Olympian Gus Kenworthy Rescues Almost 100 Dogs

Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories.

Gus Kenworthy and Dog Beemo

Photo Credit: Instagram/GusKenworthy

 

Gus Kenworthy is known for being an incredibly skilled skier. However, he has won the hearts of many for his love of animals and dedication to using his fame to help animals in need. According to the Humane Society International, while Gus was in PeyongChang for the Olympics, he also took the time to visit a dog meat farm in South Korea where he helped rescue almost 100 dogs!

The HSI reports that eating dogs “is unpopular with young Koreans” but there are still an estimated 2.5 million dogs living in awful conditions on roughly 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea. Gus wrote on Instagram that “it’s not my place to impose western ideals on the people here,” but that the “way these animals are being treated, however, is completely inhumane and culture should never be a scapegoat for cruelty.” He and HSI also understand that you can’t simply tell people to stop engaging in a problematic economic practice, without introducing something more sustainable.

In this case, the farmer of this farm has worked with HSI and will now grow mushrooms for food, rather than breeding dogs. It’s a win-win for the dogs and for the farmer. The more than 1,200 dogs HSI has rescued over the past three years have better lives with families in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. The farmers have new livelihoods that are not only more sustainable, but more humane. Gus shared that he thinks “it’s a very practical solution to a highly emotive problem” and helping the farmers as well as the dogs.

Gus Kenworthy and Humane Society International

Photo Credit: Instagram/Humane Society International

 

One particular dog from Gus’s visit is especially lucky. He’s a little pup that Gus named Beemo. Gus and his boyfriend, actor Matt Wilkas, fell in love with Beemo while they were helping HSI on the farm. Because of that, Beemo will be joining them as the newest member of their family! Beemo might not be gold, or even silver, but we bet that Gus prefers him to anything else he could have brought back from PeyongChang. In return, we’re sure that Beemo is grateful to his new dads. We hope Gus and Matt are continuing to stand up for the humane treatment of animals by giving Beemo Halo dog food and treats. Halo proudly displays the logo of the Humane Society of the United States (sister organization to HSI) on our packaging. In addition to supporting the HSUS Animal Rescue Team, we also support the All Animals mission of HSUS by working to make sure all animals are treated humanely. If we gave gold medals, we’d definitely give one to Gus for being a true hero for animals.

Whole Lot of Difference: Kitten Rescue

Posted by & filed under #HaloFeeditForward, Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Bloggers, Cat Food, Donations, Holistic Cat Food, Natural Cat Food.

Kitten Rescue

Kitten Rescue is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization devoted to finding loving homes for unwanted, homeless cats and kittens. They rescue cats and kittens from the streets of Los Angeles and from City Shelter euthanasia. Since their start in 1997, they have grown into one of the largest, most well-respected animal welfare groups in LA.

Halo is proud to partner with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org to make a WHOLE lot of difference for shelter pets together.

Kitten Rescue received the donation thanks to a Halo partnership with social influencer White Coffee Cat, who has 1.4 million Instagram followers and almost 500,000 Facebook fans.

White Coffee Cat

Here’s what Kitten Rescue had to say about their recent Halo donation:

Snoop is a staff and volunteer favorite at the Sanctuary. He is a high energy, curious, quirky two-year-old kitty. He loves to find new places to explore, climbing, burrowing, looking at you from on top of shelves and chirping sweetly as he is doing it all. Snoop has had corrective surgery to fix eye lashes that were growing inward and he also has an eye condition called coloboma, which means that his irises did not develop normally, but not to worry – this condition does not need any extra attention. He really is an awesome cat, and we’re hoping to find the perfect, loving home for him. Your grant helped us feed Sanctuary kitties like Snoop!

Snoop

At the Kitten Rescue Sanctuary, we have many special needs and senior cats, whose chances for adoption are slim. We provide lifetime care, filled with love and companionship for them here. The food provided for us, helps us care for these cats and provide them with great nutrition to keep them healthy. Champ is one of those kitties. He originally came to Kitten Rescue when he was trapped at a feral colony in 2003 and it was discovered that Champ wasn’t feral at all! He was adopted soon after, but was returned in 2010 with another cat after his owners were divorced. Champ’s birthday is this month and he will be 19 years old!”

Champ

Thank you Kitten Rescue and White Coffee Cat for making a WHOLE lot of difference for pets in your community.

Halo has now added even more WHOLE meat, poultry or fish and use OrigiNative™ (humanely sourced) Proteins, saying “NO” to factory farming, growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. And all our fruits and vegetables are now Non-GMO – sourced from farmland that prohibits the use of Genetically Modified Seeds.

Halo feeds it forward, donating over 1.5 million bowls annually. As always, Halo will donate a bowl to a shelter every time YOU buy. Thank you for helping #HaloFeeditForward

Are Cats More Sophisticated Gourmets Than Dogs?

Posted by & filed under Bloggers, Cat Food, Holistic Cat Food, Natural Cat Food, Tracie Hotchner.

Cat eating

I read many interesting articles in the New York Times pertaining to dogs and cats, and I was especially curious about this article, which considered which of the two species has a more highly attuned sense of taste and smell.

The big question posed in the article is why cats are more finicky about their food than dogs, even though canines have a more acute sense of smell.

An explanation about why cats tend to be super picky about their diets is that they will lean toward whatever food they received as kittens. What cats are fed as young kittens, both through mother’s milk and early solids, may lead to lifelong preferences (which I why I passionately urge everyone to avoid high-carbohydrate plant-based kibble – which I call “kitty crack”-  whenever possible!).

As you all must know by now, I am an ardent proponent of feeding cats as though they are obligate carnivores (because they are!) by giving them high quality, low-carbohydrate canned food for the protein and moisture content. I salute the responsible ingredient sourcing and selection in Halo canned cat foods and their super low-carb varieties, and so will your kitties.

