Does Your Cat Want to Become a Millionaire?

What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?
By Jordan Lite - Scientific American

Is there really such a thing as a dog that won't cause allergies?

Barack Obama has promised the future First Daughters a dog, and his eldest, 10-year-old Malia, has zeroed in on a so-called hypoallergenic breed to accommodate her allergies. Her top pick is a goldendoodle, a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle, though the future prez has hinted about adopting a rescue dog, noting that "a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me."

We asked Bernadine Cruz, a spokeswoman for the American Veterinary Medical Association, to explain the hypoallergenic concept. Cruz is a veterinarian in Laguna Hills, Calif., and in 2006 was also a paid spokeswoman for Allerca, a company that claimed to have bred a hypoallergenic cat. For an update on Allerca and its research, see this story in The Scientist.

This is an edited transcript.

Why are some people allergic to dogs?

For many people, being allergic to dogs is a matter of having a sensitivity to a protein in their saliva which also exudes through their skin.

Would a hypoallergenic dog be a good option for people who are otherwise allergic to pooches?

There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog. One cat has been bred that's considered hypoallergenic: A company called Allerca in San Diego found a line of cats considered hypoallergenic because of a naturally occurring divergence (mutation) of the protein Fel d 1. The protein is (normally) found in cat saliva, urine and exudes from their skin. I've found people who are extremely allergic to cats who are able to play with them and not have the sneezing. But in dogs, a mutation in any similar protein has not been found.

What types of dogs might be better for allergy suffers?

Every person will have his or her own degree of reactivity to certain dogs — their saliva and proteins in their bodies. Those dogs that are more universally less allergenic come from more specific breeds such as Poodles, Kerry Blue Terriers, Schnauzers, Bichons and Lhasa Apsos. [They] don’t shed a lot or they go to the groomer frequently and by getting their hair washed and trimmed, get the allergens off their skin. When those dogs mate purposely or accidentally with breeds outside of those breeds, their offspring may be less allergenic.

But some people can have allergies to a Poodle and then be playing with a German Shepherd and have no problem.

What about the Peruvian Hairless Dog, which that country has offered to the Obamas? Is it better for allergy sufferers?

They're not going to be shedding a lot, but (allergenic) proteins will exude through their skin so that’s not always going to be the answer.

Are purebred dogs healthier than other dogs?

There's no difference.

Are purebreds available at shelters, or only through breeders?

Many times you will find them in shelters. Going to shelters or breed rescues is a great way for the Obamas or anyone to get a pet.

Dogs, Cats, Hippos and Silkworms: a History of Presidential Pets
By LANA BERKOWITZ Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

In his election night address, Barack Obama said he plans to make good on a campaign promise to his daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, that after the election they would get a puppy. There's no doubt a lucky dog is headed for the White House, but there's no word on whether Malia will get the dog on the top of her wish list, a golden retriever-poodle hybrid known as a goldendoodle.

Although dogs and cats are standard for first families, other presidents have expanded their menageries.

Martin Van Buren had two tiger cubs as pets until Congress said he should donate them to a zoo. John Quincy Adams had an alligator and pet silkworms. In addition to his beloved raccoons, Calvin Coolidge had quite a zoo, including a pygmy hippopotamus called Billy. Thomas Jefferson enjoyed his pet mockingbirds. Woodrow Wilson had a ram named Old Ike, who reportedly chewed tobacco.

Theodore Roosevelt kept a bear called Jonathan Edwards; Josiah the badger; dogs Jack and Skip; Eli the blue macaw; Emily Spinach the garden snake; ponies Algonquin and General Grant; Tom Quartz the cat; and assorted hamsters and guinea pigs with names such as Bishop Doane and Father O'Grady, according to

Roosevelt's children liked to name their pets after real people, and the name picked by the Obamas will go down in history, too. So what should they call their new pet? Imagine the newsprint, blog space and radio time that discussion will eat up.

Keep Dogs and Cats Safe Amid Wintry Weather

The American Humane Association offers cold-weather tips for cats and dogs.

Cold, stormy weather has already wreaked havoc in certain parts of the country, including a blizzard in South Dakota that knocked out power and stranded motorists. Cats and dogs require special attention during the winter months, and the American Humane Association urges pet owners to take precautions.

