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Five Ways to Help End the Pet Abandonment Crisis

Dr Jane Bicks As uncertainty about the economy lingers, the pace of pet abandonment is on the rise. Largely attributable to the collapse of the housing market in 2007, the effects of which continue to ripple through our economy, nearly every state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of homeless animals. During this short time frame, tens of thousands of companion animals have been surrendered to rescue organizations, or worse, simply abandoned, left to fend for themselves.

You’ve probably read some of the heartrending stories: dogs left behind, locked in foreclosed homes; a box of kittens dumped in a community park; and families facing homelessness themselves surrendering to a shelter all of their pets in a moment of heartbreak. The problem is so severe that some shelters have exhausted their resources and are forced to refuse new intakes.

As a society of pet lovers, this represents an unprecedented situation in most of our lifetimes. Now, more than ever, homeless pets need our help.

Many of us want to provide assistance, but don’t know the best way to make a difference. Fortunately, there are five ways to reach out and make a difference to pets in need. More...

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Repeated head shaking. Foul-smelling, waxy build-up. Red, painfully inflamed ears. What do all these things have in common? All are symptoms of otitis externa, or what is commonly referred to as ear infections. If you have ever groaned inwardly and felt dismay the moment your dog starts shaking his head or rubbing his ears along the nearest available surface, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, too many pet parents are more than familiar with this recurring medical problem. Often, it is accompanied by an offensive odor and one can only imagine how overwhelming the smell is to the suffering pup!

Canine ear infections result from an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the ear canal, causing redness, irritation and a heavy accumulation of wax. Likely triggers of these maladies are skin reactions to inhaled allergens – like pollen, mold or dust mites – or food allergies and sensitivities. Be aware that both large ears and swimming predispose dogs to ear infections.

Humans tend to develop ear infections as a result of viral infections, typically in infancy or early youth. As youngsters, our Eustachian tubes are very small. Respiratory congestion can lead to blockage of these canals, resulting in otitis media (a middle ear infection). Because the infection is internal, they frequently require oral antibiotics. In contrast, pets usually develop ear infections as adults, and the infection is almost always localized in the external portion of the ear. In most cases, the application of prescription drops or ointments directly into the ear canal usually resolves the illness. If you suspect your companion animal may be suffering from an ear infection, please seek veterinarian assistance for diagnosis and treatment. If necessary, your vet may prescribe a topical medicine and advise routine cleaning.

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah reveals the steps to safe and effective ear cleaning to promote overall ear health.

Small Town, Huge Heart

Tabby Town

On the outskirts of Westby, a sparsely populated, rural town in Western Wisconsin, lies one of America’s great treasures … Tabby Town USA, a small animal rescue group that brings solace to the forgotten.

Founded by Marie and Ted Glover in 2003 after adopting an injured cat, Tabby Town now provides shelter and care for up to 80 kittens and cats on any given day. Currently, the majority of their feline community is housed under the Glover’s roof, with two floors, multiple bedrooms, vertical lofts and a lovely sunroom. While most of their cats were abandoned, they’ve also saved kitties that were slated for euthanasia at local shelters. More...

So You Found a Pregnant Cat…

Dr Jane BicksDid you know that cats can become mothers in their first year of life? While more and more pet parents spay their cats early in life, many good Samaritans have gotten more than they bargained for, after finding that the stray they adopted is pregnant. As a matter of fact, we here at the Life’s Abundance office found ourselves in a similar situation when a sweet little stray showed up at our door a while back. Of course, food and water were the first order of business. After a few days, she began to trust us enough to pet her. That’s when we discovered that she was pregnant. To make a long story short, we took good care of her and her kittens, and now the whole feline family lives with their new adoptive parents. If you have a pregnant cat, you may be wondering what to expect and how best to care for the expectant mother. More...

Have you ever found freshly dug holes in your backyard? Or bits of your favorite chair strewn across your den? Are you the proud parent of a canine that greets your guests by repeatedly jumping on them? Does your furry friend beg at the table, bark incessantly or strategically deposit her poo next to the dining room table? Simply put, if your dog could star in a film entitled “Dogs Gone Wild”, then you share a common complaint among dog lovers worldwide: frustrating behavioral problems. " />

Doggie Dunce Caps: Bad Behavior or Serious Medical Issue?

Have you ever found freshly dug holes in your backyard? Or bits of your favorite chair strewn across your den? Are you the proud parent of a canine that greets your guests by repeatedly jumping on them? Does your furry friend beg at the table, bark incessantly or strategically deposit her poo next to the dining room table? Simply put, if your dog could star in a film entitled “Dogs Gone Wild”, then you share a common complaint among dog lovers worldwide: frustrating behavioral problems. More...

Looking Out for the Big Guys

Austin

What began as a rescue for Weimaraners now accepts all dogs, but focuses their energies on saving large and giant breeds from certain death. Located in Palm Beach County, FL, Big Dog Ranch Rescue offers a true last line of defense for hundreds of souls, burdened by illness, neglect and despair. More...

Five Plants That Can Seriously Injure Your Dog

Dr Jane Bicks

If you’re a dog lover, thoughts of summertime conjure memories of long evening strolls and outdoor recreation with your dog. In fact, you may have already started this summer to create new fond memories. Given that, the last thing you want on one of your nature walks is for your canine companion to be sidelined by an injury. Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t realize until it’s too late that there are menacing toxins lurking in the plants of both cultivated and wild landscapes. Plants that you are used to seeing in public parks, your neighborhood and perhaps even in your own backyard can lead to devastating effects. In what follows, I will review five of these dangerous plants so that you will be able to identify and avoid them when you’re with your dog. First up are four plants commonly used in landscaping that are actually toxic to canines …More...

Helpful Tips on Caring for Senior Pets

A relationship with a companion animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences we humans encounter in our lifetimes. In the last 20 years, medical science has repeatedly shown that having a dog or cat in your life can result in health benefits for you, including improved, self-reported mental and physical health, and even fewer doctor visits compared to no-pet people. Additionally, caring for pets can help us to develop a greater sense of responsibility, elevate our own sense of self-worth and foster a mutually beneficial bond that enriches not only our lives but those of our pets, too. More...

Two Types of Seniors to Benefit from Foundation Award

Brandy-American Brittany The Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation has made fresh inroads to making the world a better place for senior citizens and senior dogs.

Our charitable non-profit has awarded a financial grant to the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network (NBRAN), a dedicated organization devoted to saving the lives of abandoned American Brittanies both in the U.S. and Canada. A network of foster-care volunteers, NBRAN is comprised of individuals who work passionately on behalf of this lovable breed.

Once referred to as “Brittany Spaniels”, Britts are known to retain their puppy-like enthusiasm regardless of age. Great family dogs, they tend to be gentle, yet active, and are widely recognized for their good humor. More...

Looking Back at Giving Back

Dr Jane FoundationWe’re nearly midway through 2010, and we’d like to take this opportunity to share the progress made by the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation thus far into 2010. While we have highlighted some of the caring animal rescue agencies who have received financial awards this year, many more grants have been awarded.

Before we convey some of the details about these worthy organizations, we want to thank you for all that you’ve done to support our foundation. Even if you have never made a donation directly to the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation, if you have ever purchased any of our products, you have contributed to its reserves and thus helped animals in need. And for that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

As you’ve probably noted, the vast majority of the animal rescue groups selected for our grants are small non-profits who typically operate on shoestring budgets. In many cases, the only assets these heart-full groups have are the people dedicated to aiding homeless and abused companion animals. Frequently located in small communities, these affiliations fulfill a vital need in under-served areas of the U.S. Not only do they accomplish so much with so few resources, they work every day to relieve suffering and enrich their communities. More...