Caru Helps to Feed Homeless Pets

Caru Dog Food DonationsFlorida-based Caru Pet Foods recently donated 5,700 pounds of their Natural Stews to six Chicago area rescues and animal care facilities: Tender Loving Care, Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, K9 4 Keeps, Chicago Canine Rescue, Pet Project Rescue, and One Tail At A Time.

And the sharing didn’t stop there. One Tail At A Time, allocated a large portion of their Caru Natural Stews to the local Animal Care & Control; and Project Rescue Chicago shared with Animal Welfare League’s Chicago intake facility and Be Fido’s Friend.

Not only does this generous stock of donated product help feed animals currently awaiting homes, it will help feed future pets in need, too. That’s because Caru’s Natural Stews are packaged in Tetra Pak packaging, making it shelf stable for up to two years!

Additionally, its compact, rectangular shape makes stacking and storing easy − perfect for facilities and organizations with limited storage.

This isn’t the first time the pet industry newcomer has taken a special interest in caring for animals waiting for their forever homes. In July, the brand donated $1,500 worth of stews (600 pounds) to It’s A Pittie Rescue as a part of Daily Kibble’s rescue initiative.

With more than 6,000 pounds of product, worth more than $40,000 in retail value, donated to-date in its first year of business, “Caru is really living up to it’s name, which means ‘to love’ in Welsh,” comments Caru CEO and Co-Founder Adrian Pettyan.

The company looks forward to supporting other rescues and shelters in the future.

Photos from Caru Pet Foods


Happy Belated National Cat Day

Cat DayI dropped the ball by neglecting to mention that yesterday was National Cat Day, an observance that takes place each Oct. 29 in the U.S. But better late than never.

Animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige launched this informal holiday in 2005. Not only is the idea to worship our whiskered pals, the day is meant to generate greater awareness of the plight of homeless cats and kittens, and advocacy for their care − with the support of American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

But as anyone who has ever owned or, I should say been owned by a kitty knows, everyday is National Cat Day!

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween dogsMany people now include their pets in their Halloween celebrations. This is an especially great opportunity for fur kids and their humans to have lots of fun. However, there are some potential dangers involved. Below are some important tips for keeping your pets safe and secure this Halloween.

Keep Black Cats Indoors

As a long time kitty parent, I am of the mind that cats should never be permitted outdoors unsupervised, ever. This is especially true of black cats during the Halloween season, as there are some crazy people out there who will torture or even kill these kitties during this occasion.

Black-Cat-HalloweenMany animal rescue shelters actually refrain from adopting out black cats during the entire month of October for this very reason. I, for one, kept an especially close watch on my Omar, who was very friendly, at this time of the year. The same goes for his black kitty predecessor, Murphy, who is very curious and enjoys checking out the trick treaters who come to our door. So I strongly encourage other black cat parents to keep an especially close eye on their kitties.

Some Cautions About Pet Costumes

As for dressing pets in costumes, the ASPCA advises that people should only do this if they are certain that their pets will enjoy this, as opposed to being uncomfortable or even traumatized. Pet parents should also check to ensure that pet costumes don’t have dangling or other types of decorations that the pet could chew off and ingest.

Make sure that the costumes fit properly and are not constrictive in any way. The pets should be able to move and breathe without effort. Furthermore, pets should wear their ID tags, at all times.

Make Sure that Pets Are Happy

Dr. Simon Starkey, pet care expert for PetSmart, offers these important Halloween safety tips: “Before having pets join in the Halloween fun, it’s important to assess whether your pet will be comfortable participating or if the festivities will cause undue stress.”

He added that some pets might be frightened when rambunctious, strangely dressed trick or treaters show up at the door. So it’s advisable to keep especially skittish pets in a safe place, in a quiet part of the house that’s removed from the Halloween festivities.

Make Sure that Pets Don’t Ingest Potentially Deadly Treats

Many treats that are perfectly safe for people can be downright toxic for pets. Chocolate is one Halloween favorite that can be especially deadly for dogs and cats. That’s because chocolate contains theobromine, a highly caffeinated compound that can have an extremely adverse affect on a pet’s central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Plus, chocolate can cause profuse vomiting and diarrhea in certain animals.

Pet parents should also be especially mindful of the dangers of candy wrappers such as foil and cellophane. These can cause intestinal blockages if ingested by pets, so it’s best to keep all candies and other objects that may be dangerous to pets in a safe place where they won’t have access to these. Instead, have plenty of pet treats on hand, so that the furry ones can safely join in the fun.

Make Sure that Pets Are Safe If Going Outdoors

PetSmart’s Dr. Starkey advises: “If you plan to walk your dog around the neighborhood in the evening, make sure he’s properly outfitted and at ease around strangers and crowds. An adult should always have control of the dog’s leash, and reflective leashes, collars or ID tags are essential accessories.” Many pet retailers now carry reflective costumes for critters, which is another excellent way to keep pets safe when they stroll outdoors during Halloween.

