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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.”

Mother Fined $500 For Saving Baby Woodpecker

This was reported on USA9 News and highlights how bureaucracy can cost lives.

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WUSA) -- Eleven-year-old aspiring veterinarian, Skylar Capo, sprang into action the second she learned that a baby woodpecker in her Dad's backyard was about to be eaten by the family cat. Skylar couldn't find the woodpecker's mother, so she brought it to her own mother, Alison Capo, who agreed to take it home. "She was just going to take care of it for a day or two, make sure it was safe and uninjured, and then she was going to let it go," said Capo.

But on the drive home, the Capo family stopped at a Lowes in Fredericksburg and they brought the bird inside because of the heat. That's when they were confronted by a fellow shopper who said she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "She was really nervous. She was shaking. Then she pulled out a badge," said Capo. The problem was that the woodpecker is a protected species under the Federal Migratory Bird Act.  Therefore, it is illegal to take or transport a baby woodpecker.  The Capo family says they had no idea.

So as soon as the Capo family returned home, they say they opened the cage, the bird flew away, and they reported it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But roughly two weeks later, that same woman from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed up at Capo's front door. This time, Capo says the woman was accompanied by a state trooper.  Capo refused to accept a citation, but was later mailed a notice to appear in U.S. District Court for unlawfully taking a migratory bird.  She's also been slapped with a $535 fine. If convicted, Capo could face up to a year behind bars.

Eventually the fine was dismissed but not before the media reported this. Is that what it takes?

Dog Sits By Owners Grave in Brazil

An image of Leao, a medium-sized, brown dog sitting next to her owner’s freshly covered grave has captured the world’s attention and CNN readers had plenty to say about the moving picture and the power of love between animals and people.


Dog sits by owners grave

Puppy Bowl V!!

Dogs The Puppy Bowl VII's lineup ready to ruff it up
This just in from CNN:

Animal Planet has announced the lineup for Puppy Bowl VII, the annual Super Bowl antidote pitting irresistible pups against each other and a slew of chew toys on the gridiron. The football-with-puppies game has aired the same day as its fellow venerated American tradition, the Super Bowl, for the past seven years.

The 20-pup starting lineup was assembled from shelters and rescues across the country and as far as the U.S. Virgin Islands, all of whom will be vying for the title of MVP, or most valuable puppy (surely you knew that).

Among our favorites: a Lab mix named Jack, who has apparently learned to deal cards and pick up some hours at the local casino in the 12 weeks he has been alive, according to his profile; and 16-week old "Little Red," a shih tzu-beagle mix who has a culinary degree.

Check out the complete starting lineup

White Sox’s Buehrle Offers Hope—and Help

WhiteSoxBuehrleOffersHopeandHelp_240 Shortly before Christmas, animal control officers in Godfrey, Illinois—a town of about 18,000 just north of St. Louis—found a dog, a female Sheltie mix, wandering the streets. The dog had an arrow sticking from its abdomen. It was clear the dog was in great pain. They took her to Horseshoe Lake Animal Hospital in Collinsville where, in a three-and-a-half-hour operation, her spleen and parts of her intestines, as well as the arrow were removed.

No one knows the circumstances in which the dog—about four years old and 30 pounds, and named Shelby—was injured. Her owners, when contacted, said Shelby had been missing for about six weeks. They then relinquished custody of the dog to Hope Animal Rescues, a nearby animal rescue organization with a no-kill policy.

Shelby needed round-the-clock care. Her expenses grew to nearly $3,000. A couple that regularly volunteers for the rescue organization—Chicago White Sox All-Star pitcher Mark Buehrle and his wife Jamie—offered to foot the bill.

The Buehrles, who own three dogs including one they rescued from a shelter, introduced Sox for Strays, their own pet adoption organization last season. Once a month during the baseball season, they sponsor a pre-game gathering at the Sox’s stadium, U.S. Cellular Field, where they unite shelter animals with fans interested in adoption.

“Mark always says maybe when he retires, we might open a sanctuary or something,” Jamie told the Chicago Tribune.

As for Shelby, she’s healthy and doing fine. Several weeks ago Jeffrey Bray, a St. Louis anesthesiologist, and his wife, Debbie, adopted her. They, too, have a history of rescuing pets from shelters. The first time they and their three children met Shelby, a Hope Animal Rescues executive told the Chicago Sun-Times, “they all got down on the floor with her, loved her and gave her kisses.”

Can’t ask for a better welcome than that.

Pet News Links Around the Web, 5.24.09

Here are some great news bits from bloggers and the press that you may have missed. Follow the links for good stories and perhaps discover some new sites.

I assume you have heard of Sockington, the cat that has more than 500,000 followers on Twitter. Well now you can visit Twitshirt and have your favorite Sockington tweet printed on a shirt. What's your favorite Sockington tweet?

I have written about using wee wee pads in For Senior, Elderly Cats: Wee Wee Pads (not just for dogs). Here, at the Dog Guide, Dan Stein writes about 4 Other Uses for "Puppy Pads."

Daisy the Curly Cat declared Straw Hat Day! in celebration of the coming summer. I don't know how you get a cat to pose in a straw hat, but this photographer certainly does. Take a look at her cute photos.

Great Green Pets describes an Eco-Me Dog Kit that "includes recipes and ingredients to make your own flea/bug spray, clean wipes, shampoo and biscuits."

If a dog were to buy an aromatherapy candle, what would it look like? You can find the answer to this question (search the site archives for "candle") and get lots of laughs at off the mark site. This site has a database of cartoons by Mark Parisi with a good selection of dog and cat humor.

Pet News Links Around the Web, 5.17.09

Picture 1 Here are some great news bits from bloggers and the press that you may have missed.

Thoughts Fur Paws has a post on HSUS Controversy.

I recently had a post up about the Humane Society of the United States helping with national puppy mills legislation. As a supporter of HSUS, I was quite shocked to read some of the comments the post got.

Read some of the comments and then speak up and tell them what you think.

Did you think the Beanie Baby craze was over? Dog Reflections talks about Beanie Baby Bo.

At Paw Talk, Karen Shanley writes A Day in the Life of a Dog Writer. Her previous book was a finalist for the Best General Dog Book award from DWAA, her next book will be out this fall.

For a virtual taste of life of the farm, visit Farmgirl Fare and read Baby Carey is Three Years Old Today! Baby Carey was the sweetest little lamb, now a beautiful sheep -- check out all the great photos.

Need a good dog bed? Pet Monologues offers useful tips in How to choose a dog bed.

There's always lots of cute zoo babies at ZooBorns. I love these adorable Cotton-Topped Tamarins described as the "punk rockers of the New World monkeys."

Daily Bunny offers a moment of zen with this video of a bunny grooming -- very cute!

Book spotlight: Dogs of Dreamtime: A Story About Second Chances and the Power of Love, a beautifully told story by Karen Shanley.