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Hail New Zealand's Bird of the Year - The Green Parrot

He’s never gonna stop talking about this. The kākāpō, a flightless, nocturnal parrot, has been named New Zealand’s Bird of the Year in its annual online competition. It’s the first bird in the contest’s 15-year history to win twice, beloved as the heaviest and longest-lived parrot species on Earth. The competition was marred by vote rigging in favor of the little spotted kiwi, but authorities spotted the fraud and disqualified the suspect votes. While the win doesn’t carry a cash prize, it’s hoped it will raise awareness and affection for the critically endangered bright green birds.

Sources: New Zealand Herald, The Guardian

Important Information About Deadly Pet Food Recall

Pet food recalled after at least 28 dogs die, 8 sickened: FDA

·2 min read
From Yahoo News -----

Several pet food products have been recalled after 28 dogs died, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday.

Three brands of Sportmix products for dogs and cats made by Midwestern Pet Foods may contain potentially fatal levels of the toxin aflatoxin, according to the FDA.

The FDA said it is aware of at least 28 deaths and eight illnesses in dogs that ate the recalled pet food.

PHOTO: A dog with a food bowl in an undated stock photo. (STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images)
PHOTO: A dog with a food bowl in an undated stock photo. (STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images)

The Missouri Department of Agriculture tested multiple samples of the food and found "very high levels" of aflatoxin, which is produced by a mold that can grow on corn and other grains used in pet food, the FDA said.

Midwestern Pet Foods has committed to recalling nine lots of Sportmix products, the FDA said. The FDA and Missouri Department of Agriculture are working to determine if any others need to be recalled.

The lot code, which begins with the letters "Exp," is located on the back of the bag.

As of Dec. 30, the recalled products are:

Sportmix Energy Plus

50 lb. bag:

Exp 03/02/22/05/L2

Exp 03/02/22/05/L3

Exp 03/03/22/05/L2

44 lb. bag:

Exp 03/02/22/05/L3

Sportmix Premium High Energy

50 lb. bag:

Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

44 lb. bag:

Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

Sportmix Original Cat

31 lb. bag:

Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

15 lb. bag:

Exp 03/03/22/05/L2

Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

The products were distributed to online retailers and stores nationwide, the FDA said.

Pet owners who have the recalled products should contact the company for further instructions or throw the products out in a way that children, pets and wildlife cannot access them.

Signs of aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice and diarrhea. There is no evidence that pet owners who handle the products are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning, the FDA said.

If your pet has symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Pet food recalled after at least 28 dogs die, 8 sickened: FDA originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

Cannabis For Dogs?

I have to admit that I am up in the air when it comes to giving dogs cannabis. I don't think there has been enough research on the subject and it is difficult to ascertain its true health benefits. So I have started to do some research on the subject and will share what I have found in this post and in future posts.

The Canine Journal has an interesting article called the 8 Things You Need to Know About Dogs and Marijuana. The link gives you the full article but the gist of it is that according to their research, dogs can get high and can die if they ingest too much of it.

Two valuable Q&As from this article are:

How Does Marijuana Affect Dogs?

Below is a list of the affects of marijuana on dogs.

  • Lethargic
  • Breathing problems
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Loss of balance
  • Urinary incontinence


Is Cannabis Poisonous To Dogs?

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the risk of cannabis poisoning in dogs is moderate to severe. If your dog accidentally eats marijuana, you should call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control immediately. The ingestion of too much marijuana can be life threatening.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Severe depression
  • Walking drunk
  • Lethargy
  • Coma
  • Low heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Coma
  • Hyperactivity
  • Vocalization
  • Seizures

So while other sites may advocate the use of cannabis for dogs, this particular site lists all of the warnings about doing so.

Dogs and Marijuana Infographic
Source: CanineJournal.com

Victory Against Puppy Mill Imports

Puppy millsFinally some good news regarding those heart breaking puppy mills. According to the Humane Society, the USDA recently finalized a rule prohibiting the import of young puppies into the US for resale. Here is the letter I recently received on the subject:


I have great news to share with you today: the U.S. Department of Agriculture has finalized a rule prohibiting the import of very young puppies into the United States for resale from foreign puppy mills. This is a major advance for dogs, pet parents and for animal advocates like you who have worked for decades to end the import of dogs bred in foreign puppy mills and sold to unsuspecting U.S. pet owners.

