, something the Crews family and many in Baker county say they won't forget.

"I never dreamed of such a thing happening. It'll be something that we probably never seen in our lifetime," said Crews.


Camp Springs, Maryland - Coolridge Animal Hospital: Yard Sale/Bake Sale – Saturday, May 2nd - 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

We are raising funds for our 'Memorial Rainbow Bridge Rock Garden', to celebrate the lives of all our fur babies who have crossed over.

This Saturday, May 2nd, we will be having a yard sale/bake sale. We will also have a raffle running the for the next week for a years supply of Heartworm and Flea/tick prevention (this is a $200.00 value). 

The first picture below is the current garden in front of the exit doors. We plan to plant two willow trees ( pictured below), and provide our clients with a bench to sit, along with stones to decorate and fill our garden with the wonderful memories of their fur babies who have crossed.

Once completed we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony, we are currently trying to seek a clergy who would be willing to come out, and bless our garden the day of the ribbon cutting, if anyone knows someone they could recommend, please contact us.

WHAT: Yard Sale/Bake Sale

DATE: Saturday, May 2, 2015
TIME: 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Coolridge Animal Hospital
6801 Old Branch Ave
Camp Springs, Maryland
(301) 449-1610

Raffle Tickets:
Raffle has begun purchase your $1.00 ticket from now til April 30th, winner will receive 1 year ( 12 months) of Heartworm/flea/tick prevention, for your K-9 or Feline fur baby, this is a $200.00 value. 

All proceeds will ge going towards our Rainbow BridgeMemorial Garden.

Website: Coolridge Animal Hospital

As they say "One man's junk is another man's treasure!"
There is truly something for all at our yard sale!

                                       We will be planting these:

We are thrilled our memorial garden is coming together. We have already received one of our trees.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Search and Rescue Dog Teams from the United States Deployed to Nepal

Making up part of the U.S. contingent that were deployed to Nepal on Sunday night were these six dogs and their handlers from the Search Dog Foundation from Ojai, California.

The dogs and their humans will assist in rescue and recovery efforts in that earthquake stricken country. The six teams from the SDF are part of that amazing organization’s canine-firefighter volunteers who have assisted in numerous international and national recovery efforts since their founding.

Established almost twenty years ago by Wilma Melville, a retired schoolteacher from New Jersey, who  with her Lab Murphy, in 1995 was one of the only 15 Advanced Certified teams in the entire U.S. who worked at the bombed Oklahoma City Federal Building. That experience gave Melville the “determination to find a better way to create highly skilled canine search teams,” so she established SDF the following year in 1996.

SDF is the only non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to finding and training rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters. They recruit dogs from shelters and breed rescue groups, then provide the dogs with professional training, and match them with firefighters and other first responders who then go on to find people trapped in the wreckage following disasters.

They go to great lengths to find canines with the exceptional characteristics required in a search dog: intense drive, athleticism, energy and focus. The traits that can often make dogs unsuitable as family pets and land them in a shelter—intense energy and extreme drive—are exactly the qualities required in a search dog.

SDF offers these talented animals what they crave: a job! The dogs (primarily Labs, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies and mixes) are recruited from animal shelters and rescue groups throughout the Western states—some just hours away from being euthanized.

 A happy ending for all… as these dogs are transformed from rescued to rescuer. The teams are provided at no cost to fire departments or taxpayers, and with no government funding.  Do think of donating to this worthwhile organization so they can continue in their mission to help disaster victims.

Watch the video to see the teams walking up to their plane. We wish them, and the people of Nepal well.

These are the six handlers and their dogs from SDF who are assisting in recovery efforts in Nepal.

Russian Customs Catch Woman Trying to Smuggle 108 Exotic Animals in Suitcase

Customs officials have seized what is being described as a 'zoo in a suitcase' from a woman accused of smuggling 108 exotic animals in Russia.

In the bag, carried in the hold of the aircraft, there were 55 snakes, 35 lizards, seven turtles, six lemurs, two monkeys and even a suspected leopard cub.

Two baby crocodiles died on the journey from Jakarta to Moscow and all the survivors appeared terrified when they were found after the 6,515-mile ordeal.

The menagerie came to light when customs officials at Domodedovo airport electronically scanned a 27kg bag belonging to an unnamed female passenger who had flown from Indonesia via Qatar.

Spokeswoman Larisa Ledovskikh said: 'The animals were packed in tiny cages and plastic boxes and each snake was in small bag made of cloth.'

Experts are trying to identify the 'amazingly beautiful "kitten" with bright green eyes and stripes' among the trafficked animals.

Officials in Moscow suspect it is a leopard cub, a species which is listed in the Red Book of endangered animals.

If true, the woman, held in detention pending a decision on any charges faces up to seven years in jail.

“It was a sad scene, exhausted monkeys, scared lemurs, the begging green eyes of a beautiful cat", said, Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The animal courier claimed she had bought the animals for $200 (£130) in a market in Indonesia.

She denied intending to sell the animals on the black market, claiming they were 'for future breeding'.

But trading in exotic animals is seen as lucrative business in Russia, where private zoos are seen as de rigueur for the wealthy.

After being impounded, the hungry and exhausted creatures were handed to employees of Moscow's 'Exotic Park' where they will be cared for until their future is decided.

A handler from the park held the animals for the customs pictures, which will be used as evidence in the case against the 'animal courier'.

“Experts will check the animals and calculate the price of each one. They will also establish if any of these animals are under protection of the international convention on rare species.” said an employee from the Exotic Park.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

An Overweight Cat Was Rescued from a Foreclosed Home in Sea Isle City, New Jersey

An overweight" cat was rescued last week from a home in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.  Shelter officials told the Press of Atlantic City that when animal control officers found Sprinkles, she was so obese that she couldn't roll over or properly groom herself. At four-years-old, she's weighs approximately 33 pounds…three times her average weight.

"Whatever position she’s in, she can barely move,” Stacy Olandt, a volunteer at the S.O.S. Sea Isle City Cats Shelter, who took Sprinkles.

Local sheriff's deputies found the pretty kitty in shabby condition. She was covered in fleas and mites, suffered from an infection and had "the paws of a 9-pound cat and the body of a 33-pound cat," S.O.S. employee Mary Devery told the New York Daily News.

Her weight is reportedly equivalent to a 700 pound human who should weigh 180 pounds.

Now, that she is getting a full makeover, she'll reportedly undergo a strict diet of four cans of cat food per day, and shelter workers hope she'll lose a pound each month until she reaches her target weight of about 10 pounds, Press of Atlantic City reports. She'll also need a tummy tuck so her excess skin doesn't drag on the floor.

The Daily News reports:

Sprinkles was a little standoffish at first and barely moved but now she seems to be adapting well to her new home. Devery said she is walking round and is friendly to everyone, but because of her girth is unable to climb stairs. Her size also prohibited her from properly grooming herself and Sprinkles entered with infections and a flea infestation.

"She's doing great. She's moving around and she's as friendly as can be," Devery said. "She's purring a lot. She's a very happy girl."

It wasn't immediately clear why she was left in the house, or how she got as big as she is, but you can apply to adopt Sprinkles or other cats from the S.O.S. shelter's adoption page.

If you are interested in adopting Sprinkles, or other cats from the S.O.S. Shelter, visit their adoption page at: S.O.S. Sea Isle City Cats, Inc.

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14-Year-Old Boy with Asperger Syndrome Gets a Shelter Dog…and Hugs His Mom for the First Time

 A Los Angeles mother watched her young son Joey struggle in uncommon ways. In kindergarten, he got suspended from school six times for behavior he couldn't control. Sitting still was torture for him, and sometimes he couldn't resist hitting himself.

His diagnosis at age 7 with Asperger syndrome, a disorder on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, rocked Granados' world. Even more challenging was Joey's loathing of physical contact. Granados wanted to hug, kiss and cuddle her son, but she never could. Years went by, and it seemed she never would.

Then, a few months ago, a new friend entered Joey's life. This friend, named Roxy, had fur, four legs, a tail and a goofy disposition, and she made Joey so happy that he did something unthinkable: He gave his mom a big, spontaneous kiss on the cheek.

"I get emotional thinking about it," Granados told "For all those years, he wouldn't hold my hand, he wouldn't hug me — it was all part of the autism — but this dog has taught him how to give and show affection. He holds my hand now! He hugs me! The first time I got a kiss on the cheek was when Roxy came home."

Joey, now 14, said his new dog has made everything easier for him.

"I didn't have too many friends growing up, but then we got Roxy and I've been able to make friends ever since," Joey said. "At home, I've been able to hold my mom's hand, kiss her, hug her and do a lot of things that I hadn't been able to do growing up.

"She's opened up my heart."

A little more than a year ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released estimates showing that one in 68 U.S. children has an autism diagnosis. Autism is nearly five times more common among boys than girls; one in 42 boys has it.

"Over the past 10 years, we've seen a 100 percent increase of autism," said Lisa Goring, an executive vice president with the advocacy organization Autism Speaks. Goring said one reason for the spike is growing awareness of the developmental disorder, which is resulting in more people being diagnosed.

But that alone doesn't explain the startling rise. "We know there's a genetic component, but there's also an environmental trigger," Goring said. "We don't know what that environmental trigger is."

No two autism cases are quite the same. Joey, for example, is a math whiz who can solve complex puzzles in minutes and recite a book from memory after reading it once. His mother knows Joey will be able to drive a car, hold down a job and live on his own someday.

"Learning is the easiest thing for him — it's the social situations that are difficult," said Granados, 36, a single mother of three boys. "He has a hard time reading social cues or facial expressions, and there's awkwardness around making friends. Before Roxy, he wouldn't even play or get along with his two little brothers."

A photo on the Internet led Joey to his new best friend. Joey had been asking his mom for a dog, and she saw that the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles was planning an event where a shelter dog could be adopted for $10.

"We were looking through pictures online, and Roxy's picture made us fall in love with her," Granados recalled.

Granados and Joey arrived at Best Friends at 7 a.m. on the big day. Within minutes, sparks flew.

"As soon as Roxy met Joey, she totally ignored me and his mother," said adoptions specialist Denise Landaverde. "Amanda was happily surprised to see Roxy go straight to Joey and watch them play together. It just sealed the deal for her."

Roxy is a soft gray pit bull with floppy ears and a playful personality. Granados confessed that she was nervous at first because she had heard bad things about pit bulls. But Roxy's immediate connection with Joey made her melt.

"She is literally his best friend," Granados said. "He can be in the foulest mood, and she comes along and it's like a light. She doesn't care about his differences — there's no judgment with her — she just loves him."

Joey agreed. "If I've been having a bad day, Roxy can hear a tone in my voice," he said. "She runs up to me to give me a giant hug and lick me to death and do almost anything she can to make me happy."

Encouraging study results

Research about the effects of companion animals on kids with autism is limited, but heartening. A 2014 study revealed that pet dogs can give children with autism much-needed companionship and help them learn responsibility. And a 2013 study showed children with autism were more likely to talk, laugh, make eye contact and show other positive social behaviors in the presence of guinea pigs than in the presence of toys.

Still, dogs are not a cure-all, cautioned Dr. Rolanda Maxim, director of developmental pediatrics at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Maxim started a dog therapy clinic to help children with autism, and she's seen it do wonders for kids — with some caveats.

"It won't work if the child is very aggressive to animals, does not like dogs or is afraid of or allergic to dogs," Maxim noted. "Special connections can happen, but the child needs the opportunity to meet and choose the dog, and the dog also has to like the child."

That's precisely what happened between Joey and Roxy — and Joey's mom has a theory about why.

"Kids with autism are looked at differently and misunderstood, and so are pit bulls," Granados said. "I think that's why they've bonded!"

Joey said he's just grateful to have Roxy in his life: "It's amazing to have a friend like this."


Most Common Triggers That Induced Seizures in Cats

The United Kingdom-based charity International Cat Care reached out to veterinary specialists after receiving surprising complaints from cat owners: Their feline companions were apparently having seizures in response to high-pitched sounds.

A study of these cats revealed that the sound-induced seizures were more common in older cats, and the most common triggers were crinkling tinfoil, hitting a ceramic bowl with a metal spoon and tapping glass.

Mark Lowrie and Laurent Garosi, veterinary neurologists at Davies Veterinary Specialists in England, and Robert Harvey, a molecular neuroscientist and geneticist at the University College London School of Pharmacy, decided to survey cat owners about the phenomenon, which has been dubbed "Tom and Jerry syndrome," after the cartoon character Tom, who often responds to startling sounds with involuntary jerks. [Feline Fun: 10 Surprising Facts About Cats]

Hundreds of cat owners from around the world replied that they had noticed their cats were having seizures in response to certain types of sounds. Most owners' vets didn't know what was causing the seizures and didn't believe a sound had been the trigger.

