IPS, a leading provider of digital technologies that transform business applications, today announced that it has sponsored the planting of trees in developing communities worldwide through a donation to the non-profit organization, Trees for the Future.
IPS, a Global Cooling Business partner with Trees for the Future, has pledged to plant enough trees each year to offset its annual carbon dioxide emissions.
"IPS is pleased to continue its support of Trees for the Future. There are many ways that trees are beneficial to both people and the environment. For instance, a single tree sequesters an average of 34.6 pounds of carbon annually," said IPS President and CEO Greg Bartels. "Any business can do its part to help the environment by eliminating paper-based processes with digital technologies."
IPS provides digital solutions that transform business applications such as accounts payable, telecommunications expense management and business process automation. IPS' flagship Productivity Wrx℠ platform makes digital transformation a reality for businesses by combining technologies such as intelligent data capture, robotic process automation, business analytics and mobile with IPS' unmatched expertise and experience in business process automation. Each year, IPS processes more than $100 billion in AP spend and has created over 1 billion digital records over the past decade. IPS enables its clients to reduce costs, significantly accelerate cycle times, improve transparency and enhance customer service. Learn more at http://www.ipswrx.com.
About Trees for the Future
Trees for the Future (TREES) is an international development non-profit that meets a triple bottom line: poverty alleviation, hunger eradication and healing the environment. Through our Forest Garden Approach, we train farmers to plant and manage Forest Gardens that sustainably feed families and raise their incomes by 400 percent. TREES receives donations to implement our work in areas where they can have the greatest impact. TREES currently works across five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. Since 1989, TREES has planted nearly 150 million trees. Learn more at http://www.trees.org.
This year, Bug Busters USA, Inc. and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are working to spread public awareness about termites. With spring upon us, termites will begin swarming and could seek out your home for their new nesting space. To help you prevent a termite infestation, we are educating homeowners on three things they could be doing to attract termites.
"The damage caused by termites typically goes unnoticed by homeowners until it has advanced too far, as most of their work happens behind the scenes and out of sight from the human eye. In fact, the NPMA estimates that termites cause $5 billion in damage every year," said Court Parker, COO at Bug Busters USA, Inc. "While termites can be difficult to control, homeowners could also be unaware of a few things they could be doing to attract these wood-destroying pests."
According to NPMA, here are three unexpected ways that homeowners can actually make their homes more appealing to termites:
1. Storing firewood too close to property: Many homeowners keep firewood stacked against their home or on the stoop for easy access. This is appealing to termites and can draw them toward a home and provide a point of entry. Instead, store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground. Also, be careful of leaving stumps and dead trees in the yard. Rotting wood material can serve as termite fuel and eventually result in termites entering the home.
2. Clogged gutters: Cleaning the gutters is a necessary part of termite prevention. Termites love moisture and clogged gutters can cause water to pool and make insulation vulnerable to these wood-destroying pests.
3. Mulch: Mulch is frequently used near the home and against the foundation and can serve as a source of food for termites. It also retains moisture, which attracts these destructive pests. Minimize the usage of wood mulch and keep it at least 15 inches from the foundation.
Alley Cat Allies is providing emergency, lifesaving medical funds, transportation costs, food and critical supplies to organizations in Alabama that are working to save the lives of cats affected by the devastating tornadoes that struck on March 3.
“In the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, the focus is on saving lives, identifying animals and reuniting them to their homes,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “There are groups doing outstanding work in each of those areas, and it’s important for us to support their efforts.”
This emergency support will save cats like Freddie, who was pulled from the rubble in Beauregard, Alabama, an area devastated by the tornadoes. After receiving veterinary care, Freddie was transferred to Lee County Humane Society in Auburn, which will work to reunite him with his family.
Lee County Humane Society and the Southern Souls Animal League in Eufala, Alabama, are using Alley Cat Allies’ funding for disaster response, transport of animals affected by the tornado and critical equipment. These groups are working to reunite cats like Freddie with their families and move animals out of the affected areas to safety.
