September 2 2006


Funny Cat Names Contest Kicks Off
ScoopFree Automatic LitterScoopFree and Animal Radio are looking for the funniest cat names and the story behind them. Just submit your funny cat name and story and you will be eligible to win one of 3 prizes. Each prize consists of your choice of one Scoopfree automatic litter box or (if you already own a ScoopFree) a case of 6 ScoopFree Throwaway Trays filled with Fresh Step® Crystal litter.

Listen to Animal Radio at for chances to win additional ScoopFree boxes, ScoopFree Throwaway Trays and other prizes for you and your cat.

ScoopFree is the first litter box you can leave totally alone for up to 30 days with one cat (15 days with two cats)-no scooping, cleaning or refilling. It utilizes our ScoopFree Throwaway Tray™ which comes pre-filled with Fresh Step Crystal litter. The crystal litter absorbs the liquids and dehydrates the solids, providing unbeatable odor control. The box automatically rakes and grooms the litter and seals the solid waste into a trap built into the tray, so you never have to see, smell or touch messy waste. After about a month, just remove the old tray and throw it away. Then replace with a new tray and you have just cleaned you litter box for another month.

The contest begins at on September 1, 2006 and ends on September 30, 2006. If you are chosen as a winner, you will be able to select which prize you want to receive. Winners will be notified by email by October 16, 2006. Not valid where prohibited by law.



Dick Van Patten
Natural Balance Eatables For Dogs

Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Eatables is the first canned dog food made not in a pet food plant, but in a USDA plant, that makes food for humans. But while it looks like a home-cooked meal ­ save it for your dogs.

The Eatables for Dogs is a holistic dog food (they also make holistic cat food) with no fillers, no wheat, no soy and no by-products.

Previous varieties include Irish Stew; Chinese Take-Out and Hobo Chili. Recently released is the Southern Style Dumplin's with Gravy. Listen in as Hal (our taste-tester) tries the Dumplin's.

If it's good enough for Dick Van Patten to eat (and Hal at Animal Radio®) then it's good enough for your dog!


Internet Ssssssssensation - Snakes on a Plane
David Waldon, Entertainment Reporter
Like some slithery, fork-tongued version of the proverbial snowball, Snakes on a Plane (SoaP to those in the know) keeps gathering speed. Not since Jaws has a movie been so feverishly anticipated, and not since The Blair Witch Project has an underground cult film been transformed into an international phenomena by the tireless work of the fans themselves.

An action film starring the king of action himself, Samuel L. Jackson, Snakes on a Plane was hailed as the "sleeper hit of the summer" by Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly. Its buildup is perplexing and impossible-to-ignore, and has been featured on CNN, NPR, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Hollywood Reporter, and on legions of blogs and web sites. Reportedly, New Line Cinema re-titled the film Pacific Flight 121, provoking outrage in cyberland and by even Jackson himself.

Now comes Snakes on a Plane: The Guide to the Internet Sssssensation, the story of the making of the movie itself and the Internet's buildup that convinced the producers to bring back the stars for re-shoots in order to satisfy the expectations of the fans. Snakes on a Plane is lavishly illustrated, featuring much of the fan's original artwork.


Rescuing the Pets of New Orleans
Troy Snow, Not Left Behind
Not Left Behind
is the story of how Best Friends Animal Society rescued thousands of pets from the storm-ravaged, flooded streets of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The story is told through the images of Best Friends photographer Troy Snow and the words of five Best Friends rescuers-frontline troops representing thousands of volunteers across the country who helped save lives and reunite families.

Troy recounts stories of rescuing the animals of Katrina firsthand. In one such story. Troy talks about coming across two Pit Bulls standing on a car, with water up to their feet. One of the Pit Bulls jumped into the water and started swimming towards the boat. Troy was a little cautious; after all, it was a starved and sunburned Pit Bull. The dog then swam up to Troy, who did what anyone else would have done, he pulled the dog into the boat. It was an anxious moment for Troy, but his fears were soon put to rest. The dog started nuzzling into his neck and his tail was thumping against the sides of the boat. The other Pit Bull was also then rescued.

One of Troy's favorite photos is of a woman, who came to the sanctuary looking for her golden retriever-- and found her! This lady said that she had lost everything she owned, and all she cared about was her baby, and so as far as she's concerned she hasn't lost a thing.
All royalties from this book will go to the Best Friends rescue fund. The Best Friends Rescue Fund provides for animals who need emergency care while members are working to place them in new homes or organize whatever long-term care they will be needing.

