Dallas dogs seek playtime sanctuary

Dallas dogs seek playtime sanctuaryA custom-built dog park in Dallas has rewarded its operators with $200,000 in revenue and rewarded local dogs with a canine paradise.

Kelly and Cody Acree raised $10 million to build Unleashed Indoor Dog Parks – a 25,000 square foot, air-conditioned play area that opened last March, CNN reports.

After finding it extremely difficult to find local parks suitable for their dog, Lucas, to get enough exercise, the couple began dreaming of a better alternative. "Municipal parks are lacking in a lot of respects, from seating to shade to pet owners not picking up after their dogs," said Kelly.

Unleashed Parks includes ample indoor space for dogs to frolic – especially the summer scorches downtown Dallas – and offers Wi-Fi, a snack bar, and a pet-supply store for humans looking to upgrade their pet care.

One Dallas resident and customer, Kim Putnam, told the news source, "I’ve lived in places that aren’t as nice." Two managers and 23 employees monitor and play with visiting dogs, and allow pets staying overnight to snuggle up next to them in king-sized beds.

The Acrees hope to expand their business into Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Phoenix.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, annual costs of caring for cats and dogs can range from $670 to $1,580, depending on the commodities and services purchased.

Humane Society reconsiders pet adoption policy

The Humane Society wants to get pets out of the kennelThe Central Missouri Humane Society held a meeting Tuesday evening to hear arguments regarding a possible change to their pet placement policy.

Officials at the organization, a nonprofit that aims to promote pet care and rescue animals from dying in shelters, proposed that the Humane Society should alleviate the problem of overcrowded shelters by relaxing pet adoption policies, NBC affiliate KOMU reports.

While some volunteers acknowledge that looser restrictions would help to increase the rates of pet adoptions, they worry that the animals could go to owners who are not fit for adequate pet care.

"The board’s perspective is valid and brings a lot to the table, but the volunteers also want to be heard," Amanda Stogsdill, Human Society volunteer and owner of a shelter pet told the news provider. "Volunteers see what goes on in the shelter every day, whereas many of the board members are not actively involved in day to day processes."

Among the policy changes the nonprofit is considering, officials wish to forego background checks of prospective pet owners through references such as landlords, co-workers and friends.

The U.S. Humane Society reports that there are about 74.8 million owned dogs in the U.S. and about 3 million to 4 million in shelters.

Dogged pet owners sneak animals into hotels

Traveling with pets isn't always the easiest taskA purse is no place for poodle, and a hermit crab is just about the only pet that would enjoy being stashed away in a suitcase. Nonetheless, 35 percent of pet owners admitted that they’ve bent the rules and snuck their pet into a hotel or motel, according to a recent survey commissioned by AAA and Best Western International.

While not every animal lover has the cunning or the courage to usher a meowing pocketbook past a concierge desk, more than 75 percent of pet-owning respondents to the travel and accommodation survey said that they would bring their pet with them on every vacation, if possible, Reuters reports. However, more than 50 percent said that they’ve had a difficult time finding pet-friendly accommodations.

In response to the survey results, AAA representatives have pointed pet owners to the AAA PetBook: Traveling with Your Pet. The reference guide provides advice on transporting pets, tips to maintain high levels of pet care on the road, and listings of pet friendly properties – including more than 1,900 Best Western properties worldwide.

"Not every pet is right for travel and not every trip is right for a pet, but when the right dog or cat and the right trip come together, you never forget it," Bill Wood, executive director of AAA Publishing told the news source.

Additionally, Pet Airways provides comfortable accommodations for dogs and cats traveling to Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Pet calendar raises money for animal shelter, seeks submissions

The Humane Society seeks submissions to fill its pet calendarPets that like to strut their stuff on the catwalk, French poodles and German Shepherds who dabble in the latest European fashions trends and hamsters with visions of becoming the next Miss July may have a creative outlet.

In preparation for their Almost Home 2010 calendar, the U.S. Humane Society is accepting photos of pets around the country. The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and will be notified by late November, the Lafayette Journal and Courier reports.

The calendars, which will be available on December 13, cost $12.50 each and will raise money to help the Almost Home Humane Society in efforts to control the pet population, promote pet care and give shelter to homeless and neglected animals.

Contestants must submit a pet photo by this Friday, along with an entry form and $5.

"This is a fun thing that gives people a chance to interact with us, and it doesn’t cost much," said Michelle Warren, the Humane Society’s executive director.

The Almost Home Humane Society is an independent nonprofit agency that sates its mission is "the prevention of cruelty to animals, relief of suffering among animals and the extension of humane education."

Pets displaced by foreclosures burden animal shelter

The slumping economy hits pets and owners alikeThe rise in housing foreclosures has landed many household pets in overcrowded animal shelters across the country.

The Humane Society animal shelter in Redwook Valley, California, which currently houses 24 dogs and more than 100 cats, is in danger of closing if it does not begin to raise money, the Ukiah Daily Journal reports.

According to Sheryl Mitcham, the shelter director, the slumping economy has diminished the number of donations the shelter sees, while foreclosed houses and displaced pets are causing an increase in animals entering the shelter.

Specifically, Mitcham says the number of cats entering the Humane Society animal housing has increased by about 30 percent in the last year, while funding has dropped by about half. The shelter is now brainstorming new ideas to raise $120,000 to continue its standard of pet care.

Kennel manager Stacy Dennett told the news source, "Our adoptions are really, really way down. If we get highly adoptable dog, sometimes it’ll be gone in 24 hours. But we have highly adoptable dogs that have been here for months."

The shelter, which has a no-kill policy, has begun to ask for a $40 donation for people surrendering animals, to cover the cost of pet care.

The U.S. Humane Society estimates that 6 million to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year, and about half are eventually euthanized.

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