A Coast Guard member is scrambling for options to get her English mastiff home from Japan following United Airlines' recent suspension of PetSafe, its program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment.
Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer McKay is trying to get to Texas to pick up an automobile before going to Washington, DC, to begin her next assignment, Stars and Stripes reported. She originally brought the 220-pound dog to the Tokyo area via United for a cost of about $3,200.
McKay isn't finding many workable choices.
The other airline that flies directly from Tokyo to Houston, McKay explained, is All Nippon Airways. But ANA will charge approximately $31,000 to ship her dog, named George Jefferson. She told Stars and Stripes that's because "his carrier was too big and would take up more than one pallet space."
Some other airlines won't carry English mastiffs, and others only offer routes with "multiple transfers and long flight times that McKay said she can’t consider," Stars and Stripes reported.
McKay said other people are facing similar problems.
United announced that it was "conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets." It said it expected to complete the review by May 1.
The company said it would honor any existing PetSafe reservations confirmed as of March 20.
The suspension does not affect pets that travel with us in the aircraft's cabin, the airline said, noting: "We are also reviewing this service and have already announced that beginning in April we will issue bright colored bag tags to help better identify pets who are traveling in-cabin."
The city of Sacramento, CA, has doubled its pet-licensing revenue after launching a strict enforcement policy.
From June to March, the city collected more than $380,000, the Sacramento Bee reports. That's almost twice what it took in during the equivalent time frame a year prior.
Dog and cat owners have to get their pets licensed, and they have to get them vaccinated for rabies; the cost is $20. Those who don't comply face fines of $300 or, for repeat offenders, $500.
In June, the city announced that it was cracking down. It said it would issue warnings as a first step, with a $300 fine to be issued if pet owners failed to heed two warnings. Even then, the issue is "correctable" — the fine is canceled if the owner gets the license within a month.
The law had been on the books for many years but hadn't been enforced consistently.
The city has assessed well over 500 fines but has collected only $2,100, according to the Bee.
Every year more than 4.5 million Americans, more than half of them children, are bitten by dogs. As part of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® coalition, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, encourages adults to protect both children and dogs, and learn the importance of pet owner responsibility.
“Dogs are our best friends, providing love, comfort and protection,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “But it’s up to us humans to be good friends to them as well by protecting everyone around us – ourselves, our kids, and our dogs – from the dangers and consequences of dog bites.”
Dogs can bite for many reasons, including improper care and/or a lack of socialization. All dogs, even well-trained, gentle dogs, are capable of biting however when provoked, especially when eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. Thus, even when a bite is superficial or classified as “provoked,” dogs may be abandoned or euthanized. Therefore, it’s vitally important to keep both children and dogs safe by preventing dog bites wherever possible.
�� “A dog bite can have a profound effect not only on the victim, but on the dog, who may be euthanized, and the dog’s owners who have to cope with the loss of a beloved family member,” said Dr. Kwane Stewart, Chief Veterinary Officer for American Humane’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” program, speaking at the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition kick-off event in San Diego on April 5. “All those who have a canine companion need to make sure they know the steps they can take to prevent their dog from biting someone.”
To reduce the number of injuries to people and the risk of relinquishment of dogs who bite, American Humane offers the following suggestions coming up in a discussion with Jon and Dr. Jarrod: Listen to Podcasts at talkinpets.com click on gallery then archives
The number of postal employees attacked by dogs nationwide reached 6,244 in 2017 — more than 500 fewer than 2016. Today, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is showcasing technology that alerts mail carriers of potential attacks while releasing its annual list of cities where the most dog attacks were recorded.
“We’re encouraged by the decrease in dog attacks,” said U.S. Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo in San Diego, where postal employees suffered 46 attacks — the fifth ranked city in 2017. The Package Pickup application on usps.com asks customers to indicate if there are dogs at their addresses when they schedule package pickups. This information is provided to carriers on their delivery scanners which send alerts if an unleashed dog is reported in a delivery area.
“The scanners that our carriers use to confirm a customer’s delivery include a feature for them to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address,” said DeCarlo. “This information is particularly helpful for substitute carriers who fill in for regular carriers on their days off.” National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs Sunday, April 8, through Saturday, April 14. The Postal Service, joined by the American Humane, American Veterinary Medical Association, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance, is driving home the message that dog bites are a national issue and education can resolve the issue.
Half of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DeCarlo gave the following tips and encouraged sharing them using the hashtag #preventdogbites.
If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
- Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office.
A total of 6,244 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2017. The top 30 city rankings will be discussed by Jon and Dr. Jarrod. Listen to Podcasts at talkinpets.com click on gallery then archives
Many pet owners have no idea of the correct ways to get rid of leftover heartworm pills, bottles of flea shampoo and other care products they longer need – and more than half of veterinarians aren't helping, a study has found.
Researchers at Oregon State University discovered that more than 60 percent of veterinary care professionals do not counsel clients on the environmental stewardship aspect of medicine disposal. The findings represent an opportunity to dramatically reduce watershed contaminants, according to a press release from the university.
"People are just starting to understand the impact that discarded pharmaceuticals and personal care products have on the environment," said Jennifer Lam, the study’s corresponding author. Lam worked on the research while a graduate student in marine resource management.
"This study opens the door and shows a communication gap, shows where there’s an opportunity to help educate people," she said. "There’s not much communication going on between veterinary care professionals and their clients on how to dispose of expired pet medicines, meaning there’s a lot of potential for those professionals to help their clients learn what to do."
Lam, now a senior analyst for Blue Earth Consultants, and other researchers at OSU surveyed 191 pet owners. They found that nearly half discarded unneeded care products and medicine in the garbage.
Researchers surveyed 88 environmental educators and 103 veterinary care professionals. The survey found that 61 percent of the veterinary professionals did not share information about proper disposal with their clients. And the 39 percent who reported sharing that information did so only 19 percent of the time.
Lam said barriers to communication include lack of knowledge about proper disposal, time, cost and lack of concern on the part of both client and care provider.
The national Sea Grant program is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Association to promote proper disposal of pharmaceutical and personal care products: dropping them off at a take-back event or bringing them to a depository such as those in place at some police stations and college campuses.
This research was funded in part by Oregon Sea Grant. Findings were published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Doing downward dog as a goat wanders beside your mat has been a thing since back in 2016, first in farms in the US, then eventually in special classes in Europe.
What is new, however, is goat pilates, which has some subtle differences.
The first goat pilates class in the UK has taken off at a former dairy farm in Marlborough Downs, created by Laura Corbett.
Laura breeds the pedigree goat kids on her farm. After seeing videos of goats standing on people’s backs during yoga classes, she was inspired to bring the joy of goats into the pilates studio.
She uses young goats rather than fully grown ones, as kids prefer to interact with humans, enjoying being nestled in and stroked.
The people doing the pilates get the endorphins of having a good stretch, plus the release of all the feel-good hormones that come from spending time with cute animals.
‘The kids are like puppies with beautiful long ears and silky coats – always seeking attention,’ says Laura.
‘Goats have individual characters and connect with us by looking at us in the eye, so no-one can help but fall in love with them.
‘They playfully jump and climb on top of you, lightly nibble your clothes and hair, taking real interest in each participant.
”Providing great therapy and an enjoyable experience, which can’t help but make you smile.’
The classes can take up to 16 (human) participants, and start by having everyone stand on mats in a barn as the goats are brought in.
The goats are free to roam around and get comfortable as the group warms up, and are then able to climb on people as they stretch. Because they’re kids, they’re light enough to stand on people’s backs without causing discomfort.
‘We can only use the baby kids because they are small and agile,’ explains Laura.
‘They are between three and six weeks of age, any older and they become too heavy and develop horns that can be quite sharp.’
That means the classes can’t run year round, instead taking running for three weeks annually while the goats are young.
Wearing a heavy smock and rubber boots, Amadedin Eganwa stands over a large conveyor belt that's carrying unconscious lambs. He faces east, toward Mecca, gently lifts the animal's head in the same direction and under his breath he quickly says a prayer —"in God's name" — before swiftly cutting the lamb's throat. Eganwa, a practicing Muslim, performs this slaughter almost 900 times during each shift at Superior Farms slaughterhouse in Denver so that the meat is halal, meaning it's prepared according to Islamic law.
With the Muslim population on pace to possibly become the second-largest religious group in the United States by 2040, the demand for halal meat and other foods is on the rise to the point that Nielsen reports U.S. sales increased 15 percent from 2012 to 2015. Some of the largest meat producers in the country — American Foods Group — are providing more that's halal (in part to satisfy global, not domestic, demand). But industry experts say U.S. consumers may not be aware of it, because some large grocery chains choose not to label products halal.
"The reality of it is some [retailers] are actually concerned about the halal insignia," Superior Farms' vice president of sales Greg Ahart said, adding that the lack of labeling generally happens at big retailers in areas where there aren't large Muslim populations. Superior is one of the largest lamb producers in the country, selling to small ethnic grocery stores as well as retail giants.
Five years ago, the Denver plant and one in California slaughtered lamb according to halal standards just one day a week, Ahart said. As demand rose, Superior Farms, which mostly handles lamb with some goat, became all-halal, all the time. "It really got to be too cumbersome as time went by to maintain inventory segregation on the product that was halal versus the product that wasn't halal," he said.
Shane MacKenzie, who oversees Superior's operations and has worked with the company for 21 years, said halal slaughter doesn't slow anything down: "It's exactly the same except for the practicing Muslim [slaughterman]." Every step in the company's process is approved by the federal Safe and Humane Slaughter Act, which every slaughterhouse must follow, as well as a certifying board, Halal Transactions of Omaha. Additionally, the plant is required to prevent any contamination by non-halal foods, such as pork, alcohol or the use of antibiotics, since they tend to contain pork byproducts.
There isn't a single governing body overseeing the certification of halal meats, and the standards can vary, which means there's little data on the industry. But according to Nielsen, recent sales for halal foods in the U.S. reached $1.9 billion, and Thomson Reuters has pegged the global market at about $415 billion. Despite the marketing opportunities, DinarStandard research analyst Haroon Latif said it's fairly common for retailers to avoid halal labels. "They may feel it's not necessary to mention that it's halal and, in some cases, they may fear a backlash," according to Latif, whose company is a leader in researching the U.S. halal market.
So if Muslims can't look at a label, how do they know it's halal? Often, Latif said, they have to look at social media or websites that list certified halal manufacturers. But he thinks retailers eventually will put their fears aside as they see this market grow, treating halal like kosher, which is now mainstream. As for Eganwa, the Muslim who has been performing halal slaughtering for about a year, he says he considers doing things according to his religious custom "a service to my people."