Apps Help People Reunite With Lost Pets

Few things are more distressing to pet owners than losing a dog, cat, or other beloved pet.  Unfortunately, pets go missing all the time, and the statistics show that un-microchipped animals that get brought to shelters only have around a 20% chance of being reunited with their families.

The internet has made it much easier to share information about lost and found pets than ever before.  Besides social media, which can be a great lost pet resource, more and more people are also turning to lost pet apps.  Here are a few of the most popular ones to check out:

Fur Alert:  The Fur Alert app is promoted as a kind of Amber Alert for missing pets.  Before your pet ever goes missing, you can download the app and create a profile for your pet.  If your pet does get lost, you can activate a missing pet report that will send an alert to other users in your vicinity.  You can also be a hero and help other people find their lost pets with the app.

Finding Rover:  The Finding Rover app uses facial recognition technology to help find lost pets.  You just take a picture of your dog, mark the eyes and nose, and they will keep your dog’s info on file in case he ever gets lost.  If your dog does go missing, Finding Rover will alert a large network of shelters, vets, fellow members, and other organizations to help you find your pet.

Paw Boost:  Paw Boost also helps users find lost pets via their app.  They have a variety of free tools that enable you to spread the word about your lost pet.  Notifications go out to shelters, vets, other members, and Facebook.  You can even use it to create a quality missing pet flyer to post around your community.

ASPCA Mobile App:  The ASPCA offers a free app that not only helps you find your lost pet by offering a personalized pet recovery kit and a digital flyer tool, they also let you store health record data on your pet and provide advice on how to keep animals safe before, during, and after a natural disaster.

PIP:  Similar to Finding Rover, the PIP app uses facial recognition technology to help people find missing dogs and cats.  The app analyzes photos of lost and found pets to find identifying features and make a match.  They also alert a network of shelters, vets, social media, and other users to help you find your missing pet.

 

Ohio State University’s Indoor Pet Initiative Advocates for Your Pet’s Well-Being

Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has a great program called the Indoor Pet Initiative, which was created to enhance the health and welfare of our companion animals so that our pets can enjoy optimal well-being and thrive in a safe indoor environment.

As a non-profit that assists pet owners with emergency veterinary care, we have seen many sad cases in which cats and dogs allowed to roam outdoors have experienced life-threatening injuries from incidents like being hit by a car or being attacked by another animal.

The Indoor Pet Initiative provides a ton of information for both veterinarians and pet owners to ensure that our dogs and cats live long, healthy, and happy lives. What kind of information? Cat owners can learn about how to enrich the environments of indoor cats, as well as gain a greater understanding of what makes our cats tick. You can learn about how to solve common behavioral problems and identify stressors in your cat’s environment. They also have great information on the importance of microchipping your cat. Cat information is also available in Spanish!

For dog owners, you can check the website for lots of information on how to care for your dog from puppyhood to old age, including environmental enrichment techniques. Whether you have questions about crate training your puppy, introducing your dog to a new baby, or understanding your dog’s cognitive changes as she ages, you’ll find answers here.

Remember, along with spay/neuter, keeping your pet safely indoors is one of the most important things you can do to reduce the number of homeless animals in your community and improve your own pet’s quality of life.

 

Dog Rescued from 30 Foot Well in Malibu

This amazing dog rescue story luckily has a happy ending, but it does serve as a timely reminder that it’s always a good idea to keep your dog on leash when out for a hike.  A dog named Lucy was in the hills outside of Malibu when she feel down a deep well.  It took the Los Angeles County Fire Department several hours to rescue her, but fortunately the rescue operation was a success.  Here’s a local news video from the rescue scene:

 

Cat Saves Owners From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A Maine Coon cat named Gracie is being credited for saving the lives of a couple who were experiencing the deadly effects of carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. Kevin and Annette Shanahan of Reedsburg, Wisconsin went to bed not realizing that the vent of their tankless gas hot water heater had been frozen shut with ice, leading to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide leaking into their home.

Annette got out of bed feeling sick and collapsed in a chair. Gracie began pounding on the bedroom door to wake up Kevin. Kevin woke up thanks to Gracie’s persistent efforts. He was also feeling the effects of the gas but luckily the couple were able to call their son and 911. Emergency responders found lethal levels of carbon monoxide on the 2nd floor of the house.

The couple credit Gracie for saving their lives and think that she sensed what was happening and did her best to alert them. As Annette says, “We were definitely saved by Grace. Saved by Gracie.”

Watch the news video here:

 

Dogs and Chocolate Marijuana Edibles: A Toxic Combination

mj-dog1

A recent report in The New York Times highlights a dangerous and increasingly common health threat to our pets (especially dogs) – eating recreational or medical marijuana…and chocolate desserts that contain marijuana. Most pet owners know that they should keep chocolate, a known toxin, away from their animals. But if that chocolate brownie also happens to contain marijuana, your dog could be doubly at risk.

According to the article, consuming marijuana can cause symptoms like lethargy, unsteady gait, urinary incontinence, excessive salivation, and sensitivity to noise, light, and movements. But the ingestion of marijuana alone is rarely fatal. Your vet will induce vomiting and provide extra hydration during recovery. New York City’s Animal Medical Center reports that it treats several cases of pet marijuana poisoning every week.

mj-dog2

Consuming marijuana alone can be harmful enough, but if your dog consumes a chocolate marijuana edible like brownies, the effects could be life-threatening. The director of the ASPCA’s poison control center reports that any canine deaths from marijuana ingestion pretty much always involve the dog consuming chocolate as well.

The toxic component of chocolate, a compound called theobromine (combined with the chocolate’s caffeine) can cause vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, restlessness, increased heart rate, and excessive urination. In serious cases, dogs can experience tremors, seizures, and heart failure. Older dogs with underlying heart conditions can die. As with marijuana poisoning, your vet will induce vomiting and give extra fluids.

mj-dog3

It’s important to keep all forms of marijuana and chocolate out of your curious dog’s reach. When the two are combined into one edible, be especially careful to make sure your dog cannot access this tempting but potentially deadly food.