Failure to provide care in cold weather for dogs can result in charges
HOLLIDAYSBURG - Dogs Lucky and Cole live the good life with their owners, Jane Sheffield and Joel Koss. The mixed breed and black Labrador retriever, respectively, enjoy a big fenced-in yard for running and a warm home in Hollidaysburg for shelter.
Not all dogs are so, well, lucky.
Animal cruelty charges go up in the winter months, Bedford County Humane Society police officer Shirley Deremer said. Since temperatures began to drop this year, about a dozen complaints came in within a few days concerning animals, she said.
"Open up that bedroom window and let that draft come across you," she said, explaining what outdoor animals contend with during the winter.
People not properly caring for their animals can face charges such as failing to provide adequate shelter or water when violating statutes such as neglect and animal cruelty, she said.
Summary offenses can carry a fine of $50 to $750 and/or 90 days in jail, Deremer said.
Kassy Kay Sheetz, 32, of 105 W. Fifth Ave., Everett, is facing such charges after state police at Bedford found her dog outside with no water and without proper shelter at 12:25 a.m. Monday.
Sheetz was charged with cruelty to animals, police said.
She did not return a phone message Wednesday.
A winter advice sheet from the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society states temperatures below 20 degrees are unsafe for animals.
Animals occasionally are taken to the CPHS with weather-related ailments such as hypothermia and frostbite, but so far this year executive director Mary Anslinger said she hasn't seen many cases.
If a pet is kept outside in the winter, it must have a dry, warm home. Deremer said owners should use straw, not fabric such as blankets and towels, to make a bed in a dog's house. When fabric gets wet it freezes, leaving a pooch with an icy bedmate.
While a large doghouse seems like a nice gesture for a pet, a smaller home actually traps the dog's body heat better, Deremer said. Also, she said pet owners should turn the doghouse away from the wind and attach a flap over the entrance for further protection. Additionally, dogs should be taken in to a basement or garage at night when temperatures typically dip lower.
Puppies are not capable of maintaining their body heat, so the cold weather is not safe for them, she said.
An animal living outdoors needs more food and water because of the energy it expends just to stay warm, Deremer said.
"It would be like you or I running a marathon in the winter to keep warm," she said. "Obviously we're going to dehydrate."
Water freezing in a pet's water bowl is another concern. Owners should check and refresh the water frequently, she said.
While some dog outfits are just for fun, others can help when taking a short-haired pet for a quick walk, Anslinger said.
They're not good enough to protect a dog for an extended period of time, however, she said.
Salt used to melt ice is another concern for pet owners.
Lucky and Cole don't venture beyond their yard during the winter months because of salted sidewalks, which can irritate a pet's paws, Sheffield said.
The golden rule to protecting a pet throughout the winter months is pretty simple: Bring it inside, Anslinger said.
"Basically if you feel cold, they're cold," she said.
Pet tips during cold weather
The Central Pennsylvania Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offer the following tips for winter safety:
--Keep potty breaks short and wipe pets' paws clean. Spray paws with cooking spray for extra protection before going out for a walk.
--Keep toxic chemicals such as antifreeze away from a pet. Antifreeze tastes good and is extremely poisonous. If ingested, immediately contact a vet.
--Watch for snowdrifts that can give a dog a boost over a fence.
--Winter or summer, keep identification tags on your pets.
--Bang on the hood of a car before starting it. Cats may be resting underneath because they are attracted to the heat.
--Never leave your pet alone in your vehicle, which acts like a refrigerator in cold temperatures.
--Keep your cat indoors, too. Cats can freeze and are vulnerable to infectious diseases, including rabies, contracted from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
'Nubbins' Surrendered By Owners; Needs Home With Carpeting
Nubbins is a homeless cat that found shelter at the MSPCA-Boston Animal Care center and is one of 200 animals that were taken to the shelter in the first six days of the new year, local affiliate WCVB-TV reports.
“Nubbins recently completed several weeks of foster care during which time he became accustomed to walking on his malformed limbs,” spokesman Brian Adams said.
The cat requires a home that is completely carpeted, Adams said, “to prevent the ends of his hind limbs from rubbing open.”
Wood or tile floors and stairs would be hazardous, according to Adams.
Nubbins was surrendered by his owners after they found homes for all of the other kittens in his litter, but could not find a home for him.
MSPCA-Boston will also ensure that the cat’s new owners are able to take the cat for regular visits to a veterinarian.
Here are the top ten ways to spoil the special animal in your life:
10. Pet Clothing
Although your kitty might not be too appreciative of a Christmas sweater, most dogs actually enjoy having an extra layer on. Plus, what else could possibly look better on the Christmas card than your pup in a sweater and reindeer antlers?
A well-behaved pet is a happy pet! Teaching your pet the basics early and often is the best start to a healthy relationship between you and your new best friend.
8. Group Playtime (playgroups, parks, beaches)
Most dogs love to interact with other dogs – but it can be hard for us humans to find the time. There are plenty of options here as there are playgroups for all different types of dogs all over the place, as well as dog parks, and in some areas dog beaches. These places are specifically for dogs and their owners. Some off-leash play with other dogs is a great way to exercise and energize your pooch.
7. Pet Toys
Everyone loves a fun toy – especially your pet. Pet toys range from a simple raw hide bone or a catnip-filled toy mouse to something more extravagant, such as the Interactive Smart dog toy, a puzzle your dog will have to figure out by using his sense of smell to find hidden treats. Make sure there’s something special for your pet at gift time – you know how sensitive they can be!
6. Gourmet Pet Food
While most dogs or cats will settle for just about anything you put in front of them (most dogs anyway), we like to spoil our pets with a little something special for each meal. Partyanimalpetfood.com offers organic chicken, sweet potatoes, blueberries, eggs and vegetables – just for pets. Feeding your pet organic foods will give your pet all the nutrients they need, and guarantees they won’t be consuming any harmful pesticides, growth hormones, or antibiotics. Your pets deserve the best!
5. Luxury Beds
At the end of a long day of lazing around and getting your belly rubbed, your dog or cat deserves a cozy bed to snuggle up in! There are so many different types of pet beds to choose from – from plush dog or cat couches, to fleece beds, and even orthopedic beds for that extra-picky someone.
4. Dog Carriers
For the lazy–er, luxurious pup, there are designer pet carriers (including Louis Vuitton!) so your small pooch is never far from you – or style. Warning! This is for small dogs only! Don’t try and squeeze your Labrador in one of these! While some people believe these carriers are just for show and for princess type dogs, they actually serve a good purpose. Lots of dogs have separation anxiety from there owners and will chew up and destroy the house when you leave. So having one of these pet carriers on a quick trip to the mall or supermarket is a great thing to keep your finicky pup right up close.
3. Luxury Kennels
Unfortunately, not all vacation spots are pet friendly. So when we take our much needed time at the beach, we are sometimes forced to put our pets into kennels. But these experiences don’t have to be traumatizing for our pets anymore. If you really love to spoil and pamper your pet, there’s no better way than sending them to a luxury kennel so your pet can take their own vacation! Choosing a kennel is an important decision, so make sure you do your research, and always visit before making choosing one – especially for an extended stay.
2. Pet Spa
After a stressful day of begging for treats and searching for just the right hydrant, every pet deserves a day at the spa to rejuvenate. Pet spas offer amenities like grooming, styling, teeth cleaning, and even facial scrubs. Check your local listings for any number of pet spas in your area!
1. Tender Loving Care!
Nothing’s a better gift than good, old-fashioned Tender Loving Care. A well-loved pet is a happy pet! Spoiling and pampering your pet is fine, but loving them everyday is the most important thing you can give them.
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Amelia Glynn - SF Gate
In 2009, a young Russian woman, Oksana Popova, had a controversial "body enhancement" procedure performed on her pet Mickey — a rare Canadian Hairless breed, also known as a Sphynx cat. Mickey was put under general anesthesia for three hours while an elaborate image of King Tut was etched onto the feline's chest.
Of her cat's new tat Popova said: "I wanted something new and different for the times we live in." She told the U.K.'s Mirror that she was very pleased with the final Tutankhamun design.
Not surprisingly, animal rights groups were quick to criticize Moscow's new fad, fearing that it might spark interest among wealthy pet owners in the West. Many opponents labeled the purely cosmetic (and painful) practice "barbaric," as it positions pets as whimsical fashion accessories.
What do you think of cosmetic tattoos for pets?
Of course this is inhumane and a disgrace. If you could ask the pet if they wanted to have a tatoo, probably 9 out of 10 would say no. Who is the 1 you ask. Well it is probably a pit-bull.
I also find it somewhat distatesful that SFGate.com is running advertising that's trying to sell me puppies.
Are ad sales down THAT much, SFGate? Really?
Note to self: NO good breeder resorts to the newspaper to hawk some puppies. Ever. Same goes for the pet store.
Boo for no corporate ethics.
While I think that this is entirely vain, selfish, ridiculous and unnecessary, it's not any more of those things than cropping or docking.
I do wonder if any of the folks who are "ohmyGOD!"ing this article have cropped or docked pets. Surgically altering your pet for the sole purpose of appearance is the same whether it's a tattoo or cutting off a body part.
When the AKC decides to outlaw cropping and docking, and reward dogs with natural ears and tails, only then can we be outraged about pet tattooing. As it is, the United States still lets folks lop off body parts of cosmetic purposes (the U.K. does not), so perhaps we can transfer our outrage and pass a law in our own country to deter these kinds of practices.
She may as well have had "Heartless Bit**" tattooed on her own face. You know that's what people are going to be thinkign when they see her poor cat. Thank God this clueless fool is not an American. We already have a clueless fool who accessorizes with small dogs.
Yeah it's lame. But how is it any worse than the ear cropping and tail docking that you see every day in this country? Got any of that outrage left for your neighbor with the boxer, dane, or pit?
Before the introduction of chips, many people had their pets tattooed with contact info in case they were lost or stolen. Some people, well aware that a chip can be removed by a thief and a new one implanted, still have their pets tattooed. While this particular one is a bit of crap, I don't see a problem with tattooing ID or contact info on your pet, and making it artistic and attractive.
Quit anthropomorphizing that cat. It doesn't give a feline's damn about having a tattoo. However, I do hope the cat "tattoos" that ignorant woman some night while she's asleep.
Sorry, but the first time I see a person with a tattooed dog or cat I'm punching them in the jaw.
Oksana Popova, a young Russian woman, is out of her friggin' gourd!!!
By Jewel Gilbert, Editor - The Daily Tail
Experts say cats and dogs understand lots of human words. And we pet owners claim to understand our pets.
But I wonder if we understand each other’s vocabulary in quite the same way. So, with tongue in cheek, I came up with a list of cat and dog words that may have different meanings for us and for our pets.
Can you think of others?
Catastrophe – interrupting a cat
Catalog – where a cat takes a nap in the woods
Catatonic – hair product for a cat
Catacomb – grooming tool for a cat; used with catatonic
Catalyst – what a cat takes to go shopping
Cataract – a cat’s part in a play
Category – feline horror movie
Cater – when a cat makes a mistake (not very often, according to the cat)
Caterpillar – foundation of a cat’s house
Dogwatch – what dogs do in front of the TV
Dogcatcher – a dog’s position in a baseball game; also why so many Boston dogs are named Fenway.
Dogged - substitute for dog training class diploma
Dogmatic – dog who always comes right away when you call her
from The Daily Tail
I always blame myself for the bite not the bird.
Trying to cheat the system has its painful reward.
While holding one of my Amazons (BFA) I noticed he had an attitude going on, but birds will be birds. He was perched on my arm for about 45min while I was on the computer working on things and of course giving him attention. My other Amazon (OWA) wanted to join us so I turned and started to walk to her cage and must have turned my hand or something. He started attacking my hand. Although I was in pain I calmly walk back his cage but was surprised how he just wanted to chew me up. I tried to have him step up on the stick (this usually works). Then I just rolled him off but he lunged at me again and left another bite wound.
I have other birds and over the years I have been bitten, but never like this and was very surprised.
Well my hand is all swollen and marked up but I will take him out again (tonight). I believe that if a bird is in the cage they need time out and for the ones that sometimes bite, I use the up command with a stick and then transfer to my arm.
Just a reminder that all birds bite. I use to think that not all birds but after being bit from my U2 (who loves being with me) after 8 years, I started singing a different tune.
So thats my story.
BY JOHN WISELY - FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Tony Caruso runs a business to make dogs feel at home. Now, he's helping them find one
Caruso, who runs Camp Bow Wow, a premium dog care facility in St. Clair Shores, has opened his doors to the Michigan Animal Adoption Network, a nonprofit that finds homes for abused and neglected animals. Last month, the group lost its storage space at another facility because of an ownership change. That's when, Caruso said, he thought he had to help.
"I can offer to do this," Caruso said. "I can't not do it."
Caruso and his staff met over the holidays with Marie Skladd, the president of the network, and her team. Caruso already boards dogs from the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society.
"The teams just immediately clicked," Skladd said. "He's fixed on assisting and benefiting the animals. He is doubling our space."
The network deals with about 50 animals a day, though fewer than a dozen typically are boarded at one time. Most are kept in foster homes.
Caruso will house dogs awaiting adoption. He and his clients already have donated more than 2,000 pounds of food to the network. His first tenant from the adoption network, Murphy, a high-energy German shepherd, arrived Thursday.
"Murphy would do really well with a jogger or someone who could work out some of that energy out," Skladd said.
All the rescue dogs kept at Camp Bow Wow will get the same exercise and care routine given to the paying customers. .
Caruso said that makes for healthier, happier dogs that will be easier to place in permanent homes.
Contact JOHN WISELY: 313-222-6825
Whether you are thinking about breeding your cat or you are simply concerned that she might have accidentally become pregnant, you will find that there are a number of facts that you need to be aware of.
While the age of your cat plays a role in their ability to get pregnant, with older cats being able to get pregnant easier, you will find the the length of your cats pregnancy is fairly standardized.
For the most part, you will find that a cat’s pregnancy length will last about 57 to 70 days. Many cats end up averaging around 64 days or so, giving them a pregnancy length of around nine weeks.
There are many signs to keep a look out for when you are trying to figure out if your cat is pregnant. The first and most likely sign you will notice is the absence of your cat going into heat. An unspayed female cat will generally have a cycle she will follow for going into heat and it will be from between ten to fourteen days.
If she suddenly stops giving the signs of having gone into heat, there is a good chance that she might be pregnant. The first physical sign that you are likely to see is that her nipples will have a swollen, slightly tender look and they might turn pinker in color.
A cat that is pregnant will also tend to have an increase appetite as the resources in her body start being taken up by nourishing her kittens. Similarly, a pregnant female cat might also vomit, but if this happens more than a few times, a visit or a call to the veterinarian might be necessary.
By the time she is five weeks pregnant, around 35 days, her stomach will begin to swell. From this point on, she will keep getting bigger and bigger until her litter is born.
It is in you and your cats best interest to take some time to learn about the changes to your cat during her pregnancy.
If you are trying to figure out how to tell if your cat is pregnant then chances are fairly high you have a pregnant cat on your hands and you will need to be informed on how to care for her. One thing you should think about is feeding your cat homemade cat food.
By AL SWANSON - UPI.com
CHICAGO,(UPI) -- A Florida woman heard her missing long-haired cat mewing on her front porch Thanksgiving night and opened the door to find the kitty had been hit by a car.
Giggle-Blizzard had vanished days earlier, an apparent runaway. After 11 days, he'd dragged himself home, his back legs smashed. The vet bills for two surgeries came to $3,000, The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported.
That's a dramatic -- and expensive -- lesson about the cost of caring for an injured pet. More than half of U.S. households have a pet, about 80 percent of them dogs or cats.
Twenty years ago my wife and I had a similar experience with a calico cat we adopted after a stray birthed four kittens under our backyard deck.
My wife bought a metal dog crate and after much cajoling and baiting with treats captured the tiny kitten, whom we named "Callie."
We tried to turn her into an indoor cat but Callie had the wanderlust. She would always run to the door when it opened and look out longingly. One day my wife said, "Go ahead, Callie," and the cat stepped out, looked over her shoulder and disappeared.
My wife was distraught. "Wasn't I a good mother?" she asked. "Why didn't she come back?"
In the next week we spotted her in the alley, in the park and one night she tried to claw her way into the basement through a plastic window well cover.
During the worst heat wave in 100 years, she showed up. I was bringing in packages and left the screen door open. When I came back into the kitchen, there she was.
She looked up at me, meowed a couple of times and ran into the basement. We knew something was wrong.
Callie probably had been hit by a car or got hung up on a fence. Her collar dug deep into her neck and one of her front legs, and a festering wound was covered with maggots.
The bill at the Pet Emergency Center came to more than $500 -- a lot for us at the time. We had never even heard of pet insurance.
These days, the cost of medical care for pets rivals that for humans. Even dogs and cats can get H1N1.
The American Pet Products Association estimates pet owners will spend $12.2 billion on veterinary care this year, up from $11.1 billion in 2008. Animals now get chemotherapy for cancer and dialysis for kidney disease, just like their owners.
But only about 1 million U.S. pets are insured.
Unless one is happy adopting a battery-powered Zhu Zhu toy hamster, there will be vet bills. Even routine shots and examinations are expensive.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates it costs about $670 annually to take care of a cat and nearly $900 a year to care for a dog.
Premiums for pet insurance typically range from $10 to $75 a month depending on the pet's age, breed and location. Most require owners to pay vet bills upfront and file for reimbursement, The Wall Street Journal said.
Americans love their pets so much, Congress, which has yet to adopt final legislation reforming healthcare for people, may someday consider legislation to create a tax break of as much as $3,500 for pet care expenses. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., proposed the tax break in October after he was contacted by veteran actor Robert Davi, who appeared in "The Goonies," "License to Kill" and "Diehard."
The Humanity and Pets Partnered through the Years Act, a/k/a the HAPPY Act, would cover all legally owned pets, from dogs and cats to hedgehogs, reptiles and presumably even chickens.
"There is a general acknowledgment that people really care about their pets," Betsy Dribben, vice president of government relations of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told ABC News. "Taking care of pets does cost money, and during the dramatic decline of people's income and shaky economy, any possibility of assisting people in meeting those costs should be looked at."
The bill has the support of animal welfare groups, but critics worry about people taking advantage of the law dumping or abusing the pets while taking the tax write-off. Others say pets are a luxury, especially in this economy.
"We've had reports of people having to turn in pets because of the economic recession. And when you think about the relationship between people and pets and the humane way that it helps people think, it seemed to me to be a good idea, and we dropped it in," McCotter told Doggy TV, a YouTube channel.
"Obviously, healthcare is on the front burner. But when the time comes, if people are letting their member know they like it, they'd like to see them get behind it, I think that will be helpful in this instance."
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By Philip Moeller - Yahoo.com
As the new year unfolds, one of the best resolutions you can make--and keep--is to call your local animal shelter and make arrangements to see if there is a stray dog or cat that you can take into your home. Having a pet helps seniors stay invested in life. Particularly if you live alone, pets counter loneliness and help you continue to focus on what's going on around you.
There is no one pet perfect for everyone. Maybe you've always had a thing for songbirds and want to be awakened with a melody each morning (but not one that comes from an alarm clock). Or perhaps it's exotic fish or some other creature you can care for. My son has taken a powerful liking to chinchillas, and he says that if you can locate a social chinchilla, you will have found the perfect pet. The point is to find a pet that is right for you.
Although there is no perfect pet, I will promptly alienate millions of pet lovers by saying that a dog is the best choice for many people. Dogs and people develop deep emotional ties, and dogs are great companions. They will literally lay down their lives to protect you. Most ask for little in return except to be where you are and to get an occasional pat or scratch behind the ear.
Most people advise older pet owners to consider a smaller dog. Big dogs can be more than a handful. Maybe you can't get out to walk the dog as often as you should. Smaller dogs don't require as much exercise. And when you take the dog for a walk, it's nice to walk it and not be taken for a walk, which can easily happen with a larger dog. Maybe you live in a small home or apartment and don't want a big dog taking over your living space. You may prefer a dog that's not high strung and is calmer around the house. Here's a list of small dogs selected to meet these requirements, drawn from similar lists provided at PetPlace.com and Pet Connect:
If you haven't already set out for the pet store or shelter, here are 10 reasons to do so:
Companionship. Loneliness can become an unwelcome companion as we age and can lead to depression as well as physical problems. Dogs mold their schedule and personality to you. They are never unavailable or off duty. Smaller dogs, in particular, can easily travel.
Having a routine. The routine of caring for a pet can bring structure and purpose to daily life. Maybe you don't always want to get out of bed, but your pet wants you to. Isn't that a good thing?
Exercise. People benefit from regular physical exercise regardless of their age. But it is hard to get into a regular exercise routine, and it's so very easy to skip it. Having a dog can be a great way to make walking a part of your daily plan.
Less stress. Older people with pets tend to exhibit less stress than those without. Maybe it's those regular walks or the sense that you've got a friend to share life's challenges. Or maybe it's that tail wagging you see very day when you wake up.
Getting out. Having a pet, particularly one that requires regular outdoor activity, helps you stay connected to life. You go for veterinary checkups, and perhaps you visit a dog groomer. You need to be involved in social activities.
Making new friends. There are lots of shared activities for pet owners, ranging from communal walks to charitable events and other organizations that cater to animals and protecting the environment. It can be hard to meet new people, but pets are great icebreakers.
New interests. A pet can expose you to new interests and activities. Maybe it's cleaning up the neighborhood park where you walk your dog. Some hospitals seek pet owners who will volunteer to bring in their pets to spend time with patients.
Protection. A dog can provide significant security. Potential thieves will stay away from a home with a barking dog. Your watchdog may weigh only 8 pounds soaking wet, but the person on the other side of the door doesn't know that.
Taking care of something. Sure, you need your pet. Your pet needs you, too. The need to be useful and of value doesn't magically disappear when your career ends or your kids grow up and build their own independent lives. It is very satisfying to take care of another living creature.
Investing in life. At the end of the day, having a pet means that you have made a promise to continue being involved in another life. This commitment is one of the most positive decisions you can make as you get older.
By Robyn Fed from Hampton TN - ThriftyFun.com
First, go on freecycle.org and get a ferret cage by joining and then offering something like a couple of t-shirts, and then request a used ferret cage, that is two or three stories high, or buy one. Buy a hammock for the cage, Ferrets need these.
Put a box with a hole in it in the cage, big enough for the ferret to get into and sleep, like a shoe box sized box. I used a dollar shoe box from the dollar store, and cut a little doorway in it and put a little fleece blanket inside to let it sleep on.
Get a water bottle, and buy good ferret food. Get a blanket to put over the cage when the ferret sleeps, as they need total darkness when they sleep.
Get the Ferret.. Buy one of Marshall Farms ferrets, and bring it home. Let it get used to the cage for a couple of days or hours until it wants to come out.
Take the ferret out, as much as you can, but not too long at a time without putting it back in the cage. Never let the food bowl run out of food, because their metabolism is so fast they can starve to death really fast. They also need to have fresh water and have to water bottle never run out.
Put a bag of sandwich baggies by the cage. You will use this to clean the cage each time you take the ferret out. Put your hand in the bag and pick up any little Ferret tootles. Usually they will eventually start going in one spot. You can try a litter box but mine don't like them, they go on the linoleum in the corners of the cage.
I leave a space for the ferret to see out at night but most of the cage is covered. Ferrets cannot take heat. I have a little thermometer hanging on the cage to tell me how the temp is. They are more comfortable not in hot areas, but like cool areas. They are in need of lots of stimulation and attention. I have mine out about 6 times a day, all the time with little breaks to eat and drink.
I can't let it run free, because of the dogs and them not being reliable, but you could if you were there to watch them all the time. Mine gets stuck in drawers, and they are like kids, very curious and they are little bandits. They will find a place and put things they like in there. So keep your items out of their reach unless you want them to disappear.
They are so hyper. If you always hold them the same way and talk to them, they will become very attached to you. They are so sweet. Never keep a ferret in an aquarium. It is harmful and they need free flowing air, and the aquarium is for fish. Not ferrets.
They are so wonderful. They are the funniest, most hyper must comedic animal I have ever seen, In the summer I like to keep a meatloaf pan in the bedroom window sill and fill it with fresh water ever night and ours likes to play in it..they love water, just like an otter would.