Saturday, March 3, 2018

How to Find Out Your Dogs Breed


If you purchase a dog from a shelter, it might be difficult to find out what the exact breed of your dog is. Shelters are stuffed with puppies and adult dogs awaiting adoption, some are clearly purebred, but others are clearly mixes of multiple breeds. Every dog is equally deserved of love no matter what their breed is, but it’s still amusing to figure out a dog’s history. It can also be helpful to know a dog’s heritage for medical purposes since some breeds are vulnerable to specific health issues.


Ask Your Vet’s Opinion

Vets see many numbers of breeds come into their clinics, and the majority develop a keen eye for assessing which breed(s) may be involved in a certain dog’s family line. When in question, inquire with your vet for an expert opinion about your dog’s history.


Contact Your Local Kennel Club

If you are wondering if your dog is purebred or mixed, you’ll find legitimate dog experts at your local kennel club.

Find out when the club is gathering for the next meeting and plan to attend. Bring your dog with you and ask if anyone can try to help you find out his or her history after the meeting finishes. You might get more opinions than you expected, but it could lead to a great conversation and consensus of opinion.


Submit a DNA Sample

If you really feel you need to know which breed your dog is, submitting a DNA sample will be the most accurate way to find it out.

Collecting a DNA sample is as easy as swiping the inside of your dog’s mouth with a cotton swab and sealing it with the collection container provided with the kit. You can then insert the container in the return envelope that comes with the kit and mail it back to the lab. Once the sample has been analyzed, labs typically send a report on which breeds were identified in the sample.

Be aware that dog DNA testing isn’t foolproof and results may vary, but it may prove more accurate than a visual comparison to other dog breeds. If you can afford the cost of the test, this may be your best option.

The post How to Find Out Your Dogs Breed appeared first on What Breed Is it.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Cute Video: Cat Trust Falls Into Owner's Lap

April 28, 2017 at 08:58PM by
>br> We’ve seen dogs do trust falls, including this one of a Golden Retriever landing in the waiting arms of a giant teddy bear. But we couldn’t imagine most cats being willing to give it a try. Leave it to Didga, who takes part in other un-cat-like activities like skateboarding, to defy expectations. “She ‘trusts’ me to catch her as she falls straight back into my hands,” her owner writes in the YouTube description. “I rescued her from the shelter, so she can trust me. — Read it at People Pets

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Pet Scoop: Residents Rescue Blind Dog From Lake, Penguin Chicks Hand-Reared at Zoo

April 28, 2017 at 07:13PM by
>br> April 28, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Image: Boston rescued from Miami lake

Struggling Dog Pulled Aboard Boat

Neighbors in Miami Gardens, Florida, jumped into action when they spotted a senior Cocker Spaniel who was blind struggling in a lake. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was called, but in the meantime, residents took to the water in a boat to help. A Good Samaritan pulled Boston aboard and brought him to firefighters who were waiting on the other side of the lake. Boston was later reunited with Barbara Terry, who’s been dog sitting while her brother is out of town. Terry saw Boston on Local 10 News and contacted authorities. She was relieved he was OK — but laughed that she thinks she’s lost her job. — Watch it at Miami’s Local 10

Dog Food Possibly Contaminated With Euthanasia Drug Recalled

The Texas-based company Party Animal is recalling 13-ounce cans of Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food (Lot #0136E15204 04, best by July 2019) and 13-ounce cans of Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food (Lot #0134E15 237 13, best by August 2019). The company said two cans of the food had tested positive for pentobarbital, a drug used for euthanasia. The food had been manufactured and distributed in 2015. "The safety of pets is and always will be our first priority. We sincerely regret the reports of the discomfort experienced by the pet who consumed this food," the company said in a statement. They urged customers to throw the food out or return it for a refund. — Read it at CBS News

Study: Humpback Calves “Whisper” to Mom

Researchers have found that newborn humpback whales learn to use muted squeaks to communicate with their moms, perhaps to avoid attracting killer whales. Recordings offer a rare look at the development of the baby whales and a glimpse at the complex interactions they have with their moms while they migrate. The study found the sounds the calves made were about 40 decibels lower than calls produced by singing whales, and up to 70 decibels lower than other social sounds from adults. The study was published in the journal Functional Ecology. — Read it at Live Science

