Saturday, December 8, 2012

Local hero: Vet Ellen Jefferson


By Michael Barnes | Friday, December 7, 2012, 03:03 PM

While volunteering at the old Town Lake Animal Shelter, veterinarian Ellen Jefferson saw too many animals killed.
“It didn’t feel like I was making a big impact,” Jefferson says. “But I felt like if I could stop the inflow, fewer would come into shelter, so more could go out alive.In 1999, Jefferson founded Emancipet, a nonprofit group which spays or neuters animals.
By the time she left the group — which keeps growing without her — they were performing 16,000 surgeries a year, mostly from a roaming clinic. That superhuman feat, however, didn’t make the expected impact on the number of animals euthanized at the city’s shelter.
“Rabble-rousers were saying that we were still killing too many,” she says. “And I ignored them. The more I listened to them, however, the more I realized we weren’t actually lowering the kill rate.”
So in 2008, Jefferson — uncommonly calm and measured for an animal welfare activist — reactivated Austin Pets Alive, a group dedicated in 1997 to saving more shelter animals, 50 percent of which were being killed.
Austin Pets Alive, in concert with scores of smaller rescue groups, has, by targeting specific animal groups, put the Austin save rate above 90 percent, the only large city in the country to do so.
Jefferson, whose group now works from the old shelter as well as pop-up adoption centers, believes the save rate can be driven up to an almost inconceivable 98 percent.
“It’s exponentially harder to get to those last animals cared for, housed safely and adopted,” she admits. “It’s also exponentially more expensive.”
For the rest of the story click here

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Possible stocking stuffer for fat dogs in Japan


Dog owners in Japan have a new way to
obsessively creep on their dogs keep their pooch’s weight in check. A Japanese company has created a line of body-monitoring fitness trackers for dogs.
Seriously. Fitness trackers … for dogs. It’s called the Wandant and went on sale in Japan today.
The device, made by Fujitsu, attaches to your dog’s collar. It contains three accelerometers and records data every 10 minutes, tracking info like the number of steps Fido takes and his stress level (based on how much he shakes).
Extra-obsessive dog owners can also manually enter information such as food intake and stool condition (used for “benchmarking changes in dog’s health”) and add photos and diary entries to track growth.
Data can be stored locally for up to 14 days or uploaded to an NFC-equipped Android device. Stats can also be uploaded to an accompanying subscription-based cloud service that costs $5 a month. Once uploaded, data is displayed in a series of charts and graphs on your desktop or mobile device.
The Wandant costs $120 and is available on Amazon Japan in pink or blue. Its battery life is estimated at about four months. A one-year subscription to the cloud service is included in the price.
Fujitsu says it has no current plans to sell the device beyond Japan. 

Bo is 'good dog' around White House Christmas Tree

Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Cloudy with a chance of cat butt'


It's bon-a-fide: Austin No. 3 on yet another list of dog-friendly US cities


Top 10 Dog Friendly Cities Infographic
Infographic provided by Bone-A-Fide Dog Ranch, a dog boarding facility near Seattle

Fiona Apple cancels tour to care for dying dog: Long letter on facebook explains it all

from Fiona Apple's facebook page

It's 6pm on Friday,and I'm writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.
I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later.
Here's the thing.
I have a dog Janet, and she's been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She's almost 14 years old now.I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then ,an adult offi
cially - and she was my child.
She is a pitbull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face.
She was the one the dogfighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders.
She's almost 14 and I've never seen her start a fight ,or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She's a pacifist.
Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.
We've lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it's always really been the two of us.
She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head.
She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album.
The last time I came back from tour, she was spry as ever, and she's used to me being gone for a few weeks every 6 or 7 years.
She has Addison's Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death.
Despite all of this, she’s effortlessly joyful and playful, and only stopped acting like a puppy about 3 years ago.
She's my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she's the one who taught me what love is.
I can't come to South America. Not now.
When I got back from the last leg of the US tour, there was a big, big difference.
She doesn't even want to go for walks anymore.
I know that she's not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people.
But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go.
I just can't leave her now, please understand.
If I go away again, I’m afraid she'll die and I won't have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.
Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed.
But this decision is instant.
These are the choices we make, which define us.
I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.
I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend.
And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important.
Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.
I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time.
I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments.
I need to do my damnedest to be there for that.
Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I've ever known.
When she dies.
So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel.
And I am asking for your blessing.

I'll be seeing you.
Love, Fiona

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Not local but awwweeeeinspiring: Lending a helping paw

Cat never missed a day of class at Elysian Heights Elementary School for more than 16 years



 Room 8 Memorial Cat Foundation steps in to lend a paw

Volunteering at Room 8 Memorial Cat Foundation in Riverside, Calif., turned Gail Shelton into a full-fledged cat person. She'd never had a cat of her own, but caring for and getting to know the kitties at the shelter quickly taught her just how expressive, funny, and unique cats can be.
“When I started volunteering, I had no idea that cats really had personalities,” she says. “They’re amazing -– and watch them when they’re mad. When a dog wags his tail, he’s happy. When a cat wags his tail, you’d better watch out.”
Room 8 the shelter is named for Room 8 the cat.
Shelton’s animal-rescue journey started in 1996, when her mother, a caretaker at the shelter, invited her to help her clean litter boxes one day. “I’ve been here ever since,” she says. Her husband, Jack, is a cat person, too. They bonded over their mutual love of animals and were married last March, and together they manage Room 8.
The shelter was founded in 1972 by Hettie L. Perry, also known as the Cat Lady of Pasadena. Before opening the shelter in Riverside, Perry cared for countless stray, feral, and homeless cats in her private house and barn. When Shelton’s mother took over after Perry passed away in 1996, she found more than 260 cats on Perry’s property, which Perry had fed and cared for using her Social Security money.
“She was a woman in love with her animals,” Shelton says. “She never, ever said no to anyone.”
Perry gave the shelter its distinctive name after being inspired by a children’s book about a cat named Room 8. In 1952, a brown tabby took up residence in room 8 of Elysian Heights Elementary School in Los Angeles, befriending teachers and students. For more than 16 years, the cat never missed a day of class. Perry decided that Room 8 the cat would be her shelter’s mascot.
Learn more about the past and present of Room 8 in this video:

Click here to read rest of story.

Cat-killing coyotes in Dick Nichols Park?

