Pet Owners: Beware of Great Horned Owls

The 8 Secrets Dog Owners Should Know

1. Being to harsh with your dog and especially in its early years, will have severe consequences to the mental state of the dog. It will leave the dog feeling unwanted and unloved and it might even lead to a depression.

2. Feeding your dog excessively will threaten your dog’s health. Too many calories and too little exercise will have your dog grow fat and it will not only reduce its level of energy but also its ability and willingness to be happy.

3. Food for humans and food for dogs and not the same thing. Many pet owners find themselves giving their dogs leftovers from the dinner table. It is not healthy for a dog to eat human food so instead you should go visit your VET to find out what the right food is.

4. Walking your dog on a daily basis is vitally important to satisfy the basic physical needs of your dog. Smaller dogs will need shorter walks and larger breeds and most above average size breeds will even need more walks per day.

5. One of the most important things when it comes to training your dog and having it use its body the way it was designed is to go play. Through a stick or a frisbee will not only be fun but it will also be a great workout for your dog.

6. Attend dog training classes to learn how to properly manage, train and get your dog obey commands. A dog needs to know who is in charge and it is important that you are that leader.

7. Making sure that you show your dog that you love it dearly is vitally important. The feeling of love can erase almost any other error you make and if you let your dog know and feel that you love it in return it will love you back unconditionally.

8. Be fair at all times and be sure to also be respectful. Your dog is a living animal and even though it might not be able to communicate what it senses in a way that you can understand don’t conclude that it doesn’t sense things.

Dog vitality and well being is very important in order to have a fun and peaceful pet. As a dog owner you should spend enough time and energy in teaching your dog and yourself the best ways to love and respect each other as you will hopefully be together for a long time.

Pet Sitter Talks About
Caring for Others' Animals

Up until a few years ago, Diane Wilcox had a regular desk job. When she realized she was unable to sit at a desk all day, she quit to start her own business. Since she loves animals and enjoys helping people, she began her own pet and errand service. She said it is the best move she has ever made.

"I feel like this is my calling. Life is too short to not do something you love," she said.

What is rewarding about what you do?
People can go away on trips or when they are gone to work and they can feel totally confident that I'm taking care of their pets. The animals are always appreciative. I always get a wagging tail and a lick.

What the things you do for your clients?
Every home is different. When I first started, I did errands and pet service. I used to do grocery shopping, but I don't anymore. I mostly do pets. I feed them, give them fresh water, clean up after them, walk them, take them to the vet or grooming appointments. I get the mail and newspaper, take out garbage cans on garbage day. I water and look at the house and make sure it hasn't been broken into. Some animals are better off going to the kennel, but some get freaked out, so they are able to stay in the comfort of their own homes.

What is the strangest thing someone has asked you to do?
I would say (when someone) asked me to come over and pick up the dogs' bedding and wash it.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy taking care of the pets. The other day was a beautiful, sunny day. I was out walking a dog and I was thinking, "I get paid for this." What is your favorite pet? My favorite pets are dogs.

Which is your favorite breed?

Have you had a funny or memorable experience?
I have a client who has a Persian cat that is mean. Whenever I go to her house, she leaves a broom by the door. I have to use it to protect myself because she will attack me. One day, she chased me around the island in the kitchen. I have to tell her, "I'm here to feed you, not harm you." Where would you like to see your business in five years? This is a seven-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year job, so I can't say I can't work a Saturday. Right now I have a gal who works for me. I would like to get to a point where I have more people working with me.

Do you ever feel like you are running around crazy?
How do you deal with it? Yes, all the time. What I do now is usually at night I look one day ahead and look at my schedule. If I go and look too far out, it gets overwhelming. I've learned to take it one day at a time.

Do you have to deal with wild pets and how do you handle them?
I do. It is typically the larger breeds like the labs. (In the past) I was around a trainer so I know how to handle them. I'm confident around all kinds of dogs and their behavior. I need to learn how to be more confident around aggressive dogs like pit bulls.

