Thursday, June 25, 2009

The ScareCrow in Action

I previously blogged about humane cat deterrents and I recently saw a video on YouTube demonstrating how the ScareCrow sprinkler works, so I wanted to revisit the topic.

From experience, the number one complaint individuals have about cats is that they use yards, flowerbeds, and gardens as their own personal litter boxes. As soon as you turn over the dirt and plant new flowers or vegetables, you will see a cat surveying the soil to find a good spot to leave you a present. It's like cats have radar for fresh soil!

But do NOT be discouraged, thanks to the ScareCrow, you can keep your yard feces and cat free! (All the while, being humane to animals!)

How It Works

The Scarecrow senses animals the same way security lights detect people, by movement and heat. When an animal is detected, a valve opens instantly releasing a three-second pulsating spray of water. The combination of the sudden noise, movement, and water frightens animals away. This startling, yet harmless action is a remarkably effective deterrent.

Works on Deer, Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Raccoons, Squirrels, and Birds! The ScareCrow will keep plants safe from becoming deer and rabbit meals too.

Please watch the video below to see the ScareCrow in action!

For more information and to purchase one please visit:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres Fires Back at Gov. Schwarznegger

So just the other day I blogged about Gov. Schwarznegger's plan to reduce the number of days a shelter animal in CA has before being killed. Well, ACR wasn’t the only ones to disapprove of his proposal; Ellen DeGeneres has started a Twitter campaign to protest the Governor’s plan.

According to Franny's Cats Blog on, it took less that a day to reply to Ellen with a Tweet of his own:

Thank you for sharing your concerns with Governor Schwarzenegger about the proposal to lift restrictions on hold times at animal shelters. The Governor values your input during these challenging economic times.

As you know, we are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. We now face a budget shortfall that has grown to $24.3 billion. The Governor has proposed cuts that he would have never proposed except in a worst-case scenario, including eliminating General Fund support for programs like Healthy Families, CalWORKs, Cal Grants and State Parks. This was not an easy decision for the Governor. As a dog owner himself, he has always supported animal welfare and worked to ensure the humane treatment of animals.

Currently, the state requires all shelters to hold stray animals for four or six days and reimburses them for the associated costs. To address our budget crisis, the Governor has proposed to suspend some Non-Proposition 98 mandates, including the reimbursement funds for these shelters. To help local shelters deal with the challenges of this difficult budget situation, the Governor has also proposed that the state no longer require the four or six day hold time. Shelters still have the flexibility to keep the animals for more days, but the Governor's proposal avoids placing an unnecessary burden on local communities.

As the Governor works with his partners in the Legislature to find solutions to these problems, know that he will keep your thoughts in mind. Working together, he believes we can weather this storm and start the slow but steady march back toward prosperity.


Jenna Anderson
Office of Constituent Affairs

With that said, it would be wonderful, Governor, for shelters to increase the number of holding days, but that will NOT happen. Consequently, the opposite will happen. With shelters more crowded than ever and state funding being cut, this plan will inevitably lead many shelters to increase the euthanasia rate. Arnold's proposal might help balance his budget, but it will most definitely NOT help the animals.

Again, please tell Gov. Schwarzenegger NOT to balance his budget at the expense of helpless animals.

How You Can Help:

• Contact Governor Schwarznegger
o Email:
o Phone: 916-445-2841
o Fax: 916-558-3160
• Locate and Contact Your State Legislators

Thursday, June 11, 2009

International Day of Action for Dogs and Cats in Korea

Picture: Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica's Advocacy for Animals

In Defense of Animals (IDA) will again be co-sponsoring this worldwide event to stop the terrible suffering these animals endure. IDA continues to work with the South Korean animal protection organization Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) to end the brutal slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption.

According to IDA’s website, two million South Korean dogs are electrocuted, strangled, or bludgeoned to death each year. They are killed in the cruelest ways imaginable, because some Koreans believe the adrenaline that rushes through the system will improve virility. Eyewitnesses have reported dogs being torn apart while still alive; their tormentors saying that the more prolonged the torment of death, the better the taste.

On July 14, IDA intends to have activists posted at the Korean Embassy in Washington D.C. and as many Korean Consulates and Embassies around the world as possible. There are Korean Consulates in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Honolulu, and Newton, Massachusetts. If you would like to help coordinate a demonstration in any of these cities, please contact or (415) 448-0048 ex. 211. They will provide you with all the materials you need such as posters and brochures to have a successful and effective protest.

Demonstrations already scheduled for July 14:

San Francisco, California:
Demonstration at the Korean Consulate
3500 Clay St., San Francisco, CA.
11 a.m. - 12 noon
signs and leaflets provided
contact or (415) 448-0043 ex. 211

Los Angeles, California:
Demonstration at the Korean Consulate
3243 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.
11 a.m. - 12 noon
signs and leaflets provided
contact or (310) 301-7730

Washington, DC:
Demonstration at the Korean Consulate
2320 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, D.C.
11 a.m. - 12 noon
signs and leaflets provided
contact or (757) 374-8112

Seattle, Washington:
Korean Embassy
2033 Sixth Ave. #1125, Seattle, Washington, 98121
11 a.m. - 12 noon
contact: Sandy Clinton: or (206) 618-4930

What ELSE You Can Do:

Send letters, fax, e-mail to:
Ambassador Duk-soo Han
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
2320 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 939-5600
Fax: (202) 797-0595
ACR has also been in contact with the International Aid for Korean Animals (IAKA), a non-profit organization founded by Kyenan Kum in 1997 to promote animal protection and humane education in Korea. ACR has financially assisted IAKA with their campaigning to stop the cruelty of the dog and cat meat industry in Korea. IAKA is also working to translate our feral cat handbook into Korean for their new Adoption and Education Center in Seoul (South Korea’s capital). The picture above is of a mother cat and her kittens for sale in a Korean market; such animals are touted as the source of medicinal tonics and fraudulent “cures” for ailments such as rheumatism and arthritis. According to IAKA, “dramatic distortions of Korean culture [have promoted] all kinds of new animal products in Korea based on unchecked exploitation of Korea’s animals and environment.”

For more information on IDA and their Korea Campaign, please visit:

For more information on IAKA, please visit:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mt. Olive, NJ Cats in the News Again

At the beginning of May, the Mt. Olive Township Board of Health voted to trap and kill stray and feral cats in the area, despite several residents’ requests to implement a TNR program. Now, this past Tuesday night, the township council agreed to try to schedule the health officer and animal control officer to be present at its next meeting to continue the discussion on the program to TNR feral cats.

According to an article in The Star-Ledger, "'trap, neuter, return' would improve Mount Olive," Michelle Lerner said, who proposed TNR to the council. "This has really developed into a movement of residents." Tom DeVoe, a township resident who teaches at the middle school, added, "I ask you to consider this program because it is very important. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain."

ACR has received letters from a few Mt. Olive residents (and ACR members), wanting to make us aware of the situation and to express their support of TNR. Again, we also sent a letter to the township council members encouraging them to implement a TNR program, explaining its many benefits, but we received no response. For the cats’ sake, we hope Mt. Olive makes the humane decision to TNR instead of killing.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pet Poison Helpline

Thanks to Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC for the following information:

I wanted to make you aware of an important resource out there also - Pet Poison Helpline is an additional Animal Poison Control Center, and it's one of the most cost-effective animal poison ($35/case vs. ASPCA's new $60/case) controls out there nowadays. Unfortunately, because animal poison controls are not federal- or state-funded, there is a fee to allow the service to be run 24-7.

The Pet Poison Helpline number is 1-800-213-6680.
And the website is

Dr. Justine Lee is the Associate Director of Veterinary Services for the Pet Poison Helpline.
Her website is

Another Decision by Schwarznegger NOT in Favor of Animals

We all know that the US’s and the World’s economy are in terrible shape and cut backs need to be made everywhere possible, but to cut costs at the expense of voiceless animals' lives is going entirely too far.

The time mandated in the State of California from the day an animal is admitted to a shelter to the day of its death by euthanasia is currently six days. However, in his latest budget proposal, Gov. Schwarznegger wants to cut that reprieve back to three days. This barely allows time for owners to discover their cat is missing! Not to mention, the time it takes the owner to track him down at a local shelter and then arrange for his release. Plus, add in all the day-to-day dealings that make such a situation even more complicated (work hours, shelter hours, transportation arrangements), and numerous cats with owners would die needlessly!!

And this is not the first time Schwarzenegger has made life harder for animals. In 2004, he proposed a similar law to decrease the holding time for animals at shelters, but was cut down by his constituents and backed off. And again, in 2008, when he proposed taxing veterinary care, classifying it as a "luxury," but was again defeated by a public outcry.

Kiska Icard, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told SFGate that suspending the state requirement on animal shelters to hold strays at least six days to save the state $24.6 million would result in euthanizing more animals. "Obviously monies need to come from somewhere, but to do it on the backs of these animals is just really sad," she said.

How You Can Help:

STOP the proposal:

• Contact Governor Schwarznegger
o Email:
o Phone: 916-445-2841
o Fax: 916-558-3160
• Locate and Contact Your State Legislators

PROTECT your pets if the proposal does go into affect:

• Keep Your Cats Indoors
10 Reasons Why:
• Identify Your Cat With a Microchip or Tattoo
Info on Identification:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Beltsville. Maryland – June 4, 2009 – As National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week approaches, Christi and John Fries of Terrapin Pets are joining forces with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) for the “Presents 4 Pets” campaign, an annual collection drive benefiting pets in shelters and providing items desperately needed to help keep shelters operational, and animals comfortable and safe.

This national program, sponsored annually by NAPPS, will run until the first week of November, coinciding with National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week observed November 1-7. As part of this annual program, Terrapin Pets and other NAPPS members across the country are reaching out to their clients and encouraging them to collect and donate product for this worthy cause. Items such as toys, treats, un-opened packages of pet food, blankets, towels, rugs, beds, bleach, leashes, collars, coupons, and newspapers are all being solicited.

“Through this program, we hope to generate awareness of community shelters and the important role they serve,” commented Christi Fries, Owner of Terrapin Pets. “This is a great opportunity for all animal lovers, pet owner or not, to get involved and make a difference. Through your donations, you’ll be supporting the shelter and possibly saving a shelter animal. We have selected Alley Cat Rescue, of Mt. Ranier, MD, to be the recipient of all cat items donated; we’re working with other local shelters that are in great need of dog and exotic/small pet items.”

The Terrapin Pets staff of employees provides professional pet sitting services, such as midday dog walks, vacation care, administration of medications as prescribed by veterinarians, and pet taxi service for clients in the Beltsville, Laurel, Burtonsville, Greenbelt, College Park, and Silver Spring areas. Licensed, bonded, and insured, Terrapin Pets was awarded the NAPPS 2009 Business of the Year and 2009 Members in Action awards. Ms. Fries also holds many state, trade association, and pet-care related certifications. She is also currently completing Department of Homeland Security Citizen Emergency Response Team, (CERT) training in cooperation with Prince Georges County and the City of Bowie. The Fries family is a dedicated caretaker, foster parent, and TNR service providers for feral cat colonies in Prince Georges County. “The Terrapin Pets Team is committed to their mission of Education, Experience, and Empathy, offering the unrivaled professional service to families and their beloved pets, and volunteer services in our community,” said Christi Fries, Owner/Operator of Terrapin Pets.

NAPPS is a national trade association dedicated to promoting the concept of in-home pet care, supporting the professionals engaged in at-home pet care, promoting the welfare of animals and improving and expanding the industry of pet sitting. NAPPS provides valuable credibility, networking and education to help foster the success of their members. The association also actively works to promote the value of pet sitting, and to advocate the welfare of animals.

For more information, contact Christi Fries, Owner/Operator of Terrapin Pets at PO Box 522, Beltsville, MD 20704. Cell 202-528-3271, fax 301-595-8995,,
Christi Fries has been volunteering her time to help with ACR's TNR program. We thank her so very much!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

AquaDent Pet Oral Health Product Contains Deadly Xylitol

I read an article today written by Susan Thixton, also known as "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food and ingredients information, and I wanted to share some of what I read. The article was on AquaDent Pet Oral Health Product and one of its main ingredients being Xylitol; which is toxic to cats and dogs.

According to the article, “many pet owners are aware that the sugar substitute Xylitol, found in many sugar free chewing gums, is toxic to [pets]. However few pet owners would think to look for Xylitol listed as an ingredient in a pet oral health product; especially one that claims to be developed by 'Veterinary Dental Specialists'. Yet, the pet oral health product C.E.T. AquaDent lists Xylitol as the third ingredient.”

Numerous pet retail stores sell AquaDent, including According to their website, "C.E.T. AquaDent is a drinking water additive formulated by veterinary dental specialists to help freshen your pet's breath and maintain oral hygiene in conjunction with regular home dental care for your pet;” however, it provides no warning of Xylitol toxicity to animals.

Again, “according to Dr. Eric Dunayer, veterinarian and toxicologist for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, there appears to be a strong link between xylitol ingestion and the development of liver failure in dogs. It was previously thought that only large amounts of xylitol could result in problems for dogs, however recently even small amounts of xylitol can result in severe illness in dogs (and believed to affect cats and other animals as well).”

In doing her research, Susan consulted, a website known for debunking or confirming urban legends. According to this site, just three grams of Xylitol can kill a 65 pound dog. "Because the amount of sweetener used in sugar free chewing gums varies by manufacturer and product, the number of sticks of gum that would prove fatal to a pooch of that size can't be stated with precision. As a general rule of thumb, between eight and ten pieces of gum might be deadly to a 65 pound canine, but a smaller dog could easily die after ingesting far less (perhaps as few as two sticks of gum)."

Lastly, Susan points out that AquaDent also contains dyes linked to cancer and numerous other health risks, and it is manufactured by (Virbac Animal Health) a company that was on the FDA warning letter list (December 10, 2008) for violations of current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations, and who’s heartworm preventative was recalled on 2/11/2004 “due to contamination of Minocycline, a FDA approved human drug which has not been approved in species other than humans."

Susan finished with a good question and some great advice for all pet owners: “Why would a pet product, formulated by ‘veterinary dental specialists’, contain an ingredient that is known to be toxic to dogs? It's illogical and reckless. The moral of the story is this, read the ingredients of every single product provided to your pet. Just because a pet product is ‘formulated by veterinary specialists’ doesn't mean it's safe.”

To read the entire article and learn more about the author, please go to

Nutro Dry Cat Food Recall

From a Press Release on May 21, 2009:

Nutro Products announced a voluntary recall of select varieties of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO® MAX® Cat Dry Foods with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010. The cat food is being voluntarily recalled in the United States and ten additional countries. This recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in our finished product resulting from a production error by a US-based premix supplier.

Two mineral premixes were affected. One premix contained excessive levels of zinc and under-supplemented potassium. The second premix under-supplemented potassium. Both zinc and potassium are essential nutrients for cats and are added as nutritional supplements to NUTRO® dry cat food.

This issue was identified during an audit of our documentation from the supplier. An extensive review confirmed that only these two premixes were affected. This recall does not affect any NUTRO® dog food products, wet dog or cat food, or dog and cat treats.

Affected product was distributed to retail customers in all 50 states, as well as to customers in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Israel. We are working with all of our distributors and retail customers, in both the US and internationally, to ensure that the recalled products are not on store shelves. These products should not be sold or distributed further.

Consumers who have purchased affected product should immediately discontinue feeding the product to their cats and switch to another product with a balanced nutritional profile. While we have received no consumer complaints related to this issue, cat owners should monitor their cat for symptoms, including a reduction in appetite or refusal of food, weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat is experiencing health issues or is pregnant, please contact your veterinarian.

Consumers who have purchased product affected by this voluntary recall should return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another NUTRO® dry cat food product. Cat owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-800-833-5330 between the hours 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM CST, or visit

For a complete list of the dry cat food being recalled, please click on this link