World Animal Day -- The Big Picture @ Boston.com


Pour yourself a warm cup of tea and treat yourself to the photos from World Animal Day - The Big Picture @ Boston.com


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October 15, 2008

PetScoop -- Judge Approves $24M Settlement for Pets Hurt by Contaminated Food


More than 10,000 pet owners have filed claims. From MSNBC:

A federal judge Tuesday approved a $24 million settlement for owners of dogs and cats who were sickened or died after eating pet food contaminated with an industrial chemical.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman clears the way for U.S. pet owners with claims to start receiving checks next year. A Canadian judge has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 3 to determine whether the settlement can also apply in that nation.

Under the deal, pet owners have until Nov. 24 to file claims.

The settlement is to compensate owners for many expenses, including: the cost of the food, medical and burial expenses for their animals, the value of the animals or the cost of replacement pets, checkups for animals who ate the food but did not get sick, replacing carpets ruined by sick pets, and time the owners took off work to seek treatment for their animals.

Under this ruling, pet owners are not compensated for pain and suffering. There is still work to do.

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October 2, 2008

PetScoop -- A Pet-Friendly Vehicle: Toyota Offers Pet Products for New Sedan


Could this be the beginning of a trend? Pet-friendly cars with vehicle-specific pet products--ramps, harnesses, booster seats. Fabulous idea: one-stop shopping for the pet owner.

Toyota, astutely deducing that many buyers of its cars are pet owners, are offering pet care accessories for its new sedan, the 2009 Venza. The pet products, being distributed to dealers through the Toyota Associated Pet Products program, will be sold at Toyota dealerships.

The Venza itself is especially suited for pet owners, because it is designed to make getting in and out of the car easier, Zeinstra said. Toyota also considered a study conducted by the American Pet Product Association that revealed half of all dog owners consider their pet's comfort when buying a car.

Available products include:

  • a rear hatch pet ramp for easy loading and unloading
  • a leash tether for securing pets in the vehicle
  • a pet booster seat with harness
  • a first/second row or cargo area pet barrier
  • pet seatbelt buckles
  • rear seat zip line-style harnesses.
  • waterproof and removable hammock-style seat covers available to fit Venza's bench and bucket seats.

Pricing for the pet products will be available at the end of 2008 in conjunction with the Venza launch.


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September 29, 2008

Never Scoop Kitty Litter Again: New "Eco" Litter Robot Launched


Automated Pet Care Products, Inc. have announced the launch of the "ECO" version of the Litter Robot. According to them, the Litter-Robot is the only self-cleaning litter box made in the United States, so you can "buy local" and avoid the cost and pollution of transporting goods from China.

"For years, we have had incredible feedback from cat owners about the Litter-Robot," says Brad Baxter, president of Automated Pet Care Products, Inc. "Cat owners frequently commented on how happy they were to have an automatic litter box that saved on the amount of litter they used, and that they didn't need to buy special receptacles or cartridges that also added bulk to the waste stream. We were inspired by these comments to explore just how 'green' we could make the Litter-Robot and we are proud to be introducing our latest model using a significant amount of recycled materials."

This is the litter management solution for you if you want to eliminate the chore of personally scooping the litter box and feel good reducing your environmental impact. The new ECO Litter-Robot will be introduced October 3-5 at the Backer show in Chicago. Super Cool Pets will keep you posted on its retail availability.

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September 15, 2008

PetScoop -- Dry Pet Food Recall for Salmonella Affects 31 States

Whoa--another pet food recall! May be time to rethink home-cooked meals. From MSNBC:

Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall Friday of all dry pet food products produced at its plant in Everson, Pa. between Feb. 18 and July 29, citing potential contamination with salmonella.

Mars, in a news release, did not say how much pet food is involved, but said the recall reaches 31 states and various brands and said the action was taken as a precaution....

...The company said consumers should look for "17" as the first two digits of the second line on the UPC for products affected. For Pedigree products, they should look for "PAE" on the bottom line. They can also call 1-877-568-4463 or consult http://www.petcare.mars.com.

The brand names include some items under the names Country Acres, Retriever, Doggy Bag, Members Mark, Natural, Ol' Roy, Special Kitty, Paws & Claws, Pedigree, Wegman's, Pet Pride, PMI Nutrition and Red Flannel. [ed. emphasis]

For detailed information and a list of affected pet foods: http://www.petcare.mars.com.

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September 6, 2008

PetScoop -- Slydog Retractable Dog Leash Recall


SlyDog is voluntarily recalling over 220,000 Retractable Dog Leashes after purportedly receiving five reports of injuries, including facial cuts, a broken tooth, a displaced eye lens and a bruised collar bone.

The problem stems from a possible hardware failure of the leash's metal clasp, causing the leash to break free from the dog's collar. The injuries have occurred when the broken leash snapped back toward the person holding it.

The leashes were made in China and sold at Dollar Stores from September, 2007 to this past August, 2008.

Immediately discontinue use of this leash and check out recall information.

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August 29, 2008

Dog Toy Recall Alert -- Four Paws Rough & Rugged Pimple Ball with Bell

Thumbnail image for pimpleball.jpg

There have been reports of injuries suffered by some dogs as a result of a manufacturing defect in some Four Paws Rough & Rugged® Pimple Ball with Bell toys. Recall information --see if your pet's toy is on the list.

via Sit, Stay, Speak

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August 22, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay Reminds Us to Stock Up -- Prepare for Natural Disasters

It is Tropical Storm season in sunny Florida. Florida has recently experienced flooding conditions courtesy of Tropical Storm Fay, which perplexingly strengthened over land and thus flooded Super Cool Pets headquarters.

The rainfall was much more excessive than past hurricanes. The nearby nuclear power plant was shut down, orange groves are threatened and in our fair city, streets have become canals. One bright spot is that we have welcomed a new member to our (currently underwater) backyard bird sanctuary, perhaps a green Quaker Parrot.


Super Cool Pets featured a comprehensive Hurricane and Natural Disaster Pet Care guide for pet owners based on experiences with Hurricanes Gloria, Bob, Jeanne, Frances and Wilma. After this bout with Tropical Storm Fay, we have been forced out of our comfy routine one more time and feel compelled to stress a couple of tips for all our Super Cool Pet owners:

  • Stock up on pet food -- Employees are people too. Stores may not be open due to impassable streets, store damage and no electricity. Supplies are finite if no deliveries are being made.
  • Stock up on clean water -- The public water supply of the city immediately to our north is contaminated. Overflowing septic tanks and flooded city utility stations pollute surface ground water pets might drink. Learn how to disinfect contaminated water.
  • Stock up on first aid and meds -- Stores may not be open or you can't get there from here.
  • Stock up on paper goods -- Those pet bowls get awful dirty if you can't wash them because there is no running water, polluted water or a backed up septic or sewer system.
  • Laundry -- Do it. May not be able to later.
  • Stock up on clean towels -- Pets and floors get wet.
  • Vacuum -- Pet hair and mud will abound. Better to start off clean.
  • Critters abound -- Snakes, alligators, rats, spiders and all kinds of critters are out and about as their homes have been flooded and destroyed. Not good for our pets.
  • Check your fences -- Storms destroy pet fences. Electrical fences are ineffective if the power is out.
  • Pet ID -- Check your pets' tags or microchip them. See "fences" above.
  • Check your birdfeeders for food and birdbaths for clean water -- Ours have been very busy (see above).
  • Stock up on $$$ -- Cash is just as good as money. Stores are open, but they may not have electricity. ATM's and credit card machines may not be functional.
  • Stock up on fuel -- For your generator or in case you must go.
  • Equip your car with a cell phone charger -- It won't charge without a source of power.

Any more ideas?

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August 21, 2008

Pet Scoop -- The Nose Knows

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August 19, 2008

Green Living with Our Pets -- Make Your Home Environmentally Pet Friendly


Sue McGuire offers some tips on making pet-lover homes environmentally-friendly in Green Living with Pets in Mind

Pets used to live outside. The farm dog hung out in the barn or slept under the front porch. Cats lived in the barn loft and did their job of keeping the vermin at bay. Fast forward a few generations. It's often recommended that cats be "indoor only" and hundreds of dollars can be spent on an orthopedic bed for the dog.

Just because we bring those former barnyard residents inside the house may not mean they are healthier for it. Scientists often cite our companion animals as "canaries in the coal mine." Household environmental toxins can be a major concern.

Here is a short list of household toxins to keep away from your pet:
  • Ibuprofen & Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Most cleaners and detergents
  • Xylitol, a sugar substitute
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Insecticides and Flea Killers

Two Popular Green Pet Sites:

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