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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Illness inspires celebration of Geauga County K-9 Brutus

In case you missed it in Saturday's paper, click here for a tribute story to Geauga County legend Brutus, who was among only three local K-9 units that went to Ground Zero to search for survivors and remains.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dog washed out to sea has lucky escape

Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:52am EST

WARSAW (Reuters) - A dog had a lucky escape when a Polish boat rescued him from an ice floe that had carried him more than 100 miles up a river and out onto the icy waters of the Baltic Sea.

"My crew saw... a shape moving on the water and we immediately decided to get closer to check if it was a dog or maybe a seal relaxing on the ice," Jan Joachim, senior officer aboard the Baltica, told Reuters Television. "As we got closer to the ice floe we saw that it was a dog struggling not to fall into the water."

Ship engineer Adam Buczynski managed to scoop the dog off the floe onto an inflatable dinghy and wrapped him in a blanket.

"He didn't even squeal. There was just fear in his big eyes," said Buczynski.

The dog was first seen on the ice floe some 100 km (70 miles) inland to the south on the Vistula river but firemen were unable to rescue him. When the Baltica crew found him, he had already drifted some 24 km (18 miles) out to sea.

"We were in the right place at the right time," said Joachim, noting that they rescued him shortly before night fall.

The crew are now trying to locate the dog's owner.

Poland is in the grip of bitterly cold weather, with night temperatures in some areas falling as low as -34 Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit).

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

'The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have'

Dog lovers relate to the words of George Vest, who coined the term "man's best friend" during his closing arguments of a Supreme Court trial over the killing of a dog named Old Drum.

Read on here. Indeed the phrase remains true today, some 140 years since Old Drum's death.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smooches & Pooches Valentine's Dance slated for Feb. 6

Need an excuse to pull that dusty bridesmaid's dress or funny suit out of the closet?

Come to the Smooches & Pooches Valentine's Dance and do it for the dogs.

Presented by Friends of the Cleveland Kennel and Secondhand Mutts, the dance will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, February 6, at Parish Hall, 6205 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland.

Admission is only $10 for guests, while dogs get in free and may enter to be considered for the dance's King and Queen or a member of the Canine Court.

Local restaurants including Happy Dog, Reddstone Tavern, ArteFino Cafe and Gypsy Beans Bakery will provide the food; beer and wine will also be available. With a donation to the cause, Portraits by Martha will also take formal shots for you to take home at the end of the night.

Who doesn't like dances, dogs dressed in suits, raffle baskets, food, drinks AND good tunes from the fabulous DJ RA Washington of Cleveland Tapes?

I don't know about you, but I don't know that person.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Looking for a home: Hogan

It's not often that a dog gets along with EVERYONE ... even cats and dogs, but that's the case for Hogan.

The young male pointer/Great Dane mix is available for adoption at the Geauga County Dog Shelter, 12513 Merritt Road, Claridon Township.

Not only does he get along with everyone, but shelter officials say "he is a beautiful dog inside and out."

To adopt Hogan or for more information on him, call the dog shelter at 440-286-8135.

-- Robin Palmer

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dog rescued

One firefighter went beyond the call of duty to rescue this dog. Read on:

LOS ANGELES — A firefighter splashed into a rain-swollen river Friday to rescue a German shepherd and managed to hang on safely, even after the dog furiously bit his arm and hand.
Joe St. Georges, a 25-year department veteran, suffered severe hand and arm injuries but was in good condition at County USC Medical Center Friday, said Los Angeles fire Capt. Steve Ruda.
“He has significant injuries, bites and punctures, to his hand and arm and is being seen by a specialist,” Ruda said.
Fire officials said the male dog, nicknamed Vernon after the Southern California town where he was found, was fine. He did not have a name tag or computer chip, said Sgt. Charles Miller of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority in Downey.
The dog was quarantined to be monitored for rabies, but “appears to be well-maintained and cared for,” Miller said.
At least 50 firefighters responded to reports that the dog was in the river. For an hour, firefighters stood at the top of the steep, concrete banks, throwing life vest and float rings, hoping the dog would grab on. Most of the time, the canine walked along a pipe or ledge in the center of the river, sometimes slipping. One firefighter got into the river and tried to catch him, but the dog took off. Soon the pipe was submerged.
When the helicopter hovered overhead, the dog scrambled to the side of the river and tried to climb the sides, only to slip each time.
The 50-year-old St. Georges finally splashed down from the helicopter, wrestled with the frightened canine and lifted it to safety.
At a late afternoon news conference, helicopter pilot Scott Bowman said St. Georges took a muzzle with him but he wasn’t able to get it on, “so he decided to go for the capture.”
Miller said the dog had some scrapes and worn nails, but was otherwise fine.
“He was fearful when he first got here, understandably. He went through a big ordeal,” Miller said.
The dog will be quarantined for 10 days, unless the owner shows up with proof of rabies vaccination, Miller said. Then, the dog could be monitored at home. If the owner doesn’t show up, officials will try to find the dog a new home.
Storms that started Monday have already dropped up to 8 inches of rain in Los Angeles County, the National Weather Service reported.

-- Associated Press

Friday Pet Pause

The humidifier has done a great deal of good in our bedroom. As long as I'm near it, my hair isn't airborne.

Anywhere else in our house, though - or at work, or anywhere else for that matter - I've been a static-y mess.

This week's Pet Pause is dedicated to anyone as charged as I've been, especially my neighbor's cat Tiger, whom I shocked at least 10 times last night.

Ferret (0:25)

Dog (0:30)

Cat and dog (2:43)

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month

If you've ever taken your dog out on a cold winter's night, or spent a couple extra cents on a better brand of cat food, this month's for you.

A woman from Formula PR, a public relations agency in California, recently e-mailed me with these tips "to show your pet he is loved" (as if any of our spoiled critters lack in this area - clearly she doesn't quite know her audience):
• Register your pet with the city and attach the license tag to your pet’s collar. The license serves as a rabies control measure, as well as increases the chance of a reunion should your pet become lost. The fees for the license usually go toward providing animal care and control services.

• Maintain your pet’s health with the proper vaccines. Ward off potential infections and diseases by taking your pet to the veterinarian for its annual shots. After all, pets are kids, too!

• Pick up after your pet. Whether you’re taking Fido for a walk around the neighborhood or cleaning out Fluffy’s litter box, disposing of your pet’s waste properly is essential. Bamboo’s Disposable Waste Bags & Dispenser (Blogger's Note: Ah-HA! Here's the reason she e-mailed me...) will get the job done. The bags boast the natural odor elimination powers of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, while the convenient dispenser can clip onto any leash or belt loop.
Check out for the disposable bags and a host of other neat items.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Taking the News-Herald to the V-E-T

The News-Herald has featured a couple veterinarians in the past few weeks.

Pictured is reporter Jason Lea with a bird who apparently thinks he can do better, care of photographer Maribeth Joeright.

In case you've missed the stories lately...

Veterinary clinic in Concord Township enjoying expanded facilities
By Brandon Baker, 1/21/10

Things are a lot more spread out around Big Creek Veterinary Hospital these days.

With seven exam rooms, surgical spaces, an associates' office and conference room, a spacious lobby and several other additions that the staff is still acclimating itself to, everything and everybody isn't always visible within the new Concord Township facility. That is starting to concern Dr. Joel Percival, the hospital's founder and one of two partners.
North Ridge Veterinary Hospital not looking too far for employees
By Jason Lea, 1/16/10

One of the newest employees at the North Ridge Veterinary Hospital isn't that new.

In fact, he's been working there since he was 12.

John Pierce used to work as a "kennel boy."

He cleaned cages and picked up after animals while his father, Robert Pierce, worked as medical director at the Madison Township veterinary hospital.

"I've been working with my dad since I was old enough to work," John Pierce said.
-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Magazine publishes list of seven smartest dog breeds

The average dog is as smart as a 2-year-old kid, able to comprehend more than 150 words, count to five and knowingly deceive a loving owner, according to an article in the new issue of Miller-McCune magazine.

But psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren believes "super dogs" can understand 250 words, the article continues.

By studying data from 208 dog-obedience judges in the U.S. and Canada, Coren created this list of the seven smartest breeds:

1. Border collies
2. Poodles
3. German shepherds
4. Golden retrievers
5. Dobermans
6. Shetland sheepdogs
7. Labrador retrievers

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Pet food pantry casino bus trip = success!

To regular readers, I'm pleased to relay this quick update from Cindy Hardwick of Paws Pantry:
The bus trip to Seneca went off without a hitch.

I didn't quite have a full bus, but I did have some work friends, family members and new friends that read the article in the paper join us.

Precious Cargo did a wonderful job with the accommodations.

After all was said and done, we'll will be able to purchase about 1,000 pounds of food for Paws Pantry.
To all who went on the trip: Well done!

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Emma's Story attempts to lighten the mood

My boyfriend says he's stopped reading this blog because homeless and missing animals depress him.

I see his point. So does Dolores Levin of the Gates Mills Animal Welfare Committee.

Yet she's quick to say she prefers not to think that way.

"I just wrote an article about not being depressed in these situations, but rather to smile and applaud what all of us in the rescue business do and how many animals we save," she said.

Below is the speech she gave at an annual gathering of Gates Mills committees.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and any strays that may have wandered in.

On behalf of the Gates Mills Animal Welfare Committee, I am not going to bore you with statistics about how many feral cats we have trapped and are now feeding. Nor am I going to tell you how many residents’ dogs we have taken care of after the police have picked them up roaming the streets.

Also, you won’t hear about the abandoned animals that we have found homes for.

What you will hear tonight is the story of Emma. The Committee got a call from one of our residents who is a very elderly widower and he was slightly panicky. He found an emaciated cat starving to death in his yard a few weeks before Christmas.

The snow was blowing and it was freezing outside. She was huddled against the side of his house, wearing a red collar and was extremely friendly when he came out.

His wife had been a cat lover and he felt obliged to run right out and buy food and kitty litter. The problem he stated was that he was leaving town in a few days and he didn’t know how to get out of the predicament he was faced with.

He brought Emma into the house, gave her food and water and called the Animal Welfare Committee. Without fanfare or changing clothes in a phone booth, one of our members went over and picked up the poor cat, who was full grown but weighed only six pounds. That is the normal weight of a six-month-old kitten. Arrangements were made to foster Emma and take her to the vet.

She had no tags, however, faint black marks on the worn red collar that looked like chicken scratching revealed under a borrowed microscope the name Emma. There were also barely visible markings that looked like numbers.

After writing down about a possible hundred combinations of numbers, we hit pay dirt and found the owner in Bedford, who told us that Emma had been born to a feral cat and she had kept her as a kitten. She later married a man who was allergic to cats and a friend convinced her to dump Emma at a stable. Her former owner said she was not in a position to take her back or help us in any way.

We have no way of knowing how many months this poor cat had been traveling before she ended up in Gates Mills in the middle of winter. Considering the shape she was in and the very worn collar, it was a long time.

The vet exam revealed no deadly disease, just the usual fleas, mites and worms. There was a bit of a problem with lung worm, which sounds worse than it is. We gave her medication and cleared it up in a hurry.

She was already spayed so we gave her all of the necessary vaccinations and found out that she is friendly, outgoing, loves to cuddle, likes children, other cats and dogs.

Emma’s long weary, winter journey is over and she is now in her forever home.

Chalk one more up for the good gang from Gates Mills.
Sweetheart, sometimes it's a bumpy road to a happy ending.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

P.S. On an even lighter note, my sister, Julia, forwarded this to me with the message, "This will absolutely make you smile." Enjoy.

Dog auction ballot initiative relaunches with a vengeance

The ballot initiative to ban dog auctions in Ohio is now in full "Phase 2 Relaunch" mode.

Putting it simply:

• 120,700 signatures from registered Ohio voters are needed to get the legislature to consider the proposed law in Jan. '11.

• These signatures must be collected in certain amounts from 44 of Ohio's 88 counties.

• 7,202 signatures were collected between Nov. '09 and Jan. '10.

• At least 113,498 more signatures are needed.

Locally by county, Cuyahoga has reached 14.58 percent of its county goal but still needs at least 1,986 more signatures, Geauga has reached 25.89 percent of its goal but still needs at least 304 more signatures, and Lake has reached 11.33 percent of its goal but still needs at least 299 more signatures, according to the campaign led by Mary O'Connor-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs.

"The next Ohio Dog Auction is scheduled to take place in February. Over 300 dogs are expected to be placed on the block," O'Connor-Shaver said. "Now is the time to send a strong message to our state legislators that dog auctions are an embarrassment to Ohio and its humane-minded citizens, and voters and taxpayers are committed to supporting a 2011 ballot initiative to ban these events from our community."

To download a campaign kit, complete with a dog auction Q&A, an informational sheet on strategies to raise awareness and gather signatures from registered voters, and the petition itself, click here.

Click here to visit the campaign's Facebook page.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

2,000-year-old temple dedicated to cat goddess found

By Hamza Hendawi
Associated Press

CAIRO — Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old temple that may have been dedicated to the ancient Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said Tuesday.

The ruins of the Ptolemaic-era temple were discovered by Egyptian archaeologists in the heart of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.

The city was the seat of the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic Dynasty, which ruled over Egypt for 300 years until the suicide of Queen Cleopatra.

The statement said the temple was thought to belong to Queen Berenice, wife of King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C.

Mohammed Abdel-Maqsood, the Egyptian archaeologist who led the excavation team, said the discovery may be the first trace of the long-sought location of Alexandria's royal quarter.

The large number of statues depicting Bastet found in the ruins, he said, suggested that this may be the first Ptolemaic-era temple dedicated to the cat goddess to be discovered in Alexandria.

This would indicate that the worship of the ancient Egyptian cat-goddess continued during the later, Greek-influenced, Ptolemaic period, he said.

Statues of other ancient Egyptian deities were also found in the ruins, he added.

Zahi Hawass, Egypt's chief archaeologist, said the temple may have been used in later times as a quarry as evidenced by the large number of missing stone blocks.

Modern Alexandria was built squarely on top of the ruins of the classical-era city and many of its great temples, palaces and libraries remain undiscovered.

The temple was found in the Kom el-Dekkah neighborhood near the city's main train station and home to a Roman-era amphitheater and well preserved mosaics.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Photo provided by Associated Press.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Looking for a home: Pretty Girl

It's no wonder why she's called Pretty Girl.

Left in a vacant house for six weeks, her previous owner made sure she was fed every few days - but still left her alone.

Now she needs a new home.

Pretty Girl is 4 or 5 years old and likely about 10 pounds, silvery gray back with a white chin, chest and belly. She has four white paws.

"She has a very, very sweet and quiet nature but loves to talk to you, especially when she sees food in your hand," said her foster mom, Penny, who is allergic to her fur. "She adores having her head and chin rubbed. Don't be surprised when she flips over on her back to get a tummy rub."

Penny added, "She is also moderately playful and wonderfully curious...has to check every nook and cranny to see what's there. She loves to open doors that are slightly ajar. She is a cat after all!"

Anyone who can help Pretty Girl find a new home should call Penny at 216-561-1902.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Don’t let a new dog break the bank

Click here for a list of helpful hints by the Associated Press, which ran in our paper Saturday.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reverse raffle benefits Euclid Animal Shelter

The Euclid Pet Pal Organization is hosting its first reverse raffle at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at Tizzano’s Party Center, 1361 E. 260th, Euclid.

Tickets cost $50 per person and include dinner, open bar and a chance at the main prize of $1,500.

For tickets, call the Euclid Animal Shelter at 216-289-2057.

One hundred percent of net proceeds benefit the Euclid Animal Shelter.

-- Robin Palmer

From the "Um" Files: Cat summoned for jury duty

Maybe you've heard the one about the cat summoned for jury duty.

I'm not even kidding. Click here for the scoop.


Feeling disenfranchised with the system after that? Take a deep breath and click here. You will find 72 ridiculously cute pictures to calm your nerves.

Cats with their heads in dogs' mouths? Dachshunds in babushkas? Boxers and sheep? Labs and dolphins?

Puppies and tigers? Dogs and gerbils, swine, horses, children? We've got you covered.

Here's to a weekend just as silly as this post. Enjoy yours.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pet frogs bred in California cause salmonella outbreak

Pet African dwarf frogs from a single California breeder caused an eight-month salmonella outbreak in 31 states, Web MD reports.

According to the page:
The frogs are hard to handle - they tend to rest at the bottom of aquariums - so most of the infections likely came from contact with the water in which the frogs swam. Nearly a third of contaminated households cleaned the frog aquariums in the kitchen sink, posing a risk for cross contamination with food preparation areas, according to the CDC.

Infections in Utah and Colorado came from frogs given away as carnival prizes. An infection in New Mexico came from a frog purchased in a pet store; one in Ohio came from a department store.

It took the CDC a long time to figure out that frogs were the source of the outbreak, as cheese-flavored crackers consumed by several early patients led disease detectives on a wild goose chase. Eventually, the frogs were traced to a single California breeder. DNA tests showed that salmonella in water tanks and gravel from frog habitats was the same strain that caused the outbreak.

The CDC notes that there's no law against selling small frogs. To prevent infections, the CDC advises pet owners to wash their hands thoroughly after touching animals or cleaning aquariums.
-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Touching dog rescue caught on tape

Click here to see the icy rescue, captured from helicopter yesterday in Oklahoma City.

Love how the one dog beckons the other to shore.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Rescue Village plans "Mardi Paws" for Feb. 20

Come dressed as casually or as costumed as you please to Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village's "Mardi Paws" benefit Saturday, Feb. 20.

This new event, benefiting the homeless animals at Rescue Village, will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. at The Bertram Inn & Conference Center, 600 N. Aurora Rd., Aurora 44202.

There you'll find a N'awlins carnival extraordinaire, where pet-friendly partiers will stroll to the Les Chats Meow Casino, dance to the Mo’Mojo Band, drink at the Krewe of Barkus Bar, feast on southern fare at Café du Mutt, and take part in paws-itively fabulous silent and live auctions.

"Mardi Paws will be a fabulous party with a purpose: saving the lives of homeless, abused, sick and injured animals so that they can find forever homes," Rescue Village Executive Director Hope Brustein said. "What a great way to warm up winter's coldest month."

The silent auction features a fabulous weekend in New Orleans with Jazz Fest tickets for two; a stay in Breckenridge, Colorado; and a pottery bowl designed by Shaquille 'Neal; as well as various jewelry, art, sports memorabilia and event passes.

Tickets cost $85 for dinner and casino money; or $125 for the VIP reception with Rescue Village's canine king and queen, Butch and Sundance; three drink tickets; casino money and a listing in the event program.

For ticket information, call 440-338-4819 Ext. 19 or visit

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Freeze Out garners more than $3,000 in donations, pledges

The Humane Society of Delaware County observed its second annual Freeze Out with success Friday.

And by success I mean 96 people in attendance, 14 demonstrators for the entire 10 hours, and 10 brave souls for the "30 Minutes Extreme" (pictured here).

A little background on the frigid cold eve, which promotes proper winter weather pet care.

This year's event also collected $2,500 in donations and estimated pledges worth $700.

Here's a link to some coverage from The Delaware Gazette.

Once again, three cheers for Team Delaware.

To help animals here at home, click here and scroll down for some tips to keep outdoor pets safe during these coldest winter months.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Activists want to ban dog auctions

Today's News-Herald includes this story, written so capably by my fellow reporter Jason Lea.

And here's another story targeting puppy mills in today's paper, this one from the Associated Press.

This issue isn't going away any time soon.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Looking for a home: Penny

In its first month, Close to Home Animal Rescue has completed six adoptions and, this past weekend, had three more success stories pending.

Now it's Penny's turn.

"She has been waiting longer than any of our dogs for a home," said co-founder Amy Quinlan. "If people could see her personality in some pics and an article, I just know they would fall in love with her."

Penelope/Penny is a 5-year-old female mixed breed who was found wandering the streets with her sister and ended up at Portage County Pound. Her sister was adopted, but she was not.

"We just fell in love with Penny's eyes and we hope that someone else out there will, too," according to her Petfinder page. "Penny is so special and so sweet, and despite her size she just wants to be your lap dog."

Penny is up-to-date with routine shots, spayed and doing excellent with house-training. She is also good with other dogs.

The rescue has reduced her adoption fee to $75 to help find her a home sooner. If you are interested, please e-mail ASAP.

In other Close to Home news, co-founder Gina Lutes has scheduled the group's first official Adopt-a-Thon from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 at Petsmart in Mayfield Heights. Remember Precious and her pups? They'll be there, too.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Cats? Dogs? Poll sorts it out

The dog people win...this time.

According to an Associated poll, 74 percent of adults like dogs a lot, but only 41 percent feel the same way about cats.

In fact, 15 percent said they dislike cats a lot, and only 2 percent felt similarly about dogs.

Click here to read an Associated Press story on the poll.

Muppet and Sister demand a recount.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto/Leigh Schindler.

"Unemployed" greyhounds get a new lease on life

Here's a short, happy video to start your week about greyhound advocates finding new homes for hundreds of dogs that will no longer be racing.

I guarantee the interview with the adoptive mother will make you giggle.

Tracks in Wisconsin, Arizona and Massachusetts ended dog racing in December, leaving all these graceful runners "unemployed." Massachusetts voters closed two tracks when they outlawed dog racing; elsewhere tracks closed after recently losing millions of dollars.

To respond to this need, the nonprofit recently hopes to serve as a clearinghouse for greyhound adoption, said founder Kevin Neuman of Kansas. Neuman has adopted 11 of these dogs over the past 16 years.

Greyhound fans say the sleek dogs are calm and easy to care for. Here's the Petfinder listing of greyhounds available in our area. (Pictured above is Nina, available through a greyhound rescue in Twinsburg.)

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

P.S. Find time during your lunch break to scan MSNBC's weekly Animal Tracks Slideshow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Icy reality check from Delaware County

The Humane Society of Delaware County is one again giving animals a voice to talk about proper winter weather pet care.

As they did last year, volunteers this weekend will live outside without shelter for up to 10 hours - 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday - in bone-chilling darkness.

All they'll have is the clothes on their backs, mounds of insulating hay and some snacks for their arctic task.

"Each winter, thousands of animals in the central Ohio region are kept outside without the proper shelter. Many of these dogs, cats and horses will perish from the cold; others will suffer from severe skin damage," the branch's director, Wade Beane, reminds us. "Freeze Out 2010 will illustrate the hazardous effects and dangers that severe weather has on animals. In addition to raising awareness, HSDC has set a fund-raising goal of $10,000 to directly benefit animals needing proper care or shelter."

Passerbys will be able to stop by and see examples of easy-to-assemble winter shelters, as well as meet volunteers taking drive-up donations and sharing information on how to properly care for outdoor animals during frigid winter months.

Of course the event culminates at 11 p.m., when demonstrators strip down to the bare necessities for the "30 Minutes Extreme." (The picture makes me cold just looking at it...more power to 'em!)

As do our local humane societies, the one in Delaware County survives entirely on donations. Funds toward the cause - dog houses and supplies and services for urgent cases of neglect - can be mailed to Humane Society of Delaware County, 4920 State Route 37 East, Delaware, Ohio, 43015.

The event promotes awareness as much as it hopes to fund-raise, though. To help animals here at home, find cold weather care tips here by scrolling down.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meeting with Senator Grendell to discuss Ohio Dog Auctions Act

Anyone wishing to offer their support in person for the ban on dog auctions in Ohio is invited to attend a meeting with Senator Tim Grendell at Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village, 15463 Chillicothe Road in Russell Township.

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 25, during which roughly 30 of Senate District 18's constituents will address Sen. Grendell about the Ohio Dog Auctions Act initiative petition.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Super Bowl party to benefit PetFix; tickets $50

What's a pet-lover to do on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7?

Consider attending the Best Dawggone Super Bowl Party, of course!

For a $50 ticket, you can watch the game at The Boneyard, 5900 Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights, featuring:

• More TVs than you’ve ever seen in one place

• Cool contests and prizes

• Free Super Bowl food

• Full cash bar

All proceeds will benefit PetFix, Northeast Ohio's low-cost mobile spay/neuter clinic. "The game isn't fixed but the animals will be!" flyers promise.

Partytime is 5:30 p.m. Call 440-247-8931 or e-mail to order tickets or learn more.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Lost: Female collie/sheltie mix

Please keep your eye out for this lost dog in and around the Chardon area.

Here is a flyer posted at the local YMCA.

According to a note in the Good News:
Rescue dog being fostered. Running since November 6. Sightings on Music Street. Also, Rt. 87 & 44, Bass Lake Road area. Red collar. Very frightened. Do not chase. If seen, phone 440-564-5156 or 330-524-7754. Thanks for everyone for your continued help and support. She needs to come home where it's warm and safe.
-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nikki Coben's Newsletter #4

Who is Nikki Coben you ask?

"Just an animal lover trying to help our fine furry friends in need," she replies.

Check out this awesome new newsletter I've just discovered. It comes out every two or three months, she said.

This issue includes:

• Updated/pending Ohio animal legislation
• Dogs/cats in desperate need (some urgent/immediate) of forever/foster loving homes
• Rescues in need of your help (dog/cat food, litter, coupons, etc.)
• Happy endings (dogs/cats you helped find homes for, simply by cross-posting)
• Upcoming dog/cat-friendly events
• Featured local dog/cat-friendly businesses who continuously support dog/cat charities

Please note Daisy Mae, a beautiful small dog mix, urgently needing adoption, on Page 3. I think I'm in love...

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Happy ending: Apple is back home

Good girl. Sit. Stay.

Good news: Apple is back home in Chardon.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Special needs Golden looking for a home

"Feeling Lucky"?
- Lucky's Petfinder page

"When I first saw her," says her foster mom, "I had never seen a dog so emaciated and sad. It was as if she stepped right out of the TV screen from an Animal Planet humane society rescue show.

The vet also found to be blind from cataracts secondary to diabetes.

Yet more than 11 weeks later, gentle Lucky has gained close to 10 pounds and looks much better. Her diabetes is almost under control, too.

"She has recently been groomed and her sparkling personality is shining through," adds her foster mom, the same woman who now fosters Peanut. "Her sweet face will melt your heart. She acts as the peacemaker or mommy dog when the foster siblings are misbehaving or acting goofy.

"She amazes me when she 'chases' after her foster brother when he's fetching a ball in the yard. She even plays tug-of-war with American bulldog Ivory, who pulls Lucky around the floor while holding onto the tug toy! She is not afraid of anything, not even the scary big dog next door (who is actually a wimp). She has a great appetite and gets only the best food and treats.

"Many others would have taken one look at her and (with reason) euthanized her, but Lucky deserves and is being given the best chance possible at a healthy happy life for whatever time she has left. A girl like Lucky proves just how amazing dogs are...they are survivors of the cruelest of fates and can teach us humans a lot about putting on a happy face!"

This 8-year-old Golden Retriever is up-to-date with routine shots, house-trained, heartworm-negative and spayed.

She requires one insulin injection a day and, after learning the layout, has no trouble navigating around the house and up and down stairs. She would do best in a home with no cats.

To help find Lucky a home, visit and fill out an application.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Would licensing curtail cat overpopulation?

Click here to read an Associated Press story on a Kentucky animal shelter considering cat licensing and animal control regulations to cut the number of cats coming in - a huge problem in these parts, too.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Sweet red-headed mix looking for a home

Warmed by a space heater, Peanut stayed a week in Rosemary Woodruff's Shaker Heights garage.

"My son was walking with his new girlfriend around Shaker Square on Dec. 26 and there was this young puppy who had been following someone around all day," Rosemary said. "But that person said, 'I don't want him, I can't keep him' - so my son brought him home."

Hey, it was better than the alternative, she added.

"Our electric bill will be horrendous this month, I'm sure, but that's what you do. We got him in the nick of time because it got really cold after we found him."

Now this adorable red-headed pooch is looking for a new home through the Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio.

Peanut, in foster care for now, is a Pomeranian/Dachshund mix, likely between 2 and 5 years old, who weighs in at 18 pounds. Unable to find him another home, or his original owners, Rosemary got a call from PAWS Ohio, which asked her to bring him to Brecksville Animal Hospital.

On Saturday the veterinarian diagnosed some bald spots on his sides as burns.

'These areas are actually thermal or chemical burns, which have healed," said Meg Lamb, associate director of the dog division at PAWS Ohio. "It has yet to be determined if the hair will grow back in these areas. Aside from his scars, Peanut is a happy, friendly, energetic little guy who definitely has the look of a dachshund in his face and legs."

"He's energetic, he's got great self-esteem, and he just flies," Rosemary added. "When we go walking he just pulls me for such a little guy; he's 18 pounds and he's just really great."

Peanut will be available for adoption after he is neutered and vaccinated this week. (He's wearing a belly band in the picture above, but a neuter will stop him from spraying for good.) He'll also get a quick beauty makeover at the groomer's. Interested in adopting him or another of PAWS Ohio's loving animals? Visit and submit an application.

Lamb, meanwhile, stresses responsible pet ownership:

"This is the season when a lot of female dogs come into heat and male dogs are trying to find them. Please tell your readers to spay and neuter and, if not, to keep a closer eye on their dogs for the next several months. Those of us who care would hate to think of our dogs out loose in this weather.

"PAWS finds so many dogs that have not had basic veterinary care, who are ungroomed, or who have heartworm or other easily prevented diseases. Each of our dogs has a story, usually very sad, sometimes just stupid, that caused them to come into our foster program.

"Many rescue groups, PAWS included, could also use more foster homes for dogs and cats to save more animals."

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Earth Day prep begins with volunteer meeting

Environmentalists and nature-lovers unite for the 40th annual EarthFest, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 18, at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Anyone wishing to help the Earth Day Coalition with this celebration is invited to attend a volunteer orientation meeting from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, in the windows on the zoo's World Room, 3900 Wildlife Way.

"EarthFest is Ohio's largest Earth Day celebration," a news release touts. "This meeting will show you how you can help. You will also meet other EarthFest volunteers, learn all about EarthFest activities, and join a volunteer team."

Parking and admission is free for the training. Three subsequent orientations - at 10 a.m. Feb. 20, 6 p.m. March 15, and 10 a.m. April 3 - will be held at the Carnegie West Branch of the Cleveland Public Library.

However, volunteers need only attend one meeting to learn how to help.

Individuals, businesses or groups who cannot attend the January meeting but wish to volunteer should contact the Earth Day Coalition at 216-281-6468 Ext. 221 or

Also part of EarthFest, the annual Walk or Bike for the Earth steps off from the Rainforest and three remote bike locations at 9 a.m. that Sunday, with registration starting at 7:30 a.m.

Please note, because the walk goes in part through the zoo, no pets are permitted. Sorry!

-- Sandra M. Klepach,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beagles rescued; picture to prove it

Perhaps you saw today's story about seven beagles rescued from a burning house in Mentor.

Here's the photo that ran that makes me inexplicably happy.

Credit goes to our fabulous photographer and sometimes pet blogger Maribeth Joeright.

According to a neighbor who commented on the story, there were 14 dogs rescued in all: seven adults and seven puppies born Dec. 7.

"They're all safe, just loud," Allison said. "Like most beagles they howl!"

The adults' names are Trooper, Posse, Shooter, Turkall, Titan, Sweet Pea, Junior and Tracker.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,