In a study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, the researchers looked at data from 96 cats, including the type of seizure, how long it lasted and what sound appeared to trigger it. They found that some cats — like some humans — suffer from seizures caused by sound, known as "audiogenic reflex seizures." In the cats, certain sounds triggered absence (or nonconvulsive) seizures; myoclonic seizures, characterized by brief muscle jerks; or generalized tonic-clonic seizures, in which the animal loses consciousness and its body stiffens and jerks for several minutes.

Both pedigree and nonpedigree cats can have these seizures, but they were most common in Birman-breed cats. Seizures were also more common in cats ages 10 to 19, and the average age of onset was 15 years, the researchers said.

The sounds that triggered the seizures ran the gamut, including crinkling tinfoil (82 cats), a metal spoon clanking on a ceramic food bowl (79 cats), chinking or tapping glass (72 cats), crinkling paper or plastic bags (71 cats), computer keyboard or mouse sounds (61 cats), jingling coins or keys (59 cats), hammering a nail (38 cats) and the clicking of an owner's tongue (24 cats). Less commonly, cellphone ringing, Velcro peeling or a walk across a wooden floor with bare feet could trigger the kitty seizures.

Owners could sometimes prevent the seizures by avoiding these sounds, but that wasn't always possible. Louder sounds also seemed to make the seizures more intense.

The researchers have identified this cat version of sound-triggered seizures as feline audiogenic reflex seizures, or FARS for short. Future work will focus on the genetic basis of the disorder and how to treat it.

The epilepsy medication levetiracetam can be an effective treatment for managing FARS, and could "completely rid" a cat of sound-induced seizures, the researchers said.

"How wonderful to be able to go back to those worried owners who came to us for help with a problem previously unrecognized by the veterinary profession with not only an explanation for their cats' behaviors, but a way to help them as well," Claire Bessant, chief executive of International Cat Care, said in a statement.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Latest Trend Among Dog Owners in Taiwan, Looks Just as Funny as it Sounds – Square and Round Dog Haircuts

It may look absurd, but a bizarre new dog grooming trend is beginning to take shape in Taiwan.

The craze involves having your pet pooch shaped into a sphere or a square - with the desired effect being a more eye-grabbing and clean-cut look.

The latest trend among dog owners in Taiwan looks just as funny as it sounds – square and round dog haircuts! Dogs, typically Poodles, are having the fur on their heads sculpted into perfect circles or squares, and the results are posted online in what might be the first “my dog has a rounder head than yours” competition ever.

The first records of dog grooming in the West are from the Elizabethan era (16th c.), but the French were the first to really embrace it. The Poodle was the official dog of the French court in the 1700’s, where dog-only salons also sculpted their fur in wild and extreme ways.
In a method reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands's trimming of a hedge, canine hairdressers in the Taiwanese capital Taipei are giving particularly furry customers outlandish makeovers.


The FDA Has Announced a Recall for a Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit That May be Contaminated with Salmonella

Routine testing by the Nylabone company found Salmonella present in one of these kits, and you shouldn’t take a chance on them. If your dog has consumed a Nylabone affected by this recall, you should definitely call your vet.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can affect dogs, cats, and humans with dangerous symptoms.  Watch for the signs! If your puppy has been exposed, keep an eye on her for fever, lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting, dehydration, and shock. For that matter, keep an eye on yourself and anyone who has handled the treat or the dog for similar symptoms.

The affected Nylabones are a 1.69 oz. package specifically for puppies, like the one pictured below, and have been distributed across the U.S. and in Canada. The package will be marked as Lot #21935, UPC 0-18214-81291-3, and an expiration date of 3/22/18. The Puppy Starter Kit should not be used at any cost, and you can take it back to the store you bought it from for a full refund.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Woman Made a Terrifying Discovery Last Week Outside a Goodwill Center: She Found a Box with Three Puppies Trapped Inside, Cruelly Marked 'Stuffed Animals'

A woman made a terrifying discovery last week outside a Goodwill center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when she came across a box with three puppies trapped inside.

The box, labeled "stuffed animals," was taped shut and found by the concerned citizen on the afternoon of April 18th, said Jamie Lampman, executive director of the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"As they got in the car they saw the box moving," Lampman said. "It was taped pretty solid. When they popped a hole in the box, all the noses popped out. They were covered in urine and it was about 83 to 85 degrees that day."

