While some paralyzed pets may be euthanized as owners feel they should be put out of their misery, Alyna the rabbit, who was born paralyzed from the waist down, is providing a sense of comfort to children in an Israeli hospital’s rehabilitation center.
The rabbit was found in a local shelter and taken to ALYN children’s hospital, where it was fitted with a state-of-the-art brace, according to PeoplePets.com. The children then play with and provide pet care to Alyna to make them feel better about their own disabilities.
"They can put the brace on the rabbit, and see the difference in movement when she’s in or out of it," hospital executive director, Cathy Lanyard, told the news provider. "In turn, it takes away their fear, and makes it a lot of fun. Instead of the discomfort, they feel the mobility."
Several therapists believe that pet therapy works by providing patients with a sense of comfort as they go through a traumatic time. Many hospitals and nursing homes have pet therapy programs to help their patients.
As a way to field complaints about their noisy animals, some pet owners have been known to subject their dogs to a debarking procedure, where the veterinarian cuts the vocal chords of the pup so they are left with nothing but a raspy squeak.
The procedure is not favored by younger veterinarians and animals rights groups, according to The New York Times, however, some pet owners who live in apartment buildings where neighbors complain feel there is no other option.
The surgery is a fairly simple procedure, according to some animal specialists, and the dog will not be affected.
"They recover immediately and they don’t ever seem to notice any difference," veterinarian Dr Sharon Vanderlip told the news provider. "I think that in certain cases it can certainly save a dog from ending up being euthanized. If properly done, they behave totally the same afterwards and don’t seem to have any health problems."
However, many people are not convinced and having been steering away from the procedure, worrying about their pet’s dog health.
According to Absolute Astronomy, while there are no approximate statistics about the procedure, 35 percent of dog owners report having problems with their pets’ barking.
Purina Pet Care is having Valentine’s Day go to the dogs this year. The brand is hosting a fancy dog dinner party in New York City to allow pet owners to celebrate their love of animals.
The Chef Michael’s Be My Doggie Valentine contest asks pet owners from around the country to submit pictures of their beloved animals. Heroes star Elisabeth Rohm is also getting in on the action, saying that she would be lost without her own dog.
"I couldn’t imagine life without my golden retriever Homer," Rohm said in a statement. "He is a huge part of my family so naturally, I’m looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day with him too!"
The winners of the contest not only get to attend the event, but their dogs receive a one-year supply of Purina Chef Michael’s dry dinners and $1,000 in cash.
According to Inventor Spot, there are plenty of ways of showing your own love and affection to your dog on the big holiday. Several dog boutiques offer special dog treats specifically created to resemble the human bonbons typically given as gifts on Valentine’s Day.
As a birthday present to herself, talk show queen, Oprah Winfrey, adopted two Springer Spaniel puppies from a local animal shelter in Chicago, Illinois.
Winfrey has been a fan of the spaniel breed, and was reportedly devastated over the loss of her Cocker Spaniel, Sophie, in 2008 when the dog died of kidney failure. Following Sophie’s death, Winfrey pledged to adopt dogs in order to put an end to puppy mills, according to PetSugar.com.
The newest additions to the big O’s clan are sisters Sunny and Lauren, who are 14-week-old puppies, according to the Chicago Tribune. Paula Fasseas, the founder of PAWS, a no-kill shelter based in Chicago, praised Winfrey for spreading the message about why it’s important to adopt.
"What’s really wonderful about Oprah adopting is that she educates the world and the message is to go to a shelter," Fasseas told the news provider. "She’s really directed so much attention to this terrible problem we have with homeless pets."
As Oprah is known for her extravagant lifestyle, there’s almost no question that these two new puppies will be given the best pet care possible.
Maybe she’s just taking after her owner, but Taylor Swift’s cat Indy enjoys being extremely vocal around the house.
After Swift won her Grammy Award for Album of the Year, she confessed to USA Today that her beloved cat is a screamer, and whines and cries when Swift is gone.
"My cat is awesome," Swift told the news provider. "She sort of acts like she hates me when I get home because I’ve been gone for so long. She has this horrible scream that she does."
Swift goes on to say she definitely has a love-hate relationship with Indy, and how the feisty feline could be screaming at her one minute, and curled up against her purring softly the next.
This isn’t the first time the country crooner has talked about her love of cats. She has said in the past she likes to send kitten cards to people when they’re down, because she feels kittens make everything better.
If your cat is acting up like Indy, the Humane Society recommends setting aside play time with your feline, as well as giving attention and pet care.