Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pet ID Chip Works!

Bella was lost in the aftermath of hurricane Wilma. The storm blew down a fence and Bella wandered off. That was two years ago. After an extensive search, the owners of the 5-year old Presa Canario mix had given up hope of ever finding her.

That all changed on Wednesday [30 May 2007] when Miami-Dade County Animal Control Officer Lisa Yambrich responded to an injured animal report. Undernourished, anemic and infested with ticks, Yambrich loaded the dog into her vehicle for the trip to the shelter in Medley. Once there a scan turned up a microchip that provided the information needed to return Bella home within hours.

Bella is home now, tick-free and well fed, getting reacquainted with her humans, their neighbors and the neighbors' pets. She is also getting to know her new brother, a one-year old Presa Canario named Thor.

Hurricane Season starts tomorrow, June 1st. This may be a good time to check with your vet to see if your dog could get a microchip of their own. Read the whole article about finding Bella in the Miami Herald here. We want to point out that Ellie Brecher, the owner of the Crazy for Critters blog, wrote the article for the Herald for whom she is a reporter. If you haven't read her blog, you should, so click the link above or check the right-side column of this blog for her blog's info.

This is also a good time to remind you that in the aftermath of a storm, always monitor your animals closely. As in Bella's case, a fenced-in yard may no longer be secure. More importantly, your dog may be stressed and the wind and rain very well may have eliminated all the smells pets need to find their way about their local area. Without those smells, your pet-friend could become lost much more easily.

After the storm, keep your pet indoors or on a leash for a few days unless you are physically with them and are absolutely sure they will respond to your calls to "come." Plus, there are many hazards --- broken glass, downed power lines, broken and weakened tree limbs, and standing water that may contain germs and bacteria, including waste material from septic tanks.

China Food Offical To Die

The Free Market News Network is reporting that a Chinese official, Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of the country's food and drug agency, has been sentenced to death on bribery and corruption charges.

The Chinese food and drug agency, which has the responsibility of implementing food and drug safety standards, was involved in several scandals including poisoned toothpaste sent to Panama and poisoned pet food products sent to the United States. Xiaoyu reportedly accepted $832,000 in bribes during his seven years in office to approve food and drug products that were not safe. Inspectors are being sent to factories in order to enforce safety regulations and Chinese officials hope Xiaoyu's execution will renew trust in Chinese consumer products.

It's a harsh sentence to be sure. There is no word on whether there was a trial or if Xiaoyu has been arrested.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Where's The So.Fla. Pet News

I regularly scan the internet news databases for items to add to the blog. It has dawned on me that there are very few stories about animals in the South Florida area as opposed to the number from Tampa, Orlando and the northern sections of the state. I find two or three stories a week about animals in Miami-Dade and Broward, but there always seem to be at least that number virtually every day from the Tampa Bay area. Granted, not all the stories are good; animal abuse, injury and worse, but there are good items too.

It would be wonderful to see more articles about animals in the South Florida news. It might increase awareness in that segment of the general public that do not consider themselves "animal people" and thereby boost the level of compassion for animals in our area. There are so many animals that need homes, so many organizations that need financia and volunteer support for their work on behalf on animals. Any increase in awareness would be a boon.

Share your stories, thought and ideas. You can leave comments by clicking the "comment" link below this article. You can comment on any article we post, so please do so. We welcome the information you can provide.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

All American PuppyPlease have a safe, thoughtful
and reflective Memorial Day.

Drive safely and wear your seat belt if you are travelling, and reflect on the real meaning of the day. It is more than the unofficial beginning of summer, more than the Indianapolis 500, more than picnics and barbecues.

Formerly known as Decoration Day, the holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It first began as a way to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action, including the 3,444 killed in Iraq and the 390 killed in Afghanistan, as of May 25th, 2007.

If you would care to listen, here is an audio link to Taps in mp3 format from, and below are the most recognized lyrics to the piece of music also known as "Butterfield's Lullaby" or "Day is Done":

Memorial Day

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh,
Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.

Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
Friend, goodnight.

Broward County Memorial Day events from the Sun-Sentinel.

Miami-Dade County Memorial Day events from the Miami Herald.

Plam Beach County Memorial Day events from the Palm Beach Post.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cheaper Pumps for Pets

This doesn't have much to do with pets, but maybe if you save some money on gas, you can spend it on your animal friends or even send a donation to Pet Rescue (nice thought, eh?). Just enter your zipcode in the search you want, MSN or MapQuest, click the appropriate button, and get gas prices for your locale.

MSN Gas Prices
MapQuest Gas Prices

Results will open in new windows. Once the new window opens, you will be able to get additional or more specific information on prices, or zoom in on a map.

$1 Million Bit Nipple?

Pit Bull attacks have been big news lately. How about suing for $1 million dollars in such an attack? The kind of injuries such a mauling brings to mind may seem justified. Now, think about a Jack Russell Terrier (JRT), the kind of dog that was a star cast member on the TV sitcom Frasier. O.K., even a JRT can bite your leg, savage your ankle and shred your hand, maybe.

Then there's the lawyer from the firm of Bohdan Neswiacheny, specializing in insurance defense and commercial litigation. According to reports, a JRT was in a tiff with some other pups in a Boca Raton dog park at Military and Banyan trails. The lawyer stepped in and picked up the JRT, which he did not know or own. The JRT, shall we say, allegedly "nipped" him on the, um, nipple. The lawyer is now suing the Boca Raton family who owns the 2-year old dog, which was adopted one week earlier, for $1 million.

