The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : November 2017 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : November 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

These Store-Bought Bone Treats Could Kill Your Dog, FDA Warns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners about store-bought "bone treats," saying they have led to multiple reports of pet illnesses and even death.

In a consumer update, the FDA said they have received nearly 70 reports of pet illnesses related to "bone treats." The illnesses reported by owners and veterinarians include: 

Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
Bleeding from the rectum
Death. Approximately fifteen dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat.

To read more on this story, click here: These Store-Bought Bone Treats Could Kill Your Dog, FDA Warns 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Famous Elephant Tramples and Gores His Owner to Death in Thailand

A performing elephant, famous for his appearances in movies and commercials, recently trampled and gored his handler to death in Thailand.

Phlai Ekasit, a 32-year-old elephant who has spent most of his life in the entertainment industry, has turned on his handler. An English-language Thai news site called Khaosod English reported that the unprompted, yet enraged Asian elephant turned toward his handler, grabbed him with his trunk, and trampled and gored the man with his feet and tusks.

According to Agence France-Presse, witnesses at Chiang Mai Zoo said elephant handler Somsak Riangngern had just unchained the animal so that Ekasit could drink and bathe. Other handlers insist that Ekasit had never been violent, and that Somsak hadn’t agitated the elephant in any way that day.

To read more on this story, click here: Famous Elephant Tramples and Gores His Owner to Death in Thailand


Famous Elephant Tramples and Gores His Owner to Death in Thailand

A performing elephant, famous for his appearances in movies and commercials, recently trampled and gored his handler to death in Thailand.

Phlai Ekasit, a 32-year-old elephant who has spent most of his life in the entertainment industry, has turned on his handler. An English-language Thai news site called Khaosod English reported that the unprompted, yet enraged Asian elephant turned toward his handler, grabbed him with his trunk, and trampled and gored the man with his feet and tusks.

According to Agence France-Presse, witnesses at Chiang Mai Zoo said elephant handler Somsak Riangngern had just unchained the animal so that Ekasit could drink and bathe. Other handlers insist that Ekasit had never been violent, and that Somsak hadn’t agitated the elephant in any way that day.

To read more on this story, click here: Famous Elephant Tramples and Gores His Owner to Death in Thailand


Rescued Baby Bat Stuffs Her Cheeks With Banana After Being Hit By Car, And This Video Will Make Your Day

Has life got you down today? We’ve got exactly what you need to turn it around – a baby bat going absolutely HAM on a banana until her tiny cheeks are stuffed to the brim.

The young flying fox, lovingly named ‘Miss Alicia,’ was rescued in Queensland, Australia, after a scary encounter with a car left her in need of urgent care. She was taken into the loving arms of bat conservationist Denise Wade (Batzilla The Bat), and is poised to make a full recovery with no major injuries sustained. She’s also still managed to look adorable as hell in the aftermath, if you haven’t noticed.

While little Miss Alicia was resting and recharging, swaddled in a cozy blue towel, Wade shot a video of her feeding time. Given the fact that flying foxes have a known sweet tooth (their diet consists mostly of fruit and nectar), you can imagine how Alicia reacted when a fresh banana was presented to her. Scroll down to see the precious clip for yourself, and tell us in the comments if you’ve actually ever seen anything cuter.

To read more on this story, click here: Rescued Baby Bat Stuffs Her Cheeks With Banana After Being Hit By Car, And This Video Will Make Your Day


Bird Gets Lost and Accidentally Spawns a New Species

If you get lost at sea and find yourself on an island, you’d probably try to build a fire, pile some sticks and stones into a makeshift home and maybe even try to signal for help. When one misguided bird found himself in the same situation, he didn’t wallow in self-pity — he created his own entirely new species.

Over the past 36 years, scientists have been closely studying the incredible story of an entirely new bird species that seemingly came out of nowhere, and it all started with one poor finch who lost his way. The peculiar tale takes place on a remote island in the Galapagos chain tucked away in the Pacific Ocean and it’s helping scientists to understand how new species can form much faster than we typically imagine.

To read more on this story, click here: Bird Gets Lost and Accidentally Spawns a New Species


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Meet 8-Year-Old Shelby Counterman, and Her Pet Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

Shelby’s Oklahoma room is filled with thousands of roaches, but the pests don't bug her at all.

This second grader has been taking care of a colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches for the last five years as her pets.

She began with a small batch of male cockroaches, but she later decided that she wanted them to breed and brought in females.

The African insects, which have no wings and a single pair of antennae, began multiplying exponentially.

The girl's mother Meg says that her daughter first became interested in creepy crawlies when she was 18-months old.

However the invertebrate keeper was shocked when she heard a local news anchor, News on 6's, LeAnne Taylor, say that she detested the hissing bugs.

So Shelby sent a picture to the journalist and invited her to fight her fears and meet her beloved pets. 

The elementary school student keeps her pets in special plastic containers, as well as aquariums with vaseline linings to keep her prized possessions from escaping and scampering around the house.

The Countermans also keep a bearded dragon lizard named Toothless in case any members of the bug collection, which also includes Indian cockroaches, escape.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are one of the largest species of roach, and can grow up to three inches in length, according to Orkin.

Males make a hissing sound for mating by expelling air through slits in its stomach, though the bugs also make their namesake noise when they are alarmed.

The scavengers, active mostly at night, eat fruits and vegetables and can live for as long as five years.

Some states place restrictions on the importation of the roaches because of fear they could become an invasive species in the wild.


Friday, November 24, 2017

How to Keep Your Home Clean and Your Cat Healthy

Follow these tips to have a fresh smelling home, and a healthy cat!

Cleaning Up After Kitty
Your fabulous feline may think cat hair is the ultimate accessory. If you don’t agree, start by getting a good vacuum cleaner. Look for one with strong suction that has a pet hair attachment. Don’t forget to vacuum chairs and curtains. Wear wet rubber gloves and run your hands over your cat’s favorite spots. Brush tape, sticky-side out, over your clothes. Buy pet bedding that’s easy to clean. And if your kitty goes outside, place a washable cushion where she goes in and out to catch muddy paws.

Keeping Your Cat Clean
Cats do a good job of cleaning themselves, but yours may need a bath if he gets really dirty -- or if someone in your house has allergies. Start by trimming your cat’s nails to prevent scratches. You can do it yourself with cat nail clippers -- ask your vet to show you how. Brush your cat to remove loose hair or mats. Use only shampoo for cats or kittens and keep water out of his face and ears. Dry him with a towel or blow dryer on low. Give him a treat at the end, so he’ll start to associate a bath with something pleasant.

No More Fleas and Ticks
No matter what type of flea prevention you use -- spot-on-the-back, flea collar, pills, or shampoo -- follow the directions carefully. Don’t use products for adult cats on kittens, and never use dog products on cats. Whether prescription or over-the-counter, don't touch treated areas until they're dry.

Get Fleas out of the House
If your cat brings in fleas, it’s time for serious cleaning. Vacuum every day, including upholstered furniture, cracks in the floors, and along baseboards. Then replace the vacuum bag or wash the canister in warm, soapy water. Wash or replace any bedding where she sleeps (including yours), and consider steam cleaning your carpets. Use a flea comb on your cat, and then treat her with flea meds. Flea sprays are better than flea "bombs" to treat your home.

Loving the Litter Box
Cats are creatures of habit, even when it comes to their litter. Some like the clumping clay kind without a scent. Try a little baking soda on the bottom to help with odors. Scoop litter at least once a day. Dump it all out and wash the whole box once or twice a week for clay litter or every 2 to 3 weeks for clumping. And while you may like liners and covers, your cat may disagree. Liners can interfere with scratching. And, to cats, covered boxes can stink like port-o-potties.

Litter Box: Location, Location, Location
Like people, cats want a little privacy when they’re doing their business. But they also like to keep an eye on their surroundings. Tuck boxes out of sight but make them easy to reach, preferably at least one per level of your home. Keep them away from hot or loud appliances and noisy kids. Cats have sensitive noses, so keep smelly litter far from their food.

When Accidents Happen
Cats would rather use a litter box, so accidents are a sign something’s wrong. If your kitty’s upset about a change in your home, give her a little extra TLC. Don’t yell or punish her -- that will make things worse. Accidents also can be a sign of health problems like diabetes, kidney disease, urinary tract infections, or arthritis. Get her checked quickly before missing the box becomes a habit. Use an enzymatic cleaner to treat spots.

Why Do Cats Spray?
Spraying urine is how both male and female cats mark their territory. The urge is strongest if they haven't been fixed, so try to neuter or spay cats by age 5 months before the behavior starts. Stress can make your cat spray. So can scented cleaners, if he wants to cover the strange smell. Feed or play with him in areas he’s prone to mark. Keep likely targets -- new things, guests' belongings, and items he's already sprayed -- out of reach.

Keep Food Safe
Both people and animals can get food poisoning from spoiled pet food, so treat your cat’s food like you do your own. Don’t buy damaged packages. Store food in sealed containers. Refrigerate leftover wet food right away. Replace dry food every day. Wash your hands well after you feed your cat. Keep her food and dishes away from areas where you prepare and serve your meals.

When You're Allergic to Your Cat
As long as your allergy’s not serious, you don’t need to give up your kitty. Keep her out of your bedroom, and buy bedding made for people with allergies. Use air cleaners with high-tech filters. Special anti-allergy room sprays can clear the air, too. Avoid dust-catching rugs, curtains, and cloth furniture. Clean your house (and cat) often. Better yet, get someone else to do it. And talk to a doctor -- preferably a cat lover -- about medicine that will help.

