Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thousands Of Pets Were Abandoned in Puerto Rico-- Here Is How You Can Help

Alana Matos ,  WOMEN@FORBES
December 27, 2017

A man embraces his dog after the passing of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico.

The citizens of Puerto Rico have recently been faced with a myriad of trials following the passing of Hurricane María. One of the greatest, most unspoken challenges is the fact that thousands of animals have been left abandoned across the island. Many people were forced to flee after the storm, and as a result, left their pets behind. Local organizations have been working to tackle this issue and have been fighting to provide shelters the resources they need to house these pets.

PetFriendly is one of these organizations. It is the only organization in Puerto Rico dedicated to promoting a pet-friendly culture among businesses, commercial spaces, and residential spaces. Their website maps out every pet-friendly place in a particular area, and businesses that take on the “pet-friendly” status receive a sticker to place on the front window of their establishment. Since the passing of Hurricane María, they have been tirelessly working to support animal shelters.

Sylvie Bedrosian first started this organization as a response to her own love for animals, and the love she saw many people have for their pets. In particular, she found that there was a vast need in knowing what places accept pets in Puerto Rico since there is no law that gives businesses guidelines as to how to certify their establishment as pet-friendly.

“People really responded to this idea because they were tired of getting kicked out of places or leaving their pets outside. Many people consider their pets family, either because they don’t have children or they do and want a big happy family– which can include their pet. Tourists also want to travel with their pets. So through this business, we’ve reached a verbal agreement with the government to create guidelines for businesses and certify them."

Sylvie Bedrosian and César Millán during one of the Dame Una Patita brigades.

Bedrosian’s journey to starting this organization was certainly unconventional. A few years ago, she found herself having to move back to Puerto Rico to take care of her sick grandparents. She had spent the last nine years in New York but had no ties there. Once she got to the island, she decided to get her first dog to have something warm and happy to come home to.

“I needed to have a reason to go home. It was such a sad environment, so having my dog really helped. But still, I felt like I needed to be distracted and get involved with different groups. I decided at that time to get involved with the organization Save A Sato, which is a no-kill shelter in Puerto Rico. Volunteering there changed my life. Stepping into that shelter– there is no way it doesn’t move you. It opened my eyes to a different world, and it gave me purpose.”


Friday, December 22, 2017

The Chelsea Diaries...

Remembering that not every pet can be a cat... which is very, very sad for owners

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Which Holiday Plants are Toxic to Dogs?

Which Holiday Plants are Toxic to Dogs?
Know which blooms and buds to keep from fido
By Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science

Many people are decorating their homes for the holidays, but pet owners should be aware that some plants used for holiday decorating can be dangerous to cats and dogs. Understanding which plants are toxic, and which are not, can help bring home the festive spirit and avoid danger for pets.

One of the most popular holiday plants often considered poisonous are poinsettias. But in fact, they are “non” to “mildly” toxic and do not deserve their bad reputation. Pets that ingest poinsettias generally have no clinical signs or mild gastrointestinal discomfort. A mild rash may develop if rubbed on the skin, but they are considered safe to keep in the home.

Dr. Dorothy Black, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVM), explained, “Poinsettias are usually referred to as highly toxic, but they really aren’t. Feel free to display them at Christmas.”

Christmas trees are also generally safe for pets. However, pine needles can cause damage to eyes if pets should run into the tree, such as a corneal laceration. Should pets ingest the sap produced by the tree, mild gastrointestinal discomfort may occur, but natural trees are generally non-toxic for cats and dogs.

Mistletoe, on the other hand, can be quite poisonous to pets. If ingested, pets may experience gastrointestinal upset, or show clinical signs of poisoning such as a change in mental function, difficulty breathing, or a low heart rate.

“If you see these symptoms in your pet and suspect or know they ingested mistletoe, you should seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible,” Black said. “Mistletoe shouldn’t be used where pets could possibly reach it.”


Another holiday decorative plant, holly, can be dangerous for pets and is considered poisonous. Clinical symptoms may be displayed as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased energy, and general upset stomach. Owners should seek veterinary assistance if they suspect their pets of ingesting holly.

Amaryllis and Daffodils are also considered poisonous for pets. If ingested, pets may vomit, appear depressed, or show signs of a painful abdomen and a loss of appetite.

“Some pets who consume amaryllis or daffodils will show symptoms of tremors,” Black said. “This can be a sign of severe toxicity.”

