What About the Pets?

There is so much tragic human news as we get set to honor our veterans on Memorial Day that brings out the compassion in all of us.  But what about the pets?  One of several groups working with veterans today is PACT for Animals.  The group is helping by caring for and then reuniting soldiers with their pets through its foster care program.

The horrific Oklahoma tornado is certainly foremost on our minds, as it should be.  The good news if any is the amount of human kindness shown to those in need.  For the pets, the story is still unfolding.  Tragically, according to dvm360, it appears many pets and animals have died in the terrible storm.   There are some heroic tales as well, including one about a hero dog guarding the body of its owner.  The American Humane Association is sending much needed support and will continue to update us via their social media platforms.

What about the pets in other areas looking for forever homes? Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, the first free New York City wide Adoption Event, takes place next weekend — June 1 and June 2 in New York City.  Check out the blog post from Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB on the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals web site.  The Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour bus will also be at June 1-2 events in New York City.

In other news, as pet owners travel the country with pets this summer,  The Center for Pet Safety is set to test travel products this summer.

What about the pets?  It looks like there are plenty of people and organizations that care.  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Be Kind: American Humane Study Shows We’ve Got Work To Do

Today is the last day of Be Kind to Animals Week which coincides with National Pet Week this year.  But thankfully, it’s not the last chance to take a look at how we treat our pets — and solve the problems that lead to giving them up.  American Humane Association (AHA) released a study funded by a grant from PetSmart Charities on Wednesday, May 8 that indicates hundreds of thousands of adopted pets are given up, lost or die each year.

Interestingly, there was a significant difference in retention rates associated with veterinary visits.  Although the AHA cautioned a deeper dive into the reasons why, the retention rate among pets that had had a veterinary visit was 93.3 percent compared to 53.3 percent of dogs and 79.4 percent of cats respectively.

According to Dr. Patricia Olson, chief veterinary advisor for AHA and head of its Animal Welfare Institute, the study explores three of the greatest issues facing dogs and cats today: the lack of willing adopters, the reasons so many pets leave their homes and the need to create strategies to help Americans retain their pets.

Animal health companies and veterinary groups are also trying to address these alarming problems. For example, behavioral issues is one of the concerns that can cause pet owners to give up their pet.  As Ceva Animal Health and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists again tour this year with the Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour bus, pet owners will be provided with some solutions to behavioral problems, and encouraged to see their veterinarian.  For a complete tour schedule, click here.

Kudos to the American Humane Association on the study, but AHA knows we still have work to do.  The American Humane Association is seeking funding to complete the project and prospective supporters can contact AHA at 866-242-1877 or reneg@americanhumane.org. The complete study can be found at americanhumane.org/petsmart.

There’s A Whole Lot of Love Going On…

“Love Your Pet, See Your Vet” is this year’s theme for National Pet Week May 5-11.  The American Veterinary Medical Association is reminding pet owners that the best way to show your pet you truly care is to give them the gift of good health.  According to Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA, “Regular veterinary visits are important because many times pets will hide symptoms of illness, so you need your veterinarian’s skill and expertise to keep your pets healthy.”

“Spreading the Love Around” is Goodnewsforpets.com.  We’ve relaunched our contest section and celebrating National Pet Week with a chance to win a gift card from Petsmart and a matched donation to Petsmart Charities.

Ceva Animal Health together with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists  is on the road again with the “Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour” bus this year.  The L.O.V.E. stands for “lean on veterinary expertise” and given that it’s National Pet Week, it’s a great time to remind pet owners of the tour’s message: thousands of pets die needlessly due to untreated behavior problems.  According to spokesperson Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB, “Pet owners can keep that love alive by seeing their veterinarian to help solve those pet behavior problems before it’s too late.”

Finally, news about a “beloved” trade show. The legendary H.H. Backer pet trade show in Chicago has a new format and will now be called “Backer’s Total Pet Expo” and be held September 20-22, 2013.  The show has a new website at www.totalpetexpo.com.

Whether it’s “love” or “L.O.V.E.” or “Beloved” that’s a whole lot of love going on with pets front and center. That’s good news for pets, for sure.