Sunday, May 31, 2009

400 dogs seized from Wash. puppy mill

-----this comes from an AP news story-----KENNEWICK, Wash. - More than 400 dogs, including three newborn puppies, have been removed from a puppy mill that is being called “one of the worst cases” of animal abuse seen by animal groups and state officials.

“The conditions were not only shocking, but also heartbreaking to veteran deputies,” said Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor, who led the raid Wednesday at the Sun Valley kennel of 66-year-old Ella Stewart.

Dogs were found living in wooden crates, shopping carts and other makeshift kennels caked with feces and soaked with urine, investigators said. Detectives wore gloves and put booties on their shoes before walking onto the 2-acre property

All the dogs will need medical care and some will require extensive treatment, Taylor said. Some dogs suffered from malnutrition while others had urine burns and overgrown nails.

Stewart was arrested May 12 after a deputy responded to an unrelated call at her neighbor’s home. Investigators said conditions at her kennel for breeding miniature American Eskimo dogs was deplorable.

Taylor said the dogs weren’t seized at the time because the county doesn’t have an animal control facility and had nowhere to house them. It also took time to find a licensed veterinarian and animal rescue groups to help, Taylor said.

The dogs will be placed in emergency kennels at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

Inga Gibson, state director with The Humane Society of the United States’ West Coast regional office, said it was “definitely one of the worst cases we have seen because of the conditions they were kept in.”

She also said the raid was “one of the largest in Washington state and close to one of the largest in the country.”

Stewart pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count of second-degree animal cruelty in Benton County District Court. If convicted, she faces up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors reviewing the case said they may file additional charges.

A telephone call to Stewart’s residence Thursday by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tips for Giving Pet Medication

--------Guest post -----
Pet Article courtesy of

Having a sick pet at home is tough enough without the added stress of medication. Some dogs and cats take their medicine with ease while others need a little coercing.

No matter how difficult it may be to get your dog or cat to take medication, it is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

Pills or Capsules - Step-by-Step

PetFirst Tip
Ask your veterinarian if your pet’s medication can be given with food. If so, trying placing the pill in a small treat.

1. Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger.
2. Firmly grasp your pet’s upper jaw with your other hand tilting your pet’s head back gently.
3. Using your middle finger, slowly open the lower jaw.
4. Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.
5. Close the mouth immediately while keeping your hand over the mouth.
6. Stroke the throat or blow gently into your pet’s nostrils. This will encourage your pet to swallow.

Liquids and Syrups - Step-by-Step

1. Fill the syringe or dropper with medication before beginning.
2. Insert the syringe or dropper between your pet’s teeth and cheek.
3. Close your pet’s mouth and tilt the head back slightly.
4. Gently release the medication from the syringe or dropper.
5. Keep the mouth closed and stroke the throat or blow gently into your pet’s nostrils.

Make sure you stay calm when you are administering medication. You pets can perceive your stress making them more nervous. Praise and a reward after your pet successfully takes their medicine is always a good idea.

Contributed by Pet First Health Care

Labels: cat articles, dog articles

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Freshwater Stingrays Not For The Beginner

On a recent trip to my local fish store, we came across what was labeled a "Teacup Stingray." It was by far a different, unique and fun fish to watch. But, as I often say, it is important to do your research before buying any new fish.

As it turns out, this little teacup stingray, which was only about 6 inches in diameter, grow to over a foot in diameter and need at least 125 gallon of water to swim around.

They tend to be a peaceful species, but will eat any fish smaller then its mouth, and has a barbel with venom. Although the venom usually won't kill a person in these small species, it can cause extreme pain and needs to be dealt with immediately. Therefore, it is important to use gloves when doing any water changes or any time sticking your hand in the tank. In addition, being a peaceful species, they aren't good with aggressive fish in their community.

A lively bottom-dweller, this fish does well with a smooth, soft substrate. They enjoy meaty foods such as blackworms, bloodworms, earthworms, krill, and beef heart. Some people even feed them raw shrimp from the supermarket.

These fish are sensitive to water-quality, so it's important to keep an eye on the your tank. Also, there are several states that ban home aquarium keepers from having a stingray.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pet Expos Way to Save on Products

For those that haven't been to a pet expo, you're missing out! Various states have fairs and expos catered especially to pets. And many retailers are coming out as vendors at these expos and offering various coupons and specials, as well as free samples.

As retailers (both store, online and mom&pop) are competing for sales, one way to garner exposure is to purchase a booth these expos. Most of the time they'll give out lots of free samples, coupons, while you learn about new products that may (or may not) benefit your pet.

A lot of these expos are either free, donation based, or relatively inexpensive, depending on who is running the event. Not only is a great time to learn about new products, but it is a great day out for any pet lovers. Usually you can bring your pets with you (some require registration/rabies tags) and meet other pet owners and unique dogs. And if you're looking to adopt a dog, many of the expos have adoption centers in you can learn more about specific breeds you may be interested in by talking to both the adoption centers and to other pet owners.

If you've never been to a pet fair or expo, you might be missing out on same fantastic products and deals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

America's Most Popular Pet

There are twice as many pet fish in the United States then there are dogs, according to the American Pet Products Association. In fact, research suggests that pet fish can actually make us smarter and more relaxed by lowering our blood pressure.

Aquariums are increasingly popular because as lifestyles change and become more demanding, it is difficult to give a cat or dog the special attention it needs. And with advances in technology and the amount of products available, having an aquarium is becoming easier. This makes fish ideal for the family pet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The secret life of penguins revealed

PARIS (AFP) – Famous for its cuteness and comic gait on land, the penguin also has an enigmatic life at sea, sometimes spending months foraging in the ocean before returning to its breeding grounds.

Zoologists have long wondered where the flightless seabird goes during these long spells away from land -- and now French scientists, in a study published in Wednesday, believe they can supply the answer.

A team from National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) attached monitoring devices to a dozen male and female macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) at the onset of winter on the French Indian Ocean territory of the Kerguelen Islands.

Weighing just six grammes (a fifth of an ounce) each, the gadgets were attached to the penguins' legs by a harmless plastic strap.

The tufty-headed birds headed out to sea a few days later for their annual forage and the tiny recorders logged the location, ambient light and water temperature wherever they went.

The following spring, roughly six months later, the penguins returned to Kerguelen to breed.

The scientists recovered the devices and downloaded the data, and also took blood samples to get a chemical signature of what the birds had been eating.

Once at sea, the birds swiftly swam away from Kerguelen, heading eastwards into the southern Indian Ocean, the investigators found.

They dispersed widely, spending more than 80 percent of their time in a long geographical band between 47 and 49 degrees latitude south.

The rest of the time was spent farther south, closer to the fringes of the Southern Ocean. They did not cross this limit, though, nor did they forage in pack ice.

The birds swam astonishing distances, clocking up 10,430 kilometres (8,930 miles) on average during their six months away. The most adventurous swam up to 2,400 kms (1,500 miles) from Kerguelen.

In the final weeks of the migration, the birds rushed to get home, covering a massive 1,743 kms (1,108 miles) in just one month.

Foodwise, the blood test showed that the penguins had gorged on crustaceans during their time at sea.

Contrary to expectations, they had not tucked into the major species of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, which only occurs farther south in colder waters.

The study is important as it pinpoints the penguins' key feeding grounds in the sub-Antarctic Indian Ocean, and thus helps conservation efforts, say the authors, led by Charles-Andre Bost.

Macaroni penguins are the most numerous penguin species, but their population is thought to have declined over the last two decades.

Climate change also poses a threat, as warmer waters and shifting ocean currents will affect food availability.

The paper appears in Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society, which is Britain's de-facto academy of sciences.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good Hygiene Important to Pet Ownership

Your dog's mouth, coat and paws may not be as clean as you think.

In fact, your dog could easily be carrying infectious bacteria that can make you and your family sick. Just think about these tidbits from

Dogs love to roll around in the dirt and grass but when they do, they can pick up some infectious diseases that can be passed along to you. These are called zoonotic diseases.

Here are just 4 examples:

1. Parasite eggs - Your dog can ingest parasite eggs or pick them up on his paws and coat whenever he comes in contact with infected garden soil or sand. When you touch your dog, that infection can be transmitted to you.

2. Bird droppings - Inhaling the dust from dried bird droppings can cause a bacterial disease called psittacosis. If your dog sniffs dried bird droppings, he will inhale the dust. If he walks through the dried bird droppings or rolls around in them, the dust gets on his paws and in his coat. When you pet him or hug him, you can inhale the dust and become infected.

3. Dog urine - Coming into contact with infected dog urine causes a bacterial infection called leptospirosis. Infected urine can easily get on your dog's paws or coat. If you touch him (or anything that has come into contact with the infected dog urine), you can also become infected.