Image: Penguins hand reared

Penguins Cozy Up to Stuffed Animal

Two Humboldt penguins who hatched in the days after Easter are being hand-reared at the ZSL London Zoo because their parents were unable to care for them. The fuzzy gray chicks are fed by hand three times a day and spend their time snuggling with a stuffed animal penguin under a heat lamp in a custom-built incubation room at the zoo. “They make sure we know it’s feeding time – they may be only weeks old but they’ve definitely perfected their squawks already,” said keeper Adrian Walls. Once the chicks are about 10 weeks old, they’ll move to the penguin nursery, where they’ll learn to swim before they’re introduced to the rest of their colony. — Read it at the London Zoo

Cat Trust Falls Into Owner’s Lap

We’ve seen dogs do trust falls, including this one of a Golden Retriever landing in the waiting arms of a giant teddy bear. But we couldn’t imagine most cats being willing to give it a try. Leave it to Didga, who takes part in other un-cat-like activities like skateboarding, to defy expectations. “She ‘trusts’ me to catch her as she falls straight back into my hands,” her owner writes in the YouTube description. “I rescued her from the shelter, so she can trust me. — Watch it at People Pets

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

I Escaped an Abusive Relationship — Thanks to My Dogs

April 28, 2017 at 04:52AM by

Image: BruceWillyAlmostHeavencreek 335

We love our pets — often, they are like family to us. But when a family dynamic is damaged by abuse or neglect, pets can suffer just like their humans.

In domestic abuse, an abuser often exploits a victim’s devotion to a pet to control and manipulate that victim. Too often, abuse victims feel trapped and unable to seek help because they fear for the safety of their pets if they leave. According to the Urban Resource Institute (URI), a provider of domestic violence programs and services in New York City, up to 65 percent of domestic violence victims and 48 percent of battered women delay leaving a dangerous situation out of concern for their pets. (In May of 2013, URI launched a specific program, Urban Resource Institute People and Animals Living Safely, or URIPALS, that houses victims of abuse and their pets.)

I am sympathetic to abuse victims who stay: A few years back, I found myself trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship and delayed leaving for the sake of my dogs. At the time, I felt alone and ashamed; I was unable to reach out for help because I believed that no one would understand my situation. Today, though, I know that my story is one shared by many victims of emotional and physical abuse.

The Cycle of Abuse

Growing up, I was a people pleaser, wanting others to like and approve of me. As a teenager, I sought validation from outsiders and learned to put my own needs last. In my early 20s I became involved with a man who preyed on my desire to please. His constant manipulation, unpredictable anger, injurious words, degrading conduct and unfaithful actions left me in a perpetual state of confusion and anxiety. I started to believe him when he blamed me for the problems in our relationship.

And yet I stayed with him, despite knowing that it was dangerous for me to do so. I stayed because my critically low self-esteem made it hard to believe that I deserved unconditional love and care. But what really prevented me from leaving the relationship was the terrifying prospect of what would happen to my two Pugs, Bruce and Willy, if I tried to stand up to my abuser or leave him outright. He made it clear that if we split up, he would keep one of the Pugs, even though it was also clear that he had no sincere interest in the dogs. He used them, and his knowledge of my love for them, to control me.

In fact, my Pugs were the stable ground I clung to during the storm of emotional abuse and neglect I faced. Their unceasing affection and unparalleled loyalty was a safe harbor for me. Whenever I felt weighed down with discouragement and despair, their wet kisses, wiggly snuggles and donut-shaped tail wags inspired me to keep coming up for air.

In the end, it was the dogs that saved me from the abuse. I had resigned myself to the fact that this was life as I would know it and had come to believe that I did not deserve any better. But as soon as I saw my dogs in danger, I knew I had to leave.

Rescuing Bruce — And Myself

One quick interaction changed my whole world. I was in my bedroom getting ready to go out and suddenly I heard a scream. I bolted into to the hallway and saw my abuser standing over Bruce with his clenched fist raised. He had pinned the Pug to the floor with his other hand and was preparing to deliver another blow when he saw me there.

I felt so many things in that moment — heartbreak, terror, repulsion, fury, shame. I was raised to believe that a person’s true character is revealed in the way he treats a helpless animal. In my mind, anyone who mistreats or hurts an animal is evil. In that moment, I confronted the truth that I was in a relationship with someone who was dangerous in ways I could not even understand. I could no longer make excuses for him, give him the benefit of the doubt or even hope that he would somehow change. I knew in that instant that I was finally seeing him for who he was.

I swept Bruce into my arms and, for the first time, I stood up to my abuser: I told him that if he ever threatened or touched either dog again in a harmful way I would call the police and leave for good.

In hindsight, I know that I should have left him right then, but I didn’t. His tearful, pleading remorse made me feel responsible, like it was my job to stay and help him change. But more than that I feared that if I did take action, he would retaliate by taking the dogs — or worse.

The Road to Safety

While I didn’t leave him immediately, I did reach out to family and friends after that incident. I had cut myself off from the people who loved me, largely out of shame, but when I told them what had happened — and what had been happening — they urged me to leave him and get to a safe place. Eventually, I found the strength to do what they asked, even though I was terrified for myself and for my dogs.

Unfortunately, my worst fear came true: My abuser chose to keep Bruce with him, sending Willy with me. Driving away from our home and my beloved dog, I was hysterical. My tears were partially from relief, but mostly they were shed in grief of the loss of one of my dogs and the danger he faced as a result.

My constant prayer during those days of separation and the resulting legal battle was that I would be able to keep both of my dogs. And that’s exactly what happened: My prayers were answered and the Pugs and I were able to move forward together to heal from our years of abuse and sadness.

My story has a happy ending, but there are thousands of other pet owners just like me. I stand as one among many, many victims who have remained imprisoned in an abusive relationship because they fear leaving their beloved pet behind. Unfortunately, pets, who are often the victims’ greatest source of support, are frequently used as leverage by the abuser to intimidate and threaten the victim and prevent her from leaving. This may include everything from neglect or physical injury to the pet’s death.

Finding Solutions for Abuse Victims and Their Pets

According to data reported by URI, 87 percent of batterer-perpetrated incidents of pet abuse are committed in the presence of the victim for the purpose of revenge or control. Children are also devastated by the abuse inflicted on pets: 76 percent of animal cruelty in the home occurs in front of children. Frequently these children will intervene or allow themselves to be victimized to save their pets from being harmed or killed.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of domestic violence shelters are not set up to support or house pets: Only an estimated 5 percent of shelters nationwide support pets with onsite housing.

By contrast, a national survey found that 85 percent of women in domestic violence shelters reported incidents of a pet being harmed by their abuser, while 63 percent of children discussed pet abuse in their family. In addition, animals were abused in 88 percent of homes where child physical abuse was present and abusers of animals are five times as likely to harm humans. Abusers tend to isolate their victims, both socially and financially, which makes it extremely challenging for the victims to obtain outside support or assistance — and this is compounded when a pet is involved.

Often this means that even when resources like shelters and support programs are available, a victim may choose to remain with an abuser rather than abandon a pet in a dangerous situation. This is often a no-win situation for the victim: According to URI, 71 percent of pet owners entering women’s shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control a victim.

Thankfully, there are a growing handful of domestic violence resources across the country that provide support for both pets and people. Such shelters allow both human and animal victims to flee to safety together — and in doing so remove one of the greatest barriers for abuse victims seeking help. These shelters also provide veterinary care for pets, who in many cases are in dire need of medical attention. Safe havens that support both pets and people also provide an opportunity for human family members to receive comfort from the ongoing support of a pet as they journey to healing together.

I am in a better place now. While Bruce is no longer with us, Willy and my daughter Regan and I have built a wonderful life with my new husband, Ben. But it is important to me to share my story, in the hope that other abuse victims will find the strength to walk away and find a safe place for themselves and their pets.

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5 Adoption Stories We Can’t Get Enough Of

April 28, 2017 at 04:43AM by
>br> We love a sweet story about a pet adoption, and once in a while there are those that stick with you — like the Pit Bull whose 8-year-old owner adored him so much that she wrote instructions for his new owner, or the 18-year-old dog whose adopter was so excited to meet her that he was waiting at the shelter when it opened.

In honor of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, we’ve pulled together five of our recent favorites in the gallery below. If you’re thinking about bringing a shelter pet into your life, here’s what you need to know.

EmbeddableSlideshow: EMBEDDABLE SLIDESHOW Favorite adoption stories April 2017

5 Fantastic Forever Homes
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Pet Scoop: Dog Survives After Rescue From Fire, Top Names for April the Giraffe’s Calf

April 27, 2017 at 07:37PM by
>br> April 27, 2017: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

Image: Dog rescued from fire survives

Dog Barely Survives Blaze

Owner Allyson Botterbusch panicked when she arrived at the scene of the fire in her home on April 15 and realized one of her dogs was still inside. York City, Pennsylvania, firefighter Erik Swanson found Nalah in her crate and feared the worst — until he saw her move her head. When he carried her outside, “she was limp in his arms, they had the oxygen mask on her face, and she was covered in soot — I didn’t think she was alive,” Botterbusch said. “As badly as I wanted her to pull through, as badly as I wanted her to come around, I didn’t think that it was gonna happen. But everyone who helped her and helped us along the way — that firefighter pulled her out of there and gave her a chance, these awesome doctors and the staff at this veterinarian office, they worked with her and they saved her and they brought her back to us.” Ten days after firefighters rescued her from a blaze in her home, Nalah is happily recovering, and Swanson and Nalah’s vet are relieved. “That feeling of saving a living creature who means so much to somebody else, is a pretty awesome feeling,” Swanson said. — Watch it at Pennsylvania’s York Daily Record

Giant Rabbit Dies on United Flight

Simon, a 10-month-old Continental Giant rabbit, who could have grown to record-setting size, somehow died on a United Airlines flight from England to Chicago last week. The rabbit was bred in England by Annette Edwards, and was on his way to a new home in the U.S. A veterinarian had declared him to be “in good physical condition” and fit to travel just a day before the flight. But Simon was found dead when the flight arrived. Edwards said she’s flown several bunnies to the U.S., on United and other airlines, without any problems. Both she and the new owner were heartbroken over the news. Headlines about the bunny have been another public relations disaster for United, which has suffered financially after a passenger was forcibly removed in Chicago earlier this month. United said it is reviewing what happened with the rabbit. — Read it at the Chicago Tribune

Whole Foods Goes All Out to Protect Mother Goose

The staff at a Whole Foods store in Colorado has gone above and beyond to make a mother goose who laid her eggs in their parking lot feel safe and welcome. The store’s management contacted wildlife officials, who advised them to leave the mom there with her eggs, unbothered. The staff took that a little further, setting up a barricade around the area, providing her with a kiddie pool that they fill each day with fresh water, and bringing her fresh greens to eat. The chicks are expected to hatch next week, and the store has local police and animal control on call to help if the mom needs to get across the street once her babies are up and moving. — See photos at OneGreenPlanet

Image: Finalist names for April the Giraffe's calf

Zoo Reveals 10 Names for Giraffe

After more than a week of open voting, Animal Adventure Park in New York has released the top 10 suggestions for names for April the giraffe’s famed baby boy. The choices are Apollo, Geoffrey, Gio, Harpur, Noah, Ollie, Patch, Patches, Unity or Alyssa’s Choice, which means the giraffes’ keeper will get to decide on the name. You can vote until April 30, and votes cost $1 each with a minimum of five votes. Money has poured in to the small zoo and its chosen charities thanks to the naming contest. The baby’s name will be revealed on May 1. — Read it at People Pets

Baby Fiona Meets Her Mom

There’s good news about another well-known zoo baby, Fiona, the hippo who was born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo. Fiona has been getting more comfortable in the indoor adult pools, and the animal care team has been increasing its depth so she can learn to swim in deep water. In the meantime, Fiona is slowly being reintroduced to her mother, who couldn’t care for her when she was born so early. “Bibi is showing interest in Fiona and watches her eat, sleep, and go in and out of her pool,” the zoo’s Facebook post said. — See photo at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook

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