Philadelphia Pet Rescue Agency to Hold Black Friday Adoption Event

black-friday-flyer2The Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly) will host a most unique Black Friday event tomorrow, by offering reduced pet adoption fees, with an especially deep discount for those who adopt black pets.

For just one day, the adoption fees will be $5 for cats, $10 for dogs, $100 for puppies, with fees waived for black animals. So they’re free! Plus, the agency will be open during extended hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

As those who work at rescues will tell you, black pets, especially cats, are the least likely to be adopted and the most likely to get euthanized in shelters. As I have been mom to two black kitties, I can tell you that they are wonderful pets that deserve good homes. And you sure can’t beat that price.

ACCT Philly is at 111 W. Hunting Park Ave. in North Philadelphia. Visit their website at

Photo from ACCT Philly

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets

thanksgiving-dogsThanksgiving is a day to enjoy great food and the company of loved ones, including our pets. But while it’s okay for our companion animals to join in the celebration, it’s also important for pet parents to observe certain precautions in order to keep their critters out of harm’s way on Turkey Day.

Below are some important tips.

Avoid Giving Your Pets Foods That May Be Toxic to Them

While it’s okay to feed your pets a little bit of turkey or steamed veggies, as long as you remove the skin, excess fat, gravy and seasonings, please do not feed dogs and cats such foods as chocolate, grapes, raisins and others that may make them sick, or even have fatal consequences.

And never feed pets raw turkey, as this may contain Salmonella bacteria. The same goes for cooked bones, as these may splinter which results in fragments that a pet can choke on, or can cause intestinal blockages or punctures. So it’s best to feed your pets healthy species-specific foods before you sit down to dinner. For a list of foods that can be toxic to pets, you may refer to the Humane Society of the United States website.

Keep Foreign Objects Away From Pets Thanksgiving-Cat-Cropped

At this time of the year, pets are more likely to get into the garbage or play with and subsequently ingest holiday decorations. So it’s very important that you secure your trash cans with sturdy lids or in a closet, garage or cupboard to ensure that your pets don’t get into them and munch on such items as aluminum foil and plastic wrap, as well as foods they should not have.

Remember Car Travel Safety Tips

Many people hit the road with Rover and Whiskers when traveling by car during the holiday. So be sure to take along first aid items. And do properly restrain your pets when traveling with them by motor vehicle. Unrestrained pets are the cause of thousands of accidents each year. As a result, many states have passed strict laws requiring that pets be properly secured in moving vehicles, and will slap those who don’t comply with large fines. For more about this, please see my article on Dogster.

Until we meet again, Murphy, Lily and I wish you, your families and pets a very happy, safe Thanksgiving.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons


Natura Issues Recall of Some Evo Dry Cat and Ferret Foods

Evo-Cat-and-Ferret-Food-RecallNatura has just issued a voluntary recall of some dry cat and ferret foods. Below is the official company press release:

FREMONT, Neb., Nov. 24, 2014 /CNW/ — Natura Pet Products has initiated a limited, voluntary recall of certain dry cat and dry ferret food lots produced in its Nebraska facility. Due to a formulation error, these products contain insufficient levels of vitamins and excess minerals.

Pets can become ill if they lack vitamins for prolonged periods. Early signs of vitamin deficiency may include decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting and weight loss. If treated promptly, vitamin deficiency can be successfully reversed. The presence of excess minerals in these products poses no health concern.

There have been no reports of animal health concerns to date, but these lots do not meet our quality standards and should not be consumed by pets. No other EVO® products or lots are affected by this issue.

The affected product and lot codes are:

EVO® Grain Free Turkey &
Chicken Formula dry cat food
15.4 LB 5148 541400 02/19/2016 4300A700D2
EVO® Grain Free Turkey &
Chicken Formula dry cat food
2.2 LB 5148 541402 02/20/2016 4301A700A4
 EVO® Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food 2.2 LB 5148 541402  02/20/2016  4301A700B4
 EVO® Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food 2.2 LB 5148 541402 02/20/2016 4301A700C4
 EVO® Grain Free Ferret Food  6.6 LB  5148 542101  02/19/2016  4300A700D3

The problem was discovered during the investigation of an ingredient inventory discrepancy. Only these 5 lots are affected. These lots were distributed through independent retailers in California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and Canada, as well as online. No other Natura products are affected.

Retailers have been contacted and are instructed to immediately withdraw these lots from store shelves. Consumers who purchased the product should discontinue feeding the product immediately and discard as normal household waste. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this incident. We are taking immediate corrective action as a result of our investigation.

For more information, consumers can reach Natura Consumer Relations at (855) 206-8297, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or visit

Photo from CNW PR Newswire

Doris Day Animal Foundation Launches Online Store

Doris-DayJust in time for the holidays, the Doris Day Animal Foundation recently unveiled a new online store, with all proceeds from the sales of branded merchandise to benefit needy critters.

The star of numerous classic comedy movies and TV shows is a long-time animal welfare advocate who in 1978 launched her foundation, which is dedicated to finding homes for pets and providing them with veterinary care; spay/neutering; grants for animal rescue organizations; and other programs and services.

Doris orchestrated a star-studded fundraiser for the foundation in April in her hometown of Carmel, Calif., in conjunction with her 90th birthday.

Meanwhile, the store includes such items as T-shirts, mugs, hats and tote bags bearing the foundation’s logo, plus a selection of OPI nail polishes selected by Doris, that are available exclusively through the online store.

