Pet Tips: Do-It-Yourself Pet Grooming

Top 10 Ways Pets Break Bones

Nation's Largest Pet Insurance Company Reveals Data on Pet Fractures

BREA, Calif./PRNewswire/ -- While moving vehicles pose an obvious threat to pets, another common cause of broken bones tops out at an unsuspecting zero mph and is found inside nearly all pet owner's homes -- furniture. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently analyzed its data on fracture claims to find the most common ways pets break bones. In 2008, accidents in which pets were hit by cars topped the list, followed by accidents in which pets fell or jumped, usually from household furniture.

Top 10 Ways Pets Break Bones

1. Hit By Car
2. Jumping
3. Falling
4. Fight With Other Pet or Animal
5. Running and Slipped
6. Hit or Struck With Object
7. Caught in or Between Object
8. Running into Object
9. Stepped On
10. Injured in Car Accident

In 2008, VPI received more than 5,000 claims for fractures. Of fracture claims analyzed, about 40 percent resulted from accidents in which pets were hit by cars. The second and third most common causes, jumping and falling, combined for another 40 percent of fracture claims. These claims most often involved pets jumping or falling from couches, beds, or the laps of their owners. The remaining 20 percent of fracture claims included those in which pets ran into stationary objects, fought with other pets, got caught in a tight space, or were unintentionally struck with moving objects.

In 2008, VPI received the most fracture claims for breaks to the humerus, femur, radius, ulna and tibia. The most common treatment of these breaks, surgical implantation of an orthopedic plate, had an average submitted claim fee of $1,500. The most expensive claims for broken bones were submitted for surgical treatment of a broken pelvis or vertebrae. Breaks to the pelvis or vertebrae that required pins, wires, or screws had an average submitted claim fee of $2,400, and breaks that required an orthopedic plate had an average submitted claim fee of $2,600.

"Broken bones are painful for pets and costly for pet owners," said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "Injury prevention includes careful management of a pet's environment, by removing possible threats and eliminating situations that might put a pet at risk. To prevent pet accidents or injuries caused by moving vehicles, pets should be kept on a leash at all times while away from home. If a pet has a tendency to bolt out the door and into the street, the pet should be desensitized to open doors or restricted to a safe area by a fence or baby gate."

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the nation's oldest and largest pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America's pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional Pet Well Care Protection for routine care is also available.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

SOURCE Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.

World’s Tallest Dog Loses Leg to Cancer

Gibson, the Guinness World Record’s Tallest Dog, recently had his front right leg amputated due to complications from bone cancer

Standing at 42.2 inches tall, the harlequin Great Dane has held the Tallest Dog title for four years.

Gibson, who has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” also serves as spokesdog for K9 Grass, an artificial grass designed for dogs. A certified therapy dog, he has worked work with cancer patients, veterans and amputees.

The surgery was performed to prevent the cancer, found in the dog’s paw a few weeks ago, from spreading, according to a company press release.

The surgery gives Gibson a 95.5 percent greater chance of surviving. He’ll be having follow up chemotherapy treatments in the upcoming weeks.

Gibson will continue to hold his title as the World’s Tallest Dog and be the official spokesdog for K9Grass, ForeverLawn Inc.’s line of artificial turf designed for dogs.

(Photo: Courtesy of ForeverLawn Inc.)

5 Great Cities for Traveling with Dogs
Leon Logothetis, Special to The SF Chronicle

Editor's note: TV travel host Leon Logothetis crosses countries and continents on just $5 a day in his Fox Reality/National Geographic show, "Amazing Adventures of a Nobody." During his on-camera travels, Logothetis travels without his beloved companion, a Boston terrier named Winston. But when the cameras stop rolling, Logothetis continues hopping from place to place and takes Winston with him - across the United States and beyond. Here, Logothetis shares with Chronicle readers his favorite domestic doggie destinations.

1. Los Angeles
One reason I moved to L.A. from Dallas was the abundance of facilities for my little Winston. If he is not hiking in Runyon Canyon or the many other canyons across the city, he is frolicking on the beach. Numerous beaches in and around Los Angeles allow off-leash dogs. Winston goes barmy when I take him to the beach, running around like a headless chicken meeting new friends and chasing new types of birds. After the beach, there is always the chance for a bit of pampering - whether that's shopping and sampling dog couture on Rodeo, grabbing a drink with your dog in Venice or checking into one of L.A.'s high-end pet spas.

Where to stay:

-- Sheraton Universal Hotel. No dog fees for dogs up to 80 pounds, and welcome kits, custom beds, food bowls and special treats make this a fave when hitting Universal Studios. 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City. (818) 980-1212,

-- Hotel Palomar. With a very attractive dog called Jackson Oscar in charge of this hotel's pet relations, it's no wonder they get it right. No restrictions on size or type, pet sitting and walking available through the concierge, and a grassy walking area just 50 feet from the hotel entrance. 10740 Wilshire Blvd. (866) 919-8539. www.hotelpalomar-lawest

Where to play:

-- Huntington Beach Dog Beach. Located on the Pacific Coast Highway between 21st Street and Seapoint Street, open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Dogs may be off leash in the water and on the wet sand, a marvelous spot to frolic. 7071 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach.

-- Haute Dogs on the Beach Days. Special events on the beach in Long Beach, where dogs are allowed off leash in the surf and sand. Visit Web site for dates and to support such events. www.hautedogs .org.

-- Runyon Canyon, Hollywood. Legal off-leash dog recreation area, beautiful canyon trails for hiking. Lots of dogs and people at all times - good for celeb spotting. Water fountains for dogs only at the bottom. 1865 N. Fuller Ave.

Where to drink:

-- The Otheroom. A welcoming stylish bar with a wonderful beer and wine selection that welcomes dog and beer lovers fresh from the beach. 1201 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.

Where to hear music:

-- Kulak's Woodshed - A Labor of Love. A unique destination to listen to some great artists accompanied by your pet, and they throw monthly pet charity benefits. 5230 1/2 Laurel Canyon Blvd., North Hollywood.

Where to pamper the pup:

-- Beverly Hills Pet Hotel and Day Spa. A play-by-day, full fur salon, tutors for household manners, gourmet meals, doggie-rated movies and twilight nature walks. This is the real deal in luxury and education. 632 N. Almont Drive, West Hollywood. (310) 274-0829.

-- Bark N Bitches pet boutique. Los Angeles' newest, most fashionable dog boutique; plush beds, elegant collars, health products, everything you need to have the most stylish pooch in town. 505 N. Fairfax Ave.

2. New York
Winston has never traveled to New York. (He is constantly asking me to take him to Times Square - he has heard on the doggie grapevine that the pigeons there are extremely friendly.) However with my younger brother's lovely golden retriever Pinto, I have seen the delights of New York's dog life. New Yorkers get a reputation for not being very friendly sometimes, but New York is the quintessential dog-friendly city. You can hole up with your dog in the same hotel as Westminster Dog Show winners, spot celebrities at dog parks on the Upper West Side and enjoy al fresco pet-friendly dining in this haven for animal lovers.

Where to stay:

-- W New York - Union Square. Welcome bags provided, along with dog walking and sitting services, as well as spa treatments. The hotel borders Union Square Park, a wonderful place where dogs are allowed to roam free. $25 fee per day plus $100 cleaning fee per stay. 201 Park Ave. S. (212) 253-9119.

-- Soho Grand Hotel. Two floors specifically designed for pets! Assorted toys, brushes, leashes, pillows - even doggie vitamins and kennel rentals are available. You can also ask them to order a pet- friendly taxi for you. This is staying in the Big Apple in some style! No fee. 310 W. Broadway. (212) 965-3000,

-- Hotel Pennsylvania. Not only does it welcome creatures of all sizes, the Hotel Pennsylvania is where breeders and competitors in the Westminster Dog Show frequently stay, so your pet may be rubbing shoulders with the year's Best in Show. Two pets for $25/night, no restrictions on size. 401 Seventh Ave. (212) 736-5000,

Where to play:

-- Teddy's Dog Run. Open until 10 p.m. nightly, this is a huge dog run in the heart of the Upper West Side. Theodore Roosevelt Park, 81st and Columbus.

-- George's Dog Run. Well lit and offering cleanup bags, handicapped access and fences, this is a really pleasant place for your dog. Frequented by some of NYC's finest, it's a great place to spot celebs. Washington Square Park, cross streets Thompson and Washington Square South.

Where to eat:

-- Barking Dog Luncheonette. Restaurant where dogs are allowed inside or out. Great stuff. 1453 York Ave. (212) 861-3600.

-- The Boat Basin Cafe. This is a dog-friendly restaurant that overlooks the Hudson River. It is open only in spring and summer, but the best part is that you and your canine can enjoy eating at this outdoor restaurant and then walk along the Hudson. W. 79th St. at Henry Hudson Pkwy. (212) 496-5542.

3. Vermont
Winston came home from the dog park last week and said he was going to move to Vermont. I tried to explain to him that we live in Los Angeles and that we were not moving. Once he had finished sulking in the clothes hamper, he told me why he wanted to go to Vermont. Aside from the vast open spaces and dashing among autumnal trees, he'd heard, Vermont also offers some serious pooch pampering at a couple of great doggie hotels in Vermont (www.paw

Where to stay:

-- Paw House Inns. These are serious doggie destinations, with a mantra they pride themselves on living up to: "Some places accept dogs. Some places tolerate dogs. At the Paw House Inn, we cater to dogs and their owners." They offer professional grooming services, extensive dog training classes, an adventure-filled Paw House play area and even a high-end restaurant with dog-themed menu including items such as New Yorkie strip steak and Pina Chihuahua.

Killington/Okemo: Nightly rates from $135 include country breakfast for humans. 1376 Clarendon Ave. West Rutland. (866) 729-4687.

Inn, Spa & Resort at Mount Snow: Nightly rates from $155 include gourmet breakfast for humans. 145 Route 100, West Dover. (802) 464-8303.

Where to eat:

Chefs cook up year-round special treats and snacks for your animals that have included "paw lickin' chicken" and "pea-mutt butta snacks," so there's no chance they'll be going hungry.

Where to play:

The Killington Paw House Inn is within the majestic expanse of the Vermont State Forest, offering some of the most beautiful hiking trails for dogs and owners in North America, all within a few minutes of the hotel. A "dog-in theatre" allows you and your dog to watch the latest blockbusters together.

Where to pamper the pup:

Specially designed dog beds in each room will ensure your dog gets to sleep in style, and a full spa service is offered by the hotels.

4. Dallas
Winston lived in Dallas for two years and sometimes would insist that I take him to a hotel for the night. He had spent the night in another hotel in Dallas and was not impressed, so after some research on the Internet he wanted to try the W. With dog-walking services, a special W custom pet bed and on-hand pet treats, it was a night he won't forget in a hurry. After that, we sampled some of Dallas' other dog offerings, including swimming and walking in the White Rock Dog Park, and brushed up on Winston's agility at the excellent Dallas Dog Sports training center.

Where to stay:

-- W Dallas Victory Hotel. 2440 Victory Park Lane. (214) 397-4100

Where to play:

-- White Rock Lake Dog Park. The city's finest dog park is on the north end of White Rock Lake at Mockingbird Point. There are three sections: one for dogs under 30 pounds, one for dogs over 30 pounds, and a swim section where dogs can swim in the lake. 8000 E. Mockingbird Lane.

-- Dallas Dog Sports. Located on almost 7 acres, complete with a pond in the back, this training facility has three outdoor, grassy fields that are lighted for evening training classes. The entire training area is fenced, and there is plenty of parking. 2760 Pecan Drive. (972) 442-9226,

5. Seattle
Seattle is a beautiful city that Leon and I have visited a couple of times on our travels. Wandering around the bustling Pike Place Market, taking a ferry across Puget Sound and running around on some of the beautiful coastline and parks of the city make for a perfect pet weekend. What's also great is that the city lets you take your pets on all buses and trains. Seattle is renowned for its wet weather, so we always stay at the hip Hotel Monaco; Winston insists on keeping out of the rain in style, in one of the hotel's monogrammed dog coats.

Where to stay:

-- Hotel Monaco. Dog-sitting services with a personalized doggie itinerary, stylish Seattle-themed dog coats (buy one and you've just made a $10 donation to the King County Humane Society) and VIP service for all creatures great and small at this downtown Seattle hotel. 101 Fourth Ave. (800) 715-6513,

Where to play:

-- Magnuson Dog Park. This park is amazing - 9 acres of open fun land! A special area for little pups, too. Best of all, the only dog park in Washington with beach access. 7400 Sand Point Way NE.

Where to eat:

-- Madison Park Cafe. A wonderful little cafe in an attractive garden setting, and very doggie friendly. 1807 42nd Ave. E. (206) 324-2626.

-- Norm's Eatery and Ale House. This is a laid-back pub that was named after a dog, so your pet will feel right at home. 460 N. 36th St. (206) 547-1417.

