Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 2:45:20 PM by Edward Knittel
In a first, a small turboprop plane that typically seats 19 humans has been retrofitted with 50 cages to transport dogs and cats from one city to another.
Based out of Baltimore, Flying Pet Airlines flew from BWI to Chicago with 40 furry passengers making the trip. And how about this: The airline is sold out for its first two months. Pet
Airways serves Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles,
but the company hopes to expand to 25 cities in a couple of
But it's not cheap. The average ticket price is $250.
More information from Pet Airways
Monday, March 23, 2009 at 11:18:09 AM by Edward Knittel
There's a new site on the block and they are trying to raise awareness for puppy adoptions. In doing so they've adopted (no pun intended) today, March 23 as National Puppy Day.
National Puppy Day is not only a day to celebrate the puppies in our lives, for how much joy, unconditional love and friendship they offer us, but to acknowledge the great need that many homeless puppies have for a loving and forever home and to educate the public about animal cruelty!
Their goal is to help save 10,000 homeless puppies across the nation in one day. Let's see if we can't help a little.
More information from National Puppy Day
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 11:31:36 AM by Edward Knittel
Positive news out of a terrible story:
Toni Fedor let her boyfriend baby-sit her dog, Sophie, while she worked --then was horrified to find her beloved pet had been beaten so severely the pup lost an eye.
Her now ex-boyfriend was sentenced Monday to 10 days in jail for injuring the Jack Russell terrier and ordered to pay nearly $1,500 in restitution to cover veterinary bills.
The jail time imposed on Randall Madison, 26, of Carol Stream is justified given the harm he caused, Fedor said.
And even better news is that Sophie has recovered from her injuries and is back to her normal, happy self.
More information from Chicago Suntimes
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 4:15:13 PM by Edward Knittel
Can you guess what breed of dog Americans love the most? While the toy Brussels Griffon and Affgenpinscher may be favorites to win The
Westminster Kennel Club show in New York today, the Labrador
Retriever is most Americans' favorite dog.
Other favorites include the Yorkshire Terrier, German Shepherd, Golden
Retriever, Beagle, Boxer, Dachshund, Bulldog, Poodle and Shih Tzu,
according to the American Kennel Club's recent report of the country's
Top 10 dog breeds. Rankings are based on the breeds most registered in
But the biggest trend in the canine world can't be found at Westminster
or on AKC's list. There has been a growing interest in mixed breeds and
rescue dogs, especially after President Barack Obama said he was
considering adopting such a dog for his daughters.
"The chic thing to do is adopt a dog," Sarah Wilson, expert for PBS' Why We Love Cats and Dogs. says. "Saving a life and helping an animal in need is a sign of the times."
More information from Forbes
Monday, February 09, 2009 at 10:25:10 AM by Edward Knittel
Pets are often lucky enough to receive a special treat on Valentine's Day. And sometimes they decide to dig into gifts their owners have received. The ASPCA has issued a useful list of guidelines for pet owners to keep their dogs and cats safe during the season of temptations:
- Make sure you keep your chocolates out of reach. Any form of chocolate, whether semi-sweet, milk, dark or baker's, is potentially poisonous to your pet. Should your pet ingest some, call your vet immediately.
- Keep pets away from your flower arrangements. Animals adore sniffing anything new that comes into the house and they might take a bite out of your red roses. This could give them an upset stomach. Keep cats especially away from lilies, which are particularly dangerous. Call your vet if your pet has munched on your flowers.
- Gum and candy may contain the sweetener xylitol, which can be toxic to pets, especially dogs. Stash these items in a cabinet or drawer away from curious animals
More information from The Washington Post
Saturday, August 02, 2008 at 12:01:24 PM by Edward Knittel
There is an interesting editorial over at the Chicago Tribune:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States have been attempting to take away our right to own dogs by lobbying to pass mandatory spay/neuter laws, and by lobbying for high license fees for non-neutered dogs, and for pet limit laws. They have hundreds of millions of dollars in their war chests, and they use this money to pay lobbyists to help promote their agendas, not to help dogs. They are the people who want everyone to be a vegetarian, not to wear fur, not to have pets, not to fish or hunt.
Bob Barker was recently in Chicago in support of such legislature.
More information from Chicago Tribune
Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 12:42:38 PM by Edward Knittel
Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
K-Run's Park Me in First, better known as Uno, won the 132nd Westminster Kennel Club "Best in Show". This was the first time ever that a beagle had placed in the most honored spot. Handler Aaron Wilkerson did a fine job showing the dog and had great reason to celebrate this historic moment.
Thursday, August 02, 2007 at 3:37:57 PM by Edward Knittel
Three years ago we reported that Tokyo, Japan's rent a puppy businesses were doing very well. Now comes news that this same practice is becoming more popular in Southern California.
Marlena Cervantes, founder of FlexPetz, bristles when people refer to her 5-month-old business as a rent-a-pet service. She prefers "shared pet ownership," explaining the concept is more akin to a vacation time share or a gym membership.
The service offers all of the benefits of having a pet companion without all the hassle of actually having to care for a living creature. You don't have to take them to the vet for their shots or deal with them when they're sick.
If I sound a little cynical it's because I probably am. Pets are a responsibility and they teach you a lot about yourself.
Shari Gonzalez, 22, never doubted there was room for a dog in her heart. The issue was her life, which included a small, two-bedroom apartment and a full-time schedule of college classes in San Diego.
Shari was wise to realize that owning a pet was not the best idea, but does that make the adjustment for the dog any better? How is a "small, two-bedroom apartment" and a "full-time schedule" helpful to a rented animal any more than actually owning a pet?
With that said, I don't think that this service is a fad that's going to go away any time soon. Hiking, running, playing fetch and cuddling on a couch with a dog are all great things that bring about relaxation and comfort. So many people have busy schedules and prior responsibilities that owning a pet just isn't in the cards for them. This also gives them a chance to "try before they buy" by spending time with different breeds.