According to the suit, the lawyer needs the money to pay for medical treatment, loss of income and for general damages for pain, suffering, physical disfigurement and "loss of sexual comfort and desire."

Read the article from the Sun-Sentinel here and see if you think this is the kind of story that makes people like dogs and dislike lawyers. Hey, by the way, did you hear the joke about the Jack Russell Terrier and the lawyer at the dog park? If not, just click the link. Geez!

Indian River Co. Rabies Alert

The Stuart News is reporting that an otter has bitten three people in the area of Vero Beach, Florida, at the Grand Harbor golf and beach community. The otter was captured and has tested positive for rabies. Those bitten are receiving treatment for their injuries and vaccinations to prevent infection by the the disease.

Ten people have been bitten or exposed to raccoons, a stray cat and an otter since January 4th, 2007, when Indian River County lifted a 3-month old, countywide rabies alert. They are all receiving vaccinations for rabies.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Westminster DVD

Click for

If you missed the big dog show, you can watch it at your leisure. The four-hour DVD of the 131st Westminster Kennel Club dog show has been released. In addition to the coverage seen on the USA network, there are behind-the-scenes footage and extras for dog fanciers. The DVD is $26.99 on

Canine Assisted Reading

How cute is this? Shy kids getting help with their reading from dogs. No, the dogs don't read, the kids do... to the dogs. The dogs don't make fun of the children when they make a mistake. The kids are motivated to practice their reading. Certainly the dogs don't mind listening. It seems to be working and both the kids and the dogs like it.

Want to know more? It's on the NBC-6 website, in an article called "Dogs Help Shy Kids Learn To Read." There are pictures and a video link.

Gatorade for Dogs

$2.49 for a 16-ounce bottle. No kidding. The Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center and BioGalaxy Inc. recently released "Animactive." It's billed as a drink designed to rehydrate and rejuvenate the world's forgotten athletes - pets.

It will probably sell like hotcakes! Read all about it here.

Diet Drug for Dogs Released

Pfizer has made a new drug available to veterinarians that assists in dog weight control. It is called Slentrol. It works by making the dog feel full and by blocking fat absorption. Vets will decide the retail price of the drug, which is expected to be between $10 and $100 a month, depending on the size of the dog. Pfizer representatives said diarrhea and vomiting are side effects of the drug which can only be used for dogs. It can cause liver problems in cats and severe digestive issues for humans.

NFL Player: Dogfighting OK

Nancy Armour, a sports columnist for the Associated Press, has written an article about dog fighting in light of comments made by Washington Redskins' running back Clinton Portis regarding the dogs found on Michael Vick's Virginia property. Portis apparently made the statements on Monday, saying that dog fighting is no big deal. The next day, the Redskins apologized on his behalf, and Portis' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was attempting to spin the story with little success on Wednesday, if Armour's article is any indication.

Read Armour's article, "Brutality is brutality, whether it's against a human or animal," for the entire story, in the Northwest Florida Daily News. We applaud the stand she has taken.

A similar article appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, written by Jerry Greene. Read "Vick, Portis could land in the NFL's doghouse."

While we're talking about animal fighting, tourists at the Harbin Wildlife Park in China can pay to watch Siberian tigers attack and eat other animals. $4 to see a chicken fed to the tigers and $200 to watch a cow attacked and eaten, according to the AP report on Orlando's

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Katrina Heartbreak Goes On

After their Louisiana home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the family leaves their two dogs at a shelter. The dogs are eventually adopted by people in St. Petersburg, Florida. The original owners get their lives back in order and want the dogs. The adoptive owners want to keep them. It's a story of natural disaster and loss, good intentions and love, and eventually doing the right thing despite the pain it brings.

Read the whole story here in the St. Petersburg Times on

Weston Muscovy Deaths

Miami's CBS-4 TV is reporting that a 17-year old Weston teen has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly driving through a Sunrise neighborhood and purposely attempting to run over Muscovy ducks. Police said they received a call from a resident who told them a car was circling the block and the male driver was intentionally hitting the ducks. When officers arrived they found four ducks dead and one seriously injured. The teen faces five felony counts of cruelty to animals. Each count carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a 10-thousand dollar fine.

Editor's Note: The parents will hire a lawyer and pay the minimal fine that will be imposed. The kid will eventually get a month or two of probation, and maybe some community service. Will he be forced to get counselling? Doubtful, though it might be the most helpful long term. I fear for the girls this young man dates and classmates that will share his schools in the future.

Monday, May 21, 2007

You're A Dog Person If...

  • You have a kiddie wading pool in the yard, but no small children.

  • You have baby gates permanently installed around the house, but no babies.

  • You talk about your dog the way other people talk about their kid.

  • You sign and send birthday/anniversary/Christmas cards from your dog.

  • You put an extra blanket on the bed so your dog can be comfortable.

  • You only go to the supermarket when you need dog food or treats. Then you buy food for yourself as well.

  • You go to the pet store on Saturdays because it's one place you can take your dog inside, and your dog loves to go with you.

  • You and the dog come down with something like flu on the same day. Your dog sees the vet while you settle for an over-the-counter remedy from the drugstore.

  • Your dog is getting older and arthritic, so you go buy stairs or lumber and build stairs so she can climb onto the bed by herself.

