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Tag: petsmart

BARCS to be part of pit bull project

Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) is one of five shelters that will take part in a pilot program aimed at reducing euthanasia of pit bulls, encouraging responsible ownership and improving the perception of the breed.

A $240,000 grant from PetSmart Charities will fund the programs, coordinated by Best Friends Animal Society.

The grant was announced last week in Las Vegas at Best Friends’ annual  No More Homeless Pets Conference.

The “Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls Project” will create partnerships between Best Friends and shelters in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Baltimore, Md., Washington, D.C., Carlsbad, Calif. and Tampa, Fla.

All will be based on the partnership between Best Friends and Salt Lake County Animal Services that began in July 2009. It resulted in a 10 percent drop in euthanasia of pit bull-type dogs in its first year, and led to twice as many being adopted as the previous year.

The Salt Lake program, which will serve as a model for the new pilot projects, offers community education and free or low-cost training and spaying and neutering — all aimed at keeping pets in the family and reduce the numbers being abandoned.

The program uses volunteers, called the “Pit Crew,” to showcases dogs for adoption through outreach events, photos and descriptions online and also fosters dogs whose time is up in the shelter. There also is emphasis on creating frequent media opportunities to portray pit bull-type dogs in a positive light–to counter the image of the breed often presented in the news.

Funds provided by PetSmart Charities and additional funds from Best Friends will be used to pay for a shelter coordinator in each city, support marketing and public relations in those markets, and pay for a Best Friends program manager to oversee implementation and reporting in the five shelters.

“As with any dog that is spayed or neutered, properly trained, socialized and treated with love and kindness, pit bull-type dogs can be well adjusted, happily balanced, and affectionate members of the family,” says Jamie Healy, Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls manager. “It’s the person on the other end of the leash who decides how their dog interacts with others and who sometimes put these dogs at the wrong side of the law.”

Best Friends Animal Society works to help pit bulls through its national campaign, Pit Bulls: Saving America’s Dog, which helps dogs who are battling everything from a sensationalized reputation to legislation designed to bring about their extinction.

Doggie market goes even more pupscale

Just when you thought the pet gear market couldn’t get any more precious, Martha Stewart and Crate & Barrell have launched new lines of upscale doggie products to further spoil our pooches.

Crate & Barrel is offering “a colorful pet gear line, which includes toys, beds, collars, leashes and more — all under $70,” according to PeoplePets.

It reports: “While we love the patterned cotton bones and catnip-filled mice, our pets are drooling over the dishwasher-safe porcelain bowls ($6.95-$14.95) adorned with conversation bubbles that say “Woof,” “Ruff” and “Meow.” Porcelain treat jars ($14.95-$19.95) are another charming accent for your kitchen. Dog jars feature a black-and-white fire hydrant motif and a bone-shaped handle, while the cat ones have fish and mice graphics and a fish-shaped handle.”

The new line is available in stores and on the Crate & Barrel website.

Martha, meanwhile — shown above during the taping of a commercial — has teamed up with PetSmart to premiere her Martha Stewart Pets line, which includes bowls, feeders, tote bags, toys, collars, leashes, beds and grooming accessories, all “designed with dogs and their owners in mind.”

Man slips on poop, sues store for $1 million

Robert Holloway went to a Virginia PetSmart to pick up some bird seed and dog food.

Instead, he slipped on a pile of dog poop in the pet-friendly store, hurting his back and knocking out four of his false teeth.

Now he wants $1 million, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court. PetSmart and its employees “negligently allowed animals to enter the premises and deposit feces in such a manner as to create a dangerous and hazardous condition,” his lawsuit states.

PetSmart has filed an initial reply stating that the store and its manager that day were not negligent in the accident. Pet accidents are a fact of life in its stores, where leashed pets are welcome, a company spokeswoman told the Virginian-Pilot.

