A fascinated crowd of both adults and children were on hand for the recount of the amazing tale of a wild dog’s attachment to the U.S. soldier and how it followed him across 70 miles of dangerous desert land. The book is called “Nubs — The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle.” They now both live in the San Diego area but Dennis will be deploying to Afghanistan soon. Friends take care of Nubs and his other dog while Dennis is gone.
Assistance Dog Gives New Lease on Life to Local Man
Frank Palmer is a quiet, unassuming man. He says he moves “slowly” and that he’s just a “laid-back” guy. What he may not explain is that he has a spinal cord injury, and that a faster pace is impossible. Frank’s cane is the only hint that he suffered two devastating accidents, which forced him to endure multiple surgeries to reconstruct his lower back. As a result, Frank has severely limited mobility.
Though his recovery has been long and difficult, Frank recently received a gift that has made his everyday life a little easier. His name is Zale, and he is a yellow Labrador Retriever from Canine Companions for Independence. Canine Companions is a national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.
A few months ago, Frank joined a class of 10 other students at the Oceanside campus of Canine Companions. During a two-week residential Team Training program, the students were strategically matched with assistance dogs and learned how to work with them effectively. The experience far exceeded Frank’s expectations.
“I’m just so proud of what Zale can do,” Frank said. “He will retrieve objects that are on the floor, from car keys to a letter… he can do it all!”
In addition to retrieving things, Zale helps Frank by opening doors, activating light switches, pulling laundry baskets and more.
Beyond physical tasks, Frank was also somewhat surprised by the immediate emotional bond he felt with Zale.
“I’ve never been real close to animals, but Zale is a godsend,” Frank explained. “He’s given me a new lease on life!”
Frank’s experience at Canine Companions was enhanced by sharing it with a great group of classmates. Young and old, with various disabilities, the students grew close through their shared challenges. Among his classmates were three young veterans who served in Iraq. Their stories especially touched Frank, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
“They gave it their all, and I’m so happy that they have these canines to help them through life… You can’t give them too much for what they gave,” Frank said.
All clients of Canine Companions receive their assistance dogs, training and ongoing follow-up services completely free of charge from the organization.
Pit Bull Calendar Makes Perfect Gift for Dog Lovers
Featuring stunning photography from award-winning San Diego photographer Jen Petit, Pit Bull Rescue San Diego’s (PBRSD) 2010 calendar highlights 12 special dogs and puppies saved from local animal shelters. Photo shoot locations were carefully selected to highlight San Diego landmarks, including Fiesta Island Dog Park, Mission Trails, Lake Miramar, Coronado Dog Beach and Redwood Circle in Balboa Park. This celebration of our canine friends raises funds to help PBRSD continue its life-saving work in the upcoming year.
Pit bulls and pit bull mixes make up roughly 50 percent of the dogs in San Diego-area animal shelters. Since its inception in 2004, PBRSD has given more than 300 of these dogs and puppies a new leash on life. As a volunteer-run nonprofit organization, all donations go directly to the care of dogs in need. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each 2010 calendar helps PBRSD continue its life-saving work. To purchase your calendar, visit www.pbrsd.com.
Sheriff’s K-9 Volunteer Receives ACE Award
William D. Gore, Sheriff, San Diego County, announced one of the department’s K-9 Search and Rescue volunteers has received an American Kennel Club ACE Award ~ Honorable Mention. Only five dogs are selected for the ACE Award (Award for Canine Excellence) ~ Honorable Mention.
Snickers is an eight-year-old beagle from a local breeder here in San Diego. He began his training when he was only 11 weeks and passed his certification test at one year; thereby working for San Diego Sheriff’s Department his entire life.
His first search was for Jahi Turner, where Snickers met a Riverside bloodhound handler who was so impressed with his work, he invited Snickers and his owner, Pam, to training exercises outside the county. In fact, Snickers has been to several seminars in Colorado where he has run very advanced trails. Snickers received his nickname “Sergeant,” when a Search and Rescue coordinator, so impressed with the work, jokingly said he was giving Snickers a field promotion. The name stuck and now he is commonly referred to as Sergeant Snickers. As for his favorite food—well he is a beagle, so all food is great.
To qualify, the dog is required to be AKC registered or an AKC recognized breed, and have performed some exemplary act, whether large or seemingly small, that has significantly benefited a community or individual. One award is given every year in each of the following five categories: Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Therapy, Service, and Exemplary Companion Dog. When appropriate, dogs earning honorable mention will be selected. Each of the five honorees received a cash award of $1,000 and an engraved sterling-silver collar medallion to be presented at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Their names will be engraved on a plaque that hangs permanently in The American Kennel Club Library in New York City. Dogs receiving honorable mention will be awarded an engraved bronze medallion.
Sheriff Gore commented, “We are extremely fortunate to have Snickers and his owner, Pam, on our Search and Rescue Team. Snickers and Pam are critical to the mission of finding the lost and missing in San Diego County. We couldn’t do the job without them.
Starting the Day, the Year, Their Lives in New Homes!
1,363,638 orphaned pets are starting 2010 with a new “leash on life” after being adopted during the 11th annual Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) pet adoption drive. IH4TH ambassador and two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank joined IH4TH creator Mike Arms, president of Helen Woodward Animal Center, in making the announcement. Between Oct. 1, 2009 and Jan. 4, 2010 more than 3,900 animal shelters and rescue groups in 17 countries worked together to find families for orphaned pets.
“I’m proud to be part of such an amazing cause and I hope the families who adopted through the IH4TH program will experience the same unconditional love and fulfillment that my dogs, Karoo and Rumi, give me every day,” said Swank. “I hope our success inspires everyone to get involved and continue to help eradicate pet homelessness because there are millions of animals who still need our help and we all have the ability to help make a difference.”
Since 1999, with the support of participating animal organizations from 17 countries, IH4TH has become the world’s largest and most successful pet adoption campaign. Adoptions during this 11th annual drive include:
729,357 dogs (53.5%)
588,265 cats (43.2%)
46,016 other pets (3.3%)
While the 11th annual IH4TH campaign has concluded, animal shelters and pet rescue groups throughout San Diego County still have orphaned pets in need of loving families. To find your new pet today, visit the shelter or rescue nearest you or go to www.iamshome4theholidays.com
Lucy Postins’ Cooks up Some Love with Cookbook
Lucy Postins, pet nutritionist and founder of The Honest Kitchen, an all-natural, human-grade pet products company, today announced the release of her first cookbook, “Made out of Love: Recipes to prepare for (and sometimes share with) your animal companion.” “Made out of Love” includes nourishing recipes for toppings, treats, main dishes, raw and functional cuisines that pet owners can make for their four-legged friends at home.
To celebrate the launch of “Made out of Love,” 10 percent of book sale profits will be donated to the Morris Animal Foundation www.morrisanimalfoundation.org. The Denver-based nonprofit helps animals worldwide enjoy longer, healthier lives by advancing health and welfare studies that protect, treat and cure companion animals, horses and wildlife.
With extensive experience as a companion animal nutritionist, Postins is passionate about advanced nutrition and holistic health including complementary care such as herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine, both of which are reflected in recipes throughout the book.
“Preparing homemade meals for pets is a radically new concept for many people, but a simple and easy way to enhance the health of our four-legged friends,” said Postins. “At The Honest Kitchen, we’re committed to helping pet guardians become truly involved in their pets’ lives, and I hope these recipes will help empower owners to positively affect the health and well-being of their animal companions.”
In addition to nutritionally-balanced recipes for cats and dogs, and those that parents can share with their pets, “Made out of Love” also contains recipes for using food as medicine, targeting conditions such as itchy skin, stress, diabetes, fleas and more. Some recipes contain The Honest Kitchen products. If you would like to try a sample, please e-mail email@example.com
The cookbook retails for $14 and is available online at www.TheHonestKitchen.com and through authorized The Honest Kitchen retailers.
Resident Competes In AKC Eukanuba Championship
On Dec. 12-13, the best in the sport of purebred dogs flocked to Long Beach, Calif. to strut their stuff at the prestigious AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Local resident Tristan Davis and Heather (Kay) Davis and Tavis (Kiarry’s Take On Me) and Milla (Tateland Sandlapper’s Good Fortune) was among the contenders.
Tristan Davis and Heather (Kay) Davis competed against not only the top show dogs in the country, but also a slate of the finest specimens from around the world.
The show will air on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel on Feb 6, at 8 p.m. EST.
The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is the largest prize money dog show in the world, with cash and prizes awarded totaling more than $225,000.
For information on the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, visit www.akc.org/aenc.
Martha Stewart Introduces Newest Additions to Family
In a January taping of her show Martha Stewart introduced: Empress Tang and Princess Peony – both Dominic Calico Persians.
PETCO ‘Tree of Hope’ Raises Record $4 Million
PETCO customers from around the country are making a difference in the lives of homeless animals this new year by virtue of their donations to the PETCO Foundation’s annual Tree of Hope fundraiser.
This year’s Tree of Hope, conducted through the holidays at more than 1,000 PETCO stores across the nation, raised a record $4 million – up nearly 30 percent from last year .
“Donations from thousands of PETCO customers will enable the PETCO Foundation to help animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide in caring for thousands of homeless pets,” said Paul Jolly, the foundation’s executive director. “Despite the tough economy, our customers continue to give hope and help us address the growing needs of our animal-welfare partners.”
Half of the funds raised during Tree of Hope will be put to work in the local communities where the dollars were donated, while the foundation will use the other half for regional programs and relief efforts.
The foundation also partnered with IAMS in its annual Home 4 the Holidays adoption drive, which aimed to find homes for 1.5 million animals by the end of the holiday season. IAMS donated $1 to the PETCO Foundation for every bag of IAMS cat or dog food sold at PETCO stores from Nov. 7 to Dec. 24, 2009.
Donations to the PETCO Foundation enable the organization to fulfill its mission to:
· Provide thousands of spay/neuter surgeries;
· Distribute millions of dollars of food and supplies to animals in need;
· Find lifelong, loving homes for thousands of homeless animals; and
· Strengthen the human-animal bond through food banks, animal-assisted therapy and humane education.
Together, PETCO customers help make a difference for thousands of animals in each of these important areas. For example, this year’s Tree of Hope funds have the potential to support the cost of more than 200,000 spay and neuter procedures or to feed more than 140,000 orphaned pets for two months.
To learn more about the PETCO Foundation and about how you too can make a difference, visit www.petcofoundation.org.
Boot Camp Classes for Humans and Dogs
The classes, which are currently taught in Carmel Valley and Mission Bay, are being expanded after Jan. 1 to two additional Carmel Valley locations, Coronado and East County.
The boot camp-style classes will now be taught at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center and Torrey Highlands Park on Tuesday and Thursday at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., respectively. Other classes are taught at Mission Bay near the Fiesta Island Bridge playground on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.; at Markim Pet Resort in Carmel Valley on Sundays at 9 a.m., which has been ongoing since January 2009; in Coronado at Tidelands Park (check Web site for dates and times); and in El Cajon (check Web site for dates, times and locations).
For a comprehensive class schedule and listing of special events, visit www.leashyourfitness.com. For more information contact Celapino at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 822-3296.
Swine Flu Hits Home for Southern California
Amidst news out of New York confirming the first case of swine flu in a dog, the outbreaks hit home recently with reports of the first case of swine flu reported in a cat in Southern California. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) reminds people to be vigilant in observing their pets. If they show signs of illness, such as a runny nose, sneezing or wheezing, loss of appetite and lethargy, it is important to take them to a veterinarian, no matter what the species.
“The current influenza vaccines for animals don’t prevent the contraction of H1N1,” says spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein. “However if an animal becomes ill, antibiotics can be prescribed to combat secondary infections.”
Remember, if someone in your home becomes sick, practice good hygiene, keep infected humans away from pets, be vigilant and don’t hesitate to seek veterinary treatment if your pets are showing signs of illness.
For more info, contact Daniel Barrozo at dbarrozo@spcaLA.com or (323) 730-5300 ext. 253.
Poway Area Pets Go Online
Russell Rescue CA (San Diego), Poway, recently has joined other animal welfare organizations in the area that list their homeless pets on Petfinder.com, the oldest and largest database of adoptable animals on the Internet. The site currently has more than 317,870 homeless pets listed, and it is updated continuously.
More than 12,900 animal welfare organizations in the U.S., Canada and other countries post their pets on the site. Russell Rescue CA (San Diego) pets may be viewed at www.petfinder.com/shelters/CA1660.html. A potential adopter enters search criteria for the kind of pet he or she wants, and a list is returned that ranks the pets in proximity to the Zip code entered. Adoptions are handled by the animal placement group where the pet is housed, and each group has its own policies.
Petfinder.com was created in early 1996 as a grassroots project by Jared and Betsy Saul to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets. Since its inception, the site has facilitated approximately 20 million adoptions, making it the most life-saving initiative in animal welfare.
Sponsors include The Animal Rescue Site, BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a manufacturer of home cleaning and floor care products, PETCO, a national pet supply retailer that sponsors in-store adoptions and provides coupon books for new adopters, Merial, maker of the number one veterinary-recommended flea and tick preventative FRONTLINE(r), and heartworm preventative HEARTGARD(r) and PetFirst Healthcare, the exclusive pet insurance provider for Petfinder.com.