After Giant Rabbit Dies on United Flight, Petition Demands Animal Welfare Organizations Step In
A Care2 petition demanding an animal welfare organization review United’s animal travel policy and update it as necessary has over 6,000 signatures
After a giant, three-foot-long rabbit died on a transatlantic United Airlines flight, a Care2 petition is demanding an animal welfare organization review United’s animal travel policy and update it as necessary. The petition has over 6,000 signatures.
VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/807/494/677/
The rabbit, a 10-month-old giant rabbit named Simon, was traveling from London to Chicago after being bought by a celebrity in the U.S. Simon was expected to grow to be the world’s largest rabbit.
The breed costs over $6,000 a year to care for.
The Care2 petition is asking United to enlist an independent animal welfare organization to review its pet travel policies and make appropriate updates.
A United spokeswoman said: “We were saddened to hear this news. The safety and wellbeing of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team. We have been in contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter.”
The scandal comes less than three weeks after a previous Care2 petition demanded United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz step down after shocking video footage showed a man being forcibly removed from his seat on an overbooked United flight and dragged down the airplane aisle. The petition has gathered over 94,000 signatures.
The pet industry is still buzzing with the big news that PetSmart has entered into an agreement to acquire online retailer Chewy.com—a marriage that makes a ton of sense for both sides of the deal and could have a significant impact on the entire pet retail landscape. Similar to what Walmart did with the purchase of Jet.com last year, the acquisition presents PetSmart with an opportunity to expand its e-commerce reach and removes a huge source of online competition that was constantly undercutting the big-box pet chain on price.
On the other side of the equation, it seems that this is exactly the type of deal Chewy was built for in the first place. Many pet industry experts remain skeptical that the online retail juggernaut has ever turned a profit—or ever would—even with all of the sales growth it has experienced over the past couple of years. That’s because the company’s pricing structure—which includes little to no margins, particularly on food—appears to be designed more to capture market share than to build a foundation for profitability. That could indicate that an IPO or sale of the business may have always been the endgame that the Chewy founder and CEO had in mind.
Regardless of the motivations of PetSmart and Chewy, the most important question for independent retailers is: How will this deal impact the rest of the pet specialty channel?
While I’ve heard some people say the acquisition of Chewy could make PetSmart a more formidable competitor by expanding its e-commerce arm, I’m not completely sold. In fact, many independent pet retailers I have spoken with in the wake of the acquisition announcement believe the deal could actually end up taking some of the bite out of Chewy as a direct competitor for two important reasons says Mark Kayalgian of Pet Business.
First, there is an expectation among some industry experts that many pet food brands that have sold their products through Chewy but not PetSmart—out of loyalty to independent pet stores—may pull their products off the e-commerce site as a result of the deal. And there are some early indications that this will be the case. Tuffy’s Pet Food is the first brand to make such a move, and I’ve heard rumors that similar announcements are imminent. This could set off something of a domino effect that would ultimately result in far less direct competition between mom-and-pop pet stores and Chewy.
Second, given the investment it just made in acquiring the company, PetSmart is probably going to expect Chewy to become profitable sooner rather than later. That means raising prices to build in some kind of margins. That would obviously be a big help to brick-and-mortar pet stores that regularly find products on Chewy at prices that are at or even below what they can get at wholesale.
Of course, it’s all speculation at this point
Temple Grandin, PhD, recommended that pet food companies use pictorial representations on their bags to educate consumers about what pets’ healthy weights look like, in an interview with Petfood Industry. Simple images of particular breeds could demonstrate four weight classifications. Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, best-selling author and friend of Talkin’ Pets.
“One of the things the pet food industry could do is make pictures showing too skinny, just right, overweight and obese for some of the popular breeds,” she said. “People know what grossly obese looks like. What most people, I think, don’t know is a-bit-overweight.”
Regardless of what pet food and treat manufacturers do, Grandin ultimately put the responsibility on pet owners to take control over pet obesity. Pets may be inclined to eat more when under stress, like humans, she said. Yet, even under stressful conditions, the responsibility to control a pet’s food intake still falls upon their human caretaker.
“People just shovel the treats and too much food into them,” said Grandin. “Another thing is, people get a dog too fat, and they don’t even realize it…Some people think fat is what the dog should look like.”
Although less common, she also noted that underweight pets need to be identified too, since pet owners may not know what it looks like when their cat or dog is too skinny.
Why would someone go around shaving other people's kitties?
The mystery has the attention of police in Waynesboro, a small city in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley where someone has been taking cats and precisely shaving their underbellies or legs. It's happened to seven cats since December.
Police Capt. Kelly Walker said that all the cats have been returned otherwise unharmed, but some seem bothered. Walker says all the cats clearly had owners - they were well-groomed and wearing collars. He says police aren't sure what crime has been committed, but the owners "would just like it to stop."
Walker says he learned of the feline barbering spree this week when a resident asked if he could post notices asking anyone with information to contact police.
This Song By Rapper gnash Is Designed to Make Your Dog Feel Relaxed and Happy
While dogs might eat anything out of the garbage, they have refined taste in music.
Gnash wanted to find this aural canine sweet spot, so he could write a song for his rescue dog Daisy. To help bring this project to life, the “i hate u, i love u” singer-songwriter partnered with YouTube and Best Friends Animal Society’s No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) Initiative. Using what he learned about psychoacoustic therapy for animals, gnash produced “song for daisy,” a tune crafted to help alleviate his pup’s social anxiety. Daisy loved it.
But perhaps, even more important, the shelter dogs of Best Friends Animal Society’s NKLA Pet Adoption Center adored it, too: The specially crafted song had immediate effects on the rescue pooches, who can get easily wound up or anxious in the shelter environment. Just by clicking play, gnash was able to calm an entire room of rowdy shelter dogs.
“Watching an entire room full of dogs, and my own rescue dog Daisy, react to this song was such a powerful experience,” said gnash. “It was incredible to be able to create music that transcends human emotion and has the ability to connect with these animals on a deeper level. I hope this video and song help other rescue pet owners comfort their furry friends the same way it did mine.”
Along with making dogs happy in the moment, gnash hopes this tune helps these animals find happiness in the future as well. A calmer shelter dog is more likely to show off his or her true personality and, in turn, have a better chance of finding a forever home. You can try the song for yourself on your own pup today. “Song for daisy” is now live on YouTube in celebration of Sunday’s Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.
If you can’t adopt a pet of your own right now, you can help the thousands of animals living in shelters by texting “ADOPT” to 50555 from your mobile device to instantly donate $10.00 to Best Friends Animal Society and support its goal to end the killing of shelter pets. Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of animals in shelters across the country.
This project is an example of how YouTube commits to artist growth by connecting creators to their fans and their passions. This project, in particular, was designed to bring gnash’s passion and love for animals to life on YouTube through a compelling story, which fellow pet owners can interact with at home.
Yu Darvish, pitching ace, saver of dogs.
After seeing a tweet about a female blue pit bull named Sage a day from heading to the pound, Darvish adopted her. He now has six dogs, including one he adopted in 2014 when teammate Tanner Scheppers found a stray.
“She’s doing really good right now,” said Darvish, a dog-lover from way back who had four dogs growing up as a kid. Darvish saw a retweet from Rangers dugout reporter Emily Jones, who retweeted KTCK/1310 AM producer Danny Balis’ original tweet about the dog. Darvish saw the tweet just as he was about to go to sleep around 11 p.m. Thursday.
He talked it over with his wife and made arrangements to pick up the dog Friday morning. Adding a sixth dog was not in his immediate plans but he couldn’t stand the thought of the doomed dog.
“When I’m on the road my family will take care of them but at the same time you think what’s going to happen to him if nobody picks her up. That was the thing that kind of stuck in my head,” he said. “I have five dogs already so I’m still thinking about what we’re going to do.”
It’s Darvish’s second pit bull. He also has a Cane Corso, a miniature schnauzer, French bulldog and miniature pincher.
Darvish took the opportunity to remind people that taking care of pets takes responsibility.
“Before you get a dog think about what you need to do to take care of it,” he said. “I don’t want people to think, ‘oh, he can take care of 20 dogs, 30 dogs. I got what I can be responsible for. Make sure you take care of your dog.”
Six dogs? Wow, that’s a lot of clean up, isn’t it?
“We have gardeners that take care of that,” Darvish said.