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New Yorkers come to kitty’s rescue

Animal loving New Yorkers came to the rescue to help Maggie, a cat that got caught in an elevator shaft.

Daily News readers raised more than $20,000 to save a curious East Harlem cat who spent a week in the hospital after getting stuck in an elevator shaft.

Maggie, the mischievous feline, went back to owner Primotivo Hernandez, 70, who said he “called her name every night” while doctors at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists in Union Square healed her wounds.

Cops pulled Maggie from a elevator shaft at the Jefferson Houses on E. 115th St. last Tuesday after her hind right leg got stuck between the elevator and the door on the second floor. She suffered a dislocated knee.

The wheelchair-bound Hernandez couldn’t afford $3,600 to fix “his only companion.”

Read the rest of Daily News readers raise $20,000 in kitty to save injured East Harlem cat from the Daily News.

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Tips on making your dog part of your wedding

With more and more people opting to include their dog in their wedding party, the AKC has put together a list of tips to help things run more smoothly.

According to an American Kennel Club Dogs and Interpersonal Relationships Survey, 18 percent of dog owners said they either have included (or would include) their dog in their wedding ceremony. That trend is likely to continue as those under 30 years of age are 17 percent more likely than those 60 and up to say “I do” with their dog by their side.

The AKC offers the following tips for those who are considering including Fido in their wedding:

PRE-WEDDING PREPARATIONS

-Consider your dog’s temperament. If your dog is unnerved by changes in environment or social situations, the crowds, attention and strange noises involved in a wedding may cause them undue stress.

-Select a pet-friendly location for the ceremony and reception.

-Ensure everyone playing an important role in the wedding welcomes your dog’s involvement – the groom, of course, but also the bridal party, officiant and wedding planner.

-Let invitees know a dog will be attending the celebration. Your wedding Web site is a great place to share this news. But, prepare yourself – disapproval from some guests is inevitable, and people with allergies may be unable to attend.

For more tips, see Weddings go to the dogs: Tips on making your dog part of your wedding celebration.

And, of course, if you want someone to be your full-time dog wranger during the wedding, professional pet sitters are a great option. Since they likely won’t know many (if any!) people at the wedding, they can devote all of their attention to your dog.

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Broadway Barks raises money for rescue dogs

Actress Bernadette Peters, along with Mary Tyler Moore, founded the annual Broadway Barks, which raises money for NYC rescue dogs.

Some people are born with a compassionate heart.  Others are born with unimaginable talent.  When Bernadette Peters came into the world, she had both.

Through her amazing voice, acting abilities and writing skills Ms. Peters has enriched the lives of millions of people around the globe.  But it is her work on behalf of companion animals that provides a window into how selfless a person she is.

Tapping into her vast resources on Broadway, Ms. Peters along with Mary Tyler Moore, founded Broadway Barks, an annual star-studded event that benefits countless animal rescue organizations in New York City.

Not only does Broadway Barks raise thousands of dollars, it also features an on site Adopt-A-Thon where homeless dogs and cats are placed into new homes.

Read the rest of Bernadette Peters rescues dogs, raises awareness and cash to help animals.

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Why choose a professional pet sitter?

There are a number of reasons why you might choose to hire a pet sitter to care for your pets rather than taking them to a kennel. This article from PetsitUSA has some good points to consider…

  • Most pets, especially cats and dogs, like routine. Using the services of a professional pet sitter will enable your pets to keep their normal eating, playtime, exercise, and sleep routines.
  • When your pet stays in his own home, he won’t be stressed from being transported to a strange place.
  • Your pet will be able to stay in his own home where he is most comfortable, with the sights, sounds, and smells to which he is accustomed.
  • If your pet is on medication, or other medical treatment, your pet sitter will be able to keep him on his regular schedule.
  • Your pet will not be exposed to illnesses that may be contracted at a kennel.

There are many more reasons why your pet may benefit by the services of a professional pet sitter. Read the rest of Why choose a professional pet sitter to care for my pets?

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Celebrities and their dogs

Sandra Bullock adopted Poppy from a Southern California shelter shortly after she married Jesse James in summer 2005. Poppy is a special-needs dog, as he is missing one of his legs.

Want to know more about the stars and their pampered pooches? If so, check out Celebrities and their Dogs on wikiFido.

[tags]celebrity pets[/tags]

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Group works to help save fellow New Yorkers’ pets

Jenny Olsen, a Katie’s Kitty pet sitter and co-organizer of Safety Net, works with pet owners to help them keep their pets in hard times.

NEW YORK — Sitting in an animal shelter’s lobby for six hours with a crossword puzzle is a good day for Jenny Olsen.

It means people aren’t surrendering their animals to the shelter — and that Olsen doesn’t have to talk them out of it.

Monday morning was relatively uneventful for the co-organizer of Safety Net, a New York City Animal Care and Control program devoted to catching desperate pet owners when they fall under financial constraints.

“Surrenders are on the rise, but adoptions are, too,” said Olsen, her eyes automatically shifting to the swiveling doors of the ACC’s 110th street shelter, scanning for hesitant owners and pets.

“People come in and we talk to them. We say, ‘If we could help you solve your problem, whatever your problem is, would you want to keep your pet?’ “

More often than not, the answer is no. Of the hundreds of people that Olsen and other Safety Net volunteers encounter in shelter lobbies each month, around 60 percent of owners still surrender their pets.

But then there are the hundreds of other New Yorkers who are willing to fight for their pets, those who pave a way through disastrous situations.

Safety Net, established two years ago, provides New York City pet owners with almost anything needed to prevent a surrender: low cost veterinary fees, food, animal behavior training, legal assistance, boarding and foster homes.

The condition for eligibility — aside from dire financial strain — is simple.

“If people don’t want to work with us, it won’t work,” Olsen said. “We can’t do it all for them.”

What Safety Net does, though, is quite a bit. With the help of 40 volunteers, it operates a seven-day-a-week hotline service, fielding calls about everything from fleas to foreclosures.

The necessity of the go-to network is clear: in January, 115 pet owners called seeking assistance. Last month, 240 people picked up the phone in the name of their pets.

[…]

Queens native Tony Aponte is one Safety Net client who certainly falls under the “trying” category. Within the past two months, both Aponte and his fiance lost their jobs. Last week, they were evicted from their studio apartment in Jackson Heights.

Aponte brushed off their ongoing stay at a local homeless shelter, focusing only on who he described as a “very, very good boy”: Rocky, his 7-year-old American Pit Bull.

“My concern was not having a place for him to be beside us. Just to lay down with us in the bed,” Aponte said.

Rocky had been living in the couple’s van for the past week, as their shelter does not allow pets. Aponte has been trying to spend as much time as he can with the dog, leaving him alone only after 11 p.m., the shelter’s curfew hour.

As Aponte described his dire situation during a phone interview, he was driving around Manhattan in the van, with Rocky snoring in the backseat.

“On Tuesday morning, we walked Rocky and put him in the van and people called the police, thinking the dog was abandoned. The police came and it was this whole big show, saying that we couldn’t be leaving him there,” Aponte said.

With the looming threat of abandoning Rocky in a shelter, Aponte called Safety Net’s hotline. Olsen, whom he dubbed an “angel from above,” sprang into action with the rest of her team, including co-organizer Joy Friedman.

Like the majority of their volunteers, Olsen and Friedman, who hold full-time jobs, consider themselves “unpaid employees,” Olsen says.

Their work led to Rocky’s recent placement in a temporary boarding center, which costs around $80 a week, with the hope that a more permanent foster home will soon become available.

[…]

Safety Net, Olsen says, is still trying to recruit additional volunteers and foster homes. For more information, visit NYCACC.org/safetynet.htm.

Read more about Safety Net at Zootoo.

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Chihuahua wins NYC masquerade contest

Peanut may be little but she’s a big celebrity these days…

Talk about a “rags to riches” story — Peanut, a rescue Chihuahua from North Brunswick, took first prize at the Times Square Dog Day Masquerade held in New York City on Oct 19.

Dressed up as Elle Wood from “Legally Blonde,” Peanut won “Best in Show,” and bested more than 85 canines, 20 of which were Chihuahuas.”

Last year’s winner was a Chihuahua also, and people said there was a conspiracy,” said Peanut’s owner, Heather Scheffold, a North Brunswick resident and member of the North Brunswick Humane Association (NBHA).

The 4-pound pooch sported a blond wig, tiara, hot pink sweater and sunglasses, although the glasses were an afterthought.

“That was a fluke. She was squinting and those were mine and I put them on her and she never shook her head once,” Scheffold said.

Peanut, 8, was fostered two years ago by Scheffold when the dog was brought into the Old Bridge Animal Shelter. Her humble beginnings started at the North Brunswick Dog Walk-a-Thon. She’s walked in the North Brunswick Memorial Day parades, and won the 2007 L’Oreal “Your Dog’s Worth It, Too” costume contest, but the Times Square contest put her on the map.

[…]

The Chihuahua’s owner learned of the Times Square event through the New Jersey Chihuahua Meetup Group, a group of 70-80 dogs she co-founded one year ago. She’s also championing NBHA’s Project Shelter effort.

This is where Peanut’s “parading” comes into play.

“I do it to socialize her and I want to get the word out that you can find a purebred Chihuahua in a shelter — there’s no need to go to a pet store,” Scheffold said.

Peanut is the NBHA’s official mascot, and emceed its dog walks in 2007 and 2008.

Upon getting the pooch from the shelter, “I didn’t want to leave her home when I first got her, so I brought her to NBHA meetings dressed in a sweater, and they encouraged me to make her our official mascot in their parade,” Scheffold said.

Read more about Peanut.

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Marathon runners raise money for pet charity

This year’s NYC Marathon included runners who were raising money for the North Shore Animal League…

Dari Passarello would never say running a marathon is easy, but she’s found something that helps her keep going.

Passarello is part of a 20-member team running Sunday’s NYC Marathon to raise money for the North Shore Animal League, the Long Island shelter for abandoned and abused animals.

“Running for charity keeps you motivated,” said Passarello, a Richmond native who attended St. Joseph Hill Academy and now lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “All sponsorship money goes directly to benefit the NSAL’s mission, which is provide permanent homes for orphaned animals,”

The NSAL team includes the league’s spokesperson Beth Ostrosky, who recently married radio personality Howard Stern. The Go Beth O team had set a goal of raising $262K, but according to Passarello and the group’s Web site, they already have pledges totaling almost $291K.

“I knew Beth was organizing the team,” said Passarello, vice president of business and legal affairs for The Nielsen Company, better known to most as the TV ratings company. “I adore animals and I’m athletic, so I’m happy to combine the two.”

The Staten Island Advance has the rest.

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Adopting a dog from a breed rescue group

by Mary “Tief” Tieffenbrunn – CCHS Humane Education Chair and volunteer for Illinois Bird Dog Rescue

What is a breed rescue group?

A breed rescue group is usually a group of volunteers that work together to shelter and rehome dogs of a specific breed. Most breed rescue groups obtain homeless dogs from over crowded animal shelters, impound facilities, and owner surrenders. Most breed rescue groups keep their rescued dogs in “foster homes” rather than in a kennel environment. This way, the dog’s quality of life immediately improves upon entering the rescue and he has the opportunity to learn how to be a well-behaved house dog before he is adopted and goes to his new “forever home.”

A few things you can expect:

Many breed rescues are run entirely by volunteers. Sometimes you will not get an immediate return phone call or email about your inquiry or application because the volunteers are very busy taking care of dogs and their other responsibilities. Dealing with a breed rescue can require some patience.
Breed rescues charge more for adoptions than the average animal shelter. These small non-profit groups spend a lot of money transporting, caring for, and sometimes providing medical treatment to the dogs that they rescue. For that reason, they often ask for a substantial donation from their adopters.

A good rescue group will . . .

A good breed rescue group will tell you both the wonderful and the “challenging” characteristics of the breed. The rescue will want you to understand what it is truly like to live with this type of dog. Successful adoptions happen when expectations match up with reality! The rescue should also be forthcoming with information about the breed’s genetic predispositions for health problems.

A good breed rescue group will carefully determine which dogs are suitable for adoption and will not warehouse dogs. The responsible rescue is careful to be sure that the dogs it offers for adoption are of sound temperament.

A good breed rescue will have a thorough application and interview process. Many breed rescues include a home visit as part of the application process and will not approve your adoption until the home visit is accomplished. The rescue might also contact your veterinarian as a reference.

A good breed rescue will want to hear from you after you take your new dog home and will require that you return the dog to the rescue in the event that things do not work out.

Questions to Ask a Breed Rescue Group:

  1. When and how did the dog come into rescue?
  2. Does the dog have any medical conditions?
  3. Is the dog current with vaccinations?
  4. Is the dog spayed/neutered?
  5. Is the dog on heartworm prevention?
  6. If the dog has been in foster care, ask to speak to the foster guardian about the dog’s personality and how it behaves in the home. You’ll want to know . . .
  • Is the dog housebroken? Crate trained?
  • Is the dog good with children? Other dogs? Cats?
  • Does the dog walk nicely on leash? / Has he had any training?
  • Does the dog have any fears: men? thunderstorms? riding in cars? being left alone?
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Litter box training

All felines CCHS puts up for adoption are known to use the litter box. However, it is desirable to confine your new pet to the room with the litter box when she is first brought home, so she can learn its location.

  • Buy a litter box for each cat in the household, since some cats will not use a box used by another cat or may prevent other pets from using a particular box.
  • Place the litter box in a quiet location that is easily accessible to your pet. If disturbed or frightened while using the box, your pet may start eliminating elsewhere. Your pet may avoid using the box if it is too far away or takes a lot of effort to reach.
  • There are several types of litter available. Most cats prefer “clumping” litter over clay litter.
  • Reduce litter box odor by removing solid waste daily, and, if you use clay litter, changing all the litter at least weekly.

Common reasons cats may start eliminating outside the box include:

  • Urinary tract obstruction or other health problem. Call your veterinarian immediately! Your pet’s life could be in danger.
  • The litter box is too small or too dirty.
  • Your pet is spraying urine to mark territory or reduce anxiety.
  • Something about the litterbox, litter, or your household has changed and your pet objects.

To correct inappropriate elimination, confine your pet to a bathroom or large crate with the litterbox until you can correct the cause. Many things can trigger this problem. CCHS or your veterinarian can help you pinpoint the cause and suggest appropriate corrections.

Thanks to Humane Education Committee, Champaign County Humane Society, 1911 East Main, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

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