There are two ways to Order Not Left Behind:

Send a check or money order for $19.95
Plus $5.99 shipping and handling to:

Best Friends Store
P.O. Box 149
Kanab, Utah 84741

Or Get it Online


Losing a Pet
Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinary News Network
A national survey reveals that losing a pet can be more traumatic than losing your job. The survey reveals that more than four in five, or 85% of dog and cat owners, would consider losing their pet to be extremely or very traumatic. And interestingly, more than three in five consider pet loss more traumatic than events such as getting in a car accident, breaking a bone or losing a job. Yet, surprisingly, just 14% of dog and cat owners have micro-chipped their pets to help insure their recovery if the pets becomes lost or missing. Micro-chipping is a safe, simple and permanent form of pet identification, that provides pet owners and their pets with the best chance of being reunited.

According to the survey, only 1/3 of all dog and cat owners are familiar with the process of micro-chipping. However, of those pet owners who have had their dog or cat micro-chipped, nearly 9 in 10, or 86%, now feel more secure about their dog or cat's safety. In the wake of last year's record setting hurricane season, 45% of dog or cat owners surveyed said they are very concerned about the safety of their pet. However, only 28% took action. Of those who took action to make their pet safer, 16% chose to micro-chip their pet.

Micro-chipping is a simple procedure that is done without anesthesia and produces no more discomfort to the pet than a routine vaccination. The micro-chip is about the size of a grain of rice and is easily injected by a veterinarian under the skin, near the shoulder blades of your pet.


Early Bird Catches the Worm
Britt Savage
The early bird usually catches the worm, but in this case, I think they might want to sleep in.

A recent discovery has been made of the giant Palouse earthworm, which is albino-pale, smells like a lily and can tunnel 15 feet deep.

Scientists originally thought the giant earthworms were extinct, because they hadn't been seen since the 1980's. The Palouse that was dug up is only 6 inches long, which means it might be a young adult.

To date, not much is known about these giant worms.


Bark at the Park
Charlotte, Reed, Special Correspondent
Charlotte comes to us live from the Atlanta Braves Baseball game where fans were invited to bring their "best friends" to the ballgame on Sunday, August 27th, for the Braves first ever, Bark in the Park, presented by Central Garden & Pet, makers of Zodiac and Nylabone pet products.

For those that are planning to attend one of these games with their furry friend, Charlotte offers some great tips:

Talk With Your Animals
Joy Turner
Joy speaks with Gina, a Barbados sheep, who went missing for three days but is back home now.


A Celebrated Psychic Teaches You to Talk to Animals
Amelia Kinkade, The Language of Miracles
As a professional animal psychic, Amelia Kinkade helps clients locate lost pets, diagnose baffling behavior, and further explore the indelible bond that exists between people and their animal companions. But her real mission is to convince people that, with the proper dedication, training, and understanding, everyone can do what she does. Here, she explains the subtle cues that form the foundation of animal communication, and provides guided exercises that allow readers to explore these cues for themselves. With gentle encouragement, she shows how to look for communications typically drowned out in the noise and chaos of modern life, whether they take the form of clairaudience or clairvoyance. Filled with amazing stories, The Language of Miracles inspires readers to sit down with the animals in their lives and explore the unspoken world between them.


Surviving Tylertown
Mike Fry, Animal Ark Animal Shelter and Host of Animal Wise RadioNote: Kelli Ohrtman is a freelance writer who has contributed works to publications including TC Dog Magazine and the Rake. She was one of the first Animal Ark volunteers to head to Tylertown, Mississippi to help with Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts there. Since then, she has worked for Animal Ark and Best Friends Animal Society as a valuable team member supporting our efforts.

The following article was written by Kelli during a tour of duty in Tylertown.

A tanned, rugged-type guy held a black dog in his arms, while a vet from Chicago picked ticks, one at a time, from the dog's left ear. I forgot that ticks make me cringe the way leeches and fingernails on a chalkboard do, so I stepped over and began to pick at the right ear. I said, "I have nails, let me do the other one."

The man holding the dog was tired. He'd been up since six am, lugging, walking, carrying dogs back and forth all day to the intake area where we were working, but he stood quietly while we picked. The dog was tired, too. He'd just been through a hurricane; had lived alone in the mangled streets of New Orleans for a couple weeks, until strange people in trucks came roving through what used to be a neighborhood to capture him. He was stuffed in a crate like the twenty or so other animals caught that day, and put on a truck to be driven two hours to a camp in Mississippi. He didn't mind the picking.

Black ticks are hard to find on a black dog's ear, so I hunted them down by feel, massaging the smooth ear flap in search of each tiny lump. PBS specials with primates digging for bugs on one another came to mind. I searched just as hungrily, but stopped at shoving the ticks into my mouth with one hand while digging for more with the other. Instead, I sliced each one with a little "pop," and smeared the dot of blood on a paper towel. While we picked, the rest of the dogs caught the day before waited in holding pens. While they waited, hundreds of other dogs sat in hastily-erected pens. Cats waited in cages that were stacked two or three high in the little indoor space available.

I used to be an animal person. I mean, animals used to be my life. But the past few years, a lot of traveling and a budding writing career pushed the "animal nut" part of me aside and replaced it with city life; art galleries, films and music, sports, travel, wine and good restaurants. Now I stood in filthy clothes with vaccine syringes shoved in one pocket, leashes draped around my shoulders - just in case, and a squirt of dewormer smeared on my hat.

During the first few weeks of the rescue effort, people, dogs and cats crashed with heat stroke. Weeks dragged into months after Katrina, and soon video clips of the Superdome only surfaced every few days or so on CNN News, and we put donated doggie sweaters on the little dogs to keep them warm in the cold damp evenings. Organizers began planning a Thanksgiving feast for volunteers. But the animals kept coming in, and people who lost everything still came looking for their pets. Usually that was a happy occurrence. Sometimes it made you want to take a bottle of euthanasia solution and put it to good use, and not on the animals, I might add.

One day, a woman arrived at the camp to search for a friend's cat. A volunteer stopped working for a few minutes to take her through the cat areas to peer into each cage, looking for a fluffy gray tabby. She didn't find her friend's cat. And then she broke down into body-shaking sobs. She cried a little bit for the cat, but more for telling the story.

She and the woman who lived in the next apartment were good friends - both cat owners. When the levees broke and water rose, they stuffed their cats into carriers and left the apartment building to wait out on the expressway where buses waited to drive them all to safety. That's where they were told, "no animals allowed." The woman shuddering in the cat room that day got on the bus, while her friend refused to leave her cats. She went back to the apartment to brave the waters.

I can hear the collective sighs of disgust from readers who are not cat people, or are cat people but still wouldn't trade a bus ride to safety to brave a hurricane with a four-legged litterbox filler. But that's what the woman did, and what happened to her is not her fault.

Sometimes the animal rescue side of disaster relief is sort of warm and fuzzy. Sometimes literally. There's something about a dog who has swum to safety atop a roof, sat for days, and then wags its tail when a stranger plops it into the safety of a boat. It's such a simple, easy-to-see gratitude.

We saved the sort of pets whose owners drove from one animal rescue to the next, stopping at nothing to find their dog or cat. We saved pets who were found in their homes with their dead owners. We found dogs still living in their destroyed homes, eating their canine buddy that happened to have died first. And in the same way that a natural disaster of Katrina's magnitude peeled away the thin veil covering much bigger social and economic problems, we saw the same in the animal-owning community.

We saved the trailer park dogs, the "yard dogs" who lived on a chain, if they were still alive. We got dogs out of crack houses, pit bulls trained to fight each other - their ears lopped off down to little nubs in obvious home ear-crop jobs. We found the "bait" dogs used to give fighting dogs a first taste of blood.

When you're there, working, you can't take all that in. You can't take the constant barking from the hundreds of dogs shacked up in chain link dog runs. You can't look at the number of pit bulls and rottweilers that are still there while most of the "family-type" breeds have long been fostered out into homes. Sometimes you just have to concentrate on one thing. One tiny thing, until you get grounded enough to keep your legs moving and hands working.

So I picked ticks until the little black ear flap was smooth. When the tanned guy put the dog on the ground, it gave a little wiggle and then bounded ahead to strain on its leash. Another person brought another dog from the holding area, and we started the process again.


Frolicking Whales and Dolphins
Jan Sluizer
Jan reports on a catamaran ride of the south Maui coast to watch whales and dolphins frolic.





Mosquitoes - Why?
Rae Ann Kumelos, Voice of the Animal
Possibly the most despised and dangerous creature on Earth, Mosquito features prominently in everything from the journals of Lewis and Clark to Native American mythology to the trials and tribulations of the Dalai Lama.


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