Pet Photography Tips & a Horse-Riding Cat!

Labrador Retriever Still America's Favorite Dog

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - The Labrador Retriever is the most popular pure-bred dog in the United States for the 18th consecutive year, according to the American Kennel Club.

More than 100,000 Labs were registered last year, more than twice as many other breed, the club said in a statement.

The Yorkshire Terrier came in second place with nearly 42,000 registrations, followed by the German Shepherd, the Golden Retriever, the Beagle, the Boxer and the Dachshund.

The Bulldog is moving up the list with a 69 percent increase over the past decade, jumping two spots this year to number eight. Last year it made the top 10 for the first time in 70 years.

"The playful Lab may still reign supreme, but the docile and adaptive nature of the Bulldog is gaining ground as a family favorite," said American Kennel Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson.

The Poodle and the Shih Tzu completed the top 10.

Other breeds on the rise over the past decade are the Miniature Bull Terrier, up 109 percent, the Bull Terrier (102 percent), Staffordshire Bull Terrier (69 percent) and the Bullmastiff (22 percent).

Among the breeds on the decline are the Lhasa Apso, down 80 percent, Rottweiler (down 76 percent), Schipperke (75 percent), the Basset Hound (66 percent) and the Miniature Pinscher (75 percent).

Glen of Imaal Terriers, with 32 registrations, and English and American Foxhounds, with 17 registrations each, were the least popular breeds.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Patricia Reaney)

The Virtues of Having More Than One Pet
by Sharon Harleigh, LA Pet Examiner

Prior to 2005, I had never had a pet before. Sure, I had the occasional goldfish, and for a while, I had a Betta fish on my desk that somehow miraculously survived the clutter, mess, and noise of my office (not to mention a frequently dirty bowl which bore a striking resemblance to the L.A. River). However, a very dear friend of mine passed away in 2005 and left me her beloved cat Eddie, and so I became a pet owner.

The responsibility seemed enormous, compared to living the single solo life I previously had. I grew to love it, though. Eddie waited for me at the door meowing when I arrived home from work, and I loved cuddling with him at night. I could tell him all the tales of my day and he generally ignored me and slept on my lap. It was, in my mind, the perfect relationship.

There was always a part of me, though, that was a little obsessed with my cat's health and wellbeing. I mean, he had been left in my care by someone very dear to me. What if I broke him in some way? What if he got sick? God forbid, what if he died? I'd have an absolute nervous breakdown for sure.

Then, of course, this past summer I adopted my dog, Angel. Eddie the cat consulted in her adoption, by virtue of the rescue organization's home visit policy, which is the greatest thing ever if you have multiple pets (I mentioned this previously:

I thought, when I adopted Angel, that now I'd be doubly neurotic because now I have twice the number of pets to worry about. Double the love, but also double the obsessive concern about health and fear of loss. Thank goodness, I was wrong. Somehow, seeing the love between my two pets, and how much fun they have playing together, made me less worried about their general wellbeing. Don't get me wrong - I am still SuperMom when it comes to my pets - but the panicked, overly anxious worry is gone. I'm less concerned about them being bored or lonely when I'm not home, and less worried about their health because the concern and love they show for one another is truly miraculous. When one pet is sick, the other is comforting; when Angel was sick, Eddie licked her head as if to comfort her.

Evidentally, studies have shown that people with pets lead happier, healthier lives, and even just the action of cuddling with our pet creates a general state of healthy wellbeing. This logically should mean that double the pets means double the happiness and joy, right? That seems to be the case if your pets get along, but obviously can be twice the stress if your pets aren't socially in tune with one another.

More homes have multiple pets than you might imagine. I have a friend who has two cats, a dog, and a variety of birds; another friend has a dog, cats, and a guinea pig. 63% of homes in America have at least one pet; as of 2007, there's an average of 1.7 dogs per household and 2.3 cats per household. This is great news in households where pets are well socialized to one another, and therefore enjoy each other's company. But beware, not all pets are willing to share their humans. So, for ultimate happiness and harmony in the home, always try to test pets out with one another before adding to your gaggle of four legged friends.

What Happens to Your Pet If the Airplane Goes Down?
by Melanie Folcik, Hartford Travel Examiner

Will your puppy be okay on the next flight if an emergency occurs?

After the heroic landing of the aircraft into the Hudson River last week, a question surfaced regarding animals that were transported in the cargo section of the plane.

Were there any animals on board? Where exactly are animals stored when being transported by air?

