Humane Education

Don’t get a rabbit just because it’s Easter

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Dear Cathy, I have four pet rabbits of my own and am always looking for ways to spread education about rabbit care, since it’s not as simple as people realize. I don’t know how familiar you are with rabbits, but I have more of a request than a question: Could you talk about why it’s […]

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The message is, “Adopt, Don’t Shop,” for your next pet

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Dear Cathy, I read your recent article about research showing people are not more likely to return pets acquired during the winter holidays. I work for a rescue group, and our concern has always been with potential stress for a newly-adopted animal caused by large family gatherings, travel, visitors, unusual schedules and foods during this […]

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Keep the leashes on- it’s safer and it’s the law

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Dear Cathy, I’ve been fostering abused and neglected dogs for about five months. They pulled on their leashes, which produces tension on their necks and causes stridor (harsh vibrating sound) when they sleep. Leash training takes time. The vest and other walking devices also cause problems. I think collaring/leashing dogs is cruel now and prefer […]

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Shaming owners to change behavior doesn’t work

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Dear Cathy, I cannot believe your answer to John who “inherited” his daughter’s 115-pound Great Dane. Substitute “dumped” for inherited and “cruel” for metal cage daily. Oh yeah, that would require critical thinking on your part – instead of “pat” answers.  Why not educate these people? Don’t buy a dog you plan on leaving in […]

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Cats with the gift for gab sometimes drive owners crazy

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Dear Cathy, My dear friend has a seven-year-old rescue cat that never stops meowing. She tried using a collar for this purpose to no avail. She loves her cat, but the meowing is driving her crazy. Can you offer any advice to stop the constant meowing? – Marilyn, via email Dear Marilyn, Cats use “meow” […]

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Don’t leave dog in kennel all day

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Dear Cathy,  I inherited a 115-pound, seven-year-old Great Dane from my daughter. At my daughter’s house, she was kept in a very large metal cage most of the day because of work and school. No issues were ever reported. At my house, she tears up anything inside her cage, even if we are gone for […]

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Who defines humane treatment for farm animals?

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While this column focuses on companion animals, my background includes time on Capitol Hill, where I worked on companion animal, wildlife and farm animal issues. So I am going to step off the curb and address an article by Mike Barnett, publications editor for Texas Agriculture Talks, a publication of the Texas Farm Animal Bureau, […]

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You can train your fish to do tricks (no joke)

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So your fish does nothing, but swim around the tank all day. Maybe that’s because you didn’t know that fish can actually learn to do tricks, if given the right training.  According to the R2 Fish School, tropical fish can learn tricks based on marine mammal training techniques. Using their kit, fish have been trained to play soccer […]

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A look at how "Animals Make Us Human"

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A person with autism, Dr. Temple Grandin , a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, has become famous in the animal world for her ability to understand the nature of how animals think. She says autism makes her a visual thinker and believes animals see the world in the same way. The proof, they say, is […]

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CPR (and oxygen masks) can save pet's lives

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Scared and frightened, pets often hide when a fire breaks out, making it difficult for rescuers to find them in a burning home. While more than 40,000 pets die annually in house fires, even more are saved thanks to the heroic efforts of firefighters. Firefighters now know to look for pets these days, and in […]

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What does "no-kill" really mean when it comes to pet overpopulation?

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The phrase “no-kill” has been bantered about in many communities as the end goal in the game of tackling pet overpopulation. Few people, however, know what the term really means. Most people think it means the halting of all euthanasia of dogs and cats for good, but it’s meaning is quite different than that, depending on whether […]

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Top 10 pet poisons of 2008

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Curiosity can kill the cat, but it can kill the dog also. In 2008, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL, handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which included everyday household products kept around the house. Based on those calls, here’s the ASPCA’s top 10 pet poisons […]

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10 tips for selecting the right dog – for you – at an animal shelter

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You can see him through the cage door just begging for attention: cute little brown eyes, soft plushy ears, and a wagging tail, designed to pull on your heart strings. It’s so easy to lose your heart at an animal shelter. There are so many adorable animals vying for your attention that you may find yourself wanting to […]

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Getting pets ready for baby

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If you are expecting your first child, you probably feel excited, but also anxious, especially if you have a dog or cat in the home. You may wonder how your pet will adjust to the new baby and whether the two will get along. Well-intentioned friends and family may offer unsolicited advice, even suggesting that […]

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Top 10 reasons people give for giving up their cats

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It’s a myth to think that most cats end up at shelters because they have behavior problems. The truth is, most cats are turned into animal shelters because of changes in people’s lives, which means there are lots of great cats waiting at shelters for a new home. Here’s a top ten list of why cats […]

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10 Steps to Starting a Dog Park

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Looking for a place for your dog to run and play off-leash? If you don’t already have a dog park in your community, your dog may thank you for helping to get one started. Dog parks exist thanks to determined dog lovers working together to bring this dedicated play area to the community. If your […]

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