And more than half of all consumers who buy them for their dogs aren’t aware that they are made from the penises of bulls.
Perhaps even more astounding, about four of every ten veterinarians didn’t know that, either.
The study, which pointed to some health concerns when it comes to bully sticks, also known as pizzles, was published this month in the Canadian Veterinary Journal.
Researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Guelph examined 26 bully sticks purchased in the United States and Canada. A random sampling of those determined they contained between nine and 22 calories per inch.
That’s about 88 calories per six-inch stick, less than 10 percent of the recommended caloric intake per day for a 50-pound dog.
Slightly more alarming was the study’s finding — based on tests on all 26 bully sticks — that nine were contaminated with bacteria. One was contaminated with Clostridium difficile; one with Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics; and seven were contaminated with Escherichia coli.
The researchers advised pet owners to wash their hands after touching such treats, as they would with any raw meat diets.
Based on an online survey conducted as part of the research, only 44 percent of pet-owners, and only 62 percent of veterinarians, were aware bully sticks were bull penises.
Twenty-three percent of the respondents fed their dogs bully sticks.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, awareness, bacteria, bull, bully sticks, calories, canadian veterinary journal, consumers, cummings school of veterinary medicine, dogs, food, health, penis, pets, pizzles, research, safety, science, steer, study, treats, tufts university, unaware, university of guelph
As Pit Bull Awareness Month draws to a close, celebrations of the dogs — and books and movies about them — are popping up all over.
Events designed to increase public understanding of, and support for, pit bulls are being held across the country.
And today, author Ken Foster’s book, “I’m a Good Dog“ – a tribute to the pit bull in words and photos — hits book stores.
“I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet,” tells the history of pit bulls, corrects many of the negative stereotypes they confront, and is filled with inspiring stories and photographs about them.
Foster, the author of ”The Dogs Who Found Me” and its sequel, “Dogs I Have Met,” is founder of the Sula Foundation in New Orleans, which promotes responsible pit bull ownership.
In “I’m a Good Dog,” he profiles pit bulls that serve as therapy dogs, athletic heroes, search-and-rescue dogs, and loving pets, and looks at a few of the famous people who have owned them, including Helen Keller and Dr. Seuss.
Foster is embarking on a national tour for the book, and will be in Oakland this weekend to take part in a fundraiser for BADRAP. October 27 is the fifth anniversary of the arrival at BADRAP of 13 dogs from NFL player Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels who would go on to begin new lives with local families.
Also appearing at the fundraiser will be Jim Gorant, author of “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption and a new book, “Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls — One Flying Disc at a Time.”
Of the former Vick dogs that ended up in California, seven hold Canine Good Citizen certificates and three are now serving as therapy dogs in hospitals and children’s literacy programs.
Foster’s tour will contine with stops at Book Soup in Los Angeles and Annabee’s in Pacifica. He plans stops in November in Portland, Seattle, Marin County, New Orleans, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Providence, Connecticut, Ann Arbor, The Twin Cities and Chicago.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, awareness, badrap, beyond the myth, books, books on dogs, breed discrimination, documentaries, dog books, dogs, events, i'm a good dog, jim gorant, ken foster, movies, myths, pets, pit bull, pit bull awareness month, pit bulls, pitbull, stereotypes, the lost dogs, tribute
Two pit bull puppies died after they were apparently poisoned during a pit bull awareness event in Central Pennsylvania.
The event, sponsored by A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue, was held on Saturday at Legion Park in Hollidaysburg.
“The puppies evidently were an easy target,” said Renae Metz, one of the founders of A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue. “We aren’t going to turn people down when they offer to put water in their pen, we never imagined that someone would be this malicious.”
The group regularly takes in abandoned pit bulls and finds them homes.
“There are a lot of people that are against this breed and it’s pure ignorance and lack of knowledge about the breed,” Metz said.
Metz said the organization will no longer bring puppies to the pit bull awareness events, but that its work would continue.
“We want to press on and save as many dogs as we can,” she said. “This just turned us on to the fact that so many people are hateful and we just need to keep spreading the word that these are not bad dogs at all.”
An autopsy confirmed that it was likely a poisonous substance that killed two of the puppies.
Metz said one of the eight-week-old puppies began acting strangely Saturday afternoon during the event: “His stomach was bloated, he had glazy eyes and couldn’t hold his head up.”
“They were at the vet Thursday and all were completely healthy,” said Metz, whose group is offering a $1,000 reward in connection with the case.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue, awareness, event, hollidaysburg, legion park, organization, pennsylvania, pit bull awareness, pit bulls, pitbulls, poison, poisoned, renae metz, rescue
This video — recounting the journey of a dog as she travels from homelessness, to shelter, to loving home — is part of a new campaign called The Law of the Paw.
Filmed from the dog’s point of view, it was created to raise awareness for the national, grassroots effort that encourages people to do three simple things: adopt, spay/neuter, and ID their pets.
The campaign was launched April 11 by the Animal Humane Society in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and 15 other animal welfare organizations, including Minnesota Partnership for Animal Welfare (MnPAW) and the Washington Humane Society in Washington DC.
Best of all, other shelters and animal welfare organizations are invited to freely join in.
“We really view this as a game changer for animals in this country,” says Janelle Dixon, president and CEO of Animal Humane Society. “… When people take care of their own pets, according to the Law of the Paw, they are helping all animals and we will see the number of animals coming into shelters reduced and decreases in pet homelessness and euthanasia.”
“The issues facing animals are not local problems – we face the same issues here in Washington DC that Animal Humane Society faces in Minnesota,” said Lisa LaFontaine, president and CEO of the Washington Humane Society. ”Overpopulation, stray and lost animals and crowded shelters can be found in every community in every state. It’s time we come together and address these issues as one.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, animal humane society, animal welfare, animals, awareness, campaign, dogs, euthanasia, homeless, id, identification, janelle dixon, law of the paw, magpie, minneapolis, minnesota, neuter, overcrowding, pets, public, rescues, shelters, spay, st. paul, the law of the paw, video, washington dc humane society
That’s the slogan of a new RSPCA campaign aimed at shifting the emphasis when it comes to breeding purebred dogs — from looks to health.
The campaign launched yesterday, with this ad — featuring a pug as the poster child — in the Daily Mail.
It’s directed mostly at breeders, who the RSCPA asserts often seek to meet dog show breed standards that place appearance above canine health.
But it’s also meant to change the thinking of consumers, who help create the demand and often aren’t aware of the genetic health problems many purebreds face.
“Everyone needs to be aware of the serious health and welfare problems affecting pedigree dogs and that dogs bred for looks are born to suffer,” RSPCA senior scientist Claire Calder said.
“A cute-looking puppy or dog can be hard to resist, but the result of not looking beyond this can be thousands of pounds spent on vets’ bills and a pet with long-lasting health and welfare problems. This is one of the biggest challenges facing dog welfare in the UK today.”
As we’ve written before — here and elsewhere — it’s one of the biggest challenges in the U.S., too, even though it rarely seems to rise to the forefront.
One major exception came last month, with an in-depth article in the New York Times magazine about the plight of the purebred bulldog.
But, by and large, the UK is leading the debate, which, while long-lurking in the shadows, was retriggered by Jemima Harrison’s documentary for the BBC, “Pedigree Dogs Exposed.”
Between its impact, and the efforts of the RSPCA, there have been some changes, mostly in kennel club’s breed standards that seemed to place appearance above health.
The RSPCA website elaborates on some of the problems those standards have led to:
“According to scientific studies some of the UK’s favourite breeds of dogs have been bred to such extremes that they can no longer breathe or walk normally. For example, dogs with short, flat faces often have narrow nostrils and abnormally developed windpipes. They can often suffer severe breathing difficulties and may have difficulty enjoying a walk or playing.
