Long-Term Health Effects of Wildfires on Cats

Veterinarians at the University of California, Davis have been studying the health of cats affected by the recent California wildfires.  They have found that cats who suffered burns and smoke inhalation developed a high incidence of cardiovascular problems.

Researchers examined 51 cats referred for veterinary treatment after wildfires in 2017 and 2018.  More than half of the cats had serious cardiovascular problems.

Specifically, a high incidence of heart muscle thickening and blood clot formation (or the risk of blood clot formation) was found in many of the cats.  Six of the cats in the study had to be euthanized for cardiac problems.

The researchers report that humans who have experienced burns are also at risk for cardiovascular issues, but they found a higher incidence in the cats, even among those who had only moderate burns.

They note that further research into animals impacted by fire can translate into a greater understanding of how human health is affected.

“We also know that these cats inhaled smoke in a very urban environment, exposing them to toxicants,” said one of the researchers. “These cats could be the canary in the coal mine, letting us know what might happen if more people are exposed to these types of wildfires.”

They recommend that veterinarians screen for cardiovascular issues in cats who have been treated after wildfires.

You can read the full text of the study HERE.

Top image:  Rob Warren/UC Davis

 

California Bans “Easter Bunny” Sales in New Animal Welfare Law

This Easter marks the first year a new California animal welfare law designed to protect rabbits goes into effect.  California is the first state in the US to ban live rabbit sales at pet stores—an effort to cut back on the number of rabbits that are either abandoned, surrendered to shelters, or euthanized after Easter.

This is the same law that also bans the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores.  Pet stores can still house adoptable dogs, cats, and rabbits from local animal shelters.

According to an article from Reuters, animal shelters see a spike in rabbit intakes one to three months after Easter.  The House Rabbit Society notes that thousands of rabbits, many still under one year old, are surrendered to California shelters.

Under the new law, rabbits will still be available for adoption from animal shelters and rescue groups, so California rabbit fans have the opportunity to provide a new forever home for rabbits in need!

 

New California Pet Store Law Helps Shelter Animals

January 1, 2019 was the first day that a new animal welfare law went into effect here in California.  Under this law (called the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act), pet stores cannot sell dogs, cats, or rabbits unless they are from animal shelters or rescue organizations.

This law prevents pet stores from selling animals sourced from commercial breeding operations, known as puppy mills.

According to the Sacramento Bee, pet stores in California must publicly display documentation on each animal’s origins in the area where the animal is housed.

Pet stores in violation of this law will have to pay a fine of $500 for each pet that is sold illegally.

Here’s a video on the new law from NBC News:

 

Voters Approve New Animal Welfare Laws in Florida and California

This week’s midterm elections saw two major animal welfare victories in the states of Florida and California.

Florida’s Amendment 13, a measure to ban commercial Greyhound racing, was approved by 69% of voters in the state.  Thanks to this new legislation, Greyhound racing will be phased out over the next two years.  Good news for dog lovers interested in adopting retired Greyhounds!

In California, Proposition 12 was on the ballot.  Prop 12 was approved by 61% of California voters.  This measure will establish minimum space requirements for farm animals (egg-laying chickens, veal calves, and breeding pigs).  It will also ban the sale of meat and eggs from farms that don’t meet the space requirements.

Do you know the animal protection laws in your state?  You can find out by clicking on the interactive map on the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s website.

 

Wildfires Impact California Shelter Pets

The many large wildfires in California are having a devastating impact on people and their pets.  But what about the homeless animals in the path of the fires?

Many of these shelter animals are being evacuated from fire zones and are being brought to shelters in the San Francisco Bay area, so that pets displaced by fires can get emergency housing.

The Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek California is working to rescue homeless dogs and cats from shelters impacted by fire.  These animals are now available for adoption.

Click below to learn more about what ARF is doing to help these sweet pets!

https://abc7news.com/video/embed/?pid=3858475