When it gets chilly, wild animals and cats left outside may seek a car engine for warmth. Before starting the engine, bang on the hood a few times to make sure you won’t be traveling with an extra passenger.

Cats and dogs might have fur, but that doesn’t mean they can withstand extreme temperatures. Pets should be kept inside if possible.

If dogs are left outside, they should have a draft-free shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. American Humane suggests a layer of straw or other bedding material to help insulate pets against the cold.

Typically, outdoor animals need more calories in the winter, so it’s best to feed them accordingly when the temperature drops. Talk to your veterinarian for advice on a proper diet.

Many pets like to go outside to play in the snow, but many people use powerful salt and chemicals on their sidewalks to combat the ice. Clean paws after each outing to prevent pads from becoming dry and irritated. Signs of ingestion include excessive drooling, vomiting, and depression.

Mosquitoes and other bugs can be a year-round problem. Remember to keep pets on regular heartworm, flea, and tick preventives.

Medications used to treat the sniffles can be harmful to pets. Keep prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of a pet’s reach. Do not medicate animals yourself unless under the direction of a veterinarian.

Pets Feel the Pinch
By Donna Libby - Daily Review Atlas

While the focus of the current economic crisis has been its effects on people, the pet population is not immune to the tough times.

"We have noticed a tremendous rise in pets needing rescued in our area especially these past three months. This would normally be our slow time. It isn't just our area, it's happening nationwide," said Monmouth Public Service Officer, Robin Sage.

Donations of food, bedding, cleaning supplies and other necessary items are also down because to the sluggish economy.

"Our survival depends on those donations" she said. "Thankfully, our churches help us."
Sage said many pet owners still fail to get have their animals spayed or neutered, despite public service announcements and other media resources encouraging them to do so.

"This, combined with so many stray animals that reproduce, often has put quite a strain on all animal rescue groups. One shelter in the Quad Cities cannot accept any more animals," she said.

To help fund its operation, the local group, Western Illinois Animal Rescue (WIAR), has a doggie wash on the last Saturday of every month, unless it falls on a holiday. It takes place at the Monmouth Small Animal Hospital on N. 11th Street from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A wash is $10 and nails are an additional $10. A town favorite will take place on Saturday, Dec. 13 when Shyvell Studios will be present to take Santa Claus pictures.

Sage said many people try to "dispose" of their animals, rather than take them to a shelter.

"Dumping their animals off in the country is the worst possible fate for any animal. People think the animal will be just fine in the country. Nothing could be further from the truth," she said. "That animal might sit there for days waiting to go back home or wander off to a farm area. It could be shot if it attacks chickens or it could be attacked by wildlife."

Volunteers are the life blood of any rescue group. "They help us transport our animals to other locations. We had two adult pit bulls and eight puppies go all the way to New York recently. We took them to Dixon where they were picked up and taken to another location. This happened several times until they finally reached their destination," she said.

There are a number of Web sites now available that make matching a family to a pet much easier. They are:;; which is the local group site designed by Marcia McLaughlin and Kathy Jo Shamblin.

One of the Web sites seems to be popular in the Chicago area.

"We have sent four dogs up there in the past five weeks and 12 dogs have been saved through the Web sites in the last couple of months," Sage said.

Black labradors are one of the hardest breeds to place, Sage said.

"They are the most over bred dog in the United States. People just aren't interested in black pets of any kind for some unknown reason," she said. "Cats are also way over populated because people don't have them spayed or neutered."

Sage has been doing her job for about 13 years.

"Five years in this type of career is about the limit in most cases. While it is fulfilling, it is also extremely stressful because placement for the animals have a deadline. If the deadline isn't met, the animal is put down. That is what really bothers me."

As a public service officer, she can write citations and go to the state's attorney's office to file complaints. Something new she is excited about is going into the schools to talk to students about animal safety, the responsibility of owning a pet and volunteerism.

With Christmas approaching, Sage has advice for parents who are considering a pet as a gift.

"Don't do it. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, two or three months down the road when the newness wears off and no one wants to take care of it, it will become a rescue pet. We see it all too often," she said. "I recommend parents do some research before making their decision."

Rather than abandon a pet, Sage suggests calling WIAR for pet food or whatever else a pet might need.

"We will help you keep your pet in any way we can. Under no circumstances should you 'dump your pet.'"

Sage has been involved with WIAR for many years. "We don't have a building, so some of our animals are housed at the Small Animal Hospital. They are the ones waiting to be adopted. We are always seeking new members. We meet the first Thursday of every month at The American Legion at 6:30 p.m. We have had some Monmouth College students approach us about helping. When many of them leave home for college, they are also leaving their own pets behind. One theory is that if they become involved as volunteers, it might help alleviate homesickness," she said.

Anyone interested in becoming involved with WIAR, either as a member or to give a donation, can call (309) 299-3840 and leave a message or call Robin Sage at 734-8383 or go online. Donations can be mailed to WIAR, P.O. Box 145, Monmouth, IL 61462.


Morris Animal Inn Reopens as Luxury Pet Resort

Champagne Celebration for VIPs (Very Important Pets) and their People Will Mark Grand Reopening

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Nov 13, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Morris Animal Inn, a 5-star luxury resort and spa for pets, announces the completion of its multi-million dollar expansion and renovation project. The full-service country inn for dogs and cats offers the finest amenities for four-legged guests anywhere -- including lodging, grooming, spa services, day care, doggie day camp and more.

The state-of-the-art facility has doubled in size and offers a heated indoor pool, whirlpool, pet suites with soothing music and videos, skylights, indoor and outdoor play areas, pampering and activities packages, daily maid and room service, Happy Hour with homemade pet treats, tuck-in service and more.

Morris Animal Inn ( will roll out the red carpet for a Grand Reopening Celebration for its VIPs (Very Important Pets) and their people beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 20. The private event will feature behind-the-scenes tours, a visit from the "Puparazzi," a bone bar for dogs, music and refreshments. The media is invited.

The United States pet industry continues to grow. Americans will spend $43 billion dollars on their pets this year, and $3.2 billion on boarding and grooming -- up 7 percent from last year, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

"Our Inn is not a typical boarding kennel but rather a first-class experience for companion animals," says owner Walter Morris.
Located on a quiet country lane with over 12 acres, the new facility was designed by Morris with state-of-art engineering to provide for both the comfort and safety of his pet guests. The facility is climate-controlled with purified air, smoke and sprinkler systems, back-up generators, 24-hour surveillance cameras and the capability for daily floor-to-ceiling sanitizing for the cleanest environment. Perimeter fencing encloses the facility.

Spacious, comfortable and affordable accommodations range from $29 to $52 for dogs, $23 to $49 for cats, depending upon size of the pet and season. Additional add-on services are available.

Family-owned and -operated for over four decades, the Inn was established by Walter Morris Sr., a professional dog handler who won "Best in Show" at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Current owners Walter Morris Jr. and wife Marianne built the current facility in 1986 and put years of experience into transforming Morris Animal Inn into a luxury pet resort and spa.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional photos available upon request.

Morris Animal Inn is a full-service, luxury pet resort for dogs and cats located in Morristown, NJ. Established in 1960, the country inn was recently renovated and expanded into a state-of-the-art facility that offers lodging, spa services, grooming, day care and camp. The award-winning Morris Animal Inn is a charter member of the Pet Care Services Association. For more information, call 973-539-0377 or visit

Kelly G. Vanasse

or Gina Ramos
973-539-0377 ext. 15

Whose Cat Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Meow Mix(R) Think Like a Cat Game Show(TM) to Air on GSN on Saturday, November 15;Cats and Their Humans to Compete as a Team, Feline Charities Benefit

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 13, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Whose cat wants to be a millionaire? Meow Mix introduces the world's first game show to test how well people can think like their cat. Meow Mix,(R) the cat food cats ask for by name, today announces that one lucky feline, along with his or her pet parent, will have the opportunity for a million-dollar payday on "The Meow Mix(R) Think Like a Cat Game Show(TM)."
The thirty-minute program, in which cats and their humans will compete as a team, will premiere on Game Show Network (GSN) on Saturday, November 15, 2008, at 9:30 PM ET /8:30 CT and will be hosted by game show legend Chuck Woolery. The program will re-air Sunday, November 16, at 1:00 AM ET, Friday, November 21, at 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 22, at 1:00 AM ET, and Sunday, November 23, at 4:30 PM ET.
"Meow Mix has always understood what makes cats happy, and our goal with 'The Meow Mix Game Show' is to pass this knowledge along to Meow Mix's pet parents," said Brian Ely, Director Marketing, Del Monte Foods. "We did this last year when we opened The Meow Mix Acatemy--the world's first school to teach people how to think like a cat--and now we're giving pet parents and their cats the chance to show off how well they understand each other, and in the process win a lot of money for themselves and for charity. Both the Acatemy and 'The Meow Mix Game Show' are key ways that Del Monte Pet Foods is enhancing the emotional connection between pet and pet parents with innovative products and marketing."

"The Meow Mix Game Show" will put a cat-centric twist on classic game shows. Parents will be quizzed on general feline knowledge--covering categories such as nutrition, behavior, anatomy and the role of cats in pop culture--as well as interactive challenges where cats and pet parents must work together to be successful. Teams will compete in challenges like "The Fast and the Furriest" and "Are You as Smart as a Cat" to determine who emerges as Pick of the Litter.

"GSN is excited about integrating our customers' advertising message and brand attributes into programming," said John Zaccario, GSN Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales. "'The Meow Mix Game Show' partnership leverages GSN's television and digital platforms to achieve maximum impact with our audience. We are thrilled to be working with Del Monte and their Meow Mix brand. They demonstrate a talent to think creatively and embrace new ways to engage audiences."

"In my game show career I've worked with TV stars, film stars, sports figures, legendary musicians and many other contestants," said host Chuck Woolery. "Now I'm thrilled to be working with my furry friends, cats. It's a first for me and I'm delighted to be partnering with Meow Mix and GSN."

Upon completion of the regulation rounds, the team with the most points will have the opportunity to take part in a television first--the chance for a cat parent and his or her cat to win one million dollars--as well as $100,000 for a feline-related charity in their community. Even if the team doesn't hit the million-dollar jackpot, the winning team will still take home $25,000--plus $2,500 will be donated to their local feline charity. The second-place team will win $15,000 (in addition to a $1,500 donation to their local feline charity) and the third-place team will receive $10,000 (as well as a $1,000 donation to their local feline charity). In addition, all finalists will win a year's supply of new Meow Mix(R) Wholesome Goodness(TM) cat food.

Meet the Cat-Testants
Meow Mix scoured the country looking for the purrr-fect cat-testants to appear on the show. Auditions were held in eight cities between July 14 and August 3, 2008, and more than 1,200 feline-human teams turned out to strut their stuff.
The eight teams who clawed their way to the top and will compete on the show include:
Judi Basolo, 58, and Guido, 2-year-old Tabby San Francisco, CA
Alma Coronado, 29, and Abbey, 3-year-old Tabby Dallas, TX
Hartford Hough, 43, and Mr. Guffington, 4-year-old Himalayan Los Angeles, CA
Mirka Luoto, 33, and Phoebe, 8-year-old Persian Denver, CO
Simone Mickelberry, 30, and Spooky D. Cat, 10-year-old Snowshoe Portland, OR
Stephanie Park, 41, and Wolfie, 11-year-old Persian/Siamese mix New York, NY
Ian Stich, 29, and Quinn, 6-year-old Maine Coon Tampa, FL
Saunjae Taylor, 31, and Charlie, 3-year-old American Domestic Chicago, IL

American Humane Association Certified Animal Safety Representatives were present at the auditions, as well as the game show taping, to monitor the well-being of all of the cats participating in the show. In addition, Steve Dale, a member of the American Humane Association Board, as well as host of a popular pet radio show and author of a nationally syndicated column on pets, served as a consultant to the program.

"The Meow Mix Game Show" was created by Grand Central Marketing (GCM), the company that previously developed "The Meow Mix House(TM)," a 2006 reality show starring 10 shelter cats, and the Meow Mix Cafe(R), a restaurant for cats and their humans. The Executive Producers are GCM and David Doyle, the former vice president of program development and production for Animal Planet, where he was instrumental in the development of such shows as "The Puppy Bowl" and "The World's Ugliest Dog Competition". As lead agency for the Meow Mix brand, TracyLocke developed the "Think Like a Cat" concept to serve as the first extended platform for the Meow Mix(R) brand and serves as the strategic integrator for all facets of the program.
Pet parents can visit for more information about the show, to view audition outtakes, play interactive games, and enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a state-of-the-art home theater system.

About Meow Mix(R) Brand
Meow Mix(R) brand "Tastes So Good Cats Ask For It By Name!(R)" Meow Mix(R) is the leading brand in cat food with a mission of keeping cats happy. The brand is proud to offer a wide range of products to suit whatever tastes your cat loves. Whether your cat eats dry food, wet food or a combination of both, Meow Mix(R) cat food has the variety and taste that cats crave. Meow Mix(R) brand offers a range of dry and wet cat food, premium pouch and Meow Mix(R) cat treats.

Can Costs May Eat into Pet Food Margins
Staff - Grainews

Related ItemsMore News by TopicLivestock Makers of canned pet foods can expect a "major" increase in the price of cans in 2009, forcing them to either eat the cost or raise prices, Menu Foods warns in its latest quarterly report.

The beleaguered Toronto pet food maker is in what it calls a "rebuilding year," following its involvement in a major pet food recall in 2007, after it learned that ingredients supplied by a Chinese company had been spiked with melamine.

Looking ahead from the end of its third quarter Sept. 30, Menu said in a release Wednesday that it has seen some raw material costs decline from recent highs.

"However, this has not been widespread and, in general, costs remain above the levels being experienced when the latest price increase was announced," the company said.

On top of that, the income trust said it's been advised by its can supplier that it should expect a "major increase" in the price of steel cans in 2009.

"The fund believes that the other participants in the wet pet food industry, including the leading national brands, will experience these same cost challenges and that this will, at least, necessitate a price increase on pet food sold in steel cans," Menu CEO Paul Henderson wrote in his message to unitholders.

On the upside, "recessionary times" usually mean a rise in demand for store-brand pet foods, as opposed to the major national brand names, the company said. Menu Foods' main business is producing such private-label brands for retailers.

The income fund on Wednesday posted a net loss of $2.05 million on $61.63 million in sales in its third quarter ending Sept. 30, up from a net loss of $19.3 million on $78.1 million in sales in the year-earlier Q3.

Most of the costs of the 2007 recall had been expensed in the company's 2007 Q1; Menu then saw the greatest impact from lost sales in that year's Q2. Its 2007 Q3, by comparison, saw buyers begin to refill their product pipelines after having been without product for several months.

Franklin Pet Memorials
“Remember them with a custom solid bronze memorial.”

Contact: Cynthia Linnon
191 Howard Street Franklin, PA 16323
814-346-7205 ph 814-346-7047 fax

Spokane County Lawsuit Seeks Pet Rights
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - Seattle Post Intelligencer

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A federal lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of animal control laws in Spokane, including provisions allowing for the immediate euthanasia of cats.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by Adam Karp, a Bellingham animal law attorney, who represents Spokane pet owner Patty Schoendorf.

The lawsuit doesn't seek monetary damages, but asks a federal judge to order the city and Spokane County to modify their animal control laws so constitutional protections are followed when dogs and cats are euthanized.

Unlicensed cats can be killed immediately if animal control officers believe the animal is sick, injured or dangerous.

"It's a property rights case, but the property we're talking about here is a family member, a companion animal," Karp said after filing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court. "We're not just dealing with government impounding a car."

Officials for the city and county did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment.

Local laws should allow Schoendorf and other Spokane taxpayers time to recover their pets under due-process guarantees of the Constitution, which prevent the government from taking or destroying a person's property, he said.

The lawsuit contends recently modified provisions of the city of Spokane's animal control law are "baseless and contain a vague double standard" because they allow for the "instant kill" of unlicensed sick cats, but set a minimum holding period for unlicensed dogs.

A county law that provides for the immediate euthanasia of cats "when the designated shelter area for cats is at capacity" violates state and federal constitutions, the lawsuit said.

It also contends the city and county are violating state law by allowing "untrained and unlicensed" people to decide if a sick or injured cat warrants immediate euthanasia.

"You have animal control workers, who are largely untrained, making life-and-death decisions," Karp said.

He filed the suit after city and county officials declined to talk with him about rewriting the laws.

He cited a federal appeals court case that arose after police in San Jose, Calif., shot and killed a dog during a raid on a Hells Angels clubhouse. The federal appeals court upheld a $1 million award given to the Hells Angels, saying the "emotional attachment to a family's dog is not comparable to a possessory interest in furniture."

Information from: The Spokesman-Review,

Click here to visit The EZ Online Shopping Network of Stores!

No comments: