Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All Saints to bless animals

Pets of all shapes and sizes will be lining up at the All Saints Anglican Church for the Blessing of the Animals. Animals are blessed across North America for St. Francis Day (which officially falls on Oct. 4), dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi — the patron saint of animals and ecology. Penny West said the Cochrane blessing has been going on for the last four years. She said when the service begins the animals seem to sense the importance of what’s going on.

“The minute the service starts everything goes quiet,” she said. “When it’s time for them to get their blessing, they line up. We’ve had dogs lined up behind cats, nobody bats an eye.”West said last year’s blessing even had a quarter-horse. Other than the usual cats and dogs she said she’s seen rabbits and a photo of a fish.

Animals line up and are blessed with an evergreen sprig dipped in holy water by Anglican minister Greg Clark and brothers from the Mount Saint Francis Retreat Centre. “All the animals are God’s creatures just like you and the rest of us,” West said. The event is open to all owners and pets, and the service starts at 2 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring donations for the Cochrane and Area Humane Society.

Read Full Entry

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Can an Adopted Dog Bring to Your Life?

What Can an Adopted Dog Bring to Your Life?The Humane Society of Greenwood is celebrating the American Humane Association’s national Adopt-A-Dog Month this October. They are asking prospective pet owners the question: What can an adopted dog bring to your life?

“There are as many responses to that question as there are dogs in this world,” said Heather Henley, Humane Educator. “Whether you want an exercise buddy, a best friend for your child, a partner in agility competitions, a constant companion for an aging parent or simply a fuzzy face to greet you after a hard day at work, an adopted dog can be all of these – and more. Adopt-A-Dog Month is the perfect time for people to adopt a shelter dog and experience the joy of finding their own answers.”If you’re thinking about bringing an adopted dog into your family, here are some things to consider:

Like children, dogs are completely dependent on their owners for all their needs – food, water, medical attention, exercise, shelter and, most important, companionship. But unlike children, dogs will never learn to pour themselves a drink, fix breakfast or clean up after themselves. Opening your home to a dog can be highly rewarding, as long as you understand and accept the daily responsibilities and routines that come with owning a dog.

The qualities and personality you want in a dog are more important than size and appearance. For example, an older shepherd mix might do better than an energetic terrier in an apartment. Very often the pet that has the characteristics you’re looking for will come in an unexpected package. The Humane Society of Greenwood had dogs of every type, size, age and personality waiting for loving homes. Visit this October at 235 Wilbanks Circle, Greenwood, SC, or website at to find out what a shelter dog can bring to your life during Adopt-A-Dog Month!

Read Full Entry

Monday, September 27, 2010

VPI Pet Insurance

Founded in 1980, VPI is the oldest and largest health insurance plan for pets in the US. VPI plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional vaccination and routine care coverage is also available.

Here are my thoughts:

Yes, I would recommend VPI to others and have.

I do feel that their (VPI) customer scale by which they gauge our reimbursement for Veterinary Services could be improved and more up-to-date with current cost structures. The actual costs incurred far exceed what is allowed by VPI and with the deductable it can be frustrating on what is actually reimbused, but, with that said, I am able to afford my premiums and if they did increase the payouts I may not be able to afford the monthly premiums. What I really look to VPI for is any emergency or unexpected surgery costs that can come-up and really put us in a bind financially. This is when I look to VPI for helping us cope with the costs. I can remember when we first signed-up our two dogs with VPI (approximately two years ago). Shortly after joining VPI one of our dogs got into some poison that was in the gardening shed. When we went to the vet I knew it was going to be very costly to save our dog and was quite stressed about how much it was going to cost, that is when my husband reminded me that we had VPI and I just cannot tell you how relieved I felt. VPI reimbursement us part of the costs and it was such a help, making it all worth it. We also appreciated how VPI reimubursed us in a very timely manner. When one of our dogs died unexpectedly VPI immediately removed the monthly cost and sent us a condolence letter regarding our loss. I could not have asked for more. They were very respectful and considerate.

