Video: A great tribute to old dogs

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My wife and I have adopted older dogs and have lived with others for many years, into their senior years. Please consider adopting a senior dog. They need us. Many of them have been through a life-changing event and need your love.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Katic Couric to promote animal welfare on her TV show

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On the Thursday (Dec. 13) edition of her TV show “Katie,” Katie Couric will dedicate the entire episode to one of her favorite causes.

From the press release:

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“Katie” has gone to the dogs – for one day, that is! On Thursday, Katie Couric dedicates her show to our canine companions. Dog lover Carrie Ann Inaba stops by to talk about the animal cause close to her heart, you’ll meet some hero dogs and the people they’ve helped, plus an organization that helps shelter dogs gets an amazing surprise from Pedigree.

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November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month

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November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month. I received an e-mail from Camp Bow Wow on Sunday promoting this special effort and what the company rightfully calls “the benefits that come with adopting a senior dog.”

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Senior Pets are far less energetic then their puppy counterparts
You Know What You are Getting – Their size and personality are fully-developed
Man’s Best Friend gets better with age – Loyal and always ready for a nap (by your side)

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And the e-mail offered the following from Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow.

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The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

Relax: Most of us live hectic lifestyles running from here to there all day long. Senior pets tend to have less energy and want lots of love, so what better way to end your day than to relax with your new best friend? It will do wonders for both of you.

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: Despite the common myth that you can’t train older dogs, older dogs actually learn quite well. Not only will doing some reward-based training help you and your new dog create a positive bond, it will also help keep your dog’s brain active and challenged.

Exercise: Every dog needs exercise, no matter how old they are, but senior dogs generally need to travel a shorter span before they get tired. This means both you and your new friend will get out and about together for some exercise, but you won’t need to travel the distances you would need to with a younger dog.

You Make a Difference:  Most people want to adopt the younger pets at shelters, so senior dogs are frequently overlooked. Bringing a senior pet into your home will surely make that pet feel special. Knowing you are helping them live out the last years of their life with a loving family by their side and a warm bed to lay on will make a difference for them, and for you.

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My wife and I have adopted many senior pets over many years. They have all been fantastic members of our family. Too often, they are overlooked in shelters by people looking to adopt. Please consider giving an older cat or dog a chance to live out his or her senior years in the comfort of a loving home.


October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month

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American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is promoting October as Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month.

In a piece posted on, Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA Adoption Center states, “There are 3 to 4 million dogs living in shelters nationwide who would make a fantastic addition to anybody’s family, all they need is a second chance.

“During Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, the ASPCA encourages everyone to visit their local shelter, adopt one of these amazing animals or help us spread the word to potential pet owners to make pet adoption their first option.”

And a poll is cited that show people who adopt are “much more likely to be happy with their experience” – as opposed to those who purchase puppies from stores.
And it is important to spread the following from the organization:
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  • Adopt, Don’t Shop. Visit your local shelter or rescue organization and give a lucky dog a loving home. Consumers who purchase a puppy from a pet store or website run the risk of taking home an unhealthy puppy in addition to the likelihood of supporting the cruel puppy mill industry. Operators of puppy mills breed dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs.
  • Take the Pledge. Join the more than 100,000 people who have already taken the “No Pet Store Puppies” pledge to help fight puppy mill cruelty by refusing to buy anything—including food, supplies or toys—at pet stores and on websites that sell puppies.
  • Spread the Word. Spread the adoption message to all of your friends and followers online! Join the ASPCA in a live Ustream event on October 30 from 7 to 8 p.m. when veterinarians and behaviorists will be chatting and answering your best pet questions. A Halloween costume contest will also be held, with prizes being awarded in several categories. In addition, send a Tweet with Twitter®, post a Facebook® status, shoot a YouTube® video, take an Instagram® photo, and pin on Pinterest® throughout the entire month of October; every mention makes a difference.
  • Get Active for Animals. Volunteering at your local shelter is a great way to make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs. Volunteers can take dogs for walks, socialize them, make the rounds during meal times, or just offer a friendly face for attention. Rescue organizations are always in need of supplies; gather up gently used blankets, towels and toys from friends and family to donate—just be sure to check first to see what rescue groups and shelters need most.

To learn more about Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, and find shelter dogs who are available for adoption, visit To learn more about the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies campaign and to sign the pledge, visit

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Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project – It’s great to see more organizations getting involved

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Hallmark Channel is kicking off it Pet Project program. The network is promoting the adoption of homeless pets, with the help of organizations such as American Humane Association and PetSmart Charities.

On the website’s about page: “” Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project also aims to shine a spotlight on this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness and provide the public with the information and resources they need to find their new best friend. “”

And the Shelter Pet Project offers information under several tabs.

It’s always great to post good news for a nice change of pace around here.

And the network will premier the TV movie “Puppy Love” this Saturday at 9 p.m. (Eastern Time). A baseball player’s missing dog ends up being adopted by a single mom. I guess the plot is a twist on an age-old story – guy loses dog; guy finds dog; guy falls in love.

Pack Topics: Trendy rescue pets; puppy mill sales; animal cruelty penalties

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Is the adoption of homeless pets becoming the trendy option: An opinion piece published Saturday on the Arizona Republic website suggests the adoption of homeless pets has become the trendy thing to do. I hope that’s true and from what I’m hearing, reading and seeing in my area, the trend seems to be growing for this trendy movement.

Another city considers ban on puppy sales at stores: The Burbank City Council is due to consider late in August a possible measure to ban on puppy sales from mills and retail outlets.

The Burbank Leader reports the city would join 26 others with similar ordinances in the United States and Canada.

Do the punishments for animal cruelty fit the crimes?: Two teens in Nevada will serve less than a month in jail after sentencing for the torturing and drowning of two kittens. Because they were juveniles, they did not get the maximum penalties.

According to the story from Monday, the judge in the case did place some restrictions on the pair – such as house arrest through the end of the summer break; 12 months of GPS monitoring and other monitoring; 200 hours of community service; counseling and more.

Is it enough? Does the punishment fit the crime in this case? It seems the judge did everything he could in tacking on extra penalties, but I can’t help but state that the base penalties should be more.


Genetic disorders in purebred dogs

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A column written by Dr. Patty Khuly was published June 20 on the Huffington Post website. In her editorial piece, Khuly explains how people frequently bring purebred dogs to her veterinary office with medical problems.

She says – “I’m willing to go on record and say that I generally observe at least one genetic disease in nine out of 10 purebred patients during their first examination with me.” She goes on to note that the mixed-breed dogs she sees frequently have problems as well, but these conditions are typically a “result of their discernible purebred parentage.”

The culprits are “line breeding, the failure to adequately test parents for genetic diseases and the trend among show breeders toward increasingly exaggerated features.”

From what I’ve been told, greyhound racing engages in line breeding. We see what happens with greyhounds, who, for example, have the highest incidence of osteosarcoma of ANY breed of dog.

All of these statements are important enough to highlight from the editorial here as direct quotes. Dr. Khuly is stepping to the forefront to shine a light on a problem that too often goes unreported. I can’t count how many people I’ve seen in veterinary offices talking about the knee surgeries their purebred dogs have undergone.

It isn’t being put together and reported for what it is. It’s a real problem, from cancers to physical abnormalities such a deformed hips and ligament problems in knees to more. There are good, quality breeders in this country, who track this sort of thing and adjust their practices accordingly. But too many are sending out puppies like so many microwave ovens off an assembly line, with too little concern for health.

More people in the medical profession and breeding profession need to step forward to bring this issue to the forefront. I applaud Dr. Khuly. She calls it “morally correct” to adopt homeless pets and urges her clients to adopt mixed-breed dogs.


Petfinder playing off Westminister dog show to promote adoption

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Petfinder is using the upcoming Westminster Kennel Cub Dog Show to highlight the fact that purebred and mixed breed dogs are available for adoption all over the country.

From a press release – “” While a total of 185 breeds will compete in the Westminster Show this year, more than 170,000 dogs are available on – 25 percent of which are purebred. “”

“ has just about any pet you can imagine; whether you want a four-legged friend who will snuggle up on the couch with you or a running partner,” said Betsy Banks Saul, co-founder of “And when you tune into the Westminster Dog Show and see magnificent dogs strutting their stuff, remember you can train your adopted pooch too! With a few simple training techniques, dogs will come, sit and pay attention to you – just like the most award-winning ‘Best in Show’ dogs.”

For more tips and tricks on pet training, visit Information about different breeds’ characteristics and temperament can also be found on in the breed directory.

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Pack Line Headlines: Pit bull saves family; new adoption system; NC puppy mill bust

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Pit bull saves family during house fire: A Chicago pit bull alerted her family in the middle of the night that their house was on fire. The family got out safely and one family member rushed back into the home to save Moo Moo.

Once again, we see an example of the greatness of animals as our companions on Planet Earth. Yet, our society as a whole is still not offering them a level of protection from abuse and neglect that they deserve.

New adoption system helps match people and homeless pets: Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research and development for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals developed Meet Your Match.

The Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals increased its adoption rate by nearly 20 percent of late, using the system. And the shelter is seeing fewer returns.

People looking for pets at local shelters answer 19 questions that touch on characteristics they are looking for. Dogs are graded on friendliness, playfulness, energy level, motivation and drive.

Guilford County Animal Shelter caring for 129 dogs rescued from NC puppy mill: WFMY News out of Greensboro, NC reports 129 dogs were rescued Tuesday from a puppy mill in Guilford County.