Pawsitively Humane

Monday, July 30, 2012

Recall : Vitakitty Chicken Breast

Arthur Dogswell LLC 

Voluntarily Recalls Catswell Brand Vitakitty Chicken Breast
With Flaxseed And Vitamins Because Of Possible Health Risk

Brad Armistead

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 27, 2012 - Arthur Dogswell LLC, Los Angeles, CA 90025, is voluntarily recalling 1051 cartons packed as either 10 or 50 packages per case of Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins because it has the potential to contain propylene glycol. High levels of propylene glycol in the treats could result in serious injury to cats. The adverse health impacts could be reducing red blood cell survival time (anemia) and making the cells more susceptible to oxidative damage.
No illnesses have been reported to date.

The VitaKitty treats were distributed nationwide via retail stores and mail order from April 13th through June 14th, 2012.
This product is packaged in a re-sealable 2 ounce orange plastic bag with a clear window. The VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins lot codes affected are as follows: SEW12CH032701/03c and SEW12CH032702/03c with a best before date of 09/10/13 and 09/11/13, respectively (UPC code 8 84244 00057 2). Lot codes can be found on the bottom right backside of the package.

“We are taking this voluntary action because it is in the best interests of our customers and their feline companions,” says Marco Giannini, CEO and Founder. “We will be working with the FDA in our continued commitment to ensure that we meet FDA guidelines.”

The recall resulted from a routine surveillance sample collected by the Company and the Food and Drug Administration. Arthur Dogswell has ceased distribution of the affected product.

Consumers who have purchased VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins from the affected lot codes are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. If the affected product was purchased online, consumers should contact the internet retailer to understand their specific return and refund process. Consumers with questions may contact Arthur Dogswell at 1-888-559-8833 from 8AM to 5PM PST, Monday through Friday, or leave a message at any time.




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Friday, July 20, 2012

Don't Forget Why You Fell in Love

 You have a pet, a dog or cat or both. We get busy in our daily lives. Please don't forget that pets have needs and feelings too. Be a responsible pet owner-- talk to them, play with them, observe them, pet them, do everything possible to ensure they have a loving home because they love you unconditionally.


1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful to me. Remember that before you buy me or adopt me.
2. Give me some time to understand what you want from me. Train me properly.
3. Place your trust in me. It’s crucial to my well-being.

 4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t isolate me up as punishment. You have your work, entertainment and your friends. I only have you.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will not be able to forget it.

7. Remember before you hit me that I have powerful teeth, but I choose not to use them.
8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be wrong with me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, or I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting older and weaker.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You’ll be old one day.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say : “I can’t watch , it’s too painful.” Everything is easier when you are with me.
And through it all : Remember that I love you.

p.s  We are currently accepting donations to help build simple but sturdy cat houses for the outdoor cats we care for that are not adoptable. Also there are three new cats. The female appears friendly and may be adoptable. We need funds to take her to vet for full checkup.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Politicking Requires Lots of Licking

Pepe Sal: "Will you support the Pets Trust? Pwetty Pwease?"

Whoever said politics requires kissing a lot of babies must be old school because this new politician is kissing and even licking other politicians and officials and it's all PC! 

Introducing Pepe Sal --the new lobbyist and now President for the Pets Trust Miami! Named after Commission Chairman  Joe "Pepe" Martinez, and the sponsor of the straw ballot Sally Heyman, Pepe Sal is a natural.

Pepe Sal had a busy morning prior to the County Commissioners meeting for the final vote. Making his rounds, his first stop was the office of Mayor Gimenez.
Pepe Sal waiting for his meeting with the mayor

Mayor Gimenez and Pepe Sal lock eyes

Mayor: "You're a natural at this Pepe Sal. Of course you have my support"

Then Pepe Sal was off to Government Center for his final presentation before the entire County Commissioners of Miami Dade.

"Woof--testing, testing. Please say yes to stop killing 20,000 of my canine and feline brothers and sisters."

So what happened? Click here to find out the results!


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Pets Trust Update - July 17, 2012

INCREDIBLE NEWS! Yesterday at the government center, County Commissioners voted unanimously 13-0 to add the Pets' Trust initiative to the voters ballot.  A tremendous THANK YOU to Michael Rosenberg who, like a dog with a bone, would not let go and met with commissioners right up to the vote. (Of course he had a secret weapon, a powerful lobbyist--Pepe Sal).

Read the Miami Herald article "Puppy Power Wins at Miami-Dade Commission". 

Many thanks to all of you that took the time to write or call county commissioners with your support for the Pets Trust. The goal is to have voters decide on this important issue!

What's next? Well the hardest work is ahead of us--winning votes from residents. This will take significant planning, meetings, and volunteers leading up to November 6.

Please encourage anyone you know who lives in Miami Dade County  to FOLLOW THIS BLOG to keep you updated on how you can help spread the word and motivate people to get out and vote!Once we know the ballot number, we'll share that too!

Just register your email to the right to receive automatic updates. We do not share your email and we don't bite or scratch. Just ask Pepe Sal. 

Initiative where for 5 cents a day, we can save 20,000 healthy, adoptable dogs and cats from euthanization at county shelter. This will be accomplished through education and prevention programs to help pet owners with specific issues so they are not turning in their pets at high kill shelter. These include programs on dog training, low cost vet care, low cost spay/neuter clinics, and numerous education programs. There are SOLUTIONS!


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Puppy Power Wins at Miami Dade Commission

A nonbinding question on the Nov. 6 ballot could make a life-or-death difference to 20,000 unwanted animals each year


by Elinor Brecher (article from Miami Herald)
Spectators at Miami-Dade County Commission meetings are sternly warned against “clapping, applauding, heckling or verbal outbursts.’’

But Chairman Joe A. Martinez made an exception on Tuesday for animal advocates who could barely contain themselves after commissioners unanimously agreed to place a pet-friendly ‘‘straw vote’’ question on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“You may bark or meow,’’ he said. And some of them did.
[CLICK HERE for the complete Miami Herald article and video]

To help pass this vote, please follow this blog for important updates. Just register your email in the box to the right.  You'll receive automatic emails. Thank you for caring and making a difference!

Read more here:

Read more here:


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Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Help Unwanted Pets

We hear the staggering numbers of thousands, millions of healthy adoptable pets euthanized every year in shelters across the U.S. As a sensible person you know there is only so much you can donate and so many dogs and cats you can adopt before they call you crazy cat lady (apparently the cutoff number is seven cats). What can you do to help this dire situation??? PLENTY!

Social media is powerful. Using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Pinterest can help animal rights organizations, rescues and municipal shelters spread the word about critters available for adoption. A simple retweet, Facebook "share" or email chain could help a scared, lonely animal find a new home.

Stop the overpopulation of animals:

• Spay and neuter all animals as early as possible, says Stephen Zawistowski of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "That is the single most important thing you can do," he said. Animals that are not fixed are more likely than neutered animals to run away. Moreover, it's cheaper to get your dog fixed than it is to deal with the cost of delivering a litter of puppies, followed by the cost of taking care of them and the responsibility of finding homes for them all.

• If you cannot afford the cost of spaying and neutering, the Humane Society of the United States offers suggestions for low-cost alternatives. In Miami Dade county there are a number of options. The Humane Society of Greater Miami or Broward County, the Miami Dade Animal Services, Planned Pethood, and The Cat Network and their Meow Mobile offer low cost spay/neuter.

Suggestions for keeping your pet out of a shelter:

• License and microchip your pet. Every veterinarian office is equipped with a scanner.

• Make sure your pet is always wearing his or her collar and tags, which should include contact information. This will help you get your pet back sooner and could help you avoid costly pound fines.

• Don't leave dogs in the backyard for extended periods. Dogs are social creatures and they will look for ways to escape if it means being closer to people or other dogs.

• If you buy a dog for security, consider keeping it inside rather than outside. A thief could injure the animal or let it loose in a bid to get inside your home. A dog kept in the home is best for keeping bad guys out.

• Make sure your pet has all of its vaccinations. Vaccinations are a relatively cheap investment, experts say, because they can ward off costly problems down the road.

Adopting a pet:

• Adopt from a shelter or rescue, and don't assume that all dogs at the shelter are mutts. I adopted my dog not knowing she was the pure breed I always wanted, a maltese. Twenty-five percent of all shelter pets are purebreds.

• Consider adopting an older pet instead of a puppy. Older dogs are often content to sleep away the day while you're at work, and are past the destructive puppy stage.

• Determined to find a specific breed? There are rescues for nearly every one. Reach out to them, even if they are not in your neighborhood. They might be able to help you find someone in your area who has an animal waiting for a new home.For example in Miami there's the Golden Retriever Rescue.

• If you buy from a breeder, here are some suggestions to make sure you're not buying from unscrupulous puppy mills.

Going beyond pet ownership:

• Can't adopt a pet because you travel too much? How about adopting a shelter or rescue? Shelters need volunteers to walk dogs and play with cats to keep them socialized, happy and ready to charm their prospective new owners. They also desperately need volunteers to help clean out pens and take animals to vet visits.

• Consider being a foster parent. Rescues and shelters always need foster homes for tricky cases like a cat that needs to take medication every few hours, or a dog that just had surgery and needs to wear a cone for a few days so that he doesn't start nibbling at those stitches. Foster parents can offer that detailed care and then return the animals to the shelter or, ideally, their new home.

• Shelters also need supplies. Some shelters want newspapers to line cages. Others want machine-washable blankets and detergent to keep their kennels clean and comfy. Find out whether there's something small you can do to help your local shelter or rescue. Perhaps you can encourage your workplace, neighborhood or church to join you.

• Don't put yourself in danger trying to rescue a resistant dog or cat. But you can help get many animals off the streets by carrying a leash, some blankets, disposable bowls, water and self-opening cans of cat food in your car. I use these tools to get a scared or injured animal off the street. Then I takes it to a shelter so the poor pet is not suffering and dying on the street. If the animal is resistant, you can leave food and water for the animal, and then alert animal control to its whereabouts. Why cat food? Few animals can resist a bowl of wet cat food. And I use the leash to create a lasso to put around the animal's neck if it doesn't have a collar.

• Keep a copy of the local animal control office's number handy. This will help you quickly report an animal you see running loose. And let's repeat: Never put yourself in danger trying to help an animal. When in doubt, leave it to the experts.

Problems with pets:

• Get help. Many people take a pet home and have no idea what to do with it. They also don't know how to correct bad behavior. They might get so fed up that they no longer want the animal. This is the number four reason pet owners drop off pets at kill-shelters.Unwanted behavior is the pet's way of communicating to you.  The cause is either medical or their environment. You need to act responsibly and find out the root of the cause. In most cases, basic training will solve it.

Trainers advise not to strike an animal or yell at it. That contributes to bad behavior. Instead, seek out training methods that employ positive reinforcement, and it will make it much more likely that you'll end up with the perfect furry companion. Who knows, maybe you'll even end up hosting a dog party.

• If you have an unwanted pet, do not abandon it. In Florida and most states, it's against the law. Domesticated animals have little chance of surviving in the "wild" and can even pose a safety hazard to others if they dart out into traffic. Turn the animal over to a public shelter or rescue and give it a chance to find a home.

You can make a difference!


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pets Trust update July 10, 2012

by Christine Michaels

Today I attended the County Commissioner's meeting at the government center in downtown Miami. On a quick side note, it is an enlightening experience to see the inner workings of our local government and the decision making process by each commissioner.

Specifically I was there to show support for the Pets Trust initiative. On behalf of Pawsitively Humane, Inc, animal loving friends and neighbors, this meeting was more than important.  We as residents of Miami Dade county are coming together to push for this initiative to get on the voter's ballot November 6 to gauge if taxpayers will provide a steady revenue stream to reverse homeless pet population. For background information, please CLICK HERE for my initial report.

The initiative needs at least the votes of 7 commissioners out of 13.  Today we received unanimous support from the four commissioners present. But what was an absolute coincidence, was the presence of an unknown, unregistered lobbyist-- a puppy.  This was not planned.  Right outside the building a homeless man was selling the puppy for $50 (which is actually illegal). A volunteer for a local rescue on her way into the center for this meeting, produced the cash and marched right  into the commissioners chambers with the puppy cradled in her arms. Commissioners were shocked. Chairman Pepe Diaz asked "You found this puppy right outside here?" The answer was yes. So the volunteer rushed up to the commissioners' bench and without asking, plopped the pup in Diaz's hands. He's now christened "Pepe Sal" after Pepe Diaz and Commissioner Sally Heyman, the sponsor of the Pets' Trust. It was quite the snuggle scene.

The Miami Herald reported on the "Pup Power Pushes Miami-Dade Pet's Trust Proposal".

So what's next?
There's one more hurdle, one more meeting on July 17 to garner more commissioner votes.
We need as many supporters in the audience to show the commissioners this effort is supported by many, not the few. Please attend. Their meeting begins at 9:30am but keep in mind the commissioners discuss many issues and so we do not know the exact time of the Pets Trust presentation and discussion.

How else can you help?
Stay informed! Register to receive automatic emails. Check the box to your right. We don't spam, we don't share your email, and more importantly, we don't scratch or bite!

See you on July 17!


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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blog Paws 2012 Summary

Norman and Christine
(That's a real dog!)
 I finally made it! This year Deb Barnes and I attended BlogPaws. This is an annual conference for pet bloggers whether you write about a pet as a guardian (owner), an educator, veterinarian or work in a shelter. This year Blog Paws was held in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah.  What a clean and well organized city.

While I've attended many conferences, this was the most enlightening and  fun. To combine learning with fun is the best investment and personal and professional growth experience. Our goal ? To network with expert bloggers, animal rescue reps and nationally recognized vets and authors and attend seminars to advance our nonprofit.

So what makes Blog Paws so worthy? Well first the obvious--all pets were welcome--dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, chimpanzees,etc as long as they're well trained and behaved! To clarify I only saw the first three types of pets and indeed they were pawfectly behaved even in the seminars and dining room. Never did I imagine I would be kissed and licked at an educational seminar!

Belle offers nonstop licks during the seminar
It was hard to pay attention. What was the seminar? I forgot...
(can I pucker or what?)

Next I had the opportunity to meet and schmooze with famous bloggers that I heard about and follow. Let's see there was Cat man Peter Wolf of Vox Felina, Dr. Patty Khuly (she's the vet who saved Homer, the blind cat from being put to sleep; and now he's famous!),  Kate Benjamin from Modern Cat (recently featured on Animal Planet) the famous Tillman skateboarding dog! and  Snoopy, not the cartoon Snoopy but a handsome bearded collie.

Christine, Snoopy, Deb, Flat Cat Katie, Debbie
(this is the famous Snoopy--he's a therapy dog)
 The vendor exhibit was surprisingly enlightening. So many advances in pet food, grooming, training, and decor! I wonder if the Furminator will reduce cats from coughing up hairballs? Is "Natural Balance" really all natural and a balanced diet? Does Walk In Sync train your dog in minutes?  I'm looking forward to trying some products and reviewing them for you.

The highlight of the conference was the presentation by Betsy Saul, co-founder of While our country has made improvements in terms of dogs rescue and welfare, her  presentation on cats validated my research and concerns. Outdoor cats are at the highest risk of shelter impoundment and euthanasia.  We have significant work to do.

Oh did I mention my bro Brett Michaels attended?! No we're not related. Here Deb and I are posing with Flat Brett. Yes Blog Paws has this "flat sensation".

Brett Michaels launched a line of dog accessories
for PetSmart
 The conference ended with an award ceremony for the best blog in many categories.  They ranged from best dog blog, best cat blog, best design blog, best Twitter design, most humorous. Based on the thunderous applause and noise level at the "cat section" seat rows, you would think we outnumbered dog people. Maybe we had the most spirit.

Deb Barnes was nominated for two awards but this year it was not meant to be. I'm confident numerous awards await her that she'll need a separate bedroom just to showcase them all.

But our colleague Debbie at Glogirly won the best Cat Blog. Concatulations Debbie and Katie!
Well time to study my notes and put into practice what I've learned. 
Thank you Blog Paws!

Christine on stage with flat cat and flat dog

Note: All expenses for Deb Barnes and I to attend Blog Paws was paid by us personally.


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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fleas--the signs, diseases and treatments

They're pesky, itchy and intrusive bloodsucking creatures and the disdain of pets and their owners. Fleas!
Our beloved Fluffy and Fido, Coco and Channel, Annie and Bobbie depend on us to pay attention to our environment, routine care, and lifestyle choices to protect them.

According to Dr. Patrick Mahoney, integrative veterinarian who writes for the Daily Vet, flea eggs take merely six weeks to develop into adult fleas. 

Fleas lay eggs in clusters of approximately 20 at a time; one to two weeks are needed for eggs to hatch into larvae. Another one to two weeks are required for larvae to develop into pupae, and a final one to two weeks is needed for the adult flea emerge. So, only four to six weeks must pass for flea eggs to develop into adults.

Considering there are only 52 weeks in a year, this process is relatively quick. A single flea needs only to get onto your pet or into your home to start this process. You may not even know that this is happening unless your pet starts to clue you in on the annoying presence of fleas.
Click here to read the complete article.


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