Pet Photos - Pet News - Pet Advice

Give Your Pet a Gift That Matters
By Carolyn Washburn - The

Early spring rains begin to cause the rivers to rise. Soon the news is that you have to prepare to evacuate, then it is confirmed that you have to leave.

Are you ready in 15 minutes? What about your pets? You leave food and water out, animals and valuable items upstairs, and guess what, you lose everything - including your pets.

If you are among the 60 percent of Americans who own pets, you may want to consider giving the "gift of pet preparedness" for your animal this year.

Knowing that your pet will be secure during an emergency is critical for the safety of your family. One point that Hurricane Katrina taught us, is that families need pet and animal preparedness information. People will not leave their pets without care during an emergency.

Pets enrich our lives more than we realize. Most animal pets are considered important family members. The majority of these pets are dogs and cats.

There are many steps that you can take to keep your pets safe and secure. You can make pet preparedness kits for evacuation and make alternative plans if it will be necessary to leave the pets behind.

Animals left behind in disasters can become a risk for emergency responders, and be at risk themselves of health complications, getting lost, injured or killed. That's why family preparedness plans need to account for the four-legged and winged members of the household.

Preparing for pet evacuation and sheltering may seem complex at first, but it is as easy and effective as preparing for any emergency your family may encounter.

Begin by identifying what needs to be in your pet's evacuation kit: records that show immunizations and health conditions; medications; identification and microchip documentation; photographs of you and your pet; water, food and bowls; plastic bags or litter box for clean up; and comforting items such as blankets and toys, among other items.

Make decisions on where you will be able to evacuate to. Because of lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, national legislation was passed on Oct. 6, 2006, requiring that pets be included in disaster evacuation plans.

However, not all shelters allow pets. Some do take pets, but they are kept in a separate section.

Identify where your family can go with your pets and how you would get there. It may be a family member's home, a hotel or a congregate shelter identified by the local emergency manager. Either way you will need a transport such as a cage or crate and a leash. Preparing now can mean all the difference in keeping the entire family safe during disasters.

Step 1 - Get a Rescue Alert Sticker.

This will let people know you have animals in the home. If time, write evacuated across stickers when taking pets with you.

Step 2 - Arrange a Safe Haven.

In event of an evacuation, do not leave pets behind. If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for pets. Know where appropriate shelters will be located.

Have back up plans arranged for in the event that you will not be able to get home and care for your pet. Arrange with neighbors, friends and always have a three-day supply of food and water available.

Step 3 - Prepare Emergency Supply Kits.

--Pet identification, securely attached

--Photo of pet

--First aid supplies/medications/medical records

--Food and water for three to seven days (one ounce of food/per pound/per day)

--Feeding dishes

--Sturdy leashes, harness or carriers to secure pets

--Plastic bags, litter boxes

--Bed, blanket, toys

Remember that animals share your fears. Be sure to hug and reassure your pet.

Now is the time to prepare for emergency situations. Preparing for pets will help your family be better prepared to face an emergency. A pet emergency supply kit would be an excellent gift for your pet this Christmas.

Carolyn Washburn is a family consumer science agent for the Utah State University extension.

todays photos courtesy of RedKat - Bhc, Az

JetBlue Airways Unveils the JetPaws Pet Program, Featuring Travel Pettiquette for Four-Legged Jetters and Extra TrueBlue Points for Pets

A custom-made pet carrier co-designed by New York icon Cindy Adams, founder of Jazzy Park Avenue Dog products, now available on

Now through Dec. 30, customers can enter the ’JetBlue Pet Look-Alike’ photo contest (a) for a chance to win a trip for two to a top pet-friendly destination

NEW YORK, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pet fur-iendly JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today unveils JetPaws(TM), an exclusive new in-cabin program designed to provide pet owners with helpful Travel Pettiquette guidelines, which outline the social graces of jetting with small dogs and cats. As part of the new program, customers will also receive two bonus award points for each flight through JetBlue’s TrueBlue customer loyalty program, helping two-legged customers earn free travel faster when traveling with Fido or Fluffy.

In addition, JetBlue also announces the creation of a unique, custom-made pet carrier and separate travel kit co-designed by Cindy Adams, celebrated New York Post columnist, ASPCA board member and founder of Jazzy Park Avenue Dog products. The carrier is now available for purchase online at ShopBlue for $45. The kit, which includes a pet blanket, rubber bone and travel dish, is also available online. More information about the new program and how to purchase the new pet carrier and kit can be found at

"With more than 80,000 pets traveling on JetBlue each year, the JetPaws program is designed to make traveling with pets smooth from start to finish, offering valuable TrueBlue points along the way," said Kim Ruvolo, Brand Manager of JetBlue Airways. "We are excited to partner with New York City icon Cindy Adams, who brings her sense of style and fun to the design of our exclusive new pet carrier."