The puppies, who are all estimated to be 9 to 12-weeks-old, were immediately brought to the shelter by the woman.

Leslie Stokes, an animal service officer who's investigating the case, said that she's relying on tips from the public to eventually prosecute those responsible.

"We have dozens of leads coming in from Tennessee and Georgia," Stokes said. "It happened in the middle of the day, so someone had to see something. We are trying to get surveillance video from someone at Goodwill to see if there were any cars that pulled in."

Despite the horror they endured, Green said the puppies' health statuses are improving.

"They were pretty dehydrated and haven’t had a lot of nutrition, but they are flourishing," she said. "Within 48 hours they started to act like puppies again. They’ve really stolen a lot of hearts."

The three female puppies, who were given the names Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, and Marilyn Monroe, have already been requested for adoption by many.

"We've been calling them 'the Goodwill' puppies," Green said.

A representative of Chattanooga Goodwill Industries, Inc. released the following statement to ABC News regarding the incident.

“Chattanooga Goodwill Industries is grateful for the quick thinking and reaction of a “good Samaritan” who noticed and rescued the three puppies that were recently placed in a taped-up box and left on a sidewalk in the near vicinity of one of our donation center trailers. And we are thankful that McKamey Animal Care Center was able to take in and care for the puppies.

The attendant on duty that day was not approached or contacted by the woman who found the box or by the McKamey Animal Care Center. The attendant was unaware of the situation since the box was not found in the immediate area of the donation trailer. It is the policy of Chattanooga Goodwill Industries that one’s immediate supervisor be contacted if an animal is left at any of our donation sites.”

There's currently a reward for $4,000 to whomever can lead the McKamey Animal Center and or the Chattanoga Police to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for abandoning the puppies.

To donate to the cause, visit McKamey Animal Center  FOLLOW US!

Adorable Green Sea Turtle Photobombs a Group of Friends Vacationing Near the Apo Island

Tourist Diovani de Jesus was busy taking a photo with his friends near the Apo Island in the Philippines when a green sea turtle popped up and looked askance at the camera.

“We were posing for a group photo at Apo Island when this sea turtle surfaced to breathe and photobombed!' de Jesus wrote in his blog.

Green sea turtles, which are endangered, are one of the largest sea turtles and are named for the greenish color of their cartilage and fat, not their shells. Green turtles are found in tropical and subtropical waters and lmigrate long distances between feeding grounds and the beaches from where they hatched. They come to Apo Island to feed, which has one of the world's best-known community-managed Marine Protected Areas.


For the First Time in 100 Years, Baby Pinzón Giant Tortoises Have Hatched on the Galapagos Islands

For the first time in 100 years, baby Pinzón giant tortoises have hatched on the Galapagos Islands. Their births represent a small step forward for the vulnerable species.

On an expedition to Pinzón Island in 1970, scientists found only 19 adult tortoises. Conservationists transferred those tortoises to Santa Cruz Island, where they began a captive breeding program, before returning the young tortoises back to Pinzón Island.

Forty-four years after the expedition, a group of conservationists discovered six young Pinzón hatchlings on Pinzón Island in December.

Dr. James Gibbs, one of the conservationists who visited Pinzón in December, tells Mashable: "This discovery is testament to the dedication and hard work of the Galapagos National Park Service over the last 40 years in rescuing several tortoise species from the point of extinction and putting them back on the path to a strong, albeit slow but steady, recovery."

Danny Rueda, who manages conservation and restoration of ecosystems in the Galapagos, told the Associated Press that there are currently 650 juvenile and adult tortoises on the island.


2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Had to Be Put Down by Owners After Ingesting Xylitol-Laden Gum

Glenwood City, Wis. – Anyone with a dog knows how curious and resourceful they can be around anything edible. That curiosity apparently killed a dog in Western Wisconsin.

Luna, a 2-year-old golden retriever, was put down by her owners Tuesday evening after she ingesting Xylitol-laden gum on Monday. Luna had suffered severe liver damage.

"Luna had gotten into a container of gum, actually chewed it open herself," said Samantha Caress, 22. She, boyfriend Jordan Pellett ,22, and their son, Grady, 7 months, are devastated.

"She was like our first child. She was like our family before we even had Grady," said Caress.

