Friday, November 28, 2008

Remember to shop through

It's Black Friday, the start of a big shopping weekend...and Monday is Cyber Monday, when many online retailers will offer special deals and savings. Remember to do all of your online shopping through Go to that URL first and from there shop at all of your favorite online stores...and donate a portion of your purchase costs to the pet charity of your choice!

I just did it myself...I bought some items at through and a donation went to Farm Sanctuary, a great organization that rescues abused farm animals.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pets' diseases often a long time coming

By Jeff Kahler

Is there really such a thing as sudden disease?

I suppose the answer relies at least partially on one's definition. When I discuss disease, I think of a process or processes that have gone awry within the body. I envision these diseases manifesting in a less-than-sudden manner. I distinguish this from terms such as sudden illness.
For example, if your pet ingests a toxin or is struck by a car, that's sudden. Sometimes, as caretakers, we perceive a change in our pet's health as sudden or acute when in reality this may not be the case.

Read the rest of this article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review HERE.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Great day for animals!!!

Massachusetts voters passed Question 3, which phases out greyhound racing by 2010 at the few remaining Massachusetts racetracks. YAY!!!!!!!

California voters passed Proposition 2 by a resounding margin (62% to 38% as of this time). As a result, 20 million animals in California will soon be spared the worst abuses of factory farms. YAY!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And if you're in Massachusetts, don't forget to vote to abolish greyhound racing!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


...Shaws stepped forward and gave the shelter mentioned in the article below $1000 to cover the losses from the burglary. I also sent them a check, and I know a variety of other people and groups got involved to help out. It's just amazing to me that someone could steal from a place that is struggling to do good and save animals in need.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From the Cape Cod Times

Money stolen from Wareham animal shelter
Funds were to be used for veterinary care

EAST WAREHAM - Nearly $1,000 reportedly was stolen Saturday evening or early Sunday morning in a break-in at A Helping Paw, a private animal shelter in East Wareham.

Shelter president Chrissy Tomkiewicz said most of the money, about $800, was to have been used to pay for veterinary care to get eight animals ready for adoption.

"They took the raffle money, the adoption money, the sales money, the donation jar, they took it all," Tomkiewicz said Sunday afternoon. "This is a terrible blow."

"They took the raffle money, the adoption money, the sales money, the donation jar, they took it all. This is a terrible blow."
- Chrissy Tomkiewicz
She said the theft has been reported to the Wareham Police Department, which is investigating.

Tomkiewicz said the thief or thieves apparently got into the building at 3166 Cranberry Highway, just across the Buzzards Bay line in East Wareham, by opening a storm window outside the cat adoption room.

She said a couple of volunteers who were scheduled to come in to clean the shelter Sunday morning noticed the storm window was slightly askew, and then discovered that the money had been stolen.

A Helping Paw is a private animal shelter unaffiliated with the town. The organization, which was founded by Tomkiewicz, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Helping Paw officials already are concerned whether the shelter will be able to raise $30,000 by December to fund its operation for another year. With the slump in the economy, Tomkiewicz said, donations are down.

At present, A Helping Paw is sheltering a couple of dogs and 20 cats, as well as rats, hamsters and ferrets.

Tomkiewicz said the overnight theft is the worst but not the first theft to befall the shelter. Over the years, people have stolen donated Beanie Babies, the coin donation jar, and, a few weeks ago, checks left in the shelter's street mailbox. As a result of the last, the shelter now has obtained a post office box.

People who wish to help A Helping Paw may send donations to Box 387, Buzzards Bay MA, 02532.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pets in trouble during tough economic times

The New York Times recently printed this story:

In Hard Times for Humans, Hardships for Pets, Too

With all the talk of bulls and bears lately, what’s happening to cats and dogs?

At New York City’s main animal shelter, monthly calls to the volunteers who can help people keep their pets through tough financial times doubled, to 225 from 115, between January and September. Read More Here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One of the cutest videos I've seen and a "Best of YouTube" winner.

The man singing the puppies to sleep:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Halloween Can Be a Scary Holiday ... for Pets

Ghosts and goblins walk the streets, approaching homes collecting treats. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) cautions people about keeping their pets safe and preventing dog bite injuries this Halloween.

While some dogs may understand that costumes and excited children are all part of the holiday fun, many dogs are fearful of common Halloween activities. This creates an increased potential for dog bites. Read more HERE.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just a quick note to let you know we've added some new content to the site for fall. Check in at for the following new articles:

Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies, contributed our feature article this month: Why Feral Cats Don't Belong in Shelters. Read all about it on our HOME PAGE.

Just in time for Halloween we have a new Kid's Corner project: How to Make Your Own Animal Trick Or Treat Bags!

Lacey White from Nebraska wrote a story about her cat, Simba, and won a T-shirt for our Cats vs. Dogs contest!

We have some beautiful cat photos submitted by readers this month, and the winning photo by Mike in Cambridge is gorgeous and is posted on our Animal Photos page.

If you've ever thought about hiring a pet sitter, you might be interested in learning about the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. Read more about the organization on our Pet Care page.

Have fun!