Packing the pooch
Here are three Web sites that might be helpful to pet owners who like to take Fido along on their vacations:




E-mail comments about this story to

Save 5% on Pet Supplies Orders Over $75

Fixit: Don't Despair If Dog is Lost; Try These Search Tips
By KAREN YOUSO, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Q I've adopted a mixed-breed dog, and he's a bolter. I worry about him getting out of the fenced yard, so I watch diligently. What do I do if he should get loose? What steps should I take to recover a lost dog?

A Pets that have simply strayed from home are usually found within a few blocks, especially if you discover their absence quickly, said veterinarian Dr. Terri Derr. If you concentrate your search in your neighborhood, you'll have a good chance of locating a lost pet.

Once your pet has been gone a while, or if it is used to running at large and covers a lot of territory, contact all the animal agencies in your area (while continuing your neighborhood search). Some agencies take reports by phone, but it's always a good idea to personally visit the facility.

Any pet can be permanently identified either with a tattoo or a microchip. Microchips are small transponders implanted under the skin by a veterinarian. Each chip has a unique number and comes with registration information. Chances are your dog has such a chip. Contact the agency he came from and ask, or you could ask your veterinarian to check for you (most have scanners).

Should your pet be picked up by an animal control officer, it will be scanned for a chip. (Nearly all such agencies have scanners.) If a chip is found, the agency makes a phone call to the registry, receives your contact information and calls you directly.

There is no clearinghouse that lists all the possible places a stray animal may end up. You can compile your own list by asking local law enforcement agencies and by checking yellow-page directories under "Animal Control," "Animal Shelters" or "Humane Societies." Your veterinarian may also be familiar with such agencies.

Some additional tips for finding a lost pet from

• Cats and small dogs can get into strange places. Walk the neighborhood, talk to everybody and leave your phone number. Go to each house in the area where your pet was lost and talk to the residents. Hand them a written description of your lost pet, with your phone number included. Leave it attached to their door if they are not home.

• Talk to everybody you run across. This includes the postal carrier, paper deliverer, children, parents waiting at the school bus stop, school crossing guards, neighborhood crime watch groups, garbage pickup crews, etc. Give them a written description of your pet and your phone number. (Not your name and address, for safety's sake.)

• Try to get all the neighborhood children involved. Kids are great at finding lost pets.

• Ask everybody if they saw or heard anything unusual in the neighborhood and carefully write down everything they tell you. This could include strange vehicles, work crews, people or activities. Get detailed descriptions of everything.

• Don't travel alone. Take a friend or family member with you.

• Offer a reward, but don't state the amount.

While you search

• Make noise. Animals can hear you from great distances. Have all searchers call the pet's name.

• Bring along a favorite "squeaky toy" to make familiar noises.

• Carry a box of your pet's favorite biscuits, chews or other treats and rattle it loudly while calling your pet's name.

• Use an "Acme Dog Whistle" to get your pet's attention. The high-pitched sound from these whistles can carry a mile or more. Cats are attracted to this sound as well as dogs. (Note: This whistle is the "silent" ultrasonic type, but has a simple adjustment that lowers the tone into the human audible range. Use this audible tone when searching for your pet because the sound will carry farther.)

• It's also important to stop regularly, be quiet and listen for your pet to make a noise in reply.

• Bring a powerful flashlight (even during daylight hours) for checking in dark spaces. A frightened or injured pet will hide in dark spaces and may not come to you. Check under houses, storage sheds, garages, Dumpsters, trash cans and cars. Don't forget to look in trees for a cat.

• Animals find their way by scent as well as sound. Place strong-scented articles outside your home to attract your pet, such as dirty clothes. Sweaty gym socks and jogging suits are great for this.

• Place a dog's bedding and favorite toys, or a cat's litter box, outside.

• Put out their favorite smelly food such as tuna, freshly cooked chicken, liver or other savory meat. Protect the food if you can, so that other animals don't eat it.

Send your questions to Fixit in care of the Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488, or call 612-673-7032, or e-mail Past columns are available at Sorry, Fixit cannot supply individual replies.

Deal of the Week 120x60
AmeriMark Direct is a leading direct marketer of women's apparel, shoes, name-brand cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, watches, accessories, and health-related merchandise.

Hints From Heloise
Washington Post

Toys for Dogs

Dear Heloise: My daughter's dog, Sidney, didn't play with some of his toys, so she DONATED them to our Humane Society shelter for dogs waiting for adoption. The workers like to put a toy in with these animals to keep them company. We also take all of our newspapers to the Humane Society. The papers are shredded to use in cages. I hope everyone will remember to donate to his or her Humane Society. -- Jeri Herbert, Terre Haute, Ind.

Jeri, thank you and your daughter for being so kind. There are many animal groups, large and small, that will welcome donations! Give them a call to see what they might want or need. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Can you suggest a recipe for a solution or spray to use to make cat bathing wipes? We appreciate any help! -- The Kitty Cats, San Angelo, Texas

There are products like you mention on the market, and they may work well. Since cats groom themselves, you should use caution when putting anything on their coat.

An alternative hint is using a microfiber cloth dampened with warm water. These towels are wonderful and will work very well to remove pollen, dirt and anything else your cat or dog might have on its coat. This is both eco- and pet-friendly. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Karen Blaney of Eatontown, N.J., sent in a photo of her precious guinea pig, PJ, posing in a basket. Karen says: "PJ is 2 years old and loves fruits and veggies, and squeaks really loud when I say the word 'treat'! He is as happy as can be."

To see posing PJ, visit -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Every day when I would come home from work, my big dog had a surprise for me. He had dug yet another hole for me to fill. It turned into a game. He dug, and I filled. That is, until I got smart. One of my buddies told me to try putting some red pepper around the dirt after I finished refilling the hole. It worked. No more holes. -- Rudy, Morgantown, W.Va.


Dear Heloise: I love my bird feeder outside. My little feathered friends make me smile as they stop by for a snack. Refilling the feeder tubes is always a problem for me. I got a large funnel from the automotive section in a store that sells things for a dollar. It is perfect for refilling my feeder, since it has a large lip, making it easy to pour with little waste. -- Roberta, Springfield, Ohio


Dear Heloise: Morning, noon and night, I have to let my dog outside. If I'm busy when he lets me know it's time to go out, I use a timer. When it rings, I'm reminded to let him back inside. He has me really well trained! -- Diane R., Spokane, Wash.

(c)2009 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

New Reality Show Teaches Old Dogs Extreme Tricks

ACTON, Mass. (AP) — Max the Border Collie can roll over on command, herd crowds and sit still on a table while his owners eat.

But Grace and Michael Ham want their dog to do more — like climb people's backs and then leap into the air to catch a Frisbee. So, they have sought the help of Zak George, a dog trainer made famous from YouTube clips who now is hosting a reality TV show aimed at teaching old dogs new tricks.

A crew for Animal Planet's new show — tentatively called "Fetch Me a Beer" — recently filmed Max while he was learning his new moves. The 20-episode series, scheduled to premiere in October, will show George teaching other dogs such skills as riding a bike and helping a helpless human land a date.

"The dogs are easy. It's the people who are more challenging," George says. "There's nothing we can't attempt to teach a dog."

So far, eight episodes have been shot in Miami and the Boston area. Later this month, the crew will tape Brumby the Australian Shepherd completing his training with George on learning to bowl with his owner. Yes, bowl.

Seanbaker Carter, executive producer of Powderhouse Productions, says viewers will see all sorts of skills from dogs they didn't think were possible, such as seeing a dog "literally fetching a beer out of a fridge" and bringing it to its owner.

"It's the one trick we probably all need to happen," says Carter, whose company is producing the show for Animal Planet.

Another episode, he promises, will have a cat using a toilet.

The show's producers discovered Max after Grace and Michael Ham, of Brookline, Mass., responded to a casting call earlier this year. Before the call, the couple had followed George's YouTube training videos.

Max was quickly picked and a crew began recording the dog's progress. Michael Ham says it took more than a month for Max to learn how to leap off his back and jump for a Frisbee. "He can do all sorts of tricks but this was pretty difficult," he says.

George says Max had come a long way from their initial meeting. "When you see the progress this dog has made, people are going to be blown away," George says.

During the Wednesday taping, Max was joined by other dogs who have competed in a number of advance competitions, including two dancing dogs and a few advanced Frisbee catchers.

Grace Ham says that after participating in the show, she thinks Max will one day pick up some of those advance skills. "We didn't know we had a world-class, competing dog," she says. "We learned that through this show."

George says "the sky's the limit" on what other dogs can learn. Then he pauses — finding an idea. "The sky? Maybe we should teach a dog to fly a plane."

