Monday, July 27, 2009

Austin woman raises money through Internet in two days for cat's surgery

He's very sweet, and he likes string cheese

The first thing Dawn Shepherd noticed was the loud yowling coming from the live trap she had set outside an abandoned house in Taylor one June night.

When she looked inside the cage she saw a brown tabby with a strange expression on its face. "He looked like he had been bitten by a snake because he was squinting and his cheeks were really big," she said.

Shepherd took the cat to the Austin Humane Society to get it neutered and got a far worse diagnosis. The 2-year-old cat was missing big sections of its eyelids. It couldn't blink or produce any natural lubrication to clear its eyes. Without surgery it would eventually go blind.

Shepherd, a bookkeeper for the Central Texas Cat Hospital in Round Rock, said she started crying when she heard the diagnosis and immediately called Sheila Smith, founder of a nonprofit group called Shadow Cats, which provides care for feral and stray cats.

Smith, who co-owns Central Texas Cat Hospital with her husband, Dr. Roy Smith, sent out a plea in the first part of July through her nonprofit group's Web site and through Craigslist for donations to pay for the surgery needed to repair the eyelids of the cat Shepherd named "Noble."

In two days she received the needed $2,000, including $1,400 from an anonymous person who said the donation came from "Nunya," meaning "none of your business," Smith said.

For the rest of the story in the Austin American-Statesman click here.

Shadow Cats Event at Brick Oven Restaurant

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Help for Dogs with Arthritis

Stem cell treatment can help dogs.

Check out this video

If you’re a dog owner, chances are your pet is part of your family. It’s a helpless feeling if you can’t help your dog when he’s in pain. Arthritis is a big problem for certain dog breeds and older dogs.

Now a handful of Austin veterinarians are finding success alleviating arthritis and other aches and pains with stem cell treatments.

The therapy made a big difference for Kim Galusha and her 10-year-old Border Collie, Ezri. The energetic dog loves to run and play and competes in agility contests. Last year, Kim noticed Ezri was slowing down and showing signs of pain in her front legs. Her veterinarian diagnosed her with severe arthritis.

source: CBS 42

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cuatro's: Dog Friendly Dining

Planning for Your Dog's Financial Future

woofreport logoDon’t tell the kids. But when our time comes, the dogs get everything. It seems only fair. After all, can you really put a price tag on unconditional love? We all know that when it comes to pets, love rules over money. To ensure that your precious pet always lives in the manner she’s accustomed, read up on financial planning for your pets at the CNBC website. Woof Report took a close look at it all, from pet insurance and pet savings accounts to pet trusts, and here are the highlights.

Insuring Your Pet for a Lifetime. It’s hard to even think about. But pets get sick, they get hurt, and their veterinary bills can be staggering. In fact, according to leading pet insurer, Petplan USA, every six seconds, a pet owner is faced with a vet bill over $1,000. In 2007 alone, Americans shelled out up to $10 billion on veterinary care. For most pet parents, these bills are simply not affordable. But for the love of the pet, 73% would go into debt to cover the bill. Fortunately, pet insurance covers unexpected veterinary costs and helps keep the rest from becoming heartbreaking shelter statistics.

Mike Hemstreet, owner of, a pet insurance research resource for consumers explains, "Pet insurance is best used to help cover unexpected expenses from serious injuries or illnesses. It is most appropriate for helping cover serious vet treatments. Routine care and pet meds should be paid out of the owner’s pocket." Luckily, comprehensive lifetime coverage for your pet is affordable for most families. For as little $10 to $100 a month, you can find a policy that meets your pet’s needs. Learn all the facts about choosing a plan in Woof Report’s past tip on Pet Insurance , complete with a Pet Insurance Tip Sheet!

Sock Some Away. Put a little money into a savings account each month just for your pet’s vet costs and emergencies – it adds up fast. "Making regular contributions to a savings account for your pet’s health care costs can be the right answer in the long run because many pets don’t face catastrophic illnesses or accidents. So that money builds and builds and without ever being taken advantage of," says Kim Saunders, Vice President of Shelter Outreach and Public Relations with

Trust in Me. Creating a Pet Trust. It happens everyday. Beloved family pets end up in shelters when their owners die. Pet advocate and Senior Vice President of the ASPCA’s Adoption Center Gail Buchwald recounts, "The ASPCA just last week took in two pets from someone who had died, and the pets were at risk – there was no one to take care of them. There was a local caregiver and a will, but the will did not specify what should happen to them.

The Scoop:

Read the entire article about planning for your pet’s financial future at CNBC

Download or read Woof Report’s Pet Health Insurance Tip Sheet

Read the ASPCA’s Pet Trust Primer

45 reasons to smile right now

The 32nd Annual Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows is one of America's largest and most prestigious dog shows.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Austin Dog Alliance's Kids and Therapy Dogs Summer Camp a Howling Success

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Training a dog is no easy task. But when you put kids and dogs together something magical happens. Their confidence shines through.

"You get kids who maybe aren't into sports or have some sort of special need and with a dog it doesn't matter, the dog will listen to any child," said Debi Kraker, the Executive Director of the Austin Dog Alliance .