When an animal is too large to be transported in the cabin under a passengers feet, they are checked as a "live" cargo and usually placed in the forward aircraft hold section of the plane. This section is a dark, pressurized area and is prone to temperature changes as this is sometimes (depending on the aircraft) controlled by switches in the flight deck by the pilots. Most flight crews will receive a manifest stating what live cargo is on board and plan for that during the flight. Although, if your pet is on board, it wouldn't hurt to remind a crewmember that you have an animal underneath so they will not lower the temperature for that compartment to save on fuel or energy.

In the event of an emergency, flight attendants are trained to escort and prompt passengers out the emergency exits and also prevent people from taking belongings. These items required to be left behind include occupied pet carriers.

The cargo hold area is not accessible by passengers or crew members from inside the aircraft, preventing them from being able to evacuate them in a timely manner. In fact, sometimes due to the impact or (recently seen) submersion of a fuselage, these areas are unable to be opened in a prompt manner.

This may seem inhumane, to leave them behind, but in an emergency, human life is held higher than an animals.

What can you do to prevent Fido from being left behind if an emergency occurs? If there is time, alert a crew member that you have an animal below deck. They may be able to warn rescue crews about accessing that area first for rescue relief efforts.

There are ground transportation companies that will transport pets for you and many pet daycare boarding facilities that will watch your pets when you travel. Don't think they are all shady caged facilities. Many specialize in luxury facilities complete with massages, spa treatments and play time.

It is sad to wonder how many pets have gone down with the ship, that we will never hear about. My prayers go out to those animals and pet owners.

It may seem shallow to wonder what happens to so much of the aircrafts containments when such a critical incident occurs, but it is only human to wonder.

Other cargo transported in these compartments also become lost. This includes anything from caskets with the deceased, US postal service and other shipping company documents and mail and many suitcases of luggage.

We always pray for a safe flight for all life on board and this includes the lives of precious pets. Learn how to be proactive in your animal transporting decisions and understand the risks involved. May there always be safe flights for man and beast combined.

Blue skies always.

Every Monday Matters: Make a Difference by Opening Home to a Pet
By Matthew Emerzian - Modesto Bee


There are 4,000 to 6,000 animal shelters in the United States.

Nearly 8 million dogs and cats are placed in shelters each year.

Approximately 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year because not enough people adopt them.

One out of every four dogs in shelters is a purebred.

Adoption fees usually are much less than the cost of purchasing an animal from a breeder.

Only 16 percent of owned dogs and 15 percent of owned cats were adopted from an animal shelter.

Many shelters and adoption centers vaccinate, deworm and spay or neuter for free.


Go to an animal shelter or adoption center near you to see if there is an animal with which you "connect." If not, visit another location or come back another day.

Speak with an adoption counselor at the location about whether your choice of particular type or breed will be best for you and your lifestyle.

Select a pet only if you have a realistic understanding of the time, effort and money required to provide a healthy, loving environment for it.

Enjoy your newfound friend.

Animals are unconcerned about age, looks, or physical ability; they accept you just as you are. If you're thinking about getting a pet, seriously consider adopting. Not only will you be saving your new pet's life, but you'll be rewarded with years of companionship, entertainment, unconditional love and increased opportunities to meet others. Single? Go to the dog park ... but only if you have a dog.


Stephanie Lilly of Bowling Green, Ky., is a new mom! Unable to have children, Stephanie had been researching adoption ... trying to find the perfect set of siblings to bring into her home. And, after a year of searching, it finally happened.

"I am so excited. I found the two sisters I was looking for. One is white with gray spots and the other is gray with brown and white markings. I named them Shari and Lala. They are only 11 months old and already potty trained. They are so much fun," Stephanie said.

Stephanie obviously is not talking about children; the whole "white with gray spots" thing gives away that much. Rather, she is describing her two new kittens.

"I had been looking for a breeder of Persian kittens for over a year. I knew they were expensive and it was impossible to find a nearby breeder, but I always wanted to have Persian cats. And then I read 'Every Monday Matters' and realized how many animals had been euthanized during that same year of searching. I felt bad," Stephanie said.

So she hopped in her car and drove to her local pet store. Sure enough, there were 12 cats for adoption. They had all been spayed or neutered, were given all their necessary shots, and were even potty-trained. An hour later, after a bonding session with the cats, a short interview with the adoption director and some paperwork, Stephanie was on her way home with her two new kids.

"It was so easy, and I am so thrilled to be offering Shari and Lala a new home. Instead of their small, cold cages, they now have brand-new carpet and sofas to sleep on, not to mention a ton of room to run around inside. They are so happy."

Not only are the cats happy, but so is Stephanie. She recently was relocated by her job, so she is living in a new environment, away from her family and friends.

"I used to kind of dread coming home after work because it was so quiet and lonely, but now, as embarrassing and strange as it may sound, I actually look forward to it. Shari and Lala have added so much energy and love to my home. They have been as much of a blessing to me as I have been to them."

Stephanie, even though kittens can't really "use their words," if they could, we are sure they would be saying: "Thank you ... you matter."

Be Prepared If You Have to Euthanize a Family Pet
By MICHELLE MARSHALL - Columbia Tribune

As a veterinarian, I deal with the death of pets daily. It never gets any easier.

One of the most difficult decisions that owners often face is when they should put their pet to sleep (euthanasia). While I hope that you never have to make this decision, most of us will probably need to do so at some point in our lives. Being prepared and knowing what questions to ask might help to make this painful process less stressful.

If you feel that euthanasia of your pet might be something you need to consider, call your veterinarian and make an appointment to discuss your concerns. Explain that you are considering euthanasia and would like to schedule the appointment during a less hectic time. Hopefully, this will allow the staff to get you into the exam room with minimal waiting time. You might want to ask a friend to accompany you so that if you choose to have the pet put to sleep, you have someone to drive you home afterwards.

Your veterinarian will examine your pet and talk with you about options. If you and your veterinarian have agreed that euthanasia is the kindest option, you will need to decide if you want to be present while the injection is given.

This is a very personal decision - there is no right or wrong answer.

Some people wish to be present during the entire process to comfort their pet.

Some people prefer to wait outside during the injection and then have some private time to view the body. Others want to tell their pet good-bye and then leave.

Having your veterinarian come to your home to perform the procedure is also an option. For very large dogs or those unable to walk, this might be easier for everyone. Keep in mind that you might have to wait longer to get a house call appointment. You also need to be prepared to supply extra lighting and an electric plug in case the fur needs to be clipped to see the vein that will be used for the injection.

The solution used for euthanasia is basically an overdose of the chemicals used for anesthesia. This means that your pet will first lose consciousness before its breathing and heart stops. While the injection itself is not painful, it does require that a needle be placed into a vein. An assistant will help to hold your dog and "hold off" the vein for the doctor. Some pets might wiggle or complain about the restraint or needle, but this is a normal reaction - no one likes needles.

The injection usually works quickly, and the doctor will listen to the heart until it stops. Once your pet is gone, the muscles will relax, and there might be an emptying of the bladder or bowels. Involuntary muscle spasms might also occur. Occasionally, the vein will collapse or be difficult to find. Remember that everyone involved is doing their best to make your pet as comfortable as possible.

The next decision involves taking care of the pet’s remains. If you wish to bury your pet yourself, check for any buried cables in the area you have chosen and make sure your city allows pets to be buried in the city limits. Another option is cremation. You can choose to have ashes returned. Some people will bury the ashes in a special area and plant flowers or a tree.

The grieving process after you lose a pet can be difficult. In the next article, I will discuss some tips for dealing with the death of your own pet and helping family or friends who might have lost a pet.

Guest columnist Michelle Marshall is a veterinarian at Horton Animal Hospital Northeast. Susan Hatfield is the president and co-founder of Happy Tails Animal Sanctuary. Jim Johnson is vice president and co-founder. Both can be reached at (573) 445-1680, or visit the Web site at

Pros and Cons of Declawing Cats
by Aditi Sachdeva -

There has been a never ending debate over whether to declaw a cat or not. As there are divisions of opinions between vets, experts, animal activists, animal lovers and cat owners, it is very important to have a close look at the pros and cons of declawing a cat, before zeroing down to a decision.

Claws are a cat’s natural and integral body part. Claws to cats are like fingers and toes to human. They form the basic tool or mode of executing the daily activities of a cat’s life and at the same time they act as the first line of defence for the cat against its enemies. The cat uses its claws for grabbing things, scaling the walls, climbing trees, marking its territory and most importantly in foraging and eating.

However, in case of pet cats these very claws are a cause of irritation and agony for its owners. Cats have a habit of scratching anything and almost everything. Ask all the cat owners in the world, and invariably everyone would say “Yes, there is a problem with our pet cat scratching”. Pet cats love to scratch furniture, especially sofa sets, carpets and legs of table and chair. The seats of the cars are also not spared from the scratching acts of the cats.

But more importantly, cats have a tendency to scratch its owners too. While playing, fondling or when giving it a bath, it often scratches the person. The scratching with the claws can actually be very painful. Also there is a saying that they carry a lot of germs and other harmful particles in their claws, with which if scratch can cause infection. This is a sensitive situation for children and older people who have a delicate skin and are more susceptible to infections, skeptics and diseases.

These are the reasons for which often pet cat owners think about declawing it. The pros of declawing a cat inadvertently imply less damage to furniture and more safety to the family and also to other animals. However, there are two many cons to this, which actually out weighs the pros of declawing.

The first issue that arises with declawing a cat is ethical. It can be understood when the procedure of declawing is known. Declawing involves removing the last digits of the toes of the cat. Does not it sound painful? It is like removing fingers. Declawing often results into behavioral disturbances in a cat. It becomes evident during the use of the litter box. Also it is often seen, the cat develops arthritis later, which is more prominent among larger and heavier cats.

Since the natural instinct of scratching with its claws still persists, the cat appears to be scratching all the time. When the realization comes, that it can no longer use its claws for its defence, the cat resorts to biting, this is more dangerous than even scratching. Also if the vet who does the declawing surgery is not trained or experienced enough, it can cause serious medical implication to the cat. Although the vets would say there is absolutely no harm in declawing a cat, it should be the last option in anyone’s mind. It is better to consider ‘scratching post’ or ‘vinyl caps’ or ‘plastic covers’ before thinking of declawing.

Save 5% on Pet Supplies Orders Over $75

9 Pet Photography Tips
by Darren Rowse - Digital-Photography-School

This guest post on Pet Photography was submitted by Antoine Khater at All Day I Dream About Photography.

Pets fill very quickly their place in our hearts and families and we enjoy having their pictures framed on our desk or wall! However taking pictures of your best friend is not always easy. Pets, unlike humans, do not understand what we are trying to do and won’t just pose for the camera! Here are 9 tips that will help you help you get the most of your photo session

1. Use Natural Light
If possible always use natural light when taking your pet in picture. Avoid flash, as flash burst can, not only cause red-eye, but also frighten the animal. Instead try to go outside or, if it is not possible, in a room well lit by a large window.

2. Keep the Eyes Sharp
Having sharp eyes is important in any kind of portraits photography. As they say, “Eyes are the Window to the Soul” and pets eye can be very expressive. So make sure to focus on your pet’s eyes and keep the tack sharp

3. Go to Them
It is very important that you pet feels comfortable and at ease, so instead of forcing him to come to you go to him. Most important is to get down to his level; We all know how a dog looks when viewed from above, this is the way we always see them. Show us the way they see world! Sit on the floor or lie on your belly and remember to shoot from HIS eye level or below.

4. Give Value to their Character
You know your pet better than anyone else, and a successful picture is one that conveys the character of its subject. If you have a lazy cat show him yawning, if your animal is of a playful type show him in action performing his favorite trick.

5. Go Macro
Put on that long lens and fill the frame with your pet’s face and fur, close up shots often make beautiful animal portrait.

6. Surprise Them
One of the most difficult things is to let your pet hold still. An easy trick is to let him play quietly and, once you have everything ready, let someone call for him or whistle. This will surprise him and caught his attention and you will have a few seconds to capture him in a nice and alert posture

7. Schedule your Session
If you are longing for a formal pet portrait shot, try to schedule the photo session when you’re animal is somewhat sleepy or has just woke up it will be much easier to keep him still then. If you want a more dynamic shot then pick up a time when your pet is energetic. If he is sick it is better to just postpone it for another day.

8. Be Patient
Pet photography requires a lot of patience. No matter how excited your furry friend is, if you are patient enough, he will end up by relaxing and you will have the opportunity to get a decent shot.

9. Experiment
Take your time and enjoy the session, try different approaches, angles and compositions. Shoot a lot you will have time to worry about the results later.

Read more unique photography and retouching tips written by Antoine Khater at All Day I Dream About Photography or subscribe to his RSS feed

Posted in Digital Photography Techniques

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips and TwiTip Twitter Tips blogs.

Report: Cops Bust Dog Fighting Ring in Detroit
Tom Greenwood / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Seven persons are in custody this morning after police broke up what appears to be a dog fighting ring earlier this morning.

According to Detroit News reporting partner WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), at about 3:30 a.m., Detroit police spotted a man walking down Mt. Vernon with what appeared to be an injured dog. When police tried to interview him, he ran into a house.

Police entered the home and found a number of dogs and puppies, some of them injured. According to reports, people in the home attempted to leave the scene but were detained by police. A search of the home also turned up marijuana and a hand gun.

You can reach Tom Greenwood at (313) 222-2023 or

Dogs Find Home in Women's Prison Program
The Associated Press - Silver City Sun

GRANTS — The women's prison in Grants looks like every other prison from the outside.

But inside the broad concrete walls, past the security processing center, in the barred hallways leading to the cells, there is something different.


Not the intimidating shrieks or growls of guard dogs, but the occasional happy exclamation of one of 16 canine critters living with select inmates in their cells.

The prison is home to a dog obedience training program, the only one of its kind in the state. Unfortunate strays abandoned at the Grants Animal Shelter are given a second chance for a new home when they are picked for the Heeling Hearts dog training and adoption program, run at the prison by the South Valley nonprofit PB&J Family Services Inc.

PB&J provides programs for families and children at risk of abuse and neglect in Central New Mexico and outlying counties.

Inmates are given the responsibility of training the animals in the basics, teaching them to sit, stay, heel, come, lie down and shake, of course.

The dogs, many of which were strays and suffered from abuse or neglect, also get a lesson in love.

"They become our constant companion," said inmate Pam Gomez, one of the trainers in the program. "That's how we bond and show them that there is love, that they can be loved, and it brings that back out in them. With animals, especially dogs, it's unconditional love that they give you."

Prisoners must go through an application process to become part of the program, including at least six months with no behavior violations. They are interviewed by the dog trainer and the program therapist, who works with the inmates. There are only the 16 spots, and the program coordinators run a tight ship.

"If they get written up, they're out," said Lyn Martin, the program dog trainer.

But that hasn't been a problem, according to Randy Ryan, a unit manager at the Grants prison who adopted Abby, one of the dogs trained by the inmates.

"They really focus their energy on the dog and the training program," Ryan said. "They're less of a management problem. You see less disciplinary reports coming from them. Their overall interaction between other inmates and staff improves.

"I think it helps out. Some of the girls, they had maybe a low self-esteem. They get into the program and you just see the esteem levels rise."

Ryan said he appreciates the life and job skills the women learn in the program. In fact, Martin said one of the women who began in the program is now employed at a kennel following her release.

Sandy Marsh, another inmate trainer, said having the privilege of participating in the program, which began in the summer of 2007, changes prison life dramatically.

"Prisons are stark, sterile places. You're not allowed to touch or hug, there's no human interaction, there's no love at all. But we get that with the dogs, because we can hug them as much as we want," Marsh said.

The dogs that come out of the program are American Kennel Club certified "Canine Good Citizens," which means they've passed a battery of tests that measure behaviors such as accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, walking through a crowd, reaction to another dog and reaction to distraction.

Heeling Hearts charges $150 for a trained adult dog. They are all spayed or neutered, and if they are coming to Albuquerque they get microchips, too, all as part of the cost.

New Mexico Secretary of Corrections Joe Williams is a supporter of the program.

"That program is so incredible. It's good for the community, it's good for the animals, it's good for the inmates, it's good for the staff, it's just a great program," he said.

Williams even convinced his brother to adopt one of the dogs.

"The dog is just the best trained dog you've ever seen," he said, but added that as with many such programs, funding is always an issue. "Right now, we're struggling with the vendor trying to keep the program afloat."

Martin said there are many dog training programs springing up at prisons around the country, but one component of the PB&J program that sets it apart is therapy for the inmates.

Susan Neal is the therapist for the program, and said they have a group meeting every week and she also works with people one-on-one.

"A lot of the people in the prison are here for substance abuse problems, which are about numbing out your emotions. So with these dogs, emotions are heightened. So you learn how to experience," Neal said.

But of course experiencing strong emotions has its downside.

Gomez said that, when the first dog she trained, Samson, was adopted out, it was quite painful.

"It was, like, the most horrifying thing in my life; I said I don't ever want to do that again. But I did," she said. "We work in therapy on how to say goodbye to the dogs."

Neal said making a connection between the emotions the inmates feel for the dogs and the grief and loss they feel as part of their incarceration is a big step toward helping them be more well adjusted when they eventually get out.

