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PupPod

posted September 28th, 2015 by
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New US pet toy ‘PupPod’ promises to keep pups active and engaged while owners are away.

PupPod allows:

  • Pet parents to watch live video of their pups and interact remotely with them as their dogs play
  • Offers a new way to reduce boredom, destructive behaviour and separation anxiety
  • Allows dogs to learn new skills while owners are at work

 Pup Pod

No more lonely, bored dogs.

 

PupPod is a new interactive pet toy that helps reduce boredom, anxiety and destructive behavior in your dog, helping them learn new skills when you’re at away. Pet parents can tune in and interact with their dog while they’re playing with PupPod as well as share and compare progress with friends via a mobile app.

Seattle based Erick Eidus, CEO and founder of PupPod said: “The response to PupPod has been amazing. After dogs have tested it and I go to pack it up, dogs tend to look at me like ‘hey, don’t take my toy away.’ You can tell they are totally engaged and want to keep playing and learning.”

“The feedback we’ve received from the Kickstarter campaign to date has been amazing. We’ve heard from dog experts as well as pet parents who all think that what we are doing is a real break-through in stimulating dogs mentally. Dogs can play PupPod on their own and the game evolves so that the dog is always challenged. In a recent interview with the Discovery Channel, their science reporter said that in four years of covering technology, he’d never seen anything like PupPod and he was super excited about the product.”

“PupPod is actually a very ambitious project. There’s the toy and treat dispenser for the dog. There’s the video camera in the hub for streaming video to a pet parents phone. There’s the PupCloud service and algorthms to analyze all the data from game play so the dog is always challenged and pet parents can start to understand what their dog is thinking and how their dog compares to other dogs of the same breed or age. And we have big plans – a roadmap for a series of toys that all connect to PupPod.”

“PupPod is really a platform to connect dogs and pet parents in a way that hasn’t been available before.”

See it at http://puppod.com/

Embracing Change in Broken Arrow

posted September 26th, 2015 by
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Broken Arrow Animal Shelter Evolves

By Bria Bolton Moore / Photos by Foshay Photography

 

Jacko, a male Labrador/Mastiff mix puppy, is crouched in a pouncing position, eyes fixated on the camera, or maybe on who is behind the camera? It’s Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, and Jacko is just one of the 33 animals currently available for adoption at the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter.

Throughout the past year, the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter, located at 4121 E. Omaha St., has made a change to ensure that animals like Jacko are not only provided with food, medical attention and shelter, but also a permanent home.

“I was raised in the country. I’m a cowboy at heart and grew up with animals. So, I’ve always cared about animals and their well-being,” says Animal Control Director Larry Dampf. He has been with the shelter since 2003 and served as the director for eight years, seeing the shelter through its recent changes.

Dampf says a lot of the developments came after the shelter moved from a 5,500 square-foot building to its current 13,500 square-foot shelter in August of 2011. With new space, came new opportunity.

New Policies and Procedures

Up until about a year and a half ago, those who adopted a pet from the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter signed a Sterilization Agreement, essentially promising that they would get their new pet spayed or neutered. New pet owners would pay a deposit, get their animals sterilized, and  then the City would refund the deposit back to them. Now, however, pets are spayed or neutered before they’re handed over to their new owners.

“There are a lot of factors that go into the spay and neuter program,” says Dampf, who had been envisioning a different process for more than a decade. “You have to have the vet; you have to have the funding; you have to have the facility. But it’s always been on the radar that we wanted to implement and have every animal spayed or neutered.”

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are about six to  eight million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year in the United States. Unfortunately, barely half of them  are adopted.

“Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth  control for dogs and cats,” according to the Humane Society.

“The last thing we want to do is contribute back to shelter over-crowding,” Dampf says. “Through the spay and neuter program, we’re helping to decrease those numbers     in shelters.”

In an effort to better serve its patrons, the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter changed its business hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, to 11:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday.

“We found that the public really couldn’t get off work and be here at 4 o’clock,” Dampf says. ”Now, it’s easier for them to be able to get here and do business with the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter, which is a real plus.”

Dampf said the shelter has also hired an on-staff veterinarian consultant who comes in on a weekly basis to oversee the health of the animals. Additionally, the shelter  spent $12,000 on new software to track animals under its care, record adoptions   and much more.

The shelter also made a change to how it euthanizes animals. Nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized annually in shelters, according to the Humane Society.

About a year ago, the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter got rid of its gas chamber, which was used for euthanasia. The shelter now only uses injection to put animals down.

Interested in Adopting?

Unfortunately, there’s never a shortage of furry friends waiting for their turn to go “home.” Here’s how pet adoption works at the Broken Arrow Animal Shelter:

  1. Visit the shelter, and fill out a questionnaire about the type of pet you’re seeking.
  2. Browse the dogs and cats available for adoption. Spend some time with your potential pet in a “get acquainted room.” While animals surrendered to the shelter are available for adoption immediately, stray animals are kept for five days before they are available for adoption.
  3. When you find the pet that’s right for you, fill out the paperwork and pay the $60 adoption fee, which includes spay or neuter, rabies shot and the five-in-one (includes Parvo, Distemper, Bordatella, etc.).
  4. Pick up your pet the following day after its spay or neuter procedure.

Photos of animals available for adoption can be viewed online at baanimalshelter.com and now also on www.tulsapetsmagazine.com.

All of the shelter’s recent changes point to one thing: the shelter’s desire to serve the people and animals of Broken Arrow.

“Every shelter worker is burdened with saving animals,” Dampf says. “It becomes  the responsibility of the shelter staff to take care of the animal, house him, feed him and then expend every opportunity and every avenue to find another home for that animal.”

Dampf says the shelter will continue to evolve to best serve the Broken Arrow community and find permanent homes for animals like Jacko.

“We must provide the kind of service and care for animals that is needed,” he says, “that is through continued education and making sure that all our processes and business model are up to date.”

Moore groomer wins Creative Groomer of the Year

posted September 25th, 2015 by
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Lori Craig of Moore was recently named Barkleigh Honors Creative Groomer of the Year, a national title voted on by her dog grooming peers as part of Groom Expo in Hershey, Pa.

I have been nominated the last four years for it, but I won it this year, so it was really pretty amazing,” Craig said.

So what is creative grooming exactly?

As Craig explains, there is breed profile grooming, where you take a dog and you cut it to it’s breed profile. This is probably what most people know as dog grooming.

“And then there is creative grooming where you transfer the dog’s coat and fur into something completely different,” Craig said. “As a dog groomer, we get really bored. We do the same haircut day in and day out on every dog. With creative grooming, you add color, you add some hairspray and you start sculpting the hair.”

10639590_10152495270454473_413792196524344893_nA quick Google image search on my part brought up dogs with hair of every color, mohawks and fantastical shapes sculpted in to the fur of mostly standard poodles, some other dog breeds and even a few cats!

Craig’s winning designs this year were her Phantom of the Opera creation and Monarch butterflies.

“It’s amazing what you can do with fur,” Craig said.

For anyone concerned about the welfare of the animals involved, there is no need. The products and dyes used in the process are labeled for pets. Not to mention, the dogs love being transformed, says Craig.

“The dogs love the color and love the attention,” Craig said. “Dogs thrive on positive reinforcement and when people see a colored-up dog, they run and flock to them. [The dogs] absolutely love it!”

1017412_10201113386868871_72297664_nCraig says she has been doing creative grooming for about 12 years. She has been featured on TLC’s ‘Extreme Poodles’ and has traveled the world including Singapore, Scotland, Ireland and London teaching others how to turn their dogs into living artwork. She also takes her dogs on the road with her to compete across the nation.

Craig’s grooming salon Doggie Styles is located at 1261 S Eastern Ave., Moore, and she says creative grooming is gaining popularity.

“I probably do three to five creative things a day,” Craig said. “I do mohawks with color, stick on earrings, It’s just a way to make somebody’s dog stick out from the others.”

To make an appointment for your dog, call 405-790-0926 or visit www.doggiestylesok.com to view more of her incredible creations.

– Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Deaf Dogs Can Learn New Tricks Too

posted September 19th, 2015 by
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American Sign Language bridges communication for owners and albino dogs

By Brianna Broersma

 

A special group of dogs live right here in Oklahoma City.  Ceasar, Swayze, Deeyenda and Marvel are all deaf and have limited vision. Their owner, Mrs. Rojas, uses American Sign Language to communicate with them. Rojas has taught them basic signs such as “sit,” “speak” and “outside.”  Rojas says, “I look at the sign I need and teach them the behavior to go with it.”

The dogs’ hearing and vision problems can be attributed to irresponsible breeding.  In some breeds, a “merle” or “dapple” pattern is prized. This means that there are patches of lighter color fur on the dogs’ coats. Some breeders will try to breed two merle dogs together in order to increase the percent of merle puppies in a litter. However, if two merle or dapple dogs are bred together, the effect is cumulative, and it can lead to a “double merle” dog with a completely white coat. This can also remove pigment from the inner ear that is necessary for normal functioning.

Rojas’ dogs inherited their traits from such breeding practices. Ceasar is a 2-year-old Great Dane, and his deafness resulted from Harlequin-to-Harlequin breeding. (A Harlequin Great Dane has Dalmatian-like coloring.) Seven-month-old Mini Dachshund  Deeyenda had two dapple parents. Swayze, a 1-year-old Australian Shepherd, is a “double merle,” a product of merle-to-merle breeding. Rojas’s 6-month-old Rough Collie, Marvel, has an “extreme white pattern.” This removes a large amount of pigment from the face and ears, often resulting in deafness.  Rojas says, “These issues are completely preventable with responsible breeding.”

Other effects include light-sensitive eyes that can have “starburst” pupils. If Rojas takes her dogs out during daylight hours, she has to put special goggles on them. The sunlight is harsh on their eyes and skin,  due to the lack of pigment, Rojas says. She also needs to put special sunscreen on them to ensure they won’t get sunburned. Often, Rojas finds it easier to take them out during twilight or nighttime hours to protect their eyes and skin.

They are viewed as a burden, and Rojas says, “Usually breeders will kill these dogs because they are not profitable.” Sometimes “double merle” dogs can have related health issues such as digestive disorders, skin disorders and seizures. They can also have allergic reactions to some medications.

She has actually had to convince breeders to give her their dogs instead of killing them.  She is hoping to get therapy dog licenses so that her dogs can visit nursing homes, convalescent hospitals or other therapeutic settings.  She also fosters/rescues deaf dogs until a permanent home can be found.

She believes “it’s easier to train deaf dogs because they get distracted less” and actually prefers deaf dogs to hearing dogs.

“Deaf dogs are just like any other dogs,” she says, regarding the training process. When teaching a hearing dog, the owner or trainer teaches with a verbal “yes” or a clicker when a command is obeyed. Then the dog is rewarded with praise or a treat.

“Well, with a deaf dog, you show the American Sign Language sign you are trying to teach,” Rojas says. “For example, ‘sit.’ You stand in front of your deaf dog and show him the ASL sign for sit. Once he sits, immediately show him the ASL sign for ‘yes!’ Then you give him a treat. He learns, ‘OK, when she shows me this sign, and I sit, I get a treat and the yes sign. Therefore, I’m doing what I’m asked to do.’   Be consistent, and they will learn.

“Teaching ‘outside’ is easy too. Just like asking a hearing dog, ‘Do you want to go outside?’ …With a deaf dog, I stand at the door and show him the ASL [sign] for ‘outside,’ then open the door. He learns, ‘OK, when she shows me this sign, she lets me out.’ So he learns to remember what each sign means with each action. It’s actually easy and less challenging than you would think. Dogs are not born knowing English or Spanish or ASL. They learn when they hear a word, or in my dogs’ case, when they see a word and learn its meaning.”

Another tool Rojas employs is a vibration collar, not to be confused with a shock collar. It is used much like a clicker. Instead of click and reward, the dog gets buzzed and rewarded. “This is an important behavior to learn since when they feel the buzz, they look for the handler for a cookie/reward or instruction in ASL.

“This is so important,” she says. “If for any reason your dog is far off—let’s say at the dog park—and you need to call your dog, you can buzz, and they will think, ‘Oh my mom’s calling me!’ They will immediately look for you to give a command, such as come here, go to the car, stop, or look here.”

For anyone with a deaf dog, Rojas and her pets are inspiration that their pets too can lead a happy, obedient, high-quality life.

She has started a Facebook group to get “double merle” pet parents in contact with one another. It includes owners from all over the country and even international members. The group can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/202055833234792/. Members share information, photographs and support for raising these special dogs. For more information, contact Rojas under the name “Haulinauss Deafdog Interpreter” on Facebook.

Complete list of ASL signs that Rojas uses with her dogs:

1    Speak

2    Sit

3    Lay down

4    Outside

5    Go to bed

6    No

7    Yes

8    Good boy

9    Car

10  Cookie

11  Inside house

12  Move over

13  Back up

14  Stop

15  Walk

16  Look

17  Water

18  Food

19  Drop it

20  Come here

21  Go to dad

22  Up

23  Heel

24  Shake

How to Find a Pet Friendly Apartment

posted September 16th, 2015 by
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BY CRYSTAL TSENG

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

If you have a furry family member, it can be challenging to find the perfect apartment where you can all live. Apartment List recently published data about the top cities for dog and cat lovers; today, we’re here to help you understand how to find a pet-friendly apartment.

Pet Friendly Apts2

Fees and Restrictions

First, we’ll address the common restrictions and fees that you may face.

Restrictions

Every landlord has a different pet policy, but most have one or more of the following rules for tenants bringing pets:

Number of pets: Most apartment buildings limit residents to a total of 2 pets.

Weight restrictions: Some apartments do not allow (or may charge additional fees for) dogs over 55 lbs.

Aggressive dogs: Many landlords will not allow residents to bring dogs deemed “aggressive”. There’s no set list, but this usually includes Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rotweillers, German Shepherds, and Great Danes. While your pet may be harmless, most landlords (and insurance companies) find these breeds to be risky tenants!

Pet Fees

In our experience, almost all apartments require tenants to pay a premium for bringing your canine or feline friend along. Some states and cities place limits on these fees, so you may want to research local regulations if your landlord requires payments that are astronomically high. Here are the fees that we commonly see:

 Pet Friendly Apts

Know your rights

Note that people with disabilities have a right to have service or emotional support pets, even if the leasing agreement specifically prohibits pets. You do not have to disclose your disability to the landlord. Additionally, service and emotional support pets are not subject to pet fees.

What you can do

The list of fees and restrictions can be daunting, but Apartment List is here to help! Many landlords and property managers can be flexible with policies as long as you can show that you and your pet are responsible tenants. Here are three strategies to convince your landlord that your pet is a safe bet.

  1. Build a pet resume

Building a pet resume is all about showcasing your pet, and makes the screening process faster. Things you can include in your pet’s resume are: photo, description, training certification, health records, habits, grooming. The Peninsula Humane Society provides a good example of what your pet resume can include.  A letter of recommendation from previous landlords and neighbors helps too!

  1. Promote yourself and your pet

Let your landlord know you share similar concerns about cleanliness. Express that your pet is potty-trained, vaccinated, flea-controlled, etc. Getting a training certificate like the Canine Good Citizen’s for dogs is a good way to prove to your landlord your pet would be a good tenant.

  1. Get insurance for your pet

Liability is a top concern for landlords, and one of the main reasons landlords are against pets. Landlords will feel more comfortable allowing pets if they are insured – this can be especially helpful if you have an aggressive breed. Be sure to find out whether your insurance has a dog bite exclusion, dangerous breed exclusion or other limitations.

Note that most rental insurance companies do not cover dog bites, so you may need to get a separate pet insurance policy.The Federation of Insured Dog Owners will provide canine liability insurance policies for all breeds of dogs.

Finally, we at Apartment List are here to help! You can use our site to search for apartments that allow dogs or cats, making it easy for you to find the perfect place for you and your furry friend. Good luck hunting!

 

Photo attributions:

Cat and dog: Photo by kitty.green66 / CC By 2.0

Dog: Photo by Hotphotochick / CC BY-SA 3.0

Cat: Photo by Adriano Makoto Suzuki used under CC BY 2.0

September 16, 2015   |    by Crystal Tseng

Who’s Helping the Animals Near You? Likely Not the ASPCA

posted September 13th, 2015 by
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Ken White Become a fan

President, Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA


Posted: 09/11/2015 2:03 pm EDT Updated: 09/11/2015 2:59 pm EDT

THE BLOG Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost’s signature lineup of contributors

 

As the saying goes, it’s déjà vu all over again. This weekend I received two letters from the New York City-based ASPCA. The letters were identical, although they came with different envelope stuffers. Why does this seem familiar?

Well, back in October 2010, the ASPCA sent fundraising letters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area that told the story of a dog named Brutus who had been horribly abused then rescued and treated by ASPCA. Although some organizations with national sounding names make up their stories, I have no reason to doubt the ASPCA tale of Brutus, and I have no reason to do anything but commend ASPCA for that effort and others like it that they make to save animals.

What I did take exception to then was the argument meant to encourage the reader here in the Bay Area to send donations to ASPCA. Quoting now from its text:

  1. “As you read this letter, somewhere — perhaps not far from you — someone is inflicting pain on an innocent and helpless animal.”
  2. “You may not be able to rescue that particular animal.”

3. “Please send the largest gift you can manage to help the ASPCA save animals like Brutus…”

My problem, then as now, is that ASPCA operates out of a shelter in Manhattan. Manhattan is literally a country away from the San Francisco Bay Area. If an animal “perhaps not far from you” in the Bay Area is being abused, contacting ASPCA will do nothing to help that animal. If you “send the largest gift you can manage to help the ASPCA save animals like Brutus,” that gift will do absolutely nothing to help an animal “perhaps not far from you.

Back in 2012, residents of the Bay Area started again contacting me about another fundraising letter from ASPCA, this one telling a remarkably similar story about a dog named Spike. Again, this letter included the exact same language as above, only inserting Spike’s name. Again, I have no reason to think the story untrue, but I have every reason to know that gifts from residents of the San Francisco Bay Area will not help animals here in the San Francisco Bay Area. That claim is, simply, a lie.

In 2013 and 2014 I received the same letter about Spike, which caused me to wonder: If ASPCA is doing so much to help animals, I’m sort of surprised they don’t have a more recent case to write about!

My guess is someone at the ASPCA had the same question, so perhaps no surprise that this past weekend’s two ASPCA letters now focus on a dog named Wickham. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same letter I’ve been receiving for the past five years.

ASPCA is not the “mothership” of the SPCA in your community, although presenting itself as if it is obviously proves to be an effective fundraising method for them. Shame on them. Each of the thousands of SPCAs, humane societies and animal control agencies around the country is an independent organization. Sometimes we work together, sometimes not. Sometimes we agree with each other, sometimes not. We are each of us distinct.

The letter goes on to talk about ASPCA’s work in places around the country, claiming that last year they “…traveled across the country assisting in anti-cruelty raids and disaster relief efforts… …from Miami to Sacramento and many places in between.” That’s carefully written, assuming it’s true (and I have no reason to doubt that it is) to make it seem like a coast (Miami) to coast (Sacramento) campaign. However, let’s be clear that there are a whole lot of places in between Miami and Sacramento, places with local humane societies and SPCAs and animal control agencies doing really hard and good work to help animals in their community without a stitch of help from ASPCA’s New York City-based employees.

Know who is asking for your money, and know who is spending it to help the animals near you. If you need help figuring out who that is in your community, send me an email and I’ll see if I can find the answer. Chances are it’s not ASPCA.

Fund Raising Funding Nonprofits Aspca Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA PHS/SPCA American SPCA