'Pets Ride Free' promo is special treat for dog lovers

If you love traveling with your dog, and that means taking the train, you're in luck! To celebrate the new release of The Secret Lives of Pets, tickets booked on Amtrak December 6 - 11th will allow your best buddy to ride for free. Woo woooooooo!

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Universal City, California, November 29, 2016 – Riding the rails with a beloved four-legged friend will come with an extra special treat during this holiday season, in which “Pets Ride Free.” Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) and Amtrak are teaming up for a first of its kind promotion in celebration of the December 6 home entertainment release of Illumination’s blockbuster film, The Secret Life of Pets. The “Pets Ride Free” offer, available for trips booked December 6 through December 11, 2016 or while supplies last, allows pets to ride at no additional cost on participating Amtrak routes from December 9 through March 31, 2017.

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30th Anniversary of SF SPCA and Macy's Union Square Adoption Windows

It's the most wonderful time of the year! 'Tis the season for believing in the power of our love for dogs and cats to overwhelm passers by in downtown San Francisco so that they opt to adopt.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., November 11, 2016 – The San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Union Square are teaming up to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Holiday Windows. This holiday season adoptable animals will once again be showcased in the effort to find them loving homes.

Last year alone, 261 cats and dogs found new homes in time for the holidays, and more than $88,000 was raised to support the SF SPCA’s life-saving programs. Since the beginning of Holiday Windows, more than 8,800 dogs and cats have been adopted at the event.

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NBC's Clear the Shelters Adoptathon 2016

Hey Bay Area dog lovers!! It’s that time of year again…time to #cleartheshelters! Local shelters nationwide are offering free adoptions this weekend, July 23-24 thanks to NBC and Telemundo.

 

A photo posted by grouchypuppy (@grouchypuppy) on

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, as a participating shelter will be waiving fees all weekend for qualified adopters. Come down to 255 Alabama on Rescue Row, 10:00AM to 4:00pm!

The San Francisco SPCA is throwing a street fair on Rescue Row with games straight from the midway, delectable sweet treats, vegetarian nibbles, oodles of fuzzy new friends to take home with you, and the return of the notoriously creative dog costume contest!

This is a contest of Olympic proportions, so get your glue gun fired up and strut your dog’s stuff on the runway at 1pm. At stake, bragging rights and prizes from NBC.

Last year it was the SF/SPCA's most successful adoption weekend ever, finding forever homes for 111 animals! All animals adopted from the SF/SPCA will go home with their new families for free. *

Events on Rescue Row:
1pm Saturday Only
Dog costume contest (Registration 10:30am-12:30pm)

All Day Saturday and Sunday
FREE adoptions at SF SPCA Mission and Pacific Heights Campuses
Big Jenga!
Colossal Connect Four!
Crowd-art watercolor wall
Midway games
Selfie station
Bouncy obstacle course
And more!

*SF residents will be required to pay SF dog license fee.

 

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SF SPCA Launches No Prong Educational Campaign

My view is that if you use a prong collar on a dog, you are sadly missing out on everything. Your relationship with your dog isn't based on love, trust, fellowship. If you want to experience the best of being with a dog, why would you use a tool that causes pain?

As you can see from the photo, it wasn't long after we adopted our big husky shepherd that we switched from a nylon collar to a harness, because it enhanced our relationship.

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Once again, the San Francisco SPCA, where we found our wonderful dog, is taking the lead in helping dogs (Remember this video?) and our relationship with them with the launch of this educational campaign, What's Wrong With The Prong:

June 21, 2016 – The San Francisco SPCA has launched a campaign to educate the public about the harm caused by prong collars. Prong collars are designed to inflict pain and discomfort and can cause serious physical, behavioral, and emotional damage.

“We continue to regularly see prong collars on dogs throughout San Francisco,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, co-president at the San Francisco SPCA. “Most owners don’t want to hurt their dogs – they want to do the right thing. There’s a huge need for community education.”

The SF SPCA Veterinary Hospitals treat prong collar injuries, which range from skin irritation and punctures to spinal cord problems. Prongs can easily damage a dog’s delicate neck area. The protective layers of the skin on the under portion of a dog’s neck, where the prongs of the collar are designed to pinch, are 3x thinner than those of human skin.

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Keep Dogs Safe! JULY 1st is PET ID DAY

Summer offers us more days with fun and games outside with our dogs, but it also brings added risks. A sudden noise can spook a dog into bolting over a fence. An unexpected encounter with another animal on a hiking trail can cause an off leash dog to take off.

Did you know fireworks set off on the 4th of July is the single biggest cause of lost dogs? The crowds and sudden noises, combined with distracted family can bring heartache if your dog suddenly gets away. Are you prepared?

