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 30, 2011

Therapy dog training classes and screenings

Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village is hosting a therapy dog training class beginning March 13 for those who would like their canine companion to work as a therapy dog.

To participate in the class, dogs must be screened by the trainer in advance. Screenings will begin at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 6. To make an appointment for screening, call Barbara Collins at 440-285-4679.

The six-session, Sunday morning therapy dog training class will be from 10 to 11 a.m. at Rescue Village, 15463 Chillicothe Road, Russell Township. The cost of the class is $125, and registration is required prior to class date. Call Collins to register. At the completion of the class, dogs who are at least 1 year old will be tested to receive therapy dog certification.

Geauga Humane Society’s goal in hosting the class is to recruit graduates as Rescue Village volunteer Ambassadors. Ambassador dogs and their handlers represent Rescue Village at community events, work with TLC Kids Camp participants and visit classrooms. Rescue Village Ambassadors are invaluable in helping Geauga Humane Society promote its mission.

For information, contact Mary Carney at Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village at 440-338-4819, ext. 20, or

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tony needs a home

Tony is a 7-year-old neutered male available for adoption through Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue.

Tony is up to date on vaccines and FIV and FeLV negative.

Tony was brought to Caroline’s Kids as a kitten, adopted and then returned two years ago because of an illness in the family.

He is extremely affectionate, loves to cuddle and looks up with adoring eyes asking for love and attention.

He is healthy and looking for a quiet older home, no children or dogs, with people who want a lap kitty to spend time with.

For more information on Tony or any of the cats at the Concord Township-based sanctuary, call 440-449-3496.

-- Robin Palmer

Event helps puppy mill dogs

“Marilyn’s Got Fashion,” a fundraiser to aid with rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing puppy mill dogs, will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at Club K-9, 30400 Lakeland Blvd. in Wickliffe.

The program, hosted by local nonprofit dog rescue group Marilyn’s Voice, Inc., will feature Designs by Diva ’n Dapper Dogs.

Attendees are invited to bring their dogs dressed in their best “woof” couture.

Prizes will be awarded for best-dressed female and male dogs.

“Pup”arazzi photos will be taken on the red carpet for $1.

A special presentation will be made to Kilo, a retired Willoughby Police Department K-9, during the event.

Appetizers will be served and tickets for wine, beer and cocktails may be purchased.

A Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle will be part of the event.

Cost of a ticket is $25 for ages 18 and older; $10 for ages 17 and under; $5 per dog; and $3 for each additional dog.

For tickets and more information, call chairwoman Kathy Harmon at 440-376-9347 or visit

-- Robin Palmer

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Animal Crackers: Patty Cake cats -- translated

Make your day a little more bearable with a weekly feature on Pets Unleashed: Animal Crackers. Think of it as a mid-week snack that just might crack you up.

A few months ago, I gave you cats playing patty cake. This week, I bring you a translated version to let you know what they were thinking as they were being filmed.

Happy Wednesday!

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

AP-Petside poll: Pet or paramour? Many say pet

Who would you pick? Read on ...

NEW YORK (AP) — Your sweetheart or your pet. Which would you dump if one had to go?
Most current pet owners said they would hold on to their spouse or significant other (84 percent), but a sizable 14 percent picked their pet, according to an poll.
Put Sally Roland, 53, of Omaha, Neb., down in the dog-first column. “I’m divorced, so that might explain it,” she joked.
The unmarried, like Roland, are more apt to choose their pet over their mate — 25 percent among unmarried pet owners versus 8 percent among the married.
Count Fidel Martinez, 30, of Akron, Ohio, as forever loyal to Killer. That’s his mix-breed, 100-pound rescue dog.
“I would absolutely give up my girlfriend for him,” Martinez said. “I know it sounds insane but I’ve had numerous relationships with women. My dog has never let me down.”
For the record: Martinez and Killer have been together for seven years. Martinez and his girlfriend have been together for four. The two-legged pair have no immediate plans to cohabitate, he said, but she does like the dog a lot.
Women are far more likely than men to say the human-pet choice would be a tough one (40 percent among women compared with 26 percent among men). Both genders were equally likely to go with their spouse or significant other, according to the poll conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications.
There was also no difference between dog and cat owners: 35 percent of each said the choice would be a hard one and more than eight in 10 would choose their spouse.
Urban dwellers (47 percent) are more likely to say they’d have a difficult time choosing than did suburbanites (35 percent) or rural residents (25 percent).
Giving up a pet for any reason can be really tough — unless you are the owners of Princess the canine escape artist.
David Rosenthal and his family in Missouri City, Texas, were ready with what they considered an ideal fenced backyard when they welcomed the 2-year-old American Eskimo from a shelter. Then things went from pretty good to not at all.
“She kept getting away,” he said. “She’d dig underneath the fence, sneak out through every little crack. It would usually take about an hour or so to corral her.”
Even worse, the 49-year-old Rosenthal discovered the hard way that the bushy sago palm plants in the backyard were poisonous to dogs (and humans, too). Princess sampled them and nearly died. Treatment cost about $2,000.
“Plus she was nipping at kids,” said Rosenthal, who has three. “We were told it was friendly to kids.” So off Princess went, back to the shelter after a year. “It was sad but we knew there was already somebody there to adopt her.”
The family now has two other rescue dogs.
About six in 10 adults (57 percent) have had to give up a pet at some point in their lives, with current pet owners (64 percent) a bit more likely to have done so.
The most common reasons had to do with the pet’s health: 69 percent said their pet was too sick to live on, 52 percent too sick to be cared for at home. But there are other reasons as well, including about one in 10 (9 percent) who, like Rosenthal, said their animal was too dangerous to keep.
One-third (34 percent) of current pet owners said it would be “extremely” or “very” difficult if they were forced to choose between a pet and a family member who became allergic. Another 20 percent would find the choice somewhat difficult and 46 percent said it would be “not too difficult” or “not difficult at all.”
Christopher J. Hampton, 67, in Bellingham, Wash., has loved Pembroke Welsh corgis since he was a kid. He had a 5-year-old he had raised from a pup when he and his wife realized 40 years ago that their year-old son’s asthma was dangerously exacerbated by their pet.
“I couldn’t give up my son, so that was it,” Hampton said.
The Poll was conducted October 13 to 20, 2010 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,501 adults nationwide including 1,000 pet owners. Results among all adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points; for results among pet owners it is 4.0 percentage points.
Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.
Poll questions and results:

-- Robin Palmer


Take a chance on $1,000 in gasoline

Through the generosity of a donor, Caroline's Kids Pet Rescue is raffling a $1,000 gasoline gift card to raise money for the sanctuary cats.

Winners can pick which gasoline brand gift card they would like.

Tickets are $5 each or six for $25.

Tickets are available at the the group's website, or by calling the office at 440-449-3496.

The drawing will be April 8.

Tickets can be mailed to P.O. Box 24068, Mayfield Hts., OH 44124.

The Concord Township sanctuary, which is home to more than 250 cats, is in immediate need of supplies, including detergent, bleach, paper towels, can and dry cat food and scoopable litter.

Items can be dropped off daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

-- Robin Palmer

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

'Prevent a Litter' with Operation Petfix

February is “Prevent a Litter Month,” and Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village is sponsoring Operation Petfix Northeast Ohio. Petfix is a mobile spay/neuter clinic, which provides low cost spay/neuter for low income pet owners who qualify. GHS sponsors the mobile unit once a month. Openings are available for Feb. 23.
For more information, call Erin Hawes at 440-338-4819, ext.14.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dogs: A *caveman's* best friend?

Many of us have a four-legged companion to run up and great us with a happily wagging tail when we come home.

It's not uncommon. In fact, it's almost an expected part of society now. But have you ever wondered how long ago families started adopting dogs as pets?

According to this Associated Press report, there is now reason to believe that domesticated dogs were a big part of human life as far back as maybe 10,000 years ago. OK, maybe that's not *quite* caveman time, but it's interesting to think about the side-by-side evolution of people and dogs, isn't it?

Here's a link to the report. Warning, it is not all pleasant--dogs were not only pets in these ancient societies.

--Danielle Capriato


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Animal Crackers: Kitten hugs his teddy bear

Make your day a little more bearable with a weekly feature on Pets Unleashed: Animal Crackers. Think of it as a mid-week snack that just might crack you up.

This week, I bring you a kitten hugging his teddy bear.

Happy Wednesday!

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Boots needs a home

We've featured Boots here before, but she is still looking for a home.

Maybe you have room for her in your home.

Boots was abandoned by her owners in an empty house when they moved away.

She is available through Animal Rescue Center.

She is about a year old, very affectionate and is a wonderful companion, according to ARC officials.

She is vet checked, FeLV negative, up to date on shots, dewormed and flea treated and is spayed.

Her adoption fee is $20.

If you are interested in Boots, contact ARC at, call the center at 440-942-1753, or stop in to see her at the center, 36370 Vine St., in Eastlake, from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday or noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

-- Robin Palmer

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pain is stalking day's possible death watch; linked with Outdoors Blog

Watching the embers of a likely dying beloved pet begin to fade is never easy.

But when you're a hunter whose dog is also a frequent sidekick to outdoor adventures, well, the picket duty becomes all that more difficult.

After all, you've grown up together to be a team, you reading the dog's body language while he or she notes the tone of voice, the nod of the head, the wave of a hand or the short bleat from a whistle.

Call it primeval if you must, as some reckon to do. Call it symbiosis, also if you are so inclined. But a hunter and his dog are more than just "friends." They are fellow travelers - adventurers - along life's unsteady, not-always-plotted path. They've come to depend on one another in ways that most other pet owners could only guess at.

Please see my latest News-Herald Outdoors Blog posting as I comment on the discomfort over watching my 12-year-old Jenny Lynn struggle with the affects of what her vet calls the canine version of a stroke.

There is hope, given that in 80 percent of these identical cases a dog can recover most functions on its own. Yet after 24 hours this hope appears to be waning.

It hurts in ways that I have not felt in years; not since the loss of my last retriever and hunting buddy, Miss Daisy.

In advance, I thank you for your support. And for the hunters who've also been there, done that, I appreciate your silent nod of understanding and your tears of recognition.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Does your pudgy pooch need fitness camp?

If you build it, they will come, I suppose.

From a brief that ran in Sunday's Travel section:
Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, N.J., has a Jan. 17 to 21 retreat for dogs designed to jump start a healthier year. "Fido's Fit and Spaw" retreat will include treadmill trots, aerobic swim sessions in the indoor pool, nature hikes, "Doga" and "Paw-Lates," pampering massages, and nutritious homemade treats. Some sessions will be overseen by a personal trainer and others will be offered in a group setting.

Read more about the "Fit and Spaw" getaway here.

-- Cheryl Sadler

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good news, bad news

There's good news and bad news from the Lake County Dog Warden.

Dog Warden Rodney Shelton released the 2010 year-end figures, and the good news is 658 dogs found a home in 2010.

Of those dogs, 354 were adopted and 304 were returned to their owners.

The bad news, Shelton reports that 142 dogs were destroyed. Of those dogs, 22 died at their owner's request, while 120 were destroyed for other reasons.

If you're looking to adopt a dog, the shelter is always a good place to start.

The shelter is at 2600 North Ridge Road in Perry Township.

For details, call 440-350-2640.

-- Robin Palmer

Therapy dog training at Rescue Village

Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village is hosting a training class beginning March 13 for those who would like their canine companion to work as a therapy dog.

Dogs must be screened by the trainer prior to the class. Screening will take place at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 6. To make an appointment for the screening, call Barbara Collins at 440-285-4679.

The six-session, Sunday-morning class will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. at Rescue Village, 15463 Chillicothe Road in Russell Township.

Cost of the class is $125 and registration is required prior to class date. To register, call the number listed above. At the completion of the class, dogs who are at least 1 year old will be tested to receive therapy dog certification.

Geauga Humane Society's goal in hosting the class is to recruit graduates as Rescue Village volunteer Ambassadors.

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Heidi the cross-eyed opossum

Now that Paul the Octopus is out for the count, we've all been waiting to hear about the next big animal superstar out of Germany.

Well, folks, we don't have to wait any longer. Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum, is taking the internet by storm.

The Associated Press has this to say about the cute little creature:

BERLIN (AP) — Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum, is the latest creature to rocket from Germany's front pages to international recognition, capturing the world's imagination with her bright, black eyes turned toward her pointed pink nose.

Since the first photos were published in December, the marsupial from Leipzig Zoo has attracted more Facebook fans than Chancellor Angela Merkel. By Wednesday more than 111,000 fans from as far away as Bangkok and Montreal and clear across Europe were exclaiming "so cute!!" and "so sweet."

Experts say that like Knut, Berlin's famous fluffy white polar cub who was abandoned by his mother, and Paul, the late octopus who correctly predicted the outcome of all of Germany's 2010 World Cup games and Spain's victory in the final, the hype surrounding Heidi is fed by a human weakness for cuddly looking critters and the ability of modern mass media to spread images around the globe instantly.

Leipzig Zoo insisted the "media resonance was surprising and not planned," but it has nevertheless moved to protect the rights to her name and cross-eyed image — believed to be the result of pressure on her eyes created by fatty deposits. The zoo says the squint doesn't hurt her.

Heidi first attracted attention after a local TV report about her upcoming home — a new nocturnal enclosure in the tropical environment — featured her as one of several animals in quarantine until it opens July 1. She will share her enclosure with her sister Naira and their male companion, Teddy. All three arrived at Leipzig Zoo on May 5, 2010.

"She definitively won't be Germany's next Super Opossum," zookeeper Michael Eisner told MDR television, as Heidi squinted up at him from a cage for a documentary about the zoo in December.

He couldn't have been more wrong.

The clip attracted so much attention on the internet, the station has developed 10 episodes featuring Heidi and a local stuffed animal manufacture, Koesen, has adapted its line of plush opossums to include a white one with black ears and, of course, crossed-eyes.

Here's the clip:

--Danielle Capriato

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Animal Crackers: Nom nom nom nom nom nom

Make your day a little more bearable with a weekly feature on Pets Unleashed: Animal Crackers. Think of it as a mid-week snack that just might crack you up.

Today, I bring you: Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom

Happy Wednesday!

-- Cheryl Sadler

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10 little kittens

Caroline's Kids Cat Sanctuary is home to older, special-needs cats, but every once in a while, kittens find their way to the Concord Township site.

Ten kittens named Minnie, Mickey, Lemon, Lime, Atlas, Athena, Zena, Derek, Lance and Chester are available for adoption. They are 6 months old.

The kittens have been tested for Felv and FIV, have had their vaccines and are spayed or neutered.

Adoption fee is $75.

The sanctuary also has cats available for adoption that range from 1 to 10 years old.

For an appointment to see the kittens or cats, or more information, call Judie at 440-449-3496.

-- Robin Palmer

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Persia needs a home

Persia is a little black dog that was rescued from an overcrowded pound and is available for adoption through Animal Rescue Center, 36370 Vine St., Eastlake.

According to ARC officials, Persia is about 2 years old, alert, friendly and wants attention. She has lots of energy and needs a family to run and play with.

She is not good with cats, but is fine with other dogs.

She has been vet checked, spayed, updated on shots, is heartworm negative, was dewormed and flea treated.

For details, contact ARC at 440-942-1753. The group’s website is

-- Robin Palmer

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nice rescue!

Chalk one up for the men in blue...

NEW YORK (AP) — New York police officers jumped into the frigid waters of the Hudson River on Friday to rescue a German shepherd that had fallen off a boat and was stuck under a pier.
Harbor unit officers received the emergency call Friday morning, when it was snowing. Eight-year-old Chloe had fallen off her owner’s boat and was trapped under pilings at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, police said.
Detective Matthew Sherman pulled on gear and dived into the 20-foot-deep water, freeing the dog, as Detectives Michael Cocchie and John Drzal tossed out a line from a police boat and pulled the dog safely aboard. The water was 46 degrees with a high tide and strong northern current that could’ve pulled the dog far away.
Chloe’s owner, Mark Stoss, who lives aboard his sailboat, Quid Pro Quo, said she had fallen off the boat after pacing the deck. He said he was coming back aboard when he heard noises under the pier.
“I was walking down the dock, and I heard squeaking,” he told the Daily News. “I just started to panic.”
The dog got a warm shower and was feeling fine, Stoss said.
“I gave her a big hug,” he told the New York Post. “She was just petrified.”

-- Robin Palmer

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Animal Crackers: Crows vs. Cat vs. Cat

Make your day a little more bearable with a weekly feature on Pets Unleashed: Animal Crackers. Think of it as a mid-week snack that just might crack you up.

I don't want this week's selection to upset anyone. It is quite an interesting look at animals in nature -- and the soundtrack attached to it complements the video perfectly.

This week: Crows vs Cat vs Cat Street Fight

Happy Wednesday!

-- Cheryl Sadler

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Paws to Read at Mentor Public Library

Registration begins Jan. 10 for Paws to Read, set for 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at Mentor Public Library, 8215 Mentor Ave. Kids who are able to read independently are invited to sign up for a 30-minute session. We'll pair you with a gentle dog who is licensed and trained to be a good listener. Details: or 440-255-8811, ext. 220.

Kids who struggle to read can feel encouraged when reading to dogs, who won't criticize them when they struggle through words. Consider taking this opportunity to help your child read if he or she has been having trouble, or doesn't like to read.

Previous articles about how dogs help kids with reading:"Area libraries, schools are working to improve kids' reading"; "Students make 'Leap Into Literacy'".

-- Cheryl Sadler


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sad story out of California

ATWATER, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a fire at a California animal sanctuary killed more than 60 cats.

Fire officials responded to the blaze at Last Hope Cat Kingdom in Atwater around 1 a.m. Friday.

State fire spokesman Jose Quintana says the fire, caused by some sort of an electrical failure, was under control about two hours later.

But by then, more than 60 of the nearly 140 cats housed there had died. Last Hope Cat Kingdom founder Renate Schmitz tells the Merced Sun-Star they will be cremated at a pet cemetery.

Some of the others are now being treated for smoke inhalation at an animal medical center.

Schmitz says the cats could have escaped through doors in each of the sanctuary’s rooms. She plans to rebuild the facility, which had been open for four years.

-- Robin Palmer