The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : March 2018 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : March 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

This Case Shows Why Dog Breeders Need to Be Regulated

(CNN)It's hard to imagine a mansion serving as a house of horrors. But that's exactly what it looked like inside of Christina Fay's Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, home last June, when 75 Great Danes — yes, 75 — were found in horrible conditions.

The charging documents I obtained lay out the disturbing details: sores on the legs, lesions covering the body, ear infections and conjunctivitis in their eyes. Some dogs had even gone blind. Many were forced to either lay down in or walk through feces and dangerously high ammonia levels. There was little light or ventilation, the documents say, and food and water was scarce.

To read more on this story, click here: This Case Shows Why Dog Breeders Need to Be Regulated 


Little Old Lady Arrested for Making Fur Coats with Neighbor’s Cats

Waco | An 85-year-old Texas woman has been arrested by local law enforcement after being caught on film kidnapping one of her neighbor’s cats with which she is accused of making fur coats.

The recent disappearance of domestic animals in the neighborhood started to arise suspicion from local residents when some people started to notice the old lady’s particular fur coats, some even recognizing their cats in the coat’s furs, a fact the lady vehemently denied before being caught on videotape by a private detective hired by local residents to follow the suspicious lady.

To read more on this story, click here: Little Old Lady Arrested for Making Fur Coats with Neighbor’s Cats


Elephant Gives Birth In Middle Of Safari, But Watch Incredible Moment Herd Suddenly Charges In

Giving birth is one of the most incredible moments a mom can ever experience. It’s also one of the most secretive, at least for human moms – they’re always squirreled away in a private hospital room, away from prying eyes.

Usually it’s mom, dad, and random hospital staff that first greet the baby as he or she comes bursting forth into the world. But for wild elephants, it’s an entirely different story. The whole herd is there to say hello to their newest little tribe member!

In this video clip, a group of lucky tourists on safari actually got to witness the intimate meet-and-greet as it unfolded. People go on safari so they can get the chance to observe mother nature up close and personal, so of course there was tons of excitement in their voices when they realize they’re getting exactly what they came to see!

To read more on this story, click here: Elephant Gives Birth In Middle Of Safari, But Watch Incredible Moment Herd Suddenly Charges In


Meet Chesty XV, the New Marine Corps Mascot

A new Marine recruit will be stepping his little paws on the famous yellow footprints on his way to becoming the Corps’ newest mascot.

English bulldog recruit Chesty XV starts training next week to replace the retiring Chesty XIV, according to Marine officials.

But don’t expect drill instructors in this pup’s face: He’ll shadow Chesty XIV as part of his training before he is ready to participate in official Marine ceremonies.

“He will remain as ‘recruit’ until he gets promoted before he officially takes over as the Marine Corps mascot next year,” Marine spokeswoman Capt. Colleen McFadden told Marine Corps Times.

To read more on this story, click here: Meet Chesty XV, the New Marine Corps Mascot


South Korea: High Tech and Highly Controversial, Industry of Dog Cloning

Three years after losing her beloved dog, Trouble, the love of Danielle Tarantola's life returned from the dead.

A new puppy she named Double Trouble is an exact genetic replica of the original, developed in a petri dish by South Korean scientists in what has become a growing, high-tech and highly-controversial, industry of dog cloning.

Cloning first entered public debate in 1996, when researchers at the Roslin Institute in Scotland successfully produced Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal. Dolly opened the door for researchers across the globe to attempt to clone other animals, and there have since been successful horse, deer, cattle, dog and cat clones.

However, the laboratory environment in which these clones are developed, the surrogate mother animals who are charged with carrying the embryo clones to term, and the resulting multiple clones that sometimes have deformities are just some of the animal welfare red flags bioethicists raise with animal cloning.

Tarantola's journey to get Double Trouble started when she was 18 and she got a lovable mutt she named Trouble. She was so enamored with her new puppy, she painted Trouble's face on a wall in her house, printed his face on her pillows and on her bedspread, and dressed him up in an elaborate costumes.

"When I got married ... I had him in a tuxedo," Tarantola said. "I loved him to death. I couldn't, no, I probably did love him more than some people who were involved in my life."

Trouble died when he was nearly 18 years old, and Tarantola was crushed.

"He was like my baby," she said. "I didn't have children, so he was basically like my son. It was terrible. It was heartbreaking."

It was then that she reached out to an animal cloning company in South Korea and the only place in the world where people can have their dogs cloned.

The cost: $100,000.

At the time, Tarantola had recently lost her job on Wall Street and convinced the company to let her pay $50,000 instead because her journey was being chronicled by TLC for an upcoming hour-long special, "I Cloned My Pet," which airs on Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET.

"I was willing to do it for $100,000," Tarantola said. "I got a deal."

A few months ago, Tarantola got a phone call from the company's scientists, who informed her that the surrogate mother dog carrying the embryos developed from Trouble's DNA was successfully impregnated. Weeks later, the surrogate went into labor in the middle of the night, and Tarantola watched the birth over Skype.

But not all clients are so lucky. Quite often, the clones do not survive because of abnormalities or multiple clones are successfully birthed and the client only wants one dog -- but those are just part of the reason the dog cloning business is so fiercely controversial.

John Woestendiek, the author of "Dog, Inc.," a book about the dog cloning industry, said the practice is based in South Korea because it's a country with much lower ethical standards for the treatment of dogs than is the United States.

"You can rent [dogs] from farmers for the laboratory and, hopefully, everything goes OK, return them to the farmer, but everything's not going to go OK," Woestendiek said.

Woestendiek said some of the dogs used in the cloning process as egg donors or surrogate mothers are later sent back to the farms where they are killed and eaten. In South Korea, dogs are raised on farms for their meat.

Tarantola said she inquired about the treatment of the surrogate mom dog that carried Double Trouble to term when she paid the firm.

"I wouldn't sacrifice one dog for another," she said. "In no way, not even to get what I wanted, would I do that."

The firm told Tarantola and ABC News that the surrogate used, as well as all of their surrogates, are sent to a "nice farm" to live, but Woestendiek was skeptical.

"It sort of sounds like, you know, what you tell your kids when the dog dies: 'He's gone off to this lovely little farm,'" he said.

Woestendiek is also concerned not just with the industry but that cloning dogs puts mankind on a slippery slope towards human cloning.

"That's one of the things that initially intrigued me, the first time we were cloning a loved one -- that it's the closest to man we're come to cloning man, by most accounts and that once we've cloned man's best friend, how far behind might man be?" he said.

Tarantola's focus remained on the little clone puppy that arrived at her New York City home just a few weeks ago.

"I looked in the little case [Double Trouble] was in, and I was looking at his face, and I said, I couldn't believe it," she said. "It's amazing. Everything is the same. Even the personality is the same. What Trouble used to do, [Double Trouble] does."

Although she admitted having her "old" dog back as a clone was "weird," Tarantola was thrilled to have this new puppy.

"I do know Trouble is gone, the original Trouble," she said. "But I do feel like [Double Trouble is] so much, he looks like him and the personality, everything is exactly the same, that it's like having the same dog over again."

While Tarantola is convinced that this new Trouble is similar to the old beloved friend, the truth is, Woestendiek said, there is no guarantee that will be the case with these cloned dogs.

"You're not really getting your dog come back to life," he said. "You're getting a genetic duplicate or twin, and we know how different twins can be. I mean, what's special about your dog, that's the part that can't be cloned. In effect, the person who is getting a dog clone is paying $100,000 to get a blank canvas."

Despite the criticism, Tarantola is undeterred. In the process of making Double Trouble, another clone also survived and will arrive at her house in a few weeks. She said she is thinking about naming him Triple Trouble.


Are Essential Oils Potentially Harmful for Your Pets? And If So, What Precautions Should Pet Parents be Taking?

If you have been on social media lately, you may have seen articles or posts concerning essential oils, oil diffusers and the potential danger they may pose to your pets. Essential oils have been, for a long time, a popular home remedy for a number of maladies including nasal congestion, anxiety, sore muscles and skin conditions, among others. With the sudden popularity of oil diffusers—an easy way to release these oils into your home—there has been an emergence of alarm about how these oils may affect animals in the home. So, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants shed some light on this trending topic.

