Sunday, November 22, 2009

Supervisor Maben secures additional spay/neuter funding

Supervisor Don Maben has secured an additional $50,000 in spay/neuter voucher funds for Kern County. Kern County Animal Control will once again take applications for vouchers for low-income residents of Kern County.

This is simply wonderful news. We need all the help we can get in Kern County to reduce the number of animals being born, and I believe that there are folks here who would love to have their animals altered, but simply don't have the funds to do so.

Also, the County now has fliers in both English and Spanish to assist in educating people about their spay/neuter options (might I add --- "Finally").

Anyone wishing to thank Supervisor Maben may do so at or by mail at 1115 Truxtun Ave., 5th Floor, Bakersfield, CA 93301

Monday, November 9, 2009

Imperfect pet owner seeks perfect adopter

Following is a recent post that appeared on Craigslist, clearly written by someone frustrated by all of the ads for rehoming found on the site. I thought it was worth repeating.

I wanted a pet, so I got one. But I am tired of taking care of it, and paying for it. I might even be moving, in which case I would have to pay a pet deposit or spend an extra 30 seconds planning how to take along my pet. Maybe I decided to have a baby or get a boyfriend (or girlfriend). Anyhow, I don't want my pet anymore. Oh wait, that sounds every bit as selfish as I am. I mean, I can't keep my pet. Yeah, that's it. Oh allergies- YES, I suddenly got allergies. No one will question that.

Now about my pet. I've had it since it was a kitten (or pup, or egg if reptilian) and now it's middle aged, the age NO ONE wants to adopt, but didn't you see- I need someone to take care of it.

Anyhow, since this process will be very upsetting for my formerly precious pet (and because I may feel an inkling of guilt) I want the adopter to give it a home where there are no other pets, so it doesn't have to share your affections (even though I've been ignoring it for months). Now let me tell you how sweet, lovable, and darling he/she is. Also, allow me to fail to mention that he/she has a urination issue when scared, or he/she eat sofas, etc.

Oh, and I think you should pay a fee to show you're capable of buying cat food. And plus I spent money on it 8 years ago and heck I can get a few boxes of diapers for the baby with that cash.

Besides, everyone knows that you can tell a person who's taking your pet to be a test lab subject by whether or not they'll shell out $50. If my pet is purebred, I will likely try to charge you hundreds. Because I spend hundreds and this is a very valuable pet. I just don't want it anymore. But YOU should want it enough to help me recoup my original purchase price.

Now, I hope you'll take it right to the vet, because he/she is behind on shots. And was never spayed/neutered. And make sure it gets premium food and all the things it deserves, but I am too selfish to even continue to care for it. And remember, this is a commitment- you better not take it and then change your mind ever because only I can do that. Now that I dumped him/her on you, he/she is too traumatized to ever face that again.

Last of all, I will now close by telling you that I need this person who takes over my responsibility to come along quickly, because otherwise I *may* have to take him/her to the pound. I probably won't, but that threat is sure to scare someone into hurrying up and taking over my responsibility.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Adorable adoption commercial

One of the cutest adoption commercials I've seen in ages! This ought to be a national campaign.

Friday, November 6, 2009

FDA expands warning on Pet Carousel products

The FDA has issued an updated advisory on Pet Carousel treats to include avoiding both beef hooves and pig ears processed by the facility, due to possible salmonella contamination.

The full release can be found here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

PetSmart Voluntarily Recalls Dentley's Beef Hooves

PetSmart is voluntarily recalling two Dentley's Beef Hoof products for potential salmonella contamination. The products were manufactured by Pet Carousel, Inc. in Sanger, Calif.

The recalled products include only the following types of Dentley's Beef Hooves purchased between Oct. 2, 2009 and Nov. 3, 2009:

Dentley's Bulk Cattle Hoof UPC# 73725703323
Dentley's 10 Pack Beef Hooves UPC# 73725736055

No other products are included in this recall.

For the full FDA release click here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Swine flu confirmed in cat

From the Associated Press

The swine flu virus has been confirmed in a cat treated at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Officials said Wednesday it's the first known case of the virus to be diagnosed in a cat. Veterinarians say the virus has also been confirmed in two ferrets, one in Oregon and the other in Nebraska.

The 13-year-old cat was treated in Ames, Iowa, and is recovering.

The veterinarian who treated the cat, Dr. Brett Sponseller, says two of the three people in the same house had flu-like symptoms before the cat became ill.

The case was confirmed at both Iowa State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sponseller says the flu is known to spread from humans to pets, but this is the first case of swine flu to spread to a cat.

L.A. Church starts services for pets

LOS ANGELES – When the Rev. Tom Eggebeen took over as interim pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church three years ago, he looked around and knew it needed a jump start.

Most of his worshippers, though devoted, were in their 60s, attendance had bottomed out and the once-vibrant church was fading as a community touchstone in its bustling neighborhood.

So Eggebeen came up with a hair-raising idea: He would turn God's house into a doghouse by offering a 30-minute service complete with individual doggie beds, canine prayers and an offering of dog treats. He hopes it will reinvigorate the church's connection with the community, provide solace to elderly members and, possibly, attract new worshippers who are as crazy about God as they are about their four-legged friends.

Before the first Canines at Covenant service last Sunday, Eggebeen said many Christians love their pets as much as human family members and grieve just as deeply when they suffer — but churches have been slow to recognize that love as the work of God.

"The Bible says of God only two things in terms of an 'is': That God is light and God is love. And wherever there's love, there's God in some fashion," said Eggebeen, himself a dog lover. "And when we love a dog and a dog loves us, that's a part of God and God is a part of that. So we honor that."

The weekly dog service at Covenant Presbyterian is part of a growing trend among churches nationwide to address the spirituality of pets and the deeply felt bonds that owners form with their animals.

Traditionally, conventional Christians believe that only humans have redeemable souls, said Laura Hobgood-Oster, a religion professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

But a growing number of congregations from Massachusetts to Texas to California are challenging that assertion with regular pet blessings and, increasingly, pet-centric services, said Hobgood-Oster, who studies the role of animals in Christian tradition.

She recently did a survey that found more than 500 blessings for animals at churches nationwide and has heard of a half-dozen congregations holding worship services like Eggebeen's, including one in a Boston suburb called Woof 'n Worship.

"It's the changing family structure, where pets are really central and religious communities are starting to recognize that people need various kinds of rituals that include their pets," she said. "More and more people in mainline Christianity are considering them to have some kind of soul."

The pooches who showed up at Covenant Presbyterian on Sunday didn't seem very interested in dogma.

Animals big and small, from pit bulls to miniature Dachshunds to bichon frises, piled into the church's chapel to worship in an area specially outfitted for canine comfort with doggie beds, water bowls and a pile of irresistible biscuits in an offering bowl. There were a lot of humans too — about 30 — and three-quarters of them were new faces.

The service started amid a riot of tail-sniffing, barking, whining and playful roughhousing.

But as Eggebeen stepped to the front and the piano struck up the hymn "GoD and DoG," one by one the pooches lay down, chins on paws, and listened. Eggebeen took prayer requests for Mr. Boobie (healing of the knees) and Hunter (had a stroke) and then called out the names of beloved pets past and present (Quiche, Tiger, Timmy, Baby Angel and Spunky) before launching into the Lord's Prayer.

At the offering, ushers stepped over tangled leashes and yawning canines to collect donations and hand out doggie treats shaped like miniature bones in a rainbow of colors.

Donna Lee Merz, a Presbyterian pastor at another Southern California church, stopped in with Gracie, her 14-month-old long-haired miniature Dachshund. The puppy with ears soft as silk was overcome by the other dogs and wriggled across the floor on her belly, quivering with excitement. She finally calmed down when Merz held her in her lap.

"She knew it was a safe place and a good place to be, a place to be loved," Merz said, gently petting Gracie after the service. "I'll be back."

Emma Sczesniak came to Covenant for the first time, lured by the promise that she could worship with her black Lab, Midnight, and her wire-haired Dachshund-terrier mix, Marley.

Marley sat on her lap during the service, while Midnight checked out the other big dogs and sat patiently waiting for his biscuit. Sczesniak said the dog-friendly service came at the perfect time for her: she's been thinking about getting back to church, but wasn't sure how or where to go.

"I don't have any kids, so my pets have always been my children, so it does mean a lot," she said of the dog-inclusive service. "I haven't been to church in a long time and this may push me into it. I'm getting older and I've been thinking about those things again."

But Midnight, Marley, Gracie and the other pups probably had something more important on their minds as Eggebeen intoned his benediction and the service drew to a close: Just where could they find more of those delicious treats?

For Eggebeen, the night was a spiritual success — and the rest is out of his hands.

"It's important for a church like us just to do good things. The results, we'll just have to see," he said. "Ultimately, that belongs to God."

Monday, November 2, 2009

FDA warns veterinarians regarding diabetes drug Vetsulin

Alert issued by the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

November 2, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health are alerting veterinarians and pet owners that Vetsulin®, a porcine insulin zinc suspension used to treat diabetes in animals, may have varying amounts of crystalline zinc insulin in the formulation. Because this Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health product is out of specification it could cause a delay in insulin action and an overall longer duration of insulin activity. Products having significant problems with stability can affect the management of chronic diseases. Unstable insulin products can result in unpredictable fluctuations in the glucose levels of diabetic patients. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is unable to assure FDA that each batch of their product is stable.

FDA and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health request that veterinarians closely monitor their patients receiving Vetsulin® for any changes in onset or duration of activity, or for any signs of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. The classic signs of hyperglycemia include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss and lethargy. The classic signs of hypoglycemia would include disorientation, unsteadiness, weakness, lethargy, and seizures.

While Intervet/Schering-Plough is working with FDA on resolving this issue, supplies may be limited. Therefore, veterinarians should consider transitioning their diabetic patients to other insulin products. In addition, FDA encourages veterinarians to report any adverse events with the Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health product to the company through the Technical Services Department at 1-800-224-5318.

Find the original release here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jesse, the amazing trickster dog

Just for fun, here's a video of an amazing little dog named Jesse.

HSLF announces winner of "There Oughta be a Law" contest

The Humane Society Legislative Fund has announced that Cheryl Woodcock, of Baldwin, N.D. is the winner of the first "There Oughta be a Law" contest. Her winning idea is to create a tax credit for people who spay or neuter their pet. You can read the details of the contest and the winning idea here.

Given the costs that taxpayers incur for homeless pets caused by people who do not spay or neuter, I think this is an excellent idea. It rewards people for doing the right thing, sends out another positive message of the benefits of spay/neuter --- one that benefits people as well as the pet, which may provide an incentive for the "what's in it for me" crowd, and further works towards the larger goal of reducing the number of homeless animals in our shelters.

Congratulations to Cheryl Woodcock!

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