Study: Pet health a concern among some smokers

Study: Pet health a concern among some smokersThe millions of American smokers doubtlessly know of the health risks and social stigma associated with the habit, but often need extra motivation to quit. For a large chunk of this population, pet ownership may provide the impetus to kick the sticks once and for all.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), cats who live with smokers are about twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma, a potentially-fatal disease, reports.

Furthermore, Dr John Reif, professor at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, told the news source that second-hand smoke doubles a dog’s risk of developing lung cancer.

"I’m hoping that by publicizing this information that … the love of their pets will inspire [people] to finally kick the habit," Reif commented.

New research by the AVMA suggests that Reif’s hope may be realized. In an online survey of more than 3,000 pet owners, about 28 percent of those who smoke said they would try to quit if they know their habit endangered their dogs and cats, JAVMA News reports.

A Pet Industry Strategic Outlook report from the research firm Dillon Media found that U.S. pet owners spent about $10.5 billion on veterinary pet care in 2005.

City honors health official for work on pet population control

City honors health official for work on pet population controlVeterinarians have noted that some dog owners hesitate to spay or neuter their pets because they want to protect the animal’s personality or sexual identity, preserve the option of breeding or prevent their pet from becoming lazy. However, industry experts are debunking these claims and promoting the benefits of fixing dogs to both households and communities.

In recognition of contributions to control of the pet population, two national nonprofit organizations, Adopt-A-Pet and Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), will honor Dr Bain Cate and the Victoria Animal Shelter, the Victoria Advocate reports.

Cate, who heads the Victoria, Texas, health department, worked this year to obtain a grant from the Texas Animal Friendly license plate program, which allows pet owners using government assistance to have their animals spayed or neutered for no charge.

"We want to thank Dr Cate and his staff on behalf of all pet lovers for the work they did to implement the program that helped reduce pet overpopulation tremendously," PAWS president Cindy Schneider told the news source.

Will Armstrong, Victoria’s mayor, is expected to declare Wednesday "Dr Brian Cate Day" during today’s health department board of directors meeting.

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

Actor Russell Brand seeks passport for cat

Actor Russell Brand seeks passport for catCats are like the explorers of the animal kingdom. Even the most domesticated housecat will lurk around all corners of the home, charting the treacherous cellar stairs or venturing beneath the shadows of the bed. Now, the availability of pet passport will let the true feline voyagers become cats of the world.

The British comedian and actor Russell Brand has announced his plan to get a passport for his beloved cat, Morrissey.

The star of the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall said his relationship with American pop star Katy Perry means that he and Morrissey will be traversing the Atlantic and going through customs frequently in the coming months, according to the Associated Press.

An element of the Pet Travel Scheme, a pet passport allows owners to travel with their dogs, cats and ferrets to and from the UK, U.S., EU and several other countries without being quarantined, the USA Today reports.

To qualify for the program, animals must be implanted with a tracking microchip and must be vaccinated, blood tested and treated for tapeworm and ticks.

Brand told the AP, "[Morrissey] hissed at me yesterday. I tried to explain to him but he doesn’t understand concepts such as international travel and work."

In the U.S., Pet Airways provides flight accommodations for dogs and cats traveling to and from Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Texas Black lab a humble hero

Texas Black lab a humble heroBatman, protector of the night, made a career of rescuing the meek, punishing the wicked and disappearing into the shadows before he could so much as be thanked. While no animal patrols the darkness like the stealthy bat, a new pet hero is giving the Gotham guardian a run for his money.

On November 28, Robert Sumrall of El Paso, Texas, set out on an afternoon hike in the Black Range mountains of New Mexico with his 3-year-old black Labrador, Zulu.

After his family reported him missing the following day, search-and-rescue volunteers, New Mexico State Police and the National Guard and Border Patrol began a search in freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, the Silver City Sun reports.

Six days later, local ranchers Melba and Tom Parra found Sumrall lying on the frozen ground near an empty cabin with Zulu huddled upon his back.

"I think the only thing that kept him alive in this cold was this black lab" Melba Parra told the news source. "She was lying next to him. He was really cold."

Taking a cue from the Dark Knight himself, Zulu ran off into the wilderness when rescue workers arrived. Sumrall and community volunteers continue their search for the heroic pup.

According to the Independent, German shepherds and Springer spaniels are commonly bred as rescue dogs.

Washington community features posh puppy parade

Washington community features posh puppy parade Sometimes pet care can mean keeping a hamster healthy, ensuring a cat is well-fed or housebreaking a puppy. Occasionally, however, the responsibilities of a pet owner entail indulging a dog in the latest fashions and waiting beside the dressing rooms as French poodles and German shepherds sample the latest in European fashions. Canine dress has become a recent fad that’s grabbed the attention of one Washington state community.

Last week 75 dogs from Kitsap, Washington, donned their fur coats and other lavish fashion items in front of a crowd of 5,000 as part of the town’s "Miracle on Bay Street" festival, the Kitsap Sun reports.

The fashion show’s contestants included Hootie, a boxer wrapped in a red knit sweater and strings of colored lights; CC, a Welsh Corgi wearing a sparkly winter dress and Sophia, a dapper poodle dressed in a tuxedo.

"We had to do a little cross-dressing," Sophia’s owner Vicky Minor told the news source, explaining that Wal-Mart was sold out of female dog garments in the poodle’s petite size.

Prominent retailers of dog apparel include Wagwear, Ruff Luv, Best Friend NYC and Fatboy USA, the Honolulu Star Bulletin reports.

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