Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hot fun in the summertime...

Being outdoors with your dog can indeed be fun. But in the summer, it can also be dangerous. The same concerns that we humans have--sunburn, heat exhaustion, and sunstroke--are shared by our dogs. Here are a few ways to prevent your dog from becoming a victim to the sun!

Use Sunblock.

Use a sunblock formulated for children, without PABA. Areas to be mindful of are the nose, the area around the eyes, and the ears. Even dark dogs get melanoma--so be generous with that application!

Limit Exposure

The sun’s peak hours are 11:00 am -- 4:00 pm. Try to avoid being in direct sunlight at these hours. If you are having a picnic, or are otherwise outdoors, make sure there is plenty of shade. And, plenty of fresh water available for your dog!

Use Common Sense and Remember, If You are Hot, Your Dog is Hot!

Hot city streets and sidewalks are uncomfortable for your dog. Don’t bring your dog with you if you are going to be out and about for more than 20 minutes.

Don’t assume that your dog is safe if she/he is playing in a pond or other body of water. If the water is hotter than 75°F, it is too hot for lengthy play.

NEVER leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, which can attain oven-like temperatures in a very short period of time.

Don’t leave your dog outside in the heat. If you must, be sure there is ample shade and fresh water available.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy panting
  • Dog begins huffing and puffing or gasping for air
  • Dog’s gait becomes unsteady
  • Dog lays down or collapses and can't get up
  • Bring your dog to a cooler place
  • If possible, take your dog’s temperature. Your dog’s temperature should be 101°-103°F. Anything at or above 105°F is a medical emergency.
  • Begin to cool your dog by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits, and in the groin region. You may also wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water.
  • Transport to your vet
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
The above symptoms worsen, your dog’s gums could begin to turn purple, your dog might drool excessive saliva from its nose and/or mouth and your dog might lose consciousness.


The same as for Heat Exhaustion. Bring your dog to the vet as soon as she/he seems to be cooler--internal damage is not visible to the naked eye.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

July 4th Fireworks Are No Blast For Pets

Returning home from a holiday celebration, Sharon Moore and her family discovered feces on their living room floor.

The sliding glass door to their backyard was open, and a hole had been dug under their fence.

The Moores were gone for only four hours, but D.O.G., their 2-year-old, aptly-named white German Shepherd, was gone. Left on her own to face the tumult of fireworks and loud celebrations, she escaped, apparently to seek the familiar—her family—even if she had no idea where to look.

"From what we can tell, when D.O.G. heard the fireworks she freaked out and pooped on the floor inside—for the first time ever—then she opened the sliding glass door with her paw, and dug a hole outside our fence.... She went searching for us," said Moore, of Maitland, Fla.

The Moores' search for D.O.G. ended when she was found dead alongside a road where she was often walked.

No Celebration

Moore believes that D.O.G., who wasn't normally scared of thunder or other loud noises, panicked from the cumulative effects of the fireworks, the excited voices outside, and being left alone inside the house.

Leave Them At Home The Moores' tragic loss isn't unique. Pets often become frightened and frantic by the noise and commotion of Independence Day. In fact, animal shelters across the country are accustomed to receiving "July 4th" dogs—dogs who run off during fireworks celebrations and are rescued by animal control officers or good samaritans who take them to the safety of a local shelter.

Fortunately, preventing pet problems on Independence Day is possible by simply planning ahead and taking some basic precautions.

"With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can enjoy the excitement of the Fourth of July and know that your animal companion is safe, sound, and enjoying a little peace and quiet," said Nancy Peterson, an issues specialist with The Humane Society if the United States.

To protect your pet on the Fourth of July, take these precautions:
  • Resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays.
  • Do not leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects—even death—in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
  • Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you've removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him company while you're attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.
  • If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.
If you follow these simple precautions, you and your pet can have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

From the HSUS. Updated June 23, 2009.

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 25: Take Your Dog to Work Day

How to prepare for bring your dog to work day...

Get Fido ready for work! This June 25th is Bring Your Dog to Work Day. Spending time in a new environment can help socialize your pet, getting him used to new faces, smells, and experiences.

And there is also the calming, soothing effect that a dog can have on humans as well. Studies have proven that having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment lower stress, and actually decrease employee absenteeism.

