How to Create a Pet Resume

Puppy Pet Store Nightmare
NBC Philadelphia - By Lu Ann Cahn

NBC 10 Investigators got involved with a pet store nightmare and got answers.

Kathleen O'Grady fell in love with “Patches” at the Pets Plus store in Northeast Philadelphia. On September 7th she bought the puppy for $999 bucks with a warranty. Three days later the little Shih Tzu puppy became deathly ill. Then, a week after being hospitalized Patches died from Parvovirus.

Watch VideoOne local woman had her heart was broken and her Christmas budget wiped out after buying a puppy at a local pet store.

Buyers Beware: Puppy Pet Store Nightmare

“It was horrible, I just felt so bad for the poor little puppy, it never had a chance,” O’Grady said.

For three months O’Grady said she called Pets Plus and the warranty company in Colorado to refund her money.

Here’s a look at O’Grady’s overall expenses:

It cost her $3,772 at the one veterinarian hospital, $90 for her own veterinarian, and $1000 to buy the dog in the first place. Now, she says she has nothing.

“They were getting very annoyed with me. Pets Plus corporate finally told me you just need to call the warranty company. There is nothing that we can do for you. I said well you are the seller according to the Puppy Lemon Law it is up to you to reimburse me,” O’Grady explained.

State officials told NBC 10’s Lu Ann Cahn, O’Grady's right. The Puppy Lemon Law declares that if you're puppy gets sick or dies within 10 days of purchase, you can request a full refund for the puppy to be paid within 14 days. So, Cahn went to the pets plus corporate office in Horsham, Pa. and managers responded immediately.

“My gosh I truly apologize as a company and personally apologize. I feel sorry for the whole incident,” Tommy Shinn, a Pets Plus spokesperson said.

Shinn also said this was an isolated incident and that they have excellent vet care. He told the NBC 10 Investigators that Pets Plus sells thousands of puppies a year at their stores and that the puppies come from the highest quality commercial breeders. He said that they don't sell sick animals.

As for the delay in dealing with O’Grady’s incident?

“I'm not exactly sure what happened but we're investigating it to make sure it doesn't happen in the future,” the spokesperson responded.

Animal activists like Jenny Stephens say the best deals are at shelters where 84 thousand dogs in Pennsylvania need to be rescued. And she along with Pa. state officials NBC 10 talked to question the need for pet store warranties.

“It's interesting that they sell a warranty for puppy health when Pennsylvanians are already protected by the Puppy Lemon Law and consumers should certainly think about that,” Stephens said.

Meanwhile, the NBC 10 investigators got action from Pets Plus.

Cahn delivered a refund check to O’Grady that Pets Plus wrote for $999 dollars, the cost of the puppy. O’Grady said the check will help her pay her $3,000 dollar vet bill.

O’Grady did several things right in dealing with this incident: She documented everything, she filed a complaint with the state Attorney General's office and she knew her rights.

Pet's Longevity Rooted in Diet and Exercise
by Brian J Lowney - South Coast Today

It's important for owners to start planning early for a pet's golden years by providing the animal with quality food, daily exercise, routine veterinary care and proper vaccinations.

"This will definitely add to their lifespan," says Dr. Adam Magdy of Buttonwood Pet Hospital in New Bedford.

Kim Thornton, co-author of "The Everything Dog Health Book" and an MSNBC columnist, agrees. She is especially concerned about pet obesity, which can lead to early death and is frequently the cause of heart conditions, diabetes and painful neuromuscular conditions that decrease mobility.

"Increasing a pet's longevity starts early in life, by feeding a good-quality food — one with a specific type of fish or meat, such as chicken or beef, that is listed as the first ingredient on the label,—ˆMs. Thornton writes in an e-mail interview from California.

"We tend to have the idea that roly-poly puppies and kittens are healthy, but it's better for them to be on the thin side and to stay that way throughout life,—ˆthe author writes.

"When I took my 1-year-old puppy to the veterinarian a week ago, I was a little concerned because she only weighed 10 pounds. My vet agreed that she was on the thin side, but said that he preferred to see puppies that are thin instead of fat, and my dog was perfectly healthy. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to see a waist when you look down at the animal or you should be able to feel the ribs, but not see them when you place your hands on the ribcage"ˆ(thumbs along the spine, fingers downward)."