Do you ever get too attached to people's animals?
I do. I've had a lot last year where older dogs passed away. I've had a client for the past two years, her dog was only seven and had heart problems. During his last few months, I would have to check him twice a day because my client worked in Sacramento. That was hard when he passed away.

What is the best advice you can give someone who wants to do this?
Be ready to work a lot of hours and you have to really cater to people. They have different needs and you have to learn to be flexible with people and their pets.

Planning a Move?
Be Sure Your Pet is Prepared

Moving to a new home can be just as stressful on the family pet as it is on you. Have you researched pet friendly hotels for stops along the way? Does your pet have a new ID tag? Here are some pet travel tips to keep your little friend happy and safe on moving day.

• Maintain normal routine: Pack over a period of time and try to maintain your pet’s normal routine. Advance planning will make your move less stressful.

• Keep your pet secure: Place your pet in a safe, quiet place, such as the bathroom or a pet travel crate on moving day so that he or she cannot escape. If you place your pet in a room, place a large sign on the door that says DO NOT ENTER. Containing your pet in a pet carrier on moving day will keep them safely confined as well. Gradually get them used to the carrier ahead of time by having your pet spend time in it prior to moving day.

• Purchase a new ID tag for your pet: Get a new pet ID tag that includes your new address and telephone number. An up-to-date ID tag is a lost pet’s ticket home.

• Safe car travel: Be sure that your pet is safely restrained in the car. Utilizing a pet travel harness or travel carrier are the best ways to keep your pet safe. They not only protect your pet from injury, but they help by keeping them from distracting you with their usual enthusiasm as you drive. Keep their heads inside the windows, make frequent pit stops, and don’t leave them alone. Pet barriers also work great! Whatever option you choose, be sure to give your pet ample time to get used to it. More Pet Travel Tips for the Car.

• Talk to your pet’s vet: Talk to your veterinarian about traveling with a pet who doesn’t like to travel. They can recommend behavior modification tactics or medication that might lessen the stress of travel. Depending on your new address, your pet may also need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates.

• Find pet friendly hotels in advance: If your move requires stops along the way, be sure to research pet friendly accommodations along the way.

• Plan ahead for air travel: Check with your veterinarian and the airline if your pet will be flying. Familiarize yourself with the rules specific to the airline you are flying. Be sure to review our extensive Tips for Safe Air Travel with Your Pet.

• Prepare your new home: Pets love familiar surroundings so be sure to take with you all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need from day one in your new home.

• Pet photo: Have a recent photo of your pet on hand in the unfortunate event that your pet becomes lost. Your pet will be a bit out of sorts in its new surroundings and if they run off, they may find it difficult finding their way back home in their new neighborhood.

Moving can be a fun adventure and a new beginning for you and pet…as long as you are prepared!

Click on banner to visit The Pet Warehouse

Meet Buttkiss: the 43 Year Old Fish from Queens!
Dan Taylor -

The oversized 43 year old is the oldest pet fish in town! He’s not for sale, but you can see Butkiss at the Cameo Pet Shop in Richmond Hill, Queens

He tips the scales at more than 20 pounds and measures in at 23 inches long

Buttkiss gobbles up 25 goldfish every other day and already has lived twice as long as an average pacu, a breed that is related to the piranha.

Buttkiss was just guppy-size when his owner got him in1967! He’s definitely showing his age, having developed arthritic gills and glaucoma in his right eye.

Unusual Pets Captivate Students
By Carina Belles -

Most of us have encountered cats, dogs and the occasional fish when it comes to the animal kingdom, but a few Hoover students have taken a wilder approach to pet ownership.

Freshman Haley Dalton had no idea what she was in for when she received her Blue
Front Amazon Parrot, Perky, from her grandmother while visiting her in Florida five years ago.

“I actually had to ride in the back seat of a Chevy Malibu for about 23 hours with a bird taking up most of the seat,” she said.

Dalton said taking care of her bird can be difficult.

“There are definitely some challenges,” she said. “A parrot is high maintenance. You have to pay attention to her or she can forget how to talk, or just not want to be handled.”