The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for those planning to take their dog to work:

  • Survey the scene. Before you bring your dog to the office, take a look around and pet-proof your space. Secure all cabinets and trash cans that contain food. Remove anything smaller than a tennis ball or items within your pet's reach that have sharp edges or could be a choking hazard. Cover exposed electrical cords or outlets to prevent burns and electrocution as the result of chewing.
  • Behavior. You should only take well-trained and housebroken dogs to the office. Make sure your pup is socialized and safe around strangers. If your dog is unnerved by changes in environment or social situations, the attention and strange noises involved associated with an office may cause your dog undue stress.
  • Health. You would stay home from work if you were sick and so should your dog. If your pooch has a contagious condition, leave him at home. It is also very important to make sure all of his vaccinations are up to date.
  • Hygiene. Make sure your pup is clean and well-groomed before you take him to work. A dirty dog might cause complaints from co-workers.
  • Bring the necessities. Make sure you have the necessities with you, such as bowls, food, quiet chew toys, treats, clean up bags and a leash.
  • Supervise! Supervise your dog at all times. Be mindful of people who might be afraid of your dog and those who are allergic to him.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breeder of Fighting Dogs Seeks Parole

The parole hearing for David Tant, identified as on one of the nation’s most notorious dog breeders, has been postponed from its scheduled Wednesday date.

Tant’s attorney sought the postponement. The new date will be announced later by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, with at least 30 days notice.

Tant, 63, formerly of the Charleston area, pleaded guilty in November 2004 to more than 40 counts of illegally breeding fighting dogs, and one assault count connected to a surveyor who was wounded by a booby trap after he wandered onto Tant’s property in southern Charleston County.

The surveyor was showered by an explosion of birdshot, injuring him slightly. The device was described as a "directional mine" meant to ward off intruders.

Months later, Tant was sentenced to 40 years behind bars, though that time was later reduced to around 30 years after he paid partial restitution. This is his first bid for parole after serving six years behind bars.

After Tant’s arrest, authorities discovered a variety of implements used in the underground dog-fighting trade connected to Tant, including caged treadmills, cattle prods, harnesses, a bear trap, homemade gun silencers, dog-fighting magazines and remnants of a dog-fighting ring.

Authorities also seized 47 dogs, many which showed signs of scarring and abuse.

Tant is currently housed at the MacDougall Correctional Institution, near Ridgeville in Dorchester County.

Attorney General Henry McMaster and numerous local animal activists had planned to attend the hearing to argue why they believe Tant, formerly of Charleston, should stay locked up.

Based on his level of involvement, "I think it appears he could jump right back in the dog-fighting arena," said Charles Karesh of the Charleston Animal Society and also a member of the state's anti-dog-fighting task force. A phone call to Tant's lawyer was not returned.

Tant, who prosecutors said was the country's No. 2 breeder of fighting pit bulls, was charged with 41 counts of illegally breeding fighting dogs, and one assault count connected to wounding the surveyor. Months later he would plead guilty in the middle of his trial as the evidence piled up against him. He was sentenced to 40 years behind bars by Circuit Judge Markley Dennis and all his dogs were euthanized, as none was considered adoptable.

Tant's prosecution was considered a landmark event in combating illegal dog-fighting in South Carolina. Just weeks before his arrest, McMaster formally announced the creation of a dog-fighting task force as a reaction to a spate of dog-fighting cases uncovered around South Carolina in the months prior.

Karesh said releasing Tant from prison after serving just six years of a 40-year term would bring into question whether the state is serious about ending the culture of dog-fighting. "To be out on his first try doesn't send a clear message to the community," he said.

Prior to his arrest, Tant's bloodline of dogs was especially prized in the world of illegal dog-fighting, where some said his involvement dated as far back as the 1960s. He even described himself in interviews as an "old-time dog man."

The illegal "sport" of animal fighting followed a familiar path, with betting, steroids and dead animals all part of the ritual. Some also said it could be profitable. Estimates from the time of Tant's arrest were that a puppy from a champion's line could fetch up to $1,500. Two-year-old dogs with some fighting experience went for about $2,500.

Prior to being convicted, Tant and his supporters described him as a reformed dog fighter-turned legal dog breeder. They conceded he was involved in dog fighting before 2001, but that he left the sport behind after testifying before a federal grand jury as a government witness.

Tant is currently housed at the MacDougall Correctional Institution, near Ridgeville in Dorchester County, about an hour's drive from Charleston. He could still opt to waive requesting parole or seek a delay.

The groups opposed to Tant's release plan to present thousands of petition signatures to the state parole board.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ike the Dog finds a new home

Dog known for walking along 290 during the morning rush has a new family.

Ike, the dog known for walking along a major Chicago highway, now has a new home.

The dog, a pit bull, weaved through traffic on Chicago's Eisenhower Expressway back in April. After roaming the highway for two days, he was finally caught and volunteer Hillside veterinarians cleaned and treated him before giving him to Precious Pets Almost Home.

In a Chicago Breaking News report, Precious Pets' Steve Zorn said that he has finally found a home for Ike.

Although the new owners want to remain anonymous, Zorn said that they are a couple in their 50s who have been on the search for a new dog after their two rescue dogs died within the past year.

Zorn said that Ike is now enjoying his new home and has a cat companion named Harley, and even has a Facebook page.

Ike's adoption also paved the way for several other animals seeking new homes; six dogs and two cats were adopted after Ike was taken home.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Going Green is for the Dogs… and Cats, Bunnies, and Hamster

Perhaps you feel like you are doing your part to go green. But have you ever considered the role your pets play In eco-friendly living? Here are a few suggestions when it comes to raising an eco-friendly pet:
  • Rescue an animal. There are millions of animals each year that end up in shelters. Selecting one of these animals will help reduce the shelter populations.
  • Buy quality food. Make sure that what goes in your pet is made from the best possible ingredients. Many pet foods contain fillers made from corn and other by-products, artificial flavors or colors, and ingredients that are grown using toxic pesticides. If you aren’t eating food like that, why should your pet? Look for natural, organic foods, or even look up recipes online and make your own!
  • Caring for waste. Instead of using a plastic bag and having your dog’s deposits live on forever in the bottom of a landfill, use a biodegradable bag and compost it! As long as you don’t use your compost for your veggie garden, you can toss your bio-bag into the compost instead of the trash can. For cats, avoid clay/clumping litter and go for eco-friendly litters. Green cat litters are made from natural products such as wheat, corn, wood pellets, newspaper, or pine. They are all biodegradable and can be composted.
  • Use non-plastic. Stainless steel, ceramic or glass are all good green options for food and water bowls. Chemicals in plastic, specifically BPAs, pose a health risk to your pets.
  • Spay and neuter your pets. This simple procedure will help to control the stray cat population and reduce the number of unwanted pets that end up in shelters.
Caring for your pet in an eco-friendly way ensures your precious companions will be healthy and safe. More ideas and resources available at .

Thursday, June 3, 2010

“Hey! You’re the pit bull lady.”

“Hey! You’re the pit bull lady.” Pearl, my pit bull, and I turned, not knowing whom we’d be greeting. Yes, this is a pit bull, I said. “She’s big. She’s pretty. But why did you breed her?” the young man asked. He must have been 12, and he had a few friends with him. They were on bicycles, in a park in Boston, Massachusetts, where I live.

“I didn’t breed her; she was bred before she was rescued. She has been spayed since then.” “Well, who did?” Pearl was rescued in Florida, so I told Pearl’s fans the truth, which is that I don’t know who her first owner/abuser was. She was overbred, as her teats clearly show. “That’s just wrong,” the talker of the bunch said. “There are too many dogs without homes. My mama told me that all pets should be spayed.” Well, I damn near cried. Ever so slowly, the message is getting out there. “Your mom is right. Or at least I think she is,” I said. “There ARE too many homeless dogs, especially pit bulls.

“Pearl really is pretty,” he said, “but why doesn’t she have any ears?” AHHH, that’s the million-dollar question; the one that can make me cry if asked in the right setting. “Her ears were cut in Florida. Some people like the look. Some people crop dogs’ ears
so they can’t be latched on to in fights.” “Fights!” he exclaimed. “Dog fighting is wrong. Michael Vick is an ass. My mama said he should still be in jail.” I wanted to hug that young man! What I said was: “It is wrong. And it is illegal. But some people think it’s cool. As for Michael Vick, while I think he should still be in jail, I hope his case prevents others from fighting their dogs.”

“If you walk Pearl in my ‘hood, people wouldn’t believe she’s your dog. You’re old, and a woman. All the pits in my ‘hood are owned by men. Especially the tough looking ones like Pearl.” What do I say to that? What SHOULD I say to that? “Well, she IS tough. And I AM old. But you have petted her, you know isn’t dangerous. And I knew the song you were singing when you approached me, even though I don’t sing it all of the time. The thing pit bulls can teach people is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.”

“Lady, you and Pearl are cool by us.” It takes a village to raise a child, and I simply loved my village that day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

PBRC People's Choice Pit Bull Calendar

Seeking all Pit Bull Terrier Enthusiasts!

Help us display twelve months of beauty, love, devotion and positive Pit Bull images of a wonderful breed by showing off your
phenomenal pit bull and entering PBRC’s Peoples Choice Pit Bull Calendar online photo contest. Sofa stealers, Frisbee players, hikers, swimmers or out and about with friends and families are all encouraged to enter!

Each and every photo submitted will be viewed and enjoyed by thousands. What a wonderful tribute to the dogs. The 13 most popular photos will be shared in the "People's Choice Pit Bull” calendar with the top rated photo gracing the cover. Your entry fee and the public votes that follow ($1 each vote) will help PBRC continue to help more dogs find loving, responsible homes through our listing and screening services, financially assist with spay and neuter surgeries and life-saving medical treatment.

Our volunteers work 365 days a year to provide free information that educates the public, encourages responsible dog ownership and helps promote a compassionate world where the positive image of these dogs is restored.