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Friday, September 29, 2006

Pet Shop Arson Kills Pets

A Cambridge, Mass., pet shop that was torched after someone spraypainted "No More Exploitation of Animals" on the store. Though there's no definitive link to animal-rights extremists, a Boston Herald story notes that they've burned pet shops elswehwere, and have set animal free from others. So far, 81 reptiles and fish have died, and more are expected to.

If it's true that people associated with the animal-rights movement did this, they should go to jail. What could possibly be the point of killing animals in the name of protecting them? Did whoever set the fire not understand that this would happen? It's worse than that act of total stupidity in 1998 by British activists who "liberated" 6,500 minks, which then skittered around the countryside devouring housepets, farm animals, and wild birds. This is a popular tactic that always results in loss of life, either the minks' or other animals'. Has it stopped fur-coat production? Not a chance. Fur is hotter than ever as a fashion item.

Guerilla tactics that result in animal deaths are counterproductive to the cause. Activists would do far better to educate the public about why wearing fur isn't necessary and why it makes more sense to get a shelter pet than one from a store.

Click here to read the whole story.

Rescue Me!

Cyndi Lenz, RN, and godmother of Tropical Dawg Golden Retriever Rescue, has for years been laboriously compiling a comprehensive guide to Florida breed-rescue groups. It's called the Skip's Pharmacy Rescue Book, and it's now for sale at $9.99.

Not only does it list every group from Afghanhound to Yorkshire terrier, it also has cat-rescue groups, non-breed-specific groups, national breed rescue groups and breed clubs. It's illustrated with pet snapshots, my favorite of which is on page 28: a dog that appears to be a shepherd of some sort with a bagel on its nose.

Cyndi and her husband, Dr. Skip Lenz, a compounding pharmacist, live in Boca Raton with their two Goldens: Machiavelli and Casey.

She includes articles she has written on choosing the right dog, the importance of buying heartworm medication from a vet, spaying and neutering, and microchipping.

To order the book, call 561-218-0111 or 800-553-7429. To learn more about Tropical Dawg, click here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Canine Cuisine

I don't even cook for myself - which is a good thing, since I'm about as adept in the kitchen as I'd be in an ice hockey rink - so the likelihood of me cooking for my critters is absolute zero. But I imagine that other folks might find this new people/pet cookbook quite useful (beef teriyappi or Pekingese duck, anyone)? I found it interesting and amusing reading material, thanks to the pictures, anecdotes, factoids (who knew that dogs shouldn't have avocados and onions?), and pull-out quotes from such wits as my former Herald colleage Dave Barry (you can link to his blog from mine) on page 64: "You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you that look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'"

The authors of The Dog Ate It (Gotham Books, $15) are food writers Linda West Eckhardt and cattle rancher Barbara Bradley, with editor Judy Kern. Visit the Penguin Group website for more info.

Pachederms With a Big Problem

Lion Country Safari in Palm Beach County is closing its elephant exhibit, leaving the futures of Stumpy and Mama, its last two elephants, unclear. They've lived together for three decades, and would suffer terribly if they were separated.

Go to the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida site for information about how you can help.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Florida Rescuer is an Animal Planet Hero Nominee

Her name is Kelly Grinter, founder/director of the Marathon Wild Bird Center in the Keys, which rescues sick and injured pelicans, shorebirds, raptors, and other flying critters, some of which have swallowed fish hooks or been hit by cars. She's one of 10 nominees, another of whom is Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, a Pennsylvania organization crusading on behalf of chained dogs.

Grimes, you might recall - see Sept. 13 posting - was arrested for unchaining and taking a dying dog off private property. Two of the four charges against her have been dropped.

To read about the rest of the nominees, click here.

Party Pooch

This is one happy little terrier!

Send your pet pix as jpg attachments to and I'll put them up here on the blog.

Dog Wash to Benefit a Good Guy

George Stein, a 50-year-old kennel attendant at Extra Care Animal Hospital in Davie, has been diagnosed with lung cancer, and because he's newly insured, his expenses might not be covered. I'm told he's single, with six cats, and no family except an elderly mom.

So his friends and colleagues are holding a benefit dog wash for him on Sunday, Oct. 8, 10 am-2 pm at the clinic. You'll be able to buy sodas and hot dogs while your dirty dogs get all spiffed up.

Donations are welcome c/o Extra Care Animal Hospital, 950 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie, FL 33325.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Plan Ahead for the Furr Ball

Nov. 9 is the big annual fundraiser for the Pet Project, a terrific organization that helps terminally-ill and seriously disabled people in Broward County care for their critters.

It's a black-and-white-attire affair at the Josephine S. Leiser Opera center, 221 SW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, 6:30 P.M.

"We will feature a selection of local restaurants from the area showcasing their menus. There will a silent as well as a live auction with some magnificent items. We also will have a Pet Project Vendor showcase featuring local pet-related business where they will display some of their services and products. There will be complimentary hors d'ouevers, champagne, wine, and drinks at the ball. We will have live music and performers," says the group.

They're looking for volunteers to help with arrangments and planning. IF you're interested, call Felix at 954-568-5678 or 954-483-9925.

For more information about Pet Project, visit the website:

WOOF Patrol Needs You!

Tomorrow, Sept. 27, 2:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Neighborhoods/Community Affairs meeting in the city manager's conference room, 1700 Convention Center Dr. On the agenda: a permanently pet-friendly beachwalk.

WOOF Patrol is a band of intrepid dog lovers who want to make sure that their canine pals remain welcome down by the beach, and have mounted a clean-up campaign complete with poop-bag dispensers. They also serve as extra sets of eyes and ears for the police on matters of petty vandalism.

So go and give 'em your support.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Death Didn't Do Them Part

Click here to read an incredible story about dog burials in ancient Peru. A new study shows that dog were buried less than 1,000 years into the A.D era with as much care and consideration as humans. And why not?