Kraker heads up the Austin Dog Alliance, a non-profit group that rescues and trains therapy dogs. This summer kids can come to the summer camp to learn everything from agility, leash skills and basic obedience.

"It makes me feel confident in him and trust in him that he'll do it in a different situation," said Alan Williamson, a camper and dog owner.

And since most dogs need a nap after all this training, that's the perfect time to bring in some speakers.

"A vet, a professional photographer, the canine search and rescue team," said Krakar. "All different speakers are going to come in and talk about dogs."

If a camper doesn't own a dog they can use one of the foster dogs from the Austin Dog Alliance. The camp is offered for kids, ages 6 to 16.

Bastrop County Animal Shelter needs foster homes and donations after confiscating 80 Schnauzers from area puppy mill

BASTROP COUNTY, TEXAS (KXAN) - The Bastrop Animal Center is asking for the publics support after confiscating dozens of dogs from a home because of reported neglect. The dogs were found crammed into cages, covered in feces and without food. Animal control was forced to confiscate 80 Schnauzers Thursday night from that home in Bastrop County off of Hwy 95.

The Animal Shelter Director says they are still investigating to see if this home was a puppy mill. The shelter made the care of the dogs their first priority. The shelter assured that the Schnauzers will not be euthanized because they are part of an ongoing investigation. The dogs that have been there the longest were most at risk.

The shelter is in need of foster homes for these animals along with donations of canned dog food. Please call the Bastrop County Animal Shelter at 512-581-4080 to help.

KXAN reports Austin animal commission says South Austin Petland store owes city $30,000

(KXAN) - A city ordinance could force Petland in South Austin to pay $30,000 for selling intact puppies. The store's owner said her business was personally attacked by the city.

"They passed this ordinance one month before my store opened in March of 2008," said the Daxa Bhakta. "They're not targeting any of these little breeders or the people that sell out of boxes. Nobody is focused on those people and trying to stop those guys."

The city passed an ordinance in February 2008 that requires any person that sells more than 15 dogs or cats a year to pay a fee if the animal is not spayed or neutered. The fee for each animal is $50.

"When Petland and other people sell animals that are not spayed and neutered, unwanted animals enter the shelter and the taxpayer foots the bill to have them spayed, neutered, medically treated," said Larry Tucker with the Austin Animal Advisory Commission. "Then if they're not adoptable, they pay the expense of killing them and disposing of the body."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sniffing Out the Dog Flu Facts You Need to Know

Dr. Cynda Crawford, clinical assistant professor in the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, recently answered dozens of readers’ questions on the Consults blog, “The Dog Flu Virus: Are You or Your Pet At Risk?”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Say Woof Woof and Amen: Sunday morning church services held at La Zona Rosa allow dogs

Where Good Shepherds Can Howl and Pray

Only In Austin: A nondenominational church is conducting Sunday services in a bar and allowing dogs to attend with their owners. The City Community Church meets Sunday mornings at La Zona Rosa, a music venue and bar, the Austin American-Statesman reported this week.

APD says pet thefts up

A rash of rip-offs targeting pet owners has the attention of Austin police, according to this report published today by CBS 42 reporter Gregg Watson. They're seeing an increase in dogs being taken from their owners.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What Dogs Do When It Gets This Hot

Splishhhhhh, splashhh, I was takin' a bath in a bone-shaped baby pool.

Not News To Us: Poll says Americans consider pets family

Susan Jacobs, cosmetics consultant and freelance journalist, and Kingston, her 4-year-old poodle mix, share a moment at what Jacobs describes as Kingston's "condo within a condo," at her home in Long Beach, Calif., Saturday, June 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

An Associated poll released Tuesday found that half of all American pet owners consider their pets as much a part of the family as any other person in the household; another 36 percent said their pet is part of the family but not a full member.

And that means pets often get the human touch: Most pet owners cop to feeding animals human food, nearly half give the animals human names and nearly a third let them sleep in a human bed. While just 19 percent had bought an outfit for a pet, 43 percent felt their pet had its own "sense of style."

The poll was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media from May 28-June 1, 2009. It is based on landline and cellular telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,110 pet owners. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

I'm Alpha, No, You're Alpha, No, Wait, You're Beta and I'm Zero?

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Explains It All To You.

Status Report: Two Dogs, 2, 000 miles, Austin to Boston, pawing toward meet up yesterday with Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates

Tuesday, Austinite Luke Robinson's journey brought him to Pittsburgh. His two Great Pyrenees, Murphy and Hudson, were making their way to PNC Park to catch a game between the Pirates and Chicago Cubs.

Do the words "Meow!" and "Woof Woof" mean something to you? Austin Humane Society needs volunteers to foster baby or sick animals

This schnauzer was rescued from a Bastrop puppy mill recently. She and her pups are in need of a good foster home.

Volunteers must first be animal lovers, who are willing to open their homes and care for dogs and cats that are too young or too sick to thrive in the shelter environment. You can find more information here.