Check it out here.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Vodka Saves Cat’s Life After She’s Doused with Antifreeze

missey-vodkaAs most pet lovers know, booze can be deadly to animals. But vodka helped to save the life of Missey, a 4-month-old kitty from Yorkshire, Britain, after an unidentified culprit cruelly doused her with antifreeze.

When her humans, Paul Stephenson and his daughter, Sara, rushed her to a nearby veterinary hospital, the pet doc there resorted to a most unorthodox treatment − he placed Missey on an IV drip of 37.5 percent vodka for two days, which saved her life.

The veterinarian who treated her, Dr. Andrew Miller, told the Mirror newspaper, “The vodka treatment is quite unusual but is commonly used on animals that have swallowed antifreeze. Antifreeze is extremely toxic to animals’ kidneys. We specifically use vodka because the ethanol in it neutralizes the substance in the poison.”

Not only did Missey survive, she reportedly got a nice buzz.

Photo from North News

Grumpy Cat to Star in Lifetime Holiday Movie

Grumpy-Cat-MovieCelebrity feline Grumpy Cat is set to make her acting debut in the holiday film “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. on the Lifetime channel.

Grumpy, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, rose to fame after her comically cynical Internet memes went viral. She is now worth a reported $100 million, thanks to her best selling mew-moir “Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book,” branded merchandise, public appearances and partnership with Friskies Party Mix.

Grumpy, whose perpetual sour puss is the result of feline dwarfism, was born in Arizona in April 2012 and was adopted as a kitten by Tabatha Bundesen, who was a server at Red Lobster at the time. Her Uncle Bryan Bundesen, a former lineman for Time-Warner Cable, now manages her career.

Grumpy first gained acclaim when she was 5 months old and her uncle posted a pic of her on Reddit, where it was viewed 1.5 million times in 36 hours. She became so famous in such a brief amount of time that Tabatha and Bryan quit their jobs in order to focus on her fur-bulous career.

In the movie, Grumpy stars as a kitty that is for sale in a mall pet shop, where customers overlook her because of her homely appearance. But she forms a special friendship with a 12-year-old girl during the holidays, and the pair embarks on some fur-raising adventures. Grumpy’s movie voice is being provided by “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza.

I actually got to meet Grumpy in April, when Friskies feted her with a grand second birthday bash in Manhattan, in conjunction with the launch of limited edition Party Mix packaging bearing her image.

Contrary to her public persona, she’s far from grumpy. In fact, she’s a sweet, laid back kitty that hasn’t allowed fame to go to her furry head.

At any rate, I am looking forward to her small screen debut, in which she is sure to turn in a meow-velous purr-formance.

Photo from Lifetime

A Veterans Day Salute to Our Four-Legged Heroes

Humans in the military aren’t the only ones who deserve our thanks on Veterans Day. We should also take the time to honor the numerous courageous canines that have served our country through many a war, often sacrificing their lives.Military-Dogs

Pooches have fought side by side with humans since ancient times, acting as trackers, sentries and scouts. They have been serving the U.S. since the first Seminole War that began in 1816, and later played pivotal roles during the Civil War and both World Wars.

Canines currently serve in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they primarily fill the roles of police, bomb detecting and surveillance pooches.

This year for the first time, six military dogs will be honored guests at the big America’s Parade in Manhattan, taking place today from noon to 3 p.m. on 5th Avenue between 26th and 52nd streets.

These brave, now retired canines, which have helped to save the lives of 150 to 200 military personnel, will have their very own float in the parade.

Among the celebrities who will be on board to help honor these brave bow wows will be rapper, “Law and Order SVU” star and dog lover Ice T and his wife, Coco; veterans’ advocate Lois Pope; and Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association.

So let’s give a big round of “a-paws” to these selfless furry soldiers, that deserve our most heartfelt gratitude.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

PetSmart Paws for Hope to Fund Canine Therapy Program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital

PetSmart_Paws_for_Hope_LogoLOUIS (BUSINESS WIRE) – St. Louis Children’s Hospital has teamed up with PetSmart to help fund the hospital’s pet therapy program that will provide thousands of patients with access to canine comfort teams through PetSmart Paws for Hope, which kicked off on Oct. 30. PetSmart will fund the program at a commitment of $250,000 over five years.

“At PetSmart, we know the power of pets and their ability to help patients heal,” said David Lenhardt, president and chief executive officer of PetSmart. “Partnerships, like this one with St. Louis Children’s Hospital, make a world of difference to the sick children. I look forward to seeing them expand their pet therapy teams to positively impact even more young lives.”

Support from PetSmart will allow St. Louis Children’s Hospital to grow their Therapy of Unique Canine Helpers (TOUCH) Dog Program to double the number of dogs participating and hire a part-time coordinator to oversee the program.

“We are grateful for the incredible generosity from PetSmart, which enables us to significantly enhance our TOUCH Dog Program,” said Joan Magruder, St. Louis Children’s Hospital president. “This partnership is a great example of what happens when members of the community band together to make a difference in the lives of sick children.”

This is the fifth national partnership of its kind between PetSmart and a hospital pet therapy program; existing programs include Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Orlando Health, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and SickKids Hospital Toronto.

In 2012, PetSmart teamed up with Phoenix Children’s Hospital to sponsor their first animal-assisted therapy program, PetSmart Paws Can Heal. The initial launch was such a success that PetSmart expanded the program to hospitals throughout the country with PetSmart Paws for Hope, with expansion to Orlando Health earlier this year.

The program creates additional pet therapy teams in hospitals and allows for more daily visits from a therapy animal for each patient. Additionally, the program provides support for the patients and their families. PetSmart plans to expand this program into at least three new hospitals across the country every year, with Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, kicking off later this year.

Photo from Business Wire