Are essential oils potentially harmful for your pets? And if so, what precautions should pet parents be taking?

The answer, as we so often see, is slightly more complicated than a simple “yes,” or “no.”  

In their concentrated form (100%), essential oils can absolutely be a danger for pets. Dogs and cats who have either walked through oils, gotten some on their coat or had oils placed directly on them can develop health concerns.

Symptoms include:
  • Unsteadiness on the feet
  • Depression
  • Low body temperature (in severe cases)
If a pet ingested concentrated essential oils, you may see vomiting, diarrhea and depression, as well.

Are some oils/scents more dangerous than others?
Some oils may in fact be more harmful than others. However, there are several factors that affect this such as concentration level, and what the product is mixed with. For example, concentrated forms of tea tree oil (melaleuca oil) may cause issues for your pets with only seven or eight drops, whereas another oil may take more or less. Due to the variability in concentration, formulation and possible quality of essential oils, it is best to completely avoid directly applying them to your pet. You should also keep any oils up and out of paws' reach to prevent potential ingestion. 

So, does that mean you should return your diffuser?

According to APCC, not necessarily. Using an oil diffuser for a short time period in a secured area— one that your dog or cat cannot access—is not likely to be an issue.

However, if your pet has a history of breathing problems, it may be best to avoid using one altogether. Keep in mind, that your pets have a much better sense of smell than we do, so something that seems light to us may be overwhelming to them.   

If you do decide to keep your diffuser, you’ll want to ensure that it is in a place where your pet cannot knock it over and potentially expose themselves to the oils. The best way to avoid exposing your pets to dangerous substances is always to err on the side of caution and by “pet-proofing” your space.

While these same concerns with essential oils will apply to other pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, it is best to avoid using an essential oil diffuser in your house if you have birds. Birds’ respiratory tracts are very sensitive, and they may develop more serious problems if you use a diffuser.


Preserving Beloved Pets After Death Through Stuffing and Freeze Drying Has Gradually Become Another Option for Owners

Mary Kaufman of Lonoke, Ark., still sleeps near her beloved Yorkshire terrier Brittney, even though the dog is long dead.

After Brittney died last year at age 14, Kaufman, 64, bypassed the pet cemetery and backyard burial to have the little dog stuffed and freeze-dried. Kaufman said being able to still look at and touch the deceased pet made her feel like Brittney, her loyal companion, was still with her.

"Brittney represents a lot to me," Kaufman said. "I lost a husband and I lost a son and I had Brittney during that time. When we lose a family member, we don't just forget about them and just move on. They're still a part of our lives. That doesn't mean I have to let go of the past."

Pets are a huge industry in the United States. The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans will spend almost $53 billion on their pets this year. The association's 2011-12 National Pet Owners Survey says roughly 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes.

Preserving beloved pets after death through stuffing and freeze-drying has gradually become another option for owners.

Daniel Ross, 35, a professional taxidermist who preserved Brittney, is the owner of Xtreme Taxidermy, a burgeoning business he runs out of a shed in the front yard of his home in, of all places, Romance, Ark.

"If you raise something for 15, 20 years, it's not just simply a pet anymore. It's part of the family," Ross said. "Some people think it's weird ... but I can tell you that for all the customers that I've had, and I've seen the joy and happiness, the peace that it brings back to their life to have their beloved cat or dog or whatever back, it's worth it."

In his office, Ross has freeze dryers packed with pets from across the country. It costs about $500 to $700 to have an average-sized dog stuffed with cotton and freeze dried. The process takes months, and people don't just send their cats and dogs. Ross has received a prized rooster and a hairless rat, among other odd requests.

Ross said one Texas woman paid a few hundred dollars to have him pose her deceased spider monkey with an empty can of her late husband's favorite beer glued to its hand. She then wanted her husband's ashes poured into the empty can.

Such unique requests garnered Ross and his business their own reality TV series on Animal Planet called "American Stuffers," with each episode ending with a pet owner reuniting with his dearly departed. But Ross said he didn't get into the pet preservation business to make money.

