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Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Worldwide awareness day highlights rabies

In Health and Safety on September 29, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Sunday Sept. 28 was World Rabies Day! But it’s not too late to brush up on your rabies knowledge and make sure you and your pets are safe.

Remember to keep your pet up-to-date on his or her rabies vaccination for both of your safety.

Rabies is 100% preventable by vaccination.

It is a disease that attacks the nervous system and is passed through saliva and the bloodstream.

Only mammals can get rabies.

There are approximately 7,000 cases of rabies reported in the USA every year.

Cats are less likely to be vaccinated than dogs and more likely to be allowed to roam free. Be careful when approaching a loose cat.

More than 55,000 people die each year from rabies around the world.

This year there is a limited supply of human rabies vaccines.

Almost all rabies deaths in the USA are connected to bat bites, but only a small percent of bats have rabies.

Help Control Rabies by:
-Vaccinating your pets
-Always watching your pets outside
-Keeping away from wild animals and reporting any that are behaving abnormally
-Bat-proof your property

Pets with Rabies:
-Fearful and aggressive
-Trouble Walking
-Seizures
-Excessive drooling
-Difficulty swallowing

*Dogs with rabies may not show outward signs at all. Wildlife with rabies is harder to detect than pets with rabies.

Information Courtesy:
WorldRabiesDay.org
AVMA.org

Jill Brodsky

Hemingway cats get to stay!

In Animal News on September 26, 2008 at 5:54 pm

The famed six-toed cats at The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West will get to stay put. After a five-year battle, the museum has finally reached an agreement with the federal government that allows the population of about 50 cats to continue roaming the grounds. The group is thought to be descendants of a six-toed tomcat given to the legendary author by a ship’s captain.

Shelters anticipate Chihuahua mania in wake of new Disney movie

In Animal News, Help the Animals on September 25, 2008 at 9:32 pm

With yet another breed specific movie on its way into theatres, rescues and shelters across the nation are starting to get worried. You’d think a film like Beverly Hills Chihuahua would be harmless family entertainment, but just like similar movies in the past (e.g. 101 Dalmatians), what is supposed to be fun can turn into a tragic story.

As proven by Disney years ago with 101 Dalmatians, the sale of the particular breed goes up after the film’s release, and many of those dogs end up abandoned once the novelty wears off.

According to Robert Cabral of California-based animal welfare group Bound Angels, nearly 8,000 Chihuahuas found themselves up for adoption on Petfinder.org by the day of the LA premiere for Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Time will only tell what that number could change to after the release of the film nationwide, and once the novelty of the movie and the breed die away.

Chihuahuas certainly are cute, but they can be a handful. They are known to be loyal to a single person and best with other Chis but good with other pets nonetheless (although liking other animals is always specific from dog to dog). Some are more assertive than others, but they can be quite temperamental. They are not particularly good with strangers. The smaller Chihuahuas and the puppies in particular are very delicate and can be injured easily.

If you are thinking of getting a dog and a Chihuahua is on the top of your list, keep all of the breed traits in mind and don’t overlook the local animal shelter—an estimated 30-40 percent of shelter dogs are purebred, and rescue groups exist across the country specializing in Chihuahua and Chihuahua mixes. Visit TailsInc.com for a list of shelters and rescue groups in your area.

Jill Brodsky

What’s a Knut to Do?

In Animal News on September 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm

You may remember first hearing about Knut, the adorable little polar bear from Germany, about two years ago. Born in captivity at the Berlin Zoo, he was orphaned by his mother and raised by Thomas Doerflein who was incredibly devoted to the cub, maybe too much so.

This week Doerflein was found dead at the young age of 44 having suffered a heart attack. He leaves behind three (human) children and Knut. People all over Germany are heartbroken by the loss—Doerflein had become an icon during Knut’s growing years and shared in the polar bear’s fame. How much Knut is mourning the loss is a troubling thought.

Polar bears are independent and solitary creatures, but Knut has learned to love and crave human attention. Before his death, Doerflein had been banned from Knut’s enclosure for fear of what the bear might do to him. Knut would whine and fuss until he could at least see zookeepers present outside his enclosure. This behavior has caused the once cute and cuddly cub to be labeled a psychopath and calls are being made to have him removed from the public eye for rehabilitation. —Jill Brodsky

Pet Pic of the Day

In Pet Pic of the Day on September 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm

“Larry” by flickr user Joseph Frazz

Want your pet’s mug to be our pic of the day? Join our flickr photo group and upload your images.

ASPCA announces “Wedding Pages”

In Help the Animals, Just for Fun on September 18, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Are you engaged? Are you nearly there? Well, guess what? The ASPCA wants to be a part of your big day!

My initial reaction to the ASPCA’s new “Wedding Pages” and different wedding ideas that benefit the organization was more of “How long were they sitting there before they thought of this?” than “Wow! Awesome idea!” But it’s grown on me…

The goodies:
*Donations as wedding gifts via the website. Yea, starting couples usually need some extra help in the financial field, but those homeless and injured furkids need it, too.

*Instead of buying wedding favors, donate X amount of money and get ASPCA place cards for your reception.

*Set up an ASPCA wedding page where your friends and loved ones can drop by and donate to the cause (the furkid cause, that is…) The ASPCA folks have even created a thank-you email for us lazy people to send when gifts are sent through the website so we don’t have to get creative and think up a thank-you of our own. (Don’t worry, there’s more than just donating on the webpages. You can go to the Society’s site to browse through exciting pages to see.)

So, is your wedding going to be an ASPCA wedding?
Jill Brodsky

Spoiled little beasties

In Just for Fun on September 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm

My family always swore we’d never be the type to dress our pets and do all the frilly stuff some pet guardians do. Then we adopted two miniature Dachshunds.

We had an excuse of course—Bill and Bailey are low to the ground and have bare bellies thus needing sweaters for the winter. They actually do go outside with less of a fuss when clothed against the elements than when “nakie.”

But then Halloween rolled around. They are the perfect size to dress up. We had to do it. We only dress them up on Halloween. I promise.

Then none of the standard harnesses from the pet stores fit their awkward shaped bodies. We invested in the pricey harnesses from the pet boutique—the cool looking ones that make them look like little lifeguards. Two water-phobic weenies waddling around the house ready to save the world! Hey, they needed them for the good of their own backs.

And then they both had back surgery within weeks of each other. Not being able to go for walks, they suffered cabin fever and became little indoor maniacs. I did the unthinkable. I went online and bought a stroller.

I crossed over the edge.

Yes, they got their fresh air and settled down. Yes, they didn’t overwork their backs by taking long walks. Yes, they loved it.

I only intended it to be used during their recovery period. We wouldn’t need it after that.

Bill and Bailey beg to go for stroller rides. Sometimes I think I’ll never get them out of the garage because they’re standing next to the stroller, intent on getting that ride. Their big buggy eyes plead for those few minutes of joy that I’m being so mean and keeping from them.

They are spoiled little beasties.

They roll in smelly things, clean each other’s ears, chew on bugs, play tug-o-toy, and ride…in…a…stroller. What have I done?

Jill Brodsky

Online dating isn’t just for humans

In Animal News on September 15, 2008 at 7:01 pm
Did the internet bring these two lovepandas together?

Did the internet bring these two lovepandas together?

“Enjoys short walks on the grass, bamboo dinners and sleeping in.”

That may not be exactly how a zoo animal’s profile reads, but scientists are using computerized matchmaking service to match animals in captivity. That’s right, like this headline reads, Zoo animals try online dating.

Each animal’s profile contains information on his or her sex, age and weight, not so much turn-ons. So maybe the headline is more entertaining than the concept. Still, it’s almost as funny as scientists in China using panda porn to get pandas to mate. Gotta do what you gotta do, I guess.

Quack attack

In Just for Fun on September 12, 2008 at 6:34 pm

For a few months now I’ve been saying that I’m going to get a pet duck. Not now, of course, but sometime in the future. When I live in a house with a big backyard. When I know a thing or two about ducks. I even thought of a name if it ends up being a young boy without a name already—Gregory Peck. Yes, I was proud of myself for that one.

Why a duck, you ask? Because I read Enslaved by Ducks, a pet memoir by Bob Tarte. It doesn’t just deal with ducks; there are turkeys, geese, bunnies, cats, parrots, and some other birds, too.

I thought about a goose, but I really want a duck.

I don’t know a thing about ducks.

Even though it will be years before I can actually give a needy duck a proper home, I thought I’d start my research. Did you know you could adopt ducks and geese through Petfinder.org? Now you do. There are even web pages on how to raise ducks as pets. Single web pages on the topic. I don’t even trust a single web page to give me the correct address to a particular location.

I temporarily wanted a pet pig after reading Sy Montgomery’s The Good Good Pig. Then I realized that a 750-lb animal probably wasn’t the smartest choice in pet. Ducks are much smaller.

And so I sit here and wait for the day in which I can finally adopt my sweet little quacker and find out the realities of duck motherhood. In the meantime, I’ll limit my pet memoir intake to dog books—I already have two. —Jill Brodsky

And the Greatest American Dog is…

In Greatest American Dog on September 11, 2008 at 10:01 pm

If you haven’t had a chance to watch the finale of Greatest American Dog, stop reading here (and don’t look at the picture below)!

Travis and Presley!

Travis and Presley!

For once, a respectable pair won a reality show! I was shocked when JD and Galaxy were the first of the three to leave, but it just goes to show the show is about more than just obedience. Laurie was happy because it meant her positive training method prevailed. If I can be cheesy, I think both Andrew and Presley deserved to be crowned Greatest American Dog, but like the judges said, they had to pick one. And in the end, the big bouncy dog came out on top over the little fluffy fighter (and follower!).

It was great to see the whole cast again, Ron & Tillman, Bill & Star and all. I thought it was funny that when Travis and Presley were announced the winner, the camera panned to both Laura and Brandy (who—what else?—was crying!), the two girls who allegedly had the hots for Travis.

So what do you think about the outcome? Do you think there will be another season (and would you watch?)? Do you think Laurie is correct in thinking little Andrew doesn’t have separation anxiety?

The show has its ups and downs, but it had a good run. Now what am I going to do with my Wednesday nights?…

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