<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters - Clear the Shelters]]>Copyright 2018https://www.cleartheshelters.com/ http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/clear.gif Clear the Shelters https://www.cleartheshelters.comen-usThu, 19 Jul 2018 04:03:57 +0000Thu, 19 Jul 2018 04:03:57 +0000NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Find a Shelter Near You]]> https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/larpbo1.jpg

Use the map to search for a shelter near you or search by zip code above. Learn more about the event here. 

Photo Credit: Sean Myers/KNBC-TV
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[How to Protect Your Kids From Dog Bites]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:08:02 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kidsdogbites.jpg

Over four million people are bitten by dogs each year and children are more likely to suffer serious injuries. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help prevent kids from getting bit by dogs and information on what you can do if a dog does bite.

<![CDATA[Do Cats Actually Love Their Humans?]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 19:32:54 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_CATS_LOVE_HUMANS_032717_1-149065840584500001.jpg

Does your little feline friend actually love you, or are they just using you for food? Scientists from Oregon State University isolated 50 cats, depriving them of all stimuli before reintroducing four things: human interaction, food, scent and toys.

<![CDATA[Why You Shouldn't Use a Laser Pointer to Play With Your Cat]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 19:02:12 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/laser+pointer+thumbnail.jpg

People often use laser pointers to play with their cats, but it may not be th best way to have fun with your cat. Certified cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger explains why.

<![CDATA[NJ Police Department ‘Arrests’ Runaway Dog, Takes 'Pug'shot]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:55:39 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/capemaypug.jpg

You can take the pug out of the the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the pug.

Sunday afternoon, the Cape May Police Department took to Facebook after finding a pug wandering through yards along New Jersey Avenue.

Police first announced finding the dog by posting a “pugmug” on the department's official facebook page and giving a phone number for people to contact if they knew the owner.

Shortly after, the pug was photographed in a jail cell with an update that mentioned the owner had been identified and the runaway pooch would be “released on bail.”

Still no word on charges or the bail amount. The owner will likely be be keeping this pug on a tight leash from now on.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[JetBlue Crew Saves Frenchie's Life During Flight]]> Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:53:47 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/French+Bulldog+Mask+Pic.jpg

Two JetBlue flight attendants who have a soft spot for French Bulldogs are credited with saving the life of a traveling pup after her tongue went blue during the flight.

On a JetBlue flight Thursday from Florida to Worcester, Massachusetts, Michele and Steven Burt's Frenchie, Darcy, started having trouble breathing, Masslive reported.

The Burts were traveling with their three dogs when Michele noticed Darcy trying to push her head out of the carrier. Michele unzipped the carrier, allowing the dog to stick her face out.

"I noticed that her tongue was blue, and I am aware that is a sign of insufficient oxygen (Hypoxia), so I pulled her out from under the seat and placed her on my lap to cool down and help her relax as she was panicking and breathing frantically," Michele wrote in a letter to JetBlue, which was provided to Masslive.

A flight attendant reminded Michele that because of regulations, Darcy had to remain in the carrier under her seat. Michele informed the attendant that her dog needed help.

The Burts say crew members Renaud Fenster and Diane Asher are responsible for keeping Darcy alive.

After bringing Darcy ice bags to cool her down, she continued to breathe heavily.

"Renaud, who explained that he also had a French Bulldog 'Penelope,' brought a small oxygen tank with a mask attached and offered it saying, 'Maybe this will help,'" Michele wrote in the letter.

She placed the mask over Darcy's face and she soon became alert again, no longer needing the mask.

"I believe Renaud and Diane saved a life, some may reduce the value of life because Darcy is a canine -- I do not," Michele wrote.

In a statement released to NBC, JetBlue responded to Michele's letter saying they were glad the crew was so helpful.

"Our mission is to inspire humanity, and we're very proud of those outstanding crew members who consistently demonstrate a passion for excellent customer service," JetBlue wrote.


This story has been updated to correct the name of a JetBlue crew member. 

Photo Credit: Renaud Fenster]]>
<![CDATA[Senior Dog Gets a Second Chance Thanks to Clear the Shelters]]> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 17:59:16 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/070418gingerCTS.jpg

Jill Karnicki was watching local news on a Saturday morning when she first learned about Ginger, a 14-year-old shepherd mix. Each week, the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals brings an adoptable pet to a local TV station to highlight as the “Pet of the Week.” The group brought Ginger with the hope of finding the older pet a home.

Karnicki already cared for two other dogs and had only been tempted to look for a shelter pet once before, but Ginger’s age struck her.

“I was like ‘there should not be a 14-year-old living in a shelter,’” Karnicki said. “That’s not a way to end a dog’s life.”

After watching the segment, Karnicki waited five hours before making a trip to the shelter, providing other viewers with the chance to adopt Ginger. With Ginger still available, Karnicki arrived at the Houston facility and immediately took note of the dog’s loving personality.

Within five minutes, Karnicki decided she wouldn’t leave without Ginger, who was the first dog at the facility to be adopted during last summer’s Clear The Shelters event.

“She instantly fit right into my doggy life,” Karnicki said. “I’ve usually had smaller dogs. She’s a bigger dog. It’s fun to love on her and wrestle with her.”

Ginger’s previous owner dropped her off at the shelter because the family had too many animals, Houston SPCA spokeswoman Julie Kuenstle told NBC. She remained at the facility for 51 days before Karnicki adopted her.

Ginger didn’t have trouble adjusting to life with Karnicki’s two 10-year-old coton de tulears. The three dogs hover around Karnicki when they take trips to the dog park and enjoy excursions in Galveston, Texas, where they roam the beach. Karnicki purchased the dogs life jackets, but none of the three like to swim, she said.

Growing up, Karnicki and her family were often asked to care for stray dogs that others found but had never adopted a shelter pet. She was pleased with the process and admired the fact that all of Ginger’s medical needs were tended to before she left the shelter.

“She’s really got a lot of pep and energy,” Karnicki said. “She’s mellow, she’s loving and she’s happy to be where she is.”

Kuenstle said Ginger was overlooked several times because of her age. Instead, shelter visitors leaned toward adopting puppies. However, senior dogs could be ideal because they’re often already trained and still have energy and a desire to play, Kuenstle said.

“[Older dogs] have a lot of life and love to give in many cases,” Kuenstle said. “There’s a preconceived notion that a senior dog is an old dog and doesn’t want to play or engage and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

After Ginger was adopted, a picture of Karnicki and the newest member of her family was displayed on the broadcast the following week, celebrating the uncommon adoption of an older pet.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jill Karnicki ]]>
<![CDATA[Pets and Car Safety: How to Choose the Right Restraints ]]> Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:31:22 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CPS+and+Subaru+Crash+Testing+%281%29.jpg

Fastening your seatbelt when you get in the car is a no-brainer for humans. But pets can't buckle up on their own, and should always travel in a safe crate or carrier.

During a crash, or if you slam on the brakes, pets can act as projectiles if they are not properly secured. And they can also distract drivers from keeping their eyes on the road.

The market is full of pet restraining products, everything from harnesses to carriers, however many labeled "crash tested" are based only on manufacturers' claims.

"No performance standards or test protocols currently exist in the U.S. for pet crates or carriers, and while many pet safety product manufacturers claim to test their products, they can’t be substantiated without uniform test standards and protocols," said Lindsey Wolko, CEO and founder of the nonprofit watchdog Center for Pet Safety. 

The CPS — along with Subaru of America — rigorously tested carriers and crates to find which devices keep four-legged travel companions safest in the event of a crash.  The 2015 study used specially-designed crash-test dummy dogs, which had a size and weight similar to that of real dogs. They tested crate connections and structural integrity.

CPS found Gunner Kennels G1 (starting at $349) to be the top performing crate and the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock (starting at $150) to be the top performing carrier. In 2018, the nonprofit watchdog found in a separate test that the Gen7Pets Gen7 Commuter carrier was also crash-tested safe.

The study also found the Sleepypod Clickit Utility Sport or Terrain safety harness (starting at $68) was best for securing four-legged friends. In 2017, CPS crash-tested and added the ZuGoPet the Rocketeer Pack ($132) to the list.

CPS said the Gunner Kennels crate withstood the most significant force generated in the crash study and the two leading carriers fully contained test dogs.

But most crates failed completely. CPS noted 25 of the 29 products tested in the 2015 study failed in one way or another. 

The Consumer Products Safety Commission told NBC News, based on its mandate from Congress, the agency doesn't have jurisdiction over these products because pet products are not defined as "consumer products."

Wolko hopes to establish federal standards with data found through their studies.

Subaru recommends pet owners choose a crate or carrier appropriately sized for their dog - usually about six inches longer than the dog’s body. Owners should secure crates using strength-rated cargo area anchor straps, not elastic or rubber bungee cords.

"We at Subaru recognize the importance of keeping the entire family safe on the road, including our beloved pets,” said Subaru spokesman Michael McHale in a press release.

Traveling safely with pets takes some extra planning, but in the end it's worth it.

Photo Credit: Subaru & Center for Pet Safety]]>
<![CDATA[Invasive Bufo Toads Pose a Deadly Threat to Pets]]> Tue, 26 Jun 2018 16:01:00 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CTScanetoad.jpg

One of Dr. Ian Kupkee’s colleagues took her dog, Finn, out in mid-June when it suddenly sprinted into the backyard. The South Florida veterinarian’s co-worker noticed the 4-month-old Australian Shepherd was eyeing a toad and started smacking its lips.

Within minutes, the dog started showing signs of “being drugged,” Kupkee said, so she rushed it to the animal clinic. During the car ride, the pet began having seizures.

Upon arriving at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic in Kendall, Florida, the dog received fluids and three separate doses of anti-seizure medication. Ice packs helped bring the animal’s temperature down.

The incident is a common occurrence when dogs and Bufo toads interact, Kupkee said. The poisonous amphibian secretes a toxic white, gummy-like substance from glands behind its head when it feels threatened. Curious dogs intending to play with the toads may get taught a deadly lesson.

"Toads are bad news for dogs," Kupkee said. “The trick is these are not frogs. Toads look warty. Assume every toad is poisonous to your dog.”

Also known as Cane toads, the Bufo toad is not native to the U.S. The species was introduced to Florida’s sugar cane fields to control pests in 1936. Intentional and accidental releases caused them to spread. Those scattered throughout Florida’s panhandle escaped from a zoo, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Pet dealers accidentally released them in South Florida, the Florida Wildlife Extension reported.

Bufo toad sightings have been reported in Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the USGS reported. Kupkee said the toads, which flourish in warm, humid climate, are also likely to be found in Georgia and Texas.

They often emerge after heavy rainfall and lay their eggs in still or slow-moving water.

And while this invasive species of amphibians pose no major threat to humans, it presents a danger to beloved pets, Kupkee said. Exposure to the toxin it produces can cause symptoms ranging from drooling and head-shaking to loss of coordination and convulsions. It can also kill your dog.

“If you catch it early, the chances of a successful recovery are very high,” Kupkee said. “The heartbreaking truth is people who leave their dog outside all day will come home to a dog that’s no longer with us. There’s the chance of heat stroke [or] a potential toad.”

Kupkee notes that the first symptoms of a toxic toad encounter can be evident within five to 10 minutes of exposure.

He advises pet owners who suspect their dog may have been poisoned by a toxic toad to rinse the animal's mouth out with water and wipe the substance away from its lips and tongue. Dog owners should watch for panting, disorientation and dilated eyes — signs of toxicity — and get the pet to a doctor.

Pet owners, especially those living in areas where Cane toads are prevelant, should avoid low branches, long grass, letting their dog out without a leash and leaving food outside, Kupkee warned. They should also keep their dog away from objects that accumulate water, such as plant pots. He advised to keep dogs on a retractable leash, even while roaming the backyard.

"Dogs find the scent of this thing very attractive," Kupkee said. "The best preventive is don’t leave the dog unattended."

Photo Credit: Ian Waldie/ Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['I've Never Seen That!': Pooch Up for Adoption Says 'Hello']]> Fri, 22 Jun 2018 16:59:23 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/maricopa+dog.jpg

An animal care center in Arizona says all of its dogs up for adoption are special, but Drew is particularly unique. This adorable bandanna-wearing pooch actually says hello (or that's what it sounds like). As one woman is heard saying in the video, "Oh my goodness, a dog that says hello, I've never seen that." (Credit: Maricopa County Animal Care & Control)

Photo Credit: Maricopa County Animal Care & Control]]>
<![CDATA['Huge Cat Alert': 29-Pound Feline Finds Forever Home After Rescue]]> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:49:14 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chubbs-phs-062018.jpg

A 29-pound cat who became an internet sensation after being rescued from the streets of Southern California has found a forever home.

The stray Himalayan mix was found last week wandering the streets of Altadena and taken to the Pasadena Humane Society by a good Samaritan. The shelter said the 10-year-old cat, which they named Chubbs, was extremely matted and took several hours to groom, "Today" reported.

After the shelter put out a "huge cat alert" on its social media pages announcing Chubbs was in need of a good home, the Pasadena Humane Society said it received several claims from different people alleging the now-social media star was their cat.

The organization had planned on holding an adoption event Sunday, but delayed it to vett the claims. After determining the ownership claims were false, Chubbs was put up for adoption on Wednesday. 

"He was adopted right away," said shelter spokeswoman Jaime Holeman. "Surprisingly, the family that adopted him were the only ones ready to adopt." 

Though the line to adopt the famous kitty wasn't long, Holeman said there were plenty of Chubbs fans gathered outside the shelter showing their support. 

"One person made a sign that said 'We Love Chubbs' and then gave it to the family who adopted him," said Holeman. 

Yvette Viola and her husband, Ruben Viola, was the lucky couple who adopted Chubbs. 

The Violas lost their cat, Mooshu, of 14 years earlier this year and were grief-stricken. Since Mooshu's death, Yvette never found a cat that made her want to adopt — until she laid eyes on Chubbs. 

"It was really hard for us. I didn't want to adopt a cat at all," Yvette said. "But then this guy came on TV and my girlfriend from high school sent me the link and said, 'I found your cat.'" 

Yvette was ready to adopt last week and filled out an application Thursday, but had to wait a few extra days until the adorable kitty could officially be put on the market. 

"I was so nervous someone was going to come by and claim him," Yvette said. "I thought I was going to adopt a kitten, but I saw this guy and immediately fell in love." 

Chubbs was placed on a weight loss program before being adopted and his new family plans to continue his diet. They also said Chubbs will be microchiped to ensure he does not become a stray again. 

Photo Credit: Pasadena Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Find a Shelter Near You]]> https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/larpbo1.jpg

Use the map to search for a shelter near you or search by zip code above.

Photo Credit: Sean Myers/KNBC-TV
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[These 9 Breeds Make Excellent Guard Dogs]]> Thu, 07 Jun 2018 22:19:32 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-97394591.jpg Meet the dogs that will go above and beyond the call of duty to protect their owners. Using data from Animal Planet, PetBreeds ranked the best guard dogs by popularity, according to the American Kennel Club.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Register Your Organization for Clear the Shelters]]> Wed, 30 May 2018 22:58:37 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CLEAR_THE_SHELTERS__National_Puppy_Day.jpg

Animal shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC and Telemundo stations to find loving homes for pets in need.

The fourth annual Clear the Shelters event, a nationwide pet adoption initiative, will be held Aug. 18, 2018. 

Organizations interested in participating in Clear the Shelters 2018 must complete the Commitment Registration form here. This form is required to ensure proper verification of all interested participants.

Inspired by a 2014 North Texas pet adoption effort led by our Dallas NBC and Telemundo stations, NBC and Telemundo-owned stations, along with dozens of affiliates nationwide, decided to step up to the plate to help their local animal shelters and communities "Clear the Shelters" every summer.

Clear the Shelters was expanded nationally in 2015. Over 18,000 adoptions were recorded by some 400 participating shelters and rescues from coast to coast. The event took another big leap in participation in 2016, when roughly 700 shelters and rescues participated and over 50,000 animals were adopted. And last year’s highly successful effort resulted in over 80,000 animals from nearly 1,000 shelters in the U.S. and Puerto Rico finding new homes.

The support our local stations received from participating animal shelters and rescues, who gave families the opportunity to adopt an animal in need by offering no-cost or waive fee adoptions, or waiving pet spaying and neutering fees, helped make Clear the Shelters overwhelmingly successful. More than 150,000 pets have found their fur-ever homes since 2015.

We would love to work with your organization to make this year’s Clear the Shelters event a resounding success as we seek to help address the overcrowding issues that local animal shelters typically experience in the summer months because of spring litters.

It is our intent to continue to make Clear the Shelters an event that is easy for shelters to participate in. While we don’t have designated grant funding available to help organizations off-set costs, we encourage shelters to seek funding from existing sources.

<![CDATA['A Miracle': Dog Survives Arrow to the Head]]> Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:21:47 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_arrowdog0525_1920x1080.jpg

Authorities in Walker County, Alabama, are investigating after a dog was found shot in the head with an arrow. The Walker County Humane Society says it's a miracle the pup survived — the arrow struck the dog right between the eyes, narrowly missing the brain.

Photo Credit: WVTM]]>
<![CDATA[You're Kitten Me? Cat Shocked By Pregnancy News]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 21:03:16 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/cat-ultrasound-pregnant-today-180523-tease_309fce480d4ce0687f1f91a472f89781.fit-560w.jpg

A cat's hilarious reaction to news that she's expecting kittens has gone viral.

Ulla, a 1-year-old tabby, was turned in to a shelter in Greenland after she was found on the street.

Shelter board member Tone Frank told "Today" that after a few weeks the staff noticed Ulla was getting a "little chubby," so they took her to the vet to get scanned. 

Side-by-side photos posted on the social media site show the cat first glancing at the sonogram and then turning to the camera with a look of complete shock on her face.

The picture, captioned "When you find out you're pregnant," was shared to Reddit this week. It was quickly up-voted more than 90,000 times.

Frank told "Today" Ulla's carrying four to five kittens, though the veterinarian said it could be hard to detect the number of heartbeats when she's so far along in her pregnancy.

Photo Credit: Tone Frank]]>
<![CDATA[Marine Reunites With Stray Dogs He Adopted From Iraq]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 21:33:45 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/marines+dog+adoptions.png

A U.S. Marine was reunited in San Diego Wednesday with three stray dogs he fell in love with while deployed in Iraq.

Once roaming the Iraqi desert scrounging for food and suffering abuse at the hands of some locals, Rooster, Hesko and Wendy are on their way to forever homes.

Captain Kyle Watkins said it’s been a months-long journey for the pups, bouncing around from place to place along their journey in the SPCA International's Operation Baghdad Pups.

Now he can’t wait to give them good meals, warm beds and seemingly endless property to roam on his farm. He adopted Hesko and Wendy, and another Marine claimed Rooster.

For Captain Watkins, who grew up around dogs and had several at home while he was deployed, Rooster, Hesko and Wendy were more than just a piece of home in a foreign land. Watkins said that in a way, the dogs served too, roaming the perimeter fence line and alerting him and his fellow Marines when anyone came near.

"I'd been telling my wife about these dogs and she finally said, ‘Fine. I know these dogs mean a lot to you. Bring as many home as you can.’ So, we did,” Watkins said.

Watkins and his team started exploring ways to get the dogs back to the states, and that’s when they learned about Operation Baghdad Pups.

An email to the project coordinator set the plan in motion. The Marines did some paperwork and the dogs were scooped up.

“It was really the SPCA that did most of the work,” Watkins said. “We just corralled them into an area and they loaded them into a truck and off they went to Baghdad.”

Watkins said he was proud of the fact that he was able to take as many as he could.

The dogs will have companions and a large area to play, which Watkins hopes will help with the socialization process and transition to a new life.

“They weren’t really treated well over there by the locals, so they’re not really big people dogs out there, but a few of them really warmed up to us and I think that’s because we were nice to them,” Watkins said.

<![CDATA[Soldier Reunites With Dog She Rescued During Iraq Deployment]]> Thu, 17 May 2018 22:20:45 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/051718+dog+reunited+with+solider+mom.PNG

It was a reunion seven months in the making – and one that had tails waging and tears flowing inside a Florida airport.

U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Tracy McKithern reunited Wednesday with a dog she rescued as a puppy while deployed in Iraq in 2017.

The combat photographer from Tampa met the pooch, who had been wandering with her mother around the U.S. base for weeks, while she was stationed in the Kurdistan Province, according to Department of Defense news release. The dogs appeared malnourished and abused by locals and quickly learned that they were not only safe near the base, but would be fed, too.

McKithern, along with soldiers from the Italian and German armies, started caring for the dogs, the DOD reported. As weeks went by, their wounds began to heal and they gained weight. McKithern forged a special bond with the "sweetest little soul" and named her Erby after a nearby city in northern Iraq.

"She ran up to our convoy every day," McKithern recalled. "She was so tiny she would fall and trip all over herself to get to us."

As the end of her deployment approached, McKithern started to wonder how she could ever leave Erby behind when she returned to stateside.