Monday, September 22, 2008 Dog, cat food recalled
September 22, 2008

Mars Petcare US has recalled dog and cat food from some of its well-known national brands, including Pedigree and Special Kitty, as a precaution after two workers at the company's Everson, Penn., plant contracted salmonella.Twelve brands are affected. The products were sold at major retailers in 31 states, including Florida. Company representatives would not disclose how many units were recalled but said the Everson plant, which makes about 2.7 percent of Mars' inventory, was involved.Consumers should return these items to retailers for a full refund. For details on how to identify affected products, call 877-568-4463. Or go to:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Houston SPCA Shelters Region's Animals From Hurricane Ike

Saturday, September 13, 2008

By Catherine Donaldson-Evans

Noah would feel right at home at the Houston SPCA, which has taken in about a thousand animals from communities enduring a major beating from Hurricane Ike.

In addition to hundreds of dogs and cats, the shelter collected horses, ducks, goats, iguanas and even a bear as part of its menagerie in the days leading up to the storm — which crashed ashore before dawn Saturday.

Click here for more information from the Houston SPCA.

Read the rest of the story here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

An Open Letter to Our Place to Paws Readers

Dear Friends:

Our Place to Paws has been online for a year and a half now, and we've so enjoyed providing both information about animals and a fun place for people to read our columns, view reader photos, research fun animal art projects for kids, and more.

The Web is huge, and technology advances quickly, and we're just a small little site hoping to offer a place where people can enjoy their love for animals online. We can't afford a lot of the fun things other sites have, and unfortunately we haven't had a huge readership...we have a steady number of visitors each month, but the number has remained small. Although we occasionally get new subscriptions to our monthly e-newsletter, they have fallen off, and we're not getting many entries to our online contests (doesn't anyone want a free T-shirt?).

We'd love to keep Our Place to Paws online, but at this point your editor is basically drawing money from her own pocket each month to keep it going. She'll be happy to continue doing that if there is enough interest...but if few people are reading the newsletter and the site, there will come a time when she has to take down our beloved little project.

If you are interested in keeping Our Place to Paws alive, please let us know...send us an email, post comments on the blog, send in your animal photos or enter our Cats vs. Dogs essay contests.

We hope to be here for you...and the animals...for as long as you want us to be.

- Paws

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fiona's eye is all healed

Well, many weeks of eye drops, a trip to the kitty opthalmologist and one contact lens later, Fiona's eye infection and cornea tear are all healed (yay!). The vet said that everything had been caused by the herpes eye infection she arrived with as a kitten. Now we have to crush a 500mg L-Lysine pill into her wet food twice a day with the hope of minimizing future outbreaks and eye problems. Poor girl! But it's worth everything to see her happy and healthy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

This was just one of those "I don't believe it" moments. Tribbs (the black and white cat) and Duncan (the tabby-colored Scottish Fold) are generally arch rivals. They want each other's territory, they want each other's food, and they sometimes spend hours on the staircase just daring the other to try to go up or down. I couldn't believe it when I walked in the room and they were actually curled up and sleeping within a foot of each other, as if they didn't have a care in the world.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mike and Carole S. from Michigan in their Our Place to Paws T-Shirts!

From the BBC:

Primates 'face extinction crisis'

A review of the world's primates says almost half of the world's species face extinction, and the majority in Asia are endangered. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species claims habitat loss is the main threat to species.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christian the Lion

This story is beautiful and the video made me cry. I checked on Snopes, which confirms it is true.

Of course, we must all remember that wild animals are indeed wild.

Christian the Lion

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Poor Fiona

One of our cats, Fiona, has been dealing with constant eye problems. Fiona is a Scottish Fold, and I'm more convinced than ever that pure-bred animals often have more health problems than mix-breeds. I have always adopted animals from shelters, but Fiona came to us via a relative who is ill. Don't get me wrong; she's a sweetie and we love her. I just feel so badly that she has to deal with these problems.

First she was diagnosed with a herpes eye infection, which she came with as a kitten. Then she started getting repeated eye infections. Now she has a tear in her cornea because of the infections. The poor little girl has to have three different types of eye drops put in her eyes several times a day. She's such a good girl, too...she doesn't deserve such torture!

The next step is an appt. with a kitty opthamologist, but we're hoping these eye drops will clear up the problem. Isn't it hard to watch your pets suffer? I can hardly stand it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cats don't like storms

We just had an incredible thunder/rain/hailstorm in the Boston area. I was home with the five cats, who were not at all happy about the situation. They ran around looking disconcerted, and the only thing that calmed them down was some lunch. Unfortunately, Duncan made for the hills (or the upstairs) before I could get any food to him. I haven't found him yet; clearly thunder and lightning are not his thing.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A reader sent us this helpful link for all of you dog-loving gardeners out there!

How to Dog Proof Your Garden


One of my friends recently said her vet recommended soaking their dog's paw in vinegar when he was having some sking problems (the dog, not the vet). I'm wondering now if I should try this on Fiona, who is still having some problems with her back paw despite three weeks of antibiotics and some anti-fungal medication. If I can't find anything that works, the next step will be a pricey "cat dermatologist." Has anyone had success with plain old vinegar?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Great Laugh Out Loud Video

My brother sent this to me today. He is so far in the category of having TWO cats.

An Engineer's Guide to Cats

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Does this make anyone else as angry as it makes me?

"Luck ran out for about a dozen pigs that escaped their flooded farm, swam through raging floodwaters and scrambled atop a sandbag levee in southeastern Iowa. Des Moines County sheriff's officials shot the pigs, saying they were worried the pigs would weaken the levee" - CNN

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We have a new health problem in the house. Fiona, the little Scottish Fold (although she's not so little anymore -- the vet said she now weighs nine pounds!) has been having problems with the skin between two of her toes. At first they detected a bacterial infection, but several courses of antibiotics haven't fixed the problem. Now they're testing for a fungal infection. I hope that's it, we want to avoid a biopsy at all costs (literally and figuratively). I couldn't imagine the poor little thing walking around with a sore foot and one of those cone things around her neck. Let's hope they find the problem and can fix it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our June Updates are online

If you haven't visited our Web site for a while, check at for our new updates. We have a feature story on a new horse sanctuary, a new kid's corner project, links to more pet care articles and of course, our popular reader photos of the month!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's getting hot

It hit 90 degrees for three straight days in Boston this week...and Tribbs was not happy!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

If you shop online, consider shopping through PetGive

Check out this Web site: PetGive. If you shop through their portal, the stores of your choice will donate a portion of your sales to the pet charity of your choice. It's worth a look. I've been buying a lot of books online lately, and I will go through this site the next time I want to buy something from Barnes & Noble!


Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's amazing how they know

Last night I was in bed with a migraine. It was a tough night; all night I was half awake, feeling unwell, with my head aching. The amazing thing was that one of my cats, Cali, stayed on my pillow the entire time and seemed to know what I was going through. Throughout the late-night hours I could feel her occasionally put her paw gently on my head, never with her claws out. She would keep it there for a minute and then withdraw it. It was as if she was just comforting me, or reaching out and making sure that I was all right. Cali often sleeps on my pillow, but she never reaches out her paw like that, throughout the night, and touches my head so softly.

Isn't it amazing how they know when you are sick?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

North Carolina Dogs Need Homes

This was forwarded to Our Place to Paws:

Hi Neighbors. I hate to be an animal pusher, but even more, I'd hate to
see these dogs assigned to a terminal study. If you have any questions
please send them directly to Angel Rollins at the vet school (see contact
below). These dogs must find homes before the month is out.

Link to their photos:

http://www4. ~lnshewmo/ dogs/index. html

Thanks for listening.
Laura Shewmon
708 Brent Rd.

LAR has 9 dogs available to be adopted out immediately. These dogs have
been offered before and we had no takers. These dogs will go to a
terminal study if we do not have any takers before May 30th. We would
much rather see these dogs, who have given so much to research, go to a
good home to live out the rest of their lives but can not keep them here
any longer. Please contact me before May 30th if you are interested.

ID# Name Sex Breed Wgt(kg) Age/ DOB
79131 Fallon F Retriever mix 23 5 yrs
83741 Isabelle F Foxhound 29 6 yrs
84522 Jacqueline F Beagle 9 1/30/02
61932 April F Lab mix 26 6-8 yrs
83740 Ikester M Foxhound 29 6 yrs
96348 Dabney FS Small mongrel 10 8/8/04
96349 Talley FS Small mongrel 10 8/24/04
96352 Carter MC Med mongrel 14 8/4/04
96354 Doak MC Med mongrel 13 8/4/04

Angel Rollins
Assistant Facility Manager
College of Veterinary Medicine
Laboratory Animal Resources
4700 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh NC 27606
919-513-6340( phone)

Friday, May 16, 2008

This is a really disturbing article about what happens to races horses that lose in Puerto Rico. Are people really this cruel and insane? What can be done to stop it?

They Just Want The Horse Dead

Click here once a day to help animal rescue efforts!

It's free:

The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Animals along the way

We went for a bike ride in upstate, N.Y. this past weekend and saw some beautiful wildlife. We're always on the lookout for beaver huts, and we saw plenty of those...but no beavers. While we were admiring one of the huts along an out-of-the-way dirt road, however, we looked up and saw a graceful great blue heron fishing in the middle of a swampy area.

Next, while riding along a well-traveled route, we looked down a hill and saw a large doe staring up at us through some trees. We stopped and looked at her for a while, until she took off in the opposite direction, her white tail disappearing fast.

Finally, just before we turned for home, I spotted a red-winged black bird flying nearby, it's bright red feathers unmistakable.

We didn't have a camera with us, unfortunately!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Again, Our Hearts Are Broken

I said I would never watch another horse race after Barbaro died, and so I was not watching the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Still, the news reached me of course, and it is hard to bear.

With sadness for Eight Belles

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

As you can tell from the comment we received on the post about the animal shelter, apparently it is a hoax. I've read a couple of different versions of the truth now, but the best thing to do if you're concerned or can help is to contact the shelter directly. No matter what, all of the cats there need loving homes, as do so many cats, dogs and other animals in shelters across the country.

Monday, April 28, 2008


A correction on the story below is posted here:

But the cats still badly need homes!

Massachusetts and New Hampshire residents: We have cats in need!

150 cats need homes ASAP

Due to the owner's unexpected/untimely death, a cat shelter in Pepperell is being closed by the state and 150 cats will have to be put down. The daughter doesn't have a license to run the shelter. So in the next week or two, all of these cats will be euthanized.

If anyone you know can take one that would be great, but please pass this announcement along to anyone just to get it out there. Maybe a friend of a friend of a friend would take one in? The shelter is on Sheffield St. in Pepperell, 30 min. from Acton, Mass.

The number is 978-433-0404.

If there is anyone that is interested in adopting/assisting with finding homes for these cats please contact the number above ASAP or forward this email to a friend...please help!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Penguin gets a wet suit

I just love this story. A tiny wet suit has helped an elderly penguin who had lost his feathers and was too cold to swim. Extremely cute.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

This is pretty cute

Apparently Simcha the cat decided that either a cat bad OR a cat cube wasn't enough. Simcha decided to pull the cat bed INTO the cat cube and have the best of both worlds.

I always say cats have a way of getting exactly what they want (although in our house, it's usually because I run around doing whatever they want for them).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A note from Green Chimneys in New York State

Fiona Apple has wanted to work as a Green Chimneys farm intern for years. On a rainy Monday, her wish was granted! The Grammy winning singer and songwriter was on campus this week for the “Spend a Day on the Farm with Fiona” program. A day with Fiona was auctioned off during last year’s spring gala auction.

Fiona mucked stalls and fed animals -- just like our other farm interns do! Upper barn manager Maureen Doherty introduced her to Sylvester, a calf rescued from a slaughterhouse in NYC, and Petey, an alpaca that watched her over the Dutch door. She also met many of our students.

Fiona and her mother visited Brian MacCarry’s music class, Dale Picard’s ECAD dog training program and the greenhouse, where they learned about some of our programs for children with special needs. The pair was accompanied by auction winners Cynthia and Margo Manocherian. Michael Kaufmann, director of the farm and wildlife center, provided a comprehensive farm tour.

Fiona and the auction winners were treated to a trip into the flight rehabilitation cage where wildlife specialist Paul Kupchok captured a red-tail hawk ready for its return to the wild. After a vegan lunch specially prepared by chef Mark Kaplan, Fiona assisted in the release of the rehabilitated hawk in heavy April showers, which she enjoyed sans umbrella!

The day was capped off with some artistic flair as she painted a fiberglass Labrador retriever that will be auctioned off in our fall celebrity dog auction ( Thought you might like a photo of Fiona with some of our students in the East Coast Assistance Dog (ECAD) training program.

She is pictured here with the winner of the auction and two of our students.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hayden Panettiere Awarded For Trying to Save Dolphins

You wouldn't expect to see a link to a People Magazine story here, but the magazine covered the Humane Society's recent award to Hayden Panettiere, a star of the TV show "Heroes." I was so moved when I read about Hayden's efforts to save dolphins from a horrible slaughter in Japan (sadly, she and her colleagues were unsuccessful). I've never forgotten that story, and I'm glad she was honored for her willingness to step forward in the name of animal welfare causes. So many young "startlets" today have so little to say about anything important or are spending their time partying or in rehab, and here is a young girl using her celebrity for something real. Congratulations, Hayden!

You can read the story here:

Hayden Panettiere Awarded For Trying to Save Dolphins

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Celebrate Earth Hour Tonight

From an email sent by the World Wildlife Fund:

Earth Hour is tonight, March 29, from 8 to 9 pm local time! Get ready to make it a great celebration for the planet.

Wondering what to do after you turn the lights out? Here are 10 fun ideas to help you, your family and your friends make a change and make a difference today.

Time to switch to CFLs!
1. Host a Green Party
Get your friends together for an Earth Hour eco-party. Fire up the flashlights and battery lanterns, serve organic food, avoid the disposable utensils, use natural d├ęcor (like flowers and hanging plants) and have a friend provide acoustic music. Talk to your guests about how you're each reducing your environmental footprint and share ideas and solutions for saving more energy, money and carbon dioxide.

2. Give Yourself an Energy Makeover
Use Earth Hour to make your home more energy efficient: Replace your old light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; install power strips (so you can turn computers and electronics on and off more easily); and change your air conditioner filters. Or go one step farther and install one new energy-efficient item, like an EnergyStar qualified DVD player. And on Monday, call your local utility and sign up for green power-like wind, hydro or solar.

3. Go Green with Your Kids
Earth Hour is a perfect time to talk to your kids about the environment and why we need to protect our planet from the dangers of climate change. Check out books on the environment from the library and read by flashlight, or head into the yard and have a night picnic. Or how about a night of board games? Check out our downloadable Earth Hour kids' activities.

4. Do a Recyclables Scavenger Hunt
Get your flashlights and scour your cabinets and shelves for cans, bottles and cardboard (like cereal boxes) that you don't normally recycle. Make a list of all the non-recyclable containers you're using now (like plastic shopping bags and butter tubs), and figure out ways to reduce your consumption of items that end up in landfills. One easy tip: get reusable grocery bags... and reuse them!

5. Green That Workspace!
Working the night shift? Even if you can't turn off all the lights at work, look around and see what you can unplug, turn down or use less of (like consuming less paper by printing double-sided). Every day millions of computer screens and speakers are left on overnight--shut 'em off! And talk to your coworkers about what they can do to help make a difference, too.

6. Involve Your Local Leaders
If your city or town isn't hosting an Earth Hour event, ask your local government to set up a community "green" discussion this spring. Help organize attendance by reaching out to local environmental and community groups, and come prepared to ask your leaders what they're doing to make your city greener.

7. Clean Up Your Neighborhood
Grab a flashlight and take a long walk through your neighborhood, picking up trash and recyclables as you go. It's a great chance to do some stargazing, too!

8. Unplug and Chill Out
Most of our daily activities--like watching TV, shopping online and texting friends--require loads of electricity, but do we really need to do so much stuff all the time? Take one hour for yourself to just chill... turn off the screens, put down the handheld devices and just take some "you" time to reflect, read or talk to your family. After all, why do more when you can do less?

9. Take Your Temperature
Your thermostat and your refrigerator are responsible for a huge portion of your carbon footprint. If you lower your thermostat by just 2 degrees and set your fridge to 37 degrees F. and the freezer at 0 degrees F., you'll make a big difference.

10. Make a Pledge for the Planet
Earth Hour shouldn't end at 9:01 pm--it's a chance to take a first step toward lowering your overall impact on the environment. So use part of that hour to make a personal pledge to do more--recycle, drive less often, turn off or unplug electronics, and beyond. The only way we're going to stabilize our climate is if we make real changes in our everyday lives. That change begins with Earth Hour, and ends with a healthy planet.

Of course, there are more than 10 ways to make a difference. Visit WWF's website for additional ideas on things you can do every day to help the Earth and reduce your environmental footprint.

Thank you for being a part of Earth Hour and committing to lowering your impact on the planet.

Switching off,

Richard Moss
Managing Director and Vice President, Climate Change

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I just received this letter forward to me from the Boston area. Is anyone looking for a new kitten? If so, email us, and I'll send you the email address of this person.

"Couple months ago, a little black cat began visiting us looking for love, food and attention. These visits continued for over two months. Most were late at night when the temperatures were in the mid teens or even below. He looked cold, seeking for a warm place, but unfortunately I couldn’t let him in because Tico (my other cat) was going crazy. I gave him some food and hoped he had good owners.

Two weeks ago, the kitty visited us again on a Sunday late afternoon, but this time something was wrong. He looked in pain and seeking for help. I discovered a big infected cut in one of his front legs. I took him to Angel Memorial Hospital where I had to give him up to the Shelter.

The cat is still there, in a cage and miserable. He is in quarantine because we do not know the source of the cut and we don’t know when he has his last rabies shot. My guess is that the cat is fine, but per Massachusetts law he must be in quarantine to make sure he is not contaminated with rabies. I have been in contact with the Shelter, and they keep telling me how sad he is.

I am desperately seeking someone who would at least foster him until he is eligible for adoption. If I don’t find a foster home, I am afraid he would be destroyed (I am not kidding about this). If you cannot take him, please help me to find a good foster home.

A little more information about the cat I believe he is about over a year old and was either abandoned or his owners do not take a good care of him. You just don’t leave a cat out every night when the temperatures are below 15 degrees. Every time the cat would show up he looked cold and lonely. He is very friendly and cute, and I can guarantee he would be a good companion. Please be his foster parent. HE NEEDS YOU!!! The best place is a home with no other pets so he can get better without distressing.

Please help me to give this cat a chance."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Today's quote of the day

"Women might scale back their own fashion purchases, but that doesn't mean they're going to let their dogs down."

- Time Magazine, in an article about retail stores in the current recession

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WWF Earth Hour Event

I just found out about this event where millions of people around the world are joining together to make a statement about climate change by turning their lights off for an hour. It's called Earth Hour and I just signed-up to participate-I thought it might be something you'd want to sign up for too. Earth Hour is on March 29 from 8 - 9 p.m. local time, and it looks like it's going to be really big. So far 25 cities around the world are taking part, including Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco in the U.S.

Sign up for Earth Hour by visiting and join the movement!

And remember - Lights Out on March 29!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday the 13th

I had Fiona, one of the Scottish folds, back at the vet yesterday. This poor little thing. She has a foot infection between two toes on a back paw that has returned, and I have her back on antibiotics now. She's also been struggling with an ongoing eye issue. First the doctors thought it was an infection, then an allergy, then a herpes virus infection (which she had as a kitten, and therefore will always have in her system).

She's on eye drops four times a day now (YOU try to catch a shy little cat four times a day and put drops in her eyes!) and antibiotics twice a day, and, as perhaps the largest indignity, she has had to tolerate my soaking her back paw in an antibiotic solution for five minutes a day, three days in a row.

Is is any wonder that she runs whenever she sees me now?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Nora the cat plays the piano

A very fun YouTube video going around...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Duncan and the tie

Duncan decided to claim a tie that was left on the kitchen table yesterday. He obviously is trying to both sit on the tie and find a way to get warm in the sun patch. Every day the sun patch moves across the kitchen, and a cat follows it from place to place.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Eye drops

I've been treating one of our cats with eye drops for the past few weeks for herpes infection. She had been blinking her eyes for weeks, never really opening them completely. At first the vet treated her for conjunctivitis, then suggested allergies. But a second opinion led to the herpes diagnosis, since she had the virus as a kitten. The drops are really helping...but catching her to give them to her FOUR TIMES A DAY is no fun!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Our new content is now up

Hello again,

If you're in New England, I hope you're enjoying this brief warm-up in the weather. What a relief after so many cold days and nights. But I have a feeling winter isn't over yet...

What is over, or at least now online, is our new March content! Visit and click through our pages to see a new product review, columnist, feature story, kid's corner project, Reader Photo Winner and Cats vs. Dogs essay winner. There's plenty to check out on the site, and we hope you'll continue to read our content, write in your own and encourage your friends and family to sign up for the monthly e-newsletter.

Our friend Lilla, mentioned below, is doing very well! The last word is that Lilla is getting better everyday and returning to her old self.

Please write, comment, send in photos and essays...join us on Paws!

Friday, February 29, 2008

We've had some tough news in the animal world this week, with the Bush administration pushing through legislation that would de-list the gray wolf as a species protected under the endangered species act. Eleven conservation groups plan to challenge that division in court; I know we'll all be throwing our full support behind them. You can read more about this soon on our Web site or at Defenders of Wildlife; our March updates will be coming soon, including the introduction of a new columnist, aptly named "Wolf."

On a more close-to-home note, a friend of ours had a real scare this week when her cat, Lilla, had to be rushed to the vet. Lilla was once featured when someone sent in an Honorable Mention photo of her for our site, and she is currently in our Photo Archives. It turned out that Lilla had very large bladder stones and needed emergency surgery a day later; thankfully, the last word is that Lilla is doing just fine and will be home today. Our friend wrote a poignant essay on the experience, which we'll be posting on our Cats. vs. Dogs page with our March updates. In this case, it's really not Cats vs. Dogs that she's writing about, it's just her love for cats, and her little girl in particular. We all wish Lilla well!

As I write our cats are lounging on the radiators, trying to soak up all the heat they can get during yet another cold, snowy day in Massachusetts. It's Leap Day, but they are considering it just like any other day -- a chance to lie around, have a sauna, maybe wrestle with a toy or two, and demand meals when required.

We're really in need of more photo and essay submissions for our site; March marks the one-year anniversary date of Paws and although our visitor rates are up, we're clearly not prompting enough participation from the outside world. We'd love to have more people on our email list and more submissions to our contests. It's just our way of sharing a love for animals and spreading the word about important issues when they come up.

Have a great Leap Day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

There is a beautiful husky that is often seen in our neighborhood, off-leash and running around unattended. Last time he came near my house, I got a phone number off of his collar, called the owners and ended up walking him back to his home, two blocks away.

They apologized, and said that their dog is "always escaping."

I've spoken to other neighbors who say they see the dog running loose all the time. The minor issue is that he "poos" in neighbors' yards, including ours. But the much more major issue is the dog's safety; I am so worried he will be hit by a car, get lost, or end up being rounded up by animal control.

Today when I saw him outside, I brought him into my house and called again. A gentleman came to retrieve him, but unfortunately he did not speak English, so I couldn't communicate with him. Instead I left a message on their home machine explaining the seriousness of the problem and asking that they please find a way to keep their beautiful dog at home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Urgent call to Action from Defenders of Wildlife

I just tried to call and was put on hold, so I'm passing this on for now so others get the news:

As soon as tomorrow, Interior Secretary Kempthorne is expected to announce the elimination of federal protections for hundreds of endangered wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

Please take a moment right now to call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD (9453) and deliver this simple message:

“My name is _____________ and I’m calling from City, State. I understand that the federal government may remove wolves in the Greater Yellowstone and Central Idaho regions tomorrow from the list of federally protected threatened and endangered species.

I want your department to know that I strongly oppose the weakening of protections for these wolves and expect you to fulfill your obligation to secure a lasting future in the Northern Rockies for these amazing animals.”

The lives of hundreds of wolves are at stake. Please call tonight before 8 PM Eastern Time or first thing tomorrow morning.

In a matter of hours, newspapers across the country could be reporting on the Bush/Cheney Administration's expected announcement … and its potentially devastating impact on some of America’s most beloved wolves.

But today I need your help to let these federal officials know that Americans love our wolves and want to see them protected.

Please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD (9453) and speak out for our wolves. Leave a message if you can, and remember to let us know that you called.


Rodger Schlickeisen

PresidentDefenders of Wildlife

P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow for more details on this breaking news and Defenders of Wildlife’s action plan to save these wolves…

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This one has been around the Internet many times, but someone sent it to me again today, and I'm posting it here. I just love reading it, every time.

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 PM - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary

Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine l avishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an Attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards! There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and Snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously Retarded.

The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the Guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an Elevated Cell, so he is safe.

For now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Humane Society is holding a pet photo contest

But if you send them a pic, you have to promise to send us one, too! We need some pics for next month's Reader Photo Spotlight Contest!

To celebrate Spay Day USA and share the message that spaying and neutering improves pets' lives, The Humane Society of the United States invites you to enter our online photo contest for pets! It's fun and it's free.

To enter, simply upload a digital photo of your beloved pet and briefly tell us how he or she has made a difference in your life. Your furry (or feathered or finned) pal will then compete with other pets for a chance to win dozens of cool prizes!

There are two ways to win: Our celebrity judges will award fabulous prizes to 36 entrants judged to have the best photos and stories -- and the Grand Prize winner will receive a custom portrait of their pet, valued at $1,400, from premier pet photographer Amanda Jones. Ten runners up will receive custom pet portraits by one of two artists, and 25 honorable mentions will receive gift baskets featuring products from contest sponsors Nature’s Miracle and GPS-maker Zoombak. You can also get votes for your pet to win other prizes. After you’ve entered the contest, you can forward your pet’s photo to friends and family and ask them to vote.

The top 500 pets by popular vote will each receive a bottle of Nature’s Miracle and be entered in a drawing to win one of ten custom pet portraits by one of two artists. Check out our contest rules and enter your pet today!

The HSUS's annual Spay Day USA campaign highlights spaying or neutering pets as an effective and humane solution to the tragic problem of pet overpopulation. Spay Day USA is February 26, 2008. I hope I'll see your pet in the contest soon. Thank you for all you do for animals.

Wayne PacellePresident & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We've uploaded some new content on the Web site! Check out:

Daisy's new column for humans who don't "get the concept" about breakfast-time.

An article by Defenders of Wildlife on the return of Gray Wolves to Oregon.

A new Kid's Corner animal art project

This month's winning reader photos!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dragging cows too weak to stand. Shocking them with electric prods when they can't walk. Ramming them with forklifts. Even forcing water down their throats -- right out of the manual on waterboarding.

Our shocking undercover investigation revealed these and other abuses of "downed" dairy cows -- those who are too sick or injured to walk -- at a Southern California slaughter plant. And The Humane Society of the United States’ investigation also discovered that the meat from these tortured animals gets fed to children through the National School Lunch Program!

Please watch our investigative video, and then take action today to stop this cruelty.

Our video of the cruelty is very difficult to watch. Even worse is the thought that an outfit like Hallmark Meat Packing Company got away with this kind of abuse every day, without proper oversight from the USDA.

Urge the USDA to tighten its lax enforcement of the downer rule and to close the rule's loophole -- so that cows who are obviously in no shape to walk are not taken to slaughter in the first place.
Don't forget to tell your friends and family how they can help, too.

Thank you for all you do for animals.

Sincerely,Wayne Pacelle
President and CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. You can find the full details of this shocking investigation on our website or in a recent Washington Post story.
Last week, the Bush Cheney Administration changed the rules, taking another step toward the slaughter of hundreds of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies region -- even while these animals remain protected under the Endangered Species Act. But thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we were prepared for the announcement: On Monday, Defenders and our conservation partners immediately filed suit to stop these rule changes.We’re in for a long, hard legal battle to save Greater Yellowstone wolves.

Please support our Yellowstone Wolf Legal Defense Fund by becoming a Wildlife Guardian with a monthly donation of $5, $8, $18, $38 or another amount.

Last week’s change to the so-called “10j” rule will have devastating consequences. Up to 900 wolves -- over half of the region’s wolf population -- could be killed, even though they remain protected by the Endangered Species Act. The killing could begin as early as March. With your monthly support, we can keep fighting in the courts and on the ground to protect these magnificent animals.

As a Wildlife Guardian, your ongoing monthly donation -- just pennies per day -- will provide crucial and reliable support for our battles in the months ahead.Unfortunately, last week’s rule change is only the beginning: In just a few weeks, the Bush/Cheney Administration is expected to announce the removal of Greater Yellowstone wolves from the federal list of endangered species -- opening the door to the killing of as many as two-thirds of the wolves in Wyoming and all but around 100 wolves in Idaho.

Your monthly tax-deductible contribution of $5, $8, $18, $38 or another amount, will enable Defenders to respond to the delisting with swift legal action to save our wolves -- and you’ll also be a vital partner in our long fight for wolves in the months ahead.Defenders’ seasoned legal team has a proven track record of success when it comes to defending our wolves. When the American Farm Bureau -- a powerful industry lobby group -- wanted to kill all the Yellowstone wolves, we took them on and won. We stopped then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton from lifting critical wolf protections in 2005. And last year in Alaska, we halted a bloody wolf bounty program. With your help, we can win for wolves again.

Please become a Wildlife Guardian today and become a partner in our ongoing efforts to save wolves.

With your help, we can win for our wolves.


Rodger Schlickeisen, President
Defenders of Wildlife

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It’s happened. Despite the opposition of tens of thousands of Defenders supporters, the Fish & Wildlife Service just made it much easier to kill wolves in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies region -- even while they remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Take action now. Tell Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne that this rule change is unacceptable.

The change to the so-called “10j” rule announced today lowers the bar for killing wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming -- opening the door to the slaughter of hundreds of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies region. The states would only need to prove that wolves are a “major cause” of the inability of elk and deer to meet state management goals. Wolves could be killed even if they only have an effect on how elk herds move or behave -- not just if they reduce herd numbers.Wildlife officials will be able to shoot, trap and kill endangered wolves -- even those that wander from the safety of Yellowstone National Park and other protected areas.

Write to Secretary Kempthorne to express your outrage today!

Remember, these wolves are still protected as an endangered species -- federal officials have yet to decide whether to remove protections under the Endangered Species Act for wolves in the Greater Yellowstone region. But the rule change allows officials to start killing wolves as soon as March.

Please take action now. Tell Secretary Kempthorne that you are outraged by this rule change!

Thank you for all you do to protect our wildlife and the places it lives.

Rodger Schlickeisen
President, Defenders of Wildlife

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Today is the National Call-In Day for Horses! Together, we have closed all U.S. horse slaughter plants. Now we need to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311) to end the transport to slaughter of American horses to Mexico and Canada.

It is a new year and a crucial time to make your voices heard. Let's light up the phones on Capitol Hill to send the message loud and clear that we want a permanent ban on horse slaughter now.

Your calls have made a difference in the past, so please makethe call today. Let's ban horse slaughter in 2008.

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

Take Action for the National Wildlife Federation!

"It's the most important wildlife conservation legislation in history," said John Kostyack, NWF's wildlife policy expert.

"Really?" Could this new global warming bill--the Climate Security Act--truly be as big as the Endangered Species Act...or the Clean Water Act...or the Clean Air Act?

If so, how?

"Well" said John, "Global warming has the potential to wipe out all of the conservation victories of the last century."

Endangered wildlife on the road to recovery could face new challenges as global warming alters their habitat and way of life. Waters that we once fought to protect could dry up from extreme drought. In all, up to one-third of all species could disappear by 2050 if global warming continues unchecked.

But, you can help change the forecast for wildlife!

The National Wildlife Federation is working to pass an important new global warming bill in Congress called the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.

This legislation not only reduces the global warming pollution that is impacting wildlife habitat across the country, it also puts billions of dollars to work to help wildlife survive a changing climate.

Help protect wildlife for future generations by sending a message to your senators!

Your voice is essential to make our campaign to pass the Climate Security Act a success. Make sure both of your senators sign on to this bill and vote for its passage.

Thanks so much!

Kristin Johnson
Grassroots Mobilization Coordinator
National Wildlife Federation

Friday, January 18, 2008

From the World Wildlife Fund


Russia Creates Three National Parks in Amur Tiger Territory

In 2007, with direct support from WWF, the Russian government established three new national parks to protect forests and habitat for the endangered Amur (Siberian) tiger. The parks cover almost a million and a half acres of forest in Russia's Far East. Unlike existing protected areas in the region--called zapovedniks--that restrict access to scientific purposes only, the new parks are the first protected areas in the region to bear the "national park" designation, meaning they exist for both conservation and tourism. With tourism permitted, the parks have the potential of generating their own long-term financial sustainability.

Monday, January 14, 2008

National Call-in Day for Horses

From The Humane Society of the United States

Dear Faye,

Mark your calendars for January 22, 2008, the National Call-In Day for Horses!

The doors on the last remaining U.S.-based horse slaughter plants have been shuttered. Now, Congress must pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311) to end the transport to slaughter of American horses to Mexico and Canada. Even when plants were operating within the U.S., several thousand horses were exported to Mexico and Canada annually. Though the total number of American horses killed has dropped, all of them are now enduring terribly long trips over the border that end in a grisly form of slaughter. We have said all along that we must pass federal legislation to stop horse slaughter and the need has never been more urgent.

On January 22, please call your two U.S. senators and U.S. representative and express your support to end horse slaughter permanently.

Please tell your friends and family how they can help end horse slaughter, too. Email and handout the National Call-In Day for Horses flier to everyone you know!

Watch your email on the morning of January 22 for special Call-In Day instructions. Your emails and calls will not only make a difference, they will help make history. Help us end horse slaughter forever.

Thank you for all you do for animals.


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Getting back to things

I've been involved in a 10-day writing workshop this month, but it's time to get back to blogging for Paws! Please feel free to click on the word "comments" below any post to talk about animals or to send me ideas for new information to post on the blog. And of course, always feel free to send your photos, both for the blog and our online monthly contest.

Here's a story from Defenders of Wildlife to check out: "Ranch Hand Admits to Baiting Wolves to Prey on Livestock; Results in Removal of Endangered Wolves"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008