Could it be that – when it comes to providing unnecessary and disturbingly human goods and services to dogs – South America is becoming as bonkers as North America?
One look inside Motel Pet (with its ceiling mirrors, romantic lighting and plush red decor, Motel Sex would have been a better name) indicates the answer is yes.
The motel — aimed at offering dogs a cozy and romantic place to breed – was opened earlier this year by Animalle Mundo Pet, a pet superstore in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
It’s modeled after the kind of themed love motels that aren’t uncommon in Brazil — like Swing, Absinthe and Alibi — that offer lovers a place to do just that discreetly and, if desired, by the hour.
And it’s just the latest evidence that, at least in the more urban areas, Brazilians are taking doting on their dogs to new extremes.
A New York Times article about the motel points out that Brazil’s pet population has jumped to 36 million, and that in some large cities plastic surgeons are offering Botox injections for dogs. It traces the rapid growth in doggie services to the emergence of a middle-class Brazil.
At Animalle Mundo Pet, the doggie love nests — at $50 a night — are the latest addition to a spectrum of services once reserved for humans. The store sells a beef-flavored dog beer, and offers a spa with a Japanese ofuro soaking tub, as well as several lines of designer canine apparel.
After spending $500 on clothes for her Yorkshire terrier, customer Andreia Kfoury checked out the motel area and said it would be perfect for Harley’s romantic pursuits.
“I’m definitely bringing Harley back here when it’s time for him to breed,” she said. “He is very macho, and would be a hit in this place.”
Our guess is that Harley, even though he’s a Yorkie, would be just as happy to get it on in a vacant lot, but, as those who offer humanesque services to dogs are well aware, dog owners are the ones who hold the money, and fall for the marketing ploys.
For those rendezvous that don’t produce results, Animalle Mundo Pet also offers to arrange artificial insemination. They don’t offer cloning, but give them another 10 years.
According to the Times article, per capita income has risen in Brazil to about $10,700 a year. At the same time, family size has gotten smaller, with the average number of children dropping from 2.5 in the 1990s to 1.9. Life expectancy has climbed from 67 to 73. With more time, more money and fewer children, many Brazilians have turned to dogs, and the country is now No. 1 in per capita ownership of small dogs (those 20 pounds or less).
(Photo: Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Animalle Mundo Pet, animals, behavior, belo horizonte, bitches, brazil, breeding, dogs, heat, humanizing, humans, love motels, motel pet, ownership, pet, pets, romance, romantic, sex, small dogs, south america, studs, superstore
“…What I found out is, when you check your pet, you run the exact same risk of them not showing up as you do with your luggage. That’s kind of sobering,” said Michael Jarboe, whose dog, a Neapolitan mastiff named Bam Bam, died during a late August flight.
Jarboe decided to share his story days after model Maggie Rizer blamed United for the death of her two-year-old golden retriever Bea on a flight last month.
“We have been in contact with Mr. Jarboe and are saddened by the loss of his dog, Bam Bam. The safety of the animals we transport is always considered first and foremost when making decisions regarding their routing and carriage,” United said in a statement to NBC News.
Jarboe and his partner flew from Miami to San Francisco with Bam Bam on Aug. 28, with a layover in Houston. The two-and-a-half-year-old dog had flown four times before without any problems, Jarboe said.
Jarboe, who lives in Miami Beach, Fla., said he chose United because of its “PetSafe” program, which promises compartments in the cargo hold are pressurized and climate-controlled.
He said the layover in Houston was about three hours. Temperatures that day rose to 95 degrees.
When they arrived in San Francisco, they were told the dog had died. United paid for a necropsy, which determined the cause of death was acute cardiovascular collapse.
Before his death, Bam Bam had flown four times before — twice on United — without any problems.
United said Bam Bam was transported to a holding area during the layover, but according to Jarboe, employees did not use the climate-controlled vehicle dogs are usually transported in.
The airline has refunded the dog’s fare ($650, each way), and is working with Jarboe on additional compensation.
Between January 2012 and July 2012, 17 pets died and another 17 were injured on commercial airlines, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2011, 35 pets died while flying, but only two of those were on United, which had the lowest number of animal deaths that year.
