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Dogs Left Inside Cars

(Courtesy of Pets Best.)

(Courtesy of Pets Best.)


By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

I know that Pet News and Views’ readers would never leave their dogs or cats inside a car.  It could be life threatening for your pet.

According to Pets Best Insurance Services, today is National Heat Awareness Day.  If it is 68 degrees outside, the inside temperature of your car can jump to 81 within 10 minutes, and reach up to 115 degrees in an hour.

Please copy and share this infographic, and place it on cars. If you do see a dog or cat in a car even with the windows cracked, please call animal control.

Michele C. Hollow writes a pets/wildlife column for Parade. She is the author of The Everything Guide to Working with Animals (Adams Media).

Teaching Kids about Animals

While most kids are indoors playing video games, 9-year old Enzo Monfre can be found outdoors observing bugs, hedgehogs, and other critters that are native to his Texas backyard. It’s not that Enzo doesn’t like video games; on the contrary, he enjoys them. He just prefers to be among nature.

Enzo and capybara on Enzoology

“Animals are really cool, and some are weird in a cool way,” he explains. A few of his favorites are insects, snakes–such as pythons, constrictors, and anacondas–and hedgehogs. Enzo prefers playing with his pet hedgehog over the game Sonic the Hedgehog. According to his dad, Pete, “Enzo has been, some say, obsessed with science ever since he was three.”

Exotic Pets
He grew up with dogs, fish, and frogs. He describes his pet hedgehog, Spike, as sweet and cuddly. “There’s a difference between cuddly and furry,” says Enzo. “Spike is almost a year old, and if you hold him right and are wearing gloves, you can cuddle with him.”

His other pet is furry. Rosie’s a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula. “It’s one of the most common types of tarantulas,” says Enzo. “It gets its name from its home and from its color.”

Home Schooling Allows Time for Teaching
Enzo, who is home schooled by his parents Heidi and Pete, loves teaching others about animals. He currently has an online TV show called Enzoology that’s both entertaining and educational. He got the idea a few years ago while watching a praying mantis in his backyard. “Our yard opens up to the woods,” he says. “We have a ton of creatures back here. A few night’s ago, I saw a fox. We get visits from possums, raccoons, lizards, and other creatures. I saw one that looked like an alien. It was a praying mantis. I picked it up and started talking about it like I was on TV. My dad grabbed the camcorder, and that was our first show.”

Sharing A Love for Animals
In addition to having his own online show, Enzo gives talks with live animals to children at schools, museums, and community centers. “Most of his knowledge comes from watching shows on National Geographic or Discovery Channel,” says Pete. “He also has an extensive library of reference books, and Heidi and I have been reading to him since an early age. We also use the Internet to fill in any gaps in knowledge and to check facts. Recently the University of Texas and NASA has started working with Enzoology to provide even more science and research.”

“He’s not a genius,” says Pete. “It’s just that he has an enormous appetite for this kind of knowledge. He’s a bright kid who works really hard. He definitely surprised John Abbott, PhD and the curator of Entomology at the University of Texas, with his knowledge. There was an event with all these entomology people, and John was there. He was quite impressed with Enzo.”

So now the University of Texas’ entomology department (along with Herpeton Exotic Pets, The Dallas Zoo, and Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge) loans Enzo insects and other animals for his show. The other animals are caught (and later released) in Enzo’s backyard. “We also have friends who happen to own large snakes and other folks who simply love Enzoology and offer to have us feature their critters,” says Pete.

Enzo’s goal is to spread the word about animals and nature, and has plans to be an astronaut/entomologist when he grows up. In the meantime, Enzo hopes to get more kids interested in science and animals by continuing to tour and talk about animals and by recording more episodes of Enzoology.

Enzo with Rosie, his pet tarantula

Check on Pets in Foreclosed Homes

If you have a neighbor with pets who is moving or traveling, keep your eyes and ears open. While I find this hard to believe, some families intentionally abandon their animals, and when it comes to foreclosed homes, banks don’t always inspect all of the properties. “Often people will leave a pet behind without food or water,” says Anna Nirva, founder of Sunbear Squad. “On too many occasions, some families think that arrangements were made for care, but miscommunication can cause days or even weeks of starvation and dehydration.”

“There is a group of volunteer realtors in Arizona who check foreclosed-upon homes to look for abandoned animals,” says Nirva. “I wish there were more of these groups.”

If you live in a neighborhood with many foreclosed properties, check on those homes. Call out near windows and doors. Do you hear cats or dogs call back? If you do hear an animal inside, call your local no-kill shelter. By doing this you may save a life.

Sunbear Squad’s name comes from the dog who was abandoned in a home. The Sunbear Squad website inspires those who want to help animals in need.

For the Birds and Butterflies

Migration takes place in Cape May now through mid November

By Michele C. Hollow of  Pet News and Views

Crested Terns in Jarvis Sound, Cape May. (Photo by Steven M. Hollow.)

We are hot-wired to tune out excessive sights and sounds. If we did see and hear everything around us, our brains would go on overload. So, when I went birding at Cape May, NJ, I was awe-struck by the number of birders who would spot a spec in the sky and call out “Tern,” “Kingfisher,” or “Kestrel.” Each time they got it right.

I don’t have 20/20, but my eyes aren’t that bad. Even with binoculars, I had trouble identifying the types of birds that soared high in the sky. After, a day, with the experts, I started spotting birds in marshes and in trees. I still didn’t know all of their names, but each time one came into view, I would shout out an “Oh, wow!” To read the rest of the article, which I wrote for the NY Daily News, click here.


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.