It’s a fact, Americans love to pamper their pets! We shower our pets with toys and treats on Christmas and their birthdays (or “gotcha” days), but did you know that Valentine’s Day is a big pet spending holiday too?
A recent article in Pets+ Magazine reports that a National Retail Federation survey found that US consumers will spend a total of $19.6 billion on all Valentine’s Day gifts, and over $750 million of that amount will be spent on our pets.
The average consumer plans on spending $5.50 on a Valentine’s present for their pet, out of a total average Valentine’s Day-related expenditure of $143.56.
Our pets are always our Valentines, so it’s not surprising that we celebrate our love for them with a little V-Day present!
Many pet cats fled their homes during the devastating wildfires that swept through Sonoma County. Quite a few of these cats remain missing.
A woman named Jennifer Petruska has made it her mission to track these cats down every night since the fires. So far, she and her team have found more than 70 cats, but they believe dozens more remain lost.
This volunteer group calls itself Pet Rescue & Reunification. They set up night vision cameras and traps with food in places the lost cats are thought to be hiding. The traps are checked every hour until morning.
Many people who lost their homes and all their possessions in the fires are still heartsick over the loss of their cats. Animal experts say that cats flee danger by instinct and can survive in hiding for weeks. This gives rescuers and owners hope that the cats are still alive.
Search and rescue dogs are on the front lines as first responders race to find survivors of the recent mudslides in Montecito, California.
The Los Angeles Times reports that there are 8 search and rescue dogs working with their handlers in the search for victims, with more arriving now.
The dogs were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which rescues shelter dogs and trains them for this lifesaving work. They are provided to first responders free of charge. The Foundation is continuing operation even though its own facilities were damaged in the Thomas fire.
You can watch a brief video of one of these brave dogs in action on the KTLA News website HERE.
Image: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department.