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Top 10 causes of dog poisoning

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has put together a list of the top ten poisons that affected dogs in 2008.

1. Human medications. For several years, human medications have been number one source of poisoning cases — both prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up medications accidentally dropped on the floor. Keep them in cabinets.

2. Insecticides. Bug control products rank number two, and many of them involved misuse of flea and tick products—such as applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species. Check with your vet before beginning any flea and tick control program.

3. People food.
Grapes, raisins, avocado, onions and certain citrus fruit can harm dogs. One of the worst offenders is chocolate, which, if ingested in significant amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures.

4. Rat and mouse poisons. Last year, the ASPCA received approximately 8,000 calls about pets who had accidentally ingested rat and mouse poisons. Many baits used to attract rodents contain inactive ingredients that are attractive to pets as well. Ingesting them can lead to life-threatening problems for pets, including bleeding, seizures and kidney damage.

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Illegal kennel shut down in Lancaster County

Dog wardens, working with the Humane League of Lancaster County, shut down an illegal dog kennel Wednesday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and removed 20 dogs from the facility.

The owner, Aaron Lapp, will not be permitted to obtain a kennel license in the future and will be required to keep fewer than 25 dogs per year. In Pennsylvania, any kennel housing more than 25 dogs per year is required to be licensed and inspected.

Wardens first became aware of the illegal kennel from a consumer tip and cited the kennel in August for operating without a license. Lapp pleaded guilty to those charges and was told he could not own or keep more than 25 dogs in a year.

A follow-up inspection of the kennel Wednesday showed a decline in sanitary conditions and dogs in the kennel were found to have matted fur. Wardens contacted the Humane League, which removed the dogs.

“Our state dog wardens are following up on any information about illegal kennels and they are making sure that those facilities come into compliance with the law or are shut down,” said Jessie Smith, Pennsylvania’s special deputy secretary of dog law enforcement. ”

Smith said all dogs in commercial breeding kennels will be better protected under Pennsylvania’s recently signed dog law. The new law doubles the minimum floor space for dogs, eliminates wire flooring, and requires exercise that is at least as good as unfettered access to an exercise area twice the size of the primary enclosure. The previous law did not require that dogs ever be taken out of cages.

In July, the state launched a toll-free hotline, 1-877-DOG-TIP1, to help anyone wishing to offer confidential tips about unsatisfactory or illegal kennels.