Dogs are a healthy and positive influence on relationships | New Study

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Another study is out proving how dogs are a positive influence on our life. This time the data shows that we are more likely to develop friendships and have healthy social interaction, thanks to our dog. 

From Oregon Alive:

The type of relationship they may develop ranges from a brief social interaction to the development of new friendships. Interestingly, the U.S. dog owners were much more likely than owners of other species to consider people they met through their dog as a friend.

People were even more likely to meet each other through pets than via their children's school, according to the research results, and walking your dog is among the top five best ways to meet new people.

Many of the pet owners also said their pets helped them establish relationships that led to tangible forms of social support in both practical and emotionally supportive ways.

Read more about how dogs positively influence us

Mine sure did! Tell me, has your dog helped you make friends or be more social? 

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Show compassion towards homeless animals... pass it on

I believe in the power of the human animal bond. I've seen how stray dogs respond to a soft voice, and a loving touch from a stranger. Offering a compassionate response to a lost or stray dog is something you will always feel good about. 

Hope For Paws

Via ABC 13 and Hope For Paws

A heartwarming video of a homeless dog being rescued shows how quickly an animal's demeanor can shift from panic to happiness with just a compassionate touch. Watch her incredible transformation before and after the rescue.

Find out more about the work being done for homeless dogs by the animal rescue team at Hope For Paws

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Maryland house, volunteers with big hearts, create sanctuary for senior dogs

In the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, you learn that every time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets its wings. Wouldn't it be nice to believe that every time a person or group chooses to help homeless dogs, especially senior dogs, that it is also a sign of something wonderful happening? Their compassion is a sign that the world at large, that humanity, is choosing to do the right thing, not because they are coerced but because it is the right thing to do. They are proof that not everyone is consumed by greed or narcissism, as much of the media would have you believe.

There are people and groups who understand that the compassion we show towards senior dogs will have a positive influence on the world. Watch this video about a Maryland retirement home for senior dogs, and be inspired:



 Via National Geographic

Nearly two-dozen dogs are spending their golden years at House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary. Sher Polvinale and a team of volunteers at this Gaithersburg, Maryland, home spare no expense and care for the dogs' every need—from washing and feeding to medications and vet visits.

Click here to learn more about House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary:

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Why our senior dogs need our compassionate response

Our older dogs need us to show compassion as they age. Moving through their golden years their vocabulary changes. Unlike a puppy, if they have an accident in the house, our senior dog could simply have forgotten to go outside or is dealing with something more serious. 

It's up to us to listen to what our senior dogs are saying, and respond with compassion. 

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Here are seven things your senior dog would like to tell you, via Mother Nature Network

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July 4 Special Dog Adoption Day in San Diego for Military Families and Seniors

This July 4th a very special dog adoption event for military families and senior people is being held at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego County. The Wags for Warriors and Sizzling Seniors Adoption Day Event offers approved military families and Seniors (55+) adopting Senior pets (5+) the chance to have a portion of their adoption fees covered by a very special donor! In addition, between 10:00am and 12:00pm there will be fun kids crafts, a FREE shaved ice, and a ticket for enter-to-win raffle prizes.
Generous Helen Woodward Animal Center Donor Spreads Joy to Military Families and Senior Animal-Lovers with Sponsored Adoptions on the 4th of July!


Rancho Santa Fe, CA (June 22, 2015) – On the 4th of July, as celebratory fireworks fly through the air, celebratory cuddling will be taking place in homes across the city. That’s because, despite the “Independence” day holiday, Helen Woodward Animal Center knows that the 4th is all about uniting family - human and furry alike. Military families and more mature members of our community (aged 55+) are encouraged to find their forever friend at the Wags for Warriors and Sizzling Senior Adoption Event. The special day has been arranged thanks to Jim Kuden a longtime supporter of the Center, animal-lover and patriot. Kuden, who believes uniting these special groups with orphan pets can make a uniquely positive impact on the lives of both the animals and their new families, will help to sponsor adoption fees of approved military families adopting any pet and/or seniors adopting a senior pet on Saturday, July 4th, 2015. The Center will celebrate the fun with family activities, raffle prizes, kids crafts, and shaved ice between 10:00am and noon that day.

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Fundraiser and Pet Adoption Event! "Sleepover at a Shelter" starts today!

“Sleepover at the Shelter” is an event to increase adoptions at animal shelters and to raise money to provide free spay-neuter to underserved communities.

Friday and Saturday, June 12-13

The Sleepover begins on Friday morning and the big adoption event is on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Reduced Adoption Fees

Free Goody Bags for Adopters

Face Painters

Food Trucks

How You Can Help:

A group of volunteers will be spending time at the Downey Animal Care Center over a 24-hour period to celebrate all the pets that are waiting to be adopted. Sponsor the time that they are staying at the shelter.

Be a volunteer and get people to sponsor you! Make a difference while spending quality time with great animals that just want to love.


Help them reach their $30,000 goal, which will help pay for 400 Spay/Neuter Surgeries

Learn more! Visit: Sleepover at the Shelter

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Coco the Pit Bull offers the best medicine for her truck driver papa

What's wrong with Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)? Because if Coco the Pit Bull and her papa and BFF Chris had not found themselves in Kansas City, Missouri when Chris collapsed, their story could have had a very different, and tragic ending.

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From the Huffington Post:

Truck driver Chis Price was worried about more than just his health when he collapsed in Kansas City, Missouri, while out on a haul last month. 

Price, whose home is in Tennessee, was even more concerned about his driving buddy: a sweet white pit bull named Coco -- who'd been with him all over, nonstop, for seven years, and who was taken away by animal control as Price himself was carted off in an ambulance.

There was good reason to be nervous. An estimated 3,000 pit bulls are killed in animal shelters across the country each day.

Read the rest of their amazing story 

Visit Kansas City Pet Project on Facebook.

Coco and Chris' story is a good example of why we need to end breed specific legislation. It does more harm than good.

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Fun and easy ways for dog lovers to celebrate Earth Day

We love our dogs and we love our planet. When thinking about how to celebrate Earth Day with your dog, there are lots of fun and easy ways your family can become eco-friendly and go green!

First stop, the cute department. Consider having dog bedding that is eco-friendly such as one from the Little Green Dog, or reuse your old soft clothing inside a Molly Mutt dog bed. Four years ago we tried this and our dog loved the results! [Easy Dog Bed Project]

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What are other easy ways for you and your dog to be more green?

Try natural cleaning products for your home

Use biodegradable poop bags, or if possible and safe, flush or bury your dog's poop

Consider switching to a holistic dog grooming line

Try out a Molly Mutt sustainable and green dog bed

These just scratch the surface of how easy it is to go green with your dog. What's missing?

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Is your dog's identification information current?

It's National Pet ID Week. So many friends and strangers loved our dog, look at her beautiful puppy face!

Not only did we never leave her unattended outside a store, or inside our car, out of worry she would be stolen, but we also made sure she wore identification tags on her collar. When we adopted her from the San Francisco SPCA they had already microchipped her, so one of the first things we did was update the contact information with the tracking company. Once we set up our online account, we made sure they always had our current information for peace of mind.

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Are you prepared if your dog needs first aid?

We had a dog who loved to get into the trash. She also tried, and sometimes succeeded in picking up a stray chicken bone while we on a walk. We were fortunate that those events were rare and beyond one stressful Thanksgiving episode, the first aid our dog needed was Neosporin on a cut.

Throughout April, the American Red Cross is trying to raise awareness about the specialized knowledge needed to treat our pets.

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Can you answer these questions?

  1. Do you have phone numbers to 24-hour Animal Hospitals in your area on speed dial? How about a local veterinarians who makes house calls?
  2. Do you have the poison control hotline in an easy place to find quickly?
  3. Does your medicine cabinet have essential medications and supplies appropriate for your dog?
  4. Can you perform pet CPR?
  5. If you have a big dog, do you have the help/equipment necessary to get them into your car if they cannot walk?

The last one became a big deal for us as our dog aged, and I realized that I could not physically carry her 85 lb. body, even a little, forget down the front porch stairs.

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, a good time to look over your first aid supplies, your dog's current health needs, and if you are prepared to help your dog is they need first aid.

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Friends Flowers and Fido at HWAC: It's not Coachella it's CHIchella 2015

If you're thinking about adding a dog to your family, you won't want to miss the biggest little festival in Southern California. Bring your friends, fringe and flower crowns to the Helen Woodward Animal Center's Big Festival of Little Dogs this Friday, April 10 through Sunday in North San Diego County.

