Category Archives: The Pet Page

Vol. 11, No. 22 – Aug 1 – Aug 14, 2018 – The Pet Page

Best low fat dog food
by Adam Conrad

Low-fat dog food can be extremely helpful for dogs with pancreatic problems or dogs struggling with obesity. It is easy to find low-fat brands, but it can be difficult to find low-fat brands that still have all the necessities for your dog. Many companies cut fat out of their dog food by cutting meat out of the food. Cutting some meat can be helpful, but if you cut too much meat out of the food you are eliminating a valuable protein and energy source for your dog.

So how do you find the best low-fat dog food? Just like when buying regular dog food, you must pay close attention to the ingredients. It is easy to cut out protein and add carbs as fillers when making a low-fat dog food, but carbs are the things to avoid for your dog because they are not very beneficial and do not provide very much energy for you dog.

They make your dog feel full, but other than that carbs do not have great nutritional value. Unfortunately, carbs are often used to replace nutritious, protein packed meat that will provide your dog with lots of natural energy. But because meat can have a high fat content, it can often be the first ingredient but in low-fat dog foods.

The top ingredients to eliminate for the bets low-fat diets and dog foods are preservatives, like BHA, artificial flavorings and dyes, animal fat, vegetable oil, fat trimmings, and overall, anything that is processed or unnatural. Instead of these ingredients it is important to have natural fibers and proteins. Brown rice is an example of a healthy grain ingredient with fiber.

Unprocessed lamb or chicken are great meat choices that provide protein. Carrots are also a key ingredient that will provide vitamin A in your dog’s diet. And oatmeal is a great ingredient that will give your dog more vitamin E. In general, you want to look for low-fat dog foods that are filled with fruits, omega 3 and omega 6, L-carnitine, and amino acids.

All these ingredients enhance you dogs fiber and protein, which are necessary for energy, and help strengthen bones and provide lots of healthy vitamins. Stay away from carb heavy ingredients, processed meats, and unnatural hormones.

It is important to keep your dog on a low-fat diet if your dog has specific health problems like pancreatitis, diabetes, or obesity. In general, though, keeping your dog on a low-fat diet will prevent future problems for your dog.

If you want your dog to avoid health problems as they age, then find them low-fat brands that feed them protein, vitamins, fruits and vegetables, and don’t use processed ingredients and hormones. Fat in dog foods is not all bad, but too much of it can create serious health problems, and it is simply not the best thing for your dog’s health and longevity.

Adam Conrad is a passionate writer and a dad of 5 Shih Tzu pups. He loves to write about dog grooming, best food for dogs and CDV (Canine Distemper Virus). His guides are aimed at pet parents to help them look after their pups. He writes for the blog The Shih Tzu Expert.

Paw’s Corner

By Sam Mazzotta

More Ways to Foil High-Flying Felines

Dear Paw’s Corner: I read with interest the recent column where a reader put aluminum pie plates on surfaces, like the stove, where cats weren’t allowed. That sounds like a good solution to stopping cats from jumping onto the countertops.

Our cats, when they were young, would jump 5 feet straight up to the tops of kitchen cabinets. Needless to say, this was annoying and more than a little concerning.

My wife got some plastic rug runners that had knubby things on the bottom to keep the runners from moving on a carpet. She cut pieces and laid them on top of the cabinets with the knubby side up. It took only a few times for the cats to realize the cabinet tops were not comfortable. The knubby things could not hurt the cats, but they certainly didn’t feel good. — Bob R.

Dear Bob: Thank you for the suggestion! Readers, if you try this solution, be sure to use rug runners with nylon or softer plastic nubs. Essentially, discouraging cats from jumping onto surfaces where you don’t want them requires you to put something on those surfaces that they don’t like, but which won’t hurt them. An unfamiliar texture will keep them from hanging around on those surfaces.

High-pitched noises can send them away, such as the rattle of an aluminum pie plate. Some cat owners keep a shaker can handy — a small can with a lid, like a potato chip can, filled with pennies or other objects that make a jangling, high-pitched noise when shaken.

Keep in mind that these are all forms of negative reinforcement, so try to limit their use to stopping very specific behaviors that might endanger your cat.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

On July 28, the Harbor Cove Café hosted the VPD K-9 “Who Let The Dogs Out” featuring zombie poker and wine tasting. All proceeds went to the Ventura Police K-9 Partners “medical needs.” Pictured are Amber Adam(in the middle) the creator and special event coordinator of the Who Let The Dogs Out and attendees.

Vol. 11, No. 21 – July 18 – July 31, 2018 – The Pet Page

•SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends. Two opportunities. New Location: Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, on Friday, July 20th. Also in Ventura, in the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main St.) Friday, July 27th. Please call to schedule an appointment 805-584-3823.

• Canine Adoption And Rescue League (CARL) Thrift Boutique will be re locating shortly to their

new location at 2750 E Main St. Ventura, next to Smart & Final Grocery store. This all volunteer store will continue to offer men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, household wares, and furniture.

All sales proceeds go toward maintaining rescue dogs in the best condition they are able to provide.

Please come and support the dogs at this wonderful new location.

Koda is already proving that he has what it takes to be a great search dog!

•Search Dog Foundation-Koda was originally rescued from a shelter by Lab Rescue OK, Inc. before being homed with a fellow firefighter who recognized his Search Dog potential and contacted Jason Smith, a former Handler in Oklahoma City with Oklahoma Task Force 1. Jason evaluated Koda and he quickly noticed this Yellow Lab’s high drive and potential for work.

Sure enough, Koda is already proving that he has what it takes to be a great search dog! Working in barrels during training, he is using his nose to pinpoint the “victims’” locations and barking loudly. Even with food distractions, Koda is dedicated to his training, leaving delicious treats behind in favor of focusing on the search. This dedicated candidate has developed a nice, strong bark alert on the rubble that will serve he and his Handler well in the future!

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is honored to share that the Rachael Ray Foundation™ collaboration is at it again, actively supporting the recruitment of rescued dogs for their Class of 2018 training program and caring for them throughout their entire lives.

With a generous grant of $200,000, The Rachael Ray Foundation™ is leading the charge once more to help SDF give rescued dogs across the country a home and a job that they love. The goal is to raise $400,000 by August 31, and now we’re already halfway there!

For almost a decade, Rachael Ray has been and continues to be one of SDF most generous supporters. A portion of proceeds from each sale of Rachael’s pet food, Nutrish®, is donated to help animals in need through The Rachael Ray Foundation.

SDF is grateful to be among the organizations supported by The Rachael Ray Foundation and for the significant role their grants play in their capacity to recruit rescued dogs for the training program.

The Rachael Ray Rescue Brigade gives everyone the opportunity to join the mission of turning shelter dogs into Search Dogs. To donate go to

Founded in 1996, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Santa Paula(even though it seems like Ventura). Their mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

National Training Center
6800 Wheeler Canyon Rd.
Santa Paula, CA 93060

•Dogs & Food Behavior
by Victoria Usher

Researchers in Hungary completed a study that have helped them discover that normal and overweight dogs both behave differently when it comes to tasks involving food. The researchers put down two bowls in front of a series of dogs, one bowl contained a good meal and another bowl next to it contained a less attractive meal. The study found that canines of a normal weight continued to obey instructions to check the second bowl for food, but the obese ones refused after a couple of rounds.

“We expected the overweight dogs to do anything to get food, but in this test, we saw the opposite. The overweight dogs took a negative view,” test leader Orsolya Torda said. The behavior had possible parallels with overweight people who see food as a reward,” said the paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. According to the authors of Budapest’s ELTE University paper, this study has suggested that dogs could be used as models for future research of the causes and psychological impacts of human obesity.

•How to handle a territorial dog, Establish yourself as the Pack Leader.

Dogs crave rules, boundaries and limitations. It is not a good idea to allow your dog to roam all over the house, sit on furniture, eat from the table, or engage in any other type of disruptive behavior. Although your dog is your companion, it is a follower in your pack, not a leader. You can reduce this type of behavior by asserting yourself as the pack leader by using calm, assertive energy. Make your dog earn food, water, and affection through exercise and discipline — exercise via two or more daily walks to drain her energy, and discipline through setting those rules, boundaries and limitations.

These types of issues are often exacerbated by a lack of training and discipline for your pet. If this seems to be a big problem, then you may want to consider an obedience class for your dog or speak to your veterinarian for some other solutions.

•Paw’s Corner

By Sam Mazzotta

Dear Paw’s Corner: I deliver packages on a long route around town every day. It seems that we’ve been inundated with warnings over the past few years about the dangers of leaving pets inside the car on a hot day while their owners go shopping or run errands. And yet, almost every day of the summer, I am calling emergency services or asking store managers to page customers because I see pets panting behind rolled-up car windows.

Please, please remind pet owners to leave their pets at home when they’re running errands! — Concerned Delivery Driver

Dear Driver: I absolutely agree, and I thank you for insisting on this reminder!

Even on a day that doesn’t seem too hot — say, 78 degrees — the interior of a car can heat to well over 110 degrees within five minutes. Now that we’re in the hottest part of the year, that interior temperature climbs faster and higher and can reach 120 degrees easily. No pet can withstand such suffocating heat for long.

For short trips to the store or to run errands, leave your pet at home. If they must come with you (such as during long road trips), they should be left with an adult, and the air conditioning needs to be turned on.

Of course, a planned outing with your dog is a lot of fun just about any time. But always be mindful of the heat. Bring water for your dog to drink. Head home if your dog is panting heavily and not very active. And do not leave your pet in the car.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

Vol. 11, No. 20 – July 4 – July 17, 2018 – The Pet Page

Friday, June 22, marked the 20th annual celebration of Take Your Dog To Work Day®. The annual event, created by Pet Sitters International (PSI) and first celebrated in 1999, was established to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to promote their adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies.

Locally the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura celebrated with their dogs at work and lunch of hot dogs of course. The dogs were very well behaved and waited their turn for a hot dog.

Foto: On June 30, a summer benefit concert Paws for the Cause was held at the Poinsettia Pavilion to salute and honor the Ventura K9 Police Officers. Besides the K9’s it featured live performances by Alex Nester, Mark Masson and COSO Live and games for kids, food and vendors. The event was presented by the Herman Bennett Foundation “Making A Difference”. Save-A-Life Thrift Store, Camarillo. Officers Ortega and Miles and Officers Rodriguez and Rover were there (with other K9 officers) to greet the guests and Miles and Rover let people pet them.

•Canine Companions for Independence is a national non-profit organization that provides highly trained assistance dogs, free of charge, to people with physical and developmental challenges. The local Valley To Sea Chapter is sponsoring an evening fundraiser of Canines & Comedy on July 12th at Levity Live in the Collection in Oxnard. Come laugh, pet some dogs, win some gifts, and get to know this wonderful organization that improves the lives of those with special challenges in our local communities. Contact or call Alan Howell at 206-954-9433 for more information.

Vol. 11, No. 19 – June 20 – July 3, 2018 – The Pet Page

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

At a wew Location the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard on Friday, June 29th.

Please call to schedule an appointment 805-584-3823.

This dog is a bomb/weapons detector specialist. An 8 year old female that works for the Navy. The photo was taken at the Naval Base in Point Mugu during installation of new commander. Submitted by Lyn Fairly.

•Housing Authority to host its 4th Annual TYDTWDay® 2018

On Thursday, June 28, the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB) will join companies around the globe in opening their doors to employees’ furry, four-legged best friends for PSI’s 20th annual Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWDay®).

TYDTWDay was established by Pet Sitters International in 1999. This annual event urges businesses around the globe to experience the joys of dogs in the workplace for just one day to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to promote adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies.The 2018 celebration marks the HACSB’s fourth year of participation.

“The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura is excited to go to the dogs for a good cause! We see this event as a way to recognize the important role dogs play in our employees’ lives and an opportunity to make a positive impact on our local community,” says Cheryl Tabbi, Human Resources Manager.

“If I knew I had to work I wouldn’t have attended Take Your Dog To Work Day at the Breeze.”

The HACSB anticipates 10 dogs to join them on Thursday, June 28 and has a variety of activities planned, including photo sessions, a pot luck lunch and doggie swag bags with donations provided by Petco, Petsmart, Lucy Pet Products, and VCA Westlake Animal Hospital.

For more information on PSI’s Take Your Dog To Work Day, visit or PSI at

(336) 983-9222, ext. 23230 or

The HACSB is the largest residential landlord in the City of Ventura, with 376 public housing units, more than 1,500 Section 8 vouchers, and over 450 non-profit affordable rental units. The agency is actively working to increase the supply of affordable housing and to improve the quality of life for hundreds more of the low-income residents throughout the City of Ventura. To learn more about the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura or its TYDTWDay celebration, visit or e-mail

HACSB 995 Riverside Street (805) 648-5008 Fax (805) 643-7984 Tdd (805) 648-7351

•Pit Bull Sasha saves the day!

By Victoria Usher

On Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 an 8-month-old pit bull named Sasha was sitting outside of her Stockton, California, home when flames began to engulf the apartment building. Nana Chaichanhda, Sasha’s buddy, and her baby were both inside. Sasha quickly alerted Chaichanhda that there was a fire in their building and then proceeded to help the family escape from the burning building.

Chaichanhda explained that at first, she was confused, then she realized that her cousin’s apartment, which was right next door, was up in flames. Firefighters arrived on the scene and were able to save most of the building. Chaichanhda and her cousin’s apartment were destroyed in the blaze, the family is currently staying with relatives who live in one of the surviving apartments, CBS affiliate WTVR-TV reports. Chaichanhda says that it is because of Sasha that she and her baby are both safe, and she hopes her story will help change the negative perception of pit bulls.

•While fireworks are fun for people, they can be dramatic to our pets. All the noise and activity easily scares animals that might escape from home. Did you know, more pets go missing during July 4 holiday in any other time of the year?

•The Wabash Valley Animal Hospital has been conducting a stem cell trial to help our furry friends in need. Over the last year the hospital has given the free trial to many dogs. It’s a blind study and placebo trial. “Two thirds of these animals do get stem cells” said Doctor Andy Pickering.

If a dog is healthy, they’re eligible to be a participant in the study. Dogs receive injections of the trial in their joints, and they will either receive stem cells or a placebo.

One dog buddy says he can tell the trial is helping 17-year old Mooska. “Within a few days, he started acting better, and is still just going right up and down the steps like no problem at all,” said William Joe Robinson.

Wabash Valley Animal Hospital 812-299-2200.

Vol. 11, No. 18 – Jun 6 – June 19, 2018 – The Pet Page

• “If you want a real friend that you can trust in Washington, get a dog.” ~ Harry Truman

• 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, June 8th.

Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

VPD officer-handlers and their K9 compatriots looking proud in front of city hall.

• New deputy first dog

By Victoria Usher

Governor Jerry Brown recently made an adorable and exciting announcement that a one-month-old female border collie puppy by the name of Cali will be serving as the state’s “Deputy First Dog” from now on. Little Cali will take on many new job responsibilities soon and one of the most important job responsibilities she will have will be assisting one of Governor Jerry Brown’s dogs named Colusa, a border collie-corgi mix who is known as the state’s “First Dog” in herding all of the state Capitol’s staff and also helping out in a variety of ways around the Colusa County family ranch. Colusa has been a constant Capitol presence and has the absolute cutest Twitter account in the world to prove it. Cali will begin her new job by helping Colusa with any and all of the important duties that must be taken care of around the family ranch.

• Life wouldn’t be the same without our best friends. So there is now National Best Friends Day. They’re the friends that can be counted on to be there at a moment’s notice. The ones who love, laugh, support, and cherish – in both good and bad times.

“As soon as I find my glasses I can finish reading the Breeze”

Friends can be celebrated on any day of the year, but what better day than Best Friends Day? The day is largely unofficial, with no clear clue as to its origins, but that doesn’t stop the millions who mark the day each year from enjoying their best friends.

Celebrations can be as low key or as flamboyant as desired. A picnic in the park, a get together over coffee, or a nice meal in a favorite restaurant ( that allows dogs) are popular ways to celebrate a close friendship. Should distance keep best friends apart, it’s enough to pick up the phone to wish that special person a very happy Best Friends Day.

June 8, a day to honor that one special person you call your “best friend”. This day is a time to show them how much you appreciate them, how special and important they are to you and how you cherish their friendship. Celebrate National Best Friends Day by letting your best friends know how much they mean to you!

•How to handle a territorial dog By Ashley Bennett

Spay or neuter your dog

If you have not already done so, having your dog spayed or neutered can reduce incidences of territorial marking. It can also extend your dog’s life, improve other aspects of their health, and reduce the number of unwanted dogs. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered can and do still engage in marking behaviors from time to time, depending on other factors. According to a report from the Humane Society, spaying or neutering your pet may help reduce likelihood that they will mark their territory, but it does not completely stop it.

Allow your dog to get acquainted with unfamiliar faces

Sometimes your dog may start marking things around the house because someone new has been introduced into the household, whether it is a new roommate, pet, or even a frequent visitor. Chances are that the dog feels like this person or animal has entered their realm and it is marking to show them that they still have ownership over the territory. People are usually annoyed by this behavior, but other animals know what it means if a dog has marked their territory. The only way to resolve this issue is to allow your dog to get a true introduction to the new person or pet and allow them to spend some time to bond with them. Keep the new person or animal out of the dog’s area until the two have become more acquainted.

Vol. 11, No. 17 – May 23 – June 5, 2018 – The Pet Page

Vet techs were at SPAN giving shots to the dogs and providing other services.

• On April 27 Animal Services provided a shot clinic for the homeless in front of the SPAN

Store in Ventura. They also provided leashes, collars, food and flea meds. Over 61 animals were served. Some of the homeless had up to 3 animals. It was for the homeless so the flyers were put up at Catholic Charities and other spots where the homeless go to seek services. SPAN is also working with Simi Valley Spay Neuter Clinic to have 2 mobile spay days a month.

•The Humane Society of Ventura County invites the public on Saturday, June 9, and get a behind-the-scenes look at its Ojai animal shelter, learn more about its programs and meet the people who run it.

The HSVC’s annual “Birthday Bash and Open House” will honor its 86 years of nonprofit service to the community. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ojai facility, at 402 Bryant St.

Visitors that day can interact with the animals – who will be available for adoption – tour the kennels and clinic, meet the staff, and learn about volunteer opportunities. Bring the whole family to enjoy refreshments, take part in a treasure hunt and learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of animals in need.

There will be a variety of activities for children along with information on responsible pet ownership. Humane officers will be available to discuss ways we all can help protect animals throughout the county.

“The Humane Society of Ventura County has accomplished quite a bit, when you add the numbers up,” said Greg Cooper, Director of Community Outreach for the HSVC. “Considering our meager budget as a private nonprofit, the HSVC continues to provide valuable services to Ventura County in an extraordinary way.”

For more event information 646-6505. For more on the HSVC, visit

Amber has been stealing the hearts of trainers and staff alike.

• Amber is from a private donor in Fillmore. This gorgeous and sweet-natured Belgian Malinois has been stealing the hearts of trainers and staff alike at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.

Amber has started to learn the search “game” and is working concurrently on Agility, Obedience and Direction & Control. All in all, Amber is quick on the uptake and has a blast training – a winning combination when it comes to being a Search Dog!

Amber grew up in a family of public servants and was very proud to serve her community as a 911 Public Safety Dispatcher for the Ventura Police Department and as a Tactical Dispatcher for the VPD SWAT Team.

Founded in 1996, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Santa Paula. Their mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

It’s not a matter of if, but when the next natural or man-made disaster will occur. To stay prepared, Canine Disaster Search Teams must constantly hone their skills through rigorous training exercises – and what better place to do that than SDF’s National Training Center, specifically designed for Disaster Search Dogs and their Handlers.

The NTC is open to any and all teams from across the U.S. and the world who want to train for disaster response. Designed with training props that can evolve and change, NTC allows trainers and teams to create different search situations that mimic various disaster situations.

SDF headquarters 6800 Wheeler Canyon Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060 888-4K9HERO Tax ID #77-0412509.

•Top Cabaret and Jazz singers and songwriters will perform at a benefit concert and fundraiser for All For Love Animal Rescue on Saturday, June 2, at Bogart’s Upstairs, inside the AMC Theatres at the Oaks Mall, in Thousand Oaks. The event features special performances by award-winning singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom and Jazz legend Sue Raney. Other performers include the singing duo, Maripat Davis and Richard Osborn, and well-known composer-pianist Shelly Markham.

Amanda McBroom has been called “the greatest cabaret performer of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice to match,” by the New York Times.

Sue Raney was signed by Capitol Records at the age of 17, and recorded her first album called When Your Lover is Gone, with Nelson Riddle.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to All For Love Animal Rescue (AFLAR), a 501c3 nonprofit animal rescue organization. AFLAR has rescued hundreds of homeless animals and placed them in loving, forever homes. AFLAR focuses on rescuing animals in the most danger of euthanasia, and depends 100% on charitable donations to rescue, board, and provide medical treatment for the many animals they save.

The event will also feature a silent auction with many items to bid on, opportunity drawings and door prizes, and complimentary snacks and desserts. Tickets for the event are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended. For reservations and tickets, call 445-3535 or purchase tickets at

Vol. 11, No. 16 – May 9 – May 22, 2018 – The Pet Page

• On Saturday, May 5, CARL’s (Canine Adoption and Rescue League) 21st annual Pooch Parade was held at the Ventura Beach Promenade Park on a beautiful (but slightly windy)Ventura day. The new Bluefang Dogathon 5K & 10k races were not just another race, they were all about the dogs with over 200 dogs participating in the largest dog running event in Southern California.

Each dog participant scampered away with their own bandana, medal and a chance to try out the new activity tracking collar by Bluefang. The money raised from the event help pay for the wonderful services that CARL provides for dogs. Their thrift store will be re-locating to a very convenient location in mid-town in the near future.

The races were for both the human and the dogs and had age group awards for the 5K, 10K and special top dog awards so there were many winners.

There was dog competition for agility, best kisser, cutest, best dressed and the always exciting Ventura K9 demonstrations and a silent auction. Outstanding music was presented by The Seaside Band and several food trucks provided an array of food choices.

The Pooch Parade is Ventura’s biggest dog-themed event of the year. For over two decades, Ventura County has come out with their best friends to walk with them, shop with them, have a beer at the beach with them. It was a great day for the dogs and the humans who enjoyed seeing, and petting the many shapes, sizes and colors of dogs that were there.

The huge amount of tennis balls provided by the Ventura Breeze for the dogs were gone even before the event was over.

• 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, May 11th.

Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

• By Victoria Usher

Animal researchers have long focused on behavioral differences within the same species. James Serpell, the Marie A. Moore Professor of Ethics and Animal Welfare at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, suggests that these differences are influenced by pet owner’s personalities. His study collected data from 1,564 Cocker Spaniel owners and found a strong correlation between owner traits and pet traits.

According to his study, harsh methods of training dogs, such as beating or using shock collars, led to aggressive habits, such as persistent barking and separation anxiety. In addition, emotionally stable pet owners reported less instances of their dogs urinating in the house when left alone. Research from biologists at the University of Vienna and Oxford showed consistent findings —the dogs in their experiment mimicked the actions of their owners.

Two groups of dogs were taught to open a box with their heads and their paws, whereas their owners would only open boxes with their hands. Dogs that mimicked their owners by opening with their paws learned the skill, on average, three times as fast as the dogs that did not mimic their owners.

Since the data was drawn from self-reported surveys, the study’s conclusions may not be completely accurate. Still, James Serpell has said that his research warrants further exploration and could help pet owners train their pets more effectively.

Vol. 11, No. 15 – Apr 25 – May 8, 2018 – The Pet Page

Little Roni was rescued by Surfcat weeks after the fire; she was treated for serious burns before being adopted by a new family.

• A message of hope for the families of Thomas Fire cats
Surfcat Rescue and Adoptions urges residents to keep looking for their missing cats

The story is heartbreakingly common. During the harrowing first hours of the Thomas Fire, with just minutes to evacuate, many residents were unable to locate and/or catch their cats. They were forced to leave them behind in order to escape the flames that quickly engulfed the hillsides and hundreds of homes. In the days that followed, devastated families searched the charred remains of their neighborhoods and scoured the web pages of local animal rescues in the desperate hope that their cat had somehow survived. When these efforts failed, they grieved, believing their beloved pets had perished in the flames.

But Leslie Weiss, founder of Surfcat Rescue and Adoptions, is reaching out with a message of hope to anyone whose cat is still missing. “We’ve learned valuable lessons from fire cat rescue teams up in Northern California,” explains Weiss. “Even months after the Tubbs Fire, cats that had long since been presumed dead were being trapped and returned to their families! The old cliché that cats have nine lives really isn’t very far from the truth. Given the opportunity, cats will survive. They’ll escape, they’ll hide, and they’ll hunker down and shelter in place until it’s safe to come out. We’re not giving up, and neither should you.”

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, learning from the successes of other rescues faced with similar challenges, Surfcat purchased motion sensor/infrared wildlife cameras, secured donations of plastic storage boxes, food and water bowls, and went to work. Putting the word out on social media, Surfcat made connections with people who were looking for their lost kitties in both the burn areas and in evacuation areas. Setting up “critter cam/feeding stations” and employing expert trappers, Surfcat began identifying, rescuing, and reuniting kitties with their families. These rescues felt like miracles and the reunions gave people who had lost everything new hope for the future.

Surfcat is still in rescue-recover-reunite mode, and has compiled a comprehensive database of cats still missing due to the Thomas Fire. If you lost a cat in the burns areas or in evacuation areas you can register them with Surfcat Rescues and Adoption. Go to to register your missing cat or call 500-7125.

Search Team member Cynthia Sato, musician Jack Johnson , dog Roxy, SDF Staff members Serenity Nichols and Denise Sanders at the Jack Johnson and Friend community benefit concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl held on March 18th.

• The night of December 4, 2017, will forever be remembered at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation as the night that they narrowly escaped disaster at the National Training Center (NTC), when the Thomas Fire raged through the canyon. Though they evacuated all dogs and staff in plenty of time and the main buildings were spared, they did sustain over $2.5 million in damages to Search City, the Train Wreck prop, the historic Boone’s Cabin, and landscape and maintenance equipment throughout the campus. It will take a great deal of time and effort to restore the NTC to its original state.

Just a month after the fire, 18 SDF-trained Search Teams responded to the devastating Montecito mudslides to help search for survivors amidst the debris. The grueling week-long deployment tested the resilience of search and rescue community and proved that inter-agency teamwork and focused determination is a critical part of a strong and reliable emergency response network when the unthinkable occurs.

They are dedicated like never before to rebuilding the NTC and continuing to provide these amazing Search Teams with the essential skills necessary to maintain top deployment readiness.

Disasters will happen, and it’s our job to be ready when they do. To learn more, and to donate to the Foundation visit

Canine Adoption and Rescue League seeks participants, visitors, and of course, dog lovers of all ages.

• Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) seeks participants, visitors, and of course, dog lovers of all ages for its much-anticipated 21st Annual Pooch Parade! This unique event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at Ventura Beach Promenade Park.

In addition to the parade, there will be races, pet-related vendors and displays, food, live music, beer and wine, demos, a silent auction and fun contests and 5k and10k races.

Registration forms, and fees are available online at T-shirts will be given to the first 250 entrants.

A Silent Auction featuring hundreds of special items will be held on-site. Proceeds will help pay for supplies and medical care for dogs and puppies in C.A.R.L.’s Second Chance Program.

C.A.R.L is a non-profit, Ventura County-based organization almost entirely run by volunteers. For more information, email or visit or

Beloved pet and companion of Raul Acosta. “Trouble” was 13 years old and a proud member of the Buddy Nation family. “Trouble” loved his walks on the beach and he is at rest there now. He is sorely missed by Raul, Cappi, Patti, Gill, Danny, Betty, Debi, Regina, Janet, Stephanie, Copper, Orange, Charlie, Jack, Alice and his Harbor Boulevard friends.

Vol. 11, No. 14 – Apr 11 – Apr 24, 2018 – The Pet Page

Remembering Professor Scamp 2002-2017

• SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends.
Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 on Friday, April 20th.
Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.
For the homeless April 27 at 110 N. Olive, Ventura.

• Favorite dog breeds in America
by: Victoria Usher

Labradors continue to be America’s most popular purebred dog for the twenty-seventh year in a row. German Shepherds come in second place, Golden Retrievers come in third place, and Frenchies come in fourth place according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) rankings.

After that the Bulldog is fifth, the Beagle is sixth, the Poodle is seventh, the Rottweiler is eighth, the Yorkshire Terrier is ninth, and the German Shorthaired Pointer is tenth.

The versatile, sociable Labrador has had the longest-ever reign as the top dog. The French Bulldog went from being in the seventy-sixth spot to being in the fourth spot in just twenty years and the downsized Bulldogs with the pointed ears have become a favorite among city dwellers who value compact, relatively quiet dogs. Both the Siberian Husky and the Australian Shepherd have also jumped into the top twenty in the last decade.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have estimated that there are about seventy million pet dogs nationwide and that there are over seventy-four million pet cats nationwide. Animal-rights activists say that purebred fads drive puppy mills, consign other dogs that are not purebred to shelters, and prioritize looks over health. The AKC argue that breeding preserves specific traits that can actually be helpful to police when picking K-9s or helpful to households when choosing suitable pets. But whether purebred or mixed breed, “the most important thing is that you love the dog that is yours and that you responsibly own it and care for it,” says AKC spokeswoman Gina DiNardo.

• Cesar’s dog training advice: “My dog is eating feces” JoAnn

Dear JoAnn,

Eating feces is normal with many different animal species. In dogs, it is not part of the digestive process, but it is a normal cleaning behavior in mother dogs with pups. Some dogs eat stool even without puppies in a misguided attempt to clean either the yard or their kennel. This can easily turn into a habit.

Malnourished dogs who lack nutrients in their diet or are unable to digest the nutrients in their food may resort to eating partially digested food in poop in order to meet their nutritional needs. Consult your vet about the best diet for your dog, and also to rule out any existing medical problem associated with coprophagia, the scientific name.

After addressing dietetic needs, and ruling our medical conditions, you’ll have to break the habit. There are two approaches to stopping the behavior. The most common approach is to use either Adolph’s meat tenderizer or a product called “For-bid”. These products are supposed to give the stool a bitter flavor when eaten. In my experience, these products are only successful some of the time. Another approach that may work better is to find the stool in the yard and cover it with a hot sauce, such as Habanero sauce, that will be uncomfortable to eat but cause no real damage.

Dr. Sherry Weaver

•Let’s face it, dogs are territorial animals by nature. They like to protect their territory, their family, and their belongings. Territorial marking is different from urination because it is only a small amount to make other dogs aware that this is their territory. When people notice that their dog has been marking around the house, it is not usually done out of spite, but out of insecurity.

For a dog, this insecurity may be a sense that their area is under siege by another person or animal inside the house, or even outside in some cases. Territoriality is not always a bad thing, but it is definitely bad for your home, because it involves urination around things or places that “belong” to the dog; exposure to the scent later can also trigger re-marking. What you can do about it in the next issue.

Vol. 11, No. 13 – Mar 28 – Apr 10, 2018 – The Pet Page

Photo by Michael Gordon

Canine Adoption and Rescue League(CARL) was presented a check from Meridian Design and Construction. Pictured owner Justin Shipp, Sharon Clark, executive director of CARL, Sara Masterson, Meridian Design consultant, Jessica Whitney, CARL kennel supervisor and the handsome guy is Rascal who is up for adoption.

The Ventura Police K-9 Units has received a gift from the Herman Bennett Foundation.

Officer Therrien and K9 Yoschi, Officer Rodriguez and K9 Rover, Sgt. Welch and Officer Ortega and K9 Miles were there to accept the gift.

• The Herman Bennett Foundation is a private non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization that is dedicated to working with local veterinarians and other related organizations to determine target areas most in need of both education and assisting low income pet owners and Feral Cats with the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs.

The Herman Bennett Foundation has also expanded their operation to include assisting the Military/Service Dogs with their medical requirements (not covered by any agency); supporting Animal Rescue Groups and “No-Kill” Animal Shelters.

Marvin Fisher, Marketing Director for the Herman Bennett Foundation put the fundraiser together for the Ventura PD K-9 unit. They gave them a check for $1,180. The event was at Bistro13 in Camarillo on Feb. 12.

They also have a thrift store in Camarillo, 601 Mobil Ave. that has been up and running for over 2 years.

• The Purrfect Cat Café is Ventura County’s first and only “cat-fe.” Unlike ordinary café’s the Purrfect Cat is a feline friends facility where guests for $10 (children 8 to 12 and seniors over 65 are $5) are provided with a complimentary drink and a snack in a setting where they can curl up with a dozen adoptable kitties of all ages and breeds.

All of its friendly cats are rescues from local animal shelters, or owner surrenders, and must meet a stringent set of guidelines to become a member of the “lounge cats.” Their health and temperament are paramount to ensure a safe and happy experience for everyone – both two and four legged. In the 8 months since opening its doors, the Purrfect Cat Café has found loving families for 30 of its “alumni.”

People of all ages and abilities have visited the café, the facility is wheelchair accessible. The facility can be rented for private parties.

The Purrfect Cat Café is located at 5800 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 142 in Camarillo and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Call for reservations 419-6116 or send a request thought the website

• Medical marijuana for animals

by: Victoria Usher

The people of Albany, New York might be able to provide medical marijuana for their animals soon. Legislation was introduced recently by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, Westchester County, that would change the New York law to allow veterinarians to prescribe medical marijuana to animals. “Medical marijuana has helped countless people in the management and treatment of chronic and debilitating illnesses,” Paulin’s bill states. “Research suggests that animals can also benefit from cannabis use to similarly treat their ailments.”

Two other states that are also considering legislation to legalize medical marijuana for animals are Nevada and California, saying it could help pets with chronic illnesses. “This could be helpful to many animals in need of relief, especially those that have chronic illnesses and for whom more traditional medical treatment has not proven to be effective,” Paulin’s bill said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has moved cautiously with expanding the state’s medical marijuana program. According to the state Health Department the medical marijuana program currently has 1,500 registered practitioners and about 47,600 patients. As more states in the United States legalize marijuana, pet owners are giving their animals cannabis to help treat anything from anxiety to arthritis. However, veterinarians say there is still not enough scientific data to prove that it is safe and effective for animals.