“We’re grateful for the support of Alley Cat Allies as we’re transporting cats out of harms’ way,” said Southern Souls Animal League Director Anna Shepard. “We need all the help we can get as we recover from the aftermath of this disaster and continue our critical work to protect animals. Alley Cat Allies has been a lifesaver in this time of so much need.”
About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than a half-million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
A surprising number of pet owners, particularly those who are vegan, are interested in feeding their pets a plant-based diet, according to new research. Researchers with the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, along with colleagues in New Zealand, conducted an online survey of 3,673 dog and cat owners from around the world to learn about what kinds of foods they fed their pets and themselves.
Published in the journal PLoS ONE, the survey found that 35 percent of owners whose pets ate conventional diets were interested in switching their animals to a vegan diet. More than half of them (55 percent) added, though, that certain stipulations needed to be met before they would make the switch. Those stipulations included needing further evidence that a plant-based diet would meet their pets’ nutritional needs, wanting approval from their veterinarians and wanting plant-based pet foods to be easily available.
Just under 6 percent of the survey respondents were vegan — meaning they ate no meat, dairy or fish – and more than a quarter (27 percent) of them reported they already fed their pets plant-based diets. Among the rest of the vegans, 78 percent were interested in helping their pets to switch to a plant-based diet if one were available that met their needs.
Lead author Sarah Dodd, currently a PhD candidate at the OVC’s Department of Population Medicine, said even she was surprised by how many vegans had already chosen to eliminate meat from their pets’ diets. “That percentage, 27 percent, might sound like a small number, but when you think of the actual numbers of pets involved, that’s huge, and much higher than we expected.” In total, 1.6 percent of the 2,940 dogs in the survey and 0.7 percent of the 1,545 cats were being fed a strictly plant-based diet; only vegans and one vegetarian chose to exclusively feed plant-based diets. Another 10.4 percent of the dogs and 3.3 percent of cats were intermittently fed vegetarian diets or plant-based foods.
Of the 3,673 pet owners surveyed, 6 percent were vegetarian (meaning they ate no meat but did eat dairy, eggs or honey), 4 percent were pescatarian (meaning they ate no meat but fish, and may eat dairy, eggs or honey), and nearly 6 percent were vegan (meaning they ate no animal products). Dodd performed this study for her M.Sc. degree with professor Adronie Verbrugghe in OVC’s Department of Clinical Studies. Dodd said that while her team’s research was not designed to assess whether vegan pet diets are a growing trend, she expects interest in the diets to increase.
“People have been hearing about how vegan diets are linked to lowered risks of cancer and other health benefits in humans. There is also growing concern about the environmental impact of animal agriculture.” Previous studies have also shown that pet owners tend to offer the same kind of diets to their dogs and cats that they adopt for themselves. “So, while only a small proportion of pet owners are currently feeding plant-based diets to their pets, it is safe to say that interest in the diets is likely to grow.”
However, there has not been much research on the nutritional suitability of vegan diets for dogs and cats, nor on the health benefits and risks of plant-based diets in these animals, said Dodd. “This study shows there is a clear need for further research in this area.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sheep semen frozen for 50 years was as fertile as samples on ice for just one year, according to an unpublished Australian study.
University of Sydney researchers said they used semen frozen since 1968 to inseminate 56 Marino ewes, resulting in 34 pregnancies (61 percent). That compares to 59 percent success with year-old frozen semen used to inseminate 1,048 ewes.
"This demonstrates the clear viability of long-term frozen storage of semen. The results show that fertility is maintained despite 50 years of frozen storage in liquid nitrogen," study author Simon de Graaf said in a university news release. He's an associate professor of animal reproduction from the university's School of Life and Environmental Sciences.
De Graaf and research partner Jessica Rickard believe this is the world's oldest viable stored semen and "definitely" the oldest used to produce offspring.
Rickard is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Sydney Institute of Agriculture who first determined if the stored semen could be used for artificial insemination.
After the semen -- stored as small pellets in large vats of liquid nitrogen at minus-196 degrees -- was thawed, its DNA integrity was tested. It was also tested to determine how fast and efficiently its sperm moved.
