Pet Costumes

Firefighters Give Dog Mouth-to-Mouth
Resuscitation After House Blaze Rescue
By Natalie Evans -

Wausau firefighters Jared Thompson, left, and Jamie Giese give artificial respiration to a dog that was rescued from a house fire (Pic: AP)

FIREFIGHTERS Jamie Giese and Jared Thompson performed an unusual rescue when they gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dog.

The pair attended a house fire in Wausau, Wisconsin, where the family’s pets were still trapped inside the burning building.

Dwight Borchardt, 17, returned from walking one of his dogs at around 4pm on Tuesday to find smoke billowing from the second floor.

While dad Todd Borchardt and his fiancee Kim Carlson were out of the house, pet cats Lavender and Mocha, and pet dog Coda were stranded inside.

The teenager attempted to search for the missing animals but was overwhelmed by heavy smoke.

Firefighters Jared Thompson (L) and Jamie Giese rush pet dog Coda to safety

The firefighters found seven-year-old Labrador Retriever in shock, sitting in a rocking chair in the room where the fire is believed to have started.

The men carried the stricken pooch to safety where they performed mouth-to-snout resuscitation.

They also poured water over his soot-covered fur and used an oxygen mask to try and revive the animal.

Coda gets a kiss from owner Kim Carlson

Speaking after the rescue, Giese admitted “It was all improvised” while Thompson said he had remembered tips from former reality TV show Rescue 911.

The heroes’ quicking thinking paid off, as Coda was taken to two different pet hospitals, staying overnight at the second to recover.

The lucky mutt had only been with the family for four days after previously living with a family friend.

Speaking to the Wausau Daily Herald, son Dwight said: “He’s just a sweetheart. He’s been following me around for two days straight.”

And the rescue has a happy ending – moggies Lavender and Mocha were found safe and well in the basement.

Police Say Someone Broke a Window
and Took Oregon Death Row Dog
from His Kennel

ALBANY, Ore. — Blue the dog had spent his days locked up in the Albany Pet Hotel, waiting while his death sentence is appealed. Now police say someone climbed the fence at the hotel, smashed a window and helped Blue the dog escape death row.

Albany police Lt. Casey Dorland said Monday that the only thing reported missing from the kennel is the fugitive canine. Police believe he was taken sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Blue was sentenced to die last fall after he bit a toddler, but his owner appealed. The dog has been housed at the pet hotel waiting for his case to be resolved.

Woodland Woman Says Dog Held for Ransom

WOODLAND, Wash. — A Woodland woman says her pet bulldog named Jaggar is being held for ransom by thieves demanding money and her prescription drugs.

Jennifer Thomas told KATU she noticed her dog missing more than a week ago after she saw a man and woman in her driveway. Since then she has received text messages from people threatening to torture the dog to death unless she pays the ransom.

Thomas uses a wheelchair, says she doesn't have the money and needs the medication because of an accident.

Despite warnings not to call police, she asked the Cowlitz County sheriff's office for help.

Mountain Lion vs. House Cat

DENVER - Gail Loveman was working at the computer when she turned around to see a very disconcerting staring contest.

A mountain lion was looking through her sliding glass door right at her cat, Zeus.

"I was sitting here working at my computer and as you can see my back was to the glass sliding doors, and I heard some rustling, but I have two Maine Coone cats, so I figured they were messing around in some papers and at some point, she said.

"Maybe it was the noise - I turned around and this mountain lion was at my sliding glass door about 4 feet away from me."

"So luckily my camera was sitting here and I grabbed it and started taking pictures," she said.

Those pictures quickly spread like wildfire over Twitter and Facebook.

Loveman says the mountain lion walked along the deck and then came face-to-face with Zeus.

"I have one very fuzzy [picture] where he is just sort of kissing the mountain lion," she said.

After looking in her yard, she realized there were several more mountain lions. The one at the window was a teenager and the mother stayed farther away.

"My guess is they climbed up these rocks here because this is where the mother was," Loveman said. "One of them was up here on the fence and they say mountain lions can jump 10 feet with 100-pound deer in its mouth, so I knew they would be able to get out, but this lion was poised on the fence with all four feet."

She says the encounter is a lesson for people living near wildlife.

"My number one thing I would say is: don't let your animals out. Don't let your cat go out. There are hawks, there are eagles, there are is foxes - if you care about your animals keep them close. Keep your cats inside and your dogs by your side," she said.

Kangaroo Mauls Woman Walking Dogs

An Australian woman mauled by a kangaroo as she walked her dogs said on Wednesday it was a miracle she survived the attack, in which the native animal clawed her head and body.

Janet Karson told The West Australian newspaper she was walking her three dogs in the bush near Manjimup south of the western city of Perth on Saturday when a kangaroo leapt out in front of her and one of her dogs gave chase.

When she caught up with her dog the kangaroo had hold of it, so she grabbed a stick to lever its claws off the dog.

"And then it reared up in front of me -- it was huge," she told the paper.

"All I can remember is its claws going to work on me and the smell of my own blood when my head fell on to its chest.

"I thought, 'That's it, I'm finished'."

Karson, who suffered cuts to her neck and back and needed more than 20 stitches to her battered ears, is not sure whether the dogs fought off the large marsupial or whether it "just hopped off".

"I honestly believe it's a miracle I'm alive," she added.

Kangaroos are found across Australia but attacks against people are rare.

In July police were forced to pepper-spray a giant red kangaroo after it bounded into an elderly woman's garden in outback Queensland as she was hanging out the washing and attacked her.

The giant red can grow up to two metres (more than six foot six inches) tall.

My Pet Tiger
by Alexis Willey -

My cat and I!

She has soft fur, glowing green eyes and the most annoying ‘meow’ in the world. But she’s not a REAL tiger. Her name is Callie and she’s just my pet cat that I hate to love, especially when she wakes me up in the middle of the night looking for food.

Rounding out the whopping three animals my family owns (we also have two Labradoodles who I’m sure I’ll blog about eventually), Callie is an established member of my household and a genuine goddess.

Apparently though, a large and continuously growing number of people are no longer satisfied with keeping domestic animals as pets. Where a ferret used to be an unusual sight, many families are now calling alligators, sugar bears, foxes, tigers and monkeys by familiar names and sticking them in cages. The demand for exotic pets has created a multi-million dollar a year industry for the legal and illegal sale of bizarre house pets.

On Oct. 18, an Ohio man and owner of an ‘exotic-animal park’ released his pets from their cages and committed suicide, creating a panic in the community and endangering the lives of hundreds of people. Police responded immediately and after a night of hunting, nearly 50 exotic, endangered and majestic animals were killed. Murdered. Shot down hopelessly in the attempt to protect community members from the dangerous “pets.”

18 Bengal tigers as well as numerous other animals were among those killed.

Personally, I’m outraged. I understand the threat to the public and sheer confusion the situation must have created, but why couldn’t the guns have been traded for tranquilizers sooner?

A small number of animals were tranquilized and taken to the Columbus Zoo, but why did 49 animals have to die in the crossfire? The public was alerted to the situation and advised to remain indoors and schools were closed to protect residents.

The few extra minutes it may have taken for a plan to be made and precautions to be taken could have saved the lives of the helpless animals. Obviously agitated and out of their natural environment, the animals weren’t friendly, but should the mistreatment and instability of their owner determine their fate, and ultimately, their doom?

A Bengal tiger similar to the 18 that were killed. Photo by Associated Press.

The problem lies not with the individual situation, however, but with the society in which this kind of “collecting” of exotic animals for personal pleasure is accepted. Occurrences like this are becoming more and more frequent yet law enforcement agencies are still at a loss with how to deal with them properly.

The problem lies at the source; the only way to stop this, is to keep wild animals in the wild. Why are these animals allowed to be pets at all? And why aren’t measures being taken to prevent these sort of problems before they occur? Frankly, I think people should be happy with a pet dog or fish. Fish never charge at police officers…

Cat Hit by Car Rescued from Inside Dashboard

A three-hour rescue mission saved a cat that had been hit by a car and became stuck behind the car’s dashboard when the driver tried to take it to an animal shelter.

The driver, Nehal Dhruve, pulled over to see whether the cat was OK after striking it Thursday on Leap Road in Hilliard.

Dhruve said she wanted to take the cat to the Capital Area Humane Society, so she put the cat in her car.

“Instead of staying in the seat, she went under the dashboard,” Dhruve said.

The humane-society staff called in a mechanic to take apart the dashboard and attempt a rescue. However, his hands were too big to get to the cat, so an animal-care staff worker gave it a try.

The worker freed the cat and handed it to veterinarians, who checked it out.

Dhruve said she wants to adopt the cat but wanted to talk it over with her family.

Daryl McKay, the mechanic who suffered some cuts on his hands, donated his services.

Help Your Pet Handle Halloween's Scares
By Jennie Willis,

The air is getting crisp, the leaves are turning and Halloween is approaching. Children will be putting on costumes, obscuring their faces, and houses will be decked out with lots of strange decorations. Halloween might be fun for us, but it can be downright spooky for our pets.

Halloween night can be particularly scary for pets that don't like doorbells, strangers and people passing the yard. Pets that have not been well socialized can react with fear or aggression towards new experiences and strange people.

To be sensitive of your pet's needs, here are things you can do to make Halloween a good experience for your pet:

• Keep outdoor cats and dogs inside, minimizing their exposure to lots of people. Dogs barking at strangers passing the yard can invite pranksters to throw things at them. Outdoor cats will encounter new situations that may cause them to behave in an unsafe manner.

• If you take your dog with you trick-or-treating, keep them on leash and watch for signs of stress. These can include panting, pacing, drooling or barking reactively at the environment. Trick-or-treating isn't for everyone, so if your dog is stressed, take it home.

• Put candy away in a pet-safe container. Chocolate is toxic for pets, and eating candy with wrappers can cause choking or obstruction of the digestive system.

• Don't have pets come with you to the door when you answer it. There is a risk they could escape in the confusion; also, some children don't have experience with dogs and might be frightened.

If your pet is afraid of knocking or the doorbell, try these steps to change how your pet feels about what the doorbell means. Dogs that bark at the door are often anxious about what these sounds signal.

• Practice ahead of time. Make a small door-knocking sound (even from the inside of the door) and feed your dog a treat. Repeat this until the dog doesn't bark and waits expectantly for the treat. You have now established a predictive relationship between the knock and the treat.

• Increase the knocking sound gradually, repeating a dozen times at each level of intensity, until the pet is non-reactive at each higher level of sound.

• The doorbell usually represents the highest level of reaction. Sometimes cooperating with a family member with the door open is important. Start by feeding the treat exactly at the same time as the doorbell rings and progress to a slight delay (half a second) between the sound and the treat.

If done correctly, you will watch your pet progress from a fear response to anticipating the next sound with pleasure.

If your pet is extremely nervous about the doorbell and you can't make progress with counterconditioning, consider leaving a basket of candy with a sign on your doorstep allowing children to bypass the doorbell ringing all together.

Have a safe and happy Halloween.


Dr. Jennie Willis is an instructor of animal behavior at Colorado State University and owns a private pet consulting business. For more information, visit www.Animal

Ahwatukee Couple Open Pet Resort in New Home
by Allie Seligman - The Arizona Republic

When Tammy Teeter moved to Arizona four years ago, she left behind the dog-boarding kennel she opened and ran for 12 years.

She didn't leave behind her passion for training animals, though. For the past three years Teeter and her husband, Howard Teeter, have run a mobile training business that has served more than 700 customers.

The couple went to customers' homes, but also brought dogs back to their own house in Ahwatukee, sometimes boarding them for owners who were out of town. "Our customers just kept saying, 'we want more,' " Tammy said.

Ahwatukee couple Howard and Tammy Tetter opened their Wiggles and Wags Pet Resort after three years of running a mobile training business in the East Valley. Nick Oza/The Arizona Republic

It came to a head this year, Tammy said, when they were "busting out" of their home. Now the couple have a new venue, Wiggles and Wags Pet Resort, at 1811 E. Baseline Road in Tempe.

The dog boarding, grooming, training and daycare business opened officially on Oct. 1, and Tammy said the response has been great. Several hundred people came to the grand opening, she said, and many of the mobile business customers have transitioned over to the pet resort.

The couple met when Howard was visiting his brother and ran into Tammy at an event. "I got to know her a little bit, and she was giving me advice," he said. In 2007, she and daughter Nina moved from Georgia to be with him.

Between learning about a new state, raising Nina and taking care of her own dogs, Tammy said she wasn't ready to open another business. "I had just run the other one for so long," she said. "Maybe I did just need a little break."

Instead, she wanted to open a small, mobile pet-training business. Howard retired early after 30 years in sales and marketing management in the technology sector, and offered to help Tammy start her new venture.

"I'm the business side, and Tammy brings all the credentials," he said.

After three successful years, though, Tammy said she realized that her passion is in training dogs and running a boarding business. "That's what I'm really good at," she said.

Wiggles and Wags is split between two buildings: one where Tammy teaches obedience classes and grooms dogs, along with two other groomers. Dogs are boarded in the other building and play outside in a shaded play area complete with play pools.

Howard opens the shop at about 6 a.m. each day, and Tammy leaves at 10 p.m. At night, they can watch what's going on with the boarded dogs through cameras that stream to their iPhones.

"When I get a buzz, I can look at the feed and tell you exactly what's happening," Tammy said.

There's not much chance the dogs will be able to leave their rooms, though, Tammy said. She recently locked herself in one by accident.

"I know the dogs can't get out because I couldn't get out, and I have thumbs," she said.

Each room has a large glass door so the dogs can look out and a "shy panel" if they prefer privacy, Teeter said. Owners are encouraged to bring in the dog's bedding and toys to make the animal more comfortable.

"It actually becomes their room and they can just settle down," she said.

Rooms range from 4-by-5 feet to 5-by-7 feet, and prices are from $30 to $40 a night for one dog. Additional dogs can be added to the same room at a reduced price.

It's also easier for the dogs to relax if they get worn out during the day, Teeter said. The dogs go to a large yard area in shifts. Some dogs go alone, and others are grouped by temperament and size.

The dogs go out as often as they need to, Teeter said, without the extra play time fee many kennels charge. "It is unheard of here in Arizona," she said.

Dividing the dogs into groups means play time isn't too chaotic. If all the dogs were free at once, "you just end up with mounting and fighting type behaviors," she said.

Wiggles and Wags also offers pet daycare for $20 a day. Dogs play and rest in air conditioned rooms from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some customers bring their pet every weekday, and some come two or three times a week, Teeter said.

"It's basically structured around what the owners want," she said.

Tammy's main focus is still on training dogs. She teaches group obedience classes, meets with owners and their dogs individually and trains rescue dogs.

Small changes in behavior can make a big difference, Tammy said. In most cases, her customers just a few gripes that make life with their pet less than ideal, she said.

"I find that most people are pretty happy with their dogs," she said. "They just have one or two things that drive them crazy."

Tammy said she has also seen the impact training can have on rescued dogs, who may come to new owners with unwanted behaviors.

Wiggles and Wags works with dogs taken in Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, a rescue group for pets abandoned because of foreclosures or financial hardship. The return rate has gone down significantly since she started training with them, she said.

Karen and Jim Donker of Scottsdale met the Teeters earlier this year when they needed help training their puppy, Majerle. Karen heard Tammy's name from a friend and gave her a call.

"They were just completely awesome," she said. "They have some sort of a command over dogs that's just wonderful. You look at it and go, 'I want that.'"

Karen said she was impressed right away with the way Tammy could read her dogs.

"She's way more than a trainer," she said. "She just has a really special way with animals that is amazing."

When the pet resort opened, Karen signed Majerle up for obedience classes, something she said has proved to be a good investment.

"They call it dog training, but it's really people training I think," she said. "I am 100 percent convinced that it isn't the dog. It is the owners."

The Donkers returned home from a trip Monday, and Majerle and 14-year-old Picasso spent the time they were away at Wiggles and Wags.

This was the first time either dog has been boarded, Karen said, and though she was nervous to leave them, "I was comfortable."

"Knowing Tammy and Howard as well as I do, I know they're in great hands," she said.

For rates or more information, visit

9 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing a Parrot
Written by Melissa Sutton -

If you are considering getting a parrot, here are 9 things you need to know that could change your mind.

Number 1 is that parrots must have daily contact with their owners. The Cockatoo, Lory and Jacob will require special care everyday, while the Amazons, Budgie, Conures and small African parrots don`t require quiet as much daily attention, to stay healthy & happy. Daily attention is extremely important in socializing these birds and the more time spent, the better!

Number 2 is that it is expensive to own a bird, not to mention if you are interested in breeding them. With food, the huge amount of toys you`ll need, vet care, nails, beak and wings care, etc., it will be costly, as bird medicine is a specialized field. Because a bird`s instinct is to hide illness, for fear of the flock protecting itself, thus attacking them, it is often times in the advanced stages before discovered, which will require more intense treatment.

Number 3 is that parrots are VERY loud! In the wild, they live in huge groups and that loud voice is how they contact and communicate with each other. Be aware that they will accept you into their flock, so every morning they call the nock to start the day and every evening they call the nock to get ready for night time & sleeping. You should NOT restrain them or get upset at them for this, it is their natural instinct! as per

Number 4 is not all parrots will talk. Even though most parrots have the ability to talk, not all of them care or have the desire to speak. A few of the most talkative are the Budgie, Jacob, Yellow-Fore Headed Amazon and Double Yellow-Headed Amazon, but there`s still no guarantee they will talk!

Number 5 is that birds love to make a mess everywhere, because in the wild, the bird`s job is to “afforest” the wood, meaning they take a piece of it`s food and the rest goes on the ground. Be prepared to spend at least 30 to 45 minutes every single day, to clean up your bird`s cage, water/food bowls, floor and all messes.

Number 6 is that parrots must take a bath regularly. Find the method that suits your bird best, whether it`s in the shower, splashing water from a bowl or in the kitchen sink.

Number 7 is that parrots love to destroy things and spend 90% of their time, in the wild, consuming and looking for food. You MUST supply tons of toys and different kinds of foods, such as fruits, nuts and veggies, to keep them from getting bored, or they may direct their attention to your furniture!

Number 8 is that parrots bite! All birds bite! Usually out of fear or anger, and it`s their way of telling you ” I don`t like that!” as they bite each other in nature to communicate, they think it`s perfectly fine to bite you. There are many ways to teach your bird not to bite, it takes time & patience, but SOCIALIZATION is key!

Number 9 is that birds are NOT for children. Because they are so intelligent, live a long time and require daily interaction with their human flock, a child is not the right owner for them as they go through many changes like school, college, moving out of parents home, etc., which makes it virtually impossible to keep such a long time companion. For more info, you can visit:

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