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Celebrate BATS and learn the facts! U-Haul SuperGraphics is recognizing the true role of bats in our environment.  What’s Fact? What’s Myth?  What do bats really do and why are they worth protecting?

“Often overlooked, or even feared, bats are some of the most diverse, ecologically important and unique mammals on Earth,” stated Rob Mies, director, Organization for Bat Conservation. “Bats are a critical part of our environment. One bat alone can eat up to 5,000 insects in one night!”

U-Haul SuperGraphics Bat Appreciation

That insect control alone has been valued at $23 billion a year in savings to the agricultural industry. This reduction in pesticides not only saves costs but also prevents further negative effects on all of us. Bats are pollinators of hundreds of plants, some of which are exclusively pollinated by bats. Anyone who appreciates tequila should thank the Long-nosed bats.

There are nearly 1,300 kinds of bats worldwide, making up roughly a quarter of all mammalian species. Beyond their role in the environment, bats are involved in key industries including tourism, research and technology.

Over the years, bats have inspired advances in technology, particularly related to echolocation and sonar. Research has also led to the development of Draculin, anticoagulant using bat saliva to help stroke victims.

Current research is being done on the bat’s wing structure in order to identify ways to increase the maneuverability of airplanes.

Threats To Bats
Bats are under threat from a variety of sources, many human-driven. The biggest threat currently is a disease that is spreading across the country called White-nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS was first found in New York in 2006 and has since spread to 26 states. This fungal infection is typically spread bat-to-bat where bats hibernate. This devastating disease has killed more than 6 million bats so far. Researchers are working around the clock to find a cure, yet to date there is no way to control it. Learn more about White Nose Syndrome by visiting: http://www.whitenosesyndrome.org.

Bats are also dying off from the effects of climate change, the loss of habitat and the increased use of pesticides.  Bat conservationists are extremely concerned that these threats combined may lead to the species’ extinction.

What You Can Do
The problem facing bats is big, but all of us can, and should, take easy steps that will help protect these important animals:

Care for bats throughout the year

  • Put up summer roosting, bat houses in your backyard. Visit http://www.batconservation.org/bat-houses
  • Plant native, night-blooming plants and avoid using pesticides
  • Become involved in protection of local forests and wetlands

Avoid possible spread of WNS by humans

  • Stay out of caves and mines where bats are known or suspected to hibernate
  • Honor cave closures and gated caves
  • Stay out of caves when bats are hibernating

Invest in education and research
The nonprofit Organization for Bat Conservation teaches people about the importance of bats and inspires people to become involved in conservation.  Visit us online at www.batconservation.org.

Get free U-Haul SuperGraphic coloring book pages and screen savers at:
http://www.uhaul.com/SuperGraphics/264/Venture-Across-America-and-Canada-Modern/Missouri

About U-Haul SuperGraphics

April marks National Heartworm Awareness Month, a time for pet owners to brush up on how heartworm prevention can keep their pets safe from the serious and potentially fatal heartworm disease. Pet owners should take this month as a reminder to discuss with their veterinarians how to best prevent heartworm disease in their pets. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for heartworms in cats, and the treatment for infected dogs is complicated and costly. An effective prevention plan is the best tool a pet owner has when taking on this life-threatening condition.

In contrast to the seriousness of heartworm infection, prevention is safe, easy and inexpensive. Prevention options include daily and monthly tablets and chewables, monthly topical medications and, for dogs, a six-month injectable product. All of these options are completely effective in preventing heartworm development when administered properly on the schedule recommended by your veterinarian.

