Hero Cat Saves Trapped Neighbor

Ivy the cat from Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada

Many cat parents have brushed off their cats’ demands for attention. It’s a good thing that Mary Johnston on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada paid attention.

According to Nugget.Ca, Mary was reading one afternoon in September when her cat, Ivy, jumped into her lap. The two-year-old Siamese mix then immediately leaped from Mary’s lap to a nearby windowsill. Mary said that “Then she walked back over and jumped on me. It was like, ‘Hey, pay attention.’”

Ivy isn’t a particularly vocal cat according to her owner, but Mary felt that Ivy was clearly trying to communicate something. Because of Ivy’s actions, Mary stopped reading and noticed a noise outside the window. According to Mary, “it sounded more like a cat when they do that deep, growly yowl.”

Mary hurried outside, thinking that there was an animal who needed her help. To her surprise, Mary found her neighbor, Eric Russell, on a stepladder with his arm snagged in his garage door. Eric is 69 but had been trying to fix the garage door. According to Eric, at one point, the door shifted, forming “a tourniquet around my arm.”

Read the full story of how Ivy the cat saved her neighbor.

Posted in Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ohio Shelter Dog Saves Cat

If two people can’t get along, some might say that they “fight like cats and dogs.” However, animal lovers know that sometimes cats and dogs can be the best of friends. In the case of a cat and dog in Ohio, one was the other’s hero.

On November 14, Freida Feher, a volunteer at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter (CCAS), took Leopard for an afternoon walk. According to the shelter’s Facebook page, as they passed a sewer grate, the six-year-old Shar Pei mix abruptly laid himself down by the grate.

The shelter told Fox 8 Cleveland News that the dog would not move. Shortly after Leopard’s sudden stop, the volunteer could hear “a faint meow.” Without Leopard’s refusal to move, that meow might not have been heard.

Read the complete story.

Posted in Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Training Your Dog With A New Homemade Toy

Maisie with homemade toy - the towel burrito

Dog toys can cost big bucks, reason enough to make your own.

In my house, the favorite toy for chasing, tugging, gnawing—and even to cart around as a security blanket—is the Towel Burrito.

These are my own invention, and I got the idea when I was reading about working dogs who sniff out bombs and drugs. Their reward for a “find” is to play for a few minutes with a towel rolled up like a burrito. So I figured that if it was enough praise for those hardworking dogs, the towel was probably attractive to all dogs.

To make one, take any hand towel (or an old bath towel that you’ve cut up) and roll it into a sausage. You can also use a bathmat. Secure with duct tape, wrapping it a couple of times around the middle and about three inches in from the ends.

If your dog is a heavy chewer, and tends to ingest his toys, the Towel Burrito is not the right fit.

My dogs chew off pieces (easy to add more tape), but they don’t swallow any.

It’s a great toy, also, for mouthy dogs who instigate play by chomping. Subvert the behavior by giving them a Towel Burrito—to go!

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Posted in Bloggers, Pet Tips, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Cats In Quarantine

Quarantine center in Queens, NY for cats

At a quarantine center in Queens for cats exposed to a rare strain of avian flu, workers must wear full protective gear at all times, even playtime. Credit: Alex Wroblewski for The New York Times

 

Scary avian flu infects shelter cats in NYC

After a mysterious outbreak of bird flu swept through New York City shelters earlier this month, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) opened an emergency quarantine center to house the entire cat population in the city’s shelter system, according to The New York Times.

Some 500 cats are calling an industrial warehouse in Queens home, while shelters are decontaminated. So far, 386 cats have tested positive for the virus, a mild form of flu strain H7N2, last detected 10 years ago in poultry-market birds. The virus has never before been seen in cats.

BIGGEST OUTBREAK EVER

The quarantine center opened at the end of December 2016 after a cat named Mimi in the East Harlem shelter fell ill with a respiratory infection that turned to fatal pneumonia. Preliminary tests revealed that Mimi had a canine influenza virus, H3N2 – but the veterinarian thought that couldn’t be possible. Cats were catching the flu like crazy – in shelters as far away as Brooklyn and Staten Island – but the dogs seemed fine.

Further tests identified the virus as H7N2, the bird flue virus, which is not usually life-threatening for cats. Symptoms include runny nose and eyes, congestion, coughing and lip smacking. It is slightly transmissible to humans and causes mild illness, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But an unfamiliar disease in a new population is a loud warning bell to health authorities. Thus far, the outbreak has been the largest influenza contagion observed in cats.

FROM NEAR AND FAR

Professional animal-crisis workers have come to Queens from all over the country to help out. Workers must wear protective clothing, goggles, a respirator mask and latex gloves when treating the cats. One the veterinarians handling the first cat did come down with the flu, meaning this has become a zoonotic (cross-species contamination) concern.

The infected cats are recovering, but none can leave the quarantine until they have been given a clean bill of health. In the meantime, some cats are still having a good time in the facility.

An ASPCA field investigator described the quarantine center as pretty quiet during the day. “But they have a nice ruckus overnight,” Tim Rickey told The New York Times. “We come in and the place is destroyed.”

STRANGER THAN FICTION

If the idea of animals quarantined in the city sounds like something out of a novel, well, that’s because it is! Neil Abramson’s novel Just Life centers on the story of a vet who mobilizes allies to save dogs infected by a virus and placed in quarantine by the National Guard. Please listen to my conversation with Neil about it this weekend on DOG TALK (and Kitties, Too!) – which will be podcast next Tuesday. To be sure you receive every week’s DOG TALK podcast on the e-newsletter, please SIGN UP for it.

Here’s hoping the cats get better soon and find great homes – and that frightening disease outbreaks remain on the pages of great books.


Tracie Hotchner
is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote  and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival™,a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Posted in Bloggers, News, Pet Health, Tracie Hotchner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ohio Cat Saves Family From Fire

Ohio Cat Saves His Family from Fire

When Alexandra Brown saved a stray cat covered in oil, she never knew that he would return the favor only a few months later. In June 2016, she found a tabby cat in Bowling Green covered in oil and obviously in need of help. She brought the cat home to her family of five and begged to be allowed to keep him. Her kind-hearted family agreed and the cat earned a home, a collar, and the name Freddie after the Bowling Green State University mascot.

According to Cleveland 19 News, just a few months later, on November 10, Freddie saved the family who saved him. That day Freddie woke up Alexandra’s dad early in the morning, before he usually would have gotten up. Mr. Brown went to the backroom of the house, by the garage, where he goes every morning upon waking up.

Read the complete story of how Freddie saved his family from fire.

Posted in Bethany Meissner, Bloggers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment