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PetSmart - Dog

June 24, 2008

Noise Phobias -- Are Your Pets Afraid?

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As thunder booms and fireworks explode, MSNBC brings up a subject on many pet owners' minds these days. From The sound of fear: Noise phobias torment dogs:

Up to 20 percent of dogs of all ages and breeds suffer from noise phobias so severe that their people seek professional help for them, writes veterinary behaviorist Bonnie Beaver in her book Canine Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians. (Cats can also develop fears of certain noises, but they usually just run and hide rather than engaging in destructive behavior.) Thunder and fireworks are the most common causes of noise phobias, but dogs can develop a fear of any sound: the rustling of a garbage bag, the beep of a microwave oven or the whir of a ceiling fan.

The article recommends Dog Appeasing Pheromone "D.A.P." products, designed to emit comforting and familiar scents to canines, and the Storm Defender Cape, a close-fitting wrap with a metallic lining that reduces a dog's sensitivity to the static charge buildup that occurs before a thunderstorm."

Super Cool Pets recommends Melatonin, Music & Rescue Remedy, having had some measure of success with those.

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June 23, 2008

What Took So Long -- Oral Contraceptives for Animals on the Horizon

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Good news: a birth control pill for animals is finally on the horizon. Surgery always has its risks and recently some concerns about the future health ramifications of spaying/neutering have cropped up.


The pill works by inhibiting the maturation of the egg, not the entire cycle, Kraemer says.

"We are confident we can develop this pill in the not too distant future, but we still have plenty of tests to complete," he says. "It's an exciting and much-needed project, but more funds will be needed, especially since deer and wild pigs are consumed by humans. One of the more interesting challenges will be to develop methods for feeding it to the target animals without affecting other species."

The compound can be mixed with animal feed and must be eaten daily during the critical time. It may also be encapsulated to decrease the frequency it has to be consumed.

"We believe we are the first to test this compound for this specific purpose," Kraemer says. "We're trying new uses for this previously approved compound."

When perfected, the pill could eventually be used as an oral contraceptive for pets, but that application will take some time to develop, Kraemer says. In dogs, for example, the ovulation process is especially complex, but researchers are confident such a birth control pill can one day be successful.

According to the American Humane Society, about seven million dogs and cats are euthanized each year at animal shelters. One female cat can lead to the production of 420,000 offspring in her lifetime.

Read article.

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June 20, 2008

South Korean Dog Cloner Reports Success

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Dog cloning is all over the news these days. Super Cool Pets has posted about Best Friends Again, who are holding a pet-cloning auction. Now from today's NY Times, Disgraced Cloner Reports Success With Tibetan Dog Breed:

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A South Korean team led by a disgraced cloning expert said Thursday that it had created 17 clones of an endangered dog breed popular in China.

The team, from the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, said the cloned Tibetan mastiff dogs were born in April, two months after being requested by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The team that cloned the dogs was led by Hwang Woo-suk, who in 2005 successfully created the world's first known dog clone, but was found the same year to have fabricated research on cloning human stem cells.

Read Disgraced Cloner Reports Success With Tibetan Dog Breed.

Apparently rampant dog cloning is not imminent, but is an intriguing new field to keep watching. There is a August 3, 2005 write-up on dog cloning in National Geographic News which explains:

Cloning man's best friend, though, has proven more difficult than cloning farm animals. The researchers said canine eggs are hard to work with, because they are released from the ovary earlier than in other mammal species.

The researchers purportedly transferred 123 Afghan embryos, which resulted in only three pregnancies, one of which miscarried.

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Federal Marshalls Seize Pet Food Products at PETCO Warehouse

Rodent and bird droppings have allegedly been found throughout a PETCO warehouse, according to MSNBC: Pet food seized at PETCO warehouse


CHICAGO - Federal marshals carrying a search warrant visited the Joliet distribution center of PETCO Animal Supplies Inc. on Thursday, seizing animal food products that were allegedly contaminated.

The seizure came one day after the government filed a lawsuit and obtained the warrant to seize products at the warehouse operated by the San Diego-based animal food and supply company.

There were no known public health risks posed by the pet food and no incidents of human or animal illness have been traced to the products, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and other officials said in a statement issued by his office.

The center distributes pet food to Illinois, Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

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June 19, 2008

Wave of the Future -- 'Best Friends Again' Auctions Dog Cloning

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One of the few downsides to falling in love with your pet is their relatively short life span. In an effort to attain the unattainable, people are looking to clone their pets and keep them "alive".

Best Friends Again is holding cloning auctions this July for 5 cloning spots. Registration took place in May and cloning spots start @ $100, 000 and work up in increments.

The Best Friends Again program, sponsored by BioArts International, is a limited commercial dog cloning program. BioArts is the only entity in the world with both the know-how and the legal right to practice commercial dog and cat cloning. We are auctioning off 5 dog cloning service slots to the general public. We may or may not perform any additional commercial dog cloning services after this auction.

As many people are aware, dogs are arguably the most difficult mammal to clone. Due to the challenges unique to dog cloning, we can only offer a limited number of dog cloning service slots. With a very limited supply and a very large demand for this service, we have decided that an online auction is the fairest way to offer this special opportunity to the public.

Very controversial topic, needless to say. Especially with shelters overflowing with unwanted pets.

Cloning is the process of creating a new animal that is a genetic duplicate of a pre-existing animal. One way of thinking of a clone is that it is a later-born identical twin. Clones tend to resemble the originals (also called donors) to a great physical degree. Strong behavioral similarities between clones and donors have also been reported in some species, including both cat and dog.

For more information: Best Friends Again

via gizmag

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June 11, 2008

Join YouPet -- A Global Pet Community

Do you think of your pets as family? Do you like to make friends? We have the place for you! Join YouPet.com Free - A place where pets rule!

This is a free online social network for animal lovers--dogs, cats, birds, horses, fish, reptiles.

  • Create a profile for you and your pets
  • Make friends, watch videos, use forums
  • Get the scoop on celebrities and their pets

Someone wins a $100 Petco Gift Card every week!

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June 4, 2008

Dogs Are People Too -- Massachusetts considers ban on pet rentals

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At Super Cool Pets we are saddened to see pets viewed as commodities. Apparently some strides are being made in this department, where else but in the progressive state of Massachusetts, homebase of our parent Blogpire Productions.

From LA Times, Massachusetts considers a ban on pet rentals:

FlexPetz caused quite a stir last year after opening its dog renting business in New York, Los Angeles and London. Now animal welfare advocates in Boston are trying to stop the company for setting up shop in their state.

A hearing is scheduled Thursday on House Bill 4753, which would prevent commercial entities from leasing dogs or cats by the hour or day in Massachusetts. If passed, the bill would be the first such law in the country.

FlexPetz charges busy urbanites thousands of dollars in yearly fees for the ability to spend time with one of the dogs from their canine fleet of Afghan hounds, Labrador retrievers and Boston terriers....

The company plans to open rental agencies later this year in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Paris. That's got some animal welfare advocates growling.

"FlexPetz sends a contrary message to the public making it socially acceptable to treat dogs as disposal commodities that can be rented for pleasure at their leisure," wrote Bryn Conklin of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to Cervantes in November.

Read article.

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May 31, 2008

Judge Grants Initial Approval to Pet Food Settlement

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On Friday May 30 a judge gave initial approval to the pet food settlement:


CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- A judge granted initial approval Friday to a settlement in which companies that manufactured or sold contaminated pet food would compensate pet owners for all costs related to the death or illness of their dogs and cats.

Under the deal, granted initial approval by U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman, pet owners in the United States and Canada would be notified of the settlement by June 16 and would have until early December to submit claims. A final hearing on the $24 million settlement is scheduled for Oct. 14.

The settlement doesn't pay pet owners for pain and suffering from injuries to their pets.

And why aren't pain and suffering factors? Because--even though we may consider our pets to be members of our family, pets are only property in the eyes of the law.

Read article.

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May 26, 2008

Contaminated Pet Food Settlement

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A settlement has been reached in the dispute over contaminated pet food. This settlement between pet owners and Diamond Pet Foods has not been approved by a judge and will be heard May 30. We will keep you posted.


Companies that were sued over contaminated pet food linked to the deaths of perhaps thousands of dogs and cats have agreed to pay $24 million to pet owners in the United States and Canada.

The settlement is detailed in papers filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Camden. It still needs a judge's approval.

"The settlement attempts to reimburse pet owners for all of their economic damages," said Russell Paul, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The deal would affect people who incurred expenses directly related to the illness or death of a pet linked to the food, which was at the center of the biggest-ever U.S. pet food recall in 2007.

Under the terms of the deal announced Thursday, pet owners could be reimbursed for all reasonable expenditures, including veterinarian bills and burial or cremation costs.

Pet owners could also ask for the fair market value of their deceased pets, if that is higher than the costs incurred. Owners who do not have documentation of their expenses can get up to $900 each. All claims are subject to a review.

The settlement addresses economic issues, but to many of us, pets are more than property. What about pain and suffering?

Read entire article here.

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May 23, 2008

Make a Lasting Memorial to Your Pet

Memorial Day is coming up this Monday. If you have been unfortunate enough to have lost a pet, you can make a lasting memorial to him or her in a Buddhist-type altar, a Memoria Areca.

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Designed for your living room mantle or a dressing table, the box has compartments for an urn as well as a glass display case to display special mementos, such as a collar, leashes, toys, apparel. A picture frame is built into the lid for your favorite photograph. The pet altar comes in two contemporary designs.

Or...you can turn your pet's remains into a Synthetic Diamond, which you can have set into a ring or pendant.

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Other products in this vein are urns that look like perfume containers and flower arrangements that incorporate the pet's fur. These fit conveniently into the glass case of the memorial altar.

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