"I'm a professional. I'm not some backwoods taxidermist," he said. "It's an odd way to make a living, and trust me ... I never would've thought that I'd be working on somebody's beloved pet and being on TV, or anything like that."

Kaufman also appeared on an episode of "American Stuffers," which showed the great lengths she took to make preserving Brittney possible, including keeping the dog in her freezer for "a couple of weeks." Kaufman added that she doesn't care if people think she is "crazy" and said she plans to have Brittney buried with her when her time comes.

"A lot of people do choose to bury their animals, or have them cremated. If that is what they choose, I think that is fine, but I don't think that anybody should criticize anybody for what you do with your pet," she said.

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United Suspends New Bookings for Pets in Cargo After Loading 3 Dogs Onto Wrong Flights

United Airlines is suspending new reservations for pets traveling in the cargo compartment after three dogs were loaded onto the wrong planes last week and a fourth died in an overhead bin.

United will honor reservations that have already been confirmed for PetSafe, its program for pets traveling in cargo, the airline said Tuesday. The suspension does not affect pets traveling with their owners in the cabin.

“We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets,” United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said in an emailed statement.

The airline said it would complete the review by May 1.

To read more on this story, click here: United Suspends New Bookings for Pets in Cargo After Loading 3 Dogs Onto Wrong Flights


United Airlines Pauses Cargo-Hold Pet Transport After Missteps

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines is halting the shipment of pets in airplane cargo holds while it studies improvements, the carrier said on Tuesday, after the death of a puppy and mistakes in handling other dogs last week sparked negative publicity.

"We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets," United said in a statement.

United did not give a date when it would resume the PetSafe transport program, but the carrier said it expects to complete its review by May 1.

The move does not affect travel for pets flying in-cabin.

United's decision follows incidents last week in which dogs were mistakenly sent to incorrect destinations.

To read more on this story, click here: United Airlines Pauses Cargo-Hold Pet Transport After Missteps


A Germophobe Gorilla? Philadelphia Zoo Primate Walks Upright So He Won't Get His Hands Dirty

An 18-year-old gorilla named Louis hates to get his hands dirty. That’s why he sometimes walks upright like a human -- especially when food is involved.

Louis, a 500-pound, 6-foot tall gorilla that lives at the Philadelphia Zoo, walks upright when he’s carrying tomatoes and other snacks, The Associated Press reported.

He also walks upright when the ground is muddy, according to the Philadelphia Zoo, which recently posted a video of Louis walking on two legs.

To read more on this story, click here: A Germophobe Gorilla? Philadelphia Zoo Primate Walks Upright So He Won't Get His Hands Dirty


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Matthew Morrison Says His ‘Heart Is Broken’ Over Alleged Dog Abuse On Film Set

Actor Matthew Morrison expressed outrage on Friday over reports that a dog was abused during the filming of “Crazy Alien,” the upcoming science fiction movie he stars in.

A whistleblower reportedly sent animal rights group PETA disturbing footage of what the group says is a caged German shepherd being dropped into a river on the film’s set in Changsha, China.

“I’ve just been made aware and seen a video from the set of a film I worked on in China,” the “Glee” star tweeted. “My heart is broken to see any animal treated this way. Had I been on set or known about this, I would have made all efforts to stop this. I’ve called the producers to express my outrage.”  

To read more on this story, click here: Matthew Morrison Says His ‘Heart Is Broken’ Over Alleged Dog Abuse On Film Set


Puppy Dies After United Flight Attendant Forces it to Ride in Overhead Bin

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Outrage has been building on social media over a picture of a family's French bulldog puppy, dead in its carrier, after a United Airlines flight attendant forced them to put the bag holding the dog in an overhead bin.

The dog belonged to a mother traveling with two young children from Houston to New York's LaGuardia Airport Monday night. Before takeoff, the bag apparently extended into the aisle. Online posts from witnesses said the passenger explained there was a dog in the bag, but the flight attendant insisted it go in the overhead. That flight attendant told the airline she did not realize the pet was inside.

To read more on this story, click here: Puppy Dies After United Flight Attendant Forces it to Ride in Overhead Bin


Starving Horses Ate Aluminum Siding Off House, Sheriff Says as Crews Clean Up Bodies in Maryland

QUANTICO, Md. — With a brisk wind blowing under gray skies, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis stood in front of a farm trying to describe what he had just seen behind the house. 

"The siding — aluminum siding — was eaten off the house, and fiberglass insulation had been pulled out," said a visibly shaken Lewis on Saturday. "Those horses were so hungry, they had broken the glass sliding doors on the back of the house, trying to get in and find something to eat. There's mud and broken glass all around the back of the house."

More than two dozen dead horses in varying degrees of decay were discovered at the farm and reported to the sheriff's office Friday morning, which is when an investigation at the 2.13-acre property began. The land is owned by Clayton P. and Barbara L. Pilchard, according to Maryland property records.

Marjie Cancil, who lives near the farm, drove past Saturday afternoon and stopped to see what was happening.

To read more on this story, click here: Starving Horses Ate Aluminum Siding Off House, Sheriff Says as Crews Clean Up Bodies in Maryland


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Your Dog’s Nose: Do You Know The Difference Between a Cold, Wet Nose and a Dry, Warm Nose

You might have heard that feeling a dog's nose can tell you about his health. Can a dog's health really be determined by the temperature and moisture of the nose? Does a cold and wet nose mean a dog is healthy? Is a warm and dry nose a sign of illness?

Here's the truth: The temperature or moisture of a dog's nose is not necessarily a good indicator of anything. A healthy dog may have a warm or dry nose while a sick dog could still have a cold, wet nose.

Your Dog's Nose
Dogs keep their noses cold and wet by licking. The moisture on the nose helps intensify scents and give dogs the ability to determine which directions smells are coming from.

It is normal for a dog that has just woken up to have a dry nose. This is simply because the dog was not licking his nose in his sleep.

Sometimes, a dog's dry or warm nose will accompany other signs of illness, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and more. These symptoms are reason enough to call your vet, regardless of how your dog's nose feels.

Why Do People Think The Dog's Nose Matters?
The "dog nose" myth has been around for ages, sometimes putting dog owners in a panic. How did it begin? Like many myths, the origin of this one is not certain. However, some experts think it may have started at a time when the deadly virus called canine distemper was common. One symptom of advanced distemper is hyperkeratosis (thickening) of the nose and footpads.

Back when distemper was more widespread, a cool, wet nose was considered a good sign that the dog did not have distemper. While canine distemper still occurs, it is far less common today thanks to vaccines.

What if My Dog Is Actually Sick?
All of this being said, you should not ignore any signs of sickness in your dog.

If you notice your dog's nose feels unusually hot, it's probably a good idea to check his temperature. Call your vet if your dog has a fever or is showing any other concerning symptoms.

There are some medical conditions that can affect a dog's nose, causing it to appear abnormal. Some are more major than others. Pemphigus foliaceous is a serious dermatological condition that can cause a dog's nose to become very dry and cracked. Sometimes, a dog's nose can be affected by allergies, potentially causing dryness and cracking, though to a less serious extent. Be aware that dogs can get sunburn, something that will affect the nose. There can also be pigment changes to your dog's nose, many of which are harmless. However, you should not ignore obvious changes to your dog's nose. Cracks, crusts, or sores on your dog's nose should be checked by your veterinarian as soon as possible. In addition, you should also contact your vet if your dog has nasal discharge, sneezing or wheezing.

The bottom line: If your dog's nose happens to be dry or warm but otherwise looks normal, don't panic. However, you should contact your veterinarian right away if something does not seem right with your dog.


Colorado Dogs Taking Part In Stem Cell Study

DENVER (CBS4) – As dogs age, 80 percent of them will develop arthritis. A new national study is looking at stem cells as a treatment.

“I think it’s really ingenious because they do it in the NFL. They do it in horses, so why not dogs?” said Dr. Analisa Schilling, a veterinarian at Evans East Animal Hospital.

So far, Evans East Animal Hospital has screened about 50 dogs and enrolled 20 in the study. Dogs have to have osteoarthritis in up to two joints, but be in otherwise good health. Owners have to agree to bring the dog for follow up visits, and keep a daily log.

“I actually have a range of dogs from as young as 2-years to age 16,” said Angela Vogt, study coordinator.

To read more on this story, click here: Colorado Dogs Taking Part In Stem Cell Study


Nightclub Shuts Down After Woman Rides Horse Into Crowd Of Partygoers

The city of Miami Beach shut down a nightclub on Friday after video surfaced showing a woman in a bikini riding a spooked horse into a crowd of people.

The incident happened at the Mokai Lounge sometime between Wednesday evening and the early morning hours of Thursday, according to a city document obtained by HuffPost. 

Attendees at the event recorded the commotion and posted footage to social media. One video showed a man trying to pull the seemingly resistant horse into the club as a man and woman ride on top of the animal. A second video shows the woman on the horse amid a tightly packed crowd of people. The horse throws the woman off before slowly walking through the crowd as people cheer.

To read more on this story, click here: Nightclub Shuts Down After Woman Rides Horse Into Crowd Of Partygoers


Amazon Delivery Driver Fired After Dropping Package on a Puppy

This guy from amazon threw a package right on my puppy and you can tell it was on purpose, he didn't even care. Please share the hell out of this. Posted by Roly Andrade on Thursday, March 8, 2018

We’ve heard the stories of delivery drivers acting poorly, from throwing packages into yards to swiping boxes off the very porches they were supposed to deliver to.

But an Amazon delivery driver in Florida may have just nabbed the award for worst delivery guy of the year after he was caught on video in Florida appearing to drop a large package … on a puppy.

The Miami Herald reported that the dog owner was upset to see video footage of the package “delivery.” Luckily, Rocky, the 5-month-old lab mix, wasn’t seriously hurt.

“His eye is a little squinty. I think the corner of the box got him,” Brittany Aaron, the dog’s owner, told the Herald on Thursday. “I don’t see any cuts but I don’t know if anything is wrong internally. The package isn’t small. I have a front door that is accessible. I have never seen a delivery driver put a package over the fence.”

To read more on this story, click here: Amazon Delivery Driver Fired After Dropping Package on a Puppy


Celebrity Dog Picasso Honored for Overcoming Tough Odds

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — With his famous misaligned snout and unique toothy grin, Eugene dog Picasso was honored in Portland with an Oregon Humane Society Diamond Collar Hero Award.

At almost 2 years old, the pit bull, Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix has captured worldwide attention since coming to Eugene in early 2017.

The Oregon Humane Society's Diamond Collar Hero Awards recognize and honor animals and people who have acted to save a human or animal life in peril, performed services within the community with undying loyalty, or overcome incredible odds in order to survive.

"Picasso has overcome challenges that most dogs don't ever have to, from surviving an assaulter to living on the streets," said Liesl Wilhardt, Luvable Dog Rescue founder and executive director. "And he's done it all with courage and grace."

To read more on this story, click here: Celebrity Dog Picasso Honored for Overcoming Tough Odds


Baltimore Cat, 17, Has $19,000 Kidney Transplant

BALTIMORE (AP) — Not quite four months ago, Betsy Boyd spent 41 percent of her annual salary on a kidney transplant for her ailing 17-year-old cat, Stanley.

As a condition of the $19,000 surgery, she also adopted the kidney donor, a 2-year-old tabby named Jay, bringing the total number of felines in her household to six. Both cats are thriving post-surgery — but if Stanley were tragically to die tomorrow, Boyd said she would have no regrets.

“He’s on immunosuppressant drugs, so he could get an infection,” she said.

“Anything could happen. If Stan did pass away sooner rather than later, I’d know I had done what I could for him. We’ve already had a few really good weeks. He’s really happy, and that alone is worth the price.”

Boyd isn’t independently wealthy. As a part-time member of the University of Baltimore’s creative writing faculty, she earns about $46,000 a year. Her husband, Michael Yockel is a freelance journalist and stay-at-home dad who cares for the couple’s twin sons, 3-year-old Texas and Miner. The couple bought their home in Baltimore’s Belair-Edson neighborhood for $95,000 — and paid cash.

To read more on this story, click here: Baltimore Cat, 17, Has $19,000 Kidney Transplant