Monday, January 26, 2009

Smiling Dogs!

Check it out! I made The Bark's online Smiling Dogs collection for January 26th 2009

I'll be barking to you later!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Change a Pet's Life Day January 24th

One day, 3,000 adoptions from pet shelters, no fees
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY

They're pulling out all the stops next week — including giving pets to some adopters at no charge — in a nationwide effort to boost the number of shelter animals that find new homes.

Three hundred shelters across the USA are holding Change a Pet's Life Day on Jan. 24, aimed at focusing attention on shelters and rescue groups and enticing potential adopters. Fees for the first 10 adoptions at each participating shelter will be paid for by Topeka-based Hill's Pet Nutrition, which organized the event.

Adoption fees generally range anywhere from $25 to $300, depending on the shelter, species, pet's age and whether it's purebred.

The 300 shelters are promoting the event on their websites, on Craigslist and in their local media. On a national level, longtime animal lover Kyra Sedgwick, star of The Closer, is carrying the Change a Pet's Life banner during appearances the next few days. "I hope people will at least consider the possibility of getting a shelter pet," says Sedgwick, whose family has a rescued cat and dog.

In addition to reimbursing shelters for the 3,000 pets the adopters won't have to pay for, Hill's is providing free Science Diet pet food and a training/information DVD to all adopters and launching a toll-free number to answer new-pet-owner questions.

The notion of essentially giving away animals to adopters is a controversial one in shelter circles. There are concerns that people who don't pay for pets put less value on the animals; plus, adoption fees are vital income to cover sterilizations and vaccinations, as well as to tend to sometimes significant health problems.

Also, especially in this economy, there's worry that people who cannot afford to take on more expense will be moved by the notion of saving an animal if it doesn't require any money upfront, and they will not be able to keep the pet long-term or pay for medical care.

"The shelters will be using their normal screening processes" on Jan. 24, Donlin says, to filter out inappropriate adopters, and the emphasis won't be on getting as many animals as possible out the door but on making solid adoption matches. "And we're underwriting the cost of the first 10 adoptions" to ensure the effort does not create a financial hardship on participating shelters.

The hope is that all the attention will not only mobilize people who have been considering getting a pet, but also prompt people who have not been inclined to visit a shelter to do so. "There are great animals in shelters," Donlin says, and "this is part of a broader effort to make sure people know that."

Kim Janzen of the Kansas Humane Society in Wichita says her shelter has held free adoption days regularly in which sponsors pay the fees. Some people who adopt a shelter animal may be less than financially stable, she acknowledges, "but I want those people to get their pet here. … If they get it here, we know it's healthy and spayed or neutered and vaccinated."

The Wichita shelter, which has a 52% euthanasia rate (down from nearly 80% in 2003), usually would adopt out about 40 pets on a winter Saturday, Janzen says. But on Change a Pet's Life Day, she's hoping for at least 80.

James Bias of the SPCA of Texas in Dallas, another participating shelter, which adopts out 9,000 animals a year, says "nine out of 10 people don't find the perfect match the first time they visit us." He expects Jan. 24 to be no different. "Our shelter is full of really sweet, healthy, well-behaved animals," and he hopes the event will prompt new visitors who eventually, if not next week, will return to find a pet.

The list of the 300 participating shelters can be found at

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Items!

I am proud to reveal this new elevated cat bowl feeder from Merlin's Bark Products:

This creamy white Cool Cat Cafe it will be perfect for the feline in your life. With three bowls to choice from, your kitty can enjoy dry food, wet food, and water at the same time. Your kitty will also be happy to get their paws (and claws) on this beautiful antique green elevated/raised cat bowl holder. Built out of pine, and measuring 3 1/4" in height, it will be perfect fit for the kitty in your life. Constructed out of recycled oak table legs and pine, the look is completed with three 1-pint stainless steel bowls. The stainless steel bowls are dishwasher safe so they will be easy to keep shiny and sparkly clean. This raised cat bowl holder is sure to look great on any kitchen floor.

Did you know that elevated feeders are a great thing for a pup (or kitty) to have. Not only do they look nicer than just a plain old bowl setting on the floor, but elevated feeders are very beneficial for pets too. Does your pet eat too fast or cough and gag when eating? Giving them an elevated feeder to eat out of is the most common solution. Veterinarians recommend elevated feeders because they help ease digestion problems, and are easier for pets that have problems with arthritis, neck or back problems to eat out of. Also, using raised feeding bowls help provide pet owners with a more hygienic and cleaner house. How great is that!

I'll be barking to you later!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Preparing your Pet for Winter!

Winter officially arrived a couple weeks ago and I want to make sure that other pups (and kitties) start off the new year on the right paw. I did some searching around the Web and found some really helpful tips from the Humane Society on how to make sure that pets are protected during the cold winter months. So check out the guideline below and make sure that you are doing all you can to start 2009 off in the right direction for your pet.

Protect Your Pet from Winter's Woes

In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. The Humane Society of the United States urges pet owners to take extra precautions this winter to ensure the safety of their companion animals.

"Animals rely solely on their human caregivers for safety and comfort — especially during the winter months," said Stephanie Shain, director of companion animal outreach for The HSUS. "Our pets are particularly vulnerable during this frigid season, and with just a few extra precautions you can help make sure that they stay safe and healthy."

Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines.

* Don't leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.

* No matter what the temperature, windchill can threaten a pet's life. A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If your dog is an outdoor dog, however, he/she must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

* Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

* Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

* The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

* Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.

Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.

Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship. Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family.

I'll be barking to you later!