Way to go North Carolina! After so many months of bad animal news out of North Carolina we finally have some good news. Susie’s Law was signed into law by NC Governor Beverly Perdue. The law reclassifies animal cruelty from a Class I to a Class H felony, meaning that convicted abusers can be sent to jail for up to 10 months.

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Watch Tip: Watch and Listen

Posted on June 26th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of June 27:

Listen and watch for pets abandoned in empty homes, apartments, and empty buildings. Continual or persistent cries, barks and whines are signs of dogs or cats needing your help. A dog or cat is likely trapped and suffering. You may be the only one who hears.

My annual vigil for Sunbear starts July 1 … will you join me?

Sunbear’s owner called Sunbear into the laundry room, turned out the light and shut the door. Next to the door he put the 20 lb. bag of Sunbear’s dog food for the family who had casually agreed to adopt him.  That family had changed its mind but communication broke down. And so it began as the front door slammed. Sunbear was trapped in that dark little room without water and food until August 11.

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The FDA just announced a new recall on Pro-Pet Adult Vitamins.  Here’s the body of the announcement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –- June 22, 2010 – United Pet Group, Cincinnati, Ohio is voluntarily recalling all unexpired lots of its PRO-PET ADULT DAILY VITAMIN Supplement tablets for Dogs due to possible Salmonella contamination.  The Food and Drug Administration is aware of this recall.

The product was sold nationally at various retailers.  The product comes in 100-count white plastic bottles with a light blue label, and UPC code 26851-01800.  These products are being removed from retail stores and consumers should immediately stop feeding these supplements to their pets.  The affected products are those with expiration dates on or before “06/13”. The expiration date can be found imprinted vertically on the right side of the product label.

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Natural Balance Pet foods has voluntarily recalled their Sweet Potato and Chicken Dry Dog Food due to Salmonella contamination.

Here is more information from the official FDA announcement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 18, 2010 – Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc., of Pacoima, CA, announces a voluntary recall of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Food with the “Best By” date of June 17, 2011, in 5-lb. and 28-lb. bags because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

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CPR for Pets

Posted on June 19th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Animal lovers everywhere: read these instructions, and resolve to take a class if one is offered in your area. Share this link. It is gratefully reproduced with permission from Rescue Critters, the makers of animal dummies used during CPR for Pets classes. Thank you Rescue Critters!

CPR for Pets

If any artists would be so kind as to volunteer to illustrate this text with line drawings, please comment on this post.

If anyone has CPR stories to share, please comment. We are always looking for first-person stories like this for our Sunbear Squad Rescue Stories page, one of our most popular pages on the site.

Watch Tip: Stray Pets

Posted on June 19th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of June 20:

Watch and listen for dogs and cats that don’t belong to someone in your neighborhood. They might be strays—or they might be pets who accompanied their family on a vacation and accidentally got loose. During vacations, there may be occasional times when the pets are not monitored. Because of new surroundings, the pets may get anxious and flee, or they may seek out interesting new smells and sounds.

Way to go, animal protectors! There are over 20 complaints on the Crush-a Critter Amazon page. Many of you have noted that Amazon should dump the product but why not go to the seller? There is only one seller and the company seems to have a high rating.

Amazon lets you contact the seller sort of directly. So I sent the supplier a polite note asking them to drop the product. Here’s what I wrote:

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Watch Tip: Dog Thieves

Posted on June 12th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch Tip for week of June 13

Watch out for dog thieves in your neighborhood. They might steal dogs to sell to research facilities or to use as bait to train fighting dogs. They might steal intact females to breed and sell her puppies. They might steal cute little purebred dogs to sell at flea markets. They will steal in broad daylight from your front yard. They will break into your home to steal your dogs when you work. Spread the word and protect your pets!

Service dog stolen near Viroqua WI on May 25… will she ever be found?

A family is searching frantically for a white female pit bull who was apparently stolen from the yard in late May near a small southwest Wisconsin town. She is a service dog. Sweet, beautiful, wearing ID, and not one to wander, she has been missing for almost three weeks. Is she tied to a post in an old barn somewhere, where she will be bred as soon as she comes into heat? Or is she already dead, killed by another dog in a dog fight training ring? Maybe she is already living in a cage in a research facility, lonely and afraid.

It can happen in a minute or less. Your friendly dog is sniffing around in your front yard and you are busy in the basement. A car stops, and someone leads your dog into the car with a treat, and then speeds off. No one saw it happen. Your dog didn’t bark or bite the stranger; her calm and friendly nature sealed her doom.

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Comment on Crush-a-Critter at Amazon.com

Posted on June 9th, 2010 by admin

Cracker Barrel had the good sense to dump the disgusting Crush-a-Critter game. Now it’s time to let the rest of the world and Amazon.com know how you feel about the game that teaches children hands-on animal abuse. Here is the link to the Amazon.com page:


The more of us who review this waste of plastic, the less likely casual visitors wandering onto it will buy it.

Watch Tip: Neighbors Shooting Animals

Posted on June 5th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of June 6:

Watch out for pets in your neighborhood if you know of a neighbor who will kill any dogs or cats trespassing in his yard, or will shoot at wildlife and mistakenly hit pets. Talk to all neighbors with pets. If you are not completely certain which neighbor is the perpetrator, do not mention names. Instead, talk about locations where dead animals have been found, or where the shot was heard. Finally, urge owners of injured or killed pets to notify the authorities and pursue justice.

Put the neighborhood on alert if pets are being killed

I received a message from an old family friend several weeks ago. My friend’s sister had urgently called him because their beloved chocolate lab girl had been shot by a neighbor. She was rushed to an emergency vet clinic for treatment and ultimately survived. How did this happen? The neighbor had been trying to eradicate coyotes and apparently mistook the brown dog for a coyote in the waning afternoon light. The dog had been freely roaming the neighborhood as was customary in that area. (Yes, roaming is a practice that is very risky and violates local ordinances in many communities.)

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