Category Archives: The Pet Page

Vol. 15, No. 17 – May 18 – May 31, 2022 – The Pet Page

 

∙ SPAN Thrift Store is open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools. SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low-income households for cats and dogs. Upcoming clinics: May 24th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015. And May 31st in the parking lot of SPAN Thrift Store, 110 N. Olive St., Ventura. Please call to schedule an appointment – (805) 584-3823.

A dog was found abandoned and tied to a fire hydrant in Green Bay, prompting the Wisconsin Humane Society to remind everyone it will never turn away an animal in need.

The dog had a note with her explaining the owners could not take care of her anymore.

Abandoned dog Baby Girl rescued.

The dog, named “Baby Girl,” was left with a bag filled with dog food, treats and toys.

Baby Girl is now being cared for at the WHS, and she’s “doing great.”

∙Fake meds from online sellers could prove dangerous to your pet

By Keely Arthur, WRAL consumer reporter

Seventy percent of U.S. families own a pet, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, and they are spending more money on their furry friends, including $10 billion on pet medications alone, according to a Pet Medications in the U.S. report. Shopping online for medication can expose consumers and their animals to knockoffs that either do not work or could be dangerous.

Dr. Jennifer Shults is a veterinarian and the owner of Veterinary Emergency Care of Cary. Shults is seeing more pets with faulty medications in their system in the Triangle, especially during and since the pandemic. She tells Five on Your Side that fake heartworm and flea prevention medication and fake injectable arthritis medications are the biggest offenders. She says that in all cases the medications were purchased online.

“If you your pet takes the wrong medication, there is certainly a risk of death,” Shults said.

At the very least, she says a pet will not get the treatment it needs or get the preventative treatment it needs to keep a problem from arising. Shults suggests pet owners get their prescriptions through their local vet

If you suspect your pet has received counterfeit parasite preventative products, please call the National Pesticide Information Center (N.P.I.C.) toll-free at 1-800-858-7378. To report the retailer you purchased the product from, alert the E.P.A.

∙HealthDay News: If longevity were a priority when choosing a pup, Jack Russell terriers and Yorkshire terriers would be top picks.

Those little dynamos have the longest life expectancy of a host of common dog breeds, according to a new study by Dr. Dan O’Neill, an associate professor of companion animal epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire, England.

Jack Russells and Yorkies have a life expectancy of nearly 13 years, O’Neill and his colleagues found after poring over thousands of dog records in the United Kingdom.

On the other hand, flat-faced breeds such as French bulldogs (Frenchies) and pugs tend to depart this world earlier than average, the study found.

Although they’re all the rage now, Frenchies live only around 5 years, which is less than other flat-faced breeds, including English bulldogs (7 years) and pugs (8 years), according to the study.

Those that are healthiest and live the longest are dogs that “look like dogs” — not too big or too small with snouts and tails, according to O’Neill.

“We’re looking at different configurations of dogs, mainly by breed, and we’re seeing that life span tells us a story about the general health of these dogs,” he said.

O’Neill and the team analyzed more than 30,500 records of dog deaths throughout the United Kingdom between 2016 and 2020. They categorized dogs into18 breeds recognized by the Kennel Club and also some types of crossbreeds. Using these data, they created tables that calculated life expectancy starting at birth.

Besides Jack Russells and Yorkies, other long-lived breeds include border collies and springer spaniels, with an average life span of 12 years.

Across all breeds, the average life expectancy for male dogs was 11.1 years, about four months shy of the estimate for females. Neutered dogs had a life expectancy of close to 12 years for females and 11.5 years for males. Life expectancy for unneutered dogs was about 10.5 years for males and females.

O’Neill recommends putting some thought into choosing a dog: Be conscious of the animal’s health and life span and the life that the animal would like to live.

“When you go out to buy a dog, think about the world from the dog’s point of view. Why buy a dog that will only live seven years and is likely to be plagued with illness?” he said.

O’Neill noted that human meddling is the cause of some unhealthy and short-lived breeds.

When people started keeping dogs for hobby and not for work, and the era of dog shows arrived, people started inventing breeds that didn’t exist in nature, and this stopped dogs from evolving naturally, O’Neill said.

“The ones that have the very short life span tend to be the ones with extreme configurations,” he pointed out.

These extremes include bigger or smaller than normal dogs, flat-faced dogs, dogs without tails and dogs with excessively wrinkled coats, O’Neill said.

Many of these engineered breeds have breathing problems, crowded teeth and eye abnormalities. Some can’t give birth normally, O’Neill noted.

Breeders have become more conscious of the health problems that shorten the lives of some breeds and are breeding dogs to eliminate these traits, said Dr. Jose Arce, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

When selecting a dog, Arce suggests making sure it matches your lifestyle.

“How many hours you’re going to spend in the house, how long you’re gone, the size of where you live, because certain breeds need exercise regularly and to socialize. Other breeds can adapt to apartment life and don’t need as much social life,” Arce said.

Also, taking good care of your dog can extend its life and yours, he said.

“We want our pets to live as long as possible,” Arce said. “We know how positive, how important the human animal bond is, and how dogs living with people help people live longer, healthier lives, so the longer the pet lives, the healthier and the longer the owner is going to live.”

Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer at the American Kennel Club, said the application of life tables is still in its infancy.

However, “life tables generated in the current study promote not only a better understanding of the life trajectory of dogs, but also may offer several applications for the veterinary profession and research to study and improve the health and welfare of dogs,” Klein said.

CMH therapy dogs are always ready to help with patient’s needs.

Vol. 15, No. 16 – May 4 – May 17, 2022 – The Pet Page

∙ The Ventura Police Department adopted a therapy comfort dog to improve the physical, social, and emotional well-being of officers, staff, and community members in crisis and after having experienced trauma.

Asher, a 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle mix, or Cavadoodle, was donated to the department by VIP Dog Teams, a local non-profit dedicated to improving people’s health through promoting the human-animal bond that leads to healing.

“When first responders are equipped to deal with adverse reactions to stress, they are better prepared to handle situations fairly, calmly, respectfully, and empathetically,” said Police Chief Darin Schindler. “I am excited to add Asher to our dedicated team of public servants to help enhance the health and wellness of our employees and residents.”

Asher was donated to the Ventura Police Department.

As a therapy comfort dog, Asher’s functions include easing tension and lowering post incident stress and anxiety levels for employees, soothing victims and witnesses of crimes, providing support to those impacted by traumatic events, and visiting other City departments and various community events for educational purposes.

After an internal interview and selection process, Business Services Officer, Roger Wang, was selected to serve in a collateral assignment as Asher’s handler. Asher has completed American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen certification. Prior to being ready for service, Asher and his handler will complete Canine Good Citizen Testing and a Public Access Test.

When Asher is not on the job, he will be on-call 24/7, but will go home with his handler and serve as a family dog.

Asher joins a robust wellness program consisting of time dedicated to physical fitness, a peer support team, critical incident stress management debriefings, and mandated annual mental health check-ins with a certified clinician. Learn more about the Ventura Police Wellness Program at www.CityofVentura.ca.gov/Wellness.

Continued veterinary expenses, food, and grooming for Asher will be covered by the Ventura Police Community Foundation. Learn more about the Ventura Police Community Foundation at www.VenturaPoliceFoundation.org.

∙ Join us at Ventura Bark and Meow for a fun-filled dog-friendly day at Mission Park in Ventura. It’s a party for your dog, but you can come too!

We are Homes Fur All, a 501©3 Non-profit organization dedicated to saving rescue pets. Our mission is to bring fun dog friendly community festivals and pet adoption to communities in and around Los Angeles and raise awareness that “Fostering Saves Shelter Pets”.

Ventura Bark and Meow will take place on Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 12 Noon to 5pm. There’s free admission and will be filled with activities, contests, freebies, along with a rescue pet adoption! Come check out the Dog-o-sphere and the Furball Express Rescue Train where kids and doggies can take a ride. We will also have live entertainment, food trucks, and raffles!

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact us – www.barkfest.org

Free tickets can be found on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ventura-bark-meow-tickets-66485093705 Homes Fur All: www.HomesFurAll.org

The National Training Center is Once Again Filled with Visiting Search Teams!

∙ The National Training Center is once again filled with visiting search teams!

Over the last few months, we’ve welcomed visiting teams to our campus with increasing frequency, providing them with the unique training opportunities needed to keep them ready to deploy. Canine disaster search teams from California, Utah, and Nebraska task forces came to our National Training Center to sharpen their skills and practice their search technique on various disaster simulations that mimic real-world scenarios.

We have had several visits from the handlers enrolled in our Handler Training Program, which combines classroom learning with real-life disaster scenarios designed to teach canine handlers new skills and sharpen their competencies in preparation for pairing with a canine partner.

Lending valuable authenticity to these scenes were our very own SDF volunteers who participated as victims during the searches. Even though we had one day of uncharacteristically rainy weather for Southern California, our volunteer victims were eager to help and didn’t let muddy conditions on campus dampen their enthusiasm!

Everyone had a blast gaining first-hand experience, and the visiting teams appreciated SDF’s support in exposing their canines to new human scents and increasing the number of searches they could perform. We expect many of these teams, along with those who could not travel due to COVID, to be back for follow-up training in the coming months!

Your gift to Search Dog Foundation could have double the impact. Many employers offer matching gift programs that double, or even triple, charitable contributions made by their employees. Ask your employer today if they will match your donation!

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation
6800 Wheeler Canyon Road
Santa Paula, CA 93060

Livi is very excited to visit patients at VCMC again beginning on Doctors’ Day May 19.

Vol. 15, No. 15 – Apr 20 – May 3, 2022 – The Pet Page

SPAN Thrift Store is open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you have any of these items you no longer use.  SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spay and neuter clinics for low-income households for cats and dogs. Three upcoming clinics are Thursday, May 5th at 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard; Tuesday, May 10th in the parking lot of Shiells Park, 649 C St., Fillmore and Tuesday, May 24th, also in the parking lot of Shiells Park. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

The loss of a loved one can have a profound impact on humans, affecting everything from sleep patterns to appetite. Now researchers say they have found similar behavior changes in dogs who have lost a canine companion. While the team say it is not clear if the findings can be described as grief, they say the work potentially indicates an overlooked welfare issue.

Dr Federica Pirrone of the University of Milan, who is one of the study’s authors, said: “Dogs are highly emotional animals who develop very close bonds with the members of the familiar group. This means that they may be highly distressed if one of them dies and efforts should be made to help them cope with this distress.”

Expressions of grief are not unique to humans: great apes, dolphins, elephants and birds are among species that have been observed to take part in rituals around death and appear to mourn.

Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, Pirrone and colleagues describe how they analysed the responses of 426 Italian adults who completed a “mourning dog questionnaire” online to investigate how canines experience grief.

All of the participants had experienced the loss of one of their dogs while at least one other dog was still alive, and the questionnaire looked at the behaviour and emotions of the owner and their surviving dogs after the death.

The results reveal that 86% of owners said their surviving dogs had shown behavioural changes after the death of another canine in the household.

Pirrone said: “Overall, dogs were reported to play and eat less, sleep more and seek more for owners’ attention.” She said the results did not appear to be affected by the level of attachment between the owner and their dog or whether they humanised their pets, suggesting the owners were not simply projecting their grief.

The team said the changes did not turn out to be linked to how long the dogs had lived together or whether the surviving dogs had seen the corpse.The researchers said there were a number of possible explanations for the findings, including that the death may have disrupted shared behaviors for the surviving dogs.

In support of this hypothesis we found that if dogs used to share food during life, the surviving dog was more likely to reduce her/his level of activities and sleep more after the loss,” the authors wrote.

The results also revealed behavioral changes were stronger for dogs that were reported to have had a friendly relationship with the animal that had died, or who had been their parent or offspring.

Pet scams

By Shawndrea Thomas

Pet scams are on the rise and the Better Business Bureau has a warning for anyone looking to buy online. Cats, dogs, and birds, you name it, scammers are working overtime to get your money. Denisse Alvarez with the BBB of Southern Arizona says scams are growing by the day and victims are losing thousands of dollars online.

“We’ve seen up to $5,000. It is something that we have seen increase during the pandemic, and it continues we get calls about it all the time,” Alvarez said. “They are selling them for an unbelievable price and people are thinking oh this breed is thousands of dollars and I’m getting it for $500.”

Thieves are preying on those who have spent a lot of time alone during the pandemic and want companionship. One red flag is an excessive line of questioning about where the animal is going. Scammers use this tactic to gain a buyers trust while giving victims a false sense of security.

“Research shows that 80% of those ads are fake,” Alvarez said. “They are sponsored ads, so they put in money to get the sponsor ad out there on social media.”

Alvarez says victims send in a down payment, then suddenly the fake seller is asking for more money to pay for hidden charges like travel and veterinarian fees, fees that start to stack up for a pet that never arrives or doesn’t exist. “People fall in love with those pictures, and they start sending money,” Alvarez said. “The ads that they see online are really enticing for them to pay a low price for the type of breed that they want to get.”

The faces of dogs have evolved over tens of thousands of years to make them more appealing to humans, unlike the wild wolves they descended from, a new study suggests.

The research shows that the facial muscles of dogs have a much higher proportion of “fast-twitch” muscle fibers than wolves, and scientists think this lets dogs more effectively communicate their feelings to their owners.

The same researchers were involved a few years ago in the discovery that dogs have developed a muscle above their eyes that they use to make their eyes look larger and create that endearing “puppy dog eyes” expression. That study found that the muscle was undeveloped in wolves, which suggests that “puppy dog eyes” is something dogs have evolved specifically to manipulate people.

Taken together, the muscle changes suggest dogs’ faces have evolved anatomically to improve their connections with people, said biological anthropologist Anne Burrows, a professor of physical therapy at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and the leader of the project.

It’s quite a remarkable difference between dogs and wolves,” she said. “They just don’t move their faces in the same way.”

Burrows and animal physiologist Kailey Omstead, a colleague at Duquesne, presented preliminary findings of their research at the Experimental Biology 2022 meeting in Philadelphia.

They found that the muscles in dogs’ faces are 66 percent to 95 percent fast-twitch fibers, while wolves average about 25 percent.

The muscles of all mammals, humans and dogs included, are made of millions of fibers of a protein called myosin. Each muscle has a mix of fast-twitch fibers that contract quickly but are fast to fatigue, and slow-twitch fibers that are slower to contract but don’t tire as fast.

The muscles in human faces are dominated by fast-twitch fibers, so we can express thoughts on our faces in an instant, but not for long.

By Tom Metcalfe

With spring planting in full swing, gardeners should keep in mind that not all plant varieties are safe for pets. In fact, some are deadly and should be avoided if there are pets in the household.

Choosing the right plants to make our gardens bloom but also be safe for pets can be a daunting task — some plants are toxic for dogs but not cats, and vice versa, so it is important to do your homework before choosing what to plant.

Some of the most common poisonous plants that should be avoided for pets include:

SAGO PALM: Also known as the Palm Sunday palm, these plants are widely popular in our area, especially this time of year. The entire plant, and the seeds in particular, contain a potent toxin called cycasin that can be fatal, even if the animal only eats a single seed.

Ingestion of any part or amount of this plant warrants immediate emergency veterinarian treatment. Symptoms include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, abnormal fluid accumulation in the abdomen, abdominal pain, jaundice and black-tarry stool. A dog may also experience weakness, seizures, tremors and severe liver failure. Even with aggressive treatment, the survival rate is about 50%.

AZALEAS: Ingesting even a few leaves can cause serious issues such as upset stomach, drooling, loss of appetite, weakness and leg paralysis, and in some cases, coma or death.

HYDRANGEAS: These are poisonous to cats, dogs and horses. All parts of the plant are toxic because they contain cyanogenic glycoside. Signs of ingestion include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, confusion and depression.

BIRDS OF PARADISE: Toxic for both dogs and cats, they also can be fatal for rabbits. They can cause intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing and loss of coordination is possible.

With spring planting in full swing, gardeners should keep in mind that not all plant varieties are safe for pets. In fact, some are deadly and should be avoided if there are pets in the household.

Vol. 15, No. 14 – Apr 6 – Apr 19, 2022 – The Pet Page

∙ Medication is an often-underutilized tool that can greatly help with managing aggression in dogs, according to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall.“I’ve never not treated aggression with medication, because aggression is fundamentally an anxiety disorder,” said Dr. Overall, a professor of behavioral medicine at the University of Prince Edward Island Atlantic Veterinary College. “We change how the dog thinks by using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants that work by remodeling neurons and make acquiring new behaviors easier,” she explained.

Approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year, and more than 800,000 dog-bite victims require medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dogs with unaddressed behavioral problems not only threaten public health but are more likely to be surrendered and euthanized. To the untrained eye, a snarling or barking dog may be seen as overly threatening or aggressive when in fact the dog is behaving normally in the particular situation. As Dr. Overall explained, agonistic behaviors are complex social interactions that manifest as displays of dominance, submission, and reconciliation.

“No, no, not the pants!”

These behaviors can appear aggressive and include biting but are ultimately a normal part a dog’s behavioral repertoire. “Maybe there are communication errors or uncertainty, or maybe a dog was behaving aggressively but reconsidered after obtaining more information from one of the participants,” Dr. Overall said. “Implicit here is one party makes a statement, the other party responds, and they go from there.”

Determining whether aggressive behaviors are normal or inappropriate is the context in which they occur. One example of normal aggression is a dog snarling when another dog in the household, after eating its own meal, tries to eat the meal that the snarling dog is eating. In contrast, abnormal or pathological aggression occurs out of context or over an extended period of time. It also manifests as an extreme overreaction given the situation.

“Hurry up I need to go!”

“Inherent in these comparisons is that the response to a triggering circumstance is episodic in fear and fear aggression, but chronic in anxiety since the initial trigger is the underlying state itself,” Dr. Overall said.

Fearful dogs choose to withdraw. They want distance between themselves and whatever is scaring them. They’ll back off and lower every part of their body. Anxious dogs, on the other hand, won’t retreat but must scan and monitor the situation. Their anxiety prevents them from interrupting what is happening in a given context.

Key to treating aggression is identifying the context and causes for the behavior. Before a dog becomes aggressive, there is first an arousal phase in which the dog reacts to negative stimuli. The arousal phase can occur quickly and is easily missed, Dr. Overall said.

“You don’t realize how fast it happens,” she said. “The window closes so quickly, maybe a tenth of a second. People say they tried to redirect the dog when it becomes aggressive, but it’s too late at that point.”

Clients can participate in their dog’s treatment by using a smartphone to make a recording of their pet that a veterinarian can review. “We want videos. We want to see what they do in their home environment. All the information is right there,” Dr. Overall said.

Four drug compounds are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat some forms of canine anxiety: clomipramine, fluoxetine, dexmedetomidine, and imepitoin.

Dr. Overall considers treatment with drugs as a complement to behavioral modification, which rewards positive behaviors and ignores unwanted behaviors.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week, sponsored by the AVMA, is being held this year from April 10-16.

∙ Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating with Your Cat
From body language to training tips, here’s how to build better bonds with feline pals.

by Brittany Edelmann

Do: Watch Their Body Language

If your cat approaches you with his or her tail up, like a question mark, this can mean it is “probably going to be friendly, or at least comfortable with the interaction that is going on so far,” Lilly explains. But, if there is slow movement and low-to-the-ground posture, pretending as though the cat “doesn’t exist” to increase comfortability prior to interaction can help, Lilly says. Likewise, if the ears are pinned back, “then they’re not a happy cat,” says Marina Jaworsky, associate veterinary at Green Tree Animal Hospital in Libertyville, Illinois.

Don’t: Reprimand Your Cat

If you pet your cats or try to get them to come near you and they become scared or uncomfortable, they may decide they’ve had enough, “and they might even nip at you,” Jokela says. Even if you think your pet is being mean — what cat owner hasn’t? — don’t act out against them. Yelling, scolding, or even spraying water on them will “definitely break the bond,” Jokela says.

Don’t: Use Laser Pointers

Playing with your cat can help you form a stronger bond, Jokela says. But laser pointers, which many cats seem to love, may not be the best toy. The caveat? When cats are constantly chasing something that they will never catch, it can create or worsen OCD and obsessive tendencies, where your kitty is “always looking out for this thing because they don’t get the satisfaction of catching it at the end,” Castro says. Left with nothing to nab, this can leave cats stressed and contribute to health and behavior issues. One 2021 research study showed increased reports of abnormal repetitive behaviors the more that laser light pointers were used.

Every cat is different. Understanding what they like and don’t like, keeping stress to a minimum and making them as comfortable as possible is key to a better relationship. What’s most important? “Respecting their boundaries and interacting in a way that they want to interact, versus the way you may want to interact, can be beneficial for your relationship,” Castro says.

Vol. 15, No. 12 – Mar 9 – Mar 22, 2022 – The Pet Page

My name is Frederic Bisson and I need your help.

I’m a long distance truck driver based in Montreal, Canada. Last month, I was making deliveries in Ventura and I had to spend the weekend in the area before the next scheduled appointment.

I am traveling with my 2 cats: Lea and Stella. In my pre-pandemic life, I worked as a journalist and a radio host and I left everything behind to experience this new life on the road with my cats.

Have you seen Stella?

At 35, I received a diagnostic of autism (Asperger) and that’s when I knew that I had to change my life because working in the media was too much stress.

I’m sending this email because my little cat Stella ran away during my first night staying at Motel 6 in Ventura. She pushed the screened window open and never came back. Unfortunately, I had to leave because of my trucking work.

I’ve posted some pictures on a Facebook group and many volunteers from your area went searching, posted signs and installed cameras near the motel. It’s one of the volunteers that gave me the idea to send my story to your newspaper.

Being autistic, cats are really important in my life. I’ve been so sad and depressed since Stella ran away and I don’t know what more I can do to find her. What is she’s alive and was found by someone?

Here are a couple of pictures of her. If you have any questions, please call me back. I would fly back to California to be reunited with her. My boss is also trying to book some deliveries for me in California in the coming month.

Thank you!

Frederic Bisson
819-664-2643

∙ HSVC Cares is partnering with national nonprofit Petco Love to give pets their best shot for a healthy life by hosting free pet vaccine events during the month of March.

Petco Love established March as “National Pet Vaccination Month” to encourage pet parents to keep their pets up to date on vaccinations and will provide free pet vaccines to HSVC for family pets in need. As puppy and kitten season approaches, pet exposure to contagious and deadly diseases – parvovirus, distemper, and panleukopenia – increases but is preventable with a simple vaccine.

Free vaccine events will take place at the shelter, located at 402 Bryant St. in Ojai, on March 24th and March 31st. Walk-ins are welcome from 1 – 3 pm on March 24th and from 12 – 3 pm on March 31st. Free FVRCP (upper respiratory) vaccines for cats and free DHPP (distemper/parvo) vaccines for dogs will be offered in addition to $5 Rabies vaccines, $15 Bordetella vaccines, and $25 microchipping including registration.

A second cash-only remote free vaccine event will take place on March 26th from 12 – 4 pm at Westpark Community Center at 450 Harrison Ave in Ventura. Free FVRCP (upper respiratory) vaccines for cats and free DHPP (distemper/parvo) vaccines for dogs will be offered in addition to $5 Rabies vaccines at both of these events.

For more information about HSVC Cares’ vaccine event, visit hsvc.org, or contact the shelter via email at animals@hsvc.org or by phone at 805-646-6505. Learn more about Petco Love’s national vaccine effort and lifesaving impact at petcolove.org or freepetvaccines.org.

∙ Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) and six other members of Congress are speaking out for thousands of beagles suffering at a massive facility operated by Envigo in Cumberland, Virginia, that breeds dogs for experimentation. The legislators have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) urging the agency to fulfil its legal obligations and confiscate the dogs at Envigo or suspend the facility’s license over its critical, direct, and repeat violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Reps. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev., Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Elaine G. Luria (D-Va.), and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) also signed the letter.

Although the USDA cited Envigo—an Indiana-based $545 million company that sells dogs for experimentation all over the world—for 39 violations just between July and October 2021, it has failed to take meaningful action to protect the thousands of beagles who remain imprisoned at the facility.

“This lack of timely follow-through is not what Congress intended when it entrusted APHIS with investigating these violations of federal law,” wrote the representatives. “Please provide my office with … a complete explanation as to when APHIS will take these and other actions to render urgently needed aid to the roughly 5,000 dogs held at Envigo.”

Of the 39 violations Envigo was cited for between July and October 2021, 19 were direct or critical (having serious or severe adverse effects on the health and well-being of the animal) and 11 were repeat failures. Violations include these:

Only 17 staff members were employed to supply direct care to 5,000 dogs and puppies.

More than 300 puppies’ deaths were attributed to “unknown causes.”

One dead puppy was found eviscerated, and records showed that her kennelmates had “chewed on” her corpse.

Numerous dogs were denied care for “severe dental disease,” eye ailments, crusted and oozing sores on their paws, multiple skin lesions with “thickened” and “inflamed” tissue, and other wounds and conditions.

Three dogs had been killed in fights, and 71 others had been injured by dogs in adjacent kennels. Twenty-four dogs and puppies were missing, and nine dogs who had been injured when “body parts” were pulled through a kennel wall by other dogs and bitten, causing “physical harm and unnecessary pain,” were put down.

Thirteen mother dogs were denied food for 42 hours while nursing 78 puppies.

There were “old, dried, and moldy feces” in dog enclosures; up to six inches of feces piled in a gutter; one kennel with “at least nine or ten piles of feces”; and an “overpowering fecal odor” and a “strong sewage odor” in the facility.

For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

∙ Cats have a hard time competing with dogs because you know dogs are happy to see you from far away because you can hear them bark and see them wag their tails. When cats meow you need to be very close to them to hear so think of meowing as barking. When cats purr you need to be almost petting them to hear so think of purring as wagging their tails so they become just like dogs. And for some folks and illnesses cats are even better therapy animals. So, let’s hear it for cats

Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating with Your Cat

From body language to training tips, here’s how to build better bonds with feline pals.

by Brittany Edelmann

The do’s and don’ts provided here may help strengthen your bond with your cat, increasing the chances that they will be less stressed generally, and more inclined to relax and play, or just hang out with you. And that’s good for both of you, because physical interaction with a cat can be beneficial for your overall health. One 2019 study by scientists at Washington State University showed a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone, within just 10 minutes of interacting with cats (or dogs) compared to those who just observed interactions from afar. So give these tips a try.

Do: Turn up the Heat

“Cats … in general, like houses warmer than most Americans keep them,” Lilly says. A 2016 research study indicates that the ideal room temperature for felines is 86 to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit — much warmer than most humans prefer. Cranking up the thermostat, especially in winter, may be cost-prohibitive in many regions. But placing a heating pad next to you — one that is safe for claws and not too hot — creates a localized hot zone that can make cats “feel cozy and warm” and “is a great way to try and get your cat to hang out with you,” adds Lilly, who has three pads for her kitty: in the office, the bedroom and the living room.

Every cat is different. Understanding what they like and don’t like, keeping stress to a minimum and making them as comfortable as possible is key to a better relationship. What’s most important? “Respecting their boundaries and interacting in a way that they want to interact, versus the way you may want to interact, can be beneficial for your relationship,” Castro says.

 

Vol. 15, No. 11 – Feb 23 – Mar 8, 2022 – The Pet Page

SPAN Thrift Store is open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use. 

SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low-income households with cats and dogs.

Three upcoming clinics in March are: Tuesday, March 1st at the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036, a second one on Tuesday, March 8th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015, and a third one on Tuesday, March 15th

at SPAN Thrift Store parking lot, 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main),  

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

Happy 2022! We hope your year is off to as fantastic a start as ours has been here at SDF.

We were delighted to welcome teams back to our National Training Center for in-person visits this fiscal year. So far, we’ve had 71 working dog teams train with us on our rubble piles, in Search City, and at our new, improved agility yard—complete with specialized equipment built by an Eagle Scout candidate!

In December, we paired five search dogs with their first responder partners from California, Utah, and Virginia, and another eight search teams are currently progressing through our newly enhanced Handler Training Program.

Of course, we could not pair search teams without the amazing canines in our program, and our incredible SDF recruiters, dedicated shelter and rescue partners, and eagle-eyed volunteers have already recruited 18 dogs and counting into our forever family this year.

Rebar began life as a service dog trainee with Retrieving Freedom.

One of these recruits, Rebar, is a great example of why we love our SDF community: we couldn’t do it without you! Rebar began life as a service dog trainee with Retrieving Freedom, a nonprofit that places service dogs with disabled veterans and children with autism, and due to his tennis ball obsession, he soon found his way to SDF. Thanks to our friends at Angel Flight Central and Angel Flight West, Rebar traveled to our campus via volunteer pilots and landed on all four paws, ready to rock the rubble.

Through these partnerships and your support, Rebar is now well on his way to becoming a full-fledged search dog in the months to come. Thank you for helping this rambunctious boy become Part of the Search!

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

6800 Wheeler Canyon Road

Santa Paula (But it seems like Ventura)

∙ “It’s hard to say how dogs experience time,” Chyrle Bonk, a veterinary consultant at PetKeen.

If you’re a dog owner, you may have heard a myth tossed around that canines lack a sense of time. According to this myth, there is little cognitive difference for them between, say, two minutes and two hours.

Yui Shapard, a small-animal veterinarian and educational director of the Association of Asian Veterinary Medical Professionals, states that one minute of pain can feel like “forever” for a dog.

In a similar sense, when their humans leave them at home even for 30 minutes or three hours, to the dog it doesn’t matter the length of time,” she says. And “because dogs do not have a clear concept of time the way we humans do, they are always ‘living in the moment.’”

This common belief leads veterinarians to strongly advocate for quality of life, including, for example, pain relief for dogs during surgical procedures, she explains.

But not all veterinarians and animal behavior scientists agree that dogs have no sense of time. In fact, Katherine Pankratz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, believes the idea is actually somewhat of a misconception. “They do have a grasp of time intervals and the differences between a short duration and a long duration.”

Some dog owners would probably agree. After all, it’s not uncommon for dogs to wake up and wait by the door or window not long before their human comes home.

Scientific research also lends support to dogs understanding the difference between varying chunks of time.

A 2011 study found dogs “are affected by the duration of time at home alone,” even if the researchers could not confirm if the dogs were aware of the length of time they were left alone.

But it gets trickier when we compare the general sense of time in a dog’s mind to our precisely calculated human clocks. As Pankratz notes, we can’t really ask them if they understand time as we comprehend it.

Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating with Your Cat

By Brittany Edelmann

Ever wonder why your cat isn’t being very friendly, or doesn’t hang out with you often? While it’s true that some cats are extremely affectionate and won’t leave you alone, many just don’t seem to be fans of people and take that famous feline aloofness to the extreme.

The reality: While you may want your kitty to sit with you or do something you want them to do, cats are complex creatures that vary in personality and behavior. “Just like there are humans who aren’t into hugging and then there are humans who everybody they like they want to hug, there are some cats at both ends of that spectrum and everything between,” says M. Leanne Lilly, veterinarian and clinical assistant professor at Ohio State University.

And unlike dogs, who were purposefully domesticated by humans tens of thousands of years ago, cats were not trained or bred to be domesticated, says Gabrielle Castro, a fourth-year veterinarian student at Ohio State University. But with a little insight into feline behavior, you may be able to train your cat (a little), or at least communicate your wishes to them more effectively.

The do’s and don’ts provided here may help strengthen your bond with your cat, increasing the chances that they will be less stressed generally, and more inclined to relax and play, or just hang out with you. And that’s good for both of you, because physical interaction with a cat can be beneficial for your overall health. One 2019 study by scientists at Washington State University showed a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone, within just 10 minutes of interacting with cats (or dogs) compared to those who just observed interactions from afar. So give these tips a try.

Do: Blink Slowly

“How quickly you blink can affect your cat,” Lilly says. Who knew? Slowly opening and closing your eyes can make cats feel more comfortable and help you form a better connection with them. A 2020 study published in Scientific Reports defined slow blinks as “a series of half-blinks followed by either a prolonged eye narrow or an eye closure.” The researchers determined that cats are more likely to approach the experimenter who does this. It’s like a smile.

Do: Use Clicker Training

Training clickers, available in any pet store, can help to get shy cats to come to you and play, says Fiia Jokela, veterinarian and resident in the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. As part of the training, Jokela recommends using a long stick with a toy at the end. Each time your pet moves closer and his or her nose touches the end of the stick, make a clicking sound with the clicker and reward them with a treat or food that “the cat likes better than just the regular meal.” To learn more about this technique, check out YouTube videos such as Best Friends Animal Society’s “Clicker Training with Cats.”

Vol. 15, No. 10 – Feb 9 – Feb 22, 2022 – The Pet Page

SPAN Thrift Store is open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use. 

SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two upcoming clinics are: Tuesday, February 15th in the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main), and a second clinic in the SPARC parking lot, located at 705 E. Santa Barbara St., Santa Paula, 93060, on Tuesday, February 22nd. 

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

Families with a child on the autism spectrum might consider becoming cat people instead of dog people. Research fellow Gretchen Carlisle of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a longitudinal study placing shelter cats with Columbia families whose children are on the autism spectrum.

She found that autistic children significantly improve in social skills and behavior after adopting a cat. “After the adoption of their cat, parents rated their children as having an improvement in empathy and fewer problem behaviors,” Carlisle said. “Parents also rated their children as having less separation anxiety.”

Autistic children often respond in a very sensitive way to sound or movement, and a barking dog, for instance, could quickly create sensory overload, Carlisle said. The softness and silence of cats is something children on the autism spectrum appreciate more than people usually know.

Dogs can be very in your face and loud, whereas cats move quieter and softer, which may be easier for children with sensory issues,” she said. “We selected cats over dogs in this study specifically for that characteristic — their ability to move very quietly and calmly — and because so little research has been done on cats with children with autism.”

Families brought their children to the shelter and together decided which cat was the best fit for their family. “We wanted the families — and especially the children — to have a say over which cat they would take home with them,” Carlisle said.

The new cat owners were supplied with a starter kit, including food, litter, a cat carrier, toys and a climbing tree with a cubby hole. The families in the treatment group were also supplied with basic cat behavior information and access to a veterinary specialist, as well as the study staff at any time.

The research team not only monitored the children’s behavior through a social skills survey and their stress levels through an anxiety survey, but the cat’s stress levels as well.

The cats seemed to thoroughly enjoy their new home as well, Carlisle said. An easy way to spot sign of stress in cats is assessing weight loss due to lack of eating. In the study, the cats actually were so content that they gained weight.

Carlisle explained that previous research found that younger cats interacted more with children with autism, concluding that looking for a younger cat with a calm and social temperament is where to start the search for a new furry friend who may lend a helping paw to an autistic child.

The study was co-authored by Rebecca A. Johnson, Ze Wang, Jessica Bibbo, Nancy Cheak-Zamora, and Leslie A. Lyons.

Dogs can differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar human languages
b
y Harry Baker

They are the first non-human animals to be able to tell the difference between human languages.

If you were to move to a new country with a different language and bring along the family dog, your pet would likely have a hard time understanding commands from the locals, according to a new study looking at how dogs’ brains react to different languages.

MRI scans revealed that dogs’ brains can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar languages, making them the first-known, and so far only, non-human animals to be able to tell the difference between human languages.

The new study was conceived by lead author Laura Cuaya, a neurobiologist at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary.

Preventing Doggie Dementia
b
y Penny & Ed Cherubino

One of the great gifts you can give your dog in the next year is taking steps, no matter what their age, to prevent dementia and improve their quality of life. In dogs, dementia is called canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). Many of the same lifestyle habits known to help brain health in humans also apply to our dogs.

Researcher Sarah Yarborough at the University of Washington recently published her findings on common factors reported in dogs with CCD. Her study found, “… odds of CCD was 6.47 times higher in dogs who were not active compared to those who were very active.” In addition, she noted, “When controlling for age, breed type, activity level, and other comorbidities, dogs with a history of neurological, eye, or ear disorders had higher odds of CCD…”

These findings translate to the same steps that we can take ourselves to promote healthier aging. You protect your dog from CCD by increasing exercise, and by doing it together, you protect yourself. It’s a win-win situation. Always consult both your doctors before starting any big change in exercise routines.

We know that loss of sensory input increases the danger of dementia in humans. That’s why seniors need to have their hearing tested and use hearing aids as recommended. Scientists are working on hearing aids for dogs, and corrective eye surgery for dogs is now standard. However, we as guardians can make sure we are aware of and provide the necessary care to prevent ear and eye infections from causing deafness and blindness.

Some humans do crossword puzzles to engage their brains. You can provide your dog with brain stimulation by engaging her in play and training or retraining sessions. Old dogs can and should learn new tricks and training is a lifelong responsibility for dog families.

Prevention is a lifelong program to prevent brain degeneration. However, there are still things you can do if your older dog is showing symptoms of CCD. Don’t just blame old age if your dog is losing housetraining and soiling your home. Report this to your veterinary team because it may be a dementia symptom or something else that can be corrected.

Changes in a dog’s sleep/wake cycles are another reportable symptom, as is disorientation. You might also see increased separation anxiety, phobias, excessive vocalization, and changes in a dog’s interaction with people and other animals.

As your dog ages, note changes in these areas and ask your veterinarian to help you choose the best interventions for your particular animal. Keeping a log of what you notice is a great way to monitor how long changes have been happening and whether they are worsening or getting better.

Vol. 15, No. 09 – Jan 26 – Feb 8, 2022 – The Pet Page

∙ From CARL:

2021 started out just as tough as 2020 ended. With the pandemic continuing into its second year, our rescue saw a continued large increase in owner surrenders and more dogs looking for their second chance at a happy life waiting in high kill shelters. We have seen such tremendous support for the dogs in our rescue thanks to our rescue village. With over 100 finding their forever homes this year, we have a few stories that have touched our hearts, that we wanted to share with you all.

April 2021: Sasha was found as a stray and ended up at the Devore Animal Shelter in San Bernardino County. She was immediately put on the euthanasia list and hidden in their quarantine section due to her behavior. She was labeled as aggressive and her future looked grim. Thankfully we were able to save her and she gained a second chance. Once she arrived we saw a very young girl who was looking for structure and training. We knew it was going to take a special person to be the one to adopt her.

Fast forward to November 2021, and Sasha is now in her forever home. Her new owner loves her just as much as we all did. She likes to spend her time drinking from the water hose and lounging at the picnic table.

What started out as a pandemic foster, turned into a forever home for CARL long term resident Mamba. It was never understood why Mamba was never adopted during her 12 years at CARL. She is a very happy gal with good spirits and a loveable smile. Maybe she had fallen victim to “Black Dog Syndrome” , maybe it was because she wasn’t the right fit for those who were interested, or maybe she was closer to her person than anyone realized.

In early 2017, Chrissy began volunteering with CARL and soon enough she became Mamba’s friend. Over the years they created a special bond and once the pandemic hit, Chrissy chose Mamba to be her work from home buddy after spending years in a kennel environment. After a year of being roommates, Chrissy knew she had to make it official. Mamba now spends her day lounging around the house, watching neighbors from the window, and seeing her other 4-legged friends around her home.

How you can help today:
Dog rescue never stops and everyday a new surprise arises. We have been fortunate to continue to save the lives of countless dogs who are looking for their forever homes. Below are a few ways to help benefit the dogs at CARL:

Donate directly to CARL through Network for Good or Paypal
Donate items from our Amazon Wishlist
Use the WoofTrax app when you go for a walk
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
Canine Adoption and Rescue League
PO Box 5022
Ventura, CA 93005

∙ SPAN Thrift Store is open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use.
SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.
Three upcoming clinics are: Tuesday, February 8th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015, a second clinic on Tuesday, February 15th in the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main), and a third clinic in the SPARC parking lot, located at 705 E. Santa Barbara St., Santa Paula, 93060, on Tuesday, February 22nd.
Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙ Dear Friends,

Ventura County Animal Services participated in the #BettyWhiteChallenge, a nationwide fundraising event kickstarted on Twitter and shared by well-known celebrities. The trending movement, inspired by Betty White’s long history of animal activism, called upon the community to donate $5.00 to their local animal shelters on Monday, January 17, 2022, what would have been her 100th birthday.

VCAS set a modest fundraising goal of $10,000 and quickly launched our participation in the challenge.  We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we exceeded our original fundraising goal by leaps and bounds, collecting an extraordinary $51,510! We received nationwide coverage on NBC4 and held a concurrent pet adoption event which resulted in 24 animals finding loving, forever homes. We were both surprised and honored by the massive outpour of support from our Ventura County community and we wish to thank all who participated in the Betty White Challenge!
Please consider being a part of this movement and donating today at www.vcas.us/donate.
Ventura County Animal Services

∙ An athletic Hungarian farm dog and a tiny pet of bygone Russian aristocrats are the latest breeds in the American Kennel Club’s purebred lineup.

The club announced that it’s recognizing the Russian toy and the mudi. That means they’re eligible to compete for best in show at many U.S. dog shows, including the AKC’s big annual championship and the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show.

The mudi (whose American fans pronounce its name like “moody,” although the vowel sound in Hungarian is closer to the “u” in “pudding”) descended from long lines of Hungarian sheepdogs before a museum director took an interest in the breed and gave it a name around 1930. Fans say the medium-size, shaggy dogs are vigorous, versatile and hardworking, able to herd sheep, hunt boars, snag rats and compete in canine sports such as agility and dock diving.

The Russian toy developed from small English terriers that gained the fancy of Russian elites by the early 1700s. The diminutive dogs — supposed to weigh no more than 6.5 pounds (2.7 kg) — have a leggy silhouette, perky expression and lively demeanor, breeders say.
These additions bring the number of AKC-recognized breeds to 199.

Vol. 15, No. 08 – Jan 12 – Jan 25, 2022 – The Pet Page

∙ SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use.
SPAN Thrift Store is providing low cost spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.
Two upcoming clinics are:
First one will be at on Tuesday, January 18th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015. The next one will be cats only, at the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036, on Tuesday, February 1st.
Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙ “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
Will Rogers

A Christmas Miracle for Creed.

∙ A family was put in a difficult situation as they needed to move from their home and had to give up one of their two dogs. They were able to keep their Chihuahua but had to give up their Rottweiler named Creed. The owners of Creed found a nice family to care for him who lived in a farmhouse so he had plenty of land to run around. They said to the new owners if anything came up where they could not care for Creed then to let them know and they would find him another home.
About a year later a property manager went by to check on the farmhouse and found the occupants had moved out and left Creed behind and inside a chain link kennel next to the house. He fed Creed for a couple of days hoping the occupants would return to pick up their dog but no one came for him. The property manager called Canine Adoption and Rescue League (CARL) as he has in the past when he finds abandoned dogs and so an employee picked up Creed and brought him to their kennel. Creed was checked out by a vet and then placed up for adoption. Creed was cared for by the employees at CARL and exercised by the volunteers for about four months
While some volunteers of CARL were at an off-site adoption event, they were approached by a lady who asked if we had a dog named Creed and we said yes. The lady said, “I think that is our dog”. It turns out they drove by where the new owners used to live and noticed the house was vacant. They discovered a video of Creed that a volunteer at CARL had made and placed on social media.
The original owner made an appointment with CARL to go see Creed the very next day and brought along Creed’s little Chihuahua brother. Once they walked up to his kennel, there was no doubt that this was their Creed! Tails were wagging and lots of tears flowed of the happy reunion. Creed’s original owner is now in a situation where they can keep him and so they brought home their dog from the kennel the same day. All of this is possible due to CARL picking up Creed and caring for him until his original owners could be found. It truly is a Christmas Miracle! For more information on Canine Adoption and Rescue League, their website is carldogs.org.
∙ What can your pet eat?
While you generally should not give pets human food, there are some treats that are safe apples, carrots, green beans and bananas. It is usually better to get treats that are made for them.
No matter how cute those puppy-dog eyes are, do not give your pets these items:
Sweets, especially chocolate.
Grapes
Raisins
Onions
Garlic
Chives
Nuts
Turkey meat, skin or bones
Anything with artificial sweeteners, especially ones using Xylitol
Yeast dough
Cats have been known to eat plants, some of which are toxic to them. Avoid plants like poinsettias and Christmas cactuses if your pet likes to munch on plants.
Keep pets safe, whether you travel or host. If you are traveling with your pet, make sure to use this checklist:
Collar
Identification tags
Usual food and medicine
Contact information for an emergency clinic
A safe space prepared for pets while guests visit
A pet carrier for travel

During holidays, pets will likely have their routines thrown off. Try to take them on walks, play with them before guests arrive and let them have a secure, safe place away from the party.

∙ By Susanne Ruststaff
Bentley seemed to be in a haze. Normally this 12-pound Chihuahua-terrier mix would never refuse hot, fresh French fries from a drive-through fast food joint. But on a recent warm afternoon, he turned his head away at his owner’s offer.
“He wouldn’t take them, so I knew something was wrong. He was just out of it,” said Dana Long, a resident of Tiburon. Long eventually took his dog to the veterinarian, who informed him that his typically sprightly and voracious Bentley was stoned. He had likely picked up a chocolate edible on the fields of a nearby middle school, where Long’s daughter was playing softball.

While excess cannabis consumption by canines is not new, cases are growing as more and more states legalize the drug, and its use becomes more widespread, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The group’s poison hotline suggests that as more and more states have legalized recreational marijuana, reports of marijuana toxicity in dogs have also grown.

Between 2017 and 2020, national call volume for cannabis ingestion rose from 1,436 to 3,923 cases, said Tina Wismer, a veterinarian and senior director of the New York-based ASPCA Poison Control Center.

Those numbers are likely just a fraction of the true incidence of marijuana poisonings — reporting to the control center is voluntary — but the trend is clear. In California, where recreational marijuana was legalized in November 2016, call numbers grew by 276% between 2016 and 2020. In Colorado, those numbers have risen eleven-fold since legalization in 2012.

It might sound funny that so many pooches are getting into the hooch. But for dogs who accidentally ingest potent edibles intended for a human several times their weight, the narcotic effect can be serious. In addition, if dogs are chewing on drugs found outdoors, it is possible those drugs are laced with chemicals other than THC, the active ingredient in pot, said several veterinarians.

∙ Lebanon, N.H. (AP) A German shepherd named Tinsley, first thought to be a lost dog, successfully led New Hampshire state police to the site of its owner’s rollover crash.

Both the vehicle’s occupants were seriously hurt, but thanks to Tinsley’s dogged efforts they quickly received medical assistance once officers discovered the truck, which went off the road near a Vermont interstate junction, WMUR-TV reported Tuesday.

“The dog was trying to show them something,” said Lt. Daniel Baldassarre of the New Hampshire State Police. “He kept trying to get away from them but didn’t run away totally.

“It was kind of, ‘Follow me. Follow me.’ And they did that and you know, to their surprise to see the guardrail damaged and to look down to where the dog is looking at, it’s just, they were almost in disbelief,” he said.

A New Hampshire state trooper and police from the nearby city of Lebanon responded to the crash site late Monday, just across the state line in Vermont.

There were no further details on the condition of those injured in the single-vehicle crash.

Vol. 15, No. 07 – Dec 29,2021 – Jan 11, 2022 – The Pet Page

∙ SPAN Thrift Store is open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use. SPAN Thrift Store regularly provides $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Three upcoming clinics in January are: Tuesday, January 4th at the Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036, a second one on Tuesday, January 11th at SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main), and a third one on Tuesday, January 18th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore, 93015.

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

∙ A border collie, named River, who suffered spinal injuries and was paralyzed in his hind legs after collapsing unexpectedly in October can stand and is beginning to walk again, following neurosurgery six weeks ago by UC Davis veterinarians. River came in to UC Davis after suddenly being unable to stand and walk on his own, said UC Davis veterinary neurology resident Amanda Xue.

UC Davis team did an MRI and found he had “essentially a slipped disc,” Xue said. UC Davis veterinarians drilled a hole in River’s back and extracted the material that was compressing his spine. “He’s exceeded my expectations,” Xue said. He’s walking on his own and wagging his tail.”

River’s owner, Linda Drafton, took the dog in for a recheck exam at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s small animal clinic. The past two months has been a whirlwind. She drove three and a half hours from the Redding area to UC Davis to get River help on Halloween; now her dog is mostly back to normal.

∙ By the time Carolyn Chow learned that her father had Alzheimer’s, he would only have five years before succumbing to the disorder in 2017 at the age of 86.

It was devastating to see her father deteriorate so quickly. “He was highly educated, brilliant and highly sociable, and Alzheimer’s took that all away,” said Chow, a staffing consultant for the Division of Human Resources at Cornell.

Chow is now supporting research into Alzheimer’s by bringing her dog Nora, a 7-year-old Chihuahua mix, to the Cornell Veterinary Biobank to contribute to the Dog Aging Project. The nationwide study is an essential part of a $5.1 million research project recently launched at Cornell, the University of Washington and the University of Arizona to investigate the potential links between Alzheimer’s disease and a similar condition in dogs called canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD).

The four-year-project, funded by the National Institute on Aging, is the first large-scale research study to compare CCD and Alzheimer’s disease to determine whether they are triggered by the same genetic and environmental factors.

Researchers in the study will analyze biological samples of hundreds of dogs to identify biomarkers for CCD and bank those samples for future research. Discovering the specific factors that cause CCD will help advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s – a rapidly growing disease in the United States. Currently, an estimated 6.2 million Americans 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s, and by 2050, that number is expected to reach nearly 13 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Alzheimer’s and CCD share many similarities: Both are incurable and both are difficult to diagnose until behavioral changes emerge. Dogs with CCD, for example, do not recognize familiar people and may stare blankly into space and wander aimlessly.

In the first phase of the Alzheimer’s study, researchers will identify 200 dogs that have CCD, based on a questionnaire the owners complete when enrolling their dogs in the Dog Aging Project. As the canines reach the end of their natural lives, researchers will then examine 100 of the dogs that died to identify the neuropathological markers of CCD.

Identifying the biomarkers of CCD could then be applied to research on Alzheimer’s to determine whether the same cellular changes are associated with the disease in humans.

Castelhano said the collection at the biobank will be made available for future research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, as new tools are developed to deepen our understanding of these conditions.

Dogs are also a better animal model to study Alzheimer’s than mice, which have traditionally been used but do not develop a similar type of dementia naturally, Kaeberlein said. “Companion dogs living with their owners live in the human environment,” he added, “and that’s something we really just can’t recapitulate in the laboratory.”

Sherrie Negrea is a freelance writer for the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine

∙ (CNN)While you’re rummaging through cabinets and crevices trying to find your cat’s new favorite hiding spot, cats may be keeping mental tabs on you, too. A new study out of Japan found that a stationary cat can track its owner’s location using audio cues specifically, the owner’s voice.

Saho Takagi, first author of the study and a doctoral student at Kyoto University, said she has always been interested in cats’ hearing abilities. She’s a cat person all around, but said her favorite part is their ears. Cats have sensitive ears that can move in different directions.

“I saw a cat with only one of its ears tilted back, listening to the sound behind it, and felt that cats must be thinking about many things from the sound,” Takagi said in an email to CNN. “This time, I investigated whether they map their owner’s position spatially from sounds.”

The study, which took place in a home setting and at a cat café, observed how cats would react to their owners’ voices without visual cues by using speakers that played a recording of owners saying their cats’ names. The researchers placed the speakers apart from each other, out of the cats’ sight, to see how the cats would respond to the sounds, especially if the owner’s voice appeared to teleport from one location to another. Another group of people, who were not animal behavior experts, rated the cats’ level of surprise from a scale of 0 to 4, based on behaviors like ear and head movements.

Cats in the study were surprised when their owners appeared to “transport” from one location to another, the study concluded. Results from this study demonstrate evidence of socio-spatial cognition in cats, meaning they can mentally picture where others are through cues like sound.

“It is generally believed that cats are not as interested in their owners as dogs are, but it turns out that they were mentally representing the invisible presence of their owners,” Takagi said.

The study said this ability to create mental images based on sound and other stimuli indicates complex thinking. The ability is particularly important for animals that need to hunt prey under poor visibility. Cats understand their names and are probably just choosing to ignore you, a study suggests

“This is an ability that is the basis of creativity and imagination,” Takagi said. “Cats are thought to have a more profound mind than is thought.”

Ingrid Johnson, certified cat behavior consultant with Fundamentally Feline, said cats can get attached to their humans — especially when they’re older. She said some senior cats wake up distressed when they can’t see or hear their owners.

“This is a great example of elevating our expectation of the cat a little bit and realizing that they do have the capability of having that bond in that relationship where they actually will take comfort in their people,” Johnson said.

Studies have found cats can also distinguish between their owners’ and a strangers’ voices, and they can recognize emotional sounds. Our feline friends might be more perceptive — and hear more — than we give them credit for.

Cats understand their names and are probably just choosing to ignore you.