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Blog: JoAnna Lou
An Unrealistic Ideal?
Two “no-kill” shelters are shut down due to crowding and neglect.
In an ideal world, no-kill shelters are safe havens where homeless animals stay as long as it takes to find their forever homes. In reality, these places are often strained for resources, forcing many to turn away animals that may be hard to place. Last year, Julia Kamysz Lane wrote about the difficult dilemma of no-kill shelters. Recently, organizations that resist euthanasia have been in the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Banning Debarking
Mass. House approves a bill prohibiting a controversial surgery
Last week the Massachusetts’ House of Representatives approved a bill banning debarking surgeries by an overwhelming margin of 155-1. If approved by the Senate, the bill would make Massachusetts the first state to put such a law in place. HR 344 prohibits the devocalization of dogs and cats unless a licensed veterinarian deems the procedure medically necessary.  I realize that debarking, as with...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Avoiding Plastic
Making adjustments for the environment and our health
This year, my New Year’s resolution isn’t to get back into shape or qualify for agility nationals, although they’re two things I am trying to do. For 2010, I decided to keep it simple and reduce my dependence on plastic. Not only is it better for the environment, but as we’re increasingly finding, it’s better for our health, both human and canine. Avoiding plastic isn’t easy, as I wrote about...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Saving Fido
Most people would risk danger to rescue their pets.
After Hurricane Katrina, we learned about countless people who refused to leave their pets behind in pursuit of their own safety. As a result, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act was signed in 2006 to ensure that animals are included in local and state emergency plans. So it should come as no surprise that recent research found that 58 percent of people would put their...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Helping Dogs via Facebook
DogTime helps shelter pets through social networking games.
If you’re a member of the online community, Facebook, chances are you know someone (or perhaps yourself!) who plays games such as Farmville. While these diversions have become known largely as major procrastination tools, DogTime Media has found a way to combine social networking games with the ability to help homeless animals. Launched last year, DogTime’s apps, Save a Dog and Save a Cat, allow...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Banning That Doggy in the Window
West Hollywood votes to prohibit puppy boutiques
On Tuesday night, the West Hollywood City Council unanimously voted to approve legislation that prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores. The ban, which takes effect in September, doesn’t actually affect any of the current stores in West Hollywood, since none sell dogs or cats, but it does set a precedent for other cities. When I was in Los Angeles two years ago, I was horrified...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Olympic Dogs
Working pups on the sidelines help make the games safe
I’m still hoping that agility will one day join the equestrian events at the Olympics. But, as it turns out, there are many dogs currently in Vancouver, playing an even more important role at the games.    A group of American and Canadian canines and handlers are in Vancouver, ready to assist in rescue efforts should there be an avalanche during the competition.  Being an avalanche rescue team...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Breeder v. Shelter
Do you have to choose?
Earlier this week at Westminster, two PETA supporters crashed the Best in Show judging with “Mutts Rule” and “Breeders Kill Shelter Dogs’ Chances” signs, highlighting the breeder-shelter debate.  Yesterday, Sassafras Lowrey blogged about seeing both sides of Westminster, the glamour and the ethics.  The breeder-shelter debate is a topic that I’ve been conflicted over for a long time.  My Sheltie...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Diets for Dogs
Navigating the canine obesity problem.
This time of year, many people have diets and weight loss on the brain. But humans aren’t the only ones that could stand to lose a few pounds. A study by Pfizer Animal Health found that veterinarians consider 47 percent of their patients to be overweight, making them susceptible to a myriad of health problems and possibly a shorter life span. Earlier this month, I wrote about exercising with your...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Canine Couture
Does your dog really need that coat?
Dog clothing ranges from frilly dresses to warm fleece coats. The popularity of canine couture has even given way to the annual Pet Fashion Week. But, given that most dogs have fur, are these outfits really necessary? According to Dr. Bonnie Beaver of the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs don’t get sick when the mercury drops since there is no cold virus that affects them. She says...

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