Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: May 10th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch for litters of puppies and kittens in parking lots. They are often dumped in public places. Call the authorities.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

The Human-Canine Connection: A Shared Genetic Makeup


I am fascinated by the fact that, about 15,000 years ago, dog domestication and human settlement took place virtually together. As a lover of all things dog, it would be nice to speculate that they played an important role in the development and structure of human society. Clearly, the more we research dogsespecially given the recent successful sequencing of the dog genomethe more we learn about ourselves. And, the more we see the powerful part they play in shaping and bettering our existence.

CANCER
Humans and dogs have been partners for thousands of years, our canine friends quite active in the fight against cancer. Dr. David Waters, Co-director of the Purdue Comparative Oncology Program, notes that dogs and humans are the only two species that develop lethal prostate cancers. And, the breast cancer that affects dogs spreads to bones, just as it does in women. Further, osteosarcoma, which is the most frequent bone cancer of dogs, presents in the same way as it does for our teenagers. In fact, under a microscope, cancer cells from a teenager with osteosarcoma are indistinguishable from a any breed dog’s bone cancer cells.

Drs. Modiano and Breen have found that humans and dogs share the same genetic basis for certain types of cancer. Furthermore, the researchers say that because of the way the genomes have evolved, getting cancer may be inevitable for some humans and dogs.

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER
Scientists have found a shared gene in dogs with compulsive behavior. Obsessive-compulsive disorder afflicts anywhere from 2.5 percent to 8 percent of the human population, and according to Dr. Karen L. Overall, a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior at the U of PA School of Medicine, up to 8 percent of dogs in America (5 to 6 million) — exhibit compulsive behaviors, such as, fence-running, pacing, spinning, tail-chasing, snapping at imaginary flies, licking, chewing, barking and staring.

Researchers studied Doberman pinschers that curled up into balls, sucking their flanks for hours at a time, and found that the afflicted dogs shared a gene. They describe their findings — the first such gene identified in dogs — in a short report this month in Molecular Psychiatry.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the animal behavior clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, in North Grafton, Mass., and the lead author of the report, said the findings had broad implications for compulsive disorders in people and animals.

Some geneticists believe that due to pedigree and similarity of genes to those of humans, “dogs make an ideal model for studying human behaviors and pathologies, especially those involving complex patterns of inheritance. Few humans keep detailed genealogies for themselves, but they are diligent in recording every detail in the ancestry of their purebred animals.”

GREGARIOUSNESS & SOCIAL MEMORY
The dog genome has been decoded by researchers at Massachusetts’ Broad Institute, via sequencing of the boxer’s genome, and also by DNA sequencing pioneer, Craig Venter, who decoded his poodle’s genome. Based on both genomes, the Broad Institute designed a dog SNP chip, similar to those used in scanning humans for genetic disease. SNPs, or “snips,” are sites of common variation along the DNA. A UCLA research team led by Bridgett M. vonHoldt and Robert K. Wayne used the dog SNP chip to scan for genes that show signatures of selection.

One such favored dog gene has a human counterpart that has been implicated in Williams syndrome, where it causes exceptional gregariousness.

Many with Williams have so vague a concept of space, for instance, that even as adults they will fail at six-piece jigsaw puzzles, easily get lost, draw like a preschooler and struggle to replicate a simple T or X shape built with a half-dozen building blocks. Few can balance a checkbook. These deficits generally erase about 35 points from whatever I.Q. the person would have inherited without the deletion. Since the average I.Q. is 100, this leaves most people with Williams with I.Q.’s in the 60s. Though some can hold simple jobs, they require assistance managing their lives.

The low I.Q., however, ignores two traits that define Williams more distinctly than do its deficits: an exuberant gregariousness and near-normal language skills. Williams people talk a lot, and they talk with pretty much anyone. They appear to truly lack social fear. Indeed, functional brain scans have shown that the brain’s main fear processor, the amygdala, which in most of us shows heightened activity when we see angry or worried faces, shows no reaction when a person with Williams views such faces. It’s as if they see all faces as friendly.

Another two selected genes are involved in memory. Dogs, unlike wolves, are adept at taking cues from human body language, and the two genes could have something to do with this faculty, Dr. Wayne said.

How Dogs Read Human Body Language: Is your dog reading you like a book?
By Stanley Coren

Most dog owners have had the experience of simply glancing at where the leash is hanging, only to find that Lassie is now headed for the door in anticipation of a walk. While this seems like an everyday event to dog owners, it has special significance to scientists because of what it indicates about how dogs think. First of all, it shows that dogs have the ability to read human body language. In addition, it shows that dogs feel that our movements and gestures contain important cues as to what will happen next in their world.

