In the past two years, nearly 28 percent of households experienced barriers to veterinary care, according to a new survey.
Dogs and cats living in lower-income households and with younger pet owners are most at risk for not receiving recommended care. The overwhelming barrier for all groups of pet owners and all types of care is financial, with 80 percent unable to obtain preventive care due to financial constraints, 74 percent for sick care, and 56 percent for emergency care.
The survey was conducted by the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition, a partnership of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary service providers, animal welfare and social service professionals, and educators, working in collaboration with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Social Work.
“Lack of access to veterinary care is a complex societal problem with many causes,” said Michael Blackwell, chairman of the coalition, veterinarian, former dean of UT’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and director of the Program for Pet Health Equity. “This report furthers our understanding of these complex and interrelated issues and can guide stakeholders in the development of solutions to reach underserved families with pets. Barriers to veterinary care can be mitigated through determined effort and better alignment of existing resources to achieve this outcome.”
The coalition’s report Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy identifies the need for better solutions that allow more people to obtain veterinary care.
The study confirmed that veterinary service providers recognize the severity of the problem and feel a commitment to explore ways to address it. The highest level of agreement expressed by veterinarians in the survey was in response to the statement: “All pets deserve some level of veterinary care.” Almost all respondents — 95 percent — either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. Nearly nine out of 10 respondents indicated they agreed or strongly agreed that owned pets are a member of the family. Similarly, 87 percent agreed that not being able to obtain needed veterinary care impacts the owner’s mental and emotional health.
The report also includes results of research that focuses on pet owners experiencing housing insecurity; technical reports from experts on pets as family, evolving animal welfare laws, public health, and for-profit and nonprofit veterinary practices; and a discussion of issues and attitudes that are relevant to access to care in veterinary practice.
The study was commissioned through a grant from Maddie’s Fund, a national family foundation created by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, to better understand the barriers faced by pet owners across the socioeconomic spectrum.
Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, has awarded an honorary degree to a dog who accompanied his owner to her classes.
Brittany Hawley relied on her dog, Griffin, for help as she completed her master’s degree in occupational therapy, the New York Post reports.
Hawley experiences chronic pain and uses a wheelchair. Griffin helps her with tasks such as opening doors and getting things.
Griffin wore a cap and gown like everyone else at Hawley’s recent graduation ceremony, the Post reports.
Clarkson’s board of trustees stated that Griffin exhibited “extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment and diligent dedication to the well-being and student success” of his owner.
Ford Motor Co. has applied the noise-cancelling technology it uses in some of its vehicles, such as the Fusion sedan and Edge crossover, to the world of doghouses, Autoblog reports.
The kennel is designed to be a refuge for canines who are freaked out by fireworks.
Among its features are “sound deadening panels sandwiched between the layers” and “active noise-canceling speakers to dull the booms of fireworks,” according to Autoblog.
Engadget notes that the doghouse is equipped with “cork panels, anti-vibration risers and even soundproofed ventilation.”
The kennel is only a prototype for now, not an actual product.
“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could help people in other situations,” said Lyn West, brand content manager, marketing communications, Ford of Europe.
“Making sure dogs and their owners could enjoy a stress-free New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect application for our Active Noise Control system, and we have a few more ideas in progress as to how our everyday lives might benefit from a little Ford know-how.”
The Friends of Campbell County Animal Control said the county is investigating after a crate full of cats was found in a snowy field Wednesday night.
The shelter said animal control officers got the call that an oversized wire crate, with a dozen cats of varying sizes, was left in a snowy field on Red Oak School Road around 5 p.m.
The caller said the cats were in distress and needed rescue.
Animal Control Officer Labryer said when she got to the scene, she knew that lifesaving measures were needed for several of the cats and kittens.
She said four six-week-old kittens had escaped through the wires, were laying in the snow, and were not moving. Three juvenile cats had also managed to squeeze out of the crate and were in distress. Four adult and two juvenile cats were still in the crate, soaking wet, and shivering.
Officer Labryer called the shelter at 6:15 p.m. asking for volunteers to meet at the shelter with hot water filled bottles, towels, and warmed blankets.
The shelter said volunteers acted quickly when the cats got to them around 7 p.m. and they thawed out and were soon grooming on another, indicated they were going to be okay.
By 8 p.m., the shelter said all indications were good that the cats would survive.
The older cats were logged in to the shelter and set up in warm cages with food, water, blankets, and litter boxes, while the four tinies headed home with a volunteer for the night, for observation and 'tending.'
The shelter said they ate well, used the litter box, and are doing well.
If you have any knowledge of the person or parties responsible for leaving the cats in the crate on the side of the road, call the non-emergency Campbell County dispatch number at 434-592-9574 and ask to leave a message for Animal Control. You may remain anonymous.
Some cities in Oregon say urban deer populations are becoming too large - and too much of a problem.
Now state officials are offering solutions.
It’s all part of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s urban deer population control pilot program.
The program would allow cities to better control urban deer populations.
First, the city would need to adopt an ordinance declaring the urban deer population as a public nuisance, as well as an ordinance to prohibit the feeding of deer.
“You always hear, don't feed the bears, clean up your camp ground," Michelle Dennehy with ODFW said. "That's because if you feed them they're going to be drawn to that area, they tend to lose their natural fear of people and they become a nuisance. So it's the same situation with deer or other wildlife.”
The program would also look at euthanizing deer after the ordinances are passed.
ODFW says this would be done by a form of law enforcement.
Nine suspects were arrested. Three were incarcerated Tuesday at the jail in Ocala on multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit racketeering, baiting animals, animal cruelty and taking a black bear. During a months-long Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation into the baiting, trapping and mauling of bears in various parts of the state, including the Ocala National Forest, several people were identified and are being charged with crimes.
Three of them, Dustin Reddish, 25; his wife Haley Reddish, 25; and William Tyler Wood, 29, all of Lake Butler in Union County, were booked at the Marion County Jail on multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit racketeering, baiting animals, animal cruelty and taking a black bear.
Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Edward Scott, of Marion County, also signed off on arrest warrants for Mark Christopher Lindsey, 26; Charles “Buddy” Luther Scarbrough III, 30; Hannah Weiner Scarbrough, 27; Christopher Elliot Haun, 42; William “Willie Bob” Edward Landrum, 39; and Troy Travis Starling, 45, on similar charges. According to FWC officials, some of the nine are related through marriage and others are friends; the nine reside in locations in Florida, Georgia and Virginia.
The investigation began in early January and continued up to September. FWC officials said members of the group would go out in forests with treats, such as doughnuts and sugary sweets, to entice bears along trails in Marion, Volusia, Baker and other counties. They would then use specially trained dogs, monitored through GPS, to track the bears.
The dogs often would send the bear, or bears, up into trees. The dogs would remain on the ground and wait for the bear to jump from or fall, at which point the dogs would attack. In one instance, FWC officials said, surveillance video captured Dustin Reddish, Charles Scarbrough and Mark Lindsey removing doughnuts and pastries from a dumpster inside a fenced area at a Krispy Kreme site in Duval County. The video shows them putting the items in Reddish’s truck, officials said.
Authorities said one attack posted to Facebook by Wood showed a large pack of dogs chasing bears up into trees and chasing some bears on the ground. FWC officials said one Snapchat video showed Troy Starling and another person skinning a bear in the woods in Union County.
Late Wednesday, the FWC and Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution issued a news release that discussed “investigation into the illegal baiting, taking and molestation of Florida black bears by the use of dogs for commercial purposes. FWC officers gathered evidence of numerous illegal acts in several Florida counties on both private and public lands. Prosecution of this case is being coordinated by the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.”
“Not only were these gruesome acts of violence repulsive and cruel, they were recorded and posted to social media for the amusement of the defendants. I doubt they are laughing any longer, now that they have been arrested for serious crimes,” Bondi stated in the release. The Marion County Jail log indicates that bail for Dustin Reddish is set at total of $97,100 on eight charges. Haley Reddish is being held on seven counts, with total bail at $95,100. William Wood faces nine charges, with his bail set at $107.100.