Blogs > Pets Unleashed

Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Luck lands on the needy dogs of Seattle

Other than a herd of very satisfied dogs, what else will 12.7 tons of dog food get you?

Why, a suitable test for a new baggage conveyor system, of course.

Unbelievably the massive purchase really happened last October, to test the system at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to All 1,600 bags were then stored in a warehouse until last week, when port officials finally put the food to its intended use, voting to donate it to two animal shelters in Seattle and King County.

Because neither shelter could store the loads itself, both are distributing the abundance at food banks. After all, children aren't the only hungry mouths needing fed by those falling upon hard times these days.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tripping over your pet? Join the club

I hate the cry my cats make when I accidentally step on their tails or paws.

Wow, that looks worse in writing then it sounds out loud.

Hey, I blame the victims. Sister (pictured) weaves around my feet at least twice a day -- for wet food at 7:30 a.m. and for a treat after work -- and three-legged Muppet prefers the darkest spots in my apartment.

Hearing that cry, sensing a little tail or paw under my foot, my clumsy attempt to step off and not land back on my panicked pal usually sends me into a table or wall. I have pretty decent balance and treat bruises like battle wounds, proof I've survived.

Not all Americans are so resilient, though, and end up in the emergency room, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 86,629 fall injuries were associated with cats and dogs annually between 2001 and 2006, the study claims -- yielding a 29.7 in 100,000 chance that you or I could get caught up in that statistic.

During a recent podcast, CDC Dr. Judy Stevens said injuries caused by pets and pet toys were most common among young children and adults ages 35 to 54, and twice as common among females than males, but the highest injury rates affected adults ages 75 and up.

"This is very serious because these falls often caused fractures, which have very serious affects for older adults," Stevens said.

I may be more injury-prone in this case, being a woman, but having cats clearly gives me an advantage. Stevens said dogs and their toys caused 88 percent of the studied falls. The most my cats' toys have done to me is give me the momentary fear I was stepping on a mouse.

Use caution while walking or chasing pets, put dogs through obedience training and keep pet toys out of your path, Stevens said.

And if your pets are anything like mine, well, good luck.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cat needs a home

Cleo is looking for a home to call her own.

The female Siamese mix, who is about 9 months old, is available for adoption through the Western Reserve Humane Society, a nonprofit group.

According to shelter officials, the blue-eyed Cleo is bright, active, intelligent, and would love a companion cat to play with.

For more information on Cleo, call 216-531-1512.

-- Robin Palmer

Gone to 'gator heaven

Tomas J. Bober, a reader from Perry, writes via e-mail to say that his neighbor - Bill Scott - was out walking his dog on March 16.

In the backyard Scott happened to find a 6-foot-long alligator. Fortunately the beast was dead, no doubt a victim of the cold weather.

Crazy what one finds now days.

"It was shocking to find it along one of the trails in the woods and we have a pretty good-size yard," Scott said.
It's something that I never would have expected."

It recalls last summer when another alligator or possibly a relative cayman spent several weeks swimming in the West Channel of the Chagrin River in Eastlake.

Attempts were made to capture and rescue that critter but the beast eluded the best efforts.

Without a doubt this animal died once the Chagrin's water became too cold. It certainly could not have survived the river's ice and flooding.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Monday, March 23, 2009

Save the date for PAWS 4 A Cause

In this case, PAWS stands for the non-profit Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio.

The society will hold its 5th Annual PAWS 4 a Cause: Find Your Forever Friend event from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Cleveland Metroparks' South Chagrin Reservation Polo Grounds.

The family-friendly event is yet another attempt to find homes for Northeast Ohio's homeless animals. Dogs and cats from numerous local rescue organizations will be available for adoption.

The day will also feature:
• 1- or 2-mile walks around the park ($25 pre-registration fee/$30 day of)

• A Chinese raffle and Big Ticket raffle, featuring East side and West side dining and entertainment packages, each valued at more than $1,000

• Dog contests

• Food concessions

• Local craft and pet-related vendors

• Canine demonstrations
For complete information and online registration visit

Swing by the site. If you're considering a new companion, the "Adoptables" page will absolutely melt your heart.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rescue Village needs food

Tough times have hit many people in the area, and Rescue Village is seeing an increase in cats and dogs surrendered to the shelter because families are moving or no longer can afford to keep their pets.

The shelter is seeking donations of food.

Purina dry cat and dry kitten food is urgently needed and can be dropped off during regular business hours or 24 hours a day outside the north end drop-off area.

For more information, call 440-338-4819.

Rescue Village is at 15463 Chillicothe Road (Route 306) in Russell Township.

-- Robin Palmer

Directory for local pet services now available

With the pet industry growing by more than 18 percent each year, Northeast Ohio's new phone book-style directory may soon be your answer to barking up the right tree.

Owner and publisher Brenda Bals launched The Ohio Pet Directory -- a free, semi-annual publication -- in January, and plans to expand to Columbus in May.

The product, full-color and glossy, includes contact information and Web sites for all sorts of pet-related services in our region, as well educational editorial information.

Distribution sites for the first 25,000 copies include veterinary offices, pet stores, dog daycare and training facilities, pet shelters and rescue groups, coffee shops and pet-friendly apartment complexes and senior living communities in Lake, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Medina and Lorain, according to the Web site.

Bals also publishes and edits The Cleveland Canine, a three-year-old bi-monthly magazine for "People with a Passion for Pups." For more information on The Ohio Pet Directory, call 440-937-4444.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Names further from Fido, closer to Fred

Looks like pet owners these days are calling their dogs and cats by people names -- or at least those for which they're buying health insurance. (Perhaps those feel more like people anyway?)

Veterinary Pet Insurance, the nation's largest and oldest provider of pet insurance, searched more than 466,000 insured pet records at the end of 2008 to locate the most popular name selections.

As it turned out, Max topped both lists, and Bella and Chloe appear especially species-neutral.

1. Max
2. Bailey
3. Bella
4. Molly
5. Lucy
6. Buddy
7. Maggie
8. Daisy
9. Sophie
10. Chloe
1. Max
2. Chloe
3. Tigger
4. Tiger
5. Lucy
6. Smokey
7. Oliver
8. Bella
9. Shadow
10. Charlie
I knew a black lab named Maxwell as a kid. I still think it's a classy name.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sponsor a cage

For those of you who cannot adopt a pet, here's a way to sort of have one ... sponsor a cage at the Lake Humane Society.

For $15 a month, you can provide shelter, food, bedding and medical care for the animals calling the Mentor facility their temporary home.

Each of the shelter's more than 100 cages are available for sponsorship. Fees can be paid in cash, check or major credit card.

To be come a cage sponsor, call the shelter at 440-951-6122 or visit its Web site at

This year, the shelter, at 7564 Tyler Blvd., Building E, has seen an increase in owner-surrendered animals because of housing foreclosures, officials said.

Contributions also lagged behind previous years, causing the shelter to cut back services and staff.

-- Robin Palmer

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Put this in your pipe and smoke it

I've been told I should blog about the hyper cat stuffed into a homemade 12-by-6-inch bong and allegedly smoked in Omaha, Neb.

I'd rather not. If you're interested, you can find the story and a picture of the bong here.

The only picture I care to post shows 6-month-old Shadow, the victim, who was timid but OK at the Capital Humane Society later that day. Here's hoping this beaut gets a more loving home soon -- and that 20-year-old Acea Schomaker, facing drug and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, also gets the psychological help he so clearly needs.

-- Sandra M. Klepach

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Go fly a buzzard

Yeah, we all know that Cleveland Metroparks has to make it official when the first turkey vultures - a.k.a. "buzzards" - return to Northeast Ohio.

That is always when an "official" spotter makes it, well, official that the savaging birds have returned to Hinkley, Ohio for their annual breeding season.

This year the official Buzzard Day watch and festivities is set for Sunday, March 15, the metroparks says.

However, those soaring birds that look only a little like eagles have already begun to show up. At least in Lake County.

They've been spotted flying around The News-Herald (please no death jokes) as well as above Mentor and other points east and south.

Which should not come as too much of a surprise. The carrion-eating fowl typically don't fly too far south for the winter, and it doesn't take much for them to return north.

And while we're talking about wild wings, my wife, Bev, and I saw an actual snow goose among a large flock of Canada geese at the juncture of Footville-Richmond Road and Rt. 534 in Ashtabula County's Trumbull Township.

I've seen enough (and shot enough) snow geese to know this wasn't a swan or a domesticated goose, either.

That, plus we were less than 50 yards away confirmed that it was snow goose, which is an infrequent visitor to these parts.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Good intentions, bad law

Some times the best of intentions over-ride common sense.

Right now in state legislatures across the country are bills be submitted or drafted that would radically alter the way people keep and raise dogs.

But many of them will harm pure-bred dog breeding and kenneling - including those owned and used by hunters and sled-dog recreationalists.

These bills range from requiring (forced) spaying and neutering of dogs at four-months of age to prohibiting kenneling dogs outside for more than an hour at a time.

Much of this is designed to end puppy mills and eliminate the sorry over-abundance of dogs.

However, they snare the innocent dog owner who wants a pointer, retriever, hound or huskie.

These laws also happen to have the backing of such rabidly anti-hunting groups as the Humane Society of the United States, among others.

While no sportsmen wants to see puppy mills grind out potentially sickly or poorly cared for canines neither do they want to be trapped by poorly (or cleverly) written laws.

Read the fine print of such proposals before jumping on the bandwagon.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn