Vote for the most unusual pet insurance claim in the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards

Baxter fell from the 11th story window and lived to meow about it. He's just one of the nominees for the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards that honor the year's most unusual pet insurance claim. (Photo: VPI nominees)

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. is getting ready to award the 2012 Annual Hambone Award, and  you get to pick the winner!Named after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator, the VPI Hambone Award has since been presented for three equally unusual claims. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and piece of a basketball; … [Read more...]

Man ticketed after taking cat for a jog, then tethering it to a rock

Video: Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy explains how to read a cat's body language I've venture a guess that most cat owners don't leash up their kitties and take them out for a walk in the neighborhood. Not that it can't be done. But as a man in Boulder, CO found out this week, if the cat doesn't want to go for a walk, you'd better take him home.According to DailyCamera.com,19-year-old Seth Franco, of Lafayette, CO, went out for a jog in Waneka Lake Park and took his cat with him. When … [Read more...]

Cat and dolphins playing (video)

This video is "an oldie but goodie," as my cat-crazy friend Beth Adams Pitoniak said when someone shared it on her Facebook wall. And I saw it and and decided to share it, too!I was at Theater of the Sea once a very long time ago; I love dolphin shows. But this is even better than any tricks a dolphin can perform. Just goes to show that God's creatures have a lot to teach us about getting along, despite our differences!Watch more cute animal videos! … [Read more...]

State police raid Wyoming County, NY SPCA following charges of animal abuse

Click the image to read the story at the BuffaloNews.com.

Just a week ago we were talking about animal cruelty and puppy mills, and in an ironic twist the New York State Police today raided the Wyoming County SPCA following allegations that "hundred cats were living under inhumane living conditions and funds were being improper handled." Police also raided an adoption center run by the Wyoming County SPCA in the Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence, NY.According to the BuffaloNews.com, Erie County SPCA spokeswoman Gina Browning, who is assisting with the … [Read more...]

American dogs and cats obese; owners don’t see the problem in front of their eyes

The 5th annual Pet Obesity Survey revealed that our pets are getting fatter - and fatter!

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) has released the results of their fifth annual veterinary survey, which found 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats to be classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarian. That equals 88.4 million pets that are too heavy, according to veterinarians.As with humans, some of the common weight-related conditions in dogs and cats include osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney disease, and s … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: our varying attitudes towards animals, from James Serpell

With the hot discussion this week about the wholesale dog breeding facility approved for Gorham, NY (or as it's otherwise known, a puppy mill), I thought this quote might provide someting to ponder on this weekend regarding the different way we view animals we eat and animals we live with, and how that differs around the world. It's from the preface to James Serpell's very thought-provoking book, In the Company of Animals: A Study of Human-Animal Relationships: "Human attitudes to animals often … [Read more...]

Are pet adoption rules too restrictive? And is a pet store your only other option?

Dozer is a  2 year old purebred American Bulldog who has been looking for his forever home for a while. He's currently at Lollypop Farm in Victor, NY. Click his photo to get more information!

Back in December I did a story on how animal activists have been working to get malls across the country to sever ties with pet stores in favor of rescue group"stores", in the hopes of putting a stop to puppy mills and helping more rescue animals find homes.I was surprised when readers started commenting that they ended up getting a dog at a pet store, knowing they were supporting puppy mills, because they'd been denied by rescue groups to adopt dogs. They cited restrictive rescue polices, in … [Read more...]

Most popular – and wacky – pet names for 2011

top pet names 2011

Bella, Bailey, Max or Charlie - chances are if you have a cat, dog or bird, that's what you call your pet. At least that's what Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, found when it went through its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top pet names of 2011.The list shows a trend towards names that double as human names, from Max and Charlie to the "Twilight"-themed Bella. Of the nearly half a million pets … [Read more...]

Friday food for thought quote: stray cats … or not?

"Seriously? Can't a guy just go for a walk in the neighborhood?"

Not to discount the work of cat rescuers who rescue and care for stray cats. But this passage from Linda Lombardi's "Animals Behaving Badly" made me wonder how much of shelter crowding might - again, might - be the result of well-meaning rescuers unwittingly "saving" cats who already have families: "Many a perfectly contented outdoor cat has found himself scooped up from his daily route and confined, then seen his photo plastered on 'found cat' posters, when all he wanted was to be left alone … [Read more...]

New Year’s resolutions for animal lovers: #5 – Learn something new about animals

Dog Tips from Dogtown is a fantastic book that will introduce you to the basics of positive-based dog training. Easy to read, lots of example and pictures, and lots of reasons why a positive approach is the best way to relate to your dog.

To say that I read a lot would be an understatement; I try to average a book a week, and my topics range from pop fiction to indepth nonfiction on a variety of subjects. But one this is for sure: on my reading list every year are books about animals. All kinds of animals.This year, for example, I stumbled upon a book called "Red Tails In Love" at the used bookstore, about the birds in Central Park, specifically the red tailed hawks that made headlines when they nested on a posh building. … [Read more...]


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