Dog show allows 4-H'ers opportunity to show off pets

Posted on August 1, 2015 By

Sammie, an 8-year-old Boston terrier, doesn’t enjoy being on a leash.

That was very apparent as the small ball of energy maneuvered about an agility course during the 4-H Dog Show held at Mohr Auditorium in Scribner during the Dodge County Fair.

While continually gnawing away at the pink, 4-foot-long restraint, the dog still managed to complete the course in a solid time. Her owner, Shae Moeller, said Sammie could have done even better if she wasn’t held back.

“She really does better without the leash,” the 16-year-old Shae said.

The objective of the course was to finish in under 75 seconds with as few mistakes as possible, Shae said.

Ten 4-H’ers entered the dog show, which consisted of agility, obedience and showmanship, said Jackie Knobbe, a 15-year dog-judging veteran.

Some dogs participated in all facets of the show, and some entered in just one or two parts. Dogs and handlers with more experience competed in their own division, and novices were judged separately.

Obedience and showmanship are the two areas that a judge can really see if the handler has prepared his or her dog, she said.

During the obedience judging, Knobbe called out several commands and the handler and dog had to respond accordingly. As handlers walked their dogs along a course made of black mats, Knobbe told them to speed up, slow down, turn and pause.

Joining Shae in the dog show was her brother, Dean. The 13-year-old handled Violet, also a Boston terrier, which came from the same litter as Sammie. The Hooper natives picked up the dogs on the same day eight years ago, Dean said.

Although the dogs looked similar, their personalities were drastically different. While Violet sat calmly in Dean’s lap during the time when they weren’t competing, Sammie was constantly on the go, trying to run around as her tongue flopped around outside of her mouth.

“Yeah, Violet is definitely a little calmer,” he said. “But when we go out to our grandparent’s farm she gets a little wild.”

The brother-sister duo said that they are very competitive when it comes to their 4-H activities. When asked who wins more, they both looked at each other sheepishly.

“I guess it just depends on the day and the activity,” Shae said with a smile.

Both make an effort to compete in the dog show annually, although they said that they have missed a year here and there.

Both talked about their animals with a sense of pride as they sat in chairs along the wall as other animals strutted about on the mat.

The dog show is always one of their favorite activities that 4-H has to offer.

“Just being able to come here and spend time with the dogs, and show people what they can do and what they have learned is fun,” Dean said. “That’s definitely the best part.”


Simply securing your pet may not ensure their safety

Posted on August 1, 2015 By

Top, crash safety-rated Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection; middle, Kong dog toy; bottom, Petmate travel bowls.

Top, crash safety-rated Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection; middle, Kong dog toy; bottom, Petmate travel bowls.

There’s still a lot of summer left, and dog owners planning on bringing their furry best friend along on a road trip should consider their pet’s safety before heading off.

Pet seat belts, harnesses and booster seats are becoming more and more popular, as owners realize that roaming animals are not the safest choice for people or pets.

Top, crash safety-rated Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection; middle, Kong dog toy; bottom, Petmate travel bowls.

In New Jersey, officers from the state Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can pull people over for “improperly transporting an animal” and fine the driver from $250 to $1,000. The driver can also be charged under the state’s animal cruelty laws.

But simply keeping the dog in place may not be enough, according to Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety (CPS), a non-profit, independent research and consumer advocacy organization.

Top, crash safety-rated Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection; middle, Kong dog toy; bottom, Petmate travel bowls.

“Pet owners have a lot of options, and many of these travel options do prevent distractions, which helps prevent the accident in the first place,” she said. “But as a pet owner, if I told you that that little booster seat was not safe if you did get into an accident, would you reconsider using that product?”

Many pet owners believe that the same item that keeps their dog in place while driving will keep him safe in the event of an accident. That is not necessarily true, said Wolko.

“Do not assume that just because you have secured your pet that that product is going to hold up as you think it will,” she said.

She has video proof. With funding from Subaru, CPS crash-tested crates and carriers and released results of the study in late July. Their website,, shows the crash test videos and reveals “all test evidence,” she said.

CPS worked with MGA Research Corp., an independent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-contracted testing laboratory, to conduct “rigorous crash testing” on pet crates and carriers. They used Amazon sales rankings to make sure they tested the most popular brands, according to Wolko.

The best of the bunch?

* Crate: Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8-inch Tie Down Straps

* Carriers: Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection and Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock

While the organization didn’t test harnesses in this study, it had looked at harnesses in a crash test study a couple of years ago. The Sleepypod Clickit Sport Harness has been crash test-certified by CPS for up to 90 pounds. It is the only harness with their seal.

Wolko hopes her organization can soon put its certification seal on more products. But first, it must develop the safety standards and guidelines.

Anecdotal info

“As soon as we have a standard, we can measure against it [and] help guide the manufacturers,” she said.

There are no official statistics of animal injuries during car accidents, which makes her task of educating the public and impacting manufacturers to design safer products more difficult. She has anecdotal information, but nothing concrete. Yet.

“We are working on developing a database where we will start collecting veterinary records and things like that,” she said.

“But those accidents are simply not kept by any authority. In some states animal control is responsible to record the incident. In some states, it’s the police department. We even talked to the veterinary community, but they classify on the type of injury, not how the injury occurred. Blunt force trauma. Dog could have hit the back of the seat. Or he could have run into a door. That’s part of the challenge we’re up against. We’re working to gain more metrics on this over time, but it’s so new that it’s going to take time.”



Repticon shows Franklin exotic pets

Posted on July 31, 2015 By

Nashvillians can add an exotic animal to their family with help from Repticon.

The show brings more than 100 vendors showing boas, geckos, frogs, sugar gliders, and other reptiles and amphibians.

Attendees can also listen in on seminars and presentations every hour, as well as win door prizes.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road. Two-day tickets are $15 or $12 if purchased online, including early Saturday admission. One-day tickets are $10. Children ages 5-12 get in for $5, and ages 4 and younger get in free.


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State senator proposes legislation to restrict exotic pets

Posted on July 31, 2015 By

Milwaukee’s ‘big cat’ has captured us more than we’ve captured it drawing attention on facebook and twitter. Becoming a series of jokes and puns.

“I know in the last few years there have about 40 deaths nationwide.”

But State Senator Van Wanggaard isn’t laughing.

State Senator Van h. Wanggaard, District 21 says, “It creates a real hazard for law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

That’s why he’s introducing a new piece of legislation restricting exotic pets. He says the lion scare is draining police resources. 

“Now you take 30 guys out of service, that is huge, that means you have to have resources coming from other locations, which then puts a drain on other areas too.”

His proposed legislation would allow current exotic pet owners to keep their pets, but would restrict breeding, and future exotic pet owners for animals like baboons, lions, bears, tigers, and alligators unless they’re in a zoo, circus, or certified rehabilitation center. Plus all the current exotic pet owners would be required to register their animals. 

“So that officers know where the animals are at, also so that if one is at large, so we have an idea of who owns that animal.”

He says all of this would keep police focused on hunting down real criminals, and not with the risks of hunting down animals.

“They are wild animals still you can’t trust it, they are not domesticated.”

The law could be heard in the next month. 


BUZZ-Pets at Home: LFL sales miss estimate

Posted on July 29, 2015 By

** Pet shop group Pets at Home down c.5 pct, one
of the top losers on the FTSE-250 midcap index

** 1Q16 LFL sales of 1.7 pct vs. analysts est of c.3 pct

** LFL sales partially offset by a poor season for Health &
Hygiene products and very hot weather in July

** “The weather contributed to it more negative than we had
planned so it had effect on our like-for-like by about 0.9
percent in total,” CEO Nick Wood said

** Stock, up almost 40 pct YTD, is trading on 16.8x cal’ 16E
PE, at c.8 pct premium to the UK General Retail sector



Central Lubbock pets killed by poisoned meat

Posted on July 29, 2015 By


Jerry Riggan proudly puts his family’s furriest members on display.

“I think there’s more pictures of Molly on the refrigerator that there is of any other particular person,” Riggan said, referring to his son’s 11-year-old Dachshund.

But the shots on his fridge are the last pictures the Riggans would take with all of their beloved pets.

This past weekend, Riggan’s Dachshund, Frito, went through what he thought was a bad vomiting spell.

“I found him right here,” Riggan said, gesturing to the dining room floor. “I thought maybe he had something stuck in his throat. He stayed with me until we got [to the vet] and then basically died as soon as the vet started working on him.”

Riggan’s suspicions rose when his son came over on Sunday with Molly and his other Dachshund, Hubbard. Riggan later found both dogs in his back yard, showing the same symptoms as Frito. Their veterinarian was able to save Molly, but Hubbard died shortly after arriving at the clinic.

“I would say this was the moment,” Riggan said. “As soon as we saw that Hubbard’s down over there too, we knew there’s something out here.”

That “something” was in the form of pieces of meat thrown over Riggan’s fence – morsels just half an inch in size, but laced with what Riggan believes to be strychnine, a powerful substance commonly found in rat poison.

The trend continued on Monday, when Riggan found his neighbor’s cat lying dead on his driveway. He says it only takes the poison a few minutes to take effect.

“Any of this material from these pets dying – of course it’s going to attract flies,” Riggan said. “They come to the vomit and die.”

Riggan says he does not want this heartache to spread throughout his neighborhood. He decided to hang posters on the fence behind his house and on each of the five dumpsters along his alleyway. They serve as warnings for the rest of his neighbors and bring light to what he calls a malicious act.

“I dang sure don’t want to look over their fence and see their dogs lying like I found mine,” Riggan said. “I want to see what kind of a person is it that actually follows through – not just thinks something like this – but actually does it, and I want to see them pay for this.”

So far, the poison has claimed the lives of two dogs and two cats, while several other pets have been rushed to veterinarians with concerning symptoms. Riggan says he has never received complaints about his pets. He has already filed a police report and also contacted Animal Services.

Lubbock police say that the person responsible for the poisonings would face an animal cruelty charge, which is a Class A Misdemeanor.

Copyright 2015 KCBD. All rights reserved.


Checking yourself and your pets for ticks |

Posted on July 28, 2015 By

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- The warmer temperatures have more people spending time outdoors, and doctors have seen an increase in the number of people contracting Lyme disease from ticks.

Jaime Michaels of Belchertown told 22News, “I was bitten by two ticks in May of 2012 and I was misdiagnosed for a year.”  Michaels spends times in the outdoors with her dog JoJo, but when she contracted Lyme disease her active lifestyle was put on hold.  “I’ve dealt with chronic Lyme which meant arthritis and huge fatigue and lots of other symptoms and so its a lot harder to get rid of to heal from chronic Lyme.”

Just taking your dog for a stroll through the woods its easy for a tick to latch onto them. And some of these ticks can be about the size of a poppy seed making it difficult to find them amidst all that hair or fur. But it is important to do so because if they bring it inside, the tick can easily jump off of them and onto you.

More than 30,000 Americans Contract Lyme Disease every year. Most are prescribed the antibiotic doxycycline.  Peter Kipp, of Northampton said his wife contracted the disease recently. “It was diagnosed maybe two weeks ago. She has to be on that for maybe a month. and hopefully we’ve caught it in time to get rid of it,” Kipp said,

So what can you do to protect yourself? Do a thorough check whenever you’ve spent time in the outdoors.  Haley Fitzgerald, of Northampton said, “Whenever I get home I always check my legs you know make sure that I don’t have any ticks, check my hairline.”  You can also use bug sprays to repel insects and wear light colored clothing which allows you to see ticks when they are on you.

Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but if one attaches to you, you can take it off and have it tested.


Pets rescued from Virginia Beach house fire

Posted on July 28, 2015 By

Photo Credit: VBFD Multimedia Services Photo Credit: VBFD Multimedia Services

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Fire crews were called to battle a house fire in Virginia Beach Tuesday afternoon.

The fire broke out at a home in the 200 block of S. Rosemont Road just after 4 p.m.

Assistant Bat. Chief Deborah Gaudet told the fire was contained to one room. There were no injuries reported; but a dog and cat had to be rescued.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Hill Pets of the Week: Stella and Rex

Posted on July 28, 2015 By

Stella and Rex are the Hill Pets of the Week. Stella is an 8-year-old Belgian shepherd mix. Rex is a 3-year-old tuxedo cat. Here are their bios shared by their owner, Jane Pyle:

Stella was rescued in 2009 and has more than proven why she is the best dog in the world. She lives to be cuddled and loves playing with other pups. But don’t let her sweetness fool you, she is the alpha of all alpha dogs and will make sure that is known to all dogs that come her way — she is the boss! She is on a constant hunt for squirrels, and her favorite place to be is running free off the leash on any and all hikes, expressing her inner-wolf.

In 2012, Rex, then one month old, was found in a storm drain on a hot summer night. Stella, surprising everyone even more with her unconditional love, turned into the sweetest caretaker, teaching Rex the ins and outs of becoming the toughest “cat-dog.” When Rex was hit by a car in 2013 and suffered severe health issues this past spring, Stella was always right there by his side through the intense healing processes, day and night!

Rex and Stella bring everyone who meets them endless joy with their hilarious play fighting, constant kisses and their sibling-like competition for their parents attention. You can find Stella at Lincoln Park, the National Arboretum and Great Falls (to name a few) on any weekend or weeknight enjoying the city-dog life and Rex perched in the window meow-barking at everyone who walks by on Independence Avenue SE.

Want your pet to be considered for Hill Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least three horizontal photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a gift bag of dog or cat treats from Metro Mutts, along with 100 Metro Mutts Reward Points.

Known for “What dogs and cats want. What owners need,” Metro Mutts specializes in products and services for passionate pet owners. Now offering individualized dog walking, pet sitting and cat care from two store locations on Capitol Hill, on Barracks Row and on H Street NE. Learn more at

Photos courtesy of Jane Pyle


Rover on Twitter: Pets are social media stars, but how do they type?

Posted on July 28, 2015 By

The world has come a long way since 1993, when the New Yorker published Peter Steiner’s cartoon of two canines above the caption: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” making us laugh at the absurd notion of household pets on the World Wide Web. Now, more than a dozen years later, your dog – or cat or hedgehog or potbellied pig – is a nobody unless it’s got an Instagram account, Twitter feed, Facebook page – or all three. Here’s a look at some of the animal kingdom’s current social media standouts.

Twitter’s most-followed feline is Sockamillion, a gray-and-white domestic shorthair from Waltham, Mass., whose @Sockington Twitter feed has 1.34 million followers. Other famous felines include Grumpy Cat (288,000 followers) and the totally adorable Lil Bub (56,400).

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