I urge you to bypass dry food entirely, and offer your kitties whatever canned cat food you can afford, for their health and longevity. However, I do understand that for economic or practical/convenience reasons that people need or choose to feed dry food, but I do hope they will include as much wet food in the diet as they can.

The NYT article questions: why don’t cats ravenously gulp down their food, opting instead to be fussy about their meal selection? One reason suggested for their pickiness is that cats are mostly solitary hunters, not pack animals like dogs, who have to wolf their food down to be sure to get their share. A few bites is all a cat needs with her small stomach, anyway.

The Times article cited research showing that cats respond less to sweetness in food than people or dogs do. Cats also have more receptors for bitterness. The smell of food influences how a cat responds. Since cats are not as sensitive to smell as dogs, aroma becomes very important to them, which is why cold food may not entice them (my book The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know” has a number of tips about successful feline mealtimes).  Texture is another consideration: cats’ teeth evolved to rip and tear at their prey, not to grind. The Times article considered whether this fact might be why cats often prefer canned moist chunks and shreds over dry food, which tends to be swallowed whole. At the same time, many kitties respond best to the pate-style wet food which is already blended together.

All these factors add up to a finicky cat who reacts more or less enthusiastically to a variety of elements in food. Every cat is an individual and always reserves the right to change her mind about her likes and dislikes! That is why multiple exposures to many different kinds of food is good to broaden her palate.

Tracie HotchnerTracie 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.

Halo Partner, Jeanie the 3-Legged Dog, Is Up for a 2018 American Humane Hero Award

Posted by & filed under Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Bloggers, Giving Back, Pet Stories.

On September 29, 2018 the American Humane is hosting the eighth annual Hero Dog Awards gala at The Beverly Hilton, where they will be honoring the Hero Dog Awards winners in seven different categories and the 2018 American Hero Dog will be named.

The Halo Pet Foundation has previously sponsored the American Humane’s veteran program and we’re happy to hear that Halo partner, Jeanie the 3-Legged Dog, is competing in the Therapy Dog category where she and her mom volunteer at veterans’ homes and bond with fellow amputees. In addition, Jeanie works for a Children’s Advocacy Center where she comforts children who are questioned by forensic investigators in physical and sexual abuse cases, violent crimes, and even homicides. She also volunteers at hospitals, schools and nursing homes.

Jeanie was rescued in south Louisiana when she was five months old & was adopted after a deformed front leg was removed by a local vet. Jeanie spent a day with traumatized elementary students who witnessed a shooting in their classroom. She helped an apprehensive child speak to officers after witnessing a murder/suicide. In both cases (and others), she provided a diversion from the horrors of those events.

She attends counseling w/amputees, attends children’s grief therapy, comforts students during finals week, & visits schools’ special ed classes. A veterans’ home resident w/dementia, who had been crying for two weeks, was calm & content, even joyful, during a visit w/Jeanie. A video of the pair went viral on social media.

Local dog lovers and those across the country are invited to visit http://herodogawards.org and vote once per day for their favorite dogs in each of seven categories.

Following the first round of voting, which ends April 25 with the selection of 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category), a second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to the seven category finalists. The winning dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at a red carpet, star-studded awards gala on September 29, when this year’s American Hero Dog will be revealed.

Good luck Jeanie and thank you for making a difference in your community!

Dogs Help Fight Poaching in Tanzania

Posted by & filed under Bethany Meissner, Bloggers, Pet Stories.

WWE dogs

We all know that poaching is a huge problem that needs to be stopped. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), “ivory poaching has reduced the elephant population in Tanzania’s oldest and largest protected area by 90%” in the last 40 years alone.. Karin Wagemann is one of the dedicated people working to stop that trend – with a little help from some four-legged barking friends!

“Training dogs, that’s always been easier for me,” Karin told The Spokesman-Review. Karin is an American Society of Canine Trainers instructor but some of her most impressive dogs are in Tanzania, not America. So far she has trained four anti-poaching dogs and returned to Tanzania in January to continue working with six Tanzanian handlers dedicated to protecting the elephants of Tanzania.

The four dogs are former rescue dogs from America named Tony, Popo, DJ, and Radar. They know how to detect hippo teeth, ammunition, rhino horns, and ivory from elephant tusks. The handlers are game scouts with the Grumeti Law Enforcement Division. Despite a language barrier, they made their love for the dogs clear to Karin.

“They really care about the dogs and have shown care I haven’t seen anywhere else,” Karin said. That helped compensate for the human language problems. They worked together for two months on canine management as well as advanced detection and tracking before the handlers worked on their own for eight weeks while Karin returned to the United States. Looking back, “I couldn’t have asked for a better group,” Karin told reporters.

Once the group is done with training, they will work with the dogs at roadblocks to detect and halt transport and trade of illegal animal goods. The dogs are not attack dogs though. “They’re not aggressive,” explained Karin. If they detect a smuggled item, they “sniff you out and think you have a toy for them.”

Karin loves working with protection dogs and helping fight poachers. Karin told reporters, “I have known I was going to this [vocation] for a long time” before adding that it is “the best job ever.” Karin’s work with the dogs isn’t just helping elephants. The WWF notes that poaching also harms local communities who depend on tourism for their livelihoods. The tourists come to see the animals, so if the animals disappear, the tourists will, too.

Halo’s mission includes our belief that each and every animal impacts our lives and ultimately plays a role in improving our collective well-being. Because of that, we’re actively challenging the long-held one-way view of animal management (purely for human benefit) for one where we take care of each other—people, animals, and planet. We applaud the dogs and people working together to prevent poaching and take care of our planet. Those are some good dogs who deserve great treats for their amazing work.