Caress and Pellett said the dog ingested the "Ice Breaker" Lemon-flavor gum while the couple was out of the home in rural Glenwood City. They rushed her to the Animal Emergency Center in Oakdale, Minnesota early Tuesday.

"They actually called, later, after we dropped her off about three four hours, and they said her blood came back and it wasn't good," sobbed Caress.

The Center said a treatment for Luna would cost $20,000, beyond their means.

"And they said it was still only a 25% chance that she would live from it and we just didn't want her to suffer so we had to put her down," said Caress.

"Certain types of sugar-free gum have huge amounts of Xylitol," said Dr. Justine Lee, Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota. "A lot of people do not think about it, but Xylitol's a product in sugar-free vitamins. They are in toothpaste. They are in dental floss. They are in nasal sprays or in gums or in baked goods and as little as a couple of pieces of gum can result in severe hypoglycemia, so a life threatening drop in blood sugar and actually liver failure."

Lee suggested that anyone with a dog should check the ingredients on any products they buy. If Xylitol is in the first three or five ingredients, keep the product away from the reach of the dog.

"Elevate your purse or your backpack, so your dog can't get into it," said Lee. "Make sure you put vitamins or chewable products out of reach on a shelf."

She also recommended pre-programming a cell phone with the number of a veterinarian and ASPC Animal Poison Control to receive fast advice on a dog's situation.

The advice and the information about Xylitol comes too late for Caress and Pellett. Now, the hope to spare other dog owners their pain.

"We started a fund on go fund me under Luna's name," said Pellett. "It is called Luna-s Gift of Hope and all the proceeds are going to be going to CoCo's Heart Dog Rescue at Hudson, Wisconsin. Our goal right now is set at pretty high at $20,000. It is just what it would have cost to try to save Luna. So, if we could raise that and all those proceeds to help them save other dogs, out of the rescue, that'd be great."

Caress and Pellett said they are just trying to change their horrific experience into something positive.


Have You Ordered Your 'I Rescued My Best Friend' T-Shirt?: Let The World Know That You Are Proud To Have Rescued/Adopted Your Pet - Only 50 Will Be Made - Ends May 21st, So Order Yours Today

If you have ever adopted a pet, you may not know it…but YOU saved a life! Adopting is also know as 'rescuing' an animal. Some people adopt animals but never realize that they are saving the animals life. When you adopted your pet, you gave them a home, love and a second chance at life, a chance to be part of a family.

There is an animal shelter, called, Animal Allies, Inc., located in Fairfax County, Virginia.  They are a non-profit organization that relies solely on donations and volunteers to operate. They are dedicated to rescuing homeless and abandoned animals. They could use your help to care for the animals. Please help by purchasing this great T-shirt for $17.  All funds will go directly to Animal Allies of Fairfax, Virginia. Thank you.

I have setup a fundraiser to help Animal Allies, Inc., with the care of the animals. 

My fundraiser is called, Animal Allies of Fairfax Fundraiser, and I am selling t-shirts that I designed. The t-shirts are in both men and women's sizes. 

To learn more about my fundraiser, click here: You Can Help Raise $850 For Animal Allies, a Volunteer No Kill Organization Dedicated to the Rescue of Homeless and Abandoned Animals, With Your Purchase of a 'I Rescued My Best Friend' T-Shirt

The limit is only 50 t-shirts, after that, no more will be made.

To place your order now, click here: I Rescued My Best Friend

From the Author:

This is Jonas, a shih-tzu/yorkie mix. We adopted/rescued him from the Washington Humane Society, Washington, DC, on September 24, 2013, at 9-months-old. Needless, to say while he is adorable… he can be a little 'stinker' sometimes! Lol

Now, at almost 2 ½ years old, he is the 'love' of our lives! Yes, he is spoiled.

My husband I will proudly wear our shirts when walking Jonas, shopping, etc. We want to get the message out that it is better to 'adopt than to shop' for animals.

Animal shelters all over the United States are flowing over with animals in search of a loving home. As an animal advocate/lover, I am willing to help animals in anyway that I can. 

Please consider purchasing your t-shirt today. Your donation will help all of the animals at Animal Allies, Inc. and I am sure they will appreciate it.

If you would like to make an additional donation, there is a place on the fundraiser page for that.

If you have adopted/rescued a pet, may God bless you for saving a life!

Please share with friends, neighbors and co-workers. FOLLOW US!