Secondly, I have found staff to be responsive and very thoughtful when working with my claims. When I ask questions they are always warm and helpful,if they feel they cannot give me all the information I am seeking they will refer me on to other staff for more indepth information. My claims are processed in a timely and efficient manner. My overall experience has been good and I appreciate how the VPI staff interact with me whenever I need to contact them.

Read Full Entry

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is pet food actually POISONING our dogs?

It was early spring this year and my other half, Tim, and I were down in one of the lower meadows on our Devon farm, coppicing willow while keeping half an eye on our ten-month-old border collie, Dave, as he indulged in his favourite pastime: moth hunting. Not that we knew it then, but that was the last time in months we would all be worry-free. Half an hour later, as we sat down for tea back at the house, we heard a horrible thumping sound from outside.

The following seconds are still a blur. I don’t remember getting to the kennel, I just recall pulling Dave into the recovery position and putting a blanket under his head. He was convulsing violently,legs wildly paddling, frothing at the mouth. Dave, we would later discover, was having a grand mal seizure and that thumping sound was his head uncontrollably banging on the kennel floor. It was a sound we would come to dread and one we would sadly hear all too often.

Read Full Entry

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pet blessings around the community

Pets will have the opportunity for special blessings in ceremonies around the community next week. St. Anastasia St. Anastasia Catholic Church will conduct a Blessing of Animals ceremony at 10 a.m. Oct. 2 in conjunction with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment. his is the fourth year for the blessings. Past year's events have drew dozens of pets and their owners. Among the pets were a dogs and cats, fish in fish bowls, birds, turtles and hamsters.

The blessing will take place at the front entrance of the church which is located at 5205 A1A South on Anastasia Island. Pet owners should bring their dogs and cats on leashes and other species should be contained/restrained in some manner. Participants are also asked to bring a bag to clean up after their pets. For information on the Blessing of Pets, call the St. Anastasia Church office at 471-5364.

San Sebastian

San Sebastian Catholic Church Ladies Guild, 1112 State Road 16, will conduct its annual pet blessing at 10 a.m. Oct. 2 in the church parking lot under the big oak tree.

Be a Pack Leader

Be a Pack Leader Dog Walking Club will conduct a Blessing of the Dogs at 5 p.m. Oct. 3 at Vaill Point Park.

Lee Weaver, who will officiate, is retired clergyman from the New York area, better known to us locally as a motivational speaker and as Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha" and various other performances at the Limelight Theater.

The event will start with a walk through the park at 5 p.m., followed by the blessing at 6 p.m. and ending with a covered dish supper. Everyone is welcome. Please bring clean up bags and water for yourself and your dog. All dogs must be on a 6-foot leash at all times, be non-agressive and vaccinated. For further information e-mail Annie at or call 797-2197. Check the website for the schedule at www.beapackleader

Cathedral Basilica

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine will have the traditional Blessing of Animals and Pets Oct. 3, in the Cathedral's west courtyard shortly after noon, following the 11 a.m. Mass.

The tradition of blessing animals is linked to St. Francis of Assisi and his love of all God's creation. Francis, whose feast is Oct. 4 in the Christian calendar, wrote the "Canticle of the Creatures" which, in part, declares: "All praise to you, O Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures."

In addition to the blessing of animals, St. Augustine Transfer/Avalon Carriages will be offering horse carriage rides. All proceeds will benefit the Diamond in the Rough Equine Farms and the St. Augustine Humane Society. The carriage rides will begin in front of the Cathedral following the blessing.

St. Cyprian

St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church, 37 Lovett St., will bless the animals at 10 a.m. Oct. 3. The Rev. Ted Voorhees, vicar, reports that the sermon will be 'cut short" that day, and coffee hour will be on the lawn.

A feature of the blessing will be a bake sale benefiting Goliath and BeBe, the animal sanctuary that is raising funds to keep its sanctuary open.

Read Full Entry

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding homes for less-adoptable pets

A money saving deal might make it the perfect time to adopt an animal in Maricopa County. Through September 25, Animal Care and Control is running a special to get their less popular pets into good homes. Older pets and certain breeds are often difficult for shelters to have people adopt. Shelter workers say most people look past older cats and dogs and choose kittens or puppies instead. That is why Maricopa County Animal Care and Control began their, "Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable Pet Week.

Cats one year or older are only $20 at the shelter. For dogs, Chihuahua mixes and Pit bull mixes are just $37. The prices include all spay or neuter surgeries, rabies vaccinations, and even carrying cases for some.

"Don't let the name fool you,” said Care and Control Spokeswoman Aprille Hollis. “We basically chose animals that we have an excess of or don't get adopted as often. There is nothing wrong with any of our animals."

At the shelter on 27th Avenue in Phoenix, the new deal brought out dozens of pet buyers in the first couple of days.

Earl "Easy" Ezzell came to the shelter to make a new best friend. The search for his new pet, Rex, did not take him long.

"He kept slipping under the bigger dog’s chin, lifting his head up and pushing him away to get my attention, which he did," Easy said.

Easy just moved into an apartment by himself. As a single senior citizen, he said he wanted someone like Rex for companionship. Easy said it was nice to bring one of the lonely animals home.

"I thought it would be nice not to leave one with a broken heart," he said.

The idea to help all of these hard-to-place pets came from . The website allows prospective pet owners to search dogs, cats and other animals they might want to adopt.

Read Full Entry

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Loving, intelligent – ‘Micropig' is the new pet craze

LinkPigs – they've been the subject of many a children's story, but somehow that “cute portrayal” has rarely translated into domestic life, with the prospect of a 200- kg giant traipsing round a home proving too daunting for even the most enthusiastic of animal lovers. Now, thanks to a new craze for “micropigs” sweeping across the United Kingdom, that could be about to change.

In the next couple of weeks, “This Little Piggy: A Celebration of the World's Most Irresistible Pet,” launches in the UK, with serialisations in a couple of leading dailies, and television programmes, with detailed information on the history and care for these creatures, which can grow up to just 16 inches. Author and owner of the high profile Little Pig Farm, Jane Croft hopes that this will be the start. While a range of merchandise already exists, she's hoping to take it into designer bags, a large visitors centre – and in the long term – branches in every country across the world.

Micro pigs, originally imported from Vietnam, have been around for a couple of decades, but interest had died down in recent years – rapidly reviving as a result of Croft's farm, which has already attracted hundreds of buyers and franchisee requests from across the world since being set up in April 2009. Her hopes of building a global business have already begun to become reality: this year franchisee farms, run by trusted associates of Croft, will be set up in Japan, Korea, Canada and the US, as well as a number across Britain.

Intelligent than dogs

While the pig protagonists of books such as A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh, or E.B. White's Charlotte's Web (not to mention the film Babe) help the “family” appeal of pigs, they have other qualities that make them attractive pets, says Croft. Allergy-prone people are less susceptible to the hair of pigs than the fur of dogs and cats, for example. “They are also extremely intelligent…far more intelligent than dogs,” says Croft, who has several of the animals pottering around her kitchen and living room. Pigs' intelligence has of course been picked up in literature, with characters such as the villainous Napoleon of George Orwell's Animal Farm. However, this characteristic is something that troubles animal rights campaigners.

“It is important for people to be aware of the fact that pigs are highly intelligent and social animals,” says Helen Coen of the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals. “The fact that these micro pigs are being marketed as an “easy” option is worrying in itself…” However, Croft insists that while some rogue breeders may give the industry a bad name, she's always careful to vet prospective owners (and has already turned down several)– ensuring that the homes must have large outdoor space and that pigs are left alone for excessive periods of time (working owners must have at least two to ensure that the animals have company).

Either way, the pigs don't come cheaply, starting at £550 pounds, and going up to £1,200 for the smallest 14-inch “deluxe” pigs. For those hoping to start their own business – Croft's pigs aren't the solution, though – it's only neutered males that are up for sale. There's also a waiting list of up to six months.

To some it's a price worth paying. “They are the incredibly affectionate, easy to look after and the cheapest thing to maintain,” says Suzanna Bowman, owner and manager of a pub in the county of North Lincolnshire, with five micropigs on her five-acre plot of land (and home). Whether such rosy experiences of the pigs will convince buyers across the world remains to be seen.

Read Full Entry

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pets Can Stand on Sea Legs Too

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio, Sep 16, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- It's smooth sailing for your boating four-legged friends. Starting Sept. 15, Progressive's free Pet Injury coverage protects boaters' dogs and cats. How it works: If your dog or cat is hurt in a boat accident, we'll pay your vet bills up to $1,000. Key coverage points: -- Free if you have our Comprehensive and Collision coverage; and -- Covers your pets--dogs and cats only--if they're on your boat and injured in an incident like a crash, theft, fire, or flooding.

"Our new Pet Injury coverage for boaters gives them peace of mind their pets are protected if they get injured in an accident on the water," said Rick Stern, Progressive's boat product manager.

Here are a few tips to make sure you and your pet have a safe voyage: -- Help them get their sea legs. Gradually introduce your pets to your boat and the water. Give them a chance to explore their surroundings while your boat is docked. Turn on the engine so they get accustomed to its sound, smell, and feel. Take short cruises and gradually build up to longer trips.

-- Get them ID tags. Outfit your pets with up-to-date ID tags with your cell phone number, marina address, and slip number. If there's room, consider including that you'll offer a reward for their safe return.

-- Ramp it up. Give your pets a helping hand with a ramp that helps them get on board and off, both from the dock and from the water. -- Combat the sun. Protect your pets from the heat by providing shade and plenty of water, and wash the deck down with cool water to protect their paws.

Progressive, the first insurance group to offer Pet Injury coverage, provides it free to auto, RV, and now boat customers with Comprehensive and Collision coverage.

About Progressive

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies makes it easy to understand, buy, and use auto insurance. Progressive offers choices so consumers can reach us whenever, wherever, and however it's most convenient for them--online at, by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, or in-person with a local agent.

Progressive offers insurance for personal and commercial autos and trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and homes. It's the fourth largest auto insurer in the country, the largest seller of motorcycle insurance, and a leader in commercial auto insurance.

Founded in 1937, Progressive continues its long history of offering shopping tools and services that save customers time and money, like Name Your Price, the Snapshot Discount, and a concierge level of claims service.

Read Full Entry

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Queensland asked to ban dog, cat sales

The Queensland government has been asked to ban pet shops from selling cats and dogs. petition tabled in state parliament today and signed by 2597 people outlined what it called the "cruel practice" of selling cats and dogs in pet shops.It says unwanted pets were often put down after spur-of-the-moment purchases and Queensland should follow the lead of other countries that had banned pet shops from selling cats and dogs.

"Animals are often purchased by ill-informed people who later discard their pet when they realise that pet ownership is not as easy or cheap as they thought," the petition says. "Your petitioners request the House to ban all pet shops from selling cats and dogs."In 2008, the government introduced a code of conduct designed to lower the numbers of unloved pets.

The code encouraged pet shops to ensure animals went only to suitable homes. Under it, prospective owners were to be talked through the responsibilities of pet ownership and whether a pet matched that person's lifestyle. It was also aimed at ensuring all cats and dogs were microchipped and desexed before they reached breeding age.

Read Full Entry

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Pet Theory of Civilization

Anthropology | In The Boston Globe, Drake Bennett reports on the work of Pat Shipman, a Penn State anthropologist. She theorizes that Homo sapiens survived by knowing well the beasts they depended upon for food, and that this was key to the rise of civilization, including pet domestication.

Animals make us human. She means this not in a metaphorical way — that animals teach us about loyalty or nurturing or the fragility of life or anything like that — but that the unique ability to observe and control the behavior of other animals is what allowed one particular set of Pleistocene era primates to evolve into modern man.

The hunting of animals and the processing of their corpses drove the creation of tools, and the need to record and relate information about animals was so important that it gave rise to the creation of language and art. Our bond with nonhuman animals has shaped us at the level of our genes, giving us the ability to drink milk into adulthood and even, Shipman argues, promoting the set of finely honed relational antennae that allowed us to create the complex societies most of us live in today. Our love of pets is an artifact of that evolutionary interdependence.

Some of the professor’s colleagues see her ideas as a promising new framework for looking at human evolution, Mr. Bennett writes, “one that highlights the extent to which the human story has been a collection of interspecies collaborations.” They are set forth in the journal Current Anthropology and a book due out next year.

Read Full Entry

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Your Pet’s Back-to-School Blues

Back-to-school season is a time of transition for the whole family, as parents and children begin to adjust to a new routine. But as the ASPCA reports, it’s also a difficult time for pets, who have grown accustomed to some extra attention during summer vacations and excursions to parks and beaches.

“It’s not an uncommon problem — after all, cats and dogs are particularly vulnerable to any change in their schedules, and they thrive on stimulation,” the group notes. “With nothing to do, pets are forced to find ways to entertain themselves, which may include excessive barking or meowing, gnawing on shoes, raiding the garbage, eating houseplants and scratching furniture.”If your pet is suddenly having house-training “accidents,” barking or howling more often, pacing or digging or trying to break out of the yard, it may be a sign that the animal is having a hard time adjusting to the new family schedule.

The best strategy is to avoid an abrupt change in schedule, and in the weeks before school gradually introduce your pet to short periods of separation. But if it’s too late for that, the ASPCA recommends giving your dog or cat a treat every time you leave the house to help them develop positive feelings about being alone. For dogs, they suggest stuffing a rubber toy called the Kong with food to provide stimulation.

Scolding or punishing your dog or cat for bad behavior could make it worse, so be patient. If the problems continue, educate yourself about pet separation anxiety and talk to your veterinarian about your options.

Read the full article on the ASPCA Web site, “Conquering Your Pet’s Back-to-School Blues.” Is your pet showing signs of sadness when the kids leave for school? Tell us about it.

Read Full Entry

Monday, September 6, 2010

Know Your Exotic Pet Behavior

Many people are drawn by the desire to own exotic pets. Some say it is to answer the need to be different and unique. Some have this obsession for anything exotic. Others are simply called into the wild.

No matter what the reasons may be, anybody who wants to own an exotic pet will definitely do everything to do so. Basic Requirements in Owning an Exotic Pet There are many things to consider in owning a pet. However, there are basic considerations before bringing home the exotic animal.

The household must have the physical structures needed to support the movement and 'lifestyle' of the pet. For example, there must be enough room for the big pet.

Financial considerations should also be factored in. Most exotic pets require unusual diet. The food alone can sometimes be burdensome.

There are also specific exotic pets that may be restricted or regulated by the local and federal laws like monkeys and tigers. Make sure no law is violated by bringing home the exotic creature.

Consent of everyone in the household must be acquired first. This is to avoid any problems or fights in the family and to maintain harmonious existence. Support or help in the household may also come in handy in caring for the pet.

Finally, one must also know how to properly deal with the behavior of the pet. In this regard, the following tips may be considered:

1. Research First Before bringing home the exotic pet, be sure that the type will suit the needs and demands in the household. There could also be peculiar behaviors that may irritate the household.

Will it fit in the house? Should it stay indoor or outdoor? What are its toilet habits? Does it ever get noisy? Does it need a mate or can it live alone?

2. Consult the Veterinarian Exotic pets behave differently than household pets. They may have needs that are beyond what the house can provide and only a veterinarian can answer.

However, not all veterinarians will accommodate a wild pet. Find a willing one that you can turn to when things get a bit complicated.

3. Get a Professional Trainer There are behaviors in exotic pets that can be trained. Get a professional trainer that can teach this to them to make life with the pet easier and if possible, more fun.

4. Know the Limitations Owners must know the limitations in the behavior of exotic pets. There are those that can be played with but be alert always of the limitations.

Read Full Entry

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Necessity of Pet Steps

The health of your pet is extremely important to you, right? You worry about their teeth, their diet, and make sure that they get adequate exercise. If you are like many people, you consider them a natural extension of your family. If this fits your feelings toward your pet, then there are three big reasons to consider bed pet steps a necessity, not a luxury.

It is often assumed that pet steps are only for elderly or ill pets that are no longer capable of pouncing up onto the bed on their own. While it is entirely true that older pets will need steps to protect their joints and muscles, this is true of younger pets as well. The strain of constantly jumping up and down can put pressure on your pet's body with time.

It is quite common for injuries to pets as well as owners to happen when a pet has to jump up and down from a high bed. To avoid broken bones or collisions with your pet, you will need steps so they can crawl up in a more safer manner.

Have you ever been jarred awake by the pounce of your pet on or off your bed? This is especially an issue if you have a larger dog who is probably not as graceful as you would like. By placing a pet step near your bed, you minimize any excess movement from your pet.

You could compare the jostle of a pet on your bed to the same situation involving another human. If your partner tosses and turns throughout the night, you are more apt to take precaution by purchasing a mattress that minimizes motion transfer. In the case of your pet, you can easily minimize his excess movement by keeping pet stairs nearby.

You can understand the amount of stress your pet's joints go through to absorb the shock from jumping. Pet steps are a healthier, safer alternative to jumping on a bed. When searching for pet steps, you can choose from a variety of designs and styles, such as wooden pet steps and carpeted pet steps.

Read Full Entry

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cat Care And Your Home

Cat care can make a big difference on the look and atmosphere of your home. When you provide great cat care, you are ensuring that your home will look and smell clean and welcoming to visitors, and will be a place that you enjoy relaxing in. If you neglect cat care, your home can start to feel more like a prison than like an oasis. A cat is meant to make your household a more pleasant place to be, because the love and affection that a cat provides, not to mention the entertainment and refreshing energy, sweeten any environment. However, if you aren't providing adequate cat care, the joys of cat ownership can become buried underneath layers of odor and grime. Luckily, in just a few minutes every day, you can offer your pet the best possible cat care. Great cat care doesn't require expense or a lot of time or effort, and it can have tangibly positive results when it comes to your home's environment.

The overall impact of better cat care on your household atmosphere can be quite powerful because different aspects of cat care have many different effects on how your home feels. One important part of cat care has to do with hygiene and taking care of any messes that your cat creates. This side of cat care will keep your home smelling fresh and looking its best. Another part of cat care has to do with the love and affection that you give your cat. Showing your pet that they are safe in your presence and that they are loved is an important aspect of cat care that can have many different benefits.

Peace and quiet are two important parts of a relaxing atmosphere, and they are the core of a pleasant home environment. A cat's plaintive mewling can add an air of anxiety or tension to your home's atmosphere. Luckily, cat care can help you minimize this aspect of pet ownership. When you spend a lot of time making your cat feel safe and appreciated, it is less likely to whine or screech. Indirectly, cat care can actually help your furnishings and decorative items stay looking newer for longer. When you provide your cat with ideal cat care, it is less likely to indulge in destructive behaviors like scratching your furniture, climbing the drapes, and other activities that can take a toll on your home's appearance.

Cat care is often a matter of routine, and can sometimes feel like a burden. When cat care feels like work, it is tempting to avoid it, or to procrastinate for day after day. Nobody looks forward to dealing with cat care issues like a messy litter box or scruffy fur that is just asking for a bath. However, changing your attitude towards cat care can make these tasks much more enjoyable. Every time you take a step towards a healthier, happier, or cleaner cat you are taking a step towards making your home a better place to be.

Read Full Entry

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pet Adoption Options

When it comes to adopting pets, there are many options. People have different reasons for adopting a pet, and often this reason influences where they look for their new friend. For some people, whether the animal is a purebred or not is important, so they will pursue breeders. Others are interested in saving an animal from the fate of a life without a loving family. These people will typically search animal rescue organizations or animal shelters. Both purebred and mixed breed animals can be found at these organizations, as well as older animals and animals that need special care. This guide will help you explore your options when considering the adoption of a new family pet.

Choosing a Breeder

You’ve decided that it’s time for your family to have a brand new pet. Everyone is ready to play with it, feed it, clean it, and care for it every day. You know that you want a purebred, and you’ve researched the genetic and behavioral disposition of every breed, and you know the breed that’s best for your family and your lifestyle. The final step is to find a good breeder.

First, avoid pet stores. It is a known fact that most pets that are offered in pet stores come from mass breeding facilities more commonly known as “puppy farms” or “pet farms.” This is not a business practice that you want to support. It’s best to do the ethical thing and avoid them at all cost.

There are several methods you can use to evaluate breeders. Initially, obtain a list of referrals of reputable breeders from your veterinarian or local dog shows. Always visit where the breeder raises the dogs or cats, and bring the following checklist in order to determine whether the breeder is a good one.

Does the breeder:
Raise the animals in a home, as part of a family?
Have animals that appear healthy and excited when visitors arrive?
Maintains a clean area where the animals are raised?
Shows you the animals parents when you visit?
Knowledgeable about the breed?
Can produce records of veterinary visits for the animals?
Provides references?
Offers guidance for caring for your new pet and for the particular breed?

Purebred Rescue

An even better option than buying a new animal from a breeder, is to invest in saving a purebred living at a purebred rescue group. Purebred breeding groups are wonderful organizations that accept purebred animals that are typically abandoned, found as strays, or from local animal shelters. Purebred rescue organizations typically have a great deal of knowledge about the breed they work with, and usually offer a great deal of guidance for adoptive families.

When you purchase a purebred from a rescue group, you can feel good about having saved an animal from living a life without a loving family. You can find local rescue groups in your area through the newspaper classified section. A great resource for rescuing purebred dogs is to search through the contact list at the American Kennel Club. Another great resource for both cats and dogs is, which provides a list of hundreds of national breed rescue clubs and organizations.

Animal Shelters

An animal shelter is the best source where you can find a family pet. Family shelters are home to many wonderful animals who mostly are only there because of the humans who previously owned them, not for any fault of their own. Often life changes, unrealistic expectations, or other reasons force families to give up their animals to animal shelters. Half of these animals end up euthanized because there simply isn’t enough space. This is why, obtaining your family pet from an animal shelter is the greatest thing you can do, and it is something you can feel very good about.

It is a common misconception that the animals at animal shelters are all mixed-breeds, poorly behaved, or poorly kept. While this may hold true for a minority of them, many of the animals found at shelters around the country are actually purebreds, nicely kept, and very well behaved. Many shelters even offer adoption counseling, training classes, and even discounted or free neutering. Some great resources to locate animal shelters around the country include Pets 911, 1-800-Save-A-Pet, or Petfinder. Another good resource is the classified section of your local newspaper, or the yellow pages under “Animal Shelters”.

A Pet Portrait of Your New Pet

Once you discover that special pet that will become your friend for life, there is no better way to celebrate than to commemorate the beauty and overwhelming “cuteness” of your new family friend with a painted pet portrait.

Pet portraits are sweeping the country as a very popular form of recognizing how much your animal friend means to you and your family. Pet portraits can be especially meaningful because when you see a pet portrait on the wall, it is a statement that this animal isn’t just “another animal”, but it shows that your pet is a loved and cherished member of the family.

The best pet portraits in the country are created by artist Nikky Hughes of Los Angeles. Nikky was classically trained at the Mission Renaissance art school, and she focuses on capturing not only the beauty, but the unique character of each animal. Her artwork is soft and romantic, and a portrait of your pet by Nikky will become a family heirloom for many generations.

Read Full Entry
Copyright © 2010 Pets Tabloid

Back to TOP