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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Neighbors in a Cat Fight Over Prowling Rights

A Washington state feline is the focus of some un-neighborly behavior. Seems that Turbo was doing what cats do: Wandering around. Acting in what she believed was in line with the law, a neighbor - believing Turbo had killed 16 of her quail - trapped him and turned him in at the pound. Needless to say, this didn't sit well with Turbo's family. Click here to read the story.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Kind Dog Comforts the Grieving

This is a beautiful story from the Boca Raton News about a therapy dog who greets mourners at a cemetery. What a great idea! When my mom died in July, I had a transcendant encounter with a therapy dog in the hospital hallway (see July 9 posting) and I can tell you she gave me a moment of such tenderness at the worst time of my life.

What makes this story even more touching is that Raffi, a golden retriever, is a rescue dog. The story credits Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue when in fact it was Tropical Dawg. Click here to read the story, and click here to check out the Tropical Dawg site.

Skidboot the Amazing Dog

You will NOT believe what you're seeing in these videos of a Texas ranch dog named Skidboot. I'm thrilled when mine actually sit/stay on command, so I'm in complete awe of this critter and his human.

The first link is to a clip that's eight minutes long; the second is less than two minutes. He has a website,, where you can order videos. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Feral Cat Day

Cindy Hewitt, executive director of Miami's Cat Network, sends this along:

The Cat Network, Inc., is promoting National Feral Cat Day with a “Spay a Stray for $10” special, Oct. 16 – 31. The event is one of many planned nationwide. NFCD was created by Alley Cat Allies, a national feral cat resource.

The goal of Miami’s Cat Network is to inform the public about free-roaming cats and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), a nonlethal feline population control method that has been proven worldwide to reduce the number of free-roaming cats.

Under the assistance and guidance of Cat Network over 30,000 cats have been sterilized and vaccinated. For more information on how to sterilize stray, feral and abandoned cats, go to or call 305-255-3482.

Dog-Wash Beneficiary Says Thanks

Sunday's dog/car wash in Davie raised nearly $4,000 for George Stein, who works at Extra Care Animal Hospital. He's battling lung cancer and has no insurance.

Here's an e-mail he sent out to his co-workers after the event:

Well, I have to tell you when I went into the hospital the first time in September and stayed eight days because they could not figure out excactly what was wrong. I woke up the next morning and said, 'I better call and let family and friends (at the animal hospital) know where I am.' Then I realized I had already done both, just by calling the office. It was at this point I realized that everybody I work with and have met fits the profile of friends and family.

After my secound stay, it was apparent this was the case, and that I would never have to worry about being alone or how I was going to take care of myself and get meds and medical care with no insurance and no income. BUT I have to tell you, after what I saw and felt Sunday at the hospital, seeing all my friends and family working together, there was an emotional feeling that I have not had in a long time.

Crazy for Critters wishes George a complete recovery and many long years of a pet-filled life.

Fabulous Frida

Frida, a 4-year-old Rottweiler, is Miami-Dade Animal Services' pet of the week, Id# 752674. She's spayed and microchipped, and has all her shots.

She's described as "a large, friendly, loyal and intelligent dog. As a guard dog and family companion, her breed excels. If you want a dog who is calm, steady-tempered, confident, and courageous, then she may be right for you!"

If you're interested, contact Aileen at Animal Services, 305-805-1778, or via e-mail:

A WOOF Patrol Triumph

The Miami Beach beachwalk, between 14th and 21st streets, is now permanently dog-friendly, thanks to the WOOF Patrol, intrepid dog lovers who convinced the City Commission that pooches and people could easily co-exist on the beachwalk.

They did this by pushing a clean-up operation that includes poop-bag dispensers. The reward, as articulate by one commissioner:

Because of the hard work of the Woof Patrol, the permanent pet friendly beach walk has turned out to be a non controversial item that the administration and the Commission now both support.

The Commission accepted the report of the Neighborhoods Committee, so the permanent pet friendly Beach Walk will now go into effect.


Saul - (Commissioner Saul Gross)

WOOF Patrol fairy godmother Yvonne Conza, congratulates everyone involved, and urges continued support "for other dog-related issues and interests, such as the dog beach that is currently under consideration. Between WOOF Patrol and Responsible Dog Owners of Miami Beach one thing is certain – Miami Beach is passionate about their dogs and quality of life issues."

Enjoy the canine-friendly strolling, she says, but keep an eye out for any "errant pet owner who has left behind what needs picking up. Do everyone a favor: pick up for them. Work together and continue to create Pawsitive Social Pressure."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nadia Turner to Entertain At Furr Ball

Scroll down to the posting of Sept. 26, announcing the Furr Ball, a fundraising gala for the Pet Project, a wonderful charity that enables seriously ill and disabled people to keep their critters.

Just found out that Nadia Turner, South Florida's own (almost) American Idol, will entertain. She was the eighth-place finisher in Season 4.

Also just found out that the food will be provided by a bunch of top eateries: Galanga, Laffing Matterz, Caffe Blu, Mancini's, Lucarella's, Hollywood Bistro, L'Hermatage, Boulevard Bistro of Hollywood, Mario's Catelina, Kilwins of Las Olas, The Chef's Table catering, and C.A. Catering, all of it coordinated by Charles Podesta, chef to the late Gianni Versace, Mohammed Ali, Cher, Madonna, and Bill Cosby.

Tickets and $100 and $75.

Click here to go to the website for more info.


Fido Festivals: A New Book Shows You How

In my circle of dog-loving friends, I can't say there's anyone who would actually have the time or money to do something like this, but for anyone inclined to throw a lavish soiree for dogs, Dog Parties: Entertaining Your Party Animals (Gibbs Smith, $19.95) is just the thing.

Author Kimberly Schlegel Whitman is - according to her book-jacket bio - "an internationally recognized lifestyle and entertaining expert," and companion to two Chihuahuas (who are elaborately costumed for their parties).

The parties depicted - a puppy shower, a birthday party, a wedding, etc. - are so upscale and georgeous that you could invite Martha Stewart without the slightest social anxiety.

Get this: Doggie snacks made to look exactly like candy bars for a slumber party: mr. GoodDog bars, MilkyWoofs, Baby Ruffs.

There are also some interesting factoids about the reverence shown to and pamperng of dogs over the centuries. Seems that the Pekingese was worshipped in 2000 BC, and was shlepped around in portable jade doghouses, and King Henry III of France used to wear his Bichons in little baskets around his neck.

Who knew?

Murder, Mysteries, and Mutts

Friends Forever Rescue, which placed over 500 dogs last year, is hosting a Halloween murder mystery dinner fundraiser on October 29th, at St. Michel’s in Coral Gables.

Dinner guests will help solve the mystery, “A Cruise to Murder.” There will also be a silent auction. Items include a day of fishing for four, restaurant meals, weekends at the Biltmore Hotel and the Dadeland Marriott, and jewelry.

Seating is limited to 100.

Friends Forever's adoption base is the PetSmart at SW 136th St. and S. Dixie Highway.

For more information on the organization and the Halloween event, call 305-491-5651, e-mail, or visit

Birthday Party Guests Take Home Furry Presents

Saturday, Miami-Dade Animal Services celebrated its first year as an independent department with a birthday party/adoption event. It was a huge success, sending 46 cats and dogs to loving homes. Given that the shelter doubled its adoptions from 3,000 to 6,000 during the department's first year, it's certainly a great start to Year Two. Congrats to all involved.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Help the Kelpies!

These two purebred Kelpies are in a high-kill shelter in Texas and need to get out ASAP.

They're 10-month-old sisters, reportedly fine with other dogs, both described as very sweet. If you can help, contact Angie Sturm, Marion County Animal Shelter, 843-423-8370 or 843-455-5320.

Lost Dog Alert in Florida

From Miami-Dade Rescue Railroad:

Scooter, a 15-pound brindle Basenji, bolted from a carrier during transport near Fort Pierce. He's at least a year old, brown and black stripes. He's thought to be running loose in the woods off Hwy 70 between I-95 and the Florida Turnpike.

Scooter is a little timid but has no bite history. He's wearing a collar and a BRAT (Basenji Rescue and Transport) tag with a toll-free number on it.

Call (collect if necessary) 813-883-3108 or 813-368-3738, if you can help.

Federal Law Now Protects Pets During Disasters

With all the nauseating news out of Washington lately, it's a real pleasure to find that Congress has accomplished something worthwhile. Last week, President Bush signed into law a bill requiring local and state emergency preparedness officials to plan for the evacuation of pets and services animals with their humans in a disaster. Some 50,000 pets were abandoned during Hurricane Katrina, and human lives were lost because people refused to leave their animals, which were barred from shelters and rescue boats.

Go to the Humane Society of the United States website to read more about the law.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sweet Jack Russell Needs a Home

This is a really sad situation: a woman is too sick to keep her precious little Jack Russell. Go to to see pictures and get contact info.

Howloween Yappy Hour

That's what Allen Babcock Dog & Cat Rescue is calling its Oct. 27 benefit Halloween Party, 6 p.m. at Central Bark Doggy Day Care, 3699 N. Dixie Highway, Oakland Park. The group rescues abused, abandoned, and injured dogs and cats.

Admission is a $5 donation, and well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome. There will be prizes for various kinds of costumes, and a silent auction; bidding closes at 7:45 pm. Cash and checks; no credit cards.

There will, of course, be libations and munchies.

If you want to donate to the silent auction, please contact Ann at or 954-476-7743. And to learn more about the group, click here.

Benefit Dog/Car Wash Raises Big $$

Check a couple of postings down about the benefit dog/car wash at Extra Care Animal Hospital in Davie yesterday, for an employee recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Jake and I took Harley - aka the Wooly Mammoth, about 130 lbs. - who totally hates water but, being the best-behaved dog alive, stood quietly, and with resignation accepted the indigity of being hosed down and shampooed. That's him on the far left, sheared for the summer last year so you don't quite get the full Wooly Mammoth effect.

Most of the other dogs there were about the size of squirrels, so we felt like the $10 being charged wasn't quite enough, and tossed a $20 in the jar (plus another buck for perhaps the best home-made brownie I've ever had in my life. There are some things worth gaining a pound in a single afternoon).

Tracy Tenner, a veteran dog trainer who operates Better Behavior, Inc., and works at the clinic, reports that the event raised nearly $2,000, and that about the same amount had already come in from donations prior to Sunday. That speaks very well of the pet-loving community's compassion for humans as well as critters.

The employee, George Stein, dropped by, and seemed truly touched by his colleagues' efforts on his behalf. Crazy for Critters wishes him the best of luck. Donations are still welcome c/o Extra Care Animal Hospital, 950 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie, FL 33325.