Both experts agree that owners are paying closer attention to their pets' physical and emotional health, which they say is a positive sign of a strong human-animal bond.

In recent years, Dr. Madgy has seen an increase in the number of older companion animals being brought to the pet hospital for treatment. He says that many owners — especially the elderly, empty-nesters and single folks — often make financial sacrifices in difficult economic times to obtain geriatric care that will help maintain an older animal's longevity, health and comfort.

Special prescription diet foods are prepared for pets suffering from heart and kidney disease or diabetes, and when combined with medication, help to keep an animal healthy.

Dr. Madgy reports that advances in technology now make it possible through blood analysis to detect future medical problems, such as heart and thyroid conditions, though an animal may currently be in good health. These tests help in the development of a treatment plan for the pet as it ages.

The veterinarian has witnessed an increase in feline diabetes, which he attributes to "lifestyle and a lack of exercise." Inactive cats kept indoors are likely to become obese and develop diabetes by the time they are 5 or 6 years old.

"We teach owners how to give the injections," Dr. Madgy says, adding that the disease can be controlled by insulin and monitored through blood tests performed in the vet's office. Diabetic cats are initially checked weekly, then once the disease is under control, blood levels are checked every three months or less often.

Ms. Thornton says that another way to increase longevity and promote good health is through daily exercise.

"My neighbor's Bichon Frise, that is almost 16 years old, goes for a walk every day," she writes. "My oldest Cavalier King Charles spaniel, who will be 13 years old next month, goes for one or two short walks of five to 10 minutes every day. Walks help to keep a dog limber and their minds and instincts alive through seeing other people, sniffing and going on alert at the sight of a bird or squirrel. For cats, playing with a fishing pole or a big peacock feather does the same thing, and takes only a couple of minutes a few times a day."

The author says that animals, especially older cats and dogs suffering from muscular problems, also benefit from therapeutic massage.

"We all know how good a massage feels to us, and I imagine that it feels just as good to an arthritic cat or dog,—ˆMs. Thornton writes.

"If an owner has an opportunity to learn some therapeutic massage techniques, I think it would be a wonderful gift to an older pet. Just remember that cats become overstimulated very easily, so with them it's probably best to keep a massage very short, if you want to avoid being scratched or bitten by a cat that's had enough. If massage isn't an option, consider getting the pet a heated bed or placing a comfy bed in a favorite sunny spot."

Swansea resident Brian J. Lowney has been writing about pets for more than a decade. He is a past president of the Wampanoag Kennel Club, an active dog show judge and shares his home with two shelter-adopted cats. All of Brian's columns are available online in our new pet section. Visit

Creating a Pet Resume
By: Lisa Chelenza - News 10 Now

First off, it never hurts to ask. Some landlords may consider allowing pets with an additional security deposit and small rent increase. A $100 additional deposit per pet and $25 plus a month is common. You should offer to sign a pet agreement or add a clause to your lease, stating you'll take care of any damage your little cutie is responsible for!

A pet resume may help!

1. Briefly tell the heartwarming story of how you found your animal companion and of course add a reall cute photo! Your new landlord may be a pet lover too!

2. Keep it simple to the point and include the facts.

3. Include any special training, obedience or canine good citizen certifications.

4. Breed information, such as unlikely to shed or slow to bark.

5. Grooming and pest control details are good too. How often Butch is groomed and flea control information. Advantage, advantix, etc.

6. Spayed or neutered. Make sure your landlord knows your pets are spayed or neutered.

7. Exercise. How often you will take the dog out? When and where?

8. Positive references from your previous landlord would be a great addition.

9. Reference from your vet. Who can vouch for your pet's excellent behavior!

10. Boarding kennels or pet sitters info. Include information on who will care for your pets while you are away or even during the day while you at work.

If you are a renter and you always will be and you are considering a pet, smaller breed dogs and cats as well as small caged mammals, birds and reptiles may be your best bet. These can be a little easier to move and easier to find a rental that will let you have them. A big, high energy sporting dogs like a Dalmatian, Golden Retrievers or Greyhound may not be right for you. These dogs need plenty of space to run and play.

