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Cats Are Trainable – and That’s Not a Punchline

Program teaches layabout felines to work for their food

Image: Cat

Having your cat touch your hand with its nose on command is one of the easiest behaviors to train, Chan says. If you hold out your hand, most cats will naturally sniff it. Reward with a treat until the cat is doing it every time you present your hand. Then, start repeating a word like “touch” every time.

This trick can then be used to get the cat to move where you want it by placing your hand in the desired spot. “You can use it to ask them to get off the couch, or teach them to jump through a hoop by putting the hand on the other side of the hoop,” Chan says.

Another useful behavior is entering the cat carrier on their own. Sandy Lagreca, a volunteer at the Michigan Humane Society, says that this is great for both cats and people: “They go in without having to be picked up and shoved into the crate, which can be traumatic for the owner.”

Patience, repetition and a treat
All this requires is patience, repetition and a highly desired treat. Throw the treat into the crate (and if your cat is already suspicious of the carrier, step away). Let the cat go in, eat the treat, and leave, repeating until it’s completely comfortable going into the carrier. Then, start to close the door and leave the cat inside for increasingly longer intervals. Again, repeat till the cat is comfortable before you try to pick up the carrier.

Chan says that people often don’t think cats are trainable because they lack a dog’s desire to please, “but we have things that cats want. That’s all that matters.” Figure out what your cat will work for — it may be a little tuna, a bit of canned food on the end of a chopstick, or maybe a toss of a toy mouse.

Connelly says to keep training sessions short — she recommends no more than five minutes — and varied. “Teach something else when they get one thing right,” she says. “Cats get bored easily.”

In addition to the specific useful behaviors, Bentley says, training can help prevent problems by changing the terms of your relationship with your pet. “The animal learns, when I do this, you’re happy and I get a piece of food, I guess I should focus on making you happy,” she says. “Teaching our cats to successfully do what we like and get rewarded makes them more inclined to do what we like.”

And it’s also rewarding to see that your cat is capable of so much more than lying on the couch. Says Lagreca, “It’s fun to watch the progression and see the lights go on — when they make that connection it’s a magical moment.”

To the evaluator’s surprise, Storm passed the test, successfully performing commands like sit, stay, come, down, and walking on a leash.

Storm is a cat who does some of these things for a living. He helps Connelly train lost pet search dogs in Maryland by hiding and waiting to be found.

But training cats isn’t just for professionals — human or feline. The Michigan Humane Society has a Pawsitive Start program that uses volunteers to train cats in their shelter in useful and fun behaviors like the high-five and walking into a carrier.

“A lot of people look kind of funny at us when we say we train the shelter cats,” says CJ Bentley of the humane society. Cats need more than just playtime outside the cage to be well-adjusted in the shelter environment, she says.

Problem-solving power
“It’s not just all about the physical, it’s the mental as well,” says Bentley. “To teach them to be able to solve problems on their own can reduce the stress. It gives them control over a situation.”

It’s not just shelter cats that need more, though. People expect pet cats to “just hang out, which isn’t realistic,” says Melissa Chan, behavior specialist at the Houston SPCA. Cats are naturally active animals, she says, and “one thing I wish I could tell every cat owner: Cats want to work for their food.”

Capable cats: Share photos of your smart kitty

Having your cat touch your hand with its nose on command is one of the easiest behaviors to train, Chan says. If you hold out your hand, most cats will naturally sniff it. Reward with a treat until the cat is doing it every time you present your hand. Then, start repeating a word like “touch” every time.

This trick can then be used to get the cat to move where you want it by placing your hand in the desired spot. “You can use it to ask them to get off the couch, or teach them to jump through a hoop by putting the hand on the other side of the hoop,” Chan says.

Another useful behavior is entering the cat carrier on their own. Sandy Lagreca, a volunteer at the Michigan Humane Society, says that this is great for both cats and people: “They go in without having to be picked up and shoved into the crate, which can be traumatic for the owner.”

Patience, repetition and a treat

All this requires is patience, repetition and a highly desired treat. Throw the treat into the crate (and if your cat is already suspicious of the carrier, step away). Let the cat go in, eat the treat, and leave, repeating until it’s completely comfortable going into the carrier. Then, start to close the door and leave the cat inside for increasingly longer intervals. Again, repeat till the cat is comfortable before you try to pick up the carrier.

Chan says that people often don’t think cats are trainable because they lack a dog’s desire to please, “but we have things that cats want. That’s all that matters.” Figure out what your cat will work for — it may be a little tuna, a bit of canned food on the end of a chopstick, or maybe a toss of a toy mouse.

Connelly says to keep training sessions short — she recommends no more than five minutes — and varied. “Teach something else when they get one thing right,” she says. “Cats get bored easily.”

In addition to the specific useful behaviors, Bentley says, training can help prevent problems by changing the terms of your relationship with your pet. “The animal learns, when I do this, you’re happy and I get a piece of food, I guess I should focus on making you happy,” she says. “Teaching our cats to successfully do what we like and get rewarded makes them more inclined to do what we like.”

And it’s also rewarding to see that your cat is capable of so much more than lying on the couch. Says Lagreca, “It’s fun to watch the progression and see the lights go on — when they make that connection it’s a magical moment.”

Source: MSNBC/Pets

Posted: Just One More Pet

November 18, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, pet fun, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , | Leave a comment

Teen Who Killed Kitten Only to Serve One Year in Prison

The ASPCA applauds the conviction of Cheyenne Cherry, a 17-year-old Bronx, NY, resident who admitted to the heinous act of leaving her ex-roommate’s kitten, Tiger Lily, in an oven to burn to death. On June 3, she was arrested by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) Agents for aggravated animal cruelty, burglary, criminal mischief and arson.

Photos of Cat Killer and Victim – Kitty Heard Screaming
CAT KILLER

On July 16, in Bronx Supreme Court, Cherry unapologetically pled guilty to charges of animal cruelty and burglary. Waiving her right to appeal, she agreed to serve one year in prison and not keep a pet for the next three years. Currently jailed on a probation violation, her formal sentencing is scheduled for July 31. Cherry’s accomplice, a 14-year-old girl who allegedly placed the kitten in the oven, is facing charges in family court because of her age.

The horrific death of eight-week-old Tiger Lily garnered the public’s attention this past June, and justifiably so, as a clear connection has been established between acts of cruelty toward animals and potential future violence directed at humans. “Cherry appeared to show no remorse for her role in allowing an eight-week-old kitten to cook to death in a 500-degree oven,” says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the ASPCA HLE department. The teen also has a history of violent crimes against both people and animals—in 2008, she was arrested for committing the armed theft of a Yorkshire Terrier.

“The lack of remorse shown by Cheyenne Cherry, along with the complicity of a younger child in the crime, is alarming,” says Sheryl Pipe, ASPCA Senior Director of Humane Education. “It is crucial that legal, mental health and education professionals identify kids at risk of committing such acts and learn how to appropriately intervene.”

What do you think? Tweet on this article. Include @aspca and #TeenConvict

Source:  ASPCA.com

Absolutely not enough considering the level of cruelty.  Cheyenne should have gotten 10 years in prison and should never be allowed to own a pet for the rest of her life!  Cheyenne was unapologetic and there is no rehabilitation in prison that will change her sociopathic tendencies or cruelty and the same goes for the 14-year-old accomplice.  This sentence is a crime!!  JOMP~

Posted: Just One More Pet

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July 25, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Teen Kills Kitten in Oven; Faces 10-Year Sentence

Humane

On June 3, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents arrested Cheyenne Cherry, a 17-year-old resident of the Bronx, for allegedly killing a two-month-old kitten by burning her to death in an oven. In addition to cruelty to animals, Cherry was charged with multiple counts of burglary, arson and criminal mischief. Under New York State law, Cherry is considered an adult and faces more than 10 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

Cherry admits that she broke into the home of an ex-roommate on May 6 with the intent to “play a joke and mess up her apartment.” Cherry and an accomplice allegedly threw bleach on the walls of the apartment, slashed furniture and stole various items. Before leaving, the pair put the victim’s kitten, Tiger Lily, into the hot oven.

When police arrived at the Bronx apartment to investigate smoke complaints, Tiger Lily was found dead. Her remains were taken to ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, where veterinarians had to perform a necropsy to determine the sex of the badly burned kitten.

According to Joseph Pentangelo, Assistant Director of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, Cherry’s explanation for placing the kitten in the oven was simply: “I hate cats.”

If you know of a child or teen who is hurting animals, please report his or her behavior to the proper authorities—kids who assault animals may eventually act out on people. The ASPCA offers a list of ways to intervene when a child or teen displays dangerous behavior around animals.

To report animal cruelty in New York City, contact the ASPCA anonymous tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty elsewhere.

Photos of Cat Killer and Victim – Kitty Heard Screaming
CAT KILLER

***”Horrible” and I’m glad to see that the girl might get 10-years, but I honestly think she should get 10-years+ for killing the cat alone and then additional time for burglary, arson and criminal mischief.  What a horrible way to die for that kitten.  And it has been proven that people who can treat animals that way are also prone to domestic violence and cruelty to children, and are often sociopaths. Her statement where she killed this kitty for no reason in this heinous manner with no remorse and then makes a flippant comment like “I hate cats” kinda says it all.  I say throw the book at her without parole, mandatory counseling, and a lifetime tracking band like child abusers get when she gets out including a provision of no contact with animals… or something like this or worse will happen with this gal again!!  I’d be up for life without parole like the police dog killer got!!

Related Articles:

Cheyenne Cherry tossed her ex-roommate’s kitty, Tiger Lily (above), into the stove, then left so she didn’t have to hear the cat’s anguished cries.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/06/05/2009-06-05_evil_teen_who_tossed_cat_in_the_oven.html

Cheyenne Cherry is currently scheduled to appear in court on July 15, 2009.

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***We highly recommend you snail-mail or fax to those contacts without
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Robert T. Johnson, Bronx District Attorney
The Office of the Bronx County District Attorney
198 East 161st Street; Bronx, NY 10451
ph: 718-590-2000, 718-590-2312; fax: 718-590-2198
email: angueirl@bronxda.nyc.gov

Steven Reed, Director of Public Information
The Office of the Bronx County District Attorney
198 East 161st Street; Bronx, NY 10451
ph: 718-590-2235, 718-590-2234

Joe McCormack, Assistant District Attorney
Bronx County District Attorney’s Office
198 East 161st Street; Bronx, New York 10451
ph: 718-590-2000, 718-590-2026; fax: 718-781-1129
email: mccormaj@bronxda.nyc.gov

Nancy Borko, Senior Assistant District Attorney
Bronx District Attorney’s Office
215 East 161st Street; Bronx, NY 10451-3511
ph: 718-838-7114

Maria T. Rivero, Administrative Assistant District Attorney:
riverom@bronxda.nyc.gov

Anthony Girese, Counsel to the District Attorney
Bronx County District Attorney’s Office
198 East 161st Street; Bronx, New York 10451
ph: 718-590-2175; fax: 718-992-0545
email: giresea@bronxda.nyc.gov

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The Office of the Bronx County District Attorney:

Thank you for recognizing public concern in the case of Tiger Lily, a kitten scorched alive inside an oven on May 6, 2009. I understand Cheyenne Cherry, 17, is charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty, burglary, arson, criminal trespass, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

I respectfully ask for your utmost deliberation in the investigation of
Cherry and her accomplice, who allegedly broke into ex-roommate Valerie Hernandez’s home and trapped Tiger Lily inside an activated stove.  Apparently, they ransacked the apartment and raised the stove’s heat before fleeing with stolen items. The girls never heard Tiger Lily’s last screams and scratches against the oven door.

Please seek maximum adult incarceration of two years for felony animal
cruelty. Cherry also faces possible jail terms of 15 years for second-degree
burglary, one year for arson, and four years for criminal mischief. I urge
you to hold both teens accountable. Both require psychological evaluation
and therapy. Both should be barred from possessing or working with animals.

At the very least, they ought to be interned in a juvenile detention hall
until age 18 (if applicable). Then, reassessment of the girls’ personality
traits can determine if adult imprisonment is necessary.

Adolescents who commit brutal crimes against humans usually begin with animals. Columbine shooter Eric Harris, 18, smashed mice with a crowbar and set them on fire. Washington D.C. serial killer Lee Boyd Malvo killed stray cats with a slingshot. Kip Kinkle blew up a cow and burned a live cat. He then shot 25 classmates and murdered his parents in Springfield, Oregon.  After Luke Woodham, 16, mortally stabbed his mother and shot nine others, he confessed to bludgeoning his dog with baseball bats and setting her on fire.

These murderers, like Cherry, were able to torture and kill without remorse. Indeed, the intentional burning of an animal is a “particularly significant predictor of violent and even homicidal behavior,” says Dr. Randall Lockwood of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Initiatives and a frequent consultant for cruelty investigators, law enforcers and mental health professionals.

Cherry “thought we would play a joke on Valerie.”  But she and her friend are not guilty of warped humor or bad choices. Roasting a defenseless kitten is the calculated action of a sociopath and a predator.

Thank you for prosecuting Cherry and her accomplice to the fullest degree allowed by law.

Sincerely,

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SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
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Terri Kelley, Kinship Circle Investigative Research Aide
pawsitivedirections@yahoo.com
BRONX LOVE SPAT SPURS SICKENING KITTEN SLAY
http://www.nypost.com/seven/06052009/news/regionalnews/bronx/bronx_love_spat_spurs_sickening_kitten_s_172665.htm
Bronx teen confesses to roasting kitten
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/06/05/2009-06-05_evil_teen_who_tossed_cat_in_the_oven.html
Petition to have Cheyenne Cherry tried as Adult
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/332/petition-to-have-cheyenne-cherry-tried-as-adult

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Posted:  Just One More Pet

June 13, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

We Need A Home – OC Humane Society Huntington Beach

OC Humane Society's Flyer 2  - HB

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Blog, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cat in China grows a pair of Wings

Feline was born normal but developed appendages at age 1, family says

winged_cat_ChinaIt’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a … cat?

A kitty in Chongqing, China, is getting some extra-special attention these days: The furry feline has developed wings! Though born looking completely normal, once the cat hit the age of 1, he began growing wing-shaped appendages on either side of his spine, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports.

While some think the bony limbs may be a mutation of some kind — or even a Siamese twin growing inside the cat — others speculate it’s a genetic change perhaps caused by chemicals ingested by the kitty’s mother while she was pregnant.

According to the cat’s owners, he doesn’t seem to mind his new wings — and he’s loving the attention he’s received because of them!

Strange as the case may sound, winged felines are not unheard of. Back in August 2008, the U.K. Telegraph reported that tomcats in China’s Sichuan province developed wing-like growths on their backs.

Veterinary experts said then that despite the hard inner core, the “wings” don’t harm cats’ quality of life or safety. According to the Telegraph’s report, scientists believe the appendages developed due to grooming habits, a genetic defect or a hereditary skin condition.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 31, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New First Pooch Is Arriving Soon

harding-and-laddie-boy_0818

Warren Harding with Laddie Boy Library Of Congress / Getty ENLARGE + Print EmailShare ReprintsRelated

During the dog days of last summer, perhaps the most important looming decision facing Barack Obama was choosing a dog for his girls.  Way back, as he set out on this quest for the Presidency, he made the one campaign promise he absolutely could not break: that when it was all over, whatever the outcome, his daughters could get a dog.  And if they ended up at Pennsylvannia Avenue the pup would certainly not be the first dog or pet in the White House so would have a long legacy of presidential pets to follow and live up to.

Things have changed since the days when George Washington could name his hounds Drunkard, Tipler and Tipsy. Warren Harding’s Airedale Laddie Boy had a valet and occupied a hand-carved chair at Cabinet meetings. Ulysses S. Grant told his White House staff that if anything happened to his son’s beloved Newfoundland, they’d all be fired. Teddy Roosevelt had, along with a badger, a toad, some snakes and a pig, a bull terrier named Pete who once ripped the pants of a French ambassador. Cousin Franklin’s dog Fala had a press secretary, starred in a movie and was named an honorary private in the Army. George H.W. Bush’s springer spaniel Millie wrote a book, which sold more copies than the President’s autobiography. And then, of course, there was Checkers. Harry Truman supposedly once said, You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. ( By Nancy Gibbs/TIME)

It’s hard enough to pick the right dog.  But adding the fact that you may be the First Family and need a hypoallergenic breed increases the difficulty of the process.  So the American Kennel Club (AKC), hoping to help ensure the 23rd purebred dog into the White House, conducted a survey. The public could even vote online for the type of dog they thought the Obamas should get for the AKC survey, and other groups sponsored similar surveys. Since first daughter Malia has allergies, the AKC limited the ballot choice to five hypoallergenic breeds. It suggested the bichon frise with its history as a companion to French noblemen implying qualification of the breed for the White House. But perhaps it was not the exact image the Obamas were looking for. It recommended the miniature schnauzer as an excellent watchdog, for a little added security (although probably not needed), and the soft-coated wheaten terrior with its sweet-temperament as a positive goodwill ambassador, though it “must be handled firmly and with consistency,” which also may not have been the ideal characteristic choice for the candidate of Change.

The AKC’s preference for purebreds, however, missed the obvious stellar opportunity for the Obamapup. Surely a self-proclaimed postpartisan reformer, who promised to ‘reach across the aisle’,  would lean toward some stunningly blended mutt, a rescued shelter dog or at least one of the American Canine Hybrid Club’s 500 plus registered hybrids. Afterall, the hybrid pooch or designer dog was bred to give you the best of both breeds: a Labradoodle, a Peke-a-Poo, a Bagle (half basset, half beagle) or a Chiweenie (half chihuahua, half dachshund). A bully pulpit seeking candidate might like the Bullypit (a bulldog-pit-bull mix), or he could go for a Sharmatian–part Chinese Shar-Pei, part Dalmatian–and get the whole East-and-West, black-and-white thing going in one single pooch.

There was even a suggestion during the campaign, that their decision for a type of dog, if not actually getting one before the election,  should be moved up, given the competition from the ‘McCainines’. An AP–Yahoo News poll last June (2008) found that pet owners favored John McCain over Obama, 42% to 37%, with an even bigger margin among dog owners. One participant explained that it “tells you that they’re responsible at least for something, for the care of something.” Or, in the McCains’ case, “many somethings”:  their menagerie includes a slew of fish, some parakeets, turtles Cuff and Link, Oreo the cat and four dogs, including terriers Lucy and Desi. Obama could take comfort in his 14-point lead among non–pet owners, except that they form a definate minority of U.S. households.

The Obamas were pre-warned, that although a good one, they were definitely looking at another major life change by getting a dog for the first time. “A dog was never an option in the apartment where I grew up”, said Obama, “and my daughters knew that training the dog they so desperately wanted was nothing compared with training me to accept one”.

portuguese_water_dogWell it is now two and a half months into the presidency and still no first dog, and it seems like the whole world, at least the pet loving world, is waiting for their choice and the arrival of the first pooch.  The word from First Lady Michelle is April, after their Spring Break family vacation, and possibly a Portuguese Water Dog…  and not a puppy (which could mean that in the end the AKC got their next purebred into the White House afterall).  Senator Ted Kennedy, whose neice Caroline got a pony while in the White House, highly recommended the breed.  He has two.  Their coat is a single layer and does not shed. In most cases, these dogs are hypo- allergenic, making them a good choice for those that have allergies.

So, there will be a new pooch frolicking on the South Lawn by the end of this month.

The next obvious question for speculation, of course, is the perfect name for the next first dog. Some suggest the Obamas should just get two, one for each of the girls, and call them Hope and Change.  Of course there are others that suggest getting two dogs but calling them Smoke and Mirror or Fear and “Quo”, for Status Quo, would be the best call, but that would be a subject for another type of blog or article.

Related Articles:  

By Marion Algier/Ask Marion – Posted – Just One More Pet

April 3, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

President Bush and His Pets


Spotty

     In my book, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they relate to animals and how they treat their pets.  Much good and bad has been said and written about former President George W. Bush but what you can definitely say is that he loves animals and has a good heart.  The Bushes had four pets with them during their years in the White House:  Spot Fetcher (Spotty), Barney, Miss Beazley and India (also known as Willie or Kitty). 

     In February 2004 the Bush family lost their 15-year-old English Springer, Spotty. Spotty was the daughter of Millie Bush, the well-known dog of President Bush’s parents, who was born in the White House during George H.W. Bush’s term on March 17, 1989.  Spot was named for former Texas Ranger baseball player Scotty Fletcher.

     Spot was always eager to please and was never far from the President’s side to the very end, but after suffering a series of strokes the President and his wife, Laura, went along with the veterinarian’s recommendation to put Spotty to sleep.  The evening before she was put down, a White House staffer saw the president sitting on the floor cradling Spotty in his arms and talking to her; a touching moment that tells a lot.

     The friendly brown-and-white spaniel was regularly seen wandering around the West Wing and the South Lawn alongside the other more energetic and younger Bush dog, Barney, a black 3-year-old Scottish terrier.  The two dogs were always brought out to greet the president upon his return to the White House from trips, no matter the hour. They also often traveled with the Bushes to Texas or Camp David. Spot was always the more obedient of the two, loyally climbing onto Air Force One or a helicopter without any prompting while Bush often had to chase Barney down and then hand him off to an aide to be carried aboard.

     Mrs. Bush has often said, – especially with the two Bush daughters off at college – “Talking about and playing with the dogs and the family’s much more withdrawn cat, Willie, makes up a significant portion of our entertainment.  Spotty will be missed.”

     After Spot went to doggie Heaven, the Bush’s acquired Miss Beazley, another Scotty, as a companion for Barney.  Both were featured on the Barney cam and had their own web page while the Bushes were in the White House and have now returned to Texas with the family.  Sadly India the family’s 18-year-old American short-haired cat passed away in January, just days before Bush left the office of the presidency.  India had been named for former Texas Rangers player Ruben Sierra.  Bush daughter Barbara, then 9, named the cat “India” after the former major league player, whose nickname was “El Indio.” President George W. Bush was a former co-owner of the Texas Rangers.

 

Harry Truman said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Plenty of presidents did, and other pets besides.
  

      Much can be learned about a person by the way they relate to animals and how they treat their pets. But, perhaps even more can be learned about them by the way they love their pets at the end.  The Bush White House pets no doubt helped the President through some of his toughest times and from all evidence the love and concern went both ways.

By:  Marion Algier/Ask Marion for Just One More Pet 

 

 

Barney and Miss Beazley follow President George W. Bush along the West Wing Colonnade Wednesday, July 23, 2008, on the way back to the Oval Office at the White House. White House photo by Joyce Boghosian  
Barney and Miss Beazley follow President George W. Bush along the West Wing Colonnade Wednesday, July 23, 2008, on the way back to the Oval Office at the White House. White House photo by Joyce Boghosian

barbara-bush-india-and-jenna-bush-hager1The Bush Girls With India
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New First Pooch Is Arriving Soon

Dogwise, All Things Dog!

March 9, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Top 10 Human Medications That Poison Our Pets

Did you know that ingestion of human medications is the most common cause of household poisonings in small animals?

Although pet parents are well aware of poisons lurking around their home, many don’t realize that some of the biggest culprits are sitting right on their own nightstands. In 2007, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received 89,000 calls related to pets ingesting over-the-counter and prescription medications. To help you prevent an accident from happening, our experts have created a list of the top 10 human medications that most often poison our furry friends.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the following items, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. And remember to keep all medications tucked away in bathroom cabinets—and far from curious cats and dogs.

NSAIDs
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses. Pets are extremely sensitive to their effects, and may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers and—in the case of cats—kidney damage.

Antidepressants
Antidepressants can cause vomiting and lethargy and certain types can lead to serotonin syndrome—a condition marked by agitation, elevated body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

Acetaminophen
Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen, which can damage red blood cells and interfere with their ability to transport oxygen. In dogs, it can cause liver damage and, at higher doses, red blood cell damage.

Methylphenidate (for ADHD)
Medications used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in people act as stimulants in pets and can dangerously elevate heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as cause seizures.

Fluorouracil
Fluorouracil—an anti-cancer drug—is used topically to treat minor skin cancers and solar keratitis in humans. It has proven to be rapidly fatal to dogs, causing severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest even in those who’ve chewed on discarded cotton swabs used to apply the medication.

Isoniazid
Often the first line of defense against tuberculosis, isoniazid is particularly toxic for dogs because they don’t metabolize it as well as other species. It can cause a rapid onset of severe seizures that may ultimately result in death.

Pseudoephedrine
Pseudoephedrine is a popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products, and acts like a stimulant if accidentally ingested by pets. In cats and dogs, it causes elevated heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature as well as seizures.

Anti-diabetics
Many oral diabetes treatments—including glipizide and glyburide—can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels of affected pets. Clinical signs of ingestion include disorientation, lack of coordination and seizures.

Vitamin D derivatives
Even small exposures to Vitamin D analogues like calcipotriene and calcitriol can cause life-threatening spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Clinical signs of exposure—including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination and thirst due to kidney failure—often don’t occur for more than 24 hours after ingestion.

Baclofen
Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that can impair the central nervous systems of cats and dogs. Some symptoms of ingestion include significant depression, disorientation, vocalization, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.

  • Pets are ultra-sensitive to anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen, which can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers and kidney damage in cats.
  • Nothing like antidepressants to bring a pet down—they can trigger vomiting, lethargy and a frightening condition called serotonin syndrome.
  • The popular pain remedy acetaminophen is especially toxic to cats, and can damage red blood cells and interfere with oxygen flow.
  • Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant found in many cold remedies, but acts like a stimulant in cats and dogs, who can experience elevated heart rates and seizures.

Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up meds accidentally dropped on the floor. The solution? “Keep all medications in a cabinet,” advises Dr. Helen Myers, veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA. “And consider taking your pills in a bathroom, so if you drop one, you can shut the door and prevent your pet from accessing the room until the medication is found.”

Source:  ASPCA

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October 17, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments