Friday, August 15, 2014

Focus on Exotic Animals

International Homeless Animals' Day is August 16th. If you're a regular reader of this blog you know that we stand up for all creatures, including exotics. The exotic pet trade has a dark underbelly (no pun intended), so this year for International Homeless Animals' Day, I want us to think about exotic pets and the exotic pet industry.

Saving Lives
Second only to drugs on the black market, the exotic pet trade is a rising concern. Most of the animals transported through the pet trade don’t even survive, and it's no wonder. Take a look at the gristly details below. 

This infographic provides a clear overview of the exotic pet industry and how the business treats the animals before they reach a place where they are available for purchase.
  insidetheExoticPetTrade FINALLL Don’t Shop, Adopt: Inside the Exotic Pet Trade Infographic Created by Havahart

The staggering reality is last year Americans spent $15 billion on exotic animals while nearly three million dogs and cats were euthanized due to overcrowding in animal shelters.

If you choose to adopt a dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, Guinea pig, etc. from a local rescue shelter, you are saving it from near certain death. So if you're interested in adding to your family, please consider a domestic animal versus an exotic one. 

In summary, here's what you can do to halt the exotic animal trade.
1) Don’t shop for exotic animals, instead adopt a dog or cat.
2) Report exotic animal abuse.
3) Support legislation that bans the exotic animal trade.
4) Help spread the word.

(PS: Sorry for the sloppy overlap. I'm not technically equipped (or patient enough) to figure out how to fix that).  


Thursday, June 19, 2014

No More Pet Piercings or Tattoos

Back in the day, some rural animal shelters tattooed dogs instead of microchipping them. In fact, I've had several dogs with ID tattoos. That seems humane and reasonable.

What DOES NOT seem humane and reasonable is tattooing your pet for decoration. Maybe I live under a rock but what?!? Who does that? 

I read today where Albany, NY is in the process of outlawing pet tattoos and piercings. Apparently, people are selling "gothic kittens" with piercings along their necks and backs, and selling dogs with intricate, colorful tattoos.

People, please. 

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal sponsored the legislation and says the bill will protect cats and dogs from the selfish whims of their owners.

I'm editorializing here but I think it's a shame that we need laws for this.

To be clear, I have no issues with ink or piercings. Those are personal choices that everyone should be able to make for themselves. When you chose to do that to your pet, however, it is objectification at its worst.    

What's your stance. Should people be able to pierce and tattoo their pets? 

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat and the sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly, says the bill will protect cats and dogs from the “selfish whims” of their owners.

Read More at:
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat and the sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly, says the bill will protect cats and dogs from the “selfish whims” of their owners.

Read More at:
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat and the sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly, says the bill will protect cats and dogs from the “selfish whims” of their owners.

Read More at: 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kitten Season

You're probably gearing up for summer right about now. Maybe you're scheduling vacations and planning backyard barbeques. For most of us, this is a happy time of year. But did you know this is also considered kitten season.

Kitten Season is a serious issue for animal shelters and rescue organizations. It's the time of year when feral, homeless and un-spayed cats begin to breed like crazy. The sad reality is that animal shelters are overrun with homeless newborn kittens right now. And because the explosion of kittens far exceeds the potential homes, millions of kittens are euthanized during kitten season.

Animal shelters need additional resources like food and money to care for the droves of newborn kittens that are coming in right now. If there is anything you can do, please help. You can donate your time and/or money to a local shelter or make a contribution to the ASPCA via the link below.

Donate Now

Thank you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Product Review: Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Best Soft Chews

Talk about perfect timing... Al, our most recent rescue dog, got a nasty puncture wound between the toes on his back, right paw. Even though we cleaned and bandaged the area immediately, it got infected. We went through three rounds of antibiotics before things cleared up, but the meds did a number on our sweet pup's digestive system. I was giving him probiotics to try to offset the digestive disruption but we could tell he just wasn't feeling his best.

About that time, Andrew, the Blogger Network Manager at, reached out about product reviews. Pet Naturals of Vermont was on the list, and I jumped right on it. Take a look at the product description and you'll know why:  
Daily Best is a complete multi-vitamin/mineral formula with digestive enzymes and antioxidants which benefit pets of all ages, sizes, and breeds. Daily Best is a balanced, comprehensive formula that maintains optimal health in pets and provides nutritional support for sick or post-operative pets.
It was just what Big Al needed. When the chicken and liver flavored chews arrived, he explored them curiously. And when I gave him one, he accepted it immediately. Since that time, I've started a regimen - giving Al, our other (finicky) dog Frosty and our cat Jet Pet Naturals Daily Best Soft Chews daily.

I like the products because they are a complete multi-vitamin and mineral supplement for pets that include digestive enzymes and antioxidants. Yet with all that packed in, both dogs and our cat get excited when they hear the pouch rattle; in fact, they respond to the chews as if they were the most delicious treats ever.  We've tried other vitamins and gotten a less-enthusiastic response.

The chews helped Al regain his normal vitality, and now he's back to being a big, loveable handful. Additionally, I've noticed that all three of our pets have a more luxurious coat. I give the product high marks.

For more info from the company:
Pet Naturals of Vermont

What about you? Do you give your pets any vitamins or supplements? If so, which ones? 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sad news about Wallace the Pit Bull

My bet is that every pet blogger on the interwebz is blogging about Wallace the Pit Bull today. I hope they are. He made a huge impact on the community and his legacy will live on.

I'm not a bit embarrassed to say that I'm writing this post through tears, which may seem odd to you. It's odd to me. Odd because I never met the wonder pooch in person. Even so, he taught me many lessons through researching and writing about him for a variety of media outlets and through his Facebook page and his book, "Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls - One Flying Disc at a Time."

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phenom, here's his public bio: Wallace was a shelter dog turned disc champion. He won the 2006 Cynosport World Games and the 2007 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Championship for flying disc, changing minds one disc at a time. He has been enjoying retirement for a couple of years since. Now he has hemangiosarcoma and transitional cell carcinoma, two aggressive cancers, and is working his way through his bucket list adventures. Read his book "Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls-- One Flying Disc at a Time".

Wallace crossed over the rainbow bridge today.

He was a champion of the pit bull breed, a perfect breed ambassador. It's sad that the breed needs ambassadors but that's the lousy state of affairs. Pits are sturdy and strong, with a perceived insensitivity to pain. Because of this, they have been bred and trained to fight, for man's entertainment. Sick, sick, sick. So now, society thinks of them as 'bad, mean dogs.' Um, isn't that backwards?

Dragging myself off the soapbox and getting back to Wallace (although this soapbox and Wallace's mission are one in the same). Wallace and his humans, Roo and Clara, were (and are) a force. I am honored to be one of the millions that helped spread their powerful message.

In case you missed it, here are their final words to all of us. I couldn't have said it better myself.

It's time.... I've given my life everything I have. I'm continuing to be strong because that's who I am, but Roo and Clara can tell that it's now time for me to rest. This time will come for all of us. We don't always have control over when it does, but we do have control over being satisfied at that moment knowing we gave it our best shot. Though my body will soon be gone, my hope is that you will continue to tell my story, so Wallace the Pit Bull lives on. Roo and Clara will have more to say after I pass, and my hope is that people will listen to the lessons we all learned through our time together. I would like to thank everybody for their overwhelming support. Without all of you, I would not have been able to make the same impact; then, now, and in the future. I thank you for that, but more importantly, other dogs like me thank you as well. Remember, there are great dogs of all shapes and sizes in shelters across the country. They are there through no fault of their own. So please, when you're looking for your next dog, think about giving one of them a second chance. You just never know how it will turn out. With that, I say good-bye. Try not to be sad. Instead celebrate my life. I do not need to live longer because I can die contentedly. That is something I wish for all living beings. - Wallace the Pit Bull

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Accident

Ha. I'm hanging a few pictures and I walked out of the room to get a snack. When I came back in, look what I found. 

Totally un-staged. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review of (formerly Mr. Chewy)

It’s hot in Charleston, SC. I’m sure that’s not newsworthy but it’s record-breaking hot. It’s so hot that people are hesitant to leave their homes during the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm.

If you live in a similar climate, then you might consider on-line shopping during this heat wave – especially for bulkier items like dog food, cat food, cat litter, etc.

We buy loads of pet food and cat litter and it can be a drain during the summer months so I decided to give on-line shopping a try. I gave a try.

Who? is a one of the fastest growing online pet retailers. The company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What? The company has more than 200 brands of pet food, pet meds, treats, training aids, cat litter, and more to choose from. What’s more, they get it to your doorstep within a few days. 

How? has warehouses located throughout the country – so the products are delivered quickly and efficiently.

As a raging animal advocate, I love that offers a major charitable program, supporting some of the nation’s best pet organizations. In fact, their stated goal is to create the largest shelter and rescue network designed to support non-profit organizations that help animals in need. 

Right on, Mr. Chewy. You can run in our pack anytime. 


The logo gives you an idea of the tone of the business. seems to be a happy, upbeat operation. My experience was a breeze; the website is well-organized and easy to navigate. I purchased a combination of cat and dog items and the box arrived within two days. The products were fresh (distant expiration dates) and in perfect condition.

I didn’t have a need to test this but there’s a toll-free number for calls and online chat available if you run into any snags. Furthermore, if you’re dissatisfied for any reason, offers a 100% unconditional satisfaction guarantee for up to one year after the purchase date. prices were comparable to local prices but I was happy to learn that they offer free shipping for orders totaling $49 or more. And if you spend less, there’s a $4.95 flat rate shipping charge. Pet food is heavy so shipping charges can be cost prohibitive with some online retailers. I figure that if the prices are within a dollar, there’s no shipping charge and I’m saving time, sweat, effort, and gas money then it’s a win. 

To learn more about Mr. Chewy:

Disclosure: I received a coupon code to try in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid for this review and all opinions are entirely my own.