Berkeley Hosts First Annual Pet Parade
Pets clad in all sorts of costumes strutted their way down the streets of Berkeley in the city’s first Pet Parade on June 3. Part of the Berkeley Sunday Streets festival, the parade brought together members of the East Bay’s pet-owning community to have fun and compete for prizes for awesome pet costumes.
“It’s really just a way to do something fun and silly,” Meredith Metz, the event’s organizer, told the East Bay Times. “It’s a good community and family event.”
Apu, a golden retriever who belongs to Bhavna Kapoor, a Berkeley resident, won best-dressed dog for his lion costume. Yogi, identified by owners as a “thera-poodle,” and family came home with the best-dressed pet and owner award, thanks to matching top hats and poodle skirts.
“It’s good to see your neighbors and other people in the community here on a nice day,” Kapoor said, praising the parade for the camaraderie it built.
The parade started at Cedar and Shattuck in the Walgreen’s parking lot, where representatives of Holistic Hound greeted owners and pets to get them off on the right paw. It ended at Durant and Shattuck.
Various East Bay organizations, including Berkeley Animal Care Services, Berkeley Humane Society, and Jiminy’s contributed treats, toys, and goodies for the winners’ bags and provided snacks and water at the parade.
Berkeley Sunday Streets is a big, all-ages community event for people and their pets to stroll, cycle, dance, and make joyful play on selected closed-off blocks of Shattuck to Telegraph.
Fun In The Sun
The eighth annual Three Legged Dog Picnic took place June 8 at Duboce Park in San Francisco. While the name of the event highlights amputee pups, all handicapped canines — from dogs with one eye or casts to those using a wheelchair or brace — were welcomed to the picnic. A local San Franciscan, Franny Naserole, began the free event to celebrate canines hampered with disabilities after watching a three-legged dog chasing a Frisbee in a park.
“I thought, ‘What if there were two three-legged dogs chasing that Frisbee,’ ” she said to KQED “‘or three’?”
Muttville, the San Francisco Bay Area rescue and adoption organization that specializes in finding senior dogs their forever homes, hosted adoptions at the park, and local artist Belinda Blair performed on her ukelele.
Proof in the Potato
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration recently warned dog owners that potato-based foods may be causing heart disease in their K9 companions. Instances of dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, have been found in smaller breeds of dogs that typically are not the usual victims of the heart disease. The government agency suspects a diet heavy in peas, potatoes, lentils, and other legume seeds is causing an uptick in DCM cases.
DCM enlarges the heart and often leads to heart failure, and is more common in extra large or giant breeds of dogs, such as Great Danes and Newfoundlands. The FDA has contacted pet food manufacturers and veterinarians regarding the impact of potato-based diets on dogs’ heart health.
“We encourage pet owners and veterinarians to report DCM cases in dogs who are not predisposed to the disease,” Martine Hartogensis, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance, said in a statement.
Americans Love Their Dogs
The results of the 2018 Pets and People Survey by Just Right by Purina demonstrate just how close dog owners feel to their canine companions. Dogs, according to the survey, assume the role of not only man’s best friend, but also trusted confidant, reliable wingman, and beloved family member.
The survey found results heartwarming and humorous. Among millennials, 77 percent said they feed their dogs before they feed themselves, and 15 percent of men reported they have used dogs to gain the attention of the other sex. Some men prefer spending time with their dog over time with their partner or family members.
“Having dogs myself, I know firsthand that the emotional connection between dog owners and their pets runs deep,” brand manager for Just Right by Purina, Julia Pitlyk, said in a statement. “We conducted this survey to learn more about what exactly the owner-dog relationship looks like.”
Straight Outta Puerto Rico
Local dog Kaye celebrated her 300th day with the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society. The last of 150 dogs that were rescued from a shelter in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, Kaye roamed the streets of Puerto Rico before moving to the states. Her upbringing has made it difficult for her to acclimate into a typical house pet setting.
“Kaye should not be forced or rushed into new situations. She will decide when she’s ready. She’ll need time to adjust to a home at her own pace,” explained Jesse Schumaker, Berkeley Humane’s animal care specialist on the organization’s website. “She’d love a home where she can have dog friends. Her personality really blossoms when she is around other dogs who are confident and can show her the way.”
Less than 24 hours before Hurricane Irma hit Fort Lauderdale, the Humane Society of Broward County sent their entire adoptable shelter members to the Bay Area. Berkeley Humane, Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, and the East Bay SPCA settled the animals into their shelters and helped them find their forever homes.
The Power of Pugs
An animal lover in England attributed her triumph over cancer to her devotion to the 32 pugs and three French bulldogs for which she cares. After Becca Drake’s cancer diagnosis in February 2017, she underwent surgery to remove the cancerous growth, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
“I was in a lot of pain, but my dogs gave me a reason to get out of bed and a focus,” Drake told the Mirror.
Drake’s love for dogs grew from a pup her parents gifted her for her 30th birthday. After the pup, Fatima, had a litter, she began to show her at different dog shows. Drake in 2009 turned her attention to adopting homeless, disabled, and mistreated pugs. She moved the dogs in with her at her home in Sandbach, Cheshire, where she runs the Bubblebecca Pug Sanctuary.
Cheaters Never Win
A new Hawaiian law will fine those who misrepresent their dog as a service animal. The bill stipulates that a person who brings an untrained dog into a private space under the pretense of a disability will be fined $100 to $500. Lawmakers say this growing problem on the islands has led to legitimate service dogs being attacked by untrained poser dogs.
“We and many others believe that just having a law prohibiting these fake service dogs will have a meaningful impact on many of those who are doing the abuse, or contemplating it,” said Jim Kennedy, executive director of Hawaii Fi-Do Service Dogs, in April testimony.
The goal is to deter abuses of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which allows service animals to accompany owners in areas where members of the public are allowed. The new law goes into effect January 2019.
Program Pairs Inmates With Puppies
An adoption day at Chatham County Jail in Georgia in July featured puppies trained by inmates through Operation New Hope, a program started in 2011 that enables inmates at the county jail train dogs for smooth adoption.
“They’ve done such a great job with these dogs, so they are potty-trained, they are crate trained, and an AKC Canine Good Citizen, so that is a lot right there,” Jennifer Messer, Operation New Hope coordinator, told WBRC. “These inmates do a tremendous amount of work. It’s 24/7 work for them every single day, so they’ve put a lot of hard sweat and tears into this program.”
The program helps dogs learn the skills and training needed to land a permanent home and reduces recidivism rates for inmates by teaching them new transferable skills and accountability.
New Medication for High Blood Pressure
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May approved the first animal drug to alleviate high blood pressure in cats. Systemic hypertension, according to Cornell University’s Feline Health Center, is a common and potentially severe health threat. This medical condition can affect a cat’s eyesight, nervous system, kidney activity, and heart health.
The drug is called Semintra, and it contains Telmisartan, which relaxes blood vessels. Cats seem to be able to tolerate eating it well. The FDA said cats taking the medication should be monitored for anemia and changes in appetite, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.