Have you heard about renting a pet and what do you think about it? Am I right to think it's a little unfair or am I completely wrong?
More information from Chicago Tribune
Monday, May 28, 2007 at 11:38:37 PM by Edward Knittel
A record number of Americans own pets—and they are spending a record amount of money to feed, clothe and care for their wee beasts. But is all the attention actually good for the critters? Why we need to remember the lessons of the wild kingdom.
More information from Newsweek
Friday, October 06, 2006 at 8:27:43 AM by Edward Knittel
An unfortunate story comes out of the southside of Chicago:
A Harvey man said some 30 police officers burst into his home Tuesday night and during the raid shot to death two of his dogs, including a 6-month-old pit bull.
No one was arrested but the place was tore apart looking as the police looked for "something."
Hopefully the deaths of the 2 dogs is not for nothing.
More information from Chicago Suntimes
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at 8:20:17 PM by Edward Knittel
It's happening. All over America and around the world. The pet care industry is changing and adapting to accommodate the desire of their clients. All the while it's the dogs that reep the rewards.
Personal suites, massages, swimming pools and one-on-one attention is becoming a lot more of the norm at kennels. Unfortunately, if your business is unwilling to invest the money and man power into implementing these additional services you're going to be left in the dust.
The increase is partly a result of rising pet ownership: about 63 percent of United States households now have pets, compared with 56 percent in 1988. But it is also an indication of the changing role of the pet in the family and growing emotional ties between owners and pets.
Kennelsource can help your pet care business realize all of these things and help you to choose the best approach and right technologies to make your dream kennel a reality.
More information from International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 8:16:20 AM by Edward Knittel
Ch Rocky Top's Sundance Kid - a.k.a. "Rufus" - won this year's 130th Wesminster Kennel Club Best in Show award. Rufus, a Bull Terrier (colored), topped more than 2,000 entrants for one of America's longest running competitions.
This win could also mean some positive things in the fight against banning dog breeds. The high-profile attention that Rufus could bring to legislators showing that not all bulls or terriers are bad dogs is just what we need.
Congratulations - and thanks.
More information from Westminster Kennel Club
Monday, January 16, 2006 at 7:53:02 AM by Edward Knittel
This past weekend marked the finals for the 2006 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Congratulations are in order for this year's Best in Show winner "Costello" more formally known as Ch Nanuke's Snoklassic No Boundaries. Costello is an Alaskan Malamutes which is part of the Working Group. I had a chance to see Costello last night during the finals she is a beautiful dog.
Also, congratulations are in order for Sandra D'Andrea Costello's breeder, owner, AND handler from Lockport, NY. It's a lot of work to show a dog, but to be a part of every aspect of that dog's life is truly wonderful. I'm sure that was apparent down in Tampa, FL this past week.
Ch Nanuke's Snoklassic No Boundaries
Congratulations and what an accomplishment!
More information from America Kennel Club
Tuesday, November 08, 2005 at 4:01:22 PM by Edward Knittel
On Saturday, November 5th, 2 children were mauled and 4 adults were wounded by 3 pitbulls owned by Scott Sword in McHenry County, IL. While the children have shown slight signs of improvement it's unlikely that Scott will be facing any criminal charges.
The three pit bulls -- which were fatally shot by responding officers -- weren't being raised or trained to fight other dogs, McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi said.
There's no indication of that. There's indications from the neighbors that they were friendly dogs.
Investigators still have no idea why the animals acted so aggressively. So determining why they behaved the way they did is very important.
Standard tests will be performed on the dogs' bodies, including a check for rabies, but all three were licensed and up to date on their shots, said Debra Quackenbush, a spokeswoman for McHenry County's Animal Control Department.
Another pit bull "attack" covered in the news. Which is why it's no surprise to read that McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler said he's anticipating calls for restrictions on pit bulls. Of course - because some people would have you believe that pit bulls are a nuisance to society.
But luckily the Sun Times doesn't stop there. Ken Koehler went on to state:
The largest amount of dog bites in McHenry County are from Labs.
Well, I'll be. Someone's got the facts straight and he's not afraid to use them.
More information from Chicago Sun Times
Monday, October 31, 2005 at 10:48:15 AM by Edward Knittel
No one is immune to America's obesity epidemic, not even pets. It's now estimated that at least 25 percent of cats and dogs are overweight or obese.
And while our four-legged friends might look "cute and cuddly" when they're a bit on the chubby side the truth is that they in danger of the same health problems that plague obese people.
From diabetes to a great increase in heart and respiratory problems, our pets are at a great health risk the bigger they get. And while excess weight does not cause orthopedic problems it can worsen such things arthritis and hip dysplasia. Obese dogs also are more vulnerable to torn knee ligaments, skin infections, heatstroke and a host of other ailments.
Why are pets packing on the pounds? The same reasons people do: a sedentary lifestyle and too much food. But unlike people, pets don't choose how they live. Their access to food and exercise is almost entirely controlled by their owners.
A dog or cat will eat whatever you give it, so owner compliance is crucial for a weight management program. Diet alone will not a fit pet make. Excerise is just as important. A lot of our pets are couch potatoes. They're left at home with nothing to do during the day, so they sleep.
It's also important to never give a pet table food. Our food is much higher in fat than commercial pet food is. It can lead to heavy tartar buildup on the teeth, and too much fat can cause pancreatitis. Many vets struggle to convince owners that they may be loving their pets to death.
So show your dog or cat some love. Be sure to feed them a sensible diet and offer them as many opportunities to be active. If you can't take your dog for a walk every day then consider pet walking or day care services a few times a week. Not only will your buddy feel better, he'll have a lot of fun and that can help you rest a little better.
More information from Gainesville Times
Friday, September 23, 2005 at 4:13:17 PM by Edward Knittel
Although the Dog Fancy website isn't "officially" stating it yet, the Chicago Tribune has announced that Dog Fancy magazine has christened Chicago "Dogtown USA," naming it the most-pooch-friendly city in the whole doggone nation. In other words:
Think Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live" rankings, but for the four-legged set.
Isn't that something?! It puts a big grin on our faces to know that this great city of Chicago is the best place in America to be if you're a dog. Personally, we couldn't agree more!
Earlier this year, the magazine, which has about a quarter-million circulation, called on dog lovers to submit their picks for the best cities for pooches. Readers submitted 101 towns, and editors winnowed out places that don't have leash laws or do have breed-specific legislation, such as laws that ban pit bulls. A ban on pit bulls was proposed by Chicago Ald. Ginger Rugai (19th) but never acted upon by the City Council. The magazine believes animals should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, said Dog Fancy editor Susan Chaney.
The article goes on to list a number of reasons why Chicago is where dogs like to be. With the dog friendly beaches, parks, and even hotels Chicagoans love doing things with their dogs and they can't imagine having to leave them behind. I also liked the part where the Tribune mentions that outside the Engine 55 firehouse in Lincoln Park, firefighters keep a hydrant trickling into a bucket for thirsty hounds passing by and hand out dog biscuits as though the pups were costumed kids at Halloween.
Hopefully Dog Fancy will have have some information on their website real - otherwise we're just going to have to wait for the November issue to come out.
Congratulations, Chicago! We're glad to be in the best city for dogs. We wouldn't have it any other way.
More information from Chicago Tribune
Thursday, September 01, 2005 at 10:02:12 AM by Edward Knittel
The news about the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina seeems to be having a heavy physical and emotional toll on a lot of people. Our thoughts, prayers, and support go out to all of those who have lost so much in their life because of this tragedy. It's terrible to see so many displaced people who really have no idea where to go.
What is just as sad and disturbing is the news that so many animals have died and will continue to die in the coming days and weeks. Although nearly 80% of the residents of New Orleans, LA were able to evacuate before the city was destroyed by flooding the same cannot be said for their pets - many of whom were left behind. Many people thought that they would be able to return shortly after the storm had passed. Yes, I'm sure they expected that their dogs, cats, and other "family members" would still be there waiting for their owners just as soon as they could make it back home. But as we all know, that is not what happened and no one will be returning home any time soon.
Right now there are thousands of displaced animals who may never find a new home. The happy days of going for walks and playing with the family are no more. Just as people must have food and water to survive so must the animals. But with the focus on rescuing human lives many of these animals will simply be passed up or perhaps even euthanized.
We do not want to trivialize the importance of saving the lives of as many people as possible. But we know that of the thousands of people who visit our website every month every one of you also has a special place in your heart for all of life's creations - man and animal. If you are able to we would suggest making a donation to the Humane Society of the United States. Your donation is tax deductible and will be used exclusively for the disaster animal relief work.
More information from The Humane Society of the United States
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 9:30:31 AM by Edward Knittel
It was a year ago nearly to the day that we mentioned Ontario Canada Considers Banning Pit Bulls. It's a topic that gained a lot of response. Well, they considered it and now it's official:
TORONTO -- Ontario on Monday became the first province in Canada to ban the pit bull in the wake of vicious attacks by the dogs, but defiant owners have already challenged the law.
The measure makes it illegal to breed pit bulls or bring the dogs into the province. Owners who violate the law can face up to six months in jail.
"I've seen enough, I'm glad the law is finally coming into effect," said Louise Ellis, whose 5-year-old daughter needed 300 stitches to close the wounds of an attack.
A number of serious attacks prompted Attorney General Michael Bryant to make the move. In another case, two dogs severely mauled a Toronto man, forcing police to shoot the animals repeatedly to stop the attack.
But opponents of the ban argue banning one breed of dog is unfair.
Catherine Cochrane, 22, who owns an 18-month-old, female, pit bull mix named Chess, says her dog is well behaved.
"I don't think I'm going to muzzle her at all," Cochrane said.
Prominent Canadian lawyer Clayton Ruby announced a constitutional challenge of the law on Monday.
In the United States, pit bull bans are in place in Denver, Miami and Cincinnati.
The ban affects four breeds of pit bulls:
- pit bull terriers
- American pit bull terriers
- Staffordshire bull terriers
- American Staffordshire terriers
- dogs that are similar in appearances to those breeds.
Unbelievable. Not only must the Pit Bulls be muzzled while in public, but they must also be spayed or neutered . And fines for violating these rules have also increased to as much as $10,000 for the worst offenses.
This is an outrage and it's good to see news of residents in Ontario fighting back. A group of dog owners is launching a legal challenge, saying the ban infringes on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They also (rightly) claim that the ban is too vague and will focus on dogs that should not be targeted.
More information from Chicago Sun-Times
Thursday, June 02, 2005 at 8:48:43 AM by Edward Knittel
Lancaster County in Pennsylvania is known for its booming dog industry. It's a top place for breeders and for people looking for that perfect dog.
But for folks visting Puppy Love, a kennel which is owned by Joyce and Raymond Stoltzfus, it's now apparent that their breeding business wasn't on the up-and-up. The Stoltzfuses agreed last month to pay $75,000 in fines and restitution to settle a lawsuit alleging that they sold sick or diseased dogs to 171 customers in seven states.
Joseph Patterson got stung when he bought a 71/2-week-old Chihuahua from Puppy Love for $600. It was a Valentine's gift to his girlfriend, but after being brought home, the dog developed pneumonia and had to stay in a veterinary hospital for two weeks.
The day after they brought a seemingly recovered Lito home, he died in Patterson's lap.
Lawrence Coppock's cockapoo took a turn for the worse after he bought it home early this year from Puppy Love, but he didn't want to return it for fear the puppy "would end up in the Susquehanna River."
The 8-week-old puppy spent a week at the vet's, recovering from pneumonia, costing $1,100.
As part of the settlement, the Stoltzfuses also agreed to have every dog tested and treated by a veterinarian, provide dog purchasers with proof that the puppy was examined by a vet at least 15 days before the sale, give customers 14 days to report sicknesses to seek a refund, and to refund up to twice the purchase price if a dog is diagnosed within six months with a genetic or hereditary defect.