Story by Tony Tucci
Neighborhoods in the Escarpment-Convict Hill Road area of Southwest Austin appear to be setting a record on the number of lost pets.
“Lost Cat” is a sign of the times in the Legend Oaks, Western Oaks and Villages of Western Oaks neighborhoods, where there has been a recent increase in reports of missing cats—and small dogs, too.
Chances are that many of the pets are not lost, however, but have been snatched up by coyotes or other predatory animals.
“Three ‘homebody’ older cats have gone missing from my corner within a two-house radius in just five weeks,” according to Rachelle Vega. “One was our 11.5 year-old girl (cat), and we found her bloodied breakaway collar in our yard mere feet from our house,” said Vega, who lives on John Chisum Lane.
Two of her neighbors give similar reports. Janell Black said she lost her 15 year-old cat, and Randal Pitts said he has lost three cats over the years, the most recent this month. The three live just doors away from each other. They’re keeping their other cats indoors at night, and urging neighbors to do the same.
“There are many more signs for missing cats, and even a small dog, then I’ve ever seen posted in these neighborhoods, and many postings on craigslist for Lost Cats,” she said.
Vega said she believes the culprits are coyotes coming from Dick Nichols Park, where there have been recent sightings. From there, they travel a greenbelt that runs right into her neighborhood.
“I think if you took an aerial view of that greenbelt, and compared it to reports of missing cats, you’d find a lot of similarities,” she said.
One of her neighbors saw a coyote on Escarpment behind John Chisum Trail recently, and another heard the eerie, high pitched howl of coyotes, also known as prairie wolves, in the greenbelt just west of Escarpment.
Vega said a neighborhood service man has begun carrying a .22-caliber pistol because he entered backyards a number of times to find a coyote trapped inside the wooden fence and was afraid of what a cornered coyote might do.
“I was told when I called 311 to inform my neighbors to call 311 to report any coyote sightings or howling so the city can monitor activity. If those reports don’t go in, then the sad stories remain just that—anecdotal without correlating factors, and coyote population assessments will never be conducted.”
Jacob Hetzel, a wildlife biologist with Texas Wildlife Services, said unless people report coyote encounters to 311 the state has no way of keeping track.
“I looked over all of the 311 call data that I have from the last three months (July-September) and there are very few calls in the Oak Hill area.  All total there were 8 calls to 311 reporting coyote sightings in the following zip codes:  78735, 78736, 78737,78739, and 78749.  Please have everyone report all coyote sightings or bold and aggressive behavior of coyotes to 311.
“If you have cats, keep them inside,” Hetzel said. Reminded that cats that have always gone outside are difficult to keep indoors, he said, “Would you rather have an upset cat, or a dead one?”
Vega said that since her cat went missing, she enrolled in the alert service, and now gets notices for micro-chipped cats in her area that have vanished.  ”I reached out to someone who posted on craigslist about her missing cat in Villages of Western Oaks; and she forwarded my email to someone else missing a cat, who contacted me and said there are many people looking for answers and wanting to stop further losses for families.
“We knew that coyotes were a problem in outlying areas, but people need to be aware that they’re a problem in these neighborhoods, too,” added Vega. “The neighbors in my immediate vicinity are taking extra care to bring their cats in before dark and not let them out of the house.  We’re training our remaining cat to do the same.”
Candace Hummel said her cat Newsy is an indoor cat, but managed to slip through a broken screen one night and hasn’t come back. Hummel lives on Abilene Trail, which is east of Escarpment but close to the same greenbelt area that extends into Vega’s neighborhood. However, Hummel said she has never seen or heard a coyote.
“We’ve gotten calls from people who said they’ve seen our cat, so I’m still hopeful that someone has him,” said Hummel. She said she has two other cats, also kept indoors. Two of her three cats, including Newsy, were declawed.
Meanwhile, a wildlife biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said coyotes aren’t the only threat to family pets. Terry Turney said there’s a good chance a bobcat might be the culprit.
“Cats can climb trees, but coyotes can’t. A bobcat, however, can run right up the tree after it,” Turney said. The wildlife specialist said bobcats are so secretive and so hard to see that they can live in urban areas unnoticed.
There’s a lot to be wary of in the great outdoors. Turney said another possibility is the great horned owl, which can swoop down on silent wings and pluck a house cat out of the backyard.
“I was at a buddy’s house sitting on his patio one night and his cat was sitting in the fork of a tree. All of a sudden it flew past us. An owl had attacked it and punched a pretty good-sized hole in its back with a talon. If it had gotten a better hold that cat would be gone,” said Turney.
Parks and Wildlife does not keep records on reports of missing pets, but all one has to do is check the want ads in any neighborhood newsletter to see it’s a pretty common occurrence.
Turney said the state does not handle animal nuisance calls. Persons living in the city should call 311 to reach the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department’s Animal Protection unit. The number for county residents to call is 974-2000.
“We put in a request to the city’s Animal Control unit and they use it for tracking purposes,” said a customer service representative for 311. The information also goes to the state’s Animal Damage Control, which might set traps in particularly troublesome areas.
Parks and Wildlife provided some suggestions to help residents deal with problems involving coyotes and other wildlife.
•  Do not feed coyotes! Keep pet food and water inside. Keep garbage securely stored, especially if it has to be put on the curb for collection; use tight-locking or bungee-cord-wrapped trashcans that are not easily opened.
•  Keep compost piles securely covered; correct composting never includes animal matter like bones or fat, which can draw coyotes even more quickly that decomposing vegetable matter.
•   Keep pets inside, confined securely in a kennel or covered exercise yard, or within the close presence of an adult.
•  Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
•   Do not feed wildlife on the ground; keep wild bird seed in feeders designed for birds elevated or hanging above ground, and clean up spilled seed from the ground; coyotes can either be drawn directly to the seed, or to the rodents drawn to the seed.
•   Keep fruit trees fenced or pick up fruit that falls to the ground.
•   Do not feed feral cats (domestics gone wild); this can encourage coyotes to prey on cats, as well as feed on cat food left out for them.
•   Minimize clusters of shrubs, trees and other cover and food plants near buildings and children’s play areas to avoid attracting rodents and small mammals that will in turn attract coyotes
•   Use noise making and other scaring devices when coyotes are seen. Check with local authorities regarding noise and firearms ordinances. Portable air horns, motor vehicle horns, propane cannons, starter pistols, low-powered pellet guns, slingshots, and thrown rocks can be effective.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

RECOMMENDED: Strut Your Stuff For Homeless Mutts this Saturday morning

Mueller Lake Park, 8:30am

It's time to Strut for homeless pets!

Get ready, get set, get your pooch warmed up's time for Best Friends Animal Society's First Annual Strut Your Mutt in Austin. Join us for a fun walk and the ultimate doggie festival that supports local animal rescue groups and helps to save the lives of animals in shelters!

