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In St. Paul, MN, dog owners are getting worried. According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, two dog owners have reported to the police that mysterious dog biscuits had been found in their yard. And the biscuits had been laced with rat poison.

One of the dog owners who reported the incident is Kelsey Jurek, a veterinary student who lives in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul. She caught her Italian Greyhound named Jet eating something strange in her backyard last Friday afternoon.

“So I grabbed it from him,” Jurek told Kare 11. What she found was a homemade dog biscuit. Tucked inside were little, blue, rat poison pellets. Jurek was lucky to have caught Jet early. Though the little dog had eaten half of one of the biscuits, an immediate trip to the vet saved his life.

Jurek says that even though she found the biscuits in her yard, there would be no easy way for a passerby to simply throw the biscuits onto her property. This leads her to believe that, “Somebody had to intentionally walk into the yard,” she told Kare 11. “It’s a sick human that follows through with something like this.”

After her trip to the vet, Jurek began to warn her neighbors of the potential threat to the dogs in their area. And thank goodness she did. Her neighbor, Dan Piepkorn discovered his dog Lola eating one of the poisoned biscuits only days later. Thanks to Jurek’s warning, he was on high alert. Piepkorn was able to get the biscuit away from Lola immediately.

“It would’ve really hurt if I hadn’t caught her with it,” Piepkorn told Fox 9. “I had a dog poisoned as a child, and I don’t want to go through that again.”

Though Piepkorn and Jurek are the only two dog owners to report formal complaints to the police, many other residents of the Frogtown neighborhood are expressing their concerns via the neighborhood Facebook page. In some cases, the biscuits have actually proved fatal for the dogs.

Nancy Hernandez, a pet owner who lives nearby, is equally concerned. “I got scared so I check the yard every day,” Hernandez told Fox 9. “If [the suspect] is doing it to dogs, [they] might be doing it to kids.”

And she’s not the only one concerned for the safety of children as well as dogs. “All it would take is for them to pick a piece up and in the mouth it goes if it’s a small child,” Piepkorn told Fox 9.

Police are working diligently to find the person (or people) responsible for these poisonous dog biscuits. The law in Minnesota considers the poisoning of animals a gross misdemeanor. Sgt. Mike Ernster of the St. Paul police is aware that other poisoning allegations are being expressed via social media, but only two have officially been reported to the police. Ernster is encouraging anyone with additional information to come forward, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

“Neighbors need to look out for each other,” Ernster told Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “The way this person will be found is by a neighbor seeing something suspicious and getting police out there.”

And the residents of Frogtown are certainly fed up. Jurek told Kare 11 that it’s “likely that someone just has a sick game going in their head.” And Piepkorn, in a message to the suspect via Fox 9, said simply, “Knock it off. Knock it off and get some help.”

If anyone in the Frogtown or St. Paul area has information on an incident or sees any suspicious behavior around neighborhood pets, police are encouraging them to call 911 or call the local animal control office at 651-266-1100.

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A 13-year-old Australian cattle dog was found outside a boarded up home in Mojave, CA. The dog was waiting outside the home for his owner. But sadly, the owner was never going to return.

The dog, now known as Ricky Bobby, was waiting in the yard for his owner. But his owner had died several months before the dog was finally rescued. During those months, a neighbor was keeping him alive with hamburgers and Spam, according to ABC News. It wasn’t until a neighbor contacted Zach Skow from Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue in Tehachapi, CA that Ricky Bobby was finally rescued from his situation.

Skow is the founder and executive director at Marley’s Mutts, and told ABC News that, “at first, [Ricky Bobby] was very defensive, but is now starting to warm up to everybody.” Slowly, Ricky Bobby is growing used to the volunteers who work at Marley’s Mutts.

And when we say slowly – we mean it! Ricky Bobby weighs 108 pounds, classifying him as an obese canine. “We named him Ricky Bobby because it was ironic,” Skow wrote to ABC News. The name Ricky Bobby is in reference to the movie “Talladega Nights” which centers around racecar drivers. But this Ricky Bobby is not speedy.

But true to form, this Ricky Bobby isn’t giving up. He is currently with a foster mom who is devoted to helping him regain his health. “His foster mom is taking him for long walks and giving him the correct amount of food for a good diet,” Anne Klein, the media liaison for Marley’s Mutts, told ABC News.

Fortunately for Ricky Bobby, regaining his health is entirely possible. Marley’s Mutts checked for underlying health problems and found that he was simply obese. “There’s no thyroid problem or nothing,” said Klein.

As the chubby Australian cattle dog continues to improve both his health and his temperament, Marley’s Mutts is hopeful that they can find a forever home for Ricky Bobby. “We WILL get him adopted,” Skow said in his email to ABC News. And when dealing with a dog who was devoted enough to wait months for his owner, that’s exactly the kind of dedication Ricky Bobby deserves

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On July 12th, an animal control officer discovered a long-haired German Shepherd in a backyard in Middleborough, MA. According to the Boston Globe, the officer rushed the emaciated dog to a nearby animal clinic. What the officer found on the dog was devastating.

The dog, named Maverick, had chewed off his own back foot in an attempt to escape from a tether. After later being brought to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Angell Animal Medical Center, it was determined that Maverick had been caught in the tether for at least 24 hours.

“He chewed off all of his toes on his back right foot,” Alyssa Krieger told CBS Boston. “I’ve been working here for 6 and a half years … this is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. Just clear-cut, horrible abuse.” Krieger is an employee at the MSPCA, where Maverick will undergo surgery.

Typically when an animal sustains a similar injury to Maverick’s, the entire leg would be amputated. But Maverick suffers from hip dysplasia. This is a condition that results in instability or a loose fit in the hip joint, according to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. If Maverick were to have his leg amputated, he could never walk again.

So instead, Maverick’s foot will be reconstructed. This will be done by “rotating what remains of his foot pad and repositioning it over the most weight-bearing part of the foot,” according to an official statement. Dr. Mike Pavletic is the head of surgery at the MSPCA and will perform the procedure.

“This is the only option before us that ensures Maverick’s foot can sustain normal wear and tear,” Pavletic told the Boston Globe. “He will get a second chance for a normal and pain-free life — and if any dog deserves that, it’s Maverick.”

When Maverick was brought in for initial examination, veterinarians found that his legs were covered in scars. Officials state that this indicates prolonged abuse and frequent tethering of Maverick. But despite the prolonged abuses, Dr. Pavletic tells WCVB that Maverick is in good spirits, stating that he’s active and playful. “I’m not sure the average person with this type of injury would be doing the same thing,” Pavletic said.

WCVB reports that the dog’s former owner, Kevin Kennedy has been charged with one count of felony animal cruelty due to neglect and failure to seek appropriate veterinary treatment for his dog. The Boston Globe states that he has an expected arraignment date of August 18th.

Though justice for Maverick is being served and the brave dog is on the mend, his future is still somewhat uncertain. The surgery Maverick must undergo costs $5000, a steep price for a non-profit organization like the MSPCA. Donations are being accepted to help with the cost of surgery. All who are interested in donating can do so on the MSPCA website.

Once surgery has been completed and Maverick has rested for 10 days, it will be time to look to the future. Maverick will be up for adoption. The brave German shepherd will be seeking a good home that will give him all the love and care he deserves. For anyone interested in adopting Maverick, you can contact the MSPCA for more information.

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In Arlington, TX a police dog named Mojo died after being overcome by heat exhaustion on the job. The Belgian Malinois and his handler Vince Ramsour were involved in a search for a suspect who was wanted in connection with a shooting.

At 8 am, police officers attempted to stop 17-year-old Shune Deon Arnold Jr. who was wanted for a shooting that occurred on June 12th, Lt. Christopher Cook told The Dallas Morning News. After Arnold refused to pull over, he sped away in his car and later fled on foot.

At 10 am the K-9 team was called in to assist in searching for the suspect. Mojo and his handler Ramsour were part of the search. They worked diligently, but at about 11:15 Ramsour noticed that Mojo seemed to be overheating. Cook told CBS DFW that Mojo was then taken to ABC Arlington Animal Health Care Center where Dr. Cindi Rachal began treatment.

Dr. Rachal is the veterinarian who regularly treats Arlington’s K-9 unit. She was able to bring Mojo’s temperature down to normal within an hour. “His temperature was above what our thermometers will read,” Rachal told Fox 4. “Getting them stable right away is kind of the easy part. The hard part is within the next few hours, even days, they can start having organ malfunction.”

Mojo was then taken to a second veterinary clinic in Mansfield, TX where he would undergo a blood transfusion. At 1:30 pm the police department asked people via Twitter to pray for Mojo. An hour later, during the transfusion, Mojo died. The suspect Arnold was later apprehended at 4:30 pm.

“Mojo was an exceptional K9 partner, friend, and served the citizens of Arlington honorably,” Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said in a statement. “The department appreciates the words of encouragement and prayers.”

Mojo was born in Holland and came to Arlington in 2010 at the age of 2. He worked with his handler Ramsour for his entire 6 years in Arlington. According to Dallas Morning News, Mojo was responsible for many felony apprehensions and searches for dangerous criminals.

According to CBS DFW, Officer Ramsour has worked with the Arlington K-9 unit since 1997, and handled two dogs prior to Mojo. Both his previous dogs retired honorably. Mojo’s death is the first on-duty canine death the Arlington Police Department has experienced.

“He’s our four-legged officer who really helps out in some of the most critical calls,” Cook told Fox 4. “Our hearts go out to the handler. Everybody’s just kind of hurting.”

Though they were not able to save him, Ramsour clearly knew what the signs of heat exhaustion were and acted quickly in an attempt to save Mojo.

Tom House, a veterinarian in south Texas, told CNN that, “As a dog becomes heat stressed, they will start panting and drooling excessively. They may have muscle tremors and/or become wobbly before collapsing.”

As temperatures continue to stay high this summer, it’s important to pay attention to when your dog exhibits these signs. If your dog shows signs of heat exhaustion, House recommends first cooling your dog with water – but not with cold or ice water. You should also seek immediate veterinary attention for your dog.

Image via Arlington Police Twitter

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Prissy is a 4-year-old hound mix who was found abandoned in a junkyard in Tennessee with her three puppies. The dogs were brought to the Conway Area Humane Society where Prissy needed to be spayed. Virginia Moore – the executive director of the rescue organization – told ABC News that like many dogs who wake up from anesthesia, Prissy “was having a tough time.”

But one Kennel Supervisor at Conway Area Humane Society wanted things to be different for Prissy. She wanted to comfort her as she woke up from surgery.

Chrissy Ireland has worked at Conway Area Humane Society since 2009. After seeing that Prissy was having a tough time post-surgery, she decided to do something about it.

“I saw [Prissy] and she was all shaky and she didn’t feel good,” Ireland told ABC News. “It made me feel so sad for her. So I just found myself laying on the floor with her and kissing her and loving her.”

The selfless act was caught on tape by Ireland’s co-worker Debra Cameron, and already the video has gone viral. But Ireland says she was just doing her job.

“Coming out of anesthesia and you’re behind walls and you’re behind a gate; it’s just scary,” she told ABC News. “I know if I was getting fixed and I woke up in a kennel, I’d be scared.”

When humans are put under anesthesia during surgery, an anesthesiologist must be present to ensure the patient is responding well to the anesthesia. The same is true for pets, according to Tufts University Veterinarians. A veterinary anesthesiologist is present to ensure a pet is responding well to the anesthesia. This is because anesthesia takes control of the nervous system and depresses brain function. This process ensures your pet will not wake up because of a bodily response to pain. But once the surgery is over, waking up while coming down from anesthesia can be an uncomfortable process.

Ireland says that she hopes the viral video will help Prissy get adopted. “I think she’d be great in any home and in any situation. I would love to see her go with kids so she can be outside playing in a yard and having a good time.”

CAHS started as a cat adoption center in 2003, and expanded to include a dog adoption center in 2004. Since then, the organization has helped over 10,000 animals who deserve a second chance. In August CAHS will be hosting their 7th Annual Putt for Pets Day to raise money for the shelter. If you cannot attend the event but would still like to help, you can donate via the CAHS website.

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At only 1 year old, Rexi the golden retriever from Victorville, CA is living life to the fullest despite a severe physical deformity. Rexi’s two front legs are not usable, and they flip upwards so her paws stick up towards the sky – almost like wings. But things weren’t always like this for the young dog.

When Rexi was a puppy, things were normal. But when she was 10 weeks old, her owners noticed something odd about Rexi.
“She was limping, so I took her to the vet thinking that she sprained her leg or something,” Rachael Woertink, Rexi’s owner, told ABC 7. The x-rays at the veterinarian came back showing that nothing was wrong. But shortly after that veterinary visit, Rexi lost all her strength in her front legs.

Rexi was diagnosed with a neurological problem. And the veterinarian recommended that she be put to sleep.

But her owners don’t want to give up on her. “She is like family to us you know. We don’t have any kids so this is kind of like our kid right here and we treat her like that,” James Cassity, Rexi’s owner said.

And they have been trying everything. They have a vest for Rexi which can attach to a leash. Normally Rexi gets around by pushing her body forward with her back legs. Her front body scrapes against the ground. With the vest and leash, her front body can be lifted upwards, preventing her chest from scraping across the floor. Her owners even tried a dog wheelchair, but it didn’t work as well as they had hoped.

“When she hits a rock the thing flips over upside down, she has flipped once or twice and we don’t want to injure her anymore,” Cassity told ABC 7.

Rexi is still as happy as ever, facing the world with beautiful optimism.

So her owners refuse to give up. They want to find a permanent solution, and not just a temporary fix. They have set up a Go Fund Me page in the hopes of raising $5,000 that can be put towards helping to cure Rexi. So far, they have raised over $3,700 – more than half of what they need.

And they are open to many suggestions and ideas. “Any kind of invention, somebody who knows something about dogs missing their front legs or handicapped, maybe some kind of doctor who knows about a surgery,” Cassity said.

On their Go Fund Me page, many contributors have made suggestions that could help Rexi. Some have provided the names of reputable veterinarians. Others are suggesting ways to modify the wheelchair so it works better. One commenter even offered the services of her husband who is an engineer.

Rexi’s joy is clearly infectious, and many people want to see her get well. If you would like to contribute to Rexi’s fund, visit Cassity and Woertink’s Go Fund Me page.

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“It’d be fair to say that my dog has never been walked so much in her life.” This is what one reviewer of the new smartphone game Pokemon Go told The Guardian on Monday. And he’s not the only one. It appears that this new game craze has brought about a few unexpected benefits for dogs everywhere.

For those of you who are still unsure what Pokemon Go is, here is a crash course. The Pokemon Go game is a smartphone app that can be downloaded for free to both Android and iOS systems. The basic premise of the game is to catch as many Pokemon as you can, similar to the older-style Pokemon games. Catching more Pokemon allows you to level up and battle your Pokemon at Gyms. The difference? Pokemon Go is played in the real world.

In order to “catch ‘em all,” players actually have to walk around their neighborhoods to find Pokemon that are hidden in the real world. A small icon in the corner of the screen tells players when Pokemon are close by. When a Pokemon is found, the game accesses the smartphone’s camera and overlays a Pokemon onto a real-world image. In other words, it looks like the Pokemon is standing right in front of you, ready to be caught!

For die-hard Pokemon fans, seeing Pokemon in real life is a dream come true. And for their dogs? All these walks through the neighborhood is the reality they’ve been waiting for.

An article in DogTime discusses what it was like walking a dog while playing Pokemon Go. The author found that the game encourages them to walk more frequently and for longer periods, providing their dog with more exercise than normal. If you’re a dog owner with a high energy pup, this could be a great solution. It makes the walks that are already fun for a dog that much more fun for a dog owner.

Jason Nawara of Uproxx agrees that Pokemon Go has made walking his high energy dog much more enjoyable. But there’s another potential benefit. An app called Wooftrax has seen a dramatic increase in popularity since Pokemon Go was released. In fact, Wooftrax warns that the app is currently running slow and may take several hours to update after a walk. But do not be discouraged! They are still encouraging Pokemon Go users to get out there with their dog. They state on their website, “If your dog helps you find a Pokémon on your walk, be sure to share that on our Facebook and Instagram pages!”

The premise of Wooftrax is that every time you walk your dog, money gets donated to an animal charity of your choice. The amount of money is based on how long you walk. The money comes from advertisers Wooftrax works with. So the longer and more frequently you walk, the more money gets donated!

Don’t have a dog? No problem! You can still go for walks – while playing Pokemon Go or otherwise – and donate to your favorite animal organization. Wooftrax has the option to “Walk for Cassie” in place of owning your own dog. For those who are walking around and playing Pokemon Go, this is an easy way to donate to a great cause.

No matter what kind of walk you take your dog on however, you must always remember to stay safe. It’s easy for Pokemon Go users to get lost in the world the app has created. As the game cautions, “Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.” This should be doubly true when walking a dog. Just as you would when you aren’t playing a game, stay aware of your dog’s behavior during a walk. And always look both ways before crossing the street! Don’t endanger your own life as well as your dog’s.

Pokemon Go has the potential to be very beneficial, for both dogs and humans. And if you’re someone who has gotta catch ‘em all, have fun out there!

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The Fourth of July may be a fun time for humans, but it isn’t always a fun time for dogs. Many dogs and other pets get quite frightened by the sound of fireworks going off, even from a distance. Owners try many different methods to keep their dogs relaxed. Often people will turn to medications to ease their dog’s anxiety during the festivities.

But one family took a different approach to calming their dog: watching movies. Joey is a six-year-old golden retriever who has a fear of fireworks just like many other dogs, reports Time magazine. This year, his California family came up with a creative way to keep Joey calm and happy while loud fireworks were being set off in the area. In a video posted to Twitter by his owner Emily Kuang, Joey can be seen lying in bed watching videos on an iPad. The calm-looking golden is wearing noise-canceling headphones and watching his favorite thing: animal videos.

“He enjoys seeing animals on the TV and will watch and bark at Animal Planet, so he’s usually not as calm as he is in the video!” Kuang told Metro UK. In this particular instance, Joey was watching a Chinese dog video Kuang’s mother put on for him. The noise-cancelling headphones blocked the sound of the fireworks, and the familiar videos gave him something to focus on.

Little did Joey know, the 3-second clip of him enjoying his animal videos would go viral. The video that Kuang originally posted has now gotten 200 thousand likes and 120 thousand retweets. Many who retweeted the video stated it brought them to tears.

This emotional response from dog lovers everywhere is likely brought on by the concern many feel for the well-being of dogs during Fourth of July celebrations.

“Shelter numbers increase for cats and dogs during summer months in general,” Emily Weiss, vice president of research and development at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told TODAY. “Owners find pets get lost in ways they don’t expect them to, but ‘stuff happens’ at any time, so plan for it.”

And this year was no exception. San Diego Community News reported dozens of dogs waiting in shelters for their owners to come find them. One veteran in the San Francisco Bay Area lost his service dog after this year’s Fourth of July celebrations. Missing dogs after the Fourth of July are not unique to California. Reports in Utah, Ohio, and Illinois are among many other states experiencing increased volume in their animal shelters immediately following the Fourth of July celebrations.

It’s important for dog owners to look to examples like the Kuang family and their dog Joey during fireworks displays. The Kuangs were able to find a creative solution to handling Joey’s fears – a solution that was unique to their dog and his personal preferences. Other tips to combat a dog’s fear of fireworks include playing music, drawing the curtains, and providing your dog with a distracting toy or treat. The main goal is to keep your dog from focusing on the fireworks, by blocking the noise, blocking the visuals, and giving them something else to focus on.

We hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July this year! How do you keep your dog calm during the fireworks?

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On July 5th, a video depicting a man throwing a dog from a roof was going viral – and people were outraged. Mashable reported on the video, stating that several individuals and organizations, including the Humane Society International, were on the hunt for the two people who created this video. The two men responsible for throwing an innocent dog from a roof were finally arrested, but have since been released on bail.

In the video, an Indian man can be seen holding a small dog by the neck and hindquarters. The dog is poised on the edge of a rooftop, looking fearful and making fearful sounds. The man looks directly at the camera and throws the dog from the roof. The camera follows the dog as the poor thing flies through the air and hits the ground far below, at which point the video ends.

The two men who made this video have been identified as medical students in their final year at Tamil Nadu’s Madha Medical College in Chennai, India. Gautam Sudarshan was responsible for throwing the dog from the roof and Ashish Pal was the videographer, according to NDTV. It is reported that the two students have been suspended from their college.

Originally, the dog in the video was thought to be dead, but later reports indicated that the little pup was found alive. Karthik Dhandapani is an animal rights activist in India who originally brought attention to the video via the web. Another animal rights activist named Shravan Krishnan also confirmed that the dog was alive, posting a photo of himself with the injured dog.

The Telegraph reports that the dog was found by Krishnan hiding under the staircase of the building she was thrown from. Her back legs were severely injured, making even standing difficult. When Krishnan picked her up, she peed out of fear. But in spite of all this, “she was still wagging her tail,” Krishnan says.

According to the BBC, the little dog has been named “Bhadra” which in Hindi, translates to “blessed.” A video posted to Twitter can be seen of Bhadra wagging her tail and standing, in spite of her injuries. She is truly a survivor.

Sudarshan and Pal were arrested after a social media firestorm ensued in an attempt to identify and locate the criminals in the video. After their arrest, the judge granted to the two men bail, much to the disappointment of activists.

Krishnan posted to his Facebook page in response to the students receiving bail, “Those criminals have come out on BAIL. This is how ‘strong’ the animal welfare laws are. With video evidence and so much of public outrage we couldn’t remand them even for one day . We are extremely disappointed and it’s a ‘Black Day’ for Animal Welfare in India.”

The BBC states that activists are currently petitioning for harsher penalties.

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An off-duty nurse and her dog were involved in a bizarre accident Thursday afternoon at 3:30 pm. CBS reports that Cheri Steigert, who works the night shift as a nurse in Chicago, was woken up by a loud explosion and the sound of a scream.

A neighbor of Steigert’s was the one who had screamed. Steigert was initially under the impression that the man had lost two of his fingers after an accident involving a fireworks explosion. A few hours after the accident, Steigert let her dog out into the yard. When the dog returned, Steigert was shocked. The dog had the man’s hand in it’s mouth.

At first Steigert thought it was a bunny rabbit. “I came back out to pick it up,” she told WBBM-TV, “and I found out it was the other part of the young man’s hand.” The hand was approximately 250 feet from her home. She called the authorities immediately.

Steigert’s dog, a pit bull mix, was likely able to find the hand due to the dog’s keen sense of smell. A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than a human’s sense of smell, according to NOVA. To put that in perspective, a dog can smell a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water! Besides that, the part of a dog’s brain that is used to interpret smells is 40 times larger than our own. It’s no wonder Steigert’s dog detected the hand so quickly!

Many breeds of dog have been used in drug detection, explosive detection, and search and rescue. All these jobs rely on the keen sense of smell that dogs possess. Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are increasingly being used for these jobs.

Still though, the most popular breeds used for police work are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds. The recognition of pit bulls as great working dogs is still in the works. Websites like Workingpitbull.com attempt to educate people about the benefits of using this breed to their full potential.

In this case, Steigert’s dog was able to confirm the extent of the man’s injuries by locating the remainder of his hand.

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