Homeless Cats Hired to Guard Chicago Brewery

Empirical Brewery employee Venkman is on the lookout for rodents. (Photo from DNAinfo/Patty Wetli)

As further proof that the job market is improving, a beer brewery in Chicago has hired a bevy of stray cats as security guards in an effort to keep rats away from the company’s grain supply.

The kitties employed by Empirical Brewery were hired as part of a program overseen by the Tree House Humane Society’s Cats at Work program.

According to a statement issued by the organization: “This is a green humane program that removes sterilized and vaccinated feral cats from life-threatening situations and relocates them to new territories where their presence will help control the rodent population.”

The cats are humanely managed by volunteer caretakers for the entirety of their lives with ongoing support from Tree House as mandated by Cook County’s Managed Care of Feral Cats Ordinance.

Rodents are repelled by the cats’ presence and leave the cats’ new territory. Many cats will also hunt and catch rodents on occasion, but if they are fed regularly, they usually won’t eat them.

Compared to the methods that are most commonly used to control rats, which are short-term solutions and therefore ineffective, and also dangerous to kids, pets and the environment, this method proves to be effective, humane, and environmentally friendly. It is a win-win situation for the cats and their human neighbors!”

Rats have long plagued beer makers, because they love the high-quality grains used to make the brews. Empirical previously used the services of exterminators on a regular basis. But this did little to deter the rodents.

Thus far, Tree House has found jobs for about 400 stray kitties. No word on whether they plan to unionize.

Tenn. to Become First State to Have Animal Abuser Register

Tennessee-Animal-Abuse-RegistryIn a measure that is being roundly applauded by animal welfare advocates and critter lovers in general, Tennessee will soon become the first U.S. state to offer a register of animal abusers. This takes effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Similar in principle to registers for child abusers, this will include the names of known animal abusers that will be available to the public, in an effort to thwart known abusers from owning and coming into contact with animals.

Sen. Jeff Yarbo, who sponsored the legislation, said in a statement, “We proposed this law not just to take a stand against animal cruelty, but to take concrete action to prevent abuse and deter those who repeatedly engage in the torture and killing of animals.”

While a number of U.S. cities and counties have adopted such measures, this is the first statewide legislation of its kind. Eleven other states are said to be in the process of passing similar legislation.

Hopefully, this will help to take a big bite out of animal cruelty, and severely restrict those who engage in the heinous abuse of critters.

Photo from the State of Tennessee

Police Dog Killed During Paris Police Raid

Diesel-French-Police-DogAnimal lovers the world over are mourning the death of Diesel, a brave Paris police dog who was killed during a  raid of a suspected terrorist hideout in the suburb of Saint-Denis.

The 7-year-old Belgian Malinois was a highly trained assault and explosives canine who was well-loved by her fellow officers.

She apparently was killed when one of the suspects detonated a suicide vest. Two people were killed and five law enforcement officers were injured. Seven people were arrested.

Dieu vous bénisse, Diesel. May you always be remembered for your heroism and loyalty.

Photo from UK Daily Mail

Kitties Crash G20 Summit in Turkey

G-Summit-CatsNumerous world leaders were upstaged by three kitties who brazenly strolled onstage during yesterday’s opening session of the G20 Summit in Turkey.

The assembled attendees and media were astonished to see the trio of feckless felines pussyfoot onto the Antalya Summit stage prior to appearances by President Obama and Russian President Vladmir Putin.

No one seems to know how the kitties got past security, which was especially tight in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

However, Turkey is known for its vast population of highly friendly stray cats, and these apparently didn’t present any threats. They just strolled around the stage, sniffed some flowers and scampered off into the night.

Key leaders from around the world have gathered in Turkey to discuss the Syrian migration crisis and the recent terrorist attacks, as well as global economic issues.

Despite the very serious nature of these talks, the leaders were said to have no “hard felines” about being upstaged by the furry gatecrashers.

Photo from ABC News

Zebras Run Away from the Circus in Philadelphia

Zebras-Loose-in-PhillyA pair of zebras who perform in the UniverSoul Circus were safely corralled after they escaped today from the Mann Music Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, where they had just finished a performance.

The unnamed critters slipped out of a back lot at around 2 p.m., and proceeded to stroll through local streets. Authorities captured one without incident about 30 minutes later; the other was found and captured about an hour after his escape.

Luckily, the animals were not injured, and no people were harmed.

Meanwhile, people who witnessed the escaped animals hanging out on the streets of the City of Brotherly Love took lots of pictures and video of the pair, which they posted on social media.

The Philadelphia Police tweeted, with tongue in cheek. “Zebras in custody. They are already sporting old-timey prisoner getup ahead of trial and sentencing. Have faith, fellas.”

Following the incident, the zebras set up their very own satirical Twitter page, ZebrasinPhilly.

On a less amusing note, UniverSoul Circus has been the target of protests by animal welfare groups, due to their alleged mistreatment of the animals that perform in their shows. And this could have been a tragedy that could have resulted in the zebras being hit by a vehicle or being injured or killed by other means.

Fortunately, the only injuries were to the zebras’ pride. Otherwise, this hopefully will help to draw attention to the manner in which circus animals are treated.

Photo from CBSlocal.com

Halo Purely for Pets Recalls Cat Food Due to Mold

Halo-LogoIn yet more pet food recall news, Halo Purely for Pets has issued a voluntary of select packages of the brand’s Spot’s Stew Wholesome Turkey Recipe Sensitive Formula for Cats kibble due to reports of mold.

The affected products are the 3- and 6-pound bags of Spot’s Stew Wholesome Turkey Recipe Sensitive Formula for Cats (UPC 745158350231 and 745158340232) with a best by date of 09/04/2016.

While some pets may not experience any adverse reactions to ingesting moldy food, others may exhibit digestive issues and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Fortunately, no cat illnesses or deaths have been reported thus far.

Cat parents are cautioned to cease feeding this to their pets immediately, and to take it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

If you have any further questions or concerns, you may contact Halo at Concerned (800) 426-4256 between of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. You may also visit the company website by clicking here.

Blue Buffalo Recalls Kitty Yums Due to Propylene Glycol

Blue-Buffalo-RecallThis was just announced by PR Newswire: Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. is voluntarily recalling a limited production of Blue Kitty Yums Chicken Recipe Cat Treats that may contain low levels of propylene glycol, which is not permitted by the FDA for use in cat food.

Cats reacting to high doses of propylene glycol may exhibit signs of depression and may have a loss of coordination, muscle twitching, and excessive urination and thirst. If your cat has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The affected product was distributed nationwide in the U.S. and Canada through pet specialty stores and e-commerce.

The product is packaged in a 2 oz., plastic stand up pouch.  Only these specific code dates of this product are involved:

  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 859610007820 – Best If Used By: April 24, 2016.
  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 859610007820 – Best If Used By: July 24, 2016.

No other Blue pet foods or treats are involved in this recall.

The FDA tested product in response to a single consumer complaint and found propylene glycol in one bag of our cat treats in the impacted lot. To date, we have had no other reports of incidents related to our cat treats. Out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily recalling all product manufactured in the same lot as the subject bag.

Consumers who have purchased the product being recalled may return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Blue Buffalo at: (888) 667-1508 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday or by email at BlueBuffalo5883@stericycle.com.

Photo from PR Newswire