For decades, scientists have been studying “social cognition” in dogs. This simply refers to how well dogs read cues in the behaviour of others. As humans, we do this automatically. For instance, we know that when the person we are talking to starts glancing at his or her watch, we had best get to the point quickly. All social mammals have evolved remarkably discriminating ways of reading the signals sent to them by their group members, normally members of the same species. However recent research shows that dogs are surprisingly good at reading certain types of social cues in humans.

The experimental set-up used to test for such perception in animals is quite simple. Start with two inverted bucketlike containers. Place a morsel of food under one of them while the subject of the test is out of sight. Of course you must make sure that both containers have been rubbed with the food so that there is no scent difference. Now bring the subject in and give some sort o social cue to indicate which bucket actually contains the food. The most obvious cue would be to tap the container with the food. Less obvious would be to point your finger toward it. An even more muted signal would be to tilt your head or body toward it without pointing. The subtlest signal of all would be not to move your head or body but to simply look with your eyes toward the correct container. If the subject chooses the right container he gets the food. Simple, huh? Don’t bet on it.

Surprisingly, Daniel J. Povinelli, a psychologist at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, found that our closest animal relatives, chimpanzees, were initially quite poor at this task. (Actually, so were three-year-old human children, though they were better than the apes.) However, both the chimps and the kids could quickly learn to read the correct cues. The real surprise came when a team led by Robert Hare of Harvard University ran the same test on dogs. The dogs could immediately interpret the signals indicating the location of the food four times better than the apes, and more than twice as well as the young children, even if the experimenter was a stranger.

Now the real question is: where did dogs get this talent? The first guess might be that since dogs are descended from pack-hunting wolves, the ability to pick up social signals evolved to help coordinate the hunt. If so, one would imagine that wolves should be at least as good at the bucket task as dogs. However when Hare tested wolves at the Wolf Hollow Wolf Sanctuary in Massachusetts, he found that they were actually worse than chimpanzees and a lot worse than dogs. The next guess might be that dogs learn to read human body language because they hang out with and watch their human families. This would suggest that young puppies, especially those still living with their littermates and not yet adopted into human families, should be poorer at picking up human signals. Wrong again! Even nine-week-old puppies, still living with their mother and littermates, do better than wolves or chimps. “The punch line is that this ability was not inherited from the last common dog-wolf ancestor, and it does not take tremendous exposure to humans,” said Hare in a recent conversation.

With the experimental evidence driving wooden stakes through the hearts of the two most obvious explanations, we are still left with the question: where do dogs get their superior ability to read human signals from? Once again we have two candidate explanations, both concerning evolutionary changes that occurred during dogs’ domestication.

Obviously, dogs that could figure out their masters’ intentions and desires would have been more likely to thrive in a human-dominated environment and hence produce more young. But were specific dogs initially chosen to be domesticated because they had a better ability to understand people? Or was the improved ability some sort of unintended by-product that arose during the process of domestication?

It is easy to find rational reasons to support either of these two theories. Obviously people would tend to prefer and form stronger bonds with dogs that could understand human body language. However the alternative theory could also work. Domestication usually involves selecting the tamest and most easily managed animals-for safety’s sake, if nothing else. According to Hare, “If you select against aggression, a whole suite of changes accompanies that reduction in aggression. There are a lot of unintended changes that occur as by-products.” In a classic early set of experiments on captive foxes, it was shown that these changes are not just behavioural, but include tendencies toward floppy ears, tails held high, and multi-coloured coats. “So it’s possible that this ability in dogs is simply a by-product of domestication. You pick the calmer, more attentive animals, and they also happen to be the ones that are better able to pick up subtle social cues.”

Unfortunately the scientific jury is still out. We simply don’t have enough data to decide whether humans deliberately chose dogs that could better understand our social signals, or whether this ability is a “hitchhiker” trait that came along on the evolutionary ride to domestication. Regardless, this is yet more proof that our domestic dog is not merely an urban-dwelling wolf that has learned to sport a veneer of civilization in order to get free room and board. Rather, the dog is a separate species that has evolved, or more precisely co-evolved, with humans.

Given the fact that we started this discussion with every dog owner’s presumption-as an article of faith and observation- that our pet dogs understand our body language and signals, I simply could not end my interview with Hare without asking, “Won’t dog people think that this research finding is obvious?”

“I had the same reaction,” he replied. “I knew that people would say, ‘Of course dogs understand this kind of thing!’ But it’s one thing to say it and another to go and demonstrate it. The people who were really surprised were the scientists-not the lay people.”

Stanley Coren is Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of several books on dogs, including How to Speak Dog and Pawprints of History. His website is www.stanleycoren.com.

Polluted Pets (and people) …. need I say more?

I have a great informational page on polluted pets at my foundation’s site. It’s been there for years and has lots of information that can be downloaded and utilized.

Please do read this powerful article: Polluted Pets: High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemicals Contaminate Cats And Dogs. For me, this is old news. But, for many, it continues to be foreign information.

And, we’ve talked about this issue for years at the site: Nutritional value of fruits, veggies is dwindling: Chemicals that speed growth may impair ability to absorb soil’s nutrients. Another incredible article to read and understand with respect to implications for both you and your furry ones.

Please get serious now. Prevention is what it is all about. Waiting until an illness process takes hold just results in needless pain and suffering. Being proactive about your family’s health is the best way to fight back and possible win the battle.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Feb 21st

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

URGENT Watch Tip: Watch for “outside” pets during cold winter months. They need more food to maintain weight. Winter fur can minimize the signs of starvation. Can you see a hump protruding above the rump? Could it be hipbones? Talk with the owners or call the authorities today to save a life. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

From Anna Nirva, Sunbear Squad Founder

Food bowls look full but the dog or cat is starving in winter? Yes!
Sometimes the owner thinks that their dog or cat “just doesn’t eat much in winter.” Ask if the bowls are metal. Bowls should be plastic, and better yet, be electrically heated. If metal bowls are used outside, tongues can freeze to the bowls. After an animal has had that painful experience, they may stop eating from the same bowl. Moreover, kibble can freeze just like the water will. If the kibble is a frozen inedible lump stuck to the bottom of the bowl, the hungry dog or cat will attempt to knaw on it. Knawing and licking frozen food lumps and ice in the water bowl lowers the body temperature. The risk of hypothermia always increases with dehydration and starvation–a winter triple-threat. That hungry, thirsty animal can freeze to death in only moderately cold temperatures, especially if very young, very old, or sick.

Twice-daily feeding and watering is required in winter, along with increased amounts of food. But if the food and water bowls look full, they may not be replenished enough. And because winter fur covers the body, who will discern that the dog or cat is in serious danger? Please watch your neighborhood for outside or chained companion animals in winter. Look and look again, and always take action if you see hipbones or a narrow waist. If not you, who?

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Feb 14th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

URGENT Watch Tip: Watch out for “outside” pets during cold winter months. They need more food to maintain weight. Can you see the hipbones? Call the authorities! Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

More from Anna Nirva, Sunbear Squad Founder:

Paw pads do not protect dogs and cats from injury like your winter boots protect your feet

Dogs and cats can suffer from extreme weather just like people can, and their paws are no exception. You might be surprised to learn that injuries to thick paw pads and tender spaces between the pads are actually slow to heal, according to vetmedicine.about.com. Read about common risks to paws in cold and snowy conditions—which may be especially useful in the wake of recent storms in warm climates.

  • Frozen pads: extreme cold, dry conditions cause pad surfaces to freeze or get overly dry, and they can crack open, causing bleeding. Companion animals who are susceptible to this need improved shelter, or better monitoring during playtime or walks.
  • Ice balls between pads: consider a non-toxic spray “paw de-icer” for pets or try canine boots. Some rub petroleum jelly between the pads. If your dog has a lot of hair between the pads, keep the hair clipped short to prevent larger ice balls from forming.
  • Salt and chemical de-icers: wash off their paws with a wet towel after walks, or use a bucket of warm water for paw-dipping, to ensure your pet won’t ingest toxic chemicals.
  • Cut feet and legs: snow conceals sharp objects, so stay on known paths and walkways to avoid injury to your companion animal.

And a word of caution about antifreeze drips in the garage: it tastes sweet, and your furry friends may lick it; children might also! Even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly! Wipe drips and spills immediately and clean the cement with a safe detergent. Some state legislatures are considering requiring antifreeze manufacturers to add a bitter flavorings to their formulations to prevent deaths of children and pets. We are all for that!

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Feb 8th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch for dogs running (exercising) with owners in the frigid air. Lungs can freeze. Say something. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Jan 31st

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

URGENT Watch Tip: Watch for stray Christmas puppies and kittens that have been dumped along highways or roadside rests and in mall parking lots—and even in dumpsters. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

From Anna Nirva, Sunbear Squad Founder

How do you “get rid of” that puppy or kitten someone gave you for Christmas?

Lots of people are considering that question these days. Imagine their thoughts. Nobody asked if they wanted a new pet but they got one anyway. Those cute puppies and kittens tear up the house and they make messes everywhere. People just don’t have time for this crap. Plus they are getting bigger! Pet food costs too much. They didn’t ask for it, but they are stuck with the problem of how to get rid of it. It’s tricky; there are laws if you get caught. Well, after dark no one sees you, so that problem is going to go away once and for all!