Under the puppy lemon law, the consumer is entitled to a refund of the purchase price of a dog if an illness is reported to the seller within 10 days or a genetic defect is reported within 30 days.
More information from Philadelphia Inquirer
Friday, May 13, 2005 at 5:32:34 PM by Edward Knittel
Next week (May 15-21) marks "National Dog Bite Prevention Week" and The Humane Society of the United States has a number of tips that you, your children, and your family should be made aware of. According to the American Veterinary Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.7 million Americans suffer from dog bites each year. The severity of the bites varies, but approximately 800,000 people each year are injured seriously enough to require medical attention, and 12 people die due to mortal wounds.
Make sure you and your children are familiar with these 11 steps to help prevent being bitten by a dog:
- Speak quietly and move slowly around dogs.
- Before petting someone's dog, ask the person's permission. If it's okay, approach slowly and quietly. Let the dog sniff you first, then pet the dog's sides or back gently.
- Never sneak up on or pet a dog who is eating or sleeping. Animals may bite when they're startled or frightened.
- Never pet a dog who is playing with a toy. Dogs are often protective of toys, and may think a child is trying to take it.
- Never try to pet a dog who is in a car. Dogs will often protect that space.
- Never pet a dog who is behind a fence. Most dogs naturally protect their property and home.
- An angry dog may try to make herself look big: ears standing up, the fur on her back standing on end, and tail straight up (it may be wagging). She may bare her teeth and growl, and stare straight at whoever is approaching.
- A frightened dog behaves differently, and may shrink to the ground, put his tail between his legs, and fold his ears back.
- If you are walking, stop and stand still (like a tree) with your hands at your side.
- If you are playing on the ground, lie still on the ground (like a log) with your knees tucked into your stomach and your hands over your ears. When you stay still and quiet like this, the dog will most likely just sniff you and go away.
- Never, ever try to outrun a dog. Back away slowly from him instead.
More information from The Humane Society of the United States
Tuesday, May 10, 2005 at 5:40:26 PM by Edward Knittel
Dogs are amazing animals. They take on the life of their owners - becoming an extension of their beliefs and behavior. But they also possess an instinct to care and protect the weak and the innocent.
No example is clearer than the one reported this week out of Ngong Forrest in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Here, a stray, nameless dog carried the baby wrapped in a torn shirt out of the forrest, across a busy street, through a barbed wire fence and into a shed. The dog, with puppies of her own, looked over and protected the child for nearly two days before the newborn was discovered and taken to a local hospital.
The baby was found after two children reported hearing an infant's cries near their wood-and-corrugated-metal shack.
They eventually found the tan mixed-breed dog lying protectively with a puppy beside the mud-splattered baby wrapped in a torn black shirt, Adhiambo said. The short-haired dog with light brown eyes has no name, residents said.
But "Angel", as the child has been named by workers at the hospital, now has a name and home and a future thanks to the efforts of one lonely, stray dog who sensed - whether through sound or smell or some feeling - that this human child was worth protecting. Of course who knows how long Angel would have survived with without food outdoors, but her fate surly was not any better abandoned out in the woods. This dog which was probably on a similar future path close to death and despair did not attack Angel or harm her or do anything other than provide the most comfort it possibly could.
I believe it's something important to remember and to think about when we look at our own pets and stray dogs and cats. These animals can be like children in many ways - full of unconditional love and yet easily molded into whatever thoughts WE desire. A lesson to learn from this is that generally speaking a dog will not attack or hurt you unless taught or provoked by YOU. But they might just save your life.
More information from CNN
Wednesday, April 06, 2005 at 3:45:59 PM by Edward Knittel
Wow... first it was Ontario Canada that was considering a ban on pit bulls - labeling the entire breed "aggressive" - now there's word out of Clarksdale, Mississippi USA that local resident Rocky Jaco would like the City to consider an ordinance to ban the breed or curb their numbers.
Consider this gem:
Rocky Jaco says there's a change in the population of Clarksdale. Not a day goes by that the animal control officer doesn't get calls from people with complaints about Pit Bull dogs.
And although nobody has asked specifically for an ordinance to ban a specific breed...yet, City Attorney Curtis Boschert says the board may consider the idea.
And Rocky Jaco hopes that eventually happens, because those calls about pit bulls keep coming every day, and he wonders if it may get worse.
First, who is this Rocky Jaco? The article fails to mention whether or not he works for the City. I assume he does, because it's definitely inferred that he's the one who has answered the phone every day from people with Pit Bull complaints.
Secondly, I love it when people talk like this. I want to take everything they're blaming on these defenseless animals and replace "Pit Bull" with "shooting" or "guns" or pick a human race (dog breeds are like races)... when you do that, their arguement loses all merit and sounds completely ridiculous. Case it point, I've replaced some key words from the article with my own [in brackets]:
Most people know about [Chinese], because they're often [fighting]. They've become frightening to many people... and in the town of Clarksdale... they're getting a lot of attention these days.
Rocky Jaco says there's a change in the population of Clarksdale. Not a day goes by that the [local authorities] doesn't get calls from people with complaints about [Chinese].
And although nobody has asked specifically for an ordinance to ban a [race]...yet, City Attorney Curtis Boschert says the board may consider the idea.
And Rocky Jaco hopes that eventually happens, because those calls about [Chinese] keep coming every day, and he wonders if it may get worse.
Lets hope Rocky Jaco doesn't get his way.
More information from WREG: Memphis, TN
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 at 1:07:59 PM by Edward Knittel
In the United States, there are more pets than people, 377.8 million pets versus 290 million people. 64.2 million U.S. households own a pet - 46% of all households own more than one pet.
Those statistics and others might surprise you - but the dollar figures will force you to stand up and take notice.
Recently, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) released new figures proving that the pet care industry is experiencing an explosive growth over the last 10 years. In 1994, the total industry expenditures were $17 billion, nearly doubling in 2003 to $32.4 billion. It's estimated that the number raised nearly 2 billion more for 2004.
