Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Dog Story of the Year: Dogs with Hands All Over YouTube

Dogs with hands are freakin’ hilarious, which is why it’s no surprise that they’ve taken YouTube by storm this year. It all started with a sudden influx of videos of dogs with hands in February and March of this year and now, just in time for the holidays, another holly jolly video featuring dogs with hands is going viral. ‘It’s a Jolly Holi-dog Celebration!’ hit YouTube a couple of weeks ago and is approaching 300,000 views so far. It features a bunch of different dogs with hands wrapping Christmas presents, sending out cards, making paper snowflakes, baking Christmas cookies and more. Read on to learn more about this trend, and to see some of the best dogs with hands videos on YouTube.

Homer's odyssey continues at Austin Zoo

Homer burst onto the local political scene in May 1988 when advocates decided they needed a flashy gimmick to draw the public’s attention to homelessness. After taking up a collection of $17, several homeless men and community activist Lori Cervenak-Renteria purchased the then-gosling from Callahan’s General Store. After toying with a few names, they decided to call the snowy fowl Homer. “They wanted the word 'home’ in there,” Cervenak-Renteria recalled. But Homer was not to serve as their pet. Instead, several homeless men — backed by a slew of supporters — threatened to kill the bird unless city officials met with them to discuss solutions to homelessness, such as affordable housing and job training. Animal lovers were outraged.

story continues here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Naughty or Nice, AKC survey says pets top spouses on Christmas list

When it comes to who you spend the most money on during the holidays, according to a recent American Kennel Club® (AKC®) holiday survey, 38% of respondents said their dog, beating out kids (36%) and spouse (26%), and if holiday expenses had to be cut back on this year, 55% of people would spend less on their spouse than their pooch. In fact, 78% plan on buying for other family members' dogs, 66% plan on buying for friends' dogs, and 15% plan on buying for their dog's friends at the dog park. In years past, some of the more extravagant gifts owners purchased for their dog have included memory foam beds, as well as fancy collars. One person bought "a red alligator skin collar with his [the dog's] name in crystals, and a matching red skin leash."
Additional survey findings include:
91% include their dog in the family holiday card
60% have taken Fido to see Santa and get his picture taken
61% take the time to make their pup a special holiday meal
42% said actually getting a seat at the dinner table would be on their dog's wish list to Santa

1,261 Reasons to Smile

Cutest Pets of 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Austin City Council's ban last night of retail sale of pets lauded by Humane Society of the United States

The ordinance makes Austin the first city in Texas to ban the sale of all dogs and cats at retail establishments and one of only a handful of cities in the nation to close off a primary channel for the sale of dogs and cats produced in cruel puppy and kitten mills. Puppy mill dogs are primarily sold through commercial pet stores or directly to consumers over the Internet. “We commend the humane leaders of Austin for recognizing the direct link between inhumane puppy mills and commercial pet store sales of dogs and cats," said The HSUS' Texas senior state director Nicole Paquette. “By drying up the demand for puppy mill dogs, the ordinance will boost adoptions for area animal shelters and rescue groups and increase opportunities for responsible dog breeders." Legislation to regulate large scale commercial dog breeding facilities and protect dogs at puppy mills will be considered by the Texas legislature in 2011. Texas is one of only two states in the top ten puppy mill producing states with no oversight of this industry.

Council's 7-0 ban on retail pet sales not supported by some rescue groups, breeders

Council bans retail pet sales, 7-0:

By Chris Sadeghi
The Austin City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban the retail sale of puppies and kittens while placing new requirements on local breeders. Anyone selling a puppy or kitten will have to have the proper registration documents and also spay or neuter the animal before selling. Breeders can sell dog and cats that are not spayed or neutered only if they pay a $50 fee per animal.The new ordinance will be enforced on a complaint basis.

For the rest of story click here. Scroll down to end to read more than 85 comments posted in less than 24 hours.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Austin City Council's consideration today of controversial proposal to ban retail pet sales making headlines nationally

The Austin City Council could vote today to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and small animals, which would make Austin the largest city in the country to pass such a definitive ordinance, according to a report in the Statesman. The proposal is making headlines nationally. Austin and San Francisco are pioneers in this area. Last July, each respective city considered proposals on banning the retail sale of pets. Critics of the ban include The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Imagine the conversation in the jail cell when Big Burly Bill asks, "Whaddaya in for?"

Landlord Arrested for Throwing Dog Poop into Tenant’s Home from Maria Goodavage with for the love of dog blog

An Ohio landlord is chilling out in jail after getting hot under the collar about poop left on the flat rooftop porch of a tenant with six dogs. Apparently the tenant “walks” his dogs on the rooftop. For more click here.

Deal of the day for Austin pet lovers: $10 for $20 worth of Austin-based natural pet food

Orange Tabby of Wales Places Emergency Call

Retired lecturer Howard Moss (of Brynmill, Swansea, South Wales) was the unsuspecting victim of a prank call staged by his orange tabby, Ginger. Purrhaps Ginger wanted to shake things up a bit. Or maybe he wanted to get back at Moss for an unintended slight. Whatever his motivation, he was astute enough to feign a sound sleep when the police investigated. “The police insisted that it was not a spook call because it had originated from inside the house,” said Moss. Read the rest of the story here.

Pets aren't presents: The look on this cat's face says it all

No matter how cute, no matter how well-intentioned, a pet is not a present. It is a life time commitment. More on this topic from the new blog by those outstanding locals at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maintain Your Dog's Routine During the Holidays


The holiday season is upon us, and that likely means you’re busier than ever – out and about attending parties, shopping, and perhaps you’re traveling or will soon have guests in town. And what does that mean for your dog? His or her daily routine will probably change along with yours. That being said, it’s the perfect time for a reminder that dogs love routine. When your dog's routine changes, he or she can feel stressed. Stress in dogs takes all forms, and it’s often misjudged as bad behavior. Your dog may nibble on your new winter boots, or perhaps she’ll whine and bark when you’re away (and only the neighbors know it), or maybe your dog will leave you ‘special’ present, a gift you certainly will not be re-gifting! There are still other behaviors, such as irritability, excessive self-licking and loss of appetite.

Read about a few ideas to help alleviate stress your dog may experience during the holiday season here.

Obama and all sides in Congress agree to get one thing done


On Thursday, December 9, at a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama signed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 into law. The new law prohibits the creation and distribution of “crush videos” and establishes a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

In April 2010, the United States Supreme Court struck down the original “Crush Act” (the Depictions of Animal Cruelty Act), a federal law passed in 1999, finding its language to be overbroad and unconstitutional. The law was meant to stop the creation and sale of crush videos and other depictions of illegal acts of animal cruelty. The animal welfare and law enforcement communities have been concerned that lack of a federal law to prohibit crush videos would lead to resurgence in their trade—done mostly via the Internet—which was suppressed effectively by the 1999 law.

The Court’s ruling did leave the door open for the Act to be rewritten—and to their credit, several members of Congress wasted no time in drafting and introducing amendments that would 1) withstand test of constitutionality, and 2) address one of the Court’s main problems with the original Act by including exemptions for visual depictions of hunting, trapping, and fishing. The Senate version of the legislation was introduced by U.S. Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC); the House version was introduced by Representatives Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Gary Peters (D-MI).

“The ASPCA has long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes,” says Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “By banning crush videos, our federal government is potentially helping to protect the community from other serious crimes and sending a clear message to individuals seeking to profit from the suffering of helpless animals. This law protects both animals and free speech by focusing specifically on crush videos, which clearly have no place in our society.”

The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act has a narrower focus than the 1999 law, but still prohibits creating or distributing depictions of non-human animals being intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.