Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Georgia Inmates Care for Rescued Horses
The high price of hay and the crappy economy are being blamed for the high number of horse owners who are giving up and abandoning or neglecting their animals around the country.

In Georgia, a dozen inmates at Pulaski State Prison are helping to rehabilitate abandoned and neglected horses that have been impounded by the state.   In the state's first prison horse-rescue farm female inmates are learning skills needed to become a certified veterinary technician through Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins. Read.

Rapper DMX pleads guilty to drug, theft charges
Rapper DMX has reached a plea deal on multiple drug possession, theft and animal cruelty charges, reports the Associated Press.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of animal cruelty, one count of theft, and one count each of felony possession of marijuana and a narcotic drug.

A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner has set a sentencing hearing for Jan. 30.
Additional charges will be dismissed then.

The 38-year-old rapper has been arrested several times in Arizona in the past year and missed several court dates.

Authorities alleged that DMX gave a false name and Social Security number when being treated at a Scottsdale hospital in April. He was indicted on felony charges of theft and taking someone's identity.

The animal cruelty charge, a misdemeanor, came from an August 2007 raid that Maricopa County sheriff's deputies conducted at DMX's Cave Creek home. Authorities investigating a report of animal abuse found three dead dogs, guns, ammunition and drug paraphernalia.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Humane Society University Offers Online Training

Despite the bleak economy, the $43 billion pet business is still booming, which means opportunities in the diverse industry abound. But if staying competitive means updating your skillset, check out new low-cost online classes from the Humane Society University - the educational arm of the HSUS.

Current course offerings range from interviewing, staff selection and marketing your non-profit to interpreting animal behavior for safe handling. Prices range from $25 and $35 and some are free! For more information on Humane Society University, and to register for on-line courses, go to and click on the left menu entitled “Online Courses.”

Prince Edward Investigated for Beating Dogs

Prince Edward today is feeling the heat. The 44-year-old Prince is being investigated by British welfare organizations after a photographer caught him raising his 4-ft walking stick at two labradors while on a hunting expedition. The photographs show him rushing at the animals with his shotgun tucked under his arm and a long stick raised in the air. Buckingham Palace said Edward waved his stick to try and break up a fight between his animals over a dead pheasant. Check out the photos at the Mail Online.

Uncle Sam or Felix the Lamb?

If  you're thinking about making a monetary donation this year but would rather it not go to Uncle Sam, consider helping care for some farm animals at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, about two hours from the GWB.    Felix, a three-legged lamb rescued from a Bronx slaughterhouse is among the menagerie of animals that are living out their life upstate on a big old farm.  Read about them at

Monday, December 29, 2008


Red-Tailed Hawk Spotted in Washington Square Park

Rumor has it a red-tailed hawk - and possibly a mate - have once again taken up residence in Washington Square Park.  One passerby said he spotted a hawk hovering yesterday near the playground, where it appeared to be pining after a child holding a paper airplane. 

Last January, park-goers sighted a red-tailed hawk flying and nesting throughout the Greenwich Village park, which was - and still is - under construction.  Photographer Brian Dube, who lives on the North side of the park, was stunned to spot a young red-tailed hawk finishing up its pigeon lunch on top of the air conditioner outside his apartment (see photo). Let us know if you've seen the hawk.

Agriculture Secretary a Good Pick for Advocates

President-elect Barack Obama's recent pick of former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack as incoming Agriculture Secretary was disappointing to at least some of the interest groups focused on a food reform agenda for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

But many animal advocates are happy about the new cabinet pick.

The Humane Society of the United States is among those groups that are endorsing Vilsack.  On his blog, HSUS head Wayne Pacelle notes the former Iowa governor had a strong record on many animal protection issues that came up in Iowa—everything from cracking down on animal fighting to vetoing legislation that would have classified puppy mill dogs as "farm products" and allowed mourning dove hunting in the state. In his new post, Vilsack will have to confront major food policy issues, and we'll be advocating strongly for a fresh new perspective at the agency, Pacelle said.

DawnWatch: Year-End Roundup

Animal advocate and "Thanking the Monkey" author Karen Dawn ties together this year's major animal stories. Read

Vick's Pit Bull Graces Cover of Sports Illustrated

The story, "Vick's Dogs: The Good News out of the Bad Newz Kennels," by John Gorantz is an upbeat look at the aftermath of Michael Vick's criminal conviction and current federal jail term for overseeing and financing a dog fighting ring on his Virginia farm. It focuses on the successful efforts of animal rescue groups that helped rehabilitate and find homes for the dogs and includes a wonderful photo gallery. Read the article here.


Former First Cat Battling Cancer
Two famous figures in the Bill Clinton White House -- his personal secretary and ailing pet cat, Socks -- are back in the public eye, reports the Associated Press.

Clinton secretary Betty Currie is working for John D. Podesta, co-chairman of President-elect Barack Obama's transition, at the same time reports surfaced that her adopted pet Socks has cancer.

"It's not a happy prognosis," said presidential historian Barry Landau, a friend of Currie's. Although Currie opted against invasive tests, Landau believes Socks has "days or weeks" to live.

Currie is remembered for picking up from Monica Lewinsky gifts that the former president had given the White House intern in 1997. Currie later testified during investigations into Clinton's affair.

Currie went to the Clinton White House after serving in his transition, but it was unclear whether she would follow a similar path with Obama.

Socks has lived with Currie since the Clintons left the White House. The black-and-white cat didn't get along with the Clintons' dog, Buddy, and aggravated the president's allergies.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Purr-Fect Holiday Reading

Here's my round-up of books to curl up with this holiday season, published in the NY Daily News today. My personal favorite is "Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs," with beautiful photos of senior dogs whose soulful eyes tell us that have been around the block many, many times. The list will be updated as there a slew of new tomes. Read List

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Stranded Military Family and Pets Find Refuge in Snowstorm

With record snowstorms, twins on the way, and a dog and cat in tow, it seemed like the Pardun family, from an upstate NY military base would never get home to Portland, Oregon, But with a little luck—and a lot of help—they made their way back home for the holiday.

On Christmas eve, Private Blaine Pardun, a military officer who is heading for Iraq, was stranded at JFK with his pregnant wife Katie, who is expecting twins, Rex, a five-month old German Shepherd, and Mr. Jegger, a year-and-a-half-old Siamese mix cat. The Parduns had already made the seven-hour drive from their home on the Fort Drum military base in New York to catch a flight to Portland in time for Christmas.

The family reached out to out to Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s office for help. Patrick Kwan, New York Director for the Humane Society of the United States said Senator Wyden’s office secured temporary housing options for the Pardun family, but the facilities cannot accept pets. Though the JFK Airport has a pet boarding facility, the cost—$50 per night, per animal for the family’s dog and cat—was outside the family’s reach.

The HSUS arranged for the family - including their pets - to stay at the Howard Johnson hotel near JFK. On Christmas Day, Kwan drove out to the airport to see them off.

Kwan said the family made the crazy trip with their animals so Katie to be with her family when she delivers her twins.

Many stranded pets never make it on the plane. “Sadly, many travelers abandon their pets at the JFK Airport,” said Kwan, who has been campaigning for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates JFK Airport, to address the issue, including the plight of the feral cats at the airport.

“Some of the pet owners are plainly irresponsible, but there are also those, like the Pardun family, who feel like they have no other choice.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seized puppies at LAX wag way into home
Here's an interesting story about an auction of pure bred puppies from a puppy mill that were seized in Los Angeles. Ed Boks, who was the former director of NYC's Animal Care & Control shelters and now in charge of LA's animal services was behind the auction. Read full story.

Ban Breed Bans and other Ideas for Obama

This came in an email from John Bozak, author of Demo: The Story of a Junkyard Dog, about a special dog he came to love:
I'm not sure if you've heard, but there's a movement of citizens
inspired by the presidential campaign who are now submitting ideas for
how they think the Obama Administration should change America. It's
called "Ideas for Change in America."

One idea is titled: Ban Breed Specific Legislation. I thought you
might be interested in getting involved and recommend you check it
out. You can read more and vote for the idea by clicking the
following link:

The top 10 ideas are going to be presented to the Obama Administration
on Inauguration Day and will be supported by a national lobbying
campaign run by, MySpace, and more than a dozen leading
nonprofits after the Inauguration. So each idea has a real chance at
becoming policy.

Monday, December 22, 2008


From Ada Nieves and her Chihuahua Quartet

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Pierced and Studded Kitties Sold on Ebay Now in Care of SPCA
A Pennsylvania woman was busted for selling kittens whose ears, backs, and necks had been pierced with metal studs and rings, writes kitty Helena Sung at the NY Small Dog Examiner. Read story.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Biden's Promises Second Puppy Coming From a Shelter
Vice President Elect Joe Biden took a lot of heat from animal rights groups after his wife Jill bought him a German shepherd puppy from a breeder. With thousands of shepherds living in shelters across the country, animal advocates were hoping he would adopt - not buy. Pressure has mounted on the Obama family to get the First-puppy from a shelter. Today, Biden told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that a second puppy will be heading with the Biden family to Washington, and it's coming from a shelter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Help Protect Carriage Horses During the Holidays

Tourists travel year-round to Central Park to ride in one of New York’s legendary horse-drawn carriage, but the future of this industry is the subject of a highly charged debate. Earlier this year, the documentary Blinders helped raise awareness of the plight of NYC's carriage horses. taking viewers on a behind-the-scenes look at the truth behind the tradition.

Carriage operators say that horse-drawn carriages should stay because they are a beloved symbol of New York City that bring in tourist dollars. Advocates for animals say the industry should be banned because it’s inhumane and unsafe. They believe Hollywood has romanticized horse-drawn carriages and claim that life on congested city streets is anything but romantic for these nervous animals that are easily spooked.

This holiday season the ASPCA reminds the public of city and state laws designed to protect carriage horses:
  • Carriage horses cannot be worked when the temperature reaches 18 degrees and below.
  • During the winter, horses must be blanketed while awaiting passengers.
  • Carriage horses cannot be driven faster than a trot.
  • Carriage horses can only be worked nine hours during any 24-hour period.
  • Horses must be given a rest period of at least 15 minutes for every two hours they work.
  • Fresh water must be made available to them during their rest periods.
  • Horses must be provided with enough food and water and allowed to eat and drink at reasonable intervals while they are working. (Carriage horse drivers may carry water on the carriage or make use of troughs in the park. The law does not specify how to provide water--only that it be provided.)
  • Horses cannot be worked when they are lame or suffer from a physical condition, illness or condition that makes them unsuitable for work.
  • The law prohibits “abuse “of carriage horses which means physical maltreatment or failure to provide the care required by the regulations.
  • Horses are prohibited from working during “adverse weather conditions,” which means any condition that is hazardous to the health and safety of the horse, driver or the public. This includes, but is not limited to, ice, snow, heavy rain and other slippery conditions.
  • Carriage horses are not allowed on bridges or in tunnels.
  • Carriage horse operators must obey traffic laws. This includes traffic lights, signs, prohibitions on U turns, etc.
In addition to the New York City code and rules, state law makes cruelty to horses a crime. Cruelty means knowingly causing injury or death to a horse, or allowing someone else to do so.

Reports of suspected animal cruelty should be made to the ASPCA at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450, or


Protests in China Over Eating Cats
While animal lovers in Beijing protested the killing of cats for food on Thursday, a butcher in Guangdong province — where felines are the main ingredient in a famous soup — just shrugged her shoulders and wielded her cleaver, the Associated Press reported. Story

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Council Members Vote on Humane Education
Despite the best efforts of the League of Humane Voters of NYC and dozens of protesters that took to City Hall on Tuesday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn opposed Resolution 497.  The Humane Education resolution required teachers to be notified of an existing law that requires elementary schools to teach students about the humane treatment of animals. Read about it issue and the vote breakdown at

Here Kitty Kitty! FooPets Launched Online

If you can't adopt a kitten or puppy with real fur for the holidays, a new breed of pets are available for adoption and they're waiting online to fetch you a bone.  FooMojo announced today the launch of FooPets, a realistic virtual pet that users can play with, train, fetch, and feed. The company's CEO Ron Hornbaker, a veterinarian, said each of the animals is "alive in the online domain," which may be a little farfetched - but admittedly, they are sort of cute. The effort is backed by the Humane Society and the ASPCA, among other animal welfare groups. Check them out at A story here on Virtual World News explains it best.


Recession-proof Cat Toys 
Entertaining your feisty feline doesn't have to break the bank.   A ball of tin foil, a Trader Joe's paper shopping bag to hide in, or hair scrunchie can keep my cats busy for hours.  There are a lot of ways to pamper your feline for free, the Associated Press reports.  Read

Pets and Owners Barking the Same Language
Today's NY Daily News ran and Associated Press story that reports sixty-seven percent of pet owners understand their animal's woofs, meows or other sounds, and women understand their pets better than anyone, a poll shows.  Read

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Pit Bull Ad Blitz: Spay Now or Pay Later
Here is an excellent story on the ASPCA's low-cost spay/neuter urban grafitti campaign that helps Bronx pit bull owners keep their dogs, by Jessica Firger in City Limits.  Read

Report Questions Safety of EPA-Approved Pesticides for Pets
At least 1,600 pet deaths linked to so-called “spot on” treatments with pyrethroids, a class of synthetic pesticides, have been reported to the EPA over the past five years, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity. These treatments are currently approved for sale by the EPA and are easily available over-the-counter at grocery and hardware stores and specialty pet retailers.

The number is about double the number of reported fatalities tied to similar treatments without pyrethroids, such as Frontline and Advantage — products that also have its critics.

The safety of these anti-flea-and-tick treatments is the subject of the latest addition to the Center's Perils of the New Pesticides project. Pyrethroid-based products from Hartz, Sergeant’s, Farnam, and Bayer have stirred the ire of pet owners, the concern of veterinarians, and the attention of regulatory agencies. Pyrethroid spot on treatments also account for more than half of the “major” pesticide pet reactions reported to EPA over the last five years.  

Is Biden in the Doghouse?
The Vice-president elect's choice to buy a pure bred German shepherd from a breeder and not adopt is causing animal advocates to cringe, the LA Times reports.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Michael Vick's Dog on Today's Ellen

Georgia, one of 22 dogs rescued from Atlanta Falcon's quarterback Michael Vick's illegal dog-fighting ring, made an appearance today on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Trainer John Garcia, star of the National Geographic Channel series Dogtown, taped the Ellen show with Georgia on Thursday.

Ellen and her partner, Portia de Rossi, are donating to Best Friends Animal Society, in lieu of holiday gifts for friends and family. Ellen is encouraging others to do the same. The Kanab, Utah animal sanctuary provides refuge to thousands of homeless animals.

Vick is now serving a 23-month prison sentence on a federal dog-fighting conspiracy charge.

Jet Blue Launches Petiquette Program

Now that the pet-friendly airline charges $100 one-way for each pet, Jet Blue wants your doggone business. The pet-friendly airline is now offering two bonus award points per flight so your cat or dog can start earning free flights. The airline is also selling a custom-made carrier co-designed by columnist Cindy Adams, founder of Jazzy Park Avenue Dog Products. The $45 carrier is available online at And through Dec. 30, customers can enter the 'JetBlue Pet Look-Alike' photo contest for a chance to win a trip for two to a top pet-friendly destination. The grand prize winner will receive roundtrip travel for two to any of the airline's 51 destinations, and four runner-ups will receive the JetPaws Pet Carrier and Pet Travel Kit.

HSUS Busts Three Animal Abuse Rings
It was a big week for the Humane Society of the Unites States, which helped bust three major animal abuse enterprises in three different communities in North America—a reported dogfighting don in North Carolina, a massive suspected cockfighting breeding operation on the north coast of California, and a puppy mill in Quebec. Read More

Barney's Last White House Christmas

Farewell Barney. . .


Tips for Adopting a Shelter Animal
If you're thinking of adopting a cat, dog, bunny or bird for the holidays - and there are thousands of needy animals that need homes - there are many things to consider before making the commitment.  NYC's Animal Care & Control Shelters is offering tips for the prospective adopter.  Go to

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Boarding for the Holidays

If you're traveling for the holidays but have to leave your pet behind, my Critters story today in the NY Daily News gave ideas for last-minute boarding options. In addition to dog boarding and cat sitting, options also abound for bunnies, reptiles, and birds.  

Bird owners can find private bird sitter through the Long Island Parrot Society at

It's a jungle at Birdcamp, on E. 53rd St., where birds, from finches to macaws, are each housed in an appropriate-sized cage, and receive daily rations of fresh bottled water, fruit and veggies. (

If you have to leave your bunny behind, check with your local Rabbit House Society chapter for names of volunteers and veterinarians that board rabbits ( Reptile owners can contact Sean Casey Animal Rescue ( for boarding. Holidays guests already include two sulcatta tortoises, a leopard turtle and a box turtle.  


Holiday Pet Photos
Check out the photo gallery from the NY Daily News

Thursday, December 11, 2008


109th Annual Christmas Bird Count 
The city is for the birds. Nearly 8,000 birds of 57 species were spotted by binocular-toting bird lovers in 2008 - the highest number in four years.  This year, bird lovers from amateur to serious hobbyists from across the city can help tally the bird count, which will be added to a national database.  The tradition was started in 1990 by ornithologist Frank Chapman. The Central Park Bird Count will take place on Sunday, December 14, at 8 a.m., at the Pump Station at 85th and Fifth Ave.  For info on other boroughs go to

A Hawk and Its Prey Visit a NY Times reporter's Harlem Home.

Humane Education in NYC Schools
On Tuesday, Dec. 16, New York City Council is expected to vote on
Resolution 497, which is aimed at increasing compliance with New York's Humane Education law.  The League of Humane Voters of NYC is expected to hold a press conference in the steps of City Hall on Tuesday at noon, and is urging the public to come and speak out in favor of the important legislation.  The law, enacted in 1947, has not been enforced, and few educators even know about it.  Here's a story I wrote last year on humane education.  For info go to

ASPCA Mobile CSI Unit Turns One
The state-of-the-art “Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit” was hard at work yesterday, assisting in the raid of a major dogfighting operation in North Carolina.

The raid of “Wildside Kennels,” an alleged dogfighting operation in McGrady, N.C., was a result of a three-year investigation by the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office, the Wilkes County Animal Control Agency, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  Authorities found suspected dogfighting paraphernalia on the property and seized 127 dogs—several of which had scars consistent with dogfighting. Dr. Melinda Merck, senior director of Veterinary Forensics for the ASPCA, was on-site with the Mobile Unit, assisting with the raid and evaluating the seized dogs for evidence of animal fighting.

A man alleged to be the owner of the operation, and two others, were arrested. Each was charged with one count of felony dogfighting and baiting; additional charges are pending. The alleged owner of the operation, Ed Faron, was previously convicted of dogfighting and is reportedly one of the 10 most influential figures in the underground dogfighting circuit. It is a felony in North Carolina to possess a dog for the purpose of dogfighting. Those involved in illegal dogfighting can receive up to 10 months in prison.

The ASPCA’s Mobile Animal CSI Unit – a specially-designed vehicle outfitted with state-of-the-art forensics tools as well as medical equipment tailored for animal patients – was unveiled exactly one year ago today on December 11, 2007 in New York City. A “forensics first,” the “Animal CSI” vehicle was created to significantly advance the prosecution of animal cruelty and help strengthen cases against offenders by incorporating the emerging field of veterinary forensics in crime scene investigations. Yesterday’s raid also took place on the one-year anniversary of Michael Vick’s sentencing in a federal dogfighting case.

Santa Helps Adopted Pups at Rockefeller Center
Gaggles of adoptable pups from NYC Animal Care & Control Shelter got a nod from Santa yesterday, as they posed together at Rockefeller Center.   The event kicked off a month-long awareness and holiday drive for NYC's neediest animals.  For information on how to pitch in to help the city's shelter animals go to or  


Santa Clawed
A New Jersey Santa is nursing his wounds after getting attacked by a bobcat at a fundraiser.  More

Woman Busted for Hiding Monkey Under Shirt on Flight
A Washington woman who was hiding a monkey under her shirt on a flight from Thailand was busted for violating wildlife laws.  More


Umm...I Think That's My Bed You're Sleeping In 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Should Pets Help Balance the Budget?
The LA Times reported last month that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to tax veterinary services to help balance the budget.  An Op-Ed piece in the same paper panned the idea.  What do you think?

Cat Fight

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Your Pooch May be Envious
Any dog owner won't be too surprised to know their dog is the jealous type, but the results of a new study that show a dog may stop obeying a command if it sees that another dog is getting a better deal.  More

Wired Mag's Top 10 Incredible Animal Videos 
A hedgehog, a lion, hamsters, and dogs are among line-up of crazy creatures in action.  More

Cat's Face Reaattached after Fan Belt Accident
Boston veterinarians performed surgery to reattach a cat's face after it was severed by a fan belt.  More

Adoptable Pups Pose With Santa

Gaggles of adoptable dogs from the city's Animal Care & Control shelters will pose in Rockefeller Center with Santa today, in hopes of going to a real home for the holidays.  New Yorkers can also donate gently used toys, unopened food, blankets and other supplies for needy shelter animals.   Holiday drive items can be dropped-off at any ACC shelter.

Monday, December 8, 2008


A Pit Bull for the Obamas?
As the quest for the Obama's First Puppy continues, funnyman Jamie Foxx thinks the First Family needs a Pit Bull.  More

Puppies Save Toddler Freezing in Virginia Woods
A three-year-old lost in the Virginia woods was back home safe Sunday thanks to two puppies who kept him warm through a harrowing night, says the NY Daily News.  More

Birds, Squirrels and Backyard Critters Need Winter Loving
The city's wild critters are able to adapt to the plunging temperatures, but even apartment dwellers can pitch in the help them survive the harsh winter.  Hanging pine cones smathered in peanut butter and sunflower seed from trees is one way to keep migratory birds happy  from More

Dog Owners Would Rather Kick Caffeine Than Forgo Fido
Despite a tough economy, pet owners are willing to sacrifice many luxuries for the sake of their canine companions, but few will give up Internet access, reports a new study by the American Kennel Club.

The survey of over 1,000 people showed 96% of pet owners would kick their latte habit to save money on their dog's expenses.  97% will pass up a massage, and 79% would cancel a teeth whitening appointment so their dog could get their teeth cleaned, and cancel travel plans to continue pampering their pets.

But giving up Internet access isn't an option; a majority of dog owners surveyed said they couldn't give up their Web addiction for the sake of their four-legged companion.

Friday, December 5, 2008

NYC Fundraisers, Benefits and Adoption Events

The holiday season is a great time to think about helping needy animals. The city's rescues groups and shelters are inundated with animals that need desperately need homes. Adoption is one option, but please try to resist giving an animal as gift. After the holidays, many just end up back in shelters. Instead, consider giving an adoption gift certificate at your local animal shelter.

Another way to help is to donate items such as beds, toys, towels, etc. to a shelter's "wish list" or attend a fundraiser to help raise money for rescue efforts. Check out some of the events below:

Sat. Dec. 6
  • Angellicle Cats will host In the St. Nick of Time to help raise money for to pay for rescue and medical costs. For details:
  • Posh Pets Rescue: Howlidays Festival and Fundraiser, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at NY Dog Spa and Hotel, 32 West 25th St. Details
  • Rawhide Rescue Photos with Santa. 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at PetSmart, 145 Promenade Boulevard, Bridgewater, NJ. Details

Sunday, Dec. 7
  • Photos with Santa to benefit BARC shelter. Details
  • Free Cat Spay & Neuter Clinic at AC&C Brooklyn Care Center, 2336 Linden Boulevard, Brooklyn. Call (917) 579-1955.

Monday, Dec. 8
  • Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) kicks off its Holiday Donation and Toy Drive. Help bring joy and warmth to homeless NYC animals by donating new or gently used toys, along with unopened pet food, blankets and towels. Drop-off at AC&C shelters.

Tues., Dec. 9

Thursday, Dec. 11

For a complete December listing go to

Sat. Dec. 6
  • The ASPCA is waiving adoption fees on cats this weekend and next in it's "Free Over Three" program.  For details go to
  • K-9 Kastle: Adoption Van at M.S. 51 William Alexander, Brooklyn. Details
Sunday, Dec. 7
  • Animal Center of Queens: Adoption Van. Corner of Lafayette and Spring St., Manhattan. Details
  • NYC Animal Care & Control/ Petsmart Adoption, 1520 Forest Ave, SI. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Mutts & Mitts of Brooklyn: Adoption Van, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 7th Ave and 3rd St., Brooklyn. . Details

PETCO to Stop Selling Bunnies

It’s a good time for bunnies. For years, animal humane groups have been pushing PETCO to stop selling rabbits. This week, the company finally announced that it will cease selling rabbits in it stores. The phase-out begins immediately. By early 2009, the only rabbits at PETCO will come from animal shelters or rescue organizations.

The decision comes months ahead of springtime, a notoriously bad season for rabbits when many families buy a rabbit on impulse for the Easter holiday. Many rabbits often end up relegated to the basement or garage after the holiday is over. A few months later, Easter rabbits are routinely surrendered to shelters or set free in a park or backyard to fend for themselves. But because domestic rabbits don’t know how to live in the wild, they’re often killed within a day or two by a predator or exposure.

There are thousands of homeless rabbits available through shelters and rescues, such as House Rabbit Society, making adoption the best option for a family seeking a floppy-eared friend.

Canine Breed Tests Go Retail

Determining whether your pooch is really a schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle) or a maltipoo (maltese/poodle), just got easier. The Canine Heritage Breed tests are now available at PETCO. The tests, which use DNA technology to genetically identify the make-up of mixed-breed dogs.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mooch and Earl Weigh in on the First Puppy

Barack Obama's promise to get his daughters a puppy during his acceptance speech set off a flurry of discussion about just what kind of pooch the new First Family should bring to the White House. Still one of the most burning questions about the Obama’s “transition,” the family’s pet pursuit is now making headlines in the comics pages as well.

Beginning Monday, December 8, MUTTS creator Patrick McDonnell is featuring a weeklong storyline in his popular comic strip, advocating that the new First Puppy be a shelter dog.

McDonnell has long been a tireless animal welfare advocate, so it comes as no surprise that he is lobbying the president-elect to adopt a dog from a shelter. The excitement shown by the strip’s lovable characters, Mooch the cat and Earl the dog, mirrors the nation’s truly overwhelming interest in the Obamas desire to get a rescue dog.

McDonnell has long been a tireless animal welfare advocate and has received national recognition for his efforts, including three Genesis Awards from The Humane Society of the United States. Twice a year during the past decade, he has created a special MUTTS “Shelter Series” storyline lauding the efforts of the staff and volunteers who rescue and care for the more than six million abused, neglected and abandoned animals who find themselves in shelters all across the United States.

McDonnell gave these innocent animals a voice in his book Shelter Stories: Love. Guaranteed. (Andrews McMeel Publishing). Along with an inspiring introduction by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, this collection combines more than 100 of the best of McDonnell’s “Shelter Stories” strips, 70 candid photos of the animals lucky enough to have found loving homes, descriptions from the kindhearted souls who saved them and a reference guide filled with tips for adopting the right pet. In addition, McDonnell also includes many useful links that encourage readers to, as he puts it, “adopt some love today.” McDonnell’s comic strips are distributed by King Features Syndicate to more than 700 newspapers worldwide and appear online at

Friday, November 21, 2008

HSUS is Barking Mad over Petland Puppy Mill Rap

Humane Society of the United States president Wayne Pacelle says Petland, Inc. has the opportunity to do the right thing after being busted this week as the nation's largest supporters of puppy mills.  Pacelle is calling to follow the lead of PETCO and PetSmart and only offer adoption from shelters, not puppy mills.   More

Palin Talks Turkey in Shocking Video

Keeping the Wild Ones Outdoors

Plunging temperatures and shorter days is a reminder to raccoons, squirrels and other wildlife that it's time to seek warmer refuge indoors. The Humane Society of the United States suggests taking precautions before Thanksgiving. More

Bronx Pet Store Claims 100s of Animals

Parrots, reptiles, rabbits and parakeets trapped in their cages were among the dozens of animals that perished on Wednesday when a fire swept through a Bronx pet store.  More  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Animal Welfare Group Demands Sprinklers for Pet Stores

The fire that killed dozens of animals and destroyed a Bronx pet shop this past week may have been prevented if a mandatory sprinkler system had been in place.  But a bill that would require the sprinkler systems, which has the support of more than forty City Council members, has yet to be scheduled for a hearing. The bill in question, intro 417, sponsored by Manhattan Councilman Alan Gerson, has been languishing ever since its introduction in 1998.  Speaker Christine Quinn reportedly is opposed to the bill, believing a sprinkler requirement would negatively impact business.  
League of Humane Voters of NYC executive director John Philips says installing the sprinkler system should be a cost of doing business and is calling on city council to hold a hearing.

The Humane Society of the United States released the results of a shocking investigation revealing that pet store chain Petland Incorporated is the nation's largest retail supporter of puppy mills.

A cat that survived a devastating fire in a Bronx pet store that killed hundreds of animals on Wednesday, is resting comfortably, but two cats are still at large.  Any information contact Rescue Ink at

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Odds and Ends

Fifth-graders at the Shore Road Intermediate Center in Bellmore, LI, raised $1,000 to help stop puppy mills.   The money, raised by selling home-made dog biscuits and "Stop the Puppy Mill" lemonade, will go to the Humane Society of the United States and the Angel's Gate Hospice, in Smithtown, LI. 

Thanksgiving is "Turkey Day" for most of the carnivore population, but at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, turkeys are celebrated, not eaten.   Participants of its  Adopt-A-Turkey project can adopt or sponsor rescued turkeys living at the upstate NY sanctuary. Among the thousands or rescues is Autumn, the mystery turkey recently found roaming the streets of Harlem with her 13 chicken friends.