Over the years, we have heard hundreds of sad stories resulting from this indiscriminate import and sale of puppies, like bulldog puppy Otis and teacup Maltese puppy Tink. Read Otis and Tink's stories, plus more about this historic news, on my blog»

This is a long-awaited victory for us at The HSUS. We started the process in 2008, when Congress passed the Farm Bill with an HSUS-backed provision to stop puppies bred in foreign puppy mills from being imported into the United States for resale. It took six years for the USDA to finalize the rule implementing the ban, but today we have a strong outcome on the issue and will finally stem the tide of sick puppies coming into U.S. airports, some of them dying in long-distance transport for resale.

With the advent of global commerce -- and what we've seen in the form of trade with exotic animals, ivory and rhino horn and factory farming -- this ban comes just in time to prevent a massive influx of puppy mill dogs from China, eastern Europe and Mexico.

This is the second leap forward that the USDA has taken to protect puppies over the last 12 months. Last September, the agency finally passed another HSUS-backed rule that brings internet puppy sellers under the Animal Welfare Act regulations and requires them to be federally licensed and inspected. That rule went into effect last November and will finally bring standards of care and oversight to thousands of online puppy mills.

Again, this significant step forward would not have been possible without your help. Thank you for all you do to help animals.


Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

50 Blogs with Tips For Caring For Your Pets

Cat family portraitThis very interesting and informational article was graciously authored by www.findananny.net and is reprinted here with their permission. Enjoy:

Are you considering getting a family pet? Before making any commitments, it’s important to do some research to determine the type of pet that will be best for your family and your living situation. While pets can be wonderful companions for children, caring for them does require work, and it’s important to have a realistic view of who will actually be doing that work. Everyone in the family will need to be willing to pitch in and help out with pet care. These 50 blogs will give you the tips you need for caring for your household pets.

Choosing the Right Pet

You know you want a pet, but how do you know what type of pet to choose? Research is key to making an educated decision about the type of pet that is best for your family. Ask yourself who will be taking care of the pet, how much time and money you have to invest in one and if you have the resources to support the pet as it grows. It’s also important to consider what your family wants to get out of the pet. Are you looking for a guard dog to offer protection or a bunny to snuggle with on the floor? Keep these points in mind as you read through these 10 blogs.

Caring for Pocket Pets

A ‘pocket pet’ is a cute way of describing pets like mice, gerbils, rats, hamsters and guinea pigs. These animals are all small enough to fit in your pocket, are inexpensive and won’t take up a lot of room in your home or budget, making them a popular choice for a child’s first pet. While your younger child may be able to help care for a pocket pet, it’s always the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the pet receives the care it needs. Take a look at these 10 blogs to learn more about caring for a pocket pet.

  • Pocket Pet Pointers Take a look at this home created for pocket pets that gives the pets plenty of things to do.
  • Davenport’s Veterinarian’s Guide to Pocket Pets Read about different things you should consider before getting a pocket pet for your family.
  • Pocket Pets & Small Animals This blog supplies a list of things you should watch out for to determine if your pet may be sick.
  • What the Heck is a Pocket Pet? Find out about different pocket pets that are available and the types of cages they will need.
  • Dwarf Hamster Care—A Pocket Pet for You? Read about this small pet and how to care for it to see if this is the right pet for your family.
  • Pocket Pet Care You’ll find plenty of information regarding pocket pet care in this post.
  • Caring for Pet Mice Mice and rats are inexpensive to buy and care for and are not difficult to train, which makes them a smart choice for many families.
  • “Starter” Pets While starter pets require less care than a dog, they still require proper care. Make sure your kids understand that they need to be careful and responsible with their pet before agreeing to purchase one.
  • Pet Mice-Fancy Mice Mice are very social animals and can be trained to do simple tricks like getting a treat from your pocket.
  • Dwarf Hamster Care These common pocket pets are smaller than a regular hamster, so you need to use care when handling them so they don’t get injured.

