Thursday, December 28, 2017

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

FORBES
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.”


READ MORE HERE

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.”


via GIPHY

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.


READ MORE HERE

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.


READ MORE HERE



Thursday, December 7, 2017

FROM THE ALFIE DIARIES

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.



TO READ MORE: SCIENCE DAILY


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: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a45163/christmas-crack-recipe/


Friday, December 1, 2017

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

HUFFPOST
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.”


READ MORE HERE: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fda-warning-dog-bone-treats-death_us_5a1db88ce4b003f9c7fb0dbb