You would never do that, and you wouldn’t give an animal as a surprise gift either. But thousands of people throw away animals every night all across America. They even throw them into dumpsters. Just ask the trash haulers—and the knowing animal rescuers who “dumpster-dive” regularly to save those lives.

Please keep your eyes and ears focused on finding those unfortunate dogs and cats, many of them just babies. As you drive past parks and waysides, look for them. Under bridges, look for them. Look for them hiding under hedges and cars in parking lots, and if you happen to walk pass a dumpster, stop to listen for whining and scratching. Always be alert. You might be the only one who sees or hears.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Jan 17th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

URGENT Watch Tip:Watch and listen for stray pets in student neighborhoods. When students move to new apartments, pets get lost, trapped, or abandoned. Also, if pets are of breeding age and are not spayed or neutered, they will escape confinement to seek mates. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

From Anna Nirva, Sunbear Squad Founder, regarding urgent situation in Haiti

Major animal charities worldwide have formed the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH). Donate to your favorite today and specify ARCH to help desperate companion animals, strays, and millions of goats, chickens, and other farm animals, which also helps the people who love and care for them. These organizations are working non-stop to plan and implement support of every kind as soon as possible, and some are on the ground on the island right now. Please join the effort by supporting it with your donation. No amount is too small.

Founders of ARCH (international organizations you may not have heard of but you can trust):
www.ifaw.org
www.wspa-international.org

Organizations with roots in the USA:
www.americanhumane.org
www.aspca.org

www.bestfriends.org
www.hsi.org (international arm of Humane Society of US)
www.kinshipcircle.org
www.uan.org (k
nown as founder of EARS, Emergency Animal Rescue Services)

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: January 10th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

URGENT Watch Tip: Extreme cold kills tethered dogs and cats, especially those animals without heavy coats, the malnourished, the very young and the elderly. Watch for animals that don’t have adequate shelter and speak with owners or call the authorities immediately. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

From Anna Nirva, Sunbear Squad Founder

Owners usually remove their bodies immediately to avoid being charged with neglect

Only the truly ignorant get charged, because they don’t think to remove the bodies of their frozen dogs and cats. In Spartanville, South Carolina, a man didn’t remove the bodies of 5 puppies and 1 adult dog, all frozen to death several nights ago, all showing signs of starvation. He faces charges for inhumane treatment, unlicensed dogs, unlicensed dog breeding, failure to provide rabies shots, and of course, failure to dispose of dead bodies.

If a neighbor of yours finds the family dog frozen to death, you probably will only see an empty doghouse. You might wonder what happened. Your only hope should be that they don’t get another one who may suffer the same fate: hours of bone chilling cold, shivering, hard shivering, hypothermia, and death.

Don’t think that dogs are the only victims. Cats are sometimes tethered too. All animals who are not free to seek shelter from wind, cold, and precipitation, are at risk. Even buffalo can die in extreme conditions.

What can you do? Today? Drive to the doghouses that you know of and check to see if they are insulated with hay or straw. Old blankets, rugs, or newspapers won’t insulate; they don’t trap air. Check for adequate food and unfrozen water. Check for jutting hip bones and ribs. Check for shivering. Take your cell phone and Sunbear Squad Wallet Card with phone numbers to call the authorities. Your state likely has strict laws that require adequate shelter, and these days, neglect laws are enforced more often than not. Download your Wallet Card here.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Dec 27th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch and listen for Christmas kittens and puppies that are kept outdoors in bad weather, under porches or tied to trees. Take action to save them. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards


From Anna Nirva, Sunbear Squad Founder

They watch through the windows, cold or wet or both, and no one cares.

A few days ago, they played with their littermates and were loved by mother cat or dog. But now they could be at risk for death from exposure, especially with winter storms roaring. Don’t let that happen. If you see or hear these tiny victims of Christmas, you must take action. Call the authorities, or go directly to the home and offer to help with shelter and food. You can offer to re-home the unwanted pet. Yes, you might step out of your comfort zone. But if you woke up tomorrow to find a tragedy, how would you feel about doing nothing?

Learn more about animal neglect and find a link to research laws in your state:

You can tell if families want their new Christmas puppies or kittens. They get to stay in houses. But sometimes a gift is unwanted—especially an energetic, wiggly, clumsy gift that may not be perfectly housetrained. They won’t get house privileges. If they are lucky, they may get to sleep in a weather-tight garage or outbuilding. The unlucky ones may get tied to porches or trees. Or they may just get put out the door to wander and watch through windows.

Learn more by clicking here. Also, Please forward this message to animal-lovers. Encourage them to become animal welfare defenders.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Sept 20th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch and listen for stray dogs and cats that could go missing while traveling with their families, or be frightened by holiday fireworks. Take action to save them. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

From Anna Nirva:
Be especially watchful now. You might save someone’s beloved pet. You know the pets in your immediate neighborhood, so you can recognize the strays. They not only look unfamiliar, they may act insecure or unsure of their direction. Please be especially watchful during the next two weeks. You may save a life.

Holidays are very risky times for companion animals. When pets are left in the care of a kind friend or neighbor, lack of detailed knowledge of the pet’s behavior can easily result in strayed animals and accidents. Or when a family travels with their pet, unfamiliar surroundings and disrupted routines can cause pets to become confused, run away and get lost.

Finally, some irresponsible families make decisions to dump their pets in a new neighborhood before their holiday visitors arrive. If you see this happen, take a photo with your cell phone or write down the license plate number and call the authorities. These people are likely breaking the law.

If you know of someone who doesn’t put collars or tags on their dogs or cats, speak up. Without tags or microchips, recovery of a lost pet becomes much more difficult. I remember being scolded by a young man who picked up his stray yellow lab at our county shelter where I volunteer several days after the dog arrived. He said angrily, “Why didn’t you call me right away? You’re supposed to call.” I replied, “He is not wearing a collar and tags, so we did not have a phone number.” His jaw dropped and his eyes got big and round. It was an “aha” moment. He just had never thought about it before.

Review these risks to companion animals on the Sunbear Squad web site at http://www.sunbearsquad.org/risks.shtml.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Dec 6th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch and listen for chained or kenneled dogs and outside cats during subzero weather. Without adequate shelter, fresh water, and extra food, they can get frostbitten or freeze to death. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.

Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Ut oh … Lead & Arsenic in Dog Beds, Toys & Tennis Balls


In the last three years, HealthyStuff.org, a project of the Ecology Center, has conducted over 15,000 individual tests on over 5,000 common consumer products.  Their information represents the largest publicly available database of test data on toxic chemicals in consumer products. Currently, the U.S. government and product manufacturers are not providing this data to consumers.

HealthyStuff.org has tested over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes, and tennis balls. Since there are no government standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products, it is not surprising that there were alarming levels of toxic chemicals found. The results are especially of concern to pets and children. Pets and children are frequently close to floor and commonly put products into their mouths. Exposures are greater, resulting in greater health concerns.

Highlights of Pet Product Sampling

  • 45% of pet products tested had detectable levels of one or more hazardous chemical, including:
  • One-quarter of all pet products had detectable levels of lead.
  • 7% of all pet products have lead levels greater than 300 ppm — the current CPSC lead standard for lead in children’s products.
  • Nearly half of pet collars had detectable levels of lead; with 27% exceeding 300 ppm — the CPSC limit for lead in children’s products.
  • One half (48%) of tennis balls tested had detectable levels of lead. Tennis balls intended for pets were much more likely to contain lead. Sports tennis balls contained no lead.

Pets are the canary in the coalmine in terms of chemical exposure. Cats groom themselves and lick off dust that has been shown to be heavily contaminated with hazardous chemicals. For example, bio-monitoring of cats has shown BFR exposure 23X higher than humans.

This is their press release below. Go on over and check out the database. I have to tell you that the results on purses for kids and also adults (made with plastics) was downright scary. Just look at the results for the Dora the Explorer Activity Tote and Attention Yellow Hobo purse.

__________________

New Database on Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Products Reveals Lead, Arsenic, PVC, & Hazardous Flame Retardants in School Supplies, Pet Products, Cars, and More

HealthyStuff.org Urges Government and Manufacturers to Phase Out the Most Hazardous Substances Immediately. New Efforts to Reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Expected This Congressional Session

(September 16, 2009 – Ann Arbor, MI) A nonprofit environmental research organization released results today on over 900 common products tested for toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, mercury, bromine, chlorine (PVC) and arsenic. Using an XRF analyzer, researchers at the Ecology Center analyzed the ingredients of pet products, cars, women’s handbags, children’s car seats and more, creating the largest database yet of independent tests of toxic chemicals in consumer goods.

The results can be found on the user-friendly website: www.HealthyStuff.org. Visitors can look up products by manufacturer, brand, or product type and easily generate lists of highly rated and poorly rated products.

HealthyStuff.org tested for chemicals based on their toxicity, persistence and tendency to build up in people and the environment. Such chemicals have been linked to reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, liver toxicity and cancer.

“The more we test, the more we find that the presence of toxic chemicals is widespread in everyday consumer products,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director at the Ecology Center, who created the site. “It should not be the responsibility of public health advocates to test these products. Product manufacturers and legislators must take the lead and replace dangerous substances with safe alternatives.”

For the past several years the Ecology Center has spearheaded groundbreaking research on toxic chemicals in toys, cars and children’s car seats at HealthyToys.org and HealthyCar.org. HealthyStuff.org is a compilation of all of these findings and more.

New Key Findings From HealthyStuff.org:

  • Pet Products – HealthyStuff.org tested over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, collars and leashes. Since there are no government standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products, it is not surprising that alarming levels of toxic chemicals were found. One quarter of all pet products had detectable levels of lead, including seven percent with levels higher than 300 ppm – the current Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard for lead in children’s products.
  • Automobiles – HealthyStuff.org tested nearly 700 new and used vehicles, from 1980 to 2010 model year vehicles. The US-made Pontiac G5 and Chevy Cobalt rated best overall 2009 vehicles. Levels of some chemicals found in vehicles are 5-10 times higher than in homes or offices. Since the average American spends more than 1.5 hours in their car every day, this can be a major source of toxic chemical exposure.
  • Children’s Car Seats – Infant and child car seats contain chemical additives that can have adverse health effects on babies and young children. Over half (58%) of car seats contain one or more hazardous chemicals, including PVC, BFRs and heavy metals. Three examples of car seats that had none of the chemicals tested for are: Baby Trend Flex-Loc; the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat; and the Graco Turbo Booster. Despite the toxic chemicals, it is vital to use a car seat for your child because they do save lives.
  • Back-to-School Products – HealthyStuff.org screened over 60 common back-to-school supplies, including backpacks, pencil cases, binders and lunchboxes. Far too many of these supplies are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and 22% contained detectable levels of lead. Overall nearly 90% of back-to-school supplies contained one or more chemicals of concern.
  • Women’s Handbags – HealthyStuff.org tested over 100 women’s handbags and detected lead in over 75% of the bags analyzed. Sixty-four percent (64%) of the bags contained lead over 300 ppm – the CPSC limit for lead in children’s products. Over half of the handbags contain more than 1,000 ppm lead.

Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act

In response to increasing consumer demand for safer products, Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Bobby Rush are expected to introduce a new bill this Congressional session to reform the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – the current federal law for regulating chemicals. These reforms would phase out the most dangerous chemicals from the manufacturing process; require industry to take responsibility for the safety of their products; and use the best science to protect vulnerable groups. To date the EPA has required testing on only about 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals that have been on the market since the law was passed 33 years ago.

“A Made in the USA label should be a guarantee, not a warning,” said Charlotte Brody, National Field Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a coalition working toward toxic chemical policy reform. “This database of products is further proof that our system of testing and regulating toxic chemicals is broken. We have an opportunity to reform federal law this year and start putting common sense limits on harmful chemicals to protect the health of Americans.”

“HealthyStuff.org is an invaluable resource for busy parents who are concerned about toxic chemicals in children’s products,” said Mom’s Rising President Joan Blades. “But it shouldn’t be up to parents to look up every single item to find out if toxic chemicals are used. We need reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act now.”

HealthyStuff.org tested over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes, and tennis balls. Since there are no government standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products, it is not surprising that there were alarming levels of toxic chemicals found. HealthyStuff.org results are especially of concern to pets and children. Pets and children are frequently close to floor and commonly put products into their mouths. Exposures are greater, resulting in greater health concerns.

Why We Love Cats and Dogs

I was thrilled to discover this fabulous Nature film online as I missed its Feb 2009 debut on PBS. Why We Love Cats and Dogs – Pets and the Human-Animal Bond celebrates the fact that we share our lives with 73 million dogs and 90 million cats, their functioning as best friends and oftentimes the best part of our family. This film delves into these intimate relationships via the insights of  animal behavior experts, evolutionary biologists, veterinarians, and pet owners. It was quite impressive to have Dr. Nicholas Dodman and Dr. Marc Bekoff’s involvement.

Dr. Dodman is Professor, Section Head and Program Director at the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences of Tufts’ Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. One of the world’s most eminent behavioral scientists, he has written over 20 books, our favorite being this one published in 2007, that we feature at our foundation store: The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy – and Why They Matter.

Vodpod videos no longer available.After watching this did I realize knowing about Tripawd Jerry, his parents,  Jim Nelson and René Agredano, dropping everything to travel with him after his bone cancer diagnosis. Jerry’s legacy lives on at tripawds.com, a wonderful support community for three-legged dogs and their people.

Below, is a video that accompanies an interview that Nature did with René regarding Jerry’s final days.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rags to Riches Contest . . . The Story of Dina

A Rescued Dina with her Human Sibling Max

To thank the wonderful folks who provide intake, fostering, and adopting, I have created a $625 prize-filled Rags to Riches Contest.

I want those stories that capture a dog’s ‘rags to wags’ transformation—and am awarding an amazing 1/3 of the entries with prizes! The photo here comes from our most recent, 22nd entry, “Dina”.

We are taking only 30 entries so don’t delay in getting in your story. You can enter here: http://bit.ly/1uLnbY

Her kid’s favorite bedtime story, Dina was written by Nancy Freedman-Smith CPDT as soup for her soul.

Dina was a stray and my first rescue dog. She is the dog who changed the direction of my life. Her story is so interwoven with mine, it is hard to tell where her story ends and mine begins. Her story is my story too. Dina took me down the path of dog training, rescue, pet therapy, and stupid pet tricks. So many trainers I know became trainers because their dogs were difficult, but I became a trainer because my dog was wonderful. Dina took me places I had never been before. She was a once in life time dog, my heart.

In the spring of 1989 I was scurrying home from work to my apartment in East Boston to take Rollo, my wild child German Shepherd mix out to play at the little city park that the neighborhood dogs called their own. As I came up to the top of the hill, I spotted a small black and white Border Collie acting skittish and running back and forth clearly lost and in distress. From a distance I could tell she was in need of a meal, had no ID tags around her neck, and that she smelled faintly of skunk. She would not come to me and I hurried home for Rollo, hoping that if I had another dog with me she would let me catch her.

Minutes later when I returned with Rollo they were best friends at first site. The two took off in a flash to play herding dog games. The dog who would soon be my Dina darted, bolted, turned on a dime and she and Rollo romped until their tongues hung out of their heads with joy. When Rollo and I left for home, the little dog followed us, just out of reach. When I opened the front door, she flew up the three flights of stairs up to my apartment like she owned the place. After filling herself with food and water, she promptly fell asleep with her head on my lap on the living room floor and she never once ducked from my touch again.

When my boyfriend got home he took one look at her and said “no way”, so I took her for a walk around our neighborhood to see if anyone recognized her. Our next door neighbor, an older Italian woman came out of her house and exclaimed, “I know that doggie. She come-a evare day sam-a time. You gotta let her loose so she can go-a home. That soma bodies doggie. That nota your dogie.” On that day I bowed to the pressures of my boyfriend and neighbor, but if I had a do over I would never do what I did, which is set her free and shoosh her away.

I unhooked her leash.

“Go home” I insisted with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

The dog and I sized each other up. That moment is frozen in my mind. With no thanks to me, Dina was in for a happy ending, but at the moment, she didn’t leave.

Read the rest of Dina’s story and the other entries here.

Rescue is a great and really noble way to obtain a canine companion. First, it allows you to give a dog a great home. And, it often allows you to avoid the pains of puppyhood by adopting an adult dog. But, it takes a special person to try and repair the bad times that rescue dogs have often experienced. For this reason, rescue adoptions are often very serious business. That is, you must prove that you have the time to make the necessary commitment. You also must show that you are a kind and caring individual who can provide intelligently for this needy guy’s or gal’s health needs. To thank our many important rescuers and adopters, we have created this special rescue story contest.

We are looking for irresistible tales that capture your dog’s wonderful ‘rags to wags’ transformation. You know, those truly compelling stories that reside only in the heart. Folks need to communicate just why their rescue dog deserves to be King or Queen for the Day. Please join us in our fun new contest, Cece Kent’s gorgeous Cambridge Collar & matching Cambridge Lead — a set valued at $180 — awarded to our grand prize winner. Cece Kent’s dog fashion line offers a fine touch of elegance, with this gift truly befitting a lucky canine king or queen. Other wonderful prizes from our Foundation Store round out the total $500+ prize package for our top ten tales. Click here to see our entries as they arrive.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: Sept 21st

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch for pets without fresh water as warm breezy fall days cause dehydration. Pets without shade are more vulnerable to heat stroke. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: September 6th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch for pets along rural highways that have been injured by farm machinery during the harvest season. Be prepared to act quickly. Be a Good Samaritan for Animals.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: August 30th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch for lost dogs and cats around the Labor Day holiday weekend. Dogs and cats traveling with their families sometimes take fright and run away. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Here is a special story from Sunbear Squad founder, Anna Nirva:

Even in safe families, bad things happen to companion animals.

This week’s Watch Tip is dedicated to the memory of Tiger, my family’s beloved Rat Terrier. We lost him nearly 50 years ago on a family trip.

When I was just a child of about 8 or 9, our family was driving home from our grandparent’s lake cottage in southern Minnesota, which was about 3 hours away from our Wisconsin home. It was a hot summer evening, nearly dusk, and the car windows were rolled down (no air conditioning in cars back then). We rolled to a stop to make a turn near the edge of a small town, when suddenly Tiger jumped from my mother’s lap out the window and ran as fast as he could toward a large, tree-filled neighborhood.

In the growing dark we hunted for him. Eventually my parents decided to drive on, but I was heartbroken. I worried about him so. We never learned what happened to Tiger. To this day, we don’t understand why he jumped out or what he was chasing. He was usually well-behaved, but he would not come to our calls for him that night.

I hope a Good Samaritan found him and that he lived a happy, long life with another family.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: August 23rd

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Listen and watch for trapped or lost pets in student housing neighborhoods. Back-to-school time is very high-risk for student-owned dogs and cats, because students move into new housing. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: August 16th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch for dogs and cats that are near or on railroad tracks, which like roads are very dangerous to animals. They might not pay attention to oncoming trains and may be killed. Chase them or lure them away. Be a Good Samaritan for animals.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Here is an excellent story that illustrates this tip:

Passerby Saves Dog Frozen to Train Tracks

A construction worker driving to a Wisconsin restaurant on a sub-zero day noticed a dog sitting on train tracks, and noticed the dog hadn’t moved when he passed again an hour and a half later, so he pulled over. Jeremy Majorowicz figured something was wrong. And he was right. As he approached, he noticed that the dog was shivering hard. He approached and offered a bite of muffin to the dog, which was refused. He tried to call the dog to him, but the dog didn’t attempt to move. So Majorowicz phoned law enforcement, and animal control was summoned as well.

In the frigid afternoon air, a team of men puzzled over the dog. Police officer Tim Strand guessed that the dog may be frozen to the train tracks, and he lifted up the tail. The dog was frozen fast. Strand freed the dog by yanking him by the tail, leaving a lot of hair in the ice. The dog yelped, but he was free. Ten minutes later, a train came through. The dog was taken to Chippewa County Humane Association, and was immediately treated for hypothermia and named “Ice Train.” He was later adopted. “I have two dogs myself, so I didn’t want to leave the dog if there was something wrong,” Majorowicz said.

Are you as alert as that construction worker? Would you have stopped on a frigid day like he did? He saved that dog’s life. How did the dog get there? Presumably the dog was wet when he sat down on the metal track. We’ll never know the beginning of the story, but it is the end that is most important. Read more stories here


About Sunbear
:  Sunbear died Aug. 14, 2002. Veterinarians and clinic staff had tried valiantly to save him from the effects of long dehydration and starvation. He was discovered on Aug. 11, after being trapped in the dark, lonely townhouse laundry room for about 6 weeks. Please light a candle in memory of Sunbear this weekend.

And please say a prayer for all suffering animals alive today, that they will be helped before it is too late.

Copyright Sunbear Squad Inc. All rights reserved.

Read more stories here:

www.sunbearsquad.org/stories.shtml

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week – August 9th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch for dogs who are playing or exercising with their owners in hot weather. They can’t regulate body heat by sweating like humans do. Heat stroke kills dogs. Be a Good Samaritan for animals. Tell the owners that dogs need frequent breaks in hot weather because some dogs will play or run until they collapse.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: August 2nd

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Listen for dogs barking in parked vehicles. Go hunt down the owner immediately. Heat stroke kills dogs. Be a Good Samaritan for animals. Act fast!


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards

Here’s a similar true story from a reader (Kay in Wisconsin):

A Parking Lot Rescue

A few weeks ago on a very hot summer day, I was in a grocery store parking lot walking toward the entrance, and I saw a little poodle-type dog standing up inside a car, trying to breathe through the window which was open just a few inches. This poor dog was panting so hard that it could hardly stand up. Well I knew that it would soon keel over from heat stroke on that hot day.

Heat stroke kills dogs. I used to work in a vet clinic and saw many dogs die of that. I went to the service desk and asked them what to do, but they didn’t seem to have a public address system I guess. So I went up and down the aisles asking everyone I saw if they had a little poodle-type dog in a white sedan, and eventually found the owner. I told him his dog was going to get very sick if he didn’t get him out of the heat right away. He wasn’t real friendly, let me tell you. But he did go outside and I guess he must have turned on the air conditioning, because a bit later he found me in the store and thanked me. He said he didn’t realize that he was inside the store for such a long time.

READ MORE STORIES by clicking here.