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, November 27, 2009

Puppy mill rescue goes from rags to riches, wins $1 million in cute contest

It's official: Dr. Pepidies, a Chihuahua from Englewood, Colorado, has won the $1 million prize in the national Cutest Dog Competition, sponsored by All American Pet Brands.

Pepidies was rescued from a puppy mill several years ago, and beat 60,000 dogs in the contest.

According to this video on CNN, owner Dr. Leslie Capin will donate every penny of his winnings to the Dumb Friends League, which cares for over 25,000 homeless pets every year.

Click here for a longer story about Pepidies, or here to take a peak at the three runners-up.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Consider fostering a pet - all the love, none of the commitment!

Would you like to help a pet without actually adopting one?

How about fostering?

Without an animal shelter of its own, South Euclid Humane Society relies entirely on foster homes for the abused and abandoned animals found in South Euclid, University Heights and Richmond Heights.

"We're pushing to get new foster homes before the holidays because so many newly purchased and adopted dogs and cats end up getting dumped when given as gifts," Laura Bruck said.

She added, "We need fosterers everywhere, not just in South Euclid."

Fostering an animal in need
• Gives the Humane Society time to look for the families of lost animals, or find the perfect forever home for each one
• Provides the loving care deserved by animals that are lost, afraid, cold or hungry
• Gives you a chance to see if pet adoption is right for you and your family
• Gives children a chance to learn compassion for animals
• Provides you with the loving companionship of an animal - without the long-term commitment

All animals are health-screened, vaccinated and spayed/neutered. The Humane Society provides supplies; you provide the love.

To learn more about how you can save a life, with no obligation, please call Laura as soon as possible at 216-297-0360.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pet gifts will be even more popular this year

An Associated poll shows 52 percent of pet owners plan to buy their animals a holiday gift - up from 43 percent last year - despite the fact that 93 percent of Americans plan to spend less overall or about the same as last year.

Click here for the Associated Press story.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Energetic spaniel mix needs a home

Hey you with the closed, spacious yard: How about taking Cooper home for the holidays?

He's a roughly 6 1/2-month-old, 50-pound spaniel mix - the South Euclid Humane Society thinks he looks like a Clumber Spaniel and Retriever blend.

And while Cooper knows basic commands like "sit" and "down," is cage trained and loves to fetch, especially for treats, he's a runner and needs to burn some of his energy in that yard of yours.

Cooper is very good with other dogs; he loves to chase cats. He's also has been exposed to kids big and small, though he's a jumper and may startle the little ones.

With proper training and patience he will overcome this hurdle.

Neutered Nov. 19, Cooper is up to date on all his shots. For more call his foster mom Patricia Warnock at 440-669-0272.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Honor your pets at annual Pets Light Up Our Lives Tree Lighting

'Tis almost the season.

I know it's sneaking up on me exceptionally quickly this year. Thankfully my cat Muppet loves lying under a Christmas tree so, once we get one of those this weekend, I shouldn't have to worry about getting her any other gifts this holiday.

And speaking of trees...

The South Euclid Humane Society invites you and your pet to its 7th Annual Pets Light Up Our Lives Tree Lighting Ceremony and Home for the Holidays Adoption Event, which will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at the northwest corner of Green and Mayfield roads.

The event includes blessing of the animals (all are welcome), a tree-lighting with bulbs dedicated to our pets (blue to honor our living pets and white to honor those we've lost, with a $5 bulb donation requested), and a rug raffle drawing and presentation of special awards.

Afterward, both pets and their owners are invited to City Hall for a reception with hot chocolate and other goodies, plus adoptable cats, kittens and dogs.

To get involved, please send your bulb donation, with pet(s) name(s) and a phone number where you can be reached, to South Euclid Humane Society, 1349 South Green Road, South Euclid, Ohio 44121. To include your pet(s) in the keepsake program booklet, submit information by Friday, Nov. 27. (Late entries can be e-mailed to and paid for at the event.)

Please indicate in your mailing whether your bulb will be in honor or in memory, and include a simple message like "For Max, From the Smith family" or a personal one like "For our Max, You will always be our angel, Love Mom and Dad." One bulb may also honor several pets as long as the written tribute includes all their names.

Questions? Call 216-291-8773.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday special

Even rescue groups are celebrating Black Friday.

Animal Rescue Center will hold a Black Friday special on Nov. 27.
On that day, all fully vetted black cats and kittens will be $20.

The group has so many cats and kittens it would love to see them get a home for the holidays.

Adoptions will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the group’s Eastlake location, 36370 Vine St.

The group also hold low-cost vaccine clinics from 4 to 7 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month.

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.

-- Robin Palmer

Friday, November 20, 2009

Say cheese

The Geauga County Dog Shelter will have Pet Photos with Santa from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 at the shelter, 12513 Merritt Road in Claridon Township.

Cost is $20 for two 4-by-6-inch digital prints in Christmas card photo frames or $25 for the above-mentioned plus all photos e-mailed.

Proceeds will benefit the Geauga County Dog Shelter and Canine Lifeline.

For more information, call 440-286-8135 or log on to

-- Robin Palmer

Monday, November 16, 2009

Save Our Strays seeks home for Morrie

Long-time feline rescuer Dorothy Max is looking for a home for Morrie – a male, short-haired, orange and white cat who simply wouldn’t fight back on the tough streets of East Cleveland.

His story, as told by Dorothy, director of the nonprofit Save Our Strays Humane Organization:
This kitty was on one of the communes, and he was getting beat up once a week by a predator, one of his colleagues. Oh, the other cat was so mean, and he’d have all of his side – it would always be on his side – just cut up awful. One time I was there I saw the other cat in action. It was deplorable, he wouldn’t quit. And this poor fella, he was not a fighter. He wouldn’t even eat his canned food I put down until I scratched his head and rubbed his back.

Then one day when I got there Oct. 12, he got him on the face. The whole side of his face, the skin was torn off. He was raw, I would say to the length of maybe three or four inches. It was the whole side. So I had to take him immediately, 'cause he wouldn’t have lasted out there anymore; this other one was just so terribly, terribly naughty.

I brought him into the vet – Dr. Bogdan Klinkosz of Lakeland Animal Clinic in Euclid again – and he neutered him while he was there, got the shots, tested for leukemia, dewormed, vaccinated and all. And he gave me a cream, Udder Balm. This cream was miraculous. The whole side of his face, in two weeks time it came down to about only an inch. So we’re on the second tube of cream now, so it'll take a little longer, but he’s just an ever-loving sweet boy that did not want to fight back.
Morrie, named after Morris the Cat, is about 1 1/2 years old and currently living in foster care.

Save Our Strays also has many little kittens brought in from the streets – all vaccinated, dewormed and tested for leukemia – and offers low-cost neuters, spays and vaccinations for dogs and cats.

Anyone interested in adopting, volunteering, donating or taking advantage of the low-cost services is asked to call Dorothy before 11:30 a.m. at 216-289-0496.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Give an older pet a chance and a home

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

In honor of that, Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village is offering a special senior animal adoption fee of $25.

Rescue Village is at 15463 Chillicothe Road (Route 306) in Russell Township, just north of Music Street and south of Route 87.

Shelter hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday and Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Staff stops adoptions 45 minutes prior to closing.

-- Robin Palmer

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sweet, goofy black lab needs a home

Dexter was one of a litter of seven, rescued from a high-kill shelter where he was running out of time. His guardian angels were a woman, her three kids, a dog and several cats. But soon, with the help of the South Euclid Humane Society, this sweet boy will have to start fresh.

It's not his fault - it's just that he has a tendency to guard valuable objects, such as special toys and bones, which makes him a better fit for a home without small children. His trainer finds this behavior totally addressable; it'll just take a calmer home with less hustle and bustle, his foster mom thinks.

Dexter is a 2-year-old, 50-pound black lab mix. He has been neutered and has all his shots. He is crate-trained, affectionate, cuddly and loves tummy rubs and being around people. He is also playful and energetic, needing lots of walks and exercise. (He would play ball all day if he could!)

As long as his special toys, bones and food are kept separate, Dexter is great with other dogs and cats. He is also very smart, a quick and easy learner, and a great foot-warmer; he sleeps at his foster-mom's feet all night long.

An adoption fee and home visit are required before adoption. Anyone interested in Dexter should call Kelli at 216-526-8603.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

P.S. T'Oliver and Munch are also still looking for forever homes. Anyone interested in them should call Laura Bruck at 216-297-0360.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dog-gone flu (Canines hit, too)

Area veterinarians are keeping a watchful eye on a potential threat to dogs.

Just as the swine flu poses a health risk to humans, Canine Infectious Virus - or CIV - is a similar threat to dogs. So much so that area boarding kennels are recommending that people talk with their veterinarians about possibly having their pets inoculated against the virus.

The federal government recently approved a vaccine for the virus, which is a mutated strain of an equine flu that was first detected in dogs in 2004.

Veterinarian Ron Budz of Willoughby Hills Veterinary Clinic says he's been contacting local kennels to see if they are observing any dogs displaying the flu's symptoms. So far none have, Budz says, though such businesses are likely the first place the disease will appear.

Such kennels are where the flu will spread since they house large numbers of dogs in a relatively confined space, Budz says.

"These are the areas where we want to watch. We also want to be vigilant and if we see it, then we'll recommend it to anyone who boards their dogs," Budz said.

Budz did say that the flu-type virus has appeared in dogs in both Pennsylvania and New York.

Dogs have no natural immunity to the disease.

However, it may be "premature over-kill" to begin immediately to inoculate all dogs, Budz says also.

"The Ohio State University in not recommending it for wide-spread use yet," Budz said.

It is expected that the immunization shot against the virus will probably cost between $30 to $40, Budz said.

Symptoms of the contact virus include sneezing, nasal discharge, a low-grade fever and a cough that can last up to three weeks, resembling kennel cough, reports the Internet "Dog Health Guide."

Severe cases include difficulty breathing and a high body temperature. It is this stage where secondary bacterial pneumonia may develop, Budz and the "Dog Health Guide" both describe.

It is important to remember, too, that the disease is seldom fatal; less than 8 percent of dogs contracting the illness die.

Treatment includes encouraging the pet to drink lots of water. Owners should watch for a bout of secondary pneumonia which would require a dose of antibiotics.

In the most severe cases a dog may require intravenous fluids, requiring a pet hospital stay.

Also, the disease is spread by dog-to-dog contact and cannot be passed to or from humans.

-- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn,

Jack Russell pup STILL needs a home

A month later, the little guy in this picture still needs a home - which I find unbelievable, 'cause isn't he cute?!

Four-month-old Munch is a Jack Russell mix who's currently staying with a South Euclid Humane Society foster family.

His bio: "When this little boy was brought into the police station, he was shivering from fear. It turns out that all Munch needed was a warm lap to snuggle in. It’s hard to imagine such a little guy being out on the mean streets, lost and alone. In his foster home, Munch tosses his toys in the air with glee - and snuggles with his foster people at every possible opportunity.

Munch is 12 pounds, has his first puppy shots, and will get his next series of shots and get neutered Nov. 18. He still needs basic puppy training with positive reinforcement. Beyond that, though, he's pure puppy - plays hard and loves hard. He's also great with kids and other dogs.

With all its foster homes currently occupied, Laura Bruck said South Euclid Humane Society won't have space for another dog in need until Munch is adopted. "Everything is an emergency these days," she said.

Anyone interested in this little boy should call Laura at 216-297-0360.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Swine flu" goes from humans to cat and ferrets - and, fittingly, herds of swine

Is nothing sacred when it comes to the H1N1 virus?

Last week the Iowa Department of Public Health reported here that a 13-year-old indoor cat contracted "swine flu" from its owners, two-thirds of whom suffered flu-like symptoms prior to the cat getting sick.

The good news: Both flu-ish owners and the cat have recovered.

But Reuters also recently wrote here about two ferrets and several herds of pigs contracting the illness from humans.

For more on this unfortunate news, sit in on Al's Morning Meeting.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Reiki offered for cats

Caroline’s Kids Cat Sanctuary in Concord Township is offering a new program to pet guardians who want to provide another level of care for their felines.

Reiki for pets is a form of spiritual healing that helps harmonize the mind, body and soul of your pet, according to a new release from the shelter.

It can be used as a form of relaxation as well as a tool for releasing negative emotions and limitations.

Reiki is not a religion.

It can treat ailments, reduce stress, relieve pain, and it can help with abuse or neglected animals.

Reiki does not take the place of traditional medicine, but can help in conjunction with veterinary care, according to the release.

Caroline’s Kids incorporates Reiki into the sanctuary by way of soothing music, and Reiki is done for each feline for various reasons.

Denise Harding, Reiki practitioner for the sanctuary, will be offering sessions for anyone interested from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, by appointment only.

Each session lasts 20 minutes, are for cats only, and a $20 donation to the shelter is required.

Sessions will follow once a month beginning in January.

For more details or an appointment, call Judie at 440-449-3496.

The shelter is at 7394 Morely Road.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blog: Leash Law Violators

Allow me to vent briefly.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs about my pets, my dog, Lakota, has had some dog aggression issues most of his 6 years on this planet.

That said, we have made progress, though it has ebbed and flowed over the years. But, situations like the one I found myself in last week are the reason why it’s a tough nut to crack sometimes.

Last Friday, being the wonderful Indian summer day that it was, I decided to take a jog with my dog. Unfortunately, other people decided the weather was perfect for such an occasion as well, so there happened to be quite a few dogs on our route.

Nonetheless, we did OK, until I had to cross over to a street where I’ve run into a man who always leaves his Labrador retriever off leash in the past.

Hoping I had the timing right to avoid a similar occurrence, I continued jogging past the house, seeing no sign of the black dog.

However, he ended up being with his owner by a parked car in front of the garage and immediately came charging out.

To read more, click here.

-- Cassandra Shofar,

Two-legged Chihuahua - 'just how God made her'

Click here for a nice little CNN story about Arizona's Roo, a 6-week-old Chihuahua puppy just waiting for her wheels.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,