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Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Proposed law would ban the consumption of pet meat in China

In Animal News on January 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm

In China, industry-related crime and protests from an expanding, pet-loving middle class have led to a bill prohibiting the culinary use of cat and dog meat. If passed, the law would be China’s first legislation against animal cruelty. Businesses that continue to sell the meat would incur fines of 50,000 yuan ($7,325), and individual violators would face a 15-day prison sentence.

Opponents question the bill’s disregard for culinary folk customs that stretch back thousands of years. Many of those customs use dog meat for medicinal purposes. Critics also fault the law for targeting only cat and dog meat, claiming that it is hypocritical to exclude other animal meats such as from pigs and sheep.

To counter such resistance, lawmakers might exempt some cultures from the ban. Emphasis is being placed on stopping abusive practices such as the inhumane farming of cats and dogs and the theft of family pets to sell in markets. The legislature and State Council will review the bill in April. —Joy Schmoll


Pet Pic of the Day

In Pet Pic of the Day on January 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

“Sunshine, crazed catnip maniac!” by kitty cat bandit

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

Goodwill for chilly dogs

In Animal News, Health and Safety, Help the Animals on January 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Mississippi resident Clarissa Jones was unconvinced that the dogs at her local animal shelter, some of whom had no access to the indoors, could safely withstand the winter. She put her empathy into action by purchasing used sweaters from Goodwill and repurposing them to fit dogs.

Thus was born a local initiative that went national, The Save the Dogs from the Chill Project.

When Jones saw the number of supportive comments from blog readers in response to her suiting up the dogs, she realized that she had only touched the tip of the iceberg. She wrote in her blog, bignutshell.com/blogs/dogproject, “I can only imagine what dogs go through every winter all over the U.S. It’s obvious we have (unexpectedly) stumbled upon a HUGE issue that should be addressed.”

As a result, she is now accepting donations of used sweaters (children’s sweaters work best), to be sent to shelters all over the country. “The key has always been to build a bridge between the dogs and the people that are willing to help them,” Jones says.

Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 19071, Hattiesburg, MS, 39404. Visit bignutshell.com/blogs/dogproject to follow the progress of the project.
Joy Schmoll

dog, sweater, winter, snow

Knits fit for mutts.
Source: http://www.everystockphoto.com

Pet Pic of the Day

In Pet Pic of the Day on January 26, 2010 at 6:40 pm

“Look what I found!!!” by Ingrid0804

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

It’s Caviar for Dinner Tonight Fido; Pet Guardians May Get Tax Cuts

In Animal News on January 25, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Tax Cuts..YUM!

Keep your paws crossed that pending House Bill 3501 is passed this year. The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for pet care expenses.

Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter R-Mich. proposed the bill, which states that every pet owner can deduct a maximum of $3,500 for pet expenses throughout the year. This bill was written in light of the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, which showed that 63% of U.S. households have a pet. The survey also emphasized the importance of the human-animal bond, which has a positive effect upon people’s emotional and physical well-being (I’ll say!).

Under Happy Act, food and veterinary expenses will be covered. Happy Act will not cover the cost to purchase or adopt an animal. Also, one must have a qualified pet in order to deduct pet expenses. A qualified pet is a legally owned, domesticated, live animal.

Happy Act was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means July 31, 2009 and should be voted on soon. Despite a large outpouring of support for this bill, there is a heated debate brewing as some think Happy Act will give out money America doesn’t have and will financially support animal abusers and dangerous pets. No matter what your opinion, join the debate and let your representative know where you stand! –Sarah Hyde

Man’s Best Friend Sniffs Out Survivors in Haiti

In Animal News, Health and Safety on January 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm

As help pours into earthquake-ravaged Haiti the number of people trapped under rubble awaiting rescue is uncertain. The fastest and most affective way to locate those buried alive is with search and rescue dogs, often referred to as “sniffer dogs.” Dozens of professionally trained “sniffer dogs” have come to Haiti’s aid in an unprecedented worldwide effort.

After the earthquake hit January 12, the United States immediately sent a 72-member team including many rescue dogs to the devastated country to help locate and dig out survivors. Britain, Peru, Mexico, France, Russia, Taiwan, and many other countries quickly followed suit.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF) has played an integral role in recruiting and training dog rescue teams to send to Haiti. NDSDF executive director Debra Tosch said, “This is the day that our teams have trained for; when the unthinkable happens, SDF teams stand ready to respond, bringing hope and comfort to victims and their loved ones.”

One such heroic team is California firefighter Bill Monahan and his Border Collie Hunter. Hunter used his “sniffer dog” training to locate three young girls who were trapped under 4 feet of broken concrete. Because of his discovery, the girls were extricated safely and given first aid. -Sarah Hyde

A true Angel

In Animal News on January 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Angel, a golden retriever from Boston Bar, British Columbia, lived up to her name Saturday, January 2 when she stepped between a charging cougar and 11-year-old Austin Forman.

Austin was gathering firewood with Angel in his family’s backyard at around 5:30 p.m., unaware of the approaching danger. Angel, however, must have sensed the need to protect the boy.

Sherri Forman, Austin’s mother, said that her son had noticed Angel behaving differently. She told CNN, “He had come in at one point to tell me how cute Angel was being because she was sticking pretty close to him in the yard, which was unusual for her.”

When the cougar charged, Angel intercepted it, allowing Austin to run to the safety of his house unharmed and alert his mother of the attack. Sherri called 911 and Chad Gravelle, a constable for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, arrived in time to incapacitate the cougar and rush Angel to a vet, where she underwent surgery for serious puncture wounds to her head, neck and back leg. She is expected to make a full recovery.

Austin isn’t taking his guardian angel for granted. He knows that if it hadn’t been for Angel, he might not be alive today. —Joy Schmoll

Dogs coast down slope on record-breaking float

In Animal News, Just for Fun on January 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Bedecked in over 80,000 roses and holding the Guinness World Record at 113-feet, 8-inches long, the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade float sponsored by Natural Balance Pet Foods was already a crowd pleaser.

Add to that a bevy of snowboarding bulldogs, and now you’ve got an absolute frenzy of excitement.

Tillman, likewise a Guiness World Records holder as the “World’s Fastest Skateboarding Dog,” left his wheels behind to snowboard down a 60-foot long, 16-foot high ramp installed on the float.

Natural Balance President Joey Herrick said in a statement, “We had a great time last year with the bulldogs skateboarding, and this snowboarding float is really incredible. I’m jealous, because those dogs can snowboard better than me.”

Joining Tillman on the slopes were Rose, Lyle, Niko, and Tank. —Joy Schmoll

Pet Obsessed? There’s an app for that

In Animal News, Happy Tails, Just for Fun on January 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Who doesn’t love scouring the iPhone application store for hours on end? Sure you don’t need digital bubble wrap to pop or to pay $0.99 for something called an iFart but it’s all part of the fun. Now with this app list, Fido, Rover and the rest of the gang can join in the fun with these handy applications geared towards them.

Hey Walkies!
Have you found yourself wandering aimlessly around NYC with your dog? You hug his leash tightly to your side while little Rover darts away from incoming stilettos and briefcases lest he get impaled? If only you could easily locate the dog parks and dog runs in your area so Rover could run free. Fret not my canine comrades, Hey Walkies! iPhone application to the rescue!

This hot-off-the-presses app was created for the NYC BigApps Competition and is already a fan favorite. Hey Walkies! is very simple to use, just open the app and it calculates your location and offers a satellite or traditional map view of the surrounding dog parks along with addresses and other useful information. Best of all, Hey Walkies! is free.

Fido Factor
It’s a fact; Fido always gets the short end of the stick. We humans have countless resources to help us find the best salons, gyms and bars. Yet our canine counterparts are destined to wander the abyss of groomers, parks and pet stores hoping they stumble upon a suitable one.

Well, not anymore: enter Fido Factor, the self-proclaimed Yelp.com for dogs. This handy app allows you to review listings in a number of categories including restaurants that allow dogs, pet boutiques, and pet services. Each listing has a user rating, photos, helpful tips and reviews. Again, another perk is that it’s free.

Pet Dossier
This app from Yep Yup digitally organizes your pet’s life, which, let’s face it, isn’t the easiest thing in the world with his grueling social schedule and propensity for the sniffles. For $1.99, Pet Dossier allows you to record all of Mr. Cuddles essential information into one place. Record medications, vet visits, food specifications and more into your pet’s file and bask in the joy of finally having everything in one place. You can even e-mail the information to caregivers or set alarms for vet appointments.

Pet Names Plus
Desperate to find the perfect name for your new pet and outdated monikers like Borris and Eldred just won’t do? Perhaps Pet Names Plus can be of service. This $0.99 app features listings of over 3,000 names. Scroll through alphabetically or browse by species or popularity. Pet Names Plus even lists the most common names for not-so-common animals such as spiders and pigs. The app also has a feature to keep track of your favorite names so they don’t slip your mind before little Lester comes bounding home with you. –Sarah Hyde

Dr. Marty Becker picks best dog-friendly cars

In Animal News, Health and Safety on January 6, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian,” chose the 2009 Toyota Venza and the 2010 Honda Element EX as Best In Show for canine-compatible cars. According to Dr. Becker, owner of the website DogCars.com, “Our winners this year reflect a trend we hope continues.”

He is referring to the surge in vehicle designs that specifically address the needs of dog guardians, incorporating everything from ramps and dedicated safety features to pet-ready interiors and stylish accessories.

The Venza features low-ground clearance for easier dog loading, flat-folding seats, and cargo hooks for securing crates. Additional safety accessories available for purchase include waterproof seat covers, pet-restraint harnesses, and cargo area barriers.

The “Dog Friendly” Element EX likewise caters to the pet-parent crowd, with dog-pattern seat covers and floor mats, stowable ramp, and rear kennel area complete with plug-in fan and spill-resistant water bowl.

Now your dog can enjoy the inside of the car as much as the view out the windows. —Joy Schmoll