Dog Care

Caring for a dog can be expensive and time consuming. It’s a big commitment, and one that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Before deciding to get a dog, ask yourself and your family a few questions. Do you have the space and the time to exercise a dog? Who is going to potty train a puppy if you get one? Can you afford vet bills? Owning a dog can be a rewarding experience for you and your family, if you are ready for it. These 10 blogs will help you learn how to take care of a dog and teach the kids to care for it as well.

Cat Care

Cat people tend to enjoy the independence that this pet affords them, as cats don’t need to be walked or let outside to go to the bathroom. Cat care requires less time and effort than dog care, which make them good pets for busy people. It is important that you provide your cat with toys, food and water. You also need to make sure that your environment is safe for them to roam.  For more tips on caring for cats check out these 10 blog articles.


Caring for exotic animals like lizards, rabbits, potbelly pigs or birds can be a good learning experience for the entire family, but if you have young children you need to be careful bringing some exotic pets into your home. Some may carry germs that pose a danger to the health of children and others simply aren’t suitable pets for families with young kids. Keep these things in mind as you read these 10 blogs that provide a peek into what goes into caring for exotic pets.

The Secret Life of the 1 Percent Pet

The Hollywood Reporter had a huge spread on pampered pets called The Secret Life of the 1 Percent Pet including (this is LA after all...) animal plastic surgeons, dog pilates, dog yoga, pet psychics and shrinks, pet massage, dog swim coaches, pet acupuncture and pet pot dispensaries.There are five star dog hotels and dog friendly dining venues. And there are certain animals that are considered "A-listers" who get behind that velvet rope into the VIP lounges whenever they please. There are also cases of pet custody battles that can turn very nasty ... the people not the pets.

As far as final resting places, look no further than the Los Angeles Pet memorial Park located at 5068 N. Old Scandia Lane in Calabases.

Here is a video that can give you some idea of what it is like to be a 1 Percenter Pet:


Insurance for Dogs Who Bite

Dog breeds"How much is that doggie in the window? $30 K, if it bites." Well that is an eye opener. But in fact dog bites can cost owners a lot of money. If your dog is frightened or feels threatened, even the mildest of breeds can become aggressive. So there is some good news to share --

State Farm insurance company is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the U.S. Postal Service to reduce dog bites. The average cost of a dog bite insurance claim is $30,000, which includes medical and legal expenses.

All insurers across the country paid nearly $489 million in dog bite claims in 2012, according to the Insurance Information Institute. State Farm does not refuse to sell you an insurance policy because you own a certain breed of dog. And if your dog bites someone, State Farm will not automatically raise your rates or cancel your policy.

An important factor is determining whether the dog bite was provoked or unprovoked. If your dog has a history of multiple bites, you might have a problem. More than half of all dog bite victims are children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The partners in this campaign hope to educate the public. Many sites have tips, including www.americanhumane.org and www.avma.org/public/pages/Dog-Bite-Prevention.aspx

Here are some AVMA tips:

• NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet.

• Don't run past a dog. By nature they love to chase.

• Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or taking care of puppies.

• If a dog approaches you, stay still. In most cases the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat. Don't scream or yell. Avoid eye contact.

• Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.

• Get regular veterinary care and checkups. A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/pets/pet-tales-the-high-price-of-dog-bites-689914/#ixzz2VBUFqFnl

Dog Shrinks

DogAccording to the Wall Street Journal, Hawaii is emplying dog psychiatrists to help lower the volume .. on dog barking. Here is a short excerpt of the article:

Carl Oguss is trying to use psychology to reform a couple of scofflaws, who are meeting with him as part of a plea deal."No!" he shouts, jabbing a finger at the miscreants after they appear to snub his attempt to drum some sense into them. One of them, Kala, hangs her head. The other, Kamakani, gives a defiant response: "Woof!"

There's the problem. Local authorities have charged Kala and Kamakani with being "incessant barkers," an offense under a new law here on the Big Island. If the two Italian sheepdogs don't zip it, their owners face $575 in fines, and the dogs could be evicted from the neighborhood.

Dog counseling has been in demand in Hawaii County since early last year, when county commissioners passed an ordinance banning "barks, bays, cries, howls" that go on continuously for 10 minutes, or intermittently for 20 minutes within a half-hour.

