Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best New York Animal Stories of 2011

Huffington Post did a slide show of the "Best New York Animal Stories of 2011." I don't know if best was the right choice of words for this story, more like the most talked about New York animal stories of 2011. They have everything from the Bronx Zoo escapees to the disappearance and ultimate passing of Jack the Cat. My favorite one? This video of an adorable Frenchie who danced his way into a friendship with a police horse...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Celebrity Sunday: Christmas Edition

I have to say, I LOVE Pink. I think she is an incredibly talented singer, an amazing dancer and the passion she has for animals is wonderful. This past week she did something that I could only hope to some day be able to do, keep reading to find out what...

Pink just came through with a canine Christmas miracle -- shelling out $5,000 to pay for emergency life-saving surgery on a puppy that had been tossed in the L.A. river and left for dead. Pink was surfing the Internet recently, when she stumbled upon a story about a puppy that had been thrown off an L.A. overpass and suffered 3 broken legs when it landed in the L.A. river. The dog was in bad shape and re major surgery FAST.

That's when P!nk sprung into action -- contacting the Ace of Hearts animal rescue organization and offering to pay for any medical expense it took to save the dog's life. $5,000 later the dog, Stella, went under the knife -- and recovered!! And it gets better -- we're told the dog has since been adopted by a loving family and will probably get a big, juicy bone for Christmas.

Source: TMZ

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays from Astrea and Ora! We're having a nice relaxing Christmas with our family. For the first time since I brought her home last year, Ora got to come back to where she started at my parents house.

Astrea with our Christmas cards

Ora, thrilled beyond belief, to spend 2 hours in the car on our way to celebrate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm ready for my lunch!

This is the most random, hilarious thing I've seen in a long time. I would love to know the back story to this...

Friday, December 16, 2011

And now I'm the proud owner of a toothless cat...

Ok she's not totally toothless, but my hopes of clearing up Ora's stinky breath with a water add-in and a cleaning were quickly dashed this week. My poor little girl is currently hiding under my dresser, mad at the world, but soon she'll realize it was for the best.

The saga began last Saturday. When we woke up, I went to feed Ora and noticed the right side of her little face was swollen. I tried to look to see what happened, but she did not want me touching her face. So, rather than make her mad, I just kept an eye on her. Aside from the swelling everything else was fine - she ate, drank, and played like normal. Astrea was going in to the vet for a check up the next day, so I called and asked if I could bring Ora in too.

The vet immediately knew that it was a tooth causing the swelling and we decided we couldn't put her cleaning off any longer. From the looks of it she thought that the cleaning and some antibiotics would do the trick and she'd be back to normal. We discussed doing an extra dental cleaning every year just in case, but nothing seemed to out of the ordinary. Of course she gave me the "worse case scenario" which involved maybe pulling out the tooth causing the swelling, nothing too drastic though. It all sounded easy enough so we made an appointment for later in the week to come in and get it all done.

Ora and I spent the past few days playing chase and wrestle to get the antibiotics in her and then today was the big day. Poor thing, Ora never gets to go anywhere good in the car. If we're going for a ride, she knows something crappy is about to happen, either she's getting ditched at the hotel or going to the vet. She cried the whole way and then turned into a major love bug while we waited to drop her off. Because it all seemed pretty standard I expected to pick her up in the afternoon and everything would be great.

Around two the office called to let me know she was doing fine, BUT they discovered the extent of the damage to her teeth and gums was way worse than expected. Those first 5-6 months of her life in the "wild" did not do Ora any favors in the dental health department. My poor girl had so much damage that they took out not one, not two but NINE teeth today. NINE! When they started running down the list of which teeth they were removing I was beginning to wonder if she would have any left! That's a lot of teeth to lose for one little kitty, but she's a champ. She did really well, got lots of paid meds and cuddled me like she never has before when I picked her up.

So now, my stinky kitty is a toothless kitty. She's still mad at me, but in the time it took me to write this she did come out from under the dresser. I think she's still loopy from the pain meds though, she's doing some sort of odd run/dance through my living room. Maybe if I'm lucky she'll decide that even though I'm a mean lady, scratchies and belly rubs are worth sitting in my lap for tonight...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Letter to My Dog

Sometime last week I heard about this website, A Letter to My Dog. It's absolutely amazing. A Letter to My Dog is a blog and book project by photographer Robin Layton and publisher PQ Blackwell. The website includes letters from famous and unknown dog-owners who all have one thing in common: a love of their dogs. In 2012, exceptional letters and their canine recipients will be contacted to be photographed for the book, a portion of the proceeds of which will go to the Humane Society of the United States. I instantly got sucked in, and I'm sure you will too, but fair warning - it's one of those website you shouldn't read unless you're prepared to have a little cry.

It didn't take long before I decided, I had to submit a letter to Astrea. I encourage you to submit one too! On Sunday, my letter went up on the blog, and here it is again...

janu 034


I’ve never told anyone this, but I almost passed you up. I wasn’t sure if I was ready. I didn’t know if I had it in me. Losing Sancho after just five months was almost too much. I didn’t know if I could do it again. What if I couldn’t love another dog the way I loved him? I was heartbroken and scared, but those perfect little eyebrows told me I had to give you a chance. From the moment I met you I knew Sancho sent you to me. The way you nuzzled your face into my hair and were perfectly content in my arms, I knew you were at home with me.

I felt so guilty at first. There were still so many nights that I cried about Sancho. I was afraid you and I wouldn’t connect, but it was those nights that made me realize how perfect you were. There were those nights where you knew I just needed to cry and you were happy to cuddle with me until I was done. Other nights, I couldn’t help but laugh the way you jumped on me and licked the tears off my face. You motivated me to get up and get out. Before I knew it I couldn’t imagine my life without you.

I’ll be honest, I never saw myself as a ‘dog person.’ If someone would have told me one day I’d be getting misty eyed while writing a letter to my dog, I would have told them they were crazy. But here I am, with you curled up at my side. So what I really want to say is this – I hope you understand how much fun I have playing with you. And how thankful I am that you forgive me when I get mad. How much I appreciate your over the top welcome when I come home from work. How happy I get when you act like a puppy and sleep with your face buried in my hair. But mostly I just hope you know how much I love you.

Thank You For Loving Me Back.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mobile Monday: The Evil Vet

Both girls had to go into the vet yesterday, it's the first time I've ever taken them together. I was afraid it was going to be a huge fiasco, but it actually was fine...except that Astrea was super protective of Ora. I was actually really surprised. Astrea was fine with her own exam, but did not want anyone touching Ora. First Astrea did her best to hide Ora from everyone. When it came time for me to put Ora up on the table, Astrea started jumping on me to try and keep me from picking Ora up. Once I finally got Ora up on the table, Astrea pawed at me until the exam was over and Ora was back safely with her sister. Look at how cute they were together...

2011-12-11 11.13.00

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2011-12-11 11.32.45

Friday, December 09, 2011

I'm the Proud Owner of a Stinky Cat

So I have a confession. Ora is a stinky cat. She's gorgeous, but she is stinky. Not like she needs a bath kind of stinks, like she needs to brush her teeth daily kind of stinks. And it's bad. You can smell her coming a mile away. I feel bad about it, sometimes I don't want to cuddle her she smells so bad. Usually I just cover my nose and mouth with a blanket so I can avoid getting scratched and not die from her breath. I've asked the vet about it - twice. He looked at her teeth and gums, they're a little yucky but nothing so pressing that he thought it needed to be taken care of right away. His answer was, we'll bring her in for her bi-annual teeth cleaning in January and that will take care of it.

That wasn't good enough for me. What about right now? What can I do? I don't want a stinky cat! That's like having a stinky kid. Everyone knows and no one wants to say anything. I try brushing her teeth anytime she'll sit still long enough, we've yet to be successful. I've tried the minty breath treats. She doesn't want them. I've tried Greenie's treats. She knocks them on the floor for Astrea.

I've seen those ads for water add-ins. Looked like a good option, but I'm skeptical about trying a product for the first time by ordering it online. Knowing Ora, I figured one of two things would happen. Either she'd stop drinking when I added it in or it wouldn't work and I'd be out $15 or more. I was also a little concerned that because she's so sensitive it may give her a reaction. Last weekend I decided to wander through Waggers, a new pet shop and spa that opened near my house. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but then I saw Triple-Pet Plaque Off. There were a couple other options, but based on the ingredients, this one looked like the best option. For less than ten bucks, and the option to return, it was worth a try.

So what's the result? THANK YOU to the less stinky breath gods!! It took a couple days, and she isn't yet fresh of a daisy, but she smells so much better. I can't even explain how happy I am. I think the fact that we fell asleep on the couch together this morning speaks volumes. Ora is a picky girl, she prefers to drink from a glass so by letting her have a glass of water everyday just for her, she's been drinking her water and it's great. I'm hoping that in a few more days she won't smell at all. I can't guarantee that it will work for everyone, or that it will work in the long run, but right now I'm super happy and stoked!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Update on Lynn Jones - Air Cargo Worker

Apparently the reaction to Lynn Jones being fired over refusing to load a mistreated dog onto a plane at the Reno-Tahoe Airport was heard by her employer. Ms. Jones has been given the opportunity to return to her job, with back pay, but at this point she's unsure if she'll return. I don't blame her, I'd be scared too, especially after making it clear that her supervisor wanted her to ignore the dog and put him on the plane. The one question I still have is, although it's become a "teachable moment" will there be any repercussions for the supervisor who wanted Jones to put the dog on the plane and then subsequently fired her?

A Reno, Nev., airline baggage handler was offered her job back with missed pay after she was fired for refusing to load an emaciated dog onto a flight.

Lynn Jones, 56, told the Reno Gazette Journal that she was still undecided and worried about potential retaliation from other employees if she decided to return.

“I loved my job at the airport,” she said. ” … But I just couldn’t turn my back on that dog. … My supervisor said it wasn’t my concern, but animal abuse is everyone’s concern who sees it.”

Jones was fired Nov. 12 after she refused to load the sickly dog onto a flight bound for Corpus Christi, Texas.

The hunting dog’s paws were also covered with sores and bleeding, witnesses told the Reno Gazette Journal.

The dog was taken away by animal control officers and was nursed back to health before being sent to its owner in Texas.

Sally Leible, president of Airport Terminal Services, Jones’ employer, called the incident “regrettable” and said it would be used as a teachable moment for the company.

“We applaud Ms. Lynn Jones’ courage to report the unfavorable condition of the animal she encountered, and we encourage others to be as vigilant as she was,” Leible wrote in an open letter posted on the company’s website.

“We are hopeful that this valued team member will rejoin us.”

Leible said Airport Terminal Services would also make a $5,000 donation to the Nevada Humane Society.

Jones is a long-time canine lover. She has three dogs and once owned a dog-grooming business.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Air Cargo Worker Loses Job After Reporting Abused Dog

I'd like to think that all people want to do the right thing. However, no matter how much people want to do the right thing, stories like this scare people into keeping silent. It's a rough world out there and not everyone can survive losing their job by standing up for what they believe in. I commend this woman for being strong enough to do what was right, no matter the consequence. Shame on her supervisor for telling her to load a clearly abused dog on a plane when he likely wouldn't survive the trip. I hope this woman is able to find a new job quickly and those responsible for her for her firing AND returning the dog to it's abusive owner are given the proper punishment.

Also, if you're in Nevada, what gives with this law making animal abuse cases confidential? My gut feeling is that this is a business backed law that protects factory farms some how - but I just don't understand why anyone would have thought this was a good idea.

Anyway - for everyone still reading, I hope this story inspires you to stand up for what's right and for those who can't stand up for themselves.

From Lynn Jones was a baggage handler at Reno-Tahoe International Airport when she saw an emaciated hunting dog, its paws bloody, its body covered with sores.

The listless pointer was lying in a pet carrier in the cargo area of the airport on Nov. 15, waiting to be shipped to Texas.

"The Transportation Safety Authority officers couldn't even get the dog to stand up to be X-rayed," said Jones, who was then an employee of Airport Terminal Services, the facility's contractor.

"Everyone who saw it, the TSA people, the Airport Police officers, the girls at the ticket counter, was concerned. The dog was so weak and torn up. It didn't look like it could survive the flight."

Jones said her supervisor told her to load the dog on the plane because the animal's paperwork was in order and its condition wasn't her concern. She said she was warned she would lose her job if she kept carrying on about the dog.

"I was crying," she said. "I kept saying that dog could not be put on a plane."

The Airport Police called Washoe County Regional Animal Services, which took custody of the pointer and provided it with veterinary care. Jones said animal control officers also were appalled at the dog's condition.

Jones said she was fired from her job on the spot.

"(My supervisor) kept yelling, 'That's it, you're done, you are out of here, go home,'" Jones said. "I left."

Officials of Airport Terminal Services, which is based in St. Louis, did not return calls for comment. Jones said when she called the company after the incident, she was told she was no longer an employee because she had "abandoned" her job.

"I didn't abandon anything; I was told to leave," she said.

When Jones went to animal services last week to get a copy of the incident report, officials said the document is confidential. They also declined to provide the Reno Gazette-Journal with any information about the incident or other recent animal abuse cases because "Cooney's Law," passed this year by the Legislature, keeps cases' details secret.

"The animal control people were wonderful at the airport, and right after they took the dog, they said it was in very bad shape, but it would probably pull through," Jones said

She said shipping documents indicated that the dog was owned by a hunter in Texas who keeps it in a kennel and has it shipped to the places he hunts.

"I hope he didn't get the dog back," Jones said.

The dog was shipped back to Texas after being nursed back to health and examined by a veterinarian, airport officials said. Under Cooney's Law, officials said, they can't release the incident report or the photos of the animal, but said they were sickened by its condition.

"In all my years here, this is the first time I'm thoroughly disgusted over what I understand to be the situation this animal was put in," said Krys Bart, CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, who also is on the board of the Nevada Humane Society. "... I'm proud of (airport police) officers. They had an affirmative responsibility to deal with this, and that's what they did."

She said she is frustrated that, under the new law, she can't share the report or the photos with the public. She said she was out of town when the incident occurred but determined later that the dog had been abused prior to arriving at the airport.

Bart said Jones was not an Airport Authority employee and noted that Jones said she was fired, but the contractor said she abandoned her job.

"I'd like to know the truth," she said, "but I don't want to get in the middle of a personnel matter."

Jones said she is looking for another job.

She lives in Lockwood with three dogs, three cats and a bird, all animals she rescued throughout the years. She is a former blackjack dealer and once owned a dog grooming service. She worked as a baggage handler at the airport for about five and a half years and copies of her employee evaluations describe her as an exemplary employee, dedicated and hard-working.

She said her job loss has been a hardship, but she has no regrets.

"I loved my job at the airport," she said last week. "Getting the bags to the right flights was challenging, the work is very physical and the people were great. I wouldn't have traded that job for anything. I wouldn't have risked it for anything.

"But I just couldn't turn my back on that dog ... My supervisor said it wasn't my concern, but animal abuse is everyone's concern who sees it."

Sunday, December 04, 2011

12-Hour Rescue Effort Saves Cat...a toy cat.

When I first read this story I laughed pretty hard. Then once I was done laughing, I felt so proud of all these people. Even though the story is silly and the cat turned out to be a toy, good for all of these dedicated people who spent so much time trying to save an animal. So many people would have heard that noise and walked on by, but these people took time out of their day to save one little kitty they thought needed help.

From the Daily Post - RESCUERS spent 12 hours trying to save a “pregnant cat” from a clothes recycling bin – only to discover it was a squeaky toy.

The alarm was raised on Monday evening when a woman heard a meow sound coming from the recycling bins in Moelfre, Anglesey.With a heavily pregnant cat, Puss-Puss, missing in the village people raced down to the clothes bin to free the animal which continued to meow.But the locks had been tampered with and they were unable to free the “cat” despite trying until 11pm at night with a grinder and calling in the fire service, the RSPCA and bin operators Tyddyn Môn.

They returned to the site in Lligwy Road the next morning and put food into the bin.
With concerns for the pregnant cat growing the bin was transported 18 miles to specialist engineering firm K Owen in Llanrhyddlad.Using a steel saw engineers were eventually able to cut their way into the bin at around 2pm.

Owner Kelvin Owen said: “Once we got into the bin we heard the meow again, it sounded just like a cat and we all started to carefully search the bags. “Then I found a bag of toys and picked out a toy cat, I said ‘it couldn’t be this could it’, it wasn’t making any noise and I asked if I could cut it open to investigate. As I held it it went off, miaow, miaow, mystery solved! The lads were in stitches, it was such a laugh.”

Jasmine Hazelhurst, from Anglesey Pets – part of the Free to a Good Home Anglesey site – said: “I did feel embarrassed when they pulled out the stuffed cat. But I am also proud at the way everyone rallied around to save the ‘cat’. Local people and Tyddyn Môn did so much to save the ‘cat’ and it shows what community spirit there is. We feared finding a dead cat in the clothes bank so to find a stuffed toy was a relief.”

Puss Puss is still missing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do you hate balls?

I know Katherine Heigl gets a bad rap and some people don't like her, but you know what? I don't care. I love her. I think she is fantastic. I think her husband is fantastic too. And most of all... I love the work that she does on behalf of animals.

If you don't know, Katherine and her mom Nancy founded the The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation in 2008, in honor of their beloved brother/son. Through their foundation the Heigl's are working to help address the pet over-population problem, to increase awareness of animal welfare issues, assist rescue organizations to save shelter pets...and more. Katherine recently filmed this hilarious Funny or Die segment, "Katherine Heigl Hates Balls," to raise awareness about spaying/neutering your pets. As much of a serious issue spaying and neutering can be - it's nice to see someone have a laugh and get the word out at the same time. Be careful when viewing this at work or around little ones...

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Ollie Chronicles

When we last visited the Ollie Chronicles, Ollie made it through his first surgery and was on his way home to recuperate with his foster momma. Things were going well, but then poor Ollie took a turn. Once his antibiotics and pain medications were finished he quickly started to deteriorate. Poor Ollie was in a lot of pain and had stopped eating and drinking as a result. His foster mom took him into VCA Old River who determined it was too urgent to continue waiting and made the decision to admit Ollie for a few days to get him hydrated and stable.

From Old River Ollie was transferred to The Sexton Clinic in Alamo, CA. The extent of the problem with Ollie's little mouth was still unclear so the first thing on the schedule was a gum biopsy. Luckily the biopsy provided good news and no cancer was found, but the damage to Ollie's teeth and gums was evident. He was diagnosed with feline LPGS (Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Gingivitis Stomatitis) and was scheduled for full mouth teeth extractions. Although full mouth teeth extractions sound a bit extreme, this method of treatment has proven to be very effective so cats can live out the rest of their days, pain free. I'm sure Ollie won't complain once he discovers that he feels tremendously better and will get his favorite wet foods for the rest of his life.

So how is Ollie today? Well, as I'm writing this I imagine he's probably very sleepy and hopefully comfortable. If it hasn't already begun, I'm sure he's about to go in for surgery. On Sunday Ollie was transported the dental specialist to have his pre-op work done, which included a pain patch and an e-collar. Ollie was supposed to spend the night back with his foster mom and then head back for surgery, but of course Ollie had other plans. As they drove out of the parking lot Ollie managed to tear off the e-collar and then started work on getting the pain patch off. Rather than taking Ollie home and hoping that he didn't take the pain patch off in the middle of the night, Ollie was admitted to the office where he could be monitored right up until his surgery. After his surgery Ollie will spend some time recovering at the specialist's office so that he can be monitored closely. From there, hopefully, Ollie will be well enough to finally find him a permanent home.

So today, if you have a minute, send some positive energy to Ollie that his surgery goes well and he heals quickly. To those of you who have already donated or purchased an Angel for Ollie, thank you so much, your generosity is greatly appreciated. And if you'd still like to help Ollie, please consider purchasing an Angel for Ollie or donate via chip in below. And of course, if you have any questions, contact

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Celebrity Sunday: Taylor and Meredith Part 2

I had to bring Taylor Swift and her kitty Meredith back this week, I just can't help it. Meredith is too cute for words. I'm also wishing Ora would sit this still when she wants to get pet...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How Your Holiday Cards Can Help

Did you know Americans spend an estimated $2 billion per year on greeting cards? That's a lot of money, a lot of money. I send out holiday cards every year, usually something cute or funny. In the past I've received a few cards that I noticed benefited a charitable organization. I decided that this year I wanted to buy my cards from a charitable organization so that, even if it was just a few dollars, it went to someone who needed it. I didn't know where to begin, so I asked my trusty google, which came up with this awesome website - Cards that Give. They list a ton of different organizations (animal related and not) that sell greeting cards to benefit their group. I'm still trying to decide which group I want to support, but take a look at some of these cute cards available:

The Marine Mammal Center


Puppies Behind Bars

Those are just three of the many options available, so if you're planning to send out cards this holiday season, I encourage you to visit Cards that Give and help a charitable organization while sending holiday greetings to your loved ones.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Look at that! That's disgusting!

The Shelter Pet Project has the best ads to support pet adoption. This one is my new favorite. Remember if you're planning on bringing home a new pet for the holidays PLEASE visit your local shelter or rescue group and adopt, don't buy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Secretary Cat

Anyone know where I can find a cat like this? I'd like one to field all the telemarketer calls I receive at home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Three Years Later....

I really don't have anything to post about today, just having a minute to remember that it was 3 years ago today that a pot-bellied, gangly-legged black puppy named Sancho made me rethink everything about my life and my relationship with animals.

Playing with his cousins.
This was about 30 minutes after I adopted him, before I knew he was sick, letting him meet his cousins for the first time.

Gangly puppy legs!!

Sancho and Me!
One of only a few pictures I have with Sancho

Friday, November 11, 2011

Free LuLu

I saw this video on CNN, but it's actually a story right out of South Sacramento. Lulu got her little paw stuck in the bath drain and her owner called the Fire Department, who in turn called an Emergency Veterinarian in order to free her. Watch until the end, her owner is pretty funny talking about Lulu's reaction to the sedatives.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Life and Legacy of Jack the Cat

For anyone that knows me, they know I'm emotional. I cry at everything, and I mean everything. I had a good cry when I heard the news that Jack the Cat lost his battle to recover. I never knew Jack or his owner, I'm just one of the 23,000+ people who followed his story on facebook and hoped for a happy ending.

If you don't know who Jack the Cat is, he's the beautiful kitty who was lost in the American Airlines baggage area at JFK airport. After two months on his own, he fell through a ceiling tile and for those of us following his story, we thought he was on his way to making back home with his momma. Unfortunately, two months fending for himself was just too much. Even with trying for every possible treatment available Jack's mom had to make the very, very difficult decision to end his suffering and let him go. So many of us have been in that position and we all know how hard it is. You have so much hope that a miracle will happen, but reality tells you that you have to be honest and do what's best for your loved one. You have to be thankful in that moment that you have one last opportunity to hold your pet, show them love and be with them when they pass on.

I made the following post on Jack's facebook page:

I am so sorry about the loss of Jack, but I think in this moment, this is where we make his life count. I think it's up to every one of the 23,000+ people on this page to band together to change the way our pets travel. Based on the number of pets that we lose every year, the airline processes and regulations are insufficient and that is unacceptable. Our pets deserve better and it's time we demand it.

And that's why I'm making this post. We have to demand a change. No one wants to fly their animal in cargo, but most pets are too big to fly in the cabin and there are situations (like Jack's) where a move across country or some other situation requires it. Unfortunately, it seems that baggage carriers are treating our beloved pets the same way they treat our bags, carelessly and with little regard for the shape they're in when they make it back into their owners hands.

So this is the part where we start speaking up, making sure everyone hears our voices and make change happen. If everyone can take just a few minutes to email, call and share Jack's story we can make this happen. So here's what you can do.

First, sign the petition to create "Jack's Law." This would require airlines to put GPS (or similar technology) tracking devices (collars, legs bands, or harness, etc) on family pets traveling in cargo holds. This would allow for a quick recovery of any pet who happens to get lost in transit.

After you sign, write a letter or make a phone call to one of the following organizations. Tell them that as a pet owner you are unsatisfied with the procedures and regulations associated with pets flying cargo. Demand that these processes be changed and improved to ensure the safety of our pets. Request that baggage handlers undergo new, updated training to ensure that even just transporting the pets in their kennels to the plane is done properly and safely. Ask that there be consequences and that airlines be held responsible for their actions when situations like Jack's arise.

US Department of Agriculture: The USDA provides standards for shipping dogs and cats in their Animal Welfare Regulations. You can contact the USDA by mail, e-mail, fax or phone at the following locations:

USDA/APHIS/AC: Headquarters
4700 River Road, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234

Phone: (301) 734-7833
Fax: (301) 734-4978

USDA/APHIS/AC: Western Region
2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117

Phone: (970) 494-7478
Fax: (970) 494-7461

USDA/APHIS/AC: Eastern Region
920 Main Campus Drive
Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-5210

Phone: (919) 855-7100
Fax: (919) 855-7123

The International Air Transport Association : According to the IATA they "lead a number of industry initiatives involving safety, security, environment and the quality of air travel." You can contact the IATA by mail, fax or phone at the following locations:

IATA Regional Office for the Americas
703 Waterford Way (NW 62nd Avenue) Suite 600
Miami, Florida 33126
Phone : 1 (305) 264-7772
Fax : 1 (305) 264-8088

Air Transport Association: Founded in 1936, the Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA) is the nation's oldest and largest airline trade association. The association's fundamental purpose is to foster a business and regulatory environment that ensures safe and secure air transportation. You can contact the ATA by mail, phone and email.

Air Transport Association (ATA)
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20004
T: 202-626-4000

Let's not let Jack's struggle be in vain. Let Jack's legacy be a change in the way our pets our treated by airlines, not as baggage, but as living, breathing beings. And tonight, hug your pets a little closer and send some healing thoughts to Karen as she once again has to cope with the loss of Jack.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Celebrity Sunday: Taylor and Meredith

In the past, Taylor Swift has shown off her love for cats through silly cat shirts -

Now, she's showing off her love for her very own kitty, Meredith. So super cute.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Donate What You Can at Sac County Shelter.

This year the Sacramento County Shelter has seen a tremendous out pouring of support from the community. As a thank you for that support, and to encourage more adoptions this November, the shelter will be waiving regular fees in lieu of donations toward each adoption. This “Donate What You Can” promo will run Saturday, November 5th through Wednesday, November 23. Be sure and stop by to see all the beautiful pets available this month.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Dog Doogity, We got to bag it up...

A HILARIOUS reminder to dog owners living in the Puget Sound (and all dog owners nationwide) to clean up after your dog in public.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Astrea and Ruca

Astrea is super spoiled. There really is no pretending she's not. She's especially spoiled when she stays with her Grammiecax and Grampa. I think their house is her favorite place in the whole wide world. She gets an egg every morning and a banana in the evening. She also has a huge yard to play in, so she can chase shadows until she is completely exhausted. This weekend while I went to Carmel for Halloween, Astrea not only got to stay with her grandparents, she also got to have her first sleep over with her cousins Ruca and Reese. Ruca was not thrilled when we first showed, but by the time I came to pick up Astrea on Tuesday, I think she didn't want her to leave. Look how cute they are.

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Ruca trying to get some cuddles in with Astrea.

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Ruca and the bear.

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Taking a break from playing tug of war with the bear.

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Sitting nicely and sharing a banana.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vets and Pets in Sacramento!

Attention all Sacramento Area Veterans - would you like a photo of you with your furry best friend? Nicole McArthur Photography will be at the Sacramento County Shelter (off Bradshaw) on November 11th between 1-4 PM. In exchange for any donation to the shelter she will be taking a photograph of veterans with their pets, and including a 5x7 print.

The shelter is closed for adoptions on this day because it is a holiday, but staff and volunteers will be here to give tours and some special attention to the veterans and their families.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ollie Update!

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who has donated to the Orphan Puppy and Kitty Fund to support Ollie. With your help enough money was raised to get Ollie the blood tests he needed. The blood panel came back normal for a kitty in his shape, which is a good thing. He was prescribed some antibiotics and pain meds to help fight the infection/pain in his mouth, and dental surgery was proposed. A few days later, after discovering two lumps under Ollie's chin, the veterinarians at Old River Veterinary Hospital decided to generously perform the surgery Ollie needs although all the funds have not yet been raised.

Ollie underwent surgery yesterday, and is doing great! A few rotten teeth were pulled, but the doctor could not find anything else seriously wrong. One tooth will require a procedure by a dental specialist, but that's for another day. His vital signs have improved week by week so he is getting healthier and stronger! The doctor kept him overnight, but he's headed back to his foster mom's house today for a little R&R. With all the progress he's made, Ollie is one step closer to finding his forever loving home! Follow his progress on facebook.

So, his first surgery is out of the way, but this means we still need to raise more money to pay for the surgery and the procedure to come. Ollie's foster family is still looking for donations, but would like to offer a few options of very cute Ollie inspired items for sale. In the mood for something sweet? How about an Ollie Pop?

Ollie Pops are a super cute festive lollipop for $1.50 + Shipping. If you'd like to buy an Ollie Pop and support Ollie's recovery, please email The ones shown have fall themed ribbon, but can also be made with Christmas ribbon. And...If Ollie Pops aren't your thing - check out Angels for Ollie.

If you're interested in an Angel, email for pricing and other information.

Interested in a one of a kind vinylmation Ollie?

Mo Doodle Designs is creating a custom Ollie 3D art piece to be raffled off on her facebook page. The photo above is just the beginning of the process, she will be posting photos as the piece progresses. If you're interested in purchasing a raffle ticket, contact Mo Doodle Designs through their facebook page.

And of course, there is always the Ollie Chipin Page if you have a few dollars to spare. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blog the Change to Stop Puppy Mills

It's another Blog the Change Day, and this October, many animal bloggers across the web have decided to all post about the same topic - ending puppy mills. In my animal law class we watched a video about an undercover investigation into puppy mills. I couldn't even keep my eyes on the screen. I had to keep looking away between wiping away the tears. To see the pain and hopelessness in those dogs faces was just too much for me. It's hard for me look at situations like that because I want to save everyone. I want to fix everything. And I know I can't. But I can do something. And so can you.


So what can you do?

First, take the pledge! Pledge that if a store sells puppies (as opposed to allowing a rescue organization to use their store to conduct adoptions) you will not shop for ANYTHING in that store. It's not enough to say you won't buy a puppy there. Every time you spend a dollar in a store you are telling that business that you support EVERYTHING they do. Bottom line is - money speaks. The only way to let that store know that you will not support their practices is to not give them your hard earned cash. These stores will not change their ways until you hit them where it hurts - in their pocketbook. And make your voice heard. Ask to speak with a manager. Let them know that you use to be a customer, but until they end the practice of selling puppies you will not return to that establishment. And then tell your friends. Tell your your coworkers. Tell everyone you know. Write a letter to the editor. Encourage everyone that will listen to choose another store to shop at for their pet needs.

Second, buy products and support companies that are working to help end the problem of puppy mills. I am so proud to say that Astrea eats Honest Kitchen food everyday. Honest Kitchen refuses to stock their product in stores that sell puppies and have recently pulled their advertising from Pet Age magazine after an editorial in Pet Age came out in support of puppy sales in retail outlets. Companies that are devoted to ending puppy mills and supporting adoptions are going to help make this change happen faster than we can because, like I said before, money does the talking.

Finally, educate yourself and those people you know about the plight of puppy mill dogs and the availability of shelter dogs. Puppy mill dogs live in squalid conditions and often suffer from adverse health conditions and long term psychological effects as a result. So many people want a pure bred dog, or a specific breed and simply do not know that they can find that perfect animal their looking for at a shelter or through a rescue organization. There are breed specific rescue groups all across the country trying to find loving homes for their dogs. There are back yard breeders dumping pure bred animals (often times with paperwork) at shelters everyday. There is simply no need for puppy mills or retail outlets selling puppies. The number of homeless animals out there continues to rise everyday, and by purchasing a puppy from a pet store only adds to the problem.

And then when you're done, go hug your animals. Tell them you love them and that you are doing the best you can to make sure that every homeless dog, cat, bunny, horse, etc can be as lucky and loved as they are.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pit Bull Awareness Month

It's Pit Bull Awareness Month again here in Sacramento! Join Sacramento County Animal Care and Control for educational seminars and Canine Good Citizen testing in October. Click here for more information.

Pit Bull Awareness Month

And if you're still looking for that perfect new addition to your family, it's also time for Adoptoberfest which means 50% off adoptions! Cost includes licensing, microchip, vaccinations and spay/neuter. Click here for more information.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mobile Monday: Make New Friends

Astrea likes to make new friends. She doesn't discriminate. In fact, she is drawn to people and things that are different from her. A couple weeks ago she decided she wanted to make friends with a praying mantis. The praying mantis wasn't such a huge fan of the idea, but I let her check him out for a minute before forcing her to leave him alone and finish our walk.

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Can You Help Ollie?

I think everyone has "that friend." You know who I'm talking about, that one person you know that will always feed a stray cat or that pulls over on the side of the road in the pouring rain to round up a loose dog. I have that friend too. Her name is Pam. For as long as I've known her she's always been saving someone. And of course, things never change and she's got another little soul tugging at everyone's heart strings. Meet Ollie.

save ollie

Ollie showed up on Pam's doorstep a couple weeks ago. He was a hungry little guy, covered in fleas. It didn't take long before Pam was not only feeding Ollie, but setting up his bed, working on treating his fleas - and giving him a name. Now that Ollie is doing a little better, he's in need of some veterinary care. So far the local veterinary office, Old River Animal Hospital, has been able to treat Ollie with funds from their "Orphan Puppy and Kitten Fund." Unfortunately, there was just enough money to cover a few tests. Now Ollie needs some blood and dental work done. So, why am I posting about Ollie? We need your help to raise some funds and get his health back! Pam and her daughter Kaitlyn are collecting donations for the "Orphan Puppy and Kitten Fund" to cover not only the cost of Ollie's veterinary care, but to help other orphaned pets. If you can help Ollie please donate through chipin below or email for more information.

Want to see how Ollie is improving? Follow Ollie on Facebook!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy National Dog Week!!

Happy National Dog Week everyone! I don't really know what we're supposed to do to celebrate, so I gave Astrea some cuddle time and a few carrots. That works right? Other than that - here's some of my favorite Astrea and Sancho pictures in honor of their special week. Are you doing anything fun to celebrate?

Astrea Nadine:
Hi Baby
look how dirty i am.
All time favorite...
Sancho Pancho Man:
Sancho Pancho Man!
Sancho and Butters
Gangly puppy legs!!


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