Young entrepreneur lets dogs taste the good life

Two scoops for the dogsFor whatever reason, dogs seem to want whatever their owners are eating significantly more than the food that is actually in their bowls. But as most pet owners and carpet cleaners know, canines cannot always stomach the foods they desire so much.

Observing this trend, a 16-year-old entrepreneur set out to work in an effort to placate neighborhood dogs who were screaming for ice cream, the New York Times reports.

As a young child spending hot summer afternoons with his grandmother’s dog Max, Christian Liendo remembers the pup whining for lick of the cool treat and relishing any drips that might fall his way.

When the teen enrolled at an entrepreneurial competition sponsored by Goldman Sachs and Prep for Prep, a nonprofit that prepares minority students for private schools, it didn’t take long before these memories began guiding him towards his first business venture.

Blizzard Dog, a frozen concoction of carob powder and soy milk, is the first ice cream made to accommodate a dog’s digestive system. Earning an honorable mention in the competition, Liendo won $250 and the confidence to go public with his invention.

"It’s going to be sold in ice cream stores," the inventor told the news source.

According to, though most pets cannot tolerate dairy products, cheeses and unpasteurized yogurts typically have the lactose content removed, making them safe for pet consumption.

California councils pass laws on claws

California councils pass laws on clawsOwning a scratched-up sofa may be a small price to pay compared to the $1,000 dollars in fines and six months in jail pet owners in California will face for having their cats declawed.

Once considered an essential step to pet care, the veterinary procedure of declawing cats has now been banned by city councils in San Francisco, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Berkeley and Beverly Hills, MSNBC reports.

"It’s a form of animal cruelty," San Francisco supervisor Ross Mirkarimi told the news source. "It would be unconscionable to ignore that fact."

With a vote of 9-2, the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to enact the ban, which they noted had previously been instituted in the U.K. and Australia.

However, representatives from the California Veterinary Medical Association have argued that the decision to declaw cats should be left to the pet owners and their veterinarians. "Removing a cat’s claws in a humane manner with proper pain management may prevent that animal from being abandoned at a shelter, tossed out on the street or euthanized."

A study published in the September 2002 issue of Animal Times determined that 75 percent of cats turned in to a Delaware animal shelter for avoiding their litter boxes had been declawed.

Mariah Carey, jet-lagged vet miss birth of puppies

Mariah Carey did everything possible to see her dog give birthExpectant mothers often undertake painstaking research to ensure they get the perfect doctor to deliver their newborn. In a feat as delicate as brining new life into the world, parents strive to prevent anything from going wrong. But when the new mother is a dog, labor can be tough to predict.

Singer Mariah Carey took all the steps typical for a close friend or relative of an expecting mother when her Jack Russell terrier began to show. The pop star even flew her personal vet from Los Angeles to New York to help her dog deliver puppies, reports.

But, even the best plans can fall through.

"I flew this vet, a lovely lady, all the way from LA to NY and back and forth and the dog didn’t have the puppies," Carey told the news source. "Of course, when I got to London, she had her babies."

That’s right – the terrier finally went into labor when the singer left for London for a series of promotional events. Carey only learned of the births in between TV interviews.

According to the U.S. Humane Society, there are approximately 74.8 million owned dogs in the country.

Ordinance holds owners responsible for pet overpopulation

By law, Las Vegas residents will have to fix their petsThere are unwritten rules for being a pet owner: food stays on high shelves, going for a walk is a necessity, not an option, and accidents will happen. However, the city of Las Vegas has added a written rule to the books this week when it passed a law requiring owners to spay or neuter all dogs and cats by the time the pets turn four months old.

The bill, which was introduced last month and was passed by the City Council on Wednesday, is aimed at curbing Las Vegas’ purported problem with pet overpopulation, NBC affiliate News 3 reports. Owners would be granted a one-time warning for not having their pets fixed before receiving a citation on the second offense.

Representatives from Lied Animal Shelter, which services Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Clark County, told the news source the facility houses about 50,000 animals each year, of which about 86 percent are not spayed or neutered.

Additionally, the legislation requires all dogs and cats to be embedded with a microchip for tracking purposes, before they are adopted or recovered from a city pound.

According to the Bill Foundation, which aims to rescue homeless dogs from shelters, the procedure to fix a pet usually costs between $50 and $100.

Entrepreneur turns pet droppings into gold

A pet service brings new meaning to 'waste management'The national unemployment rate has exceeded 10 percent and families are cutting back on everything from vacations to gym memberships. Nonetheless, the pet care industry is proving that there are jobs to be had and money to be made for entrepreneurs with a bit of creativity.

According to this year’s National Pet Owners Survey, about 62 percent of U.S. households own at least one pet and contributed to the $45 billion spent this year on animal services and products.

With figures like these, it’s of little doubt why business like DoodyCalls are thriving in the marketplace. The company, which opened in Charlottesville, Virginia, and spread to 49 locations in 22 states, charges $15 to $20 each week to remove droppings from the yards of pet owners, reports.

In total, the business is expected to net $3.2 million this year, representing a 40 percent increase from total revenue in 2008.

The pet care business isn’t just for those with strong stomachs (or weak noses), as Mutt Huttz, a manufacturer of cages and dog beds that launched last year, made more than $40,000 in revenue through October 2009, according to the news source.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals asserts that the costs of caring for cats and dogs can range from $670 to $1,580 each year.

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