"One night I posted a pic of us on Facebook, with a caption that read something like, 'I wish I could take her home,'" McKithern said. "I went to sleep, woke up and my friends and family had posted links to various rescue groups. I reached out to one of them, the nonprofit Puppy Rescue Mission, and they responded immediately. We sent them $1,000 and they set up a crowd fund to get the rest. We needed an additional $3,500."

With the generous help of strangers and fellow soldiers, McKithern was able to secure Erby's transportation to the U.S. But shortly after McKithern arrived back in Florida, she received orders for another deployment and was scheduled to leave on her new mission the very day Erby was slated to land at John F. Kennedy Airport.

McKithern’s husband, Sgt. Wes McKithern, also a combat photographer, picked up Erby in New York and drove the dog home to Tampa, where pooch waited more than two months to be reunited with her rescuer.

Video footage of the reunion at Tampa International Airport was posted on the airport’s Facebook page. In the video, McKithern can be heard asking Erby if she "remembers me," to which the dog confirms with excited wags of her tail.

An emotional Erby jumps on the soldier and embraces her.

"I can't believe it," said McKithern. "It feels like a miracle is happening."

McKithern told reporters at the airport that Erby’s mother is still in Iraq being cared for by coalition soldiers at the base and hopes that she can also be adopted and brought to the U.S.

Puppy Rescue Mission "assist with requests, logistics, administration and fund-raising for the adopted stray dogs of war rescued by and bonded with soldiers," according to its website. 

Photo Credit: Facebook / Tampa International Airport]]>
<![CDATA[Shelter Founder Shares Photo of Death Row Dog's 'Freedom Ride']]> Thu, 10 May 2018 23:13:12 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/31693100_1899071890111683_6412797046679404544_o.jpg

“This is why we rescue.”

It’s a fitting caption for a photo melting animal lovers’ hearts across the country - A beagle once on the brink of euthanasia seen snuggling next to its rescuer on an inspiring “freedom ride.”

They’re the words of an Ohio shelter founder who help saved Gregory the dog from death row.

Gregory was slated to be euthanized at the Franklin County Dog Shelter in Columbus after testing positive for heartworm, according to rescuers. 

Schenley Hutson Kirk, who co-founded HOUND Rescue and Sanctuary, helped rescue Gregory before the dog was euthanized. She shared a photo of the pooch leaving what could have been its final home.

"’Gregory’ is one thankful and appreciative Beagle!” her Facebook post read. “He KNOWS he is SAFE! He is Heartworm Positive and will be going through treatment, but he knows he is in good hands! We will get him healthy and provide him all the love he so deserves and a wonderful future!!”

The caption was accompanied by a photo of Kirk’s husband, Joe, driving Gregory on a “freedom ride.” In the image, Gregory is seen nuzzling Joe’s shoulder with a paw on Joe’s arm.

Joe told "Today" he drove two hours to pick up the dog, saying the moment he met Gregory it felt like they "known each other for years." 

Normally, the shelter transports dogs in crates, but Joe told "Today" he felt Gregory had been caged up for too long and chose to instead tether him in the back seat. 

“This is what makes it all worthwhile!” Kirk wrote. “This is why we rescue.”

The post has been shared more than 9,000 times since it was posted at the start of the month. Kirk has asked for donations to help with Gregory’s treatment, which can be made here.

The couple said the shelter already has an adoption offer for Gregory since the post went viral. Once the dog is cleared by a vet, the adopters will have their first meet and greet with what could be the newest member of their family. 

Photo Credit: Schenley Hutson Kirk/Facebook
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Save the Date: Help Clear the Shelters on August 18]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:38:19 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dogs-cats-GettyImages-107072782.jpg

NBC and Telemundo stations around the country will team up with hundreds of shelters on Aug. 18 for the fourth annual Clear the Shelters animal adoption drive.


Every year, millions of companion animals end up in shelters. And while shelter adoption rates have been steadily rising since 2011, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, about 1.5 million animals — 860,000 cats and about 670,000 dogs — are euthanized each year due to overcrowding.

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The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. And, by adopting a shelter animal, you actually save two lives.

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"Every single pet that is adopted frees shelter staff up to work with and prepare the next pet for potential adoption," said Kenny Lamberti, director of strategic engagement and companion animals for the Human Society.

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Last year, more than 80,000 pets were adopted from over 900 shelters across the country. Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped 153,651 pets find forever homes.

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So if you’re thinking about taking home a new furry friend, consider heading to a local animal shelter to adopt during Clear the Shelters on Aug. 18, when hundreds of shelters will waive or discount fees as part of the one-day adoption drive.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Prepare Your Pet for the Solar Eclipse]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 13:49:54 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-467008102.jpg

Solar eclipse checklist: Perfect viewing spot? Check. Viewing glasses? If you shopped early, check. Homemade viewing box? Got it! Safety lectures for the kids? Done, done and done! Plan for the family pet? Ummm ...

Over the past few days, several pet parents have expressed concern for the safety of their four-legged family members. Some pets spend a great deal of time outdoors, and their eyes are just as vulnerable to sun damage as ours. We’ve heard the litany of precautions we must take to safeguard our vision. So what about our pets?

In theory, pets can develop solar retinopathy by staring directly at a solar eclipse. And like their human companions, they can suffer permanent vision damage or blindness as a result. Since it’s unreasonable to expect pet owners to control what their pets may look at, most animal care professionals are suggesting taking various precautions. Some are even advising pets be fitted with eclipse viewing glasses. But is that really necessary?

Staring at the sun is not something animals instinctively feel compelled to do. They do not posses the same intrinsic curiosity about the cosmos as we do, and they learn early in life that looking at the sun is painful. It is therefore a safe bet that our pets will not have enough interest in the eclipse to look at it. My own dogs will not be wearing eclipse-friendly glasses. Statistically, they are more likely to scratch their corneas and damage their eyes by trying to claw the glasses from their heads. And if you’ve got one of those dogs who eats anything and everything (like mine!), glasses are likely to end up in his stomach. The simplest and most effective way to protect your pets from eye damage is to bring them inside until the celestial show is over.

Unlike a storm or tornado, an eclipse is not preceded by a drop in barometric pressure. While this shift is imperceptible to most humans, dogs and cats sense it long before anything noticeable happens in the sky. Since there are no recognized sensory precursors to an eclipse, a pet who spends most of his time indoors, may not even realize one is taking place.

What you may notice however, is a behavioral shift toward nighttime behaviors. This might mean settling down and sleeping right through the eclipse, or it may involve anticipating the usual evening activities. I suspect our older dog will stand by her food bowl and bark — in her world, dusk equals dinner. Our less food-driven, younger dog will probably camp near his leash. For him, it’s all about exercise, and darkness equals going for a walk. There may a few hours of slight confusion as their sense of the passing of the day gets disrupted. Anxious pets may seem uneasy or frightened. If your pet is prone to anxiety, and will be spending the day alone, he may be happier in a darkened room where the windows are covered and the lights are turned off. This will make the effect of the eclipse less dramatic. You can also try using a Thundershirt. Species-specific pheromones such as Adaptyl for dogs or Feliway for cats may help pets who appear to be stressed. If they are having an especially tough time, ask your veterinarian if prescription anti-anxiety medications are appropriate. Do not administer any medications intended for human use unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian.

If your nonhuman family includes chickens or other birds, they may settle down to roost, or launch into typically evening vocalizations. Horses, goats, and other farm animals may start walking toward the barn or feeding station, as if expecting the evening routine to begin. Wild animals may be faked out as well, so don’t be surprised to hear crickets in the afternoon.

As with most other unusual events, our pets take their behavioral cues from us. So stay calm and enjoy the show. Or just take a nap. That will suit our four-legged friends just fine.

Dr. Kupkee is the lead practitioner at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic.

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Send him an email by clicking here.

Click here for deals and discounts exclusively for NBC 6 fans.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Having a 'Breed Reveal Party' for Your Rescue Dog]]> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 22:39:08 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ROSIE-RESULTS.jpg

Did you rescue a pet at Clear the Shelters this weekend? How about having a breed reveal party?

My husband and I adopted our pup, Rosie, after working Clear the Shelters last year.

We adore her and people are always asking what breed she is. So, we swabbed her cheek and sent her DNA off to a company called Wisdom Panel to find out (there are other options, too)!

We were so excited to reveal the results that we decided to follow the gender reveal model and had a breed reveal party!

We let everyone guess first. My husband knew the results, though I didn’t, so he set it all up, putting the three breeds the company identified on little pieces of paper inside three balloons.

I popped the balloons and pit bull, Labrador retriever and Great Pyrenees came spilling out!

Great Pyrenees was a huge surprise since she’s not a giant, fluffy white dog.

We say she’s still a purebred Dallas street dog since a quarter was unidentifiable — a mix of hunting and sporting dogs.

The company will send you a whole family tree and it is super neat to discover your rescue’s roots.

Plus, you can learn of any diseases or conditions that are likely to affect your pup.

Now we know what to say when people stop us on the street, asking what our pretty dog is – and it’s always nice to have another reason for a party!

Photo Credit: Alice Barr
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<![CDATA[Mic, Drop It: Dog With Eye for Fame Finds Forever Home]]> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:44:43 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/222*120/8-19-17-Tux-Heads-Home.jpg

Tux the dog, who stole our hearts after his Friday morning appearance on "Today in LA," has found a forever home.

The large black dog first captured our attention when NBC Los Angeles reporter Jonathan Gonzalez asked him for a sound byte early Friday morning. Tux responded with a bite of his own, and snagged the wind screen off Gonzalez's microphone. 

On Saturday, Tux was recognized as "the dog that bit the microphone" and cheered after he walked out of the Pasadena Humane Society sporting a red bandana on a leash held by his new owner.

"I saw him on the website, and I thought, I loved how he looked because he's black and his chest is super cute," his new owner said. "And then I saw him on the Instagram of the Pasadena Humane Society, and then I saw how he bit off the microphone, I thought it was the cutest thing ever."

She said she thinks she'll keep his name, but will have to think about it.

"I'm happy that I'm taking him home," she said.

Tux is one of more than 50,000 pets adopted from more than 900 shelters across the nation in the NBC- and Telemundo-owned television stations' third-annual Clear the Shelters drive, which wraps up Saturday.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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<![CDATA[Man Who Adopted Dog With Heart Murmur: I Have One Too!]]> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:51:19 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/john-dog-1200.jpg

Each of the more than 50,000 pets adopted as part of this year's Clear the Shelters event has a special story, and this is no exception.

John Scannivino, of North Bergen, arrived at the Bergen County Animal Shelter in New Jersey looking for a nice, quiet dog for a companion friend. 

Shelter volunteers had been hoping to find a forever home for a little chihuahua mix who had at BCAS for a long time. 

They introduced the little dog to Scannivino and the two took an instant liking to each other. 

"There's only one issue," the shelter volunteer told Scannivino. "He has a heart murmur."

"That's terrific!" Scannivino said. "I have a heart murmur too!"

It was a perfect match. 

More than 80 area shelters waived or reduced adoption fees on Saturday for Clear the Shelters, an annual adoption event sponsored by NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47. To find a participating shelter, click here

Photo Credit: Pat Battle ]]>
<![CDATA[Chelsea Handler: 'Please Go Rescue a Dog']]> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 17:52:52 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-457522426.jpg

Comedian Chelsea Handler made an emotional plea Saturday, urging people across the country to “please, go rescue a dog."

The talk show host, who was forced last week to put down her beloved rescue dog Tammy, posted a heartfelt video message on social media advocating for pet adoption.

"I got both of my dogs at the pound. Chunk at the L.A. pound and Tammy at the Long Beach pound," Handler began.

She recalled how Tammy was the "ugliest dog I could find," but after taking her home and nursing her back to health, the pup "blossomed, and she bloomed and she was beautiful."

"Unfortunately, today she is no longer with us because I did have to put her down. She was having respiratory failure and kidney failure, and all this other ugly stuff," an emotional Handler said choking back tears.

But, she noted, at least Tammy had someone to love her for the last two years of her life, living the life of luxury in Belair. "Talk about going out in the sunset of your life."

"She added to my life more than I probably added to hers," Handler said. "I love my dog and I will never be able to say how much value dogs bring to your life."

Photo Credit: WireImage
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<![CDATA[NBC Reporter, Boy, Cops Save Dog Darting Through NJ Street]]> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 15:33:49 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/IMG_3562.PNG

Editor's Note: Reporter Pat Battle was covering a story in Hackensack Friday when she encountered a small dog darting through the busy streets. With the help of a boy nearby, several police officers and some other people, the group corralled the stray dog — and became fast friends. This happened one day before NBC 4 and Telemundo 47's annual Clear the Shelters event. Read Pat's heartwarming story below. 


It takes a village to clear the shelters.

Case in point: After filing my story for our 5 p.m. newscast Friday, I spotted a little black dog running across the lawn in front of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack.

The closest person to her was about 50 yards away — a young boy who I assumed the dog had gotten away from and who was trying to catch her. Not. Ethan was only trying to help a dog he assumed was in trouble.

The streets were fast filling up with cars as people exited the busy courthouse on a Friday afternoon. The dog ran into the road, oblivious as the traffic surrounded her.

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The boy was calling her, I was calling her — she listened but didn't obey.

A Hackensack police officer stopped his car to help and joined in the effort to catch the dog. The dog came when I called but dashed away when I tried to grab her. Thus began a 30-minute chase that brought 10 strangers together to catch a dog that weighs less than 10 pounds.

Three police officers, three children and four adults — including this reporter — spent the next 30 to 40 minutes trying to coerce and corral this little dog to safety.

We finally cornered her in a parking lot across the street. Sgt. Anthony DiParisi called for backup. Fortunately, the responding officer was the department's renowned dog whisperer, officer Sean Briggs, and his partner Jessica DeJesus.

Now the little black Chihuaua mix was hiding under a dumpster, lured out inch by inch with morsels of turkey and chicken we got from sources who shall not be named.

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After multiple failed attempts to snag her, Officer Briggs finally grabbed her, and the little dog seemed grateful for the rescue. Licking our hands and faces, tail wagging, she remained clutched in the officer's arms.

With no collar, he had to take her to see if she had a microchip. She's off to the Bergen County animal shelter where she will spend the next seven days.

