Another U.S. city has announced plans to make the switch to 100 percent solar power. Hot Springs, Arkansas will soon join six other progressive American cities in an effort to make steps toward a greener and more prosperous future with projected savings of $30 million over the next 30 years.
Nicki Zvik, Founder of Green Solar Technologies, comments, "As an advocate for solar energy, it's encouraging to see cities dedicated to making a difference by means of solar. Solar energy is the future as it is the most viable alternative to fossil fuels, and as more cities have success with solar, the more cities that we'll see follow suit."
Other cities that are completely powered by solar energy include Rock Port, Missouri, Aspen, Colorado, Georgetown, Texas, Burlington, Vermont, Kodiak Island, Alaska, and Greenburg, Kansas.
"Surprisingly enough, none of the cities currently powered 100 percent by solar are in California or other sunny states like Arizona or Nevada," mentions Zvik. "Of course the sunnier states have solar goals of their own, but it just goes to show that solar energy can thrive in varying climates just as it does in sunnier climates."
Though Hot Springs will only be the seventh city to go completely solar, over 120 other American cities have made commitments to making the solar switch within the next few decades.
Apple’s new iPhone 11 offers an important advantage for pet owners, Business Insider reports.
It has the ability to take pet photos in portrait mode. That’s “that blurry background effect,” the website explains.
When this fact was announced at the $700 phone’s launch event, the audience applauded.
Portrait mode for pets is a feat that the iPhone XR, released in 2018, could not achieve — the mode was strictly for people. That’s because the phone had a single camera lens. The iPhone 11 has a dual-lens-camera system.
The iPhone X and iPhone XS also had dual-lens-camera systems, allowing them to take portrait mode photos of pets and objects.
In a press release, Apple explains:
The American Kennel Club and UpDog are pleased to announce that it will recognize the accomplishments of dogs in UpDog Challenge disc dog events with an AKC Disc Dog title. UpDog Challenge (UpDog), an independent governing body for the sport of disc dog, has taken the basic game of fetch with a flying disc and expanded it into a number of creative, fun games.
“UpDog events provide a fun and healthy activity that all dogs and owners can enjoy,” said Doug Ljungren, AKC Executive Vice President of Sports and Events. “It is exciting to watch a dog’s enthusiasm for the sport. The AKC is delighted to associate with UpDog and feels disc dog events will complement many other AKC sports and activities.”
UpDog currently has ten different disc games. All games are based on the standard game of fetch, with different focuses on accuracy, distance, and speed. Several of their games also incorporate agility obstacles. Dogs earn points within each game, which are collected to earn titles called “UPs.” Depending on the number of points accumulated, a dog can earn a Bronze UP, Silver UP, Gold UP, Platinum UP, or the coveted Unobtanium UP. Rules governing UpDog events and information about hosting UpDog events can be found on: updogchallenge.com.
“UpDog Challenge was founded with the goal of making the sport of disc dogging accessible to all. Our games are specially formulated so that dogs of any breed, type, size, or shape—and handlers of any ability—can play and be successful,” said Kat Fahle, CEO of UpDog Challenge. Babz Mahony, UpDog’s CFO says, “Fetch is a foundational game almost everyone plays with their dog. If your dog can fetch, your dog can play UpDog. We encourage all dog owners to come join in the fun.”
Dogs that earn UPs in three different games are eligible for an AKC Disc Dog title. For example, if a dog has gotten the Bronze UP in three games, they are eligible for the AKC Disc
Dog Bronze (DDB) title. Dogs that earn Bronze UPs in six different games are eligible for the Disc Dog Bronze Elite (DDBE) title. “This allows dogs to be recognized for excellence in a variety of games, while leaving the owners free to choose their favorites,” said Stephanie Kennerley, AKC Sport Development Manager. “UpDog is a fabulous activity and we are pleased to provide dog owners this new titling opportunity.”
Specifics about the UpDog/AKC titling program and the AKC title application form can be found in the AKC Title Recognition Program section of the AKC website by clicking on Disc Dog. Title applications will be processed beginning October 1, 2019. A dog’s accomplishments (UPs earned) will be grandfathered back to the beginning of UpDog in 2014.
U.S. spending on pet food fell by $2.27 billion — 7.3% — in 2018, according to the Pet Business Professor blog.
The drop to $28.85 billion came as the supplies and veterinary segments had modest increases, and the services segment had the biggest growth in history.
Total spending in the U.S. pet industry was $78.6 billion. That represented an increase of $1.47 billion — 1.9% — from the year prior.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Pet Food – $28.85 billion (-7.3%)
- Pets and Supplies – $19.8 billion (+6.6%)
- Veterinary – $21.23 billion (+1.6%)
- Pet Services – $8.72 billion (+28.9%)
The blog’s John Gibbons described three factors that contributed to the decline in pet food spending. In his words:
- The July 2018 warning by the FDA about a possible link between grain-free dog food and DCM. Although there is no definitive link, many pet parents, especially new converts to grain free, apparently switched back to foods with a standard mixture made by a well-established manufacturer.
- Value Shopping – This behavior is here to stay, and its impact is noticeably magnified by the internet.
- Millennials moving out – A Pew research study showed that 34% of 25+ yr old Millennials still lived with their parents. In 2018, Millennials began to move out, gaining over 2 million CU’s. They took their pets with them but now they are responsible for expenses. However, it wasn’t an equal $ swap because they spent less ….on the internet.
A hero pup died while saving his family from a tragic house fire.
Zippy, the pet dog of a Florida family, died in the early Tuesday morning hours after warning his owners about a fire that broke out in their home when the fire alarm stopped working.
“He was back and forth. He was from bed to bed, back and forth,” Leroy Butler recalled to Fox 13 of his little Jack Russel Terrier, who ran between Butler’s children to their father while barking as loudly as possible as the fire engulfed their home.
According to Butler, he had woken up when the fire alarm first went off at around 2 a.m., but it only lasted for a short time.
“It only lasted a short ‘beep beep’ and then it was already on fire. It was gone,” Butler told the outlet.
When the alarm was taken out by the fire, Zippy was there to alert his family, making sure they were all able to escape the blaze. However, the pet couldn’t escape himself.
“The floor in the living room was all on fire so there was nowhere for him to run out,” Butler said. “He was a short little dog. There was nowhere for him to go.”
When Butler tried going back into the home to rescue the dog, the fire had already grown too large for him to reach the trapped pup.
“With the smoke, he still did his job. That’s just one thing and one person that I couldn’t save and one person I couldn’t get to,” Butler told Fox 13.
When the firefighters were finally able to reach Zippy, he had already succumbed to the smoke. Butler and his family buried their hero pet Tuesday morning.
“We adopted him as a pet … he was a good dog,” Butler told the outlet. “He only did what he could.”
Despite what many dog owners think, cats are capable of bonding strongly with their owners, new research suggests. In fact, despite their reputation for being aloof and independent, they might love humans just as much as canines do.
A study of the way domestic cats respond to their caregivers “suggests that their socio-cognitive abilities and the depth of their human attachments have been underestimated,” according to a press release announcing the findings, which were published in the journal Current Biology.
“Like dogs, cats display social flexibility in regard to their attachments with humans,” said Kristyn Vitale, animal scientist at Oregon State University. “The majority of cats are securely attached to their owner and use them as a source of security in a novel environment.”
According to the release:
One revealing way to study human attachment behavior is to observe an infant’s response to a reunion with their caregiver following a brief absence in a novel environment. When a caregiver returns, secure infants quickly return to relaxed exploration while insecure individuals engage in excessive clinging or avoidance behavior. Similar tests had been run before with primates and dogs, so Vitale and her colleagues decided to run the same test, only this time with cats. During the test, an adult cat or kitten spent two minutes in a novel room with their caregiver followed by two minutes alone. Then, they had a two-minute reunion. The cats’ responses to seeing their owners again were classified into attachment styles. The results show that cats bond in a way that’s surprisingly similar to infants. In humans, 65 percent of infants are securely attached to their caregiver.
“Domestic cats mirrored this very closely,” Vitale says.
In fact, the researchers classified about 65 percent of both cats and kittens as securely bonded to their people.
The findings show that cats’ human attachments are stable and present in adulthood. This social flexibility may have helped facilitate the success of the species in human homes, Vitale says.
The researchers are now exploring the importance of this work in relation to the thousands of kittens and cats that wind up in animal shelters.
The Madison Square Garden Company and the Westminster Kennel Club have announced that the 144th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will return to Madison Square Garden on Monday, February 10 and Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Additionally, – a new breed will be introduced to the competition, the Azawakh, making its Westminster debut at The World’s Most Famous Arena.Tickets go on sale Thursday, October 3 at 10:00am.
The Azawakh, is an ancient hunting hound that hails from the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The Azawakh’s short, fine coat can come in several shades and color combinations. As a member of the sighthound family, the breed’s lean and muscular structure paired with their keen vision makes them reliable hunters. The Azawakh’s sprinting ability have allowed them to chase gazelle across the Sahara Desert for more than a thousand years. In addition to the breed’s physical capabilities they also excel as companion dogs.
“We are thrilled to be back at Madison Square Garden for the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and to announce the addition of an African sighthound breed that will make its debut on the green carpet this year at the World’s Most Famous Arena,” said Gail Miller Bisher, director of communications, Westminster Kennel Club. “This will be a historic year for the breed and the kennel club.”
The Westminster Kennel Club is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purpose bred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster's influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all-breed, benched dog show held every year in New York City.
Tickets will be available beginning on Thursday, October 3 at 10:00 a.m. and can be purchased online at www.msg.com/dogshow, Ticketmaster at 1-866-858-0008 or the Ticketmaster Box Office at Madison Square Garden. Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Service charges apply to telephone, internet and box office pick-up orders. For group sales, please call 212-465-6080. Accessible and companion seats are available via the Disabled Services Department at 888-609-7599.
The guy who bred the first Labradoodle now regrets his creation, CNN reports.
“I opened a Pandora’s box and released a Frankenstein(‘s) monster,” said Wally Conron, speaking as part of an Australian Broadcasting Corp. podcast.
Most of the dogs are “either crazy or have an hereditary problem,” he said. Healthy Labradoodles are, in his view, “few and far between.”
Conron was working for Guide Dogs Victoria in Australia in 1989 when he developed the breed. His goal at the time was to produce a hypoallergenic guide dog for a blind woman in Hawaii. The woman’s husband was allergic to dogs, but one of the puppies that Conron bred managed not to set off his allergies.
Snake catchers have removed a monstrous red-bellied black snake from a home in Far North Queensland.
The venomous animal was found in the Lakes area in Cairns' north and was longer than a metre in size.
Catchers from the Cairns Snake Removals group posted images of the snake to social media and warned that the red-bellied species does not necessarily have to show its colour.
Snake catchers have removed a monstrous red-bellied black snake from a home in Far North Queensland.
"Cairns and surrounds produces them with white, grey, blue grey and black bellies."
The capture comes just days after another 1.8-metre red-bellied black snake was captured south-east of Brisbane.
Found on the Belmont Shooting Range near a large creek system, the snake was described as "abnormally large".
"It's currently breeding season for snakes, so the big male was likely looking for females," a spokesman from Snake Catchers Brisbane told 9News.com.au.
Red-bellied black snakes are "naturally placid" and will usually retreat before attacking, but they have been known to flatten their bodies and hiss loudly when threatened.
There are no recorded human deaths from red-bellied black snakes, although bites can cause bleeding, swelling, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sweating, local or general muscle pain and weakness.
Red-bellied black snakes are typically found in south-east Queensland, eastern New South Wales and Victoria.