Heroic dog found in Afghanistan

War-torn Afghanistan is no place for a lost dogMissing pets can cause adult owners to worry and bring an absolute heartache to kids. Aside from missing the companionship that pets offer, their owners may agonize over the misfortunes that may befall their beloved animal when the pet is not in their care. Now imagine your favorite dog gets lost in the war-torn recesses of Afghanistan!

A bomb-sniffing dog that went missing during a turbulent battle in Afghanistan was found and returned to its unit earlier this week after being gone for more than a year, the Associated Press reports.

Sabi, a black Labrador, accompanied a joint Australian-Afghan army patrol that was ambushed by Afghan rebels in the beleaguered Uruzgan province in September 2008.

Once the fighting quieted, Sabi was nowhere to be found, and months of searching proved futile.

But on Thursday, officials at the U.S. Department of Defense reported that an American soldier discovered the retriever at a patrol base in a different part of Uruzgan. The dog was promptly returned to the Australian base, where Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was paying a visit.

"Sabi is back home in one piece and is a genuinely nice pooch as well," Rudd told the news source.

According to the Missing Pet Network, about 10 million owned animals wind up in shelters each year.
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Texas entertainer releases ‘Celebrity Pet Files’

Texas entertainer talks about his pet farm in a new bookKinky Friedman has pursued a career most people only read about. The well-known goofy Texan has been an author, humorist, musician and gubernatorial candidate. In addition, according to his new book, Friedman is the "spiritual leader of 63 dogs, 22 horses, three donkeys, nine pigs, two goats, 11 cats, 15 chickens, two turkeys and a rooster named Alfred Hitchcock."

Kinky’s Celebrity Pet Files, a recently-released book about pet-loving celebrities includes stories, pictures and interviews with celebrities who have in some way provided pet care to an array of animals.
Himself and animal lover, Friedman co-owns the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, a never-kill shelter in Kerrville, Texas, which has been operating since 1998.

In addition to the shelter animals he cares for, the Texas satirist owns four dogs, a cat that sleeps on his head and an armadillo that eats bacon grease!

Friedman’s book recounts tales like the death of pianist Fats Domino’s dog in Hurricane Katrina, the animal shelter built by country singer Emmylou Harris in Nashville, and the 51 horses that Willie Nelson saved from slaughter.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average veterinary expenditure for pet care on cats or dogs in 2006 was $366.

As Friedman puts it, "Money may buy you a fine dog, but only love will make him wag his tail."
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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.
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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.
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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.
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