If no one claims her, Ethan and his mom say they will be thrilled to adopt the little dog that we named "Go-Go" because she never stopped running until she felt the love.

You don't have to go through all this to rescue a little dog or a big one — just help us #ClearTheShelters on Saturday.

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Photo Credit: Provided to Pat Battle/NBC 4 NY
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<![CDATA[Joy Unleashed: Rescue Pet Turns Therapy Dog]]> Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:42:00 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bella-CTS-Mystic.jpg

From tough beginnings to better lives, rescue pets often inspire people with their perseverance. In fact, one Connecticut dog is changing lives with her story.

These days you will find Bella spending her time at work as a therapy dog. She visits schools, hospitals and retirement homes, such as Academy Point at Mystic.

Bella is 10 1/2 years old, and her life is full of meaning and love. However, like a true underdog tale, Bella’s story didn’t start out this way.

“Like a dog unleashed running full out, like the white streak that was Bella,” read Bella’s owner, Jean Baur.

Baur lives in Stonington and wrote a book based on Bella's life called “Joy Unleashed: The Story of Bella, the Unlikely Therapy Dog.” Bella’s story started far from Connecticut on a beach in Puerto Rico.

“Dead Dog Beach is particularly sad because dogs are not only dumped there, they are tortured, they are killed, so she was a very lucky survivor,” said Baur.

Baur adopted Bella and notes that, at first, the transition was tough.

“She was a wild puppy. She was so wild in fact we had to have her on a leash in the house,” said Baur.

The vet suggested something to keep Bella busy: to work as a therapy dog. 

“I think Bella communicates with residents in a way people can't,” said Nancy Chaput, the director of community relations at Academy Point, an assisted living center for seniors. 

Chaput said Bella has brought so much joy to the residents, that most of them have read her book. The book helps speak for Bella, but really it’s her wagging tail and constant companionship that is her real communication.

“I wish my Bichon was here, but my Bichon is gone. And to see another dog here it's a wonderful feeling. It's a feeling of home again,” said Marge Ciminera, a resident of Academy Point.

It’s a welcome home, only a rescue can understand.

“Bella didn't mind not having the words, she spoke fluently with her whole body, a gift to all she serves and was simply joy unleashed,” the book closed. 

<![CDATA[These Pet Rescue Stories Will Warm Your Heart]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:48:27 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/julia-and-walter.jpg

Every year, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Of those, nearly 1.5 million cats and dogs are euthanized due to overcrowding in shelters and another 2.3 million are adopted into forever homes. Click on the pets below to read their heartwarming adoption success stories and rescue tales.

Photo Credit: Chrissy, Julia's Mother
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<![CDATA[Cardinals, St. Louis Group in Spat Over 'Rally Cat' Custody]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 22:52:53 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17222136197280.jpg

A custody battle is brewing in St. Louis over the now-famous cat that darted across the field during a Cardinals game against Kansas City. 

The feral feline who interrupted the Aug. 9 game while the bases were loaded, won the hearts of Cardinal fans when catcher Yadier Molina hit a home run on the next pitch after the delay, helping St. Louis win 8-5. The cat was credited with inspiring the grand slam, and dubbed "Rally Cat."

A grounds crew worker eventually caught the feisty feline, then lost it when he put the cat down to get treatment for bites.

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The Cardinals released a statement hoping that the cat would be found so the team could “properly care for it.” A day later, the cat was found by the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach (STLFCO), the animal organization that is currently caring for the feline.

Now, the ownership of the animal is in dispute, with the shelter and Watermon exchanging catty comments on social media. 

In a Facebook post Wednesday updating fans on Rally Cat's health status, the STLFCO said it had received "thousands of inquiries" about adopting the cat. The next day, Cardinals spokesman Ron Watermon told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the center promised to give the cat to the team after a 10-day quarantine ends Monday.

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The STLFCO fired back hours later, writing in a Facebook post that they made no such promise to Watermon and noting that making false statements goes against "The Cardinal Way."

"We have neither the PR staff nor the skilled volunteers to engage in a media dialog with Mr Watermon's old-school PR tactics, so this note will be all we have to say on his position," the statement read.

It goes on to say that the group contacted Watermon earlier in the week and "just now got a voicemail reply from him. Our Board Member team consists of non-paid volunteers who have full time jobs outside of STLFCO. Due to our many commitments and complex schedules, we told the Cardinals we'd be delighted to meet later this month, the first time the entire group can meet with them to discuss the situation."

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Watermon responded to the STLFCO in an email to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, saying, "It is personally hurtful to me, irresponsible and, frankly, childish," Watermon wrote. "There is no need for the organization to personally attack me for doing my job."

Meanwhile, the team is planning a Rally Cat Appreciation Night at Busch Stadium on Sept. 10. Feral Cat Outreach said it hoped the cat will be well enough to attend the ceremony. But as the spat plays out, it remains to be seen whether the guest of honor will make an appearance.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Celebs Share Heartwarming Stories of Their Shelter Pets]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 19:41:15 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/CTS+CELEB+PETS_NYLIVE.jpg

Singer Miley Cyrus, actor Justin Theroux, host Mario Lopez and actress Lori Loughlin share heartwarming stories with People magazine about their shelter pets.

"Glee" star Jane Lynch also talks about adopting her first dog after filming the mokumentary "Best in Show."

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Watch Live]]> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 14:01:33 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cts-stream-thumbs.jpg

From coast to coast, animal shelters across the country have partnered with NBC and Telemundo owned stations to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, Aug. 19.

Check in on some of the shelters participating in this year's event and watch adorable pets meet their forever families in real time.

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<![CDATA[Mass. Shelter Takes Specialized Approach to Pet Adoption]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:11:12 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Specialized_Approach_to_Pet_Adoption_in_Hopkinton.jpg

The Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, takes a specialized approach to helping each pet find the right home. Volunteer Kim Melanson says it's not about a pet's physical appearance, it's about their personality and the shelter works hard to match each dog or cat with the right family. 

<![CDATA[Pets and Car Safety: How to Choose the Right Restraints]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:25:18 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dog+car+restraint.jpg

Clear the Shelters is Saturday, and if you're planning on adopting a shelter pet, you may want to consider a safe way to get them home.

With summer coming to a close, and fall and winter holidays right around the corner, you might be planning a trip — family pets included. But before you hit the road with your pooch in tow, you'll want to consider a few safety measures.

During a crash, or if you slam on the brakes, pets can act as projectiles if they are not properly secured. And they can also distract drivers from keeping their eyes on the road.

The market is full of pet restraining products, everything from harnesses to carriers, however many labeled "crash tested" are based only on manufacturers' claims.

In 2015, the Center for Pet Safety — along with Subaru — rigorously tested carriers and crates to find which devices keep four-legged travel companions safest in the event of a crash. They tested harnesses, crates for bigger dogs, and carriers for small dogs and cats and concluded among the top performing pet restraints are the Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate crate ($500), the Sleepypod Mobile Pet bed carrier (starting at $170), and the Pet Ego Jet Set Forma Frame with Latch Connection (about $150).

The CPS said the Gunner Kennels crate withstood the most significant force generated in the crash study and the two leading carriers fully contained test dogs.

Subaru recommends pet owners choose a crate or carrier appropriately sized for their dog - usually about six inches longer than the dog’s body. Owners should secure crates using strength-rated cargo area anchor straps, not elastic or rubber bungee cords.

"We at Subaru recognize the importance of keeping the entire family safe on the road, including our beloved pets,” said Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications, in a press release.

There are currently no performance standards or test protocols to verify manufacturers’ claims that their crates and carriers are safe. CPS hopes to establish such standards with data found through their studies.

Traveling safely with pets takes some extra planning, but in the end Consumer Reports says, it's worth it.

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports]]>
<![CDATA[How to Make Apartment Living Work for You and Your Pup]]> https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Bergs-dog.jpg

Living in an apartment with your canine companion isn’t much different from living with a human roommate: They don't clean, they don’t pay for groceries and you're starting to suspect they don't even have a job.

But canine roommates present additional, unique challenges.

Arguably the biggest challenge for dog owners in apartments is having to escort their furry friend outside for all exercise — and all bathroom — breaks. That means rain, shine, sleet, snow, 6 a.m. or 3 a.m. or 11:30 p.m. — buddy, you’ve got to put on your pants.

"If you’re living in an apartment with a dog, first and foremost the onus is more on you to get the dog out for all of his or her needs," says Mike Kaviani. Kaviani is the Director of Lifesaving Operations at the no-kill shelter Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas, and he says apartment living can in some cases actually benefit your pup.

"As long as the owner is committed to getting the dog out for fun outings, the dogs actually end up getting more activity and more outings and more time with their person," he says. Kaviani knows from personal experience: He lived in a studio apartment with the first dog he owned as an adult, and he recalls having to "leash him up and go out there."

"As long as you're willing to do that — I mean, he had so much activity." With multiple daily outings, Kaviani realized he and his pup were both getting more activity because of their apartment lifestyle.

"So, I actually think it can be a real win for the dog," he said.

Anthony Newman, a canine behavior consultant in New York City, echoes Kaviani on the activity level of house dogs versus that of apartment dogs.

"Often, in fact, I find dogs in suburban areas suffer from 'suburban dog syndrome,' lacking adequate socialization, exercise and leadership due to lack of regular daily owner-led walks, obedience work and daily off-leash social play in dog parks," Newman says.

He says he noticed his family's dogs, while growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, had behavior issues stemming from lack of discipline and socialization.

"City dogs can end up being the calmest, most social, peaceful and obedient dogs around," Newman noted.

No matter how committed you are to your apartment dog, however, you're going to have to leave him or her alone sometimes. And since apartments do not have doggie doors, your pup can't just stroll outside for business purposes.

If you know that you won’t be able to get back to walk your pup at the usual time, that’s fine — you can hire a professional or convince a trusted neighbor to come by to walk your dog.

There is likely a dog-walking service of some kind in your neighborhood — research online and ask other dog owners in the area to find a service that works for you. Try to meet the person who’ll be walking your dog if they’re going to be doing so on a regular basis.

You should also give a trusted person in your building a set of your keys; if you’re away and the building needs to be evacuated for any reason, you’ll want someone to help get your pup out, too.

Speaking of neighbors, they present another significant difference between apartment dog life and house dog life.

You should make an effort to introduce your dog to your apartment neighbors, especially those who live on your floor and those directly above you and below you. It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself to anyone in your building with young children — you can let parents know whether your dog is cool with kids. Make clear to your neighbors what your dog's boundaries are, and be consistent in your interactions with them.

Another thing about apartment neighbors is their physical proximity to you.  

It's important to remember that dogs are not silent. Barking is not the only noise dogs make — they like to play, to run around and toss and catch. And it’s fine to play those games indoors with your dog, but if you have people below you, just keep in mind what time of day or night it is when you break out that hard plastic toy your dog likes to throw against the floor. If your floors aren’t carpeted, getting an area rug (probably not an expensive one) will help muffle noises for people below and will also help protect hardwood floors from scuffing.

If your dog reacts to your absence by barking herself hoarse while you are gone, this is a problem (unless you never leave, but that actually sounds like a different kind of problem). Not only will this incessant row irritate your neighbors — maybe enough to complain to your landlord — it’s also a sign that your pup isn’t able to relax when you go out to do the human stuff you have to do.

"Separation anxiety," says Newman, can be a problem for your nervous pet, and then for you and even your neighbors — some dogs bark, or whine, to express their anxiety.

To help curb some of that separation anxiety, Newman emphasizes the importance of creating a calm, relaxing space for your pup within your apartment. If she views the apartment as the place where you and she play around and have fun — and not as the place where you do that AND the place where she hangs out and sleeps in her own bed — "when you leave, [s]he barks and tears the place up. Also guarding, digging, chewing, and other destructive behaviors" can present as symptoms of separation anxiety.

Newman says to help your dog get accustomed to chilling solo in a new living environment, it's best to make sure your pet's "exhausted and fulfilled mentally, physically and socially, and feeling comfortable at home with her bed, toys and chews" before leaving her alone in the place.

Kaviani recommends teaching your dog new tricks or providing them with brain-stimulating puzzle toys indoors to keep them entertained in the smaller space.

So, if you've got an apartment but want a dog, or if you've got a dog but want to move into an apartment, you should start by considering your dog's needs and temperament, Kaviani says. "If the dog can handle being in an elevator with strange people, and sometimes strange dogs," he shouldn't have an unusually rough time adapting to apartment lifestyle.

"Where it can go poorly, or where you’ll find some challenges, though, would be if the context or living environment isn’t conducive to the dog’s needs," says Kaviani. He cautions that if you have a dog with some shyness or some fearful behavior, they may not be comfortable hopping in and out of elevators or winding their way through crowded hallways and staircases. You should do your best to find a living space that won't cause too much additional stress on your pet. 

But, he says, "don't overthink it."

"Dogs don’t need a mansion to live in. They don’t need a certain amount of square footage to meet their standards. Really, when they’re home, they just want to chill with you, their person." The living arrangement would only become a problem, he says, if your work or life schedule isn't "conducive to spending a good amount of time with your dog."

Apartment living with your dog requires a more serious commitment than living with your dog in a house with a fenced-in yard. 

Anthony Newman's tips for moving yourself and your dog(s) to a new apartment:

  • Establish a plan to exercise and socialize your dog multiple hours a day from the get-go. Call and interview walkers, walking services and/or daycares. Do research on the local dog parks. When moving in, especially the first few weeks, exhaust your dog mentally, physically and socially, so he can start to condition the new home positively.
  • When moving in, set your dogs’ beds down (the more the merrier!) as a first item of furniture. Work the "go to your bed" command early and often. Experiment with "long rewards", e.g. Kongs stuffed with wet food and chews like bully sticks.
  • When you initially enter your new home, keep your dog on leash and lead her around to every room. You lead and introduce to minimize marking and other destructive behaviors.
  • Be careful of the first few times you leave her home alone to minimize separation anxiety. If you start the ball rolling, it will worsen; so get off to a good start by having your dog exhausted and fulfilled mentally, physically and socially, and feeling comfortable at home with her bed, toys and chews, before you leave her alone in the place for the first time. Then, leave very briefly and return soon. Repeat as needed, leaving for gradually longer periods. After a week of conditioning, most dogs should be fine being left alone for a few hours.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Berg/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[The Luxurious Lifestyle of New York's Poshest Pooches]]> Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:21:05 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1LK_3334_NYCDogs_WEB.jpg

Get a taste of the high life, New York style. From a five-star hotel exclusively for dogs to a puppy pool party in the Hamptons, it's clear that NYC really has gone to the dogs!

<![CDATA[Good Human! Dog Training Is About Teaching Owners: Expert]]> https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/206*120/pet+training.jpg

When it comes to training canines, one South Florida-based dog trainer says it's less about teaching the dog and more about focusing on the pet parent.

Holly Blakney is a trainer at Dog Training Academy of South Florida, which offers obedience, agility, trick and therapy dog classes. She says most of her clients attend classes with specific requests, such as teaching the dog to respond to a command like "sit."

However, if dog owners aren’t planning to use commands daily, it might not be worth teaching them, Blakney said. She recommends using training to teach the dog everyday skills.

"When they’re coming in, we want to make sure we’re training the people to train the dogs," Blakney said. "And make sure they know how to communicate with the dog."

Blakney says dogs can be trained by their owners at home, though she notes that its helpful to implement some variation of training because of the socialization element of formal classes.

She has experience working with shelter dogs and suggested that some dogs that end up in shelters are there due to behavioral issues caused by inadequate training.

"Part of the reason a lot of dogs might end up in a shelter is because people are having a hard time living with the dog," Blakney said. "We work on obedience, but I really want to teach them how to live with the dog."

Shelters are among the best places to pick new dogs, Blakney said, because you get a sense of the dog’s actual personality. And that can be helpful when it comes to training.

She also says there is no "best time" to start training your dog. Canines are able to learn new skills throughout their lives.

Nonetheless, Blakney recommends being patient when picking a shelter pet. Selecting a dog with a personality that meets specific wants and needs will prove to be beneficial as the dog develops new habits, she said.

"If you don’t get those butterflies in your stomach when you meet a dog, it’s OK," Blakney said. "You don’t have to feel bad and take a dog to take a dog. Find something that’s going to match your personality and that you can work with."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Meow Factor: The Felines of CatCon]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:28:49 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/a+pile+of+BUBS-thumbnail.jpg CatCon 2017, a two-day festival of all things feline, returned to Southern California on August 12-13.

Photo Credit: CatCon]]>
<![CDATA[Beth Stern, Katie Lee Talk Clear the Shelters and 'Pethood']]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:53:25 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/Katie+Lee+Beth+Stern.jpg

Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive to help animals in need finding loving homes, will take place on Saturday, August 19.

This year's event hosts, celebrity chef Katie Lee and Beth Stern, stopped by the "Today Show" to talk about the initiative.

They also brought along a few rescues from North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, New York, who are in need of forever homes.

Stern advised potential pet parents to assess their lifestyle before going through with an adoption, noting "pethood is hard."

Photo Credit: 'Today'
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<![CDATA[6 Free Apps for Pet Owners]]> Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:35:39 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-77541854.jpg Nowadays, caring for your pet has never been easier and more enjoyable.From finding a pet sitter and setting up play dates to handling medical emergencies and training your pet, there’s an app for that.Whether your looking to better fulfill your pets needs or find resources to help you with yours, these free pets apps have you covered.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Family Dogs Save Grandkids From Venomous Snake]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:55:50 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/Paco+Saves+Kids.jpg

When a venomous snake slithered into a yard where two young children were playing in Southwest Florida, a pair of four-legged good Samaritans came to the rescue.

Melissa Butt's grandchildren, 4-year-old Zayden and 1-year-old Mallory, were playing in the yard of her Hillsborough County home when her dogs spotted a copperhead snake just inches away from the children. 

Slayer and Paco jumped in and began barking at the venomous creature. The snake attacked the dogs, biting both pooches and injecting them with highly poisonous venom. Slayer suffered deep wounds on his face and snout, while Paco was struck in the leg.

Butt rushed the dogs to an emergency clinic and they were given life-saving antivenin.

"They don't ask for anything. All they want is your love, so it's very hard to see them in need, and not be able to do a whole lot for them," said Butt.

The family received help from the animal rescue group Frankie's Friends, which launched a fundraiser to help them pay for the costly life-saving treatment.

Meanwhile, Paco has returned home and Slayer is still recovering at the clinic.

Photo Credit: WFLA]]>
<![CDATA[Peter Dinklage to 'GoT' Fans: Buying Direwolf Huskies Hurts 'Deserving Homeless Dogs']]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 21:37:56 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP182340316464.jpg The staggering success of "Game of Thrones" has led to an alarming trend in the pet world. "GOT" fans, coveting the HBO show’s direwolves, have been buying the closest animal they can find to the striking fictional canines: Huskies. This demand has led to an increase in the irresponsible breeding of this dog.
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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Newborn Photoshoot Features Adorable Tiny Puppies]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:44:40 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/puppies-3.jpg Baby photographer Kelly Frankenburg of 11 Sixteen Photography in Richmond, Va., love animals and started fostering pets from the city shelter.When her latest fosters arrived, she couldn't help but line the trio of puppies up for a heartwarming photo shoot. Check out the photos of Chihuahua mom, Mama Paris, and her three roly-poly, 2-week-old babies — Tito, Messi and Love Bug.

Photo Credit: 11 Sixteen Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Tiny Shelter Puppies Get Newborn Photoshoot]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:10:58 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Sixteen+Photography.jpg

Kelly Frankenburg is a newborn and baby photographer who works out of her home studio 11 Sixteen Photography in Richmond, Virginia. She is also an animal lover.

She, her husband Mark and their two children recently started fostering animals from city shelter Richmond Animal Care and Control, People Pets reported.

The most recent critters to come under the Frankenburgs’ foster care were a Chihuahua mom, Mama Paris, and her three roly-poly, 2-week-old babies — Tito, Messi and Love Bug.

After waiting a few days for the canine family to settle in, Frankenburg put together a few newborn shots, styling the session just like she does for human infants, and found that the pups took to modeling pretty quick.

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Photo Credit: 11 Sixteen Photography]]>
<![CDATA[NY Firefighters Adopt Puppy Rescued From Burning Apartment]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:41:50 +0000 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Newburgh+Firefighters+Puppy.jpg

A puppy who was rescued from a burning apartment in New York is now being adopted by the firefighters who saved his life.

When Newburgh firefighters responded to the blaze on August 3, they heard reports that two puppies were missing, People Pets reported. Firefighter Chris Baum found one of the dogs and brought it outside to give the pooch CPR. The puppy didn't survive.

They ran back inside and found the other dog, Titus, under a bed.

"I brought him outside and began treating him with oxygen and trying to take care of his burns, assisted by firefighter Jimmy Moore,” Lt. Timothy Dexter said.

After learning that the puppy's owner wasn't interested in keeping the 6- to 8-week-old pit bull, Moore decided to keep the dog and Dexter offered to help him care for it.

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Photo Credit: City of Newburgh Fire Department
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