"The strong growth in the industry demonstrates what an important role pets are playing in the lives of Americans," said Bob Vetere, APPMA COO and managing director. "They have become a part of the family. Spending across all sectors from pet food and veterinarian care to toys and treats reflects what lengths we are willing to go to for our pets."
Consumers are spending more than ever on their barking and meowing companions, and not just on toys and tiaras. According to the APPMA National Pet Owners Survey, basic annual expenses for dog and pet owners can be broken down as such:
- Dog kennel boarding - $202
- Dog groomer/grooming aids - $107
- Cat kennel boarding - $119
- Cat groomer/grooming aids - $24
And that's just your average American. These numbers soar when you account for those clients who go that "extra mile" for their pets.
And if you think it's going to slow down consider this fact: pet owners spend more on their pets than they spend on candy or even toys. And that's nothing to bark about.
More information from American Pet Products Manufacturers Association
Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 12:26:30 PM by Edward Knittel
In a first-class move, an Illinois House committee rejected a proposal that would have allowed cities and towns to ban specific dog breeds. Legislators wisely agreed that such bans would unfairly punish law-abiding pet owners.
Under current law, the state specifically forbids local governments from regulating or banning by breed.
"I think the best, a better solution, is to hold the owner of a dog more accountable for the actions of a pet," said Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore), who voted against the bill.
I couldn't agree more and I'm glad to see Illinois continue to stand on solid ground and say that the problem is not with the dogs but with the negligent owners.
Rep. Jerry Mitchell (R-Sterling), who sponsored the legislation, said he will continue to work to strengthen vicious dog regulations without using breed-specific laws.
Two ideas floated Wednesday were requiring all convicted felons to have their dogs neutered or spayed, and ordering all dogs found running loose on two separate occasions to be spayed or neutered.
Someone please explain to me how either of those two ideas would curtail vicious owners (it's the owners NOT the dogs!) from continuing their vicious cycle? Requiring a convicted felon's dog to be spayed or neutered will not make the dog any less aggressive. So, lets focus the attention away from the dogs and lets put it on these owners. Maybe they are the ones who should be spayed or neutered.
Related: Ontario Canada Considers Banning Pit Bulls [8/31/2004]
More information from Chicago Suntimes
Wednesday, February 09, 2005 at 11:49:46 AM by Edward Knittel
Illinois House Bill 707 looks to amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by replacing the term "pet shop operator" with "animal caretaker" throughout the Act. This change would effectively require anyone who cares for the welfare of an animal, be they rescuer, seller, or adopter to be licensed in Illinois (not just pet shops or kennels and catteries with over 5 intact females as the AWA now regulates). Shelters are already required by the AWA to be licensed. Veterinarians are exempt.
So why does it seem that everyone is divided on the issue? Some think it will cause more strain on those who are just trying to help. Others contend that it will ensure that animals are being properly cared for through the use of licensing and inspections. Is this just more red-tape or will this mean that Illinois will be safer for animals?
What do breeders and shelters think? I've heard arguements from both sides and I'm not sure yet where I stand on the issue.
More information from Bill Status of HB0707
Friday, January 14, 2005 at 9:44:44 AM by Edward Knittel
The Chicago city pound at 2741 S. Western Avenue is under fire again in less than one year. This time it isn't because of an outbreak of distemper like in April of 2004. No, this time it's because of dirty, overcrowded conditions that have led to improper care of the dogs and now the recent departure of city official Nikki Proutsos who ran the operation for five years.
The volunteers had faulted management in general and Proutsos in particular for problems at the shelter. Her departure came as the volunteers met with city officials, including Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th).
Emily Weiss, an animal behaviorist hired more than a year ago by the city to evaluate the pound, praised the "drive and compassion of senior staff" but did say:
"Part of the problem might be too much compassion."
She was referring to the reluctance of some volunteers to put down animals who persuaded management to limit euthanasia.
It's a tough job and a complex operation. On the one hand you want to help as many dogs as you can to find a good, safe home. But on the other hand you're limited by space and money to continually feed and care for these animals. It's an unfortunate sad truth that not all of these dogs can be saved.
Incidentally, last year's budget was $4.1 million where 37 employees handled 23,000 animals, of which 15,000 were put down. The rest were adopted or sent to other facilities.
More information from Chicago Tribune
Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 11:29:57 AM by Edward Knittel
The recent and unfortunate natural disaster in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 -- the 9.0 earthquake which caused the tsunami -- has strengthened the belief that animals must possess something of a "sixth sense". The fact that over 100,000 people lost their lives and countless others remain injured while no signs of any significant loss to the lives of animals cannot be easily explained.
Of course, as pet owners many of us have observed our animal friends behaving "differently" before a disaster. Dogs will bark, birds will take flight, and animals like horses and elephants will begin to stampede away from the source of the danger.
"Wildlife seem to be able to pick up certain phenomenon, especially birds... there are many reports of birds detecting impending disasters," said Clive Walker, who has written several books on African wildlife.
However, none of this can be studied or proven since it's impossible for scientists to create a natural disaster. But the notion is an enduring one which the evidence on the battered coasts is likely to add to.
More information from Yahoo! News
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 at 5:15:30 PM by Edward Knittel
Every year the weekly news magazine of science examines and reports on some of their most popular stories of the year. Well what do you know, what of their most popular stories has to do with dog breeds. On May 22, 2004 their article entitled "Breeds Apart: Purebred dogs defined by DNA differences" reported on the most thorough DNA analysis yet of purebred dogs.The study suggests that canine breeds, typically defined by physical features and family history, can also be discerned genetically with great accuracy.
At a DNA level, breeds are a very real concept. Every poodle is more closely related to a poodle than it is to a dog of any other breed," says Elaine Ostrander of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. In the May 21 Science, she and her colleagues describe their analysis of DNA from 85 dog breeds.