Lilies are particularly toxic to cats. The ingestion of any part of any type of lily can lead to kidney failure. The clinical signs can include vomiting, depression, or loss of appetite. If you suspect your cat of ingesting lilies, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. There is no antidote, and intense supportive care is needed for cats to recover.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Police force saves cat from LA wildfire and shares touching message about rescuing pets

The Telegraph
 Helena Horton
8 DECEMBER 2017 • 11:13AM

The Los Angeles Police Department touched the hearts of many pet owners after sharing a picture of a cat the force rescued during the recent wildfires.

Los Angeles has been hit by devastating blazes, with many having to flee their homes, facing the prospect of losing everything they own.

As well as getting people out of danger, the police department said that saving beloved animals was almost as important.

"The #LAPD has a motto, 'To Protect and to Serve', and our officers have been displaying that in many ways during the #CreekFire & #SkirballFire."

The tweet was shared thousands of times by grateful pet owners.

Another man has been hailed across the world as a hero after stopping his car to rescue a wild rabbit from the flames.


Thursday, December 7, 2017


Dogs Are More Intelligent Than Cats, According to Science
The debate is over!
November 29, 2017
Vanderbilt University

The first study to actually count the number of cortical neurons in the brains of a number of carnivores, including cats and dogs, has found that dogs possess significantly more neurons than cats, raccoons have as many neurons as a primate packed into a brain the size of a cat's, and bears have the same number of neurons as a cat packed into a much larger brain.

Credit: Jeremy Teaford, Vanderbilt University

There's a new twist to the perennial argument about which is smarter, cats or dogs.

It has to do with their brains, specifically the number of neurons in their cerebral cortex: the "little gray cells" associated with thinking, planning and complex behavior -- all considered hallmarks of intelligence.

The first study to actually count the number of cortical neurons in the brains of a number of carnivores, including cats and dogs, has found that dogs possess significantly more of them than cats.

"In this study, we were interested in comparing different species of carnivorans to see how the numbers of neurons in their brains relate to the size of their brains, including a few favorite species including cats and dogs, lions and brown bears," said Associate Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences Suzana Herculano-Houzel, who developed the method for accurately measuring the number of neurons in brains.

(Carnivora is a diverse order that consists of 280 species of mammals all of which have teeth and claws that allow them to eat other animals.)

The results of the study are described in a paper titled "Dogs have the most neurons, though not the largest brain: Trade-off between body mass and number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of large carnivoran species" accepted for publication in the open access journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

As far as dogs and cats go, the study found that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons while cats have about 250 million. (That compares to 16 billion in the human brain.)

"I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience," Herculano-Houzel explained.

"I'm 100 percent a dog person," she added, "but, with that disclaimer, our findings mean to me that dogs have the biological capability of doing much more complex and flexible things with their lives than cats can. At the least, we now have some biology that people can factor into their discussions about who's smarter, cats or dogs."

This. Means. War.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Reindeer Bait Is How To Make Sure Santa Stops At Your House Don't even think about celebrating Christmas without a batch of this stuff.

Yeah, yeah, we know this treat is often called Reindeer Poop, but we couldn't bring ourselves to call it that. At the Delish office, we have several names for this stuff: Reindeer Poop (shudder), Santa Chow, Christmas Crack. No matter what you call it, this sweet-and-salty snack mix is addictive.

Get the recipe here:

Friday, December 1, 2017

FDA Warns ‘Bone Treats’ For Dogs Could Kill Your Pet

By Hilary Hanson
November 29, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a grim warning for dog lovers thinking of getting a special treat for their pups.

This week, an FDA statement on the dangers of “bone treats” — meaning bones for dogs that have been commercially processed by means like smoking or baking — has gone viral.

However, while most media outlets have been reporting on the anti-bone treat decree like it’s brand new, the FDA has had the warning up since at least 2010, based on archives from the Wayback Machine. The statement has been periodically updated over the years to factor in the number of reports of canine illnesses and deaths the FDA has received.

On Nov. 21, the statement was updated to reflect that the agency has received about 68 reports of dogs dying or falling ill in connection with bone treats. Some reports involved more than one dog, for a total of 90 dogs reported being adversely affected by the bones. An estimated 15 of those dogs have died.

Though the statement focuses on bone treats, it also mentions that turkey and chicken bones are dangerous for pets because of their tendency to splinter.

“We regularly update the numbers around this time of year because some pet owners cook poultry and toss the bones in the trash at holiday dinners, where their dogs can sometimes access them,” the spokeswoman said in an email. “Some pet owners also choose to give their dogs bone treats as stocking stuffers during the holiday season, so we update the article as a holiday reminder for pet owners.”