Nuisance yapping is a problem everywhere. Los Angeles passed last year an antibarking law with fines up to $1,000. Two years ago, Centennial, Colo. passed an ordinance imposing fines up to $100 per violation on owners of dogs that bark more than 10 minutes.

This Pacific island needed a stronger bark-abeyance law, authorities here say, because it has a particular pooch-population problem. The average U.S. household has 1.7 dogs, says a 2007 American Veterinary Medical Association report. On the Big Island, where people use dogs for hunting wild pigs, many residents have at least five and some as many 30 dogs, says Debbie Crazatta, founder of the Kohala Animal Relocation and Education Service, which helps find homes for stray dogs.

Dogless islanders have long complained of dogs that bark around the clock. Jim Radovic says his neighbor's 10 dogs would serenade their block in Hilo, Hawaii, at all hours before the antibark law. "We got to the point we had two fans blasting next to our heads so we could go to sleep," says the 51-year-old emergency-room nurse.

Under previous law, officers had to time barking for 30 minutes and then give the owner an hour to quiet the hound. Police were usually too busy to stick around timing dog barks.

Some say the new law infringes on rights, human and canine. "It's nuts, man," says 49-year-old Clyde Wheatley, a bulldozer operator whose Rottweiler and Labrador have no barking violations. "To me, barking is good because it notifies you somebody's around who shouldn't be around."

Indeed, it is OK, under the new law, to bark if your owner is about to be attacked.

Donna Whitaker, executive director of the Hawaii Island Humane Society, says often a dog barks because it is bored. Dr. Oguss says sometimes a well-mannered mutt is egged into barking by another dog. One large dog, he found, was blowing his cool after hearing the Chihuahua next door yapping for hours. "A dog who is instigating by being rude to your dog is looking to start trouble," Mr. Oguss says.

But there may be a fundamental problem: Mr. Oguss suspects Kala and Kamakani bark unnecessarily because they are kept in an enclosure that is about 10,000 square feet part of the day with three goats. "There's very little for them to do," Mr. Oguss says. "Barking is their TV."


Bring On the Kitty Cams!

CatundercarthumbNow here is a fascinating project -

Kitty Cams research examined the nature of outdoor activities of owned cats by monitoring pets outfitted with "Kitty Cam" video cameras. Kitty Cams allow recording of a cat-eye view without disrupting behavior. We used Kitty Cams to investigate the activities of urban free-roaming cats in Athens, Georgia from Nov. 2010 -Oct. 2011, with goals for wildlife conservation and for improving the health and well-being of pet cats.

Daniel the Dog Cheats Death

This is the first of two posts describing animals who survive euthanasia. I suspect that this happens more often than we suspect. This one of Daniel the Dog, takes place in an animal shelter in Alabama.

This is an excerpt from the Blaze:

While not entirely a “feel good story,” there is definitely something heartwarming, and awe-inspiring, about a 5-year-old miracle pooch named Daniel who waltzed right out of an Alabama gas chamber, tail wagging, after a failed euthanasia attempt. The dog, described as a Beagle but more closely resembling a hound-mix, was sent to the chamber with 18 other dogs at an animal shelter on October 3. When the animal control officer returned to the locked chamber and opened it, he found Daniel happily wagging his tail while the other dogs lay dead.

The control officer said he didn’t have the heart to put the pup back into the chamber, mainly because he believed Daniel survived for a reason, proving his life must have a bigger purpose. Now, hundreds of people touched by the story are vying to adopt Daniel and make sure he is never sent back to the kill-shelter.

ABC adds:

He found a temporary home in Tennessee with Karen Rudolph, who runs Schnauzer Savers Rescue of West Tennessee with her husband Michael.

Rudolph dubbed him Daniel, inspired by the biblical story of Daniel, who walked out of a lion’s den unscathed. Eleventh Hour Rescue, which brought Daniel to New Jersey with the help of Pilots and Paws, gave the dog the last name “Milagro,” meaning miracle in Spanish.

What is perhaps most incredible, is that Daniel received a clean bill of health from the veterinarian.

“Amazingly, not only did he survive the gas chamber which is very rare … he was not sick,” Rudolph said. “It was almost as though angels pulled him out of there and he didn’t even breathe the gas.”