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2018 Cutest Pets Contest

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Friday, July 13, 2018

The Examiner



2018 Cutest Pets Contest

Independence Campus You can donate items on The Great Plains SPCA wish list at Orschlen’s Farm and Home - Blue Springs, located at 1100 S 7-MO, Blue Springs, MO 64014, or at the Great Plains SPCA Independence Campus, located at 21001 MO-78, Independence, MO 64057.

Great Plains SPCA Wish List: Dog toys Dog beds Peanut butter Cat toys Litter Dog or Wet cat food cat treats Blankets or throws

2018 Cutest Pets Contest


Meet these ANIMAL INTERNET CELEBS By Melissa Erickson More Content Now

CONTACT US Phone: 816-254-8600 ADVERTISING

2018 Cutest Pets Contest is created annually by GateHouse Media LLC and distributed with various newspapers across the country and by King Features. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in the publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the management of the publication.

©2018 GateHouse Media All rights reserved

Pets have invaded pop culture, with 65 percent of people reporting that they now post about their pets on social media. In the survey by Mars Petcare US, the world’s largest pet care company, 1 in 6 people said they’ve created a social media profile specifically for their pet. One-third said they post about their pets as much (and as often) as they do about their human family, and 13 percent admitted to posting about their pets even more than they do their human family. Not surprisingly, some pets have become stars. Check these out: Juniper


Wild things are the appeal for pretty girl Juniper’s 1.5 million Instagram followers. She’s a domesticated yet sassy fox with a canine boyfriend named Moose, who may or may not have the same feelings for her. She likes to sleep late and wakes ready to rumble. She hides food in case of emergencies and hunts to kill socks. Harlow, Sage, Indiana & Reese @harlowandsage

Nobody knows you like your (1.5 million) friends. This story starts with a gentle aging Weimaraner named Harlow and her best friend Sage, an senior miniature dachshund. Their pet parents decided to document their dynamic friendship in 2013

with an Instagram account. Sage passed away, but other friends followed, including Indiana Thunderbolt, a brown miniature dachshund, and Reese Lightning, a black-and-white spotted miniature dachshund. Doug the Pug @itsdougthepug

With 2.6 million followers, Doug the Pug is known as the King of Pop Culture. He’s one active pup, with posts covering his manabout-town hijinks, fashion and foodie styles, and retreats in nature. He’s willing to pose for the camera and oh, that tongue. He also likes boat trips and spa days but is not too cool to grocery shop, and doesn’t mind being photographed in private moments.

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2018 Cutest Pets Contest

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2018 Cutest Pets Contest

Table of Contents Great Plains SPCA - Independence ��������� Page 2 Meet these animal Celebs.........................Page 3 Messiah Lutheran School............................ Page 3 BR Carpet..................................................... Page 3 Brookside Barkery & Bath........................... Page 4 Fight the Bite.................................................Page 6 Leasing Pets..................................................Page 7 2018 Contest Winners............................Page 8 & 9 Do Dogs like Hugs?....................................Page 10 To the Rescue.............................................Page 11 Gifts for Pet Lovers......................................Page 12 Tangled Up.................................................Page 13 Safe Houseplants for Animals...................Page 14 EJC Football Preview.................................Page 15 Orscheln’s Farm & Home.......................... Page 16



2018 Cutest Pets Contest

Fight the bite

By Melissa Erickson More Content Now


hile independent, cats also bring a warm, cuddly love into the home. But watch out for those sharp teeth and nails, which can pose a serious risk for bites and scratches that can lead to infection. “People underestimate the risk of being bitten. Cats have long, slender and sharp teeth,” and cat bites comprise between 5 and 20 percent of all animal bites, said Dr. Chester Tung, DO, family practice physician with Dignity Health Medical Group – Inland Empire in California. “Ten percent of these bites require suturing and follow-up care, and 1 to 2 percent require hospitalization. ... Animal bites can lead to disability and cosmetic damage as well as infection.” The biggest risk is for infection because cats’ mouths harbor bacteria that are resistant to many kinds of antibiotics, said Dr. Pritish K. Tosh, infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic. “The infection is not related to the cat, it’s related to the bacteria that’s in the cat’s mouth,” Tosh said. Another risk is that “a cat’s tooth can actually come off and be left behind embedded in the skin,” said