Monday, November 27, 2017

Dog ownership linked to living longer, study finds

Josh Gabbatiss Friday 17 November 2017 14:00 GMT

Owning a dog could lengthen your life, according to a new study.

Researchers studying cardiovascular disease came to the conclusion after examining data from 3.4 million Swedes aged between 40 and 80.

Everything from registering a dog to visiting a hospital requires presentation of a unique identification number in Sweden, so the team from Uppsala University were able to access an anonymised set of data from national registries.

“I met another scientist who had a stroke six months previously, and he told me ‘it was my dog that saved me’,”  said Professor Tove Fall, a veterinarian at who co-authored the research, which was published in the Scientific Reports journal.


Friday, November 24, 2017

20 Pet Websites Every Pet Owner Needs To Know


The internet offers a vast array of pet websites. There are so many it can be difficult to tell which will prove useful, but Lifehack can give you a head start. Through the following 20 sites you’ll find web pages catering for healthy, useful, and creative needs which can assist you and your beloved pet. Outstanding? Absolutely.

First off we have SoPets, a blog offering advice on looking after pets, fun pictures, an “Adoption” section, and information on exotic pets. It’s a lively site with a fun design, so have a look around.

If you’d like to offer your pet a sustainable, organic food supply then you can try Only Natural. Things are slightly more expensive here, but the quality of products goes up with the promotion of preservative free, sustainable sourced food stuffs. US only.

Taking your pets with you on holiday is becoming an increasingly popular notion. Many hotels are catering for this craze, and you can use Bring Fido to peruse which lodging best suits you and your woof dog.


Before madly dashing off to your nearest vet, you can search through Web Vet‘s database for common ailments among animals. What could be a simple issue easily treated can save you time and money, and the site can provide additional information on how to care for your pet.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017


When cold weather hits, feral cats suffer—and unfortunately there are just too many feral cats for all of them to find safe, warm forever homes. Spaying, neutering, and cat adoption are critical to solving the problem long term, but many cat lovers take the extra step of buying or building outdoor winter shelters for the feral cats in their neighborhood. Check out these winter shelters for feral cats, and get inspired to make a homeless cat’s life more comfortable and safe this winter.


The folks at Bushwick Street Cats help further their mission to serve the feral cat population by teaching people how to make winter shelters out of a plastic storage bin and a flowerpot. Check out the DIY instructions


For very cold conditions, Neighborhood Cats has a DIY guide to create an ultra-warm shelter out of Styrofoam and linoleum tiles. Latex deck paint makes it cheerful-looking while sealing out the elements. See how to make one.


Give feral cats an outdoor shelter—in style! If you’re up for a more serious carpentry project, this A-frame made from recycled pallets will keep feral cats safe from the elements while looking great in your yard. (Note—you’ll have to add insulation to make this shelter suitable for outdoor cats in the winter.) See how on Pinterest.


A jumbo-sized clear plastic bin is the foundation for this winter cat shelter. Loaded up with straw for insulation, this shelter will ensure cozy days and nights for your neighborhood feral cats. See how it’s done.


Instead of tossing the cooler in the basement once beach season is over, why not convert it into a winter home for feral cats? (Hint: cat shelter experts suggest using straw instead of blankets for extra warmth and water-resistance.) Get step-by-step instructions.

For a look at all the wonderful ideas for feral cat shelters, go to:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Flying with a pet for free is easier than you think


MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Forget a lack of leg room, the next time you fly you might have to share part of your row with a large dog or even a farm animal.

Those in the airline industry say the cabins are getting crowded with companion pets and say most of the people bringing them on board don't really need them.

"Dogs, we've seen monkeys, we`ve seen birds. There was a turkey on a delta flight once before," said Eric Goldman.

Passengers haven't been shy about sharing pictures of some of the emotional pets  on board.   There is even a hash tag on Twitter #ESAoftheday.

Eric Goldman travels about once a week for work and is one of those who has been documenting the ESA's.

Goldman has a pet allergy and says it appears animals have more rights than humans.

"The rules are the dog has to sit at the feet of the passenger in their space.  So, a lot of these dogs are intruding in other passengers area as well as being out in the aisle and getting in the way of the flight attendants," said Goldmann.

The Associations of Flight Attendants has noticed the increase in furry and feathered over the last few years.

"Noah's ark on our planes that is what we are hearing and flight attendants are saying it's out of control out there, " said Sara Nelson.
So much so, union president Sara Nelson says it's become a safety issue.

" Flight attendants have had to de-escalate more than ever before with conflict between passengers and this is one more irritant, "  said Nelson.

Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act anyone can fly with an emotional support animals for free.   You just need a letter from a licensed medical professional.

As we found out it easier than you think.

We were also able to buy a service dog vest off Amazon-- no questions asked.

"It really is frustrating for us because we have had to work so hard for this," said Melissa Essary.

A couple of years ago Melissa and Brad Essary got a service dog from the group 'Retrieving Freedom' for their son Korben who has autism.

Jet keeps Korben from running off and calms him down when he has a meltdown.

"Training is very extensive for every single dog and of course Jet went through it  like a year and then not only him,  but we had to get through training," said Brad Essary.

The couple says the fake service animals are making it harder for people with legitimate service dogs to be accepted in public.

"It's not fair for people to try to take advantage of that and get a free ride," said Melissa Essary

Monday, November 13, 2017

Making Treats With Your Dog

Making Treats With Your Dog

If you are looking for instructions on how to make the perfect treats for your dog...this is not the article for you! If you want a good laugh and want to see my first attempt at this machine, stay with me!

  I was recently on an overnight with two of my favorite clients. We were looking for something fun to do when I looked down and saw Penny showing me this instruction book. You see, Penny is very food motivated much like myself and I knew I would love whatever she picked out because I knew it would involve food!

What a genius idea!! Let's see what Lexi has to say!

 Aunt Mary...I love all the cute little shapes! Look...there is a fire hydrant shape! Makes me want to go outside first.....pleeeeze??

 Okay girls....get ready to help your stations!

We have to use only the finest ingredients and they need to be dog friendly. No chocolate chips will be in these cookies but look what we do have.....

Oatmeal is great for dogs! We will also use wheat flour, applesauce, olive oil and water.  Penny wants to add whatever is in the fridge but I talked her out of it!

Lexi is waiting patiently for the machine to heat up as I try to pour the batter in the molds. I did discover that I needed more water than what I had and that a squeeze bottle would be much  better than the spoon I was using. Of course, licking the spoon wouldn't happen if I had a bottle and the girls loved licking the spoon!

Ms. Penny is always anxious when there is food around but even she got tired of waiting for the cookies to cook. She decided to lay down and stare at me like she always does when there is food around!

The time had come for all of us to taste the finished product. Lexi went first and she ate it without a hitch. Penny was next and she gulped it down. (That is normal for her).  I decided to try it myself. Hmmm...not too bad but I didn't enjoy them as much as the girls did. I would have liked to use artificial sweetner but that's not good for dogs.'s not good for us either!

So this is what they looked like. As I said before, a squeeze bottle would have worked much better. They were soft and not as hard as I thought they would be. The girls still loved them but they pretty much love everything! All in all, it was a good time for the three of us this evening....I think I will try a different recipe next they make dog friendly chocolate chips???

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Black Cat Halloween Alert, by Charlie Oberdier

Well, here we go again – my least favorite holiday is on the horizon. No, not National Kale Day – oh, pardon me, I may vomit.  And I am not talking Moldy Cheese Day either, although moldy cheese does possess a certain piquant flavor … I digress.

I am speaking, of course, of Halloween, my least favorite holiday because I am black. Black is beautiful and I am the embodiment of that beauty, the living proof. I tell mom that every day, at the top of my lungs, especially when she’s sleeping.

You see, Halloween is difficult for black cats because a strange and altogether unwarranted superstition about us has arisen over the years, dating from as far back as Medieval times in France, Germany and Spain, in those bleak days before Animal Planet.  Interesting aside, during that same period we were considered great good luck in Britain and Japan. The Egyptians worshipped us as sacred. Note to self: I must visit Egypt someday – they’ll be thrilled.

Of course, we all know black cats in America became associated with witches, evil omens and treachery with Puritan Pilgrims. Nasty pieces of work, them. They hunted us down, vilified us, even burned us alive on Shrove Tuesday to protect their homes from fire. Idiots. I hate Pilgrims. They burned people too, I know - but, cats? I ask you, isn’t that sick? We are the least trouble of all the animal species and the most lovable. Well, by the time the anti-witch nonsense evaporated we black cats had permanently been labeled as trouble, used as scary Halloween decorations, and sometimes even still tortured.

That’s not good.

So, this Halloween, watch for black cats and please protect us, keep your cat inside (especially if you are fortunate enough to have a sleek, black one) and always be kind to us.

You never know, perhaps we really can work magic…