  • You are the only person outdoors in the pouring rain because your dog needs a walk.

  • You don't go to happy hours with co-workers any more because you need to go home and see your dog.

  • You like people who like your dog. You despise people who don't.

  • You carry pictures of your dog in your wallet instead of pictures of your parents, siblings, significant other, or anyone else remotely human.

  • Your dog is the star of your World Wide Web site!

  • You have dog hair stuck on tape on wrapped gifts.

  • You cringe at the price of food in the grocery store but think nothing of the cost of dog food or treats.

Pet Food Paranoia

Both of my dogs are low-maintenance. They go to the vet twice a year. They eat once a day. They get a bath two or three times a month.

When they feel poorly, it's fairly easy to see and the level of their discomfort is readily apparent. Until recently if they were feeling poorly I would keep watch on them for 48-hours and if they were not improving it was off to the vet for a quick check-up... until recently.

My younger boy, an 8-year old rescue pup, terrier mix, stopped eating. His nose was cold and wet, and his temperature seemed OK, so I went into 48-hour watch mode. Then he threw up. He had grass in the bile. The grass was from the lawn. I had seen this syndrome before. Eating grass induced upset stomach. A day later he would be fine. The next day he refused to eat again. I was getting worried. My worry was significantly greater than normal and growing much faster than normal.

In all other aspects my pup was fine. He acted in his normal terrier fashion. He ran and played and wanted to snuggle as usual. So I watched him outdoors and stopped him from eating grass. I also closely watched his brother, a 12-year old Border Collie who ate the same food from the same bag. He was fine.

The next day he started eating again. Only have a bowl of food at first and no cookies. A half a bowl the next day, with cookies. Then he was back to himself again.

Under normal circumstances I would have simply been thinking it was a case of the doggie flu or an upset stomach. It's happened with him before. This time he was under my microscope. I was waiting for a belated recall on his brand of dog food. I even checked our brand's website for a press release, just in case it appeared there before it hit the news cycle.

My little guy's fine again and his brother never showed any difficulty, but it was not my normal 48-hour puppy watch. I was scared. I was worried about the dog food they were eating and I had never felt that way before.

When spinach became suspect due to e-coli I didn't worry. My spinach intake is much less than it probably should be. I was interested in the reports of the pet food recall, but checked our brand's website at the beginning and saw no problems.

I truly thought that I had not been personally impacted by the pet food recall. I was wrong. I have been affected and that is really scary.

Have you been affected by the pet food recall? Share your thoughts in a comment to this post. Just click the "Comment" link below.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Florida Animal Cruelty Briefs

Sheesh, I thought we were a civilized state. Here are some of the reports for the last week — ONE WEEK.

WARNING: Some of this is rather nasty. Don't read it if you're easily upset...

Have you heard about...

The 40-year old woman who, while walking her dog in Satellite Beach, allowed the pit bull to maul a German shepherd mix in the shepherd's own yard. There is a post below.

The Stuart resident who, while hunting birds, allegedly also shot a cat with his .22-calibre rifle.

The 20-year old Cape Coral man who shot and killed a protected burrowing owl with a paint-ball gun. The burrowing owl happens to be the official bird of Cape Coral.

A dozen dogs, including a number of puppies, were rescued in Bradford County from what investigators called the worst case of animal abuse they had ever seen. Some of the dogs were in the disabled car of a family who were fleeing the north Florida fires. People trying to help with the car found the dogs and reported the incident to police. Pictures of the dogs were not released as they were reportedly "too gruesome to show."

The three- to five-month old Palm Beach County pit bull puppy whose ears were cut with a razor or pair of scissors by someone who did not use any anesthesia but wanted to crop the dog's ears. At least they dumped the pup at a shelter so it could receive some medical care before they ran away.

On the other side of the docket...

A 16-year old Belle Glade teen was sentenced to 3-years in jail to be followed by 30-years probation for the vandalization of a neighbor's house, which included putting the victim's kitten in the oven and baking it alive.

A Naples man was sentenced to two concurrent terms of six months in jail for probation violation. The case against him for killing his girlfriend's kitten by throwing it against a wall was dropped due to lack of evidence when the girlfriend recanted her story.

A rehabilitated and happy Lazarus has a safe new home this week. He's the Pensacola area bullmastiff mix found buried alive in January, suffering from mange, torn knee ligaments and damaged teeth. He was adopted last Friday.

Dog Bite Awareness Week

Dog Bite Awareness WeekThat's right, Dog Bite Awareness Week. It starts today and is sponsored by the Post Office, so you may not be able to find a card at the local Hallmark store. It's a big deal to postal workers, though. Almost 3,200 mail carriers were bitten by dogs in 2006.

If you were a mail carrier, you'd be looking over your shoulder here in South Florida. Our area was the number five location for dog bites against postal workers. Santa Ana was worst, with 96 bites, followed by Houston, Sacramento, Los Angeles and then us, South Florida chomped in with 71 bites. The safest places were the New York metro area, Alaska, Honolulu, Maine and Montana. Entire states were safer than South Florida.

DART Training

Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) Training

Volunteers will be in Tallahassee to attend the DART training this weekend [5/17-5/20/2007]. The seminar starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday. It offers an introduction to helping pets and livestock caught in hurricanes, floods, wildfire, and toxic-substance spills. Some of the many topics covered include the incident command system for managing disasters; disaster planning for communities, animal facilities and individuals; large- and small-animal handling; communications; legal issues; emergency pet sheltering; and a demonstration of animal-catching equipment at 1 p.m. Sunday. Tuition is $75 and includes a comprehensive notebook, a CD-ROM packed with reference materials, and some meals during the training. Class size is limited to the first 40 paid registrants.

For more information, go to

What WAS She Thinking?!?!?

Satellite Beach P.D.: Owner Let Pit Bull Attack Another Dog

Satellite Beach is on the barrier island just northeast of Mebourne, Florida. The local police are looking for the dog owner who they say allowed her pit bull to maul another dog.

The dog owner, described as a woman in her 40s, was walking her pit bull on a leash Monday night when she approached the yard of another dog owner, police said. The tan, black-faced, pit bull became agitated. The owner dropped the dog's leash, allowing it to charge, attack and maul the German shepherd mix in the yard, according to police. The attacked dog had to be sedated and was taken to an emergency veterinarian's office.

Editor's Note: I just don't get it. How can someone who owns a dog knowingly allow any other dog to be injured. And to purposely do so by dog attack?!?! It is beyond my comprehension. Then again, I don't understand the concept of dogfighting or training a dog to be aggressive, save for police K-9 training or similar, well controlled programs. Hopefully the woman will be found and prosecuted. Unfortunately for her dog, it will probably be put down because of the owner's aggression/fight training or total lack of dog training at all. The owner will probably be given a light fine and suspended sentence, if any. I almost wish her aggressive dog turns on her. Maybe then she would have some empathy for the shepherd she allowed her dog to attack.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rx For A Squirrel Attack

Attack SquirrelThree people were attacked by a squirrel in a Port St. John pharmacy in Brevard County. The squirrel got into the CVS holding onto a customer's leg. Once inside the squirrel provided a prescrition for mayhem.

It began when a customer was walking into the store and the squirrel latched onto his ankle. He tried to shake it loose and it wouldn't let go. When another customer tried to help, the squirrel grabbed his leg. When a CVS employee stepped in, the squirrel attacked, scratching and biting her eight times.

Someone finally got a basket over it, but even after being caged, it did back flips and acted strangely. The squirrel's fate is, as yet, undetermined. Animal Control officers said squirrels are a low risk for rabies and that they often bite multiple times, particularly when scared, injured or sick.

WFTV-9 Orlando has the whole story here.

Are Your Pets Hurricane Ready?

The article below was posted about a month ago, but it's probably a good idea to move it up to the top of the blog again since the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference is beginning today. The five-day conference at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale may draw up to 4,000 participants from across Florida to discuss emergency planning for schools and special-needs populations, tropical meteorology, feeding the masses and animal rescue.

If you have pets, you need to plan ahead as well. Where is the closest pet-friendly shelter? If you become separated from your pet, is he or she ID chipped, tattooed or otherwise able to be identified and thus able to be returned to you? If the pet is identified, but your phone and power isn't working, how can you be contacted? Do you have an emergency kit with food, water and medications for your pet? It is all a matter of pre-planning for what forecasters say will be a busier than normal hurricane season, which starts in about two weeks.

Originally posted on 19 April 2007
The new PETS Act (Pet Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, H.R. 3858) requires all states to include pets and pet owners in their disaster plans. That's great, but it doesn't remove the need, by pet owners, to take steps to plan for your pet in emergencies. Hurricane season starts on June 1st, only about 40 days away.

There is a good article about the PETS Act, the upcoming hurricane season, and what you need to do to be sure you and your pets are ready for it. The article is May 2007 - Hurricane Preparedness for Pets Challenge by the folks at and is available on It is definitely worth a read.

Other places to get help in preparing for pet emergencies:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fla. Panther Population Growing

Florida PantherThe Miami Herald is reporting that "for the second time in just over a year, an endangered Florida panther has died on a South Miami-Dade road. The cat, found Wednesday along the 18-mile stretch to the Florida Keys about a half-mile south of Card Sound Road, was the eighth killed on Florida roads this year... Before a panther death last February on Card South Road, it had been nearly 20 years since a documented vehicle strike in the area. Darrell Land, panther team leader for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said the recent deaths point to an expanding population of panthers encountering an expanding population of people."

Meanwhile, Colier County's NBC-2 is reporting "an endangered Florida Panther was spotted earlier this week inside a gated community in Collier County. Wildlife experts say it's a rare encounter that could become more common. Tammy Rye spotted the big cat after it startled her dog... 'At this point I'm like oh my God; I don't know what this is...' said Rye. She thought it was a bobcat, but authorities showed up and told her she was mistaken... The panther was in a nearby tree. Biologists say the big cats aren't supposed to be so close to town. 'We haven't had to deal with it historically,' said Mark Lotz, panther biologist. Lotz says development and a booming panther population is pushing animals out of their natural habitat... Another problem, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says more pets are getting attacked by panthers. So far this year, at least four pets have been killed by panthers. Lotz thinks it could start happening more often."

1865 Florida Dog Tax

Dog TaxThe 2007 edition of the Florida Tax Handbook says that in 1865, the Florida Legislature imposed a $2 tax on every dog over 6 months of age. The tax collector was directed to kill any dog for which the tax was not paid.

If you didn't pay the tax, it definitely meant that that dog don't hunt.

Luckily, things have changed for the better, but a $2 dog license these days would be be a great deal.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Smoke Can Affect Pets

EPA Air Quality MapThe smoke is back again for the weekend. Fires in Georgia and north and western Florida, along with sub-tropical storm Andrea's wind patterns have combined to bring smoke back into the southeast Florida environs.

While outdoor activities are not recommended for people young or old, that also includes animals. Vets say if you're not going for a walk or run, neither should your pet. "Certainly if you have an animal and it's been predisposed to asthma, pneumonia, or heart failure, you definitely want to avoid those pets being outside," explains Dr. Anthony Ishak of Florida Veterinary Specialists.

The heavy haze forced many people inside, and Dr. Andrew Alexander of St. Joseph's Hospital says that's exactly where you should stay. "The longer you're exposed to these pollutants, the more they get into the respiratory track, and the more likely you'll have respiratory problems," said Dr. Alexander. "And if you're already an asthmatic or have emphysema, then those problems can start very quickly and very severely."

So, keep the pets indoors excpet for the short outdoor bathroom breaks they may need. Allowing them to go outdoors for extended periods of time could be harmful to their pulmonary health.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

HBOI Rescues Young Dolphin

A team from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution rescued and released a young dolphin Thursday that had been trapped in packing ring so tight it cut down to the animal's ribs. The team found the dolphin Thursday in the Indian River Lagoon. They determined he swam into the 12-inch diameter, rubberized ring when he was a baby. The garbage cut into his skin as he grew.

"I cut it off surgically, cleaned its wound and let it go with its mom," said Dr. Gregory Bossart, a senior scientist and marine mammal veterinarian with Harbor Branch. With just a tinge of anger, Bossart said this should be a lesson to everyone. "The take-home story in this is let's stop throwing our garbage in the Indian River," he said. "Using the Indian River as a garbage can almost cost the life of a dolphin."

Bossart said the dolphin's scar would was massive but he should do just fine. "It's a happy ending to a story that could have been tragic," he said.

Turtles Released From Rehab

The Miami Seaquarium released seven sea turtles back to the wild today, Thursday, May 10, after months of rehabilitation. Five loggerhead, one Green and one Kemps Ridley sea turtles made up the group. The release took place on Key Biscayne at Bill Baggs State Park in Miami.

The Miami Seaquarium have rescued over twenty sea turtles so far this season.

For more information, pictures and video, see the article on the CBS4 website here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Broward Pet Drug Discount

Broward residents and their pets got a helping hand from Broward County commissioners recently, who adopted a national prescription-drug discount program. The program will cut an average of 20 percent from the cost of prescriptions for those without insurance or are underinsured. Any prescription filled by a pharmacy is covered, even if it's for a pet. The program is open to any Broward resident who is uninsured or underinsured. Miami-Dade is considering the program as well.

You can read the entire story here, in the Miami Herald.

Sarasota Doggie Dining

The Sarasota Herald Tribune's Patrick Whittle is reporting that the county's restaurants have gone to the dogs. Restaurants in the unincorporated areas of the county can pay $150 for a "doggy dining permit," the County Commission decided Tuesday. The permit allows dogs "in designated outdoor portions of public food service establishments." Residents attended Tuesday's meeting with pictures of their dogs hanging around their necks. They met with little resistance from the County Commission, which unanimously approved the law.

Hernando Co. Rabies Alert

Two racoons have tested positive for rabies in separate incidents, according to the Hernando County Health Department. One raccon was in a fight with a dog, the other may have exposed a cat to the disease. Authorities are recommending that pet owners make sure their animals have current rabies vaccinations, that they do not allow their animals to run free, and to stay away from and not feed any wild or free roaming animals in the vicinity.

Hernando County is the second county north of Tampa on Florida's gulf coast, and contains the communities of Spring Hill and Brooksville. Tampa is in Hillsborough County. Pasco County is to the north of Hillsborough, and Hernando is north of Pasco.

This follows a distemper alert in Alachua County on May 5th, a rabies alert in Duval County on May 3rd, and a rabies alert in Miami-Dade County on May 1st.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

K-9 Down Rescue Program

What do you do when you come upon a severely injured dog or cat? Even EMTs and Paramedics are usually unsure. They're trained to stabilize and transport people, not animals.
One option is to attend "K-9 Down." The K-9 Down Program started in 2000 at the University of Florida. When UF stopped offering the program, course director Rita Hanel, a clinical assistant professor at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, decided to keep it going.
The two-session course teaches police officers, firefighters, search-and-rescue teams and others how to respond to a canine or feline health emergency. It is offered one weekend a year in Florida, in March, at the Florida Veterinary Specialists and Treatment Center, in Tampa. Limited to only 40 participants, the program costs $195 for nonprofit or government employees and $395 for employees of private organizations.

Read the story from the Naples Daily News here, or visit the K-9 Down Program website here. Photo credit: K-9 Down Program website.

JRT Defends To The Death

A George Update: 8 May 2007
The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals, New Zealand’s main animal welfare agency, awarded a bravery medal to George, the spunky Jack Russell terrier who is credited with saving five children from a pair of attacking pitbulls.
"It was an extraordinary act of heroism," according to the society’s chief executive, Robyn Kippenberger. "It says a huge amount for the animal-human bond that he actually went in to save them." Kippenberger said her group’s recognition for bravery "has not been awarded to a dog since 1990," as it is usually given to humans for their bravery in helping animals. Trained police dogs were the two previous canine recipients. "That he weighed into a couple of dogs considerably larger than himself, clearly to protect a child, is just a most amazing act and needs to be recognized," she said. We say, Good on ya', George!

Originally posted: 6 May 2007
George, a 9-year-old Jack Russell terrier, fought off two pit bulls, saving five children.The Daily Mail is reporting that "a plucky foot-high Jack Russell terrier named George saved five New Zealand children from two marauding pitbulls, but was so severely mauled in the fight he had to be destroyed, according to his devastated owner.
"George was playing with the group of children as they returned home from buying sweets at a neighborhood shop in the small North Island town of Manaia last Sunday when the two pitbulls appeared and lunged toward them, his owner Allan Gay said.
" 'George was brave -- he took them on and he's not even a foot high,' Gay told The Associated Press. 'He jumped in on them, he tried to keep them off. If it wasn't for George, those kids would have copped it.'
" 'George tried to protect us by barking and rushing at them, but they started to bite him -- one on the head and the other on the back,' Richard Rosewarne, 11, said. 'We ran off crying and some people saw what was happening and rescued George.' "

The size of a terrier's heart has no relation whatever to its stature. Read the whole story here.

Post Script: is reporting [video links are available] that the story of George has travelled around the world and that "fellow dog lover and former US marine Jerrell Hudman from Austin, Texas read the story and is going to send his purple heart to mend Gay's broken one. 'My wife was reading it to me over the Internet's just a moving story, it really tore me up,' Hudman says. Hudman was awarded the purple heart when injured in the Vietnam War but thinks George deserves a medal of his own. 'It's the most any living thing can do for another living thing, is protect them like that.' "

Wayward Seal Captured, Dies

When we first wrote a post about the seal near Mims, Florida, it was a fun, slightly strange, animal story. An arctic seal, way out of its element, was swimming around near Hobe Sound. The story has turned out to be a sad one.

The bearded seal, nicknamed Hope, was rescued Monday, May 7th, from Fort Lauderdale's Tarpon River. The experts from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution loaded her into their marine mammal ambulance for the three-hour ride to Orlando's SeaWorld and that facility's rehabilitation center.

Hope survived the trip, but was in critical condition upon arrival. The shock, however, appears to have been too much and Hope passed away around 11:00 am today. She was dehydrated, fatigued and underweight when caught, but put up a valiant fight to avoid capture. She just couldn't understand that being captured early and easily was the thing she most needed to survive.

Original title: Searching For Seals Near Mims?
Originally posted: 3 May 2007

The Stuart News is reporting that a seal has been found near Hobe Sound, Florida. Experts from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution are tracking the 300-pound six-foot long adult seal that swam into the Indian River Lagoon (see map) in what may be a first for such a mammal. They are following the animal in a boat and keeping other vessels away.

"What we know is this is very unusual," said Greg Bossart, Harbor Branch's director of marine mammal research and conservation. "Especially in the Indian River this might be a first." He said seals are normally found in the arctic or possibly as far south as the Jersey Shore. The scientists think the seal is a hooded seal similar to two that came ashore on the Treasure Coast in September.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Cinco de "Meow" Adopt-a-Thon

Cinco de Mayo weekend. What a purrrr-fect time for our Cinco de "Meow" Adopt-a-Thon at the Oakwood Plaza PetSmart in Hollywood. Many of the cats and kittens that were with us found happy new homes with loving families. Check here or visit our website often so you'll be able to attend our next Adopt-a-Thon. Thanks to everyone at PetSmart for their support and to all those who adopted feline family members this weekend.

By the way, there are still plenty of dogs and cats, kittens and puppies at our shelter that are looking for a good home like yours. We're open seven days a week. Just give us a call to arrange to come by for a visit to see all the wonderful animals ready to be adopted.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Great Animal Quotes

Like quotes? Try these:

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." -- Unknown

"When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more than I with her." -- Montaigne

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -- Mohandas Gandhi

We have added random animal quotes to the right-side column, just above the archives listings. Want a different quote? Just click on the visible quote and a different one will be displayed. We hope you enjoy them.

FREE Pizza From Pet Recsue

I'm working my way through a FREE pizza from Papa John's, thanks to the Pet Rescue Miami Blog. Well, eating my way through it anyway, so, thanks, PRM Blog!

OK, you don't get something for nothing. I had to buy a pizza to get the second one free. I used one of the online coupons found here in an earlier post. That got me the free, large, one-topping pizza from Papa John's.

About once a month I order a pizza online from Papa John's, I usually get an extra-large "The Works" specialty pizza because, for some unfathomable reason, it costs less than the large size version. I found an online coupon code that offers a free large one-topping pizza if you order an extra-large specialty pizza.

I tried it. It works. I got my regular extra-large "The Works" order, PLUS the second large pizza (half mushroom, half beef), delivered for under $19.00. Even with the tip, it was still a great deal.

Want to try this code or some of the others? Read this post, Online Coupon/Promo Codes, and give it a try. There's even a link to an article that will explain how to use the codes if you're not sure how to do it.

Have fun! Save money. Eat FREE pizza.

Distemper Outbreak, Alachua Co. is reporting that the canine viral disease distemper has killed several puppies in Alachua County and has prompted veterinarians and county officials to urge residents to vaccinate their dogs and not let them run free.

Alachua County Animal Services Director Ray Sim said some of the infected puppies passed through the county shelter and have been adopted by local rescue groups that then adopted them out to the public.

"Distemper has a very long incubation period - up to 30 days. Most of the animals that come to the shelter stay an average of 12 days," Sim said. "They may look healthy to us, and then ultimately the signs and symptoms will appear."

Read the entire article.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Dog Haiku – Cat Haiku

There is a cute website called with a very good selection of jokes, quotes, stories and more. Among the plethora of dogdom were a few dog and cat haiku. Here are just a few for your poetic pleasure. I enjoy these because of the inherent truth of their content and economy of words.

Cat Haiku   Dog Haiku
You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.
   I am your best friend,
Now, always, and especially
When you are eating.
Grace personified.
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.
   Today I sniffed
Many dog butts - I celebrate
By kissing your face.
Blur of motion, then --
Silence, me, a paper bag.
What is so funny?
   I love my master;
Thus I perfume myself with
This long-rotten squirrel.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Online Medicine Costs

Kirby, my Border Collie, is having a heckuva time this year with fleas. We tried K9 Advantix in October. It did nothing at all for him. We then tried Frontline Plus and the monthly dose wore off after two weeks. So, we went back to what we had used in years past, Advantage. It arrived, was applied and within 24-hours, Kirby was virtually flea free. Now I'm not saying anything about any of the flea treatments mentioned either pro or con. On your dog, Advantage may be worthless and Frontline may be great. For my two boys, the Advantage is, well, an advantage.

It did get me thinking though, about what online medicines cost after everything is added up. In other words, what does it cost to have this stuff delivered to your door. Well, since I use Advantage, I figured that would be the thing to test. By the way, the online coupon codes we mention are listed in our post Online Coupon/Promo Codes, so you can use them too. In all cases we selected the standard shipping option.

Advantage 6 pack Dog Blue Over 55 Lbs cost +$69.99
I used an online coupon code (PA35) for $5 off –$  5.00
They did charge sales tax +$  4.90
Shipping is free on orders over $35 +$  0.00
Total delivered price = $69.89
This is where I normally buy the stuff.

Advantage 6 pack Dog Blue Over 55 Lbs cost +$68.29
I got an automatic $5 off for clicking through from this site –$  5.00
They did NOT charge sales tax +$  0.00
Shipping is free on orders over $35 +$  0.00
Total delivered price = $63.29
I tried three times to make this purchase before their website accepted it. Granted, I'm on a dial-up connection, but this site is SLOW. I could have used an online coupon (SMART407) for $5 off $35 or more, but can't use that code with the automatic $5 off.

At aka
Advantage 6 pack Dog Blue Over 55 Lbs (sale price?) cost +$54.99
No coupons were available –$  0.00
They did NOT charge sales tax +$  0.00
Shipping +$  4.95
Total delivered price = $59.94
There was a coupon for $3 off $55 or more (MAY07OFF3), which missed the order amount by 1 cent! I could have added a $1.99 Nylabone to the order (the cheapest thing I could find), used the $3 coupon, saved another dollar, and gotten the Nylabone for free!

Advantage 6 pack Dog Blue Over 55 Lbs cost +$53.99
I used a coupon code for 15% off any order (DODGE) –$  8.10
They did NOT charge sales tax +$  0.00
Shipping is a flat rate +$  3.99
Total delivered price = $49.88
One really nice thing about this site, they take your address and give you the total price of your order, including shipping and taxes, before asking for a credit card number. I don't know how long that 15% off coupon code will be valid, so if you want to use it do it quickly.

Different items have different prices at each store. Depending on what you buy will have an effect on shipping costs, taxes, etc. In other words, you need to check several suppliers every time you want to buy something. You have to check for available coupon codes, including codes we may not have listed on our sites. Try entering "coupon promo code" and the name of the company in a Google search and see what happens. That's how I found the DODGE code for Drs. F & S.

At the same time, if I switch to Drs. Foster and Smith from 1-800-PetMeds for Kirby's Advantage fix, I can save $20.01 on my 6-month order. I would still have saved $11.91 without the 15% off coupon and that's not bad for a little research. After all, it adds up.

Doggie Best Seller

Click to go to pageAmong the Wall Street Journal's Lists of Best-Selling books, at number four in the non-fiction category, is "The Loved Dog: The Playful, Nonaggressive Way to Teach Your Dog Good Behavior" by Tamar Geller with Andrea Cagan (Simon Spotlight Entertainment).

If you plan to buy this book online please be sure to use the links in this post, or any of the links in the "Online Supplies and Stores" section at the bottom of the right column on this webpage. You'll pay the same amount as normal for the book, or other products, but Pet Rescue will receive a donation from the seller. You'll get your book at a discount and the shelter will receive extra funding. $13.48 book + $2.95 shipping = $16.43 total
You should get an additional 8% discount ($1.07) at checkout for clicking through this website, for a total delivered cost of about $15.36 $14.97 book + $3.99 shipping = $18.96 total
(for free shipping the order needed to be over $25)

Barnes and Noble $14.97 book + $3.99 shipping + $1.20 tax = $20.16 total
(good store, but our partnership is not established so no donation to Pet Rescue for purchases yet; price shown is the member price, $17.46 for non-members)

Got a great dog or cat book to recommend? Leave a comment. Just click the comment link below.

Steve's King Daley Shepherd

Ever been asked what breed of dog your pound-puppy is? Steve has a perfect answer for those who inquire about his pup Ethyl. Steve Dale writes for Tribune Media Services and owns a pair of dogs, named Lucy and Ethyl. Lucy is a miniature Australian shepherd and Ethyl is a "King Daley shepherd," a very rare breed according to Steve, almost a one-of-a-kind. Read the article and you'll see how very special a dog this is and get an idea of what kind of dog you may have.

Duval County Rabies Alert

A feral cat that bit a woman at Blue Cypress Park in Arlington has tested positive for rabies, prompting Duval County's first rabies alert of the year. The alert is in effect through Aug. 2.

Jacksonville area pet owners should confine their animals and be certain that they have received current rabies immunization shots. Stray animals should be reported to the county Animal Care and Control Division at 904-630-2489. Animal bites should be reported to Rabies Control at 904-630-3260.

This comes on the heels of a rabies alert several days ago in northwest Miami-Dade County after a bat attacked a dog and the bat was found to be rabies positive.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Doggie Diet Pill reports that an Australian company has announced that phase one of testing is complete for a drug that will help your overweight dog loose pounds. Perth-based Stirling Products Ltd's developers put 15 beagles on the drug, and found that it help each of the pooches lose 3 percent of their weight a week.

The company plans to start the second phase of the tests soon, and, if all goes well, Stirling will seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The market for anti-obesity drugs for pets is estimated to be worth more than 200 million dollars in the US alone.

Editor's Note: Let's see, someone gets a dog, but they don't have time to exercise Fido. After work they go to the gym and use a treadmill. How about going home to Fido and taking the pooch for a walk. Maybe I just don't understand.

OK, I admit putting my dog on a diet. He (and I) slowed down with age, but I kept feeding him the same type and amount of food each day. Normally 70-lbs., he was near 80-lbs. Over a two week period we gradually switched to weight control formula food, then slowly decreased the amount by about 15 percent. Over about 6-months he lost the extra weight, so we switched back to his regular food at the smaller per serving amount. He's 12-years old, but he's slim, trim and still active, if a bit slower, like me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

HSUS's Best City For Pets

San Francisco has been named America's most humane city, thanks to its pet-friendly hotels, off-leash dog parks and other nods to animals. The Humane Society of the United States considered such factors as the number of fur retailers, the ratio of wildlife watchers to hunters and even the number of vegetarian restaurants in its rankings of the country's 25 largest metropolitan areas.

Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and San Diego followed San Francisco in the inaugural index.

The study also looked at the policies of federal lawmakers from the area, as well as the conditions of pets, farm animals, wild animals and animals used in entertainment.

San Francisco took the top spot in three of the 12 categories. New York, meanwhile, had three times the number of fur retailers per capita than the overall average for the cities. San Diego had twice the number of captive animals as the second-ranked city, Miami.

See the whole list here.

MySpace For Pets is an online social networking site for pet owners to can discuss their pets. In less than two months as a live site, it has experienced remarkable traffic, with approximately 2,800 pet loving members. allows registered members to connect to and build relationships with other pet lovers. Registration is free and members receive personalized profiles for their pets, a pet's buddy gallery, a pet's photo gallery, customized instant messenger to contact other registered members and a free personalized blog dedicated to their pet and family.

Robert W. Thayer, CEO of NetSky, the parent company of, said "The modern day pet owner treats their pet like a member of their family, and the site provides them with a place to talk and introduce themselves to fellow pet enthusiasts on the Internet." Thayer continues, "I believe that the next step in the evolution ... will be niche-oriented social networking sites that appeal to a specific subject or interest. is one of these sites. We expect it to become one of the premier online sites for pet owners all over the world to swap photos, post videos and even chat with each other all in one place."

Editor's Note: It's hard enough for me to keep my Border Collie off the computer as it is. With he'll probably demand a high-speed connection. Sheesh!

Miami-Dade Rabies Alert

A rabid bat has prompted an alert in Miami-Dade County. Animal Services says a bat attacked a dog in northwest Miami-Dade, but the dog's owner killed the bat before it bit the dog. The bat tested positive for rabies.

The county's Animal Services Department is urging all residents make sure their pet's vaccines are up-to-date. "The rabies virus is spread when an infected animal bites another animal or person," said Dr. Sara Pizano, Miami-Dade County Animal Services Director. "Vaccinating against rabies is the best way to protect pets and people from this deadly disease."

Miami Dade County requires all pets to be vaccinated against the rabies virus using either a one or three year vaccine. Animal Services offers rabies vaccinations Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the main shelter located at 7401 NW 74th Street.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping pets and children away from wild animals such as raccoons, foxes and opossums that could be carrying the virus.

You CAN Take Them With You

You would be able to be buried with your favorite pet under a bill (HB 1177) passed by the Senate and sent to Gov. Charlie Crist.

Tucked into the omnibus funeral industry bill is a fix sought by Senator Jim King, R-Jacksonville, who was stunned to learn a few years ago that his own eventual burial could not include the urn containing the remains of his favorite dog, a Labrador retriever named Valentine.

The allows people to take along their pet remains as they travel to the afterworld, as long as the animal's remains are in a separate container. "If you want a friend in Tallahassee, get a dog," said Sen. Paula Dockery after voting for the measure, which passed 38-1.