Beware of the Hazards of Halloween Decorations

It’s also important to keep in mind the potential hazards of certain Halloween decorations. Thus, the doc cautions pet parents to ensure that lights, candles and other such decorations are not accessible to curious cats and playful pooches, especially puppies.

Halloween should be scary in a fun way, and not dangerous for pets. So be sure to follow these tips to ensure that everyone has a “boo-tiful” time.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

NJ Sen. Introduces Mental Health Screening Law for Adult Animal Abusers


If New Jersey Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11) gets her way, all convicted animal abusers will be required to undergo mental health screenings in an effort to better prevent further harm to animals, and humans.

Beck recently introduced Bill S2449, also called “Shyanne’s Law,” in honor of a dog of the same name that died while under the care of a pet trainer who had a history of abusing animals, and had previously been convicted of this.

Poor Shyanne died from injuries sustained due to blunt force trauma.

Per current laws, only minors who abuse animals are required to receive mental health evaluations, in an effort to determine if they possess mental defects that may render them a continued danger to others.

If the bill were passed, this would extend to adult animal abusers, as well.

Sen. Jennifer Beck
Sen. Jennifer Beck

“Often, acts of animal cruelty are not just symptomatic of a personality quirk,” Beck said. “Such behavior is often telling of a serious psychological issue that poses a greater threat to society. This bill will allow us to punish those who would hurt animals, as well as prevent potential violence upon humans that could evolve from pattern acts of animal cruelty.”

Sounds like a good start to me. What do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Photos from the office of Sen. Jennifer Beck

N.J. Votes Against Pig Gestation Crates, With Support from Danny DeVito

Danny-DeVito-PigDespite a previous veto from N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, the Garden State Legislature has voted once again in favor of a bill that would prohibit pig farmers from keeping pregnant oinkers in gestation crates, with the strong backing of actor Danny DeVito and animal welfare groups.

The Humane Society of the U.S. today issued a statement from native New Jerseyan DeVito, who grew up in Asbury Park, in which he appeals to Gov. Christie: “You know my heart is in New Jersey. Chris, please sign the ban on gestation crates — cages used to confine breeding pigs! Man, that sounds like something we should do right away. I’d be proud of you for signing that one, Gov. You sign this ban and I think you go straight to heaven. Not for a long while of course, but, no question this kind of thing opens the gate!”

The bill was passed once before, but Christie vetoed it. It passed the N.J. Legislature again yesterday by a 53-13 vote, with nine abstentions.

New Jersey is home to about 250 pig farms, most of which do not use the crates — which make for cramped, uncomfortable conditions for the expectant moms.

As New Jersey is my home state, I am as happy as a hog in you-know-what about this development, and hope that Gov. Christie thinks twice before vetoing it again.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons

Check Out My Paw-some Articles on Catster and Dogster

Vito Vincent
Breakfast at Tiffany’s star Vito Vincent at the feline fashion show. Photo by Alissa Wolf

As I mentioned a while back, I am now writing articles for the acclaimed pet websites Catster and Dogster.

You can check out my latest works by clicking on the links below:

I am having a great time writing for these wonderful sites, and have many other fun, informative articles in the works.

If you have any suggestions for stories or topics that you are especially interested in, be sure to let me know and I will pass them along to the editors.

In the meantime, wish me luck!

Get Set for the 2015 Pet Fashion Almanac

Photo from Lauren Darr
Photo from Lauren Darr

Calling all furry fashionistas. The 2015 Pet Fashion Almanac is going to be released tomorrow, and it promises to be better than ever.

The handy how-to guide was the brainchild of marketing maven/animal lover Lauren Darr, founder of the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals.

This fount of info about divine dogs and fashion-forward felines, which was inspired by Ben Franklin’s iconic Farmer’s Almanac, contains loads of tips and resources for those in the booming pet fashion industry, plus a comprehensive zodiac section courtesy of acclaimed astrologer Ellen Zucker.

You’ll also find loads of other helpful info such as a list of pet holidays, pet media and publications, pet trade shows and conferences, pet fashion events and more.

Lauren will officially kick off the release with a big Best Seller Campaign on Amazon. Those who purchase a copy of the book tomorrow will receive a free gift of a downloadable PDF of the 2015 Pet Holiday Calendar. You can set up a reminder on an event time converter by clicking here. You can also check out Lauren’s video about the campaign here.

Last year, the book was a best seller on Amazon’s list of almanacs. It’s available as a paperback and on Kindle.

Even those who are not in the pet fashion biz will find this book informative and enjoyable. So let’s all support Lauren and her furry heartfelt endeavor!