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19 Cover Story

Rory Freedman, Carole Davis and Jana Kohl 24 Power Workouts Great Sports for Dogs! 40 Delicious Food for Dogs Mouth-watering Cuisine Your Dog Will Love! 48 Pet Food Companies Dumpster Diving for Their Ingredients? 52 Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants 56 Healthy Summer Treats Fruits, Vegetables & Snacks


Summer 2009 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3

Diet, Exercise

&Nutrition the dog scene


Coyotes in Your Neighborhood?

66 THE RESCUE REVOLUTION L.A. Pet Stores Go Humane


Nevada Humane Society


PAWS of Jackson Hole


Companion Animal Protection Society


2009 Maserati Granturismo

78 AUTHOR PROFILE Nathan Winograd


Bird Dogs on the Job

83 PET BUSINESS PROFILE Mouthful’s Pet Boutique



89 PET BUSINESS PROFILE Mulligan Stew Pet Food

Team Maggie Rocks! Photo by Russ Green (

10     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Cover photographed by Heather Green ( shot on location in the Hollywood Hills at the home of Carole Raphaelle Davis.


CONTENTS (cont.) Summer 2009

departments 14 Publisher’s Note 16 Our Contributors

122 Favorite Picks from Top Dogs 124 Bedtime Books to Read 126 Happily Ever After Pit Bull Prada’s Recovery 128 Everyday Doggie Heroes

Photo by Dynamic Dog Photos by Trista

columns 90 Dog Safety

Temperament Testing at Shelters

columns (con’t)

107 D  r.’s Corner

94 Nutrition


98 Health


Dog Food and Feeding

Fertilizers and Pets Don’t Mix 101 Wellness Holistic Medicine 102 Wellness Petzlife Products


Dr.’s Corner

Preventing Heat Stroke

112 116 118

Preventing Bloat Dog Training

Trainer Victoria Stilwell Dog Training

Trainer Brett Titus Dog Training

Trainer Michael Wombacher Dog Law

Backyard Breeders

Dog Law

Battling Breed Specific Legislation


12     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Publisher’s Note

Founder/Publisher Jamie M. Downey Associate Publisher Heather Green Associate Directors Sharyn Berglund Nancy Allen Editor in Chief Jamie M. Downey Editorial Director Lauren Wineberg

“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing” ~Albert Einstein

Art Director Jane Brunton Senior Editor David Revierter Photographer Heather Green Managing Editor Casey Rodarbal

“The world is run by people who show up” ~Unknown

“Be the change you want to see in the world” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Photo Editor Shannon Worgan Copy Editor Christiana Nelson Advertising Director Jamie M. Downey Production Coordinator Kim Thornton Distribution Manager John Haddock Business Manager Ann Jamison Subscription Manager Wanda Hoff

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world” ~Prophet Mohammed

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but the seeds you plant” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Web Site Design/Manager Jen Griggs-Sebastian Contributing Photographers Russ Green, Trista Hidalgo, Jona Decker, Lisa Weber, Steve Lankford, Paw Prince Studios, Dave Mills, Andrea Jackering, Carole Raphaelle Davis, Elle Whittlesbach, Clay Myers, Bill Adler, Shannon Worgan Contributing Writers Dr. Jeff Steen, Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, Dr. Linda Wolf, Dr. Michael Fox, Dr. Nancy Brandt, Julia Szabo, Anna MorrisonRicordati, Nathan Winograd, Marshall Tanick, Carole Davis, Tamra Monahan, Brett Titus, Victoria Stilwell, Michael Wombacher, Lori Moreland, Deb Dempsey, Cindy Nelson, Julie Bielenberg, James Valentina, Kevin Green, Elizabeth Bublitz, Priscilla Fraiegari, Will Post, Diane Peterson, Jackie Denton, Bonney Brown, Anny Deimenjian How to reach us: The Dog Publishing, LLC Dba The American Dog 700 N. Colorado Blvd., Suite #199 Denver, CO 80206 Phone: (303) 840-6111 (Colorado) For advertising inquiries Letters to the Editor/Story Ideas: Email to:

“It is not enough to be compassionate, you must act” ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing” ~Edmund Burke

14     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Subscription rate is $20 per year within the United States, Add $20 postage per year for Canadian subscriptions. We do not ship to foreign countries. U.S. funds only. Subscribe online: www.

Subscribers: If the postal service alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within one year. Email change of address to: Postmaster: Please forward change of address to: The Dog Publishing, LLC 700 N. Colorado Blvd., Suite #199 Denver, CO 80206 Copyright 2009 No part of this publication may be reproduced without expressed written permission of the publisher. No part may be transmitted in any form by any means, including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Publisher accepts no liability for solicited or unsolicited materials that are damaged or lost. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

Our Contributors Dr. Jeff Steen

Vererinarian Dr. Steen (DVM, DABVP) received his Veterinary degree in 1999 from Ohio State University. He is board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practioners and is currently the Medical Director at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. He and his wife, Lori, have three wonderful children-Joe, Jessic, and Jenna. They also have a black lab named Jewela and two persian kitties, Smokie and Dillon.

Marshall Tanick,

Attorney at Law Marshall is a senior partner at the law firm of Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, P.A., in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Stanford Law School. He has represented dog owners and pet-related organizations for more than two decades and has been involved in landmark litigation invalidating breed-specific bans.

Dr. Michael Fox

Nathan Winograd

Vererinarian Dr. Fox earned his veterinary degree at the Royal Veterinary College in London. He also holds a Doctor of Science in Ethology/Animal Behavior, and a PhD in Medicine from London University and is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. Fox is a syndicated columnist and the author of more than 40 books on animal care.

Attorney at Law Nathan is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney, has spoken on and written animal protection legislation at the state and national level and has created successful No Kill programs in both urban and rural communities. Learn more through his work with the No Kill Advocacy Center (

Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro

Anna Morrison-Ricordati

Vererinarian Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro is an internationally-recognized criticalist, author and lecturer. She leads the Emergency and Critical Care team at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge, CO. She has a variety of dogs and cats, including an adorable pug, Vincent Charles. She is a certified Jazzercise instructor and enjoys cooking, gardening and growing orchids.

Attorney at Law Anna Morrison-Ricordati is an attorney practicing animal welfare law and general civil litigation in Chicago, Illinois. Her practice includes overturning dangerous dog rulings to assisting animal related notfor-profit organizations with various legal issues. As an advocate, Anna seeks to protect animals from abuse under existing laws and further seeks to extend animal protection through legislative change.

Victoria Stilwell

Deb Dempsey

Dog Trainer The star of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog,” Victoria displays how positive reinforcement can do a dog wonders. Her unique brand of firm-but-fair, positive, reward-based dog-training methods are entertaining and educational to watch. A respected author, of two books—It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet and Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Happy, Healthy Pet.

Brett Titus

K-9 SWAT Officer, Dog Trainer Brett is president of the Colorado Police K-9 Association and is actively involved in training dogs, schutzhund training and showing as well as performing his duties as a full-time SWAT police officer with the K-9 unit in Denver.

Michael Wombacher

Dog Trainer Michael Wombacher is an author, lecturer and expert dog trainer for Bay Area celebrities and families, with over 20 years of hands-on training experience. Michael has written two dog training books, and offers the only digital book on how to prepare your dog for the arrival of a new baby, entitled Good Dog, Happy Baby. He is currently working on his first TV show.

16     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Business Owner, Writer Deb is co-owner of Mouthful’s Pet Boutique, a hip and trendy shop located in Denver, Colorado and her company also manufactures their own line of natural treats for dogs and cats. Deb spends a huge amount of time researching pet health, nutrition, wellness and hygiene for all the products, foods and treats she carries in her store and keeps abreast of all the information regarding the pet industry.

Lorileigh Moreland

Business Owner, Writer Lori (along with her Newfoundland Magic) established Pet Empawrium & Spaw in 2002 for furfamilies with discriminating taste and aboveaverage involvement with their canine (and feline) fur-children. She now brings her knowledge, passion, and customer service to Arvada, Colorado.

Carole Raphaelle Davis

Author, Animal Advocate Carole Raphaelle Davis is an actress, animal welfare advocate and author of The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife. Carole is currently working on a new book and an investigation of pet factories that supply the public through pet shops and the Internet. Her Web site is:

18     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine


uthors, dvocates nimal heroes!


The American Dog Magazine sat down with these three beautiful, intelligent, passionate women to let them tell their story about why they are dedicated to speaking for those who have no voice and committed to saving those who beg for the chance to live. Photos by Heather Green.

Rory Freedman

Q: How have your dogs, Timber and Joey, enriched or changed your life? Having access to two little beings that constantly want to be touched and loved—the physical joy they bring is indescribable. They’ve also brought so much laughter into my life; everything they do is funny. And because I’m responsible for their happiness, I go on daily hikes with them, so as a result, I’m in better shape and I’m outdoorsier now. I also learned an interesting thing about love by seeing how my dogs differ from each other. As any mom will tell you, you love your kids equally. But you may not love them the same. Timber is a total love monger; he will take whatever touching comes his way and love every bit of it. Joey is a little more selective— she only wants to be pet a certain way and sometimes has a hard time just accepting whatever kind of love or affection I’m giving her. So sometimes, loving on Timber can feel a little more gratifying than loving on Joey. The takeaway lesson for me was, “Allowing someone to love you and be affectionate towards you is a gift to the giver.”

life—one that reflects compassion above all else. is a great resource for people who want to learn more or who are ready to try a new way. I challenge everyone to just try a 30-day veg pledge. You know what it’s like to eat meat, but do you know what it’s like to be a vegetarian for just 30 days? It’s one month of your life. Try it!!

Q: Do you have any plans for another book or future projects? In the last five years, I’ve cranked out five books and three workout DVDS. The latest, Skinny Bastard and Skinny Bitch: Booty Bounce, just came out. There are always meetings, phone calls, interviews and a million other things that need to be done. I’m definitely ready to take a little time off and recharge my batteries.

Q: What motivates you to help animals? Pain is pain. I wouldn’t want to see a cow, chicken or pig suffering any more than I would want to see a dog suffering. Learning about factory farms and slaughterhouses ensured I would never eat another animal ever again. But it’s not enough for me to be vegan; I need to educate others, as well. Today can be the first day of your new

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      19  

Jana Kohl Q: How has your dog Baby enriched or changed your life? Adopting Baby was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in my life. Seeing her safe and happy in a forever home gives me incredible satisfaction. I still love to watch her dig a

nest for herself in the folds of our soft comforter every night, knowing she had to sleep on a wire cage floor for 8 years. It also inspired my mission to spread the word—“Adoption is cool, shopping is cruel.”

Q: What motivates you to help rescue dogs? Living with a puppy mill survivor who lost a leg, had her vocal cords cut and was used like a breeding machine, I’m reminded every day that there are countless others who remain imprisoned at those houses of horror, and I won’t rest until every one of them is freed and all puppy mills are shut down. When our President didn’t adopt a dog, it was a crushing blow and made our task even harder. If he had fulfilled his pledge to support this mission, which he made when he agreed to be featured in Baby’s book, A Rare Breed of Love and which he expressed a desire to do during his campaign, he would have inspired other Americans to follow his lead. The shelters would have been emptied in a year and puppy mills would have fallen like dominoes. Now the opposite will occur— the numbers of dogs in shelters will soar even higher, costing taxpayers billions, more puppy mills will open and millions more dogs will endure lives of misery. I never thought I’d be writing these words: The Obama-Biden administration, by their example, has done more to hurt the rescueadoption/puppy mill movement than any other in history.

Q: What projects are you currently involved in? Trying to convince the President to adopt a playmate for Bo. This will not only fulfil his pledge, but it will also actually help the first family get a restful night’s sleep. The First Lady said that Bo is “crazy,” referring to his boundless puppy energy. If they adopt a playmate for him, the two dogs will play all day and come nighttime, they’ll crash and let everyone have a peaceful night’s sleep. As for the Vice President, who got a dog from a puppy mill that was cited for cruelty by PA authorities, and who agreed to adopt a second dog after so many people complained to him, we’re still waiting for that to happen. 20     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Carole Raphaelle Davis Q: How have your dogs enriched or changed your life?

movement and we will be expanding the movement all over the nation.

The thought of life without dogs is depressing; they are the most perfect creatures on earth because they unlock the secret of joy for us. I can’t imagine having four husbands, but having four dogs is pure fun. It’s non-stop entertainment. All four of my dogs were dead dogs walking—all on death row at the pound and now they’re living the good life. They’ve changed my life as much as I have changed theirs. One of my dogs, Jinky, gave me a career as a writer. It started with a book “written by” my dog Jinky, a comedic animal rights activist who is a critic of how preposterous humans are. It was my love of dogs that got me involved in investigating the link between pet stores and puppy mills. I sleep with dogs, dream about dogs and wake up and work for dogs I don’t even know. I have a goal to make puppy mills illegal and to empty all the cages in our nation’s shelters.

Q: What are your plans for another book or future projects? Of course, I’m helping Jinky with his new book, a sequel to The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife, about how humans are bumbling idiots with cat poop for brains, who can’t seem to overcome narcissism, greed and status anxiety. I’m also working on a feel-good family entertainment film script—a Great Escape sort of action adventure about a small group of talking puppy mill survivors who break free and want to go back to save their parents.

Q: What motivates you to help rescue dogs? I have a lot of friends who rescue dogs, and we must all be the voice for the dogs. We know that if we don’t stand up for them, they’ll die. Right now, with the current economic collapse, we have a tragedy occurring. Record numbers of pets are being killed in the shelters. We must change people’s way of thinking about how to acquire a pet—adoption is the only ethical choice and people must stop thinking of pets as status symbols or accessories that are disposable. Dogs are our friends.

Q: What projects are you currently involved in? This summer, our group plans to convert more pet stores to a humane business model. We’ve investigated another highend pet boutique that sells dogs from a dungeon-like factory in Minnesota. They brag that they sold a dog to Governor Schwarzenegger. We will convince them to stop defrauding customers by staging a siege in front of their store, showing customers the evidence. We’ve been very successful in the past year and we plan to build on that success. The entire chain of Pet Depots is in the process of going humane as a result of our protest

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      21  

Disc Doggin!

Matt DiAno and Maggie performing at an NFL Halftime Show in Kansas City December 2008. Photo by Russ Green (


o watch a dog fly through the air in pursuit of his Frisbee—and catch it in mid-air—is to watch one of the most impressive, defying-gravity stunts around. This incredibly popular sport, called Disc Dog, requires only a Frisbee, a four-legged buddy and a level play area.

you think your dog has what it takes to be a champ then enter some of the tournaments organized in most every state.

Dogs of all kinds love to perform in this competition and some of the world champions have been mixed breeds and shelter rescues. This is also a great sport because it gives the dog a job to do, keeps them entertained and is a terrific way to bond and work as a team with your dog.

This summer, buy a Frisbee so you and your dog can have a blast and get a great workout chasing after the flying disc. There are hundreds of Disc Dog Clubs nationwide and you can join one to meet other athletic dogs and owners—and if

24     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

For more information or to get involved this summer:


High-Flying Frisbee Dog Loves to Win! Rescued from the Dumb Friends League in Colorado as a puppy, this 6-year-old shelter dog has found her calling in life. Her first competition was in 2004—one year after she was adopted—when she won Rookie of the Year for Colorado with her dad Matt DiAno. The following year Maggie won the same award, but with her mom Kerry Samet. Life has not slowed down for this energetic girl and Maggie has just won her third straight UFO World Cup Championship, as well as her third straight Colorado State Championship (2006, 2007 and 2008). She has another 2008 world title to add to her vast stockpile—the USDDN Super Pro International Champion. Maggie also traveled with dad Matt to South

Korea in 2007 where together they were the highest-placed American team, taking third place in the competition. She will likely travel to Germany in June to compete. Dad Matt tells us that life with Maggie “is just getting better and better and bigger and bigger.”

Matt and Maggie are part of the Total Performance Disc Dog Team and perform demos throughout the U.S. For more information, visit their Web site at (BELOW) Matt DiAno and Maggie in Ft. Collins, Colorado at a UFO Local competition. Photo by Russ Green (

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      25  

Let the Games Begin!

DOG AGILITY: A Playground for Dogs!


s your dog smart? Does he love to work out and have loads of energy? Then make plans to join one of the fastest-growing canine sports in the United States— dog agility! Dogs of all breeds and sizes are encouraged to participate in this competitive sport, which involves a dog

26     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

maneuvering through a pre-set course of obstacles as fast and accurately as possible, while being guided by its handler. Dog agility is an athletic, competitive sport and a fun way for the entire family to spend time with one another and with your dog!

For more information and to get involved this summer contact:

Photography: Dynamic Dog Photos by Trista (United States Dog Agility Association) (North American Dog Agility Club) (American Kennel Club) (Dogs on Course North America) (Agility Resort and Dog Training School) (Canine Performance Events) The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      27  

Dock Diving!



f you have an athletic dog who is born to run, loves the water, and will chase after any object you throw his way, then make plans for Fido to get involved in a dock diving club this summer! Dock diving is a popular sport for the canine athlete in which dogs run and leap off a 40-foot dock into a pool of water after a lure thrown by their handler.

28     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

The dog that jumps the farthest is the winner. Any breed of dog can participate in this sport but obviously a love of the water is a must. There are four different tournament events: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, Speed Retrieve and the new sport, Iron Dog. There are age classifications as well. Dock Dog events are held regionally, nationally and internationally.

(OPPOSITE) USDAA Agility Championships, Scottsdale, WestWorld Center, October 2008. Photo by (RIGHT) Lianne Hassen & ‘Tank’ winning the DockDogs National Championships Senior Division 2008. Photo by Steve Lankford. (BOTTOM) Bobby Pablico’s lab, ‘Rico’ competing at a Las Vegas DockDogs Competition. Photo by Lisa Weber, CBBC Photography.

For more information about dock diving or to find a club near you, check out these links: (official web site for this premier sport) ( West Coast) (Washington & Oregon) (Maryland & N. Virginia) (Atlanta & NE Georgia) (Texas) (Pennsylvania) (Las Vegas & surrounding regions) (Colorado/Nebraska/Wyoming) (Virginia Beach, VA areas) (Wisconsin)

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      29  



“If she were a person, she’d be an Olympic athlete,” is how Anna Balsamo describes her four-year-old Belgian Tervuren, Pico, who has been the DockDogs® No. 1 ranked dog in the world for the past two years. And like a gold-medal winning Olympic athlete, Pico possesses athleticism, an intensely competitive spirit, courage and a properly structured body. Couple those raw qualities with proper nutrition and training, as well as a busy travel schedule, and you have what is required to dominate in this high-energy, crowdpleasing sport.

Jumping In As with most people involved with dock diving, Balsamo was first drawn to the sport after seeing an event on television in 2003. She immediately thought “my dog can do that,” and she also thought it looked like something her dog would have fun doing. Balsamo found a local competition for her Belgian Tervuren Granite, who is now 12 years old, and she and her dogs have been hooked ever since. Pico followed in the footsteps of her older brother Granite and began dock diving when she was just under a year old. “Pico got involved as soon as she was old enough to compete.” Balsamo said. Her first event was in San Diego in the spring of 2005. “Pico was extremely eager from the get-go, but didn’t quite have the courage to make the leap off the dock at her first competition,” says Balsamo. “However, she was off and running by her second competition.” A series of honors and titles followed. While Balsamo knew Pico was talented, she says she did not believe Pico could be ranked World’s No. 1 until the day it happened. “The competition has always been pretty stiff and is even more so today,” Balsamo said. Any doubts aside, Pico has proven herself a champion by claiming the title of the World’s No. 1 ranked dog for the past two years (2007, 2008). This year, Pico will compete for her third consecutive World’s No. 1 ranking. In her quest, Pico

will be competing in as many events as possible, as rankings are determined by averaging the five best scores.

Fueling the Canine Athlete Pico’s diet is extremely important, as dock diving puts tremendous stress on her body. Dock diving requires the dog to explode to full speed from a sit position, run down the dock as fast as possible (speed is crucial for distance), and push off with full force. While flying through the air, the dog is making adjustments with their back and abdominal muscles. Balsamo has been feeding her dogs a raw diet since 1997, and Balsamo says Pico has been on a raw diet since the day she brought her home. “Raw meats are the best source for providing Pico with the protein she needs to maintain the muscle necessary for succeeding in dock diving, as well as protecting her joints and spine from injury,” Balsamo said. According to Balsamo, Pico eats Bravo! exclusively, as its ingredients are of a much higher quality than any other raw diet she has found. “The variety that Bravo offers is extremely important, as different meat contains different amino acid profiles,” Balsamo said. “Pico eats chicken, pork, beef, lamb and tripe because feeding such a variety covers all her bases.”

Anna & Pico from the backgrounder. Photo by Jona Decker.

30     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      31  

Dogs Gone Wild! FLYBALL DOGS


lyball is a fantastic sport for dogs that love to run and are obsessed with balls. This fast and exciting competition is a relay race between four highspirited dogs and the course consists of hurdles to jump and a spring-loaded box that shoots out a tennis ball when the dog steps on it. After catching the ball, the dog runs back over the hurdles and crosses the starting line, allowing the next dog to take off. The team with the fastest time wins the race.

Flyball is open to all canine breeds, ages and sizes and many dog owners become involved for the fun and camaraderie of the sport—or if you and your dog have a more competitive edge and love a challenge, join one of the many Flyball Dog Clubs and partake in the official competitions where your dog can earn titles and awards and become a champion!

For more information to get involved this summer contact: (North American Flyball Association) (Flyball Dogs) 32     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Photography: Dave Mills Photographic Arts

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      33  

Hiking with your Hound!


Bogart hiking along a beautiful green trail, soaking in the summer sun.

34     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Bogart, Chloe and Kaya.


hat better way to stay fit and enjoy some human-canine bonding than walking with your four-legged friend by your side? Your buddy doesn’t care what part of the country you live in, as long as you grab the leash and hiking essentials and head out to the nearest pet-friendly park or trail. There’s nothing more exhilarating for Fido than to be in the great outdoors and to be completely engrossed in nose-to-the-ground tracking of the wonderful scents of squirrels, birds and other dogs—the joy your dog exhibits will put a smile on your face and convince you to hit the trails on a regular basis this summer.

• Signal device: whistle, airhorn, flare • Space blanket • Flashlight

Always tell someone your hiking itinerary, in case of emergency, and don’t forget these day hiking safety essentials for you and your pup. • Appropriate hiking boots, don’t forget Fido’s • Plenty of treats for you and Fido • Plenty of water bottles for both of you • Pet first aid kit, and one for you, too • Insect repellent • Biodegradable poop bag • Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses • Compass or GPS device and a map • Cell phone • A pocket knife or multi-purpose tool • Matches or a fire starter • Extra jacket and rain protection • Tweezers, scissors and pliers

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      35  

Make a Splash this Summer!

DOG-PADDLING, DOGGIE STYLE Photos by Heather Green


he dog days of summer are here. With the heat of the season, it’s a great time for you and your pup to take a dip in the pool or take a trip to a sandy beach or lake. Most dogs love the water and not only is swimming fun but it is also an invigorating workout that will

36     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

build muscles and cardiovascular strength. Whether you swim laps or simply stroll through a shallow stream, make sure to have some fun in the water this summer with your pooch.

(OPPOSITE) Chloe and Kaya making the most of their day at the lake.( ABOVE) Opie, making his own splash at the lake. (BELOW) Opie and best-bud, Kimbell, swimming to mom, Debra. (BOTTOM) Kimbell, a Golden Retriever Service Dog, enjoying the sunshine.

Below are some helpful tips for water safety: • P  ut a life jacket on your dog when swimming. • N  ever allow your dog in the pool area unattended. • D  on’t let your dog drink pool or lake water (due to the chemicals, bacteria and parasites in the water). • M  ake sure your dog can get in and out of the pool. • R  inse your dog off after swimming to remove any chemicals. • D  on’t forget to dry your dog’s ears to prevent ear infections. • D  ogs can get sunburned, so ask your vet about sunscreen. • D  ogs can overexert themselves, so watch for signs of exhaustion. • P  rovide plenty of fresh water and a shady place to rest. • Learn pet first aid and pet CPR.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      37  

Yoga for




s if high-quality bonding time and a fun fitness routine weren't enough incentive for practicing yoga together with your dog, Doga master Amy Stevens of Arizona's Yoga 4 Dogs has a few more motivators that will have you saying "Na-mutt-ste" in no time flat. Amy and Ginger, her year-old LabQueensland heeler mix, are the picture of health and graceful beauty, and doga is the reason why. "I'm taking time to make sure my body ages as well as possible," Amy says. "When we do yoga together, Ginger's muscles and joints can stay limber too." About a month after Amy adopted Ginger from Arizona's Halo Pet Rescue, the pretty mutt proved to be a quick study. The exercise of "balancing and stretching" soon became one of Ginger's favorite things to do. "I stand up and tap my chest; she puts both paws on my upper stomach, and I hold her paws. She loves being stretched out!"

Photo by Andrea Jeckering

leisurely dog walk, whether it's a torrential downpour or blistering heat, Doga is a great indoor activity to enjoy in the dry, cool comfort of home. And when you're on the road with your dog, what could be better than doing yoga together? "It's the perfect travel workout," Amy says.

The constant contact that Doga affords makes it irresistible to dogs. Sure, they love running and walking by our side, not to mention playing fetch, but dogs adore hand-to-fur contact. And with Doga, Amy explains, "There's always an arm or hand on them," she says. "They're constantly being recognized. When Ginger sees the yoga mat, she gets really excited."

For triple-type-A people who have trouble sitting still long enough to do yoga, having a dog as a workout partner is the cure. "If you get bored easily, and your mind is always racing, with eight different thoughts going on at once, it can be hard to stay focused," Amy allows. "Having a dog by your side will really keep you entertained and laughing, which helps you stay in the moment."

Any time the weather outside doesn't cooperate with a long,

38     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine



PuRe KinDneSS green tripe pet food

Super Delicious

Dog Foods for



nutritious, well-balanced diet is extremely important for your dog’s overall condition and well-being. Also, the quality and type of food you feed your dog can determine his longevity for a happy, healthy life. As the pet parent, it is up to you to select the proper nutrition and best dog food on the market to keep your fourlegged buddy around for a long time. Do your homework: consult with your veterinarian or educated pet boutique owner before deciding which type of food to feed your dog. There are so many options available today: dry, canned, raw, freeze-dried, vegetarian, homemade, organic, natural or fresh – and there are more than 100 different brands of dog food on store shelves. Take a look at these five exceptional dog food manufacturers featured and start your dog on the path to a healthy diet today!

40     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Why Oven-Baked dog food from

LIFE4K9? By Will Post Founder/Owner Life4K9

Life4K9® Pet Food is a different kind of pet food company. We believe that as a company we can make a difference in the nutrition for all dogs. We have spent years researching the method to create the healthiest dog food. We discovered that most dog food companies use ultra-low-grade ingredients and unwholesome fillers such as wheat, soy and corn, in addition to using an extruded method to cook kibble. Extruding dog food is cooking it at extremely high temperatures for a few seconds with hot steam to produce kibble. Then to make this unpalatable food edible, grease and fats are added so dogs will be interested in consuming it. Ever wonder why dog bowls and dog food bags are slimy and lined with grease? Where's the nutrition in those other dog foods? If you consumed fried rice each day your entire life you would have allergies and health issues, similar to those which plague our beloved pets at an alarming rate. You've paid thousands of dollars on vet bills for steroids shots, drugs, Benadryl, cortisone shots, etc. and learned the hard way that it's not just about ingredients but how you cook it. Consumers are guilty of buying dog food "that tastes good" and is cheaper, but it is really not about nutrition. Other dog food brands can brag about being free-range, organic, no corn, but the end result is

how you cook those ingredients. Extruded is cheaper, both in price AND quality. With oven-baked dog food, the kibble and its ingredients are mixed together, along with real human-grade chicken or lamb, and baked at 350° for about 30 minutes. Just like how we bake our own meals! Oven-baking produces a healthier kibble by baking out the naturally-occurring oils. Our ingredients are also the highest quality, notably human-grade quality. Sweet potatoes, barley, dried yucca, rosemary, and sage are a few of our wholesome ingredients in our formulas. Yes, most dog foods are cheaper, but honestly we found you will pay more in medical bills throughout your pet's life by feeding low-grade, poorly processed dog foods. Do not compromise your loved one's quality of life! Our reason for naming our company LIFE4K9, was the promise to formulate wholesome and healthful recipes for the entire LIFE of our pets.

For more information: Life4K9 Dog Food (888) 543-3459

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      41  

EVANGER’S Made in the USA! Safety and Quality in Every Can

As the country’s oldest natural dog food company, Evanger’s has been a trusted source for highquality premium pet food for more than 70 years. All Evanger’s products are made in the United States, but that’s not all that makes them special. “We don’t use trends or buzz words to sell our products. We don’t cut corners on safety or quality yet we still remain an affordable source for premium pet food. Our recipes speak for themselves,” said Holly Sher, president of Evanger’s.

Fresh, Wholesome Ingredients Evanger’s starts preparation of its food with select cuts of naturally raised poultry, game or meat, and then they add fresh, wholesome ingredients like blueberries, carrots and peas to their award-winning recipes. All the company’s dog and cat food recipes are free of artificial colors, flavors, salt or preservatives and the vegetables and fruits picked for Evanger’s are bought locally near their warehouse outside of Chicago from the same suppliers used for some of Chicago’s top four-star restaurants.

Dogs Can’t Resist Pet owners and vegetarians love Evanger’s because they provide high-quality, nutritious food offerings with a proven

42     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

track record, but pets love the scrumptious taste combinations. Even the fussiest eaters can’t resist the flavorful natural game meat and fresh flavors in the company’s pet food. Evanger’s has a strong commitment to canine and feline health with their products including the latest nutritional research and innovations in the industry. They offer an extensive line of canned food including game meats, hand packed canned food and superpremium organic canned food for both cats and dogs.

New Treat Line Launched Evanger’s recently launched a new dog treat line, “Nothing But Natural Jerky Treats.” These mouth-watering, bite-size treats are mixed with fruits and vegetables and are available in four nutritious flavors: Organic Chicken, Natural Buffalo, Natural Pheasant and Natural Venison. Learn more about Evanger’s super premium dog food made in the USA by visiting the company’s Web site at: www. or call 1(800) 288-6796 for a retailer nearest you.

MULLIGAN STEW PET FOOD Discover the Next Revolution in Pet Nutrition By Diane Peterson National Sales & Marketing Director

A nutritious diet is the cornerstone of your pet's health and long life. The choices we make on behalf of our pets regarding their diet are perhaps the single most important decision that can affect their well-being. Mulligan Stew® Pet Food has developed an innovative formula designed to provide a substantially nutritious diet that is high in protein, while increasing both the bioactivity and levels of certain enzymes, which provide antioxidant benefits. This same innovative formula is used in our dog food, cat food and Stew Stick Treats for Dogs:

Protein: Meat is the primary ingredient in Mulligan Stew. Our varieties of beef, chicken, turkey, wild salmon, duck, buffalo and trout provide the amino acids and proteins that build healthy tissue, blood and bone. Cruciferous Vegetables: Cabbage and horseradish are cruciferous vegetables that contain high amounts of glutathione peroxidase, powerful enzymes that provide antioxidant benefits. These vegetables also provide the fiber required for a healthy digestive system.

Liver: Liver is a superior natural source of Vitamin A, which promotes good eye sight and iron and is necessary for the production of red blood cells and the transportation of oxygen throughout the body.

amino acid, methionine is not synthesized in mammals, so methionine or methionine-containing proteins must be ingested. Methionine is important especially as a source of sulfur for the biosynthesis of cysteine and as a source of methyl groups for transmethylation reactions (as in the biosynthesis of choline, creatine, and adrenaline). Cysteine and Methionine work together with Glutathione Peroxidase to strengthen the end caps of each cell and slow the cell's splitting process. They also work together as powerful enzymes that provide antioxidant benefits.

Beta Carotene: Beta Carotene is also a powerful antioxidant. Carotenes can be stored in the liver and converted to Vitamin A as needed, thus making it a provitamin. Selenium: Selenium (SE) is an element which has aroused much interest recently. It is an essential trace metalloid for animals and is known to be a cofactor in two enzyme systems. The most important system is glutathione peroxidase, which acts as an antioxidant by destroying peroxides that attack cellular membranes. Mulligan Stew® Pet Food is a natural pet food focusing on pet nutrition at the cellular level and the end result is a healthy, natural pet food you may feed to your pet with confidence.

Brown Rice: Non-milled, ground brown rice offers

necessary minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and fiber. Foods rich in fiber are digested slowly, maintaining energy levels between mealtimes.

L-Cysteine and L-Methionine: As an essential

For more information: Mulligan Stew Pet Food (888) 364-7839

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      43  

SOLID GOLD HEALTH All Natural Ingredients By the Solid Gold Health Team

Solid Gold Health Products For Pets, Inc., has been a pioneer of natural, holistic animal nutrition since 1974. We now have a line of nine dry dog and cat foods, including our new high-protein, low-carbohydrate dry dog food, Barking at the Moon™. We also have a line of canned dog and cat foods, as well as nutritional supplements, treats and topical products. We specialize in the development of "low-allergen" products, which work together to enhance total health, boost the immune system and protect against disease. We always use wholesome USDA Choice meats, USDA grade I and II grains and healthful monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. We never use chemical preservatives, such as BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin, which may be related to some diseases in pets. We also never use wheat, corn or soy, which are often genetically modified and are common allergens for dogs, causing them to have uncomfortable skin disorders, chew incessantly at their feet or suffer from chronic problems, such

as ear infections. We never add animal or poultry fat to our products, as these are saturated fats that may contribute to heart disease and certain types of cancer. Solid Gold is an industry leader in the use of revolutionary foil "barrier" packaging for all dry food products, which means we don't have to use chemical preservatives or flavor enhancers. Barrier packaging keeps food fresh longer, maintains palatability and helps to sustain the potency of valuable vitamins and other nutrients, which may deplete over time with conventional paper bags. The founder and owner of Solid Gold Health Products for Pets is Sissy Harrington-McGill. Sissy went to Germany in 1974 to buy the fawn son of the 1974 World Champion Great Dane, and the brindle nephew of the 1973 World Champion Great Dane. She has raised Danes since 1958. While in Germany, she found that the German Danes were very healthy and lived to be 11 to 13 years old. American Danes lived to be only 7 to 9 years old. Sissy believed this difference may have been nutrition-related and gathered samples of some German dog foods. Upon returning to the United States, she had the various foods analyzed to determine how they might lengthen the life span of the American Danes. She then developed the Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken (which means ‘dog food flakes’ in German) and introduced the first natural dog food to the United States in 1974, thus beginning Solid Gold Health Products For Pets, Inc., The Holistic Animal Nutrition Center.

For more information: Solid Gold Health Products for Pets, Inc. (800) 364-4863

44     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

So, What’s the Deal on

Raw Diets? By Priscilla Fraiegari

Sales of raw diet products are surging as more dog owners seek healthier food options. But is raw right for your dog? Let’s take a closer look at some of the “raw facts.”

• Improved digestion

What is a Raw Diet?

• More energy and stamina

A raw diet is a natural form of nutrition mirroring the way dogs have eaten for centuries. “Nature’s diet” consists of high-quality meat, some bone and organ meat, and a few vegetables.

• Decrease in abnormal hyperactivity

The modern raw diet was invented by veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst in the late 80s. Noticing significant increases of certain health problems among his patients who were eating kibble, Dr. Billinghurst switched a group of his patients to a raw diet, seeing immediate improvement in chronic problems. The modern raw diet was born.

• Reduction of allergy symptoms • Harder, smaller, less smelly stools

• Increased mobility in older animals • Reduced or eliminated need for veterinary dental work

Raw Economics The cost of feeding better quality food is slightly higher (about 20 percent) than feeding kibble. If the benefits are to be believed, the fewer vet visits, problems with allergies and dental issues are likely to offset the slight increase in cost over time.

Is Feeding Raw Safe?

Finding the Right Products

“One of the initial concerns expressed about raw is safety because you are handling raw meats and poultry,” says Bette Schubert, co-founder of the Bravo! Raw Diet. “Feeding raw is really no different than preparing food for your family. It should be handled correctly and always err on the side of caution.”

There are many different brand choices and product forms. You can buy just pure boneless meat such as Bravo!® Boneless and add the rest of the ingredients, or buy a product like Bravo! Complete and Balanced®, which contains the right proportion of all key ingredients - meat, bones, organ meats, vegetables and vitamin supplements. All-in-one products offer convenience, easy storage and safe handling. From “scratch” products are really for experienced raw feeders looking for a custom mix of ingredients for their dog or cat.

Raw products should be properly stored and handled. Be sure to read and follow the handling instructions on the package. Keeping surfaces clean, washing hands and utensils in hot soapy water should be a natural part of your routine.

Reasons to Go Raw Since Dr. Billinghurst’s “discovery,” more pet professionals, including breeders, veterinarians and breed ring handlers, believe dogs need a raw, natural diet for optimum health. The final word comes from pet owners who have seen the following benefits to their pets: • Shinier, healthier skin and coats • Cleaner teeth and fresh breath • Better weight control

Introducing Raw into Your Pet’s Diet When introducing raw into your pet’s diet, it is best to make a gradual change in foods during a 10-day period. Start with 25 percent raw on day 1 and increase the proportion slowly throughout the next 10 days.

Thinking About Going Raw? Always do your homework. There are several top-tier raw food companies out there. Read the labels, talk to your pet retailer and choose brands and products you think your pet will like best. Visit for more insights about feeding a raw diet.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      45  

Take your dog shopping at your local specialty pet boutique and


Solid Gold

PuRe KinDneSS


green tripe pet food Mulligan Stew



46     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Bravo Raw Diet

DUMPSTER Is your pet food company



for its ingredients

By Deb Dempsey


everal recent articles, including one in Consumer Reports, have suggested that cheaper brands of dog food are just as good as their more expensive counterparts. I seriously beg to differ, although these articles do make an important point: the quality of a dog food cannot be determined by price alone. I base my opinion of quality and value on scrutiny of individual ingredients; not the blind acceptance of an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy. If you look closely at a pet food label, you’ll probably find a statement that reads:

48     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

[Pet food name] has been formulated to meet the “nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages of a dog. ”

Sounds impressive right? This is the statement that some “experts” point to as the gold standard for determining pet food quality. This statement doesn’t tell you much about the food, except that it contains the minimum amount of nutrients that AAFCO deems appropriate for a dog to survive while eating the food.

AAFCO Industry Advisors include some of the largest pet food manufacturers in the world, the National Grain and Feed Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Oilseed Processors and the NRA (National Renderers Association). The guidelines and definitions AAFCO sets are published in the AAFCO Annual Publication. This publication is then sold and used as a virtual bible by regulatory agencies across the country to regulate the pet food industry. I visited the Colorado Department of Agriculture in April to take a closer look at this publication, as most of the information I had questions about was not available on the AAFCO Web site. I wanted to read the official AAFCO definition of various pet food ingredients and see for myself if their standards were similar to mine. What I found disgusted me. This selfappointed body of experts has approved and defined all kinds of recycled products for use as protein sources in the animal food industry including dehydrated garbage, hydrolyzed poultry feathers and dried swine waste (excreta). Rather than concentrating on the worst examples, I found myself zeroing in on three ingredients that are frequently found on pet food labels in grocery store shelves. These ingredients pass AAFCO’s muster but personally, make me cringe.

Meat Meal AAFCO’s definition: the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Meat meal is a rendered product and believe me, that process is not a palatable one to research. According to the National Renderers Association’s Web site: “Every year, the North American rendering industry recycles approximately 59 billion pounds of perishable material generated by the livestock and poultry, meat/poultry processing, food processing, supermarket and restaurant industries. The rendering industry turns this material into valuable ingredients for various soaps, paints and varnishes, cosmetics, explosives, toothpaste, pharmaceuticals, leather, textiles and lubricants. But the majority of its finished products are destined for the feed industry.”

I’d venture to guess that most pet owners have absolutely no idea what AAFCO stands for, let alone how this organization is involved in the pet food industry. AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials, Incorporated) is a corporation that was created in 1909 to establish a framework for uniform regulation of the feed industry, including companion animals—our dogs and cats. This seemingly impressive organization is made up of regulatory officials from the FDA, USDA and the Department of Agriculture. While only regulatory officials can join as official members,

The FDA had originally proposed (FDA Docket No. 2002N0273) to prohibit all dead and downer animals (“cattle not inspected and passed for human consumption”) from any feed unless the brains and spinal cords are removed in order to minimize the transfer of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease). Tommy Irvin, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, penned a memo in 2005 requesting that the FDA reconsider, as “independent renderers currently provide a service to Georgia’s beef and dairy industry by recycling offal, dead livestock and downer animals into animal feed.” At the time I submitted this article, the FDA had delayed their original proposal and it is still legal to dispose of these in our pets’ food.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      49  

My position on this ingredient: I don’t like meat meal because many dogs are sensitive to particular proteins and an unwitting pet owner has no idea whether it contains chicken, lamb, horse, rat or zebra. What might be included in one batch could be different in the next, which can throw an allergy prone dog into a virtual tizzy of scratching and digestive discomfort. The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, in 2002, acknowledged that the sodium pentobarbital (a barbiturate used to end an animal’s life) “seems to be able to survive the rendering process.” (Euthanized animals are not prohibited from use in the rendering process). More specifically, a study found buried deep within the FDA’s Web site, outlines specific brands that were tested and shown to contain sodium pentobarbital remains ( cvm/FOI/dfchart.htm). I’d rather save sodium pentobarbital for an end of life situation and not include it in my dog’s daily diet.

Corn Gluten Meal – AAFCO’s definition: the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm. In other words, corn gluten meal is a byproduct of the corn syrup industry. There’s an awful lot of that available these days, considering how much of it is used in the human food industry. For this reason, perhaps it’s not surprising that corn gluten meal has become a prevalent ingredient in pet foods. Incidentally, researchers at Iowa State University have also patented corn gluten meal for use as a pre-emergent weed killer. My position on this ingredient: I won’t let my dogs (or my husband for that matter) eat this. Corn is often vilified as an ingredient that dogs are allergic to. But consider this - a large percentage of corn grown in this country is actually GMO (Genetically Modified Organism, a.k.a. Roundup Ready® or Frankenfood) and has been treated to withstand spray after spray of the weed killer Roundup® in the field. (Roundup® and Roundup Ready® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Company.) One might ask, is it the actual corn that a dog is allergic to or is it perhaps the fact that it’s GMO? The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations expressed

concern that the transfer of allergenic genes could “be accidentally transferred from one species to another, causing potential allergic reactions in humans.” I personally wonder if this would also apply to dogs. Although China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and all of the European Union Nations require GMO labeling on products containing this technology and six European countries now outlaw some GMO corn, the FDA does not require GMO labeling on products in the U.S. The only way to prevent eating this yourself or feeding it to your pet is to purchase organic corn or avoid the ingredient altogether.

Ground peanut hulls – AAFCO’s definition: Consists of the outer hull of the peanut shell. A good way to understand this ingredient is to visualize all the piles of peanut shells left on the ground after a baseball game. Peanut hulls (shells) constitute about a quarter of a peanut’s weight, which would otherwise be discarded and create a significant waste-disposal problem. Instead, the hull is finely ground and incorporated into pet food. Peanut hulls in “weight loss” dog foods are fillers that are often used to make a dog feel full. This high fiber filler is just that—filler. My position on this ingredient: Disgusting. Peanut hulls are also used as a carrier for pesticides (e.g. insecticides), drying agent for fertilizer and chemicals, abrasive for cleaning compounds, driller’s mud, cat litter, absorbents, cattle feed pellets, fuel pellets and mulch. I personally think those are much more appropriate uses for this product than feeding it to my dogs. Peanut hulls (and corn) are particularly susceptible to aflatoxin, a potentially fatal poison produced by a fungus called Aspergillus Flavus. This poison was the subject of a major pet food recall in 2005. By the way, pecan hulls (shells) are expected to be approved by AAFCO as yet another filler in the very near future. The AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement, “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that [pet food name] provides complete and balanced nutrition” sounds impressive to the naked eye. But keep in mind, this assures pet owners that a minimum of six out of eight dogs were able to survive (and not lose more than 15 percent of their body weight) 26 weeks while eating this particular food. I personally want more than that for my four-legged family members. A cheap dog food may meet AAFCO’s minimum standards, but before you purchase it, think about whether it meets yours.

For more information: Deb Dempsey Mouthful’s Pet Boutique 4224 Tennyson St. Denver, CO 80212 (720) 855-7505

50     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Vitamins, Minerals



By Lorileigh Moreland


ow should we supplement our dogs’ diets? What a loaded question! Like us, our dogs are complicated biological machines. They can survive on just about any kind of food, as the last 50 years or so prove. But, surviving isn’t thriving. While there are many supplements that can support our dogs’ health, our dogs’ nutritional adequacy begins with the foods they consume. The quality of the pre-made foods we feed our dogs varies drastically (see sidebar 1). The worst foods are your basic grocery chows, with their disturbing ingredient list of glutens, by-products, corn, wheat, soy, sugar, salt and added colors and

52     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

preservatives. At the top end is a 100 percent natural fresh, raw diet made from whole foods, with no added chemicals. This begs the question: “How can both of these foods be complete and balanced for daily feeding?” I guess it depends on what one believes is nutrition: chemicals or food. Therefore, begin supplementing your dog’s diet by feeding— or at least adding—healthier whole, raw, live foods and raw meaty bones (see sidebar 2). Consider integrating fresh raw fruits and meats. Blanch, finely grate or liquefy veggies, allowing them to be better assimilated by a carnivore. Add eggs, kefir and whole milk yogurt to their diets—if you seek

convenience, there are pre-made frozen raw diets available. Even if you opt to cook foods, it still adds nutritional benefit that the over-processed dry foods lack. There is also a natural kibbled diet that doesn’t contain chemicallysynthesized supplements. If you are going to supplement in the more traditional sense, try using whole food supplements rather than synthetic vitamin isolates. Whole food supplements are made by concentrating foods, such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, meats, organs and algae, which naturally contain limitless variations of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, essential fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics and enzymes. Whole food nutrients work to provide optimum nutrition because the nutrients are in a natural state that the body can immediately recognize and utilize. Specific whole food supplements that are frequently requested, required and that some experts believe are necessary on a daily basis include:

• Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): EFAs, especially

omega-3, are beneficial to the immune system, the nervous system and the heart. They aid in reducing inflammation associated with arthritis, allergies and inflammatory bowel. They support brain development, function and retention. The reason that EFAs are so important to supplement is their delicacy. Regardless of how well you feed your dog, omega-3s perish when exposed to air, light and heat. The best sources for EFAs, especially the delicate omega-3s, are whole-bodied fish

oils. Salmon and sardines appear to be the best sources—you can even use whole sardines—and most contain vitamin E, which is not only synergistic with whole-bodied fish oils, but acts as an antioxidant for the oil and the dog. IMPORTANT: KEEP EFAs REFRIGERATED! Expose them to the air as little as possible.

Probiotics: The body’s natural flora live in the intestines. These good bacteria promote intestinal health and help control overgrowth of undesirable bacteria, such as yeast and clostridium; they also aid in digestion. Probiotics can be lost with the administration of antibiotics, with severe or chronic diarrhea or when the dog is stressed. Use a probiotic with multiple bacteria strains—lactobacillus sporogenes and Enterococcus faecium are found to be particularly beneficial to dogs.

Prebiotics: Food for probiotics. Prebiotics feed

the healthy bacteria that are already present. If you see fructooligosaccharides (FOS), chicory or inulin in the ingredient list of your dog food, a prebiotic is present.

• Digestive Enzymes: Promote the assimilation of food. Cooking kills enzymes and air evaporates them— they are a living part of raw foods, which are lost in any cooking process. There are specific digestive enzymes for breaking down fats (lipase), proteins (protease) and carbohydrates (amylase). Plant-based digestive enzymes work the widest range of pH and temperature and are often combined with probiotics.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      53  

Now, you are feeding better, maybe way better. But your dog is still finding ways to communicate to you that there is something missing in her diet. If you are seeing minor changes in behavior, appearance and/or activity, you may want to try a supplement known to address that specific issue and see how your dog responds. You may see a drastic change in trainability, behavioral issues, skin, coat, eyes, activity or mannerisms. Feeding and supplementing our dogs with wellbalanced, whole-food meals and supplementation, which allows them to naturally draw the nutrition they need and allocate them properly. Nutritional adequacy will allow your dog’s biological machine to thrive.

RAW MEATY BONES Raw meaty bones are the most natural diet for our dogs. The best choices for raw meaty bones are: Carcasses: • • • •

Chicken Hen Rabbit Fish

Non weight-bearing, raw meaty bones: • • •

Ribs Necks Tails

For more information or to contact Lori: Lorileigh Moreland (owner) Pet Empawrium & Spaw 12393 W. 64th Ave. Arvada, CO 80004 (303) 467-7777

54     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Both of the following ingredient list samples are American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approved as a complete and balanced food for all life stages. How can that be? NATURAL RAW DIET: Ingredients: Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Pumpkin Seed, Montmorillonite Clay, Cottage Cheese, Egg Shell Meal, Whole Eggs, Cod Liver Oil, Parsley, Blueberry Powder, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Cranberry Powder, Almond Powder, Tomato Powder , Apricot Powder, Artichoke Powder, Avocado Powder, Spinach Powder, Apple Powder, Broccoli Powder, Carrot Powder, Pumpkin Powder, Kelp, Chicory Root, Rosemary. GROCERY KIBBLE: Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, sorbitol, tricalcium phosphate, water, salt, phosphoric acid, animal digest, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried peas, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, copper sulfate, biotin, garlic oil, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      55  


Add Some

Fruits & Vegetables to Your Dog’s Diet!


here’s a great dog treat for between meals or after dinner: these delicious fruits and veggies. Rich in antioxidants, they’re a wonderful source of soluble fiber and will help control obesity.

56     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      57  


Healthy Power Treats for Dogs on the Go! Don't forget to bring along some great-tasting, nutritious treats for your dog when you're out hiking, swimming or on a "dog-gone" road trip!

Solid Gold - Tiny Tots

Evanger’s - Nothing But Natural

Karma Organic Treats

Solid Gold - Cinna-Bone

Mulligan’s Stew Sticks

58     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure Massage • Animal Massage and Acupressure Certificate Programs • Rewarding and Challenging Educational Programs Suitable for Everyone

RMSAAM • Approved by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools

1 (866) 903-6462 The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      59  

Savi ng Lives P.O. Box 1296 Palentine, IL 60078 (224) 595-4704 60     Summer 2009 | The American Dog Magazine

Shop Online!

Dog Apparel Dog Grooming Dog Collars Dog Jewelry

Dog Carriers Dog Beds Dog Toys And much more!

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      61  



Your Dog’s Backyard

Coyotes in your

Neighborhood? By Elizabeth Bublitz Owner of Pawfriendly Landscapes


’m baffled! In Colorado—and perhaps in your state— coyotes have been in the news for numerous reasons. Namely, it has been reported that they’ve been stalking and harming humans, especially children and dog walkers. For decades I have always “shared” my dog walks with coyotes and have never experienced any problems. Never! I was born in Denver, not a rural city, so I never knew much about coyotes except that they left me alone. In fact, I looked at them in awe and admired their bushy tails, various sizes and interesting markings. I wanted to determine why they left me alone, but suddenly were “harming and stalking” others: what could I have been doing right (or wrong) not to attract them?

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Upon researching coyotes I have found some very interesting facts. Only now, do I really understand why they couldn’t care less that I was “sharing” their habitat; and I want you to know my secrets, so you and your dog will never be “harmed or stalked.” Coyotes belong to the canine family, so they have acute hearing and night vision, are highly intelligent and follow their noses for food supply. They do not hibernate, but rather create dens for their young and for a place to sleep. They hunt during the day or night and can easily scale eight-foot fences or tunnel under fences to escape harm or attack their prey.

Their lifespan is usually 15 years and they have pups when their food supply is at its highest, in April and May. They will roam in packs when they prey upon larger animals, such as sheep, deer or goats, but roam alone to prey upon smaller animals, such as squirrels, rabbits and mice—they usually stalk their prey for about 30 minutes and then pounce. The coyote is one of the most adaptable species; they survive by being secretive, evasive and rarely seen. Their awareness is heightened in areas where humans try to control or exterminate them. It has been documented in California, when coyote traps were set, that coyotes were seen dropping pieces of wood on the traps to figure them out. Coyotes can actually change their breeding habits based on survival; for instance, they will breed when they have an ample food supply (usually January—March), however, they do not breed if their food supply is scarce. So why are these highly intelligent animals acting so aggressive toward people and family pets? Unfortunately many people are inadvertently inviting them into their backyards by supplying food or not having fences. Some homeowners leave cat/dog food out and coyotes will enter the yard for it; others let their cats roam outside and coyotes kill them. Dogs that are left unattended during the day and night are also prey for coyotes and unattended children can also be attacked—to date, there has been one fatality, a 3-year-old child in California. Dog owners who use shock collars have returned home to mauled or injured dogs because their dogs were too afraid to run from their yard. When coyotes have abundant food resources, their population will rise. We are contributing to their increase by attracting them with food and water, yet we punish them by trapping and killing them. If coyotes are in your neighborhood, they do not need to be killed or trapped—there are many other solutions. Bring all your pet food inside, including rawhides, bones, water bowls, etc. Also, keep your cats indoors and monitor your dog in his yard at all times. If you have a 5’ fence, you can invest in a coyote roller; if you do not have a 5’ fence, you can extend your fence by securing vinyl lattice or mesh wire on top of it. If coyotes are digging under your fence, pounding vinyl lattice along the fence (about 3’ down) will deter them. Installing chicken wire against the fence will also prevent them from entering (and deter your dog from escaping). Sinking chain

link or mesh wire along your fence will prevent the coyotes from tunneling—just lay it flat and bury it about two feet below the surface, then secure it with landscape fabric or edging pins. Before digging, have your underground utilities located. To prevent dogs from being attacked in open space, keep them on a leash! Leashes are lifesavers. Coyotes will not approach or terrorize dogs if they are leashed or tethered to their owner—leashes also prevent dogs from falling through ice or being hit by a car! If dog owners feel the need to let their dogs roam off leash, use a dog park. Unfortunately my dog has been attacked numerous times by unleashed dogs. I actually fear “at large” domestic dogs more than coyotes. I don’t think there’s anything worse than hearing a dog owner in the distance yelling, “Don’t worry, my dog is nice.” Well, my dog isn’t, which is why I only go to “leash law” parks. To deter any kind of attack on your dog, carry bear mace, a carriage whip or a stick to ward off loose canines. Your dog could be attacked while off leash, so keep him on a leash, even if you’re simply going out to the mailbox or playing in an open space. It’s best to respect coyotes and other dog owners. Taxpayers have paid more than $30 million to have coyotes killed to prevent them from harming livestock and humans. If certain procedures are followed and coyotes’ habitats are respected, they will not be seen as our enemy.

For more information or to contact: Elizabeth Bublitz Pawfriendly Landscapes (303) 797-6683

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      63  

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L.A. Pet Stores

Inside The ‘Rescue Revolution’ Victory for Dogs as Pet Stores Go Humane

By Carole Raphaelle Davis

Sadly, millions of dogs are suffering in shelters and puppy mills. This year, a record number of dogs are being dumped and euthanized at shelters because of the current economic crisis. Commercial breeders and pet stores are also feeling the pinch. “People just aren’t buying puppies right now,” says pet store manager Justin Vanert. Growing numbers of commercial dog breeders in the Midwest are selling their homes for a pittance—advertising them as “turnkey investments,” which often include kennels with hundreds of breeding dogs “free with the property.” As bleak as it all sounds, this recession just might have a silver lining for the dogs who are wasting away in puppy mills and shelters. Perhaps this economic downturn might be a dog’s chance to get out alive. The dog trade is showing signs of weakness. Successful business is all about supply and demand and right now the demand side is shrinking as buyers of puppy mill dogs snap their wallets shut. But the reasons aren’t just the economy— it’s a combination of decreased spending, public awareness of inhumane breeding practices, legislation that limits and

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criminalizes dog factory cruelty and effective campaigns led by animal rights activists. This spring, a group of Los Angeles activists celebrated yet another victory. After five weeks of protests, the owner of Elaine’s Pet Depot signed an agreement to hand over all of her puppy mill dogs to Good Dog Animal Rescue for adoption. The agreement with the lynchpin store of a national chain of pet stores included a statement that reflected the store’s commitment to working with rescue organizations. The store agreed to hold adoptions and end its sale of puppy mill dogs. Reliable sources from within the franchise claimed that the entire Pet Depot chain was considering conversion to a humane business model within a few months. If the large chain stops buying from brokers and mass volume breeders, the strategy to cripple the puppy mill industry by hitting them where it hurts, in the wallet, is working. The “go humane or go out of business” campaign has been able to gain momentum by combining its ability to exploit the current economic downtown and its skilled use of visual

(LEAD PHOTO) Elaine’s Pet Depot Protest “Go Humane or Go Out of Business!” Photo by Elle Wittelsbach. (RIGHT) Rescuers and pet shop owner saving dogs together. Photo by Carole Raphaelle Davis.

evidence from undercover investigations. The stores that were protested saw as much as 70 percent of their weekend business deterred by activists brandishing signs depicting graphic photos of dogs suffering in mills. An increasing number of stores in the heart of Los Angeles have been closed down or converted—more than a dozen so far in a little over a year. As I write this, Pets of Wilshire, a store that was targeted, but hadn’t yet been picketed, just announced to me that they will no longer be selling puppy mill dogs and will be holding adoptions of shelter dogs. Asked if the protest movement had anything to do with the turnaround, manager Justin Vanert said, “Everybody’s worried about the puppy mill deal. We didn’t want any bad publicity, so we made the decision before it ever came here.” The fact that the pet store protests and the conversions to a humane business model have been concentrated in L.A. is an important element of the national strategy, say architects of the movement. National welfare organizations are watching Los Angeles because although New York is the largest market for puppy mill dogs, Los Angeles is the most important. The celebrity culture here in L.A. dictates international consumer trends. What's hot here is copied everywhere. In L.A., blingbling is passé. The ultra-hip are solar-powered and driving their hybrid pound dogs to vegan cafés in hybrid cars. Shelter dogs are the latest in recycled chic for the socially conscious. Known for being too conservative by some militants in the animal rights world, The Humane Society of the United States is getting more “street cred” now that it has embraced the formula for protesting pet stores. After their investigation revealed that the giant Petland chain sells puppies from inhumane dog factories, HSUS launched a protest campaign that propelled its more active members from their armchairs and onto the streets. This direct action tactic is great news to grassroots activists in Los Angeles. For the combatants, it’s like waging a guerrilla war against a powerful enemy and suddenly, you get a backup surge of a million soldiers. “The rallies are going very well,” says Stephanie Shain, Senior Director of HSUS’s puppy mill campaign. “We've been so moved by the incredible response from people. We remind people of how horrid life is for dogs who live in puppy mills for years on end.”

Jennifer Fearing, chief economist for the HSUS, has been watching the L.A. movement develop. “What you all are doing is an essential component of a national effort to rid the market of puppy mills,” she said. “We have to pull on both the supply and the demand levers ... Everything from passing legislation to improving standards of care to foreclosing retail channels. PetSmart and PETCO have already shown that this business model works. They are lucrative.” Some pet boutiques in L.A. closed down rather than negotiate with animal welfare advocates they viewed as extremists. The stores didn’t want to have “rescue crazies” take over their businesses and to split puny adoption fees after years of benefiting from the high profit margins from puppy mill dogs (dogs were typically bought by retailers for less than $300 and sold for up to $3,500). To make matters even more complicated for the stores, rescue organizations want all dogs to be spayed or neutered before they leave the store and some insist on “home checks” to make sure the pet will be going to a responsible home.

Shelter dogs getting a chance at life in Woof Worx. Photo by Carole Raphaelle Davis.

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Leaders of the movement are trying hard to convince pet store owners that the idea of humane conversion is a better choice than a ‘For Lease’ sign in their window. “People can’t afford a $3,000 dog right now, so adopting one for $300 not only makes sense financially, but they can feel good about themselves for saving a life,” says Elle Wittelsbach, Director of Strangest Angels Rescue. “Plus, they come back to buy the supplies for the life of that dog. These stores are giving back to the community.” Converted stores are getting a lot of publicity. They’re not only keeping their clientele, but they’re also enjoying an influx of new customers who prefer to “shop humane.” The business model that seems to be emerging is a fullservice operation, which includes trainers, groomers, day care and a large selection of supplies. These services ferment a community atmosphere and a milieu of hope. Full of rescued dogs, the stores become a site of burgeoning camaraderie between former adversaries. The thinking among converts is, if your ship was sinking anyway, you may as well look like a good guy by saving some shelter dogs and cats.

Converted stores are getting a lot of publicity. They’re not only keeping their clientele, but they’re also enjoying an influx of new customers who prefer to “shop humane.” Humane stores provide a convenient alternative to shelters for those who want a fun shopping experience and are intimidated by a trip to the pound. "Inviting puppy store owners to become part of the solution is a creative, practical and people smart strategy,” said Dawn Armstrong, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society. “‘Out of the cage’ thinking is the beginning of the end of puppy mills. The public is ready.” Recently, I assisted a rescue of 62 abused Miniature Pinschers from a puppy mill in Riverside, Calif. It was gratifying to see these dogs recovering after only a few weeks of rehab in foster care, ready to be adopted out of stores we once protested. Bill Smith, president of Mainline Rescue in Pennsylvania, is waging a war against puppy mills. Thanks to his appearances on Oprah, forty million people, mostly middle-aged women, are educated about the horrors of puppy mills. When I told him of the Min Pins we rescued who are now in the converted stores, he told me, “These places have been selling puppy mill dogs for ages and now it’s ending with the adoption of the mothers themselves. It’s ironic. These people have benefited off these dogs for years and you basically forced them into a redemption process. For years they’ve been abusing the

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Shelter Dog now at Woof Worx. Photo by Carole Raphaelle Davis.

mothers and now they have to find them homes, accepting an adoption fee.” Lewis Turner, owner of the Petcare Company in Hermosa Beach, Calif., was dissatisfied doing business with America’s largest brokers of puppy mill dogs, Lambriar and Hunte. He told me that four out of 10 dogs that were trucked in were ill. “They had green liquid coming from their eyes or nose,” he said. “They’d have to be sent back because they were sick.” After six months researching how to make a humane store profitable, Turner is putting together a business plan to share with other retailers around the country. “What’s in it for a retailer? They get the recognition from the community,” Turner said. “Customers are going to feel more comfortable supporting a store that rescues. It’s the same mentality as going green. It’s win-win for the retailer, the shelters, for the rescues and for the orphans. No one loses.” Asked why he went humane, he said, “It was the right thing to do.” Bark N’ Bitches, a retail pet boutique in the Fairfax district of L.A., has never sold live animals and is thriving despite the shrinking economy. “My business has never been better,” says Shannon von Roemer, the owner. “This business is recessionproof because people aren’t spending on luxury cars but they are spending on a feel-good item for their furry best friend.” Roemer claims she has rescued over eight hundred dogs in three years. “Retail and rescue works very well for me,” says Roemer. Whether or not this business model is actually recession-proof, the success of Bark N’ Bitches is something to bark about. Carole Raphaelle Davis is an animal welfare advocate and author of The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife. Visit her Web site at:

Dog Portraits Graphic Design Murals Jane Brunton, Artist The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      69  


Nevada Humane Society How we achieved dramatic, lifesaving results in our community

Photos by

Visitors with a dog at NHS.

By Bonney Brown Executive Director of Nevada Humane Society

Inspired by the belief that every life is precious, in early 2007, we set out to make Washoe County, Nev., one of the safest communities in the country for homeless dogs and cats. In the first year, we increased adoptions 53 percent for dogs and 84 percent for cats, finding homes for more than 8,000 pets. The result was a 51 percent decrease in the number of animals losing their lives in shelters. The countywide save rate for 2008 was 89 percent of the dogs and 82 percent of the cats entering shelters. It’s been a labor of love for our staff and volunteers, and while it’s been a lot of hard work, we are rewarded daily by the animals and the people of our community. First, we focused our efforts on things that would save lives immediately. We told the public about our no-kill community goal and explained that we could only do it with their help— our volunteer base quadrupled immediately. Pet adoption is key to saving lives, so we made the adoption process friendly, informative and rewarding. Adoptions are promoted with fun events: furry speed dating, Mardi Gras parades, super adoptions, ice cream socials and trick-ortreating at the shelter. We are open evenings, weekends and holidays—on New Year’s Day, 49 pets were adopted. We set aggressive goals and asked people to help meet them. The goal for our Home for the Holidays campaign was 1,000 adoptions; 1,089 pets were adopted.

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Volunteer Ray Geltner with Sandy the dog.

Foster caregivers save the lives of hundreds of kittens and puppies each year by providing temporary care until the animals are old enough to be adopted. Foster families tell us they have a great time helping in this way. Our Animal Help Desk provided free information, referrals and resources to more than 20,000 callers last year, including spay/neuter assistance, behavior advice and finding creative solutions to lifestyle changes, all in an effort to enable people to keep their pets. Old-school animal sheltering holds that there are not enough homes out there and that only animals who are attractive and easy-going can be adopted; however, old, homely, shy, moody and even special needs pets find homes in our community. We have found that compassion truly knows no limits.

How you can help: Tax-deductible donations toward our no-kill efforts are always needed and appreciated. More information on this effort is available by requesting a copy of How We Did It. Nevada Humane Society 2825 Longley Lane Reno, NV 89502 (775) 856-2000

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      71  

Wag Your Tail

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Wag Your Tail - Chicago 6803 W. Addison Ave. Chicago, IL 60634 (773) 202-0391 Wag Your Tail - Antioch 888 Hillside Ave. Antioch, IL 60002 (847) 395-2968

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Wag Your Tail is Chicago and Antioch's #1 totally holistic, herbal and natural remedy center for pets. We are family owned and have been in business for over ten years. Our numerous brands of all natural cat and dog food as well as treats and supplements and have helped 1000’s of people with their pets with everything from arthritis to cancer and just about everything in-between.

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PAWS of Jackson Hole Celebrates 10 years of Animal Advocacy The American Dog reports

Jackson, WY, May 11, 2009 – This year will mark PAWS of Jackson Hole’s 10th Anniversary and the organization has big plans for its small local animal shelter. PAWS launched as a non-profit organization in 1999 with one simple goal: to raise just enough money to pay for a few Spay or Neuter procedures at the Jackson/Teton County shelter. At that time, the municipal shelter had very little funding and did not have money in the budget for sterilization or for expensive medical bills. A lot has happened in ten years. Now, the shelter is fully funded for all medical needs, but PAWS still steps in to help fund special projects like the shelter’s outdoor dog run. They also help with extras, like Kuranda® dog beds, toys and treats, and they facilitate the shelter’s volunteer program.

program and many others.

“We have a great partnership with the Jackson/Teton County Shelter and are thrilled to help provide for things that might not be budgeted for at the county level,” said Amy Romaine, PAWS’s Executive Director. “This year we are moving forward with plans to make some cosmetic improvements to the interior and exterior of the building.” Enhancements include a fresh coat of paint on the building as well as landscaping the surrounding area. Later in the year, PAWS will tackle interior improvements like new carpeting, shelving and vibrant paint inside the shelter. “There is a public perception that all animal shelters are terrible places and that is simply not true. Our shelter takes great care of our local animals, and we want to make the public feel good about visiting and adopting there,” said Romaine.

PAWS annual Home 4 the Holidays event in December 2008. Photo by Rose Caiazzo

In March of 2009, PAWS hosted its annual Fur Ball, which helped raise money for all of PAWS’s programs. Along with a Furry Fashion Show and dinner, guests participated in a live auction for pet-related items and services. The winning bid for the coveted cover spot in the PAWS 2010 Calendar was $47,000, the second largest donation in the history of the organization. “Donations such as these will help PAWS go into the community and do more than ever before,” said Romaine. In addition to our support of our local animal shelter, PAWS has six programs including a free spay and neuter program for local residents, an educational platform that focuses on promoting responsible pet ownership, a financial assistance

Derby was adopted by PAWS Executive Director in June, 2008. Photo by Amy Romaine.

For more information or to make a donation: PAWS of Jackson Hole PO Box 13033 250 W. Pearl St Jackson, WY 83002 (307) 734-2441

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      73  


Companion Animal Protection Society Helping to end the abuse and suffering of puppy mill dogs By Anny Deimenjian

Deborah A. Howard, President, Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) with Beatrice; Spencer and Freddie. Photos courtesy of Companion Animal Protection Society.

Q: What is the mission of your organization? The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to protecting companions from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in pet shops and puppy mills. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through investigations, education, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet shop employee relations. CAPS has gained worldwide recognition for targeting puppy mill operations and converting pet shops to humane animal adoption centers.

Q: What are your ongoing and current campaigns? CAPS's foremost concern is the abuse and suffering of petshop and puppy-mill dogs. CAPS investigators are an integral part of our organization. We investigate federally licensed commercial dog breeders and brokers to determine: (1) compliance with local, state and federal (the Animal Welfare Act) laws and (2) humane treatment of animals. CAPS works with state humane investigators and submits documentary evidence to local prosecutors. Since 1995, CAPS's focus has been on the USDA's failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) as it pertains to commercial dog breeders and brokers. In order to document AWA violations, CAPS investigates federally-licensed facilities in the Midwest and Pennsylvania. CAPS works with members, local animal welfare groups and the public to monitor pet shop conditions and to ascertain the names of breeders and brokers. We investigate some of these breeders and brokers. CAPS has a targeted media relations program that exposes companion animal abuse, particularly the plight of pet-shop

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and puppy-mill dogs. We provide information and documentation on pet shops and puppy mills to print media and television news programs, national and local. CAPS has investigated more than 1,000 puppy mills— mostly USDA licensed breeders and brokers—in the United States and handles pet shop complaints from all across the United States and Canada. The organization has received numerous complaints from consumers who purchased sick puppies that were bred or brokered. One such person that the organization has received complaints about is Kathy Jo Bauck. Bauck has been licensed by the USDA since 1983 and despite CAPS investigations since 1997, the USDA has failed to take action – a July 2008 USDA inspection report for Bauck had no violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). CAPS has been investigating the USDA’s failure to enforce the AWA since 1995 and has been lobbying members of Congress for oversight hearings regarding the USDA’s lax enforcement of the AWA. CAPS will return to the Capitol in June 2009 to meet with USDA officials and members of Congress and will use the Bauck case as its primary evidence of the USDA’s malfeasance. CAPS visits Washington, DC several times a year and continues to present documentary evidence to top USDA officials and members of Congress.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      75  


PAWSitive Lines

By Kevin Green, Traveling in Style Editor for the American Dog Magazine


he Italians are known for some of the world’s best sports cars like Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini (right next door in Bologna), Pagani and, of course, the Maserati, which was also originally manufactured in Bologna. This issue we are proud to feature the 2009 Maserati GranTurismo. First, you may notice I don’t have my normal sidekicks (Bella, my fawn Dane, nor Jaidyn, my Dobie) as they’ve decided to take a break from all the glamour to enjoy a weekend at the doggie spa. This issue we have the fearless, sit in co-pilot named Wiggy from Ferrari of Denver—a well-mannered, very lovable (and have I mentioned, huge licker?), 4-year-old female, rescued Pit Bull. We did notice she was a little camera shy at first, but Wiggy got the hang of it and was a blast to work with! The 2009 Maserati GranTurismo is pure luxury and

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performance. It has dignified proportions and commands a powerful appearance with the notorious Italian badge of honor—the Trident. This vehicle has beautiful lines and rims that are to die for. I love rims and firmly believe they make or break the look of a car. The rims on both models are absolutely perfect. The base model is a Ferrari-developed front engine, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe with a 4.2-liter V8, 405hp, 339 lb-ft of torque, rear-wheel drive and it all comes in just below $120,000. If you upgrade to the “S” package you get the 4.7-liter V8, 433 hp, 361ft-lb of torque, Brembo braking system with customizable brake calipers and comes in at $135,000. Maserati states the base and “S” have top speeds governed at 177mph and 183mph respectively. I also enjoyed toggling back and forth from the tiptronic and automatic 6-speed sequential electro-actuated gearbox transmission for some excitement. For the true auto aficionado, there is nothing like hearing an engine and exhaust baffling system

that sends chills down your spine—and the GranTurismo left me with goosebumps. I was told the “S” has an even bigger bite (roar) that will not be forgotten. Ergonomically, the console and other functional buttons are fascinating because they are all chromelined and easy to find. Maserati was very meticulous about how they designed the interior, from the huge paddle shifters and controls all the way down to the very impressive customized etched stitching of the seats. The very unique and stylistic seating is undoubtedly the trademark of Maserati. This vehicle could very well be soon hitting the streets topless (convertible, that this), as spy shooters have captured a few photos of the hot Italian sports car at Nurburgring, known as the “The Ring,” a motorsport racetrack in Nurburg, Germany. I can’t wait to see it! Lastly, The American Dog Magazine would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the owners of Ferrari of Denver, Sales Manager Mike Parmakian and the entire staff for sponsoring these beautiful automobiles. Drive down to Ferrari of Denver and experience it for yourself. And yes I, like many others, go to be awestruck and to take a few photos of these amazing dream machines. ENJOY, as a unique and memorable experience awaits you!

Photos by Heather Green

Vehicles sponsored by Ferrari of Denver For your luxury automotive needs contact: Ferrari of Denver Mike Parmakian 1480 E. County Line Road Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 (303) 730-7340

If you would like your luxury car, boat, plane or opulent means of transportation considered for review in The American Dog Magazine please email Kevin Green at: kgreen@

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      77  


NATHAN WINOGRAD Author of Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and The No Kill Revolution in America.

By Nathan Winograd


hat would it take for the United States to become a No Kill nation? It is closer than we think. In fact, we can be a No Kill nation today. That is the central premise of my book, Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and The No Kill Revolution in America, and the data prove it. When I argue that pet overpopulation is a myth, I am not saying that people aren’t irresponsible with animals; it doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of animals entering shelters; and it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be better if fewer of them were impounded, but it does mean that these problems are not insurmountable. It means we can do something other than killing for all savable animals right now—today—if all shelter directors cultivate the desire and will to do so and then earnestly follow through. That is good news. It is news we should all celebrate and it should be the focal point with which we

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target our advocacy efforts to achieve the greatest declines in killing possible in the shortest amount of time. Current estimates from a wide range of groups indicate that roughly 4 million dogs and cats are killed in shelters every year. Data show that about 90 percent of all shelter animals are “savable,” the remainder consists of hopelessly ill or injured animals and vicious dogs whose prognosis for rehabilitation is poor or grave. That would put the number of savable dogs and cats at roughly 3.6 million annually. On top of that, not all animals entering shelters need adoption. Some will be lost strays who will be reclaimed by their family (shelters which are comprehensive in their lost pet reclaim efforts, for example, have demonstrated that as many as twothirds of stray dogs can be reunited with their families); others are unsocialized feral cats who need neuter and release; some are vicious dogs or are irremediably suffering and will be killed. In the end, a shelter only needs to find new homes for less than half of all incoming animals. But the news gets even better. Because at the same time there are also four times as many people—upwards of 17 million—looking to get a new companion animal next year who have not yet decided where that animal will come from, and a great many of whom could very easily be persuaded to adopt a shelter animal, as communities and shelters across the country have proven. From the perspective of achievability, therefore, the prognosis for widespread No Kill success is very good. And we have seen this in action in various communities throughout the country. Some are urban, some rural, some in the North, some in the South, some in what we call “liberal” or “blue”

states, and some are in very conservative parts of the country. Demographically, these communities share little in common. What they do share, however, is shelter leadership committed to saving all the lives at risk. Statistics aside, the fundamental lesson from the experiences of these communities is that the choices made by shelter managers are the most significant variables in whether animals live or die. Several communities are more than doubling adoptions and cutting killing by as much as 75 percent—and they are doing it virtually overnight. In Reno, Nev., for example, the Nevada Humane Society has led an incredible renaissance that saw adoptions increase as much as 80 percent and deaths decline by 51 percent, despite taking in a combined 16,000 dogs and cats a year with Washoe County Animal Services. Reno’s success occurred immediately after the hiring of a new shelter director committed to No Kill and passionate about saving lives. In addition to the speed with which it was attained, what also makes Reno’s success so impressive is that the community takes in more than two times the number of animals per capita than the national average, more than three times the rate of Los Angeles, and more than four times the rate of San Francisco. So if “pet overpopulation” were really a problem, it would be a problem in Reno. But with 90 percent of all dogs and 86 percent of all cats being saved countywide, they are proving that shelters can quickly save the vast majority of animals once they commit to do so, even in the face of public irresponsibility. As are others: today, in communities from Berkeley, Calif. to Ithaca, N.Y.; in Shelby County, Ky. and Charlottesville, Va.; in Texas, Colorado, Kansas and elsewhere, communities are saving upward of 93 percent of all animals, returning “euthanasia” largely to its dictionary definition. And it is just a matter of time before our pet-loving American culture forces other communities to embrace the No Kill philosophy and the programs which make it possible. Collectively, we spend more than 45 billion dollars on our animals, giving to animal-related charities is the fastest growing segment of American philanthropy, and No Kill is on the agenda of local governments nationwide because people are demanding it. In the battle over the hearts and minds of our citizenry, gaining support for No Kill among the American public is a non-sequitur, because we already have it. Armed with the facts, most dog and cat lovers find shelter killing abhorrent.

For more information: or to order a copy of his book, Redemption. Please visit Or visit The No Kill Advocacy Center at:

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      79  




Working Dogs

Wild Goose Chase

Bird Dogs on the Job

At the Pebble Beach Golf Course, Border Collie Lucky spends her days keeping geese off the links. Photo courtesy of Pebble Beach Golf Course.

By Tamra Monahan


irds and planes don’t mix. When the two meet, it can spell disaster, as was the case for US Air Flight 1549. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported that the plane had lost power in both engines after striking a flock of birds. Investigators later discovered that the birds were large Canada geese, a species of bird that is of particular concern to pilots because of its size and increasing numbers. Many airports struggle with birds who find the wide open spaces appealing, but there is a solution to this deadly problem:

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dogs—and the best breed for this “wing dog” job is the Border Collie. At commercial and military airports all across the United States, these hyper-active, super smart dogs are hired for their outstanding ability to herd—not the planes, but the birds that gather on the open areas adjacent to the runways. The dogs don’t actually herd the birds, but rather chase them away, a method that has proven to be an effective wildlife management model for airports, golf courses, parks and other places where birds tend to gather.

Sky, a young Border Collie, works at the Southwest International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla., the first commercial airport in the United States to use a dog for wildlife management. Since 1999, this airport has employed dogs to keep large birds, such as egrets and herons, from congregating in and around the grass and wetland areas on airport property. “If an airplane were to strike a large bird, such as a heron, there is the potential for serious damage to the aircraft, and the birds don’t survive,” says Southwest International spokesperson Angie Strait. “Using Sky to keep the birds out of the wetlands near the airport is a win-win situation—the birds are going to be safe, our passengers are going to be safe, the planes are going to be safe.” Airports often use air horns or air canons to chase birds away, but birds can get used to the noise and ignore it. Sky, however, is not ignored because she is seen as a predator, even though she doesn’t touch the birds. Her job is to simply chase them away, and this dog loves her job. Golf courses are another place where birds, especially geese, love to land. With their wide open spaces, abundant grass, and numerous small ponds, golf courses are heaven on earth if you’re a goose. But if you’re a golfer, the geese are a nasty nuisance. Although they’re beautiful creatures, they leave behind a trail of messy droppings that wreak havoc on mowers and shoes, which is what happened at the Pebble Beach Golf Course. Flocks of geese caused so many problems for golfers and grounds keepers, the famed golf course had to find a way to move the geese along. After looking into other forms of geese retardant, such as nets or chemicals, grounds keepers decided that a trained dog would be the least intrusive to both the environment and the golfers. Border Collie Lucky landed the job as Pebble Beach’s official bird dog and has been keeping geese away from the golf course for the past six years. Lucky is trained not to attack the geese, but rather to move in close causing the birds to fly away. In fact, Assistant Superintendent Jack Holt says she’s scared of the geese and doesn’t like getting close to them. Despite her fowl trepidations, Lucky is happiest when she’s out on the links traveling with Holt in his golf cart on the lookout for unsuspecting geese.

Border Collie Lucky keeps geese from soiling the links at the Pebble Beach Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Pebble Beach Golf Course.

and ponds are added to their neighborhoods, geese move in. Instead of migrating, the birds settle in the cozy community, leaving droppings all over the parks and trails to the dismay of homeowners. Jim Flippen, Community Manager for the BackCountry housing development in Highlands Ranch, Colo., had to find a way to discourage geese from staying in the community, so he hired Terry Hardey and her dogs to chase the geese away, and it worked. “We researched the viable options and found that using dogs is the most effective and ecological way,” Flippen says. “It’s also the easiest to manage and monitor, and it has the least impact on the residents.” Border Collies, like Sky and Lucky, are successful bird chasers because of their herding instinct. The dogs crouch down and approach the birds in a predatory stance that causes them to fly away without harm. Using dogs as pseudo-predators has proven to be a successful way to encourage birds to move along. By having a dog on duty, the birds eventually realize that a golf course or an airport or a park is not a good place to settle and nest. As for the dogs, they’re just out running around having a good time.

“Lucky’s job is to run the golf course all day long, and she loves it,” Holt says. “Border Collies are really high-energy dogs and if they don’t have a job to do, they’re going to find one, and you probably won’t like it.” Airports and golf courses are not the only places to have geese problems. Residents in new housing developments are discovering that when parks

Sky, a one-year-old Border Collie, watches for birds in areas near the Southwest Florida International Airport runway and taxiways. Photo courtesy of Southwest Florida International Airport.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      81  



Pet Business Profile


The Need for Fresh Breath

Reported by Julie Bielenberg Deb Dempsey and Tonya Payne have been best friends

for 25 years. It was through this friendship that Mouthfuls the pet product line and the Denver-based store began. The two gals were on a flight home from Las Vegas visiting another friend when they came up with the idea of dog breath mints. They worked with a chemist for six months and became the original creators of the product in 1999. The mints were sold at department stores and boutiques throughout the nation. Their passion for improving the lives of both pets and their families had only begun. In 2005, Deb and Tonya put everything on the line and opened up a pet boutique in Denver called Mouthfuls. Within a year, buzz about their ultimate pet shop spread throughout the Mile High City and they began winning awards such as “Top of the Town” over and over again. In 2007, when the pet food recall swept the nation, Deb and Tonya were the go-to authorities in the Denver area for media inquiries and pet food sampling. They appeared on television stations and newspapers throughout the state. The independent boutique and Mouthfuls product line continues to grow. “This year we are most excited about the

Photo by Heather Green

Deb Dempsey and Tonya Payne, co-owners of Mouthfuls.

popularity of our Just Chicken! treats, for both cats and dogs,” notes Tonya. “Whenever people say they have a finicky dog, we point them straight towards the Mouthfuls’ Just Chicken! line. Pet owners discover the wonders of the treat and come back over and over again to snap up the scrumptious delights for their pooches,” explains Deb. Just Chicken! along with other Mouthfuls’ original products, such as the very first dog breath freshener, are available for purchase on their Web site If you’re lucky enough to live in Denver, stop by the boutique and check out the pet treat bar and bakery section—it’s a giant candy store for the pooches.

For more information: Mouthfuls 4224 Tennyson Street Denver, CO 80212 (720) 855-7505

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Pet Business Profile


It could only be a convergence of coincidences

Reported by Julie Bielenberg


any things came together in Janice Kajanoff ’s life, both pleasant and unpleasant, in order for her to begin Zentek clothing for dogs. For over 30 years, Janice designed custom dresses for women, and yes, some did include a few dog coats for special clients. “I designed some coats for a pet charity, but did it under the ghost name of ‘Butch Brummell’ so no one would know it was me,’ notes Janice. One day an Italian greyhound came into Janice’s shop, cold and shivering; his coat fit so poorly, she just knew a better design would work. About the same time a girlfriend gave Janice a pair of earmuffs with a card attached explaining how the material regulated temperature. The light bulb went off. By Christmas of 2007, Janice had created ten different size coats for dogs. She understood the importance of designing clothes that fit, and held true to this value for the pooches. Very few individuals have spent a lifetime customizing clothes to really benefit the individual and Janice knew this needed to

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be of the utmost importance in her designs. Zentek was born with individual breeds and sizes in mind. Janice participated in her first dog show in March of 2008. There, she was discovered by the sporting dog owners—the one doing agility, flyball, rally, dock diving. The new customers further helped Janice understand the need for temperature control in her wearables. The business continues to expand and flourish. Janice now offers coats in a variety of sizes for even more types of breeds and strives to outfit dogs for all weather and activity scenarios. Don’t forget to check out her Web site for a summer photo contest!

For more information: ZenTek Clothing (206) 784-5038


Pet Stylist

To set up an appointment, please call (303) 730-3248 or email:

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Animal Welfare Attorney Addressing the Laws Affecting You and Your Companion Animal 30 S. Wacker Drive, Ste. 2200 Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 466-7660 P (866) 334-7660 F email:

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      85  



Pet Business Profile

Dublin Dog The Luck of the Irish

(BELOW LEFT) Dublin Dog’s specially designed Kustom Kruiser. (BELOW RIGHT) Jason Watson with his two beloved dogs. Photos courtesy of Dublin Dog.

Reported by Julie Bielenberg Lucky number seven—Jason Watson started his company

on the seventh day, of the seventh month of 2007. Dublin Dog began when Jason realized the funky smell in his house was none other than the soggy collars from his dogs. “One day when coming back from business meetings in Atlanta, the ‘aha’ moment occurred. There in front of my nose, literally, was my Ironman watch. I thought, ‘I work out in this, I swim in this, I hike, etc. and it gets clean when I take a shower. Now, if only my dogs’ collars could be worn and cleaned in the same manner.’ That started my drive, which turned into an obsession,” explains Jason. The business has flourished from its simplicity and is now located in more than 700 outlets in nine countries. This year, Jason and his team have expanded from the trendy-yetfunctional dog collars and created two new toys, the Dogonaut and the Gripple—both are retrieval, toss and tug toys. They are also working on a new all-element leather series—highfashion "faux" leather collars made with exquisite detail and

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stitching, which can be worn in the water and wiped clean with mild soap and water. Maybe the most exciting addition to Dublin Dog is the creation of the Dublin Dog Foundation (www.dublindogfoundation. org). The purpose of the non-profit is to increase the role dogs play in human health, development and service. This Independence Day, the foundation team, along with friends and family, will take turns riding the Kustom Kruiser, a specially designed dog and human bike, for more than 400 miles to Washington DC, in order to raise money and provide a service dog for a person with special needs. Looks like Dublin Dog truly understands how blessed it has been with good fortune, and hopes to continue spreading the karma.

For more information: Dublin Dog (866) 707-1231



Pet Business Profile

Mulligan Stew For the young at heart Julie Bielenberg reports


ackson Hole is more than a famous ski and vacation town, it’s also home to one of the most scrumptious and nutritious dog food manufacturers on the market. Created by naturopathic healer Kevin Meehan, the food is the only patent-pending formulation designed to boost energy, to help promote a longer, healthier life span and to provide effective nutrition to pooches everywhere. You can thank Mulligan, a black Labrador, for being the company’s namesake and inspiration. When Mulligan turned five years old, his owner, Kevin, noticed the pup was slowing down and had begun to turn grey. Knowing that mammals have the ability to live longer, healthier lives through proper nutrition, Kevin developed his signature formulation that he knew would benefit Mulligan and best friends everywhere. Success was achieved and Mulligan was his youthful self again. The now almost fifteen-year-old “pup” is proof that you really are what you eat. Nowadays Mulligan can be referred to as the CDO, in other words, the company’s Chief Dog Officer. This year Kevin and his team are excited about the launch of Mulligan Stew’s first all-natural, low-temperaturebaked kibble line. “The new kibble formulation will contain Mulligan Stew’s patent-pending formulation, baked to only 180 degree Fahrenheit, while utilizing all-natural and no chemically manufactured ingredients,” explains Kevin. He adds, “As a companion product to the Mulligan Stew canned line, Mulligan Stew’s Kibble will address those consumers who demand the convenience of a kibble, but do not wish to sacrifice valuable nutrition.” Mulligan Stew also goes one step further to ensure the value of their product; they test each manufactured batch of Mulligan Stew and then post the results and nutrition profile for each batch on the company’s website (www.mulliganstewpetfood. com). “It is important that our company instills confidence that we continually monitor our manufacturers to insure product efficacy and adherence to our patent-pending formulation,” notes Mulligan’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Diane Peterson. Mulligan, the dog, heartily agrees.

Kevin Meehan pictured with his dog Mulligan above. Photos courtesy of Mulligan Stew.

For more information: Mulligan Stew Pet Food (888) 364-7839 (STEW)

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Temperament Testing What it Can’t Do, What it Can Do and What it Should Be By Dr. Linda Wolf CARE Veterinary Consulting

To temperament test or not to temperament test, that is the question. Whether it is a noble endeavor or …


ell, for what it’s worth, here is my bottom line on the subject: I believe that temperament tests should not be administered to give a pass/fail assessment as to whether an animal should be euthanized. But, I also truly believe that if used for the right reasons and in the right hands, behavioral or personality assessment evaluations are not only a useful tool, but a necessary tool and one that should be a part of any behavioral program.

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You will note that I did not use the term “temperament testing,” I dislike that term when it is used with regard to shelter behavioral evaluations. “Temperament” is based on genetics and is our way of responding to our environment. Character is based on our environment and experiences. Temperament and character produce personality, and it is the dog’s personality that we should be assessing. I would not expect someone to know my personality in a onetime meeting, nor would I expect to know a dog’s personality based on a one-time test. My personality is different in different situations. It often varies day-to-day or, I hate to admit this, hour-to-hour or situation-tosituation. If I happen to be really tired or

hungry I will guarantee you that my personality will be a lot grumpier than normal. How can we expect different from a dog? We need to assess them over a broad range of environments and experiences. Behavioral assessments can give a picture of the socialization of a dog to people or to other dogs. They can show us what might stimulate different responses from a dog and a dog’s ability to inhibit aggressive behavior. Behavior assessments should be used as a tool in identifying what areas of behavior need to be addressed, what type of behavior modification techniques should be employed, what safety measures should be made and what type owner would be best suited for the dog. Behavioral assessments CANNOT be the only criteria used to make life/death decisions; they cannot and should not determine the total behavior status of an animal based on a one-time situation. There are a great many different testing methods available. The one that is the best known and often used in shelters is the Sue Sternberg: Assess-a-Pet. My dog would have definitely failed this test when she was first found and would probably fail a part of it even today. Even Sue Sternberg admits some of her dogs couldn’t pass it. Others behavior assessment tools include Emily Weiss’

SAFER test, Patricia Simonet’s SCRAPS, Warren Eckstein’s gentle assessment method, Dr. James Serpell’s C-BARQ, etc. Patricia Simonet’s test is fairly broad and encompassing. It states right in her instructions for the test that “Finally, please use this tool as a way by which to better identify problems and fix them. Please do NOT use this tool as a way to identify animals for euthanasia. This is an inappropriate use of this tool.” Way to go, Patricia Simonet. There are a number of factors that make temperament testing unreliable in order to make a life/death decision.

Environment: The best scenario would be to test an animal in as close to a home situation as possible. But remember, nowhere in a shelter is a completely comfortable place for a dog, so even the most sheltered area can feel unsafe and create stress for the animal.

Stressed animal: What makes up a shelter animal? Abandoned, ownerrelinquished, a stray; many have been neglected or abused; some have medical problems, some are old and some are starving, but I will guarantee you, all are stressed-out upon arrival. A stressed animal does not necessarily exhibit its normal behavior. Some dogs behave more aggressively when stressed,

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some more fearfully, some will be quiet and inhibited. Let me tell you, if I were stressed and hungry and somebody pushed me and there was nowhere I could get away, I would push back strongly. And if I were hungry enough or had experienced food deprivation and somebody tried to take food away from me I would fight for that food.

Length of time prior to testing: Often these temperament tests are done within a very short time of arrival. Accepting these results can lead to fatal errors. Fearful and sensitive dogs may be overly traumatized by their experience arriving at the shelter and they may show behaviors that could fail them during testing. The other scenario is aggressive and dangerous dogs need time to settle in and get comfortable since they may not show their true behavior.

Length of time to test: One test states it takes 12 to 15 minutes to perform, and if a dog fails part of the test, they don’t continue, so it could take a lot less time—I have never felt that time to be even close to adequate. How in the world can you gather all the information you need in such a short time?

Testing period: Often the decisions are made after performing an assessment only once—it is often strike one and you’re out. How can doing the test once be a complete picture? You need time to obtain a full picture; however, I believe that if a dog has had a history of unprovoked and unwarranted aggression or extreme resourceguarding behavior and/or has a history of serious bites there needs to be a more immediate decision-making process in place.

Experience and skill to properly administer and evaluate the test: Have the testers been trained to observe and interpret dog behavior? Do they have the knowledge or skill to accurately assess subtle cues and behaviors?

Assuming one size fits all: One of the biggest problems with temperament tests is that they do not

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accommodate an adopter’s preferences, commitment level and motivation to succeed with an animal or their skill and abilities to take on a less-than-perfect dog. I hold that a great majority of shelter dogs tested using some of the test methods and test acceptable parameters are almost guaranteed to fail—and for many facilities failure means “unadoptable,” and “unadoptable” means death. As I stated before, I believe behavioral assessments should be conducted, but they should never exist in a vacuum. A comprehensive behavioral assessment should include not only the actual testing but also collateral measurements. It should be a TEAM effort. Intake/surrender behavior information, kennel behavior assessments, dog walker assessments, foster family assessments, repeat behavioral assessments and behavioral modification plans should all be used in conjunction with an initial behavior assessment. All together these measurements will give some ability to predict a home situation, but it is never 100 percent accurate— there are just too many variables. Animals need to be given a real chance to show who they really are and to demonstrate that their initial behavior may be a reaction to a very stressful and scary environment or a reaction to a situation they have just been removed from (i.e. a starving dog). Let’s face it: no canine, or for that matter, no human is aggression-free. Given the right circumstances, the right stress and the inability to choose otherwise, any animal can become aggressive and bite. If you want a dog that’s guaranteed not to be aggressive or fearful or guard their food or toys—get a stuffed toy.

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      93  


Dog Food & Feeding: The

First Step By Dr. Michael W. Fox


uch pet food research has focused on making the inedible palatable, and the incomplete or non-nutritious ingredients complete, balanced and fortified with synthetic additives. The end result is a sickening chemical feast for pets that this kind of profitdriven science, funded to find efficient ways to recycle slaughterhouse, food and beverage industry wastes, actually applauds. The pet food industry has convinced many veterinarians and veterinary associations that pet foods are not a cause of animals becoming ill, and that cerealbased dry foods are fine for cats. The big, multinational pet food manufacturers—a subsidiary of our non-sustainable and increasingly toxic agribusiness industry­—and still far too many veterinarians, tell people not to feed their pets human food. ‘Dog food is for dogs, cat food for cats—all scientifically formulated and properly balanced for health and maintenance’ is the constant refrain. What goes into many manufactured pet foods are ingredients that food scientists and engineers have put together from the byproducts of the human food and beverage industries and fast-food restaurants that recycle used cooking oil and baked goods into pet food. These kinds of pet foods and pet snacks soaking in sugars, salts and propylene glycol, are akin to the junk, convenience and fast foods that are now being recognized as causing and contributing to a host of costly and disabling diseases in consumers. I am an advocate of whole, organic foods that are biologically appropriate for the species. Food for Dogs is different from “dog food”—it’s human-quality food, but with fewer grains, or no grains for cats.

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A generation ago, in my youth, we would get part of our dog and cat food from the local butcher: lights (lungs), green tripe and other nutritious trimmings and organ parts that were fresh and unprocessed. Dogs would have knuckle-bones to chew on, which is the best thing for their teeth and joints, because the cartilage included nutraceuticals like chondriotin and glucosamine, which are the latest discovery to go into manufactured pet food formulations, 60 years later. When pet food ingredients were whole and simple, so were the nutrition-related maladies and solutions. The most common nutritional problem in those days was secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism seen as crippling rickets in dogs, an easily corrected lack of calcium deficiency in the diet.

Occasional skin problems were fixed with fish oil or linseed oil and Brewer’s yeast. Now, the multiple, fragmented, depleted, denatured, bleached and once or twice already processed and cooked ingredients— made from byproducts including condemned, diseased animal parts and synthetic additives—make nutrition-related maladies and solutions more complex and costly than ever. For a listing of health problems related to diet, which range from skin allergies and chronic ear and dental problems, to obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and epilepsy, visit www. The Web site also has my basic dog food recipe. Many veterinarians are too charmed by the pet food industry seminars, scientific reports and lavish grants to their veterinary colleges to advance the public’s understanding of nutraceuticals. Some new ingredient miracles, such as Taurine, L-Carnitine and Omega fatty acids, could significantly improve our pets’ lives. The end products of the current system will likely be more special diets, prescriptiononly formulations for specific health problems that arise predominantly from dietary deficiencies, imbalances and related digestive disorders. Most of these health problems would never have arisen given proper nutrition to mother dogs and growing pups, and not over-vaccinating. The pet food multinationals pour hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising, into support of animal shelters and adoptions, veterinary colleges, lectureships, research, conferences, seminars, cat shows, dog shows and the American Kennel Club. One of the biggest, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, along with two drug companies, gave the American Veterinary Medical Association $4.5 million in 2008 and $5 million soon after to a Canadian veterinary college—we need not wonder why it has taken so long for the connection between pet foods and pet health problems to be acknowledged. During the debacle of the pet food industry’s massive product recall in 2007 following contamination with fake gluten imported from China, I went back to my pet food files and an earlier report that had been censored and withheld from publication while I was employed by the Humane Society of the United States. I got the support of two other outstanding veterinarians and in 2008 came out with the landmark book: Not Fit for a Dog: the Truth about Manufactured Dog and Cat Food. It is my wish that people begin to take charge of their pets’ health, as well as their own, by understanding the vital connection between good nutrition and physical and emotional well-being. The first step is toward unprocessed and minimally processed whole foods, ideally organically certified, and a nutritionally complete and balanced diet.

For more details on the problems with manufactured pet foods and its adverse effects on companion animals, read Not Fit for a Dog: the Truth about Manufactured Dog and Cat Food by veterinarians Drs. M.W. Fox, E. Hodgkins and M.E. Smart, published in 2008 by Quill Driver Books, Sanger Calif. For a review of selected dog foods that I find acceptable, go to

About the author Michael W. Fox, BVetMed, PhD, DSC, MRCVS is a member of the British Veterinary Association and an Honor Roll Member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He has doctoral degrees in ethology/ animal behavior and medicine from the University of London, graduating from the Royal Veterinary College London in 1962. In 1961 he was awarded the gold medal and Fellowship of the Royal Veterinary College Medical Association for his report on the effects of poor nutrition on the health of working sheepdogs, (published in the J. Small Animal Practice, 5:183-192, 1964). Spending most of his professional life in the US as an advocate for animal health, welfare and rights under the flag of One Medicine, One Earth, he has published more than 40 books and writes the syndicated newspaper column Animal Doctor.

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Fertilizers, Pesticides & Pets DON’T MIX By Cindy Nelson


s summer comes around we start to pull out the gardening tools, the fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. We also start to let our pets run around the yard to enjoy these beautiful days. Our minds wander to making our yards luscious and our outdoor areas pest-free. Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, our pets will be harmed by the very things that can make our yards look beautiful. There are so many ingredients found in these products that are harmful to your dog—especially because they have a faster respiratory system than humans, so when they are around pesticides, it affects them in a much more violent way than it does you. Most dogs will eat almost anything, even the chemicals used on the lawn. Even when chemicals are used according to package directions, these products can be dangerous—many yard and garden chemicals and products are extremely toxic. It is best if you keep your animals away from the area until the area sprayed with fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides dries completely. Some dangerous products may even attract your dog, as many bait-type products contain jelly, peanut butter and sugars to attract the pest to the area to eat the bait. If you have to use this kind of bait to rid your yard or home of mice, ants or roaches, make sure to put them where your dog cannot reach them.

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When your pet is around insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other yard and garden chemicals, it is exposed to the toxins through inhaling, licking, eating or through skin, eye or foot pad contact, the very same way the Environmental Protection Agency states that humans are exposed to chemicals. Pets may also ingest these contaminants by grooming themselves after they have been exposed to the chemicals. Any number of reactions can occur: vomiting; irritation to the esophagus; burning of the paws, tongue or gums; skin irritations and rashes. It’s good to know the dangers so you can be careful, but even better, try natural alternatives. Our family uses chicken manure for fertilizer and Tough &Tender® from Melaleuca, The Wellness Company® for ridding the lawn of gnats, spider mites and aphids. It also helps the root system grow deeper for a greener, thicker lawn. To rid your home or lawn of ants, we use an EPA-approved product called Sol-U-Guard®, which contains thyme oil to take care of pesky ants without being harmful to our dogs. Make sure you store all your chemicals where pets and children cannot get into them. Even if you choose to use environmentally safe products, your neighbor, trails and training facilities or local parks may not. Be aware! If you believe your dog has been exposed to toxins, be sure you contact your veterinarian as quickly as possible and with as much information as you can provide. Your pet’s life depends on it!


Holistic Medicine: A Toolbox Approach to Healing By Dr. Nancy Brandt Clinical Director of Natural Care Institute, LLC Holistic means whole, so at the essence of Holistic Medicine is the concept of choosing from all different options in diagnosis and methods of treatment.

Many pet guardians confuse someone who has studied only one modality—like chiropractic, acupuncture or homeopathy—with holistic, whole or complete, but those specialties are really just tools in the toolbox of a holistic practitioner. Holistic practitioners include many approaches, including quality Western or Allopathic Medicine. Understanding that a holistic veterinarian has other methods of diagnosis and treatment opens up the possibility for many different ailments to benefit from an integrative approach. Many inflammatory diseases—basically those ending in “itis”—will respond favorability to a whole approach. The time to take your pet to a holistic veterinarian is while they are still well, so you will be educated—beyond the routine Western approach—on what to do to keep them well. Other concerns that have favorable outcomes include arthritis, allergies, gastrointestinal issues, many cancers, neurological disorders (seizures), paralysis, sports injuries, behavioral issues, hormone disturbances, auto-immune diseases and non-healing wounds. For this diverse list of diseases, a true holistic practitioner will have a vast toolbox of modalities they can reference to produce the desired results. If you only have a hammer in your toolbox, you try to make everything look like a nail; however, if you have a large toolbox, you will more likely recognize that it is indeed not a nail, but a screw, which requires a Phillipshead screwdriver. While the hammer may have worked, a screwdriver works better; similarly, using a better way of medicine will allow a pet to feel better. Knowing which tools, or combination of tools, to use for the benefit of your pet is the essence of a successful holistic veterinarian. The vet should take the time to educate you on the different choices and have a clear understanding of how to combine tools effectively. As with most selections, the best approach is to find a pet guardian and ask them how they have enjoyed working with their holistic practitioner. To find a practitioner in your area, visit

About the author Dr. Nancy Brandt has been a holistic practitioner since 1993. She opened her practice in Las Vegas Nevada in 1999. She is recognized as the pioneering veterinarian in Veterinary Aromatherapy and has received more than 40 degrees and certifications. She welcomes your questions at

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      101  


The “Missing Link” In Pet Holistic Oral Health Care PetzLife Products, Inc. offers a safe, effective alternative to scaling and anesthesia, the usual process for dental cleaning with pets. The company produces 100% All-Natural Oral Care products, including Oral Care Spray and Oral Care Gel, which help remove plaque and tartar, reverse oral disease, promote healthy gums, brighten teeth and kill bacteria that cause bad breath. The secret is a proprietary blend of grapefruit seed extract and other all-natural herbs and ingredients.

The company’s Oral Care Gel with Wild Salmon Oil also adds the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that aid in optimal health … and the salmon flavor is great for finicky cats. These products are so efficacious and safe that they’re even used by the Dolphin Research Center. “The PetzLife products fill a void on how to naturally and safely care for pets, especially for their teeth.” said Bud Groth, CEO, PetzLife Products. “PetzLife is receiving strong demand and referrals the more consumers learn about the product lines.” According to Michael Fox, DVM, and co-author of Not Fit for a Dog! The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food,

“Safe and effective dental health products, like PetzLife Oral Care, are the missing link in holistic pet health care.” Elizabette Cohen, veterinarian and radio pet reporter on worldwide, loves the fact that these products are all-natural and easy to use. “Wow! After using the product for one week, I saw results,” she said. PetzLife also produces @-Eaze—Calming Support for Pets. When applied directly or mixed with food or treats, @-Ease works within minutes to help promote a restful relaxed state without causing reduced alertness. It helps relieve stress and anxiety in pets. In addition, the company also offers a complete line of shampoos, conditioners and aromatherapy mists. About PetzLife Products, Inc. PetzLife Products, Inc., is an animal wellness company dedicated to creating innovative, all-natural products that improve pets’ lives. All PetzLife products are human grade, and every ingredient is sourced from reputable suppliers and made in the United States. Founded by avid animal lovers, the company estimates that it has saved more than 5,000 pets’ lives to date, and helped protect 72,000+ from injury caused by anesthesia complications alone. The company also supports many animal rescues around the country. PetzLife Products, Inc. has received numerous accolades from prominent industry publications including Animal Wellness, Pet Age and Pet Business.

For more information: PetzLife Products, Inc. 888-453-4682

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Dr.’s Corner

The Dog Days of

Summer! Preventing Heat Stroke Elisa M. Mazzaferro MS, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVECC Director of Emergency Services, Wheat Ridge Veterinary Specialists

When the weather warms up, a lot of people head

outdoors with their pets to enjoy the change of seasons. Heatinduced illness, or heat stroke, is unfortunately a common occurrence during the spring and summer months. Heat stroke occurs when heat gain exceeds the body’s ability to dissipate heat. Common causes of heat stroke are exposure to high temperatures and humidity, and exertion or exercise. While it may seem intuitively obvious that keeping a dog in a locked car can result in serious damage or death, it is not always obvious that heat stroke can still occur with the car windows open, or with the windows closed and the heater blowing on a very cold day. Dogs can also develop exertional heat stroke while exercising if they are not allowed to rest or they do not have access to cool water and shade. Even the most acclimatized athletic dog needs rest every 30 to 60 minutes on a very hot day, particularly after they have spent the majority of the winter indoors. Breeds like Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs are predisposed to heat-induced illness due to inherent airway abnormalities that increase the work of breathing. Do not allow these types of dog to be excessively active during the warmest part of the day. Other predisposing factors include obesity, previous history of having heat stroke, and an inability of the upper airway to open sufficiently during breathing. This latter condition is known as “laryngeal paralysis” and can be observed in any breed of dog, but is most common in older Labrador Retrievers. Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, often with excessive noise. Other signs include difficulty walking, excessive salivation, diarrhea, vomiting, and collapse. In its most severe form, heat stroke can be manifested as muscle tremors, altered level of consciousness, dilated pupils, vocalizing, bloody urine and nosebleed, seizures, and coma. Severe heat-stroke can result in widespread damage to tissues throughout the body. Without early and rapid recognition and treatment, heat stroke can be quickly fatal.

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If you think that your dog is developing signs of heat stroke, stop activity immediately and move them to a cool, shady area or indoors with access to cool water. Put a towel soaked in ROOM TEMPERATURE water on the dog, and put him or her in front of a fan to expedite cooling. It is very important not to shock the system by soaking the animal in cold water or ice, as this can lead to overcooling and shivering, both of which have been shown to be associated with a less favorable outcome. Next, bring your dog to the nearest veterinary facility for diagnosis and treatment. Diagnostic tests and treatment may include bloodwork, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, plasma transfusions, and hospitalization for monitoring. With aggressive treatment, many animals can survive heat stroke; however, the best treatment is prevention itself. Slowly acclimatize your dog to exercise during the early spring, and never exercise him for more than 30 minutes without taking a rest. Provide plenty of cool water and shade at all times. If your dog is overweight, or has respiratory problems, walk him during the coolest times of the day, then keep him indoors in air conditioning, whenever possible. With these guidelines, both you and your furry companion can enjoy the beautiful outdoors, without needing a trip to the hospital.

Dr.’s Corner

How to Prevent

BLOAT By Dr. Jeff Steen Medical Director Alameda East Veterinary Hospital

Dr. Jeff Steen performing a laparoscopic gastropexy. Photo courtesy of Alameda East Animal Hospital.


ost pet lovers have heard the term bloat, the layman’s term for gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. GDV occurs when the stomach bloats and twists, trapping gas, food and fluid in the stomach. With no place for the stomach contents to go, the stomach continues to distend, causing major problems to surrounding organs. Dogs with bloat quickly go into shock and will die in a matter of hours unless emergency surgery is performed to untwist the stomach.

• Lean dogs and older dogs are at higher risk.

The most commonly seen symptoms of bloat include a distended abdomen, a nonproductive retch or vomit, pale gums, lethargy and severe abdominal pain. If you see these symptoms in your dog, you should immediately head for your nearest emergency veterinary hospital.

The only tried and true way to prevent bloat from occurring is to surgically attach the stomach to the inside of the abdominal wall to prevent twisting; this procedure is called a gastropexy, and is a relatively easy and straightforward procedure, so routine that your pet may be spayed or neutered at the same time.

Bloat is one of the most common emergencies encountered. Studies done at Purdue University by Dr. Glickman and his colleagues have shown an incidence rate of 22 percent in large breed dogs and 24 percent in giant breeds. The rate is highest in Great Danes at 42 percent, meaning nearly half of all Great Danes will bloat at some point in their lives.

• Dogs with relatives that have had GDV are at higher risk. • D  ogs that eat fast and those that eat from elevated feeding bowls are at higher risk. • Nervous, fearful and aggressive dogs are at higher risk. • D  ogs fed dry food only and fed once daily are at higher risk.

Risk factors for bloat include:

Many veterinary hospitals across the country commonly use a minimally invasive procedure to perform a gastropexy, which utilizes a laparoscope to make several small incisions and attach the stomach to the abdomen. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, complications are rare and your pet is back on his feet in no time since the incisions are so small.

• D  ogs with deep, narrow chests including the Great Dane, Bloodhound, Standard Poodle, Irish Wolfhound, German Shepherd, Irish Setter, Akita, Boxer, Collie, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Weimeraner and any mixed breed dog with a deep, narrow chest.

For more information about gastropexies, contact your veterinarian. This simple procedure may end up saving your friend’s life and will definitely give you peace of mind. The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      107  


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Introducing a Shelter Dog into the Family! By Victoria Stilwell Photo by Bill Adler


ydney was a 12- year-old Jack Russell Terrier that hated other dogs. Taking Sydney for walks had always been an exhausting prospect for owners Megan and Trevor, because the sight of another dog would cause her to react in an intense and violent manner. Even with the knowledge of Sydney’s discomfort around other dogs, Megan and Trevor decided to adopt Sam, a 4-year-old chocolate Labrador, which was a decision that brought chaos to their household. Sydney did not take kindly to the new addition and attacked Sam at every opportunity, lunging at his throat in an effort to inflict serious damage. In order to keep both dogs safe, Megan and Trevor kept Sam outside while Sydney had the run of the house. On the rare occasions that Sam was allowed in the house, Sydney would charge at the baby gate that separated them, snarling and gnashing her teeth at him. At first Sam ignored his aggressor’s behavior, but now he was fighting back, making an already dangerous situation even worse. This was an extreme example of what can happen in a multi-dog household, but fights between dogs that live together are very common especially when a new dog is introduced into the mix. Existing dogs are not able to choose their new ‘brothers and sisters,’ so it is up to owners to ensure introductions go as smoothly as possible by following some general guidelines. If the existing dog is a dominant male then it is wise to introduce a more submissive female into the mix and vice versa. Inter-bitch aggression is very common, as are fights between competing males, and while dogs of the same sex can co-habit peacefully, it is often better to mix the sexes up. It is also advisable that the second dog is either close in age or temperament to the existing dog, making sure their energy levels match. If a puppy is brought into a home with an established older dog, every effort must be made to keep the puppy’s desire to play with the older dog to a minimum. In some cases a younger dog will breathe new life into an older one, but age gaps can also be the cause of major irritations! Initial introductions need to be made on neutral territory with both dogs on loose leashes, so that they have the ability to interact without the frustration of being held too tightly by the owner. If the initial meeting goes well, both dogs should be

allowed to interact off leash in a safe area, giving them freedom to form a relationship. Established dogs can become jealous when too much attention is given to the new addition. It is therefore important that both dogs get equal attention as well as having quality one-on-one time with the owner. Feeding the dogs separately for the first couple of weeks will ensure that there are no fights over food bowls. After this period the dogs can be brought together for supervised feeding, but high-value chews or toys need to be given to the dogs in separate rooms, as even the best of friends can fight over valuable resources. Rewarding the existing dog when he or she behaves well around the new arrival and taking away the reward when the new dog is out of the room, will show the dog that the new dog’s presence means good things happen to it. Similarly taking both dogs out on a walk together and doing activities such as obedience and agility will help to improve the bonding process. If relations do not go well then the above tips can still be used to form a program where the dogs are slowly conditioned to feel good about each other’s presence. Both dogs need to be carefully managed so that they are never left alone together without supervision and should be provided with separate areas for safety and relaxation. If fights continue to occur on a regular basis resulting in trips to the veterinarian, the decision to re-home one of the dogs needs to be made. As much as we humans don’t like to fail, it can be very stressful for a dog to live daily with the continual threat from a canine adversary. All dogs are individuals, and it isn’t always possible to predict how two animals will get on. A lot can be done to make the process easier, but there are no guarantees that things will turn out alright. By utilizing the training techniques described, Sydney and Sam learned to co-exist peacefully, but if a dog has already shown problems with other dogs, careful thought must be given before getting another.

For more information: Visit Victoria Stilwell’s Web Site at and don’t forget to tune in to her show “It’s Me or The Dog” on Animal Panet.

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Is there JEALOUSY between your

Canine Kids? Tank and Tower are litter mates. They have been in competition for everything since the day they were born. Photo by Shannon Worgan.

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By Brett Titus S.W.A.T / K-9 Handler & Trainer Denver Police Department


ealousy! One of the worst emotions for us to deal with; it can cause grief for everyone involved. No matter who we have all seen dogs become jealous, maybe not in the same way we that we humans show it, but some of the actions and results are very familiar. The most common times I’ve seen what we would call jealousy in dogs is during displays of affection. When one dog is across the room sound asleep and you begin to pet the other, in the blink of an eye, both are on you competing for your attention. I find this to be a warm feeling and don't mind it a bit. It only presents a problem if they become aggressive. Watch for the warning signs. The most obvious is if one dog physically moves into the other dog’s space; in many cases this comes with a warning such as a growl. One way to prevent the situation from reaching this level is to give equal attention. Create a habit of petting a dog with each hand, keeping them on opposite sides of you. If you plan on giving affection to one dog, plan on splitting it between two. It's a natural reaction for your dog to want your attention. Make equal time for all of your dogs and they shouldn't feel the need to fight for it. Feeding time or sharing treats is also a cause for jealousy. I have always preferred to feed in completely separate areas. This assures that each dog gets their proper amounts and is not bullied off the bowl—I have seen many fights started over a bowl of food. It also keeps them from wondering if the other dog has something better, avoiding jealousy issues. Treats should be given directly to your dogs—don't just toss them in their direction and leave it to them to figure out who gets what. When treats are given directly, still remember to give them distance so there is no confusion. Equal amounts are important as well, but don’t distribute too many—we don't want fat, jealous dogs.

Space can be another jealousy factor. Who gets which bed may be an issue of location or comfort—one bed may be closer to yours than the other or it may be softer. The use of an actual bed, crate or sleeping space is important. In cases like this, try to make sleeping arrangements as equal as you can. Be consistent on who is placed in which bed or area. Don't alternate the sleeping spots. This will help the dogs to understand what place is theirs and to stay out of the other dog’s area. If possible, it may help to place each dog on either side of the bed. This can also deter the 3 a.m. playtime between the dogs. No matter how cute, it's no fun for us. Finally, toys can be an issue. When playing, have a toy for each dog. Throw the toys in opposite directions. This eliminates the competition of who can get there faster. One dog may be slower and lose every time. This can become frustrating and lead to problems. If they get there at the same time, who knows how they may settle that. Most of our dogs are welladjusted to the pack and would never think to be jealous, but for others, it's our responsibility to alleviate as much jealousy as possible—love them lots, and equally.

About the author Brett is known Internationally for his training and handling skills. With over eleven years of professional experience training Police and S.W.A.T. K-9s, he has a vast background of accomplishments to his credit. Visit his Web site at:

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To Crate or Not to Crate? By Mike Wombacher Photo by Heather Green


espite the avalanche of literature available today regarding the benefits of crate training, many people still feel reluctant to “jail” Rover, perceiving it as “mean.”

Let me address this squarely by highlighting the most important reasons to crate train. Crates take advantage of a dog’s “nesting instinct,” which tells them to keep their immediate area clean. This makes crating indispensable to effective housebreaking. Crates, properly introduced, will become the dog’s safe zone, a place to relax and be at ease, and crates make for safe transportation. They can be slid into back seats, bungee’d into pick-up trucks, slung over your shoulder (in soft airline carriers) and more. Additionally, if you are ever going to board your dog, leave him at the vet’s, send him to the groomer’s or fly him across the country, he will be crated. If you have conditioned your dog properly, the crate will be a comfortable reference point against a backdrop of unfamiliar circumstances. In other words, it will help enormously to put your dog at ease in challenging situations. Please understand that dogs are den animals and crave the comfort of small, confined spaces. That’s why they often sleep under pieces of furniture or tucked into corners. Now, that does not mean that all dogs will immediately take to crates. With young puppies some initial resistance is connected to the fact that up until you get them they have been snuggled up with all their litter mates in a warm puppy pile. Then you pluck them away, and want them to sleep quietly in a crate—with a resulting puppy meltdown. This has less to do with the crate and more to do with the simple fact of aloneness. Older dogs can have issues with crates simply because they were never introduced to them at an earlier age—all the more reason to start crate training ASAP. A simple way to introduce a crate is to put the crate, with a soft bed and a few toys in it, onto a hard, cold surface such as tiles, linoleum or hardwood. Be sure to either enclose the crate in a room such as a small kitchen, a hallway cordoned off with baby gates or inside the confines of an ex-pen. Leave the crate door open and let the dog figure out that the most comfortable place in the confinement zone is in the crate. If

this is not an option and you simply have to put the dog in the crate, do so. Be sure to have exercised him or her and have left two or three really yummy chewies (Kongs with cheese, bully sticks, etc.) in the crate. Put the dog in the crate. If there’s a bit of whimpering, probably best to ignore it. If the dog starts barking and complaining you can either ignore it for a short while or immediately reprimand the dog by slamming your hand on the crate or giving him a squirt from a water bottle to demand silence. Between the dog being tired, the crate being full of treats and your reprimands setting limits you should be well on your way shortly. For the dog who has had previous bad crate experiences and literally panics anywhere near it, try the following: take the top half off the crate and put the doggie’s bed in the bottom half. Without the top on the crate the dog will simply treat this as his bed. Give this a week or two to take. Then put a chair or some other level surface behind the crate bottom and put the top half of the crate on it such that it is only slightly resting on the bottom half. Then, slowly, bit by bit each day, move the top a little further over the bottom. If the dog shows any sign of discomfort, back off a bit and try again a few days later. Eventually you will be able to slide the top of the crate onto the bottom and the dog will barely have noticed it. In sum, whatever objections you might have to crate training, my suggestion is, get over it. Crate training your dog is one of the biggest favors you could do for him, for his own safety and for the peace of mind of you both. Consider these words from Heather Green, The American Dog’s associate publisher: “We have crate-trained all of our dogs. Crate training gave us peace of mind while we were gone and comforted our dogs by establishing a safe haven of their own. Now they are no longer required to stay in the crate when we leave, but we always find them lying in them upon our return. They love their crates!” Visit for more information on crate training and click the housebreaking tab. You can also email Mike at:

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“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing” ~ Albert Einstein

ADOPT A DOG. SAVE A LIFE! The American Dog Magazine encourages everyone who wants a dog to adopt from your local animal shelter or rescue group. You CAN make a difference. Whether it’s giving a little of your time to volunteer, donating a small percentage of your paycheck to a shelter, fostering a dog in your home or making room in your family for one more four-legged canine to join your pack. The animals will thank you! This message created by Jamie Downey, designed by Jane Brunton and provided as a public service announcement by The American Dog Magazine on behalf of the 5-7 million dogs and cats euthanized every year in animal shelters. Please consider adopting a dog from your local animal shelter.


BACKYARD BREEDERS Contributing to the Pet Overpopulation Crisis in America By Anna Morrison-Ricordati Attorney at Law


ast spring, a friend of mine who knew of my involvement in animal rescue called in desperate need of help. Her mother’s dog was pregnant. She didn’t have a regular veterinarian and money was tight. What would her mother do with all of the puppies? I immediately recommended the local, low-cost clinic for spay surgery, but my friend exclaimed that her mother was Catholic and would never consent to spay/abort. I agreed to help my friend on the promise that she take the dog for spay surgery following the

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puppies’ birth. For the next three weeks I reviewed my lists of rescue organizations and persons seeking dogs and referred all leads to my friend. I provided my friend with sample adoption contracts and prayed the no-kill shelters would not be so inundated as to reject these little guys if she couldn’t place them all. Spring is a tough time to be an unwanted dog in Chicago. Two weeks passed. No word from my friend. A month passed. Still no word. Finally, I called one woman I had referred to my friend. “I probably paid too much,” she said,

“but he’s a great little dog.” “Was that part of the adoption contract?” I asked. “There was no contract,” she said, “I just paid $250 to the older woman selling the puppy dogs.” Almost a year passed before my friend called again. Unfortunately, her mom missed the appointment for low-cost spay surgery and her dog was pregnant with a second litter. Did I know of anyone else looking for puppies? When I asked about the last litter, she replied, “My mom found homes for five of them … but left the rest at Animal Care and Control when they got too big. It was so sad. My mom just couldn’t afford to care for them all. You’ve got to help us find homes for the puppies.” I held my breath for a moment and said, “Look, I know what you are doing.” After a long silence, my friend huffed, “My mom doesn’t have any income. She needs these dogs to pay her bills. If you don’t want to help us, then fine. That’s just one more that will end up at the shelter.“ There it was … the truth. My friend’s mom was a backyard breeder. And there was nothing I could do to stop her. It was all perfectly legal. Of the more than 50 million dogs in the United States, twothirds come from backyard breeders (BYBs). Motivated by a quick buck, BYBs breed available dogs by ‘accident’ or convenience, typically without knowledge of breed specifics and without concern for the dogs’ health.

How to spot a BYB. Not all small-time breeders and/or animal providers are BYBs. Instead, they may fall into one of the following general categories: Backyard Breeder – breeds available dog(s) for quick sale, with or without adequate care for the dogs’ (and puppies’) health. Irresponsible/Puppy Mill Breeder – breeds a large number of dogs, usually purebred, with little or no care. Responsible/Reputable Breeder – breeds a large number of dogs, usually purebred, with adequate care. Hobby Breeder – breeds a small number of dogs, usually purebred, with adequate care. Broker – sells dogs not bred by the seller. Shelter/Rescue – adopts out dogs that have been relinquished by the owner or found astray. BYBs seldom refuse a purchaser and offer no pre-sale testing for diseases and/or genetic abnormalities. Most have limited

knowledge of the puppies’ parental lines, use make-shift housing and provide no health guarantees. Seldom will a BYB offer to take a puppy back if the purchaser can no longer care for that puppy. As the puppy’s age becomes less desirable, BYBs may reduce prices for quick sale. To garner sympathy, BYBs sometimes pose as “rescue” groups, but do not provide puppies that have been spayed/neutered or contacts for the new owner to obtain such services; most charge amounts exceeding what would be required for vaccines and primary veterinary care.

Who regulates a BYB? Currently, no one. While larger breeding operations may be registered with the American Kennel Club and possibly subject to inspection by state agencies (such as the Department of Agriculture), most backyard breeders operate undetected. Where cities do not restrict the numbers of animals owned by residents, BYBs are not in violation of the law. Even cities requiring kennel registrations for hobby breeders can miss a BYB who is confining their animals indoors. Other than reporting the income derived from a cash transaction typically without contract or receipt of purchase, backyard breeders have no enforceable reporting requirements. A number of cities have introduced Mandatory Spay/Neuter (MSN) legislation in an effort to prevent backyard breeders from worsening the pet overpopulation crisis. Despite provisions in the proposed legislation to exempt responsible breeders and animals with medical conditions preventing spay/neuter, MSN has been met with fierce opposition. This opposition comes not only from potential hobby breeders who may someday seek to breed their purebred animals, but also from responsible animal guardians who did not wish to force an unnecessary surgery upon their companion.

How to stop a BYB. Report what you see and demand change. While training, licensing and inspection is required of other money-making enterprises (hairdressers, contractors, food service, etc.), most cities have no laws aimed at persons selling the offspring of their pets. Not only is this unfair, but it is dangerous when considering the hazardous and unregulated conditions that may exist in a BYB environment. Petitioning local government to require licensing, regulation and/ or (at the very least) reporting of all animal sales is a solid first step.

For more information: Anna Morrison-Ricordati AMR Law Group, LLC 111. W. Washington St., Ste. 1760 Chicago, IL 60602 (312) 376-7660

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By Marshall H. Tanick Attorney at Law


reed-specific laws, measures that impose onerous restrictions on dogs based upon their breeds, have been around for nearly four decades. Enacted primarily by units of government, municipalities and townships,

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they have targeted a variety of different breeds over the years, including Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, American Staffordshire Terriers and, most prominently, all sorts of so-called "pit bulls," among other canine types.

But this year, 2009, marks the 20th anniversary of the high water mark for those who have battled these breed-specific bans around the country. In the spring of 1989, a judge in Minneapolis, Minn., ruled that the city's ordinance restricting pit bulls was unconstitutional. The measure, enacted in 1988, was one of the most far-reaching in the country. The law generally was directed against "dangerous dogs" that attack or injure others, but it included a special provision aimed specifically at American Staffordshires, Staffordshire bull terriers and pit bull terriers. It required owners of these dogs, which were automatically deemed "dangerous" because of their breed, to confine them inside their houses or, if outside, to maintain them in permanent enclosures; it also obligated owners to muzzle their dogs on a three-foot leash, if off the owner's premises, and subjected owners to stiff criminal punishment. The measure included fines of up to $750 and 90 days in jail for failure to abide by these restrictions. If this wasn't enough, another provision allowed city officials to order destruction of these dogs without any judicial propensity for causing harm. In effect, the Minneapolis ordinance made a city bureaucrat the policeman, judge, jury and executioner of "pit bulls" in the community. Many of these provisions were the culmination of nearly two decades of anti-dog legislation. More than a dozen had been the subject of litigation, with challengers asserting a number of claimed violations of rights of due process, equal protection and other Constitutional provisions. A few of those cases succeeded, and some failed. The movement against breed specific bans was on life support by the late 1980s due to aggressive legislation and antagonistic court rulings.

Catch-All 'Characteristics' But the Minneapolis ordinance contained a provision that triggered a sea change in the legal environment concerning breed-specific bans. In addition to naming specific types of dogs, the law contained a catch-all phrase that imposed restrictions on "any mixed breed of dog, which contains an element of its breeding any of the characteristics of the aforementioned breeds so as to be identifiable as partially of any or all of these aforementioned breeds." Besides being garbled in governmental gobbledy-gook, the provision reflected the dark side of breed-specific bans. By its terms, it applied to any canine with any "characteristics" of the prescribed breeds, presumably a tail or four paws, for that matter. Litigation soon ensued, and I was privileged to represent a group of dog owners who challenged the measure. The litigation, sponsored by the American Dog Owners Association, included a number of owners of proscribed dogs and others who were uncertain whether their dogs fell

within the prohibition. As part of the litigation, the claimants introduced about two dozen photographs of varying kinds of dogs, which stumped animal control officials as to which ones fell within the ban and which ones did not. This convinced Judge Deborah Hedlund of the Hennepin County District Court, which handles litigation in Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs, to strike the law on grounds that it was unconstitutionally vague. She reasoned that no person of "reasonable intelligence" could understand the measure or decide which dogs fell within its proscriptions. The City appealed a portion of the decision, which the Minnesota Appellate Court upheld, and also required the City to pay the claimants their attorney's fees of approximately $25,000—a large sum at the time—but barely a pittance in today's litigious environment. The actions added momentum to the anti-breed-specific movement and provided legal ammunition for other challenges of breed-specific bans around the country.

Wary Watchdog The Minneapolis case became a watchdog in breed-specific legislation elsewhere. Fearing similar litigation, many communities were wary of enacting breed-specific laws or enforcing existing measures. Some laws that were on the books, including one in Toledo, Ohio, fell prey to similar constitutional challenges. The Minneapolis case also led to enactment in Minnesota of a so-called pre-emption law, a statewide measure barring local units of government from enacting breed-specific measures. Over time, about 15 states enacted such laws, some pre-dating the Minneapolis case and some inspired by it. Despite these accomplishments, the Minneapolis litigation, now celebrating its platinum anniversary, did not stifle breedspecific measures. After a few years the tide began, again, to turn. Some communities enacted breed-specific at the urging of constituents, often fueled by unfavorable media reporting, more communities enacted breed-specific laws. Even in states with pre-emption statutes, some communities ignored the state-wide measures, and enacted or enforced their own breed-specific restrictions. In other states, mainly along the East and West coasts, efforts were made to roll back the preemption laws, although usually without much success. Additionally, new types of dogs were added to the prohibited categories. While "pit bulls" were the main targets, some measures extended to other breeds, encompassing more than a dozen restricted types. The breed-specific movement also picked up steam internationally as some areas in Canada enacted prohibitions, as well as some European countries, although with a twist. In Germany, for instance, breed-

boot, the best way to stop breed-specific bans is to influence lawmakers at the local levels. They must be shown that, despite occasional aberrations, particular breeds of dogs are not inherently dangerous. Any problems with dogs that bite or attack others can be solved by general “dangerous” or “vicious” dog laws, which apply to all categories of dogs, rather than singling out particular dog breeds as being more inherently dangerous than others. Efforts also can be directed at state legislators to enact pre-emption laws in order to assure uniformity within and avoid a crazy-quilt of breed-specific measures popping up throughout the state.

specific bans excluded, naturally, German Shepherds. The insurance industry also waded into the murky waters. Many leading carriers of homeowner’s policies began proscribing specific breeds of dog, refusing to write policies for homes where such dogs resided or canceling existing policies for owners who harbored the forbidden breeds. The pre-emption laws could not reach these practices because they were undertaken by private insurers, not government bodies. Simultaneously, condominium and town home associations, landlords and other property owners began banning dogs by breed, often impervious to legal challenges.

Millennium Momentum By the turn of the Millennium, a decade or so after the Minneapolis case, breed-specific adherents have regained momentum and their opponents were suffering setbacks. One notable snag was in Denver, Colo., where years of litigation have surrounded the Mile High City’s ordinance allowing confiscation and extinction of “pit bulls” or mixed breeds with pit bull features. Similar measures have cropped up in many other jurisdictions, including Ohio, Missouri, Texas and Kansas, the date of the only breed-specific case to make it to the U.S. Supreme Court so far, but the High Court declined to hear the case. In the spring of 2009, 20 years after the Minneapolis case, breed-specific legislation continues to be contentious, controversial and challenging. Results in the courts remain mixed, with some successes for those battling breed bans, punctuated by an equal number of failures. Tightly drafted laws that avoid the ambiguity of the Minneapolis ordinance generally can withstand constitutional challenge on vagueness grounds. Courts also have rejected claims of other constitutional claims. Because the outcome of court cases is uncertain and costly to

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Actions also need to be taken to provide a more mediafriendly environment for the type of dogs likely to be targeted by breed-specific measures. If they bite or attack, particularly when children are involved, a media frenzy usually ensues. It is important that dog owners combat this by steering the media in the direction of favorable articles about dogs doing good things, rather than behaving badly. The breed-specific movement—revitalized two decades after the Minneapolis case—threatens owners of all dogs, not just prohibited breeds. If lawmakers can enact laws singling out particular types of dogs, then no dog, or owner, is safe from these measures. The reality has laws, if not properly combated, as reflected in a far-reaching effort last year in Minnesota, no less, to take the ban breed ideology to unthinkable levels. A state legislator, irked by dog bites in his district, proposed a state-wide law that would prohibit ownership of five specific types of dogs: Rottweiler, “pit” bull, wolf hybrid, chow chow and Akita. While egregious, the proposal was beneficial in one sense: it galvanized the dog community into realizing the threat to owners of all dogs, regardless of breed, by runaway legislation. A coalition of dog owners and organizations helped beat back the measure and prevented it from being adopted. But anti-dog legislation is prevalent. Limit laws—zoning ordinances that allow establishing the puppy mills—and other measures create an environment that is antithetical to the rights of dog owners and their pets. Breed-specific measures are only one type of onerous legislation that needs to be battled, along with these others, to assure that dogs and their owners are treated equitably, fairly and lawfully.

About the author Marshall H. Tanick is an attorney in Minneapolis-St. Paul with the firm Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, P.A., a member of the Board of Directors of Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter, and represented the successful claimants in the Minneapolis “pit bull” case referred to in this article. For more information visit their Web site:

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Ruffwear for Dogs on the Go! Bark’n Boots™ Grip Trex™ Ruff Wear has revolutionized canine paw wear. The Bark’n Boots™ Grip Trex™ feature two major advancements in dog boots—an upper inspired by human shoes and a high performance Vibram® sole. (888) 783-3932

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Bravo! Bonus Bites Bravo! Bonus Bites are an extensive line of freeze-dried and dry-roasted, all-meat treats. They use only antibiotic-free poultry, fresh fish and grass-fed red meats in these healthy, all-natural, grain-free snacks. Bravo! Join the rawdiet revolution! (866) 922-9222

Water Loopies If your dog loves water, Water Loopies™ are a must! They are made of durable neoprene and they float. Perfect for the beach, lake, or pool this summer! (619) 293-7125

Custom Tote Bag by Sara England Designs “No Worries” Choose from hundreds of Sara’s Designs and offered in a variety of Tote bag colors. For more information visit the Web site at: or stop by Barefoot Boutique at 82 West Main Street in New market, MD ( 301) 865-1600

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Bedtime Books

Books to Read this Summer! Demo: The Story of a Junkyard Dog By Jon Bozak & Scott Bruns “Author Jon Bozak and illustrator Scott Bruns combine dynamic visuals with an inspired storyline that lampoons society’s dangerous dog dilemma. Unwanted by his tyrannical master because of his friendly disposition, yet feared outside the yard due to his junkyard appearance, Demo is a dog with few options. When his master hatches a vengeful plan to destroy the neighboring town of Newton, Demo seizes the opportunity to save the day and finally show everyone the kind of wonderful dog he truly is.”

Fit As Fido By Dawn A. Marcus, MD “Let your dog teach you to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life! Companionship with your pet can be used as a means and a motivator to increase your own physical and mental fitness. This fun and easy-to-read book provides practical tips for learning healthy lifestyle habits from a four-legged friend. Poochproven advice for better living includes methods to adopt successful exercise and dieting strategies, re-focus how you approach food shopping, make sleep a top priority, and reduce harmful stress effects by improving social interactions.”

Dogged Pursuit By Robert Rodi “Robert and Dusty made quite an improbable duo in their quest for glory in the competitive dog world. Robert, an intellectual urbanite who favored fine wine and Italian literature to SUV’s and suburban wine, and Dusty, a scruffy and disobedient Sheltie, found themselves completely out of place at The Canine Agility Competition. Despite the odds against them, Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World’s Least Likely Agility Dog, offers Robert Rodi’s hysterical account of a year spent on the canine agility pro circuit.”

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Pretty Pet Friendly By Julia Szabo “Written by leading pet style authority Julia Szabo, Pretty Pet Friendly: Easy Ways to Keep Spot’s Digs Stylish & Spotless aims to help readers create a pleasant, healthy environment for their pets. It covers each area of the home--from the kitchen to the bedroom and bathroom, to the backyard—all while providing practical advice and helpful how-tos for keeping things neat, functional, and chic. Szabo provides an environmentally-friendly viewpoint, recommending specific green products throughout.”

Speaking For Spot By Dr. Nancy Kay “In Speaking For Spot, Dr. Kay provides an insider’s guide to navigating the overwhelming, confusing, and expensive world of veterinary medicine with a warmth, candor, and humor cultivated over 20-plus years of working with cancer patients and their human companions. She explains the vet’s point of view, and how to initiate and nurture a healthy relationship with a vet and her staff. Dr. Kay helps you come to grips with a cancer diagnosis, and explains the tough choices that are bound to follow. You will not find a more thorough, in-depth guide to ensuring high-quality treatment for your dog.”

Tales From a Dog Catcher By Lisa Duffy-Korpics “Tales From a Dog Catcher is based on the author’s experiences in a smallish city in the northern suburbs of NYC. It comprises twentytwo real-life stories about people and their experiences with animals, stories that both entertain and charm, and feature all creatures great and small—from plenty of dogs and cats and “peeping tom” raccoons, to a duck and a turkey and an (imagined) mountain lion. This book tells the stories of everyday people who, whether by accident or design, come into contact with the sad, funny, and often profound world of an animal control officer.”

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      125  

Happily Ever After Plucked from death, Pit Bull “Prada” now blossoms as “Blue Belle” By James Valentina

Before: Prada’s injuries from being dragged behind the truck.


he name Prada typically conveys opulence, but for a 1-year-old blue Pit Bull Terrier named Prada the story is of heartbreak and one that has enacted a public demand for change. In December, Prada’s owner Bryana Wilson loaded the puppy into the back of a pick-up truck and in the presence of witnesses, including a driver who followed Wilson for three blocks, honking her horn and screaming for Wilson to stop, Prada was dragged into the parking lot of Southeast Area Animal Control Authority unconscious, bleeding and not breathing. A veterinary services client rushed to her aid and staff veterinarian Dr. Brad Brunskill performed first aid, saving Prada’s life. The incident has prompted animal lovers and California animal control workers to demand justice for Prada amidst criticism that State law is inadequate and prosecution is too slow. Alleged perpetrator Wilson, 25, of Norwalk, Calif., was not formally charged pending an investigation by Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Deborah Knaan, who was appointed the county’s first-ever animal cruelty case investigator and formerly oversaw daily operations of the city’s animal shelters in 2007. In late April, it was announced that the filing assistant district attorney, Ed Flior, had decided not to prosecute Wilson. Director of Operations for SEAACA—an organization dedicated to quality animal care and control—Capt. Aaron Reyes, believes Wilson violated both State vehicular and local municipal code regarding the proper transport of animals. “Dogs need to be secured. Prada was not or she couldn’t have fallen or jumped out of the truck. We pick up beautiful, purebred dog carcasses—still warm—because owners did not

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After: this beautiful dog, now Blue Belle, deserves a new lease on life.

adhere to the law,” Reyes said. He and other animal control workers want to see the laws broadened and more strictly enforced. “We are an enforcement agency, but we need the D.A.’s cooperation.” After recovering from her injuries at the shelter, Prada was renamed Blue Belle and entrusted to Karma Rescue in Santa Monica, where she will be available for adoption. Karma’s celebrity supporters include Tori Spelling and Karma Founder Rande Levine reports Blue Belle “is coming out of her shell and all of our volunteers adore her. She’s a gorgeous dog and everyone who sees her comments on how beautiful she is!” Writer’s note: Levine said she and Karma’s volunteers are outraged that the district attorney has decided to not prosecute Blue Belle’s former owner. For more information, visit or email

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY! or call (303) 840-6111

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EVERYDAY DOGGIE HEROES The Last Hope for Shelter Dogs Facing Euthanasia By Jackie Denton Shelter Liaison for DogsinDanger


ay the words “shelter dog” and many people think of freakish, aggressive or feral dogs. Those of us in sheltering, rescue and advocacy know that nothing could be further from the truth. Our nation’s animal shelters are full of wonderful, friendly dogs. Some may need a little extra attention and devotion initially—because their previous owners failed to properly socialize them—and some may need medical care, but they are worthy and deserving of loving forever homes, nonetheless. The vast majority of dogs in shelters, more than 90 percent, are highly adoptable. But we have been led to believe that there aren’t enough homes for them all. Each day in this country there are more people looking to bring a dog into their home than there are dogs in shelters. Unfortunately, millions of great shelter dogs are overlooked as people continue to purchase dogs online and from pet stores. This lack of awareness leads to the killing of

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more than 4 million shelter dogs each year in the U.S. In October of 2007 two forward-thinking dog lovers, Alex Aliksanyan and Brenda Bush, launched the Web site is a listing of shelter dogs around the country that are scheduled to die, thus giving these animals a last chance at life. DogsInDanger’s twopronged strategy is aimed at getting shelter dogs adopted into loving homes before their time runs out, and raising awareness of the number of dogs being killed in our country’s shelters. The site is owned and operated by The Buddy Fund, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping dogs in need. Shelters in this country take in 6-8 million dogs each year. The inflow of dogs is far greater than shelter space available. Shelters have limited funds and limited personnel and they

need help reaching out to their communities to find homes for their dogs. DogsInDanger bridges that gap. DogsInDanger offers a free way for shelters to let their communities know about their urgent dogs so more dogs will have a chance to escape death. And, it offers a way for interested adopters to find out about the dogs in their local shelters that will be killed if not adopted or rescued. is different from the other pet adoption Web sites in that it has no discussion forums, limited educational information and no advertisements. In essence there is nothing much on the Web site except for dogs in danger of euthanasia and it is unique in that respect. The site attracts one kind of audience—adopters motivated to adopt now and save a life. As reported by the hundreds of municipal shelters that are currently using, IT WORKS! The data is there. The precedent is there. The site delivers a large, targeted audience to dogs in need. With so many families losing their homes to foreclosure and others surrendering their dogs to shelters because they can no longer afford to feed and care for them, the situation for millions of abandoned shelter dogs is more dire than ever. These dogs—once family pets accustomed to quality of life in a home—are now forced to live in steel cages with cement floors, imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. These dogs are deprived of human interaction and at best, without, their chance for adoption is 40 percent. The end of the line for these dogs is inevitable death.

time with the dogs; it will enrich their lives and yours. Shelter dogs get little human interaction, which can lead to behavior problems and in turn increases the likelihood that they will be killed. Spay and neuter your dogs and support spay/neuter efforts in your community—controlling the pet population is the key element in decreasing the number of dogs entering shelters. Make a tax deductible donation to DogsInDanger so that it can continue to raise awareness of our capabilities and help more shelters save their dogs. Most of all … tell everyone you know about It may be uncomfortable for some people to see the lists of names and photos of dogs scheduled to be killed. But the truth is uncomfortable. By making it personal, hopefully more people will be compelled to help these dogs. Thus refuses to present a sanitized version of the truth; its ultimate goal is to see a day where healthy and treatable dogs are no longer killed by their most trusted friends, simply because they do not have a home. As of the writing of this piece, 20,586 dogs have been saved with the lifeline.

DogsInDanger has brought shelter dog killing to the forefront of our societal mindset. The team at DogsInDanger believes in the power of compassion, and that Americans would do more to help and adopt shelter dogs, if only they knew how many dogs shelters were forced to euthanize. They also believe that shelters don’t really want to euthanize dogs, if they had any other option—the team has chosen a path of technology as a means of connecting scared, abandoned shelter dogs with the loving homes they long for. DogsInDanger brings a new transparency to shelter operations that some shelters do not like. Most shelters don’t advertise that they kill dogs and don’t want the public to know that they do. This terrible burden is unfair to shelter workers everywhere who care deeply for the dogs and desire to nurture life, not destroy it. Even though DogsInDanger has reached out to every shelter in the country, only 479 of the estimated 2500 municipal (government run) animal shelters are registered with DogsInDanger. There are many ways that you can help shelter dogs, even if you are not ready to adopt. Speak with your local shelter about and encourage them to list their dogs on the site. Volunteer at your local shelter and spend

The American Dog Magazine | Summer 2009      129  



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The American Dog Magazine - Summer 2009  

The American Dog Magazine - Summer 2009

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