4. Ringworm - This disease has nothing to do with worms. It is a contagious fungal infection that be passed from your dog to you through contact.

So what can you do to protect your dog, your family and yourself?

Good hygiene is the key ... for both of you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

10 Signs of Pet Anxiety

Pets suffer from anxiety, but unlike their human companions, they cannot verbalize what is causing their discomfort. Instead, they communicate their distress through signs of nervousness and fear by their behavior. A pet is often labeled as having a behavior problem, when in fact the animal is reacting to something he does not understand or perceives might be a threat. Knowing the signs and possible causes of anxiety can help you to ease your pet’s distress.

Below are 10 signs of pet anxiety:

1. Excessive barking or meowing, whining, yelping, crying

2. Pacing, panting, restlessness or running around

3. Cowering, trembling, shaking

4. Excessive vigilance with exaggerated startle response

5. Hiding under furniture, in the bathroom or freezing to the spot

6. Seeking comfort from owner/guardian

7. Drooling, vomiting

8. Inappropriate urination or defecation

9. Destructive chewing

10. Running away

Leaving your pet home alone, boarding/kenneling, veterinarian or groomer visits, new animals or visitors to the home are some of the many causes of anxiety in pets. There are no drugs approved for most anxiety conditions in pets, and even in cases where drugs have been registered, there is concern about side effects, particularly heavy sedation.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whistling Orangutan Amazes Scientists

According to an article on ZooToo, an Orangutan at the Washington Zoo has a unique talent - the ability to whistle. While chimpanzees and orangutans have been trained to whistle in the past, Bonnie's ability is highly uncommon as she learned on her own without rewards from human trainers.

Why is it so unique? The ape would have to know how to use her lips and control her breath to make a sound.

Born in captivity and raised by humans, Bonnie the orangutan has always been in close contact with her more evolved cousins; researchers think Bonnie picked up her famous skill from hearing a zookeeper whistle.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Free "Mother's Day" Pet Cards

With pet owners often considering themselves parents in their own right, the team at has launched a series of free Mother's Day cards designed for the household pooch or kitty to give to their "mother." They are user-friendly downloadable cards that visitors can simply print out from their computer and fold for the perfect thanks to "Mom" for all the tender loving care she gives to her furry "children." You can check out all four card options at:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bird Smuggler

LOS ANGELES - A man was charged Tuesday with smuggling songbirds into the United States by hiding more than a dozen of them in an elaborate, custom-tailored pair of leggings during a flight from Vietnam to Los Angeles.

Sony Dong, 46, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in March after an inspector spotted bird feathers and droppings on his socks and tail feathers peeking out from under his pants, prosecutors said.

"He had fashioned these special cloth devices to hold the birds," said U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek. "They were secured by cloth wrappings and attached to his calves with buttons."

Authorities later linked Dong's scheme to Duc Le, who was arrested after investigators searched his Orange County home and found 51 songbirds in an outdoor aviary. Both are charged with conspiracy in an eight-count federal indictment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hamster Toys

Check out this article about the various types of Hamster Toys from the Hamster toys blog.

We don't talk nearly enough about the growing popularity of 'pocket pets' and this is a good overview of some of the popular hamster toys you should consider.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Don't Drink and Ride A Horse

ARVADA, Colo. – A man in a cowboy hat who rode a horse through a Denver suburb has been cited for riding an animal under the influence. Police said Brian Drone was given a $25 traffic violation ticket in a strip mall parking lot Friday. Drone told KUSA-TV that he was out for a "joyride" in Arvada with his horse, Cricket.
Sgt. Jeff Monzingo says the citation was the first he'd seen in 15 years of working in law enforcement.
Police say deciding what to do with the horse was a "tricky call" because "you can tow a car" in typical drunk driving cases.
A stable owner eventually offered Drone and his horse a ride home.
A phone number listed for a Brian Drone in Arvada was disconnected.

Friday, May 1, 2009

CT Pitbull Attack - Blame the Owners

This is a local CT news station. Two pitbulls attacked a mailman, and a neighbor saved the day by driving the dogs off with a hammer. But watch the video, and see how ignorant and rude the owner of the dogs is in the interview. He's blaming the neighbors for not reporting that the dogs got loose - LIKE THEY USUALLY DO! That's right, these dogs get loose all the time, and the neighbors usually call him or the police. But no one called him this how can he know? And then there is laughter throughout the interview, like it's a big joke or something. This is why pitbulls get a bad rep...owners like this!