Holloway, of Poquoson, went to a Newport News PetSmart on Jan. 18, 2009.  While he didn’t fall to the floor after slipping, his body twisted violently and he smacked his head against something nearby, his lawyer said. As a result, Holloway, 70, who already had back problems, had to have surgery.

A spokeswoman for PetSmart, the largest pet specialty retailer in the country, said employees are trained to clean up messes and customers are encouraged to clean up after their pets. Every store has “oops” stations, clearly marked, with clean-up supplies. “They’re animals. There’s always going to be accidents,” she said.

A similar suit was filed by a woman who slipped and fell in dog urine at the same store.  The judge ruled against her, saying the woman failed to show that any store employee knew there was urine on the floor.

PetSmart fires manager for dog on the job

petsmartA PetSmart in New Jersey may be dog-friendly, but its recent firing of a staff member who brought his dog to work  is making it look something less than employee-friendly.

Eric Favetta was fired from his job at the PetSmart in Secaucus for bringing his dog into the closed store while working a last-minute overnight shift.

Favetta, 31, a PetSmart employee since July 2008, placed his dog Gizmo in the store’s empty day care facility while he spruced up the place for a special showing to potential business partners.

“I have always been the type of employee to go the extra mile,” Favetta told  the Newark Star-Ledger’s “Bamboozled” column.

The store, which encourages its customers to bring pets inside, labeled his deed “theft of services,” and fired him.

Favetta served nearly seven years as a dog handler for various military units in Afghanistan and Bahrain. He became operations manager at the PetSmart in Wayne and, based on his good record, was sent to Secaucus.

At 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, Favetta was asked to work a special overnight shift to prepare the store for a viewing by representatives for Martha Stewart’s company, which was considering adding its product lines to PetSmart.

“I brought my dog with me because I knew if I didn’t, he would have been home alone all day and all night until I returned home at 6 a.m. the next day,” Favetta said. Gizmo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, spent the night in the empty store’s doggie day care facility as Favetta toiled.

Two weeks later, he was called on the carpet and fired.

PetSmart spokeswoman Jessica White explained the situation this way:

“In our eyes, our services business is huge, with our grooming and training and care. Those are viewed as sale items the same way items on the shelf are,”  she said. “To use the facilities and not pay for it — it falls under the same lines.”

A few days later, PetSmart reconsidered and offered him another job. But Favetta has since moved on. He’s now working as a dog handler for a company that uses animals to search for hazards.

(Photo: MITSU YASUKAWA/Newark Star-Ledger)

PetSmart extends recall of hoof treats

PetSmart has extended a voluntary recall on beef hoof treats to include a total of 14 products, all manufactured by Pet Carousel, Inc. in Sanger, Calif.

The FDA issued a warning about the treats last week. PetSmart, in addition to adding to the list of products under the voluntary recall, has expanded the date range for purchasing affected products to a three month period — Sept. 1, 2009 to November 6, 2009.

PetSmart announced it was voluntarily recalling two Dentley’s beef hoof products on November 3, 2009, after learning they may have been contaminated with Salmonella during the manufacturing process (Dentley’s Bulk Cattle Hooves and Dentley’s Choobles 10-Pack Beef Hooves).

Twelve additional products have since been added to the voluntary recall, according to a press release. Keep reading for the full list.

Read more »

500 dogs seized at Texas puppy mill

Authorities seized about 500 dogs being housed in wire crates and pens in Montague County, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The Montague County Sheriff’s Department served warrants Tuesday morning at the 1,200-acre property near Bowie after complaints about the animals’ living conditions, said Sandy Grambort, a supervisor with the Humane Society of North Texas.

Grambort said the operation has been the subject of complaints for as long as 10 years, but in the past none of them have been able to be verified.

The property owners sold puppies to the public on the Internet and through newspaper ads.

Grambort said there were at least 25 different breeds on the site, but most were small breeds.

Some of the dogs were kept in wire crates that were double stacked in a series of outbuildings. Dogs were also kept in outdoor pens and kennels. Some of the animals had sores, open wounds and skin conditions in need of treatment, she said.

Chesapeake Energy donated use of a 4,000-square-foot warehouse in the Fort Worth stockyards to temporarily house the animals, and PetSmart Charities donated several hundred dog crates, dog food and water bowls. Volunteers with United Animal Nations will help care for the dogs.

Nearly 400 dogs seized in Arkansas raid

Nearly 400 neglected dogs were rescued Monday from an Arkansas puppy mill in a raid by local authorities and the Humane Society of the United States.

Dogs were found living in horrific conditions in dilapidated structures throughout the 82-acre property, authorities said, and at least 350 were removed. Also seized were 17 miniature ponies, six cats and several exotic birds and turtles from the property.  

When rescuers arrived at the property, in Logan County, they found dogs, ranging from shih tzus and poodles to Akitas and Shelties — some only a day-old –suffering from serious medical ailments and housed in filthy conditions.

“Most people don’t realize that this is the cruel reality behind those cute puppies for sale in pet stores and online,” said Desiree Bender, Arkansas state director for The HSUS. “These dogs were kept in tiny cages and forced to breed continuously for the profit of the mill owners.” 

“People were buying the puppies without knowing the cruelty they were supporting, Bender said. “It is vital that anyone buying a puppy go and see where they were born, meet the parent dogs and ensure they are being well cared for.”

All of the animals were swiftly removed and transported to a nearby emergency shelter and checked by a team of veterinarians, the HSUS reported.

Volunteers from United Animal Nations assisted with the temporary shelter, and supplies were provided by PetSmart Charities, which sent its Emergency Relief Waggin’ full of wire crates, dog food and bedding.

ASPCA advises avoiding peanut butter treats

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is advising pet owners to discontinue using peanut butter products in light of last week’s recall by the FDA, which traced sources of Salmonella contamination to a plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), a distributor of peanut butter and peanut paste used in some dog treats.

“The ASPCA recommends that pet parents discontinue the use of all affected products immediately until further information has been received,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, the ASPCA’s Senior Vice President of Animal Health Services. “Pet parents should wash their hands after handling any potentially contaminated food and immediately consult with a veterinarian if any signs or symptoms are noticed in their pets.”  

The ASPCA warning follows PetSmart’s voluntary recall of seven dog biscuit products as a result of a salmonella outbreak. In addition, the Jewel-Osco company announced its own dog biscuit recall earlier today in what it described as a “precautionary move.” The recall affects Happy Tails Brand Multi-Flavored Dog Biscuits in 26-ounce and 4-pound sizes.

For a complete list of affected brands and more information on the recall, please visit FDA’s recall page.

Read more »

PetSmart recalls Grreat Choice biscuits

PetSmart said late Tuesday it is recalling seven types of its Grreat Choice dog biscuits because of a salmonella concern.

The pet products retailer said the affected products contain peanut paste made by Peanut Corp. of America, whose Blakely, Georgia facility is currently the focus of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration salmonella probe.

PetSmart said it is not aware of any cases of illness related to the dog biscuits, and was conducting the recall as a precautionary measure.

Read more »

Petland stores protested nationwide

Protesters turned out at about 25 Petland stores in 15 states over the weekend in a choreographed series of demonstrations against the marketing of puppy mill puppies.

Petland, after an 8-month investigation by the Humane Society of the United States, was identified by the organization as the largest retail supporter of puppy mills in the nation.

HSUS says its investigation revealed that many Petland stores across the country are marketing puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers.

Petland denies the accusation.

“To encourage the company to mend its way, we’ve organized rallies at 22 Petland stores across the country this Saturday,” HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said in his blog, “A Humane Nation.”

HSUS is encouraging Petland to allow adoptions in its stores, as PETCO and PetSmart do, rather than selling puppies.

The protests took place Saturday in Maryville, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; Hilliard, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and nearly a dozen other locations.

Petland says the charges are untrue and slanderous. Here’s the full text of a press release the company issued Friday:

Read more »

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