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Pet News Digest, July '10

Woman had 104 cats in her home

WITTMANN, Ariz., July 9 (UPI) -- Suburban Phoenix authorities said they expected to charge an 80-year-old woman with felony animal-abuse charges after they found 104 diseased cats in her home.  Nine kittens were found dead, kept in freezers of the home of Lucienne Touboul of Wittmann, Ariz., 35 miles northwest of Phoenix, sheriff's deputies said.


Shelters filling up as Gulf pet owners struggle

VIOLET, La. -- Double-bunked behind the bars at the overrun St. Bernard Animal Shelter are more victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill: shiny-coated Labrador retrievers, long-haired Chihuahuas and a fluffy Shih Tzu. Among the more typical skinny, stray mutts are healthy, seemingly well-tended dogs whose owners, because of the massive spill, suddenly don't have the time or money to keep them. "It's the economy, the uncertainty of the future, for sure," said shelter director Beth Brewster, who saw 117 owners surrender their animals last month - up from 17 in June 2009.


Diabetes monitoring device benefits man and man's best friend  

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The treatment of diabetes was revolutionized in 1922 when insulin was isolated from dogs. Since then, significant advances in human medicine have made diabetes more manageable for patients. Now, human medicine has returned the favor and used these advances to help dogs with diabetes. A University of Missouri researcher is using a continuous glucose monitoring device - commonly used in humans with diabetes - to help treat dogs and other animals. The device, which provides a detailed glucose picture of an animal over several days, will help pet owners manage their pets' diabetes.


Puppy mills and pet stores under a microscope 

Pet stores in at least 35 U.S. cities have taken an animal protection group's pledge not to sell puppies and to educate potential buyers about adoption.
Hundreds of pet shop owners around the nation have already removed puppies from their store windows and some cities and towns are considering tough laws banning the sale of puppies, kittens and other small animals. The "puppy-friendly pet store" pledge is being promoted by the Humane Society of the United States, the country's largest animal advocacy organization.


What’s Your Pooch Thinking?

With pet ownership at an all-time high, and spending on animals increasing steadily despite a recession, the progression from providing our family pets a comfortable goose-down feather bed to wanting to know what is going on in their little heads seems natural.

Although the American Pet Products Association keeps no data about animal psychics specifically, it attributes spending on pets’ well-being during a recession to an increasing humanization of animals. “I think it’s that more people are owning pets, and more people are treating their pets like a part of the family,” says Alison Anderson, an APPA spokesperson. “Products keep getting stranger.”

Americans spent a total of $45.5 billion in 2009 on their animals. That was up 5.4 percent from 2008. Such booming services as massage therapy, antidepressant treatment, and grief counseling account for the increase. An annual study by the APPA noted that “pet services continues to be a growing category as they become more closely modeled after those offered to people.” So it stands to reason, perhaps, that pet communicators who can help us know what our little friends are thinking are a relatively easy find these days.


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