Should You Declaw?
Declawing is much more serious than just removing a cat's nails. It usually involves taking out the last bone of each toe and can mean a life of problems for them. There are easier options. Cats need to scratch, so give yours scratching posts and toys. Teach them what’s off limits by using a squirt gun or noisemaker, not by yelling or swatting.

Can Cats Make You Sick?
It’s rare for healthy people to get sick from touching cats. Wash scratches and bites right away with water and mild soap. Always see a doctor for any bite, or if a scratch gets infected (red or swollen). Always wash your hands with soap after you clean litter boxes. If you’re using litter that can’t be flushed, throw away scoopings in sealed plastic bags.

Cats and Babies
Give your cat time to get ready for a new baby. Let him explore the nursery and get used to new smells like baby lotion. If you have to move his litter box, do it gradually. Let him get comfortable, but don’t let him nap on the nursery furniture. Cats cuddling up next to newborns can make it hard for babies to breathe. Close the door or tent the crib when your baby’s asleep to keep kitty out.


A Startup is Hiring a 'Social Petworking Coach' to Help People Make Their Furry Friends Instagram Stars

The bizarre world of social media fame has reached a new level of weirdness.

Petlandia, a London-based company that makes books featuring people's pets as the star, is looking for the world's first "social petworking coach" to help people turn their cat, dog, pig, or other animal friend into a social media star. 

Sound like a joke? It's not. According to Petlandia, one in six pet-owners have social media accounts for their pets (even Mark Zuckerberg's dog Beast has his own Facebook page), and celebrity pets can make enough money from product sponsorships and media appearances to keep their human parents financially afloat.

Job responsibilities for the Petworking coach include creating online webinars for interested humans around the globe, doing private consultations with VIP clients, and mentoring clients on social media best practices and strategies for growing online audiences.

To read more on this story, click here: A Startup is Hiring a 'Social Petworking Coach' to Help People Make Their Furry Friends Instagram Stars


‘Beautiful’ Bobcat Stuck in Car Grill Rescued on Thanksgiving

RICHMOND, Va. -- The director of Richmond Animal Care and Control saved a bobcat that was hit by a car on Thanksgiving.

Officials posted on Facebook that a person driving to work in Richmond Thursday morning knew that she had hit something.

However, it was not until the woman parked at VCU that she discovered she had hit a bobcat, which was still lodged in the grill of her car.

To read more on this story, click here: ‘Beautiful’ Bobcat Stuck in Car Grill Rescued on Thanksgiving


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Dog Kennels: When You Can’t Bring Them With You

As much as you might like to bring your dog on your travels, sometimes it’s just not possible or practical. And you may have used up all your pet-sitting favors from family and friends.

It’s time to go kennel shopping.

As with other travel arrangements, planning in advance is the key to success in making sure the kennel is a good fit for your best friend. The options (and prices) vary from spa-like to spartan, so take the time to get references and visit the place.

Go on a tour

Key signals separate good kennels from bad:

Cleanliness. It must smell as well as look clean–not just in the areas where your dog will stay, but also in play areas and other places your dog will go.
Ventilation. Is the air fresh, or is there a stale-air smell?

To read more on this story, click here:  Dog Kennels: When You Can’t Bring Them With You


4 Out of 5 Dogs Over The Age Eight Have This Painful Condition, But Usually Hide It Well

Just the thought our dogs suffering silently from hidden pain breaks the heart of any dog parent. Sadly, research shows that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 8 are suffering from some kind of joint pain.

And while we humans have the ability to reach for pain meds and talk to our doctor about symptoms, are precious pups do not. In fact, dogs are quite good at keeping their joint pain a secret.

Why do dogs hide signs of pain? As pack animals, not showing their suffering has clear survival benefits. The ancestors of modern dogs would commonly leave behind a member of the pack who was in pain and slowing down the group as a whole. As a result, dogs have learned to hide their pain very well.

To read more on this story, click here: 4 Out of 5 Dogs Over The Age Eight Have This Painful Condition, But Usually Hide It Well


Meet Newton, the 2017 Best in Show

After hours of competition across seven canine classes, Newton the Brussels Griffon took home Best in Show at the 2017 National Dog Show. The four-legged furries gathered in Oaks, Pennsylvania, last weekend and the show was broadcast Thanksgiving afternoon on NBC.

To read more on this story, click here: Meet Newton, the 2017 Best in Show


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Foods You should NOT Give Your Pets for Thanksgiving


Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving


10 Foods You Didnt Know Could Hurt Your Pup

You love to spoil your dog. Who doesn’t? Whether you feed your dog a home-cooked diet or you just like to share your food scraps with them, it’s important to know which foods can be harmful for your dog.

You probably already know some of these, but I’ll bet you don’t know all of them! Here are 10 foods you didn’t know could hurt your pup and what to do if your dog eats something they shouldn’t.

To read more on this story, click here: 10 Foods You Didn’t Know Could Hurt Your Pup


New Law Limits Dog Tethering To 30 Minutes In Freezing Temperatures

A new portion of Pennsylvania’s Libre’s Law mandates that pet owners cannot leave animals outside in freezing temperatures without adequate shelter for more than 30 minutes.

Area shelters are doing their best to warn citizens of the changes as temperatures begin to drop. Violations could result in fines and even jail time.

Possible penalties include fines ranging from $50 to $750, and up to 90 days in jail for minor offenses. More serious cases involving neglect and abuse could result in dog owners paying fines up to $15,000 and spending seven years in prison for a third-degree felony.

To read more on this story, click here: New Law Limits Dog Tethering To 30 Minutes In Freezing Temperatures


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Man Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison for Torturing 7 Dogs

Jason Brown will be locked up behind bars for 28 years; for four years on each count of torturing seven dogs.

He was arrested in July 2014 after a maid at a Super 8 Motel found a dog’s head in the bathtub. The room was covered with blood and dog limbs, and police found severed skin and heads.

The police finally arrested him, and was accused of five felony counts of willful torture of an animal. And once count of possession of a controlled substance. A close family friend testified that he felt rage, and killing dogs

People who sold dogs to Brown broke down crying when watching videos of skinning and torturing the dogs. But Brown refused to watch the video.

Although he was a drug addict with one of the worst addictions ever, the judge did not allow that to get him off of the charges. And was sentenced to 28 years in prison. In 11 years, he will be eligible for parole.

We are just glad that this cowardly monster is finally where he belongs – behind bars. There he can no longer hurt any innocent animals.


Monday, November 20, 2017

A Dog's Last Will and Testament

I did not write this poem, I am sharing. I must warn you that tissues are a requirement.


Tweets About The White House Turkey Pardon Are Hilariously Brutal

Every year, one lucky turkey is publicly pardoned by the White House right before Thanksgiving festivities begin. In the spirit of this time-honored tradition, the Trump administration tweeted out a poll asking civilians to choose one turkey for pardoning day. The responses were... erm... probably not quite what Trump's team was looking for. Tweets about the White House turkey pardon are hilariously brutal, and probably the best Thanksgiving gift any of us could ask for.

On Nov. 20, the Trump administration decided to do a little last-minute crowdsourcing on Twitter, asking,

To read more on this story, click here: Tweets About The White House Turkey Pardon Are Hilariously Brutal


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Raccoon Diseases Transmitted To Humans Or Dogs

What Diseases Can Raccoons Transmit To Pets And Humans - With their inquisitive nature and their clever and innovative ways of getting to food, along with their adorable features, there is no doubt that raccoons can be very cute and in some areas have become quite friendly where they are regularly fed by humans. Unfortunately, this contact between humans and raccoons can lead to several diseases being transmitted. It is also worth noting that there are several diseases that can also be transmitted to domestic pets such as cats and dogs by raccoons, which does mean that raccoons are not the best neighbors when they live side by side with people and their pets.


One of the most important things to be aware of when getting close to a raccoon is that around a third of the documented cases of animals carrying rabies in the United States every year are raccoons. Signs that a raccoon may have rabies can include unusually aggressive behavior, frothing at the mouth and stumbling as though they are injured or disorientated. It is vital to stay away from animals displaying these symptoms, as rabies is transmitted by a bite or scratch, and can have significant consequences for people and domestic pets. 

If you or a pet is bitten or scratched by a raccoon, then it is important to speak to your physician or to your local vet to take a test to see if rabies has been contracted. Because of the widespread awareness of the threat of rabies, and prompt responses by those attacked by rabid raccoons, there is only one known case of a human fatality caused by the transmission of rabies from a raccoon to a person. 

To read more on this story, click here; Raccoon Diseases Transmitted To Humans Or Dogs


New Study Finds That Apes Can Also Experience a Kind of Midlife Crisis

Across many cultures, people report a dip in happiness during their late-40s, a time when they generally feel less satisfied with their lives than they do in their younger and older years.

Apes, too, experience a kind of midlife crisis, found a new study. The surprising result suggests that the middle-aged blues may be a result of biology, not culture, and its evolutionary roots run deep.

"It was an astounding thing for us to find this pattern, to be honest," said Andrew Oswald, an economist and behavioral scientist at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. "It may be that the midlife crisis is driven by primate biology in a way we don 't understand, and if that 's the case, we all have to learn how to deal with it."

"I think it 's helpful for people to understand this dip," he added. "With luck, this could people them see that this is completely normal and that could help them get through it."

Studies in more than 50 countries over the past 20 years have revealed a near-universal pattern. Over the course of life, happiness tends to follow a U-shaped curve, with people ranking their sense of well-being higher in the first and last decades of life than in the middle.

The low point generally strikes between age 45 and 50 for both men and women, and the pattern crosses economic and demographic lines.