Dalton’s parrot also requires a lot more attention than a typical household pet.

“I have to keep her away from cold air flow in the winter, clean her cage pretty often, talk and play with her a lot and I can’t play loud music around her because the bass hurts her little ears,” she said.

However, in spite of the difficulties of raising an exotic pet, she said she loves her bird.

“My parrot ‘chose’ me,” Dalton said. “She doesn’t like anyone except me, and she is something that not many people have.”

Dalton said she never imagined having such an interesting addition to her family.

“I never wanted a parrot,” she said. “But now that I have her, I can’t imagine life at home without her.”

Like Dalton, senior Scott Semroc never expected to have a pet more commonly seen in the wild than in a living room. Semroc has owned his fox, Saturn, for the past few years.

“We got Saturn at the Hartville Flea Market, because my mom is a science teacher and she brought it to her class,” he said.

Aside from his fox eating the same food as his dogs, Semroc said having it is very different.

“Foxes are special because you have to act careful around them; they can smell fear,” he said.
Foxes can also cause some serious injuries to owners who aren’t careful.

However, Semroc said foxes are much more excitable than dogs, and are fun to be around.

“He can be really playful when he wants to be, but he has crazy mood swings,” he said.

When senior Danielle Schaper moved from the suburbs to the country in 2003, she found herself the owner of four gelding horses, Maniwaki, Roy, J.R. and T.J, but having pets wasn’t a new thing for her.

“Horses are just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “We have eight cats, two dogs and a rabbit.”

Schaper said she had a frightening experience with one of her horses early on.

“We used to have a mare named Primo, but she had major problems,” she said. “Once when I was riding her she bolted for no reason and rammed me through a fence. I had to go to the hospital and was almost paralyzed from the neck down. It was the scariest thing I have ever been through. Afterwards I was petrified of horses; I couldn’t even go near one.”

But now that she has lived with them for seven years, Schaper said she is comfortable around them, and horses are just like any other animal.

“Horses need to be groomed, fed, watered and given attention just like all pets. The main difference is having to clean a whole barn everyday. It’s a little bit bigger than a litter box,” she said.

Aside from this, horses can be somewhat challenging to maintain.

“Every six to eight weeks the ferrier has to trim their hooves and give them new shoes, and twice a year the vet has to come out for their check-ups since you can’t really bring a horse anywhere,” Schaper said.

However, Schaper said all the hard work required is worth it.

“Horses are sweet in nature and generally don’t cause trouble, but you have to remember to be careful,” she said.

Pet Talk:
Animal Fighters Looking for
Smaller Game Turn to Finches
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY

Imagine a tiny songbird, barely 6 inches long, vivid yellow, trilling its cheerful melody, flitting about.

Now imagine that same little bird with its beak filed to needle-like sharpness, slashing, pecking, attacking and being attacked by another just like him. The two male birds, saffron finches, will keep this up until one of them is dead or so close to it that the distinction isn't worth making. Several men watch this increasingly bloody battle, grinning, cheering, slapping their pockets, hoping to walk away with a bundle of bills for having bet on which one would still be alive at the end.

Bitty birds seem to be the newest chosen victims of high-stakes animal fighting.

Animal welfare experts fear that two recent raids of alleged bird-fighting rings — one in Connecticut last summer, one in Massachusetts last month — foretell a growing trend.

"My guess is that there's more of this going on than people know," ASPCA field investigator Tim Rickey told me last week. This sort of thing doesn't spring up and exist in utter isolation, he says, and the fact that birds are little, cheap, easy to hide and transport and not likely to draw any neighbor's attention when there are 50 of them in a home or basement or garage means this is a practice that can exist — and probably has existed — undetected for quite some time.

The concern, of course, is not only the cruelty involved in torquing up a couple of male birds to the point that they'll fight to the death, but also the danger of attracting into suburban neighborhoods the kind of people who enjoy this kind of activity.

"In most cases, the people who are fighting small birds in the basement might well have been fighting dogs or cocks in the backyard," says Rickey. There may be weapons, there may be drugs, money changes hands, and these are most certainly people who don't think or process or behave like an ordinary person. "These people like to watch brutality," he says.

Rickey readily acknowledges that he had a moment, upon hearing of the first alleged finch-fighting bust, when he thought someone was pulling his leg. But as he dug and researched, he came to understand "this is just further evidence of how prevalent fighting is."

It goes a lot broader and deeper than most of us realize. Rickey was in Georgia recently to work a dog-fighting case, and "within eight days we had taken down three others beyond the initial case." And last year in Missouri he was working what was thought to be a "small dog-fighting bust" and within weeks it was discovered that the rings involved eight states. More than 30 people were arrested and 500 animals seized.

The extremes to which animal fighters will go is stunning. People in Rickey's line of work are very familiar with "hog-dogging," which is when, in rural areas, a dog and hog are set upon each other for audience enjoyment until one is dead. And in urban areas, there's something called "trunking," where two fighting dogs are thrown into a car trunk or a small towable trailer and are driven around until there's a winner and a dead dog. Keeping moving, of course, rather than holding fights in a basement or an abandoned warehouse lessens the chance of being detected and possibly arrested.

"This bird fighting is just one more layer in the underground culture that participates in this sort of thing," Rickey says.

Tiny birds ripping each other apart don't provide quite the level of death screams, bloodshed and gore that fighting dogs and even fighting roosters present to the entranced gamblers. "But if people are being forced out of dog and rooster fighting because of increasing scrutiny, they'll look for their thrills with another animal," Rickey says.

And this whole mess is deeply troubling to people like him. "The birds are a different avenue, a little harder to detect. They (animal fighters) are changing up the game," going deeper underground, and perpetuating a desire for blood sport in additional generations.

View Photos of Singles -
Click on banner to visit

Stray Cat’s Actions
Alert Woman to Breast Cancer
by News Hound -

When a stray cat strutted into her life last summer, Judy Danchura of Canada could not have imagined how the orange and white tomcat she nicknamed Sumo would end up saving her life. Whether it was by accident or by design, we'll leave up to you to decide. But without question, Sumo's actions alerted Danchura to a tumor growing in her breast, enabling her to get an early diagnosis of cancer and begin treatment, reports CBC News. Here's how it happened.

Last June, according to CBC News, Danchura noticed the orange-and-white cat moseying around her backyard. She put some food out for him and went about her day. At 3 a.m., the cat came back, meowing so insistently that Danchura let the stray into her house. After making a litter box, Danchura went back to bed.

"While she and her husband slept," reports CBC News. "The cat hopped onto the bed and walked across her body. As it stepped on her breast, Danchura was struck by an unusual shot of pain."

"I sort of went, 'Oh geez, there's definitely something wrong there,'" Danchura tells CBC News. In fact, there was a lump in her breast.

She went to the doctor and learned it was a tumor, and that it was malignant. Because it had been detected early, and she began treatment immediately, Danchura's chance of survival is estimated at 95 percent, reports CBC News.

Danchura has come to regard Sumo as her four-footed angel. "I sometimes feel overwhelmed because I feel humbled," she tells CBC News. "I can't understand why this animal turned up for me." Was it a random stroke of luck that Sumo visited her home, insisting to be let in? Or was Sumo meant to tell her something?

Tell us what you think Can animals sense illness in their owners? Do you believe that Sumo's actions were just good fortune or something more?

Tips for Pet Parading:
Cute Factor, Topical Togs
By Paulette Cooper Noble -

A lady in a Pucci with a Poochie in a Pucci? That's just one of the things that has bow-wowed the crowd at the annual Worth Avenue Pet Parade.

How important is beauty in winning the Pet Parade?

Says Sherry Frankel, owner of Sherry Frankel's Melangerie, who has been the emcee of this contest for 17 years: "A great looking dog naturally helps, but not all who enter are beautiful. To a dog parent, every dog is beautiful, but some of them are frankly not so beautiful.

"I think attitude is also important," she went on. "Some can't wait to get off the stage. Others are real hams and never want to leave. And I'm talking about the dog mothers as well as their pets!"

Do costumes count?

Says Frankel: "Everyone loves dressed-up dogs. But being topical also helps. Last year there were a number of Madoff-related costume themes, and while this year it might be a bore, it was good that last year we could laugh at what happened through our dogs."

What about the dog's behavior?

Says Frankel: "I'm always amazed at how well the dogs all get along. It's like they're all at the vet's office. The Saint Bernards sit next to the Chihuahuas and there's no problem. "

Are there any other dog contests around?

After the parade, the winners get to compete in America's Top Dog Model contest.

How do Westminster judges choose the winners?

Since dogs are practically perfect by the time they reach the show, they have to have something special. Ralph Del Deo, a North End resident, has judged hound and sporting breeds seven or eight times and has also owned a dog that won its championship at Westminster. "Certain breeds reach their prime at certain times just as we all look better at certain points in our life," he explained.

"But some have a fire to them. It's as if they're saying, 'Here I am and take a good look at me because I like it here and I'm sound in mind and body.' "

Do the best-looking dogs get the most attention?

"Not necessarily," Del Deo said. "I was judging Irish setters once and the skirt fell off of the young lady showing the dog. She was the show-stopper."

Are there any other local judges or owners of winners in town?

Yes, Gilbert Kahn, who just died, had not only won the Toy Group at Westminster but judged there as well. Glorvina Schwartz, also on the North End, raises Norwich Terriers and has won Best in Show at Westminster. Karen Lefrak's poodle has won Best Non-Hound group and went on to sire 85 champion offspring.

Where are the contests for cats?

The International Cat Association and the Cat Fanciers Association, two of the biggest registries of pedigreed cats worldwide, have shows. And you don't need to have a pedigreed cat to enter. Many shows have categories for what are called HHPs (Household Pets). For more information, see and

Palm Beach resident and author Paulette Cooper Noble writes a column every other Tuesday with news, advice and anecdotes about the animals with whom we share our lives. Readers are encouraged to send in photos and questions about their dogs, cats, birds and other pets. You can e-mail Paulette at or by mail at Pet Set, Palm Beach Daily News, 265 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480.

Protecting Your Pets in Cargo:
Travel Safety Tips
By Gabrielle Jonas -

Check out our quick tips to keep your pet secure in cargo

Consider catching an in-flight movie, munching on a bag of tiny pretzels, and maybe even grabbing a catnap at 30,000 feet above the ground. For humans flying coach, passing the time in the air can be an enjoyable experience. But pets traveling cargo may be pardoned for being less than enthusiastic.

In transit, pets who fly cargo are confined to crates, jostled, subjected to extreme temperatures, inconsistent ventilation, and strange smells as well as the screech and roar of engines.

For the final segment in our ongoing Zootoo Travel Safety series, here are more valuable tips for keeping your pet safe when he has to fly cargo.

Skip the medication. Unfortunately, medicating the terror away is no longer an option for pets.

"Giving tranquilizers to your pet when traveling by air can increase the risk of heart or respiratory problems," the American Veterinary Medical Association warns. Tranquilizers also dull a pet's ability to brace himself during bumpy flights, and injuries may ensue.

Confirm your pet's safety in transit. Pet owners who are riding along in the cabin can monitor their pet's welfare throughout the journey. Before boarding, owners can and should confirm that their pets have been loaded and reconfirm at boarding with the captain, either directly or via a note to the flight attendant.

If the plane taxis or sits on the runway for an extended period of time, or the aircraft experiences ventilation issues, owners can ask the captain to check the temperature in the cargo hold. "If the delay is long, insist that your pet be removed," Mark A. Blanton, president and chief executive officer of Atlantic Airlines, a planned Florida regional airline, advises on his website.

If the flight suffers from long layovers or extreme temperatures, pet owners can insist pets be unloaded, and retrieve them at baggage claim. If need be, pet owners can cite United States Department of Agriculture regulations that prohibit animal shipment from or to locations where temperatures are below 45 degrees or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Indeed, many airlines have their own temperature-related restrictions.

Research airport dog parks. If connecting between flights, owners should walk their dogs before the plane takes off again, and many airports now have dog parks just outside their terminals. The website supplies directions to those pet parks.

Plan ahead when your pet flies solo. When a pet has to fly without its owner in the plane, it must travel as cargo. For those unaccompanied flights, planning becomes key. Because reservations do not exist for cargo travel, pets may have a long wait for an available flight. That's when pets are vulnerable to illness, injury or loss. Choosing priority or counter-to-counter shipping of a pet reduces his wait in the airport baggage room or on the tarmac, the AMVA says.

Most pet advocacy groups urge booking a direct flight for all air travel with pets, especially those traveling in cargo unaccompanied. "This will decrease the chances that your pet is left on the tarmac during extreme weather conditions or mishandled by baggage personnel," the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said.

Consider a pet travel service. "Ensure the animal is healthy enough to endure the stressful conditions and is checked on during the trip. An animal should never be shipped unaccompanied," the AWI says. If you can't go with your pet, look into hiring a pet travel service to coordinate all aspects of pickup, shipment and delivery.

Prepare your pet's crate. Owners should provide a crate big enough for the pet to turn around, but not so big that the pet can be bruised during a bumpy flight. A plastic bag containing dry food and feeding instructions on top of the crate is handy in case of delays.

A small bowl of frozen water inside the crate insures a supply of fresh water and prevents spills. Be careful to avoid ice cubes, which pose a choking hazard, as do toys and muzzles.

Pet insurance may be an option. Blanton, the CEO of Atlantic Airlines, offers up one final suggestion to get airport personnel to provide extra care. "Consider insuring your pet for $10,000," he says. "The amount of this coverage is minimal and it will mean that greater attention will be given to your pet." In other words, that fee will "buy" more oversight of your pet's welfare as it wends its way through the perils and pitfalls of airline transport.

Careers in Entertainment: Acting, Music, Dance and More. Click on banner to view opportunities.

Pet Owners Face Danger From Above
by: Claudia Cowan -

Most pet owners take steps to protect their animals. In Santa Rosa, California, Odessa Gunn worried a car or coyote might one day claim the lives of her dogs, which is why she and her husband, renowned American bicyclist Levi Leipheimer, fenced in their property.

But now they're mourning the loss of their beloved Chihuahua, Trooper, and nursing their other dog, Bandit, back to health. The attacker came from an unlikely place -- the sky.

Gunn had just let her dogs out into the backyard and was preparing to join them. She recalls, "in the time it took me to put my boots on, I heard what sounded like a really horrendous cat screeching noise. I thought it was a mountain lion or a bobcat or something."

In fact, it was a pair of Great Horned Owls, birds that typically eat rats and squirrels. On this recent night, the birds set their sites on larger prey. From out of the darkness, the two owls swooped down and attacked Trooper and Bandit, just feet away from where Gunn stood.

After a violent struggle, Bandit escaped, bloody and limping, but Trooper was carried off and hasn't been seen since. No fur. No blood. Nothing.

Great Horned Owls can carry off prey heavier than they are.

While there are really no good statistics on the frequency of such attacks, wildlife experts say they're rare but almost always lethal. In many ways, owls are the perfect predators; they approach without warning, and their razor-sharp talons can snatch a pooch or cat two to three times their own body weight.

This is a particularly active hunting time for owls. As homeowners encroach on the birds' natural habitat, attacks on pets could become more problematic.

Right now, baby owls are hatching, so pet owners should keep an ear out for the distinctive hoots of these fiercely protective birds, and stay well clear. It's also a good idea to keep small pets indoors when the sun is down, or walk them on a leash. If the owls recognize something as prey, they won't discern the fact that it's somebody's pet.

Selecting A Bird Cage
By Cut -

Pets have a great effect on humans, this has been studied and researched for many years, with no real scientific presumptions it can be relatively safe to say that many people feel that having a pet improves their quality of life. For bird lovers the choice in pets is clear, having a bird in the house is something that many people love, and naturally, birds can add a lot of style to house as well.

Giving your bird its own living space is one of the essentials of bird ownership. However, with the different models, sizes, and colors of bird cages available in pet shops nowadays, you might have a hard time choosing the best home for your bird.

Nevertheless, do not fear for here are some guidelines that would help make your search for that perfect cage much easier. Follow them and chances are you will never go wrong!

Large birds, on the other hand, should be kept in cages with bars that are positioned horizontally rather than vertically to provide a venue for climbing and exercise.

Be particular with shape and style of cages.

This is a very important consideration since there are studies which state that round bird cages are detrimental to the psychological health of most birds. Angled ones, therefore, are much preferable.

More often than not, these cages may be hung or placed on a stand. They also come in all shapes and sizes to house your pet bird comfortably and with style.

The craftsmanship and quality of the bird cage should also be carefully assessed.

Examine the quality of the bird cage before making a purchase. Here are some questions to answer:

Does the cage look solid and well-built?

Does it have any sharp edge or loose part?

Is it made of stainless steel that will never chip, is easy to clean, and is non-toxic?

Make sure that the cage will perform its main function and that is to protect your pet bird. Ensure that the bird cage will not be dangerous to its well-being and health.

There you go. With careful planning and right decision, you will be able to purchase the best bird cage for your bird. A safe, fun, sturdy, comfortable, and secured home.

Decide on the placement and location of your bird cage.

You must determine where you will place your bird cage and shop for it based on what will be appropriate for the spot that you have chosen. The spot should be away from drafts and windows, but must be placed in a lively part of the house to encourage interaction between pet and human beings.

One Rescued Dog, One Inspiring Story:
M.J. the Shepherd Mix Overcomes
Paralysis, Distemper

Many readers have come to Dr. Heather Oxford for advice on animal health and wellness through Unleashed's Ask a Vet column. But when she's not answering your pet-health questions, Dr. Oxford is a practicing veterinarian at L.A.'s California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE), helping animals to bounce back from illness and injury. Dr. Oxford shares the story of one special patient who's fought both paralysis and distemper with the help of some devoted animal lovers. Here's M.J.'s story:

Meet M.J., an 11-month-old spayed female German shepherd-Doberman pinscher mix.

Her story began at the shelter, where she was abandoned by her former owners at the age of 7 months after her back legs were paralyzed from being hit by a car. One rescue organization took her to a veterinary hospital for X-rays, which showed a displaced vertebra in her spine that most likely damaged her spinal cord.

The recommendation was to euthanize her.

The rescue organization took her back to the shelter where she would likely be put down. But the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation had other plans for M.J. that day.

The group rescued her and brought her back to a veterinary hospital, where she stayed for the following week. I went to the hospital to meet her and she had no feeling or control of function in her back legs -- but that didn't stop her from being extremely happy and full of life! I instructed the staff to do therapeutic exercises with her, but over the course of one week she developed a cough and diarrhea. She tested positive for distemper virus, which she had contracted two to three weeks before showing these symptoms.

Apparently, she had never received her puppy series of vaccines, which would have protected her from this deadly infectious disease. It seemed that M.J. was looking at a second death sentence.

The Heigl Foundation had her transferred to an isolation unit at another veterinary hospital, where she spent the next three months. Finally, the tests confirmed that she had cleared the virus from her body and she was able to come to CARE.

She has been in rehabilitation for a month now and has regained sensation in both back legs and even her tail. Week by week she has continued to regain control of her back legs, and she is now able to stand on her own and walk with minimal assistance.

M.J. is an incredible fighter and we have been happy to help her improve over the last month. She will continue to stay at CARE until she is walking well enough to go to a foster home ... or forever home. Check back in the coming weeks for updates on this special girl!

-- Heather Oxford, DVM

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

Click here to visit The EZ Online
Shopping Network of Stores

No comments: