Beer for Dogs!!??

When Owls Attack…
Dogs: Albuquerque Residents Claim
Giant Birds are Eating Their Pets
By Graham Smith -

Pet owners in Albuquerque are on their guard after a spate of attacks on dogs by giant owls.

Officials are uncertain if there is one owl on the prowl for small animals to eat, or whether there are several airborne predators at large.

But the attacks, which have so far killed at least one dog, have left residents living in the New Mexico city's foothills fearing for their animals' lives.

Night flight: Pet owners in Albuquerque are on their guard after a spate of attacks on dogs by giant owls.

Local resident Cindy Hummel said: 'We've seen him three or four times. He's huge.
'One day when we were walking and he swooped down over my husband's head.

'He has a big wingspan - he's a huge owl.'

Another resident, Marie Iverson, lost her puppy in what is thought to have been a night-time raid on her patio.
She had put the six-month-old dog outside before she went to bed.

Ms Iverson said: 'All of a sudden I heard this yelp. I thought: "She never normally yelps like that, maybe she wants to come back inside."'
But the puppy had vanished and was found dead by neighbours two days later, after she had presumably been dropped by the owl.

The head zookeeper at Albuquerque's Rio Grande Zoo told local station News 13 that owls have no problem with eating small animals.
However, she advised residents to keep their pets inside after dark as the nocturnal birds hunt at night.

Paris Hilton's Pet Kinkajou1

This photo provided to the Associated Press shows Joey Fratto, 4, looking at an exotic pet kinkajou, "Baby Luv", left, held by its owner Paris Hilton as she parties at the Fratto house in Beverly Hills, Calif. A kinkajou is a nocturnal, tree-dwelling animal from South America's rainforests and has a dangerous bite as Hilton learned that night, when Baby Luv bit her on the arm and she was forced to go to an emergency room. (AP Photo/HO)

Why Are California Birds Getting Bigger?
By Joel Shurkin -

As the climate warms, the birds should shrink, climate scientists predict. So why are the birds in central California getting bigger?

Alfred Hitchcock would have appreciated this twist: The birds in central California are getting bigger.

Researchers at San Francisco State University have found that the birds on both ends of San Francisco Bay have greater body mass and longer wingspans since Hitchcock made the 1963 horror film, "The Birds," in which birds went mad and attacked a town on the coast.

Researchers said that the reason for the growth is believed to be climate change, but therein lies a mystery: The birds should be getting smaller as the climate warms, not bigger.

San Francisco State University graduate student Rae Goodman and assistant professor Gretchen LeBuhn used data from 14,735 birds collected since 1971 near the northern tip of the bay at the Palomarin Field Station at Point Reyes National Seashore, and 18,052 birds collected between 1983-2009 at Coyote Creek Field Station, on the southern end of the bay. Each bird was caught, banded with an identification tag, and released after being weighed and measured either by the locally based PRBO Conservation Science or the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. Many were recaptured in later years, providing a data base that could track changes. Dozens of species were involved.

"The birds in the study included resident birds as well as migrants, so birds from Alaska or Central America were also showing in increase," Goodman said.

The birds grew on average by about 2 percent in both mass and wingspan.

The mystery, however, involves a theory known to biologists as Bergmann's Rule, which generally holds that animals get bigger the farther north they are found. Ravens in Alaska are noticeably larger than ravens in the Lower 48. It applies to mammals as well: moose in the Arctic are much bigger than moose in Maine. The reason, the theory holds, is that larger animals can retain heat better and are therefore better able to survive at higher latitudes. Christian Bergmann, the 19th-century German biologist who came up with the rule, thought it applied only to warm-blooded creatures but scientists have found it applies to some cold-blooded animals as well.

So, as the climate warms, the birds should not be getting bigger.

The only other similar study of North American birds was done by University of Zurich's Josh Van Buskirk in western Pennsylvania. The birds he studied shrunk, obeying the rule.

Researchers from Cambridge University and the University of Tel Aviv, working in England, studied passerines (bullfinches and tits), and also found they were getting smaller just as expected.

"We expected them to show a decrease based on the first few studies," Goodman said of the California birds. "That left us with the puzzle of figuring out what was going on."

In the study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, Goodman and LeBuhn suggested two reasons for this exception.

One is that the birds are storing more fat to counter the greater number of extreme weather events that most climate scientists link to climate change. Bigger birds can survive storms better than can smaller ones so natural selection is choosing those with bigger bodies and wingspans.

The other theory is that the birds are eating a different diet. As the climate warms, plants change as does the population of insects birds might eat. That could contribute to larger birds.

Wesley Hochachka, senior research associate at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, who studied the size of birds in Germany (they also shrank), had a slightly different interpretation. He said another explanation is that changes in temperature had nothing to do with it.

"It's not thermal at all," Hochachka said. Factors such as long droughts brought on by El Nino and the extent of the food supply are the most likely reasons. "Basically, Bergmann's rule is irrelevant."

Mike Tyson's Tigers

30 Oct 1995: Mike Tyson accompanied by his baby tiger enters his workout place anticipating a fight with Buster Mathis Jr. at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Holly Stein/Allsport)

Newly Adopted Dog Runs Off Burglar from Ohio Home

HILLSBORO, Ohio -- A southwest Ohio couple who adopted a Saint Bernard to save him say he saved their home from burglary a few hours later.

Rubert "Lee" Littler says he was taking Hercules outside Wednesday night when the 135-pound dog started growling, then charged after a man running out of their basement. The dog bit into the man's ankle as he climbed a fence and got away. Police say the home's phone and cable lines had been cut.

Lee and Elizabeth Littler brought the dog home from Highland County's pound less than seven hours earlier. The dog had been found, bloody and dehydrated, by hikers on Oct. 31.

The Littlers tell The Times-Gazette of Hillsboro ( they wanted to keep him from being euthanized but now figure he's earned a permanent home.

Hugh Hefner's Pets

Hugh Hefner's Los Angeles Playboy Mansion, known for its wild parties, also has its own zoo. In this 2006 picture, Hefner's former girlfriend Holly Madison is seen feeding monkeys at the mansion's zoo.

Supporters Saddened, Outraged
After Ace the Dog Euthanized
Mark Hicks/ The Detroit News

Court order couldn't save dog who gained thousands of backers

Detroit — Ace the dog has been euthanized, city officials announced Thursday, saying they were never served an injunction temporarily ordering the dog be spared.

The move sparked outrage by the starving stray's supporters and a push for changes to Detroit's animal shelter policies.

Corbett O'Meara, the attorney for a Detroit woman who believed Ace was hers, said he served a restraining order Wednesday barring the city from euthanizing any pit bulls in their care resembling the dog. A hearing was set for Nov. 16.

O'Meara said he now plans to move to have Detroit officials held in contempt of court. He also said he would ask for the remains of the dog to be preserved for evidence and identification.

"I don't know what anyone would have to gain by killing a dog before they have to," he said.

Ace was found Friday at an Ace Hardware store near McNichols and Interstate 75, starving and abandoned, and taken by Detroit Animal Control. His plight — and a policy by animal control to euthanize any stray not claimed in four days — prompted advocates to rally to save him. The effort went viral after the pit bull mix's picture and plight were posted on a Facebook page.

Bruce King, general manager of environmental health services at the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, said Thursday officials did not receive the injunction and the pooch was put down "at the end of business today … following expiration of the four-day holding period and departmental policy."

Several people stepped forward claiming to be the owner — including Nitta Moses, who said the dog was stolen several months ago. Sheshowed vaccination and other records proving ownership, O'Meara said.

But King said those who came forward "failed to provide adequate proof." He said since the dog's plight has gained national attention, animal control dispatch has been "overwhelmed with calls from outside of the city, state and even the country" about Ace, impacting safety because other calls for help were unanswered.

"We are not insensitive to the overwhelming appeal from citizens for an alternative approach," King said. "We are, indeed, heartened by these appeals. However, if we grant this one exception, we are simply not set up for what will undoubtedly lead to overwhelming appeals in similar cases."

King also said while "many, many Detroiters" are allowed to own pit bulls, animal control is "operating under policies and procedures enacted to control the stray animal population and prevent injury to persons."

Still, the decision to kill a pooch believed to be a pet "feels like a gut-punch," said David Rudolph, a spokesman for Detroit Dog Rescue.

Officials with the Lexus Project, a national group fighting for dogs had set up a trust for Ace. They said they, too, plan to pursue legal action against the city.

Richard Rosenthal, general counsel for the group, called the move to euthanize Ace "despicable" and could be the spark for a major overhaul in animal control in the city.

"I think the people they have are irresponsible and Detroit needs to reconsider whether this administration and particularly the people running animal control are the people they want representing them," he said.

Ace's story led City Council President Charles Pugh to consider changing shelter policies.

Meanwhile, Ace's death sparked outrage online.

At the Save Ace page on Facebook, which had some 15,700 fans Thursday, his widely circulated photo was tinted gray with a caption that read in part: "SEEK JUSTICE FOR ME. IF I DON'T MAKE IT DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN."

"The whole situation is just ludicrous," said Terry Todzonia, a dog lover from Detroit.

Ever hear the saying “people look like their pets”, it's a rather superficial, yet scarily accurate, observation isn't it? Well, in the strange world of celebrity, pets not only look like their owners, but like to hit the headlines like them, too...

Take Rapper, 50 Cent, for instance, he decided to name his “bitch” Oprah Winfrey, after, yes after that Oprah, in a bizarre diss to the chatshow host. Although he later admitted to judging Winfrey (the human one) without first meeting her and they now get along just fine. But that's not all, Oprah (the dog) has a twitter account, (@OprahTheDog ) with over 12,000 followers. Just look at this photo of Fiddy casually shopping for guns with his twitter-famous friend.

50 Cent is not the only star to have had trouble with his pets though. Take a look through the gallery above to see who else has had animal nightmares!

Florida Dog Eats $1,000 Cash

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A Florida dog has ingested an expensive meal after devouring $1,000 cash.

Christy Lawrenson said she and her husband have been saving cashing to pay off their car. Each time they accumulate $1,000 they take it to the bank to deposit it.

Two weeks ago, their dog Tuity, who is a Labrador Retriever, chow, bulldog mix, snatched the cash from the counter.

Orlando TV station WKMG ( said her husband found pieces of hundred dollar bills scattered across the floor.

Tuity vomited the money and the couple pieced together $900.

But the dog ate too many serial numbers on the last one-hundred dollar bill.

The couple sent it to the Department of Treasury with a letter explaining what happened in hopes of being reimbursed for the rest.

In 2006 Britney Spears was branded "worst celebrity dog owner" by both Hollywood Dog and New York Dog magazines. According to editor, Hilary O'Hagan she was "the overwhelming choice".

Beer for Dogs Goes on Sale -- Becomes Online Hit

It was a woof night!

Everybody knows you shouldn't give your dog a sip of your beer, but pooches no longer have to miss out -- because a new brew made specifically for dogs has gone on sale.

Bowser Beer really is a beer made for dogs. But unlike your Stella Artois it won't get them drunk and it's designed with their digestive system in mind.

While the beer contains the same malt barley brewers use, the vitamins are good for shiny coats, the hops (which are dangerous to dogs) are replaced with beef or chicken.

As for the taste, it's described as being a "beefy-malty broth" which most dogs lap it up either straight out of the bottle or over ice or their food.
Makers said they came up with the idea for a dog beer after making a pretzel for dogs and thinking that it would be good if they could wash it down with a beer.

Jenny Brown of '3 Busy Dogs' said: "It's like a non-alchoholic beer and contains malt like beer. People drink with their dogs and they love the malty taste so here's something tailored to their digestive needs."

Lily Allen was forced to cancel her holidays in 2007 when her terrier, Maggie May, was dognapped and held to ransom. Allen paid the ransom and eventually received Maggie back, complete with complimentary fleas. Last year another of her dogs, Mabel (pictured), "got beaten up by bigger dogs. She went to doggy hospital, but she's ok," Allen tweeted.

Penguins Get to Try Out London Ice Rink -- Cutely

Five Humboldt penguins were the first to try out a London ice rink recently -- amusing passing commuters on their way to work in the process.

The penguins were brought in from Heythrop Zoological Gardens in Oxfordshire to give the rink an inaugural waddling.

And though native to the coasts of Chile and Peru, the penguins seemed sufficiently happy with a chunk of ice in the heart of the City of London’s square mile.

Described as London’s only “turn up and skate” outdoor ice rink, Broadgate Ice, is now open to the public… who don't look nearly as cute.

Jessica Simpson's dog was stolen by a coyote in 2009. Turning to twitter for help, she said: "My heart is broken because a coyote took my precious Daisy right in front of our eyes. HORROR!" Unfortunately for Jessica coyote's can't use twitter, so Daisy was never returned.

Why Does My Dog... Stare at Me?
By Dr. Patty Khuly -

It’s not hard to imagine why a loyal dog might stare devotedly at his master. It’s the stuff of Old Yeller, White Fang and Lassie –– starers, all. But some dogs take staring to extremes, following their owners around with baleful eyes as if expecting links of sausage to fly from their human’s fingertips.

Let’s face it: Dogs love their owners, but when they stare expectantly, it’s not usually because they’re trapped in a reverie of devotion. Rather, it’s because they’re thinking they might get something. And usually, that “something” involves a tasty snack.

But dogs can—and do—stare at their owners for plenty of non-food issues, too. Indeed, anything a dog might want that a human can provide could be the source of the staring behavior, from a fun game of fetch to a ride in the car or a long run.

Then there’s the possibility that a dog is simply seeking attention in any form, or perhaps she’s merely waiting for praise or direction. Some dogs may just be trying to read an emotion in our human facial expressions.

In any case, staring is typically considered to be a good thing. In fact, most trainers encourage dogs to stare at their owners while awaiting their cues. And if you’ve never done it, gazing deeply into a dog’s eyes can be a highly rewarding pastime.

Before you try it, be aware that staring directly into a dog’s eyes can be considered a direct challenge. That’s why mutual staring is an activity that’s only to be encouraged within the context of a healthy dog-human relationship unsullied by any taint of aggression or behavioral abnormalities.

This article was written by a Veterinarian.

Ice T and wife Nicole "Coco" Austin's dog has its own twitter account, with 16,000 followers. that's right, a dog has more followers than you. Take a look, @cutespartacus.

Justin Bieber Auctioning Off His
 Pet Snake Johnson for Charity
BY Kathryn Kattalia - NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Justin Bieber shows off his pet snake at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in August.

Want to be the proud owner of Justin Bieber’s snake?

Never say never.

The 17-year-old heartthrob is auctioning off Johnson, the baby boa constrictor he brought with him to the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, to raise money for charity.

According to online auction site Charity Buzz, bidding on Bieber’s slithery pet is already up to $2,000 — more than twice the snake’s estimated value.

Johnson will go to the highest bidder once the auction closes Nov. 29. All proceeds will be donated to Bieber’s favorite non-profit, Pencils of Promise.

But while owning Justin’s pet boa might seem like a dream come true for some, a disclaimer on the site warns bidders that keeping a snake is a huge responsibility.

“Before making any decision about keeping one please ensure you have the money, space, knowledge, time, resources and enthusiasm required to properly care for the species you intend to keep, for the duration of its life,” it says.

And Bieber isn’t just going to give Johnson away to anyone.

Whoever wins the snake must also be screened upon the close of the auction, sign a personal injury and limited liability release, and guarantee that necessary vet care will be provided.

“The welfare of this snake is the sole responsibility of the adopter,” the site reads.

The auction is the latest philanthropic endeavor for Bieber, who received an award for his charity work at the 2011MTV Europe Music Awards.

Earlier this month, he announced the launch of his “Believe” charity drive, which will donate part of the proceeds from sales of the singer’s Christmas album, “Mistletoe,” to organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and City of Hope.

Pet Pointers:
Here's How to Help a Cat with Diabetes
By Alia Kroos -

Q: My cat Tommy, who's a senior, was just diagnosed with diabetes. I didn't even know cats could get diabetes! I was so overwhelmed that I don't think I got all of the information about it to even make a good decision if we are going to treat it. Does this mean I have to give him shots and check his blood every day? How did this happen? Can you help me figure it all out?

A: In felines, Diabetes Mellitus is a disease that is a result of improper use or lack of production of insulin. Insulin, produced in the pancreas, regulates the flow of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. When there are insufficient amounts of insulin, the body breaks down fat and protein stores to use as an alternative energy source.

A diabetic cat will develop high levels of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Cats eliminate some of the excess sugar in their urine. But if left untreated, diabetes can shorten a cat's lifespan and lead to ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. Diabetic ketoacidiosis can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness and labored breathing. Diabetes can also lead to progressive hind-end weakness.

Signs to watch for: Increased thirst, increased urination, ravenous appetite and weight loss.

Risk factors: Diabetes mellitus is more likely to affect middle age to older, obese cats -- males in particular.

How diabetes is diagnosed: A physical exam and laboratory tests that indicate elevated sugar in the blood and the presence of sugar in the urine are signs of diabetes.

Treating diabetes: Depending on the severity, oral medication, insulin and diet change can be used to treat Diabetes Mellitus. Oral medication to decrease blood sugar levels are available.

Insulin is administered under the skin typically twice daily, ideally around the same time every day. The type of insulin and amount varies depending on your pet's condition. Special low-carbohydrate diets such as Purina DM or Hills MD may be recommended. Dry and wet food options are available. Over-the-counter foods may also be used. The most important goal is for an obese cat to lose weight.

How diabetes treatment is monitored: Blood glucose is an instant reading of the current blood-glucose level.

Fructosamine is a blood test that is sent out to an outside lab that indicates the blood-glucose levels over the last two to three weeks.

Monitoring at home is essential to watch for changes in symptoms. If changes occur, such as increased thirst, lethargy or decreased appetite, contact your veterinarian prior to giving your cat insulin. If your pet is comatose or seizuring, see your veterinarian immediately. Place Karo syrup on your pet's gums on the way to the hospital if he/she is able to swallow.

Diabetes can be challenging but manageable, and with the proper care, some forms of diabetes can even be reversible.

Alia Kroos is a veterinary technician at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos. Visit

My Horse is Scared to Death of Dogs. Help!

Pat and Linda Parelli advise how to train a horse to be less fearful of dogs.

Reader's Question: My mare is scared to death of dogs. She sees one in the window of a house and gets all antsy. If someone's walking a dog near us, or we have to pass a house with dogs, she's practically out of control. I've only had her a few months, so I don't know if she had a bad past experience. Help!

Parelli's Answer: It’s natural for horses to be afraid of dogs because dogs are predators. Some horses are comfortable around dogs because they were raised with them, while others are not as sensitive so the dogs don’t bother them.

A horse like yours, however, sounds quite unconfident and fearful and the dog situation triggers these reactions in a big way. Here’s what you can do:

1. Get her to be more trusting of you. As her leader, she needs you to take control of the situation and protect her. This starts well before she is near dogs. Are you able to back her up on the ground; how about going sideways? These are two important maneuvers because they cause a horse to think. Horses are designed to run, and not think, acting out of pure survival instinct. Unfortunately, this is dangerous for the rider. By teaching her to be responsive when you ask her to back up and go sideways, you can control her movement and, therefore, keep her mentally present.

2. Develop her self-confidence. In our program, we use different lengths of leads to play with our horses on the ground. The longer the line, the more you help the horse develop self-confidence. Holding the line short and close tends to make the horse feel more claustrophobic and want to climb on top of you. See if you can “send” her away from you and get her to touch things with her nose … a gate, a bucket, a barrel, et cetera. The more time you spend on this, the more her confidence will build and the more obedient and self controlled she will become.

3. Find a friend with a dog to help you desensitize your horse. Ask your friend to walk in big circles, about 100 feet wide. Lead your horse behind the dog, as far away as necessary for her to not feel too threatened. Walk behind the dog until you feel the horse begin to relax a little. She’ll probably blow and snort, and raise her head up and down. Don’t get too close; instead, let your horse choose to get closer to the dog. Your goal is to have her be less fearful and grow more curious, thus wanting to get closer. It’s important to not let the horse touch the dog and not to let the dog approach the horse. If this was you, think of the dog as a lion; you would feel much safer if it was moving away from you!

4. Repetition is very important in building confidence, so do this exercise for seven days in a row, taking as much time as necessary for your horse to settle and want to get closer. Even a step closer is a good place to stop. The second important concept is “approach and retreat.” Any time your horse feels more tense, increase the space between your horse and the dog.

5. After a few repetitions of the above, you can now play with your horse as the dog walks big circles around you. Ask your horse to focus on you by requesting her to back up, go sideways, et cetera. You need to act as if the dog isn’t even there … it’s not about the dog. It’s about your horse’s self-confidence and trust in you as her leader. If you pay attention to the dog, she will too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work to pet your horse to calm her down; it helps more to be proactive, focused and unconcerned yourself. For this reason, too, it’s safer to not ride your horse until she’s virtually unflappable.

6. Finally, do something every day to help your horse become less reactive in general. Things like jumping jacks, skipping around, et cetera, will probably startle your horse at first, but with repetition and by allowing her to move away from you as she needs, she’ll quickly learn not to feel threatened and will start building more confidence. She will develop the ability to think and stay calm instead of panicking and wanting to run.

7. After returning to riding and passing dogs, think about keeping your horse busy when you see a dog approaching … sideways away from the dog, et cetera. Pretty soon your horse will focus on you instead of the dog. When you have a plan, the leader comes out in you, calm and focused … and horses like that. It makes them feel safe.

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