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Saturday, 19 October 2019 00:00

Talkin' Pets News Featured

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Talkin' Pets News

October 19, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal & Avian Hospital, Lutz, Florida

Producer - Lexi Lapp

Reporter - Danny Adams

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media - Bob Page


U.S. spending on pet supplies rose 6.6 percent last year to reach $19.8 billion, according to the Pet Business Professor blog.

The average household spent $150.62 on supplies in 2018, the blog’s John Gibbons writes. That was an increase from $142.90 the year before.

Pet supplies spending outpaced total pet spending, which grew only 1.9 percent in 2018 to hit $77.13 billion.

Gibbons writes: “The first half of 2018 continued an upturn in Supplies spending which began in the second half of 2016. However, in the second half of the year spending flattened out.”

Prices were a key factor. They started to move up in April and rapidly increased later in the year due to the impact of new tariffs. By December, supplies prices were 3.3% higher than a year earlier, and that “explains the initial growth and pull back in spending, according to Gibbons.

“Since the great recession, spending trends in the Supplies segment have been all about price – the CPI,” he writes. “Although many supplies are needed by Pet Parents, when they are bought and how much you spend is often discretionary.”

He adds: “When prices fall, consumers are more likely to buy more. When they go up, consumers spend less and/or buy less frequently.”

Numbers in the report come from or are calculated using data from the U.S. BLS Consumer Expenditure Surveys.

The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is proud to honor K9 Max, of the Lubbock Police with the 2019 AKC Paw of CourageSM award. This award shows appreciation for working canines that put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe, specifically recognizing those who are serving or have served their departments honorably and have demonstrated heroism in the line of duty.

“K9 Max of the Lubbock Police Department is a prime example of the hard work, loyalty and dedication that working dogs exhibit in the service of humankind,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “He continually risks his life in the line of duty to protect the people of his community and his bravery deserves to be recognized. The 2019 AKC Paw of Courage award gives us an opportunity to pay tribute to the sacrifice that K9 Max has made.”

K9 Max is a two-year-old Dutch Shepherd working with his handler, Corporal Brock Gruner, for the Lubbock Police Department in Texas. He is a multi-purpose police dog, trained in narcotics detection as well as criminal apprehension. K9 Max and Cpl. Gruner are certified with the National Narcotics Detection Dog Association in both narcotics and patrol work. K9 Max has been credited with several narcotics finds and suspect apprehensions since joining the department in February of 2019.

While responding to a vehicle theft this past August, K9 Max and Cpl. Gruner found themselves on a foot pursuit with a teen suspect who began firing at the pair with a stolen pistol. In an attempt to apprehend the suspect, K9 Max suffered two gunshot wounds; one in the front-left paw and one in the right-rear haunch. The dog was taken to an emergency veterinarian with non-life-threatening injuries.

K9 Max is expected to make a full recovery and pending an evaluation, return to duty with the Lubbock Police Department. When K9 Max is not on duty, he is a playful and friendly family pet that enjoys being with Cpl. Gruner and his family.

Any working dog is eligible to receive an AKC Paw of Courage; the award is not specific to purebred dogs. To nominate a dog for the next set of Paw of Courage awards, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Recipients of the award, or their human partner, will receive a 2019 AKC Paw of Courage medal and a certificate of recognition. In addition, the recipients will receive a photo and profile on


Here are 10 Halloween Green Tips from WWF & Restore America’s Estuaries

    1. Decorations. Instead of buying materials for decorations, gather supplies, arts and crafts throughout the year. Examples include:
      • Turn stockings with runs into spider-webbing
      • Paint foam peanuts (packing materials) and turn them into worms
      • Clean Styrofoam and make Halloween masks
      • Turn cardboard boxes into tombstones
      • Make other creative decorations from netting from bags of oranges, cotton balls, leaves and branches from the yard, etc
      • Reuse your decorations from the previous year
    2. Costumes. Make your own!Parties. When having a party, cut down on waste by avoiding disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Use regular dishes or buy biodegradable ones, and use a marker (or apply cute labels) to identify cups so party-goers can keep track of theirs.
      • Keep old clothes that can be used as good pieces or parts of costumes, like worn t-shirts, black pants/shorts, etc.
      • If necessary, shop at thrift shops, consignment stores and yard sales, instead of buying retail
      • Let your kids' imaginations run wild! Make a game of turning old clothes into costumes.
    3. Treats. Buy locally produced foods, candies and treats. Look for goodies with minimal packaging and/or those made packaged in recycled materials.Trick-or-Treat Bags. Use (and decorate) household items to collect candy in. A bucket, pillowcase, or old even an old bag can be decorated inexpensively at home - and reused year after year.
      • Check labels to see that chocolate and sugar are from sustainable sources.
    4. Pumpkins. Buy pumpkins from local farms or farmers' markets. Better yet, grow your own -- kids love to watch them grow!
    5. Jack-o-lanterns. Don't throw away all the goodies from inside your pumpkin. Toast the seeds for tasty treats. Make pumpkin pie or muffins with the fruit - or compost it.
    6. Transportation. Trick or Treat by walking around your neighborhood instead of driving to another destination. Get to know your neighbors, reduce your carbon emissions and help keep the streets safe for other walkers.
    7. Compost and Recycle. From party food to treats to pumpkins, consider composting all organic matter and recycling other items.
  • Reuse! Reuse as much as you can from year to year. Instead of throwing away an old box or bag, use it to gather all your decorations and keep for next year. Plus, you can surprise your family and friends by quickly pulling out your box and throwing an impromptu Halloween party any time of year!

Uber is testing a feature that allows users to match with drivers who welcome four-legged riders.

It’s called Uber Pet, and it’s debuting in seven cities, VenureBeat reports. The cities are Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay.

Riders using the feature, which will be visible within the app, will pay an extra $3 to $5, according to VentureBeat.

Until now, Uber drivers have been required to accept service dogs but have otherwise had discretion as to whether to accept pets.

CBS Philly writes that “drivers who agree to pick up riders with pets will receive a portion of the surcharge, on top of their base fare earnings.”

VentureBeat notes that with the service, the company is “looking to smooth the communications process between riders and drivers regarding pet transport.”

Now that the weather is cooling off, your pet is no longer at risk for tick born diseases- true or false?

Let me preface this by saying that I think ticks are going to take over the world! They are extremely hard to kill and carry more and more disease every year.

So the answer is False! Fall is actually the time of year that we see the most cases of tick born disease because this is the time where they are clamoring for a warm meal to stay alive, so it’s important to be vigilant! But it happens, and we can still find them attached and blood sucking! What to do?

The first step is not to panic! Remove the tick gently, being sure to get the entire head out, then clean the area and apply a triple antiseptic cream. Most tick-born diseases require that the tick be attached for at least 24 hours or longer, so if you caught it within that window or your pet is on preventative medication it’s unlikely this will be an issue!

If your dog has been exposed to a tick-born disease, they will begin to produce antibodies from about 3-8 weeks afterward so we can’t usually test for disease until that window has passed. However, antibody tests do NOT necessarily indicate infection- only exposure, so it’s important to monitor your pet for loss of appetite, lethargy, and lameness, especially shifting leg lameness! If your pup tests positive for a tick-borne disease, your vet might recommend blood work and urinalysis to determine what treatment, if any, is necessary. The decision to treat usually relies heavily on clinical signs.

Of course the number one way to protect your pet is to keep them on a year-round tick prevention program- so talk to your vet to determine the best protection for your dog based on their lifestyle and the area you live in!

An Oklahoma woman is currently recovering from her injuries after a puppy accidentally stepped on a gun in the car she was in and shot her in the leg.

Following the freak accident last Thursday, Tina Springer was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery, Enid News & Eagle reports. The Nash resident is expected to make a recovery.

Meanwhile, Molly, the yellow labrador who accidentally got her paws on the .22 caliber handgun, is back home with her owner Brent Parks — though he’ll likely be keeping a more watchful eye on his pup from now on.

The incident unfolded just after 2:30 p.m. last week while Parks, 79, was in the car with his caretaker, Springer, 44, and his dog Molly waiting for a train to pass in Enid, according to the local outlet.

Officers with the Enid Police Department showed up to the scene after receiving a 911 call from Parks who told them Springer had accidentally been shot by his 7-month-old puppy.

As the train passed, Parks said Molly got spooked and jumped onto the vehicle’s folding center console which had his handgun underneath. From the yellow lab’s pressure, the handgun went off and unexpectedly fired into Springer’s left thigh.

The dispatcher then encouraged Parks to take off his belt and tie it around Springer’s thigh to stop the bleeding until first responders arrived.

The man reportedly told police that the gun isn’t normally loaded when he carries it, according to Enid News & Eagle.

Once authorities finally arrived, Springer was transported by Life EMS to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center to undergo surgery. She is expected to be fine, Oklahoma News 4 reports.

In the meantime, police have continued to investigate the incident and believe the cloth from the seat covers may have caused the gun to discharge after they got into its trigger well.

Police also told Oklahoma News 4 that they discovered three shell casings in the vehicle but are not sure if they all came from that incident.


Bridgend Animal Rescue Centre (Barc) in North Cornelly expects to see a 25% increase this year with owners unable to afford to keep their animals.

The centre has also seen a sharp rise in demand for their pet food bank.

Last year, 117 animals were rescued by the centre but in 2018-2019 that figure was reached by 1 September.

Rebecca Lloyd, managing director of Barc, said: "We've got animals at the centre at the moment because their owners can't afford medical treatment for them. So we've had to take them in.

"Just last night we had a call from a member of the community whose cat was very unwell during giving birth and the owner couldn't afford medical treatment so we took the cat to the vet because she was close to death.

"But it's not just medical treatment, it's also supplies such as food, baskets and blankets and we have those here too at our food bank."

The centre is one of a small number of organisations in Wales to provide the service.

Mrs Lloyd said some pet owners cannot even afford to feed themselves, let alone their animals.

"People who access regular food banks can be referred to us and we can deliver to that food bank, but we also take self-referrals for short-term issues, if someone has lost their job or has fallen ill unexpectedly," she added.

"The economy in this area is far from great. There's a lot of unemployment, there's a lot of young people out of work here and we provide courses for them too in our training centre.

"There is a big need for this animal rescue centre."

The RSPCA said it had received 1,371 reports of abandoned or dumped animals across Wales so far this year.

"We will never truly know why people abandon animals - as every circumstance is different, and the reasons are likely to be plentiful," a spokesman said.

"Sadly, when owners are unable to cope, whether that be with an animal's behaviour, the costs of keeping the pet or other things in their life take over, they sometimes opt to abandon them.

"Owning an animal can be so rewarding - but the number of abandonments shows that for some, the commitment can be overbearing."

Hidden away at a farm in southern China is a humongous pig who is as heavy as a polar bear at 1,102 pounds.

As an outbreak of African swine fever, also known as “pig Ebola,” ravages Asia’s pork industry, the price of pork is soaring. In an effort to temper inflation, the Chinese government is urging farmers to increase their production of pigs. While the polar-bear-sized pig may be on the high side, farmers in the northeastern province of Jilin have responded by raising pigs to weigh between 385 and 440 pounds, much higher than the average 275. Zhao Hailin, a pig farmer in Jilin, said they want to raise pigs to be “as big as possible.”

Not just small farms are breeding unnaturally large pigs. Huge companies like Wens Foodstuffs Group Co, China’s top pig breeder, have jumped on the trend. In fact, according to a senior analyst at Bric Agriculture Group, large pig farms aim to increase the size of the animals by at least 14 percent.

While a pig’s natural life span is about 15 years, factory farms selectively breed pigs to grow so fast that they reach slaughter size in just six months. This rapid growth takes a toll on their bodies, causing joint pain and other ailments. By increasing the size of pigs, Chinese farmers are setting up the animals to suffer even more.

Sadly, pigs are not the only animals selectively bred to grow too large too quickly. In the United States, 9 billion chickens raised for meat each year grow a startling six times faster than they did in 1925. This increased growth rate often causes heart failure, lameness, bone infections, sudden death syndrome, and more. The birds’ massiveness also makes moving difficult, with some chickens unable to reach food or water.

Helping pigs, chickens, and other animals is easy—just add more plant-based meals to your routine!

A Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania received an honor on Tuesday as representatives from the White House were on hand to select a Christmas tree that will be placed in the Blue Room during this holiday season.

Mahantango Valley Farms, which straddles the Northumberland/Schuylkill county line, has been in the Snyder Family for well over 200 years, but the family has never received an honor quite like this. After the farm won a state and national competition, the White House chose a tree from here to adorn the Blue Room over the holidays.

"It is probably the most exciting and humbling experience you could experience as a tree grower because you are now providing the White House, America's home for the president and first lady, a Christmas tree," Larry Snyder said.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are 13,000 farms growing Christmas trees across the country, yet Mahantango Valley Farms is the one to provide a tree to the White House.

"It hasn't fully sank in yet," Snyder said.

The tree that was selected was planted about 16 years ago and is 22 to 24 feet high. It currently sits in Upper Mahanoy Township in Northumberland County.

"It's an incredible experience to be able to come out and select something that is going to be viewed by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. You want to make sure that it's absolutely perfect because it's going into the Blue Room of the White House, and the White House belongs to all of us as American citizens, and we don't want to make a mistake," said Timothy Harleth, chief usher of the executive residence of the White House.

The tree will be harvested at the end of November and then delivered to the White House in Washington, D.C.

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