Pet adoptions, fostering spike amid coronavirus restrictions

The Coronavirus pandemic is proving that man is turning to his best friend in a time of loneliness. But the crisis is also presenting a challenge to animal shelters bracing for a rise in the number of pets whose owners are too sick or poor to provide care. “It has been a whirlwind of wonder,” says Camille Bates of Midwest Animal Rescue. “We put out a national call for foster families and the response has been incredible. If you are going to be at home, fostering or adopting a pet is a great time for you to bond with a buddy.” In New York City and Los Angeles, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says applications to foster dogs and cats is up 200 percent. PetPoint, a software program shared by some 1,200 shelters nationwide, reports fostering and adoptions are up 700 percent over last year. “We are seeing people all over the country stepping up to foster and adopt animals from their local shelters and rescues,” says Human Society CEO Kitty Block. “It has truly been a game-changer in the sheltering world.” The coronavirus has shut down county facilities in most California cities, with social distancing regulations also shuttering most weekend adoption fairs. Faced with a surplus of animals, many shelters reached out on Facebook and social media for assistance. Jeanette White, of Los Angeles, was among those who wanted to help. “I kept thinking how, you know, this is something that I do that’s tangible,” said White, who was joined by her new dog Box. “This particular dog is kind of at risk because he has a health issue. His adoption fell through. It’s something small, but it’s something I can do. Plus, I love the companionship. With this sheltering in place, you need somebody around.” In San Antonio, animal care services adopted out 600 pets in March, but still has 900 animals outstanding with local rescue partners. “If you are going to be home, maybe you could foster a dog,” said Bates, whose group focuses on states from Minnesota to Mississippi. “What we found was an imbalance. We had a surplus of families wanting to adopt in one state and no dogs, and shelters were full in others – like Ohio, which has a high euthanasia rate.” One person who saw her post worked at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, which is now offering a three-month supply of beer for every pet fostered or adopted. If the family still has the pet after 30 days, Busch sends them a $100 voucher. The ASPCA has also started a “Keep Families Together” donation drive to support mobile pet food banks. The Humane Society is working in Oregon, Indiana and Texas to identify food banks are in need of pet food and is attempting to secure donations. In Los Angeles, officials partnered with 150 other counties and private rescue services to try to expand the adoption base and match supply with demand. Shelters are also adopting inventive ways to increase exposure. Each day at 2 p.m., the Wake County SPCA in North Carolina In North Carolina conducts a Facebook Live event to showcase adoptable pets. The Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Mississippi throws its own brand of “slumber parties” – overnight trials for potential adopters. The Animal Protective Association in Missouri has implemented “curbside adoptions”. “The problem is, adoptions are lower, and that’s the reason for our new foster program,” says Sheri Koenig, director of a Los Angeles County shelter. “Folks are driving in here with their masks on and want to foster. That’s the biggest thing I see right now.”

For more on that story about Anheuser-Busch, scroll down to the article immediately below.     🙂

Busch to give ‘3 months’ of beer to people that adopt or foster a dog during coronavirus pandemic

Dogs may be man’s best friend and beer is also his good buddy. As more and more people are practicing social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, animal shelters and rescue centers have had to close their doors to visitors. Fortunately, some companies are taking steps to ensure that needy dogs don’t get forgotten about during the outbreak. Busch Beer is teaming up with Midwest Animal Rescue to help get dogs fostered and adopted. To help incentivize people into bringing a furry friend home, the beer company is offering a prize they call “Busch Beer for 3 months.” “During these uncertain and lonelier times, people need an escape: cue the cute puppy memes and photos,” a spokesperson for Busch in a statement to People. “But as much as we need those cute puppy pics to help get us through social distancing, it’s actually them who need us.” The rules for the promotion are fairly simple: adopt or foster a dog through Midwest Animal Rescue and then send the proof to Busch through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (users must also follow Busch on the social network). Busch will be providing up to 500 winners with a pre-paid debit card worth $100. Busch will be accepting submissions through April 25th. “Social distancing is better with a furry friend by your side and a cold beer in your hand,” a spokesperson for Busch told People. Based on what’s happening in New York City, Busch shouldn’t have a shortage of entrances. Click here to learn more!e!!  

Awesome!!  I adopted my last three dogs (all basset hounds), and can’t imagine my life without them.  Major kudos to the good people at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis for this great idea!!  And hey.. if getting a new dog isn’t right for you at this time, that’s ok.  Stop by your local liquor store and buy some of the many different Busch beer products, and support this great American company instead.  Excellent!!    🙂

Feeding your dog from the table: What you can and can’t do, according to veterinarian

Sure, you see your pups as family, but that doesn’t mean they get to eat like it. Veterinarian Dr. Danielle Bernal says there are certain foods you can safely feed your dog when you’re eating at the table (though she recommends training dogs away from begging), but warns that you have to be careful about other types of foods, as some may contain hidden ingredients that are toxic to dogs. “There are certain foods that are acceptable to feed your dog if he is begging at the kitchen table, but many can contain artificial sweeteners or hidden ingredients like onions, garlic, or residue from specific nuts that can be toxic to dogs — which is why it is always best to feed Fido dog food over anything else!” the vet said. Bernal puts chocolate at the top of the list of foods to avoid. Chocolate contains theobromine, which, like caffeine, is toxic to dogs. Fatty foods, like bacon, are also no-nos, as they can cause gastrointestinal upsets and pancreatitis. “Plus, dogs have unique nutritional needs — one small piece of bacon for them is the equivalent caloric value of 13 pieces of bacon for humans,” said Bernal, who is also a Whimzees multi-functional dental dog treats partner. Among the others unsafe for your pooch are uncooked eggs or fish; garlic and onions, which can cause fainting and an elevated heart rate; and cooked bones, which are more likely to splinter and cause oral injury or potential internal perforation or obstruction. Foods to focus on for your pup, if you’re feeding them table scraps, are fruits, vegetables and cooked meat. Carrots and apples are great options, Carrots can protect against cataracts and heart disease, while sweet apples support a healthy digestive system. Lean, cooked meats like chicken, turkey and beef also top the list as far as safe-for-Fido foods, as they add protein to your pup’s diet, much like cooked eggs, which are also a good table-scrap snack. Another fine option — in moderation — is cooked fish like salmon and fresh tuna, as fish boasts amino acids, Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Just make sure the fish is deboned, and limit it to once or twice a week, maximum. Bernal also recommends mixing food scraps in with regular dog food, directly in the kibble bowl, to train dogs away from begging at the table. In addition to avoiding certain types of table scraps, Bernal says pet owners should limit the amount of “human food” given to their furry friends. “My recommendation is to make sure pet parents limit themselves when feeding their dog table scraps, as feeding too many scraps can disrupt their nutritional needs and calorie limits. Stick to feeding table scraps as 10-15 percent of your pup’s overall diet, and view it as giving them a special treat — not supplementing a full meal.”

Wise advice!     🙂

10 Plants That Are Toxic for Your Pet

Plants add color, texture and beauty to your home and yard, but some are toxic for your pets, so watch out for these varieties. If you suspect your cat or dog may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. You may like to keep an aloe vera plant around to treat sunburns, but the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says aloe vera can cause vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea in both cats and dogs. According to, “Topical use of the gel found inside the leaves is no problem, but there are other proponents of the plant that can irritate the digestive system if ingested.” Click here to see 11 household items that are seriously hazardous to pets.

Pets can judge time, study says

If sometimes you wonder if your dog is angry with you for staying out late, you might be right. New evidence suggests that animals have a clear sense of time, using previously undiscovered neurons that seem to switch on to count off minutes as they wait. The discovery was made by a team from Northwestern University while studying the medial entorhinal cortex of mice. Located in the mid-temporal lobe, it’s the part of the brain associated with memory and navigation. And since it encodes spatial information in episodic memories, lead study author Daniel Dombeck theorized that it could function as a sort of “inner clock” as well. “There are many similarities between the brains of mice, cats, dogs and humans,” Dombeck told Fox News. “We all have a medial entorhinal cortex (the region we found that may act as an inner clock), so it’s logical to think that this brain region serves a similar function in all of these different species.” To test his theory, Dombeck and his team put a mouse on a physical treadmill in a virtual reality environment. The mouse would run (on the treadmill) down a hallway to a door. After six seconds, the “door” would open and the mouse would get a (non–virtual reality) treat. They would repeat this a few times before making the door invisible. Dombeck was surprised to find that the mouse would still run and stop at the invisible door, waiting for six seconds for it to “open” so it could eat. Since the mouse didn’t know whether the door was open or closed and waited exactly six seconds, the team concluded that it had to have used its inner clock. The researchers also monitored the mouse’s brain activity, finding that the mouse’s neurons would fire as it ran. When it stopped at the door, those neurons would turn off before a new set began firing. These newly discovered neurons only fired when the mouse stopped, keeping track of the time the mouse was resting. Dombeck believes that dogs and cats more than likely have the same neurons that encode time. “There’s evidence that humans and monkeys can estimate time intervals using some form of an ‘inner clock’ and now with our work we know that mice also can explicitly represent time intervals in their brains and can perform timing tasks,” he explained. “Therefore, it’s logical to think that animals in between mice and humans in the hierarchy chain, like our pets (dogs and cats), can also use their brains to estimate time intervals.” The team’s research could have an impact on humans. The entorhinal cortex is one of the first regions of the brain affected by neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and researchers could study how these diseases affect the new time–encoding neurons. “When doing basic research like we are, it’s always difficult to know where or how your findings will make an impact, but it’s really results from basic research like ours that eventually lead to better treatments or understanding of diseases, and sometimes even provide insights into how things like designing better computer software (by mimicking brain function),” Dombeck said. “Since the medial temporal lobe (the larger brain region that includes the medial entorhinal cortex) is one of the first regions affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and since the time keeping properties of this part of the brain were previously unknown, it’s not unreasonable to think that clinicians could soon be asking patients to estimate different amounts of elapsed time as part of the battery of tests to look for early signs of dementia.” The study can be found in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Paid ‘fur-ternity leave’ for new pet owners offered by Minnesota company

A Minnesota digital marketing company is making going to work less ruff for employees with new pets. Nina Hale in Minneapolis is offering a “fur-ternity leave” policy that allows employees to work from home for one week when they get a new dog or cat, WTVR reports. Two workers inspired the new policy after asking if they could stay home and work so they could be with their new pets, Inc. reports. “We had other employees that were talking about getting a pet, so we just thought, why not make it an official policy?” Robinson told the business magazine. “If it’s important to the employee, it’s important to us.” Nontraditional benefits like a pet leave policy are especially appealing at Nina Hale, which has a young workforce, according to Inc., which placed the firm on its Best Workplaces list in 2017. Account manager Conner McCarthy was able to work from home after adopting a 5-month-old Goldendoodle. “When [Bentley] first came home, he was definitely a lot more nervous about the new environment, which is where the ‘work from home’ really came in and helped us out,” he told WCCO-TV. Nina Hale has about 80 employees.

Definitely a creative benefit..    🙂

Cuddling kittens can kill you, warn scientists

Cuddling a kitten may always make you feel better – but it could be dangerous to your health, according to experts. Doctors from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US conducted a large-scale survey of the cat-borne bacterial disease cat scratch fever. They found the scope and impact of the potentially deadly disease was larger than they thought. The disease causes fever, pustules and in extreme cases, the complications from the illness can cause death. The doctors have warned that hands should always be washed after touching cats, and to avoid kissing felines where possible. They also advised cat owners ensure their pet is protected from fleas. Dr. Christina Nelson of the CDC said: “The scope and impact of the disease is a little bit larger than we thought, “Cat-scratch is preventable. If we can identify the populations at risk and the patterns of disease, we can focus the prevention efforts.” Kittens and strays are more likely to carry the disease. The disease is spread when you are scratched by an infected cat, or when you don’t wash your hands and touch your mouth after stroking an infected cat. Kissing and rough play with stray cats and kittens should also be avoided where possible. Cat owners should also be careful about their animals interacting with stray cats where possible. However, the disease is relatively rare, with the survey finding that annual incidence was 4.5 outpatient diagnoses/100,000 population. This is more than expected, but is rare enough to mean you aren’t putting your life hugely at risk by kissing a kitten.

Ahh…  But, you just might be!  And here I thought Uncle Ted’s (Nugent’s) song was about some fictitious disease..

Bereaved Coloradans told they may have to rebury their pets

Owners who buried their pets at the Denver Pet Cemetery in Commerce City will have to pay hundreds of dollars to move the remains if a new owner finds a new use for the property. KUSA-TV reports ( ) that cemetery owner Tom Hart broke the news to concerned clients Tuesday that he is selling the property and the new owner could repurpose the land. Other pet cemeteries in the area are already jumping on the opportunity. One has begun distributing fliers advertising a special rate for Denver Pet Cemetery clients: $345 for a single re-internment. Though Hart said he is advertising the property as a pet cemetery while trying to sell, the land is zoned C3, making it available for commercial use.

This story out of the AP is actually kinda big out here in the greater Denver area.  Commerce City is an industrial town just north of Aurora.  This is awful.  Glad I had my last two dogs cremated..

PETA’s Dirty Little Secret: Shelter Puts Down 80% of Animals in Its Care

In a remarkable turn of events, Virginia legislators reportedly have had to step in to protect animals from PETA, which runs a gulag-style animal shelter at its headquarters on the banks of the St. Elizabeth River that euthanized over 80 percent of the animals in its care in 2014. Virginia lawmakers found that rate so abnormally high that they passed a bill in February to redefine a private animal shelter as “operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes.” The law will squeeze PETA whose primary service to animals in Norfolk has not been adoption, but rather a quick exit from the world. The bill, put forward by Sen. William M. Stanley Jr. (R-Franklin), passed the House of Delegates in a landslide 95-2 vote, after the Senate had approved the measure by 33-5. This despite the fact that PETA hired lobbyist Stephen Haner to try to kill the bill. According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took in 3,017 animals in 2014. Of these, a mere 162 were adopted, while 2455 were “euthanized.” This rate of 81% was not exceptional, since in prior years the rate has risen above 90%. A website documenting PETA’s killing record claims that the organization has euthanized more than 33,000 animals since 1998. “It’s just impossible to consider that they are making an attempt to adopt out animals with that failure record,” said Debra Griggs of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. She said that the new law codifies what “all shelters in Virginia are already doing — except for PETA.” PETA’s shelter, in fact, stands alone in its draconian policy, with a kill rate more than three times that of other shelters in the state. Combined, Virginia animal shelters took in 210,599 animals last year, of which only 49,302—less than 25%—were euthanized.

Doesn’t that make you want to vomit?!?  What a duplicitous, arrogant, brazenly hypocritical, and disgusting organization PETA is.  I’ve adopted my last three dogs from the Denver version of the Humane Society (  And it does some great work!  They certainly put PETA’s adoption rates to shame.