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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, June 30, 2009

Clean up for charity

GentleGroomer, 34351 Chardon Road, Willoughby Hills, will host a Charity Pet Grooming event on July 12.

Proceeds will benefit the Lake Humane Society, Euclid Animal Shelter and Hammond Cat Rescue.

Pets looking for homes also will be available.

Prices for grooming will be $5 to $25 off (please make an appointment) and baths will be $5 to $35 depending on the size of the pet.

Gift baskets, raffles, grooming supplies, brushes, combs, shampoo samples, bows, bandannas, barrettes, nail trims, pet food samples, pet toys and free nail polish on pets will be available.

For information and to make an appointment, call 440-585-2547.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Playing opossum

Playing opossum is not always a good thing to do.

Read on...

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. (AP) — A baby opossum’s instinct to play dead evidently didn’t help matters after it got wedged inside a soda machine at a upstate New York fitness club.

The animal ran into the Court Jester Athletic Club in Johnson City, N.Y., near Binghamton, and scurried behind a soda machine in the front vestibule Wednesday evening.

The club’s assistant manager called police realizing the critter was stuck inside, hanging upside down in a compartment below the soda dispenser.

A police officer tried to pull the animal from the bottom of the machine, but it was lodged in place and making no apparent move to escape.

About a half hour later, an employee arrived with a key for the machine, the front panel was opened and the animal rescued.

The officer released it in a nearby cemetery.

-- Robin Palmer

Pet names sounding less Fluffy these days

Sure, in a way my pets are like friends.

But when naming them, I chose Muppet (pictured), Sister and Sherbert.

I'm so behind the times.

Read more here.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Some positive pet news, thank you very much

I'm pleased to report a couple bits on the lighter side of today's news stream.

The Associated Press reports a New Hampshire postal worker has adopted a two-pound, 8-week-old kitten found dropped into a public mailbox in Boston.

The fall from the mailbox's small opening onto dozens of envelopes and packages below was several feet, the story said. A USPS letter carrier found "Postina" earlier this month. Now her home will be with George Knapp, a postal employee, and Dani-Jean Stuart, who directed a TV news segment about the kitten.

Animal abandonment in Massachusetts is punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and 5 years in prison, but at least there's a happy ending here.

Also, falling more into the "farm animal" category, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland released a statement today supporting a comprehensive animal care amendment for the November ballot. Did you know this was a possibility?

The amendment would create a 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board that would determine and enforce guidelines for the care and well-being of Ohio's livestock and poultry - an effort to protect food safety and locally produced food for Ohioans, but hopefully resulting in more healthy conditions for the animals, as well.

"This effort will help further the mission of Ohio farmers to provide high-quality, locally grown food," Strickland said. "The Board will ensure that Ohioans continue to have access to a safe and affordable local food supply and will make our state a national leader in the level of animal care and responsibility."

The proposed amendment is supported jointly by Strickland, House Speaker Armond Budish, Senate President Bill Harris, House Minority Leader Bill Batchelder, and Senate Minority Leader Capri Carafo. More power to 'em.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oprah features Puppies Behind Bars

Oprah recently featured a great program on her show, one I think we should consider in these parts, too.

It's called Puppies Behind Bars, and it has inmates in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut training 8-week-old puppies to become service dogs for the disabled, including wounded veterans.

Its Web site is outstanding so I'll save my breath and direct you there instead:

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday Pet Pause

Click here for this week's 6-minute, 25-second installment.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Cat nap

Only a cat would find a place like this to take a nap. Read on...

MINEOLA, N.Y. — A stray cat seeking a warm spot to nap made headlines when Long Island police rescued it from a television news truck’s rooftop satellite dish.

WCBS-TV reporter Jennifer McLogan says drivers were honking their horns and waving as her truck traveled Wednesday along a parkway to a Mineola press conference about an arrest in a string of burglaries.

She waved back.

A motorist finally called to McLogan that a cat was on the truck’s roof.

Nassau County police Detective Sgt. Anthony Repalone says he thought it was “an April Fools’ joke” when the TV crew interrupted his press conference to report a feline in need of assistance.

Officers freed the black-and-white cat by dismantling a panel of the satellite dish.

The media-shy cat fled without comment.

-- Robin Palmer

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Re-arrest of Oregon rabbit hoarder begs question: Can anything be done?

I once lived in a studio apartment - yes, that's one room - with three rabbits, two cats, two degus and a hamster.

I remember thinking our living situation was OK. I don't advocate for it today.

But my, how much worse it could have been.

Forty-seven-year-old rabbit hoarder Miriam Sakewitz was arrested again yesterday when police who broke into her Oregon hotel room and found her holed up with more than a dozen rabbits - eight adults and six babies, one dead.

This was in violation of her probation. Sakewitz had been forbidden to have animals for five years after police found her keeping more than 158 rabbits in awful conditions and nearly 100 dead ones in three freezers in 2006. This site is a good collection of old stories.

Rabbits multiply if they're not spade or neutered, hence "at it like rabbits." Mine were all fixed. But by definition hoarders can't perceive their inability to keep higher-than-usual numbers of pets without proper care for them. They don't get it.

Take the January case of Peter Bordwell, who collected 156 rabbits and three kittens. They'd been living in inches of feces and mess. Two had to be euthanized.

Or this one, of 20 small breed dogs and two puppies found inside a station wagon in Pottsboro, Texas. Their incoherent owner had locked the doors and refused to come out, but the air in the car had many times exceeded the harmful level of ammonia caused by of urine and feces.

Nobody wins with this phenomenon - not the owners, however loving; not the pets; especially not the animals born into such an existence. Educate yourself just in case, one day, you can help a delusional pet owner before it's too late.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friends of felines invited to birthday bash

My colleague and friend here at the paper, Jean Bonchak, wrote an nice article in today's paper that I believe is worth linking here.

It's about Caroline's Kids Cat Sanctuary in Concord Township, which will celebrate its second birthday with a birthday bash from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at its newly renovated facility, 7394 Morley Road.

The article points out that girl cats are requesting birthday gifts of canned food, scoopable litter and gift cards to Pet Supplies Plus and Petsmart, while boy cats are asking for gifts cards to Lowe's and Home Depot for ongoing work on the shelter.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Cleveland APL announces gala, 2010 calendar contest

Did you know the exclusively donation-funded Cleveland Animal Protective League turns no animals away - regardless of age, health or behavior?

It's quite amazing when you consider that thousands of homeless and abused animals arrive at its doorstep each and every year.

If you're interested in helping the cause, here are two things to consider:

• The nonprofit's annual gala fundraiser - the Fur Ball "Cold Noses, Warm Hearts" - is coming up, slated for 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the InterContinental Hotel Cleveland.

All proceeds benefit its Second Chance Fund, which provides veterinary care for animals looking for a chance to heal and start a new, healthy life.

Hosted by Q104's Rebecca Wilde, the event will include dinner, a video presentation of success stories, and silent and live auctions featuring a "Lunch With" series of local celebrities and the opportunity to have your pet appear on the cover the 2011 Cleveland APL calendar.

Tickets for individuals and 10-person corporate and private tables will be available later this summer. For more information call 216-771-8823 or click here.

• For a $25 entry fee, enter the 2010 calendar contest, in which 12 winning pet pictures will get prime real estate as "Pets of the Month."

The fee includes a copy of the full-color calendar and a guarantee that your pet will appear somewhere in its pages. All entries must be postmarked or sent digitally by July 17.

To learn how to enter, click here.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Looking for a home

No one knows how Mary, a 1-year-old calico, ended up in an old carrier tied with string and tossed alongside a road in December.

She was hungry and cold, when she was rescued and taken to Caroline's Kids Pet Rescue sanctuary in Concord Township.

Now, she is ready to find a new home.

Despite her rough start, she is very affectionate and has tested negative for feline leukemia and FIV, according to shelter officials.

She has been spayed and vaccinated.

She would do best in a home with an older person and no dogs, but she does get along with other cats.

For more information on Mary or any of the cats at the shelter, call Judie at 440-440-3496.

-- Robin Palmer

WH vet offers lecture series, support all summer

Animal Hospital Inc. in Willoughby Hills is gearing up to handle some pretty complex pet-ownership issues this summer.

Attendance will cost $25 a person to attend one of the following summer lectures, presented by Elizabeth S.M. Feltes of The Behavior Clinic - Animal Behavior of Northeast Ohio.

Thunderstorm Seminar – How to cope with your pet’s fear of storms
We will discuss ways to minimize your pet’s fear during storms and steps to take to treat storm phobia, making this years storm season less scary!
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 30

Pregnant with pets – A Seminar for Expecting Parents with Pets
Learn how to set your WHOLE family up to succeed when your new baby arrives! Pregnancy is a time filled with unknowns. This class is designed to minimize the uncertainty surrounding how to best integrate the new baby with the beloved family pets. Pet owners will learn steps to help companion animals adjust to the arrival of a newborn into their family. The class flow is a plan on how to ready the whole household for the new bundle of joy!
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13

A free Pet Weight Loss Seminar at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, July 9 and 23, will discuss the benefits of weight loss, simple techniques for achieving a healthy weight for your pet, and medication that may help achieve this goal. It will be presented by the animal hospital's own Jennifer D. Johnston.

A free Pet Loss Support Group also returns from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, July 16, Aug. 20 and Sept. 17. The meetings are facilitated by Patty DeJohn of DeJohn Pet Services, a division of DeJohn Flynn-Mylott Funeral Homes. I personally attended one, and my thoughts can be found here.

To reserve your seat for any of these lectures or group dates - all held at the facility at 2735 SOM Center Road - please call 440-946-2800.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Fundraiser planned for one-eyed kitty in need of surgery, home

Abandoned Animal Welfare is seeking help for a small survivor -- six-week-old Donny, a kitty with long black hair and a special will to live.

The group, which operates strictly on public donations, found him covered in infected puncture wounds in Cleveland about five weeks ago, lying in the sun next to his dead litter-mate.

"He was attacked by another animal, we're guessing," said Michelle, who works with the group. "It could have been a raccoon, it could have been another cat. His wounds had all abscessed and he was a mess. I didn't think he would make it through the night."

Donny did, but once he was finally old enough to open his eyes, his foster folks realized that his right eye was missing. Now a vet says he'll need the remainder of the eye removed and the socket sewn shut in order to go on.

Abandoned Animal Welfare will hold a fund-raiser for that surgery from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the Mayfield Heights Oreck store at 5891 Mayfield Road.

Michelle kind of laughed when asked to describe Donny, who will also attend the fundraiser and enjoy the attention, she said: "He's really feisty. He's got a lot of personality. He's very people-oriented because he's been bottle-fed."

For more on Donny, who's also looking for a forever home, contact Michelle at 216-486-7205 or

Donations can also be mailed to Abandoned Animal Welfare, P.O. Box 1152, Mentor, OH 44060.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Company donations sought

The Lake Humane Society, based in Mentor, is looking for some help from the corporate world.

The agency, which does not receive any United Way or governmental funding, is looking for companies interested in donating items for its following fundraisers:

The Mutt Strut on Aug. 22 at Lake Metroparks' Penitentiary Glen Reservation Kirtland and the Black Cat Ball on Oct. 16 at the Croatian Lodge Party Center in Eastlake.

For the Mutt Strut, donors are needed to sponsor the event and/or to donate gift cards for the purchase of event items.

For the Ball, gift certificates, gift packages and other items would be appreciated.

If you can donate, call the shelter at 440-951-6122. It's Web site is

-- Robin Palmer

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Learn to "dog paddle" at Metroparks kayaking class

Lake Metroparks wants you to learn how to dog paddle so much, it's started a boating class on the topic.

The Dog Paddle will teach dog owners how to paddle, get into a kayak, make "wet exits" and get back into a kayak with a canine companion.

Completion of the Metroparks' Kayak 101 is a prerequisite. Instructor Leigh Garam can take a minimum of four and maximum of 14, and also recommends a life jacket for the dogs in her class.

Classes are from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 24, July 22 and August 12.

Call 440-358-7275 or 800-669-9226 or visit to register.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

PETA founder to appear in Lyndhurst July 7

PETA President and Co-Founder Ingrid Newkirk will make a local appearance in July to discuss and sign her new book, "The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble."

Newkirk will appear at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Legacy Village, 24519 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst, according to the book store.

Her new paperback will retail from $18.95, outlining hundreds of simple ways to stop thoughtless animal cruelty and make positive choices.

Newkirk is one of the most well-known and effective activities in America; PETA, the world's largest animal-rights organization, counts more than 2 million members and supporters.

For more information on Newkirk's appearance call the store at 216-691-7000.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pet rescue group holds adoptions

Animal Rescue Center in Eastlake is now holding adoptions for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies on Fridays and Saturdays.

Pets are available for adoption from 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays at 36370 Vine St.

All pets are up to date on shots, treated for fleas and dewormed. Adult pets are spayed or neutered, and kittens and puppies come with a free spay/neuter certificate. Cats and kittens are negative for feline leukemia virus, and adult dogs are heartworm tested.

Adoption costs $125 for dogs and puppies, $75 for kittens and $30 for adult cats, cash only.

To check out a list of available pets, log on to the nonprofit group's new Web site at For more details call 216-476-0433.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Pet Pause

Click here for this week's 10-minute, 8-second installment.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Birthday bash

The cats at Caroline's Kids Pet Rescue have having a birthday bash and you're invited!

The second annual event will honor all cats living at the Concord Township sanctuary.

It will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. June 20.

The boy cats would love gift cards from Lowe's or Home Depot to help with expenses for all the work done at the shelter.

The girl cats would like gift cards from Pet Supplies Plus and Petsmart or canned food and scoopable litter. One can never have enough.

Refreshments will be served ... for the people attending.

Come visit the cats in their newly decorated themed rooms.

For more information, call Judie at 440-449-3496.

-- Robin Palmer

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Lost Dog" Lucy may have trekked 100 miles to get home

I read the news today ...

Oh boy ...

Yes, reporters feel this way, too.

The latest story really bothering me is this one about 15 or more sadistic cat-killings south of Miami, Florida, since May 13.

The mere mention of it calls for something sweet.

And if you've seen the heart-wrenching signs stapled to phone poles near Willoughby, pleading for the return of a beautiful dog lost June 2, I have your anecdote:

Lucy's come home.

For the whole story click here.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Living With A House Rabbit" class to be held June 20

"Living With A House Rabbit" is the title of an intensive two-hour class given by the Buckeye House Rabbit Society from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Trust me, if you're an even relatively new house rabbit owner - or better yet, just considering taking the leap - this class will be invaluable, covering all subjects necessary to provide an indoor rabbit a long and happy life, including diet, housing, exercise, toys, rabbit-proofing and introducing bunnies to other family pets.

Information on adoptable rabbits will also be available, but I'd advise taking this class first.

Sponsored by the Friends of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library, "Living With A House Rabbi" is free and open to adults and children ages 10 and older. Registration is requested by calling 216-382-4880. The library is located at 4645 Mayfield Road in South Euclid, between Richmond and Green roads.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Mama Cat and four kittens seeking a home in WH

Willoughby Hills Recreation Coordinator Leslie Harmon reports that a stray mother cat and her four kittens wandered into the yard of an elderly resident a few days ago.

The woman called all the local shelters and there's no room. She is taking care of them for a few days, but with two cats of her own, her resources are limited.

Separate homes would be fine, she says, although they should all visit a vet, and Mama Cat will also need a home.

If you're interested, please call Leslie either at 440-975-3540 or her cell at 440-221-5950. If you're not, please spread the word. Thank you.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pet purchases help blind

Linda “Linde” Lindeman-DeCarlo has been a volunteer Puppy-Raiser with Leader Dogs for the Blind, and is currently raising her fifth puppy.

Leader Dogs for the Blind is a nonprofit organization that relies solely on charitable contributions and donations for its operation.

Recently, Leader Dogs had to layoff 10 percent of its staff in order to make ends meet.

Lindeman-DeCarlo's personal contribution as a Puppy Raiser along with financial help from the Willoughby Lions Club, have not been enough to help the school meet its goals of issuing Leader Dogs to the blind at no cost to the individual blind person.

Now, she is attempting to raise funds for Leader Dogs for the Blind by opening an On-Line Pet Store.

Please consider making your pet supply purchases from this Web site as net proceeds will be donated to Leader Dogs for the Blind.

There are a lot of interesting and unique items available for dogs, cats, fish, birds and even ferrets.

Check out

-- Robin Palmer

Premiere PAWS art auction scheduled for June 27

Good things happen when people lend a helping hand to PAWS.

So it's a good thing that two Cleveland Institute of Art students -- Melinda Laszczynski and JenMarie Zeleznak -- are teaming up for Art Helping Animals, an art auction from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 8501 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland.

All proceeds from the evening’s event will support the Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio, a non-profit organization considered to be one of Ohio’s most reputable long-standing cat and dog humane rescue groups.

The event will feature an auction of work donated by students and faculty, as well as other prominent local artists including Derek Hess, Amy Casey, Thomas Frontini, Eric Neff, Randall Tiedeman and Dana Depew; a silent auction; a donation wine/beer bar and food. Students Drew Robertson and Ben Malkevitch will also play live music.

Tickets are available for $20 on the PAWS website. Parking is free.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Fax: 1 in 3,000 cat adopted from Cleveland APL

How about this fax we just received at The News-Herald:

"The Cleveland Animal Protective League has a rare kitten in its custody -- a male calico!

Male calicos are a genetic anomaly. The calico coloring is determined by a specific genetic code on the X chromosome. Females have two X chromosomes (XX) making the coloration possible. For calico coloring to be present in a male, the cat must inherit an extra X chromosome (XXY) rather than having the usual male XY configuration. The odds of a male calico being born are one in 3,000.

Gabe, the Cleveland APL's special little calico, has already found a wonderful home and will be adopted on June 3rd, but he's a GREAT reminder that hundreds of very, very special kittens and cats are waiting at the Cleveland APL and other area shelters. While these other special felines may not be one in 3,000, each and every one of them is one of a kind."

For more information about adopting from the Cleveland APL, call 216-771-4616 or click here.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Working Dog Weekend at Lake Metroparks Farmpark

Now some dogs can fetch a stick.
Other dogs will shake your hand.
I even heard of a dog that can roll over.
All I know how to do is take 100 cows and teach 'em some manners.

I'll always have a soft spot for certain Sesame Street clips. This is one of them.

As a young child I remember feeling such great respect for that dog. He looks so empowered and so confident, doesn't he? So purposeful.

I hadn't seen that clip in at least 10 years, but I immediately thought to Google it when I heard about a certain Lake Metroparks event next weekend.

Some of our local haaard-workin' dogs will get a chance to show off their skills during Working Dog Weekend -- opening at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, and concluding 5 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Road, Kirtland.

The event will showcase how man's best friend works alongside people in jobs including law enforcement, herding, hunting, therapy, and daily living.

Think retrievers, border collies and hounds, but others, too.

Think agility, versatility, therapy and obedience.

And hey, think admission to the rest of the Farmpark, dog-related vendors and pointers from the Lake Humane Society while you're at it. It's all part of the celebration of these talented canines.

Special guests will include Jeff and Misty Wright of the Flying Houndz of Louisville, whose dogs leap high to catch flying discs; the Buckeye DockDogs, to demonstrate dock diving; the Buckeye Retrievers, to demonstrate field and hunting skills; and Bruce and Bethany Karger with the gentle giants of Hampton Hills Newfoundlands, who perform water rescue.

Your own dog can also be tested by the American Temperament Testing Society if you pre-register by Friday, June 5. To register contact Lisa at 440-256-2144 or All other guests are asked not to bring their dogs.

Admission is $6, $5 for ages 60 and over, $4 for ages 2 to 11, and children under 2 are free. Farmpark members receive free admission.

For a schedule of events, click here.

It's a dog's life, and I love it...

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

She's sending out an SOS

In 20 years, things have been bad before.

"Not this bad," said Dorothy Max, the director of the nonprofit Save Our Strays Humane Organization.

Max, a Euclid resident, and her cat-crazy cohorts collect more than 100 homeless kittens and cats a year from the streets of Northeast Ohio, foster them, show them in public, and eventually redistribute them to good homes, she said.

Now funding is dangerously low.

Read more here.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,