Category Archives: Professor Scamp Ph.D (Pretty Happy Dog)

Vol. 11, No. 12 – Mar 14 – Mar 27, 2018 – The Pet Page

• A 16-year-old boy was hiding in a closet giving updates to a 911 dispatcher during a burglary at his family’s home, when he heard gunshots and his dog suddenly stopped barking.

Des Moines police Cmdr. Doug Jenkins said the first 911 call came in at about 12:20 p.m. Police said the teen was home alone when the break-in happened.

“He heard noises and voices, ran upstairs and hid in closet.”

The family’s 2-year-old German shepherd, Rex, ran downstairs to confront the intruders. The thieves beat the dog, leaving him badly injured.

Even after being bloodied and hurt, Rex still had enough strength left to get back to the teen — his best friend — and protect him as the thieves proceeded into the bedrooms, including the one where the boy was hiding.

Rex came out with the little strength he had left in him and threw himself at them.

The thieves opened fire, shooting Rex multiple times. He was struck in the neck, leg and knee, yet managed to survive. The suspects were no longer in the home when officers arrived.

Morris the cat was adopted by a Helpful Honda volunteer while at the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center giving some “Random Acts of Helpfulness”

• Dog food and treat products are being recalled by manufacturers because of possible listeria or salmonella contamination. There has been a series of massive pet-food recalls over possible salmonella, listeria and pentobarbital contamination.

Northwest Naturals, of Portland, is recalling its 5-pound frozen Chicken and Salmon pet food chubs because it may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. Product is packaged in 5-pound frozen chubs labeled Chicken and Salmon Dog Food with a UPC code of 0 87316 38440 6. The company says the product was one isolated batch of 94 cases distributed in California, Washington, Texas, Michigan, Georgia, and Rhode Island and sold thru specialty pet-retail stores.

Carnivore Meat Company, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, is recalling 73 cases, of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Nibblets Entrée for Dogs pet food, one-pound bags, Lot #13753, because the products may be contaminated with salmonella.

TruPet, of Milford, Ohio, is recalling 2.5-ounce package, Lot # 20190514 13753, of TruDog Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight Pet treats because they may be contaminated with salmonella.

Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Ol’ Roy and Skippy dog foods withdrawn from market over euthanasia drug

Feds, state investigating Tukwila pet food over repeated salmonella contamination

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, both salmonella and listeria can affect animals eating the products, and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Bichon Frises becomes America’s top dog

• Once again a Shih Tzu did not win best in show at Westminster (Scamp are you listening?). A dog almost as cute a Bichon Frises becomes America’s top dog 2018 when Best In Show was awarded to “GCHP CH Belle Creek’s All I Care About Is Love”.

• By Cesar Millan

Being fostered is a wonderful opportunity for a dog to prepare for his forever home. He will have more one-on-one time with humans, and he can experience more of the world around him instead of being limited to the confines of a shelter. It can significantly increase his chances of fitting in with his next family.

And of course, his foster parents can make sure his new family is the right fit by helping them to understand his energy level, any issues that are being worked on, and any special needs the dog has.

Fostering isn’t just good for the dog – it can do wonders for the human as well! A dog needs daily exercise, and that helps us to get up, get out of the house, and experience simplicity. Dogs help you to appreciate the world around you. They smell the ground so intensely. They look at the trees as though they are seeing them for the first time. It helps us to remember the wonders that we take for granted. So if you’re stressed or anxious, it goes away for that moment when it’s just you and the dog. People say I do magic, but it’s the dogs that do magic. In an instant, they can help you feel calm. They just come in and make it happen without a word.

But I think it’s important that you don’t form too much of an emotional attachment with the dog. Remember, you are preparing the dog to detach himself from you and live with another human. If not, it can be damaging to his relationship with his new family. He can move on, but it will just make it harder for him. The way I think this can be achieved is by switching dogs. They use this system to train dogs for the blind. If people stay with a dog for a month and then get a new one, the dog doesn’t become confused. When he is in his forever home, he will know he is with his new pack! As a professional, I have to do this with dogs I work with. If I am going to help a dog that is not mine, I can’t connect all the way. I need to let the owners finish it!

Vol. 11, No. 11 – Feb 28 – Mar 13, 2018 – The Pet Page

• After the massive mudslide decimated Montecito two veteran Canine Disaster Search Teams trained by the Search Dog Foundation (SDF) were staged in the area prior to the slide and went to work immediately, searching for survivors.

When the magnitude of the disaster became clear, additional teams from throughout California deployed to assist in rescue efforts.

SDF Search Teams answer the call after deadly Montecito mudslides

Humans and canines worked side-by-side during the grueling week-long mission to find anyone who survived and was trapped in the wreckage. In total, 18 SDF Search Teams responded, searching day and night for survivors in the mud. It marked the largest number of SDF teams deployed to a single disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

• SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends.

In the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main) Friday, March 2nd.

Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

•By Victoria Usher

In 2011, a Maryland dog owner named Mali Vujanic uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Guilty!” He’d come home to find his two retrievers near an empty bag of cat treats. The first dog, a golden retriever, lounged calmly, her conscience seemingly clean. But the second dog, a yellow Labrador named Denver, sat quaking in a corner, her eyes downcast, making what Vujanic called “her signature ‘I done it’ face.”

The video quickly garnered a flood of comments. “Dog shaming” has become popular on social media, as owners around the world post shots of their trembling pets beside notes in which the dogs seem to cop to bad behavior. One group of researchers wrote in a 2012 paper, the guilty look is likely a submissive response that has proved advantageous because it reduces conflict between dog and human. It’s easy to see harsh words and corny tweets as benign responses to bad behavior.

But some experts worry that our assumptions of canine guilt may be self-fulfilling. Julie Hecht, a doctoral student who studies animal behavior at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, cites research showing that the more dogs are punished, the more they tend to act in ways that drive their owners mad. Scolding, Hecht believes, may confuse dogs, resulting in “an anxious cycle of destruction and appeasement” that could ultimately “harm the dog and human bond.” Making sure to put the lid on the trash can, keep your shoes in the closet, and hide the kitty snacks are better ways to avoid this.

Nothing compares to the joy of coming home to a loyal companion. The unconditional love of a pet can do more than just keep you company. Pets may also decrease stress, improve heart health, and even help children with their emotional and social skills. Scientists are looking at what the potential physical and mental health benefits are for different animals—from fish to guinea pigs to dogs and cats.

Research on human-animal interactions is still relatively new. Some studies have shown positive health effects, but the results have been mixed. Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.

NIH Human Animal-Interaction Research Program is funding large-scale surveys to find out the range of pet’s people live with and how their relationships with their pets relate to health. One study found that children with autism spectrum disorder were calmer while playing with guinea pigs in the classroom. The children also had better social interactions and were more engaged with their peers. The researchers suggest that the animals offered unconditional acceptance, making them a calm comfort to the children. It is important to remember that owning pets brings new responsibilities such as knowing how to care for and feed them.

• J.M. Smucker is recalling certain lots of Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy and Skippy canned food for dogs after low levels of pentobarbital were found in some cans of Gravy Train. The FDA said the levels of the drug found in the samples the agency tested were unlikely to harm pets, but any detectable amount of pentobarbital in pet food violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

•With temperatures dipping below zero in some locations and fierce wind chills making outside conditions feel even colder people are bundling up and staying inside. But what about the animals?

The Humane Society recommends never keeping a household pet outside when temperatures go below the freezing point (32F).

Some state law describes terms of animal cruelty and says that no owner should allow or cause any conditions that could be defined as cruel.

Ohio Code: 959.131 prohibitions concerning companion animals states that animal owners cannot “deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance or confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation or confinement.”

If the pet is kept outside, the elements have to be taken into account, according to the law.

It states owners cannot “impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter from heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or excessive direct sunlight if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the lack of adequate shelter.”

Vol. 11, No. 10 – Feb 14 – Feb 27, 2018 – The Pet Page

• SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends. In the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main) Friday, March 2nd. Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

Mojo is recovering nicely.

• Hi, Sheldon:

Hope this email finds you well! Thank you again so much for featuring Mojo’s Story. Without your help I don’t think we would have raised the money in time. Mojo was sent home the day after surgery. It’s been a rough week but he’s finally starting to feel a little better and move around a bit. Vetsurg was wonderful to Mojo! Dr. Holsworth even donated the implants for Mojo’s surgery which took off $250 from the bill. They also donated a treatment called PRP (protein rich plasma) which helps in speeding healing. Shalisa Chamberlain

• The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine’s new program, the Tallwood Canine Cancer Research Initiative will create a biobank of dog tumors to provide researchers around the world with new insights into cures for cancers in dogs, and humans too.

Owners of dogs diagnosed with cancer can opt to have their veterinarian (if their practice is participating in the research initiative) remove their dog’s tumor during treatment and donate it to the program.

Using comparative genomics, they can identify which parts of DNA could contribute to an increased risk of specific types of cancer in certain dogs. Then look for corresponding regions in people to gain insights into new mechanisms that cause similar cancers in humans. This strategy is particularly useful for cancers that are rare among humans, but more commonly found in certain dog breeds

• In an effort to better align their current resources to workload and to properly care for and enrich the lives of the animals in their care, Ventura County Animal Services will be closed to the public every Monday beginning March 1, 2018, for pet adoptions. This closure will affect both the

Camarillo Animal Shelter at 600 Aviation Drive and the Simi Valley Animal Shelter at 670 W. Los Angeles Avenue. The shelter will be open for those who have found lost pets.

• RedRover, a national nonprofit animal welfare organization, was awarded a $433,000 grant from an anonymous foundation in support of the RedRover Relief Domestic Violence Assistance Program. This generous grant will allow RedRover to offer more financial assistance for safe pet boarding and veterinary care through the Safe Escape program, increase their Safe Housing grant amounts from $6,000 up to $20,000 and launch a pilot program that enables domestic violence shelters to create their own plan to help survivors of domestic violence and their pets escape abuse together. The grant also funds general operating costs for the program.

All too often, domestic violence victims stay in abusive homes for fear of subjecting their animals to abuse if they leave. RedRover Relief Safe Escape grants pay for temporary boarding and/or veterinary care to enable a domestic violence victim to remove pets to safety so that no member of the family is left behind.

Since helping its first victim of domestic violence with a RedRover Relief Safe Escape grant in 2007, RedRover has awarded 382 grants to help 688 people with 13,897 nights of boarding for their pets. Since the inception of the Safe Housing program in 2012, 58 grants have been awarded to domestic violence shelters for a total of $238,720.

RedRover is partnering with SAF-T to work toward the goal of having at least one pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in each state. Deadlines to apply for Safe Housing grants are May 15 and October 15 each year. To learn more, visit:

More information about RedRover’s domestic violence resources can be found at

• A white Maltese dog mix that had been dyed purple with human hair dye was severely burned and weakened, and the animal required three months of treatment including pain drugs, antibiotics, intravenous fluids and wound care, Pinellas County, Fla., Animal Services staff say. The dog has a new owner who says “it’s amazing how she loves everybody and knows no strangers, despite how she was treated.” If you want a colored pet get a parakeet.

•You wouldn’t know it by looking at her now, but a KC couple’s 7-month-old puppy Rottweiler almost died after she ate a bottle of Gorilla Glue.

Now, Theresa Sanders and Aaron Blake are just thankful for their energetic comeback.

“The Gorilla Glue apparently has a sweet smell that the dogs like,” he said. “She went at it and had it so fast.”

Veterinarian Philip Allen said, as a result of ingesting the glue, Lucy suffered a severe growth the size of a cantaloupe in her stomach. Allen said had her owners not brought in the puppy right away, Lucy would have been dead within a day.

In fact, Blake and Sanders said everyone was convinced Lucy wouldn’t survive.

“Walking away from her and thinking she was not going to live was just awful,” Sanders said.

The couple signed Lucy over to the veterinary clinic, posted their final farewells to their beloved pet on Facebook. However, the heart-sick couple had no idea that Allen, who has two dogs himself, refused to let Lucy go. Allen performed emergency surgery on the ill pup and removed the large mass from her stomach. By the next day, Lucy was out of intensive care and eating again.

Moral dog’s and gorilla’s shouldn’t eat glue.

Vol. 11, No. 9 – Jan 31 – Feb 13, 2018 – The Pet Page

Canine Disaster Search Teams Handler Matt Kirk and Search Dog Stella share a quiet moment during their deployment to Montecito. Photo by Camila Lemere

• After the deadly mudslides devastated Montecito 18 Canine Disaster Search Teams trained by the local Search Dog foundation returned home, exhausted but confident they completed their mission.

These incredible Search Dogs and Handlers searched tirelessly despite immense challenges with debris, rock and mud

Brent Brainard, Handler of Search Dog Decker stated “This is what we train for. This is what we are meant to do. It’s never easy when you’re dealing with a disaster of this magnitude, but Decker and I are in this together. We work as a team to be sure we give it our all. I couldn’t ask for a better partner – I’m pretty sure I needed him during this deployment more than he needed me.”

•By Monica White

A very lucky kitty kat

For some miraculous reason, our home in Skyline was spared during the Thomas Fire. As we evacuated, we were able to load up our two XL dogs and one of our cats. Azul, the outdoor cat was nowhere to be found. The next day and every day thereafter, my husband would drive back up to the house to put out food and water in hopes of finding our 11-year old Ragdoll kitty.

On the 4th day after the fire, the affected neighborhoods had been closed off with no access allowed. Officer Matt Thompson of Ventura PD was kind enough to escort us up to look one more time as we piled in the back of his police car.

Words can’t explain how thrilled we were to find Azul waiting for us in the backyard! With singed whiskers and blistered paws we immediately took him to Dr. Marianne at Ventura Veterinary Hospital. After two weeks of being loving tended and spoiled, Azul is now home, but not in the least bit interested in going outside. Thank you to Officer Thompson, Dr. Marianne and all the staff at Ventura Veterinary Hospital for making our family complete. You are our version of #VenturaStrong.

• by Victoria Usher

You have probably seen this classic of dog behavior: they tilt their head to one side while you’re talking to them. It’s such a universal behavior in dogs that you’d think science would have figured out the main cause for it a long time ago. Unfortunately, they still haven’t, there are quite a few possible causes for dogs tilting their head. In a study carried out by Stanley Coren, who has a doctorate in psychology from Stanford University, it is explained that dog’s muzzles block part of their vision and they tilt their heads to one side, so they can see our whole face. Another possible cause is that dogs tilt their heads when we’re talking in order to reposition their ears, this not only allows them to hear us better but to more precisely locate where the sound is coming from. Two-way communication is another possible cause for the head tilt, in his “Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training,” dog behavior consultant and trainer Steven R. Lindsay calls it the social head tilt and describes it as something that occurs “in situations involving anticipatory excitement and intensified interest in the significance of the owner’s vocalizations.” A final possible cause for the head tilt is that we may have inadvertently trained them to tilt their heads by responding positively to it while they were young puppies. After all, while the dog’s head tilt is a natural reaction, so is the human tendency to give affection to cute things and there’s nothing cuter than a dog looking at you with a titled head.

New Mexico legislators are proposing a special tax on pet food to raise money for spay and neutering fees for dogs and cats, a measure aimed at reducing the population of unwanted animals in the state. This specific bill, which is sponsored by Reps. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, and Debbie Rodella, D-Española, would impose an increase on commercial pet food registration fees from $2 per label to $100 per label of pet food each year.

“This is either going to increase the price of dog and cat food or manufacturers are going to want to stop supplying these foods to New Mexico,” said Laura Moore, owner of The Critters and Me pet store. Robert Likins, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Virginia-based nonprofit Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, said that the bill “is a tax that may be in search of a justification” and will “disproportionately punish smaller businesses and less wealthy pet owners that are less able to absorb the cost.” If the new bill becomes law, the state’s Animal Sheltering Subcommittee would oversee the program and create guidelines for nonprofit groups, animal shelters, veterinarians, and euthanasia agencies to help needy New Mexicans who cannot afford the cost of spaying and neutering their pets. Murad Kirdar, spokesman for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society, said the shelter supports “all avenues to help the community get the proper access and care for pets, especially when it comes to spay and neutering services.” The new bill has a five-year sunset clause designed to give state leaders time to see if the bill is successful. Several other states, including Maine and Maryland, have passed similar legislation to raise funds for spay and neutering services.

Vol. 11, No. 8 – Jan 17 – Jan 30, 2018 – The Pet Page

• SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends.

In the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main) Friday, February 2nd.

Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

The proceeds from The Spirits Car Club of Ventura event went to CARL and VCAS.

• The Spirits Car Club of Ventura recently held the Splinter Nationals event with proceeds going to Canine Adoption and Rescue League (CARL) and Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS). On Sat., De. 30th a few of the members presented Mary Saputo, CARL’s president with a check from the event. Also present was Sharon Clark, Executive Director, staff, a few volunteers and 2 CARL mascots, Ava the Chow and Bruno, the American Staffordshire/Terrier mix.

Please visit the CARL website for more loveable, adoptable dogs at

• In our last issue we inserted some wrong information in this article so here it is corrected.

by Jim Reilly President National Police Dog Foundation

Another exciting and challenging year is almost over, and with your help, we are already planning and working on projects for next year.

2017 has been a wonderful growth year for us, but with growth comes challenges. Our efforts to expand and become a meaningful national foundation for police K-9s has become a reality. Some new 2017 sponsors include national corporations such as Purina, McDonalds, and Petplan.

Thanks to our new marketing efforts and sponsors, our services are now reaching into even the smallest police departments across the country. While this is good news, and our fundraising efforts have grown, unfortunately so have the requests for financial assistance from these departments.

We need your help. We still have a shortfall in 2017 of $28,000, and desperately need to raise funds by year-end to fulfill emergency K-9 medical requests.

In planning for the 2018 needs of our nationwide police departments, we anticipate having to fund the following requests for assistance:

– Purchasing: 10 grant requests for new police K-9s

– Training: 20 grant requests for police K-9s and handlers

– Medical: 20 grant requests for medical assistance and emergency veterinary care

– Retired Medical: 10 grant requests for retired medical care

– Health Insurance: In 2018, we hope to grant at least 10 annual Police K-9 health insurance plans

– Heat Alarm: In 2018, we hope to save even more K-9 lives and give out 10 police vehicle heat alarms grants

While it is gratifying that agencies have increasingly come to rely on the National Police Dog Foundation to help provide for their needs, it is daunting to come up with the necessary funds to respond to the ever-increasing requests of these agencies. If our forecast holds true, we will need to raise over $270,000 in 2018 to meet expected needs.

And so we turn to you, our friends, to help these amazing K-9 heroes. We need your help in this time of need to ensure the safety of our communities. In addition, please keep NPDF in mind when creating your estate planning. If you need help with this, please contact us.

Most of the Police K-9’s deeds of valor go unreported, much less remembered. Often times, we are their only voice. Please look into your heart to see how you can help. Your generous, tax-deductible donation is greatly appreciated and will go directly to support Police K-9s.

Search Dog Riley searches the wreckage of a home in Montecito. Photo by Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire.

Thank you for allowing me to share our needs with you. To donate please go to, as every dollar helps. The National Police Dog Foundation is an all-volunteer foundation ensuring your donation is applied entirely to the benefit of Police K-9s.

• Just over 48 hours after a wall of mud and debris slammed into homes in Montecito there were 16 SDF(Search Dog Foundation) trained Canine Disaster Search Teams in action around-the-clock searching for survivors. The Search Teams, along with their Task Force teammates from throughout California, continue to comb the debris and slog through the mud to ensure that no one is left behind.

Monday afternoon, prior to the mudslide, Search Dog Foundation-trained Search Teams Eric Gray & Riley and Wade Haller & Rex staged for deployment as heavy rains were expected to soak the recent Thomas Fire burn areas in southern Santa Barbara County. After the mudslides destroyed several homes and pushed debris across Highway 101, all the way to the ocean, the teams went to work searching for survivors.

Mojo- Mojo needs immediate surgery.

• Mojo needs immediate surgery to repair his badly injured right hind knee hurt during the Thomas Fire evacuation. Two years ago Mojo’s buddy Shalisa suffered a debilitating equine accident. During eight challenging years taken for her recovery, Mojo kept Shalisa going with unconditional love and constant companionship. Because of unrelenting financial demands during her recovery, Shalisa now lacks funds for Mojo’s surgery for his right leg and to stabilize his left leg. Dr. Holsworth, at Vet Surg in Ventura, evaluates Mojo as being in the prime of his life and most capable of making full recovery. Buddy Nation, a Ventura non-profit is helping Shalisa raise funds. Those who know and love Mojo will be forever grateful for whatever donation you can make.

Vol. 11, No. 7 – Jan 3 – Jan 16, 2018 – The Pet Page

• by Jim Reilly President National Police Dog Foundation

When we evacuated from our National Training Center (NTC) campus on the night of December 4, we weren’t sure if we would have a home to come back to after the devastating Thomas Fire swept through our canyon.

We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us during this difficult time and we know that many of you have wanted to help in some way. Our goal is to stay the course and move ahead into 2018, focused on recruiting more rescued dogs, forming more new Search Teams and welcoming more veteran Teams to train onsite than ever before.

All the while, we will be cleaning up and rebuilding the parts of the NTC that were lost to the Thomas Fire, including Search City, parts of Industrial Park and our campus in general.

We still have a job to do and will continue to put all donations to good use. All gifts will help strengthen our operations as we move forward, including our recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Thanks to our new marketing efforts and sponsors, our services are now reaching into even the smallest police departments across the country.

National Training Center dogs had a home to return to after the Thomas Fire swept through their facility. They evacuated the Center and were happy that some of it remained to start the re-building.

In planning for the 2018 needs of our nationwide police departments, we anticipate having to fund the following requests for assistance:

– Purchasing: 10 grant requests for new police K-9s

– Training: 20 grant requests for police K-9s and handlers

– Medical: 20 grant requests for medical assistance and emergency veterinary care

– Retired Medical: 10 grant requests for retired medical care

– Health Insurance: In 2018, we hope to grant at least 10 annual Police K-9 health insurance plans

– Heat Alarm: In 2018, we hope to save even more K-9 lives and give out 10 police vehicle heat alarms grants

While it is gratifying that agencies have increasingly come to rely on the National Police Dog Foundation to help provide for their needs, it is daunting to come up with the necessary funds to respond to the ever-increasing requests of these agencies. If our forecast holds true, we will need to raise over $270,000 in 2018 to meet expected needs.

The National Police Dog Foundation is an all-volunteer foundation ensuring your donation is applied entirely to the benefit of Police K-9s. To donate go to or mail check to National Police Dog Foundation 2390-C Las Posas Rd. Suite #477 Camarillo, CA 93010.

•Mandy Grier has a special bond with her yellow Labrador retriever — the dog is trained to alert Grier, an insulin-dependent diabetic, that her blood sugar is beginning to dip.

“She’s been a godsend,” said Grier of her canine companion of nearly three years. “She has definitely made it easier on me.” Mylow is trained to alert Grier when her blood sugar drops to 80.

“The first time she did it at home it was pretty amazing,” said Grier. Through her keen sense of smell, Mylow is able to detect that Grier’s glucose level is dropping.

The dog raises her tail, locks up like a statue and stares directly at Grier until she tests her blood sugar.

The downside is that a dog like this can cost as much as $25,000.

• Did you ever wonder if anything is going on while dog is sleeping and dreaming? According to a new study they may be learning, Researchers in Hungary trained 15 pet dogs to sit and lie down using English phrases instead of their Hungarian.

Afterward, the scientists attached small electrodes to the dogs’ heads to record their brain activity while they slept. Electroencephalograms (EEGs) showed that during 3-hour naps, the dogs’ brains experienced brief, repeated moments of “slow-wave” brain activity lasting several minutes. Nested within these slower oscillations, were “sleep spindles,” bursts of activity lasting 0.5 to 5 seconds that look like a train of fast, rhythmic waves on EEG recordings—and are known to support memory, learning, general intelligence, and healthy aging in humans and rats.

But this is the first time they’ve been studied in detail in dogs. The scientists discovered that the number of spindle sessions per minute correlated with how well the dogs learned their new, foreign vocabulary.

•A recent study found dogs to be “smarter” than cats. But one of the scientists who conducted the research says it’s not quite that simple.

“We did not study their behavior, so we make any claims about how intelligent they are,” researcher Suzana Herculano-Houzel, an associate professor at Vanderbilt University, stated.

Although they didn’t observe behavior, Herculano-Houzel and her colleagues did observe the number of neurons in the brains of different animals, including two dogs and a cat. “We count cells by dissolving the brains ― literally turning them into soup ― then counting floating neuronal nuclei under the microscope,” she said.

She noted that the dogs and cat used in the study had died of natural causes and their bodies were donated to science. The researchers found that dogs have “about twice as many neurons in the cerebral cortex as cats do.”

She acknowledged that the researchers’ sample size was small. But in this case that doesn’t really make a difference. Since neurons are the brain’s “information-processing units. Whatever species has the most neurons in the cerebral cortex is therefore expected to be capable of more complex and flexible behavior.”

The study suggests that dogs have the “biological capability” for more complex and flexible behavior than cats. But researchers still can’t be sure whether dogs are using that capability to its full potential.

But raccoons were the huge surprise,” Herculano-Houzel said. “They have cat-sized brains, but with dog-like numbers of neurons, which places them on par with primates, who as a whole have lots of neurons crammed in small brains.”

Vol. 11, No. 6 – Dec 20, 2017 – Jan 2, 2018 – The Pet Page is a good place to help with your missing pet.

• Some veterinarians are offering their services for free during these times for our displayed and for pets without a home to call their own. Check with your vet to find out.

• by Jennifer Tipton

On Thursday, Dec. 7th I visited the Ventura County Fairgrounds located at our beautiful Seaside Park, one of three shelters set up by the American Red Cross.

People weren’t the only ones being cared for, there were about 150 horses in the stables and in a separate building, managed by American Kennel Club Pet Disaster Relief, they housed about 150 dogs, 150 cats, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters and one very large desert tortoise. Carmen from Ventura County Animal Services said they had taken in a total of 703 animals! The animals appeared very well cared for, each in crates covered with blankets for a sense of security and the dogs were being walked twice daily. “The animals will be cared for until the owner comes for them, if no one comes, they are transferred to the Camarillo Animal Shelter where we will phone, email and send letters to contact the owners, after 10 days, if no one comes for them, the animals will be put up for adoption”, Carmen said. The Camarillo shelter is a “no kill” shelter, one of the largest in So. California.

• Canine Adoption & Rescue League has a boarding kennel/sanctuary in Santa Paula. In the first days of the fire they sheltered 50 of SPARC’s (Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center) dogs and 8 of Santa Paula’s pets.

“This service was offered at no cost to the organizations, although considerable expenditure on CARL’s part. All the dogs were well and safely cared for and “weathered” the experience well. “stated C.A.R.L. President “Mary Saputo.“

The organization welcomes and relies on the generosity of dog welfare advocates to continue its mission. To learn more about C.A.R.L., how to donate, how to adopt, or how to volunteer, visit or call 644-PETS.

The National Training Center Search City has burned to the ground, with only remnants of the buildings and vehicles that made up the mini disaster neighborhood remaining.

• The National Training Center (NTC) campus, at 6800 Wheeler Canyon Rd., Santa Paula lost much, but not all of their buildings.

All of their main buildings – the Welcome Center, Handlers’ Lodge, Canine Pavilion and Caretaker’s Quarters – were unscathed, as were the Showgrounds, Canine Memorial Wall, and Guardian Glade.

The train car at the top of the Train Wreck prop was burned and will no longer be usable and, sadly, the historic Boone’s Cabin, containing relics from over one hundred years of history is completely gone.

They stated “We look forward to having you continue on this journey with us as we get back on our paws and continue fulfilling our mission of strengthening disaster response in America.”

SDF Headquarters 6800 Wheeler Canyon Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060 888-4K9HERO.

The Humane Society of Ventura County has taken in hundreds of animals displaced by the Thomas Fire. The animals, being housed at the HSVC’s Ojai shelter, all are safe and in good shape, but funds are critically needed to maintain their care, as the evacuations wear on and the animals have nowhere else to go.

“The shelter has been staffed 24/7 since the fire began on Monday night,” said Greg Cooper, the HSVC’s director of community outreach. “Donations are pouring in and are greatly appreciated, but the need is monumental and ongoing.”

The HSVC has set up a donation link on its website so all funds go toward Thomas Fire Relief:

To donate: go to

To volunteer: Email Amanda Volden at

To drop off food and supplies: Go to the Ojai shelter, at 402 Bryant St.

For additional inquiries: Email Greg Cooper at

As told by Finnegan – Quartermaster of the Luna Sea to Jennifer Tipton

My name is Finnegan and I am 2 years old. I was rescued from the Ojai Animal Shelter October 10, 2017 by Lisa Barrick and Shawn Taylor. Lisa and Shawn had sold just about everything they owned to buy a 43-foot Hunter Sailboat they call the Luna Sea. It’s been their home in the Ventura Harbor since 2016 and now it’s my home too.

On Monday night, December 4th, strong Santa Ana winds started up and we were rocking quite a bit, I could hear the halyard lines slapping up against the main sails, it sounded like a halyard symphony! Then all the power went out and we popped up topside to have a look, with all the pitching and yawing,

Captain Shawn insisted I wear my personal flotation device in case I got tossed overboard. We noticed that all the lights in the Harbor were out and it was very dark, but we still didn’t know there was a fire until morning when Captain Shawn and First Mate Lisa could see the flames at sunrise. By then, there was a heavy layer of smoke hovering over the harbor, ash falling and a lot of dust from the fields across the way.

Our boat neighbors told us that many owners of the boat slips here invited evacuees from the fire to stay on their boats and the Marina’s office manager allowed many others to stay in the parking lot in their RVs.

By Friday, December 8th, it felt calm, but there was still heavy smoke in the air, so we stayed indoors. We did get a lot of debris in our slip like burnt pieces of wood and tree limbs, but we felt safe because we were surrounded by nature’s fire retardant!

Vol. 11, No. 5 – Dec 6 – Dec 19, 2017 – The Pet Page

•  Purrs & Paws Holiday Boutique returns to Ojai for the Sixth annual Humane Society fundraiser slated for Dec. 16. Over 30 vendors will offer a vast variety of holiday gifts for people and pets, at the Humane Society of Ventura County’s holiday boutique.

The boutique will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Chaparral Auditorium in Ojai, at 414 E. Ojai Ave. Newly added this year is a Vintage Market, on the lawn next to the auditorium.

All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the nonprofit HSVC.

With over 5,000 supporters, and marking its 85th year, the HSVC is committed to making this holiday market the best one yet. New and returning vendors will be featured.

Admission to this family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Heather Rowe at or 646-6505.

• The Teague Mansion in Santa Paula is the venue for Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center’s (SPARC’s) gala fundraising evening on December 8. The themed event is a 1930s murder mystery, featuring a theatrical production with plenty of intrigue. All proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction will go toward medical costs and daily care of the animals at SPARC.

The evening includes a light buffet supper, beverages and a theatrical murder mystery filled with fun and drama. Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased at (Eventbrite link).

“Feed me”

Many people are unaware that being a “no kill” shelter adds a high cost to running a shelter, since every animal, no matter how sick or injured, receives appropriate vet care. Every effort is made to give the animals a second chance at life at SPARC.

SPARC’s cost to run a “No Kill, No Excuses” shelter is $1.4 million per year; the city of Santa Paula contributes just over $100,000 of that. SPARC relies on grants and donations from the public.

Medical staffing and veterinary care alone is around $500,000, so it is vital to have the support of people who believe in the no-kill mission by buying their tickets to the 1930s murder mystery event and supporting other SPARC fundraising efforts.

• The FDA says it has received about 68 reports of pet illnesses, and even deaths, related to bone treats. Some of the reports involved more than one dog; a total of about 90 animals have been affected.

About 15 dogs have died of the illnesses, the agency said.

These treats differ from uncooked, butcher-type bones because they are processed and packaged for sale as dog treats. The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings or smoke flavorings.

Different types of bone treats for dogs, including treats described as “Ham Bones,” “Pork Femur Bones,” “Rib Bones,” and “Smokey Knuckle Bones,” were listed in the illness reports.

“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” stated Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.

Vol. 10, No. 4 – Nov 22 – Dec 5, 2017 – The Pet Page

•  Sponsorship makes an ideal gift at any time of the year for an animal-loving friend or relative – birthdays, holidays, as a ‘thank you’ gift, or simply to say ‘I love you’! — either for a cat lover who has everything, or for friends and family members who love making a difference in the lives of animals. Your sponsorship gift of $25 or more, helps a cat or kitten awaiting adoption into a forever home. When you sponsor a cat or kitten as a gift, you will receive a certificate to the recipient and include both of you in the monthly Surfcat Mewsletter mailing. You can choose the message or dedication you want on the certificate.

Surfcat … Providing compassionate care and community connections for cats in need of forever homes. or 500-7125

“I’m as cute as a dog so may I take a tennis ball?”

•  In honor of America Recycles Day, the Canine Adoption and Rescue League (CARL)is accepting redeemable bottles and cans at their kennels located at 901 Mission Rock Road, Santa Paula. All proceeds from the recycling of plastic bottles and aluminum cans goes back to the kennel to help the dogs living in the sanctuary. CARL has been helping homeless dogs in Ventura County for the past 20 years. Alternatively, drop off the clean redeemable bottles and cans to the donation basket inside the back door of Pet Barn at 3203 E.Main.

•  While the holidays can be the most wonderful time of year for people, it can be one of the most dangerous for pets.

Dr. Ryan Keane at Eastown Veterinary Clinic in Grand Rapids says pet owners should be aware of the health and safety hazards that are lurking in their homes during the holidays.

In addition to the obvious things an ingredient called Xylitol can be fatal, even in small doses.

In less than 24 hours, Xylitol can result in liver failure. The ingredient is becoming more popular in foods like peanut butter and sugar-free candies and gums.

When you decorate your tree, keep the tinsel off branches that are close to the ground, where your cat can easily grab them. “They have barbs on their tongue that point backwards so if they get a piece of string or tinsel on their tongue, they kind of have to swallow it. It can’t come back out,” Dr. Keane says.

We’re all guilty of sneaking a treat or two under the table, but keep in mind that a small portion for us can be a calorie overload for your animal. “Very small amounts are fine, the problem is when everybody wants to give that animal a small amount at family gatherings it’s all cumulative and adds up,” Dr. Keane says.

Dr. Keane suggests keeping an extra eye on your pet after you have company over and if they’re acting abnormally, it may be a sign they were exposed to something toxic. If you see this immediately get the pet to their vet.

•  Experts have known for some time that dogs have poor vision, and are up to eight times worse than humans at seeing things in deta.

Scientists have developed a test for dogs and found that they struggle to tell red and green apart, much like color blind humans, a condition known as deuteranopia.

So they can hardly see a red ball on the green grass.

This is important for people directly involved in dog training but also for fols who want to improve their dog’s attentive skills during some activities such as play. If at the park and you want to get your dog to bring back a ball falling on the green grass it would be better if you thought of using blue instead of red toys.

•  Dog owners have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease or other causes, a study of 3.4 million Swedes has found. The team analyzed national registries for people aged 40 to 80, and compared them to dog ownership registers.

They found there was a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in humans of dogs, particularly of hunting breeds. Researchers said it may be active people who choose to have dogs.

“The results showed that single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11% reduction in risk of heart attack,” compared to single non-owners, said lead study author Mwenya Mubanga of Uppsala University.

Dr Mubanga said: “Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.”

For their study, published in Scientific Reports, the team looked at data from 2001 to 2012. In Sweden, every visit to a hospital is recorded in national databases – while dog ownership registration has been mandatory since 2001.

Owning a dog from breeds originally bred for hunting, such as terriers, retrievers and scent hounds, was associated with the lowest risk of cardiovascular disorder.

•  Thirty-five dogs found inside robbery suspects home

By Victoria Usher

Inside the home of 72-year-old Robert Bustamante Flores, Corona bank robbery suspect, authorities discovered thirty-five dogs being kept in horrible conditions. They had been locked inside the home all day and all night, every single day. Animal Control officers were able to save the dogs, seven of them being small puppies and then took all of them to the Corona Animal Shelter so that they could be evaluated and fed.

Flores told detectives that twenty-six dogs were living inside his home when they asked him about the robbery. Once a search warrant was obtained four animal control officers and investigators searched the house together and found thirty-five dogs along with possible evidence of robbery. The good news is those dogs are now safe and have very recently become available for adoption! Hopefully they will all find their forever homes soon!

•  A local Lancaster dog has won the 18th annual AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) in the Search and Rescue category! Each year the AKC® Humane Fund celebrates five loyal, hard-working dogs that have significantly improved the lives of their owners and communities. “Piglet,” a Lancaster Search & Rescue dog has brought closure to many grieving families.

“Piglet,” a six-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog, is rigorously trained and certified to find human remains on land and in water. Each year Piglet and handler, Lori Wells spend hundreds of hours training, testing, and answering the call of duty for law enforcement agencies in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. At nearly 7 years old, Piglet has built a reputation as an unparalleled search resource.

Piglet is unique not only for her diligent work ethic and talented nose, but also for her infectious ‘smile’. She always lights up the room at community events and fundraisers and is happy to make new friends, human and canine alike.

Vol. 10, No. 3 – Nov 8 – Nov 21, 2017 – The Pet Page

Thank you to Chuck Bowman for once again providing his services as maybe the best Santa in town!

The Humane Society of Ventura County’s annual Santa Paws holiday photo shoot is almost upon us. On Sunday, Nov. 19, the Ventura Beach Marriott will host the popular event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Two weeks later, on Sunday, Dec. 3, the HSVC Shelter will host a second Santa Paws pet photo shoot, also from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shelter event will additionally feature a marketplace, where you can get some holiday shopping done while you wait, from the many local vendors who’ll be on hand selling quality goods. Plus, the shelter event will once again include its popular bake sale, where delicious handmade goodies will be available to purchase for your enjoyment. All proceeds from these events benefit the animals of the HSVC.

Adults and children are welcome to pose in their pets’ photos – with or without Santa. The shelter will have many festive pet costumes to doll up your pets if you are in the mood. In addition to cats and dogs, pocket pets, reptiles, rabbits and birds are all welcome!

Holiday photo shoot packages start at $30 and include five to 10 images. For a larger donation, you also will have access to some wonderful HSVC keepsakes, including a 2018 HSVC calendar. All images will be provided on-site on USB flash drives.

For over 30 years, the Humane Society of Ventura County Santa Paws has been providing high-quality holiday family portraits for county residents and beyond. “Having helped with Santa Paws since 1990, I can tell you this is one very fun event – and it’s especially fun for us to see the families grow through the years,” said Greg Cooper, HSVC Director of Community Outreach and official photographer for the event.

• “Piglet,” a six-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog, is rigorously trained and certified to find human remains on land and in water. Each year Piglet and handler, Lori Wells spend hundreds of hours training, testing, and answering the call of duty for law enforcement agencies in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. At nearly 7 years old, Piglet has built a reputation as an unparalleled search resource. Read more about her in the next Ventura Breeze.

Four-footed “ghosts,” “spirits” and all manner of costumed canines paraded through Ventura Harbor Village on Saturday, October 21 as the 5th Annual Ventura Harbor Village HOWL-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest was held. Alyssa Clark and Tootsie, a 7 pound Chihuahua/Poodle/Yorkie mix were one of the winners. Tootsie is just over one year old and is dressed as a bundle of grapes with her own wine. Tootsie is too young to drink.


On October 28 the Pierpont Racquet Club held their 1st Annual Pooch Costume Parade. Dogs of all shapes and colors were entered as they paraded through the Club and were sure not to bark in order to not distract the players. Fun prizes and refreshments for pooches and their buddies were provided.