Illinois Passes Bill to Penalize Those Who Leave Pets Outside During Extreme Weather

Even mildly warm temperatures can have dire effects on pets left in cars. Photo from North Utah Valley Animal Shelter

Thanks to a bill recently passed by the Illinois House, people who leave their pets outdoors during extreme hot or cold weather in that state can now be subjected to stiff penalties and fines.

Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago sponsored the bill as a response to reports of a number of dogs dying after being left outside in freezing temperatures during this past winter.

“This happens a lot. … I think we see it in the city of Chicago also,” Feigenholtz told the Chicago Tribune. “Our alderman’s office gets calls all the time, and perhaps this will give us an opportunity to address the problem.”

Those who break the law can be subject to a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail.

I think this law is a great idea, and hope that other states adopt their own similar legislation. If it’s too cold or hot outside for humans, then it’s too cold or hot for Fluffy and Fido. So please keep this in mind, ladies and gents.

And remember: Never leave a pet in a car on a warm day for even a few minutes. The temperature inside a car on a hot day can reach as much as 160 degrees in less than 30 minutes. So please, leave your pooches and kitties at home on during the dog days of summer.

Study Claims Cat Parasite Can Cause Mental Illness in Humans

Cats that are allowed outdoors are more likely to carry a parasite that researchers say can cause schizophrenia in humans. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

A truly alarming study published in the Schizophrenia Bulletin reports that domestic felines are susceptible to carrying a parasite called toxoplasma gondii, which can potentially cause schizophrenia in humans.

Scarier still, up to 60 million Americans may be carrying this parasite without even knowing it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A similar study conducted in Amsterdam that evaluated the results of 50 previous studies concluded that one in two people who carry the parasite will become schizophrenic.

Scientists claim that strays and pet cats that are allowed outdoors are more likely to carry the parasite. So experts caution cat parents to keep those kitties indoors, lest they run the risk of becoming crazy cat ladies – literally.

I personally find this study hard to believe, and I know of many cat lovers who are convinced that this is just a bunch of alarmist anti-kitty propaganda. What do you think? Please feel free to comment below.

Check Out this Delish Cookbook for Pets

Dinner PAWsible coverAs an increasing number of educated pet parents have become leery of many commercially available pet foods, many are seeking safer, healthier alternatives for their cats and dogs.

If you’ve ever considered making your own pet foods, I strongly recommend “Dinner PAWsible: A Cookbook of Nutritious Meals for Cats and Dogs,” which recently was re-released as a second edition, with more recipes.

The book was co-authored by holistic veterinarian Dr. Cathy Alinovi, DVM and Susan Thixton, renowned pet food safety advocate and author of the popular blog Truth About Pet Food, as an in-depth guide to healthy pet nutrition.

“Dinner PAWsible” contains many practical tips for preparing homemade meals for pets, including how to whip up meals in bulk; explanations of the essential nutrients dogs and cats need; explores how the pet food industry has brainwashed pet parents; and more.

The book also includes more than 60 recipes for main dishes and dog and cat treats, including jerky, which is a subject that is especially troublesome for many dog parents due to the controversy surrounding jerky treats produced in China, which resulted in illnesses and deaths in many dogs.

Plus, the book contains pictures galore of the delish dishes.

Below is a sample recipe for a tasty, healthy treat for dogs and cats:

Almond Butter Cookies

  • 2 cups raw carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ⅓ cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine ingredients into a dough. Roll out on a floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into 1-inch squares for dogs, ¼- inch squares for cats and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

These sound so delicious that I want some! That’s the whole point. People should not feed their pets anything that isn’t fit for human consumption. So this wonderful book is a great place to begin exploring healthier alternatives for our beloved companion animals.

Bon appetit, pooches and kitties!

(You may order the book from Amazon. com.)

Photo courtesy of Cathy Alinovi

Rachel Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food Recalled Due to Too High Vitamin D Levels

Rachel-Ray-Cat-Food-RecallMEADVILLE, Pa., June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Ainsworth Pet Nutrition of Meadville, Pa., is voluntarily recalling five varieties of Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® wet cat food, including Ocean Fish-a-licious, Lip Smackin’ Sardine & Mackerel, Ocean Fish & Chicken Catch-iatore, Tuna Purrfection, and certain lot codes of Paw Lickin’ Chicken & Liver due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D. Symptoms of excessive vitamin D consumption usually develop within 12-36 hours after ingestion and may include vomiting or diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, and muscle tremors or seizures. Any cat experiencing these symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

Two variety packs that contain some of these recalled products (the Chicken Lovers Variety Pack, and the Ocean Lovers Variety Pack) will also be recalled. The recalled products are distributed nationwide. No other Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® products are affected by this recall.

Single Pack Unit UPC Code Best By Dates Thru
PAW LICKIN CHICKEN AND LIVER (2.8 oz) 071190007032 AUG 17 2015
OCEAN FISH AND CHICKEN CATCH-IATORIE (2.8 oz) 071190007049 DEC 1 2016
OCEAN FISH A LICIOUS (2.8 oz) 071190007056 DEC 1 2016
TUNA PURRFECTION (2.8 oz) 071190007063 DEC 1 2016
LIP SMACKIN SARDINE AND MACKEREL (2.8 oz) 071190007070 DEC 1 2016
Multi Packs – 12 Count Unit UPC Code Best By Dates Thru
CHICKEN LOVERS VARIETY PACK (12 count pack of 2.8 oz cups) 071190007773 DEC 1 2016

The UPC code can be found on the bottom of the cup. The Best By code can be found on the side of the cup.

To date, there have been 11 reports of illness associated with these products.

After conducting a number of product tests, Ainsworth confirmed that the affected products have elevated levels of vitamin D. The high levels result from the natural levels of vitamin D that are found in some of the fish ingredients that were used in these specific formulas.

“At Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Rachael Ray™ Nutrish®, the safety and quality of our products is our top priority,” says Jeff Watters, CEO. “For the time being, we recommend disposing of any of the affected wet cat varieties. Rest assured we have implemented additional operating procedures to prevent an issue like this from occurring in the future.  We sincerely apologize to our loyal consumers everywhere.”

Ainsworth is working to ensure the removal of all affected products from store shelves. Retailers with affected products are asked to contact 888-943-4218 for additional information.

Consumers with questions about the recall are encouraged to contact Ainsworth’s Consumer Care Team at 877-650-3486 or visit

Representatives will be available from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET Monday thru Friday and 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.

Vitamin D is important in regulating calcium and phosphorus in a cat’s body. But, when ingested at very high levels, it can lead to serious health issues.

Production of the affected varieties has been suspended and will resume after reformulation.

SOURCE Ainsworth Pet Nutrition