"Traveling is a big part of my life and my work and I always love bringing my sweet babies Juicy and Jazzy along when I can," said Cindy Adams, founder of Jazzy Park Avenue Dog products. "That is why JetBlue and I partnered together to make traveling with your pet more fun and easy. It’s refreshing to partner with an airline so dedicated to customer service, even when it comes to pets."

Other JetPaws program elements include a special welcome email for pet owners within one week of their booking and complimentary access to a downloadable e-booklet highlighting pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and animal hospitals in some of JetBlue’s top cities, including: Boston; Fort Lauderdale; Las Vegas; Long Beach/L.A.; New York; Orlando; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.

To celebrate the launch of JetPaws, today through December 30, 2008, the value airline is hosting the ’JetBlue Pet Look-Alike’ photo contest (a) on, where customers can find information on how to submit their favorite resemblance photo of them and their pet. One photo can be submitted per email address along with the pet and owner’s first and last name. JetBlue will post the top submissions on the Web site during the contest and judging will take place from December 31, 2008 to January 9, 2009 by the airline’s crewmembers, who will vote on the top five photos. The grand prize winner will receive roundtrip travel for two to any of the airline’s 51 destinations, and four runner-ups will receive the JetPaws Pet Carrier and Pet Travel Kit (a).

JetBlue accepts up to four small cats or dogs in the cabin of the aircraft on both domestic and international flights. The combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 20 pounds. Only one pet is allowed per customer and the pet carrier does count as one personal carry-on item. For the safety and comfort of all customers, pets must remain in a closed carrier at the airport and in-flight for the entire duration of the trip. To book a pet, customers must call our reservations team at 1-800-JETBLUE.

New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers Lots of Legroom and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft "BetaBlue," a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America’s first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue’s control. Visit for details. JetBlue serves 51 cities with 600 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) or visit

(a) JetBlue is launching a "JetPaws Pet Look-Alike" photo contest, inviting customers to share submit photos showing how much they and their pets look alike. To enter, each customer should submit a still photograph of themselves with their pet, or one photo of themselves and one of their pet, via email to between December 15 and December 30. JetBlue will post its 50 favorite photos at, and JetBlue crewmembers will vote on their favorite photos. Based on the crewmember votes, the top photographer will receive a JetBlue Getaways vacation package, including hotel and airfare to any JetBlue Getaways Destination. Some restrictions apply: see for Official Rules.

Dog Days for Pets in Down Economy
By CIGI ROSS - The St. Charles Sun

More strays yet fewer pet adoptions as financial times get tough

SOUTH ELGIN -- Hundreds of adoptable animals are at Anderson Animal Shelter this holiday season, just waiting to be taken into a new home.

Many of the animals at the shelter became homeless after their former owners fell on hard financial times, said Michelle Groeper, director of operations at the shelter, 1000 S. LaFox St. Animals that have been awaiting adoption have also been affected by the economic downturn, with fewer people willing to spend the money necessary to adopt and care for a new pet.

Groeper said that while the number of animals the shelter has taken in this year is up 8 percent from 2007, adoptions and donations to the shelter are down 18 and 30 percent, respectively, over last year. The animals that come to Anderson are all strays, Groeper said, but the shelter does take back animals that previously were adopted from the shelter.

"We're seeing a good number of (animal) returns come in from people who have fallen on tough times," Groeper said. "It's really heartbreaking for these folks. But we're doing everything we can to keep animals in their homes."

For those who want to keep their animals but just can't afford it, the shelter will help out by doing things such as supplying food for a short time. To encourage new people to come out and adopt the animals, the shelter reduced its adoption rates this past weekend for its first-ever Holiday Open House. Cat adoption rates were decreased from $155 to $75, and adult dog adoption fees were decreased from $200 to $150.

"We wanted to get some animals home for the holidays," Groeper said.

Groeper said there are about 225 adoptable cats and 45 dogs at the shelter.

Karen Bychowski of St. Charles is a former shelter volunteer who made a return trip to the Holiday Open House to look for a cat. Bychowski previously cared for foster dogs but said a cat would suit her better because she travels a lot for work.

"I always had cats growing up, but we never had dogs," Bychowski said as a kitten named Klingon nibbled at her finger through a cage. "I bought a house because I was fostering a dog, but I travel so much for work that I couldn't adopt a dog. Now I have a big old house, and these guys need homes."

Other potential adopters filed in and out of the facility on Saturday morning. Groeper said there were three pet adoptions within the first hour of the open house.

"That's pretty good," she said.

Billings Group Helping Pets
Montanas News Station

Pets feel the effect of the holiday money squeeze just like people do, so All for Animals is reaching out to help pets in the Billings community this year.

Over the weekend, Shipton's Big R and Cat Country teamed up with All for Animals to host the event "Clause for Paws".

Christmas pet photos were taken at Shipton's Big R for $10 a package, with all of the proceeds going to the charity that will help provide pet food for homes that temporarily need assistance in providing for their pets.

Event coordinator Kathy Kauffman said, "Our goal is to help people on limited income with pet food thru local area agencies who work with them. If people can just stick in that dollar, 5 bucks, 10 bucks for a bag of dog food and that can help somebody thru a tough time."

The donation buckets can be found at different retailers throughout town, including at both Shiptons.

This was the second year of Clause for Paws and Kaufmann hopes to continue the event next year.

Give a Pet a Home for the Holidays
Jennifer Bolton - The Star-Telegram

He was the skinniest dog we’d ever seen. His bony ribs poked out in painful angles. His fur was patchy and sparse. He startled at loud noises and shied away from our touch. But he kept on wagging that scraggly tail.

My husband and I had volunteered to foster this hard-luck fellow for a local rescue organization. We were to shower him with love and food, then gauge when he might be ready for adoption. We were dismal failures as foster parents. Within 24 hours we’d decided that we couldn’t possibly part with him. He was scrawny and smelly, but he was also the sweetest dog we’d ever met. So Jake became ours, and we became Jake’s.

Sadly, there are too many dogs like Jake who never find a new home. In June 2008 alone, 10,370 animals were destroyed at 19 animal shelters in the Metroplex. Why? Because there simply wasn’t enough room or money to care for them.

When people decide to adopt a dog, a shelter is usually the last place they look. Of the 59 million dogs in this country that have homes, fewer than 20 percent were adopted from shelters.

Jake taught me quite a bit about shelter dogs. Here are some common misconceptions on which he shed some light.

1. "Shelter dogs are bad dogs."

We’re still not sure how Jake ended up in the shelter. It certainly wasn’t because of any behavioral problems. In fact, the majority of dogs in shelters are brought there by a change in circumstance. One of the top reasons for owner surrender is moving to an apartment where the landlord doesn’t allow pets.

Most shelter dogs are already housebroken and know basic commands. If you need a kid-friendly pooch, consider contacting a local breed rescue group. These groups usually place a dog with a foster family to evaluate its temperament.

2. "Purebreds don’t end up in shelters."

Before Jake, I’m ashamed to admit that I was a shelter snob. When my husband and I wanted a Labrador retriever, we thought a breeder was our only option. We didn’t know that, depending on which part of the country you live in, 33 percent to 50 percent of shelter dogs may be purebreds.

3. "Mutts don’t make good pets."

Our vet informed us that Jake isn’t a purebred, which accounted for his musky hound-dog odor that lingered no matter how often we bathed him. But there are benefits to being a mutt. Mixed-breed dogs tend to live longer because they don’t have the health problems caused by inbreeding.

Studies also have shown that mutts make just as good pets as purebreds — and maybe even better. When the American Temperament Test Society measured mixed-breeds for stability, shyness, aggressiveness, friendliness, self-preservation and protectiveness, 85.3 percent passed. That was higher than the score for purebreds like the poodle, beagle and cocker spaniel.

4. "Shelter dogs are unhealthy."

When you adopt a dog from a shelter, the dog is fixed, heartworm-negative and current on all shots. You will want your regular veterinarian to examine the dog and prescribe any necessary treatment.

Still have your heart set on putting a furry puppy under the tree? Please think twice. A puppy may look cute with a bow on its head, but it’s far from the perfect present.

More puppies are abandoned after Christmas than any other time of the year. Yes, puppies are adorable — and demanding, expensive and time-consuming.

Every year, 13 million American households adopt a dog or puppy. Before the end of the next year, almost half will end up in shelters. Of the approximately 5 million dogs that enter shelters, only 4 million will be adopted. The rest will be euthanized or spend the rest of their lives in cages.

So don’t be tempted to spring a four-footed surprise on your family Christmas morning. Instead, let them help pick out your new, already-housebroken best friend. Take a trip to the shelter or call a local breed rescue group and give a deserving dog a second chance.

Pet-Product Overload Can Be Dangerous
By JUSTINE LEE, DVM - Rodale Press Inc./Star-Telegram

Judging from the products I see in catalogs these days, tweens and pet owners have money to burn. Well, tweens can fend for themselves, but speaking as a pet owner and a vet, I want my dog and cats to have the latest gear, but I don’t have SUCKER written across my forehead.

As a vet, I want to know that my purchases will work — or at least that they won’t endanger my animals. On both counts, some popular items these days make me cringe. Here’s my guide to the products you can safely skip.

Purses: Thanks to Paris Hilton’s habit of toting her Chihuahua like a cute accessory, lots of people come to my clinic with their dog or cat in a pet purse (or pet pocket, sling or backpack). But one sight of a barking dog, and your cat will claw its way out of his nylon "restraint" and possibly into traffic. Dogs aren’t so easily spooked, but I’ve seen plenty of broken front legs on pooches that tried to jump free. Use a lightweight, enclosed carrier for your cat. As for your dog, fight fads and pet obesity by making it walk next to you. On a leash.

Hypoallergenic wipes: Some of these promise to make life easier for owners allergic to their own pets by cleaning away allergy-causing proteins. Forget it! These wipes don’t pick up nearly enough dander and other trouble-making substances to make a difference.

Magnetic beds: Studies strongly suggest that magnet-laden cushions and pads for arthritic pets don’t do any good. If your dog is suffering, try glucosamine and chondroitin (animal studies have shown good results with the brand Cosequin) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Research shows that acupuncture can also help. And if your pet is paunchy, be kind to his aching joints: Put him on a diet.

Justine Lee, DVM, is a veterinary emergency critical-care specialist and the associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. She also has written It’s a Cat’s World . . . You Just Live i

Safety Tips for Winter, at Home and on the Road
Melissa Sánchez - Yakima Herald-Republic

* On Outdoor Pets:

The county's animal control office receives a marked increase in calls about pet neglect during the winter. If you must keep your pet outdoors, be sure its water source is not frozen and that it has adequate shelter. The shelter should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation, and have a door to keep out winds, sleet and snow. Feed your pet more, as it requires extra calories to stay warm.

* On Driving:
Slow down and leave more room between you and the vehicle ahead of you. "Expect changing weather conditions to change the road conditions," said State Patrol Sgt. Ed McAvoy. "Any time we have snowy weather, make sure you drive appropriately and have the proper equipment (snow tires, chains) on cars. Now is the time to use extra caution."

* On Preventing Fires:

More house fires occur in the winter, as people stay indoors and try to keep warm. The main advice from Ron Melcher, Yakima assistant fire marshal, is to install a smoke detector if you don't already have one. He also suggests the following: Unplug space heaters before you leave the house, don't combine them with an extension cord and keep them at least 3 feet from combustibles. Have your furnace or fireplace inspected. Install a carbon monoxide detector if you use kerosene lamps inside.

* On Plumbing:

If cold air gets inside siding and exterior walls and anywhere there is plumbing, pipes can freeze. This usually happens at night, said Ryan McNett, who owns Apex Plumbing in Yakima. To avoid waking up to no water, leave the sink cabinet doors open overnight so the indoor house air can keep pipes warm. And leave the faucet dripping overnight, so water stays moving and doesn't get a chance to freeze.

Have an Heirloom-Quality Oil Painting Created of Your Pet
by Laura Kepner, Tampa Pet Services Examiner

Artist Craig Todd’s paintings stand out every week as I make my way through the Safety Harbor Farmer’s Market. His realistic animal art has caused me to pause a moment before continuing on my way toward the fresh produce. After several weeks, I finally introduced myself to his wife Lori, who encouraged me to call Craig.

When I spoke to Craig, he explained the way he paints. It was fun to talk to him and to hear about the process.

“I do pet portraits from photos because animals don’t sit still very long.” He laughed. “They’re part of the family. I capture personality and what people love about their pet.”

Craig uses oil paint on Belgian linen, which is a quality, fine-grade durable canvas. He builds layers of paint to create each piece. “The process is similar to the way the Old Masters did it,” he said. “It’s a nice surface to paint on.”

On his website,, Craig gives detailed instructions on how to photograph your pet prior to having a portrait painted. If you can capture a great shot, Craig will create an heirloom-quality piece of art.

“I really enjoy painting,” he said, “I know how important people’s pets are to them. I’m painting one now for someone who lost their pet. I have another one I sent off that someone ordered as a wedding gift.”

Depending on his workload, Craig can often complete a painting in a week. “It’s a ‘user-friendly’ process, because a lot of the preparation is done through e-mail,” he said.

Craig will ask you to send photographs of your animal to his e-mail and he will do what he calls a “mock up” using photos. After you approve it, he will send e-mail photos of the process as your portrait is being completed. .

Look at Craig Todd's website to read more about him, his art, pricing, and to view a variety of his beautiful paintings.

For More Information:

De-Icers That Are Safe for Pets and Yards
By KAREN YOUSO, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Q: What's the best way to keep a sidewalk ice-free? Is there a deicer that's safer for concrete and doggie paws?

A: A sidewalk de-icer such as Safe Paws Ice Melter (, is less irritating to pet paws than traditional de-icers, and better for the environment, according to National Geographic's Green Guide.

Generallly, to keep walks ice-free, remove snow promptly. If ice builds up and won't yield to snow shovels, ice chippers are the tools to use. They're available at hardware and home stores for $15 to $30.

If mechanical removal doesn't work, then spread de-icer. But read the labels and pick your product carefully.

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

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