Assistance dogs have a special set of laws in New York State. Refusing to rent to a person with a guide, hearing or service dog is prohibited in more than 30 states. Don't sneak in a pet and hope no one notices. That may be grounds for eviction and leave you and your pet with no place to go!

Creating a pet resume
Your lease is up and you have to move into an apartment and you wouldn't think of giving up your pet. So how do you help your potential landlord see that you are a responsible pet parent and your pet won't ruin their property? Put together a Pet Resume. Here's a few tips in today's Pet Pointers.

Protect Your Pet With a Sweater
By: Lisa Chelenza - 10 News Now

With the inescapable winter weather approaching, your dog could be silently wishing for a sweater. Dog sweaters are cute, but some dogs need them as protection against the elements. Today, a practical approach to winter fashion for your dog.

Sweaters are not just a silly accessory. Many dogs need to wear them in cold weather, even inside. Shorthaired breeds, older dogs, sick dogs and puppies are likely candidates for a cover-up. If you'd like an unbiased second opinion, ask your vet what they think.

To be effective against cold, a sweater should completely cover your dog's stomach, keep its legs free for easy movement, fit snugly and end at the base of the tail.

With the inescapable winter weather approaching, your dog could be silently wishing for a sweater. Dog sweaters are cute, but some dogs need them as protection against the elements. Today, a practical approach to winter fashion for your dog.

Sweaters come in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. If you are unsure which size your dog should wear, consider their weight along with their size.

If all else fails, hold the sweater up to your dog to check for size. If your dog is wide and short like a bulldog or basset hound, buy the size that fits around them and then cut the sleeves to fit.

Choose a sweater that will be easy to care for. You might want to avoid dry clean only. If you're the kind of pet parent that likes to go all the way for their little furry baby, consider boots for your dog to protect the pads of their feet from cold.

To help them adjust to their new outfit, have your dog wear the sweater anytime it goes out in cold, wet weather. Make putting on the sweater a part of the dog's routine, like putting on the leash. Then when they see the sweater come out, it's joy not dread they feel.

There are literally hundreds of places to shop online to find what you are looking for, but going to a local pet supply store to shop may be a lot more fun.


Holidays Can Pose Hazard for Pets
By Karrey Britt - LJ World

How would you pet-proof your holiday decorations?

I would definitely keep my bunny out of the room where the decorations were and limit all the decorations to one room.

The holidays can be a wonderful celebration for families but a hazardous time for pets. A familiar environment suddenly filled with poinsettias, lights, ornaments and candy can be bad news for your furry friends.
The holidays are filled with things that bring us joy: twinkling lights, poinsettias, mistletoe, Christmas trees filled with ornaments, gifts wrapped in ribbon and, of course, food. Lots and lots of food.

Unfortunately, all of these can be deadly to our pets.

“There’s a ton of things out there this time of year that can cause problems,” said Mary Berg, a veterinary technician at Gentle Care in Lawrence. “You have to be a parent. It’s just like having a little baby in the house. We baby-proof our house for babies. We have to do the same thing for our pets this time of year.”


Christmas trees can be tricky with dogs and cats who might want to drink the water, tip the tree over, climb it or simply play with a few ornaments. All are a big no-no.

Tree water — even if you didn’t use the preservative packets — can cause an upset stomach, Berg said. Ribbon, tinsel and small or broken ornaments can be eaten and cause intestinal blockages.

Berg admits there’s no easy solution. She recommends using a heavy tree stand, putting breakable ornaments higher in the tree and not using tinsel. Owners can make a high-pitched noise when pets go near the tree or squirt them with water to discourage their behavior.

“It’s really hard and a lot of it is just training,” she said.

Sometimes pets will gnaw on cords and owners won’t even know it.

“The dog comes in and has respiratory issues and we find out they chewed on a cord. So, that can be a big issue,” Berg said.

Poinsettias can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but aren’t as harmful as lilies and mistletoe, which are extremely toxic for animals.

Baked goodies

No matter how much your animals beg, don’t give them chocolate. Dogs and cats eliminate the more complex ingredients in chocolate, such as caffeine, more slowly than people. So these chemicals can cause epileptic seizures, heart attacks, internal bleeding and, eventually, death.

Don’t give pets meats with a large amount of fat because that can cause vomiting and pancreatitis. Also, don’t throw them a bone. If a pet chews through the bone, it may splinter, which could cause stomach problems if it’s eaten. Hard bones can damage animals’ teeth.