And so, by studying the inbreeding of dogs which in turn create breed-specific problems, such as deafness and osteoporosis, scientist hope to learn how those similar problems afflict people. By comparing closely related breeds that differ in their prevalence of diseases, researchers are now tracking down genes responsible for many illnesses.
Now that's something to be hopeful about.
More information from Science News
Monday, December 20, 2004 at 3:57:57 PM by Edward Knittel
Not everything we read has to be sad and gloomy. Sometimes the stories we find can enlightening and entertaining. And in the case of syndicated humor columnist, Dave Barry, they can even be quite funny. His column for December 19th, 2004 should get a good chuckle out of any dog owner.
I'm trying to convince my wife that we need a dog. I grew up with dogs, and am comfortable with their ways. If we're visiting someone's home, and I suddenly experience a sensation of humid warmth, and I look down and see that my right arm has disappeared up to the elbow inside the mouth of a dog the size of a medium horse, I am not alarmed. I know that this is simply how a large, friendly dog says: ''Greetings! You have a pleasing salty taste!''
I invite you to check it out and laugh along with us. And hopefully Dave's wife will some day let him get that dog he's always wanted.
More information from Miami Herald
Friday, December 10, 2004 at 7:07:34 PM by Edward Knittel
It's never something that we like to read about or see on the news, but it is unfortunate that some of our beloved friends may pass away at someone's kennel. Sometimes it's just their time. Or, perhaps it's something that just couldn't be prevented. And then, well, then there are other times when things go terribly wrong.
Barkie Bow Wow's Pet Salon and Kennel on Montgomery Crossroad in Savannah received a notice of violation for "humane care" on December 2 from the Georgia Department of Agriculture for the death of a 2-year-old dog.
The inspection report says "Lucy", a Shitzu dog, had a body temperature of 109.5 degrees when veterinarians pronounced her dead on arrival at the Crossroads Animal Hospital.
They say Lucy was left in the dryer for too long and was essentially "fried" in the dryer crate.
The owner of Barkie Bow Wows Pet Salon and Kennel, Barbara Hickson, said her dryers do not use heat. She also said her air conditioning had been broken for some time when this incident occurred which may have caused Lucy to overheat.
Lucy's owners disagree.
It's terrible to hear something like this. When one kennel suffers a loss or a bad bit of press it hurts everyone in the pet care industry.
Many say that these animals are a part of their family: they're like children to them. That's why it's important that we treat them as such by keeping an eye on them and responding to their needs and problems. Failing to do so, well...
More information from WSAV3 - Savannah, GA
Friday, November 19, 2004 at 3:52:32 PM by Edward Knittel
A first-of-its-kind experiment in weight loss was led here in Chicago by Dr. Robert Kushner of Northwestern Medical School.
With two-thirds of Americans and one-fourth of pets overweight or obese, there’s huge potential for this novel buddy system, experts say.
If you're looking for motivation and social support to lose weight, you probably don’t have to look any further than the pet in your own home.
All of the participants in the study were followed for one year while they attended weekly counseling sessions at Northwestern on diet and exercise, and were encouraged to walk at least 20 minutes and limit calories to 1,400 a day.
Dogs were fed the prescription diet, and target weights were set according to a "doggie BMI" or body-mass index taking into account the animal’s breed and age.
The results: Dog owners did slightly better than the dieters who walked and dieted alone. Overall, people lost an average of 11 pounds, or 5 percent of their body weight, in the first four months and kept it off for the next eight. But the diet was less onerous and more fun for the dog-walkers.
The weight-loss for the dogs was even more effective. They lost an average of 12 pounds — 15 percent of their initial weight. One dog actually lost 35 pounds.
More information from MSNBC
Tuesday, November 16, 2004 at 4:33:01 PM by Edward Knittel
Currently, there is no fine against not having your dog licensed in the city of Chicago even though City Clerk James Laski says that you have to. Well, that could all change very quickly. He told the council's Budget and Government Operations Committee he wants to change the situation by fining those who fail to buy dog tags.
The cost of a license is $5 for a spayed animal and $10 for an unspayed one. Senior citizens 65 years of age or older pay $2.50 and $5, respectively.
City officials estimate that 600,000 dogs live in Chicago, but last year only 17,000 new dogs were licensed.
Some vets don't like the idea because it might discourage people from vaccinating their dogs
More information from Chicago Tribune [registration required]
Monday, October 25, 2004 at 12:02:16 PM by Edward Knittel
Dog boarding, grooming, and training have always been the standard services offered in the pet care industry. But people and the media are catching on to new services like transportation (taxi service) and what I believe to be the next big wave - doggie daycare. If you haven't heard about daycare for your dog you soon will.
So what is it? Doggie daycare owners believe that if you're not going to leave your kids home alone all day, then why do that to your dog? Therefore, it works a lot like daycare that has been often associated with children. Drop the kids off so they can run around and play; have a few snacks and a nap; then in the evening you pick them up for a nice relaxing night by the fire. Instead of your companion sitting at home all day waiting for you to get home to play with him, now he's running around with his buddies having a fun and energetic time.
Doggie daycare is being offered more and more at traditional boarding kennels but we're also seeing a trend with business owners opening up facilities that are specifically designed and tailored for daycare needs.
Take Playful Paws owner Kelly Carroll, a one time Chicago area pet sitter, for instance. Back in June she opened up her 4,200 square foot indoor/outdoor, cage free facility in Federal Way, WA and has already seen her business grow.
Carroll says that 80 percent of her clients are empty nesters or don't have children.
"Their dogs are their children," she said. "They're people who work long hours and know their dogs need attention and activity."
People who are bringing their dogs to daycare have already seen the benefits it offers. One of Carroll's client's says:
"[Ripley] plays all day, comes home, eats dinner, goes to the bathroom and goes to sleep. In my opinion, a tired dog is a happy dog. I think doggy day care is the answer to life. We want to spoil our dog. We have a dog to make our lives better and we want to make her life better."
And for a small business owner, owning a doggie daycare can have a lot of benefits for you as well. Consider each of these:
- Most dogs will come at least 2 or 3 times a week which means you can count on a steady, consistant clientel.
- Most doggie daycares operate 12 hours a day during the week. They're typically only open from 7:00am - 7:00pm Monday through Friday.
- You're playing with dogs all day - do you really need a better reason?
More information from King County Journal
Tuesday, October 05, 2004 at 11:43:27 AM by Edward Knittel
Lake County Animal Control officials are crediting a dog with warning them about dangerous smoke coming from an area that contained 10 other dogs.
April Godra, a shelter official, said she knew something wasn’t right when Foxie, a normally quiet collie, would not stop barking as Godra made her rounds through the northwestern Indiana kennels two weeks ago.
Then she noticed Foxie looking at the door leading to the garage where the dogs were.
"I opened the door, and smoke started billowing in," Godra said. "I said, 'Oh my God, Foxie, you’re just like Lassie. You saved us!'"
A burning motor on the washing machine caused the smoke.
Godra said if it weren't for Foxie, the dogs likely would have died.
"She saved us. She's our baby," Godra said.
More information from MSNBC Pets
Wednesday, September 08, 2004 at 10:41:44 AM by Edward Knittel
The Elgin Kennel Club of Elgin, Illinois held its annual dog show over the weekend of August 21 and 22, 2004. Like all other dog shows around the world some of the best bred dogs were out to strut their stuff for the ultimate prize of Best in Show. Tragically, this year's normally competitive yet friendly event had an unfortunate ending.
A Wisconsin woman's show dog was killed by another canine competitor at the Elgin Kennel Club's annual dog show.
Three-year-old Kody was attacked by two Irish wolfhounds. One hound gripped Kody in its huge jaws, injuring the diminutive dog so much he had to be euthanized.
Kody was a schipperke, a breed that weighs 12 to 18 pounds. By contrast, an Irish wolfhound can weigh more than 100 pounds.
This, according the American Kennel Club, appears to be the first and only reported incident where one dog was killed by another at a show.
The AKC and Elgin Kennel Club are performing an investigation.
More information from NBC 5 Chicago
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at 4:23:29 PM by Edward Knittel
Can a dog, a living thing, really be considered a weapon?
Attorney-General Michael Bryant and the Ontario government is
considering a province-wide ban on pit bull dogs. Bryant's reasoning:
Some animals amount to nothing less than dangerous weapons.
the Ontario Municipal Act, municipalities have the right to ban dog
breeds. Kitchener has already done that. Its bylaw says anyone who has
acquired a pit bull since April 7, 1997 and did not remove it from the
city faces a fine of up to $5,000. The province of Ontario is not
ruling out the idea of instating a complete ban on this breed of dogs.
In the meantime, before a decision is made, they are encouraging
other municipalities to consider similar bylaws.
Bryant goes on to say:
have long been concerned about this issue. I have had constituents come
into my office with concerns and complaints about pit bulls and their
effect not only on a community, but with respect to other animals and
the harm that they may cause to other animals.
So is this what we've come to? ALL
pit bulls are vicious, mean dogs - it's the way they are and there is
nothing anyone can do to change that? Forgive me if I just don't get
it. I mean, the dogs that are being bred to be vicious and mean are
done so by people who are vicious and mean. Banning the likes of
Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers will not deter
these people - they will simply move on to another breed. So as far as
I can tell this is not a real solution but more of a bump in the road.
Bryant has asked Ontarians to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
with their thoughts and to include "pit bull" in the memo field. If you
write to him consider this juicy bit as well: The Canada Safety Council
estimates 460,000 Canadians are bitten by dogs each year. Maybe they
should just ban ALL dogs so that we can all be safe.
More information from The Toronto Star
Thursday, August 12, 2004 at 11:51:27 AM by Edward Knittel
Genetic Savings and Clone, whose headquarter is in Sausalition, California announced last Thursday that the company is ready to start filling orders for cloned pets. You may recall hearing about the them three years ago when CEO Lou Hawthorne and company announced that they had cloned the world's first cat. This more recent announcement comes after Bengal kittens Tabouli and Baba Ganoush were born 9 weeks ago - becoming the second and third cat clones.
Five customers are paying $50,000 each for a clone of their own cats, which the company expects to have available by December. The company also said it has several hundred clients paying $150 a year plus an initial $900 to preserve tissue from living pets for future cloning. The first cloned cat_a calico named CC for Carbon Copy_cost the company $200,000 to produce.
"But when can we expect to see cloned canines?" you ask.
Cloning dogs presents more of a challenge, but Genetic Savings now hopes to produce a dog clone this year.
More information from Yahoo!
Tuesday, July 27, 2004 at 10:55:19 AM by Edward Knittel
Chicago recently unveiled its new $475 million Millennium Park to much fanfare. And while most parks in major citys allow people and dogs to enjoy these parks together (provided the dogs are kept on a leash) Millennium Park has opted to ban dogs in the new park. Pet owners who vist the city of Chicago and to Millennium Park have their own new place to go, Grant Bark Park. Organizers of the park have set their sites high for the park and if things go according to plan in a few years we might see such things as a wading pool for dogs with a miniature Buckingham Fountain, a canine agility course and a huge sandbox.
Dog parks can be controversial, generating complaints over smells, noise and inconsiderate professional dog walkers. Some object to spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on dogs. In this case, "very few people were against the idea,'' said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Advisory Board, a citizens group.
More information from Chicago Suntimes
Thursday, July 22, 2004 at 10:41:49 AM by Edward Knittel
One of the biggest obstacles that many prospective kennel owners face when looking to build a kennel is getting the town's approval through the appropriate permits. Dr. Curtis Geary of Bullskin Township in Pennsylvania has been fighting such a battle with his neighbors.
Dr. Geary, however, is not new to these matters you see. Dr. Geary currently owns two veterinarian clinics in the surrounding township but the neighbors of the proposed new kennel location don't want to see another one opening up right next to them. With all of the barking and traffic from his clients how could blame them? Except the nearest of his neighbors lives 750 feet away. You can't even see the house from the property. Yet even with the distance between the properties Dr. Geary is still finding it hard to get the approval to build the two story facility.
As I said, this is often the toughest and longest parts of the whole process. It's the one thing that you will have little, direct control over. If you design and plan a facility for a specific location only to be denied the proper permits you will have wasted a lot of time, money, and energy. That's why it's important to secure the building permits before you begin to make plans for the rest of the construction. Make sure that the land that you are considering building on is also zoned for a kennel business. Purchasing the land only to realize later that it is not zoned appropriately will leave you only with some "worthless" property that you must now get rid of AND you will need to find a new, and properly zoned location.
Share your success stories or nightmares that you have encountered when looking to start your new kennel business.
More information from PittsburghLIVE
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 at 9:57:50 AM by Edward Knittel
If you own a kennel then you know that the most important part of your business is your clients. And the most important thing to your clients is their dog, cat, or any other pet. So, making sure these animals are safe and properly cared for is your number one priority. Well then what went wrong in Portsmouth, RI?
Investigators from the state veterinarian's office and the Portsmouth Police Department have spent several hours at the Wapping Road kennel since the situation was first reported to authorities Monday afternoon, but so far do not know for certain what caused the deaths, according to state Public Health Veterinarian Christopher Hannafin.
E.J. Finocchio, director of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said there are no indications that the deaths were caused intentionally.
[Owner Matthew] Betts said in a statement that eight dogs had spent Sunday night in the "drying room," a separate facility at the kennel for dogs that are being picked up the following day. The room has an air conditioner and a blower, used to help dry the animals after baths.
Betts said that when he entered the drying room Monday at 6 a.m. he discovered that seven of the eight dogs, including his own, were dead. He said the air conditioner was not working although the controls were in the correct position.
So it would appear then that these dogs died of heat exhaustion. While these deaths may not be considered intentional or cruel it can be surmised that the tragic loss of these seven dogs was preventable in a few ways. Firstly, these dogs should not have been left in groomer's drying room overnight without proper ventilation. These rooms are often small and, therefore, to expect eight dogs to lay comfortably in it for more than 12 hours seems to me to be a cost saving solution rather than one that benefits the dogs. At the very least installing a master control which monitors the temperature in each area of the kennel could have alerted Betts that there was a problem with the air conditioning system.
It's terrible when any pet dies at a kennel. While it's something that every kennel owner hopes will never happen at their business it is something that we all must be prepared for. And if there is something that you know that you can do to perhaps prevent or warn of a tragedy like this before it occurs then it seems to me that it's worth the extra expense.
More information from The Providence Journal (registration required)
Wednesday, July 07, 2004 at 12:09:44 PM by Edward Knittel
People have long known that there is a certain special bond that can
exist between animals and people. But does anyone really know why or
how it happens?
Well, folks at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine is studying 50 dog owners and 50 people who don't own dogs in their Pet-a-Pet study. Test subjects interact with dogs they own,
dogs belonging to others and a robot dog manufactured by Sony.
Researchers take blood pressure readings and blood samples from the
people and the dogs.
Down at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, Johannes Odendaal found that after 20 minutes of quiet
interaction, 18 people and 18 dogs had significant changes in
beneficial hormones: oxytocin, a hormone associated with feelings of
happiness; prolactin, associated with increased feelings of nurturing;
endorphin, runner's high hormone; and phenylethylamine, which gives a
feeling similar to the euphoria of chocolate. Cortisol, a stress
hormone, decreased during the interaction. This research sparked the
research by Johnson and her colleagues at the University of Missouri.
And there's a lot more reseach going on around the world to help explain this connection we have with the pets that we love.
More information from Fort Wayne
Wednesday, June 30, 2004 at 10:49:06 AM by Edward Knittel
Residents of Tokyo, Japan are often unable to own a pet due to the
strict rules associated with living in a densely populated society.
This has left many dog lovers there without the companionship and
happiness that a puppy can give.
Enter Puppy The World - a
rental pet shop at Tokyo's Odaiba waterfront park. Here, patrons pay
1,575 yen (S$25) to rent a small dog such as a chihuahua, toy poodle or
miniature dachshund for an hour long walk. For the steeper price of
10,500 yen, renters can take their chosen dog home for an overnight
stay and are provided with a day's pet food, a water dish and a cage
for the animals to sleep in.
Japanese with a fondness for animals but who are unable to raise pets
because of teramped homes or strict apartment rules, shops like these
are a godsend.
'Three of us in our family
love dogs, but my grandfather hates them,' said a 12-year-old girl who
lives with her parents and grandparents in a Tokyo condominium, and who
rents a dog every week.
In Tokyo alone, the number of shops registered to rent out pets grew to 115 as of March, up from 17 just three years earlier.
of which brings up a good point: is this healthy for the dog? If the
dog is shy or afraid of certain people can being rented out like this
cause possible anxiety problems?
More information from The Straits Times
Thursday, June 24, 2004 at 4:40:20 PM by Edward Knittel
Did you know that over 20 years ago New York City's City Council passed a law that would allow tenants who sneaked their cats and dogs into apartment buildings, co-ops and condominiums with no-pet policies to keep them as long as no one took action against them within the first three months?
Well, they did and now they're looking to expand that law by allowing residents with smuggled-in pets to replace them - without fear of eviction - when they die.
Supporters say that pets become family members, especially for those with no children, and that those in rent-stabilized buildings cannot afford to move elsewhere.
"This is such a common-sense bill," said Mary Max, the artist's wife, who testified yesterday at a Council hearing on the bill. "There are people that want their animals - they miss the love, they miss the companionship - and it's a way of life in New York."
Do you think that those people who have already admittedly broken their lease agreements should be legally protected to bring another pet into the house after the first one has passed away? Even when that means that someone else (maybe yourself) who tries to bring a pet into their home illegally for the first time would have to get rid of the pet or face eviction?
More information from NY Times [registration required]