TEXAS VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LOGO

“There is no way to predict where or when mosquitos will show up, and that is why we recommend year-round heartworm prevention,” said Nancy Turner, DVM, a member of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association who practices at Vickery Place Animal Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 states, with a higher concentration of cases in regions of the U.S. with warmer temperatures and higher humidity levels, like Texas. Pets are infected when a mosquito harboring the heartworm parasite feeds on them, allowing the parasite to enter the pet’s tissues and bloodstream. The heartworms migrate to the pulmonary arteries, obstruct the normal flow of blood from the heart as they mature and gradually spread to the heart itself. Signs of heartworm infection in dogs include coughing, fatigue, reduced appetite and weight loss. The signs of heartworms in cats mimic other feline diseases and include vomiting, gagging, difficulty or rapid breathing, lethargy and weight loss.

For more information on the detection, prevention and treatment of heartworm disease, visit the American Heartworm Society web site.

Banfield Pet Hospital®, the world’s largest veterinary practice, released its State of Pet Health™ 2014 Report today, revealing a staggering 48 percent increase in the prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection in cats and a 21 percent increase in the prevalence of infection with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in dogs. The report, compiled by Banfield’s internal research team, Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK), analyzed data collected in 2013 from nearly 2.3 million dogs and 470,000 cats cared for in Banfield’s more than 850 hospitals in 43 states. The State of Pet Health™ 2014 Report focuses on common infectious diseases affecting dogs and cats in the United States, as well as the prevalence and geographic trends of such diseases, including Lyme disease, parvovirus, Giardia and kennel cough for dogs; and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection, feline leukemia virus (FeLV), upper respiratory infection and ear mites for cats.

Banfield Pet Hospital Hidden Dangers Cats

Infectious Diseases in Cats, Areas of Potential Infection – Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health(TM) 2014 Report focuses on infectious diseases that can threaten the overall health of pets. Download the State of Pet Health(TM) 2014 Report and discover key findings on a wide range of pet health conditions and diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus, by visiting stateofpethealth.com. (PRNewsFoto/Banfield Pet Hospital)

The report shows in 2013, approximately 1 of every 300 cats seen in Banfield hospitals was found to be infected with FIV, with the highest prevalence of FIV infection in OklahomaIowa and Arkansas. Also in 2013, approximately 1 in every 130 dogs was infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The report reinforced that the Northeastern states are a hot spot for Lyme disease, with the highest prevalence of infection in New Hampshire where 1 in every 15 dogs seen was infected, followed by Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In contrast, only 1 in 1,000 dogs or less was infected in the Pacific Northwest. Furthermore, the infection was twice as common in large breed dogs as in toy/small breed dogs.

Banfield Pet Hospital Hidden Dangers Dogs

Infectious Diseases in Dogs, Areas of Potential Infection – Banfield Pet Hospital's State of Pet Health(TM) 2014 Report focuses on infectious diseases that can threaten the overall health of pets. Download the State of Pet Health(TM) 2014 Report and discover key findings on a wide range of pet health conditions and diseases such as Lyme disease and canine parvovirus, by visiting stateofpethealth.com. (PRNewsFoto/Banfield Pet Hospital)

“The 2014 report highlights the increase in infectious disease observed at Banfield hospitals nationwide,” saidJeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. “It is our responsibility—as a practice and as a dedicated group of professionals who love pets—to provide the best possible preventive care, which leads to early disease diagnosis and management. This care creates a partnership between pet owners and their veterinarian to continuously identify changes in a pet’s overall health and behavior. At Banfield, we believe in creating a better world for pets—and together, we hope to protect pets from preventable diseases, help detect and manage emerging diseases and work to ensure all pets are as healthy as possible for as long as possible.”

FIV ON THE RISE; MORE COMMON IN MALE CATS

FIV infection is typically diagnosed by a veterinarian using a blood test. Banfield’s research shows male cats are three times as likely to be infected with FIV as female cats. Like HIV, FIV is a slow-acting virus spread through close contact with infected individuals. The virus is commonly transmitted during mating, through bite wounds associated with cat fights or from an infected mother to her kittens. FIV infection leads to permanent and progressive infection in affected cats, eventually attacking the immune system and increasing the cat’s risk for other serious infections.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for FIV. A vaccine is available; however, its ability to prevent FIV infection is not fully understood and major vaccine advisory groups such as the American Association of Feline Practitioners either do not recommend it or do not consider it one of the regular vaccines that all cats should receive. Thus, the best way for pet owners to avoid exposing their cat to FIV is to keep them indoors and away from potentially FIV-infected cats.

LYME DISEASE THREATENS PETS AND PET OWNERS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 300,000 Americans are diagnosed withLyme disease each year, registering the highest prevalence throughout the Northeastern and upper Midwestern states. Banfield observed a similar geographic trend in pets, determining pets living in the Northeastern states have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease. The Lyme disease infection is caused by a type of bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi), and spread through the bite of an infected deer tick. In fact, since 2009 there has been a 21 percent increase in the prevalence of infection with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in dogs, corresponding to a similar increase in tick infestation over the same period.

Transmission occurs when the tick attaches and feeds on an animal or person’s blood over the course of 24 hours, allowing the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. While the bacteria cannot be transmitted directly from pet to owner, pets with access to the outdoors can bring an infected tick into the home or yard, thereby increasing the chance of humans coming into contact with an infected tick. Owners can protect their dogs from Lymedisease by regularly checking a pet for ticks and using flea/tick collars and preventive medications, such as topical flea/tick products.

For dogs, the most common sign of Lyme disease is recurrent lameness caused by inflammation of the joints, but may also include fever, decrease in activity level and appetite and in rare cases, acute kidney disease. Exposure to the Borrelia bacteria can be detected by a veterinarian using a blood test; however, many dogs that test positive may never develop clinical signs of disease.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE TRENDS NATIONWIDE

The following list illustrates states with the highest risk and prevalence of infection affecting cats and dogs throughout the U.S.

Highest Risk of FIV (Cats)

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Iowa
  3. Arkansas
  4. South Carolina
  5. Indiana

Highest Risk of Feline Leukemia Virus (Cats)

  1. Idaho
  2. Alabama
  3. South Carolina & Louisiana
  4. Arizona
  5. Kansas

Highest Risk of Lyme Diseases (Dogs)

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Connecticut
  5. Pennsylvania

Highest Risk of Canine Parvovirus (Dogs)

  1. New Mexico
  2. Texas
  3. Nevada
  4. Arizona & Mississippi
  5. Oklahoma

Banfield is also tracking diseases such as canine influenza, leptospirosis, canine distemper and toxoplasmosis, for which the prevalence of infection on a national scale has not been quantified. Such diseases are either rare, emerging diseases or they cause signs of illness that are not specific to any one disease and/or testing is not routinely performed to detect them. For example, canine influenza is so new that dogs do not have the antibodies to fight the infection naturally. The disease is caused by a fairly new strain of the influenza virus that affects the respiratory system of dogs and is typically spread through the air, or through interaction with an infected dog or contaminated objects. Leptospirosis is an example of a disease that dogs are not routinely tested for but that continues to be a serious health threat to dogs and people alike. The disease, caused by infection of the internal organs, can be contracted through exposure to urine from infected animals such as dogs, livestock and wildlife. Though it exists all over the world, leptospirosis is commonly found in tropical climates, where the risk is even higher after a hurricane, flood or heavy rain.

HIDDEN DANGERS IN PET OWNERS’ BACKYARD

As the 2014 report suggests, the threat of infectious disease is often closer to home than pet owners realize, even hiding in backyards and neighborhood dog parks. Seemingly innocent and regular activities for pets, such as drinking out of or swimming in a pond, sharing a toy or chasing wildlife may result in serious illness if a pet is not properly vaccinated and protected with anti-parasite medications. For example, dogs can contract leptospirosis by drinking, swimming or wading in contaminated water, or by sniffing or licking contaminated urine. Similarly, cats can come into contact with the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis by eating raw meat from infected animals, such as mice, or by eating items contaminated with the feces of infected cats. A veterinarian can provide additional information for pet owners to protect their pets against the spread of disease, as well as recommend vaccines that may be best for the individual pet based on the pet’s lifestyle and geographic location.

