Pilots give pets an ‘over-ground railroad’

Pilots give pets an 'over-ground railroad'It’s easy to read or hear that 3 to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year, and lament a flawed animal control system. Taking a more active approach, a group of pet-loving pilots recognized how they can help shelter animals and established a unique organization that offers an "over-ground railroad" for pets.

Licensed pilots like Steve Hall have carried thousands of dogs and cats from the Southeast U.S. to the North in an attempt to promote pet adoption and spare a few lives, CBS News reports.

To date, more than 1,000 pilots have joined the pet rescue volunteer group, Pilots-N-Paws. The organization was established in response to a recent survey which found that 68 percent of animals in shelters in the country’s southeast region are euthanized.

Pilots-N-Paws volunteers noted that there are far more no-kill shelters in the North.

The program has also allowed a few of the pilots to bond with the dogs, cats, pigs and bunnies they ferry along the Atlantic seaboard. Hall became so attached to a pup named Brutus, the dog still lives with him today.
The U.S. Humane Society estimates that 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year.

Resolve to ‘do more with your dog’ in 2010

Resolve to 'do more with your dog' in 2010Nearly halfway through December, many Americans have already hung their stockings, dragged in their Christmas trees, while others are preparing to light the first candle on the Menorah. As the holiday season pushes onward, the American Kennel Club (AKC) his urging animal owners to remember their pets as they make New Year’s resolutions.

"Eighty-one percent of dog owners buy gifts for their dogs," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "But what you should really be giving them is consistent exercise, training and stimulation."

Owners resolving to get fit in the new year can easily turn to the family dog for both motivation and as a way to improve pet health.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, one out of every four dogs and cats in the U.S. is overweight. Taking a dog for a daily walk or run can get both parties in shape, and may even provide more exercise than a gym membership, according to a recent study.

Owners resolving to volunteer in community service events should note how animal therapy programs use dogs and cats to help the disabled, locate missing persons and cheer up the sick.

As the AKC advises, "Try to start the year off right by resolving to do more with your dog in 2010."

California dog owners tell Chihuahuas ‘No Quiero’

California dog owners tell Chihuahuas 'No Quiero'The Chihuahua has had a good run. For a large portion of the last two decades, while the toy dog was busy selling tacos and burritos for a fast food chain, it seemed the breed was popping up in pop culture and community dog parks alike. But as conventional wisdom tells us, every dog has its day.

Lately, San Francisco animal shelters and rescue groups are reporting a notable increase in the number of Chihuahuas that are being abandoned by their owners, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Some estimates suggest that up to one third of the dogs held in city shelters are all or part Chihuahua. According to local officials, the breed could make up half of all impounded dogs within months if the alarming trend continues.

"All the shelters in California are seeing an upswing in Chihuahua impounds," Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for San Francisco’s animal care and control department, told the news source.

She added, "We call it the Paris Hilton syndrome."

The Chihuahua exodus, however, seems to be contained to California. A total of twenty-five dogs recently flown to New Hampshire by animal service agencies immediately found homes, and adoption centers in New York have reported zero Chihuahuas being impounded.

The U.S. Humane Society estimates that 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year.

Endangered species to become pets?

Endangered species to become pets?Imagine taking a hike through the wilderness and catching a glimpse of a horse with zebra stripes, a deer with 12-foot antlers or a three-foot tall penguin. At one point, all three of these animals occupied corners of the world, but have since gone extinct. The threat of an entire species being wiped out is a thought that can give everybody from pet lovers to existential philosophers something to think about.

In an attempt to prevent further animal extinction in Australia, where 22 native mammal species have expired in the past 200 years, some biologists are considering domesticating wild species to preserve their survival, Time.com reports.

Mike Archer, a professor at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales is urging the Australian government to legalize the ownership of more native pets.

"No animal that has ever entered [humans’] inner circle has become extinct," he told the news source. He added, "When you value something and have an emotional connection with it…it simply doesn’t disappear."

In February, Australia’s environment minister Peter Garrett announced that the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat, an inch-long flying mammal, was about to go extinct; the last reported sighting of the species occurred in August.

Rabies cases spark pet health concerns in Connecticut

Rabies cases spark pet health concerns in ConnecticutA recent rise in confirmed rabies cases in Connecticut has spurred concern about pet health throughout the state.

David Yoho, an Enfield, Connecticut animal control officer, has said that while the spread of the disease isn’t a major concern, pet owners should still ensure that their animals have been vaccinated, the Hartford Courant reports.

"When we get a case we try to make the public aware of it," Yoho hold the news source.

He further warned that when pets contract rabies, they typically have to be quarantined for at least six months or euthanized.

Animal control departments around the state have said that in each report of a domestic dog or cat having contact with a rabies-infected animal, the pet had already been vaccinated. According to Yoho, no rabid pets have been reported in Enfield in the past several years.

However, this fall a rabid raccoon scratched a girl in a Best Buy parking lot, a diseased skunk was found in a residential neighborhood and two infected raccoons were killed in the southern part of town, according to the Courant.

"I’ve been here three years and this is the most I’ve seen," said Yoho.
According to a Pet Industry Strategic Outlook report from the research firm Dillon Media, U.S. pet owners spent $10.5 billion on veterinary pet care in 2005.

1 260 261 262 263 264 322