Click here for "Dating Tips, Relationship Advice and Intimacy"

Click here for "News, Commentary and Opinions"

Cat and Dog Survive Tragedies and Hope for New Homes

Josie and Courage have a second chance at life thanks to a local vet and an animal rescue organization.

Renae Zumstein, a veterinarian at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital, and The Friends of Turlock Animal Shelter, an independent non profit rescue organization, were instrumental in the rescue and rehabilitation of Josie, a gray and white shorthaired cat, and Courage, a black and white terrier mix.

The pair lived through the same misfortune but, hopefully, both will soon become members of loving homes.

Their story begins in the middle of February, when 1-year-old Josie was brought in by her owner after being hit by a car. Her back left leg was broken and because her owner was unable to afford the type of treatment she needed, she was relinquished to Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital. Josie was in shock and had to be stabilized with fluids and antibiotics for a few days before going into surgery.

When Josie's condition improved, Zumstein operated on her, inserting two pins and a wire near her ankle. Since then, one pin has been removed and the second will probably stay unless it migrates, in which case it may need to be removed. She is still in the process of having her bone heal and is building muscle back up, but has recovered greatly since the weeks following her operation.

Courage, too, was hit by a car. The incident occurred at the end of February. His left front leg was shattered, dangling from his body, and his pelvis bones were crushed. Also, like Josie, his owner was unable to afford the type of treatment he needed and relinquished him to the veterinary. His condition was worse than Josie's. In shock and very pale, he was stabilized with fluids for a week and a half before Zumstein could proceed with his treatment.

When his body could tolerate surgery, his limb was amputated, because the nerve damage was too severe. After his operation, he remained in a cage at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital for two months while his pelvis healed. Because his pelvis will forever be in an abnormal shape, Courage must never be fed bones of any kind or rawhide. But he can eat normal dog food, dog biscuits and dog treats.

Both Josie and Courage will be available for adoption at Pet Extreme, located 2840 Countryside Dr. Prospective owners may visit them from noon to 4 p.m. today and Sunday if they haven't been adopted. They will be among almost 20 other animals that are also up for adoption.

"I think Josie has a great personality. She is social, calm and a friendly cat who gets along with other animals. She doesn't have litter box problems and is almost 100 percent healed," said Zumstein.

"Courage does great on three legs. He has built up muscle and instantly got up after the anesthesia wore off. He is already used to it. I thought his recovery was excellent. He was an excellent patient who fought very hard. He's very social, good around other animals, very intelligent and curious but well-behaved. These are special cases. They belong in special homes and need special care. We have grown attached to them and want to see them in the right homes," she added.

To contact Fiona Chin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

Ways to Trim Costs of Taking Care of Pets
By Nancy Trejos - The Washington Post

As the recession deepens and more Americans find themselves without jobs, homes and much disposable income, they are struggling to not only take care of themselves, but their pets as well.

WASHINGTON — When my father retired, he decided to buy a dog to keep him occupied. Rocky (yes, my dad likes Sylvester Stallone) is a beautiful miniature collie.

He figured he had all the time in the world to take care of Rocky. What he didn't realize was that he needed quite a bit of money, too.

My dad has a decent pension from his job as a cafeteria worker at a hospital.

But all the pet food, veterinarian visits and other expenses are making a dent on his budget. Still, he loves Rocky and won't give him up.

As the recession deepens and more Americans find themselves without jobs, homes and much disposable income, they are struggling to not only take care of themselves, but their pets as well.

In one sign that pet owners are cutting costs, Kalorama Information, a life-sciences market-research firm, found that more pet owners were forgoing visits to the veterinarian and buying prescription drugs in favor of over-the-counter medicines.

The firm estimates that the over-the-counter products industry will grow 5.2 percent annually until 2014.

And according to, the largest online database of adoptable pets, 84 percent of the 700 shelters and rescue groups it surveyed had pets surrendered to them due to foreclosures, job losses or other financial distress.

But if you are having trouble keeping up with your pet's expenses and don't want to give him or her up, there are ways you can cut costs.

For instance, a friend got sick of paying $60 plus tip four times a year to have her cocker spaniel groomed. So she bought a pair of professional dog clippers online for $200 (You can probably find cheaper ones, she admits). It came with DVD instructions. She also surfed Web sites for tips.

"The clippers paid for themselves in less than a year," she said. has other tips to offer.

Click here to visit The EZ Online Shopping Network of Stores

No comments: