Family heartbroken after Rover pet sitter loses their dogs

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Every night Tricha Sauce and her husband lie awake wondering and worrying where their two beloved golden retrievers could possibly be.

Every day they walk the San Antonio, Texas neighborhood where the dogs disappeared, searching and posting fliers.

It's been a painful, heartbreaking and maddening four months for the Sauces. They are begging for help from anyone who may know the whereabouts of Acoria and Ripley.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Grit Daily.

You Can Soon Uber With Your Pet

uber pet.jpeg

Need to get your dog to the vet but your car is in the shop? You and your pet can soon Uber your way to the animal hospital in about a half dozen cities.

The rideshare company launched uberPET this week. The pilot program rolls out first in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay. All riders in those cities will be eligible to request rides with their pets starting next Wednesday.

The company tells says the new feature lets you notify the driver you intend to bring your furry, feathered or even slithery pet with you.

Uber’s website says, “All household pets are allowed on UberPET. This includes dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, hamsters, birds in cages and fish in bowls or plastic bags.” A rider must accompany the animal on the trips, so there’s no sending your dog to the vet on his own.

You’ll pay extra for the critter. Uber’s website says it’s a two-dollar per trip surcharge. And if your pet makes a mess, you’ll pay the cleaning tab. Owners won’t be charged for things like shedding. The website says animals are not insured on uberPET rides.

Drivers can opt-out of your trip requests, but if they opt-in, the company says they will make more money, “drivers will also receive a significant portion of that surcharge, on top of their standard trip earnings.”

Uber says: “We built this feature to give riders peace of mind so they know they’ll be able to arrive at their destination with their pet, without any interruptions or surprises. From the time you select Uber Pet, to your trip’s arrival, and ending with your dropoff–you and your animal companion(s) can take Uber, together, with ease. Riders will be able to view the Uber Pet surcharge on their receipt, and the surcharge will be added to their upfront price when that option is selected in-app.”

The company says this doesn’t apply to service animals which are welcome, free of charge, on rides.

And yes, we have to say it, “Need a ride with your pet, but don’t have a car? There’s an app for that!”

Lepto: a simple way to prevent a deadly bacteria that killed this dog

Titas, died from Lepto. Credit: Lorraine Reynolds

Titas, died from Lepto. Credit: Lorraine Reynolds

Lorraine Reynolds wants to make sure no other dog owner goes through the heartbreak and suffering that she and her Lab, Titas, experienced. 

It all started when Titas had some accidents in the house. Reynolds figured it was a bladder infection and ran her seven-year-old dog to the vet’s office. They took some samples and said they’d be in touch with the results. 

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Just Labs.

Sweet dog found with back legs sawed off determined to live

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

The sweet pup's face caught the eye of a woman walking past him in a St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana mobile home park during a rain storm last week.

And that moment, is when this dog’s life began to change from absolutely hideous to hopeful.

The woman picked up the dachshund mix and was shocked to find the dog didn't have any back legs. He appeared to have been dumped there. She had no luck finding the dog’s owner so she got in touch with the rescue group Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East.

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

The group immediately brought the dog, they're now calling Buddy, to the animal hospital.

That's where the rescue says they got horrifying news: the vet believes someone sawed off the dog's back legs.

“One leg is cut off at the hip, the other still has about an inch of bone. It’s a clean-cut,” Gina Polk, from Dante's Hope-Animal Rescue East, told Watchdog Mary.

Polk said Buddy was also examined by another expert who reached the same conclusion.

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

The rescue says it was a horror show. “The pain in his eyes the day we got him said it all,” Polk said.

Buddy was clinging to life. He had a raging infection and needed a blood transfusion, IV’s, antibiotics and round the clock care to survive.

X-rays revealed the dog was also shot twice. The bullets are still lodged in his back end.

X-ray showing bullet lodged in Buddy's back. Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

X-ray showing bullet lodged in Buddy's back. Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Despite the young dog’s condition, the rescue says he’s incredibly sweet. “From the second we got him he has been thankful. He is perfect,” Polk said.

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Everyone at the vet’s office appears to have fallen in love with him. He has an amazing will to live.

Three people are now facing animal cruelty charges in connection with Buddy’s case.

Today the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office issued a news release saying, a 50-year-old woman two teenagers were arrested.

Investigators say they knew Buddy was shot months ago, but the owners did not seek proper medical care for the dog.

The news release says: “As a result of being shot, Buddy suffered partial paralysis in his hind legs and was unable to walk. The dog’s legs dragged behind him, causing sores on his legs. Its owners, a 50-year-old Slidell woman, and her 17-year-old daughter told detectives the dog’s legs ‘fell off’ after they bandaged them too tight.”

But after detectives interviewed a board-certified veterinarian orthopedic surgeon who reviewed Buddy’s case they came to a different conclusion. They say the wounds on the dog’s hind legs were “maliciously inflicted,” and not removed by a veterinary professional nor by natural means. 

“As a dog owner myself, I was completely appalled when we received a complaint of such horrific animal cruelty in our community. Our investigators acted swiftly, and the parties responsible have been charged accordingly,” St. Tammany Sheriff, Randy Smith said.

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Buddy, Credit: Dante's Hope - Animal Rescue East

Some companies that make dog carts and prosthetic devices have offered their help as well. “He has to have the piece of bone removed and healed before he can be fitted,” Polk said.

Buddy will have surgery next week. The rescue hopes he recovers as well as he can and promises to keep everyone updated.

If you would like to donate toward Buddy’s care the rescue set up this fundraiser.

The St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s office says anyone with information about this case or any instance of cruelty to animals should contact the sheriff’s office at 985-898-2338 or animal services: 985-809-0183.

Love your pet, but don’t want your house to smell like them? How to dog-odorize naturally

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Oh, pet owners, you know how it goes. You leave your house for a bit, then when you come back inside, with a clean nose palette you think, “Ew, it smells a lot like a dog in here…”

And there is your adorable pooch lounging on your couch, wagging his tail like, “Yup, that would be me. But I think my smell is beautiful!”

We found ways you can get that stinky scent out of your home naturally.

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article with tips, in Grit Daily.

The real scoop on the grain-free pet food investigation

Credit: Lynette Dimbero

Credit: Lynette Dimbero

Lynette Dimbero began to suspect something just wasn’t right with her family’s beloved dog, Bailey.

This spring, as the temperature in Austin, Texas, started to heat up, the black Lab began breathing heavier than usual, which seemed plausible. But Dimbero decided to watch her more closely. “You think: She is a dog; that’s what they do,” Dimbero said.

Then Bailey didn’t seem very interested in going outside, and she just started shutting down. “Heavy panting,” Dimbero said. “And then she quit eating as much, and then all together.”

Dimbero’s husband raced Bailey to the animal hospital.

“The first question the vet asked him was, ‘What kind of food was she eating?’” Dimbero said.

He told the doctor Bailey was on a grain-free diet and didn’t think much more about it.

Credit: Lynette Dimbero

Credit: Lynette Dimbero

After many medical tests, the Dimberos got some tragic news: Bailey was in heart failure. Her official diagnosis: advanced dilated cardiomyopathy. Dimbero said their vet told them, “It was probably caused by grain-free food.”

To read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s in-depth article in Just Labs click here.

Animal hospital chain announces more options for pets with cancer

GritDaily.com

GritDaily.com

This year around 12 million dog and cat owners will receive heart-wrenching news that their pets have cancer.

And many of those owners will seek expensive specialty care after hearing that dreaded diagnosis.

Some pet insurance companies are covering cancer treatments. Even paying thousands of dollars for chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and surgeries.

Now one national chain of animal hospitals is offering new options for animals with cancer. Read Watchdog Mary’s article in GritDaily.

She said yes to the dress... and the dog

Photo credit: Brooke VanAssen/B Modern Designs

Photo credit: Brooke VanAssen/B Modern Designs

Last fall in south Texas, a gorgeous yellow Lab sat in an animal shelter, waiting for someone to save him while the clock ticked on his life.

In Austin, 300 miles away, a photo of the dog staring out from behind his kennel bars caught the attention of a woman who volunteered for a Lab rescue group.

And in Iraq, 7,000 miles away, that woman’s fiancé, a deployed first lieutenant U.S. Army infantry officer had no idea all their lives were about to change forever.

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Just Labs magazine.

InterContinental Hotels ditch sample sized plastic toiletry bottles

IHG.jpg

Credit: InterContinental Hotel Group

If you stay at an InterContinental Hotel there will be no more stuffing those little plastic shampoos in your suitcase. The chain says your loss is a win for the environment.

The company just announced its dumping those sample-sized plastic bathroom bottles. Instead, housekeeping will be stocking rooms with bulk-sized amenities.

Making this change will save the environment from 200 million plastic miniatures a year used in InterContinental hotel rooms across the world. The brand includes Kimpton, Hualuxe, Crowne Plaza, Voco, Indigo, Even, Avid, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Grit Daily.

Meth head gators?

Credit: Pexels, Flickr, Alligator

Credit: Pexels, Flickr, Alligator

You know the warning: Don’t flush drugs down the toilet.

Health officials, environmental activists, and municipal water workers know the results of dumping dope, prescriptions, and meds in the john. Residual amounts end up in local lakes and rivers, harming wildlife.

So, if you’re thinking, "What’s a few stoned fish, mammals and birds?"

One U.S. police department just raised a new red flag about drug dumping: It could lead to meth head gators. Surely, something we’d all want to avoid.

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in GritDaily.

Shelter volunteers warn: Be on the lookout for dogs dumped in recycling bins

Credit: William Rudnicky

Credit: William Rudnicky

It’s case police in Corpus Christi, Texas are trying to crack: Who is dumping dogs and puppies in recycling bins all over the city? The number of bins and dogs found keeps growing.

Watchdog Mary reported about this situation yesterday when the count of dogs found was just over a dozen, now it’s nearly two dozen. More animals were found today.

Since last week residents and officers have found 23 mother dogs and puppies left in five different recycling bins in different parts of the city. All the totes were zip tied shut with chicken wire.

On Friday, William Rudnicky found one of the bins next to a dumpster behind a movie theater where he works. “I saw the crate. It had a tarp over it and chicken wire,” he told Watchdog Mary.

Rudnicky and one of his coworkers pulled up the covering and were shocked to find six dogs in the tote, a mother dog and five pups. “We cut the top off because they were cram packed in there. Feces everywhere, they were covered from head to toe,” he said.

He fed the dogs, gave them water and called animal control officers who picked the animals up.

Shelter volunteers want people in the area to be on the lookout for these bins so any dogs inside can be saved as soon as possible. They don’t want them suffering in the heat, or getting out and hit by a car.

If you see dogs left in recycling bins call Corpus Christi Police or Animal Care Services immediately.

A Facebook page used to help dogs in need at the city’s shelter reports that the dogs are all being saved by FurEver United Rescue.

Officials are now investigating this as a case of animal cruelty. If you have any information on who dumped the dogs Corpus Christi investigators want to hear from you.

The city’s Animal Care Services is consistently overloaded with dogs in need and does euthanize for space reasons. The shelter works with in and out-of- state rescue groups. If you’re interested in helping to rescue, foster or adopt a dog, you should also contact the agency.

 

Police looking for suspects after 15 dogs discovered zip tied in recycle bins

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Corpus Christi Animal Care Services is investigating a disturbing discovery: Mother dogs and puppies left inside carriers zip tied shut with chicken wire.

Police were called to a local hospital over the weekend and found a recycling bin with dogs inside.

Investigators say, “There was soiled newspaper, water bowls, and old dog food at the bottom of the totes. On the side someone had written ‘Found on the street, give them a good home thanks!’"

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Then officers responded to another call at a local movie theater and found six adult dogs in a bin covered by a tarp with the same note: "Found on the street, give them a good home thanks!"

Police say they brought a total of eight adult Chihuahua mixes and seven puppies to Animal Care Services. Officials are now investigating this as a case of animal cruelty. If you have any information on who dumped the dogs Corpus Christi investigators want to hear from you.

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

A Facebook page used to help dogs in need at the city’s shelter reports that the dogs were all saved by FurEver United Rescue.

Corpus Christi Animal Care Services is consistently overloaded with dogs in need and does euthanize for space reasons. The shelter works with in and out-of- state rescue groups. If you’re interested in helping to rescue, foster or adopt a dog, you should also contact the agency.

 

Sweet dog has been waiting 3 years in shelter for a family

Photo credit: Rona Distenfeld

Photo credit: Rona Distenfeld

All Chubbs wants is a family.

For more than three years, the hound mix has lived in an animal shelter, waiting for an adopter to choose him.

In March 2016, when Chubbs was just 1 year old, he ended up at Austin Pets Alive!(APA) in Texas. 

“Chubbs has been at APA longer than any other dog,” Rona Distenfeld, one of Chubbs’ trainers, told The Dodo. 

Chubbs is now 4 years old and has spent most of his young adult life in a kennel.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in The Dodo.

An ailment that can cripple your pet is on the rise

Dog with arthritis in elbows

Dog with arthritis in elbows

It’s crippling. It’s heartbreaking and it’s affecting more and more pets: Arthritis.

new report out this week reveals that the number of dogs and cats diagnosed with osteoarthritis has more than doubled in the last decade.

WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS?

Osteoarthritis is when an animal’s joint tissue becomes inflamed and damaged. It’s mostly found in the elbows, knees, and hips. Tragically it gets worse over time. If left untreated the disease makes it very painful for pets to walk.

The report, from Banfield Pet Hospital, found the disease has increased by 84% in the last ten years. It’s much more prevalent in dogs than cats. And though it can strike at any age, it’s usually worse in older pets.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Grit Daily.

Firefighters race to bring water to dogs on balcony in heat

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Firefighters in San Antonio raced to respond to a call about two dogs left outside on an apartment balcony in the scorching Texas heat on Sunday.  

When Kimberly Bohl saw a post about the dogs on Facebook she reported it to the city via 311.

Since the dogs’ location was close to her home she drove over to see what was going on. “I was very worried about them because it was so hot,” Bohl told Watchdog Mary. “When I checked the temperature on my phone it said ‘heat index 106 degrees.’”

When she arrived she saw police and animal control officers at the building investigating. Then the fire department pulled up.

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

“From what I could tell it looked like they decided to leave water, and not take the dogs. Both dogs were alert, but in my opinion panting really heavy,” Bohl said.   

The head of San Antonio Animal Control Services, (ACS), Heber Lefgren emailed Watchdog Mary saying, “ACS did make a visit to this location and it is still being investigated. The owner was not home at the time of our initial visit, however ACS was able to request and receive assistance from PD (police) and Fire who helped us check on the dogs' well being by utilizing a ladder truck.”  

Lefgren said the dogs’ water bowl was knocked over so the fire department gave them a refill. The owner was not home when emergency crews arrived but Lefgren said ACS followed up and is now issuing citations.

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

“There were basic violations observed (such as no shelter, shade, and a water bowl that had been knocked over), but the two dogs were in healthy condition.  Because the dogs were not in an exigent situation, we were unable to seize the dogs.  However, we continue to work the case and the owner to ensure that the minimum standards of care are provided,” Lefgren said.

After watching the entire situation Bohl has a message for pet owners who leave their animals outside in the heat, “Don’t do it. If you truly love your doggie, they can become very ill or die,” she said.

 

 

Friendly bear cub killed because people fed and took selfies with him

Black Bear Killed by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Credit: Washington County Sheriff.

Black Bear Killed by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Credit: Washington County Sheriff.

A friendly black bear cub is dead because people fed and took selfies with the wild animal.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced they “lethally removed a black bear” that was hanging out next to a popular boat ramp in a park.

It all started last week when police discovered the bear cub had a good thing going near the Scoggins Valley Park: Free food.

State officials said in a news release when wildlife biologists got called out to investigate they discovered he was “eating trail mix, sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and other foodstuffs left next to the highway.”

They also found, “some individuals took ‘selfie’ photographs of themselves and the bear and posted them on social media.”

At first the local sheriff’s department tweeted they were trying to lure the bear back into the woods, and warned people to leave him alone.

But the next day officials killed the bear saying, “ODFW does not translocate bears that have been habituated to humans because these animals are much more likely to have dangerous interactions with humans in the future.”

People were furious when they heard the news and started commenting on the sheriff's department tweet. One person wrote, "Why did they have to kill him????!! Couldn’t they anesthetize him and relocate him? WTH?!!"

But officials said that wasn't an option. 

“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” said Kurt Licence.

“While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed. In addition to creating a threat to public safety, people can harm wild animals by feeding them “junk food” that potentially will make them sick.

“It’s never a good idea to feed wild animals,” said Licence, adding, “They are perfectly capable of fending for themselves, and it’s always better to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”


So when you see the signs that say: “Don’t feed the bears,” don’t feed the bears. Don’t take selfies with them either. It could cost a bear their life. File this under “people suck.”

If you want to learn how not to get a bear killed by doing dumb things check out the “Living with Wildlife” section on the ODFW website.

RIP bear.
Watchdog Mary’s article also appeared in Grit Daily.


Swiped photo of rescued dog appears in product review

Original photo of Millie found in a dumpster taken by San Antonio Animal Care Services

Original photo of Millie found in a dumpster taken by San Antonio Animal Care Services

When Holly Dean, from Canyon Lake, Texas jumped on Facebook yesterday and started scrolling through her feed, a picture of a dog discovered in a garbage bin immediately caught her eye.

Facebook post on Petlab’s page

Facebook post on Petlab’s page

The post said, "I found Barney limping in a dumpster..." but Dean thought the photo of the yellow Lab looked just like "Millie the Dumpster Dog."

Millie’s sad story became quite well known back in 2016 after a pedestrian found the poor pooch in a San Antonio, Texas dumpster.

When officers from the city’s Animal Control Services department picked Millie up, she was dehydrated, neglected and near death. The shelter’s medical team raced to save her.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s story in Grit Daily.

Look closely, do you see an animal in need of help?

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Look closely at this picture. Do you see an animal in need of help?

Rescuers aren’t sure how many people might have zoomed past this stretch of the Northbound I-805 freeway in San Diego last month, but luckily, someone with a good set of eyes noticed there was a kitty perched on the retaining wall.

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

When officers from the San Diego Humane Society heard about this freeway feline they raced out to her rescue.

Officials say the one-year old crouching cat was a bit terrified, but offers were able to talk her off the ledge. They brought her back to the shelter and she was not microchipped, nor did anyone claim her.

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

The Humane Society named her Flo, and Watchdog Mary learned she was recently adopted.



Danger Warning: Foxtails can injure, even kill your pet

Noah, Credit: Sarah Lou McIntyre

Noah, Credit: Sarah Lou McIntyre

You know dogs, they love being outside, following their noses as they weave out of fields and grasses. But that eagerness could cause trouble if they rub a foxtail the wrong way.

What is a foxtail?

Foxtails grow as bunches of grass with little spiky seeds. According to the US Forest Service, foxtail grows almost everywhere across the country and in Canada.

The barbs on the weeds are what dog owners should be aware of; they can literally impale your dog. “The foxtail awn has a sharp, pointy end that allows it to easily penetrate the skin and other tissues, and microscopic barbs prevent it from backing its way out,” veterinarian Jennifer Coates said.

To read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Just Labs Magazine click here.

Can you find the ticks on this poppy seed muffin?

Picture credit: CDC

Picture credit: CDC

Well, this one will gross you out! Can you find the ticks on this poppy seed muffin? There are five of them.

These pictures are from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The federal agency posted them on its Facebook page this week to warn people these insects can be as tiny as a poppy seed.

So you need to look closely at your clothing after you've been out in the woods or walking in a field to find them. Experts say it’s important to realize how little the bloodsucking insects are.

TICKBORNE ILLNESSES

Ticks are known to spread more than a dozen debilitating, even deadly types of bacteria through their bites to animals and people.

The diseases linked to ticks range from Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to Tickborne relapsing fever, which certainly doesn’t sound good.

Check out this list the CDC published with a rundown of what tick-related illnesses have been identified in your neck of the woods.  And this guide shows you what ticks live where, and what do to if you get bitten.

HOW TO PREVENT TICK BITES

Now that summer is just around the corner, more people will be heading outside, and the ticks will be waiting.

The best way to keep the little buggers off you, the Feds say, is to: Check your clothing closely for ticks, shower soon after being outdoors and use insect repellent products. Here’s more information on preventing tick bites. 

SPOILER ALERT DID YOU FIND THE FIVE TICKS?

SPOILER ALERT: We looked and they are on the middle of the upper part of the muffin, together in a cluster, you can see their little legs.

Photo credit: CDC

Photo credit: CDC

Bet you feel like running out to the bakery now for poppy seed muffins?