Animal Lovers Search for “Fire Cats” Lost in California Wildfires

A recent article in The New York Times highlights some amazing work being done by dedicated California animal advocates.

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.

A few found cats have yet to be claimed by anyone and are being housed at the Sonoma County Animal Services Department.

Images:  Jim Wilson/The New York Times.




Amy Sedaris Teams Up with House Rabbit Society for Informational Videos

Rabbits make wonderful pets, and more and more animal lovers are discovering the joys of keeping indoor-only house rabbits as companion animals.

If you’re interested in acquiring a rabbit but have never had one as a pet before, you probably have a lot of questions.

How do you rabbit-proof your home?  What size enclosure does a rabbit need?  What kinds of toys and treats should you buy?  Do you have to trim their teeth and nails?

Writer/actress/comedian Amy Sedaris is a proud rabbit parent.  She has joined forces with Mary E. Cotter of the House Rabbit Society to create a series of informative YouTube videos that will tell you all you need to know about caring for a pet rabbit.

Check out this introductory video, as well as others in the series on topics ranging from rabbit breeds, to grooming tips, to how to introduce your rabbit to other pets.  And be sure to visit the House Rabbit Society website for lots of great information on adopting a rescue rabbit in your area!


Dog Colored with Human Hair Dye Suffers Severe Burns

A recent heartbreaking story on the Newsweek website serves as an important reminder that hair color intended for humans should never be used on our pets.

A Maltese mix named Violet was taken in by the Pinellas County (FL) Animal Services Department.  Poor Violet was dyed purple with human hair dye, suffered severe burns, and was then abandoned on the street by her owner.

Violet was brought to Animal Services with skin burns and her eyes swollen shut.  Her skin began to slough off during cleaning.  Staff didn’t think she would survive the first night.

Treatment for Violet included pain medications, antibiotics, IV fluids, and countless topical treatments and bandage changes for her damaged skin.

Violet needed three months to recover, and happily, she was adopted once she got healthy again.

Pinellas County Animal Services posted this important warning along with Violet’s story on their Facebook page:

“Express yourself, but please do not use hair dye intended for humans to express your pet’s style. Let’s all say that together–Do NOT, under any circumstances, use hair color intended for humans on your pets. Chemicals in hair dye are TOXIC, causing a wide array of external injury to your pet–possible burns, blindness, and because an animal’s first instinct is to lick, it can cause poisoning or internal burns. Just don’t.”


Search Dogs Play Important Role in California Mudslide Rescue Operations

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.

Heartwarming Video: Special Needs Cat Adoption

Grab a tissue before watching this heartwarming video from The Dodo.  A kindhearted couple has made it their mission to adopt special needs cats.

Members of this loving household include a sweet guy with a neurological condition that makes it hard to walk, a cat who lost her eyes to an infection, and another cat who was born with a cleft palate.

Just when they thought their family was complete, they added a fourth cat who’s missing an eye.  These sweet cats really do prove that cats are like potato chips…you just can’t stop at one!