Author Archives: Kristi Eaton

We Love Our Pets

posted April 18th, 2011 by
protection of the finance

by Kristi Eaton

 More Americans own pets and are spending money on them than ever before, according to a new survey.

The number of U.S. households with a pet rose 2.1 percent this year to an all-time high of 72.9 million, according to the American Pet Products Association’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey. The survey shows there are more than 78 million dogs, 86.4 million cats, 151.1 million freshwater fish, 8.61 million saltwater fish, 16.2 million birds, 16 million small animals, 13 million reptiles and 7.9 million equines owned in the U.S. 

Not only are more Americans owning a pet, they are investing more money in them.

The survey predicts that pet owners are expected to spend $12.2 billion for veterinary care this year, up from $11 billion last year and $8.2 billion five years ago.

Most survey responders say the economy did not affect their decision to own a pet.

“Although the economy has been a major factor for many industries, the pet industry continues to see unprecedented growth and diversity. The survey reveals pet owners are willing to spend money on their pets despite a downturn in the economy,” says Bob Vetere, president of APPA, in a news release. “More products and services are available than ever to assist in responsibly caring for a pet, so it is becoming increasingly easier to add another pet to your household.”

People & Pet Eurail Packages

posted April 4th, 2011 by

Story by Kristi Eaton

Those dashing off to Europe to jet set across the continent no longer have to worry about what to do with their beloved four-legged friends.

Realizing that pet owners were reluctant to leave their animals behind while they vacationed, has announced a partnership with 728 pet care facilities across the world.

The company, which sells European train passes, will be offering People & Pet Packages, where pets in the United States, Canada and Australia will stay in pet accommodations while their owners vacation in Europe.

“More than anything, we want to help people take their dream trip to Europe.

We can make that easier by thinking about their dogs and cats,” said Jeroen de Bruin, Sales & Marketing Director for Eurail.Com in a news release.

Pet Psychologist Faros Ipoll, PhD, said both owners and pets can feel traumatized by long separations.

“The key is to have as much fun planned for the pet as a European holiday will offer the human,” he said. is asking pet owners to send in photos by May 1 of themselves with their pets. The 10 best photos will receive free accommodations at one of the new pet spas with the purchase of a Eurail Pass.

“It’s an ideal combination: the trip of a lifetime for the human, and a relaxing spa visit for the pet,” de Bruin said.

Online In Memoriams

posted March 28th, 2011 by

Story by Kristi Eaton

More websites are making it easier for pet owners to pay tribute and remember the pets they loved and lost.

Facebook is an easy way for pet owners to show their admiration for a pet who has died. Simply post a picture of your pet to your page or create a page devoted to your beloved Fido to keep him alive in your memory forever. has an In Memoriam section that’s local with an interesting slant.  For $15, users can post an online memorial to their departed pet.  That $15 goes to the local non-profit animal rescue organization of the user’s choice while the memorial will stay active for all time.  See the In Memoriam section on this website at .

Both Doggy Heaven and Immortal Pets allows users to browse and create their own memorial in tribute to their pet who passed away.

On Doggy Heaven, visitors can look through tributes of dogs by breed and learn about their favorite toy, games and special skills. Immortal Pets lets users create individual memorials and post poems, prayers and tributes to the animals no longer with us.

Doggy Heaven is free for users to use and post on, while Immortal Pets is free for 14 days after a memorial is set up. From then on, a one-time fee of $35 keeps it active.

From Facebook pages paying tribute to websites like, and, grief-stricken pet owners now have a place to remember and pay tribute to their beloved animals with obituaries and photos once strictly reserved for humans.

Must Have Pet Apps

posted March 21st, 2011 by

Story by Kristi Eaton

Are you sad to leave Fido behind during your spring break trip or upcoming summer holiday?

You won’t need to with the following helpful apps that make bringing your beloved four-legged friend along on vacation easier.

Fido Factor: The free app helps users find restaurants, dog parks, beaches, shopping, pet stores, dog services like vets and groomers, bars, attractions, lodging and transportation that are dog-friendly.

User ratings give dog owners better insight in to a certain location.

Create your own entry if you stumble upon a dog-friendly location that’s not already listed!

Dog park finder: Also free, this app helps you find dog parks close to where you are. Details include park ratings, fenced and un-fenced markers, and hours and days of operation. Users can browse by state or cities for the perfect retreat.

iKibble: Wondering if that turkey sandwich is safe for Spot to nibble on? How about that blueberry? Now you no longer have to wonder thanks to iKibble. The app tells you whether a food is safe for your dog to eat based on several factors. Easily search by the name of the food or category. A free app with ads is available or spend 99 cents for the app without advertising.

Petfinder’s 15th Anniversary

posted March 15th, 2011 by
Petfinder 2

Story by Kristi Eaton

Today marks the 15th anniversary of, the No. 1 pet site in the world. In its 15 years of operation, more than 17 million animals have been adopted.

The idea for came about on New Year’s Eve in 1995, when Betsy and Jared Saul started discussing the new phenomenon known as the World Wide Web. Being animal lovers, the couple decided to create a site connecting shelter pets with adopters.

Creating the website became the couple’s New Year’s Resolution. The goal was small enough in the start: save the life of one homeless animal per month and the website would be worth it.

So the couple began their quest. Betsy would call local shelters and rescue groups in and around New Jersey after work to see if they would try the new concept while Jared, who was in medical school at the time, built the website. In 1996, the site officially launched.

By 1998, the response grew and the site went national. Canadian groups joined in 2000, making the site truly international. To keep the site free for visitors and adopters, Betsy sought out corporate sponsorships.

In 2003, the Foundation was created, donating more than $10 million to shelters and rescue groups. And in keeping up with technology, the site launched an app for the iPhone in 2010, making it even easier for people around the world to adopt a pet. Today more than 13,000 shelters and rescue groups in North America use the site.

Vet Field Trip Fascinates Kids

posted March 15th, 2011 by



HUDDLED In A TINY surgical suite, about  the size of a walk-in closet, seven secondgraders watch as Kevin Long, DVM, reaches  for a sharp blade. There are more observers  standing outside, peeking through a window  into the suite.

Clad in surgery mask, scrubs and gloves,  Long, the veterinarian at Good Shepherd  Veterinary Hospital in Broken Arrow, places  the blade against Ruff Ruff’s belly. He slowly  moves the blade from end-to-end on the  canine, making a long incision.

Earlier, the students watched Long weigh  Ruff Ruff and do a physical examination of the  dog’s heart, lungs, ears, eyes and mouth. The  canine was being checked because he swallowed an unknown object and was suffering  from abdominal  discomfort. The students were allowed to feel  his belly and guess what the object could be.

“It feels like a fork,” says one student.  “No, it  feels like a magnifying glass,” says another.

An X-ray showed that Ruff Ruff swallowed  scissors and Long decided surgery was necessary. 

“I’m scared. That’s scary,” one girl says, as  Long selects the blade.

“It’s OK. It’s all pretend,” the vet says.

In fact, the sweeping cut Long made along  Ruff Ruff’s belly wasn’t real at all.  Velcro was all  that kept Long from opening up Ruff Ruff’s stomach and removing the scissors.

Ruff Ruff is a toy, a Pillow Pet borrowed from  Long’s 3-year-old son.

The kids, second-  and third-graders  from Immanuel  Lutheran Christian  Academy, along  with various home  school students,  are on a field trip to  learn proper animal  care and what a  veterinarian does. It’s the second  field trip Long has  hosted and he  hopes to make it a regular event.

“The more kids that want to experience what  it’s like to be a veterinarian, that’s what we  want,” he says.

In addition to watching Ruff Ruff’s “treatment,” the 35 students saw how X-ray equipment works, viewed blood under a microscope,  and were given stethoscopes to listen to the  real heart beats of Betty, a 7-year-old Spaniel  mix owned by vet technician DeAndra Roberts,  and Sugar, whose owner, Adrienne Ashworth,  is the receptionist at Good Shepherd.

Ellis Stevens, 8, says he enjoyed looking  at the X-ray and discovering what was inside  Ruff Ruff’s stomach, while Taylor Mosby,  also 8, says her favorite part of the field trip  was the surgery “because you could see him  (Long) open him up.” She also enjoyed looking  through the microscope at the blood, something she is currently learning about at school.

Long says he enjoys letting the students feel  Ruff Ruff’s stomach and guess what could be  inside, similar to what he does as a vet.

“They’re literally doing what I do on a live animal – to see if I can feel something in there. It’s  a very important part of what we do,” he says. “It’s fun to see their eyes light up when they feel  something because I don’t think they’re expecting that. Their mind starts churning and then  they get excited about the X-ray….You can see  their brains starting to turn. ”

He also hopes the students will take away knowledge about proper pet care. “We want kids to  know the right thing to do, so when their animal is sick,  they know the vet is where they go,” he says. “It’s like  when your stomach is sick, you know your mom takes  you to the doctor.”

The field trips grew out of a discussion between  Long and his wife, Stacey, a kindergarten teacher  at Immanuel Lutheran. Long, who graduated from  Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary  Medicine in 2002, believes his classmates with veterinary parents had a leg-up in school,  they had experience touching animals and knowing the ins and outs of  how things work in the office, he says.

“Students like me, without parents who were vets, it  was almost like a little bit of catch up.”

When the couple designed the Good Shepherd  clinic, they wanted the space to be family-friendly and  conducive to learning. Every room has a window and  mothers can watch what their kids are doing from the  waiting area.

“So the room works in both directions, providing a  learning opportunity from the outside in, and the mom  being able to watch her kids from the inside out,” Long  says.

The field trips, open to 3-year-olds to high school  students and all area schools – public, private and  home school, are held once weekly. The 1.5 hour visits  ideally include up to 30 students.

They are developing curricula for the older students,  who will see and experience more technical aspects. For example, high school students will see and examine real X-rays and may get to observe surgeries.

The field trips are currently free, thanks to grants  from the Future Vet Program that has covered the cost  of the stethoscopes provided to the students. Merial  drug company donated plastic ticks. If the funding  eventually runs out, Long says he may charge $1 or $2 for the stethoscopes, but it will still be a reasonable  price, he says.

For Information

Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital
Lynn Lane and Broken Arrow Expressway,
Broken Arrow

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