Visit any pet store and you’ll be faced with hundeds of toys for cats and kittens. From simple fur mice to elaborate cat trees adorned with bobbers, danglers, catnip and carpet, these products are designed to satisfy the natural predatory and sensory desires every cat has. Cats are also curious and athletic by nature, and choosing toys to keep them stimulated and active can prevent problem behaviors and keep your pet happy and healthy, especially when they are confined in your home. Let’s get to know cat toys so you can pick the best variety for your favorite feline. Read More »
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Black cats have served as negative icons of superstition and sorcery for centuries. In many cultures the stigma that follows these animals is so deeply engrained that even today they may be shunned, abused and hated by some for what they supposedly represent. Black Cats face more discrimination and danger than the average tabby, particularly during the month of October as Halloween approaches. Contemporary rescue organizations and animal lovers may even take protective measures in October to protect the interests and well-being of these “unlucky” pets.
A Dark History
Domestic cats, as a species, have a long presence in folklore and superstition in cultures around the globe. Black coloration carries other connotations, so black cats such as pure bred Bombays, are hit with a “double whammy” in regards to how they may be percieved or treated. Perhaps the most prevalent negative association of cats is that to witches, devilry and black magic in the western world. These beliefs began largely in the middle ages when disease and death were rampant and people were looking for reasons for their dire circumstances. Actively hunting and exploring by the dark of night, shadowy feline figures unknowingly gained a reputation as being tools of evil practices, supernatural omens of misfortune and death. Some even believed cats could change shape and assume human form to carry out mischief or evil deeds. Read More »
Insect stings are probably not the first hazard you consider when you and your pet are enjoying the outdoors. While most stings are not life threatening, there are several factors that can mean the difference between an itchy lump and a trip to the emergency vet. Stings can occur anytime, though they are obviously more common during warmer months when insects are more active. It’s important to know how to recognize reactions and symptoms of stings so you know how to treat them and when to seek veterinary attention.
When I was a teenager, fall was the time for firewood collection in the wooded lot behind my family’s home. It seemed simple enough, we used a tractor and cart, collecting wood from fallen trees as my father sliced them into fireplace-sized logs to warm us through winter. Collection trips were family affairs: me, my parents, siblings and several of the family dogs who would romp through the underbrush and creek beds in search of wayward squirrels, muskrats and other wildlife to chase. The chill in the air that brought an end to humid summer days lulled the woods into a quiet dormancy, but not everything had quieted for the winter on one particular evening — and an unfortunate disturbance spurred a night to remember. Read More »
“In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise.”
– Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”
Have you ever visited a pet shelter or rescue and noticed that their resident pets were mostly dark in color? It probably wasn’t your imagination. The idea that black dogs and other dark colored pets remain in shelters longer, and are more often euthanized than pets of other colors, is debated by some. But people who volunteer, work in or run animal shelters can tell you that the seeming discrimination against black animals is a reality. The condition has been given a name–Black Dog Syndrome. Despite the gentle and loving personalities thes pets may have they are often passed over for others in the shelter, but why? Having known and lived with several inky-black cats and dogs, I can attest that each was as affectionate and sweet as their yellow, white, tan, brown or grey counterparts, maybe even more so. In fact, their satiny, glossy black coat may have even made them more appealing to me. So what causes these pets to be passed overin a shelter situation? Read More »
Summertime is full of opportunities for most of us to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. But as we all know, that searing summer sun can be intense and in the search for some reprieve we often find ourselves poolside, in local stream, river, lake or on the beach. If you’re like me, you likely have your pet along, too. My pup is a water-lover; if there is a way for her to get wet she will be. While it’s always fun having her along to play or go for a swim, it’s also important to keep any pet’s safety in mind while on, in or near water. Here are some things to keep in mind as you splash through summer with your favorite four-legged companion. Read More »
We all know that Spring is prime time for many wild animals to bring their babies into the world. We can see new fawns, bear cubs, hatchling birds, and many other new arrivals soon after they make their way into the world. Last year Frank Indiviglio wrote an article on “orphaned” babies in the Spring and what to do (or not do) about them, but one animal that may require a little more info is one of the most common babies found in backyards this time of year…baby rabbits, or “kits”.
People often mistake young rabbits as helpless and abandoned, ususally because their found alone and in the open. Several times each year we have patrons that present us with wild rabbits they come across while mowing the lawn, or that were discovered by the family dog or cat and rescued before becoming a mid-morning snack. While people have the best of intentions, removing the babies from the area where they are found often creates even more of a problem for the little guys. Read More »
Military service members across the country are deployed on active duty missions every day. Many of these people have pets that need a caring, safe and loving homes and families to care for them while their owners are deployed around the world. Some may not be able to find someone to care for their pets while they are away, leaving them with the agonizing and painful decision to relinquish their beloved pets and pet ownership rights to an animal shelter or rescue group. They may never to see their pets again or know if they found a new good home. Read More »
It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a decade since the Twin Towers fell. Each year we bow our heads in remembrance of those lost and in honor of those who worked tirelessly in the days and weeks following that fateful day. Some don’t remember or don’t know that service dogs played a vital role in search, rescue and recovery at those disaster sites. I came across this video tribute to the service dogs who worked the Trade Center site, and I really think it is something for everyone to see. Please watch the video and remember these magnificent animals for their past and present service.
I grew up in the country, rural Northeastern Pennsylvania to be exact. Raised on a beautiful 30 acre farmette, my family always had animals from cats and dogs to poultry, llamas, sheep, horses, and lots of others. It was hobby farming, no production other than new babies in the spring and hayfields to harvest for winter feeding. Over the years our little farm became the home to many pets tossed out along the roadside and left to their fate by others far less compassionate towards them. While from origins unknown, more than one of these unfortunate animals found a place in our hearts and home. Read More »
Iams and Eukanuba form Procter and Gamble Pet have now expanded the voluntary recall of various pet food formulas distributed in the United Stades due to a salmonella contamination risk. You can find a complete list of the foods involved in the recall here. Salmonella can make your pet very sick and handling contaminated food can make you very sick as well. If you feed one of the formulas listed in the recall, DO NOT continue to feed to foods to your pet. If you suspect that the food you have may be involved in the recall, discard the remainder of the food and be sure to wash your hands with soap and hot water after handling. Dishes, bowls and surfaces that may have been in contact with these foods should also be cleaned thouroughly. Children, seniors and those with compromised immune systems should avoid handling the food at all.