Food for Seniors and Their Best Friend

Season of Suppers Campaign Continues
Banfield, The Pet Hospital

Season Of Suppers®, “A Pet Food Drive For Pets In Need” aims to help more seniors and their Pets fight hunger.

National initiative encourages communities to reach out and donate this November and December to help local seniors with Pets stay nourished year round.

Portland, Ore. —Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008—For some seniors, getting around easily is not an option. Often, their best friend and only companion is a loving dog or cat. The Season of Suppers campaign, now in its third year, calls attention to the importance of Pets to the well-being of homebound seniors. Helping keep these companion Pets well fed, healthy and part of the family for as long as possible became the motivating factor behind the partnership among Banfield, The Pet Hospital, the Banfield Charitable Trust (BCT) and Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA).

Phil Shippers, director of the Visiting Nurse Meals On Wheels program of Rochester, N.Y., knows the importance of getting the message out that homebound seniors with Pets are a vulnerable population.

“We know that many seniors in our community are compromising their own nutrition by sharing their meals with their Pets,” says Shippers.

“Awareness and action are key to preventing this from happening” says Shippers, who began a Pet feeding program in September through partial funding from a $1,000 grant from the Season of Suppers campaign. “In the short period of time since we started a Pet feeding program, we have seen great interest and support from not only our meal recipients but the greater community as well; we strongly believe this support will continue to grow and help us enhance the lives of seniors.”

Making a significant impact for seniors and their Pets
Last year, Banfield’s Season of Suppers campaign raised more than $51,000 to help 50 senior meal programs start or augment Pet feeding programs across the country.

“Since the first Season of Suppers campaign over 100 Meals On Wheels programs have started Pet feeding programs, “says Enid Borden, President and CEO of MOWAA. “While companion Pets are the direct beneficiaries of this campaign, homebound seniors are helped as well – and that’s MOWAA’s primary concern. Before the Season of Suppers campaign, many of these seniors lacked access to Pet food and were sharing their own meals with their Pets. Now, both seniors and their Pets are getting proper nutrition. It’s a win-win.”

Banfield’s 2008 Season of Suppers campaign takes place throughout Banfield’s more than 730 Pet hospitals across the country, beginning Nov. 1, 2008, and continues through the end of the year. Supporters can drop off Pet food or make monetary donations at any local Banfield.

This is an important and life-saving program. To find your local Banfield, The Pet Hospital, please click here.

Senator Ron Wyden, leading the charge for seniors and their Pets
United States Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a champion of health and human services for senior citizens, will serve as the official campaign spokesperson. Senator Wyden began his professional career as an advocate for seniors, founding a legal clinic for the elderly and co-directing the Oregon Grey Panthers; an organization dedicated to working for the social and economic justice and peace for all people.

“The companionship of Pets provides significant benefits for homebound seniors,” says Senator Wyden. “As their social interaction with those outside of their home is limited, their Pets become a very important part of their family. Banfield, the BCT and MOWAA are working together to make sure that the time seniors spend with their Pets is as long and fulfilling as possible.”

NEW this year—2008 Season of Suppers Pet-themed note cards
In addition to donating Pet food and monetary contributions at local Banfield hospitals, supporters can participate in the campaign by purchasing full-color, Pet-themed note cards. A packet of eight cards will be sold for $10 and all of the proceeds from the note card sales, as well as monetary donations throughout the campaign, will be used to improve the lives of MOWAA recipients and their Pets.

Supporters may also purchase cards by contacting the Banfield Charitable Trust at (503) 922-5801 or writing to

How the story began
After realizing that, like their owners, the Pets of many MOWAA recipients were in need of nutritious food, MOWAA launched We All Love Our Pets (WALOP). This initiative enables local Meals On Wheels programs to begin or sustain Pet food programs to nourish the Pets of seniors.

The Banfield–MOWAA partnership is the first initiative of its kind on a national level—it aims to feed all Pets of MOWAA recipients.

“We are truly honored to help support MOWAA’s WALOP program through the collaboration of Banfield, The Pet Hospital, the Banfield Charitable Trust and MOWAA and our Season of Suppers campaign,” says Sandra Campbell, President, Banfield Charitable Trust. “The success of this campaign continues to grow each year.”

About Banfield, The Pet Hospital®
Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1955, Banfield has become the largest Pet general veterinary practice in the world, with more than 730 quality hospitals in many neighborhoods across the U.S., in the U.K. and in Mexico. More than 1,500 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving Pets the same level of care that their human family members receive. Banfield hospitals offer a full-range of comprehensive, medical services, computerized medical records, Pet preventive care plans, extended operating hours, and is the only veterinary practice in the world with an extensive quality assurance program. Banfield, The Pet Hospital helps extend the lives of millions of Pets each year. For journalists seeking more information, please visit our press room at or contact our Media Hotline at 888-355-0595 (no sales calls, please).

About The Banfield Charitable Trust
Banfield Charitable Trust, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit public charity founded in 2003, was founded in response to Banfield team members’ requests for a way to take Banfield’s vision of treating Pets like family beyond the walls of the hospital. In addition to providing preventive care to clients in need, the Charitable Trust also supports childhood education about caring for Pets, veterinary education programs, and programs based on the family-Pet bond.

About Meals On Wheels Association of American (MOWAA)
The Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) is the oldest and largest organization in the United States representing those who provide meal services to people in need. MOWAA works toward the social, physical, nutritional, and economic betterment of vulnerable Americans. The Meals On Wheels Association of America provides the tools and information its programs need to make a difference in the lives of others. It also gives cash grants to local senior meal programs throughout the country to assist in providing meals and other nutrition services.

About We All Love Our Pets (WALOP)
We All Love Our Pets (WALOP) is a MOWAA initiative that enables local Meals On Wheels programs to begin or sustain pet food programs in order to nourish the pets of seniors. While many Meals On Wheels programs have their own pet food services, this is the first initiative of its kind on a national level. The goal of the WALOP program is to provide support and materials to the Meals On Wheels programs nationwide that support the needs of their clients and their pets by providing pet food supplements.

Once again, Season of Suppers is an important and life-saving program. To find your local Banfield, The Pet Hospital, please click here.

Get Your Pet Home Safely!
By Beth Davidow, DVM DACVECC - My Seattle Pets

We work closely with the animal shelters in the area to treat injured stray animals. Because we are open 24 hours, injured animals are often brought into our facility. Our goal is to always make sure animals are kept pain free and comfortable until we can try to locate an owner. The best chance of getting your pet returned to you is to make sure they are identified.

Include as much information as possible on your pet tag. This includes a phone number where you are reachable day or night.found everywhere: the pet store, your veterinarian, online, and more. The tag should have the pet's name and a phone number that works both day and night. A pet license tag or rabies tag also works as the licensing agencies keep contact information on file. One problem with these tags is that the licensing agencies and most primary care veterinarians are not open at night or on the weekend, so it takes longer to contact owners if the pet arrives at our hospital Saturday night.

Some pets won't wear a collar or manage to get them off. In these cases, microchips are a great way to keep your pet identified. A microchip is a small electronic tag that goes under the skin and contains a unique identification number. This tag can be found and the number read with special electronic readers.

All Shelters and Emergency Hospitals have microchip scanners to identify your pet. The tag is registered with the manufacturer which keeps your name and contact information on file. The most important thing with microchips is to remember to change your registered address and phone numbers when you move! We see animals each year that do have microchips but have an incorrect address and phone number on file. This is an important item to put on your moving checklist. You can get a microchip at your local veterinary practice, or visit for a list of veterinarians by zip code who provide this service.

If your pet is lost and you are looking forit, remember to contact your local veterinarian and the local emergency clinics in the area. We do keep a log of lost and found animals and want to help get your pet home safely.

Year in Review - Cute in 2008

What was cute in 2008?

Well, cute is of course purely subjective -- so much so that I'm told some people even think pugs are cute. They're not, but I won't belabor the point here.

I'm lumping show winners into the 'cute' category because -- let's face it -- even high-falutin' sounding competitions like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show are pretty much beauty pagents. Which brings us to our first cutie of the year...

K-Run's Park Me in First, better known as Uno the Beagle, became the first of his breed to win Best in Show in the 132 year history of the prestigious competition (so there's still hope, Cubs fans). ''He's perfect, he was a 10,'' judge J. Donald Jones said in awarding the prize. ''He does cuteness well.''

Doing cuteness well also helped propel another first time winner to the "Best of the Best" title given by the American Cat Fanciers Association. A Russian Blue named Runner garnered top prize and as part of his reward won four hundred pounds of cat food. Which means they'll probably soon be renaming him to "Sitter."

In another 'long-time-in-coming' story, the American Bulldog charmed its way onto the AKC compiled Top 10 most popular breeds list. It's the highest position the bulldog has enjoyed since 1935, which, is also the year the partly canine-inspired word 'boondoggle' entered the American vernacular. And as long as we're being all academic-like, in campus bulldog news, Buddy the bulldog won Drake University's "Beautiful Bulldog" contest this year while the University of Georgia lost their beloved mascot Uga IV, who died of congestive heart failure.

Commuters in Japan could probably understand this outpouring of emotion, enamoured as they are with Tama-chan, a cat working as a "super station master" at a farflung train station in rural Japan. The nine year-old tabby has become a national celebrity and as of May 2008 had helped bring 2.1 million new riders to the troubled Kishikawa line.


Pet Talk: Cat Lovers Will Enjoy These Books as Gifts
By RENE KNAPP - For The Norwich Bulletin

Do you or a family member need some tips and techniques to help have a better home environment for you and your multiple cats? Are you looking for an inexpensive gift for your Aunt Irene, who has seven cats? Well, Leslie Bistline has written a very informative book called “Hairballs in the Morning,” which sells for $9.95. It is a practical guide to living with more than one cat (although even households with only one cat can gain some benefits from this book).

Helpful hints
When Leslie’s husband gave me a copy of the book to read, I was skeptical as to the value of a how-to book with only about 50 pages. But as soon as I started reading, I was nodding my head at how much sense her words made. The author has more than 25 years experience as a Maine coon breeder. She offers her advice in the hope sharing her knowledge and experience will result in the improvement of the relationship between human and pet.

The book starts with your environment. We all want a home to which we can invite people, even when we have a house kept for the pleasure of the cats. You want people to feel as if they are walking into a comfortable home, and are able to say they would never know you had multiple cats in the house. Leslie starts you from the beginning, and gets you through each room of the house: where to start, products that work best and how to get your cats to get along with each other.

Cleanliness is the focus of the book. There are explanations of where priorities should be and easy ways to accomplish them. Leslie gives the reader hints about how to make time for each cat, how to make sure each cat has its own space and how to take care of those hairball spots on your rugs. And when you are done with the house, you can read the chapter about how to groom and take care of your cat’s cleaning! The best tip for me was how to clip nails when you have a cat who is less-than-willing to cooperate. You will have to read the book to find that out!

Her care tips include kittens and elderly cats, and how to say goodbye. Leslie understands it does not matter how many cats you have or how many times you have lost one of them — the loss is devastating each time we have to say farewell or make the decision to let one of our babies go. I heartily recommend this stocking stuffer. “Hairballs in the Morning” is available at

Story of companions
Also on my Christmas reading list is “The Stony Point Whisker Club” by Don Loprieno. It’s a wonderful story about two unlikely companions whose lives are forever entwined. The story of Cato, a red tabby, takes place in a coastal town of Maine. Much of the story is told through Cato’s eyes, a story Luprieno feels through his feline friend’s presence. It was a very difficult book for him to write, but he tells us Cato was “looking over my shoulder, so to speak, guiding in his quiet, helpful way, offering a few words of unspoken advice and ... nodding his approval on a fairly regular basis.”

It’s a story about how humans came to understand and depend on a little red cat, and how important a family member he became. It’s a book that will make you angry, it will make you laugh and it will definitely make you cry. My co-worker found me at my desk at our lunch hour, with tears streaming down my face. She laughed at me (but I will get even with her — I bought her the book for Christmas). There is a happy ending of sorts, and this book brings about a greater understanding of the bond of trust that often occurs between a human and his animal companion. We will all recognize ourselves in the final chapters of Cato’s life — we have all been there.

Luprieno lives in Bristol, Maine, with his wife and his two cats, Clio and Titus. He writes a column for the local newspaper (sounds familiar) and he is a strong advocate for animal rights (that sounds familiar too). He is a former English teacher with a keen interest in history, which caused him to develop interpretive programs for two Revolutionary War historic sites in New York — one of them is the Stony Point Battlefield. His first book was about that battle, this book is totally different and encompasses a different type of battle.

Knowing Cato changed Loprieno’s outlook on life forever. He no longer believes a human life takes precedence over any other, and interactions between people are more important. He once felt that way, but now he knows better. “The Stony Point Whisker Club” is a must-read this Christmas season. It sells for $14.95 and is available at

One of our favorite books is "The Ultimate Cat Lover" by Marty Becker, Gina Spadafori, Carol Knline and Mikkel Becker. "The Best Experts' Advice for a Happy, Healthy Cat with Stories and Photos of Fabulous Felines". Click here to visit HCI Books for many great Pet Book selections.

Vice President-Elect Biden Picks Pup
by Teri Webster, Pet Examiner

Vice president elect Joe Biden recently bought a male German Shepherd puppy from a breeder in East Coventry Township, Pa.
Biden, a Delaware senator, was gracious and "hugged and kissed" all of the dogs, breeder Linda Brown told the Daily Local News.
The purchase has created a new flurry of stories debating what kind of dog President-Elect Barack Obama should bring to the White House after the January inauguration.
Stories flooded traditional media outlets and blogs when Obama promised a puppy to his daughters shortly after winning the presidential race in November.
There have also been many urgings for the Obamas to get a dog from a shelter, rather than purchase one from a breeder.
Similar to Obama's pledge to his daughters, Biden's wife, Jill, had promised her husband a puppy if he won.

Making Sure Both Man and Best Friend Has Enough to Eat
by: Chris Vanderveen - KUSA Denver

FEDERAL HEIGHTS - Robert Nolasco has next to nothing, but he still has his dog, and because of that he'll tell you he's got everything he needs.

"I refer to him as my son. That's how much I love him," he said sitting inside his modest apartment.

Nolasco's eyesight is fading. He relies on "Meals on Wheels" to help him get by. But everyday he wakes up and takes his Tito for a walk.

"I don't know what I'd do without him," he said.

It was that kind of story that convinced Linda Rinelli to help coordinate a program to make sure seniors and shut-ins not only have enough food to eat on a daily basis, but also enough food to feed their pets.

"I was seeing more and more people who were homebound. Sometimes their only companion was their animal. And that animal was so important to them that sometimes they would feed their own food to their animals," she said.

With the help of the Senior Hub, Rinelli is now the coordinator of the Companion Care Program which, if all goes according to plan, should help distribute pet food to dozens of people this winter.

The stories are indicative of the need for more services like hers.

"Recently we dealt with a Vietnam veteran who was living in a basement in Commerce City who had not had a decent meal in seven weeks. His animal had not eaten for five days," she said.

"I don't know what I'd do with out them," Nolasco said.

The programs "companion caregivers" also clean litter boxes, brush and shampoo pets, and walk dogs.

This week Tito and Nolasco received food, treats, and even a squeaky toy. It may take some time for Tito to warm to the toy, but he certainly loved the food.

"He's got plenty of love," Nolasco said.

If you're interested in helping the program you can donate food and pet toys at your nearest Banfield Animal Hospital. Rinelli told us the hospitals in need of the most donations right now include the Arvada clinic near Interstate 70 and Wadsworth Boulevard, the Brighton clinic and the Stapleton clinic.

You can also contribute directly to the program by calling the Senior Hub in Federal Heights. The phone number there is 303-426-4408. Volunteers are also welcome.

Holiday Advice: Don't Get a 'Free Puppy' on the Internet
by Carolyn Starks - Chicago Tribune

It doesn't matter that the adorable Labrador retriever in the movie "Marley & Me" is billed in the trailer as the world's worst dog. Kids will still want one wrapped up with a red bow on Christmas morning, just like the button-eyed pup in the ads.

Thanks in part to pet movies such as "Marley," which will be released Christmas Day, and the recent " Beverly Hills Chihuahua," the holidays are a boon for puppy con artists trying to cash in on the holidays, said Randall Lockwood of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The scams often involve Internet ads that advertise "free puppies." The only cost is the shipping charges, which can be upward of $400. The hucksters usually want the money sent to Western Union, so it can't be traced, Lockwood said.

"Of course, [you] never get the puppy," he said. "It boils down to our best advice: Don't get an animal you haven't seen."

Another concern is that purebred dogs, just like those in the movies, may come from a puppy mill, Lockwood said.

If the urge for a pup remains overpowering, try not to buy one at Christmas and make sure the seller is a reputable breeder or shelter.

"It's surprising that anybody falls for these [Internet pitches], but I guess it's triumph of hope over logic," Lockwood said.

Professional Advice Aside, Water Still Fishy
The Naperville Sun

Dear Fixer: I had a problem with some fish I bought at PETCO for my freshwater aquarium.

Since I have had water issues in the past for this tank, I decided to have PETCO test the water to make sure the water chemical levels were in the safe range.

The first time I went there, it was not safe, and I was given a chemical to put in and was told to give it three days to work. After I went back, I was told that all levels were safe.

Since I relied on their professional advice, I bought $26 worth of fish, including guppies and GloFish. I bought the fish on Friday and by Monday, most of the fish in my tank were dead, including fish that had been in my tank for over a month.

I had a receipt and dead fish, along with a water sample in a separate container. I was told that the nitrite level was lethal and they would not refund my money.

They claim it is my fault. But since they were the ones testing my water and saying it was safe, they should reimburse me. I did not do anything to the water that would cause a spike in the nitrite levels, and I removed all the dead fish when I saw them, so it was not like I left dead fish in my tank all weekend.

I know it is a small amount of money, but I just do not feel like wasting money.

Marty Longo, Blue Island

Dear Marty: The Fixer had a disabled pet goldfish named Spirit for five years, so we feel your pain at the premature loss of your fish. We spoke with Lisa Epstein, PETCO's PR director, and Randy Ellingsworth, district manager, and both were happy to help. They've promised to make this right, so go back to the store and your refund or a store credit will be given to you.

Getting the runaround about a consumer problem? Tell it to The Fixer at, where you'll find a simple form to fill out. Due to the large volume of submissions, The Fixer can't make personal replies. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

Pet Owners Face Tough Medical Decisions in Today's Economy
by April Lamb -

Some local veterinarians say while most people are continuing to pay for regular exams some pet owners are holding off for sick or emergency treatment.

Eleven-year-old labrador retriever Luke is a long time patient of veterinarian Rai Kaur Khalsa.

Khalsa says that while most patients like Luke are still making regular visits to Fountain City Animal Hospital, she has seen a change in some of her clients.

"What we were seeing that was a little disturbing was a lot of the patients who did come in were sicker than they may have been in the past," said Khalsa.

Khalsa believes that's because some owners are waiting to see if their pet's ailment will heal without treatment.

"And some of them did so we didn't see those, but the ones who didn't by the time they actually came they were pretty sick," said Khalsa.

Veterinarian David Davenport has noticed a similar trend at the Knoxville Pet Emergency Clinic.

"Because of the overall economic situations, many owners do struggle a little bit more with what decisions they do need to make, but when the situation is serious they in general do what's appropriate to support their animals," said Davenport.

The after-hours clinic treats emergency cases, and they have noticed a slight slowdown in business in recent months.

"The situation is having an impact overall in people's freedoms to do everything they want to do," said Davenport.

Both vets say most people they work with are trying to prioritize their pets. Those who try to wait for care may end up paying more in the end.

"They ended up as a result of having waited, longer hospitalizations, more expensive hospitalizations than they may have needed if they had come in right away like they may have in the past," said Khalsa.

Their advice is if you notice a change in your pet go ahead and contact your vet to find out what treatment options may be available.

Dr. Khalsa suggests some ways to save money without short-changing your pet.

Learn to trim your pet's nails at home, clean your pet's ears on a regular basis to prevent infections, and brush your pet's teeth. This can save on more extensive cleanings down the road.

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

No comments: