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Does your pet have health insurance?


Health insurance for pets is becoming more mainstream. As this article in the Wall Street Journal reports, people are spending more money to keep their cats, dogs, and other pets healthy. Investing in pet health insurance can help offset the cost of illnesses as well as routine pet care.

The cost of medical care for pets is rising as fast as it is for humans, and that’s helping to spur sales of pet insurance.

Pet owners are able to choose from a rapidly growing array of policies, featuring everything from high-deductible designs to coverage of alternative-medicine treatments like acupuncture. Some pet policies focus on accidents and illness, while others include wellness checkups and shots. And some things that traditionally weren’t included in pet insurance, such as hereditary conditions, are now paid for under many plans.

Consumers need to be careful, since many pet policies can be as confusing as coverage you buy for yourself. Pet insurance often places strict limits on how much it will pay for particular procedures. And policies can have tricky designs that can leave consumers with big out-of-pocket bills for their animals. Premiums vary from around $10 a month to $75 a month, depending on factors including the richness of the plan, your location and your animal’s breed and age.

This year, pet owners are expected to spend around $12.2 billion for veterinary care, up from $11.1 billion last year and $8.2 billion five years ago, according to the American Pet Products Association. Complex procedures widely used for people, including chemotherapy and dialysis, are now available for pets, and the potential cost of treating certain illnesses has spiked as a result.

Read the rest of Polly Want an Insurance Policy? from the Wall Street Journal.

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Recalled Premium Edge cat food sickens 21 cats

Premium Edge Cat Food, manufactured by Diamond Pet Food, was recalled in September, but more information was made available today regarding the problem with the cat food.

WASHINGTON — A Missouri company said Tuesday its recalled dried cat food has sickened 21 cats and the pet food was distributed in multiple states in the South and along the East Coast.

Diamond Pet Foods recalled certain bags of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball cat food in September because they could lead to gastrointestinal or neurological problems for cats. They do not contain enough thiamine, an essential nutrient for cats.

If cats fed these foods have no other source of nutrition, they could develop thiamine deficiency. If untreated, this disorder could result in death, said the Meta, Mo., manufacturer.

The company updated information on the recall on Tuesday, saying it has confirmed 21 reports of thiamine deficiency in New York and Pennsylvania and the pet food was distributed in 18 states altogether. These states include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.


For a full refund, consumers can return the recalled cat food to the place it was purchased. For more information, consumers can call 800-977-8797.

Read the rest of Recalled cat food sickens 21 cats from the Associated Press.


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NYC looking for leadership for city animal shelters

New York City is once again looking for someone to head up the city’s animal shelters.

For the third time in six years, the struggling nonprofit group that handles animal control for the city is looking for a new leader.

The search comes as the city Health Department is negotiating a new multi-year contract with New York City Animal Care and Control to continue to run its shelter system.

Activists are seizing the moment, saying it’s a rare chance to focus attention on chronic problems at the shelters.

Queens and the Bronx are still without shelters, despite a city law signed in 2000 mandating them. Old facilities with poor ventilation means more animals get sick, advocates said. And rescuers are taking fewer pets from AC&C because sicker animals mean higher veterinary bills.

As a result, thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized due to illness, behavioral problems, lack of space and the grim fact that no one steps forward to adopt them, advocates said.

“The city has never given [AC&C] the money it needs,” said Esther Koslow, a former volunteer who started a petition drive to get the attention of Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

“You need shelters that don’t make the animals sick,” Koslow said, adding that AC&C staff “are too quick to deem stressed-out, caged animals as unadoptable.”

But the group won’t be getting any more money from the city. In fact, Farley recently said the annual budget – which has hovered at around $8 million to $9 million in recent years – will be slashed again next year.


“We need a shelter professional who is committed to the idea of managing that place to excellence,” said Jane Hoffman of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a nonprofit group that provides grants to rescuers who pull animals from AC&C shelters.

“I know they have some good candidates. I hope they get it right,” she said.

Read the rest of Who will lead city animal shelters at

[tags]nyc pets, cats, dogs[/tags]

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Wysong dog food recall due to mold

Wysong is recalling some of their dry dog food due to excessive moisture, which may cause mold.

The following batches of Wysong Canine Diets Maintenance™ and Senior™ have shown above acceptable moisture levels and may contain mold.

Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090617
Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090624
Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090706
Wysong Maintenance™: lot #: 090720
Wysong Senior™: lot #: 090623

We ask that if you have received any of these Wysong products to please not feed them, and contact Wysong for product replacement.

Subject: Product Replacement

Alternatively, please return or exchange at the store from which you purchased the product. Credit will be issued via our Distributors to the Retailer.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

(Thanks to PetistUSA for letting us know about this one.)

[tags]dog food, pet food recall, Wysong[/tags]

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Italian dog breeds in NYC Columbus Day Parade

This year New York’s Columbus Day Parade, on October 12, will include Italian dog breeds.

New York, NY – The American Kennel Club® is proud to announce its participation in the 65th Annual Columbus Day Parade, the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American culture, on Monday, October 12th from noon to 3:00 p.m. on Fifth Avenue between 47th and 79th streets. For the first time ever the parade will include a procession of rare Italian dog breeds, recognizing Italy’s great contributions to the dog world and celebrating the upcoming Meet the Breeds event at the Javits Center on October 17th and 18th where pet lovers can meet 200 breeds of dog and cat.

The one million parade spectators will enjoy a contingency of over 30 marchers and 13 furry friends including the Bergamasco, an ancient shepherding breed with a striking coat of dense, flat mats that reach the ground; as well as the Cirneco dell’Etna, an ancient dog used in Sicily for rabbit hunting; the Lagotto Romagnolo, a dog from Northwest Italy with thick curly hair and a history dating back to the 16th century and the only two native Italian gun-dog breeds, the Bracco Italiano and Spinone Italiano.

Read the rest of Italian Dog Breeds and the American Kennel Club Say ‘Ciao’ to New York City in the Columbus Day Parade.

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New York City ordered to create more animal shelters

New York City is lacking in animal shelters and a judge has ordered the city to build more.

The ASPCA applauds a decision by the New York State Supreme Court to uphold a 2000 law mandating the existence of full-service animal shelters in all five New York City boroughs.

In last week’s ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Shafer gave the City 60 days to come up with a plan to implement the law(PDF) which will ultimately allow for more animals to be adopted and fewer to be euthanized.

While the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island are each outfitted with New York City Animal Care and Control shelters, the Bronx and Queens have only part-time animal receiving centers. Animals in these two boroughs are routinely sent to Manhattan and Brooklyn, where shelters quickly reach capacity, resulting in the euthanasia of healthy pets. Although funds were allocated for a full-service shelter in each borough, the City has not yet taken steps to purchase sites in the Bronx and Queens.

Read the rest of Judge: NYC Must Create More Animal Shelters.

[tags]nyc pets, animal shelters[/tags]

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NYC residents forced to give up dogs

dog-pit-bullDue to new regulations in New York City, dog owners living in public housing must either move or give up their dogs.

Tyson was a tough-looking, head-turning dog — a 60-pound, year-old Staffordshire bull terrier with a silver-gray coat and blue eyes. But the only thing tough about him was his name, his owner said.

Tyson followed commands, never bit anyone and liked to put his paws on people’s heads to play with their hair. “He was a big baby,” said his owner, Marc Hernandez, 20, who had had Tyson since he was a puppy of 7 weeks.

Yet one day in May, Mr. Hernandez, a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, took Tyson to an East Harlem animal shelter, where he reluctantly and tearfully surrendered him. The problem was not Tyson’s behavior, but his home: Mr. Hernandez lives in one of New York City’s public housing projects, where a ban on pit bulls and other large dogs went into effect May 1.

The ban, one of the strictest for any public housing authority in the country, prohibits residents from keeping pure-bred or mixed-breed pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers, as well as any dog, with the exception of service dogs, expected to weigh more than 25 pounds when grown.

Read more of Large Dogs in Public Housing Are Now Endangered Species.

[tags]NYC pets, dogs, public housing[/tags]

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Animal sanctuary threatened by Los Angeles wildfires

As wildfires burn in the Los Angeles officials have ordered area residents to leave. However, in spite of the orders, Tippi Hedren is staying at her animal sanctuary and hoping for the best.

Thick black smoke hovers overhead as dozens of lions, tigers and other large cats roam actress Tippi Hedren’s animal sanctuary, seemingly unfazed by a wildfire raging only a mile away.

Fire officials ordered Hedren, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror classic “The Birds,” to evacuate the Shambala Preserve days ago. But she sees no need to load up the animals yet.

“Nobody wants lions and tigers going down the road,” Hedren, 79, told The Associated Press on Tuesday in a phone interview from her home on the preserve in northern Los Angeles County.

“We’ve never had to do that. I’m knocking on wood right now. We’ve been through floods, fires, incredible things Mother Nature has the capability of handing us.”

Hedren, mother of actress Melanie Griffith, said she has spoken with the Fire Department and has steel crates and trailers ready to move the 64 big cats if the fire gets closer to the property. In addition, the preserve conducts fire clearance every six months and has a 22,000-gallon water tank, a lake, firefighting pumps and backup generators.

Read the rest of Tippi Hedren’s animal preserve threatened by fire.

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Dog survives after being thrown off roof

Brooklyn dog survives after fall

A dog named Oreo survived after being thrown off the roof of a six floor building in Brooklyn.

NEW YORK – A New York City man has been arrested, accused of throwing his one year old dog from the roof of a six-floor city housing project in Brooklyn, critically injuring the animal.

Joseph Pentangelo, assistant director at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, says surgeons reassembled the terrier mix’s front legs.  All four of the dog’s limbs had to be surgically repaired with plates and screws. She also suffered internal bruising and damage to her lungs

“This was unquestionably an act of cruelty,” he said.

The 45-pound dog, named “Oreo” by investigators, is able to walk again.

“She is healing, but it is a long road ahead,” Pentangelo said.

ASCPA officers arrested 19-year-old Fabian Henderson on Friday on felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and reckless endangerment. His lawyer’s name was not immediately known.

Read more about Oreo.

[tags]Brooklyn dog survives fall, New York, dog[/tags]

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