Dr. Luca DeLatore, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. What to do Infections can be especially serious to people with diabetes or suppressed immune systems, such as cancer patients or those taking drugs that affect the immune system like those that treat rheumatoid arthritis. If you’ve been bitten by a cat, “first apply direct pressure, which may cause some bleeding but the blood will help move bacteria out of the wound,” DeLatore said. “Next, wash the wound with copious warm, soapy water. Look at the bite itself to see if you should seek medical attention. How deep is it and how many bites?” Then apply a sterile bandage. If you see redness or swelling extending from the bite, or if the area feels warm, there’s pus or you have a fever, seek medical attention, DeLatore said. In general, if you’ve been bitten by a cat you should see a doctor within 12 to 24 hours of injury. “This window of time is when infection can occur. ... For puncture wounds and wounds greater than 3 cm (about the size of a quarter), you are three times at increased risk for infection,” Tung said.

Scratch dangers Cat scratches may be benign, but if they look infected, red or inflamed, let your doctor know, said Tosh. “You may have the infection made famous by the Motor City Madman (Ted Nugent) — ‘cat-scratch fever,’” he said. Also known as cat-scratch disease, this infection “as with cat bites can result in serious liver, spleen, eye, brain and nerve damage. Also, coma, seizures, joint disease (and) endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valve) can occur,

Cat bites, scratches can lead to infection, worse as well as fever, headache, fatigue and loss of appetite,” Tung said. Signs of cat-scratch disease include a localized bumpy rash, lymph node swelling, fever, headache, fatigue and lack of appetite. Other times to see a doctor, according to Tung: • If a wild or stray cat bites you and breaks skin. • If you have diabetes, liver disease, cancer, HIV, AIDS or medication that impairs your ability to fight infection. • If bleeding won’t stop after you apply pressure for 15 minutes. • If there is a broken bone or other serious injury. • If you are bitten on a joint and can’t bend it easily. • If it has been more than five years since your last tetanus shot.


2018 Cutest Pets Contest

By Melissa Erickson More Content Now


ets are a big investment, one that some people choose to finance. Recently some new owners found out the hard way that they need to be more careful when signing on the dotted line. Instead of buying their puppies, they were leasing them — with skyhigh interest rates over the term of the lease-to-buy agreement. “I haven’t heard of many incidents, but some with puppies have been reported in the media and to the Better Business Bureau,” said Katherine R. Hutt, spokeswoman for the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Lease vs. finance Purebred animals from breeders are far more expensive than ones from shelters. Some consumers don’t mind ponying up the extra dough, while others may not be able to pay for a pet in full. That is where the idea for leasing came into play. The problem is that some consumers don’t read their contracts closely enough or that the contracts are vague or confusing. Instead of signing a contract, these pet owners were actually signing financing agreements, according to the Better Business Bureau. “In general leasing is always a more expensive option than buying, whether you’re purchasing furniture, appliances or a puppy,” Hutt said. While



a low monthly payment may seem feasible to people who can’t afford an Akita that may cost $4,500 and up, “the costs and fees are spread out over time, resulting in a much higher price,” Hutt said. As reported in Bloomberg, California-based Wags Lending is one such firm that provides leasing options to people who want to buy expensive pet store dogs. Wags Lending leases can cost pet owners two to three times the original cost of the pet over the years, according to the Better Business Bureau. One example is a family that “bought” a

golden retriever for $2,400, only to find a $5,800 charge on their credit report from Wags Lending. [MCN ILLUSTRATION] reports that Wags’ “terms and conditions” were probably vague or deceptive, leading consumers to sign the contracts. Another complaint to Better Business Bureau was from a family who had to pay a buyout at the end of the lease to keep their pet. A consumer in New Jersey thought she financed a puppy, but “upon receiving this contract by email, I found that it was not a sales financing contract, but rather


a lease contract. The price of the dog was $3,148. However, the end cost was $7,619.93, with a $450 purchase option at the end of the lease.” Read the contract A pet is an emotional purchase, Hutt said. Some people are so excited to take home their new puppy they don’t bother reading over the contract, which is why they end up surprised after being told they were leasing their pet instead of financing. “You have to read the contract and pay attention to the fine print. Don’t click on anything without agreeing,” Hutt said. If you’re leasing a pet or anything else, think about two things: Do I need it for this amount, and is it worth the higher price, Hutt said. If a contract or agreement is hard to understand, don’t sign it. Remember, a consumer can ask questions, but written, signed agreements will always supersede verbal agreements. “It’s what’s in writing that counts,” Hutt said. If you’re set on a specific breed that’s expensive, consider adopting from a breed-specific rescue organization. That’s what Hutt did with her own Maltese. For more information on breeders, pet stores and petrelated scams, visit


2018 Cutest Pets Contest

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T hank you to everyone that participated!



2018 Cutest Pets Contest

Do dogs Here’s how to like hugs? find out: By Melissa Erickson More Content Now


f you’re one of the many people who like to post photos of you and your dog on social media, a psychologist might have been studying those photos when he scientifically estimated that you shouldn’t be hugging your dog so much. Psychology professor Stanley Coren (who didn’t respond to emails as of press time), known for his best-selling books on dog behavior, wondered: Since it’s a widely held belief that dogs don’t liked to be hugged and hugging dogs may be associated with the likelihood of a dog bite, why is there no scientific evidence to support that belief? Coren looked at 250 images of people hugging their dogs on Google and Flickr and found that 81 percent of the dogs showed signs of discomfort, stress and anxiety. The others seemed comfortable being hugged. His findings, which were not peer-reviewed, were published in a Psychology Today article — and created a sort of dog fight between people on both sides of the issue. Nicholas Dodman, chief scientific

“Hugging is not a natural canine behavior. Rarely, you may find a dog that is extremely tactile and enjoys such interactions. However, in my professional experience most dogs may tolerate hugging from their owners, but this does not mean they necessarily enjoy it.” — Hanne Grice, UK-based dog trainer and behavior specialist

officer of the nonprofit Center for Canine Behavior Studies, responded with his own article in Psychology Today. Whether a dog likes being hugged, tolerates it or is stressed out by it can’t be generalized so easily, he said. “Nevertheless, this is an important topic for dog owners and parents,” said Dodman, author of “Pets on the Couch,” which addresses hugging your pet. Pet owners should assess whether their dog likes to be hugged, Dodman said. They need to be aware that even if their dog like hugs sometimes, at other times their dog might be busy doing other


things, such as resting or playing, and may not want to be bothered with a hug. Dogs may even crave hugs sometimes. Dodman shared the account of his own dog riding in the car and creeping up into the front seat to sit on his wife’s lap, where he rests “like a baby” cuddled in her arms. Pets may even appreciate hugs from some family members yet not so much from others. Owners need to be in tune with their dog and wisely judge whether they’re ready for an embrace, Dodman said. “Hugging is not a natural canine behavior,” said Hanne Grice, UK-based dog trainer and behavior specialist. “Rarely, you may find a dog that is extremely tactile and enjoys such interactions. However, in my professional experience most dogs may tolerate hugging from their owners, but this does not mean they necessarily enjoy it.”

Pet owners need to be aware of the subtle signs of stress. “Common signs of a dog feeling uncomfortable in a situation may include a turn of the head, a shift of weight away, a lip lick, yawn, lack of eye contact, body is orientated away from that person, ‘whale eye’ is shown (where the outer whites of the eyes are seen), the dog remains still or stiffens, increased breathing rate occurs which can lead to some panting, and so on,” Grice said. If a person or child ignores these signs and the dog begins to feel pressured, “it may feel it has no other choice but do something about the situation to stop what’s happening (such as to remove or generate space away from the person), which may lead to a lunge, snap or actual bite,” Grice said. As Dodman pointed out eloquently, “Let sleeping dogs lie.”

2018 Cutest Pets Contest

To the



Learn what to do in a pet medical emergency

By Melissa Erickson More Content Now


hat would you do if your pet suddenly stopped breathing? When an emergency strikes, will you be ready? “Being your pet’s best health ally is truly the best way to show how much you love him,” said Arden Moore, master certified pet firstaid/CPR instructor and the pet health and safety coach with Four Legged Life ( and Pet First Aid 4U (petfirstaid4u. com). “When a dog or cat’s heart stops beating, that is known as CPA — cardiopulmonary arrest. ... The faster you can begin the chest compressions and mouth-to-nose rescue breaths, the better the chance you have of saving your pet’s life. “One minute, a dog can be happily enjoying a chew toy and the next, a small piece of the chew could block his airway and he stops breathing. Or a cat could be eating kibble from his bowl and

1 in 4 more pets could be saved if just one pet CPR or first-aid technique were applied before getting veterinary care

a large piece of kibble could block his airway, and he begins to choke and then pass out when the airway gets blocked,” Moore said.

Common issues While felines and other small pets are at — American Animal risk of chokHospital Association ing, “dogs are four times more likely to choke on something than cats, as cats are just more finicky with what they put in their mouth and eat. Dogs … not so much. Especially if you have a multidog household and there is competition

for food and treats,” said Thom Somes, “The Pet Safety Guy” for Pet Tech Productions, an international training center for pet first aid. “A dog may sniff and then put a small object in his mouth, such as a small toy or grape, causing choking and airway blockage. Dogs are more apt to wolf down their food more quickly than cats, and this hasty eating can trigger choking,” Moore said. “Cats are more apt to choke on linear objects like dental floss or shoe laces. They are hunters who like to stalk prey — even inanimate ones like thread, floss or shoe laces.” One in 4 more pets could be saved if just one pet CPR or first-aid technique were applied before getting veterinary care, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. “CPR for dogs and cats is warranted in less than 1 to 2 percent of all medical emergencies involving our pets. The majority of time it is first-aid: choking management, burns, hyper/

hypothermia, poisoning, insect bites and stings, rattlesnake (bites), hitby-car, drowning,” Somes said. What you’ll learn Anyone age 8 to 80 can learn pet CPR with great success, Moore said. Participants go through step-by-step instruction using a detailed course book with how-to photos and even try out the skill on a “veterinary school-approved rescue mannequin that gives students the chance to perform mouth-to-snout rescue breaths and witness the chest rising and falling,” she said. CPR styles vary depending on size and anatomy of pet. “In a pet emergency, the most important being to protect is you. You need to be aware of your surroundings and know how to safely handle an injured dog or cat to prevent yourself from being bit or injured,” Moore said.


2018 Cutest Pets Contest

Gifts for pet lovers

By Melissa Erickson More Content Now


f you know someone who loves their dog or cat as much as others love their children, you know you’ll need a really unique gift to make them happy. Check out these favorites that are sure to please.

Sea Bags Black Lab Tote Meow for Measuring Cups

$150-$210 — Sea Bags’ pet collection features playful images of black, yellow or chocolate Labradors or a navy dachshund. These handcrafted, all-weather tote bags are made from recycled sails in Portland, Maine, and are available in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. Additional features like extra pockets and clasp or zipper closures available. A unique American-made gift.

$34.99 — So adorable yet practical, this set of cat-themed measuring cups is the perfect kitchy kitchen tool. Each glazed cup is clearly labeled and resembles a well-fed feline. In charcoal, slate, grey and white, they’re simply too cute to hide in a drawer.

Custom Pet T-Shirt $38.95 and up — Let them wear their heart on their sleeve with a custom pet T-shirt from Animal Hearted Apparel, a clothing company that donates 25 percent of proceeds to nonprofit animal shelters and rescues. Start by choosing a tee, tanktop or sweatshirt in grey or white, then select paint art or pop styles. Submit photo or link to a photo on social media. One hundred percent pet-approved.

PupBoost Lookout Booster Car Seat $39.99 — Keep your pup safe and your car seats clean with the Lookout Booster car seat. Its elevated design allows dogs to look out the window, while the interior safety straps clip to a harness to secure your pooch during rides. The back and bottom are padded for support and comfort, and the seat folds flat when not in use. Available for small and medium dogs.

Fluf Classic Lunch Bag $22.50 — This classic lunch bag with a bright red furry friend and “Doggie Bag” logo offers ample space for either kid or grown-up pet lovers. Made of organic, preshrunk cotton, it’s fully machinewashable with a rinsable, food-safe lining. Closes with a snap.

2018 Cutest Pets Contest





Ridding your cat’s fur of mats By Melissa Erickson More Content Now


f you’re a long-haired cat, life can get tangled. If you’re a pet owner, removing mats in your cat’s hair can bring all kinds of trouble, from an unhappy cat to an owner who may get scratched or bitten trying to remove those nasty clumps of hair. First of all, “long-haired cats should be considered high-maintenance cats and be cared for just like the little dogs who need grooming appointments every six to eight weeks,” said veterinarian Krista Magnifico, founder and chief creative officer of Pawbly. com, a social network for pet people. “They should be held, petted and examined for mats and poor coats daily. They also need to be watched for evidence of hairballs, as grooming long hair may put them at an increased chance of them.”

As cats get older, develop arthritis or become overweight or obese, the chances of developing matted hair increase, said Ingrid Johnson, a certified cat behavior consultant and co-director of Paw Project Georgia ( “It comes down to logistics. They just can reach their backs, thighs and other body parts to groom,” Johnson said. Other cats have had dental care and tooth extractions, which make it more difficult to groom themselves. “Cats use their teeth, particularly their sharp front incisors, to chew and groom matted hair. If those teeth are gone, it’s more difficult for the cat to take care of its own hair,” Johnson said. “Some cats find it painful to groom. This may be due to dental disease, pain or masses in the mouth, joint pain or not feeling well due to almost any kind of disease or

“Some cats find it painful to groom. This may be due to dental disease, pain or masses in the mouth, joint pain or not feeling well due to almost any kind of disease or condition.” — Krista Magnifico, founder and chief creative officer of


condition,” Magnifico said. Some cats are just born with more hair than they can take care of, including Persians and other “smushednose” breeds, Johnson said. More than unsightly In addition to looking unruly, matted hair is uncomfortable for cats and can cause skin irritation, Magnifico said. There are plenty of products on the market to help owners ease out tangles. Johnson likes to start with a dematting comb that has two rows of teeth set wide apart. “This lifts out the knots and tangles,” she said. For her long-haired feline clients Magnifico recommends the Furminator. Just like combing a child’s hair, start at the bottom and work in small sections. Use one hand (or another person’s help) to hold the fur down near the mat to avoid pulling the cat’s skin. Do not wet the mats

or give a cat with matted hair a bath before brushing. That will only make the tangle more difficult to remove, Johnson said. Never use scissors. “I see accidental cuts all the time. It’s never worth risking cutting the cat,” Magnifico said. A safer option is to use a set of quiet, cordless clippers. “Lift the knot and simply zip off the tangle,” Johnson said. When to groom How often do cats need to be brushed? “Young, active, content cats may never need grooming. Older debilitated cats may need it daily. Longhaired brachycephalic (flat-headed) cats may need professional grooming a few times a year. And, cats who get lots of TLC at home with parents who pet them often typically have the healthiest coats of all,” Magnifico said.


2018 Cutest Pets Contest



Safe houseplants for dogs and cats

By Melissa Erickson More Content Now


surprising amount of ornamental plants are both beautiful and dangerous to pets. Puppies and kittens, as well as grown pets, will chew on a variety of indoor plants, and pet parents need to make sure they won’t cause the cats or dogs harm. “Pet owners should always be mindful of what they bring into the household,” said Christine R. Rutter, clinical assistant professor, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University. “Toxic plants can cause anything from gastrointestinal-tract or oral irritation and upset stomach to major organ failure, leading to death. Plant ingestions don’t typically cause allergic reactions. Vomiting, oral pain, diarrhea, anorexia and lethargy are common after a plant toxin ingestion,” Rutter said. Eating certain houseplants can also cause pets to act drunk or agitated, Rutter said. “Some plants — lilies, specifically — are toxic enough to cats that even their pollen (can) cause acute kidney failure, which may not cause clinical signs in your pet for two to three days. Even benign plants like wheatgrass marketed as pet grass can make some pets vomit,” she said. A pet-friendly house doesn’t have to be plant-free. There are plenty of nontoxic houseplants available at garden centers and big-box stores, said veterinarian Justine A. Lee, an emergency critical care specialist and chief executive officer of VetGirl (

Here are some of her pet-friendly favorites:

More info

Spider plant There’s a lot to love about the classic spider plant. It’s easy to grow and care for and does well in low-light conditions. “Cats are going to chew on it. They love to play with the fronds. As long as they don’t eat too much they won’t vomit. Even if they do, it’s non-toxic,” Lee said.

For more information on whether a plant is toxic to your pet, consult the ASPCA’s poisonous plant database: pet-care/animalpoison-control/ toxic-and-non-toxicplants.

Succulents Some succulents will not harm pets if eaten, including hens and chicks, echeveria and rosettes. One friendly choice is donkey’s (or burro’s) tail, a graceful indoor plant with small, thick blue-green leaves that appear to be woven. It will provide interesting texture in a succulent container or fall gracefully from a hanging basket. Donkey’s tail will thrive indoors with sunshine, gritty soil and good drainage. Ferns The Boston fern is one non-toxic varieties, but other ferns can be dangerous, so be sure to check before adding one to your home. A great houseplant as long as you remember to keep it watered, the Boston fern can grow quite large with frilly leaves and long, hanging fronds. Prayer plant An easy houseplant to care for, the prayer plant (also know as calathea, peacock plant or rattlesnake plant), curls up its leaves at night like a pair of praying hands. This hardy indoor plant has fun variegated foliage and is often found in hanging baskets or growing horizontally across furniture.

“There is a fee associated with consultation, but the website is free. If a pet ingests a plant of questionable toxicity, owners should get toxin information from their veterinarian and/ or ASPCA Animal Poison Control immediately,” Rutter said. “With some of the more severe toxins, clinical signs may not be apparent for two to three days, which may be too late to save the pet.”

2018 Cutest Pets Contest


Eastern Jackson County

2018 FOOTBALL PREVIEW Arriving on news stands Thursday, August rd 23 !

Call 816-254-8600 for advertising information!


2018 Cutest Pets Contest

Congratulations to the winners of

The Examiner’s Cutest Pet Photo Contest!

1st Place - Pam Powell 2nd Place-Sheryl O’ Brien 3rd Place - Stacy DeGrace Kuma, Waylen & Willie

My puppy, Dude, playing in the pool at the dog park. Sheer joy for him.

Ruby and Pearls. My little gem Ruby who is always ready to play dress up and get her picture taken.

1100 South Highway 7 • Blue Springs, MO 816-224-1976 • 8am - 8pm 7 Days a Week Get your cameras ready!

Our annual pet photo contest is going on now! Whether it has fur, feathers or scales, we want to see the best photos of your favorite pets! Enter by July 31, 2018. The grand prize winner will receive a 6’ x 4’ x 8’ kennel with cover and be featured on the cover of our 2019 Pet Calendar! Visit to enter. While there you can “like” to stay up-to-date on local sales and events.

Cutest Pets Contest  
Cutest Pets Contest