Thursday, March 29, 2012
After Brittney died last year at age 14, Kaufman, 64, bypassed the pet cemetery and backyard burial to have the little dog stuffed and freeze-dried. Kaufman said being able to still look at and touch the deceased pet made her feel like Brittney, her loyal companion, was still with her.
"Brittney represents a lot to me," Kaufman said. "I lost a husband and I lost a son and I had Brittney during that time. When we lose a family member, we don't just forget about them and just move on. They're still a part of our lives. That doesn't mean I have to let go of the past."
Pets are a huge industry in the United States. The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans will spend almost $53 billion on their pets this year. The association's 2011-12 National Pet Owners Survey says roughly 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes.
Preserving beloved pets after death through stuffing and freeze-drying has gradually become another option for owners.
Daniel Ross, 35, a professional taxidermist who preserved Brittney, is the owner of Xtreme Taxidermy http://www.xtremetaxidermy.com/, a burgeoning business he runs out of a shed in the front yard of his home in, of all places, Romance, Ark.
"If you raise something for 15, 20 years, it's not just simply a pet anymore. It's part of the family," Ross said. "Some people think it's weird ... but I can tell you that for all the customers that I've had, and I've seen the joy and happiness, the peace that it brings back to their life to have their beloved cat or dog or whatever back, it's worth it."
In his office, Ross has freeze dryers packed with pets from across the country. It costs about $500 to $700 to have an average-sized dog stuffed with cotton and freeze dried. The process takes months, and people don't just send their cats and dogs. Ross has received a prized rooster and a hairless rat, among other odd requests.
Ross said one Texas woman paid a few hundred dollars to have him pose her deceased spider monkey with an empty can of her late husband's favorite beer glued to its hand. She then wanted her husband's ashes poured into the empty can.
Such unique requests garnered Ross and his business their own reality TV series on Animal Planet called "American Stuffers," with each episode ending with a pet owner reuniting with his dearly departed. But Ross said he didn't get into the pet preservation business to make money.
"I'm a professional. I'm not some backwoods taxidermist," he said. "It's an odd way to make a living, and trust me ... I never would've thought that I'd be working on somebody's beloved pet and being on TV, or anything like that."
Kaufman also appeared on an episode of "American Stuffers," which showed the great lengths she took to make preserving Brittney possible, including keeping the dog in her freezer for "a couple of weeks." Kaufman added that she doesn't care if people think she is "crazy" and said she plans to have Brittney buried with her when her time comes.
"A lot of people do choose to bury their animals, or have them cremated. If that is what they choose, I think that is fine, but I don't think that anybody should criticize anybody for what you do with your pet," she said.
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The Hamlins surrendered their dog to the Washington Humane Society (WHS) in very poor condition February 16. The dog was emaciated with severe congenital skeletal deformations as well as calluses on both legs and a severely infected sore on one leg. Additionally, his coat was covered in urine and fecal staining. The dog was being kept in a crate approximately half his size with no bedding for 15-20 hours a day. The dog, Rocky, is currently living in the Washington Humane Society Humane Law Enforcement office and is available for adoption or foster. A hearing is scheduled May 15.
Terrell is accused of leaving her new dog gated in the bathroom of her apartment for at least four days prior to January 16 while she stayed with a friend. Humane Law Enforcement Officers found the dog in the bathroom with no food or clean water and a large accumulation of feces and urine. He was also underweight. The dog was ultimately euthanized due to severe behavioral issues. Terrell’s status hearing is scheduled April 23. Terrell was previously arrested September 9, 2010 for leaving her dog tied to her back door while she was away for three days. The dog became entangled in its leash and died from exhaustion in the 90-plus degree weather.
“Innocent animals have suffered needlessly at the hands of callous abusers in our city. We believe that every animal matters and we look forward to bringing the perpetrators of these atrocious crimes to justice,” said Scott Giacoppo, Vice President and Chief Programs Officer, Washington Humane Society.
The Washington Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement Department, composed of four full-time Humane Law Enforcement Officers, investigates over 1,400 complaints of animal cruelty each year. To report animal cruelty and neglect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call 202-BE-HUMANE.
The female Dachshund mix dog weighed just one ounce when she was born.
Animal rescuers in California say that a fortnight http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortnight on she still remains so small that can easily fit on an iPhone while she is the same size as a business card or credit card.
Experts say she is now likely to set a new record for being the world's tiniest dog. She is not yet officially the title holder but a "fast-track" application has been submitted to the Guinness World Records.
But a dog rescue centre in El Dorado Hills, California, has now been inundated with requests to adopt the little animal.
Beyoncé was the runt of a litter of five that was born to an abandoned dachshund mix, named Casey. Their mother was too heavily pregnant to have a termination and was scheduled to be put down.
But vets intervened and looked after the dog until she gave birth a fortnight ago.
When Beyoncé was delivered, vets were convinced she was still born. She was the last one delivered and was born without a heartbeat.
Dr Michael Russell, the Grace Foundation's vet, then attempted to give her heart compressions but she still wasn't breathing.
"We cleaned out her little nasal passages, and I gave her a couple more breaths and then she started breathing on her own. She is just a remarkable little survivor.
"Our hope is that Beyoncé and her miraculous story of survival helps spread awareness about the plight of rescue dogs."
Beyoncé is still smaller than the rest of her siblings but she's grown to 124g and is said to be thriving. She is expected to weigh less than 1kg when fully grown.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Washington, DC - Washington Animal Rescue League - Tiny “Lab Rat” Terrier Seeks Forever Home - Please Read Her Story
When Tiny arrived at the Washington Animal Rescue League, she was terrified of human contact and wouldn’t let anyone near her. WARL staff worried about her adoption chances.
But then one day, a special woman showed up…and Tiny’s life changed. The woman stated unashamedly that she suffered from clinical depression and was taking medication for her condition. She lived alone, had few friends, and was looking for a loving four-legged companion. And although Tiny refused her initial overtures, she just knew the 10-year-old terrier was the dog for her.
And she was right. Over the next year or so, Tiny and her human companion forged a strong, unbreakable bond. The woman devoted her life—and most of her limited income—to Tiny’s care. In return, Tiny rewarded her with the unconditional love we all desire.
But when financial issues prevented the woman from giving Tiny the care she deserved, she put Tiny’s needs before her own—the hallmark of true love—and returned her beloved companion to the League where she could be adopted by someone who could better provide for her.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
This is a short video of the rescue of one of the sweetest dogs ever. When the rescuers from the absolutely wonderful group Hope for Paws came upon Fiona, she was 100 percent blind, and living in a pile of junk in an abandoned and graffiti-festooned lot. I don't know how she survived, and can only imagine what torment and hell her life must have been.
As you'll see below, the change from blind, horribly flea-infested, scared-to-death mutt to happy, healthy dog who could see again (from one eye at least) is miraculous. Her joy at being able to run around with her fellow dog pals in a loving home is palpable. Enjoy! And if you like the work Hope for Paws does (this is one of many, many phenomenal rescues -- most videotaped -- that the organization does each year), please consider making a donation at Hope for Paws.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Important Announcement from the Washington Animal Rescue League - Dr. Gary Weitzman will be relocating to the West Coast to become the Chief Executive of the San Diego Humane Society
Dr. Gary Weitzman has more than 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine and animal welfare, and currently chairs the DC Board of Veterinary Medicine. He was appointed director of the League’s Medical Center in 2004 and became CEO in 2008. During Dr. Gary’s tenure at the League, it has become a national resource for disaster and puppy mill rescues and a recognized leader in animal physical and behavioral rehabilitation. A veterinarian with extensive training in international public health, Dr. Weitzman has worked in the non-profit sector for years in both human and animal public health. A proponent of collaboration between animal welfare groups, the League has become a major resource for other shelters. Aside from his duties as CEO, Dr. Gary remains a practicing clinician at the League, as well as weekly commentator for The Animal House, National Public Radio’s newest program exploring the latest in animal science, pet health, behavior, and wildlife conservation.
Please read the following letter from Dr. Weitzman:
Below are some words from our board chair, Roger Marmet, who will be heading up the search for my replacement. Let me close by saying that I’ll miss this shelter and all of our wonderful supporters, staff, volunteers and animals greatly. I’m very proud of what you’ve helped us to achieve. For the animals and the people whose lives are made so much better because of them, there really is nothing like this place. Thank you for all of your support and dedication. I’m sure I’ll see many of you at future celebratory events to commemorate the wonderful work you’ve helped us achieve every single day. It’s truly been an honor to work for such an incredible organization.
Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
President and CEO
Chair, Board of Directors
It’s with mixed emotion that I announce that later this Spring, Dr. Gary Weitzman will be relocating to the West Coast to become the Chief Executive of the San Diego Humane Society. While we are extremely sorry for Gary to leave, we are also very proud of him and will maintain close ties with him through the next several years. Gary became our President and CEO in 2008 after serving four years as our Medical Director. During that time, he expanded our services to the low income community and built our shelter into one of the best facilities of its kind in the country. As our CEO, Gary has expanded the League’s services and created a unique, strong beacon in the world of animal welfare.
Gary will be with us until mid-May, and we will continue to expand our services, plan for our future, and seek the best candidate out there. The Board is conducting a national search for a top leader to take us into the future. In 2014 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Washington Animal Rescue League. We are extremely grateful to Gary for his leadership of the organization, and grateful to all of our supporters for your generosity and involvement in making this one of the greatest organizations in the field. We hope you will join us in wishing Gary the best as he prepares to relocate and take on the next chapter of his work for animals.
Chair, Board of Directors
Friday, March 23, 2012
This event--one of 55 held concurrently around the nation—will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. In addition to WARL, participants include: The Washington Humane Society, Montgomery County Humane Society, Prince George’s County Animal Shelter, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, and Fairfax County Animal Shelter.
Planners expect to have more than 200 dogs and cats available. Special event adoption fees--$20 for cats and $40 for dogs—will be offered for animals onsite at WARL and at all participating shelters.
“This really is an extraordinary event,” says WARL president and CEO Dr. Gary Weitzman. “As far as I know, it’s the first time this many shelters in our nation’s capital have gathered in one place for two days for the sole purpose of adopting animals. And it’s truly a win-win situation. With so many available animals to choose from, people are sure to find the perfect animal companion for their families. And the more animals the participating shelters place, the more homeless animals we can save.”
For more information about the Mega Match-a-thon, please visit: warl.org/mega
"Yoda" a Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, won a $1000 prize last year after claiming the title of "The World's Ugliest Dog" in Petaluma, Calif. The dog passed away in her sleep last weekend, according to the Associated Press, although the word is just catching on now.
The once proud owner, Terry Devine Schumacher, has said that she will miss Yoda's "funny little ways." Schumacher's daughter found the mutt in a field behind an old apartment building when she was only two years old.
Schumacher also revealed to the Hanford Sentinel that she was at least "comforted knowing she will be joining my mom and dad, who loved her so much. Her memories will live on forever."
Yoda was not always so well loved. When the dog was first discovered, Schumacher told her daughter to drop it, confusing the Chihuahua mix for a rat. Yoda's charming bad looks however, would one day take her to minor celebrity status.
After winning the title for "The World's Ugliest Dog" Yoda went on to appear on several different television programs. Yoda will maintain her celebrity status until June, when the next "World's Ugliest Dog" is named.
Of course, no one is likely to forget the world's first ugly little dog, who had faced difficult times until being rescued. Making national television was a big step for the dog who once had no home.
Some fans, who were touched by Yoda's story, said the dog was not so ugly at all.
"I don't like Ugly Dog contests. All dogs are special no matter what and I thought Yoda was cute," Beaudine de Massy said on the New York Post blog. "So nice to know Yoda had a comfortable long life after being abandoned in a field probably neglected and left to die because of her unique looks."
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Questions and Answers Regarding Chicken Jerky Treats from China
Dog Treat Warning
Dog Illness Detected in at 600 Dogs Due to Chicken Jerky Treats from China
Also, please read my previous post on jerky treats:
FDA Cautions Dog Owners of Treats
Monday, March 12, 2012
Wendy Humphreys, a mother of two from Britain, found out first-hand how powerful that gift can be when her cat Fidge sniffed out a potentially fatal health condition that even doctors hadn't detected, the Daily Mail reports.
Bewildered at first, Humphreys was compelled to visit a physician after the 10-month-old cat began jumping on her breast and continued to do so for weeks on end.
What doctors found astounded Humphreys: She had a malignant tumor in her breast about the size of a pea that could have metastasized if it hadn't been discovered early. She is now scheduled to undergo chemotherapy and credits Fidge with saving her life, according to the paper.
Studies have shown that dogs, too, can pick up on illnesses and physical ailments by detecting acute changes in people's smell. In a 2011 study, researchers in Japan conducted trials to see how well a dog could identify people with colorectal cancer. The dog had a 98 percent accuracy rate, NPR reported.
Sometimes, however, animals' aptitude for detecting changes in humans defies scientific explanation. In 2006, a cat named Oscar confounded experts by "predicting" the deaths of a number of residents at a Rhode Island nursing home. Oscar would begin hanging around people days before they passed away, according to CBS News.
"Oscar is a normal cat with an extra-normal sense for death," Dr. Joan M. Teno, professor of community health at Brown and associate medical director of Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, told the Boston Globe. "As a scientist, I want to offer a biological explanation for this," she said. "But I can't."
For more information on animals detecting cancer, read my post: Do You Believe that Some Dogs Can Detect Certain Cancers?
Monday, March 5, 2012
6-Year-Old Boy Uses Birthday To Provide Donations for Fredericksburg Regional SPCA 6-Year-Old Boy Uses Birthday To Provide Donations for Fredericksburg Regional SPCA
In Fredericksburg, Virginia, little Dylan Harris has already done most of the heavy lifting. You see, a few Saturdays ago at his cowboy-themed 6th birthday party, Dylan didn't get any presents. However, he did get exactly what he asked for.
Dylan told his friends that instead of bringing a present to the party, they should bring something for the animals at the Fredericksburg Regional Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
"They were like, 'No, I'm not going to do that' and I was like 'Do it’,” say Dylan.
He is not sure how many bags of dog and cat food he collected. After the party, his mom loaded it all into their SUV.
When a generous gift like Dylan's rolls in, it is a huge relief. At the SPCA, they rely almost entirely on donations of food and blankets. Like you, they have bills to pay.
"Electric, the general employee bills, water bills, repairs, maintenance," says Susan Malek, who works at the SPCA.
As for Dylan, he is clearly giving something to the SPCA. He may be taking something too. While dropping off the donations, he fell in love with a cat named Baby Girl. And no matter where in the shelter he went, he couldn't get Baby Girl off his mind.
"She just came up to me and started wagging her tail, so I just petted on her and she just liked me and I like her," says Dylan.
"I'm not surprised at all. There's a lot of cute faces in the back. It gets very hard to go back there and visit and not want to take them all home," says Malek.
Mom says it looks good, but they will have to talk to dad before bringing home a cat.
And in case mom and dad are listening, there's one more thing. Dylan hasn't completely given up on presents. When asked if he hoped his mom would take him to lunch after dropping off the donation, Dylan responded that he would rather go to Toys R Us.
Councilmember Yvette Alexander tells ABC7 that while details remain sketchy, it appears a dog belonging to either the victim or suspect defecated on the other's property, starting an argument.
Kevin Chavous Sr., father of the candidate, says Colbert has been an active volunteer on the campaign and has wanted a bigger role but the campaign would not give it to him.
Ellsworth Colbert, Campaign Volunteer Accused of Killing Neighbor, Due in Court
A D.C. Council campaign volunteer is expected to make his first court appearance Monday, a day after police say he stabbed a neighbor to death.
Ellsworth Colbert allegedly stabbed his next-door neighbor, 37-year-old Robert Wright, to death over dog feces. He has been charged with second degree murder while armed.
Police say Colbert fatally stabbed his next-door neighbor, 37-year-old Robert Wright, allegedly over dog feces.
About 10 a.m. Sunday, witnesses say Colbert got into an argument with his neighbor after Wright’s dog defecated in Colbert’s yard.
Wright’s mother told police that her son had just left to walk the dog and when he didn’t return she began to worry.
“They are all nice people so I was kind of confused when I came outside this morning I was like what's going on," said Bobby Chandler, D.C. resident.
Colbert is currently a volunteer on the campaign of Kevin Chavous, a candidate running for the Ward 7 council seat.
“That's a terrible way for somebody to die get stabbed over dog poop,”said Kevin Chavous, (D) D.C. Council candidate. “Just about everybody around here has a dog."
Officers positioned themselves in front of Colbert’s home throughout the day and combed the scene for clues and remnants of a violent fight.
“In Ward 7 we've lost a lot of young men to violence like this and it can't be tolerated. And it's unfortunate and both families are in my thoughts and prayers at this time," Chavous said.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Washington, DC – The Washington Humane Society (WHS) is hoping to find homes for more animals as the warmer spring months near quickly. Many animals are born in the springtime, and as a result, WHS takes in an abundance of new and young animals in need in its adoption centers. To celebrate the leap into spring and to encourage adoption, WHS is offering 29 cent rabbit adoptions March 1-4 in honor of leap year.
According to Stephanie Shain, Chief Operating Officer, Washington Humane Society, the organization is asking the community to help reduce animal overpopulation and make strides toward ending pet homelessness in our region this spring. She offers the following tips:
Spay or Neuter your Pet: WHS operates the low-cost, high-quality National Capital Area Spay & Neuter Center located in the heart of Capitol Hill. The public can make an appointment by calling 202-88-ALTER (202-882-5837). Plus, all WHS pets go home spayed or neutered, included in one low adoption fee.
Adopt: If you are thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, look no further than WHS. We have a variety of healthy and happy pets of all breeds, ages and sizes. In addition to being spayed/neutered, all pets go home microchipped and current on vaccines and appropriate treatments. Every adoption saves a life.
Foster or Volunteer: Can’t adopt? Consider volunteering to help in the WHS adoption centers or administrative offices, or fostering a pet while he waits for a forever home. Volunteers are vital members of the WHS community, and they fulfill a critical component of our life-saving work.
All WHS adopters receive a free starter bag of Hill’s Science Diet Food; a goodie bag from Home Buddies DC; a free post-adoption exam at a participating veterinarian; and 30 free days of health insurance from Shelter Care. All animals are spayed/neutered, microchipped and current on vaccines, de-wormer and flea/tick treatment. Browse pets online then visit them in person at WHS Adoption Centers at 7319 Georgia Avenue NW and 1201 New York Avenue NE. Discount applies to rabbit adoption applications received during specified time frame only.
Click on pictures of available rabbits below to read more about them!
Georgia Avenue Shelter:
New York Avenue Shelter:
If you can not adopt a rabbit, remember the Washington Humane Society has cats and dogs that are also looking for forever homes!