June 10, 2014
by Sam Bourne
2 Comments

AMAZING REUNION: US Marine and the Bomb-Sniffing Dog that Saved His Life

In a tear-jerking reunion, US Marine Jeff DeYoung was reunited with his best friend last week — a black lab named Cena. A trained bomb-sniffing dog, Cena saved his handler from countless improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as well as kept him company during the most trying point in Jeff’s life.

A MAN AND HIS DOG

Army-Blog

Having one of the most high-pressure assignments imaginable, Jeff and Cena were deployed in order to detect some 300 different kinds of IEDs. As one can imagine, going out and looking for bombs can be a very tense occupation,  as it can quickly escalate into something incredibly dangerous.

In order to make it through the war, Jeff and Cena had to take solace in one another’s company. “We slept together in fighting holes. We ate the same food. He drank out of my water system. I carried him across rivers. We had a hail storm and a dust storm and I had to cover myself on top of him,” said DeYoung to Click on Detroit. And while Jeff kept Cena safe during firefights, when it came to safely crossing unknown terrain, Cena and his well-tuned nose protected Jeff a from accidentally stepping on a dirty bomb – a common cause of death among combatants. In fact, the DeYoung family credits Cena with Jeff’s survival during his time in Afghanistan.

AFTER THE WAR

Four years after his return home, DeYoung now has a family, with a loving wife and two daughters. And while Jeff’s home life has provided him a much needed sense of security, it was very challenging for him to put the war behind him – especially knowing that Cena was still out there in the line of duty. “We never got to say good-bye. They thought it would be easier. I didn’t agree,” said DeYoung to the Detroit Free Press.

So when it came time for Cena to retire, Jeff’s wife Lindsay immediately got into contact with people at Mission K9 Rescue — an organization dedicated to reuniting veterans with their service dogs. And while Jeff was excited for the reunion, after four years apart, he was concerned that his old war buddy would not remember him. However, as you can clearly see in the video at the top, those concerns turned out to be unfounded.

Now a complete family again, Lindsay hopes that Cena’s adoption will help Jeff further acclimate himself back into civilian life, as the transition has been difficult for him. “I know when he got back, he had a lot of separation issues,” she said to the Detroit Free Press. “I think it’s going to be really good for him.”

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Source:
Detroit Free Press – Amid licks and smiles, Michigan veteran and his bomb-detecting war dog are reunited
Click on Detroit - Michigan soldier reunited with service dog after 4 years apart

 

June 5, 2014
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

UPDATE: Deadly Jerky Treat Manufacturers Offer $6.5 Million in Damages

Jerky-Settlement-Blog

For those that haven’t heard, late last month it was discovered that certain jerky treats imported from China were tainted, resulting in thousands of dogs falling ill and dying. The actual cause of the illness remains a mystery, the source has been well documented.

Related Story: Mysterious Outbreak Kills Thousands of Dogs, Makes People Sick

In a settlement reached earlier this month, two major labels accused of distributing the tainted treats (Nestle Purina Pet Care Co. and Waggin’ Train LLC) have offered up $6.5 million in damages to be parceled out to those families affected by the outbreak. Along with that, these companies have agreed to adopt “enhanced quality assurance measures” in an attempt to prevent another disaster like this from occurring.

While the settlement will end up providing these families with a little compensation for the tragedies they had undergone, Purina and Waggin’ Train want to make it clear that this settlement is in no way an admission of fault. “All parties entered into the agreement only to bring the litigation to a prompt and certain resolution,” said a lawyer during a statement to the press.

Outside of the recent settlement, the FDA has also updated its investigation to include Chinese jerky treats consisting of chicken, duck, and sweet potatoes. And even though the testing has been expanded to become more comprehensive, the actual cause of the sickness is still unknown, leaving our pets open to further infection. That being the case, if you have any jerky-based treats in your home, especially those made in China, it is still advised that you stop giving them to your pet immediately.

Related Story: Caring for a Sick Dog: The Dos (and Don’ts)

Alternative Treats

One Earth Peanut Butter Treats
Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Kisses Salmon Dog Treats
Newman’s Own Organics Cheese Dog Treats

Also, since the condition has persisted, you should make sure you are aware of the symptoms of the condition, which can be found – along with any other relevant information – here.

To read the entire 158-page settlement, see it here.

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Sources:
Food Safety News – Jerky Treat Makers Agree to Compensate Pet Owners with $6.5-Million Fund
MSNBC – Press Release on Settlement

June 3, 2014
by Sam Bourne
4 Comments

INCREDIBLE: Double Amputee Cat Runs Down Stairs Doing Handstand

That is the Boots, and as we can all see from the video, she is a two-legged ninja!

Boots-Cat

Photo from BuzzFeed

Boots was adopted by Megan Brocato when he was 6-weeks old, and had already had both of her rear legs amputated. At just 10 weeks old, Boots was left at the Life is Better Rescue Shelter in Denver without her two back feet. However, aside from her handicap, Boots was in great health and spirits.

Boots-Cat-3

Photo from BuzzFeed

While the reason for Boots’ amputations is still a mystery, the shelter does not believe in any foul play. Brocato told BuzzFeed,“We believe this was an accident – perhaps she’d been closed in a door, or a recliner, something mechanical. We don’t believe it was purposeful human intervention.”

Boots-Cat-4

Photo from BuzzFeed

While it took Boots a little while to adjust to her prosthetic legs, and the process was arduous for both her and Megan, eventually she began to get the hang of her new legs, as we can all clearly see in the video of her nimbly making her way down the stairs.
Now, Boots is a well adjusted feline that is not about to let anything stand in her way.

RELATED STORY: How to Train Your Kitten

And since she is finally finished growing, it is time for her to be fitted with some permanent prosthesis, which should make getting around a little simpler for her (albeit possibly less acrobatic). In order to fit Boots for these permanent prosthesis, she is going to have to undergo surgery.

Boots-Cat-2

Photo from BuzzFeed

Good luck, Boots!

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Source:
BuzzFeed – Meet the world’s cutest ninja cat with only two paws
The Daily Mail – Daredevil purrrformance! Double-amputee cat named Boots runs down the stairs in a handstand

June 2, 2014
by Sam Bourne
2 Comments

NEW: “A Game Changing Technology” That May Save Your Puppy’s Life

Parvo-Vaccine-Blog

Avianax, a company researching a cure for flocks of dying geese, discovered an antibody in goose eggs that could end up saving hundreds of puppy lives every year, as well as save pet parents thousands of dollars.

Putting an End to Parvo

Canine parvovirus is a serious condition that affects thousands of dogs every year, often a result of an extended stay in close quarters with other dogs (i.e., animal shelters, kennels) since it is transmitted through waste and direct contact. Dogs that contract the debilitating virus often end up dying as a result of the infection, or are euthanized because of the pain the condition puts them through, as well as the massive expense treatment ends up being — frequently costing upwards of $2,000.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed Avianax to undertake the necessary field trials, despite the fact that permitting a test like this is typically reserved for a specific outbreak or a more dire situation. The reason that testing was allowed to continue is because of how quickly this condition can be spread in confined spaces. Also, there is no product specifically designed to target parvovirus, leaving dogs that end up contracting the virus at grave risk. As such, field trials are taking place in Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, North Carolina, and Arizona.

This new treatment — reported to be priced at $75 a dose — has been tested on 50 puppies infected with parvo and has resulted in a 90% cure rate, which is quite promising this early on in the trials. Richard Glynn, the COO of Avianax hopes to start selling what is now being called “The ParvoONE Antibody-Based Treatment” by spring 2015.

Moving Beyond Parvo

While providing an affordable, low impact cure for Parvo is a big step forward in veterinary medicine, the potential for this type of treatment does not end there. These newly discovered antibodies, Avianax believes, may have useful applications in the future treatment of rabies, dengue fever, avian flu, and even some types of cancer.

Thanks to Avianax and their groundbreaking research, parvo may soon become a thing of the past.

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Source:
ABC News – Trial Results Promising for Curing Puppies’ Parvo

 

May 30, 2014
by Sam Bourne
2 Comments

Meet Lucy: The Smallest Working Dog in the World

This is Lucy

Lucy-Dog

Photo courtesy of Facebook

She is the world’s tiniest working dog. That’s right – she works.

Lucy-Jumping

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Standing 5.7 inches tall, and weighing in at a whopping 3 pounds, Lucy can fit comfortably in your hands. But don’t let her diminutive size fool you — this dog has tons of personality!

A 6-year-old Yorkie, Lucy comes from humble beginnings, nearly being put down because of her sickly state early on. Lucky for her, Sally Leone Montufar saw some potential underneath her lethargic, withered, frame. “No one wanted her. She was just too sickly. Her tongue hung low, one eye wandered, and she did not look like she would last very long,” says Montufar.

Lucy-Basket

Photo courtesy of Facebook

But Sally knew the power of a  little TLC, and that Lucy was worth the effort. Fast forward a few years and Lucy is spry as ever, full of life and love for everyone around her. Sally saw how vibrant this little pooch was, not to mention how great she was with people,  and decided to get her certified as a therapy dog.

Lucy-Dane

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Now, Lucy makes visits to various hospitals, hospices, and schools, helping the infirm feel better with a loving snuggle, or some of the most adorable educational demonstrations on Earth — she can even “stop, drop, and roll” during fire prevention talks!

Lucy-Wheelchair

Photo courtesy of Facebook

As if that wasn’t enough, Lucy is now starting to get some real accolades, first by being awarded the Hero Dog citation from the NJ State Senate, and then being named by the Guinness Book as the official “Smallest Working Dog on Earth.”

To see Lucy in action, follow her on Facebook.

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Source:
The Bark Post – The World’s Smallest Working Dog Has an Incredible Story