Protesters rally for life of dog that survived rooftop dive

An amazing pit bull survived a six-story dropAnimal lovers and welfare activists are demanding that a dog that survived a six-story fall this summer be allowed to live, despite calls to euthanize her.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) said last June officers found a 1-year-old, brown and white pit bull mix named Oreo at the foot of a Brooklyn building with two broken legs. The dog had been beaten by its 19-year-old owner and thrown off the roof of the six-story building, the Associated Press reports.

Though Oreo has been physically rehabilitated, the ASPCA announced plans to euthanize her because of unpredictable bouts of violent aggression.

On Friday, protesters rallied outside the organization’s building in New York City, insisting the organization spare Oreo’s life.

"The aggression thing is a dumb excuse because all dogs can be worked with," Emily Danks, a protester and self-described animal rescuer, told the news source.

Claiming a wealth of experience handling dogs like Oreo, the ASPCA considers the pit bull’s aggressive behavior to be a public safety risk and has stood by its decision.

Oreo’s assailant, Fabian Henderson, has pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 1.

Kentucky law keeps pet records confidential, for better or worse

Pets now receive a confidential relationship with vets in KentuckyMost people feel that doctor-patient confidentiality is critical to protecting one’s privacy and feeling at ease in the physician’s office. But are our pets concerned about the accessibility of their medical information?

Animal control agencies in Kentucky are expressing their displeasure to state legislators who recently passed a law restricting the information that can be shared by veterinarians, NBC affiliate WFIE reports.

Under the law, veterinarians must first get consent from pet owners in order to share any pet health information with animal shelters, groom facilities or any person who may have found a stray animal.

"People will call and they want information about vaccination records, those kinds of things, especially rabies vaccinations," veterinarian Dr Monroe Slaton told the news source. "We are not going to be able to share that information over the phone."

Some animal control agencies are concerned that important medical and contact information will be off limits to kennels and finders of lost animals attempting to locate owners or ensure safety. However, state law requires all pets to wear rabies tags which provide their owner’s contact information.

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.

Acupuncture for cats? One vet’s pet health secret

Can acupuncture really work on cats?Anyone who has heard a cat mournfully bellow during a car ride to the vet’s office or watched it cower from the terrors of the vacuum cleaner probably wouldn’t choose felines as suitable candidates for acupuncture. But to one California veterinarian, squirming animals pose no problem in the practice of a treatment she believes can reduce stress and prevent disease in pets.

Dr Hilary Wheeler practices veterinary medicine in a California town appropriately named Los Gatos. Wheeler insists that a combination of acupuncture and herbal remedies can control pain in animals with joint and bone problems and reduce the side effects of allergies, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders, the Weekly-Times reports.

In her practice, the vet focuses on preventing, rather than treating, diseases through exercise, diet and stress management. Acupuncture has become her favored technique to limit stress and promote pet health.

"Surprisingly, cats do very well with acupuncture," Wheeler told the news source. "It causes endorphin release and it relaxes them. Some fall asleep and some just become very relaxed."

One pet owner, Joyce Taylor, noticed that her dog Dewey could move significantly better after a single acupuncture treatment administered by the California vet.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average veterinary expenditure per households with pets in 2006 was $366.

Classroom pet brings home salmonella

Most lizards are carriers of salmonellaWhen an elementary school child gets the chance to take home the classroom pet, salmonella poisoning is likely the absolute furthest thing from their mind. However, one father in Louisville, Kentucky, is claiming that the two lizards his kids brought home from science class infected his family with the bacteria.

After getting the necessary permission slip signed, Jerry Curtsinger’s kids arrived at home one evening with two green anoles, a type of small, green lizard adored by their science class, NBC affiliate WBAL reports.

Curtsinger told the news source, "We thought we were doing a good thing, unfortunately we endangered our family by bringing [the lizards] into our house." As a result, the family’s youngest child developed a fever of about 102 degrees.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 7,400 Americans contract salmonella from reptiles each year and about three out of four lizards carry the bacteria.

Lee Ann Nickerson, a science specialist from the Curtsinger’s school district issued a warning to parents adopting any classroom pet, subsequent to the incident. She also notes that common pets such as dogs can carry salmonella and recommends hand washing for anyone practicing cautious pet care.

Food bank helps families keep their pets

Food bank helps families keep their petsThe economic downturn has forced many families across America to decide what commodities in their lives are most valuable. Many households have cancelled their accounts with cable television providers or begun purchasing generic brands at the grocery store. Families more deeply impacted by the recession may even have to consider cutting costs by surrendering a beloved pet to an animal shelter – an action a food bank in Georgia is trying to prevent.

Daffy’s Pet Soup Kitchen in Lawrenceville, Georgia, is asking community members for monthly sponsorships of about $25, so they may keep their doors open, feed dogs and cats in the area and keep families together, the Examiner reports.

"Our mission is to help those who are in financial crisis continue to feed and care for their pets," the food bank’s founder Tom Wargo told the news source. "In addition to the heartache the family or individual endures by giving up part of their family, there is the additional cost on the community for every surrendered or abandoned pet."

The food bank also provides pet healthcare through a network of participating veterinarians.

According to the Human-Animal Bond Survey by The Hartz Mountain Corp, about 75 percent of pet owners consider their animals a member of the family.

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