Archive for the ‘Other Pets’ Category

Help for Low-Income Pets

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008


Last week I was half-watching TV while surfing the net, and saw a commercial promoting a charitable venture in Rhode Island that helps lower-income people pay vet’s bills. I was a little surprised because let’s face it, that’s not the sort of thing you see on TV very often. I jotted down the name of the organization and looked them up on the net. Sure enough, there it was: The RIVMA Companion Animal Foundation. Launched in 2004, the Foundation’s mission is to provide funds to the state’s participating veterinary practitioners for compassionate care of pets whose owners are unable to pay. I looked around the web site for awhile, thinking about what a great idea this is, and wondering what other resources are available to folks who love their pets but can’t afford to care for them when they are injured or sick.

Now, I’ve heard all the arguments about why the poor should not own pets, but whether you think this is so or not, the reality is that poor people do own pets. Saying that they shouldn’t doesn’t help those pets one little bit. This article is about finding the means to service animals in crisis, and not about whether their owners deserve to be helped. For me, it isn’t even a debatable question. I decided to do some research to find out just how extensive a safety net is available to low-income pets.


Animal Activists Sued By University Of California Regents For Threatening University Reseachers

Monday, March 17th, 2008

In 2006, according to court documents, animal rights activists harassed UCLA professor Dario Ringach and other scientists who conduct research with laboratory animals.

Documents stated that they hurled firecrackers at his house and planted Molotov-cocktail-like explosives at the homes of other faculty members and threatened to burn down their houses.

Ringach was afraid for his family and their safety and wrote an email to the animal activists begging to be left alone: “Effectively immediately, I am no longer doing animal research. Please don’t bother my family anymore.”

In response to the threats by the activists, the University of California regents are suing UCLA Primate Freedom, the Animal Liberation Brigade, the Animal Liberation Front and five people allegedly affiliated with this group.


In Memory Of…

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

As today marks the one year anniversary of the pet food recalls, this is an open thread for anyone to speak their mind, share their thoughts, express their loss or simply encourage and support each other.

From the Itchmo Forums, JustMe made a memorial for the victims of the pet food recalls:

Member: 3Catkidneyfailure

Doozie: A 10-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned cat food.
Euthanized: February 10, 2007.

IQ: A 16-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned pet food,
January, 2007.
A survivor, under treatment.

SMORGI: A 15-year-old Cat.
Suffered kidney failure from poisoned pet food.
A survivor, under treatment.


Member: Arlo


BART: A 5-year-old Spaniel Dog.
Poisoned by pet food. Renal Failure.
Euthanized May, 2007.

ELLIE MAY: A black and white, Domestic Short Hair cat.
Poisoned by pet food. Acute Renal Failure.
A survivor who sustained chronic renal failure.

JETHRO BODINE: A black and white tuxedo, Domestic Short Hair Cat.
Poisoned by pet food. Acute Renal Failure.
Euthanized April, 2007.


Member: Carol

JESSICA: A 16-year-old Cat.
Diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure due to poisoned cat food,
February 17, 2007.
Euthanized December 26, 2007.

SMUDGE: A 14-year-old Cat.
Diagnosed with Acute Renal Failure due to poisoned cat food,
March 12, 2007.
A survivor, currently under treatment for Chronic Renal Failure.


Member: Catbird

PHANTOM: A 12-year-old Domestic Short Hair Cat.
Sickened by poisoned cat food.
A survivor.

ISIS: A 10-year-old, Burmese mix Cat.
Ate poisoned cat food, sustained heart disease.
A survior.


Member: SusanP/MrsP

LADYCAT: An approximately 13-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
Euthanized July 10, 2007.

MUNCHKIN: An approximately 7-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
A survivor.

TEENYCAT: A 4-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by pet food.
A survivor.


Member: Catmom5

CJ: A 12-year-old, Catgirl.
Suffered acute renal failure in November, 2006,
from posioned cat food.
A survivor with multiple serious health issues.


Member: Dyginge

DYLAN: An approximately 11-year-old Cat.
Acute renal failure from poisoned cat food.
Euthanized February 23, 2007.


Member: Kittylyda

PEANUT: Between 17-20 years old Cat.
Poisoned by cat food, diagnosed with renal insuffiency.
A Survivor, under treatment.

TIG: A 12-year-old Cat.
Poisoned by cat food.
A survivor, under treatment.


