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Keep Pets Safe While You’re On the Road with Them

Dogs should always be in the back of your vehicle  restrained in a crate, doggie car seat, or  safety belt designed for a dog.

Dogs should always be in the back of your vehicle restrained in a crate, doggie car seat, or safety belt designed for a dog.


By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

With the price of gasoline falling, more Americans are taking road trips and are bringing their dogs with them. While we are on the road, we want to keep our four-legged family members safe.

Dogs should never ride on your lap or next to you in the passenger seat. If you were to stop short, your dog can act as a projectile and go through your car’s front window. If there is an accident and your dog isn’t restrained, he could panic, get out of the car, and get lost. Accidents are not for the faint of heart. So, follow these tips to keep you and your dog safe:


Pets should be in the back of your vehicle and you should put up a dog barrier for your SUV.  Your dog should also be in a dog car seat or in a roomy crate that is secured in the back of your car. You don’t want your dog moving from side-to-side in or out of a crate.

This safety net from Pet Net Plus keep dogs away from you while you're driving.

This safety net from Pet Net Plus keep dogs away from you while you’re driving.


Dog Safety in Vehicles

If your dog is not used to riding in a car, plan ahead. He might associate car rides with going to the veterinarian. Take him for short rides to the dog park before you go on vacation together; this will get him accustomed to riding in the car and it will make it an overall pleasurable experience.

When traveling with a dog, always add in extra time. If you think it will take you four hours to reach your destination, add an additional hour to the trip. Take breaks every three to four hours. A short walk or a run for both you and your dog will break up the trip and make it more enjoyable. Make sure that you and your dog drink plenty of water during these stops.



What Should You Bring for the Car Ride?

  • A collar with current information on your dog
  • A list of rest stops, veterinary hospitals, your dog’s medical records, and any medications
  • A bowl and plenty of water
  • Treats, his favorite toy, blanket, and dog bed
  • Trash bags to pick up waste
  • A first aid kit
  • Plenty of dog food

Make sure your car is well ventilated and cool, and never leave your dog unattended in a parked car. On hot days, even in the shade, cars are like ovens; they heat up, and the results can be life-threatening. Temperatures inside cars can reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, causing heat stroke, brain damage, and even death. You don’t want your dog locked inside your car on cold days either. Temperatures can plummet and dogs can freeze.

If you do take your dog on the road with you, you have numerous hotel options. Many places welcome well-behaved dogs.

Happy trails!

This is a sponsored post.

6 Tips for Raising Healthy and Happy Cats

Even half asleep, this black cat is incredibly beautiful.

Even half asleep, this black cat is incredibly beautiful.

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Cats are a lot like us. We cat parents know that while it is nice being around loving family and friends, we value our independence. Maybe we all have a little cat in us.

We also know that once we gain the trust of a cat, we’ll have a friend for life. A happy and healthy cat will reward us with affection. Showing them trust is easy. Following are six tips for raising healthy and happy cats.



1. Cat Naps

Cats sleep between 13 and 16 hours a day. They like having a warm and comfortable place to curl up in, even if that is on your bed, in an open linen closet (that’s where my mom’s cat sleeps) or in her own personal cat bed. One of my cats sleep on my desk while I work because she likes being near (at least that is what I tell myself) and she loves the big window that floods the room with sunlight. Getting 40-plus winks is quite restorative.

  1. You are what you eat applies to cats too

Poor nutrition leads to health problems. Look for a cat food that lists meat as the first ingredient. Cats are carnivores and must have meat in their diets.

My cats are fed once in the morning when we have our breakfast, and once at night to coincide with our dinner time. After breakfast and dinner, I pick up and clean their bowls. They are left empty because a grazing cat that eats too much food can develop diabetes and other serious ailments.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that 58.3 percent of cats in the U.S. are overweight, and obesity leads to illness. My cats are not finicky. Some cats can be. So, try a few varieties of food until you find something your cat enjoys.

3. Good grooming

While cats groom themselves it is important to brush them. Make it a ritual. When my cats see me take out their brush, they come over and start to purr.

Brushing their fur cuts down on hairballs, which means they won’t ingest a lot of their fur when they are cleaning themselves, and you will have less fur in your home and on your clothes.

4. Cats like clean litter boxes

Ever notice that as soon as you clean the litter box, they want to use it? I can’t say that I blame them. No one likes a dirty bathroom!

Use a dust-free litter that’s free of harmful chemicals, additives and synthetic scents. There are lots of eco-friendly bio-degradable products on the market to choose from.

5. Playtime

Cats love to hunt and play. They know exactly where the laser pointer is kept and as soon as I reach for it, they are ready for the chase.  Just don’t shine it in their eyes.

Another favorite toy is a fishing rod with a fabric bird on one end. My cats love to chase and jump after this toy.

Playtime is when we bond, and cats get a lot of mental stimulation and exercise from playing.

6. Bonding time

Spending time with your cat benefits both of you. I make time in the morning before I start my work day. We wake up together and I talk to them while I give them their breakfast. After breakfast, we play with the laser pointer. I am at home, so we play after lunch and again after dinner.

They reward me with purrs and cuddles.

Why Cats Need their Claws


By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

My two cats hate having their claws clipped. However, I like my skin and when they walk on me with their needle-like nails, I need to clip them. Plus, my sofa and other furniture should not be used as scratching posts. So, I clip their claws.

I would not consider declawing them and here are five reasons why:

1. Cats need claws for protection…
If your cat ever gets outside and doesn’t have claws, he will be defenseless. Cats use their claws to climb trees, which can help them escape from dangerous situations. Without those claws, he has a greater chance of being attacked.

2. …for exercise…
Cats also use their claws for stretching their muscles.

3. …for marking territory…
Ever see a declawed cat scratch your furniture? It’s an inherent trait that marks a cat’s territory. But they won’t scratch a particular item if you train them to use a scratching post. (In my house we avoid certain items, like tightly woven rugs and wicker furniture. They are just too tempting.)

4. …and for balance.
When a cat is declawed, it’s not at all like clipping nails. Declawing is amputating the claw and related bone and muscle tissue. Without their claws, cats often have trouble balancing.

5. Not only that, removing claws can cause health problems.
According to my friends at Best Friends Animal Society, many declawed cats suffer from joint stiffness, and because their paws remain sensitive from the surgery, they avoid scratching in their litter boxes.

For more information on declawing and the health issues associated with it, check out The Paw Project. To train your cat to use a scratching post, read these tips from the MSPCA. The Humane Society of the U.S. has a list of tips on how to trim a cat’s claws.

Editor’s Note: I would appreciate it if you subscribe. It’s free and I publish twice a month.

Why Sharks Attack and How to Keep Safe If You Spot One


By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Shark sightings make most of us tremble with fear. However, Marie Levine, executive director of The Shark Research Institute, finds encounters thrilling.

Levine has been observing sharks for 40-plus years—many times her encounters have been up close—and she has never been attacked. “There are so few fatal attacks,” she explained. “More people are spending time in the water, whether it is swimming, fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing or boating. Being out in the water increases our likelihood of spotting a shark. Attacks are rare.”

Last year five people in the United States died from shark bites, and between 70 and 100 people were attacked by sharks worldwide.

In New Jersey, sharks seldom bother divers. “Many of our sharks have been overfished,” said Levine. “Sharks prey on skates and rays, which feed on shellfish. By decreasing the shark population, the skates and rays greatly reduced the number of shellfish, which in turn hurt New Jersey fishermen. That’s one reason why we need sharks. We must not mess with Mother Nature.”

About one-third of the more than 400 different species of sharks are endangered. “Why should that matter to us?” she asked. “If we remove sharks from our waters we are tampering with our primary food and air sources. Sharks actually keep our largest ecosystems—our oceans—healthy. Removing sharks can cause disastrous effects including the collapse of fisheries and the death of coral reefs.”

“People are afraid of sharks because they don’t know them, and we are often afraid of things we don’t understand,” said Levine. “It’s important to read about sharks and other sea creatures before you dive or spend time in the water.”

“Peter Benchley, who wrote “Jaws,” became one of our major supporters,” she continued. “He used to say, ‘Don’t people realize the book is in the fiction section of the bookstore?’”

If you do spot a shark up close, Levine recommends staying as calm as possible. “Sure your adrenaline is pumping,” she said. “Sharks are curious and may come close just to check you out.”

Splashing won’t do much. When sharks spot a person splashing in the water, they may think they’re seeing a sea lion, seal, small fish or other marine mammals, which they prefer to eat. They will attack if they feel threatened or are defending their territory.

So in addition to keeping calm, if you spot a shark in the distance and are close to your boat or to land, you can swim to safety. If you are several feet away from your boat or land, you won’t be able to out swim a shark. Your best bet is to stay still and keep your eyes fixed on the shark. On the few occasions when sharks have attacked, they often have done so from behind.

The best safety advice is to avoid encounters by swimming where there are other people. Never wander far away from the crowds and don’t wear shiny jewelry in the water. Shiny jewelry mimics fish scales and labels you shark bait. Also, stay out of the water during early morning, late afternoon and at night; that’s when sharks tend to eat.

Swim where a lifeguard can spot you. And if you are bleeding, stay out of the water. Sharks can smell blood from several feet away.

For more information about sharks, visit The Shark Research Institute.


Michele C. Hollow writes about pets and wildlife. She can be reached at Twitter

Tips for Keeping Aging Pets Healthy

See the smile?

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Just two decades ago, large dogs like Labrador Retrievers lived to age 9. Today, these dogs can live to 15 or 16. Our cats and dogs are living longer thanks to many changes in veterinary medicine, and because of the care we give them.

“We’ve taken our pets from the backyard to the bedroom, and from the kennel to the couch,” says Dr. Robin Downing, DVM, and owner of The Downing Center for Animal Pain Management in Windsor, CO. “Our pets are aging, and with that we know, as the Buddhist saying goes, pain is inevitable. [But] suffering is optional. Our senior pets don’t have to hurt.”

Dr. Robin shares 5 tips on how to make our senior pets more comfortable:

1. Lay a foundation.
Pets like their routines. Start with regular veterinary care, a good diet, exercise, and together time. As your cat or dog ages, maintain their regular activities.

2. Practice preventive care.
Senior cats and dogs should see their veterinarians twice a year. “The most dangerous words in the English language are Let’s just watch it,” says Dr. Robin. “We see our cats and dogs slowing down and attribute that to old age. Maybe their coats aren’t as shiny as they once were. Maybe you found a small lump. Maybe something else seems off. Slowing down may be a slowing metabolism due to an underactive thyroid. Early detection is critical. By scheduling semi-annual veterinary visits, we can catch illness at its initial stage, making the success rate far higher than if we let a disease progress.”

3. Prevent obesity.
“Obesity is the number-one preventable disease of dogs and cats in the U.S.,” says Dr. Robin. “It trumps kidney disease and cancer for preventable diseases, and it is completely preventable and reversible. Leaner pets live longer than obese pets. Obesity causes wear and tear on the body. Twenty percent of all senior cats and dogs have osteoarthritis, and the percentage is much higher among the overweight and obese. Just like with humans, if you are fat, you have a higher increased risk of developing cancer of all types. Diabetes can also be caused by obesity.”

“Your pets should be eating foods that are age-appropriate. Kittens get food that is marked for kittens. It has a higher fat content, which they need for their growing bodies. Then, there is an adult stage, and a senior stage.”

4. Watch for medical breakthroughs.
“It used to be that we had to amputate the limb for certain bone tumors,” says Dr. Robin. “Now, we know—in many cases—how certain bone tumors grow by using stereotactic radio surgery. Dogs and cats are keeping their legs. A really cool development right now is work on the horizon for a vaccine that may be able to be used against bone cancer. Comparative oncologists are looking into this to be used on human cancer. It’s a huge breakthrough.”

5. Make your home comfortable.
As pets age, we can make our home environments comfortable for them. Dr. Robin suggests using pet ramps for dogs getting in and out of cars. “There are also carpet-covered steps that you can place by your bed, so your cats and dogs can have easy access to your bed,” she adds.

Other items Dr. Robin suggests include:

* Food and water bowls that can be raised so your pets don’t have to put any stress on their backs. The bowls should be somewhere between elbow and shoulder height.

* No-skid carpets or foam floor mats—the ones that look like puzzle pieces—are easy to assemble and can be removed from the floor when guests come over.

* For homes with cats, make sure your cats have easy access to a window seat. Place an ottoman or step so he won’t have to jump too high.

* For pets with bad backs or hind legs there are wheelchairs, assistive slings, and harnesses.

* For hard-of-hearing pets, you can ring the doorbell when you enter your home. Since their hearing isn’t as sharp as it used to be, they will hear a doorbell or you can use a loud lifeguard whistle. “Pets like their routines and they want to greet you when you come home,” says Dr. Robin. “By using a whistle or ringing the doorbell, they can. You can also stomp on the floor, if they can’t hear. They can respond to the vibrations.”

* If your pet has poor vision or is blind, please don’t rearrange the furniture. “Keep their food and water dishes in the same place,” says Dr. Robin. “Same goes for the litter pan. We want to set seniors up for success.”

“Our pets need us a lot when they are very young and again they need us a lot when they are very old,” says Dr. Robin. “Now that they are older, it is time for us to step up to give our pets the best life they deserve.”

Editor’s Note: I hope you will subscribe!

Deployed Soldiers Leave Animals in Loving Hands

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

reunion_20140802_jkk  BUZZ MILLER, 73, doesn’t know the meaning of the words “slow down” — his retirement 11 years ago actually meant springing into action, pursuing a dream and, ultimately, coming to the aid of U.S. service members.

As a successful lawyer who enjoyed his work, Miller, of Gladwyne, Pa., retired at the age of 62 to pursue his passion of volunteering at local animal shelters.

While volunteering, however, he came across military personnel giving up their pets because they were being deployed. “These men and women about to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan had tears running down their faces, because they had nowhere else to leave their pets,” Miller said. “These pets would either be euthanized, adopted to another family or spend the rest of their lives at the shelter. This is no way to treat the men and women who serve our country, and no way to treat their pets.”

So, in 2011, Miller created PACT (People + Animals = Companions Together) for Animals a 501(c)(3) located just outside Philadelphia that finds foster homes for the pets of military personnel while they’re deployed.

Beginning with just a few foster families and four foster dogs in 2011, the group had placed 150 companion animals as of December 2013, Miller said. Owners have driven to the Philadelphia area from as far away as Florida and Missouri, and some have even flown in with their pets.

“We serve a lot of soldiers in the area and are expanding to other parts of the country,” said Miller, noting that PACT satellites have formed in Colorado and Arizona.

Miller Makes a Match

For Specialist Petra Torri, a U.S. Army intelligence officer who hailed from Florida, the program helped her find a home for a mini cocker spaniel mix named Coco and a Jack Russell terrier named Bella when she had to leave home for training.

With no other options, and with pet sitters too expensive for the seven or eight months she would be gone, Torri turned to PACT.

She ultimately flew her dogs to eastern Pennsylvania to be fostered by Lorrie and Michael Manacchio, who had seen a segment on their local news about the group and decided to foster.

The Manacchios have two dogs of their own, a golden retriever and a chow mix, and Torri was initially concerned about leaving her small dogs with larger ones. However, “when I made the introduction, her fears were allayed,” said Miller, who checks out every foster home before a placement is made. “I assured her that we don’t accept aggressive dogs. She also liked that Michael was a veteran.”

Miller also ascertained that although the Manacchios work full time, Lorrie’s father, who is retired, walks the dogs and spends time with them during the day.

During the deployment, Torri and the Manacchios kept in touch. Lorrie “would send me photos of Coco and Bella sitting at the dinner table,” said Torri. “They didn’t want to eat. They just sat there to be part of the family.”

Other photos showed the dogs playing with toys and taking turns sitting on Lorrie’s lap while floating on an inner tube in the Manacchios’ pool.

“We now feel like our family has expanded thanks to PACT,” said Lorrie. The Manacchios, in fact, have promised to foster Torri’s dogs if she is deployed again.

“The people that foster are truly caring people,” said Miller. “They share my love of animals, and they want to help those who serve our country.”

New Career Is a Labor of Love

While he was a practicing attorney, Miller worked long hours, but as the founder of PACT, “I put in even more time,” he said. “Transitioning to a full-time job running PACT is truly a labor of love.”

In addition to running PACT and fundraising for the organization, Miller and his wife, Judi Goldstein Miller, 70, (who is active in cat adoptions), also own and operate a local pet store called Buzzy’s Bow Wow Meow in Narberth, Pa., where they also host pet adoption events.

“I like to keep busy,” said Miller, “and it is easy when you know you are making a difference. It gives me such joy to help people who care about their pets. That is what PACT is all about.”

PACT’s new ventures include launching a foster program for individuals who are hospitalized and need foster care for their pets.

Whether military personnel or patient, PACT’s goal is to make sure owners “know that their pets will be in good hands,” he said.

(Editor’s Note: This article, written by me–Michele C. Hollow–originally appeared on NowU. The site recently closed it’s doors.)

Charitable Deductions for Animal Rescue Volunteers


By Julian Block for Pet News and Views

Millions of individuals volunteer to help raise funds or perform other tasks on behalf of charitable organizations. When the annual reckoning with the IRS rolls around, the reward for their willingness to help out can take the form of write-offs for unreimbursed expenses incurred while they do volunteer work.

But what’s in store at tax time for animal rescue volunteers who work on behalf of organizations like the Humane Society of the U.S. and the ASPCA? Are they also entitled to claim charitable deductions for their unreimbursed expenses?

The IRS says such outlays are nondeductible personal expenditures, unless the rescuers establish that they incur the expenses to further the efforts of charitable organizations—for instance, foster care for stray animals.  Continue reading Charitable Deductions for Animal Rescue Volunteers

Wildlife Protection Legislation Hits and Misses for 2014





Our friends at Born Free USA shares its list of successes from 2014, and what still needs to be done in 2015.

1) Federal Bill: Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 2856/S. 1463)

Purpose: To prohibit the interstate commerce in nonhuman primates for the exotic pet trade.

History: In 2003, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act was signed into law to prohibit interstate commerce in lions, tigers, and other big cats as pets. Because primates face similar inhumane treatment and pose similar threats to public health and safety, advocates seek to add them to the list of species prohibited in commercial trade.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA, along with partners, worked to attract more attention to this bill. The list of cosponsors soared to more than 150, and members of Congress spoke out in passionate support of the bill at a press conference highlighting Charla Nash: a woman who was severely injured in an attack by her neighbor’s pet chimpanzee, and who lent her voice to highlight the importance of this measure.

Outcome: While the bill had strong bipartisan support and passed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, it was ultimately overlooked due to other Congressional priorities. Born Free USA will capitalize on the favor it accrued to start strong in the next Congress.

2) Federal Bill: Humane Care for Primates Act (H.R. 3556)

Purpose: To change CDC regulations to allow sanctuaries to import primates into the country for the purpose of providing humane lifetime care.

History: Current CDC regulations allow the importation of primates for “bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes,” which excludes sanctuaries and prevents needy primates overseas from being rescued by U.S. organizations, such as the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary.

Progress in 2014: After securing introduction of the bill in 2013 with Rep. Ellmers (R-NC) as a sponsor, Born Free USA worked to raise awareness and build support for the bill in Congress. With more than 40 cosponsors, this bill was well-received.

Outcome: While it did not pass, the awareness raised ensures that the bill is well-poised to be reintroduced in the House in 2015, and to find a Senate champion.

3) West Virginia Bill (S.B. 428/H.B. 4393)

Purpose: To prohibit private ownership of exotic species, with that list to be defined by the Department of Natural Resources.

History: West Virginia was one of only six states left lacking restriction or oversight for the private possession of exotic animals. This historic bill was initiated by Born Free USA in 2012, though it failed to pass that year.

2014 SUCCESS: This bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.


Born Free USA is addressing this cruel, unregulated industry. Tens of thousands of targeted and non-targeted animals are caught in traps that leave them injured, maimed, or dead. To prevent further harm, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:

1) Federal Bill: Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 3513)

Purpose: To ban trapping in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The bill aims to restore the original intent of the National Wildlife Refuge System to create havens for wildlife that are safe and free from unnatural intrusion. The bill would also protect people and companion animals incidentally caught by brutal traps.

History: Born Free USA played a key role in drafting the bill when it was originally introduced in the 2009/2010 Congress.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA lobbied to gain support for this bill in the House, and engaged our Members in a grassroots effort to emphasize the need for this ban.

Outcome: This bill failed to gain traction in the 2013-2014 Congress. However, Born Free USA will continue its efforts to educate members of Congress about trapping.

2) Illinois Bill (S.B. 3049)

Purpose: To add the gray wolf, American black bear, and cougar to the list of protected species under the Illinois Wildlife Act.

History: Under Illinois law, it is unlawful for any person at any time to take, possess, sell, offer for sale, propagate, or release into the wild any “protected species,” with exemptions for scientific, educational, or zoological institutions. The gray wolf, American black bear, and cougar populations are in need of these protections afforded to the other threatened species protected under the Illinois Wildlife Act.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA lobbied in support of this bill through grassroots outreach and by submitting testimony to the legislature. The legislature recognized the importance of these wildlife protections, passed the bill, and the governor signed it into law.

3) Virginia Bill (S.B. 42)

Purpose: To prohibit the construction of new fox penning enclosures, although current fox pens may continue to operate until 2054.

History: There has been an ongoing battle to ban fox penning, a cruel “sport” in which organizers force dozens of dogs to compete in a fenced-in area to chase—and sometimes rip apart—foxes and coyotes. The wild animals are caught in leghold traps that cause anguish through broken bones or other wounds, and are transported in cages to the pen. With dogs tearing apart the captive animals, there is a constant demand for fresh wildlife for the fox pens.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with a coalition of groups to usher this bill through the legislature, where it ultimately passed and was then signed by the governor. While it is not an outright ban, it is a positive step in a state in which the practice is so entrenched.

Wildlife trade:

Illegal wildlife trade is ranked among the top five global crimes in terms of profitability. The trade in bear gallbladders, sport-hunted wildlife trophies, and other animals—including threatened and endangered species—could drive some populations or species to the brink of extinction. In particular, Born Free USA’s two groundbreaking reports, Ivory’s Curse and Out of Africa, revealed the insidious links between terrorist networks and the ivory trade. To address this crisis, Born Free USA worked on the following bills:

1) Federal Bill: Targeted Use of Sanctions for Killing Elephants in their Range (TUSKER) Act (H.R. 5454)

Purpose: To require certain nations to work with the U.S. on anti-poaching efforts, or face sanctions if they fail to cooperate.

History: As Born Free USA’s Ivory’s Curse report revealed, African nations must play a significant role in cracking down on corruption within governments and poaching within their boundaries. This bill is designed to incentivize African nations to make the poaching crisis a priority.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA assisted sponsor Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) with crafting the language of the bill. It contributed to the ongoing discussion in Congress about how to best tackle the poaching crisis, and demonstrated that the U.S. is serious about finding a solution.

Outcome: This bill did not make any progress in 2014, but Born Free USA will continue to promote it, as well as other Congressional efforts to end the ivory trade, in 2015.

2) Federal Bill: Rare Cats and Canids Act (H.R. 5836)

Purpose: To provide a source of funding for projects to enhance conservation of international felids and canids.

History: This bill was previously introduced in 2007 and 2009, and it passed the House of Representatives both times. Wild cats and dogs desperately need these conservation efforts. Of the 37 wild felid species worldwide, all but three are currently recognized as species in need of protection. Of the 36 wild canid species worldwide, 20 are recognized as being in need of protection.

Progress in 2014: Born Free USA worked with sponsor Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) to update the language, find original cosponsors, and recruit the support of other groups before it was introduced.

Outcome: This bill was introduced too late in the session to make progress, but will be reintroduced in 2015.

3) Massachusetts Bill: Shark Fin Ban (H.B. 4088)

Purpose: To prohibit the possession and sale of shark fins, with exemptions for certain species and purposes.

History: Shark finning is a cruel practice in which people cut the fins off of live sharks and return their bodies to the water, where the sharks inevitably die. Similar laws exist in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Washington, Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with a coalition to usher this bill through the legislature, where it ultimately passed and was signed by the governor. While it is not an outright ban, it is a positive step in a state with a large fishing industry.

4) New York Bill: Restrict the Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn (A. 10143/S. 7890)

Purpose: To prohibit the sale, purchase, trade, barter, and distribution of ivory and rhino horn articles, but with certain exemptions.

History: New York had a much weaker law regulating the sale of ivory, but it was not sufficient to ensure that no illegal ivory was sold in the state. As the elephant and rhino poaching crisis grows, New York was one of the first states to recognize the need to crack down on the trafficking of these products.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked with partners to provide grassroots support of the bill. The legislature recognized the urgency of this matter and passed the bill, allowing the governor to sign it into law.

5) New Jersey Bill: Ban the Sale of Ivory and Rhino Horn (S. 2012/A. 3128)

Purpose: To prohibit the sale, purchase, or barter of ivory or rhino horn.

History: This bill passed the first year it was introduced, establishing New Jersey as the state with the strongest prohibition on ivory and rhino horn.

2014 SUCCESS: Born Free USA worked closely with partners to secure this bill’s passage, including testifying before a committee, engaging with media, and providing grassroots support. The bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

Click here to find out more about these bills, and how to take action.


Healthy Halloween treats for your cats and dogs











by Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

We all enjoy a treat every now and then. Our pets do too. The trick (this Halloween and always) is not to overdo it, and to give your pets healthy options. Avoid Halloween candy, which can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Following are healthy treats that you can make for your pets.

Cookies for Cats
1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 6-ounce can tuna in oil (do not drain)

1 tablespoon oil

1 egg

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding a little water if dough is too stiff. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutter, or use a pizza cutter to cross-cut into small diamond shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until firm. Store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Cookies for Dogs
1½ cups whole wheat flour

1½ cups unbleached flour

2 tablespoons dry milk

1/2 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Use your bread machine to mix the dough, your mixer with a dough hook, or mix by hand. Place all the ingredients in your mixer and set it for the dough cycle. When the dough is done, remove it and roll it into 1/4-inch thick sheets.

Use bone-shaped cookie cutters, or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares or diamonds. Place the dog cookies on a lightly greased pan, and let them rise for an hour. Bake the dog treats for 45 minutes to an hour, at 275 degrees F.

Turn off the oven, and let the cookies continue to dry overnight in the oven. In the morning, they will be hard and crisp. And they will keep well, stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 30 days.

If you pet ingests chocolate or other dangerous substances, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison at 888-426-4435.

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

It's important to keep your pets away from the ghosts and goblins that knock on your door. This is Karma, my black cat.

It’s important to keep your pets away from the ghosts and goblins that knock on your door. This is Karma, my black cat.
















By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Halloween is my son’s favorite holiday. However, it’s not the best holiday for household pets. Following are tips to make sure your pets stay safe on this haunted holiday.

No Sweets for Your 4-Legged Sweetie

Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. Chocolate, especially baker’s and dark chocolate can also be potentially poisonous to animals, especially dogs. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst and urination, heart rhythm abnormalities, and even seizures.

Watch out for those wrappers

Cats love to play with candy wrappers, but ingesting aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and induce vomiting.

Careful with costumes

If you dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his movement, hearing, sight or ability to breathe, bark or drink. Also check the costume for choking hazards. A smart alternative to dressing your pet from head-to-paw? A simple, festive Halloween bandana.

Decorations can be dangerous

Re-think putting candles in Jack-O-Lanterns. Pets can easily knock these over and start a fire, and curious kittens are particularly at risk of getting burned by candle flames. Also take care to prevent your pets from having access to wires and cords from holiday decorations. If chewed, a wire can damage your pet’s mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock.

Out of sight

During trick-or-treating hours it is best to keep pets in a room away from your front door. Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors constantly arriving at the door, and pets may escape the safety of their home. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with tags and/or is micro-chipped.

If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful products and you need emergency advice, please consult your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (a fee applies).

Safe and Tasty Treats for Dogs, Cats, and Horses
If you want to give your cat or dog a healthy and special treat, see the recipes here.