Dogs with folded or wrinkled skin are prone to itchy and painful skin complaints, and dogs with bulging or sunken eyes are prone to injury, pain or discomfort. These are only a few examples and a recent study showed that all of the 50 most popular breeds have some aspect of their body which can cause suffering
Recent research by the RSPCA shows the public is prone to thinking buying a purebred dog ensures that dog will be healthy. But dogs “bred for their looks,” the RSPCA says, ”are vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems.”
Among those quoted in an RSPCA press release is Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer from the TV show “It’s Me Or The Dog.”
“I have nothing against dog showing and nothing against responsible breeders, she said. “But what I do have something against is breeding animals just for the way we want them to look, even though that animal is compromised both physically and, a lot of the time, mentally. So we have to change. Why are we destroying these animals just because we like the way they look?”
Unlike in the U.S., where interest seems to rise and fizzle, the issue isn’t likely to go away anytime soon in the UK.
Harrison is now working on a sequel to “Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” which promises to be just as hard hitting, or maybe harder hitting, than the first. You can keep up with those developments on her Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appearance, awareness, breathing, breed standards, breeders, breeds, bulldog, campaign, dog shows, dogs, genetic, health, health problems, jemima harrison, pedigree, pedigree dogs exposed, pets, public, pug, purebred, purebreds, rspca, trainer, uk, victoria stilwell
The cat, named Mittens, was trapped by two teenage boys in a milk crate, doused with lighter fluid and set on fire last January.
She managed to escape from the crate, extinguish the flames and return to what she had been doing — nursing her newborn kittens.
Mittens was rescued by police and animal control officers and, along with her kittens, brought to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), where she slowly recovered from the loss of her ears as well as third and fourth-degree burns covering 70 percent of her body.
Despite her injuries, Mittens continued to care for her kittens during recovery. Her story resulted in extensive media coverage and helped lead to stronger animal welfare laws in Maryland. Named the ASPCA’s Cat of the Year, she now resides in the home of Cindy Wright.
After a pit bull named Phoenix was doused with gasoline and set on fire in West Baltimore in 2009, Griffin, who previously had a private law practice, devoted her life to advocating for changes in Baltimore’s policies and procedures to better protect animals and prosecute their abusers. She was appointed by then-mayor Sheila Dixon to chair a new Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, which went on to become a permanent standing Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, the first of its kind in the country.
Griffin’s work heightened media and public awareness of animal abuse, and let to increased coordination and cooperation between agencies and individuals concerned about the problem.
“Through Caroline’s unrelenting work, the Commission has not only helped Baltimore become a more humane community, but also serves as a model for other cities across the country,” the ASPCA said in a press release.
Griffin is one of two recipients of the ASPCA Presidential Service Award. Also receiving the honor is Subaru of America, Inc. for its unprecedented commitment to animal welfare. Through the Subaru “Love a Pet” Adoption Drive program, the ASPCA works with Subaru dealers across the country to team them up with local shelters to host co-branded ‘Love a Pet’ adoption events.
“The ASPCA is humbled by the commitment and compassion displayed by this year’s Humane Awards winners,” ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres said. “The distinguished achievements of these advocates are prime examples of the ASPCA’s mission of preventing cruelty to animals. This year’s event will be a celebration of all that has been done to bring us closer to our goal while reminding us that there is still much work ahead.”
The ASPCA’s Annual Humane Awards Luncheon — sponsored by the Hartville Group, Inc., provider of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance — will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Others to be honored are:
– Ricochet, the surfing golden retriever who raises money and helps the disabled. Rejected as a service dog, Ricochet and her owner, Judy Fridono, took another route to helping people. Ricochet is now a ‘SURFice’ dog for disabled surfers. On top of that, Ricochet has helped raise more than $125,000 for more than 150 human and animal causes, including childhood special needs, arthritis, breast cancer, canine cancer and animal rescue. Ricochet will be honored as the ASPCA Dog of the Year.
– Stevie Nelson, a five-year-old boy who raised more than $28,000 for the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society. After his family’s two black Labs went missing, Stevie, upon seeing an ASPCA commercial on television, decided he wanted to help needy animals find homes. He set out to raise $6,000 for the humane society’s campaign to build a new shelter, but to date has raised more than four times that. Stevie will receive the ASPCA’s Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year award — named after a nine year old boy who died trying to save his dog from a house fire in 2007.
– Sgt. David Hunt of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus, Ohio. Hunt has served as a leader in uncovering the link between animal cruelty and other serious crimes such as drug dealing, gambling and racketeering. Since 2002, Sgt. Hunt has executed 51 search warrants resulting in 67 felony dogfighting arrests. He has trained law enforcement officers in 28 states, and helped make dogfighting a crime law enforcement and lawmakers take more seriously. Hunt is receiving the ASPCA Public Service Award.
– Green Chimneys, a New York organization that helps children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning challenges. A leader in animal-assisted activities, Green Chimneys operates an innovative special education school and residential treatment facility with programs to strengthen the emotional health and well being of children by promoting a harmonious relationship with animals and the environment. Green Chimneys is receiving the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award.
(Photo of Mittens, courtesy of BARCS; photo of Caroline Griffin by Mary Swift)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, anti-animal abuse task force, aspca, attention, awards, awareness, baltimore, barcs, caroline griffin, cat, cats, columbus, cruelty to animals, david hunt, dog, dogfighting, dogs, environment, green chimneys, honors, humane awards, judy fridono, law enforcement, lawyer, luncheon, mittens, nebraska, ohio, pets, phoenix, protect, ricochet, service dogs, set on fire, shelters, stevie nelson, surf, surfing, therapy dogs
Starting on Monday, people who take dog feces they have collected to New Taipei City sanitation units will receive a ticket for a gold-ingot raffle, the Tapei Times reports.
The raffle winners will recieve ingots worth $12,000 to $60,000.
“We believe this innovative measure will raise people’s awareness of the problem,” Chen said Chen Chao-mint, an official with the Environmental Protection Department. “Through the raffle, we expect the public to pay closer attention to environmental sanitation and play a more active role in keeping their surroundings clean.”
The rafffle results will be announced in October.
Dog feces on streets and sidewalks has become a major quality of life concern for residents, the Times reports, and the municipality has been urging dog owners to clean up after their pets.
New Taipei City will also will also offer rewards to those who take videos or photographs of people who leave their pets’ feces in the street. In addition, the city is encouraging residents to form teams to patrol their neighborhoods and educate people on the importance of cleaning up after their dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: awareness, clean up, dog, dogs, education, feces, gold, health, ingots, new tapei city, pick-up, poop, public, raffle, sanitation, scoop, taiwan, waste
As I’ve been saying all along, dogs can read our minds.
In addition to deciphering the meaning of obvious physical queues, like jangling car keys, they’re able to connect to our emotions and inner selves, and in so doing detect everything from disease to fear to when we’re just feeling a little blue.
On top of all the anecdotal evidence suggesting this, now comes a study in the journal Learning and Behavior that says dogs, and even wolves, have “canine telepathy,” and that they are born with the ability to at least make a pretty good guess what humans are thinking.
(My hunch is, once they read our minds, the first thing they do is think to themselves, “Boy, I’m glad I’m a dog.”)
Domestication has allowed dogs to fine tune the process, so the more a dog hangs around humans, the better he or she becomes at “canine telepathy,” which actually relies upon hyperawareness of the senses, Discovery.com reports.
The study by Monique Udell and her team from the University of Florida looked into why dogs are so good at reading us, and how they accomplish it.
Udell’s team carried out two experiments involving both wolves and dogs. Both were given the opportunity to beg for food, either from an attentive person or from a person unable to see the animal. Both wolves and dogs decided to pester the attentive human, showing that both domesticated and non-domesticated members of the species have the capacity to behave in accordance with a human’s “attentional state.”
Still, the study suggests, domesticated dogs, especially those in happy homes as opposed to shelters, may have better refined the skill, which is probably simply because they’ve come to better understand humans, and their particular human.
My dog Ace, though he has misread me a time or two — probably because my brain uses so many dashes – is a master mind reader who often better knows what I’m thinking than I do, as I suggested, in haiku form, last week.
At dinner, for instance, he’ll get as close as he can and stare at me while I eat, knowing I must be thinking about giving him some of my food when I’m pretty sure I have no intention — or thought — of doing so.
Then I inevitably toss him a bite or two, proving he was right all along.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, attentive, awareness, behavior, canine, dog, dogs, domestication, emotion, emotions, experiment, hyperawareness, mind readers, mind reading, monique udell, pets, read our mind, science, senses, study, telepathy, university of florida, wolves
On April 30, the Postal Service will issue a 44–cent, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamp series.
With the 10 stamp designs — five cats and five dogs — the U.S. Postal Service hopes to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets.
The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.
The stamps were designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.
In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service, together with Ellen DeGeneres and her dog food company, Halo: Purely for Pets, will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.
To pre-order the stamps, go here.
Here’s a closer look at the dogs chosen for the stamps:
Teddy, a wired-haired Jack Russell terrier: The owners of Teddy’s mother were surprised when she gave birth to another litter. They couldn’t afford to raise more puppies, so they gave Teddy and his siblings to a shelter.
Today, Teddy lives with a loving family, their other Jack Russell, and a cat.
Trevor, a yellow Lab: Trevor and his litter mates were found abandoned at 8-10 weeks of age at a new home construction site.
They were rescued by Labrador Retriever Rescue of CT, Inc. Trevor was adopted by a couple who are a perfect match for his outgoing personality.
Buddy, a golden retriever: Buddy is a pure-bred golden who was purchased from a pet store. At only eight months old, he had such bad hips that his family gave him to a shelter.
Now, Buddy is flourishing with his family who have improved his health through regular exercise and a good diet.
Bindu Su, an Australian shepherd: Bindi Su’s mother was handed over to a rescue group when her owners found out she was expecting.
Bindu Su was adopted at eight weeks old.
Now she competes in agility events and visits a local nursing home weekly.
Jake, a Boston Terrier: Purchased at a pet shop on Thanksgiving when he was eight weeks old, Jake’s original family quickly realized that they couldn’t take care of him.
The pet shop had a no-return policy, so Jake was turned over to a shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, australian shepherd, awareness, bindu su, boston terrier, buddy, cats, connecticut, derry noyes, designer, designs, dogs, donating, ellen degeneres, golden retriever, halo, jack russell terrier, jake, meals, million, new milford, news, order, pets, photography, photos, post office, postal service, rescue, rescued, sally andersen-bruce, shelter, shelters, stamps, teddy, ten, trevor, yellow lab
Animal Planet will kick off a new series of investigative specials Monday night with a no-holds-barred look into the underground culture of dogfighting.
“Animal Planet Investigates: Dog Fighting Exposed” will probe the secretive world of organized dogfighting, with rare footage and commentary from law enforcement officers and former dogfighters. The special examines cases across the United States, including Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Michigan and New York.
“By bringing viewers the true and uncensored reality behind dog fighting, we intend to raise public awareness about this cruel and inhumane practice,” says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet.
“The brave men and women working tirelessly to expose and dismantle these fighting rings are using daring tactics and thanks in large part to their efforts we were able to share this powerful story with our viewers in an in-depth and unprecedented way. Some of the images might be tough to take, but it’s vitally important that these stories are told.
The hour-long show is the first in a quarterly series of specials on the network that will investigate animal issues.
It premieres Monday at 10 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal planet, animal planet investigates, animals, awareness, culture, dog fighters, dog fighting, dog fighting exposed, dogfighters, dogfighting, dogs, investigation, investigative, monday, organized, pets, pit bulls, rings, series, special, television, tv, underground