Arizona woman claims to converse with pets

Anxious turkeys, and other pets, could benefit from a session with JohnstonePet owners typically rely on veterinarians to diagnose and treat issues pertaining to an animal’s physical health. But when frightened cats, lonely dogs and turkeys struck with seasonal anxiety endure emotional pain, one Arizona woman claims to pick up where veterinary medicine leaves off.

Debbie Johnstone, who calls herself an animal whisperer, says she depends on her sight, hearing, smell and taste to read animals’ thoughts, the Arizona Republic reports.

"As a child, I collected stray animals," Johnstone told the news source. "I thought everybody heard them the way I do."

The self-proclaimed animal communicator typically services clients who are dealing with the possibility of euthanizing an animal or those who want to know if a deceased pet has passed on to a better place.

An at-home visit from Johnstone costs $125 per hour, though the specialist can perform sessions over the phone and by e-mail.

Though Johnstone has made a modest business with her niche enterprise, her line of work is not free from judgment.

Arizona veterinarian Dr Gregg Townsley told the news provider that owners are taking a "dangerous risk" when they rely on animal whisperers as an alternative to veterinary services.

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association says veterinary insurance can be used to protect pet health and ensure the financial stability of the animal’s family.

Nebraskans outraged by proposed limits on pet ownership

Nebraskans perplexed by proposed limits on pet ownership Certain unwritten rules among pet owners keep dogs and cats the objects of affection, rather than scorn, in many communities across the county. Owners know that a specific level of training and decorum is necessary to bring dogs into public places, a pooper scooper should always be kept handy and scratching boards will help cats keep their claws to themselves.

Abiding by these general guidelines will often keep pets a topic of light banter rather than city council discussion.

Now, however, pet owners in Beatrice, Nebraska, are scratching their heads after hearing that members of the city council are planning to amend the area’s animal control policy by imposing a limit of three dogs or cats per household, the Beatrice Daily Sun reports.

"I refuse to pick and choose which animals I keep and which ones I throw away," said pet owner Cindy Vetrovsky, indicating that her animals were shelter pets who likely would have been euthanized had she not adopted them.

Councilman Dwight Parde told the news provider the proposed ordinance would be a way of controlling the overpopulated cat colonies that have grown in the city, and indicated that exceptions would be made for owners with ample space and history of responsible pet care.

According to the U.S. Humane Society, about 34 percent of American households own at least one cat.

Black Friday means sale on black shelter pets

Black Friday a big day for black dogsIn folklore dating back to the Middle Ages, black cats have been thought to bring bad luck and conjure images of witches and demons. In the legends of the British Isles black dogs have been likened to ghastly apparitions – evidence that evil may be lurking.

Perhaps that’s why owners of pet shelters find it so hard to find homes for their darker animals, a phenomenon described within the industry as "black dog syndrome."

On Black Friday, the managers of the Animal Rescue League in Bedford, Maine, are encouraging the adoption of black pets by offering a 50 percent discount on the animals, the Concord Monitor reports.

Danielle Hasting, the shelter’s vice president of adoptions and customer service told the news source, "We’re hoping to drive more traffic into the shelter and get more animals adopted out."

She added, "Black animals in general tend to linger longer in shelters. We thought this was a fun way to do it."

The Black Friday sale will apply to black adult cats, dogs and rabbits. With the discount, cats can be adopted for $90, dogs for $125 and rabbits for $25.

According to the Humane Society, a total of 10 percent of owned dogs in the U.S. were adopted from an animal shelter.

Owners prepare for pet-friendly holidays

Owners prepare for pet-friendly holidaysDogs prodding around under the Christmas tree this year should not be surprised if a few presents squeak to their delight. An Associated poll shows that more animal owners this year are planning to buy their pets holiday gifts.

According to the recent poll, a total of 52 percent of pet owners plan to buy their animals a holiday gift, representing a 9 percent increase from last year. Nearly 60 percent of dog owners and 40 percent of cat owners will visit the pet stores for the perfect present in the next month, the Associated Press reports.

The idea of gifts as a part of pet care comes naturally to Debra Jenson, who owns a Labrador and a German shepherd-Siberian Husky mix.

"The dogs are our only children. I love my babies," Jensen, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, told the news source. This year, her pups can count on leftover ham, among other holiday treats.

According to the AP survey, owning pets changes how families prepare for the holidays in more ways than one. Erica Peterson is among the 59 percent of pet owners who consider their animals before picking out decorations – no cranberries, popcorn or gingerbread men will adorn her tree this year.

According to the American Humane Association, a total of 40 percent of dog owners and 37 percent of cat owners hang Christmas stockings for their pets.ADNFCR-2720-ID-19477542-ADNFCR

As New Orleans Saints win, so do local pet stores

As New Orleans Saints win, so do local pet storesWith the New Orleans Saints sitting atop the National Football League’s leader board with an undefeated record, Saint Bernards aren’t the only dogs rooting for the sacred-named football team.

Pet shops around Louisiana are claiming that the success of the New Orleans Saints is drawing pet owners into stores and helping merchandise fly off the shelves, WDSU reports.

"We can’t even keep [Saints gear] in stock," Sharon Collitt, owner of the French Quarter Pet Asylum, told the news source. "People are flying in here. They want to buy our tee shirts and collars for all their dogs, big and small."

As football fans continue to dress their pets in black and gold this season, Collitt said that the sale of New Orleans Saints pet gear has gone up 100 percent, giving pet shop owners another reason to cheer on their team each Sunday. Last year the team finished with an 8-8 record.

On Monday night, Saints fans and their dogs will be howling for their team to beat the New England Patriots, the last NFL team to finish a season undefeated. The game will be played in New Orleans.ADNFCR-2720-ID-19477543-ADNFCR

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