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Tag: microchips

Some kind of miracle

Was it an Internet miracle, or a Christmas one? Or does that even matter now that Willis, a Clumber spaniel who went missing just before Christmas last year, is back home?

Willis belonged to Karen Martin, of Portsmouth, Va. Four days before Christmas last year, she went out to her back yard to find him gone. After a year of posting fliers and searching, she’d all but given up hope of finding him.

Little did she know, he was hundreds of miles from home, and had a date with death, metro columnist Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post reported last week.

Picked up by animal control officers in Charles County more than a month ago, Willis had been taken to the Tri County Animal Shelter in Hughesville, Md.  Shelter workers scanned Willis for an identification chip, but, though he had one, it was not detected. Shelter workers put a photograph of the  7-year-old dog on the facility’s “at-risk” list, meaning euthanasia was ahead.

The at-risk list, including a photo of each dog, is e-mailed to animal rescue groups and other dog lovers around the country in hopes that someone might be willing to adopt the animals listed before they are euthanized.

Terry Walker, an office manager for a veterinary hospital in Calvert County, was one of those who received it and recognized the dog pictured as a Clumber spaniel.

After an Internet search, Walker found an organization called Clumber Spaniel Rescue of America, and forwarded the dog’s photograph to the three contacts whose names were listed.

One of them ended up in the spam folder of Sally Day, of Washington Crossing, Pa. — a friend of Willis’ owner, Karen Martin.

She said she was deleting her spam when something told her to open this one.

“A voice said, ‘Open it,’ and the hair stood up on the back of my neck,” Day recalled. “The e-mail was from a stranger, and there was a photograph attached. I instantly thought I recognized the dog. I said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s Karen’s boy.’ ”

Martin called her friend Day, then e-mailed her the photo, and Willis is back home now — a bit the worse for wear from his journey of more than 200 miles. He had an injured eye, a respiratory infection and a skin allergy that had resulted in scratching off patches of hair.

Martin, who now lives in Williamsburg, said she expected this Christmas to be a lot more joyful than last year’s.

(Photo: By Jay Paul / from the Washington Post)

CinnaBun runs away, and Bullock, too

cinny2Little more than a week after she was on top of the world, Sandra Bullock has reportedly left the residence she shares with Jesse James, and reports are that James’ dog CinnaBun has gone missing again, too.

HomeAgain, a company that monitors microchips in pets, tolds TMZ that a report was filed March 15 with the company that CinnaBun had turned up missing.

HomeAgain sent emails yesterday to residents in the Long Beach area — in the vicinity of West Coast Choppers, where James kept CinnaBun.

“I am asking for your help in finding my lost dog, CinnaBun,” the emails read. 

CinnaBun, a pit bull, went missing at the end of January and wasn’t found for nearly a month.

Sandra-BullockMeanwhile, James has broken his silence on reports that he cheated on his Oscar-winning wife, telling People magazine he used “poor judgment”.

James, a custom motorcycle manufacturer who married Bullock five years ago, said he took responsibility for his actions. But he stopped short of admitting that he had an affair.

Bullock, 45, pulled out of the London premiere of  “The Blind Side” on Wednesday after the celebrity magazine In Touch Weekly published claims by a model that she slept with James last year.

“It’s because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way,” James said in a statement to People.

Bullock, who received the Oscar for best actress last week for her work in the  “The Blind Side,” has reportedly moved out of the home she shared with James.

(An update to this story can be found here.)

BARCS Madness: Some fees waived in March

basketballBaltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) is waiving the $65 adoption fee for selected dogs and cats for the entire month of March.

Dogs and cats that can be adopted for free will be identified at the shelter with a basketball sticker on their cages.

Included in the adoption fee are spay/neuter surgery; vaccinations for rabies, DHLPP and bordatella for dogs or FVRCP for cats; de-worming, a flea preventative, a general examination, a food sample, and a month of free health insurance. Baltimore City residents will have to pay a $10 license fee.

In addition to waiving some fees, BARCS will be offering microchipping for $20 per pet — only $5 for those who were adopted at BARCS.

BARCS is the largest shelter in Baltimore and the surrounding area, taking in over 11,000 animals each year.

More information about animals available for adoption may be found at the BARCS website. BARCS located at 301 Stockholm Street, across from the M&T Bank Stadium, and is open for adoptions Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Microchipping improves odds of pet’s return

PetmicrochipA recent study by Ohio State University confirms what would seem to be pretty obvious — microchipped pets have a better chance of being reunited with their owners than those without microchips.

Microchipped pets find their way back home about 75 percent of the time; in the case of dogs, that’s about 2.5 times more often than those without microchips, according to the study.

Less than 2 percent of all stray dogs and cats taken to shelters participating in the study had microchips implanted in their bodies. Nationally, experts estimate about 5 percent of pets are microchipped.

Microchips have yet to become widely popular — and they aren’t foolproof, the study notes. That one of every four microchiped pets isn’t reunited with its owner is a function of the number of different microchip companies and registries, and owners who fail to keep those registries updated on address changes.

Still, the study suggest that pet owners should give strong consideration to microchipping their companion animals — a conclusion that isn’t that surprising, either, considering one of the authors is a consultant for a company that, through one of its subsidairies, manufactures microchips.

The study notes that identification tags, with the pet’s name, owner’s name and phone number, are still the most effective way to ensure a lost pet is returned.

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American dog population rises to 77.5 million

Americans are increasingly making provisions for their pets in their will, placing their pet’s medical needs over their own, and planning vacations around their pet — all signs that pets, more than ever, are considered part of the family, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

The APPA has released its 2009-2010 National Pet Owners Survey, and it shows pet ownership at its highest level ever, with 71.4 million households in the U.S. owning at least one pet — 62 percent of all households.

Furthermore, during the past decade the current number of pet-owning households increased by 12 percent, up from 61.2 million pet-owning households in 1998.

According to the survey, there are 77.5 million dogs, 93.6 million cats, 171.7 million freshwater fish, 11.2 million saltwater fish, 15 million birds, 15.9 million small animals, 13.63 million reptiles and 13.3 million horses owned in the U.S.

“The findings in the survey clearly demonstrate the importance of the role our pets are playing in our every day lives. Two decades of trended data show that now more than ever people consider pets an important part of the family and are still providing for their faithful companions even in these trying times,” said Bob Vetere, president of APPA.

“As pet ownership continues to rise, so has the demand for quality products and services. This has led to an amazing evolution of innovative products and services that truly enhance the experience of owning a pet,” he added.

Since the inception of the APPA National Pet Owners Survey in 1988, dogs and cats have accounted for more than two-thirds of all households that own a pet. The actual number of pet owning households is significantly higher than it was twenty years ago, as is the overall number of U.S. households.

The survey showed 17 percent of dog owners have an electronic tracking device implanted in their dog, with the Western region having significantly more tracking devices than dogs in other regions.

The survey found dog visits to the veterinarian are up, averaging 2.8 visits a year. Thirteen percent of dogs and 21 percent of cats are considered obese or overweight by their veterinarian. When asked to indicate their priority if there was a choice between a large medical expense for themselves or their pet, 15 percent of dog owners would attend to their dog’s need before their own.

Seven percent  of dog, cat, bird and horse owners indicated they had made financial provisions for their pet in their will. One-third of dog, cat and bird owners and almost half of equine owners have named a caretaker or guardian for their pet in their will.

More than 20 percent of vacationing dog owners take their pet with them in the car when they travel. These owners take their dog on an average of five car trips per year. Three percent of dog owners take their dog to work at least more than once a month.

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