For each animal, zookeepers, researchers or caretakers answered four questions about the well-being of their primate friends, including whether the apes seemed to be in good or bad moods. The humans also ranked how happy they thought they 'd be if they were to become the animal for a week. They had spent time with the animals for at least two years and knew them well.

Apes live to be about 50 or 55 years old and, just like in people, results showed a drop in happiness that reached its lowest point about halfway through the animals ' lives, the researchers report today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The magnitude of the dip was on par with the dips in happiness that people experience in their middle age, Oswald said. He compared the difference between the apes ' highs and lows to the loss in well-being that people report with marital separation.

The new findings help rule out some theories for midlife slumps in humans, said Arthur Stone, a psychologist in the psychiatry department at Stony Brook University in New York. For example, a whole generation of people can end up feeling less happy at a certain time in their lives simply because of some external historical situation. But that is unlikely to happen in societies of apes.

Instead, it might be chemical or physical changes in our bodies that influence how our feelings morph throughout our lifetimes.

"What this really starts to point to is that maybe there are biological things that we just don 't know about," Stone said. "Maybe there are changes in the brain, changes in how neurotransmitters work or changes in how hormones work that relate to how people view their lives and how animals feel. People will be looking at this more seriously, I think."

Apes Giggle Like Humans


Have You Heard About Poodle Cats? Take a Look!

In 1987, a mutant kitten was born in Montana with hair like a poodle. Named Miss DePesto, this kitten grew up and birthed curly kittens of her own. As the curly cat family tree grew, Miss DePesto's descendants eventually became recognized as a new breed: the Selkirk Rex.

Now, 25 years and about nine kitty generations later, researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Austria, have confirmed that these felines are genetically distinct from previously known breeds, making Selkirk Rex the fourth curly-haired cat breed known.

The genetic quirk that makes a Selkirk Rex's hair kink is a dominant trait. This makes the trait easy for breeders to retain even while crossing breeding to maintain genetic diversity. Selkirk Rex is usually crossed with Persians or British Shorthairs, making it a particularly laid back cat.

And while the Selkirk Rex is one of four curly-haired cat breeds, it easily has the best hair. Devon Rex and Cornish Rex are breeds with curly, downy, super-short hair, prone to balding, while the unimaginatively named LaPerm breed has curly hair of average length hair -- but not nearly as plush and thick as Selkirk Rex. Miss DePesto would be proud.

Check out some of these good looking mutant kitties below.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Gruesome Death of a Beloved Pet at an Upscale Boarding Facility for Dogs Has Left its Owner Distraught and Grieving

Now, her lawsuit over the demise of the 4.5-pound teacup Yorkie, attacked by a Labrador mix puppy seeks to prove that animals are far more than property.

Falen LaPonzina filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court last week against Wagtime Too, which operates doggy day care and boarding facilities in Washington. She alleges that the business was negligent in allowing her dog, Dax, to be kept alongside another canine four times its weight. She is seeking $150,000 in damages.

But LaPonzina said she wants more than money. She wants the courts to recognize the role pets play in the lives of their owners. She said the 12-year-old Dax, with a giant underbite, was a friendly and loyal companion who had been a constant through her transient twenties and thirties.

“I had no idea when I dropped my dog off there I would never see him again,” LaPonzina said. “Yorkies live to be 18 to 20 years old. He had many good years left.”

Wagtime Too has denied that the business was negligent in its care of the dog. Lisa Schreiber, a co-owner, said the dog’s death was a “freak accident.” She said that an employee had been watching all the dogs and that by the time he saw the lab mix attacking Dax, it was too late.

LaPonzina said she traveled to Alaska in July, dropping off Dax at Wagtime Too, which advertises itself as a cage-free facility. There are two locations in the District, where owners can board their pets for $55 a night. LaPonzina, a 36-year-old lawyer, and Dax had been regulars at the company’s facilities, first in Shaw and later in Navy Yard, since 2010.

LaPonzina said she did not check her phone during her week-long cruise. But when she got off the ship in Canada, she found missed calls and messages from Wagtime Too indicating there had been an emergency. Dax was dead.

An 18-pound Labrador mix puppy had picked up the teacup Yorkie with its mouth, and moments later the miniature dog was no longer breathing, Schreiber said in an interview.

The Labrador, a rescue, was screened before it came to Wagtime and never displayed aggressive behavior, she said. After the incident, the dog was evaluated by a canine-behavior specialist who also found no signs of violence in the rescue dog. The Labrador has since been adopted by a woman with no children and no other dogs.

“This is not anything that anyone who works for me could have prevented,” Schreiber said. “I do want people to understand this is a cage-free facility, and there are inherent risks here. We are not negligent here, but it is horrible that it happened.”

Bruce Wagman, a partner at Schiff Hardin in San Francisco who specializes in animal law, said that a six-figure settlement awarded to LaPonzina would be an unprecedented amount in the death of an animal.

That seems an unlikely outcome, however, Wagman said.

If someone intentionally kills a pet, it occasionally might yield a significant penalty. But for LaPonzina to receive a sizable settlement, Wagman said, she would have to prove that Wagtime was not just negligent but had intentionally killed Dax. When owners do receive significant cash settlements for the death of a pet, such as when a police officer kills a dog during a home raid, Wagman said, it is typically because the officer violated the civil rights of the homeowners, not because their pet is dead.

“Every state, in every court everywhere, animals are considered property,” Wagman said. “That said, there is no question that courts are more and more appreciating that animals are not like computers. They are not vases, and they’re not books.”

This is not the first time Wagtime has faced complaints about its care of animals or how it operates its facilities.

In 2015, a dog walker dropped the leash of a 9-month-old puppy being boarded overnight, and the dog was struck by a car. Its owner sued, but the case was settled out of court.

Wagtime ran into trouble in 2003 for moving into a now-closed location near Logan Circle without a certificate of occupancy. It also squabbled with neighbors over noise and cleanliness complaints.

LaPonzina’s lawsuit also accuses Wagtime Too of not having the correct license to operate its Navy Yard location. Dog-care facilities operate under a D.C. basic business license, and the District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs said the Navy Yard location has not been issued one. On Nov. 3 the owners applied for a certificate of occupancy, which is not the same as a business license.

Schreiber said that she has been in touch with city agencies and that the absence of a license is the result of a paperwork error. Matt Orlins, a spokesman for the DCRA, said there is no evidence of a clerical error.

Wagtime see hundreds of dogs a day, and until Dax, none had ever died in its facilities, Schreiber said.

Last week she sent a letter to customers informing them of the July death of Dax and ensuring them that their canines are safe in Wagtime’s care. “This incident was not in any way caused by negligence,” the notice stated.

LaPonzina said she will be going beyond the courts and pushing for regulatory reform in the D.C. government to tighten operating standards for dog-boarding facilities.

“Dax was just so adorable, you couldn’t ever be mad at him — you couldn’t not love him,” LaPonzina said. “This dog has been through it all with me.”


Alaskan Town's Polar Bear Problem Leads to Tourism Boom

Polar bears are an enduring symbol of the wild arctic, a mighty beast that has made its home in punishing terrains. But in recent years, the polar bear has come to embody something else: A creature caught in a world that’s disappearing under its feet.

Each fall, the bears descend in hordes on the tiny Alaskan village of Kaktovik, located on Barter Island, hugging the state’s northern coast.

And the bears are hungry.

Polar bears wandering into the town, with its population of just 239 people, proved to be such a problem there that a polar bear patrol now sweeps the streets looking for the animals.

To read more on this story, click here: Alaskan Town's Polar Bear Problem Leads to Tourism Boom


Woman Turns Old Dressers Into Cozy Personalized Dog Beds

These aren’t your typical dog beds. Behold the “Sheltie shacks.”

Kaylee Robertson, an emergency medical technician from Shetland, Scotland, makes custom, personalized dog beds out of old dressers.

She said she likes to “provide pets with their own little ‘safe haven’ that they can sleep happy in.”

“Let’s be honest, your typical dog bed is pretty ugly!” Robertson, 27, wrote to ABC News in an email. “They're normally these limp, dull, lifeless, smelly things that just lie in the corner. My hope is that by providing a bed which is also a piece of furniture, the dog is introduced more into the living area.”

To read more on this story, click here: Woman Turns Old Dressers Into Cozy Personalized Dog Beds


What to Do If a Dog Attacks You While Running

Dogs and runners have a love/hate relationship. As a runner, we are invading their turf, putting their owners in danger, moving fast enough to look interesting and tasty, or just have some bright colors on that makes the dog think that we are a toy.

There are a lot of reasons for a dog to chase us, and for the most part they are valid reasons. Sometimes the dog just wants to play with us, or to come over and say hi, and sometimes the dog wants to hunt and maim us.

Whether you run in the park or around town, chances are you've come across a dog or two during your miles. And while some are friendly, leashed, and only want to play with you, others can cause panic as you wonder if you're going to be attacked.

Unfortunately stories of runners being confronted by dogs are becoming more common as irresponsible owners dump their unwanted pets or improperly restrain them. But you don't need to stop your workout to stay safe.

Roo Yori, a dog trainer who specializes in pit bull rehabilitation and the proud owner of the famous and beloved therapy pit bulls Wallace and Hector, offers advice on how to deal with an unknown or aggressive dog.

Don't Run:
Tough advice for a runner, but Roo explains that while your natural instinct may be to flee, you need to fight that. "Unless you know for sure you can get behind a barrier of some sort that will separate you from the dog, running away or screaming is most likely going to make the situation worse. Chances are, you're not going to out-run a dog, and the act of running will probably activate the chase instinct present in all dogs."

Most of the time, the best thing is become motionless, Roo says. So think of making your body like a post and fold your arms across your chest. "If you're boring and don't engage the dog, it will most likely sniff your leg and move on," Roo says. "Wait until the dog is a good distance from you, and move quietly to a safe area."

Be a Rock:
If the dog still attacks you and manages to knock you over, Roo says to curl up and cover your head, like the tornado drills you did in school, pulling your face down into your chest and covering your neck with your hands. He reiterates that if you're boring, the dog is much more likely to simply leave you alone.

Take Precautions:
If you're particularly concerned, you can carry a canister of pepper spray or mace with you, and Roo adds that there are citronella versions that also work well. But the best prevention is to know your route. Avoid any areas where owners allow their dogs to roam, and if you're trying a new path, drive it a few times first to see if you notice anything unsafe, canine-related or otherwise. Then simply stay aware while running. "If you notice an unknown dog ahead of you that you're not comfortable with, the sooner you stop and keep your distance-without running away-the better chance you'll have at avoiding an encounter," Roo says.

For more information on dog attacks, visit the website below:
How to Handle a Dog Attack 


Friday, November 17, 2017

Ellen DeGeneres Launches Campaign to Save Elephants After Trump Ends Trophy Ban

Trump’s overturning of the Obama administration ban on elephant trophies in Zimbabwe and Zambia being imported into America sparked outrage from animal rights activists.

Ellen used her talk show yesterday to proclaim her love for elephants and detail her shock at the Trump’s administration’s decision. She said: ‘I love elephants. And if you take the time to learn about elephants, you would love them too.’

To read more on this story, click here: Ellen DeGeneres Launches Campaign to Save Elephants After Trump Ends Trophy Ban


Facing Public Outrage, Trump Puts Elephant Trophy Decision ‘On Hold’

WASHINGTON — In the face of widespread public backlash, President Donald Trump announced late Friday that he has suspended his decision to reverse an Obama-era ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. 

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,” he posted to Twitter. He adding that the issue has been “under study for years” but that he would soon provide an update.

As HuffPost reported Wednesday, the administration decided to lift the ban after determining that sport hunting in those African countries will help conserve the species, a spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed.

To read more on this story, click here: Facing Public Outrage, Trump Puts Elephant Trophy Decision ‘On Hold’


Hunters Will Soon Bring Elephant Head Trophies Into U.S.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The Trump Administration plans to remove an Obama-era ban on importing elephant head trophies.

That means big game hunters could soon bring their elephant head trophies into the U.S. if they were killed on legal hunts in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

For decades, African countries have struggled to save elephants. An estimated 30,000 are slaughtered by poachers every year for their ivory tusks.

In the 1970s, Africa had an estimated 1.3 million wild elephants. Now only a half a million remain.
But a statement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says legal, well-regulated sport hunting of elephants can help save the animals by giving local communities a financial incentive to protect them.

To read more on this story, click here: Hunters Will Soon Bring Elephant Head Trophies Into U.S.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Trump To Lift Ban On Import Of Elephant Trophies From 2 African Nations

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will reverse an Obama-era ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia after determining that sport hunting in those countries will help conserve the species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed Wednesday. 

The decision was made public not by the federal agency but via a celebratory news release early Tuesday from Safari Club International, a trophy hunting advocacy group that, along with the National Rifle Association, sued to block the 2014 ban. 

Greg Sheehan, principal deputy director of the FWS, broke the news to the hunting organization during the African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) in Tanzania, an agency spokesperson told HuffPost. The forum, which runs through Friday, is being hosted by the Safari Club International Foundation and the United Republic of Tanzania. 

African elephants have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1978. A provision of the law, however, allows for sport-hunted trophies to be imported if the government determines that hunting will help safeguard the population.

To read more on this story, click here: Trump To Lift Ban On Import Of Elephant Trophies From 2 African Nations


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Does Your Cat Pee Outside of the Litter Box?

If your cat is ditching the litter box and peeing just about everywhere else in the house, it can easily become a problem for pet parents. Between the constant cleaning and the strong smell, a cat that is not using the litter box properly can be a source of frustration. But why do cats pee outside of the box and what can you do about it? Here are some common causes of litter box problems.

Addressing Inappropriate Urination
While it’s understandably upsetting to find cat pee around the house, owners need to recognize that cats aren’t being bad when they “go” outside the box. They are simply behaving in a way that addresses their needs at the time. There are numerous reasons why a cat might pee outside the box, but with a little investigation (and possibly a trip to the vet’s office), you should be able to determine what needs to be done to stop your cat’s inappropriate urination. Here are the top 10 ways to stop your cat from peeing outside the litter box.

Thoroughly Clean Up the Mess
Be sure to thoroughly clean all areas where your cat has peed outside the box. You want to be sure you’ve eliminated the odor, not just for your own sake, but also so the smell doesn’t draw your cat back to that same spot. Use a black light and your nose to identify all the problem areas. If you are dealing with fresh urine, first blot up as much as possible with paper or cloth towels. Next (and for older spots), pick the best cleaning method based on what has been soiled. Hard surfaces can be thoroughly cleaned with your favorite household cleaning solution. Use your washing machine for bedding, towels, etc. Rugs and upholstery are best cleaned with an enzymatic or bacterial cleaner, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to maximize their effectiveness.

Define the Problem
When you discover pee where it doesn’t belong, you need to determine whether it is the result of spraying or urination. Cats urinate outside the litter box and spray for different reasons, and they require different types of treatment. When cats spray, they usually stand in front of a vertical surface and squirt a relatively small amount of urine on it. If you are finding a splatter of urine on the wall, your cat is probably spraying. When cats urinate, they usually squat and leave behind a larger amount of urine on a horizontal surface.

Tackle the Problem Quickly
You want to address spraying or urination outside of the litter box quickly, before it becomes normal behavior for your cat. When it comes to spraying, intact male cats are the most notorious offenders. All cats who are not going to be part of a breeding program should be neutered, ideally before puberty. If your neutered cat is spraying, try making him feel more secure in his territory. In a multi-cat household, it may help to provide separate living areas for each cat. If this is not feasible, provide elevated perches, hiding places, and covered escape routes so cats can easily avoid each other. Over-the counter anxiety-relieving products may also help cats who are spraying. If all else fails, your veterinarian can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication like fluoxetine.

Add Additional Litter Boxes
If you’ve determined that your cat is urinating inappropriately rather than spraying, it’s time to take a close look at your litter box. First, how many do you have? One litter box is often just not enough. The general rule of thumb is one box per cat, plus an extra one. Cats can be very picky about using a box that already contains urine or feces, particularly if that urine or feces is not their own. The more litter boxes you have, the more likely your cat is to find one that suits his fancy.

Address Litter Box Location
Think about where you have the litter boxes located. If you have multiple stories in your home, you'll want at least one on each floor. Think about it: if you were on the second floor of your house, would you want to run all the way downstairs to use the bathroom? Neither does your cat. And when litter boxes are too tucked away, say inside cabinets or in the corner of a basement laundry room, cats may not bother to go find them. Making it convenient for your cat to use the litter box will often alleviate problems. Finally, if your cat keeps peeing in the same spot, try placing a litter box over that area, and then slowly moving it to a more appropriate location.

Try a Different Box
An enclosed litter box may fit nicely within your decorating standards and help contain the mess and odor, but your cat may not agree. Enclosed boxes can be small, dark, smelly and difficult to turn around in—not conducive to cats doing their business. You also want to make sure the sides of your litter box are low enough for your cat to easily step over—especially as he reaches old age.

The ideal litter box is large, open, and has low sides or at least one low spot to ease access. It can be difficult to find litter boxes that have these characteristics in pet supply stores, but they are easy to make using plastic under-bed storage boxes.

Clean Your Litter Box Regularly
A filthy litter box is almost guaranteed to send a cat elsewhere to pee. Cats are very clean creatures by nature. Would you want to go walking barefoot through your cat's litter box? Well, if it’s dirty, neither does he. At a minimum, litter boxes should be scooped out once a day and dumped, washed, and refilled every month.

Check the Type of Litter
Heavily perfumed litter may seem the better choice (who wouldn’t want to smell perfume rather than a dirty litter box?), but cats tend to disagree. Their noses are more sensitive than ours, so what seems pleasant to us can be overpowering to them. They also like to stick with the familiar, so a cat may urinate outside the litter box if you suddenly switch to a new type of litter. Studies have shown that among cats, the all-around favorite litter type is an unscented, clumping clay litter containing activated charcoal. If you want to try this (or any) type of litter for the first time, make sure you have at least one box in the house that contains the old type of litter…just in case.

Observe Social Dynamics
Conflicts between multiple cats, or the introduction of a new cat, may cause inappropriate urination. If your cats got into an altercation in or near the litter box, he may choose to avoid the box rather than suffer through a repeat occurrence. Separate the cats for a while to let the tensions fade, and then try gradually reintroducing them. Make sure you have several litter boxes spaced out throughout the house so one cat can’t prevent access to all the boxes at the same time.

Consult Your Veterinarian
If inappropriate urination has become an issue with your cat, the most important thing you can do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your cat's doctor will take a complete history and perform a physical exam, urinalysis, and perhaps some other diagnostic tests to determine if the problem is medical rather than behavioral in origin. Urinary tract inflammation, diabetes, and kidney disease are just three of the common health issues that can make cats urinate outside of the litter box. If your cat is given a clean bill of health, your veterinarian can then help you move on to addressing environmental or behavioral issues that may be playing a role.