The dogs stay at the prison until they are adopted. Martin said many programs simply send them back to the pound after they are trained, but not theirs.

"We adopted out about 60 dogs in the first year," she said.

Although the dogs are bound for homes on the outside, the inmates don't hold back their affection for the animals.

Gomez said she enjoys her new dog, Zuzu, although she's quite different from Samson. She expressed a sentiment most pet owners would recognize.

"I think this one's training me," she said.

Dog's Life May Be Looking Up
BY MARK J. KONKOL - Chicago Sun-Times

Bill would tighten regulations on puppy mills

A proposed statewide crackdown on the purveyors of "puppy mills" takes aim at unscrupulous breeders who keep dogs in overcrowded, filthy and inhumane conditions.

Chloe's Bill -- named after an Illinois puppy mill survivor -- would license breeders, set standards for dog living conditions, set a 20-dog limit per license and require dogs get examined by a veterinarian before pregnancy.

"Adding a puppy to one's family should be a happy event for everyone. The sad reality is that many people would be appalled to see the conditions these animals are raised and born in," said state Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago), who co-sponsored the bill with state Sen. Dan Kotowski, (D-Mount Prospect).

"Any breeder in business for the love of animals will welcome this legislation. Those who look at puppies as nothing but cash crops are in for a rude awakening."

Chloe's Bill prohibits licensing dog breeders convicted on felony charges of dog fighting, bestiality or inhumanely keeping animals. The legislation also outlaws wire flooring, sets standards for breeding facilities and requires pet stores to provide consumers with the full medical history of dogs that are for sale.

Training Class, Vet Might Help 'Manic-Depressive' Dog
Arizona Central

Today's question:

Do you think it is possible for a dog to be manic-depressive? Our dog is sweet as she can be most of the time, but then she has her moments. She loves my husband but then growls and won't let him kiss me goodbye in the morning. Also, sometimes, she is friendly and greets other dogs on our walks and other times she is in the attack mode. I have stopped letting her sniff butts with dogs she meets, not knowing which of her personalities will come out. Also, she won't let me talk on the phone.

Gee, I don't know about this manic-depressive thing, but this dog certainly does seem to have some issues. Let's go down your list of weird-dog stuff and see what we can figure out.
First of all, the kissing-goodbye thing: Does she also object if you're cuddling on the couch watching TV or something like that? Does she object if you kiss him as opposed to him kissing you?

In what passes for a dog's mind, if she sees your husband as her chief or favorite source of affection, she wouldn't like him giving it away to someone else.

Other dogs: You probably are wise to keep her back from strange dogs, at least until you understand more about her erratic behavior. Did she have a good training course? That might help.

The phone thing: Your furry little Einstein doesn't realize there is someone on the end of the line talking to you and holding your interest. She assumes you are talking to her but, at the same time, not really paying attention to her. This puzzles her.

I'm not sure all this has been much help. Maybe you should take the dog in for a checkup and ask your vet about some of these things.

Reach Thompson at clay or 602-444-8612.

Best Place For Pets Is Inside During Cold Weather

Okaloosa County Public Safety and Animal Services and Humane Services at PAWS would like to remind pet owners that during this cold weather the best place for our furry and feathered friends is indoors.

Low temperatures, winds and precipitation can lead to illness and death.

If a Florida room is used to house pets, please give your pet an area raised off the floor and a blanket to keep warm. If the animal cannot be brought inside, please provide them with a safe dry shelter with a blanket or hay.

Since it will be important for a dog to retain body heat, a wind flap on the dog house door will keep some of the cold air out.

Be a pet advocate and persuade others to bring pets inside. Anytime a dog is in need of a caring friend, become the dog's advocate. Speak to the owner, if that fails to improve the situation or if the animal is in distress, please call Animal Control at 685-6003 right away.

It does not take a long time for companion animals to suffer and fall victim to severe cold weather.

Cat Loves to Ride Horses

MEDFORD, OREGON -- "Lucy" loves to ride and sit on her owner's two horses, "Joey" and "Danny". "Lucy's" owners said she is a born entertainer and seems to crave the attention. They think she started climbing on the horses to get more of the spotlight.

"We were feeding the horses one day and she climbed up from the other side and ended up sitting on the horse's back. And she'll go for a ride now and then," said owner Scott Sinner.

"Lucy" is often found sleeping on "Joey" and "Danny" in the horse stall. Her owners adopted her about a year ago.

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