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Busy Pets Are Happy Pets: Fun Ways to Keep Your Pet Active

Dog

It seems like the most natural thing in the world—our pets need food, water, medical care and lots of love. But dogs and cats have other needs, too. Our furry friends need ample physical exercise and mental stimulation to lead truly full and happy lives.

“They need jobs,” says Kristen Collins, CPDT, ASPCA Animal Trainer. Dogs and cats need to stay busy and engaged, but unfortunately most pets are unemployed—they sit at home, chronically bored, waiting for their humans to return from work. And as we all know, an idle pet can quickly turn into a naughty pet when restlessness becomes overwhelming.

“With nothing to do, dogs and cats are forced to find ways to entertain themselves,” explains Kristen. “Their activities of choice often include behaviors we find problematic, like excessive barking or meowing, gnawing on shoes, raiding the garbage, eating houseplants and scratching furniture.”

To prevent behavior and health problems, Kristen recommends the following physical and mental workouts—both when you’re there to join the fun and when your pet is home alone.

  • Move it! Healthy adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day. Jogging, swimming and playing at the dog park are all great ways to burn excess energy.
  • Get Their Games On: Engage in structured games, like fetch and tug-of-war—they’re not only great exercise but also teach your pet impulse control and strengthen the bond between you.
  • Engage in the Hunt: Keep your dog occupied when he’s home alone by giving him a food-stuffed puzzle toy, like the Kong, or some tasty chew toys.
  • Let’s Get Physical: Like their canine counterparts, cats also need plenty of aerobic exercise. Get kitty fit with rousing play sessions, such as chase and fetch with furry toys, small balls or toy mice.
  • Feline Pastimes: Encourage your cat’s favorite home alone activities, including bird watching, exploring paper bags or boxes, watching cat videos or spending time in secure outdoor enclosures.
  • Teach Your Cat New Tricks! Felines are quick studies and can learn practical skills like coming when called, sitting up, rolling over and even using the toilet!

Kristen adds: “The bottom line is that you’re responsible for enriching your pet’s life. Providing opportunities to exercise your cat or dog’s mind and body will keep her healthy and happy—and enhance your relationship, too.”

For more information about enriching your pet’s life, please check out expert advice from our Virtual Pet Behaviorist.

Source:  ASPCA

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Dogwise, All Things Dog!

Monthly Feature: BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS IN DOGS

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Health, pet products, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Deadly Dog Flu Spreads

Aug. 18, 2009Canine influenza, the potentially deadly H3N8 virus commonly knownDeadly Dog Flu as dog flu, is spreading.

So far the virus has led to the death of one dog last week, closed down the kennel at Virginia’s Fairfax County Animal Shelter, and, according to experts, is now affecting dogs in at least four other states: Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

While the reason for the shelter outbreak, which killed a 15-year-old whippet owned by a clinical technician and sickened 26 dogs, remains unknown, it’s possible that one or more infected dogs from Philadelphia or D.C. introduced the illness to Virginia.

“Dogs often move in and out of shelter systems over long distances, such as via breed and rescue groups,” Edward Dubovi, director of the virology center at Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, told Discovery News.

“Boarding kennels and even elite doggie day care centers can also result in cases, since, as for kennel cough spread, the virus is highly contagious and dogs may catch it from one another,” added Dubovi.

He first isolated the canine influenza virus in 2004, after University of Florida researchers sent him fluid and tissue samples from greyhound race dogs that had died from a then mysterious respiratory illness at a Florida racetrack.

Dubovi and his team determined the cause was the H3N8 equine flu virus, which jumped from horses to dogs. In addition to spreading from dog to dog, canines can also catch it from humans, who may have come into contact with infected animals.

The illness has not yet sickened any people.

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hurricane Season’s Here: Six Steps to A Rescue Plan that Includes Pets

dogKatrina, Ike and Gustav are more than just names to those whose homes and families were devastated by these destructive storms. Even with the aid of disaster response teams, many evacuees permanently lost their companion animals. As hurricane season 2009 heats up, the message couldn’t be clearer—you can help prevent losing your pet by putting emergency evacuation plans into place.

The ASPCA would like to offer a sneak peak at six steps to follow BEFORE you’re faced with evacuation. To read our complete list in English and Spanish, visit the Disaster Preparedness section of our website.

  • Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
    Affix these decals, free on the ASPCA website, to the windows of your home to alert rescue officials that a pet lives inside.
  • Arrange a Safe Haven
    Don’t leave your pet behind if you’re forced to evacuate. Find out if there are emergency animal shelters in your area. If not, take these steps to keep your pet safe.
  • Pre-Pack Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
    Prepare an Evac-Pack and pet supplies before emergency strikes, and make sure that everyone in the family knows where they are. The kit should be clearly labeled, easy to carry and should include items such as a pet first aid kit, recent photos of your animal companion and food and water bowls. Read a more complete list of items to include.
  • Choose A Designated Caregiver
    Take time to consider who you’d like to act as your pet’s temporary caregiver should you not make it home in time to retrieve your pet. Ask yourself these questions: is the person home often enough to care for your pet, do they have a key to your residence and have they spent time getting to know your animal companion?
  • Have an Evacuation Plan in Place
    Plan for the worst-case scenario. Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible, make sure all of your pets are wearing proper identification and consider your evacuation route ahead of time.
  • Know Your Region’s Weather Patterns
    If you live in an area that is prone to natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, know which rooms in your house can be used as safe havens, store up a supply of fresh water in advance and, in the event of an emergency, keep your pets with you, even crating them for safety and comfort.

Visit the Disaster Preparedness section of our website for a more complete list of emergency planning tips and to download the Ready Pets brochure on pet-friendly evacuation (pdf).

Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #DisasterPlans

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Couple’s Chihuahua Pitched Into the Catoctin Creek

Man admits to throwing dog, charged with animal cruelty

Zoey's body was never found.

Caisha and Tim Wantz

BRUNSWICK, Md. — Maryland State Police charged a man with throwing a Frederick County family’s Chihuahua off a bridge.

Caisha and Tim Wantz encountered a man with a station wagon and talking on a cell phone at the end of their driveway in Point of Rocks on June 19 as they were driving to get gas in preparation for their big weekend plans. They argued with him after asking him to leave. He told them he wanted to stay and make a call, the couple told NBC4’s Pat Collins.

“I told him I was going to call police,” Caisha Wantz said. “He laughed at me.”

She said he mocked her and started driving toward her like he was going to run her over.

Dog Thrown off Bridge in Frederick

Dog Thrown off Bridge in Frederick

“I yelled out to him, ‘Go ahead, you. Run over me in front of my family,'” Caisha Wantz said.

She was holding thermos of coffee and she decorated his rear window with the beverage.

Charging documents state that 34-year-old David Beers left but came back after the couple left and drove up to their house. Beers told police that he grabbed the 4-pound, 1-and-a-half-year-old dog named Zoey when she walked up to his car.

As Beers drove home over Catoctin Creek Bridge, he threw the dog over the bridge, police said. He later admitted to throwing the dog, which was never found.

“I have made, a few months ago, the worst decision of my life, and I want everyone to know that I deeply regret the pain and suffering that I caused the Wantz family,” Beers told Collins. “I have dealt with this stuff very heavily, and it’s affected my family and friends, and to them I own an apology as well.”

“She was my companion,” Caisha Wantz said. “She was our family companion. She went on vacation with us; she would travel to the store with us. I often had her in my purse.”

Beers has been charged with theft less than $500, trespassing and animal cruelty. He told Collins that he is undergoing anger management and seeing a psychiatrist.

A Sept. 17 court date has been set.

By MATTHEW STABLEY

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Washington – First Published: Aug 28, 2009 7:20 PM EDT

I really think it is time to start charging these people with what it is… murder, or at least man(pet)slaughter as well as will emotional distress for the pet parents, which should include any medical bills!  Theft, trespassing and animal cruelty should be add-on charges.  Throw the book at this guy and all the other nuts who these kinds of things.

Because they are uncaring crazies or animal haters at best and sociopaths and/or both domestic and animal abusers at the other end of the scale, and we are not making examples of them, they are willing to do these things without a second thought.

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Serial Cat Killer Arrested After Four-Month Spree

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On August 21, ASPCA Special Agents arrested Manhattan resident Sean Lynde, 36, for allegedly killing four cats and seriously injuring two others. The cats were owned by Lynde’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel Strate.

Lynde, who has a documented history of violent outbreaks, was indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury on six counts of felony aggravated animal cruelty, seven counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, three counts of aggravated harassment, one count of criminal mischief, two counts of criminal contempt and one count of stalking. He pleaded not guilty and is currently out on $5,000 bail.

“Incidents like these are especially chilling,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. “An individual who can commit such violent acts against multiple pets over a period of months is someone who the criminal justice system needs to take serious notice of.”

The four-month killing spree began last fall after Lynde moved into Strate’s Upper West Side apartment. Events unfolded as follows:

  • On October 5, 2008, Strate’s 15-year-old cat, Cleo, was found dead behind a dryer with her mouth full of laundry detergent. A necropsy confirmed she also suffered head trauma, including a broken jaw and bleeding eye. A short time later, her 12-year-old cat named Zoe was found badly beaten, suffered extensive head trauma and had to be euthanized.
  • In November 2008, Strate adopted two three-month-old kittens, Willie and Betty. Later that month, she came home to discover Willie was unable to walk and returned him to his previous owner. On November 24, she came home to find Betty on the floor dead. “Lynde stated that Betty fell from a countertop to the floor and stopped breathing,” says Assistant Director of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, Joseph Pentangelo.
  • On December 18, still not suspecting her boyfriend of any wrongdoing, Strate adopted two more kittens, Emo and Bonafide. Soon after his adoption, Emo suffered an unexplained broken paw and subsequently vanished. On January 23, Strate found Bonafide with a broken neck—he later slipped into a coma and died.
  • In January 2009, the ASPCA received an anonymous tip and began investigating the suspicious killings.

If you suspect that someone is committing an act of animal cruelty in your community, report it to the proper authorities immediately.

Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #CatKillerArrest

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Elderly Chihuahua rescued from trash

LIVINGSTON — Animal control officer Kristin Lucas is used to finding animals in dire straits.

But on Wednesday, she saw something she had never seen before.

Someone had put an elderly Chihuahua in a garbage bag, tied the bag shut and thrown it into the Dumpster behind Sam’s Food City in Livingston.

chihuahua

(Merced Sun-Star) – This older male Chihuahua dog was put into a garbage bag that was tied shut and then thrown into a dumpster in Livingston. The dog was able to get his head out to breathe, and was rescued by Kristin Lucas, the animal control officer for the Livingston Police Department. He is currently recovering from his ordeal at a local veterinarian’s office.

An employee of the grocery store saw the dog. Thinking it was either dead or injured, the employee called Lucas.

“I looked in the Dumpster, and all I saw was a head sticking out of a tiny hole,” Lucas said. “The hole was just big enough for his head. He had obviously worked to get his head out so he could breathe.”

The dog was covered in urine and had suffered puncture wounds on his body, Lucas said. But other than that, and the fact that he was an older dog, there wasn’t much wrong with him.

Lucas took the dog to Valley Animal Hospital in Merced, where Christine McFadden is taking care of him.

“He’s an older dog, has some teeth issues, but not too bad,” McFadden said. “He also has some puncture wounds where it looks like an animal attacked him.”

Despite his wounds, McFadden said the dog won’t need surgery and is doing well.

Lucas said that throwing an unwanted pet into a Dumpster isn’t the way to deal with pets.

“If someone doesn’t want their dog, that’s what the shelter is there for,” Lucas said. “Most people don’t make a snap decision to get rid of their dog, they think about it for a while.”

She said if a dog is old or sick, having it put to sleep at a veterinarian’s office or at the animal shelter is the kindest way to deal with the pet.

The little male dog is neutered, according to McFadden, and should make someone who likes older dogs a good pet.

“This dog could have suffered a horrible, horrible death,” Lucas said. “Thank goodness someone found him before that happened.”

Anyone interested in the Chihuahua mix dog can call Lucas at the Livingston Police Department, 394-5585.

Just Another Example That We Need to Make Examples of Everyone that Does Something Like This to Animals!!!  The Laws against animal cruelty must be stiffened and every instance must be prosecuted to fullest extent of all laws and infractions that can be applied to the crime(s).  Ask Marion/JOMP

Source:  Annette Gongora’s facebook post

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ASPCA Rescue Tails: Kitten Survives Six Days in Duffel Bag

kittenIf one cat’s will to live could outmatch the strength of a heavy canvas bag, then surely one little kitten in Spokane County, WA, has the courage of a lion. Last week, two maintenance workers were testing garage doors at an apartment complex when they heard the muffled sounds of a distressed kitten coming from a large, heavy canvas duffel bag. The workers unzipped the bag only to find a second zipped duffel bag inside. When they opened the second bag, they discovered a frightened orange kitten, whom they promptly named Duff.

After giving him a much-needed bath, the rescuers called the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS)—an ASPCA Mission: Orange partner agency—to pick up and care for the tiny, suffering kitten.

“Duff was very lucky to be found,” says Animal Protection Officer Nicole Montano. “He probably would have died that day.”

Spokane Valley resident Donivan Crews later confessed to SCRAPS that he placed the kitten in the duffel bags six days prior to discovery. Crews was charged with confinement in an unsafe manner.

But this story of cruel abandonment has a very happy ending. One of Duff’s knights in shining armor adopted the lucky feline, who’s now recovering in a truly loving home.

“We are so grateful for the heroes who not only rescued this kitten but also took him into their hearts and home,” says Jackie E. Bell, SCRAPS Development Coordinator. “Duff will always have his name as a reminder of how he overcame such a tough start in life.”

Source:  ASPCA

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    August 30, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments