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.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Pet Pause

Click here for this week's 5-minute, 6-second installment.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Animal Expo in Eastlake

Animal Rescue Center in Eastlake will host an Animal Expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 at the center, 36370 Vine St.

The expo will be held rain or shine.

It will include several rescue dogs, puppies, cats and kittens available for adoption.

There also will be animal-related vendors, homemade and new items. a rummage sale and raffles.

Games for dogs and puppies will be held for $1 a game.

Admission to the expo is free.

For more information or space rental, contact Sharon at

-- Robin Palmer

Monday, July 27, 2009

Donate gently worn shoes for Mexico spays

I know, I know, sometimes it feels like everyone's looking for handouts for needy pets. One cheeky co-worker recently told me he'd check our blog more regularly except we're always trying to find a home for an animal, and coincidentally he's not in the market for one.

Unfortunately the overwhelming need is simply not something we pet bloggers can ignore. I'm sorry if you find yourself scrolling through a series of "ads" before finding a conversation piece or local seminar to attend. But I also maintain that it's the least we can do - all of us - to at least take note of the need.

For instance, I recently received an e-mail from Zero Additional Pup-ulation Project, or ZAPP. "I hope you can cover this!" the spokesman wrote of the group's new Shoes for Spays program (and yes, the exclamation point was his touch). "We need to get as many shoe donations as possible to spay/neuter dogs and cats in Mexico and the surrounding area, where funds are unavailable."

This both perks my ears and seems a worthy cause - not local, per say, but certainly an instance where locals could help.

So here's the low-down: ZAPP was founded based on the fact that 92 percent of existing animals live on the streets of San Felipe. Between 15,000 and 20,000 stray and indigent dogs lived on the streets, under cars, on beaches and in deserts, starving, becoming ill, and having unwanted puppies. An unestimated number of feral cats did the same.

About 1,200 surgeries a month would stay ahead of the "production line," ZAPP calculated. At a cost of $30 each, the group currently performs 100 a month, and has already touched 5,500 animals, by selling donated gently worn or new men's and women's shoes on eBay.

Now ZAPP is turning its sights to Baja, and asks for shoe donations at:
Attn: Shoes for Spays
95 East Highway 98
Calexico, CA 92232
Thanks in advance - on behalf of ZAPP, but also myself for sticking with Pets Unleashed through it all. Rest assured your continued readership is an invaluable resource to those devoting endless energy and hours making the world a more beautiful place for pets.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Celebrity dog trainer to host seminars

If you've ever watched Good Dog U on the Animal Planet, you might already be familiar with Joel Silverman - Bil-Jac's celebrity dog trainer and 2008 Dog Trainer of the Year.

Soon Joel will also share his 30-plus years worth of experience locally, as part of a90-city tour for his new book, "What Color Is Your Dog?", which teaches how to identify a dog's unique personality via color codes.

His nearest scheduled appearances include:

• Aug. 15, Medina Kennel Club, 6162 Wooster Pike, Medina
Book Signing/Workshop, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Aug. 22, Camp Bow Wow, 863 Bradley Road, Westlake
Free Seminar/Book Signing, 11 a.m. to noon

• Aug. 25, Camp Bow Wow, 23380 Aurora Road, Bedford Heights
Free Seminar/Book Signing, 7 to 8 p.m.

• Aug. 26, Camp Bow Wow, 1403 Main St., Cuyahoga Falls
Free Seminar/Book Signing, 7 to 8 p.m.

• Aug. 29, Camp Bow Wow, 14411 Foltz Parkway, Strongsville
Free Seminar/Book Signing, noon to 1 p.m.

For Joel's complete touring schedule, click here.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kitty Kristmas in July

The felines at the Cleveland APL think July is the most wonderful time of the year.

That's because Kitty Kringle will visit the almost 500 cats at the shelter on Saturday.

To celebrate, the shelter will hold Kitty Kristmas in July with all cats and kittens available for adoption for $25.

Cat adopters also will receive a free bag of Science Diet cat food.

All cats are spayed or neutered, tested for FeLV/FIV and have received age-appropriate vaccinations and treatment for worms and fleas.

They each come with a collar and APL ID tag, travel box, helpful species-specific animal care information and a free initial veterinary exam.

Also, microchip identification for cats will be available for a reduced fee of $10.

Adoptable cats can been seen at

The Cleveland APL is at 1729 Willey Ave., in Cleveland.

For more information, call 216-377-1618.

-- Robin Palmer

Paws for a good cause

Now through Aug. 15, Home Savings Mentor Office, 7707 Mentor Ave., asks residents to "Paws" for its cause as it accepts donations and collects items for Assistance Dogs of America Inc.

Assistance Dogs of America Inc. helps children and adults with disabilities achieve greater independence by training and placing service and therapy dogs to assist with the individual’s daily needs.

For more than 20 years, ADAI assistance dogs have helped transform the lives of more than 150 individuals and their communities.

For a wish list of donations stop in at Home Savings or call 440-954-9999.

--Cheryl Sadler

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Arnold pardons seals

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger throws lifeline to seals. Read on...

SAN DIEGO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cast a lifeline Monday to a colony of federally protected harbor seals that spend their days lounging around a popular San Diego cove and have become the subject a lengthy legal tussle over their fate.

The governor signed a bill that adds a marine mammal park to the list of acceptable uses for the sheltered cove where the seals have lived for years.

The potential reprieve came just hours after a San Diego judge ordered the city to begin chasing the pesky pinnipeds from the beach by Thursday — or risk hefty fines — in order to comply with a 2005 order to restore the cove to its original condition.

Environmentalists rejoiced at the news and had high hopes for the seals at Children’s Pool, one of two beaches in Southern California where harbor seals give birth and nurse their young.

The bill means that the city, which had planned to spend $688,000 chasing away the seals, has legal grounds to ask the judge to change his order, said Bryan Pease, an attorney for several pro-seal groups.

“Now it’s clear that under state law the seals can stay,” he said. “This is really a game-changer. This is really the end of the road for the anti-seal forces.”

-- Robin Palmer

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dog needs a home

Otis really wants a home.

So much so, that the tri-colored male hound mix is being professionally trained.

Until he finds a place to call his own, Otis is staying at the Geauga County Dog Shelter at 12513 Merritt Road in Claridon Township.

For more information on Otis or any of the dogs at the shelter, call 440-286-8135.

-- Robin Palmer

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Looking for a home

Jill was born about 6 months ago and rescued from under a porch in Ashtabula.

Now, she is living in Willoughby with a local nonprofit rescue group and looking for a home.

The domestic long-haired female is very affectionate, according to group officials.

If you can give her a good home, call 440-527-8235.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lonely Hearts Club

Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village has a “Lonely Hearts Club” filled with dogs who have been waiting extra long to be adopted.

Their adoption fee is half price.

The facility on Route 306, just north of Music Street in Russell Township, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday; and noon to 7 p.m. Monday and Thursday.

The staff stops taking adoptions 45 minutes before closing.

If you have room in your heart and in your house for one of these dogs, call 440-338-4819.

-- Robin Palmer

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blu and Braveheart need a home

Hopeful she'd found a loving home for two more foster kittens, Dolores Levin waited three hours for Blu and Braveheart's new owner to come claim them.

The woman didn't even call to cancel. She just never showed.

"Unfortunately when you are in the rescue business, you sometimes run into rude and inconsiderate people," Dolores wrote in an e-mail to her friends, including News-Herald reporter David Glasier, last week. David called "Dolly" a long-time family friend who does great work on dog and cat rescue and fostering through the Gates Mills Animal Welfare and Euclid Beach Cat committees.

In a renewed effort to find the two kittens a home, Dolores asked her friends to help spread the the word by sharing their profiles:
Braveheart, 8-9 weeks old

Defining characteristic: Perfect "M" on his forehead

Story: Found in an abandoned groundhog hole at about 4 weeks. Fostered with older kittens who really wouldn't pay much attention to him, "but he pestered and pestered until they all gave in and played and cuddled with him, even a 2-year-old cat."

Personality: The first in his foster group to learn to do everything, despite his young age. "A great little tiger kitten with a heart full of love for everyone, a curiosity unrivaled and a spirit not to be denied."

Blu, 9-10 weeks old

Defining characteristic: Beautiful coloring of a purebred Russian Blue

Story: Found foraging for food all alone. "At first he was food-aggressive with other kittens and frightened by everything and everyone."

Personality: With the help of Dolores' 2-year-old cat and some tender loving care, he now cuddles and is learning to purr all entwined in an arm or lap.
Both cats have had their first shots, been neutered and tested negative for feline leukemia. They have shared their lives for weeks, so Dolores hopes to keep them together.

To help give them a great indoor home, contact Dolores as soon as possible at 440-646-0600 or

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Even Mom thinks they're ugly

The World's Ugliest Dog Show, now in its 21st year, is exactly what it sounds like - a beauty contest for canines less cuddly.

The competition, held during a fair in Petaluma, California, welcomed 15 entries this summer, many pictured here.

My question: Does entering a dog into this contest deplete the phrase "a face only a mother could love" or enhance it?

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cracker needs a home

This week's featured pet at the Geauga County Dog Shelter is a young Jack Russell Terrier/Rat Terrier mix.

According to his page: Cracker was dropped off at the shelter June 25, 2009. He is a very energetic little guy who is about 4-5 months old and is good around other dogs. Cracker knows sit, down and can even dance for a cookie. He has plenty of kisses to share and thinks your lap is exactly where he belongs. Happy and just a bundle of laughs, our Cracker is available for adoption today!

Doesn't Cracker sound wonderful? If only I had room in my life for a dog.

If you do, please call the Geauga County Dog Shelter and Warden's Office located in Chardon at 440-286-8135. The shelter's complete list of adoptable pets can be found here.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

UPDATE: Cracker has been adopted!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Proposed Mentor pet store protested

Today's edition of The News-Herald includes this article about a controversial proposal to open a new pet store in Mentor. The story is already teeming with reader comments.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday Pet Pause

Click here for this week's 4-minute, 29-second installment.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Memorial golf outing to benefit Portage APL

A year or more has passed since I first met Judy Novak-Hrdy in Garrettsville, where my boyfriend's family lives, and she told me about the untimely passing of her brother in 2006.

Today I'm pleased to announce that she and her husband, Tom, have chosen the Portage Animal Protective League to benefit from their annual Stanley Novak Memorial Golf Outing, slated for 9 a.m. Saturday, October 17.

The Hrdys are currently seeking hole sponsors ($50 includes signage) and prize donors for the event, and hope to have 80 golfers for the gunshot start at Sugar Bush Golf Course in Garrettsville, rain or shine.

Golfers are asked to pay $90, $25 of which is tax-deductible. The cost includes 18 holes, 1/2 cart, lunch with two beverage tickets and a steak dinner with beverages, as well as a Longest Drive contest, a "New Car" Hole in One contest, a Closest to the Pin contest and other prizes. Non-golfers can also attend at 3 p.m. for a steak dinner and beverages at a reduced cost of $30, $10 of which is tax-deductible.

To reserve your spot by Aug. 28 - payment in full is due by Sept. 15 - please contact Tom or Judy at 440-527-4887, or

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Fresh off vacation, playing catch-up ...

Fresh off a trip to Washington DC, feeling mostly refreshed and exhilarated, I find myself only slightly overwhelmed by the smattering of pet items in my e-mail box. I think they're all worth mentioning.
Getting your name out there: The Cincinnati Zoo wants you to help name its four male tiger cubs.

With a birthday of March 21, the first litter of endangered Malayan tigers born at the zoo in eight years made their first public appearance last week. Officials say they're leaning toward names that reflect the southeast Asian heritage of the Malayan tiger. The cubs' parents are named Jalil and Hutan.

Whatever your suggestion, the contest stays open through Friday, July 17, chosen names will be announced July 24, and winners will get basic family zoo memberships valued at $84 - as well as the simple thrill of naming a tiger.

Wedding barks: In cahoots with its 10th annual 'Today' Throws a Wedding contest - of which Madison native Nick Cordes and his fiance, Leigh Daniel, are this year's winners! - the Today Show has posted a multimedia showcase devoted to including pets in wedding parties.

Personally I don't know anyone who would consider this a good idea, considering how much time I've spent trying to get the dog to look at the camera as if he/she understands the significance of family portraits. But more power to you if you have a particularly photogenic pooch.

Speaking of photogenic: Looking for a topic to help spark some unusual conversation? The Washington Post recently published a piece about the odds of not-so-cute endangered critters getting government funding and public attention. Believe it or not, there's still a genuine discrepancy; just one insect and no plants make the list of 50 best-funded species, already safely including salmon, trout, sea turtles, eagles and bears.

For that trend I'm tempted to point my finger at people like this guy, Rep. George Radanovich of California, who called the glassy-eyed smelt (pictured above) "a worthless little worm that needs to go the way of the dinosaur."

So how good-lookin' is not good-lookin' enough to occupy precious federal cash? Need a plant or animal look good on a T-shirt or brochure soliciting donations in order to qualify for funds? I think not, but what do your and yours think?

A cautionary tale: Many of us read in horror last week the story of the 2-year-old strangled by a 8-foot-long pet Burmese python. The snake belonged to her mother's boyfriend, who did not have a permit for the exotic pet.

Little Shaunia Hare's was at least the 12th American death by python since 1980 - the fifth child, according to The Humane Society of the United States.

One of my favorite sources for quick overviews on timely topics is Poynter Online's Al's Morning Meeting. Subscribers get an e-mail every weekday morning highlighting a couple national news items and ideas on how to localize them. In cases of exotic pet ownership, knowledge really is power, so I'll divert the remainder of my commentary on young Shaunia's case to Al's daily posting.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Other entries bow(wow) to terrier

In case you missed it, here is the story announcing the results of the Patriotic Pets contest, written by fellow pet blogger Cassandra Shofar.

Sherbert and I both offer Zoey our congratulations.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,