(Photos: Michael Jarboe)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, airlines, animals, bam bam, cargo, death, dog, dogs, heat, hold, houston, layover, mastiff, michael jarboe, neapolitan mastiff, necropsy, pets, travel, united, united airlines
The two-year-old dog died while in the cargo hold of a United fight from New York City to San Francisco.
According to a necropsy by her veterinarian, heat stroke was the cause.
Rizer said both Bea and her other dog, Albert, had been cleared by a veterinarian just four days before she flew home about two weeks ago to California after vacationing on the East Coast.
When Rizer and her husband, businessman Alex Mehran, landed in San Francisco, United workers told them Bea had died. One of them, she says, told her, ”This happens a lot.”
“I was completely hysterical, I’m surprised I didn’t get arrested,” Rizer told the New York Daily News.
Rizer also claims that workers lied to her, saying Bea had been taken for a necropsy when she was actually still in the cargo area.
Bea’s body was given to the family later that day, and an autopsy by a family vet showed she had died of heat stroke, said Rizer, a covergirl who modeled for Louis Vuitton, Versace, and Calvin Klein.
A United spokesperson said the airline has transported more than 550,000 pets, with less than .1% of those resulting in deaths.
“That said, I just want to make it clear this isn’t something we’re not sympathetic to, certainly when it does happen it’s devastating,” spokesperson Mary Ryan said.
United is reviewing the incident, and has returned the $1,800 Rizer paid to transport her dog.
(Photo: Maggie Rizer and Bea, via Twitter)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airlines, animals, bea, cargo, dead, death, dies, dogs, flights, golden retriever, heat, heat stroke, hold, maggie rizer, model, pets, supermodel, united airlines
A police dog named Serge died of “heat exhaustion” last week after an alarm system failed to alert his handler that the air conditioner had malfunctioned in the car he’d been left in, police in Camden, N.J., said Monday.
“Most of the electrics went out. And the air conditioner, instead of cooling the vehicle, was pulling all the heat from the engine. [The dog] probably went in like 10 minutes,” said Joe Rodriguez, supervising trainer at the Atlantic County K-9 Academy in Egg Harbor Township, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Apparently, both the air conditioner and heat alarm failed, Rodriguez said. Rodriguez who trained the German shepherd and his handler, said the alarm is designed to set off a siren and roll down the vehicle’s windows when the temperature inside rises too high.
The dog was found dead in the vehicle, parked outside police headquarters in downtown Camden. The temperature that day, Thursday, reached a high of 92 degrees.
“We still have much more investigating to do before we determine causes and issue conclusions,” Police Chief Scott Thomson said.
The death of police dogs from heat exhaustion — often while they are waiting in cars — has been an all-too frequent occurence across the country this summer.
“It has been a problem with some law enforcement due to malfunctioning equipment, some of it due to human error,” said Russell Hess, national director of the U.S. Police Canine Association. “We usually hear about it every summer.”
Rodriguez, who trains K-9 officers from all over New Jersey, said he recommends that handlers check their dogs every 20 minutes — even when their vehicles are equipped with heat alarms.
“They’re like anything else. They can be hit or miss,” he said. “You get a false sense of security.”
Serge, not quite two-years-old, joined the Camden police force in January.
“He had already captured a bank robbery suspect and had assisted in several other apprehensions as well,” said Chief Thomson.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: air conditioning, animals, camden, car, dead, death, dies, dog, dogs, german shepherd, heat, heat alarm, K-9, k9, malfunction, parked, pets, police, police dog, serge
How nice is this?
Ace and I were taking the mile-long walk down to the end of Figure 8 Island and back on Sunday when we stopped to meet some other dogs — a golden retriever named Mac and a black Lab named Jet.
Their owners were on the beach, and though strangers — to me, at least – they offered Ace, who was looking a little bedraggled by then, some water. He graciously accepted and drank their entire supply.
After some chatting, Ace, I and friends moved on, walking to the inlet and turning around for the hike back. By then — it being especially hot, and our morning walk having started around noon — Ace was really dragging. In addition to being nearly as out of shape as his master, he had been taking in a little salt water each time he gingerly waded into the ocean.
We were passing by Mac and Jet’s house again when — though the people and dogs had all gone inside – we came across the note above, written in the sand, with an arrow that pointed to a full bowl of fresh water.
Ace made a beeline for it, lapped some up, then laid down, resting his chin on the edge and drinking almost the whole bowl before lazily getting up and lumbering a few hundred more yards.
All along the way, in addition to sniffing in the smells, he was keeping an eye open for shade. Anytime he saw a group under an umbrella, he felt the need to visit, and not being on a leash (shame on me) he did.
We hadn’t gotten far from the Ace watering station when another woman beckoned, and we, eyeing the shade of her umbrella, veered in her direction. She went to a cooler and pulled out a bottled water, pouring it into her cupped hand for Ace. He polished off the whole thing.
Issuing thanks again (though no one was offering me water, I might point out), we trudged homeward — by now having fallen far behind our friends, due to our slower pace and Ace’s philosophy when it comes to humans: There are no strangers — only friends he hasn’t yet met (who might also have good stuff like water and treats and shade).
Shade can be hard to find at the beach.
Kindness, though, is usually only as far as the next beach chair.
(Photos by Amelia Bellows)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, beach, dog, dogs, drinking, figure 8 island, friends, heat, hot, jet, kindness, mac, north carolina, pets, reunion, salt water, shade, strangers, travels with ace, vacation, water
A dog on a hot warehouse roof, spotted by a rider on a commuter train, has become a source of controversy in Miami, with some animal activists saying he needs to be rescued, and warehouse officials saying he’s only doing his job.
“No animal should live on top of a roof … a scalding hot roof,” said Amy Roman Restucci with Abandoned Dogs of the Everglades, who posted an account about the dog on Facebook.
“We do not know why this dog is up there, but we thought of a few different possible scenarios, and can not think of one that would be acceptable for this dog to be there. Not knowing the circumstances, we are torn as to how and go about helping this dog without possibly putting him in more danger or dooming him to death by animal control if called.
“… One thing we do know is that this is NO PLACE FOR A DOG!! The temperatures on that roof alone can cause this dog a heat stroke. We want the dog removed from that roof immediately!
Local 10 flew its helicopter above the building, spotting the dog on the roof. There are some shaded areas, and a doghouse, and several bowls nearby, it reported.
Neither the Miami Fire Department or the Miami-Dade County animal control department planned to get involved, saying it’s not against the law to keep a dog outside, as long as it has food, water, and shelter.
Raudel Hernandez, a worker for G&G Produce, told Local 10 that the dog on the roof, named Burro, is one of two that serve to protec the building from thieves. Burglars have broken in three times, stealing copper wire from the air conditioning units.
A petition to “save the dog on the roof” has been posted on Change.org
Posted by jwoestendiek August 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned dogs of the everglades, amy roman restucci, animal cruelty, animal welfare, burro, copper, dade county, dog, dog on roof, florida, fruit, g & g produce, guard dog, health, heat, heat stroke, miami, petition, produce, protection, raudel hernandez, rescue, roof, safety, save, security, thefts, warehouse
Tech XX, the English bulldog that served as mascot at Louisiana Tech University, died of heat stroke after being left out in the heat Sunday.
Though initially reported missing, the four-year-old English bulldog was left outside by an employee, who has since been fired, according to the veterinarian that cared for the dog.
The employee, according to news reports, tried to cover up the dog’s death.
“Tech XX was a member of our immediate family and a daily part of our lives for the past four years,” Patrick Sexton said in a statement. “We are devastated over the circumstances of his passing, and there will be a large void in our hearts for some time to come. As with any family member, we will spend considerable time grieving his passing.”
In a statement, the university said that since becoming the mascot in 2008, Tech XX got superior care from Sexton’s team.
Tech XX’s predecessor, Tech XIX, was retired in 2007 because of health concerns after suffering heatstroke, the university said on its website.
Originally, a worker said he let the dog out to go to the bathroom and the dog went missing, said Sexton, who kept Tech XX at his home. Dozens of students and residents searched for the dog, and rewards were posted.
For four days, the employee kept Tech XX’s death, and location, a secret, according to the Shreveport Times.
“That employee unfortunately chose to handle it the wrong way and attempted to cover it up,” Sexton said. “Due to this negligence, the employee is no longer employed by Sexton Animal Health Center.”
Tech XX was owned by the school’s Student Government Association, the president of which, Will Dearmon, said, ”It’s extremely disappointing and sad news this happened to our beloved Tech XX.”
“We’ll work through that in the coming days and there will be a Tech XXI, but right now our hearts are broken,” he added.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: athletics, college, cover up, death, dies, employee, english bulldog, fired, heat, heat stroke, louisiana, louisiana tech university, mascot, mascots, patrick sexton, reward, ruston, search, sports, team, tech, tech XX, university, veterinarian
Watching an Italian supermodel suffer in a hot car may not spur exactly the same emotions as watching a dog trapped in one, but we’ve got to give PETA credit at least for keeping this issue in the forefront.
“… Elisabetta endures the panic and pain that a dog feels when left in a car on a summer day — even with the windows open a crack,” PETA says. “…. As panic and anxiety set in, Elisabetta’s condition deteriorates rapidly with the addition of excessive thirst, lethargy, lack of coordination, and a rapid heartbeat.”
Elisabetta aside, the facts are these: On even a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car can rise to 90 degrees; in the sun it can climb to 160 — and in just a matter of minutes.
Animals can quickly suffer heatstroke, sustain brain damage and die in as little as 15 minutes.
Here’s PETA’s advice should you ever confront a dog in that situation:
Posted by jwoestendiek July 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advice, animals, cars, dangers, dogs, elisabetta canalis, health, heat, heat stroke, hot car, italian, italy, locked, model, parked, peta, pets, psa, public service announcement, safety, summer, supermodel, tips, warning
Once again, I’m watching too many of those HGTV and DIY network home improvement shows — mostly, of late, the ones in which a homeowner’s backyard is “crashed” and transformed from a barren expanse into a Spa-Like Retreat, or a Tropical Paradise, or Awesome Party Area so they can invite over the numerous photogenic friends they always have.
It’s one way I pass the time when it’s too hot to go outside. I stay inside and watch shows about people who are getting makeovers for their yards, which are probably also too hot to invite friends over, unless, of course, a swimming pool is being added.
Watching those programs inspired me enough to go outside and attempt my own poor man’s version of a makeover – of a neighbor’s backyard, or at least the grassy area behind her apartment that I’m not sure who actually owns, probably the homeowner’s association.
I’ve told you before about where Ace and I ended our travels and where I’m staying for now — renting the very unit my parents lived when I was born, at a former apartment complex called College Village, since turned condo. It’s a modest development of one and two-story brick buildings that serve as an oasis of affordability in a neighborhood that otherwise consists of fine and expensive homes, with big trees and country clubs in every direction. College Village is mostly, as the name might imply, college students, along with people just starting their careers, and people on fixed incomes, or, as in my case, broken incomes. (There should be a TV show where personable, good-looking and enthusiastic experts come to your house and fix your income.)
I’ve also told you before about my neighbor dachschunds, short and chunky Frank and long and slim Bogey. Most days, Ace and I walk around the block with them. (Frank’s trying to shed a few pounds.)
Several times on those walks, their owner, Faren, has mentioned how she’d like to get a kiddie pool for the dogs to cool off in during the summer. It was taking her far too long to get this accomplished, though.
So I decided to “crash” her yard and transform that simple patch of grass from drab to fab, from bland to grand, from blah to something that rhymes with blah — oh yeah, “ahhhhh” — to, as they say in the parlance of these shows, “trick it out.”
While Faren was at work Friday, I made my move. I had but a few hours to complete the surprise transformation (all these shows have a beat-the-clock element to make them more exciting).
I decided to set a budget of $50. (That — staying within budget — is another dramatic element designed to make these shows more suspenseful than hammering and painting would otherwise be.)
First, I headed to K Mart, where I purchased a blue kiddie pool for $15. On an aisle nearby, I picked up some accessories — vital in any makeover. I couldn’t find any pink flamingos, but I bought two tiki torches for $5, and a bottle of bug repelling oil to fuel them, for $8.
Then I bought myself some sandals, because there was a half price sale on them, for $12.
That brought me in, even counting the sandals, at $10 under budget.
I gave myself a high five and, back home, assembled the team members — me and Ace. I found a flat place for the pool, borrowed a neighbor’s hose and filled it up. I stuck the two torches into the ground, but just barely because the ground was really hard and dry.
I proclaimed Ace lifeguard and myself facilities manager, as well as a charter member of the country club’s membership selection committee. I am also thinking about being editor of the country club newsletter.
Then I put on my new sandals and waited for the reveal, which I figured would take place when Faren got home. In the interim, I watched more home improvement shows and lots of advertisements for Glidden paint.
Faren and her boyfriend, Richard, pulled up without me seeing. So I can only imagine that, before I got there, they both said “ohmigod!” and “this is AWEsome!” numerous times.
When I saw they were home, I went over and walked Faren through the tropical paradise I had created, pointing out its many features, including her white plastic chair, which I had moved closer to the pool area. It took about four seconds.
Ace traipsed through the pool a few times, deciding, while it was perfect for getting a drink, it wasn’t big enough for him to lie down in.
Nevertheless, I foresee countless hours of enjoyment ahead as Faren, Frank and Bogey, and probably lots of mosquitos, make the most of their brand new, totally tricked out, awesome tropical paradise.
As for the lifeguard and facilities manager, they’ll probably be staying in the air conditioning.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, back yard, bogey, college village, crashers, dachshund, diy, dogs, frank, heat, hgtv, home improvement, kiddie pool, make over, neighbors, north carolina, pets, pool, summer, swimming, transformation, winston-salem, yard crashers
From hungry ticks to shish kabob sticks, from sweltering heat to booming fireworks, the trappings of the 4th of July hold more than a few perils for dogs.
So, before enjoying Independence Day, it’s a good idea to take a minute to remember that dogs — however independent they may be — are dependent on us, and can use a little help in avoiding the hazards that we, mostly, create.
Cookouts, hot weather and fireworks all pose a danger to dogs, says LizRozanski, associate professor of clinical sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Here’s a list of tip offered by the school.
- Shish kabobs and other foods-on-a-stick pose a special danger to dogs, who can ingest them and wind up with fragments that can cause blockages or gastrointestinal perforations, says Dr. Rozanski, who is section head of emergency care at Tufts’ Foster Hospital for Small Animals
- Bones, especially cooked ones, can splinter inside a dog’s digestive tract. Keep pets clear of chicken wings and don’t give them bones from the meat you grill.
- Other foods can be toxic to dogs. The garlic in your favorite marinade, the grapes and raisins in your fruit salad, or the chocolate in your brownies can all cause harm. Keep them out of your dog’s reach.
- A little food at the cookout is fun for dogs, but “people” food adds up quickly, so have your guests, especially kids, check in with you before feeding Fido their scraps. Letting dogs overeat can cause vomiting or more serious problems.
- During the hot, humid months, heat stroke and exhaustion are a special concern for canines. Make sure they have plenty of water. Put some ice cubes in it for a special treat, and provide a shady spot to lie down. If your dog is panting excessively, shows signs of lethargy or has dry gums, call your veterinarian right away.
- Never leave pets in the car, particularly during warm weather.
- Dogs afraid of thunder are most certainly going to be fearful of fireworks. If you head out with your family to watch the fireworks, make sure your dog has a safe, quiet place to rest.
(Video: Comedian Louis CK posted this video on YouTube of his dog trying to drink from a park sprinkler)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bones, cars, chicken wings, cookouts, dangers, dog, dogs, exhaustion, fireworks, fourth of july, garlic, grapes, grills, hazards, heat, heat stroke, hydration, independence day, july 4, july 4th, july fourth, louis ck, noise, overeating, perils, pets, picnics, raisins, shade, shish kabob, sprinkler, toxic, video, water