Animals/ Pets


Publicity events took place across the UK, including: Newton Abbott, Northwich, Stroud, Birmingham, Falmouth, Sidcup, Bangor (North Wales), Ayr, Berwick, Reading, Glasgow, Spalding, Stevenage, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff, Bromley, Cambridge, Southend, Bournemouth, Aberdeen, Bude, Winchester, Enfield, Exeter, Taunton, Hastings, Sheffield, Bristol, Brighton, Newcastle, Hove, Nottingham, Wellingborough, Uxbridge, Peterborough. These were supported by campaigns across the USA, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Canada and Mexico. Here are some of the inspiring reports from the dedicated activists who have united in protest at P&G’s needless animal abuse:

Robin Carling in Bristol: ‘I’ve spent the day going round Bristol to various shops. I’ve been into as many supermarkets as I could get to, putting leaflets on shelves with P&G products, filling trolleys with P&G products and leaflets then leaving them, and handing leaflets to anyone who went to buy a P&G product. Most people were surprised by the leaflets, and afterwards put down what they were buying and found alternative products, a reaction which I was very happy to see.’ In North Wales, Penelope Neeve displayed posters and leaflets around the Bangor University campus and town.

Lauren Watson in Brighton: ‘I did my best and put the posters up all over Brighton at bus stops, all around the pier…and I put the leaflets in all the local shops and newsagents – everyone (apart from co-op) were really good about taking them.’

Lauren Hollas in Southend: ‘Just to let you know that our Information stall for Boycott Proctor and Gamble day went really well in Southend on Sea. Lots of passing shoppers stopped to find out why we were there and took leaflets and signed the petitions. A photographer from a local newspaper also came down and took a photo and there was an article in the local paper, the Evening Echo.’

Justine of Bedford Animal Action in Stevenage: ‘To mark this year’s Global Day of Action against Procter and Gamble Campaigners from Bedford Animal Action held an information stall in Stevenage town centre. The weather was very cold and showery. Despite this when the weather did hold out we had a good response from the passing public, both young and old alike. We gathered plenty of petition signatures and distributed lots of leaflets and ‘Boycott P & G’ carrier bags. Hopefully this has raised awareness of the fact that the companies behind some of our best known brands still continue to use cruel animal experiments for the development of toiletries and household products – a practice which is completely unnecessary and nothing but barbaric in this day and age.’

Donna and Partner in Peterborough: ‘My Partner & I stood for just over two hours in rainy Peterborough city centre yesterday (Saturday 8th). We gained some interest, although people were not willing to stop due to the weather which is a pity. Nevertheless, we didn’t stop there. We both went into Asda and filled up a trolley each, stuffed to the brim with P&G stuff and did the same in Tesco superstore (serpentine). Let’s hope with everyone’s efforts, there has been some changed or informed minds out of this.’

Sue in Hove: Weather stayed more or less dry for 2 hours and we set up a small table in George St Hove (pedestrianised). I produced some petitions and response from the public to the info was good.’

Holly in Nottingham: ‘It was a positive day with support from members of the public. We spent 2 hours in Nottingham Market Square and 2hours outside the main branch of Boots. The stall got a couple of paragraphs in the Nottingham Evening Post and it also appeared in the news bulletin of BBC Radio Nottingham. We did an interview, which they took a few soundbites from, but they also got a quote from P&G which is great because they will be aware they are getting bad PR.’

Judith in Glasgow for Clydeside Animal Action: ‘P&G boycott day went really well, gave out loads of leaflets and asked people to return the postcards to P&G to let them know they are boycotting their products. Spoke to a young girl who worked in a pet shop, the manager there stocks Iams. Anyway the girl was horrified and is going to report back to her boss – hopefully she will be compassionate enough to change her stock! So hopefully a positive outcome!’

Jan Yarker and Passive Pressure in Bromley: ‘Really pleased with the response despite the rain.’

Sharon in Exeter: ‘We had a successful day despite the cold, wet weather. We had a rabbit handing out leaflets to passers-by, and 2 shopping baskets on our table: one with a cross containing P&G goods and one with a tick containing cruelty-free alternatives. We got rid of all the leaflets and the response from the public was overwhelmingly positive – as always, people were surprised and shocked to hear the truth about all those familiar everyday brands. People were understandably keen to know where they can buy alternative products, so the little mini booklets with the product lists were much in demand. We also got lots of signatures on the P&G and Herbal Essences petition sheets.’

Lynn from the Aberdeen Group Told us: ‘Our stall for the Global Boycott P&G Day was a great success. I spent an hour and a half leafleting and we had a good team of leafletters that day as well as the stall which generated a lot of interest. We got through almost all of the leaflets which I ordered from you so I’m hoping that we made a difference and heightened people’s awareness of animal testing in general as well as persuading them to boycott P&G.’In Falmouth, Uncaged organisers Dan and Ang joined with Cornwall SAFE for a marathon all-day Boycott P&G Campaign in cold and blustery conditions. It was an amazingly effective event, reaching thousands of people and creating keen interest in the town, with local business contacting us afterwards to help promote the boycott. Lorraine Parker and June Holder took to the streets of Cardiff on Global Boycott P&G Day 2010. They were very active, giving out leaflets and informing the general public about the cruelty caused to animals for the sake of the ‘Herbal Essences’ hair care brand. They report: ‘Passers-by, particularly young people, were horrified to discover the cruel animal tests behind a brand like Herbal Essences. One student told Lorraine that she thought their products were all plant-based because their packaging advertised the word ‘Herbal’.

She was equally distressed by the fact that they used rodents to carry out the testing on. Having mice and hamsters as pets herself, and knowing how cute they are, she promised to contact Herbal Essences immediately.’ Karen Hoyland and two friends held a stall on Newcastle high street with posters, leaflets and petitions: ‘The pocket guide of Procter and Gamble products was the most popular item and we managed to hand out a lot of your leaflets to each person who approached the stall, some of whom were really keen to learn more.’

Biteback in Antwerp, Belgium. Marianne Reports: ‘The whole-day during demo went very well. Activists from Bite Back Belgium placed themselves in a mock-up restraining device and traded places with the P&G lab bunnies, with red paint under their eyes and with their head stuck through. Hundreds of leaflets were handed over to the shoppers who were very interested in our demo. And this is the busiest shopping street of Belgium, the Meir in the centre of Antwerp.

Laura from National Animal Rights Association, Dublin: ‘We were on Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2, for 3 hours and distributed a ton of leaflets. The new little booklets in particular went in no time at all! Many people stopped to sign the petition and pledged not to buy P&G products. Surprisingly, quite a number of those who stopped at our table didn’t think animal testing still went on! So it was a great opportunity to discuss the issue and gain more P&G boycott participants.’

Estefania in Puebla, Mexico: ‘I went with 2 friends to the downtown area in Puebla – there are always tourists and a loooot of people! We distributed leaflets and collected signatures (in this moment I have 64 signatures against P&G!). We also put leaflets in buses, around the city and in P&G products in supermarkets. Of course we filled trolleys too!!! When people saw the leaflets, they were like ‘omg! I buy this, I’m not going to anymore!!!’ And the best thing is that some people wanted leaflets and sheets in order to distribute leaflets and collect signatures in their works, schools, houses.

Tony Carr, In Defense of Animals, USA: ‘I just wanted to let you know that we spread the word about P&G Day and that we got a lot of responses about it, including an article on the Obama administration’s blog collection. We’ve received such a large influx (or outcry) regarding this issue!

We are a peaceful animal protection pressure group based in Sheffield, England. Our main campaigns are against animal experiments (vivisection); against xenotransplantation (animal to human transplants); for animal rights and for democratic action on world animal issues through the electoral system.

The UK Government annual statistics reveal that over 2.7 million animals suffer and die in British laboratories in experiments that “may cause pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm” (experiments that are considered unlikely to cause pain do not need to be licensed and are therefore not included in the annual statistics). An estimated additional 8 million animals are bred and then destroyed as surplus to requirements. As well as mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs (the bulk of experiments involve rodents), other animals such as rabbits, dogs, cats, monkeys, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and even insects are used – in fact there’s hardly a species that are not experimented on.Many different kinds of experiments take place – painful and lethal diseases are inflicted on animals; animals are isolated, starved, burned, blinded, poisoned, irradiated and they are still used to test a wide range of substances from food additives to cleaning products. All of the animals used in experiments are killed. After years of gradual decline recent statistics (from 2002 onwards) have shown a steady increase in the number of animal experiments taking place and the advent of genetic engineering threatens to continue this upward trend. 

Citizens stand with animal protection Society of durham our opposition to animal experiments is both ethical and scientific. Ethically speaking, to deliberately torture and take the life of another sentient creature, be they human or nonhuman, is an abuse of power. As a society we already recognise this and legal action can be taken against people who mistreat companion animals. Yet we don’t extend this level of protection agency or services to animals in laboratories. Scientifically speaking, experimentation on animals is a fundamentally flawed approach to learning about human biology and disease. Differences between the infinitely complex biological systems of different species of animals mean that data gained from experiments on nonhumans are an unreliable and dangerous guide to the human condition.Experiments on animals persist because of entrenched prejudices, both ethical and scientific. 

Since our formation in 1993, Uncaged has established an international reputation as a respected contributor to the debate on animal experimentation, and as a forthright and principled defender of animals. In addition to our work lobbying the UK Government to abolish animal experiments, we campaign in the international arena. We spearhead the Global Boycott of Procter & Gamble, we work with groups around the world who are protesting against xenotransplantation, and our campaign for animal rights has been supported by organisations across the globe as we aim to achieve the ratification of a Universal Declaration of Animal Rights by the United Nations.

As well as writing to the IOC, Uncaged have written to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP to ask them to use their responsibilities for delivering London 2012 to block the P&G deal. P&G’s unethical practices are in fundamental conflict with the values of the United Kingdom and the Olympic movement. By accepting sponsorship from P&G, the London 2012 Olympics would effectively be promoting gratuitous cruelty to animals that is heavily opposed by the majority of the public.

The UK, the host country for the 2012 Games, banned animal testing for cosmetics on the grounds of unnecessary cruelty back in 1998. That ban has now been extended across the European Union. Procter & Gamble evade this ban by testing cosmetics on animals in the USA and other countries with weak animal welfare laws. Testing cosmetics on animals also puts P&G in opposition to the fundamental principles of Olympism, [3]which uphold ‘universal fundamental ethical principles’ and promote ‘a peaceful society’. It is hard to think of anything less ethical or peaceful than P&G’s practice of poisoning animals to death for such trivial purposes, abuse which is now outlawed across Europe.

Any association with P&G will inevitably tarnish the reputation of the Olympics. It will suggest that the noble principles of Olympism are just window dressing, ready to be sacrificed for a quick buck. It would be deeply unethical for the Olympics to support cruel and unnecessary animal testing by promoting P&G. P&G are incompatible with the IOC’s mission to promote fair play, oppose violence and encourage respect for our environment. We understand the need for the Olympics to gain income from sponsorship, but we urge the organisers to be discerning and resist seduction by any dubious outfit who happens to have deep pockets.


  1. Contact the IOC to protest against the idea of P&G sponsoring London 2012. Address: Château de Vidy, Case postale 356, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland. Phone: +41 21 621 61 11. Fax: +41 21 621 62 16.
  2. Email the London 2012 organisers via  to urge them to reject P&G as a sponsor. And/or write to them at Sebastian Coe, Chair, LOCOG, One Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5LN.
  3. If you are in the UK, email Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) at:  And/or write to: Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH. The DCMS leads for the UK Government on delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
  4. If you are in London, please email the Mayor:  And/or write to Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA. The Greater London Authority is a major funder of the Games.
  5. Another opportunity for Londoners to register their concern about P&G sponsorship is by contacting your members of the London Assembly, who you can find at 
  6. Our friends in Norway may be able to contact the Norwegian Chairman of IOC Marketing Commission (responsible for commercial sponsorship), Mr Gerhard HEIBERG.

How certain reactions and anatomy works without the need to endanger human life. During the early 1900s, animal testing was further solidified because of a tragedy that led to the death of hundreds and another tragedy later at the same century that killed not hundreds but thousands. Those events signified that animal testing of products is essential to make sure that we won’t suffer the same tragedy once again. However, as time passes by and technology evolves, more and more people are trying to put animal testing to an end. And we are with them. There are so many reasons why animal testing should stop and one of them is the advancement of technology and recent researches and results. We’ll list some of the reasons why animal testing should stop.

What Is Animal Testing

An animal test is any scientific experiment or test in which a live animal is forced to undergo something that is likely to cause them pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm. Animal experiments are not the same as taking your companion animal to the vet. Animals used in laboratories are deliberately harmed, not for their own good, and bad for animals they are usually killed at the end of the experiment.

Alternative Testing Technologies

There are already a number of testing alternatives with the advancement of technologies. There are many new humane testing activities that are discovered and they are more accurate than ever, thanks to our advancing technologies, we are able to produce powerful and efficient testing alternatives that don’t require animals.

Animal Testing Awareness Is Growing

More and more people are becoming aware of animal testing. With that in mind, did you know that contact lenses, pet food, diapers, Splenda, and some “green” cleaning products are tested on animals? If you didn’t, then now you know. With the advent of the internet, people are becoming more and more aware about animal testing and its cruel effect to them. Therefore, more and more individuals are starting to be against animal testing.

Not All Research Are Accurate

The researchers make animal tests by supporting their reason with improvement of medicine for humans. Then again, it has been encountered that each third of 100 medications that were fruitful in animal tests, have a tendency to fall flat on humans. Accordingly, animal testing does not take us to the hoisted level of advancement; indeed, it murders the innocent animals.

Animal And Human Diseases Aren’t Equal

It doesn’t bode well, when the researchers apply test on animals keeping in mind the end goal to bring new medicine for humans as the infections that are found in animals vary from that found in humans. Consequently, there is no point in testing animals to locate the right treatment for humans. There is no immediate association with this.

Better Alternatives Are Present

There are numerous test methods that are more fruitful than animal testing. There are numerous medicines and cures figured out without the need of animals. Some of them are Anesthesia, Germ hypothesis, X-rays, morphine, and so forth. In this manner, the torment of animals must be kept away with a specific end goal to make more progress rate of research without harming the nature and animals. Animal testing has been around for centuries. Humans have used a variety of animals to test something before they go ahead and try it for themselves. However, there are tests so despicable that it’s not really meant to try something to the animal but rather something to make it cry in pain and agony. With that in mind, let us see a brief history of animal testing.

Ancient Times

In antiquated times, researchers made utilization of creatures primarily to fulfill anatomical interest. Early Greek doctor researchers performed examinations on living creatures. Herophilus and Erasistratus, for instance, inspected sensory nerves, motor nerves, and tendons so as to comprehend their functional differences.

Galen of Pergamum, a Greek doctor who rehearsed in Rome amid the 2nd century, performed animal testing in the ranges of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology; he is the first to depict the complexities of the cardio-pulmonary framework, and he likewise conjectured on brain and spinal cord capacity.An Arab doctor of the 12th Century, Ibn Zuhr (or Avenzoar) tried surgical strategies on creatures before applying them to human patients. Enthusiasm for life systems and scientific methods was stirred when Galen’s records were rediscovered amid the 6th century.

For the United States, utilization of animals in testing and research, especially when it came to pharmaceutical medication testing, turned out to be to a great degree imperative to citizens of the twentieth century. In 1937, a pharmaceutical organization made a preparation of sulfanilamide, a medication used to treat streptococcal diseases, by utilizing diethylene glycol (DEG) as a solvent. Obscure to the scientist, DEG was poisonous to humans, yet they just included raspberry taste and sold the item as Elixir Sulfanilamide.’ The drug led to mass poisoning that caused fatality to hundreds of people. This led to the passing of the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which requires the safety testing of medicines on animals before they can be marketed.

Protests Against Testing

The rise of groups against animal testing prompted a kickback against researchers who conduct these tests. There was less resistance in the prior days of the twentieth century however, as trial utilization of animals expanded; the connection of groups against animal testing started to come to fruition. The Internet cemented the system of those against animal testing in light of the facts that it permitted them to be more effectively gather individuals around the globe who might bolster their conviction that animals ought not to be utilized as a part of trial testing. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are the leading organization that promotes animal rights. They started to affect a lot of minor groups and they also helped spawn a lot of minor groups.

Make A New Years’ Resolution – For Your Pet

The new year (2008) is just over a month old but according to Denise Flaim, author of the Animal House column in Newsday it’s not too late to make a few resolutions for the improvement of our pet’s lives. Flaim, a Newsday staffer since 1994, covers companion animals, but she herself claims to be owned by two Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Involved in breeding, lure-coursing, obedience, agility and therapy-dog work, Denise is also the historian of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States.

I would be among the first to agree with Denise that anything we can do to provide a longer and healthier life for our pet – we should do, and happily. You can’t measure the joy a pet can give you every day but sometimes we get so caught up in our routines that we forget that we are responsible for the life of an animal that depends on us for it’s very survival. Sometimes I just look at my dog and say a prayer for his well being. I almost lost him once to neglect by his former owners and I plan to spend the rest of his life making up for it. I think Denise is right on the money. Here are some “pet resolutions” you should think about:

Is That All the Cookies?Resolve to feed your pet a better diet. Forget about the mass-marketing from commercial pet-food companies that have the bucks to get that pretty bag of questionable ingredients and fattening fillers to eye level in the supermarket. Do like I do and shop for your pet at a local feed store. Not only will you find that your pet is welcome there but you will find their staff to be a heck of a lot more knowledgeable about pet nutrition than that kid in the grocery isle. The nutritious food you buy there may end up costing you a bit more but won’t you feel better knowing that your pet eats as well as you do? Doesn’t it stand to reason that all living creatures benefit from fresh, hydrated, whole foods.

McCaws courtesy of RobertIf you have exotic birds for pets consult with experts like: Robin Deutsch, bird trainer and author of The Healthy Bird Cookbook: A unique lifesaving nutritional guide and recipe collection and general introduction to the nutritional needs of pet birds. It includes notes on how to feed them from weaning onward, offering an assortment of healthy recipes to supplement a bird’s diet along with standard seeds (the equivalent of junk food for birds) and pellets (which may not provide all the vitamins and minerals a bird needs by themselves, especially since the pellet-making process itself can destroy nutrients). Instead, see if you can replace some seeded and pelleted foods with more nutritional fruits and vegetables, your bird(s) will love you for it!

buddiesFor dog and cat owners Denise says you must have the definitive book on nutrition for them, Kymythy Schultze’s, Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats, (Hay House, $8.95). but what she doesn’t say in the article (and may have been prevented by doing so by the Newsday folks) is that she has her own book out there that has garnished some high praise as well. While she may be an expert on companion animals her book translates well to nutrition for our pets. Reviews of her book include comments like, “Brilliantly done! Not since Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats has there been a more concise and comprehensive book on holistic health care for our companion animals.” “Ms. Flaim’s book is very well researched and packed with valuable information from the nation’s leading experts.” The Holistic Dog Book: Canine Care for the 21st Century is a “must have” for your reference library.

Resolve To Rescue A Pet! I found my dog at a shelter, malnourished and sick with “kennel cough”, a term shelters use that can cover a variety of ills. My Vet said it was no small miracle that he survived the anesthesia when they neutered him per their protocol. As it was, I had to spend a small fortune in Vet fees to feed him intravenously until he could keep food down on his own.

It turned out that my new dog had canine flu which I understand on it’s own is rarely fatal but once he was brought to the shelter (he was taken away from his former owners due to neglect) he was subjected to other ailments that together could very well have ended his life. As it was he almost died anyway. Look at that poor pathetic face!

A healthy and happy DukeThankfully my best friend Duke is a happy and healthy dog now. What I had to spend to make it happen was worth every penny. My vet said that not many people would have gone to the effort and expense that I did, especially after having him only one day. Does anyone really know what they would do in a situation like that? There is no way of knowing how long it takes to bond with a certain animal, in my case it was almost instantaneous.

Funny how things turn out sometimes. My sister who lives in a different part of town than I do was out in her neighborhood walking Duke one afternoon (she was dog-sitting while I was at the human doctor) and as she walked by the neighbors house they had a little chocolate lab puppy who was frolicking in their front yard. Turns out they had seen Duke at the shelter and decided he was too sick to adopt! Had he felt better I might never have known about him.

The point here is that you should consider the next addition to your family a rescue or shelter dog. There is a rescue group for just about any variety of dog out there and organizations that will save and care for animals no matter what their pedigree. Fostering a dog is another option if you want to help but be prepared to lose your heart in the process. When you give a dog a safe haven so that they can recover, if even for a few short weeks, the dog’s chances of survival increase dramatically.

Doesnt hurt a bitResolve to get vaccine savvy  -One of the things that was frustrating to me when I first got my dog from the shelter is that there was no history of vaccines or any indication the dog had ever received veterinarian care. Since my vet had no clue as to his history he had to be tested for Parvo Virus, Tick Fever, Valley Fever, Distemper and a whole bunch of other canine diseases. Each test that came back negative was a relief but the meter was definitely running!

Do yourself and your dog a favor, make sure he or she is up to date on their vacicnations. The veterinarian profession has changed it’s attitude toward over-vaccinating and for many of today’s vaccines, every three years is becoming a minimum interval between inoculations.

According to a story circulating on the Internet, that slobbering reject from a Ceasar Millan seminar in the picture is Brutus, a military K-9, stationed at McChord Air Force Base. And believe it or not, he is supposed to have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, during a tour in Iraq. My friend Ken, a retired police officer, sent me this image and the accompanying story but when I saw the picture I did a double-take! Unless I was completely mistaken, I had seen this dog before – in person! 

Claiming that he is part Boxer, part British Bull Mastiff, tipping the scales at 200 lbs, the perpetrator of this urban myth, (who remains anonymous and yes, unfortunately, this story did turn out to be a hoax) insists that this is the tail of a heroic dog and his Air Force master. (Ironically, this dog is an actual K-9 hero after all – just not in the way this story portrays him).

It’s an incredible story of an Airman and the heroic dog who loved him. Brutus, his master and four other soldiers are captured by insurgents- Brutus then escapes, but not before receiving a silent command from his handler, to return with help. He comes back, alone, hoping the element of surprise will give him the edge he needs to complete what can only be described as a suicide mission! Springing into action, ala Rin Tin Tin, Brutus is discovered but manages to dodge heavy, and concentrated Iraqi machine-gun fire, to locate and subsequently rescue his human handler/companion –  leaving the Army guys to fend for themselves!

Tearing out the throats of several Iraqi guards, even while sustaining a painful shoulder wound, Brutus claws his way through solid-oak doors, and with his teeth, is able to untie the ropes that holds his master captive. Throwing the unconscious (he was water-boarded) airman across his back and bleeding profusely himself he starts to make his way back out of the Iraqi torture chamber toward friendly forces. But as images of ticker tape parades and steaks and beer for the rest of his life dance through his pea brain, Brutus changes his mind and decides, after all, to come to the rescue of the Army (just like the Marines).

Somehow he manages to hot wire an Iraqi truck, and while dragging the unconscious Army guys into the back of the truck he thinks; hmm, the fat one might be a tasty substitute for field rations if we are forced into hiding before making it back to friendly lines. 

Military MuttWhile it is fact that our canine companions have often distinguished themselves in time of war, to my knowledge, no dog has ever been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. There have been only two recipients of our Nation’s highest award for Valor in connection with the Iraq war and they were both humans, one a Marine Corporal (posthumously) and one an Army Sergeant. Therefore, it would seem clear that the story of Brutus is no more than a mythical canine hero brought to the web, possibly to perpetuate support for the war in Iraq, author unknown. It’s one of those stories that do no harm and it’s fun to let your imagination soar, thinking that something like that could actually happen.

Halfway through this post I starting digging through some old photos and sure enough I came across one that jogged my memory. It turns out that Brutus, is actually a dog named Spike, a retired, Service Police Dog, who served with distinction while a member of the Scottsdale, Arizona Police Department’s K-9 Unit (2001-2007). Spike is a Belgian Malinois breed, not a Bulldog-Mastiff mix, weighing less than 100 lbs, most of it sinewy muscle. But it was a picture of his handler, Scott Di Iullo, (still with the K-9 Unit in Scottsdale) that I had taken myself at a Scottsdale Police K-9 Demonstration that brought back the real story. Now, I have to ask myself, just what are the odds that I actually knew, in real life, the subject of an urban myth making the rounds on the Internet?  I feel so blessed!

A younger BrutusHere is the real story behind Spike, alias Brutus, backed up by our friends at and based on my personal experience. It’s the (bogus) story of the only canine to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for Valor in the performance of his heroic duty in Iraq. I am a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona and attended the 12-week Scottsdale Police Department’s Citizen Academy in 2005 where, during a guest-officer appearance, I met Spike’s handler/companion Scott. According to him, these dogs are trained by and live at home with their officer/handler and his or her family. After a demanding tour of duty, usually between 5 – 9 years they usually find themselves taking it easy, slouched on a couch, watching TV. I was able to get close to Spike and not knowing the Belgian Malinois breed I asked Scott about his bloodline. That’s why I remembered this particular dog. He was very relaxed at the time, probably in his waning years as a cop and looking forward to a nap. And that, my friends, is not an urban myth!

The K-9 Unit in Scottsdale brings one or two of their K-9 officers to the Citizens Academy class to demonstrate the use of dogs in drug searches, suspect take-downs, crowd control and a hundred other tasks. These are the true heroes, dogs that are not trained to fatally injure a suspect but to bite and hold the subject while their human handlers take them into custody. These are the real heroes who risk their lives every day to “protect and serve.”

Pet Dog Attacked By Shark

ISLAMORADA, FL — You may not have seen this story last week depending on where you live, in my paper (The Arizona Republic) it was buried in the back pages with only a small picture and a caption. I think Cammy Clark did the best job with her story in the Miami Herald, Owner Saves Dog From Shark’s Jaws. But then, those Florida folks know how to appreciate their sharks, don’t they!

A Fine Example Of Man Saving Dog

Jake the dog and GregThis is a story about a man and man’s best friend, his dog. In this case a dog named Jake, a shelter dog adopted by Greg LeNoir, a finish carpenter living in Florida. And it’s another shining example of just how much we value our pets, thinking of them, not just as pets, but as beloved members of the family, and the things us humans are capable of doing when our pets lives are threatened. After all, that’s what they do for us isn’t it? Well, Greg LeNoir loves his 14-pound dog rat terrier so much that, ignoring his own safety, he came to the rescue of his 22 month-old dog who was helplessly clamped in the jaws of man’s worst aquatic enemy, the shark. What other beast on this planet has the ability to strike more terror in human hearts than the shark? Anyone remember JAWS?!  

Man Says No To Shark Attacking Dog

This is what happened in a nutshell: A guy and his dog, out for their daily swim, blue sky, clear, warm water, just another beautiful day in Florida when all of a sudden, pandemonium! From out of the depths of the ocean near the Bayside Marina Pier, a shark attacks! It grabs poor little Jake with it’s gaping jaws and dives for the deep, already salivating over the fine morsel he has snagged from the surface. But wait! Seeing his sweet dog Jake in the jaws of a hungry shark, Greg screams “NOoooo!, not my dog!”, and dives to the rescue. What Greg did then is truly amazing, he did the only thing he could think of that might make the shark release Jake, he began pounding on the shark’s head with his balled-up fists, just as hard as he could, later telling reporters that it was “like pounding on concrete.”

A Man Who Really Loves His Dog

The shark finally let’s go of Jake, and bleeding profusely, he pops to the surface and swims frantically toward shore, Greg follows through a trail of blood that by this time is driving the shark into a thrashing frenzy. He’s mad, his meal has been stolen, he has a migraine headache from all of Greg’s pounding, the intoxicating (to sharks) scent of blood is in the water and tasty prey is within a swish of his tail. Remember when you were a kid and the monster was reaching out for you in the dark, you just knew you were going to be grabbed from behind. Well, Greg had to be feeling the same sort of terror, trying to get himself and Jake out of the water with a hungry shark at his heels, hackles rising with each stroke, thinking that he could be chomped on and dragged under at any moment. Man, that is one brave dog-lover!

A Dog Worth Fighting For

Jake was severely bitten by the shark and suffered near critical injuries but is now recovering nicely thanks to the extraordinary actions of his master Greg LeNoir and the Florida veterinarians that worked on him. I know that Greg did what he did without thinking and I would like to think I would have done the same for my dog. (jeez, anything but a shark!) Think of your dog, and how much you love him (or her), would you have done like Greg LeNoir did for Jake, unhesitatingly lept into shark infested waters to save his dog? 

Our pets – especially dogs and puppies want to be trained!

(Just like kids secretly want discipline – yeah, right!) At least with dogs you know where you stand when you issue a command and are met with a blank stare. If you want to train a dog or puppy, you have to:

Be Patient – I list patience first because it is the key element you must have when working with a  dog or puppy. Training a dog takes patience in spades so if you feel like you’re at the end of your leash before you’ve even started, don’t even bother with trying to train your dog.  Dogs are super-smart pets and will pick up on your emotions. Remember, this is supposed to be fun for both of you!

Be Positive – Think how you perform best at work. Is it because of the boss who is a slave driver who never thanks you for anything? Or is it due to the positive reinforcement you get from a smart boss who appreciates your contributions? It’s the same with a dog or puppy. Your pet wants to please you and when you use positive reinforcement with a dog or puppy they will respond much more quickly and positively! Give em some dog treats and lots of verbal praise if they perform something correctly.

Keep it Short –  Dogs make great pets obviously, and some dogs get no training whatsoever. They just pick up good habits because they want to please, but they do get distracted easily. Fifteen minutes or so is about the right time for learning simple commands, so focus on a single command per session and finish up with your dog or puppy able to do it just once. If your dog or puppy has successfully done the command several times in a row remember to lavish him with praise. After the dog training session, spend some time roughhousing. He will associate time with you as fun time and will look forward to his training sessions.

Be Firm but Friendly —  When you give commands to your dog or puppy such as heel and come, you want to use a happy, friendly voice.  Your pet will respond much quicker to a happy tone of voice. On the other hand, you will want to use a lower, firmer voice for commands such as stay or down. Start those puppies Young…but not too early –  The ideal time to start training begins at six to eight weeks, maybe even earlier depending on the puppy.  But remember, it’s never too late to teach a dog a new trick.

 Don’t Rub His Nose in It –  If you can’t seem to get it through your dog’s head like Sam here, don’t worry, Sam is unique! Though it may be tempting to rub your dog’s nose in his accident or swat him with a rolled up newspaper.  Punishing your dog is not really a desired form of dog training. The only thing this will do in the end is teach your dog a serious problem–to become afraid of you. Do you think your dog should come over as you call if he thinks you are simply going to whack him or stick his nose into the carpet?

No Distractions –  Try to pick a quiet spot free of distractions when training your dog to do tricks or commands.  A secluded back yard or an inside room works best. If there are other pets in the family, put them up so they won’t interfere with training.

And Remember, This is Fun!  – Dog training, of course, ought to be a pleasant time for you and Fido. The time can be used to bond closely with your dog and learn each other’s personalities.  When you do this, you will not only have a well-trained dog or puppy, but a longtime, loyal companion and friend.

Because I lived on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, I often fell asleep to the lull of the ocean waves and the sounds of the sea lions on the rocks below. So, when I entered into the world of Marineland—I encountered captive marine mammals—not just the wild ones with whom I was familiar. Captive wild animals are different from the wild animals who live in their natural environment. I have a few theories about this—but that is for another topic.

Marineland was one of the first marine parks to be established and sported a wide collection of specimens. It was the San Pedro fisherman who actually caught fish, sea turtles, and whales that were to be housed there.

Initially, Marineland of the Pacific was run by scientists (who were not the best at marketing and bringing in money). When I arrived, Hanna Barbera had taken over the facility and was attempting to turn it into an attraction.

The profit challenge remained because access to Marineland was tough as the road on the coast was continually shifting (because it was sliding into the Pacific) but I loved the location which was a blend and contrast between the wild and the captive.

Wild sea lions cavorted below the park and could be enjoyed as visitors strolled from one show or exhibit to the next. Pelicans lived in an exhibit and wild ones visited. At that time, the dolphin pool was a place to play and interact with the amazing animals—not to feed them as the current trend seems to be.

Relationships that rely on dispensing food can limit relationships with animals. Don’t get me wrong, food can be a good tool but an inter-specific bond needs to be forged by interest, mutual respect, and understanding. Good animal people build a solid foundation on those pillars.

During my day to day duties, if I was absorbed in my thoughts and rushing from one location to another, the dolphins’ accurate aim would send a ball sailing my way in attempts to get me to stop and play. As a manager, I was often behind the scenes and the inquisitive orcas and Pacific bottlenose dolphins would follow me or vocalize so that I would take a break during the busy day.

Although I was not yet a trainer, I befriended and pestered many of those marine animal trainers who worked there. I often sat for hours on my off time watching sessions or asking questions related to behavior, training, and showmanship.

This served me well because the dolphin trainers and killer whale trainers knew I was serious and encouraged me to get my degree in animal training and management. So, I began to research those opportunities. At the time there was only one college with such a course but the reputation was great and if you survived the experience you were considered “worth your salt” and actually had your pick of jobs.

Today the world has changed and there are many programs dedicated to the different types of animal jobs out there (which Animal Career Secrets will get into), but back then it was tradition to apprentice under the great animal trainers.

Okay, I hope you got a few things from this story. I won’t keep outlining what I have included in these stories but will highlight a couple of points I feel are important—until you read and ponder the material differently. Relationship development is important—with the animals and with the humans involved with them.

Animal careers are earned through hard work—going beyond the standard work hours and motivated from a deep passion. Animal career seekers do the work themselves. When someone has friend, family, or someone else call or contact instead of doing it themself it is a big red warning flag that works against the seeker.

If you are a lover of all animals like me and a sucker for a pretty face you won’t be surprised that cats are still the number one choice for us humans to own as pets. (do you ever really own a cat?) This according to the recently released “pet census” from the American Veterinary Medical Association. As a matter of fact, since they first started counting our pets in 2001 it turns out that, by late 2007, there are more than 10 million more cats than dogs!

My theory on this little bit of Pet trivia is that, while dogs remain man’s best friend, more women are cat owners than men. There are 9 million more cats and 10 million more dogs since the “pet census” was last taken in 2001 but the more interesting statistic to me is that our total pet population has now reached a record high of 282 million. It’s also fun to note that nearly 60% of all homes in the United States have at least one pet living in their household while 21% have five or more. I can’t personally imagine having five dogs OR cats (one dog is enough of a challenge for me).

Did You Know That Stephen King Has 5 Cats?

That might help explain why Maine has the highest percentage of cats while Wyoming pet owners have the most dogs. Isn’t it interesting that both dogs and cats are owned by people living in places with extremely cold winters?  My guess is that those folks at the Pet Census Bureau didn’t take into consideration a most influential reason as to why colder climes have more pets. (Do those people even own pets?) Why, of course, it’s the “cuddle factor.” Just ask any Wyomington or Maineian – but speaking for myself, if I lived in Wyoming OR Maine I would have as many dogs and cats in my bed that the frame would hold! By the way, speaking of Stephen King, check out the latest from the author of Pet Sematary.

Blue and Yellow MacawComing in at a distant third, in terms of pet popularity, are birds. Again, surprisingly, the number of bird-owning homes has declined while the actual number of pet birds has increased. This would indicate that a significant number of homes had more than one pet bird. Exotics like Parrots, Macaws and other large birds have become very popular due to their long life spans as compared to that of a dog or cat. An African Gray parrot for example can live up to 75 years!

Rabbits # 4With a hold on # 4 in terms of household pet popularity are our cottontail friends, the rabbit. Believe it or not there are 6 million pet rabbits (up 28% from the first pet census in 2001). After the bunnies come turtles – there are 2 million of them (an astounding increase of 86% since 2001. What can we attribute this to increase to? (Mutant Ninja Turtles? – are they still popular with kids?) Who can tell for sure, all we know now is that they have displaced the hamster as the #5 most popular pet –  even though hamsters also increased by a million since 2001.

Pet Health Benefits Offered By Employers On The Increase

News from the AP tells us that while insurance coverage for pets via your employer is still rare the insurance industry predicts that this benefit will increase. At a time when employers are scaling back on almost everything, especially expensive health plans, pet insurance is gaining in popularity as an employee benefit. Isn’t it comforting to know that your dog or cat is covered, even if you aren’t?

The growth of this perk comes about as pets occupy an increasingly prominent place in the American home. (as if that is a big surprise!) It’s estimated by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association that pet owners spent more than 9.8 billion on pet care in 2007. That’s an increase of almost 3 billion over what was spent in 2001. Up to now only about 2% of our pets have any kind of pet insurance but experts predict that number to grow to 10% over the next decade as other options for animal medical care become available.

Veterinary science has grown by leaps and bounds and therapies that were not available as little as two years ago are almost commonplace now. MRI’s, CAT scans and endoscopies are regular treatments and pet owners are now able to screen for illness early on rather than waiting to treat something that pops up unexpectedly.

Unlike human health care insurance plans where the employer pays the cost of the benefit, pet insurance doesn’t cost employers a dime. (why do you think it’s offered?) Employees pick up the cost of the premiums but receive discounts if purchased through an employer. Seems like a no-brainer for the employer but only a few companies like Comcast, Walt Disney, Home Depot and Sprint are offering the benefit. For most companies, pet insurance is simply a way to help employees at no cost to the bottom line.

checking for a pulseI wish I had had the opportunity to get pet insurance before my chocolate lab Duke got sick and almost died. But as a self-employed individual I am not eligible. Still, I don’t regret spending the $3000. it took to save his life. For me there was no alternative and he is worth every penny, isn’t your pet? 

Ten Things To Ask Before Buying Pet Insurance

Make an educated decision about pet insurance. Get answers to the most important questions all pet owners should consider when looking for dog or cat insurance.

1. Does the company have a record of stability and proven success?

2. Does the company employ certified and trained pro’s?

3. Does the company receive veterinary recognition of any kind?

4. Are you offered annual policies with honest renewal terms and no surprises?

5. Will you receive renewable benefits at no additional cost?

6. Do you understand how reimbursements are determined and made?

7. Does the company specify coverage exclusions that you can understand?

8. Does the company provide broad coverage and unlimited benefits?

9. Does the company believe in routine or early warning care for your pet?

10. Are you limited to a veterinary network or required to pre-certify your pet? 

Arizona Physician Sews Pet Beds In Her Spare Time 

I saw this article in the Arizona Republic Newspaper written by Kelsey Perry and as an animal lover myself and the owner of a shelter dog I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to my readers to send in their fabric donations. If you find the thought of providing a shelter animal with warmth and comfort as I do you will want to help this very worthy cause – read on.

Physician sews pet beds for animal sheltersIncredible as it may sound this practicing physician from Mesa, Arizona somehow finds the time to sew pet beds for animal shelters. Thousands of pets may be awaiting adoption but this animal loving doctor is trying to make their stay a bit cozier. Arizona is certainly no different in terms of a swelling pet population putting a strain on shelter staffs but is indeed fortunate to have this animal lover living here. Phyllis Popp, owner of  Labor of Love Pet Beds, has made nearly 900 pet beds for the Arizona Humane Society, Maricopa County Animal Care & Control and Finding Fido of Phoenix.

A Pillow Any Pet Will Love

The fiber-filled fleece beds are machine washable, come in three sizes, a variety of patterns and guaranteed not to mat or clump. Donated beds are provided for the animals in the Arizona Humane Society’s Second Chance Hospital, which is home to animals that have been hit by cars or suffered other injuries. Having slept on old towels or ratty blankets they can now appreciate their Labor of Love Bed. The beds are also given to foster families who temporarily care for animals and are sold at the Arizona Humane Society’s Pet Emporium for $25 each. 

Donate Your Unused Fabrics For Pet Beds 

Dr. Popp cuts coupons and shops for deals at Arizona fabric stores and online in order to afford her hobby. Her day job as a practicing physician puts a severe strain on the amount of time she can devote to her cause but she produces beds on the weekends and after work. She could sure use some cool fabrics if you would like to help her out. Having spent thousands on materials to make these pet beds she is not looking to get rich or even make a profit. She takes the money she makes from the sale of a bed and uses it to create more beds to donate.

After seeing that slogan for Leader of the Pack, Corps I knew that Lori Chandler was going to be my kind of person. Anyone who loves and works with dogs like she does – training them, socializing them and “maintaining leadership through exercise and affection” is the person I want to help me with (my), my dogs problems. Dealing with owners like me who just don’t get it when it comes to training a dog, it’s a wonder that she is not concerned more about the dog’s sanity! But, being human herself she is loyal to her species and shrugs it off by explaining to our pets that someday we will be able to understand what they are trying to tell us. The fact that we had the good sense to call Lori to educate us about our dog is a big step toward a new and wonderful relationship with him. What I found is that it’s us dog owners who have most of the problems, not having a clue as to why our dogs behave the way they do, well, I’ll let Lori tell you all about it – she is Rim Country’s “Dog Whisperer”

My dog Duke toweling off after a swimBut first, just a brief history: My dog Duke is a 4 year-old Chocolate Lab adopted from the Payson shelter here in Payson, Arizona about a year and a half ago. You may have read about our struggle to save his life starting the day after we adopted him. He is the star of the show here at My Baby Pet and he is a wonderful dog! He just needed some help with being too exuberant with guests and coming to grips with a terrible separation anxiety.

Lori’s company, Leader Of The Pack, Corps offers traditional obedience training, behavioral therapy (leadership) training and CGC/TDI certification (Canine Good Citizen/Therapy Dog International), with agility classes, and help for just about any other problem you might encounter with a dog. She has 12 dogs of her own, all rescues, she donates her time at the local animal shelter, using a unique approach – she teaches training techniques in a free class that uses the shelters dogs to demonstrate her methods. This gives the dog a leg up when he or she is adopted and also eliminates the apprehension of bringing the family dog to the shelter.

Lori believes that you must first “achieve and maintain leadership through exercise, discipline, then affection, as prescribed by Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer). She is gentle, patient and after just one session, ole Duke is a whole lot better. I can’t think of a better endorsement for Lori other than we are scheduled for another session next week!

A southpaw is what they used to call a left-handed pitcher in baseball and believe it or not, just like us humans where some of us are born right-handed and others left-handed, a dog can be either left pawed or right pawed. I always thought that was a funny way to describe a left-hander because when I hear “paw” I think of a dog, but baseball is a weird game anyway.

It has been well documented that some dogs will twirl when they get excited, especially the smaller ones like Yorkies or Pomeranian’s. Which direction they twirl in, we suspect, has to do with the “handedness” of a dog. A right pawed dog would twirl in a clockwise direction and a left pawed dog would twirl in a counterclockwise spin. I got this bit of dog lore from Clay Thompson’s column in the Arizona Republic although he does say he is only guessing when he responds to a reader with a question about twirling dogs. I think it’s a reasonable explanation as to why some dogs twirl in a certain direction and others go the opposite way. Of course once you think you have figured it out along comes a dog that spins in both directions, sort of ambigdogerous, which in baseball, means a switch hitter.

This handedness thing can also be true of other animals such as cats and birds. I used to have a pair of birds who would do back flips off of their perch to the bottom of the cage. One faced to the rear and the other faced to the front but side by side. They would both back flip off the perch at the same time in opposite directions. It was fun to watch and sometimes when on for 10 minutes or so. I never did figure out what got them so excited.

Next time your dog twirls, note the direction of the spin and see if that jogs your memory of any other things you have seen your dog do that would indicate their handedness. There are some dead giveaways, such as; how they hold a bone while chewing, which paw do they use to scratch with, when your dog lays down in his or her little doggy bed which side do they lay on? Which paw gets offered to shake hands with? Try to think of any other character traits your dog has exhibited that would indicate a right-pawed dog or a left-pawed one. Of course, the definitive test is; wait till they calm down, hand them a pen and see how they sign their name. That will tell you for sure!

I didn’t know this about high-energy dogs, the fact that they are the ones most dumped because they are just too much work but I guess it makes sense, not that they are abandoned, but why. They just demand too much from owners that don’t, won’t or can’t do what’s necessary with a dog that requires more than just a lap to lay in.

Thousands of shelter dogs are deemed unadoptable and are put down because they are too high-energy for their owners. Fortunately there are programs out there that teach shelters and rescuers how to identify dogs that are candidates for service work and these dogs are proving that even with questionable parentage and unknown history that they are well-suited for a life as a service dog.

It’s hard to believe that  someone could give up a dog for this reason because my high-energy dog keeps me healthy and active. He knows how to nudge my hand away from the computer when it’s time to go chase a frisbee, so I smile, hit the save button, and off we go.  

Reading an article in USA Today I discovered that someone is doing something about this dilemma and at the same time discovering that some of these high-intensity dogs might be candidates for service jobs such as search and rescue. A dog doesn’t have to have impeccable breeding to be talented and hard-working.

Sherry Woodward, an animal-behavior expert at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah has helped hundreds of dogs go from shelters to search and service jobs, spending time with a search-and-rescue handler to learn about the traits that indicate that a dog is a good candidate.

Her current project, Ollie, a border collie mix, was abandoned by his owners with a note saying that he was a wonderful and loving dog but they just couldn’t deal with the fact that he needed lots of exercise and attention. I have a few words I would like to say to these people but Sherry did better than that and got him adopted.

Other groups like Sherry’s that are rescuing “throwaways”, groups such as Freedom Service Dogs, a program that places about 20 service dogs a year, all rescued or donated. The Search Dog Foundation which has trained firefighters for disaster search work, matching them with service dogs.  All of these groups have discovered that shelter dogs have what it takes to make excellent service dogs. The bottom line is that these programs save lives. I applaud them for their efforts and ask our readers to visit their websites and donate what they can so that this work can continue.

Assistance Dog Had Made Two Other 911 Calls Since Last August 

Makes a great story doesn’t it? Everyone likes to hear these dramatic and heartwarming tales of our pets as hero’s and there are plenty of them out there. How many times have you heard of “man’s best friend” saving their owner from certain death by dragging them unconscious from a burning building? So when you see a headline like this you get a picture in your mind of a man laying on the floor twitching and frothing at the mouth while this heroic Rin Tin Tin lookalike frantically paws the phone and dials 911 by tapping on the number pad – just like he had been taught to do! The dog didn’t call 911 – he dialed it! You look over at your Fido and say “would you do that for me?”

Assistance Dog Trainers Real Hero’s 

Which of course is totally unfair. This particular dog had been specially trained since he was 8 weeks old to do this very task – which was to press a pre-programed button on the phone until a 911 operator came on the line when his owner was in distress. A pretty cool thing for a dog to do but not spontaneous like our newsies would like you to believe. (And by the way msnbc, try to get the spelling right before you go to press, our hero’s owner is Joe Stalnaker in the article and Joe Stalnak in the video – which one is right?) And not to take anything away from Buddy, but the real story isn’t quite so dramatic. Our local newspaper tends to error on the side of drama for the sake of getting people to read “below the fold.” That’s what irks me so much about print journalism – but that’s a subject for another day.

Read the story, it’s a good one anyway, and a much better read than what you find occupying the front page these days. More importantly though is that it focused attention on Paws With A Cause, a Michigan based organization that trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities – even though the paper grudgingly gave it only one line at the end of the story. My version of the story would have been to mention Paws With A Cause in the first paragraph, because in my mind, those guys are the real hero’s.

Pin It