Rancho Santa Fe, CA (Apr. 07, 2015) – Southern California music-lovers wait all year for this weekend’s Coachella Music Festival – an annual celebration of some of the coolest and most trend-setting new artists and a Woodstock-style crowd partying and dancing for days in the sunshine. Even Hollywood celebrities head out to enjoy the festivities, drawing the paparazzi in droves.

With this in mind, the Helen Woodward Animal Center adoptable Chihuahuas have decided to throw a jam session of their very own – CHIchella kicks off this Friday at the Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Department, giving local animal-lovers an opportunity to experience one of the hippest and hottest canine-breeds in their element.

The fun festival includes 26 orphan Chihuahua blends meeting, greeting and catching rays in an outdoor X-Pen Pavilion while the PUParazzi capture the fun. The first 15 Chihuahua adopters receive framed photos of their CHIchella-styled pup, a $10 Amazon ITunes Gift Card and other groovy SWAG!

Though expected to draw Chihuahua celebrity A-listers like ‘CHIyonce’ and musical headliners like ‘AChi/DChi’ the party is far from small-breed exclusive. People attending the event can expect to hob-nob with adoptable Terriers, Pugs, Shepherds, and Cattle Dogs too.. CHIchella is Helen Woodward Animal Center’s fun, festival-event created to celebrate the quirky, off-beat, adorable and often misunderstood Chihuahua breed.

“No Chihuahua is exactly alike,” stated Adoptions Animal Care Supervisor Mollee Sullivan. “In fact, most of our Chihuahuas are blended with other breeds like Terriers, Pugs, and Beagles which gives them really cute, unique looks and quirky, fun personalities. There seems to be a tendency to group them all in one category, but once you meet them you realize that each one has such a special way of expressing themselves.”

The large number of Chihuahuas currently available at the Center includes a wide variety of personality types suitable for any potential adopter. From super-sporty athletes to couch-potato cuddle-bugs, these loving companions are compact and portable and great for the young, on-the-go, apartment-dwelling crowd – proving “once you go small, you’ll want them all!”

WHEN: Kicks off on Friday, April 10th (first day of Coachella!) at NOON and runs through Sunday, April 12th!

WEEKEND ADOPTION HOURS: Friday – 12:00 NOON to 6:00 PM Saturday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sunday – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

WHERE: Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoptions Department – 6461 El Apajo Road, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

WHAT: Come meet and greet a wild and wonderful variety of one of America’s favorite little dogs (26 CHIHUAHUAS ready to party!!!) · Enjoy great music while the Chi’s romp and party in the X-Pen Pavilion. · Adopters will take home great framed photos of their new Chihuahua fashioned in CHIchella style & other festival swag · First 15 Chihuahua adopters will receive a $10 Amazon ITunes Gift Card

To adopt one of our adorable pets, or if you would like to make a donation, or would like more information, please contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 313, visit or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

About Helen Woodward Animal Center Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 57,000 people and thousands of animals annually through adoptions, educational and therapeutic programs both onsite and throughout the community. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the international Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive, the International Remember Me Thursday™ campaign and The Business of Saving Lives Workshops, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world. For more information go to:

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Majestic canine art in San Francisco

San Francisco loves dogs and when you go for a dog walk, or explore the streets on your own, you will find canine images. The Mission District is home to lots of murals and street art of small and large scale. This majestic canine image was found a couple weeks ago, possibly part of the Clarion Alley Mural Project. Sometimes the artist's name is clearly shown but in this case we couldn't find it. Maybe it's the body language, but doesn't he remind you of Aslan, the noble lion and king of Narnia?
Your Majesty!

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Maddie's Fund President Rich Avanzino will retire this summer

There are few people in animal welfare I admire more than this guy, Richard Avanzino. When I first started writing about dogs after adopting my first dog from the San Francisco SPCA, I learned about a man who fought for the life of a little dog named Sido. As the President of the SF/SPCA in 1979, Rich stood firmly against the current California law that allowed someone to “destroy an animal like a piece of furniture." Thanks in part to his efforts, the law was changed and Sido was given a second chance.

"San Francisco Superior Court Judge Jay Pfotenhauer ruled that the right to dispose of property after death does not extend to killing a living creature."

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There is no doubt if my big dog Cleo had been around at the time of Sido, she would have been euthanized, but fortunately perceptions and practices changed, thanks to the work of Rich, the SF/SPCA and Maddie's Fund. I will always be grateful to them.

Maddie’s Fund® announced that its president, Rich Avanzino, will retire this summer [...]

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