Archive for the ‘National Dog, Cat & Pet Info’ Category

Shortage Of Rural Veterinarians Affecting Food Inspection System

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

VetsA shortage of veterinarians who treat farm animals or work as government inspectors could threaten the nation’s food system.

The biggest shortage is in the Farm Belt, the rural areas in the Midwest that produce a lot of the nation’s meat.

An increasing number of veterinarians are choosing to live in cities and treat pets instead of living in rural areas and working with farm animals.

Gregory Hammer, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association said, “We’re in a crisis situation. We don’t have enough rural veterinarians to be a first line of defense against animal diseases.”

The federal government is offering bonuses and covering moving expenses to lure more vets to work in food safety.

Michael Gilsdorf, head of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians, said, “There are so many vacancies that you’ve got one veterinarian doing the job of three.”


Cape May Council Compromises On Feral Cat Ordinance

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

CatsIt’s been a year long battle between bird lovers and cat lovers.

Cape May, New Jersey is one of North America’s prime bird-watching spots, and bird lovers have been trying to protect the endangered shore birds like the piping plover from feral cats on the beach. Cat advocates wanted to leave the cats at the beach.

This week the City Council has made a compromise between the bird lovers and the cat lovers and have approved a plan to move the feral cat colonies 1,000 feet away from the beach.

Federal environmental officials had threatened to withhold funds for the beach if the city refused to protect the birds.

Councilwoman Linda Steenrod said, “It’s important to protect our beaches. At the same time, it’s important to protect life. That means all life. I think we have a good compromise.”


Itchmo Reader Cat Picture

Thursday, March 6th, 2008


Picture sent in by Lottie.

17-year-old Jasper. This is what Lottie wrote about Jasper:

He was born in my bedroom and hasn’t known any other home, except the vets. You see, he is quite a hypochondriac. He has asthma, F.U.S. and diabetes.

One day, about a week after getting a cast removed from his left hind leg, (mind you he was still limping) I noticed that he was moving around without the limp. That is until he saw me. The thing is, he was favoring the wrong leg, and he knew he was caught, but we still love him.

Runaway Claw: Regrowth Occurs After Declawing

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008


The story of a claw resurfacing in the top of a declawed cat’s paw sounds like a myth. When we adopted Laverne – a previously declawed cat – this summer, we had no idea she would show us just how real this painful experience can be.

As I write this entry, Vernie is in surgery. I accidentally discovered a problem when I was petting a paw gently with one finger and felt something odd, then saw the claw and realized this was a front foot and the top of the foot at that. She hissed at me for the first time and ran off. By the time I was able to get a really good look, she had pulled the claw out, leaving only an inflamed area barely visible between and above her front toes, under her fur.

I’d been concerned from the time we adopted her after noticing her paw pads did not look as even and balanced as the other declawed cats I had seen. She had probably pulled the claw off many times before; the vet and I both checked her paws on previous occasions and did not find any visible issues.

If my original cat, Kisses, had not arrived declawed 10 years ago, I probably would have declawed her based on the misconception I still hear often: “That’s just what you do with indoor cats.” Since then, I have learned not just about the surgery, which severs toes at the first joint, but also how unnecessary it is. It’s easy to give Kitty a chance at keeping her claws while you keep your furniture intact, and I have additional tips for anyone with an already-clawless kitty.


Ellen DeGeneres Becomes Owner Of Halo Pet Food Company

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

HaloHalo, Purely For Pets recently announced that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has become an owner of the all-natural pet care company. The announcement comes at a time when Halo is expanding its product line and retail presence for its all-natural pet food and pet care products in the U.S. market. The company has expanded distribution with a variety of major retail chains such as Whole Foods and Petco.

“I can’t tell you how honored I am to be a part of a company that believes in treating your pets as well as you treat yourself,” said DeGeneres. “Everything about Halo is great. I’ve been using all of their products long before I decided to invest in the company. I attribute my shiny coat to their all-natural supplements.”

She added, “If you love your pets, you only want the very best for them, and this food is the highest quality. And if you forget to go to the grocery store, you can actually split a can with your dog. If you’re going with the lamb, I’d recommend a nice Pinot.”


Itchmo Reader Dog Picture

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008


Picture sent in by Marla.

Hotspur and Illyria.

Investigation Into Video Of Marine Throwing Dog Off Cliff In Iraq

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

The United States Marine Corps is investigating one of its own after a YouTube video showed a Marine apparently throwing a puppy off a cliff in Iraq.

The Marine Corps called the video “shocking and deplorable and is contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine.”

Marine spokesman Maj. Chris Perrine said the soldier in the video was believed to be based in Hawaii and he added, “We do not tolerate this type of behavior and will take appropriate action.”

The video looks like it was shot by a cell phone camera. The Marine holds the black and white puppy by the neck and says, “Cute little puppy, huh?”

He then throws the dog over the cliff and the Marine shrugs his shoulders while another Marine laughs and says “That’s mean. That was mean, Motari.”


Amber Alerts For Cats And Dogs Help Reunite Pets With Owners

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Amber Alert

For most people, when a beloved pet goes missing, owners will post up fliers, search around the neighborhood, or offer up rewards.

But now, there are several services that aid pet owners in their search for their missing cat or dog.

For Rebecca Backer, her six-year-old Labrador Mooch went missing for more than two weeks. She called animal shelters, put up fliers, and searched all over the neighborhood with no luck. Backer didn’t think she would ever find Mooch again.

Then Backer found out about, a nationwide Internet-based company that specializes in finding lost pets. helped Backer by calling all of her neighbors with a pre-recorded message of what Mooch looked like and who to call if they found him.

A country club owner had received one of those calls, had seen Mooch around the country club, and contacted Backer. Mooch, hungry and a bit thinner, was finally reunited with Backer.


Quick Hit: Maryland House Approves Increase In Penalties For Animal Fight Attendance

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

In a message I received this morning, Maryland Delegate Gerron Levi states:

“I wanted to write you all and let you know that the House Judiciary Committee voted out HB 719 with some amendments that increase penalties for the offense. Under the revised House bill, dogfight and cockfight attendance would remain a misdemeanor offense, but it would now carry a maximum one year jail term, increased from 90 days, or a maximum $2,500 fine, increased from $1,000. The bill has now passed the House of Delegates and awaits action by the State Senate.”

I am hopeful this will pass the state Senate. Maryland officials are, for the most part, in support of such legislation.

I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Nutro Pet Food Plant Protest

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

This past weekend, residents of Victorville, CA organized a protest against Nutro’s pet food plant in the area. Residents have complained about the odors coming from the plant since the plant opened in May 2006 and want the plant to be shut down.

The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District gave Nutro another year to get rid of the rotten smell.

Residents have even said that they have to run inside their house to get away from the smell.

Find more videos like this on

(Thanks menusux)

Itchmo Reader Cat Picture

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008


Picture sent in by Emily.

Marley — Emily rescued him off the streets of Brooklyn.

Dog Adopts A Different Kind Of “Kid”

Monday, March 3rd, 2008


Billy the boxer has love for all sorts of animals.

He has adopted an abandoned baby goat as his “kid.” Billy has taken over the parental role for 12-day-old kid named Lilly. He even sleeps with her, licks her and protects her at the wildlife center where she lives.

Lilly was abandoned by her mother when she was just several hours old and was then adopted by Billy. She was the smallest of a litter of three kids, and her mother abandoned her because she could only take care of the two stronger ones.

Over the last month, Billy and Lilly have been inseparable.

Billy’s owner said, “Lilly follows Billy around which is really quite amusing to watch and Billy sleeps with the goat and cleans her mouth after she feeds.”

Source: Daily Mail

Man Dies When Trying To Rescue Cat In Tree

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

BuehlerScott Buehler had a soft spot for animals, and he was trying to help one when he fell to his death from a tree.

Buehler, a 27-year-old foreman who had received firefighting training, climbed up a tall cypress tree to save a neighbor’s stranded cat. But while rescuing the cat, he fell 35 to 40 feet and died.

Neighbors said the cat had been in the tree for two days meowing.

Buehler was able to grab the cat, but then some branches snapped and he lost his balance and fell off the tree.

Firefighters tried to save his life, but he later died at the hospital.


Itchmo Reader Dog Pictures

Monday, March 3rd, 2008



Hannah and Tank

Pictures sent in by Paula.

Top: Hannah — Here is what she says about herself: Hi there! My name is Hannah (I am a 9 month old smooth red haired mini dachshund) and I LOVE to go to work with my mummy! Sometimes when I go, I am the only dog there (which is fine with me because I get ALL the attention) and sometimes my friend Tank is there (he is not a wiener dog like I am, but I still like to play with him).

From the day I was born, I KNEW I was beautiful!!! My (doxie) mommy told me and so did my (human) mummy. Everywhere I go, I hear people tell my mummy how pretty I am!

I also have a sister - Oatmeal - she is older than I am (she’s 6 years old). My mummy and daddy had her when I came to live with them. She has protected me from the day I came to live with her and she has taught me how to get what I want from my mum and dad.

I hope you like my picture!


Study Shows Robot Dogs Help Nursing Home Residents As Much As Real Dogs

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

RobotA sophisticated robotic dog could be a good companion for your dog-loving grandmother who can’t care for a living pet, a new Saint Louis University study suggests.

The researchers compared how residents of three nursing homes interacted with Sparky, a living, medium-sized mixed breed, and Aibo, a dog robot once manufactured by Sony.

“The most surprising thing is they worked almost equally well in terms of alleviating loneliness and causing residents to form attachments,” said William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University.

“For those people who can’t have a living pet but who would like to have a pet, robotics could address the issue of companionship,” Banks said.


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