Tag Archives: pet health

The Scary Truth About “Free to a Good Home” Dog Classifieds

Written By Brandy Arnold

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The Dogington Post is one of my favorite websites to read . They have a wealth of information on pets. This is an extremely important article for people who in good faith are either looking for a new pet or needs to re-home a pet. It bothers me a lot , the number of animals that are killed by evil people. So please share this article to help cut down on the number of pets that are used and murdered on a daily basis.

Every responsible dog owner or pet parent knows that getting a dog is a life-long commitment. From the moment you open your heart and home to a loyal dog, you’re in it for the long haul, through sickness and health, ups and downs, good and bad, through snuggles on the couch to picking up the pieces of yet another pair of shredded shoes.

Responsible dog owners make decisions with their dog in mind. We don’t move to a new home without making sure the furkids are welcomed in the new community, we don’t spend frivolously without making sure the dog is cared for first, and, when times get tough, we’ll skip a meal so that the dog still gets his.

Unfortunately, not all dog owners are responsible. Close to 4 million dogs enter rescue shelters each year in the United States alone, with about 60% of these facing euthanasia. Shelters and animal rescues are busting at the seams as a direct result of irresponsible pet ownership.

Still, even responsible dog owners can sometimes find themselves searching for a good home for their beloved pet. Unexpected circumstances, illness, injury, death, economic collapse. Things happen.

Because our rescues and shelters are packed full, responsible pet owners have an increasingly tough time finding a good home for their pets and are turning to direct-to-consumer classified ads, like Craigslist or the local newspaper, thinking that they’re doing the right thing for their dog. Sometimes, a good Samaritan finds a stray dog and, rather than call animal control and risk the dog being euthanized, will put up a classified ad to find a new home.

We visited Craigslist’s pet classified section and contacted several dog owners offering “free to a good home” dogs on the site with questions about their dogs, their reason for re-homing them, and their decision to use a classified ad for their precious dogs. Most advertisers ignored us, but a few responded. Here’s what we found:

A military family was deploying overseas and couldn’t take their pitbull-mix; a single mother was having another child and could no longer afford to care for her Catahoula-mix; another was re-homing his deceased father’s beloved Beagle. Though most of us would find ways to keep our dogs in each of these cases, none of them are particularly terrible reasons to re-home an animal.

All 3 were genuinely concerned for the well-being of their dogs and felt they were doing the right thing. All 3 listed their pets as “free to a good home” because they didn’t want to profit from a “sale” of their pet, but ultimately only wanted to find a loving home for the pets they cared for. All 3 respondents above claimed to have contacted shelters and/or rescue groups before using Craigslist but were denied any help due to overcrowding and felt they had no other options.

All 3 pulled or modified their ads when we explained what really happens to “free to a good home” pets.

So, what really happens to “free to a good home” dogs?

– Last year, Jeffrey Nally Jr. was charged with 29 counts of animal cruelty because of the massive number of dead animal found on his West Virginia property. Nally had obtained at least 29 animals through “free to a good home” Craigslist ads, just like the ones we responded to.

– Patricia Hervey of Texas, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of animals at her Bexar County home. Hervey prowled Craigslist for “free” animals, claimed to run an animal shelter near San Antonio, took money from dog owners to use to re-home them, then shot and killed them, dumping their bodies in a lake behind her home.

– Dogfighting circles use free Craigslist dogs as “bait dogs” for training their own dogs to fight without risking injury, or they take in free dogs and train those to be fighters as well.

– Other groups, called “Bunchers” scour classifieds for free dogs, then sell them to laboratories for animal research and experimentation.

– And, sometimes, a free ad for re-homing a purebred, unaltered dog will result in the former family dog being picked up by a puppy mill breeder to spend the rest of her life as a caged, malnourished, unloved breeding machine.

The people looking specifically for “free to a good home” dogs will go to great lengths to appear legitimately interested in providing a perfect, loving home for the dog. They present themselves as well-to-do, responsible dog lovers. They often bring children along to meet the dog and owner to avoid suspicion. They will make up elaborate stories about previous pets, a perfect home and yard, and promise to provide a loving forever home to the helpless animal.
If, for some reason (and it better be a good one), you must re-home your pet, there are some steps you can take to ensure he goes to a good home. Pet-Abuse.com offers up some wonderful tips for pet owners facing this challenging dilemma.

Don’t advertise “Free pet”
Spay/neuter the animal to avoid attracting backyard breeders or puppy mill operators
Charge at least $25 to discourage resale of pets to labs and others
Ask each prospective owner for his/her veterinarian’s name as a reference and check it.
Ask for identification in the form of a photo I.D. Write down the information, or scan/photocopy it if possible
Ask for a phone number and explain that you’d like to check on how the animal’s doing. An honest person will gladly share the information with you.
Have the person sign an “adoption” contract concerning your pet stating that they will not go to research. Having this in writing gives you legal recourse.
Ask to visit the place where your pet will live before your release the pet to the new owner.
If a dog owner truly cares about the life and well-being of the dog being re-homed, taking the steps above to ensure he goes to a good home are worth the time and effort.