“My philosophy is don’t feed them anything different during the holidays than you would feed them at any other time of the year,” Berg said. “The things that we eat during the holidays may not affect our system as much as it would the dogs. When you think about their size difference, it makes a big difference real fast.”

There are some signs that your pet has been naughty: not eating, diarrhea, vomiting or lethargy.


The more the merrier, right? Not for pets.

“I don’t know about other people’s houses at Christmas, but our house is a zoo,” said Midge Grinstead, executive director of the Lawrence Humane Society. “We’ll have 30 people unwrapping presents and being loud and having a good time, and it’s just too much for my animals to take.”

So, she puts her pets in a quiet room with a sign on the door that says “Do not enter.” Grinstead said that way they have their beds, toys and peace.

“There are a lot of pets out there that when they are stressed, the way to get away from that stress is to bite or scratch someone,” she said.

If you allow your pets to mingle, be sure to alert guests so the animals don’t get stepped on, locked in a room or escape outside.

And with all of the commotion, Christmas is a terrible time to bring a new pet into your home.

“It’s always cute on the commercials when they put the little golden retriever puppy in the box and the kids open it, but it’s not so much fun for the puppy,” Berg said.

Instead, she recommends putting a collar, leash or pet care book in a stocking, along with a note that says we’ll look for a pet after the holidays.

Gift ideas

So, what can we safely give those furry family members for Christmas?

Berg said a good-quality treat is fine once in a while. Her other recommendations: new collar, leash, bed and “as much as I hate to say this because I just can’t quite go there myself, but a new, little outfit to wear,” she said, laughing. She doesn’t want to embarrass her four dogs.

Toys can make good gifts, but pets should be supervised when playing with them because toys can break and pieces of them can be eaten.

Grinstead also recommended seat belt harnesses for dogs that like to go for a drive — and crates.

“You would be shocked at how many people just put the cat in the car. It’s just not safe. I think buying someone a crate is just a wonderful thing because in an emergency, you need that,” she said.

She also recommends spoiling pets with quality treats instead of giving them food from the table.

Grinstead’s dog has a stocking and knows when Santa has left a special treat.

“The second he sees there’s something in it, he will bark and go crazy until we give it to him. It’s hilarious,” she said.

Pet Presents Better When Lovingly Prepared
By JACQUE ESTES - News-Journal

I don't mean to panic anyone but there are 12 days left until Christmas,11 days to Hanukkah and 13 days to Kwanzaa. And at some point, after stretching the budget to make sure there are presents under the tree for all you may look down at your feet and realize there is something for everyone except the pets. And really, who deserves a special gift more?

Pet stores are filled with some of the most amazing toys and treats with price tags that often rival the cost of the toys you have bought for the kids and grandkids. Unlike the children, the dogs and cats are not picky and in many cases will ignore a fancy store bought toy in favor of something much simpler.

I will go out on a limb here and state that everyone reading this can find the perfect pet present right in their own house and it won't cost them a cent.

The best present is one that is edible. You make cookies for office and school parties, why not for your dog and cat? Recipes can be found on the Internet and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen.

Those who want to really go all out can use special dog and cat cookie cutters to shape their treats. But this puts you back in line at the pet store and in my experience it is the scent and taste your pet is interested in. When was the last time you saw them stop to admire the treat before snapping it out of your hand?

Even the person with minimal crafting skills can create a toy for Christmas morning and many of these toys aren't so different from what you find in the stores and you have the comfort in knowing the materials are clean, free of chemicals and lovingly made.

Dogs that like to play tug of war will enjoy a toy created from a piece of thick cotton rope and a tennis ball. Drill a hole through the ball, thread the rope and securely knot the ends. How easy was that?

Need something easier? Look at the stack of discarded stuffed animals you don't know what to do with. Remove buttons, plastic eyes and whatever else could be swallowedand then toss in the washer and dryer. It's recycling at its finest.

Even old towels can have a second life as a much-appreciated braided tug toy that can be cleaned in the washer. Cut the towel lengthwise into three strips, fold strips in half (thirds if it's a larger towel) and braid as tightly as you can, knotting at both ends. This is a good project for the children who have more energy than they know what to do with.

I haven't forgotten the felines. A balled up 8 by 11 1/2-inch piece of paper, an empty toilet paper roll filled with homemade kitty treats, or an old stuffed sock (catnip optional), will capture the curiosity of the most finicky feline.

For those wanting to make a more intricate toy the Internet has ideas and patterns for you. Just search "homemade dog/cat toys/treats." Whether you buy or make your toys and treats, all pets should be supervised during play and all toys need to be examined for safety. Once they are too frayed or have any sharp edges it is time to throw them out and buy, or better yet, make new ones.

Tips on treats

· If your pet has allergies (skin or respiratory) or is on a special diet check with your vet especially if you are adding an ingredient not in his regular diet.

· Homemade goodies do not contain the preservatives commercial treats and have a shorter shelf life and need to be refrigerated or frozen.

· Don't be tempted to overindulge your pets just because it's a happy holiday season. You won't do them any favors by over treating and stressing their digestive systems. Too many treats can set back any training efforts where food is used as an incentive.

Easy treat

Baked potatoes, NO seasoning (not even salt). Leaving the skin on, wash thoroughly, slice, place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees, until crispy, let cool.

Animal Friends: Shower Your Pets with Attention for the Holidays
By Linda Goldston - Mercury News

I have some gift suggestions below, but remember, one of the best presents is the gift of time with our furry friends. Some people are religious about walking their dogs twice a day, while others hardly ever get out for a stroll. I suggest treating your dog to some new scents and sounds.

Try a new park and walk really slow. It won't cost a thing, and your dog will love it.

Cats love it when you get down on their level. Sit down on the floor in the middle of the room and watch them hurry over to you. Fling around a toy — feathers on a string tied to a light wand — and they won't need another gift. But if you want to give them an extra holiday treat, here are some suggestions.

Thrifty gifts

Place a few dog or cat treats under the tree. You could take bets about how long the treats will stay there. A catnip toy would be good, of course, as a present for a cat.

Comfort is king

There's nothing like a good dog bed, which invariably functions as a canine couch.

I urge you to look at the products for keeping your cats toasty. I've written in the past about the pet version of hot water bottles — disks that you heat in the microwave and then place under a blanket for your pet.

There's another thing for cats that my own crew prefers: It's like a small mat which radiates the cat's own heat back to the feline, keeping it really warm and snug. They cost about $20 and are worth every penny.

If you have an older cat, there's a very nice electric heating pad with low wattage. That costs about $40, but I'm always afraid of things you leave plugged in. Look to be sure it has UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approval.

Play time

I'm sure your dog would love the Kong frisbee, especially if you throw it for your canine friend. This one is made strongly enough that you don't have to worry about the dog accidentally biting off a piece of the plastic and swallowing it.

For cats and smaller dogs, Bambo has a neat selection of gifts for under $10, including a catnip fortune cookie that you can keep replenishing and a "Las Vegas Showgull" that has terrific tail feathers. My cats love it.

How do I look?

Two of my favorite things new this year will help keep your pet good-looking and well-groomed.

It might take some getting used to for your dog, and especially your cats, but Pedi Paws is a great tool for trimming your pet's nails. Rather than risk hurting the pet by cutting the nail in the quick, you stick one of your pet's nails into Pedi Paws and the whirling battery-powered sander works like magic. It costs about $20 and can be found at many drugstores. You can read more about it at

I love the Pet Zoom grooming brushes, an alternative to brushes with those sharp points that pets hate. These brushes have soft plastic tips on the ends of the wire, just like human brushes, and they're good for dogs or cats. They cost about $20.

Spying nature

For bird-watchers, there's a neat new camera out this year. It's expensive — $249 — but it's a motion-activated digital camera that you can set up outside and snap all kinds of photos when you're not even there. Find out more about the Wingscapes BirdCam at The built-in infrared sensor automatically detects movement and triggers the camera to take photos.

Remember, it doesn't matter what you buy, it's the kind of time you spend with you pets that means the most.

Next week, I'll have holiday safety tips for you and a review of the one book every cat lover should have.

Washing a Cat
By LadyPhoenixRising

A personal story from the experience group: I Love Cats

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash" and rinse".

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

Sincerely, The Dog

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