Member: Trudy

NUTMEG: Cinnamon Bengal Girl Cat.
Kidney Failure, 2006

BECAUSE: Tortoiseshell Manx Cat.
Oral cancer, 2007

SUNSHINE: Yellow Rescue Girl Cat
Cat food, 2007

BOB: Big Boy Rescue, Part Maine Coon Cat
Cancer, 2007

GREY THING: Little Grey Manx Rescue Cat
Cat food, 2007.

INKY: Black and White Manx Rescue Cat.
Pancreas, 2008


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.”


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.”


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.

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

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.


Python Swallows Pet Dog In Australia

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Warning: This story may disturb some readers.

In the Australian tropics, a 16-foot scrub python stalked a family dog for several days and then swallowed the five-year-old silky terrier-Chihuahua mix in front of two children near their home.

Stuart Douglas, owner of the Australian Venom Zoo, said normally, scrub pythons eat wild animals like wallabies, but sometimes they do eat pets in urban areas.

Douglas added, “The family that owned the dog had actually seen it in the dog’s bed, which was a sign it was out to get it. They should have called me then, but (the snake) got away and three or four days later, I was called and went around and removed it” after the dog had been killed.


South Africa to Resume Elephant Culling

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Keeping ecosystems in balance while trying to keep people happy is a tough job for any government official or organization. Many difficult choices must be made, and those choices are often no easier for the people responsible for making them than they are for the public.

From The Washington Post:

“The government’s compromise, coming after a year of public deliberations, was to allow culling as one strategy among several, including relocating animals, sterilizing them and expanding parks to give them more room, said Marthinus van Schalkwyk, minister for environmental affairs and tourism, in a statement issued Monday.

‘Our Department has recognized the need to maintain culling as a management option, but has taken steps to ensure that this will be the option of last resort that is acceptable only under strict conditions,’ van Schalkwyk said.


Pet Tortoise Causes House Fire

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

FredWe’ve all heard stories of cats and dogs causing house fires by knocking something over, but how about a tortoise?

Emma Fox and Paul Butler, a couple in London, were shocked to return to their home and find that their pet tortoise had caused their house to burn down.

The couple had left 70-year-old Fred in a tank under a heat lamp to keep her warm. But Fred had piled up her bedding of dry straw too close to the heat lamp which caused flames to go through the house.

Fox said, “We were out shopping when we got a call from the fire brigade saying that our tortoise had set the house on fire. Luckily our neighbor had heard the smoke alarm go off and called the fire brigade.”


Itchmo’s Interview With Nathan Winograd

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008


Nathan Winograd, author of Redemption and passionate no-kill activist, is a busy man. When he is not touring in support of his book, he might be writing shelter manuals, giving workshops, or answering emails and phone calls from all over. Nathan was recently kind enough to give up some of his time and grant me an interview. I appreciate the time he took. His passion for no-kill is palpable.


Jennifer Moore: Was there a defining moment for you, where you decided animal welfare was where you belonged, or was it a gradual transition from law into animal rescue? In other words, did you just suddenly decide to leave law, or did it take some time for you to change careers?

Nathan Winograd: I was a first year law student living on campus and one morning I heard a woman calling to cats in that high pitched baby voice we often use when talking to animals. I looked out my window and saw all these cats coming out of the bushes, and as a cat lover, I went downstairs to find out what she was doing. She told me about the work faculty, staff, and students were doing to protect the campus cats and the history of how they fought the University’s plans to have the cats killed. Naturally, they turned to the local humane society naively thinking that saving these cats was within their humane mission, but sadly the Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley sided with the University.


Check Out Your Charities With

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008


Donor newsletters are nice, but I’m a research glutton who craves more information about her favorite non-profits. If you want a closer look at how humane charities or other non-profit organizations handle their funds, IRS regulations can help. Tax-exempt organizations must provide certain financial information and forms to the public (donors and non-donors) on request.

Feeling shy? No need to walk into a building, write a letter or pick up your phone. You can find records for 1.7 million organizations – both local and national – online at Basic registration is required, but it’s free, and other than the general “welcome” e-mail, my own registration did not seem to generate additional inbox traffic.

After you search for a charity as a registered user, click the “View Report” button. Additional information such as the number of employees and the organization’s mission may be listed, and you can scroll down further to reach .pdf files of various tax forms related to the organization.

Information varies by form, but may include
• A list of directors and compensation for those directors, if any
• Expenses related to salaries and wages, veterinary care and more
• A list of employees or contractors receiving more than $50,000 per year, if any
• Revenue broken down by sources, such as adoption fees and private contributions


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