The ASPCA is trying to help keep your furry loved ones safe with ID YOUR PET DAY, and these tips:

· A personalized ID tag is the best way to increase the likelihood your pet returning home. Make sure your pet is fitted with a collar and ID tag that includes your name and phone number.

· Implanted microchips can serve as an important security measure to ensure that a pet is returned home in the case of a lost collar and ID tag.

· Download the ASPCA Pet Safety App to access personalized instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances: ASPCAapp.org.

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How do you do good for vets with PTSD and shelter dogs?

Military veterans need our support. Homeless dogs need our compassion. An Arkansas veterinarian is using his experience and position to help both.

What started as a chance encounter between dog and veterinarian has developed into a close-knit relationship and mission to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to get unconditional love from a service animal.

Dr. Zepecki besides being a veterinarian, is a veteran himself. In 2008 a dog came into his practice with severe wounds. The vet cared for the dog for many months and eventually adopted him. It was only while treating the emotionally traumatized dog that Dr. Zepecki realized he himself had been dealing with PTSD for decades with the help of his canine patients.

About seven years ago he started the process of finding out he could help fellow veterans and rescue dogs. He created an association that provides service dogs for veterans. They have helped almost a hundred veterans find service dogs so far.

Watch the video below, then read the inspiring story here.

 

Source

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New British Columbia SPCA ads celebrate how companion animals bring out the best in us

Some people are born animal lovers. My mom described herself as a "horse crazy" child. I have loved everything about dogs for as long as I can remember. 

Minding our family's dogs brought out the caregiver in me, and taught me responsibility. Tender moments together when they got older gave twelve year old me a chance to learn compassion and empathy.

Experiencing the special connection that's possible between a person and a companion animal is something unique, and for many, life changing. 

This year, the British Columbia SPCA is celebrating that special human-animal bond with three different ads...all heartwarming and lovely.

image from www.kelownanow.com

“Our animals don’t see our flaws or shortcomings- they love us as we are, unconditionally, which is a pretty amazing gift,” said BC SPCA general manager of community relations, Lorie Chortyk.

We cannot deny how dogs and cats have moved into a very special place in our lives. Honestly, given the stresses in the world today, companion animals play an even greater role. They can provide a necessary, healthy balance to what worries us. 

This unique bond we share is fascinating, made more so, because of the increase in scientific studies being done. People want to know how dogs work, how they understand the world, how they learn, and why do most of us in the western world consider them as family.

However, if we're already a dog lover, I think most of us are happy with our human and dog symbiosis. We don't need scientific research to tell us why we feel so good when we cuddle on the couch together, or play ball at the park. We only care that our best friend is healthy, and content.

What do you think?

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Watch all three videos > here < via BC SPCA.

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Veterans with visible and invisible injuries benefit from service dogs

Hey, the dogs with webbed feet were ringers! Service dogs who work with Invictus athletes had an informal dog paddle swimming contest to end this year's games in Orlando, Florida. 

 

The 2016 Invictus Games took place May 8-12 in Orlando. Prince Harry, himself a veteran, created the Games in 2014 for servicemen and women who have suffered life-changing injuries, both visible and invisible. The prince was on hand for the dogs' impromptu event.

I'd like to see the federal government do more to help our veterans suffering traumatic brain injuries, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts: Almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans. As many as 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans. 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan.

We have too many veterans suffering, and dying, who deserve our help after serving our country.

We already know pet dogs play a valuable role. Mine uncovered missing items, made me feel protected, got me out of the house, introduced me to my neighbors, listened to my problems, and made me laugh when I was feeling blue.

Imagine what highly trained service dogs are capable of, and the immense benefit they can offer our injured servicemen and women?

Learn more:

Dogs and PTSD - PTSD: National Center for PTSD

New studies focus on service dogs and PTSD - Military Times

Over a Quarter-Million Vietnam War Veterans Still Have PTSD - Smithsonian Magazine

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Find love and nibbles at Feb. 12 San Francisco SPCA Lonely Hearts Adoption Weekend Kick-Off

Looking for love? Come out for an intimate wine and cheese fete to kick off the San Francisco SPCA Lonely Hearts Adoption Event on Friday, February 12th from 6p-9p* at the Mission Campus Adoption Center at 201 Alabama Street @ 16th.

image from www.sfspca.org

The Lonely Hearts Valentine's party is Fri, 2/12! Wine, nibbles, & free adoptions! RSVP required for Friday's event.

There will be nibbles and wine, but best of all, lovely lonely hearts looking for you.

All cat and dog adoptions are free on February 12-14 at both San Francisco SPCA adoption centers but the party is only Friday night at the Mission Campus.

Space is limited, so RSVP now for this limited access Friday event.

