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Sign Up Your Service Animal to Receive A Free Eye Exam

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views 

Poodle getting a free eye exam. (Photo credit: ACVO.)

Poodle getting a free eye exam. (Photo credit: ACVO.)

Service animals, which include guide, handicapped assistance, detection, military, search and rescue, and registered therapy animals, are being honored for their work with free eye exams from the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO). Registration runs from April 1-30, and the exams will be scheduled throughout the month of May.

More than 250 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists throughout the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico will donate their time and resources to provide free eye exam screenings to thousands of eligible service animals. Registration for service animal owners and handlers runs from April 1–30.

To qualify, animals must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization, or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization could be national, regional, or local in nature.  For more details, click here.

Pet Fosters and Tax Deductions


By Michele C. Hollow for Pet News and Views

I know I am spending more time on my Parade Pets/Wildlife column. I just wrote a post about tax deductions for fosters. So, if you foster or know anyone who does, take a look.

How to Save Money on Pet Meds

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Pet News and Views is offering Free Pet Discount Drug Cards that’s actually good for pet and human prescription medications.  A lot of the drugs prescribed for pets are the same meds that we take—just smaller doses.  The cards are accepted at over 80 percent of all pharmacies in the U.S. and its territories, from national chains to local drug stores. The card never expires and can be used over and over again.

You can print out this card to use for your pet’s prescriptions. Just take it with the prescription from your vet to your local pharmacy to receive the discount.

This is not pet insurance or health insurance for people. All health insurance coverage for people does not cover pet medications. And not all pet health insurance plans include prescription drugs for pets. I hope you never have to use it, and that your pet will live a long and happy life. However, it is good to have on hand.

How It Works
With this card you can save up to 55% on generics and up to 15% on brand-name medications.  Subscribe to Pet News and Views and send me an e-mail ( with your name and full address saying you subscribed and want a free card. Once you get the card in the mail, take it with a prescription from your veterinarian to a participating pharmacy to receive the discount. You can use it for your own medications too! If you don’t wish to subscribe, you can just print out a copy of the card from this post and take that to your local pharmacy with a prescription from your pet’s veterinarian or from your own doctor.

For information about pet insurance, click here.

Student Petitions Big Tobacco Company to Stop Animal Testing

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Animals don't smoke, and neither should people.

Animals don’t smoke, and neither should people.


Jordan Turner, a 19-year old student and animal protection advocate from Watertown, WI, is taking on Philip Morris, the tobacco giant, to ban animal testing. He started his petition days after the third largest tobacco company in the United States, Lorillard, announced a ban on animal testing. In his petition, Jordan writes about Philip Morris’s alleged involvement in tests where rats have been forced to inhale smoke for hours at a time during experiments lasting for weeks.

“There’s no excuse for cruel animal testing for tobacco products,” says Jordon, “and I hope Philip Morris listens to the 108,000 people who have signed my petition on asking them to stop just like Lorillard has done already.”

Philip Morris USA’s parent companies, Altria Group, and Philip Morris International, both have made public statements which leave the door open for limited animal experiments in the future, while Lorillard’s updated policy says it will “not use animals unless necessary to meet regulatory requirements.”

In Pet News and Views’ opinion, these tests make no sense. We know the affects that smoking has on all of us.

For more information, and to sign the petition, click here.

Puppies for Parole


Puppies for Parole prisoner and dog

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Every once in a while I come across a program that touches my heart. The Puppies for Parole program in Missouri is giving second chances to inmates and shelter dogs. The dogs in this program would either be euthanized or spend the rest of their lives in animal shelters if it weren’t for this program. I wrote about the program here. I hope you will take a look.  


Who Gets Shaved–Dog or Navy Seal?

Rob DuBois and Gander

By Michele C. Hollow for Pet News and Views

Veterans Lon Hodge and Rob DuBois host workshops on conflict resolution and how to defuse stress for other vets. These seminars are especially geared for veterans with service animals—particularly veterans with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) issues.

When Lon Photoshopped a picture of Rob, a Navy SEAL, right next to his dog, Gander, it caused such an Internet stir that the two friends made a pact to have a “beard-off” for each of their workshops.

The next beard-off between Rob and Gander will be held from March 1-20 to raise funds for LZ-Grace Special Forces RetreatLt Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship FoundationFreedom Service Dogs, and Warrior Dog Foundation. The winner will be announced on March 21. The loser will be shaved… and not his beard. “SEALs are crazy wild about their beards,” says Lon. “So if Rob loses, he will shave his head—not his beard. If Gander loses, he will get a buzz-cut.”

The beard-off link will be posted on Gander’s Facebook page. Lon and Rob are hoping you will upload photos of your beard, your dog’s beard, or your significant other’s beard onto Gander’s Facebook page, and that you will vote for either Rob’s beard or Gander’s for the best beard. Books and prizes will be given daily for Best Bearded Dog/Owner Pair and Best Bearded Dog. “The exposure is meant to draw attention to service dogs and veterans who suffer with PTSD while having a spot of inter-service and inter-species fun,” says Lon.

To read the full article click here.  To vote for Gander the dog or Rob the Navy Seal, click here.

Essentials for Your New Dog

Some people prefer over sized pillows instead of dog beds with a frame.

Some people prefer over sized pillows instead of dog beds with a frame.

Adopting a dog is an exciting time. To make the transition to your home easy for you and your dog, make sure you have the following items on hand before you bring your new dog home.

Dog Bowls for Food and Water

Make sure the bowls you buy are the right size for your dog. Some bowls come with stands, so a large dog won’t have to crouch down to eat. This makes it easier on his back.

Dog Crates or Carriers

You will need a crate or carrier if you travel with your dog in a car.

Dog Collars and Leashes

Make sure the collar and leash you purchase are comfortable and secure. This means that you need to seriously consider high quality designer dog collars as you want your new friends to be secure. Make sure that the collar fits properly. We recommend adjustable dog collars, especially when you buy a young pet. The leashes should allow freedom but need to control the dog whenever necessary.

Dog Mats or Beds

You can choose both. Your dog may prefer your sofa, but that is up to you. Most trainers recommend that dogs have their own space. That is where a dog bed or mat comes in.

Dog Food, Chew Toys and Treats

If you do not know which brand of food to choose, simply talk with your veterinarian. He will make appropriate suggestions. Chew toys are recommended to keep your dog’s teeth in good condition. And go easy on the treats. Pet obesity is a (excuse the pun) growing problem.

Dog Identification Tags

Nowadays dogs are microchipped in order to have identification, but the really simple pet identification tags are essential. You do not need any technology in order to read dog tags, and it is so simple to contact pet owners if you find a lost dog.

Schedule A Visit to Your Veterinarian

After you adopt, if your dog doesn’t have the necessary shots or if he isn’t neutered, arrange to take him to the vet.

Cleaning the Air with CritterZone

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

     Something smelled awful.  When I brought the new kittens home in December, and they used the litter box the intensity of the smell was almost frightening.  To make matters worse, I found out that it was my fault.

As a pet blogger companies sent me free food when I posted that I adopted kittens. The kittens dined on a wide variety (hey, I wanted to save money). I later found out that the kittens’ bodies may not be fully adjusting to the new diet and this could be the reason for the excessively stinky stool.

They are now eating one brand, and the odor isn’t constantly as bad. Still, every once in a while it would smell like a very bad bomb went off. Our bathroom is on the second floor, and sometimes their stools stink up the entire house.

Well, I found a remedy. It’s called CritterZone Air Naturalizer, and it truly works.  CritterZone is a tiny box, about the size of my hand, and it plugs directly into the wall.

CritterZone has three settings; I use the low setting, and have kept it on continuously since I turned it on. It’s in the bathroom where we have the litter box. It’s great because our house smells clean, not stinky.

It works on all kinds of odors—even cigarette and cigar smoke. I have a friend who volunteers at an animal shelter, and she told me that since they have been using CritterZone, the shelter no longer has that frightful odor. So, it works on multiple pets.

I really am impressed with CritterZone.  The wall unit costs $99, but wait, if you order and use the code below, all Pet News and Views’ customers will get $10 off.   The cost will be $89, but you have to use the Promo Code below.

To get this special promotion:

1.       Go to

2.       Add CritterZone unit(s) to your cart

3.       Enter PETNEWS into the box labeled “Apply Promo Code,” and the $10 discount will be adjusted before checkout.

Pope Francis on Animals

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views


pope francis

I have been curious about Pope Francis’ views on animals. Many of you know he chose his papal name after Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. I recently had the good fortune to interview Dr. Miguel Diaz, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See about Pope Francis. Here is an excerpt of my article:

“Pope Francis wants us to care for all of God’s creatures,” says Diaz. “That means all human creatures regardless of faith, gender, race, culture, physical ability, immigration status, political affiliation, and sexual orientation. And of course, among God’s creatures the Pope would include animals. We were given this earth to nurture, and to make it habitable for all creatures. We need to cultivate our dwelling place for all to enjoy, not exploit it.”

To read more, click here.

The Olympics and Strays


By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

In just a few days people from all over the world will be watching the Olympic Games. The host city of Sochi in Russia is trying to put its best face forward in hopes of boosting tourism throughout the city and the country.

According to Andrew Rowan, CEO of Humane Society International (HSI), the city of Sochi hired a company to kill stray animals before the crowds descend. Rowan is urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the culling. “Killing street dogs, whether through poisoning, shooting, or other means, is not only inhumane, but ineffective,” says Rowan.

HSI, the global arm of The Humane Society of the United States, has been implementing street dog programs throughout the world for nearly two decades. According to Rowan, HSI’s programs include mass sterilization, vaccination, and community education. “It’s the only effective approach to solve the street dog issue long term,” he says.

In a letter delivered to President Putin, HSI describes its collaboration with governments from around the world to implement programs to humanely and effectively control street dog populations. These programs, which are in place in India and Bhutan, among other countries, have resulted in fewer dogs on the street; a reduction in the rate of dog attacks, and substantial reduction in the number of dog bites requiring treatment; and an improved human-dog relationship that benefits both people and dogs.

The letter also describes how HSI has closely monitored the street dog problem in Russia for the past two decades, observing that street dog programs implemented by local governments have suffered from lack of resources and commitment.

HSI became involved in Sochi last summer when city officials announced a plan to kill 2,000 dogs ahead of the Winter Olympics. The international outcry forced city officials to abandon that plan. HSI stands ready to help Russian authorities address street dogs, saying in the letter that: “While it is too late for many dogs in Sochi, we again offer to provide advice and expertise on how to manage dog populations humanely.”

A full copy of the letter to President Putin is available here. You can sign this letter to President Putin urging him to find a better way to manage the street dog problem in Russia.