Don't miss cool attractions for you and your pooch:

  • Ruff & Relax pets and people spa by Paul Mitchell Schools
  • Ask the Trainer and Agility Demonstrations by the Canine Center for Training & Behavior
  • Paws & Pals kids activity area - make a commemorative paw print painting with your best friend
  • Doggie massage by Northwest School of Animal Massage
  • Animal Reiki by Laurel West of Earth & Fire Healing
  • Downward Dog doggie yoga by Total Wellness Austin
  • Free dog food and treats from our national sponsor Natural Balance
  • Great people food from Austin's favorite food trucks
  • The hottest pet products and services from local exhibitors
  • Plus don't miss DJ Brent Metschan

Your Pet Got Talent? Don’t miss our fun stage contests at the event, hosted by YNN meteorologist Mary Wasson!


Strut Your Mutt Austin Details:

 Who: Animal lovers in the Austin area who want to raise money for homeless pets, and have a great time with their dogs.
What: Leisurely group dog walk followed by a doggie themed celebration festival that includes pet contests, photo opp's, treats for your dogs, fun activities, refreshments and more.
Where: Mueller Lake Park, 1829 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723
When: Saturday, September 29, 2012. Registration begins at 7:00am; walk begins at 8:30am. Festival ends at 12pm.
Why: To raise money for one of our participating local animal rescue groups (our No More Homeless Pets Network Partners) and Best Friends Animal Society, and help bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets.
Registration Fees:
  • Individuals: $30 ($35 day-of)
  • Kids 12 and under with t-shirt: $20 ($25 day-of)
  • Kids 12 and under without t-shirt: FREE
  • Virtual Fundraiser (not attending our official Strut in Austin): $10 (does not include a t-shirt but our 2012 Strut shirts will be available for purchase). Virtual Fundraisers, like Individual Walkers, can raise money for Best Friends or for a participating Network Partner--but will need to join a Network Partner's Dog Pack in order to raise money for that group.

    Note: every person who is attending the event must be registered in order to participate.

    The top individual fundraiser and his/her dog will be recognized in Best Friends Magazine and on the 2013 Strut Your Mutt t-shirts!!
For Questions, contact Best Friends Events
Interested in volunteering?
This event will be held rain or shine!

To learn more about Best Friends Sanctuary click here

Texas Supreme Court agrees to hear sentimental value case on pets | State | News from Fo...

Texas Supreme Court agrees to hear sentimental value case on pets | State | News from Fo...

Friday, September 21, 2012 reports: Dog hair and PIB in LBDs mix well at movie premiere


09.21.12 | 01:38 pm

Thursday night, Alamo Drafthouse kicked off its eighth annual Fantastic Fest — a celebration of films horrific, mind-bending and proudly bizarre — with the premiere of Tim Burton’s newest animated feature, Frankenweenie.
The global premiere attracted a large audience hoping to catch a glimpse of the stunning Winona Ryder or the legendary Martin Landau or the eclectic director, who were each on hand for the evening’s proceedings.
Some, however, were there to show off their costumed dogs, which were dressed just as formally as their owners. As it turned out, the pets were not only welcome at the black carpet event but also invited to stay and enjoy the movie.
Alamo, with their usual oddball progressiveness, reserved one of the South Lamar theater’s screens as a canine-friendly space. “The first ever doggy theater,” Alamo co-founder Tim League called it.
Unaware that invitations had been extended to pooches, and as a late arrival to the festival, I ended up stuck in theater four, with the pups.
Dogs in a movie theater. Sounds like a novel idea on paper, but it can’t possibly work, right?
The pups were on their best behavior, almost completely adhering to Alamo’s tight restriction on talking, or as the no-talking warning indicated in this case, barking.
Well, yeah, it can, actually. The pups were on their best behavior, almost completely adhering to Alamo’s tight restriction on talking — or as the no-talking warning indicated in this case, barking.
And when the few did bark, it almost seemed welcome, like an extra punch added to a joke. 
Maybe the Drafthouse was on to something. Three attendees, Leslie Davis, her daughter Cameron and their terrier, Lincoln, seemed to think so.
“It was great,” Davis began, “I think Lincoln really enjoyed it. I was surprised, but I have four children, so he’s used to the rambunctiousness.” She must be right; he hardly let out a single whimper through the whole movie. Rather, he sat calmly in his owner’s lap, appreciating the movie along with the rest of the crowd.
Davis explains enthusiastically that her daughter is up for a role in her elementary school’s rendition of Sweeny Todd, the 2007 Oscar-nominated musical. "Really, this is Cameron’s night. She’s a huge Tim Burton fan.”
Cameron, a cute 10-year-old in thick-rimmed glasses, was set to audition the night of the premiere, creating an unfortunate scheduling conflict. Luckily for her, the play’s director is a Burton admirer as well, and considering the opportunity, allowed her to reschedule.
Cameron, her mother and many other dog owners were thrilled to watch a movie in a theater with their pet. Considering how disastrous it could have been, it was exciting to see how completely successful the idea was.
With the premiere of Frankenweenie, and thanks to the Drafthouse’s clever inclusion of pets, Fantastic Fest 2012 is off to a delightful start. As Tim League put it, “It’s going to be a special week…and I can’t wait.” 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dogtoberfest at The Domain set for October 20th

more info click here

 Photos from Dogtoberfest 2011

Austin woman says jerky treats made in China made her dog sick



Posted on September 18, 2012 at 6:29 PM
Updated today at 10:13 PM
AUSTIN -- An Austin pet owner says jerky treats from China almost killed her dog.
Pat Richardson had no idea her dog Allie was sick until she took her to the veterinarian for an annual check-up. A routine blood test revealed her five-year-old Cairn Terrier had kidney problems. Her vet helped her pinpoint the cause to a treat Richardson fed her dog every day.
"It's a family member, and I thought if I had done something to harm her, it was devastating," said Richardson.

CSI: Special Pooper-Scooper Unit


Neighborhood may use DNA to link poop to its pooch

Updated: Wednesday, 12 Sep 2012, 6:51 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 12 Sep 2012, 6:01 PM CDT

AUSTIN (KXAN) - This might be one of those cases where DNA evidence can bring the evil doo-ers to justice.
A homeowners association in South Austin is considering using DNA to do to find out which pup is pooping on which lawn -- and which pet owners are not scooping the poop.
The Pointe is a small condominium complex made up of 31 units, mainly retired folks. Neighbors live in nice homes in peaceful streets with well-kept yards.
But behind the gates, homeowners said there's something smelly going on.
Martha Ross and her neighbors have lived in the community for years and were surprised when they received an email from the HOA president stating they will be required to give a sample of their dogs' DNA through their poop.
"I'm not in it and my little dog isn't in it and I think it's unfair to push to this point, " Ross said.
The email said dog droppings keep showing up in the common areas, that's why the board is pushing for DNA testing.

FDA says pet death toll from jerky treats continues to rise


Posted on September 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Updated yesterday at 10:14 PM
The FDA now says 360 dogs and one cat have died in the last 18 months, reportedly after eating chicken jerky treats made in China.

An FDA report released this week says they've received 2,200 reports of illnesses linked to the treats - the deaths are included in that number. There is no geographic pattern to the illnesses and deaths - cases have been reported from all 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces.

The FDA says the majority of complaints involve chicken jerky (treats, tenders, and strips), but others include duck, sweet potato, and treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, or yams.

The report goes on to say that in the past 10 years, there has been a dramatic increase in importation of pet food from China. It is estimated that nearly 86 million pounds of pet food came from China in 2011. Pet treats, including jerky pet treats, are currently considered the fastest growing segment in the pet food market.

The FDA has been investigating the reports of illnesses, but no definitive cause has been determined.

"The ongoing global investigation is complex, multifaceted and includes a wide variety of experts at the FDA including toxicologists, epidemiologists, veterinary researchers, forensic chemists, microbiologists, field investigators and senior agency officials," the report says.

The FDA says product samples have been tested for contaminants known to cause the symptoms and illnesses reported in pets, and they are now expanding testing to include irradiation byproducts and they are consulting with NASA experts about it.
In their report, the FDA says jerky treats are not necessary for pets to have a balanced diet - basically advising people not to feed them to their pets. But if you choose to give your pet the treats,  watch them closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination.

An online petition has been launched by a concerned pet owner, urging the FDA and manufacturers of chicken jerky treats imported from China to "immediately halt all sales until the treats can be safely sourced and proven to no longer be dangerous to our companions."

More than 22,000 signatures have been gathered so far, some from people who say their pets became ill and/or died after eating the jerky treats.
Contact the FDA

Monday, August 6, 2012

Recall alert: High-quality cat treats were sold locally

A Letter from Founder and CEO of Catswell, Marco Giannini
Dear Fellow Pet Parent:
At Catswell, our number one priority is the safety of our products and the health of our feline customers. We strive to make and sell only the highest-quality, natural cat treats with added vitamins that provide functional benefits such as improved hip health, breath, and other benefits.
During routine testing of our products, we recently discovered that two batches of our Catswell VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins tested positive for a limited presence of an ingredient called propylene glycol. Although this ingredient is "generally regarded as safe" for both humans and dogs, the FDA does not allow it in cat food or treats, even at trace levels. Although no cases of illness in cats have been reported due to the two batches, we felt a voluntary recall was necessary. We have issued an FDA-approved press release to make our customers aware of the situation, identified the stores that received the product, and contacted them to return the product to us. While we were able to catch much of the affected product, some products did make it into the homes of our customers. For that, we are sincerely apologetic.
We are doing everything we can to resolve this situation quickly and ensure that our customers can continue to feel confident feeding Catswell products to their cats, as we do here.
To learn more about the affected product, we invite you to read our "frequently asked questions" here. If you would like to speak with someone live, you can call us at 1-888-559-8833 or email us at If we are unable to get to your call, or it is after hours, please leave us a message and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
We thank you, our valued customers, for your understanding, and we hope to be able to regain your trust.
Marco Giannini

Saturday, July 21, 2012

'The Chron' continues coverage on all things cat and dog in Austin

A feral cat at the AHS clinic

Austin Humane Society needs help taming feral cat population


Austin has cats – a lot of cats. And in the absence of an ordinance that requires spay/neuter of pets, there are a lot of reproducing cats out there, many of them stray and/or feral. Year in and year out, the large free-roaming cat population remains a big problem in the city of Austin, local animal welfare advocates say.
And when you consider how quickly cats reproduce – they mate during warm months (so, you know, most of the year) and a female can become pregnant while still nursing – two cute strays can become dozens in short order.
In an effort to curb Austin's feral cat population, the Austin Humane Society has since 2007 operated a free Trap-Neuter-Return program. T-N-R is a volunteer-led effort to trap strays and ferals, get them to the AHS clinic to be fixed (dewormed, given shots, and to have one ear "tipped" so that they can be identified from afar as fixed) and then returned to the streets, where they often live in colonies – groups of cats that volunteers generally continue to feed and to tend to for years.
Although there's no "kitty census," as AHS Executive DirectorFrances Jonon puts it, the large number of cats that have come to the AHS T-N-R program over the last five years suggests how big the problem is: In 2007, the T-N-R program tended to more than 1,500 cats; the next year that number jumped to 5,000. Next month, the AHS clinic will mark it's 25,000th feral cat surgery. "The problem," says Jonon, "is massive."
Indeed, as the AHS program (which fixes dozens of cats every week) and its many volunteers, march forward, they're asking for your help. The AHS is looking for volunteers to help trap 150 feral cats from around the city and to bring them to the group's shelter on Wednesday, July 25, for a large-scale T-N-R spay/neuter event. (The shelter has humane traps that it lends out for exactly this purpose, and the AHS staff is ready to help you learn to use them so that you can get with the program.)

Want to help? Contact Leticia Stivers, the AHS' feral-feline-whisperer – officially, the feral cat program supervisor – at 512/685-0111 or 512/968-7131. Your feline friends – and the birds and lizards in your neighborhood – will thank you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oh, no more dog food recalls this time it's Pedigree don't know yet if it's local

Just when you thought pet-food recalls might be over -- they're not.
After a string of recalls that spanned the first half of this year and involved Diamond Pet Foods products and the risk of Salmonella, a new recall was announced last weekend -- this time involving products manufactured by Mars Petcare US and the risk of foreign objects being mixed into the food.
Dog eating from bowl by
Announced last Saturday, June 30, it's a voluntary recall of a limited range of three varieties of Pedigree weight-management canned dog foods "due to a potential choking risk," according to the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch. The specific products being recalled are these:
+ Pedigree Healthy Weight Premium Ground Entree in Meaty Juices
+ Pedigree Weight Management Meaty Ground Dinner Beef & Liver Dinner in Meaty Juices
+ Pedigree Weight Management Meaty Ground Dinner Chicken & Rice Dinner in Meaty Juices
+ Pedigree Healthy Weight Premium Ground Entree in Meaty Juices
+ Pedigree Weight Management Meaty Ground Dinner Beef & Liver Dinner in Meaty Juices
+ Pedigree Weight Management Meaty Ground Dinner Chicken & Rice Dinner in Meaty Juices
They have a lot code printed on the end of the can that begins with 209, 210, 211 or 212 and a best before date between 2/24/2014 and 3/23/2014. 
It seems that small pieces of blue plastic "entered the food during the production process. The source of the plastic has been identified and the issue resolved," reads the press release. Mars Petcare US warns that the food should not be given to pets or sold in stores. All three of the affected lines were distributed to retail consumers throughout the United States.