"What is amazing about this result is we found no difference between sperm frozen for 50 years and sperm frozen for a year," Rickard said.
Lambs born from the 50-year-old semen "appear to display the body wrinkle that was common in Merinos in the middle of last century," de Graaf said. The feature was designed to maximize skin surface and wool yields, but that style of Merino wool is largely out of favor now because the folds led to shearing problems and an increased risk of a parasitic infection known as fly strike, he added.
"We can now look at the genetic progress made by the wool industry over past 50 years of selective breeding. In that time, we've been trying to make better, more productive sheep," de Graaf said. "This gives us a resource to benchmark and compare."
Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced on March 20 an expansion of its recall of select canned dog food products due to elevated levels of vitamin D. This recall expansion was caused by the same vitamin premix received from a U.S. supplier that was the source of the Jan. 31, 2019, recall and is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
While vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to potential health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure, and dogs may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss. When consumed at very high levels, vitamin D can in rare cases lead to potentially life threatening health issues in dogs, including renal dysfunction. Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian. In most cases, complete recovery is expected after discontinuation of feeding.
In the U.S., the affected canned dog foods were distributed through retail pet stores and veterinary clinics nationwide. No dry foods, cat foods, or treats are affected. Pet parents in the U.S. who purchased the product with the specific lot/date codes listed should discontinue feeding and dispose of those products immediately or return unopened product to your retailer for a refund. For more information, contact Hill’s via its website or at 1-800-445-5777.
Impacted products outside of the U.S. will be subject to separate notices on the country-specific website. If you are outside of the U.S., check your own country’s Hill’s website for more information. Hill’s Pet Nutrition learned of the potential for elevated vitamin D levels in some of its canned dog foods after receiving a complaint in the U.S. about a dog exhibiting signs of elevated vitamin D levels. Its investigation confirmed elevated levels of vitamin D due to a supplier error.
Following that recall, Hill’s conducted a detailed review of all canned dog foods potentially impacted by the vitamin premix with elevated levels of vitamin D. This review included: analyzing consumer complaints; reviewing veterinarian medical consultations; auditing its supplier; and reviewing its own manufacturing and quality procedures. The company then did additional product testing to ensure it had taken all appropriate action. The review determined that there were additional products affected by that vitamin premix, and it is for that reason that the company is expanding the recall. Hill’s has received a limited number of complaints of pet illness related to some of these products.
The Labrador Retriever once again breaks records! The American Kennel Club (AKC®) announced at a press conference today at the AKC Museum of the Dog that the loveable Lab remains the number one most popular breed in the United States. Additionally, AKC registration continues to expand for the sixth consecutive year.
While the Labrador Retriever continues its reign at the top, the German Shorthaired Pointer has been quietly climbing the charts over the past decade. This versatile, all-purpose hunter came in at number nine in 2018 – it’s highest position since becoming recognized in 1930.
“The Labrador Retriever shows no signs of giving up the top spot anytime soon,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “Labs make wonderful companions for a wide variety of people, and for good reason. The breed is very intelligent, friendly and great with children. Attention must be paid to the German Shorthaired Pointer, however! This jack of all trades in the pointer world has slowly but steadily risen in popularity over the years. People continue to fall in love with its versatility, extreme intelligence and willingness to please.”
In addition to the country’s most popular, rare breeds were on the rise in 2018. Pumik rose 11 spots last year (162 to 151), Ibizan Hounds rose 13 spots (165 to 152), and Finnish Lapphunds rose 12 spots (173 to 161). Terriers also made a comeback after years on the decline. Rat Terriers rose 11 spots (97 to 86), Border Terriers rose four spots (92 to 88), Bedlington Terriers rose 10 spots (151 to 141), and Dandie Dinmont Terriers rose six spots (182 to 176).
AKC’s top 10 most popular breeds in 2018, along with the 2017 comparison:
2018 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
2017 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
Learn more about America’s most popular breed, the Labrador Retriever, HERE.
View photos of the most popular breeds HERE.