Check out all of the available lonely hearts on SF/SPCA Adoptions

*Last adoption at 8pm

WHEN: Friday, February 12, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

WHERE: 250 Florida St - 250 Florida Street San Francisco, CA 94103

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We'll always remember you Uggie as the real star of The Artist!

image from www.ew.com

 

Uggie the dog, famous for his part in the Academy Award-winning silent film The Artist, died in August at the age of 13. He may have been left out of the SAG Awards 'In Memoriam' this weekend, but this talented Jack Russell Terrier will never be forgotten!

Uggie joins a long list of Hollywood canine actors who've shown that W.C. Fields was wrong! Though I'm not sure about children, but actors working with animals makes a movie better! 

I can think of at least three movies that won Oscars with a major role played by an animal. How about you?

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Feb. 15-17, 2016 Helen Woodward Animal Center bringing Free Animal Welfare Workshops to Sydney, Australia

Four years ago I attended a mini-ACES workshop where effective tried and true ways to find families for orphaned pets. The session was led by Mike Arms, a man directly responsible for saving millions of animals. As President of the Helen Woodward Animal Center he is an inspiration because he was the first person I ever met in animal welfare who applied business principles to pet adoption practices, and how to raise compassionate children. 

Today, the Helen Woodward Animal Center, in partnership with Blue Buffalo, is very honored to bring The Business of Saving Lives, free of charge, to Sydney, Australia.

The Center has been providing brand new ways to look at animal welfare, marketing, social media, fundraising, humane education, and more through The Business of Saving Lives workshops for over 14 years with life-saving results. In mid-February this year, The Business of Saving Lives will travel abroad for the first time and Helen Woodward Animal Center has selected Maggie’s Rescue in Sydney, Australia to host the first internationally-located training.

“I’m very excited about the upcoming workshop and its potential to decrease euthanasia rates in Australia and enhance the outcomes for our Aussie companion animals,” explained Lisa Wright, Founder and Director of Maggie’s Rescue. “The workshop is bringing unique international perspectives on companion animal welfare and management issues that we feel will create progressive and forward-thinking dialogues amongst all levels of government and key stakeholders.”

Mike Arms

The Sydney, Australia-based The Business of Saving Lives Workshop will take place at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney between February 15th and February 17th, 2016.

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Would you ticket a dog for using public transit?

There are a lot of dogs, and bicycles in San Francisco. I've seen both on BART. When you live in a big urban city, using public transportation makes a lot of sense. You can travel a great distance fast and cheap, but you have to give up personal space and share the bus, train or trolley with others. 

I like this part. I enjoy experiencing the sights and sounds of it all, even when it makes me uncomfortable. It's real life. It's also temporary. When I read in the NY Times about dogs riding the subway in New York illegally, I thought about the dogs I've seen here on Muni.

image from www.grouchypuppy.com
"Aren't you the nice dog..." on the J Church, San Francisco, CA.

 

If the dog is well-behaved why should it be a problem?

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The role dogs play continues to evolve

Once upon a time man chose to create dog breeds that mostly served a purpose, such as hunting, herding and protecting. These dogs worked for the farmer and the aristocrat.

Industrialization and the increase of dogs as companions had people altering the features of dogs purely for looks. Form no longer followed function.

From Atlas Obscura, "Dalmatians most likely originated in Croatia, with the first discernible depictions dating to the early 17th century. (“Dalmatia” is a coastal region of Croatia.) Early uses of the dog varied; it seems the first Dalmatians were all-purpose dogs, sometimes used for hunting, sometimes for guard dogs, sometimes for companions.

image from assets.atlasobscura.com

Their use as firehouse dogs emerged in the 19th century in the U.S., where it was discovered that Dalmatians have a natural affinity with horses. Fire engines at the time were horse-drawn, and Dalmatians proved very capable of trotting alongside and in front of the engines to clear a path and find the way to a fire."

Today our relationship with dogs continues its evolution. Now it seems we have more blended dogs than pure bred, and many more countries and societies seeing dogs as members of the family. We also have an incredible increase in the use of dogs as service animals. 

I hope these trends continues. Sure, certain dog breeds will still be used primarily for singular jobs, but I like that we are seeing a wider embrace of all dogs.

If we continue to focus more on our unique relationship and bond with dogs and less on manipulating a dog's genetics, then we reflect a humaneness that shows our own positive evolution.

Read more about the other dog breeds here

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays All You Dog Lovers!

Merry Christmas, peace and joy to the world. Let's hold our loved ones close, especially all the dogs we love. I plan to spend some of my holidays thinking about goals for the new year, including how I can help more people understand why senior dogs rule, and therefore adopt or foster them.

You'll also find me snuggling with every dog that will let me. Will this be the year we welcome a new furry buddy? Let's see!

image from www.grouchypuppy.com

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