“This year’s report features an exclusive look at the infectious and emerging diseases affecting the overall health of our pet population,” said Sandi Lefebvre, DVM, PhD, an epidemiologist and senior research manager at Banfield Pet Hospital. “In our ongoing commitment to improving the health and well-being of pets, Banfield believes in preventive pet health care as a way to improve the quality and longevity of a pet’s life by reducing the risk of developing serious, costly and sometimes fatal diseases. Our internal research team (BARK) is dedicated to uncovering those trends in illness in an effort to provide even better care for our pet population in the future.”

For the full State of Pet Health™ 2014 Report, please visit www.stateofpethealth.com.

In preparation for more outdoor playtime with pets this spring and summer, Petco’s National Grooming Operations Specialist, Wendy Weinand, shares easy tips for pet parents on DIY dog grooming and at-home bathing between visits to the professional grooming salon.

espree

Proper tools: Before getting started, make sure all the correct tools are on hand. Pet parents should have dog shampoo, a towel, conditioner, a brush and treats. “I would use a shedless shampoo like Espree Naturals Simple Shed Shampoo for Dogs & Cats or Simple Shed Treatment for Dogs & Cats,” recommends Weinand. The natural oat protein and aloe shampoo is specially formulated to release loose hair and undercoat while it cleans and conditions.

furminator

Preliminary Brushing: The first step is to brush the dog to loosen and remove the undercoat that many dogs begin to shed in spring. Before brushing a dog for the first time, let them sniff the brush to get used to it. Be sure to give lots of treats during the process so dogs equate it with a positive experience. “For dogs with a heavy winter coat, I recommend using a Furminator Deshedding Tool to help remove the undercoat,” says Weinand. Dogs with shorter coats may do better with a simple slicker brush or rubber curry brush. “Petco store partners can also help you choose the appropriate brush for your pet,” says Weinand.

Bath Time: “Bath time should not be a family activity, as children may excite the pet,” says Weinand. “The person who bathes the pet should be the alpha in the house.” Always test the water before letting the pet in the bath. Much like a human baby, the water should be lukewarm, but not too hot to touch. Weinand suggests beginning at the back end of the dog and working towards the head. “Starting with the head can startle a dog,” she says. “Work your hands in a back and forth motion, creating a lather,” says Weinand. Rinse the dog thoroughly to remove all soap. When wiping down the dog’s skin, it should feel slick and make a slipping noise, which indicates it is soap free.

Drying: Use a towel to dry off the pet until most of the moisture has been removed. Don’t forget the head. “When the dog is mostly dry you can use a hair dryer for the rest,” says Weinand. “Always use the dryer on the warm or cool setting, never hot. Since some dogs may be scared of the noise, be sure to use lots of treats and positive reinforcement.” Again, begin at the back of the dog and work forward so the dog acclimates to the noise. It’s also helpful to spray on an aloe hydrating mist during the drying process to hydrate and moisturize the skin and coat.

curry-brush

Final Brushing: After the pet is dry, use a brush, rubber curry brush or Furminator to brush through the coat one last time to remove any excess hair and add shine. Remember, although DIY dog baths are great for a quick fix, it is important to take dogs to a professional groomer. In addition to caring for their skin and coat, Petco groomers conduct a seven point check-in that also includes the teeth, ears and eyes which can alert pet parents to any potential health issues they may not have noticed.

nail-clippers-dogs

Nails: Nails should always be included in a pet’s normal grooming routine.  Nails that are too long can damage a pet’s pads, as well as break and cause the pet serious pain, so maintenance is important. “For smaller dogs and cats, you can use human nail clippers, but for larger dogs I recommend dog-specific nail clippers,” says Weinand. However, nail clipping may cause anxiety in some dogs, so do not push them further than what they can handle. “It is okay if you can only clip one or two nails at a time,” says Weinand. “And don’t forget the treats. Making nail trimming a positive experience will help pets become accustomed to the process.” Simply cut the very tip of the nail avoiding the kwik.  The kwik is the living part of a dog’s nail that contains blood vessels and nerves that will bleed if cut.  “If you do trim a bit too low, use a product like Kwik Stop to quickly stop the bleeding,” recommends Weinand. “Ask a veterinarian for tips on how to trim a pet’s nails to ensure you are doing it properly.” For pets that aren’t comfortable with the process or pet parents who are a bit too nervous to do this themselves, Petco’s professional groomers are happy to provide this service.

What about other pets? Although cats and small animals may not need a trip to the groomer, they do need proper care at home. Cats will lick themselves in order to keep clean, but shedding can still be an issue with long and short-haired cats. “Brushing cats regularly with a Furminator Deshedding Tool or other brush can help release their excess coat and cut down on hair balls,” says Weinand. While regularly changing small animal bedding will help keep most critters clean, animals like chinchillas need weekly dust baths and birds need to have a shallow dish of water to bathe or need to be spritzed with water. Birds and some small animals need their nails trimmed as well. Veterinarians can teach pet parents how to trim nails during routine health exams.

For those who would like more information, Petco will be hosting free Skin and Coat Seminars on April 26 & 27, 2014. For more information call your local Petco store or visit www.petco.com/grooming.

The white, trumpet-shaped Easter lily symbolizes Easter and spring for many people, and is a popular decoration in homes at this time of year.

If you have cats, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind you that these particular flowers, as well as Tiger, Asiatic, Day, and Japanese Show lilies, are a safety threat to your feline friends.

lilies-cats

Eating small amounts of plants or grass may be normal for cats. But the entire lily plant (leaf, pollen, and flower) is poisonous to them, according to Melanie McLean, a veterinarian at FDA. Even if they just eat a couple of leaves or lick a few pollen grains off their fur, cats can suffer acute kidney failure within a very short period of time.

McLean says that if your cat has eaten part of a lily, the first thing you’ll see is vomiting soon afterwards. That may gradually lessen over two to four hours. Within 12 to 24 hours, the cat may start to urinate frequently. Then, if kidney failure sets in, the cat will stop urinating because the kidneys stop being able to produce urine. Untreated, she says, a cat will die within four to seven days of eating a lily.

Young cats typically have healthy kidneys, so when a young cat shows signs of acute kidney damage, consumption of a toxic substance is one of the first things veterinarians investigate, McLean says.

Early veterinary treatment is critical. McLean says that even if you just suspect that your cat has eaten a lily, you should call your veterinarian immediately or, if the office is closed, take your cat to an emergency veterinary clinic. The vet may induce vomiting if the cat just ate the lily, and will give the cat intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and preserve kidney function.

Other lilies, like Calla and Peace lilies, don’t cause fatal kidney failure, but they can irritate your cat’s mouth and esophagus. Lilies of the Valley are toxic to the heart, causing an abnormal heart rhythm. If you think your cat has eaten any type of lily, contact your veterinarian.

Lilies are not a great danger to dogs, McLean says. Dogs may have some gastrointestinal issues if they eat a lily, but nothing considered life-threatening.

Does this mean that you can’t have lilies in your home if you have a cat? Although it’s best not to have them in your home, if you want to enjoy these pretty spring flowers, McLean says to be sure to keep the plant someplace that your high-jumping pet can’t reach.

Canon Europe, leader in imaging solutions, is sponsoring a WWF and Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) expedition to the islands of Svalbard above the Arctic Circle, as part of its role as Conservation Imaging Partner of WWF International. Setting off tomorrow, the NPI and WWF-Canon expedition aims to collect critical data about Europe’s most westerly polar bear population.

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© Brutus Ostling, Canon Ambassador

During the Svalbard expedition, the team of researchers will undertake two specific missions: to place satellite collars on polar bears so that their routes can be tracked over the next year and to scout for new denning areas on islands in the Svalbard peninsula. Completion of these tasks will help the scientists to assess the response of polar bears to climate change, and to understand if there will be anywhere for the bears to den in the future, following a recent report that the area could be completely free of summer sea ice by 2050[1].

Canon imaging equipment will be used by the expedition team to capture the experience and record events. Swedish wildlife photographer and Canon Ambassador Brutus Östling will also accompany the scientists to capture images of the wildlife they encounter along the way and document the expedition.

“Canon has a longstanding partnership with WWF, supporting a number of important Arctic expeditions and helping WWF to record the state of the environment,” commented Cyprian da Costa, Brand Communications Director, Canon Europe. “The images captured in Svalbard will play a fundamental role in the research undertaken on this expedition and help promote the vital work being carried out by WWF to raise awareness of the challenges that polar bears are facing in a world ever-more affected by climate change.”

Geoff York, Polar Bear Lead, WWF International Lead, commented: “Canon’s support for these expeditions is invaluable; we are delighted to be working together to highlight how the changing ice conditions are impacting the polar bear populations and how they breed. The photographs and video footage truly bring our work to life and help us to highlight these changes to a global audience.”

The Svalbard trip is the third Arctic research expedition that Canon has supported. In 2012, the expedition travelling from Greenland through Canada’s High Arctic to the Last Ice Area was designed to assess the future management options for that area. In 2013, researchers travelled to the Taimyr Peninsula in the Laptev Sea to collect genetic material to confirm the theory of existence of unique subspecies of the Laptev walrus population.

Canon Europe has been a conservation partner of WWF International since 1998. The continued partnership demonstrates Canon Europe’s dedication to a sustainable future in which humans live in harmony with the natural world. The partnership includes support for a range of initiatives, including continued sponsorship of the WWF-Canon Global Photo Network and photography training for WWF employees.

Visit the expedition web site for updates.

1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rog.20017/abstract

As a cat owner, you know almost everything about your cat, from her favorite napping spot to playtime preferences. But her extra weight may not be so obvious. Purina Cat Chow announced today the Purina Cat Chow “Why Weight?” program, which asks people to commit a minute to their cat’s health to determine if their cat is at a healthy weight. Cat owners can take the Purina Cat Chow “Why Weight?” Pledge until May 2 to learn how to assess their cat’s weight and put that knowledge to use.

Purina Cat Chow is aiming to reach 100,000 “Why Weight?” pledges by May 2 and will donate $50,000 to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) to provide educational tools to veterinarians and support research to help reduce the number of overweight cats.

PURINA CAT CHOW WHY WEIGHT

According to the latest data from APOP, more than 50 million owned cats in the United States are overweight – that’s more than 58 percent of all owned cats.1 The study also shows that less than 12 percent of cat owners realize that their cat may have a weight issue.1

“As cat people and cat owners, it’s sometimes hard to admit or even realize that our cat may be too heavy, but even just a few extra pounds on your cat can be a weighty issue,” said Vincent Biroscak, Purina Cat Chow brand director. “We’re encouraging cat people to take the Purina Cat Chow ‘Why Weight?’ Pledge and commit to learning how to assess their cat’s weight as well as put that knowledge to use so they can share a better life together with their cat.”

The Weighty Facts on Cat Obesity

  • 58 percent of owned cats (50 million) in the United States are too chubby1
  • Less than 12 percent of cat owners realize that their cat may have a weight issue1
  • 42 percent of pet owners don’t know what a healthy weight even looks like for their pet1
  • 3 extra pounds on a 10-pound kitty is the equivalent of 45 extra pounds on a 150-pound human2
  • Overweight cats are 4.5 times more likely to develop diabetes3
  • Heavy kitties are seven times more likely to experience joint pain3

Given the startling facts about cat obesity, Purina Cat Chow commissioned an online survey conducted by Harris Poll in March 2014 to reveal cat owners’ thoughts and perceptions about the weight and health of their cats.

  • 57 percent of cat owners don’t measure their cat’s food at feeding time4
  • 28 percent of cat owners admit they don’t know the proper amount to feed their cat4
  • 34 percent of cat owners think a few extra pounds won’t hurt their cat’s health4
  • 37 percent of cat owners think it’s cute if a cat carries a few extra pounds as there’s “more to love” 4
  • 27 percent of cat owners are unsure on how to help their cat lose weight4
  • 23 percent of cat owners believe that cats get all the exercise they need on their own4

Purina Cat Chow “Why Weight?” Team Members
Purina Cat Chow is teaming up with the APOP, and its founder Dr. Ernie Ward, to raise awareness about the issue of cat obesity and educate more cat owners on the importance of keeping your cat at a healthy weight. According to the APOP, the health conditions associated with pet obesity include osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint injury and pain, various forms of cancer and decreased life expectancy.1

“The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has partnered with Purina Cat Chow because we have shared goals to educate more cat owners about the impact extra weight has on our cats,” said Dr. Ward. “We’re working to close the ‘fat pet gap.’ We want more cat owners to realize that their cat may have a weight issue and understand some steps they can take to remedy the problem through the ‘Why Weight’ program.”

Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson are also teaming up with Purina Cat Chow to help raise awareness for the “Why Weight?” Pledge. Karena and Katrina are not only fitness and healthy lifestyle experts, as evidenced through their successful “Tone It Up” franchise; they’re also passionate cat people. They’ve taken the Purina Cat Chow “Why Weight?” Pledge for their cat Monkey to ensure they help her maintain a healthy weight throughout her life.

“Katrina and I believe in living a healthy lifestyle and as cat people, we’re proud to partner with the Purina Cat Chow “Why Weight?” program to educate and inspire cat people to take an active role in learning about their cat’s weight,” said Karena Dawn. “Our cat Monkey gives us so much every day and asks for so little in return – it’s worth the minute it takes to do a hands-on weight assessment to ensure we keep her happy and healthy.”

Simple Solutions to Improving Your Cat’s Weight
Every cat person who commits to building a better life with their cat by taking the Purina Cat Chow “Why Weight?” Pledge has the opportunity to receive a free sample of Purina Cat Chow Healthy Weight formula. Just complete the simple steps following the pledge to have a sample sent to your selected address.

Cat owners can help their cat by making a few simple changes, such as measuring your cat’s meals, adding playtime to your daily routine, and choosing high-quality nutrition such as Purina Cat Chow Healthy Weight formula. Also, be sure to schedule regular appointments with your veterinarian.

The Purina Cat Chow Healthy Weight formula is designed to help cat owners maintain a healthy weight for their cat and still feed them the flavor they love. The formula is high in fiber with a satisfying, hearty crunch.

Purina Cat Chow Healthy Weight formula helps promote a healthy weight and lean muscle. More information on specific ingredients used in the Purina Cat Chow Healthy Weight formula.

The Purina Cat Chow Community – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – offers a place for cat owners to gather and connect with like-minded people to celebrate all things ‘cat.’ Cat owners can gather valuable advice, tips and support from other Community members, or just share photos and stories about their furry friends. Visit www.facebook.com/purinacatchow to learn more and join the community.

Sources:

1Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT Founder, Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), Annual Pet Obesity Prevalence Study, 2014www.petobesityprevention.com.

2Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), Pet Weight Translator,http://www.petobesityprevention.com/pet-weight-translator.

³ Cornell Feline Health Center, Cat Watch: How Often Should You Feed Your Cat?,http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/health_resources/CW_Feed.cfm.

4 Harris Poll Survey Methodology: The Harris Poll survey was conducted online within the United States between March 13 and 17, 2014 among 3,035 adults aged 18 and older, of whom 994 are cat owners, by Harris Poll on behalf of Purina Cat Chow via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

To recognize the 60 million Americans who volunteer annually, Boyds Bears today announced the winner of its “Hearts of Gold” contest search for outstanding volunteers in the United States.

boyds-bears

Marcie Frishberg of Brooklyn, New York, is an animal activist and was selected as the “Hearts of Gold” contest winner, based on her work with Rabbit Rescue and Rehab and NYC Metro Rabbit.

Since 2006, Frishberg has spent hundreds of hours helping find homes for abandoned house rabbits.  As part of her volunteer efforts, Frishberg trains other volunteers to take care of rabbits awaiting homes, makes home visits to ensure rabbit welfare and responds to calls about rabbit care and illness. She also has worked with the NYC Animal Care and Control, a public shelter, to take care of the rabbits left there, and to facilitate adoptions. To underscore her commitment to animal welfare, Frishberg is also in the process of becoming a licensed rabbit educator at large, through the national House Rabbit Society.

“We were overwhelmed with the stories of volunteerism throughout the country,” said Lisa Winter, senior brand manager for Enesco. “Our team was captivated by Marcie’s efforts, because of her dedication to animals who have no other voice in the world.”

As the winner of the contest, Frishberg will have a Boyds Bear created in her honor, and designed to recognize her rabbit welfare efforts. In addition to receiving the very first bears produced later this year, Enesco will make a$1,000 contribution to Rabbit Rescue and Rehab.

Nominations for the contest were accepted Feb. 17, 2014 through March 14, 2014.

For decades, Boyds Bears has created plush and resin bears from different walks of life.  Each plush bear is hand-trimmed and made with multiple fabrics, and the majority of Boyds Bears are jointed and can be posed.

For more information, visit www.boydsstuff.com.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced it would suspend imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies taken in Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Jeffrey Flocken, North American Regional Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said:  “IFAW applauds the U.S. Government’s move to suspend the import of elephant trophies from Tanzaniaand Zimbabwe.  Killing one of the world’s most endangered and admired species just to hang on a wall is simply unacceptable in this day and age. We encourage the FWS to make it permanent.”

It is estimated that between 25,000 and 50,000 elephants are killed for their ivory each year.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer travel season is almost here. Today ZUCA released a range of pet carrier designs just in time for all those family road trips. The innovative design of the ZUCA Pet Carrier doubles as a rolling carry-all and “car seat” for animals, enabling safe transport for your pet in the car or on the street.

zuca-pet-carrier

“Our customers have been asking for a ZUCA product to transport their pets and keep them safe,” said Bruce Kinnee, President of ZUCA. “We kept the strong frame and the easy navigation with our double wheels, and we added a new fabric specially tailored for pet use. Now pets can be transported—whether it be to the vet, to the park or on a family vacation—safely and easily and without the strain of lugging awkward pet carry cases.”

The ZUCA Pet Carrier is easily secured in your car with a standard seat belt for safety on the road. Research from Bark Buckle UP, leading researchers on pet travel safety, suggests that over 71 million American homes have pets and a whopping 82% of those pets travel on vacation with their owners. Bark Buckle UP advocates for restraining pets during travel to protect both the pet and its owners in the event of an accident.

The ZUCA Pet Carrier can be used in the car, outdoors and even in the house. The carriers provide a den-like atmosphere for cats or small dogs (up to 15 pounds) and can easily be rolled from place to place. The ZUCA Pet Carrier has a unique, smooth-gliding quad wheel system that easily climbs curbs and stairs, so pets can go anywhere you do.

Developed for your pet’s safety and comfort, the ZUCA Pet Carrier has an interior leash and a removable floor panel designed to hold disposable liners. The heavy-duty fabric insert is hand washable and has mesh panels for ventilation and visibility. Roomy side pockets can carry treats, leashes and more. And the super-sturdy, lightweight aluminum alloy frame even doubles as a mobile seat for pet owners.

Owners may build their own ZUCA Pet Carrier online at www.zuca.com by selecting different frame and insert colors, so there’s one sure to fit any personality. SRP is $157.50 and it comes in a variety of colorful personalities.

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