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June 2012

Sat. June 2 The Whole Enchihuahua 2012 in Dolores Park

It's no secret that San Franciscans love their pets, so it may seem a little unsettling that some of our cutest, smartest animal friends—the mighty chihuahua—are a breed most in need of rescue: hundreds of the little guys and gals are routinely found in shelters around the country, waiting for help, healing and hugs.

Join 7x7 and the SF SPCA at their second annual awareness event, again held in Dolores Park, where several of the Bay Area's most beloved rescue and adoption agencies will be onsite to help you find your new best friend.


Enter your dog in the costume contest and prove what you already know: you have the cutest dog on the planet.

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Non-surgical sterilization method offers potential for neutering male dogs

Known as 'zeutering' because of the use of Zinc, this non-surgical castration is inexpensive and less invasive than surgery. This could be a cost-effective option for many shelters. It will be interesting to see whether its use grows across the U.S. 


Last month, Multnomah County Animal Services launched a trial using Zinc neutering, a new way of neutering male dogs. image from

The Troutdale shelter is the first agency in the Portland metro area to offer the procedure, and the trial garnered interest from as far away as the U.K.

The process is a non-surgical castration procedure. “Zeutering,” as it is sometimes known, consists of locally injecting a compound of Zinc gluconate and arginine, which destroys sperm-producing cells without greatly impacting hormone levels. Proponents say it’s a much cheaper and less invasive alternative to surgery.

“I think it’s great to have it as an option, especially for people who don’t want their dogs surgically castrated,” says MCAS veterinarian Dr. Meghan Romney.

Romney is among only six veterinarians in Oregon trained in the procedure and about 30 to 40 nationwide, says Dr. Byron Maas of Bend Veterinary Clinic in Bend.

Maas is also a master trainer with Ark Sciences, the company that developed the compound. It’s known as Zeuterin in the United States and as Esterisol in Mexico, Bolivia, Panama and Colombia (in Colombia, it also has approval for use in cats).

Zeuterin recently received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in dogs between the ages of three and 10 months old. Approval for use in all dogs ages three months and older is pending.

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Prevention: What people can do to prevent dog bites

Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 20-26, 2012. Understanding the basics about dog behavior is important for preventing dog bites. Read this informative piece from Kelly Gorman Dunbar about hugging a dog, or rather why you respect your dog's doggie-ness. Before having a dog, consider one who is the right mix for your lifestyle. A dog's age, breed(s), coat, health, and energy level will all impact your life together.


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Necessary car rides and soothing the savage beast

Tomorrow morning, we are taking our dog in to the vet for a check-up. This check-up is special because it is with her specialist, a vet Dermatology Specialist.

Unfortunately, Dr. Reinke DVM resides about an hour north of the city, and that means a car ride for Cleo. If you have followed Cleo's adventures for awhile, you may already know that she considers car rides about as much fun as having her bed move while she's on it, getting her nails trimmed or a bath.

Pondering her fate, Cleo listens to the garage door open

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Happy Birthday Sadie!

Sassy and sweet Sadie, a Mini-Labradoodle, turned three yesterday, and we're sending this local cutie some special belated birthday love. 

Birthday Girl Sadie

Sadie is the pride and joy of Joan Walsh, political writer and editor-at-large of Joan shared this sweet comment about her puppy growing up, "those puppy years are gone -- but she'll still chase a ball 'til she can't breathe anymore." Ha! Well, Joan won't have to worry about Sadie keeping her girlish figure.

Though increasingly busy with the presidential election now under way, it's great to see Joan still has time to take her precious little Sadie for urban adventures and trips to the local puppy park!

Maybe Sadie will return the love and give Joan one of these Mother's Day cards? We'll have to check the next time we run into them.

Happy Birthday Sadie! Three cheers for a long and wonderful life! You picked a great city to live in.


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Why demonizing a dog breed is wrong | Exhibit A

This incredible story about Lilly the pit bull will pull at your heart strings. I hope it will also be a clear example of why we need to stop demonizing dog breeds.

Having grown up with many Doberman Pinchers during the 1970's, and at the height of their demonization, I speak from personal experience - dogs are amazing and loving creatures. Learn more breed specific legislation, and why it is an ineffective approach to regulating dogs' behavior in communities. 


Pit bull saves owner from freight train

(NECN: Julie Loncich) – Surrounded by pictures of her family and furry friends, 8-year-old Lily likely can't begin to comprehend just how much she means to David Lanteigne.

"If it wasn't for Lily she wouldn't be here right now," said David Lanteigne.

Last week in Shirley, Mass., David's mother, Christine, Lily's owner, fell on railroad tracks as a freight train was barreling toward her. Lily reacted quickly.

"Lily was either pushing or pulling her, trying to get her off the tracks. The conductor said there wasn't enough time and at one point Lily ran around to the front and took the hit of the train for my mother," said Lanteigne.

David's mother wasn't hurt and Lily survived, but she was critically injured, damaging her hind leg and liver, shattering her pelvis, and over the weekend, her front leg was amputated.

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Helping Animal Caregivers with Compassion Fatigue

If left untreated, compassion fatigue can overpower caregivers and cause burnout. Here is a Massachusetts minister who is helping those who comfort others, learn to comfort and take care of themselves.


WESTWOOD - The Rev. Eliza Blanchard asked the dozen women seated in a circle on the floor what symptoms they had experienced because of “compassion fatigue.’’ The women, all caregivers for the sick or dying, listed their teeth-grinding, neck pain, rapid heartbeat, insomnia. One woman said, “Sometimes, I forget to breathe.’’

The others nodded in agreement, and Blanchard added a few more. “You have trouble getting up in the morning. The tank is empty. You don’t care about things you used to care about.’’

As they sat on pillows and blankets, she led them through breathing and yoga exercises. They were in the meditation room of The Center at Westwoods, a nonprofit holistic and spiritual center on 70 pastoral acres in Westwood.

The women’s patients are chronically or terminally ill animals, some of them paralyzed, some elderly, some young. These caregivers are veterinarians, vet technicians, vet tech students, and a pet owner or two.

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Using a 'Puppy Bin' SF SPCA #NoMills Campaign Strikes at Your Heart

The San Francisco SPCA launched the second phase of their anti-puppy mill campaign. They've installed a "puppy bin" in the highly trafficked plaza at the intersection of Sacramento and Drumm Streets, near Embarcadero center (and the Hyatt Regency Hotel). It is an area flowing with tourists and office workers daily. The bin will remain there until 3pm Friday, May 4th.
The bin looks like a typical newspaper stand, except the glass front is a video of puppies, with their cries. Within the bin is The Canine Tribune, featuring articles about puppy millsThe bin is similar in size to puppy mill cages.


Watch the reactions from the people walking by to the sounds of puppies in a cage, in this 30 second gives a new meaning to reality television.

“We wanted to do something completely unique in order to grab people’s attention and really drive home the deplorable conditions puppy mill dogs are forced to endure,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, veterinarian and SF SPCA co-president.

“This bin is a powerful reminder that we are often duped by false advertising. When San Franciscans buy puppies online, they unwittingly purchase from puppy mills, perpetuating a cycle of misery that benefits only the mill owners and puppy wholesalers.”

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Protect Your Family Jewel: May is Chip Your Pet Month

My dog Cleo has a microchip inserted between her shoulder blades. The San Francisco SPCA made sure our precious new family member had a form of identification that couldn't come off from a sandy and wet romp at Fort Funston, or at the park. Unlike her tooth, which got chipped when playing with another dog at the park our first month together. Half broke off!


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