Sometimes life graces you with a moment that makes you realize just how precious and miraculous it is to simply be alive. For us, the story of Caleb Acosta, a Florida teen fighting stage 5 brain cancer, and his adventure with Ricochet the surfing dog, is that moment.
If you heard your mother yelling your name from downstairs, you wouldn’t need to see her to know who was calling for you, right? That’s because humans are equipped with a “voice area” in our brains that helps us differentiate between vocal cues of varying pitch and timbre, associating vocal patterns with specific meanings and individuals. For a long time, scientists thought that this trait was unique to primates, marking a key moment in our evolution that facilitated in our ability to begin crafting complex languages.
Many pet parents hear about spaying or neutering and can make a snap decision that an operation like this is cruel to their pets, when the reality is, leaving your pets unfixed is often what makes their lives more difficult. Having your pets spayed or neutered will result in happier and healthier pets.
Today is World Spay Day, and to help celebrate it, we’ve put together some share-able infomemes designed to dispel some of the harmful anti-neutering rumors out there. Read, share on Facebook or Twitter, and help spread the truth!
Cathy the Pit Bull was rescued by Alex De Campi three years ago, and now De Campi wants to show Cathy’s former owners just how much the dog is loving life. So she turned to Craigslist to share the story.
Rescued at 12 years old in Manhattan, Cathy was an emaciated 51 pounds, suffered from multiple infections, and carried burn marks and signs of being overbred. Rebound Hounds helped Cathy find her forever home in New Hampshire, with De Campi, her three other dogs, and her daughter.
“She’s very friendly and sweet,” De Campi says. “She’s gotten on really good with the dogs, she’s grown up with my daughter.”
Now at 15 years old, Cathy is healthy and happy, loving swims and naps in the sun.
On Feb 9th 2011, you were evicted from an apartment at 20 Catherine St and your old red pit bull was seized by animal control and taken to the kill shelter. She was really skinny and had bad skin infections, and had been bred A LOT. She’d even had a Caesarian, judging by the scar. They said at the kill shelter she was 12 years old. She also had a lopsided face and it looked like there were a few cigarette burns on her head/ears.
I figure you were having a pretty bad time of it, since you were being evicted. I hope things have gotten better for you in the intervening years. Although it’s unlikely you’ll ever see this note, I just wanted you to know that I have your dog and she is doing great.
The note ends with: “P.S. you can’t have her back.”
Despite the tone of the end of the Craigslist post, De Campi says she doesn’t bear ill will toward Cathy’s former owners. “New York is a hard place when you’re down on your luck,” De Campi says. “I just wanted them to know that their dog was okay and is having a great life. And I hope that person is back on their feet, too.”
Cathy is scheduled for surgery this week to remove mammary tumors, thanks to generous donations from dog lovers through Rebound Hound’s Facebook page.
We hope Cathy’s procedure goes well and she is back to lying in the sun in no time!
It’s tax season! Time to gather up your receipts and figure out what you can write off. The are the obvious things, like child care, donations to charities, and medical costs, but what else can you claim? How about your pet?
While there are not too many situations in which your pet can get you a tax break, there are a few you won’t want to miss if they apply to you. Here are four write-offs that a pet could help you get.
1. Foster Pets
The cost of fostering a pet can often be written off, since the government views taking care of these pets as aiding a non-profit (assuming the place you are fostering from is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization). Things like vet bills, medications, boarding, food, litter, leashes, collars, and toys for foster pets can all be deducted.
Pets that work as an active service dog qualify for tax deductions, since they are considered medical expenses. What that means is all the costs of training and maintaining your service dog are tax free. So that’s no taxes on food, medicine, grooming, collars, leashes, and anything else your service dog needs.
To get this type of write-off, first you need accreditation. Your dog needs official tags and licensing stating that they are qualified as a service dog and actively serving those in need.
Dogs that guard a house or herd sheep or cattle on a farm are tax exempt as well since they count as a work expense. So, just like with service dogs, things like food, supplies, and medicine are all open to be written off. Same thing goes for cats that work to help keep a barn or other area free from mice, rats, snakes, and other vermin.
One note on this deduction: Your dog needs to actually guard something (i.e., your inventory), and be capable of doing so. No claiming that Sprinkles the Dachshund is guarding anything — the IRS knows better.
However, if Sprinkles is capable of entering the show ring, you might find some tax breaks there. Dogs that perform in any capacity, whether it be at a show dog or in agility competitions, can be exempt from taxes.
Again, however, the IRS will need some proof, like some documentation of a competition, and a well-organized — and realistic — list of their expenses; the IRS will probably not let you write off the time your show dog spent in a pet suite.
If you think your pet qualifies for any of these tax breaks, check with a licensed accountant before filing. You’ll need proper documentation to prove your pet’s eligibility, so make sure you have everything before making deductions.
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