What should you do if you find a “free to a good home” dog classified ad?

Whenever possible, contact the dog’s owner and warn them of the dangers of giving away their dog for free. As we discovered, not everyone will listen. So, if the ad is on the internet, contact the site owner to request that they disallow the posting of ads for free animals on their site.

Bookmark this page and send the link to anyone trying to give away a free dog.

These dogs are depending on us.

 

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The Dirty Dozen: 12 Pet Treats to Avoid

By: Brandy Arnold of The Dogington Post

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If you were making your own dog treats, using the freshest and most wholesome, healthy ingredients, would you ever consider dumping sugar into the mix?

Of course not. So why, then, do a number of the most popular dog treats on the market contain high amounts of sugar? Because dogs love it.

According to a press release from Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) and author of “Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter – A Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives” (2010 HCI),

…the problem is linked to money – lots of it. With US pet treat sales estimated to be nearly $2 billion in 2010, the treat bowl has turned golden. “Sugar is incredibly attractive to dogs. If a dog gobbles a treat quickly, an owner is more likely to give another – and another. This adds up to more sales – and profits. In the race for pet treat profits, our pets’ health is being bankrupted.”

With 45% of American dogs and 58% of cats considered overweight, an estimated 89 million pets are at high risk for developing conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

In addition to obesity, sugary treats lead to behavioral problems as well.

“Numerous studies in rats demonstrate that overfeeding sugar can create symptoms similar to drug addiction. A dog’s daily sweet treat may be contributing to overeating and other undesirable behaviors. This is why I call today’s high-sugar treats ‘kibble crack.’”

Still, pet treat manufacturers blame pet owners. They are, after all, the ones that purchase and feed the sugary treats.

So, Dr. Ward listed what he calls “The Dirty Dozen,” the 12 most popular sugary dog treats that should be avoided. Pet parents should be aware of what they’re feeding their pets, understand ingredient labels, and to avoid treats that masquerade as healthy and nutritious while silently contributing to the obesity epidemic.

His goal is to help pet parents to be more aware of what they’re feeding their pets. “Pet owners definitely have a feeding disorder when it comes to their pets. Ultimately it’s up to each owner to control how much they feed their pets. What I want to bring attention to is what ingredients are in pet treats – and why. Pet owners must begin to question why there is sugar in a treat that claims to help teeth,” he said.

Dr. Ward’s Dirty Dozen – Popular Sugary Pet Treats

Pet Treat Added Sugar
Canine CarryOuts Chew-lotta Dextrose first ingredient
Snausages SnawSomes! Beef and Chicken Flavor Sugars 3 of first 4 ingredients
Pedigree Jumbone Mini Snack Food for Small Dogs Sugars 2 of 3 first ingredient
Petrodex Dental Treats for Cats Dextrose second ingredient
Pedigree Jumbone Sugar third ingredient
Milk Bone Essentials Plus Oral Care Sugar third ingredient
Pup-Peroni Lean Beef Recipe Sugar third ingredient
Science Diet Simple Essentials Treats Training Adult Treats with Real Beef Sugar third ingredient
Cesar Softies Dog Treats Sugar third ingredient
Milk-Bone Chewy Chicken Drumsticks Sugar third ingredient
Meow Mix Moist Cat Treats Corn syrup fourth ingredient
Pedigree Marrobone Sugar third ingredient
Other common sugar-containing treats according to Dr. Ernie Ward:

Pedigree Jumbone – Sugar third ingredient
Beneful Snackin’ Slices – Sugar fourth ingredient
Pit’r Pat Fresh Breath Mint Flavored Cat Treats – Maltodextrin first ingredient
Three Dog Bakery Lick ‘n Crunch – Dextrose third ingredient
Beneful Snackin Slices – Sugar fourth ingredient
Busy Chewnola – Maltodextrin second ingredient
Exclusively Dog Vanilla Flavor Sandwich Creme Dog Cookies – Sugars first two ingredients
Canine Carryouts Dog Treats – Corn syrup second ingredient
For more information, visit http://www.PetObesityPrevention.com or http://www.DrErnieWard.com .

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Get Your Pet WinterProofed

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Frostbite takes paws of cat

By: Tanya Stroman

Many times, particularly in the south, we will coop ourselves and our pets in the house to avoid any dangers during this time. But don’t let the weather control the exercise and quality time your pets should be enjoying.

I am no way saying that your pets should be locked outside . Yes , in my opinion that’s abuse. But our pets aren’t feeble beings and there are ways for them to enjoy themselves during the winter months with creativity and safety precautions in use.

Winter has the benefit of being a great time to enjoy fresh air and exercise. I am going to provide you with precautions for you and your pet to keep safe during this time. Here is a top list of advice to help your pets cope with winter weather.

1) One misconception among people is that cats and dogs can withstand cold temperatures simply because they have fur. Let’s straighten this out now, while it’s true that some large dog breeds are well equipped for the cold weather, others are more sensitive. Provide your fair-weathered pets with a coat and boots.

2) I am not a believer in keeping my cats outdoors. That’s for several reasons. Yet I do understand some owners don’t mind their cats outside for a couple of hours. Know this, cats usually don’t stay outdoors for long when it’s very cold. Yes their temperament for cold is the same as ours. They will protect themselves from cold weather so help them. Always check the upcoming forecast before letting your cat out. If you are not going to be home to let your cat back into the house, don’t let it out.

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A list of winter-related conditions to watch out for in your pet:

Frostbite

When animals are exposed to freezing temperatures for an extended period, they are vulnerable to frostbite on their extremities, including ear tips, foot pads and belly. When a dog or cat is exposed to cold temperatures, its body reacts in stages:

1) Your pet’s fur provides insulation just like us when wearing a coat. Their hairs, when exposed to cold air, undergo pilo-erection. This is like you and I getting goose bumps. The hairs “stand up” trapping the air in that layer. This air is warmed by the body and adds additional insulation.

2) When the body’s core temperature decreases, an involuntary reflex by the skeletal muscles known as “shivering” is triggered to generate heat and warm you up. Animals, like humans, experience this same reaction.

3) When the body is really getting cold and the animal’s life may be at risk, the body responds by vasoconstricting the peripheral tissues. This means the body is being selective in where it is sending warm blood.
The organs are the most important to keep both an animal and human alive so that blood is circulating in the core of the body (heart, liver, kidney lungs,) and shuts down temporally by constricting blood vessels to the extremities until the body’s normal temperature is attained.

4) If a cat or dog is still exposed to the cold by this stage, frostbite will develop. In extreme cases, frostbite can mean the loss of limbs, toes and ear tips.

If you suspect your animal is suffering from frostbite, start administering first aid immediately to avoid permanent damage. Please ensure you seek veterinary assistance as frostbite can be dangerous if left untreated.

Here are some first aid tips to keep your pet safe:

1) Warm the affected area slowly with warm water using towels.

2) If it is a limb or paw that is frozen, soak it only in a bath or bowl of warm water

3) Dry gently after you have the warmed the area

4) Do not rub or massage the frozen tissue.

5) Do not apply snow or ice.

6) Do not immerse your pet completely in a bath this will cause the body temperature to decrease and cause hypothermia.

Hypothermia

Make sure that frostbite is treated. If frostbite goes untreated, hypothermia can develop. Hypothermia is an abnormal lowering of the body’s temperature. This is a serious condition that can cause unconsciousness, shock and even the death of a pet. Be careful, however, as frostbite alone is not a guaranteed precursor to hypothermia.

If you suspect hypothermia, it is best to seek medical treatment from your veterinarian as this condition can worsen without proper care. While they are being transported to the veterinarian there are a number of methods you can use to stabilize your pet :

1) Warm your pet slowly using blankets
2) Put warm water in plastic bottles then wrap in towels to prevent burns.
3) Use plastic zip lock bags filled with uncooked rice that you warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes then wrap in a towel.

Conclusion

• Provide winter footwear for pets – they may squirm and make a fuss at first, but their paws will thank you!
• Avoid too much walking on salt – wipe your pet’s feet!
• Don’t leave pets in the car during cold weather
• Keep pets away from the fireplace

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Honest Kitchen Recalls Five Lots of Dog Food

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The Honest Kitchen has today announced it is voluntarily recalling five lots of its Verve, Zeal and Thrive dog foods because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

The items were produced between August and November 2012 and sold nationwide in the US and Canada via retail stores, mail order and online after August 2012.
No other Honest Kitchen production dates, batches, or products are affected.
About Salmonella
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms:
Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
Abdominal cramping
Fever
Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms.
Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Animals with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some animals will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.
Infected but otherwise healthy animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
If your animals have consumed the recalled product and display these symptoms, you are advised to contact your veterinarian.
About the Recall
The Company is taking this action after learning that one of its raw ingredients suppliers has recalled a batch of human‐grade parsley that may contain Salmonella .
The batch of parsley was shipped to the Company in 2012 and used in the production of five lots of Honest Kitchen products.
The Honest Kitchen claims to regularly test for Salmonella and other pathogens as part of its quality control process — and has not received to date received any reports of illness associated with these product lots.
The Company is proceeding with this action to ensure the safety and quality of its products.
According to Lucy Postins, company founder and CEO…
“While our quality control tests did not find evidence of Salmonella in any of our finished products, we are accountable for everything we make, and are taking precautionary action to ensure the safety and integrity of our products.”
What’s Being Recalled?
The lots being recalled are:

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What to Do?
Consumers who purchased the above lots of Honest Kitchen Verve, Zeal or Thrive products should stop feeding the products to their pets, remove the UPC (bar code) and lot code from the packaging, and discard the contents in a covered trash receptacle.
Lot codes are located on the top of product boxes either adjacent to or opposite the UPC.
For questions, consumers are invited to call